Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Tidying up a week of detritus

Odds and ends I apologize for my absence of a week, but believe it or not, I'm still fighting this stupid cold! I honestly don't feel too bad now, just tired and with a lingering cough. I tell ya, this was a sledgehammer to the head reminding me of why I quit smoking. If you recall, they told me I had the beginnings of emphysema, at the tender age of about 45. I've been generally healthy since I quit, but for some reason, this sucker really got a hold on me (and not in a good way like the cool Miracles song). My cough reminds me exactly of the cough I had when I was still smoking, and I've had to take a cough suppressant and use my inhaler a couple of times. What a drag. Anyway, I think you'll forgive me for not having a whole lot of energy lately, and I do hope to be on the mend soon.

I'll play a little catch-up here, with a few bits and pieces I wanted to mention.

It's football season! As much as I hate to see the summer come to an end, I'm always happy to be watching football again. Notre Dame's season opener was on Saturday, and they beat Purdue 23-12. I am cautiously optimistic for their season.The Colts play this Sunday, and I'm under the assumption that their 0-4 preseason record will not translate to the regular season. I don't pay much attention to preseason football anymore, other than having it on just for the sights and sounds, because I know it's mostly just a way to trim the roster. Peyton still looks awesome (I read an article a while back that made the case for him being the best athlete in sports right now, and I won't argue with that), so I'm looking forward to seeing how they do this year.


One of my Facebook friends has published a book! Woohoo! The lovely Diana Agorio is the author of Sex Rites: The Origin of Christianity. I already have my copy (signed...thank you, Diana!), but haven't started it yet (I'm in the middle of two other books right now). Diana discusses the use of drugs, sex, and human sacrifice in ancient religious rituals, and the persistence of these elements in today's Christianity. I know that she's been working on it for some time, and her research is thorough and extensive. I look forward to reading it, and I'm certain that I'll learn a lot. Congratulations, Diana!


The non-mosque that isn't at Ground Zero continues to make news, most notably with the recent spate of anti-Muslim violence. A mosque was damaged in Tennessee, and it was determined to be arson; a mosque and its playground equipment sustained $20,000 in damage in another fire suspected to be arson. A pastor in Florida is going forward with his plans to burn copies of the Koran. Way to win friends and influence people, dude.

Get a grip, people. We are better than this. The people running these mosques—or the children attending their schools—are not the perpetrators of 9/11. This is absolutely appalling, and the people committing this violence against innocents should be ashamed of themselves. These are nothing less than hate crimes, and it needs to stop before someone gets seriously hurt.


On a related note, a recent poll showed that one-fifth of Americans polled think that President Obama is a Muslim. It would seem that a significant portion of our populace has lost their collective minds. This is just beyond stupid. Remember how they were all pissed off because he was a member of Rev. Jeremiah Wright's church? Not just for a little while, but for two decades? Did they forget that part? You know, at this point, I think I'd like to hear one of these people just stand up and declare, "You know what? I don't like the guy 'cause he's colored. There. I said it." It would be somewhat refreshing, and it might help them overcome the weight of denial that is crushing them as they try to come up with excuse after excuse to hate the guy. As I've said before, it's one thing to dislike his policies, although many of these people seem to not have a full understanding of what those are. It's quite another to try to brand him as "Other," whether you think he wasn't born in the United States or is a closet Muslim.

That one-fifth of Americans believes this fallacy is bad enough. The fact that the media continues to report on it without addressing the larger issue is equally as bad. Remember the No Religious Test Clause of the Constitution? Article VI states:

The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.

What that is basically saying is that it is none of our fucking business as to what religion a public official is or is not. Of course, Americans being the bunch of Nosy Parkers they are, you can bet there will always be questions about a candidate's or official's private life, and that includes religion. Wouldn't it be great to hear someone say, "It's none of your goddamn business what I believe"? I would enjoy that.


Finally, it seems that former Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania is really barking up the ol' Presidential run tree. Unfortunately (for him), he has a little problem with the continued existence of the website Spreading Santorum, which was started in response to his hateful, homophobic comments. If you do a search for Rick Santorum, you'll get that site right towards the top. I feel that it is my duty to link to the site and make sure that it gets plenty of hits, staying right up there at the top of results returned on a Google search. You're welcome, Rick.


  1. I hope you are feeling better soon. I am definitely looking forward to hearing about Diana's book... hope to remember it next month so I can pick me up a copy.

    I NEVER watch preseason football... and speaking of college football, next week's Michigan - ND (or ND-Michigan for the unenlightened!) game should be a good one... will it top the Boise State-Va Tech game? Now THAT was some football!!

    The idiocy about the mosque and the President's religion is simple fear and hate masquerading as opinion. Since it is so profitable to foment it, people do, particularly Fox News. I think that the irony of Fox News, owned by a foreginer and invested in heavily by a Saudi, is rich. It could easily be said that Rupert Murdoch's profit motive drives him more than providing an outlet for conservative viewpoints.

    As to the cat in Florida... I saw an interview and was shocked by his clear headedness... how he truly believes he is doing a good thing and that his inspiration comes from above.

    Somehow, I relate my lack of faith in any monotheism to the contradiction it allows for in its teaching and how the lessons are applied. Somehow, the same scriptures (which are, IMO, of super mega kung-fu bogusoity) that incite folks to hate (Westboro Bap. Church) and treat fellow human beings as second class or worse, is suppose to guide me to heaven. It is a tainted thing no matter how peaceful Allah, Yaweh, or whoever it is you bow to.

    Anywho, hope you are feeling better soon!!

  2. Diana's book belongs in my library of works on the history of religions, so I'm probably her next customer. And I'm clicking my brains out on Spreading Santorum. Got zero tolerance for homophobes. Thanks for the tips on both.

    Feel better soon. As a child of the tobacco-field South, influenced by Hollywood's love affair with cigarettes, I know first AND second-hand the hell of tobacco tar and nicotine.

  3. My Mom today asked about our beliefs, and I only stated that Beth and I believe the same, she let it go at that. She has been struggling with her own since her stroke a couple of years ago.

  4. Mark left an excellent coment and I second most of it. So there's no point in repeated affirmations, except to ask that we incarcerated the Japanese after Pearl Harbor, are we doing better by not rounding up all the muslims and putting them away somewhere"

    Get better now, you hear me.

  5. Do you know how hard it is to get santorum out of upholstery??

  6. Like always my hats off to you.

    Thanks for that bit of information about the constitution.

    I think that the new propaganda is based on whether knowledge is superior to religion. So it goes, that while the more stupid you are the more gains for heaven should come to you, but of course after death.
    But shit, how come that rule does not apply to the Glen Beck's, and Sarah Palins' out there, that can get wealthy and live a heavenly life here, and his fellow americans are going homeless.

    Please take care of yourself.

  7. Great post!

    Sorry you have a nasty cough but thrilled that you stopped smoking.

    Feel better real soon!


  8. Sorry to hear about that cold ... something is definitely going around, I've noticed a lot of sneezing, coughing people lately. Glad the worst is behind you!

  9. hi Beth! Get well soon... I have allergies so I am totally sympathetic!
    Hey I have learned a ton from you about Catholicism and I thank you so much...
    It's almost 9/11 and I am sad about what happened then...:{
    I'm sad about the divisions that divide us across this great divide..
    Please come by Lurkynat and leave me a comment
    when you can


I'm funny how, I mean funny like I'm a clown, I amuse you?