#OctPoWriMo: Oct 2nd & 3rd

Rosary beads bible blur

OctPoWriMo #2: Catholicism

The Blessed Virgin Mary can be found in stone sitting in your garden.
She sits in the place of where your rose bushes used to be.
She holds her rosary beads with her head down in prayer.
As I walk by she bows in reverence, never looking up at me. Continue reading “#OctPoWriMo: Oct 2nd & 3rd”

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What is the Difference Between A Religion And A Cult?

pexels-photo-205304I’ve been on a morbid kick lately of macabre podcast content. If you perused the favorites on my Tune-In app, you would find a list of shows that would make you question my moral sense. One of the podcast shows, Cults, dives deep into the minds of manipulative cult leaders and their misguided followers while untangling the unusual and the vile deeds that grew from twisted words.

I noticed, after listening to a few episodes of the podcast, that many of the cults that became well known enough to shock a nation grew from the misinterpretations of religious text and faith-based beliefs. I wondered, if the two are often found so intertwined together, what is the difference between a religion and a cult? Continue reading “What is the Difference Between A Religion And A Cult?”

Faith and Religion: Why Are They Even A Thing?

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Photo by Michael Peligro

The other day a friend of mine had brought up her attendance of Catholic confirmation classes at her church in a group text message with me and one other friend. The other friend had chimed in with her experience of having been confirmed in the 4th grade.

The first friend voiced her confusion about her statement. “You don’t get confirmed until 10th grade in high school.”

I agreed with the statement. I remembered how my friends who had gone to Catholic school with me did their confirmation their first year of high school and asked a coworker sitting next to me, who was also raised Catholic, about when confirmation usually happens.

“Yeah, it’s usually like the first year of high school,” I responded.

I have to admit, I gave my friend a hard time about it, not necessarily because I didn’t believe that she was confirmed by the Catholic Church, but because I found it strange that everyone was okay with having a sheltered child, who had not yet learned and experienced all that was out there, commit the rest of their lives to the only religion she knew about. Continue reading “Faith and Religion: Why Are They Even A Thing?”

Visibility in the 2015 State of the Union Address

Photo by Pete Souza, Talk Radio News Service -- A Member of Congress wearing a ribbon in support of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., reads along as President Barack Obama delivers the State of the Union address in the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., Jan. 25, 2011
Photo by Pete Souza, Talk Radio News Service

Last night’s State of the Union Address from President Obama has called for a lot of action form Congress. I’ve talked before about Obama attempting to make community college free for American students in the near future, and how this will ultimately benefit the nation as we aim to grow and move forward, but there is a list of other things Obama wants to get done before he leaves office which also includes expanding paid sick leave and reforming the tax code.

I have no more campaigns to run. My only agenda for the next two years is the same as the one I’ve had since the day I swore an oath on the steps of this Capitol – to do what I believe is best for America. If you share the broad vision I outlined tonight, join me in the work at hand. If you disagree with parts of it, I hope you’ll at least work with me where you do agree. And I commit to every Republican here tonight that I will not only seek out your ideas, I will seek to work with you to make this country stronger. -President Barack Obama

Continue reading “Visibility in the 2015 State of the Union Address”

Come Sit on Satan’s Lap

Satan, as drawn by Gustave Doré, in John Milton's Paradise Lost.
Satan, as drawn by Gustave Doré, in John Milton’s ‘Paradise Lost.’

Did the kids miss out this year on telling Santa what they wanted for Christmas? Why not sit have the children sit on Satan’s lap instead?

Apparently, there is a satanic group out there that has raised money and presented designs for a 7-foot-tall statue of Satan to put at the Oklahoma state Capitol, where a Ten Commandments monument was placed in 2012. According to the Associated Press, the drawing “depicts Satan as Baphomet, a goat-headed figure with horns, wings and a long beard that’s often used as a symbol of the occult.” Satan sits a throne below a large pentagram with smiling children next to him.

The Satanic Temple spokesman, Lucien Greaves, even mentioned that “the statue will also have a functional purpose as a chair where people of all ages may sit on the lap of Satan for inspiration and contemplation.” Continue reading “Come Sit on Satan’s Lap”

TIME’s Person of the Year Embraces Love

Pope Francis named TIME's person of the year
Pope Francis named TIME’s person of the year

“He took the name of a humble saint and then called for a church of healing. The first non-European pope in 1,200 years is poised to transform a place that measures change by the century” –Person of the Year | TIME picks the person who most influenced the news each year, for better or worse

Jorge Bergoglio chose his papal name, Francis, after Francis of Assisi, the 13th century patron saint of the poor, and rightly so. According to TIME, “the 13th century Francis turned to the ministry when, as legend has it, he heard a voice calling to him from a crucifix to repair God’s house. He left his prosperous silk-merchant family to live with the poor. He was a peacemaker, the first Catholic leader to travel to Egypt to try to end the Crusades. He placed mercy at the core of his life.” Continue reading “TIME’s Person of the Year Embraces Love”

A New Way of Thinking

Photo by theloushe via Flickr
Photo by theloushe via Flickr

It happens every so often when my sister and I come down to our conservative hometown and get a little too relaxed with our thinking. We occasional would end up shouting at a relative who still doesn’t believe that the members of the Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community should have the right to marry because of their religious beliefs.

We attempt to sway their thinking from the teachings that they received all of their lives from clerical figures and open their minds to other religious options that include love, such as the Religious Left, but like the LGBT movement we would end up arguing about the thoughts from the older relatives minds still had a long ways to go. Continue reading “A New Way of Thinking”

“P” is for Progresso (The Story of the First)

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Writers of Kern Blogging Challenge (A-Z)

Every now and then I get together with some of my fellow writer friends and we send each other stories about all sorts of things just for fun. We usually encourage each other to write short stories from various suggested subjects and then read each other’s works in our spare time. On one particular day, after chatting about the story of Dante’s Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso, we decided to rewrite a story that had Biblical elements in it. I decided to pick up an online copy of the Bible and click to the first page, and from there I decided to rewrite the story of creation the way I thought it should be read. Continue reading ““P” is for Progresso (The Story of the First)”

“K” is for Karma कर्म

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Writers of Kern Blogging Challenge (A-Z)

When a bird is alive, it eats ants. When the birth is dead, ants eat the bird. One tree makes a million match sticks. Only one match stick needed to burn a million trees. Time and circumstance can change at any moment. Do not devalue or hurt anyone in life. You may be powerful this time, but remember, time is more powerful than you. So be good and do good.
–Buddha

I’ve seen it before, someone putting money in the hands of a homeless person who is sitting on the sidewalk and then going home to find some money that they had forgotten they had. Then there was another tale of a friend standing by and watching a thief steal a cell phone at a party only find out the next week that someone at party they were at had stolen their cell phone from them as well. It becomes even more apparent as time goes on that whatever someone puts out into the universe comes back to them, hence why you should treat others the way that you would like to be treated. Continue reading ““K” is for Karma कर्म”

For the Mind, Body and Spirit

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“Undisturbed calmness of mind is attained by cultivating friendliness toward the happy, compassion for the unhappy, delight in the virtuous, and indifference toward the wicked.” ― Patanjali, The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

Finding an outlet that can ease away the tough struggles and stress of the day, is key to a long happy and healthy life. And finding that outlet in a practice that can reshape the mind, body and spirit is even better. Yoga, one of the six astika schools of Hindu philosophy, incorporates these three aspects of the self and is also found in Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, and in less spiritual and more popular practices of the mainstream. Continue reading “For the Mind, Body and Spirit”