Crying at Home Depot

In the summer of ’99, my old dog had been put to sleep and I was grieving inconsolably.  My boyfriend thought fondling some power tools might take my mind off things, so away we went to Home Depot.   The plan was a dismal failure:  I wept openly as I walked among the nuts and bolts and lumber and wallpaper and even the cordless drills.  The other female customers glared at my boyfriend with overt hostility — you could almost hear them thinking  “What did that asshole do to her??”.  One woman even attempted a rescue, strategically positioning herself between me and The Enemy and demanding to know if I was okay, while tossing disgusted over-the-shoulder glances at the hapless boyfriend.  All the way home, he complained piteously about his maltreatment by the estrogen-frenzied mob, prompting me to suggest that next time one of my dogs died and we marked the occasion by going shopping, I’d wear a sign saying “Please ignore:  My dog died today”.

Fast forward a couple of years.  I was one of those people who was truly traumatized by 9/11, so shocked and terrified that I was almost afraid to leave the house that day for fear of crashing planes and falling bombs.  (And I live a long long way from the American eastern seaboard.)  I was more than shellshocked: I felt like I had entered an alternate universe where nothing squared with what I thought I knew.  It was one of those times when the mind is so jangled by conflicting information that it just shuts down and says “No”.

The next day I’d put things together enough to enter a sort of grieving stage, which kicked off, inconveniently enough, at Home Depot.  As I mindlessly sorted through the bath taps, out of nowhere I was gripped by a great wrenching sob and suddenly I was in tears.  But this time nobody glared, because everyone Knew, or at least Suspected, what was wrong:  like so many that day, I was heartbroken.  By what had happened the day before, and in a vague way, by what it meant was sure to come.

I got the first shadow of a glimpse of that about a month later, when visiting family in Toronto.

It was a typical morning with my mother, in retirement glory, relaxing with coffee and the Star.  Suddenly she disgustedly exclaimed “Oh, great!” and I wandered over to see what was up.

Like most media in the aftermath of 9/11, the Star was fat with War News:  articles about the attacks, terrorism, Afghanistan, Al Qaeda, bin Laden, Arabs and Islam in general.  The paper was open to an article that was headed with a graphic of elegant Arabic script.  Mom looked up at me and said “First thing in the morning and I have to look at that??”, stabbing an arthritic finger at the graphic.

Let’s be clear:  my mom was a lifelong liberal, albeit a moderate one, who voted for Alan Rock because of the gun registry, supported minority rights, abortion rights and all that other good stuff.  Her visceral reaction to that graphic rattled me — not just because it was so out of character for her, but because I realized that, in some stupid, vicious, vengeful corner of my heart, I felt the same way.  And it occurred to me that if people like us felt that way, something I knew even then we’d recover from with time, what about those who didn’t recover?

Well, we’re 9 years down the road and now we know.  (And we know.  And we know.)

And as much as I’d like to think I’ve cried at Home Depot for the last time, I also think it’s a good thing that along with the power tools and paint, they also sell Kleenex.  (But unfortunately, no Krazy Glue for broken hearts.)

57 Responses to “Crying at Home Depot”


  1. 1 deBeauxOs Saturday, September 11, 2010 at 10:55 am

    No Krazy Glue for Broken Hearts.

    There’s a song in there somewhere, JJ.

  2. 2 Brian Saturday, September 11, 2010 at 11:01 am

    I don’t know that the article at “On 9/11, mosque near ground zero draws demonstrators” is a very good example of “… what about those who didn’t recover?”   The building at the center of this proposal is not near ground zero, it is part of ground zero.   A large piece of the landing gear of one of the planes hit the roof of this building, penetrating several floors.   Because the building had no people there (where the damage was) no one was killed in this building.   But it is ground zero, not near to it.   Therefore, it doesn’t seem a manifestation of not “getting over it” (to the degree one ought, 9 years later) to not want a facility to worship through the faith that motivated the 9-11 killers, right in the building that was hit by them.

    And Terry Jones? Aww, crap! What can you say?   Perhaps they spell “Phelps” “J o n e s” in Florida…

    And these “protesters” in Afghanistan.   This, too, is not a manifestation of not getting over 9-11.   It is breathtaking how hot headed so many in the mid-eastern or Islamic countries are.   They really meet the moniker, “The People of Perpetual Outrage,” both pre- and post-9/11.

    I agree:  I don’t think our crying days are over.

    Very sorry to hear about your dog, I truly am.

  3. 3 JJ Saturday, September 11, 2010 at 11:10 am

    deBeauxOs – Who’d sing it? I think John Prine or Tom Waits.

  4. 4 JJ Saturday, September 11, 2010 at 11:38 am

    Brian – Well, you’re probably right that those aren’t exact manifestations… I was trying to point out current news that’s also somewhat related to 9/11, which those things undeniably are, albeit some of them in a 5 degrees of separation way. If 9/11 had not happened, nobody would be protesting that Islamic community center or burning Korans, and in Afghanistan… oh well, they’d still probably be burning flags and yelling Death to America, that’s just the way they roll. But we wouldn’t be at war there.

    The building at the center of this proposal is not near ground zero, it is part of ground zero. A large piece of the landing gear of one of the planes hit the roof of this building, penetrating several floors. Because the building had no people there (where the damage was) no one was killed in this building. But it is ground zero, not near to it.

