I just started binge watching an interesting show. It’s called “The Gifted” for those that don’t know, I am a geek and love superhero shows, this one is about mutants. It’s along the same lines as the X-Men, only it’s way more human.. and way more political.
This show follows a family and their experiences after the two teenage children discover their powers. They had spent their whole lives thinking that they were “human” and had no reason to think otherwise. In this show the “x gene” is both hereditary and random so anyone can be and/or have a mutant at any time without warning.
The title is a bit misleading because the mutants are not considered “gifted” by most of the population. They are considered enemies and threats to all human kind. Now, that’s not to say that there aren’t some mutants using their powers for evil.. as they are .. shall we say, human, but for the most part they are just ordinary people. There are some, like the kids focused in the beginning of the show, who hurt others accidentally before they learn how to control their powers, and there are others who hurt people in self defense, but the authorities aren’t interested in motives, they are only interested in locking up and/or killing every mutant.
There is a campaign, a government agency, and private sector companies who are Hell bent on taking out all mutants.. they see it as the only way to save humanity. They see it as a way to keep humans pure. Does any of this sound familiar? It should, because it’s exactly the same things that are being said about anyone that is not English speaking, white, Christians in the US.
There is a Senator in the show that runs his whole campaign on “Making America Human Again” and ridding the world of Mutants, as if every mutant everywhere is evil. As if every mutant everywhere is dangerous. Funny, men with guns aren’t dangerous.. but a mutant who can make flowers bloom needs to be destroyed.
Of course this movement to exterminate everyone of it’s kind is not met with open arms by the mutants and they are forced to fight back. The humans in this show are clearly the monsters and everyone can see it. Sure, they all have their backstories. They have lost loved ones to mutants or what have you, but that’s how it always starts. A few bad apples creates an us vs them mentality. Fear and anger become the prevailing force behind decisions and no one can see reality.
The interesting thing that I see about this argument is how no one can be bothered to talk to one another. In real life we have certain groups against illegals or Muslims because they have heard that some have hurt innocent people.. They feel that anyone that even looks like they could fit in these categories should be punished immediately, yet they are the same people who scoff and ridicule at the thought that guns should be outlawed because they are used more often than not to kill and maim innocents everyday.
In this case the constitution is clear… everyone should be allowed guns.. well, everyone except those who look like those other people.. and rights to privacy, and freedom or speech and religion and association.. all paramount to the building blocks of this great country… well, that is white.. Christian… male.. citizens of this country.. I mean if they have brown skin, or wear anything weird on their heads clearly they aren’t “real Americans”. Even though they have the right to the freedom of religion.. that only counts if they choose Christianity.. and they have the right to freedom of speech.. but that only counts if they chose to say it in English.. the not official, but we want it to be language of this great country.. who is so great because of all the people who came here.. and fought.. but not the new ones that come here and fight.. because they don’t count cuz… WE WERE HERE FIRST >:-P
Yeah.. America the Great.. home of the Free.. right.
I was watching an interesting video on YouTube today about whether or not we live in a simulated universe. These were real scientists, like Neil Degrass Tyson who was moderating it, and they had plausible arguments supporting the idea. I have seen the video a few times and always found it both fascinating and ridiculous at the same time.
Do we live in the Matrix and if so what does that mean to us? Today though, I noticed something that I had not before. One of them commented that if we were made as a game to entertain others that “You’d better go out and do something interesting as to not get deleted” and NDT joked that was what death was, it’s just someone getting bored with the character. I didn’t really think much of that analogy, as most of the world is full of very boring people… but what sparked in my mind is the idea of religion and the “creator” who has somehow spread the word that he/she is the best and that it is the people’s job to get other’s to follow that word.
Now for those who know about religions around the world, most aren’t that different in their content. It’s about worshiping a specific deity and loving each other and the best way to love one another is to get your neighbors to worship the same God. This message supposedly comes down from the creator of this world.
