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Showing posts from June, 2012

Boycott list

I'm just amazed that there are so many people throwing a tizzy fit over Oreo posting gay pride posts on their Facebook wall.  So, to emphasize the silliness of boycotting any pro-gay company in this day, I'll go over just a few major companies that virtually everyone does business with on a regular basis.

Apple and Microsoft are both gay-friendly.  In fact, Microsoft was one of the very first companies to have anti-discrimination policies.  So, if you want to buy a computer, you're not going to be able to go with an Apple or a computer that runs Windows.  You also have to throw out your XBox.  You also can't buy a PlayStation, because Sony is gay-friendly.  This greatly limits your choices.  You won't be able to buy from Dell, IBM, Intel, or Motorola.  You can't buy EA games--that includes The Sims, SPORE, Mass Effect, Battlefield, Star Wars: The Old Republic, and tons more.  You can't even shop at Best Buy.  Pretty much, you won't be able to use a com…

Pornography addiction

This is a topic in which I am very emotionally invested, and have a great deal of personal experience.  For those who are unfamiliar with my story, I'll briefly cover some background.  (If you'd like more detail, I'd recommend that you read my book or this blog, and also watch my YouTube videos.)

I started looking at erotic images and pornography when I was in high school, and was addicted to porn until about 2010, when I was 26 or 27.  Just as with masturbation, I felt a great deal of shame and guilt whenever I looked at it, but I found myself compelled to keep going back for more.  I remember several different incidences when I would spend hours on end looking for more and more hardcore stuff to look at.  I was in fact addicted.

I do not think that everyone that looks at pornography is addicted to it.  In fact, I would say that a good percentage of people who view it are not addicted to it.  And I think the main reason for that is they have a healthier understanding of s…

Sex again

This is sort of a follow up to my recent post about sex.  And, yes, this article is about sex.  You have been warned.

In that previous post, I mentioned that it can be rather harmful to have such a radically conservative view about sex as the LDS church does.  The Republican party is also well-known for its conservative values, including its ancient views about sexuality.  To emphasize this very point, we now have the story of Lisa Brown.  Just in case you've been hiding from the news lately, here's an article from the Washington Post about the story.  Basically, they were discussing abortion and Rep. Brown was banned from further discussion on the matter when she said the word "vagina" because it offended the GOP leaders of the legislature.

Honestly, this is one of the major reasons why such extreme views are dangerous.  Many conservatives are so afraid to say or hear words that are merely describing the anatomy of the human body.  "Vagina" isn't even…

Seeing Denier

I just came across this picture this morning.  It really stung, because for many years I was a "seeing denier".  In high school, I knew that I had feelings for other guys, but I refused to accept that that meant I was gay.  When I was an LDS missionary, I even admitted to being gay but prided myself on never having "acted on those feelings".  And I concluded that as long as I didn't ever do anything with a guy, I wasn't really gay.

But, that's not the only area in which I was a seeing denier.  I knew many things about the LDS church which should have tipped me off that it's not true, but they didn't.  I refused to accept the consequences of that knowledge.  I knew that Joseph Smith gave different accounts of the First Vision. I also willfully chose not to ever look them up because I wanted to continue to believe.  I knew that Joseph Smith had multiple wives, but I denied that they were kept secret from his first (and only publicly known) wife.…

Sex

The main reason for writing this post is because over the last two years, my views on sexuality have changed so drastically.  I firmly believe that conservative religions, including (and especially) Mormonism, are psychologically damaging to people because of their radical views on sexuality.  I really do think that people suffer real, measurable damage when they are taught since the time they are young such extreme views of how we should treat our reproductive organs.

Masturbation is a very natural phenomenon.  Young children masturbate long before they even understand anything about sex at all.  It's simply one of the functions of the body, just like eating and sleeping.  Telling a young person that they must never masturbate can be just as harmful as depriving them of sleep or food, aside from the fact that (as far as I am aware) it is impossible to die from masturbatory deprivation.

My parents never really talked about sex.  I always had the impression that it was a taboo subj…

Token donations

So, the LDS church is now bragging about having donated $1.5 million to vaccination efforts.  This should be noted that this is over a two-year period ($0.5 million for last year and $1 million for this year).  There are many reactions I have to this.

