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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Some thoughts on Homosexuality and Christianity

I've thought a lot about the subject of homosexuality, and how it affects my beliefs as a Christian.

Years ago (probably close to 20 years ago), my thought was something along the lines of "It's wrong, but I won't condemn someone who is gay".

But the more I thought about the subject, and the more gay people I got to know, the more I became convinced that the proclivity to being homosexual is built in, as opposed to being learned behavior.

So then, how do I square this with my beliefs as a Christian?  I am a Christian, and I'm proud to be one.  I will say that lately my definition of what a Christian is, and what Christianity means, has been changing (evolving?  devolving?) - but that's a different topic for a different day.  

Here is my deal:  If we were created by God, as I believe we were (His method was evolution by the way, although it doesn't matter His method.  Could have been the Adam and Eve story, although to me that seems to limit God: Evolution is so much grander a way to do it in my view.  Anyhow, again, His method of Creation doesn't affect my Christianity), and if homosexuality is built in rather than learned, as I believe it is, then why would I have a problem with it?

I've heard people say "hate the sin, don't hate the sinner" - and I love those people, but I disagree with them that homosexuality is a sin.

Things that homosexuality is not:


Sure, homosexual people can be immoral, and can be promiscuous, just like heterosexual people and we can have a discussion about those subjects any time, but I don't believe there is anything immoral about homosexuality.  I guess that's the first time I've actually written that down as definitively as I just did (the equating of pedophilia with homosexuality is just ignorance, btw - 'nuff said about that).

I'm sure that many people who read this will disagree with me, and that's fine.  People can have differences of opinion, as far as I'm concerned. I just wanted to tell you mine.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Fifth Amendment question

Help me out here, folks - I'm not asking for anyone's partisan political opinion, so please, please, please don't give one - So, Lois Lerner, formerly of the IRS, has been found in contempt of Congress by the House of Representatives for invoking her Fifth Amendment right not to incriminate herself by answering questions during their hearings.

I watched some of the Congressional hearings, and the bloviating Congressmen (of both parties) went after her with gusto.  Love to watch them posture, by the way.  It's great theater.

Here is a Wikipedia* explanation of the portion of the Fifth Amendment that deals with protection against self incrimination:

"The privilege against compelled self-incrimination is defined as "the constitutional right of a person to refuse to answer questions or otherwise give testimony against himself or herself. ... "[34]To "plead the Fifth" is to refuse to answer any question because "the implications of the question, in the setting in which it is asked" lead a claimant to possess a "reasonable cause to apprehend danger from a direct answer", believing that "a responsive answer to the question or an explanation of why it cannot be answered might be dangerous because injurious disclosure could result."

[Oh, by the way, I'm a CPA and I deal with the IRS all the time - there are a lot of good folks who work for them, but I also think that as an organization they have a lot of meanness inside (they need a good hug, is what I say)]

 I'm in no way defending what Ms. Lerner or the IRS may, or may not have done.  I'm talking about Congress apparently feeling that she should not be afforded Constitutional protection when it doesn't suit them.

Anyhow - here is my question:  Why is she being held in contempt of Congress? I mean, what is the legal justification for that charge?

I was at the Post Office the other day - you know, that place where you send messages that are written on pieces of paper, instead of sent electronically - and a guy was at the counter, talking about the whole situation.  He said "they ought to arrest her for taking the Fifth".

Do we now pick and choose when to follow the Constitution? Does our Constitution only apply to those we like?

*It's on the internet, AND on Wikipedia, so it must be correct, right?**
**That was snark, in case you didn't catch it.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Rich F Scott. I hardly knew ye.

An ode to RuFuS. A friend I never met.

I virtually "met" Rich Scott, aka RuFuS on an online forum populated by people who run marathons. Rich had the gift of being hilariously funny, while at the same time being completely incomprehensible. I mean, you never really knew what the hell he was talking about. On two separate occasions, he really offended me - that is, until I realized that I had totally misunderstood what he was saying. On both occasions, he privately messaged me, apologizing for offending me. Again, it wasn't until I went back and reread his comments that I figured out I had only been offended because I'd had no idea what he had said to me in the first place.

 In the past couple of years, he and I had "talked" via email several times, and a couple of times on the phone. The guy was a tender hearted, good person. He made sweet comments about my family, and he and I had made tentative plans to meet at some future time (he apparently had some business in Atlanta - he lived in Iowa). I was alternately excited and terrified at the thought of meeting him in person.

Last few months, RuFuS had spent some time in the hospital. I never really knew what was wrong with him. He downplayed whatever it was as a stomach bug, although he was in the hospital for (I think) about three weeks. He was finally released, but I only heard from him a few times after that. I did check in with him to see how he was doing, and he always gave me some BS answer. A few weeks ago, I messaged him, but didn't get a response. About a week later I had this odd need to find out if he was ok, and messaged another imaginary internet friend. Well, she hadn't heard from him either. The next morning, we found out that he had been found dead in his apartment, supposedly from natural causes. Rich was 40.

There was quite an outpouring of grief from the online running community I am a part of. Rich was well loved, and Rich was evidently a part of many peoples lives, both those he had met in person, as well as those he had only met online. I've read more than one story of how he touched peoples lives.

I've missed his profane and head scratching comments on more than one occasion since his passing on April 11. I think that Rich is a person I would have liked to have known better. I think that the world is a duller place without him.