An Issue of Conscience or Discrimination of Sexual Orientation?

Here’s my take on a story that’s been trending the headlines recently.

The Sweet Cakes by Melissa bakery in Gresham, Oregon, is a private business. So long as it did not receive any public funding to operate or support being in business, it had a right – and should be respected for having the right to refuse service to anyone based on religious beliefs if it has made clear that they are refusing service based on those beliefs. Personally, I’m fine with that. Why?  Because this is a free-enterprise country and people have a right to have and run business as they see fit – so long as they are not violating certain laws which cover legitimate business operating and hiring practices.
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Sweet Cakes by Melissa bakeryThere are many non-LGBT friendly businesses like Sweet Cakes situated all over the country and the world. Word about such places does – and will indeed spread rapidly throughout not only the gay community but to those people who are LGBT-friendly or who are LGBT allies. If such business is set in a community where gays and gay-friendly people frequent and do business, it is an almost sure bet that many non-LGBT friendly businesses will suffer.  Here’s why:  If they are smart, the LGBT community and its allies would not protest or make any significant noise against any non-LGBT friendly business.  The LGBT community and its allies and supporters would quickly pass the word in and out of the area to simply boycott that particular business.  With social media being what it is, word would spread fast. No laws have been broken and the business cannot sue in court for loss of business and revenue for there is not yet any law that forces people to shop or do business at designated places in a community.
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Melissa and Aaron of Sweet CakesNow, the owners of Sweet Cakes have apparently made a conscious choice NOT to support same-sex or gay marriage based on their religious beliefs. When this story first broke in January, the owners stated very clearly that there not being discriminate against gay and lesbian people; only against same-sex marriages. At that time, they stated (as they repeated recently when news hit that they were closing the store to operate from home), that they did not want to do anything that remotely suggested or supported the same-sex marriage issue, implying that baking a cake for the lesbian couple would have violated or compromised their Christian beliefs/position.

Now see readers, I don’t have a problem with that. The owners made their position clear to the lesbian couple and the lesbian couple should have respected the bakery owner’s position on the issue.  That should have been the end of it. I don’t think anyone should have to be forced into doing something that clearly violates their moral position (even though there might be negative consequences) and no one should attempt to force someone to do something against their will anyway simply because they do not agree or have the same point of view. In the twenty-first century, people who have private property and a private establishment still have certain options to avoid certain controversial issues. People also still have an option to not support or to boycott any business or establishment whose business dealings are questionable or seem non-supportive of what one stands for or believes.  One can boycott such a business and take his/her patronage elsewhere.  For example, in November 2011,No to Applebee's Grill and Bar I chose to boycott Applebee’s Grill &Bar until they changed certain inflexible rules/policy regarding their annual Veterans Day Free/Discount Meal Program. Since I had an issue with their policy, I simply and quietly decided I would not patronize that business nor recommend it to anyone I know as a place to dine. It was my personal boycott…and I’m still boycotting them. The lesbian couple could have done the same thing.  In the instance of the dispute under discussion, I see a two-way street of mutual respect that is needed.  I should note there are some LGBT people who do not support the same-sex marriage issue. Don’t ask me why that is; you’ll need to go find your friendly “gayborhood” anti-gay marriage homosexual(s) and ask him/her/them why they don’t support same-sex marriage. Their reasons may astound you!  Let’s keep in mind that just because an issue or cause involves a sub-society or subculture of people does not automatically or necessarily mean that everyone in that subculture will or ought to support it!
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Now let’s get more real!
If you feel or find that any business refuses you service based on your race, gender, sexual orientation, religious or political beliefs, why not simply take your money and patronage elsewhere?  Yes, that establishment may be breaking all kinds of laws but if YOU know the law, you can still spend your money elsewhere and have your personal boycott and/or get others in the community to boycott the joint. Perhaps this is what the lesbian couple should have done.

