Adam Dzialo

Adam Dzialo
Our son, Adam Dzialo, age 30

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Chronic Sorrow: Creating Ceremony for Healing

          "While chronic sorrow is conceptualized as being normal and understandable, there are no formal and customary social supports and expectations, rituals or recognitions of the catastrophic loss, since the person who is the source of the loss continues to live." (Chronic Sorrow, Roos) This sentence   from my last post on "remembering" echoed in my consciousness.  There are no rituals for chronic baptisms, no funerals, no goodbyes, no parties...Nothing to help the healing and thus sorrow gains the status of "chronic".  That is, unless you create a ritual...personal to each situation.  The following is a brief excerpt from  Sharon's book "Ceramic to Clay" which describes our ritual and shares pictures from the ceremony.  The event occurred in the Summer of 2001, three years after the accident.

How do you move beyond a catastrophic event? Time, everyone says. I was not satisfied with that response. I had an intuitive feeling that we needed to go back to the river. Three years had passed since Adam's near-drowning. He was now 15 years old. Adam was attending my husband’s school; this was the only way I could assure his safety. He was severely brain-injured, tube-fed, in a wheelchair. He was placed in a program for children with severe special needs, and he had Jody, a wonderfully compassionate one-to-one aide who acted like a second mother. Adam needed serious, loving, care-taking. Our daughter, Aimee, now 17, was completing her junior year in high school. I had returned to my job as a high school counselor. 

With help and guidance from friends, we planned a ceremony at the site of the accident. I was prepared for an emotional day, but I could never have predicted the impact of that day on my daughter. 

We began by offering tobacco and honey to the river;
to demonstrate that we knew the river meant no harm!
Aimee sat with us in our living room the morning before the ceremony. Aimee's life as she knew it had come to a screeching halt after her brother's accident. He was severely brain-injured and needed 24-hour care. She handled this with a mixture of anger, disappointment, frustration, and worry. Aimee had held on to her own life with incredible determination; her life was not going to change. She wanted her parents available, our finances solid, and, more than anything, she did not want to feel different from her friends. Aimee consistently challenged the premise that our life could never be the same again.

Our dear friends Terri and Jenny joined us for a quiet prayerful moment before we departed for the river. Terri had created the ceremony and would be facilitating the whole process. We were meeting a large gathering of friends, a few family members, therapists (old and new), and some staff members from the camp. The two counselors who had been supervising the boys the day of the incident had agreed to join us. 

To Aimee, our bright, beautiful, tenacious daughter, almost everything and everyone we had invited into our lives since that day appeared bizarre: the therapies, the alternative medicines, the spiritual practices. 

“Can't you just be normal? Can't you act like you used to? Why do you keep bringing strange people into our life? Isn't there any other way to do this?” 

I tried to understand her feelings. Prior to this life-changing event, my husband and I had not been aware or open to these healing ways. Aimee's continual resistance troubled me immensely. I did not want to lose our daughter while we worked so hard to save our son. 

Aimee invited two friends to join her for the river event. She refused to drive with us. She had chosen friends who might not judge whatever happened at the river that day. In other words, she felt safe with them. 

We arrived at the home of one of Adam's therapists who coincidentally lived very close to the site of the accident. People gathered slowly in front of the house, each one taking a moment to greet our family. Eventually, we formed a huge circle to begin the first part of the planned ceremony. Aimee held back, probably wondering what kind of religion we had converted to—the blessings to the four directions, the prayers, and the burning of sage. I concentrated on the ceremony, pleading for some sense of peace in our life. 

The group proceeded toward the river, singing a song written just for our celebration and gifted to us. 

River, touch our lives today. 

River, touch our lives today. 

Touch the anger and the fears, the guilt and the tears. 

River, touch our lives today. 

River, take them all away. 

River, take them all away. 

Take the anger and the fears, the guilt and the tears. 

River, take them all away. 

River, bring us love today. 

River, bring us love today. 

Bring the healing and the balm, the peace and the calm. 

River, bring us love today. 

