Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas is Christian?

Ok, so the holiday we call Christmas does have the word Christ in it. But, what about all those traditional Christmas customs?

Let's begin with the timing.  If one reads the Bibe, it certainly points to a time other than late December as the birth of Jesus. Oddly enough, many pagan rituals predating Jesus' birth take place in this time of year. Late December, specifically, the 25th, seems to be the time of birth for many deities - all predating Jesus.

Now then, what about those trees? Our beautiful Christmas trees, surely they are strictly christian in nature? Sorry, no they are not. The use of evergreen trees is a European pagan tradition. The evergreen symbolized rebirth to these pagans and was used in the celebration of the winter solstice. Which occurs, amazingly enough,  in late December. These was referred to as the celebration of Yule, for their "Sun God".

The fat man in a red suit? Well, it seems he may have started out as Odin, the pagan Norse god, a frightful character if ever there was.

None of which means a damned thing. Just don't try to convince me that "Jesus is the reason for the season". Because, it seems he has little to do with it after all.

Happy Holidays, pagans ;-) 

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The purpose of life

The Muslims purpose may be to serve Allah, the Christian to serve God (they are the same!).
The parent's purpose may be to see that her children grow into fine adults.
The addicts purpose may be to find his next fix, or to get himself clean.
Politically, conservatives have a purpose, liberals have a different purpose.
A woman's purpose may be to be independent, or to be partnered with someone.
A man may or may not want self sufficiency.

My point is, we all want something different. We all have different perspectives, regardless how large or small those differences may be, they are differences. How then, can we ever hope to see a universal Purpose of Life?

In my life, I had the good fortune to meet and train with the father of American Tae Kwon Do, Grand Master Jhoon Rhee. Master Rhee and I are from different cultural backgrounds, different ethnic groups, and different religious beliefs. However, he taught me the universal purpose of life. The purpose, as he explained it, transcends all of our differences. We ALL have the same purpose.
The Purpose of life is to be Happy.

Simple really. We are supposed to be happy. Whatever we may do, whatever we may say, how ever we may believe, is all done in the pursuit of our happiness.

Can we actually achieve happiness? Who knows? What is important, is that we strive for that happiness.

Of course, we must be careful that the pursuit of our happiness does not infringe on someone else's happiness. Or at least try :-)

Or, I suppose one could follow Emerson:
"The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well."
But, then again, he is merely stating what made him happy ...


And, Yes. I am pursuing my own happiness ;-)

Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Religious Right vs Jesus...

We see a lot of conservative flak generated towards president Obama these days. They like to claim he is a socialist, or worse, a muslim.

I know that not many good muslims would claim to be christian, so we could probably toss that one out on that basis alone. The socialist claim, however, might be a little harder to deal with.

I'll concede that some of his plans, from my limited understanding, may seem socialist. But so do a lot of other, time honored, American institutions (The military, public schools, and Social Security, just to name a few). Whether or not he is a socialist, I'm not convinced.

But, if we are to judge Obama by the criteria set forth by the conservatives, perhaps we should aso hold another, beloved, leader to the same criteria???

YesI am going there.

Jesus was a socialist !

"How so?" you ask. Let's examine together, shall we?

"And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth. Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me. And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions. And Jesus looked round about, and saith unto his disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God! And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus answereth again, and saith unto them, Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God!It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God" Mark 10:21-25

"My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons. For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment; And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool: Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts? Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him? But ye have despised the poor. Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment seats? Do not they blaspheme that worthy name by the which ye are called?" James 2:1-7 (he's really giving it to the "rich pricks" here)

And, finally, what about that Health Care fiasco of the president's?
"When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal." - Matthew 25:38-41. It seems Jesus is, in no uncertain terms, telling his followers that they are, indeed, responsible for taking care of their less fortunate brethren.


But, hey, I'm no Christian. Nor, am I a socialist. But if I were either, I'd certainly see the connection here.

Religious Right,

 isn't it about time you started following the teachings of your master?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Blogger isn't updating my posts. Wassupwithat??

