Sexual Attraction and Orientation

I know I always make a big point to say that men and women aren’t as different as we think, but physiologically we’re very different from one another.  The ways in which we’re attracted to potential romantic partners, for instance, are vastly different between the sexes.

From a biological standpoint, our purpose for existing as male and female is procreation.  That doesn’t mean that everyone should have kids or that everyone wants kids, at least not consciously.  If you’re one of those people who refuses to spawn children, your body is desperately fighting against you.  That’s why reproductive processes are constant, even in people practicing abstinence.  Interestingly enough, when a woman is ovulating, she is theoretically her most attractive — her boobs are bigger, her skin is better, her voice is higher, etc.  Basically, whether or not she wants any sort of male attention, her body is essentially begging to get laid.

Since offspring are the primary goal in a sexual relationship, and because men and women have different roles in the baby-making process, they are attracted to one another for different reasons.  The number of children a woman can have is pretty limited.  Even if she has one (or more, if there are multiples) every nine months from puberty to menopause, that number is still finite.  For that reason, a woman is pretty selective in terms of finding a suitable mate to impregnate her, and she looks for personality traits that indicate that the man will stick around and help her raise their children.  Men, on the other hand, can potentially have an unlimited number of children, so they’re not as competitive with one another when searching for a woman.  The traits a man finds attractive are mostly physical.  He looks for signs of youth and fertility, in order to have the best chance at producing healthy children.  It’s not sexist to say that men are more “shallow;” that is, they value appearance significantly more than women do.  All the women who complain about how society expects us to look good in order to please men don’t understand that this is science.

You may be wondering, “Hannah, if you know that men like physically attractive women, why don’t you put more effort into your appearance?”  Well, nosy reader, despite what you may believe, attracting a man is not my life’s greatest ambition. I like being a lazy slob who doesn’t care what she looks like, and that’s all that matters.

Speaking of double standards placed on men and women, I want to talk about slut shaming.  Crazy women, who again know nothing about what frustrates them, claim that when a guy has casual sex with multiple women, he is praised, while a woman in a similar situation is looked down upon.  I’m not doubting that this happens, but it’s not nearly as often as these women make it seem.  I definitely didn’t see it much in my high school.  In fact, I was made fun of for being a virgin (even though as a woman, that’s expected to be an admirable quality).  If society does view promiscuity differently depending on gender, it’s for good reason.  Again, it’s because of biological differences.  Men are more likely than women to enjoy casual sex because their bodies are much simpler.  A man is almost guaranteed to orgasm, even during his first time with a new partner.  Women are more complicated, and it usually takes more time for a man to satisfy her.  So it has nothing at all to do with men being better at separating the emotional and the physical.  It’s just that most women aren’t willing to sleep with someone who isn’t willing to invest enough time into her to make it worthwhile.

What I see as more of a problem is the exact opposite.  Especially in the Christian community, when an unmarried couple has sex, the man is often criminalized, and the woman is labeled a victim.  I’m sorry, but it takes two to tango.  Unless the woman is raped, she is at fault just as much as the man is.  Yes, many girls have been used for sex, but that’s possible with guys, too.

Okay, so I’ve at least attempted to explain physiological attraction, but what about mental/emotional/social attraction?  Even though this is on more of a conscious, somewhat voluntary level, it’s a lot more complicated.  That’s when sexual orientation comes into play.  First off, there are more than just the three orientations (straight, gay, and bi) that are universally recognized.  I’ll try to define them, especially the less common ones.

  • Heterosexual.  Someone who is straight is attracted to people of the opposite sex or gender.
  • Homosexual.  Someone who is gay/lesbian is attracted to people of the same sex or gender.
  • Bisexual.  Someone who is bisexual is attracted to people of two sexes or genders.  A bisexual, depending on his or her own perception of sex and gender, may or may not identify as pansexual, but the terms are not interchangeable.  Since the social construct of gender is so subjective, there are not necessarily just two genders.  A bisexual individual might be attracted to, for example, cisgendered men and FtM transgenders.  If, however, the criterion for attraction is strictly one’s physical sex, a bisexual is simply attracted to both men and women.
  • Pansexual.  Someone who is pansexual is attracted to people regardless of sex or gender.  He or she could potentially be attracted to anyone.
  • Asexual.  Someone who is asexual is not attracted to anyone.  He or she might still experience sexual arousal, but it is not directed towards any specific person or group of people.
  • Demisexual.  Someone who is demisexual is, for all intents and purposes, somewhere between asexual and sexual (“demi-” meaning “half”).  A demisexual is incapable of experiencing primary sexual attraction; that is, he or she is cannot be attracted to someone because of their looks or some other external characteristic.  A demisexual can, however, be attracted to someone with whom they’ve formed a strong emotional connection.  One who identifies as demisexual may prefer an even more specific label (demi-heterosexual, demi-pansexual, etc.), indicating a specific sex/gender preference in addition to a prerequisite emotional bond.

Why did I just tell you a bunch of stuff you could’ve found out from Google in a few minutes?  I’ve told very few people this, but I’m demisexual.  I didn’t even realize until a couple years ago when I first heard the term.  Up until that point, I had always just identified as straight, and I assumed everyone else experienced attraction to the same degree that I do.  Only now am I beginning to understand that that isn’t the case.

I remember feeling somewhat different as far back as middle school.  All my friends liked guys because they were “cute.”  I didn’t understand that, and I just brushed them off as being really shallow.  It’s not that I don’t appreciate an attractive person when I see one.  I definitely do.  It’s just that whether or not a person is physically attractive has absolutely nothing to do with whether or not I am attracted to them.  Does that make sense?

Because I’m demisexual, I’m chronically friend-zoned.  While experts say that most people decide if they’re interested in a person within a few minutes of meeting, I need more time than that.  I need to get to know the other person on a really deep level.  By the time that happens and I’ve developed an attraction, I’m so far past the point of no return that I’ve even been referred to as “like a sister” (which, unless you’re Luke and Leia from Star Wars, is worse than the friendzone).  That being said, I don’t mind it so much.  As someone who really values a deep emotional connection, I’ll gladly settle for being just a friend.

I’ve often said that I don’t have crushes.  Instead, I have creepy obsessions, and my friends make fun of me for this a lot.  I think part of that comes from solidifying that kind of emotional attachment before even being remotely interested in the other person romantically, so by the time I do actually like someone, I’m way too attached.  To combat my obsessive tendencies any time they get a bit out of control, my best friend usually suggests that I find another person on whom to focus my attention in order to distract me from the object of my interest.  I always tell her, “It’s not that simple; I can’t do that.”  I’m not a very outgoing person.  I’m not antisocial, but I don’t know a lot of people, so my pool of people with whom I share an emotional connection is pretty limited.  Since she’s not demisexual (or at least familiar with the term), she doesn’t really see that as my reality.

You may be wondering which particular “flavor” of demisexual I am.  My only answer:  I don’t know.  My best guess is that I’m demi-heterosexual, as I’ve only ever been attracted to guys.  But since I don’t believe in any major mental/emotional differences between men and women, and since I’m not interested in pursuing a sexual relationship, the possibility of one day being attracted to a female still exists.  Have I ever liked a girl?  No.  Will I?  Probably not, but that’s because most women are utterly horrendous.  I’ve yet to meet a girl who has successfully fought off gender socialization enough for me to be attracted to her.  I don’t think I ever will meet such a person, and I think that’s for the best.

Even if I did someday find myself interested in a girl, I would never date another girl.  It’s not that I think that it would be wrong, but I don’t ever want to enter into a relationship that could cause an observing fellow Christian to stumble.  I hope to never be used as a justification for someone else’s sexual immorality.  If a gay friend who can’t handle abstinence indefinitely in a relationship uses me as an example for why their unbiblical union is okay, that just isn’t fair.  I’m grateful that this hasn’t happened and hopefully never will.

Advertisements

What Your Style of Music Says About You

When I’m Facebook creeping, the first thing I look at probably isn’t the same thing most people do. No, it’s not their pictures. It’s not their “About Me” section. It’s not their recent status updates. I don’t think any of that is a realistic depiction of who someone actually is. The first thing I look at is a person’s music interests.

As a music snob, I’ll be the first to admit that I judge people based on their musical tastes, but I think I can justify that. Unlike taste for certain food, taste in music is not innate. You don’t just naturally favor one genre or another. All of your life experiences, the preferences of the important people in your life, your personality, and your moods all contribute to what sounds good to you. That means what’s on your iPod says a lot about you.

I’m really analytical, and I consider myself a good judge of character. I’m also pretty perceptive, so I pick up on patterns and idiosyncrasies quickly. Since I’m so into music, I care what kind of music other people like. All the information I gather, both about people’s music preferences and their personalities, is sorted and stored with the rest of the useless information in the black hole that is my brain.

I don’t know if the way people naturally are influences their music, or if what they happen to listen to is strong enough to influence their personalities. Honestly, I think it’s both. Whatever it is, music is a binding agent. Pretty much everyone who listens to any certain genre shares several characteristics. And I’m gonna tell you what those are.

Disclaimer: This is 100% accurate. If you’re offended, you only have yourself to blame.

What kind of music do you listen to? If you like a wide variety, pick your favorite, and go with that.

