Why does Jesse Have So Many Children?

People ask me, “Jesse,” they ask, “why aren’t you getting a vasectomy?”

Wow.

I thought I’d take a moment, this one time, here and now, to respond to that question about me and my testicles. I will create a QR Code, and have it emblazoned on a button, and I’ll wear it for just such occasions.

I don’t usually respond honestly. It’s not a simple answer, and I generally want to be polite. That said, the question itself, in its sheer belligerence, gives me the sense that, when the questioner thinks of what I come home to, they picture starving orphans clustered around flaming garbage cans, wearing fingerless gloves and asking timidly for more…

Let me answer with a question; what are you doing to advance your beliefs, your ideals, and your politics?

Everybody has something. After all, we were  taught to try and leave the world a better place than we found it, right? Some recycle, some preach, some stump, and some lobby. Some make art, some raise dogs, some do community work.  Some do charities, and still others don’t sweat it too much; they just try to be decent people.

There are many choices, and and for every one of those choices, you can bet that there are vicious, ugly-minded troll-like beings that disagree, and are quick to tell you why your choice is not only wrong, but actually helping to destroy the world rather than to help it. It’s a slightly free country; they are for the moment entitled to their disagreement. Just know that whatever choice it is that you’re making has its share of dissent. And probably has a forum of people devoted to hating it.

For my part, I have children.

You see, I don’t have to make you agree with my politics or my faith. I probably can’t, and it simply takes too much effort. No, I don’t have to convince you; I just have to outnumber you.

I am blessed with a certain standard of living; while others may foster a lifestyle suited to their desires in such straits, I give up those extras; the vacations, the nicer clothes, the spiffy toys. (Well, most of the spiffy toys.) I use that money instead to house, clothe, and feed more people. People that I’m raising as I, not the state, not my neighbors, choose to raise them. I’m raising them to be people that believe what I believe. As Lenin once said, “Give me four years to teach the children and the seed I have sown will never be uprooted.” Of course, he was shamelessly ripping off Proverbs 22:6 : “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” When Lenin wasn’t restating biblical truths, he was busy committing genocide, so you have to be careful about quoting him. Thankfully, I get to teach my kids about what a monster he, and his ideas were.

Will all of my children follow the instruction I’ve given them? Maybe not. But I’m betting the majority will. And that majority will vote. And that majority will reproduce. You see, as an added bonus, I’m not only teaching them my religious and political ideas. No, I’m also teaching them my ideas on reproduction. So I am fairly certain that my children will have lots of children, as will their children, and so on, and so on..

I’m playing the long game, friend. So while I may be something of a minority in some of my points of view, that’s OK.

All I have to do is wait.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Peggy
    Twitter: mycraftingworld
    August 12, 2013, 7:14 am

    Jesse, whatever the reason is behind your large family…. I am glad you and Cindy do tale raising your family with morals and standards very seriously. Looking forward to meeting Dyer #6.

    Peggy

  • Rebecca
    Twitter: momsmustardseed
    August 12, 2013, 7:35 am

    Yes, the eternal game. I wish my husband and I had been playing that game before we made decisions we made years ago. So blessed to know your wife – and pray for you and your family daily.

  • Leah August 12, 2013, 8:22 am

    “No, I don’t have to convince you; I just have to outnumber you.” I love it! We have five kiddos so far and the more we have the less we want to stop it. Oh, and we don’t have a TV so I’m not sure what else to do on a Saturday night.

    I come from a large family. My grandma was one of 12 kids, my mom was one of 8, I was one of 4. My grandma just passed away and had been ill for many years. She only spent a few months of it in a facility. Up to that point, my aunts had taken care of her (she had lost 3 of her children already at this point) and they stayed by her side even after she was in a facility. My sister has already offered to allow my parents (who are still in their 50s and nowhere near needing help to live) to set up a home on their property. If she can’t do it, I will (or my brother or my other sister if it really comes down to it.)

