Monday, February 27, 2006
Which brings up the question: where did the preconceived notion of a deity come from? Do we imagine him/her/it based on some past experience lodged in our DNA, senses of our distant ancestors reaching through time? Or is this notion based on our imaginings of what we could be as humans?
We constantly use our imaginations: "Oh my god, I could have just died!" (Our imagination when we have just avoided a near-collision on the bypass.) "Oh my god, the bank's going to repossess my car!" (Our imagination when we think we might not have enough money coming in for the bills going out.)
So when we imagine a god, or a deity, from whence does this imagining come? Religious doctrine dictates that this is god himself revealing himself to you, or the divine trying to "save" you if we follow a conservative Christian perspective. But religious imaginings span the globe in all forms, from Brahma, Vishnu and Siva to Jesus to the sun, moon and stars. From snakes and other creatures to elements like earth and water, fire and wind. Once could surmise from this observation alone that god is all. But why must god be? Why does the collective thoughts of mankind center on a divine at all?
Think of that near-car crash in which you imagined you could have just died. You know this could have been a cause of death from things you have seen on the news, maybe from a real-life experience of your own, possibly just from reading an article. You have never experienced death yourself (or you'd be already dead imagining you could have died!), but you imagine that you could have. You are forcing your mind to think of something that you have not experienced physically, but maybe through your ears and eyes. Your mind leaps to this conclusion based on those senses alone.
But to imagine deity, what sense has been invaded or overtaken to imagine this?
Some attribute random coincidences to the divine. Others see "signs," such as the woman in Texas who thought God was telling her to kill her baby when she saw a spider crawling on him. And still others think everything is planned by a deity, no ifs, ands, or buts. These are all certainly things our senses pick up on: the spider, the winning lotto numbers, grandma's sudden return from the brink of death. But why attribute them to an unsensible?
For eons, the very definition in a single society has changed with the times. Our imaginings of a deity must change with society, or society would die off, I believe. People used to believe you needed your physical things in the afterlife. Then the idea of god providing even in the afterlife lead to a belief that we need not be buried (cremated, mummified) without physical things. Then there was this discussion of hell, purgatory, heaven, Abraham's bosom, nirvana, enlightenment, all kinds of things I'm not even aware of were thought of the afterlife. But this is really a tangent.
The collective mindset of a deity has been discussed by ergo in several posts in various forms, but why... why why why? is there a concept of a deity?
I suppose some see it a "fire insurance." Others as the need for someone or something to give them values or morals. I believe this deity concept is rooted in our very need for non-responsibility. Our need to "blame" someone for that which we cannot understand in our world. This is certainly always been evident in the Catholic history. And when the church's beliefs were proven wrong by science, by man's imagination, our concept of god and his "word" has had to change as well, though the church made it very hard to do so. But there is always something we haven't answered yet. Why people die, why children die, why murder happens, why volcanoes erupt, why earthquakes happen. We have theories on all these things, and many others. An understanding of all things may ever be had, of course. And hence a belief in a deity will always persist, I think. And as long as we have god, we will always rail against that to find the answers. God is good for society in general, as people always need something to challenge them into doing something. Whether that be survival, or finding purpose, or trying to end an "act of god," as long as there is "god," we will continue to be enlightened in how we can live without this overarching concept.
Perhaps one could surmise that the idea of a deity is an evolutionary necessity?
Of course, maybe I just need sleep. At least I get a chance to use all my cool clip art!
"One day you're going to have to pick a side. Want to be parents are waiting for kids end of story. What I'm talking about, is are you doing what you do for you or for God. Stop crying to your girl buddies about unfairness. Start trying to make things right in your state like a real warrior. Help people. It's not all about you."
Okay--we'll break this down for ya one by one, Greg, as it seems you didn't really read the post, you just read into it what you wanted to hear...
1. "Pick a side": Was I not clear enough? I am pro-choice. Always have been, always will be...
2. "Parents are waiting for kids end of story": We'll ignore your atrocious lack of punctuation there, and simply say, Huh? No duh, people are waiting for kids... what's a shame is that the how many millions of kids in the foster system AREN'T being adopted because they aren't 1. White, 2. Girls, 3. Under the age of six months. So instead of waiting for the next poster Gerber Baby to come through, adopt a kid already in need.
3. "are you doing what you do for you or for God": I don't do anything for God.
4. "Stop crying to your girl buddies about unfairness": I'm sorry, did that post come across as crying? It was actually supposed to be read with incredulity and amazement at idiocy. Sorry if you couldn't tell. I'll try to be more clear in the future... and my "girl buddies"? Stereotype much? I'm sure god would be real pleased with your sense of "compassionate conservatism"...
5. "Start trying to make things right in your state like a real warrior": Actually, I volunteer quite a lot of my time and money to causes I care about, whether that be for the environment, animals, shelters, veterans, anti-Republican, and anti-Christian groups... and this "real warrior" measurement you are using, do you hold yourself up to it? How are you "helping others" besides poisoning their lives with the "gospel"?
6. "Help people.": Dude, I help more people than I could even begin to count. Not because I expect something, not looking for rewards, but because it is the decent, humane thing to do. I lost my last partner because my heart was bigger than his. My current partner of seven years, though, is just as wonderful and helpful to his fellow man as anyone could ask... Get to know me instead of "assuming" things, cause it makes you look like an ass....
7. "It's not all about you.": Did I imply it was? Arguing for the right that women should be able to choose is about me how, exactly? And, I hate to burst your bubble, even though I know it ain't about me 99% of the time, I'll make sure to never, after this post, to make it about you again. Have a nice life.
Sunday, February 26, 2006
This is the bill that South Dakota has passed:
22-17-5. Unauthorized abortion as felony. Any person who performs, procures or advises an abortion other than authorized by chapter 34-23A is guilty of a Class 6 felony. (This section is repealed pursuant to SL 2005, ch 187, § 5. Section 7 of SL 2005, ch 187, as amended by SL 2005, ch 188, § 1, provides: "Section 7. This Act is effective on the date that the states are recognized by the United States Supreme Court to have the authority to prohibit abortion at all stages of pregnancy.")
