Ask Jonathots … January 28th, 2016

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One of my friends believes that sexual repression is the reason for almost all problems, from behavioral to criminal. How important is sexuality? Is there such a thing as a religious calling, or, as my friend says, is that the sole reason for the sexual scandal in the Catholic Church?

Sex is an appetite.

It’s very important to realize this.

It is neither holy, nor is it hedonistic.

If monkeys can do it, it’s probably not super-spiritual, and if the end process of the procedure is procreation–the birthing of other human beings–it’s probably not evil.

You have to find the balance. What is the balance?

For instance, another bodily function is a bowel movement. Constipation makes us sick. But diarrhea is also a sign that we’re ill. What we want are healthy bowel movements.

And what we also want is a healthy sex life.

Since sex is not terribly difficult to do, it’s probably unrealistic to think that people are going to avoid it until they get married at age twenty-six.

Yet because it has so many physical ramifications, disease possibilities, and the potential of pregnancy, it should probably not be open season beginning at the age of twelve.

There are three reasons that people say they have sex:

  • They love each other
  • They want each other
  • They desire a child

Of course, there are variations on those–and different intensity levels. But as you can see, those three do not naturally connect.

In other words, love for someone can be manufactured because we are physically stimulated.

Wanting someone can be extremely temporary, until the orgasm is achieved.

And having a baby is an eighteen-minute production for an eighteen-year problem.

So the church tends to teach that the best practice is to refrain from sex until marriage, even though there are no people sitting in the pew who feel that is actually possible–or followed the practice themselves.

The world, on the other hand, or the secular community, thinks that free sexual expression is essential as a choice of adulthood, but offers no comfort for those who are heartbroken or stricken by disease because of promiscuity, or left with horrible choices due to unwanted pregnancy.

We are in the process of finding a balance.

To me, the best way to achieve this is to make it clear to young people–and older folks, for that matter–what sex is.

1. Sex is pleasure.

The fact that a creative God also uses it as a means of procreating our species is just smart due to the fact that if making babies took great effort, we would soon be extinct.

Trying to make sex anything other than pleasure is putting a golden crown on a pig.

2. As pleasure, it is a lesson in discovering how to mutually respect the person we are sharing the experience with at all times.

The idea that women are growing up believing that sex is for men and that they are not necessarily supposed to have an orgasm is one of the greatest abuses to the female.

3. Sex is emotional.

Here’s the trick and here’s the problem: as human beings, we seem to be incapable of separating the physical act of pleasure from the emotional tie of friendship or love. This introduces jealousy. This promotes some revenge. It causes sex to become a tool of pain rather than the promoter of pleasure.

4. Sex is attached to our passion.

Just because you said you loved someone ten years ago doesn’t mean you want to crawl in bed with them and have a crazy night of love-making. If the emotional, mental and spiritual energy does not continue, then the horniness quickly wears off. So we develop silly words like “soul mate” to describe the latest person who excites us.

Human sexuality is tainted both by repression and too much expression.

It is a physical act with emotional overtones, stimulated by mental commitment and spiritual energy.

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Dear Man/Dear Woman: A Noteworthy Conversation … December 19th, 2015

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Dear Man Dear Woman

 

Dear Man,

I’m tired of being afraid.

I hate fear. It is so uncontrollably fearful.

I’m afraid of being weak and I’m also afraid of not being weak enough to fit in.

Or maybe it’s that I’m tired. Yes, I’m tired of being the weaker sex. How can you call someone the weaker anything and contend it’s not an insult? In what sense is weakness ever a positive? It is one thing and one thing only: weak.

It enables you to relegate me to positions for easy manipulation. I despise it. And then if manipulation doesn’t work, you can become abusive. And since I’m weak, I’m supposed to fall under the spell of your aggression.

I’m supposed to believe that if I have an opinion, it’s a complaint. If I have a complaint, it’s a bitch.

If I have a bitch, it’s an insult to your manhood. And if I insult your manhood, I’m a lousy woman.

How can you define being a woman by how well men think you act your role?

 

Dear Woman:

Don’t you think I’m afraid, too? I’m afraid of failing to be strong.

Who in the hell would I be if I’m not strong? I would risk being a pussy, right? Which simultaneously, by the way, insults you because it attributes weakness to being female.

