Who should die for whom?


As a teenager, I often daydreamed of dying for one pretty girl or another by pushing her from the path of a speeding car. I would breathe my last while her tears fell upon my face like angelic anointment. I later joined the Masons, and had to swear that I would risk my life to save a fellow Mason if the odds of my survival were at least 50%.

I have no doubt that I would die for Peggy, but when I asked Peggy if she would die for me, she said she didn’t know, and I said I wouldn’t want her to. This isn’t about, “If you love me, you’ll die for me,” but about a man’s obligation to give his life for his family by virtue of the fact that he is a man, and although he would be grievously opposed to them doing the same.

You might ask how I can be so sure I would die for Peggy. I have several reasons. One is that it’s my responsibility as her husband. Another is that my life would be hell if I were to outlive her. A third is that if I saved my life at the loss of hers, I would be overwhelmed by self-hatred. The fourth is that she would deserve it by virtue of her goodness. You might ask if I too am not good, and I would answer yes, but that I receive Peggy’s devotion in different ways, which I’ll go into in a moment.

I’m touched when I reflect upon that frigid night in 1912 when the men of the Titanic drowned in order to save the women. Surely, many of those men opposed suffrage and considered women their physical and mental inferiors, so what was it about women that they so valued that they were willing to die for them? I believe their behavior was a product of their gender. What this means in regard to my relationship with Peggy is that nature didn’t create in her a feeling of obligation to die for me, but this shouldn’t be taken to mean that she loves me less—not that I would care if she did, unless the imbalance was significant. 

Here is what I know about Peggy. If, in order to save my life, she had to give-up everything she owns and spend the rest of her days nursing me, she would, partly out of love and partly out of duty. If, instead of her doing these things for me, I were called upon to do them for her, I would regard it as a far greater challenge than merely dying outright. It is generally the case that men simply aren’t well equipped to provide years of care to a spouse whose decline is continuous and inexorable. We are fixers rather than caretakers, and nothing alarms us more than being helpless where our wives are concerned, yet where nobility exists, it surely involves ongoing sacrifice rather than a speedy death.

Back to the Titanic. I wouldn’t face certain death to save a woman I didn’t know, but to pretend to be a woman in order to get into a lifeboat would be to choose survival at the cost of dishonesty and humiliation. Yesterday, I read a sentence by Margaret Deland that seems relevant to this monologue if one substitutes the word survival for happiness:

“…it seemed to her than no one, for his happiness, had a right to do a thing which would injure an ideal by which the rest of us live.”

I can think of exceptions to her statement, but it is certainly true that the ideals of one’s society should not to be dismissed so lightly as I have often done. It is my hope that men and women never become so “equal” that men forget they are men, and women forget they are women, but I fear that is where political correctness would have us go. For instance, as of last month, American women can  assume any combat position that is open to a man.

I recently learned of a pitbull attack in Canada in which the husband locked himself in their bedroom while his wife was mauled by two dogs in the living room.* Is it conceivable that the demand for gender equality has overturned two-million years of evolution and made male cowardice acceptable? Surely, it would be preferable to die by her side than to listen to one’s wife scream while doing nothing to save her. I can’t conceive of a man, who is worthy of being called a man, who would be other than horrified by the thought of his wife facing almost certain death to protect him, yet I can’t conceive of a man, who is worthy of being called a man, who would choose to live if it meant letting his wife die alone, even if there was only one chance out of a million of saving her. If I were to fail in this, it would be to pronounce my very existence a mistake.

I don’t know the extent to which the word honor can be applied to the actions of the majority of men on the Titanic since they were but obeying a societal demand that was itself based upon an evolutionary impulse, but I’m quite sure that dishonor applies to those who saved themselves by pretending to be women.

Manhood and womanhood involve more than physical differences, although this seems to appear anything but obvious to many. While it is true that men can nurture and women can protect, there are significant and unalterable gender-related differences in emphasis and manner. I can even see this in the way Peggy and I parent our cats. It’s not that I’m less nurturing or she’s less protective, but that the ways we undertake our roles are as apparent today as they were in our childhoods when she changed the clothes on her Patti Playpal doll and I shot bad guys with my Roy Rogers’ cap pistol. No amount of political correctness can make men and women the same, but it can make them dishonest, confused, and cowardly.

