Monday, February 27, 2012


A few of you asked me some questions following my last two posts, and I thought I should take some time to respond to them seriously.

You asked:

1) Am I trying to rationalize giving into something I know is wrong? Is that the reason I’m undecided about being in a relationship?

2) Do I rely too much on my feelings, or emotions, in determining my actions, or how I respond to certain things?

3) Do I need an accountability partner?

4) Do I have certain preconceived notions about how God should relate to me, or even intervene, in my life?

5) What contradictions do I see in the bible?

To begin with, I will admit that I’m not sure what to think anymore. So many Christians have told me so many different things that I honestly don’t know what’s true and what isn’t. And I don’t know how much I can trust the word of any one particular person.

I have my faith in God. I believe I am saved through Christ. I pray on a regular basis. I want to please God. And I want to be a part of the Christian family, to help other Christians and to bring others into that family.

But I doubt so many things. To begin with, I’m not sure how much the bible can be trusted. I think it can be trusted more than not. But I believe it may not be entirely accurate—God inspired or not. I believe this because I know it was written by man, and man is fallible—even the Godly ones. Jesus himself rebuked Peter and his other disciples numerous times for not fully understanding him. If that is the case, then how can we be completely sure that they, and others, didn’t misinterpret or fully understand other things that they wrote about?

With this in mind, I also take into account the fact that our understanding of the body and how it works has changed over time. People know better concerning this today than what they did during biblical days. People used to believe seizures and the like were demon possessions, for instance, but we hardly call them that today. Knowing this, I can’t help but wonder if homosexuality is just another instance of not fully knowing. I look at just how ignorant people are today about homosexuality. It’s not all just about actions or conduct. I think you can actually BE homosexual. A lot of Christians just seem to think everyone is straight, and that homosexuality is just a desire to act up. I don’t believe this. I think some people actually ARE homosexual. I think it goes beyond temptations; that it’s a part of who a person is. Any version of myself as straight, I’ve absolutely hated. It’s just not me. I might as well be trying to change my sex completely. And the thing is, I believe God actually loves ME, the homosexual me, and not some phony version of what somebody else thinks I should be.

It says in the Old Testament that it was sinful to eat shellfish. Really? I mean, we’ve been eating shellfish for centuries now. It also says that God’s people are supposed to be circumcised. But that’s not been a requirement since the beginning of Christianity. People were also told not to marry between races, but this is accepted now. Jesus said he was not here to abolish the law, but to fulfill it. If that is true, then shouldn’t we still be following the law? Jesus himself said he wasn’t here to abolish it. But then we are also told that we are saved through our faith. And so, if we have faith, does following or not following at all times the laws concerning sin condemn us or take away our salvation? And what about Jesus telling us it’s not what goes into the body, but what comes out of it that makes us unclean? If two men express their love, in marriage, by having sex, is this really an unclean act—if they do this out of their love for each other?

Who’s right today? Is the Catholic Cannon, the King James Version, or the NIV, among a dozen or more other versions of the bible, the right one, or most accurate one to adhere to? One group says infant baptism is right, another says it isn’t? Who is right? One group practice the sacraments, another doesn’t. Who is right? One group says to tithe, while another says to give from the heart. Who is right? One group says you are saved by faith alone, while another says you must have faith accompanied by good deeds. Who is right? I mean, I could go on and on with this line of questions. Are the Catholics right; the Baptists; the Methodists; the Non-Denominationals; who?

Am I trying to rationalize something I know is wrong? No. I don’t know whether the thing I want is wrong or not anymore. I don’t know if the things people thousands of years ago believed was wrong really were wrong—so many other things aren’t considered to be anymore. The definition seems to change from time to time and place to place.

And am I an emotional, feelings based person? Yes. I know I am. But what is really wrong with this? I’m not saying that if I didn’t feel God’s presence that I accept He’s not there. I believe He’s always with me. But there are times when I don’t feel His presence, and during those times it is so much harder to fight. It does make me feel alone. And even when I pray anyway, and continue trying to do what’s right, it doesn’t alleviate how I feel or the fact that those feelings make it harder to deal with things. If I say I feel something, felt something, believe something, or did something or reacted to something out of emotions, it is only because I am being truthful and accepting of what’s going on inside of me, rather than being numb, blind, or ignorant. I don’t always do everything based on my emotions. I know at times I do, and this is sometimes a problem. But when or if I speak of my feelings, it is me trying to get out simply what is going on inside of me. My actions are not always dictated by how I feel. If that wasn’t true, I’d have left Christ long ago, screwed at least a dozen other men, murdered someone, lied a million and one times more than I ever have, killed myself, or any number of any other incredibly horrendous things by now. And so, if I write a lot about my feelings, please keep this in mind. And if you see where I’ve acted on my feelings, wrongly, don’t be afraid to question me about it. But just make sure of what I’m really trying to get out.

