Friday, December 25, 2015

Letters From Mama: Assumptive, Manipulative, Narcissism

I hadn't heard from Mama for quite a while. I have her completely blocked on all social media, as well as my phone. I know she has access to this blog, and I'm quite happy about that, really.

Anyway, I received the letter in the photograph to the left - and.....there is just so much to see here. So much.

But I must start out with the following:

Do not feel badly for me. Please. Just don't.

I'm very much past the point of being hurt by her words. No. That passed years ago. Now, I can't help giggling, rolling my eyes, poring over every word, every comma (there are a hell of a lot of them), every message she leaves in the way she writes and spells, etc. It's no fun to just conclude that she's bat-shit crazy. While true, that's just too easy.

So, enjoy my commentary below:
Hello, son,
Okay. Why? Just why the comma in the middle? Wait, though. You'll get very used to having to take little breaths and think backwards until the sentence ends and you end up flushed, feeling like you listened to Yoda, in the throes of a galactic constipated bowel movement.

Also notice she doesn't capitalize "son." Friends, that's bloody on purpose. She won't name me anymore until I do whatever it is she wants me to do - "open my eyes to her loveliness."
Wanting, here, to thank you again, for introducing me to Cameron coffee. In that old grinder your brother gave me so many years ago, I grind the whole beans, and then make the coffee, Intense French, in that little coffee maker your sister gave me so long ago.
She's trying to remind me of better times, here. It won't work. The better times were awful. I tried for years to love her unconditionally and got nothing in return but hurt and derision. She despised everything about me, including the fact that I married my bride without her permission. I couldn't fart in her presence without her say-so. She treated my family like shit and they did nothing to her but exist. My children were just children and my wife was just a fucking woman. They deserved her love, as my mother. That is all.

And it is apparent that both my brother and my sister, mentioned in the above paragraph, have also left her in the lurch. She would have named them otherwise. I have no idea which siblings she is talking about, nor do I remember the coffee bullshit. And that's exactly the way she wants it. She wants me to burn with curiosity, and come crawling back to her, asking her to tell me the whole story, face upraised toward hers, in earnest eagerness, hand on her knee, rubbing my thumb back and forth, my breaths short with anticipation.

No. Just no. I have absolutely no interest in playing her petty games.
Absolutely sky-rocketing delicious. :)
Jesus Christ woman! When a comma is needed, you forget to add it. She used to just say "glorious," but I guess that's just not good enough anymore. Absolutely, sky-rocketingly delicious. There...I fixed it for you.
Too, I want to let you know that, if I hadn't heard that you tore up the last Christmas present I sent to you and your wife and children, and pocketed the bits of money I'd sent for the kids...
Now hold on here, woman. That was sent in 2011. And you didn't send "bits of money." You sent a dollar to the four oldest of my children AS A BRIBE! They weren't allowed to spend a damn penny of that money, unless they hoodwinked me into contacting you again. Then, they needed to come to your house, get some creepy shit out of your house, dig a few toys out of the cellar, and then, AND ONLY THEN, were they allowed to spend the dollar.

I skipped all the bullshit and took my kids out shopping.

Do your research before leveling accusations. Stop pretending that your "Christmas gift" was an innocent present. And if you're curious, that whole "gift" is documented here.
...if I hadn't heard of that, I truly would send to you all, Christmas presents each year, even if you did not speak to me all year long before each special day, birthday & all such things, too.

I'm crushed. Hurt. Smashed to bits. I seriously am barred from receiving more "gifts"? I'm going to weep the weepery of all my ancestors heretofore. My mother is so full of herself, it's not even subtle anymore.

No. We have a fine Christmas without you. Just fine. Keep your strings-attached shit.
love you,...
Right. If that's love, my kids are fucking privileged to be my kids. The shitty love I give to them is so far and away better than your love, it's not even a contest. I'm learning to be a better dad and husband by the day. I fail like crazy and make them cry. But I want so bad to be the reason they smile at the end of the day. And I work my ass off to make up for my failings. But that's life. We learn. We improve.

We don't fail, then manipulate our loved ones to do whatever we want, despite treating them like shit.
...and all your family, and waiting for the day your eyes become opened to my loveliness :)


My mother is a narcissist.

Love you all. I'm out.


Friday, December 18, 2015

Innocence of Children vs. Crankiness of Old People

Excitedly, I pointed the standard-sized SUV toward Budget Rental. I had been held in check for three hours, since ordering the "surprise" for my six kids, renting a 2016 Ford Transit, 15-passenger van until Christmas Eve, while our SUV was in the shop, and we were finally headed there, the kids noticeably oozing with excitement over my words that something was going to be "fun."

We had purchased the SUV the year before, trading in a 12-passenger van. Our kids were pissed. Now, instead of space to stretch out and the inability to reach their siblings to administer a well-placed pop knot on their noggin, they were elbow to elbow, never satisfied with the seating arrangements. Almost daily, one of them yells out, "Daddy! Why in the hell did you sell the van!!??"

We pulled up to Budget Rental, left the kids in the SUV, and walked in. Mohamed was there, and saw us walk in, a huge smile flashing across his face.

"Hi, Kristine!!!!! Oh...hey Joe."

Mohamed has managed this joint for the four years we've been renting from him and knows us well. We've crashed a few of his cars, kept one or two of them for an extra day or two, returning it to a whisper and a wink from the guy, never charging us another red penny. He's just the most delightful rental human ever to walk the earth.

"I've got your van in the back. It's the all new European style body and full of gas."

He led us to the back, handed us the keys, foregoing the walk-around, and waved goodbye.

Kristine and I jumped into the van and drove it around the front, stopping right behind our SUV. The kids didn't notice we were there until I threw open the doors and with a stern and angry voice, I yelled, "Get out!!!"

Slightly amused, they noticed the van.

The next ten minutes contained the loudest noise the city of Burnsville, Minnesota had ever heard. It was as if my kids were handed tickets to a two-week trip to Disney World. They danced around the van, squealing with delight, picking seats, and screaming.

After finally getting everyone situated and buckled in, I headed over to Taco Bell for dinner. I tried to dampen their excitement, telling them the nature of it came from the benefits of a large vehicle for a large family, after being squished into a crappy smaller vehicle, and that other humans wouldn't understand.

They would have none of it.

Busting into Taco Bell, six children swept up to the counter, talking all at once,

"We got a new van!!!"

"Just for a week, though!"

"It finally fits our family!"

