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Only Guaranteeing The Problem Remains Unchanged


Someone did not like my previous Duggar post:

“like them or not you are commanded by Christ to love them – your words do not exemplify that – no matter how loathsome you may find their words or deeds you are called to love them – you do not have to accept them or approve of them – but you do have to love them – call them to task for what you see as their faults or failures but you have to do it in a spirit of love – not in a snarky sarcastic way – THAT is how others will know you are a disciple of Christ”

As my late aunt was wont to say, I am bumfuzzled.

First off, I don’t see any snark in what I posted previously.

Josh Duggar is a sexual predator.

The Duggar clan are sexual deviants.

The Independent Fundamentalist Baptist churches, the Bill Gothard led faction of same, and the whole Purity Movement have perverted the gospel of Christ.

These are inarguable facts.

Pretending these facts are not true by refusing to call them what they are is not going to help anybody.

Josh Duggar has checked in to “rehab” for treatment of his “sexual addiction.”

I use quotes because addicts can’t self-diagnose themselves; they may indeed have that particular problem, but it takes trained professionals to recognize all the symptoms and help locate the root of the problem.

I use quotes because the “rehab” facility is is attending has no medically or legitimately trained personnel; it is yet another extension of the same basic mind-warping / soul-killing / child-abusing IFB cult that both directly and indirectly made Josh Duggar what he is today!

Sending him to that facility
is like trying to conduct an
AA meeting at a bar
during happy hour.

They will do nothing to fix his problem, because they are the problem: Their grossly distorted, domineering, sexually deviant, soul crippling theology that attracts the spiritually and intellectually fearful.

It would be bad enough if their toxic nonsense was just confined to their own group, but that’s not the case: They crowd themselves in front of microphones and cameras, determined to shout down all attempts to try and present the genuine gospel of Christ at work.

They are modern day Pharisees, concocting an ever widening network of laws and rules and regulations and rituals and practices that are guaranteed to make worse the lives of anyone who tries to follow them.

They are precisely what Christ championed against in his brief ministry on earth.

And it’s not just the IFB;
they’re merely the particular flavor
of the Duggar clan sickness.

People are leaving Christianity, and they’re leaving it because we are letting the moral imbeciles and the con men and the slickee boiz get away with their crimes and perversions.

The Duggars, at least Jim-Bob and Michelle, are not victims but perpetrators. He’s a hack politician who couldn’t even please the undemanding electorate of Arkansas. She’s his enabler. Together they milk the system to enrich themselves without regard to any havoc they wreak.

Wanna see the Duggar true colors?

After their “we’re a wonderful family and you’re not” show was canceled (because they hid the fact their son had molested his kid sisters while they were away pressing political flesh), they tried to crawl back on TV by pitching a show where they would “counsel” victims of sexual abuse.

animated little-girl-crouch-stomp

This after Jim-Bob blithely asserted child molesting by older teen sons goes on all the time in fundamentalist families.

Good lord — these people have no shame!*

Do not try to protect these people. They cannot be forgiven and loved until they stop harming others, and by that I mean shutting the fnck up and getting out of the public conscious and acknowledging the system they embrace causes far more problems than it purportedly solves.

You wanna love and forgive ‘em, fine; just don’t let them keep spewing their nonsense out to the world at large.




* I don’t, either, but then I’m quick to point that out to people. They don’t; in fact, they hide behind a false mask of pious humility.



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Calling A Digging Implement A Digging Implement


I had a post all set to go on the latest Josh Duggar fiasco called The 21st Century Badger Game but then I received a couple of messages accusing me of being unfair and unforgiving to Josh in particular and the Duggars in general.

As the incestuous orthopedist once said:
Give me a mother-fucking break.[1]

First off, let us start with the cold hard brutal facts:
Josh Duggar is a sexual predator.

He molested his sisters as a teen, confessed, then went back and molested them again.[2]

He then had his offense covered up by local authorities, his church, and his parents.

He received a fat cushy job as a professional scold at the Family Research Council thanks to his parents “reality” show fame.[3]

He then paid nearly a thousand dollars to “guarantee” an affair from the infamous Ashley Madison website, signed up for an online dating service using another man’s photo, and friended several strippers and exotic dancers on Facebook.