Please understand: I am not suggesting that you sweep the possibility or the fact that you were dissed by that business or establishment under the rug;  No; only that you need to be very sure that you have a case by knowing the law before taking a complaint to the media or filing some lawsuit or complaint of discrimination.  You may also want to weigh whether certain situations are worth making a fuss over.  LGBT people, ethnic groups, people with disabilities and other members of sub-societies for example, do not have some automatic right to scream “DISCRIMINATION” every time they feel they’ve been offended or wronged.  Life isn’t that simple! Some things simply are not always about one person or group who feels that they have a judicial precedent in their back pocket looking by becoming über-sensitive to anyone outside their sub-society who might say or so something [perceivably] offensive against them. When certain laws and court rulings are debated, argued and handed down, every situation cannot possibly be anticipated. That is why we call such findings in the law or in judicial decisions “loopholes”! Loopholes normally get addressed and, if necessary, the law and/or court decision in question gets modified, changed or amended accordingly.  But I digress.
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The lesbian couple had a right to order a cake but had no right to demand or insist that Sweet Cakes by Melissa, a private business, give them that particular Sweet Cakes cake propservice.  I’m not a lawyer, but I’m not certain that the lesbian couple had a right to cry “discrimination based on their sexual orientation” simply because they were refused the requested service – particularly if they (the lesbian couple) had a choice not to patronize that particular business and could have gone elsewhere. Think back to what I said about LGBT smartness and community boycott.  Anyway, Oregon’s state Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) reported it is investigating to determine if Sweet Cakes’ actions violated the Oregon Equality Act of 2007, which states that “people cannot be denied service based on sexual orientation”. The law provides an exemption for schools and religious groups, but not for private businesses, according to a BOLI news release. I suppose we’ll find out soon enough what Oregon’s BOLI decides – considering the state would have to prove that the couple were denied service because they were gay or because they were getting married. While I am, and always have been a supporter of most LGBT issues – particularly that of same-sex marriage and same-sex parenting, I cannot – with the current information I have, support any cause that clearly infringes upon the rights of others.  I think this PRIVATE business had a right to refuse service based on their religious beliefs and standing regarding gay marriage and I think the lesbian couple, in turn should have shown respect for the beliefs of the owners of that bakery – just as they (the lesbian couple) would want others to respect their right to marry.
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Sweet Cakes store-closing signGranted, alternatively the Sweet Cakes bakery owners could have played fair too and just set aside their personal, moral and religious beliefs and taken the lesbian couple’s order on strictly a BUSINESS aspect.  I would hope that Sweet Cakes’ owners’ god and church would understand this.  Assuming these owners were Christians (as they clearly admitted they are), I say that if they were thinking (which apparently they were not since they judged and denied service to two people simply because of a gay rights issue) they ought to know that Jesus himself (who, by the way, was NOT a “christian”) gave HEALING SERVICES to many people who did not believe that he was the Son of God.  Jesus attended a wedding in Cana where he (according to biblical lore) turned water into wine. The Bible does not say that the wedding party or its attendees were or had to be “devout followers of Jesus “(or God).  The Bible does not say that Jesus attended a wedding where “there were only people who loved and obeyed the Lord.”  The Bible does not say that at this wedding party which Jesus attended, “no sinner, murderer, thief, known adulterer, fornicator or any man who lies with a man as he would a woman, would be allowed to attend the feast let alone be served food and drink.”  Now to think logically, one must then assume that the people Jesus healed or those who attended the wedding feast were those who came from all walks of life. They were sinners and probably some in the worse way who were at that wedding where Jesus partiedYes, I said, Jesus partied!  What else would he do at a festive occasion like a wedding? Sit on his Nazarene carpenter’s ass? Would Jesus be there to just stare at people? Or would he be there to change each person’s chalice of water to wine upon request?  Let’s get real! The man had a good time until he was ready to leave. My point is that the Sweet Cakes bakery owners should have followed Jesus’ example. Since they chose not to do that, it proves my point about how some Christians pick and choose what points of the Bible and Jesus’ teachings they wish to follow. Again, I digress!
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Bottom line –
This seems to be more of an issue of one’s conscience than one of sexual orientation discrimination.  Do I think Sweet Cakes should have closed its store? No, but I can understand why they did.  Still, I don’t see how any infringement upon Sweet Cakes owner’s religion would happen had they simply served the lesbian couple and made them the damn cake. Again, they could have made the cake in the interest of good business. Many people in business often lay aside certain moral, religious and political views while conducting business in a public environment. They do it for the greater interest and for the common good of something that’s sure to offer them a greater reward or give some great advantage that’s to their benefit…and the community as a whole!  Since such businesses choose to function this way, they do not always consider it a compromise or violation to their personal principles or position regarding the kind of people who patronize their business or to the issues which they (the business owner) happen to oppose. Of course there are always exceptions.  Still, I’d be curious in knowing why the Sweet Cakes bakery owners were so different n this sense (unless of course, they indeed were being discriminatory towards the lesbian couple because they were gay and since homosexuality is part of the anti-gay rhetoric preached by ultra-conservative Christians).

Sweet Cakes lesbian couple who started controversyThe lesbian couple on the other hand, may have been wrong in making this a big stink by giving members of the LGBT community fodder to unrightfully (in my opinion) protest against the bakery which impacted negatively on Sweet Cakes. The couple could have simply turned around and patronized another bakery and maybe passed word to their friends, family and supporters of their relationship and in the LGBT community that the Sweet Cakes by Melissa bakery was not a supporter of LGBT causes and issues and perhaps not supportive of LGBT people – regardless of what the owners at Sweet Cakes claimed and urged the community not to give public protest but to boycott if they wanted while the court and the State of Oregon decide how to proceed.  I think doing that would have left it up to each member of the LGBT community and the community as a whole to decide for him/her self whether to further patronize that particular bakery business.

Naturally, I expect people to disagree with me on this issue, but like everything else in this blog, this is my point of view.

Keepin’ It…REAL!
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©2013 RobFather-X! Productions. All rights reserved.

My Views on Religion* (Pt. 3)

*Another presentation in the KIR continuing series of articles of the Steppin’ On The Feet Jesus Washed (SOTFJW) Project-Mission!
[Click here to read MVOR* (Pt. 2)]
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STATEMENT: You want to push messages of positivity on social media? Fine, but please refrain from posting anything RELIGIOUS!

Religion- people shove it down your throat (RFXP edit)I’m all for people posting messages of positivity on social media. I understand many people mean well (bless their hearts). However, in their well-meaning, some of those people tend to get religious …EXTREMELY religious! Let’s take Facebook for example, where many messages of positivity are posted. Some people post religious messages that are soft or subtle – that is, they don’t hit the reader over the head with their words. I can be kool with those messages – sometimes. However, other people post religious messages, prayers and pictures which are strong, explicit, directing, practically suggestive, if not absolute in nature. For example, some messages or pictures might say, “TAKE your problems to the Lord Jesus in prayer”, “God will take care of all of your problems IF you only come to Him”, “Turn away from your sins posting anti-religious picsand FOLLOW Christ”, etc. And let me not even get into those religious pictures and posts that tell people to “click ‘Like’ if you love Jesus, ‘Ignore to go to Hell” or there would be posted comments or pictures that instruct people to ‘Like’, ‘Share’ or to repost some religious comment or picture just to prove the reader loves Jesus or that he/she agrees with the posted religious statement otherwise, it implies that person doesn’t loveHe took my place-REALLY or accept Jesus and is going to Hell. I say, if the intent of Christian people is to get people to convert to Christianity or accept Jesus Christ as the son of God or as some Savior, then those Christians are going about it all wrong – and they are doing wrong by trying to play on the conscience of other people. I hate seeing postings of this type on Facebook!

