Fundraising help is needed

I generally try to separate my personal and writing lives on here, but life makes for interesting things. I have a need to raise funds to repair my vehicle, and I’m disabled. There’s other things, too, but please look at this link.

https://www.gofundme.com/disability-need-for-truck-repairs

I love to write, but frankly with chronic pain it is not easily done. Please share that link.

Thank you, my beloved fans.

My thoughts on the IG Report

My thoughts on the IG Report. Very long.

I finally got through the IG Report on the email investigation. I have some thoughts. As always, I am aware that there’s going to be people who disagree with me – that’s life. If there are comments to be made, please be respectful and thoughtful in your commentary.

So, yeah, I read all 568 pages, and boy was it dry sometimes. It’s a government document, so….

There was a good deal of repetition with calls to various chapters and footnotes to clarify this or that. I will be pulling out direct quotes from that document with my thoughts. I will not be editing what I pull out, for any reason. Some of the quotes have pretty salty language, so be advised and read accordingly.

First impressions:

Comey came off as disingenuous to me. I think that word came to me because I simply cannot, for the life of me, think of a person with that much intelligence could act with such ignorance.

Various ones in the Midyear investigation seem indecisive. Whether that comes from trying to cover legal bases or cover their asses, I don’t know.

Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, the unnamed FBI Agent 1 and FBI Agent 5, and the unnamed FBI Attorney 2. The actions of those five are disturbing – if only because if I were to be the subject of an FBI investigation, I would be wondering now just how impartial those in the the agency would be.

About the infamous Tarmac Meeting, all I’ll say is that Bill Clinton should have quit running his mouth and not stayed so long. That created an improper appearance which did not help the situation at all.

Hillary Clinton’s email server revelations – how in the world can someone in government service not want to ensure that sensitive information is secured at every point of transmission? I’m thinking about the concept of “chain-of-custody” in evidence gathering. If the evidence is unaccounted for at any point, it’s tainted, and unusable in court cases. I’m not saying that all the emails are evidence, but government needs to be accountable at all times. Frankly, I can’t help but wonder if this allowed for unaccountability.

Also, it seemed to me from reading this that there was a certain amount of foot-dragging going on, followed by the “all hands on deck” work near the end of the investigation. I know there’s a lot of bureaucracy in government, but if the “all hands” work could have been done with remarkable speed, then why so slow before?

Anthony Weiner was a weiner, and I don’t mean his last name.

Other stuff:

Thoughts on Strzok/Page comms:

” August 8, 2016: In a text message on August 8, 2016, Page stated,
“[Trump’s] not ever going to become president, right? Right?!” Strzok responded,
“No. No he’s not. We’ll stop it.” “

I’m going to just get this one out of the way first. The “We’ll stop it” reply is disquieting. It makes me wonder if the ‘we’ referred to people in the government that looks for ways to negate the free votes of American citizens. And don’t start in on me with nattering about conspiracy theories or arguments about the electoral college. There’s been enough of that, and I really don’t want to see it here.

My thing here is the expectation that people involved in an investigation is going to be impartial – no matter their personal thoughts on the matter at hand. They were using FBI-provided devices to do this, too, so there’s no expectation of privacy.

There was a bunch of other things on those FBI-provided devices. Personal devices, sure, have at it. But work phones? There’s just too many exchances to get into for this post. I’m just disappointed.

Chapter 12, starting on page 395. You can read it for yourself. This Strzok fellow was put in charge of the Russia investigation at some point, and again, I really don’t see how you could send things like that and actually be impartial. How are you going to actually justify your actions against your work?

Thoughts on FBI Agent 1 and FBI Agent 5.

It was revealed that during the Midyear investigation, these two were romantically linked and later wed. I don’t really have a problem with that, but it was probably best that this fact be acknowledged in the report.

As for the messaging, the same thing as with Strzok/Page and use of FBI-provided devices.

” After the letter was sent by the FBI to Congress on October 28, Agent 1 sent a series of instant messages to other FBI employees about the reactivation of the Midyear investigation.

Beginning at 1:46 p.m., Agent 1 exchanged the following messages with Agent 5. The sender of each message is identified after the timestamp.

