Thursday, April 30, 2009

Forecasts for the Future

This stuff scares the shit out of me. Good thing I have my tinfoil hat, daisy bb gun air rifle and 20 year old Mormon food storage left to me by my mother in law. I'm ready for Armageddon.

Catechism of the Catholic Church on Torture

2298 In times past, cruel practices were commonly used by legitimate governments to maintain law and order, often without protest from the Pastors of the Church, who themselves adopted in their own tribunals the prescriptions of Roman law concerning torture. Regrettable as these facts are, the Church always taught the duty of clemency and mercy. She forbade clerics to shed blood. In recent times it has become evident that these cruel practices were neither necessary for public order, nor in conformity with the legitimate rights of the human person. On the contrary, these practices led to ones even more degrading. It is necessary to work for their abolition. We must pray for the victims and their tormentors.
Sad state of affairs when you have to state the obvious. Torture is wrong.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Samurai Saints

ROMA, November 26, 2008 – A samurai carrying the cross is not a conventional image. But there were some of these among the 188 Japanese martyrs of the seventeenth century who were proclaimed blessed two days ago in Nagasaki. There were noblemen, priests – four of them – and one religious. But most of them were ordinary Christians: farmers, women, young people under the age of twenty, even small children, entire families. All of them were killed for refusing to renounce the Christian faith.

The beatification of "Fr. Peter Kibe and his 187 companions" – as the title of the ceremony put it – was the first ever celebrated in Japan. The new blesseds joined 42 Japanese saints and 395 blesseds, all of them martyrs, elevated to the honors of the altar beginning with Pius IX.

The new blesseds were martyred between 1603 and 1639. At the time, there were about 300,000 Catholics in Japan, evangelized first by the Jesuits, with St. Francis Xavier, and then also by the Franciscans. Sandro Magister
HT Mark P. Shea

Monday, April 27, 2009

Religion involves the whole person

Here is a quote for my anonymous buddy to freak out on in the comments section.

But religion, once the glow of conversion [to atheism] had worn off, was not a matter of argument alone. It involves the whole person. Therefore I was drawn, over and over again, to the disconcerting recognition that so very many of the people I had most admired and loved, either in life or in books, had been believers. Reading Louis Fischer’s Life of Mahatma Gandhi, and following it up with Gandhi’s own autobiography, The Story of My Experiments With Truth, I found it impossible not to realise that all life, all being, derives from God, as Gandhi gave his life to demonstrate. Of course, there are arguments that might make you doubt the love of God. But a life like Gandhi’s, which was focused on God so deeply, reminded me of all the human qualities that have to be denied if you embrace the bleak, muddled creed of a materialist atheist. It is a bit like trying to assert that music is an aberration, and that although Bach and Beethoven are very impressive, one is better off without a musical sense. Attractive and amusing as David Hume was, did he confront the complexities of human existence as deeply as his contemporary Samuel Johnson, and did I really find him as interesting? A N Wilson

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Gianna Jessen

Babies might be more conscious than adults

Modern science has largely agreed, spending decades outlining all the things that babies couldn't do because their brains had yet to develop. They were unable to focus, delay gratification, or even express their desires. The Princeton philosopher Peter Singer famously suggested that "killing a disabled infant is not morally equivalent to killing a person. Very often it is not wrong at all."

Now, however, scientists have begun to dramatically revise their concept of a baby's mind. By using new research techniques and tools, they've revealed that the baby brain is abuzz with activity, capable of learning astonishing amounts of information in a relatively short time. Unlike the adult mind, which restricts itself to a narrow slice of reality, babies can take in a much wider spectrum of sensation - they are, in an important sense, more aware of the world than we are. Jonah Lehrer

Amen I say to you, unless you be converted, and become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 18:3)

Pieta by Cassy King

My dad showed me this beautiful poem in the paper ceated by Cassy King.

Mary Grieves.

How hard it must be,
to balance the mangled body
between her knees
and in her mind.

Draped like the folds of her dress
he spills across her.
One arm hangs like a broken wing.

She sits because
she cannot rise,

what she holds in her mind
is more than a prayer
more than a plea

words, yes,
and memories
spill over the sides.

She longs to speak to
one more time
to wake him
have him brush her cheek
to tell him
all the thing whispered
when he was young

Things she taught him,
Things he learned on his own,
Things he just knew:

How to lace his sandals;
the meaning of woman
touching his garment hem;
His soul too large to cradle;

She wonders without thinking-
Alpha and Omega - Is this
the end or the beginning?