  • “I listen to everything.”  No, you do not, you filthy liar.  No one does that.  What you really mean to say is, “I listen to Taylor Swift, I know who Eminem is, and I think I heard a Slipknot song once.”  Pick a specific genre you actually like, and get back to me.
  • Pop.  You’re easily influenced by everyone — the media, your peers, your friends…  Because you’re a people-pleaser, you’re lazy when it comes to your own interests.  You are almost incapable of thinking for yourself and making your own decisions, but you don’t even notice because you’re so focused on what everyone else is doing.  You might try to say that you really are an individual, but no.  Even though the celebrities you idolize are the weirdest-looking people on the planet, their music is the same terribly overproduced shallow nonsense it’s always been.  Just like your personality.
  • Rap.  You are the worst kind of person.  Do the world a huge favor, and PLEASE do not breed.  You’re not a gangster (unless you are; in which case, don’t murder my family for my transgressions).  You’re just uneducated, and it shows.  No matter how much you talk about pussy, it’s not helping you get any, and if you do actually find someone willing to sleep with you, you should probably take some penicillin.
  • Good Rap.  I’m not going to lie. I don’t like it at all, so I can’t really tell the difference between “good” and “bad” rap. I do, however, know a few trusted music aficionados who tell me that there is in fact a difference. (Tupac is good, right?) But anyway, if you do appreciate this particular genre, you’re pretty deep. You care about people, and you actively try to make the world a better place. You use the seemingly negative experiences in your life to better relate to and benefit others. Also, you probably didn’t grow up in a neighborhood full of middle class white people like I did.
  • Dubstep.  You like to express yourself by listening to a cool art form that probably shouldn’t be considered actual “music.” You’re fun at parties, and you’ve probably done a lot of drugs.
  • Country.  You like beer, attractive members of the opposite sex, and tractors. Jokes aside, you’re really laid back. You love life’s simple pleasures, like summer, jeans, and hanging out with the people who matter most. You have conservative values, and respect is important to you. The biggest drawback for you is that your mood is almost entirely dependent upon external circumstances. That’s great if life is treating you well, but as soon as things take a turn for the worse, there’s no telling what you’ll do. You have yet to discover that you truly are the master of your own emotions. Learn to handle yourself accordingly.
  • Indie.  Simmer down, hipster. Your music sounds remarkably similar to the same stuff everyone else is listening to. The only difference is that absolutely no one has heard of your music. Sure, you put a lot of effort into discovering those hidden gems, but despite what you may believe, that does not make you superior to everyone else.
  • Mainstream Rock.  Much like the music you listen to, you appeal to just about everyone. You’re a likeable person who’s easy to get along with. And just like anything with little controversy, you are kind of boring. While no one has any negative feelings towards you, you’re no one’s favorite person, so you don’t have many deep sustainable relationships.
  • Punk.  For all intents and purposes, you’re the polar opposite of those who listen to country. You’re by default unsatisfied, and you want everyone to know it. You don’t get along with a lot of people. You claim to hate authority, but you really only rebel against them when they’re oppressive conservatives. Well, whatever you deem “oppressive.”
  • Emo.  You think you’re so emotional. Everyone deals with the same things you do. They just don’t wallow in their pity. Yeah, you’re an outcast, but it’s not because you’re so different. Because you’re not. The music you listen to is only slightly edgier pop. You’re way more similar to the preppy kids than you’d like to admit. You may not look like them, but you’re still a conformist. You look exactly like all your friends. You care just as much as everyone else, if not more, what other people think of you. What sets you apart is that you want everyone to think you don’t care what they think. At least other people admit that they just want to be accepted.
  • Metal.  I might be biased, but you’re my favorite kind of person. Your idea of fun is jumping around with a bunch of other shirtless guys and running into each other, which is unorthodox, to say the least. You’re a little rough around the edges, but you’re a genuinely good person. One of the most beautiful acts of kindness I’ve ever witnessed was at a metal concert a few weeks ago. A drunk guy fell down in a mosh pit and got trampled, so a bunch of strangers circled around him to protect him from the chaos and carried him out to security. That’s the kind of thing good people do. You do what you know is right, not what society tells you. Most people misunderstand you, which sometimes makes you lonely. At the end of the day, you know that being your own person is more important than being happy for the wrong reasons, so you resolve to just be yourself and live with the consequences.
  • Death Metal.  No, my ignorant friends, this is not every band that screams at all. I’m talking specifically about the genre in which bands’ names alone make people uncomfortable (Yes, I’m talking about you, Dying Fetus.). This is the kind of music where you can have the lyrics to a song right in front of you and try to follow along, but you still have no clue what they’re saying. I actually like death metal, but it’s far from my number one preference. You have got to be kidding. This is your favorite music? You can say it’s because of how complex and intricate the accompanying music is (and that it is), but we get it. You’re hardcore. You can function in society now please.
  • Showtunes.  Unless you’re involved in musical theater, you have no excuse for this. Regardless, you’re that kind of peppy, overly positive person that everyone else wants to punch in the face. You have great intentions. You just want to make everyone happy because you, the artsy unpopular kid, know what it’s like not to fit in. Your approach, however, annoys the rest of us.
  • Classical.  You’re probably a musician yourself, which means you know what you’re talking about. You listen to music that’s well-written, not just catchy. Congratulations. You’re better than most people, but you’re a little closed minded. If you expand your horizons, you’ll see that there actually is quite a bit of quality modern music, and it’s indirectly influenced by your favorite composers.
  • Oldies.  You’re old.  Obviously.
  • Christian.  You have the radio in your car set to Air1 or K-Love, and you refuse to change it. You refer to all your Christian friends as brothers and sisters. Wait, let me rephrase that. All your friends. You don’t have any non-Christian friends because you live in a bubble. Since you don’t have many personal relationships with people who need to hear the gospel, your idea of witnessing is saying “God bless you” when someone sneezes.
  • Christian [fill-in-the-blank].  Whether it’s Christian rock, Christian rap, or whatever other Christian subgenre that exists, it doesn’t matter. At least you try to relate to other people. You know there’s a difference between living in the world and of the world, but you’re still trying to find that balance.

There you have it. That’s who you are. If I missed something, it’s probably just too obscure or specific. Or maybe I’m just lumping it in with something else. I honestly can’t tell the difference between country and bluegrass, rap and hip-hop, or classical and baroque. At least not enough to matter here. Before you get condescending, remember that you probably can’t distinguish between different types of rock. So ha!

Also, I have friends who listen to all kinds of music (even the stupid kind), and no, I don’t hate them. You’d better believe I judge them for it though.

Gender Roles

I know I talk about this stuff a lot, but I have a lot to say. This is MY blog, so shut up and listen.

Regardless of my views pertaining to gender, I don’t actually believe in gender differences. Well, I mean, obviously men and women are different, not only physically, but also socially and emotionally. What I mean is that these differences are caused by society itself, not by biology.

Sure, there are sexual differences. Men and women have different chromosomes, different genitalia, and different secondary sexual characteristics. This is impossible to dispute. I do not, however, believe that men and women are innately different in any other regard, at least not as a whole. It’s all about nature vs. nurture. Sex is determined by nature. Gender, on the other hand, is all about nurture. Whether someone is considered masculine or feminine depends on what society has ingrained into that person.

It’s no secret that women are more emotional than men. It’s even measurable. Generally speaking, the limbic system (the part of the brain that controls emotions) of a woman is larger than that of a man. This either means that women are more emotional because that part of their brain is bigger or that that part is bigger because they are more emotional. It has never been conclusively proven either way, but I tend to think it’s the latter. Society seems to deem it acceptable for a woman to be overly emotional, so when she is, her behavior is encouraged, and that area is exercised. Like a muscle, it then grows. At the same time, when a man shows “too much” emotion, it’s usually frowned upon, so he is trained not to use that area of the brain, and it remains smaller. Over time, the emotional differences become even more exaggerated, to the point that most people believe that they are naturally supposed to be this way.

There are countless other examples of gender differences governed by society rather than biology, but I don’t think it’s necessary to give more details. My point is that these differences aren’t real. They wouldn’t exist if we as humans didn’t force them. Because of this, I wish we could just reject the concept of gender entirely. I don’t think a person is masculine or feminine for any reason other than what they have in their pants. The color pink isn’t girly. Sports aren’t manly. Ovaries are girly. Balls are manly.

I hate the idea of gender roles. Sure, only a woman can carry and deliver a baby, but that doesn’t mean that it’s a mother’s job to be the primary caregiver to her child once outside the womb. If that’s what she and her partner (if applicable) decide is best for their family, awesome, but that’s not the only acceptable way to live. Some fathers are really great with kids. Maybe even better than a lot of mothers. And maybe the mothers of those children are more suitable to be “breadwinners.” As long as the child is taken care of physically and psychologically, it doesn’t matter to me who does what in terms of parenting roles.

From a Christian standpoint, the Bible does in fact outline some gender roles. These pertain predominantly to marriage. That’s exactly why I don’t believe marriage is for me. (I explained this in much more detail a couple of years ago. Scroll down a little bit to read that thread.) According to scripture, marriage is nothing more than a relatable symbol for the relationship between Christ and His church. I don’t understand why men were chosen to be the “husband” or why women are the “bride” of Christ. My best guess is just that men were created first, just as God pre-existed humans. I don’t think I’m supposed to understand God’s thought process (I don’t think anyone even understands how hard that is for me, a very prideful person who MUST know EVERYTHING at ALL times, to admit.). Isaiah 55:8 says, “‘For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,’ declares the LORD.” Since I’m not God — and for that reason, I am so glad — it’s my job to trust that He knows what He’s doing.

Because marriage is a symbol for God’s love for us, it’s designed to be between a man and a woman who agree to abide by the gender roles specified in the Bible. THAT is why it’s wrong for me (who refuses to be the “woman” in a relationship) to get married. That’s why it’s wrong, from a biblical viewpoint, for two men or two women to get married. I don’t believe it’s sinful for a man or woman to love someone of the same sex, but because such a relationship can’t satisfy the example that God created, it isn’t sanctioned by Him. And to be clear, my opinion on this is strictly about religious marriage, whose definition is very specific. I do not think civil marriage for a relationship that doesn’t conform to these ideals should be illegal by any means. If that was the case, hardly anyone, even most heterosexual couples, would be able to get married.

Since the church (represented by the bride) is composed of multiple people, and God (represented by the groom) is one, I don’t think the Bible necessarily forbids polygamy. Not polygyny, anyway. Yes, there are many instances in which God rebuked a man because of his multiple wives, but I don’t believe it’s because of the number alone. Abraham didn’t trust God or His plan to give Sarah a baby when he took Hagar as his wife. David was committing adultery when he took Bathsheba, who already had a husband, as a wife. Solomon’s 1000 wives were idol-worshipers. I think God’s response might have been different had these men taken God-fearing, single women as additional wives. That being said, I’m not at all supporting polygamy. I would HATE sharing a husband with a bunch of other women. All I’m saying is that I don’t think the practice is specifically outlawed in scripture.

Since Christians tend to uphold these gender roles, it seems like we should be the most tolerant of transgender individuals. It’s so heartbreaking to me that most traditional Christians are so harsh towards these people. If we as a group enforce such rigid gender roles, shouldn’t we provide some sort of alternative for those who don’t necessarily fit the bill?

I’m going to sound closed-minded momentarily, but hear me out. That’s not my intention. Here it goes: I don’t support the trans movement. But that’s my own human opinion coming forth. I don’t like the idea of being transgender because I believe the notion of gender is a lie. I don’t think there’s any “correct” way for a male or female to behave. If you are biologically female, you do not have to love shopping, have long hair, or wear dresses. You can have stereotypical “masculine” qualities, and that’s okay. When society tells you otherwise, give everyone the finger. Be whoever you want to be.

