Little Brown Sabu and the Tigers

  •  “LITTLE BROWN SABU AND THE TIGERS”

     ANNOUNCING A NEW BOOK BY CRAIG GOSLING

    Little Black Sambo and the Tigers was a popular book written and Illustrated in 1899 by Helen Bannerman while she lived in India. It was widely popular and was republished many times. Many versions of it, including variations of story and illustrations were printed. Racial sensitivity eventually doomed further publications of the book, and today’s children no longer are familiar with the story. Past versions of the book depicted dark skinned people as being stupid reminiscent of the popular conception of black people of the old American South.

    As a child in the forties, I read the book without perceiving it was prejudicial to blacks. But now, after reviewing the illustrations and story again, I have the distinct impression that this little black kid, Sambo and his parents, Jumbo and Mumbo, were a black African family. Another problem for my growing intellect was, tigers are found in India and Asia, not Africa. Silly? Sure, but it always bothered me that an obviously black African kid lived where tigers were indigenous. Thinking back, I always believed I could write a better story on the same theme.

    Seventy years later, here I am publishing an improved, racially correct story, chuck full of information about geography, animal behavior, racial conflict, environmental concerns, and personal and family values. The story has a surprise ending, reminding readers to that the wild tiger is on the verge of extinction in India, Asia and Russia.

    Little brown Sabu and his parents are conscientious citizens of India, faced with the destruction of their environment. The story is a hopeful one, warning of environment disaster looming on the horizon, and recommending sane and scientific remedies.

  • “Sabu and the Tigers” will leave you and your children, entertained and educated. It’s a story that parents and grandparents will never tire of reading to children, and children will want to read over and over again themselves.In addition, the book is a coloring book with delightful line drawings ready for crayons or colored pencils. Kids will better remember the lessons taught while their busy hands render each picture. It’s a book that parents will cherish and want to save in family archives. It is the perfect “stocking stuffer” for Christmas, and gift for that upcoming grandchild’s birthday. Order copies for each child.

    Herein, is the whole story of Little Brown Sabu and the Tigers for your preview reading pleasure.

     

    • The Story of Little Brown Sabu and the Tigers – By Craig Gosling
    • Once upon a time, not so very long ago in India, a little brown boy named Sabu lived on the edge of a forest with his family. India is a far away country in Asia, where tigers still survive in the wild.
    • One beautiful, but very hot summer day, Sabu’s mother bought new clothes for her son to protect him from the hot sun. (In that part of the world, just like in near-by Africa, the sun gets so hot that chickens sometimes lay hard boiled eggs, at least that was what little brown Sabu was told when he was younger. But now, he knew better than to believe everything he was told.)

     

    • Sabu’s mother wanted to make sure her son was well protected from the sun so she bought him a broad-brimmed hat, a pretty shirt, comfortable pants, and also a brand new pair of sandals. Needless to say, Sabu loved his new clothes and wanted to show them off to his friends in the nearby village. He asked his mother if he could take the short cut though the forest to the village. She gave him permission, but warned, “Stay on the trail and don’t get lost.” Sabu agreed, and off he went on his way to the village.
    • Little brown Sabu walked along the path through the forest for almost a mile when he came to a meadow filled with tall grass. In fact, it was as high as his head. It was then he thought he saw something move up ahead in the grass. It was so well camouflaged that he could barely make it out, but it was big… and it was coming toward him.

     

    • (Camouflage means an animal blends in with its background habitat and is difficult to see.)

     

    • In less than a heartbeat, a ferocious tiger leaped out of the grass and landed right in front of Sabu. The tiger’s tail lashed back and forth and the tiger growled, “Grrrrrrr! I’m so hungry I’m going to have to eat you little brown boy.”
    • You can well imagine how frightened Sabu was as he faced the fierce tiger, but somehow he summoned up his courage and replied, “Oh please Mr. Tiger, don’t eat me.” Out of the corner of his eye Sabu noticed a nearby lemon tree, “Why don’t you eat some of the lemons from that tree over there, or some vegetables from my mother’s garden in stead of little scrawny me?”
    • The tiger looked down at Sabu in surprise, and then laughed out loud, as he growled. “Ha, ha, ha, growlllllll! Peeeee-U! Fruits and vegetables may be healthy food for you, little brown boy, but not for me. I have to eat other animals in order to live. I’m carnivorous by nature and only eat meat. Did you know that I have been hunting all day long and have not found a deer, or a monkey, or even a mouse to eat? I’m starving!”
    • In spite of his fear of being eaten, Sabu felt very sorry for the tiger. He knew the tiger’s forest home and hunting grounds had gradually been taken over by farms and villages, and there were very few prey animals left for the tiger to eat. Sabu could not help but notice the tiger’s prominent ribs, and he could hear its stomach making rumbling sounds. Furthermore, Sabu knew tigers were hunted for their beautiful skins and this tiger was in great danger of being shot by poachers.