One of the reasons for the existence of my pet project (or “mission”, as I like to call it) called Steppin’ On The Feet Jesus Washed (SOTFJW) is because I have a problem with strong Christian rhetorical messages, prayers and pictures being posted in social media like Facebook. (Yeah, I know: I can just ignore them but that’s often hard to do when one logs on and is bombarded with them!) Christianity notwithstanding, I simply do not believe people ought to push any religious beliefs or religion on Facebook or similar social media. Many such messages, prayers and pictures are presumptuous,Religion isn't under attack-being called out judgmental and insensitive in nature. Many of them are aimed at people whom that religion has determined are not living as their religion, holy book and god dictates. They tend to ignore the existence, if not disrespect the existence of other religions – religions which are just as honorable and deserving of the same respect as the Christian religion. Such messages, prayers and pictures are also insensitive to people who may be agnostic or atheist. (Yes, it matters to us/them, too!) I ask: Must non-religious people, agnostics and atheists be subjected to seeing material from any religious entity in social media? I certainly do not think so. It’s why I support some of the anti-religious/anti-Christian messages in social media groups and on web-sites. Their efforts seem to help balance the scale of the shit which religious people post there.

It would be nice if Facebook, Twitter and all forms of social media had a filtering feature where users have the option of filtering or blocking out anything deemed religious or offensive in nature. If such a filter option existed, users would not have to defriend or block people who post make such postings…Facebook Like, Dislike, Fuck you choices people whom otherwise have a good social media relationship with that user. Some people, including my sister, have told me that on Facebook, they found some of my comments and pictures posted on my page “negative” or “offensive”. She and a few others have complained how offended they are over certain pictures I’ve posted that were anti-Christian in nature. They’ve complained about my constant use of the word fuck [one of my favorite words –in all of its connotations]. Well frankly, I don’t give a fuck about her feelings or those of other people where Facebook or this blog is concerned. I’ve told them as much and have stated that everyone has the option of simply ignoring my page, defriending or blocking me. Superman tosses the crossI couldn’t care less – either about their religious beliefs, feelings or goals and certainly couldn’t care less about their opinion regarding what I post on my Facebook page – (and certainly not over what I post in this blog). My belief is that if everyone else can post the things they want and not give a fuck about my feelings and sensitivities, why the hell should I or would I want to give a fuck about theirs? Who says that Facebook has to be a place full of positivity and euphoric bliss? Fuck that! Only fools refuse to believe that in the real world, there are both good things and bad things just as there are positive and negative things. Let it be noted: I am not now, nor will I ever be responsible for the sensitivity of other people.  

For the record, I want it noted that I support religious freedom. I support and respect any person’s right to believe and worship as their conscience guides them. However, people need to remember that religious freedom does not mean people have the freedom or the right to force, lure or attempt to convince other people into thinking and believing in their particular religion or doctrine. As I have done with previous articles on religion, so shall I do with this one: talk about those things which make me uncomfortable or which I feel is wrong that are being done by some of the people (not all) in the Christian religion.

Christian Denominations pie chart (2009)Christianity is perhaps the only religion, out of the many that I know of, whose members – from any one of its more than approximately 41,000 denominations that consistently pushes their religious rhetoric and religious book on to people. A religion with that many denominations simply tells me that there is no one who can agree on the same things written in a book which they all claim was inspired to have been written by God. Everyone has their own interpretation and opinions about what the Bible says! I’ve argued that a perfect god would never author an imperfect book, so it seems to me if the Bible is so right, then won’t everyone believe it as written? And if the Bible is the book by which Man should study and live his life, then why can’t everyone agree on it? Why do 41,000 splinter groups or denominations of Christianity exist?

As noted in previous articles in this blog, I used to be a Christian. I used to be one of the many in that religion who ignored the feelings and rights of other people to think and decide for themselves how they should live their lives, which religion to choose (if any), what spiritual walk to take (if desired), which deity to serve (if they believed in a deity) and what “holy” book to read (if they believed in one or wanted to read one). I used to be like many pompous ass Christian people who thought the There it issouls of other people needed “saving” by some person believed to be the son of a deity. I used to condemn anyone who didn’t believe as I believed; often that included people who followed so-called “false religions”, agnostics and atheists. I used to be one of those Christians who harshly judged the “unsaved”, considering them “unwashed” or “unclean” and “wicked”. I was one of those Christians who believed that the Bible was the “undisputable word of God”; that it was some infallible, perfect manuscript sent by God; I was one of those people who felt that any person who could read, ought to use it as their main guide for living a “decent life” and to bring others to Jesus Christ and Christianity. I had believed that the Bible gave me the sole authority to point out those sins or deeds considered to be more “abominable” or offensive in God’s eyes than other sins and to judge the actions and lives of other people who committed such “awful” sins. I remember Free thinking & knowledge breaks mental bondage (RFXP edit)always praying for the souls of the “lost”. And I too, would quote some biblical scripture to back up, challenge or prove that certain things people were doing were sinful and “not Christ-like”, as I would declare that any other religion or thinking other than the “mind of Christ” was sinfully wrong. Yes, sadly and regretfully, some near thirty years ago, I had once been one of those very terrible people. Reflecting on my past sins against my fellow man makes me nauseous…knowing that I used to be like that, particularly when I recall what a hypocrite and a living contradiction I’d once been; a person who dared to condemn certain sins which others were doing when I too, had been doing and enjoying the same sins and “acts of abomination” myself! Thankfully thirty years ago, I had my “road to Damascus experience”. I won’t go into any specific detail except to say that I eventually came to realize the error of my ways and began to turn away from Christianity and from being a religious self-righteous, asshole!

