Friday, February 29, 2008

Colombia Trip Preview

Tomorrow I fly out of O’Hare to begin a 12 day tour of Colombia. I’ll be part of a small delegation of Mennonites visiting sister churches there. Ken Moyer, Wilmer Otto and I will be representing First Mennonite of Urbana-Champaign, and visiting El Divino Redentor in Bucaramanga, Colombia. The first part of the delegation will be spent in Bogota, where we will learn about the current political and social situation in Colombia, as well as what MCC and other peace-oriented NGOs are doing.

Probably like most Americans, when I think of Colombia, I think of drug cartels and violence, but am never quite up on who is doing what to whom. I seem to recall something called a ‘farc,’ a bunch of paramilitary outside government control, and lots of bad guys doing terrible things.

But, I’m probably ahead of the average American in that I’m vaguely aware that the US Government continues to pump billions of dollars into arms for Colombia’s war on drugs/terror/communism/whatever, and that those who benefit from that money are probably up to no good. It just seems a little too suspicious when money is so quickly rebranded to fight whatever the current bogeyman happens to be. First it was communism, then it was drugs, and now it is terrorism, and yet it is always weapons of violence sent to the same people.

My pre-trip recommended reading material is “Colombia: A genocidal democracy.” I was able to pick it up from Amazon for about $2, because the marketplace has spoken, and genocidal democracy is a total downer. The good news is that it is just over 100 pages, so it may be depressing and disturbing, but it compresses it into a single, bite-sized chunk of despondency.

From what I understand so far, Colombia consists of a small number of extremely wealthy people who own a lot of stuff. They pay thugs to control a vast number of poor people, who the wealthy people fear will take their stuff. Some poor people get fed up with being oppressed, and take up arms to revolt. Lots of violence ensues. It may sound like every other society since the beginning of civilization, but it is apparently more so in Colombia.

Specifically, Colombia has three main groups of organized violence. The first is the state and its army. The second is the paramilitary groups, who are basically the private armies of large landowners and drug-traffickers. The third are the insurgents, like the FARC and the ELN, who used to be communists, but now use drugs and kidnapping to finance their operations. We should not forget the poor masses, who just want to live in peace, but are often forced to take sides, and preyed upon by all sides.

That’s my shallow understanding of it, as much as a few days of reading have provided. I’m certainly not going to pretend or predict that I will be some kind of expert after a week and a half there. But I will describe my experience of being there, which I guess is all we can ever do.

I hope to post again on Sunday, after I’ve arrived and found an internet cafĂ©.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Search Mania 4

I haven't put up search terms in awhile, so here goes. These are actual search terms people have used and clicked through to some page or other on this blog.

All I can say is that there continues to be a disturbing number of ways people reach this blog.

However, I am saddened to report that I have dropped to the number three spot for google search results for the phrase "mennonite porn." I am hoping this post moves me back into the number two spot, where I rightfully belong, just under the actual mennonite porn site.

My favorite this time around: ideological love weenie. Other than being the possible name of an alternative rock band, I can think of no other use for such a phrase.

Here they are:

do mennonites burn their dresses
mennonite department of peace
mennonite Lubbock
Mennonite juice
mennonite love sex
mennonites and sex
dead rodent inside wall stink
how long will a mouse smell
bumbling democrats
mennonite porn
mennonite murder
spelling motivation
nasty Mennonites
why mennonites stink
dead mouse can't find what to do
moral issues all about the indian dress
mennonite rituals and ceremonies
secret evidence champaign
are mennonites allowed to hunt
proud to be Mennonite
how long before a dead mouse stop stinking
mennonite national anthem
amish milkman murder
disability jokes
do christians think that charity makes people lazy
butt for a pillow
bowels stink
eric forman annoying
mennonite see the panties
mennonites treatment of animals
list of things mennonites cannot do
jesus teaching hell
corny the Mennonite
so misunderstood commercial
ideological love weenie
mennonite anti America
people against giving money to charity
when in doubt escalate a situation
4th circle of hell
are mennonites socialists
good peer pressure
idolatry of security - social security
mennonite hair
arguing with fundies
using mind control for mennonite religion
where does the free rice go to
nasty valantine quotes
lame valentines day quotes
using mind control for mennonite religion
mennonites and slavery in the usa
jumper cables hooked to niples tv commercial
funny mennonite videos
how long are mouse years
mennonite and coercion
charity a cheap substitute for social justice
better than crazy talk program
why conservatives are wrong
purgatory for the gluttonous

