Posts Tagged ‘depression’

Chronicles in Ordinary Time 223: Everything is Connected

December 15, 2020
12/5/2020: California certified its election results, bringing the Biden
Electoral Votes to 276; assuring his election victory.
In 2016, Trump had 306 Electoral Votes.
In 2020 Biden received 306 Electoral Votes.
Biden received 7 million more votes than Trump.
Attorney General William Barr has stated that
there is no evidence of election fraud.
12/15/2020: State Electors Vote for Joe Biden

I avoided Avatar for a long while, primarily because of the Jarhead Colonel and his total lack of comprehension for any life but his own.
Sort of like humans today.
We live in a world where everything is connected; and we are too blind to see it.
We live in a Universe where everything is connected; and we are almost totally blind to its reality.
For years, I’ve been trying to come up with an analogy that explains my understanding of the Universe, and a life of Faith. I found what I was looking for by watching Avatar the other day.
For those unfamiliar with the film, the story takes place on the far distant planet, Pandora, far in the future. As with all examples of Manifest Destiny, the planet Pandora contains an incredibly valuable mineral called Unobtainable; a name, and a metaphor. The largest deposit of Unobtainable on Pandora is located under a Great Tree in the center of a forest amidst floating mountains. As with all examples of Manifest Destiny, earthlings who have created spacecraft and machines of War believe they can plow their way through any obstacle to get to the Unobtainable and steal it. [Manifest Destiny is a term coined in the early days of the European Occupation of the lands on which the America’s Indigenous peoples lived. An expression of belief that their occupation of lands belonging to others was, ‘ordained by god’]
The Indigenous population of Pandora, the Na’vi People, resembles, in terms of technology, the Lakota Sioux of 19th Century Earth. Defending themselves from gunships with arrows. Each of the Na’vi People has a nervous system that connects with all life on Pandora, animal and plant. “There be Dragons” on Pandora. For Dragon Riders, the bond between Dragon and Rider is permanent, once made. The Rider communicates with the Dragon by thought and the physical neurological connection between them.  
Manifest Destiny on Pandora is occurring by means of mercenaries commanded by the Colonel Jarhead mentioned above. Since the Indigenous People do not use technology, they are considered to be ‘savages’ that are in the way of the human armed heist. A repetition of the histories of the Americas and of Earth.
In order to ‘encourage’ the Indigenous population to relocate, ‘Avatars’ have been created to infiltrate the Na’vi People. These ‘Avatars’—living robots to a large degree—are inhabited by a human intelligence and personality, linked to an individual’s DNA. The Na’vi refer to these Avatars as, “Sky People” and they are looked upon with suspicion. Enter Jake; a soldier whose legs have been blown off in battle. Jake relies on a wheelchair to get around; by inhabiting the Avatar of his deceased brother, a scientist working to better understand this mysterious culture, Jake once again has working legs. He understands his job as a soldier; he learns how to live as a scientist understanding a different culture. In the story, Jake has his own destiny, one which he does not understand—Jake will be the One who will inhabit both worlds—for he has become a Na’vi by will of the Creator—his own world, and the world of these people connected to their planet, as one entity. 
The Na’vi are victorious in resisting the attack of the earthlings, but at tremendous cost. Unlike the intentions of the mercenaries of Earth, the Na’vi allow the mercenaries of Earth to leave Pandora.
Since numerous sequels to Avatar are in production at this time, no doubt the mercenaries will return, and the battle will start again.

The Universe is so large that we don’t even have words to describe it. Some astronomers believe there could be two trillion galaxies in the Universe, spanning an unknown distance. Our Milky Way galaxy has perhaps 200 billion stars; many of these stars will have solar systems; many of those solar systems will have planets; a fraction of which will be located a distance from their suns where life can exist.
I’ve been a designer for close to sixty years. I don’t remember a time that I didn’t draw. Designing stick figures on a sheet of paper, telling a story in my imagination. In time, I designed furniture for my shop class; then I started designing houses; and in time I designed schools. When I worked for the City of Portland, I analyzed the designs of architects building high rises, to ensure that the buildings were compliant with the Building Code.
This all took place when Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth.
In this century, I started designing books and videos in addition to designing construction solutions for architects and building designers. In relatively recent years, I’ve had to design a new way to create illustrations, since my hands don’t work very well anymore.

After sixty years of exploration, I recognize design when I see it.

Creation is designed. I’m not referring to “Intelligent Design”—there is too much in Creation that defies logic—the appendix, for example. That open question that nearly took my life. The chicken and the egg. An Australian website claims to have solved the age-old question of ‘which came first’—”At some point, a different kind of egg began to evolve” as explanations go, that one is pretty lame. Why would a different kind of egg evolve? Do we owe our breakfasts to a evolutionary mistake?
There is no reasonable explanation as to how light-sensitive-skin cells in our genetic chain evolve into the wonder that is the human eye. I don’t have a problem with the idea that humans are incapable of understanding the intricacies of how we got here. The Human Genome Project has shown that the Human Genome has similarities to a wide variety of creatures on earth. As a designer, I use repetition whenever it is productive. Newly created things don’t have to be entirely original.
One of the problems that arise when people of Faith start talking about science, is that they let their religious belief system get in the way. Much of the theology of the White Evangelical Church is a system of theological ideas, mostly derived from an interpretation of Scripture, rather than Scripture itself. Frequently, these interpretations come from Prophecy; and seem to overlook the notion that, in Scripture, if the words of a Prophet did not come about, the Prophet was supposed to be stoned. I tend to think that some of the prophets were stoned, in the modern sense of the word.
Most people in the White Evangelical Church don’t do a lot of research through the historical documents that shape their belief systems. This practice is often discouraged by Pastors who seem to think that they have special powers of interpretation. The historical record—the actual documents that have been found, which shape these beliefs—is pretty sparse.

This above image is a photo of one of the oldest papyrus fragments that collectively became the Bible:
This page contains 2 Corinthians 11:33-12:9
There is no punctuation. There are no spaces between letters. There are no verse numbers. “Papyrus 46 is one of the oldest extant New Testament manuscripts in Greek, with its ‘most probable date’ between 175 C.E.  and 225 C.E.—two to three centuries after the events took place. The document uses the abbreviated version of common divine names and words, a type of writing that began in the first century C.E. and referred to as nomina sacra. Words such as God, Jesus, cross, mother, Israel, and heaven are shortened from their conventional Greek.” 
Another text, The Codex Sinaiticus, or Sinai Book, is an ancient fourth century C.E. Bible, handwritten in the Greek language. This manuscript contains the Septuagint, a version of the Hebrew Old Testament, that was adopted by early Greek-speaking Christians, as well as being the oldest complete copy of the New Testament. The pages are made of vellum parchment, or calfskin. The work is written in scriptio continua—without spaces between words.”

