Thought we could use an open thread.
Speaking of Jesus, when I was growing up, the above depiction of Jesus was standard. (Never saw a clock embedded in the painting, though.)
I visited the home of a friend whose parents were Jehovah’s Witnesses once and was stunned to see that their version of Jesus had an entirely different look.
I met this friend when he knocked on our door one morning to proselytize. My mom was at work, and several friends and I were doing bong hits and watching cartoons.
We asked the Jehovah’s Witness kid if he wanted to do a bong hit, and he said sure! Turns out his parents compelled him to distribute Watchtowers and save souls. He had more fun with us.
Anyhoo, open thread!
that is a great story
Today at 1:00 there is a rally in downtown Indianapolis at the State House to protest Mike Pence’s new draconian anti abortion bill.
I will be there.
Would you like me to send you pictures Ms. Cracker?
That photo and caption made my day.
Sorry, it may just be that it’s early, but that headline and picture combination are cracking me up.
@father pussbucket: Jynx.
All things are lawful, not all things are advantageous.
Just One More Canuck
OT but West Ham vs Arsenal is a hell of a game
Actually since this is an open thread, not OT
Love it, Betty.
@Just One More Canuck: It’s an open thread, have a field day!
Good Morning, Everyone :)
So, Dennis Hastert molests 4 children, and it’s tough to give him 6 MONTHS…but, a Black man steals CANDY and is facing 20 YEARS?
One of my dorm-mates in grad school was a junkyard tourist; one day he returned with a ‘Sacred Heart’ statue. Thing was, it was an anatomically correct statue of a bodily organ– with a little halo over it. Wonderful and gruesome.
the Conster, la Citoyenne
In the immortal words of Deray, watch whiteness work. I’m sure breaking up the big banks will fix these injustices though/
Bong hits for Jehovah!
@rikyrah: Yeah, but he stole that candy from a baby.
@rikyrah: You sound surprised.
My Polish grandmother’s house had more crucifixes, holy statues, icons, and pictures than the average Catholic church, but the house always smelled of mothballs instead of incense.
@Tom_23: You can shut down the inernets. Tom has won.
@rikyrah: OMG, at first I read that as Dennis Haysbert and I was like “isn’t he black?”
Then I realized you were talking about the former leader of house Republican’ts.
@Tom_23: “Bong Hits for Jesus” I seem to vaguely remember it was in the news a few years back that someone wearing a t-shirt with that particular slogan was kicked out of some public event or another…
I once saw a tee-shirt that said “Jehovah’s Witness Protection Program”.
I’m in a similar boat when the JW’s come over. They’re a very old couple, though, so I doubt they much want to get high and watch Archer.
It’s called the Hastert Rule.
@Germy Shoemangler: It was a student wearing a “Bong Hits for Jesus” t-shirt.
Looks like a wall clock with a picture of John Carradine
During my college years a similar thing happened to me, but in reverse.
I was schilling it for some door-to-door sales scheme in order to raise a few shekels for tuition. The door I knocked on at this house in a small Ohio village belonged to the high school head basketball coach. He was home with his assistant coach drinking beer and watching some pro basketball games. They asked me if I wouldn’t rather sit down with them have a few beers and enjoy the games. How could I say “No”?
That evening, I was exit interviewed out of the sales force.
But Denni’s crimes were a loooooooonnnngggg time ago; I’m sure he’s suffered enough already.
I am also intrigued by the utter and total silence from the national media on Hastert’s past sexual abuse. If this had been a former Democratic Speaker, I bet there would be wall to wall coverage about how Democrats promoted a homosexual child molester to the third highest ranking office in the country, and why didn’t they know or care.
@Keith P.: My youngest atheist answered the door and had a polite conversation with them. They came back time and again attempting to save him. Every time they would ask me, very politely, if they could talk to him. I always said sure. It was his own damn fault for being polite.
Good morning, all.
Glad you saved the JW kid, Miss Cracker.
Watching those wicked cartoons, too.
Hillary Clinton was in my neck of the woods yesterday, and as a result I got to here a perfectly nice patient go on in the waiting room about what a liar she was and how at least Trump wasn’t “one of them” by which she meant a politician.
Another patient exclaimed that right or wrong, Trump speaks his mind, and if I had won the lotto and did not need that job I would have said; “What the fuck does that mean?!” You don’t get points for just talking out loud when what you say is bullshit. Oh America.
We had that picture in our house when I was growing up. Eventually, my Mom replaced Jesus with a picture of one of their dogs.
You taught him to be polite? That’s a hell of a thing to do!
@dlm: That’s silly. Everyone knows dogs can’t tell time.
I remember sitting through a unitarian service where the speaker gave a slide show of how Jesus was depicted in art through the ages. I noticed immediately that the oldest-known representations of him were the darkest; he looked like a real middle-eastern man with dark skin. As the centuries went by, he got lighter and lighter in the paintings. Until we come to our present day wall clock, where he looks to me like he should have a british accent.
And yet no mention was made of this during the presentation.
Just finished a JW memoir, I’m Perfect, You’re Doomed. Funny, sweet, and sometimes shockingly awful in terms of the traps they set for their followers.
She got out.
rofl! :-) Nice picture, title, and story.
Not to derail a perfectly good thread so early on a rainy Saturday, but I feel compelled to say something (mainly for my benefit) for the record …
(Please skip the rest of this comment if your faith is weak and you want to keep it.)
Seeing my mom’s lifeless body in her ICU bed really brought home – to me – that the story of Jesus’s death and resurrection after 3 days really is fantastic (and not in a good way). It didn’t, and couldn’t, have happened.
Jesus was a good dude in many respects (even if he didn’t exist, or is a composite of others, or is based on Gilgamesh, or whatever). But he didn’t violate the laws of biology, chemistry, and physics.
I’ve known these things for a long time, of course, but seem to need periodic reminders. Religion has some nice features in some cases (building a sense of community, promotion of peace, etc.), but much of it is built on a house of cards. We (as a species) need to find a way to build upon the best parts while moving away from the creaky (and too often racist, anti-science, rigid, misogynistic, sexist, etc.) foundations. There are real dangers when 2000+ year old stories which are false are used to justify public policy.
