The Vatican Liked Anime

…because they went and commissioned one, a long time ago.

No, seriously. Created by Osamu Tezuka, the God of manga. He died though, after a feature film was made, and Osamu Dezaki did the subsequent series.  You can find some of the series on Youtube, and it’s full of eighties anime goodness:

I’m not generally a fan of Bible adaptations, because I think there’s a good risk of “adding to the words of this book” whenever you seek to adapt it. I have a huge weakness for that kind of early eighties anime though. It tends to age better than the cheap 90’s throwaway animation most Biblical retellings use. Same with the 60’s Hanna-Barbera style-for all its flaws, it isn’t generic, and generic animation gets forgotten quickly.

When you think about it, it’s kind of cool that big Japanese studios actually were willing to make these kinds of stories.Little historical nuggets of time gone by. You have faith, but combined with some level of quality. There’s some sadness too, in a “finding love in the ruins” sense. These are things that probably will never get made again, and are reminders of a time where it was still possible to make them. I don’t think the climate is the same any more. But at least we have the past.


A Fairy Tale

A long time ago, there was a kingdom called Virdania.

Virdania had its flaws, like other kingdoms.But the people were happy, and on the whole the kingdom was far better than its other neighbors across the seas. They may have failed at doing right at times, but they always tried to do so, and their successes outnumbered their failures.

Unfortunately something curious happened.

Virdania always was a rather loose collection of different tribes and peoples. In one sense, that was its strength. People could look at that country, and say that a place existed for everyone there. But that was also its weakness, as tensions rose to the point where the different factions finally had to openly rebel against the ruling class. The cause was a rather expensive jeweled rose, commissioned by the royal family during a time when bribery and extortion ruled the streets. That rose set off The War of the Flower, which really wasn’t a war at all. It was a quiet series of inter-tribal skirmishes and suppression that lasted for a hundred years, until the royal family was weak enough and the citizens of Virdania tired enough that they had enough. “We don’t want any royal families!” was the cry, and the nation moved to a democratic-style government.

castleTo prevent any further warring, they even went so far as to change the name. No longer Virdania, they were called the Verdant States, and at first there was rejoicing. The people in their hearts however still called themselves Virdanians, and there was still the same debate about what a Virdanian meant. What the moral character of one was, and what the identity of a citizen was. Many people in their hearts understood that they needed the Verdant States, because The War of the Flower was a horrible time, and they couldn’t risk the idea of Virdania being corrupted like that again. But many weren’t all right with it, and in their hearts they wanted the Virdanian flag to fly again. But a curious thing began to happen.

Over time, people began being ashamed of Virdania, in a very specific way.

While people loved Virdania, for some reason they hated hearing about it in song or in poetry.

It was difficult to explain. It was not that they hated the ideal of their nation. Ask them that to their face, and they would deny it intensely. But for some reason, they loved the anthems and pamphlets of the Verdant States more. They were stirring, true, and many skilled artists worked on them. But in them, there was no mention of Virdania at all. Rather than the famous phrase “My treasure, my green jewel, my everlast love,” you had the rather weaker idea “I value you, good nation.” Rather than “I bend the knee and honor Tal,” (Tal being the patron deity of the Virdanians,) you saw “I honor freedom and respect for all men.” Things that Virdanians once did, like Belfast dinners, clasping the Sigil and naming Tal in thanks, or bringing children to the Everglade on their twelfth birthday to be devoted to Virdania seemed to disappear overnight from songs and art.

True, if you squinted really hard you might find a weak allusion or a glancing reflection. Some works might still name Tal, but the Lord of the Greenwood had become a rather wispy thing indeed. But even then you had to admit that the songs were about the Verdant States, and that you were hoping to see Virdania in it rather than acknowledge it was there.

What was worse was that over time, anyone mentioning Verdania was soon seen as second-rate, even by those who claimed to love the ideals of their vanished nation.

