Posted by: Helen Philpot | December 14, 2008

The Reason for the Season

Well we had a few “colorful” comments on that last story, didn’t we?  Was she typing in tongues or was that some type of technical Tourette’s syndrome?  Now, I am not going to cast any stones.  In fact this holiday I am going to do my level best to be respectful of all my new friends out there.   And I am encouraging you to do the same… if only for the holiday.  But some of you out there need to understand that while you are celebrating the birth of Christ, your neighbors may be spinning a Dradle or worshipping a cow.  And somehow, we’re all going to have to learn to be OK with that.

Jesus is the reason for the season unless you practice Islam, Hinduism, Chinese Traditionalism, Buddhism, Animist, Spiritism, Sikhism, Juche, Judaism, or any other of the two dozen or so major world religions.  And let’s not forget about the citizens of the world who are non-religious because there are over 1 billion of them.  In the United States today, over 75 million Americans are not Christian.

And while I am on the subject of not being Christian, it might interest some of you out there to know that God isn’t a Christian.  Think about it.  He’s God.    Now I am going to stop there for a second because I am sure a few of my Christian friends just exploded.


OK.  For everyone still able to focus:  This is the single most important issue facing the world.  It is the cause of more war, poverty,  disease, and just plain old hatred than anything else.  Nothing else is even close except maybe Sarah Palin but she’s young so the jury is still out.

No matter what you believe, over four billion people believe differently than you do.   Four billion.  That is almost half of what George Bush and Dick Cheney spend on the war in Iraq each month.    For those pro-war Republicans who don’t have an issue with that number, think of it this way:   If you started counting right now, you would reach 4 billion in 126 years, 276 days, 1 hour, 6 minutes, and 12 seconds – give or take a few hours.  And if  you’re Joe the Plumber and that number is still just too big for your brain… well just  imagine billions and billions of McDonald’s hamburgers.  Trust me.  It’s a lot.

And when it gets right down to it, the only way to make sense out of all of this is to just have faith.  But faith is personal.  And personal means it’s OK if others don’t share in your joy because they’ve got some things that are personal too.

There are many reasons for the season.  One of them is peace on earth, good will toward men.  How ’bout we work on that one?  It’s a tall order, and should keep us busy for quite a while.

I think I’ll go have some pie now.  Come back soon.  You’re beginning to grow on me.  I mean it.  Really.


  1. My all time favourite as well! Let’s look forawrd to some madness we all need some! Looking forawrd to seeing what you make of Mab’s Welsh Dragon!


  2. Maybe the term “Gee Whiz” and “Gee” should cease to exist in usage, I hope before the Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler’s bloodline will peter out. Some people says worst name than that. One gunman said an F-word to Jeremiah Alvin Neitz, and Neitz told to shoot him and the gunman said F— off and he died by his own hand. Jeremiah’s brother Mike should have said, “he doesn’t believe in God,” while Jeremiah should have said, “Well, Mike, he does now.” Just like my brother said it to me about that.


  3. Great column and here’s my reason for the season.


  4. Chalk – was the movie “Dogma”?


  5. I believe the current Santa is a creation of the Coca Cola Bottling Company


  6. P.S. To the Anglo-centric poster: Since when did Jesus Christ speak English? There is historical documentation which would lead us to reasonably conclude that he spoke Aramaic, as well as Hebrew, and possibly Greek, Arabic and/or Latin, but English? Get real.


  7. Sorry to be so late responding, but I must tell you that I soooooooo agree with your analysis of this alleged “war on Christmas”. I fail to understand how acknowledging that there are people who believe differently than I do somehow diminishes my faith. Our civic center has displays to recognize the diversity of our citizens. We have a Christmas tree, a Menorah, Kwanzaa decorations, Santa’s house and numerous other religious, ethnic and cultural symbols. Not only does allowing other traditions to be represented not threaten me, it makes me secure in the knowledge that I have the right to practice whatever faith (or lack thereof) that I choose without fear of reprisals. If EVERYONE does not have religious freedom, then NOONE has religious freedom.


  8. Colorful says: “But He is even more unhappy that you have made it your mission to mock his day. A day that should be made holy by all who walk his great earth. There is but one God and he gave us his ONLY son and we are all called to spread his gospel.”

    Is that what you think you’re doing, Colorful? ‘Cause to all the rest of us it just looks like you enjoy spreading your hateful attitude around.

    And get a clue, chickadee . . . you DO NOT speak for the Christ.

    Seriously, think about it:

    Spredding the Gospel . . . Ur Doin It Rong.


  9. This is probably your most important post. Love your blog!




  11. “”””…….Four billion schmillion, if English was good enough for Jesus it’s good enough for the US !”

    ah ! ah! ah! regi : (
    today, he’s joe whitehorse walking on turtle island and he speaks tsalagi, ojibwe, lakota, dine. choctaw, hopi………


  12. I agree!


  13. Four billion schmillion, if English was good enough for Jesus it’s good enough for the US !


  14. Amen, sisters! About “God is not a Christian.” I have so many objections that I could state if I were as courageous as you. I am a wimp when it comes to speaking my mind, so I enjoy reading your blog. So many Christians claim that America is supposed to be Christian but don’t realize that most of the Founding Fathers believed in God but were NOT Christians. Even Thomas Jefferson, the author of the Declaration of Independence was a Deist. He believed in God, but not in Jesus or the Trinity!

    So, what is so all-fired wrong with the whole world accepting God (or Goddess) as the Creator of All??? Except, of course, Atheists, but they are allowed to UNaccept, if they want. I truly believe, in this day and age, as well as in history, it is the Christians who are the worst about forcing others to believe. “You worship MY God or HE will send you to MY hell!”

    Enough, already! Let’s make America a Creator worshiping country for everyone of every faith.

    “And that’s all I have to say about that!”

    Except, you ladies ROCK! When I’m 83, will I have the courage you have?


  15. For anyone interested, today’s NYTimes online has a very nice op-ed piece by Laura Miller


  16. Wow! NAMASTE to you, whoever you are, you are making people healthier. Keep it up please……


  17. Back when I was a young sprite, peace was a goal I thought everyone – or most everyone – shared. How wrong I was. Naive. What’s the point of saying, “Peace on earth, good will toward men,” if no one means it?

    It becomes another empty homage to vaporous sentimentality. Where’s the substance?

    We are the most immature bunch of adolescents (as a nationall group, many people here being exceptions to that) who engage in playground politics instead of maturely agreeing to disagree, instead of asking each other genuinely interested questions about our differences.

    I am sick to death of it. And it’s pretty hard to set another tone against the rabble.


  18. gramma rock said
    “he was embarassed by the disrespect that people calling themselves christian were showing for the sacred ceremonies of the indigenous people (the people of the land).”

    I am glad you came back to tell your story gramma rock. I saw you pop up a couple times and derailed before asking you .

    The story of my mother’s people, Aluutiq, is different and the same. I asked my mother once how it is that we must live with no stories from her people that were not someone else’s stories. ( the Russian Orthodox church pretty effectively erased most of Aleut culture- there have been great strides in recent years to keep the last of the knowing alive)
    Ma told me to look at the seaward side of the islands in the chain and note they were well populated with grasses and trees were few and stunted. She said ” We are the grasses, a small people, and bend easily in the winds, the trees are big people and suffer so. When the storm is over, we will stand again and hold our faces to the sun”
    My grammy told of the full scale exodus via water by her village when Mount Katmai blew in the early 1900s- she said people had forgotten why they should do it but remembered they must. The story was gone that told people WHY… volcanic ash could bury villages in that terribly active area. Grammy hoped that because “our hands and feet remembered , our heads and hearts may follow”


  19. Take the entire context…it also states that those following Jesus will do greater works than Jesus…and it talks about how God is within Jesus. He also speaks about those that love god will keep Jesus’ words…then should also take a look at the Gospel of John itself and place it within the context of the rest of the gospels.

    Oh, and it was very common at this time, not just with the Christian faith, to use the known name of a figure and use it as the ‘author’ of a work to legitimize it…

    John 14
    1Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.

    2In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

    3And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

    4And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.

    5Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?

    6Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

    7If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.

    8Philip saith unto him, Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us.

    9Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father?

    10Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.

    11Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake.

    12Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.

    13And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

    14If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.

    15If ye love me, keep my commandments.

    16And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;

    17Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

    18I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.

    19Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.

    20At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.

    21He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.

    22Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?

    23Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.

    24He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.

    25These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you.

    26But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

    27Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

    28Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I.

    29And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe.

    30Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me.

    31But that the world may know that I love the Father; and as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do. Arise, let us go hence.


  20. I know it’s not popular, so instead of my words, Jesus said He was the Way, the Truth and the Life, and that none can come to the Father (God) but by Him….

    Sounds to me like that way to God is not as broad as some would think…but it is a very narrow and straight way. Of course the way to my heart is up my butt, so what do I know.


  21. Along with so many I enjoy Margaret and Helen’s wonderful expressions and thoughts and their willingness to share that with all of us!

    Tara, it’s really too bad that those who believe a certain way have to defend that. I believe everyone has the right to celebrate, or not, in their own way and should not have to defend that to anyone. I see the problem as being the way many Christians try so hard to have people believe their way is the real and right way to celebrate and believe. As many have stated in these comments that seems to be the issue here.

    I am a recovering catholic and I celebrate in my own way, and believe that others have that right. I honor and respect each and every person’s celebration simply because that is the right thing to do, I don’t have to agree with it, just honor them and respect them.

    Having said that I would love a piece of pie and a cup of tea! Thank you, and a very happy holiday season and a much better new year ahead.


  22. Yep Gramma Rock,
    We had those schools here in Minnesota too.
    Kids taken away from parents and forced into religious schools, punished for anything that seemed “indian”, loss of family, tradition, etc.

    I am sorry. It is that same old “man’s inhumanity towards men” thing that destroys so many people.


  23. slight correction ~~ the first ammendment did not guarantee freedom from religion for the indigenous people of this side of the world. our ancestors were forced to become christians.


  24. K2inSR: I’ve already apologized for coming across in a harsh or offensive way. I meant it. I understand that you have different beliefs and I respect that.

    Enjoy the holidays with your family!!


  25. Tara,

    You may not read this since you announced you would no longer post, but really, no one has criticized your religion, except in your own mind. What all of us object to, however, is the notion that the holiday season is the prerogative of certain American Christians.

    I was born and brought up Jewish, but we celebrated the non-religious, American aspects of the holiday (Hannukah bush, presents, etc.). As an adult, I became an atheist and my sister converted to Christianity. But we all get together over the holiday as a family. And I’m sure my family isn’t all that unusual.

    People world-wide, whether Christian, Jewish, Muslim or nothin’ at all (I’m not leaving anyone out on purpose), celebrate the season in order to share with family and friends. Where I, and I suppose lots of others, get offended is when the season of “peace on earth, good will toward men” becomes divisive (telling people who don’t share your beliefs that they are going to hell IS divisive) and just another Bill O’Reilly prop.

    The First Amendment doesn’t just guarantee freedom OF religion; it guarantees freedom FROM religion, as well. And I will defend to the death (maybe that’s why I suggested you “lighten up”) anyone’s right to celebrate Christmas, Hannukah or Kwanzah, Easter or Passover, or Ramadan, or nothing, in any way they choose, but please don’t invalidate everyone else who doesn’t believe your way. We do understand you; what we want is for you to understand us.

    And on that note, have a merry Christmas or happy holidays or whatever you want for this season.


  26. Thanks you guys 🙂


  27. There’s always a piece of pie waiting for Tara.


  28. That’s OK, Tara. Come back any time, we’ll save a seat for you away from the drafts and a nice cup of cocoa. We do appreciate your beliefs and your point of view, as you are not as strident and condemning of some of those other, “colorful” people.


  29. Good one. “God is not a Christian, he’s God.” 🙂

    If we first of all stop the war and judgment that is going on inside of us, we will create an entirely different world.

    Peace inside = peace outside. So look within, that’s the place to start.

    Merry (fill in the blank) to everyone! 🙂


  30. Nice to see you, Tara…take a piece of pie for the road, dear.


  31. troutay: My initial response was in regards to the original post by Helen, not all the comments on here. Just FYI. I did not mean to direct my response at everyone who left a comment.

    I will no longer post on here, but I do want to just apologize if I came across as harsh. I am just so frustrated that this is what such a special holiday has turned into in America. All I want anyone to try and understand is that the religious aspect of Christmas ought to be respected too. If you’re not a Christian then I totally understand why you can’t relate to me. And that’s okay.

    I appreciate everyone on here that really has shown respect and acceptance of all the meanings of Christmas. And I do hope you all have a very happy holiday.

    Oh, and it is very unfortunate that another Christian on here said something about “burning”. Yes, I can totally understand why that offended anyone.

    God loves you all!


  32. Thanks Gramma Rock, that was a lovely story.

    Tara. Many people celebrate a holiday because it is tradition. We get together on the 4th of July, Thanksgiving, etc. These are also holidays that we are given off from work. Christmas and Easter are the two main Christian holidays in this country. Even if you are Jewish, even if you are Muslim, or any other religion, you get these days off. We do not have holidays for any other religion in this country and I think that is not fair. I for one, like having time off from work, but Christmas is just another holiday for me. I am glad that you are committed and firm in your beliefs. Good for you. But I am not committed and firm in your beliefs. Respect that. I have not seen any post here that has denigrated the Christian holiday. In fact, there have been many mentions of Jesus, Merry Christmas, Blessed this and Blessed that.

    I can not understand where you are coming from. I have found that most opinions posted here are respected. Unless one comes in and posts in a tone that seems disrespectful to us. I think your post was a little harsh and accusatory. And when you come with that attitude, you are going to get rebuttal.

    Happy holidays to all.


  33. the reason for the season………..
    winter story (winter is story telling time on this side of the world)~condensed versrion
    from the cherokee gramma in chippewa country

    approximately 2000 years ago the creator (great mystery, the holy everything that is) manifest on the other side of the world as the two legged man jesus.

    approximately 1000 years ago great mystery manifest on this side of the world as the white buffalo calf woman that brought the peace pipe bundle and the sacred ceremonies to the heart of turtle island.

    fairly recently the black robes from the other side of the world came to this side of the world with their christianity and taught the indigenous people to fight over god.

    now today, the descendents of the relocated christians from the other side of world (who think that it is possible to buy and sell the earth mother in small chunks) started calling out for the man jesus to return.

    finally, great spirit felt the pain and suffering in the world and came back to earth as the two legged man jesus, riding a great white horse on a great white thunderhead cloud. he traveled around turtle island and was alarmed to see that the christians had saved the torturing device that had been used to kill him. then he heard what had been done on this side of the world in his name. he was ashamed of the way the black robes and many of the christians treated the indigenous people who had be charged with taking care of the earth mother. and he was embarassed by the disrespect that people calling themselves christian were showing for the sacred ceremonies of the indigenous people (the people of the land).

    he went to the cherokee elders and asked them to give him an indian name. the elders went into council for four days and finally came out and spoke to the two legged man called jesus. they gave him first the english name joseph, in honor of the two legged carpenter who had taught him how to walk on mother earth and be a man. and then they gave him the name
    u-nv-le so-qui-li ~ so-qui-li u-nv-le
    (the great horse in the storm).

    jesus is back. his new name on this side of the world is joe whitehorse and he sings at a drum on the powwow trail, when he is not out counting spotted owls, polar bears and native rainbow trout.


  34. *sigh* this atheist thanks you very, very much!


  35. Tara–
    Wikipedia is not considered a reliable source; it can be edited by anyone and the moderators have admitted on numerous occasions they are too swamped to check and research all the modifications there. It is, however, a good place to start if you know nothing about a topic.

    That being said, I don’t think most folks who post here are telling Christians to “shut up ” (as you put it) about Jesus.

    I think the general message here is: what you do with your religion is your business. Tolerance is key to getting along.

    Let peace begin with you (and me and everyone else here who comments, lurks and visits for the pie). The cycle of hate must be broken–why not be the one who breaks it?

    Hugs to all
    Δ skyewriter


  36. Tara, you wrote:”Yes, there are other religious holidays that take place on other days around the same time, but not Christmas Day. ”

    Sorry, but as Hannukah is an eight day festival, it often occurs at the same time as Christmas. In fact, it begins on December 25th in 2016.

    Also: “You seem intent on thinking I’m a hyprocrite, but I really do respect your beliefs and I am truly sorry that hearing Jesus is the Reason for the Season offends you so. Believe me, that saying is mainly to remind our fellow believers to focus on the real meaning of the holiday. It’s not put out there to irritate all you non Christians or to imply that Christmas is only for Christians.”

