OK, first, I did like your first podcast (pardon me for calling it that, but that's what it is). I'm sure there were some rough spots, but I'm guessing that you're the only person who's aware of them.

About the camping incident: I do think it's a "required course" for Christians to not be disgusted by any other person, including campground drunks, for the obvious reasons -- they're creations of God in His image, we no doubt give God plenty of opportunities to be disgusted by our own thoughts, words, and deeds, etc. But, yes, there's a lot of people who make it tough not to be disgusted. As far as I can tell, more every day.

Just this past weekend, I did my September bit as volunteer campground host at the Salamonie State Forest "family" primitive campground (as opposed to the horseman's campground about half a mile away). There, official quiet hours commence at 11 pm and go to 7 am. As far as I know, on my weekends, there has never been any noticeable noise after about 10 or so. But that's only "as far as I know," because I tend to walk the rounds at about 8:30, and after that, my sleeping bag calls persuasively to me. And once I drift off, it would take a pretty impressive noise to awaken me.

There is one manmade sound I like to hear as I'm lying in my bag on a chilly night. There's a fairly busy railroad track a few miles north, going through the town of Lagro. The sound of the locomotive horn in the night, as it approaches the few road crossings around there ... a romantic sort of sound. Makes me wish I were onboard.

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Sep 20, 2023·edited Sep 20, 2023Author

The last camping trip (not this one) a guy pulled in, dropped his camper, and started walking around the campground all weekend chugging beer with just a pair of shorts. Barefoot, no shirt, shorts barely on sagging below his beer belly. He was barely able to stand up by midday, wandering into people's campsites acting like a fool. As a Christian, I can't be disgusted. But as a person who doesn't want a slobbering drunk wandering around the road or into a campsite...I have zero qualms demanding that a campground maintain their rules.

The more this society craters, the less inclined I am to lower the bar of expectations, because that's not compassion. That's allowing people to become human debris. This means no lowered expectations for education, for public behavior, for "nuisance" rules and laws, etc. You will meet the standard of public decency or you will be asked to leave.* If you want to meet the standard but are truly struggling and want help, great, let's help.

Generally most people are capable of meeting the standard; the very few who truly aren't are who I show compassion on. Parents at a campground modeling drunken and rude behavior will not get my compassion. They can do better for their kids. We can't confuse compassion with ignoring rotten behavior. Compassion on widows, orphans, those unable to help themselves. But not on...adults who refuse to work for their food, or choose to be homeless, or drink themselves into oblivion at a public campground in front of their kids.

The campground I like is one where the host literally starts walking (not driving around in a loud ATV which drowns out noise) the campground once quiet hours start and let people know they mean it. Then they do another loop a half hour later. There is a campground whose reviews are full of people complaining that the camp host enforces quiet hours. So that's where I plan to go next year.

I can get pretty worked up about this. I don't know if it's the culture I grew up in or what, but you get your crap together and control yourself. You don't be a nuisance for others.

*I suspect I may need to do a blog post on this, differentiating why I refused to wear a mask and see that as different.

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I don’t think we’re in any substantial disagreement here. And it is difficult to understand why so many campers go camping for the sole apparent purpose of drinking, and drinking, and drinking. I’ve cleaned up a few picturesque messes in the “vault toilets” in my time.

Of course, I usually indulge my own vice: gluttony. When I return from a weekend of camping, having eaten only 25% more than I should’ve, I feel spuriously virtuous. Too many times, it’s been worse.

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We CANNOT talk about vault toilets. I can't imagine what you've seen. WE CANNOT.

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