Friday, January 13, 2012

Charles Shaughnessy Blog "Life, Art and the Cosmos!"

A lot of you have wondered about my religious beliefs. As we are starting a new year, I thought I would post my first blog of 2012 to address this...a bit. To start with, I should tell you that I adhere to none of the established or more common "religions." I put that word in quotes because I do agree that we are all searching for a way to "tie back" to a state of universal consciousness that many might call GOD. It's the idea that God can be anthropomorphized that causes me trouble. The notion that what is indeed "Everything/Nothing," the Alpha and the Omega, can take sides, get angry, be nice, talk through a bush or a snake, interact with us, as if it were anything separate from us, seems to me to be a bit absurd. I respect the right of anyone to follow whatever belief they choose, to help them feel re-connected to that state of pre-lapsarian innocence that we all crave as human beings...so long as they don't insist that their particular belief system is either the only one or the best one! That's why Newt's attempt to foist "Freedom of Religion" legislation on us is such an abomination: it basically states that freedom of religion is sacrosanct..as long as it's Christian! There are only two ways that I see religion as important in my life: one, to guide me as to my conduct on this earth; two, to give me a sense of order and comfort when faced with the unknowable and unfathomable concepts of infinity, life, death and the meaning of existence. The first is easy. I believe in Ethics and it's vital role in the progress of society and human behavior. Morality is what has led us astray, as it is always going to be relative. One man's freedom fighter, martyr or saint is another man's terrorist, criminal and murderer. Christ, along with all the great teachers in history, taught ethics: how to behave toward each other so that our human condition be less intolerable. Love, charity, compassion, generosity of spirit and body, diligence, responsibility, courage..but above all...Love.
As for the second... here's how I would best describe it.

If “GOD” is a manageable way of describing the infinite properties of “everythingness,” then there can be nothing that is not GOD. Further, there is nothing that is not something i.e. GOD. Therefore there is no “nothing” to juxtapose with “everything.” That is why we have discovered that the vast “emptiness” of space is not made up of “nothing”, but rather -”Dark Matter.” This describes the invisible matter that is juxtaposed to what we can identify as matter. In other words there is no “outside of the box.”
To wrap one’s head around this concept, one has to resort to metaphor or imagery, utilizing concepts and references that make sense to our limited brains. I like to see this “everything” as an infinite wad of chewing gum. There is no beginning or end to it either in time or space. To become part of “existence”, a small piece of this gum is pulled from the whole and stretched into our dimension. We live our lifespan, absorbing experience in this realm, but always attached by a thin thread to the whole wad. Thus, while living a solitary life in this dimension, we are at all time connected to everyone and everything else that has and ever will exist in the “whole wad.” This is our connection to GOD. This is why we occasionally experience sudden insights, premonitions, unrelated memories etc. We are literally “all one.” The latin word “religo - religere” from which our word “religion” comes, means “to tie back.” Through religion we, these lonely pieces of gum, are attempting to find a re-connection to that “ whole wad” of gum, to our innate sense of the infinite and our longing to belong to the whole of existence.

So this may indeed signify my crack at understanding the "What" of it all, but it does little to address the "Why?" For that I turn to an episode of the creaky old TV sci-fi series: Babylon5. ( to be continued...)

additional reply comment from Charles Shaughnessy to Miss JoAnn on 14 January, 2012 11:27 


additional reply comment from Charles Shaughnessy to Heather on 14 January, 2012 11:32 

30 comments:

  1. Stay as you are! You are the best!

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  2. I really appreciate your effort on this. I have to agree with many things you've said and I am impressed by your articulate way of explaining your beliefs. Very well written and wonderful insight into your respectable character! :)

