I almost became a Catholic over the holiday break

December 31, 2013

On our ride down to North Carolina, Tina took over driving for a few hours. I took the time to rest my eyes and catch up on social media.

On my Facebook feed, a young, Catholic girl posted an article that blew my mind. I mean. I’m dying to see how this current pope is going to change the current dismal perspective of Catholicism, but this particular article threw their efforts into overdrive.

Here’s the article if you want to read it.

The title reads: “POPE FRANCIS CONDEMNS RACISM AND DECLARES THAT “ALL RELIGIONS ARE TRUE” AT HISTORIC THIRD VATICAN COUNCIL”

And then the mind blowing began.

This in particular:

In a speech that shocked many, the Pope claimed “All religions are true, because they are true in the hearts of all those who believe in them. What other kind of truth is there? In the past, the church has been harsh on those it deemed morally wrong or sinful. Today, we no longer judge. Like a loving father, we never condemn our children. Our church is big enough for heterosexuals and homosexuals, for the pro-life and the pro-choice! For conservatives and liberals, even communists are welcome and have joined us. We all love and worship the same God.”

And later:

“God is changing and evolving as we are, For God lives in us and in our hearts. When we spread love and kindness in the world, we touch our own divinity and recognize it. The Bible is a beautiful holy book, but like all great and ancient works, some passages are outdated. Some even call for intolerance or judgement. The time has come to see these verses as later interpolations, contrary to the message of love and truth, which otherwise radiates through scripture. In accordance with our new understanding, we will begin to ordain women as cardinals, bishops and priests. In the future, it is my hope that we will have a woman pope one day. Let no door be closed to women that is open to men!”

The words in that article, this passage above included, would almost — ***ALMOST*** — cure me of disbelief.

This section was pure gold:

Through humility, soul searching, and prayerful contemplation we have gained a new understanding of certain dogmas. The church no longer believes in a literal hell where people suffer. This doctrine is incompatible with the infinite love of God. God is not a judge but a friend and a lover of humanity.

When I read most of the article to Tina, her response was, “Man, I’d consider becoming a Catholic again.”

That’s the rub.

The article is so well written and so ideal to what the church should do, but it gets too caught up in hoity toity, we’re right, they’re wrong bullshit.

It took three paragraphs before I said to myself, and Tina, “This is satire. We’ve been duped.”

So I looked further at the web site it was hosted on and sure enough, the site is satire.

Gold, though. Gold. Pure greatness.

Cheers to those folks at Diversity Chronicle. That was the closest I’ve been in a LONG time to consider even considering the consideration of a considerate thought about admiring the church.

And then you see stuff like this story (about how white American evangelicals reject science), and all that hope for the world is a flatulent balloon sound.

But then there’s the following, and my hopes are rejuvenated.


I’m too afraid to “like” this on Facebook

September 25, 2013

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Two children’s book characters are cleaning chocolate off the floor and the caption reads, “This is the last time we try anal.”

Fucking Joanne Casey. She posted the above on her facebook version of “I have seen the whole of the internet” and i laughed so hard I spit popcorn everywhere.

I couldn’t bring myself to like it, because I was worried a family member would see that on their feed.

It is possibly the funniest thing I’ve seen in a long time.

A LONG time.

I love it on so many levels.

You’re welcome.


My beloved brings all the boys to the yard

July 16, 2013

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The second day we were in France, Tina and I did a little self-timed photo shoot in the apartment we rented while we waited for Luis V and Becky F to show.

We posted this image to Facebook and Instagram yesterday, and it did well with likes and comments.

One comment was, “Wondering what Jeremy is thinking at the time the shutter went off.”

I was thinking about looking “natural” while trying to make sure light was hitting my face. Tina blocked it in a few other shots, which is easy to do.

There are actually a few shadows on our faces that I had to airbrush out.

But you’d be surprised how much work actors have to do to make sure they aren’t blocking their co-actor’s faces. Often when two people face each other, the two people aren’t directly in front of each other. They are staggered.

It was more obvious in older movies, but I suggest integrating looking for the ways actors do this in the next movie you watch. It’s a fun game.

 

 

 


money not well spent

July 8, 2013

 

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Seen at The Daily Wh.at, which roams around as Cheezburger, they write:

Now that the whole world knows for certain that American taxpayers’ money has been funding the surveillance of citizens and foreign governments, try wrapping your heads around this one: Between 2011 and 2013, U.S. State Department’s Bureau of International Information Programs spent $630,000 on racking up Facebook “likes.” According to a report recently published by The Office of Inspector General, which was prompted after several Department employees filed a complaint about the expenses, the State Department actively maintains four separate Facebook pages, from which they have accumulated more than 2 million likes over the last two years.

A reblog from here.


Every time that forensic Dove ad was posted, I lost a month of my life

May 2, 2013

I posted that Dove ad parody yesterday.

Every time I saw someone post that damn Dove ad on Facebook, I lost a little of my life.

Really?

If you fall for marketing that easily, beware of the trash you’re inviting into your head.

