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bensimpson
12 July 2009 @ 08:52 am
The last thing I need,
on sunday morning,
before writing,
is a form e-mail,
stating that,
they don't want to publish,
my travel piece.
 
 
bensimpson
09 July 2009 @ 11:34 am
Just booked a one-way flight to England: Aug 18th.
Going to stay with my parents in the tiny town of Lympstone.
Which is a short train journey from Exeter.
Unsure exactly when I will be back,
but will definitely be in California for the new year.
 
 
bensimpson
08 July 2009 @ 12:44 pm
So here is the piece I rattled off for a friend who was wondering what it says in the Bible about homosexuality.



Homosexuality in the Bible




Let us start with the 10 Commandments in the Old Testament. Everyone has heard of the first ten, but for some reason most people seem to skip over the next six hundred ( or so).
After the 10 Commandments, there is a set of Laws that Moses (God?) gave too the people. I highly recommend you take the time and read the laws for yourself. But here are a few examples from those laws.
[From the New Oxford Annotated Bible]
Leviticus 1:14 “If your offering to the Lord is a burnt offering of birds, you shall choose your offering from turtledoves or pigeons. The priest shall bring it to the altar; and its blood shall be drained out against the side of the altar. He shall remove the crop with its contents and throw it at the east side of the altar, in the place for ashes. He shall tear it open by its wings without severing it. Then the priest shall turn it into smoke on the altar, on the wood that is on the fire; it is a burnt offering, an offering by fire of pleasing odor to the Lord.”
Leviticus 12:2 “If a woman conceives and bears a male child, she shall be ceremonially unclean seven days; at the time of her menstruation, she shall be unclean. On the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised. Her time of blood purification shall be thirty-three days; she shall not touch any holy thing, or come into the sanctuary, until the days of her purification are completed. If she bears a female child, she shall be unclean two weeks, as in her menstruation; her time of blood purification shall be sixty-six days.”
Leviticus 19:5 “When you offer a sacrifice of wellbeing to the Lord, offer it in such a way that it is acceptable in your behalf. It shall be eaten on the same day you offer it, or on the next day; and anything left over until the third day shall be consumed by fire. If it is eaten at all on the third day, it is an abomination; it will not be acceptable. All who eat it shall be subject to punishment, because they have profaned what is holy to the Lord; and any such person shall be cut off from the people.”
Leviticus 19:20 “If a man has sexual relations with a woman who is a slave, designated for another man but not ransomed or given he freedom, an inquiry shall be held. They shall not be put to death, since she has not been freed; but he shall bring a guilt offering for himself to the Lord, at the entrance of the tent of meeting, a ram as guilt offering. And the priest shall make atonement for him with the ram of guilt offering before the Lord for his sin that he committed; and the sin he committed shall be forgiven him.”
Leviticus 19:20 “You shall not practice augury or witchcraft. You shall not round off the hair on your temples or mar the edges of your beard. You shall not make any gashes in your flesh for the dead or tattoo any marks upon you: I am the Lord.”
Leviticus 19:33 “When an alien resides with you in your land, you shall not oppress the alien. The alien who resides with you shall be to you as the citizen among you; you shall love the alien as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.”
Leviticus 20:10 “If a man commits adultery with the wife of his neighbor, both the adulterer and the adulteress shall be put to death.”
Leviticus 20:13 “If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall be put to death, their blood is upon them. If a man takes a wife and her mother also, it is depravity; they shall be burned to death, both he and they, that there may be no depravity among you.”
Leviticus 20:27 “A man or woman who is a medium or wizard shall be put to death; they shall be stoned to death, their blood is upon them.”
Leviticus 25:45 “As for the male and female slaves whom you may have, it is from the nations around you that you may acquire male and female slaves. You may also acquire them from among the alien residing with you, and from their families that are with you, who have been born in your land; and they may be your property. [then there is a little on how much to sell slaves for]”
Deuteronomy 21:15 “If a man has two wives, one of them loved and the other disliked, and if both the loved and the disliked have born him sons, the firstborn being the son of the one that is disliked, then on the day when he wills his possessions to his sons, he is not permitted to treat the son of the loved as the firstborn in preference to the son of the disliked, who is the firstborn.”
Deuteronomy 21:18 “If someone has a stubborn and rebellious son who will not obey his father and mother, who does not heed them when they discipline him, then his father and his mother shall take hold of him and bring him out to the elders of his town at the gate of that place. They shall say to the elders of the town, “This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious. He will not obey us. He is a glutton and a drunkard.” Then all the men of the town shall stone him to death.”
Deuteronomy 22:5 “A woman shall not wear a man’s apparel, not shall a man put on a woman’s garment;”
Deuteronomy 22:10 “You shall not plow with an ox and a donkey yoked together. You shall not wear clothes made of wool and linen woven together.”
Deuteronomy 22:23 “If there is a young woman, a virgin already engaged to be married, and a man meets her in the town and lies with her, you shall bring both of them to the gate of the town and stone them to death, the young woman because she did not cry for help in the town and the man because he violated his neighbor’s wife.”
Deuteronomy 23:1 “No one whose testicles are crushed, or whose penis is cut off shall be admitted to the assembly of the Lord.”
Deuteronomy 25:11 “If men get into a fight with one another, and the wife of one intervenes to rescue her husband from the grip of his opponent by reaching out and seizing his genitals, you shall cut off her hand; show no pity.”



