Hi, e2. Been a while.

This is just a quick note to thank those of you who offered kindness and support to Auspice while I was stuck in Minneapolis' VA Medical Center fighting off a rather nasty bacterial infection in my leg. I'm better now; the antibiotics and sleep and a return to the low-carb diet have done wonders.

Tax season is over. I made a decent amount of commission this year, but working 50+ hours a week almost certainly contributed to my unplanned extra week in Minneapolis, so I'll need to cut back and not work so many hours next season. Tentative plans for the summer include preparing for and (hopefully) passing the Enrolled Agent exam, (for work purposes, an EA is every bit as good as a CPA), continuing to lose weight through lack of carbs, and getting out to see my friends in meatspace instead of just talking to my friends who live in this black box next to my bed. Maybe I'll even get some noding done. We'll see how it all goes.

Letter to a guy on a Contemporary Worship forum who goes by the name of "BlackRoseDiesSlow", after N posts on how a person who is for Marriage Equality and not evangelical can't possibly be a Bible-reading Christian who "can see the Truth". Who called me "chicken", and claimed to be a bodybuilder who was just using his daughter's account, because her choice of handle was "just from some band her mom lets her listen to, and I don't".


OK, here's the deal. You want leveling, here goes.

First, using your daughter's handle to argue your agenda makes anything you say come from someone wearing a pink tutu. You can beat your chest, you can roar all you want, but you're still wearing a pink tutu. Your avatar means nothing, because it's the handle that's doing all the talking. Since Pink Tutu is talking, you sound like an overly sincere teenage girl, no matter how confident you are that you don't. Your occasional slip-ups ("famine" for what is clearly "fasting"), only underline the problem.  Sure, you think it's "just music", but if you're so courageous (and not "chicken"), why don't you get your own account?

Second, I was on a forum to discuss liturgy. Lit-ur-gy. Not Biblical exegesis as applied to current events, not evangelizing, not ranting about the current president. Liturgy. That occasionally, some atheists come trolling by is irrelevent. My point was that there is a third possibility, that is neither evangelical nor flat-out atheism, our liturgy is more shaped by the 14th century than the 21st, but our social attitudes are thoroughly up-to-date.

Third, as I weary myself in saying it, of course I've read the Bible. I even took a course in Religious Studies at Yale University, which has an excellent Divinity School, and am, as I said, a member of a church. The tale of Lot and the angels is a story of the denial of the law of hospitality. Deuteronomy's law is considered a minor one, even by most Jewish scholars: it's down underneath rules about selling your daughter into slavery and wearing clothing of two different fibers. The love of David and Jonathan is clearly a homosexual one, and spoken of in a wholly approving manner. Polygamy is spoken of quite frankly in the case of Solomon and his wives, other texts also point to the case of wives taken in battle to supplement the family, getting a new wife (without divorcing the other) if the other one is barren, and so forth. Marriage, in early Christianity, came in many forms, not all for the sake of procreation, some were celibate and some were same-sex, and of course there were the various Holy Orders for women, which ordained marriage with Christ (the ultimate polygamist). The only reason why we're not comfortable with the idea of gay men these days is because it was spoken of as "unnatural" (which it's not, being observed in 200+ species and counting…) during the Renaissance, and because the Catholic Church was having a whole lot of complicated political problems. In terms of "picking and choosing", there are more Biblical passages supporting the institution of slavery than against homosexuality. Even Jesus is mute on the subject. In short, see John Boswell. Easier: find a nice Anglican priest in your town and start asking questions.

Fourthly, this is Truth as I see it and God meant it to be this way. Marriage equality is true marriage, love makes a family, and gay couples make wonderful parents for adopted children.  I could go on for several more paragraphs on how the current trend towards making homosexuals the poster children for Carnal Sin is the result of the Religious Right's failure to address women's problems, but I'm sure you're not so interested in that. Suffice it to say that running on about how Christians support DOMA and anyone who doesn't can't be one or "doesn't read the Bible" is about as meaningless as to say that any place that doesn't have a verger's staff, a full set of blue funeral vestments and a hearse for Holy Thursday can't call themselves a church. (Sorry, liturgical nerd talking…) Sure, we disagree on politics and other things. That's what makes horse races. But that doesn't make one or another of us "righter" than the other, since, barring God Himself appearing to the two of us together, there's no objective Truth on these matters. I'm afraid I can talk about what I know, and how deeply I feel about it from now until the heat death of the Universe, and you'll still say I don't know what I'm talking about until I agree with you. I booked, not out of cowardice because I didn't think it was of any use repeating myself any more. (If you think my "reading between the lines" is bad, get a real Bible scholar on your case.) So, go ahead and throw a few more insults my way. Rage that I'm destroying this country, and that we're all going to Hell in a hand basket, and my Ivy League friends are all Skull & Bones Bilderbergers and I'm a dupe of the Illuminati, and I'm a terrible, terrible person.

But just remember, it's coming from a man in a pink tutu.

I'm in doubt, so I'm planting trees. And basil. And coping with persistent cough by drinking whiskey. It's that kind of week.

Thanks again, re: support in terms of wombat-socho. Dude seems to be doing a lot better.

Meanwhile, life rolls on.

Just some random thoughts....

I did not know Ouroboros, but I am saddened for the loss of one who has written much for the benefit of this community. I have added him to my node audit queue, for the most appropriate memorial I can think to give a man is to read and appreciate what writing he has chosen to share.


On a completely different subject, I have been thinking a lot lately about how 3D printing is going to change everything, and perhaps in surprising ways. Will people still go to stores to buy silverware or dishware or nuts and bolts and screws and nails when they are able to jet these out of a printer in their home? The most interesting thing I've heard lately is about a lawsuit to prevent the dissemination of software encoding a 3D printing formulation to print a fairly rudimentary plastic handgun, which requires only two metal parts-- a regular hardware store nail for the firing pin, and an extra chunk of metal stuck in it to set of metal detectors, solely so the gun doesn't run afoul of provisions barring undetectable plastic guns from being brought aboard airplanes. The lawsuit is grounded in brick-and-mortar thinking. Once a piece of code escapes into the wild, it cannot be cabined by anything as quaint as a court's order.

But, perhaps more interestingly, this 3D gun needs no gun maker. Ironically, this morphing of First Amendment and Second Amendment issues could be exactly the sort of thing to put the big gun makers, the Colts and the Winchesters and the Smith & Wessons, out of business -- after all, you can't compete with "free." As one who is both a libertarian and a pacifist, I find this to be an appropriate trajectory. Even as entrenched as "gun culture" is in the United States, I suspect that technology forcing to the fore an economic model which makes it unprofitable to manufacture or sell a product will equally sap efforts by those industry members to invest in encouraging the culture of embracing that product. And who knows how much of our gun culture is instilled by marketers overcoming people's innate array of interests.


BookReader is done!! Node auditing otherwise proceeds at the usual pace:

banjax has successfully taken up The Standard Offer (for which I have jumped him to the head of my node audit queue), and is on page 2 of 6, whereas
passport is on page 15 of 27
Pseudo_Intellectual is on page 7 of 31
Segnbora-t is on page 7 of 34
And pukesick is on page 7 of 29.

In the queueueu:
avalyn is on page 1 of 5, and
Ouroboros is on page 1 of 6.

Blessings, all!!

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.