Your Pronouns Are Against My Religion

…so expect me to say, when you ask:

  • I use the same pronouns as everyone else
  • I don’t have any personal pronouns (I may laugh at you along with this)
  • Oh I’m sorry that’s against my religion

…because I don’t believe in your god.

When you ask me ‘what are your pronouns’ you are presenting a worldview and requiring me to concede it is accurate. It isn’t, and I don’t play this game. The closest you’ll find me to complying is to use someone’s name or to refer to them by an other identifier (e.g., the postman, your son, boss, etc). But typically I will comply strictly with my religion and use the pronouns that apply to your obvious sex.

“What pronouns do you use” assumes as true that:
“You can be born in the wrong body”

which is as nonsensical as believing ‘the universe started as nothing, which exploded in contravention of known physical laws, and stopped exactly the right time for everything to gloop together into stars and planets that also violate known physical laws, then the rocks formed and changed into people and here we are, by accident.’

Nonsense.

“And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, and said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?”

“the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.”

Which means your body is the correct one for you.

it’s not my biology it’s my gender

No it is not. People don’t have gender. As they say, “Gender is…” either:
“a social construct”
or
“immutable and synonymous with biological sex”

Depending on what is meant by “gender”. If you mean “I don’t want to talk about sex but we both know I mean sex” then gender=sex, which is cowardice but it’s your prerogative to be such. If you mean “gender is some part of me that is not my body” then that is a woo-woo and I don’t believe in that religion!

Yes, it is a religion. It has as tenets:

  • There is something like a soul or an id, separate and distinct from the body
  • It can be in the wrong sex of body by mistake
  • I get to say when it is a mistake for me
  • Based on (dear reader, I say this carefully) my feelings

It’s the same as saying “I am the god of my own self and get to decide if/when “evolution” flubbed my sex” which is a religious statement contrary to my religion. Which is why the pronoun game is antithetical to Christianity.

You don’t have to like my religion but I won’t comply with yours in contravention of my own. So when I say “Oh I’m sorry, that’s against my religion” I’m being real with you. My sorrow is actually for you, because the Devil you don’t believe in has

you bamboozled in a way that can make you miserable and cause conflict at best, and it’s no stretch to say it may kill you young and send you to Hell after you spent a few hundred-thousand dollars in needless medical fees, paid to a medical system that officially cares more for your money than for your soul.


There is no middle ground and don’t you come in bad faith talking about intersex people, one of which you are not.

Paul Was Able To “Eat Meat”

There are some things which are sin, with no gray area. No one will be excused if he believes Jesus is not the way to Heaven. Most all of us will acknowledge killing someone with no good reason is wrong. To the Puritans, showing an ankle was sin . . . but here and now, we have women in short dresses in our churches without condemnation because to us it is (arguably) not sin.

Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth.”

Brother Paul was able in good conscience toward God to eat meat sacrificed to idols; it was no sin. So the question then becomes “It’s not sin so why should Paul not eat” and the answer is another guy was offended in his conscience. Seeing the example of Paul could cause someone else to sin, is the idea of “I will eat no flesh“. Some people would eat the same meat from the same plate and commit sin because their faith was weak. It is not charitable in some contexts for “Paul” to “eat meat”. So we stop when it is plain it offends someone else in this way.

Did Paul owe an explanation to anyone as to why he stopped? In context, I think not, but he would have been happy to explain . . .

. . . if . . .

. . . someone would try to have a conversation about it specifically.

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Update: The first paragraph contains a dig at someone who allows something in his church but who missed it entirely, which was sad but not altogether surprising in light of subsequent tragic events.

Horses for Courses: A comparison of general-purpose zoom and macro prime lenses

I went into the garden a few days ago to photograph some flowers. I ended up disappointed because some bug or other is eating the petals of the flowers I wanted to take pictures of, so they were ugly. I took some pictures of grass instead.

It was early in the morning and the dew was pretty on the grass, eh? It reminded me of the description in the Bible of how the plants were watered before the flood in Noah’s day. Then I thought, “hey I have my fancy new lens DW bought me for Christmas, lemme see what it can do with this dew” so I took some pictures and . . . ran into a limitation. The zoom in question is Nikon’s 18-140mm 3.5-5.6G DX and it is an outstanding walking-around lens. I have satisfied myself that in some situations when carefully applied it can beat a good prime lens. This was not one of those times.