     

    (Poachers shoot and trap tigers so they can sell their beautiful skins and body parts. Some uneducated people believe tiger bones and organs are effective medicines against disease.)

    • Little brown Sabu had to think fast or this hungry tiger would most certainly eat him. Suddenly, he got a great idea!
    • He said to the tiger, “Mr. Tiger, if you don’t eat me, I’ll go into town, sell my new hat, and with the money I get for it, I’ll buy you a nice, big, hot, juicy, chicken sandwich.”
    • Well, you may find this hard to believe, but the thought of a hot juicy chicken sandwich tempted the hungry tiger, who had always wanted to taste one but never had the opportunity. The tiger scratched his chin while he thought, and then replied, “Ok, it’s a deal little brown boy, but only on the condition you put curry sauce on it.”
    • (The tiger had often smelled the delicious odor of chicken and curry coming from the near by village but, of course, never had a chance to taste this traditional Indian spice.)
    • Little brown Sabu thought it was a very strange request, but he immediately agreed to it. With the tiger’s permission, Sabu hurried off down the trail as fast as he could run. The tiger stood scratching his tail, and watched the little brown boy disappear down the path. He wondered if the little brown boy had tricked him. Would the boy return with the chicken sandwich and curry as he had promised? What would you have done?
    • Little brown Sabu ran on toward the village through a thick part of the forest thinking how fortunate he was to escape the hungry tiger, when he heard a rustle in the bushes up ahead. He stopped in his tracks, and then cautiously continued down the trail toward the bushes. All of a sudden, another big tiger bounded out of the bushes and landed right in front of him, almost knocking him over. This was obviously not little brown Sabu’s lucky day.
    • The tiger growled, “Little brown boy, I’m so hungry that I am going to have to eat you.” Sabu was frightened once again, especially when he noticed that this tiger was every bit as thin as the first tiger.
    • Little brown Sabu remembered what he had said to the first tiger and thought he would try it again. “Please Mr. Tiger, don’t eat me! If you spare me, I’ll go into town, sell my pretty new shirt and buy you a nice, big, hot, juicy, chicken sandwich.”
    • For one brief moment, Sabu thought that he saw a faint smile on the tiger’s face, but he knew that tigers can’t smile, or at least he had never seen a tiger smile before. Have you ever seen a cat smile?
    • The tiger growled back, “Grrrr, I’ll spare you little brown boy for a big, hot, juicy, chicken sandwich, but only if you slather curry sauce on it. I love curry sauce and I’ve heard it goes well with chicken.”
    • Sabu thought to himself, “How strange it is that this second tiger also wants curry sauce on his chicken sandwich, just like the first tiger.” Nevertheless, Sabu agreed to the tiger’s request and then hurried off down the trail toward the village as fast as he could go.
    • On the edge of the forest, with the village in sight up ahead, another strange thing happened. From behind a large tree a third tiger suddenly appeared, blocked the trail and growled, “Grrrr! Little brown boy, I am so hungry I am going to have to eat you.”
    • As he had done before, Sabu pleaded with the tiger. “Oh please, Mr. Tiger, wouldn’t you rather enjoy a nice big, hot, juicy, chicken sandwich instead of little me? I’ll sell my sandals, and with the money I’ll buy a chicken sandwich for you.”
    • The tiger’s eyes narrowed as he intently watched the little boy, and then his reply rumbled from deep down in his shaggy throat. “Yes indeed I would, little brown boy, but be sure to add…”
    • Sabu interrupted him, “Curry sauce? Sorry to interrupt.” he added. Sabu was sure that this tiger really did grin even as he growled back. “Grrrr, that’s right, be sure not to forget the curry sauce, lots of it”
    • Again, Sabu thought it was very, very strange that all three tigers liked curry sauce on their chicken sandwiches. He could hardly believe it. Nevertheless, away he ran down the trail, as fast as his little legs would go, until he was safe in the village. Sabu had no trouble selling his beautiful hat, shirt, and sandals in the marketplace. He hoped his mother would understand that he really had no other choice because he had given his word to the three hungry tigers that had spared his life.