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  3. I'm a follower of Christ and a believer in the Bible. It may be over simplified to some... naive to others... but for me, in this life, it has served me well and given me an anchor to hold to in the storms of life. I would rather get to the end of my life and find there is no God and simply go off into a great rest... than to get to the end of my life and find out there was a God who I didn't believe in... and realize I missed out on eternal life. And even if this absurdity of Christianity ends up to be a myth... I would still have lived a better live just for having believed. *hugs* heather

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  4. Charlie, I’m not sure where to start…other than state that I’ll leave the theological arguments to others who are vastly more qualified to use the Bible to support their arguments than I am. Newt Gingrich’s “attempt to foist ‘Freedom of Religion’ legislation on us”…if he becomes president (and that’s a big IF), he can’t foist ANY legislation on the American people. He can ask Congress to pass legislation, but Congress passes legislation, not the President. And, if Congress doesn’t want to pass legislation…it’s not going to happen (remember Obama’s push for a new jobs bill a few months ago, one that the Republicans in the House passed the House but is stalled by the Democrats in the Senate?).

    From what I’ve read (and I will admit that it’s limited, because I’ve been more focused on getting ready for spring semester than keeping up with politics), Gingrich indicated in Iowa that he wanted to establish a White House Commission “to examine and document impediments to religious freedom in the United States.” My first thought—do we really need another agency? Second thought—how does he intend to define “impediments to religious freedom”? Does not allowing formal prayer in schools count as an impediment (notice I said formal—after all, as long as teachers give tests, there will be prayer in schools)? Is opposing the construction of a mosque near Ground Zero an impediment to religious freedom? Plus, we already know from a recent unanimous Supreme Court decision that religious organizations do not have to comply with federal legislation when hiring and firing clergy (Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission), so why would anyone think that the Supreme Court wouldn’t overturn legislation that effectively contradicts the “freedom of religion” clause in the 1st amendment (which, by effectively protecting Christianity, it would)? The Supreme Court has protected religious freedom numerous times (ranging from the protecting the rights of Jehovah’s Witnesses to proselytize door-to-door to not forcing people to pledge allegiance to the flag to outlawing prayer in schools), so there is no reason why it would support any legislation that forces people to follow a certain faith/belief system, which is what you imply.

    Another problem with this is that people immediately have a knee-jerk reaction when they see what politicians say (or dig up something in a politician’s past to try to discredit the candidate). You have to look into the context of what the candidate is trying to say and at the audience. When you’re talking about Newt Gingrich, for instance, you’re talking about someone who was raised Lutheran, converted to Southern Baptist, and now is Roman Catholic (talk about someone who is seeking a spiritual home). Newt Gingrich is trying to court the support of evangelicals, so of course he would tell them what he thinks they want to hear. He wants their support so he can become the Republican Party’s presidential nominee. We’re talking about someone who should be careful when he attacks people for moral lapses, since he himself is guilty. We’re talking about someone who had to resign as Speaker of the House (and from the House) because of moral improprieties. Personally, I’m a bit alarmed that someone like this has ANY support to become president (and I would think anyone who has a Ph.D. in history like Gingrich does would know better, but obviously I’m wrong on that account).

    By the way, if Babylon 5 (which aired from 1994-98) counts as an “old” TV series…does that make The Nanny an “old” series as well, since it aired during the same time?

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  5. Woke up this morning with a big smile on my face after reading this! LOVE THIS BLOG! Wanting to print me a copy of above! HIs thoughts, ideas, and explanation are bravo. I so agree! Would add my two cents; (maybe later) but thinking Charlie pretty much did a great job. .
    @Sille Great & @mytypingsucks
    Great comments! Ditto here!

    Wishing more folks had these ideas or approach on Religion or connections to Everything, oneness, and/or on "God"!
    Seems to me traditional religions is not working for all. Is just so all or nothing and discourages thinking outside the huge box that contains the existence of so much!

