Archive for the ‘Religion’ Category

Another Gay Post

This is a second predecessor to what I hope will be a book later on. The first predecessor is a small essay named “The Fierce Arm of Coercion” And I do believe that that name will stay on as the title of the book. A subtitle would be something along the lines of “How Gay Rights Activists are Damaging the Quality of Life of Gay People in America” Or something equally . . . infuriating.

Now, this is more of a series of observations that I’ve made over time. Not exactly a research paper or anything of the kind. The main observation though, is that the liberal (If you permit the use of the word) more . . . progressive and open-minded people are actually far more homophobic than the Conservatives they oh so enjoy ripping on. Now, this is not baseless, and it is counter-intuitive.

But I do have examples. The first is of course, the reactions I get when I mention that I want to be POTUS. Out of every, say, 100 encounters, I get 40 of them asking me about my platform and saying that I have their support (and about half of them volunteer to help me out), 30 of them tell me that republicans will never vote for me, and that my platform doesn’t even matter (they also tell me that I am seriously wrong), and about 20 will tell me that they need to talk to me more, and 10 will say that my platform needs work. Here is the kicker:

The 40 consider themselves Conservatives, the 30 consider themselves Liberal, the 20 are Independents and the 10 are seriously undecided. Upon discovering that I’m gay, the Conservatives shrug and usually reply with a combination of “Hate the sin, not the sinner” or “Nobody is perfect”

Liberals ask how I can be so misguided and how can I possibly reconcile my economic ideology with the fact that I’m gay.

I do find this to be amusing. Vastly so. So, I have discovered that to Conservatives, even vastly religious ones, I am an intellectual, a politician and man who has a good life, but has made some questionable life choices. To Liberals, I am a gay who has no idea what’s going on in the real world. So, to recap:

A gay who is stupid vs. a brilliant man who happens to be gay . . . and people still think Liberals are gay friendly!? Someone please explain to me how that works!

So, now that I’ve given an overview of the more . . . political part of my observations, I do have to go to the everyday bullsh*t I have to go through. I am a proud man, and I refuse to be made ashamed by something like my skin color, heritage, sexual orientation or anything else that some liberal idiot has decided matters for some odd reason. But I have recently found myself being afraid of admitting that I’m gay. Why? Because I am going to be discriminated against. It’s that simple. However, it is not the Conservative Bloc I blame; it is not the religious communities. I blame the people who decided, for some odd reason, that the fact that I am gay is somehow important . . . it is defining of me somehow. Being gay has stopped being about who you date, who you sleep with, who you live with, its become about how you eat, how you live, how you vote, what you believe. Being gay somehow twists the world into a beast where more government control is good, where traditions of any kind are evil, where the correct is made evil, where life itself is wrong. Gay makes the world a different place. No longer women more natural nurturers, or men more athletic, the mere idea of this is evil. Immoral. Gay makes the world a place where natural law is good when I says that gay just happens, but wrong when it says that men enjoy sports more than women. It says that it’s ok for women to chose, but only if they chose as they will it, because clearly, no woman would want to be a mother.

All of these things, having no providence in the realm of romance, is now of crucial importance to the fact that I’m gay. So I have to ask, who high jacked my life and made it a target for people’s shooting practice?

The obvious answer is: The Religious Right. The truth? The Psychotic Left. This can easily be construed as a coincidence. After all, Correlation does not Imply Causation. SO, this brings me to the claim of my observations, the tying it all together, this is what is really going to get me angry replies and screams: Liberals are magnanimously more homophobic than Conservatives. And the claim that’s going to get me shot: Gays hate themselves. That’s it; no one hates them more than they hate themselves. The one thing that I refuse to do, the one thing that they do not understand, the simple fact that they’re groveling is nothing more than an act of self-loathing.

So, part one: Liberals are far more homophobic than the Conservatives, well, I already said this: A Gay vs. a Man with questionable choices, A Gay vs. a Man. That’s all. I do believe this explains why Liberals place so much emphasis on sexuality. They are terrified and disgusted by it. Their crusades are nothing more than a clever cover for their need to hate something. The same thing I would claim about feminists, they hate women.

