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  • HyperHam 10:54 am on February 23, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , belief systems, , parenting,   

    Love the Sinner, Hate the Sin 

    The Mormons are at it again, baptising Jews from the Holocaust, most notably this past Saturday, when Anne Frank was posthumously given the chance to join Mormonism in the afterlife. While the Mormon heirarchy has once again blamed ‘overzealous’ church underlings, the Jewish community has just about had it with their shenanigans, as well they should – the Mormons vowed in both 1995 and 2010 to stop this practice on Holocaust survivors. Anne herself has allegedly been baptized a few times now, and I assume had it rescinded every time the Mormons were caught out. One would have thought they would have employed a ‘no backsies’ approach to the baptism or rescinding, but that’s just me. Now some may say that if you don’t believe in the baptism, you shouldn’t mind if it happens to people long dead, but for me it’s not the actual act that bothers me – it’s the sentiment behind it.

    I have a real issue with religion lately. I think of course before I begin that I should define religion and faith. Faith is inspired by God, and is therefore pure. Religion is created by man, and is therefore is sullied and pompous. The Pope, a guy who was born a regular bloke, is by the decision of a bunch of cardinals and a plume of smoke, now considered to be infallible – the new Christ. Evangelicals consider themselves ‘higher’ than others (including other religions), which is why they HAVE to go to all corners of the world to preach the Good News – they are called by God to convert everyone to their way, the correct way, of thinking. And Mormons, believing all other belief systems to be invalid, have no problem baptising the dead, as they see it as the only way to give their poor souls a chance to convert to the “true” Mormon religion. It’s not even about God anymore, it’s a pissing contest between men.

    We have an enormous amount of beliefs/religions in our neighborhood – off the top of my head I can think Muslim, Sikh, Catholic, Church of England, general Protestant, athiest, agnostic, and Hindu. Baby Alex will be taught that all people of all faiths have the potential for good, and should be treated with equal respect. But I find it very difficult to apply that same principle to the leaders of the religions. For instance, I have, by virtue of going to a Catholic school for 12 years, many devout Catholic friends. One of my dear friends, M, is actually studying to become a Benedictine monk, one of the most stringent sects of Catholicism. I adore him; I hate his boss. But when the heads of the Catholic church gets caught with their hands in the Vatican bank, or shuffles paedophile priests from parish to parish, I cannot place those sins on M. He’s just trying to love his God the best he can.

    When I meet a Mormon, I don’t scream STOP BAPTISING DEAD JEWS, just as I wouldn’t scream TERRORIST to a random Muslim person. And yet, that’s what religions attempt to do – lambast the other with transgressions while conveniently forgetting their own. I once actually had an American schoolmate parrot to me the old Fox News line: “Not all Muslims are terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslim.” Considering I now live in a country that for 25 years was held in fear by the Irish Republican Army, a group of white Catholic terrorists, and she herself was a white Catholic with apparently no clue what happened outside her own little world, I found that both exceedingly funny and stomach-churningly sad. The self-enforced ignorance of the atrocities of one’s own belief system is a baffling concept to me. It’s one thing to say “I know that the head of my belief system has historically done some really shitty stuff, but I will work every day to pull my faith out of it’s shame through my good works”. It’s quite another to stick your fingers in your ears and yell “LALALALA I CAN’T HEAR YOU, EVERYONE IS WRONG AND WE ARE RIGHT!”. The old speck of dust/plank of wood in the ol’ eyeball story comes to mind.

    I’ve said before that if Alex decides to convert to a different faith, as long as he is respecting others and doing good in the world, I will be okay with it. I know that might seem ridiculous to some, but I’d rather him love his fellow man as an atheist than fall into a religion that pushed hierarchy over selflessness. I want to raise a good kid, not a good Catholic/Lutheran/Evangelical/Druid/Jew/and on and on and on.

     
    • Dale 4:53 pm on February 23, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      I really enjoyed reading this post. Don't know if Andy ever said (or even if he knows) but I am a Mormon, and the heading, Love The sinner Hate the sin, is the creed that I and my wife try to live by. Too often I've seen members of my Church "look down" on others because they are not living in a way members think they should. Everybody really does have free will, and I will start judging people when I myself am perfect, which I can tell you, will take much longer than next thursday. I am a true an honest believer that if we stop worrying about what others are doing, and try to become a better person ourselves, then most of the problems the planet have will go away all by themselves.

      • HyperHam 5:31 pm on February 23, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks Dale! As I said, it would be idiotic of me to be mad at all Mormons for the actions of the few, just as with my Muslim neighbors or Catholic friend. It just kills me what the people in charge try to get away with in the name of 'their' way of doing things. They tend to forget that man has been around a few million years, and there is no perfect way of doing anything.

        Be good, don't suck, help others, the rest will fall in place.

