Sunday, July 31, 2011

Daily Debate: July 31, 2011

I'll be getting to some substantive posts soon.  Anyway, I enjoyed the last "debate", so let's keep it going.

Does "same sex marriage" or polygamy endanger marriage between one man and one woman?

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Friday, July 29, 2011

Daily Debate: July 29, 2011

I do this every day on Facebook and it is quite popular.

Popular means that at least one person gives it a thumbs up.  There are no prizes, but there are winners, co-winners, honorable mentions, and possibly losers.  But, you have to try REALLY hard to be a loser. goes.

Should we have a daily debate? 

Yep.  That's it!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Horrors of My Tooth Dreams

My wife never dreamed regularly until after she married me and became pregnant with our first daughter.  I never had this luxury.  For me, dreams have been as real as real life.  I dream many dreams every night.  Some of them are normal where the events contained therein could happen outside of the dream.  But most are weird. 

The worst dreams for me are my tooth dreams. 

I hate teeth.  I hate brushing them, flossing them, chugging that alcohol stuff, and whatever else a body has to do to keep his choppers from rotting out of his head.  

When it became a fad to whiten teeth, I read up on the brittle aftereffects of bleaching.  I watched as actors on commercials flashed their pearly whites.  It got to the point that, with my high definition television, I had to wear some serious eye protection to prevent blindness from the sheer whiteness of them.

I went to Wal-mart a dozen times and threw the Crest Whitening Strips into my cart and then, just before going to the cash register, I'd roll the thing back to the health and beauty section and put the package carefully and gingerly back onto the shelf.  The twenty dollars just wasn't worth it.

I imagined that the use of those whitening strips would cause my enamel to crack and then sharp pains would pierce my upper and lower jaw as my upper front teeth split in half.

One day, I was taking a shower and I let the warm water wash into my mouth.  That imagined piercing pain, now reality, suddenly shot through my upper jaw, coming from my front right tooth.  I hollered out in pain so the whole house could hear and licked that tooth as hard as I could for the next few hours.  The shooting pains continued for that period, then went away, only to reoccur a few days later and then never again.

My dentist shrugged his shoulders and told me that I needed to floss more.  He said the plaque that was between my teeth was pulling the enamel in both directions and causing craning.  I haven't flossed since.

Then, I fall asleep and dream of teeth. 

A few nights ago, my alarm went off at 6:00 AM and I rolled over and shut it off.  I wanted a wink or two of sleep to catch up on my sleep debt from the last decade.  I fell back to sleep and began to dream that I was laying on my side, trying to catch a few more winks of sleep to make up that sleep debt.  Yeah...boring dream - until my front left tooth fell out of my head while I was licking the back of it.

I panicked.  My mind shot towards what everyone at work would think of my missing tooth.  I mentally searched the house for a tube of crazy glue and imagined the bill at the dentist's office.  I thought about taking up an interest in rap music so I could go with a stylish gold tooth or even a diamond shiner.  But mostly, I chose to fight the dream.

I half believed I was dreaming so I forced myself to wake up and prove to myself that I actually WAS dreaming.  I woke up and shot my tongue forward to discover that my tooth was still there.  I laid still for fifteen minutes, lovingly caressing that tooth with my tongue.  I failed to brush and floss that morning.

Then, the next day, I dreamed that half of both of my upper front teeth broke off.  I went over to the mirror and noticed that the break was pretty well flat and could hardly be noticed except for a few jagged edges.  I reasoned that since all Britons had horrible teeth and were still successful, I would be fine.  Waking up, I failed to brush my teeth and went to work.

Those are just two examples of what I am forced to endure on almost a tri-nightly basis.  I have had so many teeth fall out of my head.  I have swallowed teeth.  I have gone to the dentist and they ripped them all out and installed dentures.  I have been eating and my teeth just disappeared inside a very soft muffin, never to be found.  I have had shooting pains while licking them.  I have even sneezed, shooting a few teeth across the desk of a potential future employer during an interview.

Frankly, I would rather dream that old dream about going to work only to discover that I am wearing nothing but my old trusty whitey tighties.  At least I can fix that when my mom comes and drops off my clothes, just before she flies away on her pet monkey.

Dreams are weird.  I hope to keep them dreams and die happy with a full set of teeth.

On second thought, maybe I'll just go have them electively removed now so I stop dreaming about them.  That might backfire though.  I'll end up dreaming that I forgot my dentures during my presidential inauguration.  Or that my gums receded and I need dentures affixed to my jaw bone.

Hang on while I go get a Mountain Dew.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Dougy Boy Phillips' Misreading of D-Day

I am most definitely not an historian.  I won't ever pretend to be.  But I have read a lot about many subjects, especially World War 2.  During elementary, middle, and high school, I ate up every book on the subject I could get my hands on.  I love to talk about it too due to the innocence of the weaponry and the huge advances in technology that happened in those few short years.  The soldiers, part of the so-called "Greatest Generation", who fought in the war, are very inspiring.

But, they inspire me for different reasons than Dougy Boy.

Recently, Doug has been so very excited, which is not an unusual occurrence for him, about his D-Day Series.  Doug is especially pumped about Episode 3 of 7 where they examine, as he states, the "biblical leadership qualities" and awesome character of seven men and crappy qualities and horrid character of Hitler.  Of course, we can only assume that he will think highly of the Allied peeps and low of Hitler (I don't dig his mustache either).

I have no issue with viewing Hitler as evil.  He was evil to the core and murderous to boot.  A scourge on our human history. 

Frankly, I think the man became drunk with power, morphing into an overconfidence that caused him to err in the battle of D-Day.  History shows he didn't wake up until very late in the day and nobody wanted to risk their neck to go in and do the job.  No Panzer divisions could move without his say-so, so the Allied forces were victorious before the hierarchical Germans got their act together against the semi-hierarchical opponent which succeeded mainly on the backs of individual heroic decisions.

But, Doug Phillips and his ilk don't see a victorious battle without the need to spiritualize it.   Their favorite hierarchical structure is the military because people cannot question authority while wearing the uniform.  They look at Vietnam and say it was lost because the military authority structure crumbled and the populace did not give their leaders a rubber stamp which doomed the war to failure.  Then, they look at World War 2 and say things like, "World War 2 was the most theologically important war in the history of mankind, where the battle of D-Day was chief."

I'm not sure why they skip battles like Peter cutting off the ear of the soldier where Jesus showed us how to love our enemies and heal their wounds.  Or even the battle of Jericho where we learn that walking around something seven times (God's number, remember?) chanting, and then blowing trumpets and yelling at the end will guarantee us victory.  Or the Revolutionary War where God's chosen people, the Americans, became a free nation.  Or the Civil War where a stupid South dared to question the authority of God's ordained government and was summarily squashed.  And many more....