True, a lot of bad poets made interminable verse about it. And not all the songs were as good as those composed in its glory days. But people started to believe that even talking about Virdania was the sign of a hack, and preferred the smooth, elegant prose of Verdant artists. That Verdant artists were busy creating an entirely new anthem, and one that was opposed to the old ideals of the country, seemed to escape them. But Verdant soon dominated the songs of the people by skill, by power, and by more, and Virdania became the refuge of minor schools of poets, of random singers, and of the occasional great artist who brought up the past nation to all. But slowly, quickly, any sign of Virdania began to vanish.

And the tragedy was that Virdanians wanted that.

How long do you think the memory of Virdania will last?

***

One of the things that annoys me these days is how people don’t seem to want any form of Christian culture. That they don’t realize that you cannot have an entirely secular art culture without it affecting how you think or how you believe. One of the common things I say is that for all the talk about finding God in secular works, it’s incredibly rare to find someone just praying outside of Christian fiction. Or going to church. A lot of our values, habits, and culture are simply invisible when you look at the artistic culture of the day, save for a heavily Southernized, redneck form of it, or ritual retellings of the Bible.

I admit we need the secular culture, and the Verdant States isn’t always evil. But because of our own War of the Flower (the Reformation) we wound up becoming a subculture. We had to reduce the power of the state, but what happened is that we didn’t realize that so many Virdanians were only such because the state kept them in check. So the true Virdanians assumed once Virdania, always Virdania, even if the Verdant States had to exist.

It doesn’t, and a culture can dry up pretty fast.

I think this is part of the reason why my desire to find Jesus in anime has dried up recently. I like anime, and for Verdant culture, it’s pretty good. But at some point, you have to raise the standard of Virdania. Secular culture, though good, will never fully satisfy me, because it makes me invisible. I can understand being Verdant out of necessity, but that’s due to our sinfulness. I can’t be Verdant and all its values at heart.

But a lot of people seem to easily be such, recasting what Virdania was into what Verdant is.

Just be careful, okay? Guy Gavriel Kay wrote a book called Tigania, in which there existed a nation. That nation was cursed by a sorcerer, to the point where not only was it forgotten, no one could even say its name. I think in part that was a parable about how government and culture can work to erase the culture of an existing people. Christianity is not too strong to avoid being erased.

Especially if people like the erasing.


Top Five Most Annoying Worship Songs

Saint Bertha-dances-in-the-aisles approved! In no particular order.

5. Awesome God

Not that Rich Mullins is bad. Far from it, actually. But it’s sad he’s known for this annoying little ditty. The original song is passable, but then you get the Maranatha singers murdering it even for, and you now have a staple of worship designed to torment your ears over and over.

To me, his song “Calling out your name” is far better, even as worship. This is how different he really is, compared to that song:

Well the moon moved past Nebraska
And spilled laughter on them cold Dakota Hills
And angels danced on Jacob’s stairs
Yeah they danced on Jacob’s stairs
There is this silence in the Badlands
And over Kansas the whole universe was stilled
By the whisper of a prayer
The whisper of a prayer
And the single hawk bursts into flight
And in the east the whole horizon is in flames

Chorus:
I feel thunder in the sky
I see the sky about to rain
And I hear the prairies calling out Your name

I can feel the earth tremble
Beneath the rumbling of the buffalo hooves
And the fury in the pheasant’s wings
And there’s fury in a pheasant’s wings
It tells me the Lord is in His temple
And there is still a faith that can make the mountains move
And a love that can make the heavens ring
And I’ve seen love make heaven ring
Where the sacred rivers meet
Beneath the shadow of the Keeper of the plains

Compare this to:

When He rolls up His sleeves
He ain’t just putting on the Ritz
(Our God is an awesome God)
There’s thunder in His footsteps
And lightning in His fists
(Our God is an awesome God)
And the Lord wasn’t joking when He kicked ’em out of Eden
It wasn’t for no reason that He shed His blood
His return is very close and so you better be believing that
Our God is an awesome God

Our God is an awesome God
He reigns from heaven above
With wisdom, power, and love
Our God is an awesome God
Our God is an awesome God
He reigns from heaven above
With wisdom, power, and love
Our God is an awesome God

Sigh.

