I keep saying...


I don't know why or how it started but lately when I want to express some sort of intense emotion in a trivial manner, I will say O-M-G.

Each letter is spoken emphatically. OH *pause* EHM *pause* GEE

When someone tells me a piece of interesting news. O-M-G.

I just turned 29 and I'm talking like a tween. Like, O-M-G!


I'm having a really hard time with

... Prop 8.

The main argument for Prop 8 that I've heard from people is that it's restoring the traditional view of marriage. It's what God wants.

What I'm having a hard time with is why this is the issue Christians are choosing to rally around. I can think of many other things that God wants that Christians don't pursue. What is up?

It also feels like a log in the eye situation. Whenever I hear "restore traditional marriage" I'm also wondering, doesn't that mean we should be outlawing divorce and remarriage? Instead, we have things like divorce care in churches. Should we be so selective about where we show compassion and grace?

And what has particularly irked me about this whole thing is the propaganda surrounding the Yes campaign. Much of the ads for Prop 8 you see on TV are made by "Christian" organizations and they tell blatant lies about Prop 8. The stuff about teaching children gay marriage in schools and forcing pastors to marry gay couples is simply not true. I can't get over it... lying to oppose sin. Is this sin justified because it's trying to come against another sin?

Honestly, I haven't heard one good argument from anyone that hasn't been spoon fed by the propaganda. If you find it, please let me know.

Along with this and election fever, I've been confronted with something else. Can someone please tell me how being a Christian = Republican? From where I'm standing, I have very little in common with the interests of Republicans. And PLEASE don't say family values.

I've been trying to stay away from blogging about this stuff because I really would rather talk to people in person... so I kept it short. I tried not to be too rant-y either.


Something I've been waiting for

A New Conversation on Abortion

by Jim Wallis 10-16-2008

In last evening’s presidential debate, the first steps were taken toward a new national conversation about abortion. For too many years, the old one hadn’t changed very much. It came up every four years during elections and seldom in between. The Republicans repeated that they think abortion should just be completely illegal; and the Democrats repeated their only mantra of a “woman’s right to choose.” And the number of abortions remained mostly unchanged.

“Pro-life” battled “pro-choice” when neither party was really either one. Those positions were more like postures, and they didn’t lead to solutions. What if “pro-life” really meant policies that would protect the precious gift of life wherever it is threatened and aim at dramatically reducing the number of abortions in America? And what if “pro-choice” meant extending the range of real choices available to women – not only to terminate a pregnancy, but also to make the decision to have a child with the necessary economic support, health care, and adoption services?

Last evening, both Barack Obama and John McCain took steps toward finding some possible common ground.

Both said that they would not use Roe v. Wade as a litmus test for appointing Supreme Court Justices in the future.

And both suggested some cultural commitments and policy directions that could be most effective in dramatically reducing abortion. Last night’s debate got that conversation started.

Barack Obama said:

I think that abortion is a very difficult issue, and it is a moral issue and one that I think good people on both sides can disagree on…. This is an issue that — look, it divides us. And in some ways, it may be difficult to — to reconcile the two views. But there surely is some common ground when both those who believe in choice and those who are opposed to abortion can come together and say, “We should try to prevent unintended pregnancies by providing appropriate education to our youth, communicating that sexuality is sacred and that they should not be engaged in cavalier activity, and providing options for adoption, and helping single mothers if they want to choose to keep the baby.” Those are all things that we put in the Democratic platform for the first time this year, and I think that’s where we can find some common ground, because nobody’s pro-abortion. I think it’s always a tragic situation. We should try to reduce these circumstances.

Then John McCain said:

We have to change the culture of America. Those of us who are proudly pro-life understand that. And it’s got to be courage and compassion that we show to a young woman who’s facing this terribly difficult decision. … But that does not mean that we will cease to protect the rights of the unborn. Of course, we have to come together. Of course, we have to work together, and, of course, it’s vital that we do so and help these young women who are facing such a difficult decision, with a compassion, that we’ll help them with the adoptive services, with the courage to bring that child into this world and we’ll help take care of it.

There are indeed profound moral issues involved in the decisions to have or not to have an abortion, and most Americans believe that. Most also believe the abortion rate in America is far too high but are hesitant to completely deny the difficult choice to have one.

Abortion reduction is the clear common ground that could unite the pro-choice and pro-life polarities and bring us together to find some real solutions and finally see some results. John McCain and Barack Obama last evening opened up the possibility of finding some new common ground in reducing abortions, reflecting the 2008 Democratic and Republican platforms. There is also now some movement in the Congress with pro-life and pro-choice members looking for common ground solutions for reducing the number of abortions that are proven to work. New and compelling studies make the clear connection between abortion and poverty, with fully three-fourths of the women who have abortions saying that they just couldn’t afford to have the child. It will be a great day when both poverty reduction and abortion reduction become non-partisan issues and bipartisan causes.

Life is precious. John McCain believes that, Barack Obama believes that, Sarah Palin believes that, and so does Joe Biden. In fact, I’m not sure I have ever met a person who believes otherwise.

