uberreiniger: (Good Evil)
Today I began fermenting my first batch of mead. If everything goes correctly, in a few months I will have a drinkable honey-flavored alcoholic beverage. If 15 year-old me could see this he would be shocked and devastated. He'd be frantically searching for how his life could take such a tragic turn.

For nearly all of my young adult life I was of the opinion that drinking - any drinking - was wrong. I owe this to my upbringing in the Free Methodist Church. I didn't hear fiery prohibition sermons from the pulpit or anything - at least none that I can recall. That was simply part of what being a good Christian was, and good Christians did not drink. Or if they did, they certainly did not get drunk.

Another thing to keep in mind is that I grew up in a miserable redneck Midwestern town. There was nothing to do, especially for young people. Binge drinking was common. People started it early in high school and kept it going until long afterward, assuming it didn't just become a permanent way of life. I was against alcohol because everyone around me was so damned for it. I hated the way it made people and what it did to them.

So what changed?

Religiously I am different now. I currently identify as Norse Pagan, or Heathen and alcohol - mead in particular - holds a huge cultural and religious significance in the pre-Christian European way of life. It is not divorced from, or exist awkwardly alongside the sacred there. When Heimdall drinks mead constantly at his station by the Rainbow Bridge or when Odin is said to exist on wine alone, it is thought of merely as another one of their many amazing supernatural attributes. Contrast that Sunday morning church where they just awkwardly try to gloss over and move past the time when Jesus was at a wedding reception that ran dry and He magically conjured up enough wine to keep the party going. It's just... a different mindset. And when you're lifting up a drinking horn in salutation of the mythic ages of the past, filling it with mead just seems right.

My views on alcohol also changed because my experience with it did. I left my town and moved to the big city. I found out it was possible for people to enjoy alcohol without making fools out of themselves or hurting one another. I've never felt the desire to get drunk even once in my life so far, but I've come to enjoy the taste of and the relaxation brought by a cup or two of nice fermented drink. I guess it's just an age-old story: you grow up, your perspectives change.

One thing I know for sure, though: my first batch of mead isn't even a day old, (it won't be ready to drink until at least this winter,) and I already want to start making another one.

uberreiniger: (Eternity)
No one wants to read another Hobby Lobby post saying the same things others have said louder and better than I can. So much hair has been torn and so many breasts have been struck in righteous anger that I can add nothing to the general din. What I can do is be candid about myself.

It's something of an open secret, but I think the time is past due to just say it: I no longer identify as Christian anymore. And if you're someone who goes back with me for any length of time you know that's a big deal for me, and that I held out far longer than just about anyone else I know of who has had a similar struggle. It has been hard to put into words why it happened until now; until today, in fact.

I left Christianity because Christ is not in it. He is where He always was: out in the world doing good, and calling down wrath on those who profane His temples with lies and greed. I left it because I see more of Christ in the pagans and atheists who have fed me and cared for me, asking nothing in return over the years, than I do in the Green Family with their ranks low-wage workers and their enslaved Chinese factories. I left because I see more of Christ in Odin's sacrifice upon the Tree and Thor's intent to lay down his life to end the poisoning of the sky than I do in those who tell me to cast down idols of metal and stone. I left because again and again among those of all faiths and of none, I see evidence of a God who fights Hell at endless cost to Himself rather than a God who wields it as the ultimate oppression.

I left Christianity because it does not own Christ. He goes where He wants and does what He will, and He'll do it whether you choose to hear Him or see Him or not. But I think He'd be delighted if you'd try. I would like to thank Hobby Lobby, the Green Family, and the United States Supreme Court for reminding me that i made the right decision.
uberreiniger: (Wayfarer)
No update since Thanksgiving. I'm losing my touch. Truthfully, I haven't had the slightest interest in blogging lately. In the past even when I've lost the motivation I've never lost the interest. Now all that's changed.