    Sorry Bri, I see what you’re saying but I think it’s a stretch.

    I thought the whole thing about “hallowed ground” was that people died on it. Just a piece of debris landing on it doesn’t seem like enough to make it hallowed ground — by that logic, all of lower manhattan must be hallowed ground, because junk and debris and ashes (including the remains of the dead) went all over the place. People were cleaning it out of their apartments for weeks. Are their apartments hallowed ground?

    That’s the problem that this Islamic center has made apparent — there definitely is hallowed ground around Ground Zero, but at some point we (well, you) have to figure out how far it extends. And what is allowed to be there or not.

    I see this becoming a real issue. That’s expensive real estate, and I’m sure there’s a lot of people drooling over it. If you guys don’t make a decision about what to do with it fairly soon, some sleazy developer will get it and before you know it it’ll be covered with pawn shops and peeler bars.

    You guys should make a park out of it! Vancouver has a park right downtown and its world-famous!

    Very sorry to hear about your dog, I truly am.

    Thankyou, Brian. It was a long time ago, and I’ve had 2 more dogs die since then (they were a pack of mother father and son). But you never get used to it.

  5. 5 croghan27 Saturday, September 11, 2010 at 12:41 pm

    Brian …. I was in New York a couple of weeks before the downfall of the WTC and a couple of months after. The whole place and parts of New Jersey (watch the intro to the Sopranos) was still covered with the dust and detritus of the disaster. DO you want to deify the while area? Google a map of 45-51 Park Place (yes, the one from Monopoly) and see where it is.

    All of lower Manhattan, it can be argued, is ground zero. (at an insult to the hundreds of thousands killed in Japan). Indeed, all of the USA is in some way ground zero.

    Drop by Oklahoma City some time … check out where the Murrah Building was – there is a (Anglican, I believe) church just across the street. Do you object to that ‘ground zero’? Certainly Timothy McVeigh was every bit as much a believer in a good Christian god as any in the planes were of their’s. (and they are the same God anyway … it is all Abrahams’s fault).

    “…a facility to worship through the faith that motivated the 9-11 killers, right in the building that was hit by them.” is pure, outright and unadulterated racism ….

    Listen to what they say … the American presence in the Middle East is what motivated them, or so says Osama bin Laden, … even the American military has acknowledged that it is American support for Israel that aids recruiting militants in the Middle East. It is not Islam that motivated the attacks – it is part of a continuing rejection of attempted domination of that part of the world.

    The whole thing was not Islam verses Christians verses Jews verses anyone else you may want to conjure up, it was another incident in global politics. Read the Guardian and Blair’s memories as to Cheney’s ultimate goals in the ME … he did not want to stop at Iraq/Afghanistan, he wanted the whole thing.

    Would you object if it was a Young Men’s CHRISTIAN Association to be build there, how about a JEWISH Community Centre? The place is already just about surrounded by Christian churches.

    Bill Maher often claims that nothing is so bad as it cannot be made worse by religion – injecting religion into this situation just high lights that assertion.

  6. 6 J. A. Baker Saturday, September 11, 2010 at 2:33 pm

    The building at the center of this proposal is not near ground zero, it is part of ground zero. A large piece of the landing gear of one of the planes hit the roof of this building, penetrating several floors. Because the building had no people there (where the damage was) no one was killed in this building. But it is ground zero, not near to it.

    Oh, come off it, Brian. Don’t go all Fox “News” on us. You’re smarter than that.

  7. 7 J. A. Baker Saturday, September 11, 2010 at 2:41 pm

    Who’d sing it? I think John Prine or Tom Waits.

    Lady Gaga. 😈

  8. 8 Cornelius T. Zen Saturday, September 11, 2010 at 6:40 pm

    Good morrow, JJ!
    I am reminded of a classic song by Tom T. Hall:

    Old dogs care about you even when you make mistakes;
    God bless little children while they’re still too young to hate.

    Old dogs and children know no politics, no religion, no grudges, no feuds, no hatred. If you live your life such that old dogs and children can’t help but love you, you must be doing something right. And if more of us lived like that, there would be no Bin Ladens, no Tim McVeys, no 9/11’s or OK Cities.

    And Brian would be happy, healthy and play well with others.

    She should be so merciful – CTZen

  9. 9 Jasper Saturday, September 11, 2010 at 8:01 pm

    ““The People of Perpetual Outrage,””

    Thats true Brian, if it wasn’t for the Koran burning, they find something else to kill people over.

  10. 10 hemmingforddogblog Sunday, September 12, 2010 at 12:51 am

    Agree: This “hallowed ground” thing is nonsense!

  11. 11 Jasper Sunday, September 12, 2010 at 4:19 am

    Timothy McVeigh was not a christian nor did quote bible verses just before blowing up the Murrah building. The muslim fanatics screamed ‘allha ahkba!!’

    It’s only religion liberals like is Islam, post 9/11/01

  12. 12 croghan27 Sunday, September 12, 2010 at 5:30 am

    “It’s only religion liberals like is Islam, post 9/11/01”

    WOW, Jasper … what a penetrating analysis.

    “There is no doubt that Timothy McVeigh was deeply influenced by the Christian Identity movement. Christian Identity is a profoundly racist and theocratic form of faith that developed in the late 1970s and spread like wildfire through rural communities throughout the U.S. in the 1980s.”

    http://www.ethicsdaily.com/news.php?viewStory=15532

    and that is not true … we like to do our Buddhist Yoga for a while before we drink our lattes and go to the Rally for Gays.