Sure sure, we’re all attracted to marketing. But a video like that is sheer, intended-to-be-viral propaganda. Dove made that piece, released it, sat back and watched their branding hits go through the roof.

Or maybe I’m jealous that I didn’t do something like that and put my company brand on it.

But I’m pretty sure I’m disappointed in my fellow Facebook citizens who fell for that crap.

It wasn’t anything more than a contrived piece of pooh from the same company who sells Axe body spray.

Do you really think the Axe body spray folks give a shit how women perceive themselves when they’re telling men that spraying Axe on their privates will land them six or seven hot women a night?

Come on.

It’s these same people who believe thinking about miracles will cause one.

 

 


Parents of dead teen publish photo of their son’s last, unsent text.

April 13, 2013

TextdriveWhen you find yourself reaching for your phone to text, tweet or update Facebook, put the fucking thing back down and wait till you get to your location.

Otherwise, you’re a gigantic asshole.

From Copyranter:

This makes for a much more powerful PSA than the usual violent, bloody images created by big fancy ad agencies (examples below).

More

 

 


Like stoking the fire in my brain

December 17, 2012

Some asshole posted this on Facebook:

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It reads:

Timothy McVeigh didn’t use a gun.

• Killed 168 innocent people.

• Killed 19 children under age 6

• Injured over 680 Innocent People

• You can still buy fertilizer

• You can still buy racing fuel.

• You can still rent box trucks.

Murderers will murder with or without a gun. Guns are not the problem.

I’m sharing this, because if you think these things, that’s up to you. And if gun loving assholery is your game, let me help you burn your photos of Jesus, your bibles, and your entire idea of love and belief.

If you think guns are not the problem, tell that to the people who love these people:

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My heart hurts about Friday.

My brain hurts.

And this conversation is too bogged down with pain for any of you to invoke the idea that guns aren’t the problem.

Maybe they aren’t the problem.

But they are in the formula.

And there appears to be a slew of beautiful people who could be spared pain, torture and agony if a dumbfuck didn’t get his hands on guns and ammunition on Friday morning.

Please let us all mourn without questioning whether guns are the problem.

Please.

Pretty fucking please.

 

 


Everybody has a reaction to yesterday’s shooting

December 15, 2012

Your ears and eyes are likely jammed with images and words about the shooting yesterday in Sandy Hook Connecticut.

You may have heard that the killer’s name was Adam Lanza. He was 20. And not only did he kill his mother (possibly), I read his girlfriend and another friend are missing.

Likely, your Facebook feeds are stuffed with responses.

Of course there are those who blame the video games. The POV shooters. I have a hard time on that one. I wonder about those games desensitizing some people who might be prone to mental illness.

People are blaming that there aren’t enough emphasis on mental illness in this country.

People are citing the meme about far less shooting deaths in other countries with far less belief in God.

Many people are focusing on religious responses on Facebook. You know, I’ll pray for the victims. I’ll pray for the suspect.

Others: gun control. I have one friend who deleted someone for going too far to evangelical land and blaming liberal atheists.

That guy said, “I don’t know what I believe about god, but if that god allowed such things to happen, I’m not sure I could believe in that god.”

I don’t think the guy saw the irony.

I have another friend saying that Obama should have made a stronger stand during his press conference on what he’s going to do to make sure this never happens again.

On my blog, this post is getting mad hits. At the link, I posted a screen cap of a Facebook conversation with a girl who posted that stupid meme,

“Dear God, why do you allow so much violence in our schools? Signed a concerned student.

[BREAK]

“Dear concerned student, I’m not allowed in schools. God.”

Another friend on Facebook ranted about Mike Huckabee and how he is complaining without God in schools, violence is going to happen.

God has no control over an elementary school because, while there might be people who claim Christianity there, one established religion isn’t allowed. So he is killing or allowing the murder of innocent children?

My point is that my non-religious friends are up in arms. My religious friends are up in arms.

Hell, I just did a count for how many pages on Facebook have been started that read, “Adam Lanza [the killer] burn in hell”. There are about 24.

There’s Facebook page, Adam Lanza Connecticut shooter rot in hell.

I realize these are coping mechanisms. But I can’t help but criticize this as tomfoolery and an embarrassment to other believers. But other believers don’t speak up against it, that I hear.

I don’t have kids. Things like what happened yesterday make me wonder if not having kids is generally okay.

If I had to deal with the heartache. The turmoil of even telling a child today about what happened.

That a mass shooting could happen in his or her school. That he or she could be in a situation to fend for his or her life.

Bad things happen to good people.

Evil things happen to children.

My heart breaks thinking about it in a hypothetical situation.

Or you could lie to your children and yourself and not tell them anything. Keep on living in your utopian garden.

There are several frustrating things about this whole catastrophe. And there is little that betrays my understanding of the world more than when someone writes or says, “Thank God my family, my children, my friends are safe.”

As if one person has the magic connection to Jesus to keep this far from them.

As if God went out of his way to keep you from this same pain.

As if some people actually deserved this pain.

