Scraping The Bottom Of The Barrel

Man oh fucking man where do I even begin to describe what has been happening? There has been a major influx of ranting and raving about something I made up supposedly but never actually made up except to have some fun. I won’t self gratify in front of others by posting links to past posts which are referenced to quite a bit in these messages from people with allot of butthurt recently. It would seem that many who read the posts here on this blog have got the wrong impression. I have written my fair share posts about religion here on this blog, that’s a true statement, and the reader is always left to assume what my true motive of doing so really is, also a true statement. But, make one single fucking reference to the Church of Scorpion, and it was a single one time small reference, along with joining The Scorpion Army (fan club), and all of a sudden I am the leader of a non-existent cult religion that needs to be overthrown by all the government recognized religions. When did this fucking happen. Yes, I made a sign on the computer at a sign generator web site in the likeness of a very recognizable kind of sign, a sign not too different from the marquee signs seen out in front of many churches which are filled with upcoming events and even quoted scripture. But never, not even once have I said I started a religion or this is the actual marquee for the building we would worship in.

But, like always, lets take it to the next level, lets take it to the extreme, lets make things into something they are not to fit your pathetic needs. Is the fact that I discuss religion in the light that I do a threat to who you believe in or how you choose to believe? The answer you seek is no, don’t be such a butthurt dumb fuck. As you will read, and fans of this blog will need to brace yourselves, because you are being attacked and called names as well. True readers of this blog know I post about many topics, from A to Z, but seriously, how can someone ever gather I have started my very own religion. I post the picture again for the purpose of reminding you what was posted originally. I assure y’all it was done in sarcastic humor, there isn’t a secret underground church somewhere in my backyard or even in my dark, twisted imagination. Below you will see/read a few of the emails I received lately, they remain untitled and anonymous for a reason. They are unedited and unfiltered, so make sure you are wearing your rose colored glasses. If you make it to the end of this post you will be able to read some follow up which might just help you make sense of it all, or not, your choice.

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You are the most sick, fucked up, twisted, inbreed, stupid son of a fucking whore bitch I have ever seen in my entire life. You need to seek mental help. I think you have smoked to much crack and done to much acid. Although you do have a right to start a new religion, BUT, your religion is not recognized by the government simply because it is purely fucking stupid. You will burn in fucking hell the rest of your god damn life you piece of shit fucking inbreed fuck!

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I’m ont going to go all ape shit on you because I’m a firm beliver of people chosing their own religions or lack of one. HOWEVER I do find if ofencive when you make a mockery of other religions, be it christianity, buddhism, judaism, etc. so I think it fair that you respect other people’s belifes and not posting material that INTENTIONALY offends other people,

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What exactly do you think you are going to prove? it’s just disrespectful to other human being’s faiths and beliefs, and I’m sure all people should know u can’t put any sense into say a devout christian. Honestly, what your doing is the equivalant of making a rude, sarcastic joke to a child that doesn’t understand humor. u cant tell a christian thats been raised from birth to believe that there’s a magic man in the clouds that he’s wrong. you’ll just get what uve been getting, hate mail, and death threats. God is the equivalant of santa exept the child is never told he isn’t real until it’s to late. and u think your doing a good thing by making up this church of scorpion crap to prove how absurd the idea of god is. what i don’t think u understand is that u cant argue with idiots about this stuff as most christians are dont know a thing about science. (I apoligize to all respectable christian scientists). As an athiest, im disgusted what youre doing. (yes ive read your blog). Really, did it ever, or does it ever occur to you that these people are actually human being’s with family’s and feeling’s, and just because they think the world was created  differantly than you, you have to mock them,  that’s kind of a dick move you asshole. Your being no better than they are (religious people) by making fun of and disrespecting other people just ’cause they think differantly than you. What do you worship, satan himself? Which means I have the right to ridicule you on how stupid your dumb-fucking religion is and don’t deny that you worship the all mighty satan king, because your the leader of the church of scorpion. With the true words of your religion written cryptically throughout your blog. It’s ironic that you, by trying to prove how bad religion is, go about it by you yourself inbodying everything that is wrong with human beliefs. You are everything that is wrong with religion. You go around acting all superior and pompus, like you know better than everyone else and tell them why there wrong mockingly. The world would be a better place if you took all your “followers” (scorpion minions) got on a pirate ship and ate scorpion shit until you all died of overeating. Have you ever heard the term live and let live? I love it how  you post all the hate mail you get on your page to be ridiculed by your cronies ( who by the way need to get off the internet and do something productive). Yes we the the bible huggars are gonna say dumb stuff because they’re uneducated. But that doesn’t mean you have to be immature and make fun of their faults so just lay the fuck off. Even though this message sounds hostile just know I agree with what your’e trying to do (i think) educating people, I just wholly disagree with how you are going about it.

