I remember last year when I was trying to decide to stay in England or come home. There were good reasons to stay there, the chief one being the NHS (National Health Service). I had peace of mind about my illnesses and never worried about paying for doctor or hospital bills. I paid my taxes like everyone else and never once begrudged the fact that others were helped too. We were all helping each other.
Another factor in my decision was the fact that I was farther away from my kids. I wanted to be able to see them more often than once a year. My religious nut sister made a show of how I should come home and I’d be happier, blah, blah… But you know what, since I’ve been here she’s hardly called or come over or talked to me. Her advice only fit into her fantasy world. She only wanted me back because of her “patriotic” belief that America was better than any other country and I’d be better off here even if people die from not being able to afford care. She’s the most selfish person I’ve ever met.
No, my stay in England was invaluable. It showed me that there were people who did not mind if others were helped with “their” money, although once they are taxes they aren’t your money any longer. Sure there were “patriotic” idiots in England who wanted all immigrants to stay away and keep England “pure”, but every country has those. No, her blinders were religious in nature and explains Trump supporters: religious fanatics who scream about Shariah courts yet want our court system to be taken over by religious nuts like them. They want our Supreme Court riddled with rapists like Kavanaugh. These American religious idiots spew filth about immigrant caravans, forgetting that we all came from an immigrant caravan that imposed itself upon the people who inhabited this land before we did. They attend flat earth conferences (my sister) and believe no one gets shot or dies from mass shootings (my sister) because they spend inordinate amounts of time setting it all up to fool people. In other words; these people are mentally ill and incompetent. Again, my sister.
So I don’t believe we can extend a hand to try to understand such mania. That is a supreme waste of time and energy. All we can do is combat them by using laws against religious hate speech such as theirs. You see, they WANT violence. It feeds their persecution complex and “proves” they are right about how the world is getting worse and worse. They desire Apocalypse almost erotically. It literally gets them off to believe there will be a final battle to end all battles and they will work to that end. Our electoral system is fucked, which is why Trump got elected, but I see no change coming concerning that in the near future.
So beware advice from family members, especially religious ones. They do NOT have your best interests at heart. They have their own agendas and it doesn’t include your health or happiness.
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A couple of things bother me today.
Yesterday, had a lovely lunch with my daughter, my best friend, and my sister. Alcohol and other things were involved and as usual it ends with my sister yelling at the top of her voice at me because she disagrees with me politically. My friend sits there bemused and the exchanges sends my daughter outside to smoke. Meanwhile everyone in the neighborhood can hear the exchange which is embarrassing. Should I have stopped it? Yes. Did I? No, because old habits die hard. You see, my sister is a Christian fundie racist who listens to Glenn Beck and believes all the apocalyptic things the quasi-Christian/Republican right says on the radio/fox news/etc. I used to be just like her. I believed all the doom and gloom stories that I was fed, was a racist, and wanted everyone to just leave me alone so I could do with my money as I saw fit.
Then I met someone on the other side of the world with a loving, compassion about them who challenged me. I also deconverted from a Christianity like my sister’s that blames people for the circumstances they are in without ever thinking “there but for the grace of God…” I no longer mix my politics and my religion. My personal ethic is based on “been there, done that” to the extent that my sister’s never will. I believe politics has to hit home somehow before the reality of what you are espousing sinks in. She says she’s not a bigot, yet rails on about blacks who come to the ER to get their drug fixes. I challenge her on it, but she says she’s right because she sees it. I said that doesn’t mean the whole world is that way and we had a few white people in our small town blowing themselves up in meth labs. We went round and round. Still, when I left that particular brand of Christianity and began listening to something more hopeful, more helpful, and less rugged “screw everybody else” individualism, I became a better person.
This ideological transformation didn’t happen overnight and I still harbor some of the same awful beliefs from that time, but I fight it and anyone who challenges me on it from a racist, fundie standpoint. They can keep their bigoted religious viewpoint if they want, but trying to get them to see without those tinted eyeglasses on seems a lost cause to me. What set this off? My suggestion to my sister that we’d all be better off if we had a system of health care that helped everyone not just the extortionist insurance industry. My sister is a nurse, and boy did that hit a nerve. Why? I don’t know. But she’s been “Beck-ified.” I wish I could say that her ideas aren’t typical, but sadly they are typical in the type of churches we hale from. These types of christians have not been converted to Jesus, but to a type of christo-facist nationalism that equates personal wealth and individualism with salvation, none of which Jesus personally preached.
She later apologized for yelling but “not for her viewpoints.” Of course not. That would mean changing one’s views, which requires a great deal of introspection and humility and an ability to admit when we are wrong. Pretty much in short supply in America these days.
And the other thing that bothered me today? …. er…I forgot.
