Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Video Podcast Saturday

I have been doing my podcast since late 2013. I have had the idea for it for a lot longer than that. One of the biggest fans of it was my friend Eric Proffit. Around May, June-ish we discussed the idea of collaborating for a video podcast. For the longest time, it was nothing serious, just an idea that we would occasionally talk about. We live about an hour apart and have lives, so it's hard to network on this properly.

Around the beginning of the summer, the stars randomly aligned for a video podcast. He was in town and I was down the street, so I walked down with my equipment and we made it happen. That was episode 20. That was more of an experiment just to see if it would work. We just interviewed the guy whose house we were at. We had nothing planned; we made a crude set and I had no questions planned out. Plus, we were all drunk. But, it worked and it's out there for people to see.

A short personal story to set up the rest of this: my mom and father ended their relationship when I was about a year old. I didn't see him again until I was 10. By that point, he had gotten married and had two daughters; my half sisters. I saw them semi-regularly and we all had a good relationship. Then I moved to Princeton when I was 14. Didn't see them again until I was 17. And, that was the last time. I'm now 28.

I have reconnected over the last few years with my step mom and two half sisters, Alyssa & Emma, on Facebook and Twitter and SnapChat and whatnot. Around the time Alyssa graduated from high school I realized that the decade was approaching and it got me thinking: "It would be cool to interview her."

Back to the video podcast story: Eric and I had talked about taking a video podcast road trip; taking one day and getting several interviews. If you get on the interstate here and basically travel in a straight line, you pass Beckley, Charleston, and ultimately Ripley, which is where Alyssa lives. So, I realized we could interview her on the video podcast and get a couple more along the way.

We tried for a day in mid-July, but it didn't work out for a couple people that we wanted to talk to. It eventually happened on Saturday, August 23. We were ultimately only able to get three interviews instead of the four or five we were shooting for. But, it works.

We started in Princeton with Rocky Seay. He is a friend from college and we told funny stories and then talked about what he's doing now. We then drove to Charleston and spoke to Steven Adams, a friend of a friend, about state politics and other fun stuff. Then we drove to Ripley and interviewed my sister.

Below are a couple videos. The first is after we left Steven's apartment and were on our way to Ripley. I also posted a couple pictures of me and Eric on Facebook from that day.

Since we did three interviews, I brought three different shirts with me, as I mention in the video. I also talk about how I wear the same shorts in all three and that I think you can see that in the interviews. Oh well. Trivia: those are the shorts I wore when I spent a night in jail. You can read all about that in my book.

The second video is after we arrive in Ripley. Admittedly, it was a little awkward at first seeing everybody for the first time in a decade. But, we relaxed a little bit, had a few (or several) beers, and this video is of that. Eric shoots a video on my phone of us having a refreshing beverage.

I wrote in a previous blog about the video podcast that I probably wouldn't be drunk during future interviews. I very carefully chose that word "probably" because I knew the odds were good that drinks would flow during another interview at some point. So, if you wanna hear me interview my sister when I'm drunk, you're in luck.

Eric and I are also attempting to put together a small documentary about the trip. I'll update everybody on that as I receive updates. Right now, Eric has the three interviews and is doing whatever he does to make them available for you to view. I'll keep everybody in the loop about them.

If anybody has questions or comments, feel free to get them to me.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Podcast Index, 16-26

I've been gaining some new podcast followers lately, so I figured I would create a spot to find all of my latest episodes. Below is each episode, followed by a brief synopsis. Click here to see episodes 01 through 10.

Episode 16: Class of 2004 Reunion ... I interview the valedictorian of my graduating high school class, in anticipation of our 10-year reunion. I made some people from the class of 2004 mad with my comments about thinking the activities were lame and expressing my desire to not see certain people.

Episode 17: Friends then and now ... I talk about moving back in with my mom and read a humorous Thought Catalog article I wrote about the topic. I talk about the episode 16 controversy and play a one-minute interview I recorded with a friend at a bar. A few friends and myself recorded a nine-minute professional wrestling podcast in 2009. I play that and talk about how we're not really friends anymore and how that sucks. One friend did reach out to me after hearing the podcast.

Episode 18: Wendy Holdren ... Roller Derby has become one of the most popular sports for women in America. I talk to one of my friends who used to play, before injuries sidelined her derby career. We were also on Concord University's newspaper staff together and we talk about my role in helping her develop as a student journalist.

