Monday, July 31, 2006

Bats in the Belfry...

So I finally sit down on my couch, like 10:45 p.m., and snuggle in to watch the last 15 minutes of the Grey's Anatomy rerun, just so I don't forget too much about the show before the new season starts...

I hear a rustle...

I poke my head up and look for Hawthorne, who hasn't twitched in the least during this entire heat wave... He just sits on the couch right in front of the air-conditioner, tongue hanging out, all four legs spread like a compass...

I shrug, and...

Rustle, rustle... Bang, bang...

Hawthorne flips around and stares at the fireplace...

I stare at Hawthorne staring at the fireplace, and a burst of movement swivels my head just as Hawthorne takes a flying leap over me in pursuit of what I can only guess are the demons of hell busting forth from the depths of hell--through my fireplace... Quite appropriate, the nonhysterical part of my mind comments...

I scream like a 10-year-old girl while Meredith on the television argues with Izzie about decorating for Christmas...

I dash toward the fireplace and slam the beautiful wrought-iron cage closed. If you've ever seen a horror movie (or an episode of Scooby-Doo), you know there's always more than one... bats arrive by the hundreds and give you rabies, or suck your blood out, whichever they feel most like doing on any given night...

I wedge a chair up against the mesh to prevent any other Cujo-breeders from entering my now-shambled evening. I hear a crash. I whip around to see Hawthorne take a flying leap off the dining room table into the air as Dracula's clone spins in circles at my ceiling. Rich's star wars stuff goes crashing everywhere! I reach for Hawthorne's collar, but my foot catches on the edge of the chair which is preventing Armageddon, and I fall on top of a matchbox car inadvertently left under the table by one of my adorable nephews....

I stand up, rubbing the honda-civic shaped bruise that will be on my chest later and yell for Hawthorne to sit!

And amazingly, he does... until I turn around to open the front door...

Crash! I could care less now... I open the front door and prop the screen door open as well. I will heard this demon from beyond out of my life the good old-fashioned way.... except I don't have a butterfly net or Holy Water handy for emergencies just like this... I make a mental note to convert to Catholicism while trying to remember if I at least have a tennis racket...

Crash! Bang!

"Hawthorne, SIT!!!" He does... not.

He is now up on the sofa, paws on the walls, snapping at the vicious marauder of my peaceful night! While pondering if my dog could be part mountain-goat, I grab a pillow and toss it at the ceiling, hoping to drive short, dark, and not-so-handsome away from the doorway to the kitchen. I mean, there's a sheet hanging there to prevent the air-conditioning from leaving the comforts of my living room, and thankfully, it prevents bats from flying willy-nilly to the netherparts of my humble abode. The bat flies to every part of my living room except for the front door. The neighbors by now must be thinking I'm having the argument of the century with Rich, because all I keep shouting are "Get out of my house!" and "Watch out for that ____!!!" Being that no police ever showed up shows how much they care, I suppose...

I grab Hawthorne and douse the lights, thinking that this amazing sonar of theirs I always hear so much about may kick in and lead him toward the opening to the great outdoors....

But no such luck. I see him land on the sheet, hanging there. Not wanting to startle him, I whisper-shout "Sit! Stay!" to Hawthorne and reach for my T-shirt, hoping to net the little bastard and take him outside...

Hawthorne takes a flying leap at the sheet...

A lamp falls to the floor.

I hear Hawthorne yelping.

I turn on the lights and see the red sheet bouncing around with four little white legs scrambling for purchase on the hardwood floors...

I yank Hawthorne by his hind legs out form under the sheet and quickly bunch up the rest. I proceed to methodically feel the sheet, feeling for lumps, bones, or fangs....


I sense more than hear Hawthorne galloping up from behind me. I fall onto my belly to avoid his claws catching my head as he sails over me and onto the stairs, up to the second floor....

Oh, fuck me dry! I think as I see his white and tan-spotted tail disappear into utter blackness...

Fifteen minutes later, covered in cobwebs and carrying an overly-enthusiastic dog, I stumble down the stairs and seal the attic shut with the plywood boards.

The bat is still in my attic.

Hawthorne hasn't had a bath yet.

Rich worked third shift last night. He has no idea there's a bat in the house. I managed to rescue his toys from off the floor, and, from what I can tell, there's no damage done, thank goodness!

But I don't think I'll ever take my fireplace for granted again....

Because now, there are bats in my belfry...

And I have no idea how to get them out....

(Okay, so there's only one that I know of... I'm going for a moment here!)

Sunday, July 30, 2006

The Morons of Meade, Kansas...

These dipshits wouldn't know their ass from a hole in the ground...

Instead of asking the local owner of a B&B why he was hanging a rainbow flag outside of his business establishment, they automatically assumed he was making a political statement about gay rights...

He wasn't, but said he didn't mind that that's the way it was taken, but, from the article:

...the local Meade newspaper is trying to put him out of business and was frustrated when it ran an article about the flag and did not even bother to contact him regarding why he put it up. In fact, most people we spoke to in Meade said they didn't even know what the flag meant until the article ran. But once word got around, the reaction was harsh.

Knight says the radio station has called him threatening to remove the restaurant's commercials if he does not remove the flag. A local pastor stopped by said it was equivalent to hanging women's panties on a flag pole. When Knight jokingly said he might consider that--the preacher said he would have him arrested.

His business has suffered--down to only a few local customers. The folks in Meade who've boycotted say it's too offensive for them to eat there.

Local resident, Keith Klassen says the flag is a slap in the face to the conservative community of Meade. "To me it's just like running up a Nazi flag in a Jewish neighborhood. I can't walk into that establishment with that flag flying because to me that's saying that I support what the flag stands for and I don't," says Klassen.
The entire community turned against the poor man...

Why did he have the flag, you ask?

Knight says his son gave him the flag after a trip to Dorothy's house, a museum about the Wizard of Oz. The flag reminded the boy of "somewhere over the rainbow."
Well, isn't that nice? It was a gift from his son who went to a museum...

It was not a slap in the face of "conservative moral values," it wasn't "flying a Nazi flag in a Jewish neighborhood." (Sounds like the resident who said that has a flair for the dramatic... closet case perhaps?)

I guess this entire blog is like flying a Nazi flag, eh? Yeah, the fundie's are sssooooo persecuted, living in a society where people can say what they want and hang a flag, but they can't feed them to the lions... one wonders if they truly know what persecution is, eh?

But Mr. Knight is holding his head high:

Knight says it's not meant to be a gay pride symbol but he doesn't mind if that's how it's taken. "Any gay or lesbian people that do stop by will be treated with the best service I can give you," says Knight.
Thank you, Mr. Knight, and if I am ever driving through Meade, Kansas, I will stop by. And I will let everyone I know to do so, as well. It may not be much, but you deserve better than your fellow Kansasians have given you... a lot better...

Friday, July 28, 2006

So, Being the Glutton for Punishment That I Am...

I went back to the A Worshipping Christian web site, and they had just posted an article on "Do Gays Really Want to Get Married...?" Below is my response, but I was wondering about your thoughts on the subject... I know the bulk of you, dear readers, identify straight, so, being the noncensoring blogger that I am, I would like to know your honest thoughts and ideas about this topic that supposedly divides our nation so sharply. Even if you are not from the United States, it would still be great to hear your thoughts... And if you feel shy, you can always comment anonymously...

And now, my response...
Being that the iMAPP is run by Maggie Gallagher, right-wing conservative who is only overshadowed by Ann Coulter herself, expecting an objective, informative article from her is like expecting a leftist liberal view on this web site... it'll never happen... And this is this biggest understatement I think I've ever read on her web site: "No partisan politics." Yeah, and I'm Dolly Parton...

But to the meat of the article...

Just because all homosexual persons don't actually want to get married, is that any reason to deny it to them? Of course not! Straight marriage here is on the decline, does that mean the federal government should now take that right away from you and those like you? Absurd! Expecting all homosexuals to want to marry is like expecting all straight women to want to have a baby--it ain't ever gonna be true...

In fact, from the Dutch web site on census and population statistics, the "declining rate" noted at 6.3% in the article is actually the norm for the entire whole of the Dutch population--so almost the exact number of straight who marry in the Netherlands is the same as the number of homosexuals who marry... See the link here. But in case you don't want to, here is the statistic...

Marriage rate 6.4 [15th of 28]

In addition, ever since homosexuals have been allowed to marry there, of course there would be a higher amount at first! And as time went, one would expect to see the number and percentage of marriages to level out to the overall norm, so calling it a decline is an extreme exaggeration on the article's part...

In addition, gay marriage hasn't impacted straight marriage in any way, shape, or form. See Gay Marriage in The Netherlands Proves No Impact on Straight Marriage.

For a better understanding of who among the gay population are getting married, how many have children, and a better assessment as to the overall number of what the percentage of homosexuals might be in the Netherlands, click here.

