Monday, May 28, 2012

Why I'm a Pacifist

     It amazes me that there are so many Bible reading Christians out there that believe killing another human being can sometimes be okay. Especially when it comes to saving your life. People will justify war by saying it's self-defense. Not that it isn't, but did you skip over the part in the Bible where Jesus says "Love your enemies," or "Turn the other cheek?"
     I am happy I was raised with a Christian upbringing (especially Mennonite) because if I hadn't I probably wouldn't have even thought about this topic and would have been okay with war. Thanks to my wanting to know why God has certain rules I have some good arguments that I can use to defend my beliefs. If we don't question God's motives, we won't know how to defend them. I often can't just "Trust in the Lord my God, and lean not on my own understanding." I need to know why God says them. Often I just find that God was only speaking to the people of that time period and that specific culture and it doesn't apply today. But I'm pretty sure loving your enemies and turning the other cheek applies today.
     I realize that not everyone reading this is necessarily a Christian. Let me try to explain why killing in all forms is wrong without God being the center of the argument. Let me put it this way... It's another human being! Somebody just by chance is born in a different country, is taught that these other people (us) are bad people. We all know that every human being grows up generally having the same beliefs as their parents. None of us can choose which culture we were born into. "The world in which you were born is just one model of reality. OTHER CULTURES ARE NOT FAILED ATTEMPTS AT BEING YOU; they are unique manifestations of the human spirit."

     Fighting for peace is like fucking for virginity. The two just don't go together. Why are we so quick to retaliate after an attack? Next time there's a terrorist attack on America I encourage us not to retaliate and just see the response the other side has. They might be so confused and eventually apologize for the attack. Who knows? Or they might just think we're weak and attack again (that's probably what you're thinking they'd do). But what if we do another thing that Jesus says and forgive 7x70 times? (I think he probably just meant always forgive. 490 is a random number.) After all if Jesus said it we best obey, right? At least that's what most Christians think. I'm not entirely convinced but since the general population of people who read my blogs are Christian, it's probably best I argue in a way you can understand. Have a nice day!


Friday, May 18, 2012

This Is Me


     You ever notice how people are always focusing on the negatives of others? For some reason what we don't like about a person always seems to overshadow what we do like about them. We are a species that loves to complain and we all think we know how something should be done whether that be a job, how something is communicated, whatever. We are just always complaining and judging. I do not claim to not be a part of this statistic. It's just something I've noticed and I hate it about us. Yet more proof that we are a messed up species.
     In high school I was in a play called "All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarden." One of the skits in this play posed the question, "What is the meaning of life?" I realize this question did not originate from the play but if I hadn't been in it I have a feeling this question wouldn't have stuck with me so much. I find myself always wondering what the answer really is. Is it possible to ever know? Most likely not but I like to try.
     Maybe there is no meaning in life. We are just simply here. That all we are is "Dust in the Wind." In evolutionary terms what is natural for us is to just live and do anything possible to protect us and our family. A lot of times I think though that what is natural for us as a species in the animal kingdom isn't necessarily what is ethical. I feel like most will agree. Especially for the religious folks in the world. So what does that mean for me? I don't know. This blog post I just feel like raising questions and not having answers.
     Speaking of religion, it's time for another update on where I'm at spiritually. Because it has changed slightly since I last updated. I'm starting to pray again....at night as I'm laying in bed trying to go to sleep. I'm still not sure if I actually believe there is someone listening to me but I'm not waisting anybody's time (except maybe my sleep). Why not try? My prayers are more specific these days though. Before I used to pray for things like all the starving children in third world countries and such. I've decided that it doesn't feel as personal though when I'm praying for a group rather than individuals. I make sure that my prayers these days are not coming from selfishness. I make sure that nothing I'm praying for is gonna have an affect on me. I want to make sure that what I pray for is truly coming from a place where I can say for sure I care for this person and I wish them the best. So do you want to know who I'm praying for? I pray for some of our homeless clients that come into the center I work at. I pray for the mentally ill ones that don't know any better. I pray for the drug addicts that are so addicted they don't know any better to stop or make logical decisions in life. My prayers aren't so specific that I'm praying they get off drugs, or their illness is cured, or even get off the streets. I just simply pray they are content in life. I pray they can feel some sort of happiness. The kind of happiness that isn't based from the thrill of drugs, sex, or food. Real, deep, happiness. Amen.
     I'm really sounding like a religious nut right now, aren't I? You're probably thinking that I'm referring to the happiness that you get when you have the presence of God in you. If that's what you want to call it, that's fine. Who knows what it is? I believe in a higher power. I would like to believe this higher power has the power to make things better for people. But there is still suffering in the world. Just simply praying can't be all that we need. Some of it has to fall on us....and that's what I'm trying to figure out how and what that is.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Homophobia is a joke, right?