Episode 19: Small-town mentality ... People have enjoyed this one for two reasons: 1) my interview with Bobby and 2) the recording of me smoking pot. I saw an older man walking down the street picking up cans and pushing a shopping cart. I interview him about how that's his source of income and take a look at his life. I very rarely smoke marijuana, but I did one night. I got paranoid, walked away from my friends and recorded myself talking about it.

Episode 20: Steve Hall [video podcast] ... My first attempt at a video podcast, with my friend Eric Proffit filming. We had talked about doing a video podcast for a while. This night, he happened to be in town and we had our equipment. Nothing here is planned; we just decided to do it, set it up, and I interviewed Steve with no questions thought out beforehand. It's okay for what it is.

Episode 21: Worst Summer Ever ... I talk about issues in my life that have happened this summer and how I'm trying to recover from it. I go on a little editorial about women who marry men with money and become lazy housewives. I close with some audio taken from a friend's acoustic concert.

Episode 22: Kelen Conley ... I interview Morgantown-based rapper Kelen "B-Hyphen" Conley. We talk about what got him into hip hop music, the recent release of his first CD, and how he juggles all of that with his recent marriage and new child. Good look at the person behind the rap persona.

Episode 23: Washington Redskins ... For this topic, I decided to do a sort of debate over the issue of the NFL team name. I interviewed two people, one on each side of the debate and play them back-to-back. First up is Mike Stanton, a die-hard Redskins fan and former Concord student journalist. He talks about the connotations of pride and winning cultures that the name represents. After he's done, I speak with Johnnie Jae, a Native American lady based in Oklahoma. She talks about how the name is a racial slur and needs to be changed.

Episode 24: Placeholder Podcast ... Collection of topics. I talk about my new tattoo & include a 5-minute interview with the artist, while he's giving the the tattoo. I look at the issue 23 debate and give my thoughts on the Washington NFL team name. Social media and how it affects friendships is discussed, specifically with how I'm now friends with Johnnie from episode 23, despite never having met her. I talk about drunk texting and how I need to stop, which leads into my thoughts on SnapChat. I close with a story about a guy trying to pick me up at a bar, how I handled it, and how I would have handled it in hindsight.

Episode 25: Religion ... I interview Matt Belcher, an acquaintance from college who turned his life over to God about a year ago. I dig into what led Matt to make this switch and how it has changed his life. I also get his controversial thoughts on evolution and homosexuals. 

Episode 26: 10-year reunion ... I attended part of my 10-year high school reunion. I look at what I liked and didn't like about it, including a funny story involving a guy in cowboy boots. I give my thoughts on the recent passing of Robin Willams and list my favorite & least-favorite movies of his. All that, plus an update on the future of the video podcast and I talk about the poorly-received joke I recently posted on Facebook.

There is a lot more coming up soon. I have some more interviews lined up for the regular podcast, plus a few video podcast interviews slated for the future. If anybody has any questions, concerns, comments, etc about any aspect of my podcast feel free to comment here or on Facebook.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Episode 26: 10-year reunion

Episode 26 of the podcast is here. I look at a smattering of subjects this time. Check it out the topics below:

- I made a joke about my DUI on Facebook that did not go over well at all. I look at why.

- I look at the recent passing of Robin Williams and talk about some of my favorite movies. Spoiler: World's Greatest Dad, Death To Smoochy, One Hour Photo, Dead Poets Society. I also talk about my least favorite. Spoiler: Flubber, Jumanji, and Patch Adams.

- I talk about the latest article I wrote for Thought Catalog; kind of an odd, dark piece. I also look at some things that I plan on writing and am working on. With that, I segue into talking about the last 3 months that I have been a vegetarian.

- I attended my 10-year high school reunion; part of it, at least. I talk about some moments of awkwardness, some parts that I enjoyed, and a funny encounter with a guy wearing cowboy boots.

- I give an update on the video podcast. My friend Eric and I have a date set to finally go get some more video podcasts. Those will be up as soon as humanly possible.

That and a little bit more. I say "shit" roughly 20 times or so in half an hour. So, apologies for that if you're not a fan. If you have any questions, comments, concerns, let me know.

Friday, August 15, 2014

High School Reunion

I feel like the following story happened when I was seven, maybe eight years old. My mom and I went to the 7-11 in Ripley, WV. I don't think it's there anymore. We pulled up to the gas pump and my mom pointed toward a woman in the parking lot and innocently said "I went to high school with her."

