Thursday, August 11, 2011

Your political compass

Where do you stand politically?

Take this anonymous online test called The Political Compass, and see your position on the grid between Authoritarianism and Libertarianism, between Left and Right.

You can answer each question Strongly Agree, Agree, Disagree, or Strongly Disagree. You'll probably find several where you want to answer "No Opinion," or even "I Don't Care." But, there being neither of those options, you must chose between the given responses to finish the test.

Here is my result. I guess my middle-of-the-road libertarian philosophy is why I've clashed from time to time with more rigid, right-wing, authoritarian Masonic "authority figures."

What's your position on the graph?

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Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Selfish? Or uncaring?

"If this is going to be a Christian nation that doesn't help the poor, either we have to pretend that Jesus was just as selfish as we are, or we've got to acknowledge that He commanded us to love the poor and serve the needy without condition and then admit that we just don't want to do it." -- Stephen Colbert

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Monday, August 08, 2011

Let the sun shine in!

It's been over a year since I've posted on The Burning Taper, and longer than that since I've posted anything actually relevant or even interesting.

It was burnout that kept me from writing, but more, much more than burnout, too. My life literally fell apart, layer by layer, until I ended in a hospital bed with doctors telling me that the emergency surgery they were about to perform might save my life, but that they could offer no promise. More than 50% of people who develop necrotizing fasciitis, a horrible condition resulting from bacterial infection, do not survive the first 48 hours. Depending on the location of their infection, survivors are often left without hands, arms, or legs, or if they do keep the infected extremities, they are unable to fully use them.

I consider myself blessed. I survived with hands, arms and legs intact and functioning.

Let me rephrase that: I am blessed because I survived. Period. Hands and arms and legs are a bonus. I'm alive!

I am today not only a modern medical miracle, but am now thoroughly a believer in the power of God, the Universe, prayer, positive thinking, the Law of Attraction, and most of all, in the incredible power of the love I felt from my friends and family during my three-week hospitalization and subsequent months of recovery and rehabilitation.

I am grateful I have hands to write with, legs to walk with, arms to hold my loved ones with, and a mind to think thoughts with.

No longer do I feel the desire or the need to rail against problems within Freemasonry. I hope that I have made some difference in Masonry and in the world through analysis and exposition of our brotherhood's "dirty laundry," and I hope that I have also published many good things about the fraternity and, with the "We All Shine On" series, about the brothers who make up this fraternity.

The Burning Taper blog lives on, but it is my desire and plan to use it from now on to light a path towards positive things. I hope not to succumb to the baser urge to point out the negative. Life is too short and too precious to spend it bitching and complaining and pointing fingers, even if that bitching, complaining and pointing of fingers brought about positive changes in whatever it was I was writing about.

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