Population Growth Will End The Earth As We Know It

World Population Grows – Threatens Wars, Starvation, and Plagues

 But, not to worry friends, there’s little you can do until Pope Francis has a heart to heart with God. The world population has surpassed 7.2 billion this year. In spite of those in power doing their best to kill off the unfortunate populations of poor and weak nations, in just two more years there will be 2 billion more humans competing for the earth’s dwindling resources. Does God realize this? He sure as hell acts as if He doesn’t know what’s happening. Pope Francis is an intelligent and educated man, surely he is aware of the impending disaster. Surely he knows prayer will not stop population growth. Or, does he?

Pope Francis appears to be pushing for doctrinal changes in his church. True, he has some pushback from his Bishops, Cardinals, high up Vatican officials who, like in times of old, have resisted change to protect their status, wealth and power. They still believe that increased births mean increased church members and increased power. No doubt, some church leaders do not question the sad consequences of their stand against birth control. They believe church doctrine is the word of God and they accept it without question. Obedience to God is the greatest duty of all. Follow, accept, pray, do not question, do not think for oneself, be obedient to superiors and God. Obedience is the greatest of all things God asks of us.

The Pope talks to God at least several times per day. Certainly he has time to bring up the single most important problem humanity faces today. Well, Pope Francis did have a heart to heart prayer talk with God and I received a copy of it last night while in the middle world of sleep and wakefulness. It went something like this.

Francis – “God, are you there? It is I, Francis your obedient servant.”

God – Stop it, stop it! You always begin that way. I’m sick of it and your poor grammar. Of course I am here. How many times must I tell you I am everywhere?

Francis – I praise you dear Father and am reluctant to admit my misunderstanding of ‘your will be done’ thing. I have questions that I cannot resolved by reading your book.”

God – I gave you a brain to reason with.” Have you used it lately? No, of course you haven’t. You need to be creative and open to change as your world changes.

Francis – I’m sorry Lord. Lately it has been brought to my attention that earth’s population will soon be 9 billion even though millions die each year from war, plagues and starvation. Non-believers claim birth control techniques might slow down the birth rate and spare the suffering of millions. This is what I have been told by knowledgeable and sincere experts.

God – Yes, I am well aware of this pending disaster. I knew about it when I created the universe.

Francis – My Lord, May I ask why you never warned my predecessors or me about it?

God – My poor Francis, they and you never asked. And, had you asked and I answered, you would not have listened. I know the ways of your church. I created humans with more than ears and tongue, I created them with a thinking brain.

Francis – I try to use it dear Father but I am hesitant. I fear I will displease you by changing your policy.

God – You have displeased me and so have your despicable predecessors. Fear has made you impotent. You all have acted to benefit yourselves and the church, but seldom humanity. You have wasted the brains I gave you.

Francis – Then, do I have your OK to go ahead and suspend the church’s opposition to birth control, at least temporarily? It is, I have been told the most significant thing I can do to forestall the ongoing calamity that all humanity now faces.

God, are you there? Why don’t you answer me? I need you guidance. Please God…

Obviously, no one is listening to reason. Below is the essence of a letter I recently wrote to the Editor of the Indianapolis Star.

 Dear Editor of the Indiana Star Newspaper:

Past Indiana senator, Richard Lugar has heard part of the message from God. He has made an attempt, feeble as it is, to address the looming food crises. Unfortunately Lugar believes the solution lies in increased US charity to the poor nations of the word. He explained his views in a recent Indianapolis Star editorial.

His letter was an especially important reminder to all of us concerning worldwide hunger. He encouraged the US to take the lead in feeding an expanding world population and writes that congress should address the problem with “effective aid legislation.” The numbers of nations and people who are starving grows everyday. Lugar did not mention another crisis already affecting the world, especially the poor, and that is water shortage. Wars will be fought over fresh water for drinking and agriculture. Because water will become more valuable than oil, many more millions will suffer and die in the next decades.

Unfortunately, Senator Lugar offers no solution except encouraging Congress to pass legislation. Hah! But there is one solution easily within our reach, and that is putting an end to overpopulation. We cannot and are not willing to provide adequate food and clean water to those in need with world population as it currently is. Continuous and increased suffering and war is unavoidable. It’s true, we Americans will continue to sit comfortably in front of out TVs for a while watching the war news from around the world. But eventually the news will get worse and we will be sucked into a huge world crisis.