Hebrew script relies on a variety of added symbols for understanding. Greek does not include these added symbols. Therefore, the Septuagint is flawed, compared with the Hebrew text.
We live in a time unlike any other in the less-than-United States, one where objective truth is doubted by almost half of the American people. All because of an extremely successful propaganda campaign put into place in the last four years by the President of the United States [‘the President said it, therefore it must be true’]. Protests over the results of this year’s election occur every day, some violent, some threatening violence against State officials, the goal being an attempt to overturn a legitimate election, falsely described as ‘stolen’. The idea is held by 73 million voters. 80 million voters agree with the outcome.
This week, on 12/8/2020, the President’s hand-picked Supreme Court Justices, and all of the other Justices of the Court refused to hear the President’s suit to have the election overturned. Something like 49 other suits have been found to be without merit.
With Donald Trump losing the 2020 election and refusing to concede, and his ‘believers’ certain that COVID-19 is a hoax created by Progressive Liberal Democrats, it seems that there are a bunch of ‘prophets’ that need to be stoned.

 As I’ve watched the current election cycle unfold, I have seen what I’ve encountered for decades—people who seem to equate Creator with some sort of ‘fairy godfather’ who grants our wishes. This ‘fairy godfather’ apparently floats above the Earth, controlling the events on Earth. Despite help being called upon from ‘angels in South America and Africa’, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris won the election. Despite a belief system that says COVID-19 is a hoax that was perpetrated by Progressive Liberal Democrats, over 3000 Americans died from COVID-19 yesterday. That number will be exceeded tomorrow. More people will die from CVirus every day than died on 9/11; and the CDC predicts that this will continue for months. The number of deaths that will exceed 300,000, could have been greatly reduced if half of the population believed that the wearing of face masks was a tool for public health, rather than an imposition upon individual liberty.

Imagine, if you can, a Universe that is entirely connected to an invisible ‘neurological system’ located outside Time and Space, one that we usually cannot perceive through our normal senses. This ‘system’ is the Spirit of Creator, available to all who desire to be ‘connected.’ This description is what I believe, because this is what I have experienced. I have no ‘proof’ beyond my experience.
Creator exists outside Time and Space. The words, ‘eternal’ and ‘omniscient’ and ‘omnipresent’ are in our vocabulary because these words refer to an experience outside of our normal understanding. I believe that all of Creation has been known from the moment of Creation; in such a manner that everything that happens, and has happened, and will happen, is known by Creator. Creator is never surprised by the events of our life. Not because Creator controls these events, but because Creator has known these events since the moment of Creation. Does Creator cause bad things to happen to us? No. Creator has known about CVirus since the moment of Creation. Did Creator create the virus? No. Viruses are part of the nature of living things. Not all viruses are ‘bad’; viruses enable immunity to occur, and CVirus is a virus transmitted from bats to humans. CVirus does not seem to harm bats and a growing number of other animals; it does harm humans. About 2% of the humans that are tested Positive for CVirus die. Many people that have been infected with CVirus have serious physical problems that take a long time to recover. Some people seem to think that a virus that does not kill 98% of its victims as something that is not worth the effort to avoid.

Until the victim is a beloved family member or friend.

Does Creator intervene in our lives? I have to say, ‘yes’, because there are events in my life that I cannot explain in any other way. Do these events happen often? No. Do these events occur because I am in some way, special? No. I believe these occurrences happen in my life as a ‘side effect’ from some other intervention into Time and Space, some other place. Sort of like a cosmic ‘twofer’. However, I cannot prove this assertion.
Thirty-plus years ago, our 5-year-old daughter was subject to painful earaches; a not-uncommon phenomenon. We had ear drops that normally reduced the pain; but this night it wasn’t happening. I tucked her into her bed, still crying. I checked-in with her, an hour or so later, and she was happily playing in her room. I asked her, ‘what happened to the earache?’

‘I asked Jesus to take the pain away, and He did.’ The faith of a child. 
Do I believe these ideas make sense to the general population? No. They only make sense to those who desire to better understand Creator.

A lot of religious people believe that their experience of god is the only way to believe; as if there are multiple gods in the heavens, and you select the god you want. Happens a lot in the White Evangelical Church. ‘Our way or the highway.’ My explanation is that there is only One Creator; and people use different names/addresses to contact the same place. A ‘place’ that is outside Time and Space.
There are four centuries of silence between the Old Testament and the New Testament. Four hundred years with no Prophecies, no recorded interventions into human life. Creator apparently had nothing more to say to the people rescued from captivity. Believers would do well to remember this.

I am of the opinion that when Creator does attend to us humans, it’s more like picking up a rock in the yard and looking what is underneath that rock, than anything else. The Human Propensity to Foul things Up fills our millennia of warring upon each other. The savage warring that is occurring right at this minute; the abuse of children, the abuse of women, the abuse of those who do not have the power to overcome their adversaries. You and I are doing nothing to stop this savagery. We feel powerless.
Creator entered time and space in the form of a single cell implanted into the womb of a teenager; the young woman who gave birth to Jesus; the Man who came to us to show us a new way to live. Jesus ended the four centuries of silence and promised that through the Spirit of the Creator, we could change. And that we could stay in our brokenness, if that is what we want. Freedom from the jail cell that is locked from inside the cell.
The religious elite, who had power over the Jewish people, had Jesus murdered in the most shocking way that the Roman invaders had: Crucifixion. This death was to prove a point—Rome rules. Tyrants Rule. Autocrats Rule, unless they are voted out of office.
People want proof that there is Life on other planets, so that we will know we are not alone. Our knowing that we are not alone is one of the major accomplishments of Jesus’ short life on Earth. Creator entering Life on Earth. To prove we are not alone.

Chronicles in Ordinary Time 222: Live Your Life in Such a Way That…

November 25, 2020

Saturday, November 7th I sent my adult children a portion of an MSNBC broadcast—Saturday evening, the day that Joseph R. Biden Jr. became President-Elect of the United States, church bells were ringing in Paris, there were fireworks in London. Dancing in the street in cities around the world—a new era in the governing of the United States. Governance based on Science, not Partisan Politics. President Biden and Vice President Kamala Devi Harris will have their hands full in the next years. It will take years to repair the damage done in the last 4 years. Damage that continues today, because the person currently behind the Resolute Desk is pouting and refusing to concede the election. He’s done such a good job of spreading propaganda for the last 4 years that nearly half the country believes the lies…
Propaganda is based on the idea that some specific entity is responsible for our problems. A story is told that has just enough ‘truth’ that someone will accept it as fact. That one political party is an enemy of ‘democracy’ and that the country’s news outlets are ‘enemies of the people’. The US Constitution differs in that perception:

First Amendment:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

 Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech, or freedom of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. And yet, for most of 2020, peaceful assemblies have turned violent as two opposing sides fought to express their animosity; egged on by the man behind the Resolute Desk. More than two weeks have passed, and he still refuses to concede the election. Having lied and cheated already, he and his supporters tried to steal the election. People with Power could stop him; they apparently find value in the chaos. At least, General Services Administration confirmed that Biden is the probable winner, and his Transition can begin.

