2007-09-30

things that upset me...

Doom Town


If you care to, take a few moments to glance through the images and read this. It's a tract that we found at a local restaurant that someone had left there. We found a few of them that day in the restaurant in different places. We kept this one to blog about because it was particularly awful. So, without further ado, here are some thoughts about it.

First of all, the portrayal of homosexuals is incredibly demeaning, not to mention completely wrong - they are portrayed as having an agenda to take over society, to commit terrorism if society doesn't bend to their grand agenda (what grand agenda?), it is implied that homosexuals should be called faggots, dykes, queers and sissies, that they intentionally and consciously choose to live a life of sinful indulgence, and phrases like "God is love" and "hate is not a family value" are portrayed as simply being slogans for them to get away with their "wicked, evil behavior." They are portrayed as being full of hate for anyone who would contradict them, and willing to do anything to make their lifestyle the prominent one in society. Before even getting into anything regarding scripture, I can say from experience that this is a completely misguided, misinformed, heavily biased and weighted depiction of homosexuals intended simply to emotionally manipulate people who aren't willing to think about this issue, but simply want to believe what they are told by people who put out tracts like this.

I don't believe that homosexuals in general are hateful any more than any other human, have any grand plans to take over society, to kill people who disagree with them, that HIV is a disease isolated to the homosexual population - in fact, I know just as many, if not more, people who hate homosexuals than the other way around. Mostly the homosexuals I know simply feel that they have been rejected and shunned by others, by christians in particular. And that includes christians who are homosexuals. I think the people who put out this tract have much more of an agenda to manipulate society than "the homosexuals" do. I think it's ridiculous to portray homosexuals in general as having an agenda to kill those who don't agree with them. We are all humans, and certainly there are exceptions to any rule, there are people who are willing to kill abortion doctors and any number of other things, but we don't generalize and say all people are willing to kill abortion doctors. HIV is also just as likely to be propagated by heterosexual couples having sex as it is by homosexual couples.

I think it is incredibly pretentious that this tract makes the assumption that because a person is homosexual, they must not be a christian, because christians are much better than that. Certainly they wouldn't do anything as horrible as that. This is also completely ignorant. It is also categorizing homosexuality as the worst of things, which is again pretentious and I'm sure causes the person writing this to feel very good about themselves, because they are not as bad as those "evil" homosexuals.

Homosexuals in this tract are also portrayed as not wanting to know anything about God, which is again a huge generalization and a mis-portrayal in general, I believe, as is often done with post-modern society and just about any time a large group of people is labeled. Just because the label somebody puts on a group of people doesn't include a belief in God, it doesn't mean that the group of people itself have no interest in God.

Homosexuals in this tract are also portrayed as all being big, hairy, biker-type men, who have no desire for anything except to have sex with anything they come across. Anyone who spends any time thinking about this knows that this is a horribly wrong portrayal.

Ok, on to Bible stuff. This tract makes the statement that God destroyed Sodom strictly because of homosexuality. It states that the men (meaning the masculine people) of the city came to Lot's house to rape the men who came to visit him. According to the Bible, however, all the people of Sodom, young and old, came to his house, asking that the men come out, so that they might "have relations" with them. It never says anything else specific in this passage of Genesis at least, about what the great sins of Sodom were. So, to assume that God destroyed Sodom precisely because of homosexuality seems like a huge stretch to me.

The other thought I had regarding this tract is that the idea presented is that God destroyed them solely because of their sin. Now, think about this carefully. In many other parts of the Bible, Ninevah and Jonah, for example, God would destroy people not simply because of their sin, but because of their refusal to admit it and be changed. It doesn't say this particularly in this passage, but this seems to be a continual theme throughout the Bible, and therefore I find it hard to believe it wouldn't apply here. Don't get me wrong, I do believe that our sin causes disconnection in our relationship with God, however, I don't think He generally is out to destroy people simply because they sin. Otherwise, there wouldn't be any people left. I certainly wouldn't be alive.

