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Sunday, March 10th, 2013
5:16 pm - It's Been Almost 10 Years

Was it 2003 or 2004 that I found XGN? I can't remember. What I remember was that I had a great time there and met many wonderful people. I guess I'm feeling a bit nostalgic and missing those days, so I thought I'd post here.

Almost a decade has passed. Crazy, huh? I was wondering what the old XianGoth.net membership was doing with their lives (assuming anyone is reading this).

I'll start. My name was xiananarchist on the site (like here). I don't know if anyone remembers, but I was a student pastor when active on XGN, and I was finally ordained in 2006. Since then, I started working with a local spiritual community, which isn't really active at the moment. My personal trek has led me to explore new theological horizons through writing. I'm currently working as a forum moderator for an online shopping resource by day to pay the bills.

Here's hoping you all are still within earshot.

current mood: nostalgic

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Friday, August 3rd, 2012
6:29 pm

I remember way back in the day, Cory wrote a series of essays basically answering the question of 'what is goth?' I think there was about 6 of them and together they were by far one of the best summing up of the question that I've seen then or since. Does anyone happen to have those saved anywhere? Been trying to explain to a coworker, but she's not getting it.

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Sunday, March 27th, 2011
5:53 am - Video: Slavoj Zizek "God Without the Sacred"


What little I know about Zizek, I like him.  This is a really long video, but the theology geek in me thinks it's worth sitting through.  Thought I'd share.  

current mood: tired

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Thursday, November 12th, 2009
11:21 am - how to become a saint


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Tuesday, October 20th, 2009
1:59 pm - respecting another persons religious beliefs?

Is it even possible?

My coworker recently was telling me about in Matthew, where Jesus says he is coming back, and how we should be ready for him. It lead to an interesting discussion about how I used to be xian, but no longer am. I found it very hard to respect the fact that he believes it, because I see so many flaws in christianity. I have had several similar discussions with friends and family about religion, and every time is has been very hard to not try to 'convert' them to agnosticism or atheism (I fall somewhere between the two at the moment), because now that I'm really getting outside the religious box, I'm starting to see how much of it is ... off. My family is xian, as are several friends that I keep in contact with, and it's hard to try to relate to them and continue to be their friend without either trying to get them out with me, or feeling defensive when they question my beliefs.

Does anyone here have experience with this? EIther in the same shoes as me, or relating to family/friends of a different religion than yourself? How did/do you cope with it? Any pointers for me, or others who are dealing with similar situations?

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Saturday, August 22nd, 2009
11:28 am - Just to be clear

All of you are welcome to post here.

We've had positive discussions before and will in the future. Sometimes people just need to vent and get things off their shoulders. That is OK here too, as long as you aren't threatening harm to yourself or others.

Without open and free communication we will never truly grow. So if you see something you don't like - just skip on down to the next thing.... and please - post something you *do* like instead of waiting to reply to things you don't. Ok?


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Friday, August 21st, 2009
2:53 pm - Why I disagree with religion

"Our country is run by faggots. You know who was the man who was the architect of the bailout? His name is Barney Frank, he is a pedophile..."

This is the foundation of religion.. oppression and hatred. No matter how many independant congregations try to buck the trend, the fact remains that the soul of religion is a mottled pile of festering, oderous decay.

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Wednesday, May 6th, 2009
10:57 am - New dino species discovered


GO-pa-SAWR-us VEX: white, god-fearing dinosaur from the late twentieth century.

current mood: amused

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9:54 am - announce


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Thursday, April 30th, 2009
5:14 pm - i love this guy!


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Tuesday, April 14th, 2009
11:19 am - 2012

it seems like every spiritual tradition these days has a strong feeling that the world will "end" in 2012, if not some kind of major shift in "spiritual consciousness."

a lot of the new agey kind of thinking is that we're entering the "age of aquarius", when everyone will have the opportunity to cultivate a "higher consciousness" and experience total unity with each other and with God.

as nice as this sounds, my personal feeling on the matter is that it's naive and unrealistic and denies the reality of evil in the world. as much as i'd like to believe that humanity can somehow magically transcend all barriers and sing kum bah yah together under the rainbow, i really don't think that we're any more "evolved" than we were 2,000 years ago. the holocaust was only 65 years ago. that's not such a long time ago in the grand scheme of things. i believe that we're just as capable of showing brutality now as we were then, or when the roman citizens beheld chrisians being fed to the lions or gladiators fighting to the death and called such sadism entertainment.

i feel like the same depravity exists nowadays, but only in much more subtle forms. it hasn't gone away, but we've done a good job of putting a bandaid over it. often i wonder what would happen if all of the police officers all over the world quit their jobs and all of the electricity everywhere went out.

