Ok... I know I'm a little late with posting this but, hey, I have a new born and a family to deal with.
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Posted by The Northwest Bunch at 12:42 AM
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Well, the Chargers won the first part... now if only the Broncos could lose....
Posted by The Northwest Bunch at 1:04 PM
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
OK... Since I'm staying at home for a bit to help with the new little bugger, I'll be posting mostly on the family blog. Please excuse me if this blog is a little boring for a month or so. Work and life really slows down during the winter.
Posted by The Northwest Bunch at 5:03 PM
Sunday, December 14, 2008
What do these three photos have in common?
Posted by The Northwest Bunch at 11:21 AM
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Well, my blog is going to be boring for a little while longer. It's getting darker earlier here and I don't go out fishing much lately. On top of that, most of my nice holes are closed for the season. I might be able to hit a lake or two that are year round. WA is one of the most regulated areas for fishing too. A ton of lakes are "no bait, no barb" lakes.
Posted by The Northwest Bunch at 5:15 AM
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Posted by The Northwest Bunch at 3:50 PM
Sunday, November 9, 2008
WARNING! Very long post. BUT VERY WORTH THE READ
I decided to write this memo in response to some of the questions I have seen posted. I am not sure if you really want an answer or if you were just being rhetorical, but your questions seemed very honest and I thought they deserved honest answers. I may not be the best spokesman for this, and I certainly have no authority to speak on behalf of the LDS faith, but I am a member of the LDS faith. I am also a licensed therapist and I have worked with people with same-sex attraction. I care about my clients and I strive to help my clients reach their goals based on their personal set of beliefs, not to impose my beliefs onto them. That being said, I am allowed to have my own beliefs and I feel it is my responsibility to vote according to my conscience and belief. Also, I am not writing this to force my beliefs on you (as that lame anti-Mormon commercial would have you believe – you know, the one with the evil missionaries invading the home of the lesbian couple). I am only writing this as a response to your question. If you don’t want to hear the other side of the issue, then don’t read this. If you do read this, please make the effort to understand my point of view rather than criticize.
My purpose is not to persuade you of these beliefs. Please don’t read this with the idea that you are going to “catch” me in discrepancies of logic. Religion is not a logical thing. Instead, I am only hoping to show that the support of proposition 8 is not based in meanness and to try to help you understand the point of view of some of us that supported Prop 8.
Before I get started on religious issues, I would like to point out that the people of California voted on this same issue 8 years ago. It should be concerning to all Americans that the supreme court in California decided to ignore the will of the people and make their own decision. Regardless of the sensitivity of this particular issue, it is VERY scary that the people of the state can make themselves clear through a democratic vote and then be overruled by a few elitist judges. Regardless of the issue, it should upset all Americans that a few judges in positions of power are dictating their will on the majority. It is a good bet that there are people so upset by the judges’ decision to legislate new entitlements against the will of the people that they voted YES on Prop 8 this year in order to demonstrate to the activist judges and to the Supreme Court that California is not a dictatorship. This will hopefully make a point to the judges that they are to rule on law, not create law. This may make supporters of gay marriage angry, but they should keep in mind that next time it could be a policy or law that they oppose that is ruled legal by rogue judges. This political activism by judges is a serious threat to democracy and it is critical that it not be allowed regardless of the issue (and in this case, it probably backfired on them).
I should also point out that though the LDS faith has gotten much more media attention than other faiths involved in the Prop 8 controversy, it is by no means the only Christian faith involved. That being said, I will only attempt to explain theology based on LDS or “Mormon” beliefs.
First, it is important to note that Mormon’s have a religious right to believe in traditional marriage being defined as a marriage between a man and woman. To deny this right would be just as prejudice as trying to deny the right of a Hindu to hold the cow sacred, or the right of pagans to worship the various gods of nature. Whether they should get involved in proactive politics is a completely different subject. In other words, there are two questions being asked. The first is, “Should Mormon’s vote based on their religious beliefs?” The second is “Why do Mormon’s believe that marriage should only be between a man and a woman?”
1. Should Mormon’s vote based on their religious beliefs?
The first concern to members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the legal ramifications in regards to performing marriages. If same-sex marriages are ruled legal, it is very possible that all churches will be required to perform same-sex marriages in their chapels and temples. Failure to comply to perform legal same-sex marriages could possibly result in loss of their legal status as a church, including their federal tax exempt status. The problem Mormons have is not that they want to shape the law. The problem is that failure to support Prop 8 will result in the rule of law shaping their practice as a church. By the way, when the founding fathers wrote about separation of church and state, using the government to dictate how people worship is exactly what they meant to avoid. They were not talking about keeping the faith of people out of government; but instead referring to the government intervention in the doctrines of people’s faith. At the time, the English monarchy had a long history of controlling religious beliefs for the purpose of gaining power over the people. Evidence of this is in the phrase, “In god we trust.” Placing this on nearly every founding document shows that the intention was not to keep faith out of government, but instead to keep government out of the business of dictating faith. For instance, if homosexuals wanted to start a new tradition of civic unions and give it a new name besides “marriage,” Mormons would likely be very tolerant and indifferent to the whole thing (as long as you don’t teach it to their kids or require them to participate).
