serai: A kiss between Casey Connor and Zeke Tyler (Whoa)
Another story is gathering in my head. It's another one-off, separate from the main series I've been writing. It's intense. (SHUT. UP.) So much so that my main problem is working up the courage to start writing it. I think it's gonna hurt, frankly.

But that's not what I'm here to talk about. I'd like to present to you a book I've had for many years, one that is little known, but revolutionary in its impact. It's a small book, and it's fundamentally a work of translation. It's called Prayers of the Cosmos, and it's by Neil Douglas-Klotz, who writes about religion and psychology and is also a poet and artist.

The book is very simple. It takes the two best known Christian prayer-passages (the Lord's Prayer and the Beatitudes), gives you the original Aramaic (with the King James version on the facing page), then a phonetic breakdown. After that, the book takes each line separately and gives you first the Aramaic, then the English, then a list of possible translations (more on that below), and then a little essay on that line and its components, the syllables and sounds in the words and their meanings. Then as a nice addition, there is an exercise in breathing and tuning you can do to use the line as a meditation point or mantra.

I tell you, the book is a revelation. I had no idea of the scope of the divide separating us from the original words of this man. It's unbelievable. Here's just one example:


1. Our Birth in Unity )

Well, well.

Friday, October 2nd, 2015 09:47 am
serai: A kiss between Casey Connor and Zeke Tyler (ChurchLady)
So much for the Outrage Train.

The Vatican confirms that Pope Francis was rat-fucked into meeting Kim Davis

Now it's coming out that it wasn't even a private meeting - she was actually in a meet-and-greet line. So all that stuff about him approving of her actions and all? Complete and utter bullshit. It's highly unlikely he even knew who she was.

ETA: From another article:

As he left the country, Francis told reporters who inquired that he did not know specific cases in detail, but he defended conscientious objection as a human right.

"It is a right. And if a person does not allow others to be a conscientious objector, he denies a right," Francis said.

So even THAT quote wasn't about Davis. Wow, it's like people who leak information to the press might actually be LYING or something. Fancy that!
serai: A kiss between Casey Connor and Zeke Tyler (JesusSaysRightOn)
Here is a great article that I think everyone should read:

A Catholic Nun-Turned-Lesbian Mom Reflects on Seeing Pope Francis at the White House

This lady used to be a nun, but left the order when she fell in love with another woman. Now she writes about being a lesbian mom and watching the Pope at the White House.

A lot of people all over the internet are pissed at Pope Frank for meeting with that ninny in Kentucky. But they're missing the point. He's the Pope. He heads a religious organization that is over 1,500 years old. It's fucking CREAKY. Changing things takes a long time, he has a lot of people who absolutely do not want those things changed, and believe it or not, he does NOT, in fact, have absolute power. He can't just wave a hand and declare that everybody has to do what he says. To think he can is to be in the same uninformed place as those idiots who claim Obama is a "dictator" and forcing everyone to abide by his "socialist" ways. (How a dictator can also be socialist is something you'll have to puzzle out for yourselves; it's too much for me.)

Francis was voted in by bishops who thought he was a right-winger just like them. Fucking SURPRISE! No, he isn't, not by a long way. And as time has gone on, he's gotten more and more liberal, more and more outspoken, more and more compassionate and openly revolutionary. He's playing a long game, and a really astoundingly good one, too. And the people in the Vatican who don't like him are stuck with him, as he slowly dismantles the crusty nastiness caked around the Church. This isn't the 70's anymore - they can't have a Pope bumped off without everyone eventually finding out about it. (The internet is damn good for some things, ain't it?) So they have to put up with his love and compassion and commitment to social change and justice. Poor, poor wingnuts. Hate is going out of style, and they're left with the moral equivalent of a closet full of bell-bottom jeans.

This pope has shown evidence of being the linchpin of a religious revolution. The Church is influential enough that that religious revolution could easily (and will, if I'm correct) change the way things happen in this world. I was terrified of fundamentalism running roughshod in this country and destroying our democracy, but now I'm not so scared. A HUGE figure in the Christian world is now saying HEY CUT IT OUT FUCKERS. (More politely, of course, but he sure as shit said it to Congress. Ouch.) That doesn't sound like much to a lot of people, but it is fucking AMAZING. Francis is a wrench thrown into the works, a completely unexpected wrinkle in world politics, and breath of fresh air.

So how about we not condemn him and dismiss him just because he showed the ability to listen to someone unpopular? Listening is not approval - it's listening. That's how we learn, if for nothing else, in order to understand the arguments of the other side. Because you can't argue your own side effectively if you don't understand the other side.

And it is, after all, the logical outcome of what he's been saying about love and acceptance. You can't go around saying things like that and then say, "Fuck you, I ain't talking to you." THAT would make him a hypocrite, not what he actually did. How do any of us know he didn't talk to her in order to try and persuade her to do her job? He's only said he thinks conscientious objection is a human right - and it is, no matter what the objector believes. What isn't a right is getting to keep your job after you've declared your refusal to do it. For all we know, the Pope may have said, "I understand why you object, but you can't hold your position and refuse to do it. Better to quit and be an example that way." After all, the bible does say that being a government functionary does not mean you are in cahoots with everything the government does, or that you approve of its actions. She's making biblical claims that are flat out untrue. Maybe the Pope gave her something to think about. We don't know.

