Posts Tagged ‘Christian’

Well, think about it;  Many people believe this and they’re not all atheists!  People have been persecuted for their religious beliefs  dating back to way, way back and how far back might depend somewhat on your own beliefs.  What I mean by that is if you’ve been raised as a Catholic (and probably all Christian religions) then you’ve heard or read some or all of the following stories:  Moses led his people out of Egypt where they had been enslaved – this one is part of the Jewish religion too.  We’ve heard that Christians were thrown to the lions, that they were forced to become gladiators and were laborers for the Romans.

Popes organized the Crusades;  Catholic Europe went to war against the Muslims.  Sound familiar?  Christians call it a Crusade and Muslims call it Jihad.  The pilgrims fled to America to escape the Anglican church and Hitler tried to eliminate the entire European Jewish population.  Jim Jones convinced hundreds of people to kill themselves, all in the name of religion.  The Taliban imposes harsh laws and restrictive behavior, again in the name of their religion.  In theory, Turkey recognizes the civil, cultural and political rights of non-Muslim minorities.  In practice, the government only recognizes Greek, Armenian and Jewish minorities and does not grant them all the civil liberties allowed in the Treaty of Lausanne.

And that brings us to PRISONERS , a movie I saw the other night.  Two hours and twenty minutes long  and pretty intense!  It was a tale of twisted religious beliefs as well as a story about kidnapped kids.  From the opening scene, I was struck by the religious overtones.  I mean who really recites The Our Father before they shoot (to kill) a deer.  As scenes unfolded, I saw crosses on the walls and one hanging around Hugh Jackman‘s neck.  I heard religious talk shows on the car radio, and watched the lead character kneel and pray as he tortured his victim.  In one of the final scenes you see a large poster of angels.

It didn’t stop there;  On the hunt for registered sex-offenders in the town, you just knew one of them was going to be a priest.  You were not wrong!  And there’s more;  this priest is not just a sex-offender, he is a drunk and a killer!  And who did he take out?  Why a twisted, distorted religious crazy who actually kidnapped and killed kids because….are you ready for this philosophy? Because he “was waging a war against God and losing their children makes parents crazy”  – this may be a bit paraphrased because I couldn’t quite remember it and all my research did not turn up this very poignant-twice-stated reason.  Apparently he and his wife lost their child to cancer and were very angry at God.  So once again we have heinous crimes being committed, heavy with religious overtones.

Hugh Jackman is a very angry, vengeful soul and this is the man who prays before he shoots.  Jake Gyllenhaal seems unmoved and uninterested in anything other than finding Anna and Joy.  He is darkly intense, his hooded eyes seek out everything because as he says, “Everything matters”.

It’s a suspense thriller with maybe too much foreshadowing; you could predict a lot of what was going to happen  even without the blatant and obvious telltale signs.  That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go see it, this commentary really isn’t that much of a spoiler.

Photo from Amazon.com

Photo from Amazon.com

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Figures of Speech

Figures of Speech (Photo credit: Enokson)

If you can pronounce it then you probably don’t need to read further, however, if you want to smile out loud at these figures of speech that twist the meaning of the sentence as a whole. Comedians and satirists use paraprosdokians all the time!  Here are Thursday’s Top Ten plus Two:

Since light travels faster than sound, some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

We never really grow up, we only learn how to act in public.

Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.

You’re never too old to learn something stupid.

I asked God for a bike, but I know God doesn’t work that way. So I stole a bike and asked for forgiveness.

War does not determine who is right – only who is left.

Evening news is where they begin with ‘Good evening’ and then proceed to tell you why it isn’t.

Why does someone believe you when you say there are four billion stars but check when you say the paint is wet. 

A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.

The voices in my head may not be real, but they have some good ideas! 

Hospitality: making your guests feel like they’re at home, even if you wish they were.

When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water.

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voting day in a small town

voting day in a small town (Photo credit: Muffet)

It has been a long time coming, 18 months to be exact.  18 months, about 77.5 weeks and approximately 542.5 days AND 13,020 hours!!!! That’s how long we’ve been listening to ads on the radio, reading columns in the newspaper, watching tv commercials, accosted by pamphlet-bearing party workers on the sidewalks, harassed  by  repeated robo calls, invited to rallies and fund-raisers, bombarded by daily emails from political organizations, and lastly not to mention the postcards, newsletters and solicitation fund-raising letters – ALL in the name of democracy, all in the pursuit of the most powerful office in the country.  Oh yeah, I was only referring to the presidential campaign you can quadruple the intensity when you factor in the local representatives, state senators, sheriffs and on infinitum.

And tonight it will FINALLY  be over – or will it?  Ohhhh,  I think the results of this year’s election will be immediately called into question!  Accusations of voter fraud are just waiting behind the curtain, recounts ordered and then further analyzed.  Absentee ballots scrutinized and possibly discarded;  Remember the hanging chads in Florida!  This year a secondary campaign was waged, to disenfranchise thousands of voters and prevent them from exercising their constitutional right.  In New Jersey, a state crippled by Hurricane Sandy, throwing the means to conduct proper voting in to chaos and confusion has instituted (can you believe this?) voting by fax!  Where states like Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky and Georgia passed highly restrictive voter ID laws, New Jersey went all out in trying to encourage voter participation where their residents lacking heat, electricity and water are understandably  disheartened  and dissuaded from making the effort to get out and vote.  This puts another nuance on the state’s unofficial slogan “Jersey Strong”.

