Conform

Conform: (v) to comply

In case you occasionally slip up and start thinking there is some sanity in the actions of our social order, let me remind you of the greatest piece of hypocrisy ever hatched in the henhouse of clucking. Here it is:

“Be yourself but follow the rules.”

It is the message of America.

Both of us–you and me–are encouraged to be creative individuals, and then are informed that the advice given is faulty.

There’s an ancient piece of philosophy which challenges us: “Be not conformed but be transformed.”

In 1962, if you were living anywhere in America, the general consensus would have been that segregation of the races was not only the norm of the day, but funny wisdom on words that begin with a C
actually proper.

In 1966, you would have been struck down as anti-American if you suggested the war in Vietnam was anything other than a bold act of patriotism.

In 1971, you would have been laughed out of the room if you had proposed that black athletes should be able to play college sports in the Southeast Conference.

In 1981, the thought of homosexuality being part of the mainstream would have brought you criticism and cost you many friends.

In 1998, you would have been totally out of step to insist that oral sex was actually sex.

In 2003, suggesting that the war in Iraq was a foolish ploy would have brought the house down on top of your head.

And as I have recently found, in this day and age suggesting that the archaic American voting system is an insult to the notion of democracy, makes me an enemy of God, America and most ingredients in the apple pie.

You can conform–as long as you’re willing to be considered foolish within twenty years.

 

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Clear-cut

Clear-cut: (adj) sharply defined; easy to perceive or understand.

In the pursuit of writing you a delicious essay or a tasty tidbit of insight, I suddenly was completely overwhelmed by the fact that I am not so
certain I know of anything that’s clear-cut.

It’s not so much that life is ambiguous as it is evolving. There are two reasons it evolves.

There is the scientific fact that there is an upward mobility to evolution that is going on at all times.

But there is also the presence of free will, which often makes our attempts at predicting reaction and conclusion to be a farce.

Just when we think we know how Nature works, Mother will surprise us. And after studying humanity incessantly, we are still bewildered by many of the choices made by those within our species.

Some people think their faith is clear-cut. They believe they’re going to heaven, even though many people of deep spiritual conviction have died, promising to send back a message. So far all mail boxes are empty.

Some people think democracy is clear-cut, raising it up onto the shoulders of “Truth”–as the best form of government. Of course, democracy, like everything else, is at the mercy of science and free will.

So being unwilling to disappoint you brilliant, lovable people, I concluded that the only thing that is clear-cut in life is for me to use my free will carefully, to make decisions based upon my current understanding of science.

Because to understand science is to be introduced to God, and to be introduced to God is an open door to the Universe.

 

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Bona fide

Bona fide: (adj) genuine, real, without intention to deceive.

“It’s almost like pizza,” said the little boy as he munched on some rolls that were microwaved, having come from a box.Dictionary B

Just for the record, pizza rolls are not like pizza. They’re pizza rolls. I have no problem with them existing, as long as someone doesn’t say, “Well, it’s kind of like we had pizza–just all rolled up.”

Democracy has nothing to do with the presidential election. The election is an over-muscled, under-thought, lying extravaganza. Democracy, on the other hand, is a free airing of ideas, realizing that in that process we will probably have to change our minds from the hard line we have struck.

Religion is not Christianity. It doesn’t even try. It dresses up, passes around a multitude of symbols, and remains somewhat austere and stringent in an attempt to portray a God we refer to as “Love.”

We should never grow weary in the pursuit of well-doing, but we should also never call something bona fide–real, possessing lasting quality … if it fails to resemble the promise.

 

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Barring

Barring: (prep) except for; if not for.Dictionary B

Democracy is a bitch.

Just about the time you think she’s going to be faithful to your cause, she turns her back and flirts with other suitors not to your liking.

It’s the nature of allowing free will to have its way. Democracy refuses for you to steal choice from others.

Barring a miscarriage of justice, gay people in this country will be given complete rights and eventually be absorbed into the consciousness, to become either contributors to the common good or aggravating irritants.

There’s nothing that can be done about it, nor should anything be done. Otherwise, my freedom might get attacked by jerks.

Barring us becoming a religious nation guided by only one opinion, the United States will always fuss and fumble its way to granting the leniency of opinion to all of its citizens.

Such consideration does not eliminate prejudice, it just points an accusing finger in its direction.

Religious folks just need to understand that when it comes to the Christian way of thinking, the founder of our faith, Jesus, freely admitted that there are matters that are solely the concern of Caesar. And there are also decisions which can only be rendered in fairness by considering the love of God.

Barring insanity taking over our country, we will be a confused, arguing clump of often-grumbling citizens who in the long run, reluctantly agree to allow diversity.

 

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Barnstorming

Barnstorming: (v) to make a rapid tour of an area, typically as part of a political campaign.Dictionary B

Many years ago, I was in the process of purchasing a house. I remember arriving at one prospective residence, stepping in the door, and immediately having my nostrils attacked by a ferocious amount of stinky.

I immediately knew there was a dead rat in the house. (Maybe it wasn’t actually a rat; maybe it was a cat or dog. But somewhere in that home was a dead creature that was decaying.)