Here is a nifty picture of a blade of grass with two little marbles of dewdrops on the edge. Very nice. Okay what else can I shoot this morning?

Oh, that’s very nice! Except . . . the little white smudges on the bottom of the flowers, those are dewdrops also! If you zoom in here, you’ll see they are legit droplets of water and look pretty okay actually because this zoom lens is a cracking good one! on my camera’s LCD screen, they looked like smudges. I was dissatisfied. So I went and got an old reliable friend of min to help out: This guy. Except he can only focus to about a meter and a half or so, not very close. I have a DIY extension tube that lets it focus MUCH closer, and converts it into a prime manual macro lens. And I went back into the garden.

Yes, very nice. Proper visible drops here as well as loads of fine detail. I was unable to find a different blade of grass I had also shot, but I did find this one again. So here’s this:

Very nice. Not only do I have good detail on the subject I want to show, but the background is completely blown out of focus! This is what I had really wanted, and it makes me want to buy some (much much) more epensive autofocusing, vibration-controlling, wide-aperture-having modern macro lenses. But that’s for another day! Anyway, I mentioned this to a friend (Hi there NB!) and thought it would be informative and interesting as a standalone post, so here’s a comparison set.

These are the full frame shots from my D7000. All these shots were using the auto white balance setting and no editing has been done unless I mention it specifically. The Nikon zoom is always going to be shown on the left, the Canon prime on the right in all these. The zoom was shot at 140mm (210mm equivalent) at f/7.1 without flash. For this, the zoom had a 1/50th second exposure time and the image stabilization really saved my bacon. It works GREAT on this lens! ISO 400 equivalent. The prime was used at ISO800 and with flash, and I still had to crank it to 1/200 sec. to get what I wanted to see. Both are very nice pictures, but I was going for something specific here so the one on the left wasn’t what I wanted.

Here is a screenshot of both pictures as big as they would fit on my monitor. In the top-left of each, you can see the zoom level I had to use to get them on screen at the same size: 140% vs. 57%. At 140% the picture from the zoom lens is starting to look less great but the one from the macro lens is still shining brightly. Dig this:

Here the macro lens is at 100% zoom, looking at the level of individual pixels. To get the zoom lens’ image the same size, it’s at 250% and really not looking as good. I will say it is quite good performance still, but not really much of a comparison at this level of detail. THIS is what I wanted. I was happy with this. Photography is a hobby involving self-challenge and much fiddling with settings to get the technical result I want and this was what I wanted. For the win!…now on to the grass.

This whole thing is an apples-to-oranges comparison and here’s another example. These are the full frame images from the zoom lens all the way zoomed in and the macro lens at whatever distance worked. The extension tube, as they do, prevents this lens focusing very far away, but up close it is excellent. Both of these, again, are good pictures, but what I wanted, again, was what I got on the right from my macro lens.

These again used the auto white balance, and again the zoom was at 140mm, f/7.1, with no flash used. the vibration reduction probably helped again at 1/125sec but wasn’t as completely crucial this time, maybe. ISO 400 equivalent was used with the zoom but again with the prime to get it brighter I used ISO 800 because I was shooting at 1/250sec. No flash, this time, this is all ambient light from early in the day.

Here these are zoomed in to show about the same scene. Note that the zoom lens is zoomed in a bit more at 50% and the macro lens here is only zoomed in to 25% – there’s a lot more pixels to work with on the macro shot! Also note the level of detail in the background. This will vary with every lens and even with the choice of settings for your lens, but here I got what I wanted: bokeh on the right (vs. details on the left).

Here we are, zoomed in on what I actually was interested in, just the drops, as big as I could get them on my computer screen side-by-side for a screenshot. The macro lens is at 100%, actual-pixel level here and the zoom is at 200% to get them about the same size onscreen. The level of detail from the macro lens is really starting to show through, now! Look at the striations on the blade of grass. Notice how the smaller dew drops are actually dew drops instead of white blobs. Finally, look at the quality of the water marbles on the side. Look at the detail! The ISO800 on the right is showing up in the form of slightly increased noise, but the picture is still better at the level I care about so that’s okay.

Hold on there.

VFD, you are saying now, can’t you edit the picture from the zoom lens to get it sharper? Photoshop is magic, you know.

Yes I know. I am a certifiable wizard in Photoshop, but there’s only so much you can do. Let me unsharp mask both of these:

The zoom is definitely benefiting from the sharpening filter applied. The macro didn’t seem to benefit much if it has helped at all. It’s a little bit sharper but a lot noisier, so I call it about a wash there. Let’s look closer.