So I’m supposed to figure out on my own what it means to be strong. Forgive me for assuming that would entail getting rid of anything that resembles weakness–feelings, tears, sensitivity, attention span…should I go on?

So to be a man, in a way I’m told to be a jerk to a woman. And from what you’re telling me, I further complicate your life by treating you as weak so I will appear stronger.

 

Dear Man,

You don’t understand. I don’t want you to work this out for me. I don’t want you to adapt to my fear and my fatigue.

I want to find a way to discover why we share so much in common, yet are taught that we’re so different.

 

Dear Woman:

Aren’t we different? Isn’t that supposed to be the allure of our attraction?

 

Dear Man:

I hope not, because quite honestly, it’s driving me nuts.

The things you think make you strong actually repel me, and then I resent the fact that I’m supposed to be attracted to what I find repulsive.

 

Dear Woman:

Repulsive, huh? Am I supposed to hear that without thinking you’re a bitch?

 

Dear Man:

Am I supposed to feel it without saying it?

 

 

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G-Poppers…May 8th, 2015

 

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G-Popper

 

For a very brief season, G-Pop taught a college class.

On opening day, he asked his students to take a quiz. Needless to say, the room was filled with quizzical expressions.

He presented them with 10 questions. He told them that in determining their answers they could take into consideration wealth, poverty, male, female, gay, straight, black, brown, Native American, statistics, history, Japanese, Chinese, Mexican, Hispanic and white.

This was the test:

Who is more likely…

  1. …to steal something from you?
  2. …to commit violent murder?
  3. …to molest a small child?
  4. …to open a casino in Nebraska?
  5. …to take their children to Disney World?
  6. …to graduate with honors in mathematics from MIT?
  7. …to be in the military?
  8. …to be a billionaire?
  9. …to be a genius?
  10. …to believe in God?

Even though there were a few mumbles and grumbles from the student body, all completed the test and turned it in to G-Pop.

The next day when they arrived, he passed the tests back to them unmarked.

Then he said, “All of you completed the test. All of you, in some way, shape or form, decided to take into consideration the factors I mentioned in determining your answers. I’m going to allow you to grade your own papers and give yourself a score. I will tell my answers and you can evaluate how well you did.

Let’s start with #1.

Who is more likely to steal something? The answer is a thief.

Commit a violent murder? A murderer.

How about molest a small child? A pedophile.

Who will be opening that casino in Nebraska? A venture capitalist.

And of course, the person who would take their children to Disney World is a good parent.

Who’s the math whiz? An excellent student.

Who would join the military? A patriot.

A billionaire? A budding successful entrepreneur.

How about a genius? I would say a hard worker.

Is there some type of individual who’s more likely to believe in God? Yes. A person of faith.

G-Pop paused. All the students had their eyes glued to their papers, reviewing their answers. A point had been made.

For after all, social justice does not begin when we recognize blatant bigotry in the world.

It starts when we acknowledge the prejudice in our own hearts.

 

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Untotaled: Stepping 25 (March 12th, 1966) She Kissed Me … August 2, 2014

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(Transcript)

The romantic sex drive arrives before the license to drive.

At least it did for me.

This created a very uncomfortable situation–three times, I think–where my mother was the chauffeur for my date. It came down to the simple choice of whether to stifle my instincts, as an emerging young man, to be with a female, or to tolerate the primary female in my life–my mother–intervening with her prevalent personality.

On the first occasion of this collision of wills, I invited a young girl named Krissie out to a movie and a hamburger. Unfortunately, the drop-off was some twelve miles away, so we had to endure my mother’s attempts to be relevant to the younger generation. I did not realize there were so many derivations of the word “kids,” but in the process of the thirty-minute drive, Krissie and I were referred to as children, youngsters, teenies, child, students, kiddos and cuties.

Even though I was extraordinarily embarrassed, I was determined to endure the ordeal for the privilege of spending time with this young lady, who had decided I was worth at least one evening’s consideration.

I cannot tell you that the situation became much better after we were dropped off at the theater. I was so nervous that I can’t even remember what movie we went to, and was unable to finish my hamburger, which normally I would have done easily, with an extra one on the side.

The whole time I was trying to figure out if I was talking enough or talking too much. I can’t explain the gauntlet of pain I endured in an attempt to hold her hand.

