Matthew 23:24
Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.

We are particular about what we feed our critters. Most are on special diets due to health issues or old age. We even give them filtered water because it has proven to be better for them. In deciding on their diet there does, however, come a time when one has to consider the laws of diminishing returns which are often smothered in opinion and sales hype. We could spend twice the money on extra special food but would it make a big difference for a dog that sneaks a drink from a mud puddle? We opt for less expensive, generic medications if possible. Purists might disagree with our decision but we can only do so much with the resources we have and two dogs getting generic medication compared to one dog getting brand name medication and one going without is a no-brainer. The Missus also gives them herbal supplements but I won’t tell you what they are because I don’t want that conversation. Keep your gnats to yourself.

We sometimes use olive oil here at the homestead and we have been told we should only purchase extra virgin olive oil where the olives have been cold pressed (no heat) which avoids changes in the olive’s chemistry and avoids defects. Furthermore, it must be in dark green glass or in packaging that shields it from light; no plastic containers. There are a lot of rules about olive oil. They’re like gnats on a banana.

I like coconut oil but “they” tell me I should only purchase organic virgin coconut oil from…oh for Pete’s sake just put it in the pan and LET ME MAKE SOME POPCORN! More rules!

A friend recently explained to me that Christians are celebrating Easter on the wrong day because they use the pagan Gregorian calendar which has roots in the sun god instead of the Hebrew calendar which is based on lunar cycles. He also informed me that Easter is a pagan holiday yada yada yada. He doesn’t celebrate Easter so why does he care? Apparently he feels that his “knowledge” gives him a reason/mission to convince others that he is right and they are wrong. I listened to his spiel (most of it, sort of) and I still don’t care because in the eternal scheme of things, it’s inconsequential. He raises gnats, lots of gnats, but he’s careful not to ingest any.

spiel [speel, shpeel] Informal. noun
Usually high-flown talk or speech, especially for the purpose of luring people to a movie, a sale, etc.; pitch.

Mike (his real name) greeted every patron that entered the store with “Welcome to Yada Yada (not the real name), I hope you are having a blessed day. How may I help you?” When you’d tell him what you are looking for, he’d say, “Hallelujah, come with me!” He would take everything you said and twist a scripture around it somehow. If you said, “I was looking at a yada yada (not the real product) on the web and…” He would respond, “Oh, you don’t want to be caught in the devil’s web! Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life,” and then he’d give you the Scripture reference. Try to explain the term “web” to him and he’d thump you with his Bible again. Or if you say something like, “I met this girl…” and he’d shout “Flee fornication!” As you passed the water fountain he’d tell you, “I drink from the rivers of living water.” Was he right? Kind of. Not really. The boy was full of gnats so they had to let him go. BTW, he ended up living in a van with some pregnant girl that he met on the street. He was “helping her find the way”. True story.

Matthew 23:24
Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.

Jesus is referring to hypocritical religious leaders who make a lot of rules about little things while missing the point. Ever meet one of those? Read the entire 23rd chapter for the full smack down.

There is a lot of name calling going on between gnat strainers and non-strainers. They hate each other (with a righteous anger, no doubt). It’s like Family Feud with razor-lined Bibles and exploding scrolls and stuff. Back in the day it was primarily the hyper-religious community who had an aversion to gnats. The Internet has made things worse because there are now so many different neuroses to choose from. Gnats! Not just for Bible thumpers anymore!

neu·ro·sis (nyoo-rōˈsĭs) n. plural neu·ro·ses \-ˌsēz\
Any of various mental or emotional disorders, such as hypochondria or neurasthenia, arising from no apparent organic lesion or change and involving symptoms such as insecurity, anxiety, depression, and irrational fears, but without psychotic symptoms such as delusions or hallucinations.

Today, strainers come in all sizes, colors, and shapes. You can get organic strainers, essential strainers, tactical strainers, gluten-free strainers, and gender neutral strainers. The Bible (“The Scriptures” for those who feel they have been enlightened) is available in a jillion versions and translations. Everyone thinks their choice is the most accurate but you don’t speak ancient Hebrew so shut up! Oh, sorry. I got carried away. Everyone knows Jesus (Yeshua, Yehoshua, etc. make yourself happy) spoke King James English so that’s how Christians ought to pray. “Father, we ask that you granteth us thy wisdom…” and He’s up there going, “Say what?” You have to pray that way or you’re going to hell (or so some people think) and you have to end it with “in the name of Jesus” or it doesn’t work. If you use Father, Son and, Holy Ghost, He [pointing up] won’t hear you and you’re probably going to hell for using the three instead of the one. Prayer has a lot of rules. So many gnats.

Did you ever wonder why the ‘G’ is silent in gnats? It’s because Webster had extra letters left over after writing the dictionary so he went back and randomly stuck them in words. Now you know.

We buy coconut oil and olive oil and we eat corn and pasta, non-organic, packed with gluten and probably made from poison by gay pagans in the back of a rusty van parked in a vacant lot. Yeah, we’re probably going to hell for that. I won’t tell you what we feed our animals because I don’t want to hear 327 sermons on how processed befidgets are harmful to animal gizzards or how we should only serve sliced organic smudgeons to our dogs under a full moon (or a new moon etc. Make yourself happy).

BTW, we have a 4-stage water filter which includes pleated and spun fiber pre-filters, a .05 micron ceramic filter and granular activated charcoal (GAC). The water from that is then taken and filtered through another .05 micron ceramic filter and more granular activated charcoal. We and our animals are probably all going to hell because we don’t have a multi-stage reverse osmosis water purifier but hopefully God will show mercy upon our miserable souls because our water pressure is too low to effectively support one. Low pressure causes water to bypass the membrane and go right down the drain so if you have one you’re probably going to hell for wasting His creation. There are a lot of rules about water. You’d better not break any.

It’s difficult if not impossible these days to have a conversation with anyone without getting beaten over the head with a gnat strainer. I’ve taken to carrying a brick for self defense.

If you have gnats you might want to do something about them before He [pointing up] pays you a visit.

Are gnats Kosher? I’m sure someone will enlighten me. I can’t wait.

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About the Author

Joyce Ellis is the CEO and Caretaker of WarmFuzzy's Animal Shelter & Sanctuary. She was born with the vision, the Energizer Bunny who keeps going and going. She is Fuzzy1 of all WarmFuzzy's.

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