In my opinion, my opinion is really the best opinion

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As Jay (and Silent Bob) said so eloquently, “… that’s the HOLY fuckin Bible, son.”
(screen grab from the film, “Clerks II”)

First of all, let me point out so there’s no confusion as we go along: this is an opinion piece. There has been some perturbation over this fact, so for those who might not be aware of it, this column, labeled (by myself) “Left Coast Logic,” is largely my opinion.

Sure, there are a few facts sprinkled in, the usual stuff we get, like quotes and videos displaying the people saying what they said, you know — irrefutable facts. But for the most part this is my opinion.

If you’re looking for unbiased reporting you can find it elsewhere on this site so god bless the unbiased reporters, if such a thing as “God” exists. Personally, I’m unimpressed with the 1,800-year old dogma, i.e. mythology, I was led to believe as a wee child.

Once you look at the facts, the actual historical record, it becomes clear that the Christian stories of the Bible, both Old and New Testament, are not exclusive to the Judeo-Christian ethic and by golly, just maybe the guys who wrote the Bible might have actually borrowed the stories from even more ancient societies, like the Sumerians, the Greeks and who can remember who else.

And then we find out there are Jesuit study groups that opine, “Did Jesus Christ really exist?”

Dudes, you’re priests and monks, you are supposed to believe that Jesus Christ not only walked the Earth, but also that he was crucified, died and was buried — and rose from the grave on the third day and then ascended into Heaven to sit at the right hand of God, meting out eternal justice to all us sinners, blah-blah-blah. Right?

Well, as it turns out, it’s not just a few rebellious and delinquent priests and monks in some far off sequestered monasteries entertaining the notion that maybe Jesus Christ really wasn’t/isn’t a deity and … well maybe, he didn’t even exist at all.

Father George Coyne, philosopher, astrophysicist and Catholic Priest. He was also the director of the Vatican Observatory.
Father George Coyne, philosopher, astrophysicist and Catholic Priest. He was also the director of the Vatican Observatory.

“Shut up! You go to Hell for even thinking it, you effin’ blasphemer!”

That’s me: effin’ blasphemer. Kind of proud of it too, I might add. It’s the rebellious delinquent in me.

Anyway, years ago I happened to catch a lecture at the University of California-San Diego given by the official astronomer of the Vatican. You know, where Pope Frank lives. This was during President Bush’s first term so I’m guessing it was about 2002-2004.

Something this astronomer, this Catholic Priest, said was shocking, not just to me, but to most of the people assembled in that auditorium. Someone had the temerity to ask Father George Coyne how he and his fellow priests in the scientific wing of the Holy Roman Catholic Church squared what they know to be fact about the creation of the Earth, sun, moon and stars with what we were all taught in Catechism class — that God created it all in six days and then spent a day resting. Who knew God needs down time, but there it is in the Book of Genesis.

What Father Coyne, then Director of the Vatican Observatory, said that shocked everyone was not that no one in the Vatican believes the Genesis stories about creation literally, I mean, intelligent people everywhere have repudiated the Genesis creation story, believing it to be mythology. Really, only crazed theological zealots believe Genesis is literally true.

In fact Pope John Paul II said evolution “… has been progressively accepted by researchers, following a series of discoveries in various fields of knowledge. The convergence, neither sought nor fabricated, of the results of work that was conducted independently is in itself a significant argument in favour of this theory.”

The shocking pronouncement was this: some of the people in the Vatican, not just scientific types, don’t even believe Jesus Christ was a deity and … (shutter) … he may not have even existed at all.

Oh my effin’ god, if I’m going to Hell Father Coyne, I’ll meet you there!

Anyway, what’s the point of following Jesus Christ and claiming to be a Christian if you don’t believe J.C. is a god? Or even real?

