December, 2015 | Bettina Network's Blog

Archive for December, 2015

Christmas – A Joyous Occasion?

Tuesday, December 29th, 2015

copyright Bettina Network, inc. 2015

We are so accustomed to celebrating holidays with a certain emotion which seems intrinsic to that holiday that we generally don’t think about why or if that emotion is appropriate to the holiday.

Good Friday is clearly a somber occasion and our emotions are quite turned down on that day.  The Churches drape themselves in black and people come to Church to mourn.

Christmas, however, is joyous.  Much gift giving and party attending and celebration.  But is that the appropriate emotion for the ‘celebration’ of the birth of Jesus?

The bible clearly talks about and acknowledges Jesus as God.  Although maybe not God again until the resurrection – because before that Jesus is human and experiencing all of the good and bad of life in human form.

Why did God have to come to earth to subject God’s self to our infirmities, sadnesses, pain, sin and more?  To save us from our sins – so says the bible.  Once the virgin birth happens we celebrate the arrival of God on earth because our sins are forgiven – penance has been paid once and for all times with the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus.

What a horrible thought and what an awful commentary on all of us.  We celebrate that God has had to take human form because we would not stop sinning.  Jesus the Christ brought forgiveness of all of our sins.  We seem to have brought jealousy, anger, resentment, and much more as we go downhill with the ugly side of human nature.

To me, it seems we should sit with  sack cloth in ashes beating our breasts because we brought God down to such a low level.  To celebrate the necessity of such an act and gift because we could or would not act solely out of our better nature is but a small part of Christmas.  The larger part is the tearing apart of our garments because of what we caused the God we supposedly worship to experience.  Caring plus Empathy equals Love, some say.  We care about God, but we have no empathy so how do we get from Caring about God to Loving God?  The way we celebrate Christmas shows our complete lack of empathy.  The way we live shows how strongly we care about what God can give us, which is where we calculate God’s worth.  Which is why we pray.  And, if God doesn’t answer our prayers we question God’s existence.

Our self-absorption and self-centeredness overwhelms every other emotion.  We act as though we are God and God is really our concierge.  Suggest prayer is about something other than the adult version of a child’s prayer for a bicycle will bring down the wrath of the world on your head and not just the Christian world.

We act out the necessity of such a sacrifice, the birth of Jesus,  everyday many times a day, even some two thousand plus years after that original sacrifice.  Parenting gives one a little look into the love God had to have for us to do such a thing.  Sacrifice your adult life to raise your children and give them what they need to get through life to its end and what do you receive in return?  From what we have seen – mostly entitlement from your children.  The moments of genuine love and giving are few and far between.  Sounds like a re-enactment of why God felt it necessary to become human for our sake.  God gave us Jesus and we responded by replacing Jesus with Santa Claus.

Buying all kind of presents from retail shops; getting together with friends and too much alcohol; dreading Christmas dinner with the family because it will end in horribleness; and I could go on and on.  We are doing all of this while there are so many people in pain; at the end of their lives and alone not able to pass along their immortality, which to most of us is our life story.  Why can’t we pass along our life story?  Because no one is listening.  Only celebrities and the rich and famous get to do that.

And it does seem to be getting worse, this ‘celebration’ of Christmas.  It starts right after Halloween and continues through January.  Some of us ease our consciences by making an effort to give a small part of our ‘celebration’ to those in need – and generally that is a very small part, usually limited to this one time Christmas gift giving.

We turn our Churches into concert halls for the holiday and pat ourselves on the back as to how wonderful we are because of it.  We don’t do that by bringing those in need, to whom we dedicate those concerts, into the Church/Concert Hall for an evening joining with others to meet and greet and celebrate and form longer lasting relationships, but by using that Concert Hall atmosphere to indulge our need to lift ourselves above the pact with the nobless oblige feelings that creates in us.

The holiday in Christianity to celebrate would be Easter.  However, Easter passes with barely a note, a present, a celebration. Not many family dinners because we go off to warmer climes or to celebrate other than at home and the less fortunate we give a small bit of our resources to over Christmas does not repeat over Easter.

We don’t stop to think of what a sacrifice it was for God to take on human form and all of the pains and vicissitudes of being human.  If we let those thoughts into our consciousnesses for even a moment our lives would change.  We give lip service to that and move on with our celebration.

Having given us 30 plus years – the way we count time – it was enough.  We rewarded Jesus the Christ, for this gift we celebrate at Christmas of God becoming equal to us all for our sake, with a crucifixion.

One interpretation of the resurrection after the crucifixion is that it could be that God was disgusted with the scene he was a part of and after the horrible experience of the crucifixion, took back this gift of equality and of giving an example to all of humanity of how life could be lived with a different set of values, a different character, a different morality and so got out of here to a better place, leaving us with the mess, corruption, ugliness that we created and continue to wallow in because that seems far better to us than to clean ourselves up and act in a way that would not need such a sacrifice from God.

Not the least of our sins is the one which led us to using the story of Jesus on this earth as a way to strengthen sexism – by declaring Jesus’ birth as a male child the justification for the extreme Paternalism and Male Superiority which pervades our Churches.

Next to that is the fact that we took Jesus’ birth and life as a reason to reinforce racism by portraying  ‘him’ with White skin and softly flowing blondish-brown hair.  Would that be shoring up the racism we practice?

This is all such a pattern of how we live.  Didn’t we take God-given food grown with sunlight, air, rain and turned it into something horrible with the introduction of chemicals, machinery to change its texture, color and nutritional value because man could make more money when its sold – bought cheap from the farmer, ‘ processed’ and sold for a fortune to everyone else?

