Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Tolerance the Pestilence

In the past five years I noticed the growing trend towards tolerance and acceptance... Of what? A guy who likes to do "things" with other guys? Whatever! I don't want to know! That's their business and I don't really care as long as they don't flaunt it in my face. You want me to be tolerant of another person's religion? I am an equal opportunity hater on every religion, so I suppose in some twisted way I have accomplished that. You want me to be tolerant of relative truth and gray area ethics? Relatively speaking, I'm more tolerant than you, because I perceive myself to be tolerant. What is tolerance anyway? It is tolerating or accepting, even embracing something that may be in conflict with my own beliefs? What's that? You say that if I can't be tolerant because of my beliefs than my beliefs must be flawed? Isn't that a little too absolute for you relativists?

So perhaps that's being a little too flippant with a serious issue, but I think I'm peeling back a few layers of bologna and getting to the root issue. I bring the topic up again because my sister told the family that she got chewed out by her classmates for her stance on same-sex marriage. My first thought was something along the lines of, "Do kids still buy that Michael Mooresque logic from middle school about the GBLT community?" I'm sure that thanks to the three suicides which were brought about because of bullying over the individuals' sexuality everyone on the SUPPORT THE GAYS-side of the issue is pretty sensitive and at the same time pretty intolerant of opposing views. I can guarantee that it won't be long now before speaking out in opposition to same-sex marriage and same-sex marriage will become a hate crime. If that happens, well, you might find me in jail a few times too often. I respect the government, but I will not be silent about this issue.

My sister in faith wrote an excellent blog entry on this: CLICK HERE

The fact of the matter is that doing life God's way is not going to be popular with the people around us. God doesn't care. Really, He doesn't care. He cares what happens to you because it is unpopular to follow Him. He cares that so many are choosing to walk their own path of destruction instead of taking the gift of eternal life, but He isn't competing in a popularity contest. The important thing to remember, that while the Bible is clear on issues such as same-sex marriage, abortion, and truth as a whole; we must convey these messages in love. God has been calling me personally to outgrow my need to squash apostates and learn to spread the love of God to those who wouldn't normally listen to preaching. It's something I've wanted, but until recently haven't been willing to give God enough control of my life so that He could change me into that kind of person.

To wrap this up, I'd like to bring your attention to the PSA that made me lose respect for Kiera Knightley as a person... Aside from the fact that all she ever talks about with night show hosts is how small her breasts are. Ugh... Hollywoodites...

Hoc est verum,
De Facto

Saturday, October 16, 2010

College! College! College!

Is God sovereign? The answer to that could come in the form another question, is the sky blue on a sunny day? I've had a lot of people in authority from recruiters in the military to instructors in college tell me that I couldn't do this or that I couldn't do that. But like Caleb when he assessed the land of Canaan, I choose to look at life as something to be conquered knowing that God has already given me a great future. Those of you who don't have access to my private blog probably haven't heard much about my college visit in Chicago.

Finding Shimer College in Chicago was nothing short of a Godsend. This school is exactly what I was looking for in a college. I found this college at a time when I was giving up on myself and crying out to God for help because I was on my last nerve. I literally thought I was going to lose it if I didn't have some divine intervention. The thing about God is He never does things on my timing, but according to His glorious purposes and plans for my life. So I thought that I was up a creek without a paddle, S.O.L., but in reality God was waiting until I would stop relying on my own power so that He could make His own perfect in my weakness. As soon as I started looking into Shimer things have suddenly fallen into place as if I suddenly realized what the picture was going to be from the puzzle pieces.

This really a great opportunity for me and I'm really excited about it. I wouldn't be honest if I said that I'm not afraid, but I know that God does not give us more than we can handle. And yeah, there are some things I have concerns about, but the Bible says that with temptation God makes a way out so that we can withstand it. This school and possibility of getting my degree is a huge blessing since I didn't really have much motivation to go back the community college I had been attending. I was pretty much convinced that I had wasted my money going to that community college when the most intellectual conversations were with smokers on outside. The fact of the matter was though, even those conversations were very one-sided, seeing as how they talked about being open-minded... What they really meant was accepting of their ideas and rejecting the Orthodox. Shimer College is one of very rare breed of schools that encourage students to think for themselves, form their own opinions, and then hash out the details in the classroom where each individual can discuss their perspective and interpretation of the text.

Hoc est verum,
De Facto

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Memoir Preview

Just to set this up, I was tasked with writing the first three chapters of my memoir for a creative writing class in high school. Hoping to find some essays among my saved files, I found my opening for my memoir. I thought I would share a chapter of my memoir with you all.

