Category Archives: Religion

9 things that bother me

Adults who buy their children ATVs – Is this a socially acceptable way to crush your children?

low budget hotdogs – If I am going to indulge in a meal that’s incredibly bad for me, it should at least taste good.

The fine print – I absolutely love car commercials on tv that have the 6 point font that explain the terms of contract. Just because I can’t see the specific terms of the contract doesn’t mean I can’t trust them, right? They’re looking out for me. I know they are. 28% interest sounds fair.

Anime – large-eyed people with narrow mouths that have the acting depth of Steven Seagal. It’s beyond annoying.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad – I bet the stuff he was smoking that made him think he’d be able to visit the World Trade Center site was really strong. He must have the same drug dealer as Ann Coulter.

Lee C. Bollinger – The President of Columbia University is confusing academic freedom with being an unbalanced idiot.  It is possible to be liberal without sounding like you’ve had a lobotomy.

Digital Rights Management – The recording industry is trying to make up for lost decades of the public trading copies of audio cassettes. It’s made them think that the individual doesn’t really own the material they buy now. They’re just borrowing it. I am all for protecting the rights of distribution, let’s say, in the crackdown of foreign countries pirating movies. I am not, however, liking being locked out of being able to convert items to other formats for my own use.

Windows Vista – This operating system is such a resource hog that even mentioning it in front of your own computer will make the system run slower or crash. I plan on having an open source operating system on my home computer before this becomes public.

Law breakers who try to wrap their crimes in The Constitution – Would someone please let Warren Jeffs & his followers know that sexually assaulting 14 year olds is not a constitutional right?

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A post of mine is referenced on Wikipedia!!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religious_debates_over_the_Harry_Potter_series

    Hey! I have recently discovered that one of my older posts about Harry Potter is referenced on Wikipedia. Check out reference #61 at the bottom!! Woot Woot!

    I am reminded of the scene from the movie, The Jerk, when Navin Johnson (Steve Martin) got excited when he found his name in the phone book…….O.k., maybe I am not THAT excited about the mention in Wikipedia.

What is religion’s role in politics?

   First of all, let me say that I believe having religion is important. Religion, in my opinion, is having a relationship with the divine force. Faith is the expression of that relationship with the divine. Morality is the behavioral standard that we apply to ourselves when interacting with the world around us. Unfortunately, we have forgotten or lost perspective of several important things.

    Religion is something one has to find within themselves. Until someone experiences that specific moment where they find their own “proof” for the divine force, it will always be foreign for them. That person might know what to say to sound like a believer, but don’t feel it. They might surround themselves with religious people and the symbols of the faith, but that doesn’t instill faith automatically. Judging, condemning or shouting at people who don’t believe isn’t going to help anything. Telling them they have the wrong faith unless they share yours is even more spiritually damaging. Emphasizing or implying one is better than another is also misguided. I also think that a great deal of emphasis has been giving to religious symbols. Faith shouldn’t be threatened by the presence of some symbols or the absense of others. Destruction or desecration of those symbols, although disrespectful, doesn’t destroy faith because faith is something inside you.

   Does the absense of religion mean that person can’t function within our government? Not necessarily. Should they still be aware of religions? Yes. Can you be a leader in the government with it? Yes. Can you be a leader in the government without it? Yes.  While the presense of faith may influence decisions, the main premise behind a democracy is representing the people. You obviously can’t please everyone, but you also have to take other peoples’ viewpoints (including religious ones) into consideration. Having faith as a leader does not mean using it exclusively to find direction or make decisions. Leaders who reinforce their beliefs exclusively through their position of power carry the appearance of a dictator.

   Finally, I think the problem with religion in politics now is based on the fact that religion is worn as clothing. It is being used to disguise a candidate to make them appear acceptable to a group of people the candidate believes will help them win votes.  Religion is a beautiful thing, and in my mind, flawless. The flaw is in how it is exploited and manipulated by those who claim to practice it.  Essentially, another layer of the “say one thing, do another” mentality that has most voters fed up with our current political system. Sen. Larry Craig is just another example. Tell the public what you think it wants to hear, even if your current lifestyle doesn’t jibe.

