Fancy Cyclops, ha!
Fancy Cyclops, ha!
1. A competitive game in which one half of a population belittles the other half by labeling them as stupid, heartless, or both. The game differs from most competitive games in that no one wins.
2. Synonym for Dating.
Arian Foster is a running back on favorite NFL team, the Houston Texans. He’s an atypical football player in a lot of ways. For example, he’s a vegan and a Buddhist (I think). I wasn’t surprised to see such a thoughtful commercial from such a thoughtful guy.
We must live together as brothers or perish together as fools. - MLK
In honor of MLK Day, I want to share a few resources that may be helpful to you in making peace in both your personal and public life.
The Peacemaker (Ken Sande): I read this book for a grad school class and absolutely loved it. It was transformative. The Peacemaker is a biblically based guide to resolving personal conflict. It has practical, Biblical advice on checking yourself (prior to wrecking yourself), deciding if a conflict is appropriate for confrontation, how to discuss conflict with others, and forgiveness. If you are married, have friends, or would like to interact with other human beings, please read this book! I think it was great for taming my Latin temper. In other words, it made me less of a jackass.
The Art of Forgiving (Lewis B. Smedes): I am lucky in that I’ve never really had anyone do anything horrible to me. If you have, I think that this book may be helpful for you in thinking through what forgiveness means, what it does and doesn’t include, and how it will free you. I’m basing that on in-depth group discussions that I’ve had with others who have read the book. One of the most interesting points in the book to me is that forgiveness requires a wrong, so it requires naming an evil. I think that is very powerful both for the victim and the offender. You can’t truly move on unless you have an event from which to move.
Difficult Conversations (Stone, Patton, Heen): My main takeaway from this book is that “when we fail to share what’s most important to us, we detach ourselves from others and damage our relationships.” In other words, a failure to have a difficult conversations is a failure to value yourself and your friend. You’ve decided that the relationship isn’t worth the effort.
This book also has great practical advice about how to fight. For example, if your main point is, “I want to spend more time with you,” don’t start with or make subtextual arguments like, “Why do you have to go out with your friends all the time?”
I hope these are helpful for you. If you have questions about these or other resources, let me know!
I just saw these CNN polls, and they are interesting.
Would you favor or oppose a proposal to put armed guards in every school in the country?Favor: 54%
No Opinion: 1%
Stricter Gun Laws:
No Opinion: 1%
Would stricter gun laws reduce violence?
Would not reduce: 61%
Would reduce: 39%
My question is this: If only 39% of those polled believe that stricter gun laws would reduce violence, why do 55% of the polled favor stricter gun laws? What are the other 16% who favor stricter laws hoping for?
My best guess is that even if they don’t believe the stricter laws would matter, they believe it is the right thing to do. I can understand trying to do the right thing in the face of poor odds (I generally vote libertarian), and in this case it’s confusing to me. If we’re trying to solve a particular problem (gun violence), why enact policies that we don’t believe would be effective? Is it a moral issue?
I welcome your input!
As a married man, I have the chance to learn about all kinds of things that I otherwise probably wouldn’t know about. For example, I know about Bunheads, The Hunger Games, Divergent, calling things “precious”, buying baby clothes, and Pinterest.
I’ve watched Sam use Pinterest for a year or so, but I’ve never really used it myself. So, today, I’m headed down the rabbit hole. I’m rolling through Pinterest. I’m going to look at what my friends think is shareworthy, the most popular posts, and then I’m going to give my analysis.
[Scrolling through a few dozen posts.]
Ok, Crock Pots are a big deal. You can make desserts, shredded chicken stuff, you can freeze bags of stuff to put in crock pots at a later date. There are a lot of pictures of bathrooms, which is beyond my understanding. It’s just over my head. Picture frames…lots of Ryan Gosling. Honest question – can some girls please explain to me what’s with this Gosling obsession? He’s been around at least since we were in high school but all of a sudden he’s like the biggest deal ever.
Abs everywhere! Ladies, what’s up with all the abs? I do know that guys look at guy abs all the time in Mens Health, GQ, too. What do we need abs so much for in 2013? What are we lifting? In what scenario will we need to knock out thousands of crunches?
Ok, now there’s a lot of pins about hair, which makes sense because you can keep them all together for when you want to change your hair. This is not a problem for me. (Bald.)