But, let's examine the character of the leaders that they are going to worship in this series.  You will see that Doug Phillips and his organization revise real history to prove that all great men were godly men and had awesome character when in reality, they don't fit the Vision Forum mold.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt:  
  • Born into a very rich family who made their fortune in opium.
  • A Freemason.
  • Married Eleanor even though his mother vehemently opposed the wedding.
  • Had numerous affairs
  • Was offered a divorce by Eleanor so he could be with his mistress, but his mistress, being Catholic (gasp!), declined
  • Lived apart from his wife for much of his marriage and only used her for political expediency
  • Said "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself", but left out the fear of God.
  • Expanded government exponentially (Doug Phillips' father is the founder of the Constitution Party which believes in VERY limited government.)
  • Ordered FBI and IRS investigations of his opponents

Dwight D. Eisenhower:
  • Stated that his greatest disappointment in life was not making the West Point baseball team rather than listing a sin or two.
  • Stated about himself that he was the most religious man he knew which was not humble.
  • Joined West Point even though his parents were against war.
  • Designed tank warfare that was heavily discouraged by his superiors
  • Expanded all of FDR's government programs as well as creating even more government
  • Made many foreign policy blunders in the middle east ("Eisenhower Doctrine")
  • Was a chain smoker
  • Castigated our military by warning against its undue influence in policy decisions
  • Was a moderate politically, eschewing the right wing of the Republican Party

Omar Bradley:
  • A Freemason
  • Was not homeschooled
  • Failed to properly coordinate battle plans with bombing forces, causing many casualties
  • Made serious mistakes in the Battle of Hurtgen Forest that cost tens of thousands of lives
  • Yelled at his superior, Eisenhower, when he was sidelined before the Battle of the Bulge, blaspheming the name of God
  • Relieved numerous lesser generals based solely on the fact that their command style disagreed with his

George S. Patton: 
  • Had a foul mouth
  • Was physically abusive to soldiers when they didn't meet his standards

(Note:  Sorry.  George S. Patton is my idol.  I have his mouth and his wit.  Though I don't mind humor directed at myself, as he most definitely did not!)

Etc., etc....

After reading over some of the character of the men listed in the VF series, you see that the victory in the war had nothing to do with men of great character,  It had everything to do with men who knew their job and knew their job well. 

In other words, Doug Phillips needs to refocus his views on World War 2, D-Day, and the men involved.  He needs to look at it practically instead of mystically, as he tries to make everything seem.  While he worships the very ground these generals and leaders walk on, they would be the very men where, if the chance to invite them to dinner ever presented itself, Dougy Boy would smugly turn them away based on his superior character and spiritual positioning.

All in all, more fluff with great scores from this loon and his ilk.  A new twist on old history to bring his subjects in line with his revisionist ideas. 

When will people wake up and call him on it?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Rogue "pastoral" Team: Act Ten - To Disagree is Grounds for Dismissal

Start from Act One
Incongruous Circumspection was threatened by Mark and Annah's Henchman! 
Aww...the Henchman Apologizes...Sort of 
Mark Reid Tries to Preach Out of a Jam

In Act Nine we saw Mark and Annah Reid set themselves up as the hammer and chisel of Jesus Christ.  Obviously, the hammer and chisel are the most natural manifestations of Christ and they exemplify it to the hilt.  (Sarcasm anyone?)

Now, let's listen in and watch as Zach tries to ask some pointed questions.

Zach: God gave gifts of pastor-teacher, okay, so that means you can shepherd, but little "s", you know, there's "the Shepherd", and if I don't hear the Shepherd's voice, then I'm going to talk against it.

Annah: You're going to talk against the leaders of the church?

Zach: Well, what's wrong with that if they're not speaking what God wants them to speak?

Annah: Um, you wouldn't be here. Because it says, "Mark those that cause division..."
One thing Annah has going for her here is that she is most definitely NOT prooftexting.  While she is only using a small snippet of the passage, she basically has the correct premise.  But she is applying it wrong.  The passage is speaking to ALL Christians.  The author of Romans is NOT talking to the leaders of a god club to tell them to make sure that there aren't a few people that disagree with them.

Annah Reid is being very smooth here.  Verse 18 says:

"For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive."

If you have read all the other Acts, wouldn't you agree that Annah is the subject of this passage?
Zach: Well, I'm not causing division, all I'm doing is disagreeing.

Sorry, Zach.  You lose.  To these control freaks, those two words have no distinct definitions.
Annah: No, that would be causing division to come against your leaders.

Annah.  That's NOT what Roman's 16 says at all.  Nothing of the sort.  It is NOT addressing followers of overbearing leaders.  Even if the leaders are not overbearing, to pretend this passage is implying that your way is the only way in your god club is like calling a pig a goat.  It's a lie.  I have to point that out because you're probably so accustomed to taking Scripture out of context to prove a point that you don't really know what it truly says anymore.
Zach: No, it's not.

Annah: Yeah...

Zach: Well, that's what it looks like, coming against leaders, but all I'm doing is disagreeing, you can take it that way...

Annah: No, you don't get to do that...

Zach: You can take it that way

Annah: That's not a culture of honor.

Huh?  A culture of honor? 

Translation:  Annah Reid can squish people like a bug and make them do anything she wants them to do.  She can yell them up and down and criticize them for the smallest infraction.  She can become embittered against them when they don't kneel down and kiss her hand when they see her in a restaurant.  And yet, if they put up a fuss, it isn't a culture of honor.


Mark: Are you talking of speaking to others or talking to to them about disagreeing about something?

Wait.  Who's Mark?  Hehe!!!

Zach: If we're talking about protocol here, and we're all trying to come to a decision on one thing, and I don't agree with it...

Annah: Okay, just say a 'for instance'...

Zach: Just the matter of who's on the team, and what their role is.

Annah: Who's on what team?

Zach: The worship team, and what their role is.

Annah: Who is the overseer of the worship team?

Zach: Well, ultimately I guess you guys are, so I really don't have a say in anything.

Mark & Annah: You have a say, but you don't get to make the final decision.
Does anyone remember Mark and Annah trying as hard as they could to tell Zach that HE was in charge of the worship team?  Then they tried to use some sort of jargonic pretzel definition of servant leadership to prove...well...nothing really, except to say that Zach was horrible at playing the part so wasn't ready to lead yet.  After it is all said and done, we're back to where they really want Zach - completely subservient, having no leadership abilities whatsoever.

Zach: Well then my say is nothing.

Annah: No...

Mark: That's not true.

Zach: ...'cause it rarely, if ever, influences your decision if I don't get any part in the final decision.
Warning!  Annah is about to speak out of the OTHER side of her mouth.

Annah: Well, and that might be your role (Zach: for 2 years, people... my role for 2 years!)

Zach: I mean, I'm seeing this hierarchy as something dangerous...

Annah: Zach! Did you just hear what I said?

Zach: ...if you guys don't agree with, like, a body of people.

Annah: Zach! Did you just hear what I said?
Zach: your level!

Annah: Did you just hear what I said? That will be your role.

Zach: What?

Annah: You will do what we ask you and we will make the final decisions.

So, how exactly is Zach in charge of the worship team?  Why is Zach even necessary?  These "pastors" can get any monkey to run their show if that is what they believe.

Zach: You can say that, but there's going to be circumstance upon circumstance that comes up in the future, and that might not be a perfect, idealistic world for that.

Mark: Do you think we have a hierarchy here?

Uh....where's he going with that?  I fear a pretzel definition coming on.

Zach: Of course! It's very evident with the protocol.

Mark: Do you think there's something wrong with that?
Zach: Yeah, I wasn't able to minister where I thought would be an okay place to minister...
(Zach: I'm referring to an invitation I had received from a guest to Freedom Christian Center to go lead the singing at a gathering on a Friday a couple months earlier)

...And you had your input, and I had my input, and at the time, I was like, Okay, I'm going to submit, 'cause he's saying no.

So Zach was forbidden to go to a gathering of other Christians - on his own time - to lead the singing?  Does this not sound a bit concerning?  Maybe Jim Jones, Joseph Smith, David Koresh-like?

Annah: Barbara (Zach: the guest speaker who invited me) wouldn't have allowed you to minister had she known that somebody came in this door and asked you guys before she did, because she wouldn't come against our authority.

In Annah's world, everyone believes in this authority crap.  I bet Barbara would have gladly allowed Zach to minister to her gathering over the other one because Zach is just that awesome.  But, Zach's awesome-ness is of no concern to Mark and Annah Reid.  They only care about themselves.  Exactly what Romans 16 was warning against.