OK, I have been neglecting this blog for quite some time. It's just that I haven't had sufficient ire for a good rant. Or, what passes for a good rant from me ;-)

Shit, folks, look at the title. Do you actually think I came up with apathy by mistake? Ingnerence Egnorence Ignnorince Ignorance fits pretty well too.
I am those things !

Where was I?
Yes, my rant.

What the HELL is up with Texas wanting to remove Thomas Jefferson from their History textbooks ?

They seem to have a problem with the fact he was NOT a good christian sheep it seems. I've read a lot of Jefferson, and while he may be somewhat of a hypocrite by today's standards, he is one of the finest political philosophers in history. Yes, he advocated the separation of church and state. No he did not say you couldn't worship, or that you had to worship. He merely felt that it should an individuals free choice whether he worshipped as a Christian, a Jew, or whatever.
Or maybe they have a problem reconciling what the man who wrote the Declaration of Independance meant and their twisted version that they would like us to believe ?

The following quote seems quite explanatory (to me anyway):
"But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg." Jefferson, Notes on Virginia 1782

Like it or not, Texas School Board, Jefferson was instrumental in the development of our American form of government . To try and downplay that contribution to our society is to be remiss in your duties as an educational body.

And, back to me, and my lack of posting lately... screw it. I aint no nice guy after all.

Doncha just love Motorhead?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

forgive me

We see the idea of forgiveness bantied about a lot in relation to religion. I'm not really sure I need to be forgiven for much, on a spirital level anyway.

I have wronged a bit in the past. I think most of the ladies have forgiven me my transgressions.

But this makes me question the need for forgiveness from a creator type being. Why would he need to forgive us for acting like he made us ?

Yes, forgive me my personal transgressions. Punish me if I break the law. But, why would I seek frgiveness from a god that created me to be how I am?

Friday, July 9, 2010

What would you do...

I've always liked this song. Well, not always, but since 1983, when it came out, I have liked it.

It brings an interesting question to my mind:

And if I show you my dark side
Will you still hold me tonight?
And if I open my heart to you
And show you my weak side
What would you do?
Would you sell your story to Rolling Stone?
Would you take the children away
And leave me alone?
And smile in reassurance
As you whisper down the phone?
Would you send me packing?
Or would you take me home?

What becomes of us after we share our deepest secrets with another ? And, is that a good idea?

....I don't mean my Peanut Butter fantasies, so behave yourselves.
or not ;-)

Friday, June 18, 2010

Say it with me....or to me.

Everybody knows it.
Some may pretend they don't, but I imagine we all have used it at one time or another. Some of us more than others.

Don't be shy, as this video demonstrates, it is the most useful of words.

Now that we can admit that we have all used it at least once, join me in saying,
Fuck You !

Fuck you BP !
Fuck you  Boss for making me start work at 6am, forcing me to awaken at 4:30am.
Fuck you little old lady who pulled out in front of me today. You almost died!
Fuck you religion for screwing up so many minds.

Fuck the fucking fuckers !

Please, feel free to add a "Fuck You" to anything that has gotten under your skin lately!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

God Thinks.....

Which one?

Now, explain how your version of God is different. I hope he is.

AND, since the ladies say Voltaire sucks, I give you Motorhead!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Apparently Grandma had a thing for cavemen...

I admit, this is way above my head. But I am interested how we, as a species, came about.

Well, yeah, it's boring and science-y. But, it does explain a few things about our origins.

It appears that modern humans may have about 2% Neanderthal as part of their genetic makeup.

Some of us, maybe more ;-)

Intersting too, is this research, that suggests we may have eaten our homonid ancestors into extinction. That, too, makes me wonder why we, as humans, are so damned cruel!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Oklahoma is not OK

The state of Oklahoma has recently passed legislation that requires all women having an abortion to witness a sonogram of the fetus they are carrying. There is to be no exceptions, to include rape and incest victims.

