G-Poppers … July 15th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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The Two-Headed Devilish

G-Pop is humbled by words.

He wants his children to know that if words are selected intelligently, they can be used to justify the feelings of the heart. On the other hand, if expelled carelessly, they can condemn, exposing ignorance.

While the nation stumbles about, trying to figure out what has happened in the last few weeks–why we are hurting one another–it is essential that we reflect on the power of words.

For you see, two monsters have been invited into the living room of American life:

  1. Lying is expected.
  2. Meanness is accepted.

Up to now, we have successfully held rancid racism and putrid prejudice at bay, simply by recognizing that lying is wrong and being mean produces nothing but retaliation.

Somewhere along the line, we’ve become convinced that lying only has consequences if one is caught, and that meanness is effective if it achieves domination.

Meanwhile, policemen are afraid of black men, which in turn, causes black men to be terrified of policemen.

Let’s begin here: those who have been nominated for the Presidency of the United States feel it is their privilege to attack one another, lie, cheat and imbue dishonor. Just for the record, Donald Trump is not a “big faker” and Hillary Clinton is not “crooked Hillary.” These verbal barbs are not funny, not interesting, and certainly not newsworthy.

So dare I say, this kind of flippant, childish wording is the culprit–the nexus–for two dead young black men and five noble policemen.

Why? Because we expect lying and we accept meanness, so there’s no one to trust and no one who is guaranteed our respect.

We must deal with this “two-headed devilish” or we will continue to decline as a culture, lying in the meanest ways possible.

So what should we do?

A. Lying is easy, but it’s wrong–yet forgivable.

To gain that forgiveness, we have to embrace the truth, which makes us free of the insecurity causing us to attack others.

B. Meanness hurts.

There is never a good time for it. It is never a preferable position. It is the profile of a soul who has run out of ideas. It opens the door to blame, which is always seeking a new name.

G-Pop wants his children to know that lying is wrong, and meanness is unacceptable.

Until we return to systemic logic–drenched in common sense–we will lie about our prejudices and rationalize our meanness.

 

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Crazy Larry… February 24, 2013

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Living a Legendary LifeI think it was about eight years ago. I had begun to write screenplays for independent movies, was composing some symphonic works for a regional orchestra, was working on a couple of novels and traveling across the country doing my presentation in churches.

It was an excitingly varied life, which brought one piece of information to the forefront of my mind: everyone is basically looking for a central mission in their journey, but are often reluctant to name that yearning by using one of the conventional terms for God or spirituality.

I found that both intriguing and comical. The thought in my mind is, once you find out where faith has its nexus, the name you come up with for this precious sense of peace of mind is not nearly as important as remaining passionate and fervent.

So I wrote a book called Living a Legendary Life, and in a very tongue-in-cheek style I proposed that rather than fighting over religious vernacular, we should just go ahead and call God–Larry.

I thought it was quite funny. I wasn’t actually suggesting that we start the First Church of Larry or the Holy Order of Larry. What I failed to realize was that I was trying to be humorous, off-the-cuff and clever in a world that does not particularly favor those presentations.

I immediately ran into the conservatives and the liberals. The conservatives were upset because I suggested that the name of the Divine God of the Universe was one of the Three Stooges. The liberals, on the other hand, were dismayed because I portrayed a God named Larry (which they didn’t have much problem with) but that this Deity expected people to be involved in their own lives and not cop out on their responsibilities.

Little did I know that I had placed myself directly in the center between these two houses of philosophy, and was in danger of being shot by both sides.

It made me think of the words of Larry’s son, Jesus, who once noted that he was very happy that truth is “hidden from the wise and prudent.” The wise consist of those more liberal individuals, who contend that they’re more intellectual and scientific than their backwoods brethren. And the prudent are the conservatives, who think the only way to be acceptable is to retreat into former times, when everything was supposedly just hunky-dory, and you could actually say “hunky-dory.”

This experience has not deterred my effort to maintain an autonomy from both camps. The wise are too smart to learn and the prudent are too careful to be blessed.

So both of them thought my idea was a rather “crazy Larry” concept–and my satire escaped them. But for those who are not bound by the restrictions of either world, who still believe that God loves us all, and keep good cheer in their lives because it is their favorite survival tool, my writings are still appreciated–and even occasionally comprehended.

After all, faith needs two very important parts: (1) it needs function. It’s got to be practical enough to be of some earthly good. (2) And it requires fervor. If it doesn’t energize you, it is a faith without works … which is dead on arrival..

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