Something That Worries Me

I am a big fan of two things in life… learning and sharing.

Education can come in many different forms… from formal education in a classroom to reading a variety of books from a library. It’s asking questions and listening and asking more questions. It’s looking for new viewpoints.

The other; sharing… volunteering to help others, to donate funds and items that helps others, lending a hand to those who need to help others.

I’m listening to and reading online comments from people who claim to be followers of a teacher who is said to encourage these two ideas but they are doing anything but.

One woman who screamed at others that she will teach her grandchildren to hate “you people”. Family members who talk about others as nothing more than objects. Those who refuse to do one simple thing, like wear a face mask, that could help keep others from getting sick.

I’ve always known that the world was full of selfish, narrow minded people who didn’t care for anyone else but themselves. The fear and guilt they promoted has always been there. But it seems it’s more overt, in your face right now. It’s as if the racist squatter in the White House has given them all permission to be angry and hate and make sure we all know exactly how they feel. Too much of this hate is becoming action meant to send messages of fear to the rest of the country, and the world.

They are not happy that “the others” that they fear and hate are now pushing back. Women with the #MeToo movement, The Pride movements, Black Lives Matter, are three of the largest.

But smaller, quieter ones are also pushing back… older people, fat people, disabled people and non-Christians.

And this last one is one that is usually fueling the strong anger and hate that infect the others…. Conservative Christians are the only group who has the majority and then tries to force fear and guilt because they don’t have a monopoly.

It’s the white, straight, rich, Christian males who guide the rest of the problems. They hate BIPOC. They hate LGBTQ. They fear strong women and only want young obedient submissive Christian women who have enough sense to stay at home and raise babies like they were designed to do. They hate and fear the poor. They hate non-Christians; Muslims, Jews, Pagans, Atheists and even some that self identify as Christian but the conservatives refuse to recognize them as such.

This group also dislikes, if not right out hates, and fears education and helping others. Republicans have for generations insisted that people stand on their own two feet and not expect government aid. Conservatives encourage early marriage so that young people can’t get too smart, especially young women. If they have to have education, they insist it has to be “Christian” education, which isn’t really education. It’s indoctrination.

They don’t learn or know the history of our country, or even of their own religion. They encourage ignorance on both, because “poorly educate” people are easier to control and manage.

So what am I worried about?

I’m worried that conservatives have infiltrated politics at such a rate that it might be hard to turn it around. This is not by accident, this is by design, and has been the goal since the 1950’s when they forced “under God” to be added to the Pledge of Allegiance and on the dollar bill. Both of those were intended to force god onto everyone whether they wanted it or not.

The goal of electing Donald Trump was a simple one. To get conservative judges on the Supreme Court so that they will overturn Roe Vs Wade and outlaw abortions. If they can accomplish that, the next goals of repealing the amendments that give “others” the rights we have… women’s rights, civil rights, gay rights. They would love to take us back to the 1920’s when women, black people and gay people are all second class citizens and have no rights to speak out, to object and to vote. The only ones who would have these rights would be them… white, straight, rich, Christian males.

And if you think I’m overreacting, just look at how way too many people are reacting to the Covid 19 novel coronavirus in this country.

Instead of listening to the experts and learning about the virus and about how to keep from getting it, and more importantly how to help others from getting it, they are only thinking of themselves. They don’t care if anyone else gets sick and dies. As long as it’s not them. They want to go to the beach. They want to get a haircut. They don’t want to wear a mask.

Education and helping others.

Learning and sharing.

These are choices and it’s amazing, it’s appalling, how many people don’t want to do either one.

 

Humanity

I wrote this last year, never dreaming just how bad things would get in just a year.

May 17, 2019

My faith in humanity is at an all time low. I didn’t think it could get any lower after Trump moved into the White House. I was proven wrong. Watching the abortion laws change in so many states so quickly had me question what is wrong with this country. And that’s when it hit me. This is all by design. The Republicans know these laws are essentially unenforceable and they don’t care. It’s a means to an end.

This all is part of a very big plan that goes back to World War 2… to make the United States an authoritarian theocracy. I’m sure at the time they never dreamed it would take this long. It started with forcing the government to add “In God We Trust” on American currency and “Under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance in the early 50’s using the fear of Communism as the catalyst (“better off dead than red”).

