Holy smoke

May 12, 2006 at 12:52 am (Uncategorized)




Take a stroll around the blog universe and some common themes begin to appear. Much attention is paid to the hot topics of the day. Religion is hotly debated just about everywhere. Aged matters of crime and punishment are discussed ad nauseum. The judicial system is a hot topic of conversation in maybe half the blogs out there, with conservatives mud wrestling with liberals all over the issue. Most of those conservatives are wrinkly and the liberals are pale. Put you clothes back on, fellas.

Here at the Lost Sole, I like to think we're above it all. We chose the far corners of the earth over the equator, figuratively speaking. We eschew the mainstream topics du jour in favor of dog feces, big-talking fugitives and dead things. We are a wise bunch and an expansive one.

Here though, is an opportunity too rich in controversy to pass up. Why, it has religion, the judicial system and ritualistic violence all rolled into one. A tragic case, the murder of Margaret Ann Pahl casts a hard glow on the issue of Catholicism and the secretive nature of the religion; on the court system, which is wildly inconsistent about who it sends to prison and for how long, and on that nasty potential of human nature in general.

Behold the Rev. Gerald Robinson. I suppose one could make the claim that, at least he hasn't been caught groping children. Still, murdering a sister from the church and staging it to blame Satan. How many Hail Mary's do you suppose that kind of thing warrants, anyway?

Many, many crimes — too many to count, really — have been blamed on the devil or those who worship him. Typically though, you'll find that the devil is a mere metaphor for mental illness or just deviant behavior and a whole bucket load of denial and lack of accountability. See also: "The devil made me do it." Who needs an incarnation of evil, when we have such a legion of nasty bastards who are atrocious enough on their own?

Wire reports from Toledo, Ohio: A 68-YEAR-OLD Catholic priest has been found guilty of the murder 26 years ago of a nun in a crime that prosecutors said had Satanic undertones and may have been covered up by church leaders.
Rev-Gerald-Robinson(1)150.jpgThe Rev. Gerald Robinson appeared stony faced as the jury's guilty verdict was read today and he blinked repeatedly and glanced at his lawyers before being led away in handcuffs. He was sentenced to 15 years to life in prison. Robinson, who wore his clerical collar throughout the two-week trial, had been free on bail raised by supporters since his arrest in 2004, and relieved of his priestly duties since that time.

The crime occurred in the sacristy adjoining the hospital chapel in downtown Toledo on the Sunday before Easter in 1980. Investigators said the nun, Margaret Ann Pahl, 71, was strangled and then stabbed, with nine wounds on her chest forming the shape of an inverted cross, a well-recognized Satanic symbol. An altar cloth was draped over her half-naked body, which was posed as if she had been sexually assaulted.

Robinson, prosecutors said, was motivated by anger at Sister Pahl's domineering personality that culminated in her complaints about how he had conducted a Good Friday service the night before the murder.

The case was reopened in 2003 after prosecutors obtained a letter from an unidentified woman charging that Toledo priests including Robinson had molested her and engaged in Satanic rituals. Prosecutors said Robinson's letter opener was the murder weapon, based on blood splatter patterns at the murder scene and a stab wound in her jawbone.

"It was about how he could humiliate her the most," prosecutor Dean Mandros said in closing arguments. "He left a message for everyone to see … maybe to God himself."

The investigation in 1980 initially centred on Robinson, the hospital's chaplain and a priest of the Toledo Catholic Diocese, who repeatedly lied to investigators, prosecutors said.



  1. Linda said,

    Good grief — that first photo gave me a fright!

    A suspect lied to investigators? Repeatedly?? No wonder they didn’t solve it in 1980.

  2. LaFlamme said,

    Yeah. A church coverup? Police ineptitude? Divine lack of intervention? Nasty business, man.

  3. Linda said,

    My first response is usually skepticism when I hear that a crime has Satanic overtones. A lot of people do a lot of rotten things, but not that often as Satan worship. This guy was a loser to think he’d get away with it — but then, he practically did, right?

    You are right, Mark, this one has it all. Where can you possibly go from here?

  4. Mark Laflamme said,

    Yeah, the statistics on Satanism are kind of surprising. I’ll see if I can dig one out. Everyone has a story about devil worshippers doing this or devil worshippers doing that. As it turns out, there is very little genuine Satanism going on in the world.
    And on that front, did you ever hear the rumor that the Eagles classic Hotel California was a veiled reference to Antoine Levay, founder of the Satanic church?

