Father’s Day

Every few years “Father’s Day” falls on the day the man who claimed to be my father and the man I will forever loathe, murdered my mother. The year 2007 and now 2012 are such years. Imagine the irony. This year, as I do on every June 17th, I mourned my mother’s death and as I usually do on “Father’s Day”, I did not even think of the man who was my biological father [someone I never met or knew anyway].

This year, however, I will not only mourn the death of my mother but I will ponder fatherhood — as I may or may not have demonstrated it. Three of my four children have denounced me because I have denounced the religion in which their mother and I had actually raised them. How twice ironic: Father’s Day is the day the “father” who raised me murdered my mother and I raised my children — as their father — in such a way that they do not honor me on Father’s Day or any day for that matter.

In either event, I accept the agony of this life as partly the consequences of my own doings as well as this is the nature of life on “God’s” planet, Prison Earth. I enjoyed being father to my children; I love them  and miss them. Nonetheless, fatherhood, like motherhood, is a phenomenon that receives too much credit and too much blame and as in other aspect of this life, we work with what we have at the time and do the best we can.

Published in: on May 31, 2012 at 7:04 AM  Leave a Comment  
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Stupid Is, As Stupid – As Ever

There is no record of who actually said these words: “Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.” In short, this assertion is that stupidity can sometimes be the best explanation for actions that might otherwise be deemed as being motivated by malice. That quotation implies that malice is more pernicious and sinister than stupidity. I assert stupidity, however, can be equally as dangerous as malice.

Stupidity, to any degree, can be dangerous to all involved or impacted, and that potential for danger should not be underestimated. This is especially true when those in positions of authority – real or perceived, spout stupidity. As an aside, smart people can say stupid things, so to that end, I will ask you to judge whether the following person is painfully stupid or whether he is a smart person saying stupid things. I present him in the context that what he said was not said with malice or baleful intent but with dangerous sincerity.

In May of this year [2012] Annie-Rose Strasser posted from ThinkProgress LGBT a video of a North Carolina pastor, Charles Worley, who stated the following:

“I figured a way out — a way to get rid of all the lesbians and queers. But I couldn’t get it passed through Congress. Build a great big large fence, 150 or 100 miles long. Put all the lesbians in there. Fly over and drop some food. Do the same thing with the queers and the homosexuals. Have that fence electrified so they can’t get out. Feed ‘em, and – And you know what? In a few years they’ll die out. You know why? They can’t reproduce.”

My reaction to this man’s solution is two-fold.

First of all, I believe this pastor has overlooked a vital aspect of homosexuality. If it were possible to round them all up and confine them, only those that are confined would “die off.” But that would not rid the US of all “lesbians and queers” because [and this might come as a shock to the pastor] the heterosexuals outside the fenced-in area would continue to reproduce, and approximately 10% of the children born would be homosexual. Thus, for as long as men and women continue to have children, homosexuals will continue to also be born; they will not “die out.” His solution would not “get rid of all the lesbians and queers.”

Even if you believe homosexuality is a deliberate choice rather than being of genetic origins, heterosexual parents will continue to produce them. Therefore, the only solution to rid the US of homosexuals is for heterosexuals to stop having children.

It would appear that the pastor’s solution is, at worst, completely stupid and, at best, simply stupid. I wonder, how many in his congregation actually gave this solution any critical thought? Pity that congregation if he is the smartest one in the bunch.

The second aspect that gives me cause for pause is that the vitriol directed at homosexuality seems to be disproportionate vis a vis other “sins” specified in the Bible.

Christians believe they are not subject to the Old Testament Mosaic Law but to the teachings of Jesus and his apostles/disciples. According to I Corinthians chapter 6 verses 9 and 10 [New International Version], “Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.”

One thing is glaringly obvious from this passage: No one sin is worse than the other. Therefore, if that is the case, then I think the pastor should recommend that an electrified fenced-in section should be constructed to contain the swindlers and greedy people as well as adulterers and the other kinds of persons cited in I Corinthians.