    By contrast, my husband’s family is small. He has one brother and no cousins. His mom is constantly fretting about what she will do when her husband passes away. We’ve offered, but the small-family, stick-grandma-in-a-home paradigm is pretty deeply ingrained. I realize not all small families do this, but with fewer children to share the privilege of caring for their elders, it becomes a logistical problem that is hard to overcome.

    So, yes. Outnumber them. Besides, the “other” side will eventually contracept or abort themselves out of existence.

    • Michelle August 12, 2013, 3:09 pm

      Ha ha Leah, love the Saturday night comment. And sadly your last sentence is so true. I hope your morher-in-law let’s you and your husband take care of her when the time comes.

    • Rodiemom August 16, 2013, 10:24 pm

      4 of our six are born in the fall (1 was 9 months after “snowmageddon” for Midwesterners). We evidently can’t think of any other way to keep warm! ;)

  • Leah August 12, 2013, 8:26 am

    As a side note, I was recently asked for the first time (I live in a rare area of the country where larger families are not unusual. I regularly see families with 4-7 kids in our nearest Wal-Mart) if I know what causes this. The lady was not being hateful, it was totally lighthearted. So my snappy retort was that I do indeed know what causes it…well-behaved children and an irresistible husband.

    • rcjr August 12, 2013, 2:38 pm

      I used to answer, “We’re pretty sure, but more testing is required.”

      • The Husband August 12, 2013, 3:56 pm

        Do you mind if I borrow that?

      • Leah August 12, 2013, 11:18 pm

        How very scientific.

    • Anne W August 12, 2013, 2:53 pm

      My husband says, “Well, we have it narrowed down to either water or sex, and we aren’t giving up either one!” Always makes me laugh!!

      • Adrienne August 12, 2013, 8:34 pm

        Love!! My husband always says ” I handle my business and God handles His!”

        • Angel August 13, 2013, 9:48 am

          Love them all!! Definitely appropriating “more testing required” quip!

  • Bonnie August 12, 2013, 12:44 pm

    Score! This is absolutely wonderful.

    The more we have, the better life gets… it’s like the secret no one knows ;)

    • The Husband August 12, 2013, 4:00 pm

      The first rule of having a large family is that you do not.. Oh, we’re talking about it. Never mind..

  • Kelly August 12, 2013, 1:49 pm

    Jesse–that wife of yours was a smart cookie to give you the keyboard today. Loved it! (How do you all stand so much cleverness in one household?) Hey, there’s another huge bonus: a family who is raising children to think. A rare commodity. The only hope in turning this big rig around, I’d say.

    • Cindy August 12, 2013, 2:17 pm

      He’s not just clever, but funny! It is really exhausting, laughing so hard all the time. :-)

  • Daja August 12, 2013, 3:44 pm

    That QR code idea is brilliant. Save so much time! :D

    • The Husband August 12, 2013, 4:02 pm

      Thanks! I keep telling Cindy that we need to make a web site listing out the conversations numerically. You know, the conversations that you have with your spouse over and over and over again? Rather than actually have the conversation, you just call out the number. I figure that by the time we’re old, we’ll just sound like quarterback calling out plays, but with massive amounts of meaning underneath…

  • Rebekah August 12, 2013, 3:53 pm

    This is so weird. I was talking just a few moments ago to a friend (whose husband is getting a vasectomy). I was telling her that she could have come to me (even though we have no interest in ever having a vasectomy) for recommendations, because well-meaning friends and family are always giving my husband recommendations for their doctors out of concern for our family size. She was surprised someone would take such a liberty. We were laughing because I told her I should call them up for the doctor’s numbers, and simply not mention it isn’t for us, then surprise them when the next baby comes. Make them think twice about their confidence in their vasectomy… muahahaha!

    Anyway… I agree with the points you made here. I would love to see God inspired families leading this country!

    • Cindy August 12, 2013, 3:56 pm

      You really should have done that. ROFL!