  13. 13 JJ Sunday, September 12, 2010 at 8:01 am

    Croghan – Nobody would object to a YMCA being built there because Christians didn’t attack the WTC (and if I’m not mistaken, that’s what this Islamic place basically is, sort of a community center with a lot of different things going on it in, PLUS a Muslim prayer room). That’s the main beef about it. But you have to wonder… if someone like the Army of God or the Phelps family brought down the twin towers, I wonder if people would object to a Christian church being built there. I doubt it. They would say “Phelps doesn’t represent mainstream Christianity.” And…?

    I’m sort of ambivalent about this situation. I think it’s better to respect the first amendment and let the center proceed now that it’s been started, but talk about miscalculating public opinion. Some nut will no doubt blow it up before it even opens.

  14. 14 JJ Sunday, September 12, 2010 at 8:03 am

    JAB – They all sing from the same playbook when it comes to the “Radical Victory Mosque” 🙄

  15. 15 JJ Sunday, September 12, 2010 at 8:05 am

    CTZen – Tom T. Hall!!! That’s definitely someone else who might sing “Krazy Glue for Broken Hearts”.

  16. 16 JJ Sunday, September 12, 2010 at 8:08 am

    Jasper, why do you mindlessly parrot right wing propaganda? Where did this idea come from anyway, that liberals love Islam? Geez, the dumbness is mind-boggling.

  17. 17 JJ Sunday, September 12, 2010 at 8:12 am

    croghan – Buddhism is one religion I think is okay, and Paganism of course (I used to be one). But these authoritarian monotheistic religions… blah. It all seems like a lot of stuff invented to control people.

  18. 18 Brian Sunday, September 12, 2010 at 9:27 am

    Certainly Timothy McVeigh was every bit as much a believer in a good Christian god…

    No, he wasn’t. He was raised Catholic, but had publicly denounced that faith, and called himself an atheist.
    Even if he had been a Christian, he made no reference to God, or any religion. He was anti-US-government, so the analogy still would not hold.

  19. 19 Brian Sunday, September 12, 2010 at 9:30 am

     ‘…a facility to worship through the faith that motivated the 9-11 killers, right in the building that was hit by them.’ is pure, outright and unadulterated racism ….

    Is it, now? Against which race, pray tell.

    In fact, it isn’t racism, it is earned opposition. But beyond that, I would not oppose at all if this facility were built like half a mile away.

    You are being hyper-sensitive, and mimicking Chicken Little to trot out racism so readily. Racism, it would seem, ought to involve race…

  20. 20 Brian Sunday, September 12, 2010 at 9:31 am

    …The whole thing was not Islam verses Christians verses Jews verses anyone else…

    Versus.

  21. 21 Brian Sunday, September 12, 2010 at 9:36 am

    Would you object if it was a Young Men’s CHRISTIAN Association to be build there, how about a JEWISH Community Centre?

    It is not the community center that rankles, it is the mosque within it. And the promoter (Raouf, is it?) has called it a mosque, so don’t even try saying it is only a prayer center.

    If Jews, citing the Old Testament, had brought down the towers, and they wanted to build a synagogue at this site, then yeah, I would object.

    But since this was not Christian terrorism, or Jewish terrorism — and you know that — the analogy simply has no legs.

    This mosque is a victory dance. I oppose that.

  22. 22 Brian Sunday, September 12, 2010 at 9:38 am

    Bill Maher? You have to be kidding me! You want to imply that this is an opinion that means anything, when he is so radically anti religion?

  23. 23 Brian Sunday, September 12, 2010 at 9:41 am

    CTZen,

    I was at a barbecue yesterday, where the dogs were in the garage, and I was warned that they don’t play well with others.

    I love other people’s dogs (less work), so I went into the garage to play with them. We got along fine. The “dangerous” dog was lying on her back for a belly rub in like 3 minutes.

    Children love me. When at functions where there are many of them, I always wind up on the floor with two or three climbing on me.

  24. 24 Brian Sunday, September 12, 2010 at 9:50 am

    croghan27,

    Alright, I had misunderstood, thinking he called himself an atheist.

    But this article states without support that he was “no doubt influenced by the Christian Identity Movement.”

    Still and all, even if he was, the CIM is decidedly outside the actual definition of Christianity. The story of the Good Samaritan, by itself, condemns the CIM as being in stark opposition to the One whom they assert they follow.

    If the CIM was actually involved, I would adamantly oppose the CIM building anything near the Murrah Bldg. (But, in their case, in opposition to my attitude toward Islamic religious centers, I don’t want the CIM to build anything anywhere. I suppose you think that that too makes me racitst? No? Interesting…

  25. 25 Joe Agnost Tuesday, September 14, 2010 at 7:31 am

    brian wrote: “the CIM is decidedly outside the actual definition of Christianity.”

    Ah… not True Christians(tm) eh?

    But the 9/11 terrorists ~were~ True Muslims(tm)?? Funny how that works… selective thinking and the religious mind: wonderful stuff! 🙂

  26. 26 Brian Tuesday, September 14, 2010 at 10:05 am

    Brian wrote:

    … the CIM is decidedly outside the actual definition of Christianity.

    Ah… not True Christians(tm) eh?