If behaving as whatever “gender” you feel you are isn’t enough, and you just really want a beard or boobs (and you don’t naturally have either of these because of your genetic makeup), more power to you. I will never understand why a sex change could be so important to someone, but that’s probably because I put almost no emphasis on physical appearance. For some people, I know it’s a huge deal. For this reason, even though I don’t necessarily support the idea of being transgender, I do support my transgender friends and family members in making their own decisions.

Although there is no real difference between men and women, as far as our brains are concerned, there are obviously very real and very definite physical differences. As a feminist, I often talk about how I hate that men are usually expected to treat women more “respectfully” than they’d treat their fellow men. This is because I don’t believe in non-physical gender differences or roles. I have no problem, though, with different treatment as a result of biological differences. Obviously acts like rape are unacceptable, but what most people call “objectification” is fine with me. Straight guys like boobs. They like looking at boobs. Can you blame them? I hate when a woman is fine with being put on a pedestal by a man, but she won’t tolerate being complimented for her womanly appearance. If you are a woman, and a man calls you hot, I don’t see how that’s sexist.  It might not be respectful, but it’s a compliment.  He recognizes that your body is physically different from his own, and he appreciates that.  Get off your high horse, and say “thank you.” When he starts treating you like a weaker member of society, that’s when you should go all feminazi on him.

My Ideal Significant Other

A while back, my therapist (Don’t act so surprised.  I’m clearly insane.) had me make a list of ten non-negotiable traits that I look for in a significant other.  Only after finishing this did I realize that it basically describes myself.  People say opposites attract.  That is not the case with me.  I’m so obsessed with myself that I will only consider someone an option if they are very similar to me.

Anyway, here’s what I look for:

  1. Intelligence.  I cannot get along with stupid people.  I’ve tried, and it just can’t be done!  I’m aware that there are different kinds of intelligence, and I’m not saying you need to have amazing math skills.  I just need someone who’s capable of having a conversation about scientific theories, political ideologies, or Shakespearean literature without having to pause to clarify what we’re talking about.  A good memory doesn’t hurt either.  I’m the kind of person that remembers everything you have ever said, and you should be, too.  I get kind of offended when people don’t remember things we’ve talked about.  I talk a lot, so you need to be able to process all that information.
  2. My sense of humor.  I’m really crass.  I have the sense of humor of a teenage boy.  I love poop jokes and sexual innuendos, and that’s about it.  The reasons someone needs to share this with me are twofold.  For one, I always make “inappropriate” references, and people are constantly telling me to tone it down a little bit.  I don’t need to add someone else to that group of people that needs to lighten up.  Secondly, I love to laugh.  If you can out-pervert me, you’re a keeper.  Just don’t be creepy.  But believe me; it takes a lot to cross that line.
  3. Good taste in music.  For most people, this probably sounds really random, but for me, bad taste in music is an absolute deal-breaker.  Music is really important to me.  I’m always listening to music, I post song lyrics on Facebook almost daily, and I sing while I work.  It’s a big part of my life that I am not getting rid of.  Our musical tastes don’t have to be identical, but at least somewhat similar.  I need someone who’s willing to go to metal concerts with me all the time.  You have to at least tolerate my music, and unless you’re up for me always getting my way on what radio station we’re listening to on a long car ride, I have to be able to tolerate yours.  I have what I call my “trio of hatred” (country, rap, and pop), and you are not allowed to listen to any of these around me.  If one of these is your favorite genre, you’re automatically out of the running.
  4. Mean tendencies.  Everyone is always surprised at this one.  People are like, “Do you want to be with someone who beats you?”  No.  That is not what I mean.  I just really don’t like nice people.  I’m certainly not a very nice person.  Not with my words, anyway.  I like to insult people.  I do insult people.  Not only do I get along best with people who aren’t overly sensitive, but I prefer someone who’s able to dish it right back.  I need someone who’s able to point out my flaws without feeling bad about it.  As much as I’d like to believe that I am perfect, I’m not, and I don’t want someone to pretend I am.  If you have a problem with me, let me know, and don’t worry about being tactful about it.  I can handle it.  I used to say that I want someone honest, but I think it’s more than that.  It’s not just that I want someone who’s willing to tell me the truth (even if it sucks) when the situation calls for it.  Even if it’s completely unnecessary to say, you should say whatever is on your mind, mean or not.
  5. Equality.  This one is a BIG deal for me.  I’m all about gender equality, and that goes two ways.  I hate chauvinism, but I also hate chivalry.  Both extremes of the spectrum are not okay.  I will not settle for being belittled or forced to be your servant simply because I have lady parts.  At the same time, I don’t like gentlemen.  I am not a princess, and you WILL NOT treat me as such.  I’m no better than you, so don’t put me on a pedestal.  I don’t need someone to open doors for me, buy me things, or compliment me.  I want a partnership, not a hierarchy.  We are equals.  If I can do something for myself, that’s what I’d like to do.  If I genuinely need your help with something, that’s another story altogether.  My general rule of thumb:  If you’d treat a brother or male friend the same way you treat me, your behavior is welcome.
  6. Emotional openness.  For whatever reason, a lot of people confide in me, and I LOVE THAT.  I’m a really good listener and secret-keeper.  I want to know every little detail about you.  This probably has more to do with my compulsive need to know everything than actually caring about people (even though I do… a lot).  Most people say not to bring out the emotional baggage too early in a relationship because it scares people away.  It takes a LOT to shock me.  I know some pretty messed up people.  I want you to be able to tell me all the stuff you’re afraid everyone will judge.  I’m usually not a particularly judgmental person (but if I am judging you, you’ll definitely know it).  I want to know about the stupid decisions you’ve made.  Your insecurities.  Your childhood.  Your emotional problems.  I basically want to be your shrink.  Knowing all the little details about people make me feel close to them.  It makes me feel special when someone acknowledges that I’m trustworthy and wants to open up to me.
  7. Introversion.  I’m an extreme introvert.  For the most part, I actually feel more comfortable with extroverts because they’ll actually steer the conversation.  If it’s up to me, I’ll just sit in silence for hours until someone else speaks.  At the same time, my attraction to extroverts only applies to one-on-one situations.  Any time there are other people around, I tend to just get lost in the background.  I’m socially awkward.  If someone isn’t paying direct attention to me specifically, I am not at all engaged in conversation.  But I’d like to be.  I don’t want to be that awkward turtle sitting by herself in the corner, but that’s usually what happens in social situations.  I want to be the center of attention.  Extroverts are too busy interacting with other people to pay as much attention to me as I’d like.
  8. Generosity.  I usually call this point “not materialistic,” but since I’m going with nouns in this list, “generosity” was the best I could come up with.  I’m not sure they’re entirely the same, but generosity is a part of it.  I do not like materialism.  If you’re obsessed with money or possessions, we’re not going to get along.  I do most of my shopping at Walmart and Goodwill.  Those places are not beneath you.  You do not need $100 jeans, and you do not need a brand new car simply because yours needs a minor repair.  You need money to survive, but you don’t need to spend it all just to impress other people.  I guess you could say I want someone who’s fiscally responsible, but fiscally responsible people usually like to save up their money just to spend on themselves later in life.  That’s not the kind of person I want to be with.  My philosophy is that we are blessed to be a blessing.  If you have more than enough money to cover your basic needs and a few reasonable wants, you should share your wealth.  Donate to charity.  Buy lunch for that homeless guy on the side of the road.  Give your friend that thing you know he wants but can’t afford to buy for himself.  Spending money on those types of things is so much more rewarding that just having more stuff.  Be generous.  Be selfless.  Don’t be materialistic.
  9. Similar life goals.  This one is more for your sake than my own.  I don’t want the American dream.  If you do, just walk away, or you will be sorely disappointed in me.  I don’t want to get married, live in the suburbs, and have two kids and a dog.  I’m called to live more than a comfortable, “vanilla” lifestyle.
  10. Christianity.  I’m going to be painfully honest here.  This one was more of an obligation than a desire.  As a Christian, I’m supposed to be with another Christian, right?  I can’t be “unequally yoked.”  The more I think about this, the more I realize that I don’t want to be “yoked” at all.  I don’t want to get married (or be involved in a relationship that could potentially lead to marriage), so I don’t even know that the inter-religious dating rules apply to me.  What’s most important to me in regard to this point is that whoever I am with must respect my faith and my values.  I will not compromise my relationship with God for another person.

And that’s pretty much it.  I don’t care about your appearance.  I don’t care about your past.  I care that you’re a good person and that we get along well, and to me, that’s defined by these standards.  Yes, I do have high standards, but I’m worth it.  I can’t be with someone who isn’t equally as awesome (or maybe even better) as I am.

I’ve heard two different opinions about this.  I hold them both simultaneously.  On one hand, no one should expect perfection in a mate.  If a person expects to find someone, they have to be willing to make compromises about what they’re looking for.  On the other hand, no one should ever settle for less than they deserve.  And since I don’t even want a serious relationship, I’m not lowering my standards.  If I find someone who meets (most of) them, I’m willing to pursue that.  But only casually, of course.  I’m not diving head first into monogamy any time soon.  If I don’t ever find anyone, that’s more than okay with me.  I love myself, and I don’t need another person to feel complete.

Guys > Girls

I’m not saying women are inferior to men. I’m just saying I prefer the stereotypical masculine personality over the stereotypical feminine personality. Not all guys are great, and not all chicks suck. But in general, gender stereotypes are hilariously accurate.

I recently used the word “chicks,” and a friend said, “I really don’t like that word.  It sounds demeaning.”  I responded with, “It’s supposed to.  I hate girls.”  So HAH!

I often say that I’m a man. That’s not to say I’m transgender or anything, but I’m not a typical woman. I actually have a good personality. Other than being ridiculously emotional, hating sports, and being really domestic (I’m good at “housewife” activities like cooking and taking care of kids.), I’m pretty manly. And I think that’s a good thing. Women are terrible friends and just generally unpleasant to be around.

Girls are bitchy. Now, I think there are two different kinds of bitches: a good kind and a bad kind. The good kind is what most people imagine when they hear the word “bitch.”  People like me. Someone who has no problem insulting people to their face, as long as it’s for good reason. Someone who knows what she wants and isn’t afraid of communicating that to other people. This kind of person usually isn’t everybody’s favorite, but she’s a good person on the inside.  Then there’s the other kind of bitch, my definition.  This describes close to 90% of all women.  This kind of bitch will be super nice to your face, but it’s all fake.  She’ll trash talk you behind your back.

I like to think of this in terms of Mean Girls.  This is not only the most quotable movie of all time; it’s sadly probably one of the most realistic.  Tina Fey is a genius.  You’ve got two sides of the bitch spectrum clearly represented.  Janis Ian seems pretty abrasive at the surface, always telling people off and stuff, but she has a good heart.  Regina George, on the other hand, is the spawn of Satan.  She represents everything I hate about girls.  For some reason, though, everyone loves her.