Man, there’s a lot of fairly in-depth DIY home projects in here. Turn an old door into a shelf. Make a bed. Pour the foundation for your new home. Forge your own silverware. Just kidding, there’s no talk of foundations. It looks like the point of Pinterest as far as I can see is it’s kind of a clearinghouse for you to compile your interests in one place on the internet and get new ideas. All these DIY projects look like torture to me. Why would I want to make shelves out of an abandoned car? Scavengerist. The Great Depressionist. In my free time I like to sit here. I wonder if there is a site about that? Now that I think about it, it’s pretty cool that people are learning how to make things and fix things themselves. Is there a site that teaches you woodworking? I could get into that.
Now I’m going to click on the page that shows the most popular pins.
One of the Backstreet Boys is the first thing that popped up. That tells me people my age like Pinterest. Here is a sign that says, “Wear fabulous underwear even if you are the only person who is going to see it.” Me and my friends are always saying that to each other so I don’t need that pin.
Let’s see, here’s more Ryan Gosling, here’s some boy band members I’ve never heard of…Bradley Cooper…”Begin at the beginning & go on till you come to the end: then stop.” That was pinned 112 times…an hakuna matata tattoo.
Whoa! Look at this full-grown cocker retriever!
That made the past twenty minutes of pinning easily worth it.
Here’s a sign that says “Don’t try to win over the haters. You’re not the jackass whisperer.” I think that’s attributed to Eleanor Roosevelt. Here’s more pictures of women’s abs, then shirtless Johnny Depp, sans abs. (Johnny Depp doesn’t care about abs!) I’m not sure what to make of this:
Here’s a pin that says, “Aries are a sociable people.” More hair pins, more Crock Pot…ok I think I’ve reached the starting point. No, wait, there’s this:
Ok, after a good half-hour browsing the internet sensation that is Pinterest, here are my observations:
I might give Pinterest a try. You can find me at pinterest.com/halbey. Do you have any tips about the best way to use the site? Please share.
You gun people are a little crazy.
Well, I do live in Texas. I know Texas has a bit of a cowboy reputation, and people think it’s weird that about half a million Texans (as of a couple years ago) have concealed handgun licenses. Who would want to carry around a gun? Let’s look at how crazy the gun nuts with CHL permits are: they account for 0.1% of assault with deadly weapons convictions, 0 cases of aggravated assault against public servants, 0.09% of aggravated robberies, 0 criminally negligent homicides, 0 kidnappings, 0.7% of murders, 0 prohibited weapons, 0 trafficking of persons, 0.06% of terroristic threats. In other words, the “Rambos” in Texas are some of the most well-adjusted, non-violent people in Texas. (All stats are from TX DPS 2011 and are available publicly here.)
When the Second Amendment was written, people had muskets and cannonballs and things like that. The Founders had no idea about automatic weapons and semi-automatic weapons. Surely gun control is needed, right?
When the First Amendment was written, people had no idea about the internet, cell phones, and copy machines. One of the nice things about our relatively vague Constitution is that it’s flexible. Freedom of speech can apply to things like art, the F word on your jacket, what you post on the internet, what you write in a magazine, or what you print on a pamphlet. We didn’t leave the application of that Amendment static from the late 18th century to now. Our Constitution is made to change with a changing culture. If the intent of the Second Amendment was to ensure that citizens can maintain a free state, it wouldn’t really make sense to shackle citizens’ ability to do so.
Firearms are protected by our Constitution, so talking about heavily regulating them is like saying, “Yes, you have free speech, but you can only talk about Twinkies and only in certain places.” That’s not really free speech. The Supreme Court has decided that the First Amendment doesn’t mean you can say whatever you want whenever you want (for example, shouting “Fire!” in a theater”), although it does protect a lot.
How many tyrannical rebellions have you put down lately with your militia?
It’s impossible to accurately answer this question. I can’t definitively know one way or another as to whether the proliferation of firearms has helped or hurt citizens in their efforts to maintain a free state. Maybe the prevalence of guns has chilled tyranny over time. Maybe not.
When I look around the world at the Arab Spring, the Rwandan genocide, etc, I think it’s probably better to be armed than not to be armed, in terms of avoiding tyranny and in protecting safety.
Again, while this is an interesting question, it’s ultimately irrelevant when discussing a Constitutional right. Let’s use free speech again to suss this out. If I utilize my free speech right to only blog about how great The Bachelor is, that’s my prerogative. It doesn’t matter if it changes the world or is edifying to you or whether you love The Bachelor as much as me. It wouldn’t matter if 94% of Americans hated the Bachelor. I can write about it all day long.
