Circumcise

Circumcise: (v) to cut off the foreskin of a young boy a baby as a religious rite,

It is so much easier to believe in God if you don’t read the Bible. Opening up the Good Book immediately reveals some pretty bad things.

You can become one of those type of followers who rationalizes the meaning, or worse, places it in context with the times, but you always
look like you’re trying to explain the reasons that your uncle diddled his niece.

Simply reading the Bible often makes God come off as an asshole who is in charge of a bunch of sons-of-bitches. Especially when you consider there is supposed to be some significance in trimming off the stinky tip of a poopy-smelling penis.

Yes, at one time it was considered to be a spiritual experience which set the decapitated victim apart as being one of God’s “true people” instead of one of those still wearing a fleshy penis-hat.

You see how ridiculous it sounds?

That’s why I always insist it’s much easier to be an atheist than a believer. I, myself, am circumcised, because I grew up in Ohio, to parents who tried to be faithful to the Judeo-Christian standard, which insisted on trimming the pecker.

It has never done anything for me personally.

I’ve never had a conversation about it with anyone until now.

I’ve never had a woman gasp in delight upon seeing my circumcised unit because she was impressed with my choice.

I’m not so sure there was ever a reason for it, because later on in the Book the Apostle Paul makes fun of it and says it was completely stupid.

So I guess it depends on what chapter you read. If you’re only going to read the opening part of the story, you’ll believe that dick tips have special significance to God. But if you catch the story later on, you’ll realize that apparently God got over it, and no longer felt that it was in spiritual fashion.

 

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Buttock

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Buttock: (n) the back of a hip that forms one of the fleshy parts on which a person sits

I do not favor foul or coarse language, yet I have to admit, I am seriously exhausted trying to keep up with people who make it their mission to be the “word police.”

If you have ever written a paragraph, you have run the risk of being arrested by these cop-outs. They stand by ready to criticize every single syllable that comes before them as being either inappropriate, misplaced or evil.

So how shall I describe the back side of a human?

I can call it a rear end.

Perhaps a caboose.

They might even allow me to call it a butt–if the material is not viewed by too many children.

There are some folks who would even allow me to use the word “ass.” (The Bible had no trouble using the word “ass.” It’s a little difficult to believe that the translators in the court of King James were more progressive with their street lingo than a librarian in Peoria, Illinois.)

Sometimes words just fit. Sometimes they’re needed to give power and passion to an idea.

For instance, if you have a teenage son who’s sitting around during summer vacation doing nothing, would you really ask him to get off his “buttock” and get a job? Rear end? Caboose?

A wise man once said that “by your words you are justified and by your words you are condemned.”

I agree with that. So pick the word that communicates the thought, while making sure that the thought is exactly what you’re trying to communicate.

 

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Broaden

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Broaden: (v) to widen

Searching until one finds a moral certainty.

It used to be the goal of the human race. Obviously, we never achieved it. Otherwise we wouldn’t have burned witches, hated people of different colors or put leeches on sick folk to heal them of pneumonia.Dictionary B

Often moral certainty is an interpretation of a code of ethics printed in a book–whether it’s the Bible or “How to Win Friends and Influence People.” We scour the material to find the commandments that assure us that we are on the high ground.

The difficulty with this procedure is that simultaneously, the inclusion of other lifestyles suggests that we broaden our outlook on morality–often to the detriment or even deterioration of some of our certainties.

When I was a boy divorce was bad. Now it ranges from being painful to necessary, but obviously common.

Things like abortion, homosexuality and marijuana smoking were condemned and even prosecuted. Now we have been asked to broaden our definitions of acceptable behavior to counteract what was once considered to be a certainty, and instead, deem it a transition in our understanding.

Because we are broadening ourselves so much, we are definitely yanking at the seams of the moral conscience.

So what is immoral?

Without doubt, the denigration of another human being for the satisfaction of our pleasure or religious fervor is immoral.

The purposeful bullying or intimidation of an individual or group of souls falls into the spectrum of unseemly.

But are there carnal acts or deeds that we consider immoral?

Stealing, for instance, is permissible if done on a corporate level instead of a “pauper” one.

Sexuality has to have justification and mutual adult consent to be given license.

And the immorality of indifference to the plight of others can even be disguised as a political maneuver.

I am not a great advocate of moral certainty–but I will tell you that merely broadening our horizons does not guarantee that we see the truth.

 

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Bill of Rights

Bill of Rights:(n) the first ten amendments to the US Constitution

Dictionary B

So you’re sittin’ around with your buddies and you’ve just written a Constitution for a new little country which you have dubbed “The United States of America.”

You have high hopes.

But honestly, taking a peek at history, the life expectancy of such a national prospect is very dim.

Meanwhile, you’ve gone to the pub to celebrate your endeavor, and while talking with your friends, it occurs to you that you left out guarantees for personal freedom.

You feel a little silly, right?