1:46 p.m., Agent 5: “jesus christ… Trump: Glad FBI is fixing ‘horrible mistake’ on clinton emails… for fuck’s sake.”

1:47 p.m., Agent 5: “the fuck’s sake part was me, the rest was Trump.”

1:49 p.m., Agent 1: “Not sure if Trump or the fifth floor is worse…”

1:49 p.m., Agent 5: “I’m so sick of both…”

1:50 p.m., Agent 5: “+o( TRUMP”

1:50 p.m., Agent 5: “+o( Fifth floor”

1:50 p.m., Agent 5: “+o( FBI”

1:50 p.m., Agent 5: “+o( Average American public”

We asked both Agent 1 and Agent 5 about these messages. Agent 1 and Agent 5 both stated the reference to “fifth floor” referred to the location of the FBI WFO’s itCounterintelligence Division. Agent 1 continued, “Again, you know, I think a general, general theme in a lot of this is some personal comment, or, you know, complaining about common topics and leadership and, and venting.” Agent 5 also described this as general complaining to Agent 1 and also as an example of her being “very tired of working” these types of cases. “

Again, you can look at the PDF file – do searches for “Agent 1” and “Agent 5.” I don’t know if these agents were approaching burn-out, like I did in retail, or what, but there’s distinct animus toward Trump and certain parts of their employer.

While it’s on my mind, the +o( emoticon is for “sick face.”

Thoughts on FBI Attorney 2:

” The second exchange we identified occurred on November 9, 2016, the day after the presidential election. FBI Attorney 2 and another FBI employee who was not involved in the Midyear investigation exchanged the following instant messages. Note that the sender of the instant message is identified after the timestamp and intervening messages that did not contribute to the understanding of this exchange are not included.

09:38:14, FBI Attorney 2: “I am numb.”

09:55:35, FBI Employee: “I can’t stop crying.”

10:00:13, FBI Attorney 2: “That makes me even more sad.”

10:43:20, FBI Employee: “Like, what happened?”

10:43:37, FBI Employee: “You promised me this wouldn’t happen. YOU PROMISED.”

10:43:43, FBI Employee: Okay, that might have been a lie…”

10:43:46, FBI Employee: “I’m very upset.”

10:43:47, FBI Employee: “haha”

10:51:48, FBI Attorney 2: “I am so stressed about what I could have done differently.”

10:54:29, FBI Employee: “Don’t stress. None of that mattered.”

10:54:31, FBI Employee: “The FBI’s influence.”

10:59:36, FBI Attorney 2: “I don’t know. We broke the momentum.”

11:00:03, FBI Employee: “That is not so.”

11:02:22, FBI Employee: “All the people who were initially voting for her would not, and were not, swayed by any decision the FBI put out. Trump’s supporters are all poor to middle class, uneducated, lazy POS that think he will magically grant them jobs for doing nothing. They probably didn’t watch the debates, aren’t fully educated on his policies, and are stupidly wrapped up in his unmerited enthusiasm.”

11:11:43, FBI Attorney 2: “I’m just devastated. I can’t wait until I can leave today and just shut off the world for the next four days.”

11:12:06, FBI Employee: “Why are you devastated?”

11:12:18, FBI Employee: “Yes, I’m not watching tv for four years.”

11:14:16, FBI Attorney 2: “I just can’t imagine the systematic disassembly of the progress we made over the last 8 years. ACA is gone. Who knows if the rhetoric about deporting people, walls, and crap is true. I honestly feel like there is going to be a lot more gun issues, too, the crazies won finally. This is the tea party on steroids. And the GOP is going to be lost, they have to deal with an incumbent in 4 years. We have to fight this again. Also Pence is stupid.”

11:14:58, FBI Employee: “Yes that’s all true.”

11:15:01, FBI Attorney 2: “And it’s just hard not to feel like the FBI caused some of this. It was razor thin in some states.”

11:15:09, FBI Employee: “Yes it was very thin.”

11:15:23, FBI Attorney 2: “Plus, my god damned name is all over the legal documents investigating his staff.”

11:15:24, FBI Employee: “But no I absolutely do not believe the FBI had any part.”

11:15:33, FBI Attorney 2: “So, who knows if that breaks to him what he is going to do.”

