The drive from St. Louis to Lake Ozark in the middle of Missouri is about 3 hours. It rained in the morning, and now there are beautiful billowy clouds closing in to smother the landscape. Lot of farmland - lots of cows.
Iggy Pop - "The Passenger"
Missouri is flat but not as flat as I imagined it would be. You look outside and it feels very comfortable, it fits like an old shoe or a good worn pair of pants. I like looking outside - since I'm not driving, it helps to keep my mind off what X is talking about. Right now it's about how homosexuals (X's pronunciation of this word is better than 70% of X's regular vocabulary), lesbians in particular and X's sister to boot, really needs to just find either A) a good man or B) God in order to mend their wicked ways. Because, of course, the only reason people are gay is because they get caught up in the culture.
Nine Inch Nails - "Right Where It Belongs"
I am mortified and fascinated at the time. I've always been told I have a face that's easy to talk to. But unless I'm in a gathering of close friends, I follow the time-honored credo of "Don't talk politics or religion." I suppose part of my reticence to speak about my beliefs is that I find it hard to put into words the conflicting views I hold. But the last time I looked in a mirror, I didn't see someone who was a bigoted, reactionary religious God-pushing homophobe.
Iron & Wine - "Free Until They Cut Me Down"
Is the right thing to do simply to wear my beliefs on my sleeve? Tell casual acquaintances or co-workers about my life and my various affiliations just so they're clear on where I'm coming from? I don't know - the last thing I want to do is tell someone how they should live. I still have a hard time figuring out how I should live. Tell someone they're crazy for watching so much reality television? Sure, no problem. I don't think I'm changing a life view there. Tell someone I think they're going to Hell because they don't accept Jesus as the one true Savior? Is that my business, whether I believe it or not? And am I comfortable in my own life to point without fear of having the finger pointed back at me?
And is that the same thing as telling someone that it looks like they need to lose weight, or stop listening to loud music on their headphones? I don't know. I don't think so, but maybe a line can't be drawn without stepping over it. All I want to do is try to live right according to what I believe. If someone needs my help, I'll try, but I don't know if they should listen to me or not. Is that okay? Does this even make sense? I thought at 33 you were supposed to have your system hard-wired by now; is it supposed to still be challenged so much of the time?
Into Eternity - "Isolation"
For the record, and in no certain order:
- I believe in God. Or at least I believe in a higher power that watches over our lives.
- I do not believe that one religion has the complete answer, not do I believe that only one faith will be able to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, or whatever equivalent someone's faith has.
- I do believe, however, that a religion that advocates violence and death to others is wrong on so many levels it boggles the mind.
- I believe in the Bible's maxims "Do unto others as you would have done unto you" and "Judge not lest ye be judged"
- I also believe the Bible was written by a bunch of people who got together to forward the basics tenants of their religion. It's a mythology, folks - fables created to advocate a certain point of view. Obviously, I also believe the adage "Don't believe everything you read."
- I do not believe being gay is a sin, nor do I believe gay people should be denied any rights given freely to people who are not gay.
- I believe the Earth and the rest of the universe was created millions of years ago, and that we are, in fact, descended from apes. See some of my relatives for proof of this.
- I do not believe Intelligent Design should be taught in schools.
- However, I do in fact believe that the higher power mentioned in #1 did create the universe, but in a way that falls in line with current scientific thinking. Does this need to be taught in school? No. Does this make me a hypocrite? Who cares - it's my belief.
- I do not believe in 99.98% of what this current administration says or does. Except for the .02% - that's the stuff about Bush being an idiot. I do believe that.
- I do believe in the war in Iraq - I believe there is a war, and it is currently going on in Iraq.
- I don't believe any of the justifications for why we're in Iraq.
- I believe a woman has a right to choose what to do with her body, and that the churches should stay out of it.
- I believe that you never really know what you believe until you can write it down, and that is so much harder than it sounds.