    You see, if you look at the last post, and pay attention to the “Colorful” commentary, someone who claims to be of the same religious choice as your own was claiming that we were going to “burn” because we didn’t believe. You must excuse us if such rantings got us a little touchy. I respect your beliefs. Really, I do! But if you notice, no where in any of my posts did I even mention what my own beliefs are, or condemn people for not following them. I only ask the same in return. If you can’t play well with others, and I am not talking about you, then you don’t get to use the playground.

    In closing, you wrote: “What I do have a problem with is the implication that somehow it is wrong for anyone to dare say that they think Christmas is to celebrate the birth of Jesus.”
    Some of the comments may have led you to believe that, but I am fairly sure that a re-reading will disavow you of that notion. I don’t think it’s wrong at all, but it certainly is not a reason to forbid any other religious displays that fall on or around that date, or to declare that there is a non-existant “War On Christmas”. We can be civil, and we can agree to disagree, and we can share an eggnog and some Christmas Carols without getting into each other’s face about the true meaning of the holiday. I believe that is the point so many of us were trying to make and that a very select few (Rags, Colorful, Patrick) refused to acknowledge.


  37. Whirled Peas: I agree with you…if Christians want respect, they ought to give it back. Definitely! However, I think you can be respectful of others while also defending your own beliefs.

    Proud Community Organizer: I have no idea why you took my comment as hypocritical. And I absolutely did not bash any other religions! Where did you get that? Just because I am making a statement about the true origins of Christmas? Perhaps you missed the part where I was giving a direct quote from Wikipedia. Please read about Christmas on Wikipedia or any encylopedia. Read up on the origins and history and perhaps you’ll understand why this holiday is actually very special to believers in Jesus. We aren’t saying to hell with all other holidays at all. What we are saying is that the true meaning of Christmas to US is not going to be lost just because there are “millions” of non Christians out there.

    I am truly sorry that you took my comments the wrong way. Yes, there are other religious holidays that take place on other days around the same time, but not Christmas Day. Take a look at any calendar: Christmas is it’s own holiday as are Kwanzza, Hanukkah, etc. I don’t even have a problem with anyone that chooses to celebrate Christmas in a totally non-Jesus, non-Christian way. Whatever! What I do have a problem with is the implication that somehow it is wrong for anyone to dare say that they think Christmas is to celebrate the birth of Jesus. THAT is hypocrisy my friend.

    K2inSR: I would lighten up if we were discussing an issue that was not serious to me. Sorry if you don’t understand where I am coming from but you should know that if anyone starts attacking any religion, someone just might take it seriously and be offended. Is this a surprise?

    Yeah, I know athiests don’t have religious holidays. 🙂 Actually, if someone is an athiest, I can’t understand why they’d want anything to do with a holiday that has roots in God and Jesus. That just confuses me, but whatever…to each his own. I know plenty of people who think Christmas is all about Santa.

    You seem intent on thinking I’m a hyprocrite, but I really do respect your beliefs and I am truly sorry that hearing Jesus is the Reason for the Season offends you so. Believe me, that saying is mainly to remind our fellow believers to focus on the real meaning of the holiday. It’s not put out there to irritate all you non Christians or to imply that Christmas is only for Christians. Just FYI.

    Hopefully everyone can just celebrate the holidays their own way and enjoy the reason they’re celebrating.


  38. Loved your post, as I usually do. My mother, who actually taught me tolerance, love for man of any color, etc, just does not understand the seperation of church and state.

    I don’t understand – not understanding. It seems so simple. We all have our own beliefs. We all want to be respected. We should all respect each other.


  39. Tara,

    Lighten up! Did you know that Irving Berlin, who wrote “White Christmas” and Mel Torme, who wrote “The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire …)” were both Jewish? Oh, and by the way, atheists don’t have religious holidays.


  40. Quoted from Tara at 12:43 PM

    “Don’t expect 100% acceptance and respect if you aren’t willing to have the same courtesy towards all others.

    Well put. That’s what I’ve been trying to get thru to the fanatical ‘holier than thou’ Christians all week.

    ~ Δ ~


  41. […] to visit but usually don’t leave comments, I was kind of verbose (three or four comments) in one of their recent posts. And at one point, someone asked if anyone really thought Bush did a good job and if so, […]


  42. No pie for tara.


  43. Tara have you heard of the cultural wars? Seems that Bill O’Really has started them (especially the Christmas myth) to sell books and keep his slot on TV.

    No one is trying to stop Christians from celebrating Christmas. What they are expressing is the push to make Christmas the only holiday and the hell with the rest. If you don’t believe what I believe…… etc.

    Seems to me that people need to get off of their high horse and celebrate the real meaning Peace, goodwill to all men and women, respect and love.

    So while saying you accept and don’t bash other religious celebrations in your post sadly you accomplished the opposite.

    “Have some respect for tradition and history. Praise the millions of godless people out there all you want to.”

    This phrase says it all and the what it say is Hypocrite.

    Just my opinion!


  44. Christmas Day is an annual holiday celebrated on December 25 that marks and honors the birth of Jesus of Nazareth. Actual definition from Wikipedia! Perhaps look it up and read the history yourself. If you are a non Christian, yes we all know Christmas is celebrated in a non religious fashion as well. But that does not erase the true meaning of Christmas even if there are millions of people out there who do not believe in Jesus. There are millions of Christians out there who want to remember Christmas for it’s true meaning.

    I don’t know a single person who tries to change the true meaning of Hanukkah or Kwanzza. Those holidays are on the calendar too; they have their own special days.

    Have some respect for tradition and history. Praise the millions of godless people out there all you want to. Christmas means CHRIST’s mass. It is an insult to suggest that Christians need to shut up about Jesus out of respect for other religions or athiests. I respect Ramadan, Kwanzza and Hanuakkah. So please respect our Christian holidays.

    Jesus Christ is the Son of God. The term Christian means follower of Christ. So yeah, it’s quite silly to suggest that God is a Christian. God is God.

    I have noticed a very disturbing trend of a total lack of respect for Christianity, yet in the same breath demands for total respect for others’ beliefs. What is wrong with this picture? Don’t expect 100% acceptance and respect if you aren’t willing to have the same courtesy towards all others.


  45. Yuletide blessings for the both of you! 🙂 🙂


  46. Quoted from Greytdog Δ
    Dec 15, 2008 at 7:35 PM

    “…my dad who had preached and taught and advocated for civil rights, who had lived his life as a human rights movement, who saw the God in all of us. He would have loved this blog.”

    THANK YOU sooooo much for such a wonderful tribute to your father. I’ve been crying off and on since I read that yesterday (thinking of my Mom).

    So with that, the best link I could come up with:

    The Beatles – In The End

    PEACE ~ Δ


  47. This is a great post Helen!


  48. Chocalate Pecan Pie

    2/3 cup sugar
    1/3 cup melted butter
    1 teaspoon salt
    1/2 cup dark corn syrup
    1/2 cup light corn syrup
    3 eggs

    Whisk the above ingredients altogether. Add in 1 cup halved pecans and 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips. Bake for 50 minutes in a 375 degree oven.

    Use whatever pie crust you want. In my house it is a gluten free recipe. You will want to bake on a cookie sheet so you don’t get boil over and you will want to use a pie ring to protect your crust edges because of the long baking time. I like to bake my pie crust for 10 minutes at 350 before I fill so that the goo doesn’t soak into the crust too much.

    Hope everyone enjoys.


  49. Well I gave up asking for pie recipes a while ago – hope the new pleas get heeded!

    Helen wonderful, smart and funny as always. Thank you.

    So everyone I have a new approach for dealing with the Patrick, Colorful and Rags types. See everytime I first read something from one of them it seems they MUST be making a joke… I mean they can’t really be serious can they? So from now on let’s respond –

    XXX (fill in Patrick or whoever) how do you come up with these incredibly funny comments? I’ve got to remember that one to tell at the holiday dinner table.

    PEACE everyone! May the wonderful diversity of the world bring your life enrichment and joy.


  50. Oh, and my pie is non-denominational and everyone is welcome regardless of beliefs. Holiday season for some or just a good excuse for pie for others. It doesn’t matter, all are welcome.


  51. Jon & Stephen

    “Can I Interest You in Hanukkah?”

    ~ Δ ~


  52. I love the post!

    Have a great Holiday season.


  53. Some people seem not to understand that in this country we should be able to enjoy not just freedom of religion but freedom from religion. To me it’s sad that we would never elect an avowed atheist as our president. Some of the world’s greatest intellects have been freethinkers, agnostics, and atheists. Too many of our country’s Christians believe that there would be no morality without religion–especially Christianity, and that’s simply not true. I myself am an example of that fallacy. Even atheists practice the Golden Rule.

    So thanks, Helen, for recognizing that everyone’s beliefs or lack thereof should be respected.


  54. When the call went out for the company potluck and what people would bring, I said I would bring a salad and everyone at once said “No you won’t; you will bring your chocolate pecan pie.”

    It is nice to feel wanted, if only for my pie.


  55. Chocolate pecan pie! My mother-in-law makes those. So yummy. So sinful.

    Thanks for the pie, Alaskan. (*munch, chew, gulp*)


  56. All this talk of pie. I just baked 3 chocolate pecans and a cheesecake last night. I have 10 more chocolate pecan and another cheesecake to go to fill Friday’s orders.

    Made a joke at work that I was taking orders and everyone took me up on it.

    So here is virtual slice of chocolate pecan pie for all loyal Margaret and Helen parlour junkies.



  57. See I just typed coffe! Geez it must be the 12 degree temperatures this morning the blood to my brain is frozen.


  58. I would also include a pair that he never wore! I guess I need more coffe this morning! LOL


  59. Morning all!

    Alaska Pi how did Rags get your address? Was he shouting profanities as he ran away?

    Stealing Christmas lights, what is this world coming to? If he would go to any thrift store they would give them to him for free.

    I too have some shoes I can donate to the cause! Some lovely size 14 steel toes my son has worn out, would do nicely.


  60. vgman said
    “So while the quote above speaks eloquently about openness, never forget the struggle of the mind that we have gone through and continue to go through as a nation”
    and as human beings…
    the march to peace has taken all of our past to get to this merely modest point of now…

    If someone wants to write a header for the plaque to display Deacon Blue and greytdog’s list of Mr Bush’s accomplishments ( you know, “In recognition of… we bestow ,,,” type thingy )
    I have the first pair of shoes for the box.
    My boss came to work yesterday with a pair of size 12 white tennies. He and his family have had their outdoor Christmas lights stolen for the last 2 years. This year he heard noise at the door and ran outside to find a young punk trying to make off with this years lights… he hollered so loud the kid ran right out of his shoes and off into the snow in his stocking feet! Now, I know it’s a small tribute to Mr Bush -who has- been a punk on such a grand scale but it’s a start…
    Now . if folks go with greytdog’s idea of shoes for all who need them I won’t send these… unless I fill em with antifungal powder first…


  61. Anyone have Bush’s address?
    I need to send him “something”


  62. Well, you’ve done it again! Hit the target dead center! Whatever you’ve got, could you please bottle it and send me some?

    You are absolutely right! God isn’t a Christian. That’s a box and it won’t fit. As for the argumentative out there on that statement, do remember “Be still and know that I Am.”

    Have a great Christmas and New Years, you two!


  63. All I want for Christmas is for Helen to write a book!!!! 🙂


  64. You’re right, of course, Vgman. Thank you for pointing that out. I was thinking more along the lines of religious bigotry…but all kinds of bigotry are bad.


  65. As a teacher, I find it important that I help students understand the context of the readings, quotes, lessons, etc. that we study together.

    “The bosom of America is open to receive not only the Opulent & respectable Stranger,
    but the oppressed & persecuted of all Nations & Religions; whom we shall wellcome to a participation of all our rights & previleges.”

    – George Washington, 1783

    Having visited Mt. Vernon, Washington’s home, three times over the years, I am always humbled by the immense weight of the slavery issue that marred our history as a nation. Washington, like many others, had much soul-searching to do with slaves under his hand. So while the quote above speaks eloquently about openness, never forget the struggle of the mind that we have gone through and continue to go through as a nation. I am so looking forward to the Obama administration and the signal it sends to our nation.
    Have a good day everyone.


  66. While working yesterday (and quietly reading the comments on this blog about 20 times), I ran across the following quote. It seemed appropriate to share here, as it’s a useful response to the nutters who claim this is a Christian nation….

    “The bosom of America is open to receive not only the Opulent & respectable Stranger,
    but the oppressed & persecuted of all Nations & Religions; whom we shall wellcome to a participation of all our rights & previleges.”

    — George Washington, 1783

    Our founding fathers were not bigots. Amen.


  67. I love the song, Great Peace March
    by Holly Near

    Just thought the words were appropriate as a background for this wonderful parlour.

    So…..for all those who have gone before us
    and for all of us who follow in their footsteps…..
    May peace prevail on earth

    Here are the lyrics:

    Ancient eyes are watching in the night
    The stars come out to guide the way
    The sun still shines despite the clouds
    And the dawn is dusk is dawn is dusk is day

    Farmers rise and dream to feed the world
    The world awakes to feed the heart
    Hearts beat while a thousand flags are waving
    And the farmer sees a dream has played a part

    We will have peace, we will because we must
    We must because we cherish life
    And believe it or not, as daring as it may seem
    It is not an empty dream, to walk in a powerful path
    Neither the first nor the last Great Peace March
    Life is a great and mighty march
    Forever, for love and for life
    On the Great Peace March

    Are you black like night or red like clay
    Are you gold like sun or brown like earth
    Grey like mist or white like moon
    My love for you is the reason for my birth

    Peace can start with just one heart
    From a small step to leaps and bounds
    A walk becomes a race for time
    And a brave child calls out from the crowd



  68. I guess putting the link in the website box doesn’t work. Oh well:


  69. Troutay and Greytdog…

    The shoe idea is great — bankrupt companies could set up collection sites!

    Here’s a nice little post from an Iranian blogger that goes well with coffee…


  70. Greytdog…
    What an amazing tribute to your dad. My aunt passed last week after years of imprisonment to Alzheimer’s. My cousin, the best son she could have had, spent every weekend at her bedside combing her hair, doing her nails, and making sure she was taken care of…regardless of how the illness affected her. I’m amazed at his strength. I am amazed at the strength of people like you who walk the long good-bye with loved ones. Bless you, Greytdog.


  71. Helen and Margaret – you are awesome! After reading a couple of comments from others, I’ve learned not to read your blog with a cup of coffee!!! My keyboard is already dysfunctional 🙂

    I love that: God is not a Christian – wow! I hope I can write like you when I grow up. There are many of us who are glad you continue to blog after the election. Please stay healthy and keep writing. As long as Palin is around we need voices like yours.


  72. Only 3 things in the world make sense: Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy. When these people stopped showing up, that’s when my world fell apart.


  73. Talea, you’re right it does suck to see our parents decline – and we always want to keep them around as long as we can. My mom still teaches to this day – and keeps her college students hopping to keep up with her. Good grief – her kids and grandkids have to scramble to keep up with her!

    Deacon Blue, you forgot Bush’s efforts to help Al Qaeda’s recruitment campaign. That’s been a huge success.

    And he’s helped plenty of his friends and compadres received lifelong employment and great benefits by allowing them to burrow into government positions for which they are neither qualified nor productive.

    Without a gun he oversaw the occupation and bloodless coup of the world’s greatest democracy – the USA – and he made it so attractive, the people voted for him TWICE

    But perhaps his greatest accomplishment was the energizing and mobilizing of the American voter – the Silent Majority – who finally found their voice this past season, who looked around and said succinctly with passion and reason – THIS IS NOT WHAT AMERICA MEANS and THIS WILL NOT STAND. Not anymore, not on Our Watch.


  74. Amen! I find it refreshing and delightful to see such a long and positive list of comments. Wow! It has put a welcome damper on my cynical attitude of late. Enjoy the pie! You deserve it!


  75. Troutay – what a GREAT idea – can you imagine the sight? Boxes upon boxes of shoes strewn across the White House lawn. . . .and then the Obamas show up and set up the apparatus and wherewithal to distribute those shoes to folks who need shoes, folks who are the victims of the Bush domestic policies thus returning the White House to OUR house. . . hmmm….time to go through the closets. . . . where’s that box????


  76. I just read on another blog that people are talking about sending their shoes to Bush. It would be great if he got thousands of pairs from all over the U.S and the world.


  77. Helen and Margaret, I have been reading your blog for months now and I must say that I am in love with your wit and wisdom. Your outspoken and frank nature reminds me of my dearly departed grandmother, only way more sane and tolerant. 🙂

    I remember getting into a two-hour long debate with a friend of mine in Corpus Christi that his God was the same God of that of my father (a born-Jew-turned Christian) and that of my step-father (a Muslim convert). At first, he didn’t really get it until I explained the similarities between those three religions. I ended by asking him if his God was the god of Abraham. When he answered yes, I then told him that that was the same god of my grandparents and that of my step-father. I doubt that I changed his narrow view of the world, but maybe I opened up a seed of doubt to make him realize that we all have a lot in common.

