You Better, You Better, You Bet

coke-vs-pepsi

O Great God CONFORMITY, give us the power to make everyone else, just like us!

conformity

Yea, verily, in the beginning was the EGO. And the EGO begat an Opinion.  And the Opinion fed upon the EGO, and the EGO raised up the Opinion, until it was greater than Creation itself.

fixing-others

This was going to be a light, fluffy piece about the cola wars and pizza, until I realized how serious and ongoing this idea actually is.

The very history of the human race is a history of those with any kind of power, forcing the rest to agree with their often-incorrect opinions.

It was already old 4000 years ago, when Moses climbed a mountain. When he finally came back down with the Ten Commandments, the first thing he and his cadre of cronies did, was disobey Commandment number four – Thou Shalt Not Kill – and executed 3000 Israelites without a chance to recant, for holding an opinion that wasn’t even officially prohibited before Moses left.

The Inquisition was 500 years of torture and murder of anyone who dared stray from a very narrow religious path. The Crusades were a series of long distance religious disputes.  The Thirty Years War was not fought for riches or territory, but for the right to impose opposing Christian dogma on individuals, cities and nations.

Towns near the ever-changing line of combat could have their religious allegiances forcibly changed from Catholic, to Protestant, and back to Catholic, half a dozen times in a year. One town was known to have a number of….weirdos – vegetarians, artists, free-thinkers, Gnostics – heretics of the worst sort.  When Tilley and his forces arrived, he gave the order, “Kill them all!  Let God sort them out.”

Every man, woman and child; every dog, cat, pig and chicken was slaughtered. The town was burned and pulled down, razed to the ground till no stone stood upon another.  Thousands of innocents were slaughtered, just to ensure the elimination of a few who held contrary opinions.

Too often I’ve heard the Coke is better than Pepsi claim, or listened to gearheads argue whether Ford or Chevy is better.  When I researched for my P Is For Pizza post I was amazed at the vehemence of opinions.  Theirs was right, and everybody else was wrong.  Thick crust!  No, thin crust!  New York style!  New York sucks, Chicago style rules!

This might be understandable, if all people, and all colas, were the same, and some folks were willfully disagreeing, just to be disagreeable. To some people’s taste buds (mine included), Pepsi is refreshing, and Coke is too sweet.  It makes no sense to hold forth on whether Doc Martins are better shoes than UGGS, to a person in a wheelchair.

Other than my (often) aforementioned ‘Ego And Insecurity’, I don’t understand the driving need of so many people to foist their opinions upon others. ‘Live and Let Live’, or the Biblical, ‘Do Unto Others as You Would Have Done Unto You’ doesn’t seem to enter into the equation.

I know that none of my gentle readers would force their beliefs on others, but I’ll bet that you have seen, and been peeved by, all too many who have.  Anybody want to cite specific examples??

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Rylah Reblog

Extra Extra

This is not precisely a ‘reblog.’ I have decided to republish a Second Opinion newspaper column, submitted about 15 years ago, by my daughter, who now presents her opinions on her own Ryl’s Rostrum website.

Lady Ryl of Kitchener is a single mother learning about New and Old Age spiritual practices.

New Age religions also teach love and honor!

I found it disconcerting that, in her Second Opinion, Erika Kubassek could be so biased in her opinion concerning the New Age movement.

I am an apprentice of the Old Ways, and see more good in them than she would have people believe.

I know people who follow the new Earth-based beliefs and ideals, and see nothing destructive about their way of life. I have friends who are pagan in their belief, yet have raised their children to be kind and loving.  In fact, they have been a model to change abusive parenting habits, which my maternal relatives’ Christian family passed on, as “the way children should be raised.”

By whose standard does Kubassek feel that New Age ideas are counterfeit? Could it be that my maternal relatives’ negative and abusive past should be the ways to build my family’s future, just because they were “Good Christians?”

She says that the New Age quest is to replace Christianity, and asks what spirits we are replacing it with. We are not replacing Christianity, but are endeavoring to find our own self or ‘spirit’, not some preformed and unbending mould that we must fit into.

For those who follow a different path, conceivably it is because we have failed to find fulfilment in sturdy Christian values.

I accept that some will twist this to their own advantage, but haven’t some “Good Christians” taken over lives in the name of God? Paganism is not the slaughter of life to evil gods, nor the mass suicide of some cults.  For the people of the Heaven’s Gate, and Solar Temple cults, taking their own lives was a choice made of their own beliefs, sadly, taking their children along with them.

