Monday, January 30, 2006

Interesting quotation from Augustine

St. Augustine (Aurelius Augustine, Augustine of Hippo, 354-420), De Genesi ad litteram libri duodecim (The Literal Meaning of Genesis), chapter 19

"Often a non-Christian knows something about the earth, the heavens, and the other parts of the world, about the motions and orbits of the stars and even their sizes and distances, ... and this knowledge he holds with certainty from reason and experience. It is thus offensive and disgraceful for an unbeliever to hear a Christian talk nonsense about such things, claiming that what he is saying is based in Scripture. We should do all that we can to avoid such an embarrassing situation, which people see as ignorance in the Christian and laugh to scorn."

I can think of a certain pastor in Edmonton that should bone up on his Augustine, or at least on the Augustine that doesn't support his conservative agenda

Thursday, January 20, 2005

This article is exactly what I'm always on about.

"We see the video as an insidious means by which the organisation is manipulating and potentially brainwashing kids," Paul Batura, a spokesman for Focus on the Family, told the New York Times.

Focus on the Family is responsible for so much brainwashing of children, myself included. The hypocrisy of this is absolutely staggering. Right-wing Christian kids are so fucked up, and it's largely due to these incompetent, intolerant liars.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

I thought this might be of some interest, given today's weak-willed ruling by the supreme court.

As I am sure we are all aware, Leviticus 18:22 refers to hot, man-on-man sexing as "detestable" or "an abomination". I thought it would be interesting to compare that to another abomination that causes desolation: shellfish.

The hebrew word which is translated as "abomination" is tow`ebah (Strong's Definition). A little earlier in Leviticus (chapter 11:10-13), we are told of a variety of fish and fowl that are also "an abomination":

11:10 And all that have not fins and scales in the seas, and in the rivers, of all that move in the waters, and of any living thing which is in the waters, they shall be an abomination unto you:

11:11 They shall be even an abomination unto you; ye shall not eat of their flesh, but ye shall have their carcases in abomination.

11:12 Whatsoever hath no fins nor scales in the waters, that shall be an abomination unto you.

11:13 And these are they which ye shall have in abomination among the fowls; they shall not be eaten, they are an abomination: the eagle, and the ossifrage, and the ospray.

Intriguingly enough, in this passage, all of the words translated as "abomination" are a different hebrew word: sheqets (Strong's Definition).

In both cases, however, it clearly means "detestable." Now, I ask you, am I any less of an abomination when I eat those sweet, sweet shrimp than when I allow another man to "know" me (or indeed, "know" another man)?

I anticipate two potential objections: 1) tow`ebah has an additional, ethical component to it; ergo, sodomy is ethically destable, while eating shellfish is simply detestable. 2) Peter's vision means that everything unclean is now clean, but that doesn't apply to gay sex.

Now, the first objection is clearly stupid. First, making that distinction based on the drunken "scholarship" of Strong is a bad idea. Second, something is detestable or it isn't.

The second objection, however, may have some merit. Specifically, that the NT says that foodstuffs are all fair game, but that manimal lust is not. I don't want to argue about this, because ultimately that is an argument about the value and fallibility of scripture, so I'll leave it as being a fair point.

However, I would like to encourage people to stop using Leviticus 18 as "evidence" of the detestableness of consenting sex between men, as hanging one's hat on that peg means that ostrich burgers and shrimp are equally detestable and that you should be picketing Red Lobster as well.

Friday, November 26, 2004

I feel like I should be epic. The problem is that it is only at work when I have time to actually sit down and write something, and then I feel guilty about it. At home, you see, I'm either shackled with family or more work.

I've been losing weight, which is a wonderful thing. Thank you to Dr. Atkins for providing a way to eat eggs and bacon every morning for breakfast and having that shed fatty tissues. Why am I endeavoring to lose weight, you ask? It all comes back to the Greeks.

My understanding of the state of things in the Greek mind was a trifold focus on health: a healthy mind, a healthy body, and a healthy spirit. I don't necessarily think that these three things are somehow separate from each other as they did, but I do think that unhealth in any of the three is a sure-fire prescription for depression and listlessness. Since I've had both of these in large measure for the past three months, I figure I need to get my shit together.

