Things have been somewhat quiet on the blog front. Its the holiday season, so the family is in town and we are all hanging out over at the Parent's house. I took my Rock Band 2 game on Xbox and got everyone (but my dad) addicted. He loves it when I do that.

I finished at least the 50,000 words of my NanoWrimo novel, enough to say I completed the task, even if the novel is not done and I have to take a break from it for a while. I tend to do that every now and then. Move onto another one, work on it for a time. Come back. That's how I write.

Fancy I haven't ever finished anything.

Meanwhile, I have not been following anything worldly over the last few days. I just have been busy enjoying the company of my family and writing. And unlocking a lot of songs on Rock Band.

I really do need to work on that job thing. Good thing the economy is shot and hiring is kind of at a stand still right now, it gives me an excuse to not look right away. I guess. I know, a sorry excuse if there ever was one, but I really am just enjoying the chill factor right now, where I just want to sit back and enjoy things for now.

Anyway, we're doing our holiday Shoot Out this weekend, the boys in the family (and me) go out and fire our firearms, plinking for fun. I get my Judge in time to try it out. I don't think we'll do a lot of plinking with it, more of a familiarization shoot. The ammo for it get's to expensive to just take it out to go blow about fifty rounds shooting at pumpkins.


Obama Worship

So I'm finding this trend of Obama Worship rather disturbing.

See, it's one thing to be proud of your president and all of that. If you think the guy is great, awesome for you.

But I wonder, were schools named after JFK while he was still in office?

There was also talk of making a national holiday in honor of 'The One'.

Should we put up giant posters and erect massive statues in his honor while we are at it?

I don't want to say it, but usually, in the US of A, when we honor a President with monuments and statues, libraries and schools named in their honor, you do it after they served their time as president. After they have proved that they are a President worth celebrating.

Barack Obama has not even been inaugurated yet and people want to bow down and worship him.

If anything, this rings truer to Saddam Hussein and Kim Jong Il then Abraham Lincoln and FDR.

If we want to create a holiday in Barack Obama's name, do it AFTER he's served his time as President and proved to be a successful President. Not before he's been sworn in on account of Hope and Change. Because if he proves to be a huge disaster and the Change he brings isn't the kind we hoped for, I think a few people will be regretting naming their schools after him.

People talk about the Hubris of Barack Obama, this certainly adds to his enormous ego.


On This Day

On this day, some 28 years ago, my life was forever changed, for the better, as I bravely entered this world, I'm guessing with a piercing wail.

Yep, I was born.

Happy Birthday to me. What baffles me most is that I'm 28 now.

When did THAT happen?

Other anniversaries of this day:

Famous Birthdays

Rodney Dangerfield 1921
Billie Jean King 1943
Jamie Lee Curtis 1958
Mariel Hemingway 1961
Scarlett Johansson 1984

1718 - English pirate Edward Teach (a.k.a. "Blackbeard") was killed during a battle off the coast of North Carolina. British soldiers cornered him aboard his ship and killed him. He was shot and stabbed more than 25 times.

1906 - The International Radio Telegraphic Convention in Berlin adopted the SOS distress signal.

1917 - The National Hockey League (NHL) was officially formed in Montreal, Canada.

1935 - The first trans-Pacific airmail flight began in Alameda, CA, when the flying boat known as the China Clipper left for Manila. The craft was carrying over 110,000 pieces of mail.

1943 - U.S. President Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Chinese leader Chiang Kai-shek met in Cairo to discuss the measures for defeating Japan.

1950 - The lowest scoring game in the NBA was played. The Fort Wayne Pistons (later the Detroit Pistons) defeated the Minneapolis Lakers (later the Los Angeles Lakers) 19-18.

1955 - RCA Records bought the rights to the music of Elvis Presley for $25,000.

1963 - U.S. President Kennedy was assassinated while riding in a motorcade in Dallas, TX. Texas Governor John B. Connally was also seriously wounded. Vice-President Lyndon B. Johnson was inaugurated as the 36th U.S. President.

1968 - The Beatles released their double album called "The Beatles" (a.k.a. "The White Album").

1977 - Regular passenger service on the Concorde began between New York and Europe.

1984 - Fred Rogers of PBS' "Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood" presented a sweater to the Smithsonian Institution.

1985 - 38,648 immigrants became citizens of the United States. It was the largest swearing-in ceremony.

1990 - U.S. President Bush, his wife, Barbara, and other congressional leaders shared Thanksgiving dinner with U.S. troops in Saudi Arabia.

2005 - Microsoft's XBOX 360 went on sale.

Victory in Iraq

Today, blogs across the blogosphere are declaring this day Victory in Iraq day.

I never served in Iraq. A part of me (that really insane part, the same part that thought joining the army was a brilliant idea) wanted to go to Iraq, to get myself some street cred or something. I'm not an expert on what's going on there, but it appears things have calmed down considerably since we first arrived.

Enough that people on the ground feel it is safe to admit that, yes, we won. We stuck it out and we won the war.

Now we have to focus on Afghanistan. And Iran. And North Korea. And Russia. And all of these other pesky nations that are not friendly to the great US of A.