Zach: Well, anything, I'm talking about any way that I use my "gift" (gesturing quotes).

Annah: So you can't minister because people go like, "No!" They're honoring our authority. They're not going to let you minister because they don't want that spirit operating in their ministry (Zach: not sure which spirit she was talking about?)

Ok.  We'll just go ahead and ignore the tween language.  But, the question is asinine!  Annah Reid is asking Zach if he would shove his way into a gig when the person who requested his presence at the gig would receive an authoritative negative answer from Zach's "authority"?  What?????  If the idiot who asked Annah (keep in mind, nobody ever did) believed she needed to ask Annah, then OF COURSE ZACH WOULDN'T do it!!!!   Think about it.  What a stupid question.

Zach: That's not the purpose of it, though.

Annah: The purpose is submission, Zach.

Zach: I'm going to do things that I feel that I should do, and...

Annah: Well then maybe you're not supposed to be here.


And we'll call that a wrap for Act 10.  As you can see, if someone even dares to think outside of what Annah wants, they shouldn't be a part of the "ministry".

Since I began this series, I have received letters and emails detailing the many times that Mark and Annah Reid (Annah mostly, as Mark is really just her puppet whipping boy) have excommunicated members from their "church" for merely asking questions.  People have asked for meetings with the "pastors" to talk about "issues" and are summarily dismissed before the meeting.  These two can do no wrong and wield the little power they have to much damage.

In Act Eleven, we will see Zach's response to Annah and watch Annah twist up another pretzel.  She may even teach us about how a business is supposed to be run.  THAT should be a juicy morsel!

Monday, July 18, 2011

I Want to Write a Book

Every bone in my body aches to write a book.  I first got this burning when I went to a chat by Ander Monson, who has a really cool website, by the way.  He read my Creative Writing class a few of his essays and I was hooked.  I wrote this piece as my report of the Works Reading.

My problem is, I have no idea what to write about.  I've started writing a few children's books, only to discover that the plot had been done already - and better.  I wrote one about the yawn heard around the zoo and then discovered that their was a book out there about the yawn heard around the world, with really sweet illustrations.

Then, I wanted to write a novel about a small town.  But, by the second chapter, there were dozens of characters and about that many plot lines.  It was more like a speed dating style soap opera than a novel.  One cool aspect of that book was that the town mail carrier went out on Christmas Eve and dropped off an apple pie in every mailbox that his plump wife (who always wore blue) would spend several days baking.  I quickly bored of the plot.

I have had great ideas.  I wanted to write a diet book.  It was going to be based on the cycles of the moon.  New moon - eat your heart out.  Steak, eggs, high fat foods with plenty of sugar and carbohydrates.  Full moon - drink plenty of water and eat mostly salads, clear liquids, and a small amount of dried fruit and nuts.  I was going to have fake doctors lining up in white suits, touting the benefits of the diet.  The diet was going to cure the common cold, regulate the unregulated menstrual cycles, relieve back pain, and of course, the mother of all diet benefits, flush out those nebulous toxins.

I couldn't stomach the imaginary lawsuits.  Not to mention, I would have to write it with a pen name so I could be a legitimate author in the future.  I imagine there is nothing worse than having a blacklisted bulls eye, square on my book submissions to every agent in the business.  So, naturally, that idea bit the dust.

I started this blog to relieve the pressure in my head.  As you can see, Incongruous Circumspection is supposed to be about the following:

"The intersection of life, religion, politics, stupidity, family life, dreams, goals, history, reflections, essays, college, and much much more. Fasten your safety're in for the time of your life!"

THAT is a high calling.  Putting on a different hat every time I sit down to type with my lousy two fingers. 

First of all, I have a day job, so writing takes a back seat unless, as I usually do, I stay up until 3AM hacking out a post or two, to get up a few hours later, go to work, and start the process all over.  Another issue is that I wrote a post in response to another commenter on another blog and since then, all I have really written about is patriarchy and where I am in my religious walk.

I do love writing the fluff pieces but I feel as if I write them for my kids and my trophy wife alone.  They enjoy them immensely, except for the few times where my wife does that little adorable twitch of her cheek, jiggles her eyebrows up and down in a flash, and then tells me it is good.  I end up dumping those posts.

I wrote about politics a few times and then got bored.  I despise all the polarization involved in it and ended up writing stuff that seemingly nobody cared about.  The content incited several long responses but I felt they were mostly regurgitated talking points and quickly lost interest.  I'm mostly a libertarian fiscally, and quite liberal and ultra-conservative socially.  And yes, I only mix those two because my positions line up very logically in my mind, but both polarized camps have claimed certain carved out positions for their own, identifying themselves by those litmus tests.

Most of all, I just love writing to an audience.  I want people to smile, tear up, cry inconsolably, weep, laugh, giggle, throw their head back and laugh (my dad does that), and not get angry.  I hate inciting anger, unless I'm very angry myself.  I would rather everyone just agreed with me.

I guess this is all leading to a few questions.  What do you like most about my writing?  What should I hone?  Do I need to tone down a bit...or step it up?   Should I do more research on what I write about?  If I were to write a book, what subject would I shine in?  Or, just give me your thoughts.

I thank all my 12 readers in advance.

Friday, July 15, 2011

The Eighth and Final Square - QuicksilverQueen

I now introduce my next blog in my blog roll.

Anne, the author of this blog is someone after my own heart. I read through her website and, not only is it designed well, she articulates what is in my head every second of every day. She came from what seems like a very controlling patriarchal family and is now free.

She is currently writing about her experiences in meeting, becoming engaged to, and'll have to stick around for the rest. According to The Quicksilver Queen, her now husband (she must have gotten married...) Scottie, is "...the most wonderful, loving, patient man on earth... Truly, he is the best thing that has happened to me and I’m forever grateful!!!"

Those words alone keep me riveted to every post she writes. I want to know about a man who knows how to treat a girl well. After years of marriage, to still be in her mind like superglue. Mostly, it is the "patience" quality that captures my attention.

Anne also talks about herself. As most people have realized, current social media is a great venue to show the peppy and perky side of a person but fails to articulate the struggles we go through on a daily basis without people writing you off as a whiner and complainer. She started this blog so she could " open, honest, and transparent about myself and my thoughts, feelings, and beliefs. Unafraid of unnecessary disapproval, even while I try to objectively think over things people accuse me of to see if they carry any weight. Without the shackles of perfection."

In other words, we get front row seats - rather, premium seating - to a life being lived, seeking truth, and dealing with the questions about a real person, rather than a figment of someone's imagination.

Anne is working through throwing off not only the "shackles of perfection" but everything she had been taught to think while growing up. As she says, "[I am] still trying to figure out what I believe, and why."

And the way she goes about doing that is fascinating. I trust you will be riveted as well.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Pimple: Life's Neglected Beauty Mark

In our forward, long term looking society, we tend to forget about the here and now.  We look at ourselves in the mirror and imagine our bodies twenty years down the road - droopy and sagging in all the in all the wrong places. 

We think of all the years that have passed and imagine the taut skin of our cheeks, the smaller ears, the lack of hair sticking out of every orifice on our face.  Our mind wanders to our younger days where we were able to run fifty miles with nary a breath of air or a sip of water.  We used to be able to play football, basketball, tennis, softball, and swim forty laps, all in one day.  Our legs would get tired, but a good night of sleep would cure that.

Our voracious appetite the next morning would serve to grow muscle, rather than improve the hiding ability of our belly button lint.  We used to be able to see our feet.  Our toenails weren't yellow on the sides and the paint on them would last for weeks, not days.  I, for one, have never painted my toes, but others have done it for me.

