a tisket, a tasket, an offensive little basket

Just so that everyone is clear what they should and should not be offended about, let me clear a few things up:

  • This blog is about Dave and Melissa. Our thoughts, reasonings, ideals, etc. This blog is not our platform to cut people down, at least not implicitly. If we want to publically mock your way of life, we’ll say it explicitly, we promise.
  • Melissa and I live our lives, the best we know how, to the glory of God. Sure, we’re not so good at it a lot of the time. Some of our friends have a habit of not making that pursuit any easier though.
  • We got married young and fairly soon after we met. We like that choice. Feel free to be offended, afronted, or appalled by that. We’re not asking you to approve, agree, or act in a like manner.
  • We think guns are useful tools, mainly because they aid in poking holes in the human body in an efficient manner. Again, feel free to be offended till you’re blue in the face.
  • If we’re blessed with children, we’re planning on homeschooling them. This choice is based on our views of the [lack of] efficacy of public schools, our [sometimes limited] experience with public schools, etc. I think it safe to say that Melissa and I know more about public schools and the people that have gone to them than most of you know about homeschoolers though. Simple logic. If you don’t like this opinion, you’re again encourage to be offended, outright enraged, etc.
  • We believe in one Almighty, Unchanging, Holy God who sent His Son to be a material, living, worthy sacrifice for our sins. Take offense all you like.

I could go on and on like that. There are going to be people out there in internet land that are going to be offended by one or more of those statements. I don’t really mind, though. Each of those things I listed is a personal belief. By personal, I mean that it pertains to Melissa and me, not to you. Any of you. I’m not forcing anyone to agree with us. When we talk about our lives, we’re doing just that. Talking about our lives.

If you disagree, bully for you! The world is full of disagreement. Whoop-de-do. If you want to be vocal about your disagreement, then you have two choices, really. First choice is to excercise a little self-restraint, and politely present your own opinion for consideration. This is really the only choice, if you want your opinion to be taken seriously. The other choice, of course, is to fly off the handle, lay down a flaming trail of choice insults, proclaim your superiority loudly, and then look down on all that oppose.

Now granted, those two extremes are seldom seen. But please people, if you really do care for Melissa or me at all, then consider the way you’re offering your opinions to us. Do you really expect to gain anything through a full-on verbal assault?

Stand down from red alert, realize that when we talk about our own beliefs, they are just that, our own. We’re not out to get any of you. We don’t mind if you disagree with us. We’re not trying to win you over. We’re not even asking you to read our posts.

In closing, since this IS my forum, I encourage people to prayerfully consider what their purpose is when posting to my blog. If you’re just presenting your own opinion, wonderful. If you’re lovingly correcting me, have at it. If you’re going to read between the lines, imply the worst, etc, then please, do not bother.

Move along people. Nothing to see here.

Leave a comment ?


  1. Ok, so this is like a different thread of posts, correct? So I can express my opinion here, right?

    I like your post. Here are my opinions if anyone really cares.

    I think that some responsibility does come with blogging. You(when I use “you” I am not refering to any particular you, just a general you) are posting your thoughts to what is essentially a public place. It may be your blog, but if there is nothing, not even a disclaimer that says I should not be reading it, then i take it as a public place(we can have another debate on whether the internet is public or not). I may be wrong on this but I interpret blogging as posting a journal so others can read and respond to it. Because of this, I think people should accept the consequences of their post. Now, in your post dave, you do. You say “take offense”, that is fine, as long as you mean it (and I think you do). What I dont think would be appropriate is to get offended when someone offers an opposing opinion. I do agree that attacks should not be made, simply opinions posted. As far as attacks are concerned, when blogging you do open up the possibility of an attack, i would say that if you are attacked, just ignore it as a comment from an ignorant person, if a reply is made that attacks the attacker back, then you are no better that the original attacker.

