Feral! Report — Day 5

All too soon we reached the last full day of Feral, and I was determined to make the most of it. There were still things I wanted to do that had not been done (kayaking), and that, at least, was on my to-do list for the day. Otherwise, who knew when I would get the chance to go kayaking on that lake again? As much as I’d like to go back, the next one’s a year away, and who knows what can happen in one year, much less two or more?

That was also the day the weather decided it would be a good time to rain. The camp staff referred to it as “silver sunshine”… they might need to be reacquainted with sunshine because I do not quite have the same opinion of it that they do. Fortunately I enjoy the rain, so it was not a negative by any means.

Sometime after breakfast was the writing workshop with Rikoshi. A few weeks before Feral, there had been an announcement sent out (it was well-hidden, and many did not hear about it) that anyone who wanted to submit a story for the workshop could do so. Wolfin and I decided to do so, and as it turns out, we were the only ones. That meant Rikoshi had to suffer through our stories and did not have any others to read and recover from what we put him through.

It turned out all right, though.

Since there were only two people who submitted stories and only three who had read the stories, that was not quite enough for a not-awkward workshop, and Rikoshi had managed to draft about four other people into the workshop. So we all sat around the table and read each other’s story, and the audience was able to provide feedback. Now, we did not read our own, and we did not read the whole thing. I read about a page of Wolfin’s story, and he read a page of mine. He did not quite get the accents right, but that’s okay. I never told him that I was mimicking a select few of the South Carolina dialects.

Now that I think of it, that’s probably for the best. He hasn’t quite mastered the generic Southern accent, much less the more specific regional dialects. Maybe in time that will change.

We both got good feedback from it, I think. Also, since there were not very many stories to talk about, that just meant both of us got a more in-depth look at our own stories. We talked as a group until something like thirty minutes before lunch, so we hung out and then grabbed something to eat. I can’t remember what we had for meals on what day, anymore. That knowledge left me within two days of returning home. Sorry if you were waiting to hear it.

After lunch was staff vs camper dodgeball. The staff lined up on one side of the court, and the campers on the other, and we proceeded to pelt each other with mostly-inflated rubber balls. (There were two types: blue ones that were effective, and a yellow one that no one wanted to use.) To add to the fun, the court was wet from the rain. Not only wet, but also slippery. Now, I do not have a strong throwing arm. For that matter, I have next to no upper body strength as it is. I prefer the “dodge” part of dodgeball. Wolfin was much more enthusiastic about getting up to the front and getting as many people out as possible, before becoming a casualty himself, and I was content to lurk in the back and use the rest of them as human shields. This generally meant I was one of the last out, and also one of the most useless.

Did you know that getting hit by a dodgeball in the neck is not fun? I tried to catch it, and that did not succeed.

Afterward was the campwide game. I had not participated in a weekend-long game where people went around and got answers to trivia questions or be recorded as having participated in various activities, so I wasn’t able to play. You will have to wait for the ‘fin to tell you about it. He should in the next few days, otherwise poke him until you get your report.

Instead of the game, I went kayaking with Kuprin and Pathfinder. It took a few minutes to learn how to go in a straight line, and also to convince myself that the plastic banana I had squeezed myself in was not going to flip over. We had two options: we could go over to where a beaver dam possibly was, or we could paddle to and around an island. We chose the island. That was probably the better choice, too. On the far side of the island from camp, we came across a few loons, one of which came surprisingly close to our kayaks. Once again, I have no pictures to prove it, but we drifted for a few minutes and watched until they got tired of us and moved on to something else.

After that was a very long hike with Pathfinder to a creek something like two kilometers from camp. (I could be very wrong on the distance, but the hike was longer than expected and the sign I saw did say it was 2200-something meters to the lake. Maybe my distance estimation is off.) This trail was also narrow, and that was the only time of the trip that any insects were annoying. A couple black flies decided they wanted to sample coyote. They must not have been very interested because by and large they left me alone.

Cabin skits were that night. Our cabin had not done much of anything in the way of preparing and letting me know about it, so I found out sometime around supper time what we were going to do. Most of the cabin did not have any speaking parts, we just had to annoy the person who did, and then Wotan finished up with a song. Apparently he is known for that?

Cabin skits are best when short. The shorter ones can usually be witty. Too long and they get kind of dumb.

After that, it was time to go back to the cabin and start packing, and accept the fact that Feral was more or less over. It was fun, but it had to come to an end I guess. Then it was off to bed, and sleep. Tomorrow was the trip back to Toronto.

