Monday, June 30, 2008
No, but here is where it is a major character differentiator, even though McCain is too modest and tongue tied (his "oration challenged" often, hopefully that will improve with time and verbal confidence). McCain had connections, being as his father was very high in the military. The Viet Cong considered releasing him at several points in order to look good. This is while they are still torturing him and his colleagues, mind you. But they thought they would do the right thing and let go the kid of a big USA military guy. McCain turned down the offers for early release. Yes, he could have got "early" release (after years of already being tortured and captive) but McCain turned it down. Why? First, there is a military code of conduct. There is a pecking order that military guys obey, where the lowest rank and longest prisoner service member gets first dibs at being released. McCain has enormous honor and would not let himself be released before others. Second, he would not let his dad's influence have any bearing. He's not an elitist like some I could mention.
If anything what I have just pointed out is of enormous credit and character reference to his being more qualified to be President than really anyone I can think of right now. Young weasels with big mouths we have in abundance. A man who let himself be tortured and prisoner for additional years rather than stomp on an underling to get out of POW earlier is the type of guy who makes conscientious and wise, character based, strong decisions as President.
Ta ta assholes. Have a nice day.
Sunday, June 29, 2008
And desire nothing else but You.
Let me hate myself and love You,
And do all things for Your sake.
Let me humble myself and exalt You,
And think of nothing else but you.
Let me die to myself and live in You,
And take whatever happens as coming from You.
Let me forsake myself and walk after You,
And ever desire to follow You.
Let me flee from myself and turn to You,
That so I may merit to be defended by You.
Let me fear for myself, let me fear You,
And be among those chosen by You.
Let me distrust myself and trust in You,
And ever obey for the love of You.
Let me cleave to nothing but You,
And ever be poor because of You.
Look upon me that I may love You,
Call me, that I may see You.
And forever possess You, for all eternity. Amen.
I mention this because people have all seen how suddenly the weather can change. It must have only been about an hour after this tragedy that I was on the road driving to a restaurant when I suddenly saw a purplish black front bearing down on me with straight line winds. It really seemed to come out of nowhere. I got behind a guy in a black pick up truck and we gunned it to out run the long side of the rectangular shape that it made, driving very fast for about six miles. While I was eyeing the storm wall as it bore down in our direction, I didn't see any rotation (my big concern for a tornado) but straight line winds can be just as sudden and fierce.
By the way, if you are ever in my situation but you actually see tornado rotation commence or straight line winds that can tip over a car, immediately get out of the car and get into a culvert. As I was driving I was watching along side the road for good sized culverts in case I had to make the dive. Cars are great for protection from lightning, and you should stay in your car if lightning is the threat, but if you encounter a tornado or car tipping straight line winds the car is not the best place. Several people have been killed in the Midwest storms during the past month when they were in their cars. A culvert, which is the underground large tubes for drainage that you see under driveways and in ditches, is the safest place to be in a tornado. Yeah, being in Mississippi I really didn't want to think about fighting a critter to get into the culvert, but that's better than a potential tornado. Anyway, the storm blew over fast and hardly any rain fell. But just like the Huntsville microburst storm cell, it was a sudden cell of fierce wind that was the threat.
snip from a comment to this article by "The Web Guy":
Judaism is intensely aware of the power of speech and of the harm that can be done through speech. The rabbis note that the universe itself was created through speech. Of the 43 sins enumerated in the Al Chet confession recited on Yom Kippur, 11 are sins committed through speech. The Talmud tells that the tongue is an instrument so dangerous that it must be kept hidden from view, behind two protective walls (the mouth and teeth) to prevent its misuse. The harm done by speech is even worse than the harm done by stealing or by cheating someone financially, because amends can be made for monetary harms, but the harm done by speech can never be repaired. For this reason, some sources indicate that there is no forgiveness for lashon ha-ra (disparaging speech).
So I have been aware of hundreds of examples and instances of stalking and manipulating my human life based on the sick and insane cultists and their drunken and drugged money and power grubbing antics. I just gave four examples (promised three but gave an extra since it was such an interesting one) in order to demonstrate once again that not only does God know absolutely everything that happens, is planned by humans, or even intended or thought about by them, but I was not exactly out of the loop either.
So who is stupid now? In the Lord of the Rings, Gollum is not so interested in the fish he caught in the pool when he hears that it will cost him his life, but for the mercy of Faramir. Stealing isn't as brilliant and clever when one finds one has traded away salvation, not only for yourself, but for your entourage and followers.
But years ago when she was still starting out on her career and bouncing around in relationships, she sent me a birthday or Christmas gift, I forget which (probably birthday because Christmas would have been very strange), that really made me raise an eyebrow. She sent me a Buddha statue and with it a note assuring me that it would "bring me luck." This would have been in the 1990's I think. Much more than fifteen years ago as best as I can recall.
Now, on face value this was understandable as part of the "generation X chic" about mystical Far East decorations and so forth. But I'm no fool. I knew that someone had been 1) talking to her about "New Age" Buddhism (since traditional Buddhism is more prosaic and devout than handing out Buddha as a good luck charm) and 2) put her up to giving one to me. But she lived across the country and had been out of touch for many years (she was mad at me for a whole lot of years because I once chastised her about how much my brother, her dad, had to work and worry to pay her bills), so I did not know any of her circle of friends and acquaintances, or her mindset really. I was touched that she cared enough that I was going through difficult times to want to send me "good luck" so I valued the gift accordingly. But I am no idiot. I knew that someone had deliberately gotten to her to "convert" her to some crazy New Age beliefs (not authentic Buddhism) and was also trying to get to me. Again, they keep thinking that I'll take the hint and bite my lip in dramatic agony, wringing my hands and going, "Oh My! I Must Have Had A Tragic Past Life! Some Money Grubbing Insane Person Who Is Spiritually Enlightened Please Help Me!" *Pauses to throw up a little in my mouth*
Well, imagine when we forward in time to the year 2003. I was still in touch with an ex boyfriend, mostly because I was concerned about his tendency to alcoholism. So we tried to stay email friends. I used to be close to his children. Well, imagine when one day he emails me to tell me his oldest daughter has "gotten in Buddhism" and "given him some books to read." HA HA HA. How stupid do I look? (A lot I guess). It took me one nanosecond to make the connection. Ten years had passed and the same "approach" was being used: get to the generation X of non formed Christian youth and convert them to the insane "New Age version of so called Buddhism" (again, not a slam at the traditional faith, but one of this manipulable 'past lives' mush of garbage).
Once again I do not take the bait and once again I put a positive good Christian spin on it. I mean, these are people who while born C of E only attend on Christmas and have no real faith, plus they have mondo drinking problems. So I thought, well, having some spirituality, even yucky and poopy spirituality, is better than nothing. The ex-boyfriend even went on a semi-spiritual Buddhist location type vay cay (vacation) and mentioned that it helped him have a different view of his drinking. So I figured, hey, that's what I wanted, for him to dry up and get some sort of spiritual perspective, and so I let it pass without criticism and just encouragement of a generic sort.
