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Showing posts from May, 2012

Utah

Our vacation here in Utah draws to a close.  We'll be flying home soon.  It has been a good vacation.  We've seen all of the people who asked us to come see them, and several more.  We got to meet people that we had previously only known through Facebook.  It was good to meet them in person and to get to know them better.  We've attended several parties and enjoyed our time.

One thing that is a bit sad is that there are people that I wanted to see, but wasn't sure if they wanted to see me with Conrad.  I would gladly have gone to visit them if they had invited us, so we tried to make our presence in Utah as widely known as possible to give all of them the opportunity.  Since they didn't invite us, we didn't see them.  Maybe this was for the best.  If there were people that we didn't see that wanted to see us, I apologize for the miscommunication or the missed opportunity.

I wanted to add some of the thoughts that I've had during this trip that have be…

Brotherly love

From your heart to mine
What is this?

love
joy
pain
grief
fear
sorrow
gladness

Your feelings I feel.
But why?

If something will hurt you, it cannot help me.
If something would cheer you, I'll want it to be.

I cry your tears
I smile for your pleasure
I wince at your pain
I cheer your success

You love me, I love you.
You fear me, I love you.
You hate me, I love you.
You mock me, I love you.

Who are you and who am I?
Why do I feel this way about you?
You are my brother, my sister, my friend.
You are a human, that's all that matters.

I have my life, and you have your own.
You have opinions, and I do as well.
But what's most important is what's best for all.
The individual can't prosper if the collective will fall.

I need you to prosper, to flourish, to grow.
I want you love, to laugh, and to smile.

You have an empty stomach, I want to fill it.
You have no shelter, I want to build it.
You have no hope, I want to kindle it.
Your heart is broken, I want to mend it.
Your e…

Natural selection

As a child I was taught that evolution was false and ridiculous--that species might evolve changes over time but never change to a different species.  This has been called, by some, “microevolution”.  And so, I was taught to scoff at the concept of macroevolution--that humans and other primates have a common ancestor.  I was surprised when I started to learn that the theory of evolution is considered to be just as factual as any other scientific theory--gravity, relativity, etc.  But that’s not the topic of this post. What I wish to discuss in this post is the irony of the fact that Christianity (while condemning the concept of evolution) is itself an example of evolution.  That is to say, Christianity has itself evolved a great deal over time.  Of course, this evolution is different because it was a conscious made deliberately, not just nature sifting out the less-adapted species. The Christianity found in the New Testament is quite different from the Christianity practiced now.  One q…

Day of rest

I find it quite ironic that my Sundays are far more restful now than they ever were when I was Mormon.  Mormons, like all Christians, believe the Ten Commandments, including the one that says "Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.  Six days shalt thou labor and do all thy work:But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates".

Of course, when I was a kid I always wondered why the scriptures said that we were supposed to work the other 6 days, but our business week is only 5 days.  But that's beside the point.

Most Christians I would say have a more or less restful Sunday.  They may (or may not) go to church for an hour or so and then spend the day with family--perhaps going to a park or just resting at home or something.  And, as Conrad and I have discovered, Sunday is a very popular day to go to…

North Carolina votes for bigotry

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Today was the vote for Amendment 1 in North Carolina.  For those who hadn't heard, this was a measure to amend the state constitution to exclude gay people from having the right to marry.  And the proponents of this bigotry plan to celebrate by eating wedding cake.

Why should this bother you?  You're straight.  You can marry, maybe you are married.  So, this is a victory for you because now your sacred institution of marriage is protected from us evil gay people who wish to destroy it.

Think for a moment how you would feel if it were your marriage that people were voting on.  Think how you would feel if you were told by the general populace that you really didn't love your spouse, so you didn't deserve to get married?  Or that it was okay to live how you choose, but that it was not right for you to call your relationship with your spouse a "marriage"?  Then tell me how much of a victory it would be for the rest of us to ban your right to marry.

