LOVE AND HATE
July 7, 2015

Sticky wicket subject for a brief column. It’s Tuesday in Paradise. A heady blooming perfumed day. Always a beautiful day in paradise. I owe my editor a column and  really don’t feel up to it. The bank behind my house is alive with walking iris. Their little white heads are cheerfully bobbing in the early morning light. My feral flock is scratching and munching on bugs and other juicy chicken delights. A light breeze sets leaves dancing on the bank and slipping silently through the iris I see one kitten stalking. Reba. It’s a game. She never catches anything, but I love to watch her hunt. She think she’s a big deal. Head honcho feline in this neck of the woods. The chickens trickle off with a flutter and a wink. They blend in so well they disappear in plain sight.

So, what has this to do with the heavy theme: Love and hate? Well, at that  moment, I felt very loving, until a sudden sodden thought awry leaped in my mind and spoiled the revery. Is it true that love and hate are opposite sides of the same coin, my mind queries? Is it true  you can never really appreciate–or feel–these deep human emotions without experiencing the other? Can one  know what it means to love, if one has  never known what it means to hate?

Love and hate are powerful–and potent–emotions. Love can be gentle and kind. It soars the human condition. I don’t think hate can ever be gentle and kind. I think it must always be aggressive and nasty. It sours the soul, if you believe in such a mysterious entity. It hammers the beating heart flat with bludgeoning blasts of red hot steel. The mad iron monger in the sky’s murderous obstruction heaved beneath the feet  of the human travelor.

One of my favorite people, my feed store man, made a  profound statement,  “Atheists just love everything,” he said one day. Out of the blue.

Think about it.

Can that be true?

And, anyway, what’s it got to do with chickens and kittens and walking iris? What does it have to do with a fragrant day in paradise? With a column over due?

Everything, I think.

I quoted a Biblical passage recently and sent it to the paper in response to a Christian teacher’s letter to the Forum in which he quoted a  passage concerning his interpretation of what his God had to say about gay marriage.

Here’s my quote:

“If any man comes to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sister, and yea his own life also, he cannot be a disciple.” (Luke 14:26) It’s writ in red. A direct quote  in the New Testament.

Well,  fortunately,  Jesus  didn’t say anything about loving kittens and chickens and walking iris and an editor who’s going to be cranky receiving a late column.

To wrap it up, may I say? “If you must hate, hate cancer.”

 

 

 

Conflicting Religious Views
October 10, 2014

If you deny there are conflicting views, you’re in denial. Religions, all religions, are hard-nosed. You quote your books, chapter and verse, you quote your silly gods, you interpret your books and fight with each other over the interpretations. But all over the world, in the Islamic world, in Israel, in America, South America, voices of reason, voices of the people, are rising.

We speak out against war, we speak out against dictators, religious fanatics and other unevolved humans. Strong words here, but appropriate. Muslim women are fighting for the right not to wear the veil. Our troops, many of them, come home sick to the heart about our senseless carnage of innocent people, men and women and children who have done us no harm. We speak out about a ridiculous economic system that never has and never will work. We dare to speak out against those who silence us with guns, with ridicule, with lies, with stupidities. Dare I mention Limbagh, Grundge, and other purveyors of your drivel.

How was your god in America been hijacked by the rich? By the powerful? By the killing machine? By Cheney, by Palin, by the Waltons, by the lunatic religious televangelist? Who was it said, wisely, “We love you, Jesus, we just don’t like the guys you hang around with,”?

At the very base of this madness lies, in his crypt, your murderous patriarchal gods. I love to hear the nonsense from the leaner brained evangelical bunch who sputter, “God has no sex.” Are you nuts? He seems to be everybody’s father and as most of us recall fathers are usually male. And, further, we are all sinners in his eyes. Well, I ain’t baby and you ain’t gonna stick that thorny feather in my blue bonnet. May I quote a few quotes?

“Religion, which should most distinguish us from beasts, and ought most peculiarly to elevate us, as rational creatures, above brutes, is that wherein men often appear most irrational, and more senseless than beasts themselves.” John Locke.

“There are scores of great religions in the world, each with scores or hundred of sects, each with its priestly orders, its complicated creed and ritual, its heavens and hells. Each has its thousands or millions or hundreds of millions of ‘true believers’; each damns all the others with more or less heartiness–and each is a mighty force of graft.” Upton Sinclair.

“I regard monotheism as the greatest disaster ever to befall the human race. I see no good in Judaism, Christianity, or Islam-good people, yes-but any religion based on a single, well, frenzied and virulent god, is not as useful to the human race as, say, Confucianism, which is not a religion but an ethical and educational system.” Gore Vidal

“The way to see faith is to shut the eye of reason.” Benjamin Franklin.

And last, but not least, “…the government of the United States, is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion…” President John Adams on June 10, 1797

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