The zoom is zoomed in as far as it will go before Photoshop starts showing a giant gridline around each pixel (500%) and it looks pretty bad now. The macro is only at 300%, displayed larger onscreen, and you can see even MORE detail. Crazy. This is crazy sharpness. Remember, these drops of dew on this blade of grass were maybe ~2mm in diameter.

Each of these images had about a half-dozen rejects before I got the picture I wanted. I’ve taken LOTS of pictures in my time here, and it still involves trial and error and lots of shots, even with fancy modern lenses. But it’s fun though!

Governor Cuomo Should Not Resign over Allegations of Improper Behavior toward Women

When the hired whores and attention-seekers came out of the woodwork for Herman Cain, and when they came out of the woodwork for Donald Trump, I said these men were innocent of all charges until proved guilty, and they should not withdraw from public life on account of accusations, even ones that seemed truthy at the time. I still think Bill Cosby has been railroaded but at least he has a conviction to legitimately get him off the stage.

Andrew Cuomo, as a citizen of these United States, stands today a man innocent of sexual impropriety as alleged, and it is the duty of his accusers to bring proof to convince a court that he was behaving badly. Allegations, on their own, mean exactly bubkis. I can bring an allegation against you, today and make headline news. The public would be shocked, I tell you, to hear the horrible things you did.

Allegedly.

Mind you, he should resign for general incompetence in governance, but that is expecting rather a lot for a Democratic politician these days. But the dozens of legislators and other former allies of Gov’n’r Andy? Their opinions mean nothing to either truth or Justice. If any of the allegations are proved then that’s the time we should start talking about resignations. Not before.

For those of you who think #BelieveAllWomen still applies, and that allegations should be enough to get a man off the public stage, I present three anecdotes to the contrary:

  • Kamala Harris is serving as Vice President to a man who she claimed in the past she believed had been inappropriate with women. #BelieveAllWomen? Right down the memory hole, apparently.
  • Brett Cavanaugh is sitting on the supreme Court of these United States, having succesfully went through the confirmation circus (which, recall, included the storming of the USA Capitol building by his adversaries, to the applause of legislators who later changed their mind about the virtue of such storming activities) which included obviously false claims presented as serious by the most powerful people in the most powerful legislative body in the world.
  • The lacrosse team of Duke University was thrashed in the press, academic and sporting careers were permanently destroyed, men’s names were dragged through the mud . . . on the basis of lies from a Woman who took advantage of #BelieveAllWomen

False allegations should not ruin a person’s life. True allegations should only be considered true by We the People after a trial has been held and evidence was presented which led to a convincing of a jury, or an admission of guilt by the accused.

That is the standard. If you think Governor Andrew Cuomo should resign because of this spate of accusations, then you are a Bad Person and a bad American.

TIA

Regarding Transgendered Persons

They don’t exist.

Hold on there.

In the current era, I understand that this is a source of no small contention. People have varying ideas based on varying first principles. This essay is based on my first principles. The following thoughts are an integral part of the worldview of anyone whose truly believes what their Bible has to say. This is, all, sincerely held religious conviction for us.

“… male and female created he them”

God:

  • Created space, time, the rules of physics, and the Earth
  • Made men and women, living souls, fully formed as we are now, a few days later
  • Formed man to reflect his image, in possession of the capacity to reason and be self-aware, unlike the animals which have clever programming at best
  • Wants everything to be orderly, and is not the author of confusion
  • Wants people to have full joy
  • Can be grieved by the actions of men
  • Created a powerful entity as a servant, which turned against Him in rebellion. Historically referred to by the Hebrew word for “adversary”: Satan (which is adversarial to people)
  • Wants people to have fellowship with Himself
  • Considers perversion of his design to be abominable, including sexual perversion

All of these points are integral parts of the Christian worldview, and they exclude the possibility of transgenderism. These stand in stark contrast to the prevailing secular view taken by an increasing number of people and governments which in misguided attempts at equality (professing themselves to be wise they became fools) have chosen to exclude biblical principles from everything. Absent the guidance of the Bible which, properly considered, will yield a worldview which is logical, internally consistent, and comports perfectly with observed reality – men have come up with a system of philosophy that cannot find pure truth from end to end, top to bottom, including:

  • There is no God or He didn’t make things like they are now
  • Big bang or other cop-out origins theories
  • Men evolved from particles to people, guided by nothing
  • As we evolved from nothing there is no fixed standard of propriety, and
  • Pretty much every aspect of philosophy is an open question so

So the adversary they refuse to acknowledge even exists has 100% bamboozled people.

