Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Should you Celebrate Halloween?

       Halloween is a very popular holiday in the United States celebrated by both young and old, but especially the young. People are are pulled into the annual celebration by the opportunity to act silly and have fun without much obligation. When one studies Halloween and learns about its truth and origin the individual will learn that there really is not anything here to celebrate. Halloween originated with the Druids, in northwest Europe, in honor of Samhain, lord of the dead, whose festival fell on November 1. This was before the birth of Christ. The druids celebrated the souls of the dead while these souls were being held by the lord of the dead before allowing the better behaved ones were to be passed onto heaven. The druids, each October 31, celebrated the lord of the dead who kept the souls of individuals who had died within that year in the bodies of animals before deciding where he was going to place them. They felt that they could coax him with prayers to give their dead friends or relatives a lighter sentence. This day was called "all hollows eve". The day was the eve off "All Saints Day". It was the eve in which the lord of the dead would set all these souls loose to wonder around the earth. This day was held in celebration of the idea that the dead was not really dead. Of course when one reads the Word of God we know that when one dies his soul is either going to heaven or hell depending on whether or not the person accepted Christ as his Savior (John 3:3).
      The Catholics, living amongst the Druids in places like Scotland and Ireland, adopted some of the Druid teaching in their culture. The Catholics also believed in a holding place for the dead called purgatory. They did not believe that people's eternity was already determined by their own life decisions, whether or not they had a relationship with God before they died. They believed that there was a place for people who needed to have some of their bad behavior and sins cleaned out of them before being allowed to enter into heaven. The Catholic church along with the Druids combined their belief and customs to form what is presently celebrated as Halloween.
      The lord of the dead is Satan. He holds the key to the dead unless their souls are redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ (I Peter 1:18-19). Every year people in the millions are wandering around the western part of the globe, traveling from house to house, dressed up as witches, ghosts, and goblins, smiling, laughing, not knowing that they are in fact celebrating the devil. Today is no different then what is was in the 1600s or 2000 plus years ago except that then neighbors were not passing out candies to little children and there was not any commercialization to pump  more money out of the pockets of the civilians but the intent has not changed. The devil still has children and adults marching from house to house playing a role similar to an old ritual where a procession of men, led by a man wearing a white robe and a horse - headed mask, would knock on farmers' doors. Unless the group was rewarded with a treat their crops were threatened with curse for the whole, entire year of production. As children, teenagers, and adults play along with this reenactment they have no idea what they are celebrating and the role they are playing.
      Regardless of what Halloween means to them people who celebrate this day are celebrating Satan. This is his day. He is the lord of the dead. People are dressing up like witches and goblins, commemorating evil while denying the power of the gift of Jesus Christ to give life to the dead, if the individual will only heed to Him while alive here on earth. The devil obtained the power of the dead when Adam and Eve sinned and sin entered the ground, bringing with it a curse. Jesus came to earth died on the cross, entered the ground, and came out alive and well. With His rebirth along came a cure for the curse on the ground, His blood. A person who has poured his soul into the Blood of Jesus is no longer held by Satan. His faith does not need to rely on old Catholic teachings. His soul does not need purgatory. He can have faith in Jesus that He will save him and carry his soul away to heaven whenever he either passes from earth or if he happens to be alive to experience the resurrection. Looking at the all the gifts and blessings this person is about to receive why would he want separate himself from Christ in order to take a jaunt with the devil?
       Halloween is pure devil worship plain and simple. From the trick or treating, to the people dressing up like devils and angels, evil is being celebrated. Why would anyone want to celebrate the dead? We should want to celebrate the present. As Jesus Christ said in Matthews, let the dead bury their own dead, come follow Me (Matthew 8:22). Once a person is dead there is not anything we could do for that individual except give him or her a decent burial and treat his or her family with generosity and respect. The person is dead. God is going to take care of the rest. God wants us to be concerned about the living. No one should celebrate a holiday honoring the dead, especially not a Christian. Christians celebrate the Living Son of God, Jesus Christ. Jesus is not dead. He defeated death, paving a future and hope for those who follow and believe in Him.
