Monday, September 22, 2008

K2 Musical: Episode #1

Hey friends, here is episode #1 for the viewing. You can leave comments here but not on youtube. Try to bring your friends to Shay and I's blog to check this out instead of youtube. You never know what you will see if you just go to youtube. Just tryin' to keep your eyes on PURITY! ;) Love ya'll...a. rob


meggiegirl716 said...

ashley thats absolutely amazing!!!!! i laughed so hard at the friendship rock! i love it and i miss you guys sooooo much!

<3 megan rahhal

Grace T. said...

I love it! lol ya'll are awesome!

Molly Weisgarber said...

HAHAHA!!! OH MY GOODNESS!!! ASHLEY THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR PUTTING THESE UP!!!!:) I missed some of them and oh my all make my heart leap for joy!!! I AM LAUGHING OUT LOUD through out my dorm as i watched it!

and rock...oh my!
miss and love you sister!

Anonymous said...

Alas purity, the most thrown around word in the religious community today. “Be pure children.” “Stay pure”. Ok that’s fine I completely agree with that drugs bad, murder bad, adultery bad. That’s fine but there’s a slight difference between purity and complete isolation. Let me explain, Youtube does not allow pornographic content, nor anything that the users seem distaste full. So implying that A: your little cult (I’ll get to that in one second) of brainwashed over religiously drowned teenagers would even try that, or B: That some how porn would slip through the cracks of a website that has millions of people who log on everyday is completely well ignorant. Ok so the cult, I’ve heard little stories of what you guys deem “bad”, one of them being kissing. This is well completely and utterly stupid, the fact you’re teaching this to already hormonal children is well trying to prevent the inevitable, that they will grow up and kiss someone or become physical with someone they’re not married too. *gasp. Because that’s exactly what I would want is a bunch of young couples getting married just so they can have sex or then in 3 months they’ll realize they’re not pleased physically with one another. This is my big problem with Kanakuk and similar places, you don’t simply tell the children please don’t have sex before marriage, BUT were not na├»ve so if you need to talk to us and if you even have the slightest thought you might have sex please tell us and we’ll provide you with contraception. That’s it that’s all you’d have to say and don’t go all up in arms, “but birth control isn’t natural bla bla bla.” Ok it is making love with someone is completely natural and not wanting children, also natural so next time you think you can define purity look at your selves, you run a camp based on the notion that everything but PBS and yourselves are unhealthy and impure. This is the true definition, Purity, noun: the state of being free from sin or moral wrong; lacking a knowledge of evil. Yeah, the highlighted portion is where you screw up just saying, “Sex is bad” no. you have to expose them completely, let the animal out of the cage and breath the air.

Anonymous said...

I agree with anonymous.... brainwashing nazis

Nika said...

Dear Anonymous #1,
Thank you so much for posting on here your thoughts about the way we present purity to our kampers. I have personally been a counselor at K2 for quite some time, and can totally understand the stigma you feel about our stance on purity. Afterall, we live in a world where there are over 2,000 soft porno images a day on MTV, so it's hard to imagine there is a institution like Kanakuk that tells our kids abstinence is the way they should live their lives. I'm also sorry that some of the stories you have heard have mis-represented what Kanakuk stands for in the areas of purity. I have never in my five years at kamp heard a person tell the kids kissing is bad. We don't hand out a list of do's and don'ts but rather set a standard (which we believe comes from the bible) of purity that we hope the kids will try to obtain. What's more than that though, is we're not stupid. We know our kamp is full of kids that are having sex, and we love them all the same. Our attempt to help kids understand why purity is so important is not so that they can mold to a model that we like, but it's so that they can live a life free from guilt and regret and pain. I'm sure you know from personal experience from either yourself or one of your close friends that when a relationship becomes physical and it ends, it hurts 10 times worse than a relationship that did not cross any physical boundaries. That is part of why God created guidelines for his people: to protect them. Despite what lots of people think about the "rules" of Christianity, they are not set up to keep us from having "fun"; but, rather the rules have been lovingly given by God so that we can stay away from things that are going to hurt us on a deep, deep level.
On another note, I don't think Kanakuk has a stance on birth control and whether or not we think it's natural. I can promise you this, if you were a kid in my cabin and you told me you were having sex I would not gasp or freak out, but I would talk to you about ways to protect yourself. I also know I would promise you I would talk to you about refraining from doing it and the hurt and baggage that comes along when those types of relationships fail; but, that's because I believe I am accountable to a higher standard than the world's opinion that anything is fair game these days.
What is really interesting in your response is that you said you agreed drugs were bad, murder was bad, adultery was bad, and I guess what I find interesting is under what standard you have decided those are bad things? That then leads me to believe that when you have kids someday you'll teach your kids those things are bad. Well, we're just doing the same things at Kanakuk. We believe sex before marriage is impure, and because we believe that (much like you believe drugs are bad) we teach that to our kids. This might be hard for you to swallow since you probably don't have the same belief system as we do, but I guess my challenge is this: if you want to know more about the Kanakuk belief system, ask me. I'm so sorry that the stories you've heard about us have angered you or upset you. But, as a person that has worked there several years and has sacrificed my summers to serve there, I obviously believe in what we're doing and would love to discuss it with you. I think if you took a closer look at our kamp you wouldn't think it was a bunch of brainwashed kids running around thinking kissing is from the devil, but you would probably find a bunch of struggling teens and counselors just trying to live for something bigger than themselves. At least that's my humble opinion. Thanks again for your comments as they help us to prepare for next summer.

