Category Archives: God

Lies Worth Telling

You can’t swing a dead cat in Austin today without hitting a presidential candidate. It’s a sad state of affairs. With so much politicin’ goins ons I thought I’d write about lies. I don’t think you can be a politician without lying. The two seem to go hand in hand like Republicans and corruption.

A little over a year ago my brother came to me and said he had made the choice to never lie. He had read about, and thought about, the concept of never lying and decided that it is a better way of living. He may be right. His declaration left me thinking about lies. Mostly, my own. One of my sustaining bullshit lines is that “you don’t have to believe in Jesus to do the right thing.” – something I say all too often. Was I doing the right thing with my lies? The more I thought about it, the more I realized that I lie all the time.

Lies worth telling

Alec is my girl friend’s fifteen year old son. On many occasions complete strangers have commented that my ‘son’ looks just like me. It’s just easier to lie and say, thank you. If I chose not to lie I have to explain why I’m hanging out with a 15 year old. It’s a lie of no consequence and of simple convenience. That may not the kind of lie I need to be concerned with.

The movie “The Razor’s Edge” starring Bill Murray had a profound impact on me. In a subplot of the movie, Denholm Elliot plays Elliott Templeton, a dedicated Parisian socialite. Elliot defines himself through his snobbish and upper class ways and treats Bill Murray’s character, Larry Darrell, most unfairly. He has a general disdain for Larry throughout his life. (Larry is of low breeding.) On his deathbed, Elliot is waiting desperately in anticipation of being invited to the social event of the season. Larry lies to Elliot. He tells the dying man that a private messenger has just arrived and had brought an invitation. Elliot’s last moments were joyful, believing that he had been accepted into Parisian high society. It was a lie that told of Larry’s forgiveness toward Elliot. It was a forgiveness that was un-asked and undeserved. It was forgiveness built on a lie. The only consequence was the happiness of a dying man.

Other lies also seem worth the effort. Like when your best friend in high school gets his ass handed to him in a street fight behind a bar, lying isn’t such a bad thing. As you are helping him into the car you let him know that he got off a couple of good hits before that big guy beat the crap out of him. You say things like, “Hell, I’m surprised the guy was still standing. You hit him hard. I’ll bet he takes steroids or he’s on some kind of drugs.” Little lies like that seem decent and good.


Organized Religion

Organized religion always struck me as just another game of one-upmanship. It’s one holy man bragging to another.

“Oh yeah, well, my love for God is more perfect than yours because I won’t eat swine.”

“I call your no pig diet, and raise you by cutting off the foreskin off my penis.”

“Okay. That’s a good one. But I’ll do that also, and I’ll whip myself when I pray. God will certainly like me best.”

When did religion become an episode of Big Brother? When did God demand that we spend our time here trying to curry her favor?

Religion’s biggest enemy has always been this dumb-ass competition. God doesn’t care who you have sex with. Or what kind of food you eat. Or the clothes you wear. God doesn’t even care if we hurt one another. Sins reside without God. If we exist forever the memory of hurting other people will bare emotional scars throughout eternity. I already feel bad about some of the dumb crap I’ve done. Imagine feeling guilty for a hundred thousand years. Guilt is a heavy weight to carry through all eternity. I’d rather do the right thing.

But mostly, how in the hell did cutting off your foreskin become something God wants you to do? How does that meeting happen?

“Okay guys, I’ve talked to God and he wants us to cut our penis foreskin off.”

“God said that? Are you sure? Because when God talked to me earlier, he said we should take a hammer and beat our penis flat every morning.”

“I vote we just cut off the foreskin. All in favor?”

Lying isn’t a sin. It’s just something we do. It’s this religious one-upmanship that pushes the concept of lying into the ‘yes or no’ category. Asking if lying is wrong is like asking if yawning is wrong. I think the only sin comes from lying to yourself.

Besides, God likes me best. Hopefully, someone will arrive with a document from God declaring my Sainthood moments before I die. If not, I hope God will have the courtesy to lie and tell me I got a couple of good shots in before life kicked my ass.