i don't mean to sound like a bitter and cynical fundamentalist or conservative talk radio host, i guess i just feel disillusioned with all the "feel good" spirituality when i know that somewhere on this world at this very moment, someone is showing extreme brutality to another human being.

as the same time though, it's refreshing to see that we've been overcoming things like racism and sexism and homophobia.

i guess that as a christian, i feel like we always have glimmers of hope in all the good that's also happening in the world at this very moment. i suppose i've adopted the worldview that humanity isn't really any better or any worse than we've always been, but that we're now reaching a boiling point as our resources are stretching thin and the systems we've made to keep us locked inside our false sense of security are being threatened.

so i think of the temple being ripped down the middle during the passion, i think of the corrupt systems falling apart. i think of satan's empire of greed, cruelty, ruthlesness, ignorance, and emptiness crumbling down, and i sometimes feel the collective fear rising to the top as we see our idols are being exposed as the useless idols that they are. on the bright side, though, in our own fallenness and brokenness exposed we're free to seek God in a deeper spirit of repentence and turn away from all our bullshit as we realize that we're incapable of saving ourselves from ourselves.

i don't know. maybe i'm just being really self-righteous. i'm just ranting, really. the older i get, the more the idea of "leaving babylon, that we be not partakers in her sins" makes sense to me. but this doesn't mean we become bitter; if anything, we should grow deeper into love lest we become blind to her and not see hope when it's standing right in front of us.

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Friday, April 3rd, 2009
2:20 pm - soulless

is it just me, or does it feel like the internet's been losing its soul over the last several years? i remember when it first started, when it was still pretty underground and everything was so much more organic and disorganized and real. i feel like everything's being saturated with ads and it's just getting tiresome. i understand the need to make money to support websites, and a lot of people would say that it's just a natural pattern of the market and survival, but sometimes it just feels fake. maybe i'm becoming an old person who's looking at the world today and shaking my head at things i see that i don't like that didn't belong in the world i grew up in. i don't know.

any thoughts?

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Saturday, March 28th, 2009
4:40 pm - !G20


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Wednesday, March 25th, 2009
9:23 pm - reflection

the last couple of months have been an interesting time for me. i mentioned in my previous post that i had a relapse with my psychosis around christmas-time and had to spend almost a week in the looney bin. as difficult and painful as life's been, i've had the opportunity to prayerfully reflect on the last 7 years of my life and have new insights.

being apart of this community has been an integral part of my spiritual life. i found it on a cold december day as i was drowning in guilt and confusion and torment about knowing what and who to believe. i'd had a conversion experience not much longer before joining, had some negative experiences in christianity's darkside of legalism and fear-based religion and here i found a light shining in dark and scary places.

i remember reading cory's essays about grace and felt lots of heavy burdens floating away. it was a breathe of fresh air to see christians that had pretty much the same struggles and questions i had and in our common searching we really did see moments of grace and peace shining through.

i'm in as much pain as i ever was and probably moreso... but my memories here are fondly reflected on and with them i'm finding healing.

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Tuesday, March 24th, 2009
5:33 pm - a confession

i feel the need to confess to a community that probably remembers me.

i got sucked into things like myspace and facebook, while not necessarily being "wrong", began to reflect a life of carelessness and apathy for myself. of getting sucked into society's trap of caring more about status and image than the really important things. and all the while this was happening subconsciously and i'm sad to say it took a psychotic breakdown to help me realize this.

i basically got trapped into becoming selfish, of leaving friends behind whose pain was "too much for me", of ignoring reality and trying to create a completely drama-free and "perfect" life. of escaping the "mad world" out there and trying to live in my personal utopia.

i am thankful however that none of my friends are mad at me and have voiced nothing but sympathy. but i still feel bad.

i still cared about all my friends and what was happening in the world, but it got to the point that i had too many friends and was overstimulating myself as so many of their lives seemed to be falling apart and i felt powerless to help them. i became obsessed with conspiracy theories and let paranoia slip in and i neglected my own sanity.

i basically went from one extreme of not caring at all to another extreme of caring too much. and i went completely numb and it was only a matter of time before everything in my world shattered.

all of the existential confusion about god, reality, my identity, the news, the conflicts between religion and science, the madness about possible "end times", the economy, wondering if i've been mislead, global warming, doubting myself, doubting reality, and it seems like every asshole on tv was an "expert" and all the "experts" seemed to disagree with one another... it all reached a boiling point.

i had to spend some time at the mental ward and live with my parents again. i think that what happened to me could best be described as a computer that gets overloaded and steam comes out as it breaks down. so here i am, several years later, still neurotic and probably always will be :)

anyway, i think this all has a point, of learning how to listen for God amidst all of the confusion out there. watching talking heads debate back and forth about this stuff wears me out. this may not be the "end times" but it certainly feels like the end of an era and it's a lot harder today not to become overstimulated than it was 2,000 years ago. there's just too much information and as humans we can only process so much. i'm praying that we not get swept away by all the fervor our there as we find a sense of balance and sanity and remembering to do the important things.

i really miss this community.