"No more fighting until Christmas!"

"WHERE'S MY IPAD!!!!!!!!!!!?????????"

"Shush, Fred!"

The cashier behind the counter blinked and smiled, appreciative of kid cuteness, but not understanding what all the excitement was about. I ordered the food and sent the kids to a table in the corner, hearing them telling every single customer they passed, about the good news.

A few minutes later, I made my way over to them and sat down. Surveying the crowd, I caught a pair of glaring eyes, sending evil vibes my direction. Turning my head slightly to the right, I stared into the burning hot coal eyes of an elderly woman, holding a handful of playing cards. Noticing I was looking at her, she whispered inaudibly to the other woman across the table, shaking her head at my children.

I laughed, breathed a breath of satisfaction, and winked at the woman, sending her into a tizzy.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

The Pool of Men is Getting Smaller, Apparently

I just received this message from OKCupid:

We just detected that you’re now among the most attractive people on OkCupid.
We learned this from clicks to your profile and reactions to you in Quickmatch. Did you get a new haircut or something? Well, it’s working!
To celebrate, we’ve adjusted your OkCupid experience:
You’ll see more attractive people in your results.
This won’t affect your match percentages, which are still based purely on your answers and desired match’s answers. But we’ll recommend more attractive people to you. You’ll also appear more often to other attractive people.
Sign in to see your newly-shuffled matches. Have fun, and don’t let this go to your head

Friday, October 23, 2015

Let's Have a Chat About Morality - Part 1, or whatever

Thus begins a few of my gathered ramblings about morality. The following,  by no means, is the final word on the subject for me. Regardless, I hope what I write here is meaningful to some.

As an atheist, I have been accused, either directly or indirectly (referred to as a collective in articles, posts, and conversations) of having no morality (or rather, an anything goes morality), once I left the large umbrella of Christianity. This used to bother me, but not so  much anymore. 

Because the accusation is partly correct.

In my view, the definition of morality has nothing to do with a system of principled rules to be followed by its adherents, but rather how that system of rules manifests itself within the motivations and actions of those that claim to be its adherents.

By the latter definition, morality is how each person lives their lives. If their actions are accepted by the society they choose to reside in, then they are deemed "good". If not, then they are ostracized and considered "evil" or simply "deviant".

But that makes it appear as if our morality is entirely dictated by those that view how we live our lives. The fact is, we know this isn't true. We alone, as individuals, know who we are and assess our own goodness behind the privacy of our eyes. We can appear moral, according to the dictates of our brethren, yet live our lives very differently, according to our own standards of goodness (or whatever feels right at the time).

As a Christian, it was wrong for me to look at a woman and notice her beauty. And yet, I prayed nightly, as a teen, that Jesus would wait to return to earth until I had had sex. I dreamed of having sex. I even masturbated once or twice. Throughout all the guilt, I still saw myself as good. Moral, even.

As an atheist, sex took on a whole new meaning. No longer did I view it as a sacrosanct pedestalian practice. Instead, it became a fun and loving thing to do with those who consented to do it with me, even if that meant going outside the bounds of my government-sanctioned marriage.

My view of sex changed.

As a Christian, it was my duty to love my neighbors. So I left my sidewalks un-shoveled.

As an atheist, it was my duty to follow the law, as well as my choice to love my neighbors. So I left my sidewalks un-shoveled.

My response to snow on my damn sidewalk never changed. be continued....maybe...

Monday, October 19, 2015

Baseball is in My Blood

Walking through the kitchen, a dish towel thrown over my bare shoulder, I feel a wad of spit forming in the center of my tongue. I purse my lips, shoving my tongue expertly to the roof of my mouth, sharpen the end of it, pressing it hard against the back of my massive upper front teeth, then prepare a breath to send a beautifully arched stream of saliva, twenty feet from where I stood.

"Oh dammit...," I mumbled, "I'm inside." I swallowed piteously.

But it got me thinking:

What do baseball players do when they aren't playing baseball?

When they're giving a motivational speech in front of a corporate annual meeting, attended by thousands of the best and brightest minds in that company, and they walk out from behind the podium with the mic, reaching their grooved crescendo, what stops them from grabbing their crotch and hiking up their perfectly trimmed pants?

That thought led me to thinking about my career as a software developer and how a baseball player, knowing their worth, would go about coding up an application.

Would they stop after every line of code written, back up their chair, stand up, step off the plastic chair rollie thingie, give a long hard look at their boss's cubicle, adjust their rubber typing condoms, reach over to their desk and grab the empty Mountain Dew bottle, spit into it, return it to its hallowed place in the open, walk back onto the plastic thingie, sit back down in the chair, stretch and crack their knuckles, roll the chair back under the desk, expertly stopping it with their growing and softening stomach against the edge of the desk, then writing the next line of code?

If that was the case, I have a feeling that all code wouldn't pass QA with a .300 average, but be more perfect than the whites of a newborn baby's eyes.

Somehow, I think a baseball player's profession is more in line with the weather man's.

The Dangers of Texting While Writing

So, the kids are outside, "raking leaves"... hang on...

Oh! Julie spit seeds out of her back door last summer and a watermelon grew from it! I wonder if they were watermelon seeds. Come to think of it, she never really said in her text, just now. What if they were yellow spaghetti squash seeds and yet a watermelon came from it. That would be something else, wouldn't it be.

Hang on...let me text her back...


Yep. Watermelon seeds. That's kind of boring. I was hoping for something less so, some sort of viral watermelon and squash hybrid that, once eaten, tears the body apart inside, creating a zombie-like creature that goes for feet only, leaving your brain intact. In that world, zombies would crawl around on their knees, giving free research material to orthopedic surgeons testing out the strongest human knees.

But I was saying...the kids "raking leaves".

After getting out their bikes, playing around with rakes, seeing who could twirl one the most times in a circle above their heads, they discovered my bright shiny....hang on....

Hahahaha!!! Kara just told me good morning. It's the afternoon. Obviously, she had a bit too much melatonin in her green drink before she hit the sack last night. Doesn't much matter, being that she owns her own music studio, lessons starting in the late afternoon anyway. But now I can't ask her to come and help my kids rake....hang on...

My son is chasing the kids with the electric blower....had to tell him to stop.

Oh right, I was going to tell you....hang on.... they had been using the blower for over ten minutes and now they want to know where the ear protection is? Interesting. I think that's how young people live their lives these days. Heck, that's how I live my life, these days - total spontaneity, only revisiting my course of action if I end up with a missing leg.

