Great Motivational Posters about Gambling, Homosexuality and More

Are you ready for more motivational posters that will make you laugh and cringe? Then you’ve come to the right spot:

Which was your favorite? Got any good ones? Send them my way and I’ll post them next Tuesday.

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Cult Mayhem is Upon Us During a Meteor Shower in South Park Episode 308, “Two Guys Naked in a Hottub”

This episode is all about Waco, Texas, and the massacre that occurred there when the government interfered with David Koresh and the Branch Davidians. This cult was terrified of the apocalypse and when government agencies laid seige to their complex, they thought that the world was ending.

Another cult called the Heaven’s Gate Cult, thought that when a meteor shower arrived, they would be beamed up and go along for the ride (sort of). They also killed themselves.

This episode combines the lunacy of those two cults with the government not knowing how to deal with them when Mr. Mackey throws a party for the meteor shower and the ATF thinks that everyone inside will off themselves.

Also, Gerald and Randy watch each other jerk off in the hottub, and Randy freaks out that this makes him gay. This conversation takes place and makes him feel better:

Mr. Mackey: Well it’s not like you’re the only guy who’s watched another guy masturbate.  I’ve done it.

Ned: Me too.

Guy: Yeah, I’ve done it a few times.  Then everybody admits to having done it.

Mr. M.: Do you mean it.  I’m not gay.

Jimbo: Well maybe a little.  But we’re all a little gay.

What did you think of this episode? Have you ever been part of a cult?

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In “Cripple Fight!” South Park 503, The Boys Help Big Gay Al Stay in Scouts and Timmy and Jimmy Battle for Best Handicapped Kid

What a fun episode. It has everything: battling cripples, gay bashing, child molestation, and more! When Big Gay Al, an excellent Boy Scout leader and good role-model for the South Park children, is kicked out of Scouts for no other reason than being gay, the boys – not interested in being molested by the new Scout leader who everyone thinks is straight – fight all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court to get Big Gay Al back into Scouts and reinstated as their leader.

But forcing the Scouts to comply to their belief system, Big Gay Al insists, was wrong:

“Thank you all very much, but I don’t want this.  Look, I appreciate what you kids did, I really do, but this isn’t what I wanted. I’m proud to be gay, and I’m proud to be in a country where I’m free to express myself, but freedom is a two-way street. If I’m free to express myself, then the Scouts have to be free to express themselves too. I know these men; they are good men. They are kind men. They do what they think is best for kids, no matter how wrong we think they might be, it isn’t right for us to force them to think our way. It’s up to us to persuade and help them see the light, not extort them to. Please don’t cut the Scouts’ funding. The Scouts help and have always helped a lot of kids. That’s why I love them. I will continue to persuade them to change their minds, but this is the wrong way to do it.”

Randy Marsh learns the following lesson when it comes to distrusting Big Gay Al and putting the new Scout leader in charge of his son:

“We’ve all learned an important lessons: that just because somebody’s gay doesn’t mean they’re gonna molest children. Straight people do that too.”

On an additional, religious note, we learn in this episode that Father Maxi had sex with a man once. That’s right, the Catholic priest has gay experiences. Interesting, no?

Did you like this episode? What was your favorite part? How about the cripple fight? Do you think gays should be allowed in Scouts and that private organizations should be forced to accept those they don’t want? Why is it okay for a private institution to discriminate based on sexual preference, but not say, a private university?

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South Park’s “Follow That Egg” Legalizes Gay Marriage

When Mrs. Garrison decides that she is ready to forgive Mr. Slave and take him back only to discover that he plans to marry Big Gay Al, she vows to prevent the legalization of gay marriage in Colorado and keep them separated forever.

To do this, she creates an experiment whereby the children in her class have to take care of an egg, and by pairing up two boys, she plans to prove that men are incapable of caring for a child. Then she’ll show the results of her “scientific” study to the governor who will have a reason to prevent the passage of the gay marriage bill without being directly responsible. Brilliant….really brilliant.