For proof that even the number of divorces is also equal to the number of divorces among the straight population, see here.

And where did this magical "only 2.5% of the population" from? The Dutch don't take census by "orientation" (in fact, no country does!). These are guesses that can't be accurate as the number of people who identify as gay is always much less than actually are do to the stigma of being labeled as "gay," and the backlash that comes with that in most cases, so there's no way of knowing... and even if it were only 2.5 percent of the population, doesn't that make gays any less entitled to the secular and civic benefits of marriage? You know the answers no, so it's a moot point to argue that just because there's less of them means they don't need it or want it... Should we deny black, Hispanics, and other non-whites the right to marry as they make up so much less of the US population than whites? Of course not! Or how about denying them the right to vote? I mean, there are so many less of them, why do they need to vote? What possible effect could them voting have on their lives?

Oh, I know! Let's deny redheads the right to wear hats! They only make up TWO PERCENT of the U.S. population... There are so few of them, do they need rights at all? I mean, seriously!

Individual rights and freedoms are for all, whether or not people choose to partake of those available rights...

So whether or not gays decide to marry, the secular and civil (read: non-religious) rights and responsibilities thereof should be made available, whether you agree with the lifestyle or not...

Would you deny the right to atheists? Buddhists? Hindus? Pagans? Why or why not? You claim the institution is sacred, and would be defiled by gays partaking of it... But as you can see from the links above, not only is the institution not affected in the country that has made the rights available the longest, neither has that country fallen off the face of the earth or been destroyed by the wrathful and just sky god...

So I'm curious as to what you think might happen to you and yours if they do get married? What's the real issue here?

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Ann: Good mother, good sister-in-law;
Andrea Yates: Bad mother, child killer...

UPDATED: see bottom of post...

Thanks to my dear, thoughtful sis-in-law, she saw the new logo there on the right, "W: Worst President Ever." I liked it so much, I of course added it, but then I linked it to a video I think every American would enjoy... Well, at least, 69 to 72% of them...

Which leads me to ask, who are these dumb-fuck 31% that actually approve of Bush dry-fucking our country?

So click on the pic, wait for the video to load, and enjoy!
Andrea Yates is a tragic human being, another victim of post-partum depression (which Tom Cruise thinks is a crock [another type of dangerous fundie]), but we must also remember, why did she feel she had to kill her children? To send them to heaven. To save them from hell...

I feel bad for the crazy stupid bitch. But not bad enough to lose sleep. Five innocent lives were lost. Five innocent lives, and she blames it on Satan and God...

And she's not the only one.

Deanna Laney said God told her to beat her children to death...

Dena Schlosser sawed off her 10-month-olds arms... any guesses why? God told her to.

Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not saying religion is to blame for these tragedies.... But people should take note.

Did you know every year over 600 mothers kill their own children?

Religion and spirituality can bring out the best or bring out the worst...

All I ask of you fundies is to say to yourselves, "Am I bring out the best or the worst by the words coming out of my mouth?"

If fact, I think we should all ask that of ourselves...

Remember the childhood rhyme? Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me? If only it were true! Words are one of the most powerful ways of communicating we have. Words stick around in our minds for decades, long after the speaker, the intent, and the emotion behind them have long disappeared...

Are my words helping or hurting?

I hope they help... I hope I can reach out to people who are hurt and searching for help, and to let them know they are not alone in this world... There is help, if only you ask... Asking for help may be the best words you could ever utter... They may just save a life...
I'm going to add a new category on the right, links to sights that offer help for things such as depression, suicide, abuse of substances...

If you know of a great site that you or someone you know has been helped by, let me know! Send me the link via e-mail or in a comment...

Maybe, just maybe, we can all help each other out, regardless of our spiritual take on life...


So is there a correlation between fundamentalism and psychotic baby-killer moms?

Here is an article I found from 2004 that says while there may not be a direct correlation per se, there is some type of connection that needs further study...


"Most of the people in nut houses are religious because most Americans are religious," said Rodney Stark, a social sciences professor at Baylor University. "We know what causes schizophrenia and it isn't going to church. It's biochemical."

But some experts suggest mental illness is harder to detect and treat in faiths more inclined to attribute odd behavior to Satan and trust prayer over medicine.

"They're not seeing this as a mental illness. They're seeing it as the person having demons, perhaps, or a sin problem or not being spiritually fulfilled," said Roger Olson, a theology professor at Baylor's Truett Seminary.


In a recent study of 39 Ohio and Michigan women – all acquitted by reason of insanity in the deaths of their children since the 1970s – about 15 had religious-themed delusions, said Dr. Susan Hatters Friedman, a psychiatry fellow at Case Western Reserve University.

Another study of 56 Michigan mothers referred for psychiatric evaluations from 1974-1976 after killing their children found nearly a fourth of them experienced religious delusions, said study co-author Dr. Catherine Lewis, an assistant professor at the University of Connecticut Health Center.

She said nearly all the women were Christian and many attended fundamentalist churches, but cautioned against assumptions.

"What isn't clear is what's causing what," she said. "Is the church causing people to develop these feelings or are people with these feelings more likely to gravitate toward a fundamentalist church?"
I would think this bears further study...

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

How Do You Like These Apples?

Marriage is not about love. It's about a love that can bear children.
--Todd Akin, Missouri (R)
Fundie say wha??

I wish I could make this shit up. Seriously, do we really need to show this man for the idiot he need not profess to be?

I sit here and ponder how many infertile couples who would die for the chance to have a child think about this statement. Straight, married couples all over the world pay thousands upon thousands of dollars for the chance to be a parent. Hell, so do single persons and persons who are unable to marry. But the straight married couples are in for a rude awakening--did they know they aren't truly married according to Todd? I mean, if they can't reproduce, should we revoke their licenses?

How about my evil grandmother's marriage to her second husband? They got married wwwwwwwwaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyy after her ass became barren. We truly should have prevented that, I suppose. I mean, they can't reproduce, right? So it isn't about a love that can produce children. (Of course, it was more about security for her anyway, not love, so I suppose she's on the list for marriage revocation also, eh?)

Of course, then there are the couples who choose not to reproduce... I suppose they'll come up with a new "category" of marriage, or a "civil union," if you will, for those couples? I mean, even if they do choose to get married but then choose not to have children, that violates this guys definition. We should just make having children a prerequisite before marriage, then, hmm?

Get the ol' virgins knocked up to prove they have a love for producing children, and then hand them a marriage license...

But wait, that'll violate the fundies whole "no sex til marriage" campaign, won't it...

Hmm, conundrums, conundrums...

Of course, we all know who the actual target is... Gay couples.

The only state that allows gay couples to marry is Massachusetts. Did you know that Massachusetts has the lowest divorce rate in the entire country? Seriously, have had the lowest for 20 years running. See here, here, and here. An average of 2.4 divorces per 1,000.

Massachusetts is still a state of the union. It hasn't fallen off the coast. No lightning strikes by the sky god. No earthquakes. No bubonic plague. No rash of straight couples getting divorced so they can have a same-sex marriage. No hell fire and brimstone falling from the sky. And guess what? Gay marriage has been legal there for what? 4 years now?

Did you also happen to notice where the divorce rates are highest in the country? Yep, the Bible Belt. See here and here, and also here. That bastion of family values and moral upstanding virtues, those bible-thumping, Jesus-loving, gay hating, church-going, literal-bible-reading part of our population who claims to have the "heart of America." Now, I ask you, with the bible belt leading the nation in broken families, are they really the people you should be asking for their guidance in "family values"?

On another web site, someone implied that gay people only have children to promote their lifestyle and perversion, and bring it to the schools and "brainwash" children into thinking "gay is okay." First off, is that why fundies have kids? To promote an agenda? To brainwash them about god early on, so they can infiltrate the schools and start a revolution of religion in the public school system? This same poster stated that they never heard the word "sex" uttered in a school until they hit college... What the fuck lame-ass school did you go to? Sex ed was in the curriculum in almost every school in the north-east! 8th grade health class! Hello? Am I really the only one who has had sex ed in high school?

Of course, this person did say at one time that in the south they use the "pot calling kettle black" phrase, so I assume they are from that great bastion of family values called the south with their highest-national-average divorce rates, so...
Of course, recently the New York state supreme court, and just today the Washington State supreme court ruled that gays do not have a right to marriage under their states constitutions, and indeed, not knowing the wording of their state's constitutions, they may be right.

I do know that federally, we do have a right to marriage through legal supreme court precedant (see Loving V. Virginia, here, particularly this quote from the decision of the court, "Marriage is one of the 'basic civil rights of man,' fundamental to our very existence and survival. [...] Under our Constitution, the freedom to marry, or not marry, a person of another race resides with the individual and cannot be infringed by the State." In other words, marriage cannot be restricted by the states when it infringes on an individuals freedom to marry, in this case, based on race...) We also have the inalienable right to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness... we also have, in the constitution, the right to go to Massachusetts and get married and have our home state recognize that marriage (see here and here)...