Senator Lugar did not mention that any attempt at a solution is doomed to failure without a restraint on increasing populations. This is where we must encourage and fund worldwide birth control. This is where the Catholic Church must reverse its policy concerning birth control. The world has changed since the Catholic Church proclaimed birth control was contrary to God’s wishes. We need Pope Francis to start the ball rolling, have a heart to heart with God and then proclaim His new and charitable policy, at least temporarily, until the problem of overpopulation is balanced with food and water supplies. With the onslaught of climate change, the problem will intensify. Churches as well as governments need to join together in solving this threat to humankind. It may already be too late.

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Secular invocation for you free

Dear ——-,

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

 “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, reason 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, 1820: “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,

 

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My Friend Moses

I recently saw the movie Exodus and it reminded me of a medical journal article by two epidemiologists, John Marr and Curtis Malloy. They explained the ten plagues of Egypt from the scientific point of view. Sure, it has ben done before by other scientists, but this explanation confirmed the others at a time when the movie Exodus was filling the screens of local theaters. I decided to download the powerpoint presentation I recently gave an evening at CFI Indiana. Feel free to use it for reference or for presentation.

10plaguesppp

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T’was The Night Before Christmas, 1946*

‘Twas the night before Christmas, 1946, and my extended family was gathered around a festive Christmas dinner table when my dad asked us to bow our heads for the traditional blessing. He began with “Thank you Lord for this bountiful meal, and your blessings.” He then continued with his standard blessing concluding with. “and Bless Grandma Ruth, Cousin John, Nephew Tony, and Little Jacob, who are in heaven looking down on our Christmas table. I tried to picture my brother Jacob, our most recent loss due to mom’s miscarriage, as he looked down on us from heaven, but could not.

Later that evening before I drifted off to sleep, I asked asked himself “What was I praying for? Mom cooked the meal with the help of Aunt Emily and Dad paid for the meal.“ We lost four family members, all within the last year. All, especially Jacob, were a terrible loss to us. Worst of all, my dear dad coughed his way through the blessing with the deadly disease that would end his traditional Christmas blessings for good.

The words “Thank you Lord” didn’t make sense to me, and although I continued to attend church for my Mom’s sake after dad’s death, those words stuck in my throat and were never uttered again.

As a teenager, I became aware I could no longer thank a deity who took loved ones from me; who sanctioned wars and inquisitions, and in his magnificent wisdom and power, allowed plagues and starvation to devastate innocent populations of prayerful worshipers. Even then in my youth, I thought it was shameful that all the religions made excuses for themselves and their gods. Their gods never took the responsibility when things went wrong but always took the credit when things went right. It didn’t take a genius to figure it out.

Now, sixty-five years later, my wife and I say a “blessing of sorts” at Thanksgiving and Christmas meals when we are the hosts. The blessing never mentions a deity. It always acknowledges those of our family who are no longer with us and those not as fortunate as we are. After we finish, some of our family might mumble “In Jesus’s name, Amen”. We don’t say a word about it. Let them worship as they wish if it makes them feel better.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to my readers.

* A fictional story

 

 

 

 

 

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Atheist Poetry

Here’s a few more light atheist poems to chew on.

Rainy Days

Rainy days don’t give a damn

if they ruin your picnic plan.

Lightning strikes where it pleases

despite our prayers to dear Jesus.

Tsunami waves just don’t care

if they hit at morning prayer.

Earthquakes are unaware of

who survives and who is spared.

Meteors come from outer space

and can land at any place.

Bacteria don’t check to see

if you believe in a deity.

Virus could really care less

if your sins you do confess.

Nature is not always fair

and if you pray it doesn’t care.

Color of skin or shape of eyes,

short of stature or large in size,

in good health or sick in bed,

with lots of cash or poor instead.

Nature couldn’t care any less

if you fail or have success.

Don’t you think it’s really great

that nature does not discriminate?

 

Someone to Blame

I wish there was someone to blame

for all the cures that never came;

for the rain that caused the flood;

for the disease that poisoned the blood;

 

for the cancer that took a child’s life;

for the famine and the strife;

for the parasites that live in their host;

for the plagues that kill the most.

 

Who can we blame for nature’s indifference?

Who can we blame for viral persistence?

Who can we blame when a child doesn’t thrive?

Who can we blame when it does not survive?

 

Oh, how I wish I could find the villain

who is to blame for all the killing

of innocent children and other good folk,

those poor victims of fate’s cruel stroke?

 

Who is it that controls all the power

to stop the sun and grow the flower?

Who punishes the pure and obedient

along with the sinner because it’s expedient?

 

Oh, how I wish that there was someone to blame

for causing the earthquake and hurricane.