*Later reports gave a different story, but the truth of what occurred in a specific instance doesn’t invalidate my concern.

37 comments:

Myrna R. said...

I think within the idea(l) of equality there must be acceptance and appreciation of difference. Yes genders are different, and there's difference within each gender. Don't think we'll ever be the same and I hope we keep those qualities that can make us all good humans.

angela said...

I don't think I could live with the man that locks himself away while his wife is screaming and being attacked. The only time I would think it was for the best is if he had the kids and he was protecting them. But I think your right. I believe in equality. I believe both sexes are able to do all the other can. But I also believe that some things are better left to men and some to women. Does that mean I'm old fashioned. I don't know. But having seen the new fashion. I know which I'd rather be

billy pilgrim said...

i've only been a visitor here for a short time but i find an ominous tone to your posts. you've spoke of chronic pain and the contemplation of suicide followed by a series of posts where you appear to setting the stage on how you'd like to be remembered.

i think you should attempt to live in the present rather than ruminating about future difficult decisions. if someone asked me if i'd give up my life for a loved one, i don't know how i'd answer but it's not a question that i'm going to pat myself on the back for being a saint and willing yo sacrifice my life for another, or beat myself up over opting to save my own skin. if you can get over the roguish profiteering of deepak chopra, i'd recommend a few tracks from his soul of healing. a little sat, chit, ananda can go a long way.

or you could watch deadwood.

Snowbrush said...

“i find an ominous tone to your posts.”

As in preparing for suicide? No, not at all. I don’ want to die, and I wouldn’t do such a thing to Peggy, the wound left by suicide being far greater than the wound left by mere death. At the same time, at my age and in my condition, I can no longer regard life as a game as I tried to do when I was younger. No, it’s deathly serious now, but it also has innumerable consolations, and I value it sufficiently that I dread leaving it. I am actually less morose than I formerly was, which is a bit of coup in an Oregon winter.

“I think within the idea(l) of equality there must be acceptance and appreciation of difference.”

Except within the area of sex, I think we’re losing that. Would a shipload of men today die for the women? I don’t know. What if it was an American troop-ship carrying both men and women into combat? I also wonder about a shipload of Moslems, a religion that regards women as little more than property (Moslem men joined into gangs in Germany to rape women on New Years)—would they die for their women? How about a shipload of Hindus who sometimes kill baby girls like unwanted kittens? I also reflect upon the fact that those men who died on the Titanic were a lot more concerned about saving the upper class women than the poor immigrants down in steerage. So little of what we do is simple and pure.

“I don't think I could live with the man that locks himself away while his wife is screaming and being attacked.”

If I were a woman, I don’t think I could either. Certainly, he should place his children ahead of his wife, but unless he saved himself for a some kind of a “higher purpose,” you would be justified, I should think, it losing so much trust in and respect for him, that future happiness would be impossible. On the other hand, unless woman is confident she can help, I can’t even imagine that a man would want his wife to come out of that room, but I can imagine him screaming for her to keep the door closed. But this doesn’t make men better, it simply acknowledges that in some regards they’re different.

“But I also believe that some things are better left to men and some to women. Does that mean I'm old fashioned.”

Being old-fashioned in morals, ethics, and so on is no more condemnable than being old-fashioned in clothing, whereas to be new-fashioned can be taken to suggest nothing more valorous than a brainless or cowardly willingness to jump on the bandwagon. It is arrogant to discount the best thinking of eons in favor of our own, and so it behooves to go slowly.

“you appear to setting the stage on how you'd like to be remembered.”

I have no expectation of being remembered except by a very few, and it would never occur to me to set “the stage” for them unless I was within months of death and wanted to at least leave the best example I could for facing it bravely. I don’t know that I could get past the roguish profiteering of Chopra because if I don’t respect a writer, I don’t even care how good he or she is. Besides, I’m reading everything by Deland just as fast I can get through without rushing. When I’m done, I anticipate reading it all again. She faces great questions and dilemmas, and I’m ever inspired by her. I’m now up to about seventy books (six feet of shelf space, and double what she actually wrote). I can’t begin to tell you how much Deland means to me. Did you see my question to you in the last post?

