lykomancer: (...And so will I)
I have a little statue of a jackal-Anubis, a black sand hourglass, a bracelet of howlite carved skulls, frankincense and myrrh oil, a peacock feather.

I am apparently building a little death shrine on my desk.


Well, that's odd.
lykomancer: (UU Jihad)
Pastor Dan from Street Prophets: Let me tell you one thing: whoever it was that shot George Tiller as he entered church this morning was no Christian.

Sara Robinson:
[L]ynchings typically occurred on courthouse lawns as a symbol that the mob had overridden the authority of the state and taken justice into its own hands. So what does it mean when right-wing terrorists start gunning down progressives in the pews of their own churches?

As she points out, two occurrences aren't a pattern. But it's still kind of alarming that we can even think about two different murders that took place in churches in the last year.

We are no longer safe, not even in our own houses of worship.

One could even amend that to read: we are no longer safe from domestic terrorism, not even in our own houses of worship.

Homeland security, my ass.
lykomancer: (Weather Report Fits of Rage)
"Sometimes you just get the feeling the Vatican clerics have never even read the Gospels. A nine-year old is repeatedly abused, beaten and raped by her step-father, who also is suspected of sexually abusing her disabled sister. But the mother who helped the nine-year-old get an emergency abortion of twins is excommunicated. The rapist? Nah..."


More here. And here.

"You can safely assume that you've created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do." -- Anne Lamott
lykomancer: (UU Jihad)
This really, really offends me.

Whether or not God does or does not exist, we need to be worrying.

Either way, the collapse of the world economy is a human problem that was caused by human failings and needs solutions from human minds that can be carried out by human hands.

To believe that the Big Daddy In The Sky will save us all from our financial stupidity is ignorant, irresponsible, infantile, and above all, insulting to God (should one exist).

Also, happy birthday to me. I'm fucking awesome. YAY. \o/

Listen up.

Feb. 12th, 2009 11:57 am
lykomancer: (UU Jihad)
Some of you may remember the shoot-out in the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church last July that killed two people and wounded eight more.

There's been an update on that, and here's the word's straight from the horse's mouth: It was a deliberate hate crime against liberals.

Progressives should take three lessons away from Knoxville:

"One: we are no longer safe, not even in our own houses of worship. It's ironic that progressives -- the subgroup of Americans who were most determined not to abandon reason and succumb to overblown fears of Islamic terrorism in the wake of 9/11 -- now have good, serious reasons to fear real domestic terrorism against themselves.

"Two: A significant part of this country's media infrastructure is thoroughly devoted to inciting people to commit horrific acts of violence against us -- and now, we know for a fact that people are acting on those incitements. It's time to start taking this far more seriously. What goes out across our airwaves these days isn't all that different from what went out over Radio Rwanda a decade ago, spurring that country to genocide. At this point, it's only a difference of degree.

"Three: The right wing has, as usual, grossly underestimated our courage and our commitment. The members of Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist quickly and effectively disarmed and captured this man within seconds after he opened fire. Adkisson expected fear; what we got was determined resistance. It's why he's still alive today, and why more UUs aren't dead by his hand. The TVUUA congregation should be our enduring example of liberal grace under fire."

Street Prophets has a new "News from the 'Net" up I recommend their NftN posts; they have a definite liberal bias, but it's nice to see someone on the religious left's political opinion and ideas of what's newsworthy.
lykomancer: (UU Jihad)
Women's Liberation Through...Submission to Men. (Including a masculine God.)

lykomancer: (UU Jihad)
I suddenly realized today that I despise atheism now just as much as I used to despite Christianity in high school.

For most of the same reasons, no less.

"No one is more dangerous than someone who thinks he has The Truth. To be an atheist is almost as arrogant as to be a fundamentalist. But then again, I can get pretty arrogant."
--Tom Lehrer
lykomancer: (Default)
Ok, you know what? There are seven cardinal sins in traditional Catholic theology. SEVEN. Originally, yes, there were eight principle vices but this list was reduced to seven and restructured around the 6th century, and the names of the Sins in FMA are clearly derived from the much more well-known later tradition set forth by Gregory of seven.

And, for the real idiots in the audience, the seven cardinal sins are: lust, gluttony, sloth, avarice, anger, envy and pride.