    Anyway, I just want to say that I thank you profusely for both this post and the many before. You always make me smile or laugh, and I know better than to have anything liquid while I partake of your wisdom. 😉

    I hope to be able to read you for a very long time. Big hugs and some love from an admirer in NY, who misses living in TX.


  78. Greytdog: at the risk of seeming too sentimental, let me send you some hugs….it sucks to see our parents decline. I still miss my mom dreadfully, who in the last election voted for John Kerry (“I don’t agree with him, but it’s your world and all three of you are voting for him, so I will, too.”)

    In hindsight, I’m glad my dad didn’t vote for Obama “for your sake,” because I now realize that’s a way for parents to telegraph they are ready to call it a life. My dad may be a jerk, but he’s my jerk and I want him around for awhile longer.

    And in this election, me, the siblings, their spouses and kids who were old enough to vote were evenly split between McCain and Obama (in other words, the Oregonians went Dem; the Missourians went GOP).

    Nobody is unhappy (disappointed maybe, but not unhappy) with the result.


  79. Well, did Dubya do a “good job,” JuneauJoe? Hmmm. Well, there WERE some specific things he was good at. In the interest of fairness, the things Bush did very well over the past 8 years…

    – He did very well running the country just as well as he ran most of his life and most of the businesses ventures in which he was involved previously.

    – He didn’t get involved in any sex scandals (no doubt he feared having a high-heeled shoe impale his skull courtesy of Laura…that might explain his skill at dodging shoes)

    – He helped his staff, advisors and several world leaders get some exercise and fresh air at the “Texas White House” he spent so much time hiding…er, I mean working at.

    – He helped keep the Al Quaeda Mobile Dialysis Services Company in business by NOT catching their best client.

    – He helped get the Supreme Court more involved in politics…it was about time those apathetic bastards decided an election!

    I mean, need I say more? He’s a true American success story!


  80. Bush is even sounding pathetic when he says 9-11 anymore. If he wouldn’t have screwed the country so bad, I would actually kind of, feel sorry for the guy.

    On second thought, No. He and Cheney made many Millions, he does not need to worry, He did ok. No feeling sorry for him. I think he and his top fellows should see a judge though.


  81. I was also thinking maybe some right wing nut job would try to support Bush and his idiot friends.


  82. It is the Christmas season, I am being generous.

    I was thinking 50 times better but the Christmas spirit said back off a bit


  83. And we don’t know doodly


  84. Juneau Joe-
    Only 5 times better?
    Crimenently- YOU and I could do 5 times better!


  85. Along those same lines:

    I am impressed with the people Obama is picking to run his administration. I am now comparing the Obama picks and the right wing ideologues that Bush picked and no wonder our country got so screwed up in 8 years.

    Seems to me that Bush picked people who would change the realities to fit the money making mentality of Bush. (That means making money for the 2% wealthiest.) To hell with the little people or the environment, or constitution for that matter as long as there was short term financial gain for some Bush friend. Brownie sure did a swell job! Bush sure did a swell job too!

    Even if Obama and his crew did a shitty job, (I think he will do well) I bet it would be about 5 times better than Bush and his fellows did.


  86. You are absolutely right. I dont’ believe that God is a Christian either. Nor do I believe that God “thinks” or “said” anything. God is anything or anyone that makes a person do good thngs instead of bad things.

    Mine is the Mother Goddess who is loving and brings life to all of humanity.

    Well, it works for me and that’s all that matters.


  87. JuneauJoe- He did do a good job at dodging a couple size 10s. That’s all I’ve got.


  88. Whirled Peas, Thanks

    Can anyone, even Colorful or Cali, can anyone say that Bush did a good job the last 8 years?

    The more I see him back peddle and try to sell his sack of shit legacy as good, the worse he looks.

    I am trying to be in the Christmas spirit but Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld just make me think some big whigs need to be behind bars. Is that un Christian like? Colorful, since you know the Jesus politics. Would Jesus approve of Bush and his legacy of needless wars?

    Happy Holidays or happy whatever floats your boat!


  89. *perks up* Pie? Did I hear someone say pie?


  90. @ Alaska Pi Δ

    Nice breakdown and follow-on to my previous thoughts.

    It may well be that your take is closer to what Helen and Margaret were going for. I think that when people (like Colorful, for example) get so caught up in the idea that they are right and no one else is…and then start getting nasty and judgmental, we have a problem. And obviously, when applied on a more massive or even global scale, it gets so much worse.

    Nothing wrong with believing that you are right, of course…a faith walk wouldn’t be much of a faith walk in any religion if the person didn’t believe in their way.

    But believing that one is right should never be something we turn into an excuse to be jackasses or to silence others…and whether you or I got the jist of Helen and Margaret’s point right, I think it’s good to be reminded of that fact.


  91. While we’re talking about peace on Earth, can I have a peace of that pie?


  92. Here you go JuneauJoe Δ:

    To quote ‘Our Fearful leader…’
    Yeah, that’s right. So what?



  93. Pie Time!!!!
    Bake it and they will come….


  94. Deacon Blue- i’ve been thinking about this some. I’m gonna stick my toe out here and test the temp… Maybe I’ll just slide a shoe ( NOT throwing it !) out and hope somebody throws a clean pair o socks in it…

    I read Helen’s intention differently than you did in your first post ‘ You said
    “Very nice post, but I do have to disagree on one point that was made (and reinforced at least a couple times in the comments).
    There is a belief that religion has caused more wars, misery, strife, problems, etc. than anything else.
    I totally disagree.”
    While I think some of the folks here in Helen and Margaret’s parlor feel that way about religion, I do not think that is what Helen meant when she said

    “OK. For everyone still able to focus: This is the single most important issue facing the world. It is the cause of more war, poverty, disease, and just plain old hatred than anything else. Nothing else is even close except maybe Sarah Palin but she’s young so the jury is still out.

    No matter what you believe, over four billion people believe differently than you do.”

    It seems to me that Helen is saying that the all too human tendency of folks to believe their own way is the one-and-only is at root of much , maybe most of the damage we do each other. Her exhortation to look round and see AND offer respect to those who see the world from different spiritual perspectives than one’s own is a call to move forward with ALL our voices… rather than a call to stifle the voice of religion itself.

    That being said I think your further remarks about the tendency to blame the institution are very important. We have played out a political disaster the last few years. Plenty of folks were speaking right up but they were drowned out, at least I was, by the endless horse pucky of “well- what can you expect of the government/politicians/liberals/conservatives?”, “ALL politicians lie” and so on. Blaming the institution is self defeating… they are OUR institutions. We use them and abuse them. Some nasty folks use our institutions to use and abuse us.
    Religious institutions have NOT been exempt from human idiocy either…
    The interplay between our ideas ( the ideal ) and the institutions ( the mundane) we grow to bring our ideas to life ought to be carefully tended. We get all balled up over and over again by derailing on one end or the other … and making a hash yet again…Nope- you are right.
    The mere existence of human religion is not the causal agent of all the damage we do each other. It is ,however, easy to turn into a cudgel to pick up and whack the crap out of other folks when we don’t nurture it properly.


  95. Dear Margaret and Helen,

    Please forgive me, but I just have to get into this pillow fight over religion too, as reflected in many of the comments here.

    The well-known and beloved Chinese poet, Tu Fu, (712-770) lived AFTER Christianity and Islam had arrived. Those two great religions later BOTH split off into a myriad of sects. Tu Fu once wrote, “For the dusk’s path the fireflies must make their own light.”

    If anyone is taking a different path in life and making a different light than mine, it doesn’t deter me from MY path nor dim MY light.



    P. S. I should clarify: In a previous comment of mine I said, “Mele Kalikimaka and Hau’oli Makahiki Hou”. In the Hawaiian language, that is the same as the English “Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.”


  96. Getting ready to tumble off to bed. . . but just a small (wee) musing. . .it is interesting that so many of us like-minded folks who love Margaret and Helen also are owned by corgis – the world’s most stubborn and opinionated short dog. Wonder why that is . . .
    To johnherberger who posted: “God’s ok just as God is.”
    Ain’t that the truth! As it is written “Know that I AM”.
    And is it just me or has anyone else noticed how so many Christians who spout and spittle scripture often invoke the words of Paul, rather than the words of Jesus? Has anyone else noticed how so many arguments concerning fundamentalist beliefs revolve around the Letters of Paul and totally ignore Jesus, James, Peter, et al? Wonder why? And in case anyone is interested, it is highly likely the Three Wise Men were from an Aramaic tribal kingdom and not from The Holy Land Experience aka Trinity Broadcasting Network in Orlando FL. And to our pagan friends, the ancient threads of mysticism run through Judaism, Christianity, and Islam – woven together to create a most wondrous canopy of Light Everlasting. Selah! Shalom! Blessed be. (and to all, a good night)


  97. By: johnherberger :
    “As if an omniscient, omnipotent Creator needed some grandiouse, self inflated human to defend Him/Her.
    They never seem to get that it isn’t God’s side they are arguing for, whether it’s about a baby Jesus in a manger on the state capital steps or the need for women to cover their faces in public, etc.
    They are merely defending themselves.
    God’s ok just as God is. No defense needed – whether you are a believer or non-believer”
    Are you sure you are not Helen in disguise?
    Naw… not enough irreverent reverence in the voice…

    Simple and elegant though, neighbor. Thank you.

    “Oh Rags, Whore is so last century. My Politician friends prefer HOspitality HOstess” from Proud put the whip on my cocoa for the day….good thing I wasn’t drinking it when I read the post though!

    Lane- ‘my precious” yes… I hear that too in poor ole rags.
    There is something very right about what you are saying Deacon Blue. I just can’t quite get hold of the whatnesses though. Has something , in my mind , to do with the interplay between humans and their institutions. You pointed to other institutions- government and economic form primarily. Have to think some more on this…


  98. Your just plain awesome.


  99. Helen could also add in a bit about Bush’s remaking of his legacy. Today, he admitted that al Quida was not in Iraq before the invasion. That was after he said that he will be remembered for stopping al Quida in Iraq.

    The guy is taking Sarah Palin pills in my humble opinion.

    I also like that new reports feel Rummy and his group are to blame for the torture. The underlings were only doing what Rummy and friends ordered them to do.

    I would like Rummy, Cheney and Bush to go in front of a judge!


  100. Elsie, thank you. For some reason, guess cuz the holidays are fast approaching, he’s been on my mind a lot.
    Poli-Amazon – if a tree falls, of course it makes a sound. A forest isn’t unpopulated. Just because a human isnt around doesn’t mean thar ain’t no bars . . . moose too except I think the moose have moosied along cuz Palin’s a gunning fur ’em


  101. Greytdog, what a lovely tribute to your dad.


  102. P.S. I hope Helen is working on a rip-snorter about the Iraqi journalist throwing his shoes at Bush Jr.

    If you read papers from the Middle East, the fact that this journalist has been beaten, arrested, interrogated, beaten some more…they’ve turned him into a martyr.

    Iraqis are coalescing behind him, and they’ve started throwing shoes at American convoys.

    This is highly dangerous because it is a huge insult to our troops AND those shoes might carry some surprises.

    Anyway, I would like some sanity shed on the situation, and I can’t think of a better person to do it.


  103. “The Bible says that if you speak in tongues and no one is around to translate it, it is false….”


    That’s like a Zen koen…you know, “If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, will it make a sound?”


  104. “….I’m surprised that no one has mentioned here that “one” of Sarah Palin’s churches was torched over the weekend. Perhaps folks were not being vigilant enough about looking for wayward Russians or maybe the turkeys were just getting revenge.”


    I assumed it had something to do with one of the witch-doctor gigs.

    The fact that Sister Sarah hasn’t climbed on the cross about this, and turned it into a “oh-wow-is-me-they-are-out-to-get-me” pity-parties actually makes me think that there is something suspicious about this that they don’t want to call attention to.


  105. Grantman, are you saying we’re all Sooners????


  106. Very good Helen… we all need to be a lot more respectful of others beliefs..which is pretty hard to do when we are all raised to think we are the only team in town…best wishes for a great Holiday.


  107. “If Christmas is not observed with the exact technical precision demanded by Gods cryptic scriptural strictures, then thou shalt be mine to do with as I please….”


    Whatcha’ got in mind, handsome?


  108. “I won’t use reason on you Colorful, since you obviously lack that ability- but I will say this much. If you have any notions of coming here to convert, change minds, or encourage us heathens to no longer ’sin’, you’re in the wrong place….”


    It’s not so much the place…it’s that colorful’s approach is insulting, and I believe that is it’s intent.

    The kind of stuff he posts is arrogant and aggressive. It’s not “lead by example” it’s “judge and condemn until they submit.”

    The Ayatollah in Iran can use that approach, but it doesn’t work here in the U.S. because no one has that power; certainly not colorful.


  109. Love your post. Very well said. Peace on earth…and Merry Christmas Everyone!


  110. If Christmas is not observed with the exact technical precision demanded by Gods cryptic scriptural strictures, then thou shalt be mine to do with as I please.

    Ahaa. Ahaa haa.
    Bwahaa haa haa haa haa haa haa haa haa haa haa haa haa… ehee hee hee.. (snork) Excellent.


  111. Talea, sometimes just having one sane conversation can mitigate the unsane conversations – sometimes. I was lucky – even though my dad descended into the abyss of Alzheimers, his dementia rages were focused on the past or simply his inability to fully interact with his present. But his moments of awareness were true gifts – lucid, intelligent, caring moments that made those moments when he receded from us even harder to bear. I often watched him after these dementia episodes, stuck in a crumbling body, hindered by a once brilliant mind deteriorating and all I could think of was that he even couldn’t rage coherently against the dying of the light. . . all I wanted was for him to go gently into that good night. And in the end, he did – he went gentle with my mom, his partner, his best friend of 60 years, by his side. And when this election rolled around, and I marked my ballot for Barack Obama, I cried – because I marked that ballot not only for me, but for my dad who had preached and taught and advocated for civil rights, who had lived his life as a human rights movement, who saw the God in all of us. He would have loved this blog.


  112. unbelievably great and so refreshing…….wow, you gals are awesome! Love to hear opinions that actually deal with reality……..bless you one and all. And peace on earth through love and understanding through an open heart…….



  113. Well, my intolerant parent is actually improving as he gets older. He can still get wound up but he’s much better at holding his tongue around his “liberal” children. Maybe it’s because his wife of 33 years (our stepmom) — and his first wife of 23 years (our mom) — died within six months of each other a couple of years ago and he realized how important we were to him.

    I had a political and religious discussion with him in the last month or so where he actually tolerated what I had to say — that hasn’t happened in four decades. The wheels did come off a bit when gay marriage was mentioned (none of his kids are gay but we all believe in equal rights for everyone, which includes marriage). But even then, he ended the discussion with a fairly civil “I just disagree.”

    I do really feel for those of you dealing with aging parents whose personalities totally change as they descend into dementia. As somebody who’s been called an effin’ moron more than once by a supposedly sane parent, it really sucks.


  114. Off topic but thought you all might be interested:
    Obama is now officially the president-elect.


  115. sorry – nut crust recipe is baked in an OVEN not an OVER. . . dog tired I is…


  116. Okay – throwing my hat into the pie ring (or should that be pie plate?:

    Key Lime Pie with Nut Crust

    Nut Crust:
    2 cups pecans, shelled
    2 cups macademia nuts
    1/3 c. firmly packed dark brown sugar (although reg brown sugar works just as well – I just like the taste of the dark)
    ½ cup or ½ stick unsalted butter, melted, then cooled to room temp

    preheat oven to 350°F. Finely chop all nuts with sugar in food processor . Add the butter and blend until well combined. Press the mixture firmly onto sides and then the bottom of a 9-inch diameter springfoam pan with 2 ¾-inch high sides. Place crust in freeze for 10 minutes to set. Then bake in over until light brown, about 20 minutes. Transfer to rack and cool completely.

    Key Lime Pie

    1 14-oz can of sweetened condensed milk
    4 egg yolks
    Lime zest (about a ¼ tsp or more depending on personal taste)
    ½ cup Key Lime Juice (or about 6-8 key limes – if using fresh key limes, roll on counter first to loosen the juice)

    Milk milk, lime zest, and egg yolks completely with an electric mixer (or whisk if you have the wrist power). Slowly add in the juice, mixing constantly, until mixed thoroughly. (I usually add the juice in a slow steady stream but my mom likes to add it in 2 parts beating thoroughly in between)
    Pour into nut crust. Bake at 350°F oven for 8-10 minutes to set pie and thoroughly cook the egg yolks. Turn off oven and crack open the door. Let pie cool before placing in refrigerator to fully set. (depending on your oven cooking time is between 8-12 minutes. Anything past that, the filling turns rubbery and gross)

    Dollop with homemade whipped cream, garnish with more lime zest and/or lime slices and pig out.
    Note: for lime zest garnish I cheat and use the regular Persian lime – it’s a prettier color.