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  6. Charlie, I totally understand where you're coming from(been there, done that myself), but I do have some thoughts about your perception of Jesus,who He was, why He came, etc. You're not alone in your ideas on this, actually your thoughts are VERY common. You said:
    "Christ, along with all the great teachers in history, taught ethics: how to behave toward each other so that our human condition be less intolerable. Love, charity, compassion, generosity of spirit and body, diligence, responsibility, courage..but above all...Love."

    And that was one SMALL part of Jesus' ministry/job here on Earth. Yes, He preached those things to his Jewish audience, who knew that they were "chosen/special/set aside" and whose temples had been contaminated by power, greed,corruption. He took them from their old views of "an eye for an eye" into "love your enemy"....common sense to us, but revolutionary for them. And yes...it is VERY possible to do all of those things in the absence of faith, just being a "good person". As you said, many other teachers said the same things.
    But the bulk/real meat of Jesus' work had nothing to do with good deeds, etc. He came to reconcile a sinful/flawed/imperfect human race to a Holy/Perfect God....yes,restoring us to a pre-lapsarian world in Heaven. You say you don't like people saying that their way is the 'only way' to Heaven, yet you call Jesus a great teacher. That "great teacher" is the One who told us "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No man comes to the Father BUT THROUGH ME". He called Himself God(if you have seen me,you have seen the Father). He told Nicodemus that to gain eternal life, one must be born again of the Holy Spirit(aka...have a personal relationship with Jesus, accept the gift of salvation thru His sacrifice, etc).
    I'm not saying that you don't have the free will to choose to accept or reject Him, but He said much more than "let he who is without sin cast the first stone". And having a RELATIONSHIP with Him is what being a Christian is...not claiming to belong to a RELIGION. There IS a difference. Sitting in a church doesn't make you a Christian, any more than sitting in a garage makes you a car. And believe me..."religion" frustrates those of us who have a "relationship" with Christ as much as it frustrates you...probably more. Religion is man-made(and therefore flawed), a Relationship with Christ is not.
    I do pray I'm not coming off as "holier than thou"(because God knows I'm not, not at all)...but once again YOU brought up Jesus by name. My job isn't to beat you over the head with a Bible, but to expand on the small portion of His Ministry that you mentioned. So many people know and love "some" of what He said, when to me, there's so much more to the story,and the "rest of it" determines if He is Who He said He is, and if His words even matter. He was either Lord, a prolific Liar, or a raving Lunatic....not a good teacher who had a few hits and the rest of what He said is "absurd".
    Love you all xoxo

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  7. Perhaps if we could understand more about "dark matter". What is composed of or how it works etc? We could possibly understand more about "God" or the universe. There is so much unexplained about the origins of life and space. Isn't any wonder for folks looking for answers as well as a higher power. This web of connection makes a lot of sense. Always thought that most things around are very much alike including us people. Seems we and earth itself defiantly a part of something larger. Thinking we as people sell ourselves short. Wonder if we are more capable of accomplishing greater things. People seem to be spiritual by nature and full of awe. Never bought much into coincidences. Seems to be a reason behind everything. Spirituality included one would figure. When morality starts to cause deaths amongst tribes, there is definitely a glitch. Whether agree with others or not, they are our human brothers or sisters with similar ideas & beliefs. That alone deserves respect. Perhaps Aretha Franklin had it right all along. Everyone basically wants a little R-E-S-P-E-C-T! Plus, Jesus doctrines had it right on as well!

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  8. As a Christian who has departed from traditional religion for some of the reasons you specified, I have to say that I find your insights quite amazing. I stepped away from traditional religion because of the intolerance I encountered for people whose thoughts and views were different from what is deemed acceptable in traditional Christianity. My journey outside of traditional Christianity taught me that love is the greatest and only force that connects us to that supreme being we call God. Outside of love, there is no connection, only intolerance and disrespect for other peoples' beliefs and points of views. Among the many lessons that Christ taught, the most important was "Do unto your neighbor as unto yourself." The Golden Rule, as many call it, teaches us to love and treat others as we would have them treat us. Love is the only force that unites us, not religion or spiritual views or affiliation. Perhaps, one day mainstream Christianity will get it. Until then, let us walk in the freedom love has given us. Continue to be free, my friend. Much peace and love, Aida.