Charles Gramlich said...

I agree, dying outright would be easier than a lifetiime of giving required care

Winifred said...

Not sure I could say how I'd act. Until it happens you just really act on instinct, I hope mine would be to save any of my family whatever the risk to me. After all I've had my life & can only be grateful that I've enjoyed most of it.
I'm not going to lose any sleep over this Snow maybe best to just wait & see. After all, it may never happen!

BBC said...

"Who should die for whom?"....Ah fuck, don't over think it. It is possible that you would die for a complete stranger.

As for Peggy, that is one of those speeding bullet things, we understand that you would step in front of a speeding bullet to save her, but you may also do the same for a complete stranger.

Meanwhile, buy her some chocolate next month on the 14th.

Tom Sightings said...

I think I agree with Winifred -- we'll ever know until and unless it happens. I'm pretty sure I'd take a bullet for my kids. Not sure about anyone else. P.S. My dad was the old-fashioned protective kind of male, not nurturing at all. But when my mom got sick, and for the last two or three years of her life, he took care of her in every way.

Sparkling Red said...

I believe that men and women should have equal rights and equal opportunities, but I also believe that there are some fundamental differences caused by our different hormones. I have read/heard quite a few stories of trans people feeling very changed by taking the hormones that they need to transition to their desired gender, and changed emotions change our fundamental selves. So while it's not safe to make assumptions of particular males and females (i.e. it's obvious that there are plenty of women who are physically stronger than the average man) there are certainly tendencies in each gender that it would be silly to ignore.

As a female who is small in stature and youthful in appearance, I find that men default to playing the gallant protector in my presence. Men in my workplace who are scornful of their older/less attractive female colleagues always seem to want to play the gentleman with me. It certainly makes my life easier, so I keep up my end of the role-playing game, but I often feel badly for my female colleagues who aren't treated as well. I am well able to able to yell back at a man if it comes to that (and have done on a few memorable occasions), but fortunately it doesn't often come to that.

Snowbrush said...


“I'm not going to lose any sleep over this Snow maybe best to just wait & see. After all, it may never happen!”

I have NO expectation that it will happen. The only time I might have gotten hurt in order to “save” Peggy happened when were still young and dating. We were crossing the street one night, and a carload of partying guys came a bit too close to us for comfort, and Peggy—behind my back—flipped them the bird. They slammed on brakes and started cursing loudly—at us—and I had no idea what in the hell was causing such behavior. Fortunately, they decided to drive on, and when Peggy told me what she had done, I insisted that there be no bird-flipping. I still don’t know what got into her.

“As for Peggy, that is one of those speeding bullet things, we understand that you would step in front of a speeding bullet to save her, but you may also do the same for a complete stranger.”

This is true. I don’t think I would though, it being young men who are especially prone to such acts.

“Meanwhile, buy her some chocolate next month on the 14th.”

She would just throw it on the floor and stomp on it because she’s knows that I know that chocolate gives her migraines.

“My dad was the old-fashioned protective kind of male, not nurturing at all. But when my mom got sick, and for the last two or three years of her life, he took care of her in every way.”

He rose to the occasion, I suppose you could say. Of course, he probably had no good options. Medicare doesn’t pay for extended nursing home stays, so the expense might have broke him. This is why caregivers often die ahead of the people they’re caring for. They feel that they have no choice but to do it even though they’re really not able.

“I often feel badly for my female colleagues who aren't treated as well.”

I should think it would also cause you to dismiss their good treatment as pretty darn shallow. I’ve heard women say that they went from getting too much attention from men when they were young to being ignored when they became older with not much in-between. I’ve always felt sorry for pretty women because I knew that every man who saw them would be thinking about one thing and one thing only.