    But the 9/11 terrorists ~were~ True Muslims(tm)??  Funny how that works… selective thinking and the religious mind: wonderful stuff!

         Not exactly…

         The vast majority of Christians vocally condemn the “Christian Identity Movement” any time they get the chance, and have done so from the time they emerged into the public’s awareness.

         Additionally, it is easy to show how their doctrine departs from the very Scripture they claim to follow.  Some will point to the violent instructions in the Old Testament.  But when they do, it is pointed out that those instructions were for a particular people at a particular time in the past, under the Mosaic Law.  The Mosaic Law — according to the Bible — was rendered inoperative by the sacrifice Jesus made on the Cross.

         When 9-11 took place there was widespread celebrations in predominantly Islamic areas. I live near Seattle, Washington, and there was a public celebration by Muslims in the Rainier valley.   Islamic religious leaders sought out by news crews to give them a chance to condemn the act failed to do so, or did so in weak terms, followed by “You have to understand…”  In addition, it is easy to find instructions in the Q’ran promoting actions such as those the 9-11 murderers perpetrated, and Islamic leaders have not show how it is that those instructions do not inform current Muslims.

         There is substantial differentiation between the relationship the majority of Christians have with CIM, and the relationship the majority of Muslims have with al Queada.

     

         Of course, that distinction is hard to fit into a sound bite or slogan, so it is confusing for those who rely on mechanisms like sound bites and slogans to support their reasoning efforts…

  27. 27 Joe Agnost Tuesday, September 14, 2010 at 10:20 am

    brian wrote: “…it is easy to show how their doctrine departs from the very Scripture they claim to follow. Some will point to the violent instructions in the Old Testament. But when they do, it is pointed out that…”

    And then the excuses flow… they’re not Real Christians(tm) because… they’re not interpreting the bible correctly because… they just don’t understand Real Christianity(tm) because…
    It’s all WAY TOO convenient, and frankly transparent.

    brian cont’d: “…it is easy to find instructions in the Q’ran promoting actions such as those the 9-11 murderers perpetrated…”

    Um yes. Just like the bible. Why do you think ~your~ excuses for ignoring certain parts of the bible is fair game but with muslims ignoring parts of the Q’ran it’s not??

    Oh yes, it’s because you’re christian.

    brian cont’d: “There is substantial differentiation between the relationship the majority of Christians have with CIM, and the relationship the majority of Muslims have with al Queada.”

    And this says absolutely NOTHING about the CIM ~not~ being a christian organization… nothing.

  28. 28 Brian Tuesday, September 14, 2010 at 2:50 pm

    Apparently you are wed to your conclusions, and are not able to discuss the issue.

    Whether it is convenient to say this or that has no bearing on whether the assertion is valid. But that appears to be the crux of your argument. “The assertion is convenient, so I will not contemplate the contents or veracity of the claim.”

    I do not make excuses for “ignoring parts of the Bible.” The Bible, interpenetrated plainly as written, has a period prior to the Mosaic Law, has a period where the Mosaic Law is the only option, and a period following the Mosaic Law. You don’t (apparently) like that that demolishes your position, so you attack the proposition in an ad hominem fashion, sounding oh-so pleased with yourself for being so clever. But you simply have no understanding of the basics of Christianity, and so are unable to mount a cogent attack on the position of a Christian’s explanation of what the Bible says. You are, of course, free to be ignorant of the facts, but it diminishes the urge to take you seriously.

    The Muslims have no theology from within the pages of the Q’ran for asserting that a previous part of the book has been superseded. Indeed, the Muslims insist that no part of the Q’ran ever will be no longer applicable. However, the Old Testament indicates that the period of the Law is finite in Jeremiah, and the New Testament explains that the period of the Law has indeed ended. Convenient? I suppose it is, but that does not mitigate the accuracy of it.

    And this says absolutely NOTHING about the CIM ~not~ being a christian organization… nothing.

    Of course it does; you just cannot see it.

    Virtually all Christians reject the CIM. That in itself does not settle the issue, but it does say something about it.

  29. 29 Joe Agnost Wednesday, September 15, 2010 at 5:28 am

    Brian wrote: “Whether it is convenient to say this or that has no bearing on whether the assertion is valid. But that appears to be the crux of your argument.”

    Um, no. The crux of my argument is that you can take any 2 christians and they’ll likely ‘interpret’ the bible differently. Some christians take the bible literally, some metaphorically – it changes from person to person.

    That’s why I just laugh when holy-rollers, like you brian, make sweeping claims about the bible as though you’re speaking for Real Christians(tm) when you’re just giving ~your~ interpretation. There is no ONE_TRUE_WAY to interpret the bible – there are many.

    brian cont’d: “You are, of course, free to be ignorant of the facts, but it diminishes the urge to take you seriously.”

    Take ~me~ seriously? Until ~you~ admit that the various christian sects all interpret the bible (and the various rules contained) differently – that there is no ONE_TRUE_WAY to interpret the bible – you’ll continue to look/sound like a fundamentalist.

    brain cont’d: “The Muslims have no theology…”
    and: “the Muslims insist that…”

    Are you aware that there are many different flavours of Islam (like christianity)?? You can’t lump them into one group in this manner because there are many different muslim interpretations.

    I will conceed this though – you’re right that your statement about the CIM not being a christian org. ~does~ say something – just nothing meaningful.

  30. 30 Brian Wednesday, September 15, 2010 at 8:44 am

    You’re using reductionism.