  • Natalie Klejwa August 12, 2013, 4:28 pm

    This was SO much fun to read! The two of you ROCK together! (And hence, this post…)

    • Cindy August 12, 2013, 5:22 pm

      Hee. Yes, I suppose we do. :-D

  • Shelly August 12, 2013, 4:37 pm

    Thank you! We have 11 children and get some amazingly rude questions- although I will point out that we also get an equal amount of support, as well. I also take the polite route in answering these inquiries , but you’ve just read my mind!

  • Mary Jo August 12, 2013, 5:07 pm

    I am immensely glad that I refrained from my afternoon cup of coffee today… or my laptop would certainly have received a highly-caffeinated shower! This is a great post, as always. Definitely sharing!

  • Mel @ Trailing After God August 12, 2013, 5:19 pm

    Fabulous! I know my husband and I both used to get a lot of flack when the kids were younger, not so much now and we only have four. I wish we could have had more and boy would some of our relatives pop a blood vessel to know THAT tidbit :) I hate the comment, “You know what causes that, right?” Ugh. SO rude. I’m always polite but so badly want to say, “Yep, we’ve got the trophies to prove it right here!”

    Some of the worst comments I’ve ever received though go back to when I had only one gender of children, all boys. One cashier actually told me she would kill herself if she had that many boys, and my boys were right there. Hello, they can hear you! While hers was the worst, I heard a lot about having so many boys and how awful it was :(

    People should keep their rude comments to themselves. I would NEVER say something rude to a stranger (or anyone I know for that matter) about their children or reproductive organs! yikes. People are crazy!

    • The Husband August 12, 2013, 7:18 pm

      People are crazy.
      What’s always amazed me is that these same people offer each other congratulations for new cars, homes, and phones which they cannot afford, yet I get the evil eye.
      I think that’s why the zombie uprising genre is so prevelant; our culture wants everyone except for self and maybe a few others to dissapear so that we can have it all to ourselves. Compare that to the early fathers, dreaming of being the progenator of a great nation.. ..but that’s another post.

      • Cindy August 12, 2013, 8:26 pm

        That’s not another post. That’s THIS post! ;-)

    • Rachel August 12, 2013, 9:59 pm

      “Some of the worst comments I’ve ever received though go back to when I had only one gender of children, all boys.”–Mel

      We have 5 boys and one girl (so far. We’re expecting again in March). It’s sort of a secret, I think, that the American culture undervalues men and boys. Because of feminism, belittling men has become so commonplace. Probably you all are so astute that you’ve already noticed this, but I’m always shocked when other Christians don’t see it. Why is it that so many pastors give glowing Mother’s Day sermons, and then on Father’s Day, they spend a half an hour telling the men to step up and be better husbands and fathers? And it’s so sad when this kind of attitude trickles down to the boys.

      We get comments like “Wow, it’s too bad you have all these boys and only one girl!” Or, “Maybe you’ll get lucky with the next one.” Or, “Still trying for another girl?” Really?! This from total strangers and fellow Christians alike. I still would like another daughter, but I’ve decided, instead of spending my time dreaming about it, to be purposeful about raising my boys. We really, really, really need, need, need strong men for God! Yes, we need our girls to be committed to God as well, but without their spiritual leader, whom will they follow?

      I apologize if this is too off topic or long. I’m stepping off my soapbox now.

