The Thinker

Backtalk, Part 3

Time for more belated replies to dated comments.

  • To C.R. Lea on Thoughts on Buddhism, Part One. My study of Buddhism is somewhat superficial, but I don’t believe that Buddha claimed God had told him to tell others about his thoughts. Buddha likely did believe in reincarnation, as did the Hindus whose community he inhabited. I am guessing that living in 500 B.C. was more strife than sorrow, and thus the thought of endless reincarnation on earth was not necessarily a pleasant one. In any event, as best we can tell Buddha never wrote any of his teachings down, so anything we do know about him is shrouded in mist at best. It is likely that we lost many of Buddha’s teachings and picked up other things that he never said, but were inventions of those building on his philosophy. Just as most Christians would not recognize Jesus if he walked among them, it is likely that the real Buddha bears scant resemblance to his legend.
  • To tag1555 on Greater national dysfunction dead ahead. I will grant you that our national economic recovery is painfully slow, particularly when it comes to regaining the jobs we lost, but I just don’t accept that by cutting the size of government and thus our economy we will make things better in the short run. Something transformational is underway in this country, and I doubt we will emerge a heartier and healthier country. As for divided government, if it leads to political accommodation it might be good. I see little evidence of that happening at present.
  • To deanna on Will my daughter be gay? And does it matter? Over the last two weeks, we hosted a newlywed lesbian couple for a few days. Now that I’ve observed it close up for a period of time, I really cannot tell the difference between romantic homosexual and heterosexual love. I see exactly the same needs, the same relationship problems, the same strengths and the same weaknesses as in heterosexual relationships. I wish them well but I am confident their odds at maintaining a long-term marriage are no better nor worse than mine. (And yes they are legally married, not here in Virginia of course, but in Germany.) As for your daughter, I wouldn’t worry too much. People take relationships at different rates, and not all feel the pull toward higher degrees of intimacy. As for my daughter, as best I can tell she is more heterosexual than lesbian. Only time will tell. Like your daughter, she may opt to be “none of the above” and avoid intimate (i.e. soul baring) relationships altogether.
  • To Elli D. on Moving day. What a difference ten months makes! For a couple of months I was pretty disturbed with my daughter being far away from home in a strange city with a reasonably high crime rate. Now I hardly give it a thought, in part because I so often see her online and that helps me relax. I enjoy seeing her when she comes for visits, but I rarely worry about her anymore. More and more I am as happy to see her go when her visit is over as joyful when she arrives. Separation is not only necessary for both parent and child, at a certain point it is healthy.
  • To Kara and Rage on Michael Jackson: Pedophile. I am sorry Michael Jackson met a premature end, and I agree that he is not legally guilty of pedophilia. I still feel he engaged in it, given there is so much evidence anecdotal and otherwise that he was drawn to close relationships with children. No child of mine would have come close to the man, no matter how much charm and money he threw our way. He was clearly addicted to various drugs before he died, and I have to wonder if his chronic insomnia might have something to do with a guilt that gnawed at his soul. I hope I am wrong but my gut instinct suggests I probably was not. In the past, it’s been a reliable barometer.
  • To Michelle on Real Life 101, Lesson 13: Great sex is not pornography come to life. Thank you belatedly for your complement. Pornography in whatever form is like a sugar high for the libido, but it is a poor guide to having a meaningful sex life and may actually retard the likelihood of having a good one. Unfortunately, when modeling how a sex life should be, most youth model what is readily available, and pornography tends to be readily available.
  • To homeimprovementninja on The dangers of deficit fever. Is it possible we both live in our own delusions? Why are your reference sources any inherently more trustworthy than mine are?
  • To Jonathan on Kindling in search of a spark. Let me assure you, I have no interest in ruling your life. I believe the Civil War answered the question of whether states’ rights triumph over federal rights, and such rulings that have been reaffirmed many times by many conservative justices. Ironically, in a unanimous ruling today by the U.S. Supreme Court, the court reaffirmed that the EPA can determine acceptable greenhouse gas emissions, not the states.
 

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