Aimee ran to the river, impatient with the procession, not willing to sing. She stumbled down the steep and rocky slope. We had never wanted her to face the scene of the accident alone. It had taken me three years to visit this place, and I had been accompanied by a therapist. Facing the scene, visualizing the accident, had been an overwhelming emotional experience for me. Aimee had no idea what she was about to experience. With the exception of the initial days and weeks following Adam's accident, she had never allowed herself to feel. If she felt sad, bad, or anxious, she could not function, and then she would not feel normal, a condition she would find intolerable. She therefore avoided feeling. Somehow, her stubborn, adolescent mentality worked this out for her. This day, however, would be different. 

When we reached the path that would lead us to the site, we were initially preoccupied with Adam. He had been in his wheelchair during the procession, but now he needed to be carried down the rocky, steep hill and held by the river for the second part of the ceremony. We had baskets of flower petals, each basket symbolizing a different emotion—anger, fear, guilt, and sadness. Phil and I awkwardly held Adam, his rigid body not easily conforming to sitting in front of us close to the shore and not far from the rock that had entrapped his foot nearly three years ago. I held on tight and watched as all of the participants walked in front of us, gathered petals from the four baskets, and offered them to the river with a blessing. 

After some time had passed, I began to search for my daughter. I found her standing away from the group, sobbing intensely. I left Adam with my husband and gathered her into my arms. 

“Mom, I hate this; I just want to leave. All of these people are weird. This whole day has been awful. I don't want to do this.” 

A bouquet of flowers had been set aside for our family, the same type of flowers used in the ceremonial baskets. I gathered them, took Aimee by the hand and brought her to the river's edge, and said through my tears, “This is how you can make peace with the river, the accident, and the huge changes in your life. This is what you can do because you miss your brother. Take these flowers—your anger, your fear, your guilt, and your sadness—and offer them to the river. The river never meant us harm. The river held your brother and brought him back to us.” 

With my arms around her, I watched as Aimee gently tossed the flowers, one by one, into the rushing waters. For one moment, one beautiful moment, Aimee joined us, no resistance. She allowed herself to participate in not only her brother's healing but also her own.

And so, ceremony is created for healing chronic sorrow...and must be re-created over again (still working on this).  To conclude with the amazing...after trying for several years to sell our house in Greenfield, we learned upon re-visiting the site of the river and the ceremony on the 9th anniversary date of accident, that the house sold.  Our broker called us on the afternoon of July 24, the river with the news.  So, the Universe does care for its own.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Just Remembering, Just Calibrating, Then and Now...

       I was recently triggered (unintentionally) by a friend's blog to return to a place of feeling's hard for men to feel so we repress those feelings and live in the moment.  Often we forget that there is a history to the present moment  ... a continuous thread which pervades life and living.  I needed to go back and remember Adam prior to July 24, 1998, the moment of his accident and a point in a timeline of change and personal growth.  These moments below allow me to remember and experience that "chronic sorrow."  That is good...because I know that today is the same as yesterday, and, in many ways, better.

     "Chronic sorrow " is a set of pervasive, profound, continuing, and recurring grief responses resulting from a significant loss or absence of oneself (self-loss) or another living person (other loss) to whom there is a deep attachment.  The way in which the loss is perceived determines the existence of chronic sorrow...a painful discrepancy between what is perceived as reality and what continues to be dreamed of.  The loss is ongoing since the source of the loss continues to be present.  The loss is a living loss." p.26

       "While chronic sorrow is conceptualized as being normal and understandable, there are no formal and customary social supports and expectations, rituals or recognitions of the catastrophic loss, since the person who is the source of the loss continues to live.  Adaptations are usually drastic and disorienting.  Simultaneously and absurdly, the person who is the source of the sorrow may at times be socially unrecognized, as if he or she does not exist.  If there is no existence, there is no loss; therefore  the grief is unacknowledged and unaddressed by society." p. 2
      The above quotes are taken from a book, "Chronic Sorrow", by Susan Roos

Couldn't crop out the stomach and  double chin, but that was long ago ...
bit different today (sayin' that makes me feel better)

Taken just days before the accident (near-drowning)