Right and Wrong Prediction

For those scoring at home, I was both right and wrong on one of my predictions from Super Tuesday. I had noted that the vitriol coming from conservative commentators about McCain was only primary bluster. Here's what I said:

“I predict that they were just trying to scare their base away from McCain for Super Tuesday, and will find some trivial reason to support McCain again by November.”
From the LA Times:

A controversial New York Times story accusing Sen. John McCain of an untoward relationship with a Washington lobbyist set off a furor among readers and journalists, and seemed to unify conservative commentators around the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.
Although “by November” was vague, and technically accurate, I never thought their “opposition” would last less than two weeks. So, for estimating the duplicity of Limbaugh and others in terms of months rather than in terms of days, I feel like I got this more wrong than right, since it should not have been that hard to predict. Dang.

Despite all the ranting by conservatives about this story, it is by far the best possible time to report it. Had it come out before he wrapped up the race, he probably would not have been nominated, which would have been bad for Republicans (despite his weaknesses, he’s still the best shot the Republicans have). By releasing it immediately after he won the nomination, and as far away from November as possible, it will be a forgotten, buried story by November.

Actually, I think I will amend that prediction. The issue of the depravity of the NY Times, and liberals in general, will live on forever in the conservative blogosphere. But the story of McCain's ties to lobbyist will not be an issue come November.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Smile Politely

Champaign-Urbana has a newish alternative salon-type website called Smile Politely. It will try to fill the gap between the News Gazette and all those other attempts at weekly alternative papers. I still miss The Octopus, and Smile Politely looks like it wants to be a web alternative in that tradition.

Of course, I am biased, because I now count myself as one of their vast array of contributors. In my first opinion piece for them, I attempt to explain how diversity can prevent mass murder, except when it it doesn't.

I'm really happy to be on board there, because I've been feeling the need for more community in my writing. Also, I need an editor a lot of the time.

I plan to eventually do one post a week for them, although things will be in flux for the next month, because of my upcoming Colombia trip. I'll link anything I do for them from here.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Random Oscar Thoughts

Best way to watch the Oscars: Start watching at 9:00pm using Tivo (or Tivo-like Windows Media Center, in my case). Then skip past all the commercials, all the musical numbers and all the boring awards.


Why do people use their moment of glory to list people they know, rather than make a comment about the state of the world, or movie making, or even just make a simple joke for crying out loud? There are a billion people watching - why not use it to say something meaningful, or at least entertaining?

I wish more people were like Alex Gibney, who won with the documentary Taxi to the Dark Side:

“Here's to all doc filmmakers. And, truth is, I think my dear wife Anne was kind of hoping I'd make a romantic comedy, but honestly, after Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, extraordinary rendition that simply wasn't possible. This is dedicated to two people who are no longer with us, Dilawar, the young Afghan taxi driver, and my father, a navy interrogator who urged me to make this film because of his fury about what was being done to the rule of law. Let's hope we can turn this country around, move away from the dark side and back to the light.”

I appreciated that Jon Stewart let Best Song winner Marketa Irglova back on stage after they had cut off the mike after her partner had finished. She also had a good speech:
”Hi everyone. I just want to thank you so much. This is such a big deal, not only for us, but for all other independent musicians and artists that spend most of their time struggling, and this, the fact that we're standing here tonight, the fact that we're able to hold this, it's just to prove no matter how far out your dreams are, it's possible. And, you know, fair play to those who dare to dream and don't give up. And this song was written from a perspective of hope, and hope at the end of the day connects us all, no matter how different we are. And so thank you so much, who helped us along way. Thank you.”
So, in sum, either speak truth to power, or give us hope that our dreams can come true.


I thought Michael Clayton was the best overall movie that I had seen on the list, but I was secretly pulling for Juno, especially for Ellyn Page as Best Actress. Oh well.

On the Best Actor front, three of my favorite actors are Daniel Day-Lewis, George Clooney, and Johnny Depp, so it was hard to go wrong. But I was pulling for Depp, because he hasn’t won one before. Oh well, again.

The only thing I was sure of before the night began was that Javier Bardem would win for best supporting actor. Yay, I’m right about something!


I've heard great things about Taxi to the Dark Side. I hope it plays somewhere in town now.