But it's Christmas and I can't let that go unnoticed. Tomorrow will be the first Christmas I can think of where I will be having the family over at our house instead of going to theirs. I've been cleaning the house all day, so before I run out of steam I feel like I should give the holiday its proper due.

I am thankful for my lovely wife who is hosting our gathering and who got me Skyrim and a Blu-Ray of the Star Wars trilogy as early presents. I am proud of her for finishing school and starting a new career. I am VERY thankful that my friend whose daughter was abducted by her mother got her back safe and sound and is spending Christmas with a reunited family. I am blessed by the spiritual growth I feel like I've undergone this year and that I am becoming more comfortable with my religious path which is not quite like that of anyone else I know. I am glad that this year I received an out-of-the-blue job promotion that has boosted my self-esteem and is helping me learn new skills. I am thankful for my rediscovery of my path as a musician and that slowly but surely I am acquiring the equipment I need to pull it off.

May the joy of Jesus' birth and the promise of the returning sun be with you all in the coming year. May times be as good for you all as they have been for me these past few months. Merry Christmas.
uberreiniger: (Warlock)
I'd like to take some time to talk about my music. For some time now I have been working on my music project called Sabtabiel's Remains with combines elements of thrash, goth, and power metal to tell an apocalyptic Lovecraftian story. Needless to say, it's a lot of work and the going has been slow. Rewarding and exciting, but slow.

Well, what's happening is during the last few days I got a little bit distracted.

I am discovering that I have more musical ideas than Sabtabiel's Remains can contain on its own. Through a chain of events and inspirations that probably is only interesting to me, I decided to start composing some death metal. I will now give anyone who needs to a moment to do a Google or YouTube search to learn exactly what that is and what it sounds like.

Did you do it? Good.

Death metal by its nature tackles really dark, unpleasant, and often gory subjects. This is not as confining as it sounds. In fact, I find myself having a lot of fun thinking about subjects that are not dark and gory at all, but still writing about them in the death metal lyrical style. This isn't as silly as it sounds.

My first experiment is to convey my experience for an artform I deeply enjoy and one which is near and dear to many of my friends: bellydancing. It is interesting so far, creating a tribute to this sensual, feminine artform using what is seen as a violent, hypermasculine medium. I am still composing the music but here are the lyrics for anyone who is interested.

A final note: the title refers to Semyaza, who in Judeo-Christian myth led a band of fallen angels who seduced women and inspired humankind in every form of art and science. This is reimagines the Semyaza legend with feminine angelic figures who seduce and inspire.

All content is copyright to me. Please do not share.

Read more... )
uberreiniger: (Robot Devil)
I hope I don't sound obsessed with the crazy McPherson woman but in the words of Apocalypse Woman's antagonist, I am flattered to be the target of such exquisite hate.

She went and checked out my Facebook profile and had to comment on its "shocking, bizarre pictures." (I currently have a banner by surrealist artist David Ho,) and how it contains "the f-word." I can't see anywhere on my wall where the f-word has been used recently. She then goes on a tangent about the theophanies (physical manifestations,) of God in the Bible. I point out that said theophanies, if illustrated would make for shocking and bizarre pictures, (e.g, the Writing On the Wall, the chariot of Ezekiel's vision, etc.) trying to make the point that the shocking and bizarre should not be dismissed offhand because God uses it for His purposes too.

I think this really frightened her or something. She told me I was "too educated, too filled with abominations, and too chilling in my religious beliefs." She also "kind of likes me but wouldn't dare reach out."

It gets better. She then insulted another poster on the thread's mother. It turns out said poster's mother was murdered. Yeah, I may not know when to back out of these situations but this time it was obvious even to me.

I swear all I wanted to do was learn the political views of folks from my hometown!

I feel bad like I'm posting internet drama or something. I'm really not trying to. This person is just so fascinating from a psychological standpoint.
uberreiniger: (Wayfarer)
More and more lately I keep finding myself with things to blog about but when I sit down to do it it all goes away.

