Thursday, July 12, 2012

Ghosts of the Past

New Yorker Magazine

16 comments:

Douglas Becker said...

It is not ghosts we need to worry about (unless it is the very present ghost of Herbert Armstrong).

It is about the lingering trauma caused by the Living Death of Armstrongism.

In some cases -- perhaps in many -- the trauma of fear was so great that it led to physiological damage and resulted in PTSD.

Psychological distress can lead to PTSD and it isn't always a result of being shell shocked in some war or terrorist attacks.

Anonymous said...

I think that is what they mean by ghosts....bad memories, insecurities, guilt, shame, anger, bitterness...all coming out of the remembrance of evil pasts....ghosts.

Of course, some here may really believe that the cartoon is referencing real ghosts.


Paul R.

Anonymous said...

The other day, I became a True Christian.
Again.
I was looking for a new transmission for my lawnmower, and was really frustrated because none were to be found anywhere, and as a result I was so depressed that I wondered if god was really real.
So I got on my knees, fervently prayed, and told God I really needed to know if He was real, and also that I really needed a replacement transmission for my lawnmower, and that any kind of signs and wonders would be nice, too
Then, suddenly, my computer started to glow and make heavenly noises, and I saw I had an email from lawnmowerparts.com, saying they had a transmission for my lawnmower!
Hallelujah, I had my sign from God!

So I got baptized, washed in the Blood of the Lamb, and became a real Christian with the real Holy Spirit!
And just last night, as part of my "personal relationship with God" I had a totally awesome conversation with the Holy Spirit!
Here's how it went-

Norm(talking to wife): Dang, this "Lamb Blood" all over me is gettin sticky. Do we have any more "Goof-Off" spray?
Holy Spirit: Jesus recommends Dow Lemon Scented Scrubbing Bubbles, and a loofah on a stick. Time to hop in the tub, schlub!
Norm: WHO SAID THAT?!
Holy Spirit: It's me, the Holy Spirit!
Norm: Hi, Holy Spirit!
Holy Spirit: Hi, Norm! Jeez, I feel like I'm on "Cheers"!
Norm: I liked Woody.
Holy Spirit: SHUT UP BEFORE I WHACK YOU WITH MY "MARY-IMPREGNATING WOODY"! Now, sit back and listen up- I have some important things to fill you in on.
Norm: Ok, I did actually had some questions for you.
Holy Spirit: Like what? I have easy answers for most anything.
Norm: Well, for starters, how do I be a good Christian?
Holy Spirit: Sell it. To yourself, and to others, too(which essentially an exercice in selling it to yourself!) . But the main point is to sell it to yourself. Otherwise our side might lose our tenuous grip on you.
Norm: Huh?
Holy Spirit: One of the best exercices in selling it to yourself is in trying to sell it to others. Oh, and mention "Jesus" and the "Holy Spirit" a lot when you do.
Norm: Jesus?
Holy Spirit: Yeah, make sure you mention that you have a personal relationship with Jesus, and that Jesus found a new transmission for your lawnmower online for you.
Norm: But what if some people don't believe that Jesus went online and found the lawnmower transmission for me?
Holy Spirit: That's ok. Keep hammering away. Come up with more stuff to sway yourself and others our way.
Norm: More stuff?
Holy Spirit: Sure. Why not proclaim that Jesus is now raising people from the dead?
Norm: Is that really happening now?
Holy Spirit: It doesn't matter. What matters is that you say it.
Norm: Isn't that like being a sleazy salesman?
Holy Spirit: I prefer to think of it as being an AWESOMELY TOTALLY RIGHTEOUS SPIRIT-INSPIRED JESUS-LOVING salesman.
Norm: Do you have more ideas of things I should tell the marks?
Holy Spirit: I'm not sure you'd have enough ink in your pen to write down all the ideas Me and Jesus came up with!
Norm: I've got a new Sharpie ready!
Holy Spirit: Ok, ready?
Norm: Ready!
Holy Spirit: In true Christian churches, people are being healed of cancers left and right, supernatural gold dust is falling from the sky, manna from heaven is falling from the heavens, water is turning into wine, holy oil is dripping from Christians' hands, angel feathers are falling from heaven, and diamonds and gemstones from heaven are falling from heaven into people's hands.
Norm: Wow!
Holy Spirit: Yep, add those to your proclamations that people are being raised from the dead and your supernatural lawnmower story, and you've got a nice sales-package going!

(To be continued- Norm)

Anonymous said...

The other day, I became a True Christian.
Again.
I was looking for a new transmission for my lawnmower, and was really frustrated because none were to be found anywhere, and as a result I was so depressed that I wondered if god was really real.
So I got on my knees, fervently prayed, and told God I really needed to know if He was real, and also that I really needed a replacement transmission for my lawnmower, and that any kind of signs and wonders would be nice, too
Then, suddenly, my computer started to glow and make heavenly noises, and I saw I had an email from lawnmowerparts.com, saying they had a transmission for my lawnmower!
Hallelujah, I had my sign from God!

