Equity. Diversity. Inclusiveness. – The three words that this University prides itself on. Believe it or not, UWEC has actually committed publically to enhancing such things in many different forms. But do we really practice what we preach? As a matter of fact our new mission statement uses the word “empathy,” meaning not only that we care for others, but that we care for things, objects; objects this University values and prides itself on I would hope - objects such as the Council Oak Tree.
For the past few weeks I have spent time researching the issue surrounding the Council Oak Tree and the new Davies Student Center building. I have spoken with faculty, administration, and various students. I’ve done my fair share of research on the issue as well as the tree itself, to truly be able to understand all aspects of the situation. Although, many students will claim certain things to be “true or false,” much of what they think they “know,” is skewed stories, hearsay, and slander. I refuse to be one of “those students,” so I will present you with the facts starting from where it all began; our Council Oak tree.
For those of you that don’t know, when it comes to the Council Oak Tree, we are dealing with a major part of cultural history. Although many students might be unaware of the historic oak tree that sits on our south lawn, back behind Davies near our nursing building; this simple tree is the background of all of our University propaganda, it is part of our crest and our logo, and it appears on all of our University materials – this simple tree is much more than just a tree; a great deal more.
To get you to truly understand what the tree means to this University, I will present you with information directly from UWEC Department of History, Dr. Jim Oberly’s “The Council Oak Tree – A Chronology,” and the University Senate’s “Background for the Council Oak Tree Resolution” document.
The History of the Council Oak
The story begins in 1680, where it was recorded that “a seedling took root and held, 100 yards or so down from the Chippewa River.” By 1800, “the seedling had grown to significant height, visible and well-known from travelers of the Chippewa.” According to legend, in the 18 century, the Native American tribes Ojibwe and Dakota described an oak tree “visible downstream from where the Eau Claire flows into the Chippewa.” In the text of the treaty the United States presented at Prairie du Chien in the summer of 1825, the place of the Council Oak was referred to as “one-half day’s march below the falls of the Chippewa.”
In these passages Native Americans clearly refer to parts of our campus as the place of their original Oak tree and “center of peace.” Throughout history, the tree continued to be honored – when Eau Claire became a county it remained, it was preserved in Eau Claire Driving Park [now known as Putnam Park], and most importantly it still stood tall when this University was founded in 1916. Later in the 1960’s when the Davies Center was expanded, the grand meeting room was named “Council Fire” to honor the Council Oak. Today it is a part of our school logo, and included in many, if not all, Eau Claire emblems and materials.
Although the original tree was damaged in 1966 and eventually destroyed by a windstorm in 1987, this University worked hard to keep these historical and cultural ties a part of this University. Chancellor Larry Schnack vowed to plant a new oak tree on the grounds of the old Council Oak. The seedlings didn’t take root at first, but years later in 1990 at a sunrise ceremony, the tree that we now know today as our Council Oak was planted. The Native American tribes gathered with honor songs for the new Oak, and a ceremony was held to dedicate the tree. A gathering of Native Americans, faculty and administration from this University, and people from the Chippewa Valley then pledged to honor and protect the tree for the next seven generations, or 300 more years.
The Council Oak is not just a tree, but a piece of history and an important part of this University and also, the county and city of Eau Claire.
The New Davies Project
When the new Davies center was first being designed and the location between the nursing building and Phillips Hall had been officially chosen, the tree being “near” the site was not seen as an issue. Some members of the faculty expressed concerns that it would be an issue, but they were assured that it would not and the diagrams proved that. In fact, the first diagrams released in March depicted the building much farther to the East than where the current diagrams do and not impinging on the tree. The location of the building in the original diagrams put the tree 10-15 feet away from the building, clearly not a concern. The only possible problem presented could have been the root system underground leaving us with less basement-like space in the structure. However, over the summer, a change in building plans occurred. The new Davies building needed to be moved farther to the West, approximately 10 feet, because of a possible Phillips Hall expansion in the future and implications concerning runoff from Little Niagara. This change put the tree directly in the middle of the loading dock area of the new Davies and clearly presented a major problem.