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>Lies Worth Telling

>You can’t swing a dead cat in Austin today without hitting a presidential candidate. It’s a sad state of affairs. With so much politicin’ goins ons I thought I’d write about lies. I don’t think you can be a politician without lying. The two seem to go hand in hand like Republicans and corruption.

A little over a year ago my brother came to me and said he had made the choice to never lie. He had read about, and thought about, the concept of never lying and decided that it is a better way of living. He may be right. His declaration left me thinking about lies. Mostly, my own. One of my sustaining bullshit lines is that “you don’t have to believe in Jesus to do the right thing.” – something I say all too often. Was I doing the right thing with my lies? The more I thought about it, the more I realized that I lie all the time.

Lies worth telling

Alec is my girl friend’s fifteen year old son. On many occasions complete strangers have commented that my ‘son’ looks just like me. It’s just easier to lie and say, thank you. If I chose not to lie I have to explain why I’m hanging out with a 15 year old. It’s a lie of no consequence and of simple convenience. That may not the kind of lie I need to be concerned with.

The movie “The Razor’s Edge” starring Bill Murray had a profound impact on me. In a subplot of the movie, Denholm Elliot plays Elliott Templeton, a dedicated Parisian socialite. Elliot defines himself through his snobbish and upper class ways and treats Bill Murray’s character, Larry Darrell, most unfairly. He has a general disdain for Larry throughout his life. (Larry is of low breeding.) On his deathbed, Elliot is waiting desperately in anticipation of being invited to the social event of the season. Larry lies to Elliot. He tells the dying man that a private messenger has just arrived and had brought an invitation. Elliot’s last moments were joyful, believing that he had been accepted into Parisian high society. It was a lie that told of Larry’s forgiveness toward Elliot. It was a forgiveness that was un-asked and undeserved. It was forgiveness built on a lie. The only consequence was the happiness of a dying man.

Other lies also seem worth the effort. Like when your best friend in high school gets his ass handed to him in a street fight behind a bar, lying isn’t such a bad thing. As you are helping him into the car you let him know that he got off a couple of good hits before that big guy beat the crap out of him. You say things like, “Hell, I’m surprised the guy was still standing. You hit him hard. I’ll bet he takes steroids or he’s on some kind of drugs.” Little lies like that seem decent and good.


Organized Religion

Organized religion always struck me as just another game of one-upmanship. It’s one holy man bragging to another.

“Oh yeah, well, my love for God is more perfect than yours because I won’t eat swine.”

“I call your no pig diet, and raise you by cutting off the foreskin off my penis.”

“Okay. That’s a good one. But I’ll do that also, and I’ll whip myself when I pray. God will certainly like me best.”

When did religion become an episode of Big Brother? When did God demand that we spend our time here trying to curry her favor?

Religion’s biggest enemy has always been this dumb-ass competition. God doesn’t care who you have sex with. Or what kind of food you eat. Or the clothes you wear. God doesn’t even care if we hurt one another. Sins reside without God. If we exist forever the memory of hurting other people will bare emotional scars throughout eternity. I already feel bad about some of the dumb crap I’ve done. Imagine feeling guilty for a hundred thousand years. Guilt is a heavy weight to carry through all eternity. I’d rather do the right thing.

But mostly, how in the hell did cutting off your foreskin become something God wants you to do? How does that meeting happen?

“Okay guys, I’ve talked to God and he wants us to cut our penis foreskin off.”

“God said that? Are you sure? Because when God talked to me earlier, he said we should take a hammer and beat our penis flat every morning.”

“I vote we just cut off the foreskin. All in favor?”

Lying isn’t a sin. It’s just something we do. It’s this religious one-upmanship that pushes the concept of lying into the ‘yes or no’ category. Asking if lying is wrong is like asking if yawning is wrong. I think the only sin comes from lying to yourself.