Source: SL 1977, ch 189, § 44.
22-17-5.1. (Section effective on the date states are recognized by the United States Supreme Court to have the authority to prohibit abortion at all stages of pregnancy)Procurement of abortion prohibited--Exception to preserve life of pregnant female--Felony. Any person who administers to any pregnant female or who prescribes or procures for any pregnant female any medicine, drug, or substance or uses or employs any instrument or other means with intent thereby to procure an abortion, unless there is appropriate and reasonable medical judgment that performance of an abortion is necessary to preserve the life of the pregnant female, is guilty of a Class 6 felony. (Section 7 of SL 2005, ch 187, as amended by SL 2005, ch 188, § 1, provides: "Section 7. This Act is effective on the date that the states are recognized by the United States Supreme Court to have the authority to prohibit abortion at all stages of pregnancy.")
Source: SL 2005, ch 187, § 6.
So it doesn't matter if she's pregnant due to negligence, rape, incest, incestial rape, emotional or physical abuse, it doesn't matter is she's certifiably insane, in a coma, or what-have-you. If the mother is not in danger of dying, she cannot have an abortion. Not only all of that, but it says right in the text of the law, that this law will go into effect as soon as the Supreme Court says it can. Hello? They are that confident that the SC will rule in their favor that they actually wrote: (Section effective on the date states are recognized by the United States Supreme Court to have the authority to prohibit abortion at all stages of pregnancy). Now, I'm no lawyer, I'll be the first to point that out. It took me quite some time of wandering around South Dakota's website to find these laws. But I digress. I think any balanced fair-minded American, let alone a raging liberal such as myself, finds this a slap in the face of privacy laws, freedom laws, civil rights laws, not to mention once again PRIVACY laws.
And then, Senator McCain was on "This Week with Gerge Stephanopolous," and George asked John (this is a nutshell, not exactly word-for-word but pretty damn close), "If you were governor, would you sign this law into effect?" and McCain said "Umm, err, I haven't read the law... My stance has been for 20 years I'm pro-life except in cases of rape, incest, and the health of the mother." And George said, "This bill goes beyond that and only allows abortion if the mother's life is in danger." Then McCain sputters, "Well, umm, err, ... I don't think... err, my stance has always been pro-life, so I think my record speaks for itself."
So all I have to say is, when even the so-called prro-lifers are running form endorsing your bill, what makes you think you have a snowball's chance in hell? Anybody? I happen to be pro-choice: I thin kKelly put it quite well when she stated: "Every child a wanted child." And until the state can find a way to make every child a wanted child, the state has no right to say who can, should, shouldn't, and can't have a child. Not only is that socialism (communism, facism, whatever), it is just plain wrong. Most polls show that most Americans, while they aren't happy with the fact abortion exists, don't want a complete illegality made of it. They want restrictions without taking the right away. And even neo-conservatives know this... and that's why McCain won't take a stand...
Need we say more?
Thursday, February 23, 2006
The whole original sin thing is, all men are evil and sinful because once upon a time, Adam and Eve screwed up--royally. And now all of us pay for the consequences by burning in hell, unless, through some kind of intervention, god deems you worthy to hear the gospel truth, and you accept Jesus into your heart for salvation. This is, invariably, a nut shell. So any conservatives reading this, please feel free to use the "comments" section to expound upon this if you wish. I am many things, but a censor I am not.
Anyway, we here in America live by a creed: Innocent until proven guilty. We believe that people are NOT sinful and evil UNTIL the facts are brought before our peers, reviewed (hopefully) in an objective manner, and then we find out who indeed is evil, and who is not (in a perfect world).
I believe in objectivity. I am an optimistic objectivist. I practice it as much as I can. I even give Bethany the benefit of the doubt that she actually thinks, when spewing these facts about nonsensical things, she has a good heart and contributing something meaningful into my life. I may bitch about it here in the not-so-privacy of my blog, but there it is. I believe most people are NOT evil and bad, but simply making their way the best they can in a world that doesn't give you an instruction booklet. I believe everyone IS innocent until proven they really were trying to hurt someone (individually or collectively), that they didn't have good intentions. Maybe this is the basis for my disbelief. Maybe its a multitude of things that my mind can't quantify at this time.
I do know that I disagree with what I was raised with.
And I know if I were to admit this to my parents, they would believe I am going to hell.
It sucks to be in the closet; but it's a very different closet, and I don't at all like the wardrobe. I know one of these days it will come to a head, and once again my parents will wonder where they went wrong with me. But that's not a bridge I'm willing to cross at this time. In many ways, they are still reeling from the gay thing from eight years ago.
But that is another story.
And my apologies to Kelly for making her eyes bleed... maybe it's too much ham? :D
Wednesday, February 22, 2006
In reminiscing about how I used to read his blog silently, I came across his "Goonies" blog. My judgmental faculties and so forth were called into question in this blog, and I would like to extrapolate on this movie, Goonies, that seems to confound my brother's sense of my faculties.
I must clarify one thing: while it is one of my most favorite movies, it isn't necessarily the movie in and of itself which endears me to it. Sure, it's funny, it's an adventure that, in all my years of creek walking, have never encountered, but more than anything, it reminds me of my growing-up years. Of all of us sitting around the TV, waiting for dinner to be ready, trying to stay out of Mom's way, hoping to not get in trouble before Dad came home to spank us for anything we'd already done up to that point.
I imagined myself as Mikey, with his large group of funny friends. We didn't have many kids on our street to play with growing up, and Tom was their friend for the most part, as he was closer to their age. I, being unable to catch the football, to run without looking like a girl, and incompetent (compared to them) in the world of video games, had no real friends. I learned to play by myself, mostly losing myself in reading. I had friends at school of course, but once I hit public school in the seventh grade, I remember being not only astonished at the number of kids at the school, but by their appearances, their language, their diversity. I was a nobody once again.
