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Showing posts from July, 2011

What do *I* think?

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This is the "I'm an ex-Mormon" video of Kevin Millet. You can read more about him here.



I have seen many of these "I'm an ex-mormon" videos during the last couple months since I have become disaffected with the Mormon church.  This is one that I can identify with very well.  At one point in the video he says that when he left the church he found out that he didn't know what his views were on things--he didn't know what he believed, he only knew what the church told him to believe.  I have found the same thing true for me.  I soaked in the whole mormon atmosphere--the social aspect, the doctrine, the rituals and practices.  I was Mormon inside and out.  Haha.  I've been watching Star Trek: The Next Generation recently and just as I'm writing this post I got the image of "We are borg.  Prepare to be assimilated.  Resistance is futile."  That is a very good way of describing this emotion.  It's as if all of my thoughts and beli…

Celebrate diversity

A while back I wrote a post about conformity.  I'd like to continue along the lines of that post and add some more thoughts I've had recently.

It seems as though humans have a propensity to fear that which is unknown and that which is different.  This fear manifests in many different ways.  It could be discrimination, acts of violence, bondage, avoidance, or destruction (including wars).  The most recent difference that we have overcome (at least in most parts of the world) is that of racial difference.  Just a couple generations ago, a white person would never dream of (openly) dating a black person, and now no one bats an eye at an interracial couple.  A few generations before that, black people were not even treated as people--they were considered property and were treated as such.  They were bought and sold in the marketplace.  They were whipped and beaten if they did not perform their assigned tasks given by their owners.  Many tragic things happened.

What is astounding …

The gay agenda

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The word "agenda" certainly has come to have a negative connotation in our society--specifically when used in a political context.  So, when I hear the phrase "the gay agenda", I think of a secret council of gay people meeting in a secret room somewhere secretly devising a plan to overthrow heterosexual society and replace it with an entire world filled with gay people.

So, what is this "gay agenda" that Christian fundamentalists keep talking about?  What is the hidden objective behind asking for social and legal recognition for gay couples?  Do gay people secretly want to make everyone else turn gay too?  If so, I'll let the cat out of the bag now--gay people understand that sexual orientation isn't a choice, so they know that making straight people gay is impossible.  So, that can't be it.  Ok, do gay people secretly want to take over the world and make straight people subservient?  It's possible, and I'm sure some of them want to i…

Book

I have posted the latest version of my book.  It includes a chapter about Conrad--how we met and fell in love. Note that as of yet, I have only updated the version that includes the pornography addiction as well, so the homosexuality-only version is still the older version updated back in March.

Here is the link.

Patriarchal blessing

In the LDS church, people have the opportunity of getting what is called a patriarchal blessing.  This blessing is given by a special priesthood holder, one set apart as a patriarch.  They are informed that this blessing is personal scripture--revelation from God to the individual getting the blessing, through the patriarch.  This is the only blessing in the church that is recorded.  The church keeps a copy and gives another copy to the individual.  Also, the recipient is instructed that this is sacred and should only be shared with close family members or intimate friends, not to be widely published or casually discussed.

I received my patriarchal blessing shortly after I turned 17.  I have read it many times in my life, and have even made notes on it from impressions that I've had while reading it.  Even after the point I decided to leave the church, and even now that I no longer believe the church, I still read it for guidance and wisdom. I no longer view it as sacred scriptur…

The upright

(No, this isn't a post about a vacuum cleaner.)

The integrity of the upright shall guide them: but the perverseness of transgressors shall destroy them. -Proverbs 11:3I remember back in my high school seminary class my teacher was explaining to us what the word "upright" meant.  He said that if in 10 years when we ran into him and were able to look him in the eye as we were shaking hands with him, that would be a good indication that we were "upright".  Then, he told a story about an old friend he had that he hadn't seen in a while.  His friend had started doing things that the church taught were wrong (maybe drugs or alcohol or something, I really don't remember) and when he ran into him his friend was unable to look at him--he just stared at the ground and was very ashamed.  So, I promised myself right then that I would remain an "upright" man for the rest of my life.

The reason I tell this story is because since I have come out and my homose…

When is it ok to hate?

