Archive for January, 2011

Chopping At The Roots Of Democracy

Posted in Atheist, Christianity, culture, faith, freethought, Government, history, politics, random, religion, Social, thoughts with tags , , , , , , , on January 24, 2011 by chouck017894

The Republican Party fell completely under the control of the Religious Right in 1996 (as noted in the blog Diseased Politics, January 2011).  With “biblical values” as their standard, there arose an increasing odor of corruption.  But there had been warnings for years from concerned Republicans that their party was in peril.

As early as 1981, Senator Barry Goldwater of Arizona had noted publicly, “…I can say with conviction that the religious issues of these groups have little or nothing to do with conservative or liberal politics.  The uncompromising position of these groups is a divisive element that could tear apart the very spirit of our representative system, if they gain sufficient strength.”  Thirteen years later, 1994, Goldwater warned, “If they (the Religious Right) succeed in establishing religion as  a basic Republican Party tenet, they could do us in.” (From an interview in the 1994 US News & World Report.)  Senator Goldwater was deeply troubled over the Religious Right’s persistent war on the US Constitution and feared for the basic freedoms of the American people.  And in a 1994 interview from the Washington Post, Goldwater mused, “When you say ‘radical right’ today, I think of those moneymaking ventures like Pat Robertson who are trying to take the Republican Party and make a religious organization out of it.  If that ever happens, kiss politics goodbye.”

Ominously, by 1995 Tom DeLay, who had become a born-again Christian in 1985 and was convinced that he had been “returned to Christ,” was installed as majority whip of the House, against the wishes of House Speaker Newt Gingrich.  DeLay therefore judged Gingrich (and the next Speaker, Dick Amery) as “uncommitted to Christian values.”  DeLay was so dogmatic in his version of Christian values party line Republicanism that he earned the nickname “The Hammer.”  He took the nickname to his bosom, declaring that the hammer was  one of a carpenter’s most valuable tools—a not so subtle inference of his connection to Jesus whose alleged occupation was carpenter.

And the 1995 challenger for the minority whip position, John Shadegg of Arizona, lamented, “We ceded our reform-minded principles in exchange for a…tighter grip on power.”  By 1999, when DeLay was the House Republican Whip, DeLay made Roy Blunt his chief deputy.  Blunt, a Baptist, is noted for voting in favor of mandatory school prayer, school vouchers, and allowing the undemocratic use of federal money (gathered from citizen taxes) to issue vouchers for private or religious schools.  With DeLay and Blunt in lockstep maneuvering, the religiously inspired GOP was stirred into a frenzy of wild spenders who chopped away at long-standing regulations, instigated tax cuts, and doled out lavish earmarks and appropriations.

In this same timeframe, DeLay initiated his so-called K Street Project, a not-so-righteous endeavor to get trade associations and lobbying firms to employ Republicans and to be more active in raising money for the party.  And Roy Blunt acted as DeLay’s envoy to the lobbying community—all in an effort to ram a religiously flavored Republican agenda through Congress.  All the web of wheeler-dealers helped push through the Republican legislative agenda, but those ties were destined to become entangled and knotted around the Jack Abramoff corruption scandal.  Abramoff, an orthodox Jew, had been a highly influential lobbyist and activist for the G. W. Bush administration, then Blunt’s name came up in connection with the Abramoff  investigation.  While Blunt was dutifully opposing a woman’s right to choose and opposing same-sex marriages, he saw nothing unspiritual in trying to insert language into a bill creating the Homeland Security Department which would aid the Philip Morris tobacco company!  He wanted to make it more difficult for cigarettes to be sold over the internet—that, he was convinced, was an obvious security threat.  It had nothing at all to do with the $202,909 that Philip Morris donated to his campaign.

But that deceitful web of pretended righteousness is still being spun over the workings of US government today, and with the sanctimonious Tea Party adding to the spin in Congress, democratic equal rights principles are not likely to be what is “valued.”  Somehow it reminds one of the line from the children’s story: Come into my parlor, said the spider to the fly.

With this we will close with another quote from Republican Senator Barry Goldwater (died 1998): “Those who seek absolute power, even though they seek it to do what they regard as good, are simply demanding the right to enforce their own version of heaven on Earth.  And let me remind you, they are the very ones who always create the most hellish tyrannies.”  He concluded on a thought on equality:  “Equality, rightly understood, as our founding fathers understood it, leads to liberty and to emancipation of creative differences.  Wrongly understood, as it has been so tragically in our time, it leads first to conformity, and then to despotism.” 