But soon I realized that she was just as terrified as I was, because when I reached for her dainty fingers in the theater, what I grasped was similar to a wet sponge.

Questions popped into my mind:

  • Do I kiss her?
  • What would she think?
  • Do I know how to kiss?
  • How could I make sure my mother would not see?
  • Would Krissie laugh at me?
  • Would she make fun of me with her friends?
  • What if I don’t kiss her?

Well, my mother picked us up and took us back to the house, and fortunately, Krissie decided to take a detour to the back door of the home, where we would have more privacy from my mother’s purview. My knees were buckling and there was a tiny dribble of sweat careening down my leg.

We climbed the stoop, and before I could even consider my next move, Krissie leaned over and kissed me on the lips, pulled away for a brief second, and then came in and kissed me again.

I barely even noticed the onion from her hamburger.

Without another word, she disappeared into the house.

Rarely in my life have I experienced the euphoria that followed that divine piece of lip-lock. I felt a combination of gratitude along with a notification by mail that I was officially voted in as Master of the Universe.

I was even able to enjoy the ever-flowing conversation with my mother on the way home.

Krissie kissed me.

And like so many other wonderful women who have honored me with their presence, she saw my weakness and helped me turn it into a strength.

 

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G-30: Pouting … June 27, 2014

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Izzy PoutA monkey is normally satisfied with a banana.

A monkey-angel, on the other hand, requires a banana split.

From the understanding we gain from what we have dubbed The Good Book, the Creator experienced an adjustment period in trying to comprehend the mingled mess put together with the formation of the human race.

It was a rocky start.

Even though the Book dubbed Good has 1,189 chapters, within the first eight, the Father:

  • makes humans
  • places them in a Garden of Utopia
  • gives them a rule
  • catches them breaking the rule
  • kicks them out of the Garden
  • punishes them
  • sees one of their children murdered and another exiled
  • regrets that He made them
  • kills them with a flood
  • and finally, regrets killing them.

Not a stellar beginning.

So after the waters subsided, a mistrust grew between the heavens and the earth. It was actually more like an adolescent pout, where a child of a household who was once enamored with his or her parents lives long enough to discover inconsistencies, and along with the natural rebellion churning in his or her soul, decides to become non-communicative with the elders.

A quiet war started between God and man. (And by man, of course, I mean the female part as well.)

For thousands of years, attempts were made to repair the breach by using commandments, prophets, edicts, covenants, patriarchs, escape plans, and even miracles.

Nothing seemed to work.

Human beings were caught between a distaste for the jungle and a dislike for the heavens.

We pouted.

How could we trust a Creator who made us and then decided to break us? What could be done?

Yes … what could be done?

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After an appearance earlier this year in Surprise, Arizona, Janet and I were blessed to receive a “surprise” ourselves. Click on the beautiful Arizona picture above to share it with us!

Click here to get info on the "Gospel According to Common Sense" Tour

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Every Thirty-Three Years… March 15, 2013

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Ideas require patience and truth takes time. Yet no mere mortal is ever prepared for the longevity involved in taking a creative notion and seeing it come to fruition. It is a painstaking process full of pitfalls–and certainly rife with opposers.

In America, I think it takes about thirty-three years for a common piece of justice, kindness and goodness to make its way through the digestive system of the culture and be assimilated into the nutrients of our thinking.

The year was 1980–exactly thirty-three years ago. I was a young man who had already done a big sack-full of stuff and was energized on much of my own juices and ego. I had a good idea. I wanted to take the Sermon on the Mount, set it to music, put it in a Broadway-style format, select a cast, take it on the road into auditoriums in twenty-five cities,  and produce a fresh concept, both theatrically and spiritually.

I immediately received rave reviews on the music from those who were inclined to that sort of tinkling and tunefulness. I easily signed up five investors, who threw an amazing ten thousand dollars my way to bring the vision to reality. And then it was time to take it off the drawing boards, create a prototype and launch it into the atmosphere of America. I ran into some problems.

1980 America was not ready for my vision.

First of all, my play had dancing in it. Most religious people thought dancing was “of the devil.”

Secondly, the music ranged from a classical-style overture to rock and roll, in an era when diversity in music was considered to be a negative rather than a plus.