To me, that was the first time she had ever mentioned her "previous life," back before she was my mom. I don't think I knew anything about her life at that point; we just had the basic mom-son relationship that a young child has at that point.

It really excited me when she told me about that woman. I said something to the effect of "Wow! You should go talk to her!" And my mom's response was along the lines of "Ummmm... Nah."

That confused me so much. I didn't understand why she wouldn't want to talk to that woman she went to high school with. They say that with age comes experience and wisdom. Now, I know exactly why she avoided that woman. 

* * *

Around that same age, eight or nine, my grandpa and I were sitting at the Dairy Queen at Ravenswood. I had a chicken strip basket. I don't remember what he had, but I know onion rings were involved. I didn't start to like onions until I was 25.

I was in the fourth grade, so it was 9-years-old. My grandpa looked at me for a second and asked if I knew when I would graduate from high school. I had never had that thought in my head, and thus had no idea.

My grandpa proceeded to do that thing where you kind of talk out loud but all that happens is your mouth moves and odd sounds come out. He was counting. He was counting to himself, but kind of out loud.

He looked at me and said something that seemed so crazy, I just couldn't comprehend it: 2004. That number was so far away in my head that it just made no sense. And, now here we are 10 years after 2004. Crazy.

* * *

To steal a Scott Noble-ism, "As I type this," my 10-year high school reunion is happening. It's a two-day spectacle, and today is a baseball game, with our local minor league Princeton Rays team. Then, some of the people will be heading to the local watering hole.

To a few people, I joked that I didn't like baseball or being sober, so the first part has no interest to me. I'll probably head to the bar. It's within walking distance. 

The next day is a picnic at the recreational center, or "rec center" as we like to abbrev. I'm not going to that. 

I made some people in my graduating class mad a couple months ago. I recorded episode 16 of my podcast with the valedictorian of our graduating class. We made fun of the events and spent a few minutes talking about how lame they sounded.

And, as one would assume, some were not happy with that.

I don't know. My issue with this reunion deal is that I really didn't grow up with those people as children. I moved to Princeton for the 10th grade. Most of my friends were older than me. I didn't know who most of my classmates were until I was in the 12th grade.

Like I mentioned in that podcast, I already see the people from high school that I want to see. So, I really have no desire to see the people that I barely remember.

But, I am going to go out and be social to people. I'll detail this in a future episode of the podcast.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Episode 25: Religion

For episode 25, I had Matthew Belcher as my guest. Matt is a guy I have known for several years from our association at Concord University and its Student Government Association. This is not the first time I interviewed him; we had a talk in 2010 here in the blog about his quest to become SGA President. 

About a year ago, I noticed a Facebook post from him where he talked about how he was embracing religion more fully and considered himself to be a different person now. When I had the idea to do a podcast about the topic of religion, he came to mind. I asked, he said okay, and we got it done.

In the interest of full disclosure, I will say that I am an atheist. I have no "faith" or religion, nor do I believe in God, a higher power, a lord, or whatever you want to call it. That doesn't come up in the interview; I don't even know if Matt knows that about me. This wasn't about me letting him say something and then shooting it down. I don't agree with pretty much anything he says, but I enjoy opening a dialogue and having people learn about something. This is a discussion with a religious guy who lives his life in order to please his Savior. If you don't know what that sounds like, hit play and find out.

If you have comments, questions, a differing point of view, feel free to leave comments here or on Facebook. There is nothing wrong with a respectful dialogue of differing opinions.

Here are the topics we address, with a partial transcript below:

- Matt's background, growing up in McDowell County and how he got to Concord.

- Was he religious as a child? Why or why not?

- When did he decide to become more open with religion?

- Was there any backlash from friends on this issue? How has he handled it?

- Is religion something that everybody needs? Is he okay with people having a Savior that is different from his?

- What happens when you die?

- His thoughts on homosexuals and how he deals with having gay friends.

- Thoughts on evolution and abortion.

- Matt closes with telling people how they can learn more about religion and God.

* * * 

Chris Slater: You are from McDowell County, correct? 

Matt Belcher: You’re right. But, I’ve been told I pronounce it wrong; it’s really "Mack-Dowell."  

Chris: They eat at the Mack-Donalds in Mack-Dowell county [laughs]. 

Matt: [laughs] That’s true, that’s true. 

