Thursday, November 20, 2014

Gay Hedonism and the Spread of AIDS

When I was a teenager in government high skool, I had to watch the movie And the Band Played On in health class.  At the time, I didn’t really care much for it save for the fact that I was getting a break from the monotony that is school.

The movie itself was decent.  It had an all-star cast of actors throughout and fortunately did not have any gay sex scenes, although there was plenty implied.  I’m sure it would not have been shown if it did.  These days I wonder if people would complain about the lack of gay sex scenes in such a movie.

After we watched the movie, our gym teacher than discussed it with us.  By discussion, she meant stand on a soapbox and announce that the government didn’t do enough to stop the spread of AIDS in the 1980s.  It was pretty much the only time she got self-righteous.

And it was annoying.

The premise of the story behind the movie was that the government did little to nothing to halt the spread of AIDS among the gay community.  While there were moments in the film where scientists got into a dispute over the nature of the HIV virus, it largely focused on tracking down gay men and equating the “outbreak” with the first Ebola outbreak in the 1970s.

On top of that, there was a very huge pro-gay streak in the movie as the beginning showing some old raisin man asking the Democratic party to be acknowledged “as a people”.  It really had nothing to do with the movie itself.

Despite this, it was a good portrayal of the spread of AIDS in the 1980s.  Randy Shilts, the man who wrote the book the movie was based on actually, had a more balanced observation of the whole outbreak, especially considering he was to die from the disease years after his book was published.  He supported the closure of the gay bathhouses in order to slow the spread of the disease.  But he was also critical of the Federal government and their failure to stop the spread of the disease.

The truth is, stopping the spread of AIDS in the gay community requires killing the male libido among gay men.  Not that gay men have a higher libido than straight men, just that gay men have less restrictions when it comes to getting sex from another man.

For a man to have sex with a woman, he is usually beholden to many demands and repercussions (pregnancy, child support, etc.) which make heterosexual sex a much larger risk than gay sex.  The only thing that gay men have to concern themselves with is possible emotional attachments and sexually transmitted diseases.   But straight men have these same issues plus the extra baggage that comes with dealing with the modern women.

So of course gay men are going to have a lot more sex than straight men because men like to have sex.  And with that premise in mind we have to assume that the spread of AIDS among the gay community was largely because gay men had lots of anonymous sex with each other.

No speeches from President Ronald Reagan could have stopped it.  No direct action from the government short of total isolation of gay men into individual cubes could have stopped it.  And we all know that was impossible, even if the United States was a totalitarian state.

The movie never bothered to address the simple fact that the rampant sexual practices of gay men was the primary reason for the spread of the disease.  Instead of addressing this simple fact, the government as portrayed by the movie simply allowed it to continue without criticism because the gay lifestyle in the San Francisco Castro district was portrayed as good.

Now, even if the government officials involved flat out told all the gay community that they needed to engage in much safer sexual practices by using condoms and having monogamous sexual relations, such pleas would have fallen on deaf ears.  Gay men are not known for accepting criticism of their lifestyle gently or with quiet dignity.  As any one has observed in the past few decades, any criticism of the gay lifestyle has been met with harsh counter-criticism and accusations of “homophobia”.

Randy Shilts himself was ostracized from the gay community in San Francisco because of his stance on closing the gay bathhouses.  A man who lived among them and shared their sexual escapades was kicked out for expressing what was essentially a common sense view on the problem.

What I got out of that movie was nothing more than the realization that the true reason for the spread of AIDS among gay men was entirely the fault of gay men.  They were the ones who, by and large, defied the sound advice of government officials and prominent members of their own community in favor of a debauched and damaging sexual lifestyle.  They wanted the party to keep on going in spite of the fact that the party was killing them off.

In short, it was gay hedonism that spread AIDS, not a lack of attention from the government.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Well, It Isn’t Called Yahoo News For No Reason

Take about missing the point:

Riyadh (AFP) - Saudi Arabia executed on Wednesday a man who donned women's clothing in a bid to escape after shooting dead a soldier and police officer, state media said.

