The Dissolving of Marriage? Society? Family?

What I am saying is the role of men, and women, are convoluted and tricky at best. I am noticing these changes are making it easier and easier for men, and women, to pull away from their marriages and responsibilities to their families (51% divorce rate)…which has risen since the 70′s. Something is telling me all the changes in society have not exactly benefited us – and this loss of roles (or role reversal) plays a part.

For example, once upon a time the whole family was important and for anyone to leave could mean failure for the farm or for the community (First Nations villages). The amount of dysfunction and easy out’s we’re given in this society would decimate most of our ancestors…the same people that made it possible for you to even be born. I am not sure were paying a good homage back in some ways with the destruction of the family?

I think of a typical farming community that would work hard, includes the whole family, and what they made they also put on the table…which was rewarding and meaningful. This included food, clothing, and trade for other items….and everyone played their part/role in that household and smaller community. Sure times were tougher, but they made a living where everyone in the household was partitioned a meaningful piece of their overall existence (including grandparents).

I don’t think this is the case anymore. Food, we go to ‘Superstores’ or even ‘fast food’ places. Clothing, we have many malls and places that specialize in every type of clothing we could ever want. Trade, the money you earn – there is no real trade anymore…which helped tear a hole in society/community. Work, we work for big faceless companies and we are not sure of our importance as a cog in the machine. Grandparents serve much smaller roles in this information age. Marriages have less weight, since anyone can make it almost anywhere without much help.

Times have changed, I am just not too sure if it’s all ‘for the good’. I see a loss of role for the man in basic marriage structure. In fact, I am starting to contemplate why people are getting married in the first place when statistically 51% (1/2) will not succeed anyways (in this society). It seems, men don’t need women and women don’t need men.

*Taken from SVS’s blog “What is a Man?


What Is A Man?

The more I think about this issue I think – the role for the man in society is clearly diminishing.

We were once hunters, warriors, and competitiors. Now we live in a society that really is non-violent, has grocery stores, and competition is for leaisure. What exactly is left for the man – except reproduction and dishes?

No one can usurp the role of the woman in society, she is a natural nurterer…there’s no nanny waiting as soon as a kid is born to raise that child (or worse yet – the need for women birthing becoming severely lessened via some way to build children from dna).

If u think about, as men, what is it that defines you?

***Comment lifted from John T’s “Really, It’s a Man’s World…Yeah Right!

The Whole LGBT Thang.

So I have been bantering around Naked Pastor’s site and there was this one blog, that went 400 comments long, about the church and homosexuality…and the majority of people support some movement of inclusion (on that site); some didn’t. I tend to have a feeling the side that doesn’t is likely the majority side within mainstream churches.

It had me wondering though, is the exclusion of the LGBT community from churches a sign of bigotry (to some degree)?

I made the claim to a few people on the site that it is. I know they firmly believe the God they serve is against the gay lifestyle and cannot allow it into his kingdom. They do a dance, linguistically, to hold this position and not be as adamant/fierce on the issue as they think God is (who would condemn such people to hell for being born this way). They know that deep down God hates this lifestyle, which we know is a sexual orientation one is born with…so is to advance a position against gay people that comes with little evidence bigotry?

That all being said, the reason there was 400 comments on the site was because the explanation of the 6 biblical passages that contain any reference to homosexuality was covered in scrutinizing detail (even into the greek in the NT). At the end of it all I was quite happy with what I seen as the most obvious outcome, the biblical passages are not talking about homosexuality at all or as we know it in our era. I think after reviewing that much information, which was literally a mini-book, one could only arrive at this conclusion.

What I see from church people that oppose this issue are arguments that do not make sense and do not take into consideration that someone is biologically engineered this way (ie: created/born this way). Cause if this is the case, which it certainly seems it is, then God is also a bigot (alongside the claims being made by churches to exclude the gay lifestyle based on His words); God hates the way someone is ‘created’. Makes one wonder, how much more people does God hate without cause?