Which one do you think will test Obama first?


Rock Band for XBox

So I swapped over to the Xbox 360 and got Rock Band 2 and Guitar Hero World Tour (just the guitar for the latter) and can play both games on the accessories that they come with.

Very addictive game, but now that I'm home, I can get other people to play with me. It's also fun to create avatars and make your likeness and watch them rock out.

I've been asked to bring it so that the whole family can play this weekend, which was one of the perks with getting it, it is a great group game.

So, the verdict is in. The recommended system for this genre of games is Xbox 360 (or PS3 if you have one, but between the two I keep hearing Xbox is the way to go).

If you are on XBox Live, friend me. My Gamertag is (surprise) Risawn. I'm not actually playing online yet, but I've got an account and all, and if it turns out that I have no semblance of life whatsoever, maybe I'll start playing online eventually?


Probably not. I'll go through a phase, and then go back to playing Wii a bit again.

And before you think it, yes, I'm going to be selling my Wii Rock Band game to somebody I know who is getting a Wii and doesn't have the benefit of being single with no responsibilities to go out and buy a bunch of crap like I do.


National Ammo Day

It's National Ammo Day! Celebrate your law abiding 2nd ammendment constitutional rights by going to your local gunshop and picking up 100 rounds of your favorite ammunition!

I picked up 260 rounds of 7.62 x 39 mm for my AK-47 as well as some .410 Gauge Rifled slugs for the new Taurus Judge I just bought. I wanted something for self defense and was really itching toward a revolver. At first I was thinking about getting something a little smaller, but it just felt right.

And it looks mean as hell. A perfect weapon for my Zombie Plan without being an all out shotgun. I just got to get more ammo for it.

I pick it up in a week.

Obama has been very good for the Gun Economy. The guys at the shop were mentioning that they would like to have an election every month to help boom their sells.

Enduring Til the End

I ran into this website called Signing For Something, giving people an outlet for resigning their LDS membership on this issue of Prop 8 and this is all I have to say about it.

Good riddance.

People have every right to do whatever they want. The church is a huge proponent for Freedom of Choice, which includes the freedom to live as you want. Anyway, I wrote a letter. Since it probably won't get posted, here is my statement to these people. This is strictly from an LDS point of view, and is directed to people of my faith. If you are not LDS, then this probably won't have the same impact.

There is a saying, endure to the end. Anybody who has a testimony of the Church knows that we are in the final days. The church is well known for our peculiar ways and high moral standards.

This is strictly a moral issue for the church. If you believe the church is wrong in this, then you need to leave. You may have a testimony of Jesus Christ but your testimony of the church does not exist, because if it did, you would know that President Monson is a Prophet of the Church and speaks for God. If you believe that, you would know he is speaking on behalf of God's will. If you cannot endure to the end, in the light of all that is occurring in the world, knowing what is coming, leave.

Whatever you feel about your gay brothers and sisters, you can still love them without supporting their lifestyle. The church cannot and will not condone this lifestyle. But it doesn't promote hate. It promotes standing for your convictions.

You may have your own opinion on this issue, that is your freedom of choice. The church urged members to get involved but it was not mandated. Truthfully, I didn't care one way or the other, if it happened, it happened. But with the hate and anger from the Anti-8 mob directed towards the church because its members utilized their constitutional rights and freedom of speech in a lawful manner, including McCarthyistic boycotts against people who donated their money to this cause, threatening to burn down religious buidings, shouting hate slurs towards people who disagree with them, made me realize I could not stand by passively and watch this happen. I've gotten involved in helping others understand where the church was in coming from this, and trying to help educate those that disagree that we are merely another point of view on a hotly debated topic. This was brought up for public debate, and 52% of the voting population of California passed it.

The rage is not on the pro-Prop 8 side of this issue. If it had failed, a large majority of people would have gotten on with their lives with a few fringe groups on the right continuing to protest. However, the anger and tantrums of those on the anti-prop 8 side have made me realize what we are dealing with. We are in the final days.

Are you going to endure until the end?

Whether you agree with my sentiment or not, its interesting to me that in the last three weeks, I have been more active in my faith then I have been in years. This issue has only been part of the reason.


Life Goes On

So, what have I been up to?

Since I've been home, I have been attempting to get my affairs in order and just sort through all of my stuff. I got so much crap that sometimes I don't know what to do with it.

You should have seen my car on the way home. It was packed with stuff.

So the last few days I've been trying to organize, organize, organize. On top of getting in my natural swing of things. See, if left to my devices, I am very much a night owl and will stay up all night and sleep in all morning. I need to avoid this, but since I am actually technically unemployed at the present, I don't have any incentive to get up early except my own discipline.

So that leaves me with a list of things to do. Indeed, this is my list of things I got to get accomplished this week.