My personal response was as follows: It’s not my intention to mock or offend anyone. But I realize people sometimes feel mocked or offended and I’m okay with that fully. It might be fair to say that I am disrespectful.  I would agree that I don’t respect the notion that religion should sit on a pedestal.  I don’t think that because an action is explained in the context of religion it is exempt from the scrutiny it otherwise would have been subjected to.  Religion is not a free pass for crazy fucking fairy tale ideas and crazy actions. I would agree that it’s not my place to pass judgment on those who see the world through a lens of religion.  But neither is it my place to ignore when personal belief becomes public action.  I can accept that some choose to teach their kids the earth is only 6000 years old and that dinosaurs are a myth.  But if they push for those ideas to be taught in our schools, it’s no longer a question of respecting personal belief. The idea that rational minded people must be anti-religion is a wrong one, I think. If we must draw a line to divide ourselves, I’d prefer the line be positioned between reasonable and unreasonable people, rather than religious and non-religious people. It’s one thing to see the world through a lens, and another thing to act as if it’s the only lens that can exist.

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I spent a while thinking of a good reply, in general in concern of your blog, without sounding like some sort of inbred hick or perhaps maybe to get your attention. However, I realize that there pretty much is no way for that to happen, if you put this in your hate-mail section, I’ll probably be mocked just as much as the next guy who chooses to criticize your new religion. I’m OK with that, I just wish people will actually think about what I have to say rather then ignorantly mocking what I believe personally. Whatever may happen, I don’t really mind, except that I cannot bring myself to be silent on this issue.

I am a Christian, whatever you may think about me, or absurd assumptions you may have about what I look like, think like, or speak like, realize this, I think all beliefs should be treated with equality. Atheism, Hindu, Buddhist, Christian, Muslim, Agonist, Voodoo, The Church of Scorpion, whatever, I don’t care, if you believe that you are correct, then you have every right in the world to believe that with all your heart, and nobody should force you to believe what they believe. Now I also believe in open criticism of any of these religions, meaning your Church of Scorpion view that openly mocks religion. However, it is also my right to criticize the criticism, meaning though while I believe it is your right to mock, harass, and generally make religious persons miserable, I don’t believe it is morally right.

Atheism is a belief just as much as Christianity. Say whatever you want about facts and how religion is stupid and all those who practice it are all idiots, but it still comes down to the fundamental truth that you must believe this to be more true over the other option. I am again, completely fine with that, and that is why I love America so much, because we CAN believe differently then one another, and still live peacefully (to a degree) together. However, mocking is not the right way to go about arguing your belief.

    By the way, here is the definition of mocking:

1. Tease or laugh at in a scornful or contemptuous manner.

2. Make (something) seem laughably unreal or impossible.

To laugh at someone else’s belief that they dedicate their lives to is not funny or humorous, but I believe is rather childish and immature. This is the main reason why I would much rather sit down calmly with someone and have a rational discussion about each other’s beliefs, instead of smacking them in the face with a bible, and shouting how they are going to hell for not believing the undeniable truth that is the bible, or worse, calling their belief idiotic and getting my group of friends together and laughing and pointing in his face.

Of course there are people that do this, hence, you, and there will always be people like you. My job is try to convince you to be rational and discuss each others view points. I could never put myself in your mindset and read this the same way through your eyes. To you, I just look like another idiot who took this too seriously and decided to write a concerned letter and waste his time trying to teach you to be respectful, but the truth is, writing this helps me put my thoughts in order anyways. If you do have one ounce of thought for my beliefs, at least view this email with respect, and try to think about what I am thinking.

What I am thinking is that the joke has gone too far. Of course this email asks for intelligent discussion, and that seems to have never existed on your blog, so before I go, let my put it into a language you might understand.

Fuck you, and lay off religion asshole.

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You are a sick twisted motherfucker and you are an absolute fraud to the highest degree. It’s obvious to me that you don’t give a shit about you’re so-called religion. I am not even that christian but this blog makes me sick. You have no right to start a religion or should I say cult.  People need to think for themselves they don’t need to listen to your bullshit nonsense. I am not even that christian but at least they are trying to help people. What are you trying to do, make money and fill your church with alcohol and with full nude strippers? Do you charge a cover to get it? What is the price, what remains of their souls? That is the most stupid thing I ever heard. I hope the government shuts you down and takes you’re money. Suck it jackass motherfucker cult bitch.

My response was simple. I stated I have started nothing and never claimed to start anything. Nothing has made the grand total of zero dollars because nothing exists because it was a fucking figure of speech giving an example.

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You sicken me with the fact that you now have my best friend believing in your stupid, sick, blasphemous crap you call a religion! I can tell you what it really is, BLASPHEMOUS, MADE DURING A DRUG BINGE, IDOLATRY THAT WILL HAVE YOU BURNING IN HELL OR ON THE TABLE AFTER THE LAST WAR!!!! I am furious about the fact that there is a religion DEVOTED to SIN OF ALL THINGS! If you don’t change you and all your followers will be in a special place in hell just for IDOL WORSHIPPING, SIN LOVERS LIKE YOURSELF!!! You disgust me and I hope you see the truth before it’s too late.

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While I am not of your “religion”. I will not trash your blog like the majority of the blundering baboons around here, instead I am here to support not your religion, but your attempt to keep religion honest. The constitution gives the people not only of freedom of religion but freedom from it.