So, all through my life, I’ve searched high and low,

way up above and way down below,

until I discovered my search was in vain.

There is no one to hate and no one to blame.

 

Life is a gift by nature’s design.

Death is a fact we cannot decline.

So live your short life and hope for the best.

You’re wasting your time to cry and protest.

No gods will hear and no gods will care,

simply because, no gods are there.

 

Standing in the Shower

I was standing in the shower room with every nozzle blasting

wet bodies that could have been of Greek and Roman casting.

Some were young but most were old, struggling to survive,

hoping that a little youth somehow would revive.

Withering butts and bulging guts were plainly there to see,

results of the easy life that has always tempted me.

 

Those aging bodies will soon be dry, dressed in fine array

and will return to prestigious jobs with the highest pay.

Some will wear the robes of rank and medals of old wars.

Some still live in that past and will forever more.

I have no doubt that they are smart in a special way.

How else could they succeed and justify their pay?

 

Some volunteer to serve, as society demands,

and even give a little cash when conscience does command.

These pillars of society stand soapy next to me,

their robes and medals now are where I cannot see.

I think that they would trade past glory for a little health

and for a year of youth they’d give their hoarded wealth.

 

Robes and medals I’ll never have, and wealth has passed me by,

but I may be rich in other ways, should I tell you why?

I’ve lived my life without the sin of hurting some poor soul.

The search for truth through science has always been my goal.

I try to follow nature’s guiding laws and use my mind as well.

I try to understand my DNA and what it does compel.

 

To learn from life and my mistakes are things I always do.

I strive to help the suffering caused by the selfish few.

I try to plan ahead for stormy nights and periods of drought.

I understand that superstition is something I should doubt.

I know that to turn the other cheek will often ruin the day,

and to be a victim of aggression simply does not pay.

 

To believe all that I am told is such a foolish thing.

To the rubbish of the past I simply cannot cling.

I cannot ignore nature’s laws that are given us.

Denying them is, no doubt, too incredulous.

 

To profit from the plight of others to satisfy one’s greed

is the most common sin justified by creed.

So, as I dry my body in the midst of royalty,

I feel as rich as anyone in all humility.

 

Robes and medals are secondary and do not count for much.

They are at best, in this short life, just a golden crutch.

If there is still one more thing that I really have to do,

it’s letting others know what is false and true.

 

The smartest in the shower room certainly is not me.

Neither am I the richest, I know they’d all agree.

But wisdom is a special thing that comes to very few.

In my youth it was a seed, how glad I am it grew.

The Curtain

The curtain hung unnoticed since intellect was born,

thick with dust from ages past, faded and forlorn.

It covered the only window of a house that had no doors

and sifted the meager light that managed to the floor.

 

It trembled in the turbulent storm of ideas spawned of science

but continued to hide the truth in opaque defiance.

What atrocities of the past paced the moldy floor?

What poor souls inside searched for absent doors?

 

Who hung the curtain in the ancient past?

How long was it there, how long would it last?

Would some poor soul, driven by despair,

finally gather the courage and boldly take the dare,

perhaps to peer out cautiously at the world of reason?

Perhaps to see, at last, a new and glorious season.

 

If only they could find their way through the dark morass,

truth itself is the door through which they all may pass.

Will there be a time when doors appear and curtains will be slashed,

when prejudice and superstition will be resolutely trashed?

 

The story of the house with one window and no doors

should become a fable of the past and reality no more.

But still, we empathize with those who dwell within,

and have not escaped the fundamental spin.

We hope they will be courageous and reject dogmatic din

and make the world a better place for humans and their kin.

 

Why Can’t We See?

Why can’t we see the truth before our eyes?

Why do we believe those preposterous lies?

Why do we believe all that we are told?

Why do we believe that hot is really cold?

 

Why don’t we care about the plight of those poor souls?

How would we feel if fate had switched our roles?

Why do we thank the gods for our good fortune,

but never blame them for disaster and misfortune?

 

How can we decide what is right or wrong

when our holy men sing different songs?

Why do we sit upon our butts and cry about our fat,

and then feed our faces again before we nap?

 

Why do we say prayers from our holy places,

and then close their doors to different faces?

Why do we pray to God to strike a lethal blow,

against those whom we decide should be our next dead foe?

 

Why are we so smart and why are they so dumb?

Why are we the pure and why are they the scum?

Questions, such as these, should not disrupt your sleep.

Questions, such as these, should not make you weep.

 

Questions, such as these, can easily be ignored.

Questions, such as these, must never be explored.

