Archives For January 2011

Why Church Hurts

January 31, 2011

Have you noticed all the Christians apologizing for the church?

I have.  It’s kind of the thing to do.  We assume everyone out there has been hurt, wronged, isolated, burned or ostracized by the church.  It’s almost the battle cry of my generation.  “We’ve been emotionally wounded by the church!”  Just yesterday, I read yet another Christian apologizing for all the other awful Christians out there.  Ever since Donald Miller made it popular, some Christians just can’t resist telling everyone what jerks we’ve all been.  Don’t get me wrong, there’s some things to apologize for.  (And I’m not talking about cases of serious abuse.)

But when you stack up all the apologies, it makes you think that maybe the church is just an agent for pure evil.  It’s almost like we’re inviting people to say, “Christians suck and I demand an apology!”  I’m not here to apologize or take back apologies.  If anyone should be pissed off at the church, it’s me.  I’m here to ask why does it happen?  Why does the relationship people are supposed to have with the church break down?

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All Religions Are the Same

January 28, 2011

Some people would say so, anyway.

Well, make that most people.  I can’t begin to estimate the number of people outside of religion that lump all religions into one category.  Not to mention, there’s a good chunk of people inside religion who have convinced themselves that all religions are equally valid paths to God, and they are much more enlightened for thinking so.  When it comes to everything from politics to parenting, we’re not afraid to be the only ones who are right, and damn everyone else to hell.  But when it comes to religion, well you just can’t insult something as personal as someone’s faith. You can’t presume to have all the answers, to be the only one who’s right, lest you look like a crazy person, and probably a racist or a bigot.

But I started thinking about it.  Maybe all that political correctness really has enlightened us.  Maybe we’re past the point where I’m right and you’re wrong, and we can all just hold hands because all our beliefs are equal.

I suggest you keep reading.

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I try to be a good American citizen.

For me, that means I summon all of my strength and I make an attempt to watch the State of the Union address, regardless of what I think of the President.  Sometimes I yell at the television.  Sometimes my eyeballs bleed.  While most presidential speeches have very questionable importance, the SOTU has…somewhat less questionable importance. 

I’ve never done this before, but today’s blog is a “stream of thought,” written in reaction to the SOTU.  Chime in and tell us what you thought of what the President said, or why you didn’t watch it.

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Don’t Take My Texting Hand

January 24, 2011

Is social media making us stupid?  It might be hard to tell.

Over the weekend, I read this article, basically saying that social media and smart phones are wrecking our kids.  We pretty much don’t know how to function in public any more.  People need to be told to turn off their phones in movies because it just wouldn’t occur to them otherwise.  People check their smartphones at funerals.  Kids think that “sexting” is actually foreplay.  For all that social media has promised to “connect” us, we’re more disconnected than ever.

I saw another story about a family that went on a tech fast for six months.  No TV, internet, cell phones.  Nothing.

Of course, a six month fast from important things like Facebook sounds crazy.  But the family, undoubtedly now a lonely band of social pariahs, said it was a good thing.  One of the children took up his saxaphone again and sold his gaming console.  The family played games together, primitive things which involved boards and small wooden chips, rather than texting at the dinner table.

Of course, I didn’t have a cell phone until I was in college, and it didn’t text.  But it made me think about just much we’ve poisoned ourselves with technology…and not just with all that radiation…

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Best History Class Ever

January 21, 2011

I hated history class when I was a kid.

It was all timelines and dead people.  I don’t remember it ever being interesting.

The irony is, history has turned out what I love studying the most as an adult.  Not so much the timelines, but the dead people do interest me.

Most people think learning history has to be crusty and dull.  History Channel doesn’t really count, because half the time, it’s more like History (and by that we mean “baseless conjecture about aliens and freemasons”) Channel.  History Channel, do you mean to tell me President Washington had a secret ring of people tasked with spying on his enemies?  Dear God, I never thought the government would ever have the need to gather information about our enemies.  I am reeling from this revelation, History Channel.

But, a couple of weeks ago, my blog buddy, Kyle Reed (who can help you out big time if your blog needs tuning up), posted this video that proves that history doesn’t need to be dull, or absurd hearsay.  Do yourself a favor and check it out.  It’s got lots of colorful moving dots, and a guy named Hans who can’t help but sound smart.  And you’ll be hard pressed to be a pessimist about the future after you watch it.

Pretty sweet, huh?  Makes you wish you had him for your history class.  He’s pretty optimistic that everyone can become healthy and wealthy.  Do you think it’s possible?

What would twelve-year-old you think of you today?

Last week, I wondered aloud on the blog just how much of our twelve-year-old selves make it to adulthood.

I think it’s time for a little fun.  So I’m asking you: how much of twelve-year-old you is still around today? 

When I Was Twelve…

I was: skinny and quiet.  I was known for being smart (or just smart sounding), but not at all athletic.  I was also not known for being a snappy dresser.  Also, for knowing about a lot of stuff, I was pretty inept at doing anything…except for school projects.

I liked: science.  But I also liked games and puzzles.  But not so much math…unless math involved shapes.  I played with lots of “science-y” toys, like robots with motors and gears.  And I’d go get dirty in the creek with friends, but it was to look for fossils.  I liked to think of myself as more grown-up than I was, which made me look annoyingly precocious.

I wanted: to blast a rocket into space.  I didn’t want to be on the rocket.  I wanted to be at the space center to push the button.  That’s what I thought I’d do as an adult.

Now That I’m Not Twelve…

I’m still pretty wiry.  But my wife is the quiet one.  I learned how to be loud…sometimes.  I never got to be any good at a sport, but some people seem to still assume I’m brainy, even though I try to not put off that nerd vibe.  I just can’t shake it…maybe if I didn’t use words like “precocious.”  I developed my art skills, but I still love puzzles and games.  I also learned how to do a few manly things.  Also, it turns out that you have to know a bunch of math to push buttons that blast rockets into space, so that didn’t pan out, which you may have guessed.  I’m pretty sure I’d punch twelve-year-old me in the face.

Okay, you’re turn!  Tell us who you were when you were twelve in three questions: I was, I liked, I wanted.  Tell us if any of twelve-year-old you is still alive today.