Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Ah Thanksgiving.

What a pretentious way to start a blogpost, "Ah." Like you're walking in on my study while I in a bath robe smoke an old pipe with a glass of Cognac. "Nice of you to drop by."

Anyway, it's Thanksgiving, so be thankful. In everything. I hate the phrase "We don't have much to be thankful for" or "Sometimes it's hard to find stuff to be thankful for." Really? Is it stuck behind your T.V.? Or maybe it's hiding under your 3 square meals a day, or the closet where you keep your extra food, or the big deep freezer in the garage where all the food you bought but don't feel like eating is.

Hard to be thankful, bah. It still blows my mind that the water that we use in our toilets is cleaner than most of the world's drinking water. (Thank you dinosaur comics).

Anyway, Happy Thanksgiving. A celebration designed by Native Americans, taken over by legalists, redesigned by greeting cards, and gluttonous by popular demand. Mmm Mmm Turkey subsidies.

Friday, November 19, 2010

On Hating Harry Potter

So, I tell a lot of people that I hate Harry Potter. This being Harry Potter Series Finale Part 1 season, I have to say it that much more often.

But here's the thing, it's not that I hate it. I just really don't care. I could care as much about Harry Potter as I do about other things that a lot of people like that I'm just not moved to care about: Twilight, Hannah Montanna, Sex And the City, The YaYa Sisterhood of the Travelling pants. It's all completely inconsequential to me. I don't care. But here's the main difference between those other pop-cults and Harry Potter, no one let's you just not care about Harry Potter.

If I said I don't much care about it, people expect that I just haven't read it. False, I've read the first book, the first 50 or so pages of the second book, and the last 3 pages of the last one which I read the day it came out to lord over a friend's head while he read all 700 pages in a day. At the time, he was about 23 and I was 18. I didn't actually spoil it for him, but it was nice to have that power over someone else even for 24 hours.

I digress. So not caring and then people attempting to make me a convert didn't work, so my frustration with the whole thing developed into what I call my hate for Harry Potter.

The way I have to explain it to people I actually want to talk to after they mention Harry Potter or anything else from the above list is this, I hate Harry Potter in the same way you may hate something I like(d), like Star Trek, Lost, Pushing Daisies, V for Vendetta, 300, Star Wars, Phillip K. Dick stories (notice a trend?). The point is we can each like different things and not have to like every little thing in common and still be friends. That's why being human is awesome.

When I want to be disappointed by something that lasts past the point that I'm really okay sinking my life into it, I'll stick to T.V. (LOST). Or movie renditions of graphic novels (The Watchmen). Or politicians.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

"What the Bible Says"

I recently heard a common argument for atheism that for lack of knowledge of its actual title I will call "Bad things that happen in the Bible." The gist of the argument is that things that the atheist finds "evil" are committed by or in the name of God and therefore all morality is just a scam to make me feel guilty about seeking my own selfish pleasure. There is a leap of faith, or anti faith, in this argument and while various atheists have used various events as the nail in the coffin for their faith, I've yet to find one that I'm really swayed by.

One that I've heard most is this event (actually two events) in which a man, accosted by lustful brutes in the dead of night, brutes that want to rape a male visitor/male visitors, who instead offers his virgin daughter/daughters/the visitor's wife. The argument is that this act is calloused and how can anyone considered religious believing and faithfully following a God of love be inclined to act so indecently as to offer his own daughters.

BUT: let's look at these events. The first one (in Genesis) is Lot. Lot is visited, shortly before the destruction of his famously sinful homeland of Sodom and Gomorrah, by two angellic figures. The two angels bore a message, as angels means messenger, of the destruction of the town and said they would spend the night in the village square. Lot, presumably knowing the kinds of things that go on at night (man-rape) insists they stay with him. Too late, apparently, the men of the town had already seen the figures and went ahead to accosting. Knowing these men were angels, Lot thought the worst thing that could happen was them getting manhandled so he offered his daughters. Compassionate to his daughters? maybe not, but it is shown later that he did love them, but acted in urgency and not under the instruction of God or the angels (who moments later blinded all the men so no tragedy would befall Lot, the angels, or his daughters). So, bad stuff happens in the square, lot protects angels, in an urgent time surrounded by a town full of men so vile that God destroyed them offers his daughters to keep them from raping angels. Seems more reasonable in that light, and God still protected the daughters rather than this tragedy befalling them.

The second case, Judges 19-21, a very parallel event happens in a time when "There was no king in Israel and everyone did what was right in his own eyes." A Levite man and his concubine are traveling through this city, another man sees them as they're about to crash in the village square and says "maybe you shouldn't stay out here" so he let's them into his house. Nasty man-villagers come a-callin but this time the people inside are not holy angels but a Levite who is not living up to the holy calling of his tribe. So what happens when the men ask the homeowner to rape his Levite guest? "Please, take my virgin daughter and his concubine" virgins were practically commodities in sinful times, it's unfortunate but not of God. This story definitely fits the "bad things happening" moniker, as the lawless Levite lets his lady out there then goes to bed while, well, bad things happen to her. It's not clear whether or not she's dead in the morning, but he treats her very coldly and when they get back to his home he cuts her up and sends her to the 12 tribes and says "look what the tribe of Benjamin did, this is awful." A war breaks out, the tribe of Benjamin is almost wiped out of extinction, more bad things happen.