I am a Hindu and have an open mind to virtually all religions. I know that this religion is not a real religion; but an attempt to show the errors and flaws of most organized religion and those who support it’s full integration into state affairs. I support your attempt to show how religion has become very commercial and corrupt in its mere existence. The majority of people ranting on your blog are not venting against the concept of religion, but against your satire and blatant disrespect of their religion.

Yet, I must warn you not to take this to far. It might push some maniac over the edge and cause them to grab a gun and go after you. This has happened in the past throughout history. Thus, I propose that you put somewhere on your front page of the blog that this is not an actual religion but an attempt to keep religion honest from corruption. That is all, thank you.

My response: I take issue with the idea of so calledreal religion, as if such a thing can be defined and agreed upon.  I’ve said it in the past and I still believe strongly that there is no classification of religion without agenda.  I don’t expect mainstream religion (or a government influenced by mainstream religion) to see my words to be anything more than a joke, a way to get them to look at the reality behind their beliefs. As always, my blog will be seen in terms that serve their purpose and not my own. I comment the way I do because I am rational and reasonable and I’m not driven by any particular dogmatic thinking.  I’m an individual who rejects the concept of faith-over-reason, or indoctrination. Why does humor invalidate your beliefs?  I see this argument all the time and don’t understand it. Not everyone gets it, but again, that is the point. I tend to reject the lowest common denominators about organized and commercial religions in favor of common sense thinking. Is it just that mainstream religion is so utterly humorless?  Most religious people I know have a great sense of humor but I think they would agree that the institution of religion is rigid and stifling.  There are obvious areas where it’s not ok to make a joke.  One of the creepiest things I find about religion is that feeling that everyone is trying to act very serious. While I understand that not everyone will get what I’m doing here and why I do it, it’s not my intention to offend, but everyone takes offense so easily, it’s you’re and their choice.

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I saw your blog and it just amazes me how delusional you are, you are trying to create a delusion around the world. A sick joke gone wrong really, its really sad that you are so completely obsessed with brainwashing. This whole religion is of hate and defies all logic, rational thought, and it shatters common sense completely. You’re lousy evidence doesn’t cut it either. Its not even slightly sane that you write what you write. I bet if a Scientologist and a mutated Christian extremist had sex, the offspring would be a YOU.

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I can appreciate a good joke as much as any other guy.  But there’s a difference between making a joke and insulting other people.  When you begin to bring in specific religious practice or condemnations for not doing as the religion “requires,” that becomes an insult.  Think of it this way: your blog is actually great, but what’s the point of bashing on religions?  It directly says to others that if you don’t believe what I tell you, you’re wrong. Yes, I’m a Christian, no I don’t believe most of the things in the church’s past were okay.  I simply choose to believe that there is a God, and if anybody has any questions about my faith, I’ll be happy to answer and guide them if that’s what they want.  If they believe otherwise, I’ll allow them to stay that way, because there’s nothing I can do to force their belief.  All I’m really saying is, think about what purpose each thing you say serves, and whether it’s taking it a step too far, which I think you have personally.

So, I replied with saying the point of this blog is not to offend, but understand it is bound to happen.  I’m really not anti-religion and many readers here are active members in mainstream religions. Part of what I do here is question ideas considered rude to question. I think it’s a dangerous situation for institutions and ideas to be above scrutiny.  Christians often threaten nonbelievers with THEIR hell-place for various sins or sinful lifestyles – either explicitly, or indirectly, or in a judging veiled-friendliness sort of way.  But nonbelievers DON’T BELIEVE IN YOUR HELL.  Aside from the fact that I find it offensive the idea that I need a rulebook to define my morality, it is a strange proposition to be invited to believe in scripture in order to be saved from a consequence of it.  So, understand that around here there is an effort not to offend people, but at the same take a hard look at the strange business of religion.

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I saw your retarded fuck of a bastard blog and asked myself “why?” but then, there are a lot of crackheads in the world, and you seem to be one of the more insane ones. This is a joke blog, right? Can you honestly tell yourself that you truly believe in this load of shit you spew regularly? For your own health, I ask you to stop whatever the fuck you’re smoking.

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Wow, what a scam you have used to set yourself up with money and Im guessing fame and all the stupid bimbos and other trappings it all brings. Just remember, since there is no god or religion there is nothing wrong with killing some low life, “educated” or not (or any other act). As an exemplar of life without a God, there is nothing keeping people from acting out against others in any capacity other than the relatively obscure chance of being caught. I personally believe in God. I like to think that I am held responsible at a higher level than what man does. I do like to think there’s more. I hope you pay for your actions sooner or later in life. I’m sure you will at some point.

So, I replied….    The majority of Christians who email understand general purpose here and the purpose is not to mock them as individuals. Most Christians who I’ve talked to see problems with organized religion and the abuses and fraud that get tied up with faith and power. For the most part I think I do a good job of turning down the volume of what I really think, and I think that’s a healthy thing. Just as Christians have a few members who will be riled enough to write nasty emails to me, there will times I get riled enough to respond in kind. But the majority of the time I’m pretty reasonable and rational.

