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Friday, December 12, 2008

reposte: why i won't vote on prop 8 at all

my boss and i were discussing laws and ethics one day. i told him i was not a voter, and had no plans to be one. the following quotations are not his; i made them up to summarize the point of our conversation.

"why? don't you care about what happens to the society you live in?"

yup. i wish people would be responsible enough to make good decisions about marriage.

"then shouldn't you be voting on issues related to marriage?"

nope. i don't care whether it's illegal in the U.S. for someone to make bad decisions about marriage.

"but if it were illegal to, say, get divorced, maybe less people would jump into marriage without really thinking it through first. then there would be less divorce."

there might be less divorce, but nobody's character would improve as a result. those people who live by greed, anger, and fear, would still live by greed, anger, and fear. it just wouldn't come out in their married life because they probably would avoid marriage. of course, they might still have romantic, intimate relationships with people, and those would be just as effed up as before any law was made, so... what was the point?

"don't you want less broken families in the world?"

yes, but broken families are a symptom. i want to deal with the causes.

~ ~ ~

we can pass a million laws against a million "bad things" a million times a day, and no one will ever become more loving, more peaceful, more passionate about worthwhile things. if we were to make education about gay marriage illegal, how would that improve anyone's morals?? the media has more influence on the average kid today than that kid's teachers, or even that kid's own parents-- if that kid even has two parents. and even if that kid has two loving and nurturing parents, the media may still have more influence in that kids' life! not to mention the kid's friends.

(for those of who are already forming comments in your mind-- that is, for those of you who are about to defend homosexuality in some fashion, and especially for those of you who are non-Christian, and extra-especially for those of you who are Christian and in favor of gay marriage / education about gay marriage-- i want to save you some time & effort by saying that yes, Jesus does love gay people. please do not assume that Jesus' love automatically disqualifies a person from being critiqued on any level, whether that be a moral level or a worth level.)

i speak to everyone in this blog, but i want Christians especially to take note of this: we are not arguing over the broad path or the narrow. we (as a voting society) are not deciding whether to pursue right or to pursue wrong. we are not going to improve the true root of suffering (the pitiful human condition, which is a disease and not a symptom) by local, state, or federal legislation.

we are not choosing our destination. we are simply choosing which route to take.

if and when you vote, remember this: there is no 'salvation'* from anything evil apart from the work of Christ in the hearts and minds of those to whom He calls. as you work to end the suffering of others, remember that the driving force behind suffering is not something you or i can conquer. your vote may change a law, but it will not change a person.



* by 'salvation' i mean the transformation, the renewing (Rom12), the gradual & dramatic saving of someone's life here and now from the corruption of sinfulness.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

reposte: briefly

i must make this quick; sleepy-time is nigh.

disclaimer
this post, many of you will not understand, either because you've subscribed to society's 'Think Like We Do and Stay Inside the Box' magazine, or because you've already made up your own individual ideas about how these things are supposed to work.

Caleb and Evan, and of course Katie and Lisa and a few others, are most likely to understand what i'm about to say. Stephanie U., Fred, Brandon, you'll get it too, i think.

the rest of you... good luck. it's hit-and-miss with me sometimes. we'll see how it goes. i think perhaps there are only a few people who need/want to hear this. the rest of you, disregard.

'but ij, how do i know if i should disregard?'

well, one of the best ways to figure that out is this: how much of what i'm saying do you automatically criticize? or, by the time you finished reading, was your initial reaction closer to 'i'm not buying it' or to 'very interesting' ?? that should help clue you in.

=) onward.

about romance
if a girl asks you out, and you don't want to go out with her, but you want to develop your friendship with her, but you don't want her to be disappointed, but you feel confident in being a tiny bit annoying, here is what you do.

girl: will you go out with me?
guy: nope. but i think there's something else you want anyways, and as you know, anything i have to give is yours to request. *bow*

(if you can flourish, do a flourish, too... but if not, a bow will do, because ladies deserve that kind of honor)

girl: i'm not really sure what you're saying.
guy: what i'm saying is, there's something more that you desire in our relationship. what is that something more? forget societal stereotypes and pre-packaged relationships for a moment. what is it that you desire?

girl: uhm... i dunno... i guess to spend lots of time with you?
guy: granted, and joyfully. =) anything else?
girl: wow. that was easy.
guy: like i said... anything i have to give. but is that it?? just time?
girl: well, okay, a long hug would be nice, too.
guy: granted. *hug*

girl
: and a kiss.

this is the part where you kiss her hand. man, the knights of legend were so cool... i know we mostly get the sort of 'hollywood' versions of these stories, but whatevs, they're cool.

guy: anything more than what i just did is probably unhealthy for us at this point.
girl: how come???
guy: 'cause we're not married.

it's really simple that way: you're not married yet. kissing isn't some casual way to have fun. it's an act that involves your whole self. what you do with your body affects YOU. not because you have a body, but because you are a body. (you are also a heart and soul and mind and whatnot; that's exactly the point. you can't separate your parts so easily as some might tell you.)

girl: but we could get married...
guy: that's true! but it'll be a few years before that's something to think about.

okay, at this point the conversation is getting kind of farfetched, but you see the point. let me be even more ridiculous, for the sake of being clear:

girl: well... then can you buy me stuff, like a bf would?
guy: what is it that you need? i love to give friends what they need.
girl: nothing really, i just want you to make me feel special.
guy: granted... but you realize that everyone is special to me.
girl: what?!

yeah, it sucks... sorry, but you're special just like everyone else. a person who wishes to truly love must anchor that love in himself, not in others. someone who loves selectively doesn't have true love. they might have true romance, but not true love.

guy: i love you, as much as i love my other friends, or family.
girl: then that's what i want. i want you to love me more.
guy: wouldn't that mean i would have to love others less?
girl: yup!
guy: can't do that.
girl: why?!
guy: 'cause we're not married.

simpler and simpler and simpler. i'm imagining two teenagers here, by the way, so marriage isn't really the greatest idea. and they both know that.

what's the point of this strange exchange? this weird imagining? the point is, this might be one of those times where you need to go against the flow. romance is WAY over-valued and pretty much rampant in American teenage culture (at LEAST in that context).

guy: don't get me wrong; something in me strongly desires to love and be loved in a special way by one person. the thing is, i can't pursue that desire right now; circumstances just aren't right.
girl: i understand... that makes alot of sense.

that last sentence there is probably the most unbelievable bit of this whole scenario... but once again, the point, the bottom line, but rephrased this time: bf/gf relationships are socially constructed. they are not always insubstantial, and they are often very true and beautiful- but at best, they serve to point to something even more true and beautiful.

at worst, they can ruin things. eventually.

so the next time your heart leaps for someone, know that you don't have to get all makey-outey, as Strongbad would say, in order to satisfy that desire. know that there are ways to love people honorably and truly, of either gender, that secular, popular society would never come up with.

relationships are gifts to be treasured and nourished. treat them with the utmost care and devotion, and understand what each one is, and can be, and should be.