“I have read/heard quite a few stories of trans people feeling very changed by taking the hormones that they need to transition to their desired gender”

Which means that all of those slobbering males aren’t acting out of choice but out of hormonal necessity. True, they might still manage to feign genuine respect of women, but the disrespect would still exist. I’m 66 and take various libido-killing drugs, and these things have caused me to have less interest in looking at a pretty woman than at my cat. This constitutes a release from bondage, an end to the years that I wished to god that I could think about something other than women. Males are driven in a way that women can’t begin to fathom, and this leads them to conclude that men are sex-obsessed by choice when they’re anything but. An endless, all-consuming desire for sex doesn’t make a man more of a man but a slave, and on top of our slavery, women hold us in contempt for being as are.

rhymeswithplague said...

Sorry to be always so late to the party. The question, of course, is not who you would die for but who would die for you. And my answer, of course, is Jesus Christ -- you already knew that -- but he didn't do it because it was his responsibility, he did it because of his love.

G. B. Miller said...

Interesting philosophical question.

For me, I would for my family in heartbeat. For non-family, it would depend on the situation.

Having seen the hideousness of a loved one slowly (and I mean SLOWLY) dying of a terminal illness, I would rather pass away quick as a wink and not let my family spend gobs of time and money on my terminal illness.

Father Nature's Corner

Snowbrush said...

“The question, of course, is not who you would die for but who would die for you. And my answer, of course, is Jesus Christ”

So, it’s all about you and what you can get rather than what you can give? Surely, you didn’t mean it that way, but “personal salvation” in a city with streets of gold is rather the point of the New Testament.

That must have been some committee meeting up in heaven with the One-in-Three deity talking to itself about what to do to redeem the human race. One part must have said that, “Well, although we (or maybe I should say I) are—or am—all-powerful, I simply can’t find it within myself—or maybe it’s ourselves—to get over anger unless the blood of a perfect being is shed, so I guess all those earthlings will end up in eternal torment in a place that I have prepared for them.” Then another part of God responded that “I (or maybe I should say we) are perfect, so maybe one of us could get some blood and be murdered in order to purchase our own forgiveness.” After that, it must have looked like an old Life Cereal commercial in which the youngest kid had to take the first bite, so naturally it was Junior who was sent to be murdered in order that God might forgive beings that he (or maybe it was they) knew were flawed when he created them yet later “repented” of creating them. BTW, if Christ’s “redeeming blood” has infinite “redeeming power,” why aren’t we automatically forgiven, as in the manner of someone who has his traffic fine paid by another? And who forgives God when he “repents,” and why doesn’t he avoid mistakes in the first place, what with him being all-knowing? Does he have to kill a part of himself every time he repents so that he might forgive himself, and which part is it that has to die? Is it Jesus every time, or do they rotate? Whatever good the Bible possesses, my friend, is not in a literal interpretation unless one is content to mindlessly insist that a God who is clearly portrayed as being evil, childish, silly, and flaky is nonetheless perfect, and then call their mindlessness “the virtue of faith.”

“For me, I would for my family in heartbeat. For non-family, it would depend on the situation.”

As someone said, it might be impossible to know until we had been there. Sometimes in traffic, a person who has a green light will stop the line of cars behind him to let someone turn onto the street from a driveway, thus causing some of those people behind him to miss the light. This is what it would mean for one’s family if we were to die for a stranger. The person dying would be making the choice that it was of higher value to help a stranger than to live for a family, a family that had no vote in his choice. Of course, my analogy is imperfect because someone HAS to let the person in the driveway out into traffic, and I’m often the one to do it, but I never stop traffic at a green light to do it. Of course, the result is similar whether the light is red or green (I think that fewer people are delayed if it is red), but some reason, it infuriates me when people stop traffic to do a good deed at the voiceless expense of others. If traffic is already stopped, it’s another matter, and I completely support it. Peggy will stop either way, and I can’t seem to get across to her that stopping a line of traffic that has a green light is misplaced kindness. After all, some of those people might be in a desperate hurry, and to sit there and watch the light turn red again because someone in front you wanted to do a “good deed” really doesn’t set well.

uthman saheed said...

Hmmmmmm...I doubt if there is any one in existence that I would love to loss my life for.