So I got baptized, washed in the Blood of the Lamb, and became a real Christian with the real Holy Spirit!
And just last night, as part of my "personal relationship with God" I had a totally awesome conversation with the Holy Spirit!
Here's how it went-

Norm(talking to wife): Dang, this "Lamb Blood" all over me is gettin sticky. Do we have any more "Goof-Off" spray?
Holy Spirit: Jesus recommends Dow Lemon Scented Scrubbing Bubbles, and a loofah on a stick. Time to hop in the tub, schlub!
Norm: WHO SAID THAT?!
Holy Spirit: It's me, the Holy Spirit!
Norm: Hi, Holy Spirit!
Holy Spirit: Hi, Norm! Jeez, I feel like I'm on "Cheers"!
Norm: I liked Woody.
Holy Spirit: SHUT UP BEFORE I WHACK YOU WITH MY "MARY-IMPREGNATING WOODY"! Now, sit back and listen up- I have some important things to fill you in on.
Norm: Ok, I did actually had some questions for you.
Holy Spirit: Like what? I have easy answers for most anything.
Norm: Well, for starters, how do I be a good Christian?
Holy Spirit: Sell it. To yourself, and to others, too(which essentially an exercice in selling it to yourself!) . But the main point is to sell it to yourself. Otherwise our side might lose our tenuous grip on you.
Norm: Huh?
Holy Spirit: One of the best exercices in selling it to yourself is in trying to sell it to others. Oh, and mention "Jesus" and the "Holy Spirit" a lot when you do.
Norm: Jesus?
Holy Spirit: Yeah, make sure you mention that you have a personal relationship with Jesus, and that Jesus found a new transmission for your lawnmower online for you.
Norm: But what if some people don't believe that Jesus went online and found the lawnmower transmission for me?
Holy Spirit: That's ok. Keep hammering away. Come up with more stuff to sway yourself and others our way.
Norm: More stuff?
Holy Spirit: Sure. Why not proclaim that Jesus is now raising people from the dead?
Norm: Is that really happening now?
Holy Spirit: It doesn't matter. What matters is that you say it.
Norm: Isn't that like being a sleazy salesman?
Holy Spirit: I prefer to think of it as being an AWESOMELY TOTALLY RIGHTEOUS SPIRIT-INSPIRED JESUS-LOVING salesman.

(continued- Norm)

Anonymous said...

(Continued)

Norm: Do you have more ideas of things I should tell the marks?
Holy Spirit: I'm not sure you'd have enough ink in your pen to write down all the ideas Me and Jesus came up with!
Norm: I've got a new Sharpie ready!
Holy Spirit: Ok, ready?
Norm: Ready!
Holy Spirit: In true Christian churches, people are being healed of cancers left and right, supernatural gold dust is falling from the sky, manna from heaven is falling from the heavens, water is turning into wine, holy oil is dripping from Christians' hands, angel feathers are falling from heaven, and diamonds and gemstones from heaven are falling from heaven into people's hands.
Norm: Wow!
Holy Spirit: Yep, add those to your proclamations that people are being raised from the dead and your supernatural lawnmower story, and you've got a nice sales-package going!
Norm: I'm unfamiliar with most of those other things, but that "people are being raised from the dead" thingy is at least second or third hand to me.
Holy Spirit: Did you hear it from a Christian?
Norm: Yes.
Holy Spirit:Then, IT MUST BE TRUE!
Norm: But...
Holy Spirit: IF YOU ARE NOT WITH US YOU ARE AGAINST US! Are you a Christian, or not?
Norm: I'm a Christian! But I think I've heard that "If you're not with us, you're against us." quote before.
Holy Spirit: You have! So far, Mussolini, George Bush, Lenin, and now, the Holy Spirit have used it.
Norm: Mussolini?
Holy Spirit: Don't grieve me, Norm. Do you want the trains in your brains to run on time, or not? Are you willing to stay at "Holy Spirit Station", or do you want to take the next train to Satanville?
Norm: Holy Spirit Station! I'm totally an Ephesians 4:30 guy!
Holy Spirit: GOOD! Now, we can get somewhere.
Norm: Ok. can I ask a question?
Holy Spirit: Ask away!
Norm: What if someone asks me a question, like, "Huh? What was that about Christians raising people from the dead?"
Holy Spirit: I've got your back, Norm! Have you ever heard of those online picture generators?
Norm: Yes.
Holy Spirit: Well, me and Jesus, together we're like an online "excuse generator"!
Norm: No shit?!
Holy Spirit: Yes, shit! We've got a million reasons you can use to justify not answering reasonable questions.
Norm: Cool! What if someone wants details about my "Christians are raising people from the dead?" proclamations?
Holy Spirit: Just use the "Jesus Excuse", and tell them that you are being just like Jesus by not answering "certain types of people"!
Norm: But what if I've just answered a bunch of other stuff from them before and after the questions I have not answered, which may reveal me as a hypocrite?
Holy Spirit: If they press it, tell them you are using "Christian discernment" by not answering them.
Norm: I'm wondering, since I may be using the just who are "certain types of people" excuse, just who are the "certain types of people" that I should not answer?
Holy Spirit: Anyone who asks questions which don't have easy answers.
Norm: But am I to answer questions asked of me?
Holy Spirit: Absolutely.
Norm: Is there anyone who may have a good question I should not answer?
Holy Spirit: Yes.
Norm: Who?
Holy Spirit: Anyone who asks a good question.
Norm: That's tricky!
Holy Spirit: I like to think of it as, "mysterious"