  5. Linda said,

    I WOULD like to see those statistics. Seems like my hunch was right! You’d be a living example of our fascination with things supernatural … it’s no wonder we give Satan worship more credence than it’s earned.

  6. Martha said,

    Unfortunately, most of us are far too willing to give satan the credit (or blame, as the case may be) for our own lack of self-control, or just plain immoral bahaviour. Even more unfortunate when a person who claims to represent a holy God would do so.

  7. LaFlamme said,

    I believe the FBI stats this site refers to is the 1992 study conducted by Kenneth Lanning of the behavioral science unit.

    During the eighties, when extreme evangelical Christian sects were at their peak, numerous books appeared describing horrific acts of child abuse, murder, and mayhem carried out by covens of Satanists. “Survivors” discovered deeply hidden memories with the aid of a new brand of psychologist, and numerous sweeps of daycare centers sent dozens of so-called abusers to prison. Eventually, however, cooler heads prevailed. >>. Court cases were reviewed and overturned, the claims of books were probed and found wanting, and research discounted the notion of “recovered” memories. While an occasional “Satanic” crime may be attributed to a dabbler or mentally ill perpetrator, there is no conspiracy of believers. In fact, the majority of religiously motivated crimes committed in the US are committed by Christian believers.

  8. Linda said,

    Well something like that happened in New Zealand around 1990 or so — a young man who taught at a day care center was accused and convicted of sex abuse of the little children, with this entire construct of Satanic activity. It was all “discovered” by child psychologists with some kind of guided memory technique. There was a groupthink about it, you’d look around at a group and say, how can you actually believe this? and they’d look at you with eyes like the Children of the damned.

    In that case, cooler heads didn’t prevail and I assume he’s still in prison, if he’s still alive

  9. Martha said,

    Mark, they may use the title christian, however, I contend they do not fit the biblical description of the term.

  10. jarheaddoc said,

    Religion is a very weird beast, if you ask me. A great many wars have been fought over religion. Hell, even the Nazis claimed God was on their side for World War Two.

    Religion is also an evolutionary thing. This country was founded on people who wanted freedom of religion, then came over here and became as oppressive as the people they were trying to escape. The hard liners want you to believe that God will indeed strike you dead for any violation of what they perceive as religion, while the moderates will tell you that God is tolerant and loves all of you. George Carlin will tell you that an invisible man wants your money.

    I personally feel that religion is very much a control issue. People used to turn to the church for counseling when they had problems, now they go see a psychologist or a social worker. And no one ever said anything bad about the person who represented God ie, a Catholic priest. The scandal of Catholic priests who are child molestors has been going on probably since the day the Catholic church was founded, but the church covered it up for fear of losing its followers. I recall these words and I wish I could remember who said them: Priests do not become child molestors, child molestors become priests.

    I like to recall the images of Oral Roberts looking skyward and telling people to send him money or God was going to call him home. And that whole deal with Jimmy Swaggart and the prostitutes. And let’s not forget Jessie Jackson using church funds to support his illegitmate child!

  11. jarheaddoc said,

    There are three things that you should not talk about in public: guns, religion, and politics. Am I the only one who finds it odd that all three are tied together quite strongly and all three cause some rather heated discussions?

  12. Gil said,

    When 9/10 of your religion is made up, how do you expect them to be truthful about anything? Nowhere in the Bible does it mention a Papacy, or absolution. Nowhere is there a mention of meatless Friday, or mindless, thoughtless obedience to Rome. The Catholic church has been interested in only one thing since it’s inception, and that is power. The fact that their congregations have actually followed them for centuries is testament ony to the fact that humans are desperate to believe in something, anything, to help explain their existence.
    They have given us the Inquisition, the Crusades, the murder of about 10,000 Huguenots, the “troubles” in Northern Ireland, and, probably worst of all, the Kennedy Clan. They have destroyed the lives of thousands of the most innocent amongst us, children, through their cover-ups and lies. Of all the true evil that exist on Earth, I feel there is probably none worse than that perpetrated under the guise of religion. Whether Papal decrees that end in the slaughter of millions or Islamic Fatwah that produces the same. They all rely on blind obedience and the fact that someone is actually willing to drink the kool-aid scares the bejeezus out of me.
    Of course, that’s just my opinion, I could be riding the express service elevator to hell. Management does not condone, nor approve of this statement, and as we speak they are edging slowly away from me to avoid lightning strikes.

