July 04, 2002
Happy 4th

What to do with the kids today?
I'm not allowed to walk on the beach due to broken ankle so I guess that leaves sitting at home watching the fireworks on the TV.
We have a few sparklers and some fire crackers and my neighbors always seem to go all out.
But what about the shows on the TV?
Even sitting here this morning watching the today show as I always do, they have already started in with a few rounds of god bless America.
Will tonights shows be more of the same?
God bless America isn't our national song, our national anthem is.
I think I'll be finding myself either watching a movie or rapidly changing the channels as each station begins their boisterous choruses of that darn song.
It's very difficult to raise kids in a secular humanist way on holidays such as this.
We love our country and want to celebrate is just as much as everyone else does. We celebrate the freedoms that we have been given and remember the lives lost so that we can have those freedoms but the constant reminder that we need to be blessed is stomach turning.
Everyone waving their flags and crying and singing as loud as they can off key of course, is just so disturbing.

In any case, I hope that you all have a wonderful holiday and remember the freedoms that we have been given here in this great land of ours.
The freedom to speak, the freedom to be and the freedom to believe as you see fit.

Posted by at July 04, 2002 08:02 AM
The song God Bless America doesn't really bother me all that much in most respects. I take it in the same vein that I take someone saying "God bless you" when I sneeze. A polite statement with good intentions behind it. Now, if the government were to start requiring the singing of said song at the opening of every school day, then I'd be a bit more hostile to it, but the fact that various shows across various networks make use of the song to ingratiate themselves with their viewers doesn't really bother me. That is their right to do so as private companies. If you have cable and access to The History Channel, they had an excellent 4 part documentary on this morning called The Founding Fathers which is worth watching. It's also, naturally, available on DVD and VHS. I have it listed on my Amazon Wish List. :-) Posted by: Les on July 4, 2002 12:02 PM
that's true les. i do tend to get riled up on some subjects and unlike you, i don't like being blessed when i sneeze. i don't think god would have blessed people when they sneezed...lol thanks for the suggection on the wish list item. i may just have to add it to mine. Posted by: kat on July 4, 2002 01:03 PM
Just as an aside to the whole sneezing thing, there are a number of reasons cited as to the origin of the practice to say "God bless you" when you sneeze, none of which have ever been fully established as the truth. The most common explanation that a lot of people seem to be aware of is the idea that it was done out of concern for the person's soul, which might be forced out of the body by the sneeze. Another (more likely in my opinion) explanation is that the custom was started by Pope Gregory the Great (540-604 AD) who took his station at the start of the plague. People who sneezed were quickly blessed with said phrase in the hope that they weren't coming down the with plague. For those who care enough to read more about it I offer the following reference links: Article at The Straight Dope and Article at the Urban Legends Refernce Pages. Posted by: Les on July 4, 2002 01:38 PM
Les, you are truly a wealth of information and I thank you for that. Posted by: kat on July 4, 2002 01:45 PM
About this comment: The most common explanation that a lot of people seem to be aware of is the idea that it was done out of concern for the person's soul, which might be forced out of the body by the sneeze. Definition of soul: In the Bible, "soul" is translated from the Hebrew ne' phesh and the Greek psy khe'. Bible usage shows the soul to be a person or an animal or the life that a person or an animal enjoys. To many persons, however, "soul" means the immaterial or spirit part of a human being that survives the death of the physical body. Others understand it to be the principle of life. But these latter views are not Bible teachings. What does the Bible say that helps us to understand what the soul is? Gen 2:7: "Jehovah God proceeded to form the man out of dust from the ground and to blow into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man came to be a living soul." (Notice that this does not say that man was given a soul but that he became a soul, a living person.) (The part of the Hebrew word here rendered "soul" is ne' phesh. KJ, AS, and Dy agree with that rendering. RS, JB, NAB read "being." NE says "creature." Kx reads "person." 1 Cor 15:45: "It is even so written: 'The first man Adam became a living soul.' The last Adam became a life-giving spirit." (So the Christian Greek Scriptures agree with the Hebrew Scriptures as to what the soul is.) (The Greek word here translated "soul" is the accusative case of psy khe'. KJ, AS, Dy, JB, NAB, and KX also read "soul." RS, NE, and TEV say "being.") 1 Peter 3:20: "In Noah's days ... a few people, that is, eight souls, were carried safely through the water." (The Greek word here translated "souls" is psy khai', the plural form of psy khe'.) Genesis 9:5: "Besides that, your blood of your souls [or, lives; Hebrew, from ne' phesh] shal I ask back." (Here the sould is said to have blood.) Joshua 11:11: "They went striking every soul." (The soul is here shown to be something that can be touched by the soul, so these souls could not have been spirits.) Can the human soul die? Ezekiel 18:4: "Look! All the souls - to me they belong. As the soul of the father so likewise the soul of the son - to me they belong. The soul (Hebrew reads the ne' phesh.) that is sinning - it itself will die." Matthew 10:28: "Do not become fearful of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul [or, "life"]; but rather be in fear of him that can destroy both soul [Greek has the accusative case psy khe'.] and body in Gehenna." Acts 3:23: "Indeed, any soul [Greek, psy khe'] that does not listen to that Prophet will be completely destroyed from among the people." Do other scholars acknowledge that the soul is the human and that this is in agreement with what the Bible says the soul is? "There is no dictotomy [division] of body and soul in the O[ld] T[estament]. The Isralites saw things concretely, in their totality, and thus he considered men as persons and not as composites. The term nepes [ne' phesh], though translated by our word soul, never means soul as distinct from the body or the individual person . . . The term [psy khe'] is the N[ew] T[estament] word corresponding with nepes. It can mean the principle of life, life itself, or the living being." - New Catholic Encyclopedia (1967), Vol. XIII, pp. 449, 459. "The Hebrew term for "soul" (nefesh, that which breathes) was used by Moses . . ., signifying an 'animated being' and applicable equally to nonhuman beings. . . New Testament usage of psyche (soul) was comparable to nefesh." - The New Encyclopedia Britannica (1976), Macropaedia, Vol. 15, p. 152. "The belief that the soul continues its existence after the dissolution of the body is a matter of philosophical or theological speculation rather than of simple faith, and is accordingly nowhere expressly taught in Holy Scriptures." - The Jewish Encyclopedia (1910), Vol. VI, p. 564. Posted by: tsto on January 6, 2005 11:48 AM
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