UPDATE AT 10:20AM PDT: OREGON WILDFIRES
Several readers have asked how I am doing in regard to the Oregon wildfires. Short answer? I'm freaking out.
Longer answer: The air here is awful and the sky is some ugly color for which there is no name.
In Lake Oswego, we are at a level 1 evacuation order which is the lowest and means pack up while you've got the time. (Level 2 means to pack up and be ready to leave at a moment's notice. Level 3 is leave now, no foolin' around.)
Did I mention I'm freaking out? Well, as much as a person who can't climb a single flight of stairs without stopping three times to catch her breath can freak out.
I'm half packed and as soon as I finish this blog note I'll get back to it. My wonderful neighbor Judy will drive and she has it all planned about where we will go. There is no expressing how grateful I am to her.
Here is the thing – if I had any doubts, I know for sure that I am old now and big surprises all but paralyze me. Yesterday, Judy dropped off a list of what to pack in such a situation as ours that she had printed off the internet and she did it just when I was trying to sort out that particular question.
I perfectly well know how to search the internet for such information. I've been doing that every day for 40 years. But while I dithered yesterday before she arrived, it hadn't occurred to me. I consider that the sign that I am officially old now in every way, dependent on others to think for me - at least in new situations.
Have I mentioned that I am freaked out? If my home burns down, I have nowhere to go. Worse, my mind simply will not pay attention to that question. Just call me Scarlett O'Hara on this point.
Am I really expected to tolerate a certain type of Christian who feels entitled to publicly hector, lecture and threaten with damnation everyone who does not believe in his or her god?
I think not.
Before I go further, let me congratulate the TGB readers who either responded with restraint to or ignored the recent comment intruder spewing irate Bible talk at what she perceives as heresy. You did better than I would have, or will today.
What is it about some kinds of Christians? You know the type: they are always angry, usually snide and seem eager for those who do not toe their particular line of religiosity to roast in hell.
They talk a lot about love but show not an iota of it to those who believe differently from them.
This one, Sue by name, jumped in on 2 September's story about Canada's ruling on psylocybin use, advocating scripture instead of mushrooms because “psycho-drugs are known to open portals - that need to stay shut.”
Oh lordy, look out for those open portals because – what? Monsters will crawl out? That is what she implied in a response that same day to Celia Andrews, some nonsense about “the use of these to open the third eye portal? Yikes.”
What is in that portal, do you think, that is so terrible and why don't those of us who have used psychedelics know what it is or been dragged down into the primordial swamp?
Sue had something to say, too, on Tuesday's Reader Story by Carole Leskin about faith in a time of horrific, worldwide upheaval.
I had argued with myself about publishing it. There have been troubles with a few religious comment trolls here in the past and I have always had to shut them down.
But Carole's story is not overtly religious, she does not solicit belief in whatever her god is and leaves plenty of room for non-believers or other-believers to think about faith without defining it by her values.
Nevertheless, there was Sue:
”Faith. And i thought there'd be atleast a phrase about whatever happens, the Lord is sovereign and or something along the lines that it's the grace of the Lord Jesus that's getting me through the drama. Shoulda realized the posts would be all about (temporal) salvation by ones own works.”
Besides being offensive, Sue appears to be unaware there are other definitions of faith beyond the religious.
On Wednesday's post about the two lovely children's books, Sue was back to warning of the godly wrath to be rained down upon anyone who does not believe in Jesus.
And with that, Time Goes By is done with Sue. Without notice or recourse, she has been permanently banned.
It makes no difference to me what religious beliefs people hold as long as they do not impinge on anyone else's freedoms and in the case of this blog, they do not disrupt the conversation.
You see, the thing about Time Goes By is that there is a great, good group of smart, interesting, knowledgeable people who take the time and make the effort to comment on the day's topic with original thoughts and ideas that I always look forward to reading.
So I'll be damned (yes, I chose that word purposefully) if I'll let a disruptive, little pissant spew her religious venom. That's not allowed here.