My Brightest Diamond may be my new favorite artist. She has an amazing voice and haunting musical style that I just can get enough of. enjoy this live clip of her peforming Golden Star.
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
Jeremy: Hate it. And I think this is an issue we can argue without really getting into religious beliefs. I mean if I was totally honest, I would say that God creates every fetus because he wants to. Therefore, abortion is murder because it ends a life that God ordained and created in his image.
If I am going to be against abortion in the political/social world, I have to look at it differently. Because for the same reasons I don't want Muslims forcing their beliefs on me, I don't want to force my religious beliefs on anyone else. So, I'm sure murder is defined by the dictionary as the killing of any human person. But, I think the US Constitution actually limits illegal murder to the killing of another US citizen. From there, I think it goes to define a US citizen and anyone born in the US, which obviously excludes fetuses. But in the same way I don't have the moral right to go kill my immigrant friend(not born in the US), I should not have the moral right to kill a fetus.
The word on the street is that a fetus is not actually a human. So, just like you can kill a plant, deer, virus, or any other living thing, you can also kill a fetus. Can you see how ridiculous that sounds? That just because a baby is not born, it makes it non-human. Insane! We all know that humans can survive outside the womb many days before the average "due date". I don't know the survival cut off date for a fetus to be able to live outside the womb, but I would assume that you are not allowed to abort a baby if it is past that date.
It comes down to when do you think the soul of a person is introduced to the flesh? (if you don't think humans have souls, then we are no different than a plant, and referring to the paragraph above, I would then have the moral freedom to kill you). I remember thinking through that, and the only strong defining moments I found in a fetuses life are the heartbeat, brainwaves, and conception. Well, we all know that people can have their heart stopped, and be brought back to life, so I ruled that one out. Then, I got thinking about how brainwaves have been detected in strange places throughout medical history, so I don't place a lot of value in brainwaves as being a defining moment of "life". That only leaves one other option. Conception. Human life must begin at conception.
Adam: First as a Christian I agree that my morality is totally based on Gods law and His will, which I believe to be the absolute truth, but I also believe that those who do not have fellowship with God cannot complete comprehend this and so it would not be fair of me to force Gods law on people (as you said) but I do think as a person in fellowship with God I have the mandate to advocate for Gods laws, and to try and explain who God is and why others should join in fellowship with Him (and consequently follow his law.) So it’s harder for me to look at this topic objectively, but I don't think its impossible.
Abortion shows a lack of intellectual honesty and personal responsibility while at the same time it displays a wealth of selfishness and Pride.
Scientifically the abortion debate hinges on the fact that, according to pro-abortion scientist, a fetus in the womb is not a human life. I don't agree; I could try and go into the talk about how in the first trimester a baby’s heart is beating and its brain is working and things like that, but I am not an expert so I will sum it up like this: Based on scientific data I do not think you can make a case for human life starting at birth. PreBorn children are human lives as well and I think you are deceiving yourself if you can look at the evidence at believe otherwise.
Let me make an aside here: I do not think its possible even for those who support abortion early in pregnancy to support partial birth abortion without lying to themselves. The practice of delivering a child half way and stabbing his/her skull with scissors is barbaric and can not be condoned by anyone.
I completely agree that women should have a right to chose. They have the right to chose partners, the right to chose to have or not to have sex, the right to chose birth control methods, but I think that right to chose ends when another human life is involved. In the case of abortion I feel as if people do not want to take responsibility for the choices they have made; I mean if you screw up and get drunk with some guy you don't like and then have sex and subsequently get pregnant that was a series of bad choices, but at some point you have to take responsibility for those bad choices, you can not just kill a preborn child and solve your problem.
This lack of personal responsibility is directly related to selfishness. We want to do what is "best" for us (lets not get into the mental and physical health issues that most women suffer because of their abortions.) I equate this type of selfishness to slavery. When our country was founded most intellectually honest people would admit (maybe only to themselves) that owning another person was not right, but the wealth and prosperity they enjoyed because of the "free" labor provided by slaves made it appealing for them to continue the practice of slavery. Their selfishness is the sole reason it took nearly 100 years for our independent country to stop the practice of slavery. And, with abortion the practice is even worse because in this case the “slaves” do not even have a chance to live, they don't have a chance to hope for freedom, the don't have a chance to experience life period, I can think of no more insipid a practice or unjust a fate.