All while telling us how we are supposed to live.

I’m counting a minimum of three strikes here:
This is a man who has forever lost any expectation of ever being taken seriously in matters of ethics / morality / family / fidelity / love.

But he is not to be hated,
he is to be pitied.

He is the product of a deviant sex cult, and just because the cult’s focus is on “purity” doesn’t mean they aren’t any more sexually obsessed than those they have delighted in attacking over the years.

Indeed, I think a very strong case can be made that they are more sexually obsessed than any other group.[4]

Just because they focus their obsession on sexual purity doesn’t mean they aren’t deviant.

There is nothing that human beings can’t turn into either a weapon or a sexual fetish, if not both.

Let’s rack back the focus and look at the roots of the cult the Duggars belong to:
The Independent Fundamentalist Baptist church movement and its close association with Bill Gothard’s Institute in Basic Life Principles and Advanced Training Institute home schooling efforts that have proved to be the backbone of the Quiverful movement.

For simplicity’s sake,
we shall refer to this as
The Purity Movement.

I know a little bit about human desire and sexuality from having worked both sides of the pornographer’s desk; I make no bones about my employment as an editor for Penthouse back in the mid-1990s.

I encountered a lot of kink in my job, and saw things that would make a Mormon’s head explode. I learned a few absolute truths along the way, the first and foremost being that there is nothing — repeat, NOTHING – that doesn’t get somebody’s motor running, and the second being that those most critical of other people’s sexuality are those with the greatest anxiety about their own.

To paraphrase The Joker:

“I know a
sexual deviant
when I see one, and…”

animated Joker I know the squealers c

animated duggar interview 1

Now, before delving further into that topic, I need to ratchet things back a bit further still by comparing American Protestantism with European Catholicism.

American Protestants like to believe all moral and ethical choices are simple black and white decisions: Always either one thing or the other.

Catholics are more comfortable with what computer programmers refer to as “fuzzy logic”:  Any given issue does not have a single yea or nay question but in reality contains dozens if not scores if not hundreds of smaller questions in them, and in the end a big picture decision invariably involves making what seems like some bad decisions at the micro level in order to secure a more optimum outcome at the macro level.

Back to The Purity Movement.
As stated, they have sexually fetishized “purity”, a perversion of Christian doctrine that places virginity worship at its apex.

They possess an all too typical American Protestant viewpoint that the only possible alternative to absolute rigid unyielding sexual morality in the form of draconian enforced chastity is an equally absolute libertine lifestyle of mandatory free sex between / among all genders.

Oh, do I ever call shenanigans on that!

Look, sexual ethics start with one key irrefutable point:
No person is ever required to engage in any intimacy unless they are doing so of their own fully informed consent.

Full stop.

That’s a far, far cry from the ultra-permissive parody that exists in the minds of most followers of The Purity Movement. One can still advocate moral restraint in sexual matters without requiring the destruction of the human psyche in the process.

In The Purity Movement, all sexual thoughts / interests / ideas / desires prior to or outside of marriage are verboten.

Not something to be controlled,
not something to be dealt with,
but verboten.

Even healthy natural curiosity is squelched and slut-shamed to make people feel more worthless and more depraved.

Look, I get it; I’ve had ample exposure to various kinks that derive their sexual gratification through masochism and humiliation. You wanna get your rocks off by dwelling on what a worthless sac of human excrement you are because you acknowledge another human being’s attractiveness, hey, go right ahead.

Fly your freak flag high.

But don’t drag little kids into it.

I’ve been tracking The Purity Movement for several years now, and eventually want to do a more fully researched in-depth piece on them, but suffice it to say, they are no different from any other sexual fetish group out there: They have perverted not just natural and normal human desire but also the gospel of Christ, turning it from a life of love and compassion and forgiveness into a horrendous mash-up of KJV and 1984, designed and engineered by a leadership that uses their teachings not to introduce followers to the life of joy and fellowship that Christ has in store for them but to weaken them and control them and make them more compliant victims.

