Monthly Archives: February 2013

West Point Story

A beautiful photo of a West Point cadet escorting his boyfriend to a winter formal is making the blogosphere rounds.
The photo appears on the Facebook page of Knights Out, the West Point alumni support group for LGBT soldiers. The men in the photo were not named by the site.
“This, ladies and gentleman, is progress at an Academy in which we can be proud,” the caption reads. “A member of the Academy’s Spectrum group and his boyfriend at Yearling Winter Weekend last weekend.”
As Towleroad points out, Yearlings are technically sophomores.

I’d rather…

…be cuddled with my cat right now instead of at work.  It’s a nasty rain day.  One of those days you should just stay in bed, but the world goes on, and I have too much to do this week than be able to sleep.

I’ve Entered the Modern World…

At least by my students’ standards I have.  I got an iPhone.  It’s an iPhone 4, but it’s still an iPhone.  I’ve actually had an iPad for over a year thanks to a wonderful friend of mine who gave it to me as a gift, but not an iPhone.  I’ve had a Blackberry, thus according to my students, I’m “way” behind.  It’s really very cool, and so far, I’m enjoying it.  However, don’t expect any pics like the one above to show up.  I won’t be posting any sexy pics on GWiP (NSFW).

Water

Water
Ralph Waldo Emerson
The water understands
Civilization well;
It wets my foot, but prettily,
It chills my life, but wittily,
It is not disconcerted,
It is not broken-hearted:
Well used, it decketh joy,
Adorneth, doubleth joy:
Ill used, it will destroy,
In perfect time and measure
With a face of golden pleasure
Elegantly destroy.

Ralph Waldo Emerson:

Known in the local literary circle as “The Sage of Concord,” Ralph Waldo Emerson became the chief spokesman for Transcendentalism, the American philosophic and literary movement. Centered in New England during the 19th century, Transcendentalism was a reaction against scientific rationalism.

Emerson is one of my favorite Transcendentalist.  Actually, he is probably my favorite.  His essays and poems always make sense to me.  I’ve always found Thoreau to be a bit nuts, as we’re the majority of the Transcendentalists.  I do like Margaret Fuller, but for other reasons.  I also don’t completely identify her with the Transcendentalist, she was so much more.  Ralph Waldo Emerson’s first book, Nature (1836), is perhaps the best expression of his Transcendentalism, the belief that everything in our world—even a drop of dew—is a microcosm of the universe. His concept of the Over-Soul—a Supreme Mind that every man and woman share—allowed Transcendentalists to disregard external authority and to rely instead on direct experience. “Trust thyself,” Emerson’s motto, became the code of Margaret Fuller, Bronson Alcott, Henry David Thoreau, and W. E. Channing. From 1842 to 1844, Emerson edited the Transcendentalist journal, The Dial.

Emerson wrote a poetic prose, ordering his essays by recurring themes and images. His poetry, on the other hand, is often called harsh and didactic. Among Emerson’s most well known works are Essays, First and Second Series (1841, 1844). The First Series includes Emerson’s famous essay, “Self-Reliance,” in which the writer instructs his listener to examine his relationship with Nature and God, and to trust his own judgment above all others.

Emerson’s other volumes include Poems (1847), Representative Men, The Conduct of Life (1860), and English Traits (1865). His best-known addresses are The American Scholar (1837) and The Divinity School Address, which he delivered before the graduates of the Harvard Divinity School, shocking Boston’s conservative clergymen with his descriptions of the divinity of man and the humanity of Jesus.

Emerson’s philosophy is characterized by its reliance on intuition as the only way to comprehend reality, and his concepts owe much to the works of Plotinus, Swedenborg, and Böhme. A believer in the “divine sufficiency of the individual,” Emerson was a steady optimist. His refusal to grant the existence of evil caused Herman Melville, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Henry James, Sr., among others, to doubt his judgment. In spite of their skepticism, Emerson’s beliefs are of central importance in the history of American culture.

