Archive for the ‘Religion’ Category

01/02/2023 💥💥2023 Limerick Alert💥💥   1 comment

I’ thought I’d start the new year with a small collection of limericks. This collection should be rated “PG”, so keep the youngsters away. Happy New Year to all of you limerick aficionados. Today’s collection concerns:

Sexual Misfortunes

Two middle-aged ladies from Fordham,

Went out for a walk but it bored ’em.

As they made their way back,

A crazed sex maniac

Leapt out of a bush and ignored ’em.

🍷🍷🍷

An unfortunate sailor name Bates,

Had performed the fandango on skates.

But a fall on his cutlass

Had rendered him nutless

And, well – virtually useless on dates!

🍆🍆🍆

A nudist, named Roger McPeet,

Loved to dance in the snow and the sleet.

Till, one chilly December,

He froze his poor member,

And retired to a monkish retreat.

🍩🍩🍩

Ancient octogenarian, Hugh,

To his wife remained steadfastly true.

This was not from compunction,

But more the dysfunction

Of his spermatic glands – nuts to you.

🍆🍩🍆

What better way to kick off a new year. Here’s one final limerick with a religious bent for an oh-so inclined friend.

❤️

When Lazarus came back from the dead,

He still couldn’t function in bed.

“What good’s Resurrection

Without an erection?”

Old Lazarus testily said.

AMEN TO THAT

12/21/2022 “Pre-Christmas Bible Studies”   Leave a comment

❤️🎀❤️

With Christmas just a few days away the amount of media cheer has left me wondering. Over the years my disregard for organized religion has been consistent. I just don’t understand that people who consider themselves religious never complain about the bastardization of their holidays. I may not be religious, but the vast majority of Americans apparently are. Why so quiet? Why no outrage? I just don’t understand. I’ve made a point of learning as much as I could about most of the world’s religions and I’ve read all of their sacred documents. I felt it only right that if I were going to criticize a thing, I should know what the hell I’m talking about. I fear that is not the case for most people. As I’ve read my way through volumes of writings, I’ve also stumbled onto a lot of things I never knew and a lot I could have done without knowing. Let’s see how much of the following information you’ve ever heard before. That’s right, it’s a pre-Christmas POP Quiz.

  • The name of God is not mentioned in only one book of the Bible. Which one? The Book of Esther
  • What kind of wood was used to make Noah’s Ark? Gopher wood, according to Genesis 6:14
  • How much time did Jonah spend in the belly of the whale? Three days and three nights.
  • What day of the week is the Sabbath for Muslims? Friday
  • How old was Moses when he died? 120 years, according to the Bible (Deuteronomy 34:7)

  • In the Bible, which of the four Horsemen of the Apocalypse rides a red horse? War (Book of Revelations)
  • In the Bible, who did the sun and moon’s stand still before? Joshua. The passages in Joshua 10:12-13
  • According to early Christian theologians, how many grades of Angels are there? Nine. The hierarchy of angels, from highest ranked lowest, is seraphim, cherubim, thrones, dominions, virtues, powers, principalities, archangels and angels.
  • According to the Bible, what weapons was the Philistine giant Goliath carrying when he was slain by David? A sword and a spear, according to I Samuel 17:45.
  • What is the meaning of orbium phonographicorum theca, one of the words the Vatican has added to the Latin language in a bid to keep it up to date? Discotheque.

Well, after reading all of that information I think I’m really ready for Christmas. How many answers did you really and truthfully get correct? I listed most of these questions primarily for a few people that I know who claim knowledge of the Bible and quote it to me often. I’m reasonably sure none of them knew any of the answers to those questions. If they haven’t read this blog posting our next meeting is going to be really interesting when I start asking some of these questions directly to them. That would be pure unadulterated holiday fun.

