Wednesday, June 25, 2003

Things That Go BANG In The Night

Recently a teacher was shot on the last day of school. The widow tried to sue the gun manufacturer because the gun was not safe, or some such nonsense. I’m not professing to know anything about this case, and I actually don’t like trying to condemn court cases without actually know all of the facts surrounding them. Some of them, if the reporting is honest, are downright silly.

In the case of this teacher, the gun manufacturer has told the widow that if she continues trying to appeal the decision, thus costing them even more money trying to defend themselves, they will seek damages from her and make her pay the defense court costs.

Awe. The big business is picking on the poor widow. B.S. The reality is the gun manufacturer has zero responsibility for this crime, and should not be punished for it. Let’s look at some more examples that don’t involve the big bad guns.

Let’s sue car manufacturers because an irate women ran over her husband, who was having an affair. Let’s sue dog breeders because dogs come with sharp teeth. Let’s sue the makers of pencils and pens because we poke ourselves with them. Let’s sue the manufacturers of tennis shoes because we can trip over the laces. Geez people, get a grip!

Frivolous lawsuits are a disease of this country. If your kid gets hurt playing on the local Little League, shake it off! It was a baseball game! The whole point of sports is that you can get hurt. I would love to see a judge get these cases and just burst out laughing in the face of these lawyers and people, then tell them to get the hell out of the courtroom.

I used to love watching the judge on the television show “Picket Fences”. He would tell everyone to, “shut-up”, or “get out”. This was mainly true of this one lawyer in town that brought the dumbest cases to court.

Their should be an idiot law, so when an idiot tries to sue someone, they get fined by the court system and told to go home. Oh, and the stupid lawyer who latched onto this hair-brained lawsuit also gets tagged a pretty penny.

I really do feel bad for the widow, or anyone else who suffers a loss, especially at the hands of some creep, some criminal, some degenerate. You’ve heard it time and again, and I’ll give it to you one more time in hopes that it might actually sink in.

Guns don’t kill people. People kill people!

We all have the right to bare arms, and don’t get me started here because this right has actually been infringed on big time nation-wide! We don’t have a right to shoot teachers, or commit other hurtful crimes against anyone. The right to bare arms is for the other side of the equation, and it IS an equation. An equation, by its very nature, means that both sides must be equal. And in the case of guns, for both sides to be equal, we must have the ability to defend ourselves from the seedier side of society, and yes possibly from our own government.

After all, I view the main reason we have the right to bare arms is so that our government can’t suddenly come in with their guns and do as they please in this country. Again, it’s an equation. Our nation needs guns to help defend this great country, but we need guns to help defend ourselves from all those who may attack us, regardless of the source. Friends, family, gangs or countries.

If a company is truly negligent in their actions, then by all means call them out on the carpet and make them take responsibility for their actions (like whoever the kid got this gun from). My guns are locked in safes so this sort of thing does not happen.

Let’s go over it one more time… Everyone say it with me now…

Guns don’t kill people. People kill people.

Any questions?

Friday, June 20, 2003

Separation of Church and State

It’s amazing to me how adamant people get when talking about religion and this country. In the Christian camp you have a whole bunch of uneducated folks screaming that this country was founded on Christian beliefs and values. In the other camp, you have people armed with the truth.

I have recently been enlightened about some interesting information about this country, our forefathers, and exactly what they thought about the Christian viewpoint.

An interesting thing happens when you read Article 11 of the "Treaty of peace and friendship between the United States of America and the Bey and Subjects of Tripoli, of Barbary”, also known as the “Treaty of Tripoli”. You discover that this document, which began with a signing on 4 November, 1796 (the end of George Washington's last term as president), clearly lays out what the forefathers were thinking when they formed this country.

"As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquillity, of Musselmen; and as the said States never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mehomitan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries."

The Senate approved the treaty on June 7, 1797, and officially ratified by the Senate with John Adams signature on 10 June, 1797.