Second is the problem with teaching children about marriage. If same-sex marriage is legalized, will a church be allowed to teach that it is immoral or will they be forced to tolerate what they consider as immoral? (Again, their right to view same-sex marriage as immoral is not in question – America was created for the purpose of tolerating different religious views). This also creates the problem of the effect this will have in schools and society as a whole. Mormons will be faced with a choice of homeschooling their children or having them exposed to a belief that is directly opposed to their moral values. Remember, regardless of whether you agree or not, people have a right to determine their religious and moral beliefs. Mormons also believe it is wrong to drink tea and coffee. If there was a measure on the ballot trying to force them to serve tea and coffee in their church or require schools to teach that tea and coffee are good, than the Mormons would likely oppose that also. For this reason, every time an elementary teacher takes a group of children to witness a same-sex marriage it reinforces the fears that Mormons have (and other traditionalists) that these immoralities will be overtly preached to their children. Again, this is an example of how liberal activists really are hurting the homosexual cause in the eyes of the traditional Christian majority due to the perception that they are actively striving to influence the perception of children. I have heard repeatedly the mantra from the picket line to leave homosexuals to live their lives and in return they will allow Mormons to live their lives. However, the above examples are a clear testament that this is simply not true. The homosexual community will never feel they have equality until their agenda is taught to children as being completely acceptable. Where is the right of the traditionalist to maintain their values? How is teaching immorality to our children, forcing churches to perform same-sex marriage, and being called a bigot for our beliefs leaving us alone? Where is the ACLU to defend the rights of Mormons to practice their religion? Is it possible for Mormons to hold their concept of Marriage sacred without being judged as homophobic or bigoted?
Next, is the concept of worthiness within the Church. The Mormons have a number of ordinances (such as performing marriages, passing the sacrament, performing baptisms, etc.) that must be performed by a member of the church who wholeheartedly upholds all the values, morals, and commandments of the Church. If same-sex marriage were legalized, would the church be allowed to discriminate and determine who can and cannot perform these ordinances or will the ACLU and other activists begin to file lawsuits forcing the church to allow those legally married homosexuals to perform all the ordinances that a heterosexual can perform? Again, remember that it is not acceptable to change the doctrines of our religion to fit the world’s values. This is truly the violation of state dictating to church that the founding fathers were trying to prevent.
Remember, my purpose is not to persuade you to subscribe to the Mormon beliefs. I only hope to help you understand why Mormons resist the legalizing of same-sex marriage and what it means to our religion. Our support is not an attack on anyone, it is a whole heartedly defensive measure designed to keep the government from dictating how we must practice our religion. Ironically, from the Mormon point of view, our way of life is what we feel is under attack.
This brings us to the second question that I asked above:
2. Why do Mormon’s believe that marriage should only be between a man and a woman?
I should make it clear that having an attraction to the same-sex is not considered a sin (any more than if a heterosexual man or woman had an attraction to a person of the opposite sex). It’s when someone acts on any sexual desire outside the bonds of marriage that creates the problem. This is where it gets a little complicated. Obviously, if Mormons would simply change their beliefs to include same-sex marriages, the problem would be solved. Why don’t they do this? In order to understand this, you will need to understand two things: The first is that everything we believe is based around the eternal unit of the family and the sacred privilege to bear children within the bonds of marriage. The second is that we believe in modern-day revelation.
Mormons are not just giving lip service to the concept of a prophet. As insane as the rest of the world may consider this to be, we really believe that the president of our church is a prophet of God who currently receives direct revelation from God in all things. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is not a democracy, but a restoration of the very same gospel that was on the earth during the Old and New Testament. There are members of the Mormon Church that may wish that same-sex marriage would be made “OK.” However, their faith requires that they make the choice to either accept the teachings of the prophet or not. There is no in-between. The Church is either true or it is not true. If it is not true, then I might as well leave it and do as I want (and believe me, the temptations of life do beckon to all of us). However, if it is true, then I need to have faith that the doctrines are also true and it does no good for me to work to change those doctrines. Who am I to change the doctrines of God? I would never force someone to have the same beliefs as me, but I must, in good conscience, exercise my right to define and defend the most sacred covenant of marriage.
I would like to share with you that I have worked with several clients (and a close family member) that are strong members of the LDS faith and are also struggling with same-sex attraction. It is heart wrenching to see their pain. They explained to me that they seem to be faced with the choice of turning their back on their beliefs, living a life without a partner, or living life with a partner of the opposite sex that they are not attracted to. I admit I do not have a suitable answer to this dilemma. I do know that I am not worthy to judge them for whatever decision they choose and I offer them as much love and support as I am able. As a therapist, I do not steer their beliefs. Indeed, some of my clients asked if I am a member of the LDS church and some did not ask until after they had explained their feelings to me. Also, though every group of people has a few bad seeds, the members of the LDS church that I know are very loving and supportive of homosexuals. The problem lies in the basic fundamental difference of belief that same-sex attraction is a “problem” to overcome rather than an acceptable way of life. I understand how this is offensive to the mainstream “gay” community. I wish it wasn’t. It is not meant to offend any more than it should offend anyone to have a different religious belief than someone else. It is just a different belief, not a wish for any ill will towards others.