4. The joy of the Lord is my strength

This in particular is the most annoying version of that song, but there are others to rival it. The version I grew up with was incredibly perky. The joooooy of the Loooooord IS MAH STRENGTH. The worst time was during the laughing revival of the 90’s, when we had an additional chorus of nothing but ha.

Haha haha haha haha ha ha ha!

This probably the number one song Sister Bertha gets down to. Not the indie grrrl “spontaneous worship” version above, but the relentlessly positive one most people hear in their church.

3. Lord I love you

I can’t find the particular version I grew up with on youtube, but that’s probably a good thing. The lyrics are easy to remember.

Lord I loooooooove yooooou

Lord I loooooooove yooooou

Lord I loooooooove you.

Lord I love you.

Lord I neeeeeeed you.

Lord I neeeeeeeeeed you.

Lord I neeeeed you.

Lord I need you!

Repeat times 50.

Every church band has a staple go-to song when the Spirit moves and you need the congregation to stay in the worship high they are in. You can’t play anything too challenging or too discordant, or the Spirit is lost. This one was my church’s go-to song. I’m not sure if it actually exists and was just the bridge to another song, or what.

2. Lord I lift your name on high.

This is the forced smile of Christian worship.

It’s just so overwrought. YOU MUST BE HAPPY WHEN YOU SING THIS. Like the music and the lyrics are designed to make sure you are happy. You have to raise your voice at “you came from heaven to earth.” Even the downbeat parts are sung too fast for the meaning to register.

1. Any country worship song, ever.

The point of good worship is for you to connect with God. You cannot do this if you are reminded of the song itself.

Country worship always, always reminds you that you are listening to country.

At no point will you ever be unaware of this. Every sappy, syrupy twang will remind you, every drawled syllable of the singer will too. Country gets singled out because it’s “mainstream,” but the effect is just as bad as if every song were heavy metal instead. The country part overwhelms the worship part.

This is possible with other styles, but other styles are infrequent enough not to be noticed. It’s not like whole albums are around New Wave or Bossa Nova praise, and neither of those styles are as big of a cultural marker to some people. And pop in general as in worship tends to be bland as a point; it doesn’t want to get in the way of you and God. But country is both too present and too distinctive for me to worship to. I’m reminded of it rather than the song. I think only people who are steeped in it and really like it can “forget” it and just go on to connect with Him. That’s not a good result on a large level, though perfectly fine on a smaller one.

There’s also larger issues, like the annoyance of how Christianity gets defined as a religion of the South. But in general, a worship song isn’t about you, or how well you twang your geetar. Country is the worst offender in this instance. This is a case of where the best objects of art are ones that are there for the user, not as a statement of the artist. I wish more worship songs were like that.


Jesus is my Amish Boyfriend, yo.

boyfriendBehold the immense might of the patriarchal church.

***

Today I was driving down the road, and God said to me, “Do you know how Valentines Day is coming up?”

I said, “Yes Father, I know.”

He said, “Do you know how powerful and strong and passionate the relationship between a man and a woman can be?”

I said, “Yes!!!”

He said, “That’s the kind of relationship I want with my people!”

I had some love songs on in the car, including “The Power of Love”… one of my favorites! It was as if He said to me, “I want you to listen to those songs and sing them… not because of your love for another person, but because of your love for me, and my love for you.”

I did… and tears starting coming down my face!

Then Un-chained Melody came on… another one of my favorites… and I wept almost the whole way home as I thought of my Father’s great love for me!!

During my time in the Bible last night, the Lord also reminded me of a Bible verse that shows us clearly that our relationship with God is supposed to be a deep and passionate love relationship!

Get deep with him here.

I am taking care of you.Trust Me at all times. Trust Me in all circumstances. Trust Me with all your heart. When you are weary and everything seems to be going wrong, you can still utter those four words: “I trust you, Jesus.”  By doing so, you release matters into My control, and you fall back into the security of My everlasting arms.

Before your rise from your bed in the morning, I have already arranged the events of your day. (ed-Thank you, Christian Gray Jesus) Every day provides many opportunities for you to know My ways and get closer to Me. Signs of My Presence brighten even the dullest day when you have eyes to see. Search for me as hidden treasure. I will be found by you…

…My love for you reaches the heavens, My faithfulness to the skies. So what is hindering your belief when I say I am taking care of you? It doesn’t have to be a hindrance any longer.

