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Glurge and Snark September 6, 2007

Posted by flyingsirkus in Jesusitis.
1 comment so far

A woman on one of my Atheist parenting boards posted this email she was sent by a friend:

Breakfast at McDonald’s

This is a good story and is true, please read it all the way through until the end! (After the story, there are some very interesting facts!):

I am a mother of three (ages 14, 12, 3) and have recently completed my college degree. The last class I had to take was Sociology. The teacher was absolutely inspiring with the qualities that I wish every human being had been graced with.

Her last project of the term was called, “Smile.” The class was asked to go out and smile at three people and document their reactions. I am a very friendly person and always smile at everyone and say hello anyway. So, I thought this would be a piece of cake, literally.

Soon after we were assigned the project, my husband, youngest son, and I went out to McDonald’s one crisp March morning. It was just our way of sharing special playtime with our son. We were standing in line, waiting to be served, when all of a sudden everyone around us began to back away, and then even my husband did.

I did not move an inch… an overwhelming feeling of panic welled up inside of me as I turned to see why they had moved.

As I turned around I smelled a horrible “dirty body” smell, and there standing behind me were two poor homeless men. As I looked down at the short gentleman, close to me, he was “smiling”. His beautiful sky blue eyes were full of God’s Light as he searched for acceptance.

He said, “Good day” as he counted the few coins he had been clutching.

The second man fumbled with his hands as he stood behind his friend. I realized the second man was mentally challenged and the blue-eyed gentleman was his salvation. I held my tears as I stood there with them. The young lady at the counter asked him what they wanted.

He said, “Coffee is all Miss” because that was all they could afford. (If they wanted to sit in the restaurant and warm up, they had to buy something. He just wanted to be warm).

Then I really felt it – the compulsion was so great I almost reached out and embraced the little man with the blue eyes. That is when I noticed all eyes in the restaurant were set on me, judging my every action. I smiled and asked the young lady behind the counter to give me two more breakfast meals on a separate tray. I then walked around the corner to the table that the men had chosen as a resting spot. I put the tray on the table and laid my hand on the blue-eyed gentleman’s cold hand.

He looked up at me, with tears in his eyes, and said, “Thank you.”

I leaned over, began to pat his hand and said, “I did not do this for you. God is here working through me to give you hope.”

I started to cry as I walked away to join my husband and son. When I sat down my husband smiled at me and said, “That is why God gave you to me, Honey, to give me hope.” We held hands for a moment and at that time, we knew that only because of the Grace that we had been given were we able to give. We are not church goers, but we are believers. That day showed me the pure Light of God’s sweet love.

I returned to college, on the last evening of class, with this story in hand. I turned in “my project” and the instructor read it.

Then she looked up at me and said, “Can I share this?”

I slowly nodded as she got the attention of the class. She began to read and that is when I knew that we as human beings and being part of God share this need to heal people and to be healed. In my own way I had touched the people at McDonald’s, my son, instructor, and every soul that shared the classroom on the last night I spent as a college student. I graduated with one of the biggest lessons I would ever learn: UNCONDITIONAL ACCEPTANCE.

Much love and compassion is sent to each and every person who may read this and learn how to LOVE PEOPLE AND USE THINGS – NOT LOVE THINGS AND USE PEOPLE.

   

This is a great example of glurge, and very poorly written glurge at that. If you are a big fan of glurge, then please read no further. You’ll just get upset. If, on the other hand, glurge makes you go all snarky (like me), then please enjoy my alternate ending.

I leaned over, began to pat his hand and said, “I did not do this for you. God is here working through me to give you hope.”

I started to cry as I walked away to join my husband and son. When I sat down my husband smiled at me and said, “That is why God gave you to me, Honey, to give me hope.”

We held hands for a moment and at that time, we knew that only because of the Grace that we had been given were we able to give….

Well, we all sat down to eat our blessed McBounty, and the homeless men sat a few booths away. We were laughing, having a great time as a family, sharing our favorite Bible verses about how Daddy is the Boss of the Household and how Mommy had better ask next time before spending Daddy’s hard-earned money on fucking bums, because Loving Heavenly Father had given ME to HIM, not the other way around. Then, my little boy said to me, “Mommy, that man is choking.”

