Gandalf Stormcrow

A bringer of news. A wielder of truth. If you wish to remain in the shadow of ignorance or delusion, this is not the place for you. Go back to the shadow! Those thoughts will not avail you here! YOU SHALL NOT PASS!

Archive for the category “Respect”

Respecting Beliefs and Choices

Don’t be confused. You absolutely have the right to have your personal beliefs and choices “respected” (i.e., allowed to exist; not intruded upon or interfered with) — as long as they’re peaceful, and don’t violate laws, or harm or intrude upon the rights and freedoms of anyone else in any way; but you absolutely do not have the right to have your beliefs and choices “respected” (i.e., esteemed; admired; venerated; or shown reverence, consideration, courtesy, admiration, honor, appreciation, deference, or acceptance) by others. No. You. Don’t.”

— AAJG (aka, Gandalf Stormcrow)



I am here to challenge your comfortable and familiar perceptions and paradigms — to help awaken you — to make you think.” — AAJG


It Will Be A Felony To Criticize muslims (and ONLY muslims) On Social Media (A Video by E.T. Williams)

O.M.G. Obama’s special love for islam has reached new heights. His efforts to advance (while protecting) islam are (literally) unprecedented in our culture and endangering our basic freedoms, and our rights, and our cultural identity as Americans (apparently even our most basic right to FREE expression). What is next? They regulate what we THINK? O. M. G. If you aren’t enraged now, then something is VERY wrong. I don’t even need to comment further. Mr. Williams says it all. You go, Sir!

Wearing your christianity on your sleeve

Yesterday, I saw the following ridiculous image posted on Facebook:

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And like obedient little subjects, thousands of people actually typed Baaaaa! (I mean, they typed Amen!) 😀 Seriously, though. Thousands of them. As though anyone has ever asked them to apologize for simply being a christian, rather than for their own behaviors and attitudes toward others. And this was my response:


I’m pretty sure no one has ever asked you to apologize for your personal beliefs. They simply want you to keep it to yourself, live in total peace and harmony with others, and keep your beliefs AWAY from our government and legal systems. Your christian beliefs are completely abstract and personal. They exist only inside your mind and heart. They apply only to you. Your religious faith is meant to be a completely personal experience that is intended to affect only your life — not the lives of others. I imagine that all christians believe that they live in peace and harmony with others, and that when people speak out against them well, it must be an unwarranted act of hostility and; thus, we get people saying, I won’t apologize for being a christian. (Shaking my head.) Consider the following:

Keep your religion to yourself: Share is not a belief — it is an action that involves other people. Thus, when you share your faith with non-believers and members of other faiths (i.e., proselytizing for your god), your faith is no longer peaceful, harmonious, personal, or abstract. Attempting to convince someone that they are immoral, lost, misguided, a sinner, and headed for an eternity in hell (unless, of course, they become like you), is not an abstract, peaceful, harmonious, loving, or personal thing. It is a church-ordered act of religious conquest. It is an overt action done to another person, and it almost universally affects others in a way that is unpleasant for them. When you share the good news with non-believers, it is not a kind or loving act, as you have been (mis)led to believe. It is one of the most highly offensive, personally insulting, and disrespectful things a religious person can do to another human being. Maybe that is why most who do, are met with hostility. (For the record, that practice was not begun in order to save lost souls for christ. It was really designed and intended to keep up church membership, which increases revenues and, thus, church power and control over the populace and influence within the community—not to mention a pretty good ego boost for the head of your church. It’s the world’s oldest pyramid scheme, and just because you are part of it, doesn’t mean anyone else wants to be.)

Live in total peace and harmony with others: Stop judging others by your god’s standards. It is your god — not everyone’s. Using your god’s belief system as the standard for everyone else when deciding matters of morality and conduct is not peaceful or harmonious. It is judgmental, bigoted, narrow-minded, arrogant, insulting, and divisive. Additionally, if your religion requires that you discriminate against or oppress others (in any way), then your religion is not peaceful or harmonious. For example, women are fully equal to men in every respect, but the misogynistic christian god and its prophets and church leaders seem to feel otherwise. Women deserve all the same rights and privileges inside your church (and within society) as men do. To deny them that total equality in any way is oppression and discrimination. That is not peaceful or harmonious. Gays are fully equal to everyone else in every respect, but the bigoted christian god and its prophets and church leaders seem to feel otherwise. Gays deserve all the same rights and privileges inside your church (and within society) as everyone else does (though I can’t imagine why any gay person would even want to be a christian, since the very god upon whom the christian faith is based hates them and ordered that they be murdered). Either way, to deny gays total inclusion and equality in any way is oppression and discrimination. That is not peaceful or harmonious.

