The Skunk and Tiger

"Ignorance breeds monsters to fill up the vacancies of the soul that are unoccupied by the verities of knowledge."-Horace Mann

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Girl Names

Here is our current list of potential names for our baby girl, in no specific order, except that Marigold is my favorite so it goes on top.

Monday, July 30, 2007

My Best Rant Ever!

A myspace friend posted this in response to my objection to John Hagee and his Political/Religious Organization.

"I am surprised that you, being raised in west Michigan, think that way. West Michigan is knows for being on the conservitive side. I admire Hagee for standing up to what he believes is and for standing strong in his faith. God tells us that there is only one true God (which I am sure most religions argue that theirs say the same thing) but it all depends on where your faith lies. War will happen whether people think the Christians started it or the Muslims. I personally believe that the world is coming to its end and I do read the prophecys from Hagee to La Haye to the Van Impe's. But there is not point arguing with an unbeliever about will stick to your side and I will stick to my side. But say there isn't a God, I don't think I wasted too much time going to church, raising my family in a christian home, and having a personal relationship with Christ. Then I will decay like all dead things. But say there is a God....that would make judgement day interesting, now wouldn't it."

Here is my response.

I am thankful that my conscience, my values, and my faith survived 19 long years in West Michigan. Years that make up most of my childhood and two thirds of my life so far. I was bombarded with one single point of view from my peers and authority figures other than my parents. Many Grandville educators tried to mold my developing mind with their neoconservative/calvanistic ideas and whitewashed versions of history. As I grew older and more aware of the world onside of West Michigan reality, reason, history, science and truth began to contradict the one-dimensional view of society and morality that was given to me.
It was not easy growing up in Grandville as an Eastern Orthodox Christian. The majority of Christians in my home town had little knowledge of their own faith's history let alone an understanding of mine. Despite being a two thousand year old Christian institution my church was seen and described as a cult by most Grandville Christians. I was told in so many ways that my family, my church, and I were all destined to hell. I was also going to hell for my understanding of evolution, American history, human rights, for voicing my beliefs that homosexuals have the same rights under our constitution as everyone else. I was most certainly going to hell for not hating the Clintons and being a "liberal". My father was in danger of hellfire for being an anthropologist. As stupid as these West Michigan sermons were they made me feel very insecure until I started to understand how and why people take a literal view of a Bible they have so little understanding of, let alone even read.
In Kentucky I was certainly going to burn for not supporting Bush and a war based on lies, and/or not being Southern Baptist. I love Kentucky because it was there that I learned so much more about the history and concepts of American Fundamentalism. Most people I met there where rational, loving Christians. In Kentucky most assumed just assumed I had the same faith. Unlike the many West Michigan Christians who are first to assume one is "not saved" unless you attend their church. Both of these are generalizations and all my friends from both areas would not fall into these categories.
The Christian conservatives in West Michigan have nothing on the ones in Kentucky. I assure you that in the eyes of a Primitive Baptist, Landmark Baptist, or Holiness church member the evangelicals and non-denominational of GR are not 'saved' but 'luke warm' and will, as quoted in scripture 'be vomited out of Gods mouth' and into the fires of hell. It is strangely amusing that one fundamentalist burns in another fundamentalist's eternity.
I never stated that I did not believe in God or that Jesus is his son. I resent being called an 'unbeliever'. I also listen to the same people you mentioned and many more (From Dobson to Rushdooney, to John Nelson Darby), but I also listen to the people and ideas on the other-side. That other-side that is so often demonized or labeled as Secular Humanists, socialists, liberals, un-American or bad american. None of these terms are ever used correctly or fairly, but they serve a purpose, keeping the "true believers" from hearing anything other than a black and white/good vs. evil theology. It is keeping us polarized and ignorant.
Over the past ten years it has become shockingly clear to me that this unholy marriage of fundamentalist Christian ideology with the neoconservative political force is eroding the middle class, fueling a religious war, and dismantling our constitutional rights, and pitting us against each other. The ideals and rhetoric from Hagee, Lehaye, Dobson, Coral Ridge, 700 Club, Way of the Master, Hal Lidsay, Van Impe ect. is hateful, manipulating and maladaptive, and unequivocally wrong. It has the potential to lead us to nuclear war or a theocracy, or both. It will not lead to this rapture or Armageddon the religious right speaks so fondly of and pray for. These modern interpretations (left behind, Van Impe ect.)of Revelation and other scripture are relatively new and quite localized. They originated from Dwight L. Moody and the Great Awaking.
I never suggested Christians are wasting their time in church or raising Christian children. God Bless you for doing what you believe in.
I will say, with confidence, that those who subscribe to any eschatology and zionism are jeopardizing a future for their children and grandchildren and unfortunately mine and everyone else's. I will stand up for what I believe in. And I won't have to scream and pound my chest like John Hagee and others like him. I will not have to use deception and pseudo-science to stand for my beliefs. I will not have too slander the disenfranchised to push an agenda. I will not have to sacrifice my children's future in order to promote an ideology. I refuse to trade knowledge and thought for fear and ignorance. I refuse to glorify poverty and illiteracy. I will not confuse arrogance and hatred for righteousness or Godliness. I refuse to put God in a box. I refuse to speak for God, but I will continue to listen and to read. This is what I will stand for.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Rapture Ready: The Unauthorized Christians United for Israel Tour

