Tag Archives: sin

All In the Head?

So, I’m having a bit of writer’s block on the novel, so I guess another day or two will pass before the next installment(s), though I think I’ll be picking up steam on that project again soon. In the meantime, I’ll go and get spiritual instead today, since Miz Pink seems to have dropped off the radar again temporarily (I blame the dang kid that insists on being changed and breastfed regularly…two activities that I’m sure make typing pretty near impossible).

So, what I want to talk about is the whole idea of sinful thoughts being as bad as sinful actions. A popular belief among many conservative, Bible-belting-you-over-the-head types.

A belief which, I have to say, is a total load of horsecrap.

Jesus talks about this notion a bit, supposedly, as chronicled in the Gospel of Matthew, and here’s one snippet:

Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh o­n a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. (Matthew chapter 5, verses 27 & 28)

Now, by way of an aside, there’s an interesting discussion about what adultery really means, right here, but you can look at that later. It doesn’t have any bearing on my arguments here. Also, before I start making my arguments, I’ll remind those of you who are still confusing me with a theologian that I’m neither a linguist nor biblical scholar, so take my ravings here with an appropriate dosage of salt.

I don’t think that Jesus’ argument was really that thinking about sex outside of marriage, for example, or thinking about killing (which he mentions right before the adultery thing), for instance, are as sinful as actually doing the acts.

First, Jesus talks about the heart, not the mind. That is, we’re talking about true feelings. Intense motions. Intentions. Not mere passing thoughts. Fact is, as humans, it’s pretty much impossible to never look at someone with sexual desire. Flat out impossible. The issue is more this: Did you think about sinful activity with a real fervor and serious consideration about doing it?

If so, there is where your sin may lie.

But more to the point, perhaps, let’s look at the context in which Jesus is speaking. This was the ancient world. People didn’t typically live in cities, and cities of the time were still much smaller affairs than what we have today. Therefore, to look at, say, a woman with serious lust was a problem in part because this is a woman you have access to.

If I look lustfully upon a woman on the commuter train of a major city, chances are I won’t really have a chance to act on my desires. I don’t know where she works. I don’t know where she lives. The most pressing danger of “sinful” fantasies is that you might actually act out the sin. In the ancient world, looking at some dude’s wife with lust meant you might have a very real chance, regardless of which woman in town you chose, of knowing how to find her and giving yourself an opportunity.

So, the mere thinking of a thing isn’t sinful.

Because, let’s face it, if that were the case, good intentions would be enough to save us in the eyes of God. Because if thoughts are as good as actions, then wanting to do something good is just as powerful as actually taking action, right?

Of course not. We are supposed to take positive actions, not simply intend or wish them.

Finally, another nail in the coffin of the notion of sinful thoughts being as bad as sinful actions: Jesus thought sinful things.

Oh, don’t get ready to stone my ass, now. Satan tempted Jesus. Jesus led a sinless life, despite knowing the power and allure of sin. Jesus couldn’t possibly have gone his whole life without considering the possibility and implications and consequences of doing a sinful act. He had to be capable to considering the possibility of sin, or he couldn’t be tempted. He had to know what it felt like to desire things that were wrong, or he couldn’t have understood his human side. Plus, if he was incapable of even considering sin, then what was the big deal about his sinless life? If it was some cakewalk for him, then the whole exercise meant nothing.

Just because you think a thing doesn’t make it so.

Nor does it define your true intentions.

God Don’t Like Psycho

OK, I realize I’m late to the party on the murder of Dr. George Tiller, a controversial provider of late-term abortions, allegedly by 51-year-old fundamentalist Christian Scott Roeder.

Partly, I’m just distracted. But a smaller story out my way sparked me to write about this. You see, there is, in my neck of the wood…or, rather, was…a topless coffee shop. The owner was making plans to expand, and then suddenly an arsonist burned the place down. I know nothing about the arsonist. I don’t even know if they have a suspect in custody. But as my wife said, “I guess the crazy fundamental Christians are coming out of the woodwork.”

Perhaps they are. Let’s sample a couple quotes about the murder of Dr. Tiller…

Prayer and Action newsletter publisher and anti-abortion activist Dave Leach: “To call this a crime is too simplistic. There is Christian scripture that would support this.”

Founder of Operation Rescue Randall Terry: “(He) was a mass murderer and, horrifically, he reaped what he sowed.”