As is the case with all sin the root of the issue can be traced to pride. We as a people have decided that we are so great that we can choose life or death. We have decided that we are so smart that we can tell you when the life of a child inside a mother's womb begins. We decide that we are so important that we cannot be bothered by trivial matters, and inconveniences like CHILDREN. And of course as a Christian I am doubly insulted that we would think ourselves so great that we could decree that an entire nation may mock the word of God and ignore His law in destroying human life.
Just thinking about this issue gets me so fired up that I wear myself out. I don't understand how people cannot see that abortion is the murder of a child, but maybe that's my fault. Whatever the case I think it's important that we not only be conscious objectors but I also think it imperative that we offer a solution. As I stated before as a Christian I would want people to have fellowship with God and to follow God's law, but I know that is a large task that only God can accomplish, and until that comes to fruition I think it is crucial that we offer alternatives to abortion. Most importantly I think we should be addressing adoption. If someone truly feels that they cannot handle a child then I would beg them to give that Child up for adoption. There are many people out there who cannot have children and want to adopt, and there are a growing number of people like my wife and I that want to adopt along with naturally birthed children. I think its time for the pro life community to start putting some real teeth into the adoption option. I think we need to push the government to make adoption a financial option for all families and not just those who currently can afford such an expensive and lengthy process. I think we should support agencies and ministries that are trying to make adoption a possibility for more people, and most importantly I think pro lifers should all take a hard look at adopting themselves even if they are fertile. How can you tell someone something is wrong, and there are alternatives if you are not willing to participate in that alternative yourself?
Jeremy: Me and my wife know a girl who just got an abortion a few weeks ago. It’s been tough, and the hardest part for me is holding back hateful thoughts. Her and her husband were trying so long to have a baby, and went through all this embryo implants and the whole bit. A couple months in the pregnancy, some tests came back positive for some fluid behind the baby's brain indicating a possible chromosomal defect. There's not a whole lot we can do now, but it’s just a sad story and hits close to home. It just sucks that they were going through so much to have a baby in the first place, and then after finally getting pregnant, they encounter a possible mishap, and decide its not worth it.
I imagined a scenario that if me and my wife were pregnant and had some bad test results like this, we of course would still follow through with it, and if the MD offered to terminate the baby as a service to us, I would tell him to fuck off and we would find another doctor immediately.
Adam: There are so many aspects to this issue and just preparing this post has brought all sorts of points to mind that I would love to share, but I can see that this post is already far too long. So let me implore those reading here to think this over and do some of your own research; don’t become a lemming. Here are some links that may be helpful for you:
www.all.org , www.nrlc.org , www.femministforlife.org , www.prochoice.org , www.plannedparenthood.org , www.pregnancycenters.org , www.adoption.org, www.rockforlife.org
Monday, January 29, 2007
Since "Better Off Dead", I have been a big John Cusak fan, but I have never been a big fan of horror movies.
This new movie featuring him and Samuel Jackson(also a big fan since "A Time to Kill") looks pretty good. Out of all the horror movies ive seen, i think the ones by Steven King have been the best, and I don't know if i'll actually see this one, but i would be willing to bet it would satisfy my low expectations for scary movies.
Friday, January 26, 2007
And now you have the chance to listen to a new song! After hearing it, I am far from disappointed and even more stoked about the cd coming out. Head over to purevolume for a spin.
Also, come join me in Charlotte as they will be playing on their cd release tour.
hey, have you seen this video from anberlin yet?
Not nearly as important as Anberlin, but just as exciting is this new website me and Adam found www.myheritage.com its an interesting interactive family tree site... its like family trees for the myspace era. However what makes this site really cool is this face recognition tool it has that can read a picture you give it and tell you what celebrities you look most like based on your face structure... its not to scientific so its not allways perfect, but it is great fun.
Thanks to Jamie Hall from 90.9Fm The Light in Lynchburg for the info on this website. If you are in Lynchburg tune on Friday mornings to hear Jamies "jokes" on the get up and go show.
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
Spanish fashion houses agree anti-anorexia 'charter'
Tue Jan 23, 3:31 PM ET
Leading Spanish fashion houses including Inditex and flagship brand Zara agreed an unprecedented move to draw up a beauty "canon" including harmonising dress sizes after a recent storm over the number of young women suffering from anorexia.
The 12-point package of measures, or beauty "charter" -- drawn up with the health ministry -- includes a stipulation that shop windows display sizes of 38 minimum (size 10 in Britain, eight in the United States) and that size-46 apparel be placed in easy view in stores under the generic label "large sizes."
In a joint statement the couturiers said they intended to harmonise sizes in a bid to reduce the possibility of "consumer error" with sizes currently not in sync from one firm to the next.
