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Monday, May 21

A Weekend of Commencements

Newt Gingrich gave the commencement speech to Falwell's Liberty University. According to Think Progress:
Gingrich claimed Americans draw strength from Falwell’s “life model,” and said that Falwell, who infamously called the 9/11 attacks God’s punishment on the United States, “bore witness to the Truth” and “knew this truth in his bones.”

But perhaps Gingrich’s most controversial remarks came in an interview after his speech, in which Gingrich cited the opportunity “to convert all of America.”

Gingrich said after his speech that Falwell’s death would not slow the Christian right’s efforts.

“Anybody on the left who hopes that when people like Reverend Falwell disappear that the opportunity to convert all of America has gone with them fundamentally misunderstands why institutions like this were created,” Gingrich said.
Oh good heavens. It's so disturbing that young people go to an institution of higher learning and come out less learned than they probably were when they went in. I'm glad this made the news because Americans need to know what an agenda this nutcase who may run for president is thinking. Newty boy is living in a fantasy world which is about to explode in his face. Sure there are learning institutions whose goals are to dumb people down and create human robots, but the great human spirit is to rise up despite all obstacles. I'm not afraid of Newt. I would say that he is just a log in the eye of vocal minority. He will be seen for who he is what he stands for.

At my son's graduation from Hofstra University on Sunday, there was some booing heard from students in the "school of business" section when Sen. Chuck Schumer spoke and more when the president of the Museum of Natural History in New York City brought up such controversial subjects as climate change, taking care of our planet and peace. A little bit more liberal arts needs to be infused into the Hofstra undergraduate business school curriculum I would say. I thoroughly enjoyed the commencement speeches at Hofstra and I'm glad my son went there despite the abundance of college Republicans who refuse to "see". Both sides need to know what they are up against in the future. I went to nursing school and ended up graduating with an art major and then went on to work in investment banking. I attended Hofstra for my MBA and didn't become a fascist. I worked on Wall Street by day and played in a punk band by night. I attended a religious seminary for my masters in theology and became an atheist. I have my dad to thank for always exhorting me to question everything. I have my mom to thank for exhorting me to take Zoloft and stop thinking so much. Sorry mom, while your advice was never heeded, I learned a lot from it.

I hope my son turns out all right after having me as a mother. He will go on to a career in anthropology and archaeology after field school and then graduate school. Who knows what else he will do and in what part of the world. Chances are he will have many careers in his lifetime. He has great empathy and I am confident that he will be one of those young people who connects the dots between the past and the present and does something about it.

I often wonder since becoming an atheist, surviving menopause and knowing all I know, what makes me get out of bed in the morning still giving a shit about future generations and those living on the fringes of society. I admit that some days I just want to stay in bed and wait to die, but the human spirit usually wins out and I rise again.

You hear so many people saying that if it weren't for god, they would do all sorts of horrible things. I suppose then that there is a purpose for religion for some people if it causes them to do right. Unfortunately I see more people use religion as a justification to do wrong.

On the Sopranos last night, another psychiatrist told Dr Melfi that talk therapy with sociopaths is counterproductive because sociopaths hone their ability to con people with their therapists and become an even more destructive force in society. Tony Soprano who had just killed his nephew and almost killed a guy by pistol whipping him told his therapist that he thought of himself as a good guy. I thought of people like Newt Gingrich and Jerry Falwell.

Speaking of the Soprano's, my nephew married into the Soprano family on Saturday. His lovely bride, it turns out, was the "Meadow Soprano." Who knew? It was still a fabulous wedding.

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