Leaving Christianity – Oh What A Relief It Is!

Oh What A Relief It Is!Although I left Christianity over 20 years ago, it took a long while for me to erase the doctrines that had been embedded within my consciousness for 15+ years. It was not an easy road.

As Stephen Van Eck wrote on the Deism.com website: “Once sucked into the parallel universe of Christianity, [a person] is too intimidated by threats and rationalizations to attempt escape. Even thinking along alternative lines will induce severe feelings of guilt.”
Writing my book helped tremendously because of all the research and reading I did. Learning how and why certain doctrines of the Christian faith (e.g., final judgment, burning fires of hell, Satan and his demons, the end-times) were introduced into the faith was extremely liberating … and removed a ton of guilt and fear.

I also found out some things about the Bible. As many others, I had been taught the Bible was “God’s Word” (even though the interpretation of what “He” said varies considerably among denominations). Through my studies, I discovered that much of what is in the bible is the result of stories, epics, myths, legends, proverbs, etc. that were passed by word of mouth from one generation to another. This is particularly true of the Hebrew Bible, but intrinsically typical of the New Testament scriptures as well. Can you imagine the burden that was lifted when I found out I wasn’t genetically inclined to sin and thus in need of someone to save me from being human??!?

Contrary to what one might think, the many discoveries I made did not turn me into an atheist. However, I definitely do not believe in a supernatural being who lives somewhere “up there,” who can be manipulated by prayer, or who has a “will.” Rather, my image of “God” is far more encompassing and has nothing to do with religious belief. In fact, I’m extremely reluctant to even use the word “god” because of all its connotations.

In any case, I find my life so much more fulfilling now. Truly, what a relief it has been!

Trump Mandate: Flush Once

According to our illustrious POTUS, we are in a toilet-flushing crisis.

With impeachment breathing down his neck and countless domestic and international crises to consider, Donald Trump recently took on a pressing enemy: toilet flushing.

“People are flushing toilets 10 times, 15 times as opposed to once. They end up using more water.”

While his point seemed to be related to relaxing water-conservation standards, one cannot help but snicker at his comments (along with noting the distraction value of his concern).

Trump added that the government is investigating this urgent issue … and they are also “looking very strongly at sinks and showers.”

You can read the entire article here.

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Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay

And Now For Some Comic Relief

Do you read the daily newspaper comics? You know the ones I’m talking about … Peanuts, Dilbert, Dagwood, Garfield, The Born Loser, etc., etc.

I think many of us do. It’s a nice change from all the “bad news” that so often dominates the headlines (and everywhere else you look).

Anyway, I thought it might be fun to share our favorites. I’ve listed the strips that our local paper carries — yours may be different.

  • Frazz
  • Pickles
  • Frank and Ernest
  • Peanuts
  • Dilbert
  • Sally Forth
  • For Better of For Worse
  • Garfield
  • Blondie
  • The Born Loser
  • Lola
  • Get Fuzzy
  • Pearls Before Swine
  • Luann
  • Non Sequitur
  • Beetle Bailey
  • Phoebe and Her Unicorn
  • Zits
  • Hagar the Horrible
  • Dennis the Menace
  • B.C.
  • The Family Circus
  • Doonsbury

My #1 Favorite is Pickles. Probably because it frequently represents things that occur in our household.

My other “daily reads” are Zits, Beetle Bailey, Peanuts, Garfield, Dilbert, Blondie. I also like Hagar the Horrible, but it’s only printed on Sundays.

Some of the older strips I used to like — Popeye, Nancy, Archie, Flintstones — seem to have disappeared. At least they aren’t included in our local paper. (Am I dating myself?)

BTW, I’ve been rather disappointed in Garfield lately. Not sure what it is, but to me  Jim Davis is losing his edge. Any of you feel the same?

Anyway — it’s time to share! Tell us about YOUR favorites — as well as the ones you never read.

P.S. Of course this post is based on the assumption some or all of you still subscribe to and read print newspapers. 🙂

Will History Repeat Itself?

In 2016, when it was time to elect a new President of the United States, a man named Donald J. Trump entered the race. While he had no political experience, many of the wannabes of America were enthralled with the fact he was included on the Forbes list of the richest individuals in the world. Surely, they said, this wealthy man has the business acumen and smarts to put plans into place that will help those of us who struggle to pay bills and put food on the table.