My late and much-missed grandmother-in-law often said, “God don’t like ugly.”

I’ll ammend that a bit: God don’t like psycho.

We do not get to choose to burn down someone’s business or kill someone because of the Bible. We just don’t. For one thing, it wasn’t the kind of thing that Jesus condoned. But also, we are told in the Bible to follow the laws of our lands. The laws of our land, here in the United States, says that an unborn child is not always considered a full life. But a grown-ass man is definitely alive, and killing him over ideology is murder, plain and simple.

I defy any fundie who supports or turns a blind eye to this murder to show me a single passage of scripture that defines an unborn child as a life and thus establishes that ending the existence of that fetus is murder. The first person that does will most likely pick a single passage, and I’ve seen it before, and I will likely rip your argument to shreds if you do.

Furthermore, without establishing that a fetus is a viable life in the Bible, all we have to go on is the law of the land, which says it is not. And frankly, even you can prove to me that the Bible protects a fetus’ life as much as a child outside the womb or an adult, that still doesn’t give you the right to flout the laws of your land and take vengeance. Vengeance belongs to God. It’s one thing to snap and kill someone because they hurt or killed someone close to you…people snap over such things…that’s not generally cold-blooded murder. Killing someone for something that doesn’t impact you directly is cold-blooded murder.

And finally, Dr. Tiller didn’t perform late-term abortions for mothers who just decided late in the game they didn’t want to be pregnant. Late-term abortions are almost always in the interest of preserving the mother’s life or in cases where the fetus is so unviable that it faces death upon entering the world anyway.

All around, this act was wrong. And no Christian should overtly or covertly support this murder of man. Much less murdering him in front of his family while in church. There’s nothing right with that picture.

Drive-by Scripture: James 5:16

Therefore, make it your habit to confess your sins to one another and to pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. (James chapter 5, verse 16, International Standard Version)

I sometimes wonder if this is where the Roman Catholic Church went so wrong with confession. We’re supposed to bring our sins straight to God, which is possible through Jesus’ life and death and resurrection. And yet the Vatican decided, “Hey, let’s make our people confess to a priest who will figure out the appropriate punishment before you can be considered forgiven.”


But I digress, as I so often do.

Confessing our sins to one another is to be honest about our failings. This is necessary to keep us honest and humble among our Christian brethren, and it is necessary to show those who aren’t Christian that while we may not be perfect, we also aren’t going to be hypocritically lying that we’re better people than they are.

A pity that so many Christians fail at that.

Admitting our failings and offenses is also important to keep healthy and honest communication going, with Christians or non-Chrisitians. It doesn’t mean giving a laundry list of every little sin or misstep but it does mean stepping up and saying, “I’ve been guilty of this kind of behavior.” Next step, of course, is to try to improve on that behavior.

As for the second part of James’ quote above, praying is important. We may not see the results of our prayers for ourselves or others in any immediate sense, but that doesn’t mean that nothing is happening. Most things in life aren’t a quick fix.

I Don’t Have a Problem

I see a common argument among people who dislike evangelism or dislike Christianity in general, and it goes like this: I don’t need to be saved. I don’t want to be saved. I’m insulted that you even think I need to be saved (even if you don’t say so). Stop trying to act like you have any clue how to save my ass that didn’t need saving to begin with.

OK, fair enough. But then again, I’ve never been the kind of person who gets into your face and says, “You need the saving blood of Christ.” Yes, that is what I believe, but I’m not into confrontational encounters where I try to browbeat a person into choosing Jesus.

And before anyone starts, this blog doesn’t count as being in your face. You don’t have to come here and you can leave here any time you like. I haven’t trapped you in a corner or pounced on you at the office trying to proselytize to you. This blog is here for me to muse about spiritual matters, to share my thoughts, to show people that Christians aren’t all from the same cookie cutter, to perhaps get people thinking about Christ, to expand my own thoughts, to entertain, to vent, and other such things.

I find it interesting that some folks here and there still seem to want to paint me as at least slightly judgmental because I believe in Hell. Believing in Hell doesn’t mean I feel warm and fuzzy about it or derive any kind of satisfaction out of anyone who does go there. It’s like saying I’m judgmental if I were to say that having prisons and courts is a necessary thing. Hell is the spiritual equivalent, like it or not. Or believe it or not. Don’t paint my opinions or my attitudes solely on a belief in Hell and judgment of souls. A slice of my beliefs doesn’t give you enough to go on about me. It would be like me judging a person’s intelligence based on the fact they like some empty headed pop music.