November 25, 2020, 6:30pm
12,769,915 CVirus infections in the US. 262,132 deaths. 178,750 new infections since yesterday. Statistically, the CVirus US death rate, per infections, is about 2.1%. 2.1% seems like a small number. 2.1% of 178,750 is 3,753 people who reported to a hospital somewhere in the country today and are now marked for death. A number in the thousands will be marked for death tomorrow.
“The most powerful man in the world” does not care. He’s too focused on the legal battles that will begin on January 20, 2021, when he is no longer the President of the United States. His indicted co-conspirator, the guy who says that he ‘knows where the bodies are buried’ because he ‘dug the holes,’ is certain that his boss will be joining him in an orange jumpsuit.

The largest voter turnout for a President at any point in American history resulted in 80,087,842 [51.1%] votes for Joe Biden; in contrast to the 73,903,127 [47.1%] people who voted for the current President’s reign to continue. The difference between the two numbers is 6,184,715. The Bush/Gore election that ended in the Supreme Court deciding for Bush, was over 500 contested Florida votes, not 6 million.
So, while 3,753 people were marked for death today [probably a large percentage of Republicans, who consider it ‘a violation of their civil liberties’ to wear masks], the President will do nothing to avert the deaths. He could, with a few phone calls, if he cared. He doesn’t. He cares about himself. And he convinced 74 million people that he was concerned about their lives. He isn’t concerned about anyone but himself.

Donald Trump skipped the G20 summit’s “Pandemic Preparedness” event to visit one of his golf clubs on the same day that a record 195,500 new Covid-19 infections were reported in a 24-hour period in the United States, according to Johns Hopkins.
The summit, attended by world leaders from across the globe, is being held virtually this year because of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has now killed more than 250,000 Americans – by far the largest total in the world.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/nov/21/donald-trump-g20-pandemic-golf-club

From the ridiculous to the sublime…

There are nights so dark, that the dawn is not merely distant, but beyond imagination.
These are the hours where grief lives, where fear rules, where truth lies exposed, like a wound.
Hope hides, peace is for others.The minutes extend, repeating the distress of the hours that went before, and every thought begins and ends in silence.
Let the light shine.
Watch for it falling on each other’s faces.
Count the beams, catch them, let them be reflected back.
See the hope, see the promise.
Never hide your fears in silence.
Listen to those you cherish.
Hold them in your arms.
Let them hear your heart.
Tell your truth. Tell your story.
Call the Midwife Series 8 Episode 8

Stories.
Our lives are told in stories.
Again, from Jupiter Ascending [2015]
Caine Wise:
“Okay. When I was in the Legion, they gave me protocols for this. It can be difficult for Terrsies, or people from underdeveloped worlds, to hear that their planet is not the only inhabited planet in the Universe. Protocol actually says that most Terrsies will say that this has to be a dream.”
Jupiter Jones:
“Yeah, because a dream is the only way any of this makes sense.”
Caine Wise:
“Compared to what? The idea that you’re the only intelligent species, on the only inhabitable planet in a universe so full of planets that you don’t even have a number to describe how many there are?

What isn’t mentioned above is the fact that there is a 360° repetition of the image.
Newton’s laws of motion are assumed to be applicable to our entire Solar System.
One translation of Newton’s laws reads:
Law I: Every body persists in its state of being at rest or of moving uniformly straight forward, except insofar as it is compelled to change its state by force impressed.[14][b]
Law II: The alteration of motion is ever proportional to the motive force impress’d; and is made in the direction of the right line in which that force is impress’d.[15][c]
Law III: To every action there is always opposed an equal reaction: or the mutual actions of two bodies upon each other are always equal, and directed to contrary parts.[d][e]

The Laws of Physics are also assumed to be applicable throughout our Solar System.
It seems reasonable to assume that these laws are applicable within the Milky Way galaxy.
If they are applicable throughout our galaxy, it seems reasonable to presume that these laws are applicable throughout the Universe.

I’ve been a designer for close to sixty years. I don’t remember a time that I didn’t draw. Designing stick figures on a sheet of paper, telling a story in my imagination. In time, I designed furniture; then I started designing houses; and in time I designed commercial buildings. When I worked for the City of Portland, I checked the designs of architects, to ensure that the buildings were compliant with the Building Code. When I went out to inspect buildings, I discovered that carpenters don’t always follow the plans; and that the architects weren’t always paying attention to the progress on a project.
This was all taking place when dinosaurs ruled the earth.
In this century, I started designing books in addition to designing construction solutions for architects and building designers. In relatively recent years, I’ve had to design a new way to create illustrations, since my hands don’t work very well anymore. Nonetheless, I recognize design when I see it.

Space is HUGE; and we are so small.
These last 4 years have given new meaning to the smallness of some people.
Our nearly immense inability to ‘play nice with other people’ has been on prominent display for the months of this Pandemic, which gives no sign of stopping.
I’m tempted to blame this horrid time on one man. The reality is that we would not be in a state of chaos unless a very large portion of our American population had wanted to follow this man down a road that leads to death. This year has shown that people have a nearly infinite capacity to do harm to others, while bystanders across the street and across the world [thanks to the Internet], cheer on those who want to solve all of our problems with violence.
The horrid man has given us license, being the ‘most powerful man in the world,’ to be as ugly toward other people as we want.
A public health nurse is getting death threats because she ‘dares’ to tell the public that CVirus is a threat to the health of everyone…

https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2020/11/18/health-care-worker-threats-coronavirus/?arc404=true

We humans live in a small solar system in a low-rent district of a galaxy; a solar system so small that it can’t even be seen on the image above. The yellow dot representing our Sun is probably immensely out of scale.
I am of the opinion that our solar system has warning beacons that cover the exterior diameter of our solar system, warning intelligent species to avoid this place because we are infected by a Plague. A Plague that is far older than our CVirus Pandemic [one that apparently will be remarkably similar to the Pandemic my grandparents lived through].
There really isn’t a name for this Plague; greed, selfishness, prejudice, a lack of willingness to live with each other in peace. A desire for power, and the corruption power brings.
People in this country can’t wait until we are able to ‘get back to normal’—in my opinion, ‘normal’ sucked. We need to aim higher.

Chronicles in Ordinary Time 221: Homeless Jesus

November 8, 2020

“The Problem We All Live With” is a 1964 painting by Norman Rockwell. An iconic image of the civil rights movement in the United States, it depicts Ruby Bridges, a six-year-old African-American girl, on her way into an all-white public school in New Orleans on Nov. 14, 1960, during the process of racial desegregation.
Kamala Devi Harris October 20, 1964 Oakland, California, U.S.
“…there was a little girl in California who was part of the second class to integrate her public schools, and she was bussed to school every day. And that little girl was me.

