Monday, August 20, 2018

Root out the Pedophiles

    I'm not Catholic. Not even an expert. I'm just an ordinary schlub with an opinion. And opinions are like rectums. Everyone has one, and everyone thinks that theirs is the only one that don't stink.
     But looking at the latest chapter in this never ending saga of scumbag priests and the equally scumbag bishops who protect them. 
      First of all, pedophiles are not unique to religions in general and Catholicism in particular. Every walk of life has pedophiles. Pedophilia is a HUMAN condition.  Doctors, lawyers, priests, security guards, you name the occupation, there are pedophiles infesting it.  No profession is immune. And yes, there are atheist and agnostic and non-religuous pedophiles.
       Second, the Catholic Church has had scandal in it from the moment it was created. The Church claims that it was created by Jesus Christ. However, who does Jesus work through? Humans. Flawed, f****d up humans. Even at the top. The Church has had corrupt f****d up Popes. It has had flawed f****d cardinals, bishops, priests, and deacons. It has flawed, f****d up laity.
     But the Church is supposed to have a charge laid down by Jesus Christ to preach the Gospel, make disciples, take care of the least among us, and be the Light of the World. And the overwhelming majority of cardinals, bishops, priests, deacons and laity are good hard-working people who felt called by God to serve his church.
     But a few scumbags, shit birds, corrupt lowlifes, and predators have infested the church and used the least and the weakest among us to play out their twisted, evil, Satanic perversions.  These loathsome creatures are the cockroaches that plague the church and spread their filth. You know how to get rid of cockroaches? Shine a light on them to expose them, find out where their nest is and eliminate them with extreme prejudice. 
      No more bishops passing on their problems to other dioceses. No more cover ups and hush money payoffs. No more secrets, no more lies, no more bullshit. The Church needs to stop playing games and stop the  platitudes from the old men in the Vatican beseeching the faithful to fast and pray for  God to intervene and miraculously take the problem away.
     God works thru human beings. And human beings have to take charge and do the heavy lifting and the hard dirty work to clean up this mess. The pedophiles need to be rooted out and put behind bars or into mental facilities to receive treatment. The bishops, cardinals and even Popes who cover up for them must be defrocked, arrested and put into jail.
     For they have violated the sacred trust bestown on them when they were ordained.  And even if they claim to be healed, they should never be allowed to work with children again. And while I support a married and female clergy, I do not believe  that those changes are the great panacea. There are plenty of pedophiles who are married with children.
     Whitney Houstonn sang that our children are our future, we should teach them well and let them lead the way. Jesus came down hard on those who mistreated children. He said that a giant millstone should be hung around their necks and they should be drowned in the sea.
     The Church needs to offer compassion and forgiveness to those who truly confess their sin and earnestly repent, but that doesn't mean that they go scot free. Nothing is more  important than the protection of our children. And that means that no expense nor effort should be spared in order to protect them. And this goes for all God's Church. Catholic, Protestant, and otherwise.
     We, the people of God will be judged by how we care for the least of us. And those predators who prey on our children and refuse to confess their sin and seek true repentance need to suffer the ultimate consequence... eternal separation from God.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

A change in my Christian thinking.

     While I claim to be a Christian overall in my faith journey, I've never been comfortable with how Christianity deals with people who are not Christian but who have led good and virtuous lives. 
      Basically, the Bible says that those who have not accepted Jesus Christ as their savior are going to hell. Period. Do not pass go, do not collect $200. Doesn't matter whether they've lived good virtuous lives even better than most Christians, when they die, they take the down escalator and get to spend eternity with Old Scratch. I'm not really cool with that anymore.
       I tend to look at things from others' points of view, and I just find that whole line of thinking manifestly unfair.  So I've adjusted my thinking. It's not orthodox Christianity, far be from me to think that I, a single person can change over 2,000 years of teaching in a faith that numbers billions, but it's my way of thinking, and God will probably give me a ecclesiastical wedgie and an ass chewing worthy of a 25 year Navy master chief when I finally get to meet Him.
      But basically, I'm adopting the belief that when a virtuous non-Christian dies, they'll be subject to whatever their faith's teaching dictates in regard to an afterlife. If they are either atheist or agnostic, they'll be worm food.
      But if their faith dictates that they'll go to whatever their faith calls a Heaven, that's where I believe they'll end up. The truly evil people of the world, the Hitlers, the Bin Ladens, the unrepentant mass murderers, rapists, child molesters, that bunch are still going to hell. No dispute there. 
      Those in the middle, those who's lives are not totally virtuous nor totally evil, whether Christian or non-Christian, I believe, they'll be deal with according to their faith, if they have one.  I guess this is all part of my no longer being of an Evangelical bent. It sounds kind of semi-Universalist.
      Definitely not what the Bible teaches. But I can't stomach seeing people who have lived lives worthy of merit being consigned to damnation because they chose not to accept Jesus. Because they cling to and derive meaning and strength from a faith that is different from mine. I love Jesus, but some of his disciples deserve a smack upside the head. Probably includes me as well.
      I guess the best way to describe me these days is as a Unitarian-Universalist of Christian persuasion  with Episcopal leanings.  I guess that I no longer fear hell  or damnation. Which may come back to haunt me down the road. As the old spiritual goes, "We'll understand it better, by and by."

