Archive for June, 2007

A Matter of Priorities

Friday, June 29th, 2007

I talked the other day about gay pride. As you’ll recall, God helped me figure out that it wasn’t about being proud of something that is just part of who I am, but rather it was about being proud of having made it through all of society’s anti-gay programming without losing myself.

Well, there’s one other issue I’ve always had with gay pride, and this one is mine alone. Well, probably not mine alone but certainly not something intrinsic to being gay. The thing is, I’m not especially good at it, at being gay. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I’m not talking about the mechanics of sex. When it comes to pleasing receptive guys, I know pretty well what to push and what to pull and where to stick my tongue and all that sort of stuff, but when it comes to finding receptive guys… I’m pretty inept.

And I can’t flame, or snap, to save my life.

I do okay at being a bear, although I feel a little guilty about a certain lack of body hair…

So what words of wisdom did I get from God about this? What did he say to help me feel better about myself or to get me to change my outlook or my actions?


He just told me that I knew how to change if I wanted to; that I am who I want to be or I’d do something about it.

I’m not sure that’s completely true, but then, who am I to argue with God?

Pride Happens

Wednesday, June 27th, 2007

Since June is “Gay Pride” month, I couldn’t let it go by without at least bringing up the subject. The thing I’ve never gotten is why it’s something to be proud of. I mean it’s something we’re born with, or, if not completely, there’s at least a very strong genetic component.

So what did God have to say on the subject?

He told me that being gay wasn’t something to be proud of. But… He told me that what was something to be proud of was the ability to accept being gay after growing up in a society that did its pathological best, first to pretend that gays don’t even exist, and second, to then do its best to say that even if they do exist that’s a bad thing.

So despite what I thought at first, gay pride isn’t pride in what you are after all, it really is pride in what you’ve accomplished.

God Knows

Monday, June 25th, 2007

A large part of most religions is an attempt to understand God. To know him. To know what he thinks and what he wants. Based on the many conversations I’ve had with him, I’ve gotten the distinct impression that he feels this is not something of which we are capable.

In the book Stranger in a Strange Land, Robert Heinlein created the word grok, which one character defines as “to understand so thoroughly that the observer becomes a part of the observed.” The main character of the book, a martian named Smith, only understands the concept of God as “one who groks,” and so takes to telling people that “thou art God.” Now I’ve often heard it said that God is inside of everyone, a part of everyone, so in that sense it would seem that just by being human we grok God to a certain extent, which might explain why there is a nearly universal attraction to religion.

In any event, it struck me as an interesting notion that to know God is to be God, while, at the same time, to be religious is to admit to not knowing God.

Together We Stand

Friday, June 22nd, 2007

God and I got back to the subject of Satan and Hell today. It’s a subject likely to come up again, as I’ve always been intrigued by the concept of dealing with the Devil; the idea of selling your soul for riches, power, or other earthly gains.

Given that Satan was so bothered by the creation of Man that he revolted against God, thus falling from grace and being cast out of Heaven, why would he be so keen to get our souls, and why would he be willing to do us favors to get them.

God told me it’s a simple case of sibling rivalry. Satan resents us for being the new kid. He’s upset that “Dad” is paying attention to us instead of him, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t love us in his own way. God says that Satan is like the older brother that constantly picks on us right up until the neighborhood bully starts to do the same, then he turns around and beats up the bully. Satan may be annoyed by us, but he’s kind of gotten used to having us around.

Signal Moment

Wednesday, June 20th, 2007

I was talking to God today about how I drive. Now, one of the things I really care about is people that don’t signal their turns, but sometimes I think that I take proper turn signal use a little too far. I got on to the subject of left turns onto freeway on ramps. There’s a lot of places where the turn lane for the on ramp starts before the freeway and then crosses over it before you actually get the chance to turn. When I approach one of these pre-freeway turn lanes I signal my lane change into the turn lane, but then I turn off my turn signal. I do that even though the next legal place for me to turn is not the next possible place for me to turn, because I don’t want anyone getting the wrong idea, however unlikely that may be. So then when I’ve crossed over onto the overpass, and both the next possible turn point and the next legal turn point are the same, then I turn my turn signal back on.

So I wanted to know what God thought of this procedure, if she thought I was carrying things too far.

She asked me if I’d ever discussed Pokemon with a little kid that was really into the game. Kids will go on at great length to tell you the differences between the different Pokemon cards. What the special powers are of the different characters. What the different characters look like, and on, and on. She said the reason you talk about these things with the kids is because you love them and because you like to see them happy and because their enthusiasm can be contagious, but not because you actually care about Pokemon.

Intercession Procession

Monday, June 18th, 2007

Today I found something that really pisses God off. I asked him about the practice of praying to Jesus or Mary and asking them to intercede with him on the pray-ers behalf.

He said the reason to do this is because the person praying thinks that they’re asking for something that he will not want to grant but they think that with Jesus on their side they can get him to change his mind. So what they’re actually saying is that they know what God’s mind is and that he’s wrong, but they’re not good enough to convince him of it.

I suggested maybe they just think that he’s awfully busy and that Jesus or Mary could gather together a whole lot of prayers and group them together for efficient processing.

He just said Jesus is not a civil servant, if you’ve got something to pray, you can pray to him directly.