- Close out DTS/Travel voucher for Mobilization
- Schedule an appointment to see the dental hygienist
- Purge unwanted/unneeded items
- NaNoWriMo
- Make a final decision on the fate of defunct Comic (resuscitate it or let it die)
- Flash Plannage - I'm going to do this, I just got to clean my room first
- Clean room
- Update Website
- Mail pictures to friends (coincides with cleaning of room, its a disaster and I can't currently get to the desk top after I dumped all of my crap from my trip in there)
- Decide whether or not the financial costs is worth buying an Xbox 360 with Rock Band 2 (the wii is not the optimum console for this game)
- Food shopping (a must, specifically food that keeps in case the end of the world is upon us)
- National Ammo Day.
- Make dinner

I'm sure there is more items that I need to work on. But in the meantime, between all of that and whatever else lands up on my plate, my web surfing and blogging will likely be at a minimum. Unless something just captures my attention that needs my instant opinion to be posted for the masses to read.


Name Generator

My sister showed me this baby name generator. You enter a name you like and it will give you names that are similar.

Maybe I'm missing something, but I entered 'Kami' and got these in response for boys and girls names.

Nicola, Shannan, Buffy, Germaine, Nicki, Kai, Alexis, Miu, Erich, Joshua, Kirby, Consuela, Kazuki, Shad, Danika


I guess Kami is an unusual name so the selection is limited, but how do these names (with an exception of Kai and Kazuki) really compare? Are they going off meanings as well?

Whatever the case, I think I need to bookmark that. It comes in handy as a writing tool. Especially with lately.

The Death of Civil Discourse

UPDATE: Welcome to my neck of the woods, Instapundit readers! And yes, it is supposed to be IncoherAnt. Thanks for the emails.

"We disagree with your opinions, so we are going to protest you and run you out of business because nobody can disagree with US! We're mad, so we are going to use hypocritical tactics to thrust our viewpoints upon you and force you to accept our way as the ONLY way!" - Truly, these are the signs of the times.

If you live in or are near LA in the near future, go to El Coyote and show your support of freedom of speech and expression by supporting them.

I wouldn't really mind the outcome of all this under normal circumstances really. If gay marriage became a reality in all 50 states, I would have gone on with my life. But I hope the backlash felt from all of these inane boycotts hits these protesters bad. Somebody needs to point out that there is a better way, and this will eventually wear thin on the voting populace who looks at these people as sore losers.

What's next? "Hey, here's a brilliant idea. Let's Boycott Sundance! Because it's in the state of Utah, LDS headquarters are in Utah, so it will affect those EVIL Mormons!"

Meanwhile, a lot of Utah Mormons are thinking "they're boycotting Sundance? Sweet! Maybe Robert Redford will take it somewhere else from now on." And a lot of Liberal Utah Non-Mormons are thinking "But, Sundance doesn't even affect the Mormons! Why are they boycotting one of the best things Utah had going for it?"

I'll just let you know, boycotting Sundance isn't going to change a damn thing. Seeing that Sundance is a liberal movie love-fest, boycotting it will hurt the liberal agenda more then the small fraction of the voting population that lawfully excercised their voting rights.

H/T - Michelle Malkin and Instapundit


Yay, I'm Home Finally!

No blogging, no debating, only sleeping!

*crashes after fifteen days on the road*

EDIT - I lied. . . *internet addiction!*


So, Who Are the Bigots?

I'll stop writing about this topic when it stops showing up so prominantly in the news.

I decided, since it was being thrown in my face that Mormons are just a bunch of Bigots, that I should look the definition of Bigotry up.

Here's what I came up with.

Irrational suspicion or hatred of a particular group, race, or religion

intolerance, prejudice

The state of mind of a narrow-minded person who is intolerant of beliefs other than his or her own.

A bigot is a prejudiced person who is intolerant of opinions, lifestyles, or identities differing from his or her own.

One who is strongly partial to one's own group, religion, race, or politics and is intolerant of those who differ.

Keywords that come out in the definition of Bigotry is intolerance and prejudice. But I am quite fond of this definition most of all. "The state of mind of a narrow-minded person who is intolerant of beliefs other than his or her own."

Again, here is the Church's official stance on Homosexual Behavior. I would like to point out a couple of things.

"This is much bigger than just a question of whether or not society should be more tolerant of the homosexual lifestyle. Over past years we have seen unrelenting pressure from advocates of that lifestyle to accept as normal what is not normal, and to characterize those who disagree as narrow-minded, bigoted and unreasonable. Such advocates are quick to demand freedom of speech and thought for themselves, but equally quick to criticize those with a different view and, if possible, to silence them by applying labels like 'homophobic.' "

"President Hinckley has helped us on that subject with a clear statement that answers all questions of that nature. He said, 'We love them (referring to people who have same-sex attractions) as sons and daughters of God. They may have certain inclinations which are powerful and which may be difficult to control. If they do not act upon these inclinations, then they can go forward as do all other members of the Church.'"

This is a good article, and describes the preferred method for members of the church to deal with the temptation of sexual orientation. Outside of marriage, the church preaches abstinence, so you can say that the church is bigoted against people who prefer to have sex with multiple partners outside of marriage. We're also bigoted against smokers and people who drink alcohol. These people can attend our religious meetings (anybody is welcome) but they cannot partake in the blessings of the Temple. I'm not even worthy at this time to enter the Temple.

