Ronin of the Spirit

Because reality is beautiful.

Rape 3

Why is this subject so important to me?  Why do I need to have an opinion on this?  First, to redeem my past.  As I said before, I have never raped anyone, not by even the least coercive definition.  I never felt the desire to do so, but I did share one common thought with rapists:  I hated women because of how much power they had in comparison to me.  I would submerge my identity to be with a woman.  I would change my vocabulary, my clothes, my hair.  Anything just to be seen with a woman, yet no woman would equally debase herself to be with me.  I hated myself for being so desperate and empty and I transferred this hate to women.

Christian life reinforced these outlooks in a lot of ways.  Women were the “weaker vessel,” fragile, emotional creatures, who could not be trusted to make important decisions, which is a backwards way of saying they could not be held as accountable as a man for their behavior.  This and the tyranny of love.  Young adulthood is a time to understand love and sex.  I remember so many ex-couples where the girl broke up with the guy and really wanted to be friends afterword.  Getting a mix tape of Micheal W Smith’s “Friends” was not unusual.

Packing up the dreams God planted
In the fertile soil of you
Can’t believe the hopes he’s granted
Means a chapter in your life is through
But we’ll keep you close as always
It won’t even seem you’ve gone
cause our hearts in big and small ways
Will keep the love that keeps us strong

Chorus:
And friends are friends forever
If the lord’s the lord of them
And a friend will not say never
cause the welcome will not end
Though its hard to let you go
In the father’s hands we know
That a lifetimes not too long to live as friends.

With the faith and love god’s given
Springing from the hope we know
We will pray the joy you’ll live in
Is the strength that now you show

But we’ll keep you close as always
It wont even seem you’ve gone
cause our hearts in big and small ways
Will keep the love that keeps us strong

Do you see what I mean the tyranny of love?  My god, who could do that?  No pain of loss was great enough.  No hope of a different kind of love could hurt enough.  Nothing could hurt enough to end it.  You just had to just keep suffering, pretending that everything was OK.  This was the “love” that my female peers spoke off.   This too contributed to my hate.

friends

Further, from home and a little bit from the Christian culture, I had picked up the idea that women were not as sexual as men.  “Women act like they want sex to get love, men act like they want love to get sex” was never said from the pulpit, but as a viewpoint, it pervaded the churches, camps, and college I went to.  To have this incredible need from someone and have them have no need of it themselves felt so unfair.  Imagine you are dying of thirst, and you crawl up to a person sitting on a 55 gallon drum of ice water.  “No, you can’t have any.  You’re all icky and thirsty.”  You’d be pretty mad.

Again, the Christian culture shares some blame here, because if I could have just had a girlfriend and gotten laid, I probably would have calmed down with the hate quite a bit.  But Christianity told me that the only acceptable way to desire sex was to want a wife.  So every female friend I had was the future Mrs. Ronin Truthwalker.  Every issue was huge.  I could never just enjoy a young women for who she was. No, I had be weighing her character for fitness as the mother of my children.  This is not conducive to good friendships, which made me feel hurt and betrayed a lot.  Which again, increased the hate.

This hate I used to feel is the first reason this subject is so personal and important to me.

The second reason is my daughter.  I don’t want her to grow up the way I did with these really stupid ideas about sex, love, and male and female roles in society, because ideas take people places, and those aren’t places I want her to have to go. A person’s ideas about rape are sort of a litmus test for what they think of women.  If a person thinks that rape is not as serious a crime when the women was dressed suggestively that person is saying “It’s OK to harm women if they don’t look like nice women.”  Which then says “Nice women either don’t like sex or don’t look like they do.”  Which then says “It’s OK for guys to like sex, but not for women too.”   Like I said, ideas take people places and I don’t want my daughter to go the places those ideas take people and I don’t ever want to go back myself.

I want my daughter to be free and strong.  I want her to believe that rape should never be a reasonable expectation.  At the same time, I don’t want her to believe an idea that puts her at risk. I’ll finish the rest of this later.   This is just why this is important to me. I’ll give my conclusion later.

