G-Poppers … January 15th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2814)

Jon close up

Every now and then, one of the older sons asks G-Pop what he thinks about the present political fray.

G-Pop smiles to himself, wondering if Jefferson, Franklin, Adams and Madison are giggling somewhere in their heavenly mansions (even though the quartet may not have actually believed in such a lofty destination.)

The truth is, our forefathers devised a system grounded in idealism and absent needful guidelines on implementation.

“All men are created equal.” A great idea–until you try to dole out the equality.

“A government of the people, by the people and for the people.” A moving notion–except for the fact that many of our founding patriarchs thought the electorate were ignorant and incapable of ruling themselves.

And of course, the precept of “liberty and justice for all.” How can you give liberty to everyone and still manifest justice? And isn’t the application of justice often the tempering of liberty?

Let’s look at some simple facts:

  • Freedom without common sense is anarchy.
  • Common sense minus freedom is tyranny.

It is only with the blending of freedom and common sense that “liberty and justice for all” is achieved.

So how do we balance it?

We don’t.

We have to go no further than the mind of God to see that freedom preempts justice.

For instance, the will of the Jewish San Hedrin–to crucify Jesus–supplanted the prevention of such a heinous act.

How about Abraham Lincoln? He decided to participate in a war with the South, because granting freedom to the slaves was cosmically essential.

So in choosing leaders, we must select those who honor freedom, and then gently and tenderly temper it with the common sense that brings justice.

Without this, we hamper the process of a democracy by introducing laws, restrictions and even morals that don’t necessarily fit all the participants.

Even in the case of raising children, inhibiting their freedom is a dangerous thing to do because it invites rebellion. Yet granting freedom with no respect for the history of humankind is an invitation to disaster.

So G-Pop feels that the best place for us to begin to grant freedom is to remove adjectives from in front of the word “people.”

There are not “black people, gay people or disabled people.” Just people.

There are not even women and men. Just people.

When we even the playing field to “people,” then we can address the common sense of what we all need.

We, the people. That’s what makes our system work.

Whenever we change it, segmenting ourselves into little groups, we start restricting freedom and destroy the process.

So G-Pop says to his son: “Vote for candidates who believe we’re all people on a journey together … to find common sense.”

 

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G-Poppers … August 7th, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2655)

Jon close up

G-Pop is in the middle of a hard-boiled fussiness with a side order of grumble hash.

Listening to three well-known journalists, ranging from 45 to 60 years of age, he was astounded by the inordinate amount of time they spent discussing Lenny Kravitz’s penis.

For you see, apparently Mr. Kravitz split his leather pants, which made his private turf suddenly public domain. Rather than performing as investigative reporters, as they tout themselves to be, questioning whether this was a staged event–since how odd is it for someone to be handy with a camera trained on the crotch?–they instead spent a lengthy time postulating on the penis at hand.

G-Pop will not even discuss how inappropriate this might be for morning television. Instead, he poses the question: when is it important to notice that the train is speeding up as we’re heading directly toward the mountain?

Very often, G-Pop becomes frustrated because his children and grandchildren deem him a prude because of his stance on alcohol, marijuana and the absence of courtesy in human interaction.

G-Pop is not a prude. A prude is someone who looks at your life and says that you should not do that. G-Pop has a private conviction concerning vices which have gained voices.

For instance, you can call yourself a “social drinker” if you have a beer or cocktail when you’re out with friends. The minute you buy alcohol to put into our own home on a weekly basis, you are no longer socializing. You are materializing a habit.

Yet G-Pop is called a prude.

What G-Pop has are private convictions. A private conviction is when you say to yourself, “I’m not going to do that.”

This often leads to a practical mission. Is there a way we can do this better?

But the minute you question questionable actions, the fallback position of those who prefer habitual anarchy is to call you a prude.

  • Or maybe they call you prejudiced.
  • Or maybe they say you have a phobia.
  • You most certainly are out of step.
  • Or you are trying to curtail people’s freedom.

If Lenny split his pants and it was an accident, we shouldn’t be sitting around discussing his penis or how it was adorned. If he planned it, and wanted us to go on and on about his penis, then we should seriously wonder why this artist feels that his music is not strong enough to gain the interest of the market and that instead, he needs to offer additional allurements.