But, on to the point of today’s post, which was inspired by a post at another blog, Tit for Tat, titled  Are We So Bad We Need to Be Saved? It’s a short post, so I’ll just paste it below, but check in at Tit for Tat’s site using the link above anyway, because there will be comments to that post, most likely. Besides, you might find some interesting, edifying or entertaining stuff at other posts there. But here it is:

After several recent conversations, it got me thinking(again). Are we really such bad people that we need to be “Saved”. I mean ,like really, do the majority of us continually do crappy stuff to each other, everyday all day long? I like to think that my fellow Human has just as many Good moments as they do bad, and if that is the case then why do many Christians feel the need to see themselves as inherently bad? Im wondering fellow bloggers, do you see yourselves as inherently bad or good?

His general point is a good one to ponder. Are we really so bad? But I would submit that it isn’t so much about being good or evil. It’s easy to couch sin in terms of good vs. evil but that isn’t necessarily always the best way. It has its places and uses, but sin and salvation are a lot more complex than that, which is why I rely on metaphors and analogies a lot around here.

And yes, I’m about to do so again.

Let’s look at sin and damnation/salvation and sinning/being saved from a different angle. Not whether we seek to be good or embrace unfettered badness. Not whether we see ourselves on the side of light or darkness. Not whether we believe in God or not. Let’s consider the alcoholic instead, as a stand-in for the sinner.

Alcoholics comes in all sizes and shapes and types. Some get violent, some get silly, some get unconscious, others get all sorts of other ways. You have constant drinkers on one end of the spectrum and binge drinkers at the other. An alcoholic may drink to excessiveness, or may simply drink constantly at a very low level.

Alcoholism causes problems. It doesn’t have to be as dramatic as killing someone while driving drunk. It doesn’t have to be hitting a spouse or child while under the influence. It can be as simple as wasting family money on too much drink and hurting your household in that manner. It can be the fact that your little buzz every night when you come home from work to unwind is robbing you of opportunities to bond with your family. It could be the slow destruction of your liver. But the fact is that an alcoholic chooses to drink, despite doing so to his or her own detriment and sometimes also the detriment of others.

But what all alcoholics share is a problem. It is in part a sickness and in part a choice. And it can only be solved when the person admits that he or she has a problem.

Sin and damnation are very similar.

We all sin. Even born again folks are sinners. They are simply like alcoholics on the wagon. No alcoholic ever stops being one. In fact, in terms of sin, people are worse than alcoholics because even those who “take the cure” will in almost 100% of cases still sample sinful ways, whereas a committed alcoholic in recovery might never again touch a drop of liquor.

The problem of sin isn’t so much being evil. It’s a matter of whether we recognize we have a problem and seek the solution to that problem. That’s the crux of Christianity.

Sin is a departure from God’s plan and it causes us to separate ourselves from His grace. It is the admission that we are sinners that puts us on a road to getting back in connection with God.

Just like alcoholics, there are sinners aplenty who will maintain that they don’t have a problem. They don’t need help. They are mostly good. They can quit being separated from the divine any time they want. It’s not just atheists or agnostics who do this. It isn’t even people who believe in other religions. There are so-called Christians who do the same thing.

But they do have a problem, even if they don’t admit it. All of them. All of us. The reason the Gospel is there is to provide a mirror for those people to look at and, hopefully, see the problem, desire to solve the problem, and take the cure. That cure would be Jesus.

Just like an alcoholic being confronted with their problem and getting help. What is the reason they should seek recovery? Not because they are browbeat into doing so. Not because the law tells them to or else. Not for any other reason than this: They have chosen to do so, and want to do so.

Sweet Talk by Miz Pink

pinklips-sugaryHoneyed words can be powerful stuff you know. I certainly got a few guys in my younger years to do things or part with money they couldn’t afford to because I sweet talked them into it.

I’ve had my share of boyfriends over the years who I kept around lots longer than I should’ve just cuz they could sweet talk me back into their lives.

And with me and Sir Pink sometimes a lot of sweet talk can get either one of us out of dutch with the other in a hurry or get the other person to give up some goods they’ve been holding back on.

