Posts Tagged ‘sin’

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The Sins of the One Outweigh the Faith of the Many

January 8, 2017

Many Americans ask what has become those rhetorical questions, “Why are Republicans pro-life? Why does the life a newborn take precedence over that of a mother? Why is abortion not an option even when the health and welfare of a child is questionable?”

We know that “pro-life” attitude only pertains up to the birth of a child. After then, they and their families are all on their own. But, why?

The answer is Biblical. It’s that commandment, “Thou shall not kill.” Breaking that commandment as well as any of the other nine sends someone’s soul the Hell.

But, surely, it would be the doctor who would pay that price, and maybe the mother, too. Let me borrow a tired euphemism of our new president and say, “Wrong!” Those Ten Commandments are in the Old Testament, written long before Jesus walked Creation in the flesh, before the promise of forgiveness through confession or grace through faith.

See, those commandments were then written by a wrathful god. That was when He (or to be fair, She) was still prone to flood the Earth.

Okay, God promised there would be no more floods. But, that one deluge was before Sodom and Gomorrah, so us mortals can’t be so trusting. Even then, He/She was still rash and not as omniscient as believers hope. God had to send an angel to investigate His/Her suspicion. And finding only one righteous soul in the city, He/She again brought destruction to the planet; a smaller devastation, to be sure, but still horrific.

So, despite a pretty rainbow and even Jesus, the distrustful faithful believe the wrath of God to this day is visited upon swaths of mortals for the sins of a few and even the one. That’s how paranoid those religious folks have become.

AIDS, 9-11, hurricanes, oil spills and droughts are modern evidence of situations in which God has lifted His/Her hand because He/She has become so disgusted with those made in His/Her image that only death quells His/Her rage. He/She used to get blood sacrifices but that was not always enough.

There is why women today are forced to give birth, why drug users are locked away instead of freed on their own recognizance, and homosexuality is disdained. It’s not just an individual’s soul that is seen at risk, rather the country itself. Because despite the love and patience of Jesus, our savior still has an angry dad/mom.

(Hell, inferring God may be a woman probably pisses Him off. Blame the opioid epidemic and shrinking middle class on that. And give Him the blood a goat, for Christ’s sake. Maybe that will help Him chill.)

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Mary of Bethezuba One Day Lost Her Mind

August 12, 2014

One Christian mystery that believers are content is left among the addressable riddles of their unknowable Lord is the Eucharist. That sacrament with consecrated bread and wine transubstantiated into human flesh and blood is merely scorned by skeptics. The obvious inferences of cannibalism is pedestrian. Authors such as Kenneth Humphreys and Joseph Atwill do consider the problem, but they and few others deeply discuss the origin of this terrible miracle.

Someone knows for certain. When I was a curious adolescent, somebody from my Protestant church mentioned the ritual of communion began so that pagans might be lured into the Christian belief. The language of blood and gore was only a metaphor. Savages liked those sorts of things.

“Nobody can know for certain what Jesus said or what he did,” my pastor preached as much in a sermon. He stated the equivalent of…

“The New Testament was a wonderful compilation of second and third-hand testament. Hearsay.”

Every author except Paul was suspect. That apostle was a special case, and even then, he appeared late after the crucifixion. Understand, the congregation in my hometown believed the Good Book was just another book. Faith and Trust in the Lord were the true messages. All the rest was dark and barren.

“Jesus did live and does still,” the faithful there say today. “He was resurrected.”

Essentially they tell us that He lives in our hearts and its all very probable the One-True-God will come back. “Jesus does live,” after all, as vaguely circular and mysterious as that sounds. There is the whole consideration with the Living Word and who might that be. The identity of this spiritual being and the Holy Ghost are yet comfortably unknown. There is probably something relevant about them in the dusty Old Testament – I bet somewhere in Psalms.

The Protestant church in my hometown held up the latter early Epistles of Paul. They contain all that anyone needs to know about the Faith. Followers insist his approach at gathering the flock was the best, the most productive. He surmised himself in a letter to the Church in Corinth, Greece.

“19 Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. 20 To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. 21 To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. 23 I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.”

