Monday, January 23, 2012

There is no joy in Charm City!

This is a sad day for those Baltimoreans who were expecting to make a long-overdue trip to the Super Bowl this year.  The Ravens lost a tough one to the Patriots.  I'm sure my Massachusetts relatives are dancing in the streets... while my Maryland relatives are crying in their beer.  Such is life.. there's always next year, guys.

Meanwhile, life (and death) go on. 

01. Football Father Figure Fades Away.

Joe Paterno died yesterday.  On the same day that he died, one of the FM stations aired a mini-interview with him.. again about him and Sandusky.  (Did you "out-of'-towners" know that one of Baltimore's TV sportscasters is named Jerry Sandusky.. and of course you can guess that his life has not been the same recently.)

02.  Media Exposure?

A 47 year old Catholic Priest was recently arrested for sitting in a "shop movie theater" (whatever that is), naked from the waist down.  His Bishop, in this instance, did the right thing and removed him from his post in a Baltimore County church. 

... segue to nudist jokes:

a.  At a nude wedding, the best man is not always the best man.

b.  At a nude wedding, where does the best man hide the wedding ring?

(Sorry about that)

03.  The Newt wins big in South Carolina.

Democrats are celebrating!

04.  Romney goes on the attack!

"Mitt" is going after "Newt" at last.  Democrats are worried.

05.  Oprah is crowned Queen!

At a major book event in India, all eyes turned to Oprah Winfrey, our queen.  Crowds cheered her and followed her around, completely ignoring a "real" queen who was also in attendance.   Maybe Oprah will run as Newt's running mate.  However, based on some dumb things that Newt has said in the past, he probably thinks that billionaire Oprah is receiving food stamps.

06.  Don't mess with Maryland women!

(Oprah worked for Channel 13 in Baltimore for several years.) 

A lady in Chestertown, Maryland got mad because a male friend would not admit that he owed her ten dollars... so, she threw drain cleaner in his eyes and blinded him.

07.  Priorities

I just read where the CEO's of our major religious organizations all have the following schedule of allegiance: 

Christian First
American Second

I wonder if any of the upcoming debate questioners would ask a question about that.  How would the candidates answer?  BTW our founding fathers were almost all Deists. 

08.  Jim Hightower sez:

I've written about gadfly Hightower before.  He claims that "Dubya" (as he calls him), when asked what Americans should do at 911 time, said:  "Go out and shop!" 

Jim picks on lots of "airheads" regardless of Political Affiliation.

09.  Immortality

As some people have noticed, first class postage became 45 cents a couple of days ago.  Elaine asked me to get a lot of 44 cents "Forever" stamps before time ran out.  Our Post Office only had commemorative stamps left.   But so what.. they work.  From now on, all first class stamps will be  "Forever".   Isn't that nice to know?   I remember when I could send a first class letter for (hold your breath) THREE CENTS!  And, at the same time, we got 2 (count'em) TWO MAIL DELIVERIES EACH DAY!  (Boy, am I old.)

10.  Father, Are you a Chaplain in the Navy?

That's the question a lady posed to the Priest mentioned above.. when he said "No".. she said: "That's funny because I can see your navel."


Jiri Hulcr,  PhD, says that the human belly button is filled with lots and lots of strange bacteria. He is connected to the Belly Button Biodiversity Project.

11.  They're still at it!

Those wacko religiosos from the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas, have announced plans to picket the funeral of Virginia Tech Police Officer Deriek Croused.  College students have been advised not to talk to them or acknowledge their presence.  The 40 members of that church are all related and must share similar idiocy genes.

12.  Co-bed education?

In the fall of 2012, Towson (Maryland) University will be establishing "gender-neutral" housing options open to students in two dormitories (Halls).  Are frat houses and sorority houses now "gender-neutral", other than on weekends? My, how times have changed. In my day, we had to live in "gender-specialized" caves and write our homework in cuneiform characters on flat rocks.



Saturday, January 07, 2012

Religious Views

I can't believe that it has been over a month since I updated this blog.  I'll catch up by talking about Religion today.  I feel qualified to talk about that subject because I have been involved with a number of religions over the years (like Newt Gingrich?.. no, not quite like him).  I have been a Quaker, a Baptist, and an Atheist (among others).  My late wife was a Catholic and my kids were brought up as such.  My current partner is a Lutheran and I live in a community sponsored by that church.  I suspect that I am still considered a minister in the Church of the Modern Apostles, and I consider myself to be kind of  an agnostic Deist at the moment.. having been a computer programmer for many years, I seem to understand how a Demiurge might work.