Because, to answer them you must use your brain,

and to do that simple thing would really be … a pain.

 

Forgive Us Sarcasm

 

Dear Lord forgive us for we have sinned.

Your holy words, your laws, have been ignored.

Your message long drenched in infidel blood

with fiery fingers were etched in stone for sinners,

who worshiped a golden calf as do we worship modernity’s newborn.

Oh, how this sinful world would be cleansed by thy word

had we, your flock, followed obediently, without reason, or question, or intellect.

Your word is all we need, not the puny accumulated science we now worship and now bow down to, as do heathen who worship false gods with puny intellect, self-righteous reliance on the power of the human brain.

Forgive us Lord for we have sinned, we have not cast the first stone against the frail skull of harlot, disobedient child, non virgin, shellfish eater, and against those who pick up sticks on the Sabbath.

Faith conquers all. Science and reason be damned by your holy grace.

 

Golden Rule

 

Do unto others as they do unto you is not The Golden Rule.

It’s not the bible story, it almost seems too cruel.

It’s not what they preach to us, it’s not what they’d have us do.

It’s not supposed to work that way, it just cannot be true.

 

To love our enemies, when we’re wronged, is a losing game.

If we lose by doing that, we have ourselves to blame.

Tit for tat is a better way to survive each coming day.

It gives us another choice than just to kneel and pray.

 

It makes no sense to turn our cheek and have it struck again.

Instead we must return the blow, and not stop to say amen.

So if we live by the Golden Rule, we really must be dense,

to think that returning good for evil really makes good sense.

 

Bertrand Russell

I recognized him, as he stood alone, in early morning light.

A lonely silhouette of a little man, a dark proselyte.

The shadow of this frail figure crept across the land

undeterred by argument or sanctified command.

 

As the merciless sun conquered the cool night,

his shadow protected a few from its blinding light.

While many burned and crumpled under those deadly rays,

there were a few that survived and never did fall prey.

They did still see, with open eyes and mind,

because dogmatic faith could not strike them blind.

 

Mr. Russell was a humanist and a philosopher of reason.

His contributions to mankind some considered treason.

But those who recognized his logic erudite,

they have immunity from superstition’s blight.

 

Drosophila – Ode to a Fruit Fly

Drosophila Melagaster, you sexy little fly.

Your universe is in a bottle; you never saw the sky.

You never had the chance to fly, free as God made you.

Your firmament was made of glass, all you ever knew.

 

A slice of apple or an orange, would have been your wish.

A ripe banana is your heaven in a little dish.

Instead you existed under glass just for me to see,

to reproduce and be bred by a human deity.

 

I watched you copulate, lay eggs to my delight;

I watched as your larva pupated in plain sight;

I watched your offspring hatch and spread their tiny wings;

I etherized your whole brood and examined the little things.

 

With a little brush, I selected a few mutations,

and then bred them once again to make some new creations.

Playing God sure felt good for some unholy reason.

Creating little mutants was supernatural treason.

 

What I did in college lab with deliberate resolution

happens all the time in nature, its called evolution.

But there are those of little wit that still cannot conceive

that what we did together should really be believed.

 

I finished my genetics course and passed the final tests.

I never could have done it without my fruit fly pests.

Playing God is bad enough; some think it a holy crime.

But, it was fun proving evolution by my design.

 

The Chimera

 

The Chimera is a most horrible beast

that, given a chance, on your body would feast.

It would tear you to shreds and chomp on your brains,

and quickly devour what’s left of remains.

 

Its head is a lion; a serpent is its tail.

Its body’s a goat that’s certainly female.

The Chimera is a mixture of the three separate beasts,

the fanciful concoction of ancient Greek priests.

 

If you think you’re too smart to fall for these claims

and you don’t want to play superstition’s old games,

you better review other beliefs you’ve been told,

taken from books unreliable and old.

 

It’s far better to rely on things that are factual

than to swallow such claims of the supernatural.

Unless, of course, you’re too lazy to care

and don’t mind wandering…into the Chimera’s lair.

 

 

 

 

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Author as Darwin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Dustbowl Christmas Past

 Christmas Past

mqdefault-2 mqdefault mqdefault-1A friend of mine shared a file of old family letters describing the terrible hardships endured during the dustbowl years. The letter inspired me to imagine what Christmas must have been in those times. Most of the settlers/farmers hoped for more than the desolation they found due to drought, poor farming practices and the troubled world economy. Many migrated west looking for homesteads, some carried on hoping for better times, but many simply died.

