Questions With No Answers (1)…

Having observed Facebook and Twitter going insane yet again about something called toxic masculinity, I find it’s time I started asking the questions I find no one answers. So, this is the first in a set of questions.

I’ll start with a question I asked someone last night. A question I don’t expect an answer too.

I’m a guy. A white guy. And an older one at that. By the definition of everything I see lately on Twitter, and Facebook, I am the problem. OK. I can accept that. I, being a 59 year old white guy, can make women feel uncomfortable, unsafe, worried about the actions I am capable of taking.

I’m a documented autistic. By definition, I don’t pick up on unspoken signals. I don’t observe and respond appropriately to body language. I don’t react appropriately to facial expressions, and spoken comments and remarks. Because, I’m socially deaf. It’s like I speak sign language in a room full of people who have never seen sign language. That’s how autism works.

I’m human. By definition, I’m imperfect. I make mistakes. I sometimes make embarrassingly huge mistakes. Like running my car into the back of the car in front of me. Of driving over a curb in a parking lot. How do you hit a stationary object you’re trying not to hit? Welcome to humanity. Welcome to mistakes. They happen.

Given these three items, I now ask my question.

How do I never make mistakes in the presence of women? How do I not scare them at times? How do I not do things that make them ponder their safety in my presence? How do I not say things that make them wonder if they should be in the same building I’m in?

The answer, of course, is I can’t. I will make mistakes. There is no way around that. No way to avoid that. No way to prevent that.

Guys know this. All of us know this. We scare each other all the time. Because. Mistakes. We say things we shouldn’t have said. We break pencils. We take walks. We make up song lyrics. We drink soda, or beer, or whiskey. We go to gun ranges and shoot hundreds of holes in sheets of paper that are a hundred feet away. We put our right foot down while driving.

In short. We express our emotions. It’s not toxic masculinity. It’s frustration. It’s anger. It’s disappointment. It’s grief. It’s anxiety. It’s terror. It’s emotions. And the very best of us still make the mistake of expressing them.

We sometimes scare each other. That’s right, women. Guys scare guys. We know how you feel. “Is that big idiot going to start throwing things?” We scare each other. “As long as all he hits is the wall, I’m good.” We scare each other. “Get out of his way, he’s driving like an idiot right now.”

We scare each other. We don’t just scare women.

A man with a kitchen machete, cutting up an onion. Especially if he’s talking about a bad day at work. A man with a beer, working on a car motor on a Saturday. One stuck bolt or nut, and bloody knuckles. And I wouldn’t want to be near him either.

But, that’s my question, isn’t it.

How do we, as men, as human beings, not be human, and not make mistakes. Because it’s those mistakes that scare you, isn’t it. How do I, as an old white guy, not say something, not do something, not feel something, not write something, not drive, not wash dishes, not mow the lawn, not run the vacuum cleaner on the carpet, not gather up laundry and sort it, and wash it in the washing machine and dryer, without sometimes scaring another human being, especially a woman?

There’s only one way, and everyone knows that.

By not existing.

Wednesday, 06 December 2017

How do I change? How do I move me forward? In any direction? Can I do something, for once, that is not destructive? That’s what it comes down to, isn’t it? Me. Figuring out who I am, and who I want to be.

I do NOT want to be a typical success. Success as defined by the social system I’m stuck living within is soul destroying. So, I don’t want that.

I want to write, but I don’t want to write. I want writing to be something I choose to do. Not a job. Because. When something becomes a job it becomes corrupt with money, and society, and expectations. I don’t want any of that to happen to my writing. There’s a very fine line here. Very fine.

“You never finish anything!” I need to kill that voice. Those words. I finish lots of things. Because I learn what I set out to learn. I don’t have to publish a story to finish it. That’s the words of this world. That’s not the truth.

See. I know this truth about life, and what our society has done to life, and how it has warped the truth. How it has tied success to money. To material possessions.

I write to find me. I write to gain understanding of me and how I see the world. I write to learn what I feel, what I think, what I believe. What I am.

