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Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Seek the Stars Contest is HERE!

Welcome to Dark Sea Saturday! I hope the turkey nap is over and the shopping cramps are all worked out because you are about to have an adventure...

To celebrate the release of The Errant King, in association with AMG International Publishing, it gives me great pleasure to announce to my readers: the 1st Seek the Stars Contest!

The Seek the Stars Contest is an opportunity for my readers to have EPIC fun, exercising their God-given talents to form communities of readers and spread the word about books they know and love.

Fun. First of all, we all love to communicate with others about the things we love. We all need friends. Competing in the Seek the Stars Contest gives you the opportunity to do both. But there are, shall we say, a few prizes involved as well. More to come soon about all the specifics, but here are some items you could win:
• A Brand New Amazon Kindle!
• Ownership of your very own Star. Not kidding. Some winners will be able to have a real star registered in his/her name or even in his her team name!
• Free eBook downloads.
• All kinds of unlockables: behind the scenes Dark Sea Annals stuff, custom artwork, desktops, posters, Original Dark Sea Music Tracks, online games and more!
• A few hard-working winners will become Books-For-Life Guild Members. These folk get a signed copy of each and every book that I ever write!
• Get your name in the Acknowledgment Section of my next book.
• Get a character in my next book named after you!

The contest kicks off on DARK SEA SATURDAY, that is: Saturday, November 26th and ends SEVEN months later on Tuesday, June 26th. The number Seven is significant. Remember it! The start date is today. But, of course, you kinda know that, right?

When you click the link below, you'll come to a screen that looks like the picture at the bottom. Just click the button, enter the security random letters thingy, and it should download. You don't have to join the club or sign up for FileDropper.

All Constellations have been Founded! In less than 24 hours, all seven Founder positions have been claimed! I still have dozens of emails to sift through, but I suspect there are lots of anxious Starseekers anxious to get started. So...GET STARTED. Don't wait for me to email you with your Constellation Team. Just start loading up on points however you can. 

Here's the list of Official Constellation Team Founders:
1) Winter's Read from Washington State
2) KK* from Ohio
3) Belac from Michigan
4) Songkeeper from Texas
5) Star Dreamer from Illinois
6) Vocal from Colorado
7) Sir Nagek from New York State

*I used initials for folks who didn't give a Fantasy Name alias. 


Sunday, November 20, 2011

Personal Response

I recently posted about a yahoo article where comedian Conan O'Brien officiated a gay wedding. As you might expect, most of the responses here agreed with the Christian perspective. However, I recently received a comment that opposed it. But, for the most part, this was not some bombastic irrational person screaming out vitriol. This was a person who had serious heart and bravery and really seemed interest in investigating. I tried to comment back, but apparently, it was too many characters. So, I post it here. Hopefully, Anon, you come back and get a chance to read it.

Hi, Anon, thanks for entrusting the readers here enough to post a contrasting view. I can totally hear the compassion in your words and the heart behind it. The only way I can respond coherently is to reprint your words here with my replies immediately following. See below:

You Wrote: This makes me sick. Sorry, Mr. Batson, but I comoletely disagree. What is wrong with being gay? Gays are born with something different in their brain, something that makes them attracted to the same sex.

Response 1: 2 different questions here. What is wrong with being gay? If you believe the bible, then homosexual lust and sex are wrong. No way around that. But what about the genetic component? Are people actually born gay? There is huge sociobiological debate on this. But no this: there is NO conclusive proof that anyone is born gay. There are some genetic points of interest that might support the "born gay" position. But there are equal scientific grounds to show otherwise.

BUT: even if it could be proved conclusively that people were born with traits that would make it far easier for them to become gay, that would have nothing to do with it being sin or not. We are all born sinful. And each of us struggle with certain sins. It may be that all of our genetic codes are messed up in one way or another. One person might have the genetic fingerprint to be addicted to alcohol, sex, drugs, violence, etc. etc. But that doesn't mean we excuse the acts that often follow.

To suggest that there's something wrong with these people is, in my mind, completely ridiculous.

My response: it's not ridiculous if the Bible is your guide. And I'm not being bigoted in the least. I think there's something WRONG with every person on earth, especially me. It's called a "sin-nature." We all have it, and it makes it easier for each one of us to lean toward certain sins.

 I understand that maybe marriage must be between a man and a woman, but this is not right.

My Response: Thank you for granting that point. Marriage always has been understood as man and woman. The word is defined that way. If words are to have meaning, then we must not simply change to meet politics or cultural trends. And the word "marriage" is not just some flexible term that has become antiquated over the years. Marriage is a critical social custom that builds the foundation of a nation.

 Maybe it is a sin to be homosexual. But is that what you are going to say? That people that are different than you are worse?

My Response: No, I never implied that homosexuals are worse than me or worse than heterosexuals. All sin is counter-God. A homosexual's sins are no worse than my own. The trouble is that some segments of our society are fighting hard to normalize activities are wrong. It is the same as a sitcom that makes it seem like casual sex is fine and dandy. It's not. It's sin, and even if you don't believe in the bible, casual sex leaves a terrible hurt on most people who engage in it.

 Who cares if someone isn't like you, isn't heterosexual? Why can't people just leave other people alone?

My Response: again, you seem to want to blame me, as if I am the measure of what's good and right in the world. Thank God it is not me! As to why can't people "leave other people alone?" No one is attacking anyone here. America is an open marketplace of ideas, isn't it? So when Yahoo publishes an article with a well-known celebrity going so far to support gay marriage as to officiate the "wedding," then it is my right (and as a Christian) a duty to speak out. The trouble is that many in the homosexual community confuse different opinions with bigotry. I'm tired of being called "intolerant" and a "bigot" or "homophobe" simply because I maintain and support a differing opinion on the subject. Those who support homosexuality are often very aggressive and in-your-face with their beliefs. Fine, but don't "name call" when I oppose you and oppose you well. Either support your beliefs or concede defeat. Don't resort to immature name calling. 

Reading that it makes people sick to think about gay marriage is truly sad, sad that they can't leave it be. It's the way people are, and it's not going to change.

My Response: It's not sad. Imagine someone taking something dear to you and staining it. That's what's happening here. Marriage is what it is. Don't be upset because the word has meaning. If homosexuals want a union, then call it something else. And as to saying, why not leave it be because it'll never change? Think about where that logic takes you. Some people commit incest. Should we leave that be? Some rape. Some commit sexual abuse. Should we leave those things be as well? People commit adultery ALL THE TIME--Christians included. Should we leave that be? Of course not.

I really don't understand this. Is your entire life governed by the bible? Are you simply the puppet of the written word, to kill or shun those that are different or against this? Explain yourself, please.

My Response: Yes, my entire life is governed by the Bible. Not when I sin. And that is my own personal tragedy. God's word is my guide and keeps me from so many destructive paths and horrors. Am I a puppet for holding to a standard of right and wrong that transcends what I simply "feel" is right or wrong?

But, I want you, Anon, to take a very VERY careful look at your words there: "to kill or shun those that are different." You brought those words to the table. I never mentioned them. I don't urge anyone to kill or shun. That's the kind of emotional propaganda that gay rights leaders so often employ.

Love everyone. Hate the sin, especially that sin in my own life. But do not remain silent when beautiful, sacred things are being attacked.