They learned quickly that the best way to influence politics was to become politicians. Many conservative Christians studied law, not to make a difference and help people, but to help the right’s ultimate agenda; to influence their Christian ideology. For years, decades, they have quietly worked their way up the various political offices until they reaches ones of power. Mitch McConnell is a prime example of this. They knew just what words to say to convince voters that they as the favored candidate should be their pick. Trump quickly learned how to do this too. I have been shocked at how many Trump voters voted him just basically on what he said and how he said it .. the facts and issues, not to mention is his history, didn’t come into play in any way.

Conservatives have been planning this for 40 years. They just needed everything to align up perfectly.. the right person in the White House, the right people in the Supreme Court, the right party in each state’s house and senate. Don’t think they can overturn Roe vs Wade? Sadly, they have a very good chance of doing so. And that’s just the beginning. And then they chip away at all of the other rights they don’t agree with and haven’t for a very long time… gay marriage, the 19th Amendment, the 14th Amendment, Jim Crow laws, separation of church and state and the creation of a national religion.

These abortion laws have nothing to do with faith or religion. Nothing to do with saving babies or caring about children’s welfare, and everything to do with control. Ironically, it’s not just control over women, but control over poor black women as well. The issue of abortion as a social issue for the church is two fold… controlling the sexuality of women, but also forcing white women to have more white babies so that black women won’t win that race. And if poor black women die in childbirth or from botched back alley abortions? That’s no big loss to them. In fact, if white women die of the same thing, it’s still not a big deal. They will just make more of children and half of those will grow up to be women so they can try again. And if Catholic priests and Protestant clergy sexually abuse and harm children? Again, that’s not a problem for them. All they care about is control and power. And marginalizing women, people of color and sexual identities is a way to get and keep that control and power. And the church is a master of using religion to control the masses. It’s been going on even longer than there has been Christianity. Fear and guilt is power. Power is control. It’s no accident that more and more countries are coming under the control of authoritarian dictator regimes. And it’s exactly what the GOP wants, and has always wanted, for the United States. They just let Donald Trump think it’s all his idea.

If everything continues to align the way they want it to, this has a very good chance of coming true. The right wants the lawsuits… that they can tie up in lower courts until they are passed on up to the higher courts until it’s finally sent to the Supreme Court and right into Brett Kavanaugh’s willing hands. It’s not accident this is happening. It’s all by design. And has been planned for decades. They have a very good chance of overturning Roe vs Wade and then enacting a total abortion ban on the entire country. Don’t think it can happen? We didn’t think Donald Trump had a snowballs chance in hell of winning the Presidential election either, but here we are.

And if you think that the conservative Christian Republicans will rest on their laurels of abolishing abortion, think again. This is just the beginning. With it will go marriage equality and gay marriage laws will be revoked. Next will women’s rights to education, careers and the right to vote as they eliminate the 19th Amendment and right behind that the 14th Amendment with gives people of color the right to vote, among other rights. That will bring back Jim Crow laws and segregation and there are even calls to legalize slavery again. Why do you think very little is done to stop sex trafficking? That is another form of slavery that the right wants to see continue, along with legalizing rape. There are people who want to make sure that only Christians can vote in US elections. All non-Christians including Atheists, Pagans, Muslim, Jews, Buddhists, and Hindus would be forbidden to vote, let alone run for office. And by Christian, they mean white straight male Christians. So that would leave out women, people of color and LGBTQ. By the way, to conservatives that even means Catholic. A Catholic president? No way!! A black president? You’re kidding. A woman president? Pfftt.. A gay president? Perish the thought.

For those conservative women politicians who are complicit in all of this? They are also a means to an end. Once their usefulness is done, they will be replaced. And they don’t even see it coming.

I am on a lot other sites on the Internet in addition to Facebook and Twitter. In what were once Liberal strongholds and fairly safe places to post, they are now being infiltrated by trolls. You’ve heard of Russian bots and trolls that do this in all aspects of online life, mostly to influence elections, well now we have Christian trolls doing the same thing, for the same reason. They have learned well from their Russian comrades. They go in to chastise posts, question attitudes, and sow seeds of doubt. Basically gaslighting. People who pose as Liberals, Democrats, Atheists, Pagans, LGBTQ, who are anything but.

Liberal Democrats have several things working against them. The most is their general belief of goodness in human nature. But also it’s Political Correctness, Apathy and Complacency. We tend to believe that everyone thinks the way we do… that if we are caring and nice the good with prevail, and that someone else will take care it. And that’s exactly what the conservative right are counting on. Nearly 50% of the population didn’t even vote in the 2016 Presidential election, and a good number of those were white Liberal Democrats. Many used the excuses that they just were not into politics or the issues didn’t affect them so they didn’t care. This is a clear picture of privilege.