I don’t write to sell a story, or a book. I don’t write to have others read. I don’t write to “be a writer”. I don’t write to make a product that I get paid for, and that makes other people money.

I write to answer the simple, obvious questions. Who am I? What do I believe? What do I feel? How do I learn, and grow, and make me better than I am?

I have much to think on. And much to learn.

On Thursday, 20 July 2017

On Thursday, 20 July 2017, Chester Bennington, lead singer for Linkin Park, hanged himself. And once again, I’ve witnessed, in all forms of life, people speak of how sad it is, and how selfish his actions were, and how people should just get the help they need.

And once again, I’ve watched tears fall from the eyes of my soul. For I know things I wish I did not know. I feel things I wish I did not feel. I see things I wish I did not see.

I have tried, many times, to explain to others, those around me, friends, people who read what I write, family, doctors. I’ve tried to explain to them what is wrong. Why people do this. Why people become enclosed in such darkness, such misery, they have to end their presence in this world.

Sometimes, I wonder if anyone has understood.

I have spoken of boxes, and how people live in them, and can’t see beyond the edges, the walls of the boxes. I’ve written of domes, within domes, inside still more domes. I’ve told stories of perspectives, where I’ve wished I could get others to look at the world they live in differently. Where I’ve tried, and likely been unable, to share what I see when I look at the same world. This world. This place in which we all live.

I’ve spoken of tribes. Of how mankind is tribal, and each of us is expected to belong to a specific tribe. Politics? You must be Republican or Democrat in the US, as nothing else is significant. You must be conservative or liberal, Christian or evil, pro-defense or weak, the list goes on and on.

I’ve tried to say, you’re either in tribes, or you’re the victim of tribes. You either belong to a church, and behave as appropriate for that church body, or you are a victim of that church body. You belong to a political party, and you vote along party lines, or you are a victim of that party.

I’ve also stated those inside a given box, inside a given dome, within a given tribe, are unable to conceive of any concept that does not agree with the rules of that box, dome, or tribe.

In my life, I have been told countless times, “You can’t be that way.”

It’s a lie. You can be that way. You are that way.

I do not belong to a church. Any church. I don’t attend any church. I tried. More than once. It was not that I failed, or that the churches failed. It was because I refused to fit into the box, dome, tribe of a church body, so I left. It was because I refused to conform, and become identical to all the other people there, so I left.

I’ve tried to explain social behavior to others. It’s not that I’ve failed. I’ve found all the words needed to explain social behavior. It’s the boxes, domes, tribes, that get in the way, and limit or prevent such understanding.

Is it socially acceptable for your neighbor to stand in his backyard each night the moon is full and howl? Is it socially acceptable for the 53 year old white guy who lives down the street to have shoulder length hair, and not shave?

Don’t answer yes or no. Don’t answer black and white. Don’t answer a programmed answer. Programmed answers are part of the boxes, domes, and tribes.

When you go to purchase a car from a car dealer, the person you’re buying it from has to be clean cut, coat and tie, nice shoes, shaved. They must look professional, after all, who wants to buy a new car from a dealership where everyone looks like they don’t care about anything.

When you go to Walmart, to purchase a movie to watch on your home entertainment system, you expect to be able to find what you want, in a relatively neat display, arranged alphabetically, and categorically. With the new releases in one place, so they are easy to find.

When you go to a restaurant to eat, you expect the service person to be dressed neatly, or in agreement with the theme of the restaurant. You would not expect the service person to need to comb their hair, or wash it. Nor would you expect them to have holes in the knees of their pants.

By god, we have standards, people!

By god, we must be professional, people!

On Thursday, 20 July 2017, Chester Bennington, lead singer for Linkin Park, hanged himself. And once again, I’ve witnessed, in all forms of life, people speak of how sad it is, and how selfish his actions were, and how people should just get the help they need.