It is also interesting to note, that many of the founding fathers were not Christian, but Deist. A Deist is defined in Webster's Encyclopedic Dictionary, 1941, as: “One who believes in the existence of a God or supreme being but denies revealed religion, basing his belief on the light of nature and reason."

Here are a few quotes from some of those fathers…

Thomas Jefferson, Third president and author of the Declaration of Independence: "The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a virgin, will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter." -- Thomas Jefferson (letter to J. Adams April 11,1823)

James Madison, Fourth president, and father of the Constitution: "Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprise."
"During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What have been its fruits? More or less in all places, pride and indolence in the Clergy, ignorance and servility in the laity, in both, superstition, bigotry and persecution."
From: The Madisons by Virginia Moore, P. 43 (1979, McGraw-Hill Co. New York, NY) quoting a letter by JM to William Bradford April 1, 1774, and James Madison, A Biography in his Own Words, edited by Joseph Gardner, p. 93, (1974, Newsweek, New York, NY) Quoting Memorial and Remonstrance against Religious Assessments by JM, June 1785.

Benjamin Franklin, delegate to the Continental Congress and the Constitutional Convention, said: ”As to Jesus of Nazareth, my Opinion of whom you particularly desire, I think the System of Morals and his Religion...has received various corrupting Changes, and I have, with most of the present dissenters in England, some doubts as to his Divinity; tho' it is a question I do not dogmatize upon, having never studied it, and think it needless to busy myself with it now, when I expect soon an opportunity of knowing the Truth with less trouble." He died a month later, and historians consider him, like so many great Americans of his time, to be a Deist, not a Christian.
From: Benjamin Franklin, A Biography in his Own Words, edited by Thomas Fleming, p. 404, (1972, Newsweek, New York, NY) quoting letter by BF to Exra Stiles March 9, 1790.

Thomas Paine was a pamphleteer whose manifestos encouraged the faltering spirits of the country and aided materially in winning the war of Independence:
I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish church, by the Roman church, by the Greek church, by the Turkish church, by the Protestant church, nor by any church that I know of...Each of those churches accuse the other of unbelief; and for my own part, I disbelieve them all."
From: The Age of Reason by Thomas Paine, pp. 8,9 (Republished 1984, Prometheus Books, Buffalo, NY)

So just because Christians have managed to add, “In God we trust” to our money, and “One Nation Under God” to our pledge (incidentally, both were added to these items later), this does not mean the country was founded on their teachings, just that they have infiltrated their beliefs into our society.

What this country was founded on was freedom. All men are created equal! Nowhere in the Constitution, which is the supreme governing document of this country, does it say that this country was created for Christians alone!

The next time you get offended about something government is doing, or not doing, that isn’t Christian, ask yourself instead is it allowing for the freedom for others to practice their beliefs? The Constitution, and the separation of church and state, are for the protection of the Christian belief as much as it is there for the protection of all other religions.

As the song says, “This land is your land, this land is my land.” Some of you need to start acting like Americans, instead of zealots!

Thursday, June 19, 2003

Time

It’s depressing to think about time. In fact, the more time I spend thinking about time, the less time I then have to do other things.

There are so many sayings revolving around time, or the lack of it. It flies when you’re having fun, it waits for no man, it’s of the essence, it heals all wounds, and yet it continues to march on. If I could save time in a bottle, where would I keep it? Would it have an expiration date?

The older I get, the more I’m aware that the end of my time is speeding toward me. What drives us to continue on? Why do we struggle to learn new things, make new friends, and dream of retirement when we know that in the end, none of it matters!

My job is a daily reminder that there is not enough time in a day to get everything done. I find myself wanting more time to spend with my kids, my wife and all of my other family members and friends near and far.

I miss my grandparents, who’s time ran out a few years back, and I miss my dogs, who suffered the same fate of not enough time.

