Evil Must Be Named, Rabid Dogs, and Insanity

terroristHey, you, Terrorist Joe- your freedom of religion ends when your “religion” tells you to kill me.

I’ve been watching the events of the world unfold for the past few weeks (actually I am a more avid observer of current events and of history’s unfolding than I appear to be) and I have a few observations I believe are worth sharing.

Obama Muslim Brotherhood

First of all, Barack Hussein Obama is a joke- a sad, sick and deadly joke, but still a joke.  I’ve known this since 2008 when I saw this ass-clown running for president, and I thought (erroneously, sadly enough) that the American people couldn’t possibly be that stupid.  However, a little creative fixing by the Chicago machine, a complete whitewash (pun intended) of a shady character’s nebulous past, and a lame, senile Republican candidate (remember John McCain?) to run against, and we have the first ever foreign traitor squatting in our White House.  Repeat in 2012 just to make it interesting- all made easier because now there are even more illegals and dead people voting Democrat than ever before. So we are still burdened with this effete, weak, and completely clueless wanna-be dictator squatting in our White House, blithely putting out the welcome mat for every radical Muslim terrorist nut job in the world.

temperance ladiesI bet these girls led some pretty lonely lives.

I freely admit that I am as white, Anglo-Saxon and Protestant as the day is long, so I can’t say that I’m an authority on Islam or that I can attest to what ALL Muslims believe.  I freely admit that when I was taking adult Confirmation classes (late 1980s) that our Pastor taught that Islam is a cult and a false religion.  He didn’t go in depth about Islam except to point out that it is a counterfeit, a poor substitute for the truth, and that Muslims deny the divinity of Christ. That being said, obviously they are not Christians.  I can deal with people not being Christian.  I have a good number of friends who claim to be atheist for what it’s worth.

I am not one of those obnoxious individuals who insists that everyone who believes differently than me is going to fry in the eternal fires of hell.  I believe in hell, and that there will be people who end up there, but I generally don’t try to shove my interpretation of Christianity on anyone.  As a confessional Lutheran (as well as someone who pretty much also subscribes to Molinism,) I believe humans are powerless to bring themselves to saving faith.  It’s God Who does the saving.  Now the Holy Spirit can and does work through people, and as a Christian I am supposed to let that happen, but as far as winning hearts… that’s not something I can do- apart from God Himself.

Proverbs

While as a Christian I would be thrilled to see everyone come to saving faith in Christ, in this country one has the right under the First Amendment to worship whoever, or whatever, or nothing at all.  It’s none of my business if you want to bark at the moon, hail Satan, or worship a 1993 Ford Escort- as long as none of that involves pushing your religion off on me, or worse, killing me if I don’t dance around your particular tree.

Isis Crescent Moon

From what I have discerned, Islam was founded upon the visions of a deranged individual (Mohammed) who devised a bastard theology that mixed together the worship of an Arabic moon-god with some elements of Judaism and Christianity, with a little bit of child molestation and bestiality thrown in there for fun. Oh, and let’s not forget how Islam regards and treats women.

burqa-ban

While the burqa would save time on hair styling and makeup, it would make driving a bit awkward.  Walking too.

I don’t care if you really want to believe in the false religion of Islam- or if you want to bark at the moon or pee on trees- that’s your business- until you take it to the point where you believe that you have express permission to kill everyone who doesn’t subscribe to the same ideology.

donald trump

I agree with Donald Trump that people who buy in to the belief system of radical Islam should not be permitted to immigrate to the United States.  As long as there are Islamic terror groups who chant “Death to America” and who think it’s OK to annihilate the “infidels”- and who are doing so with impunity around the world- then they can keep themselves and their belief system back in the third world holes from which they came.

hitler.jpg

I don’t understand why people can’t see the parallels between Islamic terror groups and Nazism.  Some will be quick to say that Nazism was a political ideology rather than a religion.  I would be even quicker to say that radical Islam is even more evil as a political ideology because it uses a (false) religion as a smoke screen for its true nihilistic purpose.  All Hitler had to fly on was junk science and fabricated Nordic myths.

