G-Poppers … October 23rd, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2731)

Jon close up

G-Pop is a wee bit concerned.

His children are once again choosing up sides, sniffing out the dogma of their favorite political party and barking out beliefs.

Issue by issue, debates are offering a collage of opinions with no real respect for the central issue that should permeate the hearts of all humanity:

Are we killing people?

Nothing progresses until we stop killing:

  • No financial campaign is worthwhile if there’s a death toll.
  • No honoring of traditions or regaling of the Constitution is noble if we’re filling up body bags.
  • The central issue of the human race is learning how to talk to one another instead of pulling a knife, citing some righteous motivation.

For 16 years, two Presidents from two different parties have ruled and reigned in this country.

Even though G-Pop is sure that each one could present a resume of his efforts, in the long run, one of these men began a sermon of death and the other has trailed behind with his own chorus of “amens.”

President Bush and President Obama have both pursued a fruitless campaign of irreconcilable mayhem in the Middle East, which has paralyzed this country with the preoccupation that we are a superior military power–as we continue to lose battles. Not since World War II has the United States been part of a full-fledged victory through military conflict.

So we must cease to believe that the Republicans are good because they stand for God and the Democrats are evil because they allow for atheism. And we also must realize that merely taking stands on social issues or giving health care to the masses is of little use if we’re taking the children of the poor and placing them in harm’s way in a foreign land.

G-Pop will tell you why he believes in Jesus: Jesus angers both Republicans and Democrats.

In one moment, Jesus forgives a woman caught in adultery, infuriating the right.

In the next moment, he refuses to give money to the poor, insisting that it’s a never-ending process which should be pursued with wisdom rather than wild abandon, causing every liberal to object tearfully.

Jesus had one central theme: “I have not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.”

So the same Jesus who believed that “those who live by the gun will die by the gun” also contends that children are sacred and reflect the beauty of heaven.

Just as little ones should not be killed at their elementary schools, we should also find a way not to kill them in the womb.

Obviously, this approach pisses off both campaigns.

So G-Pop challenges his children to escape the futility of joining a side to instead pursue a purpose:

1. Is there any way to consider all the facts before we start following the fad?

2. Is there any way to favor one side in this particular case without offending the other permanently?

3. Can we move forward without rejecting what we know is true for the human family?

There is only one issue in the next presidential campaign: what is the best way to stop killing?

As long as we’re killing, no matter how noble we may feel our mission, we have become the enemy of the One who created us.

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Jesonian: It’s Just Church … May 10th, 2015

 

  Jonathots Daily Blog

(2576)

church without walls

Each of us has a social lifestyle, a business profile and a religious inclination.

The difficulty we face is when we fragment these into three different campaigns.

Unfortunately, there is a tendency to look on the church as the scratching of our religious itch.

We tend to get our social lifestyle and business profile from the world around us. So two-thirds of the makeup of the average Christian is forged in the world instead of the philosophy of Jesus.

To further complicate matters, the religious system seems completely incapable of sharing Jesus’ ideas on social lifestyle and business profile. Instead, the church focuses on salvation and heaven.

Therefore, the interest we have at any given moment in salvation and heaven becomes our intensity and intrigue about God.

Obviously, we are more intent on expressing our social and business profiles, so eventually our religious inclination yawns, climbs into bed and takes a nap.

So ministers scratch their heads, trying to figure out why people are leaving the church.

It’s because it’s difficult and almost psychologically impairing to constantly think about the crucifixion of Christ and streets of gold. What kind of person would you end up being? Some sort of fruitcake, heavy on the nuts.

So the more honest-minded humans, who don’t want to be hypocritical, abandon the church and try to find satisfaction for their religious yearnings in everything from Oprah Winfrey, to self-help books, to, ironically, even atheism. (At least atheism gives you something definitive to believe against.)

So what is the Jesonian?

It is the knowledge that Jesus gave us a social lifestyle, and even though there are many tenets to it, it is best summed up with the wonderful phrase: “To he whom much is given, much is expected.”

Jesus gave us a business profile: “Be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.”

Stop making excuses and keep evolving toward excellence.