Do I have certain preconceived notions about God? Yes, I believe, rightly or wrongly, I do. I believe God loves me unconditionally. I believe God is always willing to forgive me when I ask him to. I believe God gives me direction, and has led me throughout most of my life. I believe God gives me strength and wisdom. I believe God has blessed me richly. I believe God wants to know me, and wants me to know Him. I believe God works to help people who so desperately need him. I believe he can use anyone to His benefit. I believe He can and does reveal himself to us through so many ways. I believe God is all knowing, all powerful, and everlasting. I believe God is the creator of all things. I believe God is patient. And I believe, with God, all things are possible. Those are my preconceived notions about God.

When it comes to accountability, I have nobody I feel comfortable with confiding in. I’ve had many different accountability partners before. None were really ever able to help me and none ever really acted as though they really wanted to. That is, none wanted to be in it with me for the long run. To an extent, I’ve actually been looking at this blog as a substitute of sorts lately just to help in this area.

And in all of this, what do I want?

I want to go to bed and wake up in the morning beside the man I’ll spend the rest of my life with. I want someone I can come home to. I want someone who’ll love me no matter what. I want someone I can cook for. I want someone I can hold hands with, kiss, and hug. I want someone I can curl up next to and watch a movie with. I want someone I can travel the world with. I want someone who will know I’m his no matter what. I want someone I can trust and confide in. I want someone I can spend the holidays with and spend time with his family. I want someone who will care for me when I’m sick. I want someone I can be happy with—even when times are bad. I want someone who will believe and worship in God alongside of me. I want to be married to another man. I want to love and be loved, and to dedicate my body and soul to that person. That’s what I want.

Some would call this selfish; that I’m thinking only of myself. I find this so condescending and hypocritical. When a straight woman wants these things, she isn’t called selfish. Her wants are said to be good. But when I want these things, because I am a homosexual man, it is said to be selfish. How is it selfish, or evil, for me to want to spend my life with someone? And not just as a friend, but as a real this-person-is-your-other-half-in-all-ways lifelong partner.

I may not know for certain if what I want is wrong, but I know that it is only common and natural for people to want to be with others this way. Unlike most men, I just do not want to be with a woman.

So, that’s where I’m at right now. You can wrap all this stuff up together and surely see why I’ve been so completely conflicted. And, really, this isn’t even considering all of the personal issues I’ve been dealing with lately.

In all, please just pray for me. And forgive me if I seem a bit on edge. It has been a hard day, I’m tired, and... well, just pray for me. I do want your thoughts/comments/advice/words of wisdom/etc., so hopefully I’ve not scared anybody off yet. I really do appreciate your all’s comments on such things.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

All Things Considering

Whenever I fall, I like to know why. What stumped me? Could it have been prevented? The whole who, what, when, where, why, and how of the situation.

I know I’ve not completely made up my mind that being with another man is wrong. I don’t mean that I think sleeping around with men isn’t wrong. I mean that I’m not sure if I dated another man, if we fell in love with each other, decided to commit ourselves to each other, and then made love that that would be wrong. There are so many reasons for me to believe that it isn’t. There are several reasons for me to believe that it is as well though. And so I’m torn between the two. I actually do see beauty in two men, or two women, being in love with each other. And I think about what we are told love is, and I see nothing from its description in the bible that would make me believe that my love for another man wouldn’t be celebrated.

I see enough contradictions between the Old and New Testament to give me some serious doubt about absolutely all homosexual activity being sinful. In love, I’m not sure it is. And even if it is, I’m not sure it’s something damning. If we are saved through faith, then isn’t faith in itself what truly saves us? Of course if we are truly saved, then our actions must surely reflect that. But if we get certain things wrong, either knowing or unknowingly, are we no longer saved through our faith? If I fell in love with another man and committed myself to him for the rest of my life, and, yes, made love with him during that time, would that really bar me from Heaven? Would Jesus really frown upon our expressing our love for each other? I don’t think me being in a lifelong, committed, sexual relationship with another man would necessarily damn me. But I do wonder if it is truly sinful, because if it is I want to resist.