You know when Regina says, “Oh my God, I love your skirt!  Where’d you get it?” and then tells Cady, “That’s the fugliest skirt I’ve ever seen” when the girl walks away?  Yeah, that’s what girls do.  Cady’s facial expression when Regina then compliments her bracelet says it all.  If a girl is going to talk about someone to you, they’ll probably talk about you to someone else.  Good rule of thumb.

And it’s not just random girls wearing their moms’ vintage skirts that are talked about.  Girls even talk bad about their “friends.”  There’s the 3-way (4-way?) calling attacks, for instance.

There’s the scene where Regina and Cady are on the phone talking about Gretchen.  Cady doesn’t know Gretchen is listening in until she says, “I can’t believe you think I like attention!”

Or there’s a phone scene with all four girls.  Gretchen is talking to Karen with Cady on 3-way, and Regina calls Karen’s other line.  In the span of like two minutes, Karen and Regina talk about how annoying Gretchen is, Karen tells Gretchen what Regina tells her not to, and Gretchen tells Karen that Regina called her a slut.  Just… no.

So much goes on behind each others’ backs, and that’s not cool.  How hard is it to just be honest with someone?  Get everything out in the open, so you don’t have to keep track of who isn’t supposed to know what.  For some reason, girls can never seem to do that.

I don’t even understand how anyone like that even has friends.  They all seem to really hate each other.  I guess it’s because decent people refuse to associate with girls like that, so they don’t really have a choice who to befriend but other bitches.

And because most girls happen to be just like the plastics, guys are much better friends.  I probably have more girl friends than guy friends, but there’s only a select few girls I can really trust.  Those girls exhibit the following characteristics that most guys have.

  • Guys are real.  They don’t pretend to be nice to you for the sake of talking about you behind your back.  If a guy likes you (as a friend, I mean…  though it’s pretty easy to tell when a guy is attracted to someone), you know.  You never have to wonder if your guy friend secretly hates you.  If he did, he wouldn’t hang out with you.
  • Guys are practical.  If you have a problem, talk to a guy friend about it (as long as it isn’t something stupid).  Guys are problem-solvers.  They’ll actually try to help you, whereas girls just let you vent, maybe sharing their “understanding.”  More often than not, that’ll just make your problem bigger because now you have someone on your side to help fuel the fire, not put it out.
  • Guys are trustworthy.  If you do vent to your guy friend about something personal, he’s not going to tell everyone your business.  He probably won’t even remember what you told him later, so he’s definitely not going to betray your trust.  Gossiping just isn’t something guys like to do.
  • Guys are interesting.  They don’t talk about their hair, what they’re wearing to your friend’s party next week, or who might be dating.  Guys usually don’t talk that much at all, but when they do, it’s probably something significant.  Why waste effort to talk if it’s not important?
  • Guys aren’t too sensitive.  You made a sarcastic comment to a guy friend?  He’ll probably laugh.  He won’t cry, get offended, or refuse to be your friend any more.  He can take a joke.

And possibly the single greatest thing guys have that makes them good friends: Bros before hoes.  Now, this only applies in guy/guy friendships, but I love the concept.  It’s something girls are rarely able to replicate.  If two guys like the same girl, either one of them will let his friend have her, realizing she really won’t matter in the grand scheme of things, or they’ll agree she’s not worth it, and neither guy has dibs.  When two girls like the same guy, however, all hell breaks loose.  They either get super competitive and end up ruining their friendship, or one girl will reluctantly let her friend have him and end up resenting her forever.  Luckily, my friends all have vastly different taste in guys, and we’re all pretty laid-back, so this isn’t really a problem.

So if you’re a female, and I haven’t made it clear that I respect you, I’m probably not too fond of you.  And if I’ve ever called you a man, well then that just means I don’t hate you.

If you’re a dude, as long as you’re not super feminine (and by that I mean dramatic and fake, not necessarily “girly”), you’re okay in my book.

Evolution

I can’t even count how many times people have looked at me judgmentally and said, “You believe in evolution, and you call yourself a Christian?”  Uh, yes.

In everyone’s defense, most people are really ignorant about this stuff.  I went to Christian school most of my life, where their main goal was to somehow convince us that evolution is a bunch of laughable bullshit.  Like in 7th grade life science, rather than just teaching us the theory and allowing us to decide for ourselves what to believe, we were taught how to “disprove” it.  Seriously.  We were 13 years old and had no idea what evolution was all about, but we had to memorize 10 reasons why it was wrong.  Brainwashing much?

But it didn’t stop there.  Now in college, I’ve watched videos in class talking about how wrong it is.  I’m not even going to try to explain how flawed the arguments presented are, but the entire class watched diligently, mindlessly accepting everything they said as fact.

The biggest argument of morons who fall for propaganda is probably the stupidest question I’ve ever heard.  “If humans evolved from monkeys, why are there still monkeys today?”  *facepalm*  It’s hard to even begin explaining what is so wrong with that question.  No one ever said we came from monkeys.  I don’t know why so many people think this is the case, but it destroys so much of my faith in the human race.

Evolutionists believe that primates have a common ancestor, one that no longer exists.  That is, humans and apes may share a great great great great great (this could go on forever) grandparent.  We are very distant cousins; we are not the descendants of monkeys.  To clarify what should be obvious (but isn’t, as there are so many idiots in this world), no animal is literally changing into another.  It’s not like Pokemon.  Small changes are manifested in an animal’s offspring, and over time, the generational differences grow.  Take your own parents, for example.  You look somewhat different from them, slightly more different from their parents, even more different from theirs, and so on.  A couple dozen generations back, and you probably don’t even resemble your relatives at all.

A little while ago, I had to write a paper answering this question:  “Is intelligent design a teaching of religion or real science?”  I had planned on posting this very topic here, so I figured I’d just copy and paste.  I apologize in advance for the awkwardly formal writing, which just isn’t my style.  But, you know, gotta refrain from talking like this when I’m being graded.  So here it is…

In order to even begin to answer this much-debated question, one must first define the appropriate terms in context.  According to Dictionary.com, intelligent design is “the theory that the universe and living things were designed and created by the purposeful action of an intelligent agent.”  Furthermore, religion is “a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs,” and science is defined as “a branch of knowledge or study dealing with a body of facts or truths systematically arranged and showing the operation of general laws.”  In contrast, the two seem to be extremely different explanations for one important question:  From where did everything come?  Only after examining it more closely does one realize the codependent relationship between religion and science.  They can, and do, coexist.

Another common misconception is the debate between creationism and evolution.  That one is even more ludicrous.  While science and religion tend to go hand in hand, comparing creationism to evolution is like comparing apples and oranges.  They simply are not the same thing at all, and it is impossible to compare the two.

The theory of creationism, or intelligent design, suggests that a divine being planned the intricacies of life and formed all living beings as they are.  Evolution merely explains the change of species over time.  Yes, the theories of Charles Darwin also help to explain life’s complexities, but they offer little to no explanation as to where it originated.  Instead, however, the proper topics of debate are creationism and the Big Bang Theory.

Basically, according to the Big Bang Theory, billions of years ago, free floating gases eventually collided, resulting in the first cell.  Processes of evolution later took over to form complex organisms present today.  Consequently, just as creationism cannot be compared to evolution, the Big Bang Theory cannot either.  The two ideas – the Big Bang and Darwin’s Theory of Evolution – generally exist together, but they are in no way interchangeable.

There is countless evidence for evolution.  Natural selection, “the process by which forms of life having traits that better enable them to adapt to specific environmental pressures, as predators, changes in climate, or competition for food or mates, will tend to survive and reproduce in greater numbers than others of their kind, thus ensuring the perpetuation of those favorable traits in succeeding generations,” is proven fact.  Take Darwin’s basis, the Galapagos finches, for example.  He noticed that in times of drought, when the only food source was hidden inside hard seeds, only long-beaked finches are able to eat and ultimately survive.  Those with shorter beaks die, and therefore, they do not reproduce.  The finches that do live then mate and produce offspring with characteristics similar to their own.

Another more relatable, possibly more far-fetched, example is humans.  Though raw survival of the fittest is not as prevalent today, natural selection certainly still plays a role.  Recent studies have shown that people are becoming increasingly more attractive.  This is not exactly objective data, but the reasoning is sound.  People prefer to mate with others exhibiting desirable characteristics.  Likewise, unfortunate people without favorable traits generally attract fewer potential partners and thus have fewer offspring.  Unlike with adaptions in the animal kingdom, unattractive people usually do not physically die because of their pitfalls, but the lack of children allows the trait to die.  One example of this phenomenon is the gradual increase in average height.  When looking at statistics, one will notice that as time goes by, people’s average height is steadily increasing.  Tallness is predominantly beneficial and perceived as such.  Most humans, when given the choice, would prefer to mate with a taller person.  Shortness is becoming rarer, and humanity as a whole is arguably “better” because of this difference.

Natural selection is not even the only good evidence for evolution.  Organisms that reproduce via asexual reproduction still undergo some evolvement, though much more slowly.  Bacteria, for example, reproduce through a process called binary fission, which produces genetically identical clones as offspring.  However, on some occasions, mutations occur.  In these cases, the mutations remain present in future generations.  Because of this, different strains of bacteria exist.  The genus staphylococcus, for example, may have only been one species at one time.  It now has over 40.  Of these, most are completely harmless, but some possess what could have been a mutation that is relatively harmful.  These species can cause staph infection.

Since the aforementioned changes in organisms, minor as they may be, have occurred in such a short period of time, one can only wonder how drastically different life has become throughout history.  In all of recorded history, things have certainly changed, but what about before that?  One can only assume that the changes, however unrecorded, are ever present.

Now that evolution’s role has been discussed, creationism can be revisited.  Since, by definition, natural selection is only affective with existing life; that is, it only acts on preexisting life-forms, the question of origin is often presented.  How did life begin?  Were the first organisms designed by a divinity, or did life spontaneously occur?  These questions simply cannot be answered with guaranteed accuracy.  Obviously, during the start of the universe, there was no one physically present to keep record of such events, so there is no way of actually knowing what really happened.  People can only theorize, and that they do.

Since science is based on fact, one must conclude that intelligent design is a teaching of religion, not of true science.  The theory is one consisting of scientific evidence, but as there can never be real proof, it will never be accepted as fact on a large scale.  Similarly, the Big Bang Theory can also not really be considered scientific fact.  Though largely accepted in the scientific community, most will agree that it cannot be proven without a shadow of a doubt.

