Thursday, November 02, 2006

On ethiopian food and abortion and politics

I'm away from home right now attending the biggest conference in my research area, as are most of the people in my research group. It's a fun time, and we are learning a lot and schmoozing with just the right people (or at least we hope so).

One of the coolest parts of this type of trip is that I get to know my co-workers better, because we just can't talk about computer security 24/7 (ok... some of them can, but i can't :-) ). Any way, so onto the point.

Last night, I had some really fantastic Ethiopian food. I really love ethnic food and trying new things and Ethiopian is a great social meal because you are supposed to share. So share we did. We ordered all vegetarian options because one of the people we were eating with was vegetarian. It was fantastic. After dinner I was talking to one of my office mates about it and I remembered this thing I once read about worship. It compares contemporary worship (or how contemporary worship should be) to Ethiopian food and traditional worship to a salmon sandwich (why salmon... I couldn't tell you). So I told him, which opened up the religion can of worms (silly me). He and I are both Christians and very devout but yet complete opposites (sort of like mac vs. pc). We have talked about religion briefly before, but I sort of put a moratorium on the topic because we disagree about everything. So I start trying to remind him of the moratorium, but he presses. He things that maybe we aren't so different after all.

He tries to prove his point by asking me my stance on Abortion (phrased: You're pro-life right?). I responded to him that that wasn't a theological question. He did the confused head tilt and said, of course it is, so I proceed to tell him that I don't believe the government should have the right to mandate faith-type questions. I know the issue often comes down to when life begins, but we have so scientific evidence of exactly the moment life begins partly because it comes down to the question of what qualifies life, which incidentally requires determining what life is. Anyway, I told him that asking me my stance on the political issue of abortion wasn't a valid question because (like a good libertarian/paleo-con) I think it boils less down to faith and more down to what you think the government should be allowed to mandate. I mean, not to say that faith shouldn't play into our political beliefs, but to say that our political beliefs shouldn't play into our faith.

It was a fun conversation and ended before it turned unpleasant.


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