Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Magic, Harry Potter, and Christian living.

So last night I went and saw Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire. I haven't read all the books, and I don't wear Harry Potter gear or rave about it 24/7, but I like it and I keep up with it to a certain extent. One thing that I have always been curious about is magic, especially from a Christian's point of view. At first that was what always shot down the Harry Potter books: All Harry Potter is a thing which containst magic. No Christians should be affiliated with things which have to do with magic. Ergo no Christians should be affiliated with Harry Potter. (Modus Ponens correct?) While respecting the people that said that, I was always a little curious why we should quarantine ourselves from that evil Harry Potter madness.

What got me even more curious is when I read Lord of The Rings. There are very few Christians that I know of that would say that Tolkein is not a Christian. I take that back... I don't know any. And yet Tolkein created a major character who is a wizard. This befuddled me for a while. The Tolkein part I solved fairly early. But the Harry Potter part continued to bug. But here's my take.

The magic in Harry Potter does not seem to be tied in with religious activities what so ever, unlike orginizations such as Wicca. It seems to be more mischivous play early on, but later the magic is used in the protagonist vs. antagonist movement. The good guys use their powers to fight the bad guys and vice versa. Magic in Harry Potter looks more like a tool than a form of worship. There is an in the third film of crystal ball/omen/chance foresight stuff, but even though the omen comes true the actual practice is pretty heavily condemned. In the fourth film, Professor Dumbledore (if I am not mistaken) states that "there is no spell to bring back the dead".

There isn't much fading of the lines in the films. The good guys look good and the bad guys, especially in the fourth film, look bad. There are some characters that you are a little confused about, but you see where they lie pretty quickly.

Is there a difference between different kinds of magic? Because the magic that is being promoted in Harry Potter does not look like the magic that you see in the Bible, the stuff that usually gets condemned. In the fourth film, viewers are introduced to the "three unforgivable curses". They are, without the hard to remember names, the curse of torture, the curse of possesion, and the curse of death. As a wizard, you cannot place a curse upoon someone that causes torture, you cannot posses that person (as in take control over them and make them obey you), and you cannot kill that person.

The Didache, an early Church handbook for chatecumins, says that a Christian ought not to perform magic for it leads to idolatry. I think that is what Wicca does. It is much more a religious practice than anything that is in Harry Potter.I think that magic is very much real, but even though it seems as if it is possible to pursue it without falling into idolatry, its dangerous business.I think that the Didache serves as a warning, that even if you could perform magic without falling away from the Christian faith, it is very hard not to.

To get back on track, I'm not sure that I see anything really wrong with the magic in Harry Potter. I can see how kids might get all stoked up about the magic part (I think its pretty neat), and then join groups which follow magic, such as Wicca. I think it just needs explaining. If you're going to go to Harry Potter and are really get into it, you have to know about that kind of stuff.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Rock Concert

As I sit here, schnarfeling my Top Ramen and praying that I would return to health in time for work and school, I got to thinking about this past weekend and all that it stood for. For those who are not aware, this past weekend was spent at JoshuaFest, a rapidly growing Christian rock concert located in nearby Quincy California. The weekend was over all very very fun, but one can't help but wonder if it all was ok. I mean, you have your rather emotional security guard leading everyone in prayer asking the Holy Spirit to come upon us, and then continue to rock out. For me its kind of a difficult situation. I like the really hardcore screamy stuff sometimes, if they play well, and its fun to listen to at concerts where you can go crazy. One of the bands there named Dizmas is a really fun band to watch and a neat bunch of guys to hang out with, but they mix the hard rock sound with the worship words on some tracks, and I'm not totally sure that that is ok.

I guess it all depends on what the concert aims at. If the concert is supposed to be a place where you worship God, then bands like Dizmas probably shouldn't apply. But if the concert is just about music, a clean setting, and a good time then Dizmas would be fine. I'm just a little bit confused. Is it morally right to praise God through hardcore rock?