    Now for a directed opinion. I recently posted what I viewed as my opinions in another chain of posts. I dont think they were an attack on anyone, i dont know. The comments were directly aimed at you and mel, but I did not mean them as an attack, only as my opinion on the topic and the way i see things. I was then told not to get involved because it was actually more of debate stemming from past issues. This is where I am confused, is this a place for me to post my opinions or not? I like to share my opinions and take part in conversations because it is how I learn. Sometimes people present ideas i didnt think of before. So what kind of forum is this exactly?
    Disclaimer: I do not mean any of this as an attack, simply as my opinion. Nothing said was with a sacarstic tone, it is all sincere.

  2. This is a public forum. It belongs to me, so I hold the ultimate power to delete anything that I deem inappropriate, but I have yet to do that. The comments are here and enabled so that any one who wishes too can add to the discussion.

    The only reason it was suggested that you not get involved with the previous discussion was because it was already out of hand. It’s not that you had any less right to post, only that people were already bent out of shape, and that’s rarely good.

    So in short, please, ruminate at your leisure. You’re welcome to post, agree, and disagree. (:

  3. Yep, post post. Even post on the topic at hand, I was just wanting you to know there was a lot more to it than you might have realized. Post. =)

    And thank Becky for offering her help. I am considering combining a garage sale with her since I don’t have a whole lot, myself.

  4. Cool. I am now understanding. Thanks!

    I think a combo garage sale would be fun, unfortunately I hate selling stuff. Becky will have to force me.

  5. =) I love money. Selling stuff is good.

  6. Also, I just want to say, the final comment in the post, wherein I baited Travis and also suggested that he shouldn’t be in that thread, was meant in an entirely sarcastic manner. Certainly no offense was intended toward travis. Just toward all the other people in that thread.

    Though I would love to sit down with Travis over a few cold ones, and find out what he thinks about our system of Government schools. Also, since it just came to me fully formed… I think I may start referring to them as the Government Underage Learning And Grading System. Which, of course, would be “GULAGS”.

    *stir stir*

  7. Hmm, garage sale. I might have to come by and buy Marlene (my computer that lives at Davmel’s currently) before anyone else does 🙂

  8. This is going here cause i’m afraid it would get lost if i posted it where it actually belongs.


    I want to hear more about your horse! I am so jealous! I’ve always wanted to have a horse. I hope you can find the courage to get back on. If you ever need a riding companion, i’m not too far away =) Anyway, i’d like to hear the story of his purchase, pictures, general details, etc. =)

  9. I have a few POS to sell, so let me know when you are doing the sale.


  10. Naginata,
    I was with you on the sarcasm of your post. I actually cracked up when I read it.
    I would love to get together and discuss this countries GULAGS. I am always interested in hearing others opinions on that topic.

    I really have no desire to work today, its a friday for me cuz Beck and I are going to KC tonight (BBQ here i come!)

    Did anyone get the microsoft blast worm thing?

  11. Woah.

    I was going to tell you to chill out and that we’re all adults and that I’m sure we could have rational discourse without anyone taking anything personally.

    Then I read the prerequisite thread.

    Woah, guys. Everybody needs to chill out. I think that’s what dave post was really about: chill out; if you can’t learn not to take things personally, go away.

    Unfortunately, I think you may have framed your message ineffectively. You’ve *encouraged* people to be offended. Unfortunately, I don’t think being offended is ever appropriate. The only things worth being offended over are really things that we should be “righteously angry” about – and they’re limited, I think, to a very few specific religious sorts of thing. Not other people’s religions, no. But take Christ’s example of the 7-11 church. That caused righteous anger, I think, because the heads of the church were directly supporting something that was against Scripture. I think that the Anglican church confirming a sexually active gay bishop is cause for righteous anger. I think that the Catholic hierarchy’s culture of sexual coverup is a cause for righteous anger.

    I don’t think finding that other people do or don’t agree with that decision that angel and I have made to get married, have children, her stay home, etc, is a cause for any anger at all.

    Rather, I think it is the job of Christians in particular and rational humans in general to choose not be offended by the opinions of others. When we take offense, really what we’re doing is interpreting the opinions of others as personal attacks. Sometimes they are personal attacks, but I think the best way to deal with a personal attack is act like it’s a rational opinion and address it.