So the question is: Do we follow all these laws?
Should we put witches to death?
Should we put homosexuals to death?
Can a woman wear man’s clothing?
Can a man have two wives?
Can you stone your own son to death?
Should we start using slaves again?
Should we not eat something after three days, even though we have refrigerators?


The list goes on, but there is one man’s opinion:

The key to understanding this issue is knowing that the Old Testament law was given to the nation of Israel, not to Christians. Some of the laws were to reveal to the Israelites how to obey and please God (the Ten Commandments, for example). Some of the laws were to show the Israelites how to worship God and atone for sin (the sacrificial system). Some of the laws were intended to make the Israelites distinct from other nations (the food and clothing rules). None of the Old Testament law is binding on us today. When Jesus died on the cross, He put an end to the Old Testament law (Romans 10:4; Galatians 3:23-25; Ephesians 2:15).

In place of the Old Testament law, we are under the law of Christ (Galatians 6:2), which is to “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind…and to love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:37-39). If we obey those two commands, we will be fulfilling all that Christ requires of us: “All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments” (Matthew 22:40). Now, this does not mean the Old Testament law is irrelevant today. Many of the commands in the Old Testament law fall into the categories of “loving God” and “loving your neighbor.” The Old Testament law can be a good guidepost for knowing how to love God and knowing what goes into loving your neighbor. At the same time, to say that the Old Testament law applies to Christians today is incorrect. The Old Testament law is a unit (James 2:10). Either all of it applies, or none of it applies. If Christ fulfilled some it, such as the sacrificial system, He fulfilled all of it.


BUT:
Just to add confusion to this point of view there is Matthew 5:17-18. Where Jesus is speaking:
“”Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets: I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not one letter, not one stroke of a letter, will pass from the law until all is accomplished.””


So what we have here is this:
In the Old Testament are 613 Commandments. Some of them are good, like don’t murder. Some of them are horrible, like keeping slaves.
So we look at the New Testament to see what it says.
Matthew, in book 5, says that Jesus said that he came here to uphold the law. To not change any of the laws.
But in Galatians 3:23-26 it says that we needed the law until Christ came, and now that we have Christ and faith we no longer need the law.


So we see that there is a law that says we should put homosexuals to death (but not women homosexuals?) and then Jesus comes along and says that he is here to uphold the law, and then later Paul writes letters that says that Jesus said we no longer need the law.
Confusing? Of course.


I think I will end this with my little opinion: Always question those who teach you to hate.
 
 
bensimpson
07 July 2009 @ 02:16 pm
A friend of mine's daughter, who lives with her mother in the middle of the country, is being taught the American religious 'truths'.
Homosexuality is evil.
Darwinism is evil.
No sex before marriage.
Etc...

So I just rattled off a paper about the difference between religion and science.
After about 1000 words,
I seem to be able to sum it up with this:

Religion tells you how to think.
Science helps you find the best way to think.

Discuss among yourselves.
 
 
bensimpson
07 July 2009 @ 08:19 am
Eight, count um, eight little snippets about riding to and living in Alaska.
Includes these useless pieces of trivia:
What to do when a bear attacks and you have a pistol.
What are the three things needed to survive in Alaska.
What is the state bird of Alaska.
How to pronounce the town name of Tok.
and many more....
http://blog.hodomania.com/?p=723
 
 
 
bensimpson
03 July 2009 @ 08:42 am
Two more updates on the 'Road to Alaska' story
Section IV:
http://blog.hodomania.com/?p=738
Section V:
http://blog.hodomania.com/?p=741
 
 
bensimpson
29 June 2009 @ 06:11 pm
So I have been thinking about my livejournal being reprinted in other places.
My first reaction, when I saw it was:
damn he just stole my stuff.

But then I thought about it for a while and realized that it is a good thing.
(It helped that he described me as "Writer and Photographer." That got a little thrill, never seen someone else write that before.)
But it was nice that he thought it good enough to reprint,
and well, a little exposure is a good thing,
despite it being for a good friend who recently passed away.

I guess that it would have been nice to have known about it before hand,
even though I would definetly have said yes if he had asked.

But all in all,
I don't mind.
 
 
bensimpson
29 June 2009 @ 10:51 am
From Facebook:
Checking the statistics on my hodomania site and the highest referrer was from this page:
http://blogs.ocweekly.com/navelgazing/a-clockwork-orange/oc-pageant-of-the-masters-lose/
Where the author pasted my whole livejournal entry into the article.
Not sure what I feel about this.






Dealing with public/private issues.
Hodomania: Public
blog: Public
Facebook: Public
LiveJournal: Feels private, not sure if I want that on the infinite internet. Which is why I have been scaling back on the entries.
My other photo site: private, but not sure what to do about it.
 
 
bensimpson
28 June 2009 @ 09:38 pm
Ok, so I'm not ready to leave LiveJournal yet...


Here is the beginning of another travel story...
This one involves motorcycles, the beginning of a road trip, and the Golden Gate Bridge:
http://blog.hodomania.com/?p=723
 
 
bensimpson
27 June 2009 @ 11:15 am
So I just did the facebook thing,
and well,
this just might be the end of livejournal for me....
we will see.