Christianity, Religion

Masturbation-Mass Debate?

In this day and age, it would be rare to find someone who has truthfully not engaged or thought of engaging in the wonderful art of masturbation.

It’s a practice that was introduced to us in Sex Education, usually by a funny cartoon that ended in a slow-motion close up of jizz flying out of a live erect penis. The only thing more awkward about seeing that was that someone was daring enough to get up close with a camera to a bloke who had warmed himself up enough to blow near a stranger.

The benefits are obvious when done safely and in moderation. You explore your own sexuality and you can enjoy the simulation of sex without needing to be worried about the negatives that can arise out an ill-advised one night stand with a stranger you met at the local pub between your fourth and fifth shot of Smirnoff.

However, being educated in the religious system like I did, yielded some strange opinions encountered during the whole sex thing.

Jump on Google and type in masturbation and sin or masturbation and homosexual, you’ll get some real laughs out of it.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/21/mark-driscoll-masturbation_n_1023743.html

Is masturbation gay? The grounds seem to be that according to this pastor that exclusively getting your hands on your hammer without your female significant other is gay. As is using pornography or masturbating in front of a full-length mirror.

Now, I’m not judgemental and how you masturbate is your business. But how many guys own a full-length mirror let alone watch themselves masturbate in front of it. Personally, the thought of looking at myself turning Japanese as I spray the mirror with a load of cluggy, organic Windex isn’t exactly erection-provoking.

According to Pastor Free Willy, it’s not gay if you have one hand on the junk and the other  on your female significant other’s boob. I’m not exactly sure how that makes up for hot foreplay but for a guy who is conservative about letting loose the testicle preservative, he has some weird and oddly graphic and specific instructions to avoid the gay way.

Interesting to note he does not mention anything about women getting themselves off as the lesbian calling card. I guess that’s where the limit of his experience gets him to.

In regards to experience, what about pornography? I think we’ve heard at least one of those lines, “sins of the flesh” or “objects of lust”. Okay, there is a time and place for looking at porn, there is also a time and place to be getting real friendly with porn. Whipping out your laptop, primed with a gallery folder of the naked men/ladies du jour and your warmed-up penis in the middle of a meeting or next to your girlfriend as you both watch the murder scene in Law and Order is not that way to go about porn.

Privacy is key, with headphones or thick walls as acknowledged essentials. Last thing you need is to forget you didn’t lock your door and someone walks in on you naked, panting at the sight of a poorly produced mosaic of flapping boobs and balls from page 95 of amateur Pornhub videos.

It’s not really a matter of “is masturbation right?”, it’s a matter of educating yourself in proper masturbation etiquette. From the time you click on your porn of choice to the clean-up, make sure you have all the bases covered and that everything is in proper order.

So really, there should be no mass debate on whether to masturbate is committing a crime. It’s fun and healthy done right so why not spoil yourself with a rubdown, you’ve earned it.

Be sure to visit the Outside of the Sphere Facebook Page for more articles!

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Outside-of-the-Sphere/986209668124917

Christianity, Religion

Those Against the Irreligious-The Devil

Okay, something a bit different. How is the Devil against the irreligious? The irreligious don’t believe in him because the Devil’s existence cannot be physically proven and atheists reject the concept of the Devil.

Rather, I am talking about Christians who use the concept of the Devil as an apparent tool to refute any opinions and objection by irreligious, atheists or any other group Christianity doesn’t get along with.

How do they do this? By claiming we are the tools of the Devil and is using us as a medium to project his commands and approved actions amongst the Christians. It’s astounding that despite calling us “tools of the Devil”, they sure like to use that Devil-insult tool to screw their objections into the argument a lot.

Now there are two ways about this, one can ignore them. Atheists don’t care much for any religious-slanted insults, it doesn’t hold any ground on them. Agnostics don’t care much as there is no validity to their claim.

The second is naturally to call them up on their insult. Yes, for the irreligious, it shouldn’t be much of a concern but an insult is still an insult and I personally don’t like being labelled a “tool of the Devil” that is some talking dummy that manipulated Christians into doing evil things. We may not recognise the Devil, but implying that we are all tools of the Devil implies that we are all evil people.

Don’t get me wrong, there are bad atheists out there, but there are also bad Christians too. Atheists have done evil things, Christians have done evil things.

What I also don’t like is when I’m called such a name and voice my objection, only for them to reply “But you’re an agnostic, you don’t believe in the Devil, why are you letting what we say get to you?”

Easy answer, because you are implying that we are evil and the doers of all the wretched things that Christians are told to avoid.

