Posts Tagged 'religion'

THAT ULTIMATE SOURCE

If the chicken came first, what created the chicken?

If the egg came first, what created the egg?

There’s an ultimate source of both the chicken and the egg.

God is that ultimate source.

HISTORY, CIVICS, AND PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY PART 1

HISTORY, CIVICS, AND PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY PART 2

HISTORY, CIVICS, AND PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY PART 3

HISTORY, CIVICS, AND PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY PENSACOLA’S FIVE-FLAGS DISPLAYS

LISTEN UP, TRUMP!

The terrorist attacks in predominantly-Christian countries are horrible.

But so are the terrorist attacks in predominantly-Muslim countries.

The majority of ISIS’s victims, al-Qaeda’s victims, and Boko Haram’s victims are Muslim.

The majority of victims of the Assad regime in Syria are Muslim.

For every Christian killed by a terrorist group claiming to represent Islam or a militaristic regime claiming to represent Islam, at least a thousand Muslims are killed by a terrorist group claiming to represent Islam or a militaristic regime claiming to represent Islam.

President Trump: Criminal gangs like ISIS, al-Qaeda, and Boko Haram (and criminal regimes like that of Bashar al-Assad) represent Islam as much as you represent Christianity! 

FOR CHRISTIANS WHO FAIL TO FOLLOW CHRIST

“There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day:

“And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores,

“And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.

“And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;

“And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.

“And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.

“But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.

“And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.

“Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house:

“For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.

“Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.

“And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.

“And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.”

Luke 16 : 19-31

FIRST WILL AND TESTAMENT

It’s a horrible way to die.

Yeah, well I didn’t ask to die this way.

What way?

Slowly, agonizingly–from a combination of psychiatric drugs whose effects my body can no longer tolerate (because there are no safer drugs available) and fast food saturated with a deadly amount of fat and salt (because I can no longer afford healthier food).

Ironic–you are in far more danger writing a sober post, your head tight, your calves tight, your eyeballs rolling around with some kind of dyskinesia and/or sodium poisoning than writing a drunken post, your body and mind totally relaxed under the influence of alcohol, your blood pressure lowered to a safe level.

Yeah, well I can’t afford a large, healthy dinner to absorb a large, healthy amount of alcohol.  And I can’t obtain medical marijuana to replace these far more dangerous psychiatric drugs, because it’s not legal yet.  And I can’t simply stop these deadly psychiatric drugs with nothing safer to replace them.  I can’t even replace these deadly psychiatric drugs with a moderate amount of alcohol daily, because there’s alcoholism in my family history, and there’s no Mediterranean component to my Old World ancestry.

Even if there were a woman in my life who could cook the healthiest, yet tastiest food for me, calm me with her body, nourish me rather than drain me, complement me rather than control me, accommodate me rather than dominate me, I could safely write such a sober post as this one.  But there isn’t–there never has been, and there probably never will be.

So let me die writing, since I am to die alone.

I was in the second or third grade.  It was about the time I’d started this trend of chasing the girls around the playground to kiss them.  Other boys had caught on–and we had to stay in, during recess one day.  This put a stop to that.

Then another boy came up with a different way to catch girls–impressing them with daring.  Other boys caught on, other boys including me.  There was a very high slide in the playground.  And this boy, instead of sliding down, decided to jump off the back of the slide.  The ground was dirt and grass–but there was a square of strong support bars midway down.  This boy jumped, and he was okay. Others followed, and they were okay.  Then I jumped.  Maybe it was because I was taller than the other boys, maybe not–but I didn’t fall straight down on my feet like the others.  I tumbled into the square of support bars.  Remembering, it seems like I was suspended in midair–or moving in slow-motion.  There was no pain.  But my arms hit the bars, my legs hit the bars, and my head hit the bars. Yet I got to my feet–and the very girls I’d tried to impress checked on me, making sure I was alright (the other boys had split).  And I was alright–no fracture, not even a bruise.

Not long after, neighborhood kids got the idea to play a game in Robby’s pool.  I think it was called chicken fighting.  The smaller, lighter boys would get on the shoulders of the larger, heavier boys in the shallow end of the pool–then try to push each other into the water.  Of course it was far more dangerous for the larger, heavier boys.  Smaller, lighter Jeff sat on my shoulders, and his opponent pushed him into the water.  And I was trapped, of course.  All I could do was hold my breath, as I waited for Jeff to get off my shoulders.  This was different than the incident with the slide–I was aware of this, I was aware that I was about to drown.

This is probably another reason the wreck of the Sunset Limited affected me more seriously than the 9/11 catastrophe–those who died in that wreck probably died in a much more horrible way.  Those who jumped from the Twin Towers were likely the only 9/11 victims who suffered as much terror as the victims of the Sunset Limited wreck.