While thinking all these thoughts in the wee hours of the morning, we see a pimple, the size of one of our nostrils, sticking out on our forehead, just below the hairline.  We think, "That's where that headache was coming from!"  Every time our brow was furled, there was a sharp pain that radiated from the middle of our forehead to the tip of our scalp.  This morning, our glasses slipped off of our nose faster than normal.

We think about our next steps.  Two fingers, one from each hand, slowly lift upwards from their hanging position and get into a squeezing slant. 

But wait!  Don't do it!

Have you ever considered the purpose of a pimple?  The fact that it isn't a long term item on your body.  Boobs are perky and then droop over time.  Stomachs are hard and flat and yet grow hard and round and then become flabby around our pelvis.  Our butt is round and taut until it is square and flat with all the sitting over the years.  Hair grows like crazy then turns gray and falls off, leaving an ever expanding shiny bald spot on our heads.  Wigs and toupees get dusty and fly off in a windstorm or when someone sneezes,  All these things that we watch on ourselves do nothing but hurt our feelings.

Even while were young, keeping our bodies in shape has the same effect on our psyche.  One inch of skin pinched between our fingers means that we must eat salads for a fortnight and exercise three more times than usual during the week.  More long term misery.

But a pimple.  It is a sign of our fleeting selves.  Something that can be enjoyed for a day or two and never thought of again.  The pain that we must endure to enjoy this act of God only lasts for the beginning phase of the zit and ends when it grows into a large whitehead, oozing puss from several holes.  It is a beauty mark.  Something of ourselves that we do not have to spend hours and months and years, fashioning to everyone else's liking. 

Depending on where it is located, it may even serve some additional benefits.  If it is on one of our rear cheeks, the grease that emanates from it can ease our sliding on and off a toilet seat.  This is especially helpful for those with a bad back or sore knees.  If it is on our head, we have the pleasure of looking at this beauty mark for hours on end, admiring what we don't have to work for and still be gorgeous.  If it is on our back, it causes our masseuse to move her hand in circles around it, which gives us a superior massage.  If it is between our toes, we don't wear high heels or non-breathing shoes and our feet thank us.  Name anywhere on your body that a pimple may be - save a few nameless areas - and you can see the pros.

People.  Leave that pimple.  Society may look at it and grumble, cringe, and even throw up, but know that you are beautiful.  Your fleeting beauty mark that you never once had to strive for proves it.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Simple Joys of Life: Somewhere in Illinois, 2009

I don't remember the town's name.  I just know it was in the back country flats of northern-ish Illinois.  Somewhere off the beaten path between Chicago and somewhere else.

We were on our way back from a miserable week-long trip from Minnesota to South Carolina to see my brother-in-law graduate from Basic Training at the base that Renaissance Man was filmed.  That part of the trip was exciting but only lasted a few hours.

We were in a rush.  Two days to get to South Carolina and two days to get back.  That left us with three days in a state where the average 24-hour high was 106 degrees and the average low was 98.   The humidity was worse.  There was no relief.  The air-conditioners in South Carolina were manufactured for Eskimo Igloos up in the Yukon Territory when the temperature hit the freezing mark - going up.  We drank water like crazy and sweated through all of our changes of clothes on just the first day.

The food we packed rotted immediately.  We realized children do not like bananas that drip when you open the peel.  Crackers and bread became soggy and wouldn't hold the butter on as it slipped off onto whatever surface you were doing the buttering.  All freezing cold liquids warmed up before you swallowed the first gulp and the condensation that collected on the glass you were holding caused you to drop it, spilling the contents, soaking your shoes, increasing the misery level. 

Affection was banned.  A simple goodnight hug caused two bodies to stick together so strongly, the hotel-supplied crowbars could not even handle the ripping apart job.  Calls to the front desk became so numerous as well as the hot oils they used to grease the parent and child apart, that hugging, smooching, and even the holding of hands became unbearable.  Thus, the ban.

To throw more fire on the coals, Frederic's face reacted to the heat and blew up like a balloon on the left side.  He looked like a small edition of Eugene Proctor in Pure Luck after he was stung by the bee in the small airplane - one of the best movies of the 1980's, only available in VHS.  We enjoyed a day in the bowels of the Charleston, South Carolina hospital system, sitting in the waiting room, watching one of our children take off his diaper and pee all over three of the chairs.

To make matters worse, the parking attendant had on a lovely shirt and I asked her, "Did you make that yourself?"  To which she replied, "Why?  Does it look that bad?"  To which I sputtered something inconsequential, drove out of the ramp into the path of another car (we didn't crash), and would have turned red had it been possible to turn a darker shade, due to the heat my skin was already experiencing.

We left that state in a hurry, never to return again.  Driving back, we decided to go straight through, Kristine and I switching off driving duties, catching a few winks here and there, and stopping at every McDonald's along the way to refill our coffee cups at the convenient drive-through.

It was 5:15 in the morning of the second day of driving back when we drove into the little Illinois town.  The streets were very quiet and the air was a cool 55 degrees, a cold front having moved in the night before.  The kids in the back began to stir and we decided to stretch our legs.  Turning down a street that pointed to the city park, we pulled into the parking lot.

I got out to investigate and noticed that all four park slides and every piece of playground equipment, including every individual blade of grass and petal of white clover were covered with the biggest dew drops I had ever seen.  I yelled for the kids who piled out of the car.

For the next hour, while Mommy watched, we dried off those slides with the butts of our pj's and the backs of our shirts.  We used the playground equipment as natural slip and slide material.  We even played tag and rolled around in the dew-covered grass, trying as hard as we could to dry off the place just enough for the pleasure of the townfolk.  In short, we had fun.  The first fun of the entire trip.  And we got messy and sopping wet doing it.

Climbing back into the truck, our chattering kids enjoyed a packed breakfast and went back to sleep with smiles on their faces.  I realized they would have been perfectly happy had we just gone to our local park, rather than the long vacation. Yes, the simple joys of life.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Scratching Each Other's Backs is NOT Conclusive Evidence

As some of you know, I really enjoy reading the blog written by Ladies Against Free-Thinking.  One of their recent posts was no exception.  Almost all of them are titled to make the lazy reader feel as if the content includes the final word on the subject contained therein.  Why even bother checking the sources, the Scripture that is prooftexted, and the validity of ANY of the off-the-wall claims?

The LAF-ter Ladies (that name is courtesy of my good friend and genius, Brian) titled this one, Summit declaration affirms natural family.  From that, we can imagine that the UN Human Rights Council, or some sort of ecumenical religious gathering, or even a consortium of countries with ambassadors from all walks of life, came to a much argued and oft debated, ground-breaking conclusion.  But that is not the case.

The summit was the fourth annual summit put on by a group called The World Congress of Families.  On their official website, they state their purpose, which, on many of the items listed, I agree with, as I also disagree with some.  But, whether or not I agree with the Purpose Statement, this organization is very disingenuous by using terminology like:

"We assemble in this World Congress, from many national, ethnic, cultural, social and religious communities, to affirm that the natural human family is established by the Creator and essential to good society."

We all know that, even in the Christian community, there are many viewpoints regarding the natural human family.  Heck, even the "established by the Creator" part is debated by some.  I won't argue the "essential to good society" part because, in many ways, I see a strong family household as essential to building good societies.  But, to pair that with "God's purpose" is a bit of a stretch.  I don't think He cares much about what your family unit looks like as long as you love Him and others with your whole heart.

I grew up in a single mother household.  I turned out like a ball of chicken wire with spikes sticking out in all the wrong places and yet am a successful unit of society.  All my six siblings are, as well.  Some, VERY successful, and I am not necessarily talking about financial means here.  Success to me is that they are loved by those they know well and that their wife or husband and kids, should they have them, think the world of them, despite all their faults.

