The Same Sad Story

confession-box

The recent scandal of the Catholic hierarchy covering up sexual allegations against priests, and moving them from post to post, only shows that the problem is neither new, nor restricted to the Catholic Church.

The first time I heard about a serial child molester was about 1960.  The United Church of Canada had defrocked a minister named Russell D. Horsburg, after he had been convicted in Windsor, Ontario.  He was an equal opportunity pedo, willing to debauch both boys and girls.

One of the wife’s older sisters had left the Catholic Church, to wed a New Order Mennonite boy.  As a compromise, they attended and were married in a local United Church.  Always paranoid and defensive about leaving the Catholic Church, and anxious to justify her actions, she is the only person I personally know, who put her marriage certificate in a silver frame, and hung it on her living room wall for all to see.

After we got married in 1967, and had a child, we sometimes visited.  One evening, after a washroom trip, I stopped to examine the certificate.  Sure enough, it was signed by Reverend Russell D. Horsburg.  Hmmm, so he practiced his craft here, before the United Church slyly shipped him 300 miles down the highway, to an unsuspecting parish.

She suspiciously wanted to know what I was looking at.  I told her that her officiating minister was later jailed for pedophilia.

WELL, THAT DOESN’T MEAN THAT WE’RE NOT REALLY MARRIED!

No, but you’re probably lucky that he wasn’t still here in Kitchener, as your kids grew up.

Okay, I’ve described the problem.  Now it’s up to somebody (or somebodies) else to come up with a solution to it.  😳

Abuse

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’18 A To Z Challenge – Neighbors

 

Challenge '18letter-n

 

 

 

 

 

Neighborhood

I accidentally did another favor for my neighbors – and I don’t regret or begrudge it.

I wrote of being able to do several favors for them, several years ago.  Those favors have been returned like bread upon the waters, 7-fold.  The ‘rot-proof’, pressure-treated posts that support our common fence are over 30 years old, and they rotted.

As I sadly stood considering the tilting fence, morosely calculating what it was going to cost in money, energy, time, and lost skin, the neighbor asked me if I would mind if he repaired it.  His son runs a small landscaping firm, so he had access to a powered post-hole auger.  His first thought was that he could bore out the concrete bases….FAIL!

Digging them out by hand was difficult and time-consuming.  Suddenly, inspiration struck.  He cut 2 feet off a 10-foot panel, moved the necessary holes two feet, and spliced the orphan back in at the end.  All he asked, was $100 for lumber and supplies.  The wife tipped him an extra $20 for saving me the trouble.

Recently, his first-marriage daughter stayed with them for several days.  They are both non-smokers, so she sits on the front porch to puff.  One spring evening, in the dark of 9:30 PM, I left the living room to use the powder-room, next to the front door.  The pebbled glass in the lower pane made car lights on their driveway seem like they’re on our front lawn.  I stood tippy-toe to look out, but it wasn’t their car.  I turned on the light, and peered out again.  The car quickly backed out, and drove off.

I hadn’t got my ass back on the couch, when the phone rang.  They were at a friend’s, and the daughter had called.  While she was sitting, smoking, some guy had just pulled into the driveway and said, “Wanna come over here, Babe?”  She’s a sturdy lass of 25, and could probably handle any problem, but she stepped inside, locked the door, and called them.  Would I please take a look and see if there was any trouble?

I told her that my neighborly nosiness had already driven him off.  She was reassured on an immediate basis, but now she, his daughter and I, were all somewhat perplexed.  Was this just some random guy, approaching random women?  In the dark, neither of us got a good look at the driver, the car, or the licence plate.  In our quiet, safe suburban subdivision, do we have a hooker, or a drug dealer working?

The wobbly wife wants a new rail installed on the deck steps.  The old ones are leaning as badly as the fence was, and she needs safe support, when she follows the new puppies that you’ll read all about in a month, out onto the lawn.  Maybe I can leverage this into some design/installation help from the amateur carpenter husband.  😀

Incommunicado

 

Bible Dictionary

 

 

 

 

 

Is there something about religion, especially Christianity here in North America, which warps reality, halts comprehension and communication, defeats logic, and fans the flames of paranoia? There’s definitely something which fertilizes the feeling of entitlement, and encourages complaints about the expression of any unwelcome facts or opinions.

After my Dazed And Confused Op-Ed post, letters kept trickling in from Christians, dismayed and defiant, about things that were not said, and claims that were not made.

I was away on vacation, so I’m not familiar with what led up to the last letter about prayer. But two thoughts come to me in reading it, the first is that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

The second thought I have is that Christianity and its beliefs seem to be fair game these days for skeptics and pundits alike. We would not tolerate a public discussion of another religion’s deity or its practices in the glib and derisive way the writer does. Irreverently speaking or writing about God amounts to blasphemy, and I for one am offended by it.

So, you don’t know what’s going on, but you’d like to add your 2 cents worth anyway. I don’t see how you relate ‘A little knowledge is a dangerous thing’ to the previous letter, but you prove that it applies to your own.

Christianity is not the only religion these days which is fair game for skeptics and pundits, but it’s the one closest to (your) home. When you publicly broadcast your blind faith and belief without any proof, you create skeptics in job lots.

There’s no glib and derisive treatment of any other religion? Really??!  There’s even a word for it – Islamophobia.  Perhaps you’ve noticed some other ‘Good Christians’ doing it.

Speaking of ‘a little knowledge’ – a pundit is a learned person, not merely some street yob, spray painting anti-religious graffiti.  Scientific studies prove that most Atheists and Agnostics know more about Christianity than most Christians, often including priests/preachers.