Don’t we continually destroy the beautiful universe around us?  It is so beautiful to look up at the sky; to see the flowers; to enjoy the life giving oxygen of the trees – until we cut them up, cut them down to make money?  And guns? and so many artificial things we don’t need, but work ourselves to death to obtain, neglecting that which is real and of God?

How long, O God, must we suffer the pangs and vicissitudes of our humanity.  It doesn’t look at all changed over these two thousand plus years.  We are still a sinful humanity.  What did your birth change – really?

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Ed Note:  This is a very Christian message.  We thought long and hard before putting it in the blog, but our need to be open to the world far overtook our concerns about printing it.

We welcome other religions to send us blogs on their thoughts, prayers and lifestyles.  We will print them either with your name or without and if you request, we will put a copyright on your work.

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Want to join us? Have a home that you want to open to become one of Bettina Network’s Hedge Schools? Call us and lets talk – or email us.

Ed. Note: Members of the Bettina Network Lifestyle Community can contribute to the Bettina Network Blog whenever they have anything they want to say and be heard by this fantastic group of people. Send your blog to bettinanetwork@comcast.net or mail it to us at P. O. Box 380585 Cambridge, MA. 02238 or call us on the telephone at 617-497-9166 to tell us what you want to say and we will write it for you.

Volunteer with Bettina Network Foundation, inc. to work estate sales; to help move items from one home to another; to contribute your ideas on how we can better use our resources in this effort to relieve and eliminate homelessness and poverty. We also need photographers; designers; and more. However much or little time you have, we are grateful.

Send your event information to be included in Bettina Network’s Menu of Events to: bettina-network@comcast.net

 

 

Several responses to “Donald Trump”

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2015
  1.  Wow! You call it like it is – may you live long and prosper.
  2.  I have been waiting for someone to say why all these folks are claiming America is failing and needs to be ‘restored’ to greatness by someone like Trump.  We aren’t failing, a more diverse group of people are now Americans, that is what folks claim as a failure.  Keep those other folks out of the top ranks of this country.  Keep them as the underbelly so we can pull them out and mistreat them when we need more people to keep our economy from heating up too fast.
  3. Why do you folks always pick on Mr. Trump.  I think he is a very nice man who is going to be president one day.  And since I believe that I have updated my passport and am trying to decide where I am going until his presidency ends.

4.  How come Mr. Trump, who is so against immigrants, married TWO?  His marriage most plagued with ugliness and                                troubles was the one to a born and bred American.

5.  How come you said nothing about Mr. Trump’s hair?  Everyone is talking about whether it is real or not.  No one is talking about how it comes out of a bottle.  No one his age has hair that color without help from that bottle of dye.

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The end of our comments on Mr. Trump.

 

Donald Trump

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2015

We really didn’t want to spend time or space on the blog talking about Mr. Trump.  However, we have had telephone calls asking why we haven’t posted our opinion.  So in response to those calls:

We sent out our holiday greeting to members of Bettina Network’s Lifestyle Community.

The end of it shared with them our mantra for 2016.  We share it with you —-

Mahatma Gandhi’s Seven Deadly Sins

Wealth without work,

Pleasure without conscience,

Knowledge without character,

Commerce without morality,

Science without humanity,

Worship without sacrifice,

and

Politics without principle.

 

Please note especially “Politics without principle.”  That totally sums up what we have seen from Mr. Trump as he attempts to run for President in the Republican primaries.

As far as the people who are supporting him?  Racism and Sexism are virulent amongst them and we ask that they look inward and carefully at the reasons they find Mr. Trump and his candidacy so appealing.  From our experience he makes Strom Thurmond look like a liberal.  It is old-time southern-style racist politics revived and Mr. Trump is on his way to totally being the parallel of the beginnings of Hitlers run for office in Nazi Germany.  Quietly, deceptively, appealing to the racism which most of its citizens did not surface within themselves, but who needed the identity lift Adolf Hitlers campaign and rule in Germany gave them.

There were other more acceptable ways to achieve a restoration of one’s sagging identity, but that isn’t the road Germany took at that point in time.  The same thing seems to be true in America.  Is the ‘Browning of America’ the same kind of threat to us today?  Is that where we are headed? To some form of that kind of dictatorship?  Because we cannot accept being equal?  We have “better than” so structured into our society and our class system that equality looks evil and something that is robbing us of who we truly are and our ‘god given rights’ and greatnesses alongside others inferiority?  Is that the legacy of slavery or is something else operating here!

It is without question that Mr. Trump has totally characterized how he would be president.  When one looks at that – Mr. Trump’s kind of presidency is not a democracy, but a dictatorship.  Is fascism raising its head in America and finding some of its citizens very receptive to that kind of government?

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Learn More About How We Use Your Donation!

Donate to Bettina’s

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Donation Total: $5.00 One Time

{amount} donation plus {fee_amount} to help cover fees.

__________________________________________________

Want to join us? Have a home that you want to open to become one of Bettina Network’s Hedge Schools? Call us and lets talk – or email us.

Ed. Note: Members of the Bettina Network Lifestyle Community can contribute to the Bettina Network Blog whenever they have anything they want to say and be heard by this fantastic group of people. Send your blog to bettinanetwork@comcast.net or mail it to us at P. O. Box 380585 Cambridge, MA. 02238 or call us on the telephone at 617-497-9166 to tell us what you want to say and we will write it for you.

Volunteer with Bettina Network Foundation, inc. to work estate sales; to help move items from one home to another; to contribute your ideas on how we can better use our resources in this effort to relieve and eliminate homelessness and poverty. We also need photographers; designers; and more. However much or little time you have, we are grateful.

Send your event information to be included in Bettina Network’s Menu of Events to: bettina-network@comcast.net


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