I remember one time, we were at a circus. I forget with whom, but I think it was our whole family. We were maybe ten rows back, and a clown was walking along the stands, asking kids to come down front. He pointed at me, and motioned me to come forward. I looked to my left and right, convinced he was pointing at another child. I looked back at him, pointed to myself, and mouthed, "Me?" He nodded and motioned, more fervently now. But I paused, looked again to my left and right, and once again asked, "Me?" He grew impatient, waved his hand dismissively, and was off.
I lowered myself slowly back into my seat.
I have no other memories of that circus, except that moment. Convinced I was worthless, not even worthy of a clowns attention, I withdrew further into myself.
I also recall one time, in seventh grade, about halfway through the year, we had a substitute in science class. Ms. Sassaman probably had to go get her hair dyed blond-green again, so there was Mrs. Thomas, a nervous, twiggy, bird-like creature who always seemed on the edge of an imminent nervous breakdown. We were sitting there, most of the kids in my class making Mrs. Thomas ever more nervous, and she had asked some type of question to which I knew the answer. And even though I was never called on (for at this point I was beginning to think myself totally invisible), I raised my hand regardless, and she said, "Yes, Jason?"
I paused. I looked around, then back at her, and said, "You mean me?"
She looked concerned, nervous breakdown mere seconds away, saying, "That is your name, right?"
I swallowed. "Yes, ma'am."
"Well, what's the answer? Brian, knock that off..."
I never did get to answer the question. But I had been acknowledged.
I immersed myself in Goonies, because Mikey had the life I wanted. A cool bike, an older brother he could outwit and out-do, a group of friends that, even though they made fun of each other, still had fun and cared for one another, and parents who were concerned for them.
Don't get me wrong, I never doubted my parents love for me. But I was one of five, and not even the first, last, or middle. Just the second. Not even the first or last girl or boy in the family, but the middle boy. Tom was the oldest boy, first to do everything, and excelling at all of it. I was always very jealous of his prowess in sports, video games, and everything else he set his mind to. Mike was the youngest boy, always getting dirty, daring to go where neither Tom or I had gone before, kissing worms, jumping into the pond, getting into Dad's tools and tinkering. Sylvia was their first princess, named for our grandmothers. She, of course, being the first girl after three boys, got everything she wanted, spoiled rotten. And then came Cynthia, baby of the family, doomed to be overshadowed by her four older siblings in every way conceivable, but, of course, as all baby's, getting spoiled in her own way.
I love all my siblings. Would die in a heartbeat for them, and I in no way blame my low self-esteem of those years on them or my parents, although they were all certainly factors. But just wanted to shed some light on my love for Goonies. And it basically comes down to jealousy of a fictional character. I still own a copy on VHS, and hopefully, one of these years, I'll get it on DVD just before we move onto the next great technological advancement. But whatever format, I will always own that movie. While I no longer have a friendless, self-made bubble of existence, it holds many memories, for it was the basis for my happy childhood, my escape from mediocrity, my solace. Mikey's adventures helped shape my love for reading, my creativity in art, and my ability to be alone and not be lonely, although that was a hard lesson.
Thank you, Goonies.
Tuesday, February 21, 2006
Gen 2:9 And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is
pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the
midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
Gen 3:2 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of
the trees of the garden:
Gen 3:3 But of the fruit of the tree which [is] in the midst of the
garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it,
lest ye die.
One other thing I just noticed was that it says in 2:9 that god put TWO
trees in the midst of the garden, but when he says not to eat of the tree
(singular), he doesn't specify... implied maybe?
Gen 3:1 Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?
Gen 3:2 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:
Gen 3:3 But of the fruit of the tree which [is] in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.
Gen 3:4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
Gen 3:5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
Gen 3:6 And when the woman saw that the tree [was] good for food, and that it [was] pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make [one] wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.
Before Eve even touches or tries the fruit, she "saw that the tree was good for food." Neglecting god's instruction not to eat it, she therefore comes to the inferred conclusion that god is full of hooey, and disobeys him without a second thought. Also, the creative imaginings that led Adam earlier in genesis to name every creature god made, and also the naming of "woman," shows more cognitive function than a babe or any other animal.
Gen 2:19 And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought [them] unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that [was] the name thereof.
Gen 2:20 And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.
Gen 2:21 And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;
Gen 2:22 And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.
Gen 2:23 And Adam said, This [is] now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.
I would also like to say it is interesting that god commanded them not to eat of the good and evil tree, but not the tree of life:
Gen 2:9 And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
I had a prof in bible college (yes, I'll admit it, it was a horrible two years, but there I was) that said if they had eaten of the tree of life, they would have lived forever and been just like god, having eternal life AND knowledge of good and evil. I also heard a pastor once theorize that the tree of life was the basis for the long-fabled "fountain of youth" that Ponce de Leon was trying to find. I do find it interesting though, that as the only two named things in the OT besides man and woman are trees. Could this be some type of ancient patriarchal fable/simile? Man representing the tree of life form which woman sprang, the tree of knowledge of good and evil being woman, who actually causes man to fail in obeying his god? Hmm, I just thought of that part now, so it will require more thinking...
I also need to get back to Bill and his thoughts on "relativity," but lunch is coming to an end, so I will close for now... Oh, and congrat's to Kelly on eating ham :)
Monday, February 20, 2006
I fixed our oil heater, all by my lonesome.
So I will admit, it wasn't really broken. We had run out of oil this morning (nothing like a cold shower on a 10 degree day to wake you up!) so I ran into town (I sound very Walton-ish, don't I?) to order oil, then came home to await the delivery of my hot shower. Oil delivered. Yeah!!!
I quickly strip and start the water. Cold. I go check the coal stove to make sure it's fine, then come back to the water. Still cold. I make sure the dog is fed, call my mom, go check the water. Still cold.