Now, anyone that knows anything about good TV and ratings knows that the more the drama the better the ratings. I, personally, am a big fan of the soap opera General Hospital. Recently one of the social media posts asked if a couple was basically deemed irrelevant once they were happily married.. if the drama ended? Everyone, even those who don’t watch traditional Soaps know that love triangles and evil twins are common place in that world. Anything that can create conflict, and there has been nothing on this planet that has created more conflict than religion.
So, if this is somehow a simulated reality in which a creator, in which ever form you choose decided to design a universe for their own entertainment purposes the first thing this creator would do is give the “people” something to fight about. Make them look different. Make them speak differently, so it’s more complicated to communicate. Make them all believe that they were chosen by the ultimate creator to be the chosen group.
Now, I don’t know if there’s a God, or a 15 year old computer geek who created an entire universe just to watch porn, but I know that in either case, hate and violence has a much higher rating than peace and tranquility. Just ask Dick Wolf (the creator of Law and Order). That one show lasted 20 years and had multiple spin offs, with very little main character development… it was all about the murder and mayhem.
The United States is a classic example of hate for the sake of hate. The whole country was created on the basis that ALL MEN ARE CREATED EQUAL. We pride ourselves on being a melting pot and being of Christian values of loving and helping thy neighbor. We are the land of opportunity. We have a plaque that says, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”. We have proud American’s talking about how we need to respect what other’s have given their lives for.. all while saying that we should keep out anyone that doesn’t look like, talk like, and think like us.
The United States of America was supposed to be a beacon of what it meant to be free. Freedom of speech, Freedom of Religion, free to love, free to live, free to be all that we can be, and yet.. somehow, some way, a large group of people have been programmed that unless you use that freedom to be a white, male, English speaking, Christian.. you have chosen wrong.
I’m not sure what can be done to undo the programming of hate, whether by an all powerful creator or just generations of all powerful fools.. but I think we need to look at what we all hold dear in those religious and philosophical texts. Love, peace, and kindness only wins out when we start acting that way towards everyone and respect the differences. Not when we keep expecting everyone to choose us as right.
I just got back from church and today’s topic was a heated one that has been debated for millennia by theologians and novice alike. What is the father, the son, and the Holy Spirit? They are 3 different things… but yet all the same. The priest at my church discussed the different analogies used, like St Patrick and his shamrock, the theory that they were like the different stages of water, or some other that God was the sun, the light was Jesus and the warmth was the Holy Spirit. He concluded by saying that we may never understand, but that ours was not to know. Ours was to believe. That all would be clear after death.
Now, I know a lot of you are probably rolling your eyes. This is one of the problems that religion has. Everything must be taken as fact and believed without proof… but, in my humble opinion, proof is suspect.
If I tell someone that I believe that the world is amazing, that I find awe in a sunset, in the way that life renews itself, in the fact that water does only change and that because of it’s necessity in life it is incapable of ceasing to exist, that child birth and the bond created, no one would bat an eye. If I made a casual comment about how the “universe” is incredible that it was able to contrive such a masterpiece. Everyone would agree. If I said, “God is incredible”, I would get scoffs and eye rolls. If I said, “Allah is incredible” I would have Homeland security bugging my phones. If I said, “The Goddess is incredible” I’d get men claiming I’m a feminazi.
Vocabulary causes 90% of all problems in this world. I was talking with another mother the other day about cliques and how they separate kids, especially in high school. Humans are designed as a tribe species. We need other’s in order to survive. From the time of early man (you can choose your own origin) we needed each other for protection. We needed help with our young, help with hunting, and gathering, and babysitting. We needed to be with others who would love us as their own in order to ensure the continuation of our species.
Since most of the breeding happened within these tribes it started to create homogeneous looking, speaking, and so forth groups that created societies and cultures. When those from outside came into that tribe it was survival to be suspect, most people who ventured outside of their homeland were not looking to join another, they were looking to conquer, or pillage. There is nothing new about this. If an area ran out of food, they needed to find a new place that was full with food. If someone else was already there then they were an obstacle keeping your tribe from said food.