My $0.02. I could be wrong! ;-)
Have a good weekend.
(Who lost his religion 4+ decades ago.)
Goodmorningkitten.com is exceptionally cute today–teeny-tiny white kitten playing with luxuriantly coated shepherd dog. Enjoy.
That is all.
Subtitled, “Confessions of an on-line purity progressive”
@I’mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet: I always wonder if most of the stories in the New Testament were known to be metaphorical at the time, and then everyone lost sight of that over the years.
@OzarkHillbilly: A couple of nice JW ladies came to my MIL’s door in what turned out to be her early Alzheimer’s onset period. (She lived a few hours from us at the time.) She wasn’t that far gone, though, and made it a point (in her very direct way, I’m sure) to let them know she had no interest. They started checking in regularly, and then started taking her on day trips to the outlets. They never got anything out of her, but the contact/stimulation I’m sure did her a world of good.
They were probably disappointed when she went to assisted living.
@I’mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet: Well said.
Your comments here are always first-rate. You set a high bar.
@I’mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet: I’m sorry about your mom.
Karen Armstrong has expressed that view.
@different-church-lady: To be honest, his real mistake was in conversing with them. I have always said, “No thanks.” and then very politely shut the door in their faces.
Interesting. Our gentle rain just suddenly turned into ~ 1/4+” of sleet/hail.
@OzarkHillbilly: You must be doing something very wrong with that child.
@different-church-lady: Possibly in order to gain converts, the story had to get more and more fantastic until his followers portrayed him as a super hero?
@I’mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet: Your comments influence the weather? I tip my hat to you.
@Germy Shoemangler: What’s going to happen when they stumble across old Superman comics 1500 years from now?
@I’mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet: I think religion is there because people cannot deal with the finality of death, their loved ones’ and particularly their own.
It’s a crutch. Might have started out well intentioned, but some peeps recognized before long the power, special privileges and swag that might come their way.
It is a short little life. And then it’s over. Actually trying to live the Golden Rule, though, is a good practice.
Sorry about your mom. What hits me is seeing photos of my parents, looking so beautiful and young and healthy in the late 1940s-early 1950s. And their time has come and gone. Shocked at how quickly.
@dr. bloor: Ah, but if that’s true, how do they know when you’re coming home, Mr. Smarty Pants!?!
(Turns out they use their sense of smell, maybe.)
@I’mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet: Roadtripping today, and see that Charleston WV has snow falling right now. (Or so Accuweather tells me.) And lows in the low 20s tonight, and 60s tomorrow. Well well.
@different-church-lady: Or find an ancient blu-ray disc of Batman v Superman?
Just One More Canuck
@Germy Shoemangler: Are you referring to Jesus or Bernie?
Been an on again, off again rainy week. 3½ inches of the stuff on Tuesday.
@Elizabelle: Not that I want to be depressing, but… a while ago, when my parents were in their 50s, an uncle stumbled across an old 8mm reel of film from my parent’s wedding. We put it up on the projector, and I remember thinking that the two people on the screen looked more alive than their real counterparts right there in the room in front of me, and “What the heck happened?”
@I’mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet: Last week I was on a business trip with my boss. The principle feature of these trips is that my boss loves him some good food, good wine, and shutting down the bar after the day’s work is done. He’s also extremely smart.
So there we are drinking along with a third member of the group, and the third individual – who doesn’t work for our company – kept bringing up Trump. I kept taking the bait and bossman kept shutting us down.
Until the third bottle of wine. Then we were all off to the races. But somehow, after yelling at each other about Trump and Hillary and Black Lives Matter and FBI crime statistics, the subject turned to religion. I was too far in the bag to be subtle, so Third Man looked at me and asked in tones of perfect astonishment, “Are you an atheist?”
“Of course I am. Actually, I consider myself an anti-theist. I think religion is pernicious.”
Boss, who is Christian but not of any particular variety so far as I know, was aghast. “You’re like Bill Maher?”
“No,” I said, “if I were like Bill Maher, it wouldn’t have taken five years of me working for you for you to figure it out.”
So the rest of the evening was me asking why they didn’t believe in Thor, or Mithras, or Quetzalcoatl, and why they believed that a Chinese peasant who died illiterate in the 5th century deserved to go to Hell. And them asking in total disbelief, “You really don’t think you have a soul?”
Fun times. Really really fun times. And I’m only a little worried about my job now.
If that was my office, that sign would have been burning in the alley after one day.
My neighbor in East Nashville was a JW. Back in 2004 when I was active in the Dean campaign, I toyed with running for Dem committeewoman. So I call my neighbor to ask him to sign my petition to get on the ballot. He very kindly explained that they don’t believe in voting. I apologized for bothering him and got off the phone.
Cut to nine — count ’em, 9 — years later. I’m moving out of my house, and Mr. Wallace stops his car, and says he got some literature together to explain why JWs don’t vote, and he’d kept it in his car just in case he ran into me. He hands me this tidy little envelope stuffed with JW literature.
P.S. — if they catch you at the door, tell them you’re Lutheran. It freaks them out, for some reason.
@Just One More Canuck: There’s a difference?
@elmo: And do you have one? A soul, that is…
@Just One More Canuck: Bernie of course.
@Germy Shoemangler: Well, we know what they’ll do: they’ll rip that thing out of the player before the 20 minute mark.
Speaking of the Hassart Hypocrisy Hypothesis, even in Alabama religious apparently freedom doesn’t extend to cover being kind to people and trying to help the dregs (leaving temporarily aside the issue of is that the best help those people might be needing) Noooo that sort of helpful shit has got to be shut down by small government. Law applied to one county (in part apparently because law enforcement in other counties objected to it.) Rather enjoying watching the whole religious freedom schtick being used the one against the other, but crikey, Alabama.
Pastor allowed to sue Alabama for disbanding sex offenders’ ministry
(and, yes, that’s not my phrasing, but I wouldn’t change it for the world)
@Germy Shoemangler: YOUR SNARKY RIBBING HAS COMPLETELY RUINED ANY CHANCE OF HILLARY GETTING ANY BERNIE-VOTES. ENJOY YOUR PRESIDENT TRUMP!!