Where does the concept of transgenderism originate, according to the Christian point of view? It is, entirely, literally, a lie from the devil.  Now be advised this is a finely nuanced point, however cliche is may seem at first blush.

I am aware that trans-identifying people may consider this to be a personal attack. They are mistaken. That we disagree about philosophy is not an attack on the person whose identity is bound up in their own misguided worldview! It is a difference of first principles, which if someone is offended at, they probably don’t understand that people are not ideas, they are people, no matter what they believe. As such, they are limited by reality.

The Bible defines reality for a Christian. People then are entirely confined to “male and female created he them” and “God is not the author of confusion.”

okay VFD this is all fun but not directly addressing the topic.

The topic has been covered in detail! Take the Bible for granted and my argument has been presented thoroughly already here!

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God created male and female for the purpose of filling the Earth He had just made. Homosex can’t do it. Sterile, chopped-up mutilated neo-vaginae & penii can’t do it. These are an ultimate perversion of the design and the actions involved are (Q.E.D.) abominable to God and forbidden either in black-and-white or by heavy inference.

It is plain to see from the Bible that some gender roles are flexible in a way that gender is not. Some godly women have done man-ish things but remained women. There is no biblical distinction between gender and sex for humans. These are synonyms.

But. There is an adversary, the author of confusion. This one wants people unhappy, and wants people to NOT fulfil God’s command to “be fruitful and multiply“.

The recent origin of the current confusion and unhappiness, then, is easily identified: The Devil made them do it.  With no protection from the Holy Spirit in their lives, foolish thoughts can be farmed like a cash crop in the souls of the unregenerate! Now a bumper crop is being reaped, even while the field is re-sown with worse seed.

The progress went something like this:

  • Reject God or some aspect of God you don’t like
  • Reject the Bible
  • Biblical standards are not binding
  • Sexual rules are arbitrary
  • it’s ok to have MSM & WSW sex
  • Intersex attraction is arbitrary
  • Sex itself is arbitrary, anything goes
  • Why are sex and gender even linked? That’s dumb
  • Sex and gender are not synonyms
  • If you feel like you got assigned the wrong gender you aren’t crazy, you are right
  • It’s normal for some people to not be a fixed or assigned gender
  • Obvious solution: gender reassignment!

And here we are, in 2020 USA and all over the world. People without a Biblical worldview will agree with that progression. But there’s a catch.

They are all wrong.

This worldview fails to account for the truth of the matter: The farther people stray from the design of God (who, remembver, wants us to be happy) the less happy we become. Pure biblical Christianity brings joy. Go look at how much joy there is in the transgender community.  The adjective “toxic” is commonly applied – by the more sane members the same community who are not beyond all feeling. I have seen several first-hand reports from as well as heard in personal conversation with transgender-identifying persons, that the community is shockingly bad, with trans people being deeply unhappy.

All of this, doubtless, has the adversary rolling in the aisles laughing. Having planted this confusion, the one who hates these people rejoices in their suffering.

ok but they exist.

No, they don’t. It’s a lie. Gender is the same as sex, and immutable. The reason suicide rates are the same post-transition is that it’s not a cure, because you can’t change gender. People know this in a very deep subconscious place but they can’t sort it. ‘If I am this way then it’s the way I am and it’s ok, but it’s not ok? The more accepting society becomes, I don’t feel less internal conflict, why?’

Because it is fake. The very idea is contrary to human nature. your perceived identity is contrary to itself – no wonder you have no joy! Gender cannot be changed because it is an immutable part of the self. You are what you were born with.*

  • So you are not transgendered
  • You are confused
  • Having been given a strong delusion  by a being that can inject thoughts into your mind, who hates you

There is hope for you to be happy, but that path starts with accepting an entire reality you have heretofore rejected.

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* don’t bring a red herring about actual genetic mutation type intersex people. These are 0.00nothing percent of the population. You’re not that, and you know it. We’re talking about people who self-identified as something contrary to their plain biological sex.

