Guest Contributor – (Onnad)

“Unpopular Opinion”
As an atheist, I have come to an opinion that I think is not well-received in our community. I’ve given it a lot of thought, but I have to be honest about my feelings on this: He’s Just Too Old. I know, I know, he has a lot of experience and he’s done a lot of great things, but it’s time to go. There are plenty of people who are ready (and able!) to take his place. It frustrates me that we are stuck in this “Either-Or” situation and that there aren’t any 3rd place alternatives. Why are we stuck constantly choosing between one or the other? My atheist peers have all tried to convince me that he is the best choice and that to not choose him again would be folly.

Of course, I’m talking about Satan.

Let’s face it – his best work is behind him. He gave us Elvis, The Stones, The Doors, Little Richard, and the Dark Master himself: Ozzy Osbourne. When was the last time Satan bothered to put a kick-ass backward message on a record? When was the last time Satan tempted us to “Rock and roll all night and party every day”?? He’s definitely lost his touch. Look no farther than Taylor Swift. Really? Taylor Swift? A cute little popprincess…? That’s the best you got, dude? Goddamn, (pardon the pun) is Satan evenfit to lead us into Hell anymore? Marijuana is now legal, drag queens can shit in any bathroom they please, online porn is as easy to access as any TV channel, and kids are free to believe they are cats and dogs and shit in the classroom litter box. Is Satan even relevant anymore?

As I mentioned there are plenty of better candidates who are much younger, and frankly, much more evil than Satan. Marjorie Taylor-Greene, Matt Goetz, Ted Cruz, Ben Shapiro, Stephen Miller, and of course, the modern-day Ash-Shatan, the Old Serpent, The Great Deceiver, The Walking Dude, The Adversary…Donald Trump. Look, I’m not going to get all political here, but Trump is kicking Satan’s ass. Has Satan had five children by three different women, cheated ALL of his contractors, called for the death penalty for five innocent black teens in New York, fucked a porn star, and created a fake university? Nope. Trump is making Satan look like a fool. Members of Congress routinely side with neo-Nazis and White Supremacists. They support putting the unhoused into encampments. People coming to our country seeking a better life are caged and their families ripped apart. In the race to see who can be the most evil, Satan is falling off the pace.

Hey, Satan, man, I gotta be real. It’s time to step down. Your best days are behind you and you are no longer effective. Put on a Tay-Tay record, kick back with some legal weed, log on to PornHub and check out some hot girl-on-stepmom action, and just relax. Enjoy retirement. You’ve done good (bad) work. But give it up, you’re too old to get my vote

“Intermission” – Patricia in the “BurgerFi”

I’m in Fort Lauderdale for work, stationed at a “BurgerFi” joint (They promise GMO-free, farm-raised fare, you get the drill). My task this week is to baby-sit a new machine, jot down notes, and keep it stocked. So, I’m here for a solid five hours daily, parked at the same table with a convenient outlet for my laptop. Today, a seemingly put-together middle-aged lady strolls up to me and drops, “I sure could have used you the other day…” My inner monologue warns against smart remarks, so I opt for, “How so?” Here’s the gist of our chat:

Crazy Lady: I got mugged down the street by the beach near XXX. Could’ve used a big guy like you. The tale unfolds for a good five minutes. Turns out, she’s been mugged thrice while spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ. These people can’t see the evil and hatred in their heart. (Irony here is thick) She claims Jesus talks to her, inscribing his will on her heart. She’s been knocked out cold and robbed, and the perpetrators, according to her, are basically minions of the Devil. She’s adamant about spreading the good word to counteract such evil and swears it’s the real devil spreading evil. My first thought, “why doesn’t your God do something about all this evil?”

I maintained a poker face throughout this encounter. She’s on a mission, oblivious to my indifference. Once her food arrives, she takes her sermon and evangelism outside. I snap a pic of her and her unwitting audience, the “Looney Toons” lady standing out.

What motivates someone to do this? How many others out there genuinely believe it’s their divine mission to accost strangers with a religious spiel? Frankly, encounters like this leave me both sad and disgusted. She couldn’t care less about my beliefs or opinions; she’s solely focused on fulfilling her life’s purpose of winning souls. If I didn’t have a call in five minutes, I’d have recorded our conversation. As an practicing Street Epistemologist, I relish such encounters with the eccentric. If she shows up again, I’ll capture and post the audio for posterity.

