Tuesday, October 24, 2017

When is Soon?

While at my Mum's house, I got a visit from a couple of handsome older gentlemen who wished to talk to me about the imminent coming of Jesus. They introduced themselves as Ray and Gary.

I love talking to these people. Generally, they are pleasant and charming and I have some respect for people who care about their faith so much that they would accept so much rejection.

"The Bible says that Jesus is coming soon," said Ray, reaching for his pamphlet.

"You guys have been saying that for quite some time, y'know," I replied. Gary snickered, but recovered quickly.

"That's fair," he shugged. "But it's important to be ready."

"Besides," I interjected, "What is the concept of soon to an infinite being that knows nothing of time? If God is going to create a world of beings who live finite lives, you'd think it would not speak vaguely about time with words like Soon. It would know that an infinite concept of Soon needs to be converted to a finite concept of a precise Date."

This statement stymied them both for a moment." You're an interesting man to discuss these things with," Ray said finally.

"That is very kind of you to say, Ray. "

"Do you think we could come back to discuss this further sometime?" He began to reach for his datebook.

"Sorry Ray, but I'm only visiting my Mum for a couple of days. I need to get back to Montreal soon."

Disappointed, Ray put his datebook back, but before he could say anything, I grinned and said "And Ray, by soon, I mean tomorrow."

We shook hands and bid each other a good-day.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Do not kneel to the high heel

Quebec has once again reawakened the face covering debate by attempting to legislate what women can and cannot do, what they would wear and what they cannot wear. Supporters of the bill believe that they are saving these women from oppression and ensuring their freedom by forcing them to adhere to a North American cultural standard.

Of course, this completely ignores the ability of these women to make personal choices that would make other people uncomfortable, but the supporters are confident that they have these women's best interests at heart, even though they entirely dismiss their ability to make decisions for themselves.

What I question where is where is their moral outrage for women who insist to wear high heels for more hours than is medically recommended in order to religiously adhere to an unreasonable standard of beauty. Why are these women not being saved from the very real, documented physical damage they are inflicting upon their ankles, knees, spine everyday?

While you may argue that wearing a head covering is a symbol of unimpressive culture or religion, at least the coverings are not damaging the woman's face or head. If anything, considering the ravages of a Canadian winter, Muslim women are more protected than your average person from the intense cold and snow.

High heels serve absolutely no purpose other than to make a woman taller and to hobble her movement. One aspect is to make her an object to be gazed upon, and the other is to keep her from enjoying freedom of movement, trapping her in social situations like a pet on a leash.

Why would these women subject themselves to such harm, and yet we allow it to happen? You could argue that these women are making a conscious choice to wear high heels, but in the society that places so much value on a way a woman looks and how closely she adheres to an arbitrary standard of cutie, how can we be sure that she's even capable of making these choices herself? What if it's the men in her Social Circle that are forcing her to damage her ankle spine and knees so they don't socially reject her, lowering her status in her community and hampering her ability to succeed.

If Muslim women cannot be trusted to make the proper choices about their facial wear, North American women also cannot be trusted to wear Footwear that allows them freedom of movement while ensuring their good health. The religion of fashion seeks to enslave these women, disregarding their intellect, their values, and their talents that once harnessed, could have Advanced our society in ways that men could only dream of.

Therefore, I refuse to kneel at the Temple of the Elevated Heel and I encourage my sisters to join me toe to toe. And if they won't, then I will petition the government to make the wearing of the high heel not only illegal, but a criminal offense. This will ensure equality between the genders, quite literally leveling the playing field in terms of unnatural height, and save these women from themselves, the poor dears.

@@ UPDATE @@

Ontario steals my thunder.

Monday, September 18, 2017

The Responsibility of Free Speech

Person 1: Hello everyone and thank you for agreeing to meet and discuss the issues at hand. We've got some huge problems to solve, so let's get at it.

[general discussion of possible solutions]

P2: How about we just eradicate the Elves?

P1: What? What did you just say?

P2: The Elves. I mean, they are the real problem and they cause all the issues. It's a known fact. If we just band together, we could just eradicate the Elvish problem and everything else would take care of itself.

P1: Get out. You are no longer welcome at this table.

