The Saddest Funny Story

Sad Emoji

We recently had to attend a funeral service for one of the wife’s sisters. That was only the beginning of the sadness. A nephew of the wife’s sat down opposite us, and related his sad tale.

For about five years, he’s been fighting a neuropathy, a neurological syndrome which has been causing increasing pain in his extremities. First his hands, then his feet, became agonizingly sore. He was up to gobbling eight Oxycodone tablets a day, just to keep the pain level down to a 2.

He married a New Order Mennonite girl who increasingly involved him and the kids in their church. There had been a two-day weekend Salvation Convention. The church brought in speakers to lecture on different sins, and what to do to get rid of them.

After one seminar session, the moderator paired each attendee off with another church member who they were not particularly close to. They were to go to small tables, where each one would confess his/her sins to the other, who would then pray for them and forgive them. Then the process would reverse.

He said that he hunched over the table and told the other man about all his sins. The farmer devoutly prayed for him, and told him that he was forgiven. He said that he suddenly realized that he could no longer feel the continuous pain in his hands and feet. He called the pastor over and told him this, and the whole room had a Glory, Halleluiah, Praise-The-Lord, prayer session of thanks. God had cured him.

I manfully tried not to smirk, and wondered if his posture had kinked, or un-kinked, a spot on his spine, or if the power of suggestion had caused a psychosomatic (perhaps temporary) cure. He might even provide the possibility of a God-answered-prayer miracle. I was all ears!

He continued his tale. He can now not feel anything with his hands. His legs are numb from the knees down. When he had to call an ambulance for his wife’s apparent heart attack, he stood outside for ten minutes, in a foot of February snow in his bare feet. This condition is dangerous, especially for him, because he works in HVAC. This is like leprosy, or diabetes. If he cuts or burns himself and doesn’t notice it, he may have to have an amputation, if infection sets in.

This is the normal, worsening progression of the disease. GOD didn’t cure him, but he believes that happened. I just sat there in stunned disbelief, thinking that it was his belief that was stunned.
What’s the problem with a comfortable delusion?
There are none so blind as those who will not see.

Is Atheism A Bad Idea?

Atheism

He was an Atheist for 40 years, then one day, he became Catholic. (Or so he claims. I suspect a troll.) Not A Catholic – merely Catholic. He and I had some words. They grew too numerous for a comments column…. so here we are again.

And how miserable does atheism make you? Choosing it is a bit like choosing to be fatherless in the world. Left to your own devices.

For someone claiming to be Atheist for forty years, his assumptions and questions are bewildering. He seems to imply that morality must be applied from outside. A moral framework must be accepted internally, even if it is supplied from the outside. I know “Good Catholics” who believe in divorce and remarriage, gay marriage, and priests being married – all ‘sins’ to the church. Atheism does not make people miserable. It frees them to enjoy the natural beauty of the world and the Universe, revel in the companionship of friends and family, and be proud of how much better they’ve made and left it all.

He seems to feel that he needs some kind of social and moral crutch. Most Atheists want to be left to their own devices. They have the strength of will and character to deal with life and reality on their own. Is he too stupid or lazy to formulate and apply his own moral code??

True Atheists simply do not see convincing evidence of the existence of God, or gods. They do not “choose” to be Atheist. Anyone who claims they do, or that someone else did, is mistaken and often an intentional liar.

Do you have children? Do you have a set of values? How do you pass them on? Do you even want to pass them on or do you want to just let the thousands of ancestors of yours who struggled to survive only for you to say, “eff it, my line is OUT”? (He wants me to continue to be Christian – and fruitful – simply to please my dead predecessors??!)

I have a set of values – Do unto others, as you would have others do unto you. – which is neither original, nor exclusive, to the Bible. Do the greatest good for the greatest number. I passed them on to my children, and now to our grandson – who received a small award in college for his assistance to others. I not only told them to aid and be kind to others. I showed them how, by doing it myself. From empirical observation, our practiced moral values are better than many ‘Good Christians.’

