Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Idolizing Virginity

The Christian/Women/Mommy part of the blogosphere seems to be trending with the discussion of idolizing virginity.

The current discussion centers around the shared stories of women who were sexually active before marriage and experienced feelings of guilt and shame when told that they were "damaged goods" by whoever the purveyor of their Christian experience was.  These women are sharing the resulting fallout and/or redemption that they have experienced in their lives.  It also seems to have sparked a lot of feelings of affirmation for women with similar experiences as well as reactions to the Christian sub-culture of purity rings, pledges, and other potentially manichaeist-ish movements.

Is it too overly simplistic or dismissive to opine that the approach to this issue (and probably any other) requires both Grace and Truth?  I guess the hard part is finding the right balance?  Or perhaps it is one of those hypostatic union thingies.

Ram Sridharan at Urbana 12 gave one of the most rousing expressions of God's grace I have heard in recent memory using the Parable of the Prodigal Son.  He says, "There is nothing you can do or will do that the lavish grace of God cannot outweigh, surpass, outmatch, and outrun you on."

It is a message that cannot be over-marinated in, but it doesn't mean that there aren't consequences for our actions right?  There is the grace Jesus shows to the woman caught in adultery, but there is also St. Paul's exhortation that we reap what we sow (and plenty of other examples).  Even if they are not always completely conscious or visible, there are actual physical and emotional consequences to sex that God (probably) isn't micro-managing as we understand it.  Experienced prior to marriage, they aren't necessarily instant marriage wreckers, but they sure don't make what is already a tough commitment any easier.

Sexy time(TM) is such a weird(ly intimate) thing with all kinds of layers that anyone who has had at least one awkward or disappointing experience for whatever reason can attest to the potential mental rabbit hole it can create.  Sometimes I go down them.  Sometimes I don't.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Confessions of an ABC 1

I've always had an aversion to ordering tacos at any Mexican joint. It's not because I don't think that  Mexican tacos aren't delicious though. Growing up, I wasn't exposed to much Mexican food, but I had a lot of Taco Bell (tells you a lot about me, probably) (also notice how I didn't group Taco Bell with Mexican food; looking at you, Panda Express).  After only having their "tacos" for the majority of my life, you can imagine my disappointment when I discovered how dinky (read: how little food) real tacos were. That disappointment has stuck with me to the point where my first reaction now to the possibility of ordering tacos is how many I will have to get in order to get enough to eat.  I'll take the super burrito the size of my head, please.  kthxbai.  #firstworldproblems

Thursday, January 17, 2013

I'm going Kuku-a

Inline image 1

This must be what it's like to be high.  Though in full disclosure, the closest I ever came was after spending a couple minutes in my freshman dorm room after my roommate had finished up his business and feeling a strong craving for Doritos.  The same roommate who upon walking in on him watching porn turned back to me to exclaim frat boy style, "Yeah, bro.  Porn!" and proceeded to give me a thumbs up with his free hand.  At least that's how I remembered it.  For whatever reason, we got along really well for the one semester we lived together.

But I digress.  I'm referring to how I felt after reading the Deadspin article on Manti Te'o dead girlfriend hoax

There's no shortage of speculation into what actually happened so I'm not even going to try.  These are simply some of my slightly interpretative observations as I follow the reactions.
  • After watching and hearing a bunch of talking heads, I've noticed that the more times an anchor or reporter says the name, "Lennay Kukua," the more ridiculous it seems to them to keep saying the name of someone who doesn't exist.  The more the name is said over a short period of time, the more ridiculous the name sounds.  Sort of like looking at a word until it seems spelled wrong.

  • The woman whose picture was used to impersonate "Lennay Kukua" is attractive enough that her real identity is probably going to come out at some point.  She might possibly Katherine Webb that action.

  • The name "Lennay Kukua" will become a cultural catch-phrase to describe something related to whatever the final generally accepted explanation is.  So far, the memes are mainly descriptive like Dos Equis and Clint Eastwood.

  • When watching coverage, I'm impressed at all the impeccably pronounced (or confidently mispronounced) Pacific Islander (read: Samoan) names.  They sure are unique like all those "D" apostrophe names.

  • Too bad for Oprah who waited a day too long to air her Lance Armstrong interview.  She can go home and cry to her billions.

  • What's with Reagan Maui'a coming out of left field saying he met Lennay Kukua?  Right now, he feels like the bumbling idiot who accidentally walks into a situation and tries to fix it while all the people that were already there are like, "WTF are you doing?"  Still, given the current explanation for how the hoax came to light was the girl calling Te'o wanting to restart the relationship, there seems to be a real live girl on the other end of this.

  • This story is so bizarre that there seem to be holes everywhere you turn.  It does seems that the collective subconscious is trying to resolve the story in a binary fashion.  Either Manti Te'o was a completely naive and trusting individual (who will never trust the same way again - Notre Dame's angle via Jack Swarbrick) or he was in on it carefully plotting every word in every interview (more or less Deadspin's angle).  This is not going to resolve cleanly.  Te'o doesn't have to be THE victim or THE perpetrator.  Culpability remains to be seen.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Surprisingly adequate summary of at least part of my vocation

"The fellow-pupil can help more than the master because he knows less."

          ~ C.S. Lewis, Reflections on the Psalms