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This is the most fucking pathetic excuse for a blog I think I’ve ever encountered. Why do you have to make fun of my religion, and others? Seriously, stop making fun of other religions. Okay, you are the most twisted, racist fucking bastard on the planet. Why, do you have to make fun of other religions? Probably because you want to just kick back and laugh at other people, and bash them. That’s why. Your version of heaven sucks huge fucking dicks. I don’t want strippers in heaven because they are all nasty as fuck. You aren’t even trying, and your version of Hell is the most retarded thing I’ve ever heard of. When you’re already DEAD it doesn’t FUCKING MATTER. Fuck you sir, don’t be suprised when you die if you burn in Hell, because I am a solid Christian and I am praying for you, and I really hate that you have to MOCK other religions. You are very sick, and I hope that you burn in Hell. Don’t be suprised if you get sued for being such a TWISTED FUCKING DOUCHEBAG!

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It is disheartening at least and sickening at worst that you sought to make a blog solely to promote your foolish beliefs, serious or not. Let’s see your lack of deity save your soul and work miracles. I am sincerely concerned for your sanity, but I don’t give a damn if God strikes you dead. How dare you mock the Father in such a manner? To be atheistic is expected, as humans have little faith for what cannot be seen. But to mock the religions of others? That is to stoop lower, into the depths of Hell itself. You are hardly worthy of being Satan’s pet pig. Swine. Nothing more than something to be sneered at for smelliness. You and your so-called followers sicken me.

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After reading some of the posts on your blog, I have come to the conclusion that you aren’t so concerned with the question of why you are here but rather in proving that your existence is without meaning and therefore does not qualify itself to be questioned. Congratulations! You are meaningless. So what do we do now that we’ve settled that little philosophical debate? Are you up for a drinks and strippers or should we just stand still still until the next random event pushes us in some direction?

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You poke fun at God and are a disgrace to him and religion. You need to repent and ask for his forgiveness. You should be ashamed of the trash you write and your completely unfunny sarcasm. God has reserved a special place for people like you and it is in a very warm climate, and you will be on vacation for eternity. You will have allot of company with you and that is your so called fans. May God have mercy on all of your souls !

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And here is where I make the choice to end it all, well not all, but this small sampling is the fun shit that has been emailed or sent as comments to different posts I have presented over the last few weeks. There are 196 more that generally all say the same thing, these just stood out in their originality so I decided to share. Such a small percentage of posts here are religion related but those are the ones that people get butthurt about. As far as my so called religion or my so called church, I don’t get how idiots can get that idea in the first place. My writing is, at most, pretty fucking sarcastic, I just write about my opinions, and bullshit like this makes me question my own motives as well as the motives of the people who read this blog. Perhaps we should try reading the non religious themed posts to get a better idea of what I really think. This blog is an illusional mirror of life, not just mine, but yours too. All I’m saying is we all make choices, some people come here with the intent to complain and others come here to see what they know I offer, which isn’t much, but at times can be very revealing, no pun intended. So, my message to the haters is to lighten up or piss up a rope in a south wind.

And for the final time, I have formed NO religion, NO cult, and NO church. You have misinformed your self looking through life with that single lens. I don’t hate your religion, I just want to be a part of your religion and I want it to be outside of my life in general. But, by all means, twist that around as well, because that is what I’ve come to expect. If you made it to this part of the post, thanks for hanging in there, I hope you didn’t choke on anything on your way down to the bottom here. Until next time, be safe and be kind. Or, just do whatever it is you fucking do.

Why I Stepped Foot In Church

Normally I would not attempt the madness called church on my own, but this last time I went to church not to be preached at, but to enjoy the music of the church symphony orchestra which has a member who is like one of my own children. We go to all of her events, in school or in church. I enjoy the way she can make the cello talk to you, she’s finishing out her freshman year of high school, but listening to her play that cello one would never guess her young age. It may just be my opinion, but she is great. So, that’s what led me to church, I enjoy the way she plays, it makes everything in life, the problems and troubles, just fade into the background where they belong. But, that’s not why we are here today, today I’m going to discuss how my attire was not proper enough to be in a church. Clearly there is confusion, unless you are looking to be offended that I’m not in slacks, a nice shirt, a tie, a jacket, and shiny shoes with a belt to match, oh wait, you are. All I can ask is why? Especially since this wasn’t a “service”, it was a performance.

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I wore what I would wear pretty much anywhere, black Wrangler jeans (no holes, clean), black leather belt, 3 button shirt (black in color, no logo, clean), black gator skin cowboy boots (polished, clean), and a black Stetson with a simple silver band (Stetson is a name/brand/style of a cowboy hat). So, it wasn’t as if I showed up wearing surf shorts, tank top, flip flops, and a ball cap. This is my basic “dress up” clothes, also good for funerals, weddings, and graduations. In fact, after walking in, finding our seat in the main hall (we picked 5 out of the nearly 1300 chairs, its a big Baptist church), I removed my hat, placing it in the seat next to me on my right with my wife on the left. Clearly I’m not a member of this church, I’m here as a guest with invitation in hand, given to me by my other “daughter”. After the 2 hour performance which resulted in a standing ovation and constant applause for the 62 members of the symphony orchestra, it was time to stand in the walkways to hug, shake hands, and chat, all of which I did while standing there wearing my hat. Some would say I stand out above the crowd being I’m 6’8″ to begin with. But people focused on more, people focused on the fact that I was wearing jeans and I had a hat on in church.

