April 2002 Archives

Okay, okay, I did one of those stupid "personality" questionnaires over the Web. I saw it on GaryJr. and thought, "Hey, what the heck. I've got nothing to lose and time while waiting for the stupid server to run through it's diagnostics." So, I clicked on that little linkie thangie and wham, bam, I'm a Visionary. What? Well, yes, I can see that, but the description will follow me for the rest of my life. No jobs, no friends, no partners, just hordes of revolutionaries following me into the heat of battle while we over through The Man.

Here it is:

Visionary, revolutionary, vigilante - these descriptions all fit you well. You are thoroughly disgusted with society and humanity as a whole, and you have several rather diabolical plans to reshape it to fit your designs. You're probably a loner, and most people think you're crazy. That's just because they don't understand, though, and you'll show them someday anyway. Heh heh heh. You are known to become very passionate about many causes, have torrid love affairs, and be seen as a either a demagogue or a hero to the proletariat masses.

Be cool! Take the What Do You Want Out Of Life? Quiz

Gad, I'm doomed!

I've been reading a board within the website of Stephen Bennett Ministries. Stephen was an alcoholic, druggie homosexual who became a Christian and put all of that aside. He now has an ex-gay ministry as well as being a singer/songwriter. One thing that has amazed me about the conservative side of Christianity is the propensity to want to live under stringent regulations and laws -- in this particular case the Law of Moses / the Levitical Code. For those who believe in the Christian anti-homosexual ideology have to justify making the condemnation of male same-gender sexual contact applicable for today. They have to, in a sense, bring the Law into the "New Covenant" of grace secured through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. They have to place themselves under the "yoke" of the Law once again, forgoing the freedom of grace. Here is his URL: http://www.sbministries.org

For Christians, this is a remarkable undertaking. An undertaking I simply don't understand. The New Testament is full references rebuking those who would attempt to impose the stringent requirements of the Law of Moses onto Christians, be they Jews or Gentiles. Why do so many Christians want to once again put themselves under the Law? Is it only because they are so repulsed by homosexuality that they will do anything, even developed warped theology by repeating ancient errors that harm themselves, to justify condemning in the strongest terms homosexuality and/or homosexuals?

There is a letter to

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There is a letter to the editor in the "West Side Leader" I received two days ago. The West Side Leader is a weekly newspaper devoted to the neighborhoods and suburbs of western Akron, OH. From this letter to the editor, I gather there must have been a serious of letters concerning Intelligent Design and Evolution. There has been a lot of debate at the state level as the Education Dept. sets new science education standards statewide. (The panel recently rejected inclusion of Intelligent Design in the state science standards. The pro-Intelligent Design group will appeal.)

I was so disappointed and embarrassed as I read the letter. A Christian man from Bath, a very wealthy suburb with much higher then average education levels, should have done better. This type of thinking only reinforces absolutely all the negative stereotypes many thinking people have of conservative Christians. The letter only reinforces the notion that Christians will put aside intellectual inquiry and scientific facts for mythology and wishful thinking. Regardless how the world came into being, this way of thinking saddens me. I feel for him and accuse the pastors and teachers under whose influence he places himself. How deep is his "faith"? How much mental gymnastics does he have to employ to buttress his "faith"? Is this really a prime example of dualistic thinking? If you believe in a 7 literal day creation, so be it, but at least be informed about your belief. Blind faith will us no where.

Here is the letter:

To the Editor:
Intelligent Design vs. Evolution discussions have filled the West Side Leader during the pasta few weeks, and I want to 'jump-in' with my comment on the matter.

I have been taught from early childhood that my God created the heavens and everything there is.

I have accepted that on faith and managed to make it through the educational system without losing that faith (he also made it through an educational system that did not teach him to think, and that has nothing to do with his belief in creationism! - me) in the ability of God to be the creator of this entire universe.

It is just too bad that there are those who cannot see clearly the logic of a creator - the evidence to me is overwhelming that this is the only belief system one should adopt and believe.

