Catholic Church · Child Abuse · Education · Human behavior · Personal memoirs · Religion · Uncategorized

Hell’s Belle, Sister Angeline

It was late 1962 and time for me to start school for the first time ever. Just my luck, I got put in Sister Angeline’s first-grade class. This Catholic nun was a real terror, a diminutive, plump woman fully robed in black and a bit of white with a sharply winged white cornette that made her appear to be over five feet tall, although her real height was more like 4’6”. The only time she wasn’t angry was when she’d successfully humiliated and/or hurt some six-year-old child for some crime like talking out of turn or peeing in one’s chair for fear of raising one’s hand to be excused to the bathroom. Humiliating and terrorizing children always put a little closed-mouth grin of satisfaction on her face, for a moment anyways.

She was perhaps 60 years old at the time, hard to be certain because we never saw anything but her face and her hands. Her hair color was a mystery, always fully covered by headdresses, usually the severest of cornettes. I imagined her hair was grayish. She strongly resembled the actress Zelda Rubinstein, but was not as fleshy or double-chinned, as Angeline was chubby, not fat. And Angeline’s big eyes were a piercing icy blue, not brown. Rubinstein played the eccentric medium, Tangina Barrons, in the early Poltergeist movies.

Church and school today, with Sister Angeline’s same old classroom obscured by cars in the background.

Sister Angeline was infamous for her clicker, which I believe she called a frog, a hand-held metal object with a springy thumb tab that made a loud clicking noise when she’d furiously press it, rapid fire when needed. It was a sound that struck alarm and fear in the more timid of her flock of little children, and induced more of a snicker of defiance in the bolder among us, who were yet also fearful of the demonic nun once they’d gone too far or got caught committing some sin.

Fear urination and vomiting were a regular part of the day in the holy Sister’s classroom.

QUIET was the rule for Sister Angeline’s class, including in the lunch area. Only speak when called upon to speak, by her, and you’d better have the right answer. At lunchtime, while other classes sat straddling their benches talking a bit or otherwise being insolent (a testament to the contemptible laxity of other teachers), our class was dead silent, eating every speck of our lunches in the proper order, often without tasting anything, chewing thoroughly and swallowing each lump of less than wanted nourishment in fear, looking straight ahead. (Ah, a touch of home though, those lunches, made by our moms, and how we longed to be home!) It was very hard to work up an appetite when one felt nauseous most of the time, from a mixture of fear and loathing of the short woman with the hateful glare. Those light blue eyes felt like daggers when they’d bore into you, so you’d do anything to avoid attracting her attention.

But then, lo and behold, that obedient silence and rigidness would attract her attention! I sat in her classroom once, concentrating on the alphabet or something and suddenly she loomed over me, seething eyes penetrating my soul, and she roared, “You think all you have to do is sit there and look pretty?!!” “No, Sister, I’m paying attention,” I replied, or something similar. She bristled and huffed and walked away, seemingly satisfied with the abject fear on my face and in my trembling voice.

She reduced me and others to feeling like bawling infants who didn’t dare let it out. Image source: sisterwolf.tumblr.com

I had several instances of vomiting and peeing in class and so did several other kids. If one dared to raise one’s hand and ask to go to the restroom, she’d always shout something humiliating like, “You should’ve thought of that before class! You’ll wait till recess, dodo bird!” Needless to say, with the urgent need to urinate combined with the terror, the urine flowed in that classroom. Vomiting usually occurred after lunch, with food struggling to be digested in extremely nervous stomachs, and failing and spewing out onto the floor. The smell of vomit is a prominent memory from those days. At the vomiting she was really furious, embarrassed to be calling on the janitor every day to throw sawdust onto yet another puddle of puke from some “insolent” child. The janitor calmly took it all in stride as if he’d been doing same with this crazy woman and her first-graders for some time.

Filthy sinner child, confess and do penance!

Sister would pick some boys up out of their seats by an ear and drag them across the room to be shut in the closet, or under her desk, or to face the Virgin Mary statue in the corner for an hour or so, for some crime like uttering a word or two without permission, perhaps to ask a question, or for not paying strict attention to her. How dare they! One raised one’s hand and waited patiently for the good Sister to call on one if one had a question or statement. If not, expect possibly to be slapped hard upside your head. Hard enough to hurt badly and shock you, not hard enough to do actual injury, mind you. Even Angeline had rules to follow. The church and school frowned upon lawsuits, naturally.