Now back to the red shiny thing. 

A few years ago, I bought a blower from Home Depot. I bought it on my....hang on....

Ah Sarah....the lovely Sarah. Apparently her mail is going to her neighbor and he opened it up, discovering her subscription to Ebony. It didn't take long to reveal that he was a raving racist. He's telling her that he'll be adding another lock to his doors and bars to his windows.

That'll be nice. Keeps him inside and away from the rest of us.

Hang on...a kid tripped and fell and shoved the blower up the dog's behind. I have to go stop this howling.

Talk to you later?

Sunday, October 18, 2015

The Mostly Naked Man on the Leather Chair

There he sat, in his leather chair, staring out the window, leaning back timidly, allowing his bare back to touch the coldness, popping forward with a slight gasp, then squishing it all the way back, mumbling about heat transfer and science crap he didn't understand.

He smelled of fresh deodorant and some bergamot spiced cologne he splashed on after every shower, one of which he had just finished as the sun went down.

His legs were bare as well, the only clothing, a pair of red, pink, gray, black, and white plaid boxer shorts, worn loosely. The blinds were open. The night youngish. 

Every few minutes, someone on the street would walk a dog past his second floor window. A few looked up and saw the mostly naked man and quickly looked away. Others would allow their gaze to wander back, drawn in by his confidence and whiskered face, a dreamy gaze on his face, waiting for the moon to rise above the trees.

He had no idea what to write.

But the street wanderers didn't know that. Sure, they saw the laptop open on the desk, the screen lighting up the reflective lenses in his glasses. But they saw an old man, 35 years old to be exact, sitting, relaxed, happy, maybe even bored with the melancholy of the neighborhood.

A few would try and spice up his life by saying something smart and funny to their dogs, then, embarrassed at the realization that his windows were closed, try and act a bit quirky, hoping to bring a smile to his face.

But he did not smile.

He didn't even notice them. They were as ships, passing in the night, their dogs, a quiet wake, disappearing before upsetting the smooth floating of the world.

Then, he stood up, closed the laptop, walked to his bed, laid down on top of the blankets, and fell asleep.

Writing would happen another time.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Suppressing Blood Terror for the Love of The Freak


The piercing scream came from outside my bedroom door. A terrified yell, mix with sobs. I woke up with a start and shot out of bed, throwing on my ample robe, crossing to the door, and flinging it open.

There stood The Freak (5). She was holding her hands to her nose. Blood was coming around her fingers. She's terrified of bloody noses and worse, has been getting them once a day or so, since allergy season started.

My bride, the blood queen, wasn't at home, gallivanting around somewhere else for the night. My specialty is barf. I'm scared of blood, broken bones, bumped teeth, loose teeth, bruises, forks stabbed in an eye, gashes to the bone, cancerous tumors that come and go over 24 hours, and anything else that happens to kids. But barf? Bring it on. I got that shit.

I had no choice. It was 2:30 in the morning and she had yelled for me.

I grabbed her hand, blood and all, and gently led her to the bathroom, grabbed a few Kleenex, and a baby wipe or two, put the Kleenex to her nose, scrubbed her hands with the wipes, and laid her carefully on her back, on Mommy's pillow.

She whimpered a little and added a little pressure. I went downstairs to the freezer, wrapped a few ice cubes in a wash cloth, and then applied that to her nose as well. 

In just a few minutes, it had stopped, commencing the next phase in bloody nose marathons - sniffle and ask Daddy 100 times if it's really done.

She stayed the night in my bed. 

I may have this down. But really, I can't wait until my wife is home. I'm going back to barf.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

When Your 13-Year-Old Daughter Knows Your Heart

If you've read my blog long enough, you know two things about me. The first is well-known, the second lesser, yet regardless, well-known to me. 

1. I want my house clean at all times. No equivocations. I cannot handle a dirty house.
2. I have no desire to learn what the hype about Minecraft is, nor do I want to play it at all - ever.

And, if you've followed me, you know that #1 is a constant problem. My kids know me as the dad that always makes them clean. Sure, we have fun together, as a family, and individually, but if you stopped them on the street and asked, "Tell me the one thing you would tell the world about your dad," they would reply, "He never lets us do anything but clean."

Welcome to my life. 

I disagree though. That isn't true. They actually spend the majority of the day creating the mess that they will be required to clean later, or the mess that I will need to clean all by myself.

And they love Minecraft. All of them do. I hate it. But I see value in it for them. I don't know what the value is quite yet, but I'm learning. It seems to create a sense of community amongst them, as well as with their friends from school and the neighborhood. They build things together, destroy things together, fight over The Freak (5) destroying all of their things, together. On and on it goes.

Last night, I walked into the house and saw that the two kitchens' sinks were piled high, overflowing with dishes. The kids were headed to bed, but I intervened, rustling them all to the kitchens. There, we split into teams and finished the job in about 20 minutes. Even The Freak grabbed a dish towel and learned how to wipe well, with Laura's (11) instruction.

Then, this morning, Renaya (13), brought me her phone and showed me something on Minecraft.
Daddy. See these carpets I made? All the kids picked their color. Each of them has 10 carpets. As they complete a task, clean a room, weed the property well, etc, I will destroy one of their carpets. Whoever gets to zero carpets first, gets to play on my phone for an hour.
As I walked out the door to go to work, this morning, Frederic (10) and Jack (6), the little guy who never cleans, burst out the door after me.
Daddy! We cleaned our room. Now we're going to weed the swing set area!
Um....what just happened?