I never dreamed I would see this happening in my lifetime, that it even would happen at all. But it is. I am scared, angry and frustrated. And I’m losing faith in humanity. Even if good can eventual prevail, at what cost? What kind of damage? Which will take generations to fix.
I’ve had people ask me why does this even affect me. I am past child bearing age, I can’t get pregnant or need to worry about getting an abortion. My answer is this. My empathy covers more than just myself. I care about the welfare of others (and why don’t they?). I also know what it’s like to be molested by men I was suppose to trust. I know what it’s like to be brutally raped. I know what it’s like to be judged because I was raped. I know what it’s like to become pregnant against my will. I know what’s it like to have to make the agonizing decision to continue a pregnancy or end it (twice). I know what it’s like to have a miscarriage and have people question why. I know what it’s like to lose a child. This is why it matters to me.

“I Don’t Care”

These three words sum up the total apathy that is happening in the world these days.

I saw a conversation on a local social media site where someone asked “are you wearing a mask when you go out? Why or why not?”

One young man responded with; “No… I don’t care.” This kid is just barely out of high school and didn’t clarify if it was that he didn’t care if he was exposed to virus or if he just didn’t care of others were. I was surprised as he does yardwork for a number of the elderly residents in the neighborhood including some that are on oxygen. He must realize that if any of these neighbors became infected, they most likely would die. If he doesn’t personally care about them dying, he must care about losing a job.

I’m seeing this attitude in alot of the different issues happening today.

The protests against the quarantine that showed so many people ignoring social distancing rules and not wearing masks, because they didn’t care. All they cared about was leaving home to go to the beach, have a beer in a bar or to go to a nail salon to get their nails done. Or they wanted to get their hair cut.

The anti-vaccine movement doesn’t care if people get sick from diseases that once were eliminated such as measles. Now they are saying they will refuse to get the vaccine for Covid 19 once one is developed. It appears that they “don’t care” if their children become infected with something, forgetting that they themselves were vaccinated for childhood diseases.

Now I am seeing people who apathetic to the protests and the deaths of people who are black. It doesn’t touch them, it doesn’t affect them and all they do care about is that Nordstroms and Target are not damaged so they can go shopping.

Other than that, they have no qualms about saying “I don’t care”.

They don’t care why Colin Kaepernick kneeled in protest to police brutality of way too many black people being killed. Instead they insisted it was disrespectful against the American flag, National Anthem or the Military, without bothering to learn the real reason.

Rape is ignored because too many people, especially men, don’t care if women are assaulted because it’s “just women and that’s what they are there for”… and “rapes is just another form of sex”. Women don’t care about other women getting raped because they don’t want to give up their comfortable way of life.

Healthcare is ignored, because people don’t want to pay so that everyone can afford medical care when they need it. They don’t care if people get sick and die as long as it’s not them.

People object to others getting abortions when they need them because they insist their religion says it’s a sin. They don’t care what happens to the woman and child after they have prevented the abortion from taking place.

They insist that all people celebrate marital bliss unless they are a mixed race or same sex and then they don’t care if you can’t be married even if you want to.

I remember when someone else said, “I don’t care”….

First Lady Melania Trump Visits Immigrant Detention Center On U.S. Border

And another form of “I don’t care”…

1trumpquote

 

It’s said that we have two viruses in the world right now… Covid 19 and Racism.  I say we have three… Covid 19, Racism and Apathy.

My Life Motto

1zenface

Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it.
Do not believe in traditions simply because they have been handed down for generations.
Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many.
Do not believe in anything merely on authority of your teachers and elders.
But when, after observation and analysis, you find anything that agrees with reason,
and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.

~ The Buddha’s Kalama Sutra

Happy Holidays

Merry Christmas, Happy Yule and Blessings of Light, Peace and Joy!

I’m hoping my holiday greeting covers all of my friends and family, all of whom follow a variety of religious beliefs. I keep seeing online and on Facebook that this time of year the only “acceptable” greeting is Merry Christmas. This attitude makes me very sad. Shouldn’t the very fact that someone is wishing you well and hoping you have a good Christmas more important than the words that are used? Shouldn’t it be the spirit of the season? Isn’t this the season of “peace and good will”?