First step is the hardest: a healthy body. In the past, I've tried the whole weight-lifting thing, without changing anything else. It didn't work. My biceps grew and my man-tits got a little smaller, but I didn't really feel any better, nor did I lose the spare tire or gain energy. I'm trying to remove the fat first, then focus on building up some endurance and strength. Plus, I just don't have the time to do that kind of exercise right now. Basically, I started out at the cusp of obesity (selon the BMI index) and am working my way down to a healthy weight. I have at least 30 more pounds to go, though I'd like to get a little lower than the threshold for healthy weight. While shedding fat through dieting is the only way to go, I'd also like to improve my endurance. This will require a lot of bike riding and running. This is something that I want to do more, but can't seem to find the time or energy. This must change. I am sick of having to walk my bike up the hills on the river valley paths.

Second step is complicated: a healthy mind. My mind is full of such garbage right now, and that's entirely because I'm so busy that I need some kind of Harlequin-romance style outlet. And I think that's in large part due to my spirit problems and my body problems. I don't feel good about my body-self, though I'm as confident and cocky as ever (in case you're wondering, this aspect of my personality is not a put-on--I really do think I'm the best). I also have little energy because of my ponderous poundage. I also have to seek out learning opportunities now, which, because I'm lazy, means that I do it very little. I need to start taking the renewing of my mind seriously. I've asked for some Ellul texts that interest me for Christmas, so hopefully this will help. I also need to start writing, even if it is just in a blog. Again, it all boils down to a lack of time. Part of my having an unhealthy mind is a difficulty in focusing on shit that needs to be done: marking, work, programming, chores, etc. I need to strip out all of the crap that is just diversionary and set my mind to things of value and enrichment.

Third step seems impossible right now: a healthy spirit. I am so conflicted and disenchanted with everything spiritual right now. It's very complicated: I can't abandon it, but I'm living as though I have. It's in my superego, not in my head or heart, and that means that it is basically a guilt mechanism. Part of my trouble, I think, is my lack of physical and mental health. My mind is full of crap, so my spirit is heavy-laden. I've decided the only way I can start to work on this is to start making an effort to love people. To stop being the jackass who makes an 11 year-old sister of a fellow cast member think that I'm a homosexual. To not just feel empathy, but express it.

I'm trying to renew myself. I'd ask you to pray, but I don't think it will make any difference at all.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Freedom from pleasure

I can't shake this feeling that modern christianity equates sin with pleasure and vice versa. The only exception is the pleasure of gluttony; christians, as a whole, are a pack of fatties (and I'm no exception). Undersexed christians focus on the only pleasure they are permitted: stuffing their cherub faces with saturated fats and refined sugars. No smoking, no dancing, no fucking. But eat all you want! These same christians say that smoking is bad because your body is a temple to the holy spirit, and smoking is bad for your body. So is being overweight! So is not having sex! And yet it never cuts two ways. The truly hypocritical aspect of this is that gluttony is a sin, while gettin' it on is not (within certain parameters).

I'm so tired of wrestling with all of this spiritual bullshit that has so little relevance to my life. But I can't shake my fear. I wish I could abandon it and live hedonistically (or at least, less hypocritically).

Before you assume something underlying this post, I don't think sex is the answer to every problem. Indeed, there are many pleasurable activities that we shy away from without logic: mind-expanding chemicals, art appreciation (too effeminiate or too controversial), friendship with those of alternative lifestyles without the underlying need to convert them, television, dancing, intimacy between friends, etc., etc. I'm sure you can come up with some on your own.

This didn't end at all as I hoped it would. Maybe I should come back to it later.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Quick Sermon Ideas

God Created Orgasms

How a Heretic Saved My Faith

The Postmodern Church, Whatever that Means

Stop Acting Like Christians and Act Like Christ

Wednesday, July 28, 2004


A few matters of interest.