I’d like to add that in no way is the unfair and insulting words of a handful of Christians are reflection on the religion and its adherents. Many Christians would find “tools of the Devil” insults to be out of line and deemed a component of an unfit adherent to Christianity. Such insults serve no beneficial purpose to both parties, only to further the negative stereotypes of both Christianity and the irreligious.

Christianity, Religion

God’s Not Dead-And Keeping the Wrong Message Alive.

A movie was released not long ago that catered to the Christian masses. The main premise was that a Christian student overcomes the obstacles and challenges the views of his professor, an atheist.

Now, this could’ve been something good. This movie could’ve gone down the path of a logical debate against two opposing ideas. Instead, we get a movie that does a poor job at masking the atheist and Islam-bashing going on behind it.

I’d like to enforce the point that GND failed miserably in promoting. Atheism does not equal anti-religious. Sure, there might be atheists who might hold a negative perception of religion but not in the form of being the callous, insensitive monsters that the movie projects.

Another problem is that all of the antagonists are either anti-religious (or atheists in the movie) or Muslim. The one Muslim family in the movie is portrayed as dysfunctional and the father is violent, especially after he catches her daughter with Christian items. Offensive stereotypes and wrongful portrayals, anyone?

The main antagonist is the philosophy professor, identified in the movie as an atheist, is a man who claims to hate God because of a past incident. First of all, that is not an atheist view. Why would an atheist hate something that to them doesn’t exist? In a movie review I read, someone pointed out that Professor Raddison is not in fact atheist or anti-religious, rather he’s a religious person who just has a grudge against God.

This is a movie that sets a dangerous motion for Christians in their own perceptions about atheists, the irreligious and Islam. By all means, make a Christian movie about promoting Christianity, but never use the movie as a way of attacking non-Christians and bending the definitions of atheism and the anti-religious out of order. In the end, this movie does more hurt to Christianity than it actually realises.

Also if you have the time, have a read of this, it’s quite entertaining in itself: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/camelswithhammers/2014/03/how-gods-not-dead-makes-christians-look-even-worse-than-atheists/

Christianity

You-God’s Workmanship?

It’s great ra-ra isn’t it? You are the result of God’s workmanship, great Christian fare isn’t it?

Here is where the whole “Master Creator” or “Grand Designer” comes into play. It is something I find a little strange.

Let’s look at a real-world master designer, say a master carpenter. He builds a chair, now being a master designer, he would put every ounce of his skill to create the perfect chair. Design and manufacture is perfect as he can make it. Now say he sells such a masterpiece and a day later, the customer brings it back.

There’s a problem with the chair, one of the legs is shorter than the other. What would the carpenter, a master carpenter at that, would do? He’d apologise and offer to fix it free of charge.

Or take into account the second situation, the carpenter creates the chair, stands back and notices that one of the legs is short. He knows he can’t sell it, so he immediately gets to work in fixing the chair before he puts it up for sale.

Now let’s make the master carpenter God, the “Master Designer”. God makes you and puts you in your mothers womb or whatever the Christians think (because bugger the whole egg fertilisation thing, right?)

You are born and all appears to be well, until you have been diagnosed with primary lactose intolerance, your stomach cannot produce lactase, a simple stomach enzyme.

There’s a fault in your design, a product of God’s “masterful workmanship”.

Does God come down and personally apologise to you and your family? Does God come down and formally offer to fix it for you, free of charge?

Nope, you are stuck with it. Stuck with the inability to produce lactase and forced to live with it.

So you can imagine my apprehensiveness in reading this article by Desiring God. The article can be read here: http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/you-are-god-s-workmanship

I’m not saying you are a faulty product, you are all wonderful people who exhibit a wide range of traits and skills, but we have to call a spade a spade. We are not the grand designs of a “Master Creator”, let’s remove the romance. We are designed by our parents doing the hot planking salsa, and during the next nine months we are formed by our genes, chromosomes and later moulded by the people and environment around us. It is through this that truly makes humanity provide an infinite amount of curiosity and possibilities.

You are your own person, you decide your epic by your own rules.

Uncategorized

Culture Clash-Christians and Cards (Yu-Gi-Oh!)

I’m something of a Yu-Gi-Oh! fan, it is fun and what introduced me to trading card games. Watching that first duel between Weevil and Yugi, summoning monsters, playing spells, activating traps, destroying monsters, it what got me hooked. Upon watching Maximillion Pegasus unleash his Toon monsters, I knew I had to get in on it. Luckily the game was still in it’s infancy and finding Pegasus’ Starter Deck was easy. I finally was able to wield not only the deadly Blue-Eyes Toon Dragon and the mischievous Toon Summoned Skull, but also to use Relinquished, a nasty guard that looks an eyeball attached to the potential devilish afterbirth of that girl from The Exorcist.