  13. Bobbie said,

    In the local paper here, you always see an ad where they have a verse or a saying printed. The reason behind that is that you repeat the verse/saying so many times, have it printed in the paper as a sign of your faith and then your desires will come true. I have a feeling the paper’s making some money off those people.

  14. K2 said,

    I don’t buy religion, spirituality, ghosts or any of that stuff at all, but I honestly respect the Satan angle more than the non-Satan angle. If Satan is an agent of evil working against God, than that somewhat ‘explains’ why bad things happen. Without Satan, why would a loving God cause all the pain and suffering and destruction? Of course, since God is supposed to be omnipotent, he could still squash Satan like a bug, so really, there’s no explaining evil, other than humans can be a dastardly species, very much like an angry chimpanzee, who shares 99% of our DNA. Coincidence, I think not.

    Actually, I think Christians owe Satan a big thank you, because without him convincing Eve to eat the apple — which represents ‘knowledge’ — there was no reason in the Garden, only faith, before the Original Sin. So, the fact that Christians can have a reasonable (reason is the application of knowledge) discussion at all is a direct result of Beelzebub’s action in the Garden. If you believe in Genesis, that is. Personally, once Peter Gabriel left, I thought they sucked.

  15. Martha said,

    Gil, I don’t think you are in imminent danger.. ultimate, I can’t say, but right this second I suspect you are safe. I think it has been a while since God meeted out punishment immediately.
    With regard to your exposition on the Catholic church… I think it is understandable that a man who claims to be God should act as the pope has. He is just a man, but expects to be worshipped as God.. In my book, that makes him an evil man. I would say the same for any man who attempted to usurp the position and authority of God.

  16. Martha said,

    OOOppppsss… that should have been meted ,,,not meeted

  17. jarheaddoc said,

    Gil, what do you think about this revisionist history that Judas wasn’t a traitor but a coconspirator in the process of making Jesus a martyr? History has always been written by the winner of any conflict, and historians are trying very hard to find more proof of what the bible talks about, and the religious establishment is sticking to its story that one just has to have faith and beleive. What the hell is the name of that movie where Al Pacino plays the devil and Keanu Reeves plays the lawyer? One of the lines that Pacino has states something to the effect that God has been an absentee landlord. OOH, strike me dead in my tracks words, for sure, but it kinda makes you wonder….

  18. Mainetarr said,

    Sonofabitch, I am still banned! Those bastards at WordPress better get their fingers out of their ass pretty soon or I am going to get really pissed.

  19. K2 said,

    Gil, while the Catholic church has definitely done some very, very bad things in Christ’s name, don’t leave out the other sects, who are culpable too. At least the Vatican acknowledges evolution. Hey, it’s a start. As Mark Twain wrote:

    “. . . if man continues in the direction of enlightenment, his religious practice may, in the end, attain some semblance of decency.”

    By the way, how can you support Bush if you feel so strongly against religion? (Probably for the tax cuts, I presume.)

  20. jarheaddoc said,

    Uh, oh, we’re tying religion and poltics together, guys! And since George W. has the guns, I can see where this is going….

  21. Martha said,

    Acknowledging evolution… if that is true., gives them more credibility? First they try to take the place of God, now they call Him a liar.. Not a position I’d want to be in… tyvm.

  22. K2 said,

    Soo, Martha, you take Genesis at its word? Straight creationsim?

    A mind is a terrible thing.

  23. Martha said,

    Absolutely… If you want to claim monkeys as your ancestors, go right ahead.. have at it.. it would explain a lotn.

  24. K2 said,

    jarhead, Jesus was going around telling everyone who would listen that He was the Way. Like the Romans wouldn’t have gotten to Him one way or another anyway? I think that argument makes Judas’ current ‘situation’ irrelevant.

  25. jarheaddoc said,

    I would recommend that you all read ‘Towing Jehovah’ by James Morrow. God dies and his body falls to Earth and the Catholic church goes to great lengths to hide the body so that the world will still think of God as a living creature. The Catholic church wants the body towed to the Arctic and blown up to hide the evidence. It’s quite a commentary on human nature as the crew falls apart and their baser instincts come out.