I also know many people who grew up in "natural family" households (which mean father and mother and a new kid spit out every 9.5 months) that turned out deadbeats.  A scourge on society.  Bitter.  Victimized.  And yes, in need of someone to come alongside of them and pull them out of the elitist dust they were raised in, give them a swift kick where the light don't shine, and show them their true worth.  Success and the general value of society is measured in the sum of all the good works and deeds each individual does for one another, including themselves, and I would argue, God.

You can read the Declaration that the World Congress of Families put out after this summit to see where they are coming from.  Though they may try and pretend they are objective and weighing the evidence, it is quite obvious that are heavily biased towards their viewpoint and would as much allow a differing view as allow a Buddhist to join.

Before I go into a quick overview of the document, I must qualify something here.  I am not against the "natural family" (when I agree with that term, I am not including the spitting out of children, though that can be included with no ill will directed toward those who practice it for the right reasons, from me), summits of Christians, or even documents that will be laughed at in most halls of governments throughout the world.  In fact, I celebrate them.

As you now know my definition of a successful society, I can list those "family units" that I celebrate:

  • A mother, father, and children
  • A single mother with children
  • A single father with children
  • Children raised by their grandparents
  • Children raised by uncles and aunts or uncles and uncles or second cousins, or fifth cousins thrice removed
  • Two old bachelors buying TV dinners and never sweeping the floor, farming the same plot for 80 years
  • A nursing home (ok, maybe I don't support that)
  • Any combination of homosexual family units
  • Polygamous relationships
  • A guy and his dog (as a pet)
  • A woman and her cat (yes, guy/dog and woman/cat is clearly sexist, but I can't get away from that reality)
  • etc., etc.

Now that you clearly know where I stand, I can move on.

The WCF makes their sweeping conclusions with no related evidence (only indirect, hardly proving the point) whatsoever included in their Declaration.  It doesn't do any good to list all the people that attended the summit to try and convince the reader that they are right.  After all, we had "leading businessmen" and "people from responsible areas of society" here.  That makes me wonder what their definition of "responsible areas" is.  Could it be those that irresponsibly disagree with them?

They then tear into governments, including the United Nations for exacerbating the problem (we haven't gotten to what they view as the real problem yet).  Then, without skipping a beat, they claim to stand on the "Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the UN General Assembly on 10 December 1948".  They blame the "crisis" on national governments' meddling in what should be the family's freedom to decide, and then they turn around and demand (or edict) that all governments should legislate against the naughty ways of having a family and toward the only good way.  If you really read the document, you will note that it is very hypocritical, two-faced, disingenuous, and mostly, pretentious.

Now, to the problem they see at hand - the fact that the world population is falling.  While I disagree with this "fact" I do not see that as a crisis.  The world population fell during a few plagues in centuries past.  Millions of men were lost in the two world wars.  Populations were decimated by corrupt rulers like Hitler, Stalin, and the emperors of China.  Hundreds of civil wars.  Religious wars.  The Crusades.  Famine.  Natural Disasters. All of these led to population declines and the human race bounced back, arguably healthier than ever.  Now, there are less wars, plagues are almost eradicated, famine is a historical footnote in most of the world, most people in religion are finding common ground with their alternatively religious neighbors, and we can recover more quickly form natural disasters than ever before.  The world population is higher than it has ever been and it is still growing - fast!

One final note about their premise before I conclude.  Those areas where the "natural family" is burned into the culture, where birth control is either taboo or unavailable (India, Indonesia, Africa, South America), as well as all the other scourges on the human race this organization lists, are the poorest, most hygienic and technologically backward, and uneducated areas of the world.

For Ladies Against Free-Thinking to state that this organization, with less than zero credibility, has "affirmed" what they have always known, that the "natural family" is the reason for all good societies, is pretty much a lie.  Nothing was affirmed.  The LAF-ter Ladies just got their back scratched from people who agreed with them.  People who make conclusions based on scant evidence or logic pulled from questionable sources.

In short, they care nothing for the individual person in society - only that the more babies squirted out between a man and a woman, the better,  We all need to strive to make the collective society bigger and stronger or our human race will fail.  I say, "Who cares!  At least I'll love my kids, love my wife, all my friends and enemies, and God, even if all the zombies are biting everyone else's necks around me."  I just need to go limber up.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Men Suck: Sin Entered the World Because Adam Didn't Give a Flip

I've been flummoxed by the hyper-fundie principle of why women are supposed to be subject to men. It has nothing to do with the prooftexted verses they pick out of their favorite Bible passages or the eisegetical reading of the Bible. It is all about their view of The Fall. The claim that a woman deceived the man and caused him to eat the cumquat and thus needs to pay penance until the end of the age.

So, let's assume for arguments sake that everything that was written about the fall of man in the Garden of Eden is factually correct. We have to do that for this argument because a fundie would have it no other way. Of course, even if you came at them with proof from their hallowed, inerrant, infallible, OMG! let your Bawble touch the floor!!!!, written magically by the hand of God book, that their arguments are false, they will hang onto the fact that you don't worship the Bible and thus, your proof is biased and ignorant, and can be summarily dismissed.

That being said, I am not writing this for a fundie. I don't care about them. Sure, I want them to change, don't get me wrong, but its the people who are negatively affected by this crap – namely women and children (and men that desire to love women for how God created them) that I write for. My audience, I hope, are those who feel so strongly that the fundie principles are wrong but cannot get past the “fact” that they can seem so right.

These people – patriarchalists, hyper-fundamentalists, chauvinists, devout and proud women, abusive men, manipulative wives, etc. - have perfected their craft and, most importantly, their arguments. The problem for them is that, most of the time, their baloney sausage can be ripped to shreds quite easily. Usually, all it takes is a person on the outside raising one eyebrow, furling the brow irreparably, and uttering a strong “Huh!!!!!?”

Ok. Back to the subject at hand.

In Genesis 2:15, God was giving directions to Adam (Eve had not been created yet) about what he could and couldn't eat. According to God, Adam was allowed to eat from every tree in the garden except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Now, I have no way of knowing what this tree was, but I'm pretty sure it was a a crab apple tree. Crab apples are so delicious that, once you eat one, you have to eat a hundred. Eating a hundred crab apples does a little number to a person's bowels and you learn quickly the knowledge of good and evil, if you catch my drift, but I digress.

Right after God told Adam to not eat the cumquats from the tree, he put him to sleep and made woman from his rib. We won't get into the stupid logic about women being subservient to man because woman came from man. It was just the weird way that God decided to create the two peeps. Any conclusion from that is simply conjecture and is most likely from the ignorant people groups of the early world, trying to make heads or tails about the nature of things. Not to mention that the curse came AFTER the eating of the cumquat and thus, the order of creation to prove roles for the sexes is simply retroactive application and is thus false.

So, the snake comes to Eve and asks her if what God really told them about the naughty tree was correct. He debated with her about the fact that God would kill them if they ate the cumquat, finally convincing her that God didn't really mean that he would kill them but that men and women would know good and evil just like God did. So, Eve, who had not been told directly by God (anyone who says otherwise is not basing their argument on their hallowed book) that the tree was naughty, ate it.

Then, after the debate with the snake (which we see only took up five verses, but I think, in reality, Eve likely debated the slithery vermin for hours, knowing everything I know about women) we get a one liner. “Eve ate, then gave it to Adam, and Adam ate it.”

Really? Adam ate the fruit with no arguments? Why didn't Adam ask Eve why she would eat and then offer it to him? Why didn't Adam require convincing from the snake or Eve that what God actually said wasn't really what He meant? Why was there no protest but just a shoulder shrug and a biting into the juicy flesh?

