born-again-christian

anonymous asked:

Hey🌻. I'm Catholic and a lot of Catholic views are against my views, like abortion and gay rights. Even the way the Church approaches the conflict between Palestine and Isreal makes me angry (our church prays for "the people of Israel" but never Palestine even though they are both having the same problems). All of this makes me feel like I'm out of touch with my religion and I feel a bit lost when I go to mass. Have you perhaps gone through this? Any advice? Love your blog💕. Xoxo P

Thanks for your questions. Love them :)) I used to be Catholic, I was actually baptized when I was a baby and of course at that time I didn’t know what it was about. Then when I was 12 I was baptized as a born-again Christian. I know a few Catholics that have left the religion and become born-again Christians and many of them converted because like you, they didn’t have the same views as they did. Reading your question, I was quick to say to myself that I have never gone through what you’re going through, but then all of a sudden I recalled a time when I was in kindergarten. My grandma insisted that my mom put me and my sister to a private Catholic school. So we attended for one year and I remember feeling out of place during some sort of practice we had to do in the chapel. I remember thinking that it was just too much for me, that it was just too complicated and that it didn’t feel right because I felt in my heart that having a connection with God shouldn’t be this calculated and memorized. It just didn’t seem natural. It’s interesting that you came to me with this question because that memory has long been gone and to remember it now, it feels like it was just yesterday. I think if I was a Catholic today, I would be more focused on religion rather than my relationship with God. And I know for myself if I was more focused on religion, I would feel tied down and most likely have anxiety everyday. From what I’ve seen and experienced, when religion becomes more important than the relationship, many give up and therefore become spiritually stagnant, and that goes for Christians as well as Catholics. Message me if you have anymore questions because I’d love to chat more about this subject. :D

By His Grace, Sheela (Via godfirstgodalways)

Killing a toxic co-workers hopes, dreams, and future.

Names changed for anonymity, happened a few years back. This is a long one so TL;DR at the bottom.

Background: I got a job working for a small hardware company. 4 people in the office, a few in the warehouse, and a delivery driver. Nothing fancy, but it got me off the night shift and onto a desk. The owner was a pretty nice guy, let’s call him Ray. Ray took over the family business in the early 2000s. Like most small business owners he was pretty frugal. The job came with absolutely zero perks. 10 vacation days that doubled as sick days, no insurance, everyone was hourly and Ray hated paying OT. He had one large customer that accounted for about half his business and everything after that was profit. He had gotten to the point where the business was doing well enough to support his comfortable life (10-3 schedule, 4 weeks vacation, season baseball tickets) and had zero interest in growing it beyond that point. But my problem was not with Ray, it was with the absolute b*tch in the purchasing department.

The players: Four people in the office meant that every part of this business fell to one of us. Ray was the owner, he negotiated large scale orders both with customers and suppliers. Sarah was our admin/receptionist, sweet as pie. I was in charge of order processing and logistics, and I did quite a bit of work revamping the company website. Ingrid (aka B*tch Supreme) handled small scale purchasing and most of the other customers.

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IF RAPPERS WENT TO SCHOOL TOGETHER

Action Bronson
The fat bully who loves food

Aesop Rock
The science fair winner

Angel Haze
The A.G. dyke who knows how to fight

Andy Mineo
The born-again Christian

A$AP Rocky
The fuckboy with a fashion sense

Asher Roth
The surfer kook

Azealia Banks
The one ratchet bitch that nobody likes

Cibo Matto
The twins who have eating disorders

Danny Brown
The nerd with the weird laugh

Desiigner
The illiterate

Donald Glover / Childish Gambino
The deep-thinking poet who used to be socially awkward

Drake
The heartbroken kid who is coping over his ex by hanging out with his friends

Earl Sweatshirt
The metalhead in the back of the classroom

Eminem
The poor kid with anger issues

Hopsin
The kid who tries to educate everyone else; the “streetpreacher”

