Archive for March, 2010

29
Mar
10

March (Militia) Madness by Miz Pink

A militia group in the Midwest, getting ready to maybe kill some police or something and touch off some “revolutionary” conflict. Folks who claim to be Christian even though they aren’t following one dang word in the Bible and saying they’re gearing up to take on the anti-Christ.

Of course if they didn’t have religion to pin their insane hatred on they’d just be saying Obama is the next Mao or Stalin or whatever right?

Anything to justify loading up your guns and killing some folks over BS.

So, is my passport up to date? Cuz I’m thinking that it’s time to go find some place to live for a while with less crazies until this joint gets cleaned up a bit.

22
Mar
10

Obama, Christian Love & Teabag Insanity

First, as a fairly liberal/progressive Democrat, let me say one thing to everyone out there who’s losing his or her frickin’ sanity over President Barack Obama, healthcare reform, or anything else related to Democrats:

Shut up and deal with it.

I’m not saying you can’t disagree or debate, but enough with threatening to kill the sitting president, claiming that he’s instituting Socialism, and all that other bullshit.

Since I became a relatively politically aware human being, and as the son of a devout anti-abortion, Catholic, Union-card carrying electrician (who also votes Democrat like me), I have had to suffer through the depredations of Ronald Reagan, Bush #1 and Bush #2 (I was too young during the Ford and Carter years to really grasp enough politics to care).

That’s 20 damn years I’ve suffered Republicans. The best years for our nation economically happened under Clinton, who could have stood to be a little less moderate at times and a little more left leaning, but at least he mostly got things right in terms of being a human and treating the citizenry who weren’t rich with some kind of compassion.

That’s 20 years of Republican rule I’ve lived under, and 8 years of Democratic rule. It’s time for you right-wing, conservative, war-mongering, wealth-chasing, poor-bashing, bigoted asses who pine for the days of Ronnie and Dubya to sit down and take a long, deep breath.

You’ve had plenty of time, and mostly, all you’ve done is cut the legs out from under the poor and working class, cut loose the mentally ill on the public, raped the school system, sent American jobs overseas, and rewarded corporations for screwing over their employees.

You’ve had 20 years of my politically aware life. You owe me at least another 7 years, if not 11, to make up for it before you get your shot again.

I didn’t scream at Reagan or either Bush. I didn’t threaten them. I bided my time and suffered and sweated, and now it’s my damned time.

Get it?

The nation doesn’t belong to Republicans. It belongs to Americans. But too many Americans handed it over like it was the GOP’s playground alone.

Take a rest, calm down, and tend to your homes, and let the sitting administration do its job, just like I let three of the last four do theirs to my detriment.

Second thing I want to say:

When did we lose (or rather, YOU lose, and I’m still speaking to the rapid GOP supporters, especially those whom they most screw over…the working class Republicans, who must be the most masochistic group of people on Earth) the ability to have polite discourse? When did it become appropriate to call for militias to take D.C. back for the people? Or to put a bullet in Obama’s head? Had any Democrat, liberal or other left-leaning group or individual done that during the GOP administrations, you’d be calling for their blood and calling them un-American and unpatriotic.

Be patriotic, and respect your damn president. At least half the nation disagrees with you right now, probably more than that, and you need to sit your asses down until you can debate sensibly.

Especially you Bible thumpers (and I love me some Jesus too, mind you). Even if you think Obama is persecuting you, Jesus told us to love those who persecute us, and he never advocated armed rebellion against sitting governments. Nor did he call for killing anyone. Jesus would be ashamed of every damn Teabag Party/teabagger out there.

That is all.

21
Mar
10

New Visitor

Have a new commenter. If you’re the kind of person who doesn’t look at the “Recent Comments” in the sidebar, you might not have noticed. He took slight issue with some comments in one of Miz Pink’s posts from earlier this year, and he and I are having a discussion. We disagree substantially (though we’re both Christian), but it’s civil thus far.