Besides, God likes me best. Hopefully, someone will arrive with a document from God declaring my Sainthood moments before I die. If not, I hope God will have the courtesy to lie and tell me I got a couple of good shots in before life kicked my ass.

>Con Games and Jesus

>

So here’s how it works. I am the captain of the airplane. First class tickets are a grand a piece but once you own those seats you get to sell other first class tickets, keeping $500 for yourself and paying your captain $500. You sell two seats behind you and you’ve already broken even. When the people you’ve sold those seats to go on to sell seats of their own, you get a forth of their sales – $250 – and your captain gets $250. You receive even more money when those people go on to sell seats of their own. Your cut rises dramatically if you go on to sell more $1000 first class seats. As more and more passengers fill our plane your financial security will be assured. Do the math yourself. Within just a few generations we can all be millionaires on Tommy’s plane ride to wealth.

Flim-flam men, hucksters, con men, grifters, thimbleriggers, and preachers, it’s one of my favorite subjects. If you like Confidence games, check out my blog entry:

http://fluffer-union.blogspot.com/2007/11/good-con-man-is-not-hard-to-find.html

Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) is probing six ministries led by Paula White, Joyce Meyer, Creflo Dollar, Eddie Long, Kenneth Copeland, and Benny Hinn.

Oh, Benny, Benny, Benny, what have you done now? Grassley’s finance committee has demanded their financial records and none of these ministries have yet to produce anything to the committee.

Pam’s House Blend picked up the story. . .
http://www.pamshouseblend.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=4256

This story has everything. I love this story. It has tweaked my schadenfreuden guru. I can’t wait to see what happens next. Once the committee has these financial records they become public. I plan on getting my own copy.

My guess is that the ministries are not afraid of breaking the tax law, but they are scared to death that their own congregations may find out where the money is going.

It’s been reported that Benny Hinn has:

A $10-million, 7,000 sq. ft. home, $112,000 per month for a private jet, a couple of $80,000 cars, luxury hotel rooms that are 5,400 sq. ft. at $10,800 per night for a “layover.” At least Hinn is generous with his tips, which totaled over $4,500 during a recent three-day period. A salary of half a million to a million dollars per year–plus book royalties.

According to: http://blog.kir.com/archives/003639.asp

I’d like you to disregard my opening pitch. Instead:

Allow me to introduce myself. I am the Pope of Austin. And yes, I talk to God on a regular basis.

For this month only, I am offering half price on all Indulgences. How can you pass that up? Everlasting redemption for just three easy payments of $29.95, complete with a signed document from the Pope of Austin himself that you can give to God to show him how you have paid for your sins. But hold on. There’s more. Not only do you get everlasting salvation, but when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness. Big hitter the Lama.

Con Games and Jesus

So here’s how it works. I am the captain of the airplane. First class tickets are a grand a piece but once you own those seats you get to sell other first class tickets, keeping $500 for yourself and paying your captain $500. You sell two seats behind you and you’ve already broken even. When the people you’ve sold those seats to go on to sell seats of their own, you get a forth of their sales – $250 – and your captain gets $250. You receive even more money when those people go on to sell seats of their own. Your cut rises dramatically if you go on to sell more $1000 first class seats. As more and more passengers fill our plane your financial security will be assured. Do the math yourself. Within just a few generations we can all be millionaires on Tommy’s plane ride to wealth.

Flim-flam men, hucksters, con men, grifters, thimbleriggers, and preachers, it’s one of my favorite subjects. If you like Confidence games, check out my blog entry:

http://fluffer-union.blogspot.com/2007/11/good-con-man-is-not-hard-to-find.html

Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) is probing six ministries led by Paula White, Joyce Meyer, Creflo Dollar, Eddie Long, Kenneth Copeland, and Benny Hinn.

Oh, Benny, Benny, Benny, what have you done now? Grassley’s finance committee has demanded their financial records and none of these ministries have yet to produce anything to the committee.

Pam’s House Blend picked up the story. . .
http://www.pamshouseblend.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=4256

This story has everything. I love this story. It has tweaked my schadenfreuden guru. I can’t wait to see what happens next. Once the committee has these financial records they become public. I plan on getting my own copy.