The Light

Friday, June 15th, 2007

We’re all going to die some day. One piece of advice that we’ve seen many times in movies and books is, when we die, go towards the light. Numerous people that have died and then been brought back have reported seeing a ball of light in the distance and being emotionally drawn to it.

What is that light, I asked God. Is it Heaven? Is it an Angel?

Oh no, he told me, that’s just something that brains do when they’re shutting down. It’s got nothing to do with the afterlife. So go ahead and move towards the light, maybe you’ll find a pot of gold when you get there and maybe you won’t, but don’t get too hung up on it.

Working Alone

Wednesday, June 13th, 2007

When I was in elementary school, I was an altar boy, volunteering mostly for the weekday mass at six-thirty in the morning. As a boy scout, when we went camping I was usually up first, so I could start the breakfast fire. In junior high school, I was a paperboy.

What these all had in common, was getting up early, even earlier than the sun most of the time. I was talking about this with God today and wondering why I did it, since I’ve never really been a morning person, despite these episodes.

She told me that I did it to be close to her. Sure she’s in everything but different people connect to her in different ways. A lot of people connect to the bits of God that are in other people, that’s why we’re such a social species. But other people, and apparently I’m one of them, prefer to find God when no one else is around.

Land Ho

Monday, June 11th, 2007

I’ve been looking at housing lately, and how expensive homes can be in some parts of the country. One of the old sayings about buying real estate is that they aren’t making any more of it.

I asked God about that. I asked him if he could make an exception for me and make some new land. I knew he wouldn’t, but sometimes I just like to see what he’ll come up with as an answer.

He told me not to be absurd. He said he’s making new land all the time. Stars collapse and explode, creating new combinations of elements some of which go on to be parts of new planets. But what about here on Earth. Well, there’s almost always a volcano spitting up some new land somewhere, he told me. I pointed out that a new island of volcanic rock somewhere was hardly indicative of God being hospitable.

So he thought about it for a minute. Finally, he told me that I could always move north. The arctic, he pointed out, is starting to get a lot warmer.

Dynamic Driving

Friday, June 8th, 2007

I was taking a long drive the other day, the kind of drive that rolls down a two lane highway at seventy miles an hour for hours on end. Out on the road you can watch a sort of microcosm of human behavior, and in a lot of cases, I find human behavior kind of annoying.

I was rolling along an Arizona highway with the cruise control set, listening to an album and enjoying the moment. Slowly gaining on the truck in front of me I started taking note of the speed of the cars approaching behind me, so that I’d know when I should move over to pass. A little ways back was a minivan, it was steadily moving up on me, so I figured I’d wait for it. Sometimes I speed up to pass so as not to inconvenience a car that would catch up with me while I would be passing, but it didn’t seem to be needed this time.

Then the van pulled up next to me. And slowed down. As it paced me, the truck in front loomed closer. Ultimately I had to release the cruise control so I could drop back to move behind the van. Once I did, the van picked up the pace a little bit and I was able to resume my speed.

I asked God why people drive like this. It certainly wasn’t the first time I’d seen such behavior. I wanted to know if they enjoyed being jerks, if they liked getting in people’s ways.

He told me it wasn’t that at all. He pointed out that we’d talked before about how some humans are loners but most are pack animals. He said that the driver of the minivan was just trying to join my pack.

Free Samples

Wednesday, June 6th, 2007

I went grocery shopping the other day and they had some people there giving away free samples of some of the foods they were selling. It’s a pretty common thing these days, but it got me to thinking. When God stopped by for our chat today I asked him if he’d ever consider such a thing, give us a little taste of Heaven so we’d know it was worth working to get in.

He said the idea had occurred to him.

He said it in a kind of way that made me realize that he had not only thought of it but that he must have done something more. So I pressed him on it. I said, you’ve already done it haven’t you. He grinned. Well, come on, I said, what is it?

He just asked me if I really thought sex had always led to an orgasm.

If You Build It

Monday, June 4th, 2007

The other day I discussed beauty with God and she told me that the degree we see of either beauty or ugliness indicated how strongly something communicated from one soul to another. That gave me a way to tell when something touches my soul, but it didn’t do a lot to tell me the difference between them. What I wanted to know was if there was some qualitative aspect that would classify something as either beautiful or ugly. After all, if our souls are the small piece of God that we keep inside of us, they must have some reason for picking on which end of the spectrum to put things.

We went around it in circles for awhile, and I think I was finally able to pick something out. Beauty comes from creation, ugly comes from destruction. Deep down inside we all want to be like God, so we want to create. We want to fight against the entropy all around us. So when we recognize something that defies the random, that goes against the decay of everyday life, we see that as something good, we see that as something beautiful.

So, sure, we all have different standards of beauty, but that doesn’t mean we don’t all want to build things, it just means we don’t all want to build the same things.

Oh, and given some of the things that I’ve seen displayed in galleries, maybe issuing some sort of zoning permits before letting people make art wouldn’t be too bad of an idea, either. Then again, maybe not.

Effects by God

Friday, June 1st, 2007

In the Bible God manages to get his message to man in a number of miraculous ways. He comes to Moses as a burning bush. He sends forth angels with burning swords. He covers lands with frogs and locusts. But these days, we’re lucky if we get a really good earthquake every few years.

I asked him what changed.

He said that he learned a long time ago that flashy special effects will only get you so far. Somewhere along the way you need to have a good story, and if the story is compelling enough, you can get away with a lot fewer effects.