And I wonder, as I do each time such news makes headlines, will anyone in any of the boxes, domes, or tribes, ever figure out what really happened, and how much they contributed to the choice a living, breathing, feeling, emotional soul made to abandon a world which would not let them, and others like them, live in peace. A world where they faced the daily choice of having to conform to the rules of a box, dome, tribe, and become a member of a group, and be like everyone else, or live with the words, “You can’t be that way!” spoken, and unspoken, by everyone around them, echoing in their minds endlessly. A world of black and white, right and wrong, good and evil, just and unjust, in which every color, and every shade, and every blend, has been erased, and does not belong.

A world in which only the boxes, domes, and tribes are left.

On Thursday, 20 July 2017, Chester Bennington, lead singer for Linkin Park, hanged himself.

And my soul shed tears once more.

This world needs too many like him. Even if no one living in its tribes, domes, and boxes, will never admit it.

So I write these words, and I wonder. Which box, which dome, which tribe am I in? How do I escape its confines, and become more human?

And I ask, which tribe, dome, or box are you in, and do you even know that’s where you are?

Rest in the peace you so much deserve, Chester Bennington. May your heart and soul finally find your place in a world that does not punish you for being as you were made. May Robin Williams, and too many others to name, share many stories with you beyond the veil of this deliberately limited life.


“Write What Scares You, Part 2”

I recentely shared these words with a friend. Because. I knew my friend was especially disturbed by the events of the last few days, in particular the psychological assault on journalist Kurt Eichenwald (read about it here– unless, of course, your one of the millions who sees the link is to Newsweek, and believes everything Newsweek publishes is a flat out lie).

Humans. *head desk*

Just me. Checking on you once more.

Twitter. Ah. Twitter. The land of “I can scream louder, longer than you.” In many ways, all twitter is is a 140 character limited version of the early BBS and Chat Room systems. And those were cutthroat. There were reasons people had anonymous names. Not just to attack others with, but to survive the attacks of others.

Sometimes, people tell me the ‘net is a bad thing. That it drew out the worst in people. But, see? They’ve got that backwards. They get lots backwards. Think about it. What the ‘net does, what Twitter, and other sites do, is allow the darkness that lives inside a hell of a lot of people to have a voice. That’s not a bad thing, so much as a true and honest thing. On the ‘net, we see people as they really are. Not as they appear at work, or in person.

At work, you have people like those I used to work with. “You’ll never see me angry. I don’t get angry at work.” Ah, really? “This is not a place where you care about others. Keep you nose clean, and do your job.” Ah, really? “You can’t afford to care too much.” All things that have been said to me by people I’ve worked with. I could list thousands more.

So, yes. A Newsweek journalist got attacked on Twitter. And has received a zillion death threats. And, while I agree that’s not a good thing, I also declare it shows the truth of the country we live in. Right there. In black and white. For everyone to see.

The US is home to some of the most hate-filled, violent, petty, heartless, backwards people on the planet.

I am, as you may know by now, a baptized Southern Baptist. My father was a Southern Baptist pastor. My brother is an ordained Southern Baptist minister.

I walked away from a church in 2011. A church filled with normal people. Who all believed, to a person, the universe was only 6000 years old. Who all believed homosexuals were agents of Satan, to the point they agreed with the pastor when he declared he saw a man in a skirt, and wanted to throw up. Who all agreed there was not really anything like depression, and all you had to do was get right with God, and he’d fix your messed up thinking.

I kid you not, my friend. These people are real. And they are everywhere. I first became aware of their presence in 1975, when a fellow student in high school biology class made certain I knew he understood he had to memorize that biology crap, to get a passing grade, even though he knew from the Bible that none of it was true.

It is this kind of person, this “I know the truth, and am willing to fight for what I believe” kind of person that is revealed on the ‘Net. On Twitter.

You’ll notice I killed off my Twitter account months ago. I did that for a lot of reasons. We’re talking about some of them in this note.

Do you have any idea how many devoted Christians actually believe Islam is the religion of Satan? I could ramble on that for days. I’ll stick to one detail. The spreading of religion. See. The Christians hold nothing back when it comes to being Evangelical. “It’s in the Bible! Preach the word of God! The story of Jesus! Save the world!”

The humor? Same damn thing’s in the Islamic faith. Exact same thing. Same “spread our religion, spread our faith” directives.

