Saturday, October 25, 2008

who knew?

this started out as a comment on a friends blog, but it got too long so i decided to post it here. you can tell where i changed it because the language goes from personal to slightly more formal, as i am addressing more than just my friend. ha.

you know me well enough to anticipate that i am/have been a pretty strong opponent of Prop 8. Yours has been one of the better thought out opinions that i have read on it (and i've read my share). After having read it, i read a lot more (though i've read a lot in the past as well). And have been rolling it around. I'm finding that I had fallen victim to the dichotomization of political thought that is all too prevalent in US politics. It's either A or B, no 3rd option available. The issues that i have are these:

A- Gays are denied certain rights and privileges afforded to straight couples based purely on their sexuality and inability to marry. Some of these are for the best (i dunno how i feel about adoption), whereas others are wrong. The gov't should have no place in it.

B- As a mormon we, theologically, don't really believe in the validity of state marriage anyway. If it's outside of the temple, to a certain extent, it doesn't count. Subsequently i don't believe in gov't involvement in marriage at all.

C- i don't believe that legislating morality can or should occur. i cannot help but separate church and state. i know a lot of people say the same thing and then talk about how their religious views guide their political views. I'm afraid i am not so privileged. My religious views dictate my life and my stances for myself. My political ideas are those that i feel can be applied to everyone regardless of their faith, without violating their personal choices.
(there are others, and even these are quite dumbed down, but you get the picture. this is sufficient to explain that i don't love prop 8).

This obviously clashes with my desire to follow the council of the leaders of the church, which is more difficult than people paint it. Many describe it as "simple council" or say "the prophet said it, just do it." That's not my style, nor is it the church's. We are admonished (there's a sweet church vocab word) to heed the brethren, but also to pray about every council so that we have a testimony of its veracity. When the church does something that seems to violate my personal conscience it is up to me to understand why, and attempt to reconcile the ideas. i believe whole heartedly that there is nothing that church may/will do that will be irreconcilable with my ideas. I'm not always the sharpest and sometimes need to think about things from a different perspective, and sometimes (though rarely (ha)) i'm just wrong.

I have come to terms with the fact that i could vote yes on prop 8 (if i could vote at all). My position on gay rights has not changed, nor do i believe in legislating morals more than i did before. However, as i mentioned before the american approach to the issue --"Prop 8, Yes or No"-- is insufficient. It creates a false polarity between "I love homosexuality and have no qualms with it permeating public life" and "i hate Fa$*#^s." However, that divide just does not exist. Voting yes does not make you a homophobe any more than voting no makes you a homosexual. There needs to be a rethinking of the entire situation and concessions need to be made.

Wanting to preserve marriage as a union between man and woman does not necessitate the denial of rights and privileges currently suffered by homosexuals. the rights can be afforded without redefining what is into what should not be. that is what i would like to see happen.

voting yes to prop 8 does not close the door to gay rights. however, voting no on prop 8 does soil the sacred and redefine the divine as regular. so if you are a member of the church, you have to decide for yourself. but the excuses to vote against prop 8, in my opinion, are fairly slim.





and yes. i am as surprised as you to hear myself saying this.

Old news.

I apologize in advance as i am sure what i am posting is old news. Being in England i have been too a large extent blissfully ignorant to the current presidential campaign. I'm typically a very political person. I enjoy politics. I feel as though i understand them as well, or better than most people. i have become a lot more moderate than i was a few years ago, though i do find those views appealing as a utopian ideal.
I was just sitting down to do some reading about speaking and hearing when i was distracted by amanda's blog. it had shared a video with a witty anti-sarah palin song set to the melody of some pop-acoustic song that was quite popular, and that if i am being quite honest, has a spot on my guilty pleasures list. after watching it and smirking a time or two i spent a while sifting through the other recommended videos on youtube. when i came across this video (like i said, it's old- i apologize)...

what a terrifying prospect that this woman could become the vice president. truly petrifying. While watching it i literally covered my mouth in horror and said "oh no." I have heard a lot of people say "if McCain and Palin win, I'm leaving America." While I tend to think that's a stupid idea, i can't help but sympathize after watching this video. I am wanting to return to the states to do my PhD...but maybe a few more years here will help me miss out on a dark time.
if this isn't the first thing that came you your mind, let me help you compare that video to another video that also made a big splash in the news.

