Saturday, March 31, 2007

At One With Nature?

I had a professor once that claimed to be a Native American. I'm sure he actually was because he was still mad as all get out that those white Europeans came over here and stole all this land. He was sure that if they hadn't done that, he'd be living here right now at one with nature. somehow these pictures * (look for the "next" button to see all) of the new Grand Canyon sky walk don't seem to wash with the whole oneness with nature thing. It seems these guys have done a wonderful job of defacing mother earth, and sinning against the environment. But to those who would paint Native Americans as the quintessential environmentalist I would ask: could it be that man is hopeless and in need of a savior, even if the environment were his god? Just a thought.

In their defense they've done a spectacular job of making a wonderful tourist attraction. I'm glad they were able to pull this off. It does cost something to go out on it, but I don't think it's very much. I'd heard about it, but I didn't realize it had a glass floor. This has to be worth the trip! Three cheers for the Native Americans!

* These pictures can be found on the home page of Cox Communications in Arizona, and are the property of

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Men Loving Men

My best friend was getting married and I was the best man.  At the rehearsal banquet I gave the typical toast with a small speech. But there seemed an inaudible gasp as I proclaimed to all present that, if the newly weds loved each other as much as I loved [the groom], they would have a lasting and wonderful marriage. A short and awkward moment followed. even for the groom I think, but soon the drollery began, and it seemed to put everyone again at ease. Still, I meant them, and I was intent on expressing them.

Interestingly, this was while I was still in my pre-redeemed state. I had no basis at the time for thinking that homosexuality was a sin, but that didn't stop me from thinking it repulsive. Also, given my words were premeditated; it wasn't as if I hadn't considered what the reaction might be. But I couldn't help but believed that those reactions would quickly give way to contemplation of something so currently foreign in this overly sexualized world as one man’s deep love for another man.

Now however, as a Christian, I am very much at ease with the concept of loving another man, because within the context of Christianity it is normal and natural. What is not normal are the walls that men feel they need to erect lest they be thought “gay”. It has not always been taboo for men to share a bed, greet each other with a kiss, or to love one another. It has always, on the other hand, been decadent for two men to have sexual relations.

One of the real tragedies brought on by the normalization of homosexual relationships is the retardation of normal male relationships. When the attempt is made to force normality into something as intrinsically abnormal as homosexuality, it is folly to think that there will be no consequence. One of the first casualties of this social plow, uprooted with hardly any notice, was relationships between men.

The release of Brokeback Mountain was one of the more recent blows to masculine relationships. More tragically still, it wasn't as if one had to actually watch the movie to fall under its influence, for I’m convinced that few actually did see it. That's because the power of its influence didn’t come from its storyline.  Indeed, on that account it was just another love story. Its real power came from its presumed acceptance, exaggerated and magnified by the media. This of course gave way to the unforgettable pictures that permeated the checkout aisles, video stores and news stands, of two handsome young men inserting homosexuality into what had always been an iconic symbol of male masculinity, the American cowboy.  Nothing less would have done.

But worse than this is the brick and mortar this movie, and our brave new world, has provided to men for the building of their personal fortresses wherein they increasingly find themselves alone and isolated.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

My Testimony, part I

When I was in my early thirties, I was well on my way to achieving my career goals. For the most part it was a matter of a few more moves, both geographically and corporately, before finally reaching the actual top of the hill so to speak. I was not married at the time, so the prospect of finding a wife had begun to edge its way toward the top of my life’s goals. On this account however there were two haunting questions that nagged at me greatly: 1. Could I find someone that would make me happy for the rest of my life? 2. If I were to find such a woman, why should I ever expect that I could do the same for her?

I was living on a houseboat, another achieved goal, and had a sailboat parked in a slip just a few feet away. There were several people living on their boats on this particular dock, and lots more that were there most of the time. Since boat life required one to be outside, neighbors were always assessable and that fact lent itself well to fellowship. It was impossible to not get involved in the affairs of the people of your particular dock, which was mostly a good thing in the sense of community.

There was much consumption of alcohol during that period. I might go so far as to call myself at the time a social alcoholic. I felt the need to feel the effects of alcohol to enjoy myself, but also detested the feeling of being drunk. Also, this seems to be as good a place as any to insert the fact that I was not at all happy. This was a distressing reality for me because I had done everything that the world had to do in order to achieve happiness, but there I was running out of green hills to conquer in my search for it. It was one beautiful day that I was wondering around on the dock, beer in hand, interacting with neighbors when I suddenly saw myself as I was, through my neighbors.

I was younger than most of them, and we had all set ourselves up in a world of diversion. Their whole life had become about boating, drinking, and talking about how wonderful it was to live on a boat. However, for me there seemed to be a moment of clarity this day where the veil of diversion was lifted up momentarily to reveal the misery underneath. Their unveiled faces begged the question over and over again: is this all there is, is this all there is? I would never see them or myself the same again.