Just One More Canuck
@different-church-lady: it’s like the joke that goes, “what’s the difference between God and a doctor? God doesn’t think he’s a doctor”
What if he ate a Senzu Bean?
@rikyrah: Good morning, Rikyrah! Well, you know, um, uh, what I’m trying to say is, uh, well, ..reasons. Yeah. Reasons. You know.
@different-church-lady: Pretty sure not, but there’s no proof either way, is there?
I don’t understand why religion and politics are supposed to be taboo topics, I really don’t. What is there more fun to talk about, for Pete’s sake?
@different-church-lady: I geneally have at least two, except they’re spelled differently.
@gene108: And blaming Obama. Or Clinton. Or both. But then fake scandals involving Democrats are much more serious than real Rethuglican scandals.
@Elmo: I just think of the soul as, “That weird, highly complicated thing our brains do that gets us all emotionally wound up and tricks us into thinking we’re special whenever we consider our own existence.”
It was probably at least 30 years ago when a JW group came to my door to proselytize, 2 or 3 adults and a couple of kids. I remember thinking it was a form of abuse to drag kids around like that to have doors slammed in their faces. It also irritated me that our not very friendly to strangers dog we had at the time didn’t even bark at the JW male and even allowed a little petting. I told our dog that he was failing at character judgement. I told them I wasn’t interested and goodbye. The next time a group came to my door, I told them I would never be interested, it was a waste of their time and mine and put me on the no call list. They actually paid attention because I only got one more visit many, many years later who asked if I still wanted to be on a no call list, lol. Then I was amused wondering how many other people had requested them to never darken their doorstep again.
My mil would get a little irritated when my fil, not particularly religious, would let them in and pepper them with questions. He always enjoyed why, how discussions on religion and politics among many other topics. He was a life long Dem, grew up during the Depression guy and one of his sons, a Republican, had to hold his tongue when his dad got going on Republican policies usually asking why the Republican party always wants to throw out the baby with the bath water.
@elmo: Frankly, after that, I’m astonished you have a job at all. Drunken revelry or not, the bosses I’ve always worked under would make it their primary project to wreck your career after you revealed something like that about yourself.
Funny thing about JWs. They were intensely persecuted by the Nazis because they were politically neutral and refused all demands that they swear loyalty to the regime. And since they were not an ethnic group, they could have taken the easy way out by capitulating.
@Poopyman: Yep! That was the guy’s name they wanted to talk about! Don’t you believe he was real, they asked. I don’t know, I said. Not enough contemporary historical data. Most of the data are from hundreds of years later and all intermixed with obvious myths.
It’s like this, I said. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. So I believe Caesar was real, and Herod, and Cleopatra, because there’s nothing about their stories that triggers disbelief. Also lots of contemporary accounts. But this guy? I can believe an itinerant preacher wandered Jerusalem in the first century, sure. But is that really the point?
If you told me you saw a red sports car, I would believe you. If you told me you saw a red sports car and then it sprouted dragon wings and sang showtunes, I would stop believing you saw any kind of car at all.
Man, that was a fun conversation.
@different-church-lady: I like that!
@I’mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet: @different-church-lady: When my first wife was pregnant with our 2nd son I took her to the clinic for a prenatal check up. The clinic was about half a block from Planned Parenthood. One of the protesters came over to me and started up, asking if I had found Jesus. I replied with something and she said, “Well Jesus said…”
I cut her off saying “Jesus said a lot of things, but he never said he was Christ.” She turned and walked away.
@ArchTeryx: Why, though? I’m really good at my job. I’m his right hand, and he trusts me to handle things that he trusts nobody else to handle. What diff if I think religious myths are silly and harmful?
Sex. Another taboo subject.
@different-church-lady: I agree.
Who Wrote the Bible? talks about things like this. Like, for instance, part of the Noah story says animals were collected in pairs and part says that the number depended on whether they were clean or unclean. What makes the most sense is that two stories were melded together because two important groups had their own slightly different stories. Which is right? It doesn’t matter really (for those who don’t take every word literally) – the politics said that both had to be included even if it was physically impossible, that salt-water fish can’t live in rain water, and vice-versa, etc., etc.
As with any human endeavor, there were competing interests which influenced what was included or not. Allegory has to pay a big part of it (the priests had to keep their jobs interpreting it after all ;-). The changes over the ~ 400+ years after his death only complicate things even more.
We should be able to learn to appreciate the history, the poetry, the good lessons to be learned, while recognizing the flaws and many of the evils of the “holy book”. I hope more of us can over time.
@Elmo: I’ve been an atheist since I was 13 and a lifelong liberal in a wingnut area. It is fun to talk religion and politics, but it can be awfully risky, especially in a work situation.
To some fundamentalists, saying you don’t believe in God is tantamount to declaring allegiance to Satan. Hopefully the folks you were dealing with aren’t that hardcore.
I think people sneer at religion because they need to feel superior; they can’t deal with their low self-esteem. Sad!
@different-church-lady: I did the best I could but he’s not my problem anymore.
@Baud: I’ve read a fair amount of Armstrong’s writings. She used to describe herself as a freelance monotheist; not sure where she is now theologically.
@Betty Cracker: I discovered a couple of weeks ago that the woman I share an office with is a JW– but she hasn’t breathed a word of it to me. I have a suspicion that she’s in it because it’s her husband’s faith– but I’m not about to try to find out.
Couple of items which caught the eye.
Flowers or a sumptuous dinner are so passé.
@Baud: Thanks Baud. She was a good person and will be fondly remembered.
Let me say how much I appreciate your masterful posts. You’re a credit to your candidacy! :-)
@Germy Shoemangler: Thanks Germy. I’m just a grasshopper compared to your posting excellence.
Now let me see… Where did I put that? It was here just a minute ago.
@bemused: I remember back in the 1970s, I couldn’t walk out my door without being approached by young people from the moonie church. They were all very polite. Young Asian men. I always politely declined their offers for more information about the church. And in the late ’70s I was always approached by scientologists.
@I’mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet: unlikely. You have a positivity and cheerful wisdom that I admire and envy. I tend to be negative in my comments.
@Elizabelle: Very well said. Thanks.