Well, if you read the Gospels and believe what Jesus was alleged to have said is reasonably accurate, he espoused human principles that anyone with even the least bit of a heart (soul) could and should adopt as a way of life, even if “he” is a fabrication of someone’s idea of what and who “God” should be. Okay, but you can find those ideals in any religion and many philosophical disciplines.

Father Coyne gave a slight hint of a wink and a nod and then moved on to what his lecture was about that day: the evidence pointing to the expansion of the universe and how that was informing the scientific community on the creation of the Universe; when did the Universe come into existence and how.

The portrait of Galileo Galilei by Justus Susterman (Wiki Commons photo)
The portrait of Galileo Galilei by Justus Susterman
(Wiki Commons photo)

To be honest, his information about how and when the Universe came to be went right over my head. What I know about astronomy and astrophysics can be written in a few short paragraphs, if I don’t add any of the usual embellishment.

What intrigued me was that Father Coyne is not only a Catholic Priest, he is an astrophysicist (and as it turns out a philosopher) as well. And he was talking about the Universe being billions of years old and the Earth being millions of years old.

I did not expect to hear a Catholic Priest tell anyone interested in listening that there are men of good faith in the Vatican who do not believe Jesus Christ is/was a deity. If that doesn’t blow your mind, what will?

The Jesuits, as Father Coyne pointed out, sided with Galileo Galilei when the Holy Roman Catholic Church declared the renowned scientist a heretic in 1633. Meaning, that religious order has a long and respected history of being at odds with the Catechism. Father Coyne, coincidentally, happens to be a Jesuit.

Now a days the Pope doesn’t haul priests and nuns in front of the Inquisition and threaten to burn off their nuts or clitoris with a hot poker if the offending persons don’t recant their views (let’s assume he doesn’t). They just force them into even deeper sequestration and don’t allow them to speak outside of their immediate order, i.e. whatever monastery where they might be residing.

Back in the 1980’s the Jesuits and the Dominicans (I think) entered into the debate the notion that maybe Jesus had sexual relations with that woman — i.e. Mary Magdalene. If you read Dan Brown’s books, The Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons, then you know a little about that theory.

The actual vatican Observatory, pictured here, is no longer used, due to light pollution. Now the Vatican does it's celestial research from an observatory outside of Tucson, AZ, in collaboration with the University of Arizona. (Wiki Commons photo)
The actual vatican Observatory, pictured here, is no longer used, due to light pollution. Now the Vatican does it’s celestial research from an observatory outside of Tucson, AZ, in collaboration with the University of Arizona.
(Wiki Commons photo)

But the really controversial notion the religious scholars brought forth was this question: was Jesus Christ a homosexual? You can imagine just how that went over, if you don’t remember it.

The church quickly quashed the discussion and that was the end of that — except in my beady little mind. Back then I would frequently visit my Dear Mother who lived in Northern Wisconsin. Mom was about as devout a Catholic as you could find. She even went to Rome with her parish priest and almost had a chance to tell Pope John Paul II a thing or two about birth control and raising children. Mom and dad produced eight of us young’uns so she was far more qualified to speak on the subject than a bunch of men (primarily) that took a vow of celibacy.

Anyway, Mom was a devout Catholic and when I visited she would make a 5-quart pot of beef stew just for me and on at least one night of my visit we would sit down to dinner with her parish priest, a guy by the name of Father John — I’ll spare him the embarrassment of publishing his last name.

So on one of the nights Father John came for dinner I decided the topic of conversation would be this controversy over the sexuality of Jesus Christ — much to mother’s horror. Father John, the erudite gentleman that he is, was nonplussed and seemed to enjoy the intellectual nature of our conversation.

Mother was aghast and insisted we talk about something else, but my conclusion after that brief discussion was this: Jesus lived so long ago no one could possibly know, or be sure of what Jesus’s sexuality was or if he had sexual relations with that woman. It’s all speculation based on what Jesus said, or what Apostles Mark or John said because no one really came out and said, “Hey! Jesus and Mary hooked up last night,” or “John is Jesus’s favorite because they are gay lovers!”