The full campus faculty learned of this decision at the 2009-2010 opening breakfast and many members were very upset. The reason these objections came so long after the site was originally chosen, was because the tree was only a possible underground implication as I previously mentioned, and not a direct threat like the new building plan posed it to be. When the students arrived this fall, many learned of the change in building plans and were concerned about the Council Oak as well, immediately taking a stance on the issue. On Tuesday, September 22, 2009 after consulting with faculty, students, and the building committee for the new Davies, our chancellor announced at a University Senate meeting that the Davies building plans would be revised to protect and preserve the historic Council Oak Tree. The University Senate was exceptionally pleased with this decision and erupted in cheers.
In the days following the chancellor’s decision, many mistruths have been spoken regarding the building and what implications keeping this tree will have. People who claim to be our “student leaders” are making assumptions and misinforming students that building plans will be delayed for a year and they will have to pay up to $2.5 million to keep this tree. Please know, these are not FACTS, these are ASSUMPTIONS. These actions are an attempt to get the student body riled up about something that could turn out to not even be an issue at all; years from now we could have our tree and our new Davies and everything could be just fine. At this point, the TRUTH is that we don’t know what the implications are; we only know what they could be. Building redesigns could take anywhere from a few months to a year, however most likely the former, and private donations are being sought to cover the cost, whatever it ends up being, so the students will not have to pay a penny. In the grand scheme of things, the time and money invested to correct this “mistake” are going to be worthwhile.
The Other Side
Some students feel the need to essentially rebel against the administration because they have a natural feeling of distrust for the administration, however for no clear reason on this particular matter. I am not saying by any means that I have agreed with EVERY decision the administration has made, for I have not, but every decision is something new and different and I simply don’t believe in “rebelling for the sake of being rebellious.” I believe the administration knows the mistake they made and will do what it takes to correct it, not at the cost of the students.
Some students feel that we shouldn’t be “speaking for other cultures” or “claiming to KNOW what they do or do not believe.” However, after doing my fair share of research on this topic, I can conclude that the AIS faculty of this University knows about the cultural significance of this tree and what the Native Americans do or do not believe regarding it. In fact, some have even spoken with tribal leaders themselves. These faculty members may not be directly a part of the native culture, but they went to school for many years to learn about it so they were qualified to be able to teach it to students. I think that, coupled with the many historical documents that prove the tree’s cultural significance and beliefs surrounding it, are quite a fair assessment of the “culture” involved.
Some students also believe that the faculty is lying, which is outright ridiculous. Personally knowing how much this tree means to certain members of the faculty of this University, I HIGHLY, HIGHLY DOUBT that had they KNOWN that the tree would need to be removed for the new Davies building plans to proceed, that they would have remained silent until now. That is simply illogical. Why would they lie? What benefit would they even have to lying if they wanted to? What motive would they have for wanting to delay the building plans other than that of saving this tree? Also, knowing how upset the faculty and some students have been about the possible removal of this tree, it is purely ludicrous to suggest that they knew all along that the tree would be removed and didn’t say anything until now. As I have previously stated, concerns were expressed with the tree by both faculty and students in the beginning planning stages of the new Davies and the tree was not depicted as being in danger by the current building plans, so the case was dismissed. It wasn’t until this summer, after the building was moved West for regulation purposes, in which the tree became an immediate concern, as it was directly in the area of the loading dock. And it wasn’t until the 2009-2010 faculty opening breakfast that the full faculty were informed of this and soon became outraged.
The bottom line is that this issue isn’t about time or money; it isn’t even about the new Davies because that building will get built regardless of whether or not the plans have to be altered. This is about keeping our promise to another culture. This University claims to have “diversity.” Funny, it’s so easy to agree with diversity when they want to add a “Diversity Resource Center” across from the bookstore, or when they want to have a Pow Wow in Zorn Arena, but when we actually get the chance to truly embrace diversity and really value different cultures and our connection with them, that we somehow become so incredibly selfish and disrespectful. I’m sorry, but just don’t understand that.
On October 5, 2009 Student Senate will meet in the Tamarack Room at 6 p.m. as we always do, and vote on a resolution in favor or not in favor of altering the Davies building plans to save the Council Oak tree. This resolution will be based entirely upon ASSUMPTIONS of what MIGHT happen or what the implications MIGHT be of altering the building plans for our Council Oak tree. Although, the decision has already been made by the chancellor to protect and preserve the tree, many “student leaders” are attempting to cause uproar over things that no one is even sure of yet and facts that we don’t even have. So this article is directed at those students, and mainly at the group of students – whoever you may be, who feel that money is more important than keeping promises, who claim they agree with “cultural diversity” but apparently have no idea what that even means, and who want to knock a tree down simply because we need to build the new Davies there and “they don’t care” about anything that stands in the way of that.