Friday, April 24, 2009

Review of In Bruges

Last Judgment Workshop of Hieronymus Bosch (This painting is used give a Twilight Zone style ending to the movie)

The CD jacket said that In Bruges is a dark comedy. If it wasn't for this, I probably would not have known it was a comedy. It's like those British comedies that are sometimes on PBS late at night. I can feel the jokes flying over my head. The laugh track only highlights that I don't get it and it's quite frustrating for me. In Burges doesn't have a laugh track but I didn't laughed once during the movie. Due to my track record with British comedies, I can only assume the the problem resides in me and not in the movie.

Starting this review out with my little issue you would think that I didn't like the movie In Burges. The truth is that I liked the movie. The movie has a rich layer of meaning to analyze and it has a good ending that reminds me of the old Twilight Zone episodes.

In Burges is about two hit men Ray and Ken who hide out in a small medieval town named Bruges. They are hiding in Burges due to Ray accidentally killing a young boy while taking out the Priest he was paid to kill. The hit men's boss, Harry, tells Ken that the murder of the child caused too much publicity and he orders Ken to kill Ray for his mistake. While Ken is about to kill Ray he stops Ray from killing himself. Ray wants to kill himself due to guilt of having killed the innocent boy. Harry then goes to Burges to kill both Ken and Ray due to Ken refusing to kill Ray. Then the movie ends with a showdown. The movie is more complicated than this but this gives a quick overview.

In Bruges asks the question, in a post-Christian world how do you gain redemption? Ray goes into a confessional to kill a Priest that has a hit out on him. Ray shoots the priest and while the priest tries to run an innocent boy is hit in the cross fire while praying in a pew waiting for his confession. To me this was analogous to saying that by rejecting the Church you threw out the baby with the bathwater and the rest of the movie looks into how to you gain back what was lost.

Harry's means of redemption in the movie was to follow a strict unforgivable honor code but when he thinks that he has not fulfilled the letter of his own law he commits suicide. Kens means is to suffer and die for his friend but even by doing this he may not have the power to redeem his friend. Ray's only means is true remorse and trying to cling to the good. The movie doesn't give an answer to the question. It leaves the answer for the viewer to ponder. I have to give the movie props because it does ask the question in a honest way. There are some gruesome scenes but if you have a strong stomach I would say go see it.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Jimi Hendrix - The Wind Cries Mary

I know this song is not technically about the Virgin Mary but about Jimi's girlfriend. I reserve the right to interpret and hear whatever suits me in art so for me the songs is about the Mother of our Lord. Anyway it's a great song and at the very least you will get a good laugh at the two white dudes with Afros.

Prisoner's Dilemma

Economics as a science has helped improve the lives of many people and I am thankful for this. But economics tends to overreach science into the realm of ethics. The economic principle of "rationality" is one example of this. Rationality is defined by economics as someone acting to maximize their own "utility". That is, to act in their own best interest. On a scientific level this is not true. There are many times when people do not act in their own best interest but for a greater good. Since people don't always act "rationally" economics then moves from the level of science (what is) to the level of ethnics (how people should act).

From a Catholic perspective rationality requires the theological virtues of "faith, hope and love" because without these virtues it is not possible to see reality. If your not reasoning from the perspective of faith, hope, and love then the reasoning will be faulty. According to Christ there are times when we should act counter to our own self interest.

I want to look at game theories scenario of the "prisoner's dilemma" to look out how economics theory reasons how people should act. Here is the scenario...

Two suspects are arrested by the police. The police have insufficient evidence for a conviction, and, having separated both prisoners, visit each of them to offer the same deal. If one testifies (defects from the other) for the prosecution against the other and the other remains silent (cooperates with the other), the betrayer goes free and the silent accomplice receives the full 10-year sentence. If both remain silent, both prisoners are sentenced to only six months in jail for a minor charge. If each betrays the other, each receives a five-year sentence. Each prisoner must choose to betray the other or to remain silent. Each one is assured that the other would not know about the betrayal before the end of the investigation. How should the prisoners act? Wikipedia

There are a lot of assumptions to the argument which I will not quote to make the reasoning valid (you can go read them yourself) but here is the economic conclusion...

