Tangent

I pondered what was my best vacation

One filled with adventure and elation

Was is the Canaries, Japan, or some cruise?

It was on this I began to muse

In the end my mind took a tangent

It wasn’t the place because that’s just transient

It isn’t the journey that make’s it the best

It is who you are with – so ignore the rest


Padre

Late Ever Since

Time began at half past three

When Ug said to Og “Come meet me”

Og by her nature was of course late

Ug was quick to note the mistake

The pair then proceeded to disagree

So the whole concept of time

Seems a mistake to me


Padre

Certainty

The world is complex, complicated, and scary

People’s takes on it all – by nature vary

But when for a moment it all seems to make sense

We will hold to that view from that moment hence

In the face of evidence that our views are mistaken

It overloads our reason as our world foundations are shaken

It is easier to then just dig in our heels

And with a deaf ear welcome your appeals


Padre

What Do I Do?

Fandango’s provocative question for you this week is this:

What do you do for a living? If you are retired, what did you do before you retired? If you’re currently unemployed, what did you do before becoming unemployed?

The short answer is that I am a certified member of the God Squad. I spent four years working with the Navy Chaplains Corps, ten years as a minister, and thirty years or so as a theologian, and teacher of theology and religious studies. While there is some overlap in these roles, I have essentially spent my entire adult life either in biblical/religious studies or working directly in religious roles.

I realise in the climate of today’s world such a career path is alien, if not distasteful to many people, but in the end it is the road I have travelled and I view it not as a job but a vocation.


Padre

Of Honey and Vinegar

Honey, Honeycomb, Sweet
Piixaay

The power of words is immense. Ideas have the ability to sway emotions, and to spawn their own natural offspring. How one presents these ideas, however, has the power to stifle or to nurture the core message. What is said must have merit if it is to truly have sway, or at least it should be so. But history has shown that golden ideas misrepresented or construed have failed, where ideas bearing no nobility have encouraged crowds to do the unthinkable whether they are from some podium in Munich or in Washington DC.

I value logic. I embrace semantics and philosophical truths. Yet, I have to acknowledge that rhetoric has the ability to obscure truth, to make emotion override reason, and to lead to a lessening of the collective good. That being the case I must respond to Fandango’s question: “In the context of blogging and writing, what do you think is more important: what you say or how you say it?,” that it is how you say it that matters most.

What we write and blog is diminished if our ideas are poorly framed. What we post is as susceptible to dismissal because of “bad writing” as any other form. If we annoy with our grammar, we lose the readers heart. Furthermore, no matter how true our premise, or sound our conclusion, if it offends because of a lack of tact, we have often lost the battle. “You catch more flies with honey than vinegar,” it has been said. It is here that I risk losing support for my well-considered response by equating my readers with flies. Trust me, however, that you are neither small minded insects, or nuisance-some bugs, but the mirrors of, we the bloggers’ inner voices.


Padre

Envy and Jealousy

beautiful green and brown eye in close up photography
Pixabay

Fandango’s provocative question is: “Is jealousy purely a negative and potentially destructive emotion, or does jealousy have any value as a motivator to drive people to improve themselves?” This really comes down to semantics and what we mean by jealousy. If by the term you mean a possessiveness of things, and especially of people – then it is a destructive thing. To be jealous of one’s partner presupposes “ownership.” Trust and partnership should ideally be the foundations of a relationship, not control.

This does not mean we aren’t hurt if said loved one goes elsewhere for affection, but that is their choice. The third party, however, did not “steal” your love interest. So in that way, Fandango’s “motivator” point may come into play. We should be the best us – if we want to be in a relationship with the best them. But again, this is not ownership, it is making oneself desirable, not the controlling a partner’s life.

If on the other hand by jealousy we mean covetousness or envy, then it still has negative connotations as it can distort our values. To begrudge others possessions (here we are speaking of material things, not people) or position then we are being unfair as they too have aspirations and needs. If we desire another’s attainments and do so without real effort to achieve our own, then it is wrong. While many things in life are finite: gold, etc. They are still abundant enough to be sought after. So in this way Fandango’s “motivator” still comes into play. But empty “envy” which “wants,” but does not seek to achieve; that wishes misfortune on others for our own satisfaction or ends – this is wrong.

By the way, honour and accomplishment are not finite. There is enough honour to go around for those who are honourable.

All in all, wanting to gain something is a motivating force, but it should never be done with malice or at the expense of another.


Padre

Me

Palenque, Table, Painting, Triplets, Costume

Pixabay

Well Heraclitus, it is funny that you should ask.

The “You” of which “You” speak is “Me.”

That “Me” may well be an older “Me,” a fatter “Me,” and hopefully a wiser “Me” than the “Me” I used to be.

But that “Me,” you see, is still the “Me” known by my family.

So it’s plain to see, that when it comes to “Me”, my “Me,” is an ever changing constancy.

I hope “You” will agree.

 

Padre

 

Fandango’s Provocative Question:

Is the concept of “you” continuous or does the past “you” continually fade into the present and future “you”? Considering that your body, your mind, and your memories are changing over time, what part of “you” sticks around?

 

 

 

Blind Justice

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It sometimes feels the Arlo Guthrie was a prophet.  The Alice’s Restaurant Massacre of 1967 featured a case of circumstantial evidence, in which a single envelope bearing the name and address of said Arlo Guthrie was discovered under a half ton of garbage.  This important forensic find prompted the “takin’ plaster tire tracks, footprints, dog-smellin’ prints and they took twenty-seven 8 x 10 colored glossy photographs with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one explainin’ what each one was, to be used as evidence against us took pictures of the approach, the getaway, the northwest corner, the southwest corner and that’s not to mention the aerial photography!”  This of course came before the court where a “man came in, said, “All rise!” We all stood up, and Obie stood up with the twenty-seven 8 times 10 colored glossy pictures, and the judge walked in, sat down, with a seein’ eye dog and he sat down. We sat down.”

Yes, justice can be blind in this way.  It isn’t “blind” as  in unbiased, but blind as in, “not seeing the what’s really important.”  I will not go so far as to say “if we test less we will have fewer cases,” or its parallel, “if we had had fewer laws we’d have fewer law breakers.”  What I am saying is that the exercise of, often sensible, statutes is marred by faulty application.  What the judicial mechanism prioritises, and therefore applies is often not fit for purpose.

An example of this is the recent lockdown restrictions here in the UK.  Covid 19 is a real threat.  Fair enough, but a restriction which said that we should be safely locked into our own homes except for getting a single period of outdoor exercise, led to the police fining said exercise-enthusiasts for resting on a bench for a moment after a run.  This is a poor example, but it is one of the “forest for the trees” kind of blindnesses I have referenced above.

I will stop my rant here before I even start to ethnic or age-related profiling.  But in the end is justice blind?  Yes, but not in the way it is meant to be.

 

Padre

 

Fandango’s Provocative Question #77:

Do you believe, with respect to the judicial system (or systems) in place where you live, that justice is, indeed, blind? Why do you feel that way?