Thursday, March 31, 2011

I Got Some Mail

I went to sort my mail today and I found this letter,

That's just the outside of the letter. I assumed it was a crazy style letter because they underlined, like, half of the words for emphasis (which is a typical crazy maneuver). So I opened it up to find this,
It's my very own Jesus Prayer Rug! It's Soaked with the Power of Prayer! (Why does every crazy Christian thing I read have random capitalization and underlines/italics? They don't make any sense, they just throw them in there.)You can't see it, but on the bottom of the Jesus Prayer Rug, it tells me that Jesus' eyes are closed but if I look into them and have faith they will open up and stare back into mine. How romantic! Then I'm supposed to pray on the prayer rug and the St. Mathews Church will help me! I just have to write down what I prayed for here,
Notice the section for my enclosed seed gift to the church. Now after I do all this I then have to take it to a friend to do the same thing, for some reason, before I return it. Now I was a little skeptical but they sent this testimonial with it too!

This all seemed pretty legit, so then I read yet another letter they enclosed,
You can't read it very well, but it is a LONG sermon, with half of it underlined for emphasis. Because we only need half of it emphasized. It also offers to send me a free blessed cross. This thing read like a lot of crazy. It drones on and on, but says nothing. I know this was a spam mail sent to everyone at my complex, but I found it quite funny that it ended up in my box. At least I was entertained for a few minutes before I threw my crying-white Jesus-Prayer Rug-majig away. I hope you all enjoyed as much as I did!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


In this post I'm going to wax lyrical about 2 things. My relationship as I see it, and what I believe to be a good fix to the marriage issue.

I have never been a big fan of marriage. To me a piece of paper doesn't validate anything. I would be totally happy to cohabitate with Cori for the rest of my life. That piece of paper is completely useless to me. I know how I feel about her, she knows how she feels about me. I have already made the commitment to her that anyone would expect of a husband. I am faithful, I help with the bills, I love her to pieces, I support her choices, I laugh and cry with her, hell, I even clean sometimes. I have every intention of staying with her forever. Our relationship is solid, it's based on a realistic foundation and we communicate very well. It's not always easy, but no relationship is.

That said, I completely understand the allure of marriage. First there are the legal benefits. I can stay with her at the hospital, I can be given medical information, and I have the say on procedures. Then there is the validation that some people like to have. I just have an issue with marriage, but if signing a paper, dressing up, and seeing a lot of family members makes Cori happy and keeps her around, you bet I will do it. (Not any time soon though.) Now my issues with marriage in its current state, and my plan to fix them.

My real issue with marriage is that 1) we are excluding many people who wish to get married, and 2) It is where the church and state combine.

I want to see that combination split. The state can officiate a relationship and have it legally recognized, and churches can perform their own ceremonies. This way the state can provide legal benefits to people of all genders and gender combinations who wish to be recognized by the state, and the churches can continue to disallow anyone 'not pure enough' for their hoodoo. For most people, marriage will continue just as it has. You set up your ceremony, you go get the license, ta-da! If you choose not to be recognized by the state, then you work in the bounds of your religion, or non-religion, and go from there. If you want the legal protections of marriage you can get them without having to have a ceremony.

I can already anticipate a few arguments, so I'm going to address those now.

1. What if I'm already married?/You're trying to ruin my marriage!
My plan will not terminate any previous marriage, nor will it take away the special bond you and your spouse have. It simply allows the state to bow out of having to take religious views on who is and isn't appropriate to be married, and for people who don't want to be legally tied together to enjoy being in a more committed version of their relationship.

2. Won't this ruin our tradition of marriage?
No. Marriage has already ruined itself. It's so sacred that 52% of all first marriages end in divorce, and the numbers just go up with each subsequent marriage. Everyone deserves the same benefits and legal protections, regardless of sexuality.