And when it’s Christians doing the spreading, it’s the work of God. And when it’s Muslims doing the spreading, it’s Muslims trying to take over the world, and erase their religion, and their freedom to believe as they want.

*head desk*

And they can’t even begin to wrap their head around that reality. Trying to explain that to them is like trying to explain quantum mechanics to a concrete slab. Can’t be done. In some ways it’s worse. ‘Cause they’ll chastise you, and tell you how they’ll pray for you, and chase you from their presence, ’cause you’re testing their faith. The list goes on and on.

It’s awful that we have victims, like you shared yesterday. But. I’d rather have the victims, so we can all see the truth of the world we live in, than be blind to the truth, and wonder what the heck happened when everything comes apart.


*Head Desk*

“Write What Scares You”

Rachel in the OC always pushes the thought, “Write what scares you.” So, here’s where I write part of what scares me. Something I’ve never said publicly before. See. There are people who really piss me off. That comes from me being able to change perspectives like most people change shoes. And changing perspectives, I have learned, is something most people couldn’t do if their lives depended on it. I don’t know why that’s the case, but it is the case, no matter what perspective an individual seems to have.

Since November 8th, I’ve been called a fucking liberal. You know. One of those weak people who believes everybody deserves the right to food, and a safe place to live, and it doesn’t matter if they can earn a living or not.

Since November 8th, I’ve been told it’s not worth even trying to talk to me, because I will never understand the truth, and will never change. The implication being I should shut up,  and let whoever won the Electoral College and the various congressional elections, do what they were elected to do.

Well. That leaves me fire breathing angry. Because. Unlike the people who blast me with that type of declaration, I can actually understand something other than my own perspectives, and my own beliefs.

Today, I wrote these words, shared with a good friend. I’ve decided to put these words here, on my blog, where anyone can view them, read them, and react to them however they react to them.

Telling me I’m not aware of different perspectives… Jesus. What do you people think I am? Stupid?

Shh. I’m being evil Mark. 🙂 See. I do understand. Better than a heck of a lot of other people realize. And I’ve hammered my brother, and an old friend, on their perspectives, and political/social views.

It’s not hard, really. All you have to do is speak the truth. Which is what I did. And it’s been a week now. And I haven’t heard a peep out of them. Because. They know the truth. Even if they don’t want to admit it.

There are several “bottom line” items for our Conservative friends. These include money, religion, protection of faith and family, and “earning your way” (I say that last one in quotes, ’cause I can’t figure out how to express it any better way).

Money. They can’t live by spending more than they make. Companies can’t spend more than they earn. Churches can’t spend more than they make. A lot of states have “balanced budget amendments” in their constitutions. These people look at the US budget, and go off the deep end. Because. Their government is spending money far faster than it earns it. And that has to change. That has to change, even if it hurts. The debate becomes how to change that. And always, with the Conservatives, national defense is NOT on the table. Period. That leaves Medicaid. Medicare. Unemployment. Roads. Infrastructure programs. Housing. Education. And pretty much, every social program that exists. The math becomes simple. Keep defense. And butcher everything else.

And how do you butcher the rest? How do you cut unemployment spending? How do you cut health care spending? How do you cut education spending, infrastructure spending, any kind of spending?

Take it out of Government hands, and put it in private sector hands. The government stops spending, and the private sector has to take up the slack. That’s the GOP budget in a nutshell. Pray innovation takes hold, and we get oceans of companies doing what SpaceX, Blue Origin, and others are doing. Get the government out of the way, and let private industry respond to the problems of our society.

That’s the plan. In a nutshell. Balance the federal budget. No matter what. And expect the US population to make up the difference.

Religion, the same thing. Let the religions figure out what’s right and wrong. Don’t legislate it. If religion says, “Homosexuality is a sin, and homosexuals are minions of Satan, and should be destroyed,” then so be it. It’s not Government’s roll to tell religion what to believe. That’s the responsibility of the people of that religion, and it’s leadership.

You begin to get the idea now, don’t you?