  26. Gil said,

    K2, I back GWB for political reasons only. I also give his administration hell for political reasons only. I don’t have anything against people having faith, or using their beliefs to try and live a good life. The problem I have is when they use religion, any religion, to justify evil. The Catholic chuurch gets the brunt of my anger today because they are the ones behind the blog topic of today. I don’t believe there is any religion that has not at one time or another caused some type of hate and discontent because of their beliefs. Islam is full of murderous thugs throughout their history, as well as Christianity.

  27. jarheaddoc said,

    K2, I agree with the thought that the Romans were going to eliminate the opposition any way they could, but it’s also revisionist history, and there’s a lot of stuff that still hasn’t been discovered as far as historical documentation goes.

  28. jarheaddoc said,

    K2, who translated the bible, at least the accepted version? King James, if I recall what’s written on the front of my bible. And the word ‘version’ is there on the front, too. “Version’ and ‘interpretation’ are synonymous. As I said, history is written by the winners, and the Christians won the Crusades, so they got to write their version of things.

  29. Gil said,

    jd, I believe that the Bible was written as a guide to live one’s life by, not a text that should be taken literally. Read as a book, it’s actually very interesting. Lots of intrigue and political thriller stuff. Not to mention the sex, including incest, rape, and polygamy. Read Song of Solomon sometime and really pay attention to what it says. The book is also full of atrocities committed in the name of God. Judas has his role in the book, but only as a supporting actor. the new revisionistic view could be true. With all of the plotting that takes place in the Bible, he very well could have been in collusion with JC to bring about the fruition of the prophecy. As to creationism vs evolutionism, I tend to fall more on the scientific side. What are the odds that an intelligent being would know the exact amounts of glucose levels needed to keep a human alive, let alone the thousands of things going on at a molecular level in your body that keep your heart beating, your lungs constantly expanding and contracting, and synapses firing (or in the case of Al Gore, misfiring) that produce thoughts and actions?

  30. jarheaddoc said,

    Gil, that’s exactly the argument that science and religion are having these days. religion wants you to have blind faith and science wants to know why, to have things explained. And you’re right in stating that the bible is filled with all the examples of man’s darker nature. What I find interesting is that Christianity, Judaism, and Islam all use the Old Testament in their religion, but disagree on the rest.
    As far as the Bible as a way to live your life, look at the Ten commandments. Aren’t they really just a good way to lead your life? Don’t steal, don’t hump your neighbor’s wife, don’t be jealous of what others have if you’re not willing to work for it yourself, respect your elders, and so on?

    And as far as the atrocities that have been committed in the name of religion, I will say this: people need to be willing to stand up for their convictions, but not use some thinly veiled disguise to do it.

  31. Gil said,

    Holy crap (no pun intended) jd, we actually kind of agree on something!

  32. K2 said,

    jarhead, the bible is an edited text anyway. Any history of the bible shows that its contents have changed consderably over the millenia. One example of many: the Apocrypha used to be dedicated part of the bible until 1640, but from then on it’s been viewed as merely an appendix.

    And Martha, how do bacteria and viruses change all the time if evolution is bunk? Bacterial resistance to antibiotics is a direct result of evolution, as is the potentiality for bird flu — a viral species mutating and jumping ship from species to species. (See the Spanish Flu of 1918.)

    Just wonderin’.

  33. K2 said,

    Gil, you seem to disproportionately dislike Catholicism. Bush is a messianic Evangelical president who called Iraq, Iran and N. Korea the ‘axis of evil,’ which is unequivicolly a biblical interpretation — and an utterly stupid foreign policy move.

    While Catholicism was the pretty ruthless in the past, no sect of Christianity currently scares me more than Evangelism — a no-holds-barred literal interpreation of the bible. Oof.

  34. K2 said,

    One more: jarhead, the Crusades happened almost a thousand years after the bible was initially written — by men.

    Anyone ever read the book ‘Ishmael’? A fruity piece of fiction with some excellent biblical insight.

  35. jarheaddoc said,

    You’re getting to another part of the subject when you say who wrote the Bible, K2: men. Did you ever play that game where the teacher said one thing and everyone passed it along and saw how much the original saying and the final result differed? It’s like trying to understand the assembly directions for something you buy over seas: the Korean was translated to Japanese to Russian to French to German to English and the pictures makes even less sense than the words do. And the time frame of the Crusades doesn’t matter, K2: it was done in the name of one religion vs. another.

