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).

At the Risk of Appearing to Not Have a Sense of Humor

13CD0B05-F8DF-423E-8B5A-66FA44A450E5Every Monday Paula Light gives us an opportunity to whine about something via her Monday Peeve prompt, saying that sometimes we need to vent a bit. And today I have something to vent about.

I like to think of myself as a witty person, someone who possesses a keen sense of humor. But I saw something recently that really pissed me off. The person who said it — or actually wrote it, since he posted it on an app called Nextdoor — must consider himself to be a real witty fellow, since he apparently thought what he posted was a hoot. Well, in my opinion, he isn’t a wit, he’s a nitwit.

So what did this guy write that pissed me off?

“I once wanted to become an atheist but I gave up because they only have one holiday and that’s on April Fools Day.
God bless you all!!”

Oh har har hardy, har, har!

Now let me first say that I am not a militant atheist. I simply don’t believe that gods exists. I don’t believe that humans were created by God in God’s image. I do believe that humans created God to be a human-like being with superhuman powers. That said, everyone is entitled to their own beliefs, and my philosophy on that subject is “whatever floats your boat.”

But, at the risk of appearing to not have a sense of humor, what this guy posted really pissed me off. What is it about atheists that people thinks it’s fair game to denigrate them? Why is it okay, on a public forum, to tell a derogatory joke about atheists but it’s not okay to tell demeaning jokes about Christians or Jews or Muslims or any other religious beliefs?

Some “believers” believe that atheists have no real sense of humor. They claim that atheists are experts at laughing at others but they do not seem capable of laughing at themselves.

Well, when you live in a country that is mostly Christian, where many Christians believe it’s their calling to persuade as many non-Christians as possible that we are wrong and need to be redeemed, one does become offended by being told often enough that if you don’t believe in God, you have no moral compass, that you can’t distinguish between good and evil or right and wrong, and that you’re condemned to eternal damnation unless you’re “saved” by embracing Jesus, you do tend to lose your sense of humor about derogatory atheist jokes.

Okay, that’s it. My rant is done, my vent complete, and my whine is over. And I know what you’re thinking. When my life, as well, is over, I should prepare myself to spend an eternity in hell, right?

One-Liner Wednesday — Delusion

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“When one person suffers from a delusion it is called insanity; when many people suffer from a delusion it is called religion.”

Robert Pirsig, American writer and philosopher

Oh Fandango, you didn’t really do that did you?

Do what?

Use that quote for today’s one-liner.

Hey, I didn’t say that. I was quoting Robert Pirsig. You know, the author of “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.”

Well, Dango, you’d better be prepared for a backlash for this one-liner. It’s gonna piss some people off.

No worries, pal. I say bring it on!


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