I looked over to where he was pointing and saw that the smelly man God had just blessed with free McMuffins was clutching his throat, much like he had clutched his coins earlier. The gagging sounds he was making sounded like the noise my Hummer was making right before we discovered those other homeless people huddled beneath the hood, looking for a little warmth. He fell to the floor, blue with lack of oxygen where he had once been blue with lack of warmth.

The homeless man’s friend looked at me, with pleading eyes. “Ma’am,” he said, fumbling his words, “my friend needs mouth to mouth. Can you please help?”

I turned to my son. “How lucky you are to see this!” I said to him. “Jesus is calling this man home to Heaven!”

With that, we all rushed out the door into the roomy comfort of my megaSUV, where we sang Bible tunes as we sped off toward home, our voices echoing in the cavernous vehicle with all the wonder of Gregorian chant.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

Yes, I’m callous…when I’m calling BULLSHIT. Chicken soup supersaturated with sugar…I heart Barbara Mikkelson.

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Don’t Challenge Him May 30, 2007

Posted by flyingsirkus in Dad, Jesusitis, Who Am I?.
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My dad and I didn’t always have a rocky relationship. I learned to question from him. I learned to love math and science, German and literature, bluegrass and classical, the pleasures of hard work and the pride of supporting the underdogs of society, all from my dad. Then somehow we got parabolaed, and instead of zooming along, parallel to his life and experiences, we collided head-on and sped off, Newtonian, in equal and opposite directions. And oh, how opposite.

The point we bent around was Christianity. He found Jesus and his followers, warts and all. I found it all repulsive, angels and all. And that point is beating his plowshare into a sword, and my sword into a plowshare.

Our views on Christianity color our relationship like green mold on a vivid yellow lemon. I cannot really fathom what he thinks of me and my empirical approach to life, although I do know from the analogies he uses that he thinks I personally am dangerous to all he holds dear. Our last discussion turned ugly as he threatened to use his gun against me and “all my liberal ilk.” The prompting for this death threat? My body language. He didn’t like how I held my wine glass when I talked hard science back to his pseudoscience.

We can’t have any kind of discussion. Everything leads back to fags, liberals, and…well, fags and liberals mostly. He follows the Fundamentalist Christian Party Line like it was handed down from his Master Chief. I can’t understand how someone who understands a concept like Chain of Command so thoroughly won’t understand a simple evolutionary flowchart.

My uncle, who is also my dad’s older brother, had a few quiet moments with me at my niece’s birthday party last week. I know my dad talks to my uncle, and I also know that Dad was either avoiding me at the birthday party or he was genuinely interested in what was going on outside. Anyhow, my uncle started by identifying with me. He told me he was a Democrat, and that there were just things he didn’t say anything about in conversation with my dad. He said he respects my dad and the decisions he’s made, and so he just doesn’t say anything about anything political. Then, he quietly urged me to do the same. “Respect him,” said my uncle, “don’t challenge him.”

And therein lies my current family dilemma. I don’t argue with my dad to prove my intellectual superiority, or to strip him of his religious beliefs, or to get my Freudian rocks off. I argue with my dad because I love him, and I hate to see him fight with the deliberate stupidity with which his pastor arms him. I know my dad is better than that. I know this, because he was my teacher whom I did respect.

That’s probably the best analogy I can come up with. Let’s pretend you had a favorite teacher in school who taught, say, English. The teacher taught you to love English, to love language and to care about the words you choose, to devour books that are worth spending time with and to be able to recognize the flaws and the greatness of a piece of literature. Then, one day, the teacher (who had always spoken Pig Latin as a hobby) decides she wants to speak nothing but Pig Latin for the rest of her life. Okay, yes, you respect her decision as an intelligent adult to be a speaker of Pig Latin, but that doesn’t make her decision any less ignoble.

So fine, my dad wants to take some guy’s interpretation of a holy book and base his whole worldview on it. Even when the facts prove his worldview is seriously flawed. Now, if this were someone you loved, what would you do? It would be easy to brush him aside, to say “whatever” and change the subject to the weather and everyone’s health.

I love my uncle. I love my dad. And I just can’t do it.

I can’t sit quietly while he spouts off about how ridiculous it is to spend tax money on education. I can’t sit quietly while he makes up or quotes bizarre information. I can’t sit quietly while he praises Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in one breath and calls young black men “coons” in the next. I can’t sit quietly while he mischaracterizes the context of every political issue his pastor finds important enough to preach about.