But until someone with the funds actually sues on those grounds, there isn't much hope that I will be able to marry my husband. I will not get the house if he dies unless I buy it back from his estate (unlike straight spouses when their partner dies who just automatically get the house and any remaining mortgage on it), I will not get his social security when he dies, or he when I die (unlike straight spouses), I will not be able to do a whole bunch of things straight couples take for granted... To see an almost complete listing of the 1,049 rights and benefits of married straight couples that not even the married gay couples of Massachusetts can avail themselves to, see here.

And, being an American tax payer, is that fair? Is that right?

I think you know it isn't...

But are you American enough to stand up for my rights with me?

Or are you happy with the status quo, because it doesn't affect your life directly?

This is a nation that guarantees and protects individual liberties and rights. Not just the popular ones. Not just the majority ones. It's majority rule with minority rights. Any simple class on the Union will teach you that.

Question is, are you paying attention...

When the Nazis came for the communists, I remained silent; I was not a communist.

When they locked up the social democrats, I remained silent; I was not a social democrat.

When they came for the trade unionists, I did not speak out; I was not a trade unionist.

When they came for the Jews, I did not speak out; I was not a Jew.

When they came for me, there was no one left to speak out.

--Pastor Martin Niemöller (1892-1984)
Am I being a little over-dramatic with this quote?


But right now, it's only my rights their after...

Monday, July 24, 2006

Welcome My Mother to the Blog!; and Anger at the Fundies...

It seems my mother has finally discovered the joy of reading her children's blogs... or, at least, mine that I know of! Suffice to say, she may be in for some rude awakenings as I'm watching her comments appear in some posts from back in the day... I kind of dropped a bomb on her on Saturday. Tom and I were there helping Dad tear down their old deck (it was in a state of disrepair that would make even Pigpen blush!), and when Tom and Dad decided to go to Home Depot to get some things for our project at Tom's house next weekend (We're like the Amish--we travel to each other's houses on the weekends and tackle projects like that... anyone need a barn?), I hung back with Mom to show her a few things on her computer...

I forget how the conversation got started... but I said to her (while telling a little white lie), "I believe there is a god..."

Mom: Well, I mean, you still believe that Christ came and died for your sins, don't you?
Me: I think it's a nice thought on the part of Jesus to think he was...
Mom: But... I want my kids to be in heaven... That's the only thing I want on this earth!
Me: Mom, I'll see you in heaven, don't worry...
Mom: But--
Saved by the bell took on a whole new meaning when her brother called at that moment...

So I'd like to clarify a few things for her so she can feel better about her newly-discovered take on my life...

  1. If the bible is true, and one written in the book of life can never lose their salvation, I'll be in heaven, much to my own chagrin, I'm sure...
  2. The possibility that there is a god is so minute, and the possibility that Christians own the market on the true identity of that god and his ways and rules are even more astronomically small
  3. While I at some points in my life entertain the possibility that what I was raised on (ands the subsequent philosophies that spawned) are a possibility, all possibilities should be taken with bucket loads of salt to taste...

So, mother, rest assured that your lost spiritual sheep is in good hands from your perspective and faith... I still love you!

Now on to the fundies that have been pissing me off lately. I really am a glutton for the punishment, but I get so angry when people don't involve their brains in their faith when they profess to have faith, know what I mean? I didn't want to leave this on their blog though, as I try to be very respectful and polite of their blog rules, so I came here to vent... bear with me...

Here are a few key phrases I constantly hear come from the mouths of fundies in my general (or sometimes direct) direction:

  • "You shouldn't be angry with God because you had a bad experience with Christians in your past. Don't blame God for their human errors..."
  • "I sense anger at God in your statements..."
  • "Apparently you never truly were saved, because if you had been, you would know the joy I know..."
  • "God can save you from the sin of homosexuality..."

  • "You cannot possibly be a happy person living the life you are... Just look at the anger you show God..."
No, I'm not kidding.

Number 1: "You shouldn't be angry with God because you had a bad experience with Christians in your past. Don't blame God for their human errors..."
To be angry at something that doesn't exist is just plain stupid. That's like saying I blame Martians for having a yellow sun; blaming oranges because I don't like how they taste; or blaming Santa Claus for not getting that 10-speed bike. Any anger you pick up on, dear fundie, is directed squarely at your ignorance-filled bliss and refusal to admit that there may, indeed, be something you don't know, maybe wrong about, or have been wrong about.... I don't blame god--I can't have issues with someone or something that 90% of the time I don't think is there. My anger is towards you and the fuzzy-warm world of "accountability" you have set up for yourself to meet your emotional and mental needs of your low-self-esteem... Nothing more. You project your sense of worthlessness onto a "sin" nature you personally can't be held accountable for as you weren't there. Then you set up this "all-loving" but "just" parent-figure to help you feel like you have some direction and purpose, although never being perfect like you imagine he would want you to be, so you subscribe to a forgiveness and blame-free bad guy named Satan to take the fall for everything man has ever screwed up... (NOTE Yes, these are generalizations... and in general hold true, although some of you have made up more rules for yourselves as time has gone on...)

Number 2: "I sense anger at God in your statements..."

It ain't god I'm angry at, sweety... If it were, I'd spend a lot more time in prayer (which Homo don't do...) telling him how screwed up I think he made you all. But you have just screwed yourselves up, I hate to tell you (sometimes). And then you march around the earth ruining people's lives by (a) telling them their culture is wrong and that they need to repent (b) telling them their beliefs are wrong and there is only one god whom you seem to think you've met for coffee some time ago, and he'll meet them for coffee too if they'll just ask (c) telling the people they are worthless rotten creatures without this voodoo spirit that is part of god, but still his own person, and (d) that god one time, after having coffee here on earth with twelve "chosen" ones, rose from the dead...

And, by the way, you never let up on the bad stuff... This is wrong, that is wrong, you have this sin, you have that demon, worthless worthless worthless unless you have Jesus... (You all take this to different extremes... Some of you needn't be too hard on yourselves... Others of you should cry in shame over the families and lives you've broken up and ruined all in the name of the great sky god!)

Number 3: "Apparently you never truly were saved, because if you had been, you would know the joy I know..."

So, now, not only do you claim to know what god wants and what god doesn't want, you play holy spirit too? Boy, I bet you make your sky god proud!

Fundie:Don't worry, God. I let him know he wasn't saved!
Sky God: You-- you told him what?
Fundie: You know, that he wasn't saved! I mean, just look at what he said and did! There's no way--
Sky God: You know what goes on in a man's heart?
Fundie: Well, I--
Sky God: You know how long it took me just to get him to be polite to you again?
Fundie: Well, er--
Sky God: You know how many of your boring-ass sermons and lame-ass selfish prayers I had to slug through just to get you to leave me alone so I could see what this man's hang-up was?
Fundie: Hey! I thou--
Sky God: No, you didn't think. You thought you knew. And you didn't. For all I know, I'm not real! I'm a fucking figment of your imagination! I need to call my shrink...
Fundie: But, you said--
Sky God: No, I didn't. Go to hell.
Shall we move on?

Number 4: "God can save you from the sin of homosexuality..."

Honey, that ship's done sailed. I gave your god the best 23 years of my life... and if you figure I hit puberty at 12, that still gave him 11 years to work with. Now I ask you, if he could part the damn red sea in less than a minute for 2 million Jews to cross, why couldn't he take care of it in eleven years? What, he backed up on requests? Did his harddrive crash or something? Perhaps he's waiting on your latest rewrite of your holy book to find out what you want him to think and say about it, perhaps? Perhaps I wasn't miserable enough about it, eh? Maybe the eleven-thousand times I asked for it to be taken away so I could move on and get married and have kids and live the blissful life of a do-gooder, begging god or jesus to make me better, to make me normal...

Go fuck yourselves...

Number 5: "You cannot possibly be a happy person living the life you are... Just look at the anger you show God..."

Okay, see number 1 for the last half of that statement.

Though you can't tell it from this angry post (brought on by recent fundie comments on a different blog that shall remain unnamed and unpointed at), I'm one of the happiest fuckin' people I know! I'm always laughing, telling jokes, trying to enjoy the most of these however many years I have in a life I never asked for... I will not waste these years trying to please an almighty perfect being that will send me to hell for being the way he made me (or could have prevented me from being). I will not waste one more minute being miserable and trying to live up to a perfection that is unattainable... I will not change who I am, who I love, or who I want to be based on your preconceived notions of right and wrong that are based on nothing but whim and dissatisfaction with the status quo...

