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Showing posts from January, 2013

A man with a plan

A few months ago, I was walking to school when a man stopped and asked to have his picture taken with me.  The reason was because I was wearing a t-shirt that says "I think he's gay" and has an arrow pointing to the side.  This would make actually the third (straight) man who has asked to have his picture taken with me--standing on the side the arrow points to.  I love it.  I actually didn't think the shirt would be that popular, but people really like it.

He stopped and talked to me for a minute.  He is running for office in the Tennessee state Senate, in 2014.  I doubt that I will be here then, but if I am, I will certainly vote for him.  His name is Brian Stevens.  He is a very charming and personable man.  He is also very intelligent, very well-informed, and very rational.

I have been following him on Facebook ever since the day that we met.  When we first met, he informed me that he was running against Stacey Campfield (the incumbent).  That was certainly one t…

Reminisce

This semester, I teach on Tuesday and Thursday evening.  I often drive past the Mormon Institute building on my way home after I'm done teaching.  Typically, the Mormon Institute evening class (and activity, usually) is held on Wednesdays, kind of similar to how other Christian denominations hold services on Wednesday evening.  However, the Knoxville Institute meets on Tuesday instead.  So, when I drive past, I see the parking lot full.  This elicits a flood of memories that seem to wash over me.

Playing pool, ping pong, and all sorts of fun games.  Brother Rambo teaching in his energetic style. So many friends that I made, so many happy times.  I'm tempted to stop by and hang out with people there.    Should I?  Should I not?  I don't know.  What I do know is that I had a lot of fun attending Institute, and hanging out with my Mormon friends.  There was a lot of positive energy in that group.  And when I think back on those times, they are fond memories and I miss them de…

Abortion

My sister and aunt, and likely many other friends, have just posted this article about what Mother Teresa said concerning abortion.  (Clearly it isn't news.  She actually said it a decade ago.)  I must say it's probably the most well-reasoned and logical arguments anti-abortion that I have seen.  She discusses the history of America's progress--how we cast aside past violations of personal liberty, such as slavery.  Then she asserts that we have done the opposite with the Roe v Wade decision.

I will agree with her concluding statement, which is "human life is a gift of immeasurable worth, and that it deserves, always and everywhere, to be treated with the utmost dignity and respect."  I agree with this.  I think that all life is of great worth, and that human life is especially valuable.  What I do not agree with is her interpretation of how this sentiment is to be translated into the subject of abortion.  The  Catholic church teaches as dogma that it is sin to …

Pornography

Yes, I'm going to write about pornography.  I've written about it in the past.  In particular, I've written about pornography addiction and about sex in general, including pornography.  This time I want to put an emphasis on the industry itself.  That is, instead of having an introspective view of a person viewing porn looking at emself, an extrospective view of the person viewing the porn and how ey thinks about the subject of the porn.  I believe I have done a good job keeping my blog from having "adult content".  Yes, this is an adult topic and I wish to discuss it in an adult manner.  But I will not include graphic detail.

I think that one of the biggest problems we have in our society concerning pornography is the way we perceive it--the way we perceive the industry.  I just watched a movie about a gay man who is trying to become an actor and the only job he can find is doing gay porn.  I imagine this is probably reality for many prospective actors--even str…

Easier said than done

We have this word "cliché" to dismiss any phrase that is overused.  Yet, I think there is reason for the overuse of these clichés.  There's a reason we hear "easier said than done" ad nauseam.  It's because it's true.  Putting something into practice takes far more discipline than simply expressing the concept.

On New Year's Day, I posted about resolutions.  I talked about having continual resolutions rather than simply annual ones.  This isn't easy.  How many times have I told myself "I'm not going to get angry and fight with someone online."?  How many times have I resolved to keep my discussion rational and impersonal?  How often have I resolved to focus on the positive rather than accentuating (but not ignoring) the negative?  How often have I said that I want to build on common ground with other people rather than dwelling on our differences?

So why isn't it happening?  Why do I still get mad at people that I argue with …

Neither free nor brave

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People often get upset at me when I criticize our military.  They say that I need to support our troops and respect what these brave men and women are doing.  So, the first thing I want to say is that my beef isn't with the men and women in the military.  It would be almost as silly for me to blame the individual members of the military as it would be for me to blame the individual molecules in my TV if the TV itself didn't function properly.  That the majority of people in the military are brave is something I shall not question.  That they are doing what they feel is best for themselves and for the country I also do not question.  I criticize only the military itself.  Any fault in the military can be blamed on the leaders--the generals at the head of the military, and the elected officials (primarily the POTUS) who control the military.  These are the people that I blame.

