#writephoto — The Young Earth

img_1351Jason’s kids spotted the two large boulders, ran over to them, and started climbing on them. “Be careful, kids,” he yelled after them.

When Jason caught up with them, they asked him how the boulders got to be in this lush, green, semi-tropical forest surrounded by brush and trees. They seemed to be strangely out of place.

As an amateur geology buff, he was happy to explain. “Geologists believe,” he said, “that the boulders were deposited around here back when the planet was going through the ice age. That was about two and a half million years ago. Huge boulders like these were pushed south ahead of the massive, migrating glaciers.”

“That can’t be right, Daddy,” said Michael.

“Yeah, Daddy,” chimed in Susan. “Mommy’s boyfriend told us that planet Earth is only six or seven thousand years old.”

“Right,” added Michael. “That’s what Peter told us. He says that the Bible says so.”

“I see,” said Jason, irritated that his ex-wife was allowing her new boyfriend to fill his kids’ heads with this young earth bullshit. “Well,” Jason said, “some people believe in what is called the ‘young earth theory.’ But there is no science behind that theory.” The Earth was actually formed more than four billion years ago.”

“Peter said that the scientists are mistaken,” Michael said. “He said that, according to the Bible, God created the Earth, which is the center of the universe, just six or seven thousand years ago.”

“And he said that because the Bible is the word of God, it must be true and the scientists are wrong,” Susan added.

“Okay, kids,” Jason said, “we can talk more about this later. Go ahead and play for a few more minutes and then we’ll have to start heading back before your mother starts wondering if we got lost on our hike.”

When the kids were out of earshot, Jason pulled out his cellphone and called his ex-wife. When she answered, he simply said, “Jane, we have to have a serious conversation.”

Written for this week’s Thursday Photo Prompt from Sue Vincent.

N is for Negotiate

16B3CACD-C269-4808-80E5-A3D552D01072Our lives include one negotiation after another. When we negotiate, we are attempting to obtain or bring about some end by way of discussion or other means, including non-verbal communication.

Negotiation is essentially a method by which people settle differences and a process by which compromise or agreement is reached while avoiding argument and dispute.
We negotiate daily, often without recognizing it to be a negotiation. When we’re kids, we are continually negotiating with our parents. How late can we stay up at night? What chores must we do? How much will our allowance be?

At school we negotiate relationships with our fellow students and with teachers. At our jobs we may negotiate with our bosses for raises or to get a plumb assignment or to pursue a particular project.

We negotiate when we make large purchases, such as cars or homes. And negotiation plays an important role in personal situations such as marriage, divorce, and parenting.

There are those who may even try to negotiate with God by praying and promising to act in a certain way if only God will answer their prayers.

The nature of negotiations may be political, diplomatic, social, legal, contractual, and even military.

Some people are very good negotiators. Others not so much. Our President, for example, considers himself to be a good negotiator. The best negotiator. Because he knows the best words and he’s very smart. Just ask him. He’ll be happy to tell you what a great negotiator he is.

I do wonder, though, if he’ll be able to negotiate his way into remaining President for too much longer.

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.”

FFfAW — Stoned Embers

Embers“Pass me that doobie, dude,” Calvin said to his friend Dwight.

Dwight took a big hit from the joint and handed it to Calvin. After letting out his breath, he looked over at Calvin and said, “Whoa, this is some good shit, man.”

The two of them sat on a bench in front of the fire pit in Dwight’s backyard. Calvin took a toke.

Both sat silently for a while. Dwight finally broke the silence. “Mesmerizing,” he said.

“It’s the universe and it’s speaking to me,” said Calvin, staring at the glowing, reddish embers at the bottom of the fire pit.

“It’s like you’re standing on top of a mountain looking down at a city in flames,” Dwight said.

“It’s like you’re God, looking at the world you just created,” marveled Calvin.

“More like Godzilla after destroying Tokyo,” Dwight said.

“Don’t mess with Godzilla, dude,” Calvin said. He took another hit off the joint before handing it back to Dwight, who did the same.

The two of them sat silently staring into the fire pit.

(175 words)

Written for Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers from Priceless Joy. Image credit: Enisa.


Live and Let Live

E9227BC6-99B3-4720-85AF-9D57A498DD08“Without God, you can have no moral compass,” he admonished. “How can you know right from wrong or good from evil if you don’t believe in God. Have you no core beliefs?”

“Of course I know right from wrong and good from evil. And yes, I do have core beliefs,” I said. “But they don’t include believing in a mythical, supernatural, omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient being.”

“But God created everything, including you. If you don’t believe in God, what’s the point of life? Of all of this?” he said, waving his arm around.

“Look,” I said. “I believe in live and let live. You know, whatever gets you through the day. Why can’t you do the same? Why do you feel compelled to ridicule me, tell me that I have no moral compass or that my core beliefs are meaningless just because they’re different from yours?”

“I’m just trying to save your soul from eternal damnation,” he said. “Don’t you want to be saved?”

“Saved from being condemned to an eternity in a hell I don’t believe in?” I said. “How about saving me from all of your religious proselytizing, please?”

“I just want you to feel the joy knowing that Jesus is with you and that you’re with Him.”

“I know you mean well,” I said, “and I respect your beliefs. You are free to believe whatever you want to believe, and if your beliefs work for you, that’s great. But so am I free to believe — or to not believe — and if that includes believing that God does not exist, you should respect my beliefs because that’s what works for me.”

“But without God there can be no morality,” he said. “That’s one of my core beliefs and it’s my duty to God to share them with you and to guide you so that you can know Him.”

“I’m sorry, but, while I appreciate whatever it is that you choose to believe, I just don’t accept, much less embrace, it,” I said. “Because my core belief is ‘you do you and I’ll do me’ and, by following that core belief, we’ll both do fine.”

Written for this past Sunday’s Sunday Writing Prompt from Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie. The challenge is to examine one of our core beliefs. In response to this prompt, I wrote this short, kind of fictional vignette. Comments, as always, are welcome.