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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in poetry, religion, science and superstition, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Roy the Animal Boy

Finally, here is the second edition of Roy the Animal Boy. It makes a great stocking stuffer or birthday present for the children in your life… and you know the author. Just $12.00. Buy several copies. The book contains 20 stories about the adventures of a little boy as he grows up. His father discovers his son Roy has a special and mysterious ability to communicate with animals. Roy’s adventures with his sister Millie are based upon real life true adventures. The book has large print and pictures especially suitable for grandparents while they read to grandchildren. Every copy autographed. 273 pages, 23 stories of adventure.

Here are a few stories you will find: Roy and the Raging Chimp – Roy and the Three Legged Turtle – Roy’s Dolphin Adventure – Roy and the Orca Adventure – Roy and the Monster of the North Latrine – Roy and the Tasmanian Tigers – Roy and the Dead Heifer – Roy and the Drowning Gorrila – Roy and the Wolf Pack.

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Posted in animals, children, children's fiction, nature | Tagged , | Leave a comment

World Populations Grows – Threatens War, Starvation, and Plague

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Pope Francis – Senator Lugar – God

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 twenty more years there will be almost 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 – “Of course you do, that’s why I gave you a brain to reason with. Have you used it lately? No, of course you haven’t.”

Francis – “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 man. I created man with more than ears and tongue, I created him 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 – “Nonsense!It is not my policy, It’s yours. 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.”

(Silence)

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.

Does anyone have a clue why the Catholic Church continues to resist birth control over and beyond what I have stated above? I’m interested in your replies.

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Little Brown Sabu and the Tigers


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  •  “LITTLE BROWN SABU AND THE TIGERS”
  • A Story-Coloring Book for kids 
  • 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
    • A Story-Coloring Book for Kids
    • 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?
  • AnswersTigers 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.
    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. Write letters and support wild life organizations.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.comRhyme 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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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.

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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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