Jesus’ General

My new satirical pleasure is this hysterical site: Jesus’ General.

Jesus' General

Excerpt:

Dear Prophet Begley,

Congratulations. Time Magazine deems your prophecies to be newsworthy enough to report them. They wrote a whole article, “Does the Death of 200 Cows in Wisconsin Confirm Biblical Prophecy?,” about your latest one.

I also receive revelations from the Lord. Indeed, at this very moment, He is commanding me to surrender control of my fingers, so He can add a new chapter to the Book of Revelation.

OK God, my fingers are yours.

Book of Revelation Chapter 23

23:1 The Lord, God of Abraham, spake to His Son, “Go now back unto Earth, even unto Wisconsin, and proclaim thine return.”

23:2 “No, Father,” replieth Jesus, speaking to Himself that is not Himself, “I canst journey unto Wisconsin, for it is rife with the cattle of the land.”

23:3 Thou canst disobey me, for I am Alpha and Omega, the Flooder of Worlds, the Smiter of Nations, the Creator of Sarah,” sayeth the Lord.

23:4 “But Father,” sayeth Jesus unto Himself, “the Cattle doth vex me with all manner of temptations. They turneth away as I approacheth and showeth unto me their secret parts which are swollen greatly with lustful beckonings.”

23:7 “And the teats of their udders compel me to suckle them as if they were a legion of flaccid centurions on shore leave.”

23:8 Jesus wept.

23:9 “Jesus Christ!” shouteth the Lord, “Thou shalt maneth up.”

23:10 “Good God!” answereth Jesus, “The last time thou tellest me to maneth up, thou deliverethed me into the hands of Romans. They whoopethed mine secret parts greatly and putteth a cap in mine ass.”

23:11 Thus sayeth the Lord, “Verily, what thou sayest is true. I shalt make thine journey easier by smiting ten score of the wicked cows of Wisconsin before thou descendeth.”

23:12 And the Lord God of Abraham smote ten score of the wicked cows of Wisconsin.

23:13 Jesus was well pleased.

Well that’s it. God returned control of my fingers to me. As you can see, my revelation confirms yours. God smote those lecherous cows.

Heterosexually yours,

Gen. JC Christian, patriot

Go forth and have fun!

The Right To Kill

Also published on Bilerico.com

I grew up on a ranch in Montana. I rode horses. I branded calves. I collected eggs, brought in lambs, moved irrigation pipe, milked cows, toted hay bales and yes, occasionally, I shot things.

Guns were part of our life- not an enormous part, but they were there. They were a tool-with very serious consequences, and I was taught to be responsible for those consequences.

My friends and I, like the kid in A Christmas Story, lusted after the Red Ryder BB gun. When we got them (mine arrived on my 12th birthday- it wasn’t a Red Ryder, but it was a repeater!) we shot at targets- usually tin cans, sometimes at small animals- and, on a dare, the windows of an old barn outside town. On the ranch, we sometimes shot at coyotes and foxes to protect the lambs. My grandfather’s preferred method of livestock protection was a gas-powered “cannon” that would simply shoot off every 20 minutes- a relatively inexpensive (and effective) non-lethal noisemaker.

I, like every other kid my age, went to hunter’s safety classes in preparation for a hunting license and learned rifle use and safety. I went hunting and shot (and field dressed) a few deer in my time, experiencing the blood, the gore, and learning basic anatomy from the inside out. I really went to spend some quality time with my Dad. Just remembering that time outdoors with him brings a smile to my face.

But around age 16, I lost the appetite for it. I just couldn’t rationalize the necessity of shooting a beautiful animal when my survival didn’t (necessarily- it’s a macho thing) depend on it.

I think it started with an increasing awareness of violence in the world.

In 1981, we were worried about the Ayatollah Khomeini, the hostages in Iran, violence and hunger strikes in Northern Ireland, and war in El Salvador. There were assassination attempts on the President and the Pope. The attempt on Anwar Sadat succeeded. We wondered about baseball strikes, air traffic controller strikes, the first woman on the Supreme Court and “gay cancer”.

But most powerfully, I think, was being in Japan that year as an exchange student for the summer. It was watching the solemn commemoration services of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki that got to me. Sure, we learned about the bombing in school, but they weren’t people to me then- they were savage enemies of democracy, hell-bent on our destruction. They deserved it. And besides, they were far away. What we did to them didn’t necessarily matter.

But it did.

I couldn’t shake the images I saw in Japan that day of burned, naked, terrified, fleeing human beings. I can still hear the bells ringing in otherwise quiet streets. I can clearly see the sadness on the beautiful faces of people I now knew and loved. I couldn’t reconcile the stunningly beautiful architecture, culture, spirituality and people I now knew firsthand with the “savage enemy” of my social studies and history classes.