*****side comments on current presidential candidates

Most candidates don’t strike me as being particularly religious, at least visibly. The only talk I have heard or read about religion in the presidential race is about Mitt Romney (Mormon) and Barack Obama (Islam).  It seems that some voters are deadset against either of these two because they aren’t Christian. That strikes me as incredibly misguided. What if Christian were a minority faith? Would it make sense to rule them out, simply because of that? Or are people just looking for ways to split the US vs. THEM thing? Bush, who seems relatively open embracing his Christianity(Methodist, if I remember correctly….although I have heard “born again” which strikes me as being generally more fundamental or charismatic for the Methodist line of thought.) His decisions have obviously colored his decisions on legislation. It’s even to the point where his view is the minority, yet it gets pushed through as law. Stem cell research. Case & Point.  I just don’t see how that makes us any better off than a more balanced leader. Of course, Bush never tried to mend any bridges after capturing just enough votes to win the election. A true leader would have reached out to the 49% of the vote that didn’t vote for him. Low voter turn out should have reinforced his need to reach out.

Of course, the other side of the coin is that Democratic frontrunner Sen. Hilary Clinton could spend the rest of her life claiming to be whatever religion she wanted to. There is still no way I could believe that she have the spiritual substance having been involved with so many questionable legal dealings.  Bill Clinton didn’t do us any favors either. A man who can’t respect the marriage vow doesn’t strike me as one who can be trusted to lead the country. I swear the only difference between Bill Clinton and George W. Bush sometimes is that Gee Dubya wasn’t as good of a liar as Clinton.

Would someone please tell me that this next election WON’T be another vote for the lesser of two evils again!!?!

God moves in mysterious ways

Image of the Blessed Virgin Mary appears on a garage door in Minersville, PA

The appearance of what appears to be a sign of God has drawn believers and garage door appreciators from all over East Central Pennsylvania. God’s holy message has been delivered to Minersville, PA although no one is exactly sure what that message is or why it is appearing on a garage door.

“I am not sure what God’s advertising budget is,” asks Lamar Advertising Account Exec, David Schultz,” but I think he might be able to benefit from our new line of electronic signs.” After being severely beaten by the crowd for suggesting that the omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent Creator needed such a mortal way to get His message across; the crowd returned its attention to the glowing garage door.

Many believers in the group of people seemed that they will have more converts by the end of the night. Most, however, seem to just be fascinated with staring at a human-shaped blob of light.

Personally, I don’t believe that something as important as finding religion would be left to such a vague presentation. The Old Testament burning bush that talks directly to the person is a much more clear way to send any religious message.

Looks like God’s gonna have to go old school.

-sj

p.s. For some reason, I feel compelled to quote those potentially prophetic words of Echo & The Bunnymen.

“Bring on the new messiah. Wherever he may roam.”

Did you see the Republican Debate last night?

No,  neither did I.

I’m not all that political, but I think one of the main strengths of the Republican party is that they don’t have Hillary Clinton.

Let’s see the cast of characters included:

Senator Sam Brownback (R-Kansas)

the former Virginia governor James Gilmore (R-Va.)

the former New York City mayor Rudolph Giuliani

the former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee

Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.)

Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.)

Rep. Ron Paul (R-Tex.)

the former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney

Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.)

and the former Wisconsin governor Tommy Thompson

     Other than McCain, Romney & Guiliani; I think the rest have quite a bit of groundwork to do to even be recognized by most Americans at this point. McCain has established himself as a Bush “mini-me”.  Romney, I believe, may have to do some convincing to the public about his faith in Mormonism….specifically portions of Christians. I also think that his transition from pro-choice to pro-life is a believable one; others may not be able to follow that. Guliani seems to be down-to-Earth, funny and knowledgeable.  Other than having some troubles with his personal life splashed in the NY press, he seems pretty straight-forward.

Back By Popular Demand: Genuine Fake News

     In political news, George W. Bush has been slowly changing members in his administration. In the face of waning support, the President is grasping to find anyone who believes in what he’s doing. He has fired most of his cabinet members and replaced them with life-size cardboard replicas. Other than some confusion between Condi Rice and her cut-out,  it’s still “business as usual” in Washington. Latest reports also include George Bush firing Tony Snow and replacing him with a Magic 8 ball.  Journalists across the board sigh in collective relief at getting less circular answers to their hard-hitting questions. An informal poll shows that 64% Americans are more likely to believe the 8 ball over Tony Snow.

