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  1. Some of the best people hurt the worst. Utterly tragic and so sad. https://www.legacy.com/obituaries/postregister/obituary.aspx?n=kip-harris&pid=191224833&
  2. Thanks @Anddenex Of course, i agree that the scribes and pharisees missed the boat when it came to accepting Jesus' message. But to be honest, i don't think it was a pricked conscience that made them do it. i'm just speaking for myself here - but to me, conscience is not the "why, how dare that arrogant itinerant prick of preacher!" feeling. It is the train of thoughts that flows through one's mind in the early morning hours when you say to yourself, "i know so-and-so said that God said this was right, but that's wrong!"
  3. Just my opinion, but i've seen a couple things that seem to be huge factors in the reasons most people become atheists. One is the belief that God is behind everything that happens. So i guess i view this question as being one that one engages with at great risk. Or even most of the stuff that happens. i think that while God governs, His interventions are rare. At least the ones we are capable of comprehending. i know a woman - salt of the earth type - whose teenage daughter hung herself. The mother found her. And i remember her recalling that when it would have been happening, she felt nothing. No prompting to go and check. Totally, utterly, completely blindsided by it. And then i remember a few weeks after, sitting in a testimony meeting, and hearing a woman get up and bear testimony that after a stressful past few months, God had directed her down a street on which the perfect boat for their vacation was being sold for a good price. And she actually was very nice also. You could tell she absolutely believed it. And who among us hasn't had something like what happened to her happen to us? And i think that was when the idea that God really participates in our lives in the ways we attribute to Him died in me. There is a near death experience i've shared here where the person describes the whole universe as being governed by some kind of a beautiful math. And so i sometimes think that what we attribute to God is really just that equation in action. That perhaps God created the perfect equation, but then lets people, and cities, and nations, and the world feed into it what they will. All those inputs affect one another, and the equation itself is mercilessly brutal in it's operation - utterly oblivious to the individual human joy and tragedy it churns out. And that mercy and healing comes after it all ends, when we've (hopefully) learned something in the process. Or maybe have become something in the process. Or been carved out a little deeper in the process. Or something...i hope. i really do wonder what exactly will be left when the thread of brokenness that seems to run through people and time is gone. When all stuff by which we judge people is gone, and only that which actually was remains. i think it will look a lot different than it does now. The second one is illustrated better than i can say it by this quote. "Neither let thy cowardly conscience receive any word as light because another calls it light, while it looks to thee dark. Say either the thing is not what it seems, or God never said or did it. But, of all evils, to misinterpret what God does, and then say the thing as interpreted must be right because God does it, is of the devil. Do not try to believe anything that affects thee as darkness. Even if thou mistake and refuse something true thereby, thou wilt do less wrong to Christ by such a refusal than thou wouldst by accepting as his what thou canst see only as darkness. " - George MacDonald, Light: A Sermon At the end of the day - for me at least, i feel like God only knows exactly what God is, or what God is up to.
  4. Great points. Thank-you. And i meant my comment to be more about ungrateful little whelps like me, for a situation whose dynamics i can maybe, in a tiny way, understand - definitely didn't meant to come across as a criticism or even an attempt to give advice to those whose situational dynamics i know and understand exactly nothing about.
  5. i find myself filled with a peculiar mix of surprise and amazement as i realize that most likely, my parents woke up most days, looked at one another and all their kids, and thought "What in the world did i get myself into? i never signed up for this. Nobody told me it was really going to be like *this*!" i don't know what the appropriate ratio of expressing appreciation to offering apologies is. But certainly, both are needed. Edit: i guess i meant to just say that any effort people who are married make, or people who have kids, regardless of ultimate outcome, ought to be acknowledged and appreciated for the massive outpouring of effort it is.
  6. Thanks. No demands here. And in my quieter, calmer, clearer moments, i find myself fresh out of outrage, too. Because other than creating more of itself in all the wrong places, i haven't seen it do much that could be called good. But if there are people who are hurting and unhealthy, let me know how i can help, and i'll do my best. No litmus test for sexual preference, either. i'm just one rather insignificant person - and my ability to offer helpful words is pretty inconsistent - but i'll do what i can.
  7. Thank-you. By healthy, i mean generally not suicidal, not addicted to drugs, not engaging in risky sexual behaviors, having huge numbers of partners, etc., - in my opinion, and from what i've seen, this is actually not uncommon. And i actually think the example of your friend's sister is a good one that illustrates that what the world would see as a homosexual living situation can actually be a lot more complex. But i guess i'm just saying that a same sex marriage is very often as much about sex as a heterosexual marriage is - meaning nowhere remotely close to 100%. Anyways, sorry if i didn't answer your question. That was all i was looking at doing. Not getting into another disagreement in which even agreeing to disagree is often lofty a goal.
  8. You might be saying this already, but i don't believe that mtDNA and the X Chromosome are really related. mtDNA exists outside the nucleus of a cell. For females, X chromosomes come from each parent, recombine, and then one of them is silenced. And in males, comes from their mother (where recombination did occur) - so not an unbroken line. At least this holds generally true unless you start talking about the various sex chromosome aneuploidies like Turners or Klinefelters. Though some recombination (or perhaps more accurately, translocation), between X and Y in males is not unheard of (example XX male, where SRY gene translocates from Y to X, and sets in motion the cascade of biological processes that result in male physical characteristics).