1 Corinthians 9:19-23 (NIV)

The subterfuge and Paul’s naked hypocrisy are considered merits where I come from. “Any means to an end,” people there say. “As long as those ends justify their means.”

They mean those means are for the good of local Protestants at service on any particular Sunday in a year. Those same honest, hardworking folks dependably vote Republican, too, regardless their personal interests and living wages. Any suffering done wherever it comes from is in love for the Lord. Principles like this scapegoat in Southern Wisconsin are truly born twisted and deformed.

My contempt grows overt despite my attempt to stay sublime. Forgive me, and please permit me to talk about the Liturgy again. I do appreciate a patient reader. I, too, am inclined to think the morbid sacrament was not merely a metaphor. There are black roots to this aspect of the Last Supper.

Whereas, I fail to find accreditation or an example, I have read Shakespeare created a woman he called Cannibal Mary for use in his plays. The character was a suspicious parody of the Virgin Mary – although, this seems as much gossip as the Canonical Gospels.

My writing itself is about to become positively sanguinary, so I will first express I do understand there is community in communion. Any event in which food is shared generates camaraderie. The symbolism is visually primal; images erupt in which families are brought together, strangers are met at meal times and friends are made. Bonds are renewed.

Yet the message of fellowship is divorced from what makes the Eucharist memorable. Just before, I abruptly mentioned a ghostly Shakespeare’s Cannibal Mary and I will return to that point, for she is my true subject. The New Testament verses which bring me to consider the woman are purportedly born out of the very mouth of our exalted savior. It is written…

26 … Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.” 27 Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. 28 This is my blood of the[a] covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.”

Matthew 26:26-28 (NIV)

The author of Luke was a little more succinct…

19 And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” 20 In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.”

Luke 22:19-20 (NIV)

Come on, look at what He said, it’s elementary. Jesus was talking about cannibalism. He said it more plain than when my mom told me,  “Take your brothers fingers out of your mouth!”

Why would the messiah even bring up something like that? Where does the idea of eating Him come from? But people remember He said it.

I cannot think of anywhere in the Old Testament that mentions anything pertaining to the stomach-churning presumption. The topic isn’t really discussed or even so much attributed to heathens. We are not suppose to eat each other, I know that. There are criminal laws against it in the United States of America.

I suppose people eat the Passover lamb, but what does that have to do with anything religious? I was taught Jews once made blood sacrifices to God, but I never heard anything special about the flesh of the animal. And the goat was certainly never a human being… well…

I assumed the kosher carcass was discarded as a matter of course. I never cared, it was what the Jews did and don’t anymore. The leftovers would not miraculously return the following year and be the same lamb. An idea like that was pagan, especially if a person was substituted for an animal sacrifice during an equinox or more often a solstice.

Today, the more liberal observers of Judaism cannot possibly believe their individual quests to discover God have anything to do with killing people – that goes against the Sixth commandment. The act is desperate and mad.

And a Mary of Bethezuba is one who smashed that binary commandment one day she lost her mind. People across the civilized world heard about the incident and remembered it for a long time. Indeed, I told you I have read Shakespeare referred to the woman involved as late as the 16th century. This was Cannibal Mary. Her story maybe inspired the ritual of consuming loathsome symbols. She perhaps contributed an apparent message to the Last Supper.

The Romano-Jewish scholar Josephus documented Mary in his history “Jewish War,” 75 CE.  Josephus was born in a Roman-dominated Jerusalem and emigrated to Greece, so the ‘Romano’ part of the preface describes the scholar as a citizen of the ancient Roman Empire. Indeed, the Emperor Titus Flavius Vespasianus made the man his historian.

Josephus documented the Flavian campaign to destroy the temple of Jerusalem in 70 CE. Actually, I believe trouble started four years earlier in 66 CE when statues of Caesar were to be erected in temples of every order and denomination. The Emperor was to be worshiped as the supreme god. Fundamentalist Jews could not stand that, nor would any devote Christian or Muslim in this age.

The scholar Josephus wrote about a siege Titus waged against those who denied his divinity. The Emperor surrounded the three walls of Jerusalem with his Roman army. The whole population was punished. The Roman army stopped food and water from entering the city. And to exasperate the deprivation, Titus let pilgrims enter the starving chaos Jerusalem had become so that they could celebrate Passover then never leave. No one was let outside the walls.