I go downstairs, and on the oil thingy is a list of things to do should you not be getting heat. So I begin with step one: Do you have oil? Well duh. That's like a computer manual saying, Is the computer plugged in? So I move onto step two: Check your breakers. So I wander over to that dank corner of the basement, disturbing a few house goblins I'm sure, to check the breakers. They all seem fine, but being the thorough person I am, proceed to turn them all off, then back on, one by one. Satisfied I had solved the problem, I go back upstairs and turn the water on.
This time, I put on some jeans before going back down into the basement. The last thing need is some spider or otherworldly insect crawling into my private areas. Plunging once again into the remote regions of my house, I read step three: Set your thermometer at least ten degrees above house temperature. Sighing loudly, so that my dog knows to stay out of my way, I head back upstairs to the living room and set the thermostat higher. I listen. Silence. Sighing again, for my own benefit this time, I now put on a shirt as well, then head back downstairs.
Step Four: Flip the emergency power button to off, then back on. The what? I stare around. I see a few switches located behind one of the two support posts in my basement. I go back upstairs, grab a flashlight, put on some shoes, then go back downstairs and head for the switches. None are labeled but neither are the seven switches at the top of the basement stairs that seem to do nothing. So I start flipping them one by one. I discover a light that was previously unknown to work before. Smiling in a self-satisfied manner, thinking things are finally going okay, I set down the flashlight and proceed to flip switch #2. Nothing happens. I assume this must be a cousin of the seven upstairs switches. I flip it back off just in case, then look at switch #3. It is scary looking. It is bright red.
Now we've all seen the movies where the bright red button means "End of the World." I am very afraid of flipping this switch and imagine dying in a puff of smoke. I hope Hawthorne has watched enough Lassie reruns to know that he needs to head into town and bark while running in circles to alert the well-meaning townsfolk that the fag up the street has blown himself up and requires immediate assistance.
I notice a label underneath years of dust and dirt, so I wipe it off. It reads: Emergency Switch. Praying to the powers that be, I do a quick flip. You know, flip-flip, on-off, so fast that you know nothing could have possibly been accomplished. Realizing I hadn't blown up, I carefully, slowly, flip the switch. Silence.
I go back to read step four: Flip the emergency power button to off, then back on. I wander back over, running into a heretofore undisturbed cobweb, then flip the switch again. I head back upstairs, cursing all spiders. I turn on the water. Anybody wanna guess? Cold.
Grumbling, I head downstairs to read the fifth and final step, step five: Locate your reset button and hit it only once. And yes, only once is in bold as well as underlined. I circle the heating unit and notice many boxes. Opening them one at a time, I find where I can set the temp of the water, so I lower it from scalding to spicy. In the third box, I find another red button. I reminisce briefly about my red flip switch earlier and decide, What could it hurt? I push the button. A rumble happens, so I quickly retreat to the far side of the basement, ignoring any and all cobwebs this time. If there's an explosion, I want nothing to do with it. It makes noise for about 10 seconds, then switches back off. I wonder if this is okay, if this means it's fixed if this means I will have a hot shower. Full of hope and thankful to be without gaping wounds in my body, I head upstairs and turn on the water. I check the coal stove. I take the dog out to pee. I head back into the bathroom. I do believe the water is colder.
Back in the netherlands of the house, I stare at this red button. "Only once" was made pretty clear to me on step five. But being the lucky person I am with red buttons today, I boldly hit the button once again, and retreat, cobweb free this time. Ten seconds, then silence. I am officially irked.
Being no longer afraid of the color red, I proceed to hit the button nine or ten more times before giving up and calling the seviceman. He gives me a new list. I thank him and hang up.
I eat lunch.
Thinking I couldn't possibly get any dirtier, I head downstairs. I am becoming quite comfortable with its earthy smells, it's dankness. Okay, maybe not, but I am happy for the new light switch I found, even though it is in a place not very convenient.
Heading back over, I kneel down beside the box containing the red button. I find the small knob that the serviceman said to find. I loosen it, then repush the red button. A spew of gunk spits out into my lap. So much for not getting any dirtier. As the gunk continue to spew, I follow my directions. Loosen until spew becomes a steady stream. This seems to take forever as I continue to be blasted with frothy, dirty oil spittle from my heating unit. Once it turns into a steady stream, I tighten the nut and wait for the sound he said I would hear. A giant clunk! Hearing it, I smile. I head upstairs, and proceed to get a hot shower.
I got dirty, gritty, and oily. It required neither a car, a sport, a beer, or a buxom blonde. I am a man.
Friday, February 17, 2006
1.) She loves Rich just like any other of her kids
2.) She hopes we can provide her with grandchildren at some point
3.) She thinks God is still working in us
This is usually where I roll my eyes, but whatever.
But today I also said, "What is it about my 'lifestyle' you don't happen to agree with?"
MOM: "Well, you know the whole gay thing..."
JAY: "So what does or does not hang between a persons legs is important because...?"
MOM: "Well, it's like my pastor says, 'God created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve.' "
*Pause: Another rolling of the eyes occurs here, but also a supressing of anger. I continue patiently:
JAY: "And this has to do with the price of tea in China because...?"
MOM: "Well, you know God doesn't like the whole gay thing, he created man and woman so they could be together, not with other's with the same ... plumbing."
JAY: "So you think you wouldn't have made a good parent if you didn't have a vagina?"
MOM: "I wouldn't have been a woman otherwise, would I?"
JAY: "Okay, so where do intersexed people fit into the whole 'Adam and Eve' thing?"
MOM: "Inter... What?"
JAY: "People with male and female organs? Hermaphrodites?"
MOM: "Oh, well, that's just one of those weird things..."
JAY: "And so, would they be able to marry someone?"
MOM: "Um.. I suppose, I mean..."
And then the subject got changed. As usual.
I would pit-bull her about it, but she doesn't take reality-shifts easily.
God also didn't create a person of every color. If he made only two people, well, I suppose that could be a right-wing argument against interracial marriage as well. Now I've heard most of the arguments before, but I have a problem with the entire mind-set of the so-called right-wing think-tanks. Why would someone think that boiling the whole argument down to "Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve" would solve an issue? What crosses someone's mind to say, "Well, yeah, anyway! Right on!" when they hear this? WHY DON'T MORE PEOPLE ASK QUESTIONS!!!!!