I turned to the real estate agent and asked him if he smelled it, and fearing that he was about to lose a sale, he pretended to be oblivious to the nasal assault.

I just laughed at him.

I feel the same way when I tune into America today during our political season. Even though the barnstorming of rallies is filled with music, cheers, banners and funny-looking hats, I smell a rat.

It stinks.

I turn to people around me to see if they notice the same repellent odor and most of them are wearing the banners, hats and reciting the slogans, so they feel compelled to ignore the putrification.

I have no such loyalty.

I sniff rotting ideas being passed off as acceptable.

I don’t care if you’re Republican, Democrat or Independent–you can barnstorm away but I will be sniffing for the smell. Here are the four things that stink up American democracy:

1. “We have got to get rid of them because…”

If we’re a democracy, we can’t get rid of anybody. We can try to channel, adjust, expand, get creative with approaches or admit that we’re ignorant of what to do, but freedom is freedom.

2. “What they’re doing overseas is so bad that we…”

I don’t know why we’re in such a hurry to pick a fight. I guess it’s because we spent so much money on military toys that we feel like we should at least play with them.

Here’s a clue: the more we stay out of wars, the less people will die. Just a thought.

3. “It’s against the Law of God…”

Well, since God is not here to be His own attorney, we’re relying on your interpretation of His statutes. It’s called “hearsay.” That interpretation needs to be mingled with an understanding of Constitutional American law.

Yes, there is a Caesar we answer to and there is a God we answer to, and you can’t take what was meant for liberty and Caesar and question it by citing God.

4. “That Party doesn’t do anything right, but we…”

In my lifetime I have watched Republicans do stupid things and good things. Likewise, the Democrats have had their share, going both ways.

The difference between complete fiasco and partial fiasco is how cool-headed, practical and willing our leaders are.

  • A reactionary Republican or Democrat always do equal damage.
  • A peace-making Republican or Democrat are a glory to all of us.

Let the barnstorming begin.

I will be sniffing for rats.

When I smell them, I will tell you–and you can either pretend they don’t exist because they’re part of your house … or admit that you smell them, too.

 

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Arguable

dictionary with letter A

Arguable: (adj) able to be argued or asserted; open to disagreement

“I like to argue,” he said with a smile.

It was obvious that he found himself extraordinarily engaging. He believed that disagreement, even to the point of dissension, was often necessary in the human family, in order to bring about the compromise that pushes ideas forward.

It’s a very popular notion–matter of fact, we think we need Democrat and Republican Parties to create the tension that fosters our tenuous democracy.

Would we have television if we didn’t have arguments?

Many of these impasses are considered to be natural and healthy. For instance, the notion that men and women can understand one another and come to any mutual tendency seems absurd to the masses.

We have relented to a discourse which favors disagreeability.

  • I am uncomfortable with it.
  • I have lost the passion for my own opinion.
  • I am no longer enamored with the mere sound of my voice.
  • I do not feel strong by making others weak simply by overcoming them with my sentiments.

I think somewhere along the line those who argue need to understand that there are truths that exist, which must play out and be honored. Otherwise, merely winning the day in debate is a victory with little meaning.

Simply because someone can form the words to disprove my assertion does not make them right. It’s also not honorable when I over-think some issue and develop a presentation which counters good reason just for the sake of proving my prowess.

I think some folks would be happy with disaster as long as it was their idea.

Not me.

Sometimes I just like to shut up and see if there’s a still, small voice in the universe … that’s whispering wisdom.

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Anti-government

dictionary with letter A

Antigovernment (adj): opposition to a government or the administration in office.

Of the people, by the people and for the people…

 

I think that’s the right order.

What is a government of the people?

It is an organization which is sensitive to the feelings, standards, morals and faith of any given group. Even though the United States would love to believe that the whole world should be democratic, there are countries which have lived with kings and emperors for centuries, and would not be comfortable with a democracy.

What does it mean: by the people?

It means that a secular government is a fluid idea based upon the changing goals of the people it is meant to serve. So even though our forefathers would arrive on the scene, look at the United States with some concern, and maybe even criticism, we cannot put together a contemporary institution based on the ideals of Thomas Jefferson and John Adams.

They had their time.

Government must be secular–tends to upset religious folks. But it must be an amalgamation of the sentiments of the populace, even if those assertions will soon be amended by better reasoning.

And finally, for the people.

Are we making our citizens more enriched, intelligent, enlightened and aware? If government is causing us to be ignorant, then government is not for the people.

So in the areas where we have legislation which isn’t of, by and for the people, it is necessary for someone to stand up and be anti-government in order to challenge the abnormality.

And what are the enemies of progress?

Religion and corporations.

Religion tends to cement ideas in stone and corporations function by staring at the bottom line. Neither approach affords the flexibility and breathing room for great government.

The “declarers of independence” were revolutionaries who were anti-government of King George.

They took a chance.

Undoubtedly, we will need to do the same in the future, but it can’t be to promote a corporation or a religion.

It has to be to improve the general welfare of all our countrymen.

 

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