The message I received loud and clear from mr. preacher man was that my attire was not proper and will not be welcome in the future, this was said in a snotty rude way, very derogatory and unappreciated by me. I was left with but one option, in my opinion, which was to lean in to him, getting my lips very close to his ear as I pulled him close by the shoulder to say “go fuck yourself”, then I kissed him on the cheek, shook his now trembling hand, and walked out. I never looked back, no need to look back. Shortly after I see my wife and kids following up in my footsteps, we get in the truck, and we left. My wife did not become aware that anything was even said until a few days later, when she spoke with the preachers wife, who she knows outside the church professionally. Of course she asked if it was true, of course I told her it was, and no more was said about it. That whole night does nothing but reinforce my dislike for organized religion, I did nothing wrong and his actions/words cannot be justified in my opinion. Since when do I need to be dressed a certain way to be inside a church, no matter what is going on? So, I got to thinking that I had some thoughts to discuss, and in a long drawn out way that is why everyone was invited here today. So lets begin.

The so-called worship wars of recent years may have produced a winner. Many congregations/denominations remain divided between traditional and contemporary styles of “church”, but in most places the contemporary appears to have gained the upper hand. Your worship services have become increasingly relaxed and informal affairs. You can see it in what people are wearing. Church for today’s worshipers is not a dress-up event. Whatever is clean and comfortable seems sufficient. When it comes to church, attire doesn’t much matter. Most people I have spoke with over the years understand there is nothing particularly spiritual about a dress or a coat and tie. I was even told by a Sunday school teacher of my son’s that God is scarcely impressed by such things as clothes. She quoted something to me that day, “People look at the outward appearance,” we are reminded, “but the Lord looks at the heart”.

I do not intend to wade into the broader debate over worship styles; that’s a different discussion. But I do wish to raise a question about this fucking outdated way of thinking that when it comes to public worship since my clothing matters so much. This common assumption, it seems to me, deserves more scrutiny than it typically receives. Over the last several generations, American attire in general has lurched dramatically toward the informal. A feature that quickly dates an old photograph, just look at a picture of your grandparents. The changes are part of a broad shift toward the convenient, comfortable, and individuality. It’s a shift we see on display everywhere we go each day. Ever been to Walmart?  It’s easy to imagine how one might look over-dressed there, but less easy, short of immodesty, to imagine being under-dressed. Jeans or shorts, tee shirts or tank tops, flip-flops or sandals: these draw scarcely any attention, while full dresses or a suit and tie appear strangely out of place. Relaxed, even rumpled informality is in; suiting up in your “Sunday best” is out.

Many seem convinced it’s a good thing, because, again, it’s the heart that counts. Yet precisely for this reason, because it’s the heart that counts, I want to suggest that what we wear in our public worship may matter more than we think. To grasp this connection, let us extract some helpful insights from daily communication we all see. Verbal behavior refers to all those ways we use language to communicate: speaking, writing, sign language, etc. Nonverbal behavior focuses on all those ways we communicate without words: facial expression, gesture, posture, eye behavior, vocal inflection, our use of space, or touch behavior. In our everyday relationships only a small percentage of what we communicate is conveyed via verbal channels. The rest is conveyed nonverbally.

The avenue of nonverbal communication I will call one’s physical appearance and dress shows more about a person than words, or does it?. Here are a handful of observations based on our human interactions.

The wearing of clothing is exclusively a human characteristic. We share many attributes with other creatures, but the inclination to clothe ourselves is not one of them. Where, if any, is there a moral or even a spiritual dimension to human clothing? Why is so much emphasis put on clothing? Our clothes serve a variety of practical, social, and cultural functions. Protection and modesty spring first to mind, but our clothes do far more. We sometimes dress to conceal or deceive. More often our clothes serve to reveal. We use clothing for decoration, for sexual attraction, for self-expression and self-assertion. By our attire we display our gender, our religion, our occupation, our social position, or causes with which we identify. Many dress to impress, while others choose the reverse: they express their rejection by intentionally flouting accepted clothing norms.

Our clothing is one of our most elemental forms of communication. Long before our voice is heard, our clothes are transmitting multiple messages. From our attire, others immediately read not only such things as our sex, age, national identity, socio-economic status, and social position, but also our mood, our attitudes, our personality, our interests, and our values. We constantly make judgments about one another on the basis of clothing. Common wisdom has it that you can’t judge a book by its cover. But this is only partly true; we regularly read one another’s covering. What’s more, we’re better at it than we think.  We spend our lives making judgments based on appearance and then testing those judgments in our subsequent relationships. In this way, we become rather adept at the process. Judgments based on appearance are rarely fucking accurate, of course, and we are wise to hold them tentatively. But it’s almost impossible to avoid making them in the first place.

Because our clothing is one of the fundamental ways we communicate with others, what we wear is never a purely personal matter. Our attire exerts a social influence on those around us. What we wear can shape patterns of communication around us, depending on what messages people are picking up. Consider, for example, the varied cues we send by the way we dress: “I want people to notice me.” “I’m very confident.” “I want to hide.” “I care only about comfort.” “I want to look seductive.” “I repudiate you and your expectations.”