If Kubassek wishes to lay blame on New Age, and state that we are diametrically opposed, then perhaps she would like to meet a woman who would have given up on life, if it were not for the love of life that her ‘pagan’ enlightenment gave her.

We also teach to love and honor others, ourselves, and all life. All we seek is to find self-realization and fulfilment, and allow other people their own choice, without judgement or harassment.  The Romans, Greeks, Canaanites, Anglo-Saxons, Celts, Gaels, French, German, Dutch, Swedes, Finns, Native-Americans, Africans, Mexican, Japanese, and other nations in the world that originally started out with life-oriented ‘pagan’ beliefs, also gave birth to the ‘new’ religions.

The pagan creed has only one rule, but it is important. “Do what you will, only harm no-one!”  Perhaps Kubassek might be a little more ‘Christian’, and “Do unto others as she would have them do unto her.”  Now, doesn’t that sound familiar?

Five Long Years

calendar

That’s what Colin James says my blog has been.

FIVE LONG YEARS
(click above, to hear him say so)

Five years ago, to the day, on November 21, 2011, I first dived into the blog-pool. I had no idea what I was going to say, or how often I would say it.  I finally calmed down enough to casually mention when I reached post number 600.  This one is number 687, reaching toward number 700.  I’ve accumulated 878 followers, (Now I’ve got 879.  Do I hear 880?)(Okay!  I’ve got 880!  Anybody want to go for 900?)  and had 9400 visits, for 32,000 views.

For me, everything is still the same, and yet, everything is different. Society is different.  Politics is different.  The Internet is different.  My writing and posting are different.  Some of that is good.  Some of that, at best, is questionable.

While some of my favored blog-sites from five years ago have shut down, or atrophied, many newer ones continue to entertain, amuse and educate me. I continue to do my best to do the same in return.

The traditional gift for a five-year anniversary is wood. I already have a solid block-head, and I possess several wooden nickels, and even a wooden quarter, so I guess all that’s left for you lovely readers to do, is to commend me for not dying, and not shutting up.  Many thanx to all who visit, like and comment.   😀

Flash Fiction #116

pigeonhole

PHOTO PROMPT © Claire Fuller

JUDGEMENT DAY

In a way, it must be comforting to have everything ‘figured out’, and have labels for everyone and everything. If only people would keep their mouth shut about them.  People like his dim-witted, red-neck, Bible-thumping, narrow-minded, KKK-supporting, Trump-voting boss. He spewed opinions about everybody.

Negroes (not his term) were stupid, lazy, jungle-bunnies. Chicanos were job-stealing taco benders.  Jews were Christ-killing con artists.  And those homosexual sinners???  Well, he knew which guys walking down the street were gay, just by the way they moved.

It must feel good to put everyone in a pigeonhole, even if they weren’t the right ones.

***

Go to Rochelle’s Addicted to Purple site and use her Wednesday photo as a prompt to write a complete 100 word story

 

Forest, Meet Trees

Bible

What a damned bunch of hypocrites!

Whenever I read an article which describes a conflict between a branch of religion and the public at large, I’m often struck by the hypocrisy shown. It is difficult to know whether it’s honest, gullible, naïve, ‘have faith and believe what I tell you’, or the more serious, intentional lie to save face and retain control.

Some Bishops have sharply criticized proposed guidelines to help transgender students in schools. The Education Minister says he had a ‘frank conversation’ with Calgary Bishop Fred Henry.  Henry has called the Province ‘totalitarian’, pursuing what he calls ‘narrow-minded, anti-Catholic ideology’.

Imagine the nerve of the Province, telling the Church that they can hate the sin, but have to help the sinner. The very thought of the Catholic Church accusing any other organization of being totalitarian and narrow-minded just has me on the floor.
Kettle….->….Pot!  Pot….->….Kettle!  That one’s gotta show up in the highlight reel on the Comedy Channel.

PAST PERFORMANCE IS NO GUARANTEE OF FUTURE RESULTS

But I’d be willing to bet that, if the government declared abortion illegal, banned the sale of contraceptives, and rescinded the law allowing divorces, the good Bishop would not find that totalitarian and narrow-minded .

***

A letter to the Editor, defending a controversial columnist’s right to an unpopular opinion, recalled the writer’s first-ever letter of complaint about her.

I was so mad I swore I would never read The Record again. The article concerned a young man handing out Christian literature at a local high school.
She thought it was wrong; I thought it was right….
By the way, after 25 years, I still think the kid was doing the right thing at the school.

