May 23, 2009
I write this as a Roman Catholic Christian, a Roman Catholic Priest, and a citizen of the Columbus, Lowndes County community. Also, may I say that to my recollection, I have never written a public letter of a critical or condemning nature. I do not brag about that, but state it so that you are aware that I have no ax to grind or agenda to advance.
It is with real sadness and disappointment that I read the article in the May 15 issue of The Commercial Dispatch entitled "Priestly Celibacy: A Self-Inflicted Wound." Although I disagree with so much of what Ms. Jacoby said, I felt no real urge to respond because there is nothing new contained in her article. In fact, there are some active, practicing Catholics who love the church and feel similarly or agree with some of what is contained in the article.
I shared the article with a priest friend of mine and his response was, "Well, there''s nothing new there." And indeed, much worse has been said and written about the church. My feeling after reading the article was that this is truly a lost, angry, and embittered soul, someone to be pitied and prayed for.
Then I read The Commercial Dispatch article of May 17 entitled "Is this the New Catholicism? Yes." It was then that anger accompanied my feelings of sadness and disappointment. In a span of three days, two articles had been published in the local newspaper about the Church I love and serve, by obviously angry and disgruntled people who were unable to see anything past their own agendas. They have every right to their opinion and every right to express it. My question for you is why? Why in a community where so many people of different faith backgrounds work together to uphold the value and dignity of every human life, and seek real justice for people, why would you choose to publish such articles?
I have prayed about this and for the life of me, I cannot begin to understand why you would do such a thing. If the intent was to inform, surely there are more credible and balanced sources.
At a time in the history of our country when people are in such great need of comfort and hope and healing, why would you publish articles that are seemingly meant to engender anger, sadness, and division among good Christian people? It is certainly your right to publish whatever you wish in your newspaper, but what ever happened to any modicum of credibility and balance? "Why" is such an important moral question. It goes straight to what are our motives and intentions. Do we do things simply because we can?
At best, I believe an apology to the Catholic community is in order. At least, please answer the question why.
Father Robert Dore, Pastor
Annunciation Catholic Church
Editor''s reply: The controversy surrounding President Barack Obama''s graduation speech at Notre Dame University focused media attention on issues facing the Catholic Church. The columns in question offered commentary on priestly celibacy and intolerance among religious congregations, issues we believe to be relevant. It is far from our intent to "engender anger, sadness and division," but rather to spur debate on issues we feel are important to our readers.
Abraham commented at 5/26/2009 5:08:00 AM:
"If everything was so intelligently designed, explain the purpose of the appendix...other than it can blow up and kill you."
Once upon a time, there were many organs, classified as vestigial, of which we did not know the function. Now we do. How do you know we won't find a function in the future for the appendix? Are we giving our ignorance the benefit of the doubt?
JC commented at 5/26/2009 3:41:00 PM:
I too would like to see more articles in the Dispatch about UFOs, intelligent design, astrology, the Marfa lights, and the lost city of Atlantis. And would it kill y'all to publish something on phlogiston theory and Lamarckism?
Let's not give our ignorance the benefit of the doubt. Or let's do, whichever is more appropriate. Thank you.
KJ commented at 5/26/2009 10:12:00 PM:
Real justice. Is the Roman Catholic Church seeking real justice for its thousands of victims when it lobbies the New York State Legislature to continue to adhere to a statute of limitations that the RCC successfully avoided due to its own actions of hiding or withholding evidence, shifting abusive priests to parish after parish while failing to inform parents of potential dangers across multiple decades and generations of victims? (see the New York State Catholic Conference document published March 19, 2009) The church's excuse--sorry, reason--is that it shouldn't be held to a standard of justice that others are not held to. Is that real justice for their victims? If the bill did in fact retroactively extent the stature of limitations for all victims would the church still oppose it? I think that's a likely outcome and an outcome that is opposed to real justice. The church's abuse was not only committed by individuals, but systemically, by the church heirarchy as it sought to actively prevent justice for victims for decades. (The current Pope, himself, in May 2001 instructed every Catholic bishop that investigation into child sex abuse claims be carried out in secret and, in the case of minors, that such investigation be held in secret for 10 years after the minor's 18th birthday - The Guardian, April 24, 2005) I have little patience for bullies who complain that making them accountable for their abuses is, in fact, an act of bullying.