Sent from my iPad


Potpourri

Like the Jeopardy category, this post can be about anything.  In fact it will probably be about nothing.  I have numerous ways of coming up with posts, such as, hearing something interesting, reading an interesting news story, some piece of research, or something that happens at school.  Sometimes, I just have nothing.  I draw a complete blank. This is one of those times.  I thought about writing about the Super Bowl, but it just turned out to be a disappointment since the 49ers lost.  Then I thought about complaining about how fed up I am with FedEx, since in the last week they have messed up the delivery of two different packages, but I didn’t feel like a diatribe about the lack of good customer service anymore.


I came up with nothing in the end. So here is a potpourri post with a great picture from SteveXS’s blog (NSFW).


Why Do "Christians" Hate Gays?

In last Sunday’s post, Jay responded by writing, “Why is it that the very people who could benefit the most from these are the very ones who use hate and bigotry under the guise of pointing out others’ sins so resistance to hearing this very true message of love for one another and giving the glory to God? Perhaps an analysis of what turns people who most likely started out as Christians in the true sense of the word into hate-mongers and thoroughly despicable people might help those of us who are almost ashamed to call ourselves Christians because of them understand where the disconnect lies.”  So I began to do a little research about why so many so-called “Christians” hate gay people.  I came across this essay by a gay man named Larry from Michigan.  It makes a lot of sense, though I don’t know if I agree with all of it, Larry certainly makes some valid points.  I have long believed that one of the reasons for homophobia lies in the need to propagate the species.  In smaller groups in which larger populations were harder to maintain, (such as Native Americans) homosexuality was seen not as an evil, but as a natural part of civilization. Without further comment, I hope you find this essay as interesting as I did.


At some point, you have no doubt wondered why so-called “Christian” churches and their members behave in the most un-Christ-like ways toward God’s gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender children. The Savior they falsely claim to “follow” and “worship,” Jesus Christ, commanded all of humankind to treat each other with perfect love, and to do unto others as we would like them to do unto us. Considering Jesus’ commands to them, their behavior therefore presents a contradiction in terms. How can this be explained? It’s quite simple — this essay will expose the truth so-called “Christians” don’t want you to know.

Mind you, modern-day so-called “Christians” didn’t invent the hatred, rejection, and disapproval of gays and lesbians. Until the advent of semi-modern medicine within the last few hundred years, mortality was high and life-spans were short; in order to have a sufficient number of offspring to keep the species propagated, people often had to have as many as 15 children during their fertile years. Since purely gay and lesbian people by definition do not reproduce, the gays and lesbians of those times were not contributing to the further propagation of the human species. It is primarily for this reason that the societies of those times heaped scorn upon gay and lesbian people; this has carried forward to the present day, despite the modern world’s over-population.

Also, at some point along the time line of human civilization, people began to figure out that a huge percentage of mankind is, for want of better terminology, intractably stupid. Specifically, the smarter people — the elites — figured out that the ignorant hordes could be easily controlled by exploiting their fear of things they didn’t know. This fear of the unknown is a natural, instinctual human reaction, evolved over many thousands of years by our cave-dwelling ancestors, but it is a significant weakness in civilized societies. Without regard to what is absolutely moral or immoral, the elites of these ancient societies invoked fear in the masses by citing some kind of a higher power as an authority; whatever the elites chose became the “moral” codes of those societies. For reasons discussed in the previous paragraph, homosexuality was often one of the things these ancient elites condemned. Later on, this hatred of homosexuality was attributed to God as a means of keeping control in the hands of the elites.

This ancient hatred of gay people has filtered down through the millenia into modern society, despite modern medicine’s obviation of any purported social “need” to “prevent” homosexuality. Nowadays, more gay people might actually be a good thing, in order to control a world population that is already too large for its own good. However, so-called “Christians” obviously still haven’t moved out of the Dark Ages, considering the unprecedented levels of hatred they hold toward gay people — despite the lack of any logical motive for such hate. Their motives, in fact, are far more dark and sinister than they would ever let on.