And I’m also pretty sure that if it had been Jewish tracts, or Muslim literature, or Atheist promotion being handed out, he wouldn’t have thought the kid was doing the right thing at the school.

Oh, those poor beleaguered Catholics/Christians. (Insert sarcasm here.)  Non-Catholics and non-Christians object to being treated poorly.  If our children only get one side of a story, it is not education – we could call that propaganda – or being bullied into one way of thinking. Protestants protested, and separated from the Catholic Church so that they had freedom of thought and worship.  They have no plans to give that up.   😈

Flash Fiction #108

Wasp

PHOTO PROMPT © Janet Webb

FACETS

We missed Mavis and her family when they moved away. When Cindy and her hubby moved in, we were quick to invite her to be part of our little Koffee-klatch – too quick.

We were not elegant ladies, just a group of suburban mothers, worn smooth and well mannered, in our own company.

Not so Cindy! She drank hard, cursed like a trucker, smoked like it was mandatory and complained we wouldn’t let her, in our homes.  She slurred every race except her white one, and constantly spouted opinions which only proved her ignorance.

We hope her nasty sting soon leaves.

***

Go to Rochelle’s Addicted to Purple site and use her Wednesday photo as a prompt to write a complete 100 word story.

FEELINGS

Scotty

The young stay-at-home mother looked out through the front window – and was devastated. There, in the middle of the street was the dead body of the family’s adorable, much-loved (and very expensive) Scottish Terrier.  Somehow he had got out, and some unfeeling fiend had hit and run over him, and hadn’t even had the good manners to stop and report the accident.

Bad enough how bereft she felt, but her young daughter would be inconsolable. Thinking of her loss, and how she would have to explain the trauma to her child, she burst into tears.

“What’s wrong Mommy?  Whyya cryin’?”  Standing there at the window sobbing, she was suddenly aware of her daughter, who had come up from the basement playroom – followed by their Scotty.  She looked back into the street – just in time to see a crumpled black garbage bag blow on down the road.

QUESTION – Is she entitled to her feelings??

Some years ago, the wife was rebuking me for a statement I hadn’t made, about an opinion I didn’t hold. She was telling me how insulted and unsupported she felt.  Since I hadn’t said what she’d accused me of, I told her that she shouldn’t feel that way.

I suddenly found that husbands, like small children, should be seen and not heard. Now I had sinned twice.  Not only did she think I’d ‘said something’, but now I was robbing her of something that was hers, something that she’d worked for, and owned, and deserved.  “How dare you tell me not to feel like that!  Don’t I have the right to my feelings?”

QUESTION – (based on my presumed innocence) Does she have a right to her feelings?

I was discussing this and related situations with a co-worker one day. He was of Turkish descent, from Cyprus.  I brought up the fact that, if a businessman meets with an Arabic official, and sits down and crosses his left leg over his right, so that his left foot points at the Arab, it is considered an insult.

I asked, “If the American doesn’t even know of the cultural beliefs, and intends no insult, then how can it be taken as an insult?”

“Oh no”, he says, “that is an insult!”  No knowledge – no intent –HOW??!!

QUESTION – Does the Turkey (and the Emir) have the right to his feelings?

A young, New-Age Mennonite co-worker went on and on about how gay people chose to be gay, and sin.  Finally tired of this attitude, one day I asked him just how he thought that homosexuals chose to be so.

He launched into a story about, “You know when you’re 12 or 13, and you first start noticing boys and girls, and you decide who you’re most attracted to? They decide to be gay”  12 or 13??!  He must have led a sheltered life out there on the farm.  I knew I was hetero by 4, when the little girl up the street taught me to play Doctor and Nurse.  Perhaps he just stopped noticing sheep.

I objected to his use of the word ‘decide’, and suggested he replace it with ‘realize.’  “It sounds to me as if they go through exactly the same development and situation as you did, only, instead of finding that they like the opposite sex, they find that they like the same sex.”

“Oh no,” he says! “I’m normal!  They choose to sin and be gay.”

QUESTION – Does this narrow-minded little twerp and his pastor have the right to their feelings about fags?

Do the Westboro Baptists have the right to their feelings when they interrupt funerals?? Do ISIS and al Qaeda have the right to their feelings about women, gays, Christians, and Democracy?  Big or small, it’s all the same.

I would never deprive anyone of the right to express valid emotions, but they have to be BASED ON REALITY. Are any of you incensed at that statement?  Tough luck – get over it.  You shouldn’t feel that way.   😉