Keep your beliefs AWAY from our government and legal systems: When you attempt to get people of your own religious belief system into elected office so that they can impose your god’s standards of morality and conduct onto everyone else (including non-believers and those of other faiths), your faith is no longer peaceful, harmonious, personal, or abstract. It becomes more like the Taliban. Yes. It. Does. Doing this is an overt act of religious conquest and power-grabbing that affects other people’s lives in very unpleasant and negative ways, and you will be confronted by rightfully angry, and loudly vocal people — in EXACTLY the same way that you would speak out angrily if you saw vast numbers of muslims taking over seats of government and enacting sharia laws that impacted your life and/or limited your freedoms. Yes. You. Would. To use the power of our governments (not your governments) to control others for your god (in ANY way) is not a peaceful or harmonious act. It is an act of aggression and oppression against others, and THAT is what people object to — not that you believe in your god in the quietness of your own heart.

Just sayin.



I am here to challenge your comfortable and familiar perceptions and paradigms — to help awaken you — to make you think. — AAJG

Religious Bullying: Silence vs “Respect”

For the many hundreds of millions of people in the world who currently endure oppression and brutality at the hands of religion and who are afraid to speak up, and for those whose societies are currently being changed by the takeover of oppressive religion (especially brutal, viral islam), I offer the following:

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I am here to challenge your comfortable and familiar perceptions and paradigms — to help awaken you — to make you think.” — AAJG

“Respecting” Religion (Part 2)

I have found that there seems to be a fairly common misconception among the religious masses (and surprisingly, even among those who claim to be atheist or nonreligious) that religion is somehow “owed” some special place of prominence in our society—that it is “owed” respect or “protection from criticism“—that for some reason, it is extradisrespectful” (a highly egregious and even a “punishable” offense, depending on one’s culture) to speak out against something “holy” like a religion or a “prophet” or a “god.” I assume that the reason for this is that people have fully committed themselves (mentally) to their chosen religion and, therefore, have decided (or far more likely, they were indoctrinated in their youth to believe) that their particular religion’s “god” is holier, mightier, and more righteous than the other religions’ “gods” and they make the mistake of becoming personally offended when someone speaks in an other-than-respectful way about that religion or its so-called “god” or “prophets.”

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Well, the truth of the matter is that religions and other “belief systems” do not “deserve” to be respected at all, much less enjoy special protection from criticism. Such a thought is asinine! It’s completely ridiculous! Only individual peopledeserve” to be treated with respect—and then, only so long as they are living peacefully, and treating others with respect, and not harming others in some way. Always remember that ideas, concepts, beliefs, and theories do notdeserve” to be respected. One may individually choose to respect these things, but that is an individual choice and such respect is NEVER “owed” by anyone else or by society at large. Likewise, groups of people (regardless of why they are grouped) do notdeserve” to be respected, and religions and other belief-systems do notdeserve” to be respected either. Things like ideas, concepts, theories and belief systems don’t have rights—human, civil, or otherwise. Ideas, concepts, theories and belief systems don’t have feelings. We have been led to believe that “belief systems” are somehow so special and sacrosanct that they are above criticism. Bullshit! It is just as okay to speak out against a religious institution that is actually harming people in some way (and they all do to varying degrees), as it is to speak out against financial institutions, or political parties, or entire industries that are causing harm to people. In fact, one has a moral duty, as well as a right, to do so. And some religions ARE more harmful and dangerous than others, and it IS okay to say so! Yes. It. Is. Of all existing religions, islam (purposefully not capitalized for extra disrespect) is BY FAR the worst in the current era. (What other religions did in past eras has a place of importance in the discussion, but it is irrelevant to what is happening now.) Creepy islam is the 250 pound bully in the schoolyard. It is dangerous, extraordinarily viral, bigoted, hateful, demanding, intolerant, brutal, unforgiving, oppressive, enslaving, and misogynistic—and (Have you noticed?)… unapologetically so. It (as an institution or a belief system) does NOT deserve respect. Neither do any of the others. The fact is that all religions are predatory—some far more than others; but in the current era, islam is the worst, by far. All religions are harmful to societies that desire to be truly free. Harmful things should never be respected.