honestly i can't tell the difference between the two videos.
I am not a big fan of Barak Obama either and i despise the idea that we choose "the lesser of two evils," but i fear it may be necessary.
God help us.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

an Update...the most scattered blogpost ever.

i haven't updated this lately as i've been rather busy. strange for me but true. it's hard for me to update this blog when i don't feel interesting. right now im not feeling like a very interesting character, but im going to do this anyway.

a strange epitaph that i saw on a gravestone recently:
And when the Earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance.

From my notebook:
"Hoje, na igreja pensei em dar uma facada na pessoa sentado ao meu lado"
Translation: "Today in church i thought about stabbing the person sitting next to me"

There are 8 names in the book of mormon with the م-ل-ك root.

From Tao Te Ching (which i am rereading and loving again (i do consider it scripture)):
The Sage puts his own views behind
so ends up ahead
He stays a witness to life
so he endures
What could he grab for
that he does not already have?
What could he do for himself
that the universe itself has not already done?

I saw a real life fox the other night. It was a beautiful woodland creature in the middle of london. we connected on a spiritual level i think. Then there was a lady on the bus talking of the "white mans" conspiracy. How "the white man doesn't hesitate to kill the black man" and "wants the african woman disrespected". I love a conspiracy theory. Those of you that know me well know that i REALLY LOVE a conspiracy theory. i just fail to see how i would benefit from killing black people or disrespecting african women.

I went to Bath and Stonehenge over the weekend with Misty and Tom. It was a lovely trip. Bath is a charming place that was overrun with tourists, but didn't feel to terrible considering i live in london. There was a great little antique book shop that had the world's tiniest copy of the Rubaiyyat there. I wanted it, but maturity got the best of me and i didn't purchase it. We went to the Roman baths after which Bath is named and saw the ruins around it. The more i think about it the more i enjoyed it. Bath is also built near a river, and is full of scenic parks and views of the countryside. It was a really beautiful place. I enjoyed it. Then we drove for what felt like a long time (i have no time-telling implements here in england (more on that later)) in order to get to Stonehenge. Upon arrival we were promptly told that Stonehenge was closed. So we stood at the street and took pictures of it. And to be honest, even if you go in you can't get much closer to it than we did from the street so bottom line: 5 pounds saved. Here's a great picture (no photoshop!)

From recent conversation (edited to remove identities and content) with a friend (F) and me (J):

F: what time is it there? 2011?

J: yes. July 2011. 1:12 in the afternoon. you must kill a man and keep Skynet from being created.

F: could you get me a sports almanac?

J: sports have been abolished by the robots... you should see the &$*# John McCain has done....

F: hahahaha. i'm going to vote today

J: i wish i had made that joke with Sarah Palin instead...Pres. Palin

F: ZING!

J: i studied qabbalah today! we read the lyrics to 'like a virgin'

F: haha wtf?

J: yeah good class right? im in grad school. reading madonna

F: but it's the grad students that decide what higher education is, so who can argue?

J: haha. who WOULD argue? it seems obvious that Madonna belongs in the bible

F: at least i'm pretty sure my face is melting

J: just put clear plastic over your skull so you have a rad skull face!

F: ooh

(when i left the house after this conversation i really saw a van that said "Skynet" on it. i was afraid)

uhmm. im done with this now. I'll post more real stuff later. maybe.

Friday, October 3, 2008

arsenal plays at sunderland this weekend

this video is arsenal legend P. Vieira speaking to Keane, who is now sunderlands manager. pretty funny.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

sabedoria.


Quem vem ao mundo é para sofrer
Uns fogem da vida
Mas eu quero viver
Quem não sabe sofrer não tem amor a Deus
Carrego a minha cruz
Deus me ensinou a suportar os sofrimentos meus
Assim eu vou até o fim, feliz
Nesse mundo é quem pensa assim
Sou pobre mas sou rico
Que bondade que Deus me deu
Deus não esqueceu!