Monthly Archives: August 2015

Life Is Weird

I’ve read a few blog posts by people who are self-proclaimed asexual, and I haven’t liked what I’ve read. I’ve read stories of people practically getting kicked out of their churches, and I’ve read stories of seriously weird ridicule. Just a couple months ago I didn’t really even understand what being asexual meant. Since when is not wanting or liking sex a bad thing? Since when is it an anti-Christian thing? Of course there’s the old pro-creation argument: people are supposed to get into heterosexual relationships and have kids.

My immediate reaction to the latter is “eww.” To clarify, I don’t dislike kids, I just don’t have the patience to deal with them, and I know I wouldn’t be a good mother. If I know I wouldn’t be a good mom, wouldn’t God want me to focus on something else for the betterment of his world? For the record, I have nothing against the traditional family. I live in one: Dad works at the bank, Mom stays home and takes care of the house and family stuff, and Katie and Sam hang out and do stupid stuff together.

I’ve read stories about people feeling nervous about “coming out.” I didn’t even know asexuality was something to be closeted. I don’t really talk about it much, but I don’t talk about sexuality much with people anyway. It just doesn’t come up. I just don’t understand why it’s weird. There are way weirder and more complicated things to be and do.

Yesterday my Dad took my brother and cousin hiking. Voluntarily climbing mountains for no good reason is kind of weird. Heck, most video games are pretty weird. Riding a bike is weird. Christianity is really weird when observed from an outside perspective. So how is having no interest in sex or finding it distasteful any weirder? Life is weird. It would be boring if it wasn’t. Let’s embrace the weird! All of it!

Because in my world guinea pigs can fly!

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The Things Conservatives Get Wrong

I’ve been thinking about politics lately. I’m starting to do some research into the presidential candidates, and I’m also thinking about starting to get into politics myself. I think our system is broken, and I think I could help fix it–at least I think I would like to try.

I’m generally conservative. I think a lot of more “progressive” ideas haven’t worked for our country. At the same time, it seems to me that a lot of the republican candidates are a little too conservative. It’s frustrating to me that politicians must choose a side and adhere to the agenda of that side while, it seems, jeopardizing their individuality. There are a few issues that I disagree with many of the republican candidates on. The big three are education, abortion and gay marriage.

Firstly, many of the conservative candidates advocate more private/local control of schools. While I have some issues with the way schools are run, I tend to think that this is generally a bad idea. I know for a fact that some schools do not teach evolution, and some instill ludicrous ideas that are scientifically false. I heard about one school (I forget where) that taught that dinosaur fossils were put on earth by God to test our faith. First of all, I don’t think God would intentionally mislead us. Secondly, science and faith are not opposed. Science is a means by which we can better understand where we came from, and by extension, better understand God. I personally think that it should be made sure of that certain things are being taught in schools. The purpose of education is to equip kids for the real world, where science presents undeniable facts whether we like it or not. I’m not good at science, but I still think that, especially in this day, it needs to be taught properly.

Secondly, I think many of the republican candidates take too conservative a stand on abortion. Don’t get me wrong, I am opposed to it, but when it is medically necessary to save a woman’s life, exception should be made. Many of the candidates either avoid this issue, or are opposed to it, even in this case. On the other hand, there are candidates like Carly Fiorina who would outlaw abortion but make exception for rape victims. This is a tricky issue because the law is often dictated by those who have no personal experience. I personally believe that every life is sacred, including those that start violently. Even a child whose human father was a psychotic asshole that he will never know, is still a precious child of God. As I said, I might feel differently if I had more personal experience with the issue, which I thankfully don’t.