My mischievous friend Coleen often got in trouble with Sister Angeline, since Coleen was loud and assertive and liked to clown around. Even though her natural ways were severely constricted under Angeline’s rule, Coleen would occasionally laugh out loud at something or commit some other crime, and she was grabbed and led by ear to sit under Angeline’s desk. When teacher sat down at her desk with Coleen under it, Coleen peaked out through the gap at the bottom of the desk to face the class and made the “stinky” symbol by holding her nose and grimacing. Several kids saw that and burst out laughing.

Strictly disallowed!

“Is something so funny?!” the little nun growled. “Someone tell me what’s so funny or you’ll all get ten demerits and stay after school for detention!” No one spoke up; Coleen’s face was no longer visible as even she was scared then, and I believe we all did get the punishment promised, since Angeline wasn’t one to not follow through on her threats.

The old standby, the famous nuns’ ruler smack across a kid’s little knuckles.

Angeline also wielded the wooden ruler and used it with a demented sort of enjoyment I’d never witnessed before. She’d whack kids’ knuckles with a flourish and it was so loud an impact that I’d jump at each lashing, until I became accustomed to it anyways. I don’t remember her ever doing that to girls, just boys, although with Coleen there may have been an exception.

It appeared that the good Sister took the lyrics to the old song, “School Days,” to heart:

Reading and writing and ‘rithmetic

Taught to the tune of the hickory stick

The main thing you’d better have done in Angeline’s classroom was to learn her lessons and learn them well, so the alphabet, basic reading and writing, basic math, and the introductory religious dogma, we were all really good at, due to fear. Only the truly learning impaired kids failed to pick up on and grasp everything this evil little woman taught us. But we’d have all learned just as well with a teacher who wasn’t a tiny monster, who didn’t terrorize us into learning.

Imagine; this was my first school experience. I’d never gone to kindergarten or nursery school and started first grade when I was still five, nearing age six. So I think I may have been even more traumatized by the Angeline experience than the other kids, but I don’t know their stories so cannot be sure. It was an awful experience for a six-year-old girl or any child, and it shouldn’t have even been possible for such a crazy, mean, vicious woman to be put in charge of children of any age. But it was possible, because of the way the religion works and the way Christianity in general casts us all as sinners merely for being born, and having Christ’s crucifixion held over our guilty little heads as the reason we must confess our guilt and do continual penance for being so very rotten. The love for Jesus was paramount, even more than the guilty self-loathing. I assume all that sort of training played a big role in the dementia and cruelty of Sister Angeline. In later years, every teacher I had at that school, whether a nun or not, seemed absolutely angelic in comparison with The One.

Snitching on the holy woman was also terroristically advised against.

Sister Angeline conveyed to us all by some mysterious means that we were not to get her in trouble for her “strictness.” So it seems we were all hesitant to let our parents know exactly what was going on, or at least I was afraid to do so. But when things got bad enough and I would be extremely sick and nauseous before heading off to school and begging to stay home, tales of Angeline terror could be coaxed from me by my mom. She was saddened and horrified, but my dad, mainly at the urging of his devoutly religious Catholic sister-in-law, would convince me to hush up, that it was just the teacher’s being strict, and for me to not be so upset by it. Just laugh it off, he seemed to say. Oh how I tried, but no go. Both my parents did once have a meeting with Sister Angeline and school officials, but were dismissed with pretty much the same advice my dad gave me. Shocking to me then, but not at all now, after all I’ve learned about that church’s policies regarding pedophile priests.

Anyhow, that’s one standout life experience that formed who I became and who I am today, for whatever that’s worth. I never wanted to be anything even remotely similar to that little terror of a nun. Although I never could figure out exactly what she was. Except for evil, and extremely, devoutly Catholic.

Animal Liberation · Animals are awesome · Education · Human behavior · Karma · Love · Morality · philosophy · Reincarnation · Religion · Souls · Uncategorized · Why be vegan

The Meaning of Life – Making Sense of Our Cosmic Insane Asylum

We need a new religion…

St. Peter - "Any animal which is slaughtered is defiled, and its meat defiles."
St. Peter – “Any animal which is slaughtered is defiled and its meat defiles.”

If souls are eternal, and I believe that’s so, God is all of us, every sentient life ever born to die on this planet, for all time. These unfathomable numbers of births and deaths must be endured by God to cleanse itself, to filter out the bad from the good and eventually to be pure bliss without the pain and misery of the disease called evil. As far as what “God” is, exactly, I don’t know…we’re all in the dark about that. As an infinitesimal part of said God while here as individuals, we’re all far too cut off to see the whole, out there, somewhere. Or everywhere. Where “there” is no place we can understand.