Some people were concerned that I had women in the cast. They didn’t understand how a musical on the Sermon on the Mount would require female characters. (Of course, if they’d ever read the Bible, they would have discovered that women were an intricate part of Jesus’ ministry, even footing the bill for many of his projects. –Luke the 8th Chapter)

Some folks became upset because they discovered that one of my investors was a homosexual. (That was in 1980, when you refered to people as “homos” instead of “gay.”)

Several of the venues in the south contacted me because they were “merely wondering” whether there were any black people in the entourage.

Universally, there was the constant question of whether my musical had a “conservative” agenda or a more “liberal” bend.

I was not even out of rehearsal camp and already I was dealing with issues of dancing, homosexuality, race relations, music prejudice, misogyny and the battle between liberals and conservatives.

On top of that, I caught two of the members of my cast smoking grass between rehearsals. They were shocked that I disapproved of their actions, since marijuana was universally known to be the “elixir of creativity.”

I was too young, unprepared, too cranked and much too ill-tempered to handle all this foolishness. I took one afternoon to get off by myself and think it through.

Was there anything wrong with dancing? It’s in the Bible. David danced before the Lord.

Does Jesus care if people are black? To the shock and horror of Southern Baptists, Jesus himself might have had a cocoa complexion.

How about music? Psalm 150 describes a musical combo organized for praise and worship that could have been describing Earth, Wind and Fire, live on stage, with a background of Blood, Sweat and Tears.

Is it wrong to have women in a cast of a play about Jesus? Actually, it would be evil to do anything else.

What would Jesus do with gay people? Well, I guess I think Jesus would take their money for an investment, let them come along for the ride, and see where the message took things.

Was Jesus conservative or liberal? In areas of personal responsibility, he was conservative. In areas of forgiving human beings, he was liberal.

I went on the road. It was a fabulous tour. I did not change America permanently. Matter of fact, it has taken thirty-three years for many of these issues to finally start blooming with common sense instead of common rage.

It reminds me of an idea that was birthed in a barn two thousand years ago. Although praised by a few wise men, it was scared away by the king in control and ended up exiled for a season. It snuck back in and grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man. One day, when things were ready, it immersed itself in the work of sharing the message that the kingdom of God is very near.

This idea brought compassion.

This idea brought humanity to the concept of divinity.

This idea changed the world.

For a brief weekend, it was attacked by renegade religionists who tried to snuff it out, but by Sunday morning, at the end of thirty-three years, it raised from the dead and has never stopped.

I will not see the end of my present the thirty-three years. I am taking new tolerance, new peace of mind, new openness, new joy and new celebration into the barn and birthing it. Other wise men and women will have to come and lavish their gifts, to use this infant dream to ultimately raise the dead.

And the dead will need to be raised–because every thirty-three years, having tried to kill the truth, God has to breathe life into it one more time.

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The First Valentine … February 14, 2013

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I wake up this morning terribly curious about what miracles St. Valentine would have performed to gain his station in the Mother Church. It is required in the Catholic experience, that each saint have two confirmed miracles. What would they be for Val? Maybe he lived in Hollywood–and was able to stay married for more than seven months. Perhaps instead of just saying that women are equals to men, he believed it and followed through. Maybe he enjoyed shopping and cooking with his spouse.

I’m not sure. But what I know about love, romance, women and the interaction between the sexes, I learned elsewhere. I learned it from a man who never treated a woman any differently from the dudes hanging around.

  • He didn’t create a separate message for men and another one for women, pretending they were at odds with each other.
  • Simultaneously, he demanded that women be human instead of following the darker parts of the internal nature.
  • He called them on their lies, not winking and pretending like it is a female prerogative.
  • He welcomed and blessed their children.
  • He forgave them when they fell.
  • He honored them when they made a good point that he hadn’t considered.
  • He included them without exception.
  • He never separated them off into women’s meetings.
  • He made them apostles and messengers of what was dear in his heart.
  • He was not ashamed to accept their financial help, citing some sort of macho philosophy of only men being bread winners.
  • He praised their faith.
  • At no time did he ever make them the butt of a joke, even when he was alone in a testosterone-driven circle.
  • He protected them against religion, politics and culture, which wanted to relegate them to being “birthers” instead of fellow-laborers.

I didn’t learn much from St. Valentine. Everything I learned about how to treat, love, labor and interact with a woman was imparted to me at the feet of the Master.

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