Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Part 1: Homosexuality and gay rights

Here's is the first post of three (I hope) on irreconcilable differences I have with the Church. I believe there is nothing morally wrong with homosexuality, period. At 2SecondsFaster we've been discussing this in relation to Pope John Paul II's Theology of the Body. From what I've read so far of the summary/explanation the book club is reading, is that it's the same arguments that have been mentioned by Christians in general over and over.

In any case, I find nothing wrong or unnatural about it. The fact is that homosexual behavior has been observed in countless species, including our closest relatives (biologically speaking). To call it unnatural is absurdity, it is performed throughout the natural world. "But we aren't animals!" people will argue. Quite simply, that is false. We are animals, mammals in fact, so that is simply denial of fact. "But we can reason, we're above them so we don't need to engage in this sinful behavior!". Yes, we do have higher reasoning powers (though apes and dolphins seem to be coming closer with each new study), but the fact remains that higher reasoning has simply led to better conclusions in regards to preserving our species and society (thus why we've taken over much of the planet and have no longer have any natural predators). The fact that gays are unable to naturally reproduce is not a strike against them in our society. They could very well adopt orphaned children, much like homosexual penguins do. Afterall, a household is better than no household, even if you think homosexality a s in. It simply doesn't make logical sense to think otherwise. Homosexual sex is not a perversion of sex either, as many continue to argue. Men have pleasure areas that are affected by homosexual sex, as do women. The pleasure during sex was originally to encourage its happening, otherwise what person would have thought to initiate sex in the first place? It was a protective measure. Perhaps pleasure spots in homosexual sex were nature's original forms of contraception. Perhaps if a wondering group would grow too large from more members, then individuals would perform homosexual acts. We are not the only species to have sex for pleasure either, and so it would have been nothing new.

Now, moving on from homosexuality, we have gay rights. Religious individuals in general fight against gay marriage on the grounds that marriage is between a man and a woman. This is true in various forms of Christianity and other religions, but it is nowhere near true of all religions. All gays should be able to receive the government benefits we provide straight couples. I would have no objection to renaming the government institution, and allowing religious institutions to save the word "marriage" for themselves (though, again, this would not bar gays from marrying in the religious sense either). They are two consenting adults showing a commitment to one another that benefits the government and society at large, and thus should be able to receive the benefits straight couples do for doing the same.

Alright, that's it for now. Didn't touch anywhere near everything, but that's what discussion is for : ).

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

And so it begins...

    As many of you know, I have a strong faith in God. Some of you know enough about me to know I was brought up in the Catholic Church. I've finally decided to speak out as to why exactly I left the Catholic Church. This post will be serving as an introduction to the series I hope to write on the criteria that led to my decision. It will look at why, no matter how much I may want to, I do not see myself reconciling with the Church and becoming once again a full-fledged Catholic any time soon. I will always recognize Catholicism for the impact it has had on my life, my thought process, and its importance as a part of my heritage. I consider myself a lapsed Catholic, and will likely continue to do so, as I feel I have no other alternatives.

    There are quite a few reasons why I made the decision to leave. I have glossed over many of them during my time writing, and now I hope to go more in depth within this series of posts. Among these reasons are homosexuality and gay rights, contraception and sex ed, and papal and biblical infallibility. In each post within this series I hope to address each of these topics, along with any others that commenters bring up, in depth along with a (hopefully) meaningful dialogue.

    I know my track record is spotty in regards to posting, and it very well may be as break comes to an end and school work, the Student Senate, MSU, PHENOM, the Examiner, and possibly another writing project with the Mass Media take over my life. However, I will try and post something at least once a week.

I hope you're reading, because things are just about to get interesting.

-Dan

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Busy, busy, busy

I'm still writing, it really is that I'm not doing it here. I don't haver time to log in here and post a preview each time I write a new piece for the examiner, and that along with my involvement in my school's student senate and my workload is just catching up with me.

However, don't despair! I'm adding the RSS feed of my new gig on the side of this page. Please stop by, read, and comment.

I hope you all had a great holiday season.

-Dan

Monday, December 15, 2008

Be a Hero Save a Blog Contest by Bloggled!

Go over to Bloggled, open account, and begin backing up your blog (for free!) and you could win a 16GB iPod Touch! What are you waiting for? Go!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Many Updates

Hey, those of you who continue to come here: thanks :). I may yet be writing some posts here that don't relate to those I'm writing for the examiner.

That badge to the upper right that says I'm an examiner is linked to my main page that will show my most recent article, below which is a list of my past articles. Please go through and read them. Hopefully I'll remember to update this blog with a preview of the happenings at the Examiner and a link to read more.