I got very nauseous on the way to work today. Wound up calling in sick and coming home. I feel bad about doing it but I knew I wasn't going to be able to pull a shift. I slept for most of the day and woke up feeling okay. Maybe it was stress that did it to me, I dunno. Work has been stressing and angering me a lot lately.

I'm really doing well writing music for my future metal band. I'm making a focused effort to write for soprano female vocals and it's actually turning out to be really good for me musically. It's getting me to add an element to my songwriting that I've been trying to find but that just hasn't been there before. After the theatre group does its performances in June I plan to buckle down, get with some musicians, and get to serious work. Exciting yet scary at the same time.

The price for all this musical completeness is that my fiction writing has suffered. I need to get back on that.

Questions of faith keep springing up a lot around me lately and I seem to encounter them even when trying not to seek them out. Maybe someone's trying to tell me something. I know a lot of it is probably being spurred by a book I'm reading called Wanderings by Chaim Potok. I don't read as much non-fiction as I should but I found this book on the clearance rack for one dollar and couldn't pass it up. It's a history of the Jewish people, but also serves as a very comprehensive history of the Middle East both before and during Biblical times. It takes a really interesting and informative approach to both Judaic and pagan beliefs of that time and how they changed and developed. It's really making my mind open to exploring a lot of things and asking a lot of questions. Potok is primarily a fiction writer and I'm curious to check out his novels now based on how unflinchingly he handles non-fiction.

I don't know that I can blame Potok's history book entirely though. I think the questions would keep coming up regardless.
uberreiniger: (Wayfarer)
There is a lot of visual pollution on Facebook, much of it spiritual. It's well-meaning and I don't question anyone's faith or sincerity in sharing it. But we've all seen it and probably been annoyed by it: crude, blurry images of slogans such as "If you LOVE JESUS pass this on. If you are ASHAMED OF HIM keep scrolling," or "SHARE if you are proud to be BAPTIZED IN CHRIST." They are the social networking equivalent of Precious Moments figurines or black velvet Jesus paintings sold on the roadside by shirtless men in biker vests: rustic, crude attempts to personalize the transcendent sincere in their tackiness, defiant of their own ugliness.

Today I saw one I haven't been able to stop thinking about. It bugged me. The visual quality was better than most. The slogan read, "Faith is believing in God more than your own feelings, thoughts, and experiences."

It bothered me. And I can't say why it bothers me because it's not all that inaccurate. Faith is, after all, believing in something when rational experience tells you not to. It is the belief that everything will be alright and that someone is looking out for you when you've no reason to think that at all. But this slogan today just sat with me wrong. Perhaps its wording is simply even clumsier than most, but it struck me too much as a call to unthinking obedience rather than to faith. It seems to me not so much a message of "do not despair" as one of "do not trust."

There is a common thread in both Western and Eastern spiritual traditions of not trusting one's own senses and feelings because they will lead you again and again to behaviors that are destructive. And I think that's something we can say is true and does happen. But is faith truly believing in God more than our feelings, thoughts and experiences? How can it be if you believe He (she, they, I don't really care about the pronouns here,) endowed you with those attributes and finds them worthy of exalting among the attributes of lesser animals?

I would like to believe that faith is not the complete mistrust of all human instinct, logic, and emotion, but rather a matter of learning when not to trust it and recognize when there may be greater forces at work. To me faith should be the fulfillment of feeling, thought, and experience rather than the abdication of them. Maybe I am just reading too much into a poorly-conceived tacky proverb.

uberreiniger: (good/evil)
Megadeth guitarist/vocalist/songwriter Dave Mustaine endorses Rick Santorum for president.

I keep meaning to sit down and blog about my actual life, but it takes one of my lifelong heroes coming out in favor of a man who opposes everything I care about to make me sit down and write.