I’ve been praying about this for years and I can’t seem to get any real answer that doesn’t include some level of uncertainty with it. And so, I am torn between two thoughts. If I loved a man, would God not, like me, find some degree of beauty in our coming together, and approve of such a relationship? Or, would such a thing be a sin, whether love is involved or not? There are reasons for me to believe both positions, and each holds weight.

I think not knowing what to think about this certainly played a part in my recent fall, and that of many other times—allowing me to delve into fantasies about what my life could be like.

I also believe that I am stressed far more than I should be, and as I expressed in my last post, pornography and masturbation help with this. It’s a quick fix to the thought of certain problems in life. And so I know stress played its part.

Not feeling connected with God was also an influence. There are times when I just cannot feel his presence with me. I like to think that I’m walking hand in hand with God by my side, but a lot of times I feel like I’m reaching out and only clutching air. I look around and cannot find him. I feel alone and deserted. I feel like He’s ran ahead of me, and I have to sprint through an elaborately cruel obstacle course just to keep a glimpse of him in my view. I know this isn’t true, but I find it so hard to fight these thoughts sometimes. I feel bad for one reason or another and I begin finding it more difficult to keep my grasp, as though my fingers are pulling away, and I’m reaching to no avail. I felt like that before this last fall. I wanted God to help me, to intervene somehow, but He didn’t. He was most likely there, but for some reason I just couldn’t see Him. I felt like I had to rely on my own strength, which just isn’t anywhere near good enough.

And then I know I didn’t use the best judgment. I knew I was very tempted to look up pornography, but I got on my computer anyway. It’d have been okay had I kept my door open or taken my computer into the living room. But I didn’t do either. And there again, I’d have been okay had I not gotten on my computer at all until those temptations had passed. I didn’t guard myself against the temptations the best way possible. In fact, I can see how very little prepared I was to fight those temptations. I think about this and wonder if perhaps that is why God didn’t intervene. Maybe to fall was the only way I’d see how ill prepared I was.

And then there are emotions. Anger, fear, hopelessness, jealousy, hate, regret, shame, sadness, and worry are all things that can cause you to stumble. I know I was feeling some of these things before I gave in. I know I need to learn better ways of dealing with these sorts of negative emotions.

There may be other reasons for this last fall, but these were the things I’ve been able to identify.

Thursday, February 23, 2012


So, what is my drug? What makes me feel good when the going gets tough? What helps me faster than anything to get that high, that numbness, that sense of calm and relief?

The answer… pornography and masturbation.

Last night I went to bed feeling completely hopeless. And I woke up this morning feeling the same way. I felt like a zombie all day long, as though anything that mattered in the world was completely gone. And I couldn’t find God. I couldn’t bring myself to go to Him. And as the day went, the more tempted I became. Old memories, flashes of images I’d just assume forget, constantly popped up in my mind.

I kept trying to block out the idea, especially after getting home. But as I got on my computer to check my email, those thoughts seemed to pound upon me. I finished looking up my email, replied where necessary, looked at my blog for a moment, and then pushed my laptop away. It just seemed to put a trance on me though. I knew how easy it would be. I knew I wanted to. I knew it’d make the pain go away. I put my hand up on the screen to close my laptop, but it just sort of sat there. I couldn’t bring myself to turn it off, to run, to flee. And then my hand was back on the mouse pad. I froze. I couldn’t bring myself to go ahead in either direction. And I started crying and praying and yet those images and the pain kept darting across my mind. I prayed for God to give me a way out. My heart was pounding, I was breathing deeply, and before God could ever do that, my fingers started working and I was looking up pornography. And then that led to masturbation.

My drug…

An hour and a half later I seem to be thinking much more clearly than I was. For starters, I know I never should have got on my computer feeling as tempted as I was. And I should have done more throughout the day to reach out to God. I’m not going to make any excuses for myself. After five days of living without these things, I had to give in just for a few moments of good feelings? No. I took a cheap, sleazy, quick way out, instead doing what I should have done.

And so now that I’ve fallen, I will have to pick myself back up (more like God will have to drag me up), dust off, look back ahead down that long, narrow road, and start treading along once more.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


It amazes me how bad things can get sometimes.