A few years ago, she suddenly told me about taking a long weekend in Chicago (in the very late ’50s) with my dad before they were married. And that they had a very good time, too. ;-) It’s fun (and important) to be reminded that the oldsters had the same urges, desires, dreams, and frustrations as all of us. It’s a cycle in lots of ways.
@I’mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet: Scott – I’m so sorry. My condolences. Losing a parent is not easy regardless of age (theirs or ours).
@elmo: :-) You’re brave! I’m sure that they appreciate your honesty and understand that alcohol loosens our defenses a little. Don’t worry too much, but best wishes!
Yup, little known fact, but true.
I really don’t get the hate for JWs some people show. They are strictly apolitical, and of the several I know, they are decent and easygoing folk.
@Chyron HR: Zooks! That could do it!!
Thanks. I’ve not been acquainted with that bit of the world before. Scary stuff. ;-)
dogs can’t tell time
My 6 year old Ecuadorian grandson just got a 2 year old golden retriever, named Frida Kahlo. When my daughter brought her home he was thrilled, but skeptical. “That’s a dumb name for a dog. Dogs can’t paint.”
J R in WV
The Jehovah’s Witnesses used to visit our rural holler at least once a year. I wasn’t surprised they would hit us at the little ancient farm house, it was right on the county road. But we built our new house up on the farm, away from the road, in fact invisible from the road most of the year.
But ever before we were finished building, there were the tracts, tucked into the door jamb.
When we first moved in, there was a hot tub, (now failed along with the boss dehumidifier) and we invited a couple of friends to come over any time and use, one was a paraplegic and the other a girl friend of the family who helped H get around.
So the last time the Jehovah’s came around, ever, the two women were in the hot tub, and the JWs knocked on the door to the roon with the tub in it – so K wrapped herself in a big towel and opened the door, all pink and hot and wet from the tub.
The JW’s had never seen anything like that, ever, and I’m sure they thought it was an apparition of the DEVIL come to tempt them… they put us on the Do-Not-Visit-Evah list, we’ve never had another visit from them, and it’s been at least 15 years.
I miss the not tub. It was how I got to work, many mornings, when my back was giving me problems. The last PT sessions I had must have taught my body something, I haven’t had much back trouble for years. Or I learned not to pick up stuff too heavy for a guy who isn’t a young and strong as I once was.
i don’t miss the Jehovah’s a bit, though. Strange cult.
Iowa Old Lady
Coming out as an atheist is an interesting experience. I like to think that when I do it with people who already know me, their attitude toward atheism is softened.
@OzarkHillbilly: Have him start hanging out here. We’ll whip him out of shape pronto.
@John S.: Well, perhaps it’s all down to your personal encounters with the spammer-style religiosity types or the easy-going ones. Quakers are also nice folks and I’ve never been hassled about my personal calling plan with god by any of them.
@Germy: When I was in high school – quite a long time ago – I filled out a Scientology personality profile. That was the entire extent of my involvement with Scientology.
They still, to this day, send mass mailings to me – or, I should say, to my poor Mom. Who’s moved, and the mailings still get to her.
So when I hear the Church of Scientology boast about how many members it has, I wonder how many of those members are entries on a mailing list and nothing more, like me.
@Kathleen: Thanks Kathleen. I appreciate it.
Have a good weekend.
OTOH Don Blankenship kills 29 and gets 6 months and a fine, which makes Hastert wish he were in West Virginia.
@different-church-lady: Not sure this blog could survive him and me.
Chicago Republicans are assholes, whose idea of political speech tramples on others property rights.
And these, I guess, are the moderates.
A little homily from one of our betters. Obviously the economic problems of the sixties have now been resolved.
Kenneth Rogoff is professor of economics and public policy at Harvard University. He was the chief economist of the IMF from 2001 to 2003.
The rise of anti-trade populism in the 2016 US election campaign portends a dangerous retreat from the United States’ role in world affairs. In the name of reducing US inequality, presidential candidates in both parties would stymie the aspirations of hundreds of millions of desperately poor people in the developing world to join the middle class.
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has proposed slapping a 45% tax on Chinese imports into the US, a plan that appeals to many Americans who believe that China is getting rich from unfair trade practices.
Following prominent left-leaning economists, Sanders rails against the proposed new Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), even though it would do much to help the developing world
Sanders even hammers his opponent Hillary Clinton for her support of earlier trade deals such as the 1992 North America Free Trade Agreement (Nafta). Yet that agreement forced Mexico to lower its tariffs on US goods far more than it forced the US to reduce its already low tariffs on Mexican goods.
the idea that trade fuels inequality is a very parochial perspective, and protectionists who shroud themselves in a moralistic inequality narrative are deeply hypocritical.
Well, at least for some, it’s not because they’re not trying.
@hamletta: Thank you. I am at best an indifferent skeptic, yet I don’t feel the need to prove my mental superiority by attacking other people’s beliefs. I also know enough religious people who really walk the walk as laid out in the New Testament. It has taught me how much a power for good religion has been in spite of its history.
@Gimlet: Give him a break, it’s worked out well for him.
@John S.: There’s a big JW meeting hall in Sunnyside, Queens, only a few blocks from my building, so I often see large gatherings of them on the street. I will say two things for them: first, they do not discriminate on the basis of race or ethnicity (the crowds outside the meeting hall are always very diverse), and second, they are always very sharply dressed…
@OzarkHillbilly: Dude, when the end times come, it’s going to be just this blog and the cockroaches.
@jharp: send all photos.
For the Illustrious TL and the Planet Nine fans
What the hell is Michelle “official Tea Party response” Bachmann doing in NYC?
@Elmo: Says a fellow who is lucky enough to not have a boss that puts their ego before everything else. My career DID get wrecked by those people, and as a result I’m entering my third year of unemployment. And they weren’t even my direct supervisors!
@different-church-lady: Who you calling a cockroach?????!!!!?
@gene108: True THAT!
Where is the outrage?
Make them defend this shit!
@ArchTeryx: I’m sorry to hear it. No question I’m fortunate.
@ArchTeryx: :-( That’s horrible.
The trends in America of increasing percentages citing no religion are heartening, but as Keynes said “in the long run we’re all dead”.