I had a “friend” who told me that if I sent a Christmas card that said anything other than Merry Christmas, she would tear it up and destroy it. I was very hurt by that. Obviously, the words “Merry Christmas” were more important to her than my feelings and our friendship.

Christianity is not a religion for everyone around the world, and it never will be, no matter how much some people push it. Religion should always be a choice and having it forced on others takes away that choice.

Acceptance, or the very least, tolerance, for other belief systems shouldn’t not too much to ask. If other people’s beliefs are such a threat to them, they must not have very much “faith” in their own beliefs…

This time of year I get so frustrated with the messages that many Christians insist are, or should be true, for everyone…

Like “Jesus is the reason for the season”.. I tell my Christian friends.. “well, he is for you, and I’m happy that is the case for you, but it’s not true for everyone. Please respect other people’s choices, too.”

Or “Wise men still seek him”.. meaning that if you are a non-Christian you are not wise and are lost. Tolkien wrote.. “not all who wander are lost” and one thing I learned in church that I still carry with me is that all humans have a “god-given” right to free will. That means the free will to decide what is true for themselves.

I just read on person’s comment to a “discussion” that historians have determined “without a doubt” that Jesus was born on Dec 25th. Now I’m a historian and a theologist and I’ve never found any such proof of that anywhere. There is no mention of “Christmas” in the bible, none. And people who insist that there is, obviously haven’t read the bible. I have. Cover to cover more than a dozen times. I started studying Biblical history in 1980 when I was introduced to it by a Catholic priest. Because I’ve been fascinated by history of all kinds since I was nine and have researched family history since I was 15, this was a natural progression for me. I started studying comparative religion and world religions in 1998, and had planned to become an interfaith minister.

There people who are trying to put “Christ back into Christmas” because there is a war on Christmas against Christians (but only in the small minds of Fox news) so they write Christmas as CHRISTmas and insist that you only can say Merry Christmas. Anything else is a direct attack on Christians, at least in their eyes.

Christmas was “adopted” as the birthday of Jesus because no one really knows when he was born. Scholars have suggested that it could be anywhere from September to March. The bible doesn’t say and even the books that mention the Nativity contradict one another.

Christmas was originally “Christ’s Mass”, as festivals in general were considered too Pagan and against church doctrines. Christ’s Mass was in recognition for Jesus’ DEATH, not his birth. It was a celebration of the Eucharist, basically communion, and it was only celebrated by the clergy. Between the peasantry wanting to be thought of as worldly and the church wanting to get more people to convert to Christianity, Christ’s Mass was slowly offered to the congregation, but those Masses took place anywhere from September to January, depending on the Parish.

And for those who also believe that writing Christmas as “Xmas” is a direct attack on Christians and Christmas…. this is why you need to study history. This was told to me by the Catholic Priest. Most peasants were not able to read or write. But they understood that X was a letter that symbolized Christ; X is the first letter of the Greek word Christos. (The early church used the first two letters of Christos in the Greek alphabet ‘chi’ and ‘rho’ to create a monogram to represent Jesus.) When the peasants saw signs that said X-mass (Christ’s Mass), they knew they were welcome to attend this special mass.

With the new converts, former Pagans from Rome, Greece, Germania, North countries and Celtic regions, came a whole slew of established traditions which the church absorbed to keep the Pagans happy. December 25th was finally settled on as the official date of Christmas for three main reasons; Celtic Pagans celebrated Winter Solstice on Dec 21st. Roman Pagans celebrated Saturnalia around December 15th, and December 25th was the feast day, or birthday, of a Roman God named Mithra, which was popular about the same time that Christianity started to flourish.

The church decided that this would make everyone happy and they would get their converts. The Pagans didn’t care one way or another (for the most part) as long as they were not forced to give up their holiday traditions. Of course, not everyone agreed with this. The Orthodox faction of the church used this as one of many reasons to break away from the what is now the Catholic church and the Orthodox churches continued to celebrate Christmas on January 6th, which was the original date of Christmas, not December 25th.

They set a precedence that anyone who didn’t agree with established church teachings were free to go and start their own church. Well, maybe not free, but they did it anyway. Which is why, according to the site Religious Tolerance, there are over 34,000 different Christian denominations worldwide. So when you say something is “Christian” which denomination are you referring to?

When Christmas was first recognized in the 4th century, it was meant to be a time of reflection and prayer, never a fun time, and certainly not a birthday, since to early Christians and Hebrews, birthdays were a Pagan concept and didn’t fit with church doctrines. Which is why some Christian denominations do not acknowledge birthdays or Christmas even today.