It’s an unteneble position, not allowing gay people into the full church community, both biblically and biologically. It is my position that if one hears the truth on this issue, denies it (remains ignorant), then continues to banter about how God ‘hates’ homosexuality – they are being bigots. It’s like if someone hears all the realities about a certain race of people, denies any of it as true (pretends they didn’t hear), then continues to hate that group (even after knowing many facts surrounding the issue)…that is racism/bigotry (a situation I had happen to me personally).

I am more familiar with this issue than most would know, I understand the racism/bigotry angle quite succinctly. What is happening in churches towards gay people is no different.

Life & Musical Creativity

I haven’t had much time to write lately, was busy with a few big projects:

(a) Painting the windows of my house (makes the house look newer that’s for sure)

(b) Playing slow-pitch on Sundays (for 3-4 hours) – we’re 6 – 2 and looking like an all star team (called ‘DarkSide’)

(c) Applied for Graduate School to do a Master’s in Administration (Leadership) – now to wait and hear back

(d) Joined a band and have been practicing some 83 songs (1 original) on bass/guitar about 3 hours a night (for 2 weeks) 

The one I am pretty excited about is the music thing, I find it pure fun. The band is planning on doing about 20 cover songs and 10 originals (which the singer and guitarist have written)…I really should work on some of my stuff one of these days? Anyways, I am looking forward to getting together to practice and just have fun putting it all together. From my best guess we sound country rock and blues…but we might change that direction as well.

Of the 82 songs I am riffing on they include songs by Tom Petty, Rolling Stones, Beatles, Mike Ness/Social Distortion, Stone Temple Pilots, Hole, The Band, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Dwight Yoakam, U2, REM, and others. Now if we would just do some of the covers from these bands I would be more than satisfied.

I am really blessed these days, everything I want to do seems to be coming together at the same time (very strange). Really enjoying life these days I can tell ya’ that!

Why Atheism Makes Sense

However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8)

Atheism makes sense in light of the religious alternatives (ie: denoms in Christianity).  

Christianity is inflexible and believes some of the strangest things; which in turn makes it quite implausible. The conservative aspects of this faith are staunch and refuse to change (ie: change is bad according to God). God seems like someone I would not want to meet in all honesty…yet the claim is he can have a ‘personal relationship’ with you (and that’s the good news?). Christianity, historically, has been used to justify many things like racism, murder/war, slavery, segregation, and a mass dislike of the Jews (who I think are a pretty cool cultural group) over many centuries. It is not better, morally speaking, then the people they criticize – and sometimes far worse (ie: Catholic abuse scandal cover up)…so what is the actual role of religion?

Christianity lives mainly in a state of denial with regards to their flaws, and upholds an image of something that just isn’t there (spotless, clean, and unblemished bride). The church is more a whore than a bride I would want to marry…it’s basically partners with corporations and gov’t the world over (it has a few lovers to which it tallies out its allegiance). Yet the church will offer you salvation as their ‘deal of the week’…salvation from what exactly? This is the same church that is no different than the society around it and so insitutionalized it is controlled more by itself (ie: the issues are now systemic) than by the people that attend. Spirituality that serves as entertainment value. Interpretation of scripture that contradictory and hypocritical. On and on and on.

Atheism makes sense… and Christians are helping make this movement swoon

The parable I quoted from Luke was about Jesus coming back and looking for faith on this planet, and Luke feels there is so little that it is best explained as ‘none’. This charge should be firmly laid at the feet of the institutionalized church – since the best reasoning to not attend a church comes from the churches themselves (athiests need say nothing really). Or is the charge laid at the feet of people that leave and did not stick to it to see change? They gave up faith, or having faith, or even that spark of humanity that binds us all – trust.

I just came back from blogging on a site about gay inclusion in the church…and most Christians are for it – on blogs. Fact is, the minority opinion on blogs is the majority opinion in churches…no inclusion for gay people, they are going to hell, blah blah blah. I thought about it and realized ‘I cannot serve that God, that God fails to understand His own creation’.

