Thursday, October 28, 2010

Obama on Gay Marriage

Another Obama Video


Obama on Gay Marriage (under 2 min) This is the video that I will mostly be commenting on.
Sorry, embedding this video has been disabled.

I understand the concern with separate but equal, but a large part of choosing a church is chooseing a church that you are comfortable with. I don’t want to be in a church that doesn’t support interracial marriage and I would not want to be married in a church that doesn’t believe in interracial marriage. I would want to get married in a church that I am a member of and have relationships with the other members.

Civil Unions and the rights that go along with a government based commitment or union should be upheld in a same sex marriage a sin a traditional marriage. However, churches should not be forced by the government to marry a couple. Some churches have rules that only members can get married in the church and others have rules about only a certain pastor can marry a couple in a church.

It seems strange to me that someone would want to get married in a church that doesn’t support you marriage or by a pastor who doesn’t believe in your marrage. That is not anyone’s dream wedding.

I like Obama understand that in Wyoming my husband and I could not have gotten married in Wyoming thirty years ago because we are different races. It makes me sad to know that if he were in the hospital I would not be allowed in, it also makes me sad that we would have experienced issues with insurance.

I am not sad about the people who don’t think that we should be married as an interracial couple. We still could have had a ceremony that represented our relationship. I would have wanted my wedding to be in a church surrounded by people that supported us as a couple and individuals.  There are several churches within the LGBT community. These churches would allow a gay wedding. The wedding is the celebration. It does not need to validated by anyone. The paperwork aspect is the part that is recognized by the government and that is the side that the government should focus on

It could also cause many problems if the government started controlling the churches and telling the churches what to believe. There is a reason for the separation of church and state. It is dangerous when a government tries to control most aspects of everyday life.

I guess, I think we need to pick our battles and not expect the government to fight them all for us.

Another Obama Speech

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Can You Really “Hate the Sin and Love the Sinner”

My friend was wondering if it really is possible to love the sinner and hate the sin, if a persons actions are such a huge part of who a person is. My simple answer is “yes, you can love someone that you disagree with.”

I have experienced this many times in my life. I worked at a residential treatment facility. Some of the kids that I worked with had beat up siblings, raped siblings and other people. They attacked me and other staff on a regular basis. I don’t believe that these behaviors are healthy or beneficial. I can honestly say that I hated the behaviors and loved the kids. Not only was it the children’s behaviors but often times mental conditions such as Anti-Social Personality Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, or Schizophrenia. The disorders were a part of them and their lives. I hate Anti-Social Personality Disorder* but not the girls. I still go back and visit them. I go back because I miss them. Some of them still have these same problems but I can still say they are all great kids.

Another examples is my best friend. I love her more than everyone but 4 people (my husband, parents, and grandma). My freshman year of college and her senior year of high school she did a lot of not so smart things. Many of the decisions she made were not positive and they hurt her in various ways. I didn’t like her choices, they made me sad and sometimes angry. Through it all she was still my best friend. She is still my best and was a bridesmaid at my wedding.  Just as a side note she is currently producing some rockin-awesome graphic design work.

In my life, there have been many more examples of not liking a person’s actions or their choices but still loving the person.  I do think that the phrase is a bit trite, but I do think that the concept is possible.

**I would not consider any of these disorders a sin. The actions that these disorders lead to would be i.e. Anti-Social Personality Disorder is common in many serial killers.

Video
We are not arguing the same point and at times, I think we would disagree, but I thought he had some good things to say.

This guy makes a lot of good points.
His Blog

1:44 Love is patient…You are patient with the crap in other peoples lives. You don’t have to love the actions that people make. You should be patient with an alcoholic family member while still guiding them.



Sunday, October 24, 2010

Gay Culture and Stereotypes


This image is interesting and humorous because of gay stereotypes, but where did these stereotypes come from? I understand some of the basic interactions and categories (based on stereotypes) that members of the GBLTQI community fit into. There are butch and femme and metro and queer and more.

This is one aspect of the GBLTQ community that I don’t understand much about is how the culture evolved. Where did the stereotypes come from? Why do butch lesbians cut their hair short and why do gay men do the hand flick and have a lisp? Why do queers dye their hair purple, green and pink at the same time?

Did these characteristics come first and then the terms to describe these people come later? Where do new sexualities come from? Are they just invented or better defined over time?

I know that not all people fit into these categories but I do want to know the origins and history of these stereotypes and when these cultures came to be (or words to describe them came to be).

Does anyone know or have comments or ideas?

Link to the Poster

Saturday, October 23, 2010

President Obama: It Gets Better

President Obama: It Gets Better video



After the recent suicides of young people, there have been a ton of “It Gets Better Videos.” These videos have been created by hundreds of YouTube bloggers as well as famous individuals. They address depression and ultimately tell people that things get better. They offer today’s youth the hope that they might not have.