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Again, religions (as belief systems) do NOT “deserve” respect, nor are they ever “owed” it. No—they are not. Religions are dangerous, controlling, predatory, manipulative institutions—at best. Why would they be owed respect?! (Remember that only individual citizens are “owed” respectful treatment—as long as they are living in peace and aren’t harming others or quietly supporting systems or institutions that are harming others in some way.) All organized religion is bad for humanity. It affects your life in negative ways even if you are atheist, because (due to its inherently predatory nature) it actively seeks to enlarge and spread itself, and to gain official legitimacy and legal authority over the general citizenry by intertwining itself with our governments; and by doing so, it is allowed to impose its will and its “standards of morality and conduct” on you, whether you are a member of that religion or not. That is what christianity did in America and don’t be fooled—all of our lives have been negatively affected by it, whether we are christians or not. It is also what islam has done to many parts of the world and is doing even now in America and all over the west; and passive, undeserved “respect” for that brutal, controlling belief system will likely see some form of Sharia law in America at some point. It is foolish, I believe, to think it can never happen here—that we are somehow inoculated against such a disease simply because “we are America.” It is foolish, because we are a naturally tolerant and accepting people, and those who desire the global spread of islam understand that about us. They consider it a weakness, and they will use it against us. They are already bragging about it on the internet. They are a very persistent, patient, and calculating group and they are intentionally deceptive about what their goals are—but if you look around, you can find plenty who say it openly because they know we won’t believe them.

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Not to get off on a purely islamic tangent, but here I will remind the reader that it is estimated that by the year 2030 (Only 17 years short from now!), muslims will be the majority in England—due to extremely high immigration and birth rates. Think about what that means—to the people of England, and to the West at large! Do you think that the muslims who immigrate to England will not also invade the seats of government in the same proportions and begin to enact (or rather, impose) new laws? First blasphemy laws (which effectively stifle free speech and eliminate ALL criticism of what they are doing “in the name of allah“)? Then sharia laws? What is there to stop them? They are already bragging about it—all over the internet! Do you not think that they have the same goal for America? They are bragging about that, too. If (or rather, when) England become an islamic nation, one very great Western domino will have fallen—and that is no small thing. Think about it!

Click to enlarge. Muslims protest outside the French embassy in London

Religious influence in government is why women have had to fight so hard to obtain and keep reproductive rights, and voting rights, and other forms of basic equality in society. Religion was the main underlying oppressive force. Religious influence in government is why gays have been shunned, oppressed, and denied equal rights forever. Religion was the main underlying oppressive force in that as well. Religion’s intrusion into our government is why we used to have to pray and listen to the bible being read in school when I was growing up. I’m not certain, but religion is probably where the idea for the “death penalty” comes from. Religion, when allowed to marry itself into our governments in any way, always causes problems for some portion of the population, so it isn’t ever good enough to just “be an atheist” and live quietly, because extremely rich, extremely determined, extremely powerful religious institutions are working hard to embed themselves into all levels of our government and make sure they have legitimized, legal, and controlling authority over your life in as many ways as are meaningful to them, and over the lives of your children as well. This must be fought—not “respected.”

A practice of strict, absolute separation of church and state (which we do not have here in America) robs religion of all real power over us and gives us more freedoms. Then, religion simply becomes a creepy, manipulative “belief system” that still preys on the weak, the desperate, the naive, and the gullible (because that is what they do)—but at least it has no real power over us. They could never impose their will on us through legislation of any kind. They would have to resort solely to seduction, indoctrination, and trickery to maintain their membership and achieve their goals rather than through any form of legal authority over us. In America, we talk a lot about “separation of church and state,” but we don’t really practice it very well at all, in reality. Religion must be purposefully and carefully controlled, and it must be treated with suspicion any time it comes near our governments. It should be actively opposed when it seeks power by approaching our government officials with large “donations,” or when they are harming people in some way (as they all do). We should be necessarily concerned about the state of “separation of church and state” when we see organizations like the Congressional Prayer Caucus being formed, or learn of the existence of organizations such as the Michigan Muslim Democratic Caucus. These are not social groups. They are evidence that organized religion is attempting to infiltrate and influence our government—your government, so it can gain “official” legitimacy for itself, and ultimately… legal, governmental power over our lives—just as islam has done in every society it has migrated into.

