In reply to a comment on this blog [http://4simpsons.wordpress.com/2011/04/18/wendy-wright-schools-richard-dawkins/#comment-61193]; posted here, because it’s too long to post there.
I’m glad you accept that the discussion is philosophical; most people assume that evolution = science and creation = religion (or philosophy), and this sets up a false dichotomy that arguing against evolution is arguing against established science and against facts, when the reality is that arguing for or against evolution (or creation) is arguing philosophy and worldview. Your response to my example of the impossibility of the solar system forming the way evolutionists claim it happened demonstrates this perfectly: you said that just because science can’t answer it *now* doesn’t necessarily mean it will never be able to answer it, thus their lack of a good mechanism is not necessarily a proof of creation.
[Again, let me point out that your appeal to future discoveries in favor of evolution and naturalistic origins is precisely the same thing that I ask in favor of creation and supernatural origins, in the matter of distant starlight. If you do not discard evolutionary hypothesis out of hand because it has no naturalistic answer for how one planet rotates backward and another on its side, etc., etc., then you cannot logically and consistently discard creationist hypothesis out of hand because it hasn’t figured out precisely the distant starlight problem.]
But back to the original point, you appeal to the evolutionary god of the gaps, and maintain that it *could* have happened this way, even if we don’t know exactly how it worked. I trust that you will likewise admit that the universe *could* have come about by supernatural forces, even if we don’t know exactly how it worked. So in one sense, there is no purely scientific argument for (or against) either creation or evolution, since every roadblock that appears can be waved away by the proponents by appealing to future knowledge settling the question, or, “We don’t know how it happened, but God/evolution must have done it somehow.”
What we are doing is indeed arguing more philosophically than scientifically, but both are using science to back up our arguments. Still, the argument is primarily one about what happened in the past. Science deals with the present — things you can observe, test, experiment upon, touch, etc. We can’t observe the past, only the present relics of past events.
For example, we can’t go back in time to prove that Abe Lincoln lived and was President; we must trust the testimony of people who lived during that time, and accept that they were telling the truth. It would be a grand delusion indeed to refuse to believe in Abe Lincoln, just because we were not there to observe it, since there is so much evidence of his existence, both within the United States and outside of it. One would have to dismiss as forgeries all newspapers printed at that time which mentioned Pres. Lincoln, for example. But there is no scientific way to prove he existed — digging up the bones in his grave only tells that someone is buried there; DNA could possibly show several things about the body; examining the body could even demonstrate that the person buried there was shot in the same way that Lincoln was supposedly shot; people who claim to be Lincoln descendants could come forward for DNA comparison and prove that they were indeed the descendants of the body buried in the grave. Yet that is not science and not proof. I could conceivably knock down all these “proofs”, one by one, by saying that the purported Lincoln descendants are just perpetrating the same fraud; that they buried their great-grandfather in the grave marked as Lincoln’s, so that they could be proved descendants of the body, etc., etc. Nobody would take me seriously, of course, but it’s an analogy to demonstrate a point.
Continuing to use that analogy to demonstrate a further point, I will point out that though all the above scientific ways to “prove” Lincoln’s existence are not truly scientific “proofs”, but they would certainly be used as proof, evidence, and/or circumstantial evidence in a court of law. We would call it “corroborating evidence”, and that’s good enough for most people. So, while one individual claim could be knocked down (by claiming fraud or lying), that argument wears a bit thin when looking at the *entirety* of the evidence for the existence of Pres. Abe Lincoln.
In like manner, I want you to consider the *entirety* of the evidence that could be brought for evolution and for creation. Admitting that it is a philosophical question, we see that most lines of “evidence” could be interpreted as corroborating either creation or evolution depending on how you look at it. For example, evolutionists look at the fact that all living things use the same DNA coding, and say, “Aha! evidence of common descent!” Creationists look at the same thing and say, “Aha! evidence of common design!” As such, DNA coding similarities are *not* necessarily proof for either creation or evolution.
Instead, we’d have to look at everything and say, “Is what we see *consistent with* creation or evolution?” If it fits both (as in the above example), we could place it in both, or in neither/neutral columns. As such, there are ***numerous*** examples of things that either oppose evolutionary theory outright (and by that, I include the origin of the entire universe, including the formation of galaxies and the solar system, as well as the appearance of life out of non-life), or are otherwise inconsistent with what evolutionary theory teaches. [Here is a list of 101 such things — http://creation.com/age-of-the-earth — I don’t expect you to read them all, but I hope you could look through the list to find one or two that are more interesting to you.]