At the end of the episode, when Big Gay Al and Mr. Slave are getting married, funny enough, it is Father Maxi – a Catholic priest! – who presides over their marriage. Curious, considering that Catholicism doesn’t tolerate homosexuality, much less its sanctioning by the bonds of holy matrimony.

Personally, I think gay people should be allowed to marry, if not in church, at least legally. In fact, I don’t think that the government should have anything to do with the term marriage. I think that only religious or other institutions should concern themselves with that term. My issue is what the government does because only the government affects all people in the U.S. and has the obligation to treat us all equally.

That said, the government should ONLY have the right to grant people the status of “civil union.” Any two consenting adults should be able to join in such a union and then reap the benefits, tax or otherwise, of this union. In this way, marriage and the government have nothing to do with one another and no one has to worry or be treated unequally. You want to be married? Let your priest do it and call it whatever you want.

Do you like this episode? What’d you think? What are your thoughts on gay marriage?

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In “The Death Camp of Tolerance” the South Park Boys Learn to Be Tolerant of Gays – Really Gays

In order to get fired and then sue the school board for tons of money for unlawful dismissal, Mr. Garrison introduces the class to Mr. Slave and proceeds to engage in incredibly lewd and inappropriate conduct with him in the classroom – including but certainly not limited to shoving Lemmiwinks, the class gerbil, up Mr. Slave’s ass.

The parents, believing that their children are intolerant of homosexuality – something they couldn’t care less about, just Mr. Garrison’s behavior – make their children go to the Museum of Tolerance. When that doesn’t work, it’s time for the Death Camp of Tolerance.

This episode introduces us to a number of stereotypes, emphasizing the fact that we are all different and should be accepted for our differences. At the same time, it points out two important issues surrounding the idea of tolerance. The first is the sometimes hypocritical nature of tolerance, which is to say that people are supposed to be accepted for differences they cannot help but when it comes to life choices – like smoking – we can be intolerant. This, South Park contends, is bullshit.

Additionally, the show asks us to question the limit of tolerance and think about where we draw the line. As Mr. Garrison says:

“This kind of behavior should not be acceptable from a teacher…[You should be] tolerant, but not stupid! Look, just because you have to tolerate something doesn’t mean you have to approve of it! If you had to like it, it’d be called the Museum of Acceptance! “Tolerate” means you’re just putting up with it! You tolerate a crying child sitting next to you on the airplane or, or you tolerate a bad cold. It can still piss you off! Jesus Tap-dancing Christ!”

Did you like this episode? What things are you intolerant of? Where do you draw the line? Have you ever shoved a gerbil up your ass?

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Zen Talk: Dogen’s “The Issue at Hand” Waxes about Being As Is

“Kindling becomes ash, and cannot become kindling again. However, we should not see the ash as after and the kindling as before. Know that kindling abides in the normative state of kindling, and though it has a before and after, the realms of before and after are disconnected. Ash, in the normative state of ash, has before and after. Just as that kindling, after having become ash, does not again become kindling, so after dying a person does not become alive again. This being the case, not saying that life becomes death is an established custom in Buddhism – therefore it is called unborn. That death does not become life is an established teaching of the Buddha; therefore we say imperishable. Life is an individual temporal state, death is an individual temporal state. It is like winter and spring – we don’t think winter becomes spring, we don’t say spring becomes summer.”

These words from Dogen’s Shobogenzo essay, “The Issue at Hand,” reassure me not only about the nature of time but also about the nature of life and death. The notion of individual temporal states removes the usual power that the idea of death has.

I have never been particularly scared of death. Don’t get me wrong – I don’t want to die and when confronted with the prospect of immediate death I am scared. However, the actual idea of death, which is to say, no longer being a part of this life on earth, doesn’t upset me. I am not scared of death as an unknown. Perhaps it’s this lack of apprehension regarding death that has never made me feel the need to pursue religions that insist on making me feel better about what happens after we die, with notions of Heaven and Hell, salvation, etc.