Now, what's so special about these seven?
Well, you have to know a little bit about classical Catholic theology, and in particular, what sin is.

Simplified Catholic/Augustinian Theology 101 )

Explanations of the Seven and Refutations of Eighth Sins )

Any questions?
lykomancer: (UU Jihad!)
This is part one. There will be more parts, but I needed to start at the beginning, so... *shrugs*

The word of the Lord came to Jonah, 'Go at once to Nineveh...' But Jonah set out to flee from the presence of the Lord... )

To be continued, eventually.
lykomancer: (Logos)
So, now that I'm out of school for the summer, and the only thing I have to do all day is sleep write smut! role-play look for a job so we don't get evicted for not paying rent for two months running, I might as well take some of that time and enrich my brain. Or something. Whatever. The practical upshot of this is that I've decided that I need to practice more Greek, or I'll lose it, so I'm gonna try to translate a few New Testament verses every week.

This week's got pulled from the sermon I heard yesterday at Plymouth Congregational Church: Colossians 3:12-15.

Handwritten notes

I take some liberties with the text. I try to achieve both a good flow in English and the proper "feel" from the Greek, and while I stay pretty literal, there are places where I interpret a bit freely. Ok, yeah, and my Greek isn't the best, which is why I am practicing.

Jess's translation:
12. As God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, dress yourself accordingly, the way you should; clothe yourselves in compassion, mercy, humility, gentleness, and patience. 13. Listen patiently to one another, and if someone lays blame upon another, forgive them and grant pardon, just as the Lord has done for you. 14. Above all, though, garb yourselves in love, which binds everything together in complete perfection.
lykomancer: (OMG)

Jesus is a Mary Sue is love.

No, really. Jesus is a Mary Sue!
lykomancer: (Default)
It's a dark and stormy night here in Minneapolis, and I am sitting down with a cup of tea, the sound of rain dripping from the eaves, and all my candles burning.

Time for a little dark personal history.

When I was a little kid-- like, first and second grade-- I lived in terror that the sun would supernova and turn into a black hole. In less than ten minutes, the Earth and everyone on it would be sucked past the event horizon and be crushed by the incredible pressure within the hole. This was especially likely to happen at night; I was afraid that the moment I fell asleep, this horrible process would surely begin, and I would never again see the light of day. It's almost as if I made an existential leap of thought and fear, linking my consciousness with the with the existence of the world, as though reality was merely my dream... And if I lost consciousness, everything and everyone would perish.
For endless nights stretching into years, I tossed and turned restlessly under my blankets, fighting off sleep, fighting off the apocalypse and resultant nonexistence.

I slept under the blankets because they were my only shield against the monsters that came out at night. If they saw any of my skin at all, they would realize I was there and rip me apart; it worked on much the same principle as Haku's warning for Chihiro to hold her breath as she crosses the bath-house bridge in Spirited Away.
As far as monsters and demons go, I must admit, mostly, I was afraid of my mother.

I was watching a Discovery Channel Halloween special on vampires and vampirism, and the narrator was describing the seemingly infinite list of ways one could become a vampire...falling off the left side of the hay wagon, being born with a caul over one's head, suicide, being born with teeth. My mother was watching the show with me, and she felt the need to share that, in fact, she had been born with teeth.
Linking this with the fact that she lived in the dark and creepy attic, and that she was most active at night, I came up with the conclusion that my mother was a vampire, and that she came down from the attic after I was asleep, and that one night I would wake up and see her pale face leering over me, eyes glowing and mouth smeared with blood.

Needless to say, for a few years, I didn't get a lot of restful sleep.
One might think that I would learn that the world did not end when I closed my eyes and my mother behaved in far too human a manner to be a vampire, and then I would stop being so irrationally afraid.
Eventually, I did.
But it took a few years.

Sometime about...oh, I don't know...third grade (yeah, that sounds right), I was staying at my Great-Grandmother's house and found a religious tract. This is hardly surprising; my G-Grandma got all sorts of Christian letters and pamphlets and so on in the mail. I guess they thought she cared, or something.
Though I don't remember, I feel confident now in stating that the tract I found was probably from the Seventh-Day Adventists or some similar group, and the message of the tract was based entirely off of the Book of Revelations.
A literal reading of Revelations.
The main thrust of the argument was that people who worshiped on Sunday bore the mark of the Beast, and that real Christians and the saved worshipped on Saturday, which was properly the last day of the week.
Me, I'd been raised unchurched. I don't think I'd ever been in a church in my life when I read that tract, much less been to an actual service. I barely knew anything about the Bible when I first picked it up to research this "Revelations" book the tract authors kept babbling about.
I read all of Revelations.
It scared the hell out of me.

