Why hello there, Titration!
We are taught to read scripture in community so things don't get "off" (you know crazy talk), but... What do you do when a community reaches a stalemate?
Depends on the stalemate. If it's a matter of nobody being willing to cross the Rubicon in either direction and change their mind or loyalty to their pet interpretation, well, you're shit outta luck, but usually it's possible to find common ground to build on. Even when a group of people has opposite opinions about any given passage or interpretation, there's usually some common principle at work-- that Scripture is important and humans are fallible, if nothing else. Any interpretation is going to be "through a glass darkly" anyway, so it behooves Christians to spend more time building on the principles they do agree on than fighting pissing matches over the territory they differ on.
I get why the Church (universal) changes so slowly and why some things never change. The church is to be more of a thermostat and less of a thermometer. But then how does change in such an institution happen?
High doses of radiation. With any luck, the Church will develop superpowers and decide that with great power comes great responsibility. Of course, Uncle Ben might have to get shot before that happens.
What would God think if I got married (in a state/country that has same sex marriage)? And how would I go about that in a godly way?
For my part, I think God cares very little about the demographic classification of the person I marry, or whether it's officially stamped and approved; I'm fond of saying that when I meet the right woman, I'll call it a marriage whether the state does or not.
Godly marriage, to my mind, is built on the same foundation as any other relationship-- treat your spouse as you would any other human made in the image of God, take care of them as you would want to be cared for, etc. With marriage, in particular, you take an extra level obligation on yourself with regards to that person because the bond you have with them is that important to you. In that sense, be aware of the risks and obligations of marriage that almost always precede the rewards, and be willing to live up to them.
Is it ok if I lead chapel? I used to (like I did last year). The reason I worry it wouldn't be is because if people knew they might not want me to. But j said that's dumb. I did it before and nothing has changed about me.
Just don't stand near any metal poles during a thunderstorm, is all I'm sayin.' It'd be a shame if you were smited or anything during the service. Not that I'm implying anything, but, you know, accidental judgments on the unholy happen.
I asked my parents to tell me what questions they have so I can think about them before hand. They said they don't have questions they want to hear my story. What do I tell? What details do I leave out or in? What's the best way to tell such a story?
Start at the beginning, tell it simply and honestly, leave out the parts where they might interpret it as being anyone's "fault" (like "Remember when you didn't buy me the Easy-Bake Oven for my birthday?...") and being parents, they probably don't need any gory sexual details beyond "I realized I felt the same way about girls that my friends seemed to feel about boys."
After that, they probably will have questions. Know the statistics and the ideas to counter the wrong ones they probably have, as we all do. Don't let them blame anyone, especially themselves, for "what went wrong," since as we all know it's not a matter of anything going "wrong" to begin with.
What do I actually think? (Verses what all these very different voices from books and really different people think.)
What, hasn't the Homosexual Agenda sent you your marching orders yet? Put me down as a reference when you fill out the application, I could use a toaster oven.
Am I being a bad example because I am displaying all of my wrestling with faith and sexuality on this blog?
How do I explain what's going on in me to such divergent groups: to my family, to my church friends, to people who think christianity is of no use... with integrity? I sometimes hope my blog helps me name "what is" no matter who is reading it. To practice as much authenticity as I can muster. Am I being a bad example of faith because of my doubt?
Nope. Now, if you'd done what I did (*ahem* still do occasionally *cough* ) and sworn a whole lot and named names and basically been a whiny teenage angstbucket in the process... then we'd have something to talk about.
My role models, for what it's worth, have always been the people who have problems and deal with them in an honest, loving, and sacrificial way when necessary, instead of dealing with them with denial or destruction. The people who apparently don't have problems or doubts are fairly useless, since what the hell are you going to learn from them except that being problem- and doubt-free is probably pretty cozy?
Why am I a christian? (I've been asking this to everyone lately... Why are you a christian?) Am I being too selfish and myopic in this season of my life? What do I think of sin now? I think it's unhealthy to say "I should" But are there shoulds?
What does God want me to know about all this?