On the other hand, if the Bible is true, then there are certain things in today’s world that we can test. Genesis records that God created the world and all that is in it in 6 days; that He created out of the dirt a man (named “Adam”, from dirt or earth), and from the man’s side a woman; he also created different animals that were to reproduce “after their kind”. In the paradise, the humans were forbidden only one thing, to eat the forbidden fruit; when they ate, sin came upon humans, and they were cast out of the paradise of Eden. Generations later, humans had become very evil so that God determined to destroy the world and start over; there was only one righteous person who found mercy, and he with his wife and three sons and their wives were saved alive. God sent a flood, but provided a way of escape — a large boat big enough for the humans and all the land animals; all other humans and land animals died. After the Flood, while still on the boat, Noah sent out birds to see if the land was dry enough, and eventually it was. Then, God established the rainbow as a covenant sign of His promise never to destroy the world by water again. A few generations later, the humans again disobeyed God, this time at the Tower of Babel, where God punished them by confusing their languages. The people split apart, to populate the entire earth, and not just a small portion of it.
From that short version, what can we test? First, we would expect all humans to be closely related, and this is true. We would expect to see about 3 main Y chromosome lineages and about 3 main mitochondrial DNA lineages (Noah’s sons and their wives), and this is what we find. We would expect to find that people dispersed along the male lineages, so that the same Y chromosomes would mostly be grouped together, while the female lineages would be mixed up, and this is what we find. We would expect not to be able to trace all the languages back to one single language, and so far this is true. There are language families, but no apparent bridges between the families — and this is consistent with God confusing the languages along the male lineages. In Genesis is a so-called “Table of Nations” which records where some of the grandsons and great-grandsons of Noah settled, and we see evidence of cities, countries, areas, rivers, mountains, etc. with the same names as those recorded in the Bible, and the names belonging in the place where the Bible says they should be. We would also expect animals to be unable to reproduce outside of their kind; and this also we see.
Second, is it consistent with recorded secular history? The answer is yes. [Of course, not every record can be tested against the Bible, and some records could be fraudulent; but like the Lincoln example above with the newspaper accounts, to throw out the Bible would have to declare as fraudulent a mass of human records.] I recently read the book “After the Flood”; the author looks at ancient records from various European peoples, and demonstrates that the ruling houses of Europe traced their lineages back to Noah’s son Japheth. The Irish even have a creation and flood account consistent with the Biblical account (well before any Christian missionaries were there), and even consistent with the timing recorded in the Bible (based on the patriarchs’ ages). Many people groups scattered all over the world have creation and/or flood legends that are too remarkably similar to the account in the Bible for it to be happenstance — some including one or more of the “side details” I included above, like the serpent, forbidden fruit, the rainbow, 8 people, a dove being released, etc.
So you see, there is a tremendous weight of historical evidence in favor of the Bible [and I haven’t even touched on the later history of Israel], which is akin to newspaper articles affirming Lincoln’s existence. So, when I say that the distant starlight question doesn’t bother me, because the Bible has proven to be so accurate in the things that it *can* be tested on, I’m not talking about some sort of ethereal hope that there might possibly be some sort of Deity out there, but real, hard facts, and testable evidence. And when I say that the distant starlight question is the only thorny issue that seems to be in favor of evolution, you have to realize that there is a whole long list of very “thorny issues” that plague evolutionists (see the previous “101” article, though there are certainly even more).
Finally, you may be surprised to read some admissions by evolutionists, such as this one which says that evolutionists believe in naturalism not because the evidence demands it, but because they refuse to allow the possibility of a Divine Being [http://creation.com/amazing-admission-lewontin-quote]. Or perhaps of former atheist Fred Hoyle [http://creation.com/big-bang-critic-dies-fred-hoyle]: “But eventually he realised that even this would be woefully inadequate as a materialistic explanation of life’s origin. In his 1981 book Evolution from Space (co-authored with Chandra Wickramasinghe), he calculated that the chance of obtaining the required set of enzymes for even the simplest living cell was one in 1040,000 (one followed by 40,000 zeroes). Since the number of atoms in the known universe is infinitesimally tiny by comparison (1080), even a whole universe full of primordial soup wouldn’t have a chance.”