In fact, the four Gospels were written nearly 100 years after the fact so who knows just how accurate they are? It could all be just the fevered madness of Paul the Apostle, the leader of the growing Jewish sect at the time. Actually, it’s probably not fevered nightmares, but that has such a nice dramatic ring to it.

Dan Brown's controversial best seller, "The Da Vinci Code." Talk about heresy! (Wiki Commons photo)
Dan Brown’s controversial best seller, “The Da Vinci Code.” Talk about heresy!
(Wiki Commons photo)

Still, who knows how accurate the four Gospels are; only one, the Gospel of Mark, was found in the Dead Sea Scrolls and there’s some debate as to whether or not it’s the Gospel of Mark or part of a book from the Old Testament.

But, as Dan Brown proved with his books: it sure makes a good story.

Anyway, this is opinion and when you read anything written by me on this, the Baltimore Post-Examiner, you can be assured it is an opinion piece salted with a few facts to move the narrative along. And humor. There’s humor here as well, so you’ll need a sense of humor.

Unless I’m insulting one of your sacred cows, like Sarah Palin or Michele Bachmann. That’s a joke, get it? Don’t worry, I have the same kinds of jokes for male politicians.

Take former New York Congressman Anthony Weiner. Now, before he got in trouble for Tweeting pictures of his penis across the country, Weiner routinely made jokes about his name. The good Congressman is a real life Weiner and instead of trying to fight it Weiner decided to run with it. Unlike Speaker of the House John Boehner. Seriously, is his name pronounced “Bayner” or “Boner”?

But then Weiner had to up the ante a little by Tweeting photos of his wiener, clothed and unwrapped. Man, the Weiner jokes just flew all over the world wide interwebs. It was great. But now it gets even better: he’s campaigning to be the mayor of New York City. Like Richard M. Nixon, we will once again have Anthony Weiner to kick around!

Then there was President Bill Clinton. “I did not have sex with that woman!”

Yeah, okay, big guy. Oral sex doesn’t count and/or it depends on what the meaning of “is” is. To this day late night comedians mine that little scandal for dick jokes. For all the good Bill Clinton accomplished as president, he will be most known for getting a blowjob in the White House from a young intern.

That’s the main bit of Clinton’s legacy, which is otherwise considerable because, like Barack Obama, Clinton had a GOP Congress that was hell bent on bringing his presidency to a screeching and dramatic halt. The GOP failed and Newt Gingrich, the GOP’s Speaker of the House at the time, found himself out of a job, disgraced by his own scandals.

Who can forget the iconic image of Congresswoman Michele Bachmann eating a foot-long corn dog at the Iowa State Fair? She really hadn't figured out that "optics" thing in relation to political ambition. It's critically important in this age when everyone has a camera in their cell phone.
Who can forget the iconic image of Congresswoman Michele Bachmann eating a foot-long corn dog at the Iowa State Fair? She really hadn’t figured out that “optics” thing in relation to political ambition. It’s critically important in this age when everyone has a camera in their cell phone.

As you may recall, this is how we started: identifying Left Coast Logic as opinion, not unbiased news. Somewhere along the line we got off into one tangent that led to another that led to another and the next thing you know we’re talking about dick jokes and religious conspiracy theories.

Makes you wonder what skeletons are still lurking in Speaker Boner’s closet. But then, he isn’t the leader of his party’s caucus in the House of Representatives so it hardly matters.

Consider this the warning label: anything written by me for the Baltimore Post-Examiner is opinion — and humor. I am going to mock certain political figures, mostly Republicans and so-called conservatives. Let’s be honest here, they provide the most and best ammunition.

To quote Congresswoman Michele Bachmann: “”But we also know that the very founders that wrote those documents (she was referring to the Constitution) worked tirelessly until slavery was no more in the United States.”

Now that’s entertainment.


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