And to think it all began with The Church Without Pants

Thursday, July 19, 2018

The Continuing Adventures of Bohu and Tohu (E4)




Bohu and Tohu visit the Logic Tight Compartment


Yesterday …

B:            Can you believe how some people will continue to support politicians no matter what those politicians do or say?


T:            It is baffling, Bohu. Some of them are total hypocrits; they change their minds about everything, make “rules” that never apply to themselves …

B:            Well, regardless of how some “commoners” approach this, I try to be unbiased. For example, I thought the big speech yesterday was incredible. 


He. 

      Was. 
                   Genius. 

No hypocrisy there. He just said what needed to be said and he said all the right things.

T:            But there are a lot of really powerful people upset with him.

B:            I know some people are upset, but the truth hurts. Besides, considering his history with all parties involved, how could anyone blame him for saying what he said?

T:            I don’t know, Bohu. Maybe he went too far this time.

B:            It was perfection. Perfect word choice. Perfect message. Spot on.

Today …

T:            Uh, Bohu? Did you listen to the news conference today?

B:            Why? So I can hear all his enemies try to spin everything he said yesterday to try and make him look bad?

T:            Well, no. All that “perfection” from yesterday? He just said that he didn’t mean anything he said and that he was just joking. He’s walked it all back …

B:            Genius. Total Genius!


Blah, blah, blah

And so it goes … until

nothing

ever

really

happens.



*The words Bohu and Tohu are derived from Hebrew characters found in the creation story. These characters are frequently translated as "Formless and Void" and describe the empty emptiness of the earth prior to the acts of creation. I imagine the personifications of these characters have been around for at least that long, too.




*The words Bohu and Tohu are derived from Hebrew characters found in the creation story. These characters are frequently translated as "Formless and Void" and describe the empty emptiness of the earth prior to the acts of creation. I imagine the personifications of these characters have been around for at least that long, too.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

The Continuing Adventures of Bohu and Tohu (E3)








Bohu and Tohu* talk about the proper use of FACTS

B:            Why so sad, Tohu?

T:            Research continues to show that my facts are wrong

B:            That’s easy to fix. Just say “FACT” at the start of each sentence. Use big letters when you speak or write. This establishes your knowledge and authority on whatever the subject is.

T:            But the facts aren’t true.

B:            It is true that your so-called facts are purely fictional, but “FACTS” are the same fictions that sound true because you said, “FACT.” A FACT can be literally anything, but the best FACT is something that’s really close to the truth.

T:            I want to write this down. Let me have your pen?

B:            (Hands Tohu a pen)

T:            (Writes) The best FACT is that which is closest to the truth …       

B:            Can I have my pen back?
 
T:            What pen?

B:            The pen in your hand!

T:            FACT, this is my pen. You gave it to me.

B:            Aarrrgh!

Blah, blah, blah

And so it goes ... until

nothing

ever

really

changes.

Again.

*The words Bohu and Tohu are derived from Hebrew characters found in the creation story. These characters are frequently translated as "Formless and Void" and describe the empty emptiness of the earth prior to the acts of creation. I imagine the personifications of these characters have been around for at least that long, too.


Wednesday, June 20, 2018

The Continuing Adventures of Bohu and Tohu (E2)





Boho and Tohu talk about a strategy to seize the political immunity idol

B:            Let’s create a dilemma.

T:            And let’s use some loophole so we can blame it on someone else.

B:            We’ve got to make sure the dilemma stirs people’s hearts.

T:            An important cause …

B:            A “morality” issue …

T:            And then I can offer a nonsensical solution …

B:            And people will cheer even though it doesn’t fix anything …

T:            Because at least we're trying to do something

B:            Unlike those who "created" the dilemma (wink wink)

T:            And I’ll be a hero!

B:            Wait, did I just hear you say that you will offer a solution and that you will be the hero?

T:            Well, yes, of course, I'll be the hero. Did you really think I'd let anyone else be the hero?

B:            But I wanted to be the hero! It’s MY turn to be the hero!!!

T:             (Thumbs his nose at B)

B:            And besides, your solution is a load of f'ing nonsensical BS !&%%!!

Blah, blah, blah

And so it goes … until

nothing

ever

really

happens.


The words Bohu and Tohu are derived from Hebrew characters found in the creation story. These characters are frequently translated as "Formless and Void" and describe the empty emptiness of the earth prior to the acts of creation. While the earth is no longer a vast empty emptiness, we still find ample evidence of the personifications of Bohu and Tohu.

The Continuing Adventures of Bohu and Tohu


Bohu and Tohu* talk about Immigration and Children

B:            I’m outraged at what’s going on now!

T:            Oh Yeah? I’m outraged that you’re outraged!!

B:            At least I’m outraged about important issues!!!

T:            I was outraged before you were outraged!!*#

B:            I’m more outraged than you ever were!**!&?!

T:            Does that make you overaged?

B:            What do mean by that?

