Friday, August 29, 2008

Books and Births

I guess that technically I could say that I’ve finished reading Daniel Dennett’s Breaking the Spell, but I’m determined to get through the essays contained within the appendix before setting it down. Dennett is a philosopher, so Breaking the Spell seems to raise more questions than it answers, but it succeeds in showing that critically examining the origins and effects of religions are not only possible, but quite necessary. I read this tome in preparation for attending the Freedom From Religion convention, which is the second week of October in Chicago. Daniel Dennett will be speaking and receiving the Emperor Has No Clothes Award. Also speaking will be Jeff Sharlet, who has recently written a book called The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power. This book exposes a secret evangelical organization called Ivenwald, a Washington-based fundamentalist group living communally in Arlington, Va., whose public face is the National Prayer Breakfast. This network of extremist evangelicals has networks that reach into not only our own government, but also sometimes accompanies U.S. officials overseas. I had been planning on reading this next, also in preparation for the upcoming convention, but I may need to take a break in between books. Maybe I should read a quick mystery before delving back into the (oft times depressing) world of politics and religion.

On a more domestic note: Justin is talking up a storm these days. We can’t keep track of all of the new words he’s using daily. He also seems to be getting more imaginative with his playing. He still loves to dance and sing. Today he even had me up and dancing to the Traveling Wilburys even though I haven’t been in a dancing mood for months.

We had our friends Patti and Rich over on Wednesday evening to watch some Battlestar Galactica and to visit with them before the birth of William. Patti had a appointment with the doctor the following day and was told “not yet,” but by the time she had gotten down to the parking lot her water had broken. They are now proud parents of a health baby boy. We’re hoping to visit them this Sunday.

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