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

An effort to do something on here

So I'm back, I'm not quite sure for how long though. I honestly thought that I would be doing much more blogging during the summer. But, with the extensive playing of video games and the continual zoning in front of the tv (which is hard seeing as I wake up at noon on my early days), things have been pretty rough. Just kidding, I sold my ps2, I still don't have tv, and I've been working around the house so I want to get outside when it's cool: in the morning. However, I have had time to enjoy myself a bit. I went and saw Batman Begins last saturday night. Not a bad film if you ask me. Quite dark and a bit scarier than I expected it to be. Perhaps I didn't see the full trailer or something. But I liked it. It had a very good cast and the script didn't seem half bad. With all the action though, it'll take a few more viewings to get a final verdict out. But, I got to discuss a little on the drive to the theater and back (45 minutes there and 45 minutes back). We veered into several topics, but an interesting one was on violence.

In America, especially as portrayed by films, we seem to have two options for solving a conflict. Either by talking or by fighting. It seems as if in most films, the talking gets the characters/plot no where, and that the fighting actually does something. And I think that we, as Americans are becoming fairly numbed by violence. I personally thing that that is better than being shielded from violence and never seeing it, but it still is not the best thing for us. I don't think that having violence in films is bad. Personally, especially in war films, I think it lets us see what really went on. But letting ourselves look at it as purely entertainment, can get us into trouble.

But as far as dealing with situations like that, I think that we have to think of another way besides just giving into violence. I think that violence should be a last resort, and that other methods should be tried before giving into violence. What other methods, more succesful methods, I'm not sure. Something to think about I suppose.

"[after Paul thanks him for shooting footage of the genocide] I think if people see this footage, they'll say Oh, my God, that's horrible. And then they'll go on eating their dinners." Jack Daglish in 'Hotel Rwanda'

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

"Its been a while..."

Why does that song always pop into my head when I'm on here? I don't know. Perhaps it is the fact that I take so long to post. Thus, singing "Its been a while" is rather fitting. It has been a while. On that happy note, I just want ya'll to know that I'll be a couple more weeks. Stuff is crazy now, so I don't really have the time to write a quality post. I do, however, want to reccommend a blog.

I get to see him everyday (since he is the teacher for a couple of my classes) and he's a real great guy. Enjoy

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Sorry about that

Hey guys
yeah that one looks like a bomb. I'll try and clean it up before too many others get confused. Thanks

Thursday, March 31, 2005

I'm not dead yet!!

hi guys
yeah yeah I know, its been a while. Alright, straight to business.


Now I'm not too terribly sure where to begin but I thought that this topic might give me more responses than my last one. No offense guys, but most of what I got were "wow you're smart"s. Lets kick it "down" a notch to degrade a perfectly good saying. I think that by stepping on a few toes I might be able to extract some thoughts from you guys. Please... if you get ticked off at me... tell me, don't shut up. I'd rather have angry people yelling at me than quiet people being angry at me.

Alright. After that brief intro, I'll get going. First off, I'm not a huge fan of feminism. Perhaps stating my blunt opinion first thing was not/is not the cleverest idea in the world, but this way you can see where I am comming from. I can't really attack this on anything but a religious background because, without a religious background, there is very little to fight feminism with. As a Christian, I have the Bible to look to when I need something to bat feminists over the head with. But, the catch is that if I am arguing with Amy Athiest (no offense to any Amys out there), she can hit me back over the head by saying that my rules don't apply to her because she doesn't believe in my religion. Or, she can turn around and point out that there were female rulers during the time of the judges.

So never mind. Religion is hard to deal with. So I got myself into female royalty. Never mind again thats not feminism. FEMINISM FIGHTS FOR THE EQUALITY OF SEXES. QUEENS AREN'T THE SAME AS EVERYONE ELSE. Case closed.

Basic biology: though there are many women who I am sure could punch my lights out, the female gender as a whole has been "weaker" than the male. The problem is that the males have gotten to be virtually females. That is why we have female clergy in the Church. The guys didn't step up and do their part so the women came and said that they could do the same thing virtually because THEY ACTUALLY COULD. Enough guy-bashing. Hard truth is: guys failed and the women took the opportunity.