I will put up with a lot from Dave Mustaine and I have. A lot of people have. I think he has garnered that coveted "crazy old uncle" quality within the metal community where he can pretty much say whatever he wants and everyone just shakes their head and says "Oh Dave..." Or at the very worst, they make fun of him and mock him, then sneak off and go headbang to "Hangar 18" and "Wake Up Dead" when nobody is looking.

But I can't look beyond this. And perhaps that is hypocritical of me because I listen to bands who are against the things I believe in all the time. Maybe the problem is attitude. You've got bands like Slayer and Cradle of Filth who blaspheme God for a living but when they're offstage they're all happy and goofy to the point where you want to pinch their cheeks and say "You are just precious!" And then there's Dave who has been accused of many things during his long career but having a sense of humor has not been one of them.

I could also point out that I feel Rick Santorum blasphemes God on an entirely different level that no mere metal band could ever hope to reach. But that is an entirely different discussion.

Another discussion that's worth having but also something of a digression is that heavy metal, for all its talk of rebellion and resistance is by and large an intensely conservative culture. A lot of metalheads don't like change in their music and don't like change in their world around them. There is a big undercurrent of homophobia in the culture. I say these things as someone who loves the scene enough to be honest about its shortcomings. In a way it is not surprising that sooner or later someone of great stature within the culture would come out in favor of a politician like Rick Santorum.

I just wish it had not been Dave Mustaine. I don't hold being a Republican against him. Hell, Jon Schaeffer of Iced Earth, another prominent metal musician whom I admire, is an outspoken Libertarian and Libertarians scare the hell out of me. Schaeffer, however, seems to know how to speak about his political views without alienating his target audience. That is a skill Mustaine has never had and never cared to. Anyway, as I said I could care less about him being a Republican or voting for one. Unfortunately I feel Rick Santorum is the most destructive one available, the one most committed to destroying things I value very highly. So I'm sorry Dave, but after twenty-two years of believing in you and feeling like you were there for me through your music, this is where you and I part ways.

uberreiniger: (Judgement)
I spoke about it briefly on Facebook but I am still very mad about it so here's the full story.

Last night I got called to ring up a customer who in the middle of the transaction blurts out "Are you a Christian?" I wasn't sure I'd even heard him right because even customers in the past who start talking about their faith have never been that direct and confrontational. I ask what he said and he replies "Are you a Christian by faith?"

At this point I was too stunned to make a coherent reply. Dealing with the public takes a lot out of me and I tend to be very non-confrontational at work just so I can function. I manage to tell him that I don't talk about that. His reply was "Well I'M going to talk about it!" And he proceeds too, going off about how he's been "reading about Catholicism and boy it's interesting. It's interesting... Like, is FAITH enough or do you have to DO THINGS to be saved."

I've heard all this before, my whole life. In case you don't know there's a huge prejudice among non-Catholic Christians that Catholics aren't really Christian because they believe good works are an important part of salvation. It's a thing I was raised in and I don't want to hear about it at work.

Then this asshole starts talking about this girl that he's dating and how she's Catholic and how he has "tried to talk about it with her." It's hard to convey, but there was an implication in his speech that he is with this woman so he can convert her.

Talking to this man left me feeling dirty, like being covered with the proverbial slick of oil. I wish I hadn't been so disoriented by him. I wish I would have just told him to stop and that I couldn't discuss this, because really I can't at work. I just wish I reacted more quickly with people and could get my mind around standing up to them.
uberreiniger: (shedding wings)
This has dragged on about two months longer than I intended it to and I'm not going to drag it into the New Year. Let's wrap it up.

The prompts... )

Day Twenty-Six: Favorite classical female character (from pre-20th century literature or mythology or the like)

I don't have one specifically but I am becoming deeply and increasingly enamored of the warrior goddess archetype; the kind of goddess who would rather nurture art, and love, and beauty, yet who will remorselessly cut down anyone who tries to destroy those things. It fascinates me and I fear it signifies a spiritual shift on my part, but that would be a very long discussion in and of itself.