    • Sabu went directly to the chicken sandwich shop with his money and ordered three big, hot, juicy, chicken, sandwiches with lots and lots and lots of curry sauce slathered on them. He put each one in a separate bag, and then without wasting any time, he ran back along the trail to the forest, where he knew the tigers would be waiting for him.
    • When Sabu got to the edge of the forest, he found the tiger patiently waiting. The tiger seemed very pleased that little brown boy had kept his word and returned with the sandwich. Sabu gave one of the sandwich bags to the hungry tiger while he hid the other two bags behind his back so the tiger would not see them.
    • The tiger was ravenous and quickly devoured the sandwich splashing curry sauce all over his furry face. “Mmmmmmburp, that was good!” he said, “Now, little brown boy, what else are you hiding behind your back? They smell like big, hot, juicy, chicken sandwiches to me.”
    • Little Sabu was frightened, but he bravely spoke up and told the tiger, “Mr. Tiger. I cannot give you these sandwiches because I promised them to two other hungry tigers if they would not eat me.”
    • When the tiger heard this, he replied with an unusually gentle growl, almost a purr, “GrrrrPurrr, little brown boy, there are no other tigers. It was I who stopped you each time.” As he spoke, the tiger’s face grew sad and a tear rolled out of a fierce, but sad eye, down onto a whisker and then dripped off onto the ground, kerplunk! He said, “I am the only surviving tiger left in this whole forest, and I live a very lonely life.”
    • Sabu felt so very sorry for the poor tiger. He had no idea that this tiger was the last tiger in the forest. He immediately gave the tiger the other two sandwiches and watched them disappear into the tiger’s ferocious mouth with huge white teeth.
    • “Thank you little brown boy,” the tiger said as he burped again from eating too fast, “You have been kind to me. Burp! I wish more humans were like you. Burp.”
    • Sabu thanked the tiger for not eating him, and then watched as the tiger turned around and slowly padded off into the thick forest facing a lonely, hungry, and uncertain future. As Sabu watched, a large tear rolled down his own cheek and plopped “kerplunk!” onto the ground next to where the tiger’s tear had fallen. He felt so very sad for the tiger, as he wiped another tear from his cheek.
    • While little brown Sabu gathered up the sandwich bags and napkins from the ground so he could throw them away in the trash once he got home, he wondered what the future would hold for the tiger. Would tigers become extinct in the wild and only be found in zoos?
    • Back home, when Sabu’s mother saw him, she cried out, “Sabu, what happened to all of your nice new clothes?”
    • Little brown Sabu told his mother the truth, as he always did, and hoped that she would understand. When he finished telling her the whole story, not leaving out a detail, he noticed that his mother was crying. Sabu felt very sad that he had made his mother cry.
    • However, to his relief, she told him, “My dear son, I am crying because you are safe and that you cared about that poor, hungry tiger. You are a wonderful son and I am proud of you.” She scooped him up into her arms and gave him a big hug.
    • When Sabu’s father got home that evening and heard the whole story, he too was proud of his son. He promised his son that he would write a letter to the Prime Minister of India, asking him to make more wildlife sanctuaries for the tigers and their prey, and to protect those areas from expanding farms and villages.
    • Little brown Sabu fell asleep that night feeling both sad and happy. Sad for the poor tiger friend, but happy that, just maybe, tigers could be saved from extinction in the wild. He hoped that his father’s letter would help save the few remaining wild tigers in India. He hoped that some day, when he grew up, he too could help save the tigers, if any were left by then. As he drifted off to sleep, his thoughts were about his beautiful, but lonely, tiger friend.
    • Discussion topics:
    1. What do you think happened to the tiger?
    2. Did you know that tigers are the largest cats in the world, even larger than the lions in Africa?
    3. Can you name four other large wild cats?
    4. Can you name one striking anatomical difference between a tiger’s eye and a domestic cat’s eye?
    5. What can you do to help tigers and other large wild cats?
    6. Who is to blame for the loss of the tiger’s wild habitat?
    7. What do you call the offspring of a tiger and lioness, and a tigress and a lion?