KJ commented at 5/26/2009 10:24:00 PM:
Value and dignity. Is it real value and dignity that the Roman Catholic Church works for when it regularly imposes itself into the politics of equality for the law for homosexuals? What value and dignity is offered to them when the Pope decrees that homosexual families are as dangerous as climate change? What value and dignity is offered to them when, on March 11, 2006 Catholic Charites of Boston announced that "they could not reconcile church teaching that placement of children in gay homes is 'immoral" with Massachusetts law prohibiting discrimination against gays." (Boston Globe article published March 11, 2006). The Roman Catholic Church regularly benefits from tax exemptions and Catholic Charities accepts tax money, yet they would rather take their ball and go home than allow all taxpayers access to services made possible, in part, by their support. In other words, "if we can't discriminate, we won't help place any children with anyone anymore."
KJ commented at 5/26/2009 10:38:00 PM:
Hope and healing. Is it offering hope and healing to deny the truth that the risk of HIV can be mitigated through the use of condoms? (The Guardian, March 17, 2009) Of course the message of faithfulness and abstinence is not an unkind one. But telling a people susceptible to the questionable moral authority of a Pope--a Pope who, as a Cardinal, protected Marcial Maciel as he led a cult that was responsible for vast abuse of the young--that the distribution of condoms "aggravates the problems" is immoral at best and an appalling use of power at best.
Why do I write these things? It isn't simply because I can write them. It isn't simply to engender anger, sadness, and division among good Christian people. I do not doubt or deny that good Christian people exist. It isn't simply to extract a pound of flesh from an organization that has stolen from me the acceptance of family, the opportunity to live a full life, and saddled me with the shame that I contributed to its message before I was capable of recognizing it as evil; indeed, it fails to recognize that it has done anything for which it has to ask to be forgiven.
KJ commented at 5/26/2009 10:50:00 PM:
I write in some part for all of those reasons, and I write because I have a question of my own: how can good Christian people lend their moral authority to an organization that would use it to inflict bodily, emotional, and mental harm on so many for so little? Perhaps it is just a question of framing. If the Pope said that black families were as dangerous as climate change, maybe some number would walk away and find a more productive and pure way to live as Christians. Perhaps it is simply that none of their family have been affected by sexual abuse, or seen their children condemned to a less-than-complete life. Perhaps, having been indoctrinated to believe that truth is what the Catholic church says it is from the time they were first able to communicate, they simply do not believe that any of the documented abuses of the church are real.
You can pity my angry, embittered soul; pray for me even. But I would prefer that you practice what you preach: real justice, value and dignity, and hope and healing. I suspect that to truly do that you would have to choose between your heart and your church, your reason and your faith, your soul and your vocation. Human beings can not subsist on pity and prayers. Ease my shame by repudiating the messages of hate coming from Rome, work to enable me to live a full and fulfilling life, and stop providing the faux-intellectual fodder that gives families cause to deny the value and dignity of their children.
JC commented at 5/27/2009 2:48:00 PM:
Search away, Abe, and be sure to report your findings in legitimate peer-reviewed scientific journals. (That's where science is actually done - not in popular books, or internet comment threads.)
I look forward to reading about your discoveries so please keep us posted on your progress. Thanks!
Abraham commented at 5/28/2009 12:17:00 AM:
It is not my desire to upset anyone in the Catholic church when I write. But all churches would have less problems if they followed the teaching of the Bible. The Bible teaches that bishops or pastors must be married to a faithful wife and have faithful children. Please see 1 Timothy 3:1-9 where the qualifications of a bishop or pastor is given. Verse 5 says, "for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?"
When referring to deacons, the apostle Paul says, "But let these also first be tested" (verse 10). So it is evident that one of the ways to "test" bishops and deacons is by their wives and children. It would be easier to determine over time what kind of bishop a man was if he had a family.
Additionally, in 1 Timothy 4:1, the he tells of a time when "some will depart from the faith." And one of the things they would be guilty of is "forbidding to marry" (verse 3).
The teaching of the Bible is simple, "Nevertheless, because of sexual immorality, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband" (1 Corinthians 7:2).
The apostle Paul, who was not married during the time of his apostleship, said, "Do we have no right to take along a believing wife, as do also the other apostles, the brothers of the Lord, and Cephas?" (1 Corinthians 9:5). Paul said he and others had a right to have a wife. The Catholic church says its leaders do not have the right to have one.