You may not…

The joys of love

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For my 222nd post, I thought I'd do something special.  So, I decided to talk about the wonders of being in love.

I find it ironic that the people who immediately jump to the topic of sex when the word "homosexuality" comes up are precisely the same people who condemn the evils of sex (at least, extra-marital sex) and how we shouldn't think about it.  I believe it is people like that who do not understand love.

Sex is a wonderful, beautiful part of love.  Two people who are in love should engage in whatever sexual activities the two of them feel comfortable with.  But, to think of a relationship as just sex is so shallow and superficial.  Love is so much more than that.

As humans, we long for companionship.  We seek out connections with other people.  We make friends and build upon common ground with them.  We do things together that make us happy.

But, we also want a special someone (or someones, in the case of polyamorous people) with whom to be more intimate t…

The need to be ruled

I just went to watch The Avengers with Conrad.  There was one point where Loki was making a speech to a group of people whom he had just cowed into kneeling for him.  He said that humans have a need for subjugation--that we want to be ruled.

I thought about that a bit.  At the end of the movie, there were people showed on the news saying things to the effect of "It's nice to know that [the avengers] are here to watch over us."  It struck me that people really do want to be taken care of.  We invent these super heroes who will protect us from evil villains and fix the problems in our lives.

When we're attacked by terrorists taking out some of the most important buildings in our country, we welcome extension of the government's powers--such as the PATRIOT Act.  We want the government to protect us.  Keep us safe from the evil terrorists.  We grant them power to take care of this problem.  We want to be ruled.  We want to be subject to a power that can keep us saf…

Self-centeredness

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And I have taught his words; and I taught them because they were pleasing unto the carnal mind; and I taught them, even until I had much success, insomuch that I verily believed that they were true; and for this cause I withstood the truth, even until I have brought this great curse upon me.  - Alma 30:53 To give some context, the quote is from one of the Book of Mormon's many anti-Christs.  He has been going around teaching atheism and hedonism and has now been compelled to accept the existence of god because he has been struck dumb, so he is repentant of his earlier attitude. I find it interesting that religious scripture often denounces unbelievers for various reasons.  Skeptics and seculars are mocked and ridiculed.  But this particular one is very interesting to me.  The idea is that people deny belief in god because they are selfish--they think that god is an inconvenient truth, they want to live their own life, they want to live a life of pleasure and free from the command…

Humility vs Arrogance

Yesterday I blogged about Pastor Sean Harris who gave an extremely inappropriate sermon on Sunday.  Today I wish to follow up with more updates on the matter.  To his credit, he has now issued two official statements on his blog and even an audio statement, that he published on his podcast, to the effect of retracting his words from Sunday.

While his verbology still leaves something wanting, he has stated that he does not encourage child abuse.  In some places he says he wishes he would have worded things better and in other places he insists that he never said anything to encourage or condone domestic violence.  But, at the very least, he's repeatedly saying that he discourages physical violence as a method of correcting children, aside from spanking which he asserts the Bible justifies.

I would like to take this time to contrast his behavior with that of Mormon apostle Boyd K. Packer.  Elder Packer has given several speeches in his life that were severely anti-gay in nature.  …

Lies and Violence

The clip is from a sermon given by a Pastor Sean Harris, employed at the Berean Baptist Church.  In it, you can clearly hear him advocating child abuse.  He tells parents that if their sons ever get that limp wrist (a stereotype quite unfairly attributed to gay men) that they should break the child's wrist.  He also says that they should punch their son if he displays effeminate behavior.  He then goes on to say that they should also discourage their daughters from being butch--that they may play sports, but that they are also to dress up and "look pretty".

The first and foremost reason I find this offensive is because he is advocating violence--and not just any violence but possibly the worst kind of violence: domestic violence.  He is clearly telling parents to punch their sons and to break their wrists.  (Fortunately, in this clip I did not hear him advocating violence toward the daughters.)  Physical abuse is never appropriate.  Parents should not strike their chil…