Tag Archives: Christianity

Some Thoughts on Boston….

I feel the need to share a few thoughts about Boston and the tragedy that occurred there….

I can already see people trying to use this horrible act of terrorism to justify their own ends and feel the need to give my perspective….

This attack was personal to me, at least at first, as I had some friends at the Marathon in Boston. I and they were lucky.  They were fine…

But that still made feel connected to this in a way I haven’t felt connected to these events since that awful day in September of 2001…

First of all, as more details are emerging about the Boston Marathon bombings, people are desperately trying to make a link to Islam and Islamic terrorism.  This really disturbs me…

I just want to ask people to stop, think and remember- three things that are increasingly difficult to ask people to do in America.

Remember, if there is a religious link, it is not a question of Islam being the root of all evil and driving terrorism.  Violence is contrary to the teachings of Islam, just as it is to Christianity.

Fundamentalism and the viewpoint that one’s personal views are right at the expense of all others is the aspect of any religion- or politics- to fear.

No single religion drives Terrorism.  Angry, isolated people do….

Stop and think about it…

And remember….

Two of the worst terrorist attacks in America were perpetrated by so-called Christians.

Eric Rudolph was the man who executed the deadly bombing at the Olympic Park in Atlanta back in the 1990’s that also injured many more people than it killed.  He also killed and maimed others with his bombs at abortion clinics.  He was a member of the Christian Identity Movement.

Timothy McVeigh, who killed 186 people when he bombed the Federal Office building in Oklahoma City, was also a Christian.  He was upset at the government response to  the Branch Davidian sect and the tragedy that followed.

They both wanted to be the personal delivery mechanism of vengeance…and they were Christians.

So, don’t blame Islam.  Don’t blame Christians….

Blame the poor, sick, lost individuals who perpetrate these acts of terror.


Think of the victims and their families.  Wish them a recovery and the peace and strength to handle what they were so unexpectedly given.

Don’t spend so much time worrying about the perpetrators and don’t seek to place blame so  simplistically and freely.

Don’t look at this as an opportunity to reinforce stereotypes and your own prejudices.

Don’t try to make political mileage out of this like so many politicians are already trying to do….

Remember the 3 tragic victims who’s lives were cut so tragically and unexpectedly short.  Remember the people with such horrific injuries that their lives are changed forever.

And remember this is an aberration.  This was an act committed by a couple of  young men whose’s reasons we may never really know, accept or understand.

This was their choice, their crime, their individual action…

Like it or not, we have to try to hold individuals accountable and not seek to judge whole groups of people just because we perceive they aren’t like us or our beliefs….

Times like this should not be used to drive personal agendas…We should have learned that from all the mistakes after 9/11.


You  can’t blame a whole group of people or people of a certain belief for the actions of a couple of misguided or sick so-called “losers”….

At times like this, we have to think- not just feel or blindly react.  We can’t look for simple solutions in a complex world.

But, stop and think….

We can try to follow a few simple, personal guidelines to get through times like this….

First, focus on the living and on life….

Then focus on keeping our freedoms, not using actions like this as an excuse to limit them…

Focus on  preaching love, not hate….

Focus on practicing acceptance and not judgement…

Focus not just on putting yourself your beliefs first, but think on how you can give hope to others, understand their journeys and help them move forward in life…no matter that they may not believe just as you do….

We really are all in this together.  Boston proves that.  As did New York, the Pentagon, Oklahoma City and Atlanta….

Don’t focus on hate and blame;  that’s probably the type of thinking that drove these two young men to perpetrate this horror…

Focus on the right things….

The good things…

That’s the best way to avoid this happening again…..

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A Little Easter Diversity Lesson….

I’m always fascinated by the Pagan roots of most of the Christian Holidays as well as how aspects of these holidays are shared by different religions.

I can’t decide if this was the cause of or the result of me being a history major in college….

Anyway, here is today’s lesson…

A little information to ponder from ReligiousTolerance.org:

Many, perhaps most, Pagan religions in the Mediterranean area had a major seasonal day of religious celebration at or following the Spring Equinox. Cybele, the Phrygian fertility goddess, had a consort, Attis, who was believed to have been born via a virgin birth. Attis was believed to have died and been resurrected each year during the period MAR-22 to MAR-25.