    All Christians assert the Trinity.
    All Christians assert that Jesus is God.
    All Christians assert that Jesus truly took on true humanness.
    All Christians assert that Without faith in Jesus, there is no salvation.
    All Christians assert there is a heaven.
    All Christians assert that the Bible is the source text for Christianity.
    All Christians assert that God loves each individual person.

    The list goes on and on. This collection of core beliefs, while there also exist disagreements, has led to the saying, “In essentials: unity; in non-essentials: liberty; in all things: charity.”

    Though there are disagreements, their existence is not the whole story, as you imply.

    Because the Bible is so clear that Jesus is God, this excludes Jehovah’s Witnesses from legitimately calling themselves Christians, since they assert that He is the archangel Michael.

    Because the Bible is so clear that there is only one God, and that there has never been another before, nor will there be another after, Mormons are excluded from legitimately calling themselves Christians, since they assert that God was once a man, and became God by perfectly obeying His “heavenly father”, just as we may become God by perfectly obeying ours. This is so well established, the Mormons have to assert that any part of the Bible that militates against their tenets is therefore not correctly translated.

    Because the Bible is so clear that when you die, your fate is sealed, the Mormons are excluded from legitimately calling themselves Christians, because they assert that you get at least one more chance after you die, and maybe even more. This is why they hold proxy baptisms for dead people, to assist those dead people in their new digs.

    Because the Bible is so clear that Jesus is a real person, and that He continues to exist, Branch Davidians and Moonies are excluded from legitimately calling themselves Christians, since they assert (respectively) that David Koresh or Sun Myung Moon is Jesus.

    Because the Bible is clear that sin incurs personal debt, and that God is volitional and sentient, Christian Scientists are excluded from legitimately calling themselves Christians, since they assert that God is Divine Mind, and that sin is “animal magnetism,” and wrong thinking.

    I disagree with much that Seventh Day Adventists hold to, they are Christians because they hold to what the Bible says about the nature of God, the needs of Mankind, and the means of salvation.

    Now, every time I was careful to say “… excluded from legitimately calling themselves Christians.” Clearly, a person can call themselves anything they want. I could call myself a planet, if I wanted to, but I either need to be deluded, lying, or I have to have personally re-defined “planet” when I do so. And pointing out that there is disagreement among astronomers about just exactly what is a planet (as there was at one point) won’t change that. But to legitimately call yourself this or that requires being in line with the orthodox meaning of whatever it is that you are calling yourself.

    In the same way, there are distinctions within Islam. But all hold to the Q’ran, and there is no Muslim theology to show why the violence the Q’ran advocates is no longer applicable, aside from that they choose not to apply those passages. This is why we see “sudden jihad” syndrome, where an individual converts to Islam, reads the Q’ran, then goes out and starts killing people. It is the Q’ran that leads them to do this.

  31. 31 Joe Agnost Wednesday, September 15, 2010 at 9:04 am

    Ok. Now I understand your stance.

    ~You~ decide who is a Real Christian(tm). It’s clear now…

    I base this comment on your “…this excludes Jehovah’s Witnesses from legitimately calling themselves Christians…” line.

    Incredible. Just incredible…

  32. 32 Brian Wednesday, September 15, 2010 at 10:19 am

    No, I don’t decide, the contents of the Bible decide.

    Your lack of recognition of the Bible as the authoritative document on what is and what isn’t Christianity just show that you don’t know how things are.

    Look, the source for what distinctly establishes who is a Roman Catholic is the Catechism of the Catholic Church (of which I am not a member), and the official statements by popes.

    One could Call their-self a Roman Catholic while denying the authority of the Pope, but they would be mistaken.

    But your reasoning would apparently lead you to find it incredible if I were a Catholic to say that such a one who denies the authority of the Pope is not a Catholic.

    Virtually The ONLY people who find Jehovah’s Witnesses to be Christians are Jehovah’s Witnesses.

    Just like the Mormons, The Governing Body of the Jehovah’s Witnesses (the committee that functions for them as the Pope functions for Catholics) has re-written the Bible to support their aberrant theology. The result is The New World Translation (NWT).

    Here is the most egregious example in Colossians 1:15 — 17:

    He [ie, Jesus] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; because by means of him all [other] things were created in the heavens and upon the earth, the things visible and the things invisible, no matter whether they are thrones or lordships or governments or authorities. All [other] things have been created through him and for him. Also, he is before all [other] things and by means of him all [other] things were made to exist, …

    Inserting the word “other” 4 times. All other versions lack those insertions, stating that Jesus created everything.

    Another, more subtle re-write in John 1:1:

    “In [the] beginning the Word was, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god.”

    (The insertion of [the] here is necessary grammatically; the Greek says “in beginning” (en archai), which is syntactically incorrect in English.)

    All other versions read as “… and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

    These changes are helpful in reducing the challenges to their flawed theology. But note, these are chages to the Bible to fit their theology, rather than fitting their theology to fit the Bible.

    When the NWT first came out, their perversion of John 1:1 was very vocally challenged by Bible scholars (some of whom are actually non-believers). As a result, in the next edition, they added a foot note explaining their “translation.” It was pointed out that their explanation was out of keeping with what was well known about ancient Greek. Their reaction to that was to quietly remove the explanation, though they continued with the incorrect “translation.”