Freedom is fundamental. John McCain believes that, Barack Obama believes that, Sarah Palin believes that, and so does Joe Biden. Again, I’m not sure I have ever met a person who believes otherwise.

Americans are for life. Americans are for choice. The challenge for our political leaders, our religious leaders, and every American is to hold freedom and life together even when they seem to collide. We should do all we can to make sure we have as much of both as possible. And we can start by having a better conversation about abortion in this election and beyond. Thankfully, the first steps toward that conversation were taken last evening.


What the

... #$%!#$@?

I had an interesting conversation with some folks the other day when I revealed that I'm okay with swearing. As I blog this I imagine some readers having the same reaction as these people. I was and wasn't surprised by their intense response, and from it I assumed that they believed swearing was sinning. They couldn't believe that I could condone such behavior. As I relayed my conversation to Bryan, he noted that we were talking about two different things. While they were objecting to excusing swearing from sin, I was addressing the hierarchy of sin in our speech.

Many believe that all sin is equal. Yes and no. All sin leads us to separation and alienation from God. However, there is scripture that points to more severe consequences for some sin (Matt. 23:14-15), and there are some sins that are more detestable to God (Ezekiel 8, 16).

I think most Christians also have a hierarchy of sin, and what bothers me is that sometimes that hierarchy seems out of order. I rarely get such intense reactions from people who listen to gossip nor do I see people call out sin when others lash out in anger. Mr. Anger Management might have not used the culturally defined swear words, but his sentiment is obviously there.

Something else that I take issue with is that there is a lot of mean teasing among Christians, but it's not called out. In fact, I don't think people see it as sin because it's only a joke. What's kind of troubling is that it becomes a contest of who can cut each other down in the most witty way. I find this more insidiously damaging than swearing.

I think swearing is an easily identifiable action among Christians that separates between the bad and the good. It's another way we pat ourselves on the back for being holy while turning a blind eye to our daily sins that no one else knows about. I want our understanding of sin to go past the surface issues. When I consider all the ways that I may have murdered someone in my heart, swearing seems like small potatoes.

Now I'm not advocating that everyone adopts a potty mouth and that it's okay to f-this and f-that. I just think there's bigger fish to fry.

But... I do find that sometimes, there really is no better word to describe a situation. I particularly like the sentiment behind the metaphor "when the sh@# hits the fan" or the term SNAFU (situation normal all F-ed up).


My imaginary boyfriend

"To the woman he said... Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you."

We are cursed.

I see the effects of the curse when I work with my college students. I knew the curse so well when I was single. Mostly I see it in how much time single women spend in a relationship with their non-existent boyfriends. I was guilty of that as well. Even when we don't have a tangible guy in our lives, much of our thoughts are consumed with "him."

We are obsessed with men, whether or not they exist. Consider a women's sleepover - the conversation inevitably turns to discussions about eligible bachelors and our lists and stays there. I would love a guy that... My guy will... I once asked some men how much time they spent talking about women at their hangout times (they don't use the word sleepover) and found that it was next to nothing. They're too busy playing video games, thinking about weird competitions, or shooting each other with some weaponry.

We have this list of what we want out of a guy. And we actually have imaginary relationships with him. We ask him things like, where are you? When will I get to meet you? We spend time planning our future wedding and family with him in our minds. And we daydream about interactions with him and what they will be like. I used to daydream about the kinds of interactions I could have with either the most current crush or Mr. Imaginary. They never happened.



It's not true

... that I have nothing to wear. And yet I can stand in front of my closet full of clothes and think/say that. Lately I've been contemplating what it means to live a life of abundance. There is a laundry list of things I want, but there's nothing I need. I remember the first time I came back from China and felt nauseous at how much stuff I had.

I would love to return to a life of simplicity and satisfaction. I had this crazy idea that I'd like to commit to in theory but am scared to in actuality. I wondered what life would be like if I didn't purchase any new clothes for a year. I have plenty of clothes to last me more than a year. Probably too much, actually.

The other reason I'd want to implement this idea is because I've noticed that I think clothes will get people to like me. When I was meeting new people during New Student Outreach, I considered my wardrobe more carefully and dressed to impress.

I thought of people I know who aren't so fashionable but win others over with their quality of character... and I wondered if I was compensating for character with external appearances. I wondered if I didn't have updated clothes, would it help grow my character? I'm not going to wear a potato sack for this experiment - just what I already own.

A year isn't that long, but perhaps long enough for me to feel outdated, especially working with college students. I haven't made the plunge yet... I'm scared I'll go back on the commitment. I guess I want to make sure I'm ready for it. It could be interesting to blog about.

In reality, I don't think it will be that big of a deal. I bet nobody will even notice anything about my clothes. I think my reluctance to enter into it just shows me how much value I'm putting in my external appearance. Perhaps I'll give myself a deadline to decide... what about a week?


Calling all design majors

If I did my undergrad degree again, I might have considered a design major. Since it's new student outreach, I've been looking at a lot of fliers and posters and whatnot. I don't know if there's a rule for this kind of stuff, but one of my pet peeves for aesthetics is when people use more than 3 fonts. I usually only use 2... I know people like to change it up but what about bolding, italicizing, increasing size? IMHO it just looks too busy and schizophrenic.