Mini Pink models 1 and 2 have sweet talked me into plenty of gifts and treats and out of punishments at times.

Yup. The right words can get you out of trouble as easy as they can get you into it.

But don’t try it on God or Jesus.

In the end we have to answer not just for whether we chose Christ but we have to be willing to answer for what we did. More important we are going to answer for our intent. Did we truly side with heaven and try to do the right thing or did we go to church and say all the pretty prayers and sing the pretty hymns and claim to be Jesus’s people?

We aren’t always gonna do the right thing. Some of us will rarely do the right thing.

But do you want to? Are you trying? Do you feel that you’ve let God and Jesus down when you don’t make the grade? Do you try to do better in the future? Those are the actions of a Christian.

When you cash out of this life, it’s too late to be trying to talk your way out of anything. Jesus said it nice and clear in Matthew’s gospel, chapter 7 and verses 21-23:

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

Lying Through Our Teeth

While this post is inspired by some of the shenanigans going on as the presidential campaign winds to a close, it isn’t really about politics or politicians. But it is about lying, and for some of you, politics and lying may actually be synonymous.

But I digress.

When I lie—and really, I’d much prefer not to, as it just feels wrong even if it wasn’t a 10 Commandments kind of sin—I try to do my best to rein it in. To make sure no one gets the shaft. Yes, I might lie to protect myself or someone I care about from a bad situation or an uncomfortable moment, but when I do so, I try to do just enough lying to protect, while not doing so much that the person I am lying to will be harmed, disadvantaged or betrayed in any significant way.

That doesn’t make my lying any more forgiveable, but I think it at least makes the practice more humane.

And yet, politicians, business leaders, shallow lovers, fair-weather friends and lots of other folks seem to lie with abandon, as if there are no consequences. We see it not only on the campaign trail as a politician smears another with lies (Liddy Dole calling her Christian opponent ‘godless’ leaps to mind) but from business leaders who lie about their company’s bottom line or environmental practices or whatever else.

People in important positions frequently lie, and the lies they tell are the kind that can ruin careers, destroy families, tank an entire national economy, and maybe worse than that.

And yet, where is the outrage? We let them tell us lies, and we don’t hold them accountable really. How many lying CEOs or company presidents go to prison for committing crimes that do far more damage than some penny-ante shiplifting or selling of weed or even gross assault sometimes.

Have we reached a point in this nation where we just don’t care anymore?

Are we so beyond being shocked that we just accept this now?

And if so, does that mean that telling the truth is the new sin of secular life?

And Now, a Word from Sister Mary

Good day, I am Sister Mary Malcontent, a member of the Merciless Order of the Riding Crop and headmistress at the Marquis de Sade Academy of Secondary Learning. As some of you may already know, I have had a hand (wielding a hickory switch at the time, as it happens) in helping Deacon Blue to draft some of his official discussions on matters sexual (see the Porn Again Threat Assessment and Whips and Chains and Gags…Oh My).

It has come to my attention, particularly as the porn again threat assessment system (patent pending) gains broader appeal, that there may not only be types of pornography that you are concerned about but, indeed, methods of sexual intercourse itself that you may worry blur the line between acceptable and forbidden. And, while I am quite…liberal…in my views on what is acceptable, it is certainly true that there must be social and sexual order, and my sisters and I are here to enforce that. Rigidly.

The good deacon is a bit…tied up at the moment…not that I had anything to do with arranging that…and I thought I might take time during his enforced absence to apply some of the ratings of the porn threat assessment table to some areas of sex that might cause you concern with regard to just how immoral they may be. So, without further ado…what the hell?

(Sound of a chain crashing to the floor and the squeak of door hinges.)

Halt, senator! On your knees, you craven dog. Now, now, johnny-boy…We are not finished with your session. That’s right, worm, slip that cuff back on your ankle and return to kissing the toes of your running mate. Get that smug grin off your lips, sarah-girl. I’ll be signing my name in red across your ass with my malacca cane in a few minutes.

Where was I?

Oh, yes, questionable sexual acts and their level of threat to society and to your possible standing as a human being. Well, such as you are, anyway. You’ll never be as fully realized in your humanity as I am, no matter how much I purify you with hot wax and floggings. Note that I will only be covering questionable areas. Pasttimes that involve children and animals are completely outside the realm of decency, as is permanent scarring or overt assault, unless those latter two are performed against certain of my rivals, whose names I can provide to you upon request.