Josephus wrote the captured population turned against itself. Hungry gangs roamed inside their prison looking for food and treasure. They are written to have found a wealthy widow with her newborn child. Her name was Mary of Bethezuba. She became perpetually robbed. Thieves took her food until Passover came. The beleaguered woman then snapped. Mary went crazy.

The woman slaughtered her son, baked his corpse and started eating him after the ritual fast ended and the day was done. Thieves smelled the roasted meat, followed a sickly-sweet aroma through the dark and found the source.

Discovered, Mary presented to her habitual robbers the uneaten portions of her child. “He is a myth to the world,” Josephus stated she claimed. He said the woman’s revolted oppressors fled. People for centuries have remembered for themselves what happened at the siege. Nobody needed to read what a Roman scholar wrote.

I feel inclined to believe the tale is repeated today. Here is the origin of Transubstantiation, its symbols carry vague and needling and unshakable meaning. And it is the muddled story of Mary and the sacrifice of her son at Passover that makes the Last Supper unforgettable. We remember vicariously the bread is the flesh of her infant child. The blood is his. The woman’s convoluted damnation possibly made the Liturgy memorable.

The constant controversy involves dates. The tedious piece of this research in summary testifies Rome sacked Jerusalem and destroyed the temple a second time in 70 CE. The Gospel of Mark, in which whose author first records the events of the Last Supper, was also written about 70 CE. Scholars think 70 CE is more precise because the author of Mark mentions the destruction of the Temple Jerusalem. The dates of both these events incriminate themselves in conspiracy because their proximity.

The authors of the Gospels had certainly overheard something about the infamous Mary of Bethezuba. If they were Jewish, Gnostic or freshly Christian, I imagine news from Jerusalem would have been the priority of his day. Atrocities in the Promised Land would have most certainly overshadowed reports from a besieged of Masada. I think much of the struggle was incorporated into their books. Scholars have even stated the conflicts with Rome are what the Book of Revelation is about.

Christian apologists argue the Gospels have been preached by word-of-mouth since about 40 CE. The possibility may have merit, but there is no proof. The Apostle Paul never talked about the Last Supper, nor the birth of Jesus nor His life on Earth. Before the Gospels, we sinners only heard about what He had done for us and what we needed to do to show Him our appreciation. The First Apostle Paul wrote down as much. We can’t know what people said then to each other in conversation. Technically, we can’t even really know what Paul said was not made-up.

And you, reader, have no reason to believe me until you see for yourself. Read, just go ahead and read. Even then, people believe what they want to believe.

 

– Matthew Sawyer

 

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I Remember One Saturday Night When I Was About The Age For Middle School

July 31, 2014

 

It must have been a Saturday night. According to a Rule of Life as revealed by the Wisconsin PBS on a Three Stooges television episode, my twin brother and I each took separate baths. I was in my bath.

We didn’t share baths, not anymore, because we were growing up and had become conscious of our anatomy. I don’t know who got the tub first and that does not matter. We never used the same water – Wisconsin is far from California. H-two-O comes to the Midwest from underground springs. And this was my bath.

I was soaking alone when my now-deceased dad barged in. The man had to, “Crap.”

I am pretty sure that’s what he explained and he used that word. He couldn’t wait or even ask how long I might take and finish. The option to abandon my bath never occurred to me nor was suggested by my father. He rushed into the unventilated room, dropped his drawers and immediately squatted upon the pot.

Gad, the odor was horrible. I swear I smelled death coming out of the man. Yeah, by my age then I knew precisely what dead things smelled like. At the same time, I remembered my dad coughing up blood before, in the same house. He left his diseased phlegm in that same un-flushed bowl. His liquid stew was now added to the contaminated cauldron. Thinking back, I recall my family had not yet lived in that house long.