Perhaps that is the reason for all of this. Our culture is segrigated into groups for guys: you have the skinny wimps, the skinny guys who can actually kick your behind, the buff mean guys, the buff guys who couldn't hurt a fly, the not-so-in-shape guys who think they're in shape... and the list goes on. The sad part is... I think I fall into that last category...hmm. Enough of that. The point is, men aren't trained like they used to be. Our culture has degraded the genders so that we really are equal. I don't think that feminist activists really had to do much. If things went the way they did without all the protests, we'd probably be in the same spot.

So all this to say, its not really the women that are power-seeking respect-snatching plane-welding bologne sandwich-eating... nice people, its the guys that have not been up to par. There really isn't any reason to hold back here, its not like opening the door for a lady. Guys don't need to worry about letting women go first when it comes to doing a job. We (I say we cause I'm a guy) still need to be polite and respectful to women, but at the same time we need to hold our ground. Guys need to be honorable, not the way our culture sees it, but according to a higher standard, and hold the heirarchy which God has ordained.

But there I go again... bringing religion in. Perhaps I should have addressed it to "Christian males" and bring religion in all the way. Alright: Christian guys!! Don't be wimpy!! Stand strong!! Don't vote for women clergy!! Be examples... to all your freinds at the pub on saturday night!!

Once,however,we say that girls should not work, we run into other situations like single parent families and economic stress and blah blah blah. I suppose I will have to save that for another time...

Wednesday, March 09, 2005


alright kristensdatter... nice name and good question. I was of the opinion that guys can use vulgar language when they are in the company of other (and only other) guys. When they are in the company of girls they should not use language becaues doing so is disrespectful to the girl. Perhaps that is where the gentleman part comes in? Did Mr. Darcy (don't be scared if you don't know who he is) joke around and use language with his buddies? Now another thing you mentioned (I know this because I know you hahaha...) is "what does the Bible say about it?" Honestly... I think I might have to leave this one to the muses. I regret to say that the Joe has no answers on this one. I should be sticking up another post soon so... stay tuned.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

On Language

"It is a time of desolation, chaos and uncertainty... brothers killing brothers... babies having babies..." and overused language. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not here to say that all language is bad and that we shouldn't say it ever ever ever lest we be... darned, I just think its overused these days.

First of, we need to learn that what we say has consequences. Guys, if you say that your girlfriend should not buy said shirt because it makes her look fat, you're probably not going to get a very good reaction. Likewise if you ladies say that your boyfriend's favourite shirt makes him look like a girl, that might not end up with the prettiest conclusion either. But I digress, clothing and dating are and should be for another episode.

My point is is that words have power. What you say means something. Even those who teach that words mean nothing deep down know that they have meaning (otherwise why would they be teaching?). Now once again, I am pulling from a class discution which means that it is 1)a newly explained subject and b) it is the belief of my teachers and through them me. Lets not have an Achilles incident again shall we?

I (and my professors) believe that the words commonly coined as "bad language" can be grouped into three categories: vulgarity, obscenity and profanity.

Now heres an interesting factiod. Who has heard of the Vulgate Bible? The Vulgate was printed hundreds of years ago when latin was still the common language. The Vulgate was their NIV. The words vulgar and vulgate both come from the same latin root meaning common. Vulgar words just mean common. That means any words that were used by the common people can be considered vulgar and thus not used in polite society. This category includes sh**, dam*, he*l (for the really picky ones), and even lesser words such as pi*s and cr*p (for the really really picky ones). These words can all be used in regular scentences. When a farmer stepped on manure in his field he most likely did not say "oh... I stepped in manure..." he probably used some other terminology. Now heres the kicker. Back then people knew how to handle them selves. One knew not to use these terms in "polite company" i.e. in formal situations or "mixed company" i.e. in presence of a girl. Context is key. Perhaps a more well known rule is not to "curse" in a church. Thats just how it is.