Feral! Report — Day 4

On this, the second day of Feral!, I actually learned how to use the hot water in the shower. Now, you may not think that’s very important, but believe me it is. I was not about to be tricked by Camp Arowhon into doing the Polar Bear Swim unwittingly. The trick to get the hot water to work is to turn the hot water on. Yes, coyotes can be stymied by the simplest of tasks.

There were two things I really wanted to do at Feral! aside from see Wolfin: go kayaking and do some hiking. Sunday was hike day. Now, it is always important to let someone else know that you are about to go traipsing off into the wilderness, so they know to send out a rescue team if you don’t come back. It’s also good to go with a friend, so if you do get lost, you can get lost with a friend. After informing Potoroo and some of the others about my desire, and learning about a few of the trails behind camp, Wolfin somehow got roped into going hiking with me, and off we went.

There are a number of trails with impressive views back behind the camp, and it’s quiet out there too. Camp is quiet as it is, but take away the hundred-odd furs and the stillness is so profound it’s impossible not to hear oneself think.

There are lakes everywhere up there, and naturally the trails take you to a couple of them. Over the course of the morning, I believe Wolfin and I hiked all the major ones. The first took us to Beaver Something-or-other, where we stopped at a rock promontory and stared at the meadow and pond several yards beneath and before us. The weather was pleasant that day, and so we stayed there for a few minutes admiring the beauty before deciding to move on. On the way back, we passed by another, larger lake. The water was so black and smooth, it offered a magnificent reflection of the trees and sky.

There were two things we forgot, and a third would have been useful. Sunscreen we had, because we did not wish to be burned. Bug spray we did not have, and neither one of us had enough water to be useful in time of emergency. (Although I suppose we could have consumed the lake water and risked the parasites later if we had to.) I am not accustomed to taking water on moderately short, well-marked trails, especially when it is as cool as it was, not even hot and humid enough to break a sweat. This leads me to the second item we forgot: a map.

The trails are supposed to be marked, and they are.

Just not well.

Their idea of a marker was a painted wooden block, weathered from exposure to the elements and posted at long intervals. Something a little more eye-catching would have been nice, although I do have to give them credit for the sign they posted at a crossroads. (Also, Croft State Park just a few miles away from here has as bad or worse markers.) It was also evident the trails did not see much use, as grown up as they were in places. It was never too difficult to see the trail, though, just difficult at times to tell which was what. The obvious exception was near the stables, where horses walk the trail and trample it to mud. At least when you see that (and other things) you know you can’t be too far from the camp.

We made it back alive, I think. Could be wrong.

After lunch was another game of watermelon football, but I had other plans. Rikoshi, last year’s guest of honor, returned this year as a regular attendee, and he led a writer’s workshop on constructing a furry world. We had to wait a few minutes for the building we were meeting in to be unlocked, but it was not long before we were able to begin.

The workshop was not quite what I expected, which was a good thing because it turned out to be far better. Discussed was the difference between different types of furry stories (is there a reason for their furry-ness, or is it just the way they are?) and there was a writing exercise at the end. Papers were passed around, and in one of the corners was written an occupation, a species, and a genre. The idea was to write the opening to a story connecting all three; or, failing an opening, to provide a synopsis of a story. I was presented with: turtle, piano tuner, day-in-the-life.

You will never see this story.

After the workshop was a game called Predator vs Prey, which sounded horribly complicated so I ended up not participating. (I ended up being 0 for 3 for the afternoon activities.) There was another reason for my absence, though. The workshop had got me thinking about the story I have been working on, and ways to improve it. I spent the afternoon dozing and thinking about the story, writing a few more pages of it and getting feedback from others on the story subject.

Feral! will be responsible for the impending total rewrite.

That night was furry improv, which was… odd. Improv has this tendency to start out strong, then turn weird before finally fizzling if it goes on too long. “Too long” varies depending on the skill level of the victim. While I thought about participating, I did not in the end. They had their traditions, and as I was an outsider, I wanted to observe and see how they did things before getting too far into it. Next time I will have a better idea of what to expect.

Sometime that day, although I cannot remember when or why, Pathfinder and I started to talk. He joined me on a couple Monday expeditions, but you will have to wait until later to read about them.

And then at the end of the day, Wolfin and I headed back to the cabin to retire for the night. We talked about our stories for a few minutes, inadvertently keeping someone else in the cabin awake, so we ended discussion and resumed the next day.