My stress level lately has just been through the absolute roof. And it is taking so much of a toll on me. I lost my grandma the day before Thanksgiving, Christmas was crap because of that, money has been an issue lately, I’m trying to avoid certain obvious temptations in my life, my living situation isn’t the best right now, I’m worried about so many things that I know I really shouldn’t be. And as if all that hasn’t been enough, today marks the first time in at least eight years that I’ve been in any sort of a physical fight with anyone. And it happened to be with my brother.

Over the course of this last year, he has been increasingly nasty toward me. I don’t know what his problem is. If I say anything he disagrees up front with me. If I disagree with him about anything, he automatically gets all in my face about it. He talks down to me, ignores me, tries to twist my words around, purposefully tries to belittle and make me look bad in front of his kids, and then today, in the middle of an argument (one of a few dozen already in the last year), he charged at me and began throwing punches. I admit I might have egged this on somewhat, because after he called me some names and threw a few accusations my way that weren’t true, I threw a glass of water at him. It was then that he came at me.

After a few punches, he must have realized he’d gone too far. But being in defensive mode, the second he unpinned me, I threw a few good punches back at him. My left arm around the elbow and my upper right thigh is now throbbing because of all this.

I don’t need this. I don’t need any of this. He’d been trying for an argument/fight the last several days, and I’d done good to resist, but he just wouldn’t let me tonight. He was bound and determined to get what he wanted.

I’ve let a lot of things slide this last year, but I can’t let this. I can’t just pretend that what happened didn’t happen. I don’t want to stay someplace where I’m going to get beat up. It’s been a long time coming, but I know I don’t need to live here any longer. If I could, I’d have moved out months (really years) ago, but as I said, money is tight. And so I’m not sure how or what I’m going to do, but all I know is I don’t want to stay in this situation any longer.

Please just pray for me. There’s just been so much crap going on, and I’m just feeling so overwhelmed. I’m angry and sad all the time. I’m worried, frustrated, lonely… it just seems like nothing is going right. And I just honestly don’t know how much more I can take.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Just Stop!

Earlier today I found the blog of another Christian battling with same sex attraction. I was glad I did, because truth be told, a great number of the blogs I’ve typically kept up with have either ended, or it’s been a very long time since anyone posted anything on them. Finding this new blog gave me a chance to actually feel not as alone in this struggle as I’ll admit I’ve been feeling some lately. But, above that, and more importantly, it also gave me a chance to read several very encouraging things.

To begin with, this fellow blogger, Tom, wrote that at one point he’d been able to resist pornography for about eight months. And he’d only masturbated once during that time. Being that those are two things I’ve been trying very seriously to resist the last couple of weeks, I have to say that I find this a great source of hope—if he could do that, then so can I (today, by the way, marks three days in a row that I haven’t masturbated or looked up pornography, and I thank God for that).

But in reading some of Tom’s stuff, I came across one post where he talks about a sermon he’d heard. The preacher, who was usually rather calm and mild, suddenly screamed out, “Stop it! Just stop it! No more! Let today be the day that you just leave that sin all behind you." I read this and it reminded me of something I experienced a few years ago. It reminded me of a dream. I’ve thought about this dream in light of a more recent one I had about a week ago, which I’ve already told you about. In the dream, I stood looking up at a really tall tree in my front yard, which stands near the road. I was amazed by the scale of the tree. Then suddenly my dad appeared. But it wasn’t really my dad. He looked and sounded like my dad, but I knew he was really someone else. He smiled at me and then told me, “Just stop.” And when He said it, I knew exactly what he was talking about. He was telling me to stop looking at porn. He was telling me to stop masturbating. He was telling me to stop going down a path of outright homosexual living. That was another dream where I woke up shaking, out of breath. It was just so realistic. And I knew the second I was awake what it meant. God was telling me, appearing as my dad, that I had a path to choose. I could go left or right, but only one would lead to the tree of life. Reading Tom’s post reminded me of this (I think I wrote about this dream in more detail sometime a few years ago).

I know pornography and masturbation are the two things that lead me most toward completely giving in to my desires to be with another man. These things tempt me the most toward that. That being the case, I really want to put up as much resolve as possible to stop doing those things.