But how stupid do these people think I was? They must have thought, "Core! She is dense and dumb, in addition to being too old and too fat!" ("Core" is an old fashioned Brit exclamation, ha ha, just being literary here.) They keep twirling NAB (New Age Buddhism) in front of me and "getting to" the next generation of poorly formed Christians (something I am painfully aware of and part of my mission that was put on hold by the stalkers, obviously) and I just would not react! I'd like to think that it was around this time that they started getting a clue. I mean, they saw me praying in St Patrick's Cathedral several years before, so duh, what would that have been about if I was "wallowing" not "remembering" my poor and pathetic "past lives?" *Throws up in mouth a little more*
See, this is the problem. They don't want the truth. They want everyone to believe whatever crap they pull out of their drunk and stoned asses and say that "it's all relative, so long as you are spiritual." Christianity (and Islam) have done people no favors by not talking about the reality of hell and how many people are going to go to hell because of being mini anti-Christs (while accusing others of actually being the Antichrist) and for preying on the poorly formed younger generations.
The most obvious is that one day one gave me a xeroxed "report" for me to look at. This was in the early 1990's and would have been around the time of the first World Trade Center bombing. I don't have any of my office diaries with me, but I think this happened before the bombing. Anyway, one of my employees gave me this "xeroxed report" "as a laugh." It was long and totally unreadable. It was some sort of insane "revelation" by someone or something with a Z in the name about "the Rapture" and "aliens." If you put insane chimpanzees on LSD for a year they could have come up with something better than this garbage. It was so awful that I could not even read it for the lulz.
I knew on the spot that it was no "coincidence" that an otherwise wholesome member of my staff would have such a crazy piece of crap as this fall into his hands. Remember, this was in the day before spamming in email where all sorts of stuff now flies around, both crazy and sane. This was a xeroxed pamphlet kind of thing, sounding a lot like the secret teachings of Scientology, except even dafter, if you can imagine that. So I knew that this was a deliberate effort to get a "reaction" from me. My reaction was, as I said, that it wasn't palatable to read even for a sick twisted giggle. So I didn't even pick it apart to critique it because it was just totally unreadable to anyone who was sane, honestly. Buddhism I could pick apart and critique, for example. But aliens and the rapture with totally hysterical (as in manic depressive) "concepts" that make atheists look like they have their heads screwed on straight? I just handed it back with an *eyeroll*.
I guess the stalkers thought I was particularly stupid to not appreciate the brilliance of "the secrets" being handed right to me. Oh my God, will this human race survive? It has such a death wish.
One famous skit mentions the name of my high school best friend's family. Trust me, I knew that it was no coincidence from the moment I first saw the skit. However, as I explained in my first example of stalking post, I tended to think these were deliberate but unconscious attempts to "get at me" by those who were using unwholesome powers and anti-God beliefs. So I knew that the skit was actually deliberately using my best friend's family's name, but thought that it was kind of a lucky shot in the dark, deliberate but not actually having identifying me personally or my private ministry. Well, so that's nearly thirty years ago and my second example of what I identified on the spot as being stalking, though I thought it was unconsciously done regarding my true identity. I was part right because little did I realize what moronic and dangerous beliefs they had which kept them from understanding my true identity. So I was right about that; they did not really know who I was. But this shows how pathetic and wasteful decades have been of making my life a miserable living hell when all I had meant to do was to guide people back to the authoritative truth that had already been given to them, and restore spiritual health and sanity.
At least now these smug assholes know that I wasn't the dumb cluck sitting there not knowing I was being stalked. I just thought it was unconscious and they could not help it. All the worse for them, in God's eyes, that it was malicious, manipulative, mocking and, obviously, conscious and deliberate.
Souls are not floating in heaven waiting for the next greased chute into life. Souls are created by God at precisely the same stage of life for each and every person. That is when the egg is fertilized by the sperm, becomes an embryo, attaches to the inner womb of the woman, and "quickens" (makes its first cell division of growth that it is alive). It is at that precise moment that God creates the soul to match that embryo as it makes its first pulse of life attached in the mother's womb. There is no question about this at all.
As usual you have to take my word for it, but you can really prove this through logic, if you choose to do so. We all know that every human has a guardian angel. Jesus affirms this in the Gospel, so Christians are fully aware of the guardian angel truth of their faith. Now, when would God send the guardian angel? Would he wait until the baby pops out of the womb? I mean, who needs a guardian angel during the first nine months of life, right? Of course not. God gives the guardian angel to the child at the embryo's first pulse of life. He obviously doesn't have guardian angels hanging around inside the womb or willie just waiting in case a baby comes along, LOL. So the guardian angels are not there "in advance" of the baby's existence as a embryo. Likewise, they don't drop in on the baby after the mother's been pregnant, ignoring the pre-born baby as it's mom takes crack, or decides to have an abortion, or if there is a risky pregnancy, and, obviously, through the every day miracle of a good and blessed gestation of a much loved and wanted pre-born child. Logic dictates that the guardian angel is sent to the baby at the baby's first inception as a living individual being, when it takes its first cellular growth step of life, which is the archaic term "quickening."
Anyone who has had a miscarriage or an abortion and who believes in God comforts themselves that the baby is in heaven. What exactly is in heaven if the baby did not have its soul from the first cellular growth of life? So obviously the baby receives its soul and its guardian angel from God the moment that it is viable and quickening in the mother's womb. The soul and the guardian angel are each created and unique to the embryo at that first moment. God does not have a "last in first out" or "holding pattern" "inventory" of "new or used" souls.
The Bible is very clear that the body is the temple of the soul. So it's not like any old soul can get stuffed into whatever body comes along for it. That's pagan thinking and it's wrong and destructive, and anti-God and anti-life. When a body is created, a new temple, as an embryo is in truth, a new soul that is suited for that temple is created by God and sent to that body. Period. It is that soul that returns to God for judgment and dispensation when life ends, either pre-born (when obviously no judgment is needed) or at any point in that person's body and life when it comes to an end through death. The temple then is gone but the soul returns to God, who created it for that body temple specifically and exclusively. Thus God knows the soul before the person was born, because he created that soul for the pre-born embryo.
Here's a common sense exercise. Think of a famous saint, let's say John the Baptist. Is it not obvious that God created the soul of the person who would be John the Baptist, and sent the soul to the womb that would carry John the Baptist? I mean, it's not like God just grabbed some soul out of thin air that was hanging around in the waiting room and the soul turns out to have done very well for himself and for the salvation history of the world by becoming John the Baptist. God doesn't say, "Hm, let's grab this soul that's been hanging around and send it down the greased chute to earth and see how he turns out. Wow, look at that, he turned out to be John the Baptist!" God could kind of chuckle to himself and say, "Yee ha! Good thing that soul didn't take a wrong turn and end up in some reindeer herder in Iceland!" Um, obviously not. God creates the soul that will occupy the temple of the body that was just created when an embryo is formed and implanted. Build the temple/create and send the soul. Build the temple/create and send the soul. That's what happens millions of times a year. God can handle it. He's God. He created every uncountable particle in the universe, and all the unmeasurable space in between. God can handle creating a new and individual soul that is perfect for the temple that has just been conceived through the creation of conception.