And when G-Pop sees a group of older men who should have the gravitas to offer a more intelligent perspective suddenly turn into gossiping ninnies and giggling schoolboys who just discovered their first Playboy Magazine, he is astounded and fearful that we’ve lost all sense of balance.

G-Pop is not a prude. He’s not trying to tell people they shouldn’t do things.

G-Pop just believes that privately, he chooses to avoid that path …and that the human race can do better things with its time than leering at a celebrity’s penis.

 

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Except What? … September 18, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2009)

cartoon melting potThere is no such thing as a “pure-blooded American.” America was accumulated, not ordained.

We are a mish-mash mess of a miraculous mixture, a mysterious mutation majestically merging into a magnificent mob.

Our ancestors left monarchy, anarchy, oligarchy, patriarchs and matriarchs to come and experiment with the outlandish assertion that all men–and women, for that matter–are created equal.

So what causes us to jut out our multicultural jaws and claim that “we are exceptional?”

Do we really become more valuable to the human race by expressing superiority? Does God in heaven smile down on us as the new “Chosen People,” having abandoned the Jewish race for the job?

I guess what bothers me is the word “exceptional.” The root of it is “except.” In other words:  to make exempt from consideration.

Even though all of my training, understanding and basic common sense tells me that whoever has much, of that person is required more, we have taken on some sort of “Holy-Roman-Empire-mentality,” believing that since we are born and reared within a three-thousand-mile radius of one another on this continent, then we somehow have a free pass to make mistakes without critique.
When I was a kid I did childish things. Some slack was cut. Thank God.
When I had kids of my own, the slack was removed and was replaced with the “r word”–responsibility.
When those kids grew up and needed me to be a wise sage to them for guidance–and to transform myself into a grandfather–it was my purpose to make that journey without grumping or complaining and certainly minus useless immaturity.

So looking at our country, I see that we went through our toddler phase during the Revolution, through adolescence by continuing slavery in a rebellious way, which led to Civil War. But now, as we father the notion of freedom and become grandfathers to the concept of democracy, we should put away childish things. We should not compare ourselves to other countries when we talk about human rights. Most of THEM never claimed that expression of equality in their forms of government.

We shouldn’t even look at our Olympic athletes and extol them as higher and better when they win medals, for we live in the lap of luxurious training as a lifestyle instead of having to work it in around the planting and harvesting seasons.

The word should not be exceptional, but instead, should be “expect-tional.” Since we’ve been blessed with freedom, ingenuity, prosperity and spirituality, we should expect more from our country than those around us.

When I finally see us use a different measuring stick to our own morality than we do to the world at large, I will understand that we finally have comprehended what it means to be American, settling our souls on the fact that to be exceptional means you must live by the credo: to he who much is given, much is expected.

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The Absence of Presence… August 22, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

(1983)

jonlolAs for me, I like my fireworks to be explosive, lighting up the night sky with beautiful colors. I am not interested in any kind of firework that has been diffused of explosion and can only muster muted tones of brown.

In our attempt to make everything safe, common, accessible and equal, we gradually have taken all the “presence” from the institutions and outreaches that make human life rich with experience.

Chief among them, to me, is the church.janlol

An organism that should exude life, energy, jubilance and spiritual unpredictability has been disemboweled by caution, tradition, suspicion and  judmentalism. It has become a Petrie dish for the study of prejudice or, at times, a sure cure for insomnia.

It is disappointing to hear those who have chosen a path of disbelief to win the day simply because the individuals who were meant to prosper and live abundantly under spiritual energy have decided to entomb their faith in the grave of repetition.

It is equally as disheartening to see a government that is “for the people, by the people and of the people” brought to a screeching halt, or maybe better phrased, a grinding cessation, by political stubbornness and arrogant posturing.

There are things that are meant to have a presence.

The word “church” should bring a smile to our faces and evoke memories of joy. And the utterance of the United States of America should put a chill of hope down our spines–for a world that struggles in tyranny and poverty.

Instead, we have surgically removed all the aspiration from our faith and our country, to whittle ourselves to a futile fussiness which we interpret as “adult debate.”

Jesus warned the Pharisees that they were concerned about the money and the organization of their religion, but had forgotten the weightier matters of judgment, mercy and faith.

