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August 20, 2007

I was a born-again Christian. Here I am at church camp.

alanngcy.JPG From 1977 to 1979 -- ages 9 to 12 -- I attended Northern Grace Youth Camp each summer. They tried very hard to make fundamentalist, Grace Bible Church doctrine stick in my head through twice-daily chapel and Bible study. At the time, I considered myself "born again.". I don't regret a moment of being at the camp. I was well treated and had a lot of fun. Regular reading of the King James Bible is excellent training for writing and reading English, seeing as it is the base text for the entire culture. And I love Jesus Christ's message and still believe in it and try to follow it. But I didn' t remain a Christian. Today, I'm something of a quasi-involved- Unitarian Universalist -- I'm in total agreement with the whole thing, studied the religion in depth and even contribute time to raise funds for my congregation, but cannot make myself go on Sunday morning. And Universalism as a belief is the issue, as outlined by Northern Grace Youth Camp's own Doctrinal Statement:
STATE OF THE DEAD Nowhere does Scripture extend the hope of salvation to the unsaved dead, but instead reveals that they will ever continue to exist in a state of conscious suffering (Luke 16:23-28; Rev. 14:11; 20:14-15; Col. 3:6; Rom 1:21-32; John 3:36; Phil 3:19; II Thes. 1:9). The teachings of Universalism, of probation after death, of annihilation of the unsaved dead, and of the unconscious state of the dead, saved or unsaved (Luke 16:23-28; Phil. 1:23; II Cor. 5:6-80, are opposed by us as being thoroughly unscriptural and dangerous doctrines.
Fair enough. I don't believe the unsaved are damned. So I can't be that sort of Christian. I do respect Christians' belief that they are, if that's what they believe. Someday, we'll all find out. It is pretty funny that, barring actually worshiping Satan, I managed to grow into an antipodal religious philosophy. To all the folks who subsidized my inexpensive church-camp experience in the hope of saving me, what can I say? Thank you and better luck with the next kid. Should I know anyone in the mid-west need a camp like yours, I will heartily endorse it. I bring this up mainly because, if there are miracles in this day and age, they are Internet miracles, I am convinced of that. Last night I got an itch to see if my old summer camp had a Web site and BANG! Suddenly, I'm staring back at myself, age 9, standing in front of Cabin 5, in mid-July, 1975. And then found the next two years' photos, with me getting progressively chunkier and more sad. (Stuff happened like we had to move out of our house all of a sudden, general stress; church and camp had nothing to do with it.) Generally speaking, the time just pre-Web has proven to be something of a blank spot in my online research. For example, the Bible church I attended that sent me to Northern Grace imploded and closed in the early 1990s. As far as Google is concerned, it never existed. But someone in Wisconsin, with the patience and love of the devoted, Flickred up hundreds of photos of the camp's life from 1954 on, and so it was there for me to find. Miraculously.

August 19, 2007

Der Kommisar

Programmin' these Showbiz Pizza Animatronics is serious business....

Shaye St. John: Washroom 2

Shaye St. John: Wire Therapy...

Early-70s sex ed film reveals: If you're gonna jack it, lock the goddamn door

Via Portal of Evil TV...

Skype drop was the result of Russian crackers

www.xakep.ru | Skype drop was the result of Russian crackers...

August 17, 2007

Your Papers, Please: Real ID and that sucking sound your rights make as they disappear

CNN | Federal ID plan raises privacy concerns (CNN) --...

Silly loser boy, you're not gay, you're just a fucking dork

Savage Love | HUMP! Is Coming!I am a single guy......

Your lifestyle and food/farm policy are genocide

NYT | CARE Turns Down Federal Funds for Food AidMALELA,...

Universal, single-payer national health care right fucking NOW!

CNN | Man kissed ailing wife, threw her off balcony, prosecutors say
KANSAS CITY, Missouri (AP) -- A man threw his seriously ill wife four stories to her death because he could no longer afford to pay for her medical care, prosecutors said in charging him with second-degree murder. According to court documents filed Wednesday in Jackson County Circuit Court, Stanley Reimer walked his wife to the balcony of their apartment and kissed her before throwing her over. The body of Criste Reimer, 47, was found Tuesday night outside the apartment building, near the upscale Country Club Plaza shopping district. Stanley Reimer, 51, appeared dazed when authorities arrived. He was taken away from the scene by ambulance. According to Jackson County Probate Court records, Criste Reimer had been in ill health for several years. Her weight had fallen to 75 pounds and she was partly blind. According to the court records, she had no health insurance to pay for medical bills that ranged from $700 to $800 per week.