That's why I am SO SICK of New Age reincarnation idiots. Again, this is not a slam on traditional faiths who believe in reincarnation, such as Buddhists. Their error is understandable because they do not historically believe in an all powerful directive God. Their faith sought to explain a code of conduct and relied on earthly "karma" to reward/punish good people and evil doers. I have no problem with people who are born into this tradition. But I have a real problem with "modern thinkers" who decide all on their own that God is part of a sausage machine where the handle is cranked and souls are recycled. So who would John the Baptist have been in his "past life?" The guy who had the best cave? Someone who "lost his head" in a previous life and therefore needs to "lose his head again in the next life, but this time for a 'good cause'"? Yeah, have another puff on that spiritual cigarette that you smoke.
OK, now let's cut through the spewing from both sides. One side will be very alarmed at the ethics and "playing God" factor. The other side will hate on the "religious Bible thumping" side thinking they want the little babies to have cancer. Sheesh.
I'm not going to render an easy formula for you to follow; that's the challenge of humanity, to decide how to continue being humans. But I will tell you that you cannot solve the problem without realizing one factor.
Read this snip from the article:
“We had been through his sister being ill, so it was something we had seen first hand. I thought this was something I had to try because, if we had a daughter with the gene, and she was ill, I couldn’t look her in the face and say I didn’t try.”
This is the mother saying she would feel guilty if she had a baby who developed the cancer, who then as an adult, the mother would have to tell her that she could have cured it but didn't try. Er, um, you wouldn't have that conversation. The child that would have had the cancer is now not going to be born or be alive at all. It's not like you did a body swap for the same person. You've decided not to let the person who would have the cancer become alive at all, in order to have a completely separate and different sibling be the one chosen to become alive. You can't have an imaginary conversation with the child that you decided not to have at all.
Now, I'm not being hard on the mother, but if we are to have this ethics discussion at all, people need to have a clue that they are not talking about a "cure." They are opting not to bring to life a person who has this gene. They are opting to bring to life a sibling who does not have the gene. It's not like you did a body and soul swap to "cure" the cancer in the baby you would have had anyway. That's biological idiocy, and understandable in how the mother needs to rationalize her decision in her own heart, but people who plan to have a thoughtful discussion on either side of the issue need realize that the embryo "not selected" is the entire life not lived. People may decide they can live with that kind of system for truly dire genetic conditions, but they need to be factual about it and not romanticize it.
I really hope that she is not so spiritually unaware that she thinks God has one and only soul hovering in the waiting room while she chooses an embryo, and that one soul goes into the "chosen cancer free body." Um, nope, that does not happen. Each of those embryos would have received their own individual selected soul (selected by God) upon each one coming to life. God doesn't set aside a soul to give to the next available body. So when that embryo was not selected, that soul would never come to life. Instead, a soul just for the embryo that is selected comes to life. So she'd not be having the cozy chat with the "soul that would have been born anyway" telling her offspring that she made sure "that soul got a cancer gene free body." Nope.
I tend to arrange things in my life a certain way, where I can, because they are both the safer choices and those that promote harmony. It's later that I will read a Feng Shui article and say, "Oh yeah, I already do that." The things that are the foundational components of Feng Shui are valid because they make both safety and harmonious sense. The problem is that they are incorporated in a combination "good fortune" and "spiritual" rationale, or rather, formula, that is fallacious. So I can tell you that Feng Shui principles are worthwhile pursuing and represent genuine benefits, but not because they are manipulative of the unseen spiritual world or of fate in any way. Here is a specific example.
I tend not to like open "edges" in my rooms. An example of an edge would be the shelves of a bookcase where the shelves point edgewise into the room (not toward each other like in the hall of a library where bookcases line the pathways). So I have had a preference for glass fronted bookcases, for example, and had the entire room in my dining room when I had the house lined with glass fronted book cases and curio cabinets. It makes more sense for protection of the contents from dust and also for reflective ambient light, but those are other issues. If I cannot eliminate an edge by a glass front, I might drape it with a pretty cloth. And speaking of pretty cloths, I have many pieces of fabric since I do quite a bit of decorating and sewing, and I leave them out while I am working on them, both to be handy and also because I love colors and patterns. I carry my avoidance of "edges" even to how I fold and display fabric. I have the rounded sides of the fabric bundles pointing toward me or the room in general, with the cut side of the fabric bundles toward the wall or away from me. It's only years after doing this that I first picked up a Feng Shui book and noticed that is one of their big principles. I thought of it first, LOL.
But seriously, the reason I thought of it before seeing it as a codified principle is that I came to the conclusion that the early humans had come to, which is to avoid edges in their every day surroundings. Now why would they do this? Remember, humans have evolved in their bodies and minds for over millions of years in a natural world that does not contain any edges! Think about it; there is nothing in nature that is an edge except for short sections of rock structures. Edges are man made by definition, since they are created using a straightedge and a saw.
Humans are programmed to avoid things that look "out of place" and therefore "dangerous" in nature. That's why most people still jump in fear at a snake, for example (their programming, not that the snake is out of place). Humans are programmed to maximize their survival instincts.
Now, one of the problems with modern society is that we are taught to "override" our natural survival instincts to avoid things that are inharmonious and out of place. People surround themselves with activities and devices that ancient humans would have felt huge instinctive alarm bells going off in their heads to avoid because of their strangeness or potential danger. Like the straight edge of a rock face might have told ancient humans that this is a brittle place that is prone to landslide, so they would avoid climbing those areas or using caves under such areas. It's not because they were geological geniuses, or because "it is unlucky." Humans with big brain capacity have survived for millions of years by observing what works good and what doesn't. So it would make perfect sense for them to have an ancestral suspicion of open straight edges.
So here is why Feng Shui "works." In our modern society we suppress our survival instincts. In fact, much of "entertainment" consists of putting ourselves in not logical places to be, as far as our survival instincts would figure it, and then enjoy the adrenalin rush. Adrenalin is produced as a result of the body and mind going, "Oh, oh. Do you really want to be doing this?" Thrill seekers groove on the adrenalin and suppress the body and mind's caution. But adrenalin takes a toll; it is a known factor in anxiety, depression and physical conditions, including those of the heart, nerves and digestive system. I've explained to people that I counsel that adrenalin is like taking an acidic drink. You may "handle it" and it "passes" but it does have a gradual corrosive effect.
Therefore, when humans ignore their millions of years of evolutionary conditioning, adrenalin is still released, though you may no longer feel it, either because you are "used" to the culture or because each release of adrenaline is tiny. Therefore, living in a room with a bookshelf that has open edges facing you is a "challenge" to your evolutionary survival instinct and caution flagging system, releasing a tiny amount of adrenaline whenever you are in the room, unbeknownst to you. This is obvious if you think about it. Like I said, it's not like the library with millions of shelves down the street is "unlucky" or the attic you never go into with open ended shelves is "unlucky," but it is your presence in a room that has an object that is in conflict with your evolutionary survival instinct that triggers your unknowing "fight or flight" anxiety, accompanied by inner stress and adrenaline. So I "feel better" when I minimize the exposed edges in any room that I am in because I'm not in a place that is challenging a human body's evolved physical and mental criteria for "fight for flight" or "strangeness."
