Articles from June 2015

Just saw “Wall Street”: Oh, how familiar Gekko is

I just saw “Wall Street” for the first time last week.  Listening to Gekko talk, with his sociopathic concern only for money, I realized nothing has changed in the past 30 years.  Wall Street narcissists are still out for more money, still unconcerned about the human collateral damage to what they do.

I heard Gekko complain that he didn’t want the Bluestar airline because it had a powerful union–Ah, so THAT’S why Republicans keep trying to break unions, so they can come in and do whatever they want and make more money.  Stuff like that.  And hey, change his name to “Koch” and it still fits.

Then I read in the morning newspaper that Governor Walker is courting conservative Christians.  While they’re falling for his social positions, they miss the fact that his policies are causing more and more hardship for not just people in this state, but necessary institutions (schools, cities) as well.

Even Republicans in the Wisconsin Assembly and Senate are bickering now, dissension within the ranks.

Wasn’t it already proven, several years ago, that the Republican Party was only courting Evangelical voters because they were a huge voting bloc, and NOT because they really believe that way?  Yet people still fall for this?

I have examined Republican policies, especially in the past decade or so, compared to the wants of fat cat sociopaths such as Gekko, and well, they match.  THIS is why I don’t vote Republican anymore.  Because my job is NOT to help the rich get richer, at the expense of the lower classes, but to HELP THE LOWER CLASSES.

Christians have been so deceived by the Republican Party.  It is NOT out for Christian interests!  While they lure in Christians through promises of making the US into a theocracy instead of a bastion of religious freedom, their true aim is to get rid of anything that hinders capitalism, so they can make obscene amounts of money while others suffer.

Just like I recall my ex-friend Richard being so capitalistic that, eventually, he seemed to lose interest in religion, and instead his new religion was Capitalism.  Even though unchecked capitalism would only make him (and untold numbers of others) even poorer than he already was.  Meanwhile, he hated Democrats for being pro-choice–and for fighting unchecked capitalism.

Even the Pope is targeted by Christians for saying this is wrong!  For saying we need to stop hurting the environment because that, too, is hurting the poor.

But the trouble with environmental policies is that they cost the fat cats money and make it more difficult for them to make more money.  So they must be fought, and fake “studies” done showing that global warming does not exist.

Well, I haven’t fallen for it.  I did once, but I finally broke free of Pat Robertson’s brainwashing years ago.

 

My Depression after Abuse Repost V1

(Re-Post on my depression after abuse, originally published February 8, 2011.  It’s amazing to read this and realize how low I was then, and how much better I feel now.)


 

Times have gotten so dark lately…..

I used to be obsessed with studying my faith.

Now I don’t even have that anymore because the person who led me into the truth I’d been searching for, my spiritual mentor, the source of spiritual knowledge, wisdom and help–

turned around and betrayed me, and their spouse bullied and then verbally abused me (such horrid, horrid words) over misunderstandings–

and they both just kept excusing and justifying it, making me wonder what kind of people can excuse such things…….

Then it all fell apart, they don’t seem to care if I’m alive anymore, my faith is in shatters, and I have these terrible headaches that just won’t–go–away!

How can God give me this friend in answer to prayer and use this friend to lead me into truth and then take the friend away again in such horrible circumstances?  How can this have happened?

Or is there no God to have done any of it?  Or does he just not care?  It’s hard to even get myself to pray or read my Bible……………Continue Reading “Fighting the Darkness”

 

Does the Pill cause abortions, or is that just another weird Internet or extremist right-wing rumor?

No, the Pill and the Morning-After Pill do NOT cause abortions by anyone’s standards, not even the conservative Christian standard.

They do not work by preventing implantation, but by preventing ovulation/fertilization.  Without fertilization, there can be no conception.

The notion that morning-after pills prevent eggs from implanting stems from the Food and Drug Administration’s decision during the drug-approval process to mention that possibility on the label–despite lack of scientific proof, scientists say, and objections by the manufacturer of Plan B, the pill on the market the longest.

Leading scientists say studies since then provide strong evidence that Plan B does not prevent implantation, and no proof that a newer type of pill, Ella, does. Some abortion opponents said they remain unconvinced….

Experts say implantation was likely placed on the label partly because daily birth control pills, some of which contain Plan B’s active ingredient, appear to alter the endometrium, the lining of the uterus into which fertilized eggs implant. Altering the endometrium has not been proven to interfere with implantation.

But in any case, scientists say that unlike the accumulating doses of daily birth control pills, the one-shot dose in morning-after pills does not have time to affect the uterine lining….

Dr. Trussell of Princeton said that if morning-after pills worked after eggs were fertilized, they would prevent pregnancy better than they do. The pregnancy prevention rates are probably lower than scientists and pill makers originally thought, he said–in some studies as low as 52 percent for Plan B and 62 percent for Ella.