(continue to part 3 of 3- Norm)

Anonymous said...

(last part, 3 of 3)

Norm: You sly dog, you!
Holy Spirit: You're getting the idea!
Norm: What if someone presses the issue when I refuse to answer their valid question?
Holy Spirit: Call them names. Call the person a "rabid disbeliever" even if the person isn't an disbeliever.
Norm: But, what if that doesn't help?
Holy Spirit: Try and be a "Bully for Jesus", by reminding everybody that x-armstrongites are the absolutely the WORST kind of disbelievers!
Norm: What if that doesn't help?
Holy Spirit: Play the Steve Urkel card. Claim that if you answer, it may elicit a naughty responce that may HURT True Christians, relegating you to a Steve Urkel-like existence, pointing a finger and asking, "DID I DO THAT?"
Norm: Wow, Holy Spirit, how many Steve Urkel cards can you give me?
Holy Spirit: Quite a few, Norm, quite a few.
Norm: Are there any other tips you can give me?
Holy Spirit: Sure, become a Charasmatic Christian. Charasmatic Christianity emphasizes the work of the Holy Spirit, spiritual gifts and modern day miracles.
Norm: What if people STILL want me to answer their good questions?
Holy Spirit: Tell them you have the nine Fruits of the Holy Spirit! If those cheezy sales tactics don't work, I've got more!
Norm: Thanks, Holy Spirit!
Holy Spirit: No prob. We always can use more "sleez for Jeez"!

Norm

Anonymous said...

@Norm

LOL! That's pretty much it. Don't forget about the Biblically Approved Default Non-Answers:

- His ways are higher than our ways
-God's ways are mysterious
- Who are we to question the motives of God?
- Pearls before swine
- Only those of the Spirit can discern spiritual things

Paul R.

Anonymous said...

And thing big one:


Having Faith means never having to provide evidence.


Paul R

Jace said...

@ Norm

I LOL'd so hard!

Steve Kisack said...

The Holy Sprit can't spell very well, can he, or it? I like that last one about faith. Of course if you have evidence, you don't need fait, so I guess faith comes into play, espesially if they ignore the evidence. Then, I guess, that's called blind faith. The blind can led the blind into the ditch. It happens every time. Wow! The Holy Spirit is working! I can tell. Look at my speling. :-)

Anonymous said...

"The Holy Sprit can't spell very well, can he, or it?"

Steve, I take it you're not an Ephesians 4:30 guy?

But, seriously-

Well, I typed that between other tasks, and didn't check for grammar or spelling errors. Then to top it off, when I went to post it in a hurry, it was too big so I had to split it into 3 parts, and somehow posted the first part twice.

The sleazier side of Christianity bugs me.
There's a Creation Museum that has fire-breathing dragons, dinosaurs on the Ark, and is run by people who believe the Earth is 6,000 years old, LOL!

Norm

Steve Kisack said...

Norm said...The sleazier side of "Christianity"(my quote)bugs me.

MY COMMENT: I didn't know there was any other side.

Byker Bob said...

Don't encourage him, guys! He's written about his experiences with LSD, and sometimes it becomes obvious that he might have done way too much of it.

Norm, you can be healed! But, you've got to stop mocking our Healer.

BB

Steve Kisack said...

BB, Norm's story about the dialog between him and the Holy Spirit is just as believable as your's.

Anonymous said...

Norm can heal himself, Bob. Like you did. Like all of us do.

What does Norm's LSD use have to do with anything? Does it bother you that a chemical can produce visions just as clear and vivid as those seen by the early Christians? I find it interesting that subtle changes in our brain chemistry can have such an incredible effect- both visually and audibly- on the perception of a human. That is why "visions" or "voices" seen or heard by Christians mean nothing to me.

Paul R.

Anonymous said...

Byker Bob,

Maybe you didn't notice, but what I was poking at was not Jesus, but rather, what is the nutty side of some Christians' belief of how Jesus would like Christians to conduct themselves.

And, are you really suggesting that my trying LSD over 30 years ago is the reason I find the nutty side of Christianity to be razz-worthy, today?
Or is it that you have, like many other Christians, joined the ranks of "Bullies for Jesus"?

Norm