While I take it to the detail of the fabric folding technique, for example, I'm not a lunatic about it. So I don't have a problem with the edge on my glass top table being in the room, though I am not thrilled at where I have to place it due to being in a tiny apartment where I cannot soften it's angles to the room. I often put a cloth over it. And there are some things, such as the plywood boards that I use to put my little toy train systems on, where the "edge-ness" of it really is not noticed by me. Feng Shui is therefore a matter of managing the surroundings so as not to trigger either the collective or the individual thresholds of subliminal stress. This is why "following Feng Shui principles" "works" because it "promotes harmony." If you are feeling constant subliminal stress because your surroundings trigger ancestral evolutionary teachings of your body or mind to feel "caution" or "concern," then you might indeed have "bad luck" because you will feel physical stress and/or ailments, mental or emotional stress and/or ailments, and might possibly act out accordingly in a "self fulfilling prophecy" kind of way.
Let's take just quickly another example. I like houses that are up the side of a hill or mountain slope, but not on the top. I also like that the mountain be on the more northern side of the house. There are practical reasons for this. Water runs downhill, so no basement flooding. Lightning strikes the highest surfaces, so avoid the peak of the hill or mountain. The coldest winds come from the north, so put the north slope in that direction to mitigate the coldness by blocking the wind. Also the home and garden receives sun from the east, south and west directions, not the north, so why "waste" one of those directions being "blocked." In fact, my house had all of the above except the hill was to the west and annoyed me every single day because the sun would set almost two hours early and the houses on our road would be in shadow too soon every day. That's one thing I would have loved on a daily basis to have fixed about my NJ home, and it stressed me to see sun shining down on the town all the way to NYC while me and my neighbors were in shadow. So one day I read the Feng Shui book and find that it recommends houses on slopes, but not the top, and certain north south running hills (going into all sorts of hoo ha about dragons and so forth); in other words, I was "already doing" the "Feng Shui," just as the man who had built the house I lived in had "done it without knowing it." Feng Shui is not magic; it is one of the fruits of human evolution, instinct and observation. I bet lots of people who have the sun blocked on their farms were "unlucky" in their crop growing too. Um, I wonder why. *Thinks a minute* Is it because of the hill being the "correct shape and direction of dragon" or is it because the sun is blocked from shining on your freaking rice paddy or potato patch? It's valid but it's not magic or "spiritual."
There are lots of reasons for this, and I don't plan to make this particular blog posting about all the reasons. I just was thinking about what happens when a family attends church, for example, with young children, and then the children grow up and start to resist going, or at least question it and fall away.
It is not productive or even accurate to have a conversation with them about their church attendance that is focused on salvation or other dire concerns. The whole thing about kids is that they are not supposed to be thinking about death, the end of times and so forth. They have their lives ahead of them, not behind them. (Don't even get me started about the cult crap where kids are raised thinking they have 'past lives' behind them already. I'm talking here about sane mainstream children and families in sane mainstream religions).
Children and teenagers have too much performance and danger stress placed upon them by society already. Pressuring your kids about the need to go to church or something bad might happen to them (either regarding their salvation or regarding future bad moral choices) is not the way to talk to your kids.
First, look at their timetables of activities. Homework and other school or non-school activities take away from peace of mind and true "free time" of kids. Everyone is trying to make over achieving kids. If they are too tired or weary to go to church, yet were raised as church goers, this is the first obvious thing to look at. What shifts in schedules can improve the use of time so that a child does not feel that church is a competing time and energy resource.
Second, start a dialogue with your child or teenager about their personal relationship with God. It's not just as simple as "accepting Jesus as their Savior." It's not like they sign a contract with Jesus and they are now "covered with God," and that church is part of that contract renewal each week! You ought to be teaching your children that they are in constant communion with God, and that God is their true guide through life.
It's easier for me to explain this in relationship to the Catholic Mass than Protestant and non-denominational praise and worship services, so bear with me while I mix metaphors and language from both church cultures.
Children need to understand that God is very hard for humans to hear on a personal basis. God is easily drowned out by the noise of the culture and everyday worries. People who teach scripture and Bible studies, for example, tend to over emphasize how easy God is to understand (it's all there in black and white). That is true, God's word is easy to understand because God's purpose is to make religion and belief in him as understandable to humans as possible. (That's one thing the Muslims have really right for them, as they recognize that their God wants to make it easy for them to worship, not complex and mysterious fraught with rules and strictures). So faiths that rely a lot on Bible study tend to neglect teaching children and teenagers to have a rich prayer life. Prayer is their means to have their personal conversation with God. You can use the obvious ubiquitous cell phone example.
God is like the person you can reach on your cell phone. God is always on the line, so God always hears what you are doing, even if you are not on the phone with him. So the one way listening is always "on." However, do not make your kids creeped out by this example. It's not like God is "watching" when they are in the bathroom, getting undressed, or doing something personal. Explain to them that it's like if they are in the room with sibling or college roommate and the other person turns the other way to give them visual privacy when they change their clothes, or have a personal phone conversation, etc. God is "always there" but God is not focused on the day to day details of a person's bodily functions or acts. So, to recap, tell your child that it is like they have their own cell phone connection with God, and that God is always "on the line" even if they are not actually making a call.
Church is where you learn the lingo that God speaks. Church is where you learn to understand what God is saying when you do pick up that phone and have a conversation with him. So it is like learning the texting abbrevations and the dialect of language that God uses to speak to you when you go to Church. Church ensures that you are learning how to listen to God, when he does speak to you, in a way you can understand what he is actually saying.
Explain that when they are little it is like they are given a toy phone to play with. Eventually they are given a phone that they can use for emergencies when they are out of sight of their parents. And then when they are older they get "big boy or big girl" phones with more features, and they have to learn how to use them. Their conversation with God is like that through their entire lives. Not because God's language changes, but because as they grow up the things they need to talk about to God, and listen to him in return, changes. Little kids have different concerns than big kids, teenagers from kids, young adults or college students from the rest, young single people from the rest, young couples from the rest, young families from the rest, and so forth throughout their lives. A fifteen year old does not need to text message God about his or her retirement plan, IRA or not? The things that each person needs the guidance from God regarding changes throughout their lives. And ongoing Church attendance keeps the person agile in "text" and "dialect" understanding so that they can hear God in return accurately when they do place the call.
This is one of my quarrels with "speaking in tongues" and "channeling the Holy Spirit" faiths. Much as they love God and I'm not one to criticize anyone who proclaims the authentic Jesus, as I pointed out in the scripture study example, confusing the rush of emotion with actual communication from the Holy Spirit is a serious hindering of authentic listening to God. It is like having big calluses on your feet and then wondering why they are no longer sensitive to the touch. Thinking that you are constantly screaming on speaker phone with the Holy Spirit drowns out the small and humble voice of God, and yes the Holy Spirit, when he actually does try to be heard. Thinking that the Holy Spirit just told you something about your neighbor's "bidness" is not hearing what God is saying. That's you getting caught up in having a big megaphone and listening to your own feedback.