By contrast, scientists say, research suggests that the only other officially approved form of emergency contraception, the copper intrauterine device (also a daily birth control method), can work to prevent pregnancy after an egg has been fertilized. –Pam Belluck, Abortion Qualms on Morning-After Pill May Be Unfounded

Wikipedia (has many additional links, some of which are below)

A page from a text by doctors who promote birth control, describing how the Pill works

From the Archives of Family Medicine

Religious Tolerance site article (formerly titled “Do Contraceptives Induce Abortions?”)

PBS article

Note that if you don’t take the Pill regularly, it won’t protect you from pregnancy.  Which also does not support the idea that it’s an abortifacient.

Fact sheet on contraceptives

Here’s a Lutheran paper on the subject: Birth Control Pills: Contraceptive or Abortifacient?

The following article, from a Catholic health journal, argues that Plan B emergency contraception does not cause abortions, as the Church would understand them, that it does not abort fertilized eggs: Plan B: How it Works: Science shows it is not an abortifacient

Why can’t the FDA fix outdated birth control labels?

What Media Should Know About Hobby Lobby and the Fight for Contraceptive Access

Written probably in 2006; completely rewritten between 2012 and 2014

Index to my theology/church opinion pages:

Page 1:

Tithing 
End Times and Christian Zionism 
God’s Purpose/Supremacy of God Doctrine 
Cat and Dog Theology 
Raising One’s Hands in Worship 
Christian Music 
On the “still, small voice” and Charismatic sign gifts
On church buildings 
The Message Bible 
The Purpose-Driven Life 
The Relevance Doctrine, i.e. Marketing Churches to Seekers 
Republican Party 
Abortion Protests 
Creation 
The idea that God has someone in mind for you 
Literalism in Biblical interpretation
Miscellaneous 

Page 2:

Name it and Claim It Doctrine, Prosperity Doctrine, Faith-Formula Theology, Word-Faith Theology,  Positive Confession Theology, Health and Wealth Gospel, and whatever else they call it
More about Pat Robertson
Dr. Richard Eby and others who claim to have been to Heaven
Women in Marriage/the Church
Spiritual Abuse 
Other Resources 

Page 3:

Why do bad things happen?
Should we criticize our brethren’s artistic or evangelistic attempts?  Or, how should we evangelize, then?
Angels: Is “This Present Darkness” by Frank Peretti a divine revelation or fiction?
Halloween: Not the Devil’s Holiday!
Hell and the Nature of God 
Is Christmas/Easter a Pagan Holiday? 
Is everybody going to Hell except Christians?
How could a loving God who prohibits murder, command the genocide of the Canaanite peoples? 
What about predestination?
Musings on Sin, Salvation and Discipleship 
An Ancient View which is in the Bible, yet new to the west–Uncreated Energies of God

Page 4:

Dialogues
The Didache 
Technical Virginity–i.e., how far should a Christian single go? 
Are Spiritual Marriages “real”?  (also in “Life” section, where it’s more likely to be updated) 
Does the Pill cause abortions, or is that just another weird Internet or extremist right-wing rumor?
What about Missional Churches, Simple Churches, Fluid Churches, Organic Churches, House Churches or Neighborhood Churches?
Is Wine from the Devil–or a Gift from God?
What is Worship? 
Evangelistic Trips to Already Christianized Countries
Fraternities, Sororities, Masonic Lodge 
Was Cassie Bernall a Martyr?
Some Awesome Things heard in the Lamentations Service (Good Friday evening) during Holy Week

Conversion Story

Phariseeism in the Church

SCA hippies; college senioritis: anxiety!–College Memoirs: Life At Roanoke–April 1995, Part 5

Wednesday, April 26.  Since I didn’t have a morning class on Thursday, I could manage the two-hour drive to the next shire with Cugan for dance practice.  Around 4:30 he came to get me, going first to dinner, probably Burger King or Hardee’s.  It wasn’t a garb night, or night to dress in medieval clothes; that only came every first Wednesday of the month.

At the dance practice, I met such W– shire people as:

Abigail–who was once a hippie and still believed in/practiced free love.  She once offered to take away Cugan’s “innocence,” but he refused.

Jakob–her boyfriend at the time, now husband, who used to belong to a small SCA household called Weasels.  He hit on anybody, man or woman.  Cugan hoped that when Jakob called him cute, he didn’t mean it that way.

Cronan–a short young man with very long, brown hair, very sweet and easygoing, and whom I often talked and dance with.

Hillel–who was in Abigail and Jakob’s general age group, and used to be a DJ on a classic/modern rock station.

The group was lively and happy to see a newbie, so I felt like the favorite of the night.  Jakob taught me some of the steps.  Cronan probably led the group, as he did for at least a few years after.