I never picked up a gun after I returned from Japan. My Dad and my brother tried to get me to go hunting, but I couldn’t. Nor could I explain to them my suspicion that even the seemingly innocuous act of hunting for me seemed like a slippery slope into barbarism, whether of thinking or of acting. It doesn’t matter. Each one eventually leads to the other anyway.

There’s been a lot of rhetoric happening in the last weeks. Some of it has been noble, some of it savagely self-serving. What I find missing is the soul of the debate- something we seem to be missing every time we talk about this: What’s so important to human beings about protecting and enshrining our ability to kill?

It’s so important that we’ve perverted religion to support it, governments to turn a blind eye, and industry after industry is tied to it- and therefore, the rhetoric goes, is tied the heart and soul of America.

Horseshit.

The heart and soul of America is tied to freedom- and that includes the freedom to live a life without the threat of being shot by someone who simply thinks you should be shot. For any number of reasons. Because they have the power. And a gun.

People have lost their minds if they think their right to an AK47 is guaranteed in the constitution. They have gone insane if they believe that they need to have stockpiles of weapons in their homes against the advent of anarchy. They are crazy if they think that every one would be better protected by carrying a gun. But that’s the meme. That’s what all the hullabaloo is about. It’s about guaranteeing our right to kill.

I wonder if any of the people trumpeting unrestricted gun rights have ever seen the consequences of actually using a firearm- the blood, the pain, the terror. And not just the movies or television, but actually having blood on their hands. Actually seeing a dead or dying thing or person in front of them. If so, their voices may be credible. If not, then they need to shut the fuck up.

I also have to say I’m not alone. Look at the transformation of Jim Brady, the clarity of Virginia Tech survivor Colin Goddard to name two others….

I grew up in the West, but it’s no longer the Wild West of Billy the Kid and Matt Dillon, nor is it the friendly, peaceful, sensible West I remember from my childhood. It’s slowly becoming the crazy West of Ted Kaczynski, The Aryan Nations, Columbine, Oklahoma City, the NRA and FOX News.

Back when I was learning to handle a rifle in hunter’s safety class, a kid asked, “When are we going to learn about pistols?” One of the instructors said, “Son, handguns are for police and thugs and shooting vermin. If you want to be a cop, they’ll teach you all you need to know. If you need to shoot a coyote, use a rifle. And if you want to be a thug, you’ll have to learn it somewhere else.”

That’s what I miss- that being a thug used to be a bad thing.

My favorite MLK quote

Have we not come to such an impasse in the modern world that we must love our enemies – or else?

The chain reaction of evil – hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars – must be broken, or else we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation.

~Martin Luther King, jr

Straight, Christian Woman Dancing At A Gay Bar

My friend Kathy does it again, putting some excellent, simple perspective on the basic and honest living of life.

Keep dancin’….

Beatification of Pope John Paul II

The  only Pope I ever met, served Mass for- and who touched my face more than once, is now being moved closer to sainthood– with the current Pope’s gratitude for his predecessor doing most of the heavy lifting in the past 40 years, apparently.

I really liked the man personally, and found him to be very kind and genuine in every encounter we had (hence the photo- I love that he was playful). Being a liberal, I would have liked him to be more like myself, but don’t we all want that?

But, more to the point, this beatification is an excellent sleight of hand- especially with the church fighting for survival in so many places. John Paul’s popularity and personal charisma is such a stark contrast to the man in the chair now, that I can’t help but think this will backfire.

Maybe it’s the fight that’s the problem. The church always did have a weakness for warlike metaphor….

 

On the HIV vaccine front:

Science Daily is reporting that research is promising in the early development of anti-HIV neutralizing antibodies- which means good news on the HIV vaccine front. Excerpt:

…a major stumbling block in the development of an effective vaccine against HIV is the inability to elicit, by immunization, broadly reactive neutralizing antibodies (NAbs). These antibodies bind to the surface of HIV and prevent it from attaching itself to a cell and infecting it. However, a fraction of people infected with HIV develop broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs) capable of preventing cell-infection by diverse HIV isolates, which are the type of antibodies researchers wish to elicit by vaccination.

The full article here.

The Experiment

During my sojourn in Seattle, I took only my iPad (well, along with clothes and toothpaste). In part, I wanted to see if I could do most everything with it, instead of lugging my MacBook, my Kindle, and my iPad.

The short answer is no.

I couldn’t update my blog very easily, and I certainly couldn’t do email and responding to facebook posts with the ease with which I was accustomed. So, there’s the explanation for the silence. I’ll be getting a few good things together this weekend.

By the way, all but one of my blood tests are back- and it looks like I passed…. 🙂