      • Cindy August 13, 2013, 8:46 am

        Oh, I love my gaggle of boys. Nobody’d better say a word to me about my boys! :-)

      • Brandy August 13, 2013, 11:40 pm

        Um, hi. Mother of 8 boys here. :) I’ve heard it all. Heart still longs for daughter, but if I hear one more person say IN FRONT OF my sons that they feel sorry for me, I’m going to lose my lunch. People. Really. And I think it was Cindy that said something about people being lovers of themselves. It’s been a rough time for me realizing how true this is. It’s sad. Does anyone care about the bottom line anymore? Ya know the one – loving God, loving others…. Exit soapbox. :)

  • Amy @ No Greater Honors August 12, 2013, 11:29 pm

    I love this! Thanks for sharing! I have never heard of your page before, but glad I found this article through facebook. We have five children, and we may be finished (although I can’t be too sure – I’ve said it before, and the Lord always surprised us with another!), and sometimes it’s shocking at the audacity and lack of manners some people have to ask some very personal questions such as ‘Do you know what causes that?’ – if we didn’t know what we were doing before we had the children, should we really be having children? That being said, I think the funniest thing is the times someone (even strangers) ask if we (my husband and I) are going to be ‘just like the Duggars’ – who I happen to love! – because somehow 19 must come right after 5….. :) I say we need to be busy trying to raise up more children for the Lord, because there are plenty of people have big families that AREN’T and we need to keep the afore-mentioned ‘long game’ in mind!

    • Cindy August 13, 2013, 8:46 am

      I’d like to be more like Michelle, but I’m afraid I’m just not that sweet. :-D

  • Marty August 13, 2013, 2:16 am

    My parents came to this ‘free’ country on their honeymoon, and never left. They produced 11 children of which 10 made it to marriage to have offspring of their own. At dad’s 90th birthday party a couple weeks ago, he said the most important thing in their lives was to see their children, grand-children and great-grand-children walking in the ways of the Lord. And they have been so blessed to see that most of them do so. And how many are there? you ask. Well, after 62 years of marriage, with pa and ma still both doing pretty well, they have 77 grand-kids, and last week were blessed with their 89th great-grand-kid! And there’s 7 or 8 (or more ;-)) on the way! And one of my dad’s hobbies? Visiting the ‘old’ people in the hospitals who don’t get too many visitors, cuz “they don’t have enough kids”.

    • The Husband August 13, 2013, 8:03 am

      Wow. I’m just blown away; I can’t imagine a better place to be at 90.

    • Brandy August 13, 2013, 11:42 pm

      Thank you for sharing this, Marty! :)

  • Mary Emily August 13, 2013, 9:48 am

    Sorry to shout, but I LOOOOOOOVE THIS!!!!!! Thank you for getting it exactly right!

  • Guy Manning August 13, 2013, 1:06 pm

    Enjoyed the article. But do you think it wise to advertise a R rated movie?

    • The Husband August 13, 2013, 4:01 pm

      You know, it isn’t. I can address that…

      • The Husband August 13, 2013, 4:20 pm

        .. aaaand done. Thank you, sir, for pointing that out. I was raised watching things like this, and sometimes the filters don’t quite kick in as they should…

        • Guy Manning August 14, 2013, 9:02 am

          Hey great! Was trying to come across as wanting to guard you guys and not in a blasting manner. Thanks for the change!
          We have number 4 on the way now. Funny how peoples reactions change from number 3 to number 4. LOL

          • Cindy August 14, 2013, 10:44 am

            You were very kind about it. Thanks for that. :-) Congrats on #4!

            • Guy Manning August 15, 2013, 12:47 am

              Thank you, I was concerned how I would come across and am thankful for the humility that your husband graciously showed. (Especially seeing thst you two could rip me apart verbally if pushed). In looking back on my own movie viewing, I’m reminded of things that caused a “oh this movie was great” moment, only to stop the thing wondering why I was allowed to watch it.

              I’ve been reading some of your older posts and wanted to tell you I thought your defense of homeschooling was excellent! You articulated and supported it extremely well. Even in the comments section I noticed good support adding to the article. I’ve heard the salt/light argument many times in which I respond that the child is likely not a born again believer. And if he/she actually is, scripture tells us to “lay hands on no man suddenly” meaning don’t use a novice. A child is definitely a novice in spiritual warfare. Public school is definitely spiritual and physical warfare.