Hang in there. I hope things turn around soon.
Oh …about THIS picture ….he don’t look like a man FROM what is now known as the Middle East …white supremacist ideology is the foundation and source of American racism!
Yeah, Kasich is “the sane one” – fun and games with new Ohio Voter ID laws:
@I’mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet: It’s going to be a long wait. Our lot can’t be elected president, our beliefs don’t come with pre-approved forgiveness cards to play in multiple settings, don’t get mitigations on prison terms etc, but we’re the sneering, feeling superior ones if we don’t play along.
Ugh, moonies and scientologists are worse than JW’s but thankfully neither group seems to have ever ventured to the far north. We did work with a JW but he never made a peep about that on the job. I remember the JW’s really loved and took advantage of Christmas sales buying heaps of stuff.
Schlemazel (parmesan rancor)
Oh Betty! You know the harshest pits of Hell are reserved for those that cause the faithful to stumble!
Great story. You actually were doing Pasta’s work as you kept that twit from annoying many other people.
Yeah, the ones I know run the gamut of ethnicity. In the workplace, they are extremely polite and professional, and very dependable.
I think they are 180 degrees of your garden-variety RWNJ conservative Christian types. And while I’m sure they have hypocrites in their ranks, I find they do a much better job of walking the walk.
@OzarkHillbilly: My favorite tactic with JWs was shock therapy. They knocked on my door early one Spring when I lived in SFO: “I’m sorry, folks, but we’re practicing Druids.” With a big smile: “You should join us for Beltane…” and as the smile turned predatory: “… we haven’t had a sacrifice for several years.” I never even saw them leave: it was like they teleported – one moment there and the next completely out of sight.
Mum said she used to tell them she was Buddhist. I told her they were prepared for that.
Dad said he would talk with them if they could answer one question for him: after The Flood, where did the water go? He said they were still looking for the answer two years later.
@Tom_23: Stone him! He said “Jehovah”!
I’m sure there are all ranges of JW, just as any group has. Ironically, the cost of survival in any form of Fundamentalism is to be lukewarm. To moderate the dictates of the religion so they can function better in society.
And a certain amount of luck in life circumstances.
To drill down and be a fervent believer in such is guaranteed to cause trouble, internally and externally.
The photo of Jesus reminds me of when one of my friends was marrying a Hispanic and I went with other friends to her bridal shower. Every gift she opened from the Hispanic ladies was a religious one that their table applauded when it was shown. Although we lived in a very religious neighborhood of Catholic churches within a few blocks of each other, we learned something new that day.
As a child my best friend was my Dad’s cousin’s child. One day she literally dragged me to her home saying “come on you have to see this”. When we walked into her house, there were holy pictures on every available space on the walls. “What?” Her Dad had professed himself to be a Communist. This was her mother’s answer to it. Years later I saw a photo of her Dad on the building committee of the local church. :)
The worst confrontation I had was a teenager selling the Catholic Digest door to door. I politely told him I was not interested. He tried to get into the house and I slammed his foot in the door. He limped away cursing me.
The JW have always been polite.
I was out planting flowers on a gorgeous May morning. Sunday morning. I had not realized this made me a tempting target.
An older lady with a teen girl in tow engaged me with the opener, “Have you ever thought about God?”
Well, just get me started! I went into my Responsible Hedonism spiel, where I said sure, God wants us to be happy, look at all his wonders, life and nature hold so many treasures, we should enjoy them them, that is what He wants!
The teen was smiling and nodding and the older lady dragged her away lest I make a convert.
I hope I helped her. JW’s look so nice from the outside, but they have a tendency to restrict their children’s education and career opportunities, and marry them off young, before they know what they are as a person, and who would work for them as a life companion.
It can turn into a life of drudgery, but they officially don’t care, because the world is ending any minute.
LOL, your dad sounds just like my fil who would ask the same type of questions.
Well, poo… All the tomatoes and peppers in the ground already were frost bit last night despite a cover of crockery. The fig trees we put in had a few leaves on them – also drooping but the plant might survive. Interestingly, two tomato plants in big pots seem fine as do most other stuff we have in containers except for three peppers. I hope the big box store moved all their stuff inside yesterday, I need to reload.
@jeffreyw: ooo, sorry to hear that. Woke up to snow again here as well. Anyone have any clues about what all this zig-zagging temperature we’re getting in IL is likely to do to hellebores, especially new ones? They’re supposed to be cold tolerant, but I’m not hearing good things from the person closest to the ones we planted last year.
@WereBear: Ha. I would expect nothing less from a person who knows about the pleasure-seeking nature of felines.
as a liberal Christian I get the same looks from the fundies. “How can you be a Christian not believe Noah’s Ark was real?” “How can you have a brain and claim it was???”
Mr Stagger Lee
@NotMax: John Carridine played Aaron in the classic The Ten Commanndments.
@gene108: But we finally have the Clinton corruption on videotape. Seems like its against the rules to politic on a NY subway car. And there she ‘politicing’. Can we impeach someone before they are elected?????
@Woodrowfan: Noah was a time lord? Bigger on the inside?
The home I’ve owned for coming on 30 years is roughly at the midpoint of a line drawn between the local Kingdom Hall & the local Mormon temple (where I occasionally played duplicate bridge when I was in college & it was a small YMCA, but that’s not important now). It took many years of hard work, but in the end both groups put my address on the “don’t stop there” list.
@rikyrah: Isn’t Hastert the Congresscritter who claimed (or the Rethugs claimed for him) that having an affair in his early forties was okay because he was a “young man” at the time.
So he also a pedophile? Family values I guess.
Born in East LA, Jesus.
@PurpleGirl: It was Henry Hyde. Also from Ill. with lots of white hair. But the principle still applies
@Uncle Cosmo: Must be hard living in a joint security area.
This doesn’t seem to apply to any of the JWs I know, but then again, I have never greatly inquired into how they conduct their lives.
Also, I don’t get all the “Oh, woe is me, I was set upon by wild JWs!” Whenever I’ve been approached, I say “No thanks, have a nice day,” and we’re done. Hell, a couple of times I even (gasp!) accepted one of their little handouts, because I was curious about their stated belief about some topic.