Feral! Report — Day 3

Saturday, the first official day of Feral! Because I am naturally an early riser, I woke up when it started getting light outside, somewhere around 6 AM. It’s also a bit chilly in the mornings in late August, apparently. I did not have a thermometer with me, but I suppose it was around 50 F. Considering that was the morning I did not quite figure out how the showers worked and I woke myself up with a contained version of the Polar Bear Swim (which I never participated in), that just added to the cold.

Breakfast is at 8 AM, so I go over to the main lodge and hang out for a little bit, get to know a few more people. I think this is when Wotan and I began the first of several talks over the course of the weekend. It’s quiet in the morning, though, because furries do not believe in waking up early for the most part. After breakfast comes the opening ceremonies, which was the shortest and most informal I had ever seen. In my mind that’s not a bad thing. Almost everything that happens at opening ceremonies can happen in 5 to 10 minutes if it’s timed right. Potoroo introduced the staff during breakfast, and Max from the Arowhon staff introduced himself and the rest of that group, and then it was outside to introduce the guests of honor and raise the Feral! flag.

One of the things I like about Feral! is that there are actually things to do that don’t involve wandering the dealer’s den and lounging in the hotel room. It’s vacation, so you can hide yourself away in the cabin all weekend if you want to, but why do that when there’s so much going on? You can choose between multiple camp activities like archery (which I avoided), kayaking, swimming, a ropes course… There are also different workshops. I think the camp staff deliberately set up the camp so you can’t do everything at once and so you must come back the next year.

I think it will work.

Anyway, Jeffery Core and I decide it would be fun to go on the canoe trip to the other side of the lake. There’s supposed to be a really good vantage point of camp from over there, and I’m always interested in pretty scenery. So we get on the canoe with about twenty other people, and then promptly learn that none of us know how to paddle as a team, so rowing in a straight line becomes a challenge of its own. You know it’s bad when the kayakers are doing laps around your canoe.

We take the long way to the vantage point, and from there it is a short hike. Now, I am a Southern ‘yote used to warm temperatures, and I walk several miles a day. A quarter mile walk uphill is nothing. It was funny listening to them all be out of breath.

The view was wonderful, too. No pictures, I am afraid; I did not want the camera to get wet. You just have to trust me.

After lunch that afternoon was a ropes course. The coyote does not like heights, and I am a firm believer that all four paws are meant to remain on the ground at all times. Nevertheless, I got all harnessed up, and I climbed up a tower of tires to a chair perched on the very top. Honestly the view from up there wasn’t all that impressive.

That was also the day I discovered the lake. There had been a game of watermelon football (I did not play this year, and based on how cold the water was I never wish to play), but since I did not participate I did not really know just how cold the water is. I am surprised there are no ice cubes in that lake. It is so cold it’s difficult to breathe, and it’s a workout just treading water. There’s no getting used to that temperature. Ever.

That night was the sponsor’s event. A lot of drinking in a very crowded room. Not fun, moving along.

Saturday and Sunday there was also a “backyard astronomy” session where we could look up and see lots of stars and satellites. It gets very dark at Camp Arowhon at night. Since that was also the first night I really slept, that was also the first night I noticed some animal sounds. Heard loons and wolves that night.

I also realized lying in bed that night that I had somehow managed to avoid almost all the staff that day. I had wanted to talk to them, and resolved beginning tomorrow to change that.

Feral! report — Day 1 and 2

Well now. As it appears Jeffery Core has begun posting his report on Camp Feral!, it would appear I must do likewise, lest I appear to be a slacker. Besides, I am sure that one or two of you are curious to know what it was all like. Check his blog for the short version once you reach Friday morning.

My adventure began a day before the ‘fin’s, because I had the great idea to fly from Charlotte to Toronto the day before we were to take the bus to camp, so I would not have to get up early or make it from the airport terminal to Yorkdale at top speed, especially since I had to clear customs and all that. (As it turns out, that concern was for nothing.) Anyway, after dropping off my four-legged friend Virgil and experiencing separation anxiety, I made it to the Charlotte airport. Now, I always give myself a few extra minutes because I always opt out of the scanner, and the TSA always gives me the up-close-and-personal screening instead. You also immediately become their lowest priority when you do opt out. They make you sit there and wait for a while.

Finally get through security, force myself to eat a little bit of something for lunch (a hamburger that wasn’t all that interesting), and board the plane. All well and good so far, but once we taxi to the runway, we just sit there. When you have a connecting flight, sitting there is the last thing you want to do.