I feel it’s wrong for people to assume that their religion is the only and the right religion or that their religion is the way, the truth, and the light. I feel it’s wrong to assume or expect that everyone ought to believe in God, Jesus Christ and that they need to be “saved” from their sins. I feel it’s wrong to assume or expect that everyone ought to live and guide their respective lives governed by whatever the Bible says or that they ought to rely on the “power” of prayer. It’s presumptuous for many Christians to believe that simply by their posting biblical scripture, people ought to respect it, be moved by it, submit to it and/or readily – if not instantly, be affected by it in some manner simply because theyReligion is like penis say it is “the word of God”. Many Christians are especially wrong when they do this sort of thing in an attempt to pass judgment or attack a person for who he/she is or how that person might be living. Again, the Steppin’ On The Feet Jesus Washed project (SOTFJW) exists to help bring to light, balance and smash this nonsense!

A synopsis of Christian hypocritical thinking would be:

“I am a Christian, saved by the blood of Christ. My sins and sinful behavior is forgivable. I will surely go to Heaven. Your sin is an abomination to God and is unforgivable. He will not love you for it. Repent, get saved or you are going to Hell!”

Translation: “Because I am a Christian, basically am better than you. That generally means I can do whatever I want. God will still love and always forgive me. However, if you are not a Christian, God will never forgive you unless you become a Christian and stop doing the sins that are an abomination and therefore unforgivable.”

To be fair, all Christian people do NOT think or act like this – thankfully!

The people who post religious messages on social media outlets like Facebook can continue to express their positive demeanor. Moses says- Be Cool, & Don't be an AssholeHowever, I challenge religious people to see if they can post positive messages without ever crossing the line of another person’s  or subgroup of people’s right to independent thinking, without fucking around with the conscience of others, or without making some subtle or even a direct, in-your-face judgment of the way people choose to live and govern their lives. I would ask that they save any religious messages and rhetoric for their personal pages and groups or better yet, send/share them only with people whom they know would actually appreciate seeing such things.

[Click here to read MVOR* (Pt. 2)]

Keepin’ It…REAL!
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©2013 RobFather-X! Productions. All rights reserved.

Not Giving Up the S3-ASP for Lent!

*Another presentation in the KIR continuing series of articles of the Steppin’ On The Feet Jesus Washed (SOTFJW) Project-Mission!
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Today, February 13th, is Ash Wednesday, the official start of Lent. Lent is a period of 40 weekdays (about 6 weeks) preceding Easter (which falls in March this year). This year, Lent ends Thursday, March 28. Depending on the denomination of Christianity practiced, there may be differences in the dates used for Lent. One does not have to be Catholic to observe the Lent period. Again, it depends on your church’s denomination. For those who practice certain denominations of Christianity, it is often devoted to fasting (or giving up one’s favorite foods), penance (repentance of sins), and sometimes even abstinence (abstaining from sex – I must assume this includes masturbation and oral sex). This is in commemoration of Jesus Christ’s fasting in the wilderness. [S/N: If Jesus ever had sex, the Bible is quite silent on whether He had sex – of any kind. Don’t get mad at me for saying that: I’m simply being real because He was after all, human.]

A few people have asked me what I would be giving up for Lent. Poor saps. Truly they don’t know me or they have forgotten that I’m spiritual man, not a religious one. I’ve never made that any secret. As such, I couldn’t care less about Lent – as far as my physical needs are concerned. I’ve never observed Lent so why would I attempt to give up or abstain from something now? I simply don’t have any reason to do so. It would therefore be hypocritical of me to pretend to do that which I will only want to do within the 40-day “waiting period” anyway. The “sacrifices” given for the Lent period is akin to that of a New Year’s Resolution: one would have to be disciplined and committed to the resolution; otherwise, what would be the point? I am only as disciplined in the things in which I choose to do and be disciplined.

Forty days are a long time to give up my love for the S3-ASP (Sex, Solo Sex, Alcohol, Sweets, and Profanity). Trust me; I can’t see giving up such wonderful pleasures without a damn good significant reason for which I would have to agree, respect and be willing to commit. My nature simply won’t allow it. Besides, just as a woman can be bitchy whenever she is on her monthly cycle, so can a man who needs to release sexual tension, needs an occasional strong drink or something sweet to eat, or has the need to cuss out a muthafucka. Nobody wants to fuck with the kind of man who has to refrain from releasing or expressing any or all of those physical needs! (Yeah, I know; many of you can do it. So the fuck what! I’m only talking about me and others like me!)

So go ahead, good people and observe your Lent period. I’ll keep on with the S3-ASP routine and enjoy control of my life as usual!

Keepin It…REAL!

A Special Place in Hell?

*Another presentation in the KIR continuing series of articles of the Steppin’ On The Feet Jesus Washed (SOTFJW) Project-Mission!
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It irks me when people speak about places to which they have never been. I’ve been to a good part of the world in my time and even I am not an expert on the places I’ve actually set foot upon. Too many people like to imagine that they’ve been to this place or that or they like to claim they’ve read (or worse, – dreamt) about what a certain place looks like and what is there.