There have been many reasons given throughout the ages for one group of people to hate, wage war on, or discriminate against another group of people.  Sadly, a great number of these types of aggression have had a religious basis for motivation.  The Crusades and the Inquisition are a very good example.  But there have been many "holy wars" due to people having differing religious beliefs.  Just a few decades ago, people used religious beliefs to be racist.  And, even today, there still are some fringe racist groups--many of which remain hateful because of their religious beliefs.

Of course, I don't mean to make religion seem to be "the bad guy".  There are also those who hate religion and religious people, and that hate is just as real and as unjust as hate from religious people.  Different religious groups of people have been persecuted throughout time for their beliefs, including these modern times.  In America, it is not altogether uncommon for people to di…

Queries

Google shows you a list of keywords that people searched for and found your blog by.  I get a kick out of reading this list regularly.  Some of the search terms completely baffle me as to how my blog was a hit (for example 'hair "locks of love"'), while others are completely unrelated but at least I can understand how my blog appeared in the list (for example, "Is my wound healing properly" yielded my post about wound healing).  In those cases, I have to chuckle at what they thought when they clicked on my blog and got something completely different than what I assume they were looking for.

But, every once in a while there's one that I find neither funny nor baffling, but causes me concern or empathy for the dear soul who entered the search query.  For example, two that are currently showing on my list are "i didn't know i was gay" and "feel like god wants me to be gay".  In the past I've had some to the effect of "I do…

Labeling

I realize that these ideas have been floating around for sometime now, and I admit they are not original, but rather a paraphrase of others that I have heard state the same.  (It may be pointed out that nearly all of my posts have been of that nature.)  However, I do not feel that this is inauthentic nor disingenuous, since they are my words and my views.

I call myself a nerd because I am fascinated by mathematics, Star Trek, Star Wars, and other science fiction.  I call myself tall because I am several inches taller than the average.  I call myself white because of the color of my skin.  I call myself male because of my anatomy and DNA.  I call myself gay because my attractions to other persons this far in my life have been solely to those of the same sex.  These are labels that I have given myself.  I have been called these things, and many others, in my life by other people--some of the time pejoratively and other times neutrally or even complimentarily.  However, I do not adopt th…

The DADT mentality

A year ago, I had no idea what Don't Ask Don't Tell (DADT) was. I'm sure I'd heard something about it somewhere along the line, but I had never looked into it. So, as much as it's been in the news lately, I've been thinking about it quite a bit. For those that don't know, it is the policy that non-straight people are not allowed to disclose their sexual orientation while serving in the military.  This post, however, is not merely about DADT (which, it seems safe to say, is all but gone) but more about the mindset behind that sort of legislation in our society.

The first thing I'd like to muse about is the motivation behind ever having established the policy in the first place. Personally, having never been straight, I can't say I understand but I would like to speculate. Perhaps the idea is that in denying non-straight people the right to disclose their orientation, you also deny them the ability to have any other orientation than straight. Pe…

Rolling In the Deep

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I've just recently started listening to contemporary music (and by that, I mean pretty much anything after 1940) and I've been surprised at how much of it I have come to like.  Just a year ago I hadn't heard of very popular names such as Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, Michael Buble, and Katy Perry.  I have shocked many of my friends by informing them of this lack of knowledge, and I actually took pride in that (as silly as it sounds).

At any rate, I heard a song the other day while out dancing with some friends and it sounded like a fun beat.  I think it's one of my new favorite songs now.


This is a very beautiful song, speaking strong emotions of the heart.  Since I have read (and nearly memorized) the lyrics of this song, I am increasingly perplexed at why I like this song.  It's so poetic and such a powerful display of the emotion inside, but it's an emotion that I've never felt before.  I have never been betrayed in love (or at all, for that matter).  I ha…

Criticism

The purpose of this post is to raise awareness, not to point the finger of blame, cause anyone to feel guilt, nor set myself up as a victim.  These musings are as much for my own benefit as that of others.

There has been a recent event that has given me reason for pause--to introspect on myself and on our society.  Conrad and I have decided to postpone our wedding.  The cause for introspection here arises from the reaction that decision made.  When Conrad and I first announced our engagement, there were many who expressed concern that perhaps we were rushing things and that we should slow down.  No doubt many people who offered such advice also had the secret hope that if we were to wait longer, we would come to the conclusion that entering a homosexual marriage is bad and therefore we would postpone indefinitely.  Be that as it may, many people expressed such concern.  However, upon announcing the postponement I did not receive expressions of relief in quite the same volume I had pre…

Olive Branch

There are a lot of unpleasant feelings in the world--hate, anger, fear, misunderstanding, frustration, disappointment, etc.  I admit that many of the things I have said in the recent past have cause some of these emotions in some people.  I take this opportunity to address that concern.