       Knowing the truth about Halloween how does one determined christian respond, while living within a world where the day of the dead is celebrated like a super mega Superbowl? I read several articles where writers advised readers to not be judgmental regarding how one celebrates the holiday while responding kindly to the people partying in the middle of the fest. I disagree. Yes you still want to be nice but a christian should stand his or her ground and let their friend, sibling, coworker, boss, etc. know that he or she does not celebrate the holiday because it goes against the teachings of Jesus Christ. You should still be nice and polite while stating your stance against Halloween but you should never agree to celebrate it. You don't want to celebrate Satan. This is a time one can take to share his or her faith about Jesus Christ and salvation. Don't be ashamed of your belief and faith in God. He was not ashamed of you when He suffered on the Cross for you.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Popular Media's Role In Same Sex Marriage

       Gay Marriage has ran a long marathon as a media headliner. From the early 1970s until now the pro gay movement has given tremendous effort to turn the United States from a red and blue divided country into a completely pink nation. Christians, Republicans, traditionalists, even some of the Moderates and those leaning hard toward the left as well as their leaders fought hard to keep traditional marriage in this country pure and true. But the news continues to pour onto the public stories upon stories of judges granting victories to gay marriage seekers as each state bickers and fights over whether or not to make gay marriage legal. Just about each and everyday media members announces the new number of states allowing gay marriage. As of October 7, 2014 25 states (California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin. as well as the District of Columbia) have allowed marriage certificates to be granted to same sex couples. Nevada provides legal unions to same sex couples. States like Michigan, Idaho, Arkansas, Texas, and Kentucky are viciously fighting against the court judges from forcing them to accept gay marriage as legal but these states appear to be fighting against long odds. Florida and North Carolina have same sex marriage legalization pending but not yet in effect. The other states either have same sex marriage out right banned or find themselves somewhere in the middle.
       Recently because of the Supreme Court avoiding the opportunity to make a decision on the legality of same sex marriage for all the states, individual state judges played the role as nation dictators by making that important decision themselves. Several judges arrogantly and likely illegally placed themselves as nation's lone decision makers by making gay marriage legal in their states and passing out marriage certificates to same sex partners. On Wednesday October 8, 2014 a Kansas judge ordered the state's most populated county to being issuing gay marriage certificates. Colorado has begun issuing gay marriage certificates. North Carolina and South Carolina will likely soon follow.
       While watching the news on television, listening to the radio, and reading about these current events on the newspapers both in print and online, the stories make these events appear as if these gay marriage court victories is all good for America. The media describes this judicial swing toward gay marriage as a grand slam winning homer hit during the middle of the ninth inning for the home team. Gay marriage cases are forcefully assimilated with the Black Americans Civil Rights Movement. People like Pierce Brosnan, President Barak Obama, Kobe Bryant, Madonna, Clint Eastwood and many others have publically announced their support for gay marriage and homosexuality while giving the traditional responses: "it is not a big deal", "let people marry who they love", "people should be able to do whatever makes them happy", and as previously mentioned, the ever so famous comparisons to the racism and harsh treatment Black Americans received before and during the Civil Rights Movement.
       A careful reader while poring through the news articles from media newspapers and listening to the commentaries on popular talk shows and current event discussions, will notice that much of popular media over glamorizes homosexuality and gay marriage, giving it constant affirmation, while never providing any information regarding the negative sides of homosexuality. People who disapprove of gay marriage are not given proper respect or careful attention to at least allow a chance to discover whether or not what they are saying is true. Homosexuals are told and preached to the world to be born that way even though many of them don't believe that themselves. There are many individuals who have currently state that they were once gay but have themselves experienced the process of changing their lives. The media simply ignores them. People often say that gay sex resembles sexual abuse and porn when shown to minors. They say that such scenes confuse minors while reducing their respect for the act of sex. Popular media calls those people "haters" and "bigots". Psychologists have come out to say that homosexuality is related to individuals who were sexually molested as children (1997 issue of the Journal of American Medical Association) . Researchers have shown that pedophilia and homosexuality is related (Fraternal Birth Order and Sexual Orientation in Pedophiles, " Archives of Sexual Behavior 29, pg 64) (also The Heterogeneity/Homogeneity of Pedophilia," Psychiatric Journal of the University of Ottawa 13 pg 218). Such comments are laughed at by the media, often responding that heterosexuals molest children too. They don't pay attention to the actual numbers showing the relationship between homosexuality and child molestation that such a relationship does exist. But it seems that popular media has chosen to rather be friendly and supportive to the gay crowd then to hold people accountable for actions and sins that are terribly harmful to human beings.