    And no, I didn’t leave out any ingredients. please note that I got the pie crust recipe from a friend who filched it from Bon Appetit magazine.


  117. Once again – Thanks for posting.
    I have always been amazed that certain people seem to think that God or Jesus or Allah (pick a name) need defending. As if an omniscient, omnipotent Creator needed some grandiouse, self inflated human to defend Him/Her.
    They never seem to get that it isn’t God’s side they are arguing for, whether it’s about a baby Jesus in a manger on the state capital steps or the need for women to cover their faces in public, etc.
    They are merely defending themselves.
    God’s ok just as God is. No defense needed – whether you are a believer or non-believer


  118. I am a Christian who knows that God isn’t a Christian. I wish more Christians would stop plugging what they believe as truth, when the reality is that they have CHOSEN (like myself) to believe in something that they cannot prove is true. Being a northeasterner at heart and living in the south, this is extremely fucking difficult!!! THINK, people!

    Oh yeah, and read Bishop Carlton Pearson’s book, The Gospel of Inclusion — Serious Lee.


  119. PEACE to ALL…

    Nat King Cole – ‘The Christmas Song’

    ~ Δ ~


  120. … and all God’s children said, “AMEN, sistah!”


  121. Truebluecoondog:
    That was a great song by Dylan. Can’t say Ive ever heard it.


  122. AKZombie:

    Excellent post!


  123. Your VERY BEST post to date!


  124. Helen and Margaret,

    I’ve been lurking in the shadows of your blog for a few weeks now and I LOVE y’all. Thanks for such wonderfully wise perspective on a myriad of topics. Keep up the great work. My day is made when you make new posts.


  125. I am going to bookmark this post, and then the next time someone sends me some bible-thumping nonsense about how everyone should live life, I’ll link them to your post. It’s the most lucid, commonsense discussion of religions I’ve ever read.
    Thank you!


  126. I can’t believe I’ve never posted here, as I must spend hours reading the posts and their comments. Also, like some others who are regular posters, I am a political minority in Alaska.

    I just saw Catherine’s question about Evangelical vs. Born Again. I’m not quite sure how they get broken up as a voting block. Evangelical pretty much refers to the act of proselytizing. Evangelical Christians are typically those folks in line behind you at Starbucks who ask, “Excuse me, have you accepted Jesus Christ as your lord and savior,” and at the moment you’re thinking that your lord and savior actually looks and smells a lot like a venti peppermint white mocha.

    Born Again Christians have been baptised or re-baptised into the Christian faith. It’s typically associated with protestantism. My un-scientific opinion is that many Born Again Christians are also Evangelicals, although I suppose you could be one or the other without them overlapping.

    I’m surprised that no one has mentioned here that “one” of Sarah Palin’s churches was torched over the weekend. Perhaps folks were not being vigilant enough about looking for wayward Russians or maybe the turkeys were just getting revenge.


  127. Helen, I like you so much.


  128. Colorful wrote: “Yes. Every day is God’s day. But CHRISTmas day is the day we celebrate the virgin birth of His only son Jesus Christ. There is no other reason for this season. To suggest so is to mock Him. It is so simple and yet you people are blinded by this old woman who thinks she is so funny. She will one day know what she has done and it will be too late for her and too late for you.”

    Despite the fact that Christianity was based on an oxymoron (“virgin birth”) and that religion itself was man-made… I choose to respect your faith. But as far as how each of us should celebrate the holiday season, you are not the center of my beliefs… therefore, you cannot expect me to celebrate this holiday season as you would like me to. For once in your life, put aside your selective reading and actually ponder on what Helen writes. You don’t have to follow her or take her views as the law of the land. Just think. For once. I dare you.


  129. War and God, yes, Bob Dylan put it like this:

    With God On Our Side

    Oh my name it is nothin’
    My age it means less
    The country I come from
    Is called the Midwest
    I’s taught and brought up there
    The laws to abide
    And that land that I live in
    Has God on its side.

    Oh the history books tell it
    They tell it so well
    The cavalries charged
    The Indians fell
    The cavalries charged
    The Indians died
    Oh the country was young
    With God on its side.

    Oh the Spanish-American
    War had its day
    And the Civil War too
    Was soon laid away
    And the names of the heroes
    I’s made to memorize
    With guns in their hands
    And God on their side.

    Oh the First World War, boys
    It closed out its fate
    The reason for fighting
    I never got straight
    But I learned to accept it
    Accept it with pride
    For you don’t count the dead
    When God’s on your side.

    When the Second World War
    Came to an end
    We forgave the Germans
    And we were friends
    Though they murdered six million
    In the ovens they fried
    The Germans now too
    Have God on their side.

    I’ve learned to hate Russians
    All through my whole life
    If another war starts
    It’s them we must fight
    To hate them and fear them
    To run and to hide
    And accept it all bravely
    With God on my side.

    But now we got weapons
    Of the chemical dust
    If fire them we’re forced to
    Then fire them we must
    One push of the button
    And a shot the world wide
    And you never ask questions
    When God’s on your side.

    In a many dark hour
    I’ve been thinkin’ about this
    That Jesus Christ
    Was betrayed by a kiss
    But I can’t think for you
    You’ll have to decide
    Whether Judas Iscariot
    Had God on his side.

    So now as I’m leavin’
    I’m weary as Hell
    The confusion I’m feelin’
    Ain’t no tongue can tell
    The words fill my head
    And fall to the floor
    If God’s on our side
    He’ll stop the next war.

    Copyright ©1963; renewed 1991 Special Rider Music


  130. Ah, I love your columns! Keep up the good work!


  131. Colorful,

    Jesus simply described (and then demonstrated?) that eternal life is a manifestation of a higher dimensional existence where the spiritual realm takes place (at light speed?) where one is everywhere all the time and can perceive all truth in its entirety but warned that at the lower space/time constrained dimensional level everything is relative and truth can only be perceived (but as far as any material-spiritual connections goes, Benny Hinn, Jerry Falwell, Dubya… leaves too much to be desired, from my perception.)

    Therefore, “the reason for the season” is up to the individual.


  132. Helen, you really pissed off the trolls this time! You left them with just about nothing to complain about – how dare you? LOL!

    I love it!

    Keep writing, I read this every single day.
    – Sharon –


  133. Well, by God, I didn’t think I was affiliated with any religion but I have the same beliefs as susiemac so we must be part of some organized faith! To paraphrase: I believe Jesus was a spiritually advanced individual and is worthy of modeling a life after but virgin birth – no. Son of God, well only if we are all son & daughters of God. I did my 12 years in Catholic school so it isn’t as though I had no exposure (no pun intended). On the contrary, I had enough to say – nope. Not for me. I try to be honest and kind although the 2nd part gets tough some days. It is inspiring to read what so many people have written about God, no-God, Christmas, Peace, Tolerance, etc and it is all so damned rational! I wish you all a safe, happy, peaceful holiday celebrating whatever warms your heart.
    From one of the 75millionites


  134. Hey, warriorpoetgodi…

    Me too…I agree! And instead of making a big long comment here, I just did my thing over here…


  135. Couldn’t help adding a slightly different take: your concluding phrase, “peace on earth, good will to men,” is a quotation from the angels’ hymn announcing Jesus’ birth. Even when you try to renounce Christianity, you can’t get away from the fact that Jesus’ birth has had a greater impact on history than any other single event.

    Personally, this season reminds me that I am a sinner (I’m not here to talk about anyone else), and I’m grateful to Jesus that he humbled himself to become human, live among us, and pay the price for my sins.


  136. Why is it that every time Rags comes in here and spews invective, I always find myself waiting to see “…my precious…” written at the bottom of the entry and imagining a Gollum-like figure?

    They ARE entertaining in sort of a twisted way. I think we’d miss them if they stopped dropping by.


  137. I think that all of you so called “Christians” need to realize that by saying such hatefull things you are going against what God says. I am a Christian and i do have some problems with the bible but i do agree when it says that we need to not judge others or condem them. Everyone is different and we need to accept those differences whether we believe what they are saying or not no one has the right to tell another person they are going to burn.

    I agree with Helen, Christmas is about love. How could we all loose that feeling? I will never understand how hateful some people can be.


  138. ddddd,

    Take it back…

    Santa is real!

    If not someone keeps eating the cookies my daughters leave on the table.


  139. I read the comments to your blog. My goodnes, but you gals sure do bring out some colorful characters who write some pretty nasty stuff in the name of “christianity.”

    Can anyone explain to me the difference between an evangelical and and a born again? I recently read that there was a difference in the polling numbers because evangelicals like Palin and born agains like Huckabee and I was just trying to figure out what the difference is.

    I digress. Anyway, all of the central theme of all religions is love and, in particular, love for your neighbor. Seems the evangelicals, born agains or whatever they are who are saying that you are going to burn in hell have not only become your after-life judge and jury, but they have also forgot that little lesson (in addition to judge not that ye be not judged). Love is pretty powerful. If they tried to convince without judging and without all that nastiness, maybe people would listen.

    I think you two gals have it right. Live and let live. Que sera sera. I am not my brothers keeper and all that.

    Happy Holidays to all!!

    “A Time for Change”


  140. Wynd:
    “I had just read over the weekend in my tiny local paper, a column by a woman (she has mail-order clergy credentials) that anyone who objects to Christian decorations “anywhere they please including City Hall” are just people who’s “lives are very empty”…”


    About that mail-order peacher…

    I find it the height of hypcrisy for a person to advocate for Christianiy and then, in the same breath, isult and degrade others who do not feel the exact same way.

    In addition, by attacking those who disagree with her, tis MOP (mail-order preacher) is admitting that she cannot give reaspons to prove the other people wrong.

    In debate, it’s called an ad hominem attack.

    Really, I’m surprised the newspaper printed that letter. I know publishing standards vary from publication to publication, but to publish something that simply attacks a group of the publication’s readers…really, it’s bad on many levels: it’s unprofessional, it insults a portion of the publication’s readers (perhaps decreasing the subscription and/or advertisement revenue), and it inflames the community the publication serves.


  141. “I’ve not read your blog before, Ms. Philpot, but I must say — you make me laugh. Though I am not a Muslim, I am told that the gates of Heaven swing wide for the one that can make his (or her, in this case) compatriots laugh. If it were up to me, my dear, they’d be open as they could get for you.”


    Well, that is good news about how one gets into heaven.

    It is a comfort to think that heaven will be populated by my fellow mooners.


  142. Some day colorful I will teach you about Valentine’s day, or should I say Vali’s Blot.


  143. The original message on this board though, very well put.


  144. Oh, thank you. It makes me feel so much better to come here each day.

    I had just read over the weekend in my tiny local paper, a column by a woman (she has mail-order clergy credentials) that anyone who objects to Christian decorations “anywhere they please including City Hall” are just people who’s “lives are very empty”. I had been considering writing a letter to the editor in reply., knowing it would just incite more of the same. I came here and read the previous 200+ comments, plus my hero Helen, and it put in perspective who’s lives are really empty, and what they have tried to fill themselves with. Colorful and Rags are sad examples. Even if C and R are just having us on, still sort of sad examples, aren’t they?

    Bless you all. There’s hope for the world, yet.


  145. Colorful most of your Christmas songs sing of the yule, my Asatru holiday. Oh and your tree in your house; .hat came from my traditions too. We were lighting trees in the year 800; you guys can take credit for the angel/star on top though. Thanks for celebrating your holiday with my traditions.


  146. What a wise and intelligent post…happy holidays to all of you!


  147. “It might interest some of you out there to know that God isn’t a Christian. Think about it. He’s God.”

    “Quotes like this one are pure gold “. I so agree. You are just as entertaininly quotable on real issues as that other famous old lady, Maxine, is on personal ones.


  148. Colorful-

    You said and I quote:
    “Yes. Every day is God’s day. But CHRISTmas day is the day we celebrate the virgin birth of His only son Jesus Christ. There is no other reason for this season. To suggest so is to mock Him. It is so simple and yet you people are blinded by this old woman who thinks she is so funny. She will one day know what she has done and it will be too late for her and too late for you.”

    Forgetting about the fact that originally Christmas was a pagan holiday and the christians took it over to try and eliminate the pagan roots of the holiday are we?

    Theres no exact proof that Jesus was born on Dec 25. The christians simply picked that day after a while to override the pagans holiday.

    Since time has passed and psycho’s of many descriptions, both christian and non-christian, have emerged all christmas has been is a over propogandized sale of useless crap and ideas. Personally I prefer to have the holiday to spend with the loved ones that I only see a couple times a year max, religious or not. (my family overdoes it which drives me nuts but despite that I still love them and look forward to christmas)

    Why do we have to have a holiday to celebrate Jesus Christ (if thats your thing). Why do we have to have a holiday to give gifts to our loved ones? Why do we have to have this war on christmas and this “keep Christ in Christmas” thing?

    If you were an informed christian you would celebrate christmas with all of its festivity…. everywhere from midnight mass (assuming your church does this) to Santa at the mall to loving thy neighbor, to ESPECIALLY spending time with your loved ones. Why do you need to attend church, pray, or worship any more on christmas week than what you do the other 51 weeks of the year? Does God/Jesus need you more that week than any other week of the year?
    Face it, Santa as fake as he is, is not going away anytime soon and you need to embrace christmas for the good things that come out of christmas, spiritual or not.


  149. Oh Rags, Whore is so last century. My Politician friends prefer HOspitality HOstess.

    I have no problem with bitch either. I proudly claim that title.

    Grabbing a piece of pie to get me through today!

    Peace everyone!


  150. As a Christian, I did not explode at your posting but rather broke into a huge smile and thanked God for bringing you to us. Your post is, as usual, thoughtful, insightful, and respectful. You are loved.


  151. thanks for speaking up! I don’t have enough opportunities, but hey… I’m only in my 50s!
    You make me happy when you blog and I agree with today’s special(and your others, too).
    Too bad the ‘season of light and peace’ had to turn into a spend-a-thon.


  152. Who knew Helen had a subset of Corgi lovers!?

    It seems to me that it’s the right-wingers who get miffed more about the “happy holidays” than the more even-tempered “others” who get miffed about the “merry Christmas”. Whatcha think?

    I run ac-dc on the subject…I just love the sentiment, whatever the words are.

    It’s like my Southern Belle mother-in-law, who spoke broken Spanish, along with her southern accent, when she lived in South America years ago. Her daughters cringed at her in the local shops down there, trying to talk to the shopkeepers about what she wanted to purchase, but the shopkeepers just loved her back for trying to communicate in their language, even if she ripped up their Spanish along with her Southern accent! They appreciated the effort.

    I appreciate the effort to wish me love and seasonal happiness in whatever language or expression. So, thanks to all. And, FLEAS NAVIDAD! (“FELIZ?”)


  153. Helen – thank you for saying what so many of us are thinking. In regard to this post, I have to say I whole-heartedly agree. So many wars and so much hate are in “God’s name”…how can that be? God is love. We all need to display the part of God that is in each of us and simply love one another. So many problems would be solved if we were to devote ourselves to loving one another instead of spreading hate and passing judgement…


  154. Not to make the remaining unexploded fundamentalist Christians explode, but . . .

    Not only is God not a Christian, but neither is Jesus.

    But, he was a cool dude.

    Joyous Solstice to anybody who will accept my greetings. Peace to all.


  155. Hi everyone!

    It’s always baffled me that people get upset if you didn’t say ‘Happy Holidays’ to everyone this time of year because it’s “politically correct”. I mean, to me, the point of saying ‘Merry Christmas’, ‘Happy Hanukkah’, ‘Happy Kwanzaa’, Happy Festivus’, or ‘Happy Holidays’ is the first word. The ‘Merry’ and the ‘Happy’. I think it doesn’t matter what religion you follow or don’t, it only matters that the person wishing you a happy-merry anything this season is wishing you a happy-merry anything.

    Oh, and I have a corgi too! :3


  156. Um, am I the only one who thinks Colorful and Rags and the like are havin’ a bit of fun on us? Just sayin’…


  157. Rags, you must be Randy from Survivor…. lol What a sad life you must lead.


  158. Thank you for this post! While I love “sharing” the Christmas holiday with my many friends, neighbors and some family members (including my daughter who is both Jewish and Christian), the dreidel spins at my house. I am constantly amazed when a friend calls me out of the blue to invite me to their Christmas dinner and even more amazed when that same friend wants to know what time they need to show up for our Chanukah party. Tis the season, especially now, to reach out to our neighbors…NO MATTER YOUR RELIGION,that’s just the right thing to do.