A huge part of the cleansing process would be to purify the marginal, as in good Germans or those who are conscious of the sources of their meat, and who only support necessary cruelty, or who remain ignorant and know not what they do. Those who enable evil but are basically good themselves, often amazingly good in other ways. The marginal must be made purely good somehow, to be welcome back to the self-perfecting “creator.” That would be what we think of as heaven. While pure evil, when it is at last firmly identified, is sent off to its own reward with only itself to prey upon. As in “reap what you sow.” The obvious goal is for goodness to be in real peace at last. Rest In Peace. God is to become pure goodness, pure love, joy, all things wonderful. But the process itself is terribly messy…hellish. Here we all are, in it.

The religion mankind instead teaches itself…

The angry, egotistical, vengeful, blood-lusting, cruel god of the bibles would be a manmade charlatan, in this way of looking at it all. A demiurge, as in the Gnostic Christian view. The demiurge is defined as a being subordinate to the Supreme Being (the pure goodness in all life and the universe). This “false god” is considered to be the controller of the material world and antagonistic to all that is purely spiritual. The purpose of that, I guess, would be to keep us all in the dark, to keep our trials a total mystery to us and make them as difficult as possible. For many of us to act as mindless faithfuls, believing and attempting to live according to bible texts which rational minds see as madness.

Another purpose for said false god would be to prevent this purging and purification of the true Supreme Being, because this false god is evil itself (as in “devil”) and doesn’t want to be banished. That makes what’s behind the sadistic, brutal teachings of those bibles a lot clearer, to me anyways.

Earth as Purgatory…

In my estimation, the real God’s purging process is what we are all part of here. As in purgatory, where souls are being tested and sorted out, and where others are atoning for their sins before going to heaven. Purgatory, a state of mental anguish or suffering. Where those born as humans, possessing moral knowledge and judgment, are tested to the fullest extent by our treatment of supposedly “inferior” others, whether animal or human, but most significantly, animals.

I believe our suffering as humans also goes into account as far as our eternal fates, which would only be fair. And I believe those humans who die before they can learn and prove themselves get more chances as humans. One thing would be certain: Nothing but proven goodness would be going back “home.”

Hindu Elephant God
Hindu Elephant God

All animals everywhere would be housing God/human souls atoning for their sins before going to heaven. As in the person who regretfully supported animal abuse and killing who must endure life as a totally innocent pig or cow in a meat farm to be made to understand and become pure before being welcome back home, where evil is no longer tolerated or suffered. Some humans would require many lifetimes here as others…anyone from squirrels to cows to creatures like fleas (parasitic people?) who can be justifiably killed for being a health hazard, or whoever…before being welcome back.

Our past life(lives) seem to be obliterated from our minds while we’re here, for reasons unknown, but perhaps because the influences of the past might keep us from further learning and thus prevent our being purified, requiring more physical lives to sort us out.

The non-human (innocent and unknowing animal) existence must teach the soul a lesson that cannot be learned when one possesses human moral knowledge and judgment. Since when the individual had that great opportunity, that knowledge, he/she failed, but not to a hopeless extent. These marginal, benign but evil-enabling souls wouldn’t learn as fully functioning humans, so they have to learn as “other” (whether animals or desperately disadvantaged people, likely victims of unjust violence and undeserved deaths). Those souls clearly deemed hopelessly evil would go straight from being human to being forever banished to exist with only their kind, i.e., hell.

The Buddhists are right or mostly so?

phra_ajan_jerapunyo-abbot_of_watkungtaphaoI used to believe this was a fruitless, even counterproductive process because the evil required to “punish” those now innocent animals would be never-ending. So reincarnation seemed sadistic and pointless to me. But being born as animal is not actually punishment, it’s purification. Their having good lives knowing the love and care of good people teaches them just as much as their being in pain and fear from birth to death at the hands of the sadistic and/or foolish. Either way, they learn empathy from the viewpoint of the most vulnerable. They understand why evil must be identified and cast out forever.

The choices involved for humans regarding animals and the resulting actions we take are vital to judging us and sorting us out. So it must be done. As random as it all seems…and is…there is a method to the madness. Nature’s violence and predation are of course involved in the process as much as anything else…those animals, too, are God/human souls being purified.