I am Jason Timothy Hughes. I am happy. I am gay. I am married (in heart and mind) to a wonderful, sweet man. I have everything in this life than I could ever ask for, and I'm loving every minute of it.

Have a nice fuckin' day.
P.S.-- THAT was an angry post, for future reference.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

What the Fuck?!?!

Riddle me this, riddle me that...

Pro 26:4: Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him.

Pro 26:5: Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit.
It is pretty much a given that "the wisest man in the world" wrote this book... or, at least, most of it...

Perhaps his "traditional marriage" to 700 wives and 300 concubines (I Kings 11:1-3) had addled his brain? Talk to the fool and become a fool, or talk to the fool and prove him a fool?

Of course, some of my regular audience members will say I am the fool...

Isn't that convenient? It seems Solomon may have been the fool for putting these verses back-to-back...

Or is it so wise it is above our feeble brains to comprehend?


Friday, July 21, 2006

Homosexuality & The Bible: The Truth, Part 3:
David & Jonathan...

To read earlier parts of this series, please click on the following links:

Homosexuality & The Bible: The Truth, Part 1:
Sodom & Gomorrah

Homosexuality & The Bible: The Truth, Part 2:
Levitical Law

Homosexuality & The Bible: The Truth, Part 3:
David & Jonathan

Homosexuality & The Bible: The Truth, Part 4:
The Words of Christ

Homosexuality & The Bible: The Truth, Part 5:
Paul's Letter to the Romans

Let me preface this issue of the series by stating up front that this is not about a passage fundies use to condemn homosexuality... It is a passage they blatantly either ignore completely or explain away as completely misinterpreted (cause we all know God only speaks to them about interpretation, right?), twisted by us card-carrying members of the Gay Agenda. (Note: Toaster Ovens are on back order... Please stay tuned for an updated memo about Top-of-the-Line Microwave Ovens in all the latest styles and colors...)
As we trek through this ancient book of stories and fables known to some as the bible, we begin to read about David, God's chosen king for the people of Israel, a man described in the Bible as "a man after God's own heart," who falls in love with then-King Saul's son, Jonathan...


Your brakes okay? You sure? Can I continue?

Let's read the passages, shall we?

1 Samuel 18:1-4: When David had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was bound to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. Saul took him [David] that day and would not let him return to his father's house. Then Jonathan made a covenant with David, because he loved him as his own soul. Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that he was wearing, and gave it to David, and his armor, and even his sword and his bow and his belt.

1 Samuel 20:17-18, 41: Thus Jonathan made a covenant with the house of David, saying, "May the LORD seek out the enemies of David." Jonathan made David swear again by his love for him; for he loved him as he loved his own life. [...] As soon as the boy had gone, David rose from beside the stone heap and prostrated himself with his face to the ground. He bowed three times, and they kissed each other, and wept with each other; David wept the more.

2 Samuel 1:25-26: How the mighty have fallen in the midst of the battle! Jonathan lies slain upon your high places. I am distressed for you, my brother Jonathan; greatly beloved were you to me; your love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women.
Wow. Powerful stuff, eh? Now, now, now, hold on fundies, I know what you're saying... Liar! You are completely ignoring the context! This is about best-friends, not lovers! Oh, ye of little brains... tsk, tsk, and triple tsk...

It should be noted that whenever David--king of the disgruntled chosen people of god who always had something to bitch about--strayed from the "man after god's own heart" path, he was sent a prophet (mostly Samuel and Nathan) to set him back on the path of "god-heartedness," but in this case... No prophet. This is hint number one that David and Jonathan were on the up-and-up. No prophet to set little Davie "straight," no word about evilness or abominations, not even a picnic basket with shrimp cocktail... Nadda.

We do, however, get to see Jonathan's father, soon-to-be-debunked King of Israel's reaction when he found out about their little... shall we say, roll in the meadow?

1 Samuel 20:30: "You son of a perverse, rebellious woman! Do I not know that you have chosen the son of Jesse to your own shame, and to the shame of your mother's nakedness?"
I know, sort of puts my father's "stupid" quote to shame, doesn't it? Well, straight fathers have never coped well when they found their sons batting for the other team...

Let's look at, first off, the little tryst, shall we? David and Jonathan are out and about, traipsing through the fields. Jonathan is actually helping David escape Saul who is suffering from and I quote, "an evil spirit of God that was upon Saul" (1 Sam. 16:15-28). David had been playing an apparently not-so-pleasant sounding little tune on his harp for the King, but the "evil spirit" wasn't a fan, so Saul tried to kill David a couple of times. This was one of those times when Saul had his panties in such a twist, Jonathan, the king's own son, was helping him escape. Now Saul had good reason to be pissed at David, some of which were:

  • Samuel had already told Saul David was next in line for the Kingship
  • There was that pesky evil spirit hanging around
  • David couldn't play a chord in C major
  • Saul wanted to stay king...
  • Jonathan wasn't the only child to fall in love with the apparent stud-muffin of the shepherding community, as Michel, Saul's daughter, was also quite smitten with the strapping lad...
  • All of the people loved David much more than they loved Saul
But that doesn't explain the following passage at all:

1 Samuel 20:41 [And] as soon as the lad was gone, David arose out of [a place] toward the south, and fell on his face to the ground, and bowed himself three times: and they kissed one another, and wept one with another, until David exceeded.
Now, this, of course, does not mean they had sex... But as any gay man knows, you don't need to be doing to be... Just as straight folk don't need to be actively engaged in the Hump-de-Hump to know what they like and don't like, neither do we...

They were in pain with love! They cried and bowed and wept and wept... Jonathan and David sent the lad away (who was, really, just an arrow-fetcher for Jonathan setting up this secret meeting) and grieved with one another, afraid they may never see one another again. When the bible says "their souls were knit" (1 Samuel), the Hebrew literally reads "nephesh Y@hownathan qashar nephesh David," or, in English, they were bound by the souls eternally. They were one soul. Dare I say, "Soul mates"? It can't be much clearer, especially when David learns of the death of Jonathan in battle. David cries, "Your love to me was wonderful, passing that of the love of a woman." Again, in the Hebrew, he isn't just crying about losing a best friend, although that would be enough to cry over, but David says "'ahabah pala' 'ahabah 'ishshah," or, in English, you were more to me than any woman I have ever known. Now, it is curious to me that, if David were comparing any old friend that had died, why would he compare them to women? Why would he specifically mention that Jonathan, who had died in battle with the blood of their enemies on his hands, compare him to a woman? Not to be mean... not to call him a pussy... to find the words to express the type of love Jonathan and he shared, the kind of love that surpassed the closest comparable thing he could think of in that day and age... the love of a woman.

It also explains Saul's angry outburst when Saul calls Jonathan "son of a perverse, rebellious woman." Saul basically says "You're a twisted son of a bitch, you know that?" Saul isn't just berating him for kissing a peasant girl, he's calling him a mistake of nature, even blaming his mother with the translation of the second half being "your mother's indecency" or "your mothers perversions." Maybe Jonathan's mother was a lesbian? She's never mentioned again, so I suppose we'll never know...

David and Jonathan, while it is not said that they were a same-sex couple, everything points in that direction, from David and Jonathan sending away the boy so they could be alone to cry and grieve together, to their "knit" souls, to David's eulogy for Jonathan, more like that of the death of a spouse than the death of a warrior and friend...

God never even uses the words "abomination" or "sin," never sends a prophet to tell them to knock it the fuck off, never says a cross word about it. Even after Jonathan passes, David continues to be "blessed" by god, and is given not only many many many many women and land and victories in battle, God never brings this up...

Much like the fundie ministers of today...

For how foolish do they want to look when David is punished for killing his mistress's husband when pregnant with his (David's) child, but he isn't punished for loving Jonathan....?

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

They Say Bad Things Happen in Three's...

And, as we all know, if they say it, it must be true...

We all know what number one is, right? The mustang, yes, very good.

The second was our illustrious Dancing Monkey. Yes, once again, the elected leader supposed to represent the will of the people has once again trampled over the voting public to do whatever the hell he wants anyway, under the guise, of course, of "compassionate conservatism." For the first time in his entire presidential legacy, the President, Mr. George W. Bush, has vetoed the stem-cell research bill. His first veto. To nix something that 63% of Americans think should be happening: Embryonic Stem Cell Research.

The Down-Low: This does not mean that abortion doctors from across the country are trying to abort even more babies to make some ethereal, nonexistent quota. It means that all of the frozen embryo's that couples have left in stasis forever would be used to research cures for such diseases and conditions as Alzhiemer's, Parkinson's, paralysis, blindness--the list goes on for quite a while! This does not in any way destroy human life, although it does take small eggs that have a potential to become human life and use them to help preserve and better human life. Am I clear on that?