  159. You’re a national treasure.. really! This post was the BEST! Have a wonderful holiday, and keep blogging away. It’s the bright spot in my day to read your writings.


  160. Colorful,

    Hollywood is on the phone. They want you for the remake of Carrie. The role of Carrie’s mom is yours for the asking.



  161. @ Chalk,

    You are missing my point. Religion is an ideology. A philosophy. A way of life. It is not the same as a gun. You can ridicule my point with your snarky “Guns don’t kill people. People kill people. Whatever” reponse, but it doesn’t apply.

    Think of how much damage has been done to people in the name of capitalism. We don’t simply throw it out. Or socialism, for that matter, which also has a place. Hell, even communism could be good if properly applied…it just doesn’t work well for nation-sized chunks of people from what I’ve seen.

    Likewise, democracy has been misused at times, such as when we wage war to “bring” democracy to others…sometimes to places where democracy might not be welcome or where our brand of it doesn’t fit the culture there.

    You get my point?

    Removing religion isn’t the answer, nor is blaming religion.

    That’s not to say there aren’t religions and denominations within religions that are oppressive. Indeed there are. But religion itself, in general or with most religions in their specific forms, is NOT the problem.


  162. When anyone asks my Grandmother for one of her recipes she gives it. She leaves out one ingredient, but she gives it. And she calls herself a good Christian!! 🙂


  163. Another very well done post ladies!

    Love all the comments – even from Colorful & Rags. It just reinforces why I left organized religion. I wish both of you MUCH peace. I think you need an extra helping of pie too. Maybe a nice tea break too.

    Have a great day folks!


  164. Hope all have a good week!
    Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas!


  165. Happy Holidays, Helen and Margaret! (from a christmas celebrating atheist. heh).


  166. Greytdog Δ, I’m calling you out on that pie recipe right now! Check your email…

    I put out last month…*wink*

    Blessings from Seattle…


  167. May we all know peace in our hearts and in our lives this Holiday season!


  168. a corgi and two German Shepherds at this house! No wonder I love this site.


  169. Thanks for the link, Cindi.


  170. Thank you again Helen, you are so much a voice of common sense in a world where there is little evidence of that. I know you can’t teach it but it seems to have been bred out of most people. Either that or now that they can have computers for next to nothing we hear from them more often.

    Growing up in church I was always taught tolerance of others and other religions. They may be going to hell but they have that right and it doesn’t affect me. I dunno, maybe a different era (I’m only 45) but when did Christianity turn into a crusade to make everyone think and act like them even if they aren’t? Christianity is from the heart, from the inside out, part of your character. But like I said, another era. That change in the direction of the church is one of the reasons I don’t go to church anymore.

    What’s even more amusing is that there is even debate as to the origin of Christmas, it’s generally accepted that it’s not the approximate birth date of Christ. A monk put it on that date so the Christians would have something to celebrate at this time of year while the Pagans celebrated the Feast of the son of Isis. But I digress, as you stated the reason for the season is now so much more than one person, religion or whatever. It is something that brings the world together even if we celebrate it in our own separate ways. It’s evidence that we can be of one mind, but not all be the same.


  171. Pie is the answer to everything. Long live Helen and Margaret. Long may there be Pie. 🙂


  172. Greytdog:

    “Remember the wisdom of doG: Wag More, Bark Less.”

    That’s especially funny coming from a Corgi owner about wagging more, since her Corgi, like mine, probably doesn’t have a tail to wag with! But the Corgis wag their whole backends…same muscles, I guess, just no tail at the end. Funny to watch, and same sentiment revealed in the backend motion even without a tail…

    It’s almost a metaphor for our community here coming together and giving it all we’ve got to get along, in the best spirit of wagging our tails, even when we don’t actually have one! Go, us!

    And eat more pie!


  173. Oh and you corgi lovers out there: come join us!


  174. And I have 4 pems and a cardi mix!!!!


  175. Wow. I have a female Corgi, all 20 pounds of her, who is running laps through my house chasing my daughter’s 85 lb. German Shepherd even as I type. It’s a hoot to watch them…they play well together simply because the big dog is so sweet-natured and accepts being pushed around by the little one, who’s small only in size.

    So that’s Greytdog, Donna, and me who have Corgis in our homes.


  176. Good morning, Donna! Just peeked in before I head down the road to the workplace. . . thank you for the kind words – I am willing to toss in my recipes for key lime pie (including the nut crust) as well as my treasured Sherwood Forest Mousse pie. . . think raspberries, dark chocolate. . . . . . .hmm.

    Everyone, including Colorful and Rags, have a great day. Blessed Be! Remember the wisdom of doG: Wag More, Bark Less.


  177. Good morning, all. I have been pondering why on earth someone like Rags or Colorful or the not-at-all-missed Patrick would insult strangers on a website rather than just Not. Read. The. Website. If. They. Disagree. With. It. And there actually is a fair amount of research out there about the serious problems these folks have with anger and social relationships. They aren’t trying to convert anyone. They are trying to get attention, period.

    Now, this may not exactly be a bolt out of the blue to those who are more blog-experienced than I am. But I, for one, have taken a vow to simply ignore these very foolish folks. And it makes sense–if nobody even acknowledges their postings, I’m confident that they’ll stop. And if they don’t, then they can be deleted. But either way, this blog and the few others that I enjoy reading won’t be garbaged up by them.

    On other topics, whoever came up with the idea for recipes is a genius. But then, I believe he/she has a corgi which, in my humble opinion, reflects deep intelligence and great taste. Indeed, I am watching my own corgyn (the singular) stroll by as I type this.


  178. Good morning everyone! (pats Colorful and Rags on head) I see the gang’s all here and the night crew has done a nice job keeping the place clean. And it looks like we have some new family members! Reading the comments this morning has been very uplifting, educational, and spiritual. Thank you all for enlightening our night and day. Some thoughts:
    Christie – it does sound as if your father in law may be entering the beginning stages of dementia. You might want to just listen and watch over the next month or so for any additional disturbing, “that’s not like him” episodes, and then get him to a doctor who can run the tests for Alzheimers. As for the church he belongs to – well, you can’t change that. But you can mitigate it simply by reminding your in-law that in your house such prejudice is not tolerated or taught. And then continue to treat him with love and respect. Also does he have arthritis? It may be progressing and the pain level may becoming intolerable. Perhaps a full medical check up is in order?
    To Raji and Kajivar, welcome and well met. Thank you for joining us – your presence & words are a benison to our gathering
    And finally to our favorite trolls: Colorful and Rags. Children really. Didn’t anyone teach you about the unhealthiness of spitting in public? I swear you two must spread the majority of virtual germs in the blogosphere. But never mind. Take your meds, say your prayers, and be sure to take a nap. Colorful – Christmas Day is a birthday. Do you have your presents ready to give to the baby Jesus? I understand that gifts of kindness, understanding, gentleness, charity, compassion, and love are greatly appreciated. And you need to know something – in the Christian world holiday hierarchy – Easter outranks Christmas. You think about it – and why. Rags, pick up your ‘tude and take it home, honey. It’s just leaving that greasy mark everywhere.


  179. Thank you, Helen for creating a blog where rational people can come together with wit and humor. In this crazy world of hate and fear, this place is a breath of fresh air. (I’ve been lurking since the beginning)

    I wanted to share my favorite quote by Joseph Conrad “It is when we try to grapple with other men’s intimate needs that we perceive how incomprehensible are the beings that share with us the sight of the stars and the warmth of the sun”

    Thank you, Jean for sharing Thomas Wolfe with us.

    Sending all of you wishes for a joyful Yuletide season. May you take this holiday season and create traditions that will give you happy memories for years to come. May your Holiday traditions be full of joyous memories of love and peace.


  180. Yuletide Blessings to you, too, dyricci!

    (My father is Catholic, my mother is Episcopalian, my brother is an atheist, and I’m a pagan. But we still celebrate together!)


  181. THANK YOU! For once somebody “gets it”!

    I celebrate Christmas, and I understand others do not. Can’t we just get along??

    Happy HOLIDAYS to everyone!


  182. Oops! I meant “…annoyed BY desecrating the holiday…”


    yes…it IS time for bed!


  183. Thank you, Kajivar (December 14, 2008 at 11:44 PM).

    If anyone should be annoyed and desecrating the holiday, it’s us Pagans. But are we? Nope. Because most pagans were and are happy to incorporate other religious traditions into their own. That’s how the Church was able to take over Europe through Ancient Rome. Make your religion compatible with ours and the More the Merrier, Live and let live, An ye hurt none, do as ye will…etc.

    Well, that’s all for now…it’s 2:00 am in Seattle. Time for me to bundle down into my cozy bed.

    Yuletide Blessings from Seattle…


  184. RE: Chalk on December 14, 2008 at 9:20 PM

    “I like the Christmas Jesus best and I am saying grace. When you say grace you can say it to grown up Jesus or teenage Jesus or bearded Jesus or whomever you want.”

    “I like to picture Jesus in a tuxedo t-shirt. Cause it says like I want to be formal but I’m here to party too.”

    Quick. Name the movie…


    I can’t believe they left you out in the cold there, Chalk!

    That be Ricky Bobby in Talladega Nights!

    You made me laugh out loud, thank the Gods!


  185. Hi Gramma Helen!
    You’re right on, as always!

    Love you!

    Yuletide Blessings from Seattle….


  186. Whenever I need a little pick-me-up, I check in to see what is happening in this wonderful blog. Helen, in addition to being born on my mother’s birthday (and I can tell you that she, too, is inherently cool at an age that is past SS eligibility), you are wickedly wise, and an amazing writer. I feel quite sure a published collected edition of your posts is in your future!

    Meantime, bless you for suggesting that Sarah Palin in young, thereby intimating that I do indeed appear young to a segment of the population. Please note that this is the ONLY happy association I might have with the woman who can see Russia from her house, but can’t see a turkey being slaughtered 5 feet from her nose.

    Colorful and Rags, there are no words … I wish you shared this sensation and would go preach to a choir somewhere. Meantime you only make the case for impatience with bigotry and dogma so much more eloquent.

    Cheers, everyone.


  187. The reason for the season ain’t god, its the winter solstice aka the sun. We are just thankful that we are not going to freeze to death forever in the northern hemisphere.


  188. The world commends the civility of those
    who combine fruitful effort and kindly benevolence.

    Disparaging words are painful even when uttered in jest.
    Hence, knowers of human nature are courteous even to enemies.

    -Tirukkural 100: 994-995

    Another of many examples why I am not a religious individual…though I strive with living spiritually, I am too much of a smart ass to ever even approach enlightenment.


  189. You know colorful and rags…the one thing which has amazed me as an adult, is that anyone, ANYONE, can be so narscistic and arrogant to actually believe that they could possibly fathom even a fraction of what god is. Let alone make god so small that they could believe that they could catagorize god, limiting god to one specific definition. I will not waste time going into history here…I have already presented just a small glimmer of that and I recognize it will do no good, I also recognize that I have as little of an opportunity to change your mind as you do of changing my perspective.

    I am sorry that your god, your paradigm, your world appears so small, so confined, so hate-filled and so fearful. Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!



  190. oh jeez- apologies for all the spellos in last post… you play with trollies, it rubs off on ya… ooogh


  191. Does anyone have a code solving algorithm in their bundle of computer magic?
    colorful’s endless attempts at speaking in tongues follows a pattern…
    almost loooks like basic piano fingering if you look at the letters on your keyboard…

    C’mon colorful.
    You and poor old rags don’t read carefully. I’m not sure poor ole rags can read, really.You DO NOT RESPOND to anything written here- by our hostess’ nor posters. You just come in here and barf all over the place.
    Something is seriously askew with you.You vest nothing of yourself here- wheres and how fors and so on. You just show up and MOCK- yes, deride – all of us visiting in Helen and Margaret’s parlour. Get ahold of yourselves for heaven sakes!
    Most of us here TRY to behave like folks do when they are face to face and have to take responsibility for their actions. If you acted like this on the street- the way you do here- you would be in jail or under observation in a psych ward.
    Quit acting like brats…this no longer has any semblance to a disagreement over religion . At All. Your nastiness has full resemblance to poison pen letters, hurtful gossip spread to harm, and every other nasty whisper-over-someone-else’s-shoulder-but-don’t-say-it-in-the-light kinda behavior sad resentful people engage in to make themselves feel big. Get ahold of yourselves! Go away would be better if you can’t take part in what is ACTUALLY going on here… instead of whatyou in your fevered fervour thinks is going on…


  192. I would like to add…

    The Bible says that if you speak in tongues and no one is around to translate it, it is false.

    Just one more point against fanatics using their own “literal” book.

    Boo. Fanaticism sucks!


  193. Rags got one thing right:

    “Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah”


  194. “If I had one wish I could wish this holiday season…”

    …or two, or three, or four…

    ~ Δ ~


  195. Christie Bundy:
    Seems to me your in-laws have fallen into a cult. A decent church would not be preoccupied with brainwashing. To state they’ve ‘fallen in with a bad crowd’ may be an understatement. First they gain control of the way the elderly think, and then they gain control of their bank accounts. You and your husband might want to keep an eye on how much money begins to flow from your in-laws to their ‘church’. You might also want to check with the Better Business Bureau, county commissioner and district attorney’s office to see if there have been any complaints or legal filings regarding that ‘church’ fleecing their flock. It’s everyone’s right to ‘give’ as much as they wish, but when the elderly are taken advantage of, it becomes nothing less than criminal in my book.


  196. Rags and colorful;
    You come here in an attempt to belittle, intimidate, and spread spite.

    I’m sorry to tell you both are going to be sorely disappointed.

    The only thing you will get from me (and a great majority of others) is pity, virtual shakes of the head, and hope for you that you see the lights of life and love this night and always.

    I feel very sorry for you both.

    Life is too short to be wasted living in such fear.

    May you find peace.

    skyewriter Δ

    g’nite all; sweet dreams of a world full of laughter and peace


  197. Oops, 350 AD, not 359.


  198. Hey Colorful,

    Way back in 359 AD, Pope Julius I figured that it would be easier to convert the pagans by combining their festivals with Christian events. So he decided to grab the Winter Solstice, the celebration of the return of the sun and the rebirth of the year, and proclaim that Christ’s birthday would be celebrated on December 25th. The church embraced the pagan trappings of the festivals to try to demonstrate to the pagans that “See, you can worship our god and party, too! Instead of your goddess, we have the virgin Mary. We’re not that different, really.”

    So your argument that there is no other reason for the season isn’t even remotely true. Bzzzt, thank you for playing, you lose. Please stop getting your panties in a bunch about people wanting to celebrate the day in their own way (or not celebrate at all). It’s none of your business.


  199. Thanks for your honest, funny and very smart posts. Happy Holidays to you!

    My son is 3 and he is SOOO excited about Santa coming. We are spiritual, mindful and considerate but not religious and I am really enjoying his excitement about this holiday season. I never saw the point of the holiday from a religious point of view (since I don’t check that box) or from the secular (why get caught up in another “Hallmark Holiday” of consumerism?). But with little ones it is all so fun to enjoy the changing of the season, create new traditions, like making cheesey looking crafts, and to have a special day to look forward to.


  200. Rags-
    No thanks. I don’t believe in hell. However, I hope you find something that brings you joy in your life, without the need to degrade others.

    Perhaps you and colorful should try meeting up sometime. I think the two of you might make for a lovely couple.


  201. And then there’s ‘Rags’. Another lonely, overweight, pimple-face, shit-stirring troll who is too intellectually slothful, or too busy stuffing his/her face with Cheetos, to engage in any intelligent dialog.

    Rags: You’re a waste of human skin. If your heaven is full of creatures like you, then hell would be a better place. Peace, and enjoy your Cheetos.


  202. Dear Rags,

    Peace and love to you! Positive energy and joy!


  203. Thanks Elsie, JoeB and Jan, I appreciate your suggestions. My father-in-law is 78 and my mother-in-law is 80. I’ve been married to their son for 34 years and they are wonderful people generally. They are in fairly good health thankfully and the only difference in the last few months is a new church. :o) This church also believes that Harry Potter is the devil’s work – surprise, surprise. :o) After reading your posts it occurred to me that this must be about something they are hearing in church and on Fox channel – mom-in-law told me this morning (today was a day of revelation) that Bill O’Rielly (sp?) is right about everything. So, either I’ve been happily oblivious to this s*it all of these years or they have fallen in with a bad crowd (intolerant – sure that their way is the only way church and dementia is certainly setting in if Bill O’Rielly is their lightening rod of intelligence. :o) I think the best tact is to be quiet, ignore their comments and have another drink. :o) Thanks again.