    Look at the history of cults and how they use religion. Those leaders have learned to pray upon the insecurities of people and use them to manipulate people. We have the fancy term ‘psychology’ for it today, but human nature isn’t much different today than it was back in biblical times: people have no power unless they have a following, and those with the biggest following are going to go to great lengths to get rid of the opposition. whether it’s by nailing the messenger to a cross or overloading the populace with “evidence” to debunk a theory. With that said, doesn’t that make Jesus the greatest and most enduring cult leader of all time?

  36. Gil said,

    K2, I don’t necessarily have it out for the Catholics more than any other religion, I just believe that in terms of making life miserable they have to be the all time champs, having been at it for centuries. Everyone accuses the Islamists of perverting a religion to justify their terroristic tactics, and yet the papacy has done that since their inception. All the trappings and hocus pocus were added after the fact and resemble the Christianity taught in the Bible as much as Ted Kennedy resembles anything moral and trustworthy.
    The blog topic of the day was regarding the Catholic church and one of it’s minions, so that’s what I responded to. We just as easily could have spoken in depth on the Mormon polygamist cult leader who has been elevated to the top ten list by the FBI. Read the history of the Mormon movement, plenty of nastiness there also. And again, a shdoowy leader who got people to believe that he was handed down the word of God from two angels that no one else saw. “What’s that, where are the golden tablets that they gave me? I must have lost them.” Riiiiight, that’s a guy I would follow.

  37. Linda said,

    Towing Jehovah — cited a few days ago on cannibalism, now on religion. Are there any guns in it?

    Guess I’ll have to read that book!

    Each person has his or her own concept of spirituality. You might believe we’re just another organism with nothing special going on, created randomly. Or that a supreme being specifically made us just the way we are and is aware of our most hidden thoughts and desires. (that would be the one the nuns gave me; afraid of the dark, much??)

    But all that’s pretty distinct from religion, isn’t that what you are saying, Gil? Religion’s like any other social construct — partly a gun to your head, partly the promise of a chicken in every pot. Not to be confused with our personal spirituality.

  38. K2 said,

    jd, my Crusades timeframe comment wasn’t a free pass, just an historical fact, that’s all.

    Gil, you hate Catholics! Admit it!!!

    No, just kidding. You really hate the Jews.

    Kidding again.

    As for the priest, he’s a pyscho like any other pyscho. Hang ‘im high.

  39. Gil said,

    Right you are K2, take him out back and give him 2 in the hat.
    I give people credit for their faith, no matter what it is, as long as it helps them live their life in a decent manner. If it helps get you through hard spots and celebrate the good times, then more power to you. It’s those who would use religion as a weapon that I vehemently despise.
    K2 (and anyone else) here’s a sight you should visit for a quick lesson on what a religion should be
    When is the last time you heard of Buddhist monks torturing peole on the rack or finding nasty ways to disembowel them for their beliefs?

  40. K2 said,

    My aunt and uncle are quasi-Buddhists. Visiting them is always insightful.

    Buddhism is my least disliked religion. But still, Nirvana? Losing one’s identity, the self? No thanks.

    Still, gotta love Buddha’s belly.

  41. Mainetarr said,

    quasi-Buddhists, you say? This, coming from Quasi-mullet K2.

  42. LaFlamme said,

    Does anyone follow the back and forth between the scientific community and the pious one? They go back and forth more than Alice and Ralph. Right now, there is one sect of the physics world that allows that the understanding of the universe as we know it right now might allow for the notion of intelligent design. The religious community usually overreacts to those statements and utters something like: “Aha! We TOLD you so! Repent, assholes!”

  43. LaFlamme said,

    God, as portrayed on the family guy, when Peter was admiring a sunset or something and reflecting on God’s work: “It’s a friggin sunset! Do you know how intricate your circulatory system is?!”

  44. Mainetarr said,

    Wow, such a deep subject for such a dreary day. Anyone wanna play cards and get hammered? What about you, pinky flipping Allens drinker? Or what about the Goat Loving AO? Captain Ann? J.Daniel Treehugger? Anyone???? Milk and Cookies Chunder???

  45. Linda said,

    I’m in, Mainetarr. I missed the limo ride. Jameson’s for me if it’s in stock.

  46. jarheaddoc said,

    K2, anything you write here when you press enter is a free pass and subject to debate. My point still stands: the crusades had a religious basis. regardless of how long after the publication of the bible that the events took place.