Woman, are you trying to break my blog?
What did my dream about my grandfathers wood cabinet filled with cross carvings "up for sale" mean?
You have a troubled relationship with your mother, prosperity will seek you out in the future, and you're sexually repressed. Your lotto numbers are 42-63-09-15.
(in response to a "Why don't we just enact a national 'don't ask, don't tell' policy?" sort of thread)
What I want ... is for people just to shut up about it.
So... you want people to stop talking about their sexual orientation in public? Funny you should ask! I've been doing that for most of my life, so here's how you do it, translated for your benefit.
Don't tell anyone you're straight.
If put into a position where your orientation might become implied, or obvious, change the subject. If directly asked, say it's a personal matter and it's none of their business-- plead the Fifth, in other words. If someone says something to you that implies they think or assume you're straight, look uncomfortable and make some sort of vague sideways denial. Avoid. Deny. Lie, if necessary, and sometimes it will be, because some people just won't let you escape until they get the answer they want, and you cannot tell them you're straight at all costs. Your job, your family, your physical safety and that of your loved ones, your standing at church-- it's all on the line.
Police your mannerisms, clothing, and language-- try to femme it up a little when people are watching, things like crossing your legs at the knee and paying extra attention to your grooming, so people don't assume you're straight. Make sure your eyes don't linger too long on attractive women. Make extra-special effort to be as cool and aloof with women as possible, lest anyone think you're paying too much attention to them.
In conversation, omit any gendered pronouns concerning actual or hypothetical relationships and marriages-- this is called "the pronoun game," and it takes a great deal of skill to do well. Don't let it bother you when people give you funny looks because your phrasing is stilted and you keep trying to change the subject. In fact, don't ever let the conversation turn to things like sex, gender, relationships, marriage, children and parenting, religion, politics, or anything else where sexual orientation might possibly become relevant. Talk about the weather, or TV shows (but make sure you don't mention if actors are attractive, or comment on relationship dramas, or show an interest in shows about straight people like Friends or Grey's Anatomy...) or music (but make sure they don't think your interest in country, or rap, or whatever is too heterosexual) or sports (except not too enthusiastically, because then they might think you're a straight man; mention something about watching it for the tight pants). Do some community theatre-- throw them off the trail.
Make sure your browser history is cleared on shared computers, and that no one looks over your shoulder, in case they notice you've been surfing Playboy, or Focus on the Family (that heterosexual activist organization), or anything else that might give anyone the slightest hint that you're interested in women. Be very careful of your computer and email passwords. Hide your journals. Make sure you put your Maxims and Sports Illustrateds and Popular Mechanics in the bottom of the magazine basket underneath the National Geographics and Reader's Digest-- ooh, and some InStyles just to make it look good. Make sure the books and DVDs on your shelves are carefully neutral. Make sure your interior design isn't too masculine-- they'll think you're straight.
When you're around your family, everything above goes double, especially conversation topics. Make sure your comments on family goings-on like weddings and childbirths are carefully neutral; change the subject if you can. If someone asks if you have anyone you're dating, or if you'd like to have children someday, or why you're still single since you're such a nice, handsome man (because remember, you're not allowed to tell your family you're straight, lest they disown or estrange you if they don't like it!) start dodging. Tell your relatives you're too involved in your career to get into a relationship, and you haven't met a man you're interested in yet (which is true! allowing for the part where you never will). Talk about your close male friends-- with any luck, they'll light on them as Possibilities. They can think whatever they want; it's not your fault if they assume there's nothing there.
Don't mention your wife to anyone. In fact, obfuscate the fact that you're heterosexually married as much as possible. Take off your wedding ring. Avoid all mention of in-laws. Take down any pictures of her you have at your desk or work area. If she calls you, be careful that no affection shows in your voice beyond that which you would show to a friend or relative. Don't ever let anyone catch you telling her you love her.