Eve didn't have to force feed Adam. Adam WASN'T deceived, no matter how you look at it. He was irresponsible, untrustworthy, disobedient, stupid, asinine, and most of all, NOT OFF THE HOOK by any means.

The Bible's narrative is that Adam caused sin to enter into the world. Why doesn't it state that Eve did? Why do women have to mentally flog themselves over the fact that they caused Adam to sin when in fact Eve debated with the snake and Adam didn't give a crap?

Are women smarter than men so the serpent knew he had to convince Eve, and then Adam, the dumb idiot, would just follow?

As you may suspect, there is a thread of sarcasm through all of my questions and rightly so. The fact is, God gave directions to Adam and it is possible Adam told Eve, though we don't know that – just the fact that Eve knew about the order from God. And, with the knowledge, they both ate the fruit. Eve, after losing a debate, and Adam, after – um....well....nothing. He just ate it.

And women need to be hidden in the home doing wifely duties and letting the men lead because they caused the first man to sin?

Both ate. Both sinned. Both are equally at fault for what they did, regardless of how they got there. Eve was just smarter about it. Thus, being that the curse of Adam has been lifted since Christ's sacrifice, BOTH should be subservient to one another, treating each other with the respect, grace, mercy, and tolerance that every individual human being on this earth deserves.

Women. Lose your chains! You are free from guilt! Live as God intended and go out and be successful in everything you put your hand to.

And to the men that preach the slavery of women as being God's proper way and the women that regurgitate it as if it is the right and proper idea, shame on you! Go ahead and stay in your stupid formulaic rut of life, never realizing YOUR fullest potential, or the potential of the blindly accepting followers you control.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Going Away for the Weekend

I am jealous of Lewis Wells and others that are so close to their extended relatives.  Mostly, the fact that I am not, is my own fault.  I grew up, raised as an elitist pig, looking at everyone who was not "saved", according to my single mother's (and her enablers) definition of "saved", as if they were going to hell.  That being the case, I was forbidden to associate with them unless it was necessary to make the familial political holiday showing.  Thus, I grew up hardly knowing my cousins, aunts, uncles, dad, stepmom, stepbrothers, all their pets, and even the trees they loved to hug.

Then, when I left that life, I drifted away from my siblings and my dad and stepmom as time marched onward.  I am only beginning to desire to claw my way back.

So, I am going away for the weekend.  Kristine, me and the terrors will be heading out to a resort (I hate camping due to the work involved) to hang out with all my siblings and their spouses and kids.  I think there are about 40 nieces and nephews at present between the seven of us.  My dad and stepmom will be there, as well.  Two-and-a-half days of life and love.

Much to Kristine's chagrin, I will be working on three blog posts for my eleven readers (yep!  I gained another reader since a few posts ago).  I will be writing an answer to another Ladies Against Free-Thinking post, a post on why men suck, and a cool story from the trip.  I'll just do it when Kristine is asleep at 3AM like I always do.

Love you all!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

An American Yankee Girl

It is time for me to advertise my first blog. 

Katherine Anne is a great friend of mine.  She traveled the United States and the world while growing up and sped through my home state of Minnesota from time to time.  We became friends by proxy before Facebook connected us back up, as it does to so many people.

Even though she is a friend, I hate her guts.  She is the epitome of what is wrong with America.  As a die-hard Yankee fan, she brings out the horrid inferiority in me - a die-hard Minnesota Twins fan.  Her lousy team which has included baseball greats like Lou Gehrig, Babe Ruth,  Micky Mantle, Roger Clemens, and Carl Pavano (oh wait...he sucked!) has crushed the humble and undeserving Twins in most of the post seasons of the past decade.

Regardless, Katherine Anne loves the Yankees.  Her blog is full of accolades for them.  Currently, she is tracking Derek Jeter's (actually, my favorite baseball player of all time) quest toward 3000 hits.  Her succinct blog entries have captivated my attention and now I am awaiting the historic moment with bated breath.

She is also a seriously proud American.  She loves this country with every bone in her body and then some.  Sure, her taste for Country Music is a bit suspect, but it fits right into her love for John Wayne, cowboys, football, baseball, July 4th celebrations, our military men and women, and everything else that is great about our nation.

In short, Katherine Anne's posts will take a bad day and make you feel good.  Her ear to ear smiles will serve to cause the sun to shine and the rain clouds to be driven away.

You can follow her at An American Yankee Girl!

A Working Woman is the Downfall of Society

Ladies Against Free-Thinking are at it again.  They titled this post "A Cultural Emergency".

When LAF titles a blog post like this, we can usually expect the same tired old drivel from them.  They're going to be writing about how families are all screwed up because peeps aren't fitting into their proper roles, which they have complete and perfect definitions for (because they hold the line on what is truly "biblical"), peppered with small pretzel-ized disclaimers to make it appear that they are not being controversial or asinine.

And, as you read through this, you will not be disappointed.  They start out their post by stating the following:

It has become so apparent that even CBS Sunday Morning had to comment on the startling statistics. After decades of societal revolution and “gender equality,” even the workforce is beginning to pay the price. The latest labor statistics prove it.

Of course, the way this is worded, a sloppy reader would assume that CBS was startled by the fact that "gender equality" has given us such a dire "emergency".  But a viewing of the video shows nothing of the sort.  It is a simple reporting piece on Father's Day where the recession numbers are analyzed.  Yes.  You read that correctly.  The recession numbers were analyzed.

CBS was reporting on very recent statistics that showed jobs, typically held by men, being hit harder than those held by women.  And, the fact that jobs, typically held by women, were projected to grow faster, in the future, than those held by men.  Then, at the end of the video, the real reason for the numbers was revealed - the fact that fathers can now spend more time with their children.  Time that they really need, due to living an average of five years less than the typical woman.

The video was very informative and had a warm message.   It had no underlying ideas about women in the workplace being a negative factor. 

With unemployment hovering near double digits, husbands and fathers are finding themselves edged out of the office. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, unemployment rates for men over the age of 20 remained at 8.9% last month, while women the same age experienced unemployment rates nearly an entire percentage point lower (8.0%).  And it is not for lack of trying; while nearly three-quarters of the men are either employed or looking for work, nearly 60% of women the same age are competing with them for their jobs.

Husbands and fathers?  The truth of the matter is, the statistics state that MEN have an unemployment rate of 8.9%.  Not husbands and fathers.  The usage of these words are simply to tug at the heartstrings of those who view all men as either a husband or a father, and if not, then evil or aspiring to be one. 

Edged out of the office?  This is a shoddy reading of the numbers.  This statistic is based on those men and women that are looking for work.  It has nothing to do with all the millions of mothers that are perfectly happy exercising their right to stay at home, rather than taking freedom by the horns and going out and competing with the best and the brightest in their field for a job.  Also, men losing their jobs has no correlation to women gaining employment.  Even a merging of these statistics and the CBS video will reveal a simple fact - the careers typically held by women are not shedding as many jobs as those typically held by men.  That's it!

Five years ago, the Department of Labor reported that women held half of the professional and managerial jobs. Now, the balances are tipping in their favor. What will the workforce look like in another decade, when women take over the high-level jobs and more than half of the workforce?

How exactly are the balances tipping in their favor?  The "five years ago" statistic is simply a head jerk in another direction to trick the reader into believing that it proves the next sentence.  It doesn't.

Also, let me help the author out by answering her very basic question that she can't quite get the answer to, even thought the answer is answered in the same question that she wants answered. 

