Three Ships Too Far

December 23, 2014

Yay, Christmas songs are fun! 😀

I saw three ships come sailing in
On Christmas Day, on Christmas Day
I saw three ships come sailing in
On Christmas Day in the morning.

The Virgin Mary and Christ were there
On Christmas Day, on Christmas Day
The Virgin Mary and Christ were there
On Christmas Day in the mor-

*massive earthquake*

*reality itself seems to split at the seams*

Whoa! What’s happening?

“OVERLOAD! OVERLOAD!”

Huh? What? What’s overloaded?

“THERE IS TOO MUCH SHIT IN THE NATIVITY SCENE!”

There is? How so?

“HOW SO?! THINK ABOUT IT. IT’S FAR BEYOND JUST MARY, JOSEPH, JESUS, AND THE STAR. THERE ARE SHEPHERDS. THERE ARE THREE WISE MEN. THERE ARE A CRAPLOAD OF FARM ANIMALS. THERE’S THE LITTLE DRUMMER BOY. AND NOW… FUCKING SHIPS!”

I didn’t write that song. I was just singing it. Besides, what’s wrong with ships?

“THERE ARE NO BODIES OF WATER CLOSE ENOUGH TO BETHLEHEM FOR SHIPS TO MAKE ANY DAMN SENSE!”

What if they’re flying ships?

“WHY THE FUCK WOULD THERE BE FLYING SHIPS? HONESTLY!”

For the same reason there’s a baby born from a virgin impregnated by God, under a conveniently placed star. Why the hell not flying ships?

“ONE SUPERNATURAL THING AT A TIME!”

Speaking of supernatural, what the hell are you supposed to be?

“NEVER YOU MIND.”

How about repairing reality? Whatever you are, you sure pitch a fit when the nativity scene gets out of whack. Wait, does this mean you’re…?

“EVERYTHING NORMAL!”

*reality restores itself*

Huh. That was weird.

Coventry Carol 2

December 17, 2014

A couple years ago I wrote about Coventry Carol and what I realized about the lyrics.

About a tiny child, presumably Jesus, being referred to as a youngling.

And that Jesus, therefore, is a Jedi.

But just recently I learned some more about the song, in that said tiny child actually isn’t Jesus. The song is about the Massacre of the Holy Innocents. When Herod went looking for Jesus in order to kill him and ended up ordering all first born boys under age two to be killed.

The song is a mother singing to her soon-to-be murdered baby.

Oh.

Well, this doesn’t change anything. It just means that the Bible forgot the part where Obi-Wan shows up and walks among the slain sadly, saying “Not even the younglings survived.”

Secular Spirit

December 16, 2014

Now for a non-theistic, festive edition of…

Here’s to You!!!!

So I raise my glass and say, “Here’s to you, non-religious people who love Christmas!”

Yeah, that speaks for itself. People who aren’t religious but still love Christmas are a special breed as far as I’m concerned.

I think first of my former coworker. First work day after Thanksgiving, she and I were both putting up our respective tiny Christmas trees in our office space, which we both took down at the same time after Epiphany. She had been raised Catholic and remained one into adulthood, but after a while had enough of it. She wanted nothing more to do with religion, but she sure kept Christmas.

You can so easily have the Christmas without the Christianity. Either remove the Jesus element entirely or, better yet, treat it like just another Christmas legend, with the miracle virgin birth in the manger under the star right there alongside the snowman who comes to life when a magic hat is on his head.

I sort of wandered away from Christianity several years ago (as the progression of posts in the Occasional Godliness category sure demonstrate!) but I still go to my old church on Christmas Eve night. And you know what? I’ve always loved Silent Night and Hark! The Herald Angels Sing and other classic carols, but I think I’ve come to appreciate them more since I pulled away from the mindset that one must believe these stories actually took place. I mean, who cares if it’s real or not? It most likely isn’t, but there’s no reason that should diminish the holiday at all. If anything, it just takes the pressure off!

And this shout out is to those who adore this holiday season without the “It’s all about Jesus!” junk. This shout out is for those who aren’t hung up on the idea that not being Christian means not having a place in the festivities. And those who gladly celebrate and don’t waste energy whining about traditions being “stolen” from other religious celebrations (which, being non-religious, they don’t believe in anyway).