Why does a child actress get a nomination every other year or so? Isn't this a slap in the face to grown-up actresses? It seems vaguely sexist to me, but I can't articulate why.

I wonder if it is because there are fewer interesting roles for women than for men in most movies.

Jon Stewart was great. He seemed more relaxed and less smart-alecky than last year, and it fit better. My favorite of his lines:

"Does this town need a hug? What happened? No Country for Old Men, Sweeney Todd, There Will Be Blood. All I can say is, thank God for teen pregnancy. "

"Not all films did as well as Juno obviously. The films that were made about the Iraq war, let's face it, did not do as well. But I'm telling you, if we stay the course and keep these movies in the theatres we can turn this around. I don't care if it takes 100 years. Withdrawing the Iraq movies would only embolden the audience. We cannot let the audience win."

"Democrats do have an historic race going. Hillary Clinton vs Barack Obama. Normally, when you see a black man or a woman president an asteroid is about to hit the Statue of Liberty. How will we know it's the future? Silver unitards, that can't be all?"

"Even Norbit got a nomination, which I think is great. … Too often, the academy ignores movies that aren't good. "


Finally, it was sweet to see Diablo Cody win for best original screenplay: “And most of all, I want to thank my family for loving me exactly the way I am,” she said, all choked up. If everyone could say this, the world would be a much better place.

Friday, February 22, 2008

The Patriot Act Sings!

I've been working on other stuff this week, plus the kids are out of school, so there are two Lazy Friday Videos this week.

This ones comes from the First Mennonite Menno-night talent show. It is allegedly a tape that someone discovered in a closet in the basement. I had no idea we had such a rich legacy of social protest music:

Thanks to Greg Springer for putting the video together - great bands need great documentarians.

The skit I was going to be part of was cancelled (out of respect for common decency), so there will be no video of "The Angina Monologues" to be discovered by future generations.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The Spies Who Love You

I love how Mark Fiore manages to mask his blistering criticism of foolishness with perky, optimistic satire:

Monday, February 18, 2008

God Is Unknowable And Let Me Tell You All About Him

Invariably, people who are serious about understanding God admit up front that God is ultimately unknowable. Our human understanding is so limited that to define God via human understanding would make God a small, unimpressive deity. However, this admission is then quickly followed by words, paragraphs, books, volumes, and even libraries filled with descriptions of God, and why their way of describing God and thinking about God is better and more accurate than anyone else’s.

I’m not letting myself off the hook here – I do the same thing. Anyone who believes in a God of some kind, even a Hindu God-is-in-all-things-and-is-all-things, must have a conception of what they are talking about. It’s a paradox that God must be greater than our understanding, and yet we must ignore that inconvenient fact if we are to have any meaningful discourse with others, or a relationship to the divine itself.

So, the incomprehensibility of God should not prevent us from talking about God. But, we need to remind ourselves that we are merely two-dimensional line segments claiming to know what the Great Wall of China looks like, and what its purpose and significance is in the wider world. You would think this would provide us with humility about what we think we understand, and grace towards other religions that might have a completely different view. But you would be wrong.

This is one of the reasons I think behavior matters more than belief. We are probably all equally wrong in our beliefs, each in our own way. But behavior is easier to judge, because we can know whether it brings suffering or relief, whether it is constructive or destructive, whether it is selfish or selfless. Not that we don’t argue endlessly about behavior as well – it is just that the results of behavior are more knowable than the attributes of God.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Lazy Friday Videos, Obama-McCain Style

So, I guess everyone has seen this one:

...which makes this one really, really funny:

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Juno Review

I finally saw Juno, and wrote up a review on the EbertFest blog.

EbertFest is only 2 months away!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Lazy Wednesday Editorial

I've been seriously lax in my letter-to-the-editor writing the last few months. Many would say that is a good thing. Nonetheless, old habits die hard. Here is one I sent off this morning:

A recent News Gazette editorial complained that Dick Durbin is holding up the nomination of a deputy attorney general candidate until the Attorney General launches an investigation into torture by CIA officials.

I am disappointed that the News Gazette feels the need to express such righteous indignation over a government employee appointment, and yet remains silent on the broader issue of whether torture should be the policy of the United States of America. After all, Durbin is just using what leverage he has to insist that the laws of this nation be followed by its own law enforcement agency, something which the News Gazette apparently considers merely “political.”

