The D Word … February 26th, 2019

THE

WORD


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The D word—the word that is so obtuse, unusable and meaningless that it should stop being in everyday use. For me this one was easy:

Devil

Devil is the word evil with a D.

Whenever I hear people mention the devil, I immediately fight off the instinct to consider them superstitious, ignorant, backwoods, prejudiced and, to some extent, angry with the world around them.

The theological approach to the subject is that we “can’t believe in God” if we don’t “believe in the devil,” because the devil is the counterpunch to the Almighty.

I find that ignorance gets started because people are too nervous to ask the obvious question before the stupidity gets spread around.

God is the only Spirit

Even if you follow the story of Adam and Eve, the serpent mentioned in the tale ends up being cast down to Earth. It is an earth-bound misery.

Human beings produce all the evil that is necessary to make the world shitty. They need no assistance. And personifying darkness in a creature called “the Devil” is the best way to allow human evil to continue without being challenged.

  • The Devil did not make anybody do anything.
  • The Devil did not possess little girls or little boys.
  • The Devil did not command a whole brood of witches.

Perhaps the reason the word “devil” makes me conjure images of incest is that poor people, unlearned individuals and those who feel superior because of their color or religion often use the word “devil” to describe all the forces they find to be unacceptable.

“The devil is rock and roll.”

“The devil is Hollywood.”

“The devil is a political party.”

“The devil is some race.”

“The devil is a woman seeking equality.”

And once they place the D word onto you, all of your actions will have the sniff of fire and brimstone.

Why don’t we consider a world where there is no Devil and human beings are responsible for their actions?

We are not tempted by God and we are not tempted by the Devil.

We are drawn away by our own lusts to do foolish things.

I don’t care if you’re conservative or liberal—as long as you don’t blame the Devil for your objections to the world around you. It is a sign of immaturity, irrelevance, and a lack of understanding of how evil human beings can be…without ever adding the D onto the word.

 

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3 Things … October 18th, 2018

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That Stop the Ignorant

1. Don’t ever argue with them

 

2. Learn something while they’re watching

 

3. When they stumble on the truth, applaud and praise them

 

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Salient…August 20th, 2018

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There are matters that are too important to ignore or leave to chance. These are salient moments.

“I need to find out for myself.”

This is a rather typical adolescent statement–an attitude that often lingers into adulthood and can even be heard off the lips of the “graying crowd.”

There seems to be an abiding notion that unless we personally experience something, we remain ignorant.

Why do we feel the compulsion to walk so close to darkness?

Why is it necessary to step to the edge of the cliff just to confirm there’s a huge fall available?

Why do we regard those who remain pure of heart and body as simpy or silly?

What causes us to believe that those who have indulged in evil behavior are somehow more suited for offering counsel to the ones going through similar struggles?

Let’s look at some of them:

1. Alcohol, smoking and drugs

Is it really required, in the human race, to try all of these things in order to give an opinion on the variables? Don’t we have enough experience with alcohol to know that it is a killer of the body and the best drink available to promote wife-beating?

How many warnings do we need from the Surgeon General before we accept that smoking turns lungs into coal?

And are there really good drugs? Even the ones we use as medications are chemical poisons. This is why we call them anti-biotics. They kill life. The drugs don’t discriminate good cells from bad cells. The list of side-effects for the drugs promoted on commercials is usually twice as long as the benefits.

Is it wise to dabble–to get a dribble of knowledge? (Maybe we should ask Eve.)

2. Lying.

Once you lie, you’re a liar, which puts you with all the other liars, who can’t hang out with anybody else but the liar’s club. People who require trust can’t interact with you anymore. It’s the nature of the Earth.

3. Pornography.

Perhaps I’m ignorant on this issue, but do men and women actually become better lovers by watching pornography? Or does it twist the brain, causing us to believe that simple romantic encounters lack the pungency to produce orgasms? Can the pictures on the screen ever imitate the patience of nurturing a relationship–smelling and touching the genitalia of the one you love?

Why does the statement, “I don’t smoke, drink, watch pornography and I greatly attempt never to lie” classify someone as a goody-two-shoes, when none of us want to be around somebody with a hacking cough, who is vomiting from being drunk and zoned out on drugs, looking at pornographic web sites, as they lie to us and tell us they aren’t pursuing evil?

So here is your salient moment:

Stay away from the edge.

The reason they call it darkness is because there’s really nothing to see.

 

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G-Poppers … July 13th, 2018

G-Pop loves his children.

Of course, most folks claim they do. Even that lady in the courtroom who “offed her young’uns” insisted she adored the little tykes.

Love is the delicate balance between affection and correction. And who has ever found the balance? Some people are too affectionate–other people are just hard-asses.

How can you tell the truth in love?

G-Pop wants you to know that the world is segregating itself into clumps of misunderstanding.

For instance, over here on the right you’ve got the “He” crowd–“He” meaning God:

God is everything.

God is good.

Yet … God seems indifferent about the plight of children killed in war. (But that’s because we don’t understand His will.)

God, who is supposed to make us happy often leaves us sad, failing to return our messages.

So escaping “He,” we become…

Well, “you.”