  204. Bitches and Whores. Whores and bitches.

    Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah

    Go to hell all of you.


  205. Fun post and lots of fun to read! Thanks Helen!

    To the religious fanatics on this site, you are just as fundamentalist as terrorists and this is not to be tolerated in our great country of mixed races, creeds, and lifestyles. The founding fathers would be rolling over in their graves (and don’t give me that crap about this being a Christian country as several major founding fathers were DEIST and didn’t believe in Christian soteriological philosophy).

    Furthermore, I don’t believe you should be spouting any religious text as if it was absolute truth since you can’t even READ it in its original language and DON’T KNOW what it really says (as translation always results in changed meaning, a conclusion that philologists came to 100 years ago).

    Moreover, a LOVING and RATIONAL God has no interest in punishing people based on beliefs since we have no way to verify them with absolute certainty against other claims based on “revelation”. If the commandment is to just believe, then what are we to believe, exactly? And don’t give me that crap about being moved by the Spirit, because EVERYONE who has a faith believes that they are moved in their hearts by God, too. Who are you to say they aren’t?

    Finally, if you really want to understand the philosophy contained in Christianity, pick up Plato’s Republic. It was written 500 years before Jesus, and gosh darn it if Pauline philosophy doesn’t somehow seem lifted. You know they didn’t have plagiarism laws back then. It doesn’t mean that the ideas are wrong, just that different cultures across time manage to come up with similar beliefs all over the world. THUS we should respect the fact that we all participate in the HUMAN CONDITION in all its expressions!

    Speak to that… and NOT in TONGUES!


  206. Eric. You really didn’t make any sense. Did you mean to?


  207. To Deacon Blue:

    Guns don’t kill people. People kill people.

    Whatever. Half of the murders would not happen if the gun owner had to use thier fists instead of grabbing for a gun. And half the wars (or more)wouldn’t happen if idiots couldn’t hide behind some unknown God or Religious Cause used justify the action.


  208. this has become for me, an all-time favorite place. to read every day!

    PEACE on Earth and good will to all.

    And Merry Xmas to Colorful


  209. Wise, intelligent, delightfully humorous – well, okay, downright laugh out loud funny at times…you both are gifted. – Linda


  210. So, as a Christian, I’m supposed to agree that because 4 billion people have a different opinion of me, therefore their opinion is just as valid? Or mine is invalid?

    I say “Merry Christmas”, someone else says “Happy Chanukah” and still someone else says “It’s December, so what?” What’s the big deal again?


  211. If only all our elders were as wise as you, the world would be a much better place.


  212. Speaking in tongues…maybe it’s troll language 🙂

    I agree with you: peace on earth would be an awesome christmas gift. (albeit stereotypical.)

    All wars are civil wars fought between different groups of humans on the same planet. (Although wars aren’t actually very “civil.”)

    There’s an analogy about religion called the diamond analogy, and it says each religion is like a different face of the diamond but even though they’re different they’re all describing the same thing from different angles. (the same thing would be the miracle that humans exist, and the meaning of life and stuff.)

    Anyway nice blog 🙂


  213. Joe B and Elsie – your suggestions about aging and possible dementia are excellent and better than ours! Should’ve thought of that as a potential cause, too — my dad died of Alzheimer’s and began very nasty and mean-tempered and “ranting” in the middle stages.

    DeaconBlue – some good thoughts there. You’re on to something — the Bible was just used as an excuse to do what they’d have done anyway. I’m in the middle of a book by Peter Gomes titled “The Scandalous Gospel of Jesus” that pretty much says the same thing. It was used to control people — “convert” them and then take their land. In fact he quotes Desmond Tutu who describes an African proverb to the effect that when the missionaries came they had the Bible and the Africans had the land. After awhile the Africans had the Bible and the missionaries (or the country they came from) had the land!

    Anyway, Helen — great posting here! Somehow we are going to have to get used to the fact that there are an awful lot of people in the great country, we don’t all think or believe alike, and we’re just going to have to get to a place where we can be OK with it or we’ll all go down the tubes together!

    Peace and Light to ya’ll!


  214. I LOVE this blog. You guys are so articulate. You say exactly what I think. As for this post, I don’t know how anyone could argue with you about it. Its right in every way. Thank you


  215. I’ve not read your blog before, Ms. Philpot, but I must say — you make me laugh. Though I am not a Muslim, I am told that the gates of Heaven swing wide for the one that can make his (or her, in this case) compatriots laugh. If it were up to me, my dear, they’d be open as they could get for you. 🙂


  216. Christy Bundy: It really is disappointing when you discover some bigotry in someone you’ve loved, and believed you knew, for so many years!

    Hubby and I were discussing your question, and his feeling is that you’re never going to convince someone who is so adamant that they are (or even just “could be”) mistaken, but that doesn’t mean you have to allow it in your home (bad vibes and all that).

    We have relatives who constantly refer to African-Americans as “coons” and Muslims as “rag-heads” and we decided that we were not going to tolerate that inside our home — we don’t have any hope of changing them, and they have a right to their opinion, wrong and bigoted as it is, but they need to know that if this is their way of speaking, they cannot speak it in our home.

    Well, they don’t come around anymore, but at least we feel like we expressed our principles rather than just acting like it didn’t bother us. It’s their choice to pick bigotry in their speech over a familial relationship.

    These people call themselves Christians, too — as your father-in-law does, and attend church every Sunday. They do all kinds of things for their church, too. It’s hard to reconcile that kind of judgementalism with the way Jesus behaved when He was on earth — associating with people who were considered the lowest of the low, going out of his way to socialize in the homes of such people, trying to make the Pharisees and doctors of the law recognize the hypocrisy of their “faith.” He didn’t succeed in changing their minds — they succeeded in getting rid of Him. So it probably isn’t going to work for any of us to try it either.

    Good luck with whatever you do. Maybe if your father-in-law ever has someone in his family who is gay or lesbian he will have a change of heart, but who knows. Many “good Christian” people have totally rejected a family member for that “lifestyle choice” as they call it.

    Juneau Joe — when are you headed to Oregon? We’re in Joseph – extreme NE corner, overlooking Hell’s Canyon (that will cause Colorful palpitations of his/her heart!). Safe travels! If you’re going to be in our area, let us know.

    danjanbee in Joseph

    Peace and light to all!


  217. Christie Bundie:
    I’m not sure what your father-in-law’s state of mind is, but it seems strange that after all the decade’s you’ve known him he would choose now to spout intolerance and hate. My grandmother always had the potential to be mean and controlling, but she became completely intolerable as she grew more and more feeble-minded. The doctors called it Irritable Dementia. If you don’t think that your father-in-law may be becoming feeble minded, then perhaps all he needs is a big fat serving of Helen’s posts. Print them out, put them in a binder and give them as a Holiday gift [Notice how I didn’t use ‘Christmas’]. Maybe he’ll get pissed off, or maybe he’ll learn to keep his bigotry to himself. Either way, it could be fun.


  218. Very nice post, but I do have to disagree on one point that was made (and reinforced at least a couple times in the comments).

    There is a belief that religion has caused more wars, misery, strife, problems, etc. than anything else.

    I totally disagree.

    I’m not going to trot out the “But think of all the good things it does…”

    What I am going to point out is that religion is just an excuse for the vast majority of problems that it supposedly has caused. Most wars, atrocities, genocides, etc. carried out in the name of religion or under the guise of being in the name of any god would have been carried out anyway.

    And that’s because the people who carry out this kind of crap don’t really care about their religion in most cases. What they care about is power, money, payback, racial purity and a host of other issues. The Crusades were really about conquest and empire expansion. The Inquisition was because the Spanish monarchy wanted to crack down on people and fill its coffers. Just two examples, I know, but they tend to be the two that most people use to point to the evils of religion, especially Christianity.

    Human nature is human nature, and it tends toward some unpleasant things like: lying, greed, self-centeredness, etc. Remove religion from the picture and I really don’t think you’ll see much change.

    You’ll just see conflicts and sins carried out under some other standard. Without religion to mask the reasons, people would have to be more straightforward and honest about their motivations maybe…but the shit would still happen.

    Religion isn’t the cause. People are. And you don’t throw out a cause, ideology, movement or whatever ONLY because it can be misused. (Not that many here have advocated that, but there are folks who do)

    Otherwise, we have to throw out democracy, capitalism and quite a few others along with religion.


  219. Joe B, that was a very colorful description that sounds about right to me, too. Thanks.


  220. Helen,

    Once again your wisdom shines through. I can only hope to be as wise as you one day. For those out there that have a need to express their distrust or distaste for what Helen has to say, I have a suggestion for you. There are probably hundreds of thousands more blogs out there that you can find who will have the same mind set as you do. Please do not come here and ruin the positive energy and Karma that Helen and Margarget have created here. You are raining on our parade and WE don’t like it.

    Once again…..”Let there be Peace on Earth and let it begin with me.”


  221. Christie Bundy…Is your father-in-law showing intolerance in other ways? Have his attitudes about life changed recently? How old is he? Is he generally happy, or might he be slipping into depression as he ages? Is he suffering increasingly poor health?

    He might be outliving his wife and old friends. As they pass away and leave him alone, and he gets to where he can’t drive his own car and thus loses his independence, he may be really sad and just no longer be able to tolerate others’ differences. That’s just me guessing; take it as something to consider or not.

    My dad died at the age of 89. His last several years were filled with pain and discomfort, and he became depressed, I believe, with little to cheer him up. He went about his days as long as he was able, but he didn’t enjoy them late in life.

    My first thought is not to argue with your father-in-law or try to dispute what he believes. Maybe accept him as he is?


  222. I picture ‘Colorful’ as a lonely, overweight, pimple-face troll who thinks he/she is pulling a big prank on all the readers here. What gives it away is the typing in tongues. A truly mentally disturbed religious zealot would never begin the Lord’s Prayer and turn it into gibberish. ‘Colorful’ is not religious in any sense. He/she probably resorted to gibberish because they don’t know the Lord’s Prayer and they were too lazy or busy stuffing their face with Cheetos to look it up and do a simple cut-paste. This is not to say that ‘Colorful’ is not mentally disturbed. He/she is, but in a childish, shit-stirring way. I do not take him/her seriously and will not feed this troll any further.


  223. Oh come on, Colorful is still coming back? Let me go get the bug spray.
    This individual must have some serious attention issues, as that is the only reason this person keeps coming back with trying to bully us with hateful remarks.

    I remember growing up my mom use to tell me to ignore the bullies. She said that if I stopped paying attention to them they would eventually go away.

    I believe my mom’s philosophy also works in the adult world as well.

    However, having bug spray also works pretty well when trying to get rid of those pesky roaches.


  224. Colorful,

    I have a friend who would fart alot while hanging out or watching television. He felt it was very funny. Guess what, that friend is now hanging out by himselr because we got tired of the stink.

    Your rantings are much like my lonely friends farts.

    Happy XMas Colorful


  225. Helen once wrote to someone who was dealing with intolerant Grandparents: talk to them and if they don’t listen “put laxatives in their pudding.”


  226. This morning at breakfast my father-in-law – who I’ve know since I was 16 (I’m now 53 so that’s a long time) blew me away when he remarked on his disgust for thoughts posted on a campus sign at my nephews elementary school. It said something to the effect that it was important to respect and be tolerant of others. At first I thought he was joking and asked him what was “wrong” about being respectful and tolerant? This good Christian man then went into a hateful rant about how awful it was to teach children to be respectful of anyone without regard to the other person’s way of life – in this case meaning gay or lesbian. Ok, how do you deal with something like that? A person who you know to be a good person, usually warm and loving and willing to give just about anyone the shirt off his back, suddenly spouting such hate-filled sentiment? I’ve been thinking about it all day – wondering how I missed this intolerance in someone I thought I knew so well. Gee whiz! Then I came to this blog and it is so right on. So, how does one deal with such hatefulness coming out of a good Christian? Is it even worth getting into it with them when they are already convinced they are right?


  227. Elsie,

    That has to be teh funniest thing I have ever read in a blog comment. LOLLOLLOLLOLLOLLOL


  228. too soon


  229. Aw, hell, I spoke to soon. Forget my last post.


  230. I think we need to praise Colorful for her/his improvement in communicating with us this evening with written English as opposed to all that typed gibberish. He/she is making a better, calmer effort, perhaps, to reach us this time. He/she just needs to be reminded, yet again, that it is not true that “we are all called to spread his gospel”. Colorful, you are messing with thoughtful, intelligent people here who are content in their own interpretation of their personal spirituality. YOUR interpretation of YOUR spirituality, or, perhaps, religiosity, is strictly peculiar to you and not appreciated here. And, overall, it’s just strictly peculiar, anyway. Thanks, but no thanks.


  231. Yes. Every day is God’s day. But CHRISTmas day is the day we celebrate the virgin birth of His only son Jesus Christ. There is no other reason for this season. To suggest so is to mock Him. It is so simple and yet you people are blinded by this old woman who thinks she is so funny. She will one day know what she has done and it will be too late for her and too late for you.

    I pray for you.

    Our father who art in heaven


  232. Colorful,

    Unfortunately, when you were called upon to spread the gospel, no one gave you lessons in how to do it.

    When you try to persuade people and are totally lacking in social skills yourself, you shouldn’t be surprised when the result is not what you want.

    You are pretty much guaranteed to make NO converts when you threaten people with hell. It might work with children, but it won’t work with thinking adults. In fact, anyone who might have been willing to listen to a reasonable appeal will lose that willingness real quick when approached in a manner as hostile and belligerant as yours.

    So not only have you failed in your mission, you have made it that much more difficult for anyone else to succeed.

    If you disagree, I would ask you: Just how many people from this site have you converted? Umm……my guess would be…..none.

    You need to change your approach and develop some “people” skills if you plan to evangelize.


  233. Becca – you are wonderful! I don’t know when I’ve laughed so hard – your prayer to smite – I can hardly type it without cracking up. Why is smiting so funny? :o) Then the comment about lacking the ability to reason…gee whiz, you are good. I appreciate your intelligence, your sense of humor and your ability to put in into words.


  234. Have you see the shoe video? Iraqui journalist throws shoes at Bush.


  235. You are one smart lady, and I’m enjoying reading your blog posts. Thank you and have a great holiday.


  236. Dear Helen, Margaret and all those who comment in positive ways – this blog gives me much hope for humanity! It is so wonderful to be reminded that there are so many others out there who are tolerant, loving and peaceful. I choose to believe that we are all one and whatever we do to any other we do to ourselves. I’m a work in progress of course – when I get mad at another driver during the morning commute and yell obcenities I catch myself – reflect on the fact that I just cussed myself out – and then wish the other driver love and positive energy. It blew my mind to find out how great it made me feel inside the first time I took my misplaced anger and turned it around. I wish you all peace and love and positive energy! Happy Holidays to all no matter how you choose to celebrate.


  237. Chalk, don’t know the movie. . . but for some reason. . . all I could picture was Daniel Craig as James Bond!! That image would be enough to send Colorful over the cliff. . .

    To Colorful: Guess what? Every day is meant to be lived as God’s day – not just this day or easter. . . but you haven’t figured that out yet. . . you’re like Saul on the road to Damascus, your blindness caused by your own inner torment. In psychological terms that’s called projection – self-loathing being tossed onto others who are living their lives, doing good, loving one another, celebrating life in all of its fullness. . . I find it pitiful and sorrowful that you are so tormented. . but I find it more sorrowful that your god brings you no joy and no Light.


  238. Hey Colorful. Here is something to pick your spirits up. ,|,, It’s real nice. I got it at Target.


  239. Quick. Name the movie…


  240. I needed a heartfelt chuckle and I got one. thanks:)


  241. “I like the Christmas Jesus best and I am saying grace. When you say grace you can say it to grown up Jesus or teenage Jesus or bearded Jesus or whomever you want.”

    “I like to picture Jesus in a tuxedo t-shirt. Cause it says like I want to be formal but I’m here to party too.”


  242. I won’t use reason on you Colorful, since you obviously lack that ability- but I will say this much. If you have any notions of coming here to convert, change minds, or encourage us heathens to no longer ‘sin’, you’re in the wrong place. I’m pretty sure we’re all happy with who we are, we know God in the ways we feel is best- and just because it’s not in YOUR way doesn’t make us horrible, as you’d like to believe.
    Take you ‘faith’ and shove it down someone else’s throats. Your ignorance isn’t welcome here.
    K, thanks. Byebye!