Christmas as a joyous, festive holiday came later as the different traditions blended with one another and each group adopted the new ideas, including the church.

But even then and since then, not everyone saw Christmas as a “Christian” holiday. In the 1500’s, Luther and Calvin banned all ideas concerning Christmas. If it wasn’t mentioned in the Bible, it was not truly Christian.

In 1659, the Puritans outlawed Christmas in the colonies and that went in and out of favor depending on who was in charge. Christmas as we know it today was not even celebrated until the mid 1700’s and then only sporadically.

In fact, Christmas was basically “illegal” in the United States until the mid 1800’s, the legality of it was largely ignored, although in some communities, people were arrested for celebrating the holiday.

Christmas did not become a legal holiday in the US until 1856. And the words “Merry Christmas” being a “Christian” idea? No, in fact using the words “Merry Christmas” was at one time considered to be a very un-Christian things to do, because it brought to mind drinking and partying and not all the “sober” kind of holiday most Christians wanted to be.

So it just shows how everything, including Christmas greetings has evolved over time. In the Victorian era, the most common greeting at Christmastime was “Seasons Greetings”.

I remember hearing once in church that Christmas had been celebrated every single year since that first Christmas when Jesus was born. History clearly shows that isn’t true. Now, don’t get me wrong. I love the Nativity story. I have several Nativity sets that put out each year. But I don’t believe it’s a historical event, especially since so many other cultures have similar stories. The Bible was never intended to be a history book.

In the 1500 years a lot of things changed and blended to make it what it is now.. which is essentially a secular holiday. According the Pew Report, only 54% of Americans and less than 40% worldwide celebrate Christmas as a Christian holiday or in any kind of religious context. And those numbers are dropping steadily. Nothing stays static, it changes constantly.

It might surprise many Christians to know that a lot of Atheists, Pagans, Buddhists, Hindus and even some Jews and Muslims celebrates Christmas too, as a secular celebration, complete with Christmas trees, gifts, lights, feasts and charity. So it’s clearly not just a religious or Christian holiday anymore and even history shows it really never was, it was just adopted as one.

Now I don’t expect you to believe me just based on what I wrote here. But I do expect that if you are going to insist that everyone abide by your way of doing things, you at least go and study the history of what you are insisting on. Most people only know about the history of their own religion from what’s on TV, on social media or what is taught in their own church.

And in my education in theology and ministry and my experience of being a member of a dozen different Christian denominations tells me that most churches only teach what they want their followers to know. In fact, one of the reason I quit theology classes was seeing fellow students laughing about why they wanted to become ministers and it had nothing to do with faith and everything to do with control. But that is a whole ‘nother rant.

So….

Merry Christmas

Happy Holidays

Happy Christmas

Have a Cool Yule

Happy Hanukkah

Solstice Blessings

Saturnalia Luck

Happy Bodhi Day

Happy St. Nickolas Day

Happy St. Lucia Day

Happy Sol Invictis

Blessings for Dongzhi and Pancha Ganapati

Special blessings for Mother’s Night and Winter Blot (also called Winternight).

Now, that should cover just about most of the December holidays. Now you know why many people just say simply “Happy Holidays”….. And there is nothing wrong with that, or there shouldn’t be.

War on Christmas

They just don’t give up on this crap.

I am getting so sick of seeing Fox News and everyone in the Trump circle insisting that Obama and other Democrat presidents banned Christmas from the White House, because of course, we all know that all Liberal Democrats are godless people. Only some of us are.

And they “thank God for Donald Trump bringing Christmas back and making it okay to say Merry Christmas.”

It’s never been NOT okay to say Merry Christmas.

Obama didn’t ban Christmas and no, he is not a Muslim from Kenya. You can thank Donald Trump for that tidbit too.

No other president ever banned Christmas from the White House (see attached pictures).

If Christmas was banned, or even discouraged, would we being seeing 6 weeks of gift buying encouragement, non-stop Christmas music, lights draped everywhere, and every church on every corner planning elaborate Christmas programs?

If Christmas was banned, wouldn’t everyone have to work on Dec 25th?

You do notice that isn’t happening anywhere, especially in the United States.

There is no “War on Christmas”. This was a selfish attempt from Fox news to generate higher ratings. They thrive on controversy and depend on their viewers to believe everything they say. We all know that Trump does. If you believe this, you’ve been conned and gaslighted.

