I got up nice and early Monday morning to watch the Artemis 1 launch, which didn’t happen. There was a problem cooling the #3 engine properly and they couldn’t fix it in the two-hour launch window they had. Bummer.
I’m all for space exploration. I think it’s a great idea. I think the really disappointing thing for me regarding Artemis is the costs associated with the vehicle. SpaceX has shown that reusable spacecraft are a viable option. They’ve successfully landed multiple rocket boosters and equipment, yet NASA is going with a mostly disposable craft. And I’d say that it boggles the mind, but it doesn’t, because NASA is a government agency throwing government money around. Costs tend to get way out of hand when that happens, and the Artemis price tag of $93 billion over 13 years is, I think, a perfect example.
The project is six years behind schedule and way over budget. The main engines are left over from the space shuttle program. The last shuttle flew in 2011, and the engines for Artemis 1 are used engines, stored since the last shuttle flight. The Space Launch System looks to my untrained eye a whole lot like the old Apollo Saturn V vehicle. I have to wonder how much the technology has changed, and how much of a difference there is between SpaceX’s and NASA’s vehicles.
Time will tell, I suppose.
I did learn that one of my high school classmates is a NASA software engineer working on this project, so that was pretty cool. One of the guys who #2 Son served with at Fort Riley is also involved in it.
Sorry to see it get scrubbed again Saturday. On the brighter side, that means I didn’t have to choose between the launch and Michigan football.
On a related note, T-Mobile has offered us a free one-year subscription to Apple+, which is the exclusive source for For All Mankind. I’ll be signing up this week and getting started on that series. I’ve watched a bunch of clips on YouTube and have liked what I’ve seen. Plus one of my boys has been watching it and really enjoys it, so we’ll have something to talk about on our semi-regular calls.
Football Is Back
Michigan handled Colorado State pretty easily. I wish it’d been a shutout, especially since their score was a 34-yard pass. I hate when our defense gets beaten like that. On the other hand, the front line looked awesome. They had seven sacks for a total of 50 yards, and that kind of production always looks good. That’s about a quarter of what they had all last season, just in one game. I don’t think we’ve got anything to worry about in the defense department.
All three quarterbacks looked just okay, though McNamara seemed a little unsure of himself.
I hope there’s no letdown for Hawaii.
A friend had a FB post up where she said something about her Christian faith that really caught my attention.
I can’t water down the most offensive parts of my faith, such as Jesus being the only way to heaven, or that humans are sinners in need of a savior
Those aren’t the most offensive things in the Christian faith to me. Not even close. The offensive parts are where God wiped out almost the whole world even though he knew it was going to be crap because of the way he created it. It’s what he allowed to happen to Job and why. It’s the massacre of thousands of innocent children and animals (What was up with that?) to prove how big and tough he was. It’s killing an innocent child born of rape to punish the father. There’s lots of offensive stuff in the Bible.
Then she goes on to say,
I can acknowledge, without excuse, that many Christians (myself included!) have been hypocritical and outright terrible to those outside our camp.
She’s so close to a great finish here, and then juuust misses it. It’s not just that Christians offend and hurt people. It’s that so few Christians seem to do anything about the bad ones. It’s not enough to acknowledge what damage Christians are doing in the name of their God. You’ve got to do more to fight it. That seeming refusal of “the good Christians” to call out the acts of the bad ones, as well as the way the bad ones treat those who correct their actions was a huge part of my deconversion.
The more I think about it, the more I realize that it was really the stepping-off point for that whole journey. See, I was told early on—a LOT—that becoming a Christian was supposed to change me, to change my heart. There’s even a song by that title, an old worship chorus I used to sing back in Ohio.
But what I noticed even back in the early days of my evangelical days, was the way a whole bunch of the people I was supposed to look up to were acting. I kept thinking, “Man, if this is the way you act now that you’re a Christian, you must have been a real asshole before.” But then they talked about getting saved as a kid, so I started wondering what happened along the way. Because becoming a Christian is supposed to show you the right way to treat people, the right way to behave. The right way to love and serve others.
But I wasn’t seeing that.
I heard church board members talking about how they loved to “Jew people down.” I heard people talking trash about others.
I’ve lost track of how many clergy I know of who’ve been credibly accused or found guilty of sexually assaulting children. And I’m not just talking about Catholic priests, either.
I remember hearing Nazarenes talk about how a woman has no business being a pastor. That completely ignores the number of women pastors at Pilot Point, to say nothing of the women mentioned in the Bible.
If you’re like this now after supposedly “getting saved” and having the love of Jesus in your heart, man, what hope is there for me, you know? Because I thought I was a pretty crappy person back then. (I think part of that was the evangelical indoctrination I went through at the time, but that’s probably another story.)
Seeing all that behavior from those who were supposed to be people I could respect and look to as examples led me to start reading the Bible a lot more carefully. The more I read, the more really cringey stuff I found and the less I wanted to be associated with a God as seemingly capricious and murderous as Yahweh. And I really didn’t want to be associated with the people who called themselves Christians in one breath and called for people to die in the next.
So here I am. Agnostic about the idea of a greater being, and not wanting to worship the Christian god. I’ve used the term agnothiest to describe my beliefs, although I’m finding it easier to just explain what I mean by that. I try not to be militant about my beliefs, because I don’t like it when Christians get that way. But I do my level best to stand up for religious freedom, which absolutely includes the right to not be religious, and some people don’t like it when I do that. That’s life, I guess.
3,011 words on Ghost this week, taking me up to Chapter 11 and 32k words total. I’m muddling through the middle right now, trying to figure out how much seasoning the suffersauce needs.
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