The fact still remain the same, men and women are two distinctive characters. Everyone must acknowledge this, and take them for whom they are.

How are you doing?

Barbara Torris said...

Now, my friend, you have made me think. I cannot comment on this until I have worked out if I am even a good person!

I love your statement about helping her, "One is that it’s my responsibility as her husband. Another is that my life would be hell if I were to outlive her. " I could only think was that she may survive even though you didn't help. Talk about "life being hell."

Barbara

Joseph Pulikotil said...

Hello,

I am touched by your devotion and loyalty to Peggy who is doing so much for you. It reminded me of Romeo and Juliet.

It is interesting to note that American women are ready to take any combat roles. Israeli women fought along side their men many decades ago. Here is an interesting para from the net.

Quote.

Israel is the one of only a few countries in the world (along with Norway and Eritrea with a mandatory military service requirement for women. Women have taken part in Israel’s military before and since the founding of the state in 1948, with women comprising 33% of all IDF soldiers and 51% of its officers, in 2011, fulfilling various roles within the Ground, Navy and Air Forces. The 2000 Equality amendment to the Military Service law states that "The right of women to serve in any role in the IDF is equal to the right of men." As of now, 88% to 92% of all roles in the IDF are open to female candidates, while women can be found in 69% of all positions.

Unquote.

Few months back I read that Kurdish women were fighting the ISIS because many of the men have died in the fighting. Women certainly are better human beings than men and will rise up to any occasion when there is a need.

Excellent post. I enjoyed reading it.

Best wishes

Snowbrush said...

“I am touched by your devotion and loyalty to Peggy who is doing so much for you. It reminded me of Romeo and Juliet.”

I consider it a major difference that Peggy and I have been married nearly three times longer than they had been alive, and are therefore well past the bloom of early romance. In fact, romance has been replaced by something far better, and that is sweetness. The difference is that romance involves illusion in which the virtues of the beloved are elevated beyond what’s humanly possible, so romance must come to an end for love to begin, love being a state in which both the virtues and the flaws of one’s beloved are in clear evidence and acceptance. Romance is to love what a match is to a fire, a mere starter to something far greater than itself. Romance comes close to being mental illness in that it’s not only delusional but also obsessive, addictive, and subject to exaggerated highs and lows. I think that, in most relationships, once the romance ends, there’s not enough left to keep the couple together, at least in a meaningful way.

God, Joe, do you carry all these statistics around in your head?! I LOVE the fact that you know so much, or least know where to look to find things, and I LOVE you too, my friend. I simply wonder how the view and treatment of women by men changes once those women take up roles in combat. Can women fight successfully? I suppose. The fiercest fighters in WWII were the tiny little Japanese, so there’s clearly a lot more to war than physical strength. Oddly, in this country, it was formerly claimed that if women achieved an equal voice in government, there would be fewer wars, and now here women are demanding to fight in America’s endless wars.

“Women certainly are better human beings than men and will rise up to any occasion when there is a need.”

I really don’t know if the first part of your statement is true. It’s not particularly relevant, I suppose, but I’ve known men who didn’t like men so all their friends were women; and I’ve known women who didn’t like women, so their friends were men. I used to prefer the company of women because I was always on the lookout for sex, but now that I would jump a ditch and climb a tree to get away from a woman who wanted to have sex with me, I had just as soon be friends with men, but I really don’t care much either way.

billy pilgrim said...

if you believe in the tale, jesus didn't die for us, he died because his dad was a control freak and scared the shit out of him.

they say all things are the will of god and good old jesus had the option to save his skin but played out the hand because he bought into the prophecy.

"My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" he was clearly having second thoughts.

by saying you would die for someone, you put in fact place a terrible burden on them. it's a philosophical statement that people make to elevate their self image and stake a claim on the moral high ground.

BBC said...

Folks don't seem to understand that jesus was a weird fugging drunk dude.

Snowbrush said...

“if you believe in the tale, jesus didn't die for us, he died because his dad was a control freak and scared the shit out of him.”

