A to Z Challenge: Zoro’s Zion Zealots (Z)

Zealots (religious zeal) – are uncompromising fanatics in pursuit of their religious or political ideals. They are diehard activists, maniacs, ultra-extreme nuts. Not moderates. Members of an ancient Jewish sect aiming at a world Jewish theocracy. Glad we don’t have any religious groups like that today, aren’t you?

Zion and Zionism – Zion is a specific hill in Jerusalem. It’s the place from which God rules the world. Zionism is the belief that God’s covenant with the Jews is linked to Palestine and Jerusalem and that said land is rightfully theirs (Jews). Why would that upset anyone? When I say that religion is responsible for many of the problems in the world, throughout history, and today, this is one example of why. There are no gods, so it’s all bull shit, and people die every day because of it.

Zoroastrianism – is the religion founded by Zoroaster about 3,500 years ago. It reformed ancient Persian polytheism into a one god belief system. However, Zoroastrian is considered dualistic since it has a good god and an evil god. This religion influenced Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, specifically in the concepts of heaven and hell, resurrection of the dead, final judgment, and many other concepts which the Abrahamic followers think they invented. Freddie Mercury’s family faith was the ancient religion of Zoroastrianism

And that concludes the 2019 challenge of the alphabet. Shalom.


A to Z Challenge: Yin Yiddish Yoga Yang Yahweh (Y)

Yahweh – a name of the Abrahamic god in the Bible. Regarded by Jews as too sacred to be spoken. The vowel sounds are uncertain (yay-whee?).

Yiddish – is a wonderful and entertaining language. It is the source of many rich expressions, especially terms of endearment, complaints, and insults. I love this language for the many words it has given us: bupkes, chutzpah, glitch, goy, kibbitz (kibitz), klutz, kosher, maven, mazel tov, nosh, oy vey, shalom, schlemiel, shlock, schmooze, schmuck, spiel, tuches (yer butt), and many more.

Yin and Yang – are the two primal cosmic principles of a concept of dualism in ancient Chinese philosophy. The key is how seemingly contrary forces are complementary, interconnected, and interdependent in the natural world; how one may give rise to the other as they interrelate to one another. I like this idea. It’s so me.

Yoga – means union with the divine. I thought that was sex. I see it as an exercise of body and mind. Swami Vivekananda introduced Yoga in the US in 1893. It became popular in the 1950s and 60s and is now mainstream. I tried it. While I would recommend it for exercise, I found it not to my way. I would still do Yoga. Oy vey, I might strengthen my tuches.


A to Z Challenge: A Xenophobic Xenoglossia Xmas dear Xian (X)

Xenoglossia or Xenoglossy – is the alleged ability to speak or write in a language entirely unknown to the person. I have been accused of this due to my spelling and typing shortcomings. Auto-correct added to the confusion. Again, woo-woo nonsense reported in automatic writing, past life regression, and in dealings with spirit mediums. It’s fraudulent gibberish.

Xenophobia – is hatred or fear of persons of a different nationality or ethnicity than one’s own. Theophobia is dread of the wrath of a god or a phobia of which a god is the object. Atheophobia is hatred or fear of atheists, sometimes called atheistophobia, anti-atheist discrimination, or anti-atheist sentiment. Anti-theism is direct opposition to belief in the existence of any gods. Antireligion is opposition to religion of any kind, to organized religion, religious practices or religious institutions. This term has also been used to describe opposition to specific forms of supernatural worship or practice, organized or not.

Xylolaters (not xylolites) – are literally wood worshipers. A disrespectful term used to refer to Eastern Orthodox believers who revered images and icons.

Xmas – is a legitimate alternative way of writing Christmas. Some may feel it’s insulting. It’s not. This form is nearly as old as Christianity. Its origins lie in the fact that the first letter in the Greek word for Christ is chi and the Greek letter is represented by a symbol like X. Xian may also be used for the word Christian.

A to Z Challenge: Willful Water Wizards of Wicca (W)

Water – becomes holy when they boil the hell out of it. It is used to be born again or to be baptized. Slung around in Catholic churches because people want free showers on Sunday mornings. Best used for bathing or swimming, but is truly essential for life (as we know it) to exist.

Warlocks, Wizards, and Witches – are apparently not the same, two male and the other female. A warlock is a deceiver or one who breaks his word. The word was used to designate Satan, wizards, sorcerers, and (incorrectly) male witches. Witches are what Christians burned when they thought something was wrong (Exodus xxii, 18). While they were seen to be involved with Satan (often sexually), people who claim to be modern day witches eschew all that in favor of a new age view of nature religions such as Wicca or modern-day Druidism. Wizards are more often considered wise persons.

Werewolves – do not happen. There is no evidence that anyone has turned into a wolf and then back. However, a delusion known as lycanthropy is real, and there are cases of people who believed they were werewolves. Again, ok entertainment (and the first thing I think about during full moons), but it does not happen. To believe it does happen to one’s self is probably due to some medical disorder.

Wicca – is a neo-pagan nature religion based on beliefs and rites said to be of ancient origin. I see wiccans not as members of a religion, but as people with a shared spiritual basis in natural phenomena. They practice their rituals but have no formal doctrine or must-do stuff. However, local covens may have their own rules. I await my invitation to dance naked in the forest during the next full moon.

Willful Ignorance – is related to wishful thinking, misinterpretation, falsification, dissembling, and perversion of the truth. One should never do this sober. Have you ever tried to show or explain something to someone, only to have them put their fingers in their ears or their hands over their eyes? Ignorance may be bliss, but only to a point. The ignorance of others is always annoying.