@Pogonip: Squeee!!!! Oh, those kittens are all cute. Will bookmark the page.
a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q)
@OzarkHillbilly: You know I can’t resist asking if this was out on Highway 61. Great answer, which I am stealing the next time I am badgered with “well Jesus says/said.”
I have been known to annoy loud or otherwise ostentatious Bookbangers that in his lifetime Jesus undoubtedly looked a damned sight more like OBL than what’s shown in the portraits in churches today.
I have a friend who tells me “I’ve been disfellowshipped” will send JW from the door in haste. @Brachiator: thanks for the cool historical fact about JWs. @ Poopyman: that is the sweetest story of kindness by strangers I’ve read lately. @OzarkHillbilly: did serve the kiddo right for being polite, and quite organized on the part of the JWs to have noted they had a specific contact at your house.
I can’t recall who noted the existence of
but I thank you for making that point. I have a dear friend who does just that. And you have to know her very well to ever find out that her trip last month was a mission trip to repair houses in a economically depressed region. And she will never mention church or Bible study unless you ask.
ArchTeryx that sucks about your job; I’m sorry to hear you got screwed over that way.
@SiubhanDuinne: The kids today call them “selfies.”
Yeah, the 70s – Moonies, Hari Krishnas, and Lyndon LaRouche – good times.
I’m tempted to make a joke about that being what happens to unbelievers, but I’m tasteless that way.
Your story brought me back to watching my own mother die. Very, very weird sensation to see a person’s life force just fade out of their eyes, like a candle flame dying.
ETA: This was the same lady who argued some visiting Mormons to a stand-still on the issue of whether or not animals went to Heaven – to the point where *they* were the ones who said, “well, we’d better get going!” Yay, Mom!
I like asking, “So, are you going to tell my daughter she doesn’t get Christmas or her birthday anymore? ”
There’s also the pesky matter of how every new convert is a threat to kick out one of the lucky 144,000.
My friends and relatives all had far more interesting ways of dealing with JWs and Mormons than I did. (cf the MB’s Mom story above).
One friend of mine who was quite a militant pagan and also a nudist around the house just used to answer the door naked. That was always entertaining.
Another friend answered the door in just his shorts. While being asked by the JWs whether or not he knew God, he was fumbling in his pocket and found a little toy dog. “Why, yes,” he said. “Yes I do. Here he is!” and pulling the toy dog out of his pocket, he leaned forward and said, confidentially, “And he talks to me!” He said they beat it out of there fast.
@Miss Bianca: Could you pass along the hint that arming your godship with a thunderbolt rather than cold fronts and hurricanes might reduce the collateral damage when smiting? That is, of course, assuming omnipotence extends to skill in aiming and that carpet-bombing isn’t the desired endgame. I’m rather fond of the Greek pantheon, they just overtly went with the capricious.
ETA: I mean, what did those poor little hellebores do to Aaa-nneee-one?
a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q)
@Miss Bianca: I think I want to be your mother when I grow up! And the experience you describe (which I had as well) is quite weird. She was so lucky to have died in her own bed.
As did my father, though a few days later than hospice had predicted. When occasionally people ask/ed I wasn’t at their house at the time, my reply: I was exactly where my father would have wanted me to be when he died – on a horse.
@Gimlet: Fuck this person sideways, says the woman reading “Shock Doctrine”. I’m starting to think that the Lantern Attorney really ought to be coming for almost all the economists, frankly.
I don’t know if anyone has made note of this on another thread but:
I would like us all to pause for a moment, to celebrate the 151st anniversary of the Surrender of the Army of Southern Traitors, by the Traitor Robt. E. Lee, at Appomattox.
May the Confederacy, in all its racist incarnations, burn in Hell.
And but for religion, and social mores driven and perverted by religion (and other hierarchy), they could be more honest about it and thus provide more guidance.
Having been raised in the Roman Catholic faith, I don’t think the medieval men in dresses should be anywhere near questions of sexuality. A lot of them probably entered the priesthood to escape it.
But I do love my man, Pope Francis. Sad we had to endure Ratzinger first. To say nothing of JP2, who selected a whole lotta archconservatives for high office, every chance he got. It was like Pope Reagan, and just as telegenic. Although no doubt smarter.
(And I think the conservatives canonized John Paul II lickety split in case something really bad came out in the coming years, edging ever closer to his papacy. How can we talk trash about a SAINT? They had to throw in John 23rd to make it more palatable.)
I will never think of JP2 as a saint. Nevah.
@Ridnik Chrome: Hey, you’re living real close to where I grew up — I lived in two different apartments, one on 45th Street between 48th & 50th Avenue, the other on 48th Street & 50th Avenue. This was just over 50 years ago, and the kicker is, I remember when the Witnesses bought that hall — it had previously been the Bliss movie theatre, our local theatre where I saw most of the movies of my childhood. I’m amazed they’ve held onto the property so long.
A lot of people were brought up to feel that it is impolite to interrupt people or walk away. They are trapped listening until the JW/salesman/whatever leaves them an opening to excuse themselves, which of course they never do. My mom is like this. She gets into these long conversations with phone solicitors about how she is already giving to various groups and she gets way too many calls, but she won’t cut off their spiel or tell them not to call anymore because it feels too rude.
The answer is to practice a statement, force yourself to interrupt with it, and then hang up or walk away even if they are still arguing with you. My nice phone statement (for local schools or whatever) is “I’m going to give it a miss, but good luck.” My more abrupt one is “please put me on your do-not-call list.” I use the latter even for groups that aren’t required to abide by it – usually it works. When I call for the Dems, we do add “do not call” to the database when people ask – though I also tell them the sooner they vote by mail the fewer calls they will get. I can only affect our one group and not all the other campaigns and interest groups.
On the sidewalk, don’t stop walking or take whatever they are trying to hand you. At the front door, say sorry, I’m not interested and shut the door.
But whatever – the main point is not to be bound by the normal rules of politeness.
@a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q): Missed Dad’s passing. He was in the hospital. I *wish* I had been on a horse at the time – would have made things feel a lot better.
@Miss Bianca: Your mom was right! What a lovely story.
