I'm still under the weather with my cold and perhaps that is contributing to my feeling so "down".
Usually I very rarely comment on what is happening in the world or locally but with what has happened in France I feel is an attack on "free Thought" on the freedom to explore things to find truth and even the freedom to even laugh at religion.
Now personally I take my religious beliefs seriously, but as a means to be at peace within myself and with others.
I do not expect people to think or believe the way I do, and I am always interested in how archeologists peel away the layers of centuries to discover things of how things developed.
When I was very little I believed in my childish mind that every word in the bible was absolutely true, but my Father said to me "Not exactly, things change over the course of telling and re-telling over the course of time. Even the bible has changed because of what was added, taken out, re-translated etc." he went on to say "It's like the game of 'Telephone'"
I couldn't quiet understand or grasp what he was talking about but he said it could be demonstrated very easily how things change, the next day a number of my friends were over and Dad said "Let play "Telephone". So we all lined up in a straight line but there be about 24 inches between us so we could not overhear what was being whispered into each child's ear.
Dad started it and whispered something into my oldest brother's ear, my brother processed it and then whispered it into the next child's ear and so on and so one and even I heard it whispered into my ear and then I whispered it into my friends ear, now after we had whispered it into the other person's ear we were to write down what we thought we heard.
And then at the very end the last child wrote on our playroom blackboard what he heard, then my Dad said for us one at a time read out what each of us heard...and each time it was always a bit different, then Dad wrote out above what the last child wrote what is was he said at the Beginning.
When we compared the two sentences they were complete different but with only a few things here and there that was correct but the meaning had been completely changed. But already it was a revelation to me.
Well of course we all laughed about that and it was a fun game, but my Dad made sure that those two sentences were left up on the black board and he carefully collected in sequence order each paper that each child hand written on.
Later after my friends had left Dad carefully posted each note in the right sequence order, he called me, my sister and brothers (my oldest brother was still alive at that time) over.
And he said "Imagine that each one of these notes is one generation of people or 20 years---and with each generation depending on what is in that person's mind, how they interprete what they learned and passed onto the next generation. Do you see how that changes?"
And we did----dramatically so. Dad continued "It's like gossip, it changes and gets different with each re-telling, only gossip is very bad and can damage a person reputation. In reading the Bible, the Torah or any religious work, we have to remember that it changes depending upon what is in that person's mind, or how it is translated from a different language depending on what is in the translator's mind. Only in looking at what is basic and try to peel away layers can you discover what is or might be true, but never believe anything absolutely without question, because that can close off your mind to truth and to wonder."
Dad said that in the bible Pontius Pilate asked an extremely important question----something that everyone should ask every day with every event that one hears or reads----
"WHAT IS TRUTH?"
And Dad warned us to beware of anyone promoting their idea of the Truth and to keep our minds flexible and open, especially to change and discoveries.
It took me a while to learn this, something's I do hold sacred but that is personal and I've found that when I'm around people who do not at least have some respect for certain things then I do not want them in my sphere, I have found them to be internally angry and closed minded, even toxic, manipulative, poisonous and dangerous, so I would disengage any contact with them. Some of my friends didn't much to their sorrow.
Some programs poke fun at religion such as "South Park", "Family Guy", and even "The Simpsons", I found it at its best hilarious on "Big Bang Theory" when Sheldon's Mother would come to visit him. But I found that within that character she really gave Sheldon a certain foundation in his regimented, scientific, denial of religion mind, and even though the character referred to Catholic's as "Rosary Rattlers" I as one, still found it funny, not disrespectful but funny.
Why? Because it takes all kinds of people and we are human and if we can't laugh at God or with God then we are pretty poor people and if so then maybe then God should wipe everything from the face of the earth and start it all over again.
Mom use to say "People make plans and God laughs" and there have been times when he's had a very strange sense of humor.
I remember many years ago when my parents were up there in age they were planning and pre-paying for their funeral and Mother told Dad "I'll make sure I'll have you buried in your good Blue Suit" and Dad said "why not in my fishing gear?" and Mother replied "It will be in your good blue suit and don't think you're going to sit up in your coffin and complain because I won't have that!" and we all laughed at Mom's declaration.