P2: Now hang on just a minute. I have Freedom of Speech and Thought in this country! You cannot prevent me from speaking my mind! It's my right.

P1: Actually, as much as I would like to, I cannot toss your racist ass in jail for expressing your deplorable ideas. However, sitting at this table is a privilege, not a right, and you have failed to meet the standards that allow for that privilege.

P2: No! No! I have the right to speak my mind and you MUST allow me to express it.

P1: You're wrong. You can sit at home and be racist all you like. You can sit in your own space and think all the murderous thoughts you want to. But the moment you attempt to express or broadcast those violent, oppressive, destructive thoughts in a public square, this is where the line is crossed. In a public square, everyone should be able to expect a minimum standard of safety and security to be met. In a public setting, you have a responsibility to the public to be honest and factual in the ideas you share. To express ideas that are designed to incite people to actively place others in harm's way violates that expectation.

P2: You have no right to curb my right to personal expression, nor can you oppress me because of my values. That is a slippery slope to fascism!

P1: While it is true that taken to an extreme, attempting to too-tightly control the personal expression of people can lead to oppressive regimes, holding the public good in higher regard can provide better guidelines about what is acceptable or unacceptable. Each case must be examined carefully.

P2: But... but...

P1: However, in this case, this is my table and I get to set the minimum standard. For the expression of that racist view, you have violated the standards of this gathering and now you are no longer welcome here. Not now, not ever. You still have freedom of thought, you have freedom of movement, but your access to this table and this discussion is officially revoked. Get out.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Only You Can Tell Your Story

Hey you. Yeah, you there. Don't look behind you, expecting to see someone else. I'm talking to you specifically.

I know you're struggling with today, afraid of tomorrow, and regretting the past. You've done some questionable things, you and I both know it. You've hurt people without meaning to, you've hurt others on purpose believe you were completely justified in doing so. Maybe now with the wisdom that comes from hard living you've realized you weren't so justified. Maybe you still think you were justified to make those destructive decisions and you're certain that those nights you woke up in a cold sweat are completely unrelated.

But I'll let you in on a secret that might help: What you do today is the only thing that has any real worth. The decisions you make today reflect the only real you that has ever mattered. You are completely in control of this very moment and what you decide right now will change your boundaries and restrictions. It's all on you and the power that you wield in this very moment.

I know that sounds like a lot or even an over-simplification of the immensely complicated lives we lead. I guess in some ways that it is, but I prefer to look at it as a refocusing of your intent, an intentisifying of your divine foothold in this life.

But what you did in the past is simply a remnant of your present-day power. Back then, you had that moment in your hands, you made your decision, and the moment was past, becoming a permanent part of your story. The only reason to dwell on that past moment is to reflect on what you learned from it so that you can make another decision in THIS moment. What you do NOW is the purest expression of who you are,

You are the storyteller, so you get to decide where the story goes. It doesn't matter how the story was told in the past: your past doesn't define who you are in this moment. What matters is where you are taking your story right now.

As the old expression goes: you reap what you sow. If you want to live a happy story, sow happiness in others. But you cannot increase love in this world by sowing hatred. Self-righteousness does not convert hateful acts into a loving reality. When faced with what is ugly in this world, you must meet with with more beauty. To face what is ugly from your past, you must create beauty in your present.

And to do that, you must make a decision right here, right now, knowing that it will become a permanent part of the story of you. Don't let the past dictate the quality of the present. Write a new, better story right here, right now.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Letting Go: It's Dangerous

I had to listen to this bizarro rant a few times to keep track of what he's actually saying. His persona voice and tossing about of jargon is super distracting.


There are many ways to Let Go, but I think Silva is trying to focus on living in the moment rather than worrying about the future or past. But then he starts talking about Ego Imprisonment, which is a completely different kind of Letting Go experience. Sure, both of them are tied together in some ways, but they are not interchangeable. One has to do with the release of control of the moment, and the other has to do with our self-imposed definitions and restrictions.

The first question Silva asks is "Why is it so hard to let go?" He spends the rest of this rant trying to explain why it's good to let go (like all the gurus keep telling us), but he never really explains why is it hard to let go, nor how to actually let go.