I am certain the bowl had been flushed a number of times between these incidents. And I do mean I imply there anyway grew some infectious disease. Such was my imagination as a child. And being a sharp kid, I rationalized because my family no longer lived in the country or depended on a septic tank, the danger was carried by the city sewers, professionally strained and dumped a decent distance away into Honey Creek. Us kids or those before us, I can’t claim credit, nicknamed that thin waterway, “Shit-crick.”

At home and in my bath, I protested my father. “Why can’t you use the toilet in the basement?”

Nobody hardly ever used the toilet downstairs – it was used that often. The antique throne was in the laundry room. There was a lock on that door.

There was also a lock on the door beside that second toilet, which admitted, the exit opened into an attached garage. The architecture of the house and its plumbing was fashioned upon the foundation of the original stables of the city’s fire department. As were many abodes in my hometown, its prominent features were often cock-eyed.

The second toilet was taller than it’s younger upstairs cousin. The porcelain was cast that way, way back in… I don’t know when. It was old but it worked. I know in order to properly sit upon that particular John, in order to feel as if you have retained your balance and traction – Hey, those about to poop know the movement I’m trying to invoke – one had to sit on the tips of his or her toes.

I loathe to think my dad told me, “The toilet downstairs is broken.”

I knew it worked fine, but I think he said something in that respect. He didn’t know. Dad never did laundry or park the car in the garage.

“How could he know,” I grumbled to myself and held my nose. I am sure I answered something equivalent. Such was my attitude back then.

I crouched naked in the tub and grew anxious I retain some peace and dignity. Yeah, the man was unquestionably my biological father but I just did not know him well. I slept on the sun porch each morning he woke before dawn and smoked himself hoarse in the adjacent kitchen and I just never really knew enough to trust him. I didn’t want to know him, especially after suffering the second hand odiousness of his lungs. I would not because of random absurdities like this evening.

I didn’t like what I did know about him. For example, I knew he had not even considered using the second toilet because he was short guy. His legs would have dangled free from atop the seat. Swept like blowing curtains, his squashed and inverted trousers would have brushed silverfish and daddy longlegs across the bare and cold concrete floor. My own feet then already touched the ground but barely.

He hated being conscious of himself. He was that guy who refused to try on new hats because he believed his head was too small, smaller than anyone he knew. And dad never hunted for alternatives. He never explored, ask other people or just pick a different hat. Dangit. His static self-destruction was infuriating. Religion cemented my distrust of him.

For on that Saturday night years ago, I interpreted the Curse of Ham had come down and been revisited upon me. Satan engineered my damnation beyond my control. For that night, as had the iniquitous son of Noah, I glimpsed the Junk of My Father. I wondered if my dad or mom knew my tragedy. Neither of my parents regularly attended church and they usually went only on Christmas and for weddings. So I doubted either understood me.

I knew right away I was preordained for Hell. The United Church of Christ helped me realize everyone’s general fate. Here was mine in particular. The shameful vision was all that was required. The sight of the man’s spud-ish cudgel knocked me into the Lake of Fire. I felt the shame of Adam, and I sat naked, cowering beneath the noxious and invisible cloud of an indifferent god.

Mortified and left alone after a sponge-inducing ten minutes or forever, I collected myself, dressed and shunned the desecrated chamber. There was nothing more to my Fall. At bottom, there was no more to go. Even there, I did not wish my father to Hell. Soon after, a truthful stranger told me the place could not exist.

Almost twenty years after the death of my father and much further away, I do regret I could not say to him what I have tried to tell him so abrupt and at his end. There is nothing my father must answer. He missed me as much as I did him. And I decided I would make my own standards because no true ones were dictated to me. While I took care of the ‘me,’ I needed the man to save himself. Even today, I expect this miraculous thing from a father. I got a stinking memory.

 

– – Matthew Sawyer

 

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Oldest Working Gal in All The Ancient Sumerian Valley

November 11, 2013

*** Warning ***

Snakes! But you already see that, don’t you? I should put that warning right there in the title, do you think? Then how would I trick people to watch my short animation? It’s the artwork I want people to see. I suppose there’s a taste of that in the video’s thumbnail.