Anonymous 2 said...

Dear Nika,
I would like to start by apologizing for my previous posting; it was inane and immature. I harbor no ill will toward you or your camp other than that slight twinge agnostics always feel for people who take organized religion as a lifestyle. Having said that, onto the discussion
The first eye catching piece of your rebuttal was particularly interesting to me, the part about mTV and its 2000-a-day soft-core porno images. Pornography has so many interpretations and definitions. One could claim that it is any impure picture, video, etc. and yet this interpretation categorizes marvelous works of art such as Michelangelo’s David as pornography and, unless I completely miss my mark, this is not what you are trying to convey. I believe you interpret pornography as sexual media having no artistic value. It is here that I find fault in your accusation. Because, though I have never watched mTV, I believe the content revolves around people throwing money around and bragging about how many women they have, but however insipid these actions may seem every one of those men is an artist and therefore an exception to the rule of what is pornography.
However, my biggest irk (for lack of better words) spawns from your interpretation of why God wants you to abstain. Guilt and regret are not a part of sex at all, what-so-ever. They are purely consequences of love, which sex is sometimes misinterpreted as. I have personally experienced relationships ranging from abstinence situations to physical ones and I can tell you that the one that hurt the most was one where the girl I was dating told me we needed to be abstinent. It hurt because of the love that was lost, not because we crossed some line. And although I am an agnostic I believe I have somewhat of an understanding about how God works; I see him as a dog owner because while he is loving and quick to praise, he also enjoys the punishment; not in a sadistic sort of way but in hopes of carving out a better friend. He has told you what not to do and expects you to obey. He does not set the rules to stop the consequences, in fact, by my interpretation, it is quite the contrary; he sets the consequences to stop the breaking of the rules.
Also, Anonymous 1 and I were both informed by one of your campers who has attended your camp a few times of the no kissing policies, and any other falsehoods Anonymous 1 may have mentioned came from our friend's explanation of your camp.
Thank you for taking time to read my humble opinions.
-Anonymous 2

Nika said...