Flavor Flav
The kid who is always late for his classes

Flo Rida
The kid who loves his hometown way too much

Flying Lotus / Captain Murphy
The quiet kid who lives a double life outside of school

Gangsta Boo
The girl everyone is afraid of because she has a lot of older brothers

Gil-Scott Heron
The super-senior jazz enthusiast

Iggy Azalea
The white kid who tries to act black; the “burger”

Jay Z
The leader of the popular crew with a criminal family history

J. Cole
The straight A student

Joey Bada$$
The musical old soul

Kanye West
The douchebag who always plays the victim

Kendrick Lamar
The kid who escaped the gangbanging lifestyle

KiD CuDi
The pothead who sneaks out of Algebra to smoke alone at the parking lot

Killer Mike
The gossiper

Lil Jon
The wingman who helps the others get girls

Lil Wayne
The black kid who tries to act white; the “coconut”

Lil Yachty
The SpongeBob-obsessed eight grader with social anxiety that hangs out with the highschoolers during recess

Lupe Fiasco
The teacher’s pet

Macklemore
The only kid who actually watches the news

Mac Miller
The Internet-famous kid who hosts weekend parties

MF Doom
The graphic novel fanatic

M.I.A.
The transfer student who focuses on politics

Nicki Minaj
The wise single mother who knows how to get her life together

Pitbull
The alcoholic

Pusha T
The drug dealer

Rae Sremmurd
The freshmen duo

Soulja Boy Tell ‘em
The dance major

Stitches
The poseur

Trina
The whore

twenty | one | pilots
The sensitive kids who try to be on everyone’s good side

Tyler, The Creator
The class clown

Wallpaper.
The slacker

Xxxtentacion
The school shooter

Yelawolf
The proud redneck

Young Thug
The closeted homosexual

Yung Lean
The Tumblr kid who brags about their vacation to Tokyo last summer

10 Jeffrey Dahmer Facts

  1. Dahmer had become so well known for pranking in high school that his classmates would call it “doing a Dahmer”.
  2. At only 6 years old Dahmer had to have surgery for a double hernia. This surgery coincided with the birth of his younger brother.
  3. He was discharged from the army in 1981 for alcoholism. 
  4. Legal experts estimated Dahmer’s IQ to be around 145(borderline genius status).
  5. Dahmer was baptized in prison after becoming a born again christian. 
  6. As a young child his father showed him what happens to bones in bleach/ Dahmer would later use this same technique on animal bones he collected. 
  7. He committed his first murder 3 weeks after graduating high school.
  8. Some of his favourite movies were the exorcist films and he even tried to subdue and attack Tracy Edwards while watching the 3rd film(The Exorcist III)
  9. Dahmer was arrested in august of 1986 for masturbating in front of two young boys.
  10. Dahmer was given the honor of naming his younger brother, he chose the name David. His brother has since changed his name. 
Columbine Victims:

Cassie Bernall: Cassie was a seventeen year old “born again” Christian. Her nickname was “Bunny Rabbit.” She was shot twice by Eric Harris, once in the hand and once in the head. She died instantly.

Daniel Mauser: Danny was an exceptionally bright student who excelled in math and science. He was apart of the debate team and loved swimming and hiking. He was shot once in the face by Eric Harris, he died almost within three minutes.

Steven Curnow: Steven was 14 years old, a great soccer player, who also worked as a referee. He loved Spanish, technology, and gym class. He was shot in the neck by Eric Harris. He died within seven minutes.

Lauren Townsend: Lauren was 18 years old, captian of the varsity volleyball team. She was an all A student who loved animals and hiking. Her nickname was “Lulu” and she was a very talented sketch artist. She was shot approximately nine times by Dylan Klebold. She died within two minutes.

Kelly Fleming: Kelly was 16 years old and a beautiful poet. She loved to write, read and draw. She loved to read books about vampires. She was also under the same table as Lauren. Kelly was shot in the lower back by Dylan Klebold. She died within 3-6 minutes.