The second part: Gays hate themselves. This is the only reason I can think of that would explain their sheer need to point out that they’re gay. Not just that they’re gay, but also explain their need to have this simple and secondary fact define their entire existence. So instead of owning up that they’re not normal, they flaunt it with such painful effectiveness that even other gay people feel disgusted. So this is why I have started to feel the need to hide the fact that I’m gay, not because of my fellow Conservatives, but because the Gay Rights Psychos will not be able to resist the urge to associate me with them and their flawed ideologies.

So there it is. A simple predecessor to a far more complex and researched project, one aimed not at securing more liberties for gays at the expense of everyone else, but one at securing everyone’s rights from the gay rights movement. One that states it clearly and simply: you’re not special, you’re just human, get over yourself. You get no special rights, and most especially not when it’s at the expense of the people you claim to help.

 

Translations of the Tao Te Ching

By Steven Gregory.

One of the oldest texts in the world, the Tao Te Ching, also happens to be one of the most widely translated books in history. Although its true origins are somewhat unknown, its teachings are said to have began sometime during the Zhou Dynasty, when, as fable has it, a woman finally gave birth to a wrinkly baby with grey hair, after more than 50 years (62 years according to legend) of pregnancy. Laozi, or ‘Old Master’, began teaching himself in the high courts, and soon became disillusioned with the Chinese government and decided to leave. Before leaving however, a guard on China’s border pleaded the wise man to write down his teachings, and thus the Tao Te Ching was born. Composed of 80 chapters, or small poems, Laozi’s teachings deliver a broad spectrum of thought-provoking philosophy that has actually evolved into a religion. Eventually this ancient text was introduced to the West, but unfortunately because there are many cultural and idealistic concepts present in this book for which the West has no knowledge of (or even a word for), the translations are heavily subjective and based on interpretation of the translator. There tend to be three major categories of translations however, the literal translation, the poetic translation, and of course the political translation.

Undoubtedly the most controversial and interpretative chapter is the first. Although across the many translations it expresses the same principal idea, language and diction gives the text different connotations. For example, in the translation by Ursula K. Le Guin, the excerpt, “So the unwanting soul sees what’s hidden, and the ever-wanting soul sees only what it wants” the wording is expressed in a more poetic undertone, suggesting its meaning in not only a physical, but a spiritual sense, unlike the more materialistic translation by S. Mitchell stating, “Free from desire, you realize the mystery.
Caught in desire, you see only the manifestations” which expresses the same general idea, just in a more interpretative and physical sense, rather than with the spiritual aspect. Similarly, Mitchell’s opening chapter states, “The tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao. The name that can be named is not the eternal Name” which does attempt to interpret any Eastern concepts, is generally more difficult to understand because of this, compared to the much more flowery “A way can be a guide, but not a fixed path; names can be given, but not permanent labels.” In this translation by Thomas Cleary, the Tao is interpreted to be ‘A way’, a Western idea that does not actually have the same meaning as ‘The Tao’. In fact, the distinction is even made between this ‘way’ as being not a path to follow, but a ‘guide’, even though The Tao is really neither.

In similar fashion, the 77th chapter is an excellent example of how the Tao Te Ching can be interpreted in a more political sense, focusing on the physical and moral implications amongst a greater society. The excerpt “Those who try to control, who use force to protect their power, go against the direction of the Tao. They take from those who don’t have enough and give to those who have far too much. ” by S. Mitchell chiefly exemplifies this by establishing the presence of the very specific ‘force’ and ‘power’, both words that are usually associated with the government. This is a very political interpretation of the Tao Te Ching as opposed to Yi-Ping Ong’s “It is the Way of Heaven to remove where there is excess and add where there is lack. The way of people is different: they take away where there is need and add where there is surplus” which uses words like ‘excess’ and ‘lack’ that are much more broad and encompassing, thus expanding the overall meaning of the passage beyond just the implied idea of controlling force like a government.

These minor differences amongst the many translations of the Tao Te Ching may not seem like important elements of Taoism, but for a Westerner reading such a translation it may in fact have a surprising effect on that persons view and understanding of The Tao. This is why it is quite important for readers to try and see these various interpretations. This also points to the immense flexibility of the already ambiguous text and philosophy.