Christmas is as much a secular holiday as it is a religious holiday and it’s celebrated by people of many different cultures and nationalities. Christmas is NOT just an American holiday. And it’s isn’t solely a Christian holiday. Study your history!!

Anyone who believes otherwise have forgotten two important lessons from their childhood…

1. Share with others.
2. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

So Called War on Christmas

I don’t understand all of these problems about the “War on Christmas”.

Christmas is suppose to be a time of love and sharing. Isn’t that the message that Jesus taught? And yet, I constantly see messages from some Christians who demand that Christmas is a Christian holiday so keep your mitts off if you are not one.

I’m the same person I was when I was a Christian. Nothing about me changed except for my personal belief, which is just that… personal.

If Jesus taught to love and share, shouldn’t that pertain to the holiday that bears his name? What is wrong with sharing it with Pagans and Atheists?

No one is telling Christians they need change how they celebrate the holiday or practice their faith. Okay, there are some, but they are a minority. Has any Christian been told they can’t put up a Christmas tree or go to church on Christmas morning? Or hide their Bibles from anyone?

Most of us who believe in live and let live, no matter what our belief system is, are the majority.

Christmas is not an original holiday, it evolved over time blending traditions from many different cultures. Why is that bad?

With technology, the world will continue to get smaller and more of this will be happening. Again, why is that bad?

My feeling is that if your faith is strong in your own personal belief system, it shouldn’t matter what other people believe. But if you have a need to have everyone agree with you and believe the same thing as you do, then perhaps your faith isn’t as strong as you would like people to think.

And I know that there will people who will say the same thing back to me, that if my faith of my own personal belief system is strong, why I am objecting about what some conservative Christians demand? The difference is that I am trying to protect my own rights, to share with those who feel the way I do and let them know they are not alone. I am not demanding that anyone needs to become a Pagan or Atheist. I just don’t want Christians demanding that I have to give up who I am to become a Christian against my will. The same people who would object if I insisted they had to become a Pagan or Atheist against their will.

Christmas provides different things for different people, at a time when they need those kinds of things the most… of hope, of love, of sharing, of faith, and of peace. Why would anyone deny these things to others?

I have had friends and family members who have “disowned” me when they found out I wasn’t a Christian, and they seem to have this attitude too. I realize they just believe what they are being told to believe. I wish they would learn to think for themselves, and learn about the real history of their religion.

“Christmas is a contrived holiday. Most of it was taken by the Church to lure Pagans INTO the church.”

You’ll never be able to get some people to understand and except this. I have had people tell me that Christmas has been celebrated since that first Christmas when Jesus was born in a stable and and has been ever since then. And I’ve been a member of churches who actually teach that very same thing. But that’s not true. Christmas wasn’t even an occasion until the 4th century and not even a legal holiday in this country until the mid 1800’s.

Two things that I study tend to come together especially this time of the year… History and world religions.

Christmas traditions come from many different cultures; Celtic, Egyptian, Roman, Greek, Armenian, Nordic, Germanic, Ancient European, and Mithraism. Mithras’ birthday was celebrated on Dec 25th, and this date along with the Pagan dates of Yule, Winter Solstice and Saturnalia, were all adopted in the 4th century by the church, to “encourage” non-Christians to convert. December 25th was designated as to be the celebration of Jesus’ birth, but it really isn’t his birthday and there is no mention of Christmas anywhere in the Bible. And it’s possible that the Nativity story in the Bible is just that… a story, and not a fact.

Before that, the only important feast day on the Christian calendar was Easter (also celebrated much differently then than it is now). But if you look at most Christians sites online, most of them omit all of that, and either state that Christmas is only a Christian holiday or that Christians should not celebrate Christmas because of it’s Pagan roots.

We all have roots and I’ll bet the way we live now is drastically different than they way our ancestors live. But do we disown them because they were different? Not usually.

But come Christmas time and it’s a whole different story. Including the ridiculous idea about what is printed on coffee cups.

We should celebrate our histories, especially at Christmastime.

I have English, Irish, Scottish, German, Dutch, French, South American, and Scandinavian roots and I love to learn about the traditions that came from my ancestors. But I also enjoy learning about traditions of other religions including Judaism and Islam. Just because I wouldn’t practice one of these religions, it doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate learning about their traditions.

Why are people so threatened by the past?

Adam and Eve

In my long journey through Christianity (about 40 years), I was a member of about 6 different Christian denominations. Each one promised that they were the ONE true church and I would find a home there and all of my questions would be answered and all of my wishes would come true. They weren’t and they didn’t.