    This is egregious scholastic dishonesty, and is typical of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, which is the main organization of the Jehovah’s Witnesses.

    This group has such a record of dishonesty and revising their own history, of destroying families, of causing people to needlessly die, and on, and on, that for you to challenge my assertion that JWs are not Christians shows you are either without any knowledge of this groups activities, or you are a JW. Which is it?

  33. 33 Joe Agnost Wednesday, September 15, 2010 at 10:33 am

    LOL!

    So you don’t approve of the JW’s rewritten bible – you prefer ~your~ rewritten version. Fine.

    That you seem to think the JWs are the first and only ones to edit one bible version to fit their theology is really strange – because I’m sure you know that isn’t the case.

    So the JW’s bible is “wrong” – which is the TrueChristian(tm) version then? Who decides? Why?

    Brian wrote: “This group has such a record of dishonesty and revising their own history…”

    No kidding.

    And: “…of destroying families, of causing people to needlessly die, and on, and on…”

    This is getting REALLY funny now… those evil JWs! 😉

    I’d say the criteria you just pointed to make the JWs an excellent example of Christianity! Are you kidding me?

    The Christian god killed a lot of people in his day – newborns, fetuses inside mothers, children… Lots and lots. Very cruel thing, this god figure you look up to.
    And then, in the name of this god, many Christians killed a lot of people. How does this disqualify them from being Christian? Everyone who took part in the crusades was NOT Christian?? Really?

    Finally: “…that for you to challenge my assertion that JWs are not Christians shows you are either without any knowledge of this groups activities, or you are a JW. Which is it?”

    I’m an atheist thank you very much.

    Thanks for the lesson on what makes a Real Christian(tm)… it was worth a laugh.

  34. 34 Brian Wednesday, September 15, 2010 at 12:05 pm

    So you don’t approve of the JW’s rewritten bible – you prefer ~your~ rewritten version. Fine.

    You really don’t know what you are talking about. The scholarship that has been exercised with regard to the Bible exceeds that of any other ancient text. You just cannot hide modifications in an environment like that.

    There are various chains, where a group sent out missionaries, then the two groups lost contact. Yet their Scriptures show no changes over hundreds of years.

    There was the corroboration of the Dead Sea Scrolls, which provided a look at what changes might have been made to Scripture during a 1,000 year period from about the time of Christ to the year 1,000, the period that is the most ripe for editing. None was found.

    We have other ancient texts of a less important nature that have been used to amplify knowledge of how to translate ancient Greek and ancient Hebrew.

    There is just no way for this world view that you have of sneaky bastards modifying holy text to better control the masses to be carried out.

    You clearly are not aware of the academic scrutiny involved in this wives tale that you have embraced, of seriously compromised Scripture.

    You say, “That you seem to think the JWs are the first and only ones to edit one bible version to fit their theology is really strange – because I’m sure you know that isn’t the case.”

     

    No. The Mormons have a modified version that they keep pretty quiet about. I know that there are other changed versions. The fact that you and I know this corroborates (I didn’t say “proves”) the assertion that you cannot hide these edits. If you could, you and I wouldn’t know about them, now would we?

     

    So the JW’s bible is “wrong” – which is the TrueChristian(tm) version then? Who decides? Why?

    This question, on its own, shows that you just don’t get it. No one “decides.” There is a stable, well documented, ancient text that is the source document for Christianity. It is written in a way that takes SOME work to get the gist of, but not TOO much. Hundreds of thousands of people, from meager to substantial scholastic abilities, have take the time to do that, and have all come to the same core conclusions. No one is “deciding.” Rather, this and that group are accepted as true Christians when their beliefs, their creeds, their assertions, their doctrine squares with the core precepts found in the Bible.

    This is not rocket science. It is not as hard to follow as you’re making it out to be.

    BTW, the JWs used to publish an interlinear Bible “The Kingdom Interlinear.” An interlinear has the original language in its original alphabet, with a word-for-word translation above the original language, then a syntactically corrected version in the margin (adding required verbs, putting the nouns and verbs in proper relationship to each other positionally, etc.). In that version, by the Watchtower, the word-for-word disagreed with the marginal text. The JWs themselves showed themselves to be being dishonest, providing a side-by-side proof of it. Oops! Outcome? They stopped publishing the Kingdom Interlinear…

     

    I’d say the criteria you just pointed to make the JWs an excellent example of Christianity! Are you kidding me?

    This is because you are unaware of the historical record. There is no doubt that Christians have, just as so many other groups have, done some horrid things. But on balance Christianity has made the world so much better, that it really seems like pure, unadulterated petulance to imply that Christians are a problem to the world, though I am quite sure that is your position.

    We have modern science because of Christians. We have the concept of hospitals because of Christians (a group named “T Hospitalers”). Slavery was largely ended worldwide (I know there is still some) because of Christianity and Christians. This list goes on and on and on.

    But compare the worst of the worst in US history (probably the antebellum deep South) to the general environment in Afghanistan in the 1990s, when the Taliban was the official government. My wife spent 6 months in Somalia shortly before the US Marine landing under Clinton. The environment there was much like Afghanistan under the Taliban, though it was much less organized. Her assessment is that the way things were in Somalia was the natural result of following Islam to its logical conclusion. That’s what it looks like when a really bad religion gets a foothold.

    Christianity — even if it were as bad as you mistakenly hold — is a piker, compared to something like that.