Jesus Himself said that “you cannot worship both God and mammon (money).” Some two thousand years after He walked the earth, His words are oh-so-prophetic today. What is ultimately at the root of everything these so-called “Christian” churches do is not Christ’s example, but rather the pursuit of earthly power — money. The elite leaders of these churches know that their followers’ fear of the unknown — in particular, their fear of death and what happens after death — can be easily played in such a way that makes the elites fabulously wealthy. I will prove this over the next several paragraphs.

In the early part of the second millenium, the Roman Catholic Church became known for its granting of “indulgences.” The idea was that a person could make a “sin offering” to God, in the form of a monetary payment to the Vatican, that would render his/her sins “forgiven” and leave him/her “pure” in God’s eyes. Needless to say, this idea was so horribly abused by the wealthy to justify almost anything over the centuries, until one priest decided he had seen enough of it. Martin Luther posted his 95 Theses on a church door in the year 1520, and in so doing forever changed the course of Christendom — no longer did all of the world’s ecclesiastical authority derive from Rome. The Church in Rome fought the 95 Theses, branding Luther a “heretic,” but eventually realized that Luther was right and ended the practice of indulgences. One would think that Christianity had been returned to its proper place as the worship of God, not an earthly money pit.

Sadly, this is not the case today. Our so-called “Christian” leaders of the 21st century haven’t learned a thing from the 16th century. Actually, they have learned one thing: they’ve learned how to be more slick about it than the Roman Catholic Church of the 16th century was. “Christian” televangelists (who are more accurately known to God as minions of Satan) appear on programs designed to play to the fear of the unknown among their blind-sheep followers, saying things like, “If you support our work in opposition to the ‘homosexual agenda,’ won’t you please send us a small donation of $25? Would you please support us as we protect the unborn children of God? Even $50 will do! God will remember on the Day of Judgment who did and did not help us carry out ‘His’ work!” This implicit threat of eternal damnation causes the largely stupid flock to immediately and reflexively reach for their checkbooks, thereby fattening the bank accounts of the televangelists.

An examination of the history of “Christian” churches tells you a lot more. For example, the Roman Catholic Church had a well-known role in the European exploration and conquest of the New World — rumors in Europe in the Middle Ages had it that the New World was full of valuable earthly treasures like gold, silver, turquoise, and other minerals and metals not known or in limited supply in Europe. European countries’ fortunes changed rapidly when these rare, valuable items were found in their New World colonies; Spain, for example, became the most powerful nation on earth for over 100 years after discovering and plundering the gold-rich civilizations of the Aztecs, Mayas, and Incas. Often times, the monarchs of these European countries sought the permission of the Vatican for these explorations, frequently kicking some of the proceeds back the Pope’s way.

Even today, the Roman Catholic Church still maintains a “Vatican Bank” with billions upon billions of dollars in holdings. Granted, it is not nearly as powerful and rich as it was before scandal rocked it in the 1970s and 1980s, but it was bailed out by the secretive, ultra-conservative Catholic cult Opus Dei. Why does the Vatican still maintain its own bank, when Jesus explicitly said that it was easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God?

So-called “fundamentalist” churches of modern times, like the Southern Baptists, are just as morally culpable as the Vatican. It is well-known that “fundamentalist ‘Christian'” preacher Pat Robertson took the donations of his “flock” and used them to enrich himself by buying a diamond mine in the west African nation of Liberia. The purchase of the diamond mine has made Robertson a billionaire, and he has put some of that money back into his “Christian” broadcasting empire, which he then in turn uses to further his own wealth. Many “fundamentalist” or “charismatic” preachers are at least multi-millionaires, and their churches frequently are amazingly extravagant, opulent testaments to their wealth. In many cases, they use the boatloads of money to construct graven images, such as giant crosses and statues, in direct defiance of God’s Ten Commandments.

