Jewish date: 1 ’Adhar 5770 (Parashath Terumah).
Today’s holidays: Ro’sh Ḥodhesh (Judaism), Monday of the Sixth Week of Ordinary Time/Carnival Monday (Roman Catholicism).
Worthy causes of the day: “Tell President Obama to Stop Big Oil's Race to Ruin in the Tar Sands”, “Save BioGems: Take Action: Save Yellowstone/Greater Rockies”, “MoveOn.org Political Action: Demand an explanation from Anthem Blue Cross”, “Stop Corporate-Sponsored Wolf Slaughters - The Petition Site”, and “Support Malaria Vaccination Research - The Petition Site”.
Topic 1: More current anti-Semitism: “Countering Canadian Campus Media Bias Against Israel (February 12, 2010)”, which highlights reporters getting facts wrong and holding by moral double standards.
Topic 2: “Anne Hathaway Wished To Be A Nun” and “Anne Hathaway leaves Catholic Church over gays”. Anne Hathaway and family left the Roman Catholic Church because her brother is a homosexual and the Church does not approve of homosexuality. Ms. Hathaway and family joined the Episcopalian Church (AKA the Anglican Church), of which the more Protestant branch has favorable views of homosexuality, though she has currently left that church as well. Now, what bugs your humble blogger about this case is that Ms. Hathaway and family seem to have left the Roman Catholic Church because the Church has a view they do not approve of. If so, they have converted for the wrong reason. The question one should be asking when judging if a religion is correct should never be whether the religion agrees with one’s moral opinions. Morality is purely a matter of opinion, and one cannot expect that a god or karma—the ultimate enforcers of morality, if such exist—will necessarily be in agreement. The question one should always ask is whether a religion is true. Yes, one may still reach the wrong answer, but one at least is put in a better position if one does so. If one reaches the wrong answer on what religion is true, one can at least beg for mercy to whatever god of reward and punishment that does exist that one has made a good faith effort to find the truth and act according to it; as we have imperfect information and limited abilities in processing it, that god in all fairness has to take into account in judging us the fact that many of us will inevitably not reach the right answer. But if one follows one’s own tastes and makes no effort to find what is actually true, then if one reaches the wrong answer, one cannot plead to the god of judgement that one has at least made a decent effort to find the truth; as such, one cannot expect that god to be pleased or merciful.
Topic 3: For today’s religious humor: “I miss the smell of sulfer”:
(Come to think of it, where does this whole business of sulfur in Hell come from anyway?)
Peace and happy new month.