No, God is not punishing your kid because of you.

What an absurd idea! I never realized how many people held to this idea until I had my wife and I had a child with a … “birth defect.” People I thought cared about us let us know that such things happen when you don’t “live for the Lord.”

It’s a disgusting belief. If these people ever read their Bible, they would know that even Jesus thought it was a stupid belief. When his disciples asked Jesus if a blind man’s parents had sinned to cause their child to be blind, Jesus response was:

“Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.” (John 9)

And maybe a “what is wrong with you????” (I added that in). God may have allowed someone to be born blind, but it had nothing to do with anyone doing anything wrong. Sometimes these things happen. We live in a world that falls apart. Bad things happen. You might wash a pair of pants with $100 in them. Genetic code might get mangled from natural processes. None of that means that God looked down from heaven, and saw me picking my nose in the car, and thought to himself:

“Oh dear, how should punish him for that? I know! I’ll let his kid be born split in half! That’ll learn him a lesson!”

The Old Testament is no excuse for such a insanely depressing belief either, because, again God said,

The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.

So no. My child is not some crazy punishment from God for my “evil doings.” Evil doings which usually, in the context of the conversation, consist of following Jesus teachings (imagine that! I’m evil for following Jesus teachings. The person they claim to follow). But that’s another can of worms.

Leaving Christ Out in the Cold

For I was an hungred, and ye told me to get a job: I was thirsty, and ye told me I was lazy: I was a stranger, and ye left me in the cold: Naked, and ye stoned me: I was sick, and ye condemned me: I was in prison, and ye told me I should get right with God.

Unfortunately, most can’t make the tie-in between the original statements made by Christ, and modern issues. While the original verses are indeed treated as still relevant, they are still mostly ignored by the general Church-going population. And God does take these very personally. All these things, He states, were done to Him, even though they were done to others. Because, what you do to God’s children, He takes as a direct attack on Himself. But, a little modernization helps to really drill the idea in, because, these things have been done to me directly, and to friends, by the very people that repeat the original verses on Sundays.

When we drive by a homeless person, and should “get a job!” we are shouting that to Christ. I am reminded of the TV “christian” response to the Occupy protests being “get a job.” We are told they are lazy. They are beaten, placed in tiny cages, and left out in the cold. They are condemned. And in prison, they are “bad people.” No compassion for the oppressed that we sing of on Sundays, “Come unto Me.” No love for our neighbor. And those that feed the hungry are thrown in cages also. We do these things in Christ’s name sometimes! And these are things God takes very, very personally. These are things He counts as done unto Him.

How our world would be different if a consistent application was made!

Five Myths of Marriage

My wife and I celebrated our one year anniversary a few days ago. One year ago, before we were married, there were many things that people told me would change or be different after marriage. The most popular are below:

1) Be sad! No more alone time! No more time for the things you want! My wife and I enjoy many of the same things. We spend time plotting and scheming together. We spend time going to events together. As a matter of fact, I can’t stand to be without her. Even at work, I measure time in “minutes till I get to go home,” and scheduled a longer lunch break just to spend more time with her. Besides, if I wanted alone time, I would not have gotten married.

2) No more hanging out with friends! Before marriage, my wife introduced me to her friends, and I thought they were awesome, and I became friends with them. I introduced my wife to my friends, and she thought they were so awesome that she became friends with them. As a matter of fact, she makes me spend time with them also! I am a sociophob, but my wife is fixing that: she helps me get out more often.

3) She is the boss Nope. We just do stuff. Up until this point, if something needs to be done, we discuss it and figure out what to do together. Sometimes her ideas are awesomer. Sometimes mine are.

4) Life will be boring! Not a chance! Our marriage started with a high-octane police chase as I rescued my wife from Massachusetts, and took her to New Hampshire. Since then, every day has been us single handedly saving the world from evil politicians at the very last minute. On a serious note, we could write a book of all the things that we have experienced since being married a year ago, from being followed by police, to being harassed and followed by bitter old ladies on main street.

5) There will be arguments! You will fight all the time None yet! Closest thing to a shouting match we’ve had were plans to angrily shout compliments at each other on main street just to see what people would say.

None of these premarital warnings have come to pass so far. I have married a beautiful lady who is very loving. Next year, about the same time, I’ll get to write on myths about being a parent.

iPhone WordPress XML-RPC issue fix

Many iPhone users have not been able to add their blog to the iPhone due to the client not being able to find the xmlrpc.php file. Because there is no way to manually set the location of the file, if the client cannot find it, it errors out, telling you to contact WordPress support. Well, I cannot wait for WordPress support, and found an easy temporary fix (until a new version of the client is released). The problem is with the theme.

In every theme, this line should be just before the tag: < ? wp_head(); ?>. If this line is there, but you still get the xml-rpc error, then the client is having trouble seeing it (well, the rendered version, which has the location of your xmlrpc.php). Easy solution? Change your theme.

The client only needs to see the location when you add the blog, but never checks it again. Change your theme to the default WordPress theme. Then add your blog to your iPhone WordPress client. Then change your theme back. It works!

Make Windows Fonts Readable with gdi++

An excellent research paper by Steve Gibson explains better than I can some very good reasons to despise Cleartype, and Microsoft font rendering techniques. This, I believe, is reason enough to make every computer you own a Macintosh, or at least attempt to install MacOS on your computers. Unless you enjoy reading at the MS mandated font size using the MS mandated fonts under cleartype (which is good, but I don’t prefer the MS recommended settings).

Well, I am cheap, and even though Apple hardware is typically cheaper than comparable non-Apple hardware, I am not in the market for that kind of hardware. As such, I have used Windows, and the Safari browser for reading on Windows (Safari uses the MacOS font technology). That is, until about a month ago, when I read this post about gdi++. I use gdi++ under Windows now, and am not forced to use Safari at all anymore. Now I am back to using Opera on my $300 Acer laptop, and the text is much more readable. The japanese developers of this software have my gratitude. :)