What will the workforce look like?  Well, as a matter of fact, if what you assume will be true, is in fact true, more than half of the workforce will include women and high-level jobs will be overtaken by these horrid urchins in short skirts or (gasp!) PANTS!  If that doesn't scare a man and send highly-intuitive, feminine, heel-length denim jumpers with white tennis shoes and knee-high leg warmer wearing women screaming into their vegetable garden-surrounded homes, then I don't know what will.

How will this change our culture, as husbands increasingly struggle to find employment and provide for their families? How many churches will struggle and missionaries plea for support as offerings fall off as unemployment continues to rise? How radically absurd will stay-at-home motherhood appear to the next generation? Will “homemaker” even be on the census form?

Wow!  This author (a woman) comes up with these questions from the few statistics she mentioned?  This is laughable at best, completely asinine at worst.  Let's explore the questions one at a time.

Question: How will this change our culture, as husbands increasingly struggle to find employment and provide for their families?

Answer: Where is the proof that husbands are struggling or will be struggling to provide for their families?  Why can't the wife go out and get a job if it is true that women are the only people going to be working in the next decade?  Why "husbands" when the video and US statistics claim the issue is about "men"?  Don't you understand that we are in a recession and certain statistics are skewed during those types of economic events?  People buy fewer goods and services during an economic downturn.  Companies tend to not want to employ people they don't need.  Once an uptick happens, they may very well begin hiring again due to people buying more goods and services.  Short term trends then correct themselves.  Recessions are hardly good subjects to base long term economic trending on.

I can understand how, in this author's "biblically" elitist worldview, the husbands she is referring to are the ones that do not allow the wife to go out and get a job.  Thus, if the said husband was actually being "edged out of the workforce" (which is NOT happening, especially based on these statistics) she may have a point.  But then, I would add, change your freaking worldview!  Can you imagine the husband who believes this crap writing on his welfare application: "I can't get a job and my wife is dutifully at home."?

Frankly, if you live in America, you drive on the right side of the road.  But, if you go to almost any other country in the world (except Mongolia because there, Genghis Khan still rides a horse), you are required to drive on the left side of the road.  How stupid would it be to stand on "principle" and refuse to do what is now newly required?  Things change.  Women used to wash laundry on a rock beside the creek as part of their wifely duties.  Then, Wal-Mart came along and clothing became disposable.  Do patriarchal types still require their wife (or wives) to use the rock?

Question: How many churches will struggle and missionaries plea for support as offerings fall off as unemployment continues to rise?

Answer:  If "husbands and fathers" are edged out of the workforce by evil women, can't they start their own business?  After all, your patriarchal culture worships the family business, run by an omniscient male head, fully versed in all things business, employing his obedient children through their 40's, and supported by the dutiful wife.  If this were the case, why would offerings fall off at all?

I'm also going to assume this was not a blanket question about all churches.  If it was, this author needs to get her head out of where the light don't shine and look around a little bit.  MOST churches have plenty of evil short-skirt wearing, working women.  If they become more successful, well then, since women tend to give more than men do, the churches should be set.

Question: How radically absurd will stay-at-home motherhood appear to the next generation?

Answer: Right now, more than ever, women are working in the workforce.  Sure, certain branches of feministic thinking devalues the right to stay at home and be a mother, but they can generally be ignored.  Everyone worth their salt knows that women have every right to do whatever they want in life, as individuals.  Motherhood is not currently viewed as absurd and I don't see any change in that view, except possibly for the better, as the awesome movement of feminism progresses to its true purpose - freedom for women.  Last I checked, women have the freedom to be a mom.  Stop with the scare tactics.

Question: Will “homemaker” even be on the census form?

Answer: Huh?!  Let me provide a helpful hint.  Since when has the government, which is evil to its core, according to paranoiac patriarchy, EVER provided a single person with something "biblically" warranted?  The fact is, if you don't have "Homemaker" on the census form, you can still stroke your elitist "Christian" ego and WRITE IT IN THE "OTHER" BOX!!!!   I'm sure you know how.  All your readers are used to doing that for the Constitutional Party candidates.

It is up to Christian families to stand in the gap, to boldly live counter-culturally in an upside-down world.Women in the workforce is not evil in itself (I have worked myself at times, both in and out of our home). But the lie behind this cultural phenomenon is evil. It is not wrong to support our husbands financially, but it is blasphemy to supplant God’s order for the home. It is critical that we as biblical Christian women recognize this trend, understand what is happening in our country, and determine our paths according to Scripture.

Translation:  Umm...errr...Wait.  I can't do this.  The pretzel she twisted into here is too choice.  She tries to get in a small disclaimer that it is alright for a "biblical" woman to work outside the home because women in the workforce is not evil.  But, then she says the lie behind the cultural phenomenon is evil.  What lie?  Supplanting God's order by working instead of your husband?  I don't get it.

First of all, it appears she is saying that those who don't agree with her are not Christians.  But, she does seems to qualify the good women as "biblical" Christians.  But, isn't Christianity based on the Bible, so anything other than a "biblical" Christian cannot be a real Christian?

The reality is, her disclaimer falls short.  It has no clear definition of how or why it is correct and good for a woman to work.  It is only inserted to try to appease the few women who HAVE to work in order to keep food on the table.  That is the problem with patriarchy and fundamentalism.  Life is sloppy.  It doesn't fit neatly into a rulebook.  Thus, you need to carve out exceptions which disagree with the founding principles of the cult.  The pretzel arguments to "prove" that they are okay are so dizzying that cult members just pass it off as good logic, even though an objective outsider can only raise one eyebrow, shake their head, and walk the other way - choosing freedom (and better logic) instead.

Ever since Satan told Eve she could have so much more (Gen. 3:1-6), women had been tempted to do more, know more, be more. Feminism says women can do it all, because Satan says we know what is right for ourselves (“ye shall be as God, knowing good and evil”). Feminism doesn’t consider what God really said (“Yea, hath God said?”). Feminism don’t stop to count the cost to the family (“she gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat”). Feminism is secular humanism in a skirt, and it is so easy to put on. It is just another god.

My holy freaking lord!  This is horrible!  And to think, this is a WOMAN writing this.  She must hate herself.  Hate herself with a passion.  I wouldn't be surprised if she requests a flogging from her husband, once a week, to do penance for just being of the same gender as the devil in human form - Eve. 

Unfortunately for Eve and all women (more the men that beat this into a woman's head), the serpent happened to say the "ye shall be as God" bit to Eve.  The problem with placing that phrase on Eve's head alone is that the serpent was answering Eve's declaration that "We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, 'You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.'"  So, Eve was speaking of both her and Adam.  And the serpent's response was general in nature, speaking of Adam, as well.

Another point I have made in previous posts is that I get very riled up when someone uses the argument that Eve is to blame for the sin of mankind.  After all, if she hadn't offered the cumquat to Adam, sin may have not entered into the world at all.  The problem with this argument is that Eve didn't strap Adam to a rock using the leftover twine from Tarzan's rope swinging threads, knock him semi-unconscious with a molted turtle shell, slice the cumquat up into bite-size pieces, and then carefully, lovingly, and submissively, Proverbs 31 style force feed him.  Little do these theologians realize that Adam had to actually take the yellow sweet-fruit, open his mouth, salivate, decide that the taste was worth more than the obedience, and then dig his teeth into the bloody thing.

Finally, something this woman, who hates herself and all other women, is saying is: "...
women had been tempted to do more, know more, be more...[since The Fall]." 

Translation:  Women are worthless and should remain that way.  However they try and twist the pretzel, it will always come back to that end.  Feminism is about the equality of women and the realization that every person, male or female, is an individual with equal rights to the same freedoms.  To reject feminism with that definition is to relegate women to be less than human.