So explain to your kids that sure, there will be months or years that you think the sermon in Church has nothing to do with your life, and you wonder why you are going. To use the example, what if the preacher or priest is homilizing about "IRA retirement plans" while you are just thinking about getting good grades to pass your exam and how you are going to spend your summer vacation and what's on your IPOD. But if you stick with being once a week "immersed" in God's language, even if the topic is not 'cool' or 'relevant,' someday when that topic IS of vital importance to you, you will know the texting and know the dialect so you can actually hear what God is saying to you. Explain to your kids that college is an example of that first huge test. Just when they most need to hear what God is saying is when they tend to drop out of attending Church.
Back to the topic of teaching your children that there is a difference between going to Mass, praise or worship service, etc and having a personal prayer life with God. Explain that Church is like a conference call, where everyone is listening to God at the same time to different degrees, about topics that may not be your choosing, but at least you stay proficient in God's lingo. When a child or young adult prays, however, this is their personal phone call to God. Now, don't make them think that they must put things a certain way or God does not understand. That's not true. Tell them God is like the universal speech translator in Star Trek or something, ha. God understands everything that humans say, mean to say, want to say, intends to say. But prayer is like that text message or verbal phone call that your child places to God where the child actually wants to hear the response. It is the response that Church and other worship services of authentic mainstream churches teaches the child and young adult to comprehend. This is what prayer is in its purest form.
Now, the response may be, and for the most part is often the comforting presence of God. That's a subtle thing that is easily missed. Media has made so much of thunderbolts and constant frenetic action that unless God is an action figure zorching someone, kids today don't actually hear him answering their prayers. Kids may be misled (and it's entirely human and natural to do so) into thinking that prayer is either a duty to perform to God or something to do when you need something, and expect either a yes or a no. That is totally to miss the point of prayer and again the cell phone analogy is a perfect example to use to instruct your kids.
Ask your kids this. Out of a typical one hour chat fest with a friend, what percentage of their time is talking to their friend because they "have to" or because they "need something from their friend that will be answered with yes or no?" Your kid will quickly see that they are not chatting with their friends because they "have to" (obligatory prayer) or "need something" (petitionary prayer). Your kid gabs and texts endlessly in order to "hang out" with their crew. Well, a rich prayer life is when a part of your life, even if it is just before bed (night time prayers) or first thing in the morning, or whenever you can, you "hang out with and gab with God." Most of the time God is just going to be "hanging with you" saying "I know what you mean." But once in a while there will be a crucial reply. You might be pondering an important life change, for example. And if you were gabbing with your friend, your friend might go, "Whoa, yeah, but what about this and that problem with what you are saying?" In prayer, God might send a queasiness, or a question, or the Holy Spirit might warm your heart in a certain direction, just as that friend would in a cell phone chat. The thing is that God is very quiet and subtle, and like the foot calluses, if one is all loud in one direction but not keeping up with the subtle and "big picture" lingo of God through Church services, one could very easily miss hearing God's reply in prayer.
So to wrap up, even though we could do a lot more with this analogy, explain to your children that Church is the way to continually "keep in the loop" of their personal dialogue with God, which will evolve during their lives, whether they see that clearly now at that stage in their lives, or not. Also encourage them to have even a minute of their life set aside to personal prayer and explain the broader purpose of prayer as I did here. Understand that a growing young adult may not find "just before bed" as easy a time for prayer as a child once did, for many reasons. Start to encourage your teenager to chose another time during the day for personal prayer and cultivate that before they join the work place or go to college. For example, you could teach your kids to set their alarm clock just one minute early each day and spend that minute saying the "Our Father," asking God to look over them during the day, and maybe a verse from Psalms. If you teach your child to do that while they are still at home, this is a glorious gift that anticipates that their lives will be changing and they can be flexible with their "God time."
I hope you find this helpful, and God bless all parents, and young people, who are making their way through these very difficult times.
The "Mobile Press Register" newspaper had a great article called "Faith Matters" in its Religion section on Saturday, and it reports that Mississippi has the highest number of believers per capita in the USA at 91 percent, with Alabama the 2nd most believers at 86%. The South and the Midwest should be very proud of holding fast to their beliefs and trust in God. It's one reason I settled here for the past year plus, because I weary of the unbelieving and cynical north.
By the way, the article correctly points out a problem with the Pew methodology about tolerance of "other religions." Many respondents thought "other religions" refer to other denominations of Christian faiths, so their expression of support does not mean that one should conclude that "anything goes" when a high level of belief in alternate "ways to God" is expressed. I know some in the media have liked to spin that part of the survey so that it looks like most Americans think, "Woo hoo, as long as they are 'spiritual' then their religion is as trustworthy as mine." Er, not so much. I figured that would be one of the spin objectives of this survey and I was right. In fact it is the Baptists, who I much admire for their faith, who have been pointing this problem with the survey out in the press.
Greg Smith for the Pew admits that the word "religion," as in "other religions" "was not defined for the respondents" and that "researchers were limited by time" and that "researchers plan to explore the matter in the future." Gosh, that's good of them. I guess they have plenty of time to spin the results to the media to make it look like Christians think good pagans are on the right track, but they did not have time to "define religion" in the margin of questionnaires (it would have been really hard to add a whole sentence that would explain if you meant other denominations within your basic faith of Christianity, Islam or Judaism or not). Wow, that took a whole lot of thought.
Question: Does a Jew feel different about salvation of other "denomination" of Jews (Orthodox, Conservative or Reform) versus a completely other religion like Hindu?
I mean, how difficult would it have been to print an example like that to define if you meant "other religions" to include "other denominations of the same basic faith" or not?
But hey, the secular spin organizations look for whatever grist for their mill that can mushy up faith and belief in God.
So that gripe aside, I applaud, as I have been, those people of the USA who have held close and dear to their faith and trust in God, and that is at least good news from this "research study."
“This is the first shout,” said Shada Nasser, a human rights lawyer who met Nujood, the 10-year-old, after she arrived at the courthouse to demand a divorce. Ms. Nasser decided instantly to take her case. “All other early marriage cases have been dealt with by tribal sheiks, and the girl never had any choice.”
But despite a rising tide of outrage, the fight against the practice is not easy. Hard-line Islamic conservatives, whose influence has grown enormously in the past two decades, defend it, pointing to the Prophet Muhammad’s marriage to a 9-year-old. Child marriage is deeply rooted in local custom here, and even enshrined in an old tribal expression: “Give me a girl of 8, and I can give you a guarantee” for a good marriage.
It is an outrageous insult to the Prophet (PBUH) that raping ignorant louts who marry children, raping and beating them, should DARE compare themselves to the Prophet (PBUH) and how he treated his wives.