I mean, I really have a hard time believing that the presence of a penis (or the lack thereof) is the only mitigating factor in marriage rights, parental rights, health benefits, and the like. If the presence of a vagina were all that was required to be a good mother, I dare say our world wouldn't have too many kids waiting to be adopted, kids born addicted to crack/alcohol/heroin, kids born with AIDS, and so on.
But I'll digress, as I need to touch on another issue Ergo Sum brought up in comments earlier about the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. I had said something along the lines of "They had a choice," and Ergo had said something along the lines of "He told them not to eat it, that's not a choice, but a command." (Please forgive me if I don't remember exactly, but I think that's the jist.) I believe the choice was in the fact that God didn't place the tree behind some impenetrable force-field or something. He set the tree right in the middle of their Eden. No fence, no "No Trespassing" signs. He simply said don't. And they did. Enter that whole original sin thing.
But here's a question I'll pose. If Adam and Eve were "ignorant" to what was right and what was wrong, when the serpent tested Eve, she wouldn't have balked, or even remotely argued about eating it because of what God had said. She just would've shrugged her shoulders, grabbed the fruit, and bitten. She wouldn't have known it was wrong to eat the fruit, as she supposedly had no knowledge of good and bad, right and wrong. She wouldn't have said, "But God said not to" because that statement inherently states a knowledge of "should do" and "shouldn't do," hence, knowledge of right from wrong--what she should do, obey God, hence "right," or not.
I hope I'm making sense. I'm all about practical application, and not very good at all about explaining the theory and logic behind such.
By the way, I had ham for lunch. I think God called that bad in the old testament as well.
Wednesday, February 15, 2006
Give me a fucking break.
Now, I've owned hamsters, mice, gerbils, and all sorts of rodent-type creatures ever since I was eight. The only reason I don't keep them as pets anymore as my dearly departed cat Pavement always viewed them as appetizers, not fellow pets. And while I'm sure there are "different sized mice," traps are traps. They are meant to kill. Rich is all about killing Horatio, but me and the dog have found a nice balance of "live and let live" with Horatio. Being an animal lover, I had to name him as Rich now feels slight guilt about setting traps. Not that Horatio will be caught. He's been there since November, set off many of the traps, always gets the cheese and peanut butter, but never getting killed. Bethany, in her infinite wisdom, instead of chuckling along with the funny tale of Horatio the Magic Mouse, decided she would advise me on "facts" about:
1.) The differing sizes of the common house mouse.
2.) How traps weren't designed for the smaller of these mice.
3.) The pros and cons of using sticky paper.
Did she miss the part where I said I didn't want him killed? Using sticky paper is the same as Dancing Monkey Bush ignoring Geneva Conventions. Torture before death. And come on, trap weren't designed for the "smaller mice"? Has she been watching "Jerky Jeopardy"? She is an idiot with all good intentions, no social graces, and little common sense.
Luckily, Rich is against sticky paper for entirely different reasons, but since he has yet to let me hear these complaints against it, I'll leave well enough alone.
I'm sure Horatio is pleased, though!
In other news, my sister will be hooked up to an IV at home for the next two weeks. She is three months along and has LOST 11 pounds since her pregnancy began. My mother is quite concerned, of course, but Cynthia has never been a very strong person, but I know she'll pull through. She may be a wimp, but she's got Hughes blood in her, and that's seen her through before!
Also, to let you all know, someone posted a comment a while back asking about my feelings concerning horror movies. I haven't forgotten to answer that, but time restrictions don't always allow, so I will touch on that hopefully this weekend! Oh, also coming up, more thoughts on the Garden of Eden and myths perpetuated by the religious right! Stay tuned!
Monday, February 13, 2006
1.) When I'm drunk and get flamboyant
2.) When I enter a church.
Okay, so I've yet to burst into flame when entering a church. I found that out today. My good friend Trace's father passed away late last week, and the whole gang was there for moral support.
Since Sharon is the only one in our group with an ounce of Christianity in her, I was miffed when she didn't get up for the communion thingy. I don't understand if this is a lack of faith on her part or a lack of character. I plan on asking her later. No worries, she won't be offended.
Oh, and my grandmother is fine, BTW. No death, or even something closely resembling it. At least, that's the talk along the grapevine.
My younger idiot brother may have had an epiphany this past weekend. He called my mother to tell her he thinks he has a drinking problem. Now, I give him kudo's on two counts.
1.) He does, and his questioning it shows greater self-analyzation skills heretofore unknown to man
2.) Thinking was never his strong suit.
We'll see if the epiphany lasts long enough to run out of Bud.
My youngest sister is in the hospital once again for not being able to keep anything down, dehydration. They may keep her for a week this time, and do some kind of tests to check to make sure the baby doesn't have any kind of genetic disorders or something that may be making her sick. They think her body might be trying to rid itself of the baby. I don't know all the details, but as she keeps me informed, I'll pass it along to many millions of daily readers.
Now I have to get back to work and try to make up for lost time this morning. The only thing that could have prevented this was the flameage that has yet to make an appearance on sacred ground.
Saturday, February 11, 2006
You know, the kind with nothing nice to say, very critical, unhappy with her life so she takes it out on everyone...
She only calls people that are within her local calling range (despite being particularly wealthy). And she has started a rumor that she is dying...
Ever hear of the boy who cried wolf?
I know, I know, you think me callous and uncaring. I'm trying to think of some kind of iconic figure to compare her with... hhmmmm..... We'll get back to that.
Onto other things, here is a picture of what my dog does while I'm at work all day...
I'm very jealous.
But back to the old bag. She usually doesn't play the death card. She normally sticks with being depressed about grandpop's death (over ten years ago; she's remarried and a millionaire over the lawsuit; not that wealth equals happiness, but she never loved my grandfather, told him so all the time. The only reason they were married is because he got her pregnant with my mom at a precious age and back then, you got married. She also holds my mother personally responsible for ruining her life; and again, she's told her so.)
