Archive for the ‘Religion’ Category
Yes, you read the title correctly. A Yes Vote on California’s Proposition 8 means you are going to hell.You might be thinking I got Proposition 8 wrong. After all, it is mostly “religious” people who are proponents of Proposition 8 here in California. However, these are mostly Christians lead astray by false leaders who are interested in power, control, and vanity.
These might seem like harsh words, but nothing is more harsh than the oppression of your fellow man, and the Bible makes it very clear that we should not oppress any other human, even ones we don’t understand or agree with.
Thou shalt neither vex a stranger, nor oppress him: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.
Also thou shalt not oppress a stranger: for ye know the heart of a stranger, seeing ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.
Those versus above might look and sound familiar. That is because they come from the long list of commandments from God that are frequently shortened to the top 10 list a la The 10 Commandments.
Exodus is perhaps the most straightforward of any book in the Bible. It makes it very clear what is wrong and what is right.
Oppression is clearly bad. But what is oppression?
The Bible isn’t designed like a dictionary. It doesn’t state what every word means. Wikipedia gives us a great explanation of oppression: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oppression
However, we can look at the dictionary definition of oppression: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/oppression
unjust or cruel exercise of authority or power b: something that oppresses especially in being an unjust or excessive exercise of power
One might argue that by changing the constitution of California to limit who can and cannot be married, it would remove the unjust portion of this definition because justice (by definition) would be that only a man or a woman could be married. However, we are stuck with the cruel exercise of authority or power portion of the definition.
Humans limiting the civil rights of other humans is designed to inflict pain and grief, plain and simple. If you don’t want to let gays have Catholic weddings, that’s one thing. But limiting a civil marriage based upon any criteria other than being human is absurd.
Civil law in America is not religion dependent. Instead, American law is based upon the principle that all men are created equal (save the major slavery screwup written into our constitution).
Now, I’ve had Christian friends tell me that gay marriage must be stopped because the Bible clearly states we must protect our houses of worship. I agree. Your church can (and by any reasonable interpretation of the Bible, should) not allow gay marriage. But you are not worshiping the state of California are you? If you are, you have much bigger problems with God than you do with gay people.
Yes, the Bible states that homosexuality is an abomination and that a man laying with another man as he does with a woman is a sin. There is no surprise there. It is pretty clear that gay people are sinning (as are we all). So…
Will not allowing gay couples to marry rid them of their sin? No
Will not allowing gay couples to have the same civil rights as other couples rid them of their sin? No
Every Christian knows that there is One Way and ONLY One Way to be absolved of our sins. Christians should be focusing on spreading the word of God, not limiting civil rights of our fellow man. Our judgment and condemnation of another human here on Earth means absolutely nothing. Zero. Zip. Zilch. Nada. Null.
Christians need to remember that our faith without deeds or vice versa is pointless. Believing that we should “love thy neighbor as thyself” and turning around and saying that our gay neighbor can’t get married is false faith. Go read James 2.
Now, does a Yes vote on Proposition 8 get you into hell? That really depends on what God means by poor. I’m betting poor doesn’t just refer to money. Poverbs 14:31 makes it abundantly clear what it means to oppress the poor. In short, it is blasphemy. Done in the name of God, this is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, to which there is no forgiveness.
I’ve been a HUGE fan of LOL Cat for a loooooooong time. I post them on people’s Myspace profiles and vote regularly. Today, my friend Ken dropped off page 90 of the latest SkyMall, and I had to make my own LOL Cat!!! And it ends up being a Ceiling cat at that!
moar funny pictures
I was at a church a while back and the pastor was talking about how selfish babies and children are as an example of the sinful nature of humans. He used the example of a baby crying for milk late at night to demonstrate how selfish babies are. Needless to say, I haven’t been back to that church since.
I’ll paraphrase my favorite quote:
May baby son is so selfish at night. He could be lying there in his crib thinking, “maybe I shouldn’t cry because mom and dad need to wake up early in the morning”. But instead, he’s selfish and starts crying, because that’s the nature of human beings. We are selfish.
The only thing selfish I saw was a supposed “man of God”, a very popular pastor in America, spouting out a bunch of selfish righteousness.
Honestly, I hadn’t even heard about Ben Stein’s movie until I saw all the blogs showing up about it. So, I’ve read the blogs and I checked out the preview on the Expelled website. I suspect that one of the scientists who Ben is referring to as getting harassed by the scientific community is one of his friends. If I was in his position with his media connections, I would do the same thing.
Then I got to thinking… The debate between atheists and Christians is semantic. An oversimplified view of evolution is that we evolved from sludge. The Bible states that we were formed from dust. So which is it? Dust or sludge? No matter which side is right, we have more in common than we think. Plus, we’re all here together and we all will have the same ending: death.
Why not spend our time working together? Let’s say, “Hey! Thanks for your contribution to the betterment of society and the world. Thanks for being my partner is making life more enjoyable for generations to come and for helping feed the families of those less fortunate than us. BTW, I believe we came from [sludge]/[dust] (circle one).”