When my God created the stars, he did so with light-years already build into them. (Why would God need to do this? If the universe is young, it is young. Why would God need to make them *seem* like they are billions of years old through the process of light traveling light-years? - me) When my God created trees, he did so with the growth rings already there. When my God created Adam, he was already a man - perhaps 30 years of age.

When my God created the planet Earth, he did so with age already built into the rocks. (Why do this? Its just justification. -me)

The diversity and greatness of this universe and all the little tiny buys, microbes, and yes, even man himself, is a testimony enough for me that there is a God.

My comment to those who believe otherwise: I feel sorry for you if you believe the evolution myth - you have nothing to look forward to when you die. Your life must really be miserable.

I believe the Bible and Genesis, 1:1/ I hope in my life."

- David Strong, Bath

I am glad that he has a belief system that provides structure and meaning -- everyone has one. I wish his faith where based on something not so easily threatened, a faith not so weak or shallow - at least it seems that way. I'm not sure what goes on inside him emotionally or intellectually, but he stands on a weak foundation. I thought he might be young, but then maybe he is quite old. I don't know. I hope his faith will mature into something not based on blind-faith in a system that can't stand up to scrutiny. If God and Christianity cannot stand up to scrutiny, then it can't be true and I want nothing to do with it.

Listening to: Sugar - Copper Blue

Still not feeling well today. I planned on going to the doctor, but my fevor is gone and my neck is a little less sore -- I think I'll skip a visit to the doctor.

The weather today is beautiful -- 72 degrees F and sun! We are supposed to have thunderstorms, but around here we never know from one hour to the next what the weather will be.

The Democrats are after Bush now!

It's funny when one discovers he/she is more against things rather then for anything. I realized today that much of my life (thoughts, reflections, advocations) right now have been against what I see as problems, rather then being an advocate of what I am for.

I think about looking into someone's eyes when they are passionately talking about something. What is in their eyes at that moment? Excitement? Thrill? Anger? Frustration? What.... ? If I turn that around and wonder what people have been seeing in my eyes of late when speaking passionately, what have they seen? Frustration. Anger. Arrogance. Disappointment. Why am I not focusing on or advocating for the things that bring life, rather then that which gets my blood boiling?

As I recently said to a friend, I've really noticed that much of my thinking and feeling lately revolves around the anti-gay / pro-gay and Christian debate. I do dwell a lot on that stuff. So much of what I've been expressing lately is the anger, frustration, and disappointment in the prohabitionist-gay stance of the Christian right in this country and how they are, in many other ways too, hurting the cause of Christ and driving many people away from God -- often viciously and always unnecessarily. How much mental and emotional energy am I going to invest in this? It has gotten to the point where I'm sure my eyes reveal not the hope and freedom of Christ, but the tragedy of the Religious-Right concerning this issue.

My hope is that when speaking passionately, my eyes reveal an excitement, a hope, a peace, and freedom, rather then frustration and anger that can possibly consume me. If my soul is not at peace, how can anything that comes from me be peaceful? I gotta get beyond this.

I'm sick again. I don't know why I've been sick so often this winter. I'm rarely sick more then once a winter and then for only a couple days. I'm hot, then I'm cold. I pile on cloths, and then strip them off. Achy all over. My eyes hurt, and I have a swollen and sore lymph-node. Thank goodness I don't feel like throwing-up or some such messy thing. Fever? Yes.

I'm going to have to miss David Sadaris (sp?) tonight. Dan and I have great tickets, but I just don't think I'll be able to go. I missed this weekend's class with only one more weekend of class left. I'm really disappointed that I can't be there. We had to watch "Death of a Salesmen" for discussion. What a depressing movie!

There were demonstrations on campus today. At the Student Center Plaza, Hillel presented a pro-Israeli rally. In front of the MACC, the Palestinian students rallied. There were people from each other's group at the opposing demonstration. Peaceful.

Hillel pretty much read the names of the Jews and Arab Israelis killed by terrorist bombers and encouraged people to get all sides of the story. There were a lot of Israeli flags and chalk drawings. The Palestinians had a lot of chalk drawings of people with names and ages of those killed by Israeli troops. There were flags. They were shouting, "Sharon and Hitler are the same. Only the name has changed." I think that is a bit extreme.