Winston Churchill once said that “Islam in a man is like rabies in a dog.”  The sad thing about both rabies and radical Islam is there is no cure for either apart from killing the host organism.

rabies photo.jpg

Radical Islam is an evil, nihilistic force in this world that is fatal (like rabies) and much like Nazism, seeks to spread and kill and destroy anything that contradicts it.  Allowing more of this nihilistic ideology into the United States or any other civilized part of the world is pure idiocy and ignorance.

Where is common sense? Why can’t we call evil what it is?

 

 

 

 

You Don’t Get Out of Life Alive, but, Choose Your Battles Wisely

 

Axl Rose

My son didn’t ask, but mothers are pretty good at unsolicited advice in life and love and all those things that are only somewhat discerned by merit of age and time.  If I were to try to explain to him why he should abandon the “friends with benefits” arrangement he’s got going on with the ex-stripper, it would go something like this:

The great theologian and philosopher Axl Rose (of Guns-N-Roses fame) once stated in his version of Bob Dylan’s “Knocking on Heaven’s Door,” that, “You don’t get out of life alive.”  I  also understand his point about both the bank and the mortician- the two inevitabilities of this life are death and taxes.  Nobody escapes either of those.  Nobody escapes the common human dilemma of finding one’s way through life and surviving in the process, either, though some do a better job of it than others.

As far as the wisdom of the concepts of “not getting out of life alive,” and “you can’t take it with you,” go, both sort of go along with the Biblical admonition to give one’s life as an offering. You were created to have a purpose in this life, even if it’s simply one of being an example of what not to do,  or serving to expand others’ vocabularies.  We all came into the world naked and not having any stuff, and we all go out the same way, so what are you going to do with the time in-between?

coffin

We all know that our physical bodies are going to become worm food.  There are a few things worth sacrificing and fighting for, precisely because we cannot preserve youth and health and wholeness in these physical bodies, or for that matter, youth and health and wholeness in any aspect of our lives.  Entropy WILL win.  Systems all eventually break down, if you want to frame the inevitability of entropy in tech geek terms.  Life in this world is a finite proposition.

The question is, what do you do with the finite resources you have been given, that you can acquire, that you can pool with others?

gold-bars

It’s great if you can amass all kinds of wealth and get all the best stuff, and prepare for every possible contingency, but in the end, what do you do on that night when your life is required of you? (I’m referring to what Jesus said in Luke 12:13-21.)

If you don’t get what really matters, then who cares about money or power or prestige or stuff?

I’m not going to go on a morality-chastity-clean living rant, because I am no poster child for any of the aforementioned.  I have never been a paragon of virtue.  I am a Christian, but that is only by the grace of God.  He left me to my rebellion and own devices for awhile (about seven years’ worth) so I could see just how much trouble I could get into out there in the pig pen. I got a rather nasty taste of how nasty and depraved I can be apart from a relationship with God.  Finally, I realized, again, by the grace of God, like C.S. Lewis did, that if I were going to be sane and worth anything to myself and others, that it was and is Christ or nothing.

That realization does not make me more virtuous or more moral or  more prudy. It does not make me less human or  less fallible.  It does make me all the more aware that anything good anyone sees in me is not my inherent goodness, but the goodness of God. I fail a lot, but apart from Him I fail and screw up a lot more.

hypocrisy

 

Yes, Christians are hypocrites. Get over it.  So is everyone else.  I can say that, but for the grace of God, I would be a LOT worse.  I need God precisely because I know how depraved and hopeless I am without Him.

All these theological and philosophical observations being said, and back to the assertion that one of my purposes in life is to serve as an example of what not to do, I will give you a heartfelt admonition.

If you are one of those people who are blessed enough to find true love in this life, don’t let it go.  I know that it can and does happen, even if it is too late for me.

true love

Part of the reason why I can be so cynical and snarky when I consider matters of the heart is because true love has always eluded me.  I’ve been used, abandoned, exploited and deeply damaged by people who claimed to “love” me.   My wiring is such that I don’t understand or communicate very well in the emotional realm.  To add insult to injury, most men are intimidated by intelligent women, and most men are not terribly thrilled with plain and frumpy looking women.   I blend in to the wall pretty well.  It’s a survival mechanism.  At no time in my life were dudes ever banging down my door.   If they did talk to me it was to get my phone number- so they could call my sisters.  I was even voted, “Least Likely to Get Laid” in my (unofficial) high school senior will.  So I felt like I had to take what I could get, even if it meant settling for minimum standards such as, “vertical and sucking up valuable oxygen.”