If asked what you did over the weekend, avoid talking about watching movies and eating dinner with your wife. If you're out with [Wife] and you are obligated to introduce her to someone, make no mention of her relationship to you or refer to her vaguely as your "friend." Don't hold hands with your wife where people might see you; don't touch each other; don't walk too close. People can see you, and then they'll know you're straight, and what's more, that you have a female lover. It's rude to put it right out there and let everyone know that you enjoy penis-in-vagina intercourse. No one cares what you do in bed! Stop flaunting it!
[Heterosexual Married Man], *this* is what "shutting up about it" is. There is a social assumption of heterosexuality, and every time you break it in the smallest way, it's seen as a brazen political act in a way it's not when you're straight. God knows I wish it wasn't a Huge Freaking Deal every time I mention my girlfriend, or my preference for Scully over Mulder, or the fact that there will be no groom at my eventual wedding, but I'm not the one who's making stuff like this a matter of "talking about sexual preference in public" like I'm somehow telling people whether I prefer soft-focus and Barry Manilow to floggers and Nine Inch Nails.
There is very little that annoys me more than people approaching living an out gay life from the standpoint of "Why you gotta flaunt it? No one cares about your sex life!" Honey, I'm hardly the one making it all about my sex life. If I was flaunting that, it would be obvious a lot sooner.
I've been tagged! In turn, I tag (if y'all do this sort of thing) Menjaran, Peterson and Feverdog.
1. What were you doing ten years ago?
1997 - I was an acne-riddled seventh-grader, in a fairly large and anonymous middle school, and hating every minute of it-- I lost track of most of my friends, my grades were dropping, and I was being teased for being smart, ugly, and reading "too much."
My mom had recently given birth to my youngest sister Aelgifu, who is now five feet tall-- up to my chin-- and wears a bigger shoe size than I do. How time does pass.
2. What were you doing one year ago?
Finishing my senior year of college, wracking my nerves about asking Iris out on a date, and discovering a serious love of painting.
3. What are five snacks you enjoy?
Pepperjack cheese, tortilla chips and queso, air-popped popcorn with real melted butter (if nothing else, Homestyle Pop-Secret will do), the White Rabbit milk candy Bridget got me from China, and lima beans. Yes, lima beans.
4. What are five songs you know the lyrics to?
I usually play a new CD until I can sing the whole thing, at which point I get sick of it and listen to something else.
5. Five Things You Would Do If You Were A Millionaire
1. grad school
2. stay home and paint for a year
3. donate to every charity I've ever wanted to donate to
4. feed my savings account a bit / start some decent investments
5. put some away for my youngest sister's college tuition
6. Five Bad Habits
1. cuticle-picking (Nail-biting serves a purpose, since I keep them short anyway.)
2. dropping strings and threads and bits of craft material on my floor instead of throwing them away
3. drinking Coke way too near the keyboard
5. discouraging myself
7. Five Things You Like To Do
1. read: long, dense, cheesy paperback novels, constantly and often simultaneously
2. craft: jewelry, chainmail, rugs, reconstructed clothes, you name it. I have a pathological need to keep my hands busy. I hope to hell I never get arthritis.
3. art: illustration, fine, and comics. I draw a lot of cute girls in striped socks when I have nothing else I can think of, and I have a particular fondness for watercolors and oils.
4. sleep: late.
5. Internet: it's a verb if I say it is, dammit.
8. Five Things You Would Never Wear
1. Pink, orange, and yellow. Pink on principle, and orange or yellow because they make me look like I have liver disease.
2. Poofy things. I hate poof with an undying passion.
3. Stiletto heels. I like my ankles unbroken and my dignity intact.
4. Scratchy or itchy things. Cheap wool and crappy lace underwear would come to mind here.
5. Short skirts. Not that I ever wear skirts or dresses anyway, but I'm not wholly opposed to wearing them on special occasions. But if I have to sit down in a special way in order to avoid ripping the material or flashing the room, it's not an option.
9. Five Favorite Toys
Computer, fan brush, my Seal of Approval keychain, bubbles, and Silly Putty.
10. Five Things You Hate To Do
Pose for photographs, wake up early, wash dishes, clean up animal poo and/or vomit, and make small talk with strangers.