Dear Anonymous 2,
First of all I have no desire to enter an argument on semantics about the word pornography. My only rebuttal to your comments is this: simply because the men and women on MTV are artists does not constitute that those images are art. I believe the large difference between Michelangelo and MTV is intent in creating the piece. Michelangelo and the other plethora of men and women that have used nudity in their work was in order to allow man to marvel at the beauty of the human body. MTV as well as other sites that use nudity for the sake of eliciting some sort of sexual stimulation are creating pornography. To clump the two together in one category and call it art would be to insult Michelangelo and the others like him.
However, like I said, I have no desire to argue about porn, my desire to respond to the comments come from a wish to defend kanakuk, but ultimately to defend the bible and our stance on purity. So, it’s with this that I should disclose, there is no condescension implied by any of my responses nor is there any arrogant notion that I have all the answers or think I know more than you. It’s only with the utmost respect that I deemed your response warranted one of mine. I’m sure you can relate, rarely do we desire to reward ignorance with a response, so truly, it’s from a humble heart that I am writing you back.
As far as your statement about there being no regret or guilt in sex at all, I can’t help but disagree. I can think of hundreds of conversations I have had with people that wish they would not have gone too far with their partner. In fact, just this week I had a conversation with a girl that told me she felt guilty about having sex with her boyfriend. It should be noted that she is not a kanakuk kid and her guilt therefore does not stem from our doctrine being relayed to her.
Also, I wonder about your definition of love. What is love? And more importantly, where did you get your definition from? I get my definition from the bible (I know you don’t hold this book to be the ultimate source of truth, so, please bare with me as I try to explain my view). In 1John it says God is love. Therefore, since I use faith to determine the Bible is true then my definition of Love must come from God since he is the standard. So, where do you get your definition of love, and really, how do you know you’re right?
As far as your metaphor about God is concerned, I would say you’re fairly accurate. My only challenge would be to exchange dog-owner for the word father. Like a father he is “quick to praise” and also “quick to consequence.” But, it’s so interesting that you have that view of my God. How did you come to that conclusion?
As far as your friend goes that is relaying that we have a no kissing policy, I’m truly sorry if this has been conveyed to her or him about their (forgive the plural mistakes, I’m going to right their from now on for the sake of brevity, I don’t know if your friend is a guy or girl) personal lives. We do have a no kissing policy while the kids are at camp, but I hope you can realize the obvious reasons for this. But, if one of our counselors or members of the leadership or anyone for that matter has relayed to your friend that we think kissing is a sin or it’s evil, it’s with a truly troubled heart that I say I’m sorry. Obviously, we can’t control everything that is taught between the counselors and the kampers or how it comes across when statements are made; but, I’m telling you now (from the standpoint as one that has to convey these rules to the campers as part of my job duties) it is not kanakuk’s policy to imply kissing is bad. We just don’t tolerate the behavior at kamp for so many reasons. And even in those instances, the campers are told on the first day what the rules are and we have all been in situations where we have to follow rules that we think are silly but we do them because we’re placed in environments where we just have to learn to obey. It’s like riding the roller coaster and they tell you to keep your hands in the ride…really? Do we have to? But it’s that workers job to tell us that, and it’s the park job to tell us that to keep us from getting hurt. (yeah, that was a terrible example, but maybe it makes some sense
I think the most interesting part of your response is your lack of ill will towards God and more over towards me and other followers. Please hear this, I’m only 23 years old and hardly an expert on people, so it’s with extremely limited exposure and experience that these next statements are being made. Okay, despite the obvious stereotyping I’m about to do….In my limited experience with agnostics, most of them are somewhat angry at God, and more so angry at followers. I say this not to group agnostics together, but to show why I have this burning curiosity as to why you’re agnostic.
What is it about faith that does not allow you to believe there is a God in this world?
As I have said before, I would love to keep these communication lines open to discuss the matters of purity and kanakuk’s stance and views of God. I also hope you see that it’s with a genuine care and humility that I make these responses. You are obviously a very intelligent person, and I have been known to throw rhetoric and wit around for the sake of competition and probably due to my self-centered need to be right. I in know way, however, wish to do this with you. I wouldn’t dare insult your intellect or your genuine views by thinking I could somehow “beat” you or win you over to “my side.” It’s just with the faith I possess it compels me to have a defense for what I believe and to be ready to relay it if necessary. So, if you want, I would love to continue these conversations if you see them as beneficial. If it’s just about battling wit, I won’t waste your time with my responses.

Anonymous 2 said...