My guess is that the ministries are not afraid of breaking the tax law, but they are scared to death that their own congregations may find out where the money is going.

It’s been reported that Benny Hinn has:

A $10-million, 7,000 sq. ft. home, $112,000 per month for a private jet, a couple of $80,000 cars, luxury hotel rooms that are 5,400 sq. ft. at $10,800 per night for a “layover.” At least Hinn is generous with his tips, which totaled over $4,500 during a recent three-day period. A salary of half a million to a million dollars per year–plus book royalties.

According to: http://blog.kir.com/archives/003639.asp

I’d like you to disregard my opening pitch. Instead:

Allow me to introduce myself. I am the Pope of Austin. And yes, I talk to God on a regular basis.

For this month only, I am offering half price on all Indulgences. How can you pass that up? Everlasting redemption for just three easy payments of $29.95, complete with a signed document from the Pope of Austin himself that you can give to God to show him how you have paid for your sins. But hold on. There’s more. Not only do you get everlasting salvation, but when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness. Big hitter the Lama.

>Be Careful What You Wish For

>When I was thirteen I began having a crisis of faith. At least that’s what I called it at the time. In reality it was more of a crisis of existence. I was stuck on the questions – What am I? What is this? What is going on? Reality made no sense. To a lesser degree it still doesn’t.

Those questions kept swirling around in my mind for well over a year. I would find myself praying to God, over and over, asking those same questions, over and over.

Be careful what you wish for.

By the time I turned fifteen I had resigned myself to never knowing these answers, but I took solace that no one else knew. It was about this time that I started having petite seizures. At the time I didn’t know what they were. Petite seizures are like little jolts of electricity that broke my train of thoughts and left me wondering what just happened. (I’d lose about two seconds of memory.) It was difficult covering up my lapses. People would be talking to me, and my head might twitch, but there was no outward sign that anything about me had changed. So when my response to our conversation wasn’t quite right, they would often regard me as insulting or aloof. A missing two or three seconds of any conversation left me putting together puzzles without all the pieces.

At the time I didn’t understand what I was experiencing. Imagine getting directions from someone and losing a couple of seconds: Zap. “What? Oh, sorry. Head down East third to . . .” Zap. “Okay, lets start again, head down East third. . .” – It’s a bit unnerving to say the least. And anyone you’re talking to thinks you’re an asshole. Petite mal seizures would hit me nearly twenty times an hour – all day.

All the while this is going on, I continued to pester God, “What is going on?” “What am I” “What is this?” “How can this possibly be real?”

I didn’t have my first Grand Mal seizure until I was 18. Even then I didn’t understand what was going on. I woke up with a huge knot on my head where I had fallen. Only, I didn’t know that I had fallen. I didn’t know my own name. A full grand-mal is a truly jarring experience. Cascades of electricity shoot out of my brain, leaving me to fall, face first, wherever I am at the time. My muscles would tighten to their maximum tightness for the next four to ten minutes. It’s a hell of a workout. I would wake up feeling like I had run a marathon on my hands. Everything hurt. My toes hurt. And the soreness would go on for over a week.

Waking up from a grand mal is another test of endurance. A full blown seizure would leave me thinking – nothing. Not a thing. Like a computer overload, my brain was wiped. I had no memory of anything. Complete amnesia.

It’s a strange thing to have amnesia on a regular basis. There’s about three minutes when even the language center of my brain hasn’t kicked in. I can hear what people are saying to me, but nothing makes sense. It’s at these times I can’t even think in words. Just emotions and thoughts. Who am I? What am I? – I am fear. I am pain and suffering. I am panic.

The experience would leave me in total panic. The pain was from the bloody knot on my head from the fall. The suffering would come from my body after it’s marathon session of flexing. Panic would set in as people would be surrounding me, asking questions like, “are you alright?” “Who is our current president?” “Do you know what day of the week this is?”