Some of the most hypocritical people I have ever met were ordained ministers and priests.  Some of the least hypocritical people I have ever met were ordained ministers and priests.  I respect the rabbis and imams that I have met.  I do not like "yellow pages" that show only Christian businesses.  I do not think it was proper for Lowes to discontinue advertising on a "Muslim-related" reality show.  I know some wonderful people who do not conform to stereotypical male/female roles.

There you have it.  I've bared a lot of my soul.  As a member of the Toastmasters organization, you are taught to never use sex, politics or religion as a subject of a speech.  Baloney!  Those are the things that most people are interested in.  So.. here it goes with religion, I'll get back to the other two subjects in another blog entry:

Always start with a joke:

My friend, Sid Simon sez:  A little boy was looking through a family Bible and a leaf fell out that had been pressed.  His mother asked: "What is that?"  The boy replied: "I think it's Adam's underwear."

Roger Williams

I was surprised to read in the Smithsonian Magazine that "breakaway religion" guy and founder of Rhode Island, Roger Williams, in the last years of his life, worshipped at no church at all.  He had fought all of his life to allow everyone to worship as they pleased, and concluded finally that God's will was better interpreted by individuals than by institutions.  (Sounds like the theory of the Church of the Modern Apostles.) 

Thomas Jefferson

President Jefferson and several of the other founding fathers were Deists and convinced that there was that Demiurge I mentioned above.  Jefferson did feel that the teachings of Jesus were important and wrote The Jefferson Bible, The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth.  Beacon Press of Boston published a beautifully crafted copy of this work.  I bought my copy in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania at a Civil War book store. 


I hear that even Ruppert Murdoch is now tweeting.  Does Pope Benedict tweet?  I had heard that the Vatican has a Facebook presence.  I went to Facebook and found POPE2YOU, a very interesting site for all persons with a religious interest.


In July of 2007, the Pope declared that Roman Catholicism is the only "real" Christian religion.  He said that Protestant churches "cannot be called 'churches' in the proper sense."  Hmmm.

Liturgical update?

I recently attended a memorial mass for a friend and was surprised to read a document to be followed during the mass.  It outlined changes approved this year by Catholic Bishops.  For instance:

1: Old Text: 
Priest: "The Lord be with you."        People:  "And  also with you."

New Text:
Priest: "The Lord be with you."        People:  "And also with your spirit."

2: Old Text:
"Glory to God in the highest, and peace to his people on earth."

New Text:
"Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to people of good will."

(I like the old text better.. it had a definite pleasant flow and rhythm that the new text does not.)

3: Old Text: (Nicene Creed)
"We believe..."

New Text:
"I believe..."

It was tough for us non-Catholics to get used to the non-Latin mass.  Now we'll have to get used to the new-English mass.


I read where there are now 77 million members of the Anglican Church that was created by Henry VIII because of a snit with Rome over his desire to dump his wife and marry his mistress.  I also read that there is a schism developing among Anglicans over the election of women and gay bishops.. and the condoning of same-sex unions.

To capitalize on this, the Vatican is making it easier for Anglicans to "come home" to the Catholic church.  In fact, they will even be accepting married Anglican priests and seminarians.  (I thought that this was the case already..?)

Related Catholic stories on my blog:

If you are so inclined, you could do a search of this blog for a few religion-related stories:

Priest's dog attacks Joe.. "You ain't Catholic, are you?"

Same attack dog and Priest elope with our baby-sitter.

Joe takes Catholic in-laws up ladder and into the Choir Loft.

Joe grabs wife and runs out of church at wedding.

Future father-in-law yells: "He's not Catholic!!"

A religious story in the news:

Two muslim teen-agers were recently arrested in the U.S. for painting burkas on the posters of women thought by them to be "immodest".  They received probation and a fine.

The End of the World:

End of World: 1998:  Henry Hall predicted that the world would end in 1998 because 666 + 666 + 666 "equals 1998, you computer dummies!"

End of World: 2008The Lord's Witnesses also use convoluted numerology to predict the end on March 21, 2008.

End of World: 2011: Famous old Harold Camping predicted May 21, 2011.  "The Bible guarantees it!"

If you are interested in more of these End of World predictions, visit:

Always finish with a joke:

A submission by The Orange Peel Gazette, East Baltimore, Maryland:

The preacher was dissatisfied with how little his congregation put in the collection plates on Sundays, so he learned hypnosis.  He began preaching his sermons in a monotone.  He swung a watch slowly in front of the lectern, and at the end of the sermon he said, "Give!" and the collection plate was soon full of twenty-dollar bills.

This worked for weeks.  The congregation sat mesmerized during the sermon, staring at the watch swinging, and when he said, "Give!" they gave everything they had.  Then one Sunday, at the end of the sermon, the chain on the watch broke, and the preacher said, "Oh, crap!"


Happy New Apocalyptical Year!