The temptations of Jesus…


“Wait, so you’re god, but god sent you out here to the wilderness for forty days with no food and no water?”

“Yeah… it’s… complicated.”

“Well, why don’t you just make some bread to eat out of these rocks?”

“Man will not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.”

“You know that’s bullshit, right? Like if you don’t eat, you’ll starve to death. Like those millions of kids every year who aren’t magically sustained by “your word.””

“Ouch…”

“Yeah, I’m not the one sitting on my ass letting it happen.”

“God will provide…”

“Like he provides for the aforementioned starving children?”

“Stop that! You’re ruining the script!”

“Okay… what else… you’re going to be persecuted and hated by men… right… why don’t you leap off the Temple spire and have some angels catch you. That should convince everyone you’re god.”

“You shall not tempt the Lord your God…”

“You’re kidding?”

“No…”

“I mean, you’re tempting God right now by saying he’s gonna feed you magically and keep you from dying instead of taking it into your own hands to feed yourself like any sane person would.”

“Yeah, but-“

“’I sent you a boat and a helicopter!’ Never heard that joke?”

“You’re really making this worse.”

“What if I bring you food? Does that make me god? Or would you have to turn it down and wait for literal manna from heaven?”

“I don’t…”

“Hell, what if I gave you the world on a plate? Made you Caesar Jesus of Nazareth without all the nasty hatred and persecution and death? World peace. Jesus reigns forever. Physical literal proof of god for all mankind forever. No one goes to hell with me and the boys. I dare say that would make me a better god than Jehovah.”

“Stop it!”

“I’m better than Jeho-vah! I’m better than Je-ho-vah!”

“Just get out of here, would you!?”

“Alright, but don’t come crying to me when Jehovah fucks you over and billions of people still go to hell and 99% of your followers turn out to be assholes.”

Daily Word of Wisdom


Love your neighbor as yourself.

If you can’t manage that, just try to be kind…

If you can’t manage that, then just don’t be a jackass.

And if you can’t manage that, just stay home and try not to talk to anybody.

Armistice Day


Today, we celebrate the anniversary of the end of “The War to End All Wars.”

It was called that because or the sheer amount of death and carnage that resulted when 19th century military tactics met 20th century weaponry. It was hoped by idealists, I suppose, that looking at the large amount of bloodied, broken bodies would cause humanity and her leaders to think back to this time period and resolve to never put young men and women and families through such horrors again.

The casualties of the First World War were to stand as a constant reminder that “war is hell.”

Of course, it only took humanity twenty years to forget that lesson and start the whole bloody conflict all over again in the name of national greatness. Since then, it’s been claimed that there have only been 26 days of peace in the world.

Seems like no amount of the dead, no amount of the tears of family and loved ones, no amount of wounded and psychologically wounded young men will ever be enough to disabuse humanity of war.

Daily word of wisdom…


If you’re actively rooting or praying for or trying to bring about or supporting policies and people who will hasten the world to its end… you’re the BAD guy.

Stop it.

The path to happiness…


Alright, let’s rip the band-aid off, shall we?

There is no one path to happiness or fulfillment or joy or success.

I am sorry to be the one to tell you that, but at the same time, I’m not sorry at all.

Because you’ve likely been told this lie in one form or another for your entire life. If you just do this, you’ll be happy. If you just follow these steps that I’ve found in life or the bible or the writing of Tony Robbins, you’ll finally find happiness. If you just obey what I’m telling you, you’ll find success, joy, fulfillment, and your “god-given” role.

Yes, with three easy steps, you can discover the meaning to life!

No, you can’t.

Well, at least you can’t like that.

Because there is no one path to happiness, fulfillment, joy, or success.

There isn’t even one definition of those things.

No, my dear human, if you want to find or even define those things, you’re going to have to do it yourself.

There is no one size fits all key to marriage.

There is no one solution for succeeding in your career.

There is no surefire instruction for being a good parent.

This is not to say that there aren’t good general moral and ethical guidelines you can use in your own journey, but it is saying that no two people will follow the same path to those goals.

Like every explorer in ancient times, you’re simply going to have to take the best instruments you can find, plot your own course, and find your own path. Maybe that path won’t lead you where you think you want to go.

It’s rather frightening, I know.

It’s much easier to buy into the programs others are selling you. The fake maps that promise surety. The fake guides that tell you that a city of gold or fountain of youth await just over the next mountaintop if you follow their paths.

But those paths will never lead you to where they promised.

You’re going to have to find your own way.

And maybe you won’t find the fountain of youth or your city of gold. Maybe you’ll find your Yosemite instead. It’s not where you wanted to go, but when you get there, you find it’s where you needed to be.

But I can’t promise you that.

All I can promise you is that you have a much better chance of finding your way to happiness going down your own path than you do following any “7 easy steps to true happiness.”

Now, get your instruments, plot that course, and may the winds be at your back.

A false prophesy in the bible


Jeremiah 33:17 “For thus says the Lord: ‘David shall never lack a man to sit on the throne of the house of Israel; 18 nor shall the priests, the Levites, lack a man to offer burnt offerings before Me, to kindle grain offerings, and to sacrifice continually.’ ”
 
When you read something that is veritably false in another religion’s text that is not your own, would you work really hard to find terms and conditions that would let you kinda stretch for an explanation that might make it true, or would you simply say, “That’s false” and move on?

Masculinity…


Masculinity isn’t being demonized in today’s world.

We are not all hardwired to be warriors. Telling us that we are is toxic masculinity which is (rightfully) being demonized.