I eventually reread it, and then again; I completed it three or four times within a few months.
And I couldn't sleep for about two months.

Once, between those two different periods of night horrors, I was lying (awake) in bed (under the blankets), and something rolled over in my mind and I suddenly grasped the idea that I would not only grow up, but grow old. Stunned by the implications of this, I was wracked by heart-wrenching sobs.
How could life be so cruel? So unfair? I asked the universe, the questions cracking my lips and emerging only as a low horrified moan.
And the, just as suddenly as I had made this leap of understanding, I became aware of something else.
Someone was there in the room with me.
And He spoke to me in calm, soothing tones about the nature of growing up, growing old, and death, and when He sat on the edge of the bed, it went down under His weight; I felt it. His hand smoothed the blankets as He talked, and I eventually stopped crying. The Stranger spoke sense and wisdom and love; how could I not listen to Him?
The only impressions I can remember of Him is that of bright white light and the chocolately-rich melodic tenor of His voice.
At the time, I thought He was Jesus, stepped right out of that ugly garage-sale-find velvet-and-orange-fabric-paint painting hanging on the wall by the bathroom. I didn't know anything about Jesus, except that He was supposedly the Son of God and liked little children. Certainly that Stranger was kind-hearted to me, a small child, and as wise as only God could be, so that made perfect sense.

I think I've only ever mentioned that to maybe three people in my entire life.

Why do I write so many dark fantasy and horror stories? Why have I written at least five about the end of the world, the Rapture, the Apocalypse, or some other form of end times? Why am I obsessed with spirits and vampires and werewolves?

Impressions left on my vulnerable young psyche, that's why.
lykomancer: (Welcome to the Jungle)
[See title of entry, otherwise this won't make sense. This is not at all close to being finished or polished or anything like that. It's a teaser to prove that I actually am doing something besides homework. If anyone's interested, I've also started a new, short piece of fanfic. (EnEd, of course; why'd you even ask?)]

On the cross and snake )
lykomancer: (UU Jihad!)
"Greetings to the Imprisoned Citizens of the United States. We are Unitarian Jihad. There is only God, unless there is more than one God. The vote of our God subcommittee is 10-8 in favor of one God, with two abstentions. Brother Flaming Sword of Moderation noted the possibility of there being no God at all, and his objection was noted with love by the secretary.

"Greetings to the Imprisoned Citizens of the United States! Too long has your attention been waylaid by the bright baubles of extremist thought. Too long have fundamentalist yahoos of all religions (except Buddhism -- 14-5 vote, no abstentions, fundamentalism subcommittee) made your head hurt. Too long have you been buffeted by angry people who think that God talks to them. You have a right to your moderation! You have the power to be calm! We will use the IED of truth to explode the SUV of dogmatic expression!

Startling new underground group spreads lack of panic! )

This is my religion, ladies and gentlemen. The whole essence of it.
lykomancer: (depressed)
A friend-- you know who you are-- once commented that she was boggled that I could be happy going to seminary.
I am.

Cause I Get Tired of Seeing How Much I Babble, This Is Cut )

Anyone wanna help me write/draw up Unitarian Universalist versions of Chicktracts? XD
lykomancer: (depressed)
Soaring Dragon

~my body stretches and balances, recalibrating; colors ripple and swirl around me in fiery currents of chi, drifting upward like smoke and blazing behind my gently closed eyelids-- yellow... I see yellow like pure sunlight on fields of jonquils and daffodils, bobbing and bending in the cool, damp spring breezes and I bend with them, bending with the currents of tranquility and it's yellow, it's all yellow... saffron and sunshine and topaz and lemon...caramine, cornsilk, butter, amber flickering all around me, twining in my hair and sliding over my skin like tendrils of primrose-scented incense, burning my mind with brightness like the sun: my mind is as keen as the play of light on the edge of a blade; I am radiance~