Most of us learned about the Roman Empire, the British Empire, the Vikings… and even the Europeans who came and “discovered” America. They did this not to assimilate or to help those who the “found”. They did it to get as much as they could for those who were like them… for their tribe. This is just how human nature works, and this is unfortunate.
If anyone ever bothered to talk to each other they would realize how alike they really are. How much people actually agree and just use different words for the same things. I’m not talking about the politics that go along with ideas, that’s where the tribes culture starts to come in to affect, but the main ideas behind the religion, the philosophy, the values are the same.
I was speaking with a Native American Owl Priestess and she was joking about the Twix commercial in which they use the example of the left and right Twix being the same as a bouncer and a doorman being the same.. or a spirit and a ghost being the same. Growing up I heard the Holy Ghost and the Holy Spirit interchanged. I’ve heard Jesus and God interchanged. I’ve heard Allah is what Muslims call God. Today in church they said how “God is Abba.. meaning Father” which is true. Abba is the Arabic word for Father… because Jesus WAS ARABIC.
These books that everyone follow are transcribed over and over from one tribe to the next, in one language to the next, and for anyone who ever saw the News Radio episode when Jimmy James’s book was translated to Japanese and then back, you would know how much even one word being changed can make a difference. The Bible has been translated how many times? In how many languages? And the Apostles shared their word literally by walking about and talking to people.. and then the story was verbally passed down… a game of telephone, anyone?
Now that’s not to say that it’s all a lie, or that I don’t believe. I, personally believe that anything is possible until proven otherwise.. it makes life much more interesting. Thanks to scientists and archaeologists many events and people that are talked about in the Bible… both versions.. have been found to be true. So, then the question lies in, how did things happen.
On the history channel I saw a show on the science behind Moses’s miracles, and how because of certain flooding and iron draining into the sea it made the water look red, and how the locust happen through because of a weather change.. and so on.. so scientists say that they PROVED God didn’t do these things.. that science did. I say semantics.
A while ago I read Dan Brown’s book Origin. I don’t want to give any SPOILERS but in it one of the characters proves that there is no God because everything can be explained by computer code. There is a real life Theoretical Physicist who agrees and questions whether or not we really live in the Matrix because of it. But those that believe in God just say.. “ok, then who wrote the code?”. Just because things can be explained by science doesn’t mean that God didn’t use that science to create the universe.
Neil deGrasse Tyson was interviewed about his belief in God and explained that he did not believe in isms.. much like Ferris Bueller. I agree with his logic. If I told you that I am a Christian then you would automatically assume certain things about me. If I explained that I am actually a Catholic it may change your thoughts a little.. I may seem more Democrat than Republican… If I said that I love to study Quantum Physics… that may throw a monkey wrench in yet another theory…. and there in lies the problem with vocabulary.
If you want to know who someone is don’t judge them based on who you think they are based on what you believe someone “like them” would, should, or could be. Talk to them… ask them what they believe, who they are, and what they feel. You’ll probably be surprised how much you have in common.
Love… I mean real unconditional love. It was the topic of last week’s Mass at my church. Now, before you roll your eyes and click off, I am not here to spread my religion… nor do I believe there is only one spiritual path, and everyone is allowed to choose their own. The one thing that I do know is that any, and all spiritual awakenings begin and end with love. This does not mean romantic love, though it seems lately that’s the only kind people are actually interested. I mean true unconditional love.
Five years ago I became a mother. I thought I knew what love was before that. I had no idea. I had been in many relationships, some good some bad. I had one divorce behind me and another relationship that was headed for disaster. I had no idea how to love any of those men, but my son. That was easy. Loving my son was like breathing. I did it before I even met him. I loved him the second I saw that second line on the little stick telling me he existed. Though I didn’t even know that he was a he.
Two years and one month after my son was born my father died. That was my second lesson in love. True, unconditional love. The kind of love that… well, never dies. I was lucky. Growing up I knew that my father loved me. There was never any doubt. He said it and showed it everyday. Now, that didn’t mean he didn’t punish me when I acted up, or that he didn’t put me in my place when I needed, but he never made me doubt myself or him. My father was the one person I truly knew would always be there for me. He may have laughed at me when I did stupid things, and he may have wished me to make better choices at times, but he never once gave up on me, or made me feel like I was anything but capable and my life was full of possibilities.
