Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Pillsbury Doughgirl Speaks

     I am a big fatty. Let’s just get that out there right now. And this isn’t typical oh-I-have-ten-extra-pounds female insecurity, either. We’re talking Pillsbury Doughgirl here. As an American, this sucks a little. As a girl, it sucks slightly more. But as a person who used to be immersed in patriarchy, it’s the worst.

     Physical fitness is a big deal in that culture, which is odd for people who make a point of dressing specifically to hide the body. Being overweight was a sin. That’s not figurative speech or hyperbole, either. Carrying extra pounds literally meant you were living in sin and you had to repent.

     I only remember it because the author of a blog I was recently perusing placed it

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Is This Who We Are?

    Have you seen these? These billboards?

God is an imaginary friend

     Myself, I have not driven by them, but I follow 9 News on Facebook, and they posted a picture, along with a link to the site, and the question, “Have you seen the atheist billboards? If so, what do you think of them?”

     Predictably, it sparked a fiery response. Many fiery responses. The majority were from outraged Christians, but some were from scathing atheists or agnostics. And do you know something? 

     It broke my heart.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

I'm Pretty Sure My Obsession With Jack Bauer Isn't Idolatry

     You know, I’m a bit surprised that no one has chastened me about idolatry yet. Well, not surprised per se, because people don’t really rebuke me about anything I write here, which leads me to believe that a) no one cares what I believe, b) they all agree, or c) nobody's reading. Still, though, one would think that my marked obsession with Jack Bauer and now Robert Goren (seriously, I would totally marry him) would cause a few raised eyebrows.

     After all, idolatry is generally considered to be a huge problem in the Christian world. I don’t mean we blame it for everything that goes wrong with the world in general, but we do tend to believe that it is the cause of most of our private little sins. And we like to define idolatry as any thing, person, or idea that takes the place of God in our lives; or, alternately, that takes our focus away from Him. You’d be surprised how easy it is to replace God, too. Apparently, anything that occupies your exclusive attention for any extended period of time, or any passion that takes up large parts of your time, attention, and emotional energy is an idol, and you have to start caring about it less, or else you’re sinning, And we don’t want that, now, do we?

     I bet you can guess where I’m going with this.

     This idea, this concept of idolatry being figurative and common, is just another of those things that was started by some bearded dude several hundred years back, and

Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Interrogation Tactics of Detective Robert Goren (and How Cults Use Them on You)

     I watch TV partly— oh, all right, mostly — for entertainment, and partly for the occasional blinding streaks of inspiration which arise from seeing a particularly fascinating storyline or character. Law and Order: Criminal Intent, for example, is one of my favorite shows because not only is Detective Robert Goren second only to Jack Bauer in his sheer undisputable awesomeness, but the show is responsible for an inordinate amount of the aforementioned streaks of inspiration.

     One episode in particular struck me as especially profound. Detective Goren, you see, suspected this woman of murder, and because he has such an accurate instinctual understanding of psychology, he knew how to trick her into revealing

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Cosmic Oven of Justice

     I have not read Love Wins. I am not familiar with Rob Bell’s message, although I am fairly certain it has something to do with Hell or the possible lack thereof. But the more I hear of it, the more it seems possible to me that I agree with the man.

      The subject of Hell has always been an interesting one to me, even when I was small. My imagination is fairly dark, and I can picture, very clearly, the torturous agony of being burned in fire for literally all eternity— and it scares me beyond belief. I know I always thought I believed that Hell existed, and that all The Bad People (those who did not know Christ) would be Going There after they died. The system seemed simple. You have Jesus, you get Heaven. You reject Him… ooh, you probably should have chosen differently. Oh, well, too late now. Enjoy eternal flames. But different memories of my thoughts on Hell surface lately, memories of horror and questioning. The main question being the one we all have, those of us who believe in Hell: How could a loving God do such a thing?

      I had friends once, a few years ago, that I loved so dearly. These were my favorite people in the whole world. I loved her and her husband so much, but they weren’t Christians in the same way I was. And I was told that people like them, people who didn’t pray regularly or attend church or read the Bible, would go to Hell. That put a knife in my heart. The time I knew them wasthe only time I my life I made a point of praying every single night, because I was determined that if I had anything to say about it, they would go to Heaven. When I look back, the whole thing is not exactly very Christian, because I wasn’t all that bent on them having a relationship with Jesus or anything; I just wanted, desperately, for them to avoid eternal damnation.