  9. At the risk of sounding obtuse, i am pretty sure news-worthiness is not a criteria used in selection of content to display on most news sites. The articles that lead to the most clicks right now and in the future get put up. And i could be misunderstanding, but does anyone's mtDNA or yDNA have a time to live of more than 1? Maybe, if you're really lucky, your child's mt/Y DNA is 100% like yours. But most likely, it is 100% less a handful of mutations. And if you don't have a male/female child, go a generation or two back, reversing those couple of mutations a couple times, and there is someone with your same mt/y DNA. Occasionally, you had a very successful combination of mutations, which were able to perpetuate - and those are the haplogroups. And i guess the problem with tracing anything back, is that you've got to decide where to stop natural processes and call in that which cannot be explained. Most Christians regress to back to mt-MRCA and call her Eve and to Y-MRCA and call him Adam before calling it a day. And scientists take that a lot further back - but eventually dead-end themselves, too. Or such is my understanding at least.
  10. @Grunt It's very kind of you to care about your friend as you do. All this is just my opinion. i guess that's always true, but it feels correct to acknowledge it every time. If we are God's children (i assume your friend believes this), then unless God is the most narcissistic, self-serving, jerk of a parent, then your friend is not going to be consigned to hell for doing their best with the knowledge they have. It would be like a parent keeping notes on how many times a child fell down trying to learn to walk so they could punish them later. And not just punish them, but punish them without end. That isn't God. That's the idea used by enterprising churchmen to empty the pockets of their parishioners that's been peddled as something way above it's pay grade. If they draw closer to God by getting baptized, then go for it! i mean, isn't that what religion is for, anyways? Edit: if this is offensive in any way, please let me know, and i'll remove it. Wasn't my intent, but i can see how it might be.
  11. Thanks @The Folk Prophet Maybe one day we'll be able to gaze into one another's hearts and each understand the other. Know that things are not at all how they appeared from the outside. But i doubt that anything like that will be made more likely by continuing this thread. Regardless, it's definitely not worthy of Christmas Eve. Anyways, Merry Christmas!
  12. Thanks. Well, sounds like i'm not going to convince you - and that's fine. But all i can say is that there are all sorts of tragedies when it comes to anyone, of any age, and of any sexual orientation or gender identification. You'll find no disagreements from me that some of those tragedies involve an abandonment of all restraint. And those are tragedies indeed. But i (and perhaps some of those Mama Dragons, also), can tell you stories of tragedies that look an awfully lot different. i can vouch for there being plenty of people who live as homosexuals, etc., in healthy ways. They're generally a pretty quiet bunch though - definitely not the ones used as marketing material in the pamphlets that warn against it as being a social and moral pathology of infinite consequence. And this is just my opinion, but i think many mainstream religions create cultures in which being homosexual, transgender, etc., in those healthy ways is *much* harder than it would be otherwise. Now please, please, please, please don't mistake. i am not blaming you, or anyone here, or any church, or any scriptual passage for that. Just acknowledging it. i mean, people can call me a liar, or a sinner, or tool of satan, or a posterior clown for saying that verbally, but i'm just speaking what i've seen. And rather than letting both camps exist, we seem to allow ourselves to get whipped up into a frenzy by two 1%'s of the population that run around with bullhorns telling each of us what the other half of the world is. And they're having a stunning amount of success. Either toss religious norms in the trash, or with utmost determination, continue to bash someone's emotional and spiritual health against a set of dogmas that just make them worse - as we promise them that some interpretation of God is smiling approvingly as they bleed out. And am i saying that anyone who is not sexually active is somehow bleeding out? Nope, not at all. But if there are those here who think the only motivating factor of those who "join" the LGBT community is sex, then i'm not sure i can do much to help you. Attraction and gender identification slices through every domain of life imaginable. Sex is just one - and at least in my opinion, is used by most to try and numb the pain when the other more important ones grow sick, even as it is classified as being the only one. i guess if it's mutual exclusivity at any cost - then by all means, full steam ahead. But i think if that's true, then both sides have forfeited the right to complain about the cost. And then on the wars, all i say is that the victors write the history. The thread of man's injustice to man weaves through countries and time, with varying degrees of self. You'll find me justifying none of it, but at least attempting to acknowledge all of it. And finally, as someone who supports same sex marriage, and thinks the Mama Dragons do a lot of good, can i say how much i hate that you are as persecuted as you are for your beliefs? How much i cringe when i see people forcing people to bake cakes, and trying to desegregate child bathrooms, etc., Because i do.
  13. First, i am very sorry for your client. That's devastating. And i don't claim to understand how it feels for you. But sexual meat market, filthy sex-crazed ghouls, pederasty, pedophilia, don't care if it's wrong or destructive, sex uber alles, no sexual restraint? Are those sentiments any less correct or hurtful than the one that says Oaks has blood on his hands for doing what he feels is right? i mean, if this is the kind of tension between the two sides of this issue, then it's no wonder that people are taking their own lives. It's like dropping someone in no-man's land during a war. Does it really matter who started shooting first? Or does anyone really know which side's bullet did the killing? Or maybe they got clipped from both sides. Does any of that change that they're dead? Maybe the people caught in between will only stop dying when both sides quite trying to kill the other one. Because you know, the gays and the Christians have both been here for thousands of years. And the only thing our indignation has purchased so far is an increased amount of hate, a decreased amount of understanding, and an escalating number of dead bodies and human tragedies.
  14. Thank-you for saying this. Agree with this sentiment completely.