Isaiah Shoels: Isaiah was a minority at Columbine High, being one of few African Americans. He was on the school’s football and wrestling team. He was born with a severe heart condition, but overcame it as the years went on. He was shot in the chest by Eric Harris. He died within two minutes.

Matt Kechter: Matt was 16 years old and sitting under the same table as Isaiah. He was in the National Honors Society and was on the Columbine’s football team. He had all As and was very bright. He was shot in the chest by Dylan Klebold. He died within three minutes.

Corey DePooter: Corey was 17 and wanted to be in the Marine Corps. He loved fishing, hiking, hunting, and golf. He worked at a golf course to save up for a new car. He got good grades, never caused trouble and was on the schol’s wrestling team freshman and sophomore year. He was shot seven times by Dylan Klebold. He died almost instantly. 

Rachel Scott: Rachel was 17 years old and is probably one of the most well known victims due to her lying parents and brother. Rachel was heavily involved in drama club and was in many plays. She was shot three times, arm, chest, and head, by Eric Harris. She died instantly.

Dave Sanders: Dave was a 47 year old staff member at Columbine. He was a well known coach for many sports team and was trying hard to evacuate students from the cafeteria and hallways while Eric and Dylan were shooting. He was shot three times by Eric Harris. Unfortunately, he died within three hours.

Kyle Velasquez: Kyle was 16 years old, and was known as a “gentle giant.” He loved his family dearly and suffered from asthma and mental disabilities. He wanted to be a firefighter. He was shot in the head by Dylan Klebold. He died instantly.

John Tomlin: John was 16 years old, and was a weight lifter. He was Christian and loved to help others out. He had a seven month relationship with his girlfriend, Michelle. He was shot in the chest by Eric Harris, but fatally in the head by Dylan Klebold. He died almost instantly.

Daniel Rohrbough: Daniel was 15 years old and loved electronics and computer games. He helped his father with stereos and his grandfather with harvesting . He was shot abdomen and leg once, then shot again in the chest by Dylan Klebold. He died within five minutes.

Eric Harris: Eric was 18 years old, and one of the two gunman. He spoke fluent German, got good grades and was very bright. He worked as a cook and shift manager at a pizza place called Blackjack. He died by a self inflicted gunshot wound to the roof of the mouth. He died instantly.

Dylan Klebold: Dylan was 17 years old, and the other gunman. He spoke French and German and was exceptionally good at math. He worked as a cook at Blackjack, and was accepted to University of Arizona. He died of a self inflicted gunshot wound to the left temple. He died within five minutes.

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I will never forgive them.

Flash Thompson is my favorite Marvel character and my favorite hero hands down. A true redemption story, an angry abused boy who hurt other people dedicating his life to righting his mistakes. He struggles with depression and alcoholism, he survived the violent physical and emotional abuse from his drunk father. He chose to be better, becoming a friend who could be relied on, a soldier who did his best to save lives, and when he lost both of his legs in combat rescuing another soldier from an ambush, continued to find a way to serve. He volunteered to be Venom, even knowing the risks and his own history with addiction, just because he thought he could make a difference. He is a mentor and a coach, a father-figure to a young heroine, a disabled man who navigates the world with prosthetic legs and a wheel chair, and is never ashamed to ask for help or therapy when he needs it.

Venom wasn’t just a tool to replace his legs or to let him live out his Spider-Man fantasy, Venom was his friend and losing him broke Flash again. He can feel Venom’s pain, they’re connected in their DNA and nothing can separate them now. 

Flash is hopeless, alone, and scared. This was his whole life ripped away again and he turned to therapy instead of a bar, even though he was tempted.

My boy. He’s still fighting even though he’s broken, that’s why he’s always been my favorite. He’s not perfect, but he tries and my heart is shattered for him.

2

Al Hartley, a Marvel comic artist from the 1950s best known for romance comics and Patsy Walker, who became a born-again Christian in the 1970s and did anti-drug afterschool special PSA comics later on that seemed like Chick Tracts done in an Archie style, like “Hansi, the Girl Who Loved the Swastika.” He also did “the great snatch,” a comic about the rapture. 