I’m 46 years old now. Even on medication I had on average three grand mal seizures a year for over twenty years. Many, many, trips to the hospital. Not a lot of fun. And still, the worst part of epilepsy is the petite seizures. I still have those, although not as much as I use to.

But God answered my question. God came thru in the end. What are we? What is going on? Why are we here? What am I?

I followed the Buddhist path to enlightenment. Many years ago it occurred to me that what Buddhist monks were trying to accomplish through meditation, I had achieved through malady. Try this exercise yourself. Try not to think. Try to clear your mind of your own thoughts. It’s not an easy thing to do. After a grand mal seizure I had no thoughts. My brain was a clean slate. It’s the definition of amnesia.

I had trained myself to answer those dumb questions people asked after a seizure. Who is our President? What year is this? I had forced those answers into my brain, even without understanding what they meant. I would answer, “Clinton or Bush” without even understanding what a President was. I would tell them what year it was without knowing what a year was. Knowing this, I tried to force another first thought into my mind.

“Relax” “Breath” “Try not to think” “be one with the universe.” “No pain.” – – – Not an easy thing to do or think about when you wake up in extreme anguish. But, after a dozen or so grand mals, I achieve just that. I clearly remember the first time I touched oneness. I was in my father’s office when I woke up. I recognized the scene. Pain and suffering filled every inch of me. I tried to breath. I tried to relax. And then there I was. Everywhere.

Don’t let anyone try to sell you that oneness is like heaven. It’s not. My first experience was jarring and scarey. Oneness is like being hit by a train. It’s too much. Reality isn’t reality if you are not separate from it. Oneness loses your self. Which is still of consternation to me – it’s a hard thing to reconcile.

Subsequent visits to everything became manageable at least in a psychological sense. I slowly began to understand what I was experiencing and I achieved peace with it. I’ve told this story to friends and family – often falling on deaf ears. For those interested in the experience of oneness, I can only say, – – – don’t worry about it. There will be time enough for oneness when you are dead. Which leaves me shaking my head in dismay at the billions of sky pilots jabbering into heaven on this planet. I understand it. Those billions are me when I was 13. They are all asking, what am I?

If I took one thing away from the experience it’s that – – God doesn’t want us to spend our time praising her. God wants us to live. Also – God is everything and everyone.

Obviously I took away much more from my brief moments of oneness. I could spend days trying to relay the emotional impact of my religious experience but in the end, that’s what life is. Life is the journey to finding ourselves thru this reality. Trying to convey my journey is just one more story in your journey. Relish your path. Enjoy your existence while you have it. It won’t last forever.

Be Careful What You Wish For

When I was thirteen I began having a crisis of faith. At least that’s what I called it at the time. In reality it was more of a crisis of existence. I was stuck on the questions – What am I? What is this? What is going on? Reality made no sense. To a lesser degree it still doesn’t.

Those questions kept swirling around in my mind for well over a year. I would find myself praying to God, over and over, asking those same questions, over and over.

Be careful what you wish for.

By the time I turned fifteen I had resigned myself to never knowing these answers, but I took solace that no one else knew. It was about this time that I started having petite seizures. At the time I didn’t know what they were. Petite seizures are like little jolts of electricity that broke my train of thoughts and left me wondering what just happened. (I’d lose about two seconds of memory.) It was difficult covering up my lapses. People would be talking to me, and my head might twitch, but there was no outward sign that anything about me had changed. So when my response to our conversation wasn’t quite right, they would often regard me as insulting or aloof. A missing two or three seconds of any conversation left me putting together puzzles without all the pieces.

At the time I didn’t understand what I was experiencing. Imagine getting directions from someone and losing a couple of seconds: Zap. “What? Oh, sorry. Head down East third to . . .” Zap. “Okay, lets start again, head down East third. . .” – It’s a bit unnerving to say the least. And anyone you’re talking to thinks you’re an asshole. Petite mal seizures would hit me nearly twenty times an hour – all day.