    So, Dave, I guess what I’m saying is thanks for the gentle rebuke, I hope it helps people remember that we’re all friends here.

    There is one thing I’m confused about, though. The list of things that you think will offend other people. Does that mean you don’t wish them to be discussed? That you would take offense if anyone were to challenge those ideas? Were you just throwing out a set of things that you knew would be controversial so that we could discuss amongst ourselves?

  12. Hey Tori, It probably WOULD have gotten lost. He is a wonderful boy. Only 5 years old. He is gelded so he’ll never be a breeding possiblity. There is a picture of him on the original post. He is really affectionate, and loves it when you talk to him. If you brush him he goes right to sleep. So cute. Anyway. If you EVER want to ride, lemme know. He is gentle enough for ANYONE (even though I am still apprehensive), and you would probably enjoy yourself tons. Although I don’t know how much you already know about horses, I would be willing to show you anything you want to know. I don’t have a job at the moment, and I go to the stables several times a week. I am sure we could work something out, so drop me a line.

  13. Anyway, since the last thread seems to have been debunked, perhaps I’ll post some opinions here.

    re: college

    College is not he silver bullet that many people who went to college seem to think it is. I know lots and lots of people who went to college who needn’t have. Many of them didn’t finish. Many of them ended up with degrees that they don’t know what to do with and that don’t really give them much tangible help with the rest of life. I think people who go to Rose-Hulman are particularly bad at overestimating the worth of college, as they’ve attended the best undergraduate engineering, science, and math school in the country. In case you haven’t talked to other people who went to other colleges, know this: other colleges are not like Rose. Even for the engineering majors. Rose is like a glittering bastion of education among a dung heap of useless schools with lazy professors, unintelligible TAs, unfocused majors, partying students, no homework, short exams, etc. Most other colleges emphasize a lot of the “life experience” that dave was talking about: do all the crazy stuff that you won’t be able to later, cause this is the time. My other coworkers, bright guys, seem to all think college is a waste as anything but party time. What they learned in college had a lot more to do with them and their own self-motivation than with the educational process.

    Consider this, then. Melissa’s chosen profession is mother. I don’t really know any colleges that offer courses in mother. In not really very en vogue right now. If she could find something, it would probably really be a veiled feminist anti-mother propoganda type of thing. If Melissa decides at a later time that she’d like to refine and extend her technical skills at a veterinarian, she is certainly welcome to do that. It’s unclear how verterinary skills would help her raise her children, unless perhaps one of them is bitten by a strange dog.

    I applaud you, Melissa, for realizing that college is not for you, at least at this time as a great member of your family and society, to wit: you are being frugal with your money,and you have subtracted from the college population one person who doesn’t feel they need to be there. Bravo.

    re: home schooling

    All I’m saying here is that I don’t think things would have gone particularly well in the “high school” phase of things if my mother had been home schooling me. I love my mom. And I’m not questioning anybody’s abilities here. My mother could not have appropriately taught me algebra or any higher maths. And I do not think I could have taught them to myself out of a book with the same level of understanding that an interactive class with an experienced, trained math teacher did. Not understanding higher math would have really destroyed my chances at a computer science degree. Certainly one in mathematics. This is a pitfall of the homeschooling system, but not one that cannot be overcome.

    I would highly encourage you to examine your weaknesses when planning long term curriculla, and also to examine your likes and dislikes. For example, were I to homeschool, I might do a bully job at math and music but ignore art of the drawing persuasion altogether, because I didn’t like it. I urge you not to do that.

    Math is, of course, only an example. Always assume that you child will grow in a direction perpendicular to you. I assume that if I were to have a kid who I was trying to teach, he would be disinterested in math and love chemistry. Yes, sure, I’m an intelligent rational adult who could read each chemistry lesson and present it to my kid, sure. But I wouldn’t understand the big picture, the motivations. I would be unprepared to answer hard questions. My possible cancer-curing child might be stopped right there because I was unable to communicate chemistry well enough for him to realize that he loved it and understood it and wanted to be a research doctor who engineered medicines.