I can’t begin to follow this, but then I can’t begin to follow the Bible’s explanation either. All I know is that he might have lived, and if he did live, he almost surely got himself killed by pissing off the far right-wing Republicans of his day. How he saw his death is quite another matter, but the part about “dying as a sacrifice for our sins” was surely a later add-on. In other words, Jesus had a lot of statements put into his mouth long after he was dead and couldn’t say what really happened.

“‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’ he was clearly having second thoughts.”

This bothered me greatly as a kid of age twelve or so. In fact, it was one of the things that put me on the road to atheism. I mean, when the very guy who says that God will never forsake you feels forsaken by God, it’s not a good sign that he knew what he was talking about.

“by saying you would die for someone, you put in fact place a terrible burden on them. it's a philosophical statement that people make to elevate their self image and stake a claim on the moral high ground.”

You confuse making a romantic statement with expressing a practical realism regarding what I would do in a theoretical situation. I ask nothing of Peggy about this; I expect nothing of Peggy about this; and as to taking a moral high ground, I don’t feel that I elevate myself but that I acknowledge my duty. I see my duty toward her as somewhat like the duty that people undertake when they become cops or join the military. No one past adolescence wants to die for someone else (or for his country), and, statistically, it’s highly unlikely that even cops or soldiers will have to, but if you’re unwilling to die in the performance of your duty, you shouldn’t be a cop, a soldier, or, as I see it, a married man. Last night, Peggy and I were reading in bed, and our cat Ollie was sitting in front of us staring at the door in obvious and prolonged concern. Our other cat, who usually stays in the living room at night, came in the room and stood in a corner staring at me. Peggy became weirded out by this and my jokes about cats being able to see ghosts didn’t make her feel any better, so she finally insisted that I go check to be sure the back door was locked. She and I both felt that her request was perfectly justified, and I really wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. On the one hand, I believe in equal rights for women, but on the other, it seems that the sexes have different talents and are suited for different things. Let’s say, though, that Peggy was a black-belt policewoman who was really good with a gun—would she then have been the one to go look for bad guys? I think it likely. We all give what we have to give. At my age and in my condition, sending me to fight off bad guys is about as useful as sending a schnauzer, but I’m the best we’ve got for the job since the cats won’t go.

“Folks don't seem to understand that jesus was a weird fugging drunk dude.”

He admitted to being called a drunk, but I don’t believe for a moment that he was. My best guess is that he was an extraordinarily fine person who might or might not have been subject to hallucinations, but in any event he affected people so profoundly that they wrote all kinds of bizarre stories about him decades after he was dead.

BBC said...

Yeah, his drunken buddies wrote and said glowing things about him.

rhymeswithplague said...

billy pilgrim and BBC won't believe this, obviously, but you might,Snow. One explanation I have heard for "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" is that Jesus, who was probably raised as an observant Jew, was quoting from or even reciting Psalm 22, which is a Messianic psalm, not that He was having second thoughts. It includes the phrases "they cast lots for my clothes" and "they pierced my hands and my feet" -- eerily prophetic and written centuries before the Roman Empire or such a thing as death by crucifixion even existed. Something to think about.

Snowbrush said...

“billy pilgrim and BBC won't believe this”

I’m starting to suspect that one or more of them (that would make two) might be skeptics. BBC's picture, in particular, looks suspicious to me, it being easy to picture him at an atheist convention, but harder to imagine him kneeling at an altar.

I appreciate hearing your interpretation. I’m not entirely certain of what you meant to say, but I find it hard to imagine that, at the moment of an agonizing death, Jesus was purposely quoting Scripture that didn’t apply to his own experience in order to fulfill a prophecy. I know I couldn’t do it, and if things were easier for him than for the rest of us, then he didn’t “suffer as we did.” It would also be awfully manipulative of God, would it not, to express feelings that he didn’t actually have? As for prophecy, you will surely agree that it would have been quite easy to falsely stack up a list of fulfilled prophecies in order to prove one’s position regarding Jesus, so what seems “eerily prophetic” to you suggests nothing to me. Matthew—or whoever used his name—was admittedly trying to make a case that the Jews would accept, but it fell flat to most them then as it does now, partly because he was taking some verses completely out of context (straining at a gnat to prove a point, one might say), but also for other reasons.