Gay Marriage in Church History.

A friend of mine posted this and i felt obligated to repost it here.

When Marriage Between Gays Was a Rite
http://www.global.org/Pub/Gay_Marriate_Rites.asp
An article in the Irish Times that discusses same gender unions in the early church.
by Jim Duffy
Published in 1998
Gay Christians
As the churches struggle with the issue of homosexuality, a long tradition of gay marriage indicates that the Christian attitude towards same sex unions may not always have been as “straight” as is now suggested, writes Jim Duffy.

A Kiev art museum contains a curious icon from St. Catherine’s monastery on Mt. Sinai. It shows two robed Christian saints. Between them is a traditional Roman pronubus (best man) overseeing what in a standard Roman icon would be the wedding of a husband and wife. In the icon, Christ is the pronubus. Only one thing is unusual. The “husband and wife” are in fact two men.

Is the icon suggesting that a homosexual “marriage” is one sanctified by Christ? The very idea seems initially shocking. The full answer comes from other sources about the two men featured, St. Serge and St. Bacchus, two Roman soldiers who became Christian martyrs.

While the pairing of saints, particularly in the early church, was not unusual, the association of these two men was regarded as particularly close. Severus of Antioch in the sixth century explained that “we should not separate in speech [Serge and Bacchus] who were joined in life”. More bluntly, in the definitive 10th century Greek account of their lives, St. Serge is openly described as the “sweet companion and lover” of St. Bacchus.

In other words, it confirms what the earlier icon implies, that they were a homosexual couple. Their orientation and relationship was openly accepted by early Christian writers. Furthermore, in an image that to some modern Christian eyes might border on blasphemy, the icon has Christ himself as their pronubus, their best man overseeing their “marriage”.

The very idea of a Christian homosexual marriage seems incredible. Yet after a twelve year search of Catholic and Orthodox church archives Yale history professor John Boswell has discovered that a type of Christian homosexual “marriage” did exist as late as the 18th century.

Contrary to myth, Christianity’s concept of marriage has not been set in stone since the days of Christ, but has evolved as a concept and as a ritual.

Professor Boswell discovered that in addition to heterosexual marriage ceremonies in ancient church liturgical documents (and clearly separate from other types of non-marital blessings of adopted children or land) were ceremonies called, among other titles, the “Office of Same Sex Union” (10th and 11th century Greek) or the “Order for Uniting Two Men” (11th and 12th century).

These ceremonies had all the contemporary symbols of a marriage: a community gathered in a church, a blessing of the couple before the altar, their right hands joined as at heterosexual marriages, the participation of a priest, the taking of the Eucharist, a wedding banquet afterwards. All of which are shown in contemporary drawings of the same sex union of Byzantine Emperor Basil I (867-886) and his companion John. Such homosexual unions also took place in Ireland in the late 12th / early 13th century, as the chronicler Gerald of Wales (Geraldus Cambrensis) has recorded.

Unions in Pre-Modern Europe lists in detail some same sex union ceremonies found in ancient church liturgical documents. One Greek 13th century “Order for Solemnisation of Same Sex Union”, having invoked St. Serge and St. Bacchus, called on God to “vouchsafe unto these Thy servants [N and N] grace to love another and to abide unhated and not cause of scandal all the days of their lives, with the help of the Holy Mother of God and all Thy saints”. The ceremony concludes: “And they shall kiss the Holy Gospel and each other, and it shall be concluded”.

Another 14th century Serbian Slavonic “Office of the Same Sex Union”, uniting two men or two women, had the couple having their right hands laid on the Gospel while having a cross placed in their left hands. Having kissed the Gospel, the couple were then required to kiss each other, after which the priest, having raised up the Eucharist, would give them both communion.

Boswell found records of same sex unions in such diverse archives as those in the Vatican, in St. Petersburg, in Paris, Istanbul, and in Sinai, covering a period from the 8th to 18th centuries. Nor is he the first to make such a discovery. The Dominican Jacques Goar (1601-1653) includes such ceremonies in a printed collection of Greek prayer books.

While homosexuality was technically illegal from late Roman times, it was only from about the 14th century that antihomosexual feelings swept western Europe. Yet same sex unions continued to take place.