In the classic form of this game, cooperating is strictly dominated by defecting, so that the only possible equilibrium for the game is for all players to defect. No matter what the other player does, one player will always gain a greater payoff by playing defect. Since in any situation playing defect is more beneficial than cooperating, all rational players will play defect, all things being equal. Wikipedia

In game theory you never pick a strictly dominated position. So in the case of both suspects being innocent, according to the game theory logic, you should still make up a story about the other prisoner so you don't get 10 years. The scary thing about this is that our legal system is actually set up to make this scenario with plea deals. The problem is that the question, "What is the right thing to do?" is not considered because it stands outside the bounds of economic, "rationality".

The other issue that I have is that by fitting real life situations into this model you lose perspective on unknown risks. For example, You could be haunted with guilt for ten years or after 10 years of plotting the betrayed prisoner will get out of prison and execute his revenge. Those "unintended consequences" are bound to turn up when you oversimplify a situation and fit it into an artificial economic model.

From the Christian perspective I think the following is true, "Blessed are those who pick a strictly dominated strategy for a greater good."

It is important to understand the economic principle taught by the prisoners dilemma. Lawyers, economist, and politicians are probably going to go with a dominate strategy and we should factor this in when making our decisions of what is the right thing to do. If not you may be faced with the Charley Brown Dilemma....

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Incarnation of Mercy

...openness to Christ, who as the Redeemer of the world fully reveals man himself, can only be achieved through an ever more mature reference to the Father and His love. Although God "dwells in unapproachable light," He speaks to man he means of the whole of the universe: "ever since the creation of the world his invisible nature, namely, his eternal power and deity, has been clearly perceived in the things that have been made." This indirect and imperfect knowledge, achieved by the intellect seeking God by means of creatures through the visible world, falls short of "vision of the Father." "No one has ever seen God," writes St. John, in order to stress the truth that "the only Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he has made him known." This "making known" reveals God in the most profound mystery of His being, one and three, surrounded by "unapproachable light." Nevertheless, through this "making known" by Christ we know God above all in His relationship of love for man: in His "philanthropy." It is precisely here that "His invisible nature" becomes in a special way "visible," incomparably more visible than through all the other "things that have been made": it becomes visible in Christ and through Christ, through His actions and His words, and finally through His death on the cross and His resurrection.

In this way, in Christ and through Christ, God also becomes especially visible in His mercy; that is to say, there is emphasized that attribute of the divinity which the Old Testament, using various concepts and terms, already defined as "mercy." Christ confers on the whole of the Old Testament tradition about God's mercy a definitive meaning. Not only does He speak of it and explain it by the use of comparisons and parables, but above all He Himself makes it incarnate and personifies it. He Himself, in a certain sense, is mercy. To the person who sees it in Him - and finds it in Him - God becomes "visible" in a particular way as the Father who is rich in mercy." (Pope John Paul II, Dives in Misericordia)

Doubting Thomas

Doubting Thomas, Caravaggio

Thomas, called Didymus, one of the Twelve,
was not with them when Jesus came.
So the other disciples said to him, "We have seen the Lord."
But he said to them,
"Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands
and put my finger into the nailmarks
and put my hand into his side, I will not believe."

Now a week later his disciples were again inside
and Thomas was with them.
Jesus came, although the doors were locked,
and stood in their midst and said, "Peace be with you."
Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here and see my hands,
and bring your hand and put it into my side,
and do not be unbelieving, but believe."
Thomas answered and said to him, "My Lord and my God!"
Jesus said to him, "Have you come to believe because you have seen me?
Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed." John 20:24-29)

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Spiritual Self Experimentation

I am going to do some self experimentation to try to develop some virtue. Yes it's time to use science as a means to holiness. To biblically proof text what I'm doing Paul tells us to,
"Test everything; retain what is good." (1Thes 5:21) and that is what I'm going to try to do. Seth Roberts in this 10-minute talk has two main points when doing self experimentation.

1. You learn by doing not over thinking an experiment. You will learn what’s wrong with your experiments by starting to do them.
2. When you do something, do the smallest easiest thing that will help, that will tell you something you don’t know.

The problem that I want to address is my lack of progress in holiness. Every time I go to confession it is the same sins that occur at about the same incident of occurrence. This has been happening for the past 8 years and it is amazing to me how consistent my confessions have been. When I was younger I always thought that with age comes wisdom and holiness. All I needed to do was to go to church on Sunday and try to be a good person and I would continue to grow. It hasn't been working out like that.