FOUR SHOPPING DAYS LEFT

12/15/2022 “Christmas Traditions”   Leave a comment

I’m a bit of a history nut and because it’s the Christmas season I began wondering, how the Christmas we celebrate came to be. Of course, having a trace of Celtic blood in me leads me directly back to the Druids and some of their odd and unusual celebratory customs. As far as I can tell that’s where the tradition of mistletoe began as it was a part of many of their holiday ceremonies. As I read through a number of books there was absolutely no history of kissing under the mistletoe in the days of the Druids. The tradition of hanging a sprig in the house is supposedly linked to them as well. That came much later with the earliest recorded mention in some sort of music from 1784.

In illustrations of Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol, there appeared pictures of people kissing under the mistletoe. It’s quite likely that those illustrations popularized the custom. Leave it up to us Americans to take an old Bronze Age custom and turn it into just another reason to be kissing on someone.ofofofI was also curious of where the custom of bringing a tree into the house originated. As best I can determine it started with the Germans who got it from the Romans, who got it from the Egyptians who got it from the Babylonians. Who knows what’s true and what isn’t. It seems that those pesky Babylonians passed down a lot of crazy traditions to anyone who’d listen. Apparently, there was some sort of Babylonian fable concerning an evergreen tree that grew out of a dead tree trunk. Sounds stupid to me but any reason is a good reason when you want to throw a party or orgy.

The first written record of a decorated Christmas tree comes from Latvia, in the 1500’s. Local merchants decorated a tree and danced around it in the marketplace. When they became too tired to dance, they set it on fire. I’m sure glad that custom didn’t make it to the present day. Around that same time the Germans in their infinite wisdom passed a law to limit the size of a Christmas tree to just over four foot high. You gotta love them Germans.

Jump ahead a hundred years when it became common in Germany to decorate Christmas trees with apples. During the 1700’s in parts of Austria and Germany, evergreen tips hung from the ceiling and were decorated with apples, gilded nuts and red paper strips. The first mentions of using lighted candles came from France in the 18th century. Those quirky French must have a fondness for the occasional house fire. As Europeans emigrated to America, they brought their customs with them. The Christmas tree was introduced in the United States and grew from tabletop size to floor-to-ceiling. If you’re going to live in America, everyone knows things must be bigger and better.

In the 1880’s trees began to be sold commercially in the United States and were normally harvested from the forests. The first glass ornaments were introduced again from Germany and were mostly balls. Toys and figurines also became more common during those years. Sears, Roebuck & Company began offering artificial Christmas trees for sale – 33 limbs for $.50 and 55 limbs for $1.00. There was nothing that Sears Roebuck won’t rush to sell to make a few bucks.

The 1900’s brought us the first Christman tree farms because the surrounding forests were being overharvested. W.V. McGalliard planted 25,000 Norway spruce on his farm in New Jersey to get the ball rolling. President Theodore Roosevelt actually considered banning the practice of having Christmas trees out of his concern about the destruction of the forests. His two sons disagreed and enlisted the help of conservationist Gifford Pinchot to convince the President that the tradition was not harmful to the forests. In 1966 the National Christmas Tree Association began its time-honored tradition of having the Grand Champion grower present a Christmas Tree to the First Lady for display in the Blue Room of the White House. Currently there are approximately 25-30 million real Christmas trees sold each year in the United States. Almost all of these come from farms.

Just a tip from a former college student who worked part-time on a Christmas tree farm in Edinboro, Pennsylvania in the 1960’s. It was the worst job I ever had. I smelled like pine trees for months and ruined most of my clothes because of the sap. That job convinced me to say the hell with tradition, just get me one of those beautiful artificial trees. I never looked back.

9 SHOPPING DAYS LEFT

12/05/2022 🎄Generosity🎄   2 comments

Christmas has always been a season of giving from the Salvation Army Santa’s to Soup Kitchens, and the efforts of almost every religious group I can think of. I was curious about the generosity of previous generations but not only for the Christmas Season but generosity in general. So, here are a few samples of it from the past that have been long forgotten.

