Saturday, November 21, 2009

a quote about love and choice

"When love is not a choice, it is a sickness."

from "A Brief History of My Heart" by Rochard Katrovas
on page 22 of Mid-American Review v. XXIX, No. 2

This essay is powerful and simple.  Check it out if you're near a library.

What do you think?  How much of love is an act of the will?

Sunday, November 15, 2009

What if I don't want to?

According to the marketing copy on an extremely popular Christian self-help book, all women have a God-given longing to be loved, taken care of, and treated like princesses; they want a man to provide these things for them, and that's good and natural, so they get married. 

But what if it's not like that?  What if it's not absolute?  How does such an absolute statement affect people for whom it's not true?

Mostly, it just irritates me, to be honest.  I have no idea how it affects anyone else who it shuts out for whatever reasons. 

I suppose that since I love words and meanings, I just get a bit hot under the collar about absolutes that aren't true, especially when they're flung around by people who are invested in absolute truth.

I'm sure it's true that many women have these innate desires.  I guess I'm just not sure why we can't say it that way instead of insisting that something is true of all women.  Am I splitting hairs?  Just being surly and rebellious because I like defying absolutes?  I don't know.  Maybe.

Or maybe I'm just being honest about the power words have to hurt even (especially) if they're not true.  What this book seems to be telling me is that there is something wrong with me if this absolute does not apply to me.  I've been wondering if there was something wrong with me for years; I don't really need any encouragement to feel left out. 

I'm just glad I had already figured out what's "wrong" with me before I saw this book.  I guess those with the gift of celibacy will always be outside, in a way, and that is a blessing that sometimes feels like a curse.  I wonder what I can do to help the next generation of kids growing up feeling ostracized by the spiritual gift of celibacy to help them not overcompensate like I think a lot of them do.

Any thoughts?

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Let's fight!

Sometimes I want to argue.  It's stated somewhat in the title of this blog and the verse behind it, but it's been frustrating me lately that no one will help me out by having a good, sensible argument. 

I need friends who will discuss, talk, and argue with me, especially about controversial issues or things I want to hear different opinions about.  I think most of my friends are too nice to do this, even if it's just in writing, even when I'm pretty obvious about it.  So here's hoping a more anonymous forum might result in some good points of view from whoever it is that actually reads this blog.

The books that raised the questions are the Night Angel Trilogy by Brent Weeks.  These books are really, really dark and deal with a lot of filth, sin, grace, death, and redemption.  There are a lot of 'scenes' that contain content that would be offensive to many Christians.

One of my friends about the book: "I don't think I could bring myself to produce that many swear words and 'scenes' in a book and still claim to be a Christian . . ."

Some questions about art in general and books in particular:

a. Is it okay for Christians to read such books?
b. Should we limit ourselves to only reading what does not offend any of our brothers and sisters? 
c. Should we limit ourselves to only reading what does not offend any of our brothers and sisters in front of them?
d. Is this the same as hiding it from them/lying to them?
e. Is depiction the same as endorsement?

I ask these questions sincerely as a reader, a writer, and a believer.   I am truly interested in your answers, whatever they are.  Please fight among yourselves. :)