Bullshit Oklahoma!
I don't work in the medical field, but I do know, depending on the stage of pregnancy, some sonograms must be performed transvaginally.
Imagine, if you can, a young girl is raped. Imagine that she doesn't want to be reminded of the criminal that did this to her everyday for the rest of her life, or even bring an incestuous baby into the world, so she makes the painful decision to abort - Only to be violated again by a doctor.

Does that make any sense?

I imagine the thought process is that forcing the woman to see the fetus might convince her to not abort.
We might enforce similar laws regarding other "distasteful" things in our society. We could force our children to watch videos of babies drowning before we taught them about Noah's Ark? Surely if one believes the story, one must admit that babies did, indeed, drown!
Ridiculous? Maybe, but so is forcing rape victims to be undergo more humiliation.

Monday, April 26, 2010

A new day ...

"God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him. How shall we comfort ourselves, the murderers of all murderers? What was holiest and mightiest of all that the world has yet owned has bled to death under our knives: who will wipe this blood off us? What water is there for us to clean ourselves? What festivals of atonement, what sacred games shall we have to invent? Is not the greatness of this deed too great for us? Must we ourselves not become gods simply to appear worthy of it?" -  excerpt from The Madman by Friedrich Neitzsche

Well, Fred, if we must find a new religion, I suggest Love.

Ziggy speaks for me here. Let us pray :-)

Monday, March 29, 2010

Maybe I should wash my dirty mind.

We all have our preconceptions. Some are stronger than others. But we have them, none the less.

None of this means you are necessarily wrong. It means that you would probably believe the same whether or not you are wrong.
Sure, there are other factors involved. Our personalities play a great deal in our beliefs.

I'm a synic by nature. I tend to not believe in things unless I have proof. The greater the claim, the more proof I require. Some people are not as cyncal, they believe without much questioning. I don't understand them. But I understand that they might not understand me either.

I suppose the point I wish to put acroos is, don't accept things as true or false just because you come from a different perspective.
We see it often.
In politics, republicans and democrats often disagree merely based on party lines. Some of what the other side does and says makes a lot of sense, but we fail to see it because "they are not us". Stop that!
In religion, people can see the flaws in someone elses faith, but fail to see glaring flaws in their own. Christians hate Muslims, Muslims hate Jews, Everybody hates those pesky Hare Krishnas...Stop it. You're all delusional to a point.

Can't we just accept that we all are a little different. Those differences are what makes it all so fascinating to me. Go on, give it a try :-)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

I'll get around to it, at some point.

I bought this old house a few of months ago.  I was supposed to be a little further along in the "fixing it up" process than I am now. Things happen, you know?

Really, it's mostly cosmetic things that need done.
Like getting rid of this awful blue paint in the Living Room

I went with neutral colors.

The floors are quite nice, and don't need a lot of work. Though, I'm sure this beast will change all that.

The house was built in the 1920s. At 1800sf, it's kind of big for me, the dog and our part-time roommate, my son.  But, I like the space. The big rooms and 10ft ceilings appeal to my male sensibilities

I will get around to finishing. I just happen to be kind of like this guy.

...In more ways than one might imagine

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Consider, if you will...

The debate rages on (in my mind) over this idea of Free-will.

Am I getting close pboy?

This guy makes a few points. Why do humans, among all other creatures, seem to be the only ones exempt from chance?

What is the plan this god has for us and why would he (she/it) subject us to this delima, if only to punish us for not doing as he wishes?

I'm sure everyone has heard about the dyslexic agnostic with insomnia...

Yes, he lay awake at night wondering if there was a dog

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Why I aughta...

The world is crumbling?
Kids today are so terrible?
They're damned ingrates?
We were never like that, were we?
We appreciated all we had?

These guys had it made compared to my upbringing!