  • John D Rockefeller made his first contribution to a philanthropic cause at the age of 16, which was in 1855. By the time he died, 82 years later, the oil magnate had given away $531,326,842.
  • Ernest Hemingway gave to The Shrine of the Virgin in eastern Cuba, where he lived, Nobel Prize money he had won for the novel The Old Man and the Sea. “You don’t,” he said, “ever have a thing until you give it away.”
  • When he learned, in 1905, that one of his company’s batteries was defective, Thomas Alva Edison offered to refund all buyers. From his own pocket he returned $1 million.
  • About $330 million was donated by Andrew Carnegie to libraries, research projects, and world peace endeavors.

  • Gerrit Smith, a trader of Dutch descent, made available 120,000 acres of Adirondack wilderness to runaway slaves – a noble experiment with the help of his son, who was a professional reformer active in the Underground Railroad.
  • To help raise funds for the starving poor of Berlin, Albert Einstein in 1930 sold his autograph for three dollars for a signature and autographed photographs for five dollars each.
  • In his will, Tadeusz Kosciuszko, the Polish patriot who fought in Washington’s army in the American Revolution, specified that the US land tracts he had received should be sold and the money from the sales be used to purchase the freedom of black slaves.
  • From his own pocket, Superintendent of Finance, Robert Morris, met the American army’s demobilization pay in 1783. He was later thrown into the debtor’s prison, financially ruined in land speculation.
  • The Swiss philanthropist Henri Dunant devoted so much of his money and his energy to the establishment of the Red Cross that his textile business failed, and he became penniless. He was a cowinner of the first Nobel Peace Prize, in 1901, and left all of the prize money to charities, not to his family.

After reading all of these examples it just proves to me that generosity has always been around but in many cases, never acknowledged. It’s nice to know there’s a certain percentage of the population willing to make pesonal sacrifices to help others. That’s a Christmas wish if there ever was one.

19 SHOPPING DAYS LEFT

12/02/2022 “Christmas Brainwashing”   Leave a comment

I’m not sure how everyone else was raised to celebrate Christmas but for me it entailed much more religion than anything else. My late Mother was Catholic through-and-through which translated into sending religious Christmas cards, attending midnight masses, and donating time to local organizations involved with decorating town areas. Being a kid, I was unceremoniously volunteered to help with almost everything she did whether I liked it or not.

As we age things tend to change a little and my approach to Christmas certainly did.  I was never all that interested in the religious portion of Christmas, but I went begrudgingly along just to please my mom until I reached the ripe old age of 13. Then I became what some people might call, difficult.  I must have been way ahead of my time if what I’ve learned in recent years is any indication.

A few years ago, my three-year-old grandson came to make his annual Christmas visit. It was the first time he’d actually seen our decorated tree and all the trimmings. We’d been very busy wrapping gifts and there was a pile of them under the tree. I was sitting on the floor next to him when he quietly whispered to me “Are those our prizes?” I told him they were presents for everyone brought here a little early by a busy Santa. He gave me a long sideways glance while he thought about what I’d said. He must have decided Santa was still a real possibility, so the conversation turned right back around to the presents under the tree. I was again corrected by the little guy with “Grandpa those are prizes not presents” and “can we open just one.” I told him they couldn’t be opened until Christmas day but he insisted one of them had to be for him so we should open that one right now. Being chastised by a three-year-old takes some getting used to but I persevered and again refused his request.

Gifts and Presents are Really Prizes

My first thought was who put the word “prize” into his head. Neither my better-half nor I would do it and I’m certain his parents wouldn’t do it either. That leaves just his friends at the daycare center that he attends almost every day. That small herd of little people who have nothing better to do all day than to play, fight, wrestle, nap, and tell each other the facts of life as translated from what they’ve heard at home. Somewhere along the way someone slipped in the word “prizes”, and it seems to have stuck.