On this one, while they have the right to their opinions, and free speech, I think this exchange was captured on the FBI’s Lync system, and therefore government property. After the election, Trump is their ultimate boss. Complaining about the boss is nothing new, but this is more than complaints. Remember the Strzok “We’ll stop it” bit? “YOU PROMISED” makes me wonder about that again. The report goes on to say that the agent told the interviewers that this was “just the way we conversed,” but frankly I’m doubtful. Either you’re serious about a serious subject, or you’re too flippant about it. If flippant, then maybe you shouldn’t have been there, and if serious, then that’s another disturbing thing.

On July 6, 2016, the day after Comey’s Midyear declination announcement, Agent 1 and an FBI employee not involved with Midyear exchanged messages about the investigation. During the course of this discussion, Agent 1 described the prior weekend’s activities, which included the interview of Clinton. A portion of this instant message exchange follows. The sender of each message is noted after the timestamp.

15:07:41, Agent 1: “…I’m done interviewing the President – then type the 302. 18 hour day….”

15:13:32, FBI Employee: “you interviewed the president?”

15:17:09, Agent 1: “you know – HRC” [Hillary Rodham Clinton]

15:17:18, Agent 1: “future pres”

15:17:22, Agent 1: “Trump cant win”

15:17:31, Agent 1: “demographics dont line up”

15:17:37, Agent 1: “America has changed”

Maybe it’s me, but I can’t see myself making references like that. I thought there was only one president at a time.

On August 29, 2016, Agent 1 and Agent 5 exchanged the following instant messages as part of a discussion about their jobs. The sender of each message is noted after the timestamp.

10:39:49, Agent 1: “I find anyone who enjoys [this job] an absolute fucking idiot. If you dont think so, ask them one more question. Who are you voting for? I guarantee you it will be Donald Drumpf.”

10:40:13, Agent 5: “i forgot about drumpf…”

10:40:27, Agent 5: “that’s so sad and pathetic if they want to vote for him.”

10:40:43, Agent 5: “someone who can’t answer a question”

10:40:51, Agent 5: “someone who can’t be professional for even a second”

On September 9, 2016, Agent 1 and Agent 5 exchanged the following instant messages.

08:56:43, Agent 5: “i’m trying to think of a ‘would i rather’ instead of spending time with those people”

08:56:54, Agent 1: “stick your tongue in a fan??”

08:56:58, Agent 5: “i would rather have brunch with trump”

08:57:03, Agent 1: “ha”

08:57:15, Agent 1: “french toast with drumpf”

08:57:19, Agent 5: “i would rather have brunch with trump and a bunch of his supporters like the ones from ohio that are retarded”

08:57:23, Agent 5: “:)”

This is simply unprofessional.

The third exchange we identified was on November 22, 2016. FBI Attorney 2 sent an instant message to FBI Attorney 1 commenting on the amount of money the subject of an FBI investigation had been paid while working on the Trump campaign. FBI Attorney 1 responded, “Is it making you rethink your commitment to the Trump administration?” FBI Attorney 2 replied, “Hell no.” and then added, “Viva le resistance.” FBI Attorney 1 responded that Trump was “going to eliminate all of our pensions in order to pay for people like” the person discussed in the instant message exchange, and FBI Attorney 1 and FBI Attorney 2 then began a discussion of federal pension and retirement issues.

Hmmmmmmmm….. “Viva le resistance.” Remind you of all the #Resist45 stuff and Maxine Waters chanting “Impeach 45! Impeach 45!” to you?

This is a huge black eye for the FBI, in my opinion, and I’m saddened by it. The so-called IG 2.0 will look into the FISA stuff, and frankly I’m concerned about what will be revealed there.

The Widow’s Mites

 

And He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury, and He saw also a certain poor widow putting in two mites. So He said, “Truly I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all; for all these out of their abundance have put in offerings for God, but she out of her poverty put in all the livelihood that she had.”

-Luke 21:1-4 New King James Version (NKJV)

 

In the Gospels, The Book of Luke has always been the one that spoke to me the most. Some of that may be from reading a novel called “The Road to Bithyia” by Frank G. Slaughter, M.D. That work is not my focus here, but I do recommend it.