"What is happening to our young people? They disrespect their elders, they disobey their parents. They ignore the law. They riot in the streets inflamed with wild notions. Their morals are decaying. What is to become of them?"  - Plato, 400 bc

"I see no hope for the future of our people if they are dependent on frivolous youth of today, for certainly all youth are reckless beyond words... When I was young, we were taught to be discreet and respectful of elders, but the present youth are exceedingly wise [disrespectful] and impatient of restraint" - Hersoid, 800 bc

It seems young folks being a pain in the ass is nothing new. I know they're frustrating. But usually, I find it is mostly me, forgetting what it was like being a kid myself :-)

Still, if that boy of mine doesn't straighten up, I'm gonna clobber him good !

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Good News ... well, maybe

If National Geographic Magazine can be believed, A new study  would suggest that cell phone radiation may protect against and even slow the effects of Alzheimers Disease.

This is good news, if it's correct. At least, for me, it's good news ;-)

It's good in as much as cell phone usage has become ubiquitous.
So much so, that I often wonder what we did before we had such conviences. We actually had to seek out payphones if we needed to make a call on the run.
Not only have we come to rely on the phone's calling convenience, we demand so much more from our phones now. They must text, email, have web access and a host of advanced things unheard of just a few years ago. My phone makes toast (milquetoast?)

Is our reliance on mobile phones just another in our growing list of technological dependencies? Do these dependencies make us stronger?

                                                             this is my current POS phone

Ha, I just now see the irony of asking those questions in this format :-)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Come back anytime, buddy.

Recently, our blogger buddy oneblood seemed to disappear.
I had been trying to locate him, emailing and whatnot.

I heard from him, just now :-)

He's fine.
He mentioned time constraints, familial obligations, and schoolin' were a big factor. Ya gotta respect those priorties!

He'll be missed around here, surely. But, I suspect he may pop in from time to time, even if he didn't say as much.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Faith ! What good is it?

I think the fact that we can't prove god exists is a given at this point.
But, "Ya gotta have faith", you say.

saying it much better than I could ever!

I suppose if you have faith, it's OK for YOU. But, please understand that your faith does not, in any way, make the object of your faith any more real.

Understand that having faith and, indeed, even prayer may get resutls for you. But, just as likely, so will meditation to yourself.
It is the human mind, in my opinion, that causes the faith and prayer to work, not some distant cosmic power.

Let's give ourselves credit. We are the gods!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

When you can't be all that you can be.....

There's talk around Wahington about lifting the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy in the military. Even General Colin Powell (ret USArmy) has gotten behind the lifting of the ban. Powell, you may remember, was previously against homosexuals openly serving in the Army. He said it was a "behavioral characteristic", unlike skin color, which was a "benign characteristic".

Powell now says, "If the chiefs and commanders are comfortable with moving to change the policy, then I support it. Attitudes and circumstances have changed. Society is reflected in the military. It’s where we get our soldiers from."
Other than ending his sentence with a preposition, he's right.

The Army has long been a forerunner in civil rights. Black Americans were integrated in the Army before society at large accepted them as equals (if they are today?). The complete desegragation of races was not implemented overnight. It was a slow process. Many fine examples of valor among "negro" units exist. From the Buffalo Soldiers to the Tuscagee Airmen, black Americans had fought and died with distinction - only to be segragated.

Don't Ask, Don't Tell was a landmark decission, to be sure. Up to that point, homosexual Americans had been barred from service in any branch of the military. Don't ask, don't tell provided a way for homosexuals to serve. However, serving came with restrictions. They had to stay in the closet, living in secrecy.

Race is a bit harder to keep secret. But, should anyone be forced to deny a most fundamental human right as basic as loving who you wish to love? In the United States?

C'mon folks, let's end this bigotry quickly!
What's the great fear? Does anyone really believe homosexuals are less capable to wage war? Is it really any of our business who an adult loves? Are we afraid we'll somehow get gay blood on us and morph into drag queens on the battle feild?

Sure some people aren't going to like it. But, a lot of people weren't comfortable with the idea of intergratin of races either. Would any reasonable person now say that was a bad idea ?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Yabba Dabba Doo

Good ol' nostalgia.
I often hear folks pine away about the "good old days". When I do, I wonder, "When, exactly, were those good old days?".