There was no mention of Jesus, his birthday, the Magi, church or religion. It’s taken less than two generations to wean the kids from religion at Christmas to a more secular and materialistic outlook. I suppose in another few years we’ll be calling Christmas “Prize Day”.  If you’re a good little boy/girl, you win a prize but if you’re a bad little girl/boy you’ll get one anyway. We wouldn’t want you to feel like a loser.

Having Christmas as a religious holiday gave me a fun and interesting childhood. It’s sad to see society steal away some of the youngster’s fantasies at such a young age. I’m not religious now but the memories I have of my family when I was young still make me happy. Christmas is a holiday for the little children and not so much for the adults. It took me a number of years before I made the decision for myself that Christmas wasn’t for me. Let’s let the tots have their fun, they’ll be plenty of time in the future for society to screw with their heads.

MERRY CHRISTMAS KIDS

11/22/2022 “Mistletoe”   Leave a comment

I’m not known for being a huge Christmas fan but when the season hits, I try to get with the program. My way is more subtle than most but at least I’m trying. Since damn near every retailer has already decorated for Christmas, I decided to make my first contribution to Christmas 2022. How about some interesting facts and lore about mistletoe.

  • Mistletoe is known as the kissing plant. Just so you know, it’s only a kissing plant if you can figure out a way to get someone to stand under it. The way things are these days, the wrong approach will get you slapped with a sexual-harassment complaint. You’re better off waiting for the right woman (that would be any woman) to ask you to step under the mistletoe. Then it’s all good.
  • In the lore of mistletoe all you hear are good things. Good luck, good health, and lasting friendships are just some of the benefits.
  • If you’re a single person you can use mistletoe for another more useful purpose. Draw a circle in front of a fire. Take two leaves of mistletoe giving one in your name and placing it in the circle. Name the other with your lover’s name and place it outside the circle. If your lover is to marry you, the lover’s leaf will jump inside the circle next to your leaf. Jumping leaves… Sounds a little crazy to me.
  • Some information received from a gaggle of old wives reveals that mistletoe can ward off sicknesses. For that to work the mistletoe must be cut from an oak tree with the golden hook and never allowed to touch the earth. Disasters are sure to be in your future if you let that tiny little leaf hit the ground.

  • Mistletoe was known to be gathered for some Celtic winter solstice festivals. Druids removed the mistletoe from the oak tree with the well-known golden hook and used it as a charm against the many and various evil spirits. It was also supposed to encourage fertility which is always a real plus. Right girls?
  • Austrian folklore believes that if you lay mistletoe at your bedroom door, you’ll have a sweet sleep and a beautiful dream. Match that up with encouraging fertility and you got yourself a party.
  • For all you ranchers out there, mistletoe was also known to be effective with cattle. If you give a bough of mistletoe to a cow that’s calved after New Year’s Day, you’ll prevent bad luck from attacking your entire herd. Oh yeah just so you know, “No Kissing!”
  • If by chance you strike out for the forest in November and December looking for mistletoe and can’t find any, run and hide, disaster is sure to follow. Only fresh mistletoe will retain its magical charms. Anything older than a year has passed its “Use By” date.

There you have it. Everything you always wanted to know about mistletoe but were afraid to ask. So, get off that comfortable couch, put on some warm clothing, get your ass out into the woods before all the good mistletoe is gone. You never know when a band of wandering Druids may sneak in and take all the good stuff.

MERRY CHRISTMAS

And a special thanks to Linda Spencer

11/10/2022 “History of Kissing”   Leave a comment

Since yesterday’s posting was all about people and how and when they lost their virginities, I thought today I would do a short but interesting look at the history of “kissing”. It was always among my favorite things and the older I got the higher up my list of favorite things it went.