If you want to check it out: https://holyhell.wordpress.com/2010/01/11/people-treated-badly-by-miz-pink/

Of course, there’s also a new post that I put up earlier today, too, on what I learned from giving up something for Lent this year…

21
Mar
10

Deacon Unplugged

So, as has become usual, I pop in, leave for a few days (or more), then pop back. To some extent it’s just being busy, or not having anything pressing to talk about.

But to a small extent these days, it’s also me unplugging a little from the Internet.

You see, I decided to give up something for Lent, which is a practice I haven’t done much these past 25 years or so. Our pastor talked a bit about giving stuff up for Lent around the beginning of the Lenten season, and brought up the point that lots of people have gotten into the trend of “doing something positive” instead for Lent. That is, picking up better habits or volunteering or getting involved in some special cause. It sounds nice on the surface (and it is nice, really), but as he pointed out, there is something to be said for giving something up. Not because of the “sacrifice” aspect necessarily but to discover things in our lives that perhaps are distractions from our spirituality, our families, our growth, etc.

Following a similar example of my wife, who vowed to cut down on her Internet time, I decided to give up Twitter and Facebook for Lent. Originally, I had intended only to cease regular and thorough checking of the social media. I would still check out posts and tweets from people whom I know in real life or regularly communicate with online.

Very quickly, though, I found that I wasn’t checking either site out at all for days at a time. I had taken my “sacrifice” even farther than I intended, and it was actually a nice feeling.

So nice that I thought, “Should I give up something harder to give up?”

But that isn’t the point, I realized. I had found something that was sucking at my time, and distracting me from other things, and tiring me out frankly. Trying to keep up with tweets in particular (I felt like I had to keep up with things, so I wouldn’t miss something interesting in the mass of tweets every day) was sometimes exhausting, and far from satisfying.

I’m not saying that I’m giving up Twitter and Facebook altogether; I think they have value and I plan to go back to them after Lent. But when I do, I plan to pare things down, particularly on Twitter, so that the only people I follow are people whom I know (virtually or in real life) or who truly add regular value to my life with their comments and sharing.

Giving up something for Lent has helped me find myself, find more time, and eliminate distractions. Even if that hasn’t translated into time solely and purely for spiritual reflection, it has renewed my spirit.

And so at almost 42 years of age, I’ve discovered something about Lent and larger purposes of “sacrifice.”

16
Mar
10

What Am I Anyway?

Just a light post today, but before we get to it, I want to thank Miz Pink for having popped in here a couple times to post while I was mired in work the past week. I’ll try to have some deep thoughts to share soon, but in the meantime, how about this Venn diagram to determine whether a person is a geek, dweeb, dork or “true nerd.” (It was posted by a guy named Scott Lamb at BuzzFeed, but I don’t know if he’s the creator of it or not.

To be honest, I’ve seen a lot of folks define nerd and geek with the same definition, but with no agreement as to which term fits which definition. That is, one person will say a nerd is someone with technical knowledge in an area but a lack of social skills, while a geek is someone with strong interest in an area (but not necessarily useful knowledge) and lack of social skills.

Then I’ll turn around and see that someone will apply those terms to the opposite definitions.

What is clear, though, is that no one wants to be a dork. A nerd may have one or two “negative” characteristics, but has intelligence. A dork seems to have little to show that anyone would appreciate, except being a social inept buffoon by most defintions.

I saw this, too, at one place online:

Nerd = a bright or even genius-level individual with intense and advanced knowledge, interest, and skills in one field (usually academic), likely to the exclusion of other interests, associations, or social skills.

Geek = Intense interest (but not necessarily accompanying skills) in obscure fields that are not necessarily academic. So, what the geeks would call, “a nerd with social skills” or what the nerds would call “a nerd without the smarts.”

Anyway, by most definitions, no matter how they vary, I usually seem to be a geek.

Thank God I’m not a dork, at least…

12
Mar
10

Health Screw-form by Miz Pink

I totally get that the health care reform plan currently hovering around has lot of flaws even for lefties like me who want universal health care and want that public option back in and it’s even less palatable to the teabag folks and all of them who don’t see to get that they’re being screwed over by insurance companies and that something needs to give.