All religions are predatory—some far more than others. In the current era, islam is the worst by far. All religions are bad for societies that desire to be truly free. Some religions are worse than others, and it IS okay to say so. Remember, “belief systems” aren’t people, so they don’t everdeserve” to be treated with respect.

Let me close with this:

To the religious people: You only get ONE life to live. If you want to waste it “worshiping” an invisible, non-existent “god” and “praying” for it to do everything (so you don’t have to) instead of living a totally free, happy life and experiencing it to the fullest; spending as much time as possible with your children, your family, and the love of your life; making a tangible, meaningful contribution to society and trying to make the world a better place; or actually getting PERSONALLY involved with someone in need and helping them (instead of praying for your “god” to do it for you), then that is your individual, personal choice. I feel sorry for you. But remember this:

  • Your “god” is not real. That is not my opinion—it is a fact. Your “god” and its accompanying “religion” were invented by men as a way to explain the unknown and to control you and manipulate you into certain behaviors—and just look how well it’s working!
  • You are the one who made the individual, personal choice to believe that nonsense and to give “respect” to a hateful, bigoted, inept, duplicitous, nonexistent sky-fairy, and to spend your one-and-only life “worshipping” it. That decision ONLY applies to YOU. No one else is required to “respect” your individual choice, or your beliefs, or your motives, or your religion, or its precepts, or its rituals, or its traditions, or its silly or ridiculous garb, or its prophets, or even its stupid “god“—no matter what you desire, or what your hateful, bigoted, inept, duplicitous, nonexistent sky-fairy or anyone else tells you. That must be why they call it a personal choice. Duh! (Note: There seems to be some fairly common confusion on the subject of “respecting” the choices of other people. In America, we absolutely respect your individual right to make any personal choice you desire for yourself [as long as it doesn’t harm or affect others in any undesirable way], but respecting your right to make a choice is NOT the same as respecting the choice you made. Understand this: No one is required to respect the choices you make—just your right to make them. Those who make wise life choices, are naturally and appropriately looked upon by others as being wise. Those who make stupid life choices are naturally and appropriately looked upon by others as being stupid. Those who make bigoted and hateful life choices (like choosing to affiliate themselves with a known bigoted and hateful religion or other hate group) are naturally and appropriately looked upon by others as being bigoted and hateful. You are not being “unfairly picked on.” That is how it works in real life, and that is how it should work. You are not “owed” respect when you make stupid or bigoted life choices, like devoting your one and only life to a hateful, bigoted, inept, duplicitous, nonexistent sky-fairy—especially one who oppresses you or insists that you oppress or hate others in his name. I hope that is now sufficiently cleared up.)
  • People verbally disrespecting your religion, its prophets, or its so-called “gods” is NOT harmful to you in any way. It does not harm you physically, it does not abridge your rights, and it does not inhibit your freedoms in any manner. It may piss you off, because being a member of one of the many available “religion” groups gives you the perception (the illusion) that even you are now holy, or righteous, or “special” in some way and the criticism of your chosen religion challenges that perception in your mind; but it is not directed at you personally and it is not harmful to you. It is part of life. Get a helmet and deal with it. Still, you have options. If don’t like your religion being criticized or ridiculed, you may either endure or ignore the criticisms, or you may choose a less (rightfully) criticized or ridiculed “group” to affiliate yourself with so you can feel better, or you may force a change of that religion from within so that it is no longer ridiculed. That’s pretty much it for options. Remember, it is YOUR religious choice that is causing you problems—not the fact that other people enjoy total freedom of expression. Also remember that as soon as YOU choose to affiliate yourself with a group (whether it be a brutal, oppressive religion or the fucking KKK), YOU must bear all the criticisms that are aimed at that group. That is how it works. You do not have the right to deny others of their right of free expression, so that you don’t have to feel bad or face the difficult truths about the group you chose to join. The answer? Completely disassociate yourself from that group and simply live in peace with those around you.
  • You do not have the right to impose your religious beliefs, or your religion’s “standards” of morality or conduct on others—no matter what you desire, or what your hateful, bigoted, inept, duplicitous, nonexistent sky-fairy or anyone else tells you.
  • You do not have the right to expect others (or society at large) to change their lives in ANY way in order to accommodate you and your stupid religious choiceno matter what you desire, or what your hateful, bigoted, inept, duplicitous, nonexistent sky-fairy or anyone else tells you.
  • The fact that you chose to join a stupid religion does not give you special rights, privileges, or status over others. It does not make you better than anyone else. In fact, quite often religious people are worse citizens than the nonreligious (because all religions are inherently bigoted, intolerant, and divisive, so the members of each religion are taught bigotry, intolerance, and divisiveness—and are expected to be [to varying degrees, depending on the religionbigoted, intolerant, and divisive toward their fellow citizens who don’t share their particular faith).
  • When you “share the good news with nonbelievers,” it is NOT a kind or loving act, as you have been led to believe. It is one of the most highly offensive, personally insulting, and disrespectful things a “religious” person can do to another human being. Maybe that is why so many who do, are met with hostility. Duh!

