Thursday, August 28, 2008

More Christian - Conservatives or Liberals?

Last time I tried to argue this, I did so on Boundless and was accused of having a distorted view of Conservatism...

I thought that funny, because it came straight from the dictionary. And the guy failed to provide me with a definition. So until he does, I'll stick with the dictionary.

Conservativism - a political or theological orientation advocating the preservation of the best in society and opposing radical changes.

Problem with that definition is the use of "best in society" - who determines what is best? Lets find another one that's less objective.

Conservative - disposed to preserve existing conditions, institutions, etc., or to restore traditional ones, and to limit change.

Now with the next one:
Liberalism - a political or social philosophy advocating the freedom of the individual, parliamentary systems of government, nonviolent modification of political, social, or economic institutions to assure unrestricted development in all spheres of human endeavor, and governmental guarantees of individual rights and civil liberties.

Liberal - favorable to progress or reform, as in political or religious affairs.

You know, traditionally (*giggle*) Christianity and Judaism are Conservative. You do things because they've always been done that way. At some point, tradition is accepted simply because that's the way its always been. Other times, tradition is held to beyond the point that the reason for it is completely lost (Pharisaic Sabbath, anyone? Mark 2:23-3:6).

However, Liberals are guilty of the same exact thing. Yes, I did just say that. Conservatism and Liberalism are far more alike than either would like to credit the other with.

You see, Liberals will debunk tradition and traditional values SIMPLY BECAUSE THEY ARE TRADITIONAL. They automatically assume that there was no good reason for the tradition and throw it out. They are against doing "what has always been done". They will refuse to look into reasons of why that tradition is in place.

You see, contrary to popular belief, we really aren't that much smarter than people were a thousand years ago. Notice how society and knowledge fluctuate through time? I even heard it mentioned we could be in a Dark Age NOW. Though I'd never go so far as saying THAT, per se, I will acknowledge that there were far more brilliant minds in existence a thousand years, two thousand years, even three thousand years before now.

I think that both Liberals and Conservatives need to stop doing things simply because "that's the way its always been". They need to stop and ask themselves - what is the BEST way? Even if occassionally it means holding to tradition or completely debunking tradition.

And Christians, like Christ, need to do the same thing. Of course, we define the BEST way by Biblical standards - and therefore everything needs to be tested by the scriptures (1 John 4:1). Sometimes, Tradition is biblical (like remembering the Sabbath and the Lord's Supper). Sometimes, its not (like praying to Mother Mary and the Saints). Sometimes, we'll be conservative - like Christ. Other times, we'll be liberal - like Christ.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Who does more work - Men or Women?

I've heard this before - that men will work their 40 (sometimes more) hours per week and then come home and do some things around the house... their time working comes up to more a week than women.

Is this true? Maybe I just came from an EXCEPTIONAL family background, but my experience has been thus.

Roles of dad:
Up at 7, out the door at 8 - took those who went to school to school (unless gram and gramps were around).
Got home around 5 or 5:30.
Watched TV til dinner was ready (or played with us some).
Ate dinner.
Went and watched some more TV.

Roles of mom:
Up at 7, getting us up for school. Dressing anyone under the age of 8 so they could sleep longer. Made breakfast and made us get out of bed. Those that went to school, out the door with packed lunches.
Homeschooled those left behind, did laundry, cleaned kitchen, kept most of the house "tidy".
Made dinner, ate dinner.
Busy-bodied around the kitchen until my dad *literally* forced her to have a glass of wine and watch tv with him.

Roles of kids:
Get up at 7:30, eat breakfast, go to school (or be homeschooled)
Come home, do chores (clean bathroom, vacuum, dust, clean bedroom...depended on day of week), do homework/play.
Eat dinner, help mom clean kitchen, do homework/play.

Weekends - dad mowed lawn, mom/kids cleaned pool, kids raked yard/picked up sticks, mom did grocery shopping (not for things SHE had to force her to spend money on herself...and still does) and balanced the checkbook.

I don't know - everything felt BALANCED. I know (now...not when I was a brat of 15) that my dad did a lot of work outside the home. I know (now) that the work my mom did in the house was NOT easy and not minimal. She worked just as hard as my you know how much clothes pile up in a family of 5 kids??? Or how often the kitchen floor has to be mopped (which is everyday in that big a family)? How often dishes need to be done (often twice a day, unless its a weekend - then maybe 3x's a day...all by hand because we didn't have a dish washer)?

Ok - so not every family is like that...I do recall friend's homes where clean and dirty laundry are indistinguishable because they're all piled up in someone's room (usually the parent's). I have seen homes that rely on tv dinners and the mother sits in front of the tv all day. But there were families that were just as balanced as mine...and it WORKED. It just DID.

I just wish a little more respect and credit would be given to the mom who actually does WORK AT HOME. It really isn't THAT easy. Maybe it is when your the only one, but not so much when there's 7 people your cleaning up after.

Monday, August 25, 2008


The Fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. On this, hangs all the law.
Galations 5:22

I have the feeling that Americans today have not been taught self-control. No matter, its a christian discipline so I can't expect the world in general to hold to it. But it also seems to me that American Christians are lacking in this discipline, as well.

There's this general consensus on this continent that following your heart, and doing what you feel like doing, and trusting emotions is a GOOD thing - and evidence of a free life; a liberated mindset.

As such, the consequences that have been born out of the lack of self-control are being worked through and dealt with by the government. Such issues include (but are not limited to) Abortion, No-Fault Divorce, Welfare, and the bailing out of the Credit Industry.