       Facts are there are many people in the United States, in the world who are hurt. They are crying inside. Many of them do not know how to handle their feelings, emotions. They do not know what to do. It is true that many gays deal with psychological issues like depression and suicides. Suicide plays a major role within men who have sex with men. Sadly the media plays this reality off by simply stating that these men are responding to being hated by the world. Popular media is feeding the world this lie by portraying gay characters on television as people who are often bullied, mistreated, but are trying hard to live a normal life just like everyone else. The media produces programs displaying a typical gay man's life as normal, minus any problems the average human being would deal with. Yes gay men and women are people like you and your next door neighbor and deserve to be loved. They are human beings and no individual(s) should mistreat them. Their lifestyle though is wrong and not just wrong but is also an extremely risky, very dangerous lifestyle to live. What the media does not show is that the average gay man's life is very promiscuous. The average gay active man engages in sex with several partners.  According to the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry 28% of homosexual men had more than 1000 partners. During a survey 79% of homosexual males said that over half of their sex partners are strangers. A 1978 study said that 78% of gay men had more than 100 partners, 28% more than 1000. These are huge numbers. Representing such large numbers no wonder men who have sex with men are the largest populating in America suffering with the HIV AIDS virus. But popular media will try to confuse listeners by always touting African Americans as being AIDS victims. Popular media and most of the educational institutions and leaders  preach that AIDS is a black race problem. They confuse much of the world into believing hat only black men and women from African American centered US communities and African villages and cities receive AIDS. What many people in The western world do not understand is that gay men and women out number African Americans by far in being victimized by the AIDS/Virus. AIDS is sickening and killing people in large numbers in areas of the world like Thailand, India, The United Kingdom, Russia, China, Mexico, Ukraine. The disease is located all over the world. The sickness is hitting men of all colors, nations, and races. The situation is at a point where it can grow much worse. Imagine having AIDS and Ebola racing neck to neck hitting individuals here and there and the media wants us to simply worry about Africa.
       Unfortunately popular media has lied to America and the world regarding the negative effects of homosexuality. Allowing same sex marriage to be legal throughout the country will only make the matter worse by painting a false picture on the behavior. Legalizing same sex marriage will further allow the act of men having sex with men and women with women appear normal. Approving same sex marriage in America will bolster popular media toward its mission to popularize homosexuality making the behavior seem positive. People who in other circumstances, maybe even in a previous generation may have never given the behavior a thought may become curious to try it because they see their famous celebrities (ex. Raven Symone, Cosby Show) and maybe even their own friends involved in it. Who knows how many individuals, celebrities have been enticed by the seemingly wonderful entrapment planted by pop culture. Peer pressure is a powerful tool used by the devil to entice people into getting themselves involved in activities they would have never done on their own. Bad influences can quickly steer a person down the wrong path. A lot of the people involved in gay relationships were once married or were sexually intimate with a partner from the opposite sex. Some kind of pattern presented itself in these people's lives that caused them to change. Popular media will simply state that they were born gay and realized this later in their lives. But popular media's explanation does not derive from pure evidence or unbiased research of such kind of report. Some of these people have been saved from their wrongful patterns and directed back into the right path. Popular media often refuses to acknowledge and make references to such occurrences that happen more often than many of the "experts" will like to admit.
       A famous, popular media lure for enticing gay relationships is that the act in itself is okay and won't harm anyone. Such a wide acceptance given and approved via popular media with their attractive characters is similar to allowing cocaine and heroin to be distributed widely and freely throughout American cities and neighborhoods though popular sports characters. These people would have never become hooked into taking these drugs if not drawn by the opportunity and seeming attractiveness. But now that they are hooked, left to fend for themselves. They are often declared drug addicts, many spending much money and years attending chemical recovery classes and one-on-sessions with drug counselors. Think of the person who now has the HIV/AIDS virus, gonorrhea, or one of the many other sexually transmitted diseases. Each one has to spend thousands at times in the hundreds of thousands of dollars per year in treatment. Based on a 2010 figures the average annual per patient cost for HIV/AIDS treatment in the US is $19,912. That is a whopping amount of money. Many people living in the United States do not even make that amount of money per year. Popular media refuses to involved itself in any serious dialogue about these real financial problems facing the gay population. Television and news personalities hardly mentions the many individuals, both black and white, laying sick in hospital rooms, struggling because of having to shell out money to pay for these drugs the need in order to stay alive. The attention instead is placed on calling people who try to make useful discussions on these realities facing the gay population and America "bigots" and "haters". The media is a very powerful machinery within the US culture and much of the world. It has the ability to call people in arms to fight against the approach of sickness and disease amongst the gay population but it seems to have refused to instead of placing more emphasis and focus on legalizing gay marriage and gay rights. America has been given grace via the miraculous medications that has slowed down the quick successive deaths of the gay population that occurred back in the eighties. But though they are not dying as rapidly as they once were, they are still dying. And, as previously mentioned, many are only staying alive through paying out of pocket for expensive medications and treatment.