Education. It’s clearly not free. Look how much the Gov. spends on public education. Since it’s not free, and the public education system is, as we all know, not working, and rife with corruption, and problems, get the Gov. out of the way there. And let the people of the country fix the education problem the same way they’ll fix the religion problem, and the social programs problems.

If your child is disabled, should everyone else carry the financial load of caring for that child?

You get the idea.

I’m certain you get the idea.

This is what the current conflict in this country is all about. And there’s a growing harshness in people that says, “If you are so disabled you can’t earn a living, you deserve to die.” Harsh, but true.

If you look at Exodus in the Bible. There’s passages in Exodus for how the Israelites were to deal with disabled and sick people. Straight out of mother nature. Straight out of animal packs. Put the sick one outside the camp. If that sick one recovers, have the priests examine that sick one, and determine if they can return to the camp. If they don’t recover, they die.

That’s exactly where we’re heading. If you can’t work. If you live in such physical pain that you can’t work. If you are severely autistic, or handicapped, or have any other disability. Tough. That’s life. That’s how the world is. It’s not everyone else’s problem. It’s yours. Deal with it, and don’t expect help. Except maybe from religious organizations, and charities. If they have sufficient funds, and resources.

I could ramble on for days and days about all this. I could. By now, you’ve figured that out.

So, when a conservative tells me I don’t understand, and I’m a lilly livered, liberal. I have to laugh about it. Because. I do understand. Far more than they will ever realize.

There. I’ve written another of the many things I’m terrified of writing. Because. I’m fucking tired of people telling me what they’ve told me throughout my entire life. “You can’t be that way!”

I am that way.

And I can understand far more than most people realize I can.

So, shut the fuck up with calling me a weak, pathetic, blind, liberal, and fucking try to see something beyond the tip of your nose. Expand your fucking limited horizons people!


Fucking  humans!

*Head Desk*

I Never Thought I’d Be Doing This…

Well. I don’t know if this thing works off-line or not. Still haven’t taken the time to verify it does. So, I don’t plan on closing this window until I get home. It’s 2205 hours, on Wednesday, 06 May 2015. I’m sitting at the dining table, or is it better described as the kitchen table, in the Hurricane. I’ve decided that’s what I’m going to call it. The Hurricane. The AC is on (we connected the RV to campground electricity), so we won’t be overheating tonight.

It’s like being in a small house. I mean. If you call a 28 foot long house small. I mean. It’s bigger than a lot of small houses I’ve read about. Pat and I can fit in here quite well. And quite comfortably. There’s lights everywhere. But I don’t have any on in here as I type this. The display on the Chromebook is backlit, so it’s easy to read, and it gives off enough light I can pretty much see the keyboard.

Yeah. I’m a wreck. I’ll sleep. And I’ll probably sleep well. But, I’m a wreck.

We did learn, we need to get a Blu-Ray player to hook up to the entertainment system. That way, we can watch something other than broadcast TV channels on the TV sets. That’s another thing. The TV channels are all digital now. So the picture is either great, or doesn’t show up at all. No more “bad reception” on stations.

She’s in the bed, reading in her Kindle.

I had a rough day. A bad day. But a good day too. I haven’t been sleeping as much, or as soundly, or peacefully the past 2 weeks. As I told my doc, the brain cells are running wide open, trying to process all this new stuff.

What do I mean by new stuff? Well. I can’t really describe it. I don’t know how to describe it. Not yet anyway. But I can give you one example of what’s happening with my perspective on life. Another story Doc and I spoke of today. Washing dishes. See. All my life, I’ve washed dishes, because it’s what you do. The dishes are dirty, collecting in the sink, so you wash them. Black and white. Yes or now. A check box on a checklist called, “how to lead a proper life”. Wash the dishes, check the box.

And back in the days when all I had was my anger, and the energy it provided, this worked well. Because I had to do something with the energy the anger gave me. See. It wasn’t a question of me. How I felt, what I felt, what I wanted or didn’t want, never entered the equation. The dishes were just another part of being a proper person, in a black and white, yes and now, good and evil world.