Atheism makes sense…I am there some days, I understand, I get it, I am on board 1/2 the time, I see the dirt you do.

Argument on ‘Datedness’ of a Document

Just thought I’d bring up something comparable to the biblical texts (as far as being aged) – treaties in Canada (from 1872 and onwards).

I was just talking with someone about this and they mentioned how we (as Indian people in Canada) get paid $5.00 based on the treaty contract from 1876. That has not changed in some 134 years although $5.00 on 1876 was likely worth like a $1000.00 in today’s society. Some would say modernize the treaty (including me) while others stick to a very literal translation.

Now although the literal translation is $5.00, the intent was financial compensation for the exchange of land…and that land is worth more now than previously. So do we follow intent or literal translation?

The idea of hunting and fishing rights, do we follow intent (provision of livelihood) or literal translation (basic hunting and fishing rights)? Fact is, less than 50% of First Nations people actually hunt or fish…a good 50% and higher get their personal sustenance from grocery stores (other people hunted/fished for us). The literal is used here in the treaties although it is clear the intent was for First Nations people to be able to ‘provide’ sustenance to their communities.

Or should we just scrap a useless 134 old document that has fallen out of touch with basic economic realities around us?

This is extremely comparable to the biblical texts – in the sense of ‘modernization’. I can’t think of a single First Nations person that would scrap the treaties because of their ‘date’. But I can think of quite a few others proposing such ideas.

The biblical texts are ‘dated’…admitted. However, does ‘date’ make something meaningless? Can something ‘dated’ be modernized?

Conservative Christianity’s Thorn – LGBT

The Conservative Christian, the literalist, have some serious problems with homosexuality. For them, it is a sin, always was a sin, and that ain’t changing. They find themselves at odds with this new movement to allow gay people equal rights in free countries. This is an issue they have been heralding for some 10 years or so…I got a feeling they are going to lose this one.

My problem with the literalist/Conservative is the scripture is not the issue, their prejudice is. I think scripture functions as smoke-screen for another arguement ‘natural desires’…or sex. The problem most of these Christians are haivng is not a biblical one (this is their justification tactic) but an imagery one. These Christians are imaging what LGBT people do behind closed doors in the privacy of their own homes and this attaches an emotional element for them (some type of disgust). The wrestling is actually going on with an imagery in their head about what type of sex these people are having and not about scripture.

I will agree – scripture blatantly says in Leviticus about punishing people for actions that seem ‘gay’…I have read the passages and on first glace I see the determination made by literalists. However, those passages are 3000 years old in a culture and time much different than ours – how can one be sure their interpretation is accurate to the context of the writing? Not everyone takes those passages without much thought and look into them…and they require some serious time to learn about.

Firstly, they are laws. They are found in the Torah and to be used by judges to determine cases. There are no recorded cases of someone being tried for being ‘gay’ in Judaism history (which I find interesting)…which makes the scriptures somewhat suspect to what they mean. Are they tied to something else – this action of intimacy? Is it about worshipping other gods? Is it about demeaning another person? Is it about adultery? What exactly is the ‘crime’?

Leviticus 18:22 “You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination

Leviticus 20:13 “If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death. Their bloodguiltiness is upon them

The truth is Judaism does not deny these 2 scriptures talk about gay relations between ‘men’ as problematic via the law (women are exempt – let that be noted). But what is key is to understand the terms used in these passages.

Much attention has been given to the word “abomination” (to’evah in Hebrew). Though the terminology seems callous, the same word is used in Deuteronomy 14:3 in reference to forbidden animals. Several traditional sources temper the harshness of the “abomination” by citing the lack of procreative potential as the reason for the abominable nature of the homosexual act” (Steven Greenberg)

The term abomination seems harsh but may in fact not be so harsh as we imagine…it can be an abomination in the sense of it’s lack of full potential casuing some ‘awe’ (ie: cannot procreate). In the same way changed termininology about how what we call people with mental disabilities, which were once recorded as being ‘retarded’.