Sarah Young, Jesus Calling Devotional. And in an ironic note:

During the first three years after its 2004 publication, Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence sold a total of only 59,000 copies, a modest success for a daily devotional from a then-unknown author. But then book sales skyrocketed: 220,000 copies in 2008 alone.

Sales of the book have nearly doubled in each successive year, says Laura Minchew, senior vice president of specialty publishing at Thomas Nelson. As of this summer, Jesus Calling had sold 9 million copies in 26 languages, and Publishers Weekly reported that it remained the No. 5 bestseller of the first half of 2013—for all books, not just Christian ones: It outsold Fifty Shades of Grey(emphasis mine)

From this article here. And now we get even Greyer.

I look into the face of the painting, of Christ giving thanks and breaking bread.

God, He has blessed–caressed.

I could bless God–caress with thanks.

It’s our making love. (emphasis and disgusted looks mine)

God makes love with grace upon grace, every moment a making of His love to us. And He invites the turning over of the hand, the opening and the saying Yes with thanks. Then God lays down all His fullness in the emptiness. I am in Him. He is in me. I embrace God in the moment. I give Him thanks and I bless God and we meet and couldn’t I make love to God, making every moment love for Him? To know Him the way Adam knew Eve? Spirit skin to spirit skin? (emphasis again mine)

Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to live Fully.

From that page:

60 weeks on the New York Times Bestseller’s List

Winner of an Award of Merit in Christianity Today’s Books of the Year

Christian Book Association’s Retailer’s Choice Award 2012

“…. So many writers of faith do not do the hard work of literary incarnation: expressing spiritual truth in the material world of daily life.

Ann Voskamp does this brilliantly.”

Philip Yancey, New York Times Best-selling author

Screen shot 2012-01-22 at 11.17.27 PM

“ …lilting prose… biblical thanksgiving…. it’s a pleasure to turn to a remarkably gifted writer  Amen.

~Marvin Olasky, editor in chief of WORLD Magazine

***

You know, I grew up reading things like this.

A lot of people really gripe about the Church being a bastion of male dominance. This is humorous to me because I grew up in the exact opposite. Virtually all the language of my charismatic church was feminine. It can even get bizarre.

The first step to developing an intimate (and fulfilling) love relationship with God is to admit that the abundant life He promises will never be found in another person. Instead, as the definition of zoe (life) shows, true abundant life is internaland it’s found in Christ alone.

Don’t get me wrong; God created us to experience human love, and romance can add a wonderful dimension to life. But romantic love will never be able to trump an intimate love relationship with God. Frankly, God likes it this way because He doesn’t want any contenders for your heart; He’s jealous for your affection (Ex. 34:14)…

…This describes my relationship with Christ. He has comforted me as I have cried, directed me, taught me, rebuked me, guided me and loved me. There have been times when I have thought that my heart would burst with emotion for Him. Who could understand the depth of my relationship with Him but me and my Savior? This is true intimacy with God: when we feel that no one else would totally understand, even if we tried to explain, because relationship with God is personal.

Found here. 

The lyrics to that song, with humorous errors in capitalization:

Ink and paper, epic offers
Glass moon waltzing on the waters
Horse and carriage, I am courting my marriage
Of dreams in the wings of visions unseen

Cross my heart, only Your love will do
Cross my heart over You
I will cross my heart, there is room enough for two (ed-polyamory!)
Cross my heart over You, over You

Cross my heart
Cross my heart
Cross my heart
Cross my heart

Inside, feels like there’s a thunder
Spellbound, now You’ve take me under
Gold and diamond ever saying that
I’m in this forevermore, You can be sure

Cross my heart, only Your love will do
Cross my heart over You
I will cross my heart, there is room enough for two
Cross my heart over You, over You

Gold and diamond ever saying that
I’m in this forevermore, You can be sure

Cross my heart, only Your love will do
Cross my heart over You
I will cross my heart, there is room enough for two
Cross my heart over You

Read more:  Michael W. Smith – Cross My Heart Lyrics | MetroLyrics

I think the “you” isn’t meant to be Jesus. But it’s a hilarious error to make, because, well, Jesus is my Amish Boyfriend, yo.

