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Jeremy VanGelder
Works at Innovative Training Solutions
Attended Clackamas Community College
Lives in Vancouver, WA
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Jeremy VanGelder

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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So happy for you.
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"HB 2 effectively tries to reduce abortions by making abortions safer. Rhetorically and legally this is not productive in the fight to abolish abortion. We should be bolding declaring that abortion is murder and sin before a holy and just God. To attempt to make abortion safer is to only reinforce the cultural presupposition that abortion is an acceptable medical procedure. We must understand that this fight is not only legal, this fight is spiritual and cultural. We cannot win the spiritual, and thus the cultural, fight by rhetorically beginning with the very same narrative that Roe v Wade established. When we seek to regulate abortion, as opposed to abolishing it, we cede the moral and rhetorical high ground. Like the Christian apologist dedicated to remaining neutral and proving the truth of God’s Word by outside evidences, pro life pragmatism and regulationism loses the fight before it has begun. Any and every regulationist bill that plays within the paradigm of Roe v Wade, as opposed to directly defying it, will naturally fail to overturn Roe v Wade."
On June 27 The Supreme Court of the United States ruled against a Texas abortion regulation bill. At least in some important ways, I think the Supreme Court was right.
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Fencing, Scottish style.
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New video! Everyone's favorite 7ft Sad Clown is back, and this time, Puddles is offering his take on Twenty One Pilots' "Stressed Out."

Download it on iTunes here and let's get it to #1:

Get tix to see PMJ on tour in North America, Australia, & New Zealand:
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Clearcuts are ugly. Until twenty years later when the clearcut survives a wildfire and is the only green area for miles.
The much maligned, much despised, and much misunderstood Clearcut is being seen in a new light these days. The driving force behind the new image is wildfire and the Mountain Pine Beetle (MPB) epid…
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40 of 41 Washington Delegates to the RNC are Cruz supporters. So all we have to do now is vote for Cruz in the primary to bind them to him.
Donald Trump may be the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, but Washington state’s GOP convention awarded 40 out of 41 elected delegate slots to Ted Cruz. However, delegates are bound by party rules to cast national-convention ballots based on Tuesday’s primary results.
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+Jeremy VanGelder good point! 
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Last night a challenge was issued, one to which +Benjamin Feehan  rose and responded eloquently. The challenge as it was stated was this: "Prove to me that Roleplaying Games aren't a total waste of time." Ben's post was really good and eloquent, and before you read anything else I have to say you should go and look at his post. Go ahead. I'll wait.

Instead of trying to repeat what Ben said, or even shooting holes in an argument that says that one form of art is inherently less a waste of time than another form of art (in this case we're talking visual arts versus storytelling), I thought I would just share something I wrote a while back. Some of the details of campaigns I was playing in at the time have changed (that is, I still play in both, but the characters have moved along to face new kinds of challenges), but the heart of what I said remains the same.

Insider baseball warning: I'm a Christian, as most of you know, and this piece was written to explain the hobby to other Christians: why it's important, why I think a lot of them could benefit from it. So there is some insider terminology which may seem foreign if you come from a different faith or background. Still, maybe you would find it valuable to see how people like me approach the subject.


My name is Richard Rohlin. For forty hours a week, I am a data analyst and project manager working in the finance sector. I am also a graduate student studying English Language and Literature with a special focus in the literature of the Middle Ages and the writings of the Inklings. More importantly, I am a husband to a beautiful wife and a father to two beautiful daughters. On Sundays, I teach an all-ages class which has spent the last thirty-one weeks (and counting) going verse-by-verse through the Gospel of the John, taking a close look at the person of Jesus Christ, how he reveals himself through Scripture, and what he commands us as his disciples.

But two Monday nights a month, I pretend to be someone else. Then, I am Elise Seven Wolves, a tier 4 Graceful Nano who Hunts with Great Skill. The setting is the Ninth World of Numenera, and I am one of five players who together comprise the protagonists of the story which John-Matthew, our Game Master, has been weaving over the course of the last year and a half.

If that all sounds like Greek to you, I should probably explain: Numenera is a role-playing game. A role-playing game is a storytelling medium in which one storyteller (the "Game Master") tells a story where neither the outcome nor the protagonists are under his control. The protagonists are played by players, who participate in a manner reminiscent of actors on a stage, with this very important difference: their actions are improvised and their outcomes often uncertain, resolved through the use of rules and dice which make up the "game" portion of "role-playing game" (RPG for short). Numenera is set in the science-fantasy genre, in a distant alternate future of our own world.

Elise hasn't exactly had an easy go of things. Beginning the game as a relatively amoral bounty hunter, she has been forced into some difficult ontological decisions as she has moved more and more toward altruism. Is doing the right thing the same as doing the wrong thing for the right reasons? Faced with the fate of millions possibly hanging on her next decision, Elise will have to decide whether or not the "needs of the many" truly outweighs the "needs of the few, or the one," to quote Mr. Spock. And this kind of moral dilemma, this narrative tension, is not unique to my experience alone. It's the kind of thing which any good Game Master does.

On the Mondays I don't play Numenera, I run a game of The One Ring RPG, a beautifully evocative RPG set in J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth between the events of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. During the last seven months that we've been playing, I have slowly been trying to build the story toward my own set of moral dilemmas. Very soon, my players will have to start making choices between what is right and what is expedient. The timeless themes that Tolkien wove through his stories--greed and corruption and a desire for power over others vs. beauty, truth, wisdom, and a kind of Boethian charity--will all make an appearance. What will my players choose? Will they hold back the darkness, or usher it in?

