Oh Boy

Yesterday I had my 20 week diagnostic ultrasound.

It's a boy!

And he's already being an uncooperative little booger! He was in a weird position that was frustrating the technician. She got most of the information she needed and our doctor said everything looks good, but now we have to get an additional ultrasound in another three weeks to pick up the images we couldn't get this time around.

I've gained 6 pounds so far and have another 4 months to go. My doctor told us she's keeping my due date for December 1st, but wants to keep a close eye on the baby's growth as she may want to induce labor sooner if he gets too big. Apparently, 10 oz. is average at this stage and our son (according to the ultrasound measurements) is 14 oz. The doctor took one look at Daniel and chastised me for marrying a square-headed giant!

I have to admit it was really a shock to be told (and shown) that our baby is a boy when we were both utterly convinced it was a girl. Up until yesterday I had visions of buying adorable little girl clothes, hearing the squeaky little girl voice, showing her all the things my sister and I liked to do when we were little girls.

With a boy I am completely out of my element. It's going to be interesting!


A few weeks ago my sister and I were talking on the phone about religion, and Christianity in particular, since she recently started going to a Lutheran church in her neighborhood. Midway through our dialogue, she suddenly asked me, "why are you so angry?" And I was a little taken aback by her question.

Ironically, I think living in the so-called Bible Belt for the past four and half years, has really hardened me against religion and Christianity in particular.

Let me say this: I love religious mythologies and rituals. I really do. And I find the stories and beliefs of all religions to be fascinating. I also firmly embrace our country's freedom to practice religion - ANY religion - even if I, personally, think it's all hooey. It's called Liberty, and it's a good thing.

The problem is, the most vocal Christians down here (and I say "most vocal" because obviously there are some really wonderful people here as well who subscribe to Christianity), are so incredibly intolerant of any deviation from their personal beliefs, it's astounding...and infuriating.

You may remember this post I wrote about the Secular Life organization here in Nashville and the heat they took over the completely innocuous and inoffensive bulletin board promoting their social organization.

This brand of aggressive, hostile Christianity seems to penetrate every aspect of life down here and was completely foreign to me for the most part before moving here.

On July 14th, in a college town about 30 minutes south of Nashville, the Christians are gathering together in, basically, a hate rally against the construction of a mosque. Here's the initial outcry. And details on the protest. Make sure you read the comments on this one - some real doozies both by Christians and Muslims alike.

While I don't think Islamic beliefs are any more significant or valid than Christian beliefs, they ARE allowed to worship here in peace. It's in the Constitution.

So while it may seem as though I am mad as hell at religion, I'm just frustrated by the hostility, prejudice, and downright meanness of the religious atmosphere that permeates this region.

On a bright note, I've heard there is a counter-protest being organized to protest the, uh, protesters.