At St. John Lateran in Rome (traditionally the Pope’s parish church) in 1578 a many as 13 couples were “married” at Mass with the apparent cooperation of the local clergy, “taking communion together, using the same nuptial Scripture, after which they slept and ate together”, according to a contemporary report.

Another woman to woman union is recorded in Dalmatia in the 18th century. Many questionable historical claims about the church have been made by some recent writers in this newspaper.

Boswell’s academic study however is so well researched and sourced as to pose fundamental questions for both modern church leaders and heterosexual Christians about their attitudes towards homosexuality.

For the Church to ignore the evidence in its own archives would be a cowardly cop-out. The evidence shows convincingly that what the modern church claims has been its constant unchanging attitude towards homosexuality is in fact nothing of the sort.

It proves that for much of the last two millennia, in parish churches and cathedrals throughout Christendom from Ireland to Istanbul and in the heart of Rome itself, homosexual relationships were accepted as valid expressions of a God-given ability to love and commit to another person, a love that could be celebrated, honoured and blessed both in the name of, and through the Eucharist in the presence of Jesus Christ.

Church

I went to Church this Sunday.

At first I was bored, because it was incredibly boring (obviously) and because all that everyone seemed to talk about was General Conferences, which i did not watch because i had better things to do last weekend (like sleep) And i really didn’t care about what they were talking about.

But one thing stuck: how blatantly they threw absolute lies about and nobody even flinched (except me) and everyone agreed! I was for a while i was just shocked, then it started to sink it, that is why i am not a believer, and i started thinking, and i realized something huge about people. After the initial shock wore off, I started to get bored again, then they brought up Prop 102, and why they had to vote yes on it. The reasons why made me laugh inwardly, because i thought it would be a tad disrespectful if i did do outwardly.

The man who gave the little lecture (a man i actually respect, somewhat) sadid that never has something like this had happened before (gay marriage) and i started to correct him, but i promised i would behave, so i didn’t tell him that is wasn’t until the last few centuries that gay has been tabboo. Not in the modern sense, but the idea of two men having sex or living together hasn’t been considered wrong until the Roman Emperor in 342 (or 372 i forget) declared gay marriaes illegal, before then it was legal, and it isn’t unheard of high ranking men being married to each other.

But none of this i said there, because i promised i would not.

Then I took part in their close knit community, even though i knew that their close knit community was antagonistic to my life. It was nice, and I realized that i missed out on the concept of community my entire life. Made me kind of sad, that the only times that this kind of togetherness happens is clearly outside of the realm of people like me. I am truly a marginal figure.

So after pretty much being reminded that i belong on the wrong side of the line, I just enjoyed that rare glimpee at what life is like on the other side. Then, the friend who took me to church said soemthign that brought up the amrginal figure thing again: he said that having me in the church would be a great asset, that i was someone who would either take the church forward, or someone who could hinder the church greatly.

I was flattered, because he wasn’t the first person to tell me something very similar.

Yellow Eyes

Castiel threw Dean back into the past.

As it turnd out, once upon a time, John Winchester was a naive civilian and Mary Winchester was a Hunter.

I have no idea who it took more by surprise, me or Dean.

Anyway, as it turns out, Mary made a deal with Azazel, or Yellow Eyes. Yellow Eyes would bring John back from the dead, after he killed him, and in turn, in ten years, Yellow Eyes would pay a visit to the Winchester House and ‘as long as he wasn’t interrupted, no one would get hurt” At this point i had  an aha moment” that’s why MAry said you when Yellow Eyes went to visit Sam.

Anyway, in the end Castiel tells Dean that Sam is down a dangerous road and they have no idea where its leading, and the stil have no idea what Yellow Eye’s Endgame is.

Castiel then says, in a dramatic climax:

“Stop him, or we Will”

Sam is b the way, with Ruby.

Three Things on The State Press

Three things managed to get my attention in the State Press today. I suspected that like every other day, the school newspaper would have a an article of interest, an engaging cross word, the always awesome Non-Sequitor comic and a bunch of bullshit. I was right.

Expect the bullshit was actually interesting.