A to Z Challenge: Vampire Victims Vital to Vastu (V)

Vampires – bite people on the neck, thus making more vamps, drink human blood, cannot endure sunlight, and seem to be distant relatives to zombies. Let’s not forget the effect of a crucifix, or a stake in the heart. These fictitious beings used to be evil and ugly, but Hollywood has worked hard to make them cute and cleaver and all cuddly like, except when the vampire hunter is the protagonist in the fictional story. Fun stuff, but not real.

Vastu – is India’s version of feng shui. It may also be known as vedic architecture, sthapatya ved, vastu vidya, and vastu shastra. The goal is architecture in harmony with nature (sounds good to me). However, apparently, that can only be done with astrology and numerology. If your house is not aligned, you ostensibly get sick. Sure, poor workspace design can cause stress. But your west facing front door? Nah.

Last year a real estate agent explained to me that people with these beliefs do not want to buy homes with kitchens on the southwest side (as mine was). It could lead to divorce or a bunch of maladies. It’s woo-woo but not the exclusive superstation of people of India.

In a similar way, a German cemetery in New Braunfels, TX has the oldest graves canted about fifteen degrees to the right of the property line (newer gravesites don’t do this). This was done so that when Jesus comes again from the east, the graves will be properly aligned directly perpendicular to due east, for resurrection purposes. They wouldn’t want to be missed. This factual explanation is posted with the history of the cemetery at the visitor’s station.

Victim souls – are people who suffer pain or sickness for other people. The logic is a clear reference to Jesus as a scapegoat. But people believe this of other people, and it is supposed to be a good thing, in a martyr-ish kind of way. More popular in the 18th and 19th centuries than today. Audrey Santo (Little Audrey) was a victim soul.

Vitalism – is the metaphysical doctrine of a nonphysical inner force of energy. It goes by chi, qi, rana, ki, orgone energy, and animal magnetism (vital force). Many kinds of alternative health practices (or energy medicine) are based on a belief that health is due to this alleged energy. It focuses on good juju – not science.

A to Z Challenge: Tarot True Theist Telepaths Talisman (T)

Talismans – are objects held or worn to act as a charm to avert evil and bring good fortunes. Simply put, they’re lucky charms. Requires belief otherwise it is jewelry. I have worn Saint Christopher, Miraculous (Mary) medals, crucifixes, and scapula in my life. They were talismans. What I might wear today is jewelry.

Tantra – is a type of Hindu or Buddhist scripture, or the rituals and practices described therein. They deal with meditation and sexual techniques. More fun.

Tarot Cards – are used in fortune telling. Fun, but woo-woo.

Telepathy – is mind reading, as in mental. Read anyone’s thoughts with ESP?

Teleportation – Beam me up Scotty (he never said that). Don’t we wish? Someday, maybe.

Theists (theism) – are persons who deny that gods do not exist. I say there are no gods. Most agree with me in every case except one. Close, right?

True-believer Syndrome – is a wow. It’s very real. Many continue to believe in the reality of the paranormal despite overwhelming evidence of fraud. People still follow psychics, religious charlatans, phony channelers, faith healers, taro card readers, and other phony mediums despite proof they are fake. (Political figures?) No amount of logic or evidence can shatter their faith, which is why such fakes are as abundant as ever.

A to Z Challenge: Suspended Superstition as Satan and Sasquatch Shoehorn Saints (S)

Suspended disbelief – is the willing suspension of disbelief by dropping one’s critical faculties and believe something surreal. We sacrifice realism and logic for the sake of enjoyment. Suspended is temporary and not permanently expelled. We do this for fun regarding fiction or to play with things, but it is not the same as believing.

Superstition – is what all religion is. It results from ignorance, fear, trust in magic, or false conceptions of cause. It is an irrational abject attitude toward things supernatural, nature, or a god. The RC Church warns against superstitions, such as burying a statue of a saint upside down in your yard to help sell your home. Yet, it is essential for them to believe that the Eucharistic wafer is a physical god. Since Protestants do not share that, they perform the superstition less often in most cases and with far less flair and drama.

Saints – are dead people whose souls are determined to be in heaven. It is also a colloquialism for a nice living person. When people pray to saints, they are requesting the saint put in a good word with a god. This is known as intercessory prayer. It’s mostly a Catholic thing, even with Mary. Prayers to saints are not prayers of worship like to a god. Saints are like influential uncles, only in heaven and part of the inner circle.

Shoehorning – is the term for forcing some current event into one’s religious agenda. Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell said god caused or allowed the 9-11 attacks because of “liberal civil liberties, feminists, homosexuals, and abortion rights.” These two loonies openly claimed a god killed thousands of innocents because he or she did not like how Americans behaved. Anyone who believes and follows (one is dead) this kind of asinine thinking is an asshole who does a lot for the rise of atheism in America. Thank you. There are no gods and frankly, I am pleased with that.

Spiritualism – is the belief that the human personality lives after death and can be communicated with by special people called sensitive mediums. Frauds have been exposed repeatedly, but people still believe this shit because quacks are good. TV shows or not, this crapola ain’t real.

Sasquatch – is big foot. He ain’t real either, but I did see him in a coffee shop once.

Satan – is the perfect scapegoat. Not real either. I don’t believe this form of evil exists. What stirs in the hearts of men and women is another issue. Created not by some nonexistent god, but by a real man and apparently well understood by many men and women, particularly self-proclaimed people of god.