Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Who Needs God? I have Religion!

When I was young, what seems both so very long ago and just a moment away, my memories of going to Church are of Easter Lilies.  The vivid rich green of the leaves set  as a sweeping background to the majestic white and new green of the flower.  In the spring, these flowers dressed the sanctuary and seemed to capture the attention of a little boy with attention problems so very well.  I can't tell you what the sermons were about, the text readings, and I don't even remember the Pastors.  But, I remember those beautiful flowers; they are my memories of childhood in religion, when I was yet innocent.

  These next images are my adulthood, my nightmares, of men standing in the very white of purity, calling themselves men of God, looking down upon the masses in impunity and hate.  Where Jesus is recorded as telling men to love their neighbor, those who now say they are speaking for him call out damnation and violence.    Who are these men?  Why do they hate people so much? How could they do this?
  It is an easy mistake to look upon targets of opportunity, people of difference, and presume that beating upon them makes one powerful, wise, above them.  It is an easy mistake to presume that such things are without cost, without consequence.  But, in life, there is always someone, somewhere who is bigger, more powerful. 

I want to go back to the church of my youth.  I want that innocence back.  I want to return to the hard folding metal chairs and cheap off-blue carpeting when I dressed in my Sunday Best to sit with my feet swinging in the air and dream of what God must be as I stared into the perfection of that Lily flower.  It seems a time long gone now, when I feel so sad and tired after reading stories like this: http://scottiestoybox.com/2013/07/29/russian-neo-nazi-groups-tricking-and-torturing-gay-male-teenagers-the-blood-is-on-putins-hands-july-25-2013-the-gaily-grind/
  That, I guess, is the charm of childhood.  To live in awe of the magical and wonderful things of life like Santa Clause, and think that no one could be more powerful than my Dad.        
I wonder what kids think about in church now when the preachers go on and on, beyond their ability to focus or understand?  I wonder if they see those flowers or look up and see the Cross and contemplate a God Who Loves, or a God Who Hates?

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Jay and Sammy's Comments

Hi Jay and Sammy, and everyone!;

  I wanted to respond to your great comments in post form.  I am still searching my thoughts on the post you offered your comments;
  As I considered fear, as I considered the spreading and maintenance of fear, I began to think on the concepts of prejudice.  Now, most people in our day and age would be quite adamant that they are not prejudice.  I am sure that many of their best friends are black, chinese, irish, gay.... add tag here...  Interestingly enough, it wasn't all that long ago that there were comments along the line that "Irish" were undesirables.  "Italians".  "Native Americans/Indians".  Again.... add tag here.  People are talking a lot about Hatians, Mexicans, and if you talk with some in Florida you will here a lot about Canadians.  People see differences in others and, perhaps, a fear response of what that will do to their own position in that little society, perhaps just for someone to hate?  I don't know, but it isn't long before some group of people are deemed undesirable.

  I believe the perpetuation of fear is the culprit.  I believe that the news agencies, like Sammy specifically mentioned, are the culprit.  And, I find it interesting that so few people own such a high majority of the newspapers/media.

  Presumed innocent; looking at someone and thinking that they are no less a man than I, no more into trouble than I, no more likely to pillage, plunder and rape than I, is lost it seems.  Those in power thrive on fear as a motivator, and knowing that frightened people are not the most logically equipped of people, have no problems with ridiculous rants and predictions of doom.

  Thoughts?  Take as much space as you wish.... I would love to find a better direction for my scattered mind.   Hugs.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Presumption of Innocence

  Good Afternoon all those bored enough to come to my blog. ;)  I've had a thought bouncing about in my mind for some time now, and while not fully formed it still seems time to get it out.  I hope you all can follow this ramble...