Here is a picture of my grandmother turned inside out, and without make-up:
Catch you all later. I hafta to call my grandmother, pretend to be concerned about the pain in her arm that she refuses to go to the doctor about. She would call me, but, you know, long distance and all...
Thursday, February 9, 2006
And he needed to know by lunchtime so he could schedule it.
Okay, asshole. Let me get right on that.
First: ASK! Don't say you NEED, because what you NEED is irrelevant to me. I could give two shits.
Second: Hello! Ten minutes to find out what people have already planned for their impending weekend, and if they're willing to give it up at the drop of a hat for YOUR NEEDS?!?! What are you, a crack-whore trainee?
Three: Consider yourself lucky I haven't found a new job yet.
Oh, well. I think I'll deal with monkeys at any job I get, but it least in the future at the future new job, they won't be these monkeys.
I hafta go. Work beckons.
Tuesday, February 7, 2006
Anywho, this kind of bothers me. But should it?
I don't think Kelly took offense when I met her with silence when she said, "You mean you wouldn't want to hang out together outside of work?" (and if she did, I apologize). I had just never actually thought about it. I didn't know what to say, but I said, "Sure." I mean, I honestly don't think I would mind hanging out with Kelly outside of work. She's one of the coolest girls I know. I think we'd have a lot of fun.
But why do I have this segmented flow of people in my life?
After pondering this question (and use "ponder" loosely) for a few seconds, I think it has to do with privacy. I am a very private person, in that, I love alone time. Cherish it, actually. I like to call the shots of who talk to and when. I allow very few people to breech that wall of self-imposed solitude. And the more people I know who interact together, the more I will get drawn into discussions, the more chances to meet more people, and pretty soon I have people calling me at all hours and never get alone time. Okay, so I'm a solitary drama-queen with an over-active imagination.
So maybe I should do more things outside of work. I go home, I surf, and keep the coal stove going. In summer, I go home, garden, mow the lawn, and wash my car while avoiding my neighbors. I only leave my house when
a.) I have to;
b.) Rich makes me;
c.) To go see a movie I love;
d.) to go to a club to hear the DJ. Oh, and sometimes I go see my mother and father. That would be e.)
Oh well. Any ideas? Thoughts? Comments? Questions?
I hate supervisors. They aren't even my supervisors. If you have work that my department needs to do, just bring it the fuck over! Don't call and hem and haw and dodge the issue! Am I that scary? Do I bite heads off? This is how the call just went:
SUP: Hey, Jason, do you have people open?
ME: That depends. What have you got?
SUP: Well, I have this AA ...
ME: ... and?
SUP: Well, I was wondering if I should ask the client for more time...
ME: How many errors?
SUP: Maybe I'll just ask anyway...
ME: How many errors?
SUP: Over 400...
ME: Just bring it over and put it on the window wall. We'll get it done.
SUP: Are you backed up?
ME: No, but you can just--
SUP: Cause I can ask for more time if you need it.
ME: We'll get it done today.
SUP: Should I bring it straight to you?
ME: No, you can just put it on the window wall...
SUP: Okay. Are you sure?
Does anyone else see this as a useless conversation besides me? People are stupid.
States Eye Picketing at Soldiers' Funerals
By CARRIE SPENCER GHOSE, Associated Press Writer Mon Feb 6, 3:15 PM ET
COLUMBUS, Ohio - States are rushing to limit when and where people may protest at funerals— all because of a small Kansas church whose members picket soldiers' burials, arguing that Americans are dying for a country that harbors homosexuals.
During the 1990s, the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kan., went around picketing the funerals of AIDS victims with protest signs that read, "God Hates Fags." But politicians began paying more attention recently when church members started showing up at the burials of soldiers and Marines killed in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Legislation is being considered in at least 14 states, and several of the bills moving quickly, with backing from legislative leaders and governors.
If they pass, the bills could set up a clash between privacy and free speech rights, and court challenges are almost certain.
"We're not proposing to silence the speech of the Westboro Baptist Church, as offensive as most of us find that," said Kansas Senate Majority Leader Derek Schmidt, a Republican. Instead, he said, he is trying to achieve a balance that respects "the rights of families to bury their dead in peace."
The church has about 75 members, most of them belonging to the extended family of Westboro Baptist's pastor, the Rev. Fred Phelps. The church is an independent congregation that preaches a literal reading of the Bible.
Shirley Phelps-Roper, Phelps' daughter and an attorney for the church, said states cannot interfere with their message that the soldiers were struck down by God because they were fighting for a country that harbors homosexuals and adulterers.
Lawmakers are "trying to introduce something that will make them feel better about the holes we're punching in the facade they live under," Phelps-Roper said. "If they pass a law that gets in our way, they will be violating the Constitution, and we will sue them for that."
Among the states considering such measures: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
Some of the bills specify noisy, disruptive behavior or signs with "fighting words," as in Wisconsin. Some bar protests within one or two hours before or after a funeral starts; others specify distances ranging from 10 car lengths to five blocks away; some include both.
Violations can bring fines of a few hundred dollars, up to 30 days in jail, or more. Wisconsin is calling for fines of up to $10,000; one of five Oklahoma bills would set a one-year jail sentence.
Missouri's bill was named for Army Spc. Edward Lee Myers, 21, whose wife went to his funeral an hour early to try to avoid protesters. They were already across the road, holding signs that read "God Hates Fags" and "God Made IEDs," a reference to roadside bombs.
Her 5-year-old son kept asking why "mean people" were outside, undercover agents were in the church, and she worried that angry relatives might start a fight.
"I couldn't even pay my last respects because of everything that was going on," Jean Myers said.