To the nonreligious people: You have rights and it IS okay to stand up for them. Don’t fear the inevitable threats and name-calling that will come your way from the religious people (who, ironically, claim to be better than you, but who will still threaten you, call you names, and hate you). Your fear is what they count on, and it is why they call you those names. It’s a form of bullying and intimidation. It is intended to either silence opposition to their predatory religion or a weak (and not very “holy”) attempt to defend a life choice they have made, and your words are exposing the stupidity of that choice and/or causing them to doubt their own choice. Remember:

  • All religions are not the same, as many argue. They are not equal. Some ARE more harmful to society than others, and it IS okay to say so. Free expression must always be protected and practiced without fear—or we will lose it in our acquiescence.
  • On behalf of those who ARE being harmed by religion, it absolutely IS okay to openly and publicly criticize, insult, and oppose any belief system which advocates or practices the oppression of whole demographic groups; bigotry; societal division; child marriage; deception; fleecing its members; exploitation of the desperate, the weak, and the naive; violence, intimidation, and brutality; the active, viral spreading of itself to other cultures; world domination; or harming others in any other manner—even a stupid fucking religion. More than that, it IS your civic duty to do so! Belief systems (including religions) are not, and should never be, exempt from public scorn and criticism.
  • If a member of a particular religion becomes personally “offended” by a criticism you make about their religion or its “god,” then that is their problem. Who cares?! They are confused, because to insult a belief system is NOT the same as personally aiming your insult at an individual—even if they choose to personalize it and take it that way (or feign “offense” in an attempt to silence your criticisms). Besides, if the belief system is harmful to others in some way, and they all are to one degree or another, then it “deserves” to be publicly insulted or criticized. If the members of that religion don’t like the criticism, then they may either opt out of the religion to spare themselves the “illusion” that they are being personally insulted, or they may fight to change their religion from within so it is no longer harmful to others in any way. Your silence is notrespectful“—it is consent. Your silence makes you complicit with whatever evils religion is imposing on society.
  • Freedom of expression is a human right. In some societies it is even guaranteed and protected. Use it without shame or fear, or you will be walked on by others who are not afraid to mis-use or abuse it (to advance their religious agendas and/or to silence opposition). No matter what you may have been taught, it is NOT contrary to civility to fight vocally for one’s rights, or to fight vocally for the rights of those who are being oppressed, brutalized, or taken advantage of. Criticizing, insulting, and opposing a belief system which oppresses entire demographic groups, or one that is brutal, controlling, and destructive to the concept of individual freedoms is NOT wrong—even if those who subscribe to that belief system begin to cry and moan that they are the “victims” of your “hate speech“—and they always do, because they want to shut you up and keep from revealing the ugly truth.
  • It is notracist” to speak out openly and truthfully against islam or any other religion. islam is a stupid religion—not a race. People of all races practice islam. Therefore it can never be truthfully argued that a verbal attack on islam or any other religion is “racist.” Arab is a race, and there are many brave Arabs who are committed atheists who hate islam.
  • You are not ever required to “respect” someone else’s personal religious choices.
  • You are not ever required to change your life in order to accommodate someone else’s silly-ass religious choice.
  • Religion is oppressive, controlling, divisive, and inherently bigoted and intolerant; therefore, it is dangerous to human society. It does not “deserve” respect—no matter what form it takes.
  • Just because one religion seems tame compared to another, does not mean that it isn’t harming innocent people, and that it isn’t dangerous and bad for society in some way.