       .....everyday is better than yesterday....the honor of caring for a severely disabled child/man.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Severe Special Needs and Back to School Reflections, Part 1

       For the next several months ('til November 3 when my daughter, Aimee, is wed and sanity returns to me), I would like to share my opinions about  public school systems and the education of children with severe special needs.  My son is now 26 and has been out of school for 4 plus years.  In Massachusetts, as I am sure in all states, Special Education services end at 22 years old.  After 22 years of age, there are NO entitlements (with the exception of SSI and Medicaid).  I want to share my experience as a former and thankfully retired high school Principal of over 30 years and the father and advocate of a son with severe special needs resulting from a 25 minute oxygen deprivation in a near drowning.  Adam is non-verbal, non-ambulatory, spastic with numerous contractures and musculo-skeletal issues. He has no ability to speak. The issues are too numerous to enumerate.  He spent 8 years in special education programs at the school where I was the boss, whatever that may mean.  Also, these posts apply to education in the "going in reverse" U.S.A. where every child with special needs is guaranteed by law school services (free and appropriate) from age 3 until 22 (earlier if the student gets a diploma).  I know nothing about education in the countries of many of my readers, but am interested!
      Public schools are not accepting and welcoming places for students with severe special needs in many cases but there are exceptions.  In times of limited budgets, special needs kids drain dollars from the Advanced Placements students, from the arts, from the vocational programs, from sports and activities. The simple reason is that  IDEA  is a federal mandate along with its state counterpart programs.  A lack of funds is never legally an excuse to fail to provide the services of an IEP (Individual Education Program).  A lack of the same funds can  result in the discontinuance of an Advanced Placement Calculus course or a football program (often viewed in a community as more important than any single child or group of children).  So an innate tension is established.

    Public schools are not accepting and welcoming places for students with severe special needs, especially on the high school level.  On the elementary school level, it is understood that students arrive at many learning levels with many learning styles.  Given the buzz words of "inclusion" and "in the least restrictive environment"; kids with severe needs are often included in regular classes with aides for a portion of the day.  Unless they are "screamers" or "melt-downers" or "stimmers", most elementary staff welcome these students and really believe in inclusive education.  Elementary school teachers are taught to teach kids and are not subject matter specialists.
     On the middle and high school levels, regular education staff are specialists in math, English and a sordid variety of somewhat boring subjects in the modern world.  Students with moderate to severe special needs who are included are a major annoyance and there is evidence of obvious displeasure and discomfort.  High School teachers were born and bred to teach math and not people.  They were born and bred to measure achievement against objective standards.  They are evaluated upon the academic success of their students. Our students with severe special needs who are "included" in a class or two for the sake of "inclusion" and being with "normal" kids will detract from those measures of performance.  High school can be hell...
     Public schools are not accepting and welcoming places for students with severe special needs, because they take time...time away from regular education teachers to attend meetings, time to modify curriculum and measurement methodology, time to tier instruction.  For students with severe special needs which are manifest in behavioral issues, they require special behavioral plans and functional behavioral assessments and can't routinely be excluded from school.  They are treated as different and difference is intolerable on the high school level.  They are bullied significantly to a greater degree than the "regulars", which means that staff need to intervene and stop lecturing on quadratic equations for a moment.  It's often easier not to deal....
     Public schools are not accepting and welcoming places for students with severe special needs because they are entitled to sports and after school activities with the transportation and assistance modifications which they have during the regular day.  This costs money, planning and convenience.  It implies that coaches and activity providers be trained learning about the needs of students who are atypical.  They also need to be coached on acceptance and how to embrace difference.