     

    Answers

    1. Tigers are protected in a few parks, but poachers still kill tigers, and each year there are fewer tigers left in the wild. It is estimated that they will be extinct in the wild, but will survive in zoos and protected animal parks.
    2. Male lions weigh in at 300 to 600 pounds, but male tigers grow to 700 to 800 pounds. Crosses between lions and tigers grow even larger, 900 to 1000 pounds.
    3. American mountain lions can weigh up to 300 pounds; African/Asian leopards can weigh in at 300 to 400 pounds; South and Central American Jaguars can weigh up to 500 pounds; African/Asian Cheetahs can weigh up to 200 pounds.
    4. Pupils of large wild cats such as the lion, tiger, mountain lion, jaguar, and cheetah grow small in bright light. Pupils of small cats become thin slits in bright light.
    5. Write letters and support wild life organizations.
    6. Governments and people, who think money and business are more important than wild life and habitats, are to blame. Everyone who does nothing to help is to blame.
    7. The offspring of a male tiger and lioness is called a tiglion. The offspring of a male lion and tigress is called a liger.  

     

    Available from: Craig Gosling, cgoslingpbc@aol.com

    Cost (including postage): $8.00

     

    Other publications by Craig Gosling:

    The Adventures of Roy the Animal Boy

    Short stories about a boy with an amazing ability to communicate with animals. It is a semi-autobiographical series of warming animal stories based upon true-life adventures of the author. If you are having trouble getting active kids to bed each night? Here is the answer. Read to kids or have them read to you. The Roy stories make perfect stocking stuffers and birthday presents.

    Cost: $10 (including postage

    Available from: cgoslingpbc@aol.com

    Darwin is My Hero (Poems about science and superstition) for little free-thinkers.

    Cost: $10.00 (including postage)

    Available from: cgosling@aol.com

    Rhyme and Reason with Animals – (Illustrated poems)

    Clever poems and amusing illustrations about animals will delight and educate growing minds.

    Cost: $12.00 (including postage)

    Available from: cgoslingpbc@aol.com

     

     

 

 

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Why Do Evangelicals Reject Climate Change?

Why do Evangelicals Reject Climate Change?

A Pew poll discovered 66% of American evangelicals don’t believe in man made climate change compared to 36% of the non-evangelical population who don’t. Several reasons for this difference have been offered according to evangelical writer Katharine Hayhoe in the Inquiring Minds podcast. She claims the conservative community has misrepresented climate change to the evangelical community and evangelicals have bought into it. She writes, “I feel that we have been lied to” “We have been given information about climate change that is not true.” “Evangelicals tend to be more politically conservative and can be quite distrusting of scientists (believing incorrectly that they are a bunch of atheists).” It seems to me conservatives and evangelicals have a common denominator, God.

A recent documentary about climate change, Years of Living Dangerously, claims “Evangelicals just want to avoid conflict.” They don’t want to blame themselves or other evangelicals “for dead crops, shrinking herds, lost jobs, and foreclosed mortgages.” Not all these assumptions are true but religious spokespersons spread such claims to gullible fans, often on Fox News. By attributing these climate changes to divine power, evangelicals readily admit there is nothing they can or should do about them. After all, its God’s will that the “end times” are approaching. They believe, climate change, if it exists, will be the match that ignites end times flames. Moderate Christians don’t agree with this philosophy; they are more concerned with maintaining their religious beliefs against what they believe is an onslaught of aggressive and immoral atheism.

Simply put, political affiliation is the single most determinate factor predicting one’s acceptance or rejection of climate change. Conservative republicans don’t buy into anthropomorphic climate change and liberal democrats do. It follows that progressive democrats are more likely to be freethinkers. They have open minds concerning the possibility of change and the challenges it poses. Evangelicals rather not oppose the inevitability of the end times.

Fox News has made its stand clear and dances to music composed by rich conservative manipulators looking for votes. It makes me wonder if other news outlets, like MSNBC, can effectively counter Fox News’s efforts in convincing its viewers to hate Obama and everything he supports? So far other news outlets have had only modest success in convincing people climate change is real. Unlike Fox News, they present both sides of the issue. This is tantamount to giving equal time and authority to creationists and evolutionists during interviews when in reality, the theory of evolution is well established and creationism has been thoroughly debunked for over one hundred years.