A road block in the past for me has been my mindset. I’d rationalize going a day at a time, a week at a time, and so forth, as if that was good enough. I’d promise not to give in at least until a certain time. But then I’d always fail or give in after I’d met that expectation (as if it was a reward for past good effort). And the reason I sat such limited goals was because I honestly don’t think I ever expected I could go beyond them. To never, EVER, look up pornography or masturbate again just seemed impossible. Pornography I could probably live without. But could I really go the rest of my life without ever masturbating? Could I really go the rest of my life with absolutely no means of sexual release or pleasure? Looking back, I know I haven’t believed in that. But I wonder now if I really could. I know it’d be a struggle. I know it’d probably drive me crazy at times. But I also know that I want that; that it’s worth trying for. I want to be able to resist, to truly free myself from some of the crap I’ve encased myself in. I just want to stop. I want to resist because it’s the right thing to do, because it brings me closer to God.

And so, if you’re reading this, please pray for me. As I said earlier, I’m on day three, and I really, really, REALLY, want to be able to keep this up. And, Tom, if you happen to read this, thanks for writing about your own journey. You give me much encouragement.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Fighting Temptations

Yesterday marked the 8th day I had resisted the urge to masturbate. I consider this a victory, and one which, without God’s help, I know I would have never been able to accomplish. And I did it for God.

It was certainly a struggle. Masturbation is something that I used to try really hard to resist. I spent at least three or four years doing my best not to give into this. Throughout that whole time I kept struggling and would always inevitably go off on a binge until coming back to my senses. The last two or three years, however, I really haven’t tried to resist at all. If I felt like it and could, I just did it.

Recently, though, I have been wondering back to those days when I tried not to do this. I knew it was a struggle, and I did just get really tired always fighting and failing to resist this thing. That’s why I eventually just gave up trying to fight and thought it best simply to rely on God’s forgiveness (which alone, I just don’t think is enough—I have to do my part as well). But I’ve felt lately that it was a fight I should have kept struggling through—that I shouldn’t have given up.

I won’t lie; masturbation has got to be one of the hardest things to completely give up (at least for me). And I think, deep down, it is something that should be given up, and better yet, I should never have started at all. I believe this simply because it is one of those acts which seems to always accompany fantasies of sex between other men or of sex between other men and me. I find it virtually impossible to prevent myself from lusting whenever I do this. If done without lusting, I’m honestly not sure it would be a sin, but that’s something I can’t seem to do. And so, as of late, I’ve just felt a stronger conviction to try more in earnest, yet again, to give this thing up.

I have also tried much more not to give into pornography. On this front, I have been somewhat less successful. Old habits die hard. I’m trying to remember not to drift onto certain websites. A few times I’ve literally just had to close out my computer and get away from it. Even though I have given in a few times, though, I know the times I was able to resist was the working and help of God. And that is really my main point writing about all of this. In trying to resist these two temptations, I have felt closer to God. I’ve prayed to him more for strength, for guidance, for forgiveness, and for thanks in what help He has given me.

I know some people may say that it is stupid trying to resist these two things, or in having some problem with them. But I think if fighting them brings me in some way closer to God, then that must be a good thing. And so, I hope to continue fighting on, resisting with all I can and with God helping me.

Last night, however, after eight days resisting the temptation to masturbate, I ended up giving in. I just couldn’t seem to find any means of which to stop myself. And afterward, unlike with the pornography, I felt so severely convicted, guilty, self-loathing, and shameful that it was pathetic. I felt like a kid who’d done something so wrong it was unforgiveable and heartbreaking. The result was that I stayed up most of the night, unable to sleep, hating myself for what I had done.

I still feel some of those feelings, but I know God forgives me. And I know that giving in last night doesn’t take away the fact that I resisted all those days before. I know that I’m still loved by God and that He will still help me going forward. And going forward, I’m going to try not to think of myself the way the devil would like for me to. He wants me to think I’m a failure and that I’m no good, and that I should just give up completely. But, as I said earlier, I’m not going to do that. I’m going to pick myself back up (even if that means a thousand different times) and continue fighting, with God hand in hand beside me.

If doing this brings me closer to God, then that’s what I want to do.

Saturday, February 18, 2012


I have always been fascinated by the act of circumcision. It is one of those acts that, even though I approve of the look of the penis afterward, I find so barbaric and unnecessary an act, that it honestly bewilders me why so many people still decide to circumcise their newborn sons, or to voluntarily submit to circumcision as an adult.

I know there are many arguments for why people say circumcision is a good thing. They say it makes the penis cleaner, reduces infections, reduces the risk of penile cancer, eliminates a problem called phimosis (where the foreskin becomes tight and in some cases painful), may help prevent the contraction of HIV, may reduce the rate of masturbation, may help provide skin for burn victims, may improve sexual longevity, and, as if the list wasn’t long enough already, makes the penis a more beautiful organ.