Again at the end of the tract, the Christian is wanting to tell homosexuals what great judgement they are facing, again pretentiously assuming that:

  1. a Christian would obviously not be homosexual

  2. homosexuality is certainly a much worse sin than anything he has ever done



I, personally, would prefer to live with humility, endeavoring to work on what I know needs fixing in my own life (because I have some pretty good knowledge about that), and leave it up to God to change peoples' hearts, if and when He sees fit to do so. I don't want to hide the fact that I have a relationship with God from anyone, but I also don't want to presume that I know what anyone else needs and when, and I would prefer to walk with people on the journey they find themselves on rather than try to steer them into a journey I feel that they need.

Also at the end, the statement is made that "someone loved you enough to tell you the truth." Apparently this truth is that God destroys people like you (if you are a homosexual). There is nothing in this tract that would lead me to believe that God loved me, or that Christians (assuming they are like the Christian in this tract) love me in any real way. I would feel that Christians see me as a freak, that God is ready to destroy me at any minute, and I would feel rather indignant that I was being pressured to "accept Christ" (whatever that even means) simply so that God wouldn't destroy me.

I don't believe that God wishes us to feign love and obedience simply to avoid destruction, yet I feel like a lot of Christians are doing exactly that, and trying to get others to do the same.

Why not tell the story of Christ, when the woman is caught in adultery and is brought out to be stoned, and he looks at everyone surrounding her and tells them that anyone who has not sinned themselves is welcome to throw a stone, and they all turn around and leave. He then tells the woman, essentially, "you have my forgiveness. now, go and live better." There is no condemnation, no destruction, simply the point is made that everyone is equal in being at fault, forgiveness is given without anything asked in return, and the woman is encouraged to live a better life.

Ok, I think I'm done with this for now... I'm sure there is something important that I forgot to say, as it almost always happens when I try to write prose. So, feel free to discuss this and I might remember what it was that I forgot to write here. The only thing I would ask is that if you are going to criticize what I wrote, please don't do so angrily, and please make it something constructive. Ok, that's all :)

2007-09-29

cupcakes!

this evening I had my first try making cupcakes all by myself, and I decided to make the chocolate zucchini cupcake recipe we tried a week or so ago. they actually turned out really well, and I was quite excited that my first real alone baking try went so well. here they are in all their yummy glory.







in other news, here is a little video that shows our wonderful little kitties being their little kitty selves. we love them quite a lot.

2007-09-28

last Friday night...

we had a little bit of an impromptu date night and went for Japanese food at Kappaya on Division St. Trina had a tempura donburi and I had beef sukiyaki donburi, and we got some albacore and ahi tuna nigiri, as well as octopus.

then we went to the Laurelhurst Theatre, which is a 1920's art-deco style theater which went out of business in the 80's, but was re-purchased and re-opened and now shows films again. Also worth mentioning, they show films for $3, and they serve pizza and beer, which you can eat/drink in the theatre. And believe me, Oregon beers are GOOD. We saw the film "Paris, Je t'aime," which was really really good (even better than Oregon beers), and we hope to purchase it someday. It's a collections of short films by different directors that all center around some kind of a romance and are all set in Paris. Some of them are really quirky and odd, and some are very touching. They range in length from about 5-7 minutes to more like 15-20 minutes for some of them. Anyway, it was a wonderful evening... just what we needed after a long week.



random thoughts...

even though I don't always know what to make of life, how to explain what happens, what to make of God and the meaning of everything and how I fit and what I'm supposed to be doing, I believe with everything in me that, far from being alone here on earth, we are surrounded and enfolded and that every step and every breath has meaning and purpose, even when we don't know it, or know what it is...

...and somehow not knowing, not being in control... it's not so frightening.

2007-09-24

new song...

I've got at least the basics of a new song finished... but I haven't found a name yet. Since I know a lot of you are creative, artsy types, I thought I'd post the song and have you all listen to it, and then leave comments giving an impression it left you with, or imagery it brought to mind or whatever, and maybe something in there will suggest the perfect name for it :) Ok, here it is:








2007-09-17

alive...

rain makes me feel so alive. i love the autumn.

2007-09-14

random thoughts...

I don't really know what just made me think about this, but it makes me sad how often people are willing to see the faults in someone they are in relationship with, and because of those faults, determine that they don't need to do anything about their own - because the other person's are "worse" or more noticeable or effect other people significantly or whatever. It's sad to me to sometimes find this attitude in myself as well, and I hope that I can see it and change it when it crops up.

cool weather and rain...

finally!

