CLX – From Where I Stand, Act III

Roughly a year ago, I wrote a couple of posts about my opinions on certain social issues. I wrote back then about my thoughts on gun control, vaccines, drugs, politicians, etc. I wanted to share my thoughts on a couple more of these “social issues” that are prevalent in today’s world.

RELIGION

Recently, the Pew Research Center estimated that 26% of Americans are non-religious, either identifying as atheist, agnostic or “nothing in particular”. The other 74% believe in some form of religion. The First Amendment to the Constitution declares that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” Congress was expressly forbidden to create an official national religion (such as the Church of England back at that time), nor pass any laws that forbade people from believing what they wanted. In more modern times, people have taken this as a separation of church and state. This idea comes from a letter that Thomas Jefferson wrote to a group of men associated with a Baptist Church in Connecticut, where he basically states that religion should be between “a Man and his God”, and that government should not have any influence. Nowadays, people have skewed everything to mean “freedom from religion”. I mean, daily Congress sessions begin with a prayer, and there is a chaplain for each chamber of Congress. And people get pissed about the Ten Commandments on a courthouse wall🤔? I do not profess affiliation to any religion in particular, nor do I begrudge anyone of their right to worship or not as they please. I don’t care if you believe in the Flying Spaghetti Monster and want to wear a colander on your head. Why can’t people just let others worship what they please and not get offended over everything they possibly can?

Separating church and state is a good idea, in that we do not need an official national religion. But where do we draw the line, if that is at all possible?

PARENTING

I would venture to say that billions of people in this world are parents. Some would say that it’s a sin against God not to get married and have kids, since God told Adam and Eve to “multiply and replenish the Earth”. Not everyone, however, wants to have kids. Some who have them should never have reproduced. I say that if you don’t want kids, that’s your choice. I feel that it’s wrong to keep giving birth to babies when you don’t have the means to care for them, love them and raise them. Some women keep getting knocked up, just so they can increase their welfare benefits. Of course, this is a small percentage, I get that. For one reason or another, many people who either bear children or cause pregnancy, become parents, but they are clearly unfit to be parents. One example of overpopulating a household is that Duggar family, portrayed on TV with like 19 kids. Holy crap, just that family could be a softball league on its own. They can form two full teams, plus have one be umpire. I have four kids, and that is enough for me. I could never imagine having nearly five times that many!

Having kids is not meant for everyone! Some who have them should have been sterilized beforehand

MATERIALISM

Madonna once sang about “living in a material world”. So many people are caught up in the trap of materialism today. They have to have the latest shiny gizmos and doohickeys. That iPhone 12 that they just bought isn’t good enough anymore. They gotta trade that in for the brand-new iPhone 13. Too many people think they must “keep up with the Joneses”, buying a bigger boat or a newer car, or a larger diamond ring. Before buying the Samsung Note 20 Ultra that I currently own, I had a Note 9. I got a good couple of years’ use out of it. In fact, I bought an LG V30 four years ago, and my son inherited that phone, which is still a good working phone. The car I drive is more than 10 years old. Even if I had a lot of money (which I don’t), I wouldn’t be flashing it off. I think on a couple of people I went to high school with. Both have a decent amount of money. One flashes their status off, the other is humble and doesn’t let on to anyone that they have a store of cash.

Oh, the joys of materialism! The acquisition of things and “toys” to no end will absolutely be the destruction of many.
Some feel the need to be one step ahead of others in terms of having the latest, greatest doodads. They just have to keep up with the Joneses.

SOCIAL MEDIA’S DARK SIDE

Social Media is ubiquitous. Everyone knows the names Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, Twitter, and so on. At one time, the idea behind social media was to connect people over great distances and share pictures and experiences. Unfortunately, as these platforms have become the behemoths they are, there has been a terrible correlation between them and suicides and depression. Some have given Facebook the nickname “Fakebook”, and deservedly so. People see only happy, positive pictures out there, carefully curated to hide what really goes on behind the scenes. Though I have personal Facebook and Instagram accounts, I rarely post anything, because many people don’t want to see normal, mundane activities. Many people want to see happiness, scantily-clad pictures of members of the opposite gender, or anything to do with their celebrity idols. Sadly, though, social media has its dark side: in an attempt to maintain a certain image or attain as many followers as possible, cyberbullying happens, as well as depression and ultimately for some, they end their own lives. Because of all the darkness, many people disconnect from the addicting social media in order to “detox”, or they simply deactivate their accounts altogether. In the past, I have gone offline for a period of time, as I dealt with some severe depression. It can be a rather cleansing experience to be able to do other things, instead of mindlessly scrolling a mind-numbing feed.

Just as there’s the Dark Web, there’s a huge dark side to social media platforms. Perhaps their icons should be simply black and white to portray this?
This is what happens on social media, if you let it. It’s like you get sucked in, like the screen is reaching for you, as in the case of the movie Poltergeist, where the TV screen reached out for the little girl

OBESITY

The last item I will mention this week is obesity. It is no surprise that America is in a widespread obesity epidemic. Some people are simply genetically predisposed to being overweight, but most of the fat people out there are overweight because of their own doing. With TV/streaming services, Internet, YouTube and social media, people are living a sedentary lifestyle. Many people refuse to get off their butts and get moving. Of course, you can’t ignore the part dealing with diet. Restaurant portion sizes have exploded in the last 30 or 40 years. It used to be that a large soda at most fast food places was 20 ounces. Today, that’s called “small”, and the large is now 40 ounces. Foreigners that come into a McDonalds and request a large drink are flabbergasted by the size of the cup. Most places overseas serve 300, 500 and 700 mL drinks (roughly 10, 16 and 24 ounces). Cracker Barrel has an item called “Barrel Cut Sugar Ham” that weighs 24 oz, and contains some 1600 calories and 5450 mg of sodium. That’s just the ham. That doesn’t count the sides or drink!

Chart showing BMI in correlation to obesity. Many Americans fall in the “obese” category or higher, due to lack of activity and overeating

In Las Vegas, the Heart Attack Grill gets its name honestly. Anyone weighing over 350 lbs eats free. You can get a burger with two to eight patties—known as the Octuple Bypass, clocking in at just under 20,000 calories (that’s ten days’ worth of recommended calorie intake…IN ONE MEAL). That will set you back a whopping $24, not to mention a few years off your life. Hell, if you really want to go all out, add 40 bacon slices to this massive coronary-inducing monstrosity for another seven bucks and change. Their French fries (known as “Flatliner Fries”) are cooked in lard🤮😵. Not vegetable oil. Lard. Milkshakes are made with pure butter fat and served with—get this—an actual pat of butter. Everything about the place is absolutely nauseating. The owner of the place even has the ashes of one of his former regular customers on display there. Yes, the food there actually ended up killing a couple of people. When I worked at Del Taco on graveyard shift, people would come in during the middle of the night and order ungodly amounts of food. Granted, some were employees of Walmart on their break, but there were those who came in and would order dozens of tacos and burritos. Between the crap people eat and the strangest times of day to eat, is it any wonder America is so damned fat? I mean, this country has its meal plans completely backward. Americans eat very little, if anything, in the morning, when you need it the most, a light lunch, and a calorie-heavy dinner right before bed. You can’t burn off those thousands of calories in a couple of hours before hitting the sack, especially when you just get in your car and go straight home after eating🤦‍♂️!

I hope this coming week is a great one and prosperous. I look forward to you reading my thoughts again next week. Remember that should you want to contact me, you can comment, or shoot me an email to raysrantsoftheweek@gmail.com. For now, please be safe and be well.

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