I dispute, or have issue with, most of these claims. For starters, circumcision as a means to improve cleanliness is so ridiculously absurd that I find it laughable. There is a great little invention called soap, and so long as a person washes with it on a regular basis, having a foreskin should be no problem.

Secondly, circumcision may honestly reduce the rate of infection that can occur under the foreskin, but I fail to see how circumcision is preferable to a small dose of penicillin, a swab of alcohol, or some other form of antibiotic or germ killing agent. And just because you are circumcised, doesn’t mean you will never get an infection—some infections can actually be caused because of the circumcision. And it occurs to me that the logic behind this reason is comparable to cutting off a baby’s ears because at some time in his life he might get ear infection. I don’t see anybody rushing out to cut off a baby’s ears any time soon, but apparently the logic makes sense to some if we’re talking about the penis.

Thirdly, of course, if you remove a part of the body, you eliminate the potential for cancer in that part of the body. But that doesn’t mean we should go chopping off every part of the body that could become cancerous when first born. If we did that, we’d have to remove the lungs, brain, pancreas, liver, and a whole host of other body parts that I’m sure most wouldn’t/couldn’t do without. And besides, we’re only talking about the “potential” for cancer. Just because you have a foreskin doesn’t mean you’re definitely going to get cancer. This reason to circumcise, like those before it, just seems moot to me. Leave the skin until there is cancer. Then, if necessary, circumcise.

Fourthly, as with cancer, circumcision to prevent the possibility of phimosis (or even other such similar problems) just seems extreme. Not all males with foreskins will grow up to have this problem, so why not leave their skin alone unless they do end up having this? And, in some cases, this problem can be solved over a period of time by simply stretching the foreskin over the glans little by little until the tightness is no longer significant.

Fifthly, it is absolutely stupid to believe that circumcision can prevent or in any serious rate reduce the risk of contracting HIV. I hear this argument and I just want to cringe by the misinformation and deceitfulness of it. Safe sex or abstinence is the only real prevention for contracting HIV. Circumcision is no cure, and it is frankly idiotic to be circumcised for this reason. Use a freaking condom and keep your skin—even if you get circumcised, you’ll still need to use a condom or practice abstinence to be any better protected. There is no real benefit here in being circumcised (and yet half of Africa is buying into this notion).

Sixthly, circumcision absolutely does not reduce the rate of or prevent the practice of masturbation. You need only ask those who are circumcised to know that this is true.

Seventhly, foreskins may be used for burn victims, and if so, at least they’re going to some good, but that doesn’t mean a person has no right to make the decision to contribute a part of himself for this reason. If an adult male wishes to have himself circumcised in order to help a burn victim, then I think that’s great. But to circumcise a baby for this reason, just isn’t right. Likewise, this applies to medical research and testing.

Eighthly, circumcision may improve sexual longevity? If this is true, it is probably only because the glans of the penis has become desensitized over a lifetime of being rubbed by clothing. That or the brain has learned to turn off such stimuli. I find either reason a poor excuse for circumcision. If you want longer sexual experiences, just stay in bed longer and try for round two and so forth (or practice holding off orgasm, either way).

Ninthly, I understand the arguments concerning looks. If you are circumcised and have a son, it may seem only natural to want your son’s penis to look like yours. But, looks shouldn’t really matter in this regard. If your son had your mother-in-law’s detestable green eyes (I’m not saying I dislike green eyes—it’s just an example) instead of your brown, is that a reason to have your son’s eyes removed or dye injected into them to make them brown? Of course not! You’d let them be. So, if your son isn’t born circumcised like you are, why not also just let him be in this regard?

And then for all those who find a circumcised penis more pleasant on the eyes, I can say that I sympathize, because I too prefer the look of a circumcised penis to one that is not circumcised. But I find this a shallow reason to have a newborn baby circumcised. Again, if the boy grows up and decides on his own that he wants his penis to look this way, then that would be great. But not all boys may want to grow up seeing a scar around their penis and the glans exposed all the time. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and in this case, each male should be given the choice to decide how his body should look. This should be a personal decision made by no one but the individual himself.