Enter sexist Joe: its my opinion that girls shouldn't use "bad language". The art of being a lady has been lost (guys... you don't need to worry about this one). With the rise of feminism and whatnot, I think girls have taken on the idea that they can curse (Trinity in The Matrix isn't helping). But just to take a stab at the guys, we need to recognize their... femininity I suppose. Don't "cuss" in front of girls. Sure its ok to say stuff man-to-man and I'm sure there is tons of stuff that only goes around in "girl stuff" only areas, but I think we need to recognize the boundaries.

Hmm... this is going to be a long one. Alright- obscenity. Obscenity is basically going too far. Giving too much info. Thats where we get our word gross from, gross literally means too much. Obscenity mainly covers your sex-based words, your violence-based words, your body-based words and your scatological words (hint: up in the mountains you often run across bear...). The obscene section can also house your f-bomb. Basically this is "dirty talk" or "potty humor". Anything "cuss words" pertaining to what we might call sick (not the synonym for cool) can fall into this category.

And finally we have our profane words. To be profane is to take something that is holy or set aside for holy use and make it common (vulgar). This is mainly if not totally composed of taking the Lord's name in vain. If you take something as holy as the Lord's name (which as a Christian, you will recognize as the ultimate holy thing) and use it too often or not seriously, you are taking it in vain.

So there we got it, our definitions are down. Now for the bulk of the essay. Alright just kidding. None of these words should really be used to terribly often. Words from the first group you can use in normal english, but there should rarely be a time for obscenity and never for profanity. Today we have little kids flipping people off (yeah I experienced it). This should be a sign that people have gotten carried away. We now no longer know when to use the words we labled "bad language" so we either use them without care or we throw them into a box which is secured with a padlock which is then thrown into a safe and thrown into the ocean (only to be rediscovered when you stub your toe).

I'm open to any opinions, edit notes (its kinda late...), questions or snide remarks.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005


ah munkybrat... how ever did you come up with that name? Seems to me that one doesn't usually like being called a brat (though with the debut of those disturbing dolls one can only wonder). Let me try to guess.

- you recently got a blog (no posts or profile) or you are simply a commentator
- you have a peculiar taste for teasing me (you know me)
- the yorkshire accent on your second comment seems to suggest something familiar to me... say... St. Andrews?

I am placing my bet on Rebekah Waterman. Mistakes, however, come with life so I might be wrong. That is where I stand.

Friday, February 11, 2005


aheh.. aheh... kudos for fruitcake. So miss Sarah... how do you like living in Jamaica? Please don't hurt miss Bekah too much... I figured it out myself... she just pushed the theory to a fact.

Alright, this is a big moment. I never thought that I would stick a song on my blog but its looking like I will. Here goes.

alright lets try to take this slow
we're not going anywhere (not going anywhere...)
I am hoping that you know
hoping that you know I care

can we please talk about you
or do I need to offer you my hand
cause you know I can't see through you
I don't even think you can
(see in you)

look you're goin through some hard times
what with your life and all (what with your life and all...)
I just want to talk to you and help
try and see if I can help

can we please talk about you
or do I need to offer you my hand
cause you know I can't see through you
I don't even think you can
(see in you)

look can we
please take this
one step at a time
I'm lost in trying to find you

so can we please take this slow
you really do need this..

so it needs a lot of polishing up... I'll see what I can do later. I don't know what kind of genre this will end up being, but so far my philosophy text was right... rock is just emotion put into words.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005


alright... I know its not much but I couldn't find "fruitcake"s blog so I decided to stick something here.
Umm yes... St. Andrews Academy in Northern California does have choir and yes I sing in it and yes some of the stuff that we do is in latin. The andrew part refers to St. Andrew the apostle who (if I remember correctly) made it to scotland or something. Anyways the flag of Scotland (again if I'm not mistaken) is called the St. Andrews flag so its got somethin to do with scotland.
Over and out