    Also, please be realistic when planning on who will be the primary teacher. A possible remedy to my situation was that my father could have taught me algebra. But my father worked all day, and when he got home the last way he wanted to interact with me would have been teaching. Sure, he’d be more than happy to help me with a few algebra problems, but he already had a full time job and teaching me algrebra wasn’t it. I’m not saying that if Melissa is the primary teacher that Dave will never help her; not at all. But realize and plan for the fact that it would be a great sacrifice of Dave’s time to participate in the teaching as well as his job. The time he might be sacrificing could be the time that he would spend with Melissa. Being forced to choose between intimacy with my wife and a complete lesson plan for tomorrow, I know which would be easier for me to choose.

    There are wonderful resources available for people who want to homeschool their children. I think as long as you make use of those, the earlier parts of school would be a joy to homeschool, and beneficial for the child. I think the main dangers in the lower grades are leaving something out that you didn’t think of (woops, should have started studying the presidents this year) and failing to seek out comparable levels of social interaction for the child.

    Another danger I see in keeping your child home for longer and longer is precisely the reason people do it: their children aren’t exposed to homosexuality, bad language, sex education at the inappopriate time or in an inappropriate manner, drugs, atheism, evolution (which I don’t think is necessarily anti-Christian, but so many people do that it’s worth mentioning). Please be certain that your child is exposed to all of these things. The idea with control over the environment isn’t to form the child in a bubble in which none of his/her ideas are challenged until he/she goes off to college and suddenly is confronted by it all. The idea is to discuss these ideas with the child at the right time. The problem, of course, is that so many people, especially Christians, have difficulty discussing things that make them uncomfortable. For a large number of Christians this includes anything sexual. Again, for example, I’m not sure my mother has ever even said the word “sex” in my presence. We would both be mortified if someone were to utter the word “penis”.

    In any case, I hope that I have perhaps raised an issue or two that you hadn’t thought of in depth and that my ideas might help you plan for the future.
    I, of course, only wish you the best no matter what course you choose, since you’re my friends.

    I’m really a very blunt and unsugar-coated person by nature, so I doubt that I will be able to be this nice at all times in the future. If you’re offended by me at any point later, please look back at this post and imagine that I’ve used the same sorts of polite wordings, personal examples, and explicit statements of good will to communicate how unthreatening I wish my ideas to be.

  14. Continuing on the homeschooling comments, one thing you can do about subjects you don’t understand: find a friend who does. In high school, I sat in on physics labs with my mom’s friend, a physics teacher. I also took chemistry at the community college, and drawing classes at an art school. There should definitely be more sources of teaching than just the parents: I’d be a horrible chemistry teacher, too, ryan. =)

  15. Well said ryan.

    On the college issue, I have to disagree somewhat. I dont think college is necassarily all that it is cracked up to be either(and I actually include rose in this statement), but society does. Basically, I know several people (I’ll actually list them if you’d like) who did not go to college or did not finish college that regret it to this day (ask becky about this also). I have never met someone that said, “Dang, if only I hadn’t gone to college life would be so much better.” I also believe that going to college is much easier when one is younger. Once originally passed up it is much harder to go back. My personal opinion is to go to college until you graduate or something more important comes along. Its up to each individual to make the decision of what is more important.

  16. ryan, thanks for the kind words. They really do run fairly congruent with my own feelings on the subject (homeschooling and college, respectively).

    As for the mentions in the post of taking offense to topics discussed here on my blog, I could perhaps have been more clear in discussing that.

    What I meant to say was that I know for a fact that there are people out there who will take offense at one or more of the beliefs that are discussed here. I’m aware of that and anticipate it. I tried to say that not only would I not be offended myself merely because they disagreed with me, but also that I would willingly discuss my statements with anyone, assuming they’re willing to carry on the discussion in a civil manner.

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