There are some days I really feel warm fuzzies for my squirts.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

The Duggars Are Rape Apologists

During the Fox News interview on June 3rd, JimBob and Michelle Duggar came up with the following conclusions, which I shall paraphrase for them:
  • Josh mostly touched the girls over their clothes
  • When he did touch the girls under their clothes, it was only for a few seconds
  • The girls were asleep at the time of the touchings and were unaware of the goings on
  • Josh personally and un-prodded-ly confessed to his parents
  • He had tears
  • Jesus forgives
Let's leave off the 'Jesus forgives' conclusion in my assessment of this treatment of sexual abuse. I've already spoken at length about the theology of "ignore my crimes, God forgave me" that the Duggars espouse so well. Instead, let's imagine something:

It's a cold and rainy evening on the long slog back to my college dorm. I have a very beautiful girl on my arm, who turns on every light bulb in me, including my non-existent soul. As we walk, I can smell the shampoo she used a few days prior, to wash her hair, mixed with the deliciously pungent scent of sebum oil.
I breathe deeply, wrapping my arm around her a little tighter. She sighs and we continue to awkwardly stumble home.
We pass her dorm. She makes no motion to turn and walk up the steps, but instead, gives me a knowing glance, the moon lighting up the features of her stunning face, revealing her lips, slightly parted, her breath panting through them.
As my heart begins to race, I try not to quicken my pace, knowing full well what she seems to be desiring and wanting to finally experience this woman, in her full naked glory, expressing our love together for an entire night.
After what seems like an eternity, we arrive at my dorm room, open the door, and immediately fall onto my bed, kissing deeply and passionately, grasping aimlessly at each other's clothed bodies.
As I make a move to slowly slide my fingers beneath the front hem of her panties, while at the same moment, allowing my lips to brush the nape of her neck, she murmurs ever so softly, "Let's sleep, wrapped in each other's arms."
I kiss her on her forehead and whisper back, "As you wish," and move down to her feet to lovingly remove her shoes and socks. Then, pulling the blankets over us, we do as she desires, which, funny enough, as do I.
According to the Duggars' rules, there is nothing wrong with me hopping out of that bed, handing her a drink with a rape drug in it, then having my way with her - only for a few seconds - and tearfully admitting to it in the morning.

After all, Jesus will have forgiven me.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

No. God did NOT Save My Family From Asphyxiation

This morning, I wrote a post about my eldest daughter who woke up to the smell of our furnace burning and came to wake us up, potentially saving our lives.

Mama, who my dear readers know quite well from my writings, decided to anonymously comment on the post with a three-word sermon.
Thank you, Lord.
Now, let's look into that poppycock a bit. First, let's go over the facts.

  • The furnace started on fire
  • My daughter woke up
  • My daughter got out of bed
  • My daughter told me that there was a smell of fire
  • I got out of bed.
  • I got my robe on
  • I stepped on a damn Lego, waking me up even more
  • I cursed the Lego out in front of my daughter, waking up the rest of the house
  • The Lego answered didn't happen
  • I walked down the basement to find the furnace on fire
  • I turned the furnace off, completing the saving of my family's lives
  • I went back to bed
  • I slept
Read those facts. Where in there is God? Any god? I don't see one. Unless, maybe, the Lego is God. Then that god did a damn fine job of waking me up and was summarily praised, in the form of curse-ory worship, for it.

But no. No god had anything to do with this whatsoever. Check the observable and empirical facts again.

Why do I care so much about that? It's very simple.

Earlier this winter, a dear friend of mine came into work, shaken up. A family he knew quite well had just lost their father and two of their kids to carbon-monoxide poisoning. They were living in a trailer on their northern Minnesota property and heating it using power from a generator. Somehow, the exhaust backed up into the house and killed most of them before the oldest son woke up to discover the horrible truth.

If God spared me and my family, why then did he decide that that family needed to die? 

I have no interest in that god, real or not. And if he so desires to get my praise for saving my family that night, he has some serious explaining to do. And if, in fact, he is all powerful, as his followers pretend he is, through all his impotent manifestations, he has a family to bring back to life.

When Your 13-Year-Old Daughter Saves Your Life

As I have mentioned in the past, we bought a foreclosed Victorian "mansion" in the heart of the downtown of a small Minnesota village. This mansion had two heating zones, for which each had its own furnace. The furnaces were about 30-years-old and were being limped along by repairs every year.

This winter, one of them started pumping out some serious carbon monoxide out the exterior air vent. It was red-tagged and we had it replaced with a brand spanking new 96% forced-air furnace. (We had one of the water heaters go out then too, but that's another story).

So, after replacing that old dinosaur, we had one more furnace that needed to be fixed every few months or so. Until a few nights ago.

Minnesota decided to get a bit cold overnight. So, reluctantly, we turned on the furnace and went to bed. The air coming out of the vents smelled a bit like burning dust, but had a sort of smoky smell to it, as well. I shrugged my shoulders and nodded off.

At 1:34AM in the morning, our 13-year-old daughter stumbled into our room.

"Mommy. Daddy. Something is on fire."

I woke up with a start and rushed down into the basement, the smell of the fire pouring from the upstairs vents. Once in the furnace room, I found the remaining old dinosaur furnace's interior engulfed in flames. I quickly hit the emergency switch, shutting the furnace off, and watched until the flames died down and went out.

We then called the service guy.

When he showed up today, he flipped the furnace on and it started on fire again. He looked at my wife and said, "This is 100% pure carbon monoxide pumping into your ducts. Cracked air intake, etc."

Thank goodness our daughter woke up.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

The Duggars Will Be On Fox News June 3rd At 9PM EST

According to NoLongerQuivering, the Duggars will be on Fox News' 'The Kelly File' to bare their collective souls about the Josh Duggar saga.

I've written two posts about the way the family (as well as many Christians) view the victims of Josh's sexual abuse.

Fuck You, Faceless Victims. God Forgave Us: The Josh Duggar Saga


Fuck You, Faceless Victims. God Forgave Us: The Josh Duggar Saga, Part Deux

I also wrote a poignant expose into the theology that allows the Duggars, et al, to walk away from these horrible acts and claim that they are okay by God's standards:

The Duggars' Moral Superiority: A Religious Right Stronghold, Exposed

If you know anything about the theology of Bill Gothard, including the book 'Reclaiming Surrendered Ground' by Jim Logan, Gothard's wonder boy, you'll get a kick out of the use of the term 'Stronghold'. Then again, it's almost too much of an inside jab.

Anyway, I look forward to rolling my eyes with the faux piety on the faces of the Duggars, the overuse of the word "just," the pretend clicking of the tongue to purport sadness, the monotonous drawl of Michelle's voice, the puke inducing way she gazes at her husband, adoringly, as he speaks, the troweled on make-up, the fashionable clothes they are allowed to wear, whereas the rest of the Dominionist, Patriarchal, Fundamentalist crowd must wear crappy, threadbare, jean skirts with white tennis shoes, and homely tops, etc, etc.

Nothing will change. They will not care about the victims one bit. Jesus has already handled it and we are evil libruls to even suggest that they have more work to do, or even empathy or psychology to learn. God knows best. 

Mark my words.

What??? I Can't Be a Martyr!?

I posted this idea to the Facebook, this morning, but wanted to flesh it out a bit more.