Modern medicine is helping us gain more time, but we can never truly win. In the end, your time is up! We’re getting more and more into cybernetics. Replacing body parts with mechanical parts. I wonder if we’ll reach the point of being able to sustain ourselves indefinitely, or until a rather nasty accident takes us out of the gene pool for good.

Should we pursue a life of immortality, or continue to try and prolong our existence. And to what end? I for one plan on doing what I can to live forever, but I’m certain that fate will have other ideas.

I’m trying to research my family history, for myself, and for my kids. It amazes me that time has moved so quickly that much of my family has now become utterly forgotten. Their contributions and lives on this little blue planet have fallen between the cracks.

One of my other projects is to get my thoughts down in written form, so that my family can at least read what was going on in my head here and now. Unfortunately, I seem to have little time to do this.

My daughters are growing up rapidly, my hair is turning grey, and my body sounds like a bowl of Rice Krispies with my bones snapping, crackling, and popping. I still feel young, but physically the signs are beginning to show.

So why do we continue living? Working every day to make money that we know darn well is completely unnecessary in the afterlife. It’s a mystery to me.

I have given you all a precious amount of my life here just relaying my thoughts. Time possibly better spent doing other things. Yet I feel the need to share my existence with you all. To leave a mark on the world, no matter how small it is. And hopefully, you will not feel that I have wasted your time in reading my ramblings.

Thank you for spending a small portion of your time allotment reading this blog. Perhaps we’ll all get a good laugh at this entry when we’re 437 years old!

Wednesday, June 18, 2003

Don't Panic!


Literally, these are words to live by. In many situations where people die, or become injured, panic is often a factor. Those who can remain calm under stressful situations seem to have a better chance at survival then those who “freak out” at the drop of a hat.

Scuba diving is a sport better survived by those people who can remain calm during times of stress. Many diving accident victims are actually found with plenty of air in their tank, and no known malfunction of their equipment. The conclusion then, is that the person simply panicked and the result was deadly.

That being said, studies show that the sport of diving is equivalent in safety to bowling. I believe this is attributed to the fact that divers must take a course to learn the proper way to do the sport, and become certified before they can go it alone.

Here is an excerpt from my dive logbook from October 8th, 1981 at which time I found myself in a potentially bad predicament.

“Comments: This was my first combination night dive and lobster hunt. It was great. I got a 3# or 4# lobster, but during the measuring process it got loose. Oh well. My second catch was too tiny so I didn’t even try. My new light (Super QXL-Lite, by Underwater Kinetics) worked really well. This dive demonstrated the need for the diver training exercises you learn in class. At 35 feet down, the entire class was watching our instructor measure a lobster. When it was done, everyone turned one direction to continue on and my dive buddy, Tracy, accidentally fin-kicked me in the face. This knocked my mask loose and my regulator out of my mouth. Without being able to see, I reached around and got my regulator back with the sweeping movement that was taught in class. Now that I could breathe, I then began to reposition my mask and clear it of the water that had completely filled it up. After all of that, it took me a little while to locate, and catch up to, the rest of the class. After all, it was pitch black under the water. The way I located them was to turn off my light and look for the glow of someone else’s light. The dive ended well, but the potential for a panicked ascent was high. Remember, keep calm, regain breathing, then fix other problems...”

Last night I had another experience that those with claustrophobia may not wish to read about.

We were doing darkness and entanglement training at a local lake. Even though the visibility was about 6 inches to begin with, we also placed black covers over our masks to ensure we could not see a thing. My turn came, and I was headed out on the simulated search. When I arrived at a certain point, a safety diver “entangled” me in a rope. And I’ll have to admit, he did a great job getting me tied up!

Next, I gave the signal on the line that I needed assistance, and another diver (also blacked out) came down the line to assist. There the two of us remained, in the dark, and untangling the rope strictly by feeling where our equipment was, and where the rope was tangled up. Time seems like it goes by slowly when you’re trapped in the bottom of a lake in the dark.