Wake up  America!  Democratic principles are under attack from within.

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Revered Criminals of the Bible

Posted in agnoticism, Atheism, Atheist, belief, Bible, culture, faith, freethought, Hebrew scripture, history, prehistory, random, religion, thoughts with tags , , , , , on January 21, 2011 by chouck017894

The Bible, which is constantly held up as holy and as the alleged word of God, and therefore the moral standard by which man is to live,  is a remarkably violent and bloody book.  Old Testament criminals such as Cain, Samuel, David, etc., etc. are repeatedly treated lightly by God and simply put up with like hyperkinetic children.  Cain, for example, who killed his brother, was not punished, just exiled.  In essence he was lifted out of a humdrum dirt farming existence to be set up as a builder of  cities, which happened to make him influential and very wealthy.  What punishment!

But we cannot judge Bible characters by man’s evolved social/moral standards, however.  In the case of Cain, we must set aside our advanced understanding of law and justice, for in the Genesis account with its vague settings before the advent of time, there was not yet an established system of anything, let alone law and order.  On that technicality, therefore, the murderous act of Cain, although morally despicable from our perspective, cannot be judged as a case of murder or even manslaughter.  Indeed, the Lord did not get around to denouncing homicide until he himself had indulged in drowning most of the world population—traditionally presented as having occurred sometime around 2348 BCE.  Be that as it may, the Lord still didn’t bother to hand down the sixth commandment (thou shalt not kill) to Moses until around 1491 BCE, if biblical chronology is to be trusted.  That was only a mere 2,284 years after the slaying of Abel, and Cain was long dead. 

Apparently the Lord had his attention elsewhere after drowning man, and when he finally noticed, mankind had again become corrupt and men were building towers and spoke one language! (Genesis 11:1)  “And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded.” (verse 5)  What corruption!  So the Lord says, “…let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech” (Genesis 11:17).  What an absolutely brilliant idea for remedying the corruption which the Lord found: make sure that no one understood each other and they would live in peace!  But with this remedy put in place the corruption did not cease.  That is fortunate, for otherwise we wouldn’t have much to read about in Scripture: like such spirit-inspiring tales as: 1) the annihilation of Sodom and Gomorrah, 2) Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son Isaac, 3) Jacob stealing Esau’s birthright, 4) Moses murdering an Egyptian, 5) Joshua’s indulgence in holocaust, 6) a list of 28 priest-approved ways to kill sinners (in Leviticus), 7) the  invasion and slaughter of Canaanites with God’ approval for occupation of the Canaanite’s land, 8) the God-approved “laws” of warfare (Deuteronomy 20).  Etc., etc., etc., etc…

 Things were really not  much better once God’s chosen ones got settled into the Promised Land, and it was a bunch of Judges who were allegedly privy to God’s opinions who set themselves up as leaders after Joshua had fertilized the land with much Canaanite blood.   The stories of the Judges do not actually begin until 3:7 of the book of Judges and conclude with 16:31 (of 21 chapters).  Naturally Israel sinned repeatedly and, the priest-authors assure us, had to be disciplined.

The account given in the Book of Judges, as we have seen (Fables from the Book of Judges, October 2010), supposedly set the scene for the establishment of the kingdom of Israel.  The establishment of a united monarchy is traditionally placed c. 1020-931 BCE.  A throne and regional power thus became a God-directed holy pursuit, if the priest-authors recorded correctly, and worthiness to rule in God’s name could be achieved by any means, fair or foul.  So in the book of Judges (chapter 9) a son of a Hebrew judge (Gideon) who was named Abimelech, nudged things toward a kingdom by making himself king of Shechem and having his seventy half-brothers murdered.  He had borrowed seventy pieces of silver to hire assassins.  The gory details of this are always sidestepped in encyclopedias and in Bible companion crib notes, saying only that Abimelech ruled a mere three years before being “mortally wounded” by a stone thrown by a woman while he was besieging the tower of Thebez.  Well, the story was more lovingly detailed than that by the priests.