I certainly feel my/our moral values should be passed on. Some of my ancestors were deeply religious. Others were completely not, but I’m sure that all of them would agree and be proud of me and the good I do.

I hear you and agree with most of what you say, however, I don’t condemn all of Christianity because some people abuse it or make it look bad. But let me ask you this question, beyond those phrases like “do unto others” how do you guide someone to resolve complicated moral issues? Do you ever talk with your children about morals? Is that enough to lead a person through every moral quagmire he or she might face? Not in my view.

He doesn’t say why he feels that’s not enough. Perhaps I’m simplistic, but I do. Adultery is wrong – not necessarily a sin – but wrong. Her husband may beat her, or ignore her. That makes it more complicated, but that’s social, not moral. It’s still wrong. You wouldn’t want to be her husband, nor her to be your wife. You’re not doing unto others, nor the greatest good for the greatest number.

I grew up in an atheist household, and we had some discussion of morals but it was very infrequent. Until atheism offers me the discipline of continually working to be a good person, I decided I’m done with it. And given that atheists or secularists tend to not marry or have kids at nearly the rates of religious people, how do you expect your values to live on beyond a generation or two?

I don’t view life – or religion – as a contest to be won. I hope to influence my descendants, and society in general, by my example. I would not dare to attempt to impose my code on others. People who do that are called ISIS. I believe my opinion to be the best, but if it dies out after I do, that’s not my problem.

Unlike Religion, Atheism has no real structure. There is no Pope, no hierarchy, no Bible, no tenets, no dogma, no sin, and no handy rule-book with a ready-made list of acceptable actions. People have to work that out on their own. He makes no mention of belief in God, Jesus Christ, salvation, Heaven, or everlasting life. He just wants someone to hold his moral hand and lead him down the Holy Garden path. It’s like someone wanting to save the Earth from Global Warming, but buying a Hummer because it has cool wheels.

Hummer

Jim says

“The reason you returned to religion is self interest. That’s how it always is. Just because you failed to find a meaningful life outside of faith, you have joined the herd to find solace. I, and many like me, find complete satisfaction finding our own way in the world. You on the other hand, profess belief in something you don’t believe, to have community. That is hypocrisy and lacks integrity.

There is no meaning but what you make it. Searching for it inside of prearranged dogma is cheating yourself of possibilities. Spirituality comes in billions of options that are quite fulfilling outside the plug-and-play religions. It’s even true inside religion. Everyone just picks the parts they want to believe anyway. Your mind has now been hijacked by the herd.”

 

Bible Man Speak With Forked Tongue

Bible

Once again, I have found Christian Apologetics, the new Defenders of the Faith, doing exactly what they accuse Atheists, Agnostics, and other doubters of doing.  In the past year, I’ve seen at least three Christian blogs critical of a list of Atheist statements.  While each is composed slightly differently, the list of Atheist sins in each, is cut and paste identical.

It is undeniable that they often put forth nearly identical catch-phrases and responses. I mean, just ask yourself how often you heard these Atheist talking points:

  • There is no evidence for God;
  • God is not great;
  • Religion poisons everything;
  • Faith means believing something without evidence;
  • Atheism is just a lack of belief;
  • If you don’t believe in evolution, you’re a fool;
  • If everything has a cause, then what caused God;
  • That’s just a God of the Gaps argument;
  • Well, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence;
  • Religion is just wish-fulfillment;
  • Jesus is a zombie;
  • Metaphysics is bunk, I believe in what works;
  • I want evidence, not arguments;
  • God is just a delusion;
  • Religion is a mind virus;
  • Why doesn’t God heal amputees; and, finally
  • God is evil or a dictator or a maniac.

And these are just some of the catch-phrases that are routinely put forward by Atheists.

It wasn’t until I happened upon this soap opera evil twin triplet, that I realized I had a theme to rant about.  All three of them, and lots of others I’ve read, just complain about not wanting to encounter the routine list of Atheist denials of their unproven claims.