Today, November 7, 2020, the world is celebrating. Joseph R. Biden Jr. has been elected as the 46th President of the United States of America. Today, the first woman, and the first woman of color to be elected Vice President is Kamala Devi Harris.
On January 20, 2021, the 45th President “joins history’s bitter club of one-term presidents — those who were elected, served one full term, and were rejected by the American voters they had led for four years.” Washington Post
On January 20, 2021 the Department of Justice memo from the Nixon years, the memo that presents the opinion that a sitting President cannot be indicted, will no longer be in effect for the 45th President. The 45th President has already stated that he won’t be at the Inauguration. Will he be in the United States on that day, or will he be in a non-extradition country where he owns property? My guess is the latter; my hope is that he will be punished for all his crimes waiting for indictment. And they are many.

Celebration this day is entirely appropriate. America has been under siege for the last four years by its President, and a wide following of White Supremacists, whether or not they accept that definition of their character.
To quote a letter to the White Evangelical Church, as written by John Pavlovitz:
“…They see that all you’re really interested in doing is making a God in your own ivory image and demanding that the world bow down to it. They recognize this all about white, Republican Jesus—not dark-skinned Jesus of Nazareth.
“And I know you don’t realize it, but you’re digging your own grave in these days; the grave of your very faith tradition.
“Your willingness to align yourself with cruelty is a costly marriage. Yes, you’ve gained a Supreme Court seat, a few months with the Presidency as a mouthpiece, and the cheap high of temporary power—but you’ve lost a whole lot more.
“You’ve lost an audience with millions of wise, decent, good-hearted, faithful people with eyes to see this ugliness. You’ve lost any moral high ground or spiritual authority with a generation. You’ve lost any semblance of Christlikeness. You’ve lost the plot. And most of all you’ve lost your soul
.”

Homelessness is a major issue in Portland, Oregon, my home for nearly seventy years.

Homeless Jesus

“A new religious statue in the town of Davidson, N.C., is unlike anything you might see in church.
“The statue depicts Jesus as a vagrant sleeping on a park bench. St. Alban’s Episcopal Church installed the homeless Jesus statue on its property in the middle of an upscale neighborhood filled with well-kept townhomes.
“Jesus is huddled under a blanket with his face and hands obscured; only the crucifixion wounds on his uncovered feet give him away.
“The reaction was immediate. Some loved it; some didn’t.
“One woman from the neighborhood actually called police the first time she drove by,” says David Boraks, editor of DavidsonNews.net. “She thought it was an actual homeless person.”
“That’s right. Somebody called the cops on Jesus.
“Another neighbor, who lives a couple of doors down from the church, wrote us a letter to the editor saying it creeps him out,” Boraks added.
“Some neighbors feel that it’s an insulting depiction of the son of God, and that what appears to be a hobo curled up on a bench demeans the neighborhood.
https://www.npr.org/2014/04/13/302019921/statue-of-a-homeless-jesus-startles-a-wealthy-community

Matthew 8, Aramaic Bible in Plain English
19 One scribe came near and said to him, “Rabbi, I shall come after you, wherever you go.” 20 Yeshua said to him, “Foxes have lairs and birds of the sky have shelters, but The Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.”

Maybe it’s different in Davidson, North Carolina, but the statue seems to match Jesus’ self-description. As I’ve written in other places, somehow the White Evangelical Church believes that following Jesus means living in wealth and privilege, while much of the world starves.
As I write this, 3:00am on November 8, 2020, 9,861,898 Americans are infected with COVID-19 [CVirus]; 237,123 Americans have died. For the fourth consecutive day, a single-day record in the hundreds of thousands of new cases was set for coronavirus, with more than 134,000 reported.
Statistically, in the US, the CVirus death rate is about 2.7% of those who are found to be infected. A number like 2.7% seems pretty small, until 100,000 people per day test positive. 700,000 times 2.7% equals something like 17,500 deaths per week. As long as Americans keep behaving as we have done for the last 8 months, the death rates will continue to increase.

The same man that has been ridiculing face masks for the last 8 months continues his ridicule today; and will probably continue for the 10 weeks he remains in office. The example raised for nearly half of the voting adults in the country. The man who learned in February of this year that CVirus is deadly, and that if one is the ‘wrong person’ there is no hope for their survival. These comments are all on tape, in his own words. Perhaps he likes the power of killing people with no effort on his part. Especially when they applaud and chant about the opportunity to die in his presence.In the days of the Roman Empire, slaves who were to die in the ‘games’ are said to have saluted the Emperor with, “We who are about to die, salute you.” Maybe nothing has changed.
If only our wannabe Emperor could be forced to spend a week in an ICU unit in a hospital, when COVID patients are brought in by the hundreds each day. Where the hospital staff sends a patient home to die, because they have no room for treating the most tragic patients. Or they leave the patient in a parked ambulance, waiting for the victim to die; after which the body is packed into a refrigerator truck because the morgue is full.

This is Trump’s America.

KNOXVILLE, TENN. — The new congregation is gathered in a barn in Lenoir City, Tenn., with a roof that has a 60-foot American flag painted on it. And they are praying for a Trump landslide.
Standing in a circle, the dozen or so men and women, young and old, lay their hands on their pastor, Ken Peters, as he raises their requests to God.
He prays that “communism and socialism and transgenderism and homosexuality and abortion will not have their way in this land.”
“Yes, Lord,” someone cries.
He prays that the nation’s “Christian roots” will remain, that the church of Jesus Christ will be a “restraining power.”
“God, this nation is a miracle for you,” Peters continues. “You rescued us, and you gave us our independence for a purpose.”
After another “amen,” the service begins with everyone’s hands raised to “Here I Am to Worship,” a popular contemporary Christian song performed in many evangelical churches.
This is a Patriot Church, part of an evolving network of nondenominational start-up congregations that say they want to take the country back for God. While most White conservative Christian churches might only touch on politics around election time and otherwise choose to keep the focus during worship on God, politics and religion are inseparable here. The Tennessee congregation is one of three Patriot Churches that formed in September. The other two are near Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., and in Spokane, Wash., and Peters says he is talking with several more pastors of existing churches who want to join them.
The 50 or so people in attendance may identify as born-again or just as generic “Bible-loving” Christians. Peters’s flock is not affiliated with a specific denomination, but it does have a distinct identity. The Patriot Churches belong to what religion experts describe as a loosely organized Christian nationalist movement that has flourished under President Trump. In just four years, he has helped reshape the landscape of American Christianity by elevating Christians once considered fringe, including Messianic Jews, preachers of the prosperity gospel and self-styled prophets. At times, this made for some strange bedfellows, but the common thread among them is a sense of being under siege and a belief that America has been and should remain a Christian nation.
From his lectern during the worship service, Peters rails against perceived attacks on First Amendment freedoms, decrying government mandates and calling masks “face diapers.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/religion/2020/10/26/trump-christian-nationalism-patriot-church/

This too is Trump’s America.