Swimming Dragon

~my body curves sinuously, hips and spine twisting like a snake navigating the Susquehanna River, all skin and scales and sleekness; I part pools of deep, restful serpentine-blue and inhale, sucking the currents into me and feeling my own body (82% H2O) respond, resonating with the Tao that is like a river returning home to the sea, sliding sensuously beneath the serene eye of the full moon which traces over it shimmering silver and subtle shadows, seducing me into submerging myself beneath the slow-moving surface-- I must leave shallow waters and safe shores to seek my own soul's true strength~

Standing Dragon

~my body rests; the dragon waits aside the bubbling hot spring, claws buried in the clean, wet, heavy earth-- my bare feet sink into the floor like the gnarled roots of wise, ancient willows, soaking up the power and stability from the ground... I am the bridge between heaven and earth; I am the dragon of Midgard wrapped around the meridian, eating her own tail, causing tectonic plates to roil against one another my food moves down my gullet; I bleed red (red-hot magma, liquid stone) and sweat geysers... I bring forth life~
lykomancer: (Default)
OMFG... this is so entirely FUBAR. It's educational, and anti-Bush. And that little bitch Paris Hilton killed my Christopher Reeves, dammit. But I got to squash Tom Ridge and the breeding Bushes. That was cool.

I overslept and missed my therapy. Damn. Y'know, I thought about setting my alarm clock last night, and then I thought, Nah... it shouldn't be a problem; I'm actually going to bed at a normal time. Well, it was a problem, as my body decided it needed 12 hours of sleep... weird, because usually I wake up a few times through-out the morning when I sleep past ten or so, but I didn't. I got up at 6-- saw that Jen's light was still on-- went to the bathroom and got some water, and then didn't move until 1:20ish.

Taoism is going to be a wonderful, wonderful class. I'm so glad I'm taking it.
(*gets distracted*) Mmm... Crab chip-breakfast... Crab chips are delicious, and mine!
Right, Taoism. The professor's a Unitarian who wandered in wearing a funky Cat-in-the-Hat/jester's cap combination in blue and yellow. We did some Qi Gong and Tai Chi in class; we have such things as Taoist Cooking and Journey to the West on reserve in the library for us; part of class involves going out for Chinese food twice, and learning about the Tao of tea. Ted's planning on having his acupuncturist in, who needs a translator, because she's actually from China. I love it.

It's funny, too, 'cause I was thinking yesterday that maybe some of my confusion lies in my own dualities. Neither completely human nor animal; acting both canine and feline; both female and male; not hetero- nor homosexual; possessing traits of extroversion and introversion; pnuema and sarx. Does identity matter? At what point do your own contradictions begin to tear you apart?
And in Taoism, that was addressed. (Ok, maybe not that -exactly-, but you know.) Within the Tao, there is no stress between complete opposites; they compliment and fullfull each other. There is no stress. The vinegar may be sour and bitter, but that is exactly what makes it vinegar, and that is a wonderful thing.
lykomancer: (humanity is stupid)

Wendy met a nice man at work (at Wal*Mart), and lo and behold, they began hanging out and then dating.
No problem. Bully for her. Yatta. And all that good jazz.

Wendy started going to church with Ryan.
Cool. I have no beef with Wendy going to church, even a Christian one.

Then I found out that Ryan's church is a really big, really fundamentalist, evangelical church. (AKA: The Big Scary Gospel-Center in Fridley.)
Aha. Then I was on my toes, paying a little more attention.

Wendy converted to Christianity.
O.o;; Um. Whatever floats her boat, right? No thank you; I don't care for any.

Then she started spouting off weird and unWendy-like things, like saying how she feels bad about swearing and listening to her music (music, that, less than four weeks ago, she was squealing over in joy and trying to get me to appreciate). She started reading the Bible and going to prayer circles. She's talking about buying Christian rock and the Bible on CD.

I laid down the law. I said, I don't care what you believe, but you must never, never tell anyone in the house that they are going to Hell, and you must always question what you are told. Seek your own answers; don't just passively accept what they tell you.

I'm worried because I think that Ryan has an unhealthy hold over her, not because of who and what he is, but because of the idea she has of him. The unhealthy hold is in her own mind; a constrain she puts on herself, and that alarms me. She'll do anything to make him happy, and I don't get the sense that he's making similar adjustments. I'm not seeing a compromise-- that happens in every relationship-- but one person completely accommodating another.
The other night when Ryan was helping Wendy clean out her room, he threw away her CDs. Yeah, he did it playfully, right in front of her, and into a temporary trash bag she could easily fish them out of, but still... To me, that's so beyond not cool. That's a violation, and it's unacceptable.