I find myself having to contend with–you. After all, you have such great potential. If you would just listen to me, you would become amazingly fruitful, but you persist in your own ideas when you know that mine are proven better.

So you, who could be a companion to me, suddenly become a problem.

Conversations with you. I become convinced things are going to be better, and then you just end up being you.

Worse than that, many “yous” become “them” which is closely associated with “they.”

This is not an issue of prejudice or racism. These “yous,” who have clustered together in regions, have generated a serious predicament.

Maybe it’s skin color–but not exclusively.

Maybe it’s their customs.

But certainly, at the heart of it, they just aren’t quite as good and certainly not as adequate.

They need to be set apart.

Let’s not get mean about it. (Matter of fact, if we can get them to think it’s their idea to promote their own flag, their own skin tone or their own religion…)

Just keep them away.

I guess the only true way this can be achieved is for us to become a “we.”

We’re just so damn cute. We’re clever, we’re creative, we’re concerned about the world. We hold meetings and share ideas, relating with one another.

We are not animals.

We are not part of the ignorant masses who support foolishness.

We have culture.

We even have a mission statement.

Shoot–all we need is a song. Yes, a rallying tune to make it clear where “they” end and “we” begin.

So as the world drags on with devotion to “He,” criticism of “you,” bigotry about “them” and the self-righteousness of “we”, G-Pop notes that something needs to emerge that speaks the truth with love.

It is “I.”

But it is “i” in the lower case. It is an “i” that has not yet arrived.

And the tiny “i” is a way to signify that we understand that we’re empowered, but have not yet capitalized on all of our possibilities.

“i” am the beginning and the end of the significance of my life.

When “i” look to “we, them, you or He,” “i” drain energy from my existence–leaving a huge hole in my soul.

What do “i” need to do?

A. “i” need to repent of my fear of being wrong.

B. “i” need to make that repentance as joyous and as full of good cheer as possible, so “i” won’t resent doing it.

C. “i” need to focus on my work instead of trying to live off the efforts of others.

D. And “i” need to be humble.

G-Pop loves his children–enough to tell them the truth with affection.

G-Pop is an “i.”

He is an “i” who’s working everyday on trying to dot himself.

 

 

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Ask Jonathots… September 8th, 2016

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I had to do a short talk in speech class and wanted to chat about my church experience, but I felt I had to offer a disclaimer about Christianity: “I’m a Christian, but I don’t hate you.” I would love to stop having to do that. How?

Every single week, Americans go and spend money at Wal-Mart, even though it is pretty well known that their products are manufactured through cheap labor, often with the mistreatment of the employees. Should we stop shopping at Wal-Mart because the company has chosen practices that disregard the workers in other countries?

You can feel free to do so, but Wal-Mart is not going to be affected by your decision.

Or you can come to the conclusion that the only responsibility you have is to make sure that your life, your aspirations and your interactions with other human beings are free of intimidation and unfairness.

You’re not responsible for Wal-Mart.

You are responsible for you.

It’s very important that each believer in the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth understand that the religious system that represents him is guilty of excess, greed, indifference and at times the subjugation of the poor. The system has drug its feet on issues of human rights and racial and gender equality.

Yet to stop attending a church, turning it over to the indifferent, is failing to capture an opportunity to quietly change the atmosphere.

If enough people show up at the religious system and refuse to merely act in ritual and repetition, then eventually, because the religious system likes to collect offerings, it will have to change in order to accommodate the new spirit.

For instance, I only buy groceries at Wal-Mart. Why? Because most of the products that come into the grocery department are not grown in sweat shops. It is a small consideration but still a difference.

And I don’t refuse to go to the church because it is filled with hypocrisy and vanity, but instead, I go to encourage my brothers and sisters and fellow-humans to be of good cheer, lighten their load and give a damn.

So I suppose if I were standing in front of your speech class, I would say:

“I’m a follower of Jesus. He thinks we should love our neighbor as ourselves. Jesus was fine until the committee showed up–just like the United States was a great idea until politics corrupted it. But I neither give up on Jesus nor the United States just because those who scream the loudest are ignorant. I am a follower of Jesus. I don’t make a very good Christian, because I’m just not religious.”

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Dear Man/Dear Woman: A Noteworthy Conversation … May 21st, 2016

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Dear Man Dear Woman

Dear Woman: Would you vote for a woman for President just because she’s a female?

 

Dear Man: Would you?

 

Dear Woman: I don’t understand what you’re asking. Would I what?

 

Dear Man: Would you vote for a woman for President if you still held true the things you were taught about the differences between men and women.

 

Dear Woman: I think I understand but let me give you a chance to explain.

 

Dear Man: Well, let’s just look at two of them–two things both of us were taught about men and women as being “natural” facts: women are more emotional and men are stronger.

 

Dear Woman: Yes, I was certainly taught that. It was tempered with excuses, examples and supposed reasons, but those two principles are certainly in my brain

 

Dear Man: Mine, too. Matter of fact, as a woman I am taught, to a certain degree, to glory in my sensitivity as a replacement for being muscular, forceful, decisive and strong.

