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byronius

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Member since: Wed Feb 23, 2005, 03:32 PM
Number of posts: 6,535

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This feels more like the Cuban Missile Crisis than Watergate.

Brand new, edge-of-the-earth challenge. We have to win this. We have to.

Certainly Russia's thinking on this was as concise and strategic as Osama Bin Laden's on 9/11. Talk about your asymmetric warfare. This has got to be the most impressive example in history since the Trojan Horse.

We got got. Now we have to set it right. Have to. The United States must survive this.

I'm ready to hit the street anytime. But I have a feeling that this breaks open soon, and it feels like there's a clock ticking.

Cuban Missile Crisis.

A Short Note On Christian Atheism.

I was taking the cat poop out to the dumpster last night at about 9:30 PM -- we sponsor three feral cats who live in our building -- and I saw a young woman hovering around the dumpsters. I routinely talk to the homeless who haunt the business park dumpsters at night, mostly because I spent a year as a homeless person, and understand how it happens to people.

The young woman was perhaps in her late twenties, shy and raggedly dressed. I said hello, and asked her how she was.

"Do you have any extra food?" she replied. Her voice was warm and intelligent. She had what some would call buck teeth, and was trying to hide them, but her eyes were quite clear and personable. Most of the homeless I speak to by the dumpster are just that -- intelligent, warm, human -- always concerned about my reaction at first, because I look just like a conservative. Once they read the complete lack of judgment they relax and open up.

I said no at first, and then remembered -- "How about a loaf of bread?" My lunch stuff. I'd forgotten my lunch stuff. She said yes, absolutely, and I said I'd be back in a minute. She met me out in back of the building, and I gave her almost a full loaf of Dave's Killer Bread (so good, and he hires only recovering ex-felons), a bag of carrots, an apple, and some string cheese.

She was grateful, disappeared around the corner, and that was that.

Here is my point: I'm an atheist. Certainly I'm a tree-hugging dirt-worshipping nature boy who reads a lot of the new wild-assed quantum physics books and thinks that it's probably the strongest argument possible for some type of innate intelligent order based on particulate consciousness, but I could never be a practicing Christian.

My grandmother was. She was a devout Southern Baptist who never spoke about her faith -- she thought it was un-Christian to do so, and instead focused on helping and feeding people without any religious overtones whatsoever. She'd had a dream about walking with Jesus in the Garden, she once told me when we got stoned together (she was 82), and that was the basis for her beliefs, nothing more, nothing less. Feed the poor, care for the children, love, the end.

Here's my problem -- the Bible is pretty goddamned clear about this stuff. For a practicing Christian to hoard wealth while a single human being goes hungry anywhere in the world should be ABSOLUTELY FORBIDDEN BY THEIR FAITH.

For a practicing Christian to go to a service in a clean, warm and well-lit church where security guards roam the perimeter to exclude the rough-looking should be ABSOLUTELY FORBIDDEN BY THEIR FAITH.

For a practicing Christian to exclude anyone from their company or concern for any reason whatsoever, be it race or religion or sexual orientation or criminal history should be ABSOLUTELY FORBIDDEN BY THEIR FAITH.

For a practicing Christian to admit to these cognitive dissonances by insisting that the Lord forgives their transgressions as they continue to commit them should be ABSOLUTELY FORBIDDEN BY THEIR FAITH.

Yet many large churches commit these social crimes regularly, from the pulpit, in word and in deed.

Dial it down to this nation alone. As long as any American citizen is hungry or homeless, I do not think anyone should be allowed to hoard any wealth at all. I think there are more than enough houses for everyone, more than enough food, more than enough medical supplies and clothing for every single American citizen, and if custom prevents us as citizens from solving the clear need of our fellow citizens, then that is the most stark argument in favor of the fact that we are effed up, crazy, full of shit, and undeserving of God's grace in any measure.

I'm an atheist. And yet I'm a better Christian than most Christians. And what I saw in that young woman's eyes -- not a lost soul, just a human being under stress and looking for a little food on a cold night -- burned me. It burned me.

We suck. And we have to do better. And False Faith is worse than no faith at all.



A Polar Bear Died For Our Fucking Sins.

There is no greater gift.
he/she taught me
give no quarter
brook no fantasy
know the truth
speak the truth
fix the soul
heal the rift
grow the earth
make it right
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