Gerald L. Berry, author of “Religions of the World,” wrote:

“About 200 B.C. mystery cults began to appear in Rome just as they had earlier in Greece. Most notable was the Cybele cult centered on Vatican hill …Associated with the Cybele cult was that of her lover, Attis (the older Tammuz, Osiris, Dionysus, or Orpheus under a new name). He was a god of ever-reviving vegetation. Born of a virgin, he died and was reborn annually. The festival began as a day of blood on Black Friday and culminated after three days in a day of rejoicing over the resurrection.” 3

Wherever Christian worship of Jesus and Pagan worship of Attis were active in the same geographical area in ancient times, Christians:

“… used to celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus on the same date; and pagans and Christians used to quarrel bitterly about which of their gods was the true prototype and which the imitation.”

Many religious historians and liberal theologians believe that the death and resurrection legends were first associated with Attis, many centuries before the birth of Jesus. They were simply grafted onto stories of Jesus’ life in order to make Christian theology more acceptable to Pagans. Others suggest that many of the events in Jesus’ life that were recorded in the gospels were lifted from the life of Krishna, the second person of the Hindu Trinity. Ancient Christians had an alternative explanation; they claimed that Satan had created counterfeit deities in advance of the coming of Christ in order to confuse humanity. 4 Modern-day Christians generally regard the Attis legend as being a Pagan myth of little value with no connection to Jesus. They regard Jesus’ death and resurrection account as being true, and unrelated to the earlier tradition.

Wiccans and other modern-day Neopagans continue to celebrate the Spring Equinox as one of their 8 yearly Sabbats (holy days of celebration). Near the Mediterranean, this is a time of sprouting of the summer’s crop; farther north, it is the time for seeding. Their rituals at the Spring Equinox are related primarily to the fertility of the crops and to the balance of the day and night times. In those places where Wiccans can safely celebrate the Sabbat out of doors without threat of religious persecution, they often incorporate a bonfire into their rituals, jumping over the dying embers is believed to assure fertility of people and crops.

via The Pagan origins of Easter.

Another interesting article in The Guradian (UK) by Heather McDougall:

All the fun things about Easter are pagan. Bunnies are a leftover from the pagan festival of Eostre, a great northern goddess whose symbol was a rabbit or hare. Exchange of eggs is an ancient custom, celebrated by many cultures. Hot cross buns are very ancient too. In the Old Testament we see the Israelites baking sweet buns for an idol, and religious leaders trying to put a stop to it. The early church clergy also tried to put a stop to sacred cakes being baked at Easter. In the end, in the face of defiant cake-baking pagan women, they gave up and blessed the cake instead.

Easter is essentially a pagan festival which is celebrated with cards, gifts and novelty Easter products, because it’s fun and the ancient symbolism still works. It’s always struck me that the power of nature and the longer days are often most felt in modern towns and cities, where we set off to work without putting on our car headlights and when our alarm clock goes off in the mornings, the streetlights outside are not still on because of the darkness.

What better way to celebrate, than to bite the head off the bunny goddess, go to a “sunrise service”, get yourself a sticky-footed fluffy chick and stick it on your TV, whilst helping yourself to a hefty slice of pagan simnel cake? Happy Easter everyone!

via The pagan roots of Easter | Heather McDougall | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk.

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Easter Parade

Easter always brings out the bitch in me….

It’s a strange holiday for me…

Part of me resents that the whole world- at least in the USA and at my gym- stops for a purely Christian holiday when we should be living in a multi-cultural world. I mean, it’s not a federal holiday, but you still can’t escape the secular recognition of a Christian holiday. Or go to the gym or get a decent chinese meal.

Even though Passover starts the same day as Good Friday this year, it’s all about Easter.

To me, Easter was always about shopping and new outfits. As far as I knew, Jesus died so you could shop at Belk-Leggetts.

Part of my problem may be the fact that I was raised a Social Christian. When I watch “GCB”, aka “Good Christian Bitches”, on television, it reminds me of the church where I grew up. Admittedly, our Church was not in Dallas and not as wealthy, but there seem to be two kinds of Southern Baptist Churches: Crazy Right Wing Christian Almost Snake Handlers and Social.

Ours was Social Christian. At our Church, most of the Easter Sunday Service was spent looking over your shoulder to see who was wearing what and hearing things like “She wore that hat last year.” or “Poor thing, I bet she made that…”

We were not well trained in liturgy or theology, but then, neither were our ministers….

That’s why I spent most of my time in the Church balcony reading the collective works of Jacqueline Susann.

I realized the depth of my ignorance this year when we went to Maundy Thursday services.

We went to services at a “modern” church where it was a totally musical service. Admittedly, I was concerned before we went.

