Confessing… August 1st, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2650)

XIII.

I confess so I can heal.

If I deny, I remain sick.

In the summer of my sixteenth year, my human sexuality cornered me like a ravenous jackal.

I discovered that my penis also had a “wonderful plan for my life.”

I was in the midst of my first serious relationship with a girl and my curiosity was out to see the cat. I had lived as a good church boy, vacant of any understanding of my body parts beyond my hands and knees for prayer. No one had ever told me what I was supposed to do with what.

Only when.

At the same time, I struck up a friendship with Ben, who was one year younger than me. He, too, was on the quest for fire.

So even though we spent sufficient time working on our church coffee-house together, whenever we were out driving around and talking, we were speculating on the anatomy of the various females we encountered, possessing the knowledge of a new-born baby pontificating on eating steak.

Now, there was a drive-in theater about fifteen miles from our home called the Queensland. On Saturday nights, this establishment showed X-rated movies. I had never seen such a flick, and was beginning to feel the absence.

So I talked to Ben and we decided to make a trip down to this theater and bring paper and pencil to become great students. A couple of other guys got wind of it and begged to go with us. Our first instinct was to say no, but when they continued to plead, we acquiesced.

It was only when we got a mile from the theater that we discovered the other two guys hadn’t brought any money along for admission. So I opened up the big trunk of my Impala and they crawled in to hide, so we could get into the drive-in without paying for them.

It worked beautifully.

Upon arriving and finding our speaker-box of choice, we slyly let them out of the trunk and they came into the car. For the next three-and-a-half hours, the four of us drooled like teething babies.

We saw things we had never seen before. Some of it we liked, and some of it was grotesque and scary.

But we watched it all.

I was the oldest one in the car, and therefore should have had better sense–especially in assessing who I took to see the “skin and sin.”

The following Wednesday, I was called to the preacher’s office. One of the young boys who had been in the back seat had a fit of conscience and confessed his evil deed to his parents. I was confronted, disciplined and told what a “terrible witness I was.”

I didn’t care.

I guess none of these young men ended up being rapists or sex offenders, but I’m very sorry for what I did. I had no right to tie their confusion in with my confusion to create chaos.

What should I have done?

I probably should have complained to the adults around me about how ignorant and devoid of knowledge they had left me, in a world of lions, tigers and bears–oh, my.

So when I became a father, I told my children very early about the sexual aspect of their lives.

I don’t know if it affected their purity… but it certainly eliminated their guilt.

 

confessing car trunk

 

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G-Poppers … July 31st, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Jon close up

G-Pop was perplexed to the point of being perturbed.

Sometimes people insist that it doesn’t matter how and where you were born, and then, in the next sentence, they will turn around and say you should honor how and where you were born by studying your culture.

Which one is it?

Perhaps it would be better to separate it off. For instance, learning your native language is brilliant. Also, pursuing the customs of your ancestry can be enlightening.

But the culture is where we have to be careful. How we treat other people based upon how we view ourselves is not negotiable.

There are many cultures that died because they treated people poorly. There are even cultures that exist today which in 200 years will cease to be because of their record on human rights.

After all, there is no Roman Empire, Greek city-states, Mongols, Huns, Angles or Saxons. Also, the Vikings have disappeared.

Even in the past few months, the American Southern heritage spawned from the Confederate states, which held slavery in place, has been attacked and maligned.

Needless to say, there is no Nazi culture.

There are only three rules to culture. If your culture does not honor these three, it is not worthy of study and it will not survive:

1. No one is better than anyone else.

If your culture believes that your brand of citizens are superior in any way, it will be evolved out of existence.

2. Give freedom to yourself and everyone else.

Any culture that negates the rights of others is eventually extracted from the human family.

3. Be creative in your choices.

If a culture is not evolving toward new answers to face the problems of the new generation, and instead insists on ancient documents for authenticity, then it is not long for this world.

G-Pop sees nothing wrong with learning your native language or following the customs, but until human beings share a common culture of acceptance, tolerance and creativity… we are fostering bigotry under the guise of patriotism. 

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G-35: Purposeful… August 1, 2014

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Roman Empire

It took four hundred years to arrive at the right hour.

During that time, the Greeks, the Macedonians, the Persians and the Carthaginians struggled for control over the piece of the world which is now blithely referred to as “the Holy Land.”

Yet rather than expanding the vision of the planet or becoming more inclusive, it seemed, during this juncture of time, that the earth shrank. Matter of fact, to many of those who had been created by the Emerging Father, life was defined as Jerusalem plus a hundred miles in every direction.

