When I read and reviewed the atheist manifestos of Dawkins and Harris as well as Hitchins screed I didn't receive any hate mail from anyone identifying themselves as Christian while all three of those writers go to great length to assure readers of the never ending stream of hatred directed at them by Christians. But review one book from a Christian perspective and I have been inundated with hate mail. Wow.
There is always intolerance on all sides of an issue whether one claims a Christian banner or a secular one and one of my next book reviews will reveal hatred and intolerance by atheists that is every bit as vicious and prevalent as those they claim comes from those who claim the mantle of Christ. Probably even more so. I do not hear Christians calling for atheists to be put to death yet the 'rational' Sam Harris advocates exactly that for those who believe in God.
Intolerance and ill-will is intolerance and ill-will no matter who espouses it nor what their intellectual credentials are. A pox on all your houses. If your creed or intellectual belief lead you into the area of hatred and targeted intolerance than stay away from me. I don't associate with those who cannot get their head out of their rectum.
Christmas here was busy and challenging. Tess brother and nephew arrived on the 23rd requiring a trip to the next city to pick them up. Naturally it was a lousy day with heavy snow making the 75 mile trip up and back to the airport interesting to say the least. Our Christmas was divided between Tess`house, my parents house, and my sisters place with me sometimes trying to attend to several holiday events at once. Mario and Roy were scheduled to return to Vancouver on the 26th. Tess and her Mom set out with me to drive them the 75 miles north to the airport they had flown into. The weather began to deteriorate as soon as we hit the road and soon became acutely dangerous as a blizzard blew in and we were driving in a near whiteout. We called the airline and they insisted the flight would land and would be on time and with Mario needing to get back to work and to prepare for another flight out on vacation on the 30th, we struggled on. We had barely gotten past the halfway point when the airline sent a text advising the flight was cancelled.
As dangerous as the highway was it was better to go on at that point. After a nearly 3 hour drive for a 75 mile trip we made it to the city and got hotel rooms for the night at a resort casino. Fortunately the hotel was close to a bookstore that was open on Boxing Day and in the storm. I grabbed a couple of books and after we ate and while the Asian crowd hit the casino, I read.
The next morning we were up early and, with the weather cleared, we were off to the airport where we were told there were no seats available until January 1 as they were all booked. The Air Canada attendant was quite snooty and kept telling Roy and Mario it was their fault for not having re-booked as soon as the flight had been cancelled. At that point I stepped in and in my calm, rational manner screamed, "How could they re-book when Air Canada hasn`t answered a phone in 16 hours?" It wasn't helpful.
To be fair, the entire air baggage system had gone down across Canada and that, combined with extremely bad weather, had resulted in many, many flight cancellations. That did not excuse Air Canada from not answering their phones for hours, however. Since I was not flying they couldn`t threaten to ban me from flying and my temper finally brought a senior official who managed to find two seats the next day on a competitors airline and leaving from our own city so it was back in the car and back home.
The next day we finally got everyone on their way, cleaned the house, and have spent the last couple of days trying to simply rest and relax.
Sometimes Christmases are just too much work!
Daughter Christina is off for a couple of weeks. As a teacher she gets the same Christmas break as the kids. A well deserved one at that. Tomorrow night I have been invited to a `sleepover`at my daughters house out on the farm.
In their main room, a kitchen, dining room, and sitting area is a picture window and a nook. They have placed armchairs on both sides of this nook and a futon against the window. Bookshelves line the wall and the wood stove keeps everything at a cozy temperature. Among their real presents I got Ace and Chris a basket full of various teas, biscuits, cookies and treats to enjoy in the evening as they sit in their cozy little nook. They spend most of their evenings their as there is no television reception where they are and Chris refuses to get a satellite. So while the kids sit in the living room watching DVD`s, Chris and Ace sit in their cozy nook overlooking the snow covered fields and read their evenings away.
I have been invited out to a dinner and an evening enjoying their reading nook. I am looking forward to it!
(Originally posted to Multiply December 29, 2008)