Posted on December 4, 2008 by John Botscharow
Welcome to what I affectionately call My Other Blog. My main bloc is here.
I have two passions in life, other than writing of course. One of those passions is religion, Christian theology with a special focus on Christian heresy – I am a bit of a heretic myself in more ways than one. I also am a theologian and am anthropologist. That is what my degrees are in. I have combined those two academic interests on my main site.
What I do here is indulge my other passion – an intense interest in politics in the broadest sense of the word. I look at current events, major and minor, and offer commentary and analysis colored by my academic training and my heretical beliefs. The focus on my main site is very tightly focused on the development of Christian orthodoxy in its battles with the heretics in the early centuries of the history of Christianity. My focus here is much more eclectic and diverse, running the gamut from the relationship of religion and science to Presidential elections to racism in sports to things I find just plain funny.
Feel free to browse the archives. Thy are open to everyone. And if you find something that triggers your hot button, feel free to post a comment. I love feedback. You do have to be a registered with wordpress.com to comment. If you have never registered at any wordpress.com site, just click the Register link at the top of the left sidebar and follow the instructions. It’s quite easy and when you are done, you can comment on any wordpress.com blog as long as you are logged in.
Happy reading and I look forward to your comments.
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Posted on October 27, 2013 by John Botscharow
In the time that I’ve been away (see facebook for reasons) I’ve had time to give this series a lot of thought. Talking about some things in my past may not be all that edifying or even relevant to anything anymore, so I am going to ignore those areas. Some things that I -am- going to talk about may offend some people from my past. Unfortunately, that’s unavoidable, and hopefully they will understand and forgive me for any negativity.
When I was growing up, I was pretty much both a religious and political fundamentalist. It was not until I got away from home that I started really thinking for myself. To a certain extent, that is true of most people growing up. We are the products of our immediate social and cultural environment. In some ways, I was lucky that my mother died while I was a senior in High School. It was her death that actually set me free, although it has taken a lot of time to realize that. Much of my life has been spent trying to fill the emotional hole that her death left in me. It was not until I met Elizabeth in 1990 that I found someone who could fill said hole. Also, much of my life has been spent searching for, for the lack of a better way to express it, my own personal sense of truth. [I suggest you read my article "What is Truth" on my christianheresiology site to understand what I'm trying to say here] Truth is not objective; truth is relative to one’s position on the space-time continuum. It’s like the old Indian fable of the blind men and the elephant, what you see and what you know depends on where you are and what part of the elephant you perceive.
My search for truth has led me all over the place, but these meanderings have always followed the same two rivers. Religion, and politics, in the broadest sense of both cases. The failed marriages, the many different jobs, the multiple career paths are all nothing more than bends in those rivers. With an occasional waterfall or two.
What I have learned over the years of my meanderings is that we create who we are and often recreate who we are. I know I’ve gone through several manifestations of who I am in the 65 years of my life. I can honestly say that I am extremely happy and at peace with who I am. That person is so far removed from the person I was growing up that I seriously doubt most of my High School friends would really have any idea of who I am unless they have read my Facebook page or my blogs. In the next few posts, I will talk about my meanderings from fundamentalism to… Well, I’ll let you decide what you want to call where I am.
Filed under: Life, Politics, Religion | Tagged: confronting, John, Life, me, my life, part, Past, personal, Politics, Religion, seven, the | Leave a Comment »
Posted on May 11, 2013 by John Botscharow
To quote Monty Python, “And now for something completely different!” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g8huXkSaL7o
A blast from the past, something to lighten your day XD Enjoy.
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Posted on April 28, 2013 by John Botscharow
In thinking about how to organize the content of this series, I basically considered two different options: Either a purely chronological pattern or a series based themes. Either way, there would inevitably be some overlap of the two systems. Since my own thinking tends more to themes, I am going to use that approach as the central organizing characteristic of the rest of this series.
Given that religion is the overriding passion in my life these days, other than my family, I guess we will start with a discussion of my spiritual journey. This also allows me to respond much more fully to a question I got on Facebook from one of my former High School Classmates. She asked me if I had ever been a Fundamentalist; I replied that I had in my younger days. My own personal Fundamentalism was both in the area of religion and politics. Today, I’m going to focus on the religious Fundamentalism and save the political Fundamentalism for a later date.
I was baptized in the German Lutherine Church in Musberg but I was raised a Methodist. Why my parents converted, if you want to call it that, was not something I ever discussed with them. I suspect expediency had a lot to do with it (see previous posts). As a child, I went to Church regularly with my mother, my brother and my sister. My dad almost never went to Church. I’m not sure why. I was originally confirmed a Methodist, probably at the Willow Grove Methodist Church. I have a gilt-edged leather-bound Revised Standard version of The Bible that I received from Jenkintown Methodist Church when I was about seven or eight for being very good at memorizing Bible verses. I think that that particular competition is what put me off on future attempts to do memorization of Bible verses. To this day, I refuse to seriously work on memorizing Bible verses, although I do enjoy other forms of memorization.
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Posted on April 21, 2013 by John Botscharow
I’m going to off on a little tangent today before continuing my memoirs. One of the problems that I see with contemporary American society/culture is the fear of getting old that permeates everything in our society. In traditional societies, and as someone with a fair amount of anthropological training I feel I am qualified to say this, the older you get the more revered you are because, as even a Western adage says, with age comes wisdom. In these traditional societies it was the Elders that provided the advice and council which determined the direction that society took. It was the role of the Elders to pass-on their wisdom to the younger generations- The children. And because of their revered status, the Elderly were not shunted off to some form of nursing home or senior center. Rather, they were an integral part of the family and the community as a whole. This is a lesson that I have stressed with my children for years now, I have no intention of dying in a nursing home. I want to die at home, in my own bed, surrounded by my family.
The problem with the way we deal with our elderly, besides the fact that we make them feel useless and lonely, is that our young people do not learn how to deal with death. My near-death experience caused Michael to have some serious psychological issues, that is something we are working on. He has learned too much the modern aversion to getting old and therefore to dying. Dying is as much a part of one’s life as birth is. Whether death is the end of everything or the doorway to a different level of existence is up for debate. I have my own opinions that it is more the latter than the former, but I am not here to convert anybody, so I leave you to your own beliefs.
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Posted on April 10, 2013 by John Botscharow
I want to talk about my parents a bit, after all, who we are got started with our parents. Whether we approve or disapprove of them, they are the primary builders of our reality. My mother was born in a little town outside of Stuttgart, Germany. My maternal grandfather was a tailor and my grandmother was a housewife. They had three children, my mother was the middle child. I suspect that her family had been in that area since Neanderthal times XP.
My mother was born in 1923. That means she grew up during the height of the Third Reich. I never really had a chance to talk to her a whole lot about that period in her life, all I do know is that she did, out of nessecity, belong to the Hitler Youth for a time. However, my grandfather was, and always, a Christian Democrat. He never joined or supported the Nazis and ended up doing a couple of stints in Nazi Labor Camps for his views. As I have said in posts elsewhere, my grandfather is one of my heroes.
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