  47. jarheaddoc said,

    Linda, regarding your qeustion in #37: there are guns in the story.

  48. LaFlamme said,

    The Copernican way of thinking suggests that there’s nothing special about us at all. Nothing unique about our species, or our existance in this particular time or place. Dust in the wind, and all that.

  49. Linda said,

    Thanks, Jarhead, about the book. I was sort of kidding but actually I’m getting pretty interested in reading that book. Not because of the guns … it’s starting to seem like required reading for hanging out in this blog.

    Ditto The Family Guy. Some people have a Seinfeld offering for every occasion, but here it seems to be TFG. A distillation of our cultural milieu.

  50. jarheaddoc said,

    I guess it doesn’t take a lot of convincing that there’s a higher power when you’re life sucks. All religion shares the common theme of an afterlife and that a mortal soul continues on in the presence of supreme being. Human psychology doesn’t like to think that this is all there is, that the worms get us when we’re done. One of the laws of physics is that matter and energy are neither created nor destroyed, just the form changes. The human body is stored energy, so what happens to something as theoretical as an immortal soul?

    What if there is a God, and he is indeed an absentee landlord, so to speak? What if he created all there is for life, then moved on, and evolution took place?

    A person I had contact with made a very convincing argument with this statement: if my thoughts are nothing more than chemical reactions that occur for a fleeting second and then my body turns them to waste and I just pee them out, what does this existence really mean? I just passed him off as fucking nuts, but was he really crazy, as I can recall that conversation quite a few years down the road.

  51. LaFlamme said,

    Uhhh. I have a book for you if questions about the human soul prey upon your thoughts.

  52. jarheaddoc said,

    I’m almost afraid to ask, but what is it, Mark? Oh Gid, is it that thing you wrote that I have yet to read?

  53. LaFlamme said,

    Well, it IS largely an examination of what happens to the human soul. And dog killing. That’s about it.

  54. K2 said,

    jarhead, I understand the blog premise here, man. Your “. . . and the Christians won the Crusades, so they got to write their version of things” is factually obtuse. Basically, I think you’re entirely misinterpreting my criticism –which was a minor one at that.

    MT — Drink! Again!

  55. AO said,

    Water and Wine Education

    It has been scientifically proven that if we drink 1 litre of water each
    day, at the end of the year we would have absorbed more than 1 kilo of
    Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacteria found in feces. In other words, we are
    consuming 1 kilo of oop. However, we do not run that risk when drinking
    wine (or rum, whiskey, beer or other liquors) because alcohol has to go
    through a distillation process of boiling, filtering and fermenting.

    WATER = Poop

    Free yourself of Poop, drink WINE!!! It is better to drink wine and talk
    shit than to drink water and be full of shit. There is no need to thank me
    for this valuable information, I am doing it as a public service. Have a
    nice day…

  56. K2 said,

    AO, drink!

  57. AO said,

    I am!!

  58. Linda said,

    Is it worth trying to make a link between these two strands? Let’s see — it’s a rainy Friday, life MIGHT possibly be depressing. (A) doesn’t matter, we’ll be happy in heaven; (B) oh well, let’s get drunk; (C) both.

    Works for me

  59. LaFlamme said,

    A drunkard shall not enter the kingdom of heaven!

  60. AO said,

    Linda, I like the way you think!

    Mark, Who told you that? The corner preacher?

  61. AO said,

    I’m telling you, that picture is freaking me out! Can’t you do something with it? Put a mask over the eyes? Ha. Linda Blair never looked lovelier.

  62. LaFlamme said,

    Same person that told me God shall not suffer a witch to live.
    You know, AO? That picture disturbs me, too. Anything Exorcist is friggin’ creepy.

  63. Linda said,

    AO, I told him that right after he posted it. Pretty sick-making

  64. AO said,

    It has to be the creepiest picture you’ve ever posted. It’s the ….. eyes.

    I gotta get ready to go out. Got to celebrate my husbands birthday…again. Anybody want to come with us? You’re buying!

  65. AO said,

    Do you know that, I’ve never seen The Exorcist? Can you believe that? I can hardly believe it myself. Think it has something to do with vomit and, spinning heads.

  66. LaFlamme said,

    Ahh, crap. I have to go to the CMCC graduation. Tell Roch I said rock on!