Lately, I've been thinking our tendacy toward this kind of thinking is just a sympton of getting older.

I mean, "the good old days" never really existed, did they?
I think what we actually miss is our own personal innocence.
We didn't know what the world was. We didn't know that the world was ugly, full of danger.

Basically the "good old days" were only good if you were white, male, Christian, played along with your government, or weren't old enough to know better.

But, even then, how good was it if you couldn't be yourself?
If we go back to those idealyc days, does that mean we go back to the persecution of anything different? Well, I for one, don't want to go!

And, yeah. I just get a kick out these old smoking videos :-)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

a diversion

Once in a land far, far away there lived a group of people called Trids. The Trids were happy except for the huge ogre that lived on the mountain. The ogre would periodically terrorize the Trids.

The Trids tired of the ogre and sought to reason with him. They thought one of their religious leaders would be a good intermediary.
So a group of Trids and their minister went up the mountain and before they could even say one word the ogre kicked them down the mountain.
Not being dismayed the Trids thought that maybe the ogre was Catholic, so they sent another delegation, this time led by the local priest.
 But alas, as they approached the ogre he once again kicked them all down the mountain.

The Trids were upset until they thought that perhaps the ogre was Jewish. Unfortunately, no Trids were Jewish, so they wrote to the people of another land and asked them to send a Rabbi to help them with the ogre.
The Rabbi arrived and led a delegation of Trids up the mountain. The ogre saw them coming and kicked all of them, except for the Rabbi, down the mountain. The Rabbi, having been told of the previous expeditions, wondered why he alone had not been kicked down the mountain, so he asked the ogre. The ogre laughed and replied:

"Silly Rabbi, kicks are for Trids!"

Since Pliny has graced us with his genius, g'head everybody, give me your best groaners ;-)

Friday, January 8, 2010

Wrestling the Pope .....(Someone sent me this song and it awakened my rage, sorry folks)

I don't really want to tackle the Pope. I'll leave that to crazy folks like this:

No, although the lack of security is woefully amusing, the wrestling I want to do with the pope is figurative.
I know it's old news by now, but I want to know what Ratzinger Benedict is doing about the appalling child molesters that rank among his clergy.

Unholy pedophile
Praying on the innocent
Protected by the papacy
So-called men of enlightenment
Children fingered by the hand of god
Raped in the name of Christ
They took a vow of chastity
Yet have torn asunder so many a life

Chickenhawks of the Catholic Church
Out to save and destroy
They have become the priest of burden
And he's become an altered boy

Men so benevolent
In a position of trust
Molesting children by the score
Rendering youg life staight into dust
They're church is their Golgotha
Their chucified by the priest
Child becomes the victim
Holy father becomes the beast

Chickenhawks of the Catholic Church
Out to save and destroy
They have become the priest of burden
And he's become

Multi-million lollar payouts
Resitution for their crimes
This vile sickness
Cut to many down in their prime
All the bishops and the cardinals
Tried to hide it away
In the parish and cathedrels
The pedators come to prey

Chickenhawks of the Catholic Church
Out to save and destroy
They have become the priest of burden
And he's become

What have you done Benny (other than blame the victims)?
It would seem trivial to suggest we pray for your prey.
What will you do about the lives your priests have destroyed?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Gender, sexism, and some other stuff

Oneblood and I were discussing sexism (well, "isms" in general, but you know everthing with me is sex?). I asked what his ideas were in regards to my fondness for females in relation to sexism. ie, does my objectifying women equate to sexism?
He challenged me to post on the subject. And, I haven't posted a new one in a while, so here goes.....

I really like women. I like them in all shapes, sizes, and ethnicities. I find great beauty in the female form. If I were to have a religion, my deity would most assuredly be a woman.

That is not to say, I don't have female friends. I do, many, in fact.

Gender aside, are we objectifying those we are attracted to? Is sex, itself, sexist?