Please watch this and keep in mind John McCain, Newt Gingrich, Gary Bauer have courted this organization and its founder John Hagee.
Pastor Hagee of Cornerstone Church where he preaches, or rather screams an anti-Semitic, end-times, and dominionism theology. These 'One World Government' and 'Illuminate' type conspiracy theories have been around forever, and are routinely reenergized by crack-pots like Hagee. It is disturbing that Christians United for Israel is gaining such political power, and is influencing U.S. foreign Policy. This organization is pushing for war with Iran and all Muslims. They claim to be pro-Israel but prove to have little regard for the Jewish people, other than how Israel fits into a Dispensationalist timeline and other squeeze-brain prophecy. Hagee and his distorted view of history and scripture is unfortunately backed with the money and power to continue this propaganda for World War III- all in the name of Jesus Christ.

People have the right to believe whatever they want, I have nothing against those who are awaiting a second coming. However if you are using money, political power, and religion to wage war on other people and places (often far away from your home) in attempt to bring your version of "the end of the world", how are you any different than those who support and fund Al Queda?

Thanks to Max Blumenthal& Talk To Action

Saturday, July 28, 2007

The Barnas visit Springfield

Nick, Anne (pregnant with baby), Sam with Euphie the cat.

The Simpson move was classic, first half hour was hilarious, missed some jokes because of the laughter would love to see it again with any of you guys. Let me know.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Its A Girl!!

I know its cliché, but I can't wait to hold her. Anne is ready to knit.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Baby Update

Anne is going to get an ultra-sound tomorrow evening. We will find out if Sam will have a little brother or sister. Some people like to be surprised, but thats too muck excitement for us. Besides it would help with the name choosing and figuring out how to decorate the baby room. After the ultra-sound we are going to to go see the Simpsons Move, hope it is good.
Anne will be traveling to Washington D.C. for her job. I am sort of jealous.
I got to meet Thom Hartman last week, and got a signed copy of his book Screwed. Its a great read, he knows his stuff. I watched most of the You Tube Debate. I am still backing Obama. I think he is the best choice. I wish some would ask about what the candidates plan to do about the shrinking Middle Class. Perhaps they are saving that question for the Republicans.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Sam Update

Been a while since I posted, and I have not been keeping in touch as of late. Our computer is getting slow and I have been busy with family and friends. These past two weeks have great. I got to spend some quality time with my son. Sam is pretty much potty trained now so we will be saving money on diapers, until the next child arrives in December. I can not believe Anne is already in her second trimester. We will most likely know if we are having a boy or girl by the end of the month. Our favorite names right now are Marigold or Marcella if it is a girl. Oliver or Maxwell for a boy. I am not sold on Max because of the comic and video game Sam and Max. Anne says I am the only person who remembers these cartoon detectives. Sam was a Dog and Max was a Rabbit.
Two weeks ago We traveled to Kalamazoo and saw our friends Jay and Laura. We all took Sam to see the robot dinosaurs at the Kzoo Village museum. It is a great place to take your kids. As you can see by the photographs Sam was a little startled by the growling dinos. When I told him they were just robots, it did seem to make him any more comfortable. "Oh they are Robots!"
Last week end we finally got to see our Grand Rapid friends Chris, Kasey, Ryan and Jeremy. Sam kept confusing Ryan for his "Uncle Al-EX". Chris and Kasey brought their new baby Amelia. She is so beautiful. Now Anne really wants a girl. I don't think there has been a Barna girl in 2 generations.
Sam has this game he likes to play when we take him to the park. He pretends to fly Anne and I around to visit different places. Usually we go and visit Dinosaurs and Uncle Alex.
I am going to try to get back into myspace and bloging. I keep finding lost friends, but it is hard to keep up with messaging and bulletins. I am going to try and get more current with all of this.
Chris gave me some Lost and Heros episodes. I am on the second season of lost, having harder time getting into Heros. Also the new JJ Abrams project coming out next year has got me all geeked out. Check out the Official Trailer
Hope everyone is having a great summer like us. Hope to talk to everyone soon.