Minimum_Standards

Hair and teeth optional, especially at my age.

I hate to admit it, but all I can say about my own marriage is that at best it’s a symbiotic relationship, but a good deal of the time it’s more like a parasite vs. host relationship.  Maybe it’s harsh to call Jerry a parasite, but he can and does suck the life out of me with his incessant whining and infantile demands.  He didn’t need a wife, he needed a mommy.  And I’m not all that great at playing the mommy role, but it’s all I have to offer.  I haven’t gotten a better offer, and even if I did, I would be morally obligated to decline it.  In Jerry’s defense, he has put up with me for all of these years, as frumpy and plain looking as I am, and as eccentric as I am.  That says something- although in Jerry’s mind it’s probably, “there’s someone in this world who will fetch my beer and smokes for me.”

But if you find true love, that indescribable and blissful universe of two, understand what it is.  Hold it, cherish it, fight for it, and never let it go.  Otherwise you will find yourself in the same predicament I am- either completely alone, or bound by a sense of duty(?) pity (?) desperation (?) to someone who only cares about you as long as you’re useful to them.

unique-not-useful

I guess I’m good for as long as I can fetch beer and smokes.

I will tell you that expediency and usefulness are not the same as love.  Sex doesn’t necessarily equate to love either.  It’s easy to get caught up in hormones and horniness (been there done that) but when the excitement and lust die down, what do you have?  From my own experience I can say that following the hormones and horniness path has led to a lot of guilt, embarrassment and shattered dreams.  It’s not worth it.  I’m thankful that my past indiscretions didn’t wreak as much havoc as they could have.

Don’t follow in my path.  Don’t let a chance at true love go because of fear or because you need to hold on to perceived obligations.  It sounds trite, but love will find a way.  Unless you’re an eccentric old bat who’s proportioned like a mutant troll.

True Love Quotes and Pictures (5)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Moral Quandary, Humor in Unlikely Places, and Victorian Ways to Die

  I do not like him, Sam I Am.  I’d rather vote for green eggs and ham.

Alright, here lately my emotional (yes I do have some) and thought lives have been a bit of turmoil lately.  Yesterday, I discovered, to my disbelief and disappointment that not only is Obama going to be sliming around in Ohio yet again, he’s also showing up at Capital University.  For those not familiar with the Columbus area, Capital is a Lutheran university (that gets some of its funding from the Lutheran church) and also the home of Trinity Lutheran Seminary.

Capital is known for its prestigious law school and its high academic standards, so it would stand to reason that they would want the opportunity to host a sitting president (though it’s a shame that the president they’re hosting is the Worst Ever.)  But when I got wind of who was promoting the event- Obama for America (what an oxymoron there, but I digress) I was truly disturbed.  This is not going to be a chance for Christians to ask Obama the hard questions regarding defending life, the economy, foreign policy and national defense.  It’s going to be another KoolAid swilling Obama-love fest- otherwise he would never have agreed to show up.  Now I know how the people at Notre Dame must have felt when Obama invaded their campus.  But no matter how much I loathe his policies and how deeply I believe he is evil and wrong, after much soul searching, prayer and thinking it through, it’s probably good that he is speaking there even though he will be spouting off the same rhetoric and lies as always, and the “other side” will not be represented.

Romney visited the Capital campus back in February and spoke (though he didn’t call it a “rally” necessarily, he didn’t travel to what most people consider to be Cow Town for leisure.)  So at least I know that both “sides” are getting an opportunity to speak, which tempered my response quite a bit.  After all, law is all about debate, and even if one “side” is fatally flawed they do deserve to be heard.  What grieves my heart (and yes, I do actually sort of have one) is that political rhetoric from either “side” requires people to engage critical thought.  A critical thinker is very likely to see the techniques Obama uses to deceive people and to call him out.  I know I’m tired of the blame game and the race baiting and class warfare that Obama relies upon, because I see it for what it is.  He has no vision other than failed socialism, and nothing to offer except the promise of being Santa Claus to the entitlement crowd.  My fear is that there are still too many people who have not engaged critical thought and who still believe the lies even though the evidence is clear that Obama’s policies are failed.