It would be presumptuous of me to define what I think Jesus’ America would be, because it would not be America. Jesus, the son of Mary and Joseph would not have known that the Americas even existed. Jesus the Son of Creator, knew about the Americas, but we have no evidence that the single cell implanted in the womb of the teenager named Mary, the fiancée of Joseph the carpenter, grew into a man that knew the future. Jesus said that even He did not know when the time of Judgement would be. The point at which the Earth would be made new. And yet, there are White Evangelical Church members who know that the End Times are coming soon. Apparently because the people of the Twentieth Century did all that they could do, to ruin Earth; perhaps irrevocably. However, Scripture does not say that we get out of here alive. There are interpretations of Biblical prophecy that claim we get out of here alive; these are interpretations that have been made by very fallible men.

Megachurch pastor and televangelist Paula White-Cain, who is spiritual adviser to President Donald Trump, delivered a prayer service Wednesday night in an effort to secure Trump’s reelection.
During the service, which was streamed on Facebook Live, White-Cain called on “angelic reinforcement” from the continents of Africa and South America.
“I hear a sound of victory, the Lord says it is done,” she said. “For angels have even been dispatched from Africa right now… In the name of Jesus from South America, they’re coming here.”
White-Cain also stated that “demonic confederacies…are attempting to steal the election from Trump.” As of Thursday morning, Joe Biden had 264 electoral votes and Trump 214, according to USA TODAY counts.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2020/11/05/paula-white-trumps-spiritual-adviser-african-south-american-angels/6173576002/

To quote the immortal Inigo Montoya [The Princess Bride], and the sound of victory:
You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Chronicles in Ordinary Time 220: his ghastly illusion

October 18, 2020

Picture to yourself a man who has risen to wealth or power by a continued course of treachery and cruelty, by exploiting for purely selfish ends the noble motions of his victims, laughing the while at their simplicity; who, having thus attained success, uses it for the gratification of lust and hatred and finally parts with the last rag of honour among thieves by betraying his own accomplices and jeering at their last moments of bewildered disillusionment. Suppose, further, that he does all this, not (as we like to imagine) tormented by remorse or even misgiving, but eating like a schoolboy and sleeping like a healthy infant-a jolly, ruddy-cheeked man, without a care in the world, unshakably confident to the very end that he alone has found the answer to the riddle of life, that God and man are fools whom he has got the better of, that his way of life is utterly successful, satisfactory, unassailable …. Supposing he will not be converted, what destiny in the eternal world can you regard as proper for him? … Even mercy can hardly wish to such a man his eternal, contented continuance in such ghastly illusion.
C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain [1940]

At the NBC Town Hall, the President Demonstrated That He Is Completely Insane

NBC was kind enough to broadcast to the world, yet again, that the President of the United States is completely insane. At one point during a town hall in Miami on Thursday night, Donald Trump explained that he shared a conspiracy theory with his 87 million Twitter followers alleging Joe Biden helped orchestrate the killing of Seal Team 6 members—to cover up that the Osama bin Laden assassination was, in this formulation, faked—on the following basis: “That was a retweet. That was an opinion of somebody. And that was a retweet. I put it out there, people can decide for themselves.” Elsewhere here, the president was able to simply denounce white supremacy this time, having kicked off a flurry of excitement and activity among the right-wing paramilitary set with his inability to do so two weeks ago. It’s a low bar, sure, but he failed to clear one of similar height when it came to a question on QAnon. But even beyond the nutso elements—on whether he got tested before the last presidential debate, the president offered, “I test quite a bit, I test all the time, I don’t even remember, I probably did, I possibly didn’t”—there is the more basic element that the president does not have any goals or plans for the country he’s asking to lead for four more years.              By Jack Holmes  , Oct 16, 2020

https://www.esquire.com/news-politics/a34388971/nbc-town-hall-trump-recap/

Tonight, my adult daughter, 1000 miles away, is crying and trying to keep her emotions together as she struggles with a ‘mild’ case of COVID-19. She alternates between fevers, nausea, dizziness, and now the thing that thousands of COVID-19 infected people deal with: they call it COVID Brain-Fog. My daughter has always had confidence in her highly trained brain, which at the moment has trouble remembering simple tasks. She dare not hug her 18-year-old daughter at the other end of the house, who hasn’t displayed any symptoms. They text across the house, and when they need to be in the same room, they both wear masks.
My daughter was infected by her husband, a Long-Haul-Trucker who thought he had caught a cold. Now he’s gutting-it-out driving to Maine and back, eventually to Colorado. He is masked every time he leaves the truck. He apparently caught the COVID-19 virus in Texas, where he spent time with friends.
My daughter has been in Colorado for a long time; I am still her father, and I am angry with every idiot in this country who ridicules mask-wearing. Over 8 million cases of COVID-19 in the United States, and more than 220,000 deaths. Our so-called President refuses to accept any responsibility for these deaths, and he does not even acknowledge the deaths. He does not acknowledge the refrigerator trucks at hospitals across the country, because the dead outnumber the refrigerators in the Morgue. He does even acknowledge the mass graves in New York City.

Mass Graves in the United States.

We have become one of “the shithole countries” the President talked about in 2018.

LBJ: 40,000 dead in Vietnam

Trump views 200,000 Covid-19 deaths as a PR problem. We should view them as someone’s loved one

Opinion by Dean Obeidallah
(CNN) On Monday, [9/21/2020] with the US on the verge of reaching the solemn number of 200,000 dead from Covid-19, Donald Trump appeared on Fox News where the topic of the virus was raised. Did Trump express sympathy for the heartbreaking losses caused to families across the nation from this deadly pandemic? Nope, instead he patted himself on the back for doing what he called “a phenomenal job” in handling Covid-19, giving himself an “A+.” The only criticism Trump would offer was regarding the public relations for the virus, saying in that area, “I give myself a D.” He blamed the low grade on “fake news.”
…they all deserve a better response from the President. They are not a PR crisis to be managed—they were someone’s loved one. They were beloved mothers and fathers, sons and daughters. They were grandparents who taught their grandchildren about life, teachers who made students smarter, coaches who pushed their players to be better, deli owners who remained open so neighborhoods would have food during lockdowns. They were doctors, nurses, police officers and others who worked while many of us were able to stay safe in our homes. They were the apple of someone’s eye, a soul mate, a reason for living. The people who died were not only like us, they often were the best of us.

U.S. Records 70,000 New Cases in a Day for the First Time Since July [10/17/2020]

Epidemiologists warn that nearly half of the states are seeing surges unlike anything they experienced earlier in the pandemic.

