Given that we are moving into the Christian Holidays that cluster around Advent and Christmas, I wanted to do a blog post on what it means for a skeptic to wait. Advent is basically a Season of waiting – Israel waiting for the birth of the Messiah, Mary waiting for the birth of Jesus, the Church singing “O Come Emmanuel!” as it celebrates the First Advent and waits for the Second, etc., etc. – and celebrating it raises some unique, arguably insuperable, questions and issues for people like me: skeptics, atheists, agnostics, secular humanists, anti-theists, etc., etc., etc. Waiting is such an “archetypal” activity that I am loath to say that folks like us do not wait, period. Saying that we do not wait would be like saying we do not breathe or love or age or question or die … or visit our l
O God! O God! that it were possible
To undo things done; to call back yesterday
That Time could turn up his swift sandy glass,
To untell the days, and to redeem these hours.
-- Thomas Heywood (1574?-1641), A Woman Killed with Kindness (Act 4, Sc. 6)
This Thursday, we are taking a break from the usual "Skeptics Collection" column to give an opportunity for all the blog writers to recall where they were and what they were doing on September 11, 2001. The memories are as personal and as individual as those of the people who were actually there in New York City on that fateful and by-now-iconic day that did so much to mold American national policy and character in the ensuing days, months, and years. What are your memories of September 11? How did that day change you?
For part 1 of this post, see https://beguineagain.com/2014/08/14/womb-with-a-view-redux-part-1/
(Correction: In part 1 of this post, I referred to “36 other substances / devices for contraception”. The correct number should be 14 other methods. The ACA contraception mandate covers 18, not 40, contraceptive methods (20 total, but 18 for women) approved by the FDA, 4 of which were at issue in the Hobby Lobby case.)
All that said, however, we must also acknowledge that by no means are all the problems with the Hobby Lobby ruling “pseudo”. Some are both significant and real, such as …
o The real (potential) problem of the case for Hobby Lobby being argued and decided on a statutory rather than constitutional basis
As paradoxical as it perhaps may sound at first, the fact that the Hobby