The most recent video can be found at the GLSEN Blog, The White House Blog, my blog and YouTube. In this video, President Obama addresses these suicides.

Obama uses a personal approach that most everyone can agree with. He relates to various groups. He talks to all parents by explaining that he has two daughters. He also explains that he understands what it is like to be different and not fit in.

He then addresses the kids in a bullying situation and tells them that they are not alone and that the bullying or the negative feelings are not their fault. He reassures people that there are many people you can reach out to and they are not in this by themselves. He takes this reassurance one step further and encourages today’s youth to reach out and get help.

He concludes by talking about a world where our differences are seen as strengths that we can all be proud of. This America is a place where we are equal and have the right to respectfully speak our own opinions.

In this short video Obama is able to captivate most every American’s emotions. He addresses all of America, by showing them the problems of today and what the future can look like if we all take action.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

2009 National School Climate Survey

There has been some controversy regarding GLSEN’s Safe School Act. The Safe Schools Act requires that schools specify LGBT youth in their anti-bullying policies and curriculum. Many school acts do not include a lot of detail. This is because not all school have the same strengths and weaknesses. (Although the act doesn’t explain this part well, it would encourage some school to add extensive LGBT topics to the curriculum.)

Some parents are worried that their children will be forced to learn that a homosexual lifestyle is acceptable. Parents who do not agree with this may not want their children to be forced to learn the material. The other side of this act is that the bullying of LGBT youth needs to stop. The act itself isn’t that threatening, but some of the programs can be. Regardless of which side I agree with, I do see valid points for both issues.


2009 National School Climate Survey: Nearly 9 out of 10 LGBT Students Experience Harassment in School is in support of GLSEN’s Safe Schools Act. This article gives statistics and a brief explanation of why various aspects of this act do help schools. The percent of LGBT students who are bullied is over 80%. When the school has a Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) as a student organization many of the homophobic remarks and victimization of these students is decreased.

In response to the article, it seems clear that there should be at very least some sort of GSA or other organization that is specific to the needs of the LGBT population. I do understand the parents concern; I also believe that it should be the parents’ responsibility to guide their children and explain their beliefs and origins for them. Kids learn many ideas that many parents don’t want their children learning. It is also the responsibility of the parents to teach their kids to be respectful of all children at school. If the act were implemented, parents should be able to explain to their children that bullying is wrong and that aspect of their school lesson was good but also explain their views on homosexuality if it differs wit that of the school.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Print and personalize

These posts are items that you can print and fill in your own information or your friends names and give out or keep.  Just some fun resources.  They are great for a camp counselor or youth group leader.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Truth is Truth is Truth

My husband and I recently discussed the idea of judging others before we get to know them. More than just judging them but judging their beliefs.

The end of the conversation was interesting because my husband was able to put the conversation, and the point that I was trying to make, into perfect wording. “so, what you’re trying to say is that we should recognize the truth in all belief systems before we judge them.” Even though I believe that truth and wisdom come from God, I also believe that the same truth can be expressed through various terms, and wisdom can be possessed by non-Christians and Christians alike.

We can better ourselves through understanding others’ wisdom as well as learn more about our own. Another religion may not include Jesus being the one and only savior, but that does not give Christians the right to devalue the wisdom from the belief system. The same would be expected of a non-Christian in regards to the Christian faith.

We all should be able to respect and understand someone else’s belief without believing it. Unfortunately humans seem to have a hard time with that. The ignorance goes both ways. You hear Christians disrespect other beliefs all the time and I can promise that I have heard non-Christians mock and bash Christian beliefs on a regular basis.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Processing Posts

When trying to make sense of an issue or topic, I need to process.  My processing process often comes in the form of verbal diarrhea.  It may not always make sense, or be a completed thought.

When I am given a problem to solve I tend to look at it from several angles. I argue various viewpoints. Some of this ideas may be used as stepping stones for larger ideas. Some I may agree with or disagree with. I really just like to process and argue various points and issues. It's how I work through things.

My first group of processing posts will be on the subject of homosexuality (and other GBLTQ issues).
I would also like to address Black Liberation Theology and some other social justice oriented themes.

Edits in red...Since I have addressed specific religions and denominations....

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Response to How Can You Be Sure That God Loves You?

How Can I Be Sure That God Loves Me?  Soulforce.com video and video.google video
By: Reverend Mel White

In this sermon, Mel White begins by explaining how Universities (campus ministries) and Christians are the two groups that show the most hostility toward him and his partner. At one of these Universities a young gay boy went up and asked how Mel White was “sure that God loved him.” White begins to explore various ways to explain God’s love. He addresses science and history and decides that neither are going to help this boy believe that God loves him. White then addresses the possible ways that the Bible has been misinterpreted and concludes that this will not help. Maybe the person of Jesus will help people understand God’s love.