I will have a follow-up on this, but first feel free to leave your comments on agree/disagree. I get much more controversial in my next couple of posts, so establishing my premise is incredibly important here.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Don't Look in the Mirrors

Much to my chagrin, I did in fact see this movie.

It was one of those joke things that guys who don't really think about it take their girls to a scary movie just to get the girl to cling to them all night.

I think my bf realized how dangerous that was when he almost had his thumb broken. I spent the entire evening with my face buried in his chest praying "God, keep me safe!"

Normally, I don't have a problem with dark movies. I have a HUGE issue with blood and gore (yet I can stomach The Patriot and Gladiator well enough...). But this movie went beyond the blood and gore and got me in the darkness of it. That's unusual for me - but I know exactly why it did.

The Grudge was a great (melodramatic, yes) thriller movie. Still violent, but it had some truth in it. Holding a grudge can turn into a nasty and evil feeling and almost take on a life of its own. I liked that about The Grudge - the way to defeat such evil? Don't hold a grudge! Simple as that.

The Exorcist (have not seen this, so I may be wrong), the defeat was found *in movie* in Christian Theology. That works for me - Christ defeats demons. No matter how theologically incorrect movies can be, Demons will not dwell where Christ is.

See that last line? Demons will not dwell where Christ is.

That's what my issue with Mirrors was. There was a great evil present in that movie. It was very much like Legion was inhabiting the mirrors. He had been removed from a girl and captured there. And there they wreak havoc until someone can return them to that girl. And where is that girl? In a monastery. Afterwards, she became a nun. A rather devout one. So, she had Christ in her heart, right?

And yet that did not stop the demons from reinhabiting her. THAT bothered me. I coulda handled anything else, except that. That the movie portrayed an evil *more powerful* than Christ bugged me.

Now, I know this is NOT true. And I really wish I hadn't watched the movie. I know that Christ defeats all. And I will trust in him to keep me safe from the evil that dwells around me.

Thankfully, my boyfriend now knows what I can handle and what I can't. And he understands and agrees with my reasons. He just has a higher tolerance than I do, apparently.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

I can do all things...

This made me cry. Make sure you have tissues nearby...

Sunday, August 10, 2008

The Cliche'd "Perfect Man"

I was flipping through channels while curled up on the couch with my Prince Charming when the Keira Knightly version of Pride and Prejudice came on.

And I started thinking...

What was the cliche'd Perfect Man before Mr. Darcy? It certainly wasn't always so cliche. And this cliche was even around in the 1890's with the birth of Anne Shirley - her prince was tall, dark, and handsome... All of Montgomery's princes were so. And the 5 Little Peppers? Mary's prince (Jasper) grew up to be tall, dark, and handsome... And how about Joe's Boys (Louisa May Alcott - continuation of Little Women), when Nat sweeps Daisy off her feet?

There was a time that blonde was in (especially in Rome), but not so much anymore.

You think its possible that Mr. Darcy has subliminally altered young women's minds over the course of 200 years?

Friday, August 08, 2008

Generalizations, Specifics, and Spirit of Words

I have a very odd background in academics. I thrived in mathematics while being horrible in all things science. I'm incredibly gifted with words and communicating while being horrific with grammar.

While writing and commenting in the blogosphere, I've found myself constantly ending up in the circles of Engineers. This is ok, because engineers and I have much in common. The number one being that I'm an engineer, too.

However, I'm not your typical engineer. I'm good at communicating with people who aren't engineers. I don't need my words to be as precise and locked down as an engineer needs numbers and logic to be exact to the most miniscule detail.

I spent half a semester of college taking nothing but English courses. I did incredibly well in English in High school, especially when it came to literary criticism. I am incredibly good at seeing details in light of the big picture (one of the things that distinguishes me as an engineer, because I'm really not that good at writing code). I can easily look an entire picture and then focus in on one detail while keeping in focus the entire picture. This isn't exactly a common trait. Its why I'm so good at Calculus - I'm spatial, visual, AND able to think in the abstract; Geometry, meet Algebra.

So, when I write, I tend to not be as - what would you say? - exact with my words. Yes, prejudices may creep up into my writing. But more often than not, an engineer needs to apply a bit of grace to my words. I'm not above using traditional literary means to communicate my message as succintly as possible. I'm not going to place a "/Woman" to every "Man" I write. I'm not going to always write "with exceptions" or "in general" when writing about generalizations. I will not always clarify that I'm stereotyping just to avoid offending someone.

I'm not as meticulous in that way as some are. Like an artist, my goal isn't to accurately depict how something looks to the observer's eye, but to capture the spirit of my subject.

Yes, there are times when I will be cool, methodical, exact, and completely logical. But that will not happen every time I take pen to paper. I do not write to be logical. I write to communicate. And sometimes, communication requires logic. Other times, it requires words used in such a way that it conveys the feelings that are not tied to logic.

If there is EVER a phrase that sounds as if I am over-generalizing, stereotyping, male-bashing, female-bashing, please feel free to let me know, but keep in mind that there is more to my words than may meet your eye and I would appreciate a bit of grace being extended to me in your critique of my word use.

In other words, don't assume the worst from me.

Thursday, August 07, 2008


What is it about the world being rose-colored that cultivates a sense of complacency in your walk with God?

I definitly have cycles...and its not that I think any less of God...its just that...well...I don't know, really.

When I pray, my heart is overflowing with joy and thankfulness for what he's given me. But there isn't this NEED for him that is there when my world is crumbling around me. Of course, I always need him...and this is where the mind comes over the heart in terms of spiritual walk - I KNOW I need him to live. But I don't FEEL like it. Just like in those dark times, I KNOW he loves me and cares about me, but I don't FEEL like it.

It seems that in times of comfort, discipline becomes ever more crucial.