We should repeal the Second Amendment!
One of the awesome things about America is that you can say that, you can even act on it. You can petition the President to respond to you, you can contact your Representatives to try and get the Constitution amended so there is no right to bear arms. Please know that I will absolutely fight you every step of the way. It’s not because I think that you are dumb or because I think I’m Rambo; it’s because my experience with the world has taught me that it’s better for a population to be armed than unarmed.
Doesn’t the government have a monopoly on violence?
No, not theoretically or legally. It doesn’t have a monopoly on killing, guns, fisticuffs, etc. We have rights to protect ourselves, others, and personal property.
As a gun rights supporter, don’t you feel responsible for these tragedies?
I believe in personal responsibility. No, I don’t feel responsible for acts that I do not commit. I believe that the individuals who murder others are responsible for those murders.
I want to talk a little more about this question. I think it’s important to remember that no one wants tragedies to happen. No one is excited that innocent people are getting shot. No one wants to live in fear. The differences aren’t in that, the differences are in what to do about the problem of evil. Some think more guns are the answer, some think fewer guns are the answer, some people think something in between or none of the above. I think we need to remember that most of us have the same goals.
Remember some of the axioms of the libertarian worldview (at least, my libertarian worldview): I think people are created with the capacity to do great good or great evil. This is the case regardless of what regulations a government puts forward. We regulate behavior but do not necessarily change it. The fact that murder is illegal doesn’t deter everyone from murdering. The fact that drunk driving is illegal doesn’t keep people from driving drunk and killing people. The legality or illegality of guns will not eradicate bad acts and bad actors.
Wouldn’t taking guns off the streets reduce violent crimes?
Maybe. Maybe not.
I’m sure you’ve heard every talking point about how if you make guns illegal, only criminals will have them, law-abiding citizens will be defenseless, etc. I think what will happen is that many pro-constitution people will either buy guns without registering them or manufacture their own. So will criminals. I don’t think firearms will go away. Violence and tragedy won’t go away.
Something that I don’t talk about very much is my experiences in Rwanda. (If you aren’t familiar with the Rwandan genocide of the 1990s, somewhere between half a million and million people were murdered. Around half a million women were raped.) In addition to visiting the Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre, I also had the chance to get about an hour outside of Kigali and tour a church which had been one of the many sites of brutal mass murder. Hundreds gathered at the church as a place of peace, a safe haven. Their attackers grenaded the church, shot hundreds or thousands of rounds into the church. To save ammo, many were hacked to death with machetes. Babies were twirled around by their legs and thrown into the brick walls to break skulls. Today, the skulls and bones of the victims are kept on-site and in plain view as a memorial. When I think of evil like that, I don’t think strongly-worded letters of condemnation will do much to save lives. Interestingly, some UN officials think that the presence of 5,000 UN peacekeeping troops with enforcement authority would’ve stopped the genocide. Jesus.
If I thought turning in all of the guns would end murders, then I would happily help gather and destroy every gun I could get my hands on. My experiences have led me in another direction. My experiences have taught me that people have the capacity to do horrible things, and sometimes the only way to stop them is incapacitation. I think that’s sad and I don’t like it, and I don’t see any way around it.
Aren’t you a Christian? Shouldn’t you be anti-violence?
I am and I am. I’ve never shot anyone, I don’t want to shoot anyone, and I haven’t been in a physical altercation in nine years (that was because a man was about to attack a woman). I’m a mediator. I’m all about working together and civility. If an attacker is forcing himself or herself on a victim, I think it’s appropriate to exert the force necessary to stop that bad act. Ecclesiastes 3 tells us there’s a time for everything, including a time to kill, a time to tear down, and a time for war. I could be very wrong and I hope that God will have mercy on me for any lack of faith or any bad in me.
After the act is stopped I am anti-violence. I don’t support the death penalty, for example.
Ok, you seem fairly normal, but what’s with all the gun fetishes? Your peers LOVE guns.
I think for a lot of Americans, guns represent freedom, liberty, and the notion that no one is above the law. The government works for us, don’t tread on me, etc. In Texas, we have this famous flag:
It’s from the Battle of Gonzales, in which Texans held onto a cannon that Mexico was trying to take back. I think that for many, guns are a symbol of strength, self-sufficiency, and the traditional American personality.