How the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally may have spread coronavirus across the Upper Midwest
Within weeks of the gathering that drew nearly half a million bikers, the Dakotas, along with Wyoming, Minnesota and Montana, were leading the nation in new coronavirus infections per capita…The surge was especially pronounced in North and South Dakota, where cases and hospitalization rates continued their juggernaut rise into October.
Experts say they will never be able to determine how many of those cases originated at the 10-day rally, given the failure of state and local health officials to identify and monitor attendees returning home, or to trace chains of transmission after people got sick. Some, however, believe the nearly 500,000-person gathering played a role in the outbreak now consuming the Upper Midwest.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2020/10/17/sturgis-rally-spread

Chronicles in Ordinary Time 218: To Look at the Stars, and Know that We are Not Alone

October 8, 2020

The Present:
I’m stuck with a new version of WordPress; because “it is better”
In my opinion, which I pay WordPress for, it sucks.

The President has been infected with COVID-19. The Virus he’s been lying about since February, when he learned the COVID-19 is deadly [Bob Woodward has the tape]. The Virus the President did nothing to quell until mid-March.  
If the United States had begun imposing social distancing measures one week earlier than it did in March, about 36,000 fewer people would have died in the coronavirus outbreak, according to new estimates from Columbia University disease modelers.
And if the country had begun locking down cities and limiting social contact on March 1, two weeks earlier than most people started staying home, the vast majority of the nation’s deaths — about 83 percent — would have been avoided, the researchers estimated. Under that scenario, about 54,000 fewer people would have died by early May.
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/20/us/coronavirus-distancing-deaths.html

The Virus Trump has been ridiculing for months; to the point where Trump supporters today still refuse to wear masks; even though their Leader is infected. No one knows exactly how bad the President’s infection is, because ‘the White House’ by choice, cannot be trusted to tell the Truth. The SUV in which the President, against doctor’s orders, decided to take for a drive to New Jersey is hermetically sealed to protect against gas attacks. It is air-tight. The Secret Service agent in front of the President, as well as any other individuals in the SUV are breathing the air in the President’s lungs and are probably infected with COVID-19. It is unlikely that they will be treated with the experimental drugs and steroids being used on the President.
The President has shown over the last 4 years that he has no more appreciation for the Secret Service agents sworn to protect his life than the children still rotting in ICE cages. And religious people throughout the country believe that the President has been blessed by god. As of today, the man who has said he has no need to repent, because he has never done anything wrong, says that his COVID diagnosis was a ‘blessing from god’. His niece and his sister have stated on tape, that Trump has no use for religion…
From J. H. McKenna, Ph.D:
Jesus did not arrive to lecture and berate the righteous or the virtuous or the upright or the honorable.  He said so himself. It’s sinners Jesus wants. “I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”
At the right moment, in the fullness of time (as is said) Jesus would come to earth with an antique message, not for good people, but for bad people, for people who need to repent in order to become good people…
In other words, from all eternities past, God conceived a religion precisely with Donald Trump in mind. So why hasn’t Donald Trump repented and converted to Christianity? (Don’t pretend he has.)  Why does Trump resist a religion invented precisely for him?
Can his Evangelical enthusiasts help him to an authentic, remorseful penitence? What could a repentant, truly reformed Trump look like?  Can we imagine Donald Trump becoming an honest, humble, humorous, charming, generous, open, self-deprecating moral titan?
Can the religion of Jesus, engineered with Trump in mind at least several billion years ago, actually snag Mr. Trump and save him and reform him and better him and allow him plenty of years ahead to perform restitution for his long, long, indeed life-long, slog through all the categories of sin?
https://www.patheos.com/blogs/humanistplus/2020/08/will-trump-repent-in-time

Tonight, at the Vice-Presidential debate, Mr. Pence proved that he can sling BS as well as his boss. As of one hour ago, according to the Johns Hopkins website, 7,549,429 living Americans have been infected with COVID-19 and 211,793 Americans have died. Those infected but not yet hospitalized suffer each day, to restore the life they had last year.
“The first claim that Vice President Pence made in the vice-presidential debate on Wednesday night was not true. He claimed that President Trump had “suspended all travel from China” in order to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus in the United States. The travel restrictions were sufficiently porous that nearly 40,000 people traveled from China to this country after the restrictions went into place…
Pence attempted to defend Trump’s record on the pandemic — and his own, given that he’s ostensibly in charge of the response — by pretending that a challenge to the administration’s record was somehow a disparagement of the public.
“When you say what the American people have done over these last eight months hasn’t worked,” Pence charged, “that’s a great disservice to the sacrifices the American people have made.”
I mean, you work with what you’ve got. But this seems unlikely to work as a strategy.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2020/10/07/all-honest-politicians-are-same-each-member-trumps-ticket-is-dishonest-his-own-way

 

I’m not sure how much further into absurdity this country can fall.

 
   

The Future:
The best part of the movie, Jupiter Ascending:
Caine Wise: It can be difficult for Terrans, or people from underdeveloped worlds, to hear that their planet is not the only inhabited planet in the Verse.
Jupiter Jones: Has to be the anesthesia. I mean, it’s gotta be a dream.
Caine Wise: The Protocol actually says that most Terrans will say that this has to be a dream.
Jupiter Jones: Yeah, because a dream is the only way any of this makes sense.
Caine Wise: Compared to what? The idea that you’re the only intelligent species, on the only habitable planet, in a universe so full of planets that you don’t even have a number to describe how many there are?

NOT SCIENCE FICTION

COSMOS-AzTEC-1

A newly mapped [2018] starburst galaxy labeled COSMOS-AzTEC-1 – located 12.4 billion light-years away, in the early universe – is now known to be forming stars 1,000 times faster than our Milky Way. It’s also been found to have star-forming regions not in its galactic center, but in vast clouds located off-center by several thousand light-years. [Emphasis added]How these galaxies have been able to amass such a large quantity of gas in the first place and then essentially turn the entire gas reserve into stars in the blink of an eye, cosmologically speaking, was a completely unknown question about which we could only speculate. We have the first answers now.
https://earthsky.org/space/starburst-galaxy-cosmos-aztec-1-unstoppable-monster

Why is this important?
This is an image of a galaxy as it was, 12.4 Billion years ago. Two years ago, it became known that the galaxy is forming stars 1,000 times faster than our Milky Way.

The idea that you’re the only intelligent species, on the only habitable planet, in a universe so full of planets that you don’t even have a number to describe how many there are?

Look at the night sky on a clear night where city lights cannot be seen. Each of those points of light is a solar system in the Milky Way galaxy. Creator may still be forming stars from cosmic gas. The number defies counting.

In another 20 years, the current President will be dead [at 94 and morbidly obese].
My granddaughter, preparing to vote in her first Election, will be nearly as old as her mother is now.
The United States of America will hopefully still exist.

The Earth may not be habitable in 20 years [2040]. The oceans will have new ‘sea levels’ due to the melting of our Ice Caps. There may only be portions of the continents in their most extreme distances that are habitable. Global Warming/Climate Change is Real. Bangladesh is largely under water due to typhoons.
In every election for every office from now onward, we Earthlings need to elect people who respect science, and rely on the wisdom of experts, if we are to survive.