And certainly Jesus gave us the spirited lifestyle goal of “loving our neighbor as ourself.”

While the Church of Christ may be concerned about baptism by immersion, and the Pentecostals may tout the significance of the baptism of the Holy Spirit, the Jesonian is concerned about immersing ourselves in the lifestyle of Jesus.

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Boiler plate 

Jesonian: Strict July 20, 2014

 Jonathots Daily Blog

parchment

Strict compliance to Judaism and Mosaic Law means you find yourself dependent on “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.”

Strict reverence to Mohammed and the Muslim faith requires an acceptance of the superiority of men over women and a mission of conquering the heathen to win them to the faith.

Strict understanding of Buddha is the suppression of pleasure in favor of neutralizing passions in order to achieve your enlightenment.

Strict allegiance to atheism eliminates any supernatural inclusion in one’s life.

Strict respect for democracy means that the majority is always ruling.

Strict interpretation of communism is the sharing of all things in common, pursuing social and financial equity.

Strict following of Jesus means to love your neighbor as yourself, not to resist evil, don’t judge and receive mercy by giving mercy.

They aren’t all the same.

They aren’t equal

They aren’t reflections of one another.

I have made my choice.

 

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The Story Goes On… July 14, 2014

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2291) 

Daniel in the lion's denI was having trouble dealing with the stories: Jonah and the whale, Daniel in the lion’s den–even Jesus walking on the water.Three little pigs

So when I was fifteen years old, for a season I embraced agnosticism.

It was pretty easy. For after all, I never believed in religion. Church was tolerable. I had a curiosity about God.

But overall, the religious system asked me to swallow things without question, never realizing how they might affect me.

It was just too much.

Now I know there are those who would like to believe that departing from the church leads to all sorts of depravity. But I did not become a drug addict. I did not start mistreating my dog. I didn’t develop a pornography addiction.

Moses and the Red SeaActually, I rather enjoyed sleeping in on Sunday mornings, and took the extra time to audition for a play, and won the lead role.Little Red Riding Hood

I was happy.

I made new friends, since my Christian ones turned their backs on me. I joined with these acquaintances to discuss intellectual matters and expound on the problems in our society. I felt like a budding genius. It was like I was on a Mt. Olympus of knowledge, looking down on the world around me, trying to find a way I could assist the mere mortals below.

It was intoxicating.

In a strange sense of speaking, it was a religious experience. Yes, there is a religiosity to atheism. It was the comforting sense that I was self-contained. I needed nothing else.

Everything seemed really positive except for one factor. As time went on, the conversations I had with my new comrades became more bitter and nasty. After a while, we judged those who were not part of our confluence to be inferior–ignorant, if you will.

So one day it occurred to me that this new “religion” I had taken on had the same viciousness and prejudice as the one I had walked away from. There was still a plan of salvation, in the sense that you had to reject anything that might even hint toward the supernatural. There were sermons, as we disemboweled the character of those individuals who dared to disagree with us.

So finally, one night lying on my bed, I realized that the true story was not confined to the sixty-six books of the holy scripture. The story is actually compacted into the message that we are to love our neighbor as ourselves.

For even though I hated religion, had grown weary of church and felt like I could do without God, I had no idea, in my agnosticism, what to do with people. They seemed cumbersome. They were in the way.

Because as noble as it may sound to give freedom to everyone, when you have eight billion freedom-headers crashing into one another, it’s quite a headache.

My new-found lack of faith caused me to be irritated with the very creatures with whom I shared a species.

We need the story.

Maybe we don’t need all the stories that have been collected and called divine within the volume, but we do need The story:

  • Love your neighbor as yourself.
  • Give and it shall be given unto you.
  • Go the second mile.
  • You are the salt of the earth
  • Love your enemies

Without this narrative, we learn to hate religion, disdain the church, ignore God, and unfortunately, also end up disliking one another.

I went back to church.

I don’t agree with everything that happens there, and when I don’t, I question it. I rail against religion because it is a man-made infestation, formed to cripple the creativity of humankind.

I maintain a curiosity about God, though none of us know what happens a hundred and twenty seconds after we die.

But I believe in people.

I consider it to be the sign of spiritual energy–when the love we have for one another becomes the symbol of our devotion to God.