I would think that such men, their tribes and their families would cover their heads in shame over THAT. First of all, the Prophet (PBUH) married someone of a correct age for many years and treated her with glory. He did not "start out" with a child bride. Second, the Prophet had the mercy and justice of God within him. He never treated anyone, not even the poorest servent or his worst enemy, the way the "men" in this article treat these children, stripping and raping them as tiny youngsters. It is disgusting to me and to God that anyone should even say the words of the Prophet (PBUH) on their stinking breath as justification for their cruel, disgusting, ignorant and infidel ways.
God bless the good judges who acted so promptly, and those who fight this cursed behavior.
I dreamed that I had an older man working for me, who had been down and out and I had hired him in order so that he could make a living and survive. He had few skills so I gave him very easy assignments, and he spent much of his time not having to work at all. So I was very surprised when the following happened. I asked him to go downstairs and get me two small boxes (palm size) of office supplies (something like plastic boxes of paper clips). He returned and put one in each of my hands. To my horror I found he had stuffed each box with hundreds of living and dead cockroaches, and the living ones seized on my hands, and I had to knock them off with horror.
When I saw that he had deliberately and meanly done this, I asked the Lord (in my normal way, which is a thought that can't be read by anyone) what punishment this man deserved. When I heard the Lord's answer I picked up my gun and shot him in both hands, in a way that the skin was flayed off.
That was the end of the dream.
Saturday, June 28, 2008
(Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil)
I was at a dance when he caught my eye
Standin' all alone lookin' sad and shy
We began to dance, swaying' to and fro
And soon I knew I'd never let him go
Blame it on the bossa nova with its magic spell
Blame it on the bossa nova that he did so well
Oh, it all began with just one little dance
But then it ended up a big romance
Blame it on the bossa nova
The dance of love
(Now was it the moon?)
No, no, the bossa nova
(Or the stars above?)
No, no, the bossa nova
(Now was it the tune?)
Yeah, yeah, the bossa nova
(The dance of love)
Notice it's not the astrology (the moooooooon or the stars ha ha ha).
"You shall not repeat a false report. Do not join the wicked in putting your hand, as an unjust witness, upon anyone."
[The Lord God is explicitly stating that not only is it a sin to lie for the first person to tell the lie, but it is an explicit sin to repeat the lie. God states this twice in order to be perfectly clear: people are not to repeat the hearing of a lie, and they are not to join groups of people telling lies against someone. How much clearer can that be?]
"Neither shall you allege the example of the many as an excuse for doing wrong..."
[God explicitly warns against the "but everyone else is doing it" excuse for doing wrong. Everyone else sinning is not a reason for a given person to justify doing the same sin.]
"...nor shall you, when testifying in a lawsuit, side with the many in perverting justice."
[God anticipates and spells out the many places of temptation to join in with a group doing wrong, such as in a lawsuit and court setting, and warns not to join in with those who have agreed among themselves to pervert justice.]
"You shall not favor a poor man in his lawsuit."
[God in his all knowing of human nature anticipates the "Robin Hood" mindset of some people to "rob from the rich to give to the poor." God explicitly states that a poor man should not be favored in a lawsuit just to take from the wealthier party. Oh my God, how many times is that broken in this society? Read the Bible people. Integrity and truth must not be meddled without, despite rationales such as "joining the crowd" or "sticking it to the rich man."]
OK, here's the situation. I have no problem with ethnic groups translating art work of the Holy Family into their own skin color and dress. In fact, I love several portrayals of the Madonna and Child in Chinese garb with oriental skin color and facial features.
But it is simply wrong to infer a racial reason for the baby Jesus being pale white in color. It is in fact Biblically supported. Here is why. If you read Exodus where Moses is in the regular company of God himself, Moses' skin begins to lighten and become pale and shining as light itself. It is a feature of being near the Holy Spirit, as Jesus was born of, and near the physical presence of God, as Moses was, that the actual skin of the person starts to shine with the radiance of light. That's light, not "black versus white skin." Light is light and to portray it as Biblically described one makes the person very white. Traditional sacred artists were well read in their Bible (all of it, not the Cliff Notes Jesus Said version), and were aware that Moses was radiant "white" from his proximity near God, so much so that Moses had to veil himself because the sight of his "white" radiant skin was astonishing and disconcerting to the people. Therefore, the baby Jesus is always portrayed in the palest of glowing white, not because "the man is trying to keep the people of color down" or "because the artists were racists." Um, no, they um, you know, read their Bible.
I hope this helps.
Not long after my father died (in 1962) my mother fell in love with, and reliant upon, one of my father’s closest friends, who was unhappily married (he and his wife were both drunks who married, drunk, on New Year’s Eve in Vegas). This is where mercy and understanding of humanity comes in, rather than haughty self righteous attitudes about things like affairs. I hated the bar hopping and the drinking, and the fact that he was married, but understood and pitied the positions that everyone found themselves in. That’s being Christian in the way of Jesus Christ. You do not condemn the action nor do you go and spread that kind of behavior all over the place. You are “with them” just as Christ is always “with” the faithful, even when they sin. (And guardian angels are stuck with you no matter what you are doing so long as you all live). Anyway, he was a dear and loving man and if it was not for him I’d not have had a father figure around at all, plus we did “family” things like travel.
I must have been in something like 5th or 6th grade (10 or 11 years old?) when we went to the Toronto fair. I was briefly separated from them and found something odd on one of the benches. It was a stack of postcards of a huge liner ship. Being an artist (and in a poor family) I saved bits of paper or whatever I found to use in art and crafts, so after seeing no one came for them I picked them up. But as I leafed through them, it was just the same picture of a liner, over and over, in black and white. There was no part that was usable for art, and they were unappealing and unattractive. It was odd because there was no labeling explaining their purpose, thinking that they must have been part of an exhibit at the fair but no, there was nothing. Also, using my Holy Spirit ability, I felt a darkness and depressiveness about the person or persons who had produced and left these cards. I put them back where I found them. But I never forgot because I knew that this was a “staged” event, but as I explained in my previous posts, I thought that staged events were unconscious, just as Judas unconsciously accepted Satan, to the person doing it. It was years later that I realize that Titanic and otherwise ship going insane drunken cult maniac idiots place objects like that “in front” of people to “stir up” their “past life memories and associations.” The only thing it stirs up is God’s wrath, which may take years to be fulfilled, and it stirs up trouble in areas that should be left alone in their goodness while ignoring parts of the world and society where the attention of the printing press should be place instead of phony pothead karma bottom bicycle seat sniffing cards.
The Holy Spirit would guide me in how to respond to these situations. Mostly I was told not to take the bait. But eventually I could not avoid the bait, such as being unconscious on the operating room table.So remember, this is in the mid-1960’s and “already” I am fully aware that I am attracting bizarre energies and actions, but through God’s grace I assume that it is not at the willing behest of the people who are doing it. Imagine what would have happened if the persons who placed the cards there had come up to me and said, “Hey! Are you from the USA? Welcome to Canada and our fair. We are asking everyone who arrives here a religious question. What faith are you and do you believe in reincarnation?” I would have said, “I’m a Roman Catholic and reincarnation does not exist, you can take my word on that.”