So, when you ask why people are so mean that they would vote for Proposition 8, I would say that it is not based on meanness. It is based on religious belief and a determination to act on that belief rather than sit idly on the sidelines while the government redefines a covenant that we hold sacred. I hope you have read this in the spirit of trying to understand the other side of the issue. I put a lot of time into this letter and I hope it is seen as an effort to build a bridge rather than as a tool of divisiveness.
Posted by The Northwest Bunch at 11:22 PM
Friday, November 7, 2008
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
I wish LT was like this more often. This year has been hard... Lots of little things chipping away at the team. I really hope the second half of the season is better.
Posted by The Northwest Bunch at 4:26 AM
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Ok.... I changed my background/ layout and it's all gone. HAHAHA.... Now, I get to chuckle at myself instead of my family members. I am using the Chargers background kind of in jest. They have been ticking me off something horrible. I love Eric Weddle (or this one), but that defense stinks right now. The best thing they did this year is get rid of Ted Cottrell.
Posted by The Northwest Bunch at 12:48 AM
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Posted by The Northwest Bunch at 2:32 AM
Friday, October 17, 2008
Posted by The Northwest Bunch at 9:43 PM
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Thursday, October 2, 2008
Well, I had a couple of days off and figured I'd better act like a father. Wednesday after school, I took Reagan and Delaynie out for a walk while Hayden and Mackenzie did their homework. Also, it was a good time to get them out of the house so mom could make some dinner and not have them make a mess. We went down to a little lake nearby, Lake Louise. We walked around it looking for fish, birds, and rabbits. It was fun to be able to spend some time with them. They picked flowers and gathered rocks while enjoying "nature." It was cool. I swear we saw an osprey. Delaynie saw it flying in and said "Look a dad, a Seahawk." Unfortunately, I didn't have the camera ready. Well here's some pics of the girls running around w/ dad. I wanted a picture of Delaynie by herself too, but she didn't want to.
Posted by The Northwest Bunch at 4:45 PM
Saturday, September 27, 2008
Posted by The Northwest Bunch at 3:16 AM
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Just a couple of pics of where I was at the other night. I couldn't take any of the little lake I was at because it was getting too dark. These are just some nice views during the drive and hike. I will be returning soon, so I'll put some pics up of one of the most picturesque little lakes I've found nearby. It's called Blue Lake and it's only a 0.7 mile hike to get to. And the best part of it... tons of trout are in there. It almost sounded like a stream with how many fish were jumping.
This here is a pic of Baker Lake and the valley
This is a pic of Mt Baker and some of its glaciers.
Posted by The Northwest Bunch at 1:46 AM
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Today, I worked in the North Cascades. Here is some shots of the wonders around here.
Also, most of my blogs are going to have kind of a fishing slant to them. My fly fishing is coming around. I had a couple of epiphanies with my casts and presentations. I still have a lot of problems... but if I concentrate and work it, I can get some great casts. I'm just worried some of my initial flubs are scaring the fish to the other side of the lake or miles upstream. A nice thing tho, I got a spin cast for my b-day and sometimes it just works better. So far, that's the only thing that has caught fish (4 cutthroats and 2 rainbows- all small).
This little creek was nice. Some cutthroat trout were found but had to be released... too small. Had to look for some pools and find some nice rapids where they were hiding.
A little marsh near Rainy Lake. Pics of Rainy Lake will come soon. There are some beautiful waterfalls coming from glacial runoff into the lake. Another plus- they stock it with a hybrid fish -tryploid trout and there is tons of cutties in there. Word is, they should enjoy some nymphs if that doesn't work I'll just have to try some other tricks.
Here's a couple of pics of Diablo Lake. It really is that wild green color. I've only been hiking around this green monster. They say to fish this, you need to "go deep." I guess I'll have to buy a boat in the near future. And then a downrigger setup. And then a few more poles w/ lots of gear. (Janeal's not happy with these prospects)
Well, the pics and words will continue later.
Posted by The Northwest Bunch at 9:21 PM
Monday, September 8, 2008
Here is some pictures of a nice little stream I enjoyed tonight. It's actually about 10 ft deep in the second picture (crystal clear). A nice stream with some good areas of small white water. Easy to wade and throw a line out. Only problem--- didn't find any fish. I'm sure they're there, I just need to find out what they like.
Posted by The Northwest Bunch at 2:54 AM
Ok... Well, I decided to do a blog. Janeal always was getting upset when I posted or put things that were a little more my flavor vs hers. So, this is going to be mine. I'll be posting pics of places I get to go during work and somethings about the kids and wife.
Hope you enjoy it
Posted by The Northwest Bunch at 2:20 AM