Lastly, many of the conservative candidates would allow civil unions but ban gay marriage. While on the surface this seems like a reasonable solution, I doesn’t solve some of the deeper, more important issues. This issue is largely a religious one. What ever happened to separation of Church and State? I feel that certain religious principals should govern the land: the common sense laws that are necessary for a successful society–don’t murder, don’t steal, etc. However, gay marriage is more complicated. It’s not necessarily a moral issue, and therefore, I don’t think it should be dictated by the government. It is more specifically a religious issue. Therefore, I think, it should be kept legal. I also believe that the right of religious organizations not to marry gay couples should be protected. Religious freedom, along with our other freedoms, should be protected. Many believe that marriage is a sacred covenant. What about the gay couple who wants to seal their bond of love in this way? regardless of the actual spiritual implications, which I won’t get into, shouldn’t they be allowed to do so if they can find a church to do it?

One other issue that I’m on the fence about is gun control. I tend to agree with many of the candidates that automatic weapons should be banned, but I’m not as convicted about it, and I understand the arguments on both sides. The thing is, my godfather owns an assault rifle, and we blew up a pineapple with it. In the wrong hands these things are dangerous, but in the right hands it’s just good clean fun. I tend to be against prohibiting things just because a few idiots misuse them.

In any event, I’m currently thinking of voting for Ben Carson. I agree with him on a lot of things, especially foreign policy, and I think we need new blood in the political system. I’m going to look into volunteering for him if I can.

Because in my world guinea pigs can fly!

I’m Proud

I had a good day yesterday. For the longest time I’ve been wanting to ask my friend just to talk to Jesus. I didn’t know how to for a while, but yesterday I prayed about it right before she came over, and this is what came of it: I felt her out first and I asked how she felt about people trying to convince others that what they believe is true. It sounds invasive when you say it that way, but all it means is that one person wants another person to believe what they do. She wasn’t too keen on it, so I asked her just to talk to Jesus and if nothing happened, I promised I’d leave it alone. She said she would, and then we changed the subject.

I felt like this went well but could have gone better. I’ve tried things here and there to try and help her see who Jesus is, but I don’t feel like I’m getting anywhere at all. I pray for her every day if I remember, and I share spiritual stuff that’s happened to me. I had her sing harmony on a worship song I recorded, and she’s come to church with me once or twice around Christmas. I promised I’d leave it alone, so I guess the only thing I can do now is pray. It just felt good to finally get that out in the open, though.

While I was on vacation I read a list of sins that the church ignores or is okay with. One of them, and probably the biggest one I deal with is apathy. In the article it was meant that we don’t fully acknowledge or understand how great it is that God loves us. We don’t quite “get” the implications of that, so we just sort of go about our day. I’m definitely guilty. There are some days where I don’t do much of anything, and I don’t think about God very much, if at all.

There’s another kind of apathy that I think is also very important that the article didn’t address. I think people in general have a very apathetic view of the problems people face in the world. A key example is how the Western world is doing very little to combat ISIS while Christians and other religious minorities are being killed, enslaved and raped in the name of their so called god. This stuff bothers me immensely, but the truth is that I can block it out. I can very easily push it out of my brain so I can think about what I want for dinner or how to go about completing the next quest in Oblivion. It wouldn’t be healthy to think about it all the time, it’s depressing, and it’s a very complicated problem, but I could remember to pray. I’m good at writing. I could write to the president (although I know now that that doesn’t often do much). I know there’s no easy answer, but we could at least try and find some answer.

Another one of the big ones on the list was flattery. People are more interested in what other people think of them than what God thinks of them. Again, guilty as charged. I realized that when talking to people in person, I avoid talking about religion. I avoid letting people know I’m Christian. On the internet it’s different somehow, but when talking to my closest friends I feel embarrassed for some reason when talking about spiritual things that have happened to me. I realized that that’s pretty screwed up.

It’s a dangerous feeling because it’s not always clear what it’s directed to. Sometimes I’m embarrassed to call myself Christian because of the goofy or even unethical things people in the Church sometimes do. However, sometimes I’m embarrassed to call myself Christian because people think my beliefs are ridiculous. The body of Christ is not perfect, but we’ve also done some pretty cool stuff that doesn’t get enough recognition by society as a whole. I don’t mean we deserve all kinds of praise. I just mean that people tend to see only the faults of the Church. It’s those things that are embarrassing because they turn people away. I feel I am somewhat justified in my impulsive feelings on this issue. I am not justified in my feelings of embarrassment when it comes to people questioning me or laughing at me or giving me “the look” when it comes to what I specifically believe because it implies that I am embarrassed of my God. That’s really screwed up.