People have been telling me that I’ve been gifted with a great voice since I was a young child. I’m not talking about an American Idol kind of voice. I’m talking about speaking. I haven’t delivered a speech in nearly a decade. Outside of the interview of me by Dr. Joe Vitale about my advertising, I haven’t been doing much along the lines of speaking publicly. That was until this weekend…
A friend of mine, Doctor Nat (yes, a blond rocket scientist) has been working with a guy by the name of Scott Evans (he did the movie “Pass it On“) on putting together a workshop for inventors. The idea was to provide attendees with training and information that would take them from thinking about a product/service/business to actually brining it to market. Or if they already had the product… Make it a wild success. They got that and then some!
The weekend was packed. Non-stop, high energy from 9 in the morning to 11 at night the whole weekend. And there was NEVER a dull moment! To give you an idea about what it was like, here is the list of speakers:
Dr. Natalie L. Petouhoff
Jeffrey G. Sheldon
Jared Tracy (me)
That’s a great team of speakers! If you want to walk out of a weekend on fire and with knowledge that can be applied to your business, product, relationships, and life in general, it doesn’t get much better than what you see above!
I must admit that the best part of the entire weekend was when several people came up to me on a break or after the event and told me that what I contributed to them is going to make a significant difference in their business. That’s what it’s all about! And it felt every so great after having not done anything like that for nearly 10 years. I’ve been smiling from ear to ear ever since. I might have even been smiling while I was sleeping on the plane ride back to Los Angeles.
If you spent some time clicking on those names above or ran a Google search on those names, you would see that it is an extraordinary group of people. People who move mountains and make the extraordinary happen every day.
The best news of all… You are just as powerful, moving, inspirational, intelligent, and gifted as any one of the people on that list.
How can that be? Well, it is simple. You were born that way. And that is why all of us really are that great 😀
Nearly a week into 2008, and I am long overdue for a post. What better way than to recap my favorites of 2007:
Favorite blog on my blogroll: 800lb Gorilla
Favorite color: Powder blue from the San Diego Charger jerseys
Favorite day: Day before my birthday (My brother and I ran the LA Triathlon Sprint)
Favorite city: Many to choose from, but gotta love Chicago (even during February)
Favorite SkyMall gadget: Gotta love the Gravity Defyer Shoes
Favorite conspiracy theory: Tom Cruise was cloned by Xenu and the clone is the crazy one we’ve seen in recent years
Favorite moment at work: There are so many to choose from. While the Montel Williams show was interesting and The Talking Show was a first, neither of them is the top choice. Not quite the top either, the GBK Oscars Gift Suite was certainly enjoyable, as was the Scriptwriter’s Showcase. I even learned about how bad the strike would be months before it happened. Even though having Reggie Bush on the cover of the magazine was nice, that too was not my favorite moment. My favorite moment at work definitely has to be when I realized I had a great advertisement.
Favorite dance event: 2007 US Open. The Moorpark College Swing Dance Team received second place in their very first team competition at the US Open. I was one of the founding members of the college club at Moorpark, so it was particularly enjoyable to see them do so well in their first competition.
Favorite radio moment: When I was doing the Gadget Panel Radio show while on the road, heading to a Dodgers game. My phone cut out and Gadget Panelist Vadim was unable to get himself on the phone circuit. Great radio!
Favorite blog I didn’t write: The blog recapping my trip to New Zealand with the 20GB of pictures and photos I took while down under.
Favorite Movie: Ratatouille. The little ones teach us so much in life.
Eyeballs and swimming pools don’t mix. That’s why I’ve been wearing goggles during my triathlon training. However, there is only one thing worse than bare eyes in the water. It’s a pair of friggin goggles that leak!
My eyes are bloodshot now because the pair of TYR goggles I have don’t seal my eyes. They did when I first got them, but they don’t any more. Time for me to switch back to Barracudas. After all, it is Water Wednesday. Three sessions of water drills doesn’t just require goggles… I’m going to get prune hands
Blog coming soon… Selfish Righteousness. It’s a new term I’ve come up with after I’ve heard a few people tell me that babies have selfish intentions when they are crying at 2AM in the morning.
I haven’t been the most Godly person in the world. There was even a long period in my life when I didn’t believe there was any Creator. I could spend paragraph upon paragraph explaining the process by which I came to the following realization, but I don’t want to take away from what I realized tonight:
Embracing my strengths will give me confidence in myself and what I am capable of. Appreciating my weaknesses and shortcomings will give me confidence in God and what He is capable of. In my weaknesses, I find humility. I am humbled before my Creator AND my fellow man, and I find no shame in what I cannot do on my own. In my weaknesses, I can ask for guidance, help, and assistance.
This is why it can be difficult to find God. Who wants to travel a path paved with our weaknesses?
This is also why so many people find God when they hit bottom. When you hit bottom, there is nothing left. You are covered by your weaknesses. And God can truly deliver you from your weakness.
But we don’t have to hit bottom or dread our weaknesses. All we need to do is ask 😀
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I’m going to see NickVujicic this Sunday with some friends. I can’t wait to see him. If you ever thought you had it rough growing up… This guy will inspire you! Check out his website: LifeWithoutLimbs.org. He really is someone you have to see for yourself. Be sure to checkout one of his videos. This guy is totally cool!