Letters From Mama: God Will Not Bless Your Marriage

Now, I will introduce you to one of my most popular series on my old blog, off in that dusty corner of the internet.

I grew up in an abusive environment, learning to cope quite well until I was 19 years old. At that point in my life, the heat got too hot and I was ready to be free. I left and went to live with my dad to get on my feet and expose myself to the real world in full color, rather than a world through sheltered and well defined, paranoiac lenses. My freedom came with many bumps in the road as I discovered that I was truly lazy when I wasn’t being yelled at to accomplish a task. I needed to mature…grow up. Life moved very fast and I needed to jump in and roll with it.

One day, I went on a weekend trip to Spirit Mountain in Duluth, Minnesota and met a girl. She was struggling to set up her tent and I squirted over to help her. The rest was history. We fell in love, I proposed less than two months later, and we were married a year to the day we met.

Let’s back up to July 17, 2001 – the day the love of my life and I decided on the date of the wedding. My mother, who henceforth will be referred to as “Mama,” sent me a letter. I had left her world nearly two years prior and she would leave no stone un-turned trying to get me back. Using religion and false warmth was her favorite tactic.

Dear Joseph,

I had been going by “Joe” for years. Ever since I left her home, I never went by my full name. She knew this and used my full name at every opportunity.

Forgive me; all the issues I obtained for you of This Old House, I’d thought I was giving you the most precious gift; I looked through the last one I’d gotten, and found I’d been giving you a magazine that had liquor, smoking, and more and more sensuality being slipped in. I am so sorry. I trust that my prayers for you had kept your discernment muscle strong.

First of all, I knew when Mama started out with an apology that she wanted something. She was never wrong. Additionally, she was reading my mail. But it wasn’t just my mail. She had ordered a subscription to This Old House for me, then had it delivered to her house, so I would have to come and pick it up, more than likely even be required to live there again. Get used to this type of manipulation.

Finally, my father had smoked for many years. Who did I go to heal with when I “escaped” her home? My father’s house. She knew full well what she was doing in writing this. And, to set the record straight, I love women and liquor (some liquor, anyway).

Joseph, my precious son, I have been young, and now I am old(er). All of my discipling (sic) since I have been saved has been right down this line – relationships and how God allows them to work or not work. HE DOES NOT ALLOW IT TO WORK IF YOUR PARENTS HAVE NOT GIVEN THEIR BLESSING.

My mother has actually been up on Mount Sinai and spoken to God herself. Moses had nothing on her. Moreover, she was thorough in her research before she wrote this letter, insomuch that she interviewed several billion couples that had tied the knot and believed in her god. Every couple that told her their relationship was perfect also let her know that they had received a full blessing from both sets of parents. Those couples that had eloped or had gotten hitched where at least one parent’s consent was not solidified, had either gotten divorced, murdered each other, or became gay.

Please do not set yourself up for misery, Joseph. Please wait until Papa releases you, deeming you fully mature in his eyes.

Now that went a bit too far. Mama had refused to have a relationship with my dad (Papa) since the divorce in 1987, unless he met her every demand. How did she know what his desires for my life were? Not to mention, he did exactly as a father should – gave me great counsel and kicked me off the branch, believing I could fly. He was a good dad.

I love you so much, and I would take the anguish you are going to go through, upon myself if God would let me. He cannot contradict Himself, Joseph.

Unfortunately for Mama, nowhere in the Bible does it say that a man or woman needs their parents permission to marry someone else. Sure, there are descriptions of marriages where the father chose the bride for his son. Also, the Benjamites lost a ton of womenfolk in a war that God brought upon them, so the dudes ran to another tribe and kidnapped some women for wives – also sanctioned by God. Hosea went and bought a prostitute as a wife – also sanctioned by God. David had wives and not ONCE did he ask his dad’s permission in the text and yet he was considered a man after God’s own heart. Her assertion was pure poppycock.

Also, “God never contradicts himself”? Right…apparently, the world’s most godly woman has never read the Bible.

Please ponder Hebrews 13:8.

Hebrews 13:8 says:

Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

It’s funny she uses this verse. Verse 7 would have worked toward her point much better:

Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.

And finally, the salutation:

In tears of anguish for your sake, yet, even so He gives me John 14:27, “If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”

Mama XO

My Mama is a trip. I’ll post more letters in the future.