T:            You’re just trying to change the subject.

Blah, blah, blah

And so it goes … until 

nothing 

ever 

really

happens.

Again.

*The words Bohu and Tohu are derived from Hebrew characters found in the creation story. These characters are frequently translated as "Formless and Void" and describe the empty emptiness of the earth prior to the acts of creation. I imagine the personifications of these characters have been around for at least that long, too.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

That Phrase, "Law and Order"

So, as the 2016 RNC began, I was thinking to myself, There's that 'law and order' phrase again. I wonder what that means this time? I think I have a clearer understanding of that now after the indictments are in and the convention has held court, tried the perp, arrived at a verdict, and passed sentence.

Hearing the chants and the call and response sessions with thousands of self-described law abiding citizens shouting "guilty," and "lock her up," with some even sentencing her to be shot or hung is just plain frightening.

RNC, I can only imagine what might have happened if at just that moment your enemy were delivered in to your hands. The rabid cheering, screaming, foot stomping, and chair pounding would be deafening. With indictments entered and the trial already over, the calls for imposing sentence would be accompanied by fireworks. And to your delight, after the smoke cleared you would discover that this wasn't a dream and that your emeny was still there, on stage, bound and securely surrounded by your party leaders and dignitaries. 

There she is, standing silent and blindfolded before you. And now your party leaders, honorable men (and women) of their word and who must now demonstrate the conviction behind their bluster, begin to deliver the justice they have promised you. The convicted is subjected to an extended interrogation, but after learning nothing more than her previous accusers, the party leaders forego the civility of further cross-examination and treat her as the traitorous murderer and terrorist you know her to be. They strip her bare and tie her down with her head tilted slightly towards the floor. Videographers capture every angle and every nuance of the event and you, yourselves, would be standing on your chairs straining to catch a glimpse of every facial twinge and bodily twitch of your mortal enemy on the giant video monitors. Your party leaders would take the lead in the torture, but they would open up the buffet, inviting some special delegates and respected citizens from the floor to have their turns with her. One would urinate on her. Others would shout their venomous pain at her, their spittle collecting on her face and only to slapped off by the next delegate. 

Then would come the climax of the evening: the blindfold is pulled down over her mouth and your nominee will perform the waterboarding himself, seeking to extract any last words or even a possible confession from the enemy of the people. And after satifisying himself with her and adjusting his tuxedo, he leads you through the chants one last time:
 "What is your verdict? Is she guilty?"

 "Guilty," would be your response, louder and louder, over and over again. 

 "And what is your sentence?

Only now, with your thirst for violence just primed and your arch villain naked and  defenseless before you, those few who earlier were brave enough to call for her death march on the stage to lead the chant...

One of them leans in towards the microphone and addresses the nominee saying, "Mr. Future President and Leader of the Free World, for crimes against humanity, she deserves to die. Our sentence is Death!"

Most of you, in spite of the heightened tensions on the moment, are stunned into silence. There are few whispers of "Death?" echoing in the grand hall. But one delegate has the courage to stand up on a chair and speak.

"Death!" shouts the lone voice, with a fist raised high in the lingering smoke.

"Death!" comes the call from the stage.

"Death!" cry a few more in response.

"DEATH!" they shout from the stage.

And from the floor, more and more delegates join the chorus, "Death! Death! DEATH!"

DEATH!

"Death!"

"DEATH?"

"DEATH!"

 "DEATH?"

"Death!"

"DEATH?"

"DEATH! DEATH! DEATH!"  

And with Law and Order having prevailed, the enemy of the people would be summarily executed before the triumphant party convention and a prime time audience. 

Justice would be served.

And you are safe.

That is one mob-mentality scenario I can imagine.

Another scenario is that, once you were face to face with your enemy and the reality of what you came so close to doing, you would be gripped by a moment of sanity and be so embarrassed by your behavior that you would beg her for forgiveness and denounce your party leaders as frauds and hypocrites.

I know, the convention brought a handful of people up on stage who are desperate for justice. You feel like The System (Government? Elected officials? Political appointees?) has let you down. At best, you feel you have been ignored or your grievances have been glossed over. At worst, you suspect The System is complicit in perpetrating and then covering up your case. No one else can feel your pain as you do or understand the depth of your loss or your sorrow. But please know this: your tears are just as important and just as valuable as the tears of anyone who has ever grieved the premature loss of a life that mattered. 

And to the thousands of others there, who, like lobsters that have been in the pot too long to realize what's happened to them, you "law and order" advocates who are my neighbors and probably attend the church around the corner, you scare me more than any other potential threat. This is nothing more than an un-holy alliance of nationalism and fear disguised as patriotism and religious piety. Reminds me of the "Islamic Extremist" you fear so much.

No Law (but your own).

No Order (but your own).

Just misguided anger and misdirected fear.