So it’s admissions and calculations like that (and if I wanted to spend more time, I’m sure I could find others, from current or former atheists) that are probably the best fit of evidence or proof of the necessity of some form of Intelligent Design. The possibility of even the bare minimum of a life form evolving is statistically zero. Even taking the false Big Bang theory as true, I could point to “fine tuning” that allows our universe to exist as it does — such “fine tuning” that is extremely difficult if not impossible to account for using solely naturalistic explanations. In fact, some reputable scientists have tried to solve this particularly difficult and thorny question by proposing the existence of many, even of an infinite number of, universes (though we cannot observe them by any methods, so this explanation is not possibly science and is at least as faith-based as any creation or intelligent design scheme could presume), then saying that even though the statistical likelihood of this universe existing as it does is statistically zero, given an infinite number of universes, one of them was bound to come up lucky, and since we are living in that “lucky” universe, that’s how we can observe it. Yet they mock Christians for believing the Bible, that has so much evidence for it!
A few weeks ago, someone suggested the book “Wheat Belly“; the title, description and Amazon reviews intrigued me, so I ordered it on Kindle. [Just an aside, I like the Kindle better than print books for a couple of reasons, including being able to search for text, and having a built-in dictionary if you ever encounter any unfamiliar words.]
The author, William Davis, M.D., has come to the conclusion based on his own personal experiences, the experiences of thousands of his patients, as well as published research, that what we call “wheat” today is bad for us, in really all of its various forms.
He notes that modern wheat has changed substantially in just the past 50-60 years, so that the “wheat” our ancestors of 100 years ago ate was quite different from what we eat today; and both today’s wheat and the wheat from a century ago are quite different from wheat of a thousand or more years ago. Last century’s wheat grew about 4′ tall and did not have as full or heavy a head of grain as today’s wheat, which usually tops out at around 18″ tall, and also has a shorter growing season (all these things making it more profitable for the farmer to grow). It is his contention that the genetic differences that allowed these changes are also at the root of a whole host of problems people have with wheat and wheat-based products.
Much of the problem, he believes, is due to the way the body breaks down the carbohydrates (wheat and white flour have a higher Glycemic Index than white sugar!), so he spends a good deal of time talking about insulin and diabetes, and how wheat — even “healthy” whole-grain wheat — causes a great deal of harm to the average person, and even more so to diabetics or pre-diabetics. Of course, he talks about celiac disease, and how that many people are undiagnosed, misdiagnosed, or don’t have “classic” celiac disease, yet are unable to properly digest wheat, so have a whole host of health problems. There is evidence to suggest that some 40% of the population (either worldwide or just in America), while never having full-blown celiac disease, would benefit from reducing or eliminating gluten from their diet.
The book is actually fun to read. While of necessity he must speak of dry, boring things like studies and ancient history, and how exactly wheat (or components of wheat, including gluten mostly) interacts with various body systems — and wreaks havoc with them — he makes it interesting and enjoyable to read; frequently throughout the book, I smiled or even laughed at the humorous way he put some things. Sprinkled throughout the book are many personal and professional anecdotes of how getting rid of wheat changed someone’s life for the better — lost weight, “cured” diabetes or prevented pre-diabetes from becoming full-blown diabetes, improved cholesterol, reduced acne and other skin ailments, even regrew hair! Plus, he has a rather lengthy recipe section of alternatives to gluten-containing and even “gluten-free” foods. [He notes that most “gluten-free” foods that are meant to substitute for gluten-containing foods, like “gluten-free” pasta, breads, etc., use corn starch, rice starch, or other carbohydrates that will provoke the same insulin response as gluten-containing foods, so he does not recommend these foods to be consumed on a regular basis, especially if you’re diabetic or pre-diabetic.]
I would highly recommend that anyone who is even curious about whether wheat is causing them health problems — such as the “spare tire” around your middle, which Dr. Davis calls “wheat belly” — read this book, especially if you are wanting more and deeper information about what all problems may be caused by wheat, cured by giving up wheat and other gluten-containing foods, how wheat/gluten causes the body to react, and/or the science behind all of this. There is so much information, I couldn’t begin to do the book justice by trying to summarize it, so you should read it yourself.
