Jewish date: 2 Marḥeshwan 5770 (Parashath Noaḥ).
Today’s holidays: Birth of the Báb (Bahá’í Faith), Feast Day of Sir Richard Francis Burton (Thelema).
Worthy cause of the day: “Keep Children Safe When They're at Child Care”.
Topic 1: “Supreme Court debates cross”: Seventy-five years ago, a cross was set up in memory of US soldiers killed in World War I on public land in the Mojave National Preserve. Presumably this was done with the noblest of intentions, but considering that the cross is a specifically Christian symbol, there is naturally a valid issue of separation of church and state. For some reason Justice Antonin Scalia does not understand or refuses to understand something which should be so obvious.
Topic 2: “The American Library Association’s Stealth Jihad Against Free Speech”: There is an irony in censoring someone in a celebration of Banned Book Week.
Topic 3: I have now read chapter 12 of The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, book 1), and I am crying foul. We finally learn what the devious, dastardly thing the Church is doing to the kidnapped children is: intercission, which severing a human from his/her dæmon. Why anyone would want to do such a thing is not yet revealed; I presume that Pullman will reveal that later. But the results of intercission are inaccurate. Intercission does not leave the human part of the victim unable to function. In real life, a human without a soul is brain dead and may only be considered alive by technicality. For all a human is is contained within the brain; if it were not so, then brain damage would never affect behavior and memory. The idea of intercised children wandering around and some even surviving is therefore at best based on a bad interpretation of the soul.