The story goes on. The story needs to be told.

Because without the story… we become discouraged in our own lack of appreciation for one another.

 

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Yappy Your Year… January 1, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2108)

angry duckToo much yapping. At least, I think so.

I like talking, but do you really think we need shows filled with it?

Talk shows. Dozens and dozens of them, which eventually denigrate to prejudicial statements made by people filling time, pretending they aren’t gossiping.

I’m a little tired of pundits, too. (Except I do like the rhyme, “redundant pundit…”)

Yes, the repetition of stolen ideas is not only a thievery of material, but also steals creativity from the heart of the American people.

Would you allow me to point out that another intolerable portion of yappiness is TV preachers? At a time in my life when I am seeking greater and greater humanity, they bestow either the drivel of psycho-babble or the onslaught of unexplained divinity.

And equally as frustrating is the new wave of agnosticism and atheism being promoted as an evolution in intelligence of an emerging “people consciousness.” Listen folks, it takes no energy to be an unbeliever. I suppose that’s why this lazy generation selects it so voraciously.

Oh, my dear God … I am weary beyond words of “Ducks” who seek a “Dynasty” by quacking out Bible verses, while simultaneously I have to listen to all that the gay have to say.

Am I odd? Am I so self-possessed that I must scream aloud that I don’t really care who’s zooming who, but rather, whether we are progressing in our talents while learning to drench them in humility?

I hate polls. The reason I hate polls is because the questions asked by the pollster can be twisted to bring desired results for his or her organization. And honestly, most people don’t have the common sense to listen to a question and admit, “What in the hell do I know?”

That goes for Tweets, too. We used to believe in this country that some forethought, emotion, concern, courtesy and gentleness should precede the next thing spoken. But when you have a I-Phone in front of you and you can pour out your vile reaction immediately, why take time for reflection?

It’s 2014, so it’s the Democrat’s turn to whine about how “things aren’t fair,” and the Republican’s hour to criticize everything that’s going on. Just ten years ago, the circumstances were flipped. The Republicans were the whiners and the Democrats were the attackers.

Is anyone bored yet? To me it’s similar to going to see The Sixth Sense movie for the second go-round. It was interesting the first time, but after you’ve viewed it, you know the guy’s dead from the beginning.

And when we’re talking about our “Yappy Your Year,” may I request that we discourage, ignore and possibly eliminate alarmed folks?

Case in point: would you just tell me that it’s going to rain and there will be thunder, instead of describing all the atrocities that Mother Nature could be perpetrating on my house this evening?

Would you instruct me to eat more vegetables without warning me how my present physical condition flirts with disaster and death?

And could you put a bill through Congress without having to promote that you are the savior of the world for coming up with the idea?

Which brings me to the final piece of yappiness–the only one I can really do anything about:

Me.

Yes, I need to shut up more.

  • Even in my blogs, I’m pursuing brevity, dreaming of achieving wit.
  • On stage, more concise.
  • And unless I’m asked for it, I vow this year to not offer advice to anyone.

I’m too yappy–and words that do not edify eventually find a way to destroy.

So Happy New Year to you, my friends! And remember–talk is never cheap.

It is costly … often leaving our character bankrupt.

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The Thirty Second Philosophy … September 12, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2003)

fridgeWatching television yesterday, my favored program of the moment was suddenly interrupted by a testing of the Emergency Broadcasting System. It consisted of about thirty seconds of beeps and buzzes, totally destroying the dialogue of the show and making me wonder why such an intrusion was necessary.

But it did get me thinking: what if it ended up not being a test?

What if that broadcasting system leaped into my life to proclaim that a cataclysmic disaster was in the making? Yes–what if I was informed by the announcer that we had thirty seconds to live before an unexpected meteor struck the earth, a series of atomic bombs exploded or a tidal wave from an angry ocean suddenly blew across the mainland?

Just thirty seconds.

I thought to myself, what would I do with that portion? Then I amazed myself with a very quick answer.

Four things:

1. Thanks, God. (No need to get grumpy at that point, right? Atheism lacks promise.)

2. I love you all. (Getting picky over people seems a bit fruitless, too.)

3. I sure hope we’re right about that heaven thing. (Worse than dying in thirty seconds is the prospect of it being really, really permanent.)