Dear Nika,
As for the subject of pornography I accept that we not discuss it any longer. Though I believe we have very different view on what art is. Also I’d like to make clear that I was in no way grouping these mediocre artists with great masters such as Michelangelo. I was merely saying that they are in fact artists by definition, and though many people see what they do and are disgusted by it, as you and I are, it is still considered good by others. Therefore it cannot be entirely dismissed as an art form. But as I said I agree; the definition of pornography is not nearly as intriguing as the ideologies of God.
First I believe, unless I entirely misinterpreted, and please correct me if I’m wrong, you seem to be confused about the difference between agnostics and atheists. Agnostics, such as myself, usually believe in a divine being or divine soul, though they recognize that they do not know and in all actuality cannot hope to know exactly who or what this is. Atheists, as I believe you were confusing me as, do not believe at all in any kind of god or divinity. And yes I agree with you; in my experience I have also seen a trend in atheists. As you said they are usually angry with god or his followers, which in today’s society you can’t really blame, after all many Christians now-a-days seem to be so only in name and not action. However, seeing as I am only 16 I have even less experience than you. Though I would like to make it clear that most of the “angry atheists” were brought up in Christian households; I do know a handful that were brought up in atheist households and view Christians often as delusional, yet well-meaning and even admirable people. I have no idea exactly how many generations from the original “angry atheists” it takes, but this cool down process seems to create, very intelligent and well-rounded individuals.
However I seem to have gotten slightly off track; you asked me why I found it so hard to find faith. On the contrary I believe I have quite a lot of faith, you see essentially there are two kinds of agnostics: those who are happy with not knowing, and those who are trilled, like me, for the search for the truth. And as one who searches I am constantly reading about, thinking about, and listening to many philosophies and ideologies, playing with them (much as a small child with a new toy) until I either get bored or find another one to occupy myself with. That being said, I do (to extend the metaphor) have a favorite toy that I often play with called pantheism, the belief that god and the universe are equal. Though I believe in it, I would not say I have faith in pantheism. I do hold it, for now, as the most likely answer, but the only belief that I have steadfast faith in is my knowledge that I know absolutely nothing. The reason I usually reject the ideas of mainstream, one supreme god ideas, besides the fact that I find them extremely unlikely, is because if I was a Christian, Muslim, Jew, etc. I could never be happy. For in the case of most monotheistic religions there is the idea of heaven and hell. Not only would I be forced to watch some of my friends go to hell, I would be equally horrified of my eventual accent into heaven, for I can see very few scenarios more horrifying than eternal bliss.
Having lain down my beliefs I think the other question you had was where I get my definition of love. Though there are many different kinds of love I believe the one we are talking about is that between a man and a woman. Bear with me as I try to explain, because I have no simple answer like “god is love” I must relay my information through my own life experiences. Love is where you feel a flittering in you heart every time the other person comes near, and the knowledge that you would do anything in your power to make them happy. When it is gone you feel an empty hole inside your chest and life seems meaningless for a long while, eventually the wound heals but it leaves a scar forever. As far as knowing as I’m right. I don’t really see how I can be wrong conveying my own emotions.
Now that we have my definition of love, I believe we can go on to discuss it in relation to its physical manifestation. Sex is a branch of love. I have never met these people you have talked to and probably never will but I can make conjecture. They can probably be organized into two groups: those that were in love and those that weren’t. We can come to the conclusion that those that weren’t in love obviously feel a sense of guilt and regret because they did not save themselves for someone they truly did love. Those that were in love, however, are slightly harder to place, yet we can see many possible scenarios as to why they feel this sense of regret. They were not loved back is one possible explanation. Therefore it is perfectly understandable that they feel used by their paramour and will most certainly come to the feeling of regret. Another is that their love was weak. They have given themselves physically and now it seems they’ve reached their pinnacle and have no choice but to fall. As for those that love each other truly and fully yet still feel regret? I realize this may sound like an accusation but I merely see this as a valid point and so I feel the need to bring it to surface; I in no way am laying blame. Possibly they come to the conclusion of regret not of their own accord but by that of the church. It has been brow beaten into them that consummating their love is evil so they see it as such. Without the church to say that it is wrong; would they still come to the same conclusion about sex?
I see god as a dog owner and not a father simply because there are many cases in the bible in which he acts in a way that no father ever should to his children. Two main instances come to mind. Because the story of Cain and Able is the first, it seems fitting to start with. This short couple of lines in the bible is so very interesting and is in fact one of my favorite, because it shows that God chooses Able over Cain without any reason for doing so. Cain and Able both worked hard to give God the best they had to offer. We can even come to the conclusion that Cain labored even more, because just a few passages ago God cursed man and said that he must toil with the ground while Able only had to keep his livestock near grass and water. The bible gives no evidence that Cain was a bad person before this jealousy overcame him, so why would God, or a father, choose one son over another? The next major instance that comes to mind is the story of Job. Why would a father ever punish a son to that extremity? It clearly says that Job was devout and pious yet God still made a bet with the devil that he could not break him. And what about Job’s family? Their story is arguably even more tragic; they go down in the history books as collateral damage in a wager between God and Satan. Though I agree the story of Job is also horrible activity even for a dog owner it is multiplied greatly if we are to think of him as a father figure.
Though I do believe my friend in their retelling of the actions of your camp, I really have no interest in discussing how or why it runs, unless you feel we need to. However I do greatly enjoy our conversation and would like to continue it. Though your description of your passive aggressiveness in arguments accurately describes my own I believe with the help of discipline and the backspace button we can control our impulses in order to further ourselves as human beings. Though I would prefer email over having to comment on an unrelated post on your website if that is alright with you.

Anonymous said...

