Pick Me!

A weblog by Laura Moncur


Should God Be Mentioned At A Public High School Graduation?

Filed under: Living in Utah — Laura Moncur @ 8:03 am

Somewhere in a Utah school graduation, God was mentioned. I can’t honestly say I’m shocked. I can’t even say that I’m offended, but Susan at Seagull Fountain mentioned me by name, so I feel like I must comment. Here is her description of the event:

His was pretty standard stuff: remember the lessons of the past, set high end-goals for the future, strive to be happy, and then he quoted from . . . no, not the Book of Mormon, or even the Bible, but from Benjamin Franklin (he also quoted the Scout Oath and Muppet Treasure Island):

I believe in one God, creator of the universe, that he governs by his divine province, that he ought to be worshiped, that the greatest service we can render to him is in doing good to his other children.

and later

That God governs in the Affairs of Men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his Notice, is it probable that an Empire can rise without his Aid?…Our Lives are comparable with the Empire Benjamin Franklin references. He continues, without his concurring Aid, we shall succeed in this political Building no better than the Builders of Babel.

My thoughts?

My first instinct was to think that his civics and history teachers didn’t do a very good job about mentioning the separation of church and state, but he wasn’t quoting scripture. He quoted Benjamin Franklin, founding father of our country. You can’t get more “state” than that.

God has been so interwoven into the binding of our country that excising him completely smacks of revisionist history.

As a young man embarking on the world, however, there was so much BETTER advice from Benjamin Franklin that he could have quoted. Even the, “In the dark, all cats are grey,” advice was more practical help for a young man than the quotation he chose. When you’re trying to inspire people, the God-card is a strong card to play, but only for those who believe in God. You end up ostracizing the rest. It is better to avoid that route and choose a subject of inspiration that is inclusive rather than exclusive.

Of course, he’s only 18 years old. If he spends any time outside of Utah that isn’t on a mission, he’ll learn soon enough that bearing his testimony in secular places isn’t a very smart move. Playing the God-card too often not only breeds resentment, but cheapens the sanctity of it.

Holy things are meant to be HOLY. Dragging them out into the secular world doesn’t make the secular holy. It makes the holy profane. That’s why the LDS church has private ceremonies in the temple away from prying eyes. Bearing testimony should be a sacred act in a church or maybe a religious camp-out. Bringing it into a public school commencement speech actually devalues it.

Should God be mentioned at a public high school graduation? I say, “No,” for entirely religious reasons.

It brings the sacred into a profane place, sullying the sacred in the process. There are so many inspirational quotations that one could draw upon that bring across the same idea without marking a delineation between believers and heathens. Isn’t it better to be inclusive rather than exclusive?


Twitter Log: 2009-06-03

Filed under: Twitter Log — Laura Moncur @ 1:42 am
  • When Lake Ontario eats your long board, you fight back with a grappling hook! Totally AWESOME story! http://tinyurl.com/kvg4lg #

Powered by Twitter Tools.


Twitter Log: 2009-06-05

Filed under: Twitter Log — Laura Moncur @ 1:42 am

Powered by Twitter Tools.


I Don’t Want To Send Them Home

Filed under: Musings on Being a Writer — Laura Moncur @ 1:34 pm

I was very faithful writing Merriton right until the point at which I have to start making my heroes suffer. I have to send Randy and Sierra back to San Francisco and I just don’t want to. Heck, my readers don’t even want them to leave.

Can’t Randy and Sierra leave the Bowen house but stay in Merriton? Maybe there could be a fire that destroys the house and they are forced to rebuild some super-green one? Just pondering…

I would love to keep them in Merriton and they are definitely going to stay in the lives of the people of Merriton, but they have to leave the Bowen House. No one stays in the Bowen house more than two years.

I just don’t want to make them suffer, so I haven’t written. I’m FOUR months behind because I don’t want to bring the story to its logical conclusion.

I have to just get over it and do what I need to do…


Yeah, I’ll Be Stayin’ In Utah, Thanks

Filed under: Living in Utah — Laura Moncur @ 2:53 pm

Click to see full sized photoEvery time I start to think about moving to San Francisco, someone posts something like this:

What gets me is how casual the bystanders are. An unattended child and a man with a walker look on with no surprise or fear.

Thanks, Ernie, for reminding me why I love Salt Lake City.


Success from Richard St. John

Filed under: General — Laura Moncur @ 12:57 pm

I love these two TED videos by Richard St. John. In this one, he talks about his eight principles of success:

The eight principles are:

  • Passion: Do it for love, not for money.
  • Work: It’s all about hard work. Don’t be a workaholic. Be a work-a-frolic!
  • Good: Get good at stuff by practicing.
  • Focus: To get good at something, you have to focus on one thing.
  • Push: Push yourself physically and mentally. It’s not always easy to push yourself, so that’s why they invented mothers.
  • Serve: Millionaires serve others with something of value.
  • Idea: Listen, observe, be curious, ask questions, problem solve and make connections.
  • Persist: Keep going despite failure. You have to go through all the CRAP: criticism, rejection, assholes and pressure.

In this video, he talks about how success is not a one way street. Once you’ve “made it,” you still have to follow the eight principles to STAY successful:

I love to see these videos. It gets me going and ready to work.


Twitter Log: 2009-06-16

Filed under: Twitter Log — Laura Moncur @ 1:42 am

Powered by Twitter Tools.


Toy Story 3: June 2010

Filed under: General — Laura Moncur @ 12:22 pm

One year and one day until Toy Story 3. Is it wrong that I got so excited about this movie by just watching this ONE trailer?

