Questions or Prayers

She walks on sunlight and sometimes moonlight; cool, crisp beams from Heaven sent.

She’s the only one I’ve ever truly loved

The only one for whom I would lay down my life.

What is greater than this?

Is this what true love feels like?

Who could ask for more?

Who would dare to ask for more?

I see her now in dusty dreams through cracked, translucent glass.

I ache to leave this veil of tears and start anew with my Lady.

Will my wishes and prayers be answered?

Can I go home?

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Country Lullaby

Verse 1

Well I can’t feel my fingers and I can’t feel my toes/

But I’d follow her wherever she goes/

And I, love her more than life itself/

And I’d dust my books from their mahogany shelf/

Just to see her face one more time/

Just to save the princess in the nick of time/

 

Pre-Chorus

And I’ve got no idea what tomorrow will bring/

So just for tonight little darling let’s swing.

 

Chorus

Up up and away in the bright blue sky/

I need to follow her but I’m not sure why/

New faces old faces wanna say “Hi”

You can call this tune a country lullaby.

 

Verse 2

When I smell her hair I’m a-walkin’ on air/

Sweeeeet seduction, it ain’t even fair/

She drives me up the wall but I don’t mind/

These chains of love are a welcome bind.

 

Pre-Chorus

And I’ve got no idea what tomorrow will bring/

So just for tonight little darling let’s swing.

 

Chorus

Up up and away in the bright blue sky/

I need to follow her but I’m not sure why/

New faces old faces wanna say “Hi”

You can call this tune a country lullaby.

 

I could see a third verse or solo going here. That’s all for now. As always, feel free to let me know what you think.

The Journey Ends (Part Two)

Pen and sigil, sword and seal
Just the one to make it real
Glasses, wallet, watch, and shoe
I’m the one who wants to be with you.

The power of love no man can shake
Been sent to make the evil quake
Shades of love and a little wrath
Purple ice the young man hath.

Zelda, Link, eternal quest
To save the princess and arrest
The evil which had struck the land
Actor/president with an evil plan.

Seeing patterns of the waves
Signs and potions, wands and staves
Magic’s real you can’t deny
The little kid who learned to fly.

Quatrains true but coded yet
Just in case we lose the bet
The message saved we can reply
To those who live up in the sky.

Gift but inheritance, burden, not shame
Everything’s new but it’s all the same
Credit gioven where credit’s due
The purple President loves you too.

A secret color of in=-between
A hidden knock to find the scene
Where actors act and witches fly
We have to win, there is no “try.”

The ancient Greeks sang of a fool
Who’d fall into a purple pool
They didn’t know they couldn’t see
How powerful Mr. Indigo would be.

A wavelength hidden from the masses
To protect until the evil passes
Banish demons from whence they came
Perdition awaits for unwilling lame.

Paper runs out and pen runs dry
“I believe in lovin’ my oh my”
Come to show what I already see
The greatest Lovegift is Empathy.

The Journey Ends (Part One)

Perfect pairs to change the tide
Coming on a rainbow ride
Indigo’s the way to see
Pure unfettered Liberty.

Call me purple if you please
Green’s the color of my squeeze
Mix in yellow and we’ve got
A way to root out grime and rot.

A Jedi trick; a brand new world
All the thanks go to my girl
I knew her young and know her now
Thank the Lord? We barely know how.

He sits above but more like They
Challenges the only way
To test the heart and test the mind
Of a young man in a dangerous bind.

Milton spoke of one to come
To fulfill and then replace the Son
He died for us but now WE ARE
Looking back I’ve come so far.

Once again Apollo lives
Hacksaw, crowbar, hammer, shiv
Tools of death that we won’t need
To plant the Garden from the seed.

Man’s first fall and no one knew
Just what cannabis could do
Tree of knowledge it surely be
With this I claim some certainty.

Sacred marriage from above
Born not of contract but of love
Sing, O Muse, and I will hear
Look inside, look in the mirror.

Red and White the Templars fly
Flag and banner to the sky
Magdalene and Mother too
First then second; please it’s true.

A sacrifice that’s sealed in blood
To keep away another flood
Four’s the number not sure why
A visitor wants to say “Hi!”

For a Dear Friend

I seem to be full of it today 😉

There once was a bloke called Chick/
Who was something if not quite a dick/
He put himself out there/
Defining sweet “other-care”/
And, this time, the lessons will stick.

Letter to Mamulya for Capitalist Feasting Day of Mothers

Dearest Mamulya,

Greetings from decadent capitalist hellhole! I am write to you in Great Motherland for honor of Feasting Day of Mothers. With lucky, I am learn English very good, so I make this letter in tongue of foreign swine to practicing. I am look forward to seeing you person once more, but for now I am write letter to explain of greatest conquest.

