I didn't finish this the other night, so here are the other topics I've been thinking about lately...see part one here.
Don't even get me started. I am continually baffled at how Christians in the United States portray themselves as some sort of oppressed minority because the Constitution prevents them from encoding their beliefs into law. Really - the government is not shutting down churches. It isn't banning voluntary prayer. It isn't preventing anyone from worshiping. And yet, because we don't have school-sponsored prayers, somehow Christians think they are oppressed. Please. Can you imagine how quickly Christians would stop demanding public school prayer if Muslims were in the majority and they were demanding Muslim prayers in schools?
I actually had a short "fundamentalist Christian" phase in high school / early college - thank goodness I escaped that. Seriously, I do believe strongly in freedom of religion. I just completely oppose forcing one religion's precepts onto non-believers. I don't even understand the impulse to do this - doesn't a religion mean more if it is freely chosen? If non-believers are following your rules because they are forced to by law, doesn't that water down the sentiment? How can you tell the true believers from those acting out of fear? I will gladly come to the defense of Christians if the government starts passing laws prohibiting them from worshipping. Until then, I don't have a heckuv a lot of sympathy.
One of my favorite sites on religion - Religious tolerance.
Well, probably not a lot. The election is over and done with (thank god!). I've no plans to turn into a general political blog - beyond the obvious political component of various issues (religion, gay marriage, etc.). My politics currently don't seem to fit most of the standard categories - I don't consider myself a republican or a democrat. On the Political Compass chart, I am in the lower left quadrant - the "left - libertarian" side.
Bicycling is my favorite form of exercise. Three years ago I rode in the Montana AIDS Vaccine Ride (there's another montana connection!) - over 500 miles from Missoula to Billings. The ride raised money for AIDS vaccine research. It was one of the most challenging things I have ever done...I have never been remotely athletic and have spent large portions of my life despising sports (maybe someday I'll blog about unfortunate gym class experiences). It was very rewarding to train for the ride over the course of many months.
Ever since, I have continued to bicycle, although not nearly as many miles as in 2001! Last year I convinced Laura to start bicycling as well (that is, nagged her to the point of exasperation) and she ended up loving it as well. We've done several organized rides since - such as the Harmon Hundred (we did 50 miles last year; 25 this year) and the Bike Psychos Century (although we only did around 30). This past summer was a bad summer for bicycling for some reason - I am hoping we'll get more rides in next year.
Technical Writing and General Technology
Tech writing is what I do for a living. I write documentation for software products for a small-to-medium sized software company here in Chicagoland. I don't expect to spend much time writing any specifics about my job, but tech writing-related topics do spring to mind occasionally, along with notes about technology in general. Technology is the reason I like tech writing - the best part of the job is playing around with new software, figuring out its secrets, and deciding how best to present the information.
A good resources on technical writing - Techwr-l.