Sunday Church Series: I Need Your Sunday Non-Church Stories

This is the beginning of a weekly post where I ask my readers to comment on what they did today, in lieu of worshiping a non-existent, supernatural being. Or, maybe you did go to church. Doesn’t matter. I will choose one story and highlight it in a post titled “Church Story of the Day” or something like that.

Write your stories in the comments at Sunday Non-Church Stories: March 20, 2016.

I’ll need to follow up with you via email to maybe gather pictures and other clarifications, so make sure your email is correct. Set your spam filters to accept email from crackedcornjimmy@gmail.com.

Have fun!

 

I’m sorry, readers. I have failed you.

was going to write a rebuttal to Matt Walsh’s “Dear Men, Abortion Is Not A Women’s Issue. We Have A Duty To Get Involved.” post, but I just couldn’t.

The second paragraph:

I am a man with an opinion about abortion. Even more shocking, I did not consult with the Feminist High Council before formulating my opinions. I did not check the rule book to make sure my man-opinions are within the spectrum of approved perspectives for someone of my anatomical persuasion. I did not fill out the forms requesting permission to publicly voice my unsanctioned beliefs, nor did I review the guidelines to determine the manner and extent to which they can be voiced.

I just can’t get past that bullshit. The condescension is too much.

Matt Walsh is not a good person.

God’s Chosen People? The Useful Lie of the Christian Zionist Movement

I received a dire plea in the mail from Mike Evans’ organization, The Jerusalem Prayer Team. In that money begging mailer, Mike asked for donations of $30 – $100 or more. The $30 level would give you the ‘Bible Promise Box,’ a relic of the 1980’s, where you picked out a card for every day of the year, and the contents of that card would be a Bible verse, promising you goats and land or something. The $100 level would give you a book, written by Evans.

Evans is a master of hyperbolic and overly-simplistic fearmongering.

Today, Israel stands squarely in the crosshairs of evil and determined enemies want nothing more than to finish the job Hitler started more than seven decades ago.

Really? First of all, the reasons Hitler hated the Jews were much different than the reasons the Middle East is a religious and cultural powder keg. To compare the two as substantively similar is to be intellectually dishonest. The only similarity is that the focus of ire is the Jewish people. Even that is a simplification. In many ways, the conflict over Israel, and Jerusalem specifically, has nothing to do with religion, and everything to do with the historical bitterness of both sides, the representative Israeli government having committed the majority of the atrocities against the Palestinian people, as well as those surrounding their borders. The co-opting of the Jewish religion to bolster their rights to the land is simply the most effective conduit for convincing their citizenry and the nation’s allies that their actions are not only proper, but have an holy implication. Thus, to come against the Israeli government is synonymous with rejection or hatred of the Jewish god, and by default, the Christian god.

And that’s where the Christian Zionist movement plays their pretentious hand. They feign love for the Jewish people, claiming God chose them as his own in the Old Testament, which is true, and then turn around and use the money their supporters give them to bolster both the protection of Christian holy sites (including the whole of Jerusalem), as well as working to “save” the Jewish people, introducing them to the Christian god and his son, Jesus Christ.

In truth, according to the Christian Zionist movement, as well as the message of Christianity itself, God’s Chosen People are still going to hell. Unless, of course, they accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior. That kind of makes being “chosen” not all that choice, doesn’t it?

Evans continues, attempting to convince his readers (those with open checkbooks) that Palestine is an illegitimate idea:

There has never been a nation of Palestine. The territory claimed for the Palestinian state was governed by Egypt and Jordan prior to the Six Day War in 1967.

This is a terrible argument, obvious on its face, and yet Evans followers, and many Christians who adhere to the religious theology of politicians like Ted Cruz, eat it up. The fact is, nation borders are constantly changing. If we want the most poignant example, we can point to the very country that Evans is a citizen of – The United States. Imagine if any number of indigenous peoples from the Americas had used that line. The reality is, the same Christians who claim that Israel was given its sliver of land by God, would crucify any Native American for claiming the same.

But Evans doesn’t stop there. Informing his readers of his awful reading of history is only the beginning.

The driving force behind the plan to divide Jerusalem is in direct contradiction of Bible prophecy and is the same anti-Semitism that led to the Holocaust.

Unfortunately, Evans doesn’t quote the prophecy he is referring to, here, but the setup is hilarious. If you carry out this statement to its warned conclusion, he is setting up a failure of Biblical prophecy. If Jerusalem is divided, the Bible is proven to be false, the unquoted prophecy having failed. As you can imagine, this cannot be allowed to happen. You need to send money now and lift up your voice in prayer to…beg God to not allow something to happen that will prove him to be..er…false. Kind of an impotent god, if you ask me.

