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Last Visit 2011-03-29 23:58:38 |Start Date 2007-01-26 16:14:24 |Comments 1,125 |Entries 367 |Images 31 |Videos 68 |

Category: religion

09/19/07 10:31 - 62ºF - ID#41192

Patrick Henry College



A good exchange regarding right wing students/political activisits at slate.com.
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Words: 12
Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: religion

09/18/07 02:00 - 65ºF - ID#41176

How do deal with scary prostelitzing

Here are a number of helpful tips, if you are the focus of aggressive and/or pushy people who are "sharing" their faith. Not all of these necessarily should be used every time, they are just different tools one may utilize, depending on the situation.

a. If you are in a public place, just keep walking. Like a lion, they are more likely to go after the slowest in the heard.

b. Politely explain that you are happy with your beliefs right now, and are not seeking to change them. This will not work with everybody, but it will satisfy reasonable people.

c. Politely refuse to answer any questions, and then remain silent. Most of the time, the person will be working from a script (consciously or not) that requires a response. Deny that, and he or she is in a rough place.

d. If you are comfortable lying, tell them what they want to hear. Your answer key: If you were to die today, you would go to heaven, not because you are a good person, but because you trust in Jesus Christ. And yes, you already worship at a church (use mine if you would like). (NOTE: This is the conservative Christian answer key. Mormons and Scientologists will need something different). I'm not saying that you should lie, but if you DO lie, this is an easy out.

e. If a person begins a conversation because they see that you are with your same sex partner, I would not recommend any conversation at all--the "conversation" is not likely to move past sexuality.

f. Ask for something in writing, so that you may consider their ideas at the time and place of your choosing. (I stole this one from the "how to deal with telemarketers" file.)

g. remain calm, and stick together with your friends.

h. if you really feel gutsy (and you have time), ask a person to back up their claims from scripture. A surprising number of people will not be able to do this, or will do so while distorting scripture in a way that is easy to see.

Ok, I don't really recommend this one for most people, but it is fun if you know your Bible to actually engage.

i. If you DO engage, ask about the big picture. Some people will ask you to believe/do something so specific in order to attain salvation that most people who have professed to be Christians (even some people in the Bible!), throughout time and history, would not be able to believe/do.

j. Ask questions. This is, I think, a good thing for everybody that engages. The more you can get a person talking off of their script, the more you will see who they really are.

k. Share your own experience (again, this is another "advanced technique"), due so in such a way that will not give the person ammunition, but will cause them to see you as a person, rather than a soul to be converted.

j. Ask to see a miracle. I don't really think this will help, but it might be interesting to try!

l. Tell the person that you are willing to try their belief system if they will try yours, first.

m. pretend not to speak English.


That's enough for now.



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Permalink: http://estrip.org/articles/read/drew/41176/How_do_deal_with_scary_prostelitzing.html
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Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: religion

09/17/07 12:28 - 62ºF - ID#41152

Is religion harmful?

Short answer: yes. As seen in the post that inspired this, from last week by (e:paul), it is perfectly clear. Add abortion clinic bombings, terrorism, and the crusades, and it's simple. Religion brings all kinds of problems into this world.

Then, why, pray tell (haha! pun!) would I so involved in religion?

There's a few reasons: In no particular order--

a. (using letters so this is not confused with my "10 things lists") We are, by nature, religious people. By saying this I mean to say that we are all prone to ask questions about meaning for our life, and we are all likely to give ourselves in worship. I believe that even those of us that deny the existence of GOD have other "gods," because we need them. My devotion to u2 and to the Steelers is borderline religious. I know that is pathetic, but I offer it up as an example. Our tendencies to ask "why," to connect with other people, and to give ourselves to something bigger than ourselves are religious tendencies.

b. Religion is still a force for good. Ironically, religious people invented the ideas of religious tolerance and of the separation of church and state. Although we have been on the wrong side of these issues, too, Christians were the driving force behind most of the positive progressive social movements in this country.

c. The best cure for bad religion is not "no religion," but "good religion." This is just my opinion, of course, but I think that the best way to help Christians that behave badly is not to ask them to abandon their devotion (unlikely, to say the least) but to show them a truer picture of the one they are devoted to. I really do believe that the best picture of true justice and true grace is found in Jesus as shown in the Bible. Name calling, threatening encounters such as the one that (e:Paul) had to deal with are, to put it simply, inconsistent with how Christians are called to act. Good religion seeks the best, not for itself exclusively, but especially for its non-adherents.

d. Personal experience. I know that this is different for everybody, but based on what I know and what I've experienced, I believe that God exists, that he existed on earth in the person of Jesus Christ, and that those statements affect everything about the way that I live my life. I COULD try to make sense of those things on my own, but I am better off trying to do so with other people, and that's the seed of religion.

