Welcome to my World of Wonderment

Our planet is a neat place, full of weird and unusual people doing weird and unusual things. One oddball thing I like to do is geocache. What other activity is there that makes people travel hundreds of miles to climb a mountain, wade a river, and fight a Bigfoot, just to be the first person to sign a piece of paper rolled up in a 35mm film canister stuffed in the knot hole of a tree? I can't think of any other sport that has such a great mix of technology and the wonderful outdoors. A lot of geocaches are placed in a beautiful setting, or hidden in a challenging or unique way, or in a historical setting. Geocaching allows the finder to share in some of the hiders favorite places, and along the way you get to meet some interesting characters, and occasionally learn something new. While this blog is primarily a geocaching blog, I also use this place to post the occasional funny video or weird news story, or as a platform to rant or rave about something I really have to share. But for the most part this website is about you, the weirdo walking around in circles, talking into your GPS unit like it's a phone, pretending your taking pictures of a phone booth to find find the tiniest micro-cache, or circling your car around and around a light pole in a parking lot trying to retrieve a cache without even getting out of your car.


JFK on the Seperation of Church and State

It's amazing to me that Kennedy delivered this speech nearly 50 years ago, yet the influence of religion over politicians has grown. Our current President lied to the people about having conversations with his god to garner votes. McCain nominated Sarah Palin mainly to gain the religious "right's" vote. Even Obama had to go on the defense of his religion when people found out his minister was outspoken on some of the United States policies towards race. And in almost every debate the candidates have to explain their religious views.

So it is apparently necessary for me to state once again not what kind of church I believe in — for that should be important only to me — but what kind of America I believe in.

I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute, where no Catholic prelate would tell the president (should he be Catholic) how to act, and no Protestant minister would tell his parishioners for whom to vote; where no church or church school is granted any public funds or political preference; and where no man is denied public office merely because his religion differs from the president who might appoint him or the people who might elect him.

I believe in an America that is officially neither Catholic, Protestant nor Jewish; where no public official either requests or accepts instructions on public policy from the Pope, the National Council of Churches or any other ecclesiastical source; where no religious body seeks to impose its will directly or indirectly upon the general populace or the public acts of its officials; and where religious liberty is so indivisible that an act against one church is treated as an act against all.

For while this year it may be a Catholic against whom the finger of suspicion is pointed, in other years it has been, and may someday be again, a Jew— or a Quaker or a Unitarian or a Baptist. It was Virginia's harassment of Baptist preachers, for example, that helped lead to Jefferson's statute of religious freedom. Today I may be the victim, but tomorrow it may be you — until the whole fabric of our harmonious society is ripped at a time of great national peril.

Finally, I believe in an America where religious intolerance will someday end; where all men and all churches are treated as equal; where every man has the same right to attend or not attend the church of his choice; where there is no Catholic vote, no anti-Catholic vote, no bloc voting of any kind; and where Catholics, Protestants and Jews, at both the lay and pastoral level, will refrain from those attitudes of disdain and division which have so often marred their works in the past, and promote instead the American ideal of brotherhood.

That is the kind of America in which I believe. And it represents the kind of presidency in which I believe — a great office that must neither be humbled by making it the instrument of any one religious group, nor tarnished by arbitrarily withholding its occupancy from the members of any one religious group. I believe in a president whose religious views are his own private affair, neither imposed by him upon the nation, or imposed by the nation upon him as a condition to holding that office.

I would not look with favor upon a president working to subvert the First Amendment's guarantees of religious liberty. Nor would our system of checks and balances permit him to do so. And neither do I look with favor upon those who would work to subvert Article VI of the Constitution by requiring a religious test — even by indirection — for it. If they disagree with that safeguard, they should be out openly working to repeal it.

I want a chief executive whose public acts are responsible to all groups and obligated to none; who can attend any ceremony, service or dinner his office may appropriately require of him; and whose fulfillment of his presidential oath is not limited or conditioned by any religious oath, ritual or obligation.

Go to NPR.org to read the whole transcript and watch the whole video.