And even in secular form, still calling it “Christmas” because, hey, why the fuck not?

It’s Not for Believing In

May 7, 2014

I hereby decree…

Anyone who says they “believe in science” needs to be slapped.

Let me explain.

Specifically, I’m referring to when people declare this belief in place of a religious belief. Such as when asked what their religious beliefs are or to describe their secular humanism, they might say something like, “No, I don’t believe in any all-powerful gods. I believe in science.”

And it’s annoying because this person who thinks they’re affirming science so strongly is actually greatly misunderstanding a most basic thing about it. Which is… science isn’t something you “believe” in. Science just is. It is fact. It’s like saying you believe in the existence of Canada or horses or diabetes. You just sound silly saying you believe in something that’s pretty undeniably real. As if a diabetic Canadian equestrian were standing right in front of you.

Furthermore, when reducing science to a mere “belief”, you’re playing the ignorant religious fundamentalists’ game and slightly validating their beliefs in unprovable divine things (or disproved things they stubbornly cling to), allowing them to deliberately deny real scientifically proven things as just some other belief they personally don’t hold, or to just insist their actual beliefs should be given the same credence.
Continue reading “It’s Not for Believing In”

Themnal

December 27, 2013

Since the family is moving out of Grandma’s house this weekend (which has eaten up my time and made the daily posting here rather difficult but whatever), I have been occasionally just claiming items around the house I feel like keeping that no one else cares about anyway. One item I snatched last week was Grandma’s 1982 hymnal.

When I went home that night, I looked through the Christmas songs in it. Some I never heard of anywhere else, while others were very familiar and were sung on Tuesday night, as well as ones not done then but heard of nonetheless.

One song was Good Christian Men Rejoice. Only the lyrics didn’t say that. It said “Good Christian Friends Rejoice”. Huh.

Then Christmas Eve night, at the service, singing some of the very familiar songs out of copies of the same hymnal, I noticed some of the slight variations to the lyrics from more popular versions. In the second verse of Hark the Herald Angels Sing, where it’s usually “Pleased as man with men to dwell”, it instead read “Pleased as man with us to dwell”. And in the third verse, where it’s usually “born that men no more may die” it was “born that we no more may die”, and then where it’s usually “born to raise the sons of earth” it was instead “born to raise us from the earth” or something like that. Plus a few other little alterations like that, which never occurred to me much before. Until I saw the “Good Christian Friends” thing and put it all together…

The hymnal… is gender neutral. 😮

MIND = BLOWN

Said the Little Lamb

December 20, 2013

Alright, everyone. Time again to sing!

*taps conductor stick thingy*

Said the night wind to the little lamb,
“Do you see what I see?”

Ah, the wind is bored and feels like playing I Spy.

“Way up in the sky, little lamb.
Do you see what I see?”

I’m sure the small ovine appreciates the hint.

“A star, a star, dancing in the night,
With a tail as big as a kite,
With a tail as big as a kite.”

Oh, sure, give it away before the lamb has a chance to guess.

Said the little lamb to the shepherd boy,
“Do you hear what I hear?”

And the shepherd replied with “holy shit, a talking lamb!”

“Ringing through the night, shepherd boy.
Do you hear what I hear?”

Is it just that night wind playing I Spy with other random critters?

“A song, a song, higher than the trees
With a voice as big as the sea.
With a voice as big as the sea.”

This simile is silly to me.

Said the shepherd boy to the mighty king,
“Do you know what I know?”

Translation: Boy skips into the palace all chanting “I know something you don’t know! I know something you don’t know!”

“In your palace, oh, mighty king.
Do you know what I know?”

If this king is supposed to be Herod, then shepherd boy you’ve got a lot of blood on your hands.

“A child, a child, shivers in the cold.
Let us bring him silver and gold.
Let us bring him silver and gold.”

Or a coat or a blanket or something of immediate need for cold people.

Said the king to the people everywhere,
“Listen to what I say!”

Pfft. Everyone thinks their own words are so important. Get a Twitter account!

“Pray for peace, people everywhere.
Listen to what I say!”

What a useless statement.