I think my next post will be a guide for non-believers and believers to deal with scary people of faith.
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Words: 456
Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: 10 things

09/13/07 06:12 - 72ºF - ID#41080

10 Things I like about flying

I'm going away this weekend on (you guessed it) an airplane! Hence the latest installment of the series named after the number of fingers I have right now.

1. Taking off. I like the feeling of being pressed back into the seat and the roar of the engines. (e:Janelle) does not like this, but this is my list.

2. Snacks. I would probably like hell itself if they came around with a cart of snacks. For that reason, they probably don't.

3. Newspapers. I don't even buy one (yes, I am that cheap), but there are always some around airports, and I like to grab one and read it.

4. The little puffer machines that sniff you to see if you have explosives. I don't even know if they have these in Buffalo, but they amuse me.

5. Seeing all sorts of people have to take their shoes and belts off. Sure, its inconvienient, but it also gives me a good, democratic feeling that the bigwig buisness travellers go through the same stuff as schlubs like me.

6. Moving sidewalks. When will the rest of the world catch up to airports?

7. Free internet stations. Ok, so I have only seen this in foriegn airports. The US needs to catch up on this one.

8. Airport drinks. Sure they are expensive, but there is no better way to pass the time waiting for a connection than at an airport bar.

9. My favorite Men's room in Minnesota. Just kidding! I've never been to Minnesota!

The real 9. Landing. It's like taking off, but its where you want to be.

10. Going through the gate after landing, and re-joining people with out tickets. I love it when there is a crowd waiting and people holding signs, even if none of them are looking for me.
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Permalink: http://estrip.org/articles/read/drew/41080/10_Things_I_like_about_flying.html
Words: 294
Location: Buffalo, NY


09/11/07 09:14 - 65ºF - ID#41056

Sometimes life sucks

Tonight I was driving a kid home from church. He came because his friend invited him--we welcome high school guys on Tuesday nights and we play ball, discuss the Bible together. Its good for our church to have some kids that are a little bit more "street" around.

Anyway, I was driving a kid home, and it was his first time here, so he is kinda checking us out. He asked me for advice about how to deal with a girl he likes (such a ninth grader!), and we talked about that for a while, but then I realized that we are driving through a neighborhood that looks more and more menacing.

"So do you feel safe here?" I asked, tenatively.

"Not really. My best friend got killed here three weeks ago."

The kid's in ninth grade. Not a thug. A sweet, kind, skinny, freshman.

His friend was shot because he hit on a girl, and the girl's brother didn't like it.

No kid his age should have to deal with crap like that.
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Permalink: http://estrip.org/articles/read/drew/41056/Sometimes_life_sucks.html
Words: 174
Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: 10 things

09/10/07 04:56 - 74ºF - ID#41037

Ten things I like about Troy Polamlu

1. His hair.

image

2. His car. Dude is a professional athlete, making millions in salary, plus endorsements, but he drives a Kia. Why? Because he doesn't need a fancy car. A Kia seemed good to him.

3. He's super fast.

4. He hits REALLY hard
image

5. He's a Pittsburgh Steeler.

6. He never lifts a weight over 15lbs. Sure, he trains really hard, but its all speed, flexibility, and repetition. He believes this sort of training is more conducive to football then lifting weights. I'm not going to argue with him.

7. He's anti-Gatorade. He thinks water is better for you and Gatorade is all marketing.
image

8. He's a spiritual guy.

9. He's Samoan. I don't know why I like that, but its cool.

10. He's not even that into football. Well, he likes playing, but he doesn't watch it at all. I guess we are different in that way, but I appreciate that he is interested in other things.

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Permalink: http://estrip.org/articles/read/drew/41037/Ten_things_I_like_about_Troy_Polamlu.html
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Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: 10 things

09/07/07 10:22 - 79ºF - ID#40984

10 things I like about the Bible

1. Lot's of "dark heroes," i.e good guys that do bad things or bad guys that do good things (well, guys and girls actually, even if it is guys in most cases). Really, there's only one completely good guy in the whole thing, and his contemporaries thought he was a bad guy.