It is a movement with a long documented — and one might add, wholly expected — history of horrific child & spousal abuse, sexual / psychological / emotional / spiritual.

It espouses a series of character values that at first glance seem admirable, but on closer examination prove to be full of paradoxical self-contradicting pronouncements of the Arbeit Macht Frei / Ignorance Is Strength / Shit Is Shinola variety.

It’s part of their long standing effort to crush every hint of “rebellion” and “original sin” in a child by destroying their unique individual personalities and stamping them out in cookie cutter molds of their parents, who in turn are cookie cutter molds of the movement’s founders and leaders.

I don’t have the time / space / inclination to go into great detail on The Purity Movement here & now, but here’s a quote from the Duggars themselves on how they deal with sexual temptation whenever they encounter a female in public who isn’t dressed as modestly as a Duggar girl:

“’Nike’ [is] a signal to the boys, and even to Dad, that they should nonchalantly drop their eyes and look down at their shoes as we walk past her… It’s meant to help keep the guys’ eyes from seeing things they shouldn’t be seeing. By using the single-word signal, the warning can be given quietly and discreetly.” — from Growing Up Duggar



Yeah, Christ taught one should cut off one’s hand or gouge out one’s eye rather than let it lead one into sin, but y’know, he was probably using hyperbole when he said that[5] and didn’t literally intend for people to go around maiming themselves in order to better serve God.[6]

Instead of recognizing human sexuality is a part of human nature, and that almost all people — young kids especially — are curious about matters sexual and / or find other people physically attractive, The Purity Movement seeks to terrorize them into blind mindless fearful obedience — which of course makes it sooooo much easier to take advantage of and victimize people who have no coping mechanisms, no ability to independently report a wrong done to them, no assurance whatsoever that their family and friends won’t turn against them and expel them from the community if they should ever dare report their abuse to anyone.

So, back to those who posted messages to me about Josh Duggar:
No, I don’t hate him.

I think it’s a great academic question to ask if he would have been this messed up had he not been raised as part of The Purity Movement, but that point’s moot now:
They made it possible for him to climb and fall and climb higher and fall deeper and then deeper still.

But they will never hold him accountable, much less themselves.

Yeah, blame the wife — that joke always works!

If people wonder why the Christian church is imploding in America, why people raised in it since childhood are leaving it in record numbers, the answer is that we have failed our duties and we have let perverts and deviants and ravenous wolves loose among the flock, and when they lay waste to the brethren, at best we tsk-tsk it and at worse we make excuses and apologies for it.

This shit has gotta stop.

We cannot afford to let self-centered intellectual and moral imbeciles be the face of Christ in this world.

We need to call bullshit on bullshit when it happens, and we need to see that wrong doers who cloak themselves in the robes of the church are held accountable for the havoc they wreak.

That’s not hatred.

That’s not contempt.

That’s not vengeance.

That’s justice.




[1]  Normally I play it coy on my blog and Facebook pages, substituting grawlixes or crucial letters in the spelling of my profanities, but not today, folks. Today we are going to be discussing human morality, human ethics, human sexuality, human desire, and human corruption, so if you can’t stand the fucking heat, I suggest you get out of the fucking bedroom.

[2]  As well as a teen baby sitter who was spending the night at the Duggar house while Jim-Bob and Michelle were off pressing the flesh at some political function.

[3]  Which at no time mentioned his predatory sexual behavior as a teen. Look, this wasn’t two toddlers playing doctor, it wasn’t a mutually agreed upon make-out session between two junior high students, it was an adolescent boy sneaking into the rooms of his sleeping sisters and a non-family member and by his own admission fondling them over and under their clothes. That’s as creepy as hell and needs to be corrected immediately. If the Duggars had been upfront about this from day 1 of their TV show, if they had included this information into their presentation, then maybe they could cling to a shred of dignity and integrity. But they didn’t; they hid it fearing it would undermine their perfect family image and negatively impact their ratings. Which it did.

[4]  David Gerrold has observed the anti-gay crowd spends far more time obsessing over gay sex than gay men ever do. This may explain why so many of them get arrested in airport men’s rooms.

[5]  Like he did with his remarks about beams of wood being in people’s eyes or camels crawling through the eye of a needle, etc.