Sure, it’s a little dorky, but he’s trying to help the kids stay away from drugs, gangs, and Nazism. He totally lost me, though, when he did a comic about Tom Landry and the Dallas Cowboys. Now that deserves hellfire.

10 Facts about the Son of Sam killer, David Berkowitz

  1. He said he only committed his crimes and murders because of his neighbors possessed dog. He claimed the possessed dog told him to do all the killings .
  2. David Berkowitz was actually born Richard David Falco before he was adopted by Nathan and Pearl Berkowitz. 
  3. He found religion in prison and now claims to be a born again christian. 
  4. He named himself “the Son of Sam” until he sent the letter with that name he was being called the “.44 caliber killer”.
  5. In 1971 at the age of 18, he joined the United States military where he served in America and South Korea. 
  6. While the song didn’t come out until a month after the killings began he claims the song “Rich Girl” by Hall and Oates motivated him to kill. 
  7. He set 1,488 fires in New York and recorded each in his journal before he started killing.  
  8. He claimed at the time of his arrest that he was being forced to kill by a Satanic cult he was in. Some believed his neighbor( with the ‘possessed’ dog) was also a part of the cult.
  9. He inspired the Son of Sam laws. These laws “required the person contracting with the criminal to turn over the criminal’s proceeds to the state’s Crime Victims Compensation Board, which established an escrow account for the benefit of the crime’s victims and publicized the existence of the account.”
  10. His astrological sign is Gemini. 

In 1991 serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer began serving his 15 consecutive life sentences at Columbia Correctional Facility; out of fears for his own safety, he was kept in solitary confinement for the first twelve months.

When he was introduced into the general population Dahmer was promptly targeted by the other inmates, many of whom were black (most of Dahmer’s victims were black). In July of 1993 he had his throat slashed from behind -Dahmer never identified the culprit -and other sources state he was sometimes involved in fights. He spent much of his time in the prison library and chapel, where he became a born-again Christian.

However, Dahmer still retained his morbid sense of humor. During meal times he would disgust other inmates by shaping his food into body parts, and pretending ketchup sauce was blood. In fact, this habit enraged inmate Christopher Scarver so much that he murdered Dahmer with an iron bar while the two were on work detail in 1994.

3

Deaths at Columbine High School

On April 20, 1999, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold embarked on a murderous rampage at their high school. In the time that Eric and Dylan had spent planning and preparing for the massacre, they had acquired a large arsenal of weapons, many which were hidden in Eric’s bedroom. The massacre at Columbine High School left 15 dead, including the two perpetrators.

• Rachel Scott - Rachel was eating lunch with her friend Richard Castaldo when Eric and Dylan opened fire at the West entrance where she and Richard were sat on the grass. Rachel was hit from a distance and then shot at point blank range when she attempted to get up. She died from gunshot wounds to the head, chest, arm and leg. Rachel had earlier quit smoking at the request of a friend, if she had not quit she would have possibly been in “The Smokers Pit” at lunch instead of at the high school. Rachel was the first of many victims killed and injured in the massacre.

• Daniel Rohrbough - Daniel was walking out of the cafeteria with his friends, Lance Kirklin and Sean Graves, when Eric and Dylan began shooting at them. He was shot in the abdomen and left leg. Eric Harris shot him in the chest at point blank range moments later. Daniel bled to death on the sidewalk outside the school. Daniel’s father knew something was wrong when his son did not turn up at their shop after school as he normally did. The Rohrboughs did not learn of their son’s death from officials, but from the morning news.

• Dave Sanders - When Eric and Dylan began shooting outside the school, Dave Sanders ran to the cafeteria and warned everyone. He helped to save hundreds of students that day. The cafeteria was almost empty by the time Eric and Dylan arrived because of Dave Sanders. He was trying to get students safely hidden inside classrooms when he was shot from behind by Eric Harris. He was hit in the head, torso and neck and bled to death in a science lab while waiting for help.