     Public schools are not accepting and welcoming places for students with severe special needs because they are entitled to summer programs according to an IEP, and not a predetermined summer program which is the same for all, for the same period of time; rather they are entitled to a summer program based upon their particular special needs if there is the possibility of regression of skills.
     Public schools are not accepting and welcoming places for students with severe special needs because their parents are usually annoying and demand progress reports, daily logs of their child's activities, and just frankly, are never satisfied.  Special Education staff are professionals (trained and bred) so they must know better than a parent who live with disability without respite. Ya think so ?
     Public schools are not accepting and welcoming places for students with severe special needs because related services like physical therapy, speech therapy and occupational therapy have outmoded models of service delivery which have remained unchanged for 50 years and often do more harm than good.  
     Public schools are not accepting and welcoming places for students with severe special needs because staff in special education positions are generalists and have little in depth knowledge of autism, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, traumatic brain injuries, genetic and metabolic factors, on on.  They are trained to remediate language arts and math delays.  What's  ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis)?
      Public schools are not accepting and welcoming places for students with severe special needs because everyone knows that if you can't keep a parent happy, a child safe, and demonstrate progress, the option is another day placement ($70,000) or residential placement ($250,000).  It is never about what is best for the special needs student but rather about the budget and what may be lost or about an increase in the tax rate.  The amazing fact is that the  advanced placement programs and football never suffer and the superintendent's salary bounds upward in an unconscionable spiral.
     Public schools are not accepting and welcoming places for students with severe special needs because our children may have left placements in boiler rooms and closets, but really have not.
     The series of blog posts will focus in depth on the blatant failures of school physical therapy, speech therapy and occupational therapy programs.  They will focus on school's keeping parents in the dark and away from after school and transportation requirements.  Posts will cover parent rights and how schools evade the requirements of IDEA, 504 and ADA.  They will cover every obstacle I have encountered in a good school system, with an adequate principal (me), faced with ensuring the severe special needs of his child were met in a way which was based on scientifically based remediation and therapies.  No, even my school, was not an accepting and welcoming place for students with severe special needs.
       There are exceptions and you may have found one.  The exceptions are  far fewer on the high school level.  I will address every issue with honesty and personal prejudice.  If there are issues which interest you that I have not included, please comment and I will follow up.  Please stay tuned for the trip on the little yellow school bus which is the high point of exclusion.  First topic will be the abject failure of school-based physical therapy for students with severely compromised bodies.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

No Clue....WHAT THE HELL!!!

     The Prague Oklahoma high school valedictorian (Kaitlin Nootbaar)
was denied her diploma because clueless school administrators demanded this young lady write an apology for using the word "hell," in the valedictory address.
     Idiocy in action!!  What the hell?  What the hell is wrong is a pompous school administration!  To get a high school diploma, students usually, unless you're in "hell", need to get passing grades, to complete the required courses for graduation and pass whatever state competency exams are required.  That's all!!   Saying "hell",  inadvertently or on purpose, is not a requirement to get a diploma.  A diploma does not attest to the fact that you are a good kid, a bad kid, or a kid who never says "hell".
       I spent 30 years in public high school administration and this action befuddles the hell out of me!  Opps!  This is an administration which betrays education and betrays students.  Also, this action didn't happen to any student, it happened to the school valedictorian.
       SO I searched by soul and my educational database for logic. Well, it is all about authoritarian demagoguery probably bathed in religiosity.  There is no excuse for action of the administration; there ample reason that the student will not apologize.  This school administration deserves no kudos for anything.
       Below is the NBC News Report:  please sign the petition on the left sidebar to move this "superintendent along".  Oh, hell!!!!

Kaitlin Nootbaar: Prague High School Oklahoma valedictorian denied diploma
       By NBC News staff
       PRAGUE, Okla. – An Oklahoma high school valedictorian who was denied her diploma because she used the world “hell” in her commencement speech doesn’t plan to apologize for her choice of words, her father says.
     David Nootbaar said he is furious that Prague High School is withholding his daughter Kaitlin's diploma because of her use of the word during the graduation speech in May. “She has worked so hard to stay at the top of her class and this is not right,” he said. “She earned that diploma. In four years she has never made a B. She got straight A’s and had a 4.0 the whole way through."