After a few more minutes of waiting and the coyote on the verge of panic, we finally take off, and before too long we’re at LGA. Maybe it was longer than I thought… I was reading Jeffery Core’s story at the time. Of course, when I land I learn that my plane to Toronto is in a different terminal, so I have to leave the secure area and go through my second TSA encounter of the day.

In the future, be very careful when you have a connecting flight at LGA.

I finally make it to Toronto and go through customs. They waved me through in a hurry, no questions asked. I was slightly surprised; most countries I’ve visited ask “Where are you staying?” at the very least. I get my bag, hop on the Airport Rocket from Terminal 3, and away I go to the hotel, taking the subway along the way. I like their subway; it is clean, if kind of old.

I do some sightseeing around the hotel, find food, and retire for the night.

Next day I get up rather early (I tend to do that) and did some more sightseeing, walking from the hotel, to Queen’s Park, to the CN Tower. Along the way I stopped at Tim Hortons for breakfast and also exchanged some of my American money for Canadian at the bank. By this point I am not running late yet, so I check out of the hotel and get on the subway to Yorkdale.

Then an announcement comes over the intercom: the train I am on is being taken out of service, so everyone must get off at the next stop. So we do, and we all wait for the next train. That one actually made it all the way to Yorkdale though.

I know Jeffery Core is waiting for me somewhere in Yorkdale, but first I have to find my way around. The layout is actually rather simple, but it was still enough to be disorienting and I wanted to make sure I did not take a wrong turn. When he and I finally meet, he’s been waiting for about a half hour. Don’t feel too bad for him, though. I was a few minutes late, yes, but he was also early. We embrace, find food at KFC (it wasn’t wonderful), and meet up with a few others going to Feral!. We walked with them to the meetup point which was in a residential area, and kind of hung out until the bus pulled up and everyone was ready to go.

While I enjoyed Feral! and appreciate the work the staff put into getting everything organized and ready, I must tease them for a moment. While waiting for the bus, I began developing an idea of what I called “Feral! time,” which I took from my trips in Latin America. That’s when you say one time, but you really mean some indeterminate minutes later. The bus was supposed to leave at 2 PM sharp… it was more like 2:40 PM dull. The Canadians talked about how hot it was, but this Southern ‘yote was quite happy in the mild heat. Maybe it was a little on the warm side, but surely they were exaggerating.

After about five dozen head counts, we were on our way. The ‘fin and I talked for a bit, but he was tired so he tried to nap. Others successfully napped in very awkward positions on the seat; how they did it is anyone’s guess. There was quite a bit of traffic between Toronto and Barrie, putting us even more behind, but we did eventually make it to our Tim Hortons stop. They gave us 15 minutes. About 40 minutes later we’re all back on the bus and ready to keep going.

We go farther and farther into the wilderness, and finally we arrive at Arowhon. It’s gotten noticeably cooler as we’ve traveled, so I’m beginning to wonder just what the weekend will be like. It’s fine though. We stand in line to get our badges (they got my species wrong! : ( ) and sponsor bags, and then we eventually find ourselves in a cabin.

The cabin hunt is a story all by itself.

We drop off our things, we have supper, get acquainted with the grounds and some of the campers, and then it’s time for sleep after a snack, and a late-night talk with Callaster Nightwings. Well, try to sleep. It’s hard to get to sleep the first night someplace new, especially when the beds are a little harder than you’re used to.

That Obligatory Furry Dream

It is not altogether unusual to hear my fellow furries describe fandom-related dreams they have experienced, often with some sort of transformation theme. Until this week, I had experienced exactly two furry dreams in my life, and both are from high school.

And then this week was the super-rare (for me) transformation-related furry dream. In keeping with many dreams, none of the events actually happen to me; I am an observer and nothing more. In the dream, a husband and wife explorer – at least I think they were husband and wife – end up being a little more feline than they were anticipating. Why feline I’m not sure, considering I’m not overly fond of those. But that’s what they were.

I can understand to a point why these dreams are enjoyable. Because I am a writer and storyteller, a dream like that is amazing for me, because the dream presented itself in story form, almost as if I were watching a movie of the event. As is typical for the coyote, there were some skips in the scenes and a moment or two replayed itself, but it told a cohesive story.

If only I could write it down. I tried to earlier this week, and the attempt simply was not vivid enough. I’m not good at writing about expeditions in strange places, apparently.

