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.

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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.

Christianity, Religion

Motherhood-Is Religion Needed?

First things first, I’m not a mother nor a woman.

But do I understand there is much happiness to be had in becoming a mother? Of course.

Looking at the classic family structure, mother’s serve as the backbone for a child. They nurture us and we are entirely dependent on them as babies and it helps form a bond that lasts.

But it’s not all good news, motherhood has it’s challenges. Take a look at one of the early challenges to a mother. Breast or bottle? Naturally, breast is best but there are factors that may not permit the mother to breastfeed.

I wasn’t breast-fed, for someone reason I couldn’t do it and had to be fed by bottle. I also needed formula so it was bottle-fed for me. I know there is no substitute for breast-feeding a baby, an irreplaceable moment where mother and baby bond and for mothers who aren’t able to experience that moment might feel on the low.

If a mother feels guilty, it can be a huge blow to her self-esteem. But how does one go about changing it for the better? Naturally, one might turn to religion but is it the right course of action?

According to Danielle Ayers Jones, religion is the key. Regardless of the source of guilt, all can be saved if prayer counters the sin. Whether it be mishandling discipline or making a wrong choice, it seems all can be solved and forgiven through prayer.

I feel this is counter-productive and ignorant of a problem. Prayer doesn’t offer a solid solution, mothers need to find their answers in the real world. Turning to the advice of their own parents, friends, her own family is far better than hiding the problem in prayer.

If a mother chooses to pray for herself rather than seeking active forgiveness for mishandling her child during discipline or shamed her child or belittled them, she is setting a dangerous and selfish solution for herself. Facing your guilt means facing the ones you have hurt and publicly owning up to your mistakes.

Danielle also made a statement that I found also dangerous: “But the only one I need to be following is Jesus.”

No, you don’t. Spending time following Jesus takes away time and effort better spent on following your children. Don’t pray, follow your children. Watch them grow, play with them, the greatest source on how to be the best mother you can be is by following your children.

If you wish to read Danielle’s article, hear it is: http://forthefamily.org/guilt-free-motherhood/

Christianity, Religion

Those Against the Irreligious-Joseph

Going through Facebook I saw this little number. A user whose name will be withheld posted this:

“I dare anyone to try and disprove the Bible and is historical accuracy in any way. Those that have tried have failed and have become devout Christians. And being an atheist is a joke in its self, if you “don’t believe in God”. Then why do you believe to “not believe” in Him? You just proved your entire belief system is wrong. It’s a circle, if you don’t “believe in Him” then simply stop being an atheist and go about your business and stop trying to complicate our Christian lives with your nonsense.

Stop trying to make us comform to your ways. We dont make you conform to ours, simple as that. there is a time and place for everything under the sun, simple as that. You say, “I don’t belive in God, or God hasn’t done anything for me when I wanted Him to, or He’s never done anything for me. An Atheist acknowledges God’s existence just enough to criticize what He does or does not do (and let’s be honest “for them”) , but refuses to believe with faith as big as a mustard seed to trust Him because of His trials and lessons that He uses to try and teach them are just “too hard to live with”.

Stop letting the devil make you do his petty dirty work, God made you better than that. God gave man free will to believe and do what he wants, and that’s why you believe the lie of the devil. God made you in His own image, so have a little pride that God favored us above the angels and don’t be “THAT GUY.””

Wow. Okay. Let’s step back and read what this guy said. First of all, this is in no way representative of all Christians, but it is definitely a voice that still speaks out to the applause of many.

This is the voice that Christianity doesn’t need. This is the voice that holds the progression of humanity back. A voice that chooses to condemn those who he doesn’t know, a voice quick to prejudice and ignorance. A voice that any right human being would despise.

It’s this sort of behaviour that I hate. I know ‘hate’ is a strong word but we really have to call a spade a spade here.

In the wake of science, carbon dating and fossil records, there is evidence pointing more towards evolution and pushing away the Creationist theory. We still don’t know what created Earth or the solar system. Was it a Big Bang? What caused the Big Bang if there was one? It’s still a theory but the more we investigate, the more we will get closer to the truth. I have heard Christians say God allowed us to discover his miracles, such as gravity, planets and solar systems. I don’t believe that at all.