Amusingly, what they all seem to hope for, and invite, are newer, different, more creative and inventive, but easier to dismiss, arguments.  Like what??!  I don’t want to believe in God because he might be Scottish, wearing a kilt, and I don’t want to look up his skirt.  There’s enough big pricks down here on Earth.

I also noticed that, aside from whining about not wanting to be constantly faced with this list of reasons not to believe their claims, none of them actually did anything to refute any of it.  ‘Go ahead, prove the list wrong.  Offer proof of rebuttal for a couple of these claims – not Faith, or Belief – actual, provable facts.’  While a couple of the Atheist points are a bit aggressive, or colloquial, they all appear valid.  Religion poisons everything??  “I’ll gladly book you a trip to ISIS territory.  Take it up with them.”  If they want better rebuttals, they’re going to have to provide better claims, which are based more on evidence, rather than just their faith-based opinions.

Those who are firm in their faith seem willing to nod sagely and ignore all Atheist arguments.  It seems though, that the more unsure and insecure these Apologetics are, the louder and more frantic their wails are.

On that great Cosmic Scorecard in the sky, which they’re sure that Someone is keeping, having even the slightest doubt will get them sent to Hell.  Atheists’ arguments cause doubt, so they just want them to shut up.  What they’re doing is, trying to make it my job to ensure that they go to Heaven.  I’m too busy sinning and having no morals (according to them) to get around to that.  To Hell with them!  😉

Donkey Hotey

Don Quixote

I read a post by Don Quixote recently. Well….not the real Don Quixote, because the real Don Quixote isn’t really real.  This one was a linguistic and social-engineering donkey.

He had a real hate on for the word, ‘retard.’ He posted the following definitions,
verb (used with object)
to make slow; delay the development or progress of (an action, process, etc.); hinder or impede.
verb (used without object)
to be delayed.
and still managed to call it an adverb.  This one is pronounced ri-tahrd.

The version he actually had a problem with, was
Noun
Slang: Disparaging and Offensive.
 a contemptuous term used to refer to a person who is cognitively impaired.
a person who is stupid, obtuse, or ineffective in some way: a hopeless social retard.  pronounced reetahrd.

He was obviously concerned that someone might get their little feelings hurt by being called a reetahrd. He didn’t advocate school programs, or public awareness drives.  Ignoring the valid noun and verb uses, he went straight to, he wanted to have the word ‘retard’ removed from the English language.

Shades of ‘1984.’ If there is no word, there can be no corresponding sin.  I’ve known people who were egotistical enough to want to get a word in the Dictionary.  This horse’s ass gets one arrogance point for thinking that he can take a word, any word, away from the 50% of the World’s population who speak English.  He also gets the, ‘Dumb As A Sack Of Hammers Award,’ for thinking that, somehow, the American Government has the authority to grant his wish.

He was quite upset that he couldn’t get 5000 people to sign up, so that he could officially petition Washington to outlaw the use of the word.  He’s not attacking windmills, but there’s definitely something tilted about this guy.  Maybe 5000 people know that it wouldn’t happen, even if he petitioned the Queen of England.  I can just hear her reply.  “We are not amused – you retard!”  😆

Queen

 

The Wages Of Sin

ten-commandments

I recently read a post from a young(ish) woman, titled, “I saved myself for marriage, and now I can’t have sex with my husband.” [Tough luck. Looks good on you. Oops – did I type that out loud?]

She had had a string of boyfriends since high school, but had informed each of them that she intended to remain a virgin until she was married. Perhaps that explains the ‘string of boyfriends.’  She was 26, and her husband was 27.  Maybe one or both were beginning to get a bit desperate.

