Monday, June 27, 2016

A Rant.

Please allow the Captain a moment to rant.

This is my Blog after all!

The Captain had to hold a church member accountable today.

It did not go well.

I didn’t yell at her.

I didn’t order the cat o’ nine tails.

I didn’t make her walk the plank.

Oh, how I wanted to though.

I simply pointed out that I was appraised of an unfortunate situation she was allegedly involved in and I suggested a better way to deal with future such situations.

And she quit.

A few years back the Captain visited a large church. And on that night they received their latest membership class.

Yes, they require prospective members to take a class before joining the church.

What a novel idea!

As the class stood before the congregation, the pastor asked the usual questions: Do you believe… Will you support…

Then he asked a question that made the Captain's jaw hit the floor:  
“Will you submit to the spiritual leadership of your pastor?”

Really? Can I get in on that action?

No, in my denomination we serve at the whim of the congregation. Members don’t look to their pastor for spiritual leadership… or any other leadership, for that matter. 

Preach a good sermon. Visit the membership. Attend every meeting.

But we are excluded from most of the important decisions in the lives of our membership, some of which are, in fact, spiritual decisions.

And when the Church fails (and by that I mean when attendance and finances drop off to the point of  being unsustainable), it is the pastor’s fault.

Had you asked, I would have told you to not buy the house that is beyond your means.

Had you asked, I would have told you to stop after the third child.

Had you asked, I would have told you to cancel your membership in Ashley's Madison.

But NOOOOOOOO! You didn’t ask.

Okay. I get it. You don’t want my input in your personal decisions.

And I respect that. You have to live with your decisions. 

It's called consequences.

But now that you’ve hurt another child of God by your careless words, I feel compelled to intervene.

I cannot ignore this.

I cannot look the other way.
I cannot let this boil fester.

And you don’t like it.

So you quit. 

You showed me, huh?

I’m sorry.

Good bye.

Friday, June 24, 2016


By now you have undoubtedly heard the news coming out of London this morning.

No, not that.

No, not that either.

The “Breaking News” your Captain is referencing concerns Kate Middleton, the beautiful Duchess of Cambridge.

It appears that, in an unprecedented move, Kate has publicly donned a gown she has already worn in public.

Yes, she wore this same dress twice!

Oh, the horror of it all! What was she thinking?!?

The first time was in 2011 – that was only five years ago!

Have you no shame, Duchess? Have you no sense of royal decorum? Do you not read People magazine?

Actually, the Captain prefers this yellow dress she wore to Canada in 2011.

It was rather... uplifting! [ahem!]

But haters are gonna hate. Like in April of this year when Kate visited the Gandhi Smiriti museum in India. In a show of respect, she removed her shoes. Critics were quick to point out that this mother of two had not had a pedicure!

Our prayers go out to the people of the U.K. today during what must be a very trying period in their history.

Captain's Note: The Krewe of the Banana Winds felt a need to lighten the mood today, what with everything else going on in the world. We love Duchess Kate, and hope the fair reader receives this post in the manner for which it was intended.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Guns... Again?

Dear readers, the Captain did not expect to be addressing the issue of guns again so soon. And yet, somehow I knew I would have to.

While vacationing in (not-) sunny Southern California last week, news broke of yet another mass shooting, this time at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, a popular site for the GLBT+ crowd. Forty-nine people were murdered, 53 more were wounded.

As most of the nation mourns for the victims of this senseless tragedy, Tennessee’s state Rep. Andy Holt announced plans for his first annual “Hog Fest and Turkey Shoot” – at which he would give away an AR-15 as a door prize.

Yes, the gun misidentified as what the Orlando shooter used.

Because, you know, Second Amendment.

The shooter actually used an MCX Sig Saur, but… WTF!?!

And mateys, while we’re paused here for a moment of factual information, let me caution those on both sides of the debate to speak the truth in their posturing. A pro-gun activist announced on FOX News that trying to outlaw the AR-15 was a "war against women", because the AR-15 is the "woman's weapon of choice."

Seriously? "War against women?"

On the other side, I heard one congressman say we need to ban assault rifles that can fire 500 rounds per minute. Another embellished that to 700 rounds per minute.

Mates, this is simply not possible with a semi-automatic rifle. The shooter must pull the trigger for each shot fired, and 45 rounds per minute seems to be the fastest.

Not to mention that a typical magazine on an AR-15 only holds 30 rounds.

Try hauling around 700 rounds of ammunition for a single minute of mayhem... 

That said, the Captain is pleased to present his “Jackass of the Year” award to Rep. Andy Holt of Dresden, Tennessee.

But Rep. Holt does not stand alone in his bad taste. Sadly, in the days that followed this latest mass shooting, no less than two “Christian” pastors praised the shooter!

One proclaimed, “The good news is that at least 50 of these pedophiles are not going to be harming children anymore. The bad news is that a lot of the homos in the bar are still alive, so they’re going to continue to molest children and recruit people into their filthy homosexual lifestyle.”

Another “Christian” pastor proclaimed, “Are you sad that 50 pedophiles were killed today? Um no, I think that’s great! I think that helps society. I think Orlando, Florida is a little safer tonight.”