WagzTail 2.0

Those of you who have not forgotten this blog exists might remember a couple years ago when I linked to the WagzTail podcast. As it turns out, that particular incarnation kind of fell to the side for an indefinite time, because people were otherwise busy (life has a tendency to be that way).

But it has re-started! WagzTail 2.0. We are still the Christian Furry Podcast People (that’s not going to change), and we actually have plans to maintain weekly episodes this time!

Anyway, all podcasts are available for download on the web page: http://wagztail.com/ Go have a listen! Unfortunately you can no longer take the podcast quiz announced on certain episodes. Those have expired.

But there will be others in the future!

WagzTail

In the Links of Interest on the right-hand side of the page, you’ll find a few resources that are, well, of interest to me and perhaps to some of you. Of course, only two of the five are furry-related. The rest have some connection to DIOM, another interest of mine.

I would like to bring your attention to Wagztail, the Christian Furry Podcast. It is a family-friendly podcast aimed at Christian furs, often covering a wide range of topics. Some past topics: Maintaining Christian morals in mainstream furry culture, knowing God’s will in your life, and even music likes and dislikes.

I will admit I have not listened to all of them (I usually can’t sit still long enough and pay attention), but those I have listened to, I found enjoyable. Go take a look!

It can be reached here: http://wagztail.com/

Updates have been sporadic of late, due to busyness and life on the part of the producers.

Shifting the Blame

It has been proposed, both periodically and recently, that the furry fandom has little to nothing of value for the Christian, and that any attempt for a Christian to begin a ministry in this field is doomed to failure because of the nature of the fandom; that is, furry and Christian are incompatible and a union of the two causes a Christian to backslide. An individual’s life is appealed to as evidence for this claim. He stumbles upon an area of the fandom that catches his interest. Perhaps this area isn’t even one of the dark ones, which we already know are filled with garbage. Then, for some reason, thoughts that do not please God enter into his mind. He entertains the thoughts, even though he knows he shouldn’t. And so he enters the downward spiral into bondage, trapped by sins in his life.

Admittedly, my above example is a gross generalization of what actually happens. I could instead have provided a specific example from my past, because I am too familiar with this bondage, but because of a desire to keep the blog as clean and viewer-friendly as possible, I have chosen not to do this. Perhaps another time you can hear.

Most if not all of my readers already know about the fandom’s dark side. This is the part of the fandom that exists to satisfy sexual desires inconsistent with God’s plan for man. Whether it be erotic artwork or stories, or a piece that satisfies any imaginable fetish, it is out there, and unless you’re a furry living under a rock you know where to find it. It does not take much of an imagination to wonder how exposing oneself to this would lead to anguish and bondage to sin. I won’t go into any more detail on this.

But what about those parts of the fandom that are innocent on the surface, but which cause individuals to stumble? This, I think, is where the debate lies. The dangers of the obvious dark side are present and known to all who wish to see them.

Quickly, before I continue, I want to present what I label as innocent in this post. I mean general artwork, stories, music, role-playing and interacting with others. Yes, these can be used for evil purposes, but that misses the point. I want to know if the fandom really does cause an individual to fall, or if the problem lies elsewhere.

I cannot deny that some professing believers in the fandom are slaves to sin, in rebellion against God. And I cannot deny that they appeared to be in a better position than this at some earlier point in their lives.

What is going on?

Frankly, it makes no sense to accuse the fandom of leading a person to sin. Yes, any aspect of the fandom can be twisted and used for a perverted means. But is that enough to condemn it? Are we to say that because it is not immune to corruption, we must destroy it? If we do, then we must reject everything in this world. Including Christianity. There exists nothing, no idea or culture, that can stand against the corrupting influence of mankind. Even if the core message is pure, humans will seize it and use it to further goals never intended by that message. Look at our history. The message of repentance and love that we have received has held true for two thousand years, and no one will be able to take that away from us. However, battles have been fought, people have been murdered, because people take advantage of the message and turn it into something it never should have been. But I veer from the topic.

The core of the fandom is fantasy. Furries imagine worlds populated by different creatures, and they create societies based on these worlds. They enter the realm of the possible, the wished-for. A cat and dog playing tennis, pretending to chase one’s tail in IRC… none of this, on its own, is bad. It may be strange to the outsider, but it’s not wrong. It is pretend. It’s only wrong if it becomes excessive and uproots God, but that’s beyond the scope of this post.