If you’re skeptical (either now, or after you read it), try giving up wheat for 4 weeks and see if there is any difference in your life and health — and especially your weight! He says that most people feel a significant health difference within a week or two — some in just a few hours; though he does warn that the addictive effect of wheat may make you have withdrawal symptoms for several days, which may make you feel worse before you feel better, as your body demands the near-constant supply of wheat to which it has become accustomed.
Now, onto my personal experience…
A couple of months ago, I was eating the Standard American Diet (SAD), though probably more “whole foods” based than most people, since I tend to cook from scratch as much as possible, and drink almost only water. Then, I read some article somewhere that suggested that people give up gluten, corn, soy, dairy, peanuts, yeast and eggs for 3 weeks, and also take probiotics three times a day during that time. I thought, “Why not?” and did it. I was also doing a 40-day fast from sugar, so I was sugar-free — no sugar or artificial sugar substitutes (only honey, maple syrup and stevia). I felt better and lost weight (probably about 5 pounds or so), though I didn’t change my (lack of) exercise. But when the three weeks was up, I went back to eating normally (going to visit my mom, the baking queen, didn’t help). A few weeks ago, I was tired of the way I looked, the way I didn’t exercise, and the way I felt, so I made some big changes. I started doing the P90X exercise program (tomorrow is the last day of the third week), so was looking over their diet recommendations… and remembering how I lost weight with those previous dietary changes. So, I decided to give up gluten and corn (I don’t eat much soy anyway; and most if not all of the yeast I consume is in wheat/gluten products), along with the sugar that the P90X diet requires, but not go hog-wild with dairy. So, I have been doing (mostly) gluten-, corn-, and sugar-free (my husband has taken me out to eat sometimes, and for the most part, I try to stay on the diet, but I know I’m probably consuming hidden “bad” stuff).
I have noticed positive health experiences related to these dietary changes (though I can’t say for sure it’s being off of wheat/gluten, since my diet is quite different from what it was before; plus I’m exercising). I am less hungry, eating less, sleeping better, yet feeling better with less sleep than before, rarely get “the afternoon slump”, etc. Since I haven’t been perfect, I don’t know if I would feel even better if I was completely off gluten and corn, but I feel better enough to keep wanting to keep on going — and if I get off-diet, to get right back on it.
Some fifteen years ago, I was gluten-free for several months, though I didn’t go on the diet *intending* to be “gluten-free” (I’d probably barely heard of a substance called “gluten” back then, much less any negative effects it might have had). Someone told me about “The Hallelujah Diet” — called that in part because you’re supposed to feel so great that you just want to say “Hallelujah” all the time, and partly because it is based on the Bible — “The Garden of Eden” diet — namely, only fruits and vegetables, and preferably raw. The goal was 100% raw and vegan, though he allowed a baked potato — no cheese, sour cream, butter, or bacon!! — for supper. I did feel great, though I probably was eating a lot of food that raised my blood sugar. I didn’t like (and still don’t, to be honest) a lot of vegetables, plus we had a limited selection of fruits and vegetables at our local grocery stores, so I didn’t eat a wide variety of things, eating mostly grapes, apples, bananas, oranges, pineapple and carrots. Still, I must say, I felt great, and I lost weight (though I was working out quite a bit at the time, as well). I fell off the wagon for my mom’s birthday, and instead of getting back on it, I rediscovered how *yummy* sugar and other bad foods were, and started eating “normally” again… and predictably gained weight. Sigh. And I stopped exercising so much — double-sigh.
Now that I look back on it, I wonder if I stopped exercising because I was tired, and if I was tired because of my food choices. After reading “Wheat Belly”, I wonder if I started eating so much because wheat triggered my body to want more and more food. I am certainly more able to pass up food — food in general and also particular “bad” foods that normally I would eat substantial quantities of — since being on this diet. I would normally attribute it to my strong will-power (which, usually, I say I have little or no will power, but when I have a plan such as I now have, I do have a certain amount of stick-to-it-iveness), but now I wonder whether it’s more because the addictive hold that food has on me has lessened because of giving up wheat. The other night my husband blended up dried apricots in vanilla ice cream — and normally, I have a HUGE sweet tooth, with almost no food being “too sweet” for me, and also with it being difficult for me to pass up any dessert, especially ice cream. But while I mentally assented that, yes, I did sort of want ice cream, I more wanted to stay on my diet. My husband insisted I try his concoction, so I had a taste, but it was too sweet for me to want any. Weird, huh?
