Tags: god


Dept. of Sunday

Things I Learned This Weekend

1. I'm really not Buddhist, not in the least. I tried to read a book I picked up at the library, which had been recommended by a friend. It was written by a Buddhist nun, and it was about how to try to approach, or in some way deal with, difficult times. It's something I need to learn how to do, so I wanted to read this book, this very slim little book.

I managed about five pages of it and ended up yelling at the book. There was no way I was going to make it to the end, slim or not. The language made me roll my eyes, I kept arguing with individual sentences. Individual sentences, people; I was arguing with words on a page.

BB, who has a much more Buddhist nature than I have had read a bit of the book; when I told him the book made me extremely angry (and that's the thing I'm trying to deal with), he sighed and said "This isn't the book I'd have suggested for you to read." He was right.

And more generally, I was reminded that I'm not Buddhist in the least, as I said. I know that the dark is part of this world; I know that death is part of this world, but I'll be goddamned if I have to like it, or accept it.  I'm with Dylan Thomas; I'll rage against the dying of the light.

2. I was reminded, once again, of how much I love BB. 

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Dept. of That's Good Readin'

Prayer Shaming, My Aunt Fanny!

Within the first 2 seconds after I saw the front page that the New York Daily News* planned to publish after the San Bernardino shootings, I also saw messages from people wailing that this was "prayer shaming." (Full disclosure, I was seeing all of this in what passes for real time on Twitter.)

The responses came so fast and were so alike that they raised a red flag in my head, and I was pretty sure that there were large numbers of people grabbing onto "prayer shaming" in an effort to blow smoke and obscure the real problem after yet another mass shooting - too many fucking guns and not enough intelligent gun control.**

Now, with thanks to
[personal profile] supergee , I've been able to read Charles Pierce's measured response to the "prayer shaming" concept and the people who use it; if you wish, you can, too.

* Which is a rag, but it seems to have the right idea occasionally.
**By intelligent, I mean, no, not people coming to take your guns or your liberty. I mean, simply, what the words say; just a bit of control, if you please, Mr. LaPierre.

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Ein 2

Dept. of Links

Because It's Tuesday (and my own thoughts are uninteresting)

One of the wonderful things about social life online is that you can look to a world's worth of intelligent and observant friends and acquaintances with whom you can have stimulating conversation.

Equally satisfying is the knowledge that, when your own brain has the intellectual power of a kitchen appliance, you can turn to those same friends and acquaintances and know that they will have at their fingertips nutritious morsels of thought, opinion, humor, political satire and much, much more. You can then pass those morsels on and appear as if you are actually operating with a working brain.

I love the internet. (And good lord, I and BB have been online now for 20 years. Think about that, children ....)

But enough rambling. I offer you these two links, courtesy of that brilliant Discordian Gnostic
[personal profile] supergee , who in his turn passes them on from others.

I am a person of faith; some sort of faith at least, and certainly on alternate Wednesdays. But as someone who comes out of the Judaeo Christian cultural landscape, I looked at this and nodded my head. While giggling, and saying, "yeah, this is one of the big reasons why I restrict myself to "some kind of faith on alternate Wednesdays." I successfully kept it to a giggle and not a snarl.

And this, courtesy of
[personal profile] graydon2 via [personal profile] supergee - I'm a writer, someone who uses and occasionally abuses words for a living. So tomorrow, I may be able to use words in phrases of admirable subtlety and clarity to show how much I agree. Today, because my brain is, in fact, a toaster, I will only say "THIS!!!" 

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Amy Amazed

Dept. of Faith Like a Mustard Seed

 Putting Their Mouths Where Their Hearts Are

I was once a Christian believer. I haven't been for decades. But I still have family, friends and acquaintances who are strong believers. Perhaps coincidentally, perhaps not, they all seem to be pretty honorable types.

They may already know of The
NALT Christian Project, as many of y'all out there might already know. In case you don't, however, the Not All Like That project is worth taking a look at.

It's a project in which Christians who don't believe their God thinks homosexuality or non-heterosexuality are sins post videos testifying to that belief. It's their way of standing up against the publicly held perception — one nurtured by too many people — that all Christians do think non-hetersosexuality is a sin. It's done by people who, as Dan Savage says in his introductory video, believe they have to do more than whisper to their LBGTQ friends that "We're not all like that" in the face of religiously-branded bigotry and hatred.

It's a damned good idea and well worth the effort, at least I think so. If you fit the bill as a NALT Christian, and if you want to help boost the signal, this may be for you.

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Dept. of Ever So Quickly, Part Deux

Preparing to Leave

Have seen my mother this morning, and will see her again in about an hour, for about an hour. That will be it for this visit, since I spend tonight 60 miles away in Halifax with my brother.

But we have spoken, and I've held her hand as she slept, and I have assured her that whither she goes, I will go, and that I am fully confident that I will see her again. And that when she closes her eyes on this world, she will open them again on another one.

She was happy with what I said. I am not a Christian, but the words I gave her have satisfied her. That I believe them in a completely different way than she does - that I don't believe that her savior is the gate, but just one gate - she either need not know, or she does know, and is happy to ignore. What is important is that we both believe we will meet again.

Martin Gardner talked about the leap of faith that must be taken by a human who believes in logic, when that human also believes in some sort of god. I'm paraphrasing him badly here, I know. Well, I, too, take that leap of faith. I choose both the irresistible and immutable world of physics, and the numinous. I refuse "either/or" and therefore my mother and I will meet again.

That we both know it makes this visit a success.

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Bennie's Tights

Civilized Humor

Taking Up (Politely Issued) Orders
This made me smile, something I needed today, after having been x-rayed and poked and prodded with needles and electric shocks, all in an effort to learn more about just what's going wrong with my hands.

As someone who believes strongly in rationalism, but who is rational less often than she might be, and who is also intent on shoe-horning some sort of belief in the numinous into my ship of rationality, I can take pride in my new religious title:

My Unitarian Jihad Name is: Sibling Katana of Warm Humanitarianism.*

Get yours.

*Which, I think, is perhaps a little more accurate than the one I was originally issued: Sister Nail Gun of Enlightened Compassion. Enlightenment has never been a failing of mine.
Amy in the light

Dr. Who: Flesh and Stone (delayed)

Angels Unaware

I've pondered this for a while, long enough to be unfashionably late to the dance at Meta Essay Hall. For those who are interested, though, this is a poor explanation of why I loved one aspect of "Flesh and Stone" (and "The Time of Angels" as well) so very, very much.

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TARDIS at Giverny


External, Internal    

The Externals
  • The plumbers are gone, their deeds of heroism done, their rodding and sewer caps having comforted me and mine.
  • I've put all the rags used to hold back the waters last night through the wash, and the next step is to clean the floors tomorrow.   And these plumbers? Oh, about nine gazillion times better than the last ones, I'm thinking. Hell, they even gave us a free jacket. No, really. One of them left their Official Plumbing Company hoodie jacket here. When we called the office to alert someone, they asked if there were any things in the pockets. No ... and hey, presto, it was bequeathed to us.
  • Also, they revised their initially worrisome (she said, with astonishing understatement) "This. Is. Raw. Sewage." analysis. It wasn't raw sewage. It's just that regular waste water that has aged grease and unidentified biocrud marinating in it - rather like our own lower g.i. tract biocrud marination system - well, let's just say the resemblance between the two products is breathtaking. No. Really. It got hard to breathe in here. But, technically speaking, while it may have walked like a duck, it wasn't duck shit.
  • I have had a shower. Let me say that again, because it was so good to think about. I have had a shower.
The Internals
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