• Kyle Velasquez - Kyle was sitting at one of the computers when Eric and Dylan entered the library. He was shot in the back of the head by Dylan Klebold as he passed him. Kyle was the first victim to die in the library. Kyle had been attending Columbine for only three months when the massacre took place. He was shy and was only just coming out of his shell when he died. Kyle was mentally disabled and knew what it was like to be an outcast, his last words to his mother were, “Goodbye I love you mom.”

• Steve Curnow - Steve was hiding under a computer desk, near to survivor Kacey Ruegseggwe, when Eric and Dylan began shooting in the library. Steve was shot in the neck by Eric Harris with a sawed-off shot gun. Steve died in the library and was the youngest victim of the Columbine massacre at only 14 years old. Steve was very close with his parents, loved soccer and had dreamed of being a Navy top gun pilot.

• Cassie Bernall - Cassie was hiding under a table, like many students, when Eric and Dylan entered the library. Eric Harris came to the table where Cassie and another girl were hiding. He tapped on the table twice and said, “Peek a boo” to the two girls. Cassie was shot in the side of the head with Eric Harris’ sawed-off shot gun. She was killed immediately. Cassie was a born again Christian as of 1997, previous to this she had fallen in with the wrong crowd. For a long time it had been believed that it was Cassie who had been asked whether she believed in God and then was shot when she answered, “Yes.” However, it has been verified that it was actually survivor Valeen Schnurr who was asked this.

• Isaiah Shoels - Isaiah was studying in the library with his friends, Craig Scott (brother of Rachel Scott) and Matt Kechter, when Eric and Dylan entered the room. The three boys hid under a table together. When Dylan Klebold saw Isaiah hiding under the table, he called Eric Harris over. Dylan made a racist comment towards Isaiah and tried to pull him out from under the table. When he failed to do so, Eric shot Isaiah in the chest at close range, killing him. Isaiah had been a popular student at Columbine, he was also an athlete. Eric and Dylan had had problems with Isaiah previous to the shooting.

• Matt Kechter - Matt was studying with victim Isaiah Shoels and Craig Scott in the library when Eric and Dylan entered the room. He was hiding under the table with his two friends and witnessed Isaiah being shot. Dylan fired at Matt, he was hit in the chest and died later that day in the library. Matt was in the football team and was a weight lifter. He always got good grades at Columbine and was looked up to by his friends. Greg Barnes, a close friend of Matt, took his own life not long after the first anniversary of the massacre.

• Lauren Townsend - Lauren was in the library with some friends when the shooting began. She hid under a table when Patti Nielson, a teacher at Columbine, told everyone to get down. Lauren was behind Valeen Schnurr and put her arm around her, telling her that everything would be okay. Dylan Klebold came to the table she was hiding under and opened fire. She was shot several times by Dylan and then was also shot by Eric minutes later but, at this point she was already dead. Lauren died from wounds to her head, chest and lower body. Lauren had plans to major in biology at Colorado State University when she graduated from Columbine. She has been described by her teachers at Columbine as having a gentle nature and a loving spirit.

• John Tomlin - John often spent his lunch in the library studying and that was where he was when the shooting began. He hid under a table and comforted a girl he didn’t know (Nicole Nowlen) when she became scared by holding her hand. Both Eric and Dylan came to their table and, without even looking to see who was underneath it, Eric opened fire. John and Nicole were both injured from Eric’s shot but, it was a shot to the head at point blank range from Dylan Klebold which killed John almost instantly. John loved Chevrolet trucks and had recently got his driving licence and got an old Chevy pick up, he had been working for it since he was 14. His truck, along with Rachel Scott’s car, became a memorial in the parking lot of the high school, his bible still on the dashboard.

