navigating a world which feels like gravity is working in reverse

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  • Category Archives Faith
  • humility

    I tend to regularly rail against western religion here but I will give it credit where it is due.  It has a failure management mechanism that isn’t half bad.  Basically modern psychology tells people to double down on their pride after they fail.  But Judeo-Christian faith asks people to see these experiences as humbling us and calls us to embrace humility.

    I look at the Democratic party, defeat after defeat, and still thinking ignoring the most passionate half of their constituents is a good way to run a political party.  I get it that the young people have figured out you’re in the pocket of of the oligarchs and you don’t like it.  You’ll have to get over this.  The Republicans embraced their outsider and you spurned him, look who’s winning.

  • psychology

    If it weren’t for psychology America would be much less religious.  A lot of the millennials’ move away from Christianity can be seen as a result of them being resistant to strains of psychology that worked on the older generation.  We are in touch with our thought processes so when someone tries to get us all emotional about God it’s harder for us to believe there is an actual entity besides us involved.  “Your feelings are from you”, we’ve been told.  God just seems contrived to us, as if someone projected their fantasy upon an infinite slate.  But anything we make up is going to comprise our greatest fantasies as well as our worst fears.  But things that impose themselves violently on our senses are a lot more mundane and boring.

  • Song for the times: I’d Never Lie to You

    Perhaps my favorite Christian song ever written is Never Lie by Daniel Brindley (brother of Luke Brindley, who is a lyrical force in his own right).  I’m not actually sure if it was titled Never Lie or not because I got it from the artist himself when we roomed on the same floor my freshman year of Wheaton.  Just a ton of heart and talent and the lyrics have never been more relevant in the rule we seem to be under now.  You can listen to the song below or download it here.


    because I need to
    I will follow
    I will be there
    the sound of your all mighty voice
    I’ll be your servant by choice

    because I need to
    all my painting
    my creating
    I must surrender to you
    lies to be known what’s true

    come sit by me, my good faithful servant
    I’m your king it’s true, but I’ll be your lover too
    I’d never lie to you
    I’d never lie to you

    because I need to
    I will bow down
    make a pleasant sound
    to you who are all full of light
    sent out the call to arise, arise, arise, arise

    come sit by me, my good faithful servant
    I’m your king it’s true, but I’ll be your lover too
    I’d never lie to you
    I’d never lie to you

    come sit by me, my good faithful servant
    I’m your king it’s true, but I’ll be your lover too
    I’d never lie to you
    I’d never lie to you

  • Last Night

    I tried my very best to hold it together for the kids this morning. They knew exactly why I was upset. I bit my lip, with a flush red face and held back my tears. I talked to them about the importance of being politically active as a grown ups in much more than just the presidential elections. But after I dropped them off at school, the flood hates opened. I cried from their school all the way to work. I’m shaking and trembling and sick to my stomach and don’t want to go inside. But I have to. I have to put my chin up and work. I have to go on. I have to go sell some trophies. Then I have to go home and continue to work and fight and write for freedom, for equality, for love. It has always been and maybe always will be an uphill battle. But it’s like last night the force of gravity got turned up. Today I pray, yup today I pray that we are not crushed.

    – Wayne’s Facebook Post

  • Church Week

    Every week after I attend a church service I tend to have an extra measure of depression.  I’m not sure if it’s beamed directly from God or it’s something more mundane.  This time it was a Catholic church where we were ignored and they spent 12 minutes asking for money.  Their economic model is such that there is very little extra outlay for each additional attending member so what they should be doing is reaching out to the community.  Even if the people they get give little or no money to the roles they won’t have lost anything.  People tend to view every economic model like your relationship to the government (where you are either a net gain paying more taxes then you take or a net drain taking more).  They extrapolate this on situations where the economic model doesn’t work this way (like at a church) and do a lot of harm.  Just because you are a net drain on society doesn’t mean you are a net drain to the church but people generally don’t do the math in their heads to get this.

  • Bible for Millennials

    I was messing around with the ESV API and tried to produce an online Bible that reflected the way our generation actually reads.  It still has some bugs in it but you can see it here.  Today it’s going really slow for some reason I think my IP is being throttled by the API.

  • The stench of unanswered prayer

    There is little Christians, particularly Christians that prescribe to the prosperity gospel, hate more then people with disabilities.  The stench of unanswered prayer precedes us.  We make prayer look bad but since Christians aren’t allowed to attack God they use us as a proxy to take out their anger on him.  Heck, Trump is on board with the prosperity gospel and look how he treats us!

  • Guilt Drowned Out By Shame

    I think I have a poor capacity to process negative emotions.  For example most of my life my radar has been jammed by shame (for looking/being different, not having a job, a place, and SO, etc..).  This has drowned out the guilt I’m supposed to feel that would goad me towards Christianity.  The Christian message, at least in the traditions I’ve been in has gone something like this:

    • You aren’t perfect and should feel guilty about this
    • Luckily our religion will wash away your guilt with Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross
    • Well not really, we were kidding about that.  Guilt is the lever we’ll use to keep you in line (because you’re still not perfect and you still should feel guilty about this fact).

    (Christian traditions vary mainly by how disingenuous they are about the facts above)

    The problem with this whole thing (at least for me and I suspect a lot of people) is that our negative emotion “radio” is not well developed enough.  Shame comes in on the same channel as guilt and drowns the guilt right out (because, at least in my case, the shame is felt much stronger).  I suspect that in earlier times when Christian mores were more prevalent, shame was used a lot more in keeping people away from things like fornication and alcoholism.  However that’s receded, now shame is pegged to mostly consumeristic metrics like money, status, pleasure, etc…

  • the supernatural

    <<<my self>>>
    is the only protection i have
    against the experience of the supernatural (sewer-pernatural?)
    God, Satan, and all the rest
    they have little in common
    except for their hatred of me

    is often a polite and urbane way
    of saying one is getting fucked over by the supernatural

    the supernatural protects some (usually hardcore atheists) from itself
    those people experience 0 of it
    you LUCKY SONS OF BITCHES!!!!!!!

    The popularity of Pokemon Go has gotten me thinking about augmented reality and how the supernatural is an invisible layer superimposed on the physical world just like the world of Pokemon Go.  Of course in Pokemon Go anyone with an Android or iPhone gains a window into that world.  The actual supernatural is incredibly cagey and works almost the opposite of Pokemon Go and other augmented reality apps.  You generally have to believe in the supernatural to see it and it doesn’t avail itself on demand just by pulling out your smartphone.  It’s a lot more like the street.  Within 8 hours of being on the street predators already are aware of a runaway’s predicament and start swarming.  Like the street the supernatural is not a world where conventional smarts will do you much good.