Now, my issue with this poster.  We are not a free country.  Yes, we do enjoy many liberties, and that…

Biblical Inauguration

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I saw this image on my Facebook feed so I wanted to talk about why I think that this is most definitely a bad idea.  There are several reasons why I do not think that the Bible should be used in inaugural ceremonies, or in any public setting.  It should not be used in court, not in swearing someone into office, not in any time where the government is involved.

Okay, so the first reason I think that this should not happen is because of the US Constitution.  I think that anyone who supports the statement in this picture has not read or does not understand the Constitution.  Article 6 of the Constitution reads "no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States."  No one elected to office is required to be Christian, or to believe in the Bible, or to think of it as a holy book, or anything of the sort.  It is not requisite to be elected, and it should not be requisite for being inaugurated into office.  Then, of c…

The rationale of life forms

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I find that the secular explanation of things is often far more logical than the religious explanation.  The problem with claiming that there is one intelligent being (or even a whole group of them, if you want to be polytheistic) which designed everything in the universe with a purpose and has a perfect plan for all of his creations is that you need to come up with explanations for everything.  You need to justify why the parasites and diseases exist.

The most common theist answer to the question of "why is there suffering in the world" (in this case, more specifically, "Why is there a parasitic catfish that swims up your private parts and eats you from the inside out?") is that we are to know pain in order to distinguish it from pleasure.  We need to know the bad to discern from the good.  We go through trials in this life so that we can overcome them and become stronger.  So, God makes these parasitic catfish and allows them to crawl up your urinary tract and d…

Loyalty in marriage

I just read a story about a man wanting a divorce because he had fallen in love with a lady with whom he had been having an affair.  When he told his wife, she asked him to wait a month and carry her to the door every day during that time.  He later found out that she had cancer and knew she would soon die.  Whether it is true or not, this story was very poignant to me because it hits so close to home.

If you are yet unaware, I was married for three years.  My wife Karen had cancer that whole time.  In fact, she was diagnosed 4 years prior to our wedding.  For the first year of our marriage, she lived a normal life.  She had been through many different treatments, but for this year-ish, she did not have any treatments.  Her hair grew out, and it was beautiful.  She was very strong.  Then, the cancer came back and she started one study drug and then another.  She was diagnosed as terminal in March of 2009, and passed away that June.

I stayed by her this whole time.  I was loyal to her.…

What's a gainer?

If you haven't already done so, I would suggest reading my previous post before reading this one.  It's sort of an introduction and gives the motivation.  Also, by way of disclosure, this post is not sexually explicit but it does touch on the topic of sexuality and how that relates to the subject at hand.

So, what is a gainer?  I'll relate, as best I can, the experiences I have gone through myself to help answer the question.  I remember when I was a young boy--perhaps around 6 or 7--I would have various fantasies.  Not sexual fantasies, just daydreaming about hypothetical situations that I thought were interesting or entertaining.  I had many different fantasies.  Sometimes I would fantasize about becoming very muscular, sometimes about becoming very fat.  
These fantasies varied in degree of magnitude and the subject of the fantasy.  Sometimes I myself would change weight--I would become muscular or fat.  Other times, I would do something to make other people fat or musc…

It isn't easy being me

People kept remarking on how they were surprised that a gold medal and fame hadn't changed me.  I always responded, "Why would I change?  Being me is the easiest person to be."  I was lying.  It wasn't.  --Matthew Mitcham, Twists and Turns  Just shy of two years ago, I made the choice to be authentic.  I resolved to announce to the world who I am and not be ashamed of it.  More specifically, I decided to announce that I am homosexual.  But, I also resolved to be open and honest about myself as much as possible.  This is not a simple task.  I had heard before that it was difficult, but until I started doing it myself and examining my own life, I never really understood how hard it can be.  And I admit that even now, I do not fully understand what it means to be "authentic", or how to go about doing it.

It is easy to fit in.  It is easy to follow the script.  It is easy to parrot the words of those around us.  It is easy to be a Mormon in Utah.  It is easy t…

A New Year

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Every year on January 1st, people talk about new year resolutions.  This perplexes me.  I understand the argument given.  It is a "new year", that means it's a "blank page" to write on, so let's write good things on that page.  Ok, got it.  But, the same is true every day.  Every minute.  Every moment.  It's as true on July 17th and March 5th as it is on January 1st.

Why only make resolutions once per year?  Why not continually make resolutions?  Why not resolve every time we make a mistake to do what we can to avoid making the same mistake in the future?  Why not instead of promising once per year to be on time to events, to simply resolve every day to be on time?  Why not start counting calories today, instead of waiting until the new year to do so?

Imagine how the world would be different if we all did this all the time?  Immediately before making an action, we ask ourselves whether it is a good or a bad thing to do?  Will I make the world a better…