Laughing at Death----not bad for a Rosary Rattler.
But because of what has happened in France I want to re-print here an article that appeared on the internet version of the NEW YORKER MAGAZINE
And it makes sense-----
From the NEW YORKER
January 7, 2015
The Blame for the Charlie Hebdo Murders
By George Packer
The murders today in Paris are not a result of France’s failure to assimilate two generations of Muslim immigrants from its former colonies. They’re not about French military action against the Islamic State in the Middle East, or the American invasion of Iraq before that.
They’re not part of some general wave of nihilistic violence in the economically depressed, socially atomized, morally hollow West—the Paris version of Newtown or Oslo. Least of all should they be “understood” as reactions to disrespect for religion on the part of irresponsible cartoonists.
They are only the latest blows delivered by an ideology that has sought to achieve power through terror for decades. It’s the same ideology that sent Salman Rushdie into hiding for a decade under a death sentence for writing a novel, then killed his Japanese translator and tried to kill his Italian translator and Norwegian publisher.
The ideology that murdered three thousand people in the U.S. on September 11, 2001.
The one that butchered Theo van Gogh in the streets of Amsterdam, in 2004, for making a film.
The one that has brought mass rape and slaughter to the cities and deserts of Syria and Iraq.
That massacred a hundred and thirty-two children and thirteen adults in a school in Peshawar last month.
That regularly kills so many Nigerians, especially young ones, that hardly anyone pays attention.
Because the ideology is the product of a major world religion, a lot of painstaking pretzel logic goes into trying to explain what the violence does, or doesn’t, have to do with Islam.
Some well-meaning people tiptoe around the Islamic connection, claiming that the carnage has nothing to do with faith, or that Islam is a religion of peace, or that, at most, the violence represents a “distortion” of a great religion. (After suicide bombings in Baghdad, I grew used to hearing Iraqis say, “No Muslim would do this.”)
Others want to lay the blame entirely on the theological content of Islam, as if other religions are more inherently peaceful—a notion belied by history as well as scripture.
A religion is not just a set of texts but the living beliefs and practices of its adherents.
Islam today includes a substantial minority of believers who countenance, if they don’t actually carry out, a degree of violence in the application of their convictions that is currently unique.
Charlie Hebdo had been nondenominational in its satire, sticking its finger into the sensitivities of Jews and Christians, too—but only Muslims responded with threats and acts of terrorism.
For some believers, the violence serves a will to absolute power in the name of God, which is a form of totalitarianism called Islamism—politics as religion, religion as politics. “Allahu Akbar!” the killers shouted in the street outside Charlie Hebdo. They, at any rate, know what they’re about.
These thoughts don’t offer a guide to mitigating the astonishing surge in Islamist killing around the world.
Rage and condemnation don’t do the job, nor is it helpful to alienate the millions of Muslims who dislike what’s being done in the name of their religion. Many of them immediately condemned the attack on Charlie Hebdo, in tones of anguish particular to those whose deepest beliefs have been tainted.
The answer always has to be careful, thoughtful, and tailored to particular circumstances. In France, it will need to include a renewed debate about how the republic can prevent more of its young Muslim citizens from giving up their minds to a murderous ideology—how more of them might come to consider Mustapha Ourrad, a Charlie Hebdo copy editor of Algerian descent who was among the victims, a hero. In other places, the responses have to be different, with higher levels of counter-violence.
But the murders in Paris were so specific and so brazen as to make their meaning quite clear. The cartoonists died for an idea. The killers are soldiers in a war against freedom of thought and speech, against tolerance, pluralism, and the right to offend—against everything decent in a democratic society. So we must all try to be Charlie, not just today but every day.~~~~~~~~
If this article offends some of my readers, well I get offended as well, at the senseless killings in the name of religion.
This has got to stop, or God or someone or something will wipe everyone off the face of this planet and only cockroaches will rule.
And now I'm going to have some chicken soup, take some more cold medicine lie down and rest.