I’m thinking about the widow’s mites. In the recounting that Luke gives us, a widow is shown giving the two mites as her tithe. Now, there’s a lot of argument about how much does two mites equal in today’s wages. Frankly, the amount is beside the point. It’s more about what those two mites represented in the life of the widow than what it represented in what it could purchase.

We don’t know if the widow was aware of the presence of Jesus and his disciples. I’m not sure if she knew she was the focus of a ‘teachable moment’ for the followers of Christ. We can rely on accounts of Christ being able to perceive the heart and minds of those around him, including the widow. It may have been physically evident that she was poor from her style of dress, or her age, or possible undesirability for remarriage – we simply don’t know. Something drew His attention to her spiritual being.

We do know that there were those that bragged about their piety in the church, or other places. Of course, it stands to reason that those people were there too, and Christ was sure to contract those with the widow.

Her contribution was seen as having more spiritual value than its physical value. Sure, once the offering was totaled up by whomever had that job, the two mites probably went unnoticed in relation to the larger coins and such that the others put into the then-equivalent of a collection plate.

Surely there were a difference in the people doing the giving. The ones with wealth probably didn’t agonize over whether to tithe or eat, after all. If they did so, then they had problems that the widow was blessed to not have, anyway.

I’m wondering now how many kinds of ‘sacrificial giving’ there are in today’s world. In the widow’s case, it was financial. Nowadays, there’s a lot that I can think of. Doing things for the church, like cutting the grass and washing the windows, and helping with the parsonage, if there’s one. Babysitting kids during services, if that’s what the church does. Helping to run a food truck for people who are more unfortunate. Visit with people who are homebound. Help kids with things that their parents need help with, even though they’re working their fingers to the bone to provide for – something.

Find a strength in yourself and utilize it, in service to others. The widow gave her two mites in service.

You might not be rewarded with fame or fortune by doing it – but frankly, why would you want that?

The widow didn’t give her two mites with the intention of becoming someone famous in history or celebrated. I’m pretty sure of that. She most likely wanted to put her mites in the box without others seeing her and making fun of the paltry sum she had.

Good thing for us she was seen anyway and by Someone who could see more than any of us.

I’m grateful for that unsuspecting widow, far removed in time from me, with her two mites. She reminds me to be humble. Her treasures were stored up in heaven and I hope she hasn’t even scratched the surface yet.

So, do things for others even if you are less than financially stable. Your actions can be a mite – good works, it’s sometimes called – but know that good works alone won’t guarantee you a spot on the Heavenly roster. I’m not going into the rest of those details here. For that, start with John 3:16.

Be kind to each other, okay?

Thoughts (again)

I can’t take credit for this, but I heard someone say God is not a cosmic vending machine when it comes to thoughts and prayers.

It’s true.

God will always answer your prayers. It might not be what you want, might not be obvious, but here’s a thought. If you’re mad because you didn’t get the thing you prayed for, then maybe your focus wasn’t on God to begin with. It was on that thing.

Thoughts and prayers are good if they are in line with God. If you’re doing the thoughts and prayers thing because that’s what everyone does in a given situation, then you could be a Pharisee.

If you’re genuine in what you’re thinking and praying about, then cool. That leads to another thing, If you’re in a position to do something about whatever you’re thinking and praying about – and here’s the key – if that doing is in line with God’s will, then you need to be doing some work.

Doesn’t matter what it is.

Doesn’t matter what the argument du jour is.

Doesn’t matter what’s happened.

We have free will, but it’s not our place to impose our will upon God. Our place is to have the will to follow the things He has for us. And it was never predicted to be an easy thing to do, either. If it were easy, then something’s not right.

God is not a cosmic vending machine. Don’t treat Him like one.

There’s an old saying about God helping those that help themselves. I’ve always interpreted that to refer to a walk in faith. Others use a different meterstick. I won’t go into those differences. If you want to start an argument with people, on social media for example, inquire about those differences. I’m not interested in that kind of arguing. Not when there’s people in this world that need love more than they need arguing. ‘Love thy neighbor,’ it’s said.

Do you love your neighbor?