Religious groups have stood outside funerals of US military personnel while holding up signs stating that those deaths were God’s way of saying that homosexuals should not be allowed in the military. But, to date, no such groups have stood outside anybody’s funeral while holding up signs condemning slandering and swindling or idolatry. Furthermore, where are the gangs of hoodlums who wait for the sexually immoral [e.g., those who have pre-marital sex] or thieves or greedy persons to leave the bar and then attack and beat them up? Why do they do that to homosexuals but not to the others listed in I Corinthians? There is no indication that any one of those types of behaviors condemned in I Corinthians is worse than the other. In short, being greedy is as “sinful” as being a homosexual – neither one will get into the kingdom of God.

In the interest of full disclosure, I do not care what homosexuals do any more than I care what heterosexuals do. Furthermore, I do not accept the Bible or any religious book, as the word of “God,” but I quote it to make my point about the utter hypocrisy [i.e., stupidity] of believers who twist themselves out of shape about homosexuality while they react as if the other “sins” are less “abominable.”

What I do care about is honoring the humanity of others – homosexuals, heterosexuals, bi-sexuals, asexuals or whatever. Thieves, greedy persons and swindlers, in my opinion, produce far more harm to society than do adulterers or homosexuals – but to the “God” of the Bible, they are all unworthy of entrance into his kingdom. The pastor would have more credibility if had suggested that all those guilty of the “sins” listed in I Corinthians should be confined behind an electrified fence. But if he had suggested that, I wonder how many in his congregation would be left – not just in his congregation but any.

So, is the pastor a smart person saying stupid things or is the pastor simply stupid? An ancillary question would be, how many times must a smart person say stupid things before he is no longer smart but stupid?

In any event, stupidity of that sort is frightening in its essence and can be dangerous in its consequences. Stupid is as stupid as it ever was.

Published in: on May 29, 2012 at 4:06 AM  Leave a Comment  
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Wolves in Thug’s Clothing

On 18 May of 2012, television pundit, Bill O’Reilly, interviewed Geraldo Rivera about the Trayvon Marin/George Zimmerman case. During the interview, Geraldo stated that Martin was “dressed in that thug wear,” meaning a “hoodie.” He further stated that being dressed in that “thug wear” was just cause for Zimmerman to suspect that Martin was up to no good. Weeks earlier, Geraldo verbally chastised parents for letting their children wear “hoodies” [even though his own son wears them].

If what Geraldo posits is valid then I assert the following: Given that the greediest and vilest of thugs can be found on Wall Street [they precipitated the greatest recession since the Depression and have literally stolen billions of dollars from the middle class], then suits and ties can also rightfully be considered “thug wear.” The Wall Street thugs and other thugs in corporate America [as has been documented by various sources] have fleeced Americans of more money than all the street thugs in the US combined. These thugs have also been the recipients of more government welfare than the 46 million or so Americans who receive monthly welfare payments from the government. These facts are indisputable.

These thugs wear suits and ties, cuff links and cotton dress shirts as well as animal-skin shoes. So, if “hoodies” are “thug wear” then so are the clothes worn by corporate executives who are guilty of fraud. To that end, would Geraldo advise others not to wear the corporate “thug wear?” In fact, why doesn’t the IRS or law enforcement agents profile corporate executives, just like Zimmerman and Sheriff Arpaio of Arizona [the so-called “Toughest Sheriff in America” who is known to profile and arrest suspected illegal aliens], on the suspicion of graft and fraud? After all, if it walks like a thug and is dressed like a thug, then … thug.

As alluring as that fantasy sounds, rich criminals have always been treated with deference and even respect. We fear the street criminal and with good reason, but as a matter of course, those who dress in white collar “thug wear” have been granted tacit permission to deplete retirement accounts of the working class while ravaging the US economy. Could this deference be because their “thug wear” is more expensive than the “thug wear” Trayvon Martin was wearing?

Jesus is credited with using the phrase, “wolves in sheep clothing” meaning by all outward appearances certain beastly people would present themselves as sheep, thus making them more difficult to detect. Well, if I use Geraldo’s insightful observation as the basis for my logic, then thugs today are relatively easier to spot than they were in Jesus’ day – they’re the ones in the suit and tie.

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