• Kelly Fleming - Kelly was hiding behind a table with some other girls when Eric and Dylan entered the library. It was Eric who shot and killed Kelly. Eric and Dylan both reloaded and moved away from the girls’ table and then later came back. Kelly was shot again by Eric with his sawed-off shotgun, in the back from behind. Kelly was a shy girl who aspired to be a songwriter and author, she wrote many poems and stories. She would often go to the library at Columbine to write some of these stories. Kelly’s mother recalls her coming home from school around two months before the shooting and saying, “I’m not shy anymore.”

• Daniel Mauser - Daniel was in the library when the massacre began. He was hiding under a table when Eric Harris shot him in the face. Daniel died under the table in the library. Daniel’s family described him as a shy and gentle soul. He had attended Ken Caryl Middle School, the same as Eric and Dylan, there is no evidence of them having known eachother though. Daniel’s father was planning on taking him on his first 14,000 mountain hike that summer.

• Corey DePooter - Corey was in the library when the massacre took place. He had been hiding under a table near the window with two others. Dylan Klebold shot Corey, he was killed almost instantly. He died there in the library of gunshot wounds to his neck, chest and left arm. Corey was a former wrestler and loved to fish. He had started a job at a golf club to save up for a fishing boat with one of his friends. Described as an all-American kid, school was very important to Corey. Corey had always wanted to be a marine and at his funeral he was made an honorary marine.

• Eric Harris - Eric also died in the library not long later. Eric fired his shotgun through the roof of his mouth, the shot caused a large amount of damage to his face, also causing his eyeball to fall out. The back of his head was also blasted off. His death was instant. Eric had been a student Columbine High School and had worked at Blackjack Pizza.

• Dylan Klebold - Along with Eric, Dylan committed suicide in the library. He shot himself in the left temple and the bullet sliced through his head. He died right next to Eric, although his death was not instant like Eric’s had been. Dylan had been a student at Columbine High School and had also been an employee at Blackjack Pizza, like Eric Harris.

8

“A born-again Christian as of 1997, Cassie Bernall was active in church youth programs and Bible study groups. Her parents called her “Bunny Rabbit” and said she loved to go rock climbing in Breckinridge. She had recently visited Great Britain and her favorite movie was ‘Braveheart’.

For a long time after the shootings, it was believed that she was the girl in the library who was asked by one of the shooters: “Do you believe in God?” and was subsequently shot because she said “Yes”. There is still controversy surrounding this – according to the Columbine Report, several witnesses claim that the conversation occurred between gunman Eric Harris and surviving victim Valeen Schnurr. Valeen herself has verified this fact. However Joshua Lapp, a witness to the library shootings, said in his interview with investigators that the shooters asked several people if they believed in God and the answers given didn’t seem to dictate who was shot or not.”

“Ted had a real soft spot for Tina, who was born after he had been on death row for almost two years. I think Tina was the key to Ted’s transformation, of sorts, in prison. It wasn’t that he became remorseful or was born again as a Christian, but the effect of Tina in Ted’s life was to give him his first glimmer of heartfelt love. Until then I think he had believed that no such emotion existed, that the rest of us had been faking it too. Tina’s unconditional, unguarded, uncomplicated, real love for him touched him very deeply, and elicited a strange new feeling that opened his mind to the possibility of the existence of love. It was then, too, I think, that he began to grieve for his own lost life.”

Polly Nelson talks of the effect his daughter, Rosa, under the pseudonym “Tina”, had on Ted Bundy while on death row from “Defending The Devil”

Black history month day 6: Olaudah Equiano.

Olaudah Equiano, also known as Gustavus Vaasa, was a prominent African in London. He was a freed slave who supported the British movement to end the slave trade. His autobiography, published in 1789, helped in the creation of the Slave Trade Act 1807 which ended the African trade for Britain and its colonies. Equiano was part of the Sons of Africa, an abolitionist group composed of prominent Africans living in Britain, and he was active among leaders of the anti-slave trade in the 1780s.