I wouldn’t presume to think that it’s me with the ability to argue. I’m not important enough in this world to make those with supposed power to listen to me. In fact, I doubt that those in power would agree with me, because if they’re agreeing with me then that means they haven’t bothered to find a way to agree with each other.

Sad thought, isn’t it? And some use the phrase ‘thoughts and prayers.’ I have to wonder how many have forked tongues shaping the words.

I don’t want that kind of influence anyway. It’s sad that I feel I need to say these things that should be evident anyway. I despair that I have to remind people about the more important things – and yes, for that matter, I have to be reminded too when I’m down.

I love you all. Be kind to each other, ok?

RIP Michael Churchill

My sensitivity to the Spirit has not diminished with age. I can be irritable, grumpy, rough-edged and blunt. I know I’ll never be a St. Theresa or any of the number of those with phenomenal forbearance.

I wouldn’t try to be one of those, just to mold into something useless.

Now, the question is ‘useless to who?’

I would say instead, ‘useless to Who?’ No one is useless to the Creator. We just don’t know what we can be used for.

I’m currently sitting in the fellowship hall of a country church I haven’t visited before. There’s coffee and cookies and well, I like cookies. I came tonight to pay respects to an old friend that fought cancer, and his funeral is tomorrow. This is his church.

I don’t really attend ‘church’ in a building per se, as I’ve gotten older. I look around at the woods, the grass, the sky, the weather and I thank the Creator Himself for it. The parts of my mind that enjoys the scientific method and logical observation note the things in nature that make up this world, the various observable facts, and the things that remain a mystery.

That part rejoices, along with the other part that watches for the Spirit’s presence. All parts agree.

The moment I crossed the threshold of this church, I felt that Presence. I knew It was here as I drove by the setting sun and saw the illumination of the building.

Firefighters are here, turned out in dress uniforms to honor their comrade, and Michael’s turnout coat and helmet is at his casket. Family and friends are here, some sad and showing it and some not.

The Presence is also here, guarding a good man before we commit his body back to the earth from where it came. I have no doubt that at the hour of his death and escape from the ravages of that demon cancer, he heard the words “Well done, thou good and faithful servant. Enjoy thou into the glory of your Lord.”

No doubts.

Sadness? Yes, there’s sadness. But there’s a greater joy.

I’m glad my old friend is no longer suffering. Before he left us, I held his hand and whispered in his ear that I loved him and that I wanted him to save a place for me.

We’ll meet again, one day. On that day my sensitivity to the Spirit will be in full force.

Godspeed, old friend.

More thoughts

Sigh.

I’m here again with another thought. Actually, more thoughts.

So, I got blocked today, apparently for asking a simple question. Again, I’m not going to make a direct reference to the person, same as the one from the last Facebook post and frankly I don’t care now. If that person doesn’t like it, then I am genuinely sorry.

I’m venting here.

So I was catching up with my friends on Facebook, and I come across a post congratulating Sweden for getting the first gold at the 2018 Winter Olympics. That made me smile, since I consider Sweden to be a pretty competent participant in either version of the Olympics. Let’s be honest – if you’re on any of the Olympics-level teams, you’re something special. I admit to some confusion about the viewing schedules on TV, and wish I could see the judo and taekwondo competitions more often, but that’s beside the point.

My smile was gone with the next sentence that said “MAGA supporters can suck it.” MAGA presumably refers to ‘Make America Great Again,’ which is a catchphrase that then-candidate Donald Trump used in the 2016 US Presidential Elections. Still uses, I should say. It worked then to reach those feeling left out.

My response was that this had started out as a good congratulatory note, and it was. I went on to call this person out – gently – and ask why did politics have to be put in it? Plus, I didn’t think that had bearing to the Olympics, and said that. I’m sure the athletes have their opinions, too, but when they get out on the field, or slopes or ice or whatever, they’re thinking of the competition, the stress of competing at that level, and what they need to do. I really don’t think they have time for whatever their country’s politics are.

That’s why I like the Olympics, because politics presumably aren’t necessary, and world-class athletes can compete. I get so tired of political grandstanding, arguing, sniping, and everything about it. Religion, too, as you probably remember from my post the other way. Politics, from my point of view, is just another form of power and influence that corrupts, and I dimly remember that the Founding Fathers had that same worry as they hammered out the Articles of Federation and later the Constitution.