Sleep didn’t come easy on Saturday night. I stayed up until five in the morning and stared at the ceiling fan. My wife is a kindergarten teacher, and I just couldn’t understand what it would feel like to live in Newton and go through what its citizens would go through for the rest of their lives. I also couldn’t understand the national anger and disdain flying back and forth between Americans. Social media seemed to be all mudslinging and condescension. In a way, I almost felt like an observer of a people I’d never seen before. In another way, my heart was breaking for this nation. It felt like I was in the middle of a civil war. I prayed my fallback prayer: “Lord, help.”
I don’t know all of your opinions are about firearms, the Constitution, mental health, the role of the media, etc., I do know that you aren’t happy about what happened on Friday, or Tuesday, or any day in which the small flame of an individual soul flickers out and leaves us with less light than we had. I know that we aren’t living in your ideal world, and I know that you care about your neighbor. Even if you’re a stranger to me, I know at least that much about you.
This is one of the first times in my lifetime that I can remember my nation being torn apart by tragedy. I’m afraid that we’re rapidly losing the ability as a people to have meaningful, respectful dialogue. We seem to have lost our civility. We can’t respect the inherent worth or dignity of each other. Our responses are too often “You’re an idiot!” instead of “Tell me more,” or “Help me understand.” We see each other as objects of battle rather than as fellow Americans. For some reason, we’ve forgotten that we’re on the same team.
In Proverbs, we’re advised that “beginning a quarrel is like opening a floodgate, so drop the matter before a dispute breaks out,” (Proverbs 17:14). Andrew St. George has said that democracy “can be seen not only as a type of government but as a system of manners, a form of social life.”
We’re on the same team. We’ve got to treat one another with civility. As Stephen L. Carter explains, civility is “the sum of the many sacrifices we are called to make for the sake of living together…We should make sacrifices for others not simply because doing so makes social life easier (although it does), but as a signal of respect for our fellow citizens, marking them as full equals, both before the law and before God.”
I think a lot of the reason for the public outpouring of strong opinions is the feeling that something needs to change and that a problem needs to be addressed. I think that’s appropriate and helpful. What I hope we can do is give each other some grace if comments step on toes a bit. As @badmom recently tweeted, “Let’s not mock the prayer vigils,the calls for gun control,mental health issues,calls for more guns,etc.we all grieve in our own way.”
My prayer for our nation is that we can look beyond statements we don’t like and appreciate the speaker, who we do like. I believe that if we share that civility and respect, we will be able to work together in a much more positive and productive way.
Sometimes people online are just trolls, meaning they’re trying to provoke you. Proverbs has some wisdom in dealing with them as well: “Don’t talk too much, for it fosters sin. Be sensible and turn off the flow…It is foolish to belittle a neighbor; a person with good sense remains silent…Those who control their tongue will have a long life; a quick retort can ruin everything…Pride leads to arguments…Wise people think before they act…Those who are short tempered do foolish things…The godly think before speaking…Disregarding another person’s faults preserves love; telling them separates close friends.”
Finally, from the Sermon on the Mount: “Blessed are those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God.”
If you’re going to be called a name because of what you do, that’s a pretty good one.
If there’s one thing thing that the internet needs, it’s more people giving their personal opinion on this Chick Fil A story. So here we go. You’re welcome, Internet!
I’m not writing to explain in great detail why Chick Fil A is right, why Chick Fil A protestors are right, or which group is composed of narrow-minded bigots hell-bent on destroying the world. It’s been my personal experience as a conciliator that calling people bigots doesn’t move the conversation forward.
I’m writing for two reasons: (1) To explain why supporting one thing doesn’t necessarily mean that you hate the other thing, and (2) to explain why, at the end of the day, I’ve made my peace with the fact that you might think I’m a backward-thinking idiot. It’s worth it to me.
First, does supporting what we’re calling “traditional values” or “traditional marriage” mean that you automatically hate homosexual people, America, etc? My answer is no. Here’s my story explaining why.
I’m a Christian guy married to a girl. My understanding of how marriage works is that marriage is an allegory of Jesus and the Church, meaning God’s people. It’s a picture that Jesus loves us and will never forsake us. Marriage is suppose to be the same way. A husband should be fully devoted to serving his wife through thick and thin and vice versa. In the Bible, marriage is between a guy and a girl. That’s my understanding of marriage. I think that’s a beautiful picture and I like it very much.