      • HyperHam 1:42 pm on February 25, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        Dale, I have a question. As a non-Mormon, I do not have access to the LDS records, but I know Mormons do. Is there any way I can give you my family's name and you can see if they are listed as Mormon or not? I have tried contacting LDS (via mormon.org), to no avail. Thanks.

  • HyperHam 3:13 pm on February 10, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: digital age, , generation, parenting   

    Tommy Jordan and Facebook (Digital) Parenting 

    There is a video currently spreading like wild fire of a very pissed off father who decides to teach his daughter a lesson about manners, civility, IT support, and common sense. If you haven’t seen it, enjoy:

    BOOYAH

    Now, the generational divide concerning the video could not be stronger, with mostly teens decrying it, and mostly adults loving it. I happen to be on the loving side, and here is why:

    When I was 11, I could not wait to be 12 so I could take my local hospital’s babysitting course, and start working as a ‘certified’ babysitter for my parents’ friends. I would watch their newborns sometimes till 3 in the morning, and I was 12! When I was 14, I couldn’t wait to be 15, so I could go to the local city office and get my permit to work, wherein I promptly got a job as a carhop for a 50’s themed place in my home town. I worked every summer in highschool, throughout my entire college career (it’s how I put myself through college), and of course, working on average 2-3 jobs in adulthood. My husband worked for free at his family’s eatery from the time he could stand on a kitchen chair and look over the counter to take orders. It probably never occurred to us to do anything else. So when I see a post like the daughter made, I have to laugh at it, as to me it is utterly ridiculous.

    As parents, we have a moral obligation to feed, clothe, shelter, and nuture our child, but more than that, I have a sworn duty not to turn him into a dickhead. He will understand that the things he wants are not the things he needs, he will understand that hard work is sometimes not only its own reward, but its ONLY reward, and he will get that he is part of a unit, not the center of the universe.

    This father didn’t raise a hand to his child; he did not call her names; he did not even reveal her identity; all he did was show her in no uncertain terms the following things:

    You respect the people who break their backs to provide for you
    You understand that your responsibilities are commensurate with your abilities, and do your best
    You understand that nothing is guaranteed in this life, especially not frivolities like your own personal laptop (something I would have KILLED to have at that age!)
    And most importantly…
    You never, NEVER try to get away with something online when your parent is a geek.

    I salute you, Mr. Jordan. While I am firmly anti-gun, even I could appreciate a few rounds into that piece of kit (and of course, one from the mum!). Your daughter may not thank you now; hell, she may never thank you. But many, MANY parents do thank you.

     
  • Monkey 11:02 am on August 19, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , parent, parenting, tips   

    Crowd-sourcing parenting tips 

    Whilst my colleague was preparing to become a father, he asked all his friends who were parents for parenting tips – like many parents do (at least, the ones who don’t do fantastic impressions of a rabbit caught in headlights for six months). But then he also crowd-sourced them, asking his friends to then rank each tip in terms of most usefulness.

    While I managed the unique ability for my tip to come second from bottom on the list – what, are parents scared of poop, even now? – it still is an interesting crowd-sourced bunch of parenting tips. Except, of course, views can massively differ depending on the kind of parent you are.

    Still, take a look at the results and see what you think.

     
  • HyperHam 12:45 pm on May 5, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , gaming, parenting,   

    Monkey and I won Portal 2 a few days ago.  Technically, Monkey won it, I served as the World’s Most Annoying Backseat Gamer.  I couldn’t help myself, once I figured out how it was all supposed to work, I obsessed over it till we were done.  You know, there are a lot of parenting manuals out there, styles of raising your kids, from Gina Ford’s strictness to co-op commune.  Helicopter moms versus Hands Off dads.  I think there is an under-represented parenting style, The Gamer Parent.

     

    The Gamer Parent (TGP) tends to overhype the arrival of the new game, but rarely reads up on the game itself (spoilers!).

    TGP sees each day, even each hour as a different level to be conquered.  She knows that the game won’t solve itself – she has to be willing to risk it all for the big reward.

    TGP is hyper aware of every small clue along the way, and will often journal or blog her progress as a way of remembering and seeing new patterns in play.

    TGP  can often become myopic and has to be reminded to step away from the game every once in awhile, lest she gets burnt out.

    TGP often uses the Internet for tips and hints on her level – specific issue.

    TGP understands that even though a particular level seems impossible, she can’t give up.  She has to keep slogging through.

     

    Right now we are dealing with constipation.  We’re doing warm baths, tummy massage, trying to give water, everything and anything.  Before that, it was painful gas and spitting up.  Before that, it was jaundice.  The levels change, the game as a whole stays the same.  You adapt, or die.  You take help where you can find it.  You remember to keep your head about you.  You rejoice in well planned executions as well as happy accidents.  You never give up.

     

    You never give up.

     

    You never give up.

     

    And if all else fails, UPDOWNUPDOWNLEFTRIGHTLEFTRIGHTABABSELECTSTARTGIN.

     
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