My favorite quote about God’s impotence over his own piece of infertile desert is from Pat Robertson:

[Israel] is God’s outpost, and it would be, in a sense, a black eye against Him if his plans were frustrated by human beings. And He will not let people frustrate His plan.

Another interesting note here is that the majority of Jewish people do not live in Israel. They are scattered all over the world, the greatest concentration of them living in the United States. If, as Christians love to claim, God cares about the heart, and not about material things, why would a large contingent of Jewish people, safe in their homes, away from the Middle East conflict, not be a better outcome than forcing an artificial border to exist against inhabitants of land, stolen from under their feet? Aside from that, wouldn’t any peaceful resolution be preferable to a continued insolent declaration of ancient religious rights to a patch of earth? To argue otherwise is to claim that the Christian god is petty, interested more in what he claims is true, than true peace and prosperity of the human race.

But that makes perfect sense in today’s religious and political climate. Perceived absolute rights trump any whisper of compromise. Compromise shows you are weak and un-principled, while treating your enemies with disdain, even killing them, is holy and righteous.

Evans continues:

Genesis 12:3 clearly tells us that God will bless those who bless Israel and curse those who curse Israel.

Obviously, Evans wants his readers to conclude that the word “Israel” is referring to the nation of Israel, rather than the people who were descendants of Abraham and Isaac (not to be confused with the descendants of Abraham and Ishmael). Also, to bless Israel is to disallow any peace process except that which is perceived to be in direct agreement with what the god of the Bible would have dictated. And, to curse Israel would be to give into any demands from their enemies, no matter how small.

But who gets cursed? Who gets blessed? If the United States hacks out a peace agreement that is palatable with the Christian Zionists, and is agreed upon by all the enemies of Israel, does the United States alone get the blessings of God? Or, do the nations that are against Israel, yet agreed to the purportedly Biblical peace accord, also receive part of that blessing? Alternatively, Hamas has openly declared “curses” upon Israel. The Palestinian people are being economically suppressed and systematically murdered by their human counterparts. Is this due to the cursing? Is the Christian (Jewish) god playing the hand of the Israeli government, forcing them to carry out atrocities against the Palestinian people?

Stepping away from Mike Evans’ mailer, when one views the true beliefs and goals of the Christian Zionist movement, you begin to see clearly that the Jewish people are merely pawns in their game, and calling them “God’s Chosen People” is, while correct, based on the Old Testament of the Holy Bible, is actually a self-serving lie.

Christians Zionists, Mike Evans being one of their chief mouthpieces, need the city of Jerusalem, especially the Temple Mount, to be in the hands of their allies.

That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshiped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. – 2 Thessalonians 2:2 – 4

How can the ‘son of perdition’ sit in the temple of God and declare himself to be God if the temple is currently an Islamic holy site? The temple must be rebuilt in order for this to happen. But, how can the temple be rebuilt if a peace accord splits the city of Jerusalem in half, the Old City, including the Temple Mount, then belonging to the Palestinians? If that happens, the current generation, and all generations in the foreseeable future will never usher in the second coming of Christ.

And true to form, Mike Evans mailer declares that the peace accord’s agreement would put the Temple Mount on the Palestinian side, should the nation of Israel be forced to create a Nation of Palestine.

The truth is, it doesn’t matter that the Jewish people are God’s Chosen People. To the Christian Zionists, Mike Evans included, that is nothing more than a call to battle, a veritable head-fake to the unsuspecting Christian. Calling them such is useful to the end goal of the Christian Zionist. Attribute to the ‘Chosen People’ the necessity of their God-given lands, convince the International community that Biblical borders should be the gerrymander of the peace accord, and you get Jesus coming back.

But in the end, at the Second Coming, Jesus only takes the Christian believers with him. The Jewish people, though called ‘Chosen’, end up in hell, having not really been chosen, choosing instead to reject the true teachings of the Messiah.

 

The True Effect of Donald Trump’s Wall

nm-riogrande_rongardnerAbout a month ago, I had the privilege of walking through the Generose Building at Mayo Medical Center in Rochester, Minnesota. This is where they take care of patients with mood disorders, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, as well as other minor to severe mental incapacities.

