Saturday, August 28, 2010

Holier Than Thou

After an altercation with an admin on another forum I frequent, I became aware that perhaps amidst all the angry ranting and misguided uttering of a wounded person I may have managed to speak some truth. It is widely known and exacerbated by hateful Christians that followers of Christ can be judgmental and have an attitude of superiority. Sometimes I think in our efforts to abstain from being like the world we cut ourselves off from the mission field.

While I appreciate the efforts of missionaries and overseas evangelists, sometimes going into a situation screaming Jesus is like showing up to a meeting of the United Nations guns blazing. I wrestle with the concept of being in the world and not of it, especially with my music because many of my favorite bands have the same desire as me and yet I want them to scream Jesus so that I have something blatantly proclaiming His Name to listen to. There was a time when I would have accused these bands of "selling out", but when I think about it if they had then that would make me the worst sell out of them all.

It's come to my attention that some people may find my blog not entirely edifying or wholesome. I admit that some of my writing is not the behavior of the blue-eyed, blond-haired Christ we've all got hanging in our living rooms, but perhaps Jesus wasn't like that at all. Jesus was a homeless man of a family that had no status in the society, does that sound like your pastor? He probably smelled weird and wore clothes that didn't fit him, maybe even bathed once in a while. Does that sound like the kind of people you say, "God bless you" to in church? Jesus blatantly opposed the religious authority and their practices and taught them a thing or two even as a small boy, does this sound like the little children in your Sunday school classes?

So yeah, I'm not perfect and I make mistakes. Admittedly. I also say things in ways that perhaps you don't like. Got it. The fact of the matter is that I'm not catering the Christians who have it all figured out. Oh wait, nobody has it all figured out and nobody is walking on sunshine every day. So why in the world do Christians get down on me for the content of my blog? Should I put a Bible verse in every one of my blogs? Should I end my blog with a God bless you and a little smilie face, would that be Christian enough? No, that would only be catering to someone's idea of what a Christian should be, as if they know and understand fully what a Christian should be. I can't pretend to be something I'm not and if you don't like what's on my blog, then please don't read it. If you do, don't cherry-pick my entries to find the most objectionable and say that I'm not living a Christ-like lifestyle. Your job is to love, God will judge. Instead of wasting time pulling the speck out of my eye, why don't you get out there and try to minister to the lost and hurting?

There are lots of well-intentioned people out there who have rules for their communities about how to conduct oneself, but we must ask ourselves if Jesus were to behave the way He did as recorded in the gospels, would He be allowed in our community?

"My Jesus wouldn't be allowed in my church... The blood on His feet might stain the carpet." - Todd Agnew

Sic semper tyrannis,
De Facto

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

$1 Million In Armor And I'd Trade It All For A Can of Raid

The title is a quote from a rather disappointing movie, Lost in Space, but it stuck with me because it seemed humorous. Unfortunately what I'm going to be talking about is memorable but not humorous. Recently Chuck Baldwin published an article called, Dates That Destroyed America which was linked to on one of the forums I frequent. In the article, Mr. Baldwin cites January 22, 1973 as one of these dates that destroyed America. Someone who stands by the decision the judges made in the Roe V. Wade case said this:

"Roe vs. Wade was the correct decision. Christians can't make a coherent case against abortion without resorting to supernatural explanations."

It may be true that for the most part Christians don't have an argument against that decision without referencing their deity or their holy texts (God sent me one last night, it said, "lol" Wurd...) I was a little frustrated when I responded, so excuse me if this comes across as crass, but I had this to say:

"Regardless of whether you['re] pro-choice or pro-life, it was wrong because the judicial branch is not meant to make laws but to determine the legal precedent Roe had to make. Roe should have lost the case and pro-choicers could have used that as a rallying cry for change within our system, but instead the judges overstepped their authority and we bent over and let them give it to us doggy-style.

Roe V. Wade is wrong, wrong, wrong and the only reason I can think of that pro-choicers like it is because it meant that they got what they [want]. I think people on the left side of this social issue are too blinded by that low-blow victory to see what is wrong with that decision."

