Monday, January 30, 2006

Why is the world Afraid?

According to the news today, there is trouble in the Gaza strip today. Nothing new, right? A Danish newspaper in Norway and Denmark published a few cartoons depicting Mohammed the prophet wearing a turban shaped like a bomb with a lit fuse, and the muslim population of Gaza is beating Danish citizens in Israel and 'Palenstine' because not only was the cartoon offensive to them, the very act of showing a picture of the prophet or anyone is bad because it promotes idolatry. Danish citizens are getting beaten, shops are getting destroyed, and the citizenry of Denmark and Norway are either enraged or scared. What kind of religion promotes this insanity? What philosophy preaches slavery of the mind like this? How can a whole mass of people believe in the destruction of another and relate this to God and Heaven? This is not only happening in Denmark or Norway, but all over the world. Look in Thailand, Indonesia, Spain, most of Africa, France, the United Kingdom, etc. Look in Bosnia. Can people not see this 'movement' for what it is? People may argue Christianity enslaves the mind; but look at predominately Christian countries: there is a mass turn to evil because there is a relative amount of freedom to choose. We can choose evil or good. We have the freedom, the power to exercise that freedom. Has the backbone of the United States weakened to a point where we have no resolve to handle this problem? We have the knowledge and the technological capabilities to handle this. But are we too much of cowards to make that choice?

Sunday, January 29, 2006

War Now

This post is going to make me very unpopular, but here we go. It's not like I'm not used to that anyway. It's about Bush. Where do I begin? First of all, the current war is the War on Terrorism. There is no single Iraq War, or Afghanistan War, or soon-to-be Iran War. This is the War on Terrorism. The world is polarizing between good and evil so quickly now. This is not 'finishing daddy's war'; anyone who says that has no capacity for original thought. Does anybody remember the banner of liberty in the Book of Mormon? That scene in the Book Of Mormon is horrific, but the price had to be paid. Time is soon coming where the fence-sitters will be lost in the fray, and will be forced to choose a side. War is never pretty, but neither is pacifism. Both are the devil's tools. And politicians who say they are for peace and rail against the evils of the current administration, what were you saying 6, 8, even 10 years ago? Hypocrites and liars. To state the war is unjust may be a truth, but what is the alternative? Would you be the next one lost on another 9/11? U.S.S. Cole? Tanzania? Beirut? Another Berg? Carroll? What if it was your family member? The filth perpetuating this war has been doing this for decades; it has just reached a head in our lifetime. Their actions reveal they will never end their fanaticism and pursuit of our destruction. It is not based on warring politicians, unjust trade, or racism. This war is a war of good vs. evil. Do not get fooled by the 'feel-good' liars; have you heard the President of Iran lately? What is he saying? Does this not cause you concern?

(I'm Not An) ExMob Clone, Corporate Drone

Name this quote:
"I got very bored and depressed, so I went and plugged myself in to its external computer feed. I talked to the computer at great length and explained my view of the Universe to it," said ____. "And what happened?" pressed ____. "It committed suicide."
I left out the names on purpose because the characters would give it away. A crazy old ex gave this book to me many years ago and I read it and loved it, and recently a movie was made of it. The movie was great, and the author actually played a major role in the development of the movie. This is weird because the author is a recluse. Great book; it is the fifth Standard Works. Now, on to the whammy...
I live in Kingwood, Texas, a small suburb northeast of Houston. Kingwood is owned by Friendswood Development Company and is home to a wide socioeconomic range of people. The people are nice, for the most part, and the wards here are extremely good to each other. There are some issues,though,causing me to reflect on culture. Here is my question: does culture guide environment, or does environment drive culture? Could they drive each other in alternating cycles? That is where I tend to lean. Most of the members here in Kingwood are employed by ExxonMobil. I pose that one's employment plays a large role in one's environment. I call these people the ExMob, because most of these people have similar educational backgrounds and employment , namely I.T. and accounting. Now, to calm the fears of the insecure, let me state there is nothing wrong or inherently of the Devil in being an accountant or working in I.T. For the sake of this conversation (post?) I am just pointing out statistics. Our wards in Kingwood are heavily influenced by the ExMob culture, and I don't know how to explain it, it just is. Just like in the Army, whose wards had a feel unique to themselves, Kingwood is the same way. I am pointing this out because it is evident there are many members of the Church, including myself, feeling a little disgruntled with the Church because of the 'culture' of the wards or people they interact with. I have just now realized, after 30 years in the Church, the feelings I have experienced related to angst against the Church was directed not to the Church, but to the 'culture' of a ward, or a misconception on my part of that 'culture'. It was liberating to understand my testimony of the Gospel finally, and relate it healthily to the Church. There is evidence enough of disgruntled members of the Church to base this conclusion on. The Gospel is true; don't mistake that bros and sis'! The Lord has said many times He looks at the heart, and not the appearance. Anyways, I hoped I made my point clear. I have friends, good friends, in the ExMob by the way. The ones I know are good, good people. Not as normal, like me, and a little off, but good.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

If I Go, Would I Be Lucifer's Ho?