Merely writing about what God (allegedly) does, or does not, do, is a statement of fact, not an irreverence. It is not blasphemy.  (See ‘little knowledge’, above)  Other people have faith and belief that your ‘God’ does not exist.  Respect their opinions.  I am offended that you worked so hard to be offended.

Pray? What For?s writer does not realize that those of us who pray do not need to justify it to him or anyone else, for that matter. Prayer is simply a relationship with or a conversation with God. He must know this, but for some reason seems to need to attack those of us who pray. And to attack people because of religion or because we pray for those affected by Irma is a new low. Perhaps this says more about him than it does about anyone else. He is free not to pray but those of us who do are doing just fine. Who is he trying to convince that prayer does not work, him or me? He should remember the saying that, “There are no Atheists in foxholes.” and it seems to me that someday he will realize this.

Despite your fevered, misplaced paranoia, the writer – Did not ask or expect anyone to justify their praying. – Did not attack anyone, especially for praying, or for their religion, or praying for the victims of Hurricane Irma. – Did not suggest that anyone must stop praying – though I doubt that he’ll join you.  You even admit that it’s “simply a conversation with God,” not actually productive.  What he did, was point out that, after all your self-congratulatory, self-satisfied praying – the Southern U.S. is still a mess.

Much of it is still flooded. Hundreds are dead.  Hundreds of thousands are without homes, food, water, and clothing.  Billions of dollars of property damage has been inflicted.  A National Day of Prayer has been held, and your God is throwing another hurricane toward Florida.  Aside from making yourself feel good – YOUR PRAYER CHANGED NOTHING!

Even if, somehow, some Southern victims were aware of your prayers, they might still give you the evil eye and ask why you didn’t donate – money, food, clothing, your time and energy to drive or fly down and help clean up and rebuild. Organizations like Red Cross and FEMA are doing that – without all the useless, feel-good prayers.  (Your perhaps imaginary) God helps those who help themselves – and others.  Get off your prayer beads and actually do something – besides whining about how attacked you feel.

An Atheist in a foxhole might strongly wish that there were a God, a Heaven, and a life after death. If wishes were horses, then beggars might ride.  Faith is when hope replaces reason.

The Vax Fax….uh, Facts

Hypo

A local high school teacher recently scared the Hell out of a couple of public nurses and some students. A science teacher, he should have known, and acted, better.  Apparently he’s an anti-vaccination conspiracy theory believer.  He abandoned his class and classroom three times, to go to the gymnasium, where booster shots were being given.

He banged on the nurses’ work table. He leaned in on his knuckles, nose to nose with them, and demanded that they provide proof that vaccinations were safe.  He paced around, yelling that the students had the right to know that the vaccinations could kill them.  The students were frightened, not of the shots, but of his behavior.

His school board censured him, the police were called, and charged him, and he got his 15 minutes of infamy in the media. A few days later, this letter appeared.  My response follows it.

VACCINATION DEBATE

Re: Anti-vaccination teacher guilty

I find it rather ironic that this week, an Ontario teacher was found guilty of misconduct for pushing his views on vaccination, and my nephew died after 32 years, as a result of uncontrollable seizures, after being vaccinated as a child.

This teacher was trying to assure that his students were aware of all the side effects, including possible death, as the result of vaccines.

Too much of this information is buried from the public eye. I’m not against vaccines, I’m just an apprehensive observer who doesn’t have enough information to make a proper decision on my own.

Jim Kuntz

VACCINATION PARANOIA

I was disappointed to see Jim Kuntz’s letter of support (Vaccination debate, Mon. Feb. 27) for the anti-vax teacher.

He was chastised not for his views, but for his actions. There is a proper time, place, and method of protest. Interrupting medical procedures, and frightening nurses and students was very inappropriate.

Kuntz was disingenuous to mention his nephew’s death after long-term seizures, and the fact that he had been vaccinated, with no proof that one caused the other. Epilepsy usually first presents just as children receive their first shots.

He complained that much of needed information is not available to the public. If either of these gentlemen need info, they need only contact their personal doctor, the local Medical Association, the Provincial Medical Association, the Canadian Medical Association, The World Health Organization, or the C.D.C. (Centers for Disease Control).

They are all available online, and unanimous in their stance that the benefits of vaccination far outweigh the slim possibility of a bad reaction. Or they could just Google ‘Disproven Vaccination Theories.’

The Archon

The anti-vaxer conspiracy theorists would rather believe stripper/porn star Jenny McCarthy, and some guy who ‘bought’ fame by faking results, than thousands of doctors with millions of hours of training and experience. What do you believe on this subject? Anybody want to weigh in – pro, or con?   😕

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CENSORSHIP BUREAU

When my letter above was printed, the newspaper removed the word ‘disingenuous’ (too big for local Mennonites?), along with any hint that Kuntz had intentionally misled readers.

The final paragraph, with its support of the opinions of trained physicians, and the idea of using Google to dispel at least one conspiracy theory, simply disappeared. You don’t think someone at the paper is an anti-vaxer, do you??! 😉

 

Flash Fiction #121

diner

PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bultot

I HAVE SEEN THE LIGHT

“What are we doing here? If we were any further east, we’d have to trade the car for a rowboat.”

“I told you! To get a little piece of real American Patriotism.  Look at that menu.  They still offer Freedom Fries, and Freedom Toast.  I want to make America great again too, but I think we can do it without building walls, restricting immigration, or Trump’s paranoia.

Trump probably can’t even spell Woonsocket, RI, and thankfully, neither his GPS nor his handlers paraded him through here during his election tour. Order up, and we’ll go talk to some original Patriots.”

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

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Have a Happy/Merry/Drunken Whatever-you-wish-to-celebrate.  😎