This reminds me of a twist on an old joke. The editorial is like attending Ford’s Theatre on the night of Lincoln’s assassination, and then complaining afterward about the poor stage production and the unprofessional interruptions.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Colombia Here I Come

I am so illiterate.

I thought I would clear up where I am going on my upcoming trip:

Not Columbia, Missouri
Not Columbia, Maryland or South Carolina
Not Columbia, AL, CA, CN, IL, IA, KY, LA, ME, MI, NH, NJ, NY, NC, PA, TN, or VA
Not Columbia, District of
Not Columbia Medical School
Not even Columbia Music Record Club

That nice list of states with cities named ‘Columbia’ is courtesy of Wikipedia, which also warned me not to confuse “Columbia’ with ‘Colombia’, the country in South America. Shoot. I had no idea they were spelled differently. So much for being clever. It turns out I’m just ignorant.

Nonetheless I am going to Colombia, South America Mar 1-12, to visit our sister church in Bucaramanga. It is part of an MCC (Mennonite Central Committee) learning tour delegation, where we will find out what they and other worthy service organizations (like JustaPaz) are up to in Colombia. We will stay in Bogota for the first part of the week, before heading off to our El Divino Redentor, our sister church.

I've been a little nervous about the trip, and almost backed out, but now that I've bought my plane ticket, I'm getting excited about going. I loved being in Guatemala last year. The difference is that Guatamala has had 10 years of peace and Colombia is lucky to get 10 days in a row of peace. But, I trust the MCCers know what they are doing, and they seem to have managed to keep themselves safe.

I’m going with 2 other people at my church, Ken Moyer and Wilmer Otto. I like Wilmer’s attitude. He thought we should pre-collect ransom money from the church and take it with us, in case any bad things happen. If we can avoid being captured, we should be allowed to spend the money on whatever we want. I doubt that First Mennonite of Urbana will go for that, but it turns out not to be a great plan anyway, because we would have to spend all the money at the airport, to ensure it would not be needed later.

I do plan to blog while in Bogota, so the first part of March will be spent complaining about my discomfort and making my blog readers feel guilty about the opulence and splendor of their middle-class American lives. I thought I'd mention that now, so everyone can get whipped up into a frenzy of anticipation.

Friday, February 08, 2008

The Electoral College

One story from the California primaries that hasn’t gotten much attention is that the Republican effort to split California’s electoral votes now finally appears to be fully dead.

Republicans have been trying to get a referendum on the ballot that would have split California electoral votes by congressional district, assuring that about 20 electoral votes from conservative districts would have gone to the Republican candidate out the 55 total California delegates. This would have been equivalent to winning Ohio, and would swing the election if it were at all close. Apparently they couldn’t get enough signatures, so the ballot died. Republican chicanery is temporarily impeded – hurray for common propriety!

Even after the fiasco of the 2000 election, I was still a supporter of the Electoral College. It seemed random to me that it was the Democrats who got screwed, so I didn't blame it on the anachronistic delegate system our agrarian forefathers devised to protect small states.

The thing is, I've always been partial to the argument that the Electoral College protects small states. The theory is that candidates would ignore small states if the only thing that matters is total vote count. Politicians would go to where most of the people are, because that’s where the most votes could be won using the same amount of effort.

However, the last 8 years have shown something very different. It isn’t the big states that get all the attention, it is the states where there is a lot of conflict over who to vote for – the battleground states. Big states like New York, Texas, California, and entire regions like the South are more or less ignored in presidential elections, because their votes are already locked up, usually before a candidate is even nominated by a party.

I see no reason why the constitution should protect states that can’t make up their mind about who to vote for. If that is all the Electoral College is accomplishing, then we may as well change it to a different system – perhaps one that is more representational and democratic. One-person, one-vote springs to mind, but, hey, what do I know?

So, I’ve decided that I’m against the Electoral College. The halls of power in this country must now be shaking in their foundations because of my pronouncement, not unlike the phenomena where the Pope falls off the Chair of St. Peter everytime a common parishioner decides he is fallible. But I don’t care what kind of discomfort I cause – I'm a reckless American with a blog, and I'm not afraid to use it.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Super Duper Tuesday Observations

I am rooting for Obama for the Democratic nomination, and the presidency. I’m under no illusions that he is some kind of savior, or that he will be able to fix all the deep problems our country has. But one thing I’ve learned over the last 7 years is that while a politician may not be able to make things a lot better, a determined one can make things a lot worse. Of the viable candidates out there, Obama seems like he will do the least amount of damage, and has the best possibility of accomplishing good. How’s that for a ringing endorsement?