How we dress not only affects us individually; it also affects those around us. How we feel and who we are influences the clothes we put on or leave off, and the clothes we put on in turn shape how we feel. Changes of clothes can generate a change of mood. As an example, I felt different in my Air Force uniform than I did in street clothes. In some settings our choice of clothing can make or break us. If we like the way we look for a job interview, for instance, it will tend to strengthen our confidence. We feel better about our chances, as reflected in improved posture, more fluent speech, more dynamic gestures. On the other hand, inappropriate dress can suck the fucking life out of our confidence. We have all experienced the uncomfortable effects of feeling under-dressed or over-dressed in a particular social setting.

Much of the social meaning of our clothing is contextual. The appropriateness of our clothing is often dictated by the situation. Dress that would send a given message in one setting might send a very different message in another. Times change, values change, situations change; what was proper ten years ago may not be proper today, or vice versa. All of the above is why we should not conclude too quickly that because God looks on the heart, what we wear to church doesn’t matter. Our internal and external states cannot be so easily disentangled. The fact is, when it comes to how we clothe ourselves, our external appearance is often an expression of our internal state.

What is worship, after all? It’s the act of acknowledging and praising God as God. Is that not a personal choice? According to my wife, “when worshipping, we come before God with awe and reverence, focusing on him in loving contemplation, celebrating him for who he is and what he has done. We willingly bow before him in surrender, delighting in the privilege of extolling his worthiness. In worship we join our small voices with the celestial choirs in a grand chorus magnifying the Creator and declaring his excellences, his purity, his power, his beauty, his grace, his mercy, and his love.” No, I do not agree, but we smile and agree that will do not agree. In reference to what she said, I ask, can’t that be done naked or in a suit of medieval armor? I think the term “stink-eye” covers the expression on her face the best, she was giving it to me.

According to the bible (yes, I’ve read the bible a time or three in my life), God called his people to public worship. It’s everywhere in the Bible. Your corporate worship of organized religion is supposed to please God? Everyone who has ever built a fire knows how quickly lone embers cool and die. But gather those embers and they create a furnace effect that burns hot. Corporate worship of organized religion is no different, its designed to generate that furnace effect in people. Where there is collective thought there is collective action, do as the crowd or the crowd will be undone, the absolute fear of the sheeple culture.

So what sort of clothing might benefit such an exalted occasion? Observers in the gallery of the United States Supreme Court are forbidden to wear hats. Out of respect for the importance of what’s taking place there, the Court’s firm rule for visitors is, “Inappropriate clothing may not be worn.” If this is so for a merely human institution, what might be suitable attire for God-honoring worship? Must there be a rule, must we give a shit, must it cause such an uprising within the walls of the churches of organized religion? Readers will be relieved that I have no dress code to be here at The Sting Of The Scorpion Blog. Read at will, however you are dressed, you will not be judged here in the House of Scorpion. But why don’t I care how you are dressed? Why do I not feel the need to judge how you dress when you are doing what you are doing? I reserve the right to judge you only at Walmart and Starbucks, y’all know who you are and why.

That which is special, that which is our best, that which is sacrificial: We may be tempted to think such standards made sense in the context of Israel’s ancient worship but have little to do with us in the modern world. After all, none of us shows up at church on Sunday morning bearing sacrifices now do you. Everyone has their own reasons for going to church, some go to worship, some to ask for forgiveness of their sins, and one of us went to hear the incredible musical talents of a young girl whom he adores as his own. If you ask me, which your not going to, so I’ll just say it now, I don’t think any of us belong in a church. Salvation isn’t found in church in words translated 10,000 times over by MEN who aren’t concerned about me and you. Think about it. Want a “relationship” with God? You want something/someone to believe in for the comfort of your soul? How do men give that to you? How do you really know what are looking for in the first place?

The question for all of you is this: When you gather for worship, does this sacred event generate within you any similar sense of “awe and reverence”? A perceptive observer of the contemporary church scene might be forgiven for scratching her head over such a question, wondering whether you have grown oblivious to the significance of your own gathering. How often, she might ask you, do you prepare for Sunday as if it mattered, guarding, for example, Saturday nights so as to be fresh and focused the next morning? How come your pre-service gathering so often sounds more like a bowling alley than a people meeting to offer themselves fresh to their God? How is it you are so susceptible to the lure of personality and entertainment up front, obscuring the God-centered purpose for which you have met? How prevalent is the notion that you can worship just as well at home, or on the golf course, or before a TV screen, or perhaps forfeit worship altogether due to inconvenient weather, the priority of other things, or who may be preaching that week?

Not just anything will do when you come before God. He is still honored by what is holy, what is our best, what is sacrificial. The kingdom to which you have come, says the writer to the Hebrews, requires us to “offer to God acceptable worship with reverence and awe,” because “our ‘God is a consuming fire” (Heb. 12:28–29). The casual attitude toward worship may indicate that you have failed to grasp this important point, a sign of your being more conformed to this world than so transformed in your minds that by testing you are able to discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Don’t you know you are not allowed to make your own decisions? What of your church attire? You deceive yourselves when you breezily claim that God does not care what you wear to church. God cares about your hearts, and what you wear is often an expression of your hearts. So what does your relaxed worship attire say about you? What internal disposition are we revealing when we dress no differently for church than we do for a trip to the mall or hanging out with friends around a barbeque grill? Could it be that our casual dress, chosen merely for our own comfort and convenience is a reflection of an equally casual, can’t-be-bothered attitude toward worship itself? What about those around you? What message is your choice of clothing sending them as you gather for worship?

