Thursday, May 18, 2006

Da Vinci Code, Immigration, and More

Life has been busy so I have not blogged in a while.

In the last few weeks we have taken the kids to the zoo, attended our twin nephew's birthday party in Raleigh, had mother's day celebrations, etc.!

Jacob has mastered potty training, but this week he made a large mess. He went to the bathroom and came out with wet pants and dry underwear. Mike was trying to figure out how that happened when he noticed that Maria had crawled in the bathroom. She was sitting in the middle of a flooded bathroom and the toilet was overflowing. Jacob finally explained that he had used too much toilet paper.

Maria has always been so relaxed, but she also surprises me. She is 11 months old and is walking and climbing. At church Sunday I turned my back for a minute and when I turned around she had climbed on top of a table.

I am going to see the Da Vinci Code. I hope the movie is good. I found the book entertaining, and it sparked a lot of debate and thought in our book club discussion.

I think I am most bothered by the fact that people are afraid of or are condemned for reading or discussing certain issues. For example, I am so tired of hearing people condemned for reading the Da Vinci Code. It is a fiction book! When our book club read it, the book forced people to investigate issues and really think about what they believe. If anything, it strengthened my faith and my beliefs because I actually did research to understand the history. One thing that bothers me is that many people that will attend the Bible studies condemning the book will probably never read the book. How can you criticize a book that you have never read? The entire point of reading and intellectual growth and debate is to be exposed to things that will broaden your horizons, that will challenge you, that will expose you to new thoughts and ideas. Simply because I read a book that expresses viewpoints that are contrary to my own does not mean that I will immediately renounce every belief that I had and accept the new theory. Instead, what often happens is that I am forced to see an issue from a different perspective. Then, after much thought and analysis, and after considering various sides of an issue, I am able to make a decision about my beliefs based on all the information that is out there. Do we want people to be mindless drones that simply swallow the facts that we feed them or do we want people that can think and analyze things for themselves? Do you really have faith if you believe something simply because it is the only thing you have ever known? What happens to those people when their faith is challenged or they are introduced to a new idea? I think true faith is choosing to believe something after analyzing the other options. Then you have actually made a choice. (On a side note, some of these issues are brought to light in an excellent nonfiction book, Under the Banner of Heaven. The book forces the reader to consider faith and the importance of making choices as opposed to simply believing what you are told to believe).

This brings me to the immigration debate. I think that it is so sad that the majority of American's could care less what happens with immigration. Some would even argue that they feel powerless to change anything. This is the argument I often hear when people do not vote - they feel that their vote does not matter. The really sad thing is that most Americans know everything there is to know about American Idol, Survivor, etc. Most Americans will also take the time to debate who is the best singer on American Idol, and many of them will even vote (even though their vote may not really matter). What does it say about us that we are so concerned about a bunch of amateur singers, yet we could care less about having input in our political process and in political decision making that impacts us every day?

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