Rainy Daze -- 08/30/02

My wife says that after a couple of decades spent in the cloudy and rainy climate of Binghamton, NY, she never thought she would be wishing for rain, but that's what this hot, dry Rhode Island summer has brought her to.

And we did get some rain yesterday and today -- not heavy downpour, no dangers of flooding, just cloud skies with showers on and off throughout the day and night. Our lawn and garden needed water; the various drought pronouncements had brought a variety of watering bans, depending upon one's town and/or water company. These various bans caused considerable upset for some people because a typical restriction forbid watering of lawns and gardens but placed no restrictions on golf courses. I can understand, perhaps, the need to water the greens (that's what they call the area around the hole, right?) but I would think that the rest of a golf course should be the first place where water restrictions should apply. (Yes, you're quite right if you guessed that I have never played a round of golf in my life, nor can I see there ever being any chance of ever doing so. I look at a golf course and think that would be a nice place to go for a run.)

We could use more rain. The weather forecast for the holiday weekend is for mostly cloudy with slight chances of a scattered shower or two. Oh well, I guess we should just be grateful for the rain we have received. Our new lawn certainly needed it. We watered and watered the first two weeks it was in, then cut back to twice a week, but less than once a week in August -- actually, just once in the past two or three weeks -- and it was beginning to get lots of brown areas. I think the root system got well enough established to be able to recover as it gets appropriate amounts of water and as the high temperatures and bright sun of summer give way to the cooler days with greater sun angles of late summer and early autumn.

I was a bit snarky this morning. (Gee, that may be the first time I ever used the word "snarky" -- I guess I picked it up from reading online journals -- I can think of two or three who use it a lot. *grin* Yeah, you know who you are.) Bev Sykes had posted an entry that took off on so-called Christians who displayed very un-Christian attitudes of bigotry and hatred. Her entry began by noting how a volunteer group that assisted AIDS patients and breast cancer patients ran into funding difficulties and one woman suggested cut-backs in assistance for the AIDS patients. This woman explained that she was a Christian and couldn't abide the kinds of people who had AIDS. The trouble was, from there Bev took off on examples of anti-gay violence around the world and seemed to pin them all on Christianity.

I've been reading too much lately about Islamic brutality to women (and to homosexuals) around the worlkd that naturally I had to respond to Bev's entry in her email list:


Yes, why can't these Christians show the love and
compassion demonstrated in the world of Islam?

Except, of course for the death sentences for

Oh, and except for the death sentences for women who
have sex outside of marriage.

Oh, and except for...


I am so politically incorrect.


After I sent that note I was worried that Bev (and others on the mailing list) would think that I was attacking her, but nobody dumped on me (and I appreciate their forebearance).

Oh, I have no doubt that people like Pat Robertson and his ilk would be abusive and cruel if they were ever able to grasp power, but around the world institutional Islam (not just isolated fanatics and bigots) is guilty on a daily basis of cruelties not performed by Christianity since the days of the Inquisition.

Distinctions must always be drawn between individual people who identify with a particular faith and the institutional manifestations of that faith. My wife's aunt is a nun -- a very wonderful woman who spent many years working in poverty-stricken rural areas in Africa and who is now working in a gritty (and dangerous) inner-city slum area in Connecticut -- but I would not blame her for Cardinal Law's sheltering of pedophile priests nor compare her to some wacko attempting to kill abortion clinic workers.

[And yes, as a matter of fact, I do know people of the Islamic faith and those I happen to know best are kind and gentle people, but guess what -- I also know some kind and gentle Christians (some are Catholic and some are Protestant)... and kind and gentle Jews as well. I've also met nice Hindus and Buddhists. I don't personally know any Zorastrians, but I am willing to bet that there are many kind and gentle people of that faith as well.]

I recently listened to a political candidate running for Congress state on the radio that he considered Sharon to be a terrorist but he wouldn't apply that label to Arafat and he didn't think suicide bombers should be called terrorists for deliberately targeting civilians because they were "using the only weapon they had." (No, I'm not making this up and it wasn't some loony-tune left-winger from California, the candidate is Rod Driver, a math professor and former state legislator, running in the Republican [!] primary in my district.)

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