February 23, 2008

A Long Overdue Post

I know that my writing here is long overdue. And, unfortunately, this post won’t satisfy most of you. I could write all sorts of things about our life in Ithaca and at Cornell since we moved here months ago—but, I hope it will at least appease some if I say that we really love it here. School has been great, though very busy, and we really love living in Ithaca. It’s a new experience: it is a pretty safe assumption that most folks here aren’t Christians, and, interestingly for me, no one assumes that I’m a Christian, either. It seems to bring new meaning to “be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.” (Matthew 10:16)

Oh. I probably should add that I have found an advisor and a thesis project. I’ll be working with Dr. Hod Lipson at the Cornell Computational Synthesis Laboratory. I’m really finding that I think God put me here for a reason. Not only is it a melding of computers and mechanical engineering that is surprisingly enjoyable to me, but I am realizing that there are a whole slew of ethical and philosophical issues attached to working with robotics. In particular, how human-like can robots become? How can I explain my point of view as a Christian in ways that everyone else understands? How can I design robots that help humans use their God-given abilities more effectively rather than stunting them? Anyhow, I’ll have to write more about my future work some other time.

What I really started out to write was on a completely different topic. Perhaps you realized that since this post is in the Public Policy category. (But I bet most of you didn’t!)

Though I am registered as a Republican, I don’t attach a great deal of allegiance to that party. I am a Christian, first and foremost—and following Christ defines how I make my political decisions. Though I do believe that conservative policies (in the sense of small government and fewer laws, generally speaking—and, yes, I know, Republicans aren’t ideal here) are best, and that such beliefs are consistent with my faith, I am perfectly content accepting brothers and sisters in Christ with other viewpoints on the topic. In many ways, it is such disagreement that makes Christian fellowship truly a beautiful thing. In fact, to some degree, I think it is the sense of disagreement—but ability to compromise appropriately—that has help our nation prosper so greatly.

That said, I’ve been paying closer attention to politics this year than most. Perhaps, it is inevitable with the huge amount of publicity that the primaries are receiving. More probably, it is Rita’s fault, as she listens to talk radio often during the day. Today, though, I ran across a blog post which states better than I ever could my concerns about Barack Obama becoming president. Frankly, I do expect him to win. But I don’t trust him. I would far rather have an atheist or even a moderate Muslim as president than a man who claims Christ very openly but does not seem to acknowledge His teachings in some very critical areas (in particular, I think of an excerpt from his book—particularly the last paragraph. I hope and pray that I am wrong—and I guess only time will tell.

Fortunately, we serve a mighty God who is in control of all things—even when they don’t match our ideas of what He should be doing.

Anyhow, I need to get back to the work that I am supposed to be doing. I hope and pray all y’all are doing well!

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