Imagine this–you’re on a train going over a bayou bridge in the dark.  And your rail car crashes into the bayou.  If you’re lucky, the crash will knock you out–so you won’t know what hit you.  If you’re not, you will be desperately trying to find a way out of that car before it fills up with water–along with countless other screaming passengers.  It’s totally dark–there are no lights over that bayou.  So not only are you unable to find a way out of the car, you don’t even know which way is up.

But Jeff managed to get off my shoulders–just in time.

The last time was a suicide attempt.  It was the only suicide attempt–because I lived and learned how nearly impossible it was to kill oneself.  Prozac is bad stuff–the worst.  It didn’t make me want to commit suicide–it made me delusional so that I thought God wanted me to commit suicide.  There I was on the floor dying. I was at peace, with the sensation of floating in deep space, yet breathing, stars surrounding me.  And something literally possessed my body–made me get up, and dial 911.  At first I thought that something was the Devil.  Then I thought it was God.  But in time, I realized it was my primal brain–that bit of tissue that contains the one bit of emotion every animal has–the fear of death.

Nothing more, nothing less.

I despise money–perhaps more than anything else.

Money is not something I want to have–only something I have to have.

Money has absolutely no value–ever.

And money is completely useless–until it is spent for products and services that have value.

Even when money is saved, it is only saved to be spent at a later time.

Even when money is invested, it is only invested to acquire more money that is still completely useless until it is spent.

Even when money is given away, it is only given away to be spent by someone other than oneself.

Money has absolutely no value–ever.

And money is completely useless–until it is spent for products and services that have value.

Why wouldn’t I despise money?  Why wouldn’t anyone despise money?

If I have money, it has no value–and it is completely useless until it is spent for products and services that have value.

But if I don’t have money, I cannot acquire products and services that have value–products which include food, services which include disposal of food remains.

This is the worst time in American history to be poor.

In the past, the poor in the United States could get help from their families and communities.

But there is no more family in the United States.

And there is no more community.

I’m obsessed with obtaining money–those without money always are.

“Here come the rich man in his big, long limousine.  Here come the poor man, Lord, he got to have his green.”

A couple weeks ago, there was a homeless woman with a dog.

She held a sign that read, NEED MONEY FOR TAMPONS, DOG FOOD…

I had fifty dollars in my wallet–all I had.

If I gave her this fifty dollars, I thought, would someone in turn give me five hundred dollars?

“Pay it forward” would work like this:

I give her $50–all I have.

Someone gives me $500–all she has.

Someone gives her $5,000–all he has.

Someone gives him $50,000–all she has.

Someone gives her $500,000–all he has.

Someone gives him $5,000,000–all she has.

Someone gives her $50,000,000–all he has.

Someone gives him $500,000,000–all she has.

Someone gives her $5,000,000,000–all he has.

Someone gives him $50,000,000,000–all she has.

I give her $500,000,000,000–all I have.

Someone gives me $5,000,000,000,000–but it’s not all she has.

If only I knew, I thought.

But I didn’t know–so I didn’t give her my fifty dollars.

There’s a $429 bottle of Scotch that’s at least thirty years old–I’ve mentioned it in a previous post.

Ever since I first saw it, I’ve wanted to purchase it–just to see if drinking it would transport me to 1986 or before.

But even the few times I had enough money to purchase it, I didn’t–because I didn’t know it would transport me anywhere anytime.

That eighteen-year-old Scotch I drank at the Shark Fin during that dinner with the Singletons of which I wrote in a drunken post (particularly of the Zionist bastard who embarrassed me in front of my friends–not because I was talking too loudly, but because he disagreed with what I said) that Scotch didn’t transport me back eighteen years.

So why would that $429 bottle of Scotch transport me back thirty years or more?

Because I would drink the entire bottle–not just a glass.

Still, it’s just a fantasy–to my knowledge.  That’s why I don’t sell everything I can to get the money to purchase it.

With sales and sin tax, it would be far more than $429 anyway.

Delaying the inevitable–this is all I’m doing each day, these the worst days of my life.  Having no money has knocked me down–yet circumstances keep kicking me anyway.  Every day, I delay the inevitable–the loss of everything but my life, my freedom, and whatever I can carry on my shoulders.

Yet we all delay the inevitable–all our lives.

From the moment we’re born, we delay the inevitable–which is death.

Even as newborn babies, we choose to nourish ourselves from the breast or the bottle–delaying death.

And though the pursuit of happiness is not our primary purpose in life, most of our time spent toward a greater purpose is constantly interrupted by our desire to delay the inevitable.  Our most basic human needs serve only the purpose of delaying death.

I started this post when I had enough money for fast food.  Now I only have enough money for store-bought food–peanut butter, cheese, bread, cottage cheese, and sliced ham.

This stuff–this cheapest of food–is far more dangerous than any fast food because it has even more salt.  It’s loaded with salt.

Can’t eat the cottage cheese–too much salt.  Can’t eat the sliced ham–too much salt.