              The gist of your whole point would be to keep them from the evil that is in your power to do, and to “bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” Which is charged to the father here and mother in other places of scripture.
              I thank you for your efforts and know that you are exhorting us and I hope you are encouraged.

              • Cindy August 15, 2013, 9:30 am

                I try not to verbally rip people apart when they’re right. ;-)

  • April August 13, 2013, 11:18 pm

    I love this post. I am a mother of 7 children. everywhere I go I get stares, comments of negativity and some very rare comments of how blessed I am. when they were smaller and I was pregnant with a baby in tow, and toddlers under foot I was amazed at how I’d get looks of complete and utter disgust. I was shocked at how complete strangers would have no problem asking me if “I know what causes these”. yes I do, and I will go right on bringing children into this world, whether they agree or not, if we (me, my husband and God) feel it is time. I constantly get people asking me if I plan on having any more or if I am done. (not that it is anyone elses business but hey!) My constant answer only time will tell. we leave that up to God. the rest of the world doesn’t need to agree.

  • Rourke August 21, 2013, 6:20 pm

    As one of the folks you’re trying to outbreed, I thought I would offer a response. It is more than a little disheartening that you’ve completely given up on engaging people with whom you disagree politically. Instead you’ve simply chosen a strategy of overwhelming them with sheer numbers. This doesn’t sound like healthy civic engagement.

    Secondly, your plan simply will not work. Even at best, folks like you are destined to lose ground, according to any demographer. White fundamentalist evangelical christians will be a minority of the population as the latino populations grows significantly, not to mention the burgeoning atheist and agnostic numbers. Sitting back with your arms folded waiting for the world to change in your favor is undoubtedly a losing proposition. May I suggest entering the arena of ideas, choosing engagement over isolation, is the most logical choice to change the world. Have as many kids as you like by all means, as long as you don’t take public money to do so. But that is not “playing the long game” as you put it. Cheers

    • Cindy August 21, 2013, 6:29 pm

      Now, who said anything about giving up? Evangelizing and breeding aren’t an either/or proposition. The Lord requires us to do both. I think what Jesse meant wasn’t so much that he’s giving up as that he’s stacking the deck somewhat for future generations. ;-) And as far as losing propositions, I’ve read the Book. We win. You’re looking at American demographic trends. That’s hardly the long game.

    • The Husband August 21, 2013, 8:12 pm

      First off, hey, thanks for coming by! Second, if you truly disagree with me, and if you also think that I’m making the wrong choice in the breeding versus discourse argument, wouldn’t it be in your best interest to applaud what I’m doing? Just whose side are you on, anyway? ;)

      That said, you’ve created something of a false dichotomy; if I were truly interested in avoiding discourse, I’d have failed in that simply by making these statements publicly. I never said I didn’t want to talk about things. I do stand by the statement that I did make, though; I probably cannot convince you. And I am not interested in convincing you; you see, once upon a time, I was (possibly) a lot like you.

      I was raised an athiest, and I hated everything to do with Christianity. I lived in an area with a fair share of Christians, and they talked to me about it, and while I prided myself on rational argument, I never really researched any of what I was talking about; I just assumed the people I trusted had done my homework for me. I researched talking points, not the facts and motivations behind them.

      I won’t go into detail on what changed my mind; a lot of it is deeply personal (and therefore meaningless to you); sufficed to say, however, that when I truly started examining both sides with actual fairness (as opposed to artificial fairness, where you read a counterargument and mentaly dismiss it immediately, rather than first attempting to truly understand the point), I was forced to admit that the solid ground I thought I’d been standing on had turned out to be sand.

      I’ve heard self help folk state that there is no help for the unmotivated, and it’s absolutely true. Until one has a reason to question their beliefs, no matter what those beliefs are, they will never change them. So no, I don’t care to try to convince you.

      I do care very much, however, about leaving people behind to talk to you, if the day comes that I’m not around and you start questioning. I do care, very much, about talking to you, if you’re truly more interested in understanding what I believe than in argument about it.