She had been raised in an ultra-conservative, Fundamentalist-Christian home, and had it pounded into her, and pounded into her….and POUNDED into her, that premarital sex was evil, dirty, sinful! She suffered from vaginismus, a painful spasming of the vaginal walls which made it virtually impossible to engage in intercourse.  I find it ‘interesting’ that they did not find this out until they returned from their honeymoon in The Bahamas.

Possibly it was only the diagnosis and name of the affliction that they found out. While not ‘common,’ this problem is well-known in psychiatric circles.  It occurs in many other hyper-Christian families.  The girls are told over and over and over that sex (and by extension, them, if they perform it) is bad, bad, bad.

Nothing is said about the acceptability – inevitability – necessity – of marital relations. When these women try to have sanctioned sex, they are still overwhelmed by the cognitive dissonance.  No-one ever tells them about the good side.  No-one ever tells them about anything except the evil.

She now goes for daily(?) physiotherapy, and weekly psychotherapy. Wouldn’t it be cheaper to just hire a hooker to come over a couple of times a week?

When I was young, and learning about sex, my Father obtained a couple of comedy albums by a bawdy Jewish woman who worked in Nevada and Catskills clubs. She said, if you liked her act, her name was Rusty Warren.  If you didn’t, it was Lois Lipchitz.

Come early – get a good seat. She would pick a woman down front wearing a vee-neck sweater, and ask her if the V stood for virgin.  “Hmm, must be an old sweater.”  She told a story that she claimed happened to her.

Every day, as she left for school, her mother sang the same cautionary song.  “Don’t take gum!  Don’t take candy!  Don’t talk to strange men!  Don’t ride in strange cars. Keep your legs crossed, your panties up, and come home from school in a group!  And whatever you do, DON’T DO IT!”

Grade 1, Grade 2, Grade 3….especially when she went to high school, the admonition was always the same. “Don’t take gum!  Don’t take candy!  Don’t talk to strange men!  Don’t ride in strange cars!  Keep your legs crossed, your panties up, and come home from school in a group.  And remember….DON’T DO IT! Don’t do it!

She finally got a boyfriend, who became her fiancé. On the day of her wedding, her mother was with her at the Synagogue.  As the happy couple ran down the steps to their car, her Mother yelled, “It’s OK!  You’re married!  Now you can do it!”

She stuck her head out the window of the car, with a confused look on her face and said, “Do what??!  You never told me!”

These ‘Good Christians’ tell the rest of us that the wages of sin is death, but the wages of this self-righteous hypocrisy is….truly Karmic.   😯

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.   😉

Buffalo Roast

Bison

I’m still in negotiations with Upper Management about final details. If I can get my contract extended, one week from today, on Monday, September 21, 2015, I plan to turn 71, and self-host my own birthday roast.

This will be your chance to prove to Archon how much you love him by laying down some good comic insults, and (hopefully) racy comments.

dinosaur

Archon is descended from a long line his mother once listened to.
I’m surprised that Archon hasn’t turned into coal, like the rest of his childhood friends.
(Infrequent) Sex for Archon must involve ‘petrified wood.’
Archon was born so long ago, that his SIN (Social Insurance Number) is 2. (Actually II, but Canada went metric)
The only guy in Canada older than Archon, is Santa.
Archon used to party till it hurt. Now it hurts him to party.
Fifty Shades of Grey refers to his hair. (And have you seen that beard?)

If my memory is still working, the post will appear about 2:00 AM, the same time of day I was born back in 1944, though on a Thursday that year.

I’ll try to keep my naps to a minimum, so that responses to comments will be more or less in real time. If I do doze off, feel free to talk about me among yourselves.

Remember; mark next Monday on your calendar with a big X. (Or a Q, or….whatever. “My baby, she wrote me a letter.”) Ball up a big one, a sharp one, a cute one, and be ready to let fly next Monday. There will be prizes for the best single and team insults. (Doesn’t matter, both prizes will be leftover lasgna, and you have to come to the house to pick it up.)

I look forward to waking up, without my photo in the obits seeing you here. 😀

Archon SDC10926