     Something I can't wrap my mind around is how some people believe homosexuality is wrong and gay marriage shouldn't be legal. That's like saying black people shouldn't have rights. 40 years from now (hopefully less) people will look back and wonder how stupid we were for even questioning it. I have yet to hear a good reason why homosexuality is wrong.
     For those that argue marriage is defined as a union between only a man and a woman, let's break this down, shall we? WHO MAKES THE DEFINITION OF MARRIAGE?? That's a bullshit definition. People who say that found their beliefs based on what the Bible says. "God created Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve." Or those verses that talk about how we were only created to be fruitful and multiply. Our only purpose is to create more of us. Considering the fact that the earth is in extreme danger of overpopulation I really would discourage that as an argument. Creating more people just doesn't seem to apply anymore.
     Some people just don't like the idea of gay sex. How does that affect you? Plus that's just insensitive to think all people should enjoy the same kinds of sexual pleasure. We were all created different and unique. Some people like the more kinky stuff, others don't. Hey, whatever tickles your pickle. Legalizing gay marriage won't encourage YOU to be gay. They are not gonna all of a sudden start shoving gay sex in our faces and make us heterosexuals have gay sex.
     If you are just concerned of the sexual immorality these "gay people" are having. First of all, I don't think you should be judging in the first place. Second, maybe allowing gay marriage will decrease all the "sleeping around" and encourage more people to settle down with one partner for life.
     The most popular argument as to why homosexuality is wrong is that the Bible says so. I'm a little tired of going back to this but here is my response, "No it doesn't!" Sure we can quote Leviticus 18:22 or Romans 1:26-27 but if you truly take that into the context of the times you'll find it doesn't apply to today. It's a really long and detailed explanation but if you truly want to know why the Bible doesn't forbid homosexuality you can read my theologian roommate's blog here: http://messesofben.wordpress.com/2012/04/19/why-the-bible-does-not-forbid-homosexuality/
     If you still want to believe that the Bible is 100% clear on the subject that's fine. But you also have to realize you are just picking and choosing what you want to follow in the Bible. The Bible has so many laws that most Christians don't follow. Why follow this one? I know why. Because you just love to hate something, don't you? You just love to criticize what you can't understand.
     Let me just make clear that I am not gay. I feel like I have to just because people might assume that the only way someone could possibly fight for gay rights is if they themselves are gay. But then I feel bad because some people might argue that me saying this is a form of homophobia. That I don't want people thinking I'm gay because I think it's weird. I don't want people thinking I'm gay because I'm not. That's it. No matter what it is, most people don't want people to think they are something they're not. It's the same thing if you're a woman and you don't want people to think you're a man because you're not... but you don't have anything against people who are men. Anyway I'm going off topic.
     I, like most people, fight for what I believe in. And I believe homosexuals should have the right to marry. Who are we to decide who gets to marry who? That's just so un-Christian :).

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Alcohol

     I turned 21 this week. Because of this specific age I was turning I decided that it was fitting for me to drink, as do a lot of people think when they turn 21. This goes completely against how I was raised though. I grew up around friends and family that would certainly not approve of the consumption of alcohol.
     Don't get me wrong, I am aware of the of bad situations that have come from drinking alcohol. A lot of parents who beat their kids, lots of car accidents ending in death, etc. Very sad situations, yes. What we have to realize though is that not everybody who drinks is gonna become an alcoholic or have those things happen because of their drinking. Will everybody who drives a car have a bad accident? No. Most people would say it's perfectly fine to drive and see nothing wrong with it, and yet accidents happen all the time and people are killed. It's the same mindset.
     So do we not drink at all so we eliminate the risk completely? No because there is definitely some fun involved when you are drunk. Judge all you want but you can never truly understand something unless you've tried it. So if you have never been drunk, don't judge people who do get drunk. You don't understand the appeal until you have. I have been drunk only two times in my life. Once, it was really fun, once it wasn't that great. I have yet to decide if I want it to happen again. Basically, what my opinion is now is to please drink responsibly.