In this purgatory, the incentive to put an end to people’s exploitation/abuse/killing of animals is as strong as ever, since that also serves to put and end to the evil, not to perpetuate it. This is the very good reason why animal advocates are more and more compelled speak up, to “preach” to everyone, as hated as we are for it. Those who know better, do better, and otherwise hopeless souls get “saved” in the bargain. Best of all, this world becomes far more beautiful, less violent, less frightening…far less hellish. No one loses from that. And soon this place of predators and prey, kill to eat, survival of the fittest, food chains, etc. …this place full of chaos, bloodshed and anguish…ceases to be necessary any longer. Everything will be sorted out and everything will be in perfection, forevermore.

pig_lactationDo I think my being vegan makes me close to perfect, heaven bound?

I don’t know. I don’t claim to know how the decisions are made about who gets to go where and when, but I’m more and more trusting that the system makes perfect sense and that justice prevails in the end, that everything works out for the best, despite what a miserable hell this world is for so many innocent ones, as well as for those of us who empathize and suffer continually for the most persecuted and suffering of others.

I of course don’t know for certain where I’ll go after this life, but certainly hope it’s heaven (who wouldn’t?), or if I’m not pure & good enough yet, to a human life here again but in an enlightened, healthy, secure family that is already reliably vegan for ethical reasons, so that I can more effectively help to get this extensive and excruciating process to completion. Or maybe I need to live an animal existence to perfect my soul…and I would certainly hope to be a companion animal for someone like myself or better, and never victimized by evil. Another (selfish) reason to fight for animal rights and human kindness everywhere.

Most importantly, I believe the animals and other innocent victims of evil here are in bliss, safe forever at the end of their “processing.” Back home. But a far, far better home. A perfect home.

A personal memory and hard-learned lesson…

chasing_ghosts_at_cha%cc%82teau_de_vianden_3940080719My grandma’s spirit somehow communicated all of this to me in brief seconds the night after she died in our home, although I was typically slow in catching on, all caught up in teen angst and a custom brand of misery. She was my first close family death and it was beyond sad, it was life-changing. On that strange night and afterward, she spiritually got through to me that animals are far more important than people realized and that everything will be made perfect in the end. She came to me as I lay in bed (scared the living daylights out of me) to get this message through, probably because she was soon to be reborn as an animal to be purified. After that brief appearance as a ghost in late 1973 and then for awhile as a part of my mind, grandma was then not heard from again, even though I needed much more guidance.

Guide yourself, young doofus, it all seemed to say.

I first went vegetarian for awhile in the year following grandma’s ethereal message, but it didn’t last and I was still somewhat of a malignant asshole for many years, interspersed with being the opposite (and vegetarian off & on), as if to compensate. But that important seed was firmly planted, and here I am, a far better person than ever possible before that. So, I’m one of these many obsessed vegans and animal liberation blatherers of today. But it is vital. Thank you, grandma, for that salvation.

So in conclusion…

516396125_1280x720The real God is good. Goodness is its own reward. Evil requires retribution as in banishment. Reap what you sow. Have faith and be kind and fight for it. Live by the Golden Rule. Clichés, yes, but meaningful and true. Earn your way back to our newly perfect…Home. Best of all, to be with all of your loved ones once again…perfectly devoid of evil, suffering and death.

Bogus arguments against veganism · Dealing with problem people · Human behavior · Judgmentalism · Morality · philosophy · Religion · Sacredness · Uncategorized · Violent crime · Why be vegan

Anthropomorphism and the Judas Goat

Judas Iscariot was one of Jesus’s twelve disciples, the one who saw him as a Rabbi or teacher rather than God or son of God. Judas became the symbol of human betrayal, meaning the knowledgeable, underhanded, sadistic undoing of (or harm to) another who’s been duped into trusting the betrayer and thinking of him as a true friend.

The whole Judas episode in the bible’s Jesus saga is fraught with contradiction and confusion, since, according to the bible, it beso_de_judaswas God’s plan all along to have Jesus brutally executed, with his death being an unspeakable agony, and slow, to somehow “save mankind from our sins,” apparently because the brutal, bloody animal sacrifices had obviously failed to exorcise the evil from humanity. So Judas’s actions were necessary, to save humanity from itself by sacrificing the ultimate victim? Yet Judas is portrayed as a hell-bound sinner and evil guy by conventional Christian wisdom, as far as I understand. So wrecked by guilt he was though, he’s said to have hanged himself to death not long after Jesus’s crucifixion.

