Sunday, February 12, 2012

This I Believe

A creed, not to be confused with a Creed,  is a list of beliefs that unites you with others of similar ideology, and provides distance between your people and everyone else. For this reason, they are popular with churches and cults , and can be very helpful in determining whether a church or cult is right for you (for more on cults, see also: here). Actually, I think churches should do a better job of putting their you're-with-us-or-against-us issues in their creeds. It's much easier to ignore doctrine that's buried in some Bishops' Council report, or encyclical, than stuff that's recited weekly in the service itself.

I also think creeds can also be helpful on an individual basis. NPR had a series called This I Believe, which was based on a '50s radio program of the same name. The premise was that people would submit 500 words on a strongly-held belief or conviction, and the best ones were selected to be read on the air by their authors. I sat down to write one one day, and started with a list. Being a Slacker, I never really got past the list stage. Still, I posted it on Facebook, hoping it might start something--in those days there were lots of little quizzes and surveys going around, and I participated in most of them. Apparently everyone else tired of answering random questions, or answering random questions only with song titles more quickly than I did, since you don't see this sort of thing so much anymore.

As I did originally with this, I do hope that readers (there are readers of this, if Blogger is to be believed, though the comments have been a little thin so far) will participate in this by posting creeds. Please do so in the comments, or put them somewhere else and post just a link in comments. Note: if you put it on Facebook, be sure to set the privacy setting for that note to Public so that we can see it. Note: be careful as you do this not to set everything on Facebook to public, which is probably done with a single mouse click on something called "default."

One more thing: real creeds are carefully edited to only include the deepest core beliefs. The result is that every statement is a perfect jewel that can stand up to critics and heretics. I have obviously done no such pruning, and grant you permission to do the same. You're welcome.

  1. Credo in unum Deum.
  2. I believe that you do not need to believe this.
  3. I believe in heating with wood.
  4. I believe that it is best to drive cars for their second 100,000 miles.
  5. I believe the children are our future--and I'm not sure how that's going to work out for us.
  6. I believe in beer named after not very nice people--"I'll have a pint of Rouge Angry Arrogant Sonofabitch."
  7. I believe that diet soda makes people fat by changing expectations about sweetness.
  8. I believe in coffee as a stimulant and an accompaniment to sugary snacks.
  9. I believe that school lunch programs are not any healthier under the George Bush Thinks I'm Fat Act.
  10. I believe in singing in harmony.
  11. I believe that dogs that don't know they're adopted shelter dogs have a different attitude than the other kind.
  12. I believe in healthy food covered in unhealthy food.
  13. I believe that high schools should start later in the morning.
  14. I believe that the reason they don't is sports.
  15. I believe that schools should have orchestras before they have bands.
  16. I believe that the reason they don't is sports--football in particular.
  17. I believe in Dirty Jobs--both the TV show and as a way to spend the summer.
  18. I believe that I married up.
  19. I believe that high school voices are a pretty good medium for making music.
  20. I believe that high school students are as well--when they wish it.
  21. I believe that sharp chainsaws and chef's knives are safer.
  22. I believe in NPR.
  23. I believe that StoryCorps is often so earnest it makes my teeth ache.
  24. I believe that the guitar is a good outlet for teenage angst.
  25. I believe that musicals are not always.
  26. I believe that American choirs can achieve anything that European choirs can.
  27. I believe that more people should hire professional editors.
  28. I believe that singing 2nd tenor is fine, but playing 2nd trumpet is not.
  29. I believe that it's a good thing I switched to choir in light of this.
  30. I believe that 'corn vs grass' = 'petrol vs solar'.
  31. I believe that this is part of the problem with Big Ag.
  32. I believe that more people should read books by Terry Pratchett and Christopher Moore.
  33. I believe that fewer people should read books by Stephenie Meyer.
  34. I believe in getting software for free.
  35. I'm not sure why I believe this.
  36. I believe that I should read more.
  37. I believe that you can't make me.
  38. I believe that I over-salt my food.
  39. I believe that there are too many awards.
  40. I believe that singers are expected to work for free in situations where instrumentalists would be paid.
  41. I believe in the not-so-big house.
  42. I believe that you are fortunate if your partner's deviance-threshold matches your own.
  43. I believe in mowing over leaves.
  44. I believe in thrift stores.
  45. I believe that abuse leads to policy.
  46. I believe in mass transit.
  47. I believe that watching your child best you in things is the way things go.
  48. I believe that this is hard for people.
  49. I believe in Palm Inc..
  50. I believe that I'm pretty much the only one now.
  51. I believe that the fencing scene in The Princess Bride is one of the best moments in film.
  52. I believe that I've dropped a few bushels of manure on my lap more times than most people.
  53. I believe that the financial crisis is pretty much over.
  54. I believe that if you believe this too, then it really is.
  55. I believe that this is kind of a problem.
  56. I believe in mayonnaise, cheese sauce, and chocolate frosting--depending on the food. 
  57. I believe in time travel as a literary device, if not a practical scientific possibility. 
  58. I believe in capitalizing Important Words.
  59. I believe that Alton Brown>Emeril.
  60. I believe in exercise.
  61. I don't believe in this enough to do it very much.
  62. I believe in life-long learning.
  63. I believe in medium-rare.
  64. I believe that I'm fortunate that I can make a living the way I do.
  65. I believe that cold rain is the worst.
  66. I believe in automatic transmissions, even though I may prefer to drive manual.
  67. I believe in the Prime Directive
  68. I believe that there are a lot more people with allergies than there used to be.
  69. I believe in Fresh Doughnuts--that's a store, not just Important Words.
  70. I believe in starting music education way earlier than we do in schools.
  71. I believe that Suzuki Strings is a pretty good way to do this.
  72. I believe that we need to pay more attention to CEO-pay:worker-pay.
  73. I believe that for every couple there is a right number of children for them.
  74. I believe that working this out is harder than it seems.
  75. I believe that I steal more good ideas than I work out on my own.
  76. believe that I'm not always aware that I've done this.
  77. I believe that tenants' lists of complaints grow when the rent is due.
  78. I believe in Ford or Chevy or Dodge trucks, doesn't matter.
  79. I believe that I'm in the minority on this.
  80. I believe that Confirmation is sometimes a good way to drive young people out of the church.
  81. I believe that backyard chickens are a good idea.
  82. I believe that if you choose to believe this, you'd better have a pretty big yard that you don't care too much about.
  83. I believe that creeks are a good way to get water to horses.
  84. I believe that horses tend to turn creeks into swamps, so maybe it's a bit complicated.
  85. I believe that it takes time to learn to learn to drink like a man.
  86. I believe that users should generate content.
  87. I believe that once you start watching Battlestar Galactica that you've crossed some sort of line.
  88. I believe I've crossed that line.
  89. I believe that public school choir programs must do sacred music, though:
  90. I believe that students needn't believe that Jesus should quickly come any more than they need believe that their love is like a red, red rose.
  91. I believe that international travel is too important to be reserved for the rich.
  92. I believe that my wife has better taste in music than I do.
  93. I believe that the more work a tool can do, the more damage it can do.
  94. I believe one should brine poultry.
  95. I believe that it doesn't really snow here anymore.
  96. I know that you think that's a jinx, and I'm okay with that.
  97. I believe that this list will never be done.
  98. I believe that 100 is a nice round number.
  99. Damn. 

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