When examined closely, neither theory seems very logical.  Both require the acceptance of something incomprehensible:  before anything existed, there was something.  In intelligent design, that something is a Creator.  In the Big Bang Theory, there were colliding gases.  Though the latter is generally more “scientific,” it is heinously inconsistent.  Science is based on fact, but the idea of preexisting matter before time is in itself illogical.  At least creationism and religion in general are somewhat consistent.  Christianity teaches the confusing concept of God’s omnipresence.  Not only is He present in all places, He is present at all times.  This includes an era even before time existed.

In conclusion, even though intelligent design can only be truly considered a religious teaching, it has merit in the scientific community.  The theory’s ever-present lack of logic is actually logical.  On the contrary, the Big Bang Theory cannot be so readily accepted because it cannot explain why it cannot be explained.  Without the existence of a ubiquitous Intelligent Designer, there is no way to understand, or even comprehend the presence of, the mysteries of life.

Abortion

In my biology class this past semester, the teacher asked when life begins.  Someone said, “When you take your first breath,” and another said, “At conception.”  Not surprisingly, the discussion quickly turned to the topic of abortion.

The girl who had said life began at conception said something along the lines of “People who are pro abortion don’t think it’s killing.”  I just thought to myself, really?  I mean, yes, I go to a Christian school, and I get that these students are often flooded with conservative propaganda, but REALLY?  These people are in college.  The fact that they still don’t look at the facts is kinda disturbing.

First of all, I’m pretty sure that everyone would agree that abortion is killing.  That’s not at all what the huge debate is about.  The question is…  Is it murder?

The two are not synonymous.  Most people would say that murder is wrong.  Killing, not so much.  There are cases in which killing humans isn’t even considered murder by some people.  War, self-defense, capital punishment…  Or maybe you’re against those things.  Even the biggest hippie in the world wouldn’t say that killing is always wrong.  Even if you’re a pacifist vegetarian, you still kill things on a regular basis.  You may not kill large animals, but there’s a good chance you still kill bugs and other vermin.  Still no?  Well maybe not animals, but you kill plants.  Every time you eat celery, you’re killing that plant.  Or even more insignificant, bacteria.  Every time you take an antibiotic or just wash your hands, you’re killing millions of bacteria.  So yeah, killing isn’t necessarily wrong.

That being said, I wholeheartedly believe that abortion is murder, but that’s a personal opinion.  It’s a moral debate that can’t be supported either way with science.  Rather than “When does life begin?”, the question should be “At what point does a human fetus become a person?”  This one is impossible to answer without disagreement.  It will never be resolved.  Ever.

A less important, but way more relevant question is this:  Should abortion be legal?  That’s something I’m not entirely prepared to answer, at least not in a straight-forward manner.  As much as I believe that abortion is morally wrong, I’m all too aware that even before Roe v. Wade, women terminated their pregnancies.  Whether or not it’s legal, it’s going to happen.  Sure, the statistics would go way down if it became illegal, but there would still be scared pregnant women who are not at all prepared to carry their babies to term.  They might smoke, drink, take drugs, have their boyfriends beat their stomachs, shove wire coathangers up their hoo-hahs, or find shady back-alley “doctors” willing to perform the procedure.  None of these options are safe for the women.  They might not even be successful in aborting the fetus, but they themselves could be in grave danger.

Trying to decide where I stand on its legality, I’ve asked several women, “If you got pregnant and abortion was illegal, would you take matters into your own hands and try to miscarry?”  My reasoning is that if I heard several yeses, abortions might as well be a legal medical procedure, if it’s going to happen anyway, but if mostly nos, there should be more restrictions.  I just wanted to know if any lives (of babies or their mothers) would actually be saved by overturning Roe v. Wade.

What answers did I get?  An overwhelming NO.  But that wasn’t enough to make me sway on the side of making it illegal.  Pretty much everyone with whom I associate is pro-life (most of my family and friends are Christians), and the few that are pro-choice are personally against abortion, just for a woman’s right to choose for herself.  The only person I asked who said she’d consider getting an abortion was on the fence about doing it herself if necessary.  So I’m still undecided.  Whichever side I will ultimately choose is directly related to the statistics.  If a woman who would otherwise terminate her pregnancy cannot legally do so, will her life and that of her child actually be protected?  That’s the only deciding factor for me.

Of course, if abortion ever becomes illegal (which is unlikely), I believe there should be exceptions.  If the mother’s life is in danger, I don’t really see a problem with abortion.  I feel like if she would die, so would the kid, and even if it survives, it’s not more valuable than she is.  A baby-less woman will probably have a better life than a motherless baby.  As for rape, I’m not really sure yet.  A pregnancy resulting from rape almost seems like something good coming from the bad.  God makes the most of even the most horrible situations, and if He intends for a woman to get pregnant, that’s probably what’s supposed to happen.  At the same time, though, it doesn’t really seem fair for a woman to be forced to endure pregnancy, childbirth, and motherhood when it’s no fault of her own.  I don’t really agree with abortions because of rape, but I completely understand why even most pro-life advocates support their continued legality.

Another common question (which is the one generally asked when determining whether or not abortion is legal):  Does a woman have the right to choose what to do with her own body?  Absolutely.  But here’s the kicker:  that fetus is not her own body.  Yes, it depends on her to survive, but it’s a separate entity.  Different DNA.  I’m aware that a parasite (which, by definition, a fetus actually is) also has a different genetic makeup from its host and should be killed, but there’s a big difference between a tapeworm and a human fetus.

A human fetus is exactly that… human.  Whether it’s just a zygote, an embryo, or a potentially self-sustaining life form, that fetus is a baby, not a future baby.  And while I’m not too fond of babies, even I object to their mass murders.  Psalm 139:13 says, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.”  The words aren’t “you knit a cluster of cells that would grow and eventually be born and become me,” but ME.  When my mama was pregnant, that was ME in there.  I had all the potential to grow into the amazing person I am today.  Just as it would be wrong for someone to murder me right now, it would be just as wrong had my mother done that 19 years ago.

Honestly, I have never heard of anyone regretting not getting an abortion, but I’ve certainly heard stories of remorse from women who chose that solution.  No matter how stupid/young/unprepared a woman is, she almost always grows to love her child and life as a mother.  And if not, there’s always adoption.  I can only imagine how ridiculously hard it would be to give away a person who came out of your own body, but how much greater would that feel to give someone such a priceless gift?  If you don’t want a baby, someone out there does.

Along these lines, I’ve got a proposition.  If you or someone you know is thinking about getting an abortion, let me know.  I will adopt your baby.  Just maybe not right now because I’m young and kind of stupid.

Cannibalism

With the recent “zombie” attacks that have been in the news the past few weeks, I felt it was appropriate to finally discuss a topic I’m surprisingly passionate about:  cannibalism.  I talk about this way more often than the average person, and many find my opinions on the matter disturbing.

Honestly, I see very few reasons (if any) why cannibalism is so frowned upon.  The only bad thing I can think of at the top of my head is that human meat can be toxic in large amounts.  I’m not exactly sure what’s wrong with it, or even where I heard this, but I don’t find it that hard to believe.  I haven’t really looked into it for scientific evidence, and frankly, I’m too lazy to do so at this time.

Yes, humans are sacred.  We have souls, and we deserve to be treated with respect.  But as C. S. Lewis once stated, “You don’t have a soul.  You are a soul.  You have a body.”  I believe this to be completely true.  Once a person is dead, their body is merely a carbon-based inanimate object.  Nothing more.  Regardless of religious beliefs, whether or not you believe in an afterlife, we can all (well, most of us can) agree that a corpse is no longer a person.  Their soul isn’t in there any more.  It’s either in heaven or hell, as far as I’m concerned.  Or for those of you who don’t believe in an afterlife, you believe there’s no more soul at all.  So that dead person can’t really even be considered a person at all.

Why waste such a valuable resource?  I’ve said time and time again that I don’t want to be buried whole or cremated.  I want every last piece of me possible used for something.  I’m donating my body to science.  Once I’m dead, do with it what you please.  I certainly won’t need it any more.  I want all my organs, blood, and bone marrow given to people who would otherwise die.  Use my skin for leather.  Make tools out of my bones.  Make wigs for cancer patients out of my hair.  And eat my muscles.  At the very least, just dissect me in a biology class or something.  The bottom line is that I do not want to be disposed of intact.  I don’t want to even be recognizable when whatever isn’t used is thrown away.  Don’t bother getting me a casket.  Those things are expensive.  Instead, use my insurance money to donate to charity or something.

Most of the time, the topic of cannibalism is discussed only in hypothetical cases of emergency.  Like, “If we were stranded on an island with no vegetation, would you eat me?”  I’d like to think that if I were ever in that situation, that I would be selfless enough to sacrifice myself for the livelihood of my companion (that I would let my friend eat me before I ate them), but no one can really say what they’d do in a situation like that.  Have you ever been so starving that you’re considering eating a loved one?  Yeah, me neither.  That being said, if the person was already dead, yes, I’d eat them.  In a heartbeat.  If your choices are to either eat another human or die yourself, the wise choice would be the former.  The other person is already dead.  There’s no sense in letting yourself die as well.  Go get yourself a tasty snack.

I’ve even taken it a step further.  Even in non-dire circumstances, I think it’s acceptable to eat human, as long as the person is already dead.  I don’t condone hunting people.  That’s not cool.  Please don’t kill your arch nemesis and eat them, then later tell people that I said that would be okay.  Because it’s not.  But if they’re already dead, why not?  I’d imagine that a person who died of some disease wouldn’t make a good meal.  Their meat would probably be tainted.  Likewise, someone who died of old age wouldn’t be very tasty.  I often make the comparison that while lamb is delicious, mutton is tough and gross.  But if a person dies in some accident, I see no reason not to harvest their flesh.  They were likely healthy at their time of death, so their meat should be okay.

We bury or burn millions of tons of potential meat.  There are so many starving people in the world, and we just waste all of our dead.  That doesn’t seem right to me.  Sure, I see why most people would think it’s even more wrong to eat a human, but I don’t share that thought process.

My biggest argument is my curiosity.  Honestly, I just really want to know what we taste like.  Just think about it.  Pigs eat all kinds of nasty crap, and they’re delicious.  Humans only eat things that taste good (well, humans in first-world countries).  We don’t just eat anything we can find.  How much more awesome must WE taste?  Food makes a huge difference in the way a certain meat tastes.  Regular grass-fed beef has a completely different flavor from corned beef.