Now, if fundies really, truly believed that this would be destroying human life, they should be buying up all these frozen eggs, implanting them in their womenfolk, and bringing them to fruition. Not simply letting them stay in a freezer next to the Butterball, am I right? Much as they protest gay couples adopting children (which numerous studies have shown affects the child in no way, shape, or form differently from being raised in a straight household), if fundies really truly believed these children needed saved form the evil gay couples who simply wish to put a roof over a child's head and clothing on their back and food in their bellies, they would adopt all these children who stagnate in the foster care system...

But I'll digress...

Needless to say, Bush once more has defied the will of the people he supposedly is supposed to be representing, and vetoed the bill...

That was Number Two.
Which leads to the third bad thing to happen in my life (therefore ending the present cycle of ill-luck...)

Remember when I told you about how proud I made my mother by cleaning out my microwave?

Never, ever clean out your microwave... Especially if it's been a few years (okay, like five) since you've done so...

I don't know whether it was all the gooey exploded spaghetti sauce that kept it running, or whether all that crusty old food created some sort of protective barrier, or maybe simply helped the electrical and radiological currents cook any given substance placed into its manifold depths...

But it's dead now.

Nadda. Nothing. Not even a blinking 12:00... 12:00... 12:00...

Even tried several differing outlets in the kitchen just in case...

Somehow, Cleanliness is next to Godliness doesn't seem to be working in this household, most likely for obvious reasons... :D

And since I missed work on Monday due to Bad Thing Number One, Bad Thing Number Three will have to wait to be replaced until Good Thing Number One happens... which, I'm hoping, is winning the PowerBall...

Of course, if I had money and played PowerBall, the odds of that happening would be a little better...
And I have to say, if you believe that strongly that this goes against your personal religious beliefs to follow the will of the people which is your fucking job, you should step down, therefore retaining your moral high ground (supposedly), and allowing the people to have an elected official that will do his/her job...

And, remember, this in no way tramples on the rights of any other person, so therefore, this does not violate your religious freedoms, unless, of course, you are being forced to create embryo's for the sole purpose of Embryonic Stem Cell Research...

Any questions?

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Car's Were Meant to Be Broken...

I wake up Monday morning, ready to go in a face the pile of manuscripts that need edited and prettied up. I have my ciggie, a cup of ice tea, let the dog do his business (which, in case you're wondering, still takes a millennia to find the exact precise spot that needs shitted upon), pop the dog back into the house, go to start my car...


Nothing. I turn the key again, for we all know that, when you've done something without the expected results, the first option is to redo the proper technique...


Then what do we do? We curse, we say, "What the hell?" then we start looking for obvious solutions to our problems. My checklist included, but was not limited to:
  1. Car out of gear in neutral?
  2. Am I hitting the clutch?
  3. Are my--


Yes, dear reader, my headlights were already on the "on" position...

Which we all know equals... dead battery.

So I put in a call to work to let them know I will be late, then I rush out to the garage for our trusty battery charger/jumper, which says right there in bright red lettering on the neon-sunshine-yellow casing "For cars, small trucks and vans."

You'd think a Mustang would be covered, wouldn't you? Yeah, me, too.

I hook it up and go to start the car.


I go look to see if I have it hooked up correctly. It is. I return to step two.


I return to step four, which we all know is the F-bomb.

I decide to leave the charger on for a while, so I put another call into work, telling them maybe around 10:00. I then call my mother because she constantly complains about how early she wakes up in the morning. Believe it or not (and if you know my mother, you'll believe it) she kept me on the phone till 10:00. So after coming up with an exit strategy that didn't include the Sunni's or the Sh'ia or the building and training of an Iraqi army, I get off the phone and turn the key to the car...

I think we already can guess the results, can't we?

So I lost a day's pay, which I can't really afford. The stupid car only needed to be jumped by Rich's when he got home from work, and now the damn thing starts on a dime again. This car will be paid off in four months. Four long, arduous months. Then, and only then, is it allowed to break down. Because then I'm not paying a monthly fee just to keep the stupid thing. Then I'm simply paying to keep it running.

P.S.-- The work story is it broke down on the way to work and I was trapped on the highway and sat in a garage for 5 hours while they fixed my car--somehow it seemed like they wouldn't have believed me if they thought I just had a dead battery and couldn't find a ride... especially since I sat in my air conditioned living room all day waiting for my battery to charge, watching Golden Girls reruns...

Friday, July 14, 2006

A Movie, A Moment, A Life... Latter Days

Christian: You're gonna come into my house and tell me God hates homosexuals?
Elder Davis: And the French! (Nervous laugh...)
Elder Ryder: God hates the French?
Elder Davis: Everybody hates the French.
It seems like eerie coincidence that Beth from a Worshipping Christian just told me how she believes Christ is coming back any minute, and here I was at home watching one of the best movies I've seen in a long time. Latter Days. Funny, poignant, full of characters you love to hate, hate to love, and cheer on every step of the way. I laughed, I sobbed, and I identified with Aaron (Elder Davis) so much it hurt. True, I wasn't a Mormon like Agnostic Mom, but I did grow up in a house that not only revolved around the church and god, but the fear of god, the fear of eternal retribution, the knowledge that god is all, god is everything, you are nothing, and anything you want, need or desire should be all about god. (In case you haven't figured it out yet, God's kind of an ego maniac...)

Aaron: Yeah... I am some dudah pudnacker from Pocatello... they ship us here from dork island. I'm saying I know how retarded you think I am, OK? You found me out, alright? My worst secret. Now I'm humiliated, so your work is done here.
I died all over again. That secret, that shame, that one thing you know you have that no one else does. That people decry from their pulpits, stoning you with their knowledge that, even though they profess to be no better or no worse than you, once they know this about you, somehow they feel better about themselves because they know they are not the worst kind of sinner. They are not gay kind, the kind god called... an "abomination."

Julia: (Singing...)
When you were just a child of eight
You were taught you were not to deviate
Only one way to heaven but half a million ways to fall
Well we can alienate the strange and the odd
As long as we're one nation under God
He might love me but you're his favorite of all
We can hate the Jews and the blacks and the fags
As long as we pray and salute the flag
And fall on our knees to a Jesus who looks just like you.
They blessed your soul and told you to travel
Dressed in polyester for a God made of gravel
Your a man on a mission
I wish you could save yourself

And it's another beautiful day
It's another beautiful day
It's another beautiful day
In the land of the free
(Words by C. Jay Cox)
When your whole life revolves around something for so long and you are raised to believe it fervently with everything you have...

And then reality crashes in without so much as a "Hi, how are ya?"...

Can you really understand the pain when your soul leaves your body? When your reason, your life, your fiber is ripped out?

Aaron: What if it is not something I've done... what if it's who I am?
(Slap across the face.)
Mom: Don't say that. Don't you ever even think that! You can be forgiven... maybe heavenly Father can forgive you for what you've done but who you are... He could never forgive something like that.
That is the message, isn't it. What we all end up walking away from the altar with. If we recover from the stinging slap, we never recover from the message. They tell us god hates our sin but loves us. Let me ask you, straight reader. Can you even fathom not being attracted to someone of the opposite sex? Maybe you can. But that's what your life revolves around... someone of the opposite sex. Your boyfriend or husband (for a woman), or your wife/girlfriend (if you're a guy). That's the way you're wired. That's the way life is--you find a mate your compatible with, that you can live with, that you can love... But to love someone of the same sex? I have no idea why I'm wired this way. Why the long nights of prayer, of crying, of hating myself and my "sin nature" that was going to keep me from having a godly life had no effect. Why God wouldn't "cure" me, make me "normal." Even if you never act on it, you are told lusting in your heart is the same as actually committing adultery. You learn you are so dry-fucked, so screwed... You are damned if you do, and eternally damned at that, even if you don't...

Aaron's Mom: His name was Christian, wasn't it?
Aaron: What?
Mom: Is Christian the one? What did he do to you!
Aaron: He loved me...
Mom: Don't say that! Do you know how ridiculous that sounds? How repulsive that is to God, to everyone? Two men? Men don't love Aary... women bring love to a relationship.
Aaron: But Ma, he told me he loved me...
Mom: He would have told you anything. He flattered and beguiled you... tools of the devil... that's what they do.
Aaron: You don't know that.
Mom: Yes I do.
Mom: It meant nothing to him, he was using you and that is why... you can never think about him again, ever... ever again. You got... you have got to put this thing behind you... this horrible mistake that everybody knows about... You've seen how they look at us. You've seen how people just turn their carts around when we walk down the isle in the market... and how they look away at the bank. Why do you think your father doesn't come home anymore?
All my father said to me, after weeks of avoiding me after finding out, was "So, are you still being stupid?"

I left, and didn't even call them again for another couple of weeks. My father has never brought it up again. He's polite to Rich, very cordial, downright friendly sometimes. He's never apologized either, and has never tried to understand or discuss it, and I'm not sure if that's good or not.

