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Thursday, April 02, 2015

Throwback Thursday Thoughts

Throwback Thursday.  In social media, it is an opportunity to go back in time and show how silly or serious we were "back in the day," most likely giving all of our friends a reason to chuckle a bit.  When you think of happy memories, what do you think of?  Is there a place, a person, a time that overwhelms you, places you into a whole new state of mind?  There are lots of those for me, which is why I enjoy Throwback Thursday.  Since this is my blog, I'm going to share with you some of the things that come to mind for me when I look back (in no specific order)...
  • Riding my green bicycle without training wheels.  Not really sure why that comes to mind, but I remember it as though it were yesterday.  I don't even recall how old I was at that time, maybe 4 or 5?  I felt so happy, so full of life.
  • The Sonics winning the championship.  It was a wild time in Seattle.  I was just a kid but I loved that team- Freddie Brown, Slick Watts and crew were intense to watch and the whole city seemed to come alive and embraced the team and embraced each other.
  • My mother's death.  It was a horribly s
    ad time for a 14 year-old, but I made it through somehow without going on a killing spree.  In a way it was acceptable because she had been in such horrible pain for so long.  I remember sitting there in the room with her as she prepared to go to the heavenlies.  She was completely out of it and it's a visage that is etched on my mind that will never leave.   For good, or bad, it's there.
  • Birth of my kids.  Matt, Heather, Mason, and Maddie are all incredible kids in spite of my terrible attempts at fatherhood.  I couldn't be more proud of them.  I love and miss them all on a daily basis.  
  • My first concert.  I went to see KISS when I was 12 and I went by myself.  A young lady who was to accompany me that evening chose not to so I ended up at what is now Key Arena (I think) all by myself.  It was an amazing concert but as I look back, I realize just how campy they were back then.
  • Naval service.  Joining the Navy was a goal of mine from a very young age and I fulfilled that dream, accomplished that goal.  I miss it very much and wish I would've stayed in for the full 30 instead of just 8 years.  I got to see Hawaii, Kenya, Australia, Singapore, and even the Philippines.  It was an honor to take that oath, one of the proudest moments of my life, and one of the saddest when I went to the civilian world.  
  • All of my failed marriages.  I am the quintessence of the term "lousy husband," so much so that I'm even in the process of writing a book called, "I Do, But I Don't, And Didn't."  It's a comical look and the confessions of a lousy husband.  I'll let y'all know when it's ready.
  • Pain and worry-free days.  There were times in
    my younger years when I didn't worry so much about things, but rather took them in stride.  I haven't felt that way in decades.  I have lived with pain pretty much every day for the last three or four years.  It's there, never leaving, merely hiding for a few brief moments, only to return with vengeance and karmic retribution for the galaxy of bad stuff I've done in my life.  And I deserve every damned bit of it.
  • Talk radio days.  It was an unbelievable experience and I think it made me a better person.  I got to see the seething, rotting underbelly of politics and the always profit-driven venue that is the radio industry.  I met a lot of wonderful people, and I got to work with some Oklahoma radio legends.  It was a blessing to be a part of it in Oklahoma. 
There's a lot more to the list, but I figure I've bored you long enough with my inane ramblings about my past. I guess I share them openly because I have so many unresolved issues in my mind and in my heart - a need to get them out and maybe, just maybe, y'all are feeling the same way sometimes.  I tell you, there's nothing like battling a bout of depression or anxiety when you think you're all alone.  It's bloody dangerous.

You're not alone.  Ever.

Thanks for indulging my blabbing today.  I sincerely appreciate you taking the time to read this blog.



And I leave you with this...

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Does That Make Me A Liberal?

When one comes face to face with his/her own mortality, if there is even a shred of a soul left, the process of introspection begins.  Sure, it should be a lifelong effort to discover ourselves, but it's in those moments that scare us, that make us realize that our days are numbered that we really start looking at our lives and wondering where we stand in the perspective of the infinite.