No one was aware there were seven continents. None of them had any idea of the discoveries of the Chinese, the intellect of the African, the industrious nature of the North American natives or the creativity of the Angles, Saxons, Mongols and Huns.

The hour was not right.

To do something purposeful, there had to be the right climate, attitudes and vehicle to propel the message–not just to circumcised Bedouins, but to the whole earth.

Then came Rome.

The Roman Empire was fully aware that the earth was larger than just the small territory around the Holy City. They were prepared to travel as far as land or sea would offer, to discover new people and new opportunities.

Even though their motivations for such a journey may be questionable, they still provided a passage to the world. With the Roman Empire arriving in Mesopotamia, it was now the season to make a move.

  • For after all, it would be the Romans who would introduce culture and commerce to the rest of mankind.
  • It would be a Roman citizen named Saul of Tarsus who would eventually carry the purposed message into the far-reaching provinces.
  • It would be an Italian-Roman named Marco Polo who traversed to China, climbing over the great walls to create connection.
  • And it would be an Italian of Roman descent who would take three ships and discover the New World–Christopher Columbus.

The notion that the Creator is merely a dreamer or Spirit with no sense of science, geography or history is a foolhardy misconception. For He waited patiently for the right era, to share a message of Fatherhood and brotherhood which could travel into the deepest recesses of Planet Earth.

Now, the next question … how to do it? 

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Taxing the World… December 17, 2012

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Jon Signing

Let’s assume the story is true. For the sake of today’s essay, let’s agree to believe that the tale told by Matthew and Luke in their gospels is factual.

Caesar decided to tax the world. There’s always someone trying to do that. We live on a globe that is continually bombarded by frustrated individuals who feel that one more annoyance, one more trial, one more war, one more evil or one more excess isn’t going to make any difference one way or another. They are deliverers of straw for the backs of camels–never quite sure if this present shipment is going to break all of our backs.

They are just people who tax the world. They don’t bring anything to the party–they just fuss. They extol the virtue of “debate” and perfect it to the greatest levels of dissension, all in the name of a cause which rarely is developed because there is no time left over for progress. That part of the story makes sense to me–Caesar taxing the world.

Then there are people. Good-hearted, yet not good-natured folks, who end up spending all of their time bitching about the taxes. They try to free themselves of the bondage to the latest Caesar but because they are always complaining about the actions of the government or the mis-deeds of the disenfranchised, they openly admit they’re at the mercy of these merciless politicians and ne’er-do-wells. So Caesar bewitches and the mass of humanity…well, “we bitches.”

It is a nasty, immovable gridlock of meaningless conversation lending itself to deadly delay, opening the door for tragedy to slip into the back windows of our lives because we are too busy discerning the unchangeable. Yes, there are those who tax the world and there are those who bitch about the taxes.

So it was over two thousand years ago in Bethlehem, Judea. It seemed that the most important thing going on was the present affliction being levied on the masses by the Romans, who were trying to raise money to pay for a war in Britannia against the Angles and the Saxons.

And then there was a handful.

In the moment, they seemed meager–a carpenter and his pregnant, besmirched wife, arriving too late into town, not having made preparations for lodging and ending up stalled in the stable; shepherds who certainly wanted to complain about taxes, but found themselves interrupted by more angelic possibilities and needing to make a choice, and wise ones from the East, who were probably mocked by their neighbors as star-gazers with their heads in the clouds, who evidently were completely oblivious to Caesar’s latest imposition.wisemen under star

Yes, there were a few people who decided to birth a new idea.

It is a lesson for all of us. For I will tell you bluntly–CNN and FOX News don’t care one whittle that I write a daily column on the Internet, that I was able to reach tens of thousands of people this year through my travels or that I am recording a new album of music. They are following the latest story of “whoever is taxing the world.” They are also quite interested in those who want to bitch and complain about how over-taxed the world is by problems and difficulties. If you want to send in a tweet or email lamenting some evil in our world, you might get your twelve seconds of fame flashed across the bottom of the screen.

But just as it was in our original story back in Bethlehem, those who are trying to birth a new idea are relegated to obscurity and stuck in a barn somewhere.

But also, just like those so many centuries ago, you have to decide whether you want to be there for the birth, whether you want to worship or whether you want to be one of the wise people.

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emPATHy … June 1, 2012

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Slavery.

For two hundred and fifty years in the United States of America, owning another person for your own profit and gain was considered acceptable. It may be difficult for some people to believe that such a mindset existed in our country–but trying to project shame on the event will not help us to understand what caused the phenomenon, and why even a hundred and fifty years later, this country wrestles with the issue of racial equality.