Catholics should choose the teaching of the apostle Paul over their leaders (1 Corinthians 14:37).
JC commented at 5/28/2009 1:19:00 PM:
Abe, can you link to Behe's work in intelligent design that has been peer-reviewed, or for that matter, to Crick's peer-reviewed work on "directed panspermia"?
Abraham commented at 5/28/2009 11:14:00 PM:
I don't know if I could or not. I hope that answers your question.
Now to one of mine. I asked, "Do you expect anyone to believe that the ideas of Michael Behe received less scrutiny because it was not in a peer reviewed journal?" Also, do you disapprove of Richard Dawkins writing his books for the public? Do you believe peer reviewed journals offer stronger argumentation for evolution than the books of Stephen J Gould, Niles Eldredge, Richard Dawkins, or Eugenie Carol Scott? Since a college biology text book is not a peer reviewed journal, should students disregard the information? If you should discover that the "peers" of Francis Crick gave their thumb of approval to his theory, would you feel duty bound to abide by their approval, or would it be aright for you to reject their approval because the evidence convinced you otherwise? Thanks in advance for your answers.
JC commented at 5/29/2009 11:56:00 AM:
"I don't know if I could or not. I hope that answers your question."
It doesn't, so I'll answer it for you. The answer is "no."
"Do you expect anyone to believe that the ideas of Michael Behe received less scrutiny because it was not in a peer reviewed journal?"
"Scrutiny" and "peer review" are different things. Behe's opinions on creationism haven't been published in peer-reviewed journals because they are not science. Behe argues his case entirely in the media because he is incapable of creating, let alone supporting with evidence, a credible scientific theory of creationism. "God did it" is not science.
I fully support real scientists like Gould (RIP) writing popular books. I've read many of them. But their authors would be the first to tell you that their popular books are not hard science - they are merely popular books.
College biology textbooks contain actual science that has, at one time or another, been through the peer-review process. They are accumulations of existing knowledge; they do not advance new theories. There is no need for them to be peer-reviewed in the same way that articles in Science or Nature are, although they do have expert editors.
You find evolution in college biology textbooks because it is a fact. Among scientists the "debate" on evolution was over about ten years after Darwin published "Origin of Species." There is continual investigation and refinement of the particulars - and still much to learn - but the reality of Darwinian evolution is not in doubt in the scientific community any more than the reality of gravity is.
Crick's theory of directed panspermia is irrelevant because it has nothing to do with evolution. Perhaps you're making the common mistake of confusion "evolution" with "origin of life"? Evolution concerns the diversity of forms of life, NOT the origin of life on earth.
Dr. Debra J. Gabriel commented at 5/30/2009 10:56:00 AM:
As a suicidal failed attempt survivor, I am very much concerned that I have read very little concerning May as National Mental Health Awareness Month . If I have happened to have missed and article , I apologize. With the recent rash of individual with mental issues and suicides( ie Brittany Spears , the military soilders, adolescents across the country and the many unnamed individauls of family members here and across the country, one can see that there is definitely a need for proper education on issues such as stress, peer pressure, depression and the like. The public remains ill informed on issues such as biopolar mental illness, Seasonal Affective Disorder and the like. Is it only when it affects a president or a Rock Star that we finally look into its history ? Individuals picture and bios have been plastered across the front pages on newspapers locally and nationally , but where is the education.Why do we continue to shove this issue under the rug? There is help. I have been helped and healed and I am shame no more. If by chance you happen to print this , if it helps one person to seek help, my living has not been in vain. Debra. J. Gabriel, M. D.
JC commented at 6/1/2009 11:17:00 AM:
Abe, evolution is a fact. I'm not going to sit here all day and refute the things you've read on the Discovery Institute website. I assure you it's been done, and by better minds than mine. If you have the evidence to disprove - or even cast serious doubt on - evolution, then publish it. You'd be virtually guaranteed a Nobel Prize.
Apparently your theory is that the global scientific community has been engaged in a conspiracy to hide the truth of creationism for the past 150 years.
Think for about that for a minute. A global, centuries-long conspiracy, perfectly maintained, among some of the most cantankerous people on the planet. Does that seem realistic to you? Or is that the realm of bizarre conspiracy theory?
JC commented at 6/2/2009 5:00:00 PM:
"You might discover the truth, that the complexity of life did not develop by solely naturalistic means."