       If one will allow him or herself to blank out all the accusations of Christians or right wingers hating gay people or simply naming everyone unsympathetic to the gay movement a "homophobe". If one would take a deep breath and just listen to the facts. Forget about people like Rosie O'Donnell. She is a celebrity who, like Cyndi Lauper, is a committed Leftist, who will pretty much accept anything approved of by Major Hollywood moguls and popular, rich, atheist individuals. These are people who don't believe in God as being the Father, the Creator of mankind, the Almighty. They don't believe in Jesus Christ being the Redeemer of this World. The Howard Stern's of this world will only regurgitate explanations given to them by Satan. Look at reality. Peer your eyes beyond what is shown on television and in the news. Does the gay population look alright? Do they appear physically and mentally healthy? Are the majority of them doing well financially? Can one honestly agree that even if all of them were allowed to marry in this country that many of the current physical and financial problems they currently face will decrease? And if they don't can one honestly blame it on a homophobic society?

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

What does Yoga Offer?

       Has one notice that as the main media and much of the world has openly rebelled against God and the Bible, society all over has openly campaigned throughout the western world for yoga? The media's heavy push for yoga always advertises a very positive, no lose reward for all those who pursue it. Yoga for much of it's peddlers symbolizes a means of happiness one can achieve without spending time boring over the Bible, driving to church, laboring through Biblical lessons or studies, or even trying to live a moral life. Yoga preaches meditation techniques that is supposed to create mindfulness, concentration, super mundane powers and insight. An insightful person may ask super mundane powers from where? Who is this mundane power? And what is this individual who practices yoga actually concentrating on?  A world full of atheists and agnostics who will often argue and fight to say that there is not a god will pursue time and energy meditating for a super mundane power whom they can not specifically explain, describe, nor name. They cannot state who or what they are suppressing their bodies for. 
       The Wikipedia explains yoga as the yoking together of the mind and body. Yoking is supposed to illustrate the "yoking together" of mules and horses. While reading this explanation one may still ask: "yoking to who? what? When a yoga follower sits on the floor with his or her legs crossed while breathing in and out, closing his or her eyes and humming, who is this person humming too? the air? 
While reading through various definitions and views of yoga I came across explanations such as relying on progressive restrictions of inputs from the outside, making oneself aware of his or her deepest nature, to experience one's deepest self. And again after reading through these explanations one may still ask restrictions from who? or after knowing one's deepest nature then what? How is one knowing his or her deepest nature going to transform his or her life? Will knowing your deepest nature make you happier? Will the achievement make you smarter? Will it bring you any closer to a state of no suffering? Will one achieve everlasting peace?
       These are typical questions that an individual who has not been sold into yoga may ask, or even one who has. These same questions are difficult to find the answer to. Christianity preaches meditation also but instead of one trying to yoke together his mind and body, the individual will communicate directly to Jesus. Someone who has prayed to Jesus and welcomed Him into his or her life will be able to talk freely with Him without ever needing to cross his or her legs or be forced to practice breathing exercises. Any one of you who has visited a Bible believing church, can you imagine the attendees sitting cross legged on their butte while practicing breathing exercises? Can one imagine Isaiah, Moses, Paul, or even Jesus sitting cross legged while enduring one of their many trials and sufferings? This is what the media and much of the world is trying to sell the world as good or beneficial. This is the same group of people who state constantly the separation of church and state. These are the same people and media who refuse to tolerate the idea of having the Ten Commandments posted in a court room or any general public facility. These same groups of people will be quick to want to expel your child for openly inviting someone to church while within his or her class room or discussing the rewards of salvation and baptism in the middle of the students' lunchroom. These are also the same media, groups, and individuals who will call someone a bigot or homophobic for choosing not to support homosexuality and, or gay marriage.