Recently, I was mishandled by one or more individuals. It wasn't me, directly, but it affected those that I love. And, when people I love are affected in a negative way, I usually tattle on the perpetrator, to my bride, then hide behind her while she does all the dirty work.

But not this time. Every so often, I get so incensed, I have to do something about the naughtiness.

I put it like this:

    My blood pressure rises. Adrenaline pumps through my veins. My normally ambient self is now a weapon of heated anger, ready to defend my beliefs, rights, and even loved ones. By gosh, I'm ready to martyr myself against my adversary!! 
    Adversary: "Incongruous Circumspection. I agree with you." 
    Dammit. All that hullaballoo for nothing.

I have a sneaking suspicion that my body doesn't much appreciate that infrequent endeavor. Then again, maybe it needs the action and adds years to my life.

Next time, I'll just hide behind my wife again.

Carry on.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Fingernails Are a Lot Like Avocados

Avocados. The worst food known to humankind. Worst food for planning, that is.

You know the drill. Go out to Costco, buy a bag of six avocados. They're green and hard. Arrive home, set them on the counter beside the stove, then wait. Every few hours, you go back and squeeze one of two of them.

Still hard.

You go to bed. Wake up. Go directly to the bag of little green footballs, and squeeze a few of them.

Still hard.

Go to work. Arrive home. Squeeze. Still hard.

Get ready for bed. Go to counter. Squeeze. A little softer. But still hard.

Go brush your teeth and then, for good measure, walk back to the bag on the counter to check onece more before bed.


There is literally a three-minute window where one can make guacamole or a sandwich with perfectly ripened avocados.

I've discovered the same thing with fingernails.

I cut mine a few weeks ago. My fingers looked amazing. Then I watched them grow. Very slowly. A week later, it was as if I had cut them the day before. Two weeks later, they were looking rounded and smooth, at that perfect length where, if I wanted to, I could go get a manicure, and the manicurists would mew and crow at how lovely my nails were.

Then, I go to sleep. Wake up. I feel a little itch on my cheek and I reach my hand up to scratch it, coming away with blood on my three-inch nails, four deep gashes right down to my cheekbones, left on my face.

I'm 35 and have yet to calibrate this curse of humankind correctly.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Yesterday, I Didn't Rape Anyone

I work at a campus of a large enterprise company. Every few hours, I like to take a break, bounding down four floors of stairs and walking the hallways of the lowest floor, then running back up those stairs, and ending up at my desk, panting wildly, but trying my best to act as if I'm hardly even winded.

As I take my usual strolls, I pass plenty of people. I also pass dark hallways and rooms, where, if I wanted to get lost, I could hide for quite a while. I also pass by quite a few beautiful women. And every single woman I pass (as well as men), I nod, sometimes acknowledging them with my voice. I love the fact that I work in a sea of humanity.

But, to this day, I haven't grabbed a woman, dragged her into a dark room, and raped her. What's surprising about this admission, is that I'm an atheist.

According to Ray Comfort, aka, Banana Man, during a "debate" with Matt Dillahunty, he began to list a large number of what his god considers to be sins. Amongst these sins, Ray listed 'rape'. His point was simple: The only reason an atheist refuses to acknowledge the existence of God was because he wants to continue doing what he wants - including rape. But, even worse, Comfort insisted that atheists view rape as a good thing, whereas God treats it as sin (a bad thing).

Essentially, without God, there is no reason not to rape a woman. Or, said a different way, the only reason one human being refuses to rape another human being is because there's a big fairy in the sky, holding a lightning bolt - no wait...that's Zeus...because God threatens hell fire for doing so.

This idea is echoed in  many of the loudest halls of Christianity. But it got me thinking. I wanted to figure out why, as a bloody atheist, I have yet to rape a woman. I mean, after all, I find the idea of a god to be laughable at best, full of ignorance at worst, thus opening me up to throwing all threats of divine punishment to the wind, and enjoying everything - because without God, even rape is perfectly permissible.

As I considered my lack of sinful enjoyments, I came up with the following list of very real reasons why I didn't rape anyone yesterday - or any day, for that matter:

1. I didn't want to

For some odd reason, I love it when I am in a relationship with a woman and she enjoys being in that relationship with me. Where there is love and a true "connection" with each other. That just isn't possible when I drag an unwilling subject by her hair, into my lair, and have my way with her. The idea simply doesn't even appeal to me. I shudder at the thought of a woman's fear, her tears, her screaming, her unwillingness. By gosh, I kinda want her to like me.

2. When I look at a woman, I'm not thinking only about sex (maybe not even at all)

Sure. I like sex. If you've read this blog long enough, you understand that about me. To me, it's the most meaningful connection I can have with a woman, within a loving relationship. I need to be touched and to touch. I need to know that I affect a woman in the most base of animalistic ways, causing her to desire me with abandon throughout her day, even when I'm not around.

But that's my sex life. It doesn't even begin to describe what a woman means to me. Being a software engineer, I can say, unequivocally, that no software department is worth a penny. without women on the team. The greatest single achievement our culture can do in this generation and the next, is to cultivate the minds and hearts of our female youth, to follow their hearts into the STEM fields. Personal experience. I will never back down from that.

But forgetting their gender for the moment, every human being is a ball of emotions, talents, desires, goals, and enough potential to put me to shame, every day and twice on Sunday. When I look at a woman, the first thing I think is, "I'd love to know what she does for a living!"

3. I didn't have a woman's consent

This is probably the most important reason. And it's a reason that the Christian theology of, "Without God, all things are permissible," brushes off with a shoulder shrug. Ray Comfort and his friends do not understand that there is a very human reason that prevents the vast majority of all humans from sexually violating their fellow humans - that the woman didn't say yes.

It's really that simple.

I don't need to fear some unseen being to stop me from looking at a woman that I'm sexually attracted to and, without her consent, rip her clothes off and violate her. I have zero desire to do anything so vile. 

4. The Golden Rule is actually kinda cool

I wouldn't want anyone raping me. Why would I do the same to them?

That's pretty much all the reasons I can think of, at the moment. But, look through them again and try and notice something. Do you see it? I'm sure you do - because it's bloody obvious:

Not one of those four reasons have anything to do with fear of consequences. 