[6]  ‘Cuz we sure haven’t had waves of Purity Movement followers gouging out their eyes or whacking off their weinnies to make Him happy…


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The 21st Century Badger Game


Ashley Madison new Christian mingle

Rule #1 of the 21st Century:
If it exists in digital form, it has already been shared and is beyond your control.

Corollaries to Rule #1:
Live your life with the expectation anything and everything about you will eventually be made public and either –

  • (A) live to the highest moral and ethical standards
  • (B) possess neither shame nor pride
  • (C) all of the above.

Common sense — which admittedly is in short supply where guys’ peckers are involved — should have tipped everyone that the Ashley Madison site was not for arranging affairs but extracting money from ot-nay oo-tay ight-bray horney guys with low moral and ethical standards. They were being strung along and data mined for marketing and possibly extortion purposes. What is happening to the site’s members is what was always intended to happen to the site’s members, just at an accelerated pace and possibly not by those who originally intended to do it.

I have no sympathy for a person who pays money to betray a spouse or significant other in a committed relationship having that knowledge made public. That’s plain old crappy behavior (the betrayal, that is, not the actual physical intimacy). A single person playing the field, or a swinger couple who engage in outside activities with mutual consent and knowledge are foolish to expect such knowledge will never come to light, but they cannot be accused of betraying a partner by sneaking around behind their backs.

My guess is Josh Duggar is being doxxed because he is the perfect bad example, a lot of guys who can’t afford a lifetime of extortion payments are being doxxed in order to prove it can be done, but the choicest stooges, maybe a couple of hundred, maybe a couple of thousand guys who can afford paying appreciable extortion fees will be doing so until they die or their wives’ wise up and divorce them.

Indeed, I wouldn’t be surprised if many wives who value their husbands’ status haven’t been approached and told hubby either pays up or they pull him down…

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“In recent years and elections one would have thought that homosexuality and abortion were the new litmus tests of authentic Christianity. Where did this come from? They never were the criteria of proper membership for the first 2000 years, but reflect very recent culture wars instead. And largely from people who think of themselves as ‘traditionalists’! (The fundamentals were already resolved in the early Apostles’ Creed and Nicene Creed. Note that none of the core beliefs are about morality at all. The Creeds are more mystical, cosmological, and about aligning our lives inside of a huge sacred story.) When you lose the great mystical level of religion, you always become moralistic about this or that as a cheap substitute. It gives you a false sense of being on higher spiritual ground than others.

“Jesus is clearly much more concerned about issues of pride, injustice, hypocrisy, blindness, and what I have often called ‘The Three Ps’ of power, prestige, and possessions, which are probably 95 percent of Jesus’ written teaching. We conveniently ignore this 95 percent to concentrate on a morality that usually has to do with human embodiment. That’s where people get righteous, judgmental, and upset, for some reason. The body seems to be where we carry our sense of shame and inferiority, and early-stage religion has never gotten much beyond these ‘pelvic’ issues. As Jesus put it, ‘You ignore the weightier matters of the law—justice, mercy, and good faith . . . and instead you strain out gnats and swallow camels’. We worry about what people are doing in bed much more than making sure everybody has a bed to begin with. There certainly is a need for a life-giving sexual morality, and true pro-life morality, but one could sincerely question whether Christian nations and people have found it yet.” — Fr. Richard Rohr’s Daily Meditations (Sunday, June 16, 2013):  “New Fundamentals” Are a Contradiction in Terms

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SDCC 2015 CCAS Spiritual Values In Comics Panel


SDCC 2015 Spiritual Values panel

Scott A. Shuford, yrs trly, Cory Jones, B Dave Walters,
Travis Hanson, Alesha L. Escobar and Luis Escobar.

Audio File Available For Download Here

Thanx, B Dave Walters!

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What Kind Of Parent…?


”What man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?”

Imagine, if you will, that you have a daughter barely able to walk and talk on her own.

In her short life this little girl has never been lied to, never been tricked, never been mislead or mistreated, and has only experienced people speaking the truth to her.

Imagine, if you will, that you place this child — your daughter — in a room to play while you do something else.

