Friday, August 2, 2013

My Son is an Oxymoron

NPR recently posted an article that posed the question:  Should military chaplains have to believe in God?  A licensed minister (trained in a school of divinity) who lost his faith and is now a Humanist wants to serve as a Chaplin in the US military.  This question raises interesting questions in a nation that is split between people of various faiths and non-believers (in a supreme being).  I’ve heard the word Rabbi phrased as Jewish Rabbi; is there any other kind?  Perhaps yes, I think in old-time gangster terms rabbi could be meant as a teacher.  I am going off thought, back to my thoughts.

My blog steers clear of religion and politics and this post will be stand fast to that position.  But I love a good Oxymoron.  (Note previous sentence – stand fast).  Oxymorons can make us laugh, scratch our heads in confusion or just slip by without notice.  A Humanist Military Chaplin would do all three, the trifecta of language use.

What is an Oxymoron?  It is a figure of speech that utilizes contradictory terms together, such as: almost exactly, electric candles.  Our language usage is full of them.  We laugh when we hear military intelligence, especially if you have served in the military as an enlisted soldier.  Business ethics is a phrase that sounds noble but is even more absurd than military intelligence.  I always laugh when I hear, read or use “pretty ugly.”  Members of my generation know that rap music is definitely an Oxymoron, but how does that square with music awards for that genre of music.

The origin of the word oxymoron is strange.  Oxy is derived from the Greek word for sharp or keen.  Moron is dull.  Kind of reminds me of the terms dumb ass and smart ass, often used interchangeably.

One phrase that gives me serious pause is religious tolerance.  I can barely tolerate my own, much less someone ringing my bell at nine am on a Saturday morning.  How long does it take to become an instant classic? 

Could Ray Bradbury burn a digital book stored in the cloud?  

Similar to the Oxymoron use of words are quotes from Yogi Berra.  My favorites are: When you get to a fork in the road, take it; and you should always go to other people’s funerals; otherwise they won’t come to yours.  But my all time favorite is: It gets late early out there.

If you think you understood my blog then you clearly misunderstood me.

In the second paragraph I said I loved a good oxymoron.  My favorite Oxymoron is my oldest son shown below when he was a member of the Oxymoron Comedy Troupe in San Antonio (and has the tee shirt to prove it). 

My favorite Oxymoron is using his head, for laughs not intellectual activity

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