If we accept biblical storytelling as unvarnished holy truth, one of the first clashes in all mankind’s history between spiritual and temporal power is accounted for in the tale of Samuel (c. 1140 BCE), the last of the “judges” and the first pitiless “prophet.”  If you are unfamiliar with the tale as juicily told by priest-authors, Samuel  personally “hewed…to pieces” with a sword the lone and defenseless King Agag of the Amalekites for personal and political advantages (1 Samuel 15:33).  It was a premeditated act of murder, and against God’s earlier command Thou shalt not kill.  As we have often seen in biblical tales, that Commandment got vetoed an awful lot by the majority of biblical characters—including God.

Lucifer Falsely Accused

Posted in agnoticism, Astronomy, Atheism, Atheist, belief, Bible, Christianity, culture, faith, Hebrew scripture, prehistory, random, religion, thoughts with tags , , , , , on January 15, 2011 by chouck017894

In the misinformation passed off as holy word, a name used in the book of Isaiah (14:12, written in the 7th century BCE) was Lucifer, which acknowledged a troublesome comet that, after many generations, had recently attained an established orbital pattern among the other planets.  We know that awesome celestial object today as the planet Venus. (See related posts listed at end.) Faith merchants latched onto the comet/star’s alleged “fallen” status, reworking and personifying it into an archangel cast from heaven for leading a revolt of angels.  That 7th century BCE revisionist project is a prime example of the quality of interpretation that is honored as “revealed wisdom.”

Not much better, our encyclopedias assert that Lucifer was a name used in ancient astronomy for the  morning star, meaning Venus when it appears in the morning before sunrise.  But the reference to “ancient astronomy” is obviously calculated from the general period of Isaiah, which at best goes back no further than the 8th century BCE, for in authentic prehistory charts the planet Venus was not then included.

The general consensus among Bible scholars in regard to the Isaiah verse is that the “prophet” was referring to the king of Babylon.  That is a bit of a stretch to suggest that the Israel “prophet” would think of the king of Babylon as “…son of the morning.”  The early Christian fathers chose to interpret the Isaiah verse differently, saying the verse in question was a reference to Satan’s fall from Heaven!  Considering the name’s association with a comet’s transformation into a planet alluded to in Isaiah, the “fall from heaven” was an easy image to sell.  Thus did the name Lucifer become a Christian alias for the  imagined Satan/Devil, the “prince of darkness.”  This, we shall see, was a deliberate inversion of the original meaning in the name.

In the later Christian cult interpretation of Lucifer, we should take into account the timeframe in which the original verse and the Christian interpretation were presented.  The pre-Christian name is best understood from the Latin words lux or lucis, meaning “light,” and ferre, meaning “to bring.”  This attests to the more ancient meaning from the lessons on Creation that were once illustrated with constellation figures, and which explained the glowing life energy that scriptures say “shown in the darkness” of the Absolute. 

It is from the formation of pre-physical elements into visible matter that we received the scriptural fiction of the “chief angel,” Satan, falling from grace and who “…kept not his first estate.”  The “first estate” in the ancient teachings given with the astronomical figures referred to the pre-physical elements that energize into everything that manifests as matter form.  There could never be any advancement or evolutionary movement unless that “first estate” was discarded.  Priests in their cunning used this as their meal ticket by declaring that free will was used to “rebel,” and as a result all persons had to be saved from the “sins” of that imagined rebellion.  Their hobgoblin Satan-Devil-Lucifer was declared to have been the  first to rebel, and all this, it is avowed, accounts for original sin that was dumped upon Adam and Eve—and all the rest of us!

  • Related posts: Years of Heavenly Havoc, July 2010;  Threats From Heaven, September 2010.

Shameless Religious Testing in Armed Forces

Posted in agnoticism, Atheist, belief, Christianity, culture, faith, freethought, Government, Military, politics, random, religion, thoughts with tags , , , on January 7, 2011 by chouck017894

How far will religious extremists go to exert control over those who do not subscribe to the “beliefs” that the extremists champion?  We do not have to look toward foreign nations such as Iran to find examples of harsh, underhanded religious misconduct that the aggressively devout claim is carried out in the name of morality.  We need look no further than the halls of Congress, the tax-free charities, and even find it polluting the ranks of our nation’s armed forces.  How low these misguided faith warriors are willing to go is astonishing, for much of what they do to impose their faith upon others flies in the face of what their own scriptures teach.  Such behavior is also unconstitutional. 