Equiano’s book, “The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African”, is one of the earliest-known examples of published writing by an African writer to be widely read in England. By 1792, it was a best seller: it has been published in Russia, Germany, Holland, and the United States. It was the first influential slave narrative of what became a large literary genre. Equiano’s experience in slavery was quite different from that of most slaves as he did not participate in field work. Rather, he served his owners personally and went to sea, was taught to read and write, and worked in trading. Even after his freedom he continued to be an explorer and travel extensively everywhere from the Arctic to the United States.

His Life as a freed slave was stressful, and he suffered from suicidal thoughts until he became a born-again Christian and found peace in his faith. He married in English woman, Susannah Cullen, and together they had two children.

anonymous asked:

What about LGBT+ Christians?

See ya thats the issue I have. I think if you identify as LGBT+ but call yourself a christian, you are identifying with your sin, rather than placing your identity in Christ. I totally believe Christians can struggle with LGBT+ feelings/tendencies but I think when you make it your identity, instead of Christ, it’s wrong. Does that make sense? it gets so complicated and I do not feel like it is my place to judge one’s standing with God at all. However, I think the bible is clear that it is sin and like all sins, we need to be making a constant effort towards turning away from that and turning towards Christ. Do I think it’s an oxymoron? I’m not sure. Do I think that there are saved, born-again Christians who struggle with those types of feelings and tendencies? Absolutely. I’m not here to assume where others stand with God, I’m called to love and share truth as best as I understand it. Hope that helps.

‘River on the Rise’ by Debra Blake for Vegetarian Times, March 1988 (Part I)

Film Star River Phoenix says being a vegetarian is the most important role he’ll ever play. 

In Japan they adore him. The teenagers call out to him when he comes to promote one of his films: “Rio! Rio!” they chant. It is their nickname for him. They think he’s the next James Dean. And boy, does he have the looks for it. But smoldering looks and shirt-off-the-shoulder poses aren’t what River Phoenix is all about, and he gets a little embarrassed when he comes off that way. The 17-year-old’s dark clothes aren’t meant to impress. His canvas and rubber high-top boots are unexceptional. Still, it’s hard sometimes to resist just gazing at his blonde-streaked pretty head against the blue Florida sky, or wondering how he lucked into those dark eyebrows.

But he calls you back to what he’s saying, to his simple intensity. “Vegetarianism is a link to perfection and peace,” he’s saying now, and his voice is soft but strong, very sincere. “But it’s a small link. There are lots of other issues: apartheid , vivisection, political prisoners, the arms race. There’s so much going on in this world today, so much ignorance among people. That’s not to say I’m not standing amongst everybody. But the point is, what can we do now? That’s the thing about vegetarianism; it’s an individual’s decision and it’s something you have control over. How many things do we really have control over?”

River Phoenix is one of the lucky ones; he’s an actor making a successful go of it in a tough business. Years ago, he was one of the brothers in the television series Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. Later, he got his big break as a spunky but thoughtful kid in Stand by Me, and then as the elder son in The Mosquito Coast with Harrison Ford. He’s in demand now: Producers send him scripts, and this spring he’s scheduled to show up in three new movies: Jimmy Reardon, Little Nikita with Sidney poitier, and Running on Empty

River Phoenix. He’s a big name in Hollywood.

But the River sitting here on the lawn of his parents’ rented house in Florida is only as large as life. He’s not all seriousness and theory. His eyes are warm and welcoming; he laughs easily. Right away you know he’s a regular guy. Still, he’s eager to take advantage of what he calls the “rare opportunity” to discuss issues that really matter to him: veganism, health concerns most teens don’t even know exist, fulfillment in relationships with family and friends, world peace, and change in South Africa.

Do you put much faith into what a 17- year-old says or is he just trying on some ideals for size? In short order, you decide to trust him. He’s had a life unlike most people in the world - one of met challenges, enormous changes and great ideals-and that colors your reactions. He can keep you interested in what he’s saying longer than most people twice his age. So somehow you know he’s sincere. And you see that the “Rio! Rio!” business in Japan and the perfect eyebrows are small parts of a very large picture.