When I started P90X, I intended to be on my diet — no wheat/gluten, no corn, no sugar or artificial sweeteners, no alcohol, no fruit juice, no more than 1-2 pieces/servings of fruit per day, 5 servings of veggies per day, no “bad” fats, and drinking at least 3 quarts of water per day — for 90 days, the duration of the program, and possibly longer. While I haven’t been perfect these past three weeks, I’ve done rather well, especially compared to my previous normal diet, and can see me keeping it up, more or less, for longer. This doesn’t mean I will never have a piece of chocolate cake again, but I can see many health benefits to keeping my intake of carbohydrates — especially wheat and sugar — low.
I’m no great fan of Rick Perry. If he runs for President, I won’t vote for him in the primary (mostly because he way overstepped his bounds as TX governor, mandating that 11 & 12-year-old schoolgirls receive the Gardasil vaccine), but this post isn’t about him, except that his call for prayer has instigated this post: Five Scriptures You Won’t Hear at Rick Perry’s Prayer Event. Click over to read the verses and what he says about them, then come back here to read my opinion.
Before Jim Rigby even starts on the five verses, he sneers at those who ” take the Christian and Jewish scriptures seriously”, saying that doing so makes for an “unhealthy religion.” Really? A Christian minister says that taking the Bible “seriously” sets you up for being in an unhealthy religion. By what criteria does he judge this?! Does he mean that we should take the Bible flippantly, or carelessly, or ignore those parts we disagree with? Is that what his version of Christianity teaches?
1) “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray in public places to be seen by others… But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your heavenly parent, who is unseen.” (Matt. 6:5-6) [I don’t know what version or perversion of the Bible he uses, but the fact that he says “parent” instead of “Father” says a lot! I digress…] As the verse itself states, it is a warning against being hypocrites more than against public prayer. If the person praying in public prays only prays in public, he is being a hypocrite (literally, a “play actor”); if he is praying just to be seen, he is being a hypocrite. There is no injunction against praying in front of others — in fact, public and/or corporate prayer is mentioned with great frequency as a hallmark of the New Testament church and early Christians. This is probably the one that I least disagree with him on; he says this verse teaches, “Don’t make a show of prayer,” which is true enough; but it’s more in the idea of a false show of prayer, rather than an absolute injunction against praying in front of others at all.
2) “God doesn’t withhold rain because we’ve done something wrong,” he says, pointing to, “God causes the sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous” (Matt. 5:45) as his proof text. However, he neglects (once again) the context, and also doesn’t point out the little thing like Elijah praying that God would not let it rain on the nation of Israel, under the rule of wicked Ahab, and it didn’t rain for 3 years, but when Elijah prayed for rain, God sent rain. I would ask Mr. Rigby if he believes that God can and does answer prayer. If no, why does he call himself a Christian?; if yes, why not pray — as Jesus commanded — for those things that you need? The true meaning of this verse is pointing out that God is good even to those who don’t deserve it, and He is merciful even to the wicked, unjust, and unrighteous, and that we should likewise be good. It teaches that when it rains, the rain is from God; it does not teach that God never withholds rain from the wicked.
3) “God doesn’t have favorites” — this is the one that makes me call him a heretic. First, the verse: “Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism.” (Acts 10:34) Now what Rigby says it means: “When the Bible says that God is not a ‘respecter of persons’ it means that God doesn’t have a favorite country or religion.” This couldn’t be further from the truth! God may not have “a favorite country” (although I would argue that God has favored the United States, as our Constitution and early foundation was on His principles), but to say that God doesn’t have “a favorite religion”!! The context (that pesky context again, that Rigby never considers!) is that Peter has just preached to the first person who was not Jewish by birth or by conversion. Up to this point, the gospel of Jesus Christ had been preached to Jews only, and it seems that the Jewish Christians still believed that Christianity was to be limited to Jews only. In a vision, God tells Peter to eat “unclean” animals, to show him that the division between clean and unclean animals was done away with in Christ, just as the division between Jew and Gentile was done away with in Christ. In preaching to Cornelius, and his subsequent conversion and being blessed with the gift of speaking in foreign languages, Peter realizes that God has elect among more than just Jews. If God doesn’t have “a favorite religion” — and Rigby sneers at the possibility that Christianity might be considered God’s “favorite religion”, thus implying here and elsewhere throughout his article, that all religions are equal before God — why did He send His Son to die on the cross and say that there was salvation only through Jesus Christ? If Christianity is the same as any other religion before God, why did Paul and the other early apostles and Christians risk their lives and many die a martyr’s death, if it didn’t really matter whether the Gentiles worshipped the God of the Bible or their heathen idols?
