Fandango’s Flashback Friday — December 4

Wouldn’t you like to expose your newer readers to some of your earlier posts that they might never have seen? Or remind your long term followers of posts that they might not remember? Each Friday I will publish a post I wrote on this exact date in a previous year.

How about you? Why don’t you reach back into your own archives and highlight a post that you wrote on this very date in a previous year? You can repost your Friday Flashback post on your blog and pingback to this post. Or you can just write a comment below with a link to the post you selected.

If you’ve been blogging for less than a year, go ahead and choose a post that you previously published on this day (the 4th) of any month within the past year and link to that post in a comment.

This was originally posted on my old blog on December 4, 2009.

Oh the Iron-y of it All

Christmas is 21 days away and the insanity has already started. No, I’m not talking about Black Friday mall shopping or Cyber Monday web-shopping. I’m talking about the crazies who believe that Christmas is under siege by non-believers. I’m talking about the radio stations that have converted over to all Christmas music all the time. (Hey, I don’t mind an occasional Christmas carol every once in a while, but constant Christmas music? Fuhgeddaboudit!)

I’m also talking about what also seems to occur with some regularity around this time of the year: the sightings of images of Jesus and/or the Virgin Mary in very unlikely places. Back in July I posted about a rash of Virgin Mary sightings. She was seen everywhere, from bird droppings on a truck’s mirror to a grilled cheese sandwich to a restaurant’s griddle to a building’s window.

The Jesus Iron

The latest holy sighting, though, is not the Virgin Mary, but her immaculately conceived son, Jesus. As we enter this year’s holiday season, Jesus apparently chose to show himself on the bottom of an iron! Indeed, Mary Jo Coady of Methuen, MA saw the image of Jesus staring back at her on the slightly stained bottom of her iron. She then did what anyone would do. She took a picture of it.

To make sure she wasn’t imagining Jesus’ appearance on her iron, she called her daughters and shared the photo of the Jesus iron with them. Both of Mary Jo’s daughters confirmed seeing the image of Jesus on the iron, proving without doubt that “it” runs in the family. Mary Jo then posted the picture — where else? — on her Facebook account.

Ultimately, a local newspaper heard about it published the story about Mary Jo and her iron, including a picture of the appliance. The Associated Press picked up the story and, well, now Mary Jo’s Jesus iron is famous.

Unlike others, though, such as, for example, the New Mexico café owner who erected a shrine around her Virgin Mary griddle or the Florida woman who auctioned her decade old, half-eaten Virgin Mary grilled cheese sandwich on eBay, Mary Jo says she’s not planning to enshrine her iron or to open up her home for public viewing and praying (or for an opportunity to iron with Jesus). But she does plan to purchase a new iron and to retire the holy Walmart-brand iron and put it aside for “safe keeping.”

I found it interesting that her church pastor, Rev. Thomas Keyes, who has not yet seen the divine iron, seemed a bit skeptical. He believes that God or saints might choose to appear “in person, as opposed to on a toaster, a cinnamon roll, a car’s windshield, a Frito, or whatever. But then, God does what he wants.” Good for Rev. Keyes, but isn’t it a bit ironic (pun intended) that a Catholic priest expressed cynicism about this holy iron? After all, if you look carefully at the bottom of the iron, you could argue that it wasn’t the image of Jesus, but that of Howard Stern, that was pressed into the bottom of that not-so-stainless steel Walmart iron.

Jesus or Howard Stern: who is the real “iron” man?

That said, I wish all of you a happy holiday season, especially to those who get offended when people use the inclusive “season’s greetings” or “happy holidays” instead of the exclusive “Merry Christmas.”

One-Liner Wednesday — Dogma

“You can’t teach an old dogma new tricks.”

Dorothy Parker, American poet, writer, critic, and satirist

Dogma is a principle, or a set of principles, laid down by an authority as incontrovertibly true. Dogma is also a doctrine, or a body of doctrines, concerning faith or morals formally stated and authoritatively proclaimed by a church.

Dorothy Parker wisely pointed out that the dogma of most organized religions and even politics, rarely, if ever, changes, despite changing times and societal changes.

Written for Linda G. Hill’s One-Liner Wednesday prompt.

The Skepticism of Roger

sandcastleThroughout his young life, Roger was required to read the Bible and to review it daily, chapter and verse, with his mother and father. He was taught that God’s laws, as expressed in the Bible, were unbreakable and must be obeyed. To disobey them would condemn Roger to eternal damnation.

Much to the chagrin of his parents, who were extremely religious, Roger had reached the age where he was beginning to question everything. He accepted nothing at face value and became very skeptical of his parents’ belief in a supernatural supreme being.

One Christmas Eve, after attending Midnight Mass with his parents, Roger announced that he was rejecting the dogma of the church. He told them that it couldn’t hold up under the scrutiny of an intrepid mind like his, and that, like sandcastles, it will ultimately be washed away by the waves of time.

His father was angry. His mother was distraught. They gave young Roger an ultimatum. “Either you return to the word of God, or we will disown you,” they told him. But Roger was unready to yield to his parents’ demand. He waved them off in a perfunctory manner and scurried to his room where he packed his suitcase.

“I’m leaving,” he announced to his parents. “I can’t deal with the sexism, racism, homophobia, and superstitions of the church. I need to find my own path, my own way, my own purpose. I may be back after my journey of self-discovery. Or I may be gone forever. I love you both and I thank you for everything you’ve given me and done for me. I genuinely wish you well. I hope you will also wish me well as I seek to find myself and my calling.”

Written for these daily prompts: Jibber Jabber (review; return), Word of the Day Challenge (unbreakable; racism), The Daily Spur (midnight; suitcase), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (dogma; perfunctory), Your Daily Word Prompt (intrepid; scurry), and Ragtag Daily Prompt (sandcastle; unready).