You don't know how life began, Abe. If you do - publish your research and findings. I can virtually guarantee a Nobel, and your name will live forever alongside Galileo, Newton, Darwin, and Einstein.
"...the grave problems with the theory of evolution."
There are no "grave problems" with evolutionary theory. There are unanswered questions, just as there are in every single field of science. Do you believe there are "grave problems" with the theory of gravity as well? After all, it's "only a theory," right?
"I truly want to cause you to consider your reasoning."
Then you should avoid using deeply insulting anecdotes like the one about the red balloons when you're talking to a scientist.
"...how do you think one could distinguish between a life form made by an intelligent being and one that developed "naturally"? How would a person visiting that planet tell that the history of life on that planet had no intelligent involvement?"
In other words, make your case for you. Abe, the burden of proof for creationism is on the creationists. It isn't up to scientists. But since you bring this subject up, why work so hard trying to figure out how to tell if something occurred naturally or by design? Why not just produce the designer? Wouldn't that be simpler?
"But the premise of all of our "science" is that all of life must be explained to the exclusion of intelligent involvement."
Wrong. The premise of science is that if you claim there is an intelligent designer, then you need to prove it scientifically. How would you do that? Well, a designer must act in the physical world to implement his designs, so he must have physical properties. Mass, volume, a particular location in space. It seems to me such properties would be easy to define. Yet the creationists offer nothing.
Why do you suppose that is, Abe? Why are they unable to produce any evidence of their designer?
Abraham commented at 6/4/2009 3:46:00 PM:
JC, I really do appreciate you taking the time to share with me what you feel about these issues. And I do have a few observations about your latest post. Until that time, would you answer a few questions for me? Are the people involved with the SETI project legitimate scientist? And would you have to see the "sender" of the signals before you would consider their evidence credible?
Ishmael commented at 6/7/2009 1:22:00 PM:
Abe: the SETI program searches for signals of intelligent life in the universe using discernable means (radio, etc.) Show us where your designer has comunicated using such discernable means and i'll concede the point.
Also: if you have evidence of a designer, then you could become a millionaire.
It's called the Randi challege:
If you can produce credible scientific evidence of a creator or that life on earth was created through supernatural means, the James Randi Educational Foundation will pay you 1 million dollars.
Ishmael commented at 6/7/2009 6:43:00 PM:
"it would not matter what "means" was used."
But it DOES matter a great deal what means will be used! If a scientist came out and said "Intelligent life forms zapped me on the back of the head and told me to write this down," he'd be laughed out of his job. But if he produced a radio signal or some other observable phenomena, then he's hit pay-dirt. Show me evidence where the creator has communicated directly to us through a discernable, observable medium of communication and I will concede the point.
As far as Dawkins is concerned, he said that ID "could" be possible (he also said that pink unicorns and the Tooth Fairy "could" be possible) but he also said that there is no evidence to back it up. Again, show me evidence of your creator and i'll concede the point and buy you a Coke. Better yet, show James Randi and make yourself some money.
"And would you please answer the questions that JC avoided answering. Do you think man will ever create life?"
Depends on your definition of "create." Do I think that life will artificially "created" out of recycled alumnium cans and spare Mazda parts? No. Do I think that under laboratory conditions it will be shown that life can originate through natural, discernable means? It is a very distinct possibility considering that RNA was recently formed in such an environment.
"Do you think it is unrealistic to think that in the future man might start and influence life on another planet?"
When we discover and set foot on a planet where conditions are condusive to support life, i'll get back to you.
"Let me give you a hint. From your point of view, how long will the sun burn? From your point of view, do you think man will sit around on earth and roast as the sun supposedly expands past the orbit of the earth?"
I have no idea what man will do in a billion or so years because I don't have the ability to see the future. Man may be extinct by then, so it may be a moot point.
"So if man finds a planet and starts life there, how could you distinguish it from a planet where life started naturally?"
Why would we have to? Are test-tube babies or babies brought about through fertility treatments less human than those brought about the old-fashioned way? We can play "what if" all day.
"As for your million dollar offer,"
correction: it's James Randi's million dollar offer, not mine.
"that would be like telling a black man in the days of slavery, if you come up with a great idea, we will give you a million dollars. The black man would have to depend upon his biased slave owner to decide if the idea is credible. He would need more than luck. He would need someone who was fair and consistent in the evaluation."