Why do so many people reject climate change?  According to Hayhoe, the first is: Most of the facts are already in and there are not many new facts to attract attention. Hayhoe is wrong. Additional new evidence is constantly being published. Climate change may be old news to evangelicals who have already made up their minds. They don’t wish to revisit the subject, especially with new evidence. Evangelicals are convinced that evangelical scientists have already determined that climate change is not happening so they stopped reading, listening and worrying about it. After all, evangelical scientists would not lie to their own evangelical community, but an atheist scientist would. The second reason is one that has plagued humankind since the first primitive brains evolved. If something happens slowly, humans tend not to notice it. Like when viewing consecutive frames in a movie film or the plodding slowness of evolution, simple minds cannot see the subtle change and are unable to react. Like a frog sitting in a pan of slowly heating water, humans do not notice the temperature increase and climate change. When evangelical scientists advise there is no danger, and when respected politicians laugh it away as just a waste of money proposed by a communist and Muslim president, it is not any wonder that 64% of evangelicals deny there is a danger.

A third reason Evangelicals are not concerned with climate change is: If it is true the whole earth is burning, then the fire must be divinely created. Bible passages predict the end times are near, even over due. Scientific confirmation of climate change is abundant, but among nonscientific, poorly educated evangelicals, it is absent or ignored in favor of trusting one’s pastor. Biblical interpretations are notoriously variable within the varieties of Christianity and “know it all” religious leaders can easily justify their favorite biases.

Katharine Hayhoe and Sir John Houghton, who claims to be a former professor of atmospheric physics, believe church leaders have betrayed their congregations. They claim bible verse does not eliminate the possibility of anthropomorphic climate changes. Hopefully, their moderating voices are convincing the evangelical community that climate change is real, although it’s happening slowly. Fewer people believe in bible verse end times today than they did ten years ago. Creation myths are gradually losing out to evolution evidence; medical treatment is favored over a total reliance on prayer. The tide is changing, but slowly.

Hayhoe and Houghton believe there is a growing trend among evangelicals to exam scientific claims more thoroughly. I’m skeptical. Beliefs arrived at without scientific evidence are almost impossible to refute with scientific evidence. Reputable evangelical scientists such as geneticist Francis Collins, will not and cannot totally let go of superstition. His conversion to Evangelical Christianity came at a low point in his personal life and he has been unable rid his scientific mind of that emotional experience. Collins, Hayhoe and Houghton cling to a belief in God, although there is no scientific evidence to substantiate their belief. But, when it comes to climate change and the overwhelming scientific evidence that climate change is real, they have conceded to science.

The evangelical religious community allied with Radical conservatism will continue to disbelieve in climate change for the reasons presented above. Their distrust and hate for our current president has been drilled into them so thoroughly it remains to be seen whether scientific and reasonable minds will ever prevail for that section of the population. Unfortunately, it will take a considerable number of climate change disasters to get their attention and their support. Some say it is already too late.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Pew Reearch, science and superstition | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Let Us Bow Our Heads and Give a Blessing For This meal

Let Us Bow Our Heads…and say the blessings for this food

 How many times have you been seated at a table and been asked to bow your head for a blessing? Go ahead, take a guess.

 My guess, based upon my religious upbringing and association with Christian family and friends, and my age, has got to be well over ten thousand times. In my youth, I never was quite sure about what we all were praying for, standing around the dinner table at Thanksgiving, or Christmas, or Easter, or just any old non special meal.

 So what were we praying for? The meal was not prepared or paid for by God so, as a seven year old I ruled that out. By then I knew Santa did not make and deliver Christmas presents. But in the spirit of Christmas He was always acknowledged. I wondered why.

 Another possibility was that ultimately God created all life so we should thank him at every opportunity for life, for our loved ones, for our homes, for our health and so on, including the very meals my mom fixed for the family. Besides, a short prayer before a meal was a homey, family, and loving thing to remind us all that we must not take anything for granted. Hmm , but then why not specifically thank my dad for earning an income, and my mom for shopping and preparing the meal. Where did God enter the picture? No one ever explained the logic behind saying a blessing thank you to God prior to eating. If that were not so silly, why on earth did we end by saying “In Jesus’s name, Amen”? Yes, I got the connection that Jesus and God and the Holy Ghost were all the same thing, but still if made no sense then, as it does not now.

 As a Youth, I conformed without complaint or question, until my coming out, until that time when I realized there was no God. Even then, out of politeness, I never complained openly. I recognized the want or need of my table companions to bow their heads and pray if they wanted to. The thought never crossed their minds that they were forcing me to acknowledge their religious belief. How would they like it if they were asked to bow their heads and Pray to Allah or Odin? I can imagine their surprise if I interrupted the normal procedure and offered a blessing to the flying Spaghetti Monster for our meal, even though it really turkey that we were about to enjoy. Imagine the surprise on their faces; imagine their looks around the table. Would they bow their heads, would they shut their eyes, would they repeat “Amen” after I concluded the prayer?