Personally, I will be beyond thrilled to have it over.  I hope, I pray my man wins because I don’t like the person I’ve become when the other guy is on TV.  The defaming, the libel, the lies, the slander, it has got to STOP.  Fact-checkers be damned?  Are you kidding me?  I’m living in a world where the word Christian has taken on a new meaning and certainly not one that I care for or can espouse.  Let it be over please!

The polls close in my state at 9:00 – I hope everyone gets to vote. I waited about an hour and a half this morning – they said the scanners weren’t working.  I really liked the old voting machines and wish they would bring them back. If you haven’t voted yet – PLEASE DO SO NOW!

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Passover plate with symbolic foods: maror, egg...

Passover plate with symbolic foods: maror, egg, haroset, karpas, zro'ah, dish of salt water

I haven’t taken the time to calculate how often the Jewish holiday of Passover coincides with Easter, but of course it does happen now and again.  That makes this weekend VERY HOLY and VERY  SPECIAL!

It started on Thursday for the Christians with Holy or Maundy Thursday services.  I remember them well.  This was the terrible night in the Garden of Gethsemane when, while Jesus prayed, Judas dropped the dime on him or in his case, 30 pieces of silver.  Now the term 30 pieces of silver has come to denote ultimate betrayal.  Once the deed was done, and Judas was remorseful he hung himself which only would have compounded his sins in the eyes of the Church.  But then again, there was no Church at that time!.

Next came Good Friday which ironically is one of the most somber days of religious observation for the Christians and an evening of joyous celebratory feasting for the Jews.  Although also threaded with somewhat somber overtones as the story of the Jews plight from Egypt is read at the evening’s Seder, it is also a time for families to gather together to share in this traditional meal replete with special and significant dishes.  While Jewish families are feasting on brisket, gifelte fish and matzoh ball soup, Christians are fasting between meals and eating only seafood as is their tradition on Good Friday.  Why do they call it GOOD?  I haven’t done any research prior to writing this blog and I’m ashamed to admit that 6 years in St. John’s Parochial School didn’t leave me with the answer, but if you know it, please share with us all.  My only guess is that according to my Catholic beliefs, it is characterized as good because that’s the day Jesus saved us all by sacrificing himself for our original sins – well that’s the way the story goes anyway.  Also, the word good is derived from the word pious which means holy, so perhaps we should refer to it as Holy Friday.  We always went to a long and arduous service on Good Friday;  There was the Stations of the Cross,  a long sermon and most of all I remember that at one point, the priest would call out things we would implore God to grant or guide us by responding with “Lord, Pray for us” or “Lord Hear Our Prayer”. One of my favorite memories, as I like to tell my Jewish husband,  is kneeling in church and the priest intoning something about the Jews of the world and our collective response “Lord, Hear our prayer” .

Today is Holy Saturday and as a kid, I remember it as thank God, we don’t have to go to church today, we can eat what we want and tomorrow although a going-to-Mass day would still be a celebration.  My girlfriends were allowed to gather but it was supposed to be a day of quiet play and I remember so clearly, sitting on my front steps playing ball and jacks with my two best friends.

This year Saturday is also the second night of Passover and we are on our way to Brooklyn to join in a non-religious Seder meal at my sister-in-law’s.   They will read from a Haggadah, however it will be devoid of any reference to God.  Mmmm unusual…but befitting of their own atheistic beliefs.

Tomorrow is Easter, the hat is ready, the outfit sort of picked out.  Photos to follow.

A Zissen Pesach and Happy Easter to all.

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Paraprosdokian Sentences

A paraprosdokian is a figure of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected in a way that causes the reader or listener to reframe or reinterpret the first part.  It is frequently used for humorous or dramatic effect.

I asked God for a bike, but I know God doesn’t work that way.  So I stole a bike and asked for forgiveness.

Do not argue with an idiot.  He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.

I want to die peacefully in my sleep, like my grandfather.  Not screaming and yelling like the passengers in his car.

Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any  more than standing in a a garage makes you a car.

The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it’s still on the list.

Light travels faster than sound.  This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

If I agreed with you,, we’d both be wrong.

We never really grow up; we only learn how to act in public.

War does not determine who is right – only who is left.

Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.

The early bird might get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

Evening news is where they begin with “Good evening” and then proceed to tell you why it isn’t.

To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism.  To steal from many is research.

A bus station is where a bus stops.  A train station is where a train stops.  My desk is work station.  A work station is…

How is it one careless match can start a forest fire, but it takes a whole box to start a campfire.

Some people are like Slinkies…not really good for anything but you can’t  help smilingwhen you see one tumble down the stairs.

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