Cutting down the Council Oak tree is breaking a promise the people of our University and community made to the Native Americans many years ago. The Council Oak tree is historically and culturally significant to this University and to the Native people, and to cut it down would be defying what this University stands for. It would be disrespectful to people of another culture and it is going against the mission statement and strategic plan of our University. The Council Oak tree is considered the living symbol of this University; it always has been and I daresay, always will be.
If you are reading this article and know of this tree - the living symbol I speak of, but have never actually seen it in person or know where it is, not to worry. Seeing as our chancellor made the right decision in protecting and preserving our Council Oak Tree, you can plan on seeing much more of our living symbol, as it will continue to be located EXACTLY where it is now – right outside our NEW Davies Student Center building.
It began as a nuisance.
The beehive outside my window.
The rise of temperature.
Lack of clean laundry,
Broken fan which creaks,
Dirty cups that reek of…. honey,
It is much too dusty and dry and small in here!
Once we were just two Jewish kids,
Playing alongside busy Brooklyn streets,
As we got older, a war grew longer,
In a distant land, an ancient land,
The war raged on in our homeland.
In Jerusalem a bomb blew up,
A bus exploded.
Children, as we used to be, burned up.
Lives destroyed, mothers lost,
As blood flowed down the streets.
“I must go, I must help,” my brother declared.
Ari packed his bags, kissed me goodbye,
He climbed upon the blue and white plane,
That carried him to that distant homeland,
To Israel, to Jerusalem.
The news broadcasted images of the war,
I could see the dead adorning the ground,
Hear the echo of rockets and mortar rounds.
It was like a grotesque painting,
With an obscene soundtrack.
Somewhere in that destruction,
Lay a young Brooklyn boy,
Broken and bleeding,
Ari was dying.
Now it was my turn on the blue and white plane.
Ari did not die that day.
“Meet me for pizza,” he said.
“I’m much better,” he assured me.
“I’ll see you there,” I cried.
My big brother was alive.
On my way down Jerusalem’s busy streets
The sound of an explosion caused me to stop,
A whirl of sirens and soldiers in green rushed by,
An old mad whispered, “Will there ever be peace?”
“They blew up the pizza shop,” a young girl wailed.
I lost my brother that hot August day,
As once again, blood
Flowed down the streets,
This time there would be no phone call,
Telling me, he was okay.
As I sat there and wept,
A tall man in black leaned over to me,
He spoke ancient words from the Talmud,
Words I’ve often heard,
“All who mourn for Jerusalem shall merit to see its rejoicing.”
The following report is a parody. You can pick on me for a lot of things: poor diction choices, terrible grammar, lack of an interesting plot. But one thing I'm doing right is making this parody outlandish. Let me have this one, Eau Claire
If you've ever floated, canoed, submarined, or rafted down Eau Claire’s Chippewa River, you've noticed it- -scum that hits you and fills your makeshift floatie device. You can't go around it, you can't go over it, you just have to go through it. Well, last week, a group of angry Wisconsinites had enough of it-- so they started a protest.
About 200 local mothers formed a protest group called WANG, or Women Against Nasty [River] Gunk. The members of WANG painted angry messages on signs, fences, buildings, and their babies foreheads---messages like "Winner winner chicken dinner, you better quickly clean our river,” and other extremely controversial half-rhymes.
After a few days of protests, an Eau Claire official finally came up with the perfect solution to get rid of the nuisances: make the people believe the river is too dangerous to swim in. "That way, everyone wins!" says the official. "No one has to wade the river gunk, and officials don't have to hire a cleanup crew!"
The same Eau Claire official addressed the issue on August 9 on Channel 10-- the UW-Eau Claire Channel. For those of you who missed it, here's a recap.
"Please. Members of WANG, stop the protest. It's useless anyway. The Chippewa River is much too dangerous for Eau Clarians to be around anymore. Piranhas have infested the river, along with er. . . electric eels! The paths around the river have turned into quicksand. Old, Holden Caulfieldesque men are walking around the area, telling anyone who will listen how meaningless life is. The trees around the area have taken on qualities not unlike the trees from the Wizard of Oz. The trees are, in fact, throwing apples at pedestrians. These are dangerous times, my fellow citizens. This is why we must ban together now, stop complaining about the river gunk, and just um. . .avoid the Chippewa River. Thank you."