As I survey this short life that I’ve thus lived, this was without question the first step toward life, and not only that but abundant life, though it would be a couple years in coming.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Blasphemy Challenge

I was informed about this by our youth pastor. This is a Fox News report about the "blasphemy challenge". If you haven't heard about this you really need to watch. It's about 2 minutes.

It's the same old same old, an atheist is trying to somehow say that religion, and most specifically Christianity is evil, because of the "mental terrorism" that he says the prospects of hell cause. But as usual this man wants it both ways; he wants to remove any foundation onto which to build his case, namely the existence of evil, and at the same time, claim that that same foundation is evil. Ultimately, by proclaiming that there is no God, he is reducing every thing he is saying to opinion. So he is not living up to his own standards, for if evil is a matter of opinion, then he, who is nothing more than a complex machine, is attempting to impose his opinion of right and wrong onto other machines.

One note:
He implies that it proves to youth that they can deny the Holy Spirit and it will be OK. Sadly for his disciples, the only way they can know this is to deny the Holy Spirit then kill themselves. I can't help but to wonder what kind of response he would receive if he were to try and hock this garbage to the terminally ill.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

The cure for that pesky ailen feeling

As a Christian, are you plagued with that bothersome alien feeling? Well follow these ten easy steps and you’ll be feeling right at home in this culture in no time at all. Promise!

  1. Watch lots of T.V.
  2. Make sure to always take in the latest and hottest movies.
  3. Watch lots of T.V.
  4. You'll find the morning drive time radio station personalities can be a treasure trove of wisdom in alleviating this problem.
  5. Watch lots of T.V.
  6. Never take prayer and Bible reading too seriously, those things are best left to professionals on Sunday.
  7. Watch lots of T.V.
  8. Be closed minded concerning the existence of Objective truth.
  9. Watch lots of T.V.
  10. Listen to lots of AC/DC.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The Myth of Objective Journalism

I don’t watch the news. Well I suppose this isn’t totally true, last month I probably caught about ten minutes of news collectively, which is probably about average. I don’t read the paper either for the most part. I do listen to conservative talk radio however. I do this for two reasons: 1. I know what I’m getting, which is a conservative host that makes no bones about his conservative convictions. 2. What they say normally makes sense to me. When the news begins at the top and bottom of the hour, I turn the radio off until it passes.

It takes no will on my part to abstain from the news, unless you count the will one possesses to avoid pain, for it is truly painful for me to be exposed to what appears to me to be leftist propaganda. This said, I do not think that those who present the news could ever admit that this is what they’re up to, because they’re ignorant of it. Try as they may, I don’t think that they or I, or anyone else for that matter, could be totally objective, even if their lives depended on it. This is due to the filters through which we view the world. I watched the Terri Schiavo case for example, through a set of lenses that causes me to perceive all people as created in the image of God. Contrary to the news stories I saw, which portrayed a political battle between two parties, I saw a young woman being murdered by starvation, while a few in the government tried to save her. Due to my worldview or perspective, even though a political battle did take place, I would have reported that part of the story as a back drop to the fact that an innocent human being was being murdered with impunity. Interestingly enough, I would have then been accused of being biased for doing so.

To make a point using absurdity, what would the reaction be today if a news agency printed a story presenting slavery in a positive light? Society would baulk at the notion, but it hasn’t been that long since such a story could have been published without concern. On the other hand, one could rest assured that any story published by an abolitionist would have most certainly been a negative one.

So what has changed concerning slavery in a century and a half? As far as I know it is now universally condemned? So what has changed regarding objective journalism? I contend: nothing at all if it is not worse! One must remember that the prevailing worldview at that time was modernism, and with its flaws and failures, at least there was ultimately a prevailing belief that right and wrong, good and evil, and the nature of truth itself was objective.

I did watch Fox News a few times and there does at least seem to be an attempt here to realize that news cannot be objective. Consequently the forum seems to endeavor to give “both sides of the story”. Many it seems like to hear both sides of the story and they believe that the “truth” is probably somewhere in the middle? Try applying that reasoning to the slavery debate. I do suppose that this is a step in the right direction, but I still don’t watch it because of the pain it causes me to witness things like the murder of babies being reduced to some silly debate.

What about talk radio, someone might ask, aren’t they biased? The answer to that question is that normally they unabashedly are biased. Furthermore they make no pretence about it, but it’s folly to assume that just because a network, or newspaper, or reporter does not claim to be biased, that they in fact are not. I believe that any claims of objectivity while reporting what happened, or to be current with our times, what is happening, especially when it deals in the realm of political power, should be met with skepticism.