Legislation against funeral protests was also introduced in West Virginia last month after a small knot of protesters from Westboro Baptist demonstrated outside a memorial for the 12 men killed in the Sago Mine disaster. The protesters held signs reading, "Thank God for Dead Miners," "God Hates Your Tears" and "Miners in Hell," arguing that the miners' deaths were a sign of God's wrath at America for tolerating gays.
"It's just inhuman for a group that says it's coming in the name of the Lord to protest a funeral," said state Delegate Jeff Eldridge, a co-sponsor of the West Virginia bill.
If such restrictions are challenged, the courts will probably look to rulings on laws governing abortion protests, constitutional scholars said.
The U.S. Supreme Court struck down a Florida ban on peaceful picketing within 300 feet of an abortion clinic, but allowed restrictions on behavior that impedes access to a clinic. However, the courts have allowed restrictions on picketing in front of doctors' houses, saying privacy trumps free speech.
The question is whether a church, funeral home or cemetery is considered private or public during a ceremony, said Eugene Volokh, a law professor at the University of California at Los Angeles.
Monday, February 6, 2006
Okay, this may come as a shock to some Muslims (even though I have no idea why), but NOT EVERYONE BELIEVES THAT AN IMAGE OF MOHAMMAD IS SACRILEGE. Just like this statement might upset a lot of conservatives: NOT EVERYONE BELIEVES THAT ABORTION IS MURDER.
See, that's the cool things about what America is SUPPOSED to be like. You can believe either of the above statements are true OR false, but NEITHER should be written into law. Why? Because of freedom. Just because person A thinks that abortion is murder and person B thinks everyone should be able to get one, a law that says we CAN have abortions is fine because it doesn't require the non-believer to GET an abortion. Only those who want an abortion performed can get one. And those that think it is wrong don't have to have one. See? Freedom o choice, much like Yahweh gave the two morons in the garden of Eden. He gave them freedom of choice, so why are conservatives so bent on getting rid of ours?
Anyway, back to the cartoon.
If not everyone is Muslim, why can't Muslims just go, "Oh, yeah, hey! He's not even a Muslim, so he couldn't possibly have made an image of Mohammad." Or "Hey, he doesn't know, he's just a stupid infidel. Oh well." Be pissed. Fine, be angry. But to riot and murder over a cartoon?!?!?! I think Mohammad, Jesus, AND Ganesha rolled over in their graves. The silliness of it all.
I mean, did Ali wake up, see the newspaper, and think, "I must burn the Danish embassy over this!" Moron. You can be pissed and still do constructive things. Like write an article explaining why you were so offended by the cartoon. Acknowledge that as a Muslim, you would never do such a thing and this is why. Or even admonish other young Muslims about why they should never do these things.
I don't know, I guess it's just a totally different mind set. But why do people of certain beliefs always expect people to live the way they believe? Why is it so hard to let everyone just hold their personal beliefs and live and let live? I'm all for conservatives having the right to believe in Creationism, and that they teach it every single freakin' Sunday to thousands of little kids. That's their right, and I would never sue them to get them to change their Sunday school curriculum. I just wouldn't take my kid there. I would never burn down my neighbors house just because they have a silly little flag that they have hanging outside that says "Jesus Saves." It's their right to have that flag. I just won't put one up, and no one should make a law saying that everyone should.
Am I getting through to anyone here? I know millions of you take time out of your busy days just to see what I have to say, but some of you better get some sense knocked into you.
Saturday, February 4, 2006
Somehow Spaceballs doesn't seem like a fair trade.
Now I know a lot of you out there probably thought it was silly, or even stupid. Thank god for your noncreative subconscious that doesn't give you nightmares.
I put it off for three months. Kia can attest to this. It all started when I told her she had to watch Moulin Rogue, best movie in the world. So she said, The Ring, which she thought was a great movie, would be what I would have to watch, knowing I hated scary movies, and then she would watch Moulin Rogue.
So I did. And thought it was stupid. I thought, hmm, maybe I'm over this whole scary movie thing. If I can just convince myself they're all stupid, no problem, right? (For the record, apparently not right.)
So then I made her watch... I forget. But I ended up having to watch the Ring 2. That creeped me out a bit, but in the end I convinced myself it was just stupid. That, and I followed the movie with two and a half hours of Golden Girls. Nothing like four funny old ladies to replace horror in your mind. Of course, maybe that's just my people.
I'm gonna get you good next time, Kia. Knowing how you hate comedies, I'm gonna find the funniest, gayest comedy in the entire world. And a deal's a deal. And we can start using the word "mean" again to describe our movie trade offs. As soon as Rich is done watching the extras (which is why I'm posting right now so I don't have to see anymore...), I'm putting in the Muppet Show.
Friday, February 3, 2006
"The idea that religion and politics don't mix was invented by the Devil to keep Christians from running their own country."
"If you're not a born-again Christian, you're a failure as a human being."
"Billy Graham is the chief servant of Satan in America."
"AIDS is not just God's punishment for homosexuals; it is God's punishment for the society that tolerates homosexuals."
"Christians, like slaves and soldiers, ask no questions."
"The ACLU is to Christians what the American Nazi party is to Jews."
"The whole (global warming) thing is created to destroy America's free enterprise system and our economic stability."
"It appears that America's anti-Biblical feminist movement is at last dying, thank God, and is possibly being replaced by a Christ-centered men's movement which may become the foundation for a desperately needed national spiritual awakening."
"Textbooks are Soviet propaganda."
"Homosexuality is Satan's diabolical attack upon the family that will not only have a corrupting influence upon our next generation, but it will also bring down the wrath of God upon America."
"God continues to lift the curtain and allow the enemies of America to give us probably what we deserve."
"I do not believe we can blame genetics for adultery, homosexuality, dishonesty and other character flaws."
"I sincerely believe that the collective efforts of many secularists during the past generation, resulting in the expulsion from our schools and from the public square, has left us vulnerable."
(re: 9/11 attacks) "...throwing God out of the public square, out of the schools, the abortionists have got to bear some burden for this because God will not be mocked and when we destroy 40 million little innocent babies, we make God mad...I really believe that the pagans and the abortionists and the feminists and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People for the American Way, all of them who try to secularize America...I point the thing in their face and say you helped this happen."