“A child, a child, sleeping in the night.
He will bring us goodness and light.
He will bring us goodness and light.”

In 33 years, all we have to do is stick nails into him until he dies. Praise the Lord!

In Sin and Error Pining

December 12, 2013

Alright, it’s not Christmas Eve yet, but let’s sing!

O Holy Night, the stars are brightly shining

Sounds lovely.

It is the night of our dear Savior’s birth.

Huh. Seem to know a lot about someone who was apparently only just born. What if he doesn’t want to be a Savior? What if he wants to be a ballroom dancer?

Long lay the world in sin and error pining

Poor world. 🙁

Till he appeared and the soul felt its worth

Soul feeling worth is needed, but does it have to rely on him? And can it still feel worth if he does go the ballroom dancing route?

A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.

Yay! It’s a new day! 🙂

Fall on your knees

Ouch! That’ll mess up the new day if your knees are sore.

Oh hear the angel voices

It must just be some drunks in a nearby tavern. Same diff.

Oh night divine, oh night
When Christ was born

Oh, that’s who you’ve been talking about!

Oh night, oh holy night
Oh night divine!

Still, ballroom dancing is probably a lot less excruciating than being crucified. Probably.

Second verse!
Continue reading “In Sin and Error Pining”

How to Be Religious

June 6, 2013

I reject the notion that religion is inherently evil and causes all the Bad Stuff in the world. For one, that view is incredibly simplistic. Yes, many horrible acts are committed in the name of religion, but then again, so are many good ones. And while, yes, the good ones don’t require religion to be done, neither do the bad ones, really.

So by all means be religious if that’s what you want. Just please be the good kind. How can you do that? Well, here’s a handy guide to the Good and the Bad of faith-based actions!

So if your religion inspires you to…

-Donate food, clothing, and other items to the needy? Good!

-Volunteer for some sort of disaster relief effort, such as rebuilding houses? Good!

-Visit people in hospitals or nursing homes? Good!

-Take someone into your home when they’ve fallen on bad times? Good!

-Sing in your congregation’s choir? Good.

-Fight oppression? Good!

-Spread peace and love? Good!
Continue reading “How to Be Religious”

Coventry Carol

December 17, 2012

Ever heard of Coventry Carol? Yeah, didn’t think so. It’s an obscure Christmas carol, existing pretty much only in choirs and whatnot.

Anyway, check it out:

Lullay, thou little tiny child
By by lully lullay
Lullay thou little tiny child
By by lully lullay

Yeah, yeah… lots to, um, think about there. That’s, um, some deep stuff.

Anyway, second verse:

O sisters too how may we do
For to preserve this day
This poor youngling for whom we sing
By by lully lullay

Wait… what was that?!

This poor youngling for whom we sing

You know what this means?!

youngling

Of course! It’s so obvious!

JESUS WAS A JEDI!!!

Say Your Prayers

December 15, 2012

Or not.

Because… why? What good would it do?

I’ve mentioned before that praying accomplishes nothing. God is going to do whatever. God ignores prayers all the time.

When a tragedy occurs, whether what happened yesterday or someone’s relative just got diagnosed with something nasty, you often get “please keep me/us/them in your thoughts and prayers!”

Or maybe someone should do something useful. I mean, is there perhaps some real tangible action someone could take? Bring you food? Send a card?

Wait, why did I say “send a card”? What good does that do someone who just found out they’ve got pancreatic cancer? Well, not much. But the difference between that and saying a prayer is a card involves actually informing the person in question of your well-wishes, which can sometimes improve their mood while going through this. It’s miniscule but more than a damn prayer.

A few years back, I visited my aunt who has been having lots of health problems. I mentioned that Grandma had had her name put into the Prayers for the People list at our church. And, holy crap, was she grateful and excited about that! But, again, what improved her mood was hearing about this. Had I not told her, it would have made no difference whatsoever. The prayers alone had no power.

And then, around this time of year in particular, you often hear “Pray for Peace!”

Now this one is interesting, because, in a way, it can work. If you’re getting people to pray for peace, then they aren’t fighting at that moment! Well, either that, or stopping to pray allows for the enemy to finish them off. Or maybe they can pray and fight at the same time. Multitasking!