       But what does Yoga have to offer? Can it produce miracles? Can it save marriages? Can yoga turn an abusive, drunken husband into a loving spouse who becomes clean and sober for the remainder of their marriage? Can Yoga bring hope to a fallen nation who has forgotten their God, One who once brought them hope and freedom from countries, empires, religious organization, and leaders who were trying to kill them? Can the exercise pull one's precious soul out of the depths of hell? Can being aware of one's deepest nature allow him or her to spend eternity with Jesus in heaven? Do you want to place your soul into the hands of yoga? Where's your faith? Which reality sounds better to you? 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Why Stay?

       The video of Ray Rice punching his then fiancee has been shown on television repeatedly thanks to the Kings of Gossip - TMZ. Now everybody who is an avid football fall, or at least television viewer, has witnessed the scene of the famous knockout punch and later Ray Rice dragging his unfortunate wife from across the floor. After the picture first aired masses of anti - domestic violence and pro -  woman groups as well as individuals came out in front of the microphones and cameras voicing their dismay and anger against Ray Rice, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, and the NFL. The NFL was receiving constant attacks and criticism for running a league full of mad driven, high ego males who habitually beat up their wives and girlfriends as if the behavior was customary. Myself, a fan of Ray Rice and a sorta fan of the Baltimore Ravens felt very disappointed in him. "He should have known better", I thought. Regardless of what she may have said or done, "he did not have to punch her". But, like most people, after hearing her comments concerning the transgression, - "No one knows the pain that the media & unwanted options from the public has caused my family" - a feeling of shock and disbelief immediately struck me. "Don't you realize that man could have easily ended your life?!?" I felt like screaming inside her ears. But then after awhile the feelings of disbelief dissipated. I realized that this is a domestic situation and these scenarios are often extremely complicated. I began to read the commentaries on many of the readers of various internet articles based on the Ray and Janay Rice domestic incident and saw similarities between their comments and my initial feelings regarding Janay Rice's response. A lot of Americans  are still clueless when it comes to domestic violence. Many of them assume that Janay is simply standing by her husband for his money or that she is just the typical booty shaking, pro sports groupie whose brain is located nowhere close to reality. But despite what many people believe her support for her man may have nothing to do with his money. She may be inellectually  brighter than you and I. Domestic violence has little to do with the financial power of the man, his family or their social status. Poor husbands beat up their wives just as much as rich and middle class husbands. Spousal abuse occurs throughout all occupations, nations, religions, and cultures. Domestic violence is an individual issue where various combinations of anger, fear, and suspicion is triggered by events and circumstances. The effects of these events and circumstances differ depending on the aggressor and his or her personal history as well as psychological mindset.  The victim in the relationship, her history, psychological mindset also contributes towards the intensity and frequency of the violence by how he or she responds to the aggressor and the situation. When he yells does she often yell back? When he strikes does she often strike back? When he threatens her does she stay in the home or does she call a friend or relative? When she comes after him does he lock himself inside a safe place or does he immediately call the police? When she says she is sorry does he believe her? There are so many more questions but each and every one of them are crucial. Each question plays a very key role in the decisions the agressor and the victim will make and whether or not their will be further violence in the relationship.
       A lot of people place complete blame on Ray Rice stating that no man should ever hit a woman no excuses. As a person who has spent three years interacting within domestic violence and anger management group sessions I know, that simply walking away from a loved one who upsets you is not always easy. Words as well as actions hurt and when that loved one says those few words or sentences that hits that nerve the individual immediately wants to fight back. Human beings are prideful we don't always want to walk away allowing another person to win the argument or get away with saying something hurtful. But then again I was not there in the parking lot with the couple so I cannot state for sure whether or not Janay Rice said anything meaningfully provoking toward her husband or whether he may have been doing all the provoking from the very beginning himself. Regardless though, a man should never hit a woman. especially a man that big. Ray Rice should have known better. He did not have to punch her. He could have called a friend, a cab, even the police, just to protect him, his wife, his children from encountering a life changing situation. And it is very possible he may have punched her before. If that is the case I pray that Janay wakes up and calls the authorities or someone for help because way too many real stories occur where a loved one ends the life of someone he or she was supposed to take care of but failed to because of the inability to control his or her temper. And if Janay is often saying cruel words to him in order to provoke him and he is not able to handle it then he needs to consult further counsel and help from a trusted source. They have the money they can afford it.