  It wasn't all that long ago that I was a kid, oddly enough in the very same neighborhood in which I still live.  It was an exceedingly safe neighborhood then, and in my experience it still is.  And yet, there are some who are afraid to have their children ride their bikes unsupervised on the same streets I ran carefree.  In fact, it could be argued that things are safer in this neighborhood now than ever; there are now no less than five police officers taking up residence here and at least 4 teachers - I would presume more of each.  Yet, parents are afraid.  Why?  Crime rates are similar if not less than when I was a kid.  All crime rates - ok, not the "cyber-crimes".  Computers where not "desk top" then, much less "lap top".  
  It has been argued in the past by many people that our news agencies thrive on an attitude of fear.  "If it bleeds, it leads".  People thousands of miles away from a violent crime are frightened, yet it is completely inconceivable that any part of that particular crime could touch them.  Why?  Fear sells, of course.  But, what does it cost?  Big question there:  what is the cost of fear?
  I've never been considered the bright one in the room - and let's face it, if I am found to be the bright one in any particular room, that is one troubled room!!  But, slowly I've realized that people are fearful and negative all too often, myself included.  The stranger on the road is not one who looks to be hurt, hungry, needing a place to rest and a cool drink; he is the violent ax murderer, the burgler casing the joint, the sex fiend stalking the wife, kids and dogs, the psycho just itching to lose his mind all over someone's family.... etc.  
   What ever happened to that basic concept of expecting the best of people?  Whatever happened to presuming that someone is not out to rape, rob or murder someone?  We used to have this legal concept of "presumed innocence" where the state had to prove that someone had committed a crime.  We can't go on "it could happen", or "he did it once and even though he paid the price for it we believe he'd do it again in a moment", or even "I gotta carry my gun everywhere I go because any minute now someone could go flipping insane!!!!".  

  I don't know; I don't know where to go with this thought.  Maybe you all have the next step??  Comment away.....


Sunday, July 21, 2013


I am blessed to be loved.  I am blessed to have someone waiting for me when I come home, deliriously happy to see me.  She loves to cuddle, she loves to play, and she loves to steal the bed from me inch by inch as I sleep.  She makes me smile, laugh, and occasionally shake my head in frustration.  But, always, she loves me.  She is my Gracie.

  Here is a wonderful story of how love is a two way street.  How we are better people because we love, not who we love.    Hugs.  randy.


Animals can become viral stars for any number of reasons: a hilariously grumpy face, an exquisite fashion sense or even just a ridiculous amount of cuteness. But Schoep, the German Shepherd mix who just died at age 20 on Wednesday, owed his internet fame to a photograph taken last summer.

The original image, captured by photographer Hannah Stonehouse Hudson, featured the dog and his owner, John Unger, sharing a peaceful moment in Lake Superior. As the Pioneer Press reports, Unger, of Bayfield, Wisc., began taking his then 19-year-old pet into the water to help soothe the dog’s joint pain from arthritis. The buoyancy of the water, he found, helped lull Schoep to sleep. Unger’s friend Hudson, who wanted to capture the pair’s relationship, snapped the now-famous photo one evening and posted it on Facebook. The touching image soon swept across the web, turning Schoep into a canine celebrity. The original photo has been shared more than 214,000 times over the past year and helped raise funds for the elderly dog’s care. Animal lovers from across the globe donated more than $25,000 to cover veterinary bills, laser eye treatments and medications not just for Schoep, but for other aging dogs from low-income families in need of special care as well.

But unfortunately, just a month after celebrating his 20th birthday, Schoep has passed away.

Read more: http://newsfeed.time.com/2013/07/19/schoep-the-arthritic-dog-made-famous-in-viral-photo-dies-at-age-20/#ixzz2ZhyoSEHY

A quick note:  20 years old for a German Shepherd is fabulous longevity.  r.
Here is another example of love:  http://scottiestoybox.com/2013/07/20/a-soldier-is-welcomed-home-by-loving-pup/

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


I am no art critic, so I guess I have no idea if this is good or not in the art critic's guide to snobbery.  I saw it and it grabbed my heart, so I guess that's the sole definition in my book.  I don't know the artist.

  I am captivated by the dual concepts of strength and vulnerability.  I'm just a bit mystified by the slight reflection at the bottom.  I want to know what has this man so sorrowful, so broken.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

RIP Trevon

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Monday, July 8, 2013

Found in the "You're Kidding, Right?" file....

It's bad enough that they deny us our rights.  Now, they seek to make it illegal to even attempt to have rights.  WTF America?!