     School officials declined to comment. "This matter is confidential and we cannot publicly say anything about it," Prague schools Superintendent Rick Martin said in a statement to KFOR-TV in Oklahoma City.
       David Nootbaar said his daughter was inspired by the movie “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse" when she wrote the speech. “Her quote was, ‘When she first started school she wanted to be a nurse, then a veterinarian and now that she was getting closer to graduation, people would ask her, what do you want to do and she said ‘How the hell do I know? I’ve changed my mind so many times,’” he said.
     He said in the written script she gave to the school she wrote “heck,” but in the moment she said “hell” instead. 
      During the ceremony, Nootbaar said the audience laughed and she finished her speech to warm applause. She didn’t know there was a problem, he said.
But trouble surfaced when she went to school to pick up her graduation certificate last week, her father said.
     “We went to the office and asked for the diploma and the principal said ‘Your diploma is right here but you’re not getting it. Close the door we have a problem,'" Nootbaar said.
      He said the principal told Kaitlin she would have to write an apology letter before he would release the diploma.
     Kaitlin doesn’t plan on writing an apology letter because she doesn’t feel she did anything wrong, her father said. He said her family stands behind her decision.
     Kaitlin starts classes at Southwestern Oklahoma State University in a few days on a full scholarship. 

Oh the left side is a petition to move this dude along and to have the school system do what is right...please join me!!!  The valedictorian deserves an apology ....

Saturday, August 4, 2012

My Descent Into Madness.....

     This life of care-giving, year upon year, takes the mind where minds don't usually go!  That's not an original phrase but robbed from the rock opera "Tommy'" by The Who.  Most readers are too young to have a clue about this rendition.  Anyway, psychic triggers abound after the years and issues which most people in the "real" world would ignore ignite atomic explosions in my soul.  Last week, the trigger was organized religion....'nough said!
      Today, alas, today, it was the use (abuse) and handicapped kids in fashion advertising to promote the delusion of inclusion.  It reminds me of the day when blacks were included in advertising as long as they were light skinned blacks.  Blacks who were really dark-skinned reminded the masses of the agony of the years of ignominious slavery...can't do that, can we?  So we carefully picked just the right shade of black and the right features so these folks who appeared with whites in fashion mags looked like darker skinned whites.  Triggered the ever loving crap out of me.
Delores Cortes, Spanish Designer

      So, now we enter the world of disability inclusion; just so that we are all marginally PC and we can get the disabled community off our backs.  I mean, really now, with ADA, IDEA and the like dribbles of legislation, what more do these folks want.
       I am watching fashionistas use handicapped disabled kids to promote their new lines of wear.  First, light skinned blacks, then plus size women, now disabled kids.  Is there no extreme that we will go to in order to make a buck?  Here's the rub which triggers ever frayed nerve in my jangled tangle of neurons which even a valium won't abate.
Our friends at Target

       First take the right kid...someone with Down Syndrome who is cuter, more adorable, more hugable than the highest angel in the heavens.  Then take said child and use them to promote swimwear, to promote inclusive clothing in a chain store striving to break the corporate delusions of a Chick-fil-A or a Wendy's or a Limbaugh sponsor.  The message is that we are so fuckin' good because we include the adorable disabled child.
       Now this child has none of the pronounced features of a moderately severely DS child and could easily be mistaken for Sally down the street.  The issue is not because of a commitment to disability awareness or the promotion of inclusion in society.  The message is not that the lives of the severely disabled are worthy of life in the fullest.  The message is we "luv" cute disabled kids and we want to to know this so you buy our product.  The same is true of the purveyors of adaptive and assistive equipment...cute, well-groomed, almost normal looking kids. I know, and if you follow me in this blog, that all disabled kids, even the most severe are beautiful...I somehow think that society does not subscribe to our definition of beauty.
And our friends at Nordstrom's

       Did you ever see an advertisement for a product which features a kid with a trach, with a g-tube, having a massive seizure?  How about spastic kid with contorted hands and feet?  How about a kid modeling an aeropostale shirt with severe scoliosis?  Better yet, how about a kid in a wheelchair with a urine collection bag attached to the side?  Now that's a pair of jeans that would sell and make the manufacturer a billion..
One cool dude...what's he selling?