An adult drops in, and you let them stay in the same room as the child while you do something else (what exactly doesn’t matter).

Now, if you know this adult, and know they are trustworthy, you’ll have no qualms leaving them in the room with your daughter: She’s in safe hands because you know that adult would never ever harm her.

And the adult doesn’t, even though you are not in the room or watching.

So everything’s peachy keen.

Now suppose a different adult has dropped in, one you don’t know that well, but whom you have no reason to suspect would be the kind of creep to rape a child.

If you step into the room and find the creep raping your daughter, you may be criticized for not knowing this particular adult well enough to justify leaving them alone with a child, but at the same time you can argue you had no reason to suspect them and as such you are not as guilty as if, say…

…you knew the adult was a child molester and you leave them alone in a room with your daughter while you go do something else.

Now even there you have a defense:
You didn’t think they would be so brazen as to try something in your own home when you might walk in at any minute.

But let’s take this a step further…

Say the room is under surveillance, either a big two-way mirror in the wall or hidden security cameras. Let’s say you saw what was happening at all times.

Now, if you see the rapist making a move on your daughter and immediately rush to her rescue, you may have done something foolish by letting the rapist in the room with her in the first place, but at least you acted swiftly to prevent harm.

But if you didn’t pay attention to what the adult was doing, then you are a negligent parent at the very least.

But if you knew the adult was a child rapist, and if you saw them attacking your daughter, and you did nothing while it was within your power to stop it…

…and if you blame her for being raped afterwards…

…just what kind of parent are you?

animated simpson adam and eve

Ladies and Gentlemen,
the story of Eve and the serpent
in the Garden of Eden.

More than any other story in the Bible, Old Testament or New, this one is the single most problematic.

Because a plain text reading indicates God doesn’t know what will happen and that the future is as much of an unknown to Him as it is to us.

In which case, why should we worship Him? No matter what promises He makes to us, He can’t guarantee He can deliver because He doesn’t know the future. (Call that Option #1)

And if He does know the future, then He should have known full well what the serpent would do when it had a chance and He let it happen anyway.

In which case, why should we trust Him? He set us up. (Call that Option #2)

And if he deliberately intended for it to happen just so He could punish us, then we are royally screwed, and just the playthings of a sadist. (Call that Option #3)

Now, our friends the atheists would look at options #1 & #2 & #3 and offer Option #4: There is no God, there is no divine presence, there is no moral center to the universe.

And the fundamentalist / literalists would offer Option #5 and say “Ah, God’s ways are not our ways; who are we to judge God?” in which case we would rightfully say “If God can’t clearly convey and articulate His desire for humanity in simple concrete terms that se can readily grasp, then communion with Him is an impossibility.”

Which is where the list of options usually ends…

But there is Option #6:
The story of Eve and the serpent in the Garden of Eden is not literally historically factually true but rather a parable by early culturally primitive and barbaric humans to express as best they could with their limited viewpoint their understanding of their relationship to the Divine.

This is where the atheists say “Yeah, right, whatever…” and go check the TV listings while the fundamentalist / literalists started screaming and stamping their feet and throwing a hissy fit: “No no no NO NO!!! It’s all literally historically FACTUALLY true — every single word of it!!! It must be literally true, it has to be literally true, because if it isn’t literally true then every single other thing in the Bible is false false FALSE!!!


Says who?

Your theology?

The same theology that makes God not a loving parent but either a negligent numbskull or a monster?

Because that’s where literalism inevitably takes us.

The Bible, no matter how Divinely inspired, no matter how faithfully transcribed, is still the product of human understanding.

And human understanding changes and expands and yes, even evolves from generation to generation, from year to year, heck, even from moment to moment.

And what some distant unknown Second Millennium BCE scribe recorded from whatever ur-creation myth his tribe hand passed down around the campfire from prehistoric times at best represents what they understood at that time, not what the actual Truth of the matter is.

It’s not the Bible that’s the problem, it’s the claim that only the surface details are important, not the underlying Truth.

Religion is a metaphor for the ineffable.