Thursday, August 02, 2018

Evangelicalism and Uncle P.

      Currently reading a book called Believers. The author of this book explores the world of Evangelical Christianity.  Just starting it.
      The reviews state that the author is giving the subject an even handed analysis. We'll see.
       I went thru a brief phase of Evangelicalism while I was in the service. With an emphasis on End-time theology. I read Revelation and Daniel a few times, read a lot of Hal Lindsay and the entire Left Behind series ( It was meh. Not gory enough for me.)
        And I thought about concepts of whether the Rapture was going to happen Pre, Mid or Post-Tribulation. I was a Pre-Tribber for those who are curious.
        I listened to a lot of Christian music, mostly Petra, some Stryper, Steve Taylor and DeGarmo and Key. I even chucked my entire ELO collection because some TV preacher convinced me that their music was inspired by Satan.  Won't make that mistake again. 
         I grew out of that phase when I joined an Episcopal Church. Now my Christianity is a lot more fluid, in some ways, more confusing. It's more liberal, more questioning, less dogmatic. I take the Bible seriously, not literally. I no longer believe that it is inerrant. I'm not interested in winning the world to Christ, nor am I interested in living in, or working toward a Christian theocracy in  America.  
      I have a bad habit of looking at things from the POV of a minority, and I can see a Christian theocracy as not being in the best interests of non-Christians.
      I call BS on those preachers that insist that Christians are being persecuted in America. And I don't 'witness' to people because evangelism is too much like selling stuff. And I hate selling things. I believe I need to get my spiritual house in order before hanging condemnation notices on others.
       Finally, I can't accept how Evangelicals  embraced the Republican Party values in the 80's starting with the Moral Majority and ended up being foursquare behind a person like Trump, who's values and behavior are 180 degrees opposite of Jesus. They can say the ends justify the means, but if Obama had done one-tenth the stuff Trump has done or had done prior to being elected, they'd be screaming bloody murder.
       I'm a live and let live kinda guy. Everybody has to figure out what helps them get thru the long night. Christianity, as I see it, works for me. Might not work for you. That's up to you to figure out. I'll respect the path you travel as long as you respect my path. Too bad we all can't embrace that philosophy.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

A Democratic Faceplant in 2020.

     Despite Trump doing all he can to prove that he must not be reelected in 2020, It wouldn't surprise me if the Democrats do a face plant and end up losing in 2020, because  they spend all their time fighting over themselves about who's more liberal-than-thou.
       I see the problem as: Many Democrats will all hunker down into their little closed minded tribes, listen to the people who resonate with them, read the books and media they agree with, and turn up their noses at those whom they disagree with.
       They won't give up anything, but will expect others to concede to the greater cause.
       They'll spend precious time and money  giving litmus tests to fellow Democrats, telling them that they are either too liberal or not liberal enough.
        All the while, Trump and his minions will lockstep into another four years in the White House. 
        If Democrats want to take back the White House, they need to gather their disparate tribes together, put aside their differences and everybody has to be willing to swallow their pride, and unify.
         They need to stop thinking that politics is a zero-sum game.  They need to put out a message that will attract the Trumpies who voted for him, but aren't seeing him as the answer they thought he was.  They need to stop bashing Trump and give people a reason to vote FOR them, other than to be anti-Trump.
          A lot of the people who voted for Trump were part of the original Democratic constituents before the party decided to sidle up to the elites on the coasts.  Working class/middle-class people in the heartland, the so-called flyover states.  They may be a little more conservative than the elites, but they were reaching out for a lifeline and the Democrats threw them an anvil.
          Trump threw them a lifeline and they grabbed for it, not seeing that the lifeline ended up being a noose.
           Democrats need to get their collective heads out of their butts, stop worrying about safe spaces for coddled millennials, and get their hands dirty.