Driving along today with a friend, I noticed a vehicle in front of us had a bumper sticker that read: "I support the 2nd Amendment - the Amendment that makes all others possible."  For some reason, that really pissed me off.  I saw the driver of the beat up old truck and he was the quintessence of Oklahoma hillbilly.  He had is OSU ball cap, the confederate flag sticker proudly displayed on his window, and from what I could see, the man looked challenged in the tooth department.  Now, don't get me wrong - I was frustrated with the stereotype coming to life right before me.  My friend laughed after my rant and said, "Don't go too liberal on me, just stay moderate.  And whatever you do, don't go hugging trees either."

So, like any good red-blooded, meat-eating, Kid Rock-loving, Oklahoma nutjob, I started thinking about how my of my views have changed over the past few years and how my world view is remarkably different. 

1.  2nd Amendment:  My views on the 2nd Amendment, the right to keep and bear arms are no different than in the past.  I have, however, become intensely frustrated with the neanderthals who believe that every time President Obama farts, he's trying to take our guns away.  Hate to break it to you kids, but there is no secret to the President's views on firearms - and we elected him.  I won the 2007 ORA Media Award and I'm damned proud of that.  It's because we put forth an agenda that was filled to overflowing with common sense. 

Does that make me a liberal?

2.  Partisanship For the Purpose of Partisanship:  When I was on KOMA, then WKY, I never was exclusively angry with the Democrats.  I let Republicans have it too when they deserved it and these days, it's truly deserved.  I remember the discussion I had with then Speaker of the House, Todd Heitt (now an elected Corporation Commissioner - God, help us) about the big reveal of the Republican agenda one year.  It was...wait for it...tort reform.  Dear God in heaven.  If there has been even ONE corporation who has chosen to not build in Oklahoma because of our bloody tort laws, I will bash myself in the head with a vegan, organic burrito.  The partisan rhetoric is just bullshit - and even the GOP Chairman has defined freedom as what we "ought to do," not "what we want to do."  Yeah.  He said that. If you want to read the entire story about the WTF moment, you'll find it here

Does that make me a liberal?

I mean, come on.  Who would abort something this beautiful?
3.  Abortion:  I'm still pro-life, but I have developed an intense dislike for the rabid pro-life individuals who think it is acceptable to blow up or picket an abortion clinic.  If my pro-life brothers and sisters want to be serious, how about supporting the abolition of the death penalty.  I believe that if we were all doing our jobs as parents, as human beings, the need for abortion would become virtually non-existent.  Why?  Because knowledge is power and the more knowledge we impart to the youngin's, the better their decision making in the future.  And yes, since the hyper-vigilance of the God Squad has made it taboo for schools to discuss contraception and have failed to do their part in educating young people, they are raising a generation of horny kids with nothing but raw sexual energy.  You know, you can always tell who the religiously-repressed young adults are because they have a Bible under one arm, a blanket under the other.

Does that make me a liberal?

Bigotry is for idiots.
4.  More Accepting:  I'm a Christian but I just can't wrap my head around this gun-toting, American flag-wearing, Chick-Fil-A supporter of a Jesus that the mainstream neoconservatives believe in.  It doesn't make sense from a biblical sense, or from common sense.  Jesus hung out with and healed lepers, the poor, the hungry, the blind, and the "sinners" as He called them.  He was and is all about personal connection to the individual and collectively with the invisible church.  I see a Jesus who cares and loves all of God's creation - not just the beautiful people at Life Church (dot TV) or Crossings.   The Church is to make disciples, to feed the hungry, to care for the poor, and to be a sanctuary of forgiveness and peace.  I find myself looking more closely into the eyes of those with whom I come into contact.  I want to experience their whole being, not just the facade that's put on to make everyone believe that he/she is "right with Gawd."  People are people and deserve to be treated as such.

Does that make me a liberal?

