godwho's Diaryland Diary


Christian theology courtesty an outspoken Jewish dude

An interesting thought from Kinky Friedman in this month's "Texas Monthly," regarding the execution of prisoners on death row:

"Jesus, therefore, would execute no one, even while enduring the excruciating process of being executed himself. Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord. That means we shouldn't trust the same peple who can't run a post office or build a fence to execute people in our name. It also means there should be more to being a Christian than holding hands around a platter of fried chicken on Sunday and saying a prayer."

3:39 p.m. - 2008-04-29


What the L.?

I haven't posted in a while, but I have a good reason. I've been having my mind blown by one Mr. L. Ron Hubbard, via his 1989 work "The Way to Happiness."

In the first part of the book, he instructs "one" to put his name on the first page of the book. Then get a second book and put a friend's name on the top line of the first page, and put his own name on the second line. Then give the second copy of the book to his friend, so they can both be on the way to happiness together while simultaneously applying the concepts found in the text. But the instructions for purchasing multitudes of books doesn't stop there. "Give the person several additional copies of this book" to present to his friends. Now we're all getting happy, especially L. Ron Hubbard, who just sold at least seven copies of something he wrote two decades ago.

There are a few quite shocking statements in the book, which I will quote directly. Remember, these are straight from Hubbard's mind. I don't want to assume credit for the brilliance.

"If one does not survive, no joy and no happiness are obtainable."

"Suggest to others that they preserve their teeth."

Regarding promiscuity: "A 'feeling of guilt' is nowhere near as sharp as a knife in the back or ground glass in the soup."

"Anyone trying to discourage you is trying to do so because they factually mean you harm or are seeking to serve their own ends."

"What is true is what is true for you... If it is not true for you, it isn't true. Think your own way through things, accept what is true for you, discard the rest."

"The way to happiness does not include... yourself being murdered."

"Be of good appearance. It sometimes does not occur to some individuals... that they form part of the scenery... of others."

"Recent discoveries by space probes to Venus have shown that our own world could be deteriorated to a point where it would no longer support life."

"...Even if one were simply to frown when people do things to mess up the planet, one would be doing something about it."

"...The retired man, with nothing further to accomplish in life, perishes from inactivity, as shown by statistics."

"The test of any 'truth' is whether it is true for you. If, when one has gotten the body of data, cleared up any words that one does not fully understand and looked over the scene, it still doesn't seem true, then it isn't true so far as you are concerned. Reject it."

"Criminals cannot learn."

"Try not to do things to others that you would not like them to do to you... Try to treat others as you would want them to treat you. (Footnote: The versions [of the 'Golden Rule'] given in this book are newly worded... as in earlier wordings it was thought to be too idealistic to be kept. It is possible to keep this version.)"

So... if I understand this properly, getting yourself murdered is NOT the way to happiness (or joy). So try to avoid that. You should be monogamous because otherwise someone could slip reconstituted sand into your borscht, thus resulting in the aforementioned untimely death, AKA non-survival, and, again, there goes your happiness.

All of my life, I had the suspicion that my mom was trying to thwart me at every turn with her admonitions to be safe. Turns out, she "factually" had evil intent. Well, see if I share with her Hubbard's assertion that coming out of retirement would cause her to become "statistically" immortal.

Much of the book's call to practice "virtue" (which you can deduce by asking, "What do I want people to do to/around me?" and doing that) hinges on the idea that if you're ugly, it can come back around and bite you in the butt. You don't not steal because it's wrong (maybe it's NOT wrong "for you"); you don't steal because you'll have to hide and lurk for the rest of your life, and that's a real bummer.

My favorite enlightenment was finding that by "frowning," I'm doing my part to save the planet. (According to Venus, we're on our way out, see.) Believe me, I frown plenty when ciggy butts fly out a window, or I see someone dump a can in a parking lot. Whoo! I'm green, baby! And I thought cleaning up the environment was going to be hard.

So, as you can see, I've been embiggening my brain. I'm ready to sally forth into my happiness. But first I need to clean up, put on some make-up, apply deodorant. Because now I know I'm part of someone else's scenery.

4:11 p.m. - 2008-03-22


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