But I can tell you why it is hard to let go: it comes from the fear of failure, the fear of disappointment or rejection, and the fear of facing the unknown. People hang onto their preconceptions because they are comforting, because they are expected to cling and be accepted rather than question and be rejected, and because the unknown has more terrifying questions than satisfying answers.

It is not only difficult and terrifying to let go, it is also dangerous. Letting go completely and for the long-term makes it difficult to operate in this society. The trick is to let go enough to explore the possibilities, and then to grasp and own enough to operate efficiently. You can then incorporate what you discovered in letting go and innovate your integration in everyday society.

It's a process that is prone to much failure, but as long as you can embrace failure and use it as a teacher rather than a punisher, you can keep making progress bit by bit. The only other option is lay stagnant in your growth, allowing others to determine your direction, values, and goals.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Predator vs Prey

Note: I did NOT come up with this theory. I read it somewhere years ago and I forget the source. If anyone can remind me of the source, I'll link to it in the article.

I was out with a friend and she remarked "I don't know why guys get so bent out of shape to see two guys kissing. They like it when women kiss, but get so threatened when guys kiss. What's their deal?"

The following was my response:

It comes down to these men hanging their entire self-identity on the traditional view of romantic relationships where men are the predator and women are the prey. Men hunt and consume, while women are hunted and consumed. Men are the strong predators and women are the weak prey.

The reason it is not threatening to watch women kiss is that prey can consume each other and they are not a threat to the predator. Each woman is playing the part of the prey and is being consumed, so men can still feel strong and unthreatened as the predator.

But when men kiss each other, that means that one of them is the prey and the other is the predator. One man is being consumed while the other consumes. To a man who clings to a traditional view of male-female relationships, it is disturbing to watch a man play the weaker role as prey, as being the one who is being consumed. It makes the man worried that he may not always be the predator because of his maleness. Watching two men kiss tells him that he could be the one being consumed rather than being the consumer, he could become prey, and this feels like a violation of the natural order of things.

Similarly, the man who clings to his predator title will feel threatened by a woman who hunts him. A woman who is self-assured, strong, confident, and who take the power of the predator will threaten a man who feels entitled to be the predator. He is no longer the predator by default because of his gender: he will need to put effort into his role as predator and he may fail at this task, making him the prey, making him weak, making him be the consumed.

In conclusion, men who are uncomfortable with expressions of non-heterosexuality do so from a fear of losing their male-entitled social position as predator. These men are afraid that they'll be treated the way that they treat women.

Jesus Christ was a Brown Jew

Yoinked from lauralot89:
Jesus Christ was a brown Jew in the Middle East, conceived out of wedlock in an arguably interracial if not interspecies (deity and human) relationship, raised by his mother and stepfather in place of his absent father.  He may not have had a Y chromosome.  He spent his early youth as a refugee in Egypt, where his family no doubt survived initially on handouts from the wealthy (you think they kept that gold, frankincense, and myrrh from the wise men?  Hell no, they sold that stuff for food and lodging).  He later returned with his parents to their occupied homeland and lived in poverty.
The religion of Jesus’s people has no concept of a permanent hell and instructed its priests on how to induce miscarriages.  Jesus explicitly rejected the concept of disability as a divine punishment.  He spoke out against religious hypocrites.  He had enough respect for women to let his mother choose the time of his first miracle.  He blessed a same sex couple.  He told a rich man that he must give up his wealth to get to heaven, and also told a parable about a rich man suffering in agony in presumably Gehinnom (basically Purgatory) just to hammer the point home.  He told people to pay their taxes.  He declared “love your neighbor” to be one of the two commandments on which all laws hang.  He commanded his followers to help the poor.  He commanded them to help the sick and the needy.  He spent time with social outcasts.  He healed the servant of a high priest during his arrest rather than fighting back.  He was put to death by the occupying government because he was a political radical.
Trump and his administration are xenophobic, misogynistic, racist, fear-mongering, warmongering, tax-dodging, anti-Semitic, anti-choice, anti-welfare, anti-equal pay, anti-LGBTQIA+, anti-immigration, support tax cuts for the rich, support Citizen’s United, want to keep refugees out of this country, want to limit our ability to speak against the government, plan to abolish the Affordable Care Act, and they wrap all of that up behind a banner of “Christian family values.”  If you support them, you have no right to call yourself a follower of Christ.