You see, a funny thing happened to Christianity after the resurrection of Jesus. After several different jaunts and jiggles, it ended up in the hands of the Roman Empire, which was completely conquered by individuals collectively known as Barbarians. Perhaps we should take offense–because they are our ancestors. They are the Visigoths, Huns, Angles, Vikings and Saxons.

The belief in Jesus survived this barbarian takeover, but they were not comfortable with the message of the Messiah. They saw no future in “loving your enemies” or “doing unto others as you would have them do unto you,” so they transformed the lifestyle of Christianity into a religious practice which mainly focused on the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. Even when they became Protestants, they still maintained many of the relics, rituals and superstitions of the Mother Church. Basically they came up with a theology that was very Old Testament, in the sense that it was believed to be quite proper to club someone over the head to get his leg of lamb. But instead of using Moses as the deliverer of the people to the Promised Land, Jesus the Christ was inserted as the new law-giver and the King of Kings. They managed to extract his message from this religious transformation and leave behind the suffering savior who will one day become the conquering king. Yes, Jesus became the ultimate Viking. Although he was defeated at Calvary, he resurrected to one day return in vengeance, to judge the quick and the dead.

These barbarians–our ancestors–made the journey across the Atlantic and settled in the New World. They immediately had a problem. The terrain, the weather, the lack of funds and the nature of this new kingdom gave them a swift kick in the pants. So rather than referring back to the message of Jesus–to “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”–they sought for more practical solutions. You might ask yourself how good Christian people ever resorted to slavery? We always make poor choices when we allow the bankers to control our conscience. It became a really easy three-step process once money became the issue.

1. “We need cheap labor or free workers so we can make money.”

2. “Those people down in Africa don’t look like us so they must not be as good as we are.”

3. “Therefore, we will go down, get them, and use them to create profit for ourselves.”

Gone was any thought of empathy. The definition of empathy is very simple. It literally means the action of understanding. Do you really think our ancestors sat down for even five minutes to try to understand what it was like for a black man or woman to be snatched from their homes, thrown on a ship for a long journey and then to arrive in a new country without freedom? Do you think they spent any time at all wondering if there was a way to improve the financial situation in their lives without destroying the lives of others? You see, long before a decision was made by the Dutch trade ships to bring black human cargo to this country as slaves, our ancestors had abandoned the true message of Jesus, true spirituality and therefore, any sense of a world view. They had turned Christianity into a religion of conquering and therefore, made it convenient to use it for their own campaign.

So since we haven’t had a major spiritual renewal in our world for a long time, and the blood and thoughts of our ancestors vibrate in our beings one hundred and fifty years later, we are therefore still under the curse of believing that there are some people who are not as good as we are. It makes us self-righteous, and after all, all decisions to be “holier than thou” end up with the participants looking ignorant.

This leads us to the second step oo the path of true spirituality and a world view–empathy. The action of understanding–which was exemplified in the philosophy of Jesus by the statement, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

Was there any plantation owner in Georgia who would have allowed his son or daughter to be treated the way the slaves were in his county? Of course not. But once you believe that somebody is less than you, it is very easy to explain your abuse of him or her.

Somewhere along the line, as Rome was being pillaged by our ancestors, the message of true empathy and hope was abandoned in favor of force.  Because of that, we still are not sure what to do with the tainted history of our country’s involvement in slavery. There were people like Thomas Jefferson who knew it was wrong, and even wrote about it being a terrible necessity, but continued to own slaves, piously trying to overcome that shortcoming by freeing them at his death. Let’s be honest–if they needed to be freed at his death, they probably deserved to be free while he was alive.

I do not think we will ever get our footing in this country on the issue of racial equality until we abandon the Viking interpretation of Christianity and instead, adopt the universal message of Jesus, which is empathy: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” I’ve even simplified it down this year to a broader spectrum of application: “No one is better than anyone else.”

Whether people act deprived or depraved in our presence does not change the fact that God is no respecter of persons. But it is not very difficult to make the journey into bigotry when you are financially strapped and your religion has been stripped of all of its empathy. Even today we continue to withhold civil rights from some of our citizens because we don’t think they’re as good as we are.  It is our generation’s offshoot of slavery.

So we now have two parts of the path–and you can immediately see how they move in synchronicity.

  • Apathy: “I don’t care what you do and what you are. I will not judge you. It’s not my business. “
  • Empathy: “I have made a decision to do unto others as I would have them do unto me.  In other words, ‘no one is better than anyone else.'”

We cannot shame our nation into regretting slavery, but what we can do is realize that slavery was caused by greed overtaking our sense of understanding the true heart of Jesus–and whenever greed is at work, we are willing to do anything to anybody to get what we want.

 

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