I’d imagine human meat probably isn’t healthy, but I don’t see a problem with it in moderation.  Even if it wasn’t so frowned upon, I wouldn’t have a nice big juicy human steak every night.  That’s just weird.  But if given the opportunity to get a little sample, I think I’d take it.

I realize my views are pretty out there.  I’m morbid, I know.  Pretty sure I first entertained the idea of cannibalism after reading “Survivor Type” by Stephen King (it’s published in Skeleton Crew, if anyone is interested).  It’s a story about a guy who’s stranded alone on an island with a boat full of heroin.  When he realizes that he won’t be rescued any time soon, and that there’s nothing he can eat on the island, he begins amputating and eating his own body parts, using heroin as anesthesia.  It’s a really great read, and if I remember correctly, it’s pretty short.  So yeah…  Go read that.

I talk about cannibalism so much that I’ve begun to judge people based on their reactions.  You don’t have to agree with me, but those who aren’t outright disgusted at the idea are generally those that I regard as open-minded.  Those are the cool ones.  I’m not much of a traditionalist, and I don’t really like to associate with closed-minded people.

Homosexuality

It’s a big topic, for whatever reason.  Politicians, religious figures, and random busy-bodies seem to talk about it way more than necessary.  I’m gonna add in my own two cents because I can.  Hehehe.

First of all, as a Christian, I have to throw this out there:  I believe the act of homosexuality is wrong.  That being said, I’m not a diehard homophobe like many of my fellow Christians tend to be.  Also, I’m beginning to question what exactly crosses the line of what is sin.

Are thoughts of attraction towards a member of the same sex wrong?  I don’t think so.  It’s been said time and time again; you can’t control who you’re attracted to.  And that’s so true.  Many gay rights supporters often ask “So when did you decide to be straight?” of those against gay rights, but really, there’s more to it than that.  Not only do we not actively decide which gender we favor, we don’t decide to fall for specific people either.  Have you (whatever your sexual orientation) ever found yourself attracted to someone you shouldn’t be?  Whether it’s because you know they wouldn’t be good for you, because they’re taken, or because it just wouldn’t work out in the end, we’ve all been there.  Knowing that you shouldn’t be into someone doesn’t make getting over them any easier.  It’s quite the same with homosexuals.  I’m not saying that they “shouldn’t” be attracted to members of the same sex, but just that they don’t exactly choose to be.

I believe that thoughts concerning a person’s sexuality are merely temptation.  We all have those one or two things that we know are wrong, but we just can’t stop thinking about–or even doing.  For instance, some people are pathological liars.  Some are alcoholics.  Kleptomaniacs.  The list goes on and on.  The reality is that we all have some specific sin that’s hard to resist.  Personally, mine is pride.  I’ve never really been into “bad” stuff, and that’s given me a sense of superiority.  Those who know me will say that I’m too arrogant.  And it’s not an act.  For the most part, I do think I’m better than a lot of people.  I know that it’s wrong, but it’s hard to think otherwise.  And it’s the same thing for a lot of people.  It may not be a problem with boasting, but everyone has something.  Including homosexuals.  They are tempted with thoughts about the same sex.

Because this is their specific temptation, homosexuals tend to be some of the nicest people ever.  They often don’t struggle with many other common sins.  They’re generally not rude, they don’t often lie, they don’t hurt people…  They’re just all-around good people who just happen to love people of the same gender.

Whereas almost every other sin hurts people, sexual sins don’t.  If you lie, you hurt who you’re lying to.  If you steal, you’re taking away something from another person.  If you murder, you’re killing someone’s loved one.  But if you’re sexually immoral?  You’re only hurting yourself.  Except in cases of adultery (in which the person cheated on is hurt), sexual immorality doesn’t hurt anyone who isn’t personally involved.  Take, for instance, premarital sex.  Yes, it’s wrong, but if you sleep with your significant other outside of marriage, no one really cares.  Then why do people become so concerned with homosexuality?

Though thoughts may not be sin, actions are.  Having sex with a person of the same gender just isn’t okay.  Leviticus 18:22 says, “Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable.”  It’s in the Bible.  Don’t do it.  But obviously, something being in the Bible (especially in the Old Testament, which is full of ridiculous laws no one follows) doesn’t make it completely forbidden.

In the very next chapter, more rules are detailed.  One is as follows:  “Do not wear clothing woven of two kinds of material” (Leviticus 19:19).  Who actually still follows this today?  Go to your closet, and grab any random shirt.  Now read the label.  I’m currently looking at one that says, “97% cotton/3% spandex.”  Who’s going to rebuke me for this, telling me I’m going to hell unless I burn this shirt?  No one.  That would be ridiculous.  Likewise, Leviticus 19:28 says, “Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves. I am the Lord.”  Now, this one is slightly less stupid.  There are still some people who are against tattoos.  But for the most part, they’re not a big deal.  As long as your ink is something tasteful, even most Christians won’t call it sin.  People take parts of the Bible and just ignore them (like this chapter, with completely useless laws, by today’s standards), but they focus on the parts they want.

Everyone can tell you that the Bible forbids sex outside of marriage.  Who knows?  Maybe that’s why homosexuality is “wrong.”  Thousands of years ago, gay marriage wasn’t traditionally legal.  Maybe homosexuals couldn’t have sex simply because they couldn’t get married.  Who am I to say otherwise?

That being said, I don’t personally believe this to be true.  I really don’t know what to believe about the matter.  I don’t think I have any right to say what exactly is wrong in this case.

I just searched “homosexual” on BibeGateway.com.  The only result was a passage from I Timothy.  “We also know that the law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers,  for the sexually immoral, for those practicing homosexuality, for slave traders and liars and perjurers—and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine that conforms to the gospel concerning the glory of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me” (I Timothy 1:9-11).  Homosexuality is merely listed along with several other sins.  In the New Testament, the only part of the Bible modern Christians really care about anyway, the subject is rarely brought up.  Jesus Himself never said a word about it.  At least, nothing is mentioned in the Bible about Him saying something about the matter.  I feel like if it was as big of an issue as people seem to make it, that Jesus would’ve said something.  But He didn’t.

I really, really hate it when someone says, “I have nothing against gay people, but…”  Really?  Because I’ve never heard someone start a sentence like that that didn’t end up sounding horrendously homophobic.  That’s just something people say to try to avoid left-wing criticism.

I recently had a conversation with someone who called gay people “a waste of life.”  This offended me, not only because I have friends and family members in the LGBT community whom I love dearly, but because I try to regard everyone as equals.  This just didn’t sit well with me, and it caused an argument.  I later found out that what he meant was that as humans, our legacy is our posterity.  We’re supposed to have children to carry on our work.  Obviously, homosexuals aren’t going to willingly have children naturally.  But they’re not the only people who should be offended by his statement.  Some people are physically incapable of having children.  Some people just don’t want children.  Does that make their lives meaningless?  Of course not.  Passing on our DNA is not the only way to make a difference in the world.  Someone (possibly even someone without children) may discover a cure for cancer one day.  That’s pretty significant.  On a smaller level–but still important–someone may do something nice for a person that can change the course of their life.

I think a big reason for the initial hatred of homosexuality was their inability to conceive their own children.  Today, though, that’s just not a big deal.  With birth control a huge industry, many people obviously do not want to have kids.  At least not now.  In Bible times, and even just last century, if a woman couldn’t conceive, she was considered cursed, or at the very least, unlucky.  It was just a different time period.  Back then, everyone wanted to birth their own children, but that’s not so today.  And people don’t have to.  Some people don’t want kids, and for those that do but can’t do so traditionally, there’s artificial insemination, surrogate mothers, and adoption.  This gives hope to gay couples (or other people who just wouldn’t otherwise have children).  They don’t have to be regarded as less valuable than straight people (or fertile people) just because they don’t have children.

I’ve heard it said that no one is 100% straight or 100% gay.  I have to agree with this.  Who wouldn’t date their favorite celebrity not of their preferred gender?

Another person once told me that there aren’t just three set sexual orientations.  There shouldn’t be labels because “I’m not attracted to a gender.  I’m attracted to people.”  Her statement really resonated with me.  It’s not about a person’s biological makeup.  It’s about who they are as a person.  Why should genitalia decide who you’re interested in?

Regardless of my stance on gay rights in general, I still can’t bring myself to support gay marriage.  But that’s not at all for reasons that people might think.  Dictionary.com defines marriage as “the social institution under which a man and woman establish their decision to live as husband and wife by legal commitments, religious ceremonies, etc.”  Get that?  It said a man and woman.  This isn’t even about personal opinion any more.  It’s about what the very word “marriage” means.  It just couldn’t be considered the same thing if it was a commitment between two men or two women.

Even though I don’t believe in gay marriage, I still feel like gay couples should have something similar.  It just doesn’t seem fair that they can’t “marry” the person they love.  Domestic partnerships are the way to go.  Pretty much the same thing as traditional marriage, but under a different name.  And I think that’s the way it should be.  They deserve the same legal rights, but I just don’t think it should be called the same thing as a union of two straight people.  I realize that makes me sound counter-progressive, but that’s the way I feel.  Maybe the definition of marriage will change, and I will have to shut up.

While I’m not going to fight for gay marriage rights, when my home state of California legalizes gay marriage (it’s not even an if–even though proposition 8 overturned the short-lived legalization a few years ago, I’m positive it will be legalized again fairly soon), I’m not going to protest.  I don’t think it’s that big of a deal.  Maybe that’s just my anti-marriage stance talking.  I guess it’s a huge deal for some people.  Meh.  I’m going to continue being passive about the matter.

I’m sure some people are always going to be anti-homosexual.  And that’s cool, I guess, as long as they have respect.  I don’t care if you hate gays as long as you keep it to yourself.  Don’t commit hate crimes, and please do not use the words “faggot” or “dyke.”  Just don’t do it.  It just makes you look like a bigot, and that’s not cool.

Marijuana

There has always been debate about the legalization of marijuana.  Should it be legal for recreational use, strictly medicinal, or should it be illegal altogether?

Personally, I’m all for complete legalization, with restrictions, of course.  I believe that the rules should be similar to those of alcohol (must be 21 years of age, can’t drive under the influence, no public use, etc.).

There are two main strains of the genus cannabis that people use — sativa and indica (a third species, ruderalis, doesn’t contain enough THC to cause any psychoactive effects).  Cannabis sativa gives a hallucinogenic high, whereas Cannabis indica usually produces only a relaxed, “stoned” feeling.  A hybrid of the two is most common, though.

Marijuana has several medical uses.  It can help with pain.  It stimulates hunger in AIDS and cancer patients, preventing starvation.  It can help people with anxiety to relax.  And because it’s natural, the side effects of marijuana are much more predictable than those of traditional medications.