I have this idea-- for right or wrong-- that the most important person in my life is and always will be me. My obligation to myself-- to be true to what I want, love, enjoy, and who I am-- is greater than any other relationship obligations. It's not that I am unwilling to compromise for someone I love; I already mentioned that as a given...but I feel that compromise is reciprocal. (e.g. I'll try to become a vegetarian for you and you try to keep the house cleaner for me.) I also believe that when you really, truly love someone, you want to change for them and you accept their shortcomings as well as their good points; in a mutual relationship when all involved feel the same way, the changes and acceptances more or less balance out.

And I'm just not seeing that here.

And I'm not sure how to tell Wendy that I'm worried that I think she's in an emotionally abusive relationship.
lykomancer: (Happy)
I'm having a spectacularly wonderful day.

I spoke to Hot ASL Lady, and I managed to do it a)clearly, b)coherently, c)non-pervertedly. Yes, ladies and gents, I held an actual, reasonable, two-minute conversation with Hot ASL Lady without becoming flustered in any way.
Her name is Theresa, and she was sick today. (Is it bizarre that I find myself slightly hopeful that I caught her germs? I think maybe...) My God, I even touched her to shake her hand.
(For some reason, my brain was very, very insistant on trying to speak to her in Japanese-- and yes, I could have done my entire half as such-- though I don't have any idea why "Onamae wa nan desu ka?" and the rest sprang to my lips and denied almost completely the English equivalent. Thank God for my subconscious and its reflexive nature.)
When I think about this I get a very bad case of the fluff-headed looney giggles. I feel that I suddenly have a firmer grasp on the definition of "twitterpated."

Chapel was touching as always, and I only wish the preacher-of-the-day would just continue instead of stopping. Today's subject was a homily on the story of Jacob wrestling with God, and how our struggles are transforming and our pain a blessing, and I moved, so...indescribably syncopated with Jan's words and message. When life gets too hard, I may be suffering, but there is a purpose to it. I just need to keep in mind that it is not forever; I do have the power to change parts of my situation; this is making me stronger. It brings me closer to God, until I see face to face.
(However, over and over at seminary, despair is described as heresy. Augustine claimed it was the heresy against hope; many preachers and teachers say that it is the inverse of faith... That doubt and questioning are healthy for faith, but that despair and faith are completely incompatible. Having dragged myself through periods of depression and despair, I seriously disagree. It is when I am most in despair that I feel the most faith.)
lykomancer: (Default)
Just finished my matriculation interview.
God, I think I embarrassed myself somewhere along the way, but I'm not entirely certain when or how.
I don't know whether to say that went well, mediocre, or smashingly terrible...the interviewer sat there squinting in a thoughtful sort of way with her hand crooked up by her mouth while I babbled on and on, hoping I'd hit on something that would convince her I was worth spending the financial aid on.
If there was one downfall in my babbling, it was that I was honest. Honesty about an academic record and study habits such as mine isn't always a good thing. However, she knows I wasn't hiding anything or emphasizing my good points; still, though, I think I might have said too much... To quote Stuart Davis, I need a muffler for my brain.

Shame, shame.

I told her about my bathroom analogy for my vocation, though, and that was entertaining. ^_^
Bathroom analogy (aka: me vs. the urge to go into the M.Div program):
I said it's like you're sitting at your computer playing games or writing a paper, and you are really wrapped up in what you are doing and don't want to stop. However, your body is telling you that a trip to the potty-room might be recommendable in the immediate future. But you ignore it, steadfastly playing or writing and gritting your teeth as the pressure on your bladder gets steadily worse. Eventually you are going to have to go whether you like it or not. That's how I feel. I'm bebopping along, doing my thing and I'm really into it, and yet...I have to go and do the M.Div. Program. I'm ignoring that urge, but it's getting harder and harder to shut it out. Eventually, I think I will have to do it. I really don't want to though, even though I think it might make me feel better-- in the same way going to the bathroom makes you feel better.
Vivid, ne?

God, please let them accept me as a student. Please, please, please! I really need the financial aid.


lykomancer: (Default)

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