First, I believe Ani Difranco eloquently described my fundamental problem in her song, "What if no one's watching?":

I always feel I have to
take a stand
and there's always someone on hand
to hate me for standing there
I always feel I have to open my mouth
and every time I do
I offend someone

but what
what if no one's watching
what if when we're dead, we're just dead
what if there's no time to lose
what if there's things we gotta do
things that need to be said

we have to be able to criticize
what we love
say what we have to say
'cause if you're not trying to make something better
as far as I can tell
you're just in the way

My problem is that I always feel compelled to speak out. I can't be content with status quo without a fight. And I don't know how to resolve this.


I finished Blue Like Jazz the other day. I'm starting to think that I just don't like the idea of God very much, and this is scary.

Donald Miller has something that he can't explain that makes him believe that Jesus exists and likes him. My problem is that I've identified that bit of assurance in my own soul, and its foundation is fear of hell. Or perhaps, more precisely, fear of not-heaven.


I have to meet with my pastor in a few minutes about my sermon on Sunday, where I suggested the bible isn't inerrant, and that christianity's sins may have already reached their full measure, which would encourage God to withdraw his covenant with us through Christ. It should provide some interesting dialogue for the journal, here.

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Le mot juste

These are totally awesome. Not to mention totally true, especially the bit about a triune God.

Top Ten Signs You're a Fundamentalist Christian

10 - You vigorously deny the existence of thousands of gods claimed by other religions, but feel outraged when someone denies the existence of yours.

9 - You feel insulted and "dehumanized" when scientists say that people evolved from other life forms, but you have no problem with the Biblical claim that we were created from dirt.

8 - You laugh at polytheists, but you have no problem believing in a Triune God.

7 - Your face turns purple when you hear of the "atrocities" attributed to Allah, but you don't even flinch when hearing about how God/Jehovah slaughtered all the babies of Egypt in "Exodus" and ordered the elimination of entire ethnic groups in "Joshua" including women, children, and trees!

6 - You laugh at Hindu beliefs that deify humans, and Greek claims about gods sleeping with women, but you have no problem believing that the Holy Spirit impregnated Mary, who then gave birth to a man-god who got killed, came back to life and then ascended into the sky.

5 - You are willing to spend your life looking for little loopholes in the scientifically established age of Earth (few billion years), but you find nothing wrong with believing dates recorded by Bronze Age tribesmen sitting in their tents and guessing that Earth is a few generations old.

4 - You believe that the entire population of this planet with the exception of those who share your beliefs -- though excluding those in all rival sects - will spend Eternity in an infinite Hell of Suffering. And yet consider your religion the most "tolerant" and "loving."

3 - While modern science, history, geology, biology, and physics have failed to convince you otherwise, some idiot rolling around on the floor speaking in "tongues" may be all the evidence you need to "prove" Christianity.

2 - You define 0.01% as a "high success rate" when it comes to answered prayers. You consider that to be evidence that prayer works. And you think that the remaining 99.99% FAILURE was simply the will of God.

1 - You actually know a lot less than many atheists and agnostics do about the Bible, Christianity, and church history - but still call yourself a Christian.

Monday, June 14, 2004

Proof of the neutrality of drunkeness

Since Søren and I were talking about this, and it seemed novel to him, why don't I share my proof that being/getting/getting others drunk isn't a sin or sinful, in and of itself.

Presupposition #1: Jesus lived a sinless life.
Presupposition #2: Causing others to stumble or sin is itself sin.
Presupposition #3: Jesus turned water into wine for guests to drink who were already drunk or close to it.
Ergo, getting drunk, being drunk, or getting others drunk (e.g. as a bartender/server), in and of itself, is not sinful.

Of course, this can and should be refined by the Pauline doctrine about subjective sin and the whole 'everything is permissible but not everything is beneficial' bit.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

I've had an interesting morning.

After reading a manifesto from a "vigorous" Calvinistic Baptist Church, made famous by their inflammatory website,, I have a lot more to think about in preparing to speak about God's Sovereignty.

Essentially, what these Calvinists are backing is that Jesus didn't die for all, nor does God love all. Indeed, God hates many, many people. The truly scary part is that their dogma is standing on very solid footing, especially in terms of what we might call the precedents God and Jesus set.

I also checked out some of the tracts on Jack T. Chick's website. They were comfortingly insane.