Biblioerotica: I am hereby coining this term, and if you should hear anyone else use it, notify me so that I may extract royalty payments in the form of cash or physical pain. While I am highly educated and know that this term should probably apply to sexually charged writings and/or sex with books, I will instead use it to refer to “naughty librarian sex.” As my research thalls have noted that sexy librarian outfits are sold out at all the costume company web sites they visited—and given that the current Republican vice presidential nominee presently nuzzling my thigh has been said to cultivate the “naughty librarian” look—I suspect that many people between now and Halloween will be getting sweaty with thoughts of musty bookshelves on their minds. I shudder to think what kinds of stains will be found in the reference sections as a result of little sarah-girl. In any case, this is an annoying but harmless area, and I can rate it no worse than threat level Goldenrod.

Puppet Sex: I was alerted to this by certain of my clientele and student bodies who have attended the Broadway show Avenue Q. Aside from this show, I am aware of no other notable puppet sex activities outside of some parody-oriented YouTube videos on sock puppet sex. While no one that I know of is seriously considering any of this as porn or as a true sexual diversion, I know how perverted the public really is and I realize that is probably only a matter of time before people are leaving bodily fluids all over puppets in  pay-per-view, webcam or specialty fetish videos. You are a sick collection out there, and you all deserve a severe beating, from someone less important than me. While this isn’t truly an area of sexual endevaor yet, I am forced to give it a rating of Scarlet for infringing too closely to childhood-related areas. If you participate in “fuzzy sex,” which really is a fetish area and involves people dressing up in cartoon-character-style or cartoonish animal costumes and going at it like, well, cartoon bunnies, I must likewise classify you as Scarlet with possible Tan tendencies. Even I have respect for the children’s cartoon and children’s television community.

Cake Farting: Ever since the Deacon mentioned this activity in a post after seeing a post about it at Ephphatha, I have, frankly, been horrified—at the inane nature of such a fetish, the waste of perfectly good desserts and the idea that anyone would be capable of achieving erection while enshrouded by a cloud of flatulence (or even imaging in in their mind). This activity does no harm to society but because I am judgmental and proud of being so, I classify all practitioners of it as threat level Red.

(Sound of breaking glass.)

Hmmmm…that sounded like it came from Deacon Blue’s cell. He must have slipped his knots. johnny-boy and the Deacon in the same day? I smell treachery on the part of one of my thralls. Oh, well, good slaves are so hard to find these days. Pardon me, as I must release the hounds and return to my regular duties.

The F-Word, Prologue

One of my semi-regular commenters around here, Chris, brought up the rather good point in the comment section for yesterday’s post that I should probably discuss the “F-word.”

Yes, that F-word, though I generally use fornication instead of fucking. Even with my potty mouth, the dirtier version just seems too vulgar most of the time, unless I’m pretty pissed about something.

Anyway, this is what Chris posted, in part:

Yes… the f word. I’d love to hear you chase that rabbit for a post or two…Is the issue, from God’s viewpoint,the lack of ceremony? level of commitment? perspective of the heart? what about remarriage? I, too am sexually active, and not married according to the laws of my land. according to some denominations, every piece of ass I get from now on will be adultery… that doesn’t exactly motivate me to run down the aisle. And would you speculate on consequences? Is a lifelong monogamous relationship without a license or certificate sin, in God’s eyes?

Before I actually post on the topic in depth sometime in the next day or two or three, I thought I might start off by noting why I care who’s fornicating with whom and why.

Well…you see…uhhh…

I don’t.

Seriously, I don’t. As long as it involves truly consenting human adults, and no weak-willed willing person is being uduly harmed by a strong-willed person with no scruples, and if I don’t have to watch what you’re doing (unless of course it’s sexy and interesting, and I want to and you’re making it available for public viewing).

Really. Vanilla sex. Menage a trois sex. Group sex. Gay sex. Lesbian sex. S&M sex. Spouse-swapping sex. Sex on top of bags of flour in the back of the pizza joint. Sex in gorilla suits. Sex in a Jell-O pit. Sex upside down while suspended from a tree. Whatever. I don’t care. (Well, OK, there may be one or two things in there I do care about because they “interest” me, but that’s another topic entirely.)