The following story is about a family of German immigrants who have endured several years of the drought. It is Christmas Eve and all through the house, not a creature was stirring except… Kurt Klaus.

 Rubin’s Christmas

Kurt Klaus searched his dusty overall pockets for a pencil as he stared at the tattered calendar on the wall. The last month of the year hung lifelessly under the faded picture of a green tractor. He found the stubby pencil and chewed its end until enough lead showed to place an X over the twenty-fourth day, Christmas Eve, 1934. He couldn’t believe it.

A kerosene lantern, hung on a piece of twisted fence wire, barely gave him enough light to see so he turned to the fireplace and placed another board on the fire. He was grateful that planks from abandoned homestead buildings were plentiful and provided enough firewood for the winter. As Kurt turned, his wife Gretchen slipped into his arms. They stood together in the flickering light and listened to the howling wind rattle the windows and door. Outside in the darkness a light snow mixed with the ever-present gray dust, and drifted against their weather beaten two-room house and attached barn.

“Another Christmas and we still have nothing.” Kurt sighed. “We should have left last year with the Guttenbergs.”

“Next year my darling, next year.” was all Gretchen could say.

Her eyes were always dry. Kurt had not seen her cry since they arrived at their Kansas homestead five years ago. Against all odds, they had managed to get the house and barn built with the help of neighbors, and borrow enough food to last the first winter. Unfortunately, the following years of drought and incessant dust storms were disastrous for the German families that were lured to America by the Homestead Act’s promise of free land and a new life.

During the bitter winters, Kurt placed both beds in the main room close to the stone fireplace for warmth. Pieces of old sheets and quilts covered the windows and door to keep out the cold wind and the dust. It was a loosing battle. The dust was everywhere, in their food, in their hair, and in their lungs. The four year-old twins and their older brother Hans coughed continuously.

The children slept together in one bed for warmth and all that could be seen of them now were a few moving lumps under the heavy quilts. They were awake, no doubt still clutching their Christmas gifts. Gretchen had made a Raggedy Ann and Andy doll for the girls and Hans loved the boat his father had carved for him.

Gretchen and Kurt could hear the children talking. Hans’ head appeared from under the quilts with the Twins’ faces right next to him.

“Daddy, we’re worried about Rubin. He’s out there in the cold all alone.”

The twins chimed in together, “Daddy, can Rubin come inside and spend the night with us… next to the fire?”

Gretchen looked up and her eyes met her husband’s. No words needed to be spoken. Kurt could see her soul through those tired blue eyes; he knew that Rubin would spend the night inside with the family. In fact, he knew it was a good idea. Like the two Airedales sleeping under the bed, Rubin was indispensable. The dogs protected the vegetable garden from the plague of rabbits and supplied their larder with more meat than they could eat, and Rubin labored all day in the ravaged fields with Kurt.

Kurt pulled on his heavy coat and went out into the howling wind to get Rubin. A few minutes later, he appeared in the doorway holding a rope that disappeared out into the darkness. Hans jumped from the bed, ran to his father, and grabbed the rope. He pulled until a shaggy head and two flaming black eyes, reflecting the fireplace, appeared from the darkness. With another yank, the big black mule cautiously stepped into the room. He looked around and grunted softly as Hans led him over to the fireplace and tied him to a rusty railroad spike in the wall.

While Gretchen stirred the last of the powdered chocolate and sugar into hot water, Hans brushed Rubin’s shaggy mane and face. The big mule closed his eyes and lowered his head so Hans could reach his long ears.

“Why don’t you girls give Rubin his Christmas present?” The twins followed their father’s gaze to the vegetable bin and then squealed in delight as they scurried over to it. They returned with all the potatoes and turnips their little arms could carry.

The Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls and little toy boat lay forgotten under the quilts while the children lovingly hand-fed and fussed over Rubin.

“I’ve never seen the children happier.” Gretchen whispered. She snuggled into her husband’s comforting arms and laid her cheek against his chest. Kurt felt the warm wetness of her rare and precious tears through his heavy shirt. During these years of utter desolation and delusion there still existed a tiny spark of humanity, still glowing, patiently waiting for a better tomorrow.

Kurt looked down at his wife and noticed a faint smile mixed among the tears. The years of hardship were momentarily forgotten, erased by the immediate pleasure of witnessing their happy children grooming old Rubin before the fire. The old mule shifted its weight and crunched a turnip in the pleasure of the moment.