The United States of America rose to greatness because it extended the rights of  personal freedom to its citizens, which included the freedom to believe or not believe in some never-seen being.  There is spiritual strength in tolerance that is beyond dogma.  Those blinded by some ritualized “faith” will always fail to understand that attacking others  in spiritual sabotage will not unlock the gates of heaven.  One of the worst sins, if sins can really be graded, is to get swept up in spiritual pride, for, if scriptural accounts are consulted, elitism has no place in God’s domain.  Seeking to impose some brand of man-conceived “faith” upon others therefore is not a spiritual practice; it is indulgence in activist politics. 

So we may ask again: How far will religious extremists go  to exert control over those who do not subscribe to the self-serving “beliefs” that the extremists champion?  Apparently sewer depth offers their best view of heaven.  Consider: Since late in 2009 the military has been screening service persons through the Comprehensive Soldier Fitness test, an alleged “holistic fitness program” purportedly employed as a means to reduce the number of post-traumatic stress disorder cases that often lead to suicides.

The test, an experimental Army mental-health and fitness project, has a critical portion in it that is devoted to what can only be termed the spiritual measurement of the one being tested!  In practice it amounts to a religious test on the service men and women who expose themselves to life threatening danger to protect the alleged land of freedom.  Clearly this tramples upon the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.  Indeed, Clause 3 of Article 6 of the body of the US Constitution explicitly declares it to be illegal to use any form of religious test in correlation with any government service.  Perhaps we should note here that this so-called “fitness” assessment test happens to have been designed by the  same psychologist who inspired the CIA’s torture program that was used with the blessing of the Bush administration.

In this sham of psychological practice, the standard for judging a person’s mental desirability is that the test requires enlistees to believe in God or at least some “higher power” to qualify as being “spiritually fit” to serve in the US Army.  The questions in the test have been written in such a way to approve those who believe in God or other deity, and target nonbelivers for training so they can be made to measure up to an arbitrary level of spirituality.  In other words, the test has been intentionally designed so that non-believers are discriminated against. 

Thankfully, there are persons of conscience and  integrity standing sentry against such mockery of democratic principles imposed upon service personnel.  The Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF), which currently represents over 200 Army soldiers who have been subjected to the transparent Comprehensive Soldier Fitness test, has strongly objected to the Secretary of the Army and to the Army’s Chief of Staff.  According to released Defense Department documents, since that registered objection the spiritual portion of the CSF test is rated as the Army Chief of Staff’s “third highest priority.”

Acts perpetrated against the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment and indulgence is spiritual sabotage rank third behind —what?

Diseased Politics

Posted in Atheist, Christianity, culture, faith, freethought, Government, history, life, politics, random, religion, Social, thoughts, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on January 5, 2011 by chouck017894

When religious extremists in the US finally wrested control of the Republican Party in 1996, the pulsating health of democracy began to decline.  As often happens, the early signs of contamination did not seem to be threatening.  The killer potential kept itself disguised long enough to establish a network of carriers, most of whom were unaware that they carried unstable spiritual impurities.  In 1997 (July 6), for example, “reverend” Jerry Falwell pontificated, “America is in imminent peril…rotting from within.”  He was correct in diagnosing the symptoms, but totally clueless that he and his political-minded faith merchants were the deadly contaminants.  And it was in 1997-98 that the religiously bedazzled Missouri Senator, John Ashcroft, tested the political waters for president of the United States, receiving most of his financial support from the religiously militant Pat Robertson and other evangelical extremists.

It was in 1998 that the fanatical religionists’ craving for temporal power received a stimulus injection in the form of a new private school to be known as Patrick Henry College.  It was the first school established primarily for evangelical Christian home-schooled children.  The event elicited considerable hoopla on every corporate-owned major network and cable news, as well as spreads in the New York Times, Time Magazine, The Economist, etc.  Michael Farris, a lawyer who was obsessed with “…the irreligious trend in America’s public schools,” founder of the college, stated, “We are not home-schooling our children just so they can read.”  He added, “…if we put enough kids in the system, some may get through the major league.”  In other words, get their narrow religious values injected into top posts of the US government.