Since I am here to relate the story, you know everything went well. I have been a part of training many dive students that this would have just sent them to a rubber room if they lived to tell about it. Night diving is not for everyone, and plenty of fun can be had diving in the daylight, in fairly shallow water with supervision. This is the type of diving you get on vacation at a resort for example.

As we go through life we rarely get to experience situations that call for us to summon our mental strength to survive. So far I am doing pretty well, but I try not to be overly confident because you never know when your limits will be stretched to the breaking point no matter who you are.

When someone has reached theirs, I hope the Water Rescue Team will be there to make sure they live to tell the tale to their grandkids!

Tuesday, June 17, 2003

Peace

Tonight I will know peace. Well, not total silence. The bubbles from my exhaust ports will be waffling past my ears as they make there way to the surface. Tonight will be a scuba dive into a local lake. Although this dive will be more work then relaxation, it will be bliss for me.

I am a member of a water rescue team, and tonight we’re doing darkness and entanglement training. It’s been too long since I have been under water, and I’m looking forward to once again slipping beneath the surface and leaving the rest of the world behind.

My dream has always been to go into space, and scuba diving is as close as I will probably ever come. Scuba diving lets you float weightless, but has so much more to offer then space. While under the water there are many things to see and do. Life is all around you, and you can watch fish, and other critters as they go about their lives wondering what the heck this big bubble-blowing monstrosity is watching them.

If you’ve never had the pleasure I would like to encourage you to go to your local PADI dive shop and ask for a small quickie class called, “Discover Scuba”. For one session you learn a little about scuba diving and get to breath under water in a pool. Trust me, even if you think it will be scary, or you’re not too comfortable in the water, it’s an experience you’ll always remember. You’re not signing up to become a certified diver, there are no dangerous fish in the pool, and it’s not very deep. Just go, and enjoy.

Diving at night is not for the faint of heart. There is no moon, or starlight under water to give you a little vision. When you turn off your light, it’s as dark as being in a room with no windows and no other light source. You cannot see your hand in front of your face! Why do it? Because it’s fun. There are few things in life that you can still do that a million other people aren’t doing right next to you. Night diving is one of those. Heck, diving in a lake in the Northwest is one of those…

So tonight I will know peace. I will enjoy my short time under the cool water listening to the bubbles, and letting the pressures of the surface drain away from me. When I surface once again, I will be refreshed, and ready to face another day.

Monday, June 16, 2003

Diversity And Tolerance

Why can’t we all just play nice together? It’s a nice concept, but unfortunately there is a bad element no matter where you go.

I think it’s great to maintain the memory, and honor, of your roots. Always teach your children where your family has come from, and how they got to where they are today. We label people based on their race, but this should not be the case. People should not be Native American, African American, Chinese American, etc… They should either be one or the other.

Personally, I welcome people of different backgrounds, nationalities, and cultures to America. Many different cultures have a lot to offer this “melting pot” and perhaps many more folks should be listening to what they have to say. When the choice is made by them to live in America, however, and choose to call this great country their home, then there should be some strings attached.

You are not Whatever-American, but American! We speak English here. Learn it! These two simple things would do a lot to straighten out some of our problems in this country. Just about any race of people, that’s right, even white folks, originally came to America because they where persecuted in their own country. I am not proud of the history of this country, with slavery, Japanese interment camps, stomping all over the Indian populations, etc… This is now my country, and the bickering has to stop.

No, you don’t have the right to be paid for past atrocities that happened to your family. It was unfortunate, but it happened. The easy statement, which has been uttered so often it sounds like a cliché, is “if you don’t like it here in America, leave”! Nobody is forcing you to stay here! Our biggest problem is that we try way too hard, bending over backwards, to coddle everyone and to make sure we don’t hurt anybody’s feelings.

Enough is enough. I like the bumper sticker I saw that said, “Get in, shut up, and hold on”. I would love that as our new country motto. Okay, so that’s maybe a bit too harsh, but you get the point. Come on in to America, we’d love to have you here, and we would love for you to share your culture with us. Teach us about your country, your customs and beliefs, and maybe some of your better customs will integrate within our existing system. Don’t you dare whine and demand that we have to accommodate you for any reason just because you came here from somewhere else.