Meanwhile, Here's what I've written since my last post(most recent to oldest):

Question 1: to pay or not to pay


Debate is McCain's last chance

Obama unveils economic plan for Main Street

Democrats more trusted than Republicans according to new poll

Gloucester to allow distribution of contraceptives

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Good news and bad news

Bad news first, I won't be writing out a full reaction to last night's debate. I do think Obama edged out McCain for various reasons, but I don't have the time to do a nice long post like I am accustomed to.

Good news, my first article is live :). My articles can all be found here and is titled "Obama successfully paints McCain as warhawk".

Thank you all for your support. Please read the stories I post, the more views I get the more likely it is I might make some decent money. Pass it on far and wide. Thank you all :)

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Tonight's Debate

I have a multitude of notes on tonight's presidential debate. My reaction will follow tomorrow, hopefully on the Examiner's Boston edition in the "Politics" section. I sent in all the required documentation, so hopefully I get my log in and whatnot soon. I'll keep you all posted.

Job Update

Alright, so I got a call today from the Boston edition of the Examiner. I got a job :). So whenever I write a post for them (three days a week is "recommended") I will post a preview here. After that you'll need to click a link so I can generate views and add to my pay (it's based solely on traffic) so certainly feel free to send it to your friends. It will be much appreciated :).

Friday, October 3, 2008

Religion and Politics

Separation of church and state has long been held as a doctrine of this country, and has been one of the most controversial. From school-led prayer,to ID to the controversy of the words "Under God" being on money and in the pledge of allegiance. Now being challenged is the provision in the tax code that provide churches tax exemption. Under this provision churches (as an orginization) are not permitted to endorse candidates running for office if they wish to retain tax exemption.

This past week fifty churches sought to challenge this law. The sermons focused on political issues and candidates in the upcoming presidential election. Some did go so far as to endorse the candidate, a blatant attack on this tax code. A watchdog group filed complaints against 6 of the churches for their sermons, and action is being awaited. The churches pledge should the IRS take penal action they will challenge the law as far as the Supreme Court, seeking a verdict overturning this 'stifling of free speech' (as supporters of these churches see it).

However, a new set of polls released by PewForum seems to indicate a majority of Americans disagree. The polls indicate a majority of Americans disagree with the idea of churches endorsing a particular political candidate. The interesting thing is that the statistics seem to stay constant across the board as the polls go from more to less religious, somewhere in the mid to upper sixties.

Seems most Americans in fact want this wall (and this portion of the tax code) to stand. I agree. If I go to church I am going for spiritual guidance, not what essentiall amounts to a political demand. If I truly believe the path of the religion, the pastor, etc no endorsement should be necessary as it would be repetitive and a moot point. An endorsement by a particular church would seem to me as a confession that either they are not confident in the job their doing or are trying to "command" (for lack of a better word) those on the fringes or those who are unsure where their spiritual fulfillment lies but hold a particular sympathy for one church or another.

The feeling for a need to endorse a candidate should be unnecessary. If the message is getting across, those who lisen to the sermons ought to be able to see for themselves who is the better candidate in the view of their church.

VP Debate Reaction

Last night's VP debate was not nearly as exciting as I had hoped it would be. I pictured fireworks and some more below-the-belt shots from each side. Instead, I found most of the debate fairly dull. The most excitement seemed to happen in my own living room. One roomate (the only libertarian) began an argument that eventually led to a shouting match and a self-imposed quarantine on his part. I missed about five to ten minutes of the debate, but it might just have been worth it. The surge of emotion woke me up and I found myself paying more attention to the remainder of the VP showdown.

Biden destroyed Palin on foreign policy, plain and simple. That was expected and no amount of preparation on her part would likely be able to counteract that. An advantage for Palin though was that Biden often came across as long-winded and absorbed in various senatorial nuances. Great to show off experience, but you're going to lose interest from the audience that way. Palin though, did seem to hold her own when it came to domestic policy, going toe to toe with Biden. Both (surprisingly) avoided any major gaffes (however I think that "five week statement" might just come back in an ad sometime). Palin was able to repair her image (partially shattered by the Couric interviews), but I don't think she's brought herself completely back to the American people. The interview has made them wary, and bringing them back will be no easy task. Despite the repairs she made to her image last night, I personally didn't get the feel that she is anymore ready to be VP, or president should it come down to it, of this country. She exceeded the standards expected of her, but that alone is not enough to convince me she is capable of taking on the job she is running for (though it certainly may help McCain's chances in the polls). In the end though, I think Biden won on points, but Palin's improving image may just slow Obama's growth in the polls. Outside of that though, I don't think this debate had too much of an effect.

Though perhaps thats a bit biased since I lost Palin bingo last night to one of my room mates.