Opening Up The Can of Worms…

Posted: July 24, 2014 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , ,
"Arise spirits of magic!  I command and evoke you!"

“Arise spirits of magic! I command and evoke you!”

WHAT I’M WEARING: I didn’t set out to do this, but I realized this outfit is a tribute to frugality.  The style card will show what I mean…

  • Shape: Teen Katie (wk 20) by Cukabebe.  (1 L$ for the whole set of shapes from week 1 to week 40, maybe not as flashy as a mesh belly, but it works.)
  • Skin: Candy (tan) by WoW Skins. (I do spend money at WoW also, but probability says this was a group gift, midnight mania freebie, or lucky board prize…)
  • Hair: Damselfly/Dove in cool forest.  Damelsfly made this hair to give away at the Free Dove, a freebie shop I visited back in January.
  • Outfit: The Red Polo shirt and ripped jeans were a gift set from *JStyle. The red soft leather boots and the red, white, and blue bangle set are both from Grumble, Grumble.  (Although these are both items I actually bought, rather than sponsor gifts from Grumble for events I’ve covered, I’m 95% certain I paid with gift certificates I won from the subway lucky boards… so free again.) The barbed wire collar is source unknown, but I believe it was one of the free collars Open Collar gives away to help sell items that use the open collar code.  I always just brush off my lip ring as ‘source unknown’ because I’m not sure who to credit.  It and the nose ring I sometimes wear in its place were from freebie avatar sets given away at the Zoha Island mall.
  • Neko Accessories: The ‘expensive’ part of the outfit.  The paw print tattoos were included in a complete outfit I got at A&k’s outlet shop. (I payed 50 L$ for the whole outfit: gloves, pants, short shirt, suspenders, and tattoo; I don’t know what portion of that price you would attribute to the tattoo.)  The Angelic Neko Set- ears and twitching tail- came from Dahllywood, an out-of-business vendor. I have no idea what I paid, but a look for twitching neko tails on marketplace and knowing my own habits suggests I probably paid 50 L$ or less for them.

So while admitting I cannot know for certain, I will call this style card a 99 L$ or less look.  Tres cute!

Our Emily, who art intrepid, nosy be thy name...

Our Emily, who art intrepid, nosy be thy name…

WHERE I’M AT: Since the can of worms I’m going to open deals with religion, I figured I would visit some churches looking for pretty backdrops for self-pictures.  Because Second Life has a (somewhat deserved) bad reputation as ‘a cesspit of filthy perverts and shallow people who just want to look like barbie‘, I also decided to only visit churches on adult sims.  (Aside: The quote came from one of Jo Yardley’s posts about Second Life’s ongoing reputation problem.  I strongly recommend checking out her blog, Jo Yardley’s Second Life: the Adventures of a Virtual Time Traveler, if you like deep and thoughtful posts.)  My four pictures were in…

What a glorious view of the sun over the mountains!  Praise Phil!

What a glorious view of the sun over the mountains! Praise Phil!

WHAT’S ON MY MIND:  Last post, I learned about Stand4Love, a Second Life awareness project for equal rights for all sexualities.  Duh, of course, I am in favor of equality, fairness, and tolerance, so I am tempted (and may yet still) to contribute a photo to their project.  However, I also admitted I have some philosophical differences that mean my definitions of equality, fairness, and tolerance may not quite match Stand4Love’s and that I was therefore torn on what I should do.

You see, I’m also religious.  Somehow I picture that a large chunk of my small audience just slammed their laptops shut in horror, saying ‘Oh, no, we never knew Emily was one of those people!”  Yes and no.  Yes because, although I don’t generally get in-your-face about it, I am a Christ-follower and committed to the principles of my faith.  No because, even if you can simplify Christians into a ‘those people’, which I doubt, my theology is not a stereotype.  I worship a savior who challenged the religious leaders of his day, who preached forgiveness and compassion, who served and sacrificed- to a painful, humiliating death and beyond- for those around him, whose last command was to seek a relationship with all the earth.  And by all the earth, Jesus did not mean only those portions of the earth that happen to be like us.  So I support equal rights and tolerance not just because I personally think it is right but also because I follow a god who hates unfairness and injustice.

