burning the qur’an and other nonsense
September 13, 2010, 7:02 pm
Filed under: Stuff | Tags: , ,

this story has been making the news rounds lately. a pastor in florida thinks islam is of the devil and wants to burn their holy book to make a statement about religious extremism…anyone see the hypocrisy in that statement?

one extreme act to combat another extreme act, and we just keep going round and round in this vicious cycle of ‘he hit me so i’m going to hit him’. oh religion…i love Jesus, and i want to love religion. i wish religion was synonymous with Jesus, but people like terry jones make it very difficult to see it that way. shane claiborne, a role model for me, wrote intelligently here about humility, and giving terry jones credit for backing down. i like the idea behind what he says, i just struggle with actually taking my heart there. people are saying that it’s his right and his freedom allows him to desecrate something holy to millions of people. it might be his right, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t being a dink. i wish i took my holy book as seriously as those who follow the qur’an. in high school when i was doing drugs all the time, i ran out of rolling papers for my weed. i ripped a page out of my bible and used it. i remember a close friend asking me if i was sure that was a good idea. i didn’t care at the time, but now i am looking back and realizing that i really don’t have enough respect for this book i follow. the Bible. it’s been used for great things in the name of Jesus and horrible things in the name of religion. some might say i’m just splitting hairs with that statement, but that’s how i feel. Jesus is amazing, humans are stupid sometimes. the movie “GREENBERG” has this great line where one guy says to another, “youth is wasted on the young.” the guy sitting next to him says, “i’d go further. life is wasted on people.” i lol’ed at that one. i don’t really believe it. i love people. they just drive me insane. i drive myself insane with my own stupidity. i often wonder if God wants to take back that statement in Genesis 1 about seeing adam and saying that what he created was very good. i mean, he’s God, so probably not. but seriously, look at us. the Bible. a book filled with life that doesn’t give pat answers. if you use it as an answer book, that’s when religion and humanity take hold and ruin it. the Bible. i read a story about brother yun, a man who lived in China when christianity was a thing of the past in his time. there were no bibles to be found. living under mao, to follow Christ led to imprisonment and often worse. but brother yun wanted a bible desperately, and so he prayed and prayed. he fasted and wept and couldn’t go a moment without desiring his bible. when he finally got one, he spent each moment he could with it. loving it. living it. it’s a cool story. anyway, i have 7 bibles on my shelf. for some reason i struggle to pick one of them up once a day. i am SO busy. doesn’t God know that? i wish i would have been offended by the thought of burning a page of my bible when i was younger. i wish i had the passion of brother Yun for my bible, at least for 1 of the 7. at least it makes me look spiritual, right? when i really think about it, i do love my bible. the problem isn’t that the bible isn’t calling me or speaking to me. it does every time i pick it up. the problem is me. my attitude. my heart. my chaos. my culture that i created and have bought into. when our holy books and religions are used as weapons to destroy and hurt people, that is when we have corrupted and co-opted the story of Jesus and turned it into something hateful. burning qur’an to show them the error of their ways…really effective strategy. it’s like slapping a baby to get them to quit crying. i am not advocating slapping babies, in case anyone misinterpreted that. using your bible to justify war and bigotry. when will we grow up? i bet if christians everywhere saw their bible the way brother Yun did, things would look a little different. our bibles wouldn’t be collecting dust on our shelves. people that try to twist the narrative of rescue and redemption from the pages of scripture and turn it into a message of domination and oppression wouldn’t have a voice if we all really listened, prayed and lived the words of scripture. i am guilty as all of you, so please don’t take this as an attack. i’m attacking myself.

i think shane claiborne is on to something with his article. because i really want to sit here and rip a new one for people like terry jones and the many like him. but in doing that, i am no better than them. ‘love your neighbor’ means to love followers of islam, which means we should not burn their holy book. but it also means that we have to love people like terry jones. and i struggle with that. the idea inspires me. living it scares me. but i guess if i took my Bible as seriously as i should, maybe it would be easier to love not just the oppressed, but the oppressor. and that is where i’m at today. the bible will speak to us in all sorts of ways. the Bible can be co-opted to say things that it never said. to mean things it never meant. anyone can grab a verse here or there and justify anything. but the Bible was never meant to be co-opted. it was meant to tell a story. the story of God’s love for his people. i want to start telling that story rather than making it fit the story i want to tell. wish me luck.

following in nics footsteps
September 12, 2010, 2:49 pm
Filed under: Stuff

that is basically my motto for life already. so i thought i should make my top 10 concerts list as well. here they are in no particular order.

Good Riddance/Ensign in Winnipeg 2000. This was amazing because Kris and I were headed there for an MXPX concert the next night, and we just happened to find out Good Riddance was playing the night before with some band called Ensign. Best surprise of my high school career.

Moneen/Choke in Yorkton 2000ish?. This was my discovery of Moneen. It blew my world open. Their performance and amazing music floored me then and left my jaw hanging on the floor.

Means Final Show November 2008. One of the saddest night of my life to see these guys call it quits, but probably the most passionate i’ve ever been about a band, both playing with them and watching them after I left.

School Sux w/ 30 Foot Fall, Straight Faced, Layaway Plan. I had never heard 30 Foot Fall or Straight Faced at this point, and they both became two of my favorites after this show.

D.B.S w/ The Grumpies and FYP 1998 or 99. Despite my lack of remembrance on the year, this was my first show I ever went to, and it was what hooked me in. I am only sad that the greatest punk rock band of all time, D.B.S isn’t still together today rocking the old folks homes.

Warped Tour 2000. I know this is many concerts packed into one, and warped tour basically sucks now, but back then it was incredibly epic. Road trip with Jeremy and Kris, to meet my homeslice brother Peter. Snapcase, ANTI-FLAG, Green Day, Lunachicks, everyone booing Papa Roach. Golden.

AFI in 2000. One of the most incredible of all time. Never heard of AFI only to be blown away and have them become one of my all time favorites at the show. Someone kicked my head into a monitor on the stage and I bled everywhere for a song. Davey Havoc gave me his towel and I got him to sign it after. So I have a towel with my blood and Davey Havoc’s signature. I’m pretty sure I signed a pact with the devil, but what a show.

Even though I don’t like them anymore, I have to say Death By Stereo in 2004. I lived in Dauphin, but drove to Regina right after work to see them play, drove home to work the next morning at 7 AM, and drove to Winnipeg to see them play right after work that day, then drove home to work at 7AM the next day. Never been so tired my whole life, but was an amazing weekend of traveling and partying.

Downway/Belvedere in Dauphin, 2002. I liked both these bands for a while, but strongly disliked them soon after. But this show was huge for Dauphin at the time. I rarely remember being that excited for a concert ever. it felt like the start of the music scene in Dauphin. And so I loved this concert less for the bands and more what it meant to me and my hometown. Golden. I could make a whole new list of amazing Dauphin shows, and maybe I will some time.

i’m going to quit at 9 because after that, it’s all a blur. so many shows in so many years. such a huge part of my life and my youth. so thankful i got to be a part of this.

Lyrics of the week #1: Somebody’s Baby by Jon Foreman
September 1, 2010, 1:54 am
Filed under: Stuff

try as i might, i can’t get away from this guy. so good.