5.  Single-Issue Voters:  Abortion, gun rights, hunting, anti-GMO, or any other of the ONE issues voters become passionate about really get on my nerves.  I mean really.  For the 2nd Amendment guys, how about the 14th Amendment?  The 4th?  Do you even know what the rest of the Constitutional Amendments are?  It's kind of like the folks who follow football only when their home team is winning.  It is closed-minded and damned stupid.

Does that make me a liberal?

6.  Schools:  We have public schools for a reason and we need to support that reason.  Teacher pay, classroom spending, individualized tutoring, and even increased school choice are all important and somehow, my conservative brothers and sisters believe that everyone should home school and shun public education.  Well, the aggregate result is multilateral ignorance and a bunch of teenagers who are unable to socialize or to understand world history as it is - not as Mommy and Daddy want their little snowflakes to learn from only Scripture.  Because, you know, the Bible talks SO much about molecular biology or how to change a spark plug.  We have public schools, they should be well funded.  Take some of that corporate welfare and tax breaks to the big boys who don't really need it and put it into the classrooms, you ignorant twits.  You bitch and complain about how poorly our teachers perform, but you fail to realize that it is YOUR fault by electing morally bankrupt Pharisees who only want to talk about Jeeeesus. 

In Oklahoma, the average teacher pay is $31,606.  
In Oklahoma, the average Legislator pay is $38,400 - and they only "work" 4 months a year.

Does that make me a liberal?

Supports the troops - too chicken to serve.
7.  I Despise Hannity, Limbaugh, O'Reilly, and Beck:  I never really appreciated any of them to be candid.  I did, for a time, enjoy Glenn Beck because he was funny, and didn't seem that uptight.  But then, he became a hardcore Mormon and the rest went downhill.  He's built an empire, but he's just a big bag of wind right now.  Hannity and the rest of the Fox News dillweeds feed nothing but hatred and anger toward anyone who disagrees with them.  Who needs that kind of douchebaggery anyway?

Does that make me a liberal?

The partisanship is bloody insane these days, the contentiousness during the political season is barbaric.  Consultants snag a candidate, take some polls, create talking points predicated on polling data, and then suck them dry of cash.  And they walk away laughing about it.  They assault and attack opponents and the opponents supporters with reckless abandon, with no consideration that the person they are attacking is, in fact, a person.

Maybe I am becoming more of a liberal these days.  I've spent too much time around self-righteous Pharisees to not become more liberal.  You know what?  To hell with it - just love one another.  Forget all of your bullshit arguments and hatred for your fellow Americans and just hug someone's neck today.  Please.

It's just my opinion, and I could be more conservative, but I won't because I still have a soul.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015


It was a cloudy, rainy day much like any other spring morning.  He unlocked his car, started it up, and headed off to work.  On the way, he tuned in to his favorite morning talk show host on the radio.  The voice on the radio was a familiar one - one that he had listened to for years.  The dialog (rather, monologue) was as vitriolic as ever, the commentary blustering over the airwaves with the intent of raising the blood pressure of its listeners.  As he drove along, something snapped in his mind and he just couldn't take all of the "liberal media" and the onslaught of the "gay agenda."  He began to sweat, thinking of ways he could help the cause to bring the country back to the God-fearing, Jesus-loving, pew-jumping place to live it supposedly had been.  His blood pressure soared, the frown on his face showed his discontent and disgust.  A car passed him with a bumper sticker that said, "Co-exist," in the form of various religious symbols.  He came completely unhinged, screaming and yelling obscenities that would make even Marylin Manson blush.  He arrived at work and continued about his day, angry and pissed off but he couldn't figure out why...

We have so many messages bombarding us on a daily basis that our minds have collectively reached an overload.  Thousands upon thousands of Americans walk around pissed off - pissed off at something, but they are just not sure as to why.  Social media is filled to overflowing with rants and rhetoric from the "Sky Is Falling Church of the God Squad" that is so off-base and ludicrous that when you read them, you can actually FEEL yourself getting dumber.  