Well. Now, the anger’s all but gone. I won’t bother you with the details of all the things I’m having to relearn how to do. I’ll just stick with the dishes. And I admit I’m not there yet. It’s a process of discovery for me. Let’s be honest, my autistic nature, with the hypersensitivity of my fingers, means I really don’t like washing the dishes. Getting my hands in that… That… Stuff. Eww. I mean. Just. Eww.

So, I’ve been having a bit of trouble keeping up with the dishes lately, if you call the last 5 months lately, that is. But I digress. I’ve been having problems getting the dishes done, and even getting around to starting them. Because I’ve been learning why. I’ve been learning how I feel about dealing with the dishes.

I told my Doc, and it took me a couple of dozen attempts to get the words I wanted. I told my Doc, I’m learning I don’t do them because it’s the right thing to do. I don’t do them because it’s proper. Or because I’m supposed to. Or because I’m a grown up. I don’t do them for the health benefits of a clean kitchen sink (Do you have any idea how many bacteria are in those suckers? Momma!) I don’t do the dishes for any of those reasons.

I’m learning to clean the dishes because I like having clean dishes, cleaner sinks, and a cleaner and neater kitchen. Right and wrong, good or bad, proper behavior, and all those crappy things we bury ourselves under don’t apply to me doing the dishes. It has nothing to do with any of those reasons. I’m learning about me. About what I feel, and how I feel about the dishes. And as much as I detest dealing with them, I enjoy the feelings I get when I have clean dishes, empty sinks, and a neater kitchen more than I dislike the yuck of having to clean the dishes.

I’m also not a total dingbat on some things. The math is kicking in, and telling me, “If you clean them up regularly, every night, or every morning, guess what? There’s less of them to deal with at any given time! And let’s be honest here. I don’t like putting my hands in a sink full of yucky dishes. I’d much rather put them in a sink that has a few dishes in it, so they’re there less time.

See? That’s something I don’t know how to say yet. I don’t know how to express it in words yet. But that’s what’s happening with me at this time in my life. I’m rewriting all the rules beneath everything I do. And yeah, there will be things I don’t do. They’ll be things I don’t like. Or things I don’t like the benefits of doing. Or some similar reason.

I’ve tried to explain to people around me about right and wrong, good and bad, just and unjust, light and dark, and all those moral, ethical things we hammer into ourselves relentlessly from the time we first start becoming aware of how our society works, and what’s acceptable/expected behavior within that society.

Somehow, it gets turned into right and wrong. Somehow it got corrupted. And somewhere, I lost my way. And forget what I feel. How we feel. And how what I feel ties into what I do. If that makes any sense. And I can’t say if it makes any to anyone other than me, and my Doc.

As with the dishes, so it goes with my walking, my picture-taking, my writing, my exercising, my reading, my watching TV, my listening to music. For every aspect of me, I’m actively questioning why I do the things I do. And I’m learning to do what I like. What I enjoy doing. What I like doing. And even the things I don’t like so much, but do like the benefits of doing them. Like the dishes. And the laundry.

It’s been an interesting five-year journey. It’s been five years since this all started. Since I began to question how things were. Since I first stepped outside the box of predefined, acceptable behavior. Since the days I started to wake up. Five years. And I’m only now getting to this part of my journey.

Well. No one said life would be simple, did they. 🙂

Now, I’m gonna go crash for the night. It’s 2235 hours. She’s already crashed. I’ll try not to disturb her too much as I climb under the covers.

Holy crap. I’m gonna sleep in the Hurricane. Wow. Never, ever imagined this would happen. Have no idea how I feel about it. Other than I feel all kinds of stuff. Yeah. All kinds of stuff. Could take me a while to figure out what that stuff is.


There are those who think I’ve turned my back on the Church, on Christianity, on God, and His son, Jesus. Those who pray I find my way back. I’ve tried many times to reason with them, talk with them, explain what I’ve done to them. I’ve learned, it’s useless. What I’ve done, the decisions I’ve made lie outside their understanding of the world, of life. To them, I’ve embraced the ways of the world, the ways of Satan. And I’m lost.