This doesn’t mean it’s good for you by any means.  A joint has about five times the carcinogens as a tobacco cigarette, but on average, cigarette smokers are more likely to be chain smokers than potsmokers, so cancer is more likely to develop in someone who smokes tobacco.

But there are ways to administer marijuana that are less dangerous than the most popular method, smoking.  Even using a bong or hookah to smoke it is slightly better than using rolling papers.  At least the water acts as a filter and coolant.  Vaporization, however, is probably the safest method of ingestion.  With a vaporizer, the marijuana is heated, but not lit on fire.  This produces a euphoric vapor, not smoke.  While smoke contains a lot of cancer-causing agents, vapor doesn’t.  It contains THC, which causes the high, but the boiling point of the harmful stuff is generally higher than the temperature to which the vaporizer heats it.  And if you don’t want to breathe it in, you can always make tea or the old standby, brownies.

There certainly are harmful effects of marijuana, but most of them are short-term.  The few long-term effects include loss of your sence of smell, loss of brain cells (and consequently, intelligence), and the development of mental diseases including depression.  While these don’t sound fun, it’s not as bad as liver failure from alcohol abuse or emphysema from cigarette smoking.  And marijuana use is very unlikely to lead to death.

Anti-pot activists generally say that marijuana is a “gateway drug.”  While it may be true that those who experiment with cannabis are more likely to try worse drugs, that’s definitely not widespread.  Most people are smart enough to know that there’s a big difference between marijuana and meth.

Those kinds of hardcore drugs just aren’t cool, and they should remain illegal.  Pot is nothing like heroine, which is ridiculously addictive, or cocaine, which can kill you in just one use.  System of a Down demonstrates this in their song “Stealing Society.”  Serj Tankian sings, “I’m looking for a mother that will get me high / Just a stupid motherfucker if I die I die.”  Unfortunately, too many people have this mindset.  They want that euphoria, that escape from life, at any cost.  Even death.

I believe the legalization of recreational marijuana could greatly improve the nation’s economy.  Even while illegal in most states, it’s one of the most valuable cash crops in the country, more than corn or wheat (which we use a lot).  If the government could put a tax on marijuana, they could make some serious money.  They could make the tax really high, too.  It’s not like weed is a necessity, so they wouldn’t be forcing poor people to pay for things they can’t afford.  The people who really want it would be willing to pay high prices.

And it would almost eliminate the drug cartel from Mexico.  If we could grow it in the United States legally, it wouldn’t have to be smuggled in by really violent people.

Legalization would also promote better quality marijuana.  The government would be forced to regulate the amount of harmful additives it contains.  As of now, with marijuana generally illegal, it can have all kinds of bad stuff in it.  People are already breaking the law to sell any at all, so poisoning their product wouldn’t be out of the question.  But if the sale and use were legal, there would be someone to say that it can’t have too many additional ingredients.

Morally, I don’t think the consumption of marijuana is right, but it’s a personal choice.  I doubt I’ll ever use it (at least not illegally, and I would only do it to see what’s so great about it).  I will never be a stoner.  I don’t like the idea of using something that would mess with my mind like that, even prescription antidepressants.  I like to be in control of my own body.  Using marijuana could open me up to be taken advantage of by whomever happens to be nearby, or worse, demon possession.  I don’t want to be vulnerable enough to allow evil supernatural creatures to take over me.

But still.  It needs to be legal.  It’s no one’s place to keep strangers from using drugs that aren’t going to kill them.  As long as alcohol is legal (and I’m not saying it shouldn’t be), marijuana, which is not nearly as bad, at least in my eyes, definitely should be.

Why are bad words bad?

I’ve always wondered what makes bad words bad words.  A better question is:  Are they even bad at all?

Obviously, there are some cases where cursing is completely inappropriate, but I don’t necessarily think it is always wrong.  Even Jesus, who is completely without sin, used a bad word in Matthew 5:22.  “But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.”

The curse word “raca” is Aramaic for “empty-headed.”  The speaker would be “answerable to the court” because the government forbids that kind of language.  Bad words are bad simply because society says they are.  Years ago, an ass was a donkey, a bitch was a dog, and Dick was a man’s name.  Now, those words are considered “bad” because we’ve made them bad.

As Jesus cursed, we know that the act of cursing itself is not sin.  What is wrong is using such words to offend someone.  I really see nothing wrong with stubbing your toe and muttering, “Oh shit!”  Is that hurting anyone?  But calling someone a bitch?  That’s a problem.

Then there are some words that are only considered profane in certain parts of the world.  For instance, in England, “bloody” is a curse word, but in the United States, it just means… well, bloody.  Also, in England, a “fag” is a cigarette, but here, it’s an offensive term for a homosexual.  The weird thing is that both nations speak the same language.  Saying something in one place cannot be wrong if the same word is okay somewhere else.  Sin doesn’t change by location.  The same things are wrong for everyone.  The idea that the utterance of one word is sin only in one place but not another is ludicrous!

There are some words that are sometimes okay to say and sometimes not okay, like ass.  If you’re talking about your butt, it’s different from calling someone an ass (or any phrase that contains the word).  While considered profanity in that circumstance, you’re not offending anyone.  Well, not directly.  If someone is offended by “inappropriate” language period, that’s their problem.

There’s also a difference, at least in human perspective, between words that are basically synonyms.  According to Jesus, calling someone a fool isn’t okay, but today, people think nothing of it.  It’s only natural to be more offended by being called a dumbass than a fool.  But WHY?  They both mean you’re stupid.  The only difference is that the word “ass” is deemed “bad” by society.

I don’t, however, condone the use of excessive language.  You know the kind of people I’m talking about here.  The people who use dirty words every 4 seconds.  That’s obnoxious.  Don’t do it.  Those who use curse words sparingly give more meaning to their rare usage.  If someone who normally speaks in G-rated language says a bad word, it’s obviously more powerful than the same word from someone who uses it every other sentence.

Christian Music

Recently, I haven’t been into Christian music.  As much as I believe in the Truth of the Gospel, I just don’t particularly care to listen to other people sing about it.

For one, Christian artists tend not to be… well, good.  Think of the Chris Tomlins of the industry.  He has a decent voice, and he sounds okay, but that’s it.  Like the majority of other Christian singers (who sound pretty much exactly the same), he just lacks a certain wow-factor.  I just prefer to listen to someone with genuine talent, and I can probably count the musicians of the Christian scene that are actually good enough to be famous on one hand.

Because there are so few great Christian musicians, it’s really not that difficult to make it in that field.  There’s so little competition.  Also, Christians will buy their music for the lyrics about Jesus, not for the sound.  This gives mediocre artists more fame and fortune than they deserve.  And honestly, I’m sure there are a lot of people in the industry who take advantage of Christian music aficionados.  There are probably lots of singers who don’t believe a word they’re saying.  They just know that if they sing about God, people will buy, even if it sounds bad.  It’s just a really corrupt industry altogether.

Amy Lee, lead singer of Evanescence, was once quoted saying, “I’m not ashamed of my spiritual beliefs, but I in no way incorporate them into this band.”  She is using her musical and lyrical talents to gain her massive (and well-deserved) fanbase.  She and the other band members don’t have to resort to playing Christian music to be heard.  They’ve become successful on their own merit.  And while a lot of their music has somewhat Christian messages, they’ve denied religious affiliation.  They are influenced by their religious beliefs, but that doesn’t define them as musicians.

I’ve really never understood why people listen to Christian music anyway.  You’re just overhearing someone else praising God.  I think worship should be more personal.  Not necessarily private, but just personal.  It should come from your heart, not someone else’s.  This is why I don’t sing in church, unless I’m performing.  It just doesn’t seem genuine.

I’ve come up with a metaphor that suits the situation.  A song of praise is a love letter to Jesus.  If someone else writes a letter you present to your significant other, it’s meaningless.  Even if it’s in your own penmanship (or voice), the words aren’t your own.  Does God really want us to sing lyrics we don’t fully understand or even mean?

We should write our own worship songs.  Even if your writing sucks, God is still glorified because it comes from your soul.  I know that He appreciates my amateur songs far more than if I were to sing something professionally written.

I once heard CBU’s men’s choir sing a spiritual song, and I was deeply moved.  Basically, they all just made up their own song on the spot.  At the same time.  Each member sang whatever they felt.  They sang what the Holy Spirit, not the choir director, told them to.  It was simply beautiful.  I distinctly remember getting chills, and I felt the Lord moving in me.

There’s nothing wrong with listening to Christian music.  I listen to it myself on occasion, but the songs I listen to tend to be about God (like most of Flyleaf’s older stuff), not songs to God.  There’s a definite difference.  We just need to be less concerned with Christian musicians.  They’re singing to God in their own way, and we all should do the same.

Adoption

A long time ago, I made the decision to adopt children.  Well, in the future, as I am nowhere near ready for children.  It all stemmed from my desire not to get married.  I’m not getting pregnant naturally outside of wedlock, and the whole sperm donor thing just seems really creepy.

But there are so many other reasons I’ve since come up with that this is the right choice for me.  For one, I have a disturbingly low tolerance for pain.  I cannot handle a paper-cut, let alone a human being coming out of my body.  I’ve heard the pain described (on Family Guy, so this may or may not be accurate) as the equivalent of stretching your bottom lip over your head to the back of your neck.  Ow.  I’m not dealing with that.  The pain isn’t the only thing I fear about childbirth.  It’s just… gross.  Everyone says that it’s beautiful and different if it’s your kid, but no.  It’s nasty.  People don’t like to talk about this, but the majority of the time, laboring women poop on themselves.  They tell you to push like you’re having a bowel movement, and that’s what usually happens.  And the BLOOD!!  Watch this video (yes, I’m aware I’m not an elephant, but this both disgusts and fascinates me to no end).

The rest of pregnancy doesn’t sound fun, either.  Morning sickness, weight gain, weird cravings, fatigue, spontaneous farting, swollen everything, stretch marks.  I do not want to put up with that stuff.

Think I’m selfish?  On the contrary.  Personally, I think having your own kids is pretty selfish.  There are so many kids in this world without parents.  Why overpopulate the planet even more, just so your kids will look like you?  That really shouldn’t matter.  Every child you don’t have yourself means one more orphan you can adopt.  I want to give my love to someone with none, not to someone who doesn’t have to exist.  And not doing irreversible damage to my body in the process?  Even better.

Pretty much everyone who has ever had a conversation with me knows how I feel about babies.  They’re cute for a little while, but I do not want my own.  They’re annoying, and they do absolutely nothing.  They can’t walk or talk.  They just sit there, occasionally pooping and screaming.  That’s no fun.

