Friday, July 26, 2013

Some thoughts on separation of church and state

It has recently struck me how many liberals have spoken in favor of getting rid of laws with a religious basis. In the name of separation of church and state, many liberals try to get rid of laws against gay marriage by pointing to the religious basis of many arguments supporting them.

This seems to me a fundamentally flawed interpretation of separation of church and state, for the following reason: Many laws supported by atheists and agnostics are, for many people, grounded in religious belief. The Ten Commandments say "Thou shalt not kill" (the basis of laws against murder), "Thou shalt not steal" (the basis for laws against theft), and "Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor" (the basis for laws against perjury). If we were to discard any law with a religious basis, we would have to do away with laws against theft, perjury, and murder, which are supported largely on the basis of religion. The harm to society of doing such is self-evident, and so clearly, discarding laws with a religious basis is unwise.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

My tremendous passion for history

Most of my Facebook and Blogger friends have seen my posts about history. Whether it's talking about the latest historical book or documentary that I've watched, or noting the anniversary of an important historical event, or even posting about a major historical individual on their birthday, I love posting about history. A few people have given me positive feedback on these historical posts.

But I have never, as yet, talked publicly about how I got interested in history. At the risk of boring my readers, I will now share some of the story about how I acquired my tremendous passion for history.

Monday, July 1, 2013

A review of "Canada: A People's History"

I would like to offer my American perspective to this 32-hour Canadian series. I hope Canadians will not mind. I got this series because I was interested in the history of America's northern neighbor. Canada is one of the United States' biggest trading partners, and being interested in doing trade with Canada, and able to speak both French and English, I thought it would be helpful to know something about Canadian history and culture.

This documentary did not disappoint. It was dramatic and interesting, and I learned much about Canadian history. Having read from many online comments that even Canadians learned something about their history by watching this series, I am struck by its informative and educational power. It is also very moving in places, with great acting, music, and narration. Those looking to learn something about the country will not be disappointed.

The Battle of the Plains of Abraham, a major battle in the Seven Years' War - Quebec, 1759
(an important year in Canadian history, because it was the year that Canada became British)

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