If somebody wants to shake your hand or ask you a question, you are required by law to ignore them and act as if they don’t exist if you are on the subway. And ok, that is actually what I do, but I don’t think it’s the law.
@scav: What, you think *I* have some pipeline to the Deity? You flatter me beyond my deserts!
Seen the painting lots of times.
Never seen it with a clock before.
@Woodrowfan: To be a Christian and not believe the ark was real all you have to do is join the Roman Catholic communion or one of the mainline Protestant communions, none of which take the story literally. Welcome aboard! (So to speak.)
I keep this handy in case I have the chance to discuss false prophets with true believers.
@PurpleGirl: That site is run by the dailypuppy.com people. I look at both every day.
Hey Betty, did you see this?
@PurpleGirl: Just when I thought I didn’t need to add another site of kittens to visit on the internets. Ah, who am I kidding?
@Miss Bianca: You seemed as likely to deserve it as any. I’ve checked under all of my couch cushions and it’s certainly not here.
@scav: ffffftt….oh *that* pipeline! Yeah, it was under *my* couch.
@lamh36: Ah, Rick Scott…Keepin’ It Klassy.
I saw that and the part that made me simultaneously go WTF and LOL was the mini-rant that she “refused to pledge allegiance to the flag.” Is that supposed to be illegal now or something? I haven’t recited the PoA for decades.
@PurpleGirl: That was Henry Hyde. The author of the so-called Hyde Rule, the one that prohibits federal funds from being used for abortion, by state Medicaid programs or any other programs.
@scav: Probably. God flooded the Earth to stop a Dalek invasion!
@SiubhanDuinne: @Miss Bianca:
really thin skinned.
But seriously, this woman is in danger…Rick Scott has basically made this woman enemy #1 for some folk…smh
@rikyrah: He’s not being sentenced for sexual abuse. He is being sentenced for the federal financial laws that he violated in order to cover it up decades later when one of his victims asked to be compensated for his harm. I know what you mean and I am not defending him, not at all, but I don’t like the idea of courts being used to sentence people for crimes they haven’t been convicted of, and I assure you, I hold that position across the board regardless of who is going to be sentenced for what.
a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q)
I think of JP2 as Ratzingerlite. Of course I am not, nor was I raised RC, but I am opinionated. And I think Papa Pancho (which I’ve been told is an affectionate appellation) is the greatest guy to wear the white in certainly my lifetime. Excluding JPI only on account of his suspiciously short tenure.
@Pogonip: I’ve been PCUSA all my life. by ty. ;)
@a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q): I still wonde rhow much better off the Rcs would be had JP I lived.
As I used to hear said (and hopefully never by me!) “Right on dude!”
Worth well more than $.02.
If she gets death threats, will they arrest Scott?
a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q)
I agree with this in its entirety, and I wish that Hastert had been convicted and sentenced as the chomo he is. But the statutes had all run on those hideous crimes, so he could not be charged in that regard.
He was convicted of structuring, which was the crime available for prosecution. So he’ll be sentenced for that conviction. The rule of law with its formal limitations is important, even when there are unfortunate consequences.
I completely sympathize with @rikyrah that the punishment is disproportionate to the crimes he committed but could not be convicted of – and agree that on a moral balance scale, this sucks.
@Gimlet: When I lived in North Carolina during the period when textile companies were leaving in droves, many people were duped into thinking that their textile jobs were being lost because of affirmative action. Thus, the strategy was to conquer financially by driving a wedge between white and black workers. Demagoguing on trade risks doing the same thing by creating a wedge between working class Americans and workers in the rest of the world. Rogoff seems to be doing that, and he is not someone I admire, but politicians also are doing this, in the case of Trump, intentionally, but I worry that Sanders is inspring policies that would essentially bring about that result. It’s not trade that is the issue, or not the main issue, it is the ease with which businesses of a certain kind are able to offload the costs of free trade onto all kinds of people — whether it is environmental degradation and life threatening working conditions in the third world or piss poor safety nets and rampant tax evasion in the U.S. Way long ago, the CIO understood that capital would be utterly restless and ruthless in exploiting differences in labor policy across borders as a form of financial arbitrage. At some point along the way, labor organizations stopped factoring this reality into their strategic considerations. This is a hard, hard issue.
@Elizabelle: Very well put.
I worked for a boss that also drank a lot and I think what got him was me stopping almost all drinking. He liked to hold meaningless meetings at bars, as I think, an excuse to waste my time and have someone to drink with. When I declined, my job went downhill rapidly.
@different-church-lady: a friend of mine of the Jewish persuasion often told me “You Christians take the folk tales of my people way too seriously.”
a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q)
Slightly tangential to the thread title, setting aside the likely contributory effect of campaign staff incompetence/deceptive communication to candidate/ other internal issues, is anyone else reminded of the Kim Davis “private meeting with the Pope” incident? Ratfckry in the Vatican from a Ratzinger operative, leveraged by ambitious US group (with retrograde social policy goals in mind in that one) to make a political point.
You may want to have a talk with your mom. The infamous Nigerian princes and other scam artists look for people like this.
My normal rules of politeness includes the ability, sometimes the necessity of saying No. Sales people, even religious sales people are only doing their job. But I have no obligation to listen or to agree. My reaction is my job or responsibility.
@Barbara: I first became aware of the Kochs locally, years before I heard about them on the national scene, because they owned one of the local coal mines. When High Country News (also local) printed an ad to run in the local Shopper newspaper that described – merely described, mind you – the process of long-wall mining, the reaction from the local mines – egged on by management – was to go completely ape-shit: “Those damned hippies/enviros are after YER JERBS!!”
Mind you, this was during a period when the mines were looking to expand their operations on federal land, so things were getting a bit tense anyway, but overnight all these “Coal Mine Proud” signs started appearing in windows, and hippie-punching – both figurative and literal – became the order of the day in the town of Paonia.
Our story had a happier ending than most did – out of the conflict came the Coal Working Group, which brought miners and environmentalists together to hammer out an agreement on how to deal with the expansion, which resulted in our local environmental group actually testifying on behalf of the mines before the feds! (and resulted in howls of “betrayal!” from the purity ponies, but whatever).