 

Dear Woman: The old bait and switch. “We’ll let you be more sensitive if you let us be stronger.” So to answer your question, with that in mind, do I want a President of the United States who is very emotionally involved with the world, or one who is strong enough to stand up to our enemies?

 

Dear Man: There you go. And that’s not the belief of just common or ignorant people, but of scholars, liberals, ministers and even educators.

 

Dear Woman: There’s only one problem. Every human being is emotional if you find their treasure.

 

Dear Man: You’re referring to the statement, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

 

Dear Woman: Exactly. I may not get worked up about a sick kitten, but if my favorite project, my favorite cause, my favorite team or even my favorite car is attacked, I can be brought to tears in a minute.

 

Dear Man: So you’re saying it’s not an issue of possessing emotion, but instead, finding the treasure which controls the emotion.

 

Dear Woman: That’s absolutely right. So how about strength? Are men stronger?

 

Dear Man: Let me advance this theory. Strength does not exist like it’s a mountain, standing tall on the horizon. Strength is associated with the amount of joy we’re able to maintain in the presence of difficulty.

 

Dear Woman: Because if we become angry, frustrated and feel cheated, strength goes away. So if a woman–or a man–have contact with their real feelings and avoid getting defensive, either one can be strong.

 

Dear Man: As either one can be emotional based upon what they’ve decided to treasure.

 

Dear Woman: So the danger is the question of whether we will elect a candidate based on what we know about the things they treasure and how easily disappointed they become, or whether we’ll just look at their genitalia.

 

Dear Man: I couldn’t have said it better myself. And to answer your question, I would vote for candidates, male or female, who know where to place their treasure and who don’t allow difficulty to turn them into angry children.

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Dear Man/Dear Woman: A Noteworthy Conversation … February 13th, 2016

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Dear Man Dear Woman

Dear Man: I was reading something on the Internet…

 

Dear Woman: Uh-oh. That can be a real bear trap.

 

Dear Man: No kidding. Because there’s no way to “vet” articles on the Internet, I don’t know whether to believe them or ignore them–simply because they’re on that medium. But anyway, it was written by this guy who said it was just natural, in the evolution of our species, that men are meant to be the head of the house and women are supposed to be submissive.

 

Dear Woman: I hate that word.

 

Dear Man: Submissive?

 

Dear Woman: Yeah. It’s got all sorts of negative implications to me.

 

Dear Man: I agree. But submitting to wisdom, goodness, kindness, knowledge and progress is a good thing.

 

Dear Woman: Yeah, but that’s not what they mean by submission. Their definition of submission is that if someone has a penis, he’s in charge.

 

Dear Man: And the vagina is supposed to give in to the wishes of the ruling penis.

 

Dear Woman: This conversation’s getting weird.

 

Dear Man: It is, isn’t it? Is it because of the words we’re using, or because the idea of submission is basically inhuman?

 

Dear Woman: I don’t think it’s inhuman. There are times I need to submit. There are times I need to submit to women.

 

Dear Man: But the word is so ugly.

 

Dear Woman: Yeah, it’s half of the problem in my opinion.

 

Dear Man: What’s the other half?

 

Dear Woman: Oh, the way they say, in this snarky voice, “Women are smarter than men.”

 

Dear Man: Maybe we’ve found the problem. You’ve got two sides of the same coin. You’ve got some men who want women to submit to them no matter what, and some women who want to be dominant by insisting they’re smarter.

 

Dear Woman: I think that is the problem. I hate both of those thoughts. Why can’t we be just be logical about it?

 

Dear Man: Logical in what way?

 

Dear Woman: Try this on. Sometimes you know more than I do and it’s okay. It’s okay that you know more, and it’s not the end of the world that in this particular instance, I know less.

 

Dear Man: Sometimes you know more, and it’s still okay. I don’t have to fall into a giant vat of gooey glue with all the females of the species, and appear to be weak simply because in one situation, I don’t know as much.

 

Dear Woman: Let me go on. Then there’s you and me. Sometimes together we know nothing, and that’s okay if we admit it.

 

Dear Man: That means we are looking for something to be submissive to.

 

Dear Woman: I never thought of it that way, but it is true. Knowing nothing is a positive position if you’re aware of it and you’re looking for input.

 

Dear Man: Can I conclude with this? That means that every single day of our lives, we know that there are people who are smarter than we are, and that ends up being the best okay–because we can tap their wisdom and get the benefit.

 

Dear Woman: So sometimes you have the edge and I submit to you.

 

Dear Man: Likewise, sometimes you are ahead of the game and I submit your way.

 

Dear Woman: And it’s possible for both of us to be ignorant and we’re searching for a place to submit.

 

Dear Man: Which means we have to be willing to acknowledge that there are smarter people.

 

Dear Woman: And it doesn’t matter if they’re male or female–just that in this given situation, they have what’s needed.

 

Dear Man: Do you think we could sell that?

 

Dear Woman: Well, let’s be honest. Somebody had to come along and sell people on the idea that men were intended to be the head of the household…

 

Dear Man: …and that women are smarter than men.

 

Dear Woman: Neither idea is true.

 

Dear Man: So I think we’ve got a shot at convincing people that we submit to each other … based upon who has the best insight. 

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