God cares a bit. I couldn’t say exactly why, though I’ll have some thoughts. I don’t even claim to have all the answers on when you’re fornicating and when you’re not and what constitutes being “married.” But again, I’ll have my thoughts. I don’t know how many people it will help, but then again, I’m not sure if anything I do here really helps anyone, and I quite likely never will know.

Stay tuned. At least one more, and perhaps two, F-Word posts to come this week and/or next…

Thou Shalt Shoot to Kill, Sort Of

I did my list on the women who could get me to break the 7th commandment and a post on items I’d steal in a heartbeat if I could be pretty sure I wouldn’t get caught. So now, a post on some killing I might do if presented the opportunity to do so. (By the way, here’s a little explanation of the 6th commandment from Biblestudy.org) For the most part, although there are a couple serious bits, this post is for entertainment and fantasy purposes only.

Why? Because even if I make it obviously in jest…

  • I’m not going to mark any politicians for imaginary death, no matter how slimy they are nor how much damage they’ve caused, first off because I don’t really desire to see them dead and also because I don’t need to be part of some FBI file or have government agents hauling me off for questioning just because I made some silly comment about, well, whomever…
  • I’m not going to say any celebrities should die, even in jest, even if they are pure evil, because then I’ll have local law enforcement on my doorstep and lawyers up my asshole.
  • I’m also not going to list any real people from my personal life. First, because while there have been some folks I’ve encountered whom I thought I might actually have to kill at some point, or whom I might have liked to at various moments, none of those people have registered in my mind in such a fashion for quite a large number of years. More importantly, there are people who read this blog and know who I am in real life, and they might be those people, or know those people. So, even looking retroactively, real, identifiable people from my life are out, no matter how heinous their actions might have been once upon a time.

So, what is this list going to look like? Let’s find out.

Anyone Who Is a Danger to My Family

OK, here is the one dead-on, stone-cold, serious-as-hell entry in the list. If you attempt to do serious physical harm to my wife or my children or succeed in doing so, you are a candidate for immediate death. I will not play. I will not risk the lives and mental health of those I love. Risking my own life and letting your ass live even though you might kill me is one thing. Putting my loved ones on the line? Not gonna happen. Frankly, though, even if you engage me in combat and I am alone, I will assume you mean to kill me and it is quite likely I will try to at least maim or cripple you; and I won’t rule out killing you. I ain’t Jesus; don’t push me.

The Careers of Several Celebrities

Please note, I said the careers. Not the people. I don’t want the humans dead; I simply want them behind the scenes, raising kids at home quietly, taking long vacations, picking up real-world office jobs, working at Burger King—really, anything that keeps them off the TV, movie theater screen, airwaves, CDs, DVDs, Internet or anywhere else they might annoy me. Tops on my career hit list are: Flava Flav, who is now a gross mockery of everything he ever purported to stand for when he was with politically and socially conscious rap group Public Enemy; Madonna, who has reinvented herself so much and jettisoned her conscience so thoroughly that she is now irrelevant and, frankly, is not even a real person anymore but a virtual contruct; Will Farrell, who has officially played the same character one too many times, that I feel he no longer deserves any more chances to try to show greater acting reach in carrying films (I think he could still be a great supporting actor and might benefit from getting back to the small screen); and Steven Seagal, who once had a decent few martial arts, kicking-ass flicks but can’t act and frankly, is looking way too puffy and sloppy these days to be a believable action hero anyway, and even though he goes direct-to-video these days, that’s still too much public-eye exposure for my tastes.

A Few Political Careers, Too

Again, let me emphasize, I don’t want the people dead. Hear me, FBI, NSA, CIA, Secret Service, Department of Homeland Security and all the rest: I am not armed nor am I dangerous (unless you’re a houseplant trying to survive in my house). I don’t wish physical harm to any of the people I am about to mention, unless said physical harm comes from God directly in the form of some lingering painful sores for a few weeks. And whose political careers would I most like to see go the way of the dodo bird? Well…

