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Of Faith & Resolution

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 8:30 pm - September 18, 2006.
Filed under: Gays & religion,Literature & Ideas

In the past seventy-two hours, I have gained more insight into the difference between an “epiphany” (or as Gryph put it getting thwacked by a 2 x 4) and faith. In the immediate aftermath of my reawakening moment Thursday night, I was certain I could stick to the vows I made at that time. And now, nearly four full days later, I have succeeded. A good start, but not much of an accomplishment.

For when the glow of that moment wears off, as it is certain to wear off, I will still need to find the strength to stay true to my vow — and myself. With that thought in mind, I began to understand faith a little better. Thursday night, I saw clearly where I had gone wrong and what I needed to do to correct my past behavior.

In future days, it will not be so easy. The glow of my recent illumination will have faded. And that’s when faith comes in. I must believe that the power of that insight endures. There are times when we are certain of God’s presence and others when He seems distant. It is in those moments where we have to believe that we are on the right path — even if the divine message is not as clear as it once was.

Of Books & Feelings

One of the (many) things I have learned in graduate school is how much a bad book can affect you — while a good book can often lift your spirits.

This weekend, while researching a paper on the forest for my “Psyche & Nature” class, I read Alexander Porteous’ The Forest in Folklore and Mythology, which, while presenting many stories of the forest and trees in myth and folk tradition, made no effort to tie them together in any coherent whole. It was more a catalogue of such stories than an essay delighting in the power of these tales — and getting at their meaning.

To be sure, many of the tales — and a handful of the insights — will serve me well in my paper. The author left me to get at the meaning of this various imaginary creatures and legends. But, reading the book made me restless and crabby.

Today, I had the opposite experience as I reviewed my underlings in one of the books our professor had assigned us. While I didn’t always agree with the points David Abram made in his The Spell of the Senuous, I delighted in his interesting insights — and how he backed them up with reference to mythology, philosophy, linguistics and/or his experiences among primitive tribes around the world. Returning to this book helped lift my spirits — and made me less anxious about the two papers I must complete this week.

It is amazing how books are like movies, even like people. That their quality can impact the way we feel, maybe even the way we act.

09/21 Fundraiser (in Arlington, VA) to Oppose Virginia’s Anti-Gay Marriage Ballot Proposition

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 5:30 pm - September 18, 2006.
Filed under: 2006 Elections,Gay Marriage,General

On behalf of a group of a group of libertarian and Republican individuals in the Washington, D.C. area, including, David Boaz and Stephen H. Miller, Don and Karol Boudreaux ” Kelly Young and Bill Reinsmith, Charles Francis, Jonathan Rauch and Michael Lai, Stephen Herbits, William Mellor and Alison LingScott and, Vanessa Barbee, David Lampo as well as Hon. Steve Gunderson and Jonathan Stevens, I wanted to give you a headsup about a fundraising reception featuring Andrew Sullivan.

While this blog is often at odds with Andrew, we join him in opposing the Virginia ballot measure to ban all legal recognition of relationships between unmarried couples. The reception is this coming Thursday, September 21, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

It costs $500 to serve on the Host Committee and $100 to come as a friend. RSVP here & for directions. Or donate online.

Bring checks payable to The Commonwealth Coalition.

The Commonwealth Coalition is a diverse group of individuals, businesses, and civic, community and religious organizations who have joined together to oppose the proposed Marshall/Newman amendment to the Virginia bill of rights that will be on the ballot this fall on election day, November 7, 2006. The proposed amendment does not just define marriage as between one man and one woman, as proponents assert. It goes well beyond that and beyond existing state law to ban all legal recognition of relationships between unmarried couples (gay and straight). The effect of the amendment will be to render unenforceable any agreement between two unmarried people that “intends” to approximate the benefits, significance, OR effects of marriage. The amendment also bans government recognition of civil unions and domestic partnerships outright. For more information about The Commonwealth Coalition and the amendment, visit them on the web.