The Last Things to Come Out of Pandora’s Box Were My Friends
By [Me]

Chapter 2: My Dearest Wormtongue

What do you remember about third grade? My generation might be quick to remember that it was the year we learned cursive handwriting. I remember that year was the year I decided I didn’t like math. That year was also the year I began to distrust teachers, as my teacher was abusive both verbally and physically. It’s a wonder that she still teaches in the public school system. I could write a whole book detailing my memories from third grade, but then that would not be as happy as this book here. Thinking back to third grade, which is easier for me as barely legal adult, I can remember my classroom. I can remember Crazy Bones, little plastic figures that were quite adorable and had “crazy” faces in various colors and shades. I wish I still had those things. I can remember learning about the Pilgrims and putting on a performance as Squanto. I remember thinking that my third grade teacher had the breath that reeked of death and thought that if ever I met Death; it would be her in a black cloak.

Unfortunately, my third grade year was marred by quite a few bad experiences, and one in particular needs to be shared in this story of friends. His name was [Name withheld]. [Name withheld] was a fifth grader when I was in third grade. We were more like acquaintances, seeing as how I didn’t really know him very well and he didn’t know me either. Well, I invited [Name withheld] over to my house to hang out, as I did often with friends of mine at that time. The thing that was different was that my other friends were all the children of people either from church or people my mom knew. [Name withheld] didn’t have any such connections; he was just someone at school that I met. He came over and wanted to watch Pok√©mon with me, but my mom wouldn’t allow, my family believed that it was an unnecessary and ungodly television show. We decided to play with my Lego sets. I used to love Lego’s toys.

Unfortunately, we didn’t play with Lego’s bricks for long, maybe an hour or so at best, until I was pressured to touch and be touched inappropriately. I remember the color of my bed sheets, the smell of his body odor, and many other details that would not make for a book written as school project. The point is that I was molested by a boy two years older than I was. Although I couldn’t see it then, that single event would have a dramatic effect on me for the several years up until now. Because of this, most of my life I have not been able to make friends with guys. I haven’t been able to befriend them like I do ladies, and that had bothered me in my earlier teenage years. It wasn’t until later that I was able to finally get over the subconscious thought that the next guy I made friends with would be the next guy to molest me.

People handle this many different ways. Although some are afraid to say it, I see a connection between homosexual men and molestation by men. I however, by the grace of God, did not go that direction. I chose a much more subtle route; I chose to forget it. I put it out of my mind, literally suppressing the memory so that I didn’t have to think about it. For many years I didn’t consciously think about it, but subconsciously it had been there the whole time. I never realized that it could have such effects on me as it did.

I didn’t let this issue go unresolved though. I didn’t exactly seek out counseling for it, but when I told my senior pastor at church that it had happened there was a lot of prayer and counseling that went on. I praise the Lord because now, I have memories, but not flashbacks. I have been molested, but I am not a victim. When I say I am not a victim, I simply mean that I don’t identify with the victim-mentality that is a natural part of the healing process when someone is hurt and it’s more than just a simple bruise from falling off of one’s bike. Now I use this experience when I travel to different places around the state performing in plays about sexual and emotional abuse to teach the youth how they are not alone, and that there is healing for such abuse.

I thank God that Christ is the Healer, that by His stripes I am healed. It’s no secret about my convictions, and while I don’t want to preach in this book, I do have to give credit where it’s due. Through Christ I received healing and have been able to bond with men both my age and older men. By His Grace and Providence, I don’t have to suppress anything; I just walk in the peace that comes from the Lord. Surely I have found the source of all my needs, my refuge in the storms of life, and the healer of all my iniquities.

For me, it is not enough to just to be healed. As a professional actor apart of the Homeward Bound Theatre Company, I went and performed in a show that addressed the issue of abuse. My role as the guy friend of the abused young lady was painful because the way it is presented is very forward and in-your-face-no-nonsense-deal-with-it. After the show I shared with an audience of about 300 youth and their parents about being molested. I had now told more people in the span of two weeks than I had told in the nine years since it had happened. I plan to continue to use my experience as a focal point for others to receive healing and freedom from any emotional, mental, or spiritual barriers that have been built up because of being molested.

So, I hope that was edifying for most of you. I hope to make additions to my memoir here and there, but in the mean time I may post another chapter of my memoir depending on how I feel about it. I'm not quite sure about it, at times I feel the writing is too informal, but then again I have to remember that it is a memoir.

Sic semper tyrannis,
De Facto