My faith has a stringent level of beliefs and moral standards, people look toward us as if we are weird, I've been called bizarre in my life because I don't drink coffee, I don't smoke, I don't use alcohol. We've been taught to respect our bodies and treat each other with kindness, and I will attest that I am a happier person when I am following the doctrine of my church then when I run astray and do things I have been taught I'm not supposed to do. And I've done my fair share of temptations.

But I always go back to this. This is the lifestyle that my faith preaches me to live by. I choose to live by it. What's more, I can also choose not to live by it, to go the other way and do whatever I want. That is my freedom of choice. Right now, I choose to live as my faith suggests I do.

My faith encourages me to share my testimony with others. I choose to do this with people who are receptive to it, and if they are not, I do not force it upon them. I cannot force anybody to accept my religion, and I will not try too. But my faith also teaches to respect people and their system of beliefs. The thirteenth article of faith starts out "we believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevelant, virtuous, and in doing good to all men." That stands true regardless of their differences from me. You will find that as a group (with some bad apples here and there, as with all groups), Mormons are generally a kind and decent people. We are more likely to want to bake you cookies then to call you hateful slurs.

With Prop 8, the church encouraged members to support the proposition in an effort to support the institution of marriage, which is at the foundation of our beliefs. Call us weird, point to our questionable polygamist background, do whatever you want, but we weren't doing this because we hate gay people. President Monson encouraged people to get involved, but it wasn't mandated, there are plenty of Mormons who opposed Prop 8. Those that donated money to see the proposition pass were doing so because they felt it necessary to stand by their personal beliefs to protect marriage. Marriage is a very sacred and revered partnership in our faith, and with the way it is treated these days, with how high the divorce rate is in our country, even within the church, and how Marriage is no longer seen as a necessity for two people, who often times will forego the process entirely and simply live together, now society wishes to completely change the definition from man and woman to 'two people who love each other'.

Members of the church put their heart into this proposition, feeling the need to convince others of how they feel. Not because they hate gay people, but because they believe in the sanctity of marriage.

Over the last week we have been attacked, demeaned, protested, our most sacred buildings defaced, threatened, and yet we are the bigots.

Again, let me point out the definition of bigotry.

"The state of mind of a narrow-minded person who is intolerant of beliefs other than his or her own."

So call me a bigot if you must, but I would say the definition works both ways.

PS - As to the argument that religions would not be forced to recognize gay marriages if Prop 8 failed, I'll let you know that I was in Salt Lake City last Friday when they marched the temple, and I remember one of the speakers at that rally screaming about how they would change the church so that two men could get sealed together in the temple, to the cheers of the very large crowd echoing their agreement, and I would say that the Gay Agenda is every bit about forcing their will on the people. To include faiths such as the Mormon church.


In Their Defense

One quick comment in regards to the last post and those like it.

Momentum is on the side of those supporting Gay Marriage. In time, I predict within the next ten years, it will be passed. And when it does, I doubt one will see the religious right taking to the streets to protest its passing, calling those who passed it homosexual slurs and demanding they be stoned.

Do you think these protests help or hurt their cause more? I can't see them gaining support on the religious right for it. And didn't they already have the support on the radical left? So the moderates, where do you think they are standing?

Just curious, what are your thoughts?

Protesting Continues

In the aftermath of the election, I have been following the Prop 8/Mormon Temple protests pretty closely. I guess I take them pretty personally, and have talked more about my faith in my blog since the elections then the six years I've had a blog before that.

So people are now protesting in Manhattan, again giving the response of how dare the church get involved in "taking political stances and calling them moral when it's nothing but politics."

I've already stated my opinion on Prop 8 and my opinion of the rallies that oppose it and are protesting the church for its passing of it. As for this being a 'political issue', the church only sees it as a moral issue, period.

People seem to think that this is some hateful stance, but need I remind everyone, the church has not changed its policy on homosexual conduct in the years it has been restored. It believes homosexuality to be immoral and wrong, and the church plays a huge role in the protection of traditional marriage, which is believed to be the foundation of the family, which is at the very center of our religious beliefs. The church takes this very seriously, and it is not doing it with the intention to be hateful and mean, it takes this stance because the issue of family, and the role family plays is very instrumental to the foundation of our faith. Everything centers around the traditional family unit, and despite the statistics of divorce and single parenting and what not, the traditional family unit is still central to the church.

But because people are suddenly overwhelmingly targeting the church, and other organizations for helping pass Prop 8, they are taking to the streets, protesting in mass, and threatening institutions. Over the weekend, seven LDS chapels had their windows shot out, though the police are hesitant to say that it is related to Prop 8. Speculate all you want, but the timing is impecable. There is also news of people sending white powder to LDS Temples in SLC and LA, causing the buildings to be evacuated and investigated. Fortunately, it appeared to be a prank, but it is a blatant attack.

Yes, the church has experienced backlash on this issue, but I know they will stick to their guns and continue to follow the beliefs that we have always held, and a few people holding a bunch of signs picketing the temples will not change the minds of our leaders. And further more, the more violent and angry the crowds get, they will eventually turn into mobs, and by attacking the church, I think there may be some backlash towards them.