So, long story short, we have Judas the Great Betrayer and his infamous Kiss of Doom and the 30 silver coins he received in payment for identifying Jesus to the arresting soldiers in Jerusalem who turned Jesus over to Pontius Pilate’s soldiers for punishment, public humiliation and crucifixion.

It’s said in older bible texts that Jesus was being punished for his violent tirade at the temple where he drove the money changers and animal sellers out of the temple, a.k.a. the Cleansing of the Temple. From what I gather, Jesus (as a dispenser of wisdom not a god) is believed by the Gnostics to have had great compassion for animals and to have been outraged by their being bought/sold to be “sacrificed” in sadistic bloody rituals based in ignorant superstition. He was said to have caused strife among the people of Jerusalem in his love/concern for the animals.

Well, in any case, none of that sat well with those in charge, thus, Jesus was to be sadistically executed. No matter though, it was all done for us by our beloved/feared creator/God, to absolve us of our sins but only if we pledge allegiance to Jesus, say today’s conventional Christians, as they dine on animal suffering and condemn vegans as satanists or whatever. Well okay, I feel my mind turning to slush here so I’ll stop that…

In Marches the Evil Judas Goat

Mainstreamers like to say that vegans and animal advocates anthropomorphize animals, i.e. that we attribute human qualities to them or equate them with us, and that that’s why we like them so much. Well, I for one, as a polite misanthrope, would not insult animals by thinking that of them, so there’s point one of how incorrect mainstreamers are. I appreciate and respect animals for who they are, not for their being humanlike. Only humans are humanlike…unique among all animals in all the obvious ways, including being knowingly evil and clever in lying about it. I mean, just look at us and how we live. Come on.

Judas goats are specially trained goats who “befriend” and accompany sheep and cattle. These goats are used mainly to keep sheep and cows calm during impending horror leading up to slaughter, or in leading them onto transport trucks, into pens, etc.. Most infamously, they lead sheep to slaughter while the goat’s life is spared, for the time being anyways.

judasgoatImagine the evil in those goats’ black little hearts! Knowing full well the vicious killing that awaits those innocent sheep and lambs. Yet there they trot, heads held high, tails up and jaunty, leading their trusting friends to a hellish end! Never mind the fact that animals are totally innocent of our clever tactics and truly “know not what they do” in simply obeying their masters’ training and orders.

Animals are so unlike humans in their innocence and lack of knowledge of how their actions truly impact others. Yet people suddenly want to portray these “dumb beasts” as fully knowledgeable, humanly clever and capable of evil…totally comparable to people whenever it is convenient or needed to excuse vicious, subhuman behavior in humans.

And still again, people then turn around and claim to be divine and separate from animals in our compassion and intelligence, and use “animal!” as the lowest insult in describing a vicious sadistic criminal of our own kind. Will these human wonders never cease?

4651825567_cb7ace9910_bJudas goats aren’t used much any more; things are done on a much more massive scale now with a great deal of automation, “factory farming” style. But the Judas goats’ evil legacy as betrayers hounds them still, serving to provide people with a handy-dandy excuse to believe it’s okay for us to ruthlessly use/confine/slaughter animals as we see fit. After all, people believe, animals are evil betrayers too…just look at the Judas goat!

That “betrayer” is only one example, but a prime one, so I’ll not go on to cite more examples of such anthropomorphism by anti-animal advocates. Any possible readers are welcome to list their own examples in comments, and I’d enjoy reading them.

In Conclusion

It isn’t animal advocates or vegans who childishly attribute human characteristics to animals…we respect their individuality and their animalness. It is mainstreamers, meat eaters, and those who approve of animal exploitation and killing who anthropomorphize them, and to an extreme degree, when “needed.”

But that life-as-commodity mindset also includes other humans as commodities in that collective (if nicely hidden) heart of hearts. This is what allows all sorts of destructive behaviors and beliefs (and crimes) to continue to flourish in our “civilization.” We can see examples all around us every day. Just monitor the daily news either locally or around the world and get a truly sickening mind full of it, continually.

kid_petting_sheep_zoo_atlantaCount your blessings for getting through every day in this mad world where we’re all largely abandoned by whatever created it. Appreciate every positive aspect of your life. But grow to deserve those, and more, by respecting the lives of innocent others and stopping your own contribution to the terror and violence of this world. No longer be a betrayer. That can only lead to great improvements in the world if we all make that vow and stick to it.