And now, in addition to the reasons I’ve already mentioned, here are some more good reasons not to circumcise. Each year, many newborn males die due to complications of circumcision—usually by bleeding to death. I don’t know about you, but to know that my son died due to an unnecessary procedure would bother me greatly. And then there are always potential problems in the healing process of circumcision. The wounds can become infected, skin bridges can form where the skin didn’t heal together fully, and in some cases the skin can fuse to the glans itself. There is also the potential for too much skin to be removed, causing erections as an adult to be painful due to the skin being tightened too much. And then there is the whole sensitivity issue. Some people believe circumcision causes no decrease in sensitivity, while others believe it does. We can think logically about this for a moment, and if we do, we might at least admit that to some degree circumcision does in fact cause some loss of sensitivity—either physically or perceived. As I mentioned earlier, if clothing is rubbed against the glans all the time, that would have to either numb the glans, or the brain would have to adapt by ignoring the stimuli. Otherwise, you’d always be sexually stimulated with each step you take. And from what research I’ve done, this seems true considering how many uncircumcised men talk about how sensitive the glans is. Most circumcised men don’t talk about their glans being sensitive just to the touch. A lot of uncircumcised men, however, do say this. But to know for any certainty on this issue, we’d have to ask someone who has been circumcised as an adult and experienced both worlds. Again, from what research I’ve done, most men who were circumcised as adults say there wasn’t a lot of decrease, but that there was some decrease in sensitivity after being circumcised. Depending on the person and their needs, however, I suppose loss of sensitivity could be a good thing or bad thing—perhaps someone is just way too sensitive uncircumcised to find pleasure when sexually stimulated. And then there is pain. Not until recent years did doctors do much, if anything, to decrease pain during circumcision—and many still won’t do anything to help prevent this today. Pinch a baby and tell me he can’t feel it. Cut off his foreskin and I’m sure he’ll feel that too (find any video online of infant circumcision and you’ll see a baby squalling). And then there is the healing time. It can take months for a baby to heal from being circumcised, same as with an adult. In both cases, this can bring discomfort, swelling, infection, and, yes, pain. And for a baby, any pain caused by circumcision is needless.

Then we come to the question of religion. Is it acceptable for Jews, Muslims, Christians, or other religious groups to circumcise their male sons? I would say no. I understand why people of faith would want to circumcise their sons if their religion dictates such a thing. However, just because you circumcise your son, doesn’t mean he will grow up to practice or believe in that faith. I hold to this belief, much as I do with infant baptism. I believe both should be a sign of faith on the individual’s part. If a man believes in God and wishes to follow Him in faith, then let him be baptized, or, in this case, circumcised. Either, I believe, should be a personal decision.

But let’s think about the religious aspects of circumcision a bit further. There are many religions out there. And there are many new religions formed all the time. We have allowed circumcision of infants because it has been practiced for thousands of years. But if one or the other of a more new religion began dictating that newborn males should be tattooed, would we allow this? Or if there was a mandate that the earlobes be cut off, or the right hand be branded, or the left hand pinky finger be removed (after all we can live without that finger), would be really approve or allow such practices? I seriously doubt it. And so, with that in mind, why would we continue to allow circumcision? Just because it’s been allowed for so long? Is that really a good reason? Keeping all of this in mind, I would say that not even religion is a great reason to circumcise.

I honestly don’t see any great reasons to circumcise a baby. There are some reasons to circumcise when a male gets older, but not at birth. And so I suggest that we as a nation begin rethinking this whole circumcision thing. For starters, let’s quit doing it just because it’s been the norm. And let’s stop being misinformed and fooled by people who have their own ulterior motives involved (paid off doctors, sadists, medical researchers/companies, religious groups, governments, and so forth). If we do, we may see a different norm develop in this country. And I’m sure the world wouldn’t fall apart if that were the case. Heck, most to the world’s men are uncircumcised anyway (ever wonder why).

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Affect of Dreams

I’m not usually the sort of person who lets his nightly dreams bother him much, but every once in a while there is a dream so vivid, so realistic, and so profound that it just weighs on me and can cause me to adjust my behaviors or attitudes. Last night, I had one of those dreams. To put it more accurately, I had a nightmare.