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  10. MissJoAnn, I fully appreciate your standpoint and don't feel that you are "holier than thou" ( tho, you might well be Holier than me!!) But you can't really say all those things about Jesus as if they are demonstrably true, when they were written in some books well after his death. That would be like saying that we KNOW dragons breathed fire because it says so in the book. Surely, when you say that you have a "relationship with Christ," what you are saying is that you have a relationship with God, no? Well, that's what I am saying as well. I have an inextricable relationship with God as he, she, it is the definition of Alpha and Omega and I must needs be a part of that.It's when we get into all these different established religions' dogma that you and I have a problem. :-)

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  11. Heather, not only do I appreciate your beliefs, but I applaud them. I am only speaking for what I personally find helps me to get through the night. The Christian values of love, charity and compassion are my values too. I try to live my life by the code that Jesus taught. In the end I think we will discover that, in a way that we cannot comprehend in this lifetime, ALL these different beliefs will be TRUE in the same way that Light is both Photon particle AND wave at the same time, so ALL truths will be revealed as TRUE and we will all find ourselves of just ONE MIND.

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  13. Okay, Charlie, help me out here. How specifically would the different established religions’ dogma cause a problem? I know that the different Christian denominations have distinct ways of worship, but what is it that has you so confused about it? The main path to salvation is expressed in John 3:16 (you can pick which version you wish to read; I prefer the King James Version). Different denominations do vary in the way they celebrate Christ’s life, ranging from the actual body and blood of Christ during the Eucharist to viewing it as a memorial service during Holy Communion (Calvinist/Zwinglian approach). They differ in sacraments—e.g., adult vs. infant baptism. Some, like the Quakers, don’t even have rituals (or established clergy). But the key belief is constant—“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (KJV) Is the problem the lack of evidence, that we don’t know why John wrote that (or if those were the actual words of Christ)? That’s where faith comes into play. Either you have faith in what is written in the Bible, or you don’t. And, if you choose not to believe what is written in the Bible, in my mind it’s a personal matter, and I’m not about to foist my beliefs on anyone else (no matter how tempting it might be at times). Unfortunately, some religious groups are not as open-minded as I am, and, as a result, they try to foist their beliefs on others and tell them they are wrong because of the way they celebrate Christ’s life and teachings—and, in some cases, this has led to wars in the name of religion.

    Now, from the perspective of an historian—unfortunately, the disciples weren’t tweeting while listening to Jesus preach the Sermon on the Mount (actually, that would have been a bit rude—like playing video games on your phone during the minister’s sermon). Jesus wasn’t followed by video cameras recording his every move (like some sort of reality show). There was no printing press at the time, so we wouldn’t have newspaper accounts of Jesus’s travels. We do have actual evidence of the impact of Christ’s teachings from the four gospels, from Paul’s letters, from the writings of Josephus, etc. We do know from the historical record that he was perceived to be a threat by the Roman Empire, which led to his execution. Just because the books were written after his death does not mean they are not valid sources, though, especially if they are considered to be works of faith. Plus, you have to remember that what we read in the King James Version (or other interpretations) is affected by translations from the original text in Aramaic and Greek; the Vulgate (the Latin Bible) was a translation, and there are dozens of “modern” translations that attempt to “modernize” the Bible to make it more accessible to the general public. There has to be a reason why the Bible is the best-selling book of all time, and I seriously doubt it’s because of the illustrations or the gilded letters on the cover.

    By the way, Charlie, now you might have figured out why I chose to write about a Quaker meeting... :-)

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  14. Charles, I loved the insightful glimpse into your interesting opinions and beliefs. I also believe that everyone has the right to believe and practice whatever religion they choose and I enjoyed your blog very much. I'm one of your biggest fans! Please respond if you can. ♥ Madeleine

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  15. Heather, I agree with what you said. I am also a believer.