Saturday, July 07, 2018

The Devil You Know.

     The Democrats are fractured. The Bernie crowd have everybody thinking that if they give everybody free stuff, that'll work.(It won't) 
     The rest of the party just puts out the same old tired assed anti-Trump message and they don't tell people what they are for.
     Hillary and Pelosi should be put out to pasture. If there was a real need for a legitimate third party that takes the moderate views of the Democrats and the Republicans and leaves the full mooners out on their own respective islands, it is right now.
     I find the extreme left and right equally annoying. And I'm not interested in listening to either of them.
     I have a feeling that the Dems probably will not win much in the midterms, and they better get their disparate wings together or else we'll have another four years of MAGA or MAWA.
      I'm registered Democrat, because they are the devil I know. And in Pennsylvania, if you want  to vote in a primary election, you have to belong to a registered  political party. Which I feel is vaguely unconstitutional.
      But if a legit moderate third party were to come into existence, I'd kick the donkey to the curb in a heartbeat. But the Dems and Repubs make it difficult for a third party to make headway in this country. They don't want third party to fracture their chokehold on the electoral process. Too bad. Both of them are two sides of the same coin.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

A Bitching Sailor is a Happy Sailor.

If there was one thing I could take away from my six years in Uncle Sam's Boat Club, other than the propensity to drink copiously, spout vulgar language at the drop of a hat, and a bad habit of constantly referring to my service of teh Facebook whether people wanted to hear about it or not, was that I learned how to cook.
      My job officially was called a Mess Management Specialist. Which is a 50 cent word for a cook. It wasn't what I originally enlisted to do, I go into that long convoluted spiel at a later date.  But I ended up going to school in San Diego for six weeks in 1981 to learn how to cook, Navy style.
      'A' School, as it was known then was an entry level school designed to insure that when you got to the fleet, you weren't completely useless. You could go into any Navy galley and at least know what to do with a knife and could identify a copper (large steam jacketed kettle used to make soups, sauces, etc), a griddle, a fryer, and an oven. 
       Of course, OJT is how you really learned how to get down. And get down is what we did. A lot of long hours, sore feet, bloody and burnt appendages, and bad backs from throwing around boxes of No. 10 cans, 70 lb steamship rounds, and 50 lb bags of flour. 
       But by the end of it all, I learned to cook. Not Bobby Flay or Anthony Bourdain level of Food Network culinary wizardry, but at least I won't starve. Breakfast was always my favorite meal to cook. I was the egg man on my carrier and cruiser. I'd man the griddle on my chow line and guys (Combat Navy ships were all male at the time) would call out how they wanted their eggs, and by the time, they got to me, their order would be ready.
      I got so that I could have a dozen orders on the griddle at the time. Scrambled, omelets, eggs to order. I got pretty good at it. It was about keeping that line moving. Dudes didn't have time to eat leisurely. So they wanted to get in, eat, and get out.
       And when I wasn't cooking eggs, I was backing up the line when stuff ran out. On my cruiser at sea, we fed 500 guys three times a day. Seven days a week. Multiply that number by 8 on a carrier. Easily putting in 80 hours a week.  It was a grind. We worked our asses off.
     And we got a lot of compliments, but also a lot of complaints too. A bitching sailor is a happy sailor. But we got it done.  I won't say that I can cook like a chef on Food Network, but give me a recipe card, and the appropriate ingredients, and I can whip up something that's edible, at least to me.

Friday, June 22, 2018

This S**t has to stop!

     I refuse to look at the comments left after the posts re: the shooting of Antwon Rose. Either the incident itself or the protest.
     Because I know what a lot of them will say. It'll be a lot of nasty back and forth. Some of it will be borderline, if not outright racist. Enough dog whistling that even the deafest dog on the planet couldn't help but respond.
     A lot of rage, anger and foulness from both sides. I'm tired of it.
     And in the middle of it all. A scared young man caught up in a bad situation gunned down. And the 99.99% of us who weren't there will take up sides and lob verbal grenades at each other. 
     All along, two lives have been sacrificed. The young man, and the cop who shot him.
     One will never live to see his potential fulfilled.
     The other will have to live with his decision knowing that the life that was planned out for him will have changed permanently, most likely for the worse
      This f*****g insanity has to stop.