So, for my question, I got blocked. My question, that failed to line up with this person’s views, wasn’t responded to with an answer other than a peremptory blocking. I won’t go so far as to say ‘dictatorial,’ since that is a privilege that all of us with Facebook pages have, but it brings up a troubling thought. This thought is not in specific reference, but it’s a trend I’ve observed in more people than I want to admit.

If one slashes away any differing points of view for the sake of a question, then what’s left? If there’s only one point of view allowed, then how can one be accepting of others?

I don’t go into my specific political choices – my family doesn’t alway know my thinking on this – but I’m generally centrist-right. I’m not registered Democrat or Republican, and if I had my say about it, I wouldn’t ever be. However, in order to vote in primaries, I have to temporarily pick one. When I do that, I get crap in my mailbox I’d rather not.

I wasn’t pleased with the selection that finally shook out in 2016. With the things coming to light and things left to come to light about supposed meddling
by technical, political, and other means by foreign agents, I am concerned about a redirection of will. A political judo throw, if you will. I don’t know how many of those reading this have been on the mat, but if your ukemi ability sucks, you ain’t going to feel real good as that mat rises up to meet you.

Out of breath? Achy? Unable to get up quickly and continue sparring? Considering how much arguing and backbiting there is (watch C-SPAN if you don’t believe me) after that judo throw of the elections, I don’t blame you. Use jiu-jitsu as the example if you want to, or any of the grappling systems.

Ever notice that the gun debate has gotten a little more quiet, now that there’s politics to argue about? After that politician was nearly killed on the field playing ball, there was an outcry and support for him, but now? Back to business as usual, and he’s still having some issues. It was a Bernie supporter that shot him, too. There’s people that say he should have shot straighter.

Or the sexual assault on college campuses thing there was a lot of talk about recently? Fraternities doing a pig roast, which I’m not going to define here. The stuff about rape – or the stuff about the false accusations.

What about the arguments about police or protestors? Want to touch off a real big one. Stand up on one side or the other. I well remember being called a slaver by someone on Facebook simply for having worked in the prison system. “Prison-industrial slaver,” it was. Refuses to ride along with cops to see what it’s like to be a cop. Protestors – sure, protest injustice if it exists, but the moment stuff starts burning, gets broken up by a mob, or someone get hurt by the mob, you’re no longer protestors. If the cops give a lawful order like “go this way, but not here, then take a right up to Walmart and disperse from there,” then do it. Somebody throws a brick or a Molotov cocktail at the cops, well, so much for that.

But no, there has to be politics.

I’d never ever want to be President. I’d tell the long term Senators and Representives that they need to quit using twenty-five words where seven would do.

I don’t want to be in politics, period. If it’s disappointment in our “leaders,” who either contradict themselves or find carefully measured but gleeful delight in finding contradiction, it’s the people who vote them in.

Take your pick of the side. If it’s a “hard-whatever,” then there’s someone else that’s got to take it upon themselves to respond. Snippily, snottily, with various curses and insinuations that make me wonder if they’d talk to their mother that way.

But no. Ask a question about why is politics getting put in a post about something that’s supposed to be above politics and its strife, and get blocked. I see that politics is more important than answering a simple question given without accusatory tones at all.

I know the Founding Fathers got pretty rough, but I really do think they’d be disappointed.

Personal thoughts

Thoughts

“Fictitious Sky Man.”

This phrase has been on my mind since a Facebook friend went on what seems to be a semi-regular rant about spiritual belief. This particular diatribe was concerning the players/fans/whatever following a higher power to their team or whatever, and asking why they thank the fictitious sky man for their wins?

And yes, that person will probably know exactly who I am referring to – the post was deleted later, but still. I’m not making any direct references, because this post is a general observation.

It still bothers me.

As for the players, the genuine ones with faith anyway, they probably grew up being told that they have a talent for whatever ability they show on the field. Or diamond, or rink, or whatever their sport is played on. The genuine ones with faith give the glory they receive for those talent to whom they feel gave it to them instead of keeping it for themselves.

The “fictitious sky man.”