Chris: One thing, for people who don’t really know the area, McDowell County kind of gets a bad reputation. You’re kind of a little bit of a success story of McDowell County; why do you think people kind of look down on air-quote “The County”? 

Matt: I think a lot of it is just Southern West Virginia, a lot of people kind of get the idea that Southern West Virginia is a little bit behind the times and a little bit, maybe impoverished. And, I guess that’s true in certain areas, but I think it’s the exact same everywhere; everywhere has their areas with lower incomes or lower education levels and in all reality, places like McDowell County and Boone County, there’s a lot of quote-unquote "backwoods" of West Virginia that kind of get a bad rep, but really they’re some of the most beautiful places that we have to offer in West Virginia. And, I think a lot of times, people don’t really get the full story and what they do hear is not always the positive imagery of quote-unquote "The County," McDowell County. So, I think a lot of times that kind of, the bad spreads faster than the good. 

Chris: How did you get to Concord University? 

Matt: My dad’s a coal miner … One of the biggest things that my parents had ingrained in me from day one was that they didn’t want me working in the coal mines unless I had an education. That was principally because my dad drove a truck, so he spent like late hours working on the truck and still not getting paid because in those times that your truck wasn’t running you weren’t making money. They didn’t want that for me, they didn’t want me laying up under a truck for very long hours, missing out on family time. If they could make way for me to get a college education, then they would certainly do so. And, Concord just happened to be further enough away from home that I could kind of gain an independence, but still close enough where I could still meet them on the weekends and other times. 

Chris: You were active in the Student Government Association. For those who don’t know, what is that and what roles did you have? How would you sum up your experience in that organization? 

Matt: Student Government is, particularly at Concord, is a very good model representation of how a real government works. It had a judiciary branch that handled student violations. It had an executive branch that weighed in on different rules in the university. The SGA didn’t actually make the rules, but they had the privilege of being in the committee that did make them. They also have legislature that actually approved budget issues and a variety of other internal affairs. I started out, I think, my sophomore year as a regular Senator. I was the Housing chair, of the Housing committee and then moved to Business Manager my junior year, and ultimately President in my senior year. 

Chris: You were also a fraternity brother of Tau Kappa Epsilon. How does one get into a fraternity and what exactly is a fraternity for those who may not be familiar? 

Matt: A fraternity is a group of guys, there are national and then there are local. Local is kind of unaffiliated with a larger organization. They at times can be, but for the most part they’re not. The national fraternities, obviously, have kind of a larger charter that they belong to; they’re one of many. As far as something I got into, as I mentioned, my friends that accompanied me to Concord, they kind of started going in their own directions. Some transferred to other universities. Some decided that college wasn’t for them. So, it kind of left me in a place where I didn’t really - it’s not that I didn’t have friends, it’s just that I kind of wanted that close-knit kind of family feel, which led me to going ahead and kind of looking into the Greek life. They call it pledging, or affiliating yourself with a fraternity, or whatever the language is now. Out of the fraternities, all of the fraternities at Concord University were great, all really great guys and I keep in touch with a few of them. But, Tau Kappa Epsilon, at the time, had what I was looking for and I stayed an active member until my senior year. And then things kind of changed; the fraternity went into a different direction than what I would prefer it have went - which is fine - we had to come to terms with what I wanted and what they wanted and it just didn’t line up. So, ultimately I parted ways from the fraternity. I still like a lot of them; I keep in touch with one or two. Great bunch of guys, we just couldn't agree on certain things. 

Chris: Do you define yourself as having a set religion, or how do you classify yourself? 

Matt: That is probably one of the more tricky questions. So many times, I think, religion is a funny word just because "religion," I wouldn't think would be an accurate descriptor of kind of what has happened in my life. This is because any type of religion, you have people who will study religion, who will study religion as their hobby, as their profession, but religion can really be anything. I would probably say that I am a Christian, or a follower of Christ in the idea that it’s not a religion, it’s much more grand than that. It’s having a relationship with God and the universe, and not really deserving it, but having it because of his grace. 

Chris: Did you have this feeling as a child? Did you grow up around this? Or, when did this happen for you? 

Matt: Growing up, my parents were kind of in-and-out church. They went when work and other things would allow. My grandmother was constantly in church by the time I had come to know her. She lived in Virginia for quite some time and when she moved back she was an avid church-goer; very engaged with Christ, very engaged in the word. And, constantly reminding me of God’s existence. I don’t think I ever really denied that, but I didn't really know how I felt about it. So, it was kind of something that I pretty much left alone, up until most recently to be quite honest. I mean, I've always known that God was real and I knew the story of Christ and the theme, but at that point in time it was only a theme and a story that was over there in that side of the room while I’m over here in this corner. That was pretty much my idea all through college until probably quite some time after I got out of college while I was working. 