The Mormon church is also well-known for its love of money. Much like the “fundamentalist” mega-churches all throughout the South, Mormon temples are huge, opulent structures that cost tons of money. They won’t even let non-Mormons visit the main temple in Salt Lake City, Utah. Islam, which forbids non-Muslims to visit Mecca, is the world’s only other religion that does this. Could they both be hiding huge amounts of material wealth? Additionally, the LDS Church is alone among “Christian” churches in expecting its missionaries — you know, those cute, well-dressed boys who come knocking at your door, while you plot how to get them into the missionary position  — to cover their own expenses while doing missionary work; they are the only church too cheap to support their missionaries! Perhaps the money is going to line church leaders’ pockets?

It is this love of money that causes so-called “Christians” to hate gay people. More accurately, it is the leaders’ never-ending hunger for money that causes them to demonize gays, in the process fostering identical attitudes in their flock. In fact, this very same love for money is also at the root of so-called “Christian” opposition to any kind of birth control, from condoms to birth-control pills, to the “morning after” pill and especially abortion. Obviously, they are dead-set against any kind of non-procreative sexual activity, or anything that prevents procreation from occurring. Why is this?

In order to keep the money flowing, these churches ultimately rely on their flocks to participate in a sort of reproductive pyramid scheme. That is to say, these churches are counting on all of their followers of child-bearing age to have as many children as possible, who when they become adults will in turn all proceed to have a bunch of kids, and so on and so on. If one couple coming into the church today has eight children, and each of those eight children has eight of his/her own upon reaching adulthood, that’s 74 members of that church who will at some point in the next 50 years feed the church’s money machine! This is exactly what the elite church leaders want; it keeps them fabulously wealthy for a good long time to come. The reason they so hatefully condemn gay people is because our lack of reproduction doesn’t fit into the scheme whose continued existence they need to stay rich and powerful.

Unfortunately for them, that’s not what God wants — nor is all the hatred of His gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender children, nor is the extreme opposition to any form of population control that leads “Christians” to murder people at abortion clinics. God sees right through what they are doing, and He knows they are truly worshipping money — temporal earthly power — instead of Him and His universal, timeless Power. He will punish their worship of earthly power in the most horrific ways when the Day of Judgment arrives, while at the same time allowing His gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender children who follow Him to enter into His heavenly kingdom.

My fellow gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender children of God, pay very close attention to what I am about to say. Whenever you hear so-called “Christians” condemning, harassing, and slandering you, throwing out their insane, Satanic, thoroughly false accusations of pedophilia, feces ingestion, universal HIV/AIDS infection, and certain death by the age of 42, you must always bear in mind that they are absolutely not speaking for God. Instead, they are merely demonstrating their unrighteous, Satan-motivated anger at our Godly non-participation in their pyramid scheme. What they are doing angers God greatly, and He will have his righteous vengeance upon them when the Day of Judgment arrives.

Do not under any circumstances listen to these money-worshipping “Christians” when they open their Satan-occupied mouths to speak out about homosexuality or abortion — God will reward you for staying true to Him and avoiding the traps these so-called “Christians” lay in front of you. Carry on as a GLBT child of God, doing whatever you can to better His creation and His other children here on earth, and do not fall for their meaningless, empty threats of eternal “hellfire” and “damnation.” (Their claims have zero bearing on anybody’s eventual salvation or damnation — God makes that choice, based upon how closely one has emulated Jesus’ perfect example of universal love, and He will punish those “Christians” who are trying to fool you into thinking they share that power.) By doing this, you will earn the rich bounty of eternal life in the Kingdom of Heaven, and avoid the fate of spending eternity in Hell that most assuredly awaits the vast majority of so-called “Christians.”

Sent from my iPad


Moment of Zen: The "Eyes" Have It


Politicians