Ever since I was little boy in Ҏropiѝsk you tell me, “Fedor, one day you go to America and spread word of Great Socialist Revolution!”

I say “But how Mamulya?”

You say “Fedor, you make hands hard with labor, and slick with blood of capitalist dogs!”

I say “But Mamulya, great Stalin has left us, and I am only tiny cog in Great Machine!”

You say “Don’t make the worries. Win depraved American hearts with beautiful Russian language, and beautiful Russian music.” You then sang sweet and ancient lullaby “Submit Completely to Maybe Avoid Gulag.” It was make great comfort to me.

Since that day, I am infiltrate America very sneak. I am big-time business here. I am store owner. Is crazy right? A comrade owning store? Though is nice to not have all money go straight to Party Chairman. Still, I feel knot in stomach when I think Forbidden Words “profit” “private” and “think.”

Is strange to not have Party Members distribute weekly beet and vodka ration. But I am very success, and you will find in envelope twenty American dollars. Slave of Market say this is 5 millions rubles. This is proof that People’s Rubles are millions times better than capitalist dollars.

Is fitting that the Feasting Day of Mothers is so close to date of destruction of German War Machine (Za Rodinu! Za Stalina!). Both make honor of very difficult and painful process. I know is filthy capitalist invention, but it reminds to write instead of nightly reading of Manifesto. So I guess is ok.

I am hopefully that all is well at our hovel. I trust dirt harvest is proud this year? Unfortunate, I may not be back in Motherland for long time. I am very important working for Revolution from inside. I monitor subordinates at all times. They gorge themselves on sweet food and video electronic phone. They are all make fat and sweaty. May ghost of Great Stalin curses these pigs. Their incompetence flows like Mighty Volga. But I have to dealing with them. Is great inefficiency of silly capitalism. In Motherland, I send them to Sibir to break rocks until fat melts off or dead. Is like old Russian saying: “Врожденный недостаток капитализма – неравное разделение благословений.” Many laughings.

Anytimes, tell “Zdravstvuj “ to all People of Ҏropiѝsk. Care for yourself, and make pride for Great Socialist Revolution!

Dasvidaniya,
Fedor

An Articulate Rebuttal to my “USA Today” Post (and my response)

I got another response to my blog post. Following are the commenter’s rebuttals, then my responses. Since the commenter was kind enough to take the time to do this, I will address them seriously, with no satire (which was, I think, clearly the point of the original post I wrote).

Meh.
Other than the naturalistic fallacy and nit-picking over the term “materialism” problems here also include:
1) Confusions about the “requirements of atheism”.

2) Lumping together of all religions as valuing blind faith.

3) Needless underestimation of the resources available to those people who do only countenance observational statements as evidence. (Read your Van Fraassen…)

4) A bizarre argument that seems to hinge on an unstated premise that if x believes p then x’s statements cannot be evidence of ~p.

5) I actually like the translation of “kanah” as “jealous”, but “zealous” is more traditional.

6) I’m not sure what the argument against divine outlawing of thought crimes is. The usual arguments against doing so hinge on the fallibility of the enforcing and legislating agencies.

7) Incest is banned in the bible, repeatedly. He kinda misses the point completely in the argument against the claim that Christianity is not a wish-fulfilling religion, which is an even more egregious failing when you consider how bad the original argument is.

9) The Jerome argument involves a straw man–no one would claim that the relevant difference between a random madman and Jerome is temporal location.

10) The argument from cultural differences is awful. It’s always been awful. The same argument can be run against the truth of scientific claims–sometimes some people latch onto the truth better than others.

11) Facts about specific past events, within a given observer’s light cone, are falsifiable.

12) The article randomly argues against a claim the original author never made re: burden of proof.

13) Nowhere near every religion advocates recruitment.

I’d feel bad being so critical, but since the article is itself critical of someone else, I don’t so much.

My Reponses

1.) There are no requirements to atheism. Consider it the default. Anyone who believes something invisible needs to justify it, not the other way around. When you think about it, it’s at least a bit strange that I have to give myself a title to illustrate the fact that I have no belief in the supernatural/superstitious.

2.) At some point, every religion requires blind faith in something unprovable. I think you must concede this point.

3.) I’ll admit I am not well-studied in van Fraasen’s work, but I know a bit. He is certainly a voluntarist, which is generally considered the antithesis of the intellectual. I’m not sure I see a use for such philosophies, save for the sake of comparison of utility. In addition, ontology, while certainly interesting and worthy of study, by definition leaves the realm of the empirical. Its practical applications are limited. I feel the same way about religion. You may ask the “big questions” but if you tell me you have the only right “answer” I will disagree every time. And I think it goes without saying that I do not support legislating religious doctrine, which is my largest qualm with religious adherents/activists.

4.) I’m not following this one.