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“40 Questions For Christians Now Waving Rainbow Flags”


The Gospel Coalition website has posted the following questionnaire and commentary from Kevin DeYoung, senior pastor of University Reformed Church in East Lansing, Michigan:

“[P]erhaps what’s been most difficult is seeing some of our friends, some of our family members, and some of the folks we’ve sat next to in church giving their hearty ‘Amen’ to a practice we still think is a sin and a decision we think is bad for our country. It’s one thing for the whole nation to throw a party we can’t in good conscience attend. It’s quite another to look around for friendly faces to remind us we’re not alone and then find that they are out there jamming on the dance floor…

“If you consider yourself a Bible-believing Christian, a follower of Jesus whose chief aim is to glorify God and enjoy him forever, there are important questions I hope you will consider before picking up your flag and cheering on the sexual revolution. These questions aren’t meant to be snarky or merely rhetorical. They are sincere, if pointed, questions that I hope will cause my brothers and sisters with the new rainbow themed avatars to slow down and think about the flag you’re flying.”

Fair enough, Kevin. After the jump I will take you at your word that you are sincere in your desire to understand why we believe what we believe.

For the rest of you, here are the Beatles going to work…

animated abbey lane

Read the rest of this article »

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Are You A Monster? Take This Simple Test!


Cof Frankie edit a

No individual action in and of itself is either moral or immoral, ethical or unethical.  They are moral and ethical only in context.

In the latter part of the twentieth century, a woman was pinned down in the rubble of her home following a devastating earthquake.  A fire started, and not only was there no water flowing in the broken water mains, but the fire departments and paramedics were all swamped with horrendous casualties in their immediate vicinity.

Though neighbors were able to rescue the woman’s husband and children from the rubble, they could not save her.  As the fire grew closer and closer it became obvious the woman would die a slow and horribly agonizing death.

The husband stayed with her as long as he could, comforting her as best as possible, reassuring her that he loved her and would take care of the children…

…then as the flames grew too intense
for him to stay he shot her in the head.

If you do not see that as a kind and just and moral and ethical and loving act, you are a monster incapable of differentiating between good and evil.

A woman who willingly submits to invading soldiers to spare her child from being raped has committed no sin, has done nothing dishonorable, has not betrayed her husband, has not committed adultery.  She sacrificed herself to save an innocent:  She did a just and moral and ethical act; if you cannot see that, you are a monster incapable of differentiating between good and evil.

While millions were being marched off to gas chambers during WWII, some were saved by the khassidey umot ha-olam who looked the Nazis in the face and flat out lied, “No, no Jewish people here” while hiding them in their own homes.

Had their lie been discovered, they would have suffered for protecting Jews, up to and including going to the gas chambers with them.

If you think they committed a sin by lying to murderous anti-Semites in order to save innocent lives, you are a monster incapable of differentiating between good and evil.

Earlier this year I paid one last visit to a friend dying from cancer.

He was heavily sedated; I’m not at all certain he was even aware we were there.

But his wife was by his side, and though she was wracked with anguish she was determined to be as uplifting as possible for her husband even as he lay dying.

She tended to him and talked cheerfully to him and made sure his breathing tube was clear and did everything she could to look after him as he slowly slipped away.

She loved him, and if there is one joy any of us could take away from his passing, it’s that he went with his good and loving mate by his side, staying with him and supporting him as best she could under the most adverse conditions.

Do you think God smiles on their relationship
while condemning another of
equal strength and integrity and compassion
just because it’s between
two members of the same gender?

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Okay, Lemme ‘Splain It To Ya…



Imagine if you will, that you are an observant Jewish-American citizen living in a predominantly observant Jewish-American neighborhood. (If you already are an observant Jewish-American citizen living in a predominantly observant Jewish-American neighborhood, you may skip this part.)

Any non-observant non-Jewish-American neighbors are a small minority in your community. As a result, all of the grocery stores, butcher shops, restaurants, delis, and sandwich shops in your community are kosher.

Especially the sandwich shops.

All your life you have been raised with the familiar concept of sandwiches = kosher food: Corned beef, hamburger, chicken, turkey, liverwurst, egg salad, tuna salad, each and every one kosher no matter where it was purchased.