2007-09-11

I've been tagged!

I've been tagged by my lovely wife Patrina :) So, I guess I'm supposed to share 7 things about myself, and then tag 7 of you, in hope that you will do the same... (I don't even know if I know 7 more people who she didn't just tag... we'll see) :) Anyway, feel free to decline if you don't want to do this, but otherwise, it'd be fun to hear a few tidbits about you all as well :) Feel free to leave comments on this post with things too if you feel so inclined, even if you weren't tagged :)


  1. I play word games in my head and make up new words and mix up existing ones into all kinds of craziness, which then sometimes comes out my mouth, to the astonishment and confusion of anyone nearby.

  2. I also like to just spout random words at random times. This also tends to be confusing for people nearby.

  3. Like my wife, I tend to feel that there is personality in everything, and we talk to our car and tell her she does a good job, and tell her goodnight before we go inside, and we snuggle the teddy bear and talk to trees and other kinds of "silly" things. I think it makes a difference.

  4. I have a very deep desire for personal connection with people... therefore one of the saddest things for me is people who retreat within themselves and never come out. I know everyone (and myself very notably included) needs time alone, but it makes me sad when someone won't let themselves be known. I agree with the little prince, that most people only want to know about another person, but not to actually know them, and that's sad.

  5. I apparently smell like celery :)

  6. I have no space bubble. You can stick your fingers in my ears, my nose, whatever, it doesn't bother me. I will respect yours though. Mostly :) And if you don't have one either, I'll be very very happy :)

  7. I am generally a rather slow, methodical thinker and write much more fluidly and eloquently than I speak (I think). It's not that I speak poorly, but it might take me half a conversation before I sort out what I want to say :) Well, that's most of the time. Then there's the rare moments when I get really excited about something and can't stop talking. I'm also very shy with people I don't know... and very NOT shy with people I do know.



Tagged (I could only come up with 5 that haven't just been tagged elsewhere):

  1. Alina

  2. Mae Jane

  3. Vanessa Valencia at A Fanciful Twist

  4. Marc Peter

  5. Niki Hawthorne



Rules of the Game :

  1. Link to your tagger and post these rules.

  2. Share 7 facts about YOU: some random, some weird...all devastatingly interesting.

  3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post and list their names (linking to them).

  4. Let them know they've been tagged by leaving a comment at their blogs.

....

I never imagined that such arrogance, pig-headedness, disregard, bloated self-conceit and self-concern could exist in one person.

2007-09-10

it was a bright, shiny morning....

Labyrinth Night...



Friday night the Hollywood Theatre in Portland was playing Labyrinth, so we went to see it with some friends... I have to say, the initial impression of David Bowie walking in through the doorway at the beginning is much greater on the big screen... so is the impression of his, let's call it... 4th dimension :)

2007-09-06

ghostly tremor...

the tremor of a ghost
or a memory
slowly creeps
entwining
up my leg
finding my spinal column
my whole body
trembles
senses heightened
a realization of unknown
invisible breath
of eternity
I sit down
shaking
for a moment everything
so bright
there is only black and white
but fading
within moments
leaving a shimmer
a softness
and the residue
of a soul

2007-09-04

tonight...

the sky did this:



about 15 minutes prior to this picture being taken, the entire sky was the color of the lower half in this picture, and the light cast on everything as we were driving home was so strange and beautiful.

I love...

well, this weekend was our 5th anniversary. my lovely wife, Patrina, has written a pretty good account of our weekend over here:

http://afoxarose.blogspot.com/2007/09/1825-days-give-or-take-few-for-leap.html

I could never imagine a better way to spend life than with her. I don't know what else to say except that it is beyond everything I could have imagined.

daily discovery 2007.09.04

Today I got up with my alarm, went to the bathroom, and promptly went back to sleep for about 20 more minutes. Therefore, I didn't have a chance to walk before heading in to work. However, I did discover the lovely fact that it had rained overnight, and that the air was actually COLD when I went outside - it was the first time since maybe May or June that I've felt chilly in the morning, and it was so wonderful! Here are two pictures to commemorate.