 

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Poems By An Atheist – Inspiration, Science, Humor and Ridicule

Gosling as Darwin

Gosling as Darwin

old craig portrait

Poems By An Atheist

Wikipedia lists several hundred atheist writers and poets. Freedom From Religion Foundation has it own list of atheist writers and poets. Several internet sites cater to atheist poets. These lists omit the thousands of unknown atheists like myself who write without any hope our poems will see the light of day or will be read by someone in the need of inspiration in the early morning darkness. Poetry, about religion, about patriotism, about love, about hate, abounds. Poetry about atheism lingers in the shadows

I have files of unread poetry, inspired by my secular beliefs, that will never be read, unless someone stumbles on them in graygoosegosling.wordpress. With that hope in mind I will periodically include them for your inspection and hopefully, your pleasure.

“A Little Home for God” – Neurological experiments have demonstrated that stimulation of certain parts of the brain can cause patients and volunteers to have religious and near death experiences. It is suspected that religious figures of the past may have had neurological disorders, such as tumors, which made them believe they were conversing with a deity. In some cases, such as Joan of Arch, this experience may have inspired them to accomplish extraordinary feats attributed by some as a direct intervention of a of deity into human affairs.

 A Little Home For God

A little home for God exists inside of you and me.

It’s deep inside our brains, in a place we cannot see.

Somewhere along neural tracts and in clumps of cells

The Lord, our God, resides comfortably and well.

He shares his home with other gods of other times and creeds

who, just like him, all claim to fill important needs.

They are there when we call as if by special magic,

but when we let them help us, it often turns out tragic.

Sometimes they take control of us just for their own ends

like a lethal virus when its life upon us depends.

Did nature put these cells inside of us for reason,

to help us through hard times and the deadly season?

For some of us it must have helped in the past as in the present,

that’s why now we need the comfort of the cross, the star, the crescent.

This godly home, some do think, is in our temporal lobe

or maybe our limbic system is the address of its abode.

It really makes no difference to some of us you see,

because in our brains and intellect, there is… no vacancy.

Being Dead

Ever wonder what it’s like being dead?

No longer here but, being there instead?

Looking ahead at afterlife:

Will there be happiness or will there be strife?

And, will heaven be like you were told?

And, will you walk upon streets of gold?

And, will you sing in heavenly choir

and pity those in Satan’s fire?

And, will they let you own a dog

and will you have a place to jog?

And, what about burgers and fries?

And, what about cookies and pies?

And, what about a baseball game?

And, will TV programs be the same?

And, will your friends be there with you

and will the grass be wet with dew?

And, will there be a swimming pool

where kids can play in waters cool?

So, if you think about being dead,

another choice you might want instead.

How about a long peaceful sleep

without a morning time to keep?

How about no more pain,

no more problems, no more strain?

What about eternal rest

guaranteed to be the best?

It makes no difference which you choose

when your future, you finally lose

simply because it’s not your choice.

In its selection you have no voice.

So don’t ever worry about being dead,

getting there is worse it’s said.

When fate’s appointment you must keep,

just hope it arrives… while you’re asleep.

The time will come when you’ll perish

so every day you must cherish,

and live your lives with love and zest,

and fulfill your dreams before you rest.

Darwin’s Daughter Dies

What kind of father doesn’t kneel to pray when his daughter suffers her last day?

Sick as only the innocent can be, whose frail body from sick bed is freed;

Who napped in her father’s most gentle arms, fussed with his hair with childish charm,

pirouetted before him on the Sand Walk and pulled on his hand not needing to talk.

She played at his feet among barnacle jars, begged him to identify twinkling stars.

She fussed with his cuffs and pulled on his collar, snuck pinches of snuff to him in the parlor.

She faded in spite of prayers from dear Emma. Over dear Annie they cried in dilemma.

God was having his way with the child as with sparrows that fall in the wild.

Dear little Annie lived just ten short years, died in the arms of a father in tears.

Alone on Sand Walk the father still came, admired by scientists; now basking in fame.

But, all of that fame meant nothing to him compared to his loss so sad and so grim.

Oh, to swing her in autumn’s bright leaves, stroll with her through oceans of daisies.

Who was this man who shed tears outside the parish church with dead Annie inside?

Who was this man devoted to science not god, whilst he lay dear Annie down in cold sod?

‘Twas the man who loved beetles, barnacles, and worms, finches, and tortoises, baobabs, and ferns.

‘Twas the man who was loving to children and wife, who sought to reveal the mysteries of life.

If you know not his theory, his earth-shaking claims, check out Charles Darwin, the most famous of names.

His love of dear Annie was much greater in worth than his grand theory that shook the whole earth.