I remember thinking a lot about family after that. I remember thinking about my past relationships and how or why they failed. I remember feeling like family was everything, and that the reason it is so is because we never give up on each other, and we never judge each other.
I have a brother. He and I couldn’t be more different if we were hatched from eggs on different sides of the planet. We like different music. We are on opposite sides of everything political. He thinks any kind of self help or therapy is a waste of time and feelings are for suckers. To him money and power are first and foremost… yet… When I needed his help; he was there. When I told him my plans for my business, he said, “I think you’ll be good at that”. He doesn’t have to agree with me or my beliefs to love me. Nor I his.
Last week in Mass, Father…. which ever one… talked about unconditional love in terms of Jesus.. and I get that, it’s kind of his thing, but he brought it around to the rest of us. He talked about how it’s the thing that is missing in the world today. We don’t like people who don’t look like us. Why should we help people who don’t live by us? If someone somewhere on the internet does something differently than we do… especially in parenting.. we basically commit a public stoning in the comments section.
We have forgotten to love. We have forgotten to love thy neighbor, where ever they may live. We have forgotten to love and respect our parents, and instead throw them in home when they become a burden. Most importantly, we have forgotten to show unconditional love to the person who matters the most. Ourselves. We bash ourselves. We poke fun at ourselves. We hate ourselves on a regular basis.
The words and phrases I mentioned above come from a particular text that you may or may not believe in, but that doesn’t lessen what they say. If I said that Jesus was not the son of God, but was the Tony Robbins of his day, just trying to help people be the best versions of them-self would that make a difference in your interpretations of those phrases? Does it matter who gives the advice if it’s the right advice? Does it matter how the words got corrupted if the source was genuine?
Nike’s tagline is “Just do it”. It’s simple yet elegant. It’s about getting out and being.. being active, being you.. just do it… They don’t even pretend to tell you what “it” is. They leave it to you to figure out for yourself. It is amazing advice. Yet, if some executive came out and said the “it” in “just do it” was “buy the shoes”. Just buy the shoes! Does that lessen the expression or the original intent? Nike originally paid a graphic designer just $35 for their trademark swoosh. They have since made billions of dollars and it’s one of the most recognizable logos of our time, does that change it’s worth. Does it change your opinion on the phrase, “just do it”? What if your knew that that slogan came from one of the founders of an ad agencies last words (I just Googled it.. maybe it’s true, maybe it’s not) does it matter?
If you believe that love, specifically unconditional love, is important. If you believe that you deserve that love; that everyone deserves that love… why does it matter who said it? Why does it matter where the message came from? And… what’s stopping you?
We have all heard of Dante’s Infernal and the 7 deadly sins, it’s been used in countless movies and TV shows including “Seven”, “Charmed”, and “Supernatural”, just to name a few, but I always used to wonder why they were so horrible in the eyes of the after world (whichever after world you choose is fine). The more that I thought about it the more that I realized they had nothing to do with what happens next. They are all about this world… hence, deadly. These are the things that kill us and our spirit, our drive in this world.
We are all aware of addiction as a horrible disease. People who suffer from it destroy not only their own lives but cause serious damage to those around them. When a person is so consumed with something outside of them-self they can’t manage to do or think about anything else.. they put other things on the back burner.. they lose them-self to that addiction that is a deadly sin.
Now think about what those 7 deadly sins are:
Gluttony: which could be seen as food, or drink, or drug. The way it was used in Charmed was even shopping.. it’s obsessing over something. Some people use the expression “A glutton for punishment” because they always seem to go back to those that hurt them.
Sloth: The act of giving up on life.. seriously. You have no motivation to do anything. We all have those days, mine are usually on Sunday, when we just want to stay in our pjs and pretend the world away, and occasionally that is fine. But if you become the person who doesn’t want to get the new job, doesn’t want to go out with their friends, doesn’t want the new relationship.. out of fear, or anger, or just laziness, then you can watch years go by without actually doing anything. That’s just a slow death.