 Fast forward to December 25, 2013. I was then 76 years old and happily retired with my wife of after 40 plus years of happiness and health. Gathered around the table for the annual Christmas meal were the remnants of my family, a total of thirteen people, including three children. As the oldest member of the family and co-host of the gathering, I had decided to take the initiative and offer a blessing as we stood around the table. It was a first for me. A religious relative usually offered the blessing in the absence of her ultra religious father who once cussed me out at Christmas because he overheard my conversation with his friend, which included the word “evolution”. In front of at least twenty friends and family he let me know in a loud and condescending voice that in his home I was not to mention the word “evolution”. After his tirade there was silence. And no one came to my defense. I thought it best not to “soil” the moment further with a defense or explanation. I never did receive an apology for that nasty attack on free expression and my personal right to express myself.

 In the absence of this defender of Christianity, his daughter had taken up the task of saying grace and rightfully including a mention of her most loving Christian father. I never complained, but for some reason this year was different. I had prepared a short but poignant speech, which included a loving tribute to the man who had denigrated me on Christmas day years ago. In my “blessing” I made no mention of God. I mainly paid tribute to all our loved ones no longer with us. It was short and sweet and to the point. Everyone was surprised and I received several compliments for my secular “blessing”.

 I believe my experience with meal blessing need not be that rare. Many atheists find themselves in similar situations during family gatherings. Many atheists remain silent, and bow their heads, not wishing to jeopardize the significance of the day and moment. I encourage those of similar atheistic non-belief to stand firm, make a statement, recognize your right to state your beliefs publicly and proudly without reference to a divinity; without thanking a supernatural entity for the meal and for the annual gathering.

 I felt proud of my stance; I felt I made a statement; I hoped I had touched a few persons gathered with me that evening who might have had hidden sympathies: I hoped that the three youngsters seated with us were not yet beyond the reach of reason and secular understanding.

 I ask those who have stumbled upon this essay at graygoosegosling to make a similar statement in the form of a table “blessing” when next the opportunity arises. I can’t tell you how good it made me feel. I will strike again, at my first opportunity. Why don’t you do something similar?

 Please think about it. Have a short “blessing” pre-prepared just in case the opportunity arises. If it’s your home, you have the right to pre-opt a supernatural prayer to an imaginary God, and in its place offer a secular and thoughtful, remembrance of those no longer with your family.

Just remember not to thank a supernatural entity. It is a hard habit to break.

 

 

 

 

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Sample of Secular Invocation

The following secular invocation may be downloaded and used by anyone who wishes to read it or modify it. 

 

Dear ——-, Elected Official

The recent U.S. Supreme Court decision, Greece v. Galloway encouraged me to write this letter to you. In the spirit of the court’s decision, please consider the following secular invocation to be read by me, at your earliest official government meeting. As you know, the SCOTUS decision allowed that a layperson of any persuasion, including an atheist, could give the invocation.

Secular Invocation Sample for Elected Officials

 “Ladies and gentlemen, please take a moment to consider why you are gathered here today. You are gathered here to do the work of the people, who have chosen you to represent them and work for them, protecting their rights, their health, their property and their community. You were not chosen to promote personal goals which conflict with the goals of those you represent. You were chosen to protect the minorities from the majorities, the weak from the strong, the poor from the wealthy, and the meek from the bold. Your decisions must be based upon science and wisdom and not necessarily upon ancient custom and tradition. Reason must supplant blind faith and evidence must precede decision.

 Thomas Jefferson wrote: “Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion.”

 Whatever principals you use for guidance must be wise and worthy of the sacred responsibilities inherent in your job as a representative of and for the people. There can be no other higher goal than to wisely and kindly represent the citizens who have entrusted their futures and the futures of their descendants with you. Whether you pray or vow, be determined and inspired to work for the good of the people with integrity. To do anything else makes you ineligible to hold this vital position representing the people. To be present here today in this congregation is evidence of your agreement to represent the people fairly and wisely. Now, go to your work and dedicate this day to all the people you represent, and not just those who elected you.

 Our third president stated in a letter to John Adams, Aug 15, 1890: “Man, once surrendering his reason, has no remaining guard against absurdities most monstrous, and like a ship without rudder, is the sport of every wind.”

 Thank you for taking the time to consider this basic statement of government principals, and to rededicate your efforts for the good of the people, Christian and non-Christian alike.