It looks like after all is said and done from yesterday, Clinton picked up 5 more delegates than Obama, so it was essentially a tie. However, I found the total delegate count after yesterday interesting:

CandidatePledgedSuper DelegatesTotal

2,025 delegates are needed to win

Pledged delegates are based on popular vote and caucuses, and superdelegates are party officials and insiders who decide to pledge their vote to one candidate or the other. So, Obama is leading by votes, but Clinton gets a bonus for being a party insider. It isn’t terribly democratic, but I like the way it honestly reflects how we really elect our politicians. Those with them most connections to power and the most willing to serve power are given extra help.

One interesting thing about the voting results so far is that Obama seems to be winning a lot of the Red States (South Carolina, Alabama, Georgia, Kansas, Idaho Wyoming), and Clinton a lot of the Blue States (Californa, Northeast). I can’t tell if this is good or bad. Obama will not be winning those states in November, but it might point to him doing well among independents, which will matter in swing states. However, I would bet that everyone who votes for Clinton now will vote for Obama in the fall if he is nominated, so it isn’t clear that not doing as well as Clinton in Blue States will hurt him much.

On the Republican side, it looks like McCain is going to win. He is both the best and the worst Republican candidate. Best in that he scares me the least of all other Republicans and worst in that he has probably always had the best chance to beat a Democrat.

What I don’t understand about McCain is why Limbaugh, Hannity, Coulter and all the other gasbags on the right hate him so much. I understand that he doesn’t seem conservative enough for them, but that doesn’t explain the sheer amount of vitriol directed at him. Coulter says she would vote for Clinton over McCain, because she is more conservative? That may be true, but I still can’t see Republicans breaking ranks like that. After all, that has always been their strength – support your person in power no matter what kind of quagmire he drags the country through. I predict that they were just trying to scare their base away from McCain for Super Tuesday, and will find some trivial reason to support McCain again by November.

As for Obama, I think the best thing for him right now would be for McCain to wrap up his nomination quickly, so Obama can start getting all of McCain's independent votes.

Lastly, polls still indicate that McCain would beat Clinton in the general election, and Obama would beat McCain. If that holds after today, it clearly indicates that Democrats will nominate Clinton.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Super Bowl XLII Life Lessons

The best thing about the Super Bowl isn’t usually the football, but the life lessons it generously gives us, year after constant year. Last night culminated a banner year for both good football and subliminal messages. Here are the lessons I was able to extract from the event, after stripping away all the pageantry:

1. Violence is Funny. Sources:

(a) Doritos, where a guy sets a mousetrap, opens a bag of Doritos, and large mouse jumps out of wall to beat him up (bonus life lesson: Mice will beat the crap out of you if you eat Doritos).
(b), where salesmen are threatened with violence as part of the negotiation process. As you know, I’m not normally a fan of violence, but I do get tempted when it is both really funny and directed at car salesmen.
(c) Toyota, where ferocious badgers attack a guy whose cell phone awakens them.
(d) Ice Breakers, where a guy gives an Ice Breaker to Carmen Electra, then gets beat up by her bodyguards because she likes it.
(e) Career, where Jiminy Cricket gets eaten by a Spider while wishing for a better job.
(f) Bud Light, where flying guy gets sucked into a jet engine.
(g) FedEx, where carrier pigeons wreak havoc on streets by flinging cars through office windows.

2. Guys Are Oafs. Sources:

(a) Bud Light, where guys set their dates apartments on fire, hide beer inside cheese blocks, and can’t figure out how to use a wheel.
(b) Gatorade, which is so good you will lick it off the floor like a dog.

3.Racial Stereotypes Are Funny. Sources:
(1), where Indian and Asian stereotypes find success by using their website, using comical, foreign accents
(2) Bud Light, where Carlos Mendes teaches foreigners how to pick up women in a bar (also, guys are oafs).
(3) Taco Bell, where Mexican food is always eaten with Mexican singers serenading you.

4. Short People, Tall People, and Unattractive People Are Funny. Sources:
(1) Garmin, showing a comically short Napoleon finding his way to his comically small horse using GPS.
(2) Mineral Water, where Shaq wins a horserace, and is comically tall.
(3) Planters peanuts, where men fall all over a not entirely unattractive women because she is wearing the scent of nuts (also, guys are oafs).