All we are left with is the grief over what was done over the past forty years, versus what could have been done if anyone had asked me that question in the 1960’s and believed, instead of poking their fingers into God’s eye and destroying the moral fiber of much of the world.
More examples later. I've made my point for now. It's too sad and stupid to bear, often, and I would not at all bear it if it had not been for the continuing presence of the fullness of the Holy Spirit, and that's no lie or exaggeration.
It’s not the fact that you are “fooling me” or “do some reality show kind of punking” with me that is the problem. I’ve explained this before but let me make myself perfectly clear to you. The assumptions behind each of these commands that you are given (and reimbursed for) is that God is not God, as he is clearly stated to be in both the Bible and the Qur’an, and as Jesus Christ himself explained when he was alive in public ministry on earth. The fact that I am have been a lifelong target of these thousands of small acts of “idolatry” is simply because cultists have incorrectly perceived not only my identity but everyone else’s, because of their belief in a manipulate-able so called “reincarnation,” which does not exist. So you have been yourselves manipulated and directed to make fools of yourselves in both large and small ways because the string pullers do not believe in the God and the universe he willed and created exactly as it is stated in the Bible and in the Qur’an. Thus, you are idolaters, one of the gravest offenses against God himself, to his face. You think that whenever you perform some high jinks little reality show that 1) God does not know and see not only the action, but all the planning up to it and 2) that God does not realize that mocking or manipulating me is simply your form of “ceremony” to worship the false idolatrous beliefs that the cultists espouse?
I’ve been aware of being stalked and manipulated by “people” and “events” for forty years. Yes, for forty years I have identified these events as they occurred. The only thing is that I thought they were the unconscious doings of people, because evil is always attracted to good, even if it is unaware of the good’s true identity. In the Bible, Satan converses with Jesus and God himself (Book of Job). Judas was “filled with Satan” at the moment that he decided to betray Jesus, but Judas was not aware that he was filled with Satan. He thought he was doing “the right thing,” for political and religious reasons (just ask any Judas apologist, ha). But my point is that Judas did not KNOW that Satan was in him. He did not get an email from Satan to do something, or did he see Satan’s shadowy form ooze into his body, or feel him in his mind. Most normal people are not aware when they are being influenced by Satan or, more commonly, the sin of Adam and their own sinful brokenness, coveting and hubris, which is human in origin, not satanic. Therefore I assumed that every encounter that I had over the past forty years that was of this cultist stalking was actually individuals who were gravitating to me unbeknownst to them in order to do or say things that challenged my hidden core identity. So I was fully aware of every manipulative event over the past forty years, but thought they were done unconsciously even to the doers of these events. But remember, GOD KNOWS. God saw all, even the very beginning of the erroneous and the wicked beliefs, thoughts and plans of each of the individuals and, as it turns out, the groups that did this to me, and to the entire world. You snickered that it was “The Truman Show?” Well, God was not snickering through these decades that he has watched what you all have done, and you will pay for it and answer for it in full, and it won’t be nice.
I want to talk about how I, as a human, maneuvered the political and religious landscape of America during my youth. First of all, I’m aware but not “political.” By that I mean that at the earliest age I knew about the political parties and watched debates on the issues, both among politicians and within my modest lower class family. For example, I remember watching some of the Nixon – Kennedy debate on television. It was fun because my mother was in one party and my brother was in the other (they also cheered different rival football teams). To this day my mother teases me that I’d just stick my head into the living room, where the television was, and when I asked “Who is winning?” (Whether a football game, as I asked about even when I was only a toddler, or later the political debates), upon hearing the answer I would say, “Good, that is who I am for” and go back to my room. This did not mean that I was a fickle three year old, or too stupid to remember “my political past” and thus “blow in the wind” of whoever is “ahead.” It was a key indication that as a toddler I applauded excellence without partisanship. Whether it was a football team or a political debater, I became “for” each side as they advanced each of their achievements, both physically and intellectually. To this day I watch baseball teams and applaud each individual play for both teams equally. That’s just the way I am. Anyone could have asked me this at any point in my life and I could have explained it to them. I am “for” the person who is “ahead” because that person is doing well at their skill. This is not an endorsement of the strong over the weak. Trust me, it was the weakest who had the most skill in presenting their needs to Jesus, for example.
While I was in high school eighteen year olds won the right to vote. I was keen on that and enthusiastic to vote to “try it out” (I think in a school board election), but was not really invested in any local candidates or positions at all.
Now, I’ve blogged about this before, but will repeat it. I am a lifelong Catholic. In my day politics were not discussed at the pulpit. We celebrate holy masses of sacrifice, not have praise and worship services salted with political agenda. To me the Church is there to sacrifice to God and worship him in the most solemn setting. We in the Catholic Church in my small town talked about God and the annual German Picnic, that’s it. My town was pretty much half and half Protestant and Catholics. My context of upbringing was to observe that Protestants tended to be political and attracted to “power broker” types of activities. I don’t like that very much. The Catholics from which I proudly spring tended to be non-political people who either worshipped God or went about their hard working blue collar business, and did not mix the two. Nothing, in my opinion, should dilute the sanctity of the sacrifice of the mass and the worship of God in God’s place and during God’s time. (Though I did drop the occasional spit ball from the choir loft when I was a kid, until chastised by the angry bald man whose head I targeted, ha ha. Just showing I was human with a sense of humor at one time ha ha). But my observation was that as dear as Protestant friends were to my family, they had a certain haughtiness toward Catholics that, in my opinion, is totally without reason. If anything, children of the Reformation have much to not be proud of regarding the robbing of the sanctity of sacrifice to God in his name and in his places, and the mocking of those who continue to be pious in the fullness of Jesus Christ’s teaching, the Catholics. But I never experienced hostility to my face as a child up through high school since like I said; we were half of the small village’s population.
This all changed when I arrived on campus at Cornell University. Oh, first I have to mention that when I was sixteen my widowed mother remarried. She had not been going to Church at all, but once she married a very pious Orthodox man, she started attending his Church in the city. At that point I pretty much stopped going to Catholic Mass because we developed a new routine. I cooked Sunday dinner while they were at the Orthodox mass. Homemaking is a very important part of my life and personality, and this was the high point of my week. I loved cooking special dinners that would then be waiting for them when they returned from church, and I loved seeing my mother with this incredibly pious man finally going to church again, something she had refused to do since I was a small child. So when I arrived in college I was already not in a pattern of going to Mass for my own perfectly valid reasons (remember, I have authority of what components of my life should be emphasized since in all of them I am in service to the Lord and in what he expects of me).
I hooked up with other Catholics since “coincidentally” they were my roommates and dorm mates. Not such a coincidence (the early stalking) but I take everything at face value because that is the only sane way to live. You can’t talk to people and relate to them via hidden agenda without joining them in their insanity and their degradation of honor and reality. We went to the campus Mass and I was horrified. It was early 1970’s insane liberal paganism run amok, for example, sitting on the floor in MASS and passing around hunks of bread to gnaw off a groovy piece. (I shudder still remembering it). But since I was not in public ministry and I certainly didn’t know that I was being spied on in that fruity cult way, I didn’t condemn or chastise; I simply stopped going to Mass. I tend to not endorse things I disapprove of in a quiet and charitable way. I continue to be happy that at least kids are still going to visit God, even if it’s a shambles of an unholy mess. It’s still better than not going, I reckon, for the goodness of people on a whole. So while I could not endorse it with my presence, I didn’t go.