  • I guess we should start with the Garden of Eden and Adam. Scripture says that God breathed the “spirit of life” into him and it might explain why many religious ceremonies include kissing.
  • A Canadian anthropologist demonstrated that 97% of women shut their eyes during a kiss but only 37% of men did.
  • As with many things it seems the Romans got involved with kissing early on. A husband returning from work would kiss his wife on the lips to see if she’d been drinking during the day. The Romans had three different types of kisses: abasium, the kiss on the lips; osculum, a friendly kiss on the cheek, anduavium, the full mouth and tongue. Emperor Tiberius once banned the practice of kissing after an epidemic of lip sores.
  • Kissing at one point was frowned upon because it had been used as a sign of betrayal by Judas Iscariot. He identified Jesus to his enemies in the garden of Gethsemane by kissing him.
  • Kissing under the mistletoe is an English tradition and started with the kissing bough, which had mistletoe at its center. When the Christmas tree replaced the kissing bough, the mistletoe was salvaged.
  • How and where you kiss used to be a sign of where you stood in the social pecking order. Equals kissed each other on the cheek. The lower you ranked to another person, the lower you had to kiss him. Thus, a slave would kiss his masters’ feet, and a prisoner not even allowed to do that. They were forced to kiss the ground near the foot.

  • Alice Johnson, a 23-year-old American waitress, won a car in Santa Fe, New Mexico, after kissing it for 32 hours and 20 minutes in a 1994 competition. She loosened four teeth in the process.
  • An American insurance company discovered that men were less likely to have a car accident on their way to work if they were kissed before they set off.
  • In Sicily, members of the Mafia have stopped kissing each other because the way they kiss was a dead giveaway to the police, and mobsters were getting arrested.
  • The first film kiss was in, appropriately enough, the 1896 movie The Kiss. The participants were John C. Rice and Mae Erwin.
  • My last entry will give all of you a reason to kiss a little more often. Kissing can prevent illnesses. When you absorb other people’s saliva, you also receive their enzymes, which gives you their immunities like a kind of antibiotic. Unfortunately kissing can also pass on diseases too.

“YOU MUST REMEMBER THIS; A KISS IS JUST A KISS.”

Dooley Wilson in Casablanca

10/16/2022 “Religious Quotes”   Leave a comment

In the past I’ve been criticized for being somewhat unhappy with almost every organized religious group. I calmly sat by quietly accepting quit a number of less than Christian comments. They didn’t make me angry as you might think but in fact they made me smile. They just convinced me and others that I was probably accurate in my opinions. Today I will further defend my position by quoting some fairly well known individuals. They, like everyone else have opinions on damn near everything.

  • “Science without religion is lame, religion with science is blind.” Albert Einstein
  • “If men are so wicked with religion, what would they be without it?” Benjamin Franklin
  • “In all ages, hypocrites, called priests, have put crowns upon the heads of thieves, called kings.” Robert G. Ingersoll
  • “An archbishop is a Christian ecclesiastic of a rank superior to that attained by Christ.” H.L. Mencken
  • “Religion is induced insanity.” Madalyn Murray O’Hair
  • “Unlike Christianity, which preached a peace that it never achieved, Islam unashamedly came with a sword.” Steven Runciman
  • “The Catholic faith is confession on Saturday. Absolution on Sunday. At it again on Monday.” H.G. Wells
  • “If I had been the Virgin Mary, I’d have said, “No!” Stevie Smith

*****

So many people, so many opinions. As the old saying goes, “Opinions are like assholes, everybody’s got one.” It remains a truth regardless of what religion or lack of religion you believe in.

ENJOY YOUR SUNDAY, YOU SINNERS!

09/04/2022 “BOOKS”   Leave a comment

Are you an avid reader? I’ve been one since a very early age and it will continue forever. One of my favorite reads is just about anything ever written by Isaac Azimov. He was a prolific writer as well as a noted intellectual. His areas of interest were many but today I’ll post a few facts he gathered concerning books since we’ve both shared a love for them. Books are great and history is even greater. How can I go wrong posting about the history of books?