       As mentioned before domestic violence is a very complicated issue and should not be treated as a one size fits all affair. It is possible that this was a one time infraction that will never happen again. I believe that the two really love each other but like all couples they have disagreements and this time the argument between the two got way out of control. The first thing they should do is to do everything to not allow the media, ex. TMZ, or public opinion to influence their reliatonship. TMZ cares nothing for Janay and Ray Rice. The media simply is running after the ratings and all the money, attention, and laughter that comes with it. Shut the door from the media get help and counseling. Attend a church, yes church, that believes strongly in the Word of God as well as loving on people. It does not occur often but yes couples do save their marriages, even have good ones after experiencing marital violence. It takes a lot of patience, love, and FORGIVENESS, but it is doable. Of course, if the man is beating her like a pulp and continues to do so then for the sake of saving one's life and possibly the children, by all means leave, and leave quickly.
       Circumstances where a wife is beating up on her husband, physically or verbally can be a bit more tricky because often times the husband is more physically stronger and intimidating than his wife. But there are wives who physically abuse their husbands and if such abuse is beginning to become life threatening then he needs to consider leaving his woman in order to protect his life or both and protect their children if they have any. Verbal abuse is trickier. Here he needs to follow the advice of a wise pastor or counselor but please don't do what Ray Rice did.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Michael Sams, Was Coming Out Necessary?

      

       He came out. He came out loud and proud, oh yes he did. Michael Sam is a defensive lineman from Missouri University whom every football fan and many who don't even watch the sport knows was drafted seventh round by the St Louis Rams in this year's NFL draft. The big question has been will Michael Sam's sexual preference influence whether or not he makes the team? Details of this question ranges from is the Ram's organization going to keep Michael because of pressure from the media and pro-gay groups or will they cut him because of not wanting to deal with any negative effects arising from his being homosexual. Well the question was partly answered. On August 30, 2014 Michael Sam was officially cut from the St Louis Rams as they set their final roster of 53 players. Liberal media was rooting for him to make the team but in the end the truth was, as most people following this event already knew, Michael Sam is not that great of a football player. Why the St Louis Rams really chose him in the seventh round when he technically was not rated an exceptional, talented player by the experts is now up to everybody else's opinion.
        Commentators, experts often state that the Rams roster is already filled with much defensive lineman talent. The brilliant capability of the Ram's defensive lineman roster is often used as an explanation for Sam's minimal chance of making the team. Nobody in the media bothers to ask the Rams head coaches why they would draft Sam, a defensive lineman, in the seventh round, if they pretty much had that roster filled with talent already? Did the Rams organization feel compelled to pick Michael Sam because of all the media attention thrown upon him? Did they feel sorry for him? Did the Rams desire all the media attention and focus that obviously would be laid upon the team if they chosen him? But in the end all the attention will not make up for a lack of talent, especially in a league where five NFL coaches were fired in one day on the year 2013, referred to as Black Monday. In such a tough league where the head coach is held accountable not just for whether or not he has a winning record but also for making the playoffs and winning championships the coach cannot afford to waste draft picks in order to please the pro gay political crowd?
       Some personal uneasiness may have been related to either the Rams choosing Sam or releasing him, or even both. But likely the public may never know because of a lack of desire to deal with a media crowd who is hostile towards anyone who chooses to openly state or even imply any type of disapproval for homosexuality. A perfect example is the serious backlash ESPN received when one of the network's reporters, Josina Anderson, who asked Rams teammates about Michael Sam's showering habits and its possible affect on the team, whether or not it influenced his chances of making the team. These are legitimate questions that many people and not just sport fans would like to know. And if Michael Sam wants to come out. If he wants to be the proud NFL spokesman for homosexuals then he must be willing to answer these very logical and important questions. He can't always be running away from truthfully replying to people's concerns regarding a homosexual man being around naked men in the shower room. It is not fair for the men who do feel uneasy or who have concerns, maybe memories of past sexual abuse or harassment from adults in the past, or even former teammates.