Lust: This one is a bit tricky. There of course is the sex addict, but I feel with a glutton definition that kind of falls under that category, but what about those people that will do anything to be in a relationship. It doesn’t matter what. They will change themselves, give up their own rights, their own principles. There are people who just don’t feel complete without the status of relationship on their facebook profile.
Then there’s the flip side. Those who are in perfectly great relationships, but need can’t be satisfied. They need to chase the high of “catching” a new romantic prospect. I have met a few people like this. They are the ones that have the affairs, not because they have fallen out of love with their spouse, but because they have an innate need to be wanted. This is very similar to the person who always needs the relationship. These people always need to prove that they are good enough to get the next one, and more often than not they lose the good thing that they already have.
Envy: This one is just a relationship killer. Any relationship, not just the romantic one. This is the one that makes you fight with your spouse over a smile at the wrong person, we get that, but it’s also the one that makes you shy away from interacting with those that you deem better for some reason. Whether you feel the other is better looking, smarter, or more successful, you either put them in a category of stuck up and therefore not someone that you would want to associate with, or you put them into a category of someone out of your league in which case you couldn’t possibly be someone they would want to know.
On top of personal relationships it’s what stops you from going for the job, the promotion, the bigger and the better, because you feel that there is no way that “I could possibly be the best candidate when there are so many more out there that are… smarter, more educated, have more experience” or whichever “truth” you decide fits your explanation. The only thing this does for us is keep us scared and incapable of moving forward.
Greed: Now this seems like it should go the opposite of envy and sloth and should be a great motivator to help someone be successful, but I guess that depends on your definition of success. Greed is not to be confused with ambition. It is great to have goals and be ready and willing to work and fight for those goals. It is a deadly sin when you start crossing lines and stealing, manipulating, and using others just to get what you want. When you start to realize that you have elevated the money or the prestige to be more important than the people around you you start to realize how much you have really lost.
Pride: This is another one that seems like it should be good, until you see it blown out of proportion. How many times have you heard of a family falling apart over pride. It could be a marriage or parents and children who don’t speak for years or even decades over something.. that half the time they can’t remember, or can’t admit wasn’t a big deal. Pride is a dangerous animal. It keeps you from giving up your principles and makes us all stronger for it, but it can be a huge stumbling block once it’s been damaged. There are many out there that hold so tightly to their pride they can’t even give the next person a chance for fear they may be made a fool again.
Wrath: This one is huge. This one is one that we see crippling nations and destroying civilizations. This is the one that needs an enemy. This is the one that needs to place blame on anyone else. This is the one that creates wars. Usually this one is a combination of the rest. This is the one that comes about when someone who is being greedy, and prideful feels envious and they obsess over who they can blame for their apathy. This is when we look for problems to to criticize others over instead of solutions to bring about peace and resolution. We are too angry to see anyone else’s perspective. We are too angry to see our part. The only thing we can do is accuse, and hurt back… and that’s never solved anything.
So as important as the afterlife is to most of us, the only life we actually have control over right now is the one that we are currently living. How do you want to spend your days? Do you want to do, see, and accomplish as much as you can? Do you want to love, learn, and experience all of the wonders that this life has? Or do you want to blame, ridicule, and waste the little time that you do have to be the person you always dreamed you could be?
This is a response to the last blog post that I did about Atheism vs Religion. There seemed to be some confusion about my definition of Religion. I was not speaking about any specific religion or saying that people shouldn’t be opposed and speak out about horrific things done in the name of religion. I am simply speaking about those who try to belittle and change the mind of those who believe that there is something more to life than what we can see.
I was not raised in any particular religion, though my father was raised Catholic and being raised in the US we celebrated all of the commercial Christian holidays: Christmas, Easter… and to a lesser extent Halloween. My father read me the children’s Bible when I was younger, but that was half out of obligation to my mother who gave it to me, and half because he felt that it was part of our modern culture and he wanted me to be educated on it.