Why not try thanking God that Americans were never really into the guillotine?

Yet, as we’ve seen with Obama’s court jester, Joe Biden, he’s becoming his own worst enemy.  Biden is simply a dull buffoon whose singular talent is making an ass of himself, which is funny.  At least Biden provides some comic relief.  Obama is humorless even when he screws up, but the more frustrated he gets and the more threatened he feels, the more he says stupid things- stupid things that he knows better than to say, but that he actually believes, such as the “you didn’t build that” epithet directed at small business.  The more pandering, strident and vicious Obama gets, the more his true colors shine forth.  This venomous snake is going to grow some longer fangs.  Obama will get nasty, and he will go ad hominem even more than he already has.  Maybe for the first time some people will wake up- but not until Obama offends their emotions.  Some people are going to need to move beyond the myriad logical arguments against Obama, because some people don’t rely on logic before emotion.  The emotionally oriented people out there might just need to see his frustration and experience that red fire of hate for this country and what it stands for as it shines in his eyes.  It will come to that point as “Emperor” Barry sinks lower and lower in the polls and more and more people aren’t afraid to stand on the roof top and scream, “The ‘Emperor’ is NAKED!”

Obama’s going to self-implode.  And he’s going to do it to himself.  As much as I detest him sliming around Ohio, especially at a Lutheran seminary, the more he opens his mouth, the more he’s going to incriminate himself and alienate the electorate.

Let him keep on spewing his tired rhetoric and hot air.  He’s standing in his little boat, shooting holes in the bottom, and wondering why it’s sinking.

On a lighter note, I think Obama might want to consider a new frontier:

(It’s OK if you want to leave early, as long as you take Joe and Hillary with you.)

I am more fascinated with postmortem photography and other creepy stuff from the Victorian era than I should be.  I’m not the only one though, because there are positively tons of this stuff all over the internet.  Actual prints (rather than the .jpg scans that I troll for) of people who died 150 years ago go for big money, even if you have no clue who the dead people are.  Most of the people in my family were too poor to even afford taking pictures of dead people, so I don’t have too many pictures taken before 1960 or so of my actual relatives available to me.  Dad has a box of Grandma’s old pics, but he’s not had time to go through them to identify the ones he can so I can scan them.  Most of those pics are from the 50’s and 60’s.

Probably the worst things about the Victorian era were the daily presence of death, and the really nasty ways people died.  Today most people don’t die from a case of Montezuma’s Revenge, but in those times crapping yourself to death was a very common way to die.  Cholera, typhoid and typhus were all common mechanisms of death brought on by ignorance of hygiene and squalid living conditions.  Infant mortality was sky-high because if a child developed any type of dysentery it usually led to death, as well as scarlet fever, rheumatic fever and measles were common, and deadly.  Antibiotics were not discovered until the 1940’s.

If a person were injured in an industrial or farm accident their chances of dying were pretty good as well.  The only treatment for a mangled limb was amputation- if the shock of the amputation wasn’t enough to kill you, the infection that set in your stump usually did.  Sepsis and communicable disease killed more soldiers in the Civil War than were killed in combat.

It’s all going to be OK…well maybe not so much…grab that rusty saw, Dave!

I would wonder how many people got tetanus from having a limb chopped off with a rusty saw.  People died from tetanus back then, as well as from rabies, tuberculosis, syphilis, you name it.  And worst of all, they only bathed three or four times a year.

Brains! Brains! Brains!

Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust, Mortality, and a Working Dryer

Jerry came off the $300 for a dryer last night from the discount appliance store.  Yay! It has a small dent near the top, which is the reason why it was $300 rather than $450.   I could care less about cosmetic flaws.  Nobody is going to come down to my basement for the view, much less to admire the appliances.  I just need them to work. The model we ended up with was actually one I hadn’t researched ahead of time online because it was out of my price range.  It is larger than the old dryer (7.0 cubic ft. vs 5.8 cubic ft) and according to the reviews I have trolled through so far (why bother to read reviews after you buy something, but what the hey?) most people who have bought this model report that you can dry a large load of clothes in less than an hour.  I would delighted if this is really so, especially in an electric dryer.  I am further along the road to being able to do laundry again.  The new dryer is sitting in the garage waiting for whoever Jerry can bribe to help him 1. get it down the basement stairs- which is not going to be a good time, and 2. remove the power cord and vent from the old dryer, 3. attach the power cord (correctly I hope…) and vent to the new dryer.  Whoever is willing to help him get this beast down the stairs is cordially invited to haul the old one away. The old one has to be worth something.  The motor, heating element, and timer still work.