I know when Tom first published his magazine, Promethean Crusade, he was so proud of it... we all were! When Tom broke it out at Mom and Dad's house to show them, they tried to be polite and show interest, but, I mean, come on, it was a heavy metal/death metal magazine... but then Grandmom showed up with Leonard, and Tom went to show it to her and Dad tried to say "no" on the down-low, like "You don't want her to see that."

I'm still not sure if it was because Dad was ashamed of Tom's magazine, and that Tom would dare publish something like that, or if he was somehow embarrassed by what Grandmom might think... He showed it to her anyway. Dad simply shook his head in disappointment...

I don't even know if Tom remembers that. But it did make me feel a bit better that I wasn't the only one whom dad thought was "acting stupid," even though I felt really bad for Tom...

And though Promethean Crusade, Tom's late-night editing sessions, and Dad's control over his kids have gone the way of the Stegosaurus, his house of fear and control still clouds our lives till this day...

Lila: Your church doesn't like alcohol or homosexuals. Well, I am definitely not joining. I can't imagine heaven without both.
Heaven couldn't possibly be heaven without variety, and that includes you fundies (although I'm sure you'll think when you get there that you're in hell... :D) If there is a heaven, and I'm not sure there is, doubt it, actually, but if there is, I'll be the one hosting the block party for eternity... with the man I love.

Aaron: Sometimes it all still feels like a mass of dots but more and more these days... I feel like we're all connected... and it's beautiful, and funny... and good.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

A Snapshot of a Conversation...

The following is a comment I left for Steve and Beth on their blog, A Worshipping Christian. I just like the way it all flowed and came together, so I thought I'd share it here so others can maybe read it and tell me what they think... If you'd like to read the entire conversation and the post that started it, you can click here: Jerusalem Jews Stand United Against Gay Pride.

While I know you are not uncaring or hateful people, to say that you laugh at the term "gay pride" does show a certain lack of respect for the values these people have and hold dear to themselves. I might not agree with your chosen lifestyle either, but I wouldn't dare laugh at Christian pride, or black pride, or Hindu pride, or female pride, or what-have-you. Mock it a little on my blog, point out hypocrisies, yes, but to downright laugh and denigrate your beliefs... I hope I would not anyway, but I am only human... as are you... :)

And while it may be dangerous for individuals to show up at this years pride fest in Jerusalem, rights and respect have never been won by playing the doormat. Rosa Parks, MLK, Harvey Milk, even your Christ stood up for what he believed in, despite danger to his life. These are values and rights that we deeply cherish and deserve.

You say, "I dislike having the gay agenda pushed down my throat at every turn." It may seem that way to you, I suppose. Think of how it must feel to have nonChristians wandering around this country, seeing your steeples, your crosses in graveyards, your sermons dominating the television every Sunday, the giant crosses dotting the landscape all over the south, and even the recent erection of a fifteen-foot statue of liberty in Missouri holding a cross instead of a book. You are all over the media with your talk of family values, your moral obligations, and your right to legislate how everyone should live by your beliefs, your morality, your take on the great beyond.

Then you have the homosexual "agenda." I don't speak for everyone, as I know some would probably like to see your rights to religion stripped, but I, of course, do not. Most of us simply want to be able to, as all hetero's take for granted, marry the ones they love. Have our health plans available to one another. Make sure our children get a good education, and that we can take care of them in an emergency, care for each other when we're sick, be beside one another through our lives, through the laughs, tears, and joys of this life we are afforded. Gay marriage--gay rights--in no way detracts from your quality of life as a Christian. You can still go to church on Sunday and hate gay marriage, even while the gays get married. You may still send relief money to the tribes in Rwanda to pay for bibles while homosexuals make medical decisions for one another. You may still refuse to marry a gay couple. You may still believe it is wrong. You may still preach against it. That is your religious right, one that can never be taken away. It is a foundation of this country.

But so is individual liberty. The right of an individual to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, as long as they are not infringing on the right of another. And allowing same-sex couples full and legal access to marriage, and its 482 (somewhere around there) federal benefits of our secular government, in no way infringes on your right to believe it wrong, to preach against it, to continue to spread your message of sin and salvation.

I know we disagree, and I am fine with that. I just wanted to take the time to point some things out that, from the Christians I know personally, they never really taken the time to think through. Maybe you folks have, maybe you haven't. And while I know we will probably always disagree over this point, I hope you will still take the time to think about one last thing:

No where does your Christ command you to make legislation, to control people's lives, to tell others what they can or cannot do. Your God has always given a choice, right from the beginning in the garden with the talking snake. You seek to legislate things that take away people's choices in life. Whether that be for an abortion, gay marriage, gambling, I don't know, pick something. I just wonder why you feel so strongly that you need to keep gay marriage from happening, when, in all reality, if two men get married, it in no way effects your marriage, your lives, your choices.

Please don't think I'm trying to be argumentative, although this is an "argument" per se, I am simply trying to get my point across in a civilized manner, and I hope I have not offended in such a way as to make you angry.

This is simply my two cents.


Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Gunshot, huh? Go figure...

You scored as Gunshot. Your death will be by gunshot, probably because you are some important person or whatever. Possibly a sniper, nice, quick, clean shot to the head. Just beautiful.





Natural Causes




















Cut Throat


How Will You Die??
created with

Is it just me? Or did my pretty, pretty blog go all bonkers and look all fucked up now? I can't figure out what happened, as it looked this way at work right after lunch, and now I'm at home and still looks screwed up... Trust me, if it looks the same to you, you aren't seeing what I'm seeing...


Hopefully blogger will fix this mess they've made of my world...

Humanity... And the A+ We Seek...

We are a force to be reckoned with. We scale mountains, traverse planets with robots, have whims of utopia and destruction. We cure diseases, switch body parts around, and create smaller life that can destroy ourselves with a sneeze. As a singular individual, we are nothing, though.

Sure, great men have come and gone, according to fellow humans, of course. But outside input? A sentient being with which we could ask for feedback? A gold star perhaps? Something in red pen we could take and say, "Okay, I'll improve on this."

Ergo once wrote in one of my comments a while back:

[...] the God-concept is merely the projection of the Ideal that is observed in the real world in us and things around us.

For example, because we die, we project our desire to continue existing onto a Being that exists and has existed forever.
All God-concepts are idealizations... It's Omniscience our lack of absolute knowledge, it's Omnipotence, our self-perception of weakness, it's moral perfection, our moral failings, etc.
This was in regards to an older post entitled Imagination Vs. Reality, and I have yet to find any reason to refute this statement. It makes perfect, logical sense.

We pray to this being, we build buildings, decorate our graveyards, praise and curse this being, sometimes all in the course of one day. We kill ourselves, lift ourselves up, make life-choices based upon what we believe--what we think--this being that we imagine would want from us.

And, unless we also imagine an afterlife, there really is no point to it all, is there? (I know, a bit morbid, but no less true... Plug in your new Top-of-the-Line Toaster Over, that always brings a smile to my face!) Here I am, in a job that at best could be classified as mediocre... and yesterday, Ergo, doing almost the same thing I am doing halfway around the world, had a closer encounter with terrorism than I have ever experienced, and I hope I never have to.

No one has stepped forward, that I have heard anyway, to claim "responsibility" for the bombings. But does anyone really have to? Is anyone out there saying this was a natural phenomenon? That it was Allah or God sending destruction on the people of India for their "sinful" ways, like a Katrina but with fire? No one has to claim it. We know who it was.

It was us. Mankind.

If we are a creation of a sentient being, I wouldn't be at all surprised if he had given up on us all by now.

But we also know, no supersentient being is needed for us to do this to each other. No all-mighty plan, no all-mighty creator, no all-mighty reason. Hell, there needn't even be a hell for us to do this.

All we need is us.

Katrina was claimed by some to be God's willful wrath on New Orleans for their decadence (never minding that the French Quarter, where most of said decadence occurs, got, like, an inch or three of water while the poorest districts had ten feet or more). The tsunami, again, claimed by some to be God's divine judgment on a poor, barely educated group of persons, just trying to make a living day-to-day and hoping for better things in the future. Granted, these two tragedies showed both the worst and best side of man. Our compassion, our pouring of money and blood to help those victims, of water and blankets and clothes. But then there was the other side. The damnation, the judgment, the cynics who, with their puffed out chests and head in the clouds, said it was of God.

When really, it was all Man.

I'm not saying man caused the tsunami. That was just a natural function of the rock we call Earth. The hurricane could be said to be an effect of man's actions, but again, hurricanes happen without our carbon pollution. But these things don't require a god, either.

All it would take is one e-mail sent to all mankind from this being. A letter, perhaps, or a miraculous headline magically appearing on all the newspapers in all the languages in all the world. Or perhaps it will take our annihilation of ourselves.