Then one day one of your non-Jewish-American neighbors opens up a sandwich shop that sells ham sandwiches.

You rage, you sputter, you fume. How can this be? you demand. How dare they call that a sandwich?!?!?

Well, it is a sandwich, you’re told. It’s a piece of meat between two slices of bread, mustard and Swiss cheese extra, if you so desire. If you don’t desire, why, every other restaurant, deli, and sandwich shop in your community sells kosher sandwiches; every grocery store and butcher shop sells kosher sandwich meat.

Nobody is depriving you of your right to enjoy a sandwich made of kosher meat.

But you’re calling it a sandwich! You can’t call it a sandwich! You have no right to call it a sandwich!

Actually, we have just as much right as you to call it a sandwich, because like it or not, that’s what it is. What we aren’t doing is claiming it’s a kosher sandwich, and if you want to call your sandwiches kosher sandwiches in order to distinguish them from our sandwiches, you go right ahead.

You’re depriving me of my religious freedom! If I can’t stop you from making ham sandwiches, if at the very least I can’t stop you from calling them sandwiches, you are persecuting me as a patron of kosher meat products!

Do what you want, pal. As per our constitutional right, we are going to make and enjoy ham sandwiches and offer them to anybody who wants one. We won’t try to force them on you, we won’t make your sandwich shops sell them, we won’t make your grocery stores carry ham.

It would be wrong if we tried to keep you
from eating the type of sandwich you enjoy.

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What Is “Sin”?


Paul wrote, “For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.”


We don’t have God’s power or might or authority.
We can’t create a universe out of nothingness.
We can’t transcend time and space.
We can’t create life or consciousness, only pass them along.

Chiding human beings for not being as glorious as God is mean spirited at best, hypocritical at worse.

Unless Paul wasn’t writing about God’s
power or might or authority at all.

Jesus, in the Sermon on the Mount, said, “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.”

How can we possibly do that?!?!?

Well, let’s start by looking at those verses not in isolation, but in context.

Jesus is delivering the Sermon on the Mount; the verses immediately preceding “be…perfect” are these:

“Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.

“And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.

“Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

“For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?

“Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.”

Jesus is not talking about power, Jesus is talking about love.

Love: The one thing humans can do as perfectly as God if they choose to.

Paul, when he writes of humans failing and coming short of the glory of God, is writing about that: Not humans breaking cultural taboos and traditions, but failing to love one another.

If you love others, you won’t kill them unjustly.
If you love others, you won’t steal from them.
If you love others, you won’t betray them.
If you love others, you won’t lie to cause them trouble.
If you love others, you won’t want to take what they have.

If you have to be told not to do these things, you are not perfect in love as God is.

If you avoid these things only because you fear punishment, you are not perfect in love as God is.

If you avoid these things because you seek a reward, you are not perfect in love as God is.

If you even have to think about these things, you are not perfect in love as God is.

When you love others, your instinct is to see what is best for them, what will make them happy and able to find peace.

When you love others, you can only find your own peace and happiness when you know others are free to find their peace and happiness.

Sin is not watching certain forms of entertainment or wearing certain clothes or smoking certain plants or ingesting certain compounds or eating certain foods or saying certain words or not following certain rituals.

At worse, those are just symptoms of sin.

I’ll tell you what sin is:
Sin is the opposite of love.

Helen Keller on Satan

Sin is attitude, not action.

Action can do great harm, of course, but unless the attitude motivating the action is sinful, the act itself is not.

And if the attitude is sinful, no action is necessary.

This is what Jesus was getting at when he taught about lusting in one’s heart being the same thing as adultery, or calling one’s brother a fool being the same thing as murdering him.

He wasn’t equating noticing a person’s attractiveness with sin;
you can look at pretty people all day long and not sin.

Sin comes in when one stops merely appreciating the other person’s beauty and instead begins thinking of how to satisfy their desires with that person regardless of how it might hurt someone else.

If you are single and the other person is single, you’re free to see if it might be possible to build a relationship with them. If either of you is in a committed relationship and yet you still pursue them, your attitude is one of supreme disregard to the mate who is being betrayed.

That’s not love.

That’s sin.

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