Judgment: a decision to honor what is truly valuable instead of coins that can be counted.

Mercy: packaging what we evangelize to be appealing to human beings–our market.

Faith: being prepared to evolve toward greater understanding of God instead of diverse interpretations of scripture.

Until we put the presence back into our spirituality and our government, the absence will leave behind the anarchy of loneliness.

I am hopeful.

I refuse to be defeated.

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Mediocre … July 11, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

(1940)

I must be candid–the main problem in our society is not that we are continually embroiled in disagreements, but rather, that the things we have chosen to agree upon are the breeding ground for mediocrity.

I suppose that’s why we selected to compromise in the first place–it’s easy to find human weakness and identify it as normal, and then glorify it as individual. In other words, the more we promote that each one of us is an individual with particular tastes, styles, emotions and beliefs, the simpler it is to tolerate inadequacy.

For example, I may become frustrated with your lack of productivity, but all you have to do is claim that you are a TYPE of person who works “at a different speed” and has varying goals from mine. Once you remove a common standard for humanity which each one of us has to consider in evaluating ourselves, you silently produce anarchy, making us too self-sufficient and overly tolerant of incompleteness.

  • Once we’re convinced that we’re “fine the way we are,” what is the need for excellence?
  • What is the need for introspection?
  • Why should we require ourselves to consider our previous attempts with regret, and determine to repent and do better?

This is the only place where Republicans and Democrats, atheists and believers, and conservatives and liberals agree. It’s the statement: “We are not the same, but rather, individual islands of “special” creation, who must be viewed as independent of general human behavior.”

If this philosophy had wings, we should let it fly. But since the only fruit of this ideology is the generation of loud-mouth critics rationalizing their own inconsistencies, we might want to reconsider what has gotten us to a place where we’re stuck in the mud with no desire to go forward.

Case in point–what you have in Washington, D. C. is not gridlock–it is the application of a selfish society which has finally elected leadership reflecting its own ridiculous formula for life. Our President, Senators and Congressmen are all convinced there are MANY ways to solve problems, and they must fight for their own personal utopia. Since we contend there are a multitude of salvation available for the human race, we therefore believe that each person should “work it out” in his or her own way.

Not only does this eliminate cooperation, but it also institutes an airport with many landing strips and no air traffic controller. It welcomes disaster. It is a certainty that the planes will collide.

So what can we do?  Well, the best way to alleviate pain is to trace it back to its source. Would you allow me to do that? Over the next week or so, I will share where we have derailed our train of thought. Yes–where we have allowed ourselves to extol the mediocre, so as not to impinge on the rights of others to be less than they could be.

It should be very interesting.

You may agree with some of my thoughts and disagree with others. I welcome your disagreement as long as it’s not grounded in the silliness of declaring it “unfair” or “out of the flow of present thinking.”

The first thing I will contend is that life did not begin with the founding of the United States of America. Life didn’t commence at YOUR birth, either. And it was not instituted in the latest revelation of favored Google searches.

Life had a beginning and life has taught us much about ourselves.

On the morrow we shall go to class.

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Fulfil or Destroy… May 13, 2013

(1,880)

Good requires nothing of evil. On the other hand, evil desperately needs good to give up and lose heart. It puts evil in a disadvantageous position–always sniffing around great ideals to see if anyone is despairing.

So what is evil?

I will tell you this–it has a beginning, a middle and an end. If you allow it to start, it is very difficult to stop it.

The beginning of all evil is cynicism–mainly the contention that people are just no damn good. It doesn’t matter if it’s said by a jaded comedian or a preacher trying to save the lost. Anytime we attack human beings, trying to prove how stupid they are, how immoral they are, how destitute they are, how ignorant they are or how useless they are, we are setting a master plan in motion–to degrade us to evil.

Perhaps this is the only thing that religion and secularism have shared in common throughout history. They have both concluded that mankind is perniciously flawed, incapable of progress. Even though it contradicts the gospel of Jesus, which insists that the Kingdom of God is within us, it gains a tremendous following because we get to attack others while insisting that we’re not “quite as bad” as they are.

From that beginning comes a middle and the middle of all evil is always politics. And what is politics?