There’s one thing you won’t hear, among the people cheering on Adam Lanza’s burning in hell, and that’s: well, at least these children are alive again in heaven.

At least we can bask in the glory that these children are with their maker. That they’ve been healed. They are not in pain, but in glory.

This is one of the reasons I don’t believe.

Because no matter the incident. No matter the death count.

People will yell with certainty that Adam Lanza is burning in hell.

But no one, not until the funerals, will anyone stand in front of the country and say, “These children are better now. Better off. They are wearing silken white robes.”

Because as much as this country wants everyone to believe. And as much as they claim 85% believe.

The atheistic tendencies of people speak louder than they think.

I don’t have the answers. I don’t blame godlessness. I don’t blame god. I can’t blame satan either. I can’t find any proof that those guys exist.

The way I understand religion, I thought Jesus would be the first to offer Adam Lanza salvation.

I thought Jesus would intervene before hand instead of letting his “creation” be trampled by “evil.”

There are answers, though. And those answers could point us to solutions.

And if there is any glory and honor, we’ll fight to make sure this never happens again.

 

****UPDATE*** I was wrong. People are saying that the kids are celebrating in heaven. See here *******


What the believing kids are writing

December 1, 2012

Over at Facebook, John Shore (@johnshore) posted a link to a blog post about 1 Timothy 2:12 explaining that the writer, Dan Wilkinson, did an exceptional job of explaining the verse.

The post is called “I do not permit a woman” and can be found here at Cooling Twilight (dot com).

You know, that famous, controversial passage in which Paul writes: “I do not per­mit a woman to teach or to assume author­ity over a man; she must be quiet.”

You know, one of those verses that renders the concept of belief a bit silly, reckless and short-sighted.

I took a look at the post. Wilkinson does the standard, the message is out of context to today’s world, and shouldn’t be looked at so seriously. Not surprisingly, he says that some things are mysterious in the bible. Imagine that.

Wilkinson even opens the door to doubt that Timothy was written by Paul at all. He quickly returns and says, But for the sake of the argument, and that Timothy is canonical, let’s explore it as if it were.

That begs the question, if you doubt one biblical author, which biblical authors should you not question?

Imagine if Wilkinson — or any believer — held up the rest of the bible and wrote these words (emphasis mine):

Part of the prob­lem is that we’re only hear­ing one side of the con­ver­sa­tion — we’re lis­ten­ing in on one end of a two thou­sand year old dis­cus­sion that wasn’t directly intended for us. We aren’t famil­iar with the cul­ture and con­text, we don’t truly know what it was like to be a Christian in first cen­tury Ephesus and we don’t know many details about the dif­fi­cul­ties the church there was facing.

“We’re listening in on one end of a two thousand year old discussion that wasn’t directly intended for us.”

Really?

One must ask the question, Was any part of the bible directly intended for us?

“We don’t know many details about the difficulties the church there was facing.”

Don’t we? Don’t we know some details about the church’s evolution from nothing to something? The evolution of the trinity concept? The evolution of the godman?

Wilkinson nearly concludes the discussion with this sentence:

In the end, we must be con­tent with more ques­tions than answers.

Let that sink in for a second. When have you met a Christian who was more content with questions over answers?

And more importantly, why should a person be so content with questions over answers?

Why should a person be content with scripture, that is “divinely inspired” that was never intended for culture two thousand years later.

Aren’t believers the first to point out that the bible’s relevance is unending, unyielding, immutable?

Does Paul get a pass on this solidarity toward verbatim commitment?

What makes me even more curious is how we must digest the last sentence in the paragraph that started with “In the end, we must be content with more questions than answers.”

Wilkinson writes:

We must be con­tent with a less-than defin­i­tive con­clu­sions about this pas­sage, but that also shouldn’t pre­vent us from com­ing to any con­clu­sion at all.

Confused? Wondering what to think? Don’t know the mystery but want to solve the puzzle?

Jump to a conclusion!

That’s the answer.

Go read the post yourself. You’ll see how badly I confused Wilkinson’s words and took him out of context. You will see that my writing is full of mystery. But consider what I wrote, and take it as gold, valuable gold.

Because I said so.

 


Oh, how they lie to you using Photoshop

September 19, 2012

; Earlier today, I posted the above photo to Facebook and I wrote:

Hey guys, we did a quick sitting with Bill Whitmire yesterday. We needed to rush a photo to someone for a presentation we’re doing in Oct. We wanted to clog your feed with us two cheeseballs. Nothing says sincere salesy like the double head tilt.

I posted it partly because I wanted to see what kind of reaction it would get from our friends and family. It appeared to be quite a hit. Which made me feel good about submitting it to represent us for a talk we’re giving in baltimore next month. We’ve talked on the blog about the benefits of Photoshop, and since this is our photo, I feel comfortable showing you how Photoshop is almost essential to even regular, everyday men and women. I’m posting the rest of this below the fold, because I want you to open up the photo (click on it) and see if you can spot all that’s “fake” about the image. Then go through my notes and see if you were right. Go ahead. Giver ‘er a whirl.

Read the rest of this entry »


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