       Why do I feel that a rampant hypocrisy underlies the depiction and the inclusion of adorable disabled kids in advertising?  Why do I feel that the really really severely disabled are unworthy of fashion modeling?  Why is that I feel severely disabled can't sell clothes, standers, wheelchairs or modified toilet seats?  Something is wrong and like I said my "mind goes places where minds don't usually go?"  Is this my descent into madness?

Not to be limited to cute, hugable kids

Like I said, the perfect kid in the perfect it sells......

    So tell me, have I descended into the eternal hell of madness?

Friday, August 3, 2012

...because the bible tells me so

       As a child and young adult, I was inducted into Roman Catholicism with the camp song, "Jesus loves me, yes I know; because the bible tells me so."  Yup, that's what it says and if it's written there in the bible it's gotta be true!
       When a parent has a disabled child who becomes a disabled adult-child, life altering spirituality takes possession of beliefs, hopes and dreams.  At times the anthropomorphic delineations of deity are challenged to the core.  A loving, all knowing, all powerful, all merciful deity could never allow this to occur to one of his creatures.  I am reminded so intimately of Albert Camus, "The Stranger" and the words "I refuse to live in a world where little children suffer and die each day."  Seems like these should have been the words of a deity not a French existentialist.  N0?
        God and disability?  I have seen two paths chosen by parents and caregivers.  Some are drawn closer to the hopes and promises of the Abrahamic religions.  There, a belief exists that there is a direct correlation between suffering and sanctity and ultimately redemption.  Some go so far as to buy into the concept the concept of a "victim soul"  a la Mother Theresa. Others, I have seen, are drawn away from the anthropomorphic deity and join with a energetic Source which sustains and recreates life.  One without rules, prohibitions, adornments and followers.  These folks are drawn to a personal energetic space and personal bond with the energy of life itself.  I am the in latter camp, more so each day.  Of course, neither path is right or wrong; neither can be proven nor validated.
      So, I thought I would share some of my favorite bible verses from my other past life...just because.  These bible passage are never part of liturgy, integrated into an inspirational sermon or form the basis for an uplifting blog by writers seeking converts.  I wonder why?

So here goes::

"I will smash them one against the other, fathers and sons alike, declares the LORD. I will allow no pity or mercy or compassion to keep me from destroying them." (Jerimiah 13:14)

"If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her and they are discovered, he shall pay the girl's father fifty shekels of silver. He must marry the girl, for he has violated (anah) her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives." Deuteronomy 22:28-29 

Deuteronomy 25:11-12

And I will cause them to eat the flesh of their sons and the flesh of their daughters, and they shall eat every one the flesh of his friend in the siege and straitness, wherewith their enemies, and they that seek their lives, shall straiten them. (Jerimiah 19:9)

"Their children shall be dashed to pieces before their eyes! There houses spoiled, and their wives raped...Dash the young men to pieces...have no pity on the fruit of the womb, the children shall not be spared"   
(Isaiah 13:16-18 )

There she lusted after her lovers, whose genitals were like those of donkeys and whose emission was like that of horses. So you longed for the lewdness of your youth, when in Egypt your bosom was caressed and your young breasts fondled. -- Ezekiel 23:20-21


1 Samuel 18:25-27

New International Version (NIV)
25 Saul replied, “Say to David, ‘The king wants no other price for the bride than a hundred Philistine foreskins, to take revenge on his enemies.’” Saul’s plan was to have David fall by the hands of the Philistines.
26 When the attendants told David these things, he was pleased to become the king’s son-in-law. So before the allotted time elapsed, 27 David took his men with him and went out and killed two hundred Philistines and brought back their foreskins. They counted out the full number to the king so that David might become the king’s son-in-law. Then Saul gave him his daughter Michal in marriage.

God will not hear the cries of the people or acknowledge their sacrifices (Jeremiah 14:12).
God will make people hungry enough to eat their own children and friends (Jeremiah 19:9).
God will burn entire cities with the inhabitants still inside (Jeremiah 50:32).
God will kill children when they come out of their mothers wombs (Hosea 10:14).
God will tear people apart and devour them like a lion (Hosea 13:8).
God will kill children and unborn foetuses because their parents worship other gods (Hosea 13:16).