As I said, I’m a Christian. What does that even mean? To me it means this – I believe in God, who is Love and who is good, I believe God made Creation, and that God made humanity “in his image”, which means we have lots of God-like traits. These include creativity, the capacity to love, a certain amount of power, etc. Somehow, through humanity’s decision to do bad rather than good, we separated ourselves from God. God provided us a way back to him through Jesus. Jesus somehow reconciled us back to God through dying. (I don’t understand how it works. I’m not a master theologian.) If we want to be reconciled then we can be. I also think that’s beautiful and I like that.
A person who is a Christian is obligated to love Creation like God does. You can basically sum up the Christian life as “Love God and love each other.” That’s pretty much it. Now here’s where Chick-Fil-A comes in. One reason that a lot of people are upset at Christians is because by supporting “traditional marriage” they are therefore not supporting gay marriage and gay rights. They are being backwards and bigots. Jesus loved people, He didn’t condemn people!
Ok. Let’s do this. Correct, Jesus did love people. God loves people, he loves everyone, he wants everyone to be reconciled to him! Sometimes what we might be missing is that a lot of the way that Jesus loved people in the New Testament was by helping them learn about being reconciled to God. He told them to repent from their old, sinful ways and instead obey God. (This is the same God that created people and loves them.) Jesus called out a lot of people. Rich people, religious people, people being mean to others, people living “a life of sin”, etc. Since God made us, it seems like he knows what’s best. And so when we live out what’s in the Bible, that’s our best life. When we want to be redeemed, God will redeem us. That’s as good as it gets.
If I believe that’s true, that God can offer redemption to us, people who do evil and bad things but want to be good, what kind of person would I be if I didn’t share that Good News that you can be redeemed? If I think that the New Testament in the Bible is true and I don’t share it, wouldn’t that be the biggest pile of hate possible? That’s like having a life jacket and looking the other way when someone is drowning.
Let me pause here. I understand that you can have 1,000 objections to my trail of thought. Here are some of them:
I’m happy to discuss those privately if you want. I’m not addressing them here simply because that’s not the point of this particular essay.
In sum, I’m saying that I support “traditional” marriage and I don’t hate gay people. In fact, the only reason I’d ever speak up about Jesus and God is because I believe that it’s all true and I REALLY WANT YOU TO BELIEVE IT AS WELL. It’s the best thing I know and I want to share it. The redemption of Creation isn’t the kind of thing I’d sit on and keep to myself, even though I’m shy and an introvert. I disagree with you but I don’t hate you. I’d love to spend all eternity with you. The only thing I truly hate is traffic. Not you. Even if you are in traffic. Even if you cause traffic.
That brings me to my second point – I’m ok if you think I’m a backwards thinking idiot. Ideally, I want you to know the truth that I’m awesome. But I understand if my personal beliefs and values seem stupid to you. I also want you to understand that the reason I support Biblical marriage is because I think it’s a beautiful picture of how God loves us. I disagree with you but I’m not against you, I’m on your team! Same side! That’s why I’m willing to risk being labeled as a mindless, hate-filled bigot who doesn’t understand modern culture, the Bible, Jesus, name it. Even if you think I’m weird, know that I’m a friend. I believe in something very strongly and I want you to, too.
I’ve seen a lot of interesting and inspiring quotes from Martin Luther King, Jr. today. The beat one I’ve seen wasn’t about him or by him, but it’s very fitting.
In Lamentations, the writer chronicles the hopelessness and destruction felt in Jerusalem as the city fell. God’s chosen people had abandoned him and refused to listen, and destruction came shortly after.
A large part of what happened is that they ignored God’s prophet and favored those who told them that they would be fine:
Your “prophets”have said so many foolish things, false to the core. They do not try to hold you back from exile by pointing out your sins. Instead, they painted these false pictures, filling you with false hope. – Lamentations 2:14
When someone speaks God’s truth to us, like MLK, we need to humble ourselves and listen.
As Lamentations 3 says, let us turn in repentance to the Lord. Let us lift our hearts and hands to God and say, that we have sinned and rebelled.
Let’s be just as a people, let’s take care of the alien, the orphan, and the widow. Let’s use fair scales. Let’s respect one another as children of God.
Let’s listen to the ones who bring us God’s message ad let’s ignore the yes men.