A 1999 Pew Research Center poll reported that 44% of Americans expected Jesus Christ to return to Earth in their lifetime.  A Gallup poll that year disclosed that 47% of Americans believed that human beings had been created in their present form within the last ten thousand years!  Still another Gallup Poll revealed how senseless prejudices, generally fueled by religious misinformation, influenced voting choices of huge segments of American citizens.  Those who were taught to be distrusted for public office included blacks, Jews, Catholics, Baptists, Mormons, homosexuals and atheists even though they might be well qualified  for carrying out political duties.  In this same timeframe, Newsweek magazine had also conducted as poll, which revealed that around 40% of American Christians believed in Armageddon.  Nearly the same amount were convinced that the antichrist was already alive.

It was in the latter days of the twentieth century that the term “faith-based” became the euphemism to camouflage the aggressive purpose of the religious fanatics.  The euphemism became an extremely successful means of diversion of public attention from the proper relationship that legally existed between government and religion, having been put in place to assure genuine justice for all citizens.  And it was with this continuing burlesque of “holy purpose” that the twentieth century stumbled ignominiously to a close.

The new millennium was ushered in and planet Earth continued to trundle its course through the infinite heavens.  But the messiah had not yet appeared to the Jews, the savior had not yet arrived to redeem Christians, and the Muslims still waited for heavenly blessings from Allah.  The televangelists were still shamelessly offering spiritual exclusivity to anyone who would send money to their “ministry.”  In this period of time, around 40% of US citizens defined themselves as born-again Christians.  The United States of America, the land of freedom, was being sucked into the quicksand of religious duplicity and hypocrisy that had once decimated Europe some five hundred years before; a religious plague across most of that continent that resulted in the Dark Ages.  But the religious fanatics, ever the great pretenders of morality,  insisted that the land of freedom must look far backward for moral instruction and incorporate their prejudicial concepts into the mechanics of government.

So what did the land of freedom have thrust upon the people through the suspicious intrusion of the Supreme Court?  A born-again president and a hand-picked cabinet of religious extremists!  Here was a person installed as President who declared that his favorite “political philosopher” was Jesus Christ!  Apparently he meant the apocalyptic Jesus in Revelation, not the earlier gentle teacher who had taught “do unto others as you would have done unto you.”  The questionable manner of this nominee’s “winning” the national election was followed by years of questionable “biblical values” that allowed for giving public money to the wealthy, wage illegal wars, indulge in illegal detentions, torture of captives, opposition to process as being “unpatriotic,” and imposition of one of the most serious blockages on the constitutional checks and balances of power that skated dangerously close to dictatorial. 

The tentacles of religious propaganda that had for years been growing across the US was longing to devour its prey and regurgitate a government of “biblical values.”  With a convenient war in his pocket, the incumbent President spoke loudly of moral values (?) in a bid for a second term as he ignored the lies, deceptions, war mongering and deliberate criminality of his supporters—not exactly what Jesus is alleged to have taught.  Among his supporters, their religious morality and ethics was accentuated by many churches openly abusing the Charter Tax-exemptions during this campaign.  The badgering of unbelievers ran rampant, fueled by tax-free monies gathered by religious groups.  Even the Internal Revenue Service would later release a study of these abuses by churches, the major recipients of non-profit organization tax exclusion.  Ethics apparently was not too much of a concern to the IRS, for 99% of the known church violations were never pursued.  And so the self-serving religious deceptions are allowed to continue to this day. 

O how the majority of citizens yearned for a change, ached for a return to more democratic principles, craved the true compassion and tolerance that is the soul of those democratic principles.  And wonder of wonders, the younger voters and older voters who actually use their brains rose up to defend citizen rights, and Lo!  a black man was elected as President!  But that has only infuriated those piety-pretenders still more, and they have reassembled under the banner of Tea Party.  The disease in US politics is now pernicious and life-threatening for true democracy.

Myths of Angel-Demon Warfare

Posted in Atheist, belief, Bible, Christianity, culture, faith, freethought, random, religion, thoughts with tags , , , , , , on January 1, 2011 by chouck017894

 According to priest-written texts, a state of war exists between “the kingdom of God and the kingdom of darkness.”  It is an alleged constant confrontation between light, said to represent God, and darkness, which therefore represents the imagined “Devil.”  Envisioning the interacting principles of polar activity which are necessary for generating energy-matter manifestations as constituting “kingdoms” once served as explanation to ease the uncertainties that confronted our primitive ancestors.  The notion of “spiritual warfare,” however, provides nothing coherent to open any real understanding of our personal connection with universal power that is refered to as each person’s “spirit.”