When it comes to situations where certain cruel things or offenses have been committed against society, there are people who say “there is a special place in Hell”, “there is a special place reserved in Hell” or a “special level in Hell” or some variation of Hell for Person X who did “X” offense or crime.  Who are these people and why do they speak as if they are qualified experts of this place called Hell?

I’ve never once read anywhere in the Bible (which Man – not God, wrote!) that remotely mentions, suggests, or hints about there being special, separate, or segregated places for people who commit certain offenses against other people. Hell is supposed to be, well…Hell – if you believe in that sort of thing. Supposedly, Hell is this place where there is no respecter of persons.  In other words, if one is “destined” for Hell as his or her after-life eternity, whoever that person was on Earth, whatever public status was held, or whatever they did during their lifetime is totally irrelevant in Hell.

So, I’d like to know what makes anyone – living and walking this earth – an expert of what Hell has in terms of the “special places” and/or “levels” of which they speak.  I challenge the Hell “experts” to help me better understand this place called Hell to which they seem to know so damn much about.

In Greek and Roman mythology very few people actually went down to Hell – also known as Hades or the Land of the Dead – and returned to talk about it. In some christian dogma, supposedly only Jesus when down to Hell after his crucifixion.  I recall many years ago being taught that in the three-day period in which Jesus was “dead”, He supposedly went down to Hell or the Land of the Dead to preach and save the souls of those who were [unfairly] sent there before His arrival on Earth as Man’s Savior.  I didn’t believe that story then and I don’t remember reading anything like that in the Bible.  Furthermore, while Jesus did tell his disciples that He would die and rise again in three days, I don’t recall Him actually telling them where He – or rather His spirit, would be going (if anywhere), and exactly what He would be doing (if anything) for the three days His body would be dead.  As far as the Disciples and everyone else were concerned, Jesus was dead and buried in someone’s tomb they borrowed.  When Jesus “rose” from His state of… uh…, deadness, He said very little. The Bible records very little of what Jesus said or did after His resurrection.  The most significant thing I remember Jesus did after His resurrection was His ascension into Heaven.  This man Jesus came to be the Savior of the World but did not stick around long enough to completely solve or resolve the problems of Man. I always had a problem with that which I talk a bit about here.

Now to those experts on Hell or Hades, I have some questions. Please answer each clearly and truthfully because I want you to tell the rest of us about your adventures in Hell!

  • Explain this expert opinion you have about Hell. Surely, you must have been there. I’d also like to know how long you stayed. If you didn’t stay long, could it be you couldn’t stand the heat and had to leave? Sorry. Sick pun!
  • Did you get to meet the devil, Satan (aka Lucifer)? Wow! It must have been awesome to meet the Prince of Darkness himself!
  • Other than what your bible says, please, in your own words, describe the Devil.  Surely you know that Satan’s appearance, like that of Jesus, has been debated for centuries! Does Satan really have red skin or attire? Are there actually horns in his forehead? Hoofs on his feet? How about that spiked tail and three-prong scepter we always see depictions of? Or is Satan STILL as beautiful a creature as the biblical book of Ezekiel (28:12-18) (and a couple of others in the Bible) says he is?
  • Did Satan himself give you a tour of his home place or was that the job of one of his designated demons? And if you had such a tour, I’m a little curious as to why Satan allowed you to leave Hell and return to tell us about it. Seems to me he would be very concerned that your story would scare more people away from coming down to live with him! I’ll bet odds that you and Satan struck some sort of bargain! But wait! Of course! Bargaining sounds just like Satan’s modus operandi!
  • Did you find Hell to be as well-organized as you have been implying to the rest of us? For example, were you shown the various “special places” or “levels” set aside for all the murderers, rapists, thieves, liars, homosexuals, prostitutes, pornographers, adulterers, masturbators (yeah, us too! LOL!) sex perverts, drug addicts, abortionists, arsonists, drunken drivers, politicians, suicide people, killers of innocent people, racists, people who harm animals, people who beat women, enemies of Christ, atheists, people of color (for the racist readers of this blog) and others you might wish to judge and name? Perhaps your ideas of an organized Hell comes from Dante’s Inferno,  the name given to the fictional epic poem called Divine Comedy written by Italian poet Dante Alighieri (born Durante degli Alighieri) [1265-1321]. Divine Comedy (written between 1308 and 1321) describes Dante’s journey through Hell (Inferno), Purgatory, and Paradise.

    Click on picture to enlarge.

  • Were there sign posts to clearly identify each place in Hell? I would imagine that such an organized Hell would not want the wrong person thrown in with the wrong crowd of sinners. Satan may be many things but I’d imagine that like God (his creator), Satan has a reason for wanting to maintain some order in Hell …as it is in Heaven. Isn’t this what you experts on Hell would have us believe when you say there are “special places” in Hell? After all, we always hear that the devil is in the details, which just tells me that Satan would never allow Hell to become some major clusterfuck of people. He’s gotta keep ‘em all separated!
  • How big would you say Hell is? I’m a bit curious because the Earth is a small planet and Man has been around for thousands of years using every chance he had just to sin and piss off God.
  • Did you see any animals down in Hell, particularly this one German shepherd dog with a white diamond-shaped spot on his nose? That dog bit me in my early teens and I, in my youthful ignorance, condemn it to Hell. I just know there is “special place” for cruel and mean animals. Right?
  • Finally, were you able to see any of your friends and say “hello” or, at the very least, mock them for not believing in Hell in the first place? Did any of them ask you for a drop of water, as is written in the Bible? Curious minds want to know!