  • Columbus had with him on his first voyage to the New World a copy of Marco Polo’s book about his 13th century, twenty-two-year odyssey to China and back.
  • Twice as many books on religion were published in England as works of fiction in 1870. Sixteen years later, novels far outnumbered religious works.
  • The Library of Congress houses over 72 million pieces of research material, including over 16.5 million books and 31 million manuscripts, and costs over $150 million a year to run.
  • The Communist Manifesto of Marx and Engels was ignored in Germany when it was published in 1848, and a Russian translation was suppressed by censors in the 1860’s. It remained a rare pamphlet until it was reprinted in 1872.
  • The art of printing from wooden blocks with the characters in reverse was initiated in Buddhist monasteries in China. The oldest surviving printed book that can be reliably dated is a Buddhist text, the Diamond Sutra, made in China in 868 A.D.

  • Euclid is the most successful textbook writer of all time. His book Elements dated around 300 B.C. has gone through more than 1000 editions since the invention of printing.
  • General Lew Wallace’s bestseller Ben Hur was published in 1880 and was the first work of fiction to be blessed by a Pope.
  • America’s first best-selling novelist was a woman, Susanna Haswell Rowson. Although it was a melodramatic work with wooden characters and a hackneyed plot, Charlotte Temple, published in 1791, appealed to popular tastes. It went through more than 200 editions.
  • Icelanders read more books per capita than any other people in the world.
  • To get her book published, in 1896, Fannie Farmer had to pay publishers Little, Brown and Company the printing costs for the first 3000 copies. The publisher refused to take the risk, saying that women would not buy still another collection of recipes. Ironically, her Boston Cooking School Cook Book eventually became the most popular cookbook of its time and a “gold mine” through the years for the publisher; millions of copies have been sold in dozens of editions.

THANK YOU ISAAC

08/30/2022 Salt & War   Leave a comment

Yesterday as I was creating my lunch, I threw in a healthy dash of soy sauce. It’s my only way of eating salt without totally violating my doctors’ orders. In my humble opinion food has very little taste without it. Try eating popcorn or corn on the cob without salt. Ridiculous!!!! Since it sends my blood pressure through the roof, I’m forced to obey but not entirely. Rather than continuing to drone on about my salt issues here are a few facts about salt (trivia wise).

  • Each year, 9,000,000 tons of salt, more than 10% of all the salt produced in the world, is applied to American highways for road deicing. The cost of buying and applying the salt adds up to $200 million dollars.
  • Salt helped build the Erie Canal. A tax of 12 1/2% on New York State salt, plus tolls charged for salt shipments, paid for nearly half of the $7 million dollar construction costs.
  • There is a salt mine in the Polish town of Wieliczka, near Kraków, that has been in operation for nearly 1000 years.

Enough about salt, I just threw in a few tidbits for the fun of it. Let’s try something else like military history. It was in the Army that I was first forced to eat salt tablets. Talk about mixed messages. Good for me then, not so much now.

  • The British and French armies in World War I did not advance more than 3 miles at any point on the western front in the whole year of 1915. Those three miles costed the French army alone nearly 1.5 million men.
  • The Japanese kamikaze pilots of World War II were given privileged treatment and considered to be heroes. All volunteers, they underwent rigorous training that prepared them for their suicide missions. If they refused to stay in the corps, they were shot as traitors.
  • The Crusaders were able to conquer Acre, a coastal city 80 miles north of Jerusalem, in July 1191, only after 100,000 men on both sides had been killed.
  • Through the six-year war of independence ranged enraged over most of the 13 colonies, George Washington’s Continental Army never consisted of more than 22,000 troops at any one time.
  • On the eve of World War II, the US Army ranked, with reserves counted, 19th among the world’s armed forces. This placed the United States after Portugal but ahead of Bulgaria.

Let’s enjoy our last few weeks of summer. Things here in Maine can finally return to normal after the tourists begin leaving after Labor Day. People have been telling me that we’re in for a difficult winter. I really don’t mind all that much because I hate hot weather. I’ve made the statement many times that if “climate change” continues to make things warmer in Maine, I’ll be moving to northern Canada to live in an igloo. LOL

CHASTITY IS CURABLE IF DETECTED EARLY

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