Via: Discopop Directory – Toy Story 3 Trailer


Brilliant Website of the Day: Three Frames

Filed under: General — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

I LOVE this website:

He takes three frames from a movie and animates them into a gif file. This one from Harold and Maude is lovely:


My only wish is that they would identify the movies. I recognized Harold and Maude, but many of their entries are completely unknown to me. Seeing this one made me want to see the movie, but I have no idea where it came from.


It’s amazing how three frames of a movie without sound can make me want to see the entire film.

Via: Littlest, Yellowest, Differentest – Three Frames


Twitter Log: 2009-06-20

Filed under: Twitter Log — Laura Moncur @ 1:42 am

Powered by Twitter Tools.


72 Year Old Woman Tasered

Filed under: General — Laura Moncur @ 9:22 am

Officer Christopher Bieze of the Travis County Police Department in Texas said she was violent and resisting arrest.

She was pulled over for speeding and refused to sign the ticket, so the officer told her to get out of the car and he was going to arrest her. When she realized she was going to be arrested for not signing a paper, she said she would sign the paper, but by then it was too late.

Here is the dash cam video. Do you think she should have been tasered?

This is the reason I don’t like to speed when I drive. You never know what kind of whack job is going to pull you over. They could shoot you for resisting arrest when all you did was say, “I’m getting back in my car.” Officer Bieze screamed, “Tasered!” when he shot her. This looks like another case of a power drunk officer who got out of control. This sort of stuff happens all the time. It’s a wonder we give these people guns.

It looks like the district attorney is looking into this case to see if the officer acted inappropriately.

I’ve talked about this before:

Apparently, you don’t have to be a teenager to be treated like a second class citizen.


Twitter Log: 2009-06-22

Filed under: Twitter Log — Laura Moncur @ 1:42 am

Powered by Twitter Tools.

So Awesome!!

Filed under: General,Philosophy — Laura Moncur @ 10:23 am

Click to see full sized comicI love this comic:

Sometimes when I get all mired in doing work, I forget to try to be awesome. I need to post this comic on my computer so I can remember.


Twitter Log: 2009-06-23

Filed under: Twitter Log — Laura Moncur @ 1:42 am

Powered by Twitter Tools.


Like A Bull In A China Shop

Filed under: Personal History — Laura Moncur @ 3:41 pm

I was looking through some old photos and stumbled across some funny photos that I had forgotten about. Back in 2005, we took a trip to Vegas. While walking through Mandalay Bay, we noticed that there were two conventions being held there: the Professional Bull Riders Expo and the China Manufacturers Alliance.

Like A Bull In A China Shop by LauraMoncur from Flickr

They were both having their after parties in the same place. At first, we didn’t know what PBR was, but this sign explained it.

Like A Bull In A China Shop by LauraMoncur from Flickr

Mike pointed at the signs and said, “That looks like a bad idea…”

Like A Bull In A China Shop by LauraMoncur from Flickr


Twitter Log: 2009-06-25

Filed under: Twitter Log — Laura Moncur @ 1:42 am

Powered by Twitter Tools.


Filed under: General — Laura Moncur @ 9:30 am

Love this photo!


Twitter Log: 2009-06-26

Filed under: Twitter Log — Laura Moncur @ 1:42 am

Powered by Twitter Tools.

Moving to Daybreak in South Jordan

Filed under: Living in Daybreak,Living in Utah — Laura Moncur @ 1:45 pm

Moving to DaybreakIt all happened so quickly that I can’t even believe it. About a month ago, Stacey and Mel introduced me to the Daybreak community down in South Jordan. It looked so much like Sugarhouse, without the added benefits of roaming panhandlers that I became obsessed with it. Mike had been hinting that he’d like a bigger house, so within a month, we find ourselves packing and heading south.

Just for my records, I’m posting some of the blogs and websites I’ve found that have information about my new home:

My biggest regret is that I won’t be living next to NakedJen anymore. Everything else about Daybreak is looking to be wonderful. I’m sure to bore you all with lots of photos of the area and the lake.


Twitter Log: 2009-06-27

Filed under: Twitter Log — Laura Moncur @ 1:42 am

Powered by Twitter Tools.


Twitter Log: 2009-06-28

Filed under: Twitter Log — Laura Moncur @ 1:42 am

Powered by Twitter Tools.

Elvis in Sid’s Bed

Filed under: Elvis,Our Pets,Sid — Laura Moncur @ 7:40 pm

Elvis, our new cat, has decided that he likes sleeping in the dog’s bed. Poor Sid lets him just take over.

A couple of weeks ago, I saw them both in the bed. It was adorable.

Elvis in Sid's Bed by LauraMoncur from Flickr


Maggie Being Her Beautiful Self

Filed under: Maggie,Our Pets — Laura Moncur @ 10:00 am

I love this photo of Maggie.

Maggie Being Her Beautiful Self by LauraMoncur from Flickr

Sometimes I need to just take a moment and learn how to relax like Maggie does. Lately, it seems that I only relax when I’m so exhausted that I can’t do anything else.


Twitter Log: 2009-06-30

Filed under: Twitter Log — Laura Moncur @ 1:42 am
  • Dear Lady Gaga: Thank you for picking up the slack since Peter Burns has been incapacitated. You fill his shoes excellently! #

Powered by Twitter Tools.

Elvis in the Sink

Filed under: Elvis,Our Pets — Laura Moncur @ 10:00 am

I blame the complete lack of fear of water and the audacity to consider the entire home his own for these photos.

Elvis in the Sink by LauraMoncur from Flickr

You can see all the pictures of Elvis in the sink here:

Powered by WordPress
(c) 2003-2007 Laura Moncur