       America cannot continue to hide from the concerns that homosexuality brings, especially when openly bringing such behavior in locker rooms. The locker room is private. This is not the place for someone to boast about his or her sexuality. Remembering that famous open mouth kiss Michael Sam and his manager/boyfriend, Vito Cammisano gave each other, unwisely, in front of the entire television public, Michael Sam does not make good decisions toward promoting himself, or cause, out in the general public. Regardless of how many states vote for gay marriage not many people want to see two men french kiss on family television. His decision to behave the way he did was very dumb and it may have influenced the Ram's decision to cut him. More importantly that kiss may have influenced many other NFL teams to stay away from him. But, if so the Rams likely won't tell us. These other teams who chose to stay away from this potential Jerry Springer type fiasco likely won't ever tell us. And it is very possible that Michael Sam is asking himself these same questions. But if he is, will he be man enough to tell someone? Will he come out in front of the media and state such concerns his kiss and coming out had on his making the team? Well that is up to Michael Sam. Now, of course, as mentioned by the media many times, he could always be picked up by another team but  even so, he will still have to answer tough questions regarding his open sexuality and its effect on his and his team's performance. There will still be teammates who will be concerned about him staring at them while they are taking a shower in the locker room. Memories of that kiss will still be in people's heads. He will still have many future questions to answer regarding his homosexuality and how it is affecting his personal life. People will still want to know whether his living his life as a gay man is influencing his career, ability to play football. And if Michael Sam wants to be proud and come out, he better be ready to face those questions and not run from them.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Robin Williams, Suicides and Hollywood

       While noticing the regular evening news being interrupted by an emergency I immediately knew that something tragic happened. "Oh no!" I thought out loud. "What happened this time" Hearing about Robin Williams death surprised me at first but later the news described his having bouts with depression. Then in a later news session a gentleman described people who are very funny, ones who joke a lot as often using their humor to ward of struggles, doubts they have within their own minds. I then began thinking about Hollywood and the many characters in the past who have experienced hectic lives full of wild tirades, divorces, runaway children, and even tragic deaths. 
       One famous character that comes to mind is the funny wannabe sexy rock singer Michael Hutchence. Now admittedly, this crooning star was viewed as sexy to some of his fans and media. I thought of his moves as entertaining in a comedic fashion. I remember as a young lad laughing at some of his supposedly sexy moves while watching his videos with my little brother. No we did not consider him sexy at all in any fashion whatsoever. Even though I would not dare buy any of his music I have to admit to myself I did have a slight attraction to a few of his songs even though I would not listen to any of his INXS songs now. Though his arms waves and hip slides looked very cartoonish to me it still saddened me as an adult to hear of his death and not just to hear of his death but they way he died. The guy hung himself. Now what a way to die. Why would a guy making all that money (unless he was in debt at the time) want to hang himself in such a terrible fashion causing all that pain and suffering, and humiliation to his body. Was what he was suffering from that bad? I don't know much about his death besides the fact that his life was full of drugs and alcohol. Maybe that is all I need to know. Drugs and alcohol is like the pied piper in many of these famous characters lives. Both are the two demons that talk in tag team fashion to their famous captive telling him or her repeatedly that whatever they are going through, regardless of how many fans they have, how many people like them, no matter how pretty their spouses, boyfriends, or girlfriends, how much money they have, or how much money they got in the bank, that they are worthless. And these celebrities often believe it.
       Sadly, Robin Williams had his own heavy bouts with alcohol and cocaine throughout his acting career. The exact connection between alcohol and cocaine with his death is unknown at this time. The drug likely is connected with his struggle with suicide as it often is with many people. Famous people like Robin Williams, the big winners in the eyes of most of the world, battle with obstacles that many of us cannot comprehend. Unfortunately being a big guy living within a space only reachable by the very few he likely felt isolated and out of touch with reality. He probably had  desires to experience a normal life, have regular, ordinary friendships. He very possibly desired to have walks out in the open to stores, everyday restaurants, maybe even visit a local church without people staring at him, making faces, pointing gestures. He likely often felt awkward being out in the in public unless he was scheduled to be funny. Wouldn't it be wonderful if Robin Williams had Jesus in his life? Wouldn't it have been nice if he would have had someone to call upon His Name whenever he felt those doubts, those periods of loneliness, or even fear? Someone he would know for sure is not listening to him because he is famous or in order to get something from him.
       Unfortunately the beat will likely go on and Hollywood will continue as it usually is harassing the Justing Biebers, gossiping about the Jennifer Lopez's of this world until they are about to go nuts. Except for an occasional condolence here and there and a few shot outs in a period of a week or two Robin Williams death will very likely be forgotten. Hollywood will be back to square one. The lonely actors, singers, and comedians will again be smiling for the cameras, acting wild, making jokes then when the camcorders, polaroids leave their faces acting a totally new character, themselves, for the first time for who knows how long.