  67. Linda said,

    Can’t do it AO, I have to go to work in a few minutes. Have fun — the more celebration the better.

  68. K2 said,

    AO, “The power of Christ compels you!” — to watch the Exorcist. You won’t sleep for a week.

    Happy b-day to your man, Rocco Roch.

  69. AO said,

    Thanks, I’ll pass along all the good wishes.

    K2, Sorry, not even “The power of Christ” could get me to watch that movie. But, maybe a good bottle of chard could. Ha. Kidding, just doesn’t intrest me. I do want to go see the new movie “American Haunting”. It opened today. I’ve read so-so reviews but, I’ll decide for myself. I mean, it can’t be as bad as, “The Hills Have Eyes”, can it?

  70. LaFlamme said,

    American Haunting will be more cerebrally spooky, the way it oughta be. But you’ve GOT to experience the Exorcist if you haven’t. GOT to. It’s the only flick that will leave me awake in the wee, wee hours. I keep thinking: what if my bed hops off the floor, even just once? Surely, I wouldn’t stop running until I were somewhere near the equator. And then I’d have a glass of orange juice and run some more.

  71. Mainetarr said,

    Nothing could possibly suck as much as the hills have eyes. That movie was terrible.
    Tell hubby happy b-day for me.

  72. Gil said,

    You’re missing the point of Buddhism K2. The whole idea is to live a good life and to concentrate on knowledge. if you want to take it further you can. if you don’t, that’s fine too. The basic principles are the same as most religions, don’t cheat, don’t kill, help others, etc. As far as the meditation aspect goes, even God said in the bible ( Psalm 46 for you purists) “Be still, be still, and know that I am God.”
    And jd, K2 is right, and wrong. The Bible has had a few revisions, but still remains pretty much as it was first written. The Crusades had nothing to do with any revisionism of the King James Version.
    Ok that’s enough deep thought for today. Time for poker. And time for one haiku, mixing Buddhism and Catholicism:

    Catechism says
    masturbation is a sin
    Confession again

  73. K2 said,

    Gil, I’m not missing anything on Buddhism. (When I have a tense golf shot, I always say ‘Buddha’ to myself before I swing, to calm myself.) I just don’t need to subscribe to it to benefit from some of its wonderful principles.

    And if you think the bible is essentially ‘as is’ for 2000 years, well, I wholeheartedly disagree, based on my study of the text over the years. Disect ‘Job’: it was written in three distinct installments; the latter two parts were addendums to try to ultimately rationalize God’s inexplicable — and ruthlessly harsh — punishment of Job, and his unsuspecting, innoncent family (not to mention his livestock), in the first part.

    But since we have been at this all day, I agree, it’s time to move on to more purposeful endeavors, such as drinking, gambling and wild sex. Well, for us married types, two out of three ain’t bad.

  74. Linda said,

    At least we get to pick which two.

    One more thing on subject X — you know the end already —

    “Religion is the sign of the oppressed creature, the feelings of a heartless world and the spirit of conditions which are unspiritual. It is the opium of the people.” Karl Marx

  75. LaFlamme said,

    Let’s not forget that even those engaged in the abovementioned wild sex will occasionally cry out to the almighty, in the form of “Oh, God! Oh, God! Oh, God!”

  76. Gil said,

    Here’s what happens when government tries to be the moral authority. Sadly, the funds come the taxpayers, not the legislators who started the whole mess

  77. Linda said,

    But Mark, what I meant was that I don’t gamble.

  78. LaFlamme said,


  79. Tony Soprano said,

    Religion is the opiate of the masses – Karl Marx

  80. Gil said,

    Wow Tony, that’s deep. To bad you’re about 6 posts and 1 hr and 34 min too late. And the quote is “…opiium of the people.” From “Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right”

  81. Linda said,

    Gil, nice to know that my posts arent TOTALLY invisible to everyone.

  82. Gil said,

    Who said that?

  83. LaFlamme said,

    Hey, where’s Linda tonight? Haven’t heard from her in hours.

  84. Tony Soprano said,

    Wow, Gil, glad you are right on it. Wow! What would we do without your vigilance

  85. Linda said,

    Hi guys, I am at work.

  86. LaFlamme said,

    Nope. No sign of her anywhere.

  87. Linda said,

    Mark, didn’t you have a graduation to go to? all over?