 Sincerely yours,

Craig Gosling

9129 Sand Key Lane

Indianapolis, IN 46256

cgoslingpbc@aol.com

317-577-3605

 

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Noah’s Post Deluge Diary

Noah’s post deluge diary is an effort to better explain what happened once the great ark came to rest atop of Mt. Ararat. It is an entertaining and informative approach to the premier events which are the moral precepts of the Abrahamic religions. For example, the origins of original sin, homosexuality, alcoholism, religious obedience, animal sacrifice, and slavery are dealt with in the Book of Noah.

Noah’s Post Deluge Diary can soon be found at secularradiotheater on YouTube as an old-time radio show, including acting, sound effects, music, everything you would expect from a 1950s radio show. Old Noah is blessed with a nagging wife, weird sons, and doubts about his captive animals. This tongue in cheek radio show is not only fun for all ages, it is also an informative lesson about bible contradiction and nonsense.

Noah has concerns about the raven and dove which did not return to the ark. He explains what happened to the behemoths and leviathans. His wife is devastated about her family, friends and innocent children who pleaded to be taken on board as the waters deepened. Noah finds bacteria and viruses that God secreted aboard the ark, and wonders what he should do with them. His wife disagrees about sacrificing the very animals that worked so hard to save. Noah is not sure if his son Ham sexually violated him while he lay naked and drunk in his tent. Noah is confused about dealing out punishment for this violation. Because his son Ham is unavailable, Noah decides to put a curse upon Ham’s son and make him and his descendants slaves to all mankind. Noah is reluctant to accept other young people to replace his lost sons and daughters. Look f
It seems old Noah is a sensible person trying to fathom the reason of God without much success.

The original biblical story of the flood was nonsensical so Noah decides to update and correct it. Be prepared for sacrilegious humor and secular common sense.

Posted in creationism, God, religion, science and superstition, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Who is Giordano Bruno?

Giordano-BrunoImage

I told a friend I was writing a script about Bruno for Secular Radio Theater. He replied, “Bruno who?”

“You know, Giordano Bruno.” My friend looked thoughtful, “Yeah, wasn’t he a character in a TV show about the Mafia?

I replied. “I am writing about the Bruno who was burned at the stake by the Inquisition. He lived at the same time as Galileo.”

Feeling a little stupid, my friend replied, “Oh sure, I know who you mean.” And then he changed the subject.

It happens every time I mention the name Bruno. Most people don’t know who he was, and couldn’t care less.

Giordano Bruno’s birthday is this February 17. He was born in 1600, in Italy. He became a Benedictine monk at age 24 and then abruptly resigned from the order to preach “heresy” across Europe and England. His heresy was; He did not believe the earth was the center of the universe. He preached the earth traveled around the sun with the other planets.

Bruno was burned at the stake for those beliefs while Copernicus and Galileo were not. Copernicus’s work was wisely kept secret until after his death, and Galileo agreed to keep his mouth shut under pain of death. Bruno went further than Galileo, He voiced his opinion that the earth and other planets circled the sun; the Virgin Mary was not a virgin; and the Pope was not infallible. Bruno’s beliefs were mostly science with a touch of theology. These beliefs made him a heretic and caused him to be hunted across Europe by the Inquisition. He was finally captured in the independent state of Venice. Venice shipped Bruno off to Rome and its Inquisition, and the beginning of our story, on secularradiotheater, “The Bruno Debacle”.

If you are not familiar with Giordano Bruno, you will easily find many references on the Internet. I’ve read dozens; I suggest inquisitive people do the same. Especially, read the Catholic versions about Bruno’s trial, conviction and burning to make sure you have covered all the bases.

After doing our research we all agreed we have a bone to pick about the way Bruno, our secular hero, was treated then, and is currently treated by the Catholic Church. Of course, everyone agrees that Bruno was tortured and burned at the stake, no argument there.