All the while this is going on, I continued to pester God, “What is going on?” “What am I” “What is this?” “How can this possibly be real?”

I didn’t have my first Grand Mal seizure until I was 18. Even then I didn’t understand what was going on. I woke up with a huge knot on my head where I had fallen. Only, I didn’t know that I had fallen. I didn’t know my own name. A full grand-mal is a truly jarring experience. Cascades of electricity shoot out of my brain, leaving me to fall, face first, wherever I am at the time. My muscles would tighten to their maximum tightness for the next four to ten minutes. It’s a hell of a workout. I would wake up feeling like I had run a marathon on my hands. Everything hurt. My toes hurt. And the soreness would go on for over a week.

Waking up from a grand mal is another test of endurance. A full blown seizure would leave me thinking – nothing. Not a thing. Like a computer overload, my brain was wiped. I had no memory of anything. Complete amnesia.

It’s a strange thing to have amnesia on a regular basis. There’s about three minutes when even the language center of my brain hasn’t kicked in. I can hear what people are saying to me, but nothing makes sense. It’s at these times I can’t even think in words. Just emotions and thoughts. Who am I? What am I? – I am fear. I am pain and suffering. I am panic.

The experience would leave me in total panic. The pain was from the bloody knot on my head from the fall. The suffering would come from my body after it’s marathon session of flexing. Panic would set in as people would be surrounding me, asking questions like, “are you alright?” “Who is our current president?” “Do you know what day of the week this is?”

I’m 46 years old now. Even on medication I had on average three grand mal seizures a year for over twenty years. Many, many, trips to the hospital. Not a lot of fun. And still, the worst part of epilepsy is the petite seizures. I still have those, although not as much as I use to.

But God answered my question. God came thru in the end. What are we? What is going on? Why are we here? What am I?

I followed the Buddhist path to enlightenment. Many years ago it occurred to me that what Buddhist monks were trying to accomplish through meditation, I had achieved through malady. Try this exercise yourself. Try not to think. Try to clear your mind of your own thoughts. It’s not an easy thing to do. After a grand mal seizure I had no thoughts. My brain was a clean slate. It’s the definition of amnesia.

I had trained myself to answer those dumb questions people asked after a seizure. Who is our President? What year is this? I had forced those answers into my brain, even without understanding what they meant. I would answer, “Clinton or Bush” without even understanding what a President was. I would tell them what year it was without knowing what a year was. Knowing this, I tried to force another first thought into my mind.

“Relax” “Breath” “Try not to think” “be one with the universe.” “No pain.” – – – Not an easy thing to do or think about when you wake up in extreme anguish. But, after a dozen or so grand mals, I achieve just that. I clearly remember the first time I touched oneness. I was in my father’s office when I woke up. I recognized the scene. Pain and suffering filled every inch of me. I tried to breath. I tried to relax. And then there I was. Everywhere.

Don’t let anyone try to sell you that oneness is like heaven. It’s not. My first experience was jarring and scarey. Oneness is like being hit by a train. It’s too much. Reality isn’t reality if you are not separate from it. Oneness loses your self. Which is still of consternation to me – it’s a hard thing to reconcile.

Subsequent visits to everything became manageable at least in a psychological sense. I slowly began to understand what I was experiencing and I achieved peace with it. I’ve told this story to friends and family – often falling on deaf ears. For those interested in the experience of oneness, I can only say, – – – don’t worry about it. There will be time enough for oneness when you are dead. Which leaves me shaking my head in dismay at the billions of sky pilots jabbering into heaven on this planet. I understand it. Those billions are me when I was 13. They are all asking, what am I?

If I took one thing away from the experience it’s that – – God doesn’t want us to spend our time praising her. God wants us to live. Also – God is everything and everyone.

Obviously I took away much more from my brief moments of oneness. I could spend days trying to relay the emotional impact of my religious experience but in the end, that’s what life is. Life is the journey to finding ourselves thru this reality. Trying to convey my journey is just one more story in your journey. Relish your path. Enjoy your existence while you have it. It won’t last forever.