The next day, I swung by the Chippewa River to ask Wisconsinites if they took the official’s advice to heart. I ran into a caring father of five who told me "I won't let my kids within 200 feet of that heckhole." A former member of WANG said their group has been dismembered. After sneaking in a laugh over the irony that the WANG had been dismembered, I asked what's next for her, to which she replied, "Well there's still the whole ‘trying to legalize marijuana.’ Or maybe I'll just. . .yeah I'm just going to get a massage."
I think we all learned a lesson from this one. When government officials warn you against something, pay no attention. Ever see a “beware of bears” sign when hiking? The government really just wants you to turn around so you won’t see the secret government run puppy punching facilities. And when they tell you to never leave your baggage alone in the airport? That’s bullshit. I left my luggage alone for three hours in search of a Cinnabon’s, and when I came back, I found out someone put in a cheetah-print (limited edition) Snuggie, Season 2 of Xena: Warrior Princess, and two packs of Big Red. If you don’t believe me, try it sometime. I don’t know who did it, but I do know that the government must have found out about this luggage fairy, and wants to keep all the Snuggies to themselves.
Side note: If you see any babies with angry, half-rhyme messages scrawled across their foreheads in permanent marker, please return them to the former members of WANG. They seem to have misplaced their kin.
Starting the Debate
By Matt Ledger
I love intelligent debate. I don’t want to marry it or anything, that would be moving way too fast. I’m not on a team or in a club, but intelligent debate and I have had an unofficial tryst going on for quite some time now.
For example, recently one of my best friends invited me to New Orleans to attend the Lutheran Church of America Youth Gathering, where 37,000 (roughly) Lutherans headed to New Orleans and pitched in and helped out, because the people there do very much still need a hand. This is all well and good, quite commendable even, but my group of Lutherans accidently brought with them a person who considers himself about 90 percent atheist (that would be me). So my friend and I spent a good third of the bus ride down to the Big Easy debating the existence of God and the moral fiber and worth of that thing we call humanity. Neither of us really changed our minds, but it was good to have the conversation.
It was good to hear the other side.
Increasingly now, people are unwilling or unmotivated to seek out the other side of a conversation. Major example and inciting incident for this rant: the healthcare debate, if you can even call it a debate anymore. There’s a video on YouTube that I would recommend, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ljFKK7XvsCs, if you want to be scared out of your mind. My first thought turning away from this video was, “My God, these people are idiots.” But they aren’t; they really are not. They’re simply far too trusting, and as a result of that trust they are lazy and misinformed. Too trusting because those the people have chosen to put in power have lost a sense of the responsibility that power brings with it, and the people haven’t quite figured that out yet, not all of them. That lack of responsibility leads to the spread of misinformation, fear mongering and agendas are represented as facts because it’s easier to provoke an emotional outcry than a rational one. And when a U.S. representative shouts “You lie!!” it still carries force because that office is supposed to mean something, the title carries a honor and weight that lets a man who is showing less decorum than a drunk high-schooler at a pep rally still represent some kind of truth to people.
But it’s not just these people; it’s happening here on campus too, where we should know better. More and more I hear people gripe about how tuition is going up, that UWEC is putting a squeeze play on their wallet for no reason. You can gripe about tuition going up, that’s fine, I’ll do it too. But it definitely is for a reason.
From what I understand, and in basic terms because that is how I understand it, the tuition hike is part of the Blugold Commitment, the part that will hire more professors. These professors will be placed in mostly gen classes, classes that fill up far too quickly and thus stifle many a student’s chances of graduating on time. This could save a student a semester or year, thousands of dollars worth of time, and help kick up the university’s grad rate. For those of us who planned well enough to get out in four years this gradual, and I stress the word gradual, hike in tuition does kinda suck, but you’re still paying less than Stout.
If I’m incorrect or I missed something let me know, send me a letter, because I want to know the facts. I am actively seeking them out, something everyone here is paying thousands of dollars and now more (see, I griped!!) to learn how to do. Hopefully it sticks.
