Archive for July, 2011

Beware of Faith-Based Fraud

Posted in agnoticism, Atheist, belief, Christianity, faith, freethought, Government, history, logic, politics, random, religion, Social, thoughts with tags , , , , , on July 25, 2011 by chouck017894

Special-interest handouts by political office holders in the United States have become big-time privileges over the last few decades—increasing dramatically after the Religious Right gained control over the Grand Old Party in 1996.  The fast changing legal status of churches and faith system institutions, underhandedly implemented, served to elevate religious organizations into more lenient rules than permitted to their secular counterparts.

Such deliberate disregard for the democratic principles by religious extremists regarding separation of church and state is hardly due to any spiritual morals.  This dangerous and frightening chipping away at long-standing principles of democracy has occurred under pressure from extremist religious groups that have muscled their way into the political arena.  It is unclear as to why an “omnipotent, omniscient” God should have to rely on using such devious means to achieve “his” wishes.  But the raucous, self-serving religious extremists have effectively contaminated a clueless Congress, the US Supreme Court, the White House, and federal and state courts, all of which have carelessly conceded to the demands that “faith” groups (Christian only) should be protected from any government intrusion.

This has been pushed upon the widely diverse populace of the US and injected with a false eminence that reflects neither the principles of true democracy nor higher spiritual values.  These predatory religious wolves have accomplished this betrayal of democratic principles by camouflaging themselves with sheep’s clothing.  Thus disguised they have methodically selected single regulations one by one and thereby disfigured numerous longstanding laws of equality.  This has left so many democratic principles mauled to an extent that the “faith” pretenders, their buildings and programs which are only slightly related to any faith system may virtually thumb their noses at requirements leveled upon everyone else.  That bears the foul odor of theocratic ideology.

The intended aim of their faith-based scheme of crippling true democratic principles is very nearly completed, the aim of which is the establishment of an enormous subsidy for religion—meaning the misuse of tax-payer money to promote the Christian version of faith posturing.  This happens to be contrary to the establishment clause of the First Amendment, but what the hell!

Under these special-interest allowances, unethically obtained, even the day-care centers that have religious affiliations are actually exempted from licensing requirements in a number of states.  In Texas, for example, the religious day-care facilities and drug-treatment programs were once exempt from state licensing.  However, protected with privileged status the abuse and disregard for patients in these facilities proved to be greater than in nonreligious facilities.  Another example; the health care system operated by the Seventh Day Adventists is actually allowed to bar nurses from joining unions.  Many states permit tax-free churches to build and expand in ways that clearly violate zoning ordinances with which everyone else must comply.  Religious-front operations routinely discriminate in choosing employees.  Even persons working for them, if suddenly stricken with some physical malady, can be unceremoniously dumped by religious-front organizations, which would never be tolerated in nonreligious organizations.

Special privileges that are extended by dogmatic politicians to certain (Christian only) religious organizations is neither fair nor just in a nation that was built upon dedication to the freedom of choice and the pursuit of happiness.  And practicing bigotry and narrow-mindedness as religious observance is neither righteous nor spiritual in a creation that brims with lavish diversity.  A true democratic society can function only within conditions of equality and respect for each individual within the nation.  Attempting to inject one particular man-made faith system into politics of a nation dedicated to freedom for its diverse people can only accomplish catastrophe for all.

Book of Revelation, More Sacred Subterfuge

Posted in agnoticism, Atheist, belief, Bible, Christianity, culture, faith, freethought, Government, history, life, politics, random, thoughts with tags , , , , , , on July 11, 2011 by chouck017894

There is a modern myth circulating in United States political circles that is based upon taking the New Testament’s “prophecy” called Revelation as inescapable destiny, and thus believe that the contemporary nation of Israel, established May 14, 1948, will play a deciding role when “end times” judgment is levied upon Earth.  It is known that the book Revelation was actually written c. 135-137, and its declared author was “St” John the Divine, who, inexplicably, has never been authenticated.  Oddly, Revelation begins in letter form, “John to the seven churches that are in Asia, grace to you and peace.” (1:4)  And, peculiarly, the book ends like Paul’s epistles to the same churches, with the “grace” of Jesus being invoked (22:21).

The locale for the alleged transmission of Revelation to John was on the island of Patmos off the coast of the Roman province of Asia.  It was there that the risen Christ supposedly appeared to John and instructed him to write to those seven particular churches to tell them about future conditions (chapters 2 and 3).  Chapters 4 and 5 had John whisked off to heaven where he sees god enthroned and holding a sealed scroll which can be opened only by the “lamb” standing beside god’s throne, a figure who bears the marks of sacrifice.  Chapters 6 through 19 relates a sick orgy of gory violence, which then launches into god’s judgment of the  world.  Predetermined is a new creation (chapter 21), and the “New Jerusalem” is to descend like a “bride of the lamb.”  The ending, chapter 22, is rampant with typical religious name-calling and contemptuous imaging, assuring the reader that outside the gates to the new city “…are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.”  The same stock-in-trade hate rhetoric is still being used by religious bigots today. Apparently the isolationist city of New Jerusalem is destined to have for its next door neighbors the rowdy citizens of Hell.