The Leviticus verses also imply that it is the act of homosexual sex, not the homosexual person, that is abhorred” (Steven Greenberg). Kind of a ‘love the sinner, hate the sin’ for it’s time period.

The essence of this denate comes down to looking at a law and interpreting as such. Christians do not accept the law, at least most don’t, so this is of no concern to them one iota (these verses). However, the intent of the law was to something that was ‘unnatural’…and I can see this for someone ‘straight’. Even the sexual act is not the most natural (whether male ot female) and this does not seem like the original intention of our body parts. However, how can one follow a law if they do not have the ability to do so? For straight people it is un-natural to be ‘gay’…but also to be ‘gay’ it is un-natural to be ‘straight’. This is where the law meets it’s problem, asking something from someone that they cannot give (ie: biology).

So although the law prohibits homosexual behavior, this behavior is relating to straight people and how they would propose to use their bodies ‘un-naturally’ (which does happen, ie: an orgy). But we cannot ask someone that is actually ‘gay’ to not be ‘gay’…biologically this is not possible and is asking more than what they were created as. So either the mistake is on God, or on us…I tend to lean in our direction everytime.  

Conservatives/literalist, drop this arguement on the law which you obviously have no clue how to look at nor take the time to…and I only covered breif notes on this issue in this blog. Admit, it because you’re straight – your thought of what they ‘do’ is what bothers you, not neccesarily a ‘law’ you both reject and have no use for.

Did Darwin Kill God? Documentary Summary

*This information was quoted directly from ‘Did Darwin Kill God’ by Conor Cunnigham…I am using it to show that Evolution and Christianity can work in unity.

The show reveals a timeline for Christian belief in Creationism – and for the original non-belief in it:

  • Philo of Alexandria (1st century Jewish philosopher) – believed that where contradictions appear a deeper meaning was at work and was the passages were not to be taken at ‘face value’ (this included Genesis 1 and 2 namely)
  • Augustine (4th century bishop) – Quote “it is a disgraceful and dangerous thing for an infidel to hear a Christian, presumably giving the meaning of scripture, talking nonsense on these topics’ (The Literal Meaning of Genesis)
  • James Ussher (Reformation minister) – The first person to calculate the genealogies of the bible as literal and came up with a date for the creation of the earth (Oct 22, 4004 BCE). Wouldn’t have been much of a big deal but this little ditty made it into the KJV bible linear notes for many years (widely read in Europe)
  • William Paley (British Apologist) – wrote the watchmaker analogy in 1802 “the argument states that design implies a designer” (Wikipedia – Watchmaker analogy)
  • The Genesis Flood (1961) – written by Henry Morris and John Whitcomb – proposed a scientifically accurate account and explanation for the flood via literal biblical means
  • Intelligent Design Movement (1987) – Re-creation of Paley’s idea for the 20th and 21st Centuries

The invention of the intelligent design movement only finds it roots as far back as the Reformation and only really caught it’s ‘fire’ in the American Evangelical movements in the early 20th century (1920’s) and again the mid 20th century (1960’s). But if we go back in history the earliest reports on Genesis never make points about literalism about a mythological/allegorical account.

In the same time frame as Darwin proposed evolution the European Victorian society around him was already well acquainted with sceintific discovery – the same system that helped produce a Darwin in the first place. According to Peter Corsi (Oxford professor) geology was a well established science in Victorian England within a faith system (Anglicanism) and within 20 years of evolution the idea of 6 day creationism belief was on the ‘lunatic fringe’.

Darwin developed the ‘Origin of Species’ in Nov 1859 about the common ancestry to the evolution of life. The idea that this ‘shattered Christianity’ is all but a hoax. What it did smash was a small community’s belief in literal translation of Genesis – which was a small exterior crowd in Britain. In fact, Catholic Bishop John Henry Newman and Anglican Bishop Charles Kingsley (within 9 years of the publishing of ‘Origin’) called it a ‘larger idea of divine providence and skill’ and ‘a noble conception of deity’.