My complaints are:

  1. The church never accepted accountability when the true facts about the cosmos finally came out and destroyed its basis for much of the Inquisition.  (We know the Inquisition was not based solely upon theology. It was a political tool used to obtain and maintain power.)
  2. Bruno was conveniently forgotten by the church. It was not until the year 2000 until Pope Benedict admitted the Church was wrong and offered a public apology for torturing and burning the poor man.
  3. Benedict finally admitted the Bruno affair was regrettable, but did not condemn or excommunicate those responsible of this foul act against humanity. No one was punished in secular or ecclesiastical courts for their crimes. If they had been, many notoriously cruel Popes and Cardinals would have been consigned to Hell for their role in the crimes.
  4. No one, including Bruno, should have been excommunicated for speaking simple scientific truth. I’d like to hear an excuse from the church. Did the church get it wrong or did God get it wrong concerning the matter?
  5. The Inquisition Court and Catholic Church absolved itself from blame by simply passing blame to the secular authorities for carrying out their indictment. After all, they still claim it was the secular authorities that imprisoned, tortured, and burned Bruno, not the Catholic Church.
  6. Similarly, it is claimed the Church cannot not be blamed for atrocities committed during times of general social unrest and ignorance. This is nonsense. There is a direct line of responsibility from the Dark ages to the present day.
  7. The science of the day led the Church astray; the science was wrong, not the Church.
  8. Bruno and many thousands of others, who were found guilty by the Inquisition, never got their sentences reviewed and reversed.  Theoretically, Inquisition victims are still guilty and still continue to suffer the tortures of Hell. Hey Pope, how about an official review and reprieve for their suffering souls? How much longer are you going to leave them there?

Secular Radio Theater’s imaginative story begins on the morning of Bruno’s death by fire. For the past eight years he has undergone torture and questioning by Benedictine clergy who now deny their involvement in the matter and blame secular authorities. During the years of the Inquisitions, the art and technology of torture had advanced considerably. Inventive machines were created to inflict pain to every part of the body. These torture machines still exist in museums across Europe. When physical and mental torture did not work due to the abstinence of the person being tortured or the intentional vindictiveness of the Inquisitors, burning at the stake was required. When Bruno refused to recant, the church felt it had to follow through with its threats and turned Bruno over to waiting secular authorities, which were commissioned by the church to do its dirty work.

The actual written documents and physical machines of torture still survive and are proof of religious atrocities long forgotten. The Stapado torture consisted of tying the prisoner’s arms behind his back hauling that person upwards so all his/her weight hung by his arms and shoulders, which painfully dislocate.  Starvation was popular as was the forced retention of fluids. The rack was popular and consisted of a table that allowed the chaining of arms over head and legs below so the table could be incrementally elongated. A prisoner’s joints would dislocate with great pain. Often the limbs were actually pulled from their bodies. Other tortures were devices that crushed joints. Thumbscrews and heated objects designed to penetrate body orifices were also popular. Although mutilation and blood were technically forbidden, Pope Alexander allowed those giving the torture to be forgiven by his fellow torturers for any wrongdoing that might result. Victims, who confessed of supposed sins still had to perform penances such as crawling on hand knees on pilgrimages, or wearing heavy crosses. The last inquisitional act in Spain supposedly occurred in 1834.

 “The Bruno Debacle” by Secular Radio Theater, attempts to bring these vital issues to public scrutiny. If one believes in the eternal punishment of the human soul in Hell for sins against the Holy Church and humanity, then those guilty must be punished and must include those who partook in the Inquisition. Unfortunately, the Church invented the Inquisition and chose to use Inquisitional power to further its political aims. The church itself must be held responsible.

We now realize the guilty ones were the Inquisitors themselves. Should these sinners be pardoned because they hold high rank in the church hierarchy? Apparently yes, because there is little record that Popes and church officials have ever been ostracized, punished or excommunicated for doing wrong.

If original sin is a reality; and the son must suffer for the sins of the father; and mankind is deemed guilty for the original sin of Adam and Eve, then yes, according to Christian theology, those church fathers that have inherited church responsibilities, should still be held accountable for the Inquisition, for religious wars and other atrocities committed against mankind.

Furthermore, what about those prisoners who died while being tortured or died between torture sessions without ever being found guilty? Their processions, initially awarded to the Church, should be confiscated and returned to the families of the accused.

I ask that you listen to “The Bruno Debacle” and judge it for yourselves. It will soon be available on “YouTube, secularadiotheater”. Just lean back, put your feet on your desk and allow your imagination to run wild. Bruno’s story contains little deep theology, but still enough to prevent kids in their informative years from accepting inaccurate views about their church. Unitarians, Universalists and liberal Protestants will have few problems recognizing the injustice done by the Catholic Church, but all religions must share the blame for ecclesiastical sins perpetrated against humanity if they continue to insist that supernatural events are real. As long as superstition supersedes reason and science, religion must share the blame for the historical sins of the church.

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Gosling and Schnitz at AMI meeting

Gosling and Schnitz at AMI meeting

Question – Why did the HMS Begle have a poop deck?

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