So here is what I am going to do. Every night I am going to do an examination of conscious, record my sins using a short hand that no one but me will understand , and pray an act of contrition. In a month, I am going to go to confession and I will see if I made progress. I can tweak and tinker from there. There are a lot of types of spiritualities and devotions that I want to try out but for now I am going to stick with Seth's point number 2.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Rihanna - Umbrella

I think people are really stressed out right now. If it's not the economy then it's the culture wars. If your wearing thin then listen and sing along with this song. This song is very meaningful to me when listening to it like Christ is singing the song. The lyrics are here if you want to sing along.

Here is my favorite part...

These fancy things, will never come in between
You're part of my entity, here for infinity
When the war has took its part
When the world has dealt its cards
If the hand is hard, together we'll mend your heart

When the sun shines, we’ll shine together
Told you I'll be here forever
Said I'll always be your friend
Took an oath I'mma stick it out 'till the end
Now that it's raining more than ever
Know that we'll still have each other
You can stand under my umbrella

Review of Religulous

I just wanted to point you to a review of Religulous that I really like. In the interest of full disclosure I wanted to say that review was written by my sister. It is still a good review even if I'm biased.

Review of Let The Right One In

The movie, Let The Right One In, starts with a 12 year old boy named Oskar who looks to be on the path of becoming a serial killer. Oskar is a vulnerable boy and is mercilessly harassed by bullies. Oskar's cereal killer type fantasies come from a desire to get revenge and gain freedom from the bullies. A young girl, Eli, moves into Oskar's apartment complex along with an elderly man. The girl turns out to be a vampire and the elderly man kills people for blood to keep Eli alive. Eli and Oskar become friends and through their relationship Oskar is able to grow and defend himself against the bully. The closer the relationship between Eli and Oskar becomes the more healthier Oskar seems to get. The old man get's caught. Eli kills the bullies and Oskar takes on the new role that was left void by the old man's death.

The movie is not scary, as in I didn't have a fight or flight reaction when watching it. There was some gruesome scenes but this is not the true source of the horror in the movie. The horror came 5 minutes after the show ended when something was nagging at me. After getting emotional connected to Oskar and Eli's relationship and even cheering them on, the horror then came with the realization that the movie was about pedophilia. The movie is told from the perspective of a sex offender and how the offender rationalizes the process of grooming a victim. The horror comes from the moral level of cheering on a sex offender.

Vampire movies are about sex. The Vampire's taking of blood symbolizes the lust of making someone a piece of meat for ones own desires. The tension always comes with how this is violently opposed to how Christ, gave his blood, by laying down his life for his bride the Church. From the view of a sex offender everything that is done is good for the victim. Oskar was vulnerable and really had no one he felt he could turn to until Eli came and used this vulnerability to groom Oskar to be a victim. It was Oskar who let Eli in, yes he was open to it, but to truly believe this you have to rationalize and ignore what Eli did to groom Oskar to get to that point. This is what a pedophile and sex offenders do. At the end of the movie there is a quasi-baptism scene. Oskar is held under water at a swimming pool by a bully and is about to die. Eli then comes to be the savior and kills the bullies and brings forth Oskar to a new life.

The point of view of the movie is that of a pedophile and as such the movie is sick.

There are some things that can be learned about sex offenders from the movie that can be used to protect children.

1. Looks are deceiving. Eli looks like an innocent 12 year old girl. The reality is that she was hundreds of years old and that her motives were anything but innocent. Sex offenders like religion because they can use it to easily gain trust to gain access to children. Anything that has power for good has the power for evil. That is why, as someone once said, the corruption of the best is the worst. We need to be aware that there will always be a Judas in the Church.

2. The process of grooming a victim. Sex offenders spend a lot of time fantasizing about how they are going to perpetrate. Sex offenders are very good at manipulation and they know how to use people's weaknesses to get what they want. An analogy of how it works it that they hand the victim a hand grenade and pull the pin. This puts all the pressure off the perp and onto the victim. The victim and the sex offender know that no matter where the victim throws the grenade that the truth is going to hurt someone. As parents we need to make sure that our children are supported and love so they are not as vulnerable to sex offenders. As parents we need to make sure we let our children know that it is ok for them to tell us anything and that we can handle it and take care of it. If we do have reason to believe that a child is being abused we need to contact law enforcement or child protective services.