I was thinking about how we will look back on these times in our history. We will forgive ourselves our capabilities of such atrocities? We will look back in, say, the year 3030 and say, "Wow! What were they thinking?" as they stare from Jupiter's horizon onto the glowing dot known as Earth 1?

Will we even make it that far? We'll never know, of course. Until Walt Disney becomes unfrozen and can regale the future Man with tales of what silly rides we used to spend our free time riding, even the future Man will never know what we were like, much as we speculate about happenings merely fifty years ago, let alone a few thousand or a few million...

But perhaps, as we go around claiming moral superiority, killing in the name of a deity we think may or may not approve of what we're doing (and I don't care if you call it belief, faith, or love, it's a thought, an emotion, and not a fact, despite the euphoria you feel singing a silly song on a Sunday morning), how about just letting people simply live. For we all live for the same things, across all time and space and culture and language.

We want to live. We live for life, and for everything life is.

That's your A+. That's your reason, your meaning, whether you guise it up in royal robes, a boob-tube, a job, or a deity. Life is all you have. Life is all anyone has. Why is it so hard to respect that for others?

Saturday, July 8, 2006

Anger?; and Conversations with My Nephews...

It seems to be an overarching theme read into my posts. I've been told this not only by the fundies (think Adam [the e-mail stalker], Beth [from A Worshipping Christian], and even some anonymous, non-balled persons here on this blog), but by my brother Tom as well. So I ask you, dear reader, does anger really seem to be at the root of my posts and overall attitude at this forum?

Maybe I'm too close to it to see it clearly. Anger is certainly one of a myriad of emotions I portray when posting, and I think anyone who didn't show some type of emotion must be some type of automatron. I do get angry at stupidity, but I don't feel it is the ruling emotion. Written word is also harder to convey tense and emotion, which is why I try to be overly sarcastic when called for, and use the ever-recognized icon of smiley-face [:D]. Is it truly me? Am I that angry? Or do people super-impose their thoughts and emotions onto my written word?

I'd truly like to know, so if you have any thoughts to add, please feel free to do so.
I watched the dear boys on Saturday when Tom and Ann took some well-needed R&R hiking up a mountain, or some other such ungodly thing you wouldn't catch me dead even thinking about. It was a gorgeous day, so we kicked a Wal-mart smiley face volley ball around the yard, watched Lion King and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, and played "Who Can Crash Their Matchbox Car More Loudly." But here was a typical, intellectually stimulating conversation between me and the four- and two-year-old:

Henry (4): Jathun?
Me: Yes, Henry?
Henry: Why do you have two fish tanks?
Devin (2): Fishies!!!!!
Me: Um... Because I do.
Henry: But why?
Devin: Fishies!!!!!!
Me: I don't know... Because I do?
Henry: Did you want two fish tanks?
Devin: I want drink!!!!!
Me: Hold on, Devin, but-- I mean, Yes, Henry, I wanted two fish tanks...
Henry: Why?
Devin: DRINK!!!!!
Me: Okay, follow me to the kitchen, Devin. What, Henry?
Henry: Why did you want two?
Me: Because...
Henry: Why, Jathun?
Me: Um, I have two different kinds of fish-- (Pouring milk into a cup for Devin)
Henry: Are they mean?
Me: Is who mean?
Devin: I want water!!! No milk!!! Chocolate milk?
Me: No, I don't have chocolate milk, that's ice tea, which you can't have--um, No, Henry, they're not mean, their nice fishies...
Devin: WATER!!!
I pour out the milk and begin to fill the cup with water
Henry: Fishies are mean?
Me: No, they're nice-- Here, Devin, here's your water--
Me: I don't have choco--
Devin: Whass that?
Me: Ice tea-- that's Jason's, not yours--
Henry: Why?
Me: Why what Henry?
Henry: Why is that your juice? (Pointing at the jug of ice tea)
Me: Because that's what I drink--
Devin drops his cup of water
Devin: I want juice!!!
Me: I don't have juice-- (Grabbing a towel)
Henry: Do fishies drink water?
Me: Um, I suppose so--
Devin: Can fishies have my water? I want juice!
Me: Your water is on the floor, Devin, so no, they can't have it, and I don't have ju--
Henry: Is that a cuckoo clock?
Me: Wha-- where? (Mopping up water as Devin jumps in it, grinning from ear to ear)
Devin: WATER!!!!
Henry: There! (Pointing at a non-cuckoo clock)
Me: No, it's a regular clock... Devin, don't-- stop--
Devin: MILK!! DRINK!!
Henry: I like cuckoo clocks!
Me: That's nice, here Devin, there's milk--
Devin: For fishies?
Henry: Do you have a cuckoo clock?
Me: No, and no--
Devin: Fishy clock?
Me: No--
Henry: You have a fish clock?
Me: N--
Devin: Fishies have milk?
Me: N--
Henry: I want a drink, too!
Me: Milk or wa--
Devin: JUICE!!
Me: I don't have ju--
You get the idea... for twelve hours...

But I wouldn't trade it for the world!!

Thursday, July 6, 2006

Obeying the Laws are Their Own Reward,
But a Top-of-the-Line Toaster Oven is Nice, Too!

So here we are, in the midst of a grand disagreement over biblical interpretation. I was a little disappointed with the last round, as no fundies could really explain Paul's great conundrum, sort of a "Where's Waldo" of the biblical world. But alas, biblical interpretation waits for no man, so onward to winning that great prize in the sky: A brand-new toaster oven from the great G-man himself. Or, at least, eternal life. Personally, I'd rather have the toaster oven, but that might be just me. I heard through the grape-vine that's it's available in stainless steel and metallic blue, which would go perfectly with my dream kitchen that I also have yet to acquire. But I digress.
Our problem:

Paul says:
Romans 10:4 For Christ is the end of the law, that every one who has faith may be justified.


Jesus says:
Matthew 5:17-18 Think not that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets; I have come not to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the law until all is accomplished.
Do we understand the issue? So are Christians to obey the law or not? This becomes quite an issue, especially in regards to our last post, Homosexuality & the Bible: The Truth, Part 2: Levitical Law. The issue arises over the fact that while fundies like to use levitical passages to "justify" their moral code in regards to the "homosexual lifestyle" (which, if I ever do get the memo defining what that really entails, I'll let you know; as a card carrying member of the Gay Agenda, I expect an updated memo in regards to the evil lifestyle I should be living any day now). They like to say they have been "redeemed" by the blood of Christ, but what if they've been deluded by Paul, the usurper of the Christian religion? Jesus himself says in plain old English (because of course he spoke the King James into existence between making wine while crashing weddings and rising from the dead; something David Blain has yet to figure out how to do), that "not one iota, not one dot" of the law shall pass until all is "fulfilled." Yeah, kind of cryptic. He was funny like that, this Jesus dude. He told stories, parables if you will, instead of just saying, "Yo! Be nice to each other! Jeez!" While speaking these words to his disciples, he goes on to say in verse 20 that "except your righteousness shall exceed [the righteousness] of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven." Whoa, stop the press! You have to be better than the teachers of the day? Granted, they were a bunch of hypocritical bastards (Hmm, reminds you of our religious leaders today, doesn't it?), but nonetheless, a tall order. Jesus sums up this little pep talk with "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." Damn! Perfect? Is he kidding? It is important to note that, in some translations of this chapter, all prophecy and biblical law is implied when it comes to the law not passing away until "all is fulfilled." Which would mean that Christians are expected to live according to Levitical law!

Then we have Paul. Mr. "I saw the light after I fell off my ass on my ass" self-proclaimed Apostle of Christ. And he states under no uncertain terms that "Christ abolished the law." Gone. Totally. This is actually quite a recurring theme through all of Paul's letters, despite his maybe/maybe-not three-year's-of-my-life-are-in-limbo issue. Just love God and your neighbor. It's not by works. It is through grace and mercy alone. Now Paul could very well be assuming that once Jesus did that nifty trick of disappearing while decaying, that meant "all was fulfilled," but that would be disregarding supposed prophecy of the millennial kingdom and final judgment, of which we know Paul was also a big pusher of. His real beef (no pun intended; you'll find out in a minute why that this disclaimer was called for...) comes from the fact that he doesn't like how the Jews are still following the law when the supposed messiah has come and gone (without the benefit of a farewell tour!!!; I think it may come down to Paul's hankering for a double-quarter-pounder with cheese...). So we have an enormous conundrum here.

Which is it to be? Love me, love me, Say that you'll love me, or I Shot the Sheriff? I mean, Jesus goes into the whole love thing to, but it's really in reference to the fact that if you do love your neighbor, you'll be keeping the letter of the law. Paul's just fuzzy-warms it up. And James, well, he's more in line with Jesus line of thinking and is kind of like a slap in Paul's face, really. And James didn't have to fall off an ass, either.

