#FOWC — Myths, Legends, and Fables

E6723579-975B-4CD6-A641-B2E230FE5737Warning. This post is bound to offend, irritate, or piss off certain readers, especially those who take the Bible, the Quran, or whatever other holy books they believe in seriously or literally. So if you are such a person, you may wish to exit this post now.

I’ve always enjoyed reading and studying mythology and the stories of heroic and legendary characters. But as entertaining as they may be, I’ve never, as a very pragmatic individual, put much credence into these tales. That’s because they are, plain and simple, folklore.

Folklore is essentially traditional beliefs, customs, and stories of a community, passed down through the generations, first by word of mouth and later by the written/printed word.

Like folklore, fables are generally short tales designed to teach a moral lesson, often with animals as characters.

A legend is a type of folklore, but it typically features human actions, rather than animals, and is perceived to have taken place within human history. It’s typically a non-historical or unverifiable story handed down by tradition from earlier times that is often popularly accepted as historical.

And that brings us to myths, which are stories concerning the early history of a people or explaining some natural or social phenomenon, and typically involving supernatural beings or events.

Perhaps it’s because of my aforementioned pragmatism, my logic, and my reason, that I can’t quite grasp how so many people in the 21st century truly believe as real the folklore, myths, fables, and legends contained in their holy books and are willing to fight and maybe even die to defend their own versions of these myths and legends as being the only ones to be believed.

Wouldn’t the world be a better place if people just appreciated their myths, fables, and legends for the folklore that they are. Believe whatever you want, but don’t use your myths as a weapon against those whose myths may be different from yours.

This irreligious rant was written for yesterday’s Fandango’s One-Word Challenge, “legend.” Sorry, I’m a day late, but my tour guide duties continue to keep me away from my blog.

God-Given Liberties

2434F876-2167-420C-A82A-2DDA269DB4CCI am intrigued by Mike Pence’s use of the phrase “God-given liberties” in his tweet. I’m sure he is using language that religious people and/or those who believe in God could relate to.

But I do wonder why he couldn’t have used words such as “inherent,” “self-evident,” or “unalienable,” rather than “God-given” to describe these liberties enshrined in the U.S. Constitution.

I’m pragmatic enough to understand the broad appeal of the phrase “God-given” when it comes to liberties and rights, since most Americans claim Christianity, in one form or another, as their religion and also espouse a belief in God.

I see references to “God-given” all that time, so Pence’s phrasing is not that unusual. But I am a little bothered by the implication that rights and liberties bestowed upon Americans by the Founding Fathers are “God-given,” especially since the word “God” appears nowhere in the Constitution or the Bill of Rights.

Some might argue that the rights and liberties the Founding Fathers articulated when they wrote the Constitution, which is the very foundation of our republic, are God-given because their actions were guided by the hand of God. Perhaps our Founding Fathers simply forgot to give God credit for their work.

What is a little hard for me to swallow, though, is the somewhat arrogant notion held by many Americans that the “Almighty” is nationalistic enough to have granted us — Americans — these “God-given” rights and liberties while withholding many of them from “his children” in countless other countries.

Americans are convinced that God is on our side, plain and simple. Yet Christianity teaches that all humans are God’s children. So if these rights and liberties that Pence wrote of are “God-given,” how come God didn’t give them equally to all of his children around the globe?

Why would God pick and choose only certain people to give these “God-given” liberties and rights to? Why does he give some people more rights, and better rights, than others?

Why does God grant us freedom of religion, but withhold that freedom from Jews in various nations at countless times throughout history? What was God thinking when he permitted the genocide against native Americans and when he allowed white Americans to enslave black Africans?

Why do we, in America, deserve the “God-given” right to a fair and speedy trial in front of a jury of our peers, but those who live in Islamic countries, for example, don’t enjoy that right? If it’s God-given, shouldn’t they, who are also God’s children, have that same right? Are we, in America, God’s favorite children while those in other countries are his mistreated and abused stepchildren?

Did God guide the actions of our Founding Fathers, but not the actions of those who founded other countries? Why has God chosen to bless the lives of people living in America, while not blessing the lives of all people on Earth?

And as to Mike Pence, does he believe that a woman’s right to manage her own reproductive liberties, that a gay’s or a lesbian’s right to marry the person of their choice, and that immigrant parents’ rights to be with their children are not among the God-given liberties envisioned in our Constitution?