If you cannot answer these simple questions AND provide tangible evidence of your fabulous journey to Hell, then do us all a favor and SHUT THE FUCK UP about it! And please: STOP saying shit about who is going to some “special place” set aside or reserved “just for them”. You have no fuckin’ idea as to what “after-life destinations” (if any) a person is going to or has been sent to! You also cannot provide any proof that anyone who has died actually went to Heaven or to Hell! You also cannot prove that either place even exists! And no, Hell expert; your “bible” is NOT proof enough to convince some of us!  Our skepticism doesn’t make us “lost”, “ignorant” or even “unsaved” souls. It makes us wise and wary of any possible bullshit such as your so-called concept of  “special places” or “special levels” in Hell which, you say, are set aside or has been so designated for certain offenses.

I suppose Hell experts come up with such a ridiculous idea about Hell in much the same way as they have about a system of “rewards in Heaven”; a system for those people who have done more “works for the Lord”, can “speak in tongues” quote bible scripture and can spew “praise the Lord” after everything they say better than anyone else.  Earthly society already has a social class system: people categorized on various degrees of “the haves and the have-nots”. To hear the rhetoric of “works and rewards” preached in most of the churches about the after-life, it seems that those “destined” to go to Heaven will go from one such social class system to another in Heaven.  And here I thought Heaven was such a perfect place! Boy, the christian religion sure had me fooled! But I’m digressing!

Like any place to which one travels, usually some pictures and/or tangible souvenirs are obtained as tokens of a visit to someplace. Otherwise, when a person takes such a trip, the rest of us has to take that person’s word that they actually went to where they said. Any nincompoop can write a damn book or a few scriptures paragraphs about a place to which they’ve never been!

If you want to convince me about what variations of Hell are in store for people, why don’t you actually take a trip there? Yes; I’m saying, GO to Hell!  It’s a pun but take that suggestion any way you want. When – or if – you come back, write and publish your findings – complete with all the evidence you feel is necessary to convince us you were actually there.  Otherwise, as I said earlier – and it bears repeating – shut the fuck up about Hell!  You know-it-all, judgmental muthafuckas make me sick!

Keepin’ It…REAL!

God Edits The Bible!

*Another presentation in the KIR continuing series of articles of the Steppin’ On The Feet Jesus Washed (SOTFJW) Project-Mission!
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One good, Friday afternoon, when God had nothing better to do, He came down to Earth to visit one of His many “houses”. God was on a mission. Something He had been meaning to do for centuries needed to be taken care of. This particular job had been on His holy “things to do” list for that long. He couldn’t just send someone down to take care of it. That had been tried before and it sorta failed. No… this was something God had to do Himself. Believe it or not, God had procrastinated long enough in taking care of this particular issue! On this one project, God was determined to at least get started. (Wait: “God procrastinated” you ask? Why yes, of course He did! God can fuck off too if He wants. He’s God! Stop interrupting!)  

Upon entering the main sanctuary of His house, God walked right up to the pulpit where He knew there would be an open bible. It was a rather large bible. It had large pages, large print font, gold trimmed pages, and even silk page markers. God thought, “Hmmm, nice. Always liked the way My children like to pretty things up. Do they really think it pleases Me or are they really trying to impress themselves? Wait. I already know the answer to that question. Silly me!” God sighed and the entire house shook for a few seconds. God looked at the hard front cover of the big book. The words Holy Bible was imprinted in gold. Looking further down on the lower left of the hard cover were the words, “Property of Church of the Red Sea.” God thought, “My children are so possessive. I suppose that’s my fault.” God sigh again and the building once again shook. This time, a large crystal glass light fixture fell to the floor between two oak pews, creating a deafening crash! Such a noise would have startled a human ear and scared the beJesus (pun intended) out of someone else. Not God. God was in the house that day and the crash did not faze Him one bit. Sure; He could have stopped that light fixture from falling but remember, God was on a mission and He was keenly focused. Besides, the bolts supporting that large crystal glass light fixture had been loose for some time. When the ceiling was painted last month, a painter noticed it and had informed both the pastor and church maintenance crew that the light fixture needed to be fixed immediately to its foundation before it fell on someone. Naturally, the pastor forgot all about the light fixture and maintenance kept putting off repairs to it  for higher priorities. God already knew this. In fact, when the light fixture fell, He thought, “Well, My being here at this exact moment, when this building is empty is… how do My children like to say… “right on time”. Yea, I’m always “right on time”. What a silly statement and an equally silly song! Man has no clue as to what “on time” REALLY is. No wonder he invented calendars and clocks! Anyway, no one is here to get hurt and so this lousy church leadership won’t be sued by some zealous follower of Mine. Yea, of course I AM always on time.” As God praised Himself, the chorus sound of angels singing “Hallelujah” could be heard from the heavens. “Well, time to get to work. I’ve got other things to do and other places to be,” thought God.

With thought of the broken crystal glass light fixture behind Him, God’s right index finger turned bright red. Patiently, God began reading each and every word and passage in the large bible on the pulpit making proofreader markings and comments as He read. The white pages with the nice large font and gold trimmed edges began to turn red as God wrote the following Words throughout the church bible:
• “Nope. That’s not what happened!
• “That’s NOT what I said!”
• “Some of this is REALLY wrong!”
• “They certainly got THAT part all wrong!”
• “Where is the part where I said EVERYBODY, regardless of the shade of skin I gave them, was to be treated the same and are considered equal under ME? I chose the colors of my creations!
• “Lots of stuff in these two particular books of the Bible seemed to have been twisted or omitted!
• “What the fuck is THIS? I didn’t say or do THAT!”