4) “Worship by those who neglect the poor is offensive to God” — “I hate, I despise your religious festivals; your assemblies are a stench to me… Away with the noise of your songs! I will not listen to the music of your harps. But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!” (Amos 5:21-24) It is true that God hates pretence and hypocrites; but Rigby trumpets so-called “social justice” and decries what he believes to be mistreatment of the poor as being offensive to God. True mistreatment of the poor is indeed offensive to God, as are laws that give favor to the rich because they are rich, while punishing the poor simply for being poor; however, the things he enumerates are not “mistreatment” or “neglect” as God sees it. He decries the fact that Texas has the largest gap between rich and poor, and that they have the largest number of uninsured citizens, among other things. What is his solution for that? He doesn’t say explicitly, but it seems that he thinks that it is the job of the state to “even things out” and to provide health insurance to those who don’t have it. There were plenty of very rich and very poor people in Bible times, and those who could not afford doctors. However, the Bible does not mandate nationwide, statewide, or other governmental handouts; rather, it tells individuals to be privately charitable. Going back to the Sermon on the Mount, which Rigby joyfully quoted from for points 1 & 2, Jesus told His followers — not to march on the Capitol and demand that the government take from the rich and give to the poor — but to give of their own money, and not only of their own money (rather than other people’s money), but so privately that, in a figure of speech, the left hand would not know what the right hand is doing!
5) Using the parable of the Good Samaritan (which he wrongly says was directed towards a “rich, young zealot,” [probably meaning “the rich young ruler” who was told to sell all and give to the poor; something modern “social justice” types conveniently ignore] when in fact it was directed at a self-righteous lawyer — i.e., one well-versed in the Law of Moses, not a modern litigator — who was identified neither as rich nor young), he somehow twists it into a slam on the American Family Association. He says, “the heart of Christian ethics is being a good neighbor,” which I don’t totally agree with, but don’t strongly disagree with it either. First, we are to love God, and secondly, we are to love our neighbors. The story of the Good Samaritan was told because the lawyer wanted to justify himself by limiting those who were his “neighbors”, and Jesus was showing that everyone is our neighbor; but how do we love God? According to the Bible, by keeping His commandments. Among those commandments is to obey Jesus Christ and bow to Him, but that would mean that Christianity would be God’s “favorite religion”, which Mr. Rigby sneers at. So-called Christians have to do so many mental contortions and back-flips that it’s no wonder they sound schizophrenic, picking out only those passages of the Bible they like, while conveniently ignoring others.
But back to the AFA – Rigby says that because one liberal organization considers the AFA a “hate group”, that this proves that the AFA doesn’t have “Christian ethics”, since they so obviously “hate” their neighbors. The AFA is a strong defender of Christian morals as outlined in the Bible, so since when does standing for truth = hating your neighbors? Um, yeah. How does the Bible define loving your neighbors? Wouldn’t that be a better place to start, than taking as truth the opinion of some liberal think-tank?
Sudoku is a cool puzzle; “killer” sudoku, with its sums instead of numbers, is even better. I can feel my brain getting stronger every puzzle I do. 🙂 But I got annoyed at having to redo the sums every game, and was afraid of having missed one or more from time to time, so I finally sat down and worked out all the sums. At least, I think it is a complete list. So, here goes.