The fact of the matter is just that. The pro-choice side may be able to make a stronger case against the pro-life position citing their scientific data, but at the same time they completely ignore the gross violation of the fundamental structure of our government. The judicial branch does not make laws, they judge whether an incident happened to be on the right side or the wrong side of the laws already in place.

I once heard a pro-choice advocate describe a fetus as a parasite and that leads me to my next point about the way the pro-choice minimalize the humanity of a fetus in efforts to chalk an unborn baby up to a mass collective of tissue. The problem with trying answer the abortion issue with science is that it is not entirely a scientific question. It's a philosophical question about when life begins. We can try playing pin the tail on the definition of life, but there's even argument whether it's about when life begins if life begins at conception. And in case you're wondering, I'm not going to try and answer those deep questions in this entry. Perhaps some day, when I have gotten myself some more kahnuhawledge and then will hopefully be able to better articulate my thoughts. But for those who were curious as to where I stand, I'm most certainly pro-life and as it was said in Juno, "All babies want to get borned! All babies want to get borned!"

Until next time, unless of course we allow some judges to decide that post-vaginal-exit abortions are legal, in which case I suspect I will not survive to write another entry;

De Facto

P.S. - I added a Link in the Spotlight section to my sidebar which will feature random links to things I think may be of interest. I strongly suggest you check out Dots for Jesus, it's awesome!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Overkill

As I type this I'm a bit shaky. I don't say that to gain sympathy because the last thing that I need is for people to think I'm writing this as a grab for pity. I would much rather have people decide for themselves. Due to all that has transpired this entry is going to be a lot longer than normal, but if you're into truth seeking than I suggest you read all of this.

Along with what I said in my blog entry, which was a gross blanket statement, I also had this to say about Catholics- err, one in particular:

"Tsk, tsk, where is that charitable speech now? Am I so loathsome that you would stoup to such lows just exhaust your ire? Really now, you all claim to be of higher calibre than that, I expected more."

I post a selection of my blog entries on a different forum, Quills & Barbs Writing Club which quite of few of the key players in the incident on the other forum are also a part of. I happened to post my previous entry "A Psychological Experiment" on the Writing Club forum and was lambasted with angry responses which I deleted quite quickly because they were personal attacks. I told everyone that they could redirect their personal statements to me in Private Messages. Just as a side note, that's how personal attacks are dealt with on most forums I've been a moderator or administrator of, but I admit that was not the best way to handle it on the Writing Club forums.

Then I decided to take a hiatus from the Internet. I fasted for a day from the Internet to try and gain some perspective and I was finally feeling good about things. I really felt like I could apologize even though I felt that being banned permanently banned was a major overreaction. I was, and still am, truly apologetic for the confusion and harm I caused with my experiment of gibberish. I'm also apologetic for the blanket statements I made about Catholics, but I will expound on that later. I get back on the computer the next day and find a message from one of the mods who is a personal friend of mine (but not the one who sent me a text the other day) and she said,

"[Name withheld/ Admin of FTN Forums] said this today:
'the only way I would consider allowing him back on was if he sent me an explicit and humble apology that clearly displayed that he understood what was wrong with his actions and why we reacted the way he did.

He would have to register again, however. His account is totally gone.'

So you still may have a chance if you really want to get back on. :)

Oh, and someone suggested that if you do get back on to have a different user name, cause some people still are peeved at you, and it would make a clean slate to work with."

I was a little irked by this because it denies that they overreacted and the fact that they banned me permanently leaves me with only very inconvenient ways of contacting the administrator of Fairy Tale Novel forums (FTN forums). I was still willing to apologize for the damage I had done, because after all there had been damage done even though I didn't intend for it to happen. I started talking to a friend of mine, that's the one who sent me a text the other day, and she informed of this:

"the apology is for what you posted on my forum, not for your experiment[.]

because you attacked the forum and Catholics with that, and that's why [Admin of FTN forums] deleted you[.]"

So, I was temporarily banned for spamming the FTN forums. Got it, accepted it, and willing to apologize for it. Also, I was perfectly willing to apologize personally to the one person who felt threatened by one of my nonsensical rants. I got permanently banned from FTN forums for remarks I made on Quills & Barbs Writing Club forums. Is the picture getting clearer?