Can Christians who gather for worship afford to ignore what their church attire may be saying to those around them? Does your choice of clothing communicate to others that this gathering is an important occasion, thereby encouraging them to see it as important as well? Or does it send them in the opposite direction? Why is it that the wrong clothes can distract your fellow worshipers.In this way and others your choice of clothing can be sinful. But this does not render your everyday (“common”), come-as-you-are attire “spiritual” or “honest.” If you care for your fellow worshipers as you ought to, you will take them into consideration as you dress for worship. We will clothe ourselves in ways that edify them and strengthen their own worship. We will attempt to avoid the nonchalant attitude that says this event is entirely routine; that it merits nothing special from me; that my only consideration in what I choose to wear is what is easiest and most convenient. Such a self-centered attitude is corrosive to a true spirit of worship. Instead, the goal in our choice of clothing should be to express to the Lord and those around us that this event matters, that I view it as a holy occasion, one which deserves our highest regard. If the first audience for our nonverbal messages is God himself, and secondarily, our fellow worshipers, dress that best suits these first two audiences may also serve a third: outsiders who join your public worship.

Evangelistic gatherings can in many ways be designed to fit the unbelievers you are trying to reach. But this is harder to do with your corporate worship. The church must first shape its worship to honor God, a goal to which all else must be subordinate. But thankfully, watching believers do what they do can have its own evangelistic effect. Attire that genuinely reflects a God-honoring attitude toward worship may well contribute to a similar result. Can you take a wild guess at what that is? You can guess until you are blue in the gills but you will never truly have your own answer unless it is spoon fed to you, just my personal opinion of course.

None of anything I have said above leaves us with a dress code for being in church, no matter the reason. It certainly does not translate automatically into coats and ties for men and fancy dresses for women. Idealizing bygone eras won’t work here; the meaning of human clothing is too contextual for that. It varies too widely from place to place and time to time, and there are too many other variables to consider. We are left having to judge for ourselves what is appropriate for worship and what is not. Every denomination has their own dress code and rules, whether you want to admit it or not, they do. Want to know my rule? Fuck your dress code!

However, all of the above should at least warn you away from the glib assumption that God actually cares about what we wear to church; or that what I choose to wear in church matters. How I dress is a purely personal affair and that my own convenience and comfort are all that need concern me. The truth is, one of the ways we express ourselves as human beings is by the way we dress. Wittingly or unwittingly, our clothing gives us away. God certainly does not need this expression to know your hearts. But as for the rest of us, we do indeed look on the outward appearance, even when peering into our own mirrors. In this way the clothes we choose for church may have things to tell us about our hearts that God already knows, but that you need to hear from other people because you thrive on judgment of yourself as well as others.

You express this embodiment totality in the corporate worship of organized religion through your shared symbols, rites, and rituals; through your posture and gestures as you bow, kneel, or lift your hands; through your actions when you stand or sit in unison or pour out your hearts musically in congregational song. Just remember, your clothing belongs on this list. By it we express to God and those around us what the occasion of being in church means to you. This is why we are taught, brainwashed, when we come to church, our clothing matters.

Wow, that turned into something sermon like. Wait, all of you reading this will burn in hell unless you……. Unless what? I mentioned before, in the House of Scorpion you are free to do as you see fit how you see fit doing it. I have mentioned once, a long time ago, my own convictions and why I have them, so I will not repeat them now. I also mentioned, some of you may find it very fucking hard to believe tho, that in my youth it was my desire to become a Catholic priest. I wanted to be the one bringing the message to the people, I had many years of education for this purpose, many years I allowed myself to be brainwashed, many years of dismissing my own questions and answers, and ending in disappointment because I started to choke on the bullshit being fed me. Who is at fault for my misguidance? Why, me, of course. Something I corrected and haven’t looked back upon. Or have I? As years have passed, I continue in my reading about the commercialization of corporate organized religion, a term many Christians do not like hearing because they don’t like hearing that they are but a cog in a wheel that is just spinning in circles. But, as are most things written here, they are just my opinions on the world around me. I am not wishing to do battle with the “church” or religion or Christians, but I will not be treated as if my mere appearance is so non conformant that it tarnishes the grace of the church I stand in, to watch a symphony concert no less. Next time, yes there will be a next time, I will go in my slacks (dress pants), but I will be wearing flip-flops bitches!