  243. God- the crazies are back, saying a bunch of crap in ‘your’ name. Can’t you just smite them already and get it over with? I mean.. really…


  244. I am not at all happy that you mock me. But He is even more unhappy that you have made it your mission to mock his day. A day that should be made holy by all who walk his great earth. There is but one God and he gave us his ONLY son and we are all called to spread his gospel.


  245. Your blog makes my day whenever there is a new entry. May the joy of the season (however you celebrate it) make its way into your heart.
    Love from one of your fans.


  246. Oh, you ladies are so much fun to read!!

    Regarding the so-called and non-existent War on Christmas – I’ve always found it peculiar that certain people would take offense at the exact words being chosen by someone to wish them well.

    And – taken farther, I find it difficult to understand certain people who see their choice of a particular holiday greeting as a chance to anger someone, i.e. “make liberals’ heads explode.”

    an occasion to wish other people well shouldn’t be used as a political scorecard.


  247. Dear Margaret and Helen,

    I have been thinking about gifts to send to you and all my new and dear friends on this blog. I’m afraid that would be a budget buster! Then I remembered a poem from the textbook of a philosophy course I took many, many years ago. It has always truly warmed my heart and I hope it will warm yours too. It needs a little explanation however.

    The name of the poem is “This is Man” by Thomas Wolfe. It sounds a little sexist, but I’m sure he meant it in the generic sense of humanity. For those of you monitoring grammatical, spelling and typo errors, there is a word at the end of the poem, ‘batten’. The definition of the word is, “to grow prosperous or thrive at the expense or to the detriment of another.”

    I rather doubt if I will have much time to devote to the computer until after the holidays as I expect to enjoy them with family and friends. I wish each of you too, the joys of the season and we can all start off the new year with a clean slate.

    “This is man,
    Who, if he can remember ten golden moments of joy and happiness
    Out of all his years,
    Ten moments unmarked by care,
    Unseamed by aches and itches,
    Has power to lift himself with his expiring breath,
    And say, ‘I have lived upon this earth
    And known glory!”

    This is man,
    And one wonders why he wants to live at all.
    A third of his life is lost and deadened under sleep;
    Another third is given to a sterile labor;
    A sixth is spent in all his goings and his comings,
    In the moil and shuffle of the streets,
    In thrusting, shoving, pawing.
    How much of him is left, then,
    For a vision of the tragic stars?
    How much of him is left
    To look upon the everlasting earth?
    How much of him is left for glory
    And the making of great songs?
    A few snatched moments only
    From the barren glut and suck of living.
    Here, then, is man.
    This moth of time,
    This dupe of brevity and numbered hours,
    This travesty of waste and sterile breath.

    Yet if the gods could come here
    To a desolate, deserted earth
    Where only a few marks and carvings of his hand
    Were legible upon his broken tablets,
    Where only a wheel lay rusting in the desert sand,
    A cry would burst out of their hearts
    And they would say:
    ‘He lived, and was here!’

    . . . . . . .

    For there is one belief, one faith,
    That is man’s glory, his triumph, his immortality –
    And that is his belief in life.
    Man loves life,
    And loving life, hates death.
    And because of this he is great, he is glorious,
    He is beautiful, and his beauty is everlasting.
    He lives below the senseless stars
    And writes his meanings in them.
    He lives in fear, in toil,
    In agony, and in unending tumult,
    But if the blood foamed bubbling from his wounded lungs
    At every breath he drew,
    He would still love life more dearly
    Than an end of breathing.

    Dying, his eyes burn beautifully,
    And the old hunger shines more fiercely in them –
    He has endured all the hard and purposeless suffering,
    And still he wants to live.

    Thus it is impossible to scorn this creature.
    For out of his strong belief in life,
    This puny man made love.
    At his best,
    He IS love.
    Without him
    There can be no love,
    No hunger, no desire.
    So this is man – the worst and best of him –
    This frail and petty thing
    Who lives his day
    And dies like all the other animals,
    And is forgotten.
    And yet, he is immortal, too.
    For both the good and evil that he does
    Live after him.
    Why, then, should any living man
    Ally himself with death,
    And, in his greed and blindness,
    Batten on his brother’s blood?”

    Aloha! And as we say out here, ‘Mele Kalikimaka and Hau’oli Makahiki Hou!!!!!”



  248. Can’t really add to what has been said already . . . you’re in my head and expressing thoughts my husband and I and my bestest girlfriend (using the term loosely — we’re in our 60’s) have shared for years. You just say it better and with lots more humor. I’m going to try not to let those “this is a Christian nation” folks get me tied up in knots anymore.

    Diane – sympathy on the loss of Aunt Florence. You’ve made her known to lots of people — that’s immortality in any religious persuasion!

    Peace on earth to all you lovely people ahead of this post . . . and to you who come after, too! Maybe we’ll see it in our lifetimes. These posts give me hope!


  249. Love all you people out there who join me in admiring Helen and Margaret . Happy Holidays to you all. I pray that the coming year is joyful.
    My Dad was agnostic – he said that his God is spelled GOOD but he was the most religious person I’ve ever known – never spoke a hateful word about or to anyone. “Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me” Can’t listen to that song without getting teary-eyed.


  250. The World Peace Prayer Society (WPPS) is a non-sectarian, non-political organization associated with the Department of Public Information at the United Nations. The work of WPPS encompasses the globe in ways that support peace, harmony and goodwill among all citizens. WPPS is not a religion or a church organization.

    The Power of Thought
    Thought forms create an energetic field strong enough to empower the course of planetary destiny.

    The Power of Words
    Words carry vibrations strong enough to inspire, heal and transform the human heart as well as the Kingdom of plants, animals and all creation.

    The Power of May Peace Prevail On Earth
    May Peace Prevail On Earth is an all inclusive message and prayer. It is a meeting place of the heart bringing together people of all faiths, backgrounds and culture to embrace the Oneness of our planetary family.

    Mission Statement
    To spread the Universal Peace Message and Prayer, May Peace Prevail On Earth, far and wide to embrace the lands and people of this Earth.


    The WPPS needs you as their spokesperson.

    We are all blessed by your writings.



  251. Oops! My bad. Perino suffered a black eye. soooo symbolic. The mouthpiece sporting a black eye. . . .

    Uh Matthew. . . .we know you’re busy, we know that this is a part-time gig while you toil in London. . . but any chance of a recipe collection being posted on this blog in the coming year????? Puhleeze. . .


  252. Greytdog you are all kinds of wrong for that: “Perino was injured. Must have had her mouth open.” foflmao!

    Diana, I’m sorry to hear of Florence’s passing. May you find comfort during this time of loss.

    Helen, you and Margaret are AWESOME!


  253. Diane on December 14, 2008 at 5:36 PM
    I am sorry to read about your beloved Aunt Florence. How wonderful it was that you were all able to set aside your religious differences and just love each other. I bet she felt as blessed with you as you did with her.


  254. i check your blog daily from my phone, always anxious for your next post! i havent commented for awhile, but i couldnt resist this time. I just cant get over how you seem to be in my head reading my thoughts and although im not so eloquent at expressing them, you do the job perfectly.

    kindness and respect go a long way folks. peace to you all!


  255. I just found you from a link from Kay. I certainly agree with you about the non-existant war on Christmas. It was the topic of my Christmas letter, sent to some of my good evangelical family members. I think they already consider that I am going to hell, so I’ve decided to finally be honest about what I really think. It’s kind of freeing.


  256. Diana, our condolences on the loss of your Aunt Florence. Oh I know you said she wasn’t really a relative – but that’s all relative isn’t it? Sounds like she was a heart relative, and that’s what counts. . .

    On the shoe incident: Perino was injured. Must have had her mouth open.


  257. Helen & Margaret, You are SO right with this one, and pshaw to the folks who think we’ll all burn in hell. It really IS all about love, and there are MANY paths to God (Budda, Hare Krishna, Jesus, Muhammed, etc etc). Bless you both, and keep on posting!

    Happy Holidays and peace to you both!!


  258. Maybe he wanted to tell Bush he thought he was a “heel”.
    Maybe he thought Bush didn’t have a “sole”.


  259. Re: the shoe tossing incident.

    Wish I had thought of that. But maybe this nice Iraqi man just wanted to share with Bush.


  260. Amen and Hallelujah!!!!!!!!! Well said!!!!!!!


  261. I just think you’re wonderful Helen. You’re a real piece of work, and I mean that in a good way, really.


  262. Thanks. This was very lovely to read.


  263. You are a goddess, Helen. Truly amazing!

    My husband and I made a short video of me telling lame Christmas jokes while riding the El train in Chicago. I thought you’d enjoy it. Click here to watch it…

    I think I’m starting to get a Midwestern accent! Hmmm.


  264. so if you see me shuffling down the walk to get the newspaper at 11:00 o’clock on Sunday morning, don’t think me a heathen–I’m just fresh from church…

    Emma! What a hoot! I love it. We must worship at the same church. . . .except the offering plate at my church usually includes the pooper scooper. . . they give, I collect. Who says there is no doG?


  265. Helen,
    I adore you. You are simultaneously a hoot and a lady. God love ya!


  266. My husband and I are Christmas celebrating agnostics (with Pagan tendencies). We worship at the Church of the king-sized bed, so if you see me shuffling down the walk to get the newspaper at 11:00 o’clock on Sunday morning, don’t think me a heathen–I’m just fresh from church…


  267. Well thank you for that kiss Toni!
    What kind of pie Political Amazon?


  268. I just found out my Aunt Florence died.
    This was my next door neighbor who was my second mom.
    She was also a Protestant. We grew up Catholic.
    She was so kind and good to me after my dad died.
    And back then, because she was not Catholic and a Protestant she and her family was going to hell, according to my religion.
    I think most religions were like that then.
    That was almost 50 years ago.
    Have things changed that much?
    I was sad after reading the previous post comments.
    How some people are so vile and nasty in the name of religion. How they can condemn in the name of the Lord.
    Why can’t we all get along?
    Aunt Florence and our family did.


  269. “Is Carolyn doubting that there really is a Helen and Margaret????”


    As long as she doesn’t doubt that there really is pie, we are doing fine.

    Some things are sacred, you know.


  270. “…This statement has been rolling around in my head for awhile. I have PO’d more than my share of people who keep giving me the “We are all Christians in this country, even our money says in God We Trust.” I look at them and say “Which God”? Well that is a puzzler for them!…”


    Well, Christians, Jews and Muslims have one important thing in common: Abraham. All three view him as the founder of their religion.


  271. Love you both and all your words of wisdom…


  272. You crack me up!
    Helen, Margaret and everyone here have a wonderful Holiday.


  273. I’ll say Amen to that, Helen, and I don’t practice any religion.


  274. Just great!

    I agree. We all have our beliefs. That’s what is supposed to good about this country. We get to have them. I’ve been a Sikh for 26 years. Believe me, it’s been eye opening…

    You always get down to the nitty gritty. Peace on Earth. Goodwill toward men. (and I’ll add women, and children, and animals, etc…)

    Keep up!


  275. My bad….just re-read….big kiss, Carolyn!


  276. Is Carolyn doubting that there really is a Helen and Margaret????


  277. You bring so much joy to this “blacksheep”. If only we all had relatives like you. Adopt me please!
    Thank “whoever” for you.



  278. Margaret and Helen make the world a better place…even if it does contain Sarah Palin. 🙂


  279. I’m a Methodist minister (yep, that makes me a Christian), and I say – good on ya, loves! Fantastic.

    Question, though – when you say we (your devoted, adoring readers) grow on you – are you comparing us to flowers or to mold? 😀 Maybe a little of both!


  280. Thanks as always for saying it like it is! and I couldn’t agree more — I have never seen so much blatant stupidity in the name of Jesus and God — I bet “they”( God and Jesus) are somewhere wondering where in the hell people have dreamed up all the crap that they spew and sputter over! I wish you a lovely and loving holiday with much joy and laughter!


  281. I LOVE LOVE LOVE that there are so many people out there who feel the exact same way I do. I’ve encountered so much hate and intolerance over the past few months (particularly since November 4th it seems) and so much it stems from religious conflict between myself and them. I’ve seen so much blatant stupidity in the name of Jesus and God that I’m sure they’re both as tired of it as I am.
    Helen, Margaret- thank you for bringing all of us ‘heathens’ together- for creating a blog that houses the voices of so many intelligent, amazing people. This site gives me hope that there are more of us out there then I thought, and that living in the bible belt has warped my world view quite a bit, unfortunately.
    Happy Holidays everyone! I wish much peace, much happiness, and much laughter to all of you! Yes, even the trolls… 😉


  282. I don’t comment too often, but I look forward to each of your posts with enthusiasm. This may be your best yet… very moving. Keep up the GREAT work! I mean it.


  283. Thanks for a wonderful post. I’m one of the 75 million, and it’s so nice to be mentioned. Most people are for tolerance of different religions, but for non-belief, not so much.

    I grew up in a religious home and celebrated Christmas, so I still do because it’s fun. There are the traditions and memories. I baked a bunch of cookies today and my daughter and I just delivered them to some neighbors (of different religions). This is what we do, and others would celebrate it differently or for a different reason, but so what? Why should it matter to them what I do, and I don’t care what they do unless they try to push their beliefs on me. This world would be a much better place if we just stopped worrying about what the next person is doing if it does not harm us or others.


  284. I’m so glad I found your blog! As usual, you’re right on target with this piece. 🙂


  285. As usual, your post was lovely and thoughtful.

    Thank you so much for teaching us that our personal beliefs are all correct. Different, but right for us.
    I don’t expect any one else to believe what I believe. However, I do expect that they honor my beliefs and not try to preach.


  286. Whoa….SHOE attack!!


  287. Excellent as always !

    Wishing everyone a Joyous Holiday Season, no matter what your beliefs.

    Peace on Earth and Goodwill towards ALL.

    (off to have my cup of coffee now. I’ve learned the hard way not to sit here sippin’ when I’m listening to Helen and Margaret!!)


  288. Someone earlier mentioned the songwriter, Holly Near. She’s great! If you haven’t heard the song Great Peace March, you’re missing out!
    Look up the lyrics.

    Peace on Earth and………
    Always believe in good will.


  289. Simply and eloquently stated. Helen, you are the shit!


  290. AMEN! Why are we always so amazed when somebody shows a little common sense. Can it be that “common sense” is now so uncommon, that we need a new label for it? How about “justplaindecencyandtolerance” sense?
    Jesus is my personal Savior. I believe he is MY way, My truth, and My light.
    Yet, as very human being and a mother, it is EASY for me to believe that even for God, this had to be an incredibly difficult sacrifice. I can see, how perhaps tried a FEW other avenues, before sacrificing his Son to our stupidity. That He would give such a gift, to such an intolerant, ungrateful, population is incomprehensible to me.
    I personally don’t care if you call Him God, or Allah, or Yahway (but I can do without the pamphlets), as long as you practice what He preaches.
    Merry Christmas…..or not….but I’ll wish you all peace, prosperity, and joy for your souls in 2009.
    Yeah Margaret!


  291. I agree! Amen, amen and Yes, yes!

    I agree with the poster who calls Helen a wise woman.

    Thank you, Helen, for thinking over your posts, before you begin typing, which I believe you must be doing. And for posting such timely messages.

    Season’s Greetings!


  292. I have some mulberry pie for the trolls. I’ll even whip up some cream for their wedgies. . . they’ll enjoy the “whipping” part. . . really.


  293. Well put again, Helen.

    Here’s wishing peace and love in all seasons to everyone. Even to the sad, mentally disturbed trolls that will undoubtedly be paying a visit here. Perhaps if their mouths can be kept full of pie, they will refrain from typing in tongues.


  294. Thanks for such a thoughtful post. If we can all just let each person believe what is right for that person. Let me believe what I believe in and I’ll let you believe in what you believe in.


  295. Alway terrific, always.

    Acceptance and love. That’s all we need to solve all sorts of the world’s problems.


  296. “And a Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah, Holy Kwanzaa, Blessed Yule and Great Tangly Noodliness (to the followers of the Flying Spaghetti Monster) to you all!”


    Flying Spaghetti Monstrosities unite! Tango till you Tangle! Noodle it up!


  297. Oh, blessings on your heads! Thank you!

    When my students and I would discuss religion, the first hurdle we had to cross was what the Big Five religions were.

    “Miss? I know, Miss! Christian, Catholic, Muslim, Jewish and Buddhist!” *smiles happily*

    “Er. . .not quite. But close!”

    *frowning* “Uh-huh! That’s five!”

    “Um, well, what about Hindus?”

    *more frowning* “But that’s six, then.”

    At which point some Catholic reminded student number one that Catholics are Christian. The original organized Christians. And we wemt from there.

    Always followed somewhere by “Miss? What are you? Baptist? Methodist? What?”