As for crucifixion not existing at the time the Psalms were written, the Britannica claims that crucifixion goes back to at least 519 B.C. when Darius killed 3,000 people. The Psalms were written by various people over a period of about thousand years with the last of them being written about fifty years before Darius. Especially if that particular Psalm was one of the last ones written, you would be pushing it a little close to say that crucifixion was unheard of at the time. I wish I had more to offer, but it would take more research than I have time for or interest in, although if you would like to say more about it, I would indeed be happy to read your thoughts.

BBC said...

You do understand don't you that everything they say Jesus said and did is hearsay, the man was an idiot and never left any written words because he was illiterate. I'm a card carrying minister but you won't catch me in a church, gave up on them some years back, I only do weddings and death services for non church goers, but I'm also not an atheist, I believe in my spirit, and yours.

" Britannica claims that crucifixion goes back to at least 519 B.C. when Darius killed 3,000 people."...... That fine little bullshit story actually goes back a few thousand years B.C. before a bunch of monkeys with quill pens put it in the current christian bible.

Snowbrush said...

“You do understand don't you that everything they say Jesus said and did is hearsay…”

Yes. Even the fact that he lived can’t be proven, but if you believe that everything supposedly known about him was based upon hearsay, upon what do you base your claim that he didn’t write anything because he was illiterate, there not even being hearsay to support that?

“I'm a card carrying minister…”

In what church?

rhymeswithplague said...

Note to BBC: There is that time Jesus is reported to have written in the sand and the men who were about to stone a woman caught in adultery left the premises, one by one.

Note to Snow: Prolly one-a them internet-based churches whur yuh kin send in yer five dollars and voila! yer a minister....

Snowbrush said...

“Note to BBC: There is that time Jesus is reported to have written in the sand”

He also read in synagogue, but I didn’t bring these things up because BBC would have truthfully said that they can’t be proven (because they were based on “hearsay,” as he put it). I just thought it obvious that his points about Jesus being an illiterate drunkard were based upon even less than hearsay, yet he presented him as if they were true. I hope it shows on this blog that I try to be fair to everyone rather than just catering to those with whom I’m in general agreement. And god forbid that I would ever intentionally trash anyone, so in that regard, I would respectfully ask the same of others. I sometimes have to think hard about approving a comment, but I try to be as lenient as I can possibly can, and I sometimes I think I go too far, so I would ask for understanding when I do.

“Note to Snow: Prolly one-a them internet-based churches whur yuh kin send in yer five dollars and voila! yer a minister….”

The reason for such “churches” is the unfair tax advantages that real ministers receive. They’re also useful in that those who are “ordained” in them can perform weddings. I knew someone who married some friends of his in a lovely open-air setting. Without him, they would have been left with going to the courthouse—I know I wouldn’t want to be married in a courthouse. I can understand why you would object to them, but I, of course, favor them, but if that’s where I got my preacher license, I wouldn’t buy a ministerial collar and call myself Reverend Snowbrush.

BBC said...

What ever, I'm not going to go live with the idiot when I die anyway.

Snowbrush said...

“What ever, I'm not going to go live with the idiot when I die anyway.”

Peggy came back from a visit with relatives who had teenagers, and while there, she picked up the use of the word “whatever.” After listening to the context in which she used it on me, I realized that it translated into “fuck you.” I think is generally the case.

A thought came to mind about Jesus’ drinking problem. For some reason, it put me in mind of the fellow on the movie “Airplane” who was said to have a serious drinking problem. Well, what his problem consisted of was everything he went to take a drink of water, he would throw it into his own face. I thought that maybe that’s what Jesus’ drinking problem looked like.

I hope you’re well, BBC.

BBC said...

Yes, some folks thing whatever means fuck you but I don't think of it that way, not often anyway. When I'm thinking fuck you I just say it.

I'm doing ok health wise for a man my age, a lot better than a lot of folks my age and younger. I may have went insane though, that would explain my moving to Texas. :-)

kj said...