If I adopt, however, I can have a slightly older kid.  One that’s not so useless.  And I can save the world, one kid at a time.  People usually want the babies.  Older kids, especially teenagers, rarely get adopted.  I want to adopt, or at least foster, someone who would otherwise have very little chance at finding a home.

Another good thing about big kids:  they can basically take care of themselves.  Not that I would be a neglectful parent leaving my baby to fend for itself, but with older kids, that’s always a possibility.  And with my refusal to marry, I’ll be a single parent, so it’s necessary to be away from the kids for a while.  I won’t be able to afford to take off work to watch the kid or to pay for someone else to do it.  Teenagers can just stay home by themselves.

In the past, I’ve told people that I don’t want to get married, and that I want to adopt kids, and people think I would be doing the children a disservice by not giving them a father.  I can understand where they’re coming from; I don’t know what I’d be without my dad.  But at the same time, I think one parent is better than none at all.  The alternatives to me offering a child a home range from living in an orphanage to living on the streets.  Personally, I’d rather live in a stable home with just a “mom.”  And it’s not like any children I adopt will be completely without a male role model.  They’ll have a Grandpa Eric and an Uncle Zack.  And who knows?  Maybe I’ll have a long-term boyfriend that would act as their father-figure.

This being said, I have nothing against people with children who share their DNA.  Honestly, I have a great deal of respect for these people.  They’re able to do something I can’t, and that makes them, in a way, stronger than I am.  All I’m saying is it’s wrong for me.  I would just feel really guilty for acting against my personal beliefs.  And in the very slim chance that I do actually some day get married, I will more likely than not get my tubes tied.  I don’t want to have to worry about the possibility of having kids.

Dating

Even though I don’t believe in marriage, I’m not opposed to dating altogether.

I’d actually like to find love some day.  I just prefer to keep the status “in a relationship.”  No engagement, no marriage.  Just dating.  I could have someone to see a few times a week for companionship, fun, and love, but without living together.

Of course, because of my faith, I’d keep it pure.  Being strongly against sex outside of marriage and marriage itself (a paradox, yes), I might as well strap on a chastity belt.

That being said, I’m not really interested in dating now.  I’m young and immature.  I just don’t want to have to care about another person in that way yet.  Sure, there are times when I wish I could find someone, but I don’t think it’s for the right reasons.  I feel like because I’m 17 and have no romantic experience whatsoever, that I’m somehow behind everyone else.  In my heart, I know that that’s probably for the best, that I’m not giving little pieces of myself away, but it would be nice to at least have an offer.  I mean, I think I’m a good catch.  I’m smart, funny, a decent person, and I consider myself moderately attractive.  I’m certainly no model, but I’m not ugly.  Where are my multitudes of suitors?  Whenever that thought crosses my mind, another is always next.  The majority of guys my age are only after one thing, something they won’t get from me.  All the girls I would think are unappealing, those who aren’t as wonderful as me, those who do get all the guys, are just easy.  I guess I should be glad that they don’t seem interested.  I’m far too good for such low-lifes.

I’m not ashamed of my inexperience.  It’s not like I go around flaunting the fact that I’ve never been on a date, never had a boyfriend, and the farthest I’ve been with a guy is a hug, but I’m proud of my purity.

I think there are important “firsts” other than just THE “first time.”  I think a first date, first kiss, first whatever should all be special.  What makes it special is saving yourself for someone who’s worth it.  Someone who shares your values.  At least for me.  I really want all my firsts to be with someone who’s just as innocent.  I’m not saying I won’t date anyone who has ever dated someone else, but I can’t imagine myself with someone who’s been around a bit.  I want everything to be just as special for the other person as it is for me.  Years from now when I look back on my first date, I don’t want it to be with someone who only remembers me as another number.

I have some more rules I think Christians should follow when dating.

Personally, I don’t think a couple should have any sort of physical relationship without love.  I don’t mean just sex.  That should be saved for marriage.  But even more innocent stuff, like kissing.  Not that I think it’s “wrong” or anything, but I think it can lead to confusion.  Someone who takes a relationship to that level before really knowing how they feel about that person may feel a physical connection and think it’s love when it’s not.  That could be disastrous.

I also think Christians should only date other Christians.  2 Corinthians 6:14 warns, “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?”  Many people attribute this to marriage only, but I think it applies to any committed relationship.  If there’s a possibility of being exclusively monogamous, I think a believer’s partner should share the same faith.

I see no problem with casually dating a non-Christian, but I don’t understand the point of such a relationship.  Like I said before, you shouldn’t get physical without love, and you shouldn’t fall in love with someone who doesn’t have a relationship with Christ.  So if there’s no commitment and no physical aspect, what makes it any different than a friendship?  I think people should just keep it at that.

Marriage: Who Needs It?

Just like any other girl, I’ve always dreamed about my future wedding.  I’ve planned the dress, the food, the bridesmaids…  The only part I’ve never fantasized about is the most important part, the groom.  I’ve come to realize that it’s because I want a wedding, but not a marriage.  I just want a big party with a white dress and cake.  (I don’t care how white I am; I should’ve had a quinceñera.)  I don’t want to be legally bound to another person for the rest of my life.

Being the Bible-thumper that I am, I’ve read Ephesians 5:22—”Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.”  Why on earth would I want to do that?  The institution of marriage represents the relationship between Christ and His church.  We’re the bride, and He’s our groom.  I have no problem submitting myself to the Lord.  He’s my creator and my God.  Of course He should be in charge of me.  But another human?  I do have a problem with putting myself under control of another person, just because he’s a man.  I wouldn’t consider myself a feminist, but I don’t have the old-school mindset that women are somehow inferior.  I have way too much pride to allow someone I consider my equal to be my leader.

Revelation 22:19 says, “And if anyone takes words away from this scroll of prophecy, God will take away from that person any share in the tree of life and in the Holy City, which are described in this scroll.”  While this probably refers to the book of Revelation, I like to think it’s talking about the entire Bible.  We can’t take out the parts we don’t like—including the whole “submit to your husband” part—and create a Jefferson Bible of sorts.  I certainly don’t want the consequences that go along with that.  I’m not obligated to adhere to a command that doesn’t apply to me.

The apostle Paul, who wasn’t married, talks about marriage in I Corinthians 7.

“Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do.  But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.” (verses 8-9)  I interpret this to mean you should stay single unless you just really can’t control your urge to have sex.  It’s better to get married than to sin.  Personally, I think that’s horrible advice.  If you’re getting married just because you want to do it, you’re probably going to end up with the wrong person.  As much as God hates fornication, he also hates divorce.  Even if you’ve only been with your spouse, if you split up, it’s not worth it.  I think you’re better off just having premarital sex than making a huge mistake that screws up the rest of your life.

“…An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord’s affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world—how she can please her husband.  I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord.” (v. 34-35)  You can’t serve two masters.  Likewise, you can’t be fully devoted to God if you’re devoted to your partner.  When you’re married, a huge portion of your time is spent with that person, trying to make them happy, leaving you with less time to serve God.  A husband or wife is just a distraction from the Word or prayer.

I like my independence.  Everyone always thinks that single people are lonely, but that’s not the case with me.  I have friends and family for companionship.  I don’t need a man to invade my space.  I already can’t stand sharing a room with my stepsister.  I don’t want to have to share with a husband.  Sure, I imagine it’d be different to live with a person I actually like and choose to be a part of my life, but I still like having a place to myself.

My entire life, I’ve been under the authority of my mom.  When I finally gain my freedom, I don’t want to be chained to another person who directly influences my daily decisions for the rest of my life.  I want to be able to do what I want whenever I want.  I like that I won’t have to consult another person.  Not that married people have to ask for permission to do something, but discussing it and reaching a compromise just isn’t what I want.

If God tells me to go halfway around the world, I’ll do it.  I don’t have to worry about whether or not my husband wants to go or if he’ll be okay without me.  I don’t have to talk about it with someone else beforehand.  I can go, giving my total obedience to God as soon as I can pack my stuff and get a plane ticket. 

I’m not saying I’m absolutely staying single for the rest of my life.  Maybe there’s someone out there for me.  Someone who shares my dream of being a missionary.  Someone designed to be my future husband.  All I’m saying is if he’s out there, I definitely haven’t met him yet.  I don’t believe in love at first sight at all, but I just think if I already know the person I’m going to marry, I probably wouldn’t be so bitter about the concept as to think I’d be throwing my life away.  As of now, there’s no decent Christian guy I can even picture being with forever.  If I do end up eating my words and tying the knot, that’s wonderful, but if not, that’s even better.

I’ll leave you with this:
“In my judgment, she is happier if she stays as she is—and I think that I too have the Spirit of God.” (I Corinthians 7:40)
Thanks, Paul.  Couldn’t have said it any better myself.

Welcome!

Hello, world!!

A few years ago, I told myself I was going to write a book.  Not because I’m such a great writer—my short stories, poetry, and songs are mediocre at best—but because I like to think I’m pretty wise.  Or maybe I’m just full of myself.

Well, that didn’t work out.  I’ve discovered I can’t stay on one main topic for a book-worthy amount of time.  Sure, I can talk for ages, but I fly off on tangents and end up nowhere near where I started.

Wait…  What was I talking about?  *scratches head*

Anyway, the book is still on my to-do list (far into the future, I’d like to give it another go), but for now, I think a blog will suffice.

The main reason I’m writing publicly and not just in a private journal (actually, I tried that, too, but I’d rather not go into any details here about why that wasn’t a good idea) is to share my opinions with the world.  Oftentimes, I’ve been involved in a discussion that quickly turns into an argument.  When that happens, it seems the other person just tries to cut me off to get their own words in, and I can’t explain my view any further.  But here, I can.

Maybe the people I feel should read this never will, but my opinions will be said, and that should count for something.

I’ve always felt like I’m more open in writing.  Not that I have any trouble expressing myself with my voice—no topic is taboo in my book—but I’m really emotional.  I cry.  A lot.  Then, I shut down.  I physically can’t get the words out.  But when I’m just sitting here typing, I don’t have to worry about seeing the people I’m talking to.  It’s more distant, so there’s less attachment, and thus, less emotion.  This is why I’m notorious for sending long emails when I have anything serious to say to someone.  On a rare occasion that I do end up bawling my eyes out, I can trudge on through it and keep writing.  But I digress. 

For future reference, I like to talk about deep stuff, things that matter.  My goal is to blow your mind with my philosophical discourse.  Whether or not that ever happens, prepare yourself for the chaos that dwells inside the mind of Hannah Lynne Schuster.