Babies. Bathwater. Contemplate the old saying. This guy is great, and he's changing things. Let's not throw him out because he isn't doing EVERYTHING OUR WAY THIS INSTANT DAMMIT.
serai: A kiss between Casey Connor and Zeke Tyler (JtBwithFries)
Over at C&L, the idea of "made in God's image" came up, and I wrote this comment:

What amuses me is the assumption made that when (according to the bible) the Elohim said "Let us make humans in our own image", it never seemed to occur to any humans that they might have said that about EVERY OTHER SPECIES ON EARTH.

"Let's make bacteria in our own image." "Cool!" "They'll populate the whole planet!"

"Let's make some...I don't know. What should we make?" "Hey, Rkljfkeu, how about we make something that looks like you?" "Okay! What'll we call it?" "How 'bout...'lion'?" "Interesting name. Okay! Make sure it eats meat, though. Those plant things taste awful."

"I know, let's make some CROCODILES!!!" "What the fuck are crocodiles?" "I don't know, but I like the name!" "They can look like Fiiiddlrewq!"

And every time they made something new, they petted it and chucked it under the chin, and told it that they had made it in their own image. And those things - bacteria, lions, crocodiles, pigeons, pterodactyls, amoebas, harp seals, vampire frogs, etc. - ALL think THEY are the image of the gods, and everything else is just an afterthought, or created to make THEIR world look all nice and alive.

That never seems to occur to anybody. I wonder why?

Thought that might amuse all of you. :)

Such a deal

Sunday, August 16th, 2015 11:08 am
serai: A kiss between Casey Connor and Zeke Tyler (JesusSaysRightOn)

This is a great two-for-one. On the one hand, it aims a slap at all those people who want their god to solve their problems for them. And on the other hand, it's a great fucking comeback to those militant atheists who insist that things like the "permit the suffering" argument negate the point of religion.
serai: A kiss between Casey Connor and Zeke Tyler (JesusSaysRightOn)
It just occurred to me to think of the Apostles as a group of college students arguing Deep Theories with their professor.
serai: A kiss between Casey Connor and Zeke Tyler (DudeWhatever)
Contemplating the death of Fred Phelps, I suddenly got this:

At the Diamond Throne

The Lord: So, Fred, you're back.

Phelps: Yes, sir.

The Lord: Let's see here...Hm, seems you did some good work.

Phelps: Well, sir, I tried. I'm afraid I didn't accomplish my mission, though.

The Lord: These things take time, Fred. Centuries of decay to clear away, you know. Your efforts were heroic. Don't think we haven't noticed. You did the best you could with what you had.

Phelps: Thank you, sir. It was difficult, though. Very painful. It was hard to see all that misery and not show compassion.

The Lord: We understand. Contrarian work is the hardest of all. That's why we choose tough old birds like you. We know you can take it.

Phelps: Thank you, sir. But I still feel I failed.

The Lord: You did NOT fail. Take a look here - homophobia is down all across the United States. Gay people are now accepted far more than they were before you arrived. Adoptions, marriage, both becoming legal, slowly but surely. Young people ever more accepting. These are good results. Like I said, it takes time.

Phelps: Yes, sir. That makes me feel better, sir.

The Lord: Now, for your next assignment...

Phelps: Oh, sir, please don't throw me back in again so soon. I was looking forward to a break,'s just hard hurting so many people. Can't I be kind this time?

The Lord: Don't complain, Fred. It's not worthy of an angel. You've a knack for pushing people's buttons and getting them to react, so that's what we need you to do.

Phelps: Yes, sir.

The Lord: Good lad. Now, report to the Lapis Throne. Krishna's having trouble over in India. They're going to need you there.

Phelps: Gay people again?

The Lord: Nope, untouchables. It'll be a lot tougher this time. You're going to have to get really creative. Do a good job for him and we'll see about a nice long vacation for you. By the way, did you bring me any chocolate?

Phelps: No, sir. I'm sorry, I forgot.

The Lord: Alright, run along then. Don't be so forgetful next time. Krishna expects you to bring him butter, and you know how testy he can be.

Phelps: Yes, sir.

It's all in how you look at things - Alec Bings, The Phantom Tollbooth
serai: A kiss between Casey Connor and Zeke Tyler (DoingToPigs)
The Junior God looked from his place
In the conning towers of heaven,
And he saw the world through the span of space
Like a giant golf-ball driven.
And because he was bored, as some gods are,
With high celestial mirth,
He clutched the reins of a shooting star,
And he steered it down to earth.

The Junior God, 'mid leaf and bud,
Passed on with a weary air,
Till lo! he came to a pool of mud,
And some hogs were rolling there.
Then in he plunged with gleeful cries,
And down he lay supine;
For they had no mud in paradise,
And they likewise had no swine.

The Junior God forgot himself;
He squelched mud through his toes;
With the careless joy of a wanton boy
His reckless laughter rose.
Till, tired at last, in a brook close by,
He washed off every stain;
Then softly up to the radiant sky
He rose, a god again.

The Junior God now heads the roll
In the list of heaven's peers;
He sits in the House of High Control,
And he regulates the spheres.
Yet does he wonder, do you suppose,
If, even in gods divine,
The best and wisest may not be those
Who have wallowed awhile with the swine?

-- Robert William Service

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