Follow this chain of logic:

"But anyone who says 'You fool!' will be in danger of the fire of hell." (Jesus) Mat 5:22

"You fools!" (Jesus) Luke 11:40
"You blind fools!" (Jesus) Mat 23:17
"How foolish you are" (Jesus) Luke 24:25
"But God said to him, 'You fool!' " (Jesus) Luke 12:20
"You foolish Galatians!" (St. Paul) Galatians 3:1
"You foolish man" James 2:20


Deuteronomy 21:11-14 If you see a pretty woman among the captives then just take her
home and “go in unto her.”

Deuteronomy 22:5 Women that wear men’s clothing are an “abomination unto the Lord.”

Numbers 30:3-16 A woman can’t make a vow unless her husband allows it.

Leviticus 27:3-7 God places a dollar value on human life; with women worth less than

Exodus 21:7 God not only sanctions selling ones daughter into slavery, but he also gives
laws on how it should be done.

Deuteronomy 20:13-15 Kill all the men and boys in the cities that God “delivers into your
hands,” but keep the women for raping.

Give no woman power over you to trample upon your dignity. (Sirach 9:2 NAB)

1 Timothy 2:15 says only women who have children will be spared hell

Men are worth more than women - Leviticus 27:1-7 actually provides dollar comparisons!
"Whosoever he be of thy seed in their generations that hath any blemish, let him not approach to offer the bread of his God. For whatsoever man he be that hath a blemish, he shall not approach: a blind man, or a lame, or he that hath a flat nose, or any thing superfluous, Or a man that is brokenfooted [sic] , brokenhanded [sic], Or crookbackt [sic], or a dwarf, or that hath a blemish in his eye, or be scurvy, or scabbed, or hath his stones broken; No man that hath a blemish of the seed of Aaron the priest shall come nigh to offer the offerings of the Lord made by fire: he hath a blemish; he shall not come nigh to offer the bread of his God." (Leviticus 21:17-21)  Does this mean our disabled have to languish in purgatory or somewhere worse?  Damn!!!!

Men aren't allowed to trim their beards or shave their heads (Leviticus 21:5)

I am so happy that I don't have to shave wife will kill me, though!  Just sayin'

Then again, I'm havin' second thoughts...maybe the Koran and Islam is the way to go:

Koran 78:31
As for the righteous, they shall surely triumph. Theirs shall be gardens and vineyards, and high- bosomed virgins for companions: a truly overflowing cup.
Koran 37:40-48
...They will sit with bashful, dark-eyed virgins, as chaste as the sheltered eggs of ostriches.
Koran 44:51-55
...Yes and We shall wed them to dark-eyed houris. (beautiful virgins)
Koran 52:17-20
...They shall recline on couches ranged in rows. To dark-eyed houris (virgins) we shall wed them...

   Yup, now I've got it straight!  Allah loves me, yes I know; because the Koran tells me so!

    But now, the story to end all stories...never read in church...

Genesis 19:30-36

New International Version (NIV)

Lot and His Daughters

30 Lot and his two daughters left Zoar and settled in the mountains, for he was afraid to stay in Zoar. He and his two daughters lived in a cave. 31 One day the older daughter said to the younger, “Our father is old, and there is no man around here to give us children—as is the custom all over the earth.32 Let’s get our father to drink wine and then sleep with him and preserve our family line through our father.”
33 That night they got their father to drink wine, and the older daughter went in and slept with him. He was not aware of it when she lay down or when she got up.
34 The next day the older daughter said to the younger, “Last night I slept with my father. Let’s get him to drink wine again tonight, and you go in and sleep with him so we can preserve our family line through our father.” 35 So they got their father to drink wine that night also, and the younger daughter went in and slept with him. Again he was not aware of it when she lay down or when she got up.
36 So both of Lot’s daughters became pregnant by their father.

   See, in those days there was no cover-up by bishops and popes...God wrote about it in the Bible for all to know.... and now, I have to give this up!
   P.S. Always get a hoot from those folks who long for the return of the "good olde days"?
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