    In other news, the growing pigeon population has been a major concern in large cities. It’s seems that a mutually agreeable solution has been reached to control the nuisance. Bird food that contains birth control even had the P.E.T.A. organization in agreement with this solution. The only voice of opposition has been Pat Robertson, leader of the Christian organization 700 Club. Pat Robertson expressed concern for managing pigeon populations with artificial means. His greatest concern is that pigeons would only become more promiscuous.

         The Center For Disease Control in Atlanta, GA has seen a recent appearance of an ailment long since thought to have disappeared. Hospitals all over the United States have reported hundreds of cases of “boogie fever.” The last reported cases were in the late 1970s. Symptoms include tight polyester pants, high-pitched voices and a whole lotta fingerpointing.  Doctors and health care providers haven’t seen so many people “gettin’ down” in decades and worry about being unprepared if everyone were to “freak out” all at once. Insurance companies have already responded by declaring those born before 1960 and having “boogie fever” as a pre-existing condition and have denied many claims.

         Abstinence-only sex education programs are under increased fire as recent study findings show them as having no effect on reducing teen pregnancy. Mathematica Policy Research Inc. conducted a government-funded study that costs $176 million a year to report “no evidence in reduction.”  Luckily, George W. Bush’s version of science includes more wiggle room that allows opinion to weigh in like facts. He adamantly defends abstinence programs as being successful. Pointing to his own administration as proof, he said that he and his staff have effectively abstained from tell the truth since first taking office nearly 8 years ago.

      Video Game violence is back in the news. The latest game released by Reckless Studios, called DISEMBOWELMENT, has been flying off the shelves. Even though it has an ADULT ONLY rating, the sales numbers have been through the roof. Government officials, teachers, parents, administrators are confused how even limiting distribution to a handful of independent chains can sell record numbers.

        The company is not a stranger to controversy. Last year’s big hit from Reckless was “WATERBOARDING” which featured an animated version of Dick Cheney and Alberto Gonzales angrily shouting at prisoners choking on water poured over their cloth-covered mouths.   Protests went on for weeks and outrage filled nearly every American. However, George W. Bush who admitted to never having seen the game said it sounded like a lot of fun because they sounded like something you do at the beach. Bush also consulted his Magic 8 ball which also supported the controversial game.

5 skills to master in life

1) Balance – Everything in the universe works towards maintaining equilibrium. Things also tend to be dynamic, rather than static. Equilibrium can be reached, but it’s not a permanent destination. Being able to find out what it takes for you to reach equilibrium with everything is the way to go. Hint: sometimes all it takes is having the right perspective to see the way towards equilibrium.

2) Learning – This doesn’t mean institutions to obtain degrees. It’s the willingness to be open to new ideas and incorporate old ones. Once again, it’s a journey – not a destination.

2) Energy Management – If you think of all the influences in your life as energy, it becomes clearer on how to manage them. The main example of energy most people probably think of is electricity. It is a force. You can’t see it, but you can see what it can do for you. It can be used to run everything from reading lights to running machines. However, if you don’t handle it properly; it can kill or injure you.  Energy cannot be created or destroyed. It simply changes forms. This even applies to personal energy. Holding onto anger, pain, fear and a whole range of other negative emotions is normal & takes energy. However,  not ultimately letting them go at some point can lead to problems.

4) Nurturing – Being able to expend energy to take care of someone else can help build a sense of empathy (an important trait to have) toward others.  It’s very natural, perhaps even genetic. However, it should not be a permanent state (see: balance). Living to serve only others is not healthy. You want to be able to see the whole picture of how everything works together, which includes each of us. We all have a part in the universe.

5) Discernment – Being able to see patterns and tell things apart is important. It applies to not only being able to recognize things in new situations, but also to be able to see the different levels of interaction. People have their own agendas. Some are obvious. Some are not. Being aware that you aren’t being manipulated or tricked can be an important skill too.