(Just Breathe)

This recent wave of bigotry and hatred masked under the name of "Religious Freedom," is both fascinating and horrifying at the same time.  It's like watching a colonoscopy while tripping on mushrooms.  Look, I am a Christian and not a good one at that.  I do know a few things about theology, but I'm not some Biblical scholar like Oklahoma State Representative Sally Kern.  I can find a few references in Scripture about different lifestyles, but the problem is in that of interpretation - not that we all interpret it how we see fit, because that's garbage.  But rather from a sense of grammatical/historical hermeneutics (study of interpretation based on historical reference points and the text of the manuscripts themselves as we know them).  It takes one hell of a lot of hermeneutical gymnastics to get where some of the God Squad is headed.  

(Just Breathe)

Let's just say for a moment that the Perfect Ones are correct in their interpretation.  What does that mean?  They adopt these hard line stances from the Old Testament and allow them to flow into the New Testament without considering the rule of unintended consequences.  The punishments for these lifestyles that supposedly threaten the sanctity of marriage are similar to those who have committed other violations of the Big Ten.  

(Just Breathe)

And they forget that Jesus said, "not one jot nor tittle of the Law will pass away," and it is HE who is the fulfillment of the Law in all its splendor.  HE is the one who went to the Cross and took on the sins of humanity.  Consider these thoughts:

1.  Theocracy:  Anyone in the midst of this so-called "religious rights" movement who tells you that it is not about trying to establish a theocracy is full of it.  Whether it be intentionally or unintentionally, that is the aggregate result.  

2.  Dominion Theology:  Pay close attention to this and don't let it slip by you.  Dominion theology is a theological construct that states that Biblical Christianity will rule all areas of our contemporary society.  Reconstructionism, if you will.  More clearly defined:
Those who hold these views believe that it is the duty of Christians to create a worldwide kingdom patterned after the Mosaic Law. They believe that Christ will not return to earth until such a kingdom has been established. The principal goal, then, of dominion theology and Christian reconstructionism is political and religious domination of the world through the implementation of the moral laws, and subsequent punishments, of the Old Testament (the sacrificial and ceremonial laws having been fulfilled in the New Testament). This is not a government system ruled by the church, but rather a government conformed to the Law of God.

3.  Sharia Shame:  As you consider 1 & 2 above, remember that these politicians are the same ones screaming at the top of their lungs about the supposed incursion of Sharia law in this country.  It's poppycock and it is designed to scare the hell out of you and make you have a knee-jerk reaction and recruit more Christians to run for office - regardless of their qualifications.
4.  Quantity, Not Quality:  For the people who are pushing an anti-gay agenda agenda, they vote the
way their pastors or religious leaders tell them to.  They will, of course, deny this but ask them to answer this question - If churches should be allowed to be political, why doesn't the Church pay taxes?  They will become incontinent and accuse you of being Anti-Christ and offer you treatment at the Sally Kern Repent For Jesus Rehabilitation Programming and Kosher Pizzeria.  But the only reference to taxes made to the Church as a whole in the Scriptures is where Jesus told the Pharisees AND his disciples, "render unto Caesar what it Caesar's and render unto God what is God's."  Wow.  Jesus nailed it again.  We have reached a point of complete hysteria on this garbage they call talk radio, the Fox News Channel, and TBN.  The ignorance and completely unsound principles of  Biblical hermeneutics is creating a political society where the logical conclusion will be debtor's prisons, and rehab centers for the "lost."  It's insane.  
Fight back, my friends.  It's simple to do.  Just.  Breathe.  Stop for a moment and JUST BREATHE.  And when confronted by these Pharisaical reconstructionists with their overt douchebaggery, encourage them to join you and JUST BREATHE.
We are ALL created in the Imago Dei.  Sorry if that pisses off a few of the religious zealots out there.  Y'all just need to remember what His commandment was; "To make disciples," not create Pharisees and develop theocratic governments.
This is just my opinion, and I could be wrong...but I absolutely doubt it.