Patriotism is usually the refuge of the scoundrel. He is the man who talks the loudest. Mark Twain

Friday, November 22, 2013

The Other Side of Denial


Some of us find friends in the gospels - people we can relate to. Their 100% humanity calls out to us in all their glorious successes and screw-ups. We want to be like them. But not too much like them. We will probably never soar as high, nor can we fail as miserably.  We insist that we can learn from their mistakes and we vow that we would never fall as low as they had. To play the role of Judas would be unthinkable. Who among the faithful today would knowingly deny or betray God? Like Simon Peter we would boast that we would never betray Jesus. Simon, the one who speaks before thinking and leaps without looking. So totally human.

Simon Peter, next to Judas, may be the biggest screw-up in the gospels. Not because of one incident, either.  He screwed-up over and over and over again.  Jesus even called him "Satan." After that, on the night Jesus was arrested, Peter denied even knowing Jesus.

Of course, we need these role-model screw-up types to encourage and inspire us, but lately I've begun wondering if Peter has been judged unfairly. I've wondered how a man, after living with Jesus for three years, could deny even knowing him. (We may be challenged to ask the question regarding Judas, and perhaps we should ...).  I wonder about the reasons and motivations. I wonder what we learn about following Jesus and living in the kingdom of God from such an act.

I also wonder what we might be missing if the story has been misunderstood. 

Luke tells us the story of Peter's denial that last night Jesus spent with his followers. You can read the entire story right here:  Luke 22:7-65

And that's just as you remembered it, isn't it?  We cheer for Peter every time we read it, don't we? We root for him to not fail this time.  "Peter," we shout, "Don't do it!  Be brave!  Stand up for Jesus and admit that you love and adore this man and everything he stands for. Show us that you learned something after being with Jesus every day for all those years.  Show us that there's some hope for us humans, so prone to failure."

But for that very same reason we also need him to fail again.  We need him to deny Jesus because we need to know that God can love someone who would betray Jesus - even when after being warned about it. Or maybe we need it this way simply because that's the way we've always read it.

But what if there's another story there?  What if Peter, for all his faults, wasn't the kind of screw-up we've always thought him to be?  What if we've been vilifying (and relating to) Peter for all the wrong reasons?  What if his screw-ups don't really make him so lovable because they are far more troubling and ambiguous than we ever imagined? What if his impetuous nature really would get him killed before his time?  Is this Peter, the first one to publicly identify Jesus, the one who promised to get in the way of any who would harm him, the one who shouts before he thinks ... is he really the type to deny Jesus?  Or do his flaws lie elsewhere?  

Now, put yourself in the story.  Hear it again, but remember to start from a place of powerlessness, hopelessness and desperation that comes from generations of oppression and exploitation. Add in a touch of brash impulsiveness along with a heavy dose of deadly adversary.  Then mix them all together with a stern warning, a prayer and a promise, and a glimpse at the other side of denial.

"Now the Festival of the Unleavened Bread arrived, when the Passover lamb is sacrificed ... " Jesus described it as his time of trial.  His followers were gathered for what would be their last meal together.  After the wine, there was talk of betrayal and conspiracy, and the denials escalated into claims of superiority, greatness, self-righteousness and one-upmanship. To some, it might have looked like a child’s game of King of the Hill. It might also have looked like the kind of pissing match you hear about when the wine has been spiked with a testosterone-adrenaline cocktail.  

As the reality of the situation was caving in around them, Jesus tried to settle them down with some reassuring words.  But he had seen what this crew was capable of.  A couple of them even brought their swords. Were they foolhardy enough to think they were ready for this enemy?  Peter might think so ...

He had to sober them up, and quickly.  He pulled Simon Peter close to him and said, very slowly, “Simon. Satan is craving you and will sift you. Like wheat." Jesus clenched his fist and the dust from a dirt clod spayed out from between his curled fingers. "But I have prayed for you. I've prayed that not only will you pass this test, but that you will come out of this a changed person, ready to strengthen all who remain.”

“Lord, I am ready.  I will do whatever is necessary.”

“And so I tell you, you will deny me.”

“No! I won’t.” 

“Of course you won’t. But you must. You will say that you never even heard of me.”

“How can you ask me to say such a thing? You know I can’t do that.  I would follow you anywhere. I love you...”

“Don’t you think I know that? But you cannot go where I am going. Not yet. You will be tempted, but you must not give in.  And so I pray this of you … This is the only way.  Before this night ends, you will need to deny me.”

And Simon protested, “But … but we have swords …”

Jesus grabbed his shoulders and brought his mouth to Simon's ear.  His breath was hot and his whisper was loud and hoarse, “Stay alert! Pray that you pass this test.”  And those were the last words Jesus spoke to him about this.

And Simon, knowing now that he must not deny Jesus, wept bitterly, still protesting as he cried himself to sleep.

I realize that rather than achieving anything helpful, this post may simply open a can of worms that could even include, "Would Jesus ever ask us to lie?" Whether you see something helpful, or not, please feel free explore and comment on the contents of this can.