     

    Joe,

    You have a really inaccurate understanding of history. I used to be an atheist, was adamantly so for the first 35 years of my life. at that time, I, like you, collected what I thought were real zingers to skewer Christians with, and did so with the same glee you exhibit any time I got the chance.

    As I have learned the real history, rather than memorizing what amount to historical headlines, I have found that I was grossly misinformed, just as you are.

    But I was also pretty dedicated to the idea that the important thing was the truth. If you have that same view point, I would strongly urge you to do a little research, and get yourself into a position of not sounding so abysmally ill-informed.

  35. 35 Bruce Wednesday, September 15, 2010 at 12:15 pm

    Brian, Joe,

    Get a room already. Or at least start your own blogs, the amount of time you spend on here is more than most spend on their thesis.

    Surly if you have that much to argue, it must be translatable into a blog of your own.

  36. 36 Bruce Wednesday, September 15, 2010 at 12:23 pm

    Surly should have been Surely, not sure if that was intentional or not. Seems to fit either way. lol

  37. 37 Joe Agnost Wednesday, September 15, 2010 at 12:29 pm

    brian wrote: “Scriptures show no changes over hundreds of years.”
    and: “…a look at what changes might have been made to Scripture during a 1,000 year period from about the time of Christ to the year 1,000, the period that is the most ripe for editing. None was found.”

    How do you explain the various versions of the bible that are out there? New International Version, New American Standard Version, New King James Version, Revised Standard Version and on and on…

    Some versions remove entire verses, some change words – the bottom line is there are differences between the different versions.

    brian wrote: “… I know that there are other changed versions.”

    But you just denied it (above)!! You said it ~hadn’t~ changed… wtf!?

    And: “The fact that you and I know this corroborates (I didn’t say ‘proves’) the assertion that you cannot hide these edits. If you could, you and I wouldn’t know about them, now would we?”

    I didn’t say anything about “hidden” edits… I said “edits”. You’ve just proved my point – the bible ~has~ changed. Many times.

    brian wrote: “Hundreds of thousands of people, from meager to substantial scholastic abilities, have take the time to do that, and have all come to the same core conclusions.”

    Ah… but you’re wrong. There are many many different conclusions that are arrived at by christians reading the bible. Look at that Phelps guy! I know – he’s not a True Christian(tm) *rolls eyes*

    brian wrote: “There is no doubt that Christians have, just as so many other groups have, done some horrid things. But on balance Christianity has made the world so much better…”

    I don’t care. I really don’t.

    You made the statement that the fact that JWs have hurt people, families etc disqualifies them from being TrueChristians(tm). You have ignored that and gone on a Christian booster campaign!

    Classic goalpost shifting there brian! Nice job!

    Brian ended with: “I used to be an atheist…”

    Sure buddy… Sure you were.

  38. 38 Joe Agnost Wednesday, September 15, 2010 at 12:31 pm

    @bruce: Don’t like our little dialog? It’s simple – don’t read it! Geez!

  39. 39 Bruce Wednesday, September 15, 2010 at 12:35 pm

    As long as you’re willing to do it public, it’s fair game, man.

  40. 41 joe agnost Wednesday, September 15, 2010 at 1:44 pm

    I’m not sure what you mean Bruce… of course our dialog is “fair game” – join in if you like!

    But if our dialog is bothering you (which I gathererd from your comment) then it’s pretty easy to ignore it. That’s all I was trying to say to you.

  41. 42 Brian Wednesday, September 15, 2010 at 1:51 pm

    How do you explain the various versions of the bible that are out there? New International Version, New American Standard Version, New King James Version, Revised Standard Version and on and on

    There are two limits to translation, with a continuum between, There is the starkly literal, which can be harder to read, but can convey nuance that is useful. On the other end id dynamic, which tries to convey more thought for thought than word for word. But word plays get lost in this kind of translation. The NIV is far to the dynamic end. The NASB is far to the literal end. The KJV relied on less trustworthy resources (a lot of archaeological discoveries have been made since 1611…). It was largely in the literal style, but some of the texts were, in fact, inaccurate. Many grew up with the KJV, and want to keep using it. Modern printings include notes explaining where there are errors. Prior to the 1995 edition, the NASB used the KJV style English for all speech directed at God. The 1995 edition (and beyond) don’t do that. They use current English throughout.

    Good question!

     

    and have all come to the same core conclusions.”

    Ah… but you’re wrong. There are many many different conclusions that are arrived at by christians reading the bible. Look at that Phelps guy! I know – he’s not a True Christian(tm) *rolls eyes*

    I note that you deleted my qualifier (“core”) in your rebuttal.

    The fact that you realize that Phelps is not a true Christian gives legs to the idea that there is such a thing.

     

    ou made the statement that the fact that JWs have hurt people, families etc disqualifies them from being TrueChristians(tm).

    No, I didn’t. I said their insistence the Jesus is not God, but that He is Michael the archangel (amongst other theological errors) does.

     

    Brian ended with: “I used to be an atheist…”

    Sure buddy… Sure you were.

    Here is the functional crux of what makes it so that you cannot understand the world around you aright. If you don’t like it, to you it must be a lie.

    I was so well known to be an atheist, someone gave me literature from the Free Thinkers Society (or something like that; it was 25 years ago). I was tempted to join, but the literature sounded just a little more “Yippee for us!” than I wanted to be a part of. That and procrastination kept me from actually joining.