Yep. Sure, I know that I would go to prison for a very long time, if I ever raped someone. Sure, I know that I would be reviled by most of the world. I would lose my friends and family. I would lose my job. In fact, not only would I lose my job, but I would never be able to walk into an interview and easily get another job - ever. I would be restricted to where I could live. I could never go near a school. A library. A sports stadium. Anywhere where I would come in contact with another human being, I would have the scarlet letter, "Sex Offender," on my record. My life would be over.

But those reasons don't even cross my mind. I am not prevented from raping a woman because of what may happen to me, when and if I get caught. Rather, I am prevented from raping a woman because the woman did not agree to be raped - and that matters very much to me.

And there you have the morality - yea...the superior morality - of those that do not not rape, because some god is looking down on them, wagging its finger, saying, "Nuh uh uh!!" And guess what, Ray Comfort, et al, I dare say, if you were honest with yourself, your reasons for not raping would line up pretty evenly with mine.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

And the Shoe Dropped: My Bride Lost Her Job Today

In my post from this morning, giving an update on our marriage counseling, I polished it off with the following paragraph:
Anyway, I'm just letting you all know, we're in a lull of goodness. Something bad is about to happen. I just know it. The next shoe is going to drop soon.
Little did I know that at that very moment, my wife had been called into the office of her company and was being laid off. The shoe did drop. 

The good news:

  • The company gave her two weeks severance
  • They extended her health care through June (our family of 8 relies on my wife's work for health coverage)
  • My bride HATED her job with a passion
  • The company had no clear path to raises or promotions and actually told my wife that she had no guarantee of a pay increase ever
  • She can now relax and work full time, finding a job that suits her
  • So much more good news...

The bad news:
  • This is hitting my wife hard, being that she graduated from college last fall, and has had hundreds of job applications rejected out of hand. Corporate America does not look kindly on a stay at home mom that wants to go back to work. Not to mention, she is very much a perfectionist.
But now is the time for me to shine and be the best damn husband there ever was. I think we'll party this weekend.

Marriage Counseling Update - May 28, 2015

I mentioned before, my bride and I are attending couples therapy, marriage counseling, whatever it's called. It's going well.

I have also talked, previously, about how we fight. How I fight, really. How I argue. And now, as a past tense, how I used to argue. I'm simply not into it anymore. In short, I was a veritable jackass. I've learned to listen and give a shit about what her side of the coin is all about. I've learned to step back and assess the situation and 

Now, before you get your hackles all in a hunch of pickles, our therapist is not "taking sides," proving to me that I am the sole problem. I'm all too familiar with the idea that men are always the problem and women are poor souls that must be coddled and treated with care as if they're a fragile flower that will wilt and whither away.

My wife wouldn't ever want to be viewed that way, anyway.

Rather, she is working with us, helping us to learn how to communicate properly, and giving us a wonderful foundation for solving any problems that come up during the day. It's amazing what you discover, when an objective third party is sitting across from you, listening to your stories and arguments.

It's not like we didn't love each other and all of a sudden discovered a passionate necking need. We loved, but had lost the ability to trust intentions. 

Anyway, I'm just letting you all know, we're in a lull of goodness. Something bad is about to happen. I just know it. The next shoe is going to drop soon.


I. C.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

My Daughter, the Connoisseur of Smooching

The Freak, my five-year-old, favorite child, always demands a hug and a kiss from me as I'm dropping her off at pre-school.

Today, I walked her to the cafeteria breakfast table, sat her down and began to walk away:

"Hug!" she yelled at my back.

So I spun around and sauntered back to the table, sat down on the bench beside her, and gave her a hug.

"Kiss!" she yelled in my ear, pursing out her lips.

I obliged, giving her a peck.


The next kiss I gave her was exactly like the first, but it apparently was a real kiss.

I really think you all should be asking her for advice when it comes to your proper kissing.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Sometimes, A Little Affirmation Is Nice - I Cried Today

Yesterday, I partook in my favorite activity - helping people move. My sister is going through some life changes and was forced to sell her dream home, so she put out a plea to the six siblings and their spouses, to come and help.

Wherever there's a truck to drive and free workouts, I'm in. I spent the rainy afternoon driving back and forth from the house to the destination, giving my kids rides, and testing the 0 - 60 capabilities of the 17-footer U-Haul truck. (It's 20 seconds, by the way).

My bride and all six kids were there, along with half-a-dozen other cousins. The kids all pitched in, then enjoyed themselves in all the echo-ey rooms, while we adults prepared lunch and did all the things that adults do when there is moving to be done.

Most of my siblings are some form of Christian, from devout fundamentalist, to John Piper-esque, to Sunday morning if you can roll out of bed every few months, to nearly ecumenical, unless in a theological discussion, to one devout and very pious atheist. The atheist doesn't talk much.

Then there's me. The odd ball of the bunch. I shirked my religious upbringings early on and was summarily treated with suspicion. I firmly believe that much of that treatment was inadvertent. Growing up in severe fundamentalist Christianity, as my siblings and most of their spouses did, it is difficult to accept a brother who jumps off the cliff, willingly, especially when children are involved.

And, quite frankly, my children are very inquisitive and curious. We talk about religion, theism, atheism, and life, all the time. Some of them have chosen to be super-atheist, while my 11-year-old wants desperately to believe in God, being that Grandpa is her favorite person in the whole world, and he believes in the sky fairy too.

And this is what mattered to my siblings. My children weren't like theirs. They had good children. Controlled. Godly. Mine were rambunctious and free. Sometimes a curse word would escape their lips. "Oh my god!" is a frequent phrase while doing flips on a trampoline, eating an ice cream cone with chocolate sprinkles on top. 

In my view, this bothered my brothers and sisters. They no longer came around. We were invited, less and less, to birthday parties, or just because. Family passed us by. We hurt for a while, then shrugged and moved on.

But, just once...I wanted someone to see that I did a damn good job as a parent, even if I wasn't forcing them to love a dead guy because he poured his blood on them.

As the moving progressed, I lost track of my kids. Except for the ones I was entertaining in the truck, I only caught glimpses of them, playing with the cousins, holding babies, eating cookies, and drinking pop.

The day ended and we went our merry ways. I thought nothing more of my siblings, as work called me to put my nose into programming an application the entirety of Memorial Day.

Then I received a text from my oldest sister, the contents of which read:
Just have to let you know...Your kids are awesome! They're so gentle and kind with other kids, as well as creatively helping them to solve problems. Plus, they are so friendly and respectful! :D Great job guys! ;) 
All I could think to respond with was, "Fuck me! God damn! Thank the ever living Christ for that!" 

