Monthly Archives: October 2017

The Witches of Macbeth

Macbeth, Act IV, Scene I [Round about the cauldron go]
William Shakespeare, 1564 – 1616

The three witches, casting a spell

Round about the cauldron go;
In the poison’d entrails throw.
Toad, that under cold stone
Days and nights hast thirty one
Swelter’d venom sleeping got,
Boil thou first i’ the charmed pot.

Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and cauldron bubble.

Fillet of a fenny snake,
In the cauldron boil and bake;
Eye of newt, and toe of frog,
Wool of bat, and tongue of dog,
Adder’s fork, and blind-worm’s sting,
Lizard’s leg, and howlet’s wing,
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.

Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and cauldron bubble.

Scale of dragon, tooth of wolf,
Witches’ mummy, maw and gulf
Of the ravin’d salt-sea shark,
Root of hemlock digg’d i’ the dark,
Liver of blaspheming Jew,
Gall of goat, and slips of yew
Sliver’d in the moon’s eclipse,
Nose of Turk, and Tartar’s lips,
Finger of birth-strangled babe
Ditch-deliver’d by a drab,
Make the gruel thick and slab:
Add thereto a tiger’s chaudron,
For the ingredients of our cauldron.

Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and cauldron bubble.

While I love this passage from Macbeth, it quite possibly may not have been written by Shakespeare but added after the initial performance. In fact, all of the witches scenes may have been added later. However, with that being said, Macbeth was written during the reign of James I, who had an obsession with witches, even writing a book about them. This means that Shakespeare himself may have included the witches to garner the favor of James. In addition, Banquo from Macbeth is also believed to be a true character as well as an ancestor of King James I of England, who was also James IV of Scotland. Macbeth portrays Banquo as a hero, while in actual history, he was an accomplice of Macbeth. Whether the witches were really written by Shakespeare or not, Macbeth is a homage to King James I.

So, if you have read this far, here is some good news. This afternoon I have an interview for the job in Chicago, and tomorrow afternoon, I have an interview for the job in Florida. Both are preliminary telephone interviews, but it’s a start.


Halloween Is Coming 

Halloween is tomorrow. Gay Christmas. It’s my favorite holiday. It’s the one time when you can be someone else. Anyone else. It’s fun. My best friend has a Halloween party every year. When we lived closer to each other, I always attended. Many years, I cohosted. Sadly, she lives in Texas now and I live in Vermont, so it’s kind of hard to make it to the party. We are dressing up at work this year though. That should be fun. I really do love Halloween.

10 Reasons

Here are 10 reasons why God accepts gay Christians.

1. The term “homosexual” didn’t exist until 1892. Some modern Bible translations say that “homosexuals” will not inherit the kingdom of God, but neither the concept nor the word for people with exclusive same-sex attraction existed before the late 19th century. While the Bible rejects lustful same-sex behavior, that’s very different from a condemnation of all gay people and relationships.

2. Sexual orientation is a new concept–one that the Christian tradition hasn’t addressed. Many Christians draw on their faith’s traditions to shape their beliefs, but the concept of sexual orientation is new. Until recent decades, same-sex behavior was placed in the same category with gluttony or drunkenness — as a vice of excess anyone might be prone to — not as the expression of a sexual orientation. The Christian tradition has never spoken to the modern issue of LGBT people and their relationships.

3. Celibacy is a gift, not a mandate. The Bible honors celibacy as a good way of living — Jesus was celibate, after all — but it also makes clear that celibacy must be a voluntary choice. Requiring that all gay people remain celibate is at odds with the Bible’s teachings on celibacy, which are grounded Scripture’s core affirmation that God’s physical creation is good.

4. Condemning same-sex relationships is harmful to the LGBT community. Jesus taught in the Sermon on the Mount that good trees bear good fruit, while bad trees bear bad fruit. The church’s rejection of same-sex relationships has caused tremendous, needless suffering to the LGBT community–bad fruit. Those harmful consequences should make Christians open to reconsidering the church’s traditional teaching.