3. Sexual perpetration is repetitive. The movie shows how Eli got ride of the old man. The old mad poured acid on his face when he got caught so no one would know who he was to protect things from getting back to Eli. Eli went to the old mans window at the hospital. The old man willingly came to the window for Eli to drink his blood. She then disposed of him by throwing him out the window to his death. The movie gives clues that this process had happened repeatedly in the past. It is possible for sex offenders to stop but they will always have a strong temptation to do it again. The temptation will not go away in this life time and because of this perps should never have any access to children. It also means that if one victim is found that it is highly likely that there are a lot more.

If your are wondering why I know so much about sexual assault the reason is that I'm a social worker and I have conducted sexual assault investigations.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The only serious argument against God

Two Reasons Not to Give Up

With the constant chattering about gay, "rights" I think it's important to remind ourselves what we are fighting for. Here are two reasons not to give up on the fight against same-sex marriage

Saturday, April 04, 2009

The Theological Virtues and Reason

Atheist seem to set up a false dichotomy between faith and reason in a very similar way that Protestants make a false dichotomy between faith and works. The reality is that you can't separate faith and reason just like you can't separate faith and works. The categories overlap. Faith without works is dead because we need faith working through love. The same is true with faith and reason. Any basis of reason has to have a starting point that is unprovable, reason requires faith. Human reason is connected to not only to faith but also hope and love. It is impossible for humans to see something without placing value upon what is seen. You don't just see a tree but a big or small tree, a beautiful or ugly tree. Reason requires not only faith but also hope and love. This is because without faith, hope, and love humans are not able to see reality. Reality that has its foundation in Christ.

Atheist, Nones, and Religion

My sister brought this to my attention. I think it fits into the, how not to be a turkey, as a Church.

Trapped in the Drive-Thru

Life can get too serious so here is a Weird Al song to groove to. Weird Al always improves the song that he parodies.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

The Miracle of Life

From Catholic Media House

The Degradation of Art

Conversely the degradation of art has never been more apparent. And the most widespread form of degradation -- more widespread even than the deliberate desecration of humanity through pornography and gratuitous violence -- is kitsch, that peculiar disease that we can instantly recognise but never precisely define, and whose Austro-German name links it to the mass movements and crowd sentiments of the 20th century. ROGER SCRUTON

And later...

Simply put, kitsch is a disease of faith. Kitsch begins in doctrine and ideology and spreads from there to infect the entire world of culture. The Disneyfication of art is simply one aspect of the Disneyfication of faith -and both involve a profanation of our highest values. Kitsch, the case of Disney reminds us, is not an excess of feeling but a deficiency. The world of kitsch is in a certain measure a heartless world, in which emotion is directed away from its proper target towards sugary stereotypes, permitting us to pay passing tribute to love and sorrow without the trouble of feeling them. It is no accident that the arrival of kitsch on the stage of history coincided with the hitherto unimaginable horrors of trench warfare, of the Holocaust and the Gulag -- all of them fulfilling the prophecy that kitsch proclaims, which is the transformation of the human being into a doll, which in one moment we cover with kisses, and in the next tear to shreds.ROGER SCRUTON

Handing Out $5 Words: Kitsch


(/kɪtʃ/) is the German and Yiddish word denoting art that is considered an inferior, tasteless copy of an extant style of art. The term kitsch was a response to the 19th century art whose aesthetics convey exaggerated sentimentality and melodrama, hence, kitsch art is closely associated with sentimental art. Moreover, kitsch (art) also denotes the types of art that are like-wise æsthetically deficient (whether or not it is sentimental, glamorous, theatrical, or creative) making it a creative gesture that merely imitates the superficial appearances of art (via repeated conventions and formulae), thus, it is uncreative and unoriginal; it is not Art. Contemporaneously, kitsch also (loosely) denotes art that is æsthetically pretentious to the degree of being in poor taste, and to industrially-produced art-items that are considered trite and crass. Wikipedia

Counter Arguemnt for Barbell Strategy

A couple of posts ago I talked about the Barbell Strategy which was to put 90% of your efforts into hyper-conservative efforts and then put 10% into highly risky. I have recently read the following quote that would challenge this idea.