But what I don’t understand is the quote from President Obama I heard on NPR a couple days ago where he said that a government run single pay system wouldn’t work in this country.

Why?

Because the insurance companies have too much money invested in political candidates perhaps?

Cuz last time I checked we’re the only big time first world nation to NOT have universal health care. And we have some of the poorest health stats around.

So why the heck can’t we change to such a system in this country, Mister President? How can you make a blanket statement like that to appease your foes. You couldn’t just soften it with … “It’s a system we need, but it will take a long time to transition to it maybe more time than I have even if I get two terms.”

No instead you have to play right into the fear spewing hands of everyone who thinks universal health care is the first step toward having a repeat of the Soviet Union. I’m not happy Mister President. Not happy with you at all right now.

08
Mar
10

Another Snoozefest by Miz Pink

Okaaaaay I got suckered into watching the Academy Awards all night long again. Don’t know why. I didn’t actually pay attention to all of it but I stayed up for all of it and have the baggy eyes to prove it.

Big bore overall.

Didn’t think Sandra Bollock should have been there in the running at all and REALLY don’t think she shoulda won.

Haven’t seen Avatar and don’t intend to no matter how many people tell me how amazing it is because I don’t like science fiction in the first place much and don’t need it rehashed with a Dances With Wolves storyline underneath it. And I don’t look good in big 3D glasses anyway. So I’m glad that Hurt Locker won so big because James Cameron seems like a dick anyway and having him get his billion-dollar-movie ass handed to him artistically by his ex wife is just spiffy with me.

The dude who won for screenplay adaptation of the book Push which was the movie Precious gets bonus award for most earnest and sincere acceptance speech though honestly I wasn’t sure whether to shed a tear at his demeanor or chuckle at it.

That is all…

04
Mar
10

That Old, Old, Really Old Time Religion

In my previous post (here), one of my faithful readers, The Word of Me, brought up in the comments that fact that many Old Testament tales—such as Adam and Eve, the Great Flood, and so on—don’t bear up under scientific scrutiny.

And certainly, he’s right. There is no evidence of a global flood. Humanity didn’t begin 7,000 years ago. Language differences didn’t begin at the site of the Tower of Babel. I could go on, but I won’t, because it isn’t necessary.

His point was that is such material is false, then the whole Bible is suspect, and must be assumed to be false. And therefore, taken to the logical extreme, if there was no Adam and Eve and original sin or any of that other stuff, there would be no need for Jesus and therefore Jesus wasn’t the son of God. Not that there is a God, of course, in TWOM’s view.

I don’t fault TWOM’s reasoning. That is, if you begin from the standpoint that the Bible is a pack of myths or lies or both, then it all falls apart.

But why do all the stories in the Old Testament have to be literal? Particularly those appearing in Genesis.

It is a fault of both the atheist/agnostic camps and the fundamentalist/Bible literalism camps that the stories in the Bible must be true in order for God to be true. Both sides are dead wrong.

Look at Jesus. He told parables. He didn’t say, “this is an allegorical story” when he told them. He told them as if they were stories of real people and real situations. And it’s clear that many of those stories, perhaps none of them, had to do with real scenarios of which Jesus was aware. That did not, however, diminish the importance or value of those stories for teaching lessons and revealing truths.

The Son follows the example of the Father. Why can’t the Old Testament stories be parables writ larger, speaking to greater truths? Truths about human failings, broken connections with the divine, the need for redemption, the love of God, and so much more.

Whether there was a literal couple named Adam and Eve doesn’t matter. Whether the global flood really covered the Earth, or flooded a mere nation or valley, or never happened at all, also doesn’t matter. What matters is that God has shown Himself to humanity for millennia, most notably through his son, whose message and legacy endures, against all odds, even to this day.




Deacon Blue is the blogging persona of editor and writer Jeffrey Bouley. The opinions of Jeff himself on this blog, and those expressed as Deacon Blue, in NO WAY should be construed as the opinions of anyone with whom he has worked, currently works, or will work with in the future. They are personal opinions and views, and are sometimes, frankly, expressed in more outrageous terms than I truly feel most days.

Jeff Bouley

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