To Forgive Is Divine by Father Robert DeGrandis, Using the Word of God Father teaches us to remove our barriers to the movement of the Holy Spirit and points the way to a fuller, more meaningful Christian life.  Shows us the Ten Commandments of Forgiveness. CLICK HERE



Is it just the doldrums of August, the "silly season"? It seems like summer brings out the bizarre, or at least the interesting.

We have time to contemplate. We have time to imagine. We have time to tell stories.

And for sure, the summer months have had their oddities.

There is politics: This summer, we have a prelude to one of the most fascinating electoral seasons ever. The country has rarely seen such a stark circumstance. Is Hillary really out of it? And what would "change" -- in either party -- mean? Will the next president usher in a new era -- a tumultuous one?

There is oil: Curious it was that the explosive rise in the price of oil halted the very day -- in fact, the hour, it seemed -- that President Bush addressed the issue at a press conference. Was that a coincidence, or were quiet forces set in motion by what was said? All we know is that until the last few days, the price -- at one point twenty percent lower than at peak -- nosedived nearly every day.

There are the animals. Perhaps we will stop at this.

It may bear a bit of discussion.

In China, there was the photograph of a mutant calf that was truly bizarre, almost alien -- making one wonder if someone was fiddling with DNA. The photograph is too disturbing to post here, but suffice it to say that it was nearly like a cyclops with facial features that were not bovine. We have never seen anything like it.

Also in China was an equally disturbing set of photographs of a puppy that apparently is also a mutant and had characteristics that are distinctly humanoid. Instead of a snout is a wide face-like construct and a body that rolls on its back like a newborn. Humanlike too were the legs and belly. The other dogs were trying to help it and obviously treated it as an unfortunate abnormality. This too is a bit too much for us to post. They are only here with the strong warning that the photos are upsetting. We don't recommend viewing it but feel obligated to make it available.

That may have been all it was: a grotesquely deformed dog. Birth abnormalities happen. Genes can be like a roulette (or at least they claim). Coming from China, however, one could be forgiven for wondering if the mutations were from pollution (which is rampant there) or genetic experiments. At the least, this is not a nation that values dogs.

Again, probably it was a mutation. Or is it a hoax?

In the U.S., on Long Island, a decayed mammal washed up from the ocean and quickly became known as the "Montauk monster." Lest you think this is supermarket-tabloid fare, please realize that it has been a running headline in Newsday as well as Fox News and other mainstream media. The "creature" looked like a mammal but for a gargoyle-like face that had what looked like a beak. Theories range from a decaying raccoon to an unshelled turtle and perhaps even a dog. Others think it is inexplicable. Unfortunately, someone stole it as a souvenir, preventing (at least for now) a DNA test.

However easy it may be to explain some of the summer's "monsters," one wonders if the way they have occurred is itself a sign. One real indication: there is an explosion of jelly fish in the Atlantic, which scientists say is a sign that the ocean is in distress (overfished of jellyfish predators and afflicted by pollution, much of it from oil derivatives, if we need another indication).

Coincidence: last week an ancient reptile dubbed a "dragon" was found. A sign of the times!

There are the yetis. There are the chupacabras, which seem like an unsightly combination of a dog, a small kangaroo, and a hyena. There are the huge winged birds. Creatures! Is nature tossing something back at us? Strange stuff has been spotted around the United States. There are documentaries on cable. Could there possibly be a spiritual component?

In most cases, unlikely. But curious. One question to be asked: with all the alleged sightings of "abominable snowmen" (and swamp apes and bigfoot and yetis and sasquatch and "mothmen"), why is there never any definitive physical evidence? The same is asked of UFOs. Especially considering that they often occur in areas where the occult was practiced, might there be a component of spiritual deception?

Whether or not that's the case, it is perhaps enough to know that the study of bizarre creatures is relegated to the occult field of "cryptozoology." Thus, such sightings raise not just curiosity and conversation on quiet humid nights but also red flags that say: the world is not only queerer than we imagine, but queerer than we can imagine: incomprehensible but for the guidance of Christ.

[see also: Our strange time: cloned pit bulls and Could the Beijing Games be the First to Feature Genetically Modified Athletes?]

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