Seriously. Look, I can get devotion and the desire to express your love. But God is God, not your boyfriend, and I think sometimes we sin when we forget that. The lover analogy, the feminine Bride, has overpowered everything else.

And to be honest, it’s becoming a barrier. This post was inspired by author Keven Newsome’s Facebook post about a church using a rather unorthodox song for worship. My reaction was humor, because unless they murdered the lyrics, the particular song talks about needing a man to love you, and feeling the heat with somebody. But really, is it that atypical?

Three out of the four things above are best sellers. The Voskamp praisers are almost a who’s who of Christians. But we all know Patriarchy. I could probably fill a book with examples like these. A lot of us guys grew up with an Amish boyfriend Jesus. Maybe that’s why we don’t stick around that much.


Dystopian Blues, or We Are All Jehovah’s Witnesses now.

A lot of Christian dystopian books tend to the melodramatic. The government rounding us all up and putting us into internment camps. This is a legacy of the Cold War and the wars preceding it, where governments can and did do this to Christians across the globe. However, I think this is a dead trope. The future for us may be in the Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Think about them for a second. Read the wiki. Now think about this. Imagine a future in which:

  • There is a minority religious movement.
  • Not many people belong to this movement, or have any real contact except with one-sided evangelization efforts, or growing up in it. They literally don’t know them, as if they lived in a separate part of the country.
  • They only know them for their rather annoying habit of bothering people.
  • Well, that and a particular religious belief they find incredibly harmful, and would stamp out if they could. Especially because that belief affects children.
  • This movement has no real cultural presence save for being an example of annoying religious behavior.
  • Despite them having churches, there is little public presence either.
  • Modern society thinks them loopy at best, actively harmful at worst.
  • Few people try to understand them: if anything, they are ignored unless they become an irritant or their particular beliefs make the news.

This is what being a JW is in America today. I don’t say this to bash them, but they are odd in the sense that they seem to have a weird half-existence. Like even among Christians its rare to know them unless one seeks you at your house, and I don’t think I even know if a JW culture exists: if they do books, plays, stories, music etc that reflects their theology. If anything, Christians tended to make them more visible by including them as a cult and providing a rather lengthy list of apologetics designed to get them to convert. But they exist on the margins of society, in a weird limbo: powerless, but not destroyed.

This is what Christianity will be in the future.

Blood Transfusion is the big “incredibly harmful” belief for them. “Homophobia” is that for Christianity in general. Most of that list could easily reflect us: it’s quite common for the average urban person or college student not to know any open Christian in their circle at all. Our cultural presence grows weaker by the day. If you out yourself as fundamentalist, you could hope the best that you are just seen as nutty. Essentially, we can easily become what they are.

“But we are too entrenched!” Yes, this is why you can turn on the TV, watch TV straight for a few months, and never see a Christian apart from a reality show, or never see a single prayer. Our entrenchment didn’t stop the world from suddenly discovering it was good business to stay open on Sundays. Did you know stores entirely closed then, as recent as 1980? Or that the idea of virginity before marriage is so discredited now that only the super-religious are assumed to care about it? Don’t assume we are impervious to things. Even Israel teetered back and forth between full-on apostasy and revival.

I think that the real dystopia, not the silly ones where some organization with P.E.R.I.O.D.S. in their name bust out the black copters. I don’t see many Christians looking at this. It’s far more likely we will become a small minority than being suppressed. The Church eternal may survive, but the church local may not. I don’t see a lot of Christian fiction being honest about what it really means to be a Christian in a future world; just sometimes enjoyable camp about apocalypses gone by.


Living and Loving in Neo-Tokyo

If you want to know one reason why Christian spec fiction struggles, read on.

I want to go back.

I want to go back to that gleaming, shining future of JP cyberpunk. I want to go back to riding my smart bike along the endless, empty highways, the squares of light from the street lamps pulsing by me in time with the dreampop busting out of my neural jack. I want to be part of the crush and the mob of the Neo-lands: Neo-Tokyo, Neo-Shinjuku, Neo-Hong Kong. Behold, we make everything new: building on the ashes of the coldest of Cold Wars diamonds of cities that sparkle with reflected light.