Although this is not the mindset of all gay people, it is appearing to be the common group think of more and more people, who think that 'violence is the answer.' Attacking religious organizations for encouraging their members to utilize their right of free speech to vote their conscience and being attacked will alienate more people then it will help to persuade. And it certainly won't convince to many mormons. At church on Sunday, I noticed a lot of people there were making pretty much the same comments.

"Well, looks like we're being persecuted again."

"This must be what the pioneers experienced."

According to practicing Christians, in the final days the good will be called evil and evil will be called good. Am I saying Homosexuals are evil? No, I'm saying homosexuality is a sin according to God. And pardon me for preaching, but the actions in these 'Latter Days' are proving this notion correct more and more, as this action against those of strong religious beliefs are finding themselves attacked and persecuted by the 'wicked', and I will use that term because one definition of wicked is 'morally bad', and if you believe homosexuality is a sin, then by its definition the act of homosexuality is bad. And those who actively take part in it and encourage it instead of fighting against it can be defined as wicked. And by fighting against it, I mean the urge to take part in homosexual behavior. I speak from personal experience, read that as you will.

If you want to call that hate speech, that's fine by me, even though I'm merely stating my opinions, as I had a lot of respect for some people of homosexual orientation as i believe it is the sin you are protesting, not the person themselves, but their actions over the last week have made me think that they no longer deserve my sympathy, and in fact over the last two weeks, I have become stronger in my faith then I have in years, where three months ago I was pretty much inactive. And seeing these actions occur around me has made me realize what the state the world is in and my own need to prepare myself for what is bound to be an interesting turn of events over the course of these next few years.

So, when a group starts talking about Burning Churches, and begins actively vandalizing our buildings and threatening our members, I merely need to look back into history and think 'hmm, where have I seen this before?'

Yep, angry mobs have razed one of our temples and murdered our Prophet. It may have taken a while, but we rebuilt it, and our faith is as strong as ever.

So keep attacking the Catholics, Rick Warren, Evangilicals and churches inLansing Michigan. Because ironically enough, as much as some of these faiths do have preached in the past against Mormons, this is a rally cry for different faiths to band together. So thanks for unifying various faiths in this matter. It's been swell.

Meanwhile, like I said before, I don't hate gay people, I just disagree with the lifestyle, but some people have the right mindset with this radical nonsense. Opponents of Prop 8, you might be winning over some hearts and minds with your 'peaceful protests' that are turning more and more violent, but I think you are also alienating a lot of people by your actions. Go protest if you want, but maybe you should take your protest to the capital of California and leave the churches out of it, who have every right to their beliefs and opinions just as you have every right to live your lifestyle. Besides, the ones who are coming off as intolerant are the ones that are frequently preaching that we must be tolerant of their lifestyles. They don't seem to be particularly tolerant of a religion's right to believe that their behavior is sinful. That doesn't constitute hate, that is just a system of beliefs.

Of course, the protesters want to rally against the will of the voters in California and everywhere else. Gay marriage propositions have come up in thirty states (twice now in California). Gay Marriage has been defeated in every one.

And now, suddenly its all the Mormons' fault.

Fine then. My comments are below, I don't delete them unless they're spam. Protest me if you think my church is hateful and mean, I stand with my religion and I stand by my beliefs. Continue protesting in the streets if you wish, I am still a soldier, and I will defend your right to do so. But I still maintain my personal beliefs that homosexuality is wrong. And protesting my church will not get it to change its position, you have my word on that.

Ramble much?

Update: Famous Mormon Author Orson Scott Card shares his views on this topic.


Video Gameage

I have Rock Band for the Wii.

But I think I need to change things up a bit and get it for the XBOX 360 instead.

I think I could get an XBOX 360 JUST for this game. And maybe Guitar Hero too.

Very addictive.

Still in SLC area, visiting some old friends of mine.


Salt Lake City - Pro Gay Anti Mormon Rally

So, I'm in the Salt Lake area. And I heard because of the aftermath of Prop 8 and the LDS Church's role in it, that they were going to have a protest at Temple Square on Friday. I think there was an estimation of roughly 2000 people there.

If you don't know what Temple Square is, most people are familiar with this building.

I decided to go check it out. Hey, if anything interesting happened, I would catch it on film, so I took my camera along.

I didn't get any video, but because of the location, my goal was not to antagonize the protesters. I didn't even really say anything, I was more focused on getting it on camera and hoping it would remain peaceful. For the most part it did, at the rally before they marched, the protest organizers were trying to emphasize to keep it peaceful, though some were itching to get in anyone's face. You could tell that there was a lot of anger.

The first guy who got up to rally everyone made me a little sick to my stomach, I was mostly observing, but the stuff he was saying made me wish to disagree with his position even more. The speakers after him were trying to calm the crowd afterwards, because he seemed to be itching for a fight.