March 20, 2009 Posted by | atheism, Christianity, Politics, Religion, Self discovery, skepticism, Slice of life, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

I really, really hate Seinfeld.

Last night at work, the TV was on.  To be fair, I should mention that I hate TV.  I hate it with a fierce and burning passion.   I do watch a bit now and then, but I never let myself get involved with a series.  There is nothing I “have to see”, because I think that putting that level of importance in one’s life toward mere entertainment is serious character flaw.  

But of all the stupid, pointless habits associated with TV, (like always needing a bigger TV, organizing one’s schedule around TV, or pretending that shows like Entertainment Tonight, or mainstream news actually matter) none irritates me more than background TV.    When music is playing in the background, it’s background noise.  When a screen saver is silently running in the background that’s background visual. But when a TV is running in the background it’s something much darker and more insidious than those: it’s background life

It’s this life running in the background, with all the tears and fears and conversations that make up real life, only it’s fake.  To paraphrase the book of Revelations, having the form of life, but lacking the power thereof.  People leave it running in the background to assure them that they are alive.  Sure, they may not think, or feel anything except a sort of vague fear that they don’t think or feel, but with TV cheerfully blaring sparkling, tinkling life into the room, they can just almost be entertained enough to forget even that.    I wonder if revolution is possible in countries where most people spend hours a day with the TV on.  It thinks for them, feels for them, loves for them.  Their soul shrivels up and die.  They no longer get mad enough or joyful enough to actually do anything regarding what makes them angry and joyful.  Their feelings no longer produce action, because they view feelings as a response to what they see, instead of as a call to act.  As I said, I hate it with a passion.

All that above to say, last night at work, Seinfeld was on. It’s not funny.  It’s not funny in horrible, painful way.  My great grandfather once cut his fingers off with a table saw, as great grandma was getting him into the car, they realized in the panic, they’d left the fingers sitting on the table saw.  My father ran into the shop to pick up the fingers.  As he was picking them up, the family dog, smelling fresh cut meat, sat on the floor, and begged for some.  That’s the sort of horrible painful way I am talking about.  Something playful becomes something horrible.  That’s Seinfeld to me. 

And I realized something.  I could become a billionaire.  I’m going to make a show as that is the same kind of funny-like-bloody-flux humor as Seinfeld.  Then I’m going to animate it with same graphic vomit that Robot Chicken, South Park, and Assy McGee have made a living with.

And people will watch it.  It will be pureed festering surgical waste , spoonfed into the hollow, empty husk where their soul used to be.  Will a make a lot on advertising?  No and yes.  No because, so few people will watch.  Perhaps only a million out of the hundreds of millions of potential viewers.  Yes, because I think I can make it for about $8.39 an episode.  The profit to expense ratio will be huge.

And the worse it sucks, the more offensive it will be to many people.  Who will then stand around the water cooler bitching about how much it sucks for hours, giving me free advertising.  And everyone else will watch it because they think they aren’t supposed to.  I’ll retire after one season, corpulently fat with profits and give it to another like minded mercenary.  I’ll be the Dread Pirate Roberts of brain rotting filth.

December 2, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Love the sinner; hate the sin

I wanted to talk about the phrase “Love the sinner, hate the sin.”  For a long time, that phrase was the foundation of my social life. I tried to love people in that way, loving the person, but hating the evil they did. What, to me, was evil? The absence of righteousness.  What then was righteousness? Webster’s Online Dictionary says righteousness is doing that which is in accordance with divine law.  I hated that which the Bible told me to hate.

As you know, I have a lot friends these days which you might call “free thinkers”. In that community of people,which includes atheists, agnostics, skeptics, and other questioners, alternative lifestyles are much more common than in the Church.  So, I run into people living these lifestyles more often than I used too.

