Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Obama, Christianity, and Prayer In Schools

I looked it up.  This is what Obama said:

June 28, 2006 (as delivered): “Whatever we once were, we are no longer a Christian nation – at least, not just. We are also a Jewish nation, a Muslim nation, a Buddhist nation, and a Hindu nation, and a nation of nonbelievers.”

And yes, Obama did cancel the National Day of Prayer service at the White House.

He certainly has set himself up to be hated by a lot of evangelical Christians.  But I want to say, though I am a Christian myself, I shudder to think of what would happen if the U.S. Government endorsed Christianity as the official State or National religion.

Our forefathers came to this country in part to escape religious persecution and to worship as they pleased.  The Founding Fathers strongly believed in the separation of Church and State, since they were familiar with the abuses of the Church of England.

The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States says:

    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

As Christians, we should not force our beliefs on anyone, nor should we demean or belittle anyone who believes differently than we do.  (I speak of the realm of "faith."  But of course people cross the line when they let their "beliefs" motivate them to murder and kill - no religion should have that kind of power or authority).  As I read the Bible, I do not think that Christ tried to force His beliefs on anyone.  "He that hath ears to hear, let him hear," (Matthew 11:15) he said, even though He was the Son of the Almighty God!  Can you imagine the respect Christ has for our individual agency and freedom of belief?

So do I believe in prayer in schools?  Well, that depends.  No public school can constitutionally interfere with my child's right to "peaceably" practice their religion at school, whether this means saying a quiet prayer to himself before a test, or talking with another child at recess about God.  However, no one has the constitutional right to stand up an offer a public prayer at a school-sponsored event.  To do so is to start down the road of State-sponsored religion.  I am a very religious person, but our public schools are not the place for the public practicing of religious rites.  We are to honor the principles on which our Great Nation is founded (though we might call them "Christian" principles), and respect each other's freedoms; and live together in peace and prosperity.  In my private conversations and in my own Church's worship services, I will speak and preach of Christ, and try to persuade others to believe in Him.  But in public, government-related venues, I honor and respect the freedom of everyone to believe (or not to believe) as they see fit.

Joseph Smith said it best:

    “The Saints can testify whether I am willing to lay down my life for my brethren. If it has been demonstrated that I have been willing to die for a ‘Mormon,’ I am bold to declare before Heaven that I am just as ready to die in defending the rights of a Presbyterian, a Baptist, or a good man of any other denomination; for the same principle which would trample upon the rights of the Latter-day Saints would trample upon the rights of the Roman Catholics, or of any other denomination who may be unpopular and too weak to defend themselves.”

Thursday, April 1, 2010

FreeBSD - Mount Windows Share Using mount_smbfs

FreeBSD… I’ve heard so much good about it, but it has its fair share of quirks just like any other OS.

What I like

  1. I like the install process. It is very customizable. I can do a minimal OS install and build on it by installing only those things I want.
  2. The license. FreeBSD’s license is more flexible than the GPL because changes you make do not have to remain open source.
  3. FreeBSD’s reputation.
  4. Its “purist” Unix roots.

What could be improved

  1. Right now I’m using FreeBSD 8.0 RELEASE (released 5 months ago), and I can’t get mpd to run apparently because of proxy arp issues. I expected more from the legendary leader of networking. I suppose I could fix it if I knew enough to apply all the C patches to the source code, and then recompiled my kernel – a very daunting process. My choices are to revert back to 7.2 or wait until 8.1 comes out.
  2. If you post a question to one of the FreeBSD mailing lists or forums, you had better make sure you have read all applicable sections of the online FreeBSD handbook. The problem is, as a newbie I often don’t even know where to begin looking…
  3. In a lot of ways, Linux is more user-friendly. That’s what this post is about.

In recent versions of Linux, I can mount a Windows share just by # mkdir /mnt/win # mount -t cifs -o username= //server/share /mnt/win

or even more simply with ntfs-3g: # ntfs-3g //server/share /mnt/win

I’ve never had problems using my server’s IP address in the previous commands.

However, in FreeBSD, you have to # mount_smbfs //username@servername/share /mnt/win

and you cannot use the server’s IP for <servername>.

Why not?