Aside from Zara, other signatories included Cortefiel, Mango and chain store Corte Ingles as the Spanish firms, most of whom also sell their wares abroad, are reacting to concerns that anorexia is on the rise and that models are "excessively thin."
The charter, whose measures will be progressively introduced, aims to mark a break with showcasing models of beauty which are "impossible to reach for most people" and "can contribute to serious health disorders," such as anorexia, a health ministry statement said.
The measures are based on a biometric study of 8,500 Spanish women aged between 12 and 70 begun earlier this year, the ministry said.
Last year, Madrid's prestigious Pasarela Cibeles fashion show banned five models from participating because they did not meet World Health Organisation (WHO) weight guidelines.
A Madrid regional law aimed at fighting anorexia also ensured the five were discarded from last September's event when it emerged their body mass index (BMI), calculated on a height-weight ratio was under 18 (56 kilograms for 1.75 meters or 123 pounds for five feet eight inches).
And earlier this month, Madrid authorities this week took the fight against anorexia into cyberspace by forcing the closure of a website promoting the ideal that it's hip to be thin, after lambasting the site for publicising a competition offering would-be models prizes for losing weight.
Recent studies estimate that more than 100,000 Spanish women are anorexic and that up to half a million Spaniards suffer from various food-related disorders.
Friday, January 19, 2007
Adam: We should talk at length about David Beckham and soccer.
Jeremy: Yes! According a pole on ESPN.com, about 50% of the population says they will be more interested in the MLS now that Beckham is playing. I think he can make huge impact. I guess it depends on how old he is getting and if he will be that fun to watch. If he starts dominating and scoring goals all over the place etc., that would be huge.
I feel kinda like he is doing this just because he is getting bored, and unless he catches on big over here, he will get bored again and leave pretty soon.
Maybe it's a false hope, but I think he will do the prior. Maybe he can land some sweet sponsorship deals, and then get air time in a bunch of commercials before the season starts.
And MLS needs to market the heck out of this, because he will definitely be the face of the league. Maybe they could make a really sweet Super bowl commercial.
I don't think soccer can stay down in America forever; especially with all the youth soccer leagues out there. Not to say that there is a really quality of play in those leagues, but with as big a population as we have, you think we could find some good talent to be proud of. On a side note, I think soccer need to clean up its reputation as being a sissy sport. All those punks out there faking injuries, it really makes soccer look stupid; especially when you compare it to something like football or basketball where athletes are actually injured when they are injured.
Adam: I think you hit a key point when you question Beckham’s talent now that he is in him mid thirties... which is ancient for soccer players. This week the coach of his European club, Real Madrid, basically called him out as a no talent whose hype is bigger than his game is now! So is that the case or has he just lost his desire to play at that level... MLS has some big names like Donavan, Beasley and Dempsy and has even lured some foreign players so it’s not like this league is so bad that Beckham can just show up and be a stud. What I hope he accomplishes is bringing more interest into the game here... I mean during the world cup I had to literally fight to get some sports bars to play the games on their TV's... for a while now we have been a nation that sees soccer as a rec-league activity for the kids but that has yet to translate into a game that those kids then become excited about as teens and adults... maybe this is another step towards that.
Jeremy: I don't think he has lost his talent. The first time I really watched him play was during the world cup, and I was mightily impressed with him, and I don't really care what the European coach for Madrid has to say; he sounds like a big cry baby to me.
I also hope that he bring more interest to the game here...in a sincere manner. I mean, I don't think he’ll miss out on any financial opportunities in Hollywood, but if he can just be cool and go around the country promoting soccer, then I think that will be cool. Unfortunately, I think DC united is the closest MLS team to my location, so ill have to drive 9 hours just to see him. Lucky for you...
Thursday, January 11, 2007
Friday, January 5, 2007
Aaron Weiss eats out of trashcans. The man who fronts the band mewithoutYou is known for his seemingly strange behavior. mewithoutYou has seen a rise in popularity since the release of their last album, Catch for Us the Foxes, due in part to touring with bands like Coheed and Cambria, The Blood Brothers and playing spots in this year’s Warped Tour and Seattle’s Bumbershoot Festival. Their new album, Brother, Sister, is out on Tooth & Nail Records and features collaborations with Jeremy Enigk (Sunny Day Real Estate/The Fire Theft) and members of Anathallo and Psalters. The band has received serious attention from major press, and they just wrapped up a tour this fall with Say Anything and Piebald.