As I got older I met more and more people of different religions and my father always encouraged me to learn about them and make my own decisions on which, if any, that I chose. He always felt that it was never a bad thing to be well informed and well read.
Most of my life I didn’t identify with any religion… except maybe The Force.. I’m still trying to get that remote from across the room. I did feel like there was more to life than just living, eating, procreating, and dying… unless you’re a praying mantis. I felt connected in some way to Jesus, because of the family and the culture that I grew up in, and I believed in ghosts, reincarnation, not so much Hell. I came to believe in my own version of what I thought made sense.
After learning about quantum physics and some theorists interpretation of how consciousness creates outcomes, and how we are made from the same stuff as star dust I felt even more sure that there was more to everything that what is understood…. dark matter/energy, anyone?
After I had my son I had a pull towards the Catholic church. I wanted him to be baptized like everyone else in our family. I knew that I didn’t want him to go to the public school in my town and the local Catholic school was known to be wonderful. I met with my family church counselor and eventually received my confirmation. I wasn’t sure how much more I wanted to do with it, but I left that door open.
Then my father died. That was absolutely the worst thing in the world that has ever happened to me. I had moved back in with him after his diabetes was getting progressively worse and eventually I met a man who understood my predicament and though he wasn’t thrilled with living with his girlfriend’s father we made due after my father had a stroke and needed a quadruple bypass. We went on to have the most amazing son in the world…. but unfortunately that man was not up for the challenge and left me alone with a one year old boy and my sick father.
Thankfully for the most part my dad was fine. He had what we called “episodes”. His blood sugar levels would drop to the point where he would become hypothermia and the paramedics spent a lot of time at my house. My father, however, was still working and paying most of the bills while I worked at home part-time teaching ESL online to people across the world nights after my son went to sleep .
This went on for about a year. Then one month after my son’s second birthday my dad said his good-nights and never woke up. I was completely devastated. I blamed myself for not checking on him. I was completely grief stricken. Forget the fact that I had no idea how I was going to pay the bills and how I was going to take care of my son all by myself I grieved for all of the moments that my son would never have with him. I grieved all the moments that he would never have with my son.
My son was 2 years old. His long-term memories hadn’t even begun to form. I was so distraught by the fact that my son wouldn’t know my dad. My wonderfully amazing dad.
But then as time went by my son still spoke about “Papa”. He spoke about conversations they could never have had. Later that year for my birthday I gave myself the present of going to London with my son… that same day my father’s long-term girlfriend died… on my birthday. We had a lovely trip, we saw all kinds of amazing things and had wonderful adventures while there. When we returned home it was night and my 2.5 year old was asleep. When we woke the next morning my son looked around and asked, “where’s Papa?”, as if he was expecting him to be waiting for us when we got back. I just told him that he was with Mary (his girl-friend’s name).
After a while my son was back to talking about him as if he were a friend. He was adamant that Papa was at his 3rd birthday and loved the cake. Maybe he was, maybe it was a little grieving boy’s imagination… but what’s the harm in believing?
It was after that I decided to start becoming more proactive at church. It’s not that I believe everything they say. I understand that the Bible was written by people and that most of the rules were designed around politics and the economy. I understand that if God did come down and speak to people and that his word was passed down from generation to generation there is a good chance it’s been altered anyway. We’ve all played telephone.. never mind in different languages.
But I choose to believe that my father and son were communicating all that time. I choose to believe that my father is still watching us and seeing the amazing little boy that my son is growing into. I choose to believe that I will see him again one day, and if I find comfort in that… why would you begrudge me just because you don’t.
I’m not here to say that everyone should believe in Christ. I’m not here to say that if you disagree with a practice of a church that you shouldn’t fight against it. There is a difference between an organized religion, and a spiritual hope. You don’t have to want more… you don’t have to need to feel connected…. but why tear others down who do? There is no proof either way and many unanswered questions. Many scientist believe in some sort of God… who are you to say otherwise?