Courage is the mean between recklessness and cowardliness. Here, narcissists are also at both extremes, never in the mean. Indeed, they are often bold or inordinately daring. Their inflated sense of superiority propels them to recklessness; for they are subject to fantasies of omnipotence and unequalled brilliance, and they feel that they are above the law. And it is this sense of superiority that allows them to underestimate the intelligence and determination of their adversaries.20 But they are not brave; they are cowards at heart. They lack the courage to gaze upon the dilapidated specter of their true selves, nor can they bear to look into the eyes of one who has discovered their true nature. They inspire terror only because we recognize that the inhibitions that govern the impulses of normal healthy persons are completely lacking in the pathological narcissist. They are psychopaths.21 The terror they inspire is a source of narcissistic supply that contributes to their sense of existing, which they need to counter the sense of their own nothingness, created by their immoral and unrepented choices.DOUGLAS MCMANAMAN

Not a good sign that the type of strategy that I just described in my barbell post is similarly described in reference to narcissism. Especially when reading Taleb's book I felt that there was a touch of narcissism to his writing.

I think Taleb's answer would be that the problem is that we do not know the scale of risk. It is unsure where the center point is between recklessness and cowardliness. It isn't even sure if there is a true linear scale. Because risk is fundamentally an unknown, making the center unknown, this is the precise reason the barbell principle is needed.

The other problem is that this theory doesn't really work for depicting Jesus' life due to him knowing the risk and were real courage resides. So my answer is that I don't know. I am going to have to think about it.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

absence of the personal God

A quote...

For related reasons, Europeans seem also to be living in a postreligious fantasy. Very few go to church or think of themselves as members of a church. Hostile to the various forms of repression caused by their nations’ religious past, Europeans generally see religion as little more than a source of injustice and repression, a multifaceted affront to the person and his rights. Just a few decades ago, European intellectuals prided themselves on being full of existentialist anxiety in the absence of God—but the contemporary European claims to be too enlightened to be moved, as a person, toward any kind of illusory transcendence. He refuses either to believe in God or to be haunted by His absence. But the longings that make a person more than a merely biological being remain just beneath the surface. The person remains miserably disoriented in the perceived absence of the personal God. Peter Augustine Lawler

Free Thinker

I have seen people categorize themselves as free thinkers as part of an argument for a certain point of view. This is a neat word trick on many levels. It's always cute to name your own position something that you would have to be crazy to disagree with. Who wants to be a slaved thinker or a brainwashed thinker? The term free thinker is used here to make the category do the thinking for us. Someone will say that I don't believe in God because I'm a free thinker. If you are not free to think that there is a God seems to me that this is a position that is less free. It's being used to limit the thinking options. If you are using the category of free thinker to discount a position before you actually think through a position then you are actually less free and actually doing very little thinking. People who use this term are really trying to limit thoughts and beliefs to a certain type. This term is used as a herding mechanism. Kind of iconic in that they are doing that which they usually accuse the Catholic Church of.

Lets think through the possibility of being a faithful Catholic and a free thinker.

We need to look at the nature of freedom. Freedom does not mean having no limits. If you put me into outer space, free from the restraints of gravity, I would have little freedom to get around. I would not be able to control my direction at all. Scientists are not free to think whatever they want in regards to the data of an experiment. If they do, they are no longer doing science. Artists are not free to draw a picture of a giraffe with a short neck because then it would not be a depiction of a giraffe but something else. So freedom of thought needs some level of restraint, a strong foundation, a starting point to get from point a to point b for thoughts to have any freedom and practical use.

Thinking is a lot like flying a kite. Your thoughts need to be connected to true data for them to be useful. A kite needs to be connected to a string that pulls back. If you let go of the string the tension comes off the string and the kite will fall to the ground leaving no freedom. The wind is like every day life and there is some freedom to move back and forth, up and down, but this freedom comes from the string providing tension.

The question then becomes how do we get access to the data that will give the tension for free thought. The secularist will answer that the data comes from science and personal experience. There is a couple of problems with restricting the data to these two points. The problem with science is that it only gives a certain type of data. Science gives us the objective facts for the material world. Science doesn't give much relevant data for questions that are the most important to my personal life. The data that I really need is the data of who I am, what I should do, my purpose, and my place in the universe. Science gives little relevant existential data. The secularist will respond that he is able to create his own data based on his own experience. The problem with this is that the data is not separate from oneself. It's like tying the kite string to the kite. There is not going to be enough tension to get the kite off the ground.

The data that is needed is Christ. Using Christ as the data does not make me less a free thinker just like the scientists conforming to scientific data doesn't make scientists less free thinkers. The reality is that the Logos, by providing the data, makes the act of free thought possible.

So how not to be a turkey? Don't fall for the idea that free thought equals a rejection of Christ and his Church.