Now I was going to post more, such as things people said to me in PMs, but I don't think I need to in order to illustrate my point and that would probably be seen as an invasion of what little trust they had in me by sending me a "private" message. I'll summarize what a lot of them said: I've caused them a lot of hurt. A lot of them were hurt more by my remarks about Catholics than they were about the initial experiment. One in particular has gone so far as to leave Quills & Barbs Writing Club forums in protest of my very existence (at least, that's what I've been led to believe is her reasoning for it.)

And now for the most important portion of this entry: an explanation followed by an apology. I do not hate all Catholics, in fact I have nothing against Catholics themselves I just don't agree with all the doctrine the Church teaches. The statements I made were harsh and blanketed, a mistake I made because I was writing in the heat of the moment and being irrational about it; I make no excuse for myself there. What I'm really upset about is the fact that a small group of people in positions of authority that enforce charitable speech and behavior have suddenly gone out and done the very thing they punish others for. I also hate that they can decide to move against a member of their community that they don't like even though they had to pull material from another location outside of the jurisdiction of their community to incriminate me with. Then they launched an all-out assault (literally flooded my inbox) with contemptuous messages. And yet somehow I'm still the one who has done wrong that cannot be forgiven without an explicit admittance of wrongdoing and an expression of contriteness?

My flesh wants to get prideful and proverbially give them all the middle finger, but that is only my flesh and I am a new creature in Christ. It was definitely poor judgment on my part to experiment on a forum, especially a forum full of children (even more so when a portion of the most influential mods are children.) I'll readily admit I made a huge mistake in doing so. I also admit that I made blanket statements about Catholics that were wrong and hurtful. I was acting in a moment of extreme anger, but that does not justify it. Nothing does. Ever. Proverbs 15:1 says, "A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger." Had I kept this in mind before saying what I did about Catholics, perhaps this wouldn't have happened like it did.

So yes, I apologize for doing for an experiment in a place completely unsuited and ineligible for such. I apologize for making blanket statements about all Catholics when I really only had a problem with a handful. It was wrong and no amount of provocation justifies what I did. I also apologize that two of my cherished personal friends were dragged into this. One in particular had to run oodles of interference, text me, tried to call me, and made strong cases on my behalf as the mods and admin from FTN forums defended their actions adamantly. That friend didn't ask to be brought into this, she dove in to try to help me and in the end got burned on both sides of the rope for it. It wasn't fair and it wasn't right, and for that I apologize.

Until next time,
De Facto

Monday, August 16, 2010

A Psychological Experiment ***Updated***

The other night a friend called me up and was asking for prayer about something and then went on about living with a lioness and being a St. Bernard. I was quite shocked and inquired if she was intoxicated or had drank some contaminated water, to which she became infuriated. The next three hours were spent arguing and summarily it was decided by me that there was no evidence to suggest that this friend was beneficial to me. Rest assured that this was merely the straw that broke the camels back, I do not give up on people that easily.

It inspired me to continue my psychological research into humanity. There have been countless experiments I've conducted serendipitously, but this one was indeed deliberate. I infested my blog, Facebook, and most frequented forum with rantings of nonsensical nature. You can read the previous entry if you need an example. Most people disregarded it as me being silly, which I appreciate and even joked about me typing in my sleep (that really tickled me), but the other reaction was much more hostile. You see, while I restrained from explaining what I was doing or why, I tried to be careful about how I did it. I may have already broken a few rules of ethical experimentation by not notifying the participants that they were being experimented on, but I did my best not to break the rules of the groups in which I communicated with.