Government: Worse at Everything

I made a note to myself when it was fresh news, to mention this as an example – but here we go since I remembered it again:

Travis Central Health had a nice program: if you need a ride to the hospital, we’ll give you one. It was initially given $19,000 but because of increased demand they put in another $9,000. By the time this made the radio news, it had given rides to 140 residents.

No, I didn’t drop a zero there. 140 people got rides, for $28,000. For the math-impaired, that is $200 per ride. You could literally hire a taxi for every drive and do this cheaper. But not if you want to layer a government bureaucracy on top of it.

And no, this is not ambulance transportation. This is *literally* hiring a cab, or giving people a voucher to get on the city bus which costs single-digits of dollars per ride.  The additional cost to get up to $200/ride is the bureaucracy.

Remember that, the next time someone says they want to put government in charge of another aspect of life.

https://www.centralhealth.net/connecting-patients-to-care-central-health-communitycare-providing-door-to-door-rides-to-medical-appointments/ fx

https://www.numbeo.com/taxi-fare/in/Austin

The Fear of the Lord is the Beginning of Wisdom

~ or, Children Should Be Afraid of Their Fathers ~ 2004.06.14

Fear is fear. Fear is not equal to respect. Fear is not the equivalent of respect. Some folks will tell you that the fear of the Lord is intended to mean respect, reverence, honour for the Lord. I am here to tell you it is not. Fear in this context, means fear.

Now my children (#1 especially, 3 years old at the time of writing) don’t respect me. They don’t know what respect is, much less understand it, much less have it for me. But my children fear me, and this is proper; and let me tell you why.

Because their fear is the beginning of wisdom. Now my kids are too young to understand that they ought not to do something because it is wrong. They don’t care that we will be disappointed in them if they let us down. But my girl knows that if she does something she is not supposed to do, it is going to hurt when daddy hears about it. She is afraid of the consequence, and so she behaves (usually) appropriately. At this point I don’t expect reverence from her – that should come later. Right now what I want is simple obedience, which is brought on by her fear.  This is the beginning of wisdom.

How many of you by show of hands have never used a table saw? Of those of you who have never used one, how many of you do not know that a table saw is  dangerous? So. We know that if we touch that spinning blade it will hurt us. We fear that blade. I have used table saws. I have used bandsaws, routers, drill presses etc. and I have a very healthy respect for them now. I do what I should do now because I respect the danger. Now I am not afraid and I know the proper mitigation techniques. But when I was young I did what I had to do very carefully and minded my thoughts and my fingers with utmost caution; and this was the beginning of my wisdom when it comes to power tools.

But wherein should we fear the Lord? Doesn’t He love us and care for us, and actively seek the good of those that love Him?  Yes. But before you respect Him and live daily as He would have you to do, you need to FEAR the Lord. Why? Because only God can send you to Hell. Displease me and I might not talk to you – might even give it to you right in the kisser. Displease God and He just might condemn you to the lake of fire forever; You will be forever burning but never burned up. Always dying and in torments but never dead. Always suffering. Fear the one who can do all this to you forever. Fear God. This is the beginning of wisdom.

Sex is Not Physical

Well it is, of course, but not only.

I got lost wandering around the internet for a while and found this:

Pay attention to whom you share your intimate energy with. Intimacy at this level intertwines your aural energy with the aural energy of the other person. These powerful connections, regardless of how insignificant you think they are, leave spiritual debris, particularly within people who do not practice any type of cleansing, physical, emotional or otherwise.

The more you interact intimately with someone, the deeper the connection and the more of their aura is intertwined with yours.

Imagine the confused aura of someone who sleeps with multiple people and carries around these multiple energies? What they may not realize is that others can feel that energy which can repel positive energy and attract negative energy into your life.

I always say, never sleep with someone you wouldn’t want to be.Lisa Chase Patterson

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This is sadly neglected in western culture.  The Christian take is: the Act of Marriage (as it used to be called) is the marriage itself.  The ceremony is for the family. The paperwork is for the government. The sex is the actual marriage of two people who engage in it.  The bodies join the spirits together, and the souls feel it on a verrrrry deep level.

When you leave a sex partner in your wake, you are leaving a part of yourself you cannot retrieve.  If you were having sex to fill the longing inside* then casual sex is a quick way to make yourself feel ever-worse.  When you have one sex partner for life, that is the proper way.

*the longing is for a relationship with the Jesus, by the way.  Believe it or not, it remains true that you need a relationship with God and the only way to have one is through the Jesus.