But I did discover that they each interpreted the Bible in their own way and then expected you to believe their interpretation.

One example was the story of Adam and Eve. When I was 9, I was old enough to understand that men and women got married and had babies. At that church, we were taught that Adam and Eve only had two sons… Cain and Abel. I got into trouble by asking where the women came from who married Cain and Abel so they could have babies too… I mean without that, the family line pretty much died. My Sunday School teacher either was unwilling or unable to tell me and just demanded that I go and read my Bible, which I did. Still no answers, but even more questions.

The next church taught that Adam and Eve had three sons, Cain, Abel and Seth, but still no answers as to where their wives came from.

A while later at yet another church, we learned that Adam and Eve had Cain, Abel and Seth and many many sons and daughters. Okay, at this point, I was a teenager and all I could imagine was that the boys were having sex with their sisters, and if that was so Biblical, why was it now a taboo in society? Again, no answers.

It wasn’t until I left the church and started studying comparative religions when I learned this:

There were other people in the world, but God was unhappy with them. So he created the Garden of Eden and was going to create a new race of people who would glorify him the way they should. God created Adam. And then God created Lilith, but Lilith refused to submit to Adam as an inferior, so she was banished from the Garden. Then God created Eve, and she was perfect until that pesky serpent came along, and then Eve wasn’t quite as obedient as she was suppose to be. So Adam and Eve had Cain, Abel, Seth and many sons and daughter. The spouses for these children came from the “others”, those outside of the Garden of Eden. Suddenly the others didn’t seem as bad as they have before.

Of course, I’ve long stopped being that anything in the Bible was true, especially in the old testament. Science has shown more than enough evidence for that… started with the first chapter of Genesis.

Yet, there are still people who believe this is literally the gospel truth to the point that they think men have one less rib than women because the Bible says that a rib was taken out of Adam to create Eve. But they can’t explain why men have nipples.

Religion

I wrote this five years ago… and it seems even more true now..

“Apparently according to too many people, mostly fundamentalist Christians, they don’t believe that human beings existed prior to Jesus being born. Which is so naive isn’t not funny… But I’ve heard these people insist that Adam and Eve were literally the first man and woman and that happened just a few years (some even allow that it was a few hundred years) before Jesus was born. If you read the bible and the genealogy of Adam, you know that is not possible. Just because it’s in the Bible, it doesn’t mean it’s true)

If Adam and Eve truly were the first humans, that would mean their children bedded and conceived children with their siblings (incest) and if not, where the hell did the other people come from?

Religion is much older than Christianity, humanity is much older than 2000 years.. Pagan religions, essentially all non-Christian religions, other than Islam, by their own definitions, is much older. Common sense and education are two things lacking in these people.”

I was thinking about this last night. The story of Adam and Eve is just one of the stories in the Bible that has never made sense to me. Even at age 9, I got into trouble for questioning it. I was old enough to know that it took a man and a woman to create a baby (although at that age I wasn’t quite sure of how it worked). In my Methodist church, we were only taught that Adam and Eve had just three sons… Cain, Able and Seth. It was much later that I learned other churches used scripture that included “and many sons and daughters”, hence the incest reference.

Of course, I raised my hand in Sunday school and asked, “if Adam and Eve were the “parents” of mankind that meant they had children and grandchildren. If they had grandchildren, that meant their three sons were married and had wives and also had had children and grandchildren….” At this point the teacher nodded. “So,” I continued, “where did the wives come from?”

The teacher turned white and then red with anger and screamed at me that I was being rude and impertinent, and I lacked faith and should just accept what the Bible was telling me. And then she demanded that I read the Bible for myself. So I did. They had given us a little chart to mark off each chapter of each book in the Bible and in a year I had read the whole thing. It didn’t answer any questions for me, since a lot of it I didn’t understand at age 9. In fact, in just added more questions that have continued to grow over the years.

Later I would learn that some churches taught that Adam and Eve were not actually the very FIRST humans on earth, there were others including Adam’s first wife, Lilth. Now, Lilth is often called the very first feminist because she refused to submit to Adam (and essentially to God) and demanded to be equal. This pissed off God who banished Lilth from the Garden of Eden and turned her into a demon, saying that ate she little children, just so others were fear and hate her. “The others”, those who had also disappointed God, were condemned to live outside of Eden and without God’s glory. Adam and Eve were then considered to be the first ‘righteous’ human’s in God’s new covenant in paradise (The Garden of Eden). Until they ate from the Tree of Knowledge which has always been blamed on Eve, and all women ever since. Now it seems to me that if God is all-seeing, all knowing, wouldn’t he know that the snake was going to enlighten Eve and encourage her to eat the fruit (the bible never really says it’s an apple…)? Seems to me this was a set u and Eve was framed….