  42. 43 Bruce Wednesday, September 15, 2010 at 3:09 pm

    I don’t know if you realize how much time it takes up for the host, JJ in this case, to read all the pontifications and soliloquies you guys seem to need to express because it’s apparent you have no other life. No doubt she appreciates the fact that people like to talk on here, but it’s a hell of a lot of reading between two people and much more effort than most bloggers have the time for to listen to an endless cycle of arguments that ultimately go nowhere.

    Be polite, say something, always comment, but if it takes a fuckin textbook to say it, and more than the original post, you lost the argument already. That’s where you need your own blog, JJ has to moderate this shit you know, it’s not your blog, it’s hers. It’s no wonder she doesn’t blog like she used to.

    Like I said, Get a room. (Blog)

  43. 44 joe agnost Wednesday, September 15, 2010 at 3:34 pm

    brian wrote: “The fact that you realize that Phelps is not a true Christian…”

    I was being sarcastic (hense the eye rolling). Of course Phelps is a Christian – just because he’s a violent jacka$$ doesn’t exclude him from the club as much as you’d like to exclude him.

    brian cont’d: “I was so well known to be an atheist, someone gave me literature from the Free Thinkers Society”

    Wow! That’s convincing!

    Seriously – it’s just not believable.

    @bruce: JJ ~has~ to read all of this? I wasn’t aware that’s how she rolled. I thought if she was interested she’d read it, otherwise she’d ignore it. If that’s not the case then I’m sorry JJ… didn’t mean to make so much work for you.

  44. 45 Bruce Wednesday, September 15, 2010 at 5:20 pm

    Joe, I’m a blogger too. JJ is legally responsible for what you say on her site. One of the the unsung joys that bloggers have to endure is to read the endless crap that people spout off because they don’t have the balls to do it in their own domain. We have to read every fucking word of it in case of liability issues, so at least make it worthwhile and be considerate to your host.

    This especially applies to Brian & Jasper. What the fuck is the point in having a blog at all when social vampires like you take it as a license to spout off shit that you know damned well no one else with half a brain would ever listen to?

  45. 46 Bruce Wednesday, September 15, 2010 at 5:48 pm

    JJ, I just sent you an email.

  46. 47 deBeauxOs Wednesday, September 15, 2010 at 6:57 pm

    Brian and Jasper are parasites. They feed on the response to their respective pontification and peroration. They both use up space on JJ’s blog.

    Even a leech has a divine purpose. Maybe not bedbugs.

    Brian? Jasper? Not so much.

  47. 48 Bruce Wednesday, September 15, 2010 at 7:19 pm

    There I go again, bitch, complain, carry on, yada yada yada …

  48. 49 Cornelius T. Zen Thursday, September 16, 2010 at 6:59 am

    Good morrow, all!
    Religion is like fire – a wondrous servant, a terrible master.
    Where religion serves, the hungry are fed, the naked are clothed, the homeless are sheltered, the afflicted are comforted.
    Where religion rules, homes burn, blood spills and people die.
    “He who would lead must first serve” and…
    “The Sabbath was made for Man, not Man for the Sabbath” and…
    “Beware of practicising your piety in the sight of men.”
    Now, who can tell me who said that? – CTZen

  49. 50 Brian Thursday, September 16, 2010 at 10:57 am

    Mark Twain?
    Groucho?
    Will Rogers?

    Jesus! It’s too hard! who was it?

  50. 51 JJ Thursday, September 16, 2010 at 3:05 pm

    Joe & Brian – Okay, let’s wrap this up… you guys are drifting way, way off topic. I don’t mind a little thread drift as long as its at least tangentially-related to the topic at hand, which would be 9/11, and the psychological traumas and defensive racism caused in its immediate aftermath.

    Okay boys?

    Don’t make me come up there 😉

  51. 52 JJ Thursday, September 16, 2010 at 3:10 pm

    Bruce

    Surly should have been Surely, not sure if that was intentional or not. Seems to fit either way. lol

    😆 😆

  52. 53 JJ Thursday, September 16, 2010 at 3:23 pm

    Joe – Bruce is quite right. Bloggers are liable for libel (haha, “liable for libel”) if any appears in their comments. If you libel someone here, I can be sued, not you. Although I generally never delete or edit comments, there have been one or two occasions where I had to edit something potentially libelous out and put a note in the comment that I was editing it because of libel concerns. (I can’t remember who or what these comments were, it was a long time ago.)

    Lately I sometimes get so busy in meat space that I don’t get to the comments for a few days, but I’m lucky in that I have friends like Bruce who informally keep an eye on things.

  53. 54 JJ Thursday, September 16, 2010 at 3:28 pm

    deBeaux – I don’t usually mind the side discussions and all that, but when it starts to get way off topic the thread gets a bit derailed.

    This is when I wish I had threaded comments, so an exchange like the one between Brian and Joe continues outside of the main thread. I think there’s a way of doing threaded comments, but I haven’t figured it out yet.

  54. 55 joe agnost Thursday, September 16, 2010 at 3:47 pm

    Fair enough JJ… sorry for starting all this with brian.

  55. 56 JJ Thursday, September 16, 2010 at 4:08 pm

    It’s okay Joe, no need to apologize, I know discussions get heated and sometimes spin off into other directions. But for the sake of the other commenters who also have to read through a lot of the comments, I would encourage you not to wander too far afield 😉


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