The forum I posted on, Fairy Tale Novel Forums is a group of like-minded individuals whose common ground is their like of Regina Domans modern retelling of classic fairy tales. Most of the forum members are female, Catholic, and home schooled. While conducting the experiment I took precious care not to say anything offensive. For a time I had posted my nonsense in threads that I normally would post in, offering up more nonsensical ramblings as if I truly was trying to express my ideas. The first time I did this some of the forum members went so far as to try an extrapolate a meaning, to them I owe a huge thanks, but others were not so amused. After a while I was confined to posting my ramblings in the "pointless off-topic" thread which serves as a place to post random things that pertain to nothing else. Lately however, some people seem to think that a pointless off-topic thread needs to have a point and can only contain what they deem appropriate for such a random thread, but I'm digressing now. After a few more posts I was banned. That's right, outright banned for my nonsensical utterances without a warning. Ok, so I did get a warning, but only after I had been banned. The warning came through a text message by one of the moderators who is a personal friend. It was too late though, she sent me a text after I had been banned that if I did not stop I would be temporarily banned. I am no longer welcome to that sheltered little community until the 19th at 17:31. Had I received this warning before being banned I would have stopped, written this blog, and posted a link to it for everyone to read so that they might understand why I did what I did.

Frankly, I'm both disappointed and yet not surprised. I have always believed that people fear what they cannot understand, they also fear what they cannot control. The moderators had to make a choice, do we let this guy who has been contributing to our forums mostly on the productive side continue to ramble on, or do we get rid of him? The choice was easy: they couldn't understand me, they couldn't control me, and so they shut me out. They say it was for spamming, and while I can see their point, I did upon request confine myself to posting in their pointless off-topic thread. Even that was not good enough for them, though I was not harming anyone except by means of a little confusion.

I can understand why some might be a little irked upon reading this. I know it's not the fantasy of everyone to be in an experiment, but nonetheless it happened. While this experiment has little scientific value, it proved something that I had to know about humanity in particular the good little Catholics and their charity. I'm a bit peeved that they banned me without warning, since I consider my friends' text message to be an unofficial warning, but I suppose that others might see it as payment in full for subjecting them to an experiment they didn't agree to. I'll be honest though, now seeing the measure of Man, I'm not sure I'd really want go back to that forum. I think I'd be better off with the sinners since they make no pretense about being good, holy, and "charitable".

Until next time,
De Facto

*** UPDATE ** I have been banned permanently. Needless to say I am stunned, hurt, and well... Angry...

Slipstreams of Chasms unto Euphoric Dysotopia

A cornucopia of black ooze beckons the heralding tripod over the sunset. Desperately, the tin man runs through the sacks of molten honeydew to find the blackened leaf. Overtly this leads to a cascading power failure which soon brings about the destruction of the entire Vogon race. We can only conclude that dishwasher soap is the only solution. As it was suggested, dogs are the best at capturing wild Pichu since our experience shows that mysterious orbs of light emanating from the warp coil plasma injectors might destabilize the inertial dampeners. God took man from the dust, which cannot be a simple thing, as all unicorns are bred asexually.

From time to time we find that a great movie like Napolean Dynamite breaks its way through the cluttered mess of crap and makes its way to the mountain of the Yellow Dellow. Mr. Chesterton concurs with my assessment of Bolian plague, but for some reason we couldn't come to agree on the cause of the broken light bulb. After absentmindedly mentioning political office, Senator Barackus Obamas Failedus pointed out that a lanister was not suited for such breast suckling. The time to act was now, and all we had was a pair of tweezers and a diamond ring. We took a condom and wrapped it around Paul until his entire head was covered in bubble gum. The planned parenthood scheme worked and, for once in my life, I felt like a Douche King again.

It's not often that we have legends in our pissed. Seldom do the words of such loathsome creatures such as William Shatner grace the stages of Del Monstro. Captured and alone, Doc Holliday and I were sipping on some fire whiskey when Darmok and Jalad joined us at Tanagra. Pools of skittles and beef jerky as far as the eye could stretched before him. Elated, the girl ran to her father and exclaimed, "I'm a real boy now!" We can tell by the shape of the pear that God was in fact not meaning for His children to be slaves to their Creator, rather that they would choose for themselves. How then can a man be free from miasmas and foaming chocolate lipstick? Perhaps it would be better to ask how to lick the orchid until it saps juices overflowing from the orifice? I can scarcely say that Veggie Tales is merely a shadow of the great show it used to be, Jean-Luc Picard once told him that his duty was to the truth. Frankly, I disagree on the point that gravity could be defied within the confines of our atmosphere without first putting a barrier of resistance against the midgets that use our toilets.