Time and again I hear folks complain that they have no opportunity in this country. That’s B.S., because you become what you make of yourself. Any kid in this country can join the military, have a place to stay, get an education, and a paycheck. From this excellent jumping off point the sky is the limit! Nothing I have received is because I am white. It’s all because I applied myself while in the Air Force, finally got my Bachelor’s degree (only took me 20 years… heh heh heh), and got a great job when I retired.

I’m reminded of an old Mork and Mindy episode where Mork finds a carton of eggs in the refrigerator. He takes the carton and throws the eggs out of it into the air and yells, “Fly, and be free”! Needless-to-say, the eggs all splat on the kitchen counter, at which time Mork tells them, “How can I help you if you won’t help yourselves”?

Take responsibility for yourself. And if you choose to live a life of poverty and crime, there are consequences for that as well.

I’ll leave you with another great movie line (can you tell I grew up watching T.V and movies?). From the Star Wars movie “The Empire Strikes Back”, there was a scene in which Yoda (Jedi Master) is teaching Luke the ways of The Force. After Yoda explains what Luke must do Luke says, “I’ll try”. Yoda immediately comes back with a great line, “Do, or do not. There is no try…”

Make up your mind, then do it!

Saturday, June 14, 2003

The Force

It sounds silly, but in the first Star Wars movie, when Obi Wan explained what The Force was all about, I could really relate. For some reason it struck a cord in me.

I truly believe that there is some energy, life force, or something like that within every living thing, or perhaps even undulating around all of us in the space between. Are we all connected through that life force? Perhaps, but at this point I wouldn’t make any claims to that effect. What I do think, is that this life force is what we tap into when people pray, no matter what type of religion they follow. It’s why prayer sometimes seems to work.

Prayer, in my opinion, is merely a form in which many people can join their life forces together to focus on a central goal. In this way, the human life force can become collectively stronger then it is normally. That’s why churches ask for group prayer, and why witches formed covens. You have all heard that there is strength in numbers.

Living together for a long time, and in close proximity to one another, somehow allows us to recognize the life force of another. This would explain why we have feelings about another person even when we’re miles apart. Apparently this life force is not affected by distance. There is a huge amount of stories where someone was thinking of someone they have not spoken to in years and the other person suddenly calls. Twins will tell you they seem to have an even stronger connection with each other then most of us do.

Through the years I have discovered that I seem to have the ability to sit back and observe things that sometimes escape others. Or perhaps others notice these things too, but are either to busy to contemplate there importance, or allow their beliefs to lump the observation into another category. Whatever the case, it’s difficult to not just stand up and yell, “Don’t you see this?”

I’m too scientific, or analytical, or whatever. This is why I have a hard time wrapping myself around the idea of an invisible supreme being that conveniently created everything, and is somehow pulling all the strings. So why then do I think there is some invisible force that interconnects everything? Because of the stories, claims, and observations I have mentioned already. These are things we can observe, almost all of us have experienced. Calling it a “life force” is merely an attempt on my part to try and put a label to a phenomenon.

Why does prayer work for Christians, Wiccans, Buddhists, Muslims and Jews? Because, just maybe, it’s not about the belief system that was created by man to explain this power, but the power itself. If God granted the power of prayer, then how can Wiccans use their magic (basically prayer) to accomplish the same things?

Maybe God doesn’t care if you call him Goddess, God, Buddha, Odin, Zeus, or Allah. Quite possibly, if some supreme deity does exist, he’s out there somewhere laughing at all of our feeble attempts to categorize him/her into a religion. In the end, if we all live a good life, that should be what counts. I’ve been told I’m more Christian then many Christians. That makes me feel good. I try to live a good life, and treat others well.

