Month: June 2015

Weakness or Strength?

Hello everyone!  As a follow-up to my last post where I commented on the success of this blog so far with regard to its initial goals and vision… I have a question for my readers, for I’m curious where most of you stand.  Thanks for your feedback — comments are encouraged 🙂

Looking Back at Six Months

On a whim today, I looked back to see when my first post on this blog was (I figured it must be close to my six-month blogiversary) and, lo and behold, it has in fact been about six months — give or take a week or so.

My first order of business, in recognition of this milestone, is to thank you, my readers and followers, for your thoughtful and provocative engagement — you are truly what makes this enterprise fruitful, in my mind.  I mean, I already know what I have to say — I started this mostly to see my viewpoints be challenged by others who see the world differently, and that has certainly been the case.  Bravo to you all, and thanks again — keep up the good work!

I’ve also reread the purpose statement I wrote for this blog, which I composed before writing anything else.  Beyond the general mission to test the caliber of my ideas on the battlefield of philosophical opposition, the more specific raison d’être for this blog was the tragic lack I saw in the online world of places where naturally polarizing topics like theology can be discussed with civility, respect, and honor — where the focus is not to “win” the debate, but rather where everyone recognizes that the true “win” comes from a gracious exchange of ideas.  I didn’t want to form a debate club (there are enough of those out there, for sure), nor did I want to create a propaganda machine (God knows there’s more than enough of those), but rather a community that is characterized by ideals that put mutual understanding above intellectual prowess.  Too many people out there are way more interested in making their voices heard than they are in truly, truly understanding how others see things, and that’s the travesty I humbly hoped to counter, in my own small way, when forming this community. (more…)

SCOTUS moves away from the Rights of Children towards a “Right to Children”

When I heard about the SCOTUS ruling, my first instinct was to be happy for those who fought so hard for this victory. Sure, I’m a Bible-believing Christian, and sure, I believe what the Bible says about homosexuality — but, 1) this was by no means a surprise, and 2) I really do love gays, and I’m glad that they’re happy. My personal religious feelings notwithstanding, I’ve long since stopped looking to the civil authorities to validate or uphold my religious convictions — in the world and not of it, you know.

Then I read a post like this one, and I see a perspective that really should be at the foremost of this discussion but that no one seems to be addressing. I say brava.

Note: Comments have been disabled for this post — please post your thoughts on the OP.

askthe"Bigot"

140928-supreme-court-gay-marriage-jms-2127_ce52d0ea6d6efb1ce1bd1e4a2c48ddd4A savvy blogger would have had two post’s written for BOTH possible rulings in the hopper today but, well, nope. Instead I’ve been spending my week at the beach with my kids, my mom, and her partner enjoying lazy mornings, tracking sand EVERYWHERE and damaging our locks with seawater. Heaven really.

I have spent a great amount of time this week reflecting on how blessed I am to have two such quality women in my life. My mom’s partner came into our lives when I was ten and brought with her a tender heart, a passion for new passions and an affinity for good music. I truly love and respect her. I also cannot not repeat enough that most of what I do well as a mother, I do because that’s how my mother parented me. She is an exceptional mother.  If her partner would have had children, she would have totally rocked motherhood; it’s evident in…

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Hyper-skepticism

If you interview a bunch of people and ask them if skepticism is a good thing, I’d wager you’d get a positive response from most people.  We certainly don’t want to be guilty of gullibility, to be taken in by every story or every promise of gain, only to be left holding the bag when the bottom drops out.

I’ve noticed that atheists in particular tout skepticism as one of their highest ideals, that they’re so proud of this virtue that they even give themselves the title “skeptic”.  And I say, good for them — I believe we all ought to have ideals outside of ourselves to which we hold ourselves accountable, in order to live virtuous and circumspect lives, and as I believe skepticism should be a hallmark quality of any reasonable and rational person, I approve of the incorporation of skepticism as one of the ideals of one’s philosophical framework.

However, something else I’ve noticed about skepticism:  When people talk about skepticism (especially self-proclaimed skeptics), they often qualify it by adding the word “healthy” — as in, “I try to maintain a level of healthy skepticism in my worldview.”  This is interesting to me, because I think it illustrates a virtually universal sense in our race that skepticism can, in fact, be unhealthy. (more…)

A Complete Mythology of “Mary Poppins: the Musical”

Hey, check this out!… *dusts off blog* I forgot I had one of these lying around!

Just kidding 😉 Truth be told, I’ve been immensely busy these days, mostly in preparing to be in a local production of “Mary Poppins: the Musical,” wherein I portray the role of Bert.  It’s a significant experience for me, because it was precisely Dick Van Dyke’s portrayal of Bert in the movie that inspired me, at the age of three, to pursue the performing arts.  It’s been a great experience so far — we have a phenomenal cast and crew, and I think this production will be one for the books.

And, as I’ve always said, what’s the point in being in a musical if you don’t over-complicate and over-intellectualize it and ruin it for everyone else?

See, because this is the question that always gets asked: “What exactly is Mary and Bert’s relationship?  What is their history?”  And, since I’m portraying one of the roles central to this enigma, I see it as my job as an actor to get the the bottom of it — you know, motivation and all that.  So, I’ve been thinking about this for a long time (i.e. since I had a brief conversation about it last night at rehearsal with Christy, the actress portraying Mary), and I’ve come up with my interpretation of how Mary Poppins’ universe works, and what Bert and Mary’s history might look like. (more…)