He went on to say the U.S. government should gather up all the gays, line them up in front of a firing squad, and shoot them all.

It is at moments like these that the Captain is embarrassed to be associated with “Christians”.

I know this will fall on deaf ears, but listen up, you assholes: pedophiles and homosexuals are not the same thing!

And where in the Gospel of Jesus Christ does Jesus ever - EVER! - rejoice at tragedy or suggest lining up ANY group of people and executing them?

Brothers, you need to repent of your hard-heartedness before you lead too many more people astray with your angry, homophobic rhetoric!

As is the Captain’s policy, the name and face of the shooter will not be shown here. Such persons should not be glorified for their heinous acts.

But in the days that have followed, more information about the shooter has come to light. And the facts are not as clear-cut as the knee-jerk reactionaries immediately wanted us to believe.

Although the shooter was of the Muslim faith, he was born in New York.

And his father, an immigrant from Afghanistan, insisted his son was “not religious”.

And he had no significant connections to terrorist organizations (the FBI interviewed him twice in the past), despite his last-minute claim that his action was for ISIS.

That takes away the “radicalized Muslim terrorist” story line, on which Donald Trump (OMFG!) immediately tried to capitalize.

So, what then? Why did he do it?

Some people believe answering the “why’ question will bring healing. It often does not.

But here goes…

The shooter has been described as an angry and abusive man. His ex-wife said he was physically abusive to her.

His father wants us to believe his son’s anger was kindled against the GLBT+ community when his three-year-old son saw two men kissing in the park.

A hate crime then?

Perhaps. But his present wife/widow admitted she went with him when he purchased a gun and ammunition. She claims she also went with him to Pulse and to Disney World to consider possible targets.

What? Disney World?

So then it WAS terrorism!

Not necessarily. More information has come out (so to speak). Several employees and patrons of Pulse reportedly saw this man visiting the club on several occasions – not for surveillance, but rather drinking heavily and bemoaning his strict family upbringing. Others recognized him from gay websites, and one man said he had been propositioned by the shooter on one occasion.

So he was a closeted gay man, frustrated and suppressed by a strict religious upbringing?

Very interesting…

Something to consider as Christian churches continue to draw a line in the sand concerning GLBT+ people, and their pastors continue to spew forth their hate-filled rhetoric.

So naturally, the debate concerning gun control rages again. Since the Sandy Hook shooting in 2012, in which 20 children and six adults were gunned down at an elementary school, the government has done nothing to try to stop similar tragedies from occurring.

It seems we have simply accepted mass murders as a part of American life now, and we pray to our gods, “Just don’t let it happen here.”

Second Amendment activists insist the shooter’s access to a firearm had nothing to do with the crime.

In fact, the shooter had previously been a security guard with license and training. There is no reason to believe he would not be sold a gun even with more strict laws and background checks in place.

Which is also interesting. He was previously the “good guy with a gun” that the NRA keeps lifting up as our only hope and salvation.

Captain’s Note: As I have pointed out before, every gun owner is a “good guy” until the day he becomes the “bad guy”. Unfortunately, we can’t tell one from the other until the “Breaking News” banner crosses our television screen.

And while we are on this subject, there were “good guys with guns” at the club – security guards – but they were unable to stop the shooter.

Some would argue, ‘Well, if more people in that club had been armed, the shooter could not have killed so many, and might even have chosen a different place to commit his particular crime.’

No offense to people who frequent nightclubs, but a dark crowded room where people are drinking and dancing is the last place I would want more guns. If others in the crowd at Pulse had been armed, how many more patrons would have been shot by accident? Mis-identified or caught in a cross-fire?

Let me run this by you again...
No, rather than more guns, the Captain believes we need less guns. Australia reports a marked reduction in gun violence after strict gun laws were put in place. In Ireland, few citizens own guns; even the police conduct their business of protecting the people without the ever-present side-arm.

But, the argument continues, ‘Outlawing so-called assault rifles will only punish law-abiding citizens. The criminals will still have them.’

The Captain believes this is a good thing. As they say, “If guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have them.” This would allow us to easily identify who the criminals are. And then we can deal with the problem as the crime problem that it is.

Think of it this way: If you are sitting in a meeting or cheering at a sporting event or dancing in a nightclub, and someone walks into the room carrying an AR-15, would you think, ‘Ah, a like-minded supporter of the Second Amendment’? Or would you become concerned that this was the beginning of another possible mass shooting?

Friends, this is not an easy issue with a simple answer, despite what so many would like to think. But let’s recap:

-This shooter was in legal possession of his guns, and there was no cause to deny him them.

-Although born into a Muslim family, he was not an immigrant. And his reason for committing mass murder was most likely not in response to a jihad or holy war; he was not “radicalized”.

His actions were apparently the result of the suppression of a sexual orientation that his religious parents could not abide.

In saying all of this, I don’t want to make him a sympathetic character. He is a mass murderer. What he did on Sunday morning is unacceptable for any reason.

But the Captain can’t help but wonder if the current political and religious climate in America is preparing the ground for even more hate crimes like this one.

Something to consider.