Salih bin Yateem bin Salih al-Qarni was beheaded in the southwestern city of Abha, the official Saudi Press Agency said.

Qarni was intially arrested on other charges and was transported in an official vehicle by the soldier and a member of the Muttawa religious police.

"He shot them with a gun that he was carrying," the SPA said, without explaining how he obtained the weapon.

After stealing the keys from the security officer driving the vehicle, Qarni chewed some narcotic qat "and disguised himself in women's clothing" in an attempt to flee, but was recaptured, it said.

Saudi women are required to cover from head to toe, often with only their eyes exposed.

The report did not say when the escape bid occurred.

Qarni is the latest of 69 Saudis and foreigners executed in the kingdom this year, despite international concern.

Rape, murder, apostasy, drug trafficking and armed robbery are all punishable by death under the kingdom's strict version of Islamic sharia law.

So a couple of observations:

  1. This guy murdered two people in cold blood.  I’m pretty sure his execution has nothing to do with wearing women’s clothing.
  2. Despite their strict laws, it sounds like the Saudis, unlike the US, actually has a speedy trial process.
  3. If Saudi women did not want to wear coverings, they will give it up.  As it stands, these women choose to wear these coverings.  Yes, they are beaten if they do not wear them, but if enough women got together and stopped wearing these garbs, there wouldn’t be enough men to enforce the law.
  4. Besides apostasy, pretty much everyone in the West agrees that rape, murder, drug trafficking, and armed robbery are crimes.  The Western justice system seems to sympathize with the criminals though, rather than the victims.

Yahoo news lives up to its namesake.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Modern Misconceptions in Christianity

Today I’d like to go over some of the myths that Christians and non-Christians alike have about Christianity.  There a lot of things that many of us get wrong and I’m going to try and provide what little wisdom God has given me to these things and hopefully give people a different perspective.

God Helps Those Who Help Themselves

I don’t know where this saying came from exactly (sources indicate it goes back as far as four centuries) but the truth is that God helps those He sees fit to help.  Indeed, we know that Elijah the Prophet, a man who had a direct line with God, only helped one widow in Israel during the time of the famine.  Meanwhile, those who were helping themselves starved.

Judge Not Lest Ye Be Judged Yourselves

This saying is more or less a direct quote from Jesus Himself.  It is part of his Sermon on the Mount and I will quote in full here:

“Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. 3 Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye.

The above quote provides more context.  Usually the first verse is quoted to stop people from “judging” others.  What the offended usually mean is that a moral person is shaming another person for their immoral behavior.  In other words, it is a pathetic defense against feelbad emotions.

Judging others is the only way in which a society can remain moral.  The implication Jesus is making is that if you judge others, you will be judged by those same rules.  This is why when Zoe Quinn stated that committing adultery is essentially raping the partner you cheated on, I stated that she was a rapist given that she cheated on her boyfriend five times.

As Christians, we can judge others but we must be wary of those who are not believers.  They may not share our same standards of honesty, integrity, and a belief in the sacredness of life (not many Christians actually share those standards either, but they need to be judged for it).

You Must Forgive Those Who Wrong You

This is something that has always bothered me.  Jesus indeed does say that you should forgive your brother all the time, but only in response to the sinner actually apologizing to you.  No apologies, no forgiveness required.

Modern churches have taken this to an extreme by stating you have to forgive those who wrong you in order to avoid resentment in your heart.  In other words, you have to forgive in order to feel better about yourself.  Talk about ego-inflation.

Even in the Gospel of John, Jesus says to his disciplines after breathing the Holy Spirit upon them that if they withhold forgiveness, it is withheld.

Look, I’m not against forgiveness.  But understand that forgiveness is an act of love, not a feeling.  Forgive people when they willingly apologize.  Otherwise shake the dust off your feet and move on.  There are other ways to get rid of resentment.

equality

No where in the Bible is the term equality used when referring to people, only Jesus and God being equals.  In fact, the opposite is true as God choses Abram to father His people, choses Moses to lead them, and selects various prophets over other ordinary people.