4. You can have anything left in my refrigerator. (Honestly, there was some pretty good stuff in there … )

There you go. That’s what I came up with. After all, thirty seconds isn’t much, but it’s certainly sufficient to express gratitude to the Creator, have some appreciation for my fellow travelers, hope for the best and share my bologna.

As the Emergency Broadcasting System test ended, I was emerging from my bizarre musings when I paused and thought over my four selections prior to the Apocalypse. It was a pretty good list. Matter of fact, I’ve decided to adopt it in ALL aspects of my life–even when I’m not threatened by termination.

I shall dub it my “Thirty Second Philosophy,” but use it 24/7.

  • Thanks, God.
  • I love you all.
  • I sure hope we’re right about heaven.
  • And you are welcome to anything left over in my refrigerator.

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Godfusion … July 28, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

(1957)

People are immediately turned off if you make them feel ignorant or if you make things too complicated. So in our time, religion and atheism have joined forces to turn God into a confusing dilemma—alas, an unnecessary pursuit. A fresh wave of agnosticism in this country portrays those who have a belief in a divine being as being backwoods, unintellectual or just generally speaking, lacking the fetchings to ever place them at the front of the line. 

In retaliation, a very conservative religious surge presents God as a complex Being with stringent demands, unusual tastes and apparently insecure enough to constantly need the confirmation of our love and devotion. 

It seems bizarre to me that these two should unite to create a climate in which spirituality is chilly, to say the least. 

God is dead.  

That’s what some people claim. Even if it’s not true, no one wants to be around a deity who is even on the verge of dying. Is God so old that He’s out of touch with anything our younger generation might consider valuable? 

God is mean. 

Some people would insist that it’s not an inherent rudeness but rather, an unflinching desire for morality at all costs. 

God is Jewish. 

Yes, we have the joining of Jews and Christians—once again to the alienation of the Muslim community—instead of the purity of a Christian faith which keeps itself focused on the lifestyle of Jesus instead of cautiously clinging to the tenets of the Old Testament

God is busy. 

There are those who feel the Supreme Being just has too much going on to be interested in the meager affairs of His human creation. 

God is needy. 

Yes, we are told that He’s a jealous God and will have no other gods before Him (even though I don’t know why that would be an issue, since He insists that He’s the only God…) 

All of these converging contradictions create a Godfusion—a frustrating misrepresentation of our Creator, which leads people to either run away in horror or smirk at the notion of Bible stories

Who is God? Let us start off with three simple insights: 

  1. God is not much use to us if He doesn’t like humans. Any belief that contends that He is miffed, distant, demanding or bewildered by our choices and make-up is a bizarre notion, considering that He was so meticulous in creating us.
  2. God, being a Spirit, needs to find a way to communicate to us, who are in flesh and blood, by devising a persona that is earth-friendly. I don’t know what you call this Being—I know him as Jesus. And even if there wasn’t a carpenter born two thousand years ago, we would need to come up with one to help us relate to a Spirit and help bring that blessing to us in a human way.
  3.  God is of little use to human beings if he isn’t fatherly. Any discussion about the Divine that takes us into a belief that He is irrelevant to human life because He is beyond our comprehension, or we are so beyond the comprehension of religion that we have become irrelevant to faith leaves us alone and fatherless. 

It is time to understand two very important things about moving our faith, our beliefs and our ideas forward: 

  • We need God. Without Him, it is virtually impossible for us to grasp the brotherhood of mankind. If we’re not related to a common Father, then we’re just warring tribes, looking for reasons to get enraged so we can set our war machine in motion.
  • If we don’t have a God, we begin to believe that this life is all that matters, and any time we’re only given one choice, we not only lose our motivation, but we also begin to lose the desire for excellence.

Be careful of the Godfusion in our country today, instigated by both atheists and religion, to chase our Father from us and coronate either a clown or a dictator. We need a Father who is in heaven. Earth cannot be a jungle—it was created to be a garden.

And until we get back to the Garden, we will be in danger … of flirting with extinction.

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