The timeframe in which the writing of the New Testament’s final book occurred is pertinent to understanding the alleged “prophecy” that it depicts.  (In spite of it placement, Revelation was not the last book written: the book of Hebrews was written later, c. 137-140.)  The late appearance of Revelation upon the scene followed upon the Jewish insurrection in Jerusalem under Bar Cocheba (132-135), an insurrection that spread to Cyrene, Egypt, Cyprus, and Mesopotamia.  The Roman’s were pissed.  And Roman authors were responsible for all the New Testament writings.  Thus the character of the mild teacher Jesus became presented as gradually transforming psychologically through the early gospels to culminate as the harsh judge presiding over the elimination of all faith systems except what the authors represented.  It should be noted also that the format of Revelation borrowed heavily from the Old Testament book of Daniel, which the priests of Yahweh in Jerusalem happened to have reworked from a Babylonian poetic epic.

The long recounting of planned godly rampage which makes up the tale of Revelation thus concludes with Jerusalem, the seat of Jewish faith, being whisked off the Earth and a “New Jerusalem” being plunked down far from heaven to replace it.  How the expected Christian rapture is equated with all the soot and ashes and bones and desecration upon which the New Jerusalem is to be put in place is another unanswered divine mystery.  Perhaps it is simply because the book of Revelation was written in the heyday of the Roman Empire which accounts for the city of Rome being spared a similar replacement policy.

A large percentage of Christian evangelicals in the US believe that the second coming of Jesus (do they mean the early gentle teacher or the later death-dealing judge?) hinges upon the Jews gaining and maintaining control over the so-called “Holy Land.”  Thus in the US we have fanatic believers such as newly installed (January 2011) Republican congressman from Florida, Daniel Webster, using Revelation logic to advocate doling out excessive “aid” to Israel because, as he put it, “…if we stop helping Israel, we lose god’s hand and we’re in big trouble.”  This was aired on “Good Life 45,” a televangelist TV program and replayed on YouTube.  Somehow that assessment of god’s character is more in keeping with the Republican characteristic of cutting backroom deals for personal gain and political domination.  The political power merchants in Israel smile and shrug at such Religious Right interpretations in the US, and humbly accept the “help” of $2.4 billion a year while laughing up their sleeves.  This is the political savvy that makes Israel the top recipient of foreign aid money from the United States—while the poor of our own nation are callously disregarded.

Abuse of Democracy Within US Congress

Posted in agnoticism, Atheist, culture, Government, history, lifestyle, politics, random, Social, thoughts with tags , , , , , on July 3, 2011 by chouck017894

There are 535 members of the United States Congress, members who are responsible for establishing the nation’s laws that should guarantee equal justice for all citizens.  There have always been freeloaders among the membership, experts at double talk, addicts of pretentiousness, and those who did business under the table.  There have been untold episodes of conflicts of interest, endless self-promoting through a feeding trough called “ear marks,” childish tantrums of spite called filibusters, and even outright disregard for the nation’s Constitution.  All of this can be and has been indulged in while taking a healthy salary, government paid medical coverage, generous expense accounts, and even a pension paid to them (through tax collections) after they exit their stint of “service.”

In other words, politics, like religion, attracts people with huge ego problems and are little troubled with any heavy personal scruples.  Perhaps we should not be surprised, therefore, at these facts of Congressional members:

  • Three members have been incarcerated for assault
  • Seven members have been arrested for fraud
  • Eight have been arrested for shoplifting
  • Fourteen have been arrested on drug-related charges
  • Nineteen have been accused of writing bad checks
  • Twenty-one are current defendants in lawsuits 
  • Thirty-six have a record of spousal abuse
  • Seventy-one cannot get a credit card because of bad credit 
  • Eighty-four have been arrested for drunk driving
  • One hundred and seventeen have been involved, either directly or indirectly, in bankrupting at least two businesses
  • There are an uncounted number of adulterer–and clients of brothels
  • And there is an endless parade who continue to pretend they have superior religious guidance

The founding fathers well-knew that human nature is easily tempted.  For this reason they sought to devise safeguards so every citizen of the new nation might have a better chance in the pursuit of happiness and freedom of spirit.  Governing power was not to rest in one person’s hands as in kingdoms.  Therefore three branches of government were to act as the holy trinity of democracy: the executive, the legislative, and the judiciary.  For the most part, that system has well-served a broader spectrum of the people for the bulk of the nation’s history.

As religious factions have pushed more and more into the inner circles of government since 1996, however, emphasis has shifted from loyalty to a golden democracy into a furious pursuit of democratic gold for the power seekers.  In the process neither democracy nor spiritual integrity have been enhanced.  The founders of the US were altruistic, believing that serving in any of the three branches of government was an honor, not a career move.