I live in fear of “Praise Bands”. I think one day God or the Goddess will strike them all down for creating boring, pedestrian, self-indulgent music.

I was pleasantly surprised. The music at this Church used old English hymns with new lyrics. It was actually very nice. I love anything Olde English and it also had a kind of American mountain feel that made me appreciate it in a sociological/anthropological way.

I was also very much aware of how much my Baptist Christian upbringing was lacking. I didn’t have any idea what Maundy Thursday meant and the music was about the Stations of the Cross. For all I knew, the Stations of the Cross meant Jesus took the train to Calvary….

This type of service was a revelation for me. Usually, if I go to a Church it’s to hear a classical music program and wear nice clothes….

If I’m going to subject myself to Christianity, I generally want it to be High Church…

But that may be baggage I carry…

I’m convinced Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell ruined Christianity for several generations. Thanks to them, I can’t escape the feeling that when I go to Church, I’m going undercover in the enemy camp.

But when I do go to a new church, I am amazed at my ignorance…

I figure the Baptist didn’t want us to know too much or think about it all too much. That’s why they are generally Republicans.

That makes me think I need to look into this a little more…

I know more about Passover than I know about Easter…

And I don’t think that’s a bad thing….

I think we all need to stop, think and study what others are celebrating and thinking about on these holidays….

And I think we also need to recognize the pagan holidays they usurped….

I want us to be able to comfortably settle on the acceptance that all these holidays have values and that we chose what to take from each of them…

I can’t accept closing doors and minds to celebrate only one way of life….

I want to try to appreciate all at the views, beliefs and seasons we are celebrating….

And still go shopping….


Filed under Holidays

A Little Post-Failed-Rapture Musical Interlude…

A little something for those disappointed in not being Raptured today….

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Rapture Fails: May 21 ‘Doomsday’ skips New York, No Rapture

Most of these folks who believed in the Rapture happening today would not be surprised to hear New York was skipped.  I’m sure they consider it a godless place…

Even though it seems one New Yorker spent $140K of his savings to try to save more New Yorkers…

But it seems most everywhere else was missed today, too.

We were driving home from vacation on a major highway and we did not see any cars going out of control as their drivers disappeared.  We had not really been too worried about that….

So, either there are very few worthy of the Rapture or this was a big bust…


From the International Business Times:

As the crucial hour passed, however, no one seems to go anywhere, except their own destinations in New York City to enjoy the rest of the Saturday night.

Following Camping’s prediction and based on the 2009 US Census that numbered the population of New York City at about 19.5 Million, more than half a million people should have been taken up today. That is, if New Yorkers were “among the average”.

Camping had made a failed prediction previously saying Jesus Christ would return to Earth in 1994.

The 89 year old broadcaster stayed silent as the supposedly most glorious day in his life passes by and the events reported throughout the world have not followed his predictions. The headquarters of his broadcasting network of 66 stations stayed closed with signs that read, “This Office is Closed. Sorry we missed you” as Reuters reported.

Many New Yorkers were well informed about this upcoming day. A retired Metropolitan Transportation Authority worker Robert Fitzpatrick, 60, had spent $140,000, most of his life’s savings, on advertising for May 21 Judgment Day on Billboards throughout the city.

“God’s people are commanded to sound the warning, to sound the trumpet so to speak so people know,” Fitzpatrick spoke of his advertising campaign as he promoted also his book. On Saturday, he told a news agency that he would still have no doubt about the upcoming judgment.

via May 21 ‘Doomsday’ skips New York, No Rapture – International Business Times.

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The Bible vs The Koran, Christians vs Muslims

Very interesting column from Leonard Pitts….

You’ll have to click the link to get your results and read the rest of the column…

OK, put your books away. We’re having a pop quiz.

Below are four quotes. Each is from one of two sources: the Bible or the Koran, although, just to make things interesting, there’s also a chance all four are from one book. Two were edited for length and one of those was also edited to remove a religion-specific reference. Your job: identify the holy book of origin. Ready? Go:

1) “. . . Wherever you encounter [non-believers], kill them, seize them, besiege them, wait for them at every lookout post . . .”

2) “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.”

3) “If your very own brother, or your son or daughter, or the wife you love, or your closest friend secretly entices you, saying, ‘Let us go and worship other gods’ . . . do not yield to him or listen to him. Show him no pity. Do not spare him or shield him. You must certainly put him to death.”

4) “Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.”

All right, pens down. How did you do?

via Here’s reason for us to fear fear itself – Leonard Pitts Jr. – MiamiHerald.com.


Filed under Politics, Religion