I shouldn’t care how ridiculous people think I am. I mean, let’s face it, I am ridiculous, for a number of reasons. I’m silly, I’m impulsive, and I’m frustratingly and unreasonably optimistic. What I believe is unreasonable, and yeah, it sometimes takes some intellectual gymnastics to make things make sense, but it’s also amazing, and I should be proud to call myself Christian. I should be proud of what my God has done. I am proud, and I’m going to change.

Because in my world guinea pigs can fly!

Confessions Of A Gospel Snob

I’m kind of tired of the New Testament. Earlier this summer I decided I would read the Bible cover to cover, so for the past several weeks I’ve been making my way through Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, and now, I’m in Numbers. It’s been both strange and refreshing. Honestly, I’m just kind of tired of the same old Christian posts on here and Facebook, and quite frankly, everywhere else. A lot of us (I’m sure I’m guilty, too) tend to just cycle through the same old ideas, and while they’re still true, and always will be, they just start to sound empty.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the message of the Gospel. I love Jesus. It’s all good over here. I just think that we need to find some new way of talking about it. Put it this way: it’s not cool. I know that’s not the point, and maybe you can’t express it in a way that’s “cool,” I also think that we need to get creative, especially if we’re going to teach the Gospel to younger people, and especially the next generation. I don’t know whether or not my brother is planning on ever having kids, but if he is, I want to make sure they know who Jesus is. I don’t know if I can trust my brother enough to do that (at least right now). I honestly have no idea what he believes. He’s an enigma to me. I can’t get a straight answer out of him, either. Alas.

What Iv’e read so far of the Old Testament has been interesting. Some things have been surprising. Some of the things God requires of Israel, and some of the things he does are confusing. It’s certainly different than the teaching of the Catholic Church in a lot of ways. I’m very interested to read the New Testament in perspective. I’m enjoying reading the Bible like this. I’m just focusing on it like it’s a story or a text book, which is different from my usual take on it (for obvious reasons). I think it’s actually helpful to view it in this way, which I haven’t done before, outside of school. The last time I did this kind of thing was four years ago, and that was for school.

I want to know God better. I don’t read the Bible enough. Some people read it every day. I think I’m just stubborn. I convince myself that I’m to busy, but I’m really not. I’m finding lately that I’m not very good at prayer. I find it difficult. I think I’ve always kind of had this problem, but I just haven’t noticed it. I probably just think too much about it. I don’t pray about what I’m reading. I probably should.

I trust God, and I love him. I can honestly say that because I’ve made it through some rocky places and come out better for the trouble. I think too much. It’s a giant pain in the neck sometimes. I’m a superstitious person. Before I was Christian I was willing to believe just about anything, and now that I am Christian, I’m willing to believe a lot (i.e. all my eggs are in one basket). I’m stubborn about it, too. That’s why I think we need to change the way the Gospel is presented. We need to make it “cool” while still being truthful. I’m not sure how to do that, but I’m sure we can figure it out. I definitely think music helps. Music is super helpful, actually. We need to exploit every medium we can. Not only that, but we need to invent new ways of expressing things. I know I’ve done this rant before, so I’ll shut up now.

Because in my world guinea pigs can fly!

That Time Of Year

Yup, it’s that time of year again… Time for the pre-camping post. There isn’t a whole lot to say, I suppose. I tend to try and write about how the summer has gone in general and what I hope to accomplish and such, but this summer has been pretty boring. I’mostly okay with that. I think I deserve a little free relaxation time.

I had hoped to get a lot done on my book this summer, and I had hoped to read more. Honestly, the reason I haven’t is simply because I’ve been hanging out. We’ve had a lot of company this summer, and I’ve had my fair share of late night D&D sessions with my friends. I don’t regret it. Come September everyone will be back in school full time, and I’ll get back to work. It’s hard to have a routine when everyone is on different schedules and you’re trying to fit in quality time with everyone before they’re either super busy or just gone until December.