Everyone realizes by now that the reason some homosexuals want to become priests is because they feel a horrible sense of repression about their sexuality and because, well, because they want to play dress-up. Thanks to Anne Rice for leading me to this article, a review of The Pope Is Not Gay by Angelo Quattrocchi, translated by Romy Clark Giuliani. I especially like this quote by Colm Toibin:
When I listed the reasons homosexuals might be attracted to the Church and might want to become priests, I did not mention the most obvious one: you get to wear funny bright clothes; you get to dress up all the time in what are essentially women’s clothes. As part of the training to be an altar boy I had to learn, and still remember, what a priest puts on to say Mass: the amice, the alb, the girdle, the stole, the maniple and the chasuble. Watching them robing themselves was like watching Mary Queen of Scots getting ready for her execution.
Priests prance around in elaborately fashioned costumes. Bishops and cardinals have even more colourful vestments. This ‘overt behaviour’ on their part has to be examined carefully. Since it is part of the rule of the Church, part of the norm, it has to be emphasised that many of them do not dress up as a matter of choice. Indeed, the vestments in all their glory might make some of them wince. But others seem to enjoy it. Among those who seem to enjoy it is Ratzinger. Quattrocchi draws our attention to the amount of care, since his election, Ratzinger has taken with his accessories, wearing designer sunglasses, for example, or gold cufflinks, and different sorts of funny hats and a pair of red shoes from Prada that would take the eyes out of you. He has also been having fun with his robes. On Ash Wednesday 2006, for example, he wore a robe of ‘Valentino red’ – called after the fashion designer – with ‘showy gold embroidery’ and soon afterwards changed into a blue associated with another fashion designer, Renato Balestra. In March 2007, for a visit to the juvenile prison at Casal del Marno, he wore an extraordinary tea-rose-coloured costume.
I can see why they are attracted to it. Imagine having no care for how much things cost and you can wear all the crowns and jewels you want! Plus, as Toibon goes on to suggest, you have a really, really cute personal secretary. Who wouldn’t want that job? The new book looks absolutely fascinating. I just might have to get a copy.
Disclaimer: In no way am I disparaging homosexuals and/or people wanting to dress up. Who doesn’t want to dress up and be something else for a day or evening? I just wonder if their repression drives them to the Church as a possible outlet. God and being true to yourself do not mix.
Thanks to Bishop Accountability for creating a time line of recent clergy abuse “at a glance” (post 1940, not including all the history of killing through the Crusades, persecution of innocents during auto da fe, and horrific abuse of all who dared to disagree with his pope-nesses down through the centuries). For a video documenting before that:
Of course clergy abuse isn’t limited to Catholic priests. Most religions have their pedophiles, murderers, and nutcases, the majority of them male, which is a good reason to steer clear of men gathering in large groups and those males who hold positions of authority.
John Piper and all his ilk explain exactly why women need to steer clear of any male dominated religions:
I need to see videos like these and read articles pertaining to this doctrine to remind me why I no longer adhere to Christianity. Like Anne Rice, author of Vampire Chronicles long before Stephanie Meyer was born, I’ve given up on that religion and really any religion that glorifies a male prophet/God: Buddhism, Islam, Judaism, Baha’i, etc.
Guide: Beth Moore is a prominent bible teacher/expositor in the Baptist tradition. Elizabeth Eliot also.
Oh, my freakin’ God, again another religious asshole justifies abusing women by absolving men of personal responsibility. Check this out! (Thanks to Ethics Daily for providing the article) How much clearer can he say, “She made me do it!”
Men, Ware says, can ONLY respond in two ways, beat her or become a wuss:
Commenting on selected passages from the first three chapters of Genesis, Ware said Eve’s curse in the Garden of Eden meant “her desire will be to have her way” instead of her obeying her husband, “because she’s a sinner.”
What that means to the man, Ware said, is: “He will have to rule, and because he’s a sinner, this can happen in one of two ways. It can happen either through ruling that is abusive and oppressive–and of course we all know the horrors of that and the ugliness of that–but here’s the other way in which he can respond when his authority is threatened. He can acquiesce. He can become passive. He can give up any responsibility that he thought he had to the leader in the relationship and just say ‘OK dear,’ ‘Whatever you say dear,’ ‘Fine dear’ and become a passive husband, because of sin.”
Gee, which one do you think Ware HOPES men will choose? How sick is this man and how horrific that people are listening to him. Notice that Ware cannot conceive of any options but two. This is typical of the binary thinking of the hyper-fundamentalist mind.
By all means read the rest of the article. You’ll love the “women are saved” by having babies part. I predict many a man will go home from the sermon that day justified in his belief that smacking his wife around is the “manly” thing to do to keep the little lady in line. Disgusting.