We’re All Special

The problem is that we are all not special.  While we have our own hopes and dreams, God generally does not count us as special snowflakes.  Most of us are just expected to live out our lives following His Will as best we can.

Very few people are set aside by God.  And the common among us should be grateful that we are not.  The life of a prophet or saint is not an easy life and it is often filled with strife and struggle, more so than the normal one.

That’s about it really.  I don’t know if I am right in my assertions here, but this is what I believe to be common misconceptions in the modern church and among non-believers.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Religion Mash-Up Bumper Stickers

One the cars parked at the office parking lot where I work had a bumper sticker on it that read “fiction” in cute religious symbols used to spell out the work.  It’s similar to the “coexist” and “tolerance” bumper stickers you may have seen on other cars.

The premise of the bumper sticker is that all religions are equal (Leftists love their equality, don’t they?) and that all of them are a fictional narrative.  The truth is that all religions and philosophies of the world not equal and comparing them is more like comparing apples to lizards.

I am a Christian and I’d like to take the time to note that this is not about asserting the superiority of Christianity as many pastors are known to do when this kind of topic comes up.  I have no interest in convincing non-Christians of the errors of their ways because I know from experience and from observation that nobody will be argued into Christianity.

Nearly every religion has their own origin story.  While those stories may be similar, they always are used to describe the reason why things are the way they are.  Very few religions have an origin story.  Our origins are fundamental to our existence and so by answering that question, it gives us meaning and purpose.

On top of that, we find that there is some deity or collection of deities who are responsible for creation and human life.  Whatever the mythos, each has their own narrative.

Now what about scientists talk about the big bang and evolution?  The main problem I have with scientists who push these theories is that they do so with the fervor of religious fanatic which they tend to despise.  I am not saying they are necessarily wrong (Christianity itself allows for both the big bang and evolution given its vague creation story), just that they reject others while screaming for tolerance and understanding.  I’d imagine that tolerance would be the official buzzword of their concentration camps.

The fact is, science hasn’t proven a damn thing when it comes to the origin of life.  Yes, they have made great strides in demonstrating how it could have come about but we haven’t even recreated the primordial soup becoming life or observed a new species born, given the literal millions of unique and distinct species on this planet.

Science requires direct observation of some kind.  This is how it works.  That observation can be done with instrumentation of some kind, but a the end of the day, you have to have proof of something in order to consider it to be a fact.  There is zero proof of evolution or the big bang other than conjecture based on observations made in the present.

Our existence in a linear time dimension limits our ability to thoroughly prove such things as of right now.  I would like to note that we cannot disprove such theories either.

And now we come to the reason why it is absurd to call religion fiction: the Naturalist alternatives are just as absurd if you think about it logically.  Logically, neither is provable or disprovable and all of it relies on magic thinking.

If you’ve read this far, you’re probably thinking that I’m an asshole who is not taking a side.  No, I am merely pointing out the short-sightedness of the supposed elite thinkers of our time who believe that religion is for the foolish.

Yes, there are many religions that are outright ridiculous (Scientology comes to mind) while many others seem to rely on wild claims like reincarnation (why is nobody ever some generic loser in a previous life) or 70 virgins in the after-life if you die fighting infidels.

There are others that are hard to swallow and have confusing doctrines which seem to contradict each other.  I know that Christians in the West have adhered to a lot of false teachings or doctrines which sayings like God helps those who help themselves (never shows up in the Bible).  I am not na├»ve to think that there are not problems with Christianity.  Submitting to a God who doesn’t bother to give the time of day to most people is definitely a struggle for the prideful.

But to clump all religions together as irrational thinking is absurd generalization at best and, at worst, indicates a mind closed off from its ability for self-reflection.  I have often found that the organizations or individuals who use terms like “rational” or “reason” in their titles and names are often far from such terms much like the People’s Republic of China isn’t really a republic or beneficial to people (at least the United States of America is a solid definition of what the country really is).

So before you mash all religions together as magic thinking or irrational fantasies, understand that such sweeping generalizations make you look foolish.

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