August 16, 2007

Dow in free-fall?

Oh, shit. 2:42 p.m. EDST: Things have bounced back since...

Everything Gives You Cancer?

Well, some things don't -- like healthy food. MSNBC |...

Innisfree recommends: Deer Hunting With Jesus

I must admit a cultural blindspot when it comes to...

All that coke he did causes Stephen King think he can scribble on any book, anywhere

Raw Story | Horror author King mistaken for vandal in...

Pissing away the Great Lakes

via Raw Story | boston.com | Study: Erosion causing lakes'...

Food prices spike up

FOODPRICES.small.prod_affiliate.91.jpg McClatchy Washington | Prices for key foods are rising sharply
MIDLAND, Va. — The Labor Department's most recent inflation data showed that U.S. food prices rose by 4.2 percent for the 12 months ending in July, but a deeper look at the numbers reveals that the price of milk, eggs and other essentials in the American diet are actually rising by double digits. Already stung by a two-year rise in gasoline prices, American consumers now face sharply higher prices for foods they can't do without. This little-known fact may go a long way to explaining why, despite healthy job statistics, Americans remain glum about the economy.

Goin' Postal: The Nation, screwed by Time Warner

Got this in the mail from ** Dorothy ** this...

Network card to blame for stranding 17,000 at LAX

Gizmodo | Sputtering Network Card Strands 17,000 People at LAXJust...

August 15, 2007

The Escapist Magazine snaps up zeropunctuation

I'm so happy for him! Totally deserved success for hilarious,...

August 14, 2007

I think a pr0nz company is about to get legally cornholed

via PoE News | beeb | Teenager sues over porn...

Kucinch equated Democratic Leadership Council with neoconservatives

Raw Story | Kucinich: DLC agenda 'indistinguishable' from Neoconservative agendaStephanopoulos...

Cheney's republican (!) neighbors hang him him in effigy

ZOMFG LOL PNWD! Raw Story | Cheney's neighbors topple his...

Jitters in Second Life as bank shuts doors

SL banned gambling and caused a run on the bank....

Atari Teenage Riot - Revolution Action

Conspiracy-Theory Rock

Comptroller General compares present-day US to the fall of Rome

The man we pay to keep us honest says the center cannot hold and everyone is culpable. Blood enough for everyone's hands and the Visigoths on the doormat. Think we'll get out shit together in time? Hint: No empire ever has. Financial Times | Learn from the fall of Rome, US warned
The US government is on a ‘burning platform’ of unsustainable policies and practices with fiscal deficits, chronic healthcare underfunding, immigration and overseas military commitments threatening a crisis if action is not taken soon, the country’s top government inspector has warned. David Walker, comptroller general of the US, issued the unusually downbeat assessment of his country’s future in a report that lays out what he called “chilling long-term simulations”. These include “dramatic” tax rises, slashed government services and the large-scale dumping by foreign governments of holdings of US debt. Drawing parallels with the end of the Roman empire, Mr Walker warned there were “striking similarities” between America’s current situation and the factors that brought down Rome, including “declining moral values and political civility at home, an over-confident and over-extended military in foreign lands and fiscal irresponsibility by the central government”. “Sound familiar?” Mr Walker said. “In my view, it’s time to learn from history and take steps to ensure the American Republic is the first to stand the test of time.” Mr Walker’s views carry weight because he is a non-partisan figure in charge of the Government Accountability Office, often described as the investigative arm of the US Congress.

August 13, 2007

The Savage Critic(s) party like it's 1985 - Why Countdown #38 is Crap

The Savage Critic(s) | Usless Information, tons of Useless Information:...

Bill Richardson completely fucks up, will not be President

Feministing | Apparently, being gay is a choice. Backpedaling: The...

Report: Head of China toy company kills self

MSNBC | Report: Head of China toy company kills self...

Kevin Smith destroys heckler

@ 2007 ComiCon, NSFW (headphones) via PoE TV...