So they voted him into the office of POTUS.

What many of the voters either did not know about Trump (or didn’t care) was that he gained his riches through some rather nefarious means. Further, his wealthy status tended to be irregular due to a number of failed endeavors.

As it turned out, none of this mattered. All his supporters could see was a “successful businessman” who was going to put money in their pockets as well. (At least that’s what he promised.)

As we now approach the end of Trump’s third year in office, some of us cannot help but ask … has it happened? Has the income of the poor and struggling increased? Have the promised new jobs appeared? Has America become greater?

I’ll let my readers be the judge.

In any event, the year 2020 is almost upon us and by next year’s end, we will be voting to either elect a new POTUS … or keep the one we have.

While many of us have strong resistance to keeping Trump in office, we are also not that enthralled with the several candidates who have expressed a desire to step into the Oval Office. We have our “favorites,” but admit they each have their failings.

Enter Michael Bloomberg. A Billionaire … AND … a Democrat!

Hmmm. It seems the question now becomes … do Riches and Votes have anything in common?

A little history on how Bloomberg made his billions — after 15 years at Salomon Brothers, a Wall Street firm, he was let go with a $10 million severance package. He then used these funds to found Bloomberg, LP, a media and financial data services company, which has made him (at this writing) the 9th richest man in the world on the Forbes list of billionaires.

It’s important to also mention that Bloomberg is a genuine philanthropist (not a self-proclaimed one). In fact, he is a member of The Giving Pledge, whereby billionaires pledge to give away at least half of their wealth. (To date, Bloomberg has given away $8.2 billion, including a $1.8 billion gift in November 2018 to John Hopkins financial aid program. He’s also made significant contributions towards fighting climate change.)

A rather startling fact is that Mr. Bloomberg has pledged he will fully support his own campaign. That is, he will not accept any sort of political donations — nor will he take any presidential salary if elected. He has further declared he is willing to spend “whatever it takes to defeat Donald Trump.”

Please Note: I am not writing this post as an endorsement for Michael Bloomberg. I’m simply curious to know if his wealth is going to influence the voters who believed Trump’s wealth would better their position in life. If so, perhaps we’ll end up with a rich Democrat in the Oval Office.

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P.S. I’m well aware of the distaste that many feel about “the rich” running this country. But this post is not about that. Rather, it’s about what really matters to certain voters. Do they want to keep a “wealthy” man who doesn’t have a clue about running this country to remain in office? Or will they consider a man who not only has riches, but has proven his ability to run a successful company AND hold a political office?

Or must political affiliation always be the ruling factor?

Fact? Or Opinion?

From NYTimes Morning Briefing, 11/18/19 (via email):

“Now more than ever, the lines between fact-based reporting and opinionated commentary seem blurred for people,” said Evette Alexander, research director at a journalism foundation. “That means they trust what they are seeing less. They are feeling less informed.”

Details: According to one recent poll, 47 percent of Americans believe it’s difficult to know whether the information they encounter is true. About 60 percent say they regularly see conflicting reports about the same set of facts from different sources.

I think this is a very real problem in today’s political news environment. Unless people take the time — and make the effort — to read or listen to more than one source (even if it’s contrary to personal leanings), they are going to “swear” that what they’ve read or heard is 100% true and accurate.

And I daresay, nearly all of us are guilty. We tend to believe (and agree with) the sources that go along with our personal perspectives.

I admit it’s difficult to enter into the world of diametric information. It can often raise the blood pressure a notch or two. But if we truly want to judge a situation (or individual) without prejudice, it’s important to look at all sides.

As many have expressed, the news sources of today are greatly influenced by corporate dollars, which means they often focus on the events and happenings that will draw in the most readers/listeners. This is all the more reason why we need to consider all sources … even those with “low” ratings.

In one of my recent postings, I encouraged researching various news sources to determine how biased your favorite is. While you’re at it, take a look at the ones you find at the other end of the spectrum from yours. Most likely you won’t agree with their reporting, but it will help you to see and understand why your neighbors/friends/work associates disagree with your political views. And it just might open up an opportunity to share something they weren’t aware of. Perhaps you might even change their viewpoint!