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  16. Oh Charlie...I so wish we could sit down with a pot of tea(and a big bowl of "Moose Munch Crunch" LOL) and discuss this. I soooo hear what you're saying, I had those EXACT same questions. How can we be sure Jesus is real? Did the writers look at the OT prophecies about the Messiah and tweak their stories to make Him fit?! And it was "The Late Great Planet Earth" and the Book of Revelation that did it for me...that those prophecies written long ago were coming true TODAY. And if that was true, then what ELSE was in that Book? There are authors who have researched the prophecies,archaeology, non-Biblical accounts of the time...and have come up with solid proof. Lee Strobel, Ravi Zacharias and Josh McDowell are wonderful, as is(of course) the amazing CS Lewis. They had the same questions and demanded answers. And Tim LaHaye is great for explaining the symbolism in Revelation. Hopefully, this will help anyone reading this who wants to learn more.
    Most people come to Jesus THEN learn the rest...this controlling intellectual with a degree in Biochemistry wanted more PROOF. I think I'm related to Thomas the Apostle ;). I'd have been right there with him, putting my hand in the wounds so I could be "sure". I envy those who have a sweet faith that accepts so readily, while I'm giving God a hard time.

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  17. test to see if anyone can post that has a google account

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  18. @Karen: makes sense now the book about Quakers. :)
    @Joann: for the record.. Have to admit Revelation is very interesting. A little light reading there. And that discussion would probably be interesting. :)

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  19. Charles, I find your views to be insightful and intriguing. Everyone has different views about religion. The Catholic church even talks about the Alpha and Omega. I don't think that because I'm Catholic or that I believe in God that I am better than someone who's views are different from mine. You never know when someone elses views might open your thinking to something more. I don't agree with a lot of the teachings of the Catholic Church.
    Most religions believe in some higher being or beings that wants us to have love, charity and compassion. I also believe that there is a lot missing from the Bible about Jesus and his life. There are to many gaps in His life in the Bible for there not to be missing aspects in His life. I believe that we all need to live our lives with love, charity, and compassion for ourselves and one another, and the truth will come to light someday.

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  20. Karen--your insightfullness boggles my mind--couldn't get my head clear enough to put my thoughts down--then read your second post--and thought --she hit the nail on the head--you spoke for me, only much more intelligently and and obviously with much more knowledge--I feel that no one should insist that their religion is the one and only one.

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  21. Charlie, you are a very brave man and I commend you for having the courage to express your religious views. Likewise, I commend all who have thus far participated in this blog. You each have exhibited courage in expressing your own beliefs while at the same time being respectful towards the beliefs of others. It is not always easy to share such feelings; after all, they are very personal, heartfelt, and often controversial. At times, there are those who would mock and desecrate what to another is holy and sacred. In seeing the respect each has shown, I trust that I can share my own beliefs without such fear.

    I grew up in a non-religious home. I find it interesting, then, that my very first memory is not of an event, but rather a feeling. I remember at a very early age—probably only about 3 or 4 years old—feeling a need to “tie back”. For me, it was a very strong spiritual feeling; a feeling that for the most part has remained with me throughout my life. I have longed to know God. I have longed to understand His role in my life. I have longed to understand who I am in this vast universe. I guess that makes me quite a bit like everyone else; we may all question at different points in our lives—some young, others older--but it is a question that we will all at some point be forced to face. JoAnn, as always, has done a great job in sharing her knowledge and belief of Jesus Christ as the Savior and Redeemer of mankind. Although we may not have all beliefs in common, I do share these same beliefs with her. You may recall that I am a Mormon or, as our official name is called, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Some do not consider us Christians; I guess they have their reasons. I only know what I have learned about Him through my study of The Book of Mormon which I have read more times than I can count, and the Bible, which I have also read—both the Old and New Testament. Through my sincere study, I have received a witness both in my heart and in my mind that He lives and that He is indeed our Savior and Redeemer. Unlike you, Charlie, I do believe in a personal God—one that knows me intimately, who loves me, and cares about me. Although I respect each person’s right to their personal beliefs and recognize that each has their reasons for believing such, I know God as my literal Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ as His son. Because He is my father, I know that He loves me and has an interest in my life. There is purpose in my life and a reason for me being here. There is purpose in all that I experience—including heartache and disappointment. Not only do I have a great desire to “tie back” to Him, but He wants me back and the wonderful thing is, Charlie, He wants you back too.