That is all I have to say on this for now. Live in peace and harmony with one another, but remember that all religion is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. It is inherently predatory. It should kept away from our government by any nonviolent means and at all costs! It always bears watching—especially islam, and none are “owed” respect—ever. Nope, not even yours. Always remember:

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I am here to challenge your comfortable and familiar perceptions and paradigms—to help awaken you—to make you think. — AAJG

The Importance of Skin “Color”

Oh, did you think there was one? Importance? Er… No. None, whatsoever. A person’s skin “color” should have nothing to do with anything, yet in our society it still seems to “matter” to far too many people. Unfortunately, there are still people who seem to judge others based on the pigmentation in their skin. A person’s skin “color” is wholly irrelevant to who they are as a human being. It should not make one more loved, or more hated — more accepted, or more rejected. It should not determine one’s fitness for a friendship or a love relationship — or to be your neighbor. It should not determine whether one is, or is not, qualified for a job, or a promotion, or an internship, or a scholarship. One’s “skin color” (I literally hate even using the term.) has no bearing on the quality or character of a human being, whatsoever. None. It does not determine who a human being is, or what they stand for, or what they can contribute to society and achieve personally. It does not determine “goodness” or “badness.” It does not make one better than, or worse than, any other human being on earth. It does not give one greater or lesser beauty, or intellect, or courage, or talent. It does not make one more or less compassionate toward others, or more or less generous, or kind, or hateful, or gentle, or violent — or honest, or dishonest. It does not determine whether or not one is dependable, or honorable, or anything else. One’s skin “color” is a completely benign — inert — superficial — unremarkable — unimportant physical characteristic. It has no effect on one’s character, or personality, or psychology, any more than eye color does. None. Skin “color” is simply a physical, visual representation of the density of certain substances (such as the pigment melanin) in skin cells. Skin pigmentation does not determine or affect one’s behavior or character — at all. It is simply our bodies’ evolutionary adaptation to varied climates and levels of UV exposure. According to Wikipedia, it “evolved to primarily regulate the amount of ultraviolet radiation penetrating the skin, controlling its biochemical effects.”

So a person’s skin “color” doesn’t (or shouldn’t) matter in any way to any us. It’s a nonexistent “problem” that society created and turned into an actual problem by grouping and labeling humanity according to only one of the trillions of attributes and characteristics that comprise each unique, individual human being — and oddly, it’s not even an important characteristic. Can you imagine if they had decided to group us together according to our eye color, or our thumb circumference, or our shoe size instead? Grouping humanity according to skin tone is no less asinine. It serves no purpose — except to governments, politicians, and industries, because it makes us easier to divide and manipulate for various (rather obvious and nefarious) purposes. Such grouping by skin tone has never served humanity’s, or the individual person’s, best interests, however.

Besides, no two so-called “white” people are the same “color,” no two so-called “brown” people are the same “color,” and no two so-called “black” people are the same “color” either.  No one can say where the “white” category ends and the “brown” category begins.  No one.  Neither can anyone determine where the “brown” category ends and the “black” category begins — and to be truthful, I have never actually seen a truly “white” or “black” human being. The truth is, that we are allpeople of color.” All of us. We are all some shade of brown. Some lighter, some darker.  Collectively, we human beings are all varying shades of the same smoothly gradient brown color palette or spectrum. We are all brown.  Humanity’s ridiculous, senseless (almost childish) habit of grouping, categorizing, and then labeling people (regardless of the intent/motive) can sometimes be extremely problematic — and irritating. And it is usually very divisive, in the end.


Again, one’s skin “color,” or tone, or shade (however one chooses to term it) says nothing about who a person is — what they are made of — what they are capable of. People (of all races, ethnicities, cultures, and nationalities) who are fixated on “skin color” as a determiner of character, or as a basis for judging others, need to enlighten themselves. They need to evolve beyond the lunacy of placing importance on unimportant physical characteristics like a person’s skin tone, and just start treating their fellow human beings as they themselves would like to be treated — “according to the content of [that person’s] character” (in the words of my personal hero, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.).  That alone, would solve a great number of our society’s problems.