A well-run role-playing game, like any good story, feeds and exercises our moral imagination. that part of ourselves which Russell Kirk defined as our power to perceive truth "beyond the barriers of private experience and momentary events." In other words, it is the antidote for the live-for-the-moment, teach-to-the-test narrative which drives so much of our lifestyle and education. The moral imagination, Kirk believed, was best preserved through church, and best communicated by "the higher form of this power exercised in poetry and art."

The moral imagination allows us to make the jump from knowing on an intellectual level that we ought to love our brother, and realizing how to love him even when he is not loveable. As Flannery O'Connor put it, "Our response to life is different if he we have been taught only a definition of faith than if we have trembled with Abraham as he held a knife over Isaac." Through stories which engage our imaginations, we are better able to conceive of ourselves as beings whose choices will have an impact which outlasts ourselves--both now and in eternity.

But there is a certain stigma in certain sectors of the church surrounding the term "role-playing game" which goes back to the Satanic Ritual Abuse scares of the early 80's. Images of Dungeons & Dragons, Jack Chick tracts, and the memorable Adventures in Odyssey episode "Castles & Cauldrons" all come to mind. Setting all of that aside for a moment, it may be helpful to consider what exactly role-playing is: It is playing a role. It is pretending. It is "make-believe." My three-year-old daughter does it when she plays "house" or "doctor." Role-playing is a storytelling mode, the first we ever learn, and it is a natural function of the human imagination. The formalized role-playing game allows for storytelling within the community and accountability with the rest of the group. It is done, not alone and isolated, but cooperatively, and relies on the player's ability to successfully work with others.

Role-playing is a medium, like film or the printed word. Some role-playing games (depending on the game you are playing, your fellow players, and the person running the game) may be unprofitable, just as certain films or books may not be good for us--may not teach us true things about the world or stimulate our moral imaginations. But there, the fault lies not in the medium, but in the message. You would not say that because you have seen a bad movie that all cinema is wrong, or that because someone has written an evil book that all books are evil. Abuse does not negate proper use.

Storytelling is a tool which God has given us, the proper exercise of which J.R.R. Tolkien believed could be a part of our Christian work: "But in God's kingdom the presence of the greatest does not depress the small. Redeemed Man is still man. Story, fantasy, still go on, and should go on. The Evangelium has not abrogated legends; it has hallowed them, especially the “happy ending.” The Christian has still to work, with mind as well as body, to suffer, hope, and die; but he may now perceive that all his bents and faculties have a purpose, which can be redeemed. So great is the bounty with which he has been treated that he may now, perhaps, fairly dare to guess that in Fantasy he may actually assist in the effoliation and multiple enrichment of creation..."

For the same amount of time time you and your family last spent consuming the latest Hollywood blockbuster, you could instead spend the evening around a table, laughing, learning, and telling stories together. Instead of passively consuming the story which a multi-million-dollar budget of actors, directors, and special effects artists have predigested for you, you could be actively enjoying one another's company and engaging your moral imagination. Of course, role-playing is not right for everyone. It takes the courage to fail and the humility of a little child--but then, so too does the Kingdom of Heaven.

I am not saying we need a "role-playing movement," nor am I saying that within role-playing lie the solutions to all of the problems you may have with your children. I am not even saying that every parent needs to run out right now and buy the Pathfinder Beginner Box and start running games for their children. Depending on how long it has been since you exercised your storytelling skills, such an effort could be disastrous. In an attempt to teach, you might be merely moralistic. But you may consider joining a game yourself and learning what it means to tell a story again.

Role-playing games are valuable tools which do not belong merely to secular culture. They are a fun and eminently practical way that storytellers in the Church, using their gifts as God has given them, can feed the moral imaginations of their fellows. And I do not think it would be a bad thing at all if, in time, the stories we learned to tell were a little less like a Kendricks Brothers film and a little more like The Lord of the Rings.

#RPG   #Christianity  

P.S. - I am tagging a few of my co-religionists in this whom I also know to be gamers, or who I know to be interested in the discussion we had last night.
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"The cries of ~60 million murdered babies (slaughtered by Republican SCOTUS) persuade me the SCOTUS argument for voting Republican is a bloody lie."
-Matthew Clark

#voteforlife    #voteyourconscience   #votetoobeyGod  
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For those who want to see more outdoors videos and fewer knife reviews; Scrambled O on YouTube is making an "ABCs of Bushcraft" series. The funny thing is that this is his first time doing a lot of these things, so he remarks on how much longer it takes him than he expected.
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It is in the moment after pornography indulgence that Satan does his finest work. It is in this moment that we need God to do his finest saving.
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Yeah, I saw it and then lost it for a while. So I'm posting it now so I don't lose it again.
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I like to play in the woods.
I am a:
  1. Son of God
  2. First child of my parents
  3. Big brother to a bunch of siblings


  1. Make maps
  2. Write programs
  3. Run an electrical training company
  4. Whack blackberries
  5. Play harmonica
  6. Play airsoft
Bragging rights
  • Clackamas Community College
    GIS Technician, 2007 - 2009
Basic Information
Collections Jeremy is following
GIS Developer
  • Innovative Training Solutions
  • I-Ten Associates
    GIS Developer, present
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Vancouver, WA
Vancouver, WA - Vancouver, WA
Jeremy VanGelder's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
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