Not to mention, my cousin Nicholas (Dinks) stays with us while my aunt is at work, and I would feel bad if I didn’t entertain him. He’s 13 and can fend for himself, but I don’t want him to be bored if I can help it.

In other news, I’ve been enlisted to play some music at my cousin Jackie’s wedding next summer. I’ve already been working on my set list, and I think I know what I’m going to play. My godmother (Jackie’s mom) wants me to write an original song for her and Jeff (her fiancé). I’m not going to lie, it’s a bit of a daunting task. I’m definitely going to work on it while we’re at camp. I have a feeling this is going to be a hard song to write because I don’t have much personal experience to go off of. My dad suggested starting with a poem or a sonnet and taking the idea, then riffing off of that. It might not be a bad place to start.

I have to find something to wear to this, too, which I know is going to be tedious. I hate shopping. The thing is, my mom will be coming because A) I will need a ride, and B) my dad will do it “wrong.” My mom and I have very different approaches to shopping. I’ll leave it at that.

It seems like every year the number of campers in our group dwindles a little. It used to be a big ridiculous production. We don’t have very many people going at all this year, which kind of stinks. I’ll bring my Bible and the other book I’m reading (Paralandra by C.S. Lewis). I’ll bring my DS, at least for the ride up, but I kind of feel like it’s cheating to play video games at camp.

I’ll also be bringing my guitar. I’ve been hosting a talent show for the past several years and will be doing it again this year. I usually goof around and play a couple songs before the show starts, and then give the stage over to whoever wants to do something. We actually had a few pretty good people last year. It seems to get better as we keep doing it. My cousin Amber usually co-hosts. Last year was the first time we actually used a sign up sheet so we could introduce the people ourselves, and that worked better than expected.

We’ll also be bringing Seamus to camp with us. The thing about conures is that they get very attached to their humans, and if they’re alone for a long time they get lonely and depressed. We were going to bring him to our godparents’ house, because they live close to the campground, but we decided it would be easiest just to bring him with us. Pets aren’t allowed at the campground, but he’s tiny and pretty inconspicuous, and if we get caught we can still bring him to our godparents’. I’m glad he’s coming for 2 reasons: 1) I like breaking little rules when it won’t hurt anyone, and 2) I won’t have to miss him. It’s absurd how much I love my Boo.

I guess that’s it for now.

Because in my world guinea pigs can fly!

Coming Out, Sort Of

I think I’m asexual. I’ve thought so for a long time, but the idea kind of weirds me out. I’m at that moment where I want to know more and understand myself a little better, but at the same time, I don’t want to know anything more. I know, or at least I gather that there’s a spectrum of sexuality, and I also gather that there’s a spectrum of asexuality. I find all of this confusing because I’ve found a few different definitions of what it means to be asexual. It shouldn’t really matter, but my mind just keeps coming back to it. Am I asexual, or am I not? I want to know.

One definition of asexuality that I’ve come across is that one is not sexually attracted to anyone. Another is that one has no interest in sex or finds it distasteful. Is that the same thing? I don’t even know what it means to be sexually attracted to someone. Is that the same as being physically attracted to them? I find people attractive. I notice cute guys. I just have no desire to do anything other than hang out with them (theoretically: I’ve never actually been on a date). I don’t really even like to be touched–I mean at all, even if it’s just my grandmother rubbing my shoulder or my friend playing with my hair. I tolerate them because I love them, but I’d kind of prefer that they didn’t.

I want to know “what” I am. I like to have labels for myself. I like to be able to tell people that I am Christian or that I’m a songwriter, or that I’m an English major. I feel like if I knew “what” I was I could leave it alone and preoccupy myself with more important things. I also want to know, however, because if I knew “what” I was, I would be able to better understand the theological implications of it, and I’d be able to figure out what, if anything, to do about it.