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Wednesday, February 25th, 2009
11:37 pm - RIP Randy Bewly (Pylon)

Sad news from Pylon tonight...

This past Monday evening, Randy Bewley had a heart attack while driving his van on Barber Street in Athens, GA. He was taken to Athens Regional Medical Center. Today, our bandmate and brother passed away at a little before 5 p.m. with his family and friends at his side. He will be missed, even as we celebrate his life and creativity. His guitar sound was as special as he was and always will be. Randy's guitar work defined not only a generation of sound but Randy himself. His visual art, painting and photos, combined with his signature sound formed a loose set of boundaries that helps understand him. His quiet devotion to family and friends will become a benchmark for those he leaves behind.

I realize Pylon were far from dark or gothic, but they were very influential to many of us growing up. They will be missed.

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9:13 pm - Ashes to Ashes '09


Ash WednesdayAsh Wednesday is my favorite holiday.  I'm not quite sure why.  I suspect that it has something to do with the ambiance that death lends to life.  I like to walk through graveyards with well-crafted, yet aged stones and statues.  There's something special about adorning death with art.  Furthermore, I'm a night person.  The veil of darkness adds mystery to my surrounding world.  When done well liturgically, Ash Wednesday captures those feels quite well.


My favorite TV series right now is the new Battlestar Galactica.  I don't have the Sci Fi channel, so I have to play catch-up on Hulu.  I don't want to spoil the final season for anyone (so if you haven't caught up, skip to the next paragraph), but there is a wonderful scene where the rebel cylons have to make a tough decision.  Unlike humans, when they "die" they are downloaded into a Resurrection Ship.  Then, they are uploaded into a new body.  But, in a strange and unexpected plot twist, the rebel cylons help the humans to destroy the Resurrection Ship.  Once that is done, death becomes final.  This may sound like insanity to those of us who inevitably will meet an end, but there is something significant to their reasoning.  Without death, life is meaningless. 


I think that's what we can call the ambiance that death lends to life: meaning.  This in no way makes death a happy occurance.  I'm not happy about it at all.  When I think of my mom and dad, I know I don't want them to die.  I would much rather have them with me always.  But all stories must come to a close.  For stories to have a meaning, they must have an end.  It is a sad, yet powerful truth.  And I believe that intermingled with that truth is also an amazing grace. 

current mood: thoughtful

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Wednesday, February 4th, 2009
12:29 pm - MIA?

I was just going through my friends list.  It seems that perpetual_lent/dreampalaces has disappeared.  Also, I think he dropped from MySpace.  Anybody know what happened?

current mood: confused

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11:50 am - Walter Wink is Coming to Town

Jesus and NonviolenceNow this is something I can get excited about. I know that Second Congregational Church (Rockford, IL) has has J.S. Spong speak a couple years before I arrived to town, but they haven't done anything like this since.

The following is from the presbytery newsletter:

Walter Wink is one of the leading theologians and authors on nonviolence of our time. He developed the scholarship and concepts on "The Myth of Redemptive Violence" and "Jesus' Third Way of Nonviolence" and has written a number of highly respected books, including The Powers that Be, Engaging the Powers and more. He was involved in devel¬oping the nonviolent responses to South Africa's apartheid regime. He is Professor Emeritus of Biblical Interpretation at Auburn Theological Seminary in New York City. Previously, he was a parish minister and taught at Union Theological Seminary in New York City.

He will speak at 7 p.m., Friday, February 13 at Second Congregational Church, 318 N. Church Street in Rockford. The program is cosponsored by Emmanuel Episcopal Church, First Presbyterian Church-Rockford, 2nd Congregational Church, Rockford Peace & Justice, The Lutherans in the North Conference, Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd, the Presby¬tery of Blackhawk through its Mission Strategies and Resources Board, and Rockford Urban Ministries. The program is free and open to the public. For more information call Rockford Urban Ministries 815-964-7111.
I hope it's not too late notice for people to go. I can think of several who would like to be there.

(x-posted: xiananarchist )

current mood: ecstatic

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Thursday, December 25th, 2008
9:18 am - Xmas in the third world

Others in this world won't be getting a new iPhone for christmas.

not prettyCollapse )

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