Saturday, December 02, 2006

Everyone is whipping each other about which god they prefer.


When you fall in love with someone, one of the cons is that the word "sucker" loses all meaning. Everything she asks you to do for her seems as small of a favor as if she asked you to pick up milk from the grocery store on the way to see her. I'm listening to Lou Barlow right now and drinking Southern Comfort. Before I started drinking, I used to be fascinated by Souther Comfort just because of the name. I'm infatuated with everything that is "storybook southern". I know there is an ugly characteristic that comes with anything deemed "southern", but that is a result of history. There is something appealing to me about the south. Front porches and sweet tea. I want to be married in a southern church, in Alabama, or North Carolina or something. Some church with a creek that flows behind it or something. You ever smell old wood? Maybe if the band doesn't work out, I'll take my wife to Savannah and stay in some haunted bed and breakfast...find a small college and get a philosophy degree. My house will have a hammock and I'll gladly live in an old suburb. I'll put record player out on the porch and listen to Tom Petty or Merle Haggard on sunday afternoons. I think I'm more like my Dad than my Mom. When we used to go on family vacations I would lie in the back of our Dodge Ram Charger and I remember hearing Tracy Chapman or the Travelin' Wilburys, or Paul Simon. In North Carolina, you feel the earth run deep beneath you, the soil feels hard and supports your body. In LA I feel like the street is going to crumble underneath my feet, and I'll fall into some black void...all of a sudden the earth will reveal itself to be flat like people used to think. I'll hang on to what remains of the intersection of Sunset and Vine and finally just give up, let go and fall into whatever beasts mouth is open beneath me. But that's completely OK. What a lovely and exciting way to go. No one will ever believe me. God doesn't exist maybe, the thought of that is eerie because it removes all purpose and direction from living. Ayn Rands nightmare. There is this Cursive song that says something like, "We're gonna need an explanation for rational thought And what it meant and the weight of our hearts. In a world of entropy, why can't we just simply be? And don't feed me lies, intelligent design"--that makes sense, and can be comforting depending on the night. Hey, for the record--I'm pro-choice and I don't care if homosexuals are allowed to get married--who am I to make the call...I'm merely a human who loves God, I'm not supposed to play God.

14 Comments:

Blogger .kate. said...

Your description of the south, the way you plan out your wedding, & the rest of your life, is the kind of thing that restores my faith in relationships in general. I guess having your heart broken, really puts a damper on the idea of falling in love again. But sometimes- you watch or read something, and suddenly for a split second, you realize, even though love makes you do crazy/idiotic things, and sometimes it hurts like hell...it's worth it.

Your optimism is appreciated.

2:07 AM

 
Blogger kassie said...

Something about this entry made me feel like everything is going to be okay. I'm not exactly sure why, but it does. Maybe it just reassures me that essientially there are good guys out there. Who knows.


I wish more people of faith held the same philosphy about believing and not playing God like you do.

11:12 AM

 
Blogger JordanTaylor said...

you seem to know that life goes on, and it stops for no one.

i admire that.

you seem stronger than you let on.

1:51 PM

 
Anonymous nicole said...

i was born, raised, and go to college in the south, and i know exactly what you mean. it's something about the way the trees fall over you and even though it's cold outside, you never seem to feel it. even the wind feels different here. you could never explain it the way you want to someone else, but i know exactly how you feel.

2:06 PM

 
Blogger Lorenzo said...

Supporting a particular agenda or legislation isn't "playing God." Otherwise, people who legislate against embezzlement are "playing God" to those who like to steal money through financial institutions. Those who legislate against rape are then "playing God" to rapists.

I just didn't think your last sentence made much sense.

Or was it supposed to? If your point was that people have the freedom to make choices, I get that. But if a choice in itself promotes injustice, such as killing unborn people, I can't agree with that. Just as I cannot agree with laws that would allow embezzlers to get away with doing something wrong. I don't know if I made my point well.

Whatever the case, I still think Mae rocks; you haven't lost a fan.

4:41 AM

 
Blogger Zach said...

lorenzo, i referred to it as "playing God" because these issues are two main issues harped on by the religious right. my point was this--- I think that legislation based largely on a personal religious belief (like gay marriage or abortion) is counter productive. I'm not saying that I myself am pro choice on a personal level, but then again, I'm not a woman, so there is a discrepancy there. Politically, it's tougher. It's not black and white.

10:13 PM

 
Anonymous Lorenzo said...

Thanks for clarifying, Zach. I actually understood your point about the issues that the religious right "harps about." Those cannot be the only basis of peoples' political decisions (though the abortion bit weighs heavy for me, personally). I for one am Catholic and quite conservative, but I could not get myself to support the war in Iraq. It's clear to see that neither party stands in the black or in the white.

But, though the world is filled with gray areas, I wonder if that means there can be no moral choice? I personally don't think so; there must be a weighing of options, of course. But ultimately there are choices we must make in every situation, and we pray to God that we're doing the right thing, that we're doing His will. I just bring this up because I believe relativism and even ambiguity endanger human dignity just as much as ramming religious ideologies down peoples' throats.

Regarding political choice based on religious belief, I think every political choice springs from some sort of conviction...some sort of "belief." Liberal conviction is just as much the fruit of a belief system as Christianity.

Anyway, there's a discrepancy for me, too. I'm not American. I'm just glad that we have a God and He moves among us, through us...Sorry if I'm rambling; you got a good topic started.

