SoCS — Shades of Gray

Every since I was old enough to start contemplating the world around me, I began to realize that it’s complicated. Our world, our lives, are complex. There is more to them than right or wrong, good or bad, light or heavy, bright or dark, black or white. There are a lot of shades of gray.

I’ve also seen that there are segments of our society — especially when it comes to politics and religion — which do see things strictly in black and white. You are either 100% with them or you are 100% against them. There is nothing in between. There are no shades of gray. There’s only black or white. If you don’t share their ideology or their beliefs, you are “the other,” which means you are their enemy. There is no room for negotiation, no room for compromise.

And I think this is very unfortunate. This view of seeing everything in either black or white and not being willing to recognize and accept all of the gray areas in between is destroying societies around the world by forcing people to choose between the extremes.

And that is not sustainable.


Written for Linda G. Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt. Linda has given us the words “black,” “gray,” and “white,” and asked us to use one, two, or all of them in our posts.

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.