5. Sodom and Gomorrah involved an attempted gang rape, not a loving relationship. It’s commonly assumed that God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah out of his wrath against same-sex relations, but the only form of same-sex behavior described in the story is an attempted gang rape — nothing like a loving, committed relationship. The Bible explicitly condemns Sodom for its arrogance, inhospitality and apathy toward the poor — not for same-sex behavior.

6. The prohibitions in Leviticus don’t apply to Christians. Leviticus condemns male same-sex intercourse, but the entire Old Testament law code has never applied to Christians in light of Christ’s death. Leviticus also condemns eating pork, rabbit, or shellfish, cutting hair at the sides of one’s head, and having sex during a woman’s menstrual period — none of which Christians continue to observe.

7. Paul condemns same-sex lust, not love. Like other ancient writers, Paul described same-sex behavior as the result of excessive sexual desire on the part of people who could be content with opposite-sex relationships. He didn’t have long-term, loving same-sex relationships in view. And while he described same-sex behavior as “unnatural,” he also said men having long hair goes against nature, and most Christians read that as a reference to cultural conventions.

8. Marriage is about commitment. Marriage often involves procreation, but according to the New Testament, it’s based on something deeper: a lifelong commitment to a partner. Marriage is even compared to the relationship between Christ and the church, and while the language used is opposite-sex, the core principles apply just as well to same-sex couples.

9. Human beings are relational. From the beginning of Genesis, human beings are described as having a need for relationship, just as God himself is relational. Sexuality is a core part of what it means to be a relational person, and to condemn LGBT people’s sexuality outright damages their ability to be in relationship with all people — and with God.

10. Faithful Christians are already embracing LGBT brothers and sisters. Mainstream denominations like Presbyterians and Episcopalians now ordain openly gay clergy, and there are seeds of change in evangelical churches as well. This November, the Reformation Project will host a training conference for up to 900 LGBT-affirming Christians in Washington, D.C.–and the movement for change in conservative churches is just getting started.

Matthew Vines is the author of God and the Gay Christian and is the founder of The Reformation Project, a Bible-based non-profit organization that seeks to reform church teaching on sexual orientation and gender identity. Matthew lives in Wichita, Kansas.

Moment of Zen: The Beach

Sleeping In

I’m sleeping in and staying in bed today. I have today off because I’m working Saturday this week. I don’t have much else to say. It’s been an interesting week, but also an exhausting week. So I’m sleeping in.

Hanging In There

While my job might not be in the ideal position right now, I did get an email from one of the places I applied for asking for an interview if I was interested. It’s not the ideal job or location, and I don’t even know if it would pay more. However, it could be an interesting job. It’s at another museum, this one in south Florida, but not in a glamorous part of south Florida like Miami or Key West. I think it might be an interesting place to live and work, but I don’t think it would be great for meeting people. It’s a bit rural, sort of like I was in Alabama. Vermont has been pretty rural living too, even though I live in town, it’s a very small town. This Florida Job is in a similarly small town. I’m going to go through with the interview and see where it goes, but I’m skeptical as to whether they would pay me what I’d have to be offered to take the job. They may surprise me though. For now, I’m just hanging in there.

My Job

My job is probably more uncertain now than ever. Our interim director doesn’t seem to believe in my job as much as some others. Well, he may, but he doesn’t hold out hope that the job will be renewed. Though, I have the support of some powerful people in the university, I need a director that will fight for me, and I’m not sure that our interim director is a fighter. Maybe the provost is, and hopefully, she will hold more sway. I just don’t know. Things are very uncertain, which is why I applied for two more jobs. One is in Florida, and the other is in Oklahoma.

Nothing Gold Can Stay

Nothing Gold Can Stay
By Robert Frost, 1874 – 1963

Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.


Yesterday, I had a severe headache, and I’m out of my headache medicine. It was a miserable day. I wish the guys above had been there to comfort me.


Proverbs 3:5
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.

Proverbs 1:7
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Proverbs 4:23
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.

Proverbs 1:3
For receiving instruction in prudent behavior, doing what is right and just and fair.

Proverbs 17:22
A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

Proverbs 16:18
Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.

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