I would be pleasantly surprised- no- elated- to come home and be able to wash and dry clothes again.  Especially if I can have dry clothes in three hours or less.

Today is one of those holidays I have to explain to Jerry.  Otherwise he will be taunting all the Catholics (a good number of Lutherans, and even some Methodists too) he encounters today for having “dirt on their heads.”  Since I grew up Catholic I know all about Ash Wednesday and Lent and the rituals surrounding the season- as if Mom would let one forget that you better not even think about eating a Sloppy Joe for lunch on a Lenten Friday- even if it is served with the school lunch.   What I don’t understand about the no-meat-on-Friday-during-Lent rule is, what part of a seafood dinner is self-denial?  You can’t have a bologna sandwich because it’s meat, but you can have catfish nuggets or a 21-piece shrimp dinner, or even frigging lobster instead?  What kind of a sacrifice is that?  I’ll gladly trade a bologna sandwich or a Sloppy Joe for a shrimp dinner any day.  It would be more sacrificial in my opinion to say, “No, I’ll have the bologna sandwich instead of the cocktail shrimp and catfish nuggets.”   Lutherans also observe Lent, but with a little less focus on strict ritual forms.  I like the idea of taking up a good habit- like getting some extra exercise, or taking up a devotional series, or doing an anonymous act of kindness every day, rather than giving something up, or being weird about food, but to each his or her own.   

The whole point of observing Ash Wednesday and the season of Lent in general, at least in my opinion, is to remember one’s mortality.  Life on this earth in these flawed and wretched bodies is a limited time offer.  So what’s the purpose of life?  From a Christian perspective, the apostle Paul explains the purpose of life as follows:

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.  For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:8-10 (NIV)

I have heard it said that a person is immortal while God still has work for them to do here on earth.  I’d like to know what it is I’m supposed to accomplish so I can get it done and over with if that’s the case- but it’s not about what I do. It’s about what God wants done.  I am somewhat surprised at the lengths He has gone to in order to keep my sorry carcass alive.  If one were to adhere strictly to the odds of natural law I should have been worm food many years ago. I’ve been very close on more than one occasion.  The theology behind the immortality of those who have not completed their earthly mission seems to be correct at least from my observation, (God is omnipotent after all) but it does open up a can of worms.  The implication is that God had a purpose for both Mother Teresa- and Hitler.  The Old Testament is full of examples of God using “bad” people to get the Israelites back in line, time and time again.  In accepting the omnipotence of God, one must take the downright evil and tragic in the world along with puppies and flowers and rainbows.  One must also accept that there is a reason why some children die very young, why kids go out and rob and rape and shoot each other, and other people manage to outlive all their friends and family and languish for decades in their dotage, senile and crazy and crapping their pants. 

I don’t have an easy answer for any of that.  I don’t think I’m supposed to.  I’m not God.  That job is taken, and I am supremely grateful for that fact.

In accepting the omnipotence of God, one must accept suffering and the truly mind-numbing and tragic in the world.  Believing God and questioning Him doesn’t mean we will ever have clear explanations or complete understanding, but there is comfort in knowing that sooner or later things will be as He intended them to be, which is an important point.  Whether I understand God’s purpose or not is not as important as being compelled to ask Him the questions and accept the answers He is willing to give me.  The primary sin of humanity (according to C.S. Lewis) is pride- wanting MY will versus THY will.  That’s the paradox the apostle Paul speaks of in Romans 7.   We might not like the processes God uses to put us in our proper place.  I know a lot of the time I ask God, why this, or why that, and either He is silent or I’m just not hearing His answer.

I know I am a cynical and often sarcastic individual and those really are not good qualities.  Behind the humor is tragedy, a sense of longing for something better, of wanting something beyond this life. 

