Q1 – Books and Movies: When a movie that is based on a book is about to be released — like “Into the Wild,” which is scheduled to open nationwide in early-October — do you try to read the book first or do you believe in the separation of books and movies?
A1 – Only if the book has been on my “to read” list anyway.
Q2 – Dancing: Do you feel comfortable dancing in public, like at weddings or holiday parties? If not, would you be willing to take lessons and then try dancing in public, or is the thought of dancing in public just so unappealing that lessons aren’t even a possibility?
A2 – I confess: I disco’ed. I spent a lot of time in clubs dancing the night away during my misspent young adulthood. I love to dance!
The problem: BigBob has no sense of rhythm and two giant left feet which means that we have slow-danced, but that’s it. And we really don’t dance — he just sort of leans a little bit, pretending to do it in time to the music. He barely shuffles his feet. It’s just not his thing!
Q3 – I Want That: If you were able to own or have one thing that a friend, colleague, or neighbor has, what would it be?
A3 – My oldest nephew has an iPhone. He let me play with it. And now I am seriously coveting it, but I’m not going to spend the money even at the reduced price because there will be newer, better, cheaper versions released soon.
My mother bought a Texas Instruments calculator around 1975. It only performed four functions, was about the size of a box of personal checks and cost her around $150. When my sister and I were cleaning out the house five years ago, we found it in the cupboard and marveled at how big and clunky it was, not to mention how much she paid for it. I purchased a TI-30 at a price of around $120 for my oldest son when he was taking Algebra II in high school and was amazed at all of the functions. Then he took Statistics at the community college and I was surprised to see that the textbook instructions consisted of step-by-step guides on how to input the formulas into the calculator. When I took Statistics at the same school in 1977, we had to manipulate those formulas manually — I think I used my mother’s TI! 😯
So I have learned over the years never to buy the first version of any new technology.
Q4 – Public Funds: The senior pastor at an Indianapolis-based Baptist church is publicly objecting the placement of special sinks that would aid Muslims (at the Indianapolis airport) in preparing for prayer because he opposes what he calls “the fraternization with our open enemies during a time of war.” The sinks, which are set to be installed near a parking lot where Muslim taxi drivers wait between runs, would aid Muslims in washing their feet in preparation for ritual prayers. Despite what the pastor thinks, do you feel it is appropriate to use taxpayer funds for the support of a single religion?
First of all, just because an individual is Muslim does not make him/her an enemy of the United States government or its citizens. The additional fallacy is in how the question is phrased. The government is not spending “taxpayer funds for the support of a single religion.” In providing an accommodation of an individual’s sincerely held religious belief and/or practice(s), an employer is not providing “support” for a religion. It is, rather, making it possible for the individual in question to continue working and earning a living while holding and exercising his/her sincerely held religious beliefs. The distinction cannot be overemphasized because it is the cornerstone of America’s civil rights laws. That pastor plainly does not understand the legal principles implicated.