3.This will allow gay marriage! How morally reprehensible!
Yes it will, and no, it's not reprehensible. If you believe gay marriage is wrong, then don't marry someone of the same gender. Your opinions/religious views/ignorance do not get to decide the rights of people. Even with a majority vote. This country has protections in place to protect its citizens from the tyranny of the majority, deal with it. You don't have the right to not be offended. My idea makes it so you can have your little ceremonies and call your relationship whatever you want, and you can discriminate anyone from your little clubs for whatever reason. Churches can already refuse to join individuals for whatever reason, and you can continue to do that with my idea. The state, however, is not allowed to discriminate.

4.The definition of marriage is between a man and a woman!
Perhaps in the dictionary, but definitions change. Marriage is not like it was. If it were, divorce would be illegal, women would be property, adultery could get you legally killed, etc. Times change, get used to it.

I really hope that one day this will be the treatment marriage receives. That it will be equal. That we, as a nation, can split religion and law. Uphold the constitution, protect the rights of all of our citizens, and quit this ridiculous 'morality' argument.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Behind the Zion Curtain

I hate Utah. I have lived here for 23 years, and I hate it. As soon as Cori is done with school I plan on packing up and leaving this place. Here are my reasons.

1. Utah treats adults like children.

In Utah if you want a beer you better be happy with 3.2. If you want anything else, you better be willing to go to the liquor store and pay out the ass, or go to a restaurant/brewpub and pay out the ass. If you desire to go to a bar, you better be OK with them scanning your ID into a database so the state knows where you have been. It's not any better than the private club laws we used to have. You can't get certain drinks because their alcohol content are too high. Just try to get a normal long island iced tea. Just try. I'm tired of having to do this song and dance to get what I want. It seems like every time they loosen the laws up, they tighten them up more so later. I'm honestly surprised we don't have dry counties. Hell, you have to be 19 to get cigarettes. I'm not a smoker, but if you are gonna give someone the right to vote, let them smoke too. I personally think this state tries to hold everyone by the hand and monitor every activity deemed 'sinful'. We still have laws on the books declaring premarital sex as a class B misdemeanor. If you treat us like adults, we will act like them.

2. Utah regularly shows it's dislike for 50% of its population.

It seems like every time the legislature in Utah gets together they make laws that suppress non-Mormons. This state has a rich history of allowing the church to bully legislation, or getting the 'righteous' elected to get the legislation through. News flash Utah, half of your population is not part of the dominant religion. But hey, fuck 'em right?

3. Utah Mormons are kinda dicks.

First let me say, I know tons of Mormons who are nothing but decent people. That aside, Utah Mormons are kinda dicks. They are completely OK with unfair rules and laws because it supports their faith. Make liquor harder to get? That's OK, alcohol is 'sinful'. Deny gays the right to marry? That's OK, homosexuality is 'sinful'. Just because you don't like it, agree with it, or condone it, does not mean it should be outlawed. A mystical book should have no bearing on the legislation of basic human rights, and the ability of adults to live as adults. Add to the list that in many places in Utah, non-Mormons are shunned from the community. In Utah county if you aren't Mormon your kids aren't allowed to play with other families kids. Growing up in Salt Lake county that wasn't a big issue for me, but I still saw it. I had a few people in high school who quit talking to me upon hearing I wasn't Mormon. My brothers lost friends after their family was told we weren't Mormon. I'm sorry, I don't wish to live a place where that is commonplace.

4. Utah is behind the Zion Curtain.

Lastly, and most damning for me, Utah ignores everything else. We disconnect ourselves from other states, let alone other countries. The average Utahn has no clue what life is like out of their state. We try to live in this little bubble, not wanting to play with others. I can't stand the lack of diversity, the lack of new ideas. We live in a stagnant culture, unwilling to change because it may upset someone. We put our hands on our ears, close our eyes and scream, "There is no outside world, no other opinions, they offend me, LALALALALA!". Utah is a racist, sexist, homophobic, intolerant, insular, and holier-than-thou place. The sad thing is, it has no plans to change. Gotta tow the line, keep the status quo. Don't wanna offend anyones delicate sensibilities.

I truly am tired of living in this state. It's full of natural beauty, my family, my friends, but I can't foresee myself staying here. I would rather meet the unknown than stay here.