Monday, November 29, 2004

Under God

The original Pledge of Allegiance did not contain the words “under God”. The words “under God” were added in the 1950’s. The addition of these words was unconstitutional then and they should be removed. The fact is we are not one nation under God. To claim in our Pledge that we all believe in one God is a lie. We are a nation of people that believes in one God, many gods, or no god at all. If we want our Pledge to reflect our true relationship with religion in this country, we should change the words “one nation under God” to “one nation with religious freedom”. This change would more accurately describe the current situation with regard to religion in the United States as well as supporting its foundation.

Contrary to popular opinion, this country was not founded on Christian principles and values. It was founded on the principle of religious freedom. It just so happened that those who were seeking this freedom were primarily Christian. It was of primary concern that no country should be able to tell its citizens religious views they should have. If we are going to have a Pledge, which involves religious aspects of our society, it should be both truthful and indicative of the rights described in the Constitution.

Hunting Season

As I write this, hunting season has started in Pennsylvania and the hills are dotted with fluorescent orange. Hunters swarm over the usually peaceful hills attempting to kill a deer. These hunters have a variety of different reasons for their activities. There are those that I refer to as “legitimate” hunters. These individuals are trying to put food on the table for their families. Although I disagree with them philosophically about the need for their activities, I understand and accept their position. There are also those who hunt for the “thrill” or for trophies, and I do not support their activities.

Those who hunt for the thrill make claims that non-hunters simply don’t understand them because they haven’t experienced it for themselves. Well, I’ve been around long enough and done enough to know what a thrill feels like. I can understand the thrill involved in tracking and finding a deer through rough country and under trying conditions. But to take pleasure in the taking of a life, no, sorry, that I simply cannot understand. It’s just plain sick. If you need to feel the thrill of the hunt, why not just play paintball? Surely the human opponent would offer much more of a challenge, much more of a “thrill” than an animal whose only defense is some camouflage and the ability to run.

And what about those that hunt to put a trophy on the wall? What’s the purpose? If it’s to display the beauty of the animal, then why not take a picture instead of killing it? Is it for bragging purposes? What glory is there in killing a defenseless animal with a high-powered rifle? Are they trying to compensate for more than their Viagra prescriptions deliver? Somehow, this group equates manhood with dominance, force, and violence. Somewhere along the way, their vision of manhood has been distorted. Real men don’t need to prove their manhood. It is simply self-evident in the honesty, compassion, and strength of character.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004


Tofurky for Thanksgiving! This will be my 13th turkey-free Thanksgiving and I don't miss it a bit. Here's to many more. Travel save.