5.Cell Phones Are Good Ways to Stalk Your Friends: T-Mobile, with Charles Barkley harassing Dwayne Wade.

6. Caffiene is Good. Sources:
(1) Diet Pepsi Max, showing that famous people will nod their heads to “A Night at the Roxbury” when they are filled up with a sufficient amount of caffeine.
(2) AMP soda, which shows a tow truck driver jump start a car with his nipples (also, guys are oafs).

7. There is Going to be an Unintelligible Revolution. Source: UnderArmor shoes, which is what the leaders of this unintelligible revolution will apparently be wearing.

8. Personal Hygene is Important. Source: Tide, where a stain on an interviewees shirt talks as loud as the interviewee.

9. There Is Even More Sex on the Internet Than on TV. Source: GoDaddy, which all but promised that Danica Patrick would strip naked in front of us on their website.

10. Sex is Better than Football. Source: Victoria Secrets, where a model tells us with her eyes and her teddy that we should not be watching football after all.

Although not a life lesson, the Super Bowl also taught us a few other things:
  • The Patriots are not The Best Sports Team in the History of Sports.

  • The Patriots are not The Best Football Team in the History of Football.

  • The Patriots are apparently not best team in the NFL this year.

Even as I write this, I know that last one isn’t true. The Patriots have clobbered almost everyone this year, and even a diehard Patriots denier like myself must admit that they were clearly the best overall team in the league this year. This means that the Super Bowl doesn’t actually determine who the best team is - it just decides who won the championship. The Patriots had the misfortune to bunch their loss at the end.

Still, you have to win the Championship to be relevant, as the Colts have learned the hard way over the last few years (with the shocking exception of last year) . What worries me most about this loss is that the Patriots are going to be fired up again next year, and probably have even less mercy on everyone else than they did this year (which was no mercy at all, as far as I could tell).

Anyway, for the recond, my favorite commercials were:
  • T-Mobile with Charles Barkley

  • with the ring of fire guy (“uh, you should definitely step outside the ring of fire, yea, just to avoid any confusion.”)

  • Tide, with the talking stain

  • Pepsi, where Justin Timberlake gets sucked across the city. I have new, favorable opinion of Justin after seeing this commercial.

  • Victoria Secrets (because guys are oafs, and I am a guy). UPDATE: My wife would like to amend this to slobbering oaf. Thanks, honey.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Purgatory Here I Come

It is only fitting to end Blasphemy Week here at MMM by reporting my results from the Dante's Inferno Internet Test:

The Dante's Inferno Test has sent you to Purgatory!

You have escaped damnation and made it to Purgatory, a place where the dew of repentance washes off the stain of sin and girds the spirit with humility. Through contrition, confession, and satisfaction by works of righteousness, you must make your way up the mountain. As the sins are cleansed from your soul, you will be illuminated by the Sun of Divine Grace, and you will join other souls, smiling and happy, upon the summit of this mountain. Before long you will know the joys of Paradise as you ascend to the ethereal realm of Heaven.

Here is how you matched up against all the levels:
[Note: sorry about the formatting - blogger doesn't seem to like tables]

Purgatory (Repenting Believers)Very High
Level 1 - Limbo (Virtuous Non-Believers)Very High
Level 2 (Lustful)High
Level 3 (Gluttonous)Low
Level 4 (Prodigal and Avaricious)Low
Level 5 (Wrathful and Gloomy)Very Low
Level 6 - The City of Dis (Heretics)Very Low
Level 7 (Violent)Low
Level 8- the Malebolge (Fraudulent, Malicious, Panderers)Low
Level 9 - Cocytus (Treacherous)Low

So, I'm a virtuous but lustful non-believer who nonetheless squeeks into purgatory, but I'm not at all a heretic. I'm beginning to suspect that this test might not be terribly valid. I guess heresy must be different for Dante than for contemporary Christians. He probably views this whole substitutionary atonement through satisfaction thing as just a fad.

Ironically, despite correctly identifying my inner lust, there was an ad at the top of the results page offering to find me an internet girlfriend:

Or maybe it isn't so ironic. Maybe that's how this site makes their money - food for the gluttons, girls for the pervs, guns for the violent, and New Age books for the heretics. Hmmm...I wonder what circle of hell opportunistic capitalists go to...