This user, we’ll name “Joseph”, said that those who try and fail to disprove the Bible’s historical accuracy end becoming devout Christians? Really? Where’s the proof of that claim?

Athiesm is not a joke in itself, it’s a belief that people hold that there is no God. There is rationality to be found in atheism, but none in disrespecting atheists or anyone who is not religious. To say “if you don’t believe in God, stop being an atheist” is utter nonsense. To no believe in God is to be atheist. It would be more reasonable to retort “if you believe in God and the Bible, stop being so quick to prejudice and condemnation”. The only Christians who doesn’t like atheists complicating Christianity are those who allow themselves to be put in that position. Don’t blame atheists for your own inability to focus on your own religion, Joseph.

Joseph, we do not force people to conform to atheism. Those who turn to irreligion do so at their own will, we do not put a gun to your head and demand you renounce your faith. If history serves me well, it is Christianity that has had a history of engaging in what Joseph accuse atheists of doing to those outside their faith.

Joseph’s last message just smells of disgust and immaturity. We are not doing the “devil’s work” and not believing the “devil’s lies”. We are not “THAT GUY” either. We choose to live a life outside of religion for various reasons. When we question religion, we are within our rights to question, to criticise.

Joseph has made a post of baseless and faceless accusation that serve less to debate and more to insult and degrade, with the only aftereffect being that it will inspire like-minded Joseph’s to post similar degrading comments.

I’m not making irreligion the victim here, but there needs to be a difference between an irreligious person and an anti-religious person. Both seem to be fused together not some wretched beast that some Christians like Joseph see as some challenge to try and defeat, not knowing or caring the damage they do to those irreligious folk who have caused no harm to Joseph and his mob.

Christianity, Religion

Homosexuality-Unnatural?

I’m heterosexual.

Born heterosexual, not taught, not raised, not by a choice that I made out of the blue. I have always been heterosexual and always will be heterosexual.

But how do I view homosexuals?

With respect. With the sound knowledge that homosexuality is as natural as heterosexuality. There is nothing unnatural in homosexuality other than the opinions and responses of the religiously misguided and the immature minds of those who choose disgust and violence over acceptance and understanding.

Homosexuality isn’t a choice, people are born homosexual, it is a fact of life, of nature being nature.

Homosexuality isn’t a disease, it’s not something you catch. Anyone with a basic understanding of biology will acknowledge that. What can catch on is the fools leading the fools through their unfounded prejudice and condemnation.

You can’t “pray the gay away”. Homosexuality is far too fabulous for that bullcrap and only strengthens discrimination and intolerance, something Christianity preaches against yet many Christians are still oblivious to their own hypocritical behaviour as they choose to condemn rather than love.

We hear certain Christians talk about how homosexuality is unnatural because sex brings about reproduction and two people of the same gender can’t reproduce together. Sex isn’t all about reproduction, it’s an expression of love. When two men or two women have sex, they aren’t in it for the reproduction, they are in it for the love. They love each other and they have sex as a way of expressing it. That’s natural intent at it’s finest.

What is unnatural is judging them negatively just because the Bible says a dude’s ballsack banging against the back of the arse of another man is sinful. These Christians don’t know those LGBT men and women and what they do in bed is essentially none of anyone else’s business. It’s not harmful to the Christians in anyway, they just seem to make up an excuse just to get offended with the Bible as a crutch.

As I’ve said before, homosexuality isn’t a choice. There is growing evidence that there is biological factors involved which play a crucial part in determining sexuality. You don’t wake up one day and become gay or choose to be gay out of the blue. You can, however, choose to discriminatory and nasty against gays simply because your religion says it’s unnatural.

Homosexuality will always be contested by Bible enthusiasts and they have the right to voice their views. But they must do so with the realisation that the number of those who accept homosexuality as entirely natural is growing and in time, those who use religion as a crutch to condemn homosexuals will eventually be in the tiny, insignificant minority.

It’s a shame that for those Christians who enjoy such strong popularity choose to promote condemnation through old and musty interpretations of Christianity and not promote the love and acceptance that Christianity tries to get across. Here is an example of such a person: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XcaNqecbtyk

Never follow the words of a man who claims to be a follower of Christianity yet openly heaps untrue and hurtful words on those he has never met.