I know people who believe that Climate Change isn’t important because Jesus is Returning Soon. Jesus, all of the Creator that could be stuffed into a human, did not know when He would return. The Return/Second Coming is an interpretation based on a handful of verses from the New Testament, the Revelation of John, in particular.
 1 John 2:18 in Aramaic [the language used in Jesus’ time]
My sons, it is the end time, and as you have heard that something will come; the false anointed one, and also now, for, there are many false anointed ones, and from this we know it is the end of time.

As near as I can tell, Time for Earth did not end two Millenia ago. The author of 1st John was making a prediction based on what he knew at the time.
What scientists know is that we have a limited amount of time for keeping Earth habitable. This was the purpose of the Paris Agreement that our President dumped shortly after he took office.
How late is too late for policies to have a reasonable likelihood of achieving the Paris Agreement’s 2-degree goal in 2100? Assuming a moderate mitigation strategy, a 2-degree warming threshold, and accepting a 67% likelihood of remaining below the threshold, the Point of No Return will arrive in the year 2035.
https://environment-review.yale.edu/too-little-too-late-carbon-emissions-and-point-no-return

There are other dates, dependent upon mitigation strategies and the rising of the Ocean due to melting glaciers.
Only the Creator knows our planet’s future.
If we are wise, we can help heal the planet. This is the job Jesus set out for us.

Stewardship

for Malakai

Chronicles in Ordinary Time 218: He Knew

September 10, 2020

Negligent homicide is the killing of another person through gross negligence or without malice…It is characterized as a death caused by death by conduct that grossly deviated from ordinary care. Negligent homicide may be charged as a lesser-included offense of manslaughter. It is also sometimes referred to as “involuntary manslaughter”.

https://definitions.uslegal.com/n/negligent-homicide/

I thought he simply was the stupidest man that had ever sat behind the Resolute Desk. I thought his overlarge, supremacist ego prevented him from effectively doing his job. I was wrong.

He knew

In his own words, on tape to Bob Woodward in February, the President admitted that he knew COVID-19 was 5X deadlier than the ‘common flu;’ he knew that it was airborne. He lied to the American public. He said it would “go away like a miracle”. All of the unmasked, mask-ridiculing, MAGA events with a thousand people standing shoulder to shoulder were scenes of negligent homicide. The President has been killing the people who would vote for him, if they were still alive. If he had merely told people to wear masks, thousands of people would not have died. What kind of person does that?

From Jennifer Rubin:

When the president deliberately lies to the American people — as multiple presidents during the Vietnam War did (as we learned from the Pentagon Papers) — and many Americans die as a result, even loyal members of his own party must condemn him and demand he step away. His actions cost critical time, prevented earlier lockdowns and provided a false sense of security to vulnerable people. In all likelihood, tens of thousands of dead Americans would be alive today if he had acted with minimal competence and honesty.

This situation is not unlike Trump’s impeachment hearings. Overwhelming evidence, including the president’s own words documented in the rough transcript of the July 25, 2019, call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, demonstrated that Trump had betrayed the United States by extorting an ally at war with Russia for his own electoral benefit. Senate Republicans are not stupid; they merely refused to acknowledge what was before their eyes.

Now, we have similar malfeasance — precisely the sort of noncriminal but impeachable behavior that the impeachment clause is designed to uncover. Once again, Republicans will claim up is down and night is day. They will refuse to accept Trump’s own words confessing to a deception that cost thousands of American lives. They will not call for his resignation or call for him to withdraw from the election. They would rather continue to support a president demonstrably unfit than risk the wrath of Trump and his cult, just as they overlooked the threat to the lives of Ukrainians…

In his memorable summation at the impeachment trial, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.) declared, “History will not be kind to Donald Trump. If you find that the House has proved its case, and still vote to acquit, your name will be tied to his with a cord of steel and for all of history.” Republicans did not care. Now that Americans’ lives have been sacrificed at the altar of Trump’s ego, Republicans face another hinge moment: say nothing and join Trump in the dumpster of history, or speak up, call for his resignation and recapture a modicum of respect. Sadly, there is little doubt they will choose the former.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/09/09/trumps-unforgivable-sin-his-covid-19-lies-killed-americans/

Bob Woodward is complicit in this negligent homicide. He knew in February, also. He had the President’s words on tape. And he chose not to say anything.

Sometime next week, 200,000 US citizens will have died.
This was not necessary.

 

 

 

 

Chronicles in Ordinary Time 217: Lest We Forget

August 8, 2020

Seventy-five years ago, the United States unleashed hell upon the earth…

Sane people would decide that this would never happen again.
We have a shortage of sane people leading governments.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chronicles in Ordinary Time 216: Lest We Forget

August 5, 2020

Seventy-five years ago, the United States unleashed hell upon the earth…

These shadows remain, even though the persons
who made the shadows disintegrated 75 years ago.

Sane people would decide that this would never happen again.

We have a shortage of sane people leading governments.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chronicles in Ordinary Time 214: Cosmic Dissonance

July 28, 2020

I intended to send this before my post of yesterday. Frustration changed that plan.

Testing Facebook censors

She’s being called, “The Naked Athena”—
Athena or Athene,  is an ancient Greek goddess associated with wisdom, handicraft, and warfare…

We have unwanted Federal Troops making war on peaceful protestors. There are tens of people spray painting Federal buildings and breaking glass. There were looters, 50 nights ago. There are thousands of people exercising their right to peaceably assemble. Sadly, there has been a shift from Black Lives Matter to Portland vs. Trump.

Hundreds of mothers have attended demonstrations and stood as a human barricade between protesters and federal officers
It took the killing of George Floyd to get Jane Ullman to finally pay attention to what the police were up to in America. But it was the sinister sight of federal agents in camouflage snatching demonstrators off the streets of Portland that got her out to protest.
The chief financial officer for tech startups in Oregon’s biggest city joined hundreds of other mothers dressed in yellow in a “Wall of Moms”, turning out each evening to stand as a human barricade between protesters and agents dispatched by Donald Trump to aggressively break up Black Lives Matter demonstrations.
Ullman, a mother of two, said it was her first demonstration in support of racial justice.
As an upper-middle-class white woman in the whitest city in America, I couldn’t stand by any longer,” she said. “I’ve been doing a lot of self-educating since George Floyd. Reading and learning. The feds’ part in it pushed me over the top. I wanted to take action. But it was the ‘Wall of Moms’ that brought me out.”