Yes, dear reader: you read that right; God cussed and said “What the fuck is this” . Blasphemous? Nah…How can God blaspheme Himself? Hey, God was angry!  God being angry is nothing new. We read that He gets angry – a lot…for the Bible tells us so! And just because YOU won’t read about Him cussing in any Bible doesn’t necessarily mean HE didn’t ever do it or doesn’t ever do it!  God is holy, yes; but again, he does get angry!  Some would argue that God does not approve of – nor use  “unclean speech”.  If you believe that, then you have just come to understand why God came down on this particularly wonderful and good Friday evening to edit the Bible. God knows that there is no listing in His Word depicting exactly what words or phrases are to be considered unclean, vulgar or profane. The part about “unclean speech” is something Man added in the Bible and claimed God will disapprove. Man called it a “sin” and said that God said that it was sin.  Oh well, I’m sure God visited Hell before; I hear Jesus was down there for THREE freaking days! Since I’m sure both cussed at SEVERAL points in their immortality and both came  back from Hell all right, I should be good to go, huh?  ANYWAY…with that said, I challenge anyone to give a biblical reference showing exactly the list of words or phrases considered to be vulgar or profane. C’mon! There must THOUSANDS of such words in every language – including the languages that have long since died since before or shortly after Jesus’ time on Earth. Can’t find the book or verse? Ok, shut the fuck up and let’s get back to the story!

So once again for clarity, we know God gets angry. How do we know this? “Because the Bible tells us so.” And what often happens when we mere mortals get angry? Why, many of us tend to say things that aren’t very pleasant, too!  Now, where do you suppose THAT part of us comes from? Answer: It comes from our creator, God! Like Father, like child, as they say! Duh!  Warning: God will cuss again before this story is done. Keep reading!

God continued editing the large church bible with his red index finger, writing:
• “Much of  the Book of Leviticus you have taken out of context! No wonder My children are misguided! Many of you and your fathers before you and their father’s fathers have either killed and/or caused the deaths of an awful lot of good people with this one book. Did you not remember those were My children???”  God had written the words in large letters in the top left and right margins of the first two pages of Leviticus.

Now God had considered damning the Book of Leviticus but in His infinite wisdom, realized that damning any book in the Bible at this point of Man’s history, even the controversial Book of Leviticus, would create more chaos than the entire Bible had already caused His children. And was not the Lord God there simply to edit and leave His Comments so that the errors of this holy bible would be corrected?  God is not the author of chaos!  And it came to pass that God withheld from damning any book in the book which Man called “Holy Bible”.  By His grace, Man had been spared from further biblical chaos!

Now just for shits and giggles (aka curiosity’s sake), what if God had actually damned a book in the Bible?  I love “what if” scenarios! Don’t you? Let’s take a quick look at what would have happened had God actually damned a book in the Bible. Since Leviticus is the book currently on our minds let’s use that one in this hypothesis.

BEGIN HYPOTHESIS:

  • Concerning the Book of Leviticus, God commanded, “This book shall never be used again!”  And since the Word of God cannot come back to Him void, God sealed  His Word by saying, “The Book of Leviticus be damned!”  In that instant, the entire Book of Leviticus was stricken from not only the large bible in which God had been working but every bible in existence was suddenly void of that one book! In various places on the Earth which the Lord God had created, was a man or woman reading or preaching from the Book of Leviticus. That person was temporarily blinded by a flash of light as the Book of Leviticus disintegrated from their bibles or electronic devices within an instant! Other bibles throughout the world, in every language and form were instantly made lighter by the missing pages (or data) as  the Old Testament Book of Leviticus which God had just damned simply disappeared. Meanwhile, in the Vatican, the Pope was inundated with calls about this sudden, yet unexplainable phenomenon. This was the first major supernatural incident since Pope John Paul II survived the first assassination attempt on his life in Vatican City back in May 1981. The cardinals at the Vatican did not know what to make of it.  Suddenly every other book of the Bible was thrown into disarray. The loss of the Book of Leviticus had created a “domino effect” as all other Books in both the Old Testament and the New Testament had lost a small yet significant cross-reference point.

END HYPOTHESIS

God still was not pleased about the book of Leviticus. The anger of God caused tremors in the church’s foundation which caused the large wall portrait of a handsome, white-skinned, long-haired bearded man depicting Jesus to fall off the wall. God willed the portrait to stop in mid-air. He looked at it and chuckled, causing the stained glass windows in the main sanctuary to crack.
God thought, “The model Man used to depict his perception of My Son Jesus does My Son no justice! This same picture or likeness thereof is in every house of Mine on this planet. It is a cause of senseless debate and used as a tool to cause guilt and shame and instill control among My children! From whence did they get the idea that Jesus looks like THIS man? Had I wanted My children to forever have such a vision of My Son, I would have made it possible centuries ago. This picture is wrong on all counts!”
God stared at it again and the portrait ignited in a flash of flame, disintegrating the portrait to ashes. “Always wanted to do that”, said God. For a second, He entertained the thought of making all likenesses of Man’s depiction of His only begotten Son to be destroyed. But God has a sense of humor and said aloud, “We will let Man’s debate on Jesus’ appearance continue. It humors Us.” God looked up at the place where the picture had fallen off the wall and saw a large cross. He smiled, shook his head and mumbled the words, “another tool of fear and control” as he once again returned to the editing work of the church bible.

