The North Carolina Marriage Amendment

A friend of mine who lives in North Carolina posted the following message on his Facebook page after voting on the marriage amendment Tuesday. I thought it was insightful and summarized a lot of my own thinking on the topic.

Why I Voted For The Marriage Amendment

  1. I believe that marriage was intended to produce life, and the perpetuation of the human race and thus societies. This only happens between a male and female. I realize this still happens outside marriage, but that does not change the main purpose of marriage.
  2. In the same vein, marriage laws exist primarily to protect children. They do not exist to give certain rights or entitlements based on the gender of the couple.
  3. One of the main reasons I voted for it is because I firmly believe that homosexuals and heterosexuals who cohabit will still have equal protection under the law. All people deserve that protection, regardless of their identity. If I believed the amendment limited those protections, I would have voted against it.
  4. The family, two parents producing children, is the basic unit of society. It is not built on the government or whatever rights it may allow. Without stable families, there would be no society or government. Everyone that exists was brought into the world through this family relationship. Marriage offered further stability to the family. There is a moral restraint in marriage (or at least there used to be) to keep couples from breaking apart and undermining this stability.
  5. I also believe in tradition. The reason traditions get established is largely because people realized that living one way works and other ways did not. The ancients found that marriage between male and female offered stability for their societies, and not other relationships.
  6. I believe in revelation. God does communicate his will to us, both in general and special revelation. Nature (or biology, if you will) shows that the only life-producing relationship is between male and female. Special revelation, God’s direct communication, tells us that He created male and female, and that the male was intended to take female as a wife.

I think there is some hypocrisy when we as Christians talk about protecting marriage. The problem lies in the fact that the divorce rate among Christians is as high as it is among non-Christians. Since the onset of “no fault” divorce in the late sixties, divorce rates skyrocketed, and that lies at our door. We need to repent and begin standing up for traditional marriage. This is a step in the right direction.

Smoked ‘Fatties’

Today I smoked some fatties. What is a smoked fatty? Essentially it’s rolled up ground meat filled with whatever fillings you can think of that is then wrapped in bacon and smoked. Sound delicious? They were. I made three different kinds:

  1. BBQ bacon cheeseburger – Ground beef filled with cheddar cheese and Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce.
  2. Peppers, onions, and cheese sausage – Mild ground sausage filled with sautéed bell peppers, onions, shredded cheddar, and cream cheese.
  3. Spicy pepperoni, bacon, and sausage pizza – Spicy ground sausage filled with pizza sauce, pepperoni, and mozzarella cheese.

Click through to read a description and see some pictures of the process and final product.

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Transition: Complete

Whew! That was a relatively painless process. You must have been praying for me.

My blog has now been migrated from Blogger to my own hosted instance of WordPress. I am SO pleased that I have done this. The Blogger settings console and templating system was not getting the job done for me, and WordPress gives me a whole new world of control over the look and functionality of my blog. Here is just a quick sample of some the new things that you might actually care about:

  1. None of my old permalinks – that is, the direct hyperlink to each individual post – have been lost.
  2. None of the 900+ comments from this blog’s history have been lost.
  3. All of the almost 400 individual posts are now categorized!
  4. Internet Explorer users, rejoice! Everything now looks and functions the same for you as everyone else. (At least, everything should.)
  5. The blog search utility now functions properly. The old one broke and I couldn’t figure out how to fix it.
  6. RSS feeds can now be customized according to entries, comments, author, category, or date!

There are a whole bunch of other new things, but I’ll let you discover them for yourself. Enjoy!

Upcoming Blog Changes

Well, it looks like I am finally going to bite the bullet and make the switch from Blogger to WordPress for my blog. I have been using Blogger since the inception of Truth Dialogue, some 7 or 8 years ago. However, I am running into all sorts of problems with the Blogger page templating system (as you can see by opening this page up in Internet Explorer), and I’m tired of the hassel. So, starting real soon you might encounter some hiccups as I initiate the transfer process.

I am going to do my very best to migrate all my old posts and comments to my WordPress installation, while preserving my permalink structure and search engine optimization. If you don’t know what any of that means, don’t worry about it. Just trust that when I am done you won’t know anything changed, with the exception of how the commenting system works or if you are one of those crazy types of people who still uses Internet Explorer.

So cross your fingers and say a prayer for me. This is probably going to be a total nightmare, but I think it’ll be worth it in the end.

See you on the flip side.

Modifying the Smoke Hollow 47180t: The Deflector Plate

Monday I wrote about my first experience with my new Smoke Hollow 4-in-1 offset smoker. This outdoor appliance offers a lot of bang for the buck, but in factory condition there are a few modifications you might want to make. I previously alluded to several that have been detailed by Chris G. on his blog, Nibble Me This. In this new blog post I want to share with you a modification of my very own. Read on for the details on my deflector plate mod. Continue reading