At this point the atheist may be saying "this is why I don't believe in God," but when I read this story this morning I must admit I was shaken thinking "how did all this happen in the name of God?" But for Christians who may be thinking as I did, it is made clear by the last verse of the book of Judges, "In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes." (Judges 21:25, ESV).

None of these events are condoned or warranted by the teachings of Jesus Christ, by the law, or by general human decency. These events happened as a result of idle hearts and idol worship (Judges 17-18), and the religious falling down on the job (the Levites were the priests).

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


I dislike the term "Religious." Religion refers to the practices and the ceremonies, which are all secondary and imagery for the main point. For instance, I would consider baptism religion and by extension not totally necessary but salvation a definite requirement. Praying before a meal-religion, thankfulness and humility before an Almighty God, necessary.

So what word is there that means what I want to mean when I say religious? I don't know, there's some general terms like "faithful", "believers", "lovers of God" but I want one that can just directly replace. So here it is, theologous. I would consider my self a theologian, I have a distinct theology, the pope and the Vatican is theocratic, and I like to talk about God but not have to be talking about practices when I do it so I am theologous.

The other purpose of the distinction is I would like to define my theologous ideas as things that I am for, as opposed to religious practices which are often defined in the negative (don't eat this, don't touch that, don't don't don't don't). And note that I am taking a stand merely against words, not against organized religion or Christianity as a whole, just the terms I use to define these things as they apply directly to my life.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Twitter Hate

So Twitter has become this thing, this unstoppable beast of a thing, where thoughts go before your brain filters them. Apparently, they are now newsworthy.

Think of the repercussions of that, every single person with a smart phone or computer addiction is an author of current-history. There are several aggregating websites and trend sites that make Twitter information as accessible as it is vast and vapid.

So now, we have all of these unfiltered, un-spell-checked thoughts being sorted and used for online and offline news stories. Not to mention it's like facebook but even more of a waste of time.

Scary stuff, scary stuff.

Image Bearing

So here's a little piece of theology: God created man in his own image.

Here's a little piece of heresy: that means that we should be full of ourselves. We look like god, we know good and evil like god, yeah?

No. If anything, it's a weighty responsibility, not a liberating license to self-worship. Just like children to our earthly fathers, we have the option of being obedient and bringing joy to our father's heart, or bucking authority and hurting the one who loves us the most.

Here's one that combines this idea of image-bearing with the idea of sanctification (through the work of the Holy Spirit becoming more Christ-like, loving others, seeking purity):

First we're children of our fathers (both parents, but fathers for the sake of this analogy)
Then we're adults
Then we're a married couple
Then we're fathers of our own children and the cycle begins again

As children, we learn what it is to submit to a father (or step-father, or father figure, or mother who has to take up the paternal role for whatever reason).

Hopefully by single adulthood we've matured and learned from our adolescence, and we are then vessels of the Holy Spirit (assuming you're a believer). As Christians (a word which means little Christs) we are all extolled to emulate Christ and allow the Holy Spirit to work through us.

Marriage is a picture of how Christ loves the church (in this case church means the universal church). Wives submit to your husbands (the church submits to the authority of Christ), but I would say the part that gets overlooked, not said enough, and sometimes even ignored is that husbands are to be Christ to their wives. Going back to my first point, does that mean treat your wife like a slave and just accept her submission? NO, absolutely not. What'd Christ do for the church? Gave his life and even still loves, serves, and comforts. That's what husbands are supposed to be. In a sense husbands are to be image-bearers of Christ.

Now the last one is more obvious, fatherhood. God disciplined his children (Israel in the old testament), but never stopped loving them and working for them, even when they were disobedient, riotous, and self-destructive. Men, you either are or will one day become fathers, and you aren't supposed to give your kids a bad example so they know what God their Father is not, but you are to bear the image of God for your kids to know "God loves me unconditionally like a father, like my father."

In other words, by the time you reach fatherhood you are to be vessels and tools of the Holy Spirit, Christ to your wife, and a good father to your children.

When I hear the phrase "God created man in his own image" I don't think that God's form is limited to a human-esque appearance, or that I'm some how more important because I'm in God's image, I think that it's a statement outlining the lives we are to live, the stature with which we are to hold ourselves, and the responsibilities and commands God has given us.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The BenzenBurris Uncertainty Principle

The Heisenberg uncertainty principle states by precise inequalities that certain pairs of physical properties, such as position and momentum, cannot be simultaneously known to arbitrarily high precision (Thanks Wikipedia.)

What that means is according to Heisenberg, the more sure you are of one element in an equation, the less you have to be of another (in these certain pairs of physical properties, like the where and when of an electron).

In the BenzenBurris Uncertainty Principle, the more on top of your junk that you are in one class, the less you are in all other classes. ie: once you're passing one, you start to realize you have no idea what's going on with the others.

This is not to be confused with my Conservation of Motivation theorem, that motivation cannot be created or destroyed, only transferred. Like I had a lot of motivation to do all my homework tonight for the rest of the week and relax, but instead I got all OCD on my cleaning and my room looks great but my homework does not :-<. Motivation also naturally transfers from Schoolwork (a very high potential for failure, the opposing force of motivation) to video games (which has a very low potential failure).

This is how science works.