Those ideas are all meant to fill a need: to comfort people and their fears about the great unknown, death. For instance, Christianity is a very ‘other-worldly’ religion. That is, this life is about guaranteeing salvation and a ticket into Heaven and eventually about being resurrected back into life. These concepts are all central to the purpose of Christianity and are meant to address a very basic and understandable human fear about death. The purpose of Christian ritual and belief, then, is aimed primarily at seeing these things through – in a manner of speaking, at preventing, or beating, death.

On the other hand is the Buddhist approach above. Life and death are both individual temporal states: they are times, or periods, and they each have an equal value as such. We are not meant to prize life and cling to it obsessively, insisting that it is all that matters. Yes, life should be valued, no doubt, but we should also embrace its fleeting nature, seeing existence not as our conscious self in time but as ourselves among everything else as existence.

Did you read this week’s essay? Did you enjoy it? What do you think about when you read the quoted section above? What is your philosophy about life and death?

I have spoken in brief about a fraction of a concept in part of a paragraph in this essay. I recommend you read “The Issue at Hand” in Dogen’s Shobogenzo to begin getting the full effect. Then read it again. I read it three times before anything started to register.

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Religion in the News: Anglicans Can’t Resolve Growing Tensions about Acceptability of Homosexuality

I know! I was also shocked to learn that religious institutions are concerning themselves with where people choose to put their private parts. But you read right.

The Issue

The Lambeth Conference, a once a decade event that assembles 670 Anglican bishops from around the world in Canterbury, is coming to an end, and one of the most contentious issues was how to deal with the presence of homosexuality within the church – both at the clergy and member levels. Apparently, there’s been a harsh division that’s only worsened since some homosexual clergymen were actually ordained.

The issue of homosexuality and its permissibility within the church was discussed at the conference, but apparently no conclusions were reached, perhaps due to the divided structure of the debate and discussion. Leaders who organized the conference think the inability to make decisions was positive since this issue is only moving towards an irreconcilable split within the Anglican Church.

My Thoughts

My dilemma here is whether or not to care if the Anglican Church splits over the issue of homosexuality. If it’s not obvious that I’m for letting people do that which makes them happy so long as they aren’t harming other people, I think I’ll go ahead and state that now, emphasizing that I think gay people should be allowed to do as they please. Why should I care? It doesn’t affect me and it’s not hurting others. What should anyone care?

Well, I imagine that religious fellows care because if they tolerate homosexuality and God really does turn out to hate homosexuals then these religious leaders fear that they will be sent to Hell for allowing it. I suppose that’s something to worry about if you’re convinced of such things. So since I’m not here to convince anyone to alter their worldviews, I have to return to what I can worry about: how much I care about the fate of the Anglican Church.

Why should we care at all what happens in the Anglican Church, you ask? Well, for one, if the church splits, it will become two separate churches, one fairly liberal (that tolerates homosexuality) and the other conservative (that shuns homosexuality). Currently, those factions keep one another in check and we have one institution that struggles internally with policy. That means people pretty much do what they want and though some people try to stop them, there’s no official policy backing their decisions.

On the other hand, if the Church splits, we will have one progressive religious institution (which I’m down with) but another institution that is dominated by religious conservatives and people who think that tradition is of the utmost importance. It’s basically the bishop’s call the way his territory goes; that means people in countries with fewer rights (e.g. African ones) will be subject to harsh persecutions for their life choices. People subject to the authority of this conservative “bent” will be screwed – but not by who they want. Already, some Nigerians have already had to flee their homes, seeking sanctuary in England, because the leaders of their church have sufficient power to hurt them.

This is my concern: that the conservative half of the church will become increasingly conservative and continue hurting and destroying the lives of people who are making their own decisions. Thus, I do care if the Anglican Church splits over the issue of homosexuality because the last thing I want is more conservative religious institutions in this world.

What do you think about this issue? Do you support the ordaining of homosexual bishops? Do you care if the Anglican Church splits over this issue? Are you Anglican and can you shed some light on this issue for us?

Click HERE to read about the Pope and his trip to Australia and HERE to read about some of the new changes starting this week at The Zen of South Park blog.