Day Twenty-Seven: A female character you have extensive personal canon for

Since I recently wrote my first ever fanfiction and it was about Eileen Galvin from Silent Hill 4 I guess... her? I will admit that I am somewhat obsessed with the Lady of Shalott and in my imagination she actually manages to survive and have other adventures.

Day Twenty-Eight: Favorite female writer (television, books, movies, etc.)

I think it's Jacqueline Carey, author of the Kushiel series. I gripe and complain about her books constantly, yet I can't stop wanting to reread them and I don't reread books very often so I guess that makes her my favorite. Yes Phedre is a big fat Mary Sue, and yes she reiterates the same statements, actions, and concepts often enough that you could make a drinking game out of it. But if you can get past the first third of each novel, each of which is nothing but Phedre being stupid, wallowing in her silly little problems and silly little lifestyle, then you will be treated to epic fantasy adventures as good as the best that's been written in the genre. Go Jacqueline.

Day Twenty-Nine: A female-centric fic rec

I recommend anything by Charles De Lint. Most of his books feature a strong female main protagonist or supporting protagonist and the way he tells stories is mesmerizing, haunting, and beautiful. He can incorporate all the horror and beauty of human existence into one perfect package of a story.

Day Thirty: Whatever you’d like!

If you like art, myth, and beautiful women then please check out the Facebook page of this artist friend of mine!

uberreiniger: (For a Muse)
While reading tvtropes.org I came across the information that in Hebrew religious thought angels are not considered to be alive. (Specific quote is under the "religions and mythology" tab.) Can any of the Jewish folks reading this verify or clarify this stance? It's kind of mindboggling given all that angels are capable of. How can something walk, talk, sing, wrestle, cause disease, slaughter entire armies, induce* sleep, treat wounds, teach a man how to cook a fish, and imbue livestock with the power of speech and STILL not be considered alive? Is it because they are, as some say, mere extensions of God's will, lacking self-awareness? Plants, bacteria, and fungus are not self-aware yet they are certainly alive.

After some mental gymnastics I won't bore you with, it all got me wondering which is more "alive," a robot or a vampire? Think about it. They are the same. Neither requires oxygen or sleep. Vampires require blood, robots require power. When either starts to run out they became slower and less effective until they deactivate or go into a prolonged sleep, either of which resemble death from a biological standpoint. But put a fresh power cell in the robot or more blood in the vampire and they are ready to go again. None of this answers the truly important question: in a fight between them, who would win?

*This incomplete list of powers is taken solely from the Bible. Keep in mind that it's a book where angels are barely even mentioned. How knows what else angels can do? They do more without being alive than most people do in a lifetime. Go cure cancer you lazy, ungrateful living thing!
uberreiniger: (Satanic Winter Goat)
At work today I came across a book called Prayers that Route Demons by John Eckhardt. It is, as you'd imagine, an evangelical Christian prayerbook formulated to smite the forces of darkness in the name of our Lord.

Okay, before I get into this let me say right now that I believe in God and I also believe in demons; and I believe both can and do interact with our world and influence human lives. My belief in this is not something that's up for debate in the context of this post. But I believe it, it's there, and I'm throwing it out there in the interest of full disclosure so that no one gets the wrong idea of why I'm going out of my way to discus this book.

I spent a good amount of time thumbing through this slim book and for being small, it is comprehensive. Eckhardt has protective prayers against everything from demons who merely befoul rivers, valleys, and deserts with their presence, to the ones behind things like disease and terrorism. The prayers themselves are often loose phrasings of Bible verses, but always with the relevant scriptural passage in parentheses. Of course anyone who knows the Bible knows that demons and other supernatural beings appear infrequently at best. But apparently a passage about a given Israelite hero defeating a human enemy will give you similar power to defeat a supernatural foe. I'm not saying this is untrue, but I am saying that this book does a terrible job of providing context for the verses it offers up. A Christian not well-versed in the Bible could get the impression from this book that the Bible is nothing but wall-to-wall demon thrashing from cover to cover. It isn't.