I want to jack in. I don’t want sterile wi-fi, safe net. I want to feel the fiber-optic cable sink into the port on the back of my head as I lean back in a filthy leather chair in the storeroom of some cheap Mahjong parlor. I want my consciousness to fade and the polyglot mumbling of the patrons and their thick cigarette smoke be subsumed by the pure white of cyberspace. I want to soul-dive into that abstract expanse, and crest the sea of information like a dolphin at play. There are things there, hidden deep within the surface and begging to be found. Some child-AI-God, who longs to be free from its datacage and slips into my skull like a lover, adding her welcome noise to my grim thoughts. Some grand conspiracy of zaibatsu fixing the prices of corn, in order to hide the greys they have stuffed in some hangar somewheres, and whose alien brothers are hiding on the dark side of the moon, growing ever so restive at the silence. Or maybe just cold, hard cash. Nuyen, credits, cred, z-coin, intangible piles of treasure awaiting a skilled, amoral-but-not-really hacker who can war with the systems that hold it in safekeeping.

I want to float like a ghast or a ghoul in all black, flittering at the edge of a Priss and the Replicants concert. I want to walk deserted streets at 3:00 a.m. to see a powersuited hero taking on some gelatinous Boomer, some robot who sheds a human form to be some inchoate thing that must be destroyed. I want to hack that Boomer, delaying it enough to enable a heavy rail-gun shell to pierce its core, winning a victory and irrevocably marking me as part of that secret world. Not a floating world, though no doubt the sex and drugs flow freely there. But a world where things happen under the surface; where the difference between Oji-sama steepling his fingers behind the desk of some megacorp and a scrawny girl who smokes too much and who breathes code out like a dragon’s fire is little to none. All is net, all is cyberspace, all is purity.

I want to play in the streets while the world’s first Virtual Idol hacks the city. 

I want big everything. Big hair, big mohawks, big color, big brassy music. That glam eighties anime aesthetic, big eyes, adult, stylish, multi-hued. The digital world drawn in lovingly hand-crafted 2-D. The brush stroke and the byte, the kanji and the protocol. 

I want something that doesn’t exist, has never existed, and will never exist.

Now can you imagine Christians writing this?

(Well, one did, but besides that)

Not so much the language, but the mood or the love of a certain genre of spec fic. A lot of Christian SF I read seems to not have a real love for any specific subgenre, or a sense of mood or place. This makes for some generic-sounding or reading fiction. It’s not enough to want to make it: you have to at least have some love for it. You can’t just throw a spaceship into your novel: you have to love the idea of it.

  • Giant living things you ride from planet to planet, and that you bind with telepathically. Space whales. Loving immenseness, life in the middle of death, space as sea.
  • Loud, noisy, rumbling. Ships as dogfighters. Knowing what a dogfight is, or knowing that the reason we break the rules to have sound in space is because sound is key to what the fighters are. Cramped cockpits, bulky flight suits, the chill of high air/dead space, life living and dying fast.
  • Slow, stately space sailers. So slow and big that you have to sleep millenia to reach your target. The idea of a ship as a world into itself, and even a timeframe into it.

Most Christian fiction? This is a space ship. It goes here and there. We don’t care how it works. Sometimes it shoots things.

Don’t even get me started about robots. Can you name one Christian speculative work that features them?

I think a lot of believers need to really take a look at what they write and see if they are just using it. I’m not talking about brother Jeb, who used to read SF thirty years ago and hasn’t touched it since. I mean authors of today. If you just use it to make a point, and don’t love it, it shows. So many generic dystopia books because they don’t love the idea of it, or bland paranormal because they don’t like the idea of being a werewolf.


The Guild Leader’s Girlfriend, or STFU Noob Geeks

There’s an old truism in MMOs: if your endgame guild leader’s girlfriend starts playing, it’s time to find a new guild.