    (cont.)

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  22. I know that religion is not always easy. It is difficult to accept by faith what one cannot see, but anything of great value is never really easy. I know that there are things that people cannot grasp. How, for instance, can Jesus Christ be the one and only way when millions of people never have even heard of Him. I am confident that each person who has or ever will live upon this earth will be granted an opportunity to receive His redeeming gift.

    I have mentioned my son, Dallin, before and I will do so again. Dallin is 18. He is a good young man who is very analytical and scientific in nature. He has struggled developing his own beliefs in God. He has a difficult time resolving science and religion. One day not long ago, I had a discussion with him. I asked him if he were standing holding a ball, what would happen if he let it go. Of course, he has had enough experience in life to know that the ball would fall to the ground. “Why?” I asked him. “Because of the law of gravity!” he replied. I continued, “You are sharing with me your knowledge of a physical law; one in which you have developed confidence. Why can you accept that there are physical laws, but cannot accept that in this vast universe there can also be spiritual laws?” Unlike my son, my study of physics has allowed me to have what I call “Ah-ha” moments. I have come to realize how little we know and how some things that we do know are still extremely difficult to comprehend. You mentioned the fact that light is both a particle and a wave. Likewise, I know that the double-split experiment shows that this single photon particle goes through both slits at the same time—how can this be? The theory of relativity shows us that time is not the consistent period that we have come to consider it, but rather something that is relative to speed and distance (something that my father still refuses to accept). Quantum physics shows us that energy is quantized and that an electron in an atom does not have a specific location until we take a measurement. I have also seen through my study of physics, that some things we as mortals see as impossible really are only improbable. None of these things can my weak, human mind comprehend, nevertheless, I know them to be true. I do not and will not dismiss them just because I cannot fully comprehend them. Likewise, I know that God is a personal being. Some may question my ability to ‘know’, but I cannot deny it just because it may not be easy for others or even myself at times to comprehend. I know that my Heavenly Father wants me back. I know He has provided a way, through His son, for me to have eternal life and an opportunity for me to continue in a family unit with those I have associated with and loved upon this earth.

    I hope that this nation never fails to uphold freedom of religion, including one’s right to reject religion all together. I will always defend a persons right to be something other than Christian. I am grateful for all good people of any beliefs or denomination. Charlie, I admire you for your courage, for your desire to live a moral and ethical life, and for the service you give your fellowman. It has been a pleasure to participate in your blog and getting to know just a little about you. What I have found is that this world could use more men like you.

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  23. Wonderful comment there! Very heartfelt and intellectual. But if we are going to start discussing Quantum physics? This blog is officially over my head. Can someone please direct me to the minor league only-connect blog? (one for the high school grads) xo