Ugh, the secular dilemmna of the great and spacious building...I want to go to a couple of shows here in Houston by a couple of bands I like but whose views and philosophies are polar opposite of everything I believe in. Meat Beat Manifesto on the 17th of Feb, and Ministry and Revco on 5th of May. Nobody I know knows who they are, except for my wife and kids! Ha! The music is great, alot of energy, and since I like to oneday write and record for my own personal use, I get many ideas from the bands. BUT, they oppose religion and anti-drug laws, GW Bush, government, and mock anything that is fine, or good, or worthy of respect, respect, respect...(get it?)...I have a few ideas why they do it too, but since I've never had a deep conversation with any of them, I can only speculate. The closest I got was when Al Jourgensen splashed me with red wine at a show. I do have a few Ministry stories to share, though. Ministry and Thrill Kill Kult toured together 2 years ago to sway voters from voting Bush; it was called the Evildoers tour...ha! Ministry had this voter registration drive and had a few spots open for like-minded individuals to volunteer to work the booths and in return get to see the show for free! YES! So, of course I signed up. I arrived a few hours early to set up and I got to see Ministry's soundcheck minus Al J. singing. They played No W, NWO, and Psalm 69, and I was one of the only 2 people in the club! YES! I had a Beavis moment...So, in order to carry out my duties, I went around registering people to vote and while I did so, I told the impressionable lost youth at the show (I'm an impressionable lost old man) that Ministry is satire, they want you to vote for Bush and along straight Rep. lines, but they want you to think about why you vote that way, and Ministry loves Bush and hates Kerry. Fifth column, YES! I was Gideon in the Lamanite camp! Shazam! Free show, got to see soundcheck, spread the Gospel, sort of, and hopefully threw a wrench into Ministry's propaganda machine! Yes! Another Ministry story is my favorite one. My wife and I both worked at Target around Christmas of 92 in Humble, Tx before we were married, and Ministry was playing on the 5th or around then. She had dyed purple hair (Jimi Hendrix purple, manic panic) and melted my buns! She then asked me to go to Ministry with her and her friends; I had to refuse because I was taking my girlfriend of the moment with me already. But, I saw her at the show, I grabbed her and said Hey! but she was tripping and stoned, and I was sober (at the time, damn!). And, we are now married with three boys, I teach Primary, she is in some R.S. calling, and we are happy (relatively). And that leads me to the original dilemmna: if I go, I'm going by myself. However, I'm trying to say, "Babe, it would be just like when we first met, minus the acid!" "Please go with me..." She will have none of it. Argh, the struggle of choice...

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Diamond In the Buff

What a time to be alive...I don't believe in New Year's Resolutions because I think I will always be changing, for the good or bad, and I have goals I am constantly working on. I appreciate the sentiment, though. In the past I have dwelled on the 'sinfulness' of my character. The sinful nature I have is no better or worse than any other man's; the natural man is an enemy to God anyway. After I go through a cycle like this winter's, I always find a period of respite from the turmoil, a warm spot I can see what this life is really about. Could depression be a tool to strip someone of the unnessecities of thought? I don't know, and I don't like to speculate either way. I was laying in bed thinking Sunday, and I was reflecting on a talk my bishop gave in Sacrament meeting. It was based on a story I heard as a youth: Two dead people (I'm paraphrasing!) were in line to be interviewed in the post-mortal world. The first went in to a room and two persons asked, "What do you know of the Saviour, J.C.?" The person went into a long discertation about the life and teachings of the Lord, after which he was thanked and courteously dismissed so the next person could be interviewed. Immediately upon entering the room and presence of the Interviewers, the second person knelt at the hands of the Interviewer and while bathing His feet with his tears, replied "Oh Lord, my Saviour." Hmmm...I loved this story as a youth. So, I was in bed and I thought to myself, How much do I know the Lord? There have been times when I felt especially close to Him and then there were times, such as the last few years, I have not felt any closeness at all. I haven't been 100% grateful or perfect either. But instead of making the typical goals of timed scripture reading, 100% family prayers, etc. I decided to become closer to the Lord. For me. I'm being selfish. I want to develop the relationship We share because It is the only anchor in this tempest which is my life. Now having said that, scripture reading and prayers, more family time, temple attendance, and so on have and will continue to fall into place on their own. In the past I've focused so much on reading the Scriptures every day, it became the end-all. I missed the point of the goal. So far so good...
P.S. Joseph, Emily, Uncle Marlowe, I've shaved my head again (dark laughter...)...