No, it's more like this: You make a claim, then you produce evidence to back up the claim. If I claim to have found a way to turn lead into gold, I need to produce evidence to back up the claim. That's how the system works. You don't make a claim, produce no evidence and then whine that people don't take your claim seriously. So for the n-th time, show me evidence of your creator and i'll concede the point.
Ishmael commented at 6/8/2009 5:55:00 PM:
For further information on exactly what evolution is, what evidence for it exists, and rebuttals to Michael Behe and others, please consult the following sites:
These sites are chock full of information, studies, rebuttals, and peer-reviewed articles about evolutionary biology, fossil records, experimentation, and the scientiic reasoning behind evolutionary theory and origin of species. The people who produced this information include leading experts in these fields from fully accredited top Universities from all over the world. Feel free to challenge whatever they say. They put their evidence out there just for that reason.
I say again to anyone interested, if you can produce evidence of supernatural phenomena or if you have supernatural powers that can be observed in a neutral laboratory environment, the James Randi Educational Foundation will pay you...One MILLION dollars. This is not a gag. For further details, please consult this site:
May you have a happy, productive, and delusion-free life.
Ishmael commented at 6/9/2009 4:36:00 PM:
"Talk about an evasion."
You made the claim that life was the product of an intelligent being.
When I asked you seven questions relevant to your theory to give you an opportunity to explain it in detail, you said: nothing.
It is evident that you do not understand the questions...
"Or maybe you do and that is why you ignored them."
So, I guess i'll just accept your point of view on faith. You win. Game over.
Life and its diversity was designed by an intelligent being who...
...is apparently incompetent, because he/she/it designed species that went extinct because they couldn't adapt to changing conditions and designed a planet with changing conditions that had the ability to make species go extinct.
...is a sadist that likes to design leukemia and other terrible diseases that children are sucseptible to, and design viruses and bacteria that can mutate to resist vaccines and antibodies.
...is inconsistent because he designs "irreducibly complex" systems that cannot function without all of their component parts, then designs a complex system called the human body that can function just fine without component parts like the appendix.
...is a snob who only likes a few of us with whom he/she/it communicates with (most of them telepathically, but few lucky ones get a person-to-person audience), leaving the rest of us to take it all on faith.
...intentionally tries to mislead us by creating processes like mutation and by planting fossils.
...teases us with "evidence by design" rather than just appearing and saying "Hi, i'm your designer! I notice that a lot of you have been asking questions about how I brought about life on earth, well, let me demonstrate to clear up the confusion."
You know....I don't think I like your designer very much. Sorry.
Abraham commented at 6/10/2009 6:37:00 AM:
The following post was ready for posting yesterday. I decided until today to post it. More that later, Lord willing.
Ishmael, I have to question whether you know much about SETI. They have a standard to determine if a signal is intelligent or not. This standard has nothing to do with where or how the signal was transmitted. As for Crick, if he were living today, he would maintain that there is a direct connection between his "beliefs" of directed panspermia and the "evidence" that gave rise to that belief. You are simply mistaken.
I argued that all scientist recognize the very real possibility of biological products being intelligently made. Since that is true, it is a fair question, "How can one distinguish between an intelligently made product from one that is not?" This question is designed to challenge the scientifically unsupported claim of evolutionist. They claim that life is void of intelligent involvement.
You evaded the challenge and asked me for "evidence" of a creator. In support of my claim, that life's diversity and origin is intelligently produced, I gave you 3 possibilities for the existence of everything including God. Did you disagree with that reasoning?
You then ask me some questions of which I intend to address. Please be as kind to me in answering my questions.
The whole of your argumentation is what is called an "Argument from imperfection." Put in syllogism, it says, #1 A designer would only make a perfect design. #2 Biological products are not perfect. #3 Conclusion: Biological products are not designed.
If a design is less than perfect, it is still nevertheless designed. Engineering excellence might not be the primary goal of the designer. A Designer who made man to dwell on earth for a short period of time (from His perspective), only to take him to another place called Heaven for an eternal period of time, might not be too concerned with a "perfect" design for man and other biological products. Viewed from eternity, diseases and harmful viruses does not seem that sinister or sadistic after all.
You said, "Explain how the human body, a complex system, is able to function normally without an appendix, one of it's component parts."