Author –
Art and Animation
Matthew Sawyer

Music –
Cherub
Butthole Surfers
Psychic… Powerless… Another Man’s Sac

I hold no rights to the song Cherub by the Butthole Surfers

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A Codex of Malevolence, A Collection of Weird, Short Horror Stories

March 4, 2011

A Codex of Malevolence

A Codex of Malevolence, by Matthew Sawyer, is a short story collection that tracks the spread of weird and unholy evil from Wister Town, Wisconsin. Witches and the pagan religion become entwined in these creepy tales of gore. Witness the horror invade Wisconsin, incorporate in Texas and gain entrance to California.

The stories therein include:

Babies Kill the Unborn A Rockumentary
Babies Kill the Unborn: A Rockumentary documents the launch of the world tour by the rock band “Venger of Unborn.” Father Mackis knows a demon drives the success of the band and the pious clergyman meets the “Venge” at their concert in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Fiery ruin ensues.

Circular Heir
Mary Gantz wins a contest for her unborn son to inherit eight billion dollars upon the death of a rich benefactor, Aido Yasu. The condition to qualify for the fortune is that Mary needs to consume the ashes of Mr. Yasu’s brain before her baby is born.

Bullish Flavor
Reporters from the Binger Evening Times printed newspaper attend a tour of the Minotaur Meats slaughterhouse and meat packaging plant. Despite specifying she doesn’t want to witness the slaughter and butchering of mythical minotaurs, Erin Hofstetter and her photographer, Pat Hendrickson, Pat still needs to get her photographs!

Garnish
Albert and Lorie Motte, a middle-aged farming couple, receive a package – the ashes of a dead friend, Donny. Donny requested he be disposed in the Nile River – too far for the Mottes to go, so the Mississippi will have to do.

Disaster at Minotaur Meats
Mr. Brinks, the owner and operator of Minotaur Meats, has work for his two adopted nephews. The teenage boys, Doug and Donald, are given weekend jobs hunting escaped tomga, a newly discovered rat-like species butchered for its exotic meat.

The Fevered Possessed
Fourth-grader, Jerry Lacter, strips to his waist during a noon recess on a January day in Wisconsin. He complains he’s hot but the playground supervisor sends him to the principals’ office. Tina, Jerry’s friend, redirects the boy to the nurse’s office instead. His body exudes an enormous amount of heat.

Ghoulish
Someone has been breaking into Milwaukee morgues and stealing body parts. The police find their suspect when they apprehend Sam Pechinski, lapping up blood, at the scene of a fatal traffic accident. The suspect admits guilt, claiming he is on the verge of “transformation.”

Pagan Exorcist
Annie, a millennium-old witch, is disturbed at dawn when a teenage boy knocks on her door. A demon has possessed the boy and now asks the witch to exorcise him.

Preternatural Valentine
Charlie gets an anonymous Valentine’s Card at his job in Santa Barbara, CA. He’s instantly suspicious and thinks his boss and coworkers have conspired against him. After he leaves work that evening on Valentine’s Day, Charlie is introduced to his genuine secret admirer. Despite renewed hope and expectations, it ends badly.

Heart of the Snowman
Two young sorcerers in Southern Wisconsin have an opportunity to animate a snowman with a dead man’s heart. Rob first must know why Mr Jelinshek showed up at Tim’s house, he distrusts his friend and fellow alchemist while they explore the Dark Arts.

The Unburnt Bush
Donna Montanay interviews Marsha Pinot, an old sorority friend and internationally famous multimedia artist. She accompanies the artist to a gallery in La Crosse, Wisconsin to see a paper mache labia and mysterious pool of shadow, both components to the piece of artwork called “The Unburnt Bush.”

The Unbreathing
Paul Murry rushes his unresponsive wife, Barb, to the hospital after the woman collapses and stops breathing. While traveling, the Murry’s are in an accident caused by a man an EMT, named Allen, suspected suffered road rage.

Portal Painter
Debbie Menon hopes to become a professional painter in Los Angeles. Her mural in a pizzeria catches the interest of a local screenwriter, who pays Debbie thousands of dollars to paint a pattern on his concrete patio. The screenwriter tells Debbie the design is a “portal.”

Trade paperback available at LULU.COM. The ebook, in a variety of formats, is available at Smashwords.

A Codex of Malevolence

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