2. The language. It was written, mostly, in Hebrew and Koine Greek. Both are relatively simple, for ancient languages. The Greek used was not literary (Attic) Greek, the language of the marketplace, which means that it was written to cross languages and cultures.

3. It surprises me. Still. Even after reading it as much as I have, the Bible still kicks my ass. Martin Luther used to call scripture, "my enemy," because he said, "it destroys me."

4. It's an underdog story. The younger brother gets the inheritance. The slaves get land of their own. The Romans get beat, non-violently at that! Remember the term "David and Goliath story" comes from a book that is full of David and Goliath stories.

5. It's honest about where it comes from. For example, there are four different accounts of Jesus' life, and while they DO converge, they DON'T completely line up. Rather than just pick one, and "get the story straight," early Christians included all four in the Bible, because all four had value. Some thing with other sections of the book (actually, the Bible is better described as a library than a book, but I digress . . .)

6. It reads well. The church has tried to ruin this, by chopping the stories up, or always skipping ahead to its favorite parts, but exodus is exciting! So is Mark. Esther is regarded as great literature by plenty of people who could care less about whether the Bible is "God's Word" or not.

7. It reads even better in community. It raises questions that have to be discussed. It's a "book club" kinda book. (Instead of a book you club people with, which is how it often gets used!).

8. It really does show me God. Sometimes its easy, other times its hard, but God is revealed in that book.

9. It also shows me humanity. No where is it clearer how dumb/selfish/stubborn we can be, but also what God can do with stupid humans like us. It's a pretty good mirror

10. It's got a happy ending. (like this list, I hope). Despite other interpretations that have become popular in recent years, the Bible isn't about how sinners finally get their comeuppance. The Bible is a love story, and thus it ends with a wedding. Humanity and God are made one again, and there's no more death or pain or sickness. Is there judgment? Yes, but that is second to last. The story ends well (and many would argue [using the Bible no less] that it ends well for everybody, not just Christians).

Next: 10 things I like about Troy Polamalu, unless somebody makes a better suggestion.
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Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: football

09/05/07 11:03 - 75ºF - ID#40963

Polamalu



Felly reminded me of a favorite song. Enjoy. well, only if you like Steelers football. You see, we have a great player named Troy Polamalu. Some people (even some tv announcers) have a hard time saying his name. The twin muppets get it right.
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Permalink: http://estrip.org/articles/read/drew/40963/Polamalu.html
Words: 53
Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: free

09/05/07 06:00 - 86ºF - ID#40952

First Smart, now Scion

Today they are giving test drives of scion cars, with $15 SPoT coffee gift certificates.

I am happy to get $15 of free stuff (and a t-shirt to boot), but the whole experience made me less likely to buy a scion (and I liked the brand before today!). The reasons I am disappointed are that the new models are bigger, and that they are trying SO hard to be cool. I really would rather buy a car than an "image," especially when the image that they seem to be selling is "poser."

But go and drive the car by the blockbuster on Elmwood and get the free stuff anyway.
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Permalink: http://estrip.org/articles/read/drew/40952/First_Smart_now_Scion.html
Words: 107
Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: 10 things

09/05/07 12:43 - 65ºF - ID#40945

10 things that I like about Pandora.com

1. It exposes me to new music that I like, something I desperately need.

2. It's free, the best cost ever.

3. I love to give a quick "thumbs up," when really good music plays, like Derek Webb.

4. I get to feel a sense of indignation when it plays something lousy, and I give it a thumbs down.

5. The thumbs down kills the song playing, and it moves on to something else.

6. It showed me "Omar and the Howlers," who I had never heard before, but sound pretty good.

7. It sounds good on my new speakers, complete with a subwoofer, all of which came to me in a yard sale.

8. Thanks to those amazing tubes of the internets, its available at home and work and wherever else.

9. It gives me the satisfaction of being a part of a musical genome project, or something like that.

10. I think I can listen to what my friends like, too--but I haven't checked that out yet.
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Permalink: http://estrip.org/articles/read/drew/40945/10_things_that_I_like_about_Pandora_com.html
Words: 159
Location: Buffalo, NY


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