Just because you might not know the purpose of an appendix, does not mean there isn't one. Tonsils once were considered useless. Pseudogenes which do not make proteins might be used for some other undiscovered purpose. But what requires a greater explanation is how did complex systems come into existence step by darwinian step.
In questions 5-7, you attempt, without answering my questions, to use this scenario to test the validity of the Christian view of intelligent design. Men are intelligent beings. Yet we have mass murderers, child molesters, and people who want to walk on Mount Everest. The fact that we have such diversity does not change the fact that we are intelligent beings, thus the things we make are intelligent products. So the FACT that we make something is separate from the REASON why we do it. I suppose that would be true for hypothetical aliens on another planet. Your question six is comical. But I'll play along. I am a product of my mother and father. Would I disregard their parents? As for #7, I would remind you of the three possibilities I shared with you, the possibilities for the existence of all things.
Logically, it is reasonable that the Designer of this world and life had no beginning.
Ishmael commented at 6/10/2009 4:05:00 PM:
Abraham: you and I both seem to have a lot of time on our hands these days. Perhaps we should re-evaluate our priorities.
As far as your questions go:
"how did complex systems come into existence step by darwinian step?"
Add a part. Make it useful. In doing so, after a while you have a complex system. Over time, you may end up with parts that either serve no purpose, or no longer serve a purpose...like biologists have postulated about the appendix...so your complex system is thus able to survive without a component part. Don't think of the body or any other organism as a Rube Goldberg contraption, where the loss of one part brings dow the whole system. Evolution is not a ladder, it is not constantly "perfecting" organisms. Engineering excellence isn't the purpose of evolution.
In regards to "How can one distinguish between an intelligently made product from one that is not?"
1. Produce the intelligence that made it, then replicate the process of making it.
If I claim that pink unicorns made the pyramids, then I need to show you pink unicorns who can feasibly build pyramids.
2. Observe the phenomenon until it can be concluded beyond a reasonable doubt that it could not have occured naturally. Like SETI does: If I discover a signal from outer space that may be from an intelligent source, I need to determine that the signal is not a natural, random phenomenon.
From SETI's website:
"Any individual, public or private research institution, or governmental agency that believes it has detected a signal from or other evidence of extraterrestrial intelligence (the discoverer) should seek to verify that the most plausible explanation for the evidence is the existence of extraterrestrial intelligence rather than some other natural phenomenon or anthropogenic (man-made)phenomenon before making any public announcement."
There you have it:
SETI's standard for whether or not a signal is from an intelligent source is that the signal received must not be a naturally occuring phenomenon.
Now since I know where you are going to go next, let me say two things:
1. If your designer is eternal, then he/she/it is not a natural entity because natural things are born, live and die, so we are talking about a super-natural entity: see below.
2. If the signal is not naturally occuring, then the next logical step for SETI or anybody is to determine who, what and where the signal coming from. This is the step where ID falls apart.
Until you can provide:
1. Evidence that life and it's diversity could not, beyond a shadow of a doubt, have been brought about through natural, observable, replicatable processes.
2. The SOURCE of what DID bring about life and it's diversity.
Then there is no scientific basis for Intelligent Design.
I will grant you that the evolutionary biology has not _yet_ shown how life could have been brought about through such processes (although, the natural production of RNA has been replicated in a lab), but that does not discount evolutionary theory nor does it negate a natural explanation for the origin of life on earth.
Remember, science didn't show how the earth revolved around the sun...until it did.
Within the context of religion, there is no problem with discussing super-natural or extra-terrestrial explanations for the origin of life on earth. Super-natural explanations for things have been religion's domain from the beginning.
Science, however, is the study of the natural, observable universe that seeks natural, discernable explanations about it. It has an admittedly "naturalistic" bias, because natural explanantions are science's purpose. Science says nothing of the super-natural (and a designer/creator of that which is natural would logically be "Super-natural"), because is not science's place to. When we attempt to inject super-natural explanations into science, it stops being science....and becomes religion.
Abraham commented at 6/11/2009 10:34:00 AM:
"Abraham: you and I both seem to have a lot of time on our hands these days. Perhaps we should re-evaluate our priorities."
I am sure you have other priorities as I do. But I appreciate you making me and the other readers enough of a priority that you would share with us what you believe about these issues. I find your post interesting and I am very anxious to tell you what I think about it when I get the chance.