I heard the first snide remarks about Catholics in college, said to my face by strangers, which made me wonder how they knew I was Catholic since I’d not said or advertised it. Obviously we all know why now. And I got the usual invitations to go to “liberal” churches, such as “Unitarian.” Now, another thing you need to know. Absolutely everyone I knew except for myself and four other people were smoking dope and were the typical potheads of the time. During the drug and sexual revolution, college students shopped for places that seemed to be spiritual but were actually “enabling” their behavior. I went from neutrality to private disgust.
Another total turn off to me was Protestant movements such as the “Campus Crusade for Christ.” I totally loathed them. Not because I don’t think that there should be religious youth movements, or because I scorn those who sincerely love Jesus with their heart and soul. But it is because of what I explained earlier, the haughtiness of the children of the Reformation who are not only smugly certain of their salvation (but not of Catholics), but who also were combining God’s worship with politics. That is an anathema to me, I must emphasize. One’s faith should be pure, untainted with politics, and be strictly between you and God (I don’t mean secretly, but I mean without bringing in earthly forces into the dialogue). Don’t poke a hornet’s nest and expect not to get stung. The children of the Reformation are very proud without a cause and that is highly unattractive. I had much more liking of the “Jews for Jesus,” since theirs was (and as far as I know still remains) a very humble and joyous endeavor, rather than the arch glaring down the nose as I saw from the children of the Reformation.
And so the children of the Reformation were haughty, anti-Catholic and combined politics with their worship of God. And who did they become: Fundamentalists, evangelicals and … conservatives and Republicans. Do you now understand why so many Catholic people, like me, became Democrats? A true Catholic is pure in his or her faith and dialogue with God, and then, separately, allows his or her faith to inform their secular and political movements and decisions. True traditional Catholics do not combine the two, and should not. Remember, this is over thirty years ago that I am describing to you. The politicizing from the pulpit was truly invented during this time by the children of the Reformation; it was not as ubiquitous as it is today. Abortion became the battleground where they honed their self righteous and haughty skills at both diluting their worship of God while self proclaiming their own self superiority. Rather than deal with the problem of abortion with huge amounts of charity and creative solutions based on Christian values, they brought tons of screaming ugliness, self righteousness, and condemnation of those who supported abortion rights. I watched all of this in horror. To this day I have a difficult time having any relationship with a child of the Reformation, and it is their fault, not mine. They brought their exclusive club politicizing self righteousness that is hostile to Catholics along with all the other “unsaved” that has messed up so much of our culture, including the things we actually agree on regarding policy. The children of the Reformation could have been loving and charitable during the early years of the pro abortion movement and hence have nipped many of the abortions in the bud, and saved millions of lives. But instead they brought ugly and angry faces, screams of self righteousness but no money in their wallets for saving preborn babies. I’ve written about this at length before. I often stated during those times, “If they wish to save babies from abortion they should pay for them rather than scream abuse,” so my feelings were not secret. I supported the use of the Ricco (spelling?) anti racketeering act to control the violent protests outside of abortion clinics. How can Christians behave with such hatred toward women and girls who were filled with trauma and confused by deteriorating values (and lots of drug and alcohol use)?
Many girls I knew got abortions so as to continue their college educations and not “ruin their lives.” Where were the holy Christians who would set up a foundation so that girls could take a year off, have a child, give the child up for adoption (or learn how to keep the child), and who would advocate for them with parents and with schools? I never saw a single example of this. American history could have been “fundamentally” changed if the haughty children of the Reformation had stepped forward and taken the higher road of Christian kindness toward abortion seeking girls and women. And you wonder why I supported the legalization of the medical procedure of abortion and became a Democrat.
Abortion is a medical procedure; that is a fact. It is a grave moral wrong, but that does not change the fact that it is a medical procedure that can be done either in a back alley or a hospital. What Christians should have done is legalize the procedure but provide so many loving and real alternatives that having an abortion would become rare and repugnant, used only in the most dire situations, and not as “birth control.” This will go down in both secular and faith history as the greatest mean and idiotic missed opportunity of all time. The shrill meanness and politicization of worship by the children of the Reformation ruined one of the pivotal moments when people could have brought light to the dark. When I read anti-Catholic comments by these “right wing” “evangelicals” or “fundamentalists,” I can only say that it is a good thing that they do not say that to my face, because I would condemn them before God for being the mean craven hypocrites that they really are. I saw it from the beginning.
And so I supported legalization of the medical procedure of abortion (while loathing each and every use of it), while praying for and yelling to anyone who would listen that the pro-life lobby must mobilize to prevent this from becoming a frequent necessary and, God forbid, used as “birth control.” And so I became a Democrat, who remembered liberals who were moral, fiscally conservative, loved their fellow human, and who were patriotic. But like the termites who eat away at the wood, the Democrats became slaves to self indulgence and moral turpitude, becoming as much of a problem as the haughty and self righteous tight wallet Republicans. Voting has become a “choice” of voting for either the moral termites who are as incompetent as children driving a car while drunk or the fat self righteous hypocrite oligarchs who think God is lucky to be allowed to run on their ticket for election. Through the years I voted mostly Democrat because I continued to hope that all things go in cycles and that morality would return and restore a responsible liberalism that is also patriotic to the Democrat party. I voted for Kerry with that hope, and I don’t regret it despite how I’ve been disappointed by him. St. Paul said we all live in hope, and he was right. Without hope and charity you end up with “swift boat” advertisements rather than mutual conversation and conversion of both sides of hurtful and divisive issues. Don’t forget that I was there; the Vietnam draft was still on when I attended freshman year in college. It’s easy to have a self righteous and smart mouth about it now; it was not easy to live for anyone at the time.
I remember years ago slouching in my blue lazy boy chair watching the Presidential debates. This young “heir”, George W. Bush, was asked who the person was he most admired. When I heard his response, “Jesus Christ,” I sat up suddenly and took notice. I marveled and wondered if this was the start of something much better, more honest and more innocent. Bush proclaimed Jesus in a secular setting, and we just don’t hear that anymore, and it was a brave and honest thing to do. And his words were the first (and since then the only time) that I had heard a child of the Reformation, an “evangelical,” proclaim Jesus without using it as his special haughty calling card in the political arena. I was impressed and have continued to send my good will toward him, although I came to see that he is also a pawn of the behind the scenes spiritual gypsies who combine love of money and power with “salvation” and arrogant self righteous “prophesying” about the “end of times.” I hope he does become a Catholic and get away from at least part of that thinking. (Though Catholics of course have their own subversive secret agents working within them to bring down the faith too, reducing it to the “hunt for the anti-Christ 216 reality show, with porn.”)
Well, so now is it so easy to have interpreted what I have said and done?
Try honesty, humility and dialogue sometime. It could have saved many millions of lives.