Why am I here (Part-2)

First off, I struggle to believe it’s been over a year since my last post. I can assure you, my intentions are good, and yet I’ve not set aside time to post here more often. As it’s May already, I’m going to establish my New Year’s resolution here on 5-12-24 and make up for lost time the rest of the year. More posts coming – stay tuned…

OK, so I’m gonna attempt to pick up where I left off on this topic.

Setting the stage: From 30 to 35 weeks of pregnancy duration, my wife and I were going for multiple Doppler blood flow ultrasounds each week. The reason for this is because something was going on in the womb with our child. It was not growing at a normal pace and at 35 weeks, it was clear to the medical folks, this little person was likely going to need to come out of the womb soon. One of the best ways to do this is to monitor the flow of blood into and out of the umbilical cord via this Doppler blood flow ultrasound. They watch the blood flow in, flow up to the brain and back out. At this 35-week ultrasound, they notified us the blood was getting to the brain but was not exiting normally. As such, they needed to emergency schedule a C-section for intercession, and to get this child out of its (as Robin William’s called it) “Womb Service”. We were told, “…it looks like the placenta isn’t doing what it should at this point, and is breaking down & causing this issue. If we don’t get this child out soon, it could do further damage. So, a C-section was emergency scheduled. And just like that, we were about to have our 4th child.

On August 22nd, of the year 2000, my wife went into surgery. I don’t remember if I was allowed in the room (it’s been too long) like I was able to for all my prior children. I do remember, the first time I saw our child and remember many of the feelings and thoughts I had at the time. OMG – “this child is so small and frail” It (still didn’t know at this time if “it” was a boy or girl) had hoses and wires connected all over its little body. It was delivered at a whopping (NOT) weight of 3 lbs, 2 oz. If you’ve ever seen a child of this size, you know what an awe-inspiring time this is. So unbelievably frail and hanging on by a thread to life. Because it was 35 weeks, its lungs were further developed than most infants born as preemies. As is quite typical its lungs had quite a bit of meconium in it and needed quite a bit to get it breathing ok. This child needed a bilirubin light (blue light to help with the typical jaundice so common with preemies as well). When getting this therapy, eye protection is worn, thus the funky glasses.

Not long after arriving in the NICU, a blood test was done on our new child and we were told, from a blood perspective, this child was, in fact, a boy. We named him Sean

Shortly after arriving in the NICU, the nurses and doctors told us they needed to run a few tests because they were concerned about something they were seeing with our child. Some time later, the doctors and nurses came back and told us their fears had been confirmed … our new son had “calcification of the brain”. This confirmation had been verified by their testing. The doctors and nurses suggested we contact our spiritual leader to seek assistance in dealing with this news. My wife, who was a bit more Catholic than me at this point, called our parish priest. Through many tears, she notified our parish of what was happening at St. Vincent’s hospital on the NW side of Indianapolis. We were notified our parish priest and some ladies from St. Michel’s parish in Greenfield, IN. would be coming out to give our child the last rites (a “sacrament” in the Catholic Church and quite common when a person is near death). My wife was inconsolable at this point. At this time, she had been through so very much. To be told, your child is basically brain dead and there isn’t much you or anyone can do to help, aside from pray. We felt completely hopeless. Inside, I was starting to be really pissed at “God” Why us? Why now? After all, we’d prayed to God to help us get pregnant and were trying to do all we could to live good Catholic lives as parents. This made no sense to me. We’d lost a twin in utero and now this!!!

Our Priest showed up with two ladies from the church office. They prayed and prayed over Sean and he both baptized Sean (with a sea shell and Holy Water) and gave him his last rites. I remember thinking at the time … this is a surreal moment, and I don’t think the baptism and last rites did jack shit. My wife was overwhelmed with appreciation they came, and did what they did for our son. She tipped him with $money$ in a truly grateful way just before their departure. Shortly after, the nurse and doc came up to us and said they’d rerun the tests and our son. Turns out, our son did not have “calcification of the brain”. The test was a false positive. Our son was probably OK. Hallelujah, It’s a miracle !!! Once again, I was both glad and horrified at what had transpired. Why ?? What the Hell ?? Was this a miracle? Had Sean not been “Baptized” or received the “Last Rites”, would he still be brain dead? My emotions were all over the place. My wife held onto the sea shell like it was a religious artifact / relic and kept crying like she’d witnessed a true miracle. I was in a state of shock.

The next few weeks are a complete blur in my mind, as we spent most every waking moment in the hospital next to our son, Sean. To be continued…