I don’t know the answers to these questions. So, like everyone else, I made up answers to fit my particular world view. To me, the reason that this omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent God is so inconsistent in the way he treats his children is really quite simple: there is no omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent God.

Man created God in man’s own image in order to fill in the gaps in our knowledge and understanding of our very existence, of why and how it all began and what it all means. God is a device that enables us to try to make some sense out of the things that we find incomprehensible and unknowable.

As this concept of an all knowing, all seeing God, an entity to be both revered and feared, evolved, it became a powerful lever useful to the High Priests, kings, and nation leaders as a means to control and manipulate human behavior.

Naturally, all of the various religious hierarchies embraced this “God-fearing” theme and vigorously promoted it to the gullible masses who longed for an explanation, regardless of how inconceivable or incredible that explanation was, for why things are the way they are.

But hey, if people want to embrace that kind of thing in order to feel better and feel empowered, that’s fine by me.

Apparently, that is one of their God-given liberties.

Is God Really Pro-Life?

img_1216I saw this bumper sticker above on a car the other day and it made me wonder how someone would know that God is pro-life.

Is this the same pro-life God who killed all the first born males in Egypt so that Pharaoh would “let His people go?”

Is this the same pro-life God who drowned all life on earth except for Noah and his family and the pairs of animals that gathered on Noah’s ark?

The same pro-life God who permitted the Nazis to exterminate more than six million living human beings (including, no doubt, pregnant women) during World War II? Who allowed hundreds of thousands of Japanese (including, no doubt, pregnant women) to die when the United States dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki? Who stands by twiddling His thumbs while Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad gasses his own people (including, no doubt, pregnant women)?

So where, exactly, do people get the idea that God is pro-life? From the Bible, you say? Oh really?

The God depicted in the Bible is the greatest mass murderer of all time. He killed millions of pregnant women and their fetuses in Noah’s flood. And what about the conquest of Canaan, the incineration of Sodom and Gomorrah, and in numerous other major slaughters described in the Bible? When the entire populations of towns are massacred as part of “God’s will,” you can be sure that pregnant women and their unborn children were among the victims.

Why did God, who allegedly loves the unborn and hates abortion, kill so many unborn children — as well as living children, adolescents, and adults — throughout biblical history? What makes anyone believe that God cares about unborn children?

The anti-abortion movement continues to declare that, in the name of God, abortion is murder. Do those opposing abortion on religious grounds know that the Bible does not consider a fetus to be a full human life or the killing of a fetus to be murder? The Bible requires the death penalty for 60 specified “criminal” violations, but abortion is not one of them.

In fact, nowhere in the Bible will you find any passage that describes a prohibition or penalty for a woman who chooses to terminate her pregnancy. Not a single verse. Yet many politicians and advocacy groups claim that their belief that abortion is murder originate in the Bible.

So where, then, is the evidence that God loves the unborn and disapproves of abortion?

Better yet, where is the evidence that God exists?

I realize that this post may piss some people off and I may even lose some followers as a result. But as Pharaoh said, “So let it be written, so let it be done.”

Beyond Belief

5B0CBB3F-28DE-4AF2-9260-A41FD8AF4AD0Are you ready for this?

Christian televangelist Jim Bakker has preached to his flock that Donald Trump was not cheating with Stormy Daniels on his third wife shortly after she gave birth to his fifth child. Oh no. According to Bakker, Trump was merely scheduling private time with the woman in a hotel suite in order to share with her the good news of Jesus Christ. He was concerned that she was not a good Christian.

“It is preposterous to assert that a virtuous believer like Mr. Trump,” Bakker said, “would cheat on his beautiful wife so callously, and while their child was only months old.”

Bakker explained that Trump “was so concerned with the eternal state of Miss Daniels’ soul that he scheduled some alone time with just the two of them, so he could share with her how Jesus Christ had changed his life and how He could also save her from her sins.”

(According to Stormy on her “60 Minutes” interview, she spanked his ass with a copy of Forbes Magazine on which his picture was on the cover. No doubt that act alone saved her from her immoral ways. But I digress.)

Getting back to Bakker, he further claimed that the $130,000 payment Trump arranged to have his attorney give to Daniels was to help rescue her from the destructive adult film industry and to help get her life back on track. “What a man of God Donald Trump is,” Bakker asserted.

I suppose if you actually believe every word of the Bible to be the word of God, you will believe just about anything. Good news, huh?

After publishing this post, I have learned that the article upon which I based this post came from what I now know to be a satirical website and the story is a complete fabrication. I apologize for having passed on fake news.