Again, with His red right index finger, God wrote in the large church bible:
• “Was I, the Lord your God, asleep when THAT happened?
• “That’s interesting; when did Daniel do this?”
• “I was with David when all that happened in Psalms. Glad you got THIS book right!”
God made a few notes in the margins of the New Testament books of Mark, Galatians, Ephesians and Timothy. Each comment read:
Books of the Bible“My Son Jesus talked more about the issues recorded here but you have omitted them to suit your own needs! Locate the original manuscripts or do not again preach to My children from these books!

• “I was silent on this issue on purpose. Why did you feel the need to twist it out context and condemn your brother for it?”
God found another disparaging text:
• “See? Perfect example right here for why I called Jesus back home when I did. Some of you children are really crazy!”
Then God, remembering America’s controversy regarding marijuana plants, made a note in the Book of Genesis:
• “Yes, ALL PLANTS are as natural as the air you breathe and water you drink. It says so right here! Who said that you were to make laws forbidding its use from My Children?”
• “Speaking of nature, who said you were to make people pay for water, natural gas, and electricity, which I made possible for and easy for you to harness? You are robbing your brother blind!”

The temper of God was once again about to rise as He read on and wrote across two of the pages in the Book of Romans and again in Leviticus:
• “I’ve made you higher and given you dominion over every beast of the earth, creature of the sea and fowl of the air, and over every creeping and crawling thing. Such creatures do what they do – as they do – for it is in their nature. Yet regarding your fellow man, you have added to, changed, or omitted words from My Word and established laws that confused or change My Law and you have harshly judged and even killed your fellow man for doing what is to some of them, perfectly within their very nature!  What is worse, you claim your actions to be an abomination to Me, the Lord your God! How do any of you know what I, the Lord God, would or would not favor? How do any of you know what I “ever intended? How dare you pretend or profess to know more about the Mind of the Lord God, your Creator!”

At that moment, God released a loud “humpf” and once again, the building shook causing the long window drapes to rip in two and cracks in the walls to appear. God continued making red mark after red mark throughout the large bible. Though the white pages were turning red, God made sure that His Comments were very legible. Remember, God is thought to be many things but having sloppy penmanship would not be one of them!  Like the One True God He is, a Deity with many names, the Comments of God would surely be seen AND well understood by the members of this church and soon by all readers of this book Men called “holy bible”. God would see to that!

Before God could make another red mark, Jerome, The Attending Angel appeared before God saying, “My Lord, you instructed me to come when Your Presence was needed for more urgent matters. That moment is now, my Lord.” God looked at the angel then at the large book which was dripping in red. “Thank you, Jerome,” said God. “I shall stop here at this last book called ‘Revelations’”. God made a special mark on the first page of the Book of Revelations in the large church bible. Then God said, “Jerome, I have been going back and forth between all sixty-six books making notations where needed. I am far from done. Let this mark be an indicator of where we left off so upon our return we may continue with our editing.”

“Has the Lord made significant progress?” asked Jerome. God answered, “Yes Jerome, but there is still much work to do. Man has omitted many important books and a shitload of scripture. I’m not sure yet how I want to resolve this but it needs to be resolved and soon. I’ve waited too long.”

Jerome said, “Yes, my Lord”, adding, “but My Lord, we must go.”
God said, “Yes Jerome, we will go but first I command that a copy of all My holy Comments appear in every book declared or considered to be “the word of God” and even unto Man’s printing press and computer and electronic devices that produces such bibles. I command that no page having My Comment can ever be covered, hidden, altered or destroyed except at such time when the CORRECT text has appeared in such a book.”   The very moment the Word of the Lord left His lips the commandment was done!  (What awesome power God has!)

Jerome, who was standing on the side as God spoke, wrote down every Word spoken by God in a Holy Tablet which he always carried for that purpose. God continued to speak: “On the front cover of each book called “Holy Bible” or considered to be as such in any tongue or form shall appear the words – INACCURATE AND INCOMPLETE directly below any title marked “Holy Bible”. At the end of the last Book of any said bible shall appear in large font, the words, “WHERE’S THE REST?” God chuckled as those three words appeared on blank page immediately following the last text of the Book of Revelations. God’s chuckle caused the stained glass window pane above the pulpit to shatter to pieces.  The angel Jerome waved his hand and every shard of the shattered pane was instantly reassembled and returned to the window frame. (Yes readers; angels have a little power, too! Somebody has to clean up after God.)

Finally God said, “On the first page of every book that is called “Holy Bible” or considered to be such in any tongue or form shall appear:
• “… If you listen or do nothing else, then heed this: Stop leaving parts of My Word out of this book which you claim to be “the Word of God”. Go find and use the ORIGINAL scrolls and scriptures I sent.Scroll Then publish the COMPLETE, UNCENSORED Word of the Lord your God! STOP twisting My Words. None of you reading this book were even there when the things thus written in the book you call “Holy Bible”, occurred! Many of you are scaring My children! You are judging My Children! You attempt to control and rob My children of free-will through guilt, fear, lies, half-truths, exaggerations and ambiguity! You are killing My children and you do all these things in My Holy Name! Frankly, you have been making Me look more like a real Asshole rather than a Benevolent, Caring and Loving God! Enough already with your – as you say – …bullshit! I love you but I AM the Lord!”

Jerome, impatient but trying to be helpful asked, “My Lord, will all that you have done this day be sufficient for thee?” God answered simply, “Yes. I have spoken and My will has been done!” Then God backed away from the bible book still dripping in red, taking one last look at His work and said, “It is sufficient!”  Then just as quietly as they both appeared, God and Jerome, the Attending Angel disappeared. The large crystal glass light fixture which had fallen and shattered during God’s visit was still on the floor.

– The End.
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Keepin’ It…REAL!

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