It’s a Word document (originally Excel, but I can’t upload Excel), so I hope it looks right. Happy sudoku-ing! 🙂
Recently, I registered for something online (Financial Times), and they had the following fields for me to choose for my “position”:
- I’m certainly a partner in my marriage – √
- Definitely the CFO (chief financial officer — my husband hates dealing with money) – √
- Director — Oh, certainly! – √
- VP — I would say yes – √
- I manage and supervise children all day long, so √
- Secretary/Treasurer — yes to both – √
- Department Head… yes, I head up the Mommy department 🙂 – √
- Advisor — certainly, I advise my husband in money matters, because I’m the nerd – √
- Other management — yes, I manage my laundry and manage to clean house too √
- Tired – √ … oh, did it say REtired… no, I guess I’m not then 😉
- Controller/Financial Officer — maybe according to my husband, I’m a little too much of a controller… √
- Government official…. well, I do make the laws in my home and see that they’re enforced, so √
Next there was Job Responsibility…
- Finance/Accounting — certainly! √
- Strategy/Planning — oh, I plan my days and strategize how to get the most done in the least time, so definite √
- Training — yes, I trained my children to pee in the potty and am trying to train them to be good citizens and loving brothers √
- Banking and investment — sure √
- financial adviser – yep! √
- Research/ development — does cooking count? √
- Consultancy… yes, my husband consults me before he does anything big… √
- Money Manager and Money Management – √
- Public Service… well, yes, I think I’m doing a public service to raise good children √
- Student — always learning! √
- Technology — yes, I like technology too and use it all the time √
Finally, there was “Industry”:
- Banking – √
- Financial Services – √
- Communications and Media — yes, this blog plus my facebook – √
- Govt/Public Service – as above, yes I make the rules in my home and I’m doing a public service by raising mannerly children √
- Education – certainly, I love to learn stuff √
- Manufacturing – does making stuff with construction paper count? If so, √
- Other business services — certainly, busyness is my middle name! √
- Transportation and logistics — oh, yes, taking my kids places, and trying to figure how best to do things √
- Engineering/construction – yes, I’m really good at building with blocks √
- Consumer – yes! √
- Consultancy, with my husband √
- Info management – all the time I deal with info – √
- Property management — yes, I manage my house which is my property √
- Real estate – yes, I’m trying to sell my house √
- Fuel – for me car – how else am I supposed to get around? √
- Energy/utilities – yes, I’m the one who pays the bills, and constantly turns stuff down or off
Yes, I do a lot. So I settled for “N/A” – “not applicable.” 🙂
I would say, no, I am not a feminist. But then, it would depend on your definition of “feminist.” Sometimes I think that there are as many definitions for “feminist” and “feminism” as there are people in this world — no two being exactly alike. Which complicates discussions like this quite a bit!
There have been several things about feminism that have come to my attention, most of them quite recent, but one being from a blog post written several months ago. In this particular post, the woman had some list of “definitions” of feminism, or “how you can tell if you’re a feminist.” Included in them were two that were particularly memorable — 1) if you think your husband shouldn’t beat you, and 2) if you think women should be able to hold property, or not be considered property themselves. By this definition, then, I would be a feminist, but that, to me, is not feminism; it’s just the typical Western, modern attitude, of both men and women. [When I mentioned those two points in the list of “defining characteristics of feminism,” my husband gave me this weird, confused look, and said, “That’s not ‘feminism,’ that’s just being… sane!] Perhaps in countries and cultures where women are still considered property, then these two things could be considered evidence of “feminism”; but not in modern-day America. I don’t think this list does the modern permutation of “feminism” any favors, because it waters it down so much as to make it meaningless. Perhaps some women may say, “Okay, I’m a feminist,” after reading that, but I think there are too many differences between “my” definition of feminism and this overly broad list for me and many other women to follow suit.
So, what is a feminist? In thinking about this topic, I thought about the similarities and differences between the early feminists (Susan B. Anthony, etc.) and those of the middle 20th century, and those of the modern era. One reason why I don’t identify with the feminist label is that to me it is far too politically and socially liberal. Most modern-day feminists are abortion advocates and call themselves “pro-choice.” Not all do — the organization “Feminists for Life” is a group of self-proclaimed feminists who among other things oppose abortion. In this, they are aligned with the early feminists, who called abortion “child murder,” and “infanticide,” with Elizabeth Cady Stanton writing, “When we consider that women are treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit.” So, while I shrink back from taking the label “feminist” to myself in part because of the connotations of abortion, I know that these two things do not necessarily go together.
Another “definition” of feminist in my mind is one who looks down on women who stay home with their children. In that, I was refreshed to find that several of the bloggers whom I read are proud feminists as well as proud stay-at-home moms. And while they do not denigrate women who must or choose to work instead of staying home to care for their own children, they say that for themselves, working outside the home would be difficult if not unthinkable — that their children, and taking care of their children, and being there for their children, are of the utmost importance. As I said, it is refreshing, because that is exactly the way I feel.