I was a camper for 7 summers both at K-1 and K-2. Though I do agree that we are subject to too much sexual promiscuity through the media, I don't agree with what Kanakuk teaches about sex and I know what they teach about sex since I was a bright eyed impressionable child and young adult for 7 summers of Kanakuk experience. Kanakuk teaches that sex is wrong, dirty, and immoral Unless it is done within the Confines of marriage. I disagree. Even in marriage, sex can cause problems. Lack of sex, differences in sexual appetite, sexually transmitted diseases, unwanted preganancy, sexual dissatisfaction, etc. All these problems can exist just as easily between two legally bound in marriage couples as they can in a couple that is not bound by marriage. When people don't have sex until they are married they are at risk for many problems. This notion also invites very young people to get married just so that they won't be "sinning" to have sex, or maybe they have already had sex and now they feel like they should marry so their relationship can be validated in the eyes of God. This is a childish notion and can only lead to unhappiness. Sex is not dirty between two consenting adults who love and respect each other and are in a committed and monogamous realtionship. This isn't always defined by marriage.

Nika said...

Dear Anonymous,
Since I have been involved in the majority of these conversations on this blog regarding this issue, I hope you won’t mind that I am going to take the liberty to respond to your post. The fact of the matter is you can disagree all you want with Kanakuk’s stand on celibacy outside of marriage, but your opinion doesn’t really matter. We don’t base our stance on feelings, notions, or perceived life experiences. Rather, our stance is based out of the biblical passages that discuss the defilement that occurs when sex is engaged outside of the context of marriage. Now, if you disagree with the Bible then we have a whole new discussion to engage, but Kanakuk is standing upon our doctrine which is out of the Word not out of some social science which you seem to be basing yours. Now, with that in mind, I can’t help but disagree with a few of your points also. You see, we do not say that sex outside of marriage is bad because it will cause problems such as unwanted pregnancies or perversions of sexual appetites. We believe that sex outside of marriage is wrong because it does not meet the standard a Holy and perfect God set. He created the marriage bed for complete unity (a reflection of the Trinity) so that any other partners which enter into that marriage bed (whether before or after the I do’s) are destroying that unity that God has designed. Additionally, most social science researchers from secular organizations are finding in their research that most relationships that engage in sex prior to marriage have a more difficult time staying married. Perhaps you don’t value marriage as a life-long commitment, but even your life experience can tell you that a divorce is a very painful experience. Thus, even in you don’t believe in the Biblical reasons to abstain from sex before marriage, you can still find research elsewhere that will point to the problems that exist for people that choose to engage In this activity outside of the context of marriage. Additionally, what risk do people face if they have sex before marriage?

Nika said...

It would seem the risks are greater outside of the context of marriage. If you are implying that having sex before you get married would show you the areas where you have “problems” before you enter into marriage this your argument is incomplete. Those “problems” are going to surface when you have sex regardless of whether you are married or not. Wouldn’t it make more sense to desire to discover these “problems” once you are married and have the support of a spouse to help you through these issues. Also, abstaining from sex does not necessarily motivate young Christians to get married just so they can partake in this activity. The only childish notion I see is the fact that somehow you’ve convinced yourself that sex is ultimate in life. There is more to life than sex. You may not get this now since you are full of hormones, but for you to have the audacity to write on a woman’s wall that you think her beliefs are childish when she is basing them on a PERFECT, LOVING God shows how little you actually comprehend. This is not meant to be offensive, but hopefully attention grabbing. For you to say that sex is not dirty between consenting adults who love and respect each other means you are somehow creating your own value system for sex. It means you see that sex is reserved for adults (a reservation which most kids/teens would object to). What makes you think it is okay for only adults to have sex? Also, you say that they should be in a monogamous relationship. What makes you think you can determine what type of a relationship is worthy of sex? Why can’t adults who are just looking to fool around have sex? Is their sex dirty? Also, why does the relationship have to be based on love and respect, can’t two complete strangers just looking for an experience have sex? Is there sex dirty? You see what you’ve done is the exact same thing Kanakuk has done. You have created a parameter upon which sex is acceptable, but you seem to think it’s okay to judge ours. At least ours is based on something outside of us: God. Yours, I presume, is based off a notion you have acquired through media, personal experience, as well as other contemporary influences. So, let’s get real for one second. Everyone has a standard upon which sex is acceptable, some of us just boast in the Bible and for that we are lambasted with criticism. Do me a favor, the next time you want to criticize Kanakuk for what we believe and teach, ask youself what you believe and teach. And, if it’s not something greater than yourself…you might need to check your beliefs.