First of all, I do not see why this is news.  Yes, $1.5 million is a significant amount of money, and I'm sure it will help vaccinate lots of children that need it.  That's wonderful.  But, this represents less than .02% of the church's revenue (that's one-fiftieth of a percent, not two percent, in other words that's 1/5000).  Of course, the exact percentage can't be calculated, because the church refuses to publish its financials.  But, using a very conservative estimate, the church makes at least $4 billion per year, which would mean that the amount of $1.5 million over two years (making 1,500,000/8,000,000,000) is less than .02%.  If I spent that percentage of my income on donating to some particular charity, …

A heart full of love

I know this is a topic that I bring up often, but I think it helps to emphasize how very important it is to me.  I care about people.  A lot.  It's not something that I've tried consciously to do.  I don't think it's a skill that I've developed.  I think that I've always felt this way.  As long as I can remember, I've been like this.  Yeah, I suppose I have tried to hone my skills in how I show people that I care about them, but as far as the feelings themselves--the best way I can describe it is that it's inborn.  It's congenital.  I just find that I care about everyone that I meet.

I can't remember if I've shared this story or not, but a few years ago (shortly after we bought the house I'm currently living in) a man knocked at the door.  He introduced himself as homeless and asked if we could take him to the convenience store to get a hot dog.  I found myself wanting to do whatever I could to help this person.  I had no problem letting…

Hypersensitivity

So, I saw this picture on Facebook today.  And I'm quite familiar with the sentiment of gay people being rather offended or upset at this particular use of the word "gay".  My first response to that is, hypersensitivity is so gay.

Honestly, homosexual people do not own exclusive rights to the word "gay".  In case they're unaware, prior to just a few short decades ago, the word "gay" had nothing to do with homosexuality at all.  It simply meant "happy".  In fact, it was rather a useful word.  You could have a gay party or a gay outfit.  Now, a "gay party" would be one where everyone's homosexual, or at least pretending to be.

I really don't think there's anything wrong with the use of the word "gay" depicted in the upper portion of this image. I am not offended when someone says "that's gay".  In fact, I use the phrase myself.  And I think it's ridiculous for gay people to be offended by…

FF14: The devil in computer game form

I just recently purchased Final Fantasy 14, Square-Enix's most recent MMORPG.  It was originally released somewhere near the middle/end of 2010 and was a complete disaster.  It was so bad that they let people play for free for about a year, then they finally started charging subscription fees (most likely because they were just running out of money, not necessarily because the game was good enough to pay for).  Anyway, these are my thoughts after having played (or, more accurately, tried to play) the game for a few hours.  I do not recommend this game to anyone who is thinking about getting it anytime soon.

I've heard that v 2.0 is going to be released simultaneously with the PS3 release, which should be near the end of the year.  Perhaps they'll have it slightly more playable by then.  (They can't possibly make it any worse.)

Seriously, why does anyone even play this game at all? I heard that it was a complete flop when it first came out, so I didn't buy it. Then I…

How skepticism helps religion

Some people of faith criticize science because it is ever-changing, and therefore cannot be "true" because if it were, it would remain constant.  This is a valid point.  But let us ask ourselves, why is science ever-changing?  It is because people ask questions.  People are skeptical.  The questions that people ask help improve science.  Therefore science becomes better and better over the years becoming a better approximation of the truth.  A similar application of skepticism is what improves religion.

For example, people New Testament times thought that someone with epilepsy was possessed with a devil.  If Christians still taught that people with epilepsy were possessed with devils, they would be laughed at.  Why is this?  It is because of the advance of knowledge.  Skeptics asked, "Are there really devils in these people or is there some other cause?" Now we know that causes of epilepsy and it is unrelated to being possessed with evil spirits.  So, believers can…

Dishonesty

So, our house was robbed while we were on vacation in Utah.  We actually got a call from a friend here a couple days after we flew out informing us of the robbery, but I wanted to come home and assess the situation and have time to mull over all my thoughts and feelings before mentioning it.

First off, I feel really bad for someone who feels so desperate they stoop to breaking someone else's house and stealing their things.  I can't imagine what would make someone feel like they needed to do that.  I can't imagine the desperate need they must have been in.

I also wish that whoever did it would have just been honest with us.  If someone were in need of money (which I must assume, since that's typically the reason for theft), I would have very much preferred that they came to talk to me about their situation rather than destroy and steal my property.  For example, the TV and PS3 were stolen.  For those two items together, I paid not quite a thousand dollars.  The person…

Pride

Today marks the first day of Pride Month.  June is when most cities have their pride parades/festivals.  Utah's is this very weekend, if I am not mistaken.  Knoxville's is in a couple weeks, and I plan to participate as I did last year.

I am proud.  I have pride.  And I would like to talk about this pride.  The word "pride" (and its derivatives) is very taboo among some religious people, particularly among Mormons.  I even had one companion on my mission that said that he hated the song "Proud to be an American" because it had that word in it.  And I do think that arrogance can be a bad thing.  But, I also think that there are good kinds of pride and that it's not only okay, but important to be vocal about it.

I am proud to be gay.  Not because being gay has necessarily done anything for me that I wouldn't otherwise have (although, I believe it has) nor that I take pride in identifying with all of the other people in the LGBT community (which I do, …