I was supposed to go to the third floor and visit a patient in the mood disorders wing, but took a wrong turn and walked into the ward for schizophrenic patients. I passed some windows to my left. Stopping for a moment, I looked through the panes of glass and gazed out over a large atrium space that spanned the entire three floors of the building. The roof was made entirely of an opaque glass that allowed a sort of filtered sunlight to make a valiant attempt at brightening the dirty green carpeting on the ground floor. Tables were scattered about the space, half-finished puzzles on every one of them. There wasn’t a fleck of dust throughout the entire space, and every chair was positioned perfectly. Nothing was out of place. Nothing was haphazard.

I would have been out of my mind with the artificiality of it all. The “almost sunlight” would have bothered me worse than a room with no windows. I turned to my companion, “If I was a patient here, I would break out of the joint and make my way to a beach, sitting there for days, listening to the water lap against the sand, watching the rest of humanity do their thing. That would be more healing for me.”

Humans need fresh air. They need a good dose of nature, every once in a while, to keep their sanity, no matter the measuring stick for normalcy. In the United States, since the inception of the National Parks by our bombastic and single-glassed President, Theodore Roosevelt, we began to care about preserving the natural wonders of this country.

Only, Donald Trump wants to destroy the beauty of one of the longest natural borders in the world with his Soviet wall. The Rio Grande is dry in places, muddy in others, and yet, in some areas, it is one of the most idyllic settings for sitting on the shore, feet in the water, listening to cattle lowing on a distant ranch.

Perfect for a man or woman, child or old person, dog or cat, and even the oft-ridiculed scorpion, to lap up the beauties of this world, refreshing their mind for another spell at life.

What is this white stuff on the ground?!

IMG_2740After being titillated with 80-degree weather last weekend, I woke up this morning to an inch of snow on the ground. As the voted-upon bearer of good news to the entire family, I rolled out of bed, went into Renaya’s (13) room, flung open the curtains and said through my laughs, “Look!”

Renaya groaned, “Daddy! I wanted to sleep in!!!”

Oops.

Weekly Godless Check-In: March 18, 2016

  • I yelled at Jack (7). He lost his shoes. I treated him like shit. I apologized and gave him a hug.
    • Don’t humiliate your kids, parents. They don’t tend to like it.
  • I bought a new lawnmower on a credit card after having a zero balance on my cards for a few weeks.
  • My credit score hit 825 on an 850 scale. That’s super depressing. I have nowhere to go but down.
  • I began researching, in depth, the Jamar Clark story. No, not the Minneapolis Police Department version, though that will be cross-referenced for posterity. I will be writing my findings here.
  • I sat on a couch of a good woman and a cat and talked Canadian politics for an hour, drank Canadian beer, and ate Cadbury Caramel chocolate bars
  • I began writing for Freethought Blogs!!!!!
  • I finally took down the third-floor Christmas tree. We’ll burn it soon.
  • My daughter wrote me a letter
  • I gave advice to someone. They rejected it. They were fine.
  • I drank two bottles of wine in two nights. $6 Costco branded wine. It was the best wine I’ve had in years.
  • My bride and a dear friend of hers ripped up our living room carpet, exposing the bare, hardwood flooring. We had installed that carpet five years ago, for $3000. That money is now rotting behind the garage.
  • I was leveraged for a second, simultaneous project at work. I feel like I’m being sprayed with a fire hose, all the information they’re shoving into my brain. This was in lieu of calling my contract. I guess they like me. That’s nice.
  • I wore a t-shirt and shorts, then a winter coat and boots, all in the same week. It also rained.
  • I watched my daughter get a better phone than me.
  • I rollerbladed with my oldest girls, Renaya (13) and Laura (12). I’ve never rollerbladed before. So, naturally, I challenged them to go down a steep ramp by a local church. They mocked me as I screamed like an excited goat.
  • I began the foundational steps of starting my residential demolition company. I wanted to call it Home Wreckers, LLC, but someone already took that name. I think it’s Fabio.
  • I drank too much coffee.
  • I switched my bed sheets to flannel and slept like an old person in a nursing home with nothing better to do.
    • Don’t ever let someone say they slept like a baby. Baby’s don’t sleep.
  • I flirted with my bride. Once, I even touched her in a platonic and loving way. That’s very new for me. I need to learn it, though. She craves touch, but not always sexual touch. I crave compliments and smiles, a woman melting into me. By the time we’re married for 50 years, we might just be compatible.
  • My bride went and talked to Fred’s (11) school and hacked out an agreement to make life better for him. He is amazingly happy now. More on that in a future post.