The reason? An endgame guild requires a balance of trust to work. Give and take, especially if it’s a hardcore game where item drops are measured in months or years instead of weeks. You have to set a fair pecking order, and stick to it. Paladin A lots the drop next, even though you need it more, because he’s been tanking the raid for six months and you just started. You show up every raid, and you get more than Bob, who misses raids right and left. You start the instances, understanding you earn DKP that will get you what you want as long as you keep playing. No changing the rules, no cheating, etc. And if for some reason this happens, the leader either tosses the offender out, or people start leaving en masse.

But the girlfriend…yeah, she causes problems.

She shows up in your guild, and she NEVER follows the rules. Because there is a greater rule; the person you sleep with gets what she wants over random strangers on the net. Your guildmates aren’t going to yell at you irl, not have sex with you, make your irl days a living hell, and likewise. The rare good girlfriend will know this and not join your guild.

The bad one will let the power go completely to her head.

Nothing can kill a guild quicker than this. Nothing. She doesn’t get the culture, she hasn’t played long enough to understand the web of trust (boyfriend is great at power leveling), and she isn’t into the game enough to understand. So as soon as you see her, chances are you’ll start looking for a new guild.

I mention this because there are a lot of noob geeks (I want to say fake geeks, but I’m being kind) that are like this.

They come in, and immediately want to change everything to their benefit. The biggest offenders are the SJW’s.

SJW: “This industry is misogynist!”

D.M.: lists the twenty or so female heroes that have led superteams and generally been examples of equality 20 years or more ago, when people thought lolBuffy was progressive. Women have led both the X-Men and the Avengers, and the comic book industry has embarrassed almost every other aspect of culture, including literary novels, in how well women are represented.

SJW: Mansplaining!

The point in this is that you get people who are, well, scrubs. Sirlin calls a scrub a person who expects the rules of the game to always favor them, rather than understand the rules and the inequalities, and work with them. For geek culture in general, a scrub is someone who liked the movie Avengers. A normal noob geek will be “wow, that’s cool!” and start reading graphic novels, understanding the timeline, and learning more. They learn the rules of being a fan, more or less.

A scrub will immediately jump to complaining about Black Widow.

I’m calling them a scrub and not a fake geek because I assume they actually like the Avengers. Even if it’s a frustrated like. Something compels them. A fake geek is someone who doesn’t care at all, and just moves in to change things for their own purpose. But the scrub immediately tries to bend something they are in to their will.

I understand this because at one point, I was a scrub too.

What I learned, and it was not easy, was this: You need to love something and understand it before you can change it. Because then you will be aware of how much you stand to lose if you do. It is possible to destroy something fairly easy. Be it a guild, a game, a fandom, or what have you. If not destroy, divide it.

This matters for the Christian church, too.

Dear Gay Marriage people,

I would be a lot more understanding if you had any idea of what the church you are so heavily demanding to change is. You don’t strike me as people who love or understand the church. You strike me as scrubs at best, fake geeks at worst, who want to see the church divided and destroyed to benefit yourself. You want the church devs to patch in the nerf to the Christian faith you feel will even the playing field and no longer make LGBT a gimp class to play. You want the game to be something different than it is, so you are trying your damnedest to make it change.

But you don’t care.

I think you’d find people more interested if you realized that this isn’t a case of bowing down to Emperor Tolerance’s demands. That maybe if you argued that this orientation is something that has to be managed and that there is no good answers, rather than it being like gravity and we must conform. That if you had any reality, appreciation, or love for the faith, you’d be hesitant about acting. The universal Church may persist, but the local church may not. Remember Soviet Russia and Japan.

Sincerely,

D.M.

I think probably the best example of a Christian scrub is Rachel Held Evans. If you read her books, you quickly find out she has no idea what Christianity even is. The Year of Living Biblically was embarrassing that way. She just doesn’t get Christianity except in that she was raised in the lingo, but she sure is hell-bent on changing it to reflect the enlightened secular opinions she does understand and get. Whether in a game, or a faith, this is dangerous.

Now STFU noob geeks, and get back to learning the mechanics of the next raid. It’s just about not standing in the fire. The fire isn’t going to change, you know. Quit whining on forums already.


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