And this, apparently, according to some teachings, is where the wives of Adam and Eve’s sons came from… the others.

Another story that has always bugged me was the one of how Eve was created. Adam was put into a deep sleep and one of his ribs was removed… and that was used to create Eve. There are people still to this day who believe that all men have one less rib than women. That would indicate that all embryos are male at conception, but science has proven that all embryos are female at conception, which is why men have nipples. And we all know that nipples are needed to breast feed babies. And since men rarely (although it’s not impossible) produce milk to breast feed, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense for them to have nipples. Gender kicks in when the X or Y chromosome kicks in and that determines if the child will be male or female. So it’s impossible for men to have one less rib, unless there is some kind of birth defect.

The bible was written at a time when neither history nor science was a known subject. People were trying to make sense of the world around them based on what little they knew or experienced, and that was pretty limited. All cultures made up stories to explain their world, and Christianity wasn’t any different. Some of these were based on observation and some were based on stories from other cultures.

The bible was never meant to be a history book or science book and yet there are people today who use it just that way. And the bible was suppose to be updated as the world evolved. But that never happened. Church leaders learned early on on how well fear and guilt worked to control the masses. This was one of the first things we were taught in Theology 101. Why mess with something that works so well?

The last church I was a member of, in fact, did the exact opposite of what I was told when I was 9. Don’t worry about reading the bible (or history, or science), we will tell you everything you need to know.. about everything. Yes, it was an Evangelic church, that encouraged kids to marry young and discouraged kids from going to college, unless it was an Evangelic Christian college.

These are the same people who are influencing Trump and GOP political policies and whose primary goal is to force everyone to be a god-fearing, uneducated, obedient Christians, who will not question biblical teachings or American politics.

Abort

I read an article by a woman who suffered a miscarriage but the Catholic hospital refused to give her a D&C as they equated that as an abortion, telling her that “God will take care of her”.

This whole issue has been bothering me for sometime. This is the kind of situation that Trump was ranting about when he said NYC passed a law saying they can “rip out and abort babies up until their due date”.

He just proved his lack of knowledge and understanding about the word “abort” and his followers and prolifers all believe him and agree.

The word “abort” simply means to “end” and in regards to pregnancy there are different definitions of what this means.

An “induced abortion” is what most people think about when they see the word “abortion”, the kind of thing that happens at abortion clinics, where viable fetuses can be removed from the womb. There are dozens of reasons why a mother or couple would elect to do this… everything from being raped to financial distress to not emotionally able to cope with a child (or another child) to severe mental or physical defects of the fetus and more. It is not an easy choice to make. I had to make it twice.

“Spontaneous abortion” is another name for miscarriage, and yes there are people out there who will blame the mother for having a miscarriage. I’ve had five miscarriages including one that has another “abortion” name…

“Missed abortion”. This is when the fetus dies and the mother carries a dead baby inside of her uterus until it spontaneous aborts or the mother has a procedure to remove the fetus and afterbirth, usually a D&C. My baby died at 14 weeks and I miscarried at 24 weeks and still needed a D&C to remove the placenta.

This is the situation that Trump, prolifers and too many conservative Christians just don’t get.

The human body is not a machine that runs like clock work and can be predicted.

From the beginning of pregnancy at conception, through gestation, pregnancy, labor and deliver, hundreds of things can and do go wrong.

Not just miscarriages, but stillborn babies and wombs that cannot clean themselves out “as God intended”. Pregnancy is about science, not religion.

Trump insists that the laws in NYC allows doctors to go in and “abort” a baby at any time, up until the due date. But that is called BIRTH, not abortion. At that point, killing a viable baby is also not abortion, it’s infanticide.

What this law is doing, is allowing doctors to go in and provide D&C procedures for women who suffer a miscarriage or missed abortion, or even stillbirth, and remove the after affects of the pregnancy that the body couldn’t remove on it’s own for one reason or another. Refusing to allow this is basically saying a woman’s life is not important and if she dies from sepsis, a totally preventable death, then oh, well.. it’s God’s Will.

Bullshit!!