5.) I know that the King James Version (pretty much the de facto standard, I think you’d agree) uses “jealous” many times and, until very recently, that’s the only translation I’d ever heard. So I don’t know if “zealous” can be considered traditional. Rather, it seems like a newer translation meant to soften the words of the wrathful God of the Old Testament. Again, of this I claim no absolute certainty, but the abundance of usage of this term historically suggests that I am correct.

6.) The idea that such a thing as a “thought crime” can exist and be punished is not acceptable. In fact, it is downright Orwellian. (though, admittedly, the Bible preceded Orwell by quite a span.) I just don’t see how admonishing a non-action can be considered moral. No harm is ever done with thought; what is there to punish?

7.) While the OT does indeed ban many acts of incest, it bans fewer than we would consider acceptable in modernity. Specifically, father-daughter sexual contact is not explicitly restricted in the Deuteronomic Code which, I think you’d agree, constitutes the majority of Mosaic Law. Make of that what you will, but either the “prophet” goofed in interpreting God’s will (and what use is such a prophet then?), or God changed his mind, a claim which is generally considered blasphemous. In addition, the main crux of this point is that the Bible allows a slew of immoral acts.

And as for Christianity not being a wish-fulfilling religion, I disagree. Most people “wish” that there is some “eternal award” to be had after death. In addition, the whole “meek shall inherit the earth” concept is a mix of hopeful fantasy and karmic retribution. Most modern religions tend to embrace these basic concepts.

8.) Skipped

9.) But this is exactly my point. Catholics revere these “Church Doctors,” yet a great many of their acts are either insane, immoral, or a combination of both. This is not to say that such people would have nothing of value to say, but considering that the Catholic Church’s Tradition (with a big T) stems largely from the writings of Augustine (another fanatic), a natural tendency for the non-believer to be skeptical of such doctrine seems only natural to me.

10.) Calling the cultural difference argument awful, does not make it so. The fact that local religions incorporate local customs and ideals based on their given geography/culture/heritage does, in fact, lend some objectivity to what is mainly a subjective debate. I’m showing that there are (and have been) thousands of different religions throughout the course of history. This presents a problem for those who adhere to a single religion whether you’re willing to accept this evidence or not.

11.) Partially correct. Christianity is based on the premise that, for a brief time, the laws of physics as we know them were suspended to allow a corporeal reanimation to take place. I don’t have to “disprove God” to disprove Christianity. If there was a way to show that Jesus of Nazareth did not actually rise from the dead, it blows the whole thing to smithereens. Admittedly, we can conceive of ways to determine the veracity of this claim. Thus, the commenter is correct in saying that the “Easter Miracle” is, indeed, falsifiable. However, given the complete lack of verifiable events similar to this supposed resurrection, Christianity’s claims seems doubtful at best, since the evidence is extremely scarce, and not very solid at that. On the other hand, proving that God exists in general is, as I said previously, unfalsifiable.

12.) You are correct. The “burden of proof” point was something I added because I felt it was a natural extension of my post, and it is an argument I have heard many times. I could have made that more clear.

13.) I suppose this could be true. But up until very recently, recruitment to Christianity was violent and compulsory, and apostasy was met with similar wrath. In addition, for most of history, non-believers were assumed to be perdition-bound. Newly-softened doctrine, in the case of some religions at least, put some modicum of an end to this. (Apologies for all the hyphens.)

I guess the main point I was trying to make in all this was that, using the author’s piece as an example, public declarations of faith are unnecessary and, frankly, rude. Atheists are often accused of being “militant,” but his is inaccurate. My article would never have existed had DeStefano’s op-ed–telling me why I am wrong for viewing the world with reasoned logic via physical evidence–not appeared in a nationally available newspaper. I felt I had to respond to such arrogant claims that Biblical writings somehow “undermine” atheism, since one cannot undermine an institution that doesn’t actually exist, and whose designation is simply a negation of supernatural beliefs.

Remember, atheism is a label provided for me by the religious. I don’t need it. No one in their right mind would call me an “a-pantheist,” or an “astrology doubter.” Why must I reject, by title, your superstition of choice? I’m perfectly happy to go about my studies without calling myself anything in particular. I simply don’t like being told what to do based on claims of divine authority and why I’m wrong about how I view the cosmos.

Now, on the other hand, it should be noted that I harbor no ill will toward the average church-goer–just in their ridiculous beliefs. Ridicule in the literal sense. That is “deserving of ridicule.” If the guy next to you on the subway says he talks to Jesus, you back away quickly, you don’t wait around for him to feed you bread and wine. Both of my parents are deeply religious, and I have a problem with that. I think it’s silly. But this doesn’t mean I don’t love them for all that they’ve done for me. In any event, I really appreciate all comments, whether I agree with them or not, and I say that with no sarcasm or malice. So, thank you to the commenter, and thanks to those who read this as well.