What have we learned today? Not that I was teaching anything, but I’m curious if you have made the choice to look at what is actually important. What is more important, the message or the dress code? This is on my rather lengthy list of why I don’t attend church services. How can Christianity dismiss everything around us, science, evolution, dreams, and individual thought? I don’t want to be part of the “collective”, I prefer not to be in the herd of sheeple looking for salvation. Salvation from what? Damnation from what? One day we need to discuss corruption, greed, and our sinister needs to be one step ahead of our neighbor. I’m pretty sure we all want the same thing, just to live a happy life, a life we see fit, a life we are comfortable living. Until then, we struggle with our own happiness because that is what we are fucking taught to do after generations of brainwashing we don’t want it any other way. Why do we need to be led? Why do you desire being led? Why? Sorry, I can’t answer why, you must first look into the mirror and decide if you are comfortable in your our skin, then you can start asking fucking questions you might not like the answers to. We must all live with who we are individually to be happy, we can’t do that as sheeple, we can’t do that as a part of the collective thought. Who knew, right?

Until we speak again, I leave y’all with a final thought. I do care about my fellow humans, probably to a degree that few of y’all could ever understand. But, it’s hard to sit by idle and watch us destroy ourselves over stupid shit that doesn’t matter in the first place. Here’s an idea, find the person you cherish and live a happy life. The end my friends, the end. For fun, before y’all leave, get a better understanding of the sheeple by reading The Parable Of The Sheep found in the tabs above as well.

White Weddings Are For Fairytales

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“I don’t know how young girls get it stuck in their heads that the perfect wedding is one of our life’s goals. When I was a little girl I learned that I desired the perfect white wedding to mark the beginning of my life as being married to my prince charming. What I never knew was how it was all going to happen for me. I suppose one could say I grew up in a typical suburban family, the youngest of three girls, all of us achieving the goal of being a high school cheerleaders while remaining as straight A students. We all followed in the footsteps of our mother who we all idolized, we all wanted what she had, we all wanted to be where she was in life. Being the youngest, I was witness to seeing just how easy it is for one’s dreams to fall by the wayside. Somewhere in high school I began losing my faith in God, not because I blamed him for anything, but because he no longer seemed to have the answers. I grew impatient with him because when I turned to him to find my strength I felt as if I was waiting for something that he couldn’t help me find, myself. I lost myself wanting to be like my sisters and wanting what my mother had. Dreams I would soon find that I could not reach the way they reached them.

Halfway into my freshman year of high school my oldest sister found out she was pregnant. My sisters and I were close, we had a pact to remain virgins until our honeymoon, so I was sure how my sister explained it was the truth. She had attended a seniors only party a few months before, she went with her boyfriend of three years, and she was dropped off by that boyfriend after the party. The truly strange part about it, because my parents had DNA tests done, is that he was not the father of the baby. At the party she did like she always did, just drank diet coke, because she didn’t drink. A few hours into the party she remembers feeling sick so she went to the bathroom, which is where her boyfriend found her thirty minutes later, passed out on the floor. Long story short is that it is believed that someone at the party put some kind of drug into her diet coke, this lead to her getting sick, which lead her to the bathroom, and where someone raped her while she was out cold. Nobody is ever going to know the secret to the mystery. At five months pregnant, the fetus aborted in the middle of the night, we were told that due to unseen complications during the pregnancy that it just terminated on its own. Three days later, during my sisters first night back home from the hospital, she committed suicide. We buried my sister and her unborn daughter at the end of the week.

As a family we took all of this real hard, my parents really closed off the world, even worse, the closed us off from them the most, emotionally and physically. It seemed, at the time, that being the youngest, that I was taking it all in the most negative way, but the following event proved the opposite. Within a month of her funeral, my other sister decided to just disappear from the face of the planet. She left a brief letter to explain not to worry about her, she needed to be far away, and she would be okay because she had a plan. Nice plan, abondon everyone, give everyone something new to grieve about. I personally, have not seen or had contact with her since the night before she disappeared. I continued high school, I watched my parents grow distant from each other, and finally my dad decided that everyone would be best if he left as well. After their divorce, shortly after I graduated, I too, left everything I knew, my mom was heart broken, but said she would always be there for me. I ended up in Houston somehow, came in with the wind one night, broke, hungry, and alone. I didn’t like my current situation so, after seeing an ad I applied for a job and was hired a few days later. That job lasted about a month and one day I heard these two pretty girls talking about the money they had been making. I sat down with them, we became friends, and, in a weird way, showed me an uncertain path.

Which, coincidentally, is where we sit today. I will be 23 in a few days, graduating from Rice University later this fall, after 4 very long years of hard work. I really don’t mind doing what I do, strip for money, because it has actually given me a bright future, one that I can touch, feel, and see. Stripping has given me an education about people, an education that I’m not sure I could have received anywhere else. When I graduate this fall I will be leaving this club and beginning the next chapter in my life, always being very thankful that I overhead a conversation I was never meant to hear.” 

…………. The preceding paragraphs were transcribed from a recorded conversation between myself and Molly, well, most of it was her talking while I listened. I have let technology take the place of my own memory and little black note book when it comes to writing for Scorpion Sting’s Bartender Stories. I’m liking the way it worked out, I didn’t have to handwrite any of it and I just pushed play and pause to thumb type this on my phone. I hope y’all enjoyed this entry, it was sad and happy, just like my own life seems to be, sometimes life is what it is and we must roll with the punches just to survive.

What Would Your Warning Label Say?

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After some deep consideration, I believe mine in life as well as on The Sting Of The Scorpion would read like the following label.

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