All water under the bridge now, of course, because even the soft-coal mines are shutting down – even the Koch Bros’. But it will still be the local environmentalists’ fault, of course, not the fault of international economics…
@Tom Q: I knew Sunnyside Garden Arena used to be next door, but I did not know about the theater. Thanks! Always good to learn something new about the place where I live…
@Miss Bianca: :-) Thanks.
It’s turned into a beautiful, but cool, day. Maybe it’ll dry out enough so I can cut the grass later.
The Big Guy Upstairs seemingly is having trouble deciding what the weather is supposed to be like this Spring…
Yes, seeing the last moments of a loved one is startling in many ways. I’m thankful that the ones I’ve witnessed have been peaceful. Condolences to you and yours.
the Conster, la Citoyenne
@a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q):
It’s amazing that no one learned the lesson from that kerfuffle – don’t sandbag the Pope. It will end in tears and a transfer to some distant outpost.
Normal rules of politeness? I’m not sure I ever learned those rules. Or have forgotten them entirely. Maybe not though, my first response is a rather terse No Thanks. After that there is usually swearing involved. Using those words they really don’t like. Never had to come up with a third step.
a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q)
@Brachiator: Normal rules of politeness include making the statement “no thank you.” We sometimes have this socialized out of our understanding as children, especially female children. Which is an entirely different rant.
In addition, salespeople (secular and religious) as well as many males in the US culture, have been socialized to discount/disregard “no.” Thus continuing the pitch, and often sincerely believing the other side of the exchange has been rude with “no/thank you.”
I recently had a door knocker sales pitcher visit one weekday I was at home. The doorbell ring was followed quickly by a cop knock, so I was already pissed – seeing no LEO vehicles outside the house. I open the door to a man who says “we’ve got a great program for xyz in your neighborhood,” and begins to hand me a flyer. My response was a civil “no thank you” and I turned to go back inside. He continued “so you have some other company?” “I said, ‘no thank you’ – it’s a complete sentence.” Swear to g*d he said
I got less polite and asked him to leave my property, at which point he turned and snarled “have a nice day” in that surely tone that means ” please suffer a bad day and worse than that if it can be arranged.”
I was annoyed and called the village to report a solicitor in violation of the local ordinance prohibiting such behavior, and the area he was in. I’d never done that to polite people who go door to door.
I had a good friend in high school who was a JW. She was open about it but not pushy. She was also extremely smart and could have been a success at almost anything — but she got married to a guy she hardly knew, practically the minute we graduated, and spent most of her life with no further education, having a family, and doing the doorbell-pushing thing every weekend. I guess people are entitled to the life they want, and she said she was happy, but I’ve never felt it was anything but a complete waste of her brains and talent.
@PurpleGirl: That was Henry Hyde, the man who not only denounced Clinton for the Lewinsky affair but also prevented poor women from receiving contraceptive care if they were using Medicare/medicaid. An absolute pig of a man.
@a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q): Last summer I had repeat visits of young men pretending to be with our energy provider, asking us if we wanted to sign up for a “discount” (of course they were working for a different, fly-by-night provider) and when I said I wasn’t interested and closed the door, one of them remained on my porch for a few minutes. I think he was fishing through my mailbox (which was empty),
For a while, I was taking the bus to work regularly. Every so often, I would be waiting at the bus stop when a car pulled up and parked nearby. A JW would get out with a fist full of Watchtowers and start proselytizing. I usually cut them off with “I’m not interested.” One time, though, a young guy came up a few days after a 14-year-old kid died because the Witlesses had convinced him not to get a blood transfusion that would probably have saved his life. I got into an argument with him about the morality of allowing a child to die needlessly.
I’m a jackass, so I probably would have said, “Jesus is lost? Have you put up posters to see if anyone found him?”
J R in WV
We have a ton of hellebores, they’re up to 20 years old and spreading into the woods. Weather doesn’t bother them at all once they’ve had a chance to build up their root ball.
I understand the roots are tender and shouldn’t be messed with, but the top parts seem really hardy.
That’s not being a jackass. A jackass response would be along the lines of “Jesus is lost? Why the fuck aren’t you out looking for him instead of bothering me?”
@J R in WV: Thanks. That’s what I was sortof afraid of. Word is the older ones are looking good, but the newbies are not — and I don’t want the actual owner of the yard to get discouraged because once established, they’re going to be exactly what she needs. No clue about how tender is tender? I’m hoping to just let them stagger through to next year with promises of “let them get established first” but having some external reassurance would strengthen my hand. Also, info on any difference between the new hybrids and the traditional ones might help — the newbies are the new ruffley sort whereas the old ones are the old-school deep purply ones.
@Ruckus: :-) Thanks. I always appreciate your posts. I’m sorry that it’s difficult for us to converse in “real time” on this here blog machine. We all talk too much!!1
J R in WV
We have both kinds, as well as the sort with tiny green flowers, quite different looking. But it you leave them alone, maybe more compost mulch around them, and light fertilization, they should be OK. It takes several years for them to want to spread, and the wild ones off in the distance are fragile at first, and easily discouraged.
We use a watering can and miracle-gro on the outdoor plants that we fertilize at all. Indoors too, but much less concentrated.
We also have false solomon’s seal in the midst of the helleboros, and they came up 6 inches between the time we went to town and got back home in the late afternoon last week. Then it snowed, but I think all of them are going to be OK, even though it’s going to be cold tonight. It’s supposed to get to 24 tonight, here. But last night’s snow has all melted now.
@delk: The solution is obvious: open your window, grab your handy Sawzall, and cut away the part of the sign that blocks your window. No one would come to the Rethuglican’s defense.
@dr. bloor: it’s a matter of perspective… dogs know perfectly well when it’s time to eat, time to sleep, time to sh!t….
As Chris Rock said, “I’m not sure what Jesus actually looked like, but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t Andy Gibb!”
This only goes to prove that my original intuition was correct. GOP really does stand for “Gay Older Pedophiles.”
@bemused: Dad was a genius with those people. He’d actually make them work to discover their own idiocy.
Tim in SF
Ever since seeing this post, I’ve been scouring the internet for where I can buy it. No luck.
@Tim in SF:
Here you go. Same painting, different clock placement.
@WereBear: where can I get your book? I got out, too