I don’t bring up anything remotely religous or political around him. That’s as far as I can go. But, as my dad himself taught me, it does no good to limp alongside a lame man. My mistake is in thinking that the facts will convince him, but really the only thing that will convince him is for tragedy to strike him right where the pastor says it shouldn’t hurt.

I only hope he’s not aiming his real-life guns at me when tragedy strikes.

Divine Love Ass Wipes May 24, 2007

Posted by flyingsirkus in Jesusitis.
1 comment so far

I belong to an Atheist parenting board, and for some reason, our membership was recently accosted with a flood of religious scam snailmail from an organization calling itself St. Matthew’s Church.  The letters beseech the recipient to take the offerings it sends for free, like a Miracle Prayer Rug or a Jesus Handkerchief:
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                                                        Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

What kind of snarky atheist mommy doesn’t realize the potential money she could make off of the kinds of people who really believe this shit??  Like, let’s say…the devoutly psychotic followers of Fred Phelps and his phenomenally offensive Westboro Baptist Church! These are the people who hold up signs that say “God Hates Fags” and protest at military funerals, ostensibly because God hates America now for being tolerant of His creation’s propensity for using its apparently God-given volition. Go figure.

Gene Roddenberry once said, “We must question the story logic of having an all-knowing all-powerful God, who creates faulty Humans, and then blames them for his own mistakes.” Maybe all Phelps needs is a good dose of Star Trek.

Anyhow, here is my latest philosophical foray into Separating Fools from Their Money. Sonny!

Dear Faithful One True Christian ™,

I received your name from the Westboro Baptist Church Prayer Chain Directory, and I knew you would be one of the few people on Earth who truly understands the tremendous amount of love God has for His Chosen People.

Recall, for a moment, the story of Balaam’s Ass:

21 Balaam got up in the morning, saddled his donkey and went with the princes of Moab. 22 But God was very angry when he went, and the angel of the LORD stood in the road to oppose him. Balaam was riding on his ass, and his two servants were with him. 23 When the ass saw the angel of the LORD standing in the road with a drawn sword in his hand, she turned off the road into a field. Balaam beat her to get her back on the road.
 24 Then the angel of the LORD stood in a narrow path between two vineyards, with walls on both sides. 25 When the ass saw the angel of the LORD, she pressed close to the wall, crushing Balaam’s foot against it. So he beat her again.

26 Then the angel of the LORD moved on ahead and stood in a narrow place where there was no room to turn, either to the right or to the left. 27 When the ass saw the angel of the LORD, she lay down under Balaam, and he was angry and beat her with his staff. 28 Then the LORD opened the ass’s mouth, and she said to Balaam, “What have I done to you to make you beat me these three times?”

29 Balaam answered the ass, “You have made a fool of me! If I had a sword in my hand, I would kill you right now.”

30 The aass said to Balaam, “Am I not your own ass, which you have always ridden, to this day? Have I been in the habit of doing this to you?”
  “No,” he said.

31 Then the LORD opened Balaam’s eyes, and he saw the angel of the LORD standing in the road with his sword drawn. So he bowed low and fell facedown.

I give you these passages as a gift, because sometimes we don’t know enough as Christians to not mistreat our own asses, when it is our asses that speak the TRUTH! We should not spank our asses. Our asses were not meant to take such abuse.

We have chosen you because you, as a devout follower of Fred Phelps, have shown incontravertably that you let the Spirit of God come flowing freely from your ass. You let your ass shine. We recognize this, and find you worthy of great reward.

Therefore, in loving reminder of God’s great wisdom and mercy, please accept these Divine Love Ass Wipes. Use them to clean your asses, and to remember always the wisdom that you have that comes out of your ass, inspired by God Himself.

But there are others who have not heard the wisdom that God sends shooting forth from asses like yours. We want you to touch the asses of the unbelievers, make them hole whole and holey holy. We know that it can be very difficult to touch the soul of the unbeliever (or in the case of the atheist, to find the soul at all! ha ha ha).

Therefore, we ask that you send your Love Donation to Saint Bertrand’s Church, so that we can do God’s work in striking the asses of the unrepentant. Don’t delay…God hates to twiddle His thumbs. Or jam them up His ass, as it were.

Your Faithful Friends at,

Saint Bertrand’s Church

Who can send me a seed offering of a Pitney Bowes Home Postage Meter, so that I may commence God’s work?