  88. LaFlamme said,

    Oh, yeah. I was in and out of there in a half hour or so.
    Dammit! You made me talk.

  89. Linda said,

    Ha! gotcha

  90. Gil said,

    This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.
    -Dalai Lama

    Science meets religion
    To know that what is impenetrable to us really exists, manifesting itself as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty, which our dull faculties can comprehend only in their most primitive forms this knowledge, this feeling, is at the center of true religiousness. In this sense, and in this sense only, I belong to the rank of devoutly religious men.
    -Albert Einstein

    Who says I am not under the special protection of God?
    -Adolf Hitler

    Gods too decompose. God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him.
    – Friedrich Nietzsche

    Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.

  91. LaFlamme said,

    Einstein said some brilliant things about religion. I should have thought of that much earlier in the day. I have a whole list of his wisdom on a poster. Yes, I’m that much a physics geeks.

  92. Linda said,

    He said some brilliant things about a lot of things. That’s a fine poster to have on your wall.

  93. LaFlamme said,

    Thanks. It’s brand new. He ousted De Niro, Cape Fear, from the prime spot on my wall.

  94. Linda said,

    He said some interesting stuff about peace, didn’t he?

  95. LaFlamme said,

    Oh, yes. He was a very peaceful man. Which, of course, is ironic.

  96. LaFlamme said,

    “Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.” — Einstein

  97. LaFlamme said,

    “All religions, arts and sciences are branches of the same tree. All these aspirations are directed toward ennobling man’s life, lifting it from the sphere of mere physical existence and leading the individual towards freedom.” — Einstein

  98. LaFlamme said,

    “A man’s ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeeded be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death.” — Einstein

  99. LaFlamme said,

    “Gravitation is not responsible for people falling in love.” — Einstein

  100. LaFlamme said,

    “Strange is our situation here on Earth. Each of us comes for a short visit, not knowing why, yet sometimes seeming to divine a purpose. From the standpoint of daily life, however, there is one thing we do know: that man is here for the sake of other men — above all for those upon whose smiles and well-being our own happiness depends.” — Einstein

  101. LaFlamme said,

    “It was the experience of mystery — even if mixed with fear — that engendered religion.” — Einstein

  102. LaFlamme said,

    “God does not play at dice with the Universe.”

  103. LaFlamme said,

    “If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it.” — Einstein

  104. Linda said,

    #103 — very moving.

  105. LaFlamme said,

    Yeah, man. *sniff*

  106. Linda said,

    Don’t make me cry, I’m really busy here. I’m at work, remember?

  107. LaFlamme said,

    Ohhhh, yeah. Almost time for a blog update. We’ve worn the religion topic thin.

  108. Linda said,

    Yay! I love it when I don’t have to wait till morning to see the new topic. Not that it’s an issue today since I’m working until 7 a.m. You’ll post before then right? ūüôā

  109. LaFlamme said,

    I’ll post right now, if you’d like. A ghastly new disease I wish to warn the bloggers about.

  110. Gil said,

    Ok, here is the real answer. I was trying to keep it to myself, but that wouldn’t be right

  111. Gil said,

    Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity;
    and I’m not sure about the universe.
    -Albert Einstein,

  112. Gil said,

    A little philosophy inclineth man’s mind to atheism, but depth in philosophy bringeth men’s minds about to religion.
    -Francis Bacon

    Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.
    -Seneca the Younger, 5 BC – 65 AD

    Not to do any evil, to cultivate the good, to purify one’s mind, this is the Teaching of the Buddhas

    -My favorite Einstein quote:
    Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.

  113. Linda said,

    Hi Gil, I like the quotes.

    No way I’m clicking on a link at work — no matter how philosophical your mood seems to be tonight. ūüôā

  114. Gil said,

    It’s safe Linda, if not it’ll be marked NSFW

  115. K2 said,

    In closing, I gave up all my imaginary friends a long time ago.

  116. daveman said,

    all of your comments seem to focus on the negativity of religion. and I agree it has its issues. But these are mankinds faults and short comings. Christianity in its purist form gives us all something to work for. a higher moral structure. Now Look at the political scape without religion. I give you 2 examples Facism and Comunism. Stalin, Lenin, Hitler, Mao…….. do I need say more…..

  117. K2 said,

    Religion’s been hijacked by fundamentalists all over the globe. If people would stop pushing it on me and others, I’d lay off the topic altogether.

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