Archive for February, 2009

28
Feb
09

No, Please! Tell Us What You Really Think

If you are looking for the perfect example from which to learn to write a “quirky, snide, and very thoughtless comment” to someone with whom you disagree – look no further. Sen Paul Koering’s aid seems to have the technique down to a fine science, and will gladly send you an example should you want to disagree with the senator on anything.

 News from the Minnesota Independent: Gay Republican responds to criticism: Same-sex marriage is a ‘pointless issue’

The office of state Sen. Paul Koering, a gay Republican representing a district near Brainerd, Minn., is responding by e-mail to criticisms over his decision not to vote for the Marriage and Family Protection Act. The gist? Legislators can’t “waste their time” with “pointless legislation.”

The mass e-mail, penned by an impassioned Ken Swecker, Koering’s legislative assistant, concludes with a punchline that shows someone’s got their knickers in a wad over something. Swecker wrote: Continue reading ‘No, Please! Tell Us What You Really Think’

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27
Feb
09

Is Hate a Mental Disorder?

We live in interesting times. Since the election of Barack Obama, hate groups have begun growing. Since the economy has tubed, hate groups have begun growing. Hate, it seems, flourishes whenever major change occurs or disaster strikes. According to a CNN article, “Growing Hate Groups Blame Obama, Economy“, hate proponents seem to think they have very rational grounds for their attitudes and actions. As a culture we seem to regard hate with varying degrees of disdain or apathy. Blatant racism is largely disdained, while blatant sexism is discouraged and heterosexism seemingly encouraged. All, however, are based on irrational fears and anti-social behavior. In what way are any to be considered normal responses? Continue reading ‘Is Hate a Mental Disorder?’

25
Feb
09

Swimming Upstream – an Autobiography (Part 4)

Continued from LEARNING TO THRIVE. Or return to INDEX.

LEARNING TO SWIM – I was in the big pool now.

In the week prior to starting at seminary, I had moved into an apartment on campus – completely furnished and outfitted from the generosity of my Liberty Church supporters – and I had finished up a six-month, 10-hour per week consulting gig at Sterling Commerce, a division of the telecom giant, SBC. I had hated the thought of returning to the business world, but the opportunity had cropped up within hours of deciding to go back to school. Continue reading ‘Swimming Upstream – an Autobiography (Part 4)’

25
Feb
09

The Nature of Marriage

I would like to direct your attention to a discussion on Soulforce forums. The discussion is not primarily about same-sex marriage, although it does enter into the discussion, but about the nature of marriage in it’s most basic form. What is it that makes a marriage?

The post was started by 17 year-old Jennifer – one of my favorite 17 year-olds because of the depth of her thoughts and her gentle spirit. The answers have ranged from the almost, but not quite, mundane to purely and simply eloquent. One of my favorites is post #6 from u-dog, one of the other ministers on the boards. Jennifer’s inquiry began:

What is marriage? Continue reading ‘The Nature of Marriage’

23
Feb
09

Swimming Upstream – an Autobiography (Part 3)

“I remember picking up my sharpest tool, a drawknife, and resolutely deciding I wasn’t going into that hole. I was ready to die.” Continued from: Learning to Live.    Or go to INDEX.

LEARNING TO THRIVE

The rest of the memory seems more like the recollection of a hallucination, except with much more clarity. I remember, with no sense of time, being aware of all of the times I had hurt others, even in the smallest way. I was fully aware of all my sins, a concept with which I was totally unfamiliar. I had an overwhelming sense of sorrow and remorse while, at the same time, experienced the peace, calm and security of knowing I was all right. I knew, for the first time in my life, the feeling that came with a sense of forgiveness. It seemed as though the thickest, softest comforter imaginable had swallowed me. Accepting that unconditional forgiveness has continued to be a difficulty. Continue reading ‘Swimming Upstream – an Autobiography (Part 3)’

23
Feb
09

Swimming Upstream – an Autobiography (Part 2)

Continued from Part 1 – Learning to Learn. Or go to INDEX.

LEARNING TO LIVE

The first few years in Ohio were emotionally devastating for my mother. We lived in abject poverty even by our standards, my mother’s family proved to be more dysfunctional than our own, and work, except for the lowest paid positions, was tough for her to find. I began working before and after school to help out, lying about my age to avoid problems. I also found my missing childhood. My ‘toys’ were different than anyone had hoped, but they succeeded in dulling the pain. By sixteen I drank constantly, was addicted to speed, and had forced my mother to seek a community more conducive to a normal childhood. We moved to Newark, Ohio during my junior year. The school administrators were a little worried about my record, but seemed encouraged by my high grade point average. I graduated in possession of a full scholarship from OSU, twenty-five credits when seventeen were needed, damage from a heart attack I suffered during a speed overdose, and a new addiction to qualudes, which the doctor prescribed for “sleeping problems”. I also held the school record for drinking the most beers in a single sitting. Life was good. Continue reading ‘Swimming Upstream – an Autobiography (Part 2)’

23
Feb
09

Swimming Upstream – an Autobiography (Part 1)

I was tempted to call this “Nobody’s Autobiography”, but thought that may be just too self-deprecating. I love autobiographies – not of famous people – just of ordinary people with ordinary lives. They reveal details about the individual to which most people can relate – rather than the larger-than-life situations of the rich or famous that, if digested, lead to hero worship and fantasy. A good autobiography, it seems to me, is less concerned with fact and more concerned with perception. It is entirely plausible, then, that an autobiography may not be factual down to the last jot and tiddle, but reveals truly how an individual perceives themselves and the memories of their lives. In that respect, it is a more accurate portrayal of someone’s life than an encyclopedia entry would be.

There is an ego trip involved in posting an autobiography, I suppose. I mean, why would I think anyone would care? Well, I am supposing there are others out there like me, who find the famous boring and the mundane interesting. I also think that, while we are each individual, there are commonalities to people’s stories that give cause for community building and empathy. Anyway, as egomaniacal as it may or may not seem, the following portions are the snippets of my life thus far that I consider integral to who and what I am at this moment in time. Continue reading ‘Swimming Upstream – an Autobiography (Part 1)’




... or, preaching from both ends

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That's too bad - I'm so sorry. Oh, well, just try to make the best of it. What you'll find here is a variety of essays and ramblings to do with things theological, social, whimsical and, sometimes, all three. I don't write to get famous - trust me, I've been told how futile that would be - but to express myself. I love to communicate and browbeat - ummm, I mean dialogue - about the things I find intriguing. Since you're here, and the door's locked, why don't you stay a while. There's a page bar under the header with links to information about us - I mean me. Don't forget to tell me what you think - in a nice way, I mean.

Readers since Jan 2009

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