Perhaps fundies will find out in the great beyond that they should have dumped Paul in favor of Leviticus. Or perhaps they'll have nothing to worry about. But if it turns out they were wrong about the whole thing and have really just been filling the shoes of a modern-day Pharisee, I don't think they'll be happy with the consolation prize of Toaster Oven, no matter what stylish colors it may be presented in...

Saturday, July 1, 2006

Homosexuality & the Bible: The Truth, Part 2:
Levitical Law

To read earlier parts of this series, please click on the following links:

Homosexuality & The Bible: The Truth, Part 1:
Sodom & Gomorrah

Homosexuality & The Bible: The Truth, Part 2:
Levitical Law

Homosexuality & The Bible: The Truth, Part 3:
David & Jonathan

Homosexuality & The Bible: The Truth, Part 4:
The Words of Christ

Homosexuality & The Bible: The Truth, Part 5:
Paul's Letter to the Romans

In our first part, we covered how Sodom and Gomorrah were not about homosexuality at all, but about inhospitality, selfishness, and all-around evil people who liked to rape others. In Part 2, we shall cover the Levitical Law of the Torah, and some other passages usually described as "proof" that God hates homosexuals (or their "sin"), and why this use of scripture is bunk.
We must also take a moment to reflect on how and where this book came from, when it was written and by whom, and for what purpose: There seems to be a scholarly consensus that the book of Leviticus is from exilic times. The generally agreed-upon context is the permission given by Cyrus of Persia (in approximately 538 B.C.E.) to the exiled Judeans to rebuild their temple in Jerusalem. We know from historical and archaeological evidence that Cyrus allowed a great number of conquered peoples in his empire to rebuild their homelands and local temples. (Think of him as the father of religious freedom.) In each of these cases, he required the newly reestablished leaders (in this case, the priests of the Hebrews) to publish its traditional law so that he would know how they planned on running the show in his empire. Leviticus is the result of the Judean priesthood's effort to do so, which is why Leviticus reads like a priestly handbook.

This context does not mean that historians think it was pulled out of thin air by exiled priests in the sixth century. It should be noted that the priestly writers probably brought memories, traditions, and word-of-mouth of what once had been, and what they thought should be again while they were writing this document up for Cyrus. It is also clear that the book was not written at one sitting by a single author, as Leviticus has every sign of being a composite work, despite some fundamentalist claims of it having been written solely by Moses.

It is best, then, to think of Leviticus as a complex book composed over an long period of time (the rebuilding of the temple alone took over 25 years) by a variety of authors. It should not be treated as an historically reliable description of how the temple actually operated, as those customs and traditions had been lost while the Jews were busy being conquered by a number of empires and spread out across a vast area before Cyrus' time. Leviticus offers insight into the priestly imagination of exilic and postexilic Jewish culture. It also tells us what the priesthood, or at least an influential part of it, thought temple ritual ought to be.
The book of Leviticus is basically a book for the priests in the tribe of Levi, one of the twelve tribes of Israel, specifically, the descendants of Aaron, Moses brother, the first priest of Israel. Broken up into sections, the book basically reads like this:
  1. Lev. Ch. 1-16, & Lev. Ch. 27: These books constitute the main standards and rules of the "Priestly Code," that explains in great detail the rituals and worship, including details of ritual cleanliness and uncleanliness. Further broken down by chapter:
    • 1-7: Laws regarding the regulations for different types of sacrifice
      • 1-3: Burnt-offerings, meat-offerings, and thank-offerings
      • 4-5: Sin-offerings, and trespass-offerings
      • 6-7: Priestly duties and rights concerning the offering of sacrifices
    • 8: The practical application of the sacrificial laws, within a narrative of the consecration of Aaron and his sons
      • Lev. 8: Aaron's first offering for himself and the people
      • 9-10: The case law lesson of strange fire being offered by Nadab and Abihu, and their subsequent execution by Yahweh for doing so
    • 11-16: Laws concerning purity and impurity
      • Ch. 11: Laws about clean and unclean animals
      • 12: Laws concerning ritual cleanliness after childbirth
      • 13-14: Laws concerning tzaraath of people, and of clothes and houses, often translated as leprosy, and mildew, respectively
      • 15: Laws concerning bodily discharges (such as blood, pus, etc.) and purification
      • 16: Laws regarding a day of national atonement, Yom Kippur
    • 27: Laws concerning the commutation of vows
  2. Leviticus 17-26, is known as the Holiness Code, and places particular, and noticeable, emphasis on holiness, and the holy. It is notably more of a miscellany of laws. Within this section are:
    • 17: Laws concerning idolatry, the slaughter of animals, dead animals, and the consumption of blood
    • 18 & 20: Laws concerning sexual conduct, sorcery, and moloch
    • 19: Laws concerning molten gods, peace-offerings, scraps of the harvest, fraud, the deaf, blind, elderly, and poor, poisoning the well, hate, sex with slaves, self harm, shaving, prostitution, sabbaths, sorcery, familiars, strangers, and just weights and measure
    • 21-22: Laws concerning priestly conduct, and prohibitions against the disabled, ill, and superfluously blemished, from becoming priests, or becoming sacrifices, for descendants of Aaron, and animals, respectively
    • 23: Laws concerning the observation of the annual feasts, and the sabbath,
    • 24: Laws concerning the altar of incense, the case law lesson of a blasphemer being stoned to death, and other applications of the death penalty
    • 25: Laws concerning the Sabbath and Jubilee years.

There, now. Do you feel you have an understanding of Leviticus? I hope so; that took more time and space than I thought it would, but it is important to the understanding.

The passages we will be dealing with today are as follows:

Leviticus 18:22: "Thou shall not lie with mankind as with womankind: it is abomination."

Leviticus 20:13: "If a man also lie with mankind as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they should surely be put to death...."
It should be noted that our passages come from a portion of Leviticus particularly concerned with the "Holiness Code," or, guidelines and rules for remaining holy in the eyes of Jehovah. The Jews had wandered all around the desert before coming to rest and make a settled life in the so-called promised land, and thus had seen a great number of cultures, how they operated, and had a lot of years and time, both as slaves and as self-exiled nomads, to decide what practices they liked, what they didn't like, and what they thought their God might like from them. At least one writer (though most likely two, as the two references are separated by a good bit of text), while they were writing down what laws they thought they should follow as they were rebuilding their temple, thought that the practice that was common in much of the known culture then, specifically male prostitution in the context of worship to deities, wasn't something they wanted to encourage. Whether this is because they didn't think their male prostitutes would be all that attractive, or because they found the practice icky, we may never know.

In Lev 18:22, the term abomination (to'ebah) is used. It is specifically a religious term, usually reserved for use against idolatry; it does not reference moral evil per se, although one could certainly argue that "morality" and "holiness" are inseparable (except that they are), the term is less about a code of conduct as it is for a code of remaining in tune with Jehovah.

Leviticus 20:13 states: "If a man also lie with mankind as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they should surely be put to death....". The passage is surrounded by prohibitions against incest, bestiality, adultery and intercourse during a woman's period. But this verse is the only one in the series which uses the religious term abomination; it seems also to be directed against the aforementioned temple prostitution that was a common practice in the surrounding cultures.

Either way you slice it, though, the book of Leviticus wasn't directed as a code for the people to live by, but how the people should worship. It also is filled with passages that tell the people to refrain from eating shellfish (in which the same term "abomination" is used), so for a person to use this passage as a reason for "condemning" homosexuality while stuffing their faces with shrimp, clams, and lobster, is a hypocrite. An abomination is also mentioned in reference to touching a pig's skin (those abominable football players!!!). I think we can all agree, culturally, that the book of Leviticus isn't something today's culture should be looking toward for moral values and religious doctrines, as most of the rules and regulations would stop American culture in it's tracks, not to mention damn 90% of us to hell and beyond! So even if you are to extrapolate just these two passages and use them for "refusing" a specific act or practice and term them to be "morally" sound as a guide to life, you must take the whole package. You can't pick and choose. You cannot, in full faith and conscious, use the verses to condemn something that wasn't being referenced to begin with. Now, if your local Baptist church starts a male prostitution ring while condemning the youth groups game of tough-tag football, then you may have some Levitical land to stand on. But until the Sunday pot-luck stops including shellfish; when men stop sleeping with their wives when they're having their period; when football becomes an abomination; and when you are allowed to own slaves again (just not sleep with them), then you can use Leviticus as your guideline for life.

Until then, you can shut the hell up. :D
Part 3 will be an in-depth look at David, the man after God's own heart, and his relationship to Jonathan, and why it may or may not have been a homosexual relationship. We may also touch briefly on the passage in Deuteronomy, but that will basically boil down to what most of this did. We'll see how it goes.

Until next time...
I continue to be a noncensoring blogger, so feel free to leave your comments, thoughts, and suggestions. I promise in turn not to bite.