What do you think of this explanation? After all of this I can truly say, and with a straight face, may the Force be with you!

Friday, June 13, 2003

Relax

I’m easy going. Some say, too laid back. Pressure, stress, and all the things that go along with them seldom grace my psychological doorstep. This is a good thing, because working as a network administrator has, on more then a few occasions, reduced a person to a basket case. In current times, when technology is growing faster then my waistline, it’s hard to keep up with all of the software updates and hardware installs.

Some may say that I don’t care about anything. This is partially true. I would say it’s more like I tend not to worry about things as much as the more stressed in our society. There are concerns in my life, such as my daughters, wife, job, etc… It’s just that I don’t dwell on all of the “what ifs” that could go along with the responsibilities that I have.

The old television series, “Kung Fu”, was one of my favorites growing up. Not so much for the outstanding acting, or the fact that a white guy was playing a Chinese guy, but for the occasional spouts of wisdom that the master would tell the young apprentice, or that Cain would share with the audience.

In one episode, Cain was in this small home with a group of folks being tormented by that weeks evil doer’s. They were all freaking out that the bad guys were coming, and one of the women walked up to Cain and asked him something along the lines of, “Aren’t you worried?” Cain just calmly looked up at her and said, “If I worry, will that change the future?”

I found this one statement extremely profound. Worrying about something will not only not make it happen, but will cause you more stress-related physiological issues.

Another saying I picked up from a fellow Instructor while serving in the Air Force was one he relayed to his students when they started asking a lot of “what if” questions. He would ask them, “What if worms carried machine guns, would birds starve?” Although quite funny, I found it enlightening. Why should we “what if” our future to death? Who cares! Sit down, have a glass of lemonade, and enjoy the now. Do the best you can day-to-day, and handle whatever comes along when/if it shows up.

There are those in my life that are wound a bit too tightly. I try to talk to them, and really find out what is tightening their springs, but it’s not an easy task. Sometimes I can relieve some of their stresses, but many times it just seems like an up hill battle. If I had the ability to impart anything I knew to a person, I wish it were the ability to transfer my stress-relieving outlook on life.

People say don’t sweat the small stuff. I say, it’s all small stuff!

So if you’re a Dad, or even if you’re not, this weekend grab a cold drink, sit on a lounge chair in the backyard, and think about all the horribly stressful things in your life. Now, look at the sky, the clouds, some birds. Now think about those you love, and who make a difference in your life. Enjoy the fact that you know how small your stresses in life are compared to the big picture that is life. Enjoy the weekend, enjoy your family and friends, enjoy life!

After all, the problems can be looked at on Monday. Isn’t that what Mondays are for?

Thursday, June 12, 2003

Freedom

I have recently retired from the United States Air Force. My reasons for enlisting, and serving the country for over twenty years, are that I believe in this country with all my heart.

Upfront, and foremost, in that belief is the ultimate belief in freedom for everyone. I realize that there must be rules to govern us within reason, but the ultimate goal, even for our laws, should be freedom. I think we sometimes overlook that point in striving to do the right thing. Not to rag on Christians again, but they tend to be the worst in this country to force their belief system on everyone.

One recent example is the “One Nation under God” line in the pledge. I was amazed at the outcry when someone suggested to have this removed from the pledge. If this country stands for freedom for all, and more explosively freedom of religion, then statements about God should not enter into our national statements.

Some of you at this point are probably assuming I hate Christians or something. On the contrary. If the whole country were true Christians we’d all be better off. All I ask is for religious tolerance for all. What if someone wanted to change the pledge to, “One nation, under Buddha”? I can hear the Christians screaming when reading this. Then why should it read “under God”?

I’m not an ignorant person. I fully understand that God, and the Christian doctrine played a substantial role in the formation of this country. But this country was first inhabited by Native Americans, not Christians. Why should they recite the line “under God”? This is what I mean, Christians think this is bad, evil, and terrible, because they cannot tolerate any other religions interfering with their rise to complete global domination.