Chris: I know a lot of people kind of have a big, life-changing moment that makes them kind of open their eyes to it. Was there anything like that for you? I remember you posted some stuff on Facebook a while back that kind of made me go, “Oh, he’s a little bit more religious now” and I maybe hadn't noticed that earlier. Was there anything that made you be a little more open about it? 

Matt: There certainly was. I definitely wasn't open about it when I wasn't living about it, if that makes sense. I spent most of my time at Concord, my entire time at high school, middle school, all the way back - I always knew God was real and he existed, I just didn't know anything about it. So, I always pushed it off as “He’s doing his thing, he wasn't really worried about me.” It was right after I moved to Charleston, life wasn't going well, just with alcohol and constant partying. It was almost like a changing of the wind. I always kept an idea, kept God as an idea, but always in the corner and then I started to realize a trend that I only recognized God’s existence when times were hard. 

Even at Concord, when I would have trouble on a test or I would need something or when like something personal wasn't going my way, I would then go to God. But, any other time, I didn't really think about it. And, I would probably say July of last year, I went through some personal trials. I kind of recognized that I wasn't where I wanted to be in my life. I recognized that things were not going the way that they probably should be. My relationship with God started to feel that pressure on the outside. I was attending church, but I was only there in body, I wasn't there in mind. So, after the personal trials and a number of things not lining up, and really kind of being crushed by fear, it hit me that here I was on my knees begging, praying to God "Please let this be okay, please let this be okay," and it hit me that I don’t deserve for it to be okay because if you look at my track record, if I’m just going to be honest with myself, I haven’t done anything to warrant it being okay, I haven’t followed through on anything I said I was going to do. I may have said "If I make it home tonight I’m not going to drink anymore," well that’s not true. That was probably never going to be the case in college. 

When it hit, probably July of last year, it dawned on me that I was treating God more like a grandfather that I go to for candy and not like an actual, one an actual god, and two my heavenly creator which is also very different from Grandpa who gives you candy. 

During that time, I took a step back and noticed some things that were weighing in on my life. Facebook was one and my iPhone was one. I just noticed that I had so much noise in my life that I couldn't really focus on God. I tried to read the Bible before and it had never taken off or anything. So, by the grace of God, I was able to. I got rid of my Internet, I switched out my iPhone, I traded in a couple of different things that were going on in my life at that time. I removed them to try to get into the Bible and read the Bible and get to know God. 

This whole time, I thought I knew God, I had an idea but I didn't really know anything about him. The only way to get to know him is to read the Bible. In the Bible, it says it is his word and what he has given to us. So, that’s kind of how that started. It was a very traumatic, inside I guess, because I think the fear and the weight of it all that God is real, that he controls all things, and here I am kind of wasting time. 

Chris: Do you think on a day-to-day basis that religion is something that everybody needs in their life? 

Matt: Well, again, I don’t know about religion. I think a lot of people kind of would answer that question, "Well you've gotta believe in something." And, I don’t know that I would agree with that because we know that there are going to be false gods, through these false teachings. Not only is it scattered through the Bible, but it’s just apparent. I can’t say that everybody needs religion, but I do think everybody needs a Savior. Only through Christ, which is the Savior, that I would refer to, can we be accepted by God. So, I don’t want everyone to have quote-unquote "religion," but I want everyone to have a Savior. That’s not to say that one person needs a Savior more so than another. It’s to say that everyone, every single person needs a Savior. 

Chris: Are you okay with people having a different Savior than you? 

Matt: I think this is a particularly touchy question, because so many times, I know before I came to know Christ I would have heard that question and go "For someone to say no, they would be incorrect, because if my Savior gets me into Heaven then my Savior is correct." But, when you look at that and kind of take that apart, you have a Savior to go to Heaven, to be accepted by God. So, my Savior is Christ. Then, we look at the options of Saviors. So, if we have an individual who claims their Savior is, you know, they’re Buddhist, or they practice another type of religion, then their Savior is a little different. You have to look at if it is really a Savior. I would think not, because we know that Christ is the only way that a person can be accepted by God. 