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/jul/21/trump-federal-agents-portland-protests-moms

The Naked Athena decided to take action by confronting armed troops by walking up to them, and practicing yoga in the middle of the street, wearing a face mask and a beanie; and that which she was given by Creator. Overwhelmed by this display [she still needed protection from tear gas and rubber bullets] the troops finally left.
We live in a time of Cosmic Dissonance, or Cognitive Dissonance:

a theory of attitude formation and behavior describing a motivational state that exists when a person’s cognitive elements (attitudes, perceived behaviors, etc.) are inconsistent with each other (dissonance), such as the espousal of the Ten Commandments concurrent with the belief that it is all right to cheat on one’s taxes…

https://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Theory+of+cognitive+dissonance

Contemporary notions of a meaningful life are often caught between two worlds: a deep human yearning for cosmic meaning, on the one hand, and a seemingly random, impersonal, contingent universe on the other hand. And, also, there seems to be the fact that “the more the universe seems comprehensible, the more it also seems pointless.”

https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/harvard-theological-review/article/cosmic-meaning-awe-and-absurdity-in-the-secular-age-a-critique-of-religious-nontheism/03124514884171B3BDB14F4B9DDDBEBB/core-reader

The President, like all bullies, wants to project aggression—such as calling himself a ‘wartime President’ in regard to COVID-19, while doing absolutely nothing to combat the Pandemic. So now, he wants to project the idea of being a ‘Law and Order President’…
If anyone has been paying attention for these lost four years, it is clear to see that he’s one of the worst offenders of Law and Order ever known in American History. Our President is an unindicted criminal who will be arrested the moment the next President finishes taking his Oath of Office. He may end up being a ‘next door neighbor’ to his former lawyer Michael Cohen, who is in prison for the crimes he committed under the instruction of the person the court records call, “Individual One”. At his appearance before Congress, Cohen identified “Individual One” as being Donald J. Trump.

enough of that

Starship Discovery

I enjoy watching science fiction. I don’t have a problem choosing between Star Trek and Star Wars. They involve two different galaxies and a large amount of time.
Science fiction brings stories of possibilities. The first season of Star Trek Discovery was mostly about War. In the second season, the stories are more about scientific discovery. A human conflict in the story I watched again an hour ago caused me to think about Cosmic/Cognitive Dissonance—when two separate ideas exist in the same person.

It is necessary to explain that Michael Burnham is a woman, having been a rescued, parentlelss human child who was raised on the planet Vulcan, where emotion is required to be subdued into silence. Vulcans believe in the predominance of Science. Vulcans do not know of a god who guides their way. This may not have been the case in the far distant past… Michael was fostered by a human mother married to a Vulcan scientist. Michael’s foster brother is a Vulcan named Spock.
From Star Trek Discovery Season 2, Episode 5 – Saints of Imperfection:

Michael Burnham:
I envy those who can believe there is a greater hand, writing our story, who chooses the words to keep chaos at bay: Connection. Joy. Love. And resurrection.
With these words, the path becomes clear for a moment, and then disappears.
If I have a path…I’m still searching for it.
We all are.
That’s how we find our way, by choosing to walk forward, together.
And if there is a greater hand leading us into an uncertain future…
…I can only hope it guides us well.

Michael’s words above make sense to me. I was not raised in the Church or raised with any philosophical lifestyle. When Spock was introduced to America, I finally understood who I was—a Vulcan child shipwrecked on Earth…
I was introduced to Faith in my twenties, during my third of five years at Universities. LARGE parts of contemporary Christian beliefs remain totally weird, even though I dedicated my life to my Creator forty-seven years ago. So, I study that which people who study theology present to me. Theologians who decipher nearly dead languages, often translated by theologians who did the best they could but were subject to human error.

Jerome of Stridon, was a Latin priest, confessor, theologian, and historian; he is commonly known as Saint Jerome. Jerome is recognised as a saint and Doctor of the Church by the Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Lutheran Church, and the Anglican Communion. In 390 A.D. he turned to translating the Hebrew Bible from the original Hebrew, having previously translated portions from the Septuagint which came from Alexandria…He completed this work by 405 A.D. Prior to Jerome’s Vulgate, all Latin translations of the Old Testament were based on the Septuagint, not the Hebrew. Jerome’s decision to use a Hebrew text instead of the previous-translated Septuagint went against the advice of most other Christians, including Augustine, who thought the Septuagint inspired. Modern scholarship, however, has sometimes cast doubts on the actual quality of Jerome’s Hebrew knowledge…

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerome

My use of the words, ‘human error’ in conjunction with Scripture will drive many people that I know, nuts. They have been taught that the Bible [usually the version they prefer] is totally without error. The Bible covers thousands of years of history; much of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament may have been assembled in the 5th century BCE. However, the books of the Prophets cover events that occurred two to three centuries before. People did not have pencils and notepads in the 8th Century BCE; there were means of writing down events, but they were not very portable. These writings are not the same as a journalist’s record of events, to which we are accustomed.

There are many people, some of whom I worship alongside in the church we have served for 15 years, who believe the catastrophic events we are living through are ushering in the Second Coming of Christ. Consequently, these people don’t seem to be too interested in addressing these events in terms of what they can do to make the planet safer. ‘After all, Jesus is coming soon, and we don’t need to worry about it because we are Saved.’ I heard this statement from a US Senator, not from friends at church.
The message of the Second Coming is the same message I heard 47 years ago. It seemed real then, also. Communism, Nuclear War, anti-Vietnam protests and a deceitful President [#37] were among the events that would usher in the End Times; including the IBM 666 computer and bar codes stamped on people’s bodies… For those who believe, 50 years of waiting isn’t a problem. Fifty years from now, there will be a new Earth created by the wasteful, blind, human race. There is no guarantee that we will be rescued; it is an interpretation of words from other languages.
The Revelation to John [and other titles] was written around AD 90, supposedly by the Apostle John, which would make him very old, for the first century. The book is filled with imagery that people have been attempting to understand for close to 2000 years. A lot of American Christians believe that the book includes events that will occur in the United States, even though at the time, no one knew of the existence of the Americas [“god knew about the Americas”]. My writing of these ideas will be considered by some as blasphemy.

Jesus stated that He did not know when He would return to Earth, when the ‘new heaven and the new earth’ would occur. The Creator in human form did not know, but a lot of religious leaders apparently have a better source for information. Preachers who heal people in churches, but do not perform healings in the overrun hospitals in rural Texas, where doctors are having to decide who lives and who dies.
“That’s how we find our way, by choosing to walk forward, together…” I believe there is a greater Hand leading us into a certain future… and I will continue to do what I can to influence that future toward the Hands of the Creator by welcoming those who lack certainty. And I certainly won’t drive people away from me because they do not see what I see.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chronicles in Ordinary Time 215: This is Why Federal Troops Came to Portland

July 26, 2020

She’s being called, “The Naked Athena”—a reference to Athena an ancient Greek goddess associated with wisdom, handicraft, and warfare

We have unwanted Federal Troops making war on peaceful protestors.

AND THAT WAS THE POINT
A PRESIDENT WHO IS INVADING HIS OWN COUNTRY

I am aware that there are Portlanders who are personally offended by spray paint and broken glass; and looting from weeks ago.

The real enemy is COVID-19; and the 150,000 US lives taken.

And the Federal response is storm troopers.

 

 

 


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