  • George W. Bush: This man made me think for a short while early on that he might be OK and grounded in Jesus. He has proven, instead, to be a completely ineffective and even toxic leader who is short-sighted, greedy, petty and totally lacking in any identifiable skills except running businesses (and countries) into the ground. He needs to pray more, and more sincerely, to get his ass back on track, and he needs to do it in private life from now on. If his daddy, George H.W. Bush, is proud of him, then I have lost what little respect I have for papa George, too.
  • Hillary Rodham Clinton: She showed such pettiness in the race to become the Democratic presidential candidate and such a poor ability to accept defeat (she’s still stomping her feet as I write this) that it is clear she shouldn’t be in any position of leadership anywhere. This woman is not a good role model for women. I could name dozens of other women, political and non-political, to whom young women and girls should look for inspiration on how to succeed and compete with men in this country. Hillary will never be someone I ever hold up to my daughter as anything but an example of what to avoid.
  • Bill O’Reilly: OK, he’s not a politician, but he’s also not a celebrity and he inserts himself into political discourse, so he gets to make the third and final entry of this list. He is an egomaniacal blowhard with no on-air talent, no journalistic credentials to speak of, no integrity, no ability to manage his anger or channel it positively, and he is the face of all that is most wrong about FOX News, and there is so much wrong with that “news” network I don’t even know where to start.

The USA Patriot Act

Aside from being eeriely similar to the goofy name of a really stupid superhero created some years back by Marvel Comics (U.S.Agent), this monstrosity is perhaps the single biggest blow to civil liberties in my lifetime. The creation of this legislation represents the equivalent of crumpling up the U.S. Constitution, swallowing it, letting it sit in your stomach for a few minutes, barfing it up, cleaning it off in a bucket of piss, flattening it and drying it off with a dirty iron, then taking a massive diarrheal dump and then using the remains of it to wipe your ass. The sooner the USA Patriot Act goes away, the sooner we start to look like a saner country again.


I’m just sick of it. From racism to ageism to sexism to homophobia and all the rest, can’t we just give it a rest already? I know we’re all petty and human and prone to things like hate, but what is it getting us? We are all human; can we please start treating each other with some humanity?

The Human Stain

If you’re reasonably well read or have seen CSI or Law & Order or some similar show on TV at least once, you porbably know that something like a blood stain on a wall can tell forensics experts a lot. It can tell you from what direction a shot was fired, from what angle, from what height, from what distance, and all sorts of other good stuff—or, well, bad stuff…but useful stuff all the same.

Simpler stains can tell us things, too. A big old coffee stain on that important signed paperwork on your desk may be a sign that you need to be less sloppy or start keeping your coffee and your papers on separate surfaces. An ink stain in your shirt pocket is a good sign that you need a new pen. A lipstick stain on a collar all too often tells a wife that her husband ain’t doing right while he’s outside the home. A pee stain on the carpet tells us either the new puppy needs a bit more house training or that someone in the house has taken serious leave of both their senses and their bladder control.

We need to look at our stains.

What stains have we left in life? Why? Where? Who is affected by them? Whom have we stained directly? What can we do about them or what should we do about them?

Obviously, I’m talking metaphorical stains now. And I mention them because when we look ourselves and what we do in life, we generally give ourselves a pass. I examine myself and my motivations and I see a guy who’s in the right. You do the same thing, probably, most of the time. Truth is, we are usually pretty poor at locating and recognizing our own worst faults. Even the worst villains in the world still generally believe that they are doing what is right and proper, if not for society than for the most important people in the world: Themselves.

I say that we need to look at the people around us and see if they are stained. And then we need to establish if that stain was our fault. And if so, fix it.

If your child is suddenly acting odd and not speaking right and seems nervous around you, maybe it’s time to evaluate whether you’ve been putting undue pressure on that child or being rotten to that child or perhaps not spending quality time with that child.

If your co-workers seem to get quiet when you enter the room or don’t seem to want to socialize with you, maybe you should ascertain whether or not you are a jerk at work.

If your spouse is emotionally distant maybe you need to examine if you’ve been open enough emotionally and whether you are doing right by your spouse.

It might turn out that you aren’t the problem, or at least that perhaps you’re only part of it. And even if you aren’t the problem, identifying a stain on someone’s life presents you with an opportunity to help that person get past it and clean one piece of crap off their life’s problems. Bonus karma!

But it may also turn out that you have to admit you’ve done wrong, and realize you aren’t always such the good person you think you are.

The problem is, we’ll seldom see our failings in the mirror. The best place to see them is often in the behaviors and actions of those whom we interact with daily. Those people are the mirrors we need to look into.

Look deep.