I Urge You, No…I Compel You to Break Stupid Rules

Response to Tom B. Posts:

I Can Kill My Children if God Tells Me Too
If You Can’t Answer the Riddle, You’ll Burn in Hell

 

I’ve been writing a few posts (above), responding to a gentleman named Tom B. Now, I’m going to take a step back, sit down by this fire and have a chat with a little boy. Tom, you’re a little boy. You may be 20, but you have no idea how to live in the real world. Your rigid ideas of life may make you a disciplined young man, but it won’t go far in your relationships with the rest of humanity.

Tom, you learned quite well, the idea of authority and rules. In fact, life for you is so simple – follow the rules set up by God, and you don’t get hurt. Don’t follow the rules and pay the consequences. But what happens when the rules mean that you hurt others? Yourself? Your family? Let me give you a few examples:

When the rules say you must kill all gay people, should you kill all gay people?

When the rules say you must sell everything you have and follow Jesus, is that always wise?

When the rules tell you that gay marriage is wrong, but you know that it hurts absolutely nobody, yet gives human beings, different from yourself, a joyful life, do you prevent them? What does that help?

When the rules tell you to cover the head of a woman and keep her silent, is that respectful?

When the rules tell you the proper way to own and treat slaves, does owning another human being as property suddenly become a fair idea?

When the rules tell a husband to rule over his wife, is that intelligent, especially when the woman may be better suited to take charge?

When the rules tell you to beat your children, because beating them with a rod will make them wise, and studies show that hitting your children hurt them more than it helps, do you ignore the wisdom of good people?

When the rules tell you to never leave your abusive husband, do you stay?

When the rules tell you that a suffering child must continue to suffer, his lessons to be learned through his suffering, do you walk away?

When the rules tell you to continue a pregnancy, even when it is ectopic, nearly guaranteeing the death of the mother, do kiss your wife goodbye and trust God’s plan?

As you read through the listing of rules above, I understand that your mind is both spinning the rules to be reconcilable with your personalized brand of religion, or you are rejecting some of them altogether, concluding that I am ignorant to ideas like the Bible being a single organism, not being under the law anymore, or Jesus provides grace and mercy, nullifying the necessity of death for earthly sins.

What you fail to see though, is the fact that you get to reject and mold rules because, just like those who don’t believe that they receive their morality from an ancient book, you subconsciously understand that all rules in life are malleable, allowing you to make choices that benefit those you care for the updated rules to benefit, especially yourself.

If you take away ONE thing from this post, please let it be the following:

Making choices in life that benefit you and you alone is not inherently bad.

Don’t ever forget that. Once you learn to love the boy-man that you are, outside of the sphere of influence where others tell you who you are and who you should be, you will much more easily be able to be empathetic toward others and discover what true love is.

And true love is NOT requiring rules to be followed or face the consequences – the greatest of which is permanent separation from your love. He who loves greatly does not set up rules that end in you burning for eternity. That is not love.

Sometimes Lying Makes the Littles Giggle

“Daddy, did you and Analisse go to the Children’s Museum in a bus last night?”

Felicity (8) was standing next to me, her eyes pleading with me for this not to be true. Her younger sister getting to go somewhere fun while she slaved away at school, the perfect and gifted student.

“No, we actually went on an airplane!”

“Nuh uh, Daddy! That’s impossible! You wouldn’t get home in time!”

“Well now, it was a fast plane! We flew over a jungle and watched tigers run below us. Then we watched cats herding cows. They were surprisingly deft at the task. Cows are very subservient to a nearly inaudible ‘meow’.”

“Daddy!!!,” Felicity was beaming and giggling uncontrollably. Analisse (The Freak) (5) was laughing, wondering how she was going to prove the truth of my story, her eyes flitting from person to person in the room.

“Then we landed in a muddy cornfield and made skunk sandwiches. They were surprisingly good! Unfortunately, Ani got a live one and it sprayed her in the face! I washed it with a tomato.”

Laughing out the words, Analisse yelled, “And I wiped my face off!”

“No. I licked the tomato off,” I retorted.

“Then I wiped the pupato off…”

“No, I handed you a cat and the cat licked you clean.”

“Then I wiped the cat’s spit off,” Analisse giggled.

Felicity was smiling ear to ear. “Daddy, what time did you get home?”

“Just before you got home from school,” I said.

Felicity laughed, an exasperated shaking of her arms, straightening them at her side. She looked at The Freak, her eyes glinting with mirth.

“Now get your asses in bed!”

Needless to say, they’re still up.