Again, although I disagree with their lifestyle, I don't hate these people, I think a lot of them are angry at what happened in California which looked to be a defining moment in the quest for gay rights and the church just happened to be an easy target. A few of them had clever and creative signs to state their beliefs.

I thought this one was pretty funny.

There was a few instances where protesters poked fun at the Church's polygamist history.

there were many instances where it was just a simple statement of support.

But I saw a theme going on with a lot of people who wish to revoke the tax exemption status of the church for getting involved in political matters. This I disagreed with highly for several reasons and when I talked to people, I would try to civilly defend the church's position, which I agree with.

For one, in my understanding, the church itself did not donate any money to Prop 8, but it encouraged the members to get involved. Most of the time, the Church will stay out of politics, they don't tell you who to vote for, does not take sides with Democrats or Republicans (however, there are a lot of Republican Mormons) and will only get involved in situations where it is an issue of moral beliefs, such as the sanctity of marriage and issues such as Abortion.

"The Church does: Reserve the right as an institution to address, in a nonpartisan way, issues that it believes have significant community or moral consequences or that directly affect the interests of the Church."

My debate with these people would often be in regards to defending the church's stance while respecting their beliefs as being neither correct nor incorrect, just a disagreement, and most agreed the church had the right to view homosexuality as immoral. The people I did talk to once we got into a debate seemed to appreciate that I made it known that I didn't hate them, I gave a few of them hugs to show that I held no animosity toward them, but that I merely held a disagreement over one aspect of their lifestyle but it didn't make me think that they were bad people. On contrary, a few of them I talked to I found some common ground, to include one woman who recently got out of the military and we traded army stories for a bit and poked fun at 'don't ask, don't tell.' I could see that I could probably have a friendship with this person as we had some common interests, and she appreciated that we had our differences and disagreements and didn't hate one another for it.

My main goal was to try to show her the church's position in support of Prop 8, she believed they should lose their tax exemption status, which is something of which I disagree and I laid out the argument as to why. A lot of people see this as a political issue, the church strictly sees it as a moral issue. The church does not support homosexuality as an acceptable lifestyle, but also officially believes that one should approach this as a disagreement without bringing contention to it and to be respectful. Not all Mormons live by this and can be contentious, but I think most believe in the cliche 'Love the sinner, hate the sin' mentality in regards to this issue. I know I have many acquaintances who are gay and I have noticed that I can have a disagreement with them on this and many other issues while maintaining a friendship.

I mostly see diversity as a difference of ideas as much as it is a difference in race and lifestyle. A lot of people may have similar disagreements, but true diversity and tolerance means that one understands that there is a disagreement in beliefs but does not cause these beliefs to breed contention and hate. Some people were marching just to get their views of what they believe to be their rights out. However, there was a lot of speech critical to the church. The church does not hate gay people, but some of the signs at the rally suggested as much, attacking the President of the Church and toting slogans such as 'Separation of Church and H8'.

Prop 8 passed not only because of the church's involvement, which was only one factor. 70% of the African American Population, who voted overwhelmingly for Barack Obama supported Prop 8. There were other religious groups who supported this proposition and are being attacked for holding a certain view as a moral issue, and they are being demeaned as being hateful and intolerant of other's 'Right' of marriage.

Again, I contest that Marriage is defined between a man and woman. I am supportive of two people who love each other being in a monogomous relationship, and I am not against them getting certain rights from the government, but you can't change the definition of marriage to mean something that it is not to fit your agenda.

As a side note, there were some counter protests going on as well.

These were actually not LDS, in fact, on the back of that kid's sign was a protest against Gays and the Church.

This group, (which I joined briefly) was singing hymns to try to bring peace to the protest in a matter to suggest, 'we don't hate you, you are at our Temple, please be respectful of our beliefs and don't desecrate our temple.'

There were a couple of somaons (Big guys) who showed up late, one of them brought his bible for a little healthy debate, but mostly to protect the temple as he heard rumors of protestors pasting signs on the LA temple (some big somoans pulled them down there and then banded together to protect it, from what I have heard) so he wanted to make sure that the Salt Lake Temple wasn't desecrated as well.

I'll end on that note. If this ad isn't Anti-Mormon, I don't know what is.

Update: More thoughts on this issue over at The Volokh Conspiracy

News on the LA Protest against the church.

More Updates:
The church offered This statement on the matter. This is their official statement on the passage of Prop 8 and their role in it.

Some pictures of the LA Protest

SockPuppet Politic gives their view. Including this on the LA Protest.

Gay Conservative puts it in perspective that some people need to take a chill pill, as they are sounding a little hypocritical, so he tells people to "Grow the Hell Up."

The LDS church is not the only one under attack apparently.

Some thoughts from Classical values

Papa Mike's input on the topic.

Of course, it wouldn't be fair to comment with getting the left's opinion, straight from the horse's mouth over at HuffPo, which is leading the charge to strip the church of its tax exemption status.


52 to 48

So, now that the left won the election, they want to play nice.

Remember in 2004, when they lost? We were treated with this drivel.

I became somewhat famous for my rebuttal.

Now that we elected a socially acceptable candidate, it's all peaches and cream now, so Everything's spiffy!