"[homosexuals are] brute beasts...part of a vile and satanic system [that] will be utterly annihilated, and there will be a celebration in heaven."
"Pat ran for president once and he's a very political person, and that is the way politicians talk. They all use intimidation and political strong-arming to hopefully pick up a vote or two."
Oh my god, I can't go on.... there are way too many. Is this guy a crackpot or what? I could probably fill 10 blogs with this crap that spews from his mouth. Anyway, hope you all get a good giggle out of it.
Thursday, February 2, 2006
a.) push the person out the way to safety?
b.) yell no! and get yourself shot by accident
c.) turn to that person and say, "Hey, I'll save you from that bullet, but only if you acknowledge me as your lord and savior."
d.) look on in horror as the person gets shot.
3 of those are perfectly normal responses and/or scenarios...
Letter C is something the Christian god does.
So they say he came and died for all your sins. All of them. Except, you're still going to hell because you didn't say, "Hey, Thanks." What?!?! God needs to hear you say, "Thanks, I believe," before he rescues you from hell? Ask any conservative, hell, most Christians for that matter, and they'll say, yes, unless you confess and believe that Christ died for your sins, you will go to hell. Period. End of story. How is this a loving god?
If I could shove that person out of the way to save them from the bullet, I wouldn't care of they were grateful or not. Sure, I'd be peeved, but I wouldn't then regret saving them from death. I mean, come on, she was going to get shot, for god's sake. Now don't get me started on a god that even allows us to invent guns or have the ability to kill another. He screwed us up, that's his issue. But to say that we're getting eternal punishment for
a.) an inherited "sin" nature that we had no control over? and
b.) god's ego?
I don't think so. I posed this to another person, a conservative Christian once. I said, "I wouldn't not save a person just because they weren't going to admit I saved them." And he replied, "But they're still going to die eventually. With God as your savior, you get eternal life." To which I replied, "Um, hello? You are going to die. You are going to croak, like everyone else, and be viewed in a casket, and then have six feet of dirt piled on you just like everyone else. YOU STILL DIE." And he said, "But I will go to heaven. You won't. The old lady won't. Your brother won't." Maybe it's a mind set. Maybe reading the bible is like doing crystal meth... who knows?
I'm sorry, my idea of a loving god, if one were to exist, wouldn't need his ego stroked to save his own creation from hell. Or any other kind of bad thing, for that matter. Would any of you parents not help your child if they didn't "give you props"? Acknowledge your helping hand? I think any good parent, regardless of their child's amount of gratefulness, would still want to lay down their life for their kid. I know I would in a heartbeat die if I knew it would save any of my siblings, their kids, my friends, my parent's, even my stupid brother Mike. I wouldn't first turn to them and say, "Hey, I'll die for you, but first you must promise to build a temple in my name, and subvert indigenous people to worship my memory. You have to live every day living and doing things that I would have done. But only then will I die for you." No, I'd step in front of the bus/gun/avalanche/car/rifle/virus/what-have-you. No questions, no restrictions, no "sign on the dotted line."
If your god needs that ego stroked so badly, he doesn't need it from me. I'd rather curse him from hell.
For Best Costume and Makeup: Tammy Faye Bakker. Using glowing colors and neon costumes, she has decorated her face regardless of trend or physical beauty. She will be running up against Gwen Stephanie and Courtney Love. Famous line of hers: "...and now we're down to our last $37,000." --Tammy Faye Bakker
For Best Actor in a Fictional Religious Drama: Pat Robertson. For a slow country boy, he sure can act like he's talking to god, can't he? Running up against James Dobson and Tom Delay. Famous quote of his: "Feminism is a socialist, anti-family, political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians." --Pat Robertson
For Best Liar in a Religious Context: Pope Benedict. Going up against James Dobson and Pat Robertson for this one, this should be a tough category that all will be watching. Famous quote: "A Catholic would be guilty of formal cooperation in evil, and so unworthy to present himself for holy Communion, if he were to deliberately vote for a candidate precisely because of the candidate's permissive stand on abortion and/or euthanasia." --Pope Benedict XVI
For Best Hypocrisy in a Homosexual Moment: Msgr. Edmund Whalen of St. Benedict's in the Bronx; for kicking out two members of the choir, even though he knew they were gay, when they tried to get married. Love thy neighbor anyone? Going against Pat Robertson and George W. Bush. Famous quote: None (Not expected to win in this category, but he thinks it is an honor to be nominated.)
For Best Hatred to Hide Own Homosexuality: Fred Phelps, "Pastor" of the Westboro Baptist Church; Best known for his actions in picketing the Matthew Shepard funeral; going against the former mayor of Spokane Washington, James West, and ex-governor Jim McGreevy of New Jersey. Famous quote: "God Hates Fags." And here we all thought God was love... go figure.
For Best Televangelist Begging-for-Money Moment: Jerry Falwell. Going up against some tough competition, Pat Robertson (who has received the most nominations, but doesn't feel honored at all) and Jim Bakker (who after being incarcerated doesn't feel worthy of the nomination). Famous quote of Falwell's: "Grown men should not be having sex with prostitutes unless they are married to them." --Jerry Falwell
As a side note: there are so many off-the-wall quotes of Jerry Falwell's that I may dedicate a future blog to his insane ravings... we'll just have to see.
Hopefully one of these fine folks of the lord will be awarded a trophy, and they won't feel slighted when Heath and Jake get awards for their moving, stunning performances about love. Hmm... love... maybe that's the reason for all the Brokeback nominations and no religious conservative ones, eh?
Wednesday, February 1, 2006
How can you "fight for the rights of Iraqis" when you trample on the rights of those in your own country?
How can you "fight against tyranny" when you act like a tyrant at home?
If you can come up with a justifiable answer to these three questions, you're as big a dope as the Monkey himself.
If you cannot answer these questions, there is hope for you yet.