Tomorrow is another day...
Listening:Marie McKee

Those Brits really know how to put on a good show, or with regard to the Queen Mum's funeral, good pageantry. It was a very dignified and moving funeral and Anglican service.

Listening: The Call's Compilation

A couple initial reactions to the ex-gay seminar/meeting last night:

1. It is a good thing when someone comes into relationship with God! That is what we share in common. The freedom, the release, the thrill of coming into a true and realistic understanding of self, as created by God with purpose, held within relationship between God and between peers, is a wonderful experience. This is a true experience available to all of us, but then what?

2. Is there an ability to continue into further understanding and truth, the search for truth, the search for our true selves, without falling into another trap -- the trap of convincing ourselves that we ARE a certain something, dependant on a strict belief system that simply replaces our misconception of self and God that occupied our conscious self before God? Do we simply replace one lie for another? Do we simply continue suppressing a truth of who we are, or just transfer the "we are" onto another ideology/theology?

3. People truly experience a freedom, a peace, a realization of things that truly need healing and re-definition. Do the leaders then encourage them to become another contrived thing or do they encourage them to look at all things and to seek truth, even if the truth will totally over turn preconceived notions?

Two young people from Oberlin College were there. They are getting married soon. I hope and pray that they have a realistic understanding of what awaits them, and not simply a youthful and overly optimistic expectation of what their lives will be. If they make an informed decision, before God and in honesty, to be married, then more power to them. But have they? A very nice guy; I don't know what I think of the girl. She needs attention. I fear a lot of unnecessary struggle and a possibility of tremendous heartache.

More later.....

I'm going to an ex-gay get together/seminar tonight. I don't really know what will be going on, but Sam, Andy and I are, well, I guess we are infiltrating the meeting. Not to protest or anything like that, but more to scope out what is going on. We will share the commonality of our faith, but were we come down on the issue of homosexuality and Christianity will be quite different. I think I may have gone to this same event a number of years ago -- I remember going to the same church for something similar. It was a long time ago and I don't really remember much about it at this point. That was when I believe the two were incompatible and that God would eventually heal me. I believe neither at this point, although my faith in and relationship with God remains unscathed. Of course, many would claim I have forsaken me faith, but I haven't. Just haven't.

Anyway, Sam grew up in a Christian and Missionary Alliance church whose pastor happened to be his father. He's a P.K (preacher's kid). Sam is an Episcopalian with CMA leanings right now. He has a tendency to make appointments with CMA pastors to talk about the gay/Christian issue. Quiet bold at that, Sam is. Sam also has a tendency to go to these kinds of things because, as he says, we never know with whom we might strike up a conversation. So many young people struggle mightily with this issue and trying to bring reconciliation between their two selves. Two selves that simply can't be brought into one without a mighty struggle. Sadly, too many reject their faith unnecessarily. My heart goes out to them!

My desire is to be a voice, among many I hope, that speaks to the reconciliation of one's orientation and faith. I'm not really concerned where people come down on the issue as long as the opinion/decision/belief is informed, as long as they have thought through the implications of their stance, as long as they don't desire simply to support an already decided answer without the struggle for truth. If people come to believe that they are to remain chaste, celibate, then so bit it -- just as long as they have made the decision themselves through consideration of all sides of the issue and with the conviction that God has guided them through the struggle to the belief. If people come to believe that it is perfectly within God's purview for them to be in a same-sex relationship/union without bringing distance between them and God, then more power to ç²—m. Of course, this is were I am right now. I still have a very hard time supporting people who are gay and decide to marry a member of the opposite sex -- the would-be spouses have to be thought of first and foremost! I don't think that generally happens! But, if they have thought through the implications, believe God is directing, and the would-be spouses understand what they are getting into, then who am I to condemn that. Again, I just don't think it happens that way for the most part.