It’s something I strive to understand about the world around me. How people are the way they are. Why they do what they do. What they believe, and how what they believe drives them.

This week, I’ve had to continue growing my understanding of life, and people. This week, I’ve encountered more of news stories of Michele Bachmann. In the past her words would have outraged me, made me laugh and declare how silly she is. But, that’s simple lack of understanding on my part. Lack of reason. She is, like all of us, human. With her personal beliefs, and she does her best to live according to what she believes.

That’s not a reason to laugh at her. Nor is it a reason to pity, insult, or belittle her. She’s a human being, like you, like me. We are all mortal beings, with our own beliefs, our own ways, our own understanding of the world.

So, I’ve decided to examine what Michele Bachmann has said that made so many news headlines this week. But I’m not going to take a critical look at it, with the intent of discrediting her. No. That’s not what I’m trying to show. That’s not what I believe. That’s not who I am.

I want to see if I can understand what she has said, why she has said it, and what that tells me of what she believes, in the hope I can better understand her. So, let me find something she said. I’ll look here:

“Any nation that accepts God and his principles is blessed, and those who push away are cursed. That’s what we’re seeing happen to the United States. We will suffer the consequences as a result.”

Now, I have no way of knowing if these are her exact words. I know they are the words attributed to her in the news article identified in the link above. As a Christian, having read the Bible completely, the New Testament three times, and the Gospels countless times, as the son of a Southern Baptist Pastor, as a person who grew up in the church, I do understand what the above quote is saying, and I understand where it comes from.

Ms. Bachmann is being honest. She is stating what she believes. Whether she used the quoted words or not doesn’t matter. What matters is the content, the thought, those words represent. For those not familiar with the Christian Bible, it clearly says Jesus will return one day. Some call it the rapture. Some call it the second coming. It doesn’t really matter what it’s called. It’s part of Christianity. Jesus will return, and when he does, he will gather his children and take them to safety. Those left will endure the apocalypse (for lack of a better word), with disease, famine, war and death. To survive, people will follow a strong leader most Christians reference as the antichrist.

To a devoted Christian this is a serious topic. It is a call to arms, to witness to as many as possible, teaching them of the Christian beliefs and ways, in the hopes they will become one of Jesus’s children, so that when Jesus gathers his children, he will also gather them.

As Christians also know, no one knows when the end will come. No one knows when Jesus will return. All we know are the words of prophecy in the books of the Bible, both the Old Testament and New Testament.

And there lies the problem. Dependent on how you interpret those words, the end times are upon us, or the end times will be much worse than the times we live in now. The difficulty is, there’s not a consensus on what the Bible prophecy says. To some people, it describes today, the world now. To others, it describes an apocalypse, such as a meteor strike, or comet strike against the Earth. To others, it describes a protracted fall of civilization into continuous war, blood lust and greed.

Given the broad countless interpretations of the end time prophecies, and the consequences of not being ready for the end times, I find her thoughts and actions agree with her beliefs. Given my personal belief that no one knows when the second coming will happen, I’m not surprised by her words, or her behavior. I would be surprised if she believed as she does, and said nothing.

I welcome her words, and her actions. I don’t agree with her, but that’s OK. We believe differently. That does not give me the right to condemn her, or judge her. Rather, I should understand her, understand what she believes, and thus understand her actions. I may wish for a compromise with her, but I know, based on her beliefs as I understand them, she can’t make such a compromise. She would have to betray God and His son, Jesus, to make such a compromise.

I chose to let her believe as she believes. I do not chose to humor her, or laugh at her, or call her names, or insult her, or her faith. It is not my place to judge another. Instead, I should be honest with her, and others who believe as she believes. I should seek to understand them, and their faith. And to grow that understanding so we may learn to live together without war, or fighting, or violence, while we wait for the second coming.

It’s April 24th, the 20th day of the A to Z Challenge 2015. This is the 20th of 26 pieces I’m writing in April for the challenge. This one’s for the letter U. Tomorrow brings the letter V. I wonder what I’ll write for that.