And in a gesture to reach across the isle, there is 52 to 48, with love.

This has been going on in the blogosphere, commenting on the last few days of the election. Although I agree with the sentiment, I see that the left is more willing to reach to the right when they have won, but if somehow McCain had managed to pull out a victory, there would be the same vile hate mongering that we got with the last eight years of Bush.

As for my opinions on Bush, I still do not regret voting for him, I don't think he was a bad president as everyone makes him out ot be. I think as a person he is a decent human being who was doing the most thankless job in the world. I like him as a person, I wish he had done better as a president, but I'll get on with my life.

As for the Obama voters thinking its all peaches and cream and we need to get together and love one another, you'll have to pardon me if you think because you are in charge, I'm going to just say 'ah shucks, you said it so nicely, let's be best friends and unite and become one country under The One!'

I actually think Obama is going to be a disaster for this country, McCain would have been a little better, but I'll accept your offer of unity when it turns out that I was wrong about Obama. And only time will tell.

Regardless, I will stay classy and if it does turn out that Obama is an unmitigated mistake that has no business being the leader of the free world, I'll try not to say 'told you so'.


The Horrific Aftermath of the Election

Obama Win Causes Obsessive Supporters To Realize How Empty Their Lives Are

H/T - Jawa Report

NaNoWriMo update

I added a little thing on the side there, so you know where my noveling is at. I'm doing ok considering I'm on the road presently and it looks like I won't be getting home anytime soon.

I am going to write this so other people can read it. they will get a general idea of the subject matter of some of my other writings and my sick and twisted self sometimes.

But I have confidence I can finish this thing. I will earn that little badge of honor saying *yes, I wrote a 50,000+ novel in a month! Can you say you did that! I can! hah!

Not that I haven't written 400,000+ unreadables in the past.

Prop 8 - My Thoughts on Gay Marriage

Alright, I'm no longer a Californian, haven't been one for about thirteen years or so, but I found the whole Prop 8 to be an interesting study in the case of social issues.

I would have most likely voted Yes if I had the opportunity to vote on it. I notice the sides both for and against this proposition and both make some good valid arguments. Here is mine.

One of the major arguments I see for voting no is that Marriage is a Right and everyone has a right to marry who they love. That this proposition is discriminating against freedom and people's rights.

My argument? Everyone does have the right to marry. Just they have to marry somebody of the opposite sex. that is the definition of marriage, between man and woman. The problem with gay people is that they are not sexually attracted to the opposite sex, their sexual attraction is for members of their own sex, and thus, they feel it necessary to rewrite the law and redefine marriage to be defined based on being able to marry who they love.

This is another argument I have to make in regards to sexual orientation. Twenty years ago homosexuality was still very taboo and a lot of gay people remained in the closet. The thought of two people of the same sex getting married was considered outragious. Times have changed, haven't they?

But what is the definition of sexual orientation? Most people see it as three things. You are heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual. In this day and age, these are pretty much considered 'accepted' orientations. But some people take their sexual attractions a little further. Some people are sexually attracted to children (NAMBLA sepcifically is between men and boys). Others are sexually attracted to animals. I bet if you talk to some of these people, they will make the same arguments that homosexuals make, in that they are born that way.

Homosexuality was considered perverse and taboo not to long ago, now it has wide acceptance. If we feel that marriage is discriminatory between homosexuals, then it is certainly discriminatory to those who are sexually attracted to children or animals.

Furthermore, by defining the right to marry who one loves, regardless of their gender, leaves some limited. Why can't three consenting adults marry? They love each other, right? They are all in agreement that they wish to marry, they are all consenting. If two guys can get married, why can't two girls and a guy, or two guys and a girl? Heck, what if three guys want to get married to each other? They all love each other, so that should be their right. Because Marriage is a right according to some. I'm sure the FLDS would love to have the laws rewritten so they can continue to marry multiple wives. And I can say that. I'm Mormon.

Some guy in Japan has petitioned to allow people to marry cartoon characters, which is absurd (how does one have a relationship with a cartoon character anyway?) Yes, this is somewhat weird, as there is no way a cartoon character can consent. You can hold the argument that animals can't really show their consent either. But if they are sexually attracted to cartoon characters rather then human beings, that must be their sexual orientation, which means that they cannot legally marry who they love. The law discriminates against them. Just like it discriminates currently against homosexuals.

But the next argument I hear is how this only affects homosexuals, allowing them to marry, and doesn't affect heterosexual marriae in any way. I will further disagree as I point out that this is a snowball affect. Like the argument that everyone has a right to marry who they love, things will gain wider acceptance the more we accept it, so more and more perverse lifestyles become mainstream. In Massachussetts, there was a study about how because gay marriage is legal, schools have to teach it to children as being OK. But it is many people's beliefs still that homosexuality is wrong, and if the government is saying it is ok, but the parents are teaching their children that it is immoral, this confuses kids and undermines their parents authority. If a parent wants to teach a child that homosexuality is ok, then they can. That is their right. It is not the role of the government to do so.