It seems that at times people easily interpret an expression of someone else's opinion or belief as a demand that others believe the same as them.  That is, when I assert my own views sometimes other people can interpret that as the statement that I feel other people should agree with me and that those who do not are stupid or ignorant.  I suppose the idea of tolerance is often confused with the idea of unity in thought.

I assert that I have not only the right but the obligation to disclose my feelings, thoughts, and perceptions--the right because I am a human and the obligation because there are those who will be able to relate to me who may need guidance in making their own decisions in life.  T…

The search for Truth

There are three passages of scripture (one unique to Mormonism, one from the New Testament) and a quote from Brigham Young (second prophet/president of the LDS Church) that have compelled me to write this post.  The first is Matthew 11:15, "He that hath ears to hear, let him hear."  The second is from Doctrine and Covenants 88:118
And as all have not faith, seek ye diligently and teach one another words of wisdom; yea, seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom; seek learning, even by study and also by faith.The third is from John 8:32 .  "And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."  It seems to me that there is great scriptural precedent indicating the need to search for truth.  That is the journey I have been on my whole life, and recently that search has led me in an entirely new direction than it has in the past.  Actually, several months ago I even blogged about this very point, in this post.  I believe in absolute truth.  That is to say…

Family Watch International

I got an email from an organization called Family Watch International today, so I just wanted to share some of my thoughts about what was said in the email.  First of all, I just wanted to mention something it said right at the beginning of the email.  The first paragraph stated
In the past few months various anti-family groups and commentators have been making increasingly vicious, dishonest and distorted attacks on FWI. I want to make it quite clear that I do not mean to attack this or any other organization.  I don't believe that anything I have ever said has been vicious, dishonest, nor distorted.  I do agree with the sentiment that such attacks are neither mature nor effective in persuading honest, mature people to one's point of view.

However, I would like to illustrate how this organization is guilty of that very thing that it accuses others of.  (I do not mean to claim that there are no people who oppose this organization and are also guilty of being dishonest, only to …

Unacceptable words

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I have seen the following public service announcement bouncing around on Facebook.  It certainly gave me pause to think.



I have a very good friend who decided that this year one of his new year's resolutions would be to avoid using any term that is derogatory toward a group of people.  He was rather vague in his wording of the resolution, I think on purpose.  I suppose words that he meant to include in the list were probably many of those mentioned in this advertisement.

I've discussed the matter concerning the derogatory use of the word "gay" (as in "that's so gay") with a couple different people.  Personally, I am not offended by such usage.  But, I'm not very easily offended.  I wouldn't be offended at being called a fag or a homo or any other such insult.  So, I used that as reasoning to justify my own use of the phrase "that's so gay" (and other similar connotations of the word).  Hence, the cause for introspection upon watc…

Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness

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I believe very strongly that the Declaration of Independence was written not only by wise men, but men who understood the concept of freedom and human rights, and the importance of doing their best to protect those rights. I include here a transcription of that declaration and a video from the John Adams mini-series depicting the final vote on the document and its reading.

I am very grateful to live in a country that has this document as precedent for what good government ought (and ought not) to be.  Let us remember this legacy and continue to build a nation where the rights of all are recognized and respected.  Let us understand the importance of this document and what it stands for.



When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature's God entitle them, a decent resp…

A Parting of Ways

One of my favorite movies, especially as a child but now as well, is The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh.  The whole movie is lots of good fun.  However, the ending always makes me sad because Christopher Robin has to go away to school and leave Winnie the Pooh (and the other animals) in the Hundred Acre Wood.  Christopher says to Pooh, "Promise you won't forget me?  Not even when I'm 100?"  While neither party is excited about the farewell, it is clear that the time has come to say goodbye.  I watched this movie just a couple weeks ago, and this particular scene stuck out to me even more than usual because I have come to a farewell in my own life, which has left my heart just as heavy as Pooh's.

It is hard to say goodbye to a person--one that you have loved and spent many happy days with.  The longer you have known the person, the closer you have become, the more difficult saying goodbye is.  I believe the same thing applies to abstract or intangible things a…