And I cried.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

The Duggars' Moral Superiority: A Religious Right Stronghold, Exposed

The Bible says, in Romans 3:23, "For the wages of sin is death..."

This verse is very well known to both fundamentalist Christians, to which the Duggar clan belong, as well as evangelical Christianity. Sin is a big deal. It requires all humans to die. According to the book of Genesis, the fact that Adam and Eve ate the fruit of 'The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil', meant that sin was passed down to every human being. Sin was the one genetic thing that everyone got equally.

But the 'death,' spoken of in the book of Romans, wasn't speaking of when we die here on this earth. It was speaking of the eternal death, experienced by those who didn't willingly receive the 'Gift of God'. This gift is mentioned in the next half of the Roman 3:23 verse, "...but the gift of God is eternal life, through Jesus Christ, our Lord".

This gets to the basic doctrinal foundation of the Duggar approach to life. Jesus died on the cross for their sins. They were born with original sin, though the Duggars would never call it that, being that they would be accused of believing in Catholic doctrine, but the essence of the belief is exactly the same. Not only did they inherit the sin of Adam, but they also were guaranteed to actively sin as a mortal human being.

But, not to worry, Christianity has that all fixed up. John 3:16 says, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whosoever believes in Him, should not perish (die), but have eternal life!"

See? Forgiven. All sins do not matter to the eternal soul of the forgiven. To the Christian, this is a beautiful idea. God is so loving, that he killed his son, shedding the holy blood from his body, to wash us clean of our vile selves.

But let's examine that idea a little more closely.

Psalm 103:12 says, "As far as the east is from the west, so far has [God] removed our transgressions (sin) from us."

This means, once we're "saved", having "believed on the Lord Jesus Christ", trusting that everything the Bible says about him is true, we are no longer a stench to the nostrils of God, but everything we have done, are doing, and will do, that is defined as sin, is now covered by the blood of Jesus. We are sinful no more.

This doctrine is what allows the Duggars to easily say, "God has forgiven us." But, even worse, it also allows the Duggars to turn to the victims of Josh's sexual abuse and say, "God has forgiven Josh!" The victim is then obligated to forgive, as God has forgiven the perpetrator of the sexual abuse. Doing otherwise would be the same as claiming that you were better than God.

As you can see, the consequences for sin, in the Duggar's world, are not of this world. They are eternal. If you die in your sins, having not believed in Jesus, you go to hell, dying an eternal death. If you are forgiven of your sins, having believed in Jesus, you live an eternal life, going to heaven to be with God and his son Jesus.

Contrast this with our system of laws that focuses on the consequences of sin (that which the law considers as criminal) being earthly. If you break a law, you pay the consequences in this life.

The Religious Right claims that America will be destroyed because those that are in charge of our government don't base their laws on God's morality, but on human morality. Even when what they consider as God's morality, converges with our system of laws, somehow it is still inferior to God's morality.

Consider the felonies that Josh Duggar was accused of. Sexually molesting a minor. The consequences for his sin are eternal. He will die a horrible, eternally burning death, in the fires of hell, for his crimes. Except he won't - because he is forgiven, having believed in Jesus. Consequences on this earth, under America's system of laws, are redundant and unnecessary.

This is why, JimBob and Michelle, hiding the accusations for a year and then waiting out the statute of limitations, threatening to hire a lawyer when the heat got too hot on their son, is a perfectly reasonable approach to illegal activity. Due to the moral superiority of God vs. the laws of men (and women), their consequences have already been dealt with.

That sheds light on another concept in the doctrine of sin: Consequences.

Sin has consequences. In fact, the greater the consequences, the farther those that adhere to the doctrine of sin get to puff their chests out with pride. What greater consequences than eternal hell is there for partaking in the pleasures of life, that the Religious Right and the Duggars consider to be sinful? 

They point to the unbeliever as sinful, due to the fact that this unbeliever ignorantly believes that there are no consequences for sin. They mock their sure path to hell.

Except, the unbeliever (as well as those that don't treat laws as lightly as the Duggars) doesn't, in fact, believe there are no consequences for breaking the law. They actually have set up a system of consequences for morality being broken - the same consequences Josh Duggar shirked because his god forgave him of his vile actions. The consequences are very real. They are not imaginary consequences that have already been conveniently avoided forever.

Finally, let's forget about the consequences of Josh's actions, with respect to Josh. We, as a society, view the effects of those actions on the victims, much more highly than the doctrine of sin and forgiveness of those sins views them.

In that world, there is no recompense for the victims. Josh was forgiven by the same god that forgave them for their sins. Thus, since God forgave Josh, they must forgive Josh. End of story. There is no room for the ramifications of Josh's sin on the victims. The entire focus is on Josh. The ramifications of sin (Josh's eternal death) have been taken care of, permanently. Again, there is no focus on the victims. Should they have sinned by inviting Josh's advances, though, that would have been forgiven as well. But that's as far as it goes.

This is why we see every single statement that comes out of the Duggar clan, focusing on the forgiveness that Josh was granted from God. Nowhere is there a concern for the future effects of Josh's actions on the victims. They didn't sin (that we know of), so what happens to them is truly irrelevant. Their only task is to forgive Josh, then move on with their sinless lives.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Garlic Cheerios, The Snack of the Future

The kids were hungry. 

Luckily, Costco recently had a sale on Cheerios, selling them for almost $1.50 for a family size box. I had grabbed the maximum amount (8 boxes) and thus had enough cereal for a few days of six kids' appetites.

But it was supper time and I was tired. I needed something quick to allay their hunger enough so I could prepare more courses for dinner over the next few hours. Moving slow is my MO.

I grabbed a frying pan and dumped about a cup of olive oil in the bottom of it, pouring half a box of Cheerios over the top. Then, I turned the fire on high and slithered and slathered those delicious round nuggets of goodness, until their surface was covered in the pungent oil.

As they heated up, I shook garlic powder on them. Stirred. Then seasoned salt. Stirred. Then freshly ground pepper (a dash). Stirred. Then more garlic powder and more stirring.

The oat morsels began to brown and sizzle. The house filled with the scent of garlicky goodness.

I took it off the heat, dumped it in a bowl, and called the kids into the dining room.

Five minutes later, I made garlic Cheerios out of the rest of the box. And that was supper.