For a long time, I’ve proposed what I call the “civic union compromise.”  It’s not a catchy or sexy name, but it was the best I could come up with.  Among my church going friends, objections to same sex marriage generally fall into one of two objections.  Objection one is ‘but that’s not how it’s done’.  Sometimes the objection is made with a lot of histrionics and comparisons to other ‘marriages’ that would also be objectionable, such as person and animal or adult and child.  Sometimes it is laid out more calmly that a same-sex marriage can’t produce children or is based on a sexual ‘sin’ and therefore cannot be right in God’s eyes.  Either way, the objection boils down to ‘I don’t approve of that marriage (for theological reasons), so it shouldn’t be allowed.’  My counter is that there are plenty of other marriages that some or all churches would frown upon that are nevertheless valid in the eyes of the law- marrying outside of one’s faith, so-called open or swinging marriages, remarriage after divorce, marrying across generational lines, etc.- so this is not reason to deny legal rights to one particular flavor of relationship.  The church need not conduct or facilitate marriages of which it disapproves.  The second objection is slightly more nuanced.  Marriage is a sacrament, a religious ceremony about what is significant and important to a given church and its congregation.  Forcing a church to recognize marriages that violate its sacraments is religious oppression, just as it would be to sue synagogues for only giving bar mitzvahs to boys or to force a church to grant communion in a particular way, and run afoul of first amendment issues.  Hence, my solution: separate the religious and legal aspects of marriage.  Call the legal aspects something else, like a civic union, and let the civic union be a matter of civil/contract law.  In general, folks who marry within the church would also register as a civic union, but there would be occasions when folks might have one or the other but not both.  If a specific church (such as a particular sect of Mormonism) wanted to honor polygamy, so be it, but as far as the rest of the law was concerned, only one wife would be the union partner and the others would simply be roommates or tenants or such.  If a specific church didn’t honor same-sex marriage, o.k., but as long as the couple had registered as a civic union, they would get all the same legal rights as any other couple.

I still think separating the legal and religious aspects of marriage is a good idea.  I feel separation of church and state means the legal definition of marriage should be a matter of contract and civic law, not a matter of religious beliefs.  I’m not quite arrogant enough to feel my religious beliefs are a valid basis, and I’m strongly opposed to letting someone else impose their religious beliefs or lack there of (Atheism is a religion, too) upon me.  I also feel that the line ‘Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s’ (Matthew 22:21), while heavily debated for full meaning and significance, justifies the statement that Christians should leave certain things to civic government while focusing to make sure their personal spiritual lives and relationships are what they should be.  As I consider it though, the religious aspects of marriage should be less centered about ‘sacrament’ (what the leadership of a church believes God says about marriage) and more centered about ‘covenant’ (the promise between two individuals about the relationship they will have with each other and with God).  There are no doubt many same sex couples who would be quite happy with a ‘civic union’, who want nothing to do with a church they see as having rejected them and would be happy to have a perfectly secular marriage.  I am equally certain, however, that there are also same sex couples who believe in God’s promise and want to proclaim a covenant that they will honor God in how they relate with each other.  For a heterosexual couple, the success of such a covenant is not whether they keep the promise perfectly, but whether the spouses remain committed to loving each other, forgiving each other, and helping each other grow into a stronger relationship with Christ and each other.  Surely the same measure would also apply to a same-sex couple.  I just cannot justify in my mind the assumption that Christ would reject any couple that wanted to invite God to help transform their relationship into one that was deeper and truer and more glorifying to him.

Well, I’m sure I will draw at least one troll or flamer from one side or the other of this debate, but this post was still worth it as I did resolve my reservations about whether I should pose for Stand4Love.  Now I just have to figure out how to ensure the photo honors both my beliefs and my faith…

Ooh, a creepy gothic cemetery, what a lovely place to visit!

Ooh, a creepy gothic cemetery, what a lovely place to visit!

WHAT’S ON MY RADIO: I cannot remember where I once read the line that Heaven has the better dancers but Hell got all the best musicians.  Here are a few songs from bands that prove the quote wrong: Superchick (Cross the Line), Reliant K (I So Hate Consequences), Skillet (Not Gonna Die).

  1. It’s a little bizarre to me that people with religion are now ostracised and stereo – typed in much the same way the “offended” parties say they were. I mean, shouldn’t they be standing in a higher ground? I do stand 4 love but it appalls me that either class should humiliate the other over their beliefs. I am proud to call you a friend Emily. I truly am.

  2. […] feel like talking about transformations today.  A few posts ago, I admitted I was one of those church-people, so I could talk about meaningful transformations. […]

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