Furthermore and in anticipation of a conclusion, Love never fails. We go from challenge to challenge, but as long as we have our lollipops in hand, we need not fear a healthy diet ever again. Are you even aware of the existence of Malcolm Reynolds? Reason dictates that we move from my prior supposition to something more fundamental to support it. The expedition was considered a fools errand, but Shackleton knew that if he pressed onwards he could succeed. Sometimes I wonder if this is how Barney felt when pursuing the culprit who took the cookie from the cookie jar. After all, St. Paul is probably the worst city to try and find your friends in, but at least it's not suicide like Minneapolis. Commander Data dies in the end, but the movie ends with a similar Noonien Soong android named B4 which suggests endless possibilities. I'm still sad that Old Yeller had to die in the end, he could have made an excellent Borg drone. Perhaps if Pope John Paul II had personally absolved him of his sins he would have repented and turned back to his Catholic roots, but then again a terrorist is beyond all reasoning.

The next time is only 300 years from 1710,
In Truth

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Penis Monster

This is for all those women who think that they are entitled to pass judgment on men. So you think that because you bleed for three days and live you now have some kind of authoritative right to dismiss men as the lesser half of the evolutionary elite? I think not, because while women have a unique set of difficulties to overcome which men cannot truly relate to, we have our own demons to face. Some may try to embrace it as a part of themselves that they cannot change, others may not wish to change, and others still just don't have a clue as to the damage they cause.

The fact of the matter is, ladies, that men have a whole 'nother monster on the inside. I've heard a rather vulgar description of this as being that who misbehave are, "thinking with their penis." The truth is far from it, but to say that they are thinking with membranous length of tissue that stiffens when filled with blood is just oversimplifying the issue. The male sex drive can bring out a whole different side of men, as if they were a completely different person; someone more base and animalistic. Here's the clincher: that animal-like man comes out every time they are aroused and that could be as many as 60 times in a single day. It's not just something we can choose to turn on and off at will like a light switch, but believe me I wish it were that way at times.

This is no excuse for misconduct on the part of men. I am not writing this to justify or vindicate the savage behavior that some men indulge themselves in, but to truly understand you have to think in terms of it being like two men inside one body. One is Dr. Jekyll while the other is Mr. Hyde. Every man has a choice as to which one they want to be, but they can't completely squash out the other because without Mr. Hyde, Dr. Jekyll would be dead. Mr. Hyde is the side of us that is passionate, decisive, impulsive, defensive, protective, and needs to procreate. Without those however, we'd be a weak and apathetic little pieces of helpless trash that wouldn't be worth anyone's time.

Every honest and decent man still has Mr. Hyde lurking in the shadows, and portions of that personality come out at the appropriate times to offer characteristics which the Dr. Jekyll side needs to be a strong leader. It's degrading and dehumanizing to hear women talk as if the Mr. Hyde part of us is simply the result our rigid members, because that is only a symptom of a larger problem. A man who treats a woman in an objectifying way is making a choice to be more like Mr. Hyde than is necessary for him to be a strong man. Instead of doing things because they are right, he does things because it is gratifying, the kind of mindset of the Mr. Hyde that resides within every man.

So ladies, please consider my words the next time you feel like making an off-hand comment about your male counterparts.

Until next time,
De Facto

Monday, August 9, 2010

Integrity and the Conflicts Thereof

Having been a liar with great skill, I began to see how much it was affecting my family and the life I was living. It wasn't until I got caught in a big lie that I realized just how much damage I could do with a simple fabrication of the truth. After that I began to practice telling the truth even when it meant incriminating myself in the process. Over time I began to tell the truth as if I knew nothing else and even when I tried to lie I found myself struggling not to correct myself and speak the truth.