      So in that sense, Rourke, I’ll concede that some of what you read was meant as a bit of humor aimed towards people out there who are as frustrated as I am about being asked to cut up our juevos. And as long as you call first, and stay civil, you’re welcome to come talk to me about it whenever you like!

  • Rourke August 23, 2013, 3:07 pm

    Thanks for the nice reply. To your first point, and to kind of address what Cindy wrote, I really reject the us vs them mentality that seems to dominate political/religious discussions. As I’ve said in previous posts here, I married in to a family of fundamentalist Christians not unlike yourselves from what I have read here. You are a little more articulate about your beliefs, but they are nearly identical to my in-laws. They have a siege mentality, feeling they are constantly under attack, and the fear this generates manifests itself in an us vs them outlook (liberals and “worldly” folks fall prey to this). I come here to help understand the rationale for their viewpoints better, and avoid uncomfortable family squabbles as they are uninterested in my point of view.

    More background on me. I am a graduate student in political psychology. I became interested in this subject because I used to be very conservative and moderately religious. My wife was a “fundie” the first 5 years we were together. In those days I would have been the mirror opposite of your former atheist self: I loved to memorize conservative arguments and spew them back at opponents. I had an answer for everything. Then came the Goerge W Bush administration, and I found it very difficult to justify what went on during those years with my value system. So I began questioning all my old assumptions. I came out a moderate liberal on the other side (my wife is now a commie pinko liberal atheist lol). And that’s when I became fascinated with propaganda, morality, belief systems, particularly one’s ability to ignore and disregard facts in order to perpetuate a belief. My research focuses on the nexus between American fundamentalist Christianity and right wing politics. So I know first hand the near impossibility of changing one’s belief system unless that person’s mind is receptive to change.

    The most important thing I think there is to do is avoid the trap most people fall in to. And that is believing that somehow you have somehow uncovered “the truth” about some issue, political, religious or otherwise, and that that truth can never be changed by additional information or experience. Because, as a wise man once said, it ain’t what we don’t know that gets us in to trouble, but what we know for sure that just ain’t so.

    And that’s a big reason I pop in here occasionally. To hear unfiltered perpectives from people I disagree with. And challenge my own assumptions and biases.

    • Cindy August 23, 2013, 3:25 pm

      If that’s what you think we think (the siege mentality, I mean), then I don’t think you know what we think very well. I will say that if you don’t think there’s an actual battle of ideas going on, and that there aren’t real enemies of Christ and Christianity, then you’re not paying attention. Trying to tar people with being unnecessarily “fearful” or combative is just silly, given the fact that, as Jesus said himself, friendship with the world is enmity with God. There really is an us, and there really is a them. Don’t worry though. The “them” isn’t who you think it is: “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”

      • Rourke August 30, 2013, 1:13 pm

        This battle of ideas is indeed being waged, but its a battle being fought by only one side. The world you have enmity for is more concerned with the pragmatic solving of endemic problems, such as poverty, income inequality, lack of health care, environmental degradation, political corruption, etc., than quibbling with you over your strict literal interpretation of the Bible. These problems are solve able only through a commitment to the world, not a separation from it, as well as embracing rationality, and the scientific method.

        • Cindy August 30, 2013, 2:03 pm

          That’s cute, how you declare that the battle of ideas is imaginary while continuing the discussion of ideas. Why are you still here, if you have no need to defend or advance your side?

    • Cindy August 23, 2013, 3:58 pm

      BTW, Rourke, if you wondered why your comments keep going to moderation, it’s not because I’ve banned you or anything. It’s because I have the word “fundamentalist” in my block list. I’ve found that an awful lot of the spewing, filthy, unhelpful, and threatening comments that I have to delete contain that word. Yours aren’t like that. I appreciate your kindness and complete lack of anger.