The music was on tapes played on a portable stereo.  On these tapes, a man named Calvin said a dance’s name, then the music for that dance began to play.  The W– dancers usually said, “Thank you, Calvin,” having heard him announce every dance for who knew how many times.  (Cugan had gone to these dance practices for a couple of years already.)

The dances were not actually “period,” but English Country dances from a bit later.  Cugan even recognized one of them in a Jane Austen movie, probably Emma.

There were Road to the Isles (my favorite), a twirling dance; Hole in the Wall, a kind of line dance with couples exchanging partners and switching places; Trench Moor, which I thought was Trench War, and certainly looked like a war with its pandemonium; and a dance involving foot taps and twirls.  There were probably other dances as well.

****

From Wednesday, April 26 through Sunday, April 30, my day planner read “Thesis–type.”  The first draft or two had now been written and reviewed by Dr. Nelson.  I had to fix it up and, on Monday, give it to the teachers I chose for the review committee.

Though some teachers wanted a thesis to be about fifty pages, Nelson set my minimum length at about thirty pages instead.  I don’t remember why; maybe he wanted to eliminate the padding that students often do to fill long papers.

As I sat at my word processor, typing and proofreading, the TV-movie Joseph played on TNT.  It was an excellent movie.

I had my TV on in the study room so I wouldn’t miss it.  I didn’t have to come up with new ideas, after all.  Now that I’d already written my first few drafts, the rest was easy.  The thesis I feared for so long, turned out to be not nearly so bad.

Starting on Friday, April 28 or earlier, I decided to stay in S–, and now had to start looking for a place to live.  I thought I had my job already, not knowing how temping worked or that daily work was not guaranteed.  If anyone had told me this, it probably didn’t click.

My parents told me I should find a place that cost about $300 a month, and that I could use a certain dollar amount on my credit card for starting out.

I looked in the paper and called two places, but one landlady said the place was supposed to be for retirees (this was not mentioned at all in the ad).  And another landlady, who was preparing a place for communal living (you rent a room and share the kitchen and bathroom), said she’d call me when it was ready.  She never did call, however, even though she was supposed to call back in maybe a week.

Tara didn’t like the idea of driving me to potential apartments, even though I had no other way to get to them.  (Much later I learned that she, like me, had trouble driving.)

For the last few weeks of school, I was in a funk.  I felt I was supposed to find an apartment, and was told I needed to look for a more permanent job.  But with neither a car nor any idea of how to go about this, I felt helpless.

I’d make notes to myself to look for these, but a kind of mental block made it almost impossible.  I felt useless, hopeless, like a slacker who wouldn’t do what I was supposed to do.  Yet at the same time I couldn’t motivate myself enough to do it.

This hung over my head during Saturday D&D sessions, sapping my fun.

Much later I learned about NVLD, which explained all this, because NVLDer’s have trouble doing things that are unfamiliar, or dealing with new situations.  Two decades later, after two jobs and more life experience, I can deal with this much better.

Of course, this could also have been senioritis, as described here.  It’s different for college seniors than for high school seniors, because that comfy school life you’ve known for many years, will no longer exist.  Before, you knew what to do next: You’ll go to more school, and get good grades.  Now, you have to do what adults do: get a job, move out on your own.  And your friends will scatter around the state/country as they find new homes.

But at the time, I had no clue why I found this so difficult.  I froze.  I had no clue what kind of job I wanted.

I was a Writing major because I wanted to write novels.  I didn’t want to be a journalist.  What else was there?

There was nothing but school to put on my resume, and I didn’t know how to write one, anyway.  I had no way to get to town to go on interviews or look at apartments, except if I could convince Tara to drive me.

I had been so busy with classes, my thesis, and the various stuff in my social life, that I had neglected my future.

I had no clue what to do.  And graduation was in a few weeks.

Index 
Cast of Characters (Work in Progress)

Table of Contents

Freshman Year

September 1991:

 October 1991:

November 1991:

December 1991: Ride the Greyhound

January 1992: Dealing with a Breakup with Probable NVLD

 February 1992:

March 1992: Shawn: Just Friends or Dating?

April 1992: Pledging, Prayer Group–and Peter’s Smear Campaign

May 1992:

Sophomore Year 

Summer 1992:

September 1992:

October 1992–Shawn’s Exasperating Ambivalence:

November 1992:

December 1992:

January 1993:

February 1993:

March 1993:

April 1993:

May 1993:

Summer 1993: Music, Storm and Prophetic Dreams

September 1993:

October 1993:

November 1993:

December 1993:

January 1994:

February 1994:

March 1994:

April 1994:

Senior Year 

June 1994–Bits of Abuse Here and There:

July & August 1994:

January 1995:

February 1995:

March 1995:

April 1995:

May 1995:

 

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