We know better. We know that husbands can wisely lead the home spiritually, physically, emotionally, educationally, and financially (Eph. 5:25- 6:4; I Tim. 3:1-12).

Ephesians 5:25 - 6:4 says absolutely nothing about wisely leading a home.  NOTHING!  It says nothing about a home at all.  Until Chapter 6, it is merely talking about how a man should treat his wife.  It is a beautiful picture of the other half of mutual submission to one another.  Then, Chapter 6 just tells children to obey their parents and then fathers to not piss the kids off.  Good ideas, but nothing remotely close to proving that "We know better" about what a husband's role is.

And the 1 Timothy reference?  Yeah.  More prooftexting at its worst.  The author is speaking to his understanding of church offices and what the man's home life should be like.  It could be assumed that the author was being very specific, knowing that only the best of the best could hold church office-ship.  We can therefore conclude that all other types of family environments were present and accepted.

But, we don't even need to assume anything, being that this set of verses does not prove the point.  The post's author is simply throwing some unrelated Scripture references into the article to seemingly support her premise.  It doesn't.  There is no prescription for the exact way a man should lead his home, or that a wife cannot lead the home.  Not to mention, the LAF author assumes that a woman working is usurping the leading of a home.  It doesn't follow logically.

We know that women can manage their homes, counsel and support their husbands, train their children, and encourage those around them to fear God (Titus 2:3-5).

Ah yes.  I can't say much here.  This passage appears to be prescriptive.  Very clearly prescriptive.  BUT!  If that is the case, we need to also keep in mind that EVERYTHING ELSE prescriptive, written by every author in the Bible must also be followed.  Verse 9 of this passage is a message to slaves.  Should we then say slavery is the design of God?  What about our current understanding of slavery?  It is culturally taboo.  So, what else in the Bible is cultural?  Maybe a woman staying at home?

An underlying point that needs to be stated here is that nobody can stand up and say "I have the final word on what God wants."  Why?  Because only God knows his true word.  The Bible has been touched, and by touched, I mean potentially corrupted, by mortal men and women.  I would use a stronger word than "potentially" but, it isn't necessary.

We know the family can reflect kingdom principles. We know that God will bless and honor those who follow His way (Deut. 28:1-4; Matt. 6:33).

Who cares what she means by "kingdom principles."  It's pure jargon.  Meaningless.  Only uttered to induce the nodding head and audible "Ah!" of unthinking enablers. 

The next sentence is a cheap shot at all Christians.  The formula here is, first, state what you know is undoubtedly God's ways, then quote some meaningless verse about how God will bless you if you do what he commanded.  It wraps a message up in a nice neat bow.  But, if you look at the context of the Deuteronomy reference, you will see that the verse followed a bunch of laws.  Nowhere in that list of laws was there an admonition to the husband to rule the roost and to the wife to be an underling.  Nowhere.

In fact, to quote this verse in this context is to admit that the law is still necessary for our perfection in this age, rather than, as Paul stated, simply a schoolmaster to lead us to Christ. Also, the Matthew reference is Jesus specifically telling the people to stop trying to follow rules of what to eat, what to wear, etc., but to seek God first.  I'm sorry, but running your home and following your gender roles to the 'T' does not fit into any worthwhile definition of seeking God.

We should not, then, be passive onlookers to this rapidly changing culture. Rather, there are definite steps we must take to demonstrate our opposition to the secular humanism around us:

Rapidly changing?  Ok.  I might give the author that one.  We may be rapidly changing, but to equate women working outside the home to secular humanism?  That's a bit of a stretch.  Then, the author goes on to recycle more bulls*** about gender roles and how to train the next generation for its realization and how to do everything for your husband except giving him sex.  Frankly, my eyes glazed over due to the repetitive nature of the message.  Beat something like this into people's heads often enough, they'll just regurgitate it back to you, believing themselves to be brilliantly independent thinking.  Foolishness.

This author has no clue what it means to be a real woman.  I define a real woman as one who sees herself as a very worth-full human being.  Someone who has the capacity, as much and arguably more than a man, to be successful in any endeavor she puts her hand to.  If that means going out and having a career, then that is what it means.  Life is very complex and calls for many solutions to even equal problems, due to the nuances of every situation.  In short, women can and do reject the notion that they are somehow uniformly, pertaining to their sex, to blame for the sin of mankind.  There is no respect of persons, in Christ.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

The Simple Joys of Life: Saturday, July 2, 2011

I hate blood.  Can't stand it.  I see a bloody nose and I recoil in horror.  Same with a broken bone or an arm twisted out of joint.  Needles make me squirm internally and a visit to the dentist raises my blood pressure into dangerous territory. 

My kids laugh at me all the time about this.  But it doesn't fare well for them when I am the only parent in the house.  If Felicity (4) gets a bloody nose, I will holler at the top of my lungs for Renaya (9) or Laura (7) to grab some Kleenex and do what they do best - pick up after dear old dad.  Its actually quite funny to see the poor sap with a bloody nose double over in a fit of giggles.  I take the mockery in stride.

On Saturday, the chance to get even fell into my lap. 

My gorgeous wife had to go to grab some perennials from a foreclosed property and left me alone with the kids.  While making lunch, I grabbed the sharpest knife in the house.  All the kids know that this knife can be a great substitute for a Husqvarna chain saw (which I don't own because I'm too cheap) in a  pinch.  I nonchalantly flashed the knife in the air so they could see I was about to use it.  Then, when their attention was elsewhere, I opened the fridge and hiding behind the door, grabbed the bottle of ketchup and squirted it all over the back of my hand.  I rubbed it around then hid the hand behind my back, closed the fridge, rinsed the other hand off, then slunk over to the counter to slice up whatever it was I was slicing up.

I noticed Laura was eying me suspiciously so I sliced for about 60 seconds until someone bumped into her and she had to issue a good slap-down.

The moment was perfect.  I hit the knife on the counter, dropped it on the floor and let out a yowl that would raise the hair on every neighborhood cat for miles around.  Holding my "bloody" hand in the air, I ran screaming into the eat-in kitchen yelling, "CALL MOMMY,  OH CRAP, CALL MOMMY.  AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!"

As if on queue, Laura, Frederic (6), Felicity (4), and Jack (2) burst into tears and started wailing.  Renaya just started bumping into things, running in circles yelling at me that she couldn't find the phone, not really looking that well anyway.  Analisse (1) just stared in horror.  I kept yelling and wailing, letting some ketchup drip onto the floor.

Renaya yelled, "I CAN'T FIND THE PHOOOOOOONE!!!!!!!"


Renaya and Laura disappeared and I followed them into the office.  When I came around the corner, Renaya was still running into walls, falling down, desperately looking for the phone in every place that it wasn't.  Laura on the other hand was crouched on the floor, head in hands, shaking uncontrollably.  Then, Renaya took another look at my hand and immediately burst out laughing.

She told me later that the rubbing marks of my fingers gave me away.  I laughed and laughed and the kids quieted down and got the joke.  A few of them slapped me on the back to release their pent up fear the best way they knew how.

Laura, on the other hand, was weeping.  Tears were running down her cheeks.  She got the joke but it wasn't funny.  She had been scared out of her wits, thinking that maybe, just maybe, she would lose her dad right in front of her face.


I scooped her up in my arms and gave her a big bear hug, kissing the tears away and rubbing the rest of the lines of salty water off with my shirt.  She wept on my shoulder for a few minutes and then was saved by mommy walking through the door.

I realized then that it took me pretending to be mortally wounded to discover that my standoffish daughter really loved me.  There are better ways to discover this truth and I intend to find the alternative next time.