There is, of course, scriptural foundation for the notion that apparent conflicts of interest are messing around with God’s loving intentions for man.  In the opening book of Genesis, for example, that conflict of interest is presented in chapter three where Nachash (from Hebrew, translated as “serpent”) supposedly relayed to the naked man and woman who had already received domination over the earth (Genesis 1:26)  a different motive for God’s earlier instructions.

With this motivational theme set in place, spiritual warfare pops up a number of times in scripture, such as in the book of Psalms, the alleged poetic compositions of David.  Psalms 17:5, 140:4, and 149:6-9 touch upon the spiritual battle theme, but it is Psalms 18 that presents graphic references to battle equipment used in defeating the strategies that opposed God’s divine intent for man.  In this version, the spiritual realm is not much different from the physical realm as far as warfare is concerned.

The priest-authors of 2 Kings 6:15-18, writing in the 7th century BCE Jerusalem, fanned the scary concept of the “prophet” Elisha (story-setting 849-785 BCE) in confrontation with invisible dark forces; it was a feature calculated to inspire the “sheep” to knuckle-under to priestly authority.  And in the book of Isaiah 59:17 spiritual warfare is alluded to in the reference to the “breastplate of righteousness” and the “helmet of salvation.”

One of the more detailed biblical examples of imagined spiritual warfare is given in chapter 10 of the book of Daniel—a revised work which happens to be an elaboration borrowed from an older Babylonian poem.  The “prophet” Daniel, after three weeks of fasting and praying for understanding, was finally visited by an angel sent to deliver a message from the Lord.  The angel was too unfashionably late and explains that he had been sent out  immediately after Daniel had begun to pray, but “…the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days” (Daniel 10:13).  Apparently the omniscient Lord had not foreseen such a possibility, and the archangel Michael finally had to go forth and put down the prince from Persia so the angel could make contact with the “prophet.”

The Christian interpretation of demons who are led by the devil attempting to challenge the will of God has drawn their illusions from various older “faith” sources such as Babylonian, Assyrian lore and others as well as from Hebrew.  As a consequence, the major denominations of Christianity actually believe in the literal reality of—or at least a philosophical existence of—a “fallen angel” who is referred to as the Devil and/or Satan.  The principal features on the subject of demons are presented in the early book of the New Testament—Matthew, Mark, and Luke—which then get reworked in the Acts of the Apostles.  The epistles attributed to Paul labor to declare that it is only through Christ that mankind will attain victory over principalities and material powers.  Alas, those of other faiths are doomed forever.

The New Testament proves to be no better at enlightening seekers on how infinite creative power generates energy manifestations through a process of polar activity.  Instead, the superstition that light (good) and dark (evil) are engaged in battle is played upon in Acts of the Apostles 19:15-17 and is also implied in Corinthians 11:23 and 12:9.  Both of these books are also attributed to the self-proclaimed apostle Paul who alleges that the forces of darkness knew that Paul was God’s servant and attacked him.  How, exactly, he was attacked is vague.  In the timeframe of these New Testament writings (Acts c. 84-90 CE, and 1 Corinthians c.94-100 CE), the attempt to draw converts to the new faith was shifting from promotional focus on hoped for Jewish converts to concentration on the broader mass of lesser educated people that were being incorporated into the Roman Empire. 

Demonology interweaves throughout holy word from Genesis to Revelation, with “saints” such as John referring to Satan as “…the father of lies (John 8:44).  It is in the New Testament book of Revelations, however, where Satan and his demons really rip up the scenery before meeting their just deserts.  Up to this point the Bible paints numerous references to spiritual warfare that is being waged, but the details of those ceaseless battles are scarcer than hen’s teeth.  The general sidestepping, as in Revelations 12:7-9, tells only that Michael and his angels fought against Satan and his angels.  It is oddly similar in tone to that in Daniel 10:10-13.

The contention that angels and demons are engaged in an ongoing battle pretty much punctures the theological assertion that the Creator is omniscient (all-knowing), or that his manner of creating is through peace and love was foolproof.  No power could wage a continuous “war” upon an omniscient Source-power.

For thinking persons, not believing in priest fabricated stories of a petulant, pouty, and prejudiced God does not mean that recognition of a creative Source-power is denied.  Neither is that skepticism a sign that a rationalizing mind is under the influence of some “Devil.”