Every store-bought food has too much salt because it’s used as a preservative.

The ham was the saltiest of all–I had to put the remainder in the front yard for stray cats.

The more salt a food has, the more it tightens my head and my muscles, makes my eyeballs roll around, and creates sharp pains in my legs–especially in combination with these goddamned psychiatric drugs.

I’ve never suffered such agony in my life–and only because I have no money, and no family or community to give me any support.

SO MUCH BETTER TO PRACTICE WHAT YOU PREACH

I used to see bumper stickers that read:

HANG UP AND DRIVE

I don’t see these anymore.

The back of my truck is covered with them–stickers that read HANG UP AND DRIVE and PUT IT DOWN, IT CAN WAIT.

But I don’t see HANG UP AND DRIVE stickers on any other vehicles anymore–ever.

Why?

Because the drivers who used to post this message on their vehicles are now doing the very thing they insisted that other drivers not do–they are using mobile devices (cellphones, iphones, and smartphones) while driving.

And to their credit, these drivers don’t want to be hypocritical.

And I used to see bumper stickers and T-shirts that read:

WHAT WOULD JESUS DO?

or

WWJD

I don’t see these anymore.

Why?

Because the Christians who used to post this message on their vehicles, and wear this message on their T-shirts, are not doing the very thing they insisted that other Christians do–they are not following Jesus, they are not doing what Jesus would do.

And to their credit, these Christians don’t want to be hypocritical.

It is good not to be hypocritical–it is good not to preach something you don’t practice.

But it is so much better to practice what you preach.

Wouldn’t it be so much better if drivers who posted HANG UP AND DRIVE bumper stickers hung up and drove themselves?

And wouldn’t it be so much better if Christians posting WHAT WOULD JESUS DO? bumper stickers, and wearing WHAT WOULD JESUS DO? T-shirts followed Jesus themselves–did what Jesus would do?

It is easier to match your words with your actions than to match your actions with your words.

But it is so much better to match your actions with your words than to simply match your words with your actions.

It is good not to preach something you don’t practice.

But it is so much much better to practice what you preach.

EXAMINING OUR HUMAN FRAILTY

Muhammad Ali.

He was a very complex man–generally a forthright, honest man with a touch of artful boastfulness that was both audacious and endearing.

And he was known as much for his political and religious convictions as his genius in the boxing ring.

He was born Cassius Clay, but changed his name after converting to Islam.

Many, if not most Black Muslims in the United States are not true Muslims because they downplay, if not dismiss Muhammad as the Last Prophet (Messenger) of God.

But who am I to question Muhammad Ali’s faith?

For all I know, Muhammad Ali’s Muslim faith was true–that he believed in both parts of the core creed of Islam:  There is but one God, and Muhammad is his Messenger.

And given this, it is interesting that most Christian Americans are so much more familiar with Muhammad Ali than with Muhammad.

Yet I cannot help but think of the disturbing hypocrisy of it all.

Muhammad Ali was both a Black American and a Muslim American.

Before the Civil Rights Act was passed, and White Americans began to realize that they had so much more in common with Black Americans than they had previously thought, Black Americans had to really prove themselves–they had to prove to White Americans that they truly were equal, in every way, to White Americans.

Most notably I think of Marian Anderson.  Marian Anderson was a Black American contralto–with an incomparable singing voice.

She was not a civil rights activist at all–she chose a different way of “breaking the color barrier.”  The Daughters of the American Revolution–though quite familiar with Ms. Anderson’s incomparable voice–denied her access to Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C., simply because of her race.  But First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt got word of this–and let Marian Anderson sing in front of the Lincoln Memorial, instead–before thousands of astonished White Americans.

Black Americans–like Marian Anderson–proved themselves in the arts.

And Black Americans–like Cassius Clay–proved themselves in sports.

Yet even among many White Americans today–not necessarily racist, but somewhat bigoted–Blacks are not okay unless they’re sports heroes.

Sometimes this even works in reverse.  Many Black Americans–and some White Americans–truly believed that O.J. Simpson could not have possibly committed murder because he was such an ingenious athlete–and astute sports commentator.

And in the 2008 Presidential Election, as many Black American voters turned out as in the 1960 Presidential Election (Kennedy-Nixon).  And 97% of these Black Americans voted for Barack Obama–simply because of his race.  In fairness, many White Americans voted against Obama, simply because of his race.  But racial bias exists in all races–and we must recognize it within ourselves.

Even for racially bigoted Whites, Cassius Clay was okay because he was a sports hero.

In the same way, even for religiously bigoted Christians, Muhammad Ali was okay because he was a sports hero.

There is bigotry in all human beings–there always has been, and there always will be.

And it is essential that we examine our human frailty, and ask ourselves:

If this person’s race is okay because he is a sports hero–how come others of his race are not okay?

And if this person’s religion is okay because he is a sports hero–how come others of his religion are not okay?


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