Friday, December 31, 2004

2004's nearly out the door


I live two blocks away from the Rose Parade route, and yet again, I won't be seeing the parade. But that's okay. I've never been a big fan of the parade. If I got nice seats or was willing to brave the cold and sit out on the sidewalk... hey, that sounds like something I would do! Well, maybe some other year.

For the past several days, I have turned my orderly apartment into this. Those couches you see, you can have `em if you want. I'm moving my non-couch stuff out, some to Jessica's place where we'll be living. The rest goes to a cold heartless storage facility where you give them money and you can put your stuff there, no questions asked, if ya know what I mean. It's kinda like a Swiss Bank Account for stuff.

In other news, I'm almost done with Lost Christianities by Bart D. Ehrman, a look at the diversity of early Christian beliefs and the story about how one set of beliefs, what we now call "orthodox," prevailed. The book was loaned to me by a guy from church, when Jessica and I had dinner with his family and other people a couple of weeks ago. It has been enlightening and for the most part it seems a well researched look at history and historical documents, especially those which were thought "lost" but have been found due to serendipitous recent archeological findings (serendipitous or some Hand behind it?).

And now it's only two more weeks till the Big Day! Yeah!

Thursday, December 23, 2004

License to marry


Today Jessica and I got our marriage license. So we're licensed by the county of Los Angeles to marry each other in the next three months.

I guess it's like the license the state gives you to drive a car, but for marriage.

Remember, since we live in a public world, breathing public air, marriage is a privilege, and not a right. I guess that's why the state thinks our marriage is its business.

But seriously, it was a big deal since we had to give an oath together. It was the first time we had to do something like that together and I think it got to us both. And last night, I was listening to some wedding type music, and I got goosebumps. I haven't had that yet. Jessica says it happens to her whenever she tries on her dress and stuff. But I hadn't felt it yet. I mean, we're getting married! It's only three weeks away now.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Polar vortex breaks up, thousands mourn


...or pursue research grant money.

I hear the polar vortex has broken up. What can I, as a citizen, do?

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Democracy and equality


From our beginning as a nation we have held that all men are created equal. I believe this in as much as I believe in political equality. But I also believe it is "self evident" that men and women are not all equal.

You may think all people so good that they deserve a share in the government of a nation, and so wise that the nation needs their advice. C. S. Lewis believes this to be "the false, romantic doctrine of democracy." On the other hand, you might believe fallen people to be so wicked that not one of them can be trusted with any irresponsible power over his or her fellows, which Lewis believes to be the true ground of democracy.

Lewis does not believe God to have created an egalitarian world. The authority of humanity over the beasts and parent over child seem to have been a part of God's original plan. Lewis goes so far as to say that he believes "that if we had not fallen, .... patriarchal monarchy would be the sole lawful government." Perhaps Tisco would find in this situation of unfallen monarchy the hope of a truly benign dictatorship. But since we have learned sin, we have found, as the English historian Lord Acton says, that "all power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely."

The only remedy has been to take away the powers and substitute what Lewis calls "a legal fiction of equality."

The authority of father and husband has been rightly abolished on the legal plane, not because this authority is bad in itself (on the contrary, it is, I hold, divine in origin), but because fathers and husbands are bad. Theocracy has been rightly abolished not because it is bad that learned priests should govern ignorant laymen, but because priests are wicked men like the rest of us.

Equality is in the same position as clothes. It is a result of the Fall and the remedy for it. It is the hierarchical world, still allive and hidden behind a facade of equal citizenship, which is our real concern. The function of equality is protective. It is medicine, not food. By treating humans, in defiance of the observed facts, as if they were all the same kind of thing, we avoid innumerable evils. But it is not on this that we were made to live.