Hi snow,

I am sure I would die for my daughter, probably instinctually but if I had time to think about it, I know I would sacrifice my life for her. I'm less sure about my small grandchildren but I hope I'd be in the firing line for them too. And my dear JB: we are both women so some or all of your discussion doesn't apply (perhaps) but here too I'd at least hope I would sacrifice and I sure as hell wouldn't hide if she were being harmed.
I sometimes wonder what I would do in certain situations (eg helping or risking my safety for a stranger or a cause) and I think it's murky for any of us to absolutely know in advance, but I do feel confident in my values and compassion. There must be some dna roadmap in that

Hope you are well and feeling well, snow
Love
kj


possum said...

Just for the entertainment value re the Jesus crucifixion thing, Islam believes in the existence of Jesus as a prophet, a son of the Virgin Mary, but he was NOT crucified.
from wiki because I am too lazy to look up and write my own:
Islamic texts categorically deny the idea of crucifixion or death attributed to Jesus by the New Testament.[7][33] The Quran states that people (i.e., the Jews and Romans) sought to kill Jesus, but they did not crucify nor kill him, although "this was made to appear to them". Muslims believe that Jesus was not crucified but instead, he was raised up by God unto the heavens. This "raising" is often understood to mean through bodily ascension.[34]


And they said we have killed the Messiah Jesus son of Mary, the Messenger of God. They did not kill him, nor did they crucify him, though it was made to appear like that to them; those that disagreed about him are full of doubt, with no knowledge to follow, only supposition: they certainly did not kill him. On the contrary, God raised him unto himself. God is almighty and wise.

— Quran surah 4 (An-Nisa النساء) ayah 157-158[35]

Discussing the interpretation of those scholars who deny the crucifixion, the Encyclopaedia of Islam writes:


The denial, furthermore, is in perfect agreement with the logic of the Quran. The Biblical stories reproduced in it (e.g., Job, Moses, Joseph, etc.) and the episodes relating to the history of the beginning of Islam demonstrate that it is "God's practice" (sunnat Allah) to make faith triumph finally over the forces of evil and adversity. "So truly with hardship comes ease", (XCIV, 5, 6). For Jesus to die on the cross would have meant the triumph of his executioners; but the Quran asserts that they undoubtedly failed: "Assuredly God will defend those who believe"; (XXII, 49). He confounds the plots of the enemies of Christ (III, 54).

Substitution interpretation[edit]

While most western scholars,[36] Jews,[37][38] and Christians believe Jesus died, Muslims believe he ascended to Heaven without being put on the cross and God transformed another person, Simon of Cyrene, to appear exactly like Jesus who was crucified instead of Jesus (cf. Irenaeuus' description of the heresy of Basilides, Book I, ch. XXIV, 4[39]) Matthew 27:32 Mark 15:21 Luke 23:26. Jesus ascended bodily to Heaven, there to remain until his Second Coming in the End Days.

'Course, that, too, is all hearsay.

BBC said...

Too hell with all that, lets talk about naked women.

CreekHiker / HollysFolly said...

Glad I'm single... But I would probably put my life at risk to save my dog!

Pandora Hinkleheimer said...

We don't know what we'll do at the moment. Caught by surprise, and in the blink of an eye, I think it's perfectly inherent for us to immediately protect those we love. Joe and I have often pondered the FACT that, without having a moment to consider our actions, we would probably give our lives to protect our dog!! Purely instinctual, but given time to fore-think, I doubt we would go that far. Sorry, Beau.

fiftyodd said...

So Snow, as I suspected, at heart you are a high-principled, soft-hearted romantic, apart from when in self-defence you let the old cynic shine through:

"I think that, in most relationships, once the romance ends, there’s not enough left to keep the couple together, at least in a meaningful way."

I guess it depends statistically how many couples in meaningful relationships you have come across over the years. I have known quite a few.


though I don't suppose you will see yourself this way. I share your etheism and totally empathize with your desire to hold onto life the closer we get to death.

Joe Todd said...

Always enjoy stopping by your blog.. Hope all is well with you.. I am learning the hard way "getting old isn't for sissies" LOL