Sounds a bit harsh eh? But it’s true. We saw the reality of this with this whole pledge business. But the truth is, I served this country so that there is freedom for everyone, including Christians! Do I hate Christians? Absolutely not! Do I hate Christians who try to force their will, and the teachings of their religion onto others. Hate is a strong term, so let’s just say I don’t care for them, and I will fight them (figuratively speaking) all the way.

This country was founded because one flavor of Christians were persecuted and oppressed in Europe, so they fled to the New World to practice their religion without oppression, and vowed to allow anyone else to do the same. How soon we forget our own history.

I stand for freedom for all, as long as it does not hurt others in the process. Take a look in the mirror and ask yourself what you really stand for, Christian or not.

Wednesday, June 11, 2003

Get Religion

Okay, lunchtime, and time to take a few moments to jot down some thoughts.

For years I have been studying religion. Not necessarily as a vocation, but as a life interest.

I grew up, like any other good little church-going person. Went to Sunday school, and church weekly.

Around the time I was graduating high school, I began to wonder what religion, more specifically Christianity, was all about. Not one to leave questions unanswered, I made an appointment with my minister and had a discussion about what exactly this whole church thing was about. As I suspected, it was all B.S. according to the answers I received. In a nutshell, it boiled down to the fact that most of the promises made by the Christian religion boils down to faith. They can't explain it, you just have to rely on faith that it is so...

This to me was the ultimate cover for a religion. Just do as we say, and take it on faith that all of what we say is true. Now, isn't this what was wrong with leaders like Jim Jones, or even the Comet crew? Don't ask questions, just have faith! Is it any wonder we're referred to as sheep in the Christian mythos, and Jesus is our Shepherd? I, for one, am no sheep.

Let me bring up a few points on why the "mainstream" Christian line of thinking is not for me.

1) The Bible is a collection of stories written long ago. It was assembled by numerous men who decided which books were the inspiration of God, and which didn't quite fit in to the message these men wanted to have in their Bible. That's right! There are many books, stories etc... written about the same time that didn't make the cut.
Now let's say I was going to start my own religion, and I walked into Borders and began pulling pieces from various books and sticking them all into one book I was creating that was going to be my Bible. Of course I would be careful to only insert those things that backed my thoughts on how my religion should be. The rest would be tossed out. When I was finished, I would label this the word of God, because all of the stories had to have been inspired by God himself. No really, have faith this is true! And don't you dare question this fact, or you will be put to death as a heretic. Point? The Bible was written by MAN, not God. You do realize the tooth fairy isn’t real either?

2) This brings me to the next point. Christians always enjoyed a good cleansing. Whether it was the destruction of entire cities by both God and his followers, or the variety of Holy Wars and Crusades, Christians have always killed those who did not believe as they do. Today, Christians like to pretend that this was not so, and really get whiney if you bring this fact up to them. Now they are peace-loving, unless you say you don't believe, then they look at you as if you have a disease, and feel sorry for you because you are going to hell. They will, of course, pray for you.

3) Most of the death and wars in our worlds history has sprang from religious intolerance. Someone always wants to kill someone else because of religious differences. And don't get me started on the loonies who kill abortion doctors because these doctors are killing innocent babies. Killing someone, regardless of the reason, is wrong you ignorant wackos! Unfortunately, there are times when you must defend yourself. I am not saying defense is wrong, only not enjoyed by those who truly cherish life.

Perhaps tomorrow I'll share more on this topic, or take you to a place more sane. I look forward to reading any comments you may have on the subject. Let me assure you, comments without intelligent thoughts will be disregarded as uneducated ramblings...

Until next time,

In The Beginning...

Well this is it. Day one of "Life in a Handbasket". Not sure what I will be writing in here, but I'm certain of one thing, it will always be something... As Buckaroo says, "No matter where you go, there you are!"

For now it's back to work, perhaps I'll share some deeper insights before the day is over.