Saturday, January 29, 2005


alright! So my previous code of writing every day has failed... I am now depressed to once a week. No not depressed... disturbed... described... decomposed... diluted... disrespected.... aggh whatever. I'm not writing once a day. It turns out that its a bit less often than that. I'm breaking one of the essentials for a good blog, which... is writing alot. OK, I'm done with that.
Anyways, not much going on around here. I'm sick but thats besides the point. I've basically been sitting around doing nessicary school work and what not while trying to get better so I don't get a smackdown for not being at the concert. The choir is one of the main crowd getters of St. Andrews simply because there isn't any others around so bpeople don't get to see that kinda stuff often. Since I am one of the few tenors I kinda need to be there I think... because a. the tenors need all they can get and 2. cause Andrew would slug me if I wasn't there. Well... that took up a nice ammount of room... but now its time for me to exit.
g.i. over and out

Thursday, January 20, 2005

another day in the life of.... G.I.

well hello there
So ok that sounded like a Mr. Rogers pull. Maybe I should do that you know? Maybe I should start a kids show. What bugged me about Mr. Rogers was that I could never figure out where the train went when it wen't into the wall. I mean all you saw was its tail end riding into darkness. Just left me puzzled thats what.
Anyways on with the show. Yesterday at lunch I set the school adizzy with smoke clouds and fumes. See the trick was that we had chili left over so we were gonna have it for lunch. Mom heated up lenas in the Faculty Microwave... alls fine. Then she heated up Charris's (who was staying with us)... alls fine. Note that Charris had an identical container to mine... thats the wierd part. Because when I stuck my container in to bee heated up... it started smoking. Actually I wasn't there but Mr. Foos was like jumping over chairs to get to the microwave. So yeah he got there, threw open the door and took a step back while the smoke covered the floor. Yeah it stunk bad... for like the rest of the day. But yeah after Mr. Bartel cooled off the bottom of the container I got handed it... while everyone else stood and giggled. Well ok so it wasn't suspended gigling. Just comments. But yeah... not my favourite experience. Afterwards though I was wondering if I shoulda like broke down laughing. But its past and gone... living on only in my noggin. And in years to come, when I am old I'll tell through what teeth I have left about my adventures at St. Andrews.
G.i. out

Thursday, January 13, 2005

You don't have to try that at home

ok umm... bout that last post. You don't have to do anything. I'm tellin all ya'll guys to go call another guy beautiful. In fact for your own safety I would recomend that you don't. I mean just cause I believe that guys can be called beautiful doesn't mean that I'm gonna run up to some guy and call him beautiful. I mean.. a. If I picked the wrong guy I'd get knocked up the head and 2.... somethin else might happen. Ok 'nuff said.
Hope you guys all checeked out mr. gnomes blog. If you haven't definatley do so 'cause he a pretty cool lil man. I mean don't call him lil to his face... I think that might offend him. Gotta scoot

Friday, January 07, 2005

Caution: class discussion involved (Beware all ye anti-literal floks.)

so we had an interesting discussion in Lit. class the other day. So we are going through the Iliad and we were talking about Achilles and how he was like the perfect model of the Greek hero. I mean, the Greek Hero is like the big, buff, courageous "dude" who cares so much about his immortality than anything else. Now when you hear immortality you kinda think of being a god. This is more like being remembered for all time. So yeah... for the greek hero you have to have love for yourself and love for your friends (sooo achilles is a little low on that one). So within this Greek Hero thing is handsomeness. Achilles was definatley the handsome guy. I mean if he lived today he would have to wear a mask or something. So we got talking about that and about male beauty. There is a point at which men too can be beautiful. See.. in our culture we tend to think of beauty as a feminine thing. For instance: if some guy calls another guy beautiful... the usual implication nowadays is that hes homosexual (i.e. gay). However, there is a point at which us guys just have to admit that another guy is drop dead beautiful. Guys might not like it much but it is the truth. Nice thing for guys: they seem to be aweful rare so we might not have to say it often. G.I. over and out
The Creator