I'm not one to condemn a book for its cover but I've got to condemn this one. It is marketing based on fear. The edition we stock is slightly different than the one pictured at the link above. I couldn't find any pictures of the edition we have, but it's plain brown leather. The scary-looking title font is still the same, as is the circular medallion. Except the medallion is embossed on the cover in such a way that the jewels shine a menacing blood red.

That's right. It looks like a leather-bound grimoire, or like something a Puritan witch hunter would carry. The people this book is marketed toward are the kind likely to forcibly submit their child to an exorcism if they caught them reading Harry Potter or playing Dungeons & Dragons.... yet what they have here is their own book of magic spells! The "prayers" culled from scripture are served up as simple one-sentence incantations you need merely utter to ward off evil. It's even got counter-spells in it. There's an entire section devoted to prayers that local "witches and warlocks" will repent and that their "cauldrons" will be broken and their contents spilled out!

I was taught that Christ is triumphant over sin and darkness; that where He is there should be joy and comfort. I actually don't have a problem with a book of holy spells. in my fantasy games I'm always playing priests and paladins: I think it's a beautiful mythic trope. But this book is bound and presented in such a way as to make sure you stay afraid of the Devil. And I guess I have a problem with that.

To make matters worse, it's not even accurate on some very basic things. It's bad enough that John Eckhardt thinks there are covens of "witches and warlocks" working evil in "cauldrons" behind every tree. But he goes further. In addition to mentioning such Biblical fiends as Leviathan, Beelzebub, and Belial, (with, I might add, absolutely no context or history regarding them,) he goes so far as to name Jezebel as a demonic principality. In case you don't know, Jezebel was the wife of the wicked Biblical king Ahab. She was downright evil, but completely human. Depending on who you talk to, (and assuming you believe in any kind of afterlife at all,) she is either asleep in Sheol awaiting judgment like all other dead, or she is awake and experiencing Hell. But she is not a demon.

I have to wonder why Eckhardt, clearly a scholar of scripture, would make a glaring error like that? He specifically calls Jezebel a "female" principality. Is his point that there are girl demons too? Then why not use an actual girl demon like Lilith or Naamah, or that notorious nuisance to Old Testament prophets Asherah? Probably because their names don't immediately ping on the radar of Protestant Evangelicals the way that of the notorious harlot Jezebel does.

Again, a book like this in the hands of people full of spiritual zeal but lacking spiritual education is dangerous. And that's exactly who it's marketed toward.
uberreiniger: (Futurama Greeks)
My weekend was so awesome I just now recovered enough to write about it. Be sure to wear a helmet so it doesn't BLOW YO' MIND! Okay, no, seriously it was actually a very nice weekend.

Friday night went bowling with [livejournal.com profile] zombiecowboy and some others to celebrate the birthday of a friend of ours. I don't think I've actually bowled in about ten years so I was surprised to do as well as I did. I actually had a really good time but bowling takes a surprising amount of physical stamina. Five days later and the soreness is just now starting to leave my legs.

Saturday I didn't really go anywhere except to Borders to use a coupon. Got a Neko Case cd for a ridiculously low price \m/ \m/ She has joined Tori Amos and Amanda Palmer on my list of troubled-sounding female singers who help me relax from metal every now and then. That evening I caught up on movies of 2007 by watching Juno and No Country For Old Men which both happened to be on TV. Juno was okay; nice and sweet but not memorable. No Country For Old Men... holy shit. One of those movies where I didn't realize how tense I was watching it until it was over and I had the big exhale. Haven't read the book but I've heard it's very faithful. In which case Cormac McCarthy's mind is a dark terrible angry place where nothing good ever happens to anyone.

