Wednesday, June 29, 2005

When the world falls down around you, you get to rebuild it.

I remember so vividly when I started thinking. I am forever ashamed that it took me so long, I was 23. It started with the trip to Burning Man. I was so sad that I found there what I thought should be found in the church. I have never felt so accepted, so loved, peace. I had nothing and no one to fear but the sun and dust. So I came home from the desert and started school (final semester at the Bible College) and a week later watched in real time as the second plane came into view; holding my breath with the rest of the world as we slowly realized what was actually happening, that this plane was going to hit as well, that this was not an accident.
As (luck?) would have it, I had a great professor for New Testament Seminar. So, right when my personal doctrine completely fell apart, here I was in a class where we were presented with more than one way of looking at scripture. It was here that I first realized that a rejection of the Dobson/Robertson doctrine I grew up on was not a rejection of Christianity or, more importantly, of Christ. I can't believe that I really didn't know that and that all this time, I believed I was thinking for myself. At this point, I razed what had been built for me and started building something of my own from the ground up.
All this is also to say that I have only really been a thinking person for about four years now, so you'll forgive me if I haven't followed some thoughts through to their conclusions. As here (see the comments), one might think I'm a pacifist but I'm really not. I think the peaceful solution should always be thoughtfully considered; that violence only and always begets violence. I choose to live peacefully when I can but I know life doesn't always allow for that. For more on this idea of "wow, I don't have to believe what they told me" Look at Disambiguation, he has a great post about inerrancy.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Another reason I should go to the gym more often

Tom Cruise has really gone off the deep end. We thought something was up when we saw him on Oprah but after this interview with Matt Lauer, there's no denyin' it, he's flipped his lid. Here are some highlights from the interview where Tom tries to explain his comments re Brooke Shields and her struggles with post-partum depression:

Lauer: But Tom, if she said that this particular thing helped her feel better, whether it was the antidepressants or going to a counselor or psychiatrist, isn't that enough?
Cruise: Matt, you have to understand this. Here we are today, where I talk out against drugs and psychiatric abuses of electric shocking people, okay, against their will, of drugging children with them not knowing the effects of these drugs. Do you know what Aderol is? Do you know Ritalin? Do you know now that Ritalin is a street drug? Do you understand that?
Lauer: The difference is —
Cruise: No, no, Matt.
Lauer: This wasn't against her will, though.
Cruise: Matt, Matt, Matt, Matt —
Lauer: But this wasn't against her will.
Cruise: Matt, I'm asking you a question.
Lauer: I understand there's abuse of all of these things.
Cruise: No, you see. Here's the problem. You don't know the history of psychiatry. I do.
Note: If anyone ever says this to you, end the conversation! What he is saying that nothing you say from here out will matter because he knows about this and you don't.
Lauer: Aren't there examples, and might not Brooke Shields be an example, of someone who benefited from one of those drugs?
Cruise: All it does is mask the problem, Matt. And if you understand the history of it, it masks the problem. That's what it does. That's all it does. You're not getting to the reason why. There is no such thing as a chemical imbalance.
He should know, he's completely imbalanced and it's got nothing to do with chemicals.
Cruise: But what happens, the antidepressant, all it does is mask the problem. There's ways, [with] vitamins and through exercise and various things...
If only Andrea Yates had kept up with her Flintstones and Pilates.
Lauer: But a little bit of what you're saying Tom is, you say you want people to do well. But you want them do to well by taking the road that you approve of, as opposed to a road that may work for them.
Cruise: No, no, I'm not.
Lauer: Well, if antidepressants work for Brooke Shields, why isn't that okay?
Cruise: I disagree with it.
He's NOT saying people can't do what works for them. He's saying people can't do what works for them if he disagrees with it.
Lauer: I'm not prescribing Ritalin, Tom. And I'm not asking anyone else to do it. I'm simply saying, I know some people who seem to have been helped by it.
Cruise: But you're saying this is a very important issue.
Lauer: I couldn't agree more.
Cruise: It's very — and you know what? You're here on the "Today" show.
Lauer: Right.
Cruise: And to talk about it in a way of saying, "Well, isn't it okay," and being reasonable about it when you don't know and I do, I think that you should be a little bit more responsible in knowing what it is.
Stop being reasonable, Matt! You're making me look bad. Hey, you aren't nodding your head and smiling while I talk...what's going on here?
Cruise: Matt, but here's the point. What is the ideal scene for life? Okay. The ideal scene is someone not having to take antipsychotic drugs.
Lauer: I would agree.
Cruise: Okay. So, now you look at a departure from that ideal scene, is someone taking drugs, okay. And then you go, okay. What is the theory and the science behind that, that justifies that?
So there you have it. Anything that is a departure from the ideal is intolerable. Must be nice in Cruise world. I don't mind admitting that I've never liked Tom Cruise. I should also tell you that I wanted to punch him just for being rude to Matt Lauer. But, all that aside, it's completely irresponsible to make these kind of comments when people are suffering and plenty of them are being helped through psychiatry and medicine. It is easy to say that drugs are overprescribed, everyone knows that. I've seen a dozen+ kids on ritalin and I've only known it to work for one of them. But for the one that it worked for, it made a huge difference and gave him the ability to control his behavior and succeed in the classroom. Honestly, I would be more interested in learning about Scientology (Tom's apparent solution to all the world's woes) if there were anyone involved with it who didn't come off as a complete lunatic.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

You know, free love, just not that kind...

My hope is that I can create a place where I can feel completely free to express my ideas and beliefs and feelings. Hedonism in our behavior is not something I generally support, a little close to anarchy really and I just don't trust people enough. However, I am creating this blog during the time of year when I have Burning Man on the brain. I haven't been back since my first trip in 2001 but it is never far from my mind...If you love where you came from, your home or family, that is how I would describe my longing for playa dust between my toes. It is the place you go, never as often as you would like, and when you get there you take a deep breath and you can almost feel the shedding of all the pretense and the ideas about who you are that the people at work/church/playgroup...have formed. This is not a blog about Burning Man, just a post about it and a vague, incoherent attempt at an introduction.