It started off with my brother and me on a trip, driving through the country and into some small town in the hills. We got lost and ended up on a little road leading out into some woods. We found that the road dead-ended in a circle leading back out. There was another family parked just ahead. As we got out of the car to stretch our legs and look at the map, a couple of men came out of the woods and began harassing the other family. My brother and I approached to see if we could help. That’s when some guns were shown and all of us were marched off. The dream got a bit blurry at this point and began again with me at a younger age (maybe twelve or thirteen), as well as the rest of my family, being held up by gunpoint by a few other men and at least one woman in the home we used to live in. We were all in the living room, and mom suggested I go to the laundry room to get my clean clothes out (she suggested this with gestures insinuating that would be my opportunity to slip out of the house and get away for help). So, I went off to the laundry room. One of the men followed me though. He stopped outside of the room and I went in, quickly thinking about how to get away. After a minute or so, the man walked in behind me and closed the door. I was nervous and panicked about what he wanted. He looked me over and began telling me how attractive he thought I was. He wore an arrogant smile as he looked at me. He then turned me toward the washer and dryer and began pulling at my clothes. I protested in a quiet, scared, nervousness—which basically means I felt powerless to put up much of a fight. At this time, my dad was in the other room trying to get in to find out what was happening. I was ashamed for him to see and yelled for him to stay away. But it wasn’t just that I was ashamed. I didn’t want him to interrupt the attention I was getting from this good looking guy. The man then began raping me. I didn’t want him to, but at the same time I was enjoying it and didn’t really want him to stop either. When he’d finished, he turned me around. A woman friend of his was standing next to him. They were both smiling at me and talking curiously about me to each other. The man then told me to get down on my knees (for what purpose you should know). As I did, I saw his genitals for the first time. I stopped and just looked. He was covered with bumps. He laughed and told me, “Don’t you like what you see?” I felt disgusted and horrified, but also confused. I looked up at him and he told me he had herpes, and that he’d just given it to me. At this point I felt horrified. I just looked up at him and asked, “You gave me herpes on purpose?” He just laughed again, along with the woman, and they began talking about how stupid I was. I just sat there on the floor, on my knees, totally appalled, feeling completely assaulted and taken advantage of, crying. And then the dream ended. I woke up, at 4:00am, scared and panicky in my dark room. I was literally shaking. I got up and turned on the light in my closet (it was nearest) and I just stood there for a moment trying to catch my breath and realize that it was only a dream. It was, in every sense, a nightmare though. It was just so real.

I tell you this dream, and in full, because, as I said at the start, some dreams do have an impact on me. This was one of them. I know why I had this dream. The last few days I’ve been trying very hard not to masturbate. I’m on day five now, which I hope to continue, and which I will give full credit to God. But as if the lack of sexual release over the last few days wasn’t enough to promote such a dream, it was only advanced by the fact that I binged for a couple of hours yesterday looking at pornography. I tried to resist, but my resolve and willingness was admittedly not enough—I was feeling kind of down about it being Valentine’s Day and just honestly didn’t feel much like trying. Like yesterday, today, I wasn’t called in to work, and so I prayed and promised to God that with his help I’d make today what yesterday should have been. So far, I’ve kept that promise and I intend to keep it the whole day through and hopefully beyond just this day. I told you the dream I had because it was in having this dream that helped push me closer to God, to try harder for him, to seek out his guidance more, and to rely more on his help. This sort of thing happens every once and a while. And maybe God allowed such a dream to take root knowing that it would have such an impact on me. Regardless of the how and why of the dream, I know that I do not want to look at pornography at all today. I want to put forward the strongest resistance possible. And, likewise, I want to continue resisting any urges to masturbate.

Even though I’m sure none of us really ever like having a bad dream, I suppose a story like mine can prove that some good can come of them. God can reach us for His and our benefit in a variety (and sometimes even very unpleasant) of ways.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Free as a Bird

I've often thought that if I could be any animal in the world, I'd probably want to be a bird. I like the thought of being able to fly over land and see everything happening down below. I also think it'd be neat to live in trees. Though, I admit, the thought of eating worms and such is somewhat of a turnoff; I imagine I'd be a vegetarian sort of bird instead. But I do like the thought of how unconfined a bird can be--that he can travel for miles on end in a single day, with little restriction, free to come and go as he pleases.

What got me to thinking upon this is that my brother was getting me to listen to a few new songs he'd found on Youtube--none of which I found particularly endearing. When he'd left, I found myself looking up some old reliable songs I hadn't heard for awhile. One of the songs I drifted upon was a real favorite, Free as a Bird, which I will always insist is the last true final song by the Beatles. Anyway, watching the video for that song made me think about how neat it would be to have the perspective of a bird. I thought I'd share that with you now. I hope you enjoy! :)