I don’t really like children. At least, I can’t deal with them for extended periods of time. I know I don’t want my own kids, but I keep reading things about how the most important thing to the Catholic Church is family, and how it’s so rewarding and wonderful to have children, and how it’s super important to the future of the Church, and so on. My mother and my godmother both know quite well that I don’t want kids, and I especially respect my godmother’s opinion on this stuff (she’s super old school Catholic), and she seems to think it’s okay. I still just feel a little out of place for some reason.

I heard (but don’t know for sure) that asexual peeps make up 1% of the world’s population. That kind of freaks me out. I would like to be married, but I’m 22 and I’ve made it all the way through high school and college without ever being on a date. Right now all I really want is a prayer partner. I want someone who I can comfortably share my faith with. It would be nice if that relationship could grow into something more, but we have to start somewhere, and I’d want that kind of relationship to start with friendship anyway.

It scares me that only 1% of people are asexual. How am I supposed to be married to someone who has any interest in sex at all? It’s not just that I’m not interested in sex; I find it repulsive. It’s gross and icky and I can’t even think about it from a scientific standpoint without being vaguely grossed out. I think that crosses a lot of guys off the list of possible partners. Anyway, I don’t mean to get whiney. I’ll be perfectly alright if I have to go through life without a partner. I can be perfectly happy as a single and complete person.

Because in my world guinea pigs can fly!

Truth Is A Paradox

I think it has become culturally unacceptable to say that one particular philosophy or belief system is true. It’s hard when you, in fact, believe in absolute truth. Even believing in absolute truth, to some people, is offensive. Some people construe disagreement as imposition (i.e they feel that you are trying to impose your beliefs on them). Then there are the people who feel they absolutely have to impose their truth on everyone at all costs.

We all have our truths, and each of us believes that our truth is absolute truth. Truth is paradoxical because it is both fluid and rigid. People who once believed something can eventually come to believe drastically different things are necessarily true. Some people go through their entire lives without feeling like anything is necessarily true. Some truths change with history. Even when we feel strongly about our truth, our perspective can change, and often does.

It’s hard to know what to do when, on the one hand, we feel that it’s important to talk about our truth, and on the other hand, we don’t want to offend anyone. It’s hard to accept that, no matter what I do, someone will be offended. Even on a less drastic level, it’s hard to express how important my truth is when people simply don’t believe the same things I do. How am I supposed to explain how important it is to you unless you already know what I’m talking about? If you don’t believe my truth, you’ll never understand why it’s important. I can’t tell you that my truth is the most important because you believe your truth (or freedom to have no truth) is the most important.

The most important thing is to be respectful and creative. There is a difference between imposing your truth and teaching your truth. There are people who are searching, and they will seek you out. It’s also important to give your perspective when it is not represented, but only if it, as well as the views of everyone else, will be respectfully considered. If you cannot or will not allow your truth to be questioned, then stay away from places where different truths are allowed to coexist and at times, do battle.

I believe in one absolute truth. I would love nothing more than for you to believe in my truth, too, but if you don’t that’s okay. I still want to be your friend. I will still talk philosophy with you. I will still talk truth with you. I will still beat you at old video games.

Because in my world guinea pigs can fly!

Just A Quick Thought

earlier today my dad and I were talking about terrorism. I don’t rember what he said, but it was something like: “The terrorists should all be put in a box and given guns so the rest of the world can wait until they all eventually all just kill each other, and then they can all just go to hell.” It was more subtle than that, but that was what he meant.

My dad is very patriotic, and a little old school Catholic. In some ways, so am I. I mean my dad no disrespect. Jesus said to pray for our enemies. I don’t feel like it’s my place to condem them. They are bad people. They are wrong and broken. My dad said, “Not everyone gets saved, Katie, I know you want them to, but a lot of people aren’t getting past Saint Peter.” I do want them to be saved. I especially want the criminals and terrorists to be saved. I want the atheists and agnostics and people of other faiths to be saved. Not only that, but I believe they can be. Because I have to.