Drosophila – Ode to a Fruit Fly

Drosophila Melagaster, you sexy little fly.

Your universe is in a bottle; you never saw the sky.

You never had the chance to fly, free as God made you.

Your firmament was made of glass, all you ever knew.

 

A slice of apple or an orange, would have been your wish.

A ripe banana is your heaven in a little dish.

Instead you existed under glass just for me to see,

to reproduce and be bred by a human deity.

 

I watched you copulate, lay eggs to my delight;

I watched as your larva pupated in plain sight;

I watched your offspring hatch and spread their tiny wings;

I etherized your whole brood and examined the little things.

 

With a little brush, I selected a few mutations,

and then bred them once again to make some new creations.

Playing God sure felt good for some unholy reason.

Creating little mutants was supernatural treason.

 

What I did in college lab with deliberate resolution

happens all the time in nature, its called evolution.

But there are those of little wit that still cannot conceive

that what we did together should really be believed.

 

I finished my genetics course and passed the final tests.

I never could have done it without my fruit fly pests.

Playing God is bad enough; some think it a holy crime.

But, it was fun proving evolution by my design.

Vestigial Organs

Vestigial organs, what can they be?

What they were once I cannot see.

What will they become? I’ll never know

how they change and slowly grow.

Thinking about them can be a strain

if you have one for a brain.

 The Curtain

The curtain hung unnoticed since intellect was born,

thick with dust from ages past, faded and forlorn.

It covered the only window of a house that had no doors

and sifted the meager light that managed to the floor.

 

It trembled in the turbulent storm of ideas spawned of science

but continued to hide the truth in opaque defiance.

What atrocities of the past paced the moldy floor?

What poor souls inside searched for absent doors?

 

Who hung the curtain in the ancient past?

How long was it there, how long would it last?

Would some poor soul, driven by despair,

finally gather the courage and boldly take the dare,

perhaps to peer out cautiously at the world of reason?

Perhaps to see, at last, a new and glorious season.

 

If only they could find their way through the dark morass,

truth itself is the door through which they all may pass.

Will there be a time when doors appear and curtains will be slashed,

when prejudice and superstition will be resolutely trashed?

 

The story of the house with one window and no doors

should become a fable of the past and reality no more.

But still, we empathize with those who dwell within,

and have not escaped the fundamental spin.

We hope they will be courageous and reject dogmatic din

and make the world a better place for humans and their kin.

 

Darwin is My Hero

Darwin is my hero. He turned the world around

and freed us all from ignorance wherever it was found.

The faith of popes and preachers he truly did confound,

because his new theory was true and most profound.

 

In spite of what he told the world, some still cannot conceive

that not all the stories read in church, are to be believed.

Between the lines, when carefully read, the truth you may perceive.

Don’t let the darkness of the past, your open eyes deceive.

 

Some still cling to fairy tales and still swear and do proclaim

that the truths from Darwin’s mind were, at best, profane.

They urge you to reject what came from Charlie’s brain,

if heaven is the goal you eventually must attain.

 

If you believe that you must choose between the “word” and “theory”,

and of the facts of science you always must be leery,

look again and you will see there just is no restriction

to believe both in God and Darwin, if that is your conviction.

During Sunday Service

During Sunday Service in the midst of sacred psalms

Reading Holy Scripture, bowed head and touching palms.

That time may not grab attention, nor grip your busy mind

Your thoughts may be wandering, of the secular kind.

 

What about that business deal or the raise you didn’t get?

What about that sexy classmate or that football bet?

What about the college boards or next year’s tuition?

Will your car start tonight, what is its condition?

 

Does the pastor make any sense as he rants and raves?

Do his words strike you with fear, turn calm water to angry waves?

I can’t believe kneeling bodies, clasped hands, and bowed heads

really mean they’ve swallow everything that’s said.

 

Those who choose good reason and make the scientific choice

need more than threats and bribes to believe and to rejoice.

They are closeted atheists, or agnostics if you like.

They are clearly humanists of the secular type.

 

They come to church with family to meet their social friends;

they put in their appearance because its the way weeks end.

Freethought will have to wait behind the closet door

Science will have to close its eyes and bite its tongue once more

 

During Sunday service while the preacher calls you sinner

Let your thoughts wander some, think like you’re a winner

Don’t buy into punishing the son for the father’s sin

Don’t feel guilty for something done by an ancient kin.

 

Don’t believe in miracles, those religious fairy tales

Don’t believe that old Jonah was swallowed by a whale.

