White people are so unappreciative, they don't even acknowledge and understand what it means to be white in Canada, and all the layers of privilege that come with that. So they're shocked when somebody says, 'What just happened is racist,' and they said, 'Oh no, couldn't possibly be. ' They see racism as people with KKK gowns and pointy hoods with eyes cut out. And we had those too.
I wonder what it means when Americans say I'm an American. In Britain the culture is basically the same from one end of the country to the other. And when I came here and I saw Americans who live, I don't know, in you know, Northwestern California as opposed to Americans who live in Louisiana, as opposed to Americans who live in the Nevada desert. English even is literally a picture that I have in my mind of an oak tree in the field, a single oak in a green field. And also when I think of my Russian roots, it's the landscape that I connect with as more than maybe the poetry or the drama.
I love being prayed for! I know that sounds strange, and I've had people ask me if I'm offended when Liberty students pray for me, since they're (usually) praying that I'll see the light and become a born-again Christian. But there's no malice behind it. They simply believe that unsaved people are in trouble, spiritually, and they want to make sure I'm safe from damnation. In a way, given their beliefs about the afterlife, it'd be mean for them NOT to pray for my salvation.
You are right. I have no idea, and it is none of my business, and I was taught to obey my parents. But sometimes it is just impossible to obey blindly. Sometimes a child must strike out on her own. A child cannot be a child forever, whether that means not touching a spindle or. . . or. . .
It can be much harder to be on the receiving end of a transaction than to be the one who gets to give. In fact, being given to can mean being taken from. There is a very strong connection between pride and giving, and those who do the giving get to feel that they are worthy, while those who are given to often feel that they are not.
I suspect that the peer-review system carries a good part of blame for the fact that something like sixty percent or more of journal articles are never quoted (which means leaving no trace on our joint scholarly pursuits), and (in my reception at any rate) the "learned journals" (with a few miraculous exceptions that entail, prominently, TCS) ooze monumental boredom.
About belief or lack of belief in an afterlife: Some of you may know that I am neither Christian nor Jewish nor Buddist, nor a conventionally religious person of any sort. I am a humanist, which mean, in part, that I have tried to behave decently without any expectation of rewards or punishments after I'm dead.