When I served in the U.S. military, we literally never referred to one another’s skin color. To erase that potential mental divider from our minds, we said that we are all “green” (referring to the color of our camouflaged utilities, our t-shirts, our socks, our camo paint, and so many other items of our equipment back then). We referred to one another as “light green” and “dark green” Soldiers/Sailors/Airmen/Marines. It became an endearing and very unifying thing for us. I believe it helped everyone to see past our completely unimportant physical differences (that civilian society had taught us were somehow important), and view one other as equals — as brothers — as family. It was very unifying. We were all green. In that same spirit, maybe the rest of us can just be brown — “light brown” and “dark brown.” Maybe we civilians, too, can learn to overlook our unimportant differences and come to view one another as equals — as brothers and sisters — as family — as neighbors — as friends. It’s just a thought.

Finally, I  offer the following for your further consideration:

Click to enlarge. Screen capture from the Microsoft Paint application, showing the predefined, standard colors. The left and center (and rather shaky-looking) arrows point to "Brown" as they have defined it on the standard color palette. Hovering over the space indicated by the center arrow, brings up a tool-tip that says, "Brown."

Click image to enlarge. Screen capture from the Microsoft Paint application, showing the predefined, standard colors. The left and center (and rather shaky-looking) arrows point to “Brown” as they have defined it on the standard color palette. Hovering over the space indicated by the center arrow, brings up a tool-tip that says, “Brown.”

Click to enlarge. Clicking the "Edit Colors" button (as indicated by the far right arrow in the first image above), opens this dialog. Note along the right edge, there is a vertical indicator of the infinite variations (or "shades") included in the color brown—from the very light, to the very dark. Clicking and holding the small arrow pointer and sliding it up and down the smoothly gradient brown color spectrum, allows one to select which "shade" of brown to use. ALL are shades of brown, though.

Click image to enlarge. Clicking the “Edit Colors” button (as indicated by the far right arrow in the first image above), opens this dialog. Note along the right edge, there is a vertical indicator of the seemingly infinite variations (or “shades”) included in the color brown — from the very light, to the very dark. Clicking and holding the small arrow pointer and sliding it up and down the smoothly gradient brown color spectrum, allows one to select which “shade” of brown to use. ALL are shades of brown, though.

Be kind to one another.


I am here to challenge your comfortable and familiar perceptions and paradigms — to help awaken you — to make you think.” — AAJG

It’s Not Really About the Germs

You hear it all the time—someone being labeled a “germaphobe.”  Some, like Howie Mandel, wear the title almost proudly.  Good for him.  Others either ignore it, or are embarrassed by the name-calling—and it is name-calling.  But is it really about germs?

For some, it probably is—but not for all of us.  Personally, I don’t like touching certain things in public places either.  Not because I’m a so-called “germaphobe,” but because people can be well pretty nasty.  They pick their noses, sneeze all over their hands, and more people than you even want to know about don’t wash their hands after using the bathroom or changing their baby’s diaper.  It’s sad, but true.  As unique and wonderful as people can be, they are often well very unclean.  Nasty, even.  Spreaders of filth.

So it’s not really about the “germs.”  At least it’s not for me, and I have to believe that there are others out there who feel the same way.  Germs are part of life.  They are everywhere—on us, inside us, and on every surface.  There is literally no way to live apart from bacteria and viruses.  So except for taking ordinary precautions against exposing myself to sick people, I could care less about bacteria, for the most part.  For me, it’s the nasty stuff that people smear all over the place that grosses me out.  Seriously.  Stuff you probably wouldn’t even believe.

Until a few years ago, I never even thought about any of this stuff.  I went about my life like most people, and never gave a single thought to the things I was touching in public.  And then my oldest daughter wrote a paper in college about the dirtiest and germiest surfaces in public places.  When she shared it with me, I was appalled—disgusted—incredulous, at some of the stuff she had learned.  I was changed—immediately and forever.  Sure, there are germs on all surfaces, but the real problem—for me was the human filth that was to be found, literally everywhere!  Things like:

  • Human and animal fecal matter (That’s other people’s poop!)
  • Human blood
  • Urine
  • Mucus (You know, snot and boogers!)
  • Human vaginal secretions (Ugh!!!)
  • Ear wax, skin flakes, hairs, and other things

Sick!  Gross!  Disgusting!  Right?  And guess what… now it’s on your hands!  And then as you scratch a small itch, it’s on your face.  Other people’s poop and vaginal secretions are on your face!  And as you sweep your hair back behind your ear, it’s in your hair.  And then as you shake hands with your friend, you pass it to them.  And then as you comfort your child, it’s on your child’s face.  And then as you eat lunch with your friends, it’s in your mouth and in your digestive tract.  And then you get into your car and smear it in your car, and you go home and now it’s on your phone, your refrigerator handle, your door knobs, the milk carton…  Well, you get the idea.