Eventually, I ran into conflicts where I began to speak the truth, but only the portions I wanted the other person to know. I began to ask myself whether this is also lying or if I'm simply being selective in my presentation of the facts. The distinction is whether or not by withholding particular portions of the truth does it lead the other person to believe something that it is not true? If the answer is yes, then it would appear that lying and omitting the whole truth are synonymous; lying by omission. What about simply not speaking? Certainly there cannot be any damage done by not answering at all. In fact, there is, as by not answering you're causing both confusion and if you have nothing to do with the issue in question, but prefer not answer then you're going to leave the other person with no other choice to assume that you are guilty/responsible for whatever they inquire of you.

The problem is that this world cannot handle the truth. (Cue Jack Nicholson clip from A Few Good Men.) There are circumstances in which presenting the whole truth can be more damaging than maintaining integrity. It's especially difficult when being honest could result in the harm of another person, which is something that most people cannot bear to live with. So how can we reconcile the difference between being a person of integrity versus being selectively truthful for our own benefit? For me, it would appear that outright lying may not be acceptable under any circumstances, but withholding the whole truth may be advantageous for the purpose of protecting another person is the most minor hit to your integrity.

I believe that there is no gray areas in life, only a very fine line between black and white. I also believe that God looks at our hearts and does not judge us based on our standards of honesty because He sees so much deeper than we do. Therefore, even though we may be at ease with passing the half-truth off as the real deal, God may see it as sinful all the same. We cannot allow ourselves to forget that it is not only our conscience we must satisfy, but the God who brings us to conviction also looks on us with a desire for us to be pure and spotless since we no longer have an excuse to be like the world.

Until next time,
De Facto

Friday, August 6, 2010

The Ebb and Flow of Hope

Often times I have wondered why it is that I can be happy one day and the next I can snap in an instant. For a long time I was concerned that I might suffer from some kind psychosis or bipolar disorder. Then I made a connection that had not occurred to me until very recently. I get depressed (which often times manifests with anger) whenever something takes me further away from the dreams and aspirations God gave me when I was five.

This week has been one of the more trying times of my life. I've suffered some losses in my life, but most of those did not take me further away from the calling God placed on my little five year-old self. The irony of it all was that it started off on Sunday as having the potential to be one of the best weeks of my life thus far, but as the bricks which laid the foundation for such a great week were pulled out this magnificent week suddenly became hell week. I went from being able to glimpse a hopeful future to having nothing but uncertainty and disappointment in view. On top of that I've got temptations and vices trying to steal that future away from me with the allures of instant gratification. I have not always been good with the concept of delayed gratification, but now a days I take it almost to an extreme. I'm the kind of person that lets a person standing in line at the Redbox kiosk go ahead of me because her son is cold thanks to the air conditioning being turned up too high with fans blowing directly overhead. I think I'm digressing now...

The problem I have is that I have two groups of friends in my life who mean the world to me, while another group of friends seems to have grown distant and apathetic towards me. The first group of friends I'd categorize as my friends who inspire me to have hope, unfortunately they all live in the big city about 40 minutes away or more. The second group of friends are mostly older than me, and they're the ones who I categorize as the ones who care. They don't get this categorization because my first group of friends don't care, but because they show they care by doing the very things I don't want them to do (i.e. chasing me across the parking lot trying to steal a cigarette from me so that I can't smoke it, pointing out a crippling flaw about myself, and making me listen to the worst music ever made.) The third group of friends are the ones who have grown up with me to some extent or another. While they genuinely want to be my friend, they have their own aspirations and goals that often conflict with the friendship. They seem to have come to accept my weaknesses and shortcomings as if they were something that cannot change. In essence, I'd categorize this third group of friends as the stagnant ones.

Now that I have sufficiently ruffled the feathers of some, uplifted others, and probably condemned myself to a lecture on how much this person or that person cares about me I shall conclude this overdrawn and inevitably confusing entry. My final thought comes as a question: what is virginity? In the strictest scientific sense, it is state when a male or female has not yet had sexual relations involving penetration of the vagina with the penis. Others include oral sex and mutual manual stimulation (fingering/handjobs), that if a person has done these then they have lost their virginity. A friend of mine suggested to me that according to Matthew 5:28 anyone who has lusted for another person has given up their virginity. If this were true, I have given up the best part of me to someone who despises my very existence; what then is left to give of myself to my future wife?