With all the attention the band is receiving, it’s doubtless that fans will see him rummaging through waste bins or get a whiff of his sweat-drenched body when he walks off stage. This will bring questions, and Weiss will lovingly oblige, as he did with me backstage. This interview, a combination of in-person conversation and e-mails, has answers for the pressing questions many will have for him.
The fact that your tour bus is bio-friendly is receiving a lot of attention. What’s the reason behind the conversion from fossil fuels to vegetable oil?
Well, oil is a limited resource and vegetable oil is renewable. It’s good to not support an industry that seems pretty shady. A lot of violence breaks out over petroleum and for environmental reasons, it’s good all around.
Did you do the conversion yourself?
No, no, we found a guy online who sells kits that allow you to do the conversion yourself. Then we found some mechanics who had never done a conversion like that before, but were familiar with what needed to be done. Our manager didn’t really want us to do it, but when he found out that I was going to pay for it myself, he said “Well, it’ll be great publicity.” It has been, it’s been great publicity.
I read that a few years ago, Christianity was just "business" to you and that you wanted to "just make out with chicks" (at one point). It wasn't until you spent a time in a communal living situation that things changed for you. What made you join that commune?
I suppose it was a longing for something real, something different than what I'd known. The Christianity I'd been exposed to was primarily concerned with the afterlife, little concern for people's tangible, immediate needs. We pray, of course, "your kingdom come ... on earth as it is in heaven," and I found myself wondering what the world would look like if the kingdom did come, if it were a paradise, right here, today. And it seemed like communal living was a step in that direction.
Have you received direct criticism to your way of life from other Christians? What was it, and how did you deal with it?
Not as much as I'd hope. When criticism does come, I usually think, "Finally, I must be doing something right!"
What were your friends' and family's reactions to your life change? Was it immediate, or did the Aaron Weiss we see today emerge slowly?
For a while there was a gradual turning, with one single experience bringing about a sudden and dramatic change almost three years ago. I think people worried about me. I was feverish, couldn't sleep much, woke up trembling. I would ramble on, trying to communicate what was inside, to share what had been given to me. It didn't work—I've had to learn to be quiet, to listen, to show it instead.
How does your view of Christianity affect your desire to, or lack of desire, to be married?
Jesus said that it's better for a man not to marry. Paul wrote the same thing. I see it as a sort of a concession I'll have to make if I don't have the faith to find contentment in my God alone. That I may need such a compromise seems likely, as I've always had a passion for that sort of union, and I get lonely. I don't so much mean sexually, but mostly I long for companionship and a deep friendship. If God is willing though, maybe I could find that in the Holy Ghost.
What is your reasoning behind not following traditional hygienic standards? I'm thinking of bathing and digging through trash cans.
Ah, lots of reasons. One's I'm a cheapskate, and I'd rather find food than buy it and not spend the money on hot water or soap. Another's that I feel some inclination to care for the creation and not use the resources it takes to bathe all the time and to produce, ship, package food and so on. I used to be embarrassed taking food from a trash bin or looking dirty. Anymore I feel embarrassed buying food when it's being thrown away everywhere I look! And dressing up in new clothes every day, trying to look attractive or desirable and stay clean and respectable—it's a lot of effort, and I don't have it in me anymore.
When I see people with their hair done and make up and stylish clothes, it looks silly to me now, like a costume. I try not to come down hard on that sort of call for affirmation (I'm not far removed from it at all), but the Scriptures say we should try to look beautiful with a gentle, quiet spirit—if there's peace in our eyes, this is much more beautiful.
What is your response to those who would say you're just a "neo-hippie Christian?"
"Thank you," and "I'm sorry," and "how are you?"
What theologians and philosophers have inspired your thinking?
What is your advice to those who aren't ready to give up all they possess like you have?
I haven't given up all I possess. I've been trying to live more simply, getting rid of things rather than accumulating them, but I still have things. I don’t even need as much money as I make in the band.
Anyhow, material possessions are just one way we can be chained to this world. Even if we were to give up all our stuff, what good will it do us if we then judge others who haven't done so? Giving away everything we own is right, but we can get rid of our belongings but hold onto lust, jealousy, pride, arrogance, ambition. My advice is to ask forgiveness for trusting in what is useless and to pray for God to give you the love for others that would move you to sell all you have to give your money to the poor, not with reluctance or motivated by guilt, but with joy. Pray for that, and if it doesn't come pray for it again and again, and whatever good does come don't make a big show of it but keep your goodness a secret for God, and tell someone you trust the things you do that are the most wrong and shameful. Keep praying for mercy and forgive everyone, and show gratitude to the One who made you, and pray for me is my advice.