I know several people who are struggling with this right now. Sadly, most ex-gay ideology doesn't support the idea of exploration of opinions that aren't in line with their standard theological beliefs. The fear of deception is great. The fear of coming under false knowledge, false teaching is even greater. What can I say -- just encourage people to read, to talk, to seek advise from all sides, pray hard, and then do as they feel God is guiding. We all pass through different eras of our lives and in the midst of those times we might believe and experience very different things. Growth, maturity, experience, increased knowledge all contribute to inform our conscious at any given time. We all change over time. That's why for me the simply encouragement to seek God with the ability to cast everything aside, to truly listen to the still small voice, will always be the best advise.

Will we get into conversations tonight? Probably not extensively. After all, we could be considered the enemy (the carriers of deception) or as missionary opportunities. I'm curious to see what comes of this.

Listening: The Call's Greatest Hits (no, not the Calling!) I really like Michael Bean!

Awake at 4:45 a.m. again this morning. It's needless to say, yet I am, but I am dead to the world this today. Plus, the shower knobby thingy on my bathtub broke today. Good thing I was up so early -- I got to jury-rig (sp?) my shower.

Listening: Lisa Loeb - Cake & Pie for the second time. Don't know yet. Chemical Brothers next....

Work-out, don't work-out. Work-out, don't work-out. What to do???? Lazy. Motivated. Yes, motivated. Body looks blahhhhh..... Gotta work-out. Lazy....snoozy.....keep my head up. Okay, leaving now to drive a while and then....yes, work-out!

I have been out of sorts lately when attempting to write. I feel all motivated and everything, but then when I actually sit down to write either here or in my journal -- nothing. Just this really blah, yucky feeling, and I just don't know why. My brain is so full of all these jumbled thoughts that I need to get them out in some fashion, but....nothing comes. I think I may be on the cusp of a bunch of stuff coming together and coalescing into something that actually looks like an intelligent opinion on something, but when -- when I say?

I had dinner with Amy and Russ yesterday evening. I worked out and planned on ordering a pizza via my cell-phone, then pick it up on my way home. Well, I waited too long and couldn't get the pizza and get home before Amy and Russ showed up before the pizza was ready. We watched a video on THE subject once again. I had a few lucid moments in-between snoozing. The conversation afterwards was great -- I almost got a moment of inspiration, but I got all jumbled up. One of these days, and I hope soon, it is all going to come spilling out and actually be cogent. Go figure....

I'm writing now more as an attempt to break the log-jam that's inhabiting my brain then for any particular reason. I need to just discipline myself to write, if that's what this may be called, about something regularly to keep in practice and to I hope develop inspiration. But, as is always the case, reading stuff like this becomes tedious. Writing it, too....

I'm sure it is a

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I'm sure it is a very complicated thing, this Israeli and Palestinian conflict. While I absolutely understand the Israeli's right to self-defense and the obligation of the government to protect the citizenry, I think the way they are going about it is only causing problems rather then solving the over-all problem. What do you do with the few Palestinians who would rather die and in the process kill as many Jews as possible rather then see Israel as a state exist? No amount of negotiation is going to stop them. No amount of appeasement is going to keep them from killing until the Jewish state no longer exists. What do you do with these people?

Yet, I know that most Palestinians want to live in peace and are not terrorists. Most Palestinians are not out to be suicide bombers. The Israeli military's current campaign is not going to lead to peaceful co-existence. All it is going to do is further Balkanize the region to the point where no one wins and everyone is involved in atrocities.

Arafat and Sharon need to step aside for the sake of their own people. Bush and the Americans need to be bold in condemn atrocities on both sides -- forcibly and in a forthright manner. If Israel doesn't move forward, threaten to end U.S. aid. If Arafat or another Palestinian Authority leader doesn't stop the terrorist bombings, then make it clear to them that the U.S. will not interfere in Israel's right to self-defense. I don't know. As I said, it is a very complicated situation.

Listening: Natalie Imbruglia's White Lilies Island & Lisa Loeb's Cake and Pie -- both for the first time. Doing: websites

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This page is an archive of entries from April 2002 listed from newest to oldest.

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