According to Nick Spencer (who wrote ‘Darwin and God’) the pivotal moment that caused Darwin’s faith to crash was the death of his daughter (Annie) at the age of 10. The same problem of suffering that many faiths wrestle with on a daily basis in every generation…not evolution.

2 Darwin quotes worth recognition surrounding the ‘Origin of Species’ (taken from documentary):

  • “There is a grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers having been originally breathed by the Creator into a few forms or into one, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been and are being evolved’
  • “It seems to me absurd to doubt a man may be an ardent theist and evolutionist”

Many current scientists and philosophers agree with Darwin, theism and evolution are not in throws of chaos. Francis Collins (DNA genome project) who studied the depths of dna remains a devouted Christian. Michael Ruse (philosopher/athiest – Florida State University) see’s a ‘false dichotomy’ at play. Ruse thinks people use their backgrounds to define their philsophical leanings – whether in atheism or theism – science proves nothing concerning God.

Ultra Darwinism toys with theories like the ‘selfish gene’ and ‘memetic theory’ to prove ‘no God’. However, the greatest dna scientists admit this may not be exact about genes (since a grape has more genes than we do). And mimetic theory may have a serious flaw; if memes are merely transmissions of illusion – who is to be sure what meme is more accurate – religion or science? Maybe both memes are illusions which merely survived and not to be trusted over one another.

Simon Conway Morris (paleobiologist – Cambridge) notices from varying evolutionary streams (ie: birds, humans, whales) the element of ‘song’. The supposition is that evolution is to be used a ‘search engine’ with Darwinism as the algorithm in discovering something that may be ‘pre-existent’.

One needs to remember science changes, Newton’s physics as a great example. Evolution as a science is open-ended and provisional…so how can that kill God?

Blue Gold – Battle for the World’s Water Resources

I watched Blue Gold: World Water Wars last night, loved it. Environmentalist movie, you bet.

I am becoming more and more aware our resources on this planet are becoming limited, unfortunately, this includes water. Never thought I’d hear of a day when water would be a problem, but lo and behold, the 2000’s are starting to open our eyes.

The documentary points out that 97% of the earth is salt water and 3% is drinkable…and even that 3 percent is becoming more and more polluted. This means that some 6.7 billion people on this planet have to share that water, and as you can guess, the more wealthy have the access to the abundance of the resource.

However, the real problem is the ownership of water, 3 large companies are buying the water resources all over the planet and are selling it. This means, water that should be quite cheap is being sold for a profit by these companies (one of the times when privatization proves it comes with a serious price tag). Also the introduction of monocultures (food growth) is equalling the death of good soil – and slowly the erosion of good water sources. Needless to say, demand is for H20 is getting tighter while resources become slimmer.

Some good examples of the problem:

(a) Coca Cola was able to sell a bottle of coke (in a plastic litre bottle) for almost 1/2 the price of a bottle of water (same plastic bottle) in a certain Latin American country – revealing how much leverage Coke is getting with water resources wherever they go.

(b) Eco-systems have been removed that would allow for the replenishment of water yearly, in cases like this places like California will suffer water shortages in the long run.

(c) Companies get to own water which means they decide where it will ‘end up’. This has caused severe problems to farmers as water is diverted from their crop lands and is taken from one ecosystem to another.

(d) Water can be found below the surface of the earth – thus wells. They are finding with the use of a lot of wells, without proper replenishment, the ground can ‘give away’ over time (ie: sinkholes). Anyone see Guatemala’s sinkhole the other day…this is becoming more and more common.

It seems companies own the water you drink and want to continue to own more. Places of interest include Brazil, Canada (Arctic region), and Russia (Arctic region). It is possible with dwindling resources, rising temperatures, and an ever increasing of people and needs of energy that water could become a resource that wars are fought over (make it an issue of National Security).

Water, something to keep an eye on…how can someone own water anyways? This is sooo crazy.