Don’t believe in virgin birth, that immaculate conception.

Don’t believe in walking dead, what a weird perception.

Instead of myth try some reason, mix science in to your brew

Add common sense, a pinch of logic, to your rational stew.

Share your meal with others, longing for good nutrition

Don’t worry about your evil nature and your pathway to perdition.

 

Let altruism reign supreme, let empathy guide your life.

Be sensitive to the plite of others, to their needs and strife;

do what’s right as instinct tells you, you’ll know what it’s about.

Telling right from wrong is easy, not hard to figure out.

 

During Sunday service in the midst of sacred psalms

Reading holy scriptures, bowed head and touching palms.

Throw off the chains of superstition, miracles, and silly rules

Substitute skepticism and good science taught in schools.

 

You’ll meet bigots who want to save your soul,

they may threaten to impede you from your stated goals

They want you to be obedient to dogma, and superstition,

They want to control your mind and wallet without condition.

 

So, raise your head, unclasp your hands, get up off your knees.

Open your mind, put out your hand to humanism please.

During Sunday service resolve to speak your mind,

with love and understanding to the faithful blind.

 

Sitting Next to Grandma

While sitting next to Grandma as she read to me

I could tell she loved me, it was plain to see.

I watched her dear old face as she told me how

God made the earth for us, it was her solemn vow.

 

It all began as a void with waters vast and deep.

Then light was made before the sun; the Lord was really neat.

I never quite could understand how this event could be,

but Grandma read it from the bible that very night to me.

 

And then God made the heavens but that confused me so,

for where had He been before He had a place to go?

Next came land, then plants according to their kind,

such wonders of creation really blew my mind.

 

But, I will never understand, no matter what they say,

how plants could grow as they do, without a sunny day.

But that’s exactly what Grandma read to me from the holy book,

it was plainly there to read if I would only look.

 

Then God made the stars and the planets in the sky.

The sun and moon soon followed, again up very high.

I wondered just how God made the light several days ago

before the sun existed, there was much I did not know.

 

All kinds of birds were next and every fish with fin;

even a few sea monsters He claimed to have thrown in.

The Lord saw that all was good and was so very proud

that He created the animals next from His heavenly cloud.

 

Grandma said He made all life, so He must have made bacteria,

those nasty tiny killers that live in my cafeteria.

Then Grandma read a verse that really made me wonder,

“Let us make a man to live on the earth down under.”

 

Who was this us? I asked Grandma, surely she would know.

Are there other Gods, as some do claim? I really want to know.

Grandma said He had some help from angels with great wings.

Why, I asked, did He need aid from such outlandish things?

 

I then asked Grandma if God looked just like me,

and did He have an organ that He used to pee?

Or was God a lady and did She have to sit

whenever She began to feel that it was time for it?

 

Grandma stopped her reading; she turned a shade of red.

I thought for sure that she would decide to send me off to bed.

She thought a while and then proclaimed, “Of that I have no opinion!”

She soon went on and read some more, all about dominion.

 

We rule the beasts upon this earth and in the sky and sea.

He commands us, she did say, to subdue all we see;

to be masters of all creatures and use them as we wish;

to cook them up for all our meals, they make a tasty dish.

 

But when the Lord had worked six days, he was so very tired.

He had done, with winged help, all that was required.

So, He blessed the seventh day and took a well-earned rest,

satisfied, no doubt, that He had done his best.

 

Grandma put her bible down and looked at my young face.

She believed in all that she had read, of doubt there was no trace.

But in my mind at that early age I just could not conceive

how the stories that my Grandma read could really be believed.

 

I went to bed that very night and thought about creation

and wondered if they believed that story in every other nation.

Do all good folk believe the book she read with such conviction,

or do they read from their own books of faith and superstition?

 

Now that many years have passed and I have learned so much,

I look back upon my youth and Grandma’s loving touch.

Although she believed with all her heart, she really did not know

the truth about how life began and how it still does grow.

 

She thought that God had a chosen few and that the end was near.

She did her best to instill in me that belief she held so dear.

She tried to teach me to fear God and of the sin I bear,

Adam’s sin passed down to me and all of us to share.

 

What Adam did with Eve that day they falsely had been blamed,

for if God had made them what they were, they did as He ordained.

So now when I think of Grandma’s God and His threat of hell,

I know it’s just a fairy tale that works, as does a spell.

 

When I have kids like Mom and Dad, I’ll make sure they have

a true idea about their lives, both the good and bad.

Thank you Grandma for being you, and for loving me.

You made me think about this world and who I soon would be.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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