       The Christians have a missionary field. I have witnessed an arts and entertainment sector in a previous church I was a once a member, with a spoken mission to reach the famous, especially those in arts and entertainment but I am not very sure if such a strong mission or if many exists today. Much of Hollywood despite what they media portrays, is likely one of the most isolated settings existing in the world today. Hollywood needs love. There are too many Lady Gaga's and Madonna's out there portraying the ideal that everything is alright. "No", everything is not alright. Hollywood needs help. The next severely depressed, famous individual needs to know that he or she has a choice and this option is a winner. He or she needs to know that there is a better way and that way is through Jesus Christ.
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will Romans 12:2.

 

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Saturday, July 5, 2014

FIFA's Annihilation of Mexico

       Yes it's late. The game did occur a week ago but what occurred during the match has been on my mind since. Anyone who carefully watched the game and is willing to be honest would admit that the calls truly favored Mexico's opponent, the Netherlands, that day. The Dutch team was truly being beaten by what the commentators and analyst would hate to admit was a better team. The advantage was Mexico's and if one would have taken away much of the terrible foul calls against them and erroneous offside calls the Mexican team may have even won the game by at least two. Now I said "may have", not would have. But alas soccer fans will not be given the chance to at least find out because just like the game with Ivory Coast vs Greece, the World Cups referees took the power of deciding the game winner away from the two opposing teams and kept that power all to themselves. They gave a Dutch striker a free kick at the last minute of the game, similar to what was provided to Greece, on a horrible dive that one typically sees many times ignored by the referees in other World Cup matches. I just witnessed the quarterfinal game between Argentina and Belgium. If the July 5 match between those two teams received similar calls for the many times Belgian and Argentinian players ended up on the ground spectators would have witnessed several free kicks, likely over five during one match. Unfortunately, FIFA has not developed a strict rule determining what is and what is not a free kick. They have left it up to humans whom we the fans are supposed to trust will be honest and fair. Unfortunately, oftentimes in these crucial games the officials are not honest or fair. They have given games away to teams they favor, likely because the teams reside in the European continent, while officiating harshly against African teams and other European opponents. The event is supposed to be called the World Cup. In order for that title to be true to its name it would only be right for talented teams from countries in North America, the Caribbean Islands, and Africa be allowed to play through a tough, spot determining game without always receiving a lot of fouls, yellow cards, and at times erroneous offside calls being called against them.
       There is a reason why Brazil and Argentina are the only teams outside of Europe to win World Cup championships during current times. One huge reason is because those two countries are very talented. Their countrymen love soccer and their lands are immensely deep with football talent. Another major reason is because these two countries often receive much respect from the referees. USA is close to receiving as much respect, the country just is not as deep in the talent level but they are getting there. Some of these African teams are there. They have the talent. They just need to receive the respect from the referees. They need to be able to go after the opponent's ball without almost always receive a foul. They need to be able to play important matches where one cannot always assume that they will receive more yellow cards than the other team. Greece was a not a very talented team and was given a freebie into the next round. Their poor skills was obvious against a better Costa Rica team which Greece almost beat because again receiving much biased calls and assistance from the referees.
       Now before one assumes that the author of this blog is simply complaining and crying because his team lost, I took much time to read the comments of readers from several World Cup match articles from different websites. I read many articles from readers in US, Africa, Europe, Asia who felt that Ghana, Ivory Coast, Mexico, Costa Rica were treated unfairly during their matches. Some have commented that Costa Rica were nearly robbed, by poor officiating, of their win against Greece.
       Before each World Cup match FIFA have the players stand in the middle of the field and recite some kind of speech about them and FIFA disapproving of racism. YEAH RIGHT!!!.  I will believe that when I am able to see Nigeria play against the Netherlands or Germany in a meaningful game without being carded several times and the other team awarded free kicks. Standing against racism means more than making speeches or even handing out money. I have been watching the World Cup for a long time and yes the FIFA officials have improved a little. The over, obvious racism, like name callings by commentators during matches have decreased. One does not witness as much the referees yelling or acting rude towards opponents from Third World Countries, but the phantom foul calls and providing of free kicks for swan dives and opponents simply playing good defense needs to stop. Players need to be forced to have to earn their goals. That is what makes the game competitive. That is what makes the World Cup exciting. If certain players and teams no longer have to earn their goals then the excitement and competition dwindles.