White then decides that the life and actions of Jesus will help prove that God loves gay people too. Jesus loves all outcasts. Jesus was an outcast. He was born an “illegitimate child to a teenage mother.” He was poor, homeless, an illegal alien (in Egypt). Jesus was a person of color. He was headstrong and disobedient and “made the radical right church leaders of the day every time he spoke.”

Jesus not only was an outcast but loved the outcasts. White discusses several well known New Testament stories in which Jesus interacts with outcasts and sinners. These stories, all based on loving the outcasts, included Jesus turning the tables, the bleeding woman who touched his robe, the centurion, and the Samaritan woman.*

The sermon did a wonderful job of showing that Jesus loved and died for everyone especially the outcast. God made everyone, even those who are seen as flawed by society, and God loves every single person on this earth.

More Soulforce.com videos 

*Maybe I will discuss some of these stories in more detail.

Monday, October 4, 2010

I Believe in the Power of Learning New Stories

This I Believe was a project that was started several years ago to encourage a variety of people to write.  Some of the essays have been played on NPR and CBC.



I Believe in the Power of Learning New Stories.

I will post more links to other peoples audio essays and maybe discuss them a bit.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Letter From God

My child (use your own or a friends name),

I love you more than anyone else ever could (John 15:1; Romans 5:8). I created you and formed your physical features myself. I didn’t miss one detail nor did I make any mistakes and I continue to fashion you today (Psalm 138:8), for My work is perfect (psalm 139:13-16; Deuteronomy 32:4). Even before you were born I adopted you for My very own (Ephesians 1:5). I’ve given you My most prized possession – My Son Jesus Christ (Romans 8:32). Indeed you are very special to Me and I enjoy being around you all the time (Psalm 16:3; Hebrews 13:15).

I accept you exactly as you are (Romans 15:7). Don’t believe what Satan the father of lies tells you (John 8:44) – in My eyes you are as beautiful as My Son, Jesus Christ (Romans 8:29). Remember this – He had no stately form or majesty that caused people to look at Him. Nor did He possess physical beauty or an appearance that would attract people to Him (Isaiah 53:2). In fact, his appearance became disfigured beyond human recognition and yet He embodied all the qualities which reflect My character (Isaiah 53:14), which I am pleased to develop in you (Colossians 1:19; Hebrews 13:1).

In this way I have sought to make you happy as you derive satisfaction from My likeness that is growing within you (2 Corinthians 3:18; Galations 4:19). Do not compare yourself to others because I have made you unique (2 Corinthians 10:12). All the physical features, abilities, and background that I have given you play a special part in shaping you for My plans (Exodus 4:11, 12). The world chooses on the basis of beauty and talent, but I choose on the basis of the heart (1 Samuel 16:7). I have given you “thorns in the flesh” to teach you to depend on Me (2 Corinthians 12:7-10) and to remind you to Whom you belong (1 Corinthians 6:20).

Remember, don’t look to others to determine your beauty for you are desirable in My eyes (Psalm 45:10, 11). Come then, let us, you and I together shame the wise and the strong (1 Corinthians 1:26-29).

Love you,

Your King (Psalm 45)

Homosexuality and Christian Faith: A Theological Reflection

Homosexuality and Christian Faith: A Theological Reflection is an article written by a Christian theologian, Theodore W Jennings. His main purpose to provoke analytical thought about the issue at hand rather than to determine the rightness or wrongness of homosexuality. Jennings is good at not addressing morality but instead focusing on the meat of the various arguments and ways that people can view homosexuality. Throughout the majority of the article he neither condemns or condones homosexuality, but rather is seeking to help the reader understand.

The article analyzes basic arguments involving the relationship of the homosexual to the church. Some of these topics include the Levitical laws, temptation, morality, procreation, sexuality, marriage, celibacy, procreation, family-centeredness, obedience, freedom, obedient freedom, identification with the outcast and poor and the concept of the other.

The article concludes by stating that this writing is “only the outline of a position – and it is also very much a position ‘on the way.” He understand that these arguments need correction from both the “Judeo-Christian heritage and from a better understanding of homosexuality.’ More importantly these corrections can only come from discourse between the two groups.

I have always had a passion for philosophy and theology. Most Christian philosophy that I have read is extremely biased, without the author stating his obvious biases. Instead of addressing biases as truth, Jennings addresses them at the beginning. Several times throughout the reflection consciously throws out his biases.

The article was extremely interesting and thought provoking. Jennings accomplished his goal with this writing.

P.S. I think this will be the first of several responses to this article. I would like to comment on several of the sections and ask you opinions on several others.