So almost immediately, you go in and amend your document by adding ten ideas which guarantee that no tyrant will ever again trample on the God-given personal pursuits of any individual citizen.

Man, it seems noble.

But moving ahead a couple hundred years, we have the situation where the prevention of one tyrant opens the door to over three hundred million of them, as each person determines the boundaries of his or her actions, based upon the Bill of Rights.

This places us in a powder keg of controversy, with each citizen fearing they are being set aside in favor of honoring the liberties of another.

What is missing from the Bill of Rights? Some old-fashioned, damn common sense.

For instance, freedom of speech sounds really good until you actually have to sit and listen to one which is completely filled with nonsense and vitriol.

The right to bear arms may have once been practical, when single shot muskets took a minute to load and had no potential for rapidly firing, killing dozens at a time.

It goes on and on.

Oh, wait. There’s the Fifth Amendment, which supposedly protects us against self-incrimination, while actually ending up being a confession in parenthesis.

Just as people who translate science and the Bible as being immutable and without need of edit, those who worship the Constitution and its amendments fail to realize that the Founding Fathers were really just a bunch of goofs who got tired of being pushed around by crazy King George.

What they wrote and believed is neither supreme nor self-contained.

It is up to the intelligence of each generation to find the common good of all the citizens without making it seem that America is a restaurant with only tables built for one

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Bible

Bible: (n) the Christian scriptures, consisting of the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments.

Dictionary B

A friend of mine bought me a knife.

I found it unusual because it was in a sheath. I had never owned such a weapon.

I took it out of its case, and in doing so, removed it so quickly that I sliced my finger on the blade.

It hurt.

The knife was too sharp.

I stuck it back in its sheath, set it to the side, and didn’t think much more about it.

A few weeks later, my friend asked me how I liked my knife. I decided to be honest and tell him it was just too sharp for me to use–that I was afraid I would slice myself every time I handled it.

He explained that I needed to break it in–that the blade would become less dangerous as I put it to use and found practical ways to dull the blade, while making it more effective for common duties.

I decided to take his advice.

In no time at all, that knife, which had been too sharp to even remove from its protective casing, became very valuable. I used it for everything from slicing tomatoes to shaving twigs off a branch.

I liked my knife.

Even though it was too sharp at first, I gradually learned to use it in such a way that it lost some of its edginess and became more pliable.

And so it is with the Bible.

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Because

Because: (conj) for the reason that; since.Dictionary B

Because is not a reason.

Yet I will tell you–it is the beginning for a good reason.

Because can be misleading.

A child asking a parent why a certain rule has been put in place will become impudent and rebellious if the answer is, “Because I said so.”

Because is the roadway that takes us to either great thought or immense stubbornness.

Sometimes people ask me why I believe in God. Here are three answers I don’t use:

1. Because I believe in the Bible.

Lots of folks think it’s just a book and you will not impress them with the fact that you contend it’s holy.

2. Because I grew up believing.

That would also include the Tooth Fairy and Jolly Old St. Nick.

3. Because Nature is so intricate and beautiful, there has to be a Creator.

Who says? If you gave me a billion years, I might be able to become beautiful.

My because has to have a great follow-up. Otherwise it becomes opinionated, or dare I say, flirting with ignorance.

So when people ask me why I believe in God, my answer probably is shocking:

“Because I discovered I needed one and drew up a prototype in my brain, which ended up coinciding with some existing themes.”

That’s the truth.

Because must be followed by something that is personally convincing and shares a piece of our heart instead of just our traditions.

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Bask

Bask: (v) to revel in and make the most of something pleasing.Dictionary B

Intimidation enforced for the purpose of demanding imitation:

In other words, if a flag held by a soldier in uniform comes streaming by, there is a certain protocol that is supposed to be enacted by me–and preferably some emotion to go along with those well-rehearsed actions.

  • Take your hat off
  • Bow your head
  • Sprout some tears
  • Put your hand on your heart
  • Mumble a prayer

Only then will you be convinced that I am are a true patriot.

If you pray for peace or work to keep our soldiers out of harm’s way so they can return to their families after their due diligence, you just might be considered anti-American.

I love to bask–but I find it difficult to bask in the glories of the past.

There is so much beauty available. We don’t need to worship a history book, a symbol, a Bible or a creed which can be cold and leave us chilly.

Why can’t we develop a faith that births new blessings every day, and fills our hearts with such hope that removing a hat, bowing a head and speaking a prayer is spontaneous?

Bask in the glory.

I don’t want to bask anymore in the glory of what America once was, but join with my fellow citizens to keep it glorious, so that the memories of our freedom are fresh instead of arranged in the pages of the history books.

I want to bask in the glory of a God who loves me and have that sensation sweep over my soul instead of listening to how some apostle 2000 years ago was impressed enough by his mission to become a martyr.

Yes, it is the responsibility of those who are living to keep beauty vibrant, so it is not a memory that we have to conjure and thrust into prominence, but instead becomes the showers of blessing and the sunshine of our reality. 

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