Indiana lawmakers have revamped a 1997 law that makes furnishing false information on a marriage license a class D felony. Beginning July 1, 2014, a same-sex couple applying for a marriage license in the state of Indiana will be guilty of a Level 6 felony, punishable by 18 months in prison and a $10,000 fine. The new law also makes it a Class B Misdemeanor for a clergyman, judge, mayor, city clerk or town clerk-treasurer to perform a same-sex marriage, punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.  Any clerk who issues a license to a same-sex couple would also be guilty of a Class B Misdemeanor.
Because Indiana marriage license forms have a space for “male applicant” and “female applicant”, any same-sex couple filling out the form would automatically violate the law. The harsh penalties Indiana lawmakers have approved make it difficult for protest movements like the Campaign for Southern Equality’s “We Do” Campaign, which encourages same-sex couples to apply for marriage licenses as a protest in states that prohibit same-sex marriages.
While many other states are reevaluating their laws concerning marriage equality in the light of the Supreme Court decision that struck down a key part of the Defense of Marriage Act, Indiana lawmakers are considering doubling down on their anti-equality posture. Although same-sex marriages are currently banned by state law, the Republican controlled General Assembly is considering submitting an amendment to the state constitution for a vote of the people next year. The decision will be made in the January-March 2014 legislative session. It is unclear whether such an amendment would survive a popular vote, as recent polling finds a majority of Indiana residents are now against a constitutional amendment forbidding marriage equality.

What is beautiful

Doing a bit of surfing this morning before work.  I couldn't sleep well, got up early.  I saw this pic and as I moved on to other things the thought going through my mind was - "wow, that's beautiful.  How could some see this as the end of the world?".
  I wonder.  Do those who crusade upon the rights of others - not for, but upon - really see this as so very horrible?  Do they not see two people in love, two people who are old enough to make that decision and human enough to feel the passion, the grace that allows such beings as we to care for another and take delight in the very presence of those we love?  I'm sad that such small minded people, stuck on a philosophy and understanding of what is truly Great that was defined 2000 and more years ago in a foreign land where the concept of a bic lighter would be considered miraculous, cannot see that love endures, changes, hopes and holds.  Love is beautiful.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

My New Neighbor

  I have new neighbors abutting my back yard.  This is a new thing for me; the people who lived there
before were there for my entire life (I bought the house I was born in).  It's odd to see new folks, with new habits and new ways of doing thing, expectations, quirks, irks, etc.  They are a very young couple and quite polite.  Nice people, all around.
  The gentleman is out mowing his lawn right now.  I was out earlier working in the back yard - a large project that has taken me my entire vacation to do and is still not complete.  I needed a break, and it was after I took my break that he came out to mow.  Perhaps he knows that neither of us would get much done if we were both out at the same time.
  Part of the work I was doing this weekend does impact his life a bit.  I was replacing some fence panels.  The new ones aren't as nice as the old ones were (when new), but prices as they are it was the best I could do.  I wanted to talk with him and make sure he knew I wasn't putting up the fence just because "new neighbor" thing, like it was personal, but because they were old and rotted, falling apart. But, I doubt he really cares.
  In my noted "doubt", I began to think on borders.  See, the fence is by code 12-inches inside the border line.  I put up a wire fence to keep Gracie in, but the fence panels were put up by my parents - the previous owners - for privacy.  I don't think they are very effective.  But, the wire fence is needed to keep Gracie in my yard.  She is my responsibility, her mess is mine to worry about.
  Now, there are things that flow over borders.  I try to encourage moles to stay in their yard.  I realize that Gracie poop stinks, so I try to keep that cleaned up.  I try to be sure not to be too obnoxious and disturb the neighbors.  But, when it all comes down, we only share a sight line and a bit of cooperation; what is in my border is my responsibility and business, not theirs.  Outside of generally caring for the place and being decent and polite, neighborly, what I do is none of their concern.

  I say that all to wonder how it is that some believe that what goes on in my house, on my property, is open for discussion?  I refer to those who believe that because their religion, their private beliefs, does not tolerate homosexuality (there is argument on that:  Christ healed the Roman Centurion's male lover), that it is something that extends beyond their private borders and should impact my life.

  Christianity seems to repeatedly get caught in this obvious issue.  Despite the humble beginnings, where being Christian was to be hunted and hated, to a time where so called Christians felt it acceptable to declare others unworthy of life:  Inquisition, Crusades, Colonialism, Witch Trials, Slavery/Racism.

  Jesus Christ came with one message:  Love your neighbor, and Love God.  Period.   I don't need my neighbor's judgement.  I don't need his condemnation.  I don't need him to tell me who to love or who to hate.  If people like Fischer and the rest of those fascists and crusaders want my respect and admiration, if they want me to look at them and see someone worth emulating, then be my neighbor.  Lift a hand in greeting, help with a project, share a glass of ice tea.  Get to know me and see me for the person that I am.  Maybe there are things my mind with change on by such positive influence.  But, frankly, mr fischer - most of what you say just pisses people off and makes you a really shitty neighbor. Maybe you should think on what Jesus would say to that.