Is making videos about dog fighting a crime? And if so one that justifies more than three years of jail time?
A Virginia man is sentenced to 37 months in prison for making documentary-style videos about the history of pit bulls, which includes engaging in dog fights and hunting wild boars. Prosecutors say the videos violate a 1999 law against trafficking in depictions of animal cruelty. While the videos contained old footage of dog fights, the accused, Robert J. Stevens, did not actually set up any new dog fights. The Supreme Court will hear his appeal on October 6.
While the John Roberts Court is said to be taking the court in a conservative direction, it’s likely the court will take this opportunity to establish clear legal precedent in support of the First Amendment. None of the narrow free speech exceptions can reasonably be applied to this case. The videos don’t pose a clear and present danger, and aren’t the equivalent of crying fire in a crowded theatre. And as for that hard to pin down obscenity exception, the videos are no worse than a lot of what can be found on YouTube, or in gory movies.
Nevertheless, animal rights advocates are arguing that the depictions of dog fighting in the video are so appalling that they’re simply not protected under the First Amendment. The idea that a depiction of an atrocity is deserving of punishment under the law is one that is becoming more common in recent years, especially in so called progressive academia. Animal rights activists are now joining feminists who would like to punish sexist and racist speech to the same degree that we punish racist and sexist acts
However, this trend is an insult to those who are actually victims. We can all agree that animal abuse is awful. The best way to end it is to prosecute the perpetrators, rather than legal battles with people who aren’t engaging in animal cruelty.
The most disconcerting thing about this case is that as reprehensible as censorship is, jail time for speech is something else altogether. I‘ve met a lot of people who would rather not see the views they most disagree with in the media, and would even be fine with seeing those views forcibly silenced. So while I don’t agree with that at all, I’d say the censorship urge is common. But to go beyond censoring the material we find objectionable, and actually put people behind bars, that’s extremism. Stevens’s house was actually raided by federal agents. What a way to spend federal money.
In the trials leading up the Supreme Court hearing, a vet was actually brought in to testify as to the condition of the animals in the film. Some of the dog fighting footage originated in Japan, where dog fighting is legal. This attempts to paint Stevens as somehow responsible—for dog fights that took place in Japan! If the court were to rule against him ,we could conceivably regulate all depictions of suffering. Literature about war could be censored on the grounds that it somehow exacerbates it.
There’s also a very reasonable case to be made that these videos had a positive educational value that would make more people aware of and opposed to dog fighting. Ending depictions of what we object to does not make it go away, rather, it turns into something we cannot address or engage. When the world’s current events are muffled we are powerless to do anything about them.
Further, laws like these are always made by only a few lawmakers, in effect making them gatekeepers of what information can be disclosed. Lawmakers cannot be trusted to determine what video footage of upsetting events contributes to the public good and what is detrimental. After all, live coverage of the Vietnam War turned the pubic against it, and surely these images were far worse then what can be seen in Stevens’s dog fighting videos.
The law was initially partially meant to address a real problem: there are videotapes that are made and sold to sick people who enjoy watching animals be crushed; the law was meant to deter people from harming animals and videotaping it. However, these crimes can best be addressed by prosecuting these people for harming the animals while making the videos, because there are laws against animal cruelty in all states. The videos can be used as evidence. Prosecuting the act rather than the depiction prevents an overbroad application that punishes people like Stevens, who is actually said to be a pit-bull owner who treats his dogs incredibly well.
This is an excellent opportunity for the Supreme Court to reiterate that First Amendment free speech protection isn’t conditional on a feel good message.
Divinely inspired by His word, and transcribed in His name by:
“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.” (Proverbs 3: 5, the holy Babble).
Don't listen to your common sense. Don't think. Don't use reason and logic. In fact, don't even ask questions. Just trust me, for I am the LORD, and what I say...well, it goes! Look, I know a lot of the things I tell you make absolutely no sense to your understanding whatsoever, but that's because My ways are so much higher than yours. You see, the human brain, and all you've accomplished, well that is pretty much nothing when compared to Me because I made everything, including you, you ungrateful heathen. How dare you question Me, you filthy sinner. You deserve to be boiled alive for eternity, but because I'm so loving and merciful I've decided out of my infinite love to write down and answer a list of frequently asked questions and their answers; which probably won't be comprehended by a worthless piece of shit like you. You can praise Me later.