Until recently, I never cared about anyone who lead an alternative lifestyle, because I didn’t know any.  Now, a few of my many oddball friends fit into that category.  When you get familiar with someone, you can empathize with them, you can accurately imagine what it would be like to live life in their shoes.  You can imagine what they might feel.  I’d never before empathized for someone who was leading any other kind of life than mine and upon doing it, I find the views I held as Christian are vicious.  You can’t really love the sinner and really hate the sin.

A person is the sum of their actions and desires.  You are, simply, what you do.  Most of my readers are heterosexual Christians.  Pretend for a moment, that the tables are turned.  You are still your straight self, but you are suddenly part of a 4% minority. 96% of the population is gay, and most call themselves Christian.  Now hear the things that most Christians believe, from that perspective.

“I think your relationship with that woman, who I refuse to call your wife, is disgusting. I think the sex you have with her is repugnant. To have heterosexual urges that you chose not to act on is sin enough, but there is something especially sinful about having that kind of sex.  But I love you!”

“I think that you are a dangerous predator, and that you cannot be a Scout Leader, and that you shouldn’t be allowed to teach in a public school even if the law says you can.  I wonder what would even make a heterosexual chose a job where they work with children in the first place.  But I love you!”

“I think it is wrong for young children to be taught that people like you even exist.  I supported the removal of the book Heather has a Mommy and Daddy from my children’s school library. I oppose any kind of sex education course that teaches kids it is OK to be like you.  But I love you.”

“I believe that you are part of a vast Heterosexual Agenda that includes heterosexuals in places of cultural authority, like media providers and colleges campuses.  I believe this group is subversively trying to hijack our society by projecting a positive image of your empty and promiscuous life. But I love you!”

How loved do you feel when someone says that it is disgusting that you make love to your wife in both theory and practice, that because of who you want to love and be loved by you are intrinsically a sexual predator, that you cannot be trusted with children in a professional setting, that children should not even know that people of your persuasion exist, and that by association you are part of conspiracy to destroy this nation’s children, this nations way of life, and ultimately, this nation?  Does being accused of horrible crimes make you feel loved?  Is this how you treat the people you love?  Do you postscript love messages to your spouse with the statement “And your lifestyle is evil and worthy of eternal suffering?”

Of course not. Your lifestyle is everything that makes you who you are. It is your identity.  You cannot love a person and hate their identity. Its not possible to love a person and hate everything that makes them that person.  Either the love of the person, or the hate of the things they do; one must be starved.

I choose the love. Within the spectrum of Christianity, I could be seen as liberal or conservative. I didn’t want to starve the hate. Righteousness you remember, is being in accordance with divine law.  God hates homosexuality, it both the Old and New Testaments.  I wanted to be righteous so I loved from half a heart.  I could never let my heart free to love.  I might give my heart to someone who wasn’t saved.  They might die, and then this person whom I loved, would be suffering in eternal agony forever.  Think of the brokenness of spouse who’s beloved is POW.  Think of the terror.  Then think forever.  Your beloved suffering… forever.

So I only let myself love a little bit.  People I defined as Christians got the most love, but even then, I love too deeply to carry the burden of forever.  I couldn’t let myself love someone who might suffer forever, because when we truly love we share suffering.  We are hurt when our children hurt, and sad when our family members are sad.

I loved from who I wanted people to be, instead of who they were.  I missed out on love.  On relationships full of meaning and purpose, because I stopped my heart from going there.  I’m done with that.  As an atheist, I don’t believe in hell or heaven.  I am not afraid to love because of the hurt of the knowledge of eternal pain, nor do feel I can live without friends, safe in the knowledge I will see them in heaven.  I must love my friends right here, right now, because any of us could gone tomorrow, and that would be the end.

Never in my life have I felt so loved as I do now, giving my heart away as I am doing.  This is the face of Joy.  This is the life of purpose and meaning I have longed my entire life.  This is the way I was meant to live.

July 25, 2008 Posted by | Religion, Self discovery, skepticism, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | 36 Comments