Friday, May 28, 2010


Today was the last day of our children's grade school.

Not just the last day this year but the last day period. Too many schools and not enough kids means that our archdiocese is losing schools at an alarming rate. So today was a day of tears and goodbyes.

Before my kids went to our current grade school they all attended the same daycare facility. When our oldest started there it was a private daycare called Professor Bears. It changed hands a few times, becoming a Children's World, a Kindercare, and I don't know what else.

Five years ago our youngest was ready to start kindergarden and it was time to say goodbye to the place we had known for so long. I was collecting my thoughts to try and write something profound and I realized: I didn't care about the place. I had absolutely no attachment to the company, the building, the institution, nothing. Only the people. I realized I wasn't saying goodbye to Children's World, just the people that worked there.

Our current situation is different in some respects. It's a Catholic school and it's a part of the neighborhood where I live so those attachments are deep and real. I have a fondness for the building and the history of the place but I'm finding that a distant second to the people who have made it what it is and given it its life. The school was an important template that shaped generations of people and it's the people I'll miss the most.

With my wife being stuck in New York on 9-11, I became acutely aware of my inability to always be with, and protect, my loved ones. I move around a city that's protected by police who just yesterday maybe arrested a man who would've robbed me at gunpoint tomorrow. I live in a nation that's protected by soldiers, many of whom are fighting and dying far away from here to keep bad guys from killing us. My kids get bigger and they go to school and I entrust their safety and well being to other people.

On this Memorial Day weekend I'd like to thank all the 'other people' that have kept me and my family safe and free and have enriched my life immensely.

Thursday, May 20, 2010


Here's my obligatory "Everybody Draw Mohammed Day" post. I've changed my facebook profile picture for the day. I didn't have a chance to draw my own picture so I found an illustration at zombietime from Michel Baudier's Histoire générale de la religion des turcs (Paris, 1625).

Most of this is taken from comments I made to a post by Ann Althouse (PBUH).

To answer the most frequent and obvious objection to EDMD: As a Christian, wouldn't I be offended at an "Everybody piss on a Crucifix Day"? Of course I would. And if Christians all over the world (even if they were a small minority of total Christians) were threatening death to anyone who blasphemed their religion, if they were issuing fatwas and stabbing filmmakers and not just opposing offensive speech, but actually trying to censor it, then hopefully I'd see the point of EPOACD.

But Christians live with these kinds of offenses every day. We're quite used to being sucker-punched by the media at every turn. "Everybody Draw Mohammed Day" isn't some random event designed to tick off Muslims. It's a legitimate and (ideally) non-violent protest to challenge this outrageous creeping sharia law.

Hopefully it will help moderate Muslims to grow a pair and show extremist Muslims that we won't be cowed.

Ms. Althouse says that drawing images of Muhammad is protected speech and asserts our right to that speech but she thinks it's a misguided use of that right because of the collateral damage of offending many more moderate Muslims.

But unlike, say, Piss Christ, which seemed to be created for the sole purpose of being offensive to Christians, EDMD is being done in response to a very specific threat. Not just a threat to free speech, although that's bad enough, but honest to goodness threats of actual violence to people for exercising those rights. EDMD is not a "thumb-in-your-eye" to people we don't like, but more of an "I-am-Spartacus" gesture of solidarity with people who are being threatened.

I'll bet I speak for a majority when I say that I have no particular desire to offend Muslims, good or bad. I would bend over backward to respect the sensibilities of most everyone. But in the face of assaults on free speech, on our western way of life and laws, on our very lives, I fail to see how not only is EDMD not misguided, it's practically a moral imperative.

Smarter people can be found here, and here.

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