The first story was that of “Muggle Quiditch” I have two thoughts on the matter: one, how can you not trip? and two, are you serious? I actually want to go watch, just to see them trip, or to se how horrible it is, that is to say how do they compare to real sports?

Second, was the first analysis of prop 102 that was written not by the usual author, but an entirely different girl. And as compared to the other guy, she is a much better writer. I enjoyed reading it and it was actually a “breath of fresh air” when it came not only to the sticky issue of gay marriage (which i strongly support) but the entire week, which has been strangely depressing, and i have no idea why, might be the nightmares, the lack of sleep, the loneliness, the lack of money, yeah that is probably it, the lack of money.

And Third: Joe Arpaio, who want to be reelected. I feel sorry for the writer of the article, i wonder how long it will be until the cops are knowing on her door for libel of some other shit. actually i wonder how long it will be until i get the knock on my door about this post. Cant be that long, the man is completely insane, power hungry and has no regard for the rules, which he, ironically enough, claims to be upholding.

And finally, Heroes: Villains, I Am Become Death airs today. Which reminds me, the Bhagavad Gita: freaken’ awesome, go read it. NOW!

I’m almost done with it myself.

The Problem With the (early) LDS

“The truth is Roy, there are many people who do not like our church. Somehow simply believing differently than others seems to be the only instigation, yet these people will say and do anything possible to discredit and denounce us. Unfortunately, lies and murder ARE in our past but they deal with lies about us and murder of our innocent members. Church members were beaten, imprisoned, murdered, and driven from their homes in the early days of the church and the US government, that we have always been in support of, didn’t support us when we needed them most. I would recommend reading an impartial history of the church in America and not one film maker’s twisted view of supposed history.”

The quote is from the wall of the Facebook group: LDS Life. Where a Mormon reader responds to another member’s question about the “real” history of the Mormon church, as the issue is addressed in the movie September Dawn.

The movie addresses one of the many massacres at the hands of the Mormons in their early history, and even though i haven’t seen the movie myself, it seems to be incredibly accurate. Of course, like the above comment points out, Mormons have always painted themselves the victims, when in reality, and historically, they are far from it.

I can say, without the shadow of any reasonable doubt, that the actions taken by the US Government against the newly emerged Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints was not an act of genocide, but an act of National Security. The leaders of the early Mormon Church, Joseph Smith and Brigham Young standing out, were, in plain terms, not only separatists, but terrorists, who could each of them be charged with several Crimes Against Humanity, not to mention multiple counts of rape, murder, bribery, and treason.

This is not to say that the members of the Mormon church at the time were all criminals, but many of them were, a simple walk though the historic collections at ASU, proves that. Although most modern Mormons are in fact, peace oriented, and overall incredibly kind people, their history, and their leaders, are covered in the blood of innocents who dared to believe something that they (the Mormons) did not.

Perhaps the best example of the arrogance and the threat that Joseph Smith posed was in the governmental system of Nauvoo. (and the current system of government in Utah) Where one man, allegedly chosen by God rules over a city council, whose members all believe him to be the incapable of err, and in turn these rule over Nauvoo. The entire system, aside from theocratic, is more akin to a monarchy. As Joseph Smith himself pointed out, the Lord would deliver the country to him and make him “King”. These ideas, combined with the doctrine of “Blood Atonement” (the belief that a person could, and should, be saved by spilling their blood in sacrifice to the Lord, a glamorized system of Human Sacrifice) and the forced marriages of women and girls to those “chosen” by the Lord surmount to America’s very first, homegrown terrorist and organized crime syndication.

After his death (which of course, i disagree with) Brigham Young emerged as the victor after a set of fights that gave birth to other Mormon factions (much like the death of Mohammed, Jesus, Buddha, and other, less pleasent character’s deaths left several factions vying for power) Of course, this change in government, did not improve the Mormon situation, and eventually led to The Mormon Wars, where armed militias of Mormons led attacks on unarmed non-Mormon civilians in order to take the resources needed to survive their self-imposed exile, and through these actions forced the US Army to openly declare and unofficial war with the Mormons, leaving countless dead on both sides fo the conflict. Thankfully these conflics lasted only months and eventually, after the death of Young, the Mormon Church was able to settle down, into a moslty respectably group of people.