According to what I’ve read, some of the most common public places you find this kind of nastiness smeared are:

  • Door knobs and handles.
  • Shopping cart handles (and the area where young children sit).
  • Gas pump nozzles.
  • Public bathrooms.
  • Escalator handrails.
  • Restaurant & food court tables and chairs.
  • ATM and store payment keypads.
  • Publically displayed computer keyboards, iPads/iPods, information kiosks, etc.
  • Publically used ink pens.
  • Child play equipment in parks (which has been found to be far worse than a public bathroom)

In fact, shopping cart handles are among the filthiest public surfaces around.  So, YES!  Every time you go shopping, actual human feces and vaginal secretions are on your shopping cart handlealong with most of the other disgusting things listed above.  And they are on the gas pump nozzle, and the door handle to your favorite restaurant or public hangout spot.  This may not bother some people, but to me it is way beyond disgusting.  And when I factor in all the secondary contamination to myself, my children, my home, etc., it’s no longer just about me.  Even if I didn’t mind it (which I obviously do), it seems extremely disrespectful for me to mindlessly expose my children and others to that sort of nastiness without their knowledge and consent.  So out of respect for myself and the others in my life, I avoid touching most things in public if I can.  I try not to go overboard about it, but the idea of putting that stuff in my mouth and on my face is just sickening to me.  So, as I said, I take certain precautions.  Here are some of the ways I try to eliminate my exposure to the (literally) “human waste” that is found in so many public places:

  • I put a plastic produce bag over the shopping cart handle in the grocery store.
  • I use a paper towel to hold the nozzle at the gas pump.
  • I open doors with a napkin or an old receipt from my pocket—and then throw it away.
  • I use my own pen to sign my name, rather than the publically available pen.
  • I don’t touch escalator handrails.
  • I use my pinky finger on ATM and store payment keypads and clean it with an antibacterial wipe when I get to the car, if they aren’t available in the store.

Other than that, I pretty much do things just like everyone else.  Sure my family and I get funny looks occasionally from people for taking the precautions that we do, and one can only imagine the judgmental things that go through their minds.  It doesn’t happen very often because we’re as discrete as possible, but you just know that they think you are the weird one for not wanting to put your hands in someone else’s poop—only they think it’s about germs.  And it’s not really their fault, so I don’t let it bother me.  They’ve just been taught to think that way and to judge others by their favorite celebrities and television gossip-mongers.

People are funny, though, in that they hate to be labeled or called names, but most love to label others, and are often quick to do so—and usually without the slightest idea of what they are talking about.  So I figure that people are going to want to label me (and those like me).  So let me help find the right label for them to use.  Hmm  If you must label me, maybe you could call me a “Poop-a-phobe.”  No, that’s not right, because it’s not really a -phobia.  I’m not afraid of it.  It just sickens me.  I am revolted by it.  A very important distinction.  Hmm  Let’s see  The suffix “-misia” (pronounced, “meez-ia”) is Greek for “disgust for, revulsion of” so I guess one could label me a “Filth-a-misiac” since I am quite disgusted and revolted by the thought of touching public surfaces smeared with other people’s body waste.  (Ugh!!)  Other forms of our newest label might be:

  • Filth-a-misia (the “condition” itself)
  • Filth-a-misiac (the afflicted person)
  • Filth-a-misiatic (when referring to a symptom of the “condition”)

So there you go.  Label away.  I can take it.

As you can see, for me at least it’s sooooo not about the germs.  It’s about the nasty, inconsiderate, disrespectful people out there who don’t wash their hands and then smear their bodily secretions and fluids all over the place!  I’d bet there are other “Filth-a-misiacs” like me out there, too—or there would be if they only knew.  So the next time you see someone taking precautions against touching surfaces in public, try not to be so quick to label them a “germaphobe” and think badly of them.  It just might not be about the germs after all.

Oh and please… don’t forget to wash your hands.  Thanks.

Happy shopping!   😀 

***  By the way, a nice secondary benefit is that I haven’t been sick in years—literally.

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