Throwback Thursday — Then and Now

Maggie, at From Cave Walls, and Lauren, at LSS Attitude of Gratitude, alternate hosting Throwback Thursday. The idea of the prompt is for them to give us a topic and for us to write a post in which we share our own memories or experiences about the given topic. This week, Lauren gives us the topic That Was Then And This Is Now. She says that “growing up, we all had dreams and aspirations.” She wants us to think back to what we were like and what we wanted as a kid compared to the adult choices we’ve made.

Here are Lauren’s questions.

1) When you were a kid, did you like your name? Would you have changed it if you could? Do you like it now?

I really didn’t give my given name much thought when I was a kid. I just accepted what my name was: Fandango. Ha! Just kidding. There were some names I thought were cool, like Buzz and Butch and Scotty. But overall, my name was fine. Do I like my name now? Well, given that I’ve had it for seven decades, I’m kinda used to it.

2) As a kid, what always brought a smile to your face? What about now, as an adult? (family-friendly please)

Ice cream and chocolate. Same now.

3) What was the most important lesson your parents taught you? Did you pass that lesson down to your family?

Two things: Don’t sweat the small stuff and This too shall pass. I did try to pass that on to my kids. Did they listen? Who knows?

4) Are there talents you started as a child that you still have? If so, what are they?

I used to be very good at drawing and I earned the nickname “Doodles” in school because I doodled all the time. I don’t draw or doodle much anymore.

5) Is there something you regret not doing or starting when you were young? What was it?

Yes. I wish my parents had given me music lessons, specifically piano lessons. But they didn’t and I never bothered to teach myself to either read music or to play the piano.

6) Did you have more close friends as a kid or as an adult? Any idea why?

I grew up in a typical suburban subdivision in the early-fifties through the mid-sixties. There were tons of kids my age and we formed a close circle of friends. As an adult, we’ve moved around a lot and today my circle of truly close friends is very small.

7) Where did you go to think as a kid? Where do you go now?

My room as a kid. My home office now.

8) What would be the name of the chapter of your life from 10 – 18? What would the name be the name of the chapter of your life currently?

From 10 to 18, my chapter name would have been “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.” Today it would be “It’s All Downhill From Here.”

9) What wonderful thing happened in your adult life that your child self could never have imagined?

Being a grandfather.

10) Would your child self like your adult self? Why or why not?

Probably not. He’d probably think I’m an old fuddy-duddy.

Opus Dei

The following Editor’s letter in the latest issue of The Week magazine was penned by the magazine’s co-managing editor, Susan Caskie. The reason I’m posting it here is because I’ve been expressing to people, both in real life and on this blog, that America is rapidly heading toward becoming a Christian theocracy. The reactions I have received from many range from being told that I’m making a mountain out of a molehill, that I’m a Chicken Little claiming that the sky is falling, and to, “Well, America is a Christian nation, you know.”

So when I read this opinion piece, I felt at least some sense of relief that I’m not alone in my concerns and that I’m not a crazy conspiracy theorist crying wolf. Please take a moment to read this and let me know what you think in the comments.

A 40-foot Christian cross can stand on public land. A public-school football coach can pray to Jesus on the field. A U.S. state must extend its vouchers to Christian schools that teach “a Christian worldview.” The newly activist Supreme Court has given a green light to all these government-sanctioned expressions of religious belief, in defiance of previous rulings that the Constitution bars official endorsement of a particular religion.

Since John Roberts became chief justice in 2005, the court has ruled for religious organizations 85 percent of the time. And while past courts often protected minority faiths, this one showers freshly discovered rights on the Christian majority. Under Roberts, says Northeastern University law professor Wendy Parmet, “almost all of the decisions are issued on behalf of Catholics or evangelicals.”

That is not an accident. Republican presidents have for decades outsourced their court picks to the Federalist Society, whose co-chair Leonard Leo is a member of the far-right Catholic sect Opus Dei. The result is an overwhelmingly Catholic court. Only about 21 percent of Americans are Catholic (including — full disclosure here — my mother’s side of the family, the Irish side; the Scottish Caskies are Episcopalian). Yet six out of the nine justices are Catholic, or seven if you count Neil Gorsuch, who was raised Catholic. In theory, judges put their personal beliefs aside. But does anyone doubt that the worldviews of these justices strongly colored their opinions in these cases — and in overturning Roe v. Wade? The belief that full human personhood begins at conception and that the rights of an embryo trump those of a woman is a conservative Christian teaching — one not shared by a majority of Americans.

Our Constitution prohibits the government from favoring, or “establishing,” one faith as the state religion. But we are getting perilously close to doing just that.

FOWC with Fandango — Gas


It’s July 21, 2022. Welcome to Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (aka, FOWC). I will be posting each day’s word just after midnight Pacific Time (U.S.).

Today’s word is “gas.”

Write a post using that word. It can be prose, poetry, fiction, non-fiction. It can be any length. It can be just a picture or a drawing if you want. No holds barred, so to speak.

Once you are done, tag your post with #FOWC and create a pingback to this post if you are on WordPress. Please check to confirm that your pingback is there. If not, please manually add your link in the comments.

And be sure to read the posts of other bloggers who respond to this prompt. Show them some love.