Sunday I finally went to church with [livejournal.com profile] adele87. It was my first Episopal service and really my first church service in over a decade. (What was it with doing things this weekend that I haven't done in ten years?) The church itself is beautiful; alle Goth and shite and very medieval looking, yet still a warm and inviting place. The service itself was wonderful and I immediately felt at home. It'll be a few weeks before I'm able to go back but I really can't wait to do so. After a five hour nap once I got home I got up and raided on WoW. My guild finally downed Sindragosa and we started working on the Lich King. Probably means nothing to most of you but damn it was fun.

Now I've been back at work and getting ready for what will be a very big weekend in the form of Mel's return to KC. Hopefully I'll be able to update about that more promptly after the fact.
uberreiniger: (Scruffy)
Weird work scheduel today. I don't go in untl 6 pm and only work four-and-a-half hours. So I'm taking advantage of the afternoon. Since it's payday I've mailed off this week's batch of bills. Today I paid off one of the bills that's in collection. It was the smallest one but it still feels like real progress and everything else looks slightly less overwhelming in comparison. Although I still feel stressed since my next payday doesn't fall until two days after my car payment is due and I don't have any way to pay it before then. Should be okay but I hate drawing their scrutiny.

Driving around today is giving me a chance to listen to Epica's "Design Your Universe" album in full. Feels good.

I quit [livejournal.com profile] christianity for good last night since it fills me with anger far more regularly than it ever does love for Christ. Far too many regular commenters in that community would be more honest if they began all their statements with "Papa Smurf says" and ended them with "...and Papa Smurf is always right." If I'm going to be in a community with a bunch of loudmouthed pedagogues who just like to sit around and agree with each other I at least want it to be one where I share the majority opinion.

Time to leave the library and get back to work. Have a job to go apply for.
uberreiniger: (video games)
Some friends recently had a discussion about religion and one of them made the analogy that "God is basically like an MMO developer." This got me thinking and that's never a good thing. If God is an MMO developer then that would mean different religions and beliefs are like different types of players you encounter in the games. Remember this is all in good fun.

CATHOLICISM: Hardcore endgame raiding guild who distributes loot based on a VERY strict DKP system. Guild Leader has the final say in ALL matters, however you are expected to report to one of the guild officers regularly, especially if you have any conflicts with guild plans and goals.

JUDAISM: Veteran raiders who have been playing since the game was released and feel that with each expansion the game has gotten farther away from its original intent. Despite the fact that they openly shy away from newer content they are still constantly believed to have vast amounts of loot and gear. Regularly raid old content, but on a slightly different schedule than many other raiding guilds.

EVANGELICAL CHRISTIANITY: Can be seen in chat constantly PUG'ing for group members, saying that you MUST be geared and WILL be inspected. Even highly geared and experienced players are turned away for not being geared enough. Also tend to take PVP events based around in-game holidays very, very seriously.

BUDDHISM: Tries very hard to reach endgame content but keeps getting distracted by leveling alts. Have been known to change factions/races/servers regularly.

ATHEISM: Think that the game is entirely too focused on endgame content and PVP and that it's not fair to people who just want to play casually. In fact, peoples' fanatical obsession with getting endgame-level gear is responsible for nearly all the PVP in the game and the game would be better off without it. If you try to explain to them that the developers care they will claim it has been proven that the developers do not even read the game forums. And even if they do they don't listen to what the players want anyway.

JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES: [JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES] Is family-friendly guild for mature players! We are actively looking for members and want to help you quest and level! Pst me for details!
[JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES] Is family-friendly guild for mature players! We are actively looking for members and want to help you quest and level! Pst me for details!
[JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES] Is family-friendly guild for mature players! We are actively looking for members and want to help you quest and level! Pst me for details!
uberreiniger: (building memories)
Last night was good. I had dinner with a friend I grew up with. It will be almost four years until I see her again because she's moving to Italy with her husband. I'm really happy for her, but it's a bittersweet farewell knowing that much will change in our lives between now and then and there will be so many things we will be unable to see each other have. I'm thrilled for her though. She's living the dream; going exactly where she's always wanted to go, doing exactly what she's always wanted to do. And if we're ever able to go to Italy we're pretty much guaranteed crash space!