Now, this is a matter of belief. Some have it, some don’t. Nowadays, it has become common to ridicule those of belief, if someone else doesn’t believe. It could be belief in anything.

If you don’t believe in something, make fun of it. If you don’t like something, make fun of it. If you hate something, make fun of it.

Someone’s belief in a sports team.

Their favorite brand of car or truck.

What they like to eat.

The genre of books, movies or music they like.

Their religious preferences or their lack thereof.

Whatever it might be. Tear it down and dismiss it as quaint or stupid. It seems there’s a lot of “fictitious sky man” going on.

For that matter, there of those that profess to believe that tear down those that don’t. For that particular instance, I say “love your fellow man.” That doesn’t mean run them over or let yourself get run over. And as a note, the term “man” isn’t used in a sexist way – it’s used in general, as in “human.”

So, yeah, the term “fictitious sky man” bothers me. It’s most commonly used as a derision of Christ, and that derision is therefore placed squarely on anyone who is a Christian – whatever denomination or branch. Or, whoever places his or her belief in Christ no matter the role that person plays in the Church. And whoever made the comment about not secure in beliefs and scrolling by, reminded me of others talking about turning a blind eye to the things that need fixing in the world. Just ignore it.

I can’t.

I’m not a minister. I’m not a teacher of Christian theology. I don’t have a substantive role in the general body, and I haven’t received a call for any of that. I’m still a Christian, baptized in a little Pentecostal church – that was a personal matter. And I do mean little, too. The back yard was bigger than the building.

I don’t make fun of others’ beliefs or lack thereof. I’ve done it in my younger days, but I’m pretty sure I haven’t done it in a long time. I’ve reached a point in my life that doing that is just not fun and frankly I feel like it reflects badly on me and whoever I happen to represent. Or whatever I happen to represent. I’m not a CEO of a company for instance. Unless you count Steele Writing Enterprises, but that’s my website that I haven’t felt well enough to contribute to lately. Frankly, the feelings roiling around inside me writing this is bad enough.

So yeah – I feel it’s pretty immature to throw around “fictitious sky man.” Perfectly up to someone to choose not to believe. That’s a personal choice, just like mine for baptism. Still, I have to ask – why has it become acceptable to ridicule practice of faith?

And don’t get me started on those people that think killing others for what they think is their spiritual right is what they should do.

In a way, it’s disrespectful. Respect is another term that feels like its definition has fallen by the wayside. Don’t agree with my way of thinking, then you’re disrespecting me and must be attacked.

Different forms of attack in today’s world. Physical, of course. I hope never ever to see that, but of course it happens. Attack by words? Most prevalent, especially on Facebook.

“But that’s my freedom of speech!”

True, it is. I’ve also noticed that it’s a lot easier to type something out on a keyboard, just like I’m doing now, without fear of an immediate physical reaction. In other words, I see a lot of stuff online that people wouldn’t say to another person standing in punching range. Sort of like the kids that wait until they have a good head start before they turn around and yell “And your mama speaks Wookiee!”

It still isn’t a good practice.

I’d ask that whoever reads this – if you don’t hold the same beliefs I or others do, can you tone down the “fictitious sky man” bit, at least? I have to ask, does it raise your stature to do it, and if so, stature in whose eyes?

Now, I’m waiting to see who’s going to bring up the Crusades or the Spanish Inquisition, and wants to fight that fight all over again. As for those two examples, that’s long in the past and not my circus or monkeys. I don’t have any guilt from that – because I wasn’t in that decision making process. So, leave those two alone.

In fact, I’m waiting to see who’s going to bring up what.

These are my early morning thoughts – no editing, no weighing of points, no fakeness. Just a flow of thinking, after a night of tossing and turning. That’s how I feel about this.

Be kind to each other, okay?

Working on “stuff”

I’ve been working on the second book in the Cadealith Chronicles Trilogy, and waiting to see what I get back for the Wizard’s Apostasy audiobook. Early listening of what I’ve been sent make me, as the author, excited to hear my characters come to life. I think the Master Ranger is the one I’m really looking forward to.

You?

Also, I have published Unknown Worlds in paperback (and got my own copy.) If you are interested in getting your own copy, you can purchase it at Amazon.

I’m excited to see what happens.

 

— JB Steele