In thinking of this topic, the memory of the so-called Hegelian dialectic popped into my mind. Basically, you have the status quo or “thesis,” and then comes along the anti-thesis to challenge it, and eventually they come together to form the new synthesis. [Forgive me if that’s a horrible garbling of it, but I’m going on my memory of Sociology 101 from 15 years ago, so it may be a tad rusty.] The earliest wave of feminism was the antithesis of the then-current status quo, which eventually gave rise to a new synthesis (one in which women had the right to hold property and to vote). Then the synthesis (or thesis) was challenged by another wave of feminists, different from the first set, which ultimately resulted in another synthesis. Now, that synthesis is being challenged by a new group of feminists, who find themselves dissatisfied with at least certain aspects of their mothers’ generation of feminists and feminism.
What I would call a feminist is quite different from the dictionary definition. I can agree with many aspects of what is called “feminism,” but must vehemently disagree with other aspects, since I am socially and politically conservative. Where is the feminist zeal for promoting birth choice, as opposed to promoting birth avoidance? Or is abortion the only “choice” allowed? — and if the woman makes the choice to remain pregnant, she loses all other choices in pregnancy and birth? Some liberals/feminists have been vocal about this; but in large part the “pro-choice” people ignore women who have to fight to avoid a C-section. Perhaps because politics makes strange bedfellows, and ACOG is a strong supporter of abortion, so NARAL and NOW and other so-called feminist groups would rather make nice with abortion doctors (who are mostly OB/GYNs) even while women are being trampled. But I guess, just as long as abortion is sacrosanct, that’s all that matters.
Actually, I had two very weird dreams I was going to write down, but I forget the other one. If I remember it, I’ll write it here, too.
For some unknown reason, I dreamt that I was with a group of friends in an airport in France, and the place was packed — there was barely enough room for people to walk through. I’m not sure what we were doing — perhaps just trying to move from one gate to another, or perhaps trying to grab a bite to eat (there were long tables set up with chairs around them, for people to sit down, like at a church pot-luck) — when suddenly there was this big commotion. It was Donald Sutherland roughly pushing his way through the crowd, not caring one iota about the people he pushed out of the way, knocked down, hit with his luggage, etc. He was a-cussin’ and a-fussin’! I remember hearing him yell, “Get out of my way! I’m married to a native!” [He was married to a native French-woman, Brigitte Bardot, and apparently thought that that gave him special rights to get where he wanted to go, as opposed to the rest of us who were not French nor married to any French people.] Then, Keifer Sutherland, who was sitting at one of the aforementioned tables, recognized his dad (as well as his rudeness), stood up and called him out, saying something harsh and rude, like, “What the h&ll do you think you’re doing?” or “Who gave you the right to treat these people like this?” or something like that. Donald whirled around, totally p*$$ed off that someone would dare to talk to him that way, and ready to swing a punch or two at the poor hapless soul who had dared to cross him; but when he saw that it was his son — poof! — all his anger dissipated, and he instantly laughed and became jovial, sitting down to eat with Keifer and the rest of the people who happened to be at his table.
Then the alarm went off, and I woke up. To this day, I have absolutely no idea why I would have dreamed that. The last movie I saw with Donald Sutherland was the latest version of Pride & Prejudice, several months ago, and I have rarely thought of it since; although perhaps someone mentioned it to me, and it burrowed down into my mind, to come out into a dream. Weird, huh? 🙂
One thing I don’t like about Personality Tests, is that often the questions are “yes/no” and my answer is “maybe.” Then I have to choose an answer that doesn’t totally suit me. Another problem, is that there is a tendency to pigeon-hole oneself (or others) into a set personality, and then treat them like you think they are, rather than as they really are. But I took a test, and thought I’d like to remember the results, so here it is:
Jung Explorer Test
Actualized type: ESFJ
(who you are)
ESFJ – “Seller”. Most sociable of all types. Nurturer of harmony. Outstanding host or hostesses. 12.3% of total population.
Preferred type: ESFJ
(who you prefer to be)
ESFJ – “Seller”. Most sociable of all types. Nurturer of harmony. Outstanding host or hostesses. 12.3% of total population.
Attraction type: ESTJ