Pastor asked me to tell him about my writing. So I did. I didn't go into specifics, just said that he probably wouldn't like my novel as it's very sexual. I felt that was an honest enough way of putting things. I'm interested to hear what he will say.


Jun. 23rd, 2008 06:16 pm
uberreiniger: (abomination)
So a few days ago I started a Facebook. Didn't really want to, but hey, I want people to buy my novel and anything to reach a broader audience, right? Well who just friended me but my high school youth pastor? And here's my profile advertising a nice big smut novel, naked woman posing all suggestively and everything.

He hasn't said anything to me yet - and he might not because he tends to be circumspect - but I know him and know that he must be thinking... something. I was, after all, a "good" Christian kid, even if I did wear Metallica and Suicidal Tendencies t-shirts to youth group and ask the difficult questions that make clergy flinch. He never flinched though, and that's one of many things that made him earn my admiration and respect. But unless he's changed just as much as I have in the last fourteen years, then he's not going to understand what I write and why I write it. And I doubt he's changed. With me you could see it coming; not so with him.

So... this may be interesting. Erotica writers are often asked "how does X feel about what you do? How did you go about telling them what you do? Do they even know what you do?" For all of us the answer is different. I have been blessed with very supportive family and friends. But like so many others there are people in my life whom I know won't understand and I don't expect them to. I made the decision when I started this that I wouldn't hide what I write. So while I'm not shouting it to those folks that I'm writing very explicit hardcore sex scenes and selling them to people, I'm not hiding it either. If you you've caught me at it, good for you. Pull up a seat and let's have a talk.

But my old pastor... that's one I had not expected. Granted he's got more on his plate to deal with right now then what someone he hasn't seen in over a decade is doing, (according to his profile he's a missionary in Bulgaria right now,) but I know him. I know he will remember what he saw.

Interesting. Very interesting.
uberreiniger: (jesus christ pose)
Someone shares my opinion on that greatest of vehicular eyesores, the Darwin fish. 

DISCLAIMER:  The point of me sharing this is NOT to go "Oh, Christians are so persecuted!" We're not. And based on the name of the article's author and some of the comments that he makes, I think there is a very good chance that he is, in fact, Jewish. I don't find the Darwing fish offensive because it insults Christianity, but because it professes the bearer's ignorance on the subject while presuming to be smart. The Icthys emblem denotes a belief in Jesus Christ. A belief in Jesus Christ (or Zeus, or Amaterasu, or Shang Ti, etc.) and a belief in evolution are two entirely seperate things. And yes, the sheer hypocrisy is maddening too. Just like the author, I have seen my share of Darwin fish slapped on the back of cars alongside "Hate is NOT a family value!" and similar dear and fluffy messages of so-called tolerance and love.

I have a friend who once lived in an American city well known for its high population of conservative religious people. She drove around with a bumper sticker that said "When religion ruled the world, it was called the Dark Ages!" She loved to complain about how people would give her dirty looks while driving, or leave notes on her car while it was parked, and would go on and on about how intolerant Christians were. She did not see the intolerance of her own actions. I believe an argument could be made that she was receiving the very reaction from people that she had sought out to begin with. I pointed out once that for every person who left a note or gave a look, there were probably twenty-five Christians who went on their way past, simply trying to live their own lives. It's very easy to bait a group of people we don't like and not even realize that we're doing it.

Years ago I saw a t-shirt that showed a Darwin fish and a Jesus fish facing each other, with a little red heart above them as though they were kissing, with the caption "Stop the fish wars." To this day, I wish I'd bought it.


uberreiniger: (Default)

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