    • The Husband August 23, 2013, 7:48 pm

      I think all of us have been forced to re-examine our political ideas over the past twenty years; I know I’ve certainly changed a great deal in that respect. I wonder if you and I are as far apart as you seem to think, in that respect. I will say that if you think things were peachy until George Bush came along, you might be suffering from selection bias; the system has been rotting from within for a lot longer than that.

      One further; if one attempts to break things down by conservative versus liberal, or christian versus athiest, then I’d suggest that one is being distracted by sideshows. The majority of issues that divide the two parties could be easily solved, or at least comprimised upon. They aren’t, because the folks running this circus need the distraction from larger issues. As in, do pay a lot of attention to gay marriage, while ignoring the erosion of your rights to private property, privacy, and freedom.

      People claiming to be Conservatives failed you; I understand that. They’ve failed me, too. While that can and should force you to question your principles, it doesn’t invalidate them. More likely, it means that, as has always been the case, there are plenty of people who claim to believe something, then act counter towards that professed belief. It happens; it doesn’t invalidate the idea.

      I’m forcing myself, painfully and deliberately, to step down from that soap box, though, to address the aspect of your response that really caught my attention; siege mentality.

      I do not assume an antagonistic relationship between myself and the people I meet who aren’t Christians. I can live and let live if they can. I do, however, feel rather antagonistic when people who do not know me well ask me to have my testicles sliced open and mutilated, and I don’t think that this is an overreaction.

      That said, I know my history, and its penchant for repitition. When the people around you begin to speak negatively about your faith, when they start to legislate counter to freedom, and people in power begin to use fear and or nationalism to advance their agenda, it is at least prudent, as a member of the faith being ridiculed, to start practicing caution. I have only to look at popular culture to see the tide of ill will towards Christians, and I get a healthy sense of foreboding. If I were still an athiest, and if the majority of entertainment air time were to start mocking athiesm, I’d practice the same caution.

      I don’t know your in-laws, but for me, this isn’t paranoia; I’m not stocking a bunker and ammo. It’s watchful concern.

      If that was all tl;dr, then say that I think your area of study is fascinating. I don’t know that I necessarily fall into it, though.

  • Rourke August 30, 2013, 2:19 pm

    Well I didn’t think things were peachy until Bush, but it opened up a portal in my mind that new information was able to get in, and that allowed me to question old assumptions. I think everyone has these dormant portals that can be opened, often in unexpected ways and when they least expect it. What permanently changed for me was a shedding of a belief system heavily reliant on superstition and the embrace of reason as a way of understanding the world. This worldview does not preclude a belief in God, but that belief must not in any way proclaim “truths” that are disproved by science and evidence. This involves a more nuanced reading of the Bible that is not as black and white, and embraces a certain level of ambiguity.

    I think you misunderstand my meaning. I did not mean to imply that you would have an antagonistic attitude towards non Christians. I feel it’s an inevitable sense of suspicion more than any hostility. The fear that this person doesn’t share my beliefs and is an “other”, and needs to be kept at arms length to guard myself against possible influence.

    I think the comments you are getting regarding your testicles reflects a general societal attitude towards people making personal decisions at public expense. You appear to be self sufficient, but there are so many large families who receive food stamps, health care, welfare, etc., as something like 1 in 4 American kids live in poverty. Technically speaking, all children ARE being subsidized by the public. That is unless you are not claiming the tax deductions on your federal income taxes. Add up the deductions for 5 children and that can be significant.

    I don’t think there’s a lot of ill will towards Christians. In a country with over 90 percent of citizens self reporting as Christian, this doesn’t hold up to scrutiny. Now what DOES generate ill will are Christians who try to impose their beliefs on others, or Christians who believe things contrary to science, and who’s children end up paying the price. There is some mocking of the anti science stuff, such as the Creation Museum for example, which I can relate to because I think the place is a cathedral to rampant ignorance. However knowing what I do now about belief systems and their intractability I think mockery is inappropriate.

    Glad to see you are one of the people who doesn’t see compromise as a dirty word. It’s the only way forward in a democratic society.