2:26 AM

 
Blogger Zach said...

lorenzo...it's hard for me to argue against moral relativism. It's not a matter of people who believe in God and people who don't, or people who chose to follow God or not. Among the theological community, even more differences exist, that seem to run deeper. Relativism is not a choice, it's a reality. People believe different things, just like you and I who both believe in God, still have differing views. So in a political world, when it comes to legistlating laws and rights for large groups of diverse people, how can it be justified that the leader in place at the time (assuming our political system) has the right to make laws based on his own personal convictions (and i'm not speaking of general morality, ie murder, theft, rape, etc). I can not force others to behave against their will based on my belief, it undermines the whole notion of free will which God gave us. Loving something out of fear is not love at all, and i think it breeds resentment. As far as I am concerned, no matter what law is in place, and no matter what others tell me, I will make decisions based on my own motivations, not those of others..because what would be the point? I don't care if joe blow gets married to mike blow, because it has no affect on what I do on a personal level. So I guess I just don't see the big deal when it comes to a pesonal relationship with God. God's will is differnt for every person. I think the Chrisitian community in the United States paints a picture of pride and does a better job of breeding distaste for God (based on misrepresentation) than it does making people even consider the notion of God. Certain sects of the Christian movement seems to exist in its own world that doesn't take into account reality or the broad scope of the human psyche, or diversity.; the fact that other people have just as much conviction, if not more, about what they believe and how they live. You can't dismiss other peoples views as empty just because it's not based on Christianity.

8:30 AM

 
Anonymous Lorenzo said...

I agree with you in your point, Zach. A belief outside of Christianity cannot be discredited. In fact I grew up in an international community where I learned a lot, living among people of different beliefs. Honestly, sometimes the way we the Church present ourselves and the "notion of God" to the world makes me cringe and want to dissociate. What makes it so sensitive is the fact that I love the Church and hate the terrible PR we give ourselves sometimes. And worse, we often misrepresent God who I love. At the same time, I see good and beauty expressed by people with other beliefs. Ultimately, goodness and truth come from this source we call "God"; and if He does exist, He will be the judge of what we all did based on the amount of conviction we've received, be it in a Christian setting or not. That's a strangely comforting thought in my opinion, because it is hope for everyone who's (in simple terms) doing their best.

As for what you were saying about legislation... "Loving something out of fear is not love at all, and i think it breeds resentment." I agree.

Belief in moral relativism and "general morality" at the same time is kinda sketchy if you ask me. Relativism assumes there is no wrong...it all "depends". I think the very notion that there is a God and still a world that clearly bears flaws presupposes that there are things that express God's character of goodness and things that don't. So there are absolutes, it's just tricky to identify them because of this dynamic that I personally believe is called sin/transgression/iniquity -- an atomic sort of reaction that threw things into a spin. Thus, God's will being different for everyone doesn't mean there aren't absolutes.

In short, I think we're agreeing on more than I first thought. These conversations can be better in person if you ask me; it's hard to communicate everything one wants to say in blog comments.

Anyway, thinking and discourse are great. But to simplify, what do you think is a good personal response? At the risk of sounding simplistic, I personally think you can't go wrong with loving God and loving your neighbor. Jesus made a lot of sense with that one, if you ask me. Makes sense the more you think about it...

11:38 AM

 
Blogger Zach said...

"I think the very notion that there is a God and still a world that clearly bears flaws presupposes that there are things that express God's character of goodness and things that don't."

What is God's character of goodness? Is it a child being in a abusive relationship with a mother and father, or a child being adopted into a loving relationship with two moms. I'm not trying to be contrary, but I just think that a phrase like "god's goodness" is vague and not defined at all, and who defines that in someones life? There are so many variables involved, and I completely understand that God shows his grace and love everyday, I can't deny God, but I could never prove God through morality, or shows of his grace...because they are all so personal.

4:07 PM

 
Blogger Lorenzo said...

My point wasn't that morality proves God; it simply was that morality exists (and it exists because of God). And if morality exists, ultimately relativism just doesn't fly. There ARE absolutes. They are hard to define because we live in the fallout of sin and imperfection, and it gets sticky when morals are "enforced" by people upon others. And the enforcement of morality is in itself not moral either.

I was just calling into question your point that there is such a thing as "general morality" and at the same time that you have a hard time arguing with moral relativism.

Maybe you see a bigger picture than I do? I have no idea. I just think that it's hard to stand for what is good, when good isn't defined. Of course, I'm not disagreeing with you that what is good is VERY difficult to define in a particular situation. But it doesn't mean it cannot be defined.

6:22 PM

 
Blogger Zach said...

i have no idea either.

9:13 PM

 
Anonymous Allison said...

I was raised in the South and I understand loving it despite it's checkered past. I love the phrase "checkered past." Anyway, I spent my whole life in Louisiana believing that the South wasn't any different from the rest of the country and now I live in a dorm room with a girl from Minnesota. Woah. I was wrong. It's just a different mindset. I think it's taught me to think that there is usually a solution where you get everything you want, you just have to figure it out. Maybe that's a good thing, maybe it's not. I haven't decided yet.

The South is crazy and backwards sometimes and yet, I can't imagine living anywhere else.

Plus, I'm about to embark on some Ayn Rand myself with The Fountainhead. Should be a good time.

11:03 AM

 
Anonymous michelle.angela said...

yeah.

11:25 PM

 

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