So, they can have other Saviors, but it’s not really a Savior; it doesn't work the way Christ does, because Christ is the only true Savior. He took the wrath for our sins and it’s only through him that we can be accepted by God. So, in short, no I don’t think there are other Saviors out there, but it’s important to note that I’m not just being bull-headed; I have to look at the meaning of a Savior and what a Savior means and if you look at a Savior as meaning accepted by God, then there is only one. There’s only one who has made that claim who has been accepted by God; has risen from the dead. He is validated, he is legitimate, and I don’t think you would find the other Saviors to be of that caliber or to have that validity. 

Chris: What are your thoughts on evolution and creationism? 

Matt: Well, I think those are interesting subjects. Obviously, I would err on the side of creation. But, I think definitely saying that we've evolved from one species to the next is very easy to say. But, I think it takes probably as much faith to say that as it does to say God created the universe. We at least have a Bible that tells us he created the universe. He created us. He even gave us a timeline in which he does so. Again, that timeline is - what you mentioned earlier - being taken literal versus figurative. With evolution, we have Darwin. To my knowledge, and you’ll have to forgive me if I’m incorrect, but I don’t think that I am. We see a little bit of evolution in that one species changed in itself. But, we never had a species develop into a new species in the way that evolution theory claims that we evolved over time. We have not seen a cross species evolution, only evolution in that one species. 

Chris: Do you have any thoughts on homosexuality, gay marriage, that issue? 

Matt: That is a particularly hard issue. I had a lot of - I have a lot of friends. I have a lot of friends at Concord, I have a lot of friends now that are gay and that they don’t believe anything’s wrong with it. And, it’s very difficult being a believer in that situation because the scripture says that it’s wrong. The scripture, some of the Old Testament, some of the New Testament, in which that homosexuality is wrong. I do believe that it’s wrong, only because God says that it’s wrong. And, that’s what I have to believe; I’m living my life by that. It’s certainly very hard to talk to someone about that subject; they have strong feelings about it and very, not engaged, but that’s what they believe, just like this is what I believe. I don’t have an answer to that, I don’t know how to solve that, I’m not sure how that works. But, I do know the scripture says it’s wrong and that those who practice homosexuality will not inherit the Kingdom of Heaven. 

It does make me very sad, because I do have friends that are gay. I don’t know how to talk to them about that. That’s probably one of the harder things about my particular conversion is that I had so many friends that are still practicing homosexuality and the word says that they’re not gonna get into Heaven like that, so I don’t know what to do there. I just pray for guidance and pray for knowledge and an opportunity to talk to them about it. I’m at a loss for it. I know what the Bible says, I know that they state that they’re happy in this, so I don’t know. Yeah. That’s a tough one. 

I've got a number of friends who are gay and I don’t know how to approach the subject with them. I've talked to one about it briefly. Very briefly. And, it was just a casual engagement and they were very open, I was very open. We both tried to remain very civil through the entire conversation and we did an excellent job; he is a very good friend of mine. I don’t know that we got anywhere [laughs]. But, we certainly addressed the issue, which I think is breaking the ice and hopefully getting somewhere. So, I hope that next time we get to hang out we’ll get to talk about it a little more. 

Chris: So, you’re of the belief that it’s a lifestyle choice and not something that somebody is born with? 

Matt: I don’t know. I can’t really say that for sure. The Bible notes that those who practice homosexuality will not inherit the Kingdom of Heaven. I don’t know that… I don’t know that… Obviously, the thought would lead to actions, we covered that before. I don’t know if it’s something that you’re born with or something that you choose to do. That would be very ignorant of me to do. But, I don’t know. Either decision, either side that you fall on, if it’s a choice or you’re born with it, it’s still something that you kind of have. But, the Bible says to deny yourself, it would lead me to believe that denying oneself of those activities would be the way to go. And, also, you look at premarital sex, straight couples deal with that. They have premarital sex; obviously, they want to have sex before marriage. But, in efforts to obey the word and grow in their relationship with Christ, they deny themselves of that. So, again, I know that’s a very difficult subject, and a very big deal currently in a lot of different legislative actions. But, as far as answers, I don’t know if I have any. But, I do know what the Bible says. And, that’s really all I've got concrete to go off of.

* * *

All that and more in episode 25. Again, if you have any questions, comments, concerns, debate points, etc, feel free to leave them here or on Facebook or Twitter. All dialogue is welcome and encouraged.