Seems like harmless fun? A bit of trading card games, playing a deck of monsters, spells and traps, there was no way this could be seems as something sinister could it?

According to early criticism, Christians found this most concerning. Playing cards with occult themes, using terms like “summoning, spells, tributes, Dark Magician Girl’s boobs”,  Life Points, reviving monsters from the Graveyard and the like. It was enough for any hardline Christian going to town onto it.

“Should I let my child play Yu-Gi-Oh! despite it’s themes and it’s potential luring my child away from God and into occultism and witchcraft?”

Okay, some cards, in both names and pictures, delve balls-deep into what could be perceived as occultism. Many of the early cards had some religious or demonic imagery to it, especially some of the more well-known cards. A classic example is Summoned Skull:

SummonedSkull-YSYR-EN-C-1E

The name, artwork, lore, element and type all kind of point towards what could be described as occultism. In the early days, this card was a staple, in that it was easy to summon with massive power. Such is it’s popularity that it has spawned multiple versions: Toon Summoned Skull, Skull Archfiend of Lightning and Red-Eyes Skull Archfiend.

It should be noted that almost as a counter, in the anime and manga it was a favoured monster used by Yugi, the protagonist. Such was it’s popularity that in the Ceremonial Battle, Summoned Skull was still used by Yugi, even though arguably he could’ve used a better monster to fit his strategy.

Another example was the early use of pentagrams and hexagrams. Cards like Spellbinding Circle, Magic Jammer, Dark Magician Girl and the limbs of Exodia the Forbidden Ones were either removed or replaced by something else. On the subject f hexagrams, many card had to be altered because of some artworks featured people or objects that left a little to the imagination or in this case (complete with hexagram), instigated puberty:

DarkMagicianGirl-TF04-JP-VG-3

Not surprising the character here, Dark Magician Girl, is seen as an icon of the game, anime and manga of Yu-Gi-Oh! but also enjoyed numerous alternative artworks (this being one of them) and a myriad of pornographic fan art. DMG was both a classic case of censors going to town before releasing this artwork to the English market and an example for negative attention from religious groups. Admittedly, there is some sense to this due to what is deemed child-friendly art between Japan and USA, for example, having notable differences. Japan saw no problem with this art being released to kids, but it’s easy to see why many American parents would’ve objected to it and why teenage boys would’ve objected to the censors getting rid of at least DMG’s famous chest landmarks.

Like with most things that strike certain Christian groups, criticism came in hot and heavy but eventually disappeared as the Yu-Gi-Oh! machine ran them over like a tank built for, and driven by, Andre the Giant.

Here’s an example of one such criticism: http://www.landoverbaptist.net/showthread.php?t=10223

For my opinion, it was all hot air. I was still at a Catholic boy’s college when Yu-Gi-Oh! arrived. It had a small yet strong following but nothing evil came out of it. We weren’t climbing on the walls, speaking in demonic tongues or mumbling “Dark Magician Girl’s boobs” in Hebrew backwards while painting symbols on the classroom carpet.

Despite the usual “it’s a fad, it’ll pass” comments, Yu-Gi-Oh! still continues on its merry way, driving both it’s own and Vaseline profits through the roof.

Christianity, Religion

Gay Marriage and Christianity-Can You Have Both?

As I’ve stated before, homosexuality is as natural as heterosexuality, so in regards to marriage both should be seen as natural.

Religion and love have often been seen clashing with each other. Love does not discriminate yet religion finds ways of discriminating. In turn by discriminating, you are not honouring love. But can religion and love truly co-exist? Can you be gay and Christian? Can a homosexual marriage be considered Christian?

Religion has always been about interpretation, it’s a highly subjective topic. What is proven is that love is greater than religion and should provide a more fulfilling role in a person’s life than religion, especially if religion actively limits love’s potential. If the Bible truly preaches love, then it must be expected that its adherents recognise the all-encompassing blanket that love projects to the world. For a Christian to hate the thought of a homosexual couple falling in love, getting married, and having or adopting children plainly goes against the code.

According to the http://www.gaychristian.net, it’s perfectly reasonable to be a Christian and enjoy being a married gay couple. For those of you want to read the article, here it is: https://www.gaychristian.net/justins_view.php

Religion and love shouldn’t be fighting amongst each other as it does nothing towards either of their objectives. If you are Christian and gay, in love and want to get married, ignore the haters and show the world that love does not stop at man-made boundaries.