Because the fandom can be corrupted, because it can dominate one’s life, it is admitted that the fandom can be used as a means to cause a person to sin. However, that does not come close to the claim that the fandom is a gateway, and that those who value their relationship with God should abandon ship. The problem does not lie with the fandom itself.

The problem is the person.

It is not the fault of the fandom that a person falls to temptation. He falls because he acts on his own desires, as stated by James:

“…[E]ach one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.”

The desires he has may not even be sinful in themselves (and often aren’t). In the case of the furry fandom, there is something the fandom offers that, in moderation, is acceptable. But he isn’t pleased with that offering. He looks for a new thrill, or obsesses so much that it consumes his life. He does not exercise self-control, and the desires become something more. They become sins.

But the sin is too good. He doesn’t want to let it go. He knows he needs to. He knows it is wrong, but he is comfortable with it. Maybe he tries to let go of it. He turns his eyes and walks a few steps away, but a week later he’s embracing the sin again. It is his master, and he is the slave. On his own, there will be no escape.
However, pride will not allow him to admit that he is a slave to sin, especially if he supposedly repented years ago and calls himself a believer. So he looks for an excuse. The excuse can come in many forms, but in this instance, he places the blame on a conglomeration of ideas. He can avoid responsibility. But if he does this, then he will never come to repentance.

There is hope, of course. All is not lost. As John said, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

What is to be done?

Instead of placing blame on the fandom, those who have allowed themselves to become slaves to their sin should take responsibility for their own actions. If the fandom has caused you to sin, then repent and remove yourself from the source of temptation. Do not look for excuses, and do not add to your sins by casting a legalistic gaze on other furries.

Develop a relationship with your Maker and move on.

Challenge to Christian Furs

A few weeks ago, a friend posed this question to me: why does it seem that furries go to the furry fandom for comfort instead of to Christ? This is a fair question, and one that I have wondered in the past. The answer is simple, yet it is disheartening.

For those who do not know, the furry fandom sees itself as very accepting. Possibly due to the negative image the outside world has of the fandom, it is willing to accept other outcasts of society: sexual deviants, the irreligious, even anarchists. Put another way, the otherwise-minded. I could discuss the feedback loop this mentality creates – and probably will in another post – but for now we can leave it alone. But let me provide you with some data. According to the State of the Fandom 2008, approximately a quarter of furries are homosexual, a quarter heterosexual, and a third bisexual (the others gave no preference). Fewer than 20% of responders identified themselves as “Christian,” with the majority being agnostic and atheist. There were more pagans than Protestants. And furries tend to be much more open about their sexuality, their (anti)religious beliefs, or other behaviors. This adds another dimension to the analysis. But the overall attitude is one that will allow most any socially-marginalized mindset.

In other words, the fandom gives furries an opportunity to “feel good” about themselves, where they can experience what passes for love.

What does this mean for Christian furs? We find ourselves a minority in the fandom, generally opposed to the filth that makes up no small part of it. We are a sub-class of sorts.

Now, I said the furry fandom came across as accepting. I will maintain this position. However, there is a mindset that they are not as willing to tolerate, and that is evangelical Christianity. Why is this? I offer one primary reason: a perceived lack of love.

Mainstream furries see a crowd that has sacrificed the love of God for traditions of man, erecting an arbitrary standard based not on the Scriptures but on what they feel is acceptable. There is no love here. Instead, there is coldness, a silent look that tells the furry that “their kind” isn’t allowed here. And sometimes it isn’t silent, but a word of condemnation. So furries see a Church that is distant, that openly condemns them without knowing them. I think this is the largest hurdle Christians in the furry community face. And some in the fandom propagate this attitude. Without taking the time to see furries as humans, they instead focus on their sinful behavior and rail at them until the furries return the favor and respond with similar, hateful words. Our reputation has been tarnished by those who speak before they think.

This is not to say that we should ignore the darkness in the fandom. We can’t do that; we’d be abandoning our duty as Christians if we let them wallow in their chains, without declaring freedom. But we also can’t treat them as inhuman filth. God created them. They have value. And we must not forget that we were in darkness too, once.

I want to be like Jesus. He went to the ones who needed Him, speaking truth and love because He IS the truth and love! I do not want to wink at the works of darkness, but neither do I want to place myself on a pedestal, viewing those around me as lower than I am. I want to live my life in full surrender to God, seeing His creation as He sees it and doing as He directs, no matter what.

Anyone else?