One-Liner Wednesday — Delusion


“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.

Opposites Don’t Attract

C8C02577-2BF0-4BA7-9A22-0D3901B6C4A5Mel, over at Crushed Caramel, wanted to know what we would do faced with this situation:

You are in love and the person you have been courting for some time wants to marry you. Although you are very close, there is one main difference in your outlook. One of you believes in a Creator and wants to practice a particular faith. The other does not believe in a Creator and despises all religion. When the two of you talk about beliefs, emotions run high and generally the conversations have to be cut short because it can become hurtful. You realize this may cause challenges, despite the love you share.

In a comment on her post, I wrote:

What would I do? I’d turn around, walk away, and never look back. This is such a fundamental matter and one that essentially defines who we are. It can’t work in the long run.

In a response to my comment, Mel asked me this:

Here is a question for you…and it is not meant to be controversial or provocative, I just wonder what you think. I can see that if one partner did not believe in a Creator and was anti-religion and the other partner was very actively religious and constantly pontificating about it – there could be fireworks. But what do you think of a couple who agree to disagree and decide to talk about it? Or the partner who believes in a Creator does so silently. Perhaps someone who believes in a Creator but steers clear of religions who seem to have their own agenda. Someone who silently prays but does not speak about their beliefs to their partner because they know it would be provoking. I have a few friends in exactly that boat. I have seen a lot of love in those relationships, but also a lingering sadness.

Okay, so here’s the deal. I’m an atheist. I believe that the notion of a supernatural “creator” is a man made creation. I am not, however, anti-religion. My philosophy when it comes to religion is “whatever floats your boat.”

That said, I have no patience for the holier-than-thou religious cheerleaders who are certain that their religious beliefs are right and anyone who doesn’t embrace them is wrong, who go around proselytizing, calling atheists immoral and saying anyone who doesn’t believe in God can’t know right from wrong or good from evil, or who try to foist their concepts of morality or their religious beliefs upon the rest of us through legislation.

My wife, the woman I’ve been married to for more than 40 years, believes that a “higher power” exists, but she doesn’t refer to it as “God” or the “Creator.” She also believes that there must be something beyond our Earthly life, but doesn’t call it “heaven” or “hell.” And while she considers herself to be somewhat spiritual, she’s not religious and finds most “organized” religions to be off putting.

She and I are fine together because religion is not an important factor for either of us, and the fact that she believes in a higher power and I don’t has not been an issue. But in her question, Mel noted that “one partner did not believe in a Creator and was anti-religion and the other partner was very actively religious and constantly pontificating about it.”  And she asked whether such a couple can “agree to disagree” and, thus, be happy together.

My answer is that even if they agree to disagree, each person, in her example, has deeply held beliefs that are fundamental to who they are, and those beliefs are in diametrical opposition. Such intrinsic elements of someone’s being and nature can only be stifled for so long before a pent up resentment for having to suppress their true nature starts to boil over.

Bottom line, in the context of Mel’s question, my response is that opposites don’t attract and love does not conquer all.

Anyone else want to weigh in on this?

One-Liner Wednesday — Absurdities and Atrocities


“Those who can make you believe in absurdities can make you commit atrocities.”

French Enlightenment writer, historian, and philosopher, Voltaire

Voltaire, who also said, “If there were no God, it would be necessary to invent him,” was likely making reference to religion in this week’s one-liner. Followers and believers are expected to unquestionably accept the teachings of the church and the stories in holy books such as the Bible, which to my rational mind, can be quite absurd. After all, look back across human history at the myriad atrocities that have been committed through the ages in the name of God and religion.

But I have a more contemporary interpretation of Voltaire’s quote that has to do with the way Donald Trump keeps saying and doing a absolutely absurd things, which his loyal base, the Republicans in Congress, and the “on-air personalities” and viewers of Fox News not only believe but embrace.

And his atrocities that they seem to turn a blind eye toward include, but are not limited to:

  • separating migrant families at the border and putting children in cages
  • attempting to ban immigration based upon religion
  • calling neo-Nazis “very fine people”
  • obstructing investigations into Russian meddling in our 2016 presidential elections
  • extorting a foreign leader to dig up dirt on a political opponent in advance of the 2020 presidential elections
  • obstructing Congress with respect to its impeachment hearings
  • rolling back virtually every regulation designed to protect the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the food we eat
  • calling climate change a hoax and pulling out of worldwide effort to combat climate change
  • selling out our country to Vladimir Putin and Russia
  • profiting financially from his office as President
  • abusing the power of the presidency

I could go on and on, but I think I’ve made my point. Besides, this post has gone way beyond being a one-liner.

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

Fandango’s Friday Flashback — October 18

Wouldn’t you like to expose your newer readers to some of you 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 18th) of any month within the past year and link to that post in a comment.

This was originally posted on October 18, 2011 in my old blog.

The End of Times is Near…Again…Probably

The End is NearThis will be my last blog post. Why? Well, according to an Oakland, California minister, American Christian radio host, and president of Family Radio, Harold Camping, Friday, October 21st is probably the end of times.

As a regular reader of this blog, you may recall when I told you that Old Weird Harold had previously predicted that the end of life as we know it was supposed to take place earlier this year, on May 21st. When that didn’t happen, a “flabbergasted” Camping claimed that a math error had caused him to be off by five months.

Guess what, folks. Five months have elapsed and Judgment Day is now scheduled for this Friday. Are you ready to Rapture?

“I do believe we’re getting very near the very end,” Camping said in a pre-recorded podcast posted on his Family Radio website. “October 21, that’s coming very shortly, that looks like it will be, at this point, it will be the final end of everything.”

Having “learned that there’s a lot of things we didn’t have quite right” the last time he predicted the end of days, Camping is now fairly confident that this time he has it nailed.

However, you needn’t worry too much about it. Camping says that “probably there will be no pain suffered by anyone because of their rebellion against God.” Probably no pain and suffering. Yeah, that’s what my dentist always says when he’s about to stick that sharp, pointy, metal implement of dental torture into my gums.

But I digress. Camping believes the end of everything is going to come very, very quietly this Friday. “I really am beginning to think, as I’ve restudied these matters, that there’s going to be no big display of any kind,” he said.

Still, my friends, you need to get your shit together and be prepared to go, um, wherever one is supposed to go at the end of days in relative peace and quiet. No big deal. No catastrophic calamities. Just a nice, peaceful end of life as we know it.

So, as I said, if Camping got his math right this time around, this will be my last post on this blog.  If not, see you next time.

Fandango’s Provocative Question #37

FPQWelcome once again to Fandango’s Provocative Question. Each week I will pose what I think is a provocative question for your consideration. By provocative, I don’t mean a question that will cause annoyance or anger. Nor do I mean a question intended to arouse sexual desire or interest.

What I do mean is a question that is likely to get you to think, to be creative, and to provoke a response. Hopefully a positive response.

For this week’s provocative question, I am concerned about how partisan just about everybody appears to be. We seem to have reached the point where everyone behaves as if “you’re either with me or you’re against me,” and there is no middle ground.

I remember that there was a time not that long ago when people could disagree about specific issues without animosity, but those days seem to be over, particularly in the areas of politics and religion.

So my question to you this week is simply this:

Is it possible anymore to disagree without being disagreeable?

If you choose to participate, write a post with your response to the question. Once you are done, tag your post with #FPQ and create a pingback to this post if you are on WordPress. Or you can simply include a link to your post in the comments.

The issue with pingbacks not showing up seems to have been resolved, but you might check to confirm that your pingback is there. If not, please manually add your link in the comments.