You heard of the saying 'seperation of church and state?' It goes both ways. Most people say that churches are allowed to not marry gay people in California if they so choose, but how long is it going to be before two men petition to be married in a specific church that does not recognize homosexual marriage? Isn't that discrimination? How long before they sue, as the government recognizes gay marriage as being legal, so these churches should have to recognize it. And it's only a matter of time, somebody will do it. And if they get a good enough argument in court, and they win, that will mean that every church has to allow marriage between two men or two women or face charges of discrimination, despite what their beliefs teach contrary to this lifestyle. I know of at least one church that stopped marrying anybody in their chapels in the state of California to prevent this from being an issue.

Another argument, comparing this to the discrimiation issues of the civil right movement, as people are won't to say that in the 60's civil rights were fought for the rights of people, so that they could be equal despite their race. This was a well fought battle that deserves recognition for what it is. But sexual orientation is different from race. Despite what some people say, who you have sex with is ultimately your choice (more on that in a moment), a black person can't do anything about his race. He will be black from birth until the day he dies. He can't change that. A person can make a choice about how they live.

My thoughts on homosexuality in general is pretty simple. I believe everyone is born with the potential to be homosexual or heterosexual. How they are raised, experiences they are faced with, a number of factors play into their orientation. Are some born with a higher propensity to homosexuality then heterosexuality? You bet. that is their challenge, their test in this life. Now if that is your sexual orientation, what is your identity? If you decide one day you are gay, how are you going to act upon that? Are you going to embrace it, or are you going to choose not to? Because ultimately the act of homosexuality is a choice. A guy is not forced to have sex with another guy. He chooses to allow it. Because the act of sex is a choice, even if sexual orientation is not.

The point I'm trying to make is that you have to draw the line somewhere. Homosexuality was considered immoral in our society a few decades ago and now finds wide acceptance. I have nothing against a person based on their sexual orientation, that is their business. I don't hate gay people, I just disagree with their bedroom behavior. And I find it sad that many gay people feel that they have to soully identify with being gay, so that they must throw it in your face and flaunt it. Why must that be the one defining thing about a person? Why can't they be satisfied with being identified as being a human being with many traits and characteristics, their sexuality being just a part of it? I know a lot of gay guys who clearly identify themselves as being gay and making that the center of their identity, with everything revolving around that. It is kind of sad if you ask me.

On a final note, I'm all for Monogomy, and if two consenting adults are living in a monogomous relationship, whether hetero or homosexual, I fully support that and encourage it (its a lot safer and less disease prone that way). Of course, I also believe that heterosexuals should only have sex in marriage so I'm a bit hypocritical (but my belief in homosexuality is that if you are prone to homosexual tendencies you should practice abstinence, so monogomy is the next best thing) If you make the choice to be homosexual, and if you find a person you are committed to and wish to live together, all the more power to you. But I don't think we can define marriage as a union between two men. Or two women. Marriage is between a man and a woman, it has been for thousands of years. Just because homosexuality has become socially acceptable does not change this.

Notice I did not use the Bible as the case for my argument. I have another belief, you can not use the Bible to argue a point with people who do not believe in it.

This is my opinion, you have a right to agree with me or you might think that I have no basis for an argument. It is a fickle topic with strong opinions on both sides. I state my case. You are welcome to state yours in my comments.

elections over, we can get on with our lives now

Obama won. I noticed that through the blogs that there appeared to be evidence of a lot of fraud, but he still won by a large enough margin that the fraud might not have made any difference.

Most people I noticed who were for McCain seem to be a little down, but are also not wallowing in self pity and out to cry foul. They are accepting the outcome (I think many people were expecting it) and conceeding the election gracefully and deciding to move on with their lives.

I will undoubtedly be highly critical of President-elect Obama, but as long as he serves as President, I will support his authority and position. I don't think I'll be a huge activist, but I will definitely be watching the government closely, and will undoubtedly keep following the conservative blogs.

McCain ran a decent enough race I guess, but he came into this going into an uphill battle with a lot of things going against him.

I just hope that the changes Obama makes don't destroy this country and that he is not the socialist that I think he is.

The next four years will tell us, won't they?


On The Road Again

Yep, on the road. Currently in Iowa, but making my way south through Missouri so I can go say hi to a friend of mine in Kansas, if I can get a hold of him or not.

Hmm. . .

I've been kind of taking my time, instead of traveling exclusively by freeway, I've been taking a few highways on my way home, going off the beaten path and seeing the country side. Sometimes I can't see it to well. Especially when there is a thick blanket of early morning fog covering the road.

I hit the road early this morning, I should be in Kansas City by tonight. From there, well, I'm not sure when I'm going to be getting to Salt Lake City, but that's my next major stop.

And from there? Well, other then friends and family stops, its home for me.

November 3rd (tomorrow) is my last day on orders. Then officially I'm back in a reservist status/ civilian most of the month.

Oh yeah, NaNoWriMo started yesterday. I've been thinking about my story, but I wont' be able to start it until I get home. *sighs*

I think I'll be alright though. I can totally write 50,000 words in a couple of weeks.