Most of what has been written about River Phoenix weaves his story into the story of his family. And try as you might to see him apart from them, you can’t entirely. They’re part of the big picture. His four younger siblings - one brother, Leaf, and three sisters, Rainbow, Liberty and Summer - also act; Summer and Leaf recently were cast in Russkies, and last summer Rainbow had a role in Maid to Order with fellow vegan Ally Sheedy. Their parents, Arlyn and John Phoenix, manage their kids’ careers, having decided years ago to forgo outside work and commit themselves to the family venture. The entire family is vegan, and they all come across as gentle and kind people who work together like clockwork. River’s history is the history of the Phoenixes, and he’s grateful for and satisfied by being a part of that.

Arlyn Phoenix is also grateful for the family, and she’s unflustered by their success. “You have to understand,” she says, sipping her sorghum-sweetened herbal tea, “that this didn’t just happen to us. We planned it.” Success is part of the Phoenix family mission. It’s why their name is Phoenix. They’re on the rise.

Arlyn and John chose the name phoenix together, years ago, and they nursed their five babies on the twin ideals of love and peace. The couple became vegetarian soon after they met in the ‘60s, but dropped it after moving to Venezuela with a born-again-style Christian group. Several years-and several babies-later, in 1978, they broke from the organization. On their way back to the United States they rekindled their commitment to vegetarianism, taking the cue from their children. 

 River was seven then. He remembers how it began. “On the boat we saw men fishing,” he said. “It was our [the kids’] first time seeing that. And it was the first time that I really saw that meat wasn’t just a hamburger or hot dog or some disguised food on your plate, that it was an animal, it was flesh. It seemed very barbaric and kind of cruel, and me and my brother and sister were all crying and were traumatized. The reality just hit us so hard. Our parents were very sensitive to our feelings. I mean, they were obviously immune to it themselves-meat eating is so much a part of society as a whole and how people eat-but they were very interested in our sensitivity to it, so they were open to us becoming vegetarian.”

Vegetarianism came easily to the Phoenix family. Within the year, with encouragement from Arlyn’s vegan sister, the family also stopped eating eggs and dairy products. “It was hard to give up dairy for a while for a lot of people in my family,” River remembers. “My mom and dad were so used to eating cheese, and it was so convenient. But I said, 'Hey, if we’re doing this thing, let’s go all the way with it.’ The other kids were into it, so my parents said, 'OK, let’s do it.’ And we did.”

It’s been 10 years since anyone in the Phoenix family has worn leather shoes, carried a leather handbag or brought honey into their home. They embrace every possible reason for veganism. They love animals and they believe dairyless eating is better for health. They believe the move away from a meat-centered culture will better support the world’s ecology. Above all, they see veganism as one of the early steps people can take to be conscious of their relationships in the world: relationships with animals, people, and the planet itself. To the Phoenix family, veganism is an essential ingredient of a loving and peaceful world-an extension of the values that motivated John and Arlyn when the two first met. 

I kissed a girl in the name of Jesus.

Today a bunch of Westboro Baptist Church wannabes (you know the sort. “You’re all going to hell” fire and brimstone cult-y type Christians who hold up angry signs) showed up in the middle of my campus and started shouting angry shit to all the students who walked by.

One of the “pastors” began giving the typical “god hates gays” sermon, and the girl next to me turns to me and goes “do you believe this guy?”

We began to talk about the fact that we were both Christians, and she asked if I was okay with gay people. I told her that I absolutely was, and that most of my friends growing up had been gay since I had grown up in choir and theatre. She was really happy about this, and told me that she was bi.

So anyway, this dude goes on and on about how much God hates gay people and blah blah blah, when finally I ask the girl “can I kiss you?” And she said yes.

So I shouted “We’re both born-again Christians! Look at this!” and kissed her (she really planted one on me, man. Tongue and everything). The crowd around us applauded, and the fuckhead pastor was literally stunned into silence for several seconds.

I kissed a girl for the first time in my life today, and as Katy Perry would say, I liked it, because I was proving a point. God loves gays.