Well, since people are stupid and incapable of doing what’s right, somebody must step in and control them, bringing about more orderly results. Of course, this appears to be a powerful position, so cynical men who are on their way to evil vie for it. They argue, debate and bring everything to a standstill, making it seem even more likely that we’re all doomed to be dumbfounded.

Politics is not limited to government. There’s politics in religion, politics in romance, politics in education. Any time we believe that we can control our future by carefully plotting strategy and discussing it in a committee, we are on the verge of some sort of evil plotting.

So as you see, the beginning of evil is cynicism. The middle of evil is the muddle of politics. And the end is a resignation towards terminating the world.

Yes, all of our prophets, whether they be of global warming or the second coming of Christ, are yanking us towards an emotional quagmire of hopelessness. So what’s the point of pursuing excellence?

This is not limited to Bible-thumpers. Every movie in Hollywood made about the future contains some form of anarchy or cannibalism. It is evil. It is the opposite of what God intended when He placed a garden east of Eden and told us that we could tend it and be successful.

One day Jesus told his disciples, “I have not come to destroy, but to fulfil.”

Jesus was probably the greatest revolutionary that ever lived. He turned the world upside down–but not by using cynicism, politics or preaching doom and gloom. He told people they were the salt of the earth and the light of the world. He told them to be perfect, even as their Father in heaven was perfect. And he told them to love their neighbor as themselves.

So be careful as you pursue your little tirade of righteousness–that you don’t accidentally slip into the TRUE axis of evil. You can always identify it: it begins with cynicism, in the middle transforms into politics and in the end is darned tootin’ sure that the world is going to blow up.

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Troublemaker… March 29, 2013

(1,835)

jesus at UN

Love your enemies.

What is he talking about? There are dangerous people in the world who have to be monitored and even confronted in order to maintain a civil society. You cannot initiate a diplomacy of “love” to countries like North Korea and Iran. They will view it as weakness and use it as leverage against you in the next confrontation. You certainly cannot tolerate someone tooling around, asking us to love our enemies. The trouble he will end up making could cost us our freedom and our way of life.

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Impractical. If we actually treated other nations and people with the same integrity we bestow upon our own citizens, we would be affording them undue respect, since they don’t have the same morals and guidelines that we offer to our people. It would lead to a demise in nationalism and a lack of pride. What we need to do is continue our practice of giving “most favored nation” status to the cultures that agree with us and are willing to be like us in most ways.

Don’t judge or you will be judged.

Another portion of idealism. If there is no way for us to feel superior in some aspect of our lives, how are we to gain the confidence to be leaders instead of just an elongated trail of followers? A certain amount of pride is necessary to maintain purpose, right? If people are not better than other people, how can we enforce integrity and morality, granting us a universal sense of well-being? It’s not so much that we’re judging people in order to alienate them, but instead, enlightening them to the error of their ways.

You are the salt of the earth.

Once again, it may be nice to present the concept of an even playing field, and even to insist that “all men are created equal,” but when you give too much power to the weaker members of our population, they will use it for an occasion to welcome anarchy. Encouragement is one thing–but to unleash the idea that everyone can become equally spiritual or equally human is to produce a chaotic environment, where “lessers” mingle with “greaters” and we are never able to determine true excellence. It is possible to understand that people are ignorant–without hating them.

The kingdom of God is within you.

If we’re going to teach people that true spirituality spawns from their own inner faith, inner soul and inner emotions, then we are weakening the foundations of organized religion, granting us the civilization of understanding God. After all, statistics show that people prefer a worship experience that is full of liturgy and pre-fabricated messages, which can be spoken by the entire assembly to instill faith and unity. If we allow people to have their own experience with God within themselves, we are eliminating the demand for religion and replacing it with abstract searching. Where would this leave our churches?

As you can see, the basic teachings of Jesus, which he intoned two thousand years ago, still cause the hierarchy of society to tremble–or laugh–depending on their particular mood. Conventional wisdom trembles at the notion of human beings being blessed with the individuality of discovery, without being constrained by ritual and commandments. And it laughs at the respect given to folks by the Nazarene–to be able to find the face of God and righteousness on their own.

Perhaps the progression of years would keep us from publicly humiliating, mutilating and executing Jesus for such actions taken in our American culture. We are beyond such barbarism.

We would just let the 24-hour-news cycle assassinate his character.

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