I freely admit it’s hard for me to see Jesus through my own apathy.  I am not at all effective in seeing Christ in others (I try to avoid most people, truth be told,) and it’s especially difficult to think of doing things for Jerry as serving God.  It’s hard to imagine Jesus acting like a petulant, whiny child. 

I am not always a very thankful person, either, which is also shameful.  I should not be so willing to criticize, or to covet what I simply don’t have.  I should be more grateful for what I do have.

God put me here for a reason, even if I don’t understand it.  Maybe I’m here to expand others’ vocabularies- or to learn to love the Great Unwashed.

I can see people looking at me and laughing at the visual.  This is plausible too.

Ground Control to Major Tom, Aggressive-Aggressive Revenge, and Forgiveness is Divine

I adore spring flowers, especially in the depths of Central Ohio winter.  Right now the weather alone is depressing.

I am thankful that I dragged my sorry carcass to church this morning even though venturing out on a Sunday morning when it’s seven degrees out is difficult when compared with staying in the comfort of my own bed.  But as far as going to church goes,  I don’t “deserve” to be there- I need to be there.

Today’s sermon especially hit home.  Right now our Pastors are teaching on the parables of Jesus.  Today’s text was Matthew 18:21-35, the parable of the unmerciful servant.  Talk about hitting me where I live.

I’m not a very forgiving person.  I do tend to scorekeep, mull over past slights, and I’ve not been above aggressive-aggressive revenge as well as all of my signature forms of passive-aggressive revenge.  God forgives me for all the crud I’ve done- and believe me I have done some pretty shameful and terrible things (no this is not repressed old Catholic guilt resurfacing.)

I find myself more often than I’d like in the position of the unmerciful servant- God cuts me a break, over and over and over again, but I end up feeling slighted and wanting payback every time someone does something wrong or bad to me.

I have to admit that sometimes forgiveness is the last thing on my mind.  Yesterday when my Saturday nap was rudely interrupted and then postponed, I admit that forgiving Jerry for his total lack of consideration was pretty low on my priority list.  He did come off of enough money for dog food (Nutro ain’t cheap- Clara has corn allergy and requires a corn-free lamb and rice diet, but it is a high quality food and they do well on it, so they all three eat it) so coming off of $51 for a 38# bag of dog food assuaged my angst somewhat.  But I shouldn’t be concerned with keeping score.

I am really bad about holding grudges, and I admit I adore getting even.

This is not a good thing because in spite of my sense of humor and oft times salty language, I do take my faith seriously.  I take it seriously enough not to candy coat it with false piety.  Martin Luther said, “Sin boldly.”  I think he meant it as, “Live honestly.”  Don’t put up a front and be who you really are.

Some of the pettiest wieners I’ve ever known are the “Dana Carvey as the Church Lady” types.

Granted, I believe there is a spirit world.  I believe Satan is real, but I don’t attribute everything remotely bad as being of Satanic origin.  Most of the evil in this world is simply the result of fallen and fallible human beings screwing things up, because that’s what we do.

I also believe that those of us who believe Jesus and are following Him fail to do the world any favors by acting “holier than thou” and/or putting up those lily-white goody-goody fronts.

If there is any holiness in me, it doesn’t come from me, believe that.  I am a human being who is most fallible, who screws up constantly, and who therefore has a deep need to be a little more compassionate even when other people are being stupid.  I do enough stupid things myself- let’s see- abysmal choices in relationships, career choices in which I got screwed, disastrous financial mistakes, being gullible, being taken advantage of, taking advantage of others, et cetera, ad nauseam.

I’m pretty sure I will continue to laugh at my own stupidity and the stupidity of others- but I can only pray for a greater compassion and understanding when other people continually do stupid things that piss me off or inconvenience me. (i.e  Jerry is currently whining for me to get him his pills, a task that an adult male of reasonably sound mind and body should be capable of doing for himself but he won’t, so I will have to do it so he will shut up already…)

Tomorrow’s Monday.  I’ll have my chance for good or ill to apply the lesson of today’s sermon.  Lord help me! I will need it.

I know Jesus wouldn’t punch him out or tell him where or how high to shove the pills (perhaps they are more effective administered rectally?) so I will try to follow His example.