    “Neither. None. I’m not included in the Big Five.”

    *drawn, shuddering breath, followed by a whisper* “Athiest?”

    “Nope. But there’s nothing wrong with that.”

    And it just got more complex. But the joy was that they were willing to listen.

    So here’s to you, being unafraid to tackle this touchy subject!

    And a Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah, Holy Kwanzaa, Blessed Yule and Great Tangly Noodliness (to the followers of the Flying Spaghetti Monster) to you all!


  298. I repeat: When I grow up, I want to be you.


  299. Try again…

    PEACE ~ Δ


  300. Helen-
    “And if you’re Joe the Plumber and that number is still just too big for your brain… well just imagine billions and billions of McDonald’s hamburgers.”

    That one had me rolling. Now I’m in the mood for a Happy Meal.

    On a more serious note, point well made in regards to those who practice or abstain from practicing the other religions of the world… and Scientology. For thousands of years, people have died in the name of religion. This even predates the creation of the Christian religion.
    I’ve never really understood why people just can’t be tolerant of the beliefs of others. As long as no one is sacrificing my pets, or my neighbors pets, in the name of religion, I’m pretty okay with it.
    Also, I’ve never understood the basis behind telling people that they are going to burn in hell unless they follow a certain sect of Christianity.

    I don’t believe in a place called hell. So, telling me that I’m going to hang out there for all of eternity because I don’t subscribe to someone’s theological standpoint is sort of a waste of time.

    Again, what’s so hard about being tolerant?


  301. Quoted from: Voltairesneighbor at 12:25 PM

    “If God did not exist it would be necessary to invent Him.”

    Quoted from the previous thread:

    “You can safely assume that you’ve created God in your own image, when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.”

    Says it all.

    PEACE ~ Δ


  302. susiemac,

    Maybe if you read “A New Earth” by Eckhart Tolle you would get a better perspective than the usual going-to-burn-in-hell rhetoric.

    An interesting look at what the whole heaven and hell thing really means.


  303. Something skyewriter wrote traveled right to my cells, “may you laugh with a heart free from fear”. That seems to summarize your whole entry. I’m speaking for Americans only because I really don’t have enough knowledge or experience to include other nations, but those nine words should be the thought and action of all of us throughout the year.


  304. Thank you for this post. I work in an office with several fundamentalist Christian women and on a daily basis, they are mostly judge and jury on everything and everyone non-christian. Yes, they say they do it all in the name of Jesus, in the name of Love….but there are still these dangerous undertones of hate.
    I consider myself a christian, but not to my co-workers. They have rules real christians must follow. I don’t…..”sigh”.

    My favorite fridge magnet says “Please Jesus, protect me from your followers” and I mean it, really.


  305. Lots of good ones, but I liked this zinger best:

    “No matter what you believe, over four billion people believe differently than you do. Four billion. That is almost half of what George Bush and Dick Cheney spend on the war in Iraq each month.”


  306. Merry Christmas to you all too!
    Just curious why you tagged this post with Joe the Plummer and Sarah Palin … but never mind. 😀


  307. I’ve been reading you two for a while now … (comments too) but I guess you could call me a ‘lurker’ until today when I had to say how right you are that GOD is GOD … and I laughed because the pronoun I’ve used for God the past couple of decades is SHE … so I figured I’d put in my two cents by reminding everyone that we might have fewer ‘religious wars’ if less ‘testerone’ was involved in such things. I suspect SHE isn’t happy about all that violence and wonders when we’ll remember the message of the birth, life, and death of her son … Jesus.
    I’m just saying …
    happily retired gal
    aka storyteller


  308. What a fabulous, beautiful post.


  309. 100% on Target. God is God. And no human tribe has the exclusive rights on the Creator. Silly concept that has spilled more blood than any other.


  310. Best post you’ve ever put up! Mazel tov! After a huge controversy on my own blog that spread like wildfire to other blogs, all I want it for people to respect my wish that I don’t receive overt Christian holiday cards. Period. You would think I was asking for permission to kill Christ all over again. It’s so easy to be respectful. If someone doesn’t celebrate Christmas, don’t tell them they’re wrong or bad or evil. Respect it and move on.


  311. Peace to you, Helen. Now for the pie…


  312. How beautifully, WONDERFULLY put!!

    I laughed, because I just phoned one of my relatives today to tell her I was sending out cards tomorrow morning, and while I had Christmas, Solstice, and plain Holiday cards—-I couldn’t remember which one she was! She had a laugh, then told me to send ‘whichever one is the prettiest’. I thought that was a great answer.

    Wonderful, much-needed post.


  313. for people to say God is Christian is like saying a thermometer can take its own temperature.


  314. Please excuse the typos in the above comment. My right hand doesn’t always behave as it should!!


  315. To oecho all the rThank you, thank you for your posts. You put into wordsand print the many thoughts running through my head. I think each morning God looks for you Blog, reads it , and is laughing as hard as any of us! And if Patriiiick and the rest want to call me SAtan for believing thus, so be it
    I am observing this Christmas with new eyes. One year lasst week, I had a stroke. This year I am grateful to be here and observing how others aredoing their best for Peace on Earth.One frind helped pass out food to the needy. When I commented on it last night and how wonderful I thought itwas, she repliedthat she would do my giving for me.
    With that,have a wonderful Christmas regardless of whom you believe in .
    I look forward to more pie and tea in Helens living room and of course all the comments!
    Peace to all.


  316. Oh, honestly, ladies, I love you. Helen, you make me guffaw with every post.

    I am one of those 75 million American “whatevers” out there – I am an agnostic because I just DON’T KNOW. I don’t consider myself aspiritual, just… unsure and unaffiliated. I have a strong moral compass and I resent being considered deficient in the decency department because I am not “Christian”. Do I believe Jesus was a wonderful and inspirational person? Absolutely. Do I believe he’s the born-of-a-virgin son of God? Ehhhhhh…. not so much 😉 (and please, nobody try to save me. I also don’t believe any God worth believing in is vindictive enough to burn me for eternity just because I’m too dumb to get the Big Picture).

    I celebrate Christmas because I always have, I love it, and to me it symbolizes everything that is (or ought to be) right with the world: love of family & friends, love of fellow man, *peace*. I consider tolerance of others’ beliefs one of those important right things, and I chafe at those who claim a lock on “the Truth.” As Helen said – it’s faith, not provable knowledge… so let’s let everyone find their own way in peace & quiet, huh?


  317. Wouldn’t it be nice if that one came true?

    Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays! (Take your pick.)



  318. Just had to add the wedgie!


  319. You can count on a new Margaret and Helen post for a good snicker at least ninety percent of the time. Today’s post brought belly laughs. The image of outraged Christians exploding…priceless. Thanks and happy holidays.


  320. I am not religious, but if people had to categorize me, it would be Zen Buddhism. Your post here is exactly what Guatama Buddha would say if he were alive and well today.

    You’re growing on me too 🙂


  321. Well said—-great post!!!


  322. What?!? God is NOT a Christian?!? Christians DON’T have the corner on God?!? C’mon…next you’re gonna’ make some crazy statement like God did not create religion or that Abraham (father of Christianity, Islam, and Judaism) was polytheistic.

    Fortunately, one doesn’t have to believe in God or Christianity to know that loving is better than hating, acceptance is better than intolerance, kindness is better than meanness, empathy is better than apathy, and inclusion is better than exclusion.

    In fact, most Christians I know are the least-Christ-like people I know. Most Christians I know — or know of (GB in DC and SP in AK included) — are intolerant, judgemental, unkind, apathetic towards those who disagree with them, and exclusionary.

    Helen, thank you for your wonderful reminder that God is not bound to any religion or to any rules. I propose that people do not accept this concept because it is hugely egotistical and self-serving to believe that one faith can contain the whole truth about God, one person can truly know and practice all the tenets of that one faith, and all who disagree are wrong in their own ideals and beliefs. To believe in ONE true God, ONE true religion, ONE true faith, and ONE true way to eternal life is the ultimate expression of narcissism.


  323. I’m very thankful that there are some people that respect other people’s beliefs. While I may be a Catholic girl (and for those with your heads buried in the sand, that makes me a Christian), I believe that we have one Creator, but that we call Him/Her/Them/It by different names. We all seek the same thing, but travel different paths to get there. My God isn’t better than your God/Budda/Allah/Mother Earth/etc.

    This is my faith. I don’t expect anyone to believe exactly what I believe because it is *my* faith. My faith is personal, I don’t feel the need to spread the “Good Word” through words, only that my actions speak of my beliefs.

    If you don’t believe in God, I respect that too. That is your belief. It doesn’t make you wrong, it doesn’t make me wrong, it just makes us different. Different is good.

    Thank you Helen and Margaret for making us think more broadly.

    Peace on Earth.


  324. Helen, I like that bit about God. As a teacher, when I begin world history with the crusades, I have a difficult time teaching my students that the same religious conflicts that caused a war for over a hundred years, and many, many thereafter, still exist today.
    Your faith is your faith, but when you judge, criticize, hurt, kill or wage war based on your “faith” then that’s just plain hate.
    Isn’t the “Golden Rule” treat others as you would want to be treated? I wonder how the zealots would feel if we spent our time banishing them to damnation.

    Inspiring some peace on earth and good will towards men sounds like it’s right up God’s alley.

    Have a wonderful holiday everyone, enjoy your family. I may not worship that way that you do, but I wish you the best all the same.


  325. Love you, Helen! Peace, goodwill and all things wonderful to you


  326. Beautiful!


  327. You and Margaret are the kind of ladies I want to be when I grow up.

    Thanks for being awesome.


  328. Another excellent post, Helen.

    Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, or whatever your reason for the season. Peace on earth, goodwill to ALL mankind.


  329. Voltaire, who used to live just down the road from where I live now, had a saying about God: “If God did not exist it would be necessary to invent Him. But all nature cries aloud that He does exist.”
    Apart from my having some different thoughts about God’s gender … if God even has one … than Voltaire did (perhaps a function of my own gender), I do choose to believe in a Higher Power and I also believe that power is certainly not limited by any man(or woman)-created definition.
    Interestingly, merely by virtue of daring to question to conventional wisdom of the day, including the conventional religious wisdom, Voltaire’s works were consigned to the dreaded Index, where God-fearing Catholics were threatened with excommunication if they dared to read them. His works stayed on that Index from his time in the 18th century until Vatican II in the 20th century.
    Imagine that treatment for one of the world’s admittedly greatest humanist philosophers, who is also famous for stating that it is the questions that are more important than the answers!
    Helen: you and Voltaire would have enjoyed sparring with each other intellectually … and you have a way of stating things so that they resound with the least of us.
    Thank you so much, both you and Margaret, for showing us 60-somethings that we still have a lot to learn before we hit our prime-time 80s! And yes, peace on earth and good will to all persons on earth is what this season is about, as are all other seasons for that matter.


  330. Fantastic post, Helen! And you’ve reminded me that I have remnants of both lemon meringue and pumpkin from a dinner party last night. I think I’ll go worship at the Church of Pie right now.


  331. Thank you, Helen. Thank you, thank you, thank you!


  332. […] just this exact topic this morning. It’s a great, quick read…very thought-provoking. Check out the post here. Here’s my favorite quote: There are many reasons for the season.  One of them is peace on […]


  333. More of this please – it’s helping me flesh out my own thoughts.


  334. The previous commenters have just about covered all the bases, but please add my most sincere gratitude for this piece of wisdom you’ve shared. I will be sharing this (with proper credit, of course) with everyone I can.

    I’ve said many of these same things myself until I’m blue in the face, but people Just. Don’t. Get. It.

    Happiest of holidays to both of you and your families. Hell, to ALL of us! Why stop there?


  335. Merry Christmas Helen from your Jewish friend AnnΔ


  336. Love, love, love this post. If I hear “War on Christmas!” one more time, I’m going to snap and start ranting on the War on the Solstice, because Christianity did co-opt that holiday from those pesky pagans, after all.


  337. Helen, you are what used to be called a Wise Woman. So many people love you, I hope you know that. Best wishes to everyone.


  338. Well, here’s one Christian (me) who didn’t explode. I jumped up and said “AMEN!” instead.

    My fellow Christians: Christianity is but one way God gives us to help us find him/her. This path to the divine suits me and you — but God is smart enough to know that it doesn’t suit everybody.

    Peace on earth; good will to all!


  339. Proud Organizer: that’s my favorite question :which God? Whose God? And to the puzzlement of friends and foes alike, I often remark “we can all of us be god. . . God in thee and God in me.” So Shirley MacLaine. . . but also very true. If we believe that we are made in God’s image, then it certainly behooves us to not only act that way – goodwill to all, working for peace on earth, for the least of these my brethren – but to acknowledge the “god” in others. Even poor misguided Colorful who apparently is wrestling with the God in him/herself.


  340. Two things:
    “Was she typing in tongues or was that some type of technical Tourette’s syndrome”
    OMIGOD, that was funny! I’m still wiping tears from my face while I type.

    “God isn’t a Christian. Think about it. He’s God.”
    Truer words were never spoken (or in this case, written). Thank you. God is God is God, unless you’re like me, and see God as doG (no, I’m not dyslexic). Joy joy joy! happy happy happy! to everyone.


  341. Amen.

    Peace on earth and good will to all men people no matter what faith or whether they believe or not!


  342. Take from an avowed Atheist, your wisdom on this issue makes the baby Jesus smile.


  343. “And while I am on the subject of not being Christian, it might interest some of you out there to know that God isn’t a Christian. Think about it. He’s God. Now I am going to stop there for a second because I am sure a few of my Christian friends just exploded.”

    LOL Helen! Best ever!

    This statement has been rolling around in my head for awhile. I have PO’d more than my share of people who keep giving me the “We are all Christians in this country, even our money says in God We Trust.” I look at them and say “Which God”? Well that is a puzzler for them!

    Hope everyone is relaxing and not letting the holiday stress get to them!



  344. I think I love you! Great Post!


  345. Peace on Earth – Good Will to men
    I can’t think of any better thing to celebrate – this season or any other.

    And you’re so right! God is not a Christian. I’ve also pointed out in a post I have scheduled soon, that Jesus and his family were Jews – very good Jews. The Last Supper was a Seder. And no, it wasn’t the Jews who killed Christ, it was the Romans. How does people’s thinking get so twisted as it does?

    Are you familiar with the folk singer, Holly Near? She wrote and sings a wonderful song called “I Ain’t Afraid”, which tells us the thing she does fear is not your God, but “…what you do in the name of your God”.


  346. Thankfully I did not explode (not a Christian), but you blew my mind with:

    “And while I am on the subject of not being Christian, it might interest some of you out there to know that God isn’t a Christian. Think about it. He’s God.”

    I agree with the peace on earth, good will toward people part, too.

    On a cosmic scale our entire planet is smaller than an electron compared to the majority of things. Think about how small that makes us, each of us, in the grand scheme of universe…

    My hopes for all who visit here:

    May you make every minute count.

    May you have the ability and determination to love everyone you love as hard as you can.

    May you laugh with a heart free from fear.

    skyewriter Δ


  347. Wonderful post! Happy Holidays and thanks for sharing.


  348. Love it 🙂 – bet you get some people mad at you over this one too – I love reading your views and most times I must say I agree with what you are saying.


  349. Love you guys! Thanks for keeping the blog going.


  350. Amen. I have my own belief that if you need to believe in a God, then you are that God. Much as I would like to directly plug into other people’s minds; the only thoughts you can be absolutely sure of are your own. To my mind, it is a mind-boggling miracle that there IS an existence. The thought of ever knowing WHY is something I can’t ever imagine being proved conclusively. Just be glad there IS such a thing as life and try to live that gift graciously.


  351. Helen-
    Thanks for not chucking us out of your parlour yet.
    I find great comfort in knowing so many see the world differently than I do. Only wish some of those folks would step back and appreciate it too.
    I see the limitations of my imagination and capabilities better with each passing year.
    As we mourn the loss of potential in every soul lost to war, let us remember to celebrate the potential of bringing all our varying viewpoints to the table to solve problems, rather than make them worse.


  352. and the trolls still won’t get it unfortunately!

    Merry Christmas all…. HoHoHo!

    “Well we had a few “colorful” comments on that last story, didn’t we? Was she typing in tongues or was that some type of technical Tourette’s syndrome? ”

    Wow Helen- Quotes like this one are pure gold and the reason why I no longer drink water while on the computer! Keep up the good work and the rest of us will fend off the trolls for you the best we can. Colorful, I think the guys name is Patrick and a few others had some very off the wall comments last time. Oh well… 2 things to say to that free speech and fun discussing and or fighting about issues in society!!!


  353. Let’s all say it and work toward it: Peace on Earth


  354. Your best post to date.



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