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  24. What fun! Latin declensions and all. "Religo" -- a mooring. At least you're not going with Cicero's relego (relegate, banish) (!) Though religion, as defined by humans, often appears to do just that. Sigh. "Religion" can indeed be toxic. But religion wasn't created by God; it was created by us. (Why do we feel the need? That's another blog, I suppose.) God is God -- yes, separate and apart from "religion," quotes and all. I think we would get along much better if we learned that distinction. At least you believe there is Something to tie back to. I find it interesting that we so are so ready to define God on our terms, yet refuse to accept it when He defines himself (in the Bible and through Jesus). Or we pick and choose what part of God we can get behind (the love part) and promptly toss the rest (the moral/judgey part -- from which we derive all ethics, by the way. C.S. Lewis, anyone?) That, to me, is absurd. Plus, as an actor, anthropomorphically speaking, I would think you could appreciate His appearing as a talking animal or in bushes or in some other guise wholly apart from us but with our characteristics even -- the better to show us more about ourselves and reveal Himself to us in the process. I think creative people have a hard time realizing that the very "thing" they tap into in the creative process is literally God-breathed. Yes, as we all have some of that, it makes us part of the same whole, but it doesn't make us God or gods. Another important distinction. We are not the Source. And there has to be a source of this wad of gum, doesn't there? Who chewed us up and spit us out is what I want to know. ;) To me, we are all simply men and women who create "religion" so we can put God in our neat little box and define Him. Again, why do we do that? Why do we feel the need?

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  25. I totally agree with everything you wrote in the above entry, although I've never thought of the big wad of chewing gum. Haha! I think of god as an infinite ocean, and we are each drops of water that cannot be separate.

    I grew up Jewish, and decided at an early age that religion was not for me. Now that I'm in my 40's, I'm madly in love with The Nanny. I love how Fran brought her traditions/Yiddish phrases to the show, and that the Christian family embraced it. More and more I'm appreciating my Jewish heritage even though I do not believe in organized religion. We're all one. If only everyone knew that. Thanks for your blog!

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  26. I suppose no one will probably see my post since it is coming in relatively late but just in case:

    JoAnn has done a wonderful job of explaining how Jesus is so important and his teachings were not the only reason He came to us in the first place. Thank you, JoAnn.

    Karen explained the problem some people have with the "why?" It is really rather simple: it all has to do with faith. What some want is proof of God and that Jesus is the Son of God and died for us. However, to be a true believer in Christ you have to have faith and accept His life, death and resurrection. Otherwise, how can one truly believe in Him?

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  27. Probably because of the lack of a reason for "WHY" we are on this Earth, I have often mused that we might merely be a laboratory experiment in some scientist's Terrarium / Aquarium or are no more than the delight of an ant farm in some classroom for someone much bigger than ourselves.
    Are we so arrogant to think we are the biggest entities in this picture?
    I don't honestly believe the above, but it's a rather interesting concept to me and were it not for this word Faith being kicked around here - I might have stronger leanings toward this idea. One doesn't even need to put players into the fold as to whom or what we hold this faith in. I truly believe there is a greater being/consciousness [God] that does have all of this mapped out for the Universe and if we were to know the details of such - well, there would not be much challenge for all of us to strive towards being God-like. Man was put together with a developed cerebrum, but also with the remnants of animal instincts - with the challenge being whether we reach to achieve the standards set for man by God, or revert to less than the standard behaviors of the creatures not graced with such an organ of reason.
    Have we maintained the delicate balance so carefully planned out in the creation of our planet? Have we cherished the Blessings bestowed upon us or have we strayed to pursue individual pleasures? There are so many branches to this discussion - I need to leave it at this. Faith is not about trusting the hands of man to have written the truth in a book; though some do need ritual and others to lead them through all of this. Faith is the acknowledgement that we are not here to serve ourselves in pleasure at any cost and that there just might be a reward for mankind to believe in and serve God.

    PS.[And BTW Charles- I hope to see you back on Days again for a much longer stint! Or a Nanny reunion? Love your work!]

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  28. Happy birthday!! im one of your biggest fans! i watch your shows all the time i ♥ u please respond if u can! hope u have a great birthday! :) Madeleine F

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  29. Happy birthday!! im one of your biggest fans! i watch ur shows all the time i ♥ u please respond if u can! hope u have a great birthday! --Madeleine F.

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