Fuck You, Faceless Victims. God Forgave Us: The Josh Duggar Saga, Part Deux

Josh's wife, Anna, has released a statement. More of the same navel gazing, only caring about the aggressor, Josh, and having not a care in the world for the victims, except to note that Josh 'sought their forgiveness'.
I can imagine the shock many of you are going through reading this. I remember feeling that same shock. It was not at the point of engagement, or after we were married - it was two years before Josh asked me to marry him. When my family and I first visited the Duggar Home, Josh shared his past teenage mistakes. I was surprised at his openness and humility and at the same time didn't know why he was sharing it. For Josh he wanted not just me but my parents to know who he really was -- even every difficult past mistakes. At that point and over the next two years, Josh shared how the counseling he received changed his life as he continued to do what he was taught. And when you, our sweet fans, first met me when Josh asked me to marry him... I was able to say, "Yes" knowing who Josh really is - someone who had gone down a wrong path and had humbled himself before God and those whom he had offended. Someone who had received the help needed to change the direction of his life and do what is right. I want to say thank you to those who took time over a decade ago to help Josh in a time of crisis. Your investment changed his life from going down the wrong path to doing what is right. If it weren't for your help I would not be here as his wife — celebrating 6 1/2 years of marriage to a man who knows how to be a gentleman and treat a girl right. Thank you to all of you who tirelessly work with children in crisis, you are changing lives and I am forever grateful for all of you.
I highlighted the important parts that truly show the focus of Anna. Her greatest concern is how her 'sweet fans' view her husband.  While I don't disparage that, and actually think that it is a necessary step in any relationship (openness, honesty, love, and forgiveness for past behaviors), three things become clear in her words.
  1. Her statement is directed toward her 'sweet fans,' making it seem clear that this is a celebrity driven statement.
  2. The only mention of the victims is through the eyes of Josh, the aggressor, where she mentions that he 'humbled himself' before them.
  3. Sexually violating minors, including your sisters, multiple times, cannot be dismissed as a mistake.
Seriously, Duggars. You know the drill. I was you once. We knew what sin was. You were supposed to flog yourself for your entire life over it. Sexual sins were the worst kind. In fact, most fundamentalist churches didn't let you serve in a position of leadership if you had been divorced previously. My church nearly kicked me out because I had premarital sex.

Sin is a BIG DEAL in that culture! We never called sin "a mistake." Where is this rhetoric coming from? Is it because Josh was a child (teen) when this happened?  Or is it because of the money and spotless image that you're going to lose.

Why can't you talk about the subject in the vile terms that it actually was?

And it isn't a mistake when your daddy fights to keep it under wraps, by hiring a lawyer. It isn't a mistake when your daddy waits for a year to report the incidents. It just isn't a mistake.

And the victims. Your own sisters-in-law, among others, potentially more. How would it make you feel, Anna, if all the public statements about a filthy young man, who violated you, destroying the innocence of your childhood, focused on HIS humility, and how God forgave HIM! And summarily dismissed your feelings, because, after all, they don't really matter. By gosh, Josh humbled himself before you, and God forgave him.

Also, keep this very key thought in your mind:

Your culture teaches you that it is up to the woman to not cause a man to stumble. So was it the little girls' fault? Were they dressed provocatively? Did they lead Josh on?

Try again with the public statement.


I. C.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Fuck You, Faceless Victims. God Forgave Us: The Josh Duggar Saga

So Josh Duggar sexually violated five girls, including family members. This we know. He touched their breasts and genitals. This we also know, from the police report. Josh has resigned his cushy job as Executive Director of FRC Action, the virulently anti-everything (especially the gayz) political arm of the Family Research Council, also anti-gay. This we also know.

But not to worry. It's all fixed up. God forgave Josh and his daddy for not reporting the abuse for a whole year. We know this because, gee golly, they said so!
Even though we would never choose to go through something so terrible, each one of our family members drew closer to God. We pray that as people watch our lives they see that we are not a perfect family. We have challenges and struggles every day. It is one of the reasons we treasure our faith so much because God's kindness and goodness and forgiveness are extended to us – even though we are so undeserving. We hope somehow the story of our journey – the good times and the difficult times – cause you to see the kindness of God and learn that He can bring you through anything. - Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar
 Let's parse this pathetic rape apologist bullshit:
 Even though we would never choose to go through something so terrible...
Please tell me how this was not your choice? Did wonder-boy, Josh accidentally touch the girls? Did perfect dad, JimBob, trip and fall on his way to report the crime to the police, preventing him from doing so for an entire year? Or, are you saying that your god granted you this sorrowful test, giving you this trial in this life, so your righteousness can be refined?

But...the victims. The girls.

...each one of our family members drew closer to God.
Fuck your family members. Who gives a rats ass about your family (except, of course, the sisters of Joshie Boy that he fingered). If your god cares more about how your family went through something terrible, than to love and make whole again, the lives of those Josh sexually abused, then fuck your god. He's not worthy of anyone's praise.
We pray that as people watch our lives they see that we are not a perfect family.
You don't say. But, guys...we're not worried about the tarnishing of your perfect image here. Well...most of us, anyway.  Your Gothardite and fundagelical fans are yelling, "They're covered by the blood of Jesus!" No no...we already knew you weren't perfect, according to the old adage that nobody is. But this isn't a 'sweep under the rug,' nobody's perfect moment. No, this is much worse than that.
We have challenges and struggles every day.
 Like fingering little girls? Challenges? Struggles? Okay...struggles makes a little bit of sense. But, Jesus...challenges????!!!! But no...if one of you is 'struggling' with sexual advances toward non-consenting little girls, that is an issue that needs to be dealt with. It cannot be wrapped up with other daily challenges and struggles like children forgetting to flush the damn toilet.

But wait...they are about to say that Jesus helps them.

It is one of the reasons we treasure our faith so much because God's kindness and goodness and forgiveness are extended to us – even though we are so undeserving.
They did!!!!!! God forgave Josh! God forgave JimBob! Puh-raaaaaaze JESUS!!! Everything is better now. The show can go on. 

But the girls. What about them?
We hope somehow the story of our journey – the good times and the difficult times – cause you to see the kindness of God and learn that He can bring you through anything.
Journey? Now this is just part of a journey? Right on. 

It's all about the Duggars. That much is clear. They have NO INTEREST in the victims being made whole again, EXCEPT that Josh asked them to forgive him and, according to their religious expectations, they did.

BOOM! The girls are all fixed up. The show can go on! Move along now. Nothing to see here.

Isn't God great!