Question 1. Why do I choose to have My holy texts ghost-written for Me, rather than write them Myself? Well, I am an infinite being, and carpal tunnel on an infinite scale would be quite a bitch. Plus, I think its hilarious all of the errors that appear when people have visions of Me. That whole talking donkey thing; oh my Me he was so high! I love chaos too, and to see all of the conflict created by conflicting religions, all in possession of a ghost-written book supposedly inspired by Me, well....I'm really quite tickled that so many people want to fight and die over Me, and in the end, that's what it is all about: flattery. I am, after all a petulant, wrathful God who needs people to ceaselessly praise Me to stroke My infinite ego...or else. Sure, if I had written the book Myself there would have been a lot less confusion, it would have been scientifically accurate, there would have been no bloodshed over it, and everyone would have received a copy at the same time, instead of the “new world” receiving it through the sword in the 16th century after I made Me in human form to sacrifice Myself to Me. Look, I know it makes no sense, and any rational person would be incapable of believing it, but My ways are higher than yours, you shouldn't question it.
Question 2. Do I answer prayers? No, actually I don't, I can't really be bothered to. Being the Most High, I figured that people would be gullible enough to misinterpret probability as divine intervention, and to simply ignore bad occurrences as “shit happens.” You see, when something goes right for someone, they thank me for it, even though I did nothing. It's kind of a good deal; get all of the praise, do none of the work.
Question 3. What is My stance on homosexuality, and women's rights? I made this one VERY clear in the book I ghost-wrote, homosexuals are to be killed. Look, I know that homosexuality is a nearly universal trait across the animal kingdom, and that all the data suggests that homosexuality is natural, nothing to fear, and nothing to be prejudiced against, but again, your data means nothing. Who are you to question what I had an unsophisticated, uneducated man write in My stead? And women, well, why do you think all my prophets were men, and that when I came to earth in human form, I was a man and not a woman? Women are inferior, I made them that way, and the sooner they realize it, the better. I'm appalled at the sexual liberation of women as well; I miss the good old days of marriage as I traditionally defined it: one man, many wives, and some concubines for good measure. Again, don't rely on your own understanding, just trust in Me---Sincerely, your loving God.
I once heard a pastor say that one of Satan's ways of creating discord in the world was to spread doubt. The pastor, of course, is invested in making you believe that doubting what he says is a bad thing, because he speaks for God.. And so, the Christian belief has successfully created a climate of anti-intellectualism that continues to this day. When Galileo had the audacity to suggest that perhaps the Earth went around the sun, and not the other way around, he was persecuted by the Church. The Church had already decided that the sun went around the Earth; their geocentric view having its basis in the unquestionable word of “God.” This same book has been used to justify slavery, genocide, witch-burning, misogyny, and to this very day, the persecution of homosexuals. This book has been used to prevent the instruction of safe-sex practices, thereby creating an enormous AIDS problem in Africa. This same book was used by Mother Teresa when she left her work with the poor to travel to Ireland and protest a law that would have enabled women in abusive relationships to divorce their abusive husbands; apparently not divorcing is more important than not being brutally beaten for the course of one's life. The use of the holy Babble to squash doubt, and impose—without any actual evidence—its concepts of morality and life upon everyone else is one of the greatest obstacles to human progress and peace on Earth. Doubt is considered bad, and faith a virtue, because the consequence of not believing everything you are told could be eternal punishment. Fear-mongering in the name of Jesus keeps doubt from being perceived as the virtue it really is.
Before we go burning witches because some man in a dress and a funny hat told us it was a good idea, perhaps we should allow a moment of doubt and ask ourselves “why.” Before we call all homosexuals “sinners” and seek to take away their rights, perhaps we should ask ourselves “why.” If the answer is, “because God said so in the Babble,” perhaps we should ask ourselves “why.” Doubt is humble, doubt is wise, and doubt is the only thing that will keep you from being deceived. Asking questions is always a good thing, and someone who seeks to suppress questions probably has something to hide. Question everything, even question why we should question everything. If all you do is believe and do what you are told to by an authority, you are no better than a Nazi. While the “God” that the church purports to represent hates brains, perhaps it really is better for thee to lean unto thine own understanding, and you should ask yourself “why.”
“Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear.”--Thomas Jefferson