No, not all men are wired to be warriors. Some of us are wired to be thinkers. Some of us are wired to be artists, writers, and poets. Some of us are wired to be nurturers. Some of us choose pacifism because there is more strength in choosing non-violence than giving in to our worse impulses. Who is stronger, the bigot that gives vent to his bigotry and screams it at his neighbor, or the neighbor who chooses the path of non-violence yet rises anyway?

And, of course, some of us actually believe that bit about “loving your neighbor as yourself.”

Do you know the story of Desmond Doss?

He was a pacifist due to his Christian beliefs. He joined the Army and became a combat medic. He refused to carry a gun or kill an enemy soldier. At the battle of Okinawa, Doss saved the lives of 50-100 wounded infantrymen. He was wounded four times, suffered an arm fracture from a sniper’s bullet, and had seventeen pieces of shrapnel enbedded in his body.

For his actions, he won the Medal of Honor and he never fired a single round.

He was a man, a soldier, but not a warrior. He was a caregiver who did his duty when called.

Fred Rogers was a man who felt that it was a very important purpose in life to get up and tell children and everyone to be kind. He went out of his way to read every fan letter that was written to him. He devoted himself to his neighbors. To making them feel worth.

Do not try and tell me that he was a warrior. He was a nurturer and he was more of a man than any insecure bully telling little boys that they have to act and be a certain way to ‘be a man.’

Stop telling men that there is only one way to be a man.

Sons, go out and be kind and do the things that make you happy whether that’s playing with action figures or dolls. Whether it’s climbing a tree or having a pretend tea party. Whether it’s playing sports or skipping rope or running barefoot through the grass. But always remember that first part, boys. Be kind. If you can master that part, you’re going to make the world a better place.

Daughters, that applies to you too. Bake cookies, climb trees, play sports, whatever your passion is, but above all, be kind.

And, little children, don’t let anyone tell you differently.

What if…?


What if America was actually a Christian nation?

What if instead of loving Donald Trump, Christians looked up to Fred Rogers and Jimmy Carter?

What if we lived in an America where Christians didn’t scream about “in GOD we trust” or “MERRY CHRISTMAS” but quietly walked through the day focused on people. What if America was just full of Jimmy Carters and Fred Rogers out there encouraging people, loving them, helping them, hugging them, volunteering at hospitals, feeding the poor, putting blankets around refugees and inviting them into their homes?

What if Christians put even just 10% of the energy they spent on fighting abortion into fighting to provide basic social support for poor women and children? Or health care? Or reforming criminal justice to make it more colorblind?

What if Christian ministries demanded that they be able to pay taxes so they could support the poor?

What if we actually idolized the peacemakers instead of the great generals?

What if we actually listened to Jesus when he said, “Blessed are the merciful…”?

What if we agreed that while we may have a right to bear arms as Americans, as Christians, we choose to put the safety of others first and laid aside our ‘right’ trusting God to protect us and commending our bodies and souls to him?

Unlike the current Evangelical hellscape we currently reside in, that America sounds like a nice place to live.

Too bad hardly any Christians want to make that kind of a world a reality.

Love one another and get angry…


Do you ever sit around and think about the story of Jesus chasing the merchants and bankers and jerks out of the Temple?

Because it says in one of the stories that he twisted and braided some leather cords into a whip. Now, I’m not a crafter nor am I particularly good at braiding things, but I imagine that taking at least a little time.

Like he just walks in, sees a bunch of Gentile converts trying to pray and there’s this bazaar going on around them, and he just thinks, “This is not going to stand.”

So he storms off to a corner and says, “Find me some leather straps” to his bros. And they’re like… “Okay. Not the weirdest thing Jesus has asked us to do.” So they find him some leather straps. Maybe give him a few of their belts or sandal ties.

And Jesus sits down and starts crafting. Just furious twisting these leather braids around and all the while he’s just seething. Jaw clenched, hands moving quickly in jerky motions and the disciples are thinking, “Hey, Jesus… whatcha doing?”

“What does it look like? I’m making a whip,” he growls.

“Why?”

“Because I’m going to whip some jackasses, Peter. What do you think I’m going to do with a whip?”

And his boys just shut up because they’re used to “Oh, let’s heal the sick. Let’s feed the hungry. Let’s make the blind see” Jesus. But now, here in the midst of the most central religious place in Judaism, he is just piiiiiissssed. Kind of scary to see actually.

And he’s pissed because the religious people are treating this place like a place to make money. He’s pissed because the faithful coming to worship are getting gouged. He’s pissed because the Gentiles coming to seek God are getting the shaft by the religious people.

See, he’s always stood up for the little guy. He’s always said, “The last will be first” in this new kingdom. He’s touched the untouchable. He’s hugged outcasts and prostitutes and traitors.

And now he walks into his version of church and sees the faithful who should be hugging them with him, abusing them and treating them like crap and abusing his religion in the process.

So he sits in the corner just twisting that leather and seething. Until he’s done, then he calmly walks over to the nearest jackass, flips over the table and starts whipping the ever loving crap out of them.

Now I’m not a pastor or a priest or a religious authority. Hell, sometimes I wonder if God is listening or even up there.

But the one thing I take away from Jesus, the one thing that will stick with me through intellectual doubts or changing times, is to look out for the little guy. To care about the outcasts. To hug the people that polite society and some churches turn their noses up at.

Because if I don’t, If I treat them like crap and refuse to love them, then I’m being a jackass and I deserve to be chased around by one very pissed off Jewish rabbi with a homemade crafted whip.