But for well over that last decade, the thrust of those who have wormed their way into government positions from the Right have vigorously attacked the very roots of democracy.  And the carnival they have made of politics is shown in the fact that they are not interested in real solutions to national problems.  Instead, they keep public attention muddied with petty obsessions such as people’s private lives and women’s right to choose.  When their grab for power has been successful, they have always shafted democratic principles in attempts to do away with such things as worker’s rights, deny seniors the protection they paid into for years, seek to downgrade education standards, give citizens rights to corporations, steal from the  poor and give to the rich, reduce environmental enforcement, use public money for private/religious schools, and do nothing about gun shows where even terrorists can by quantities of guns without a background check!

The point of this mini review is that there is a desperate need for Congressional Reform, and that is summed up in the recently proposed 28th Amendment to the Constitution which covers the following eight considerations:

1)  Term limits of twelve years only should be established, which would include one of three possible options:  A) two six-year Senate terms; B) six two-year House terms; C) one six-year Senate term and three two-year House terms.

2)  There should be neither Tenure nor Pensions for having held the honor of their office.  Every Congressman receives a salary, usually with an expense account; and they continue to get paid for that past honor of Congressional position, which dishonors the concept of true democracy.  So imbalanced is this that a member of Congress may retire with the same pay after only one term!

3)  Equally dishonoring of democratic principles is the special favor granted to themselves which frees Congress persons from participating in Social Security.  Democratic principles require that Congress participate with the America people: That means that properly all funds collected for Congressional retirement payouts should always have been placed in the Social Security system.

4)  If Congress persons want a retirement plan they may, like the rest of American citizens, purchase that security cushion on their own.

5)  Where is there an average American citizen who has the ability to give themselves a pay raise when they feel like it?  Why does Congress have the undemocratic clout to vote themselves a pay raise when they wish?  Rightfully, Congressional pay should rise only by the lower of Consumer Price Index—or by three percent as for everyone else. Representatives of the people do not represent the people when they grant themselves special privileges.

6)  Another case of granting themselves special privilege: Congress enjoys a special health care system, and they have purposely exempted themselves from the Healthcare Reform.  Properly they should participate in the same health care system as all other American citizens whom they claim to represent.  Maybe then they would cease using citizen healthcare for a political football.

7)  The legislative branch of government determines the laws of the land:  That does not mean that they are above the law.  Congress persons must comply equally by all the laws that Congress imposes upon the American people.  (For example, did you know that Congressional members are exempted from being prosecuted for sexual harassment?)

8)  All these things considered, the right thing to do for true democratic governing is to void all past and present contracts that Congressmen implemented for Congressmen, and this should be made effective October 01, 2011.  Their self-serving contracts serve only them, and are not for the betterment of the nation.

It is crucial that American citizens stand up and confront their elected officials about the undemocratic privileges they indulge in which are in direct opposition to the laws they have imposed upon the citizenry.

More on Solomon Myth

Posted in agnoticism, Atheist, belief, Bible, Christianity, culture, faith, Hebrew scripture, history, Inspiration, life, random, religion, thoughts with tags , , , , on July 1, 2011 by chouck017894

The last character in holy scriptural accounts to whom god allegedly appeared visibly was to Solomon.  There is a reason for this, and it is traceable to earlier Pagan scientific knowledge.  In the development of energy into the stage of visible matter, the first visible phenomenon of that activity is a focused point of light.  And that concentrated light shines as a transformation marker in the development of dense matter, and ancient Pagan teachings referred to that in-between stage as etheric matter, which they symbolized with the Sun.

So significant is the energy change out of the etheric matter stage that a whole book is dedicated to it in the Hebrew Bible.  It is the Old Testament book known as the Song of Solomon, which tends to embarrass the “experts” on religious meanings.  What these “songs” were drawn upon were in regard to creation activity where what they referred to as etheric matter figuratively becomes enamored with the potentiality of dense matter.  The “songs” attributed to Solomon were fashioned on lyrics that came down in oral tradition long before priests in Jerusalem gathered them into canonical form.  Despite all their vivid imagery, however, the lyrics really have nothing to do with physical sexual excitement, so the “experts” can breathe a sigh of relief.

The mythic character of Solomon personifies that etheric nature of the Sun which radiates and rules over the life force active in the dimension of energy-as-matter.  Allegorically, Solomon therefore is depicted as lord or king over the dense matter dimension of energy.  The Sun, being visible but not developed as a dense matter object, is a logical marker of energy poised between prototype matter and defined matter.  Once the scientific basis of Pagan symbolism is understood—that Solomon represents the solar power—all the claims presented for the character become clarified.

In regard to Solomon being the last character in holy scripture to allegedly see the Creator visibly, the ancient Pagan teachings should be consulted.  When the development of energy into dense matter form is achieved, the primal stages of development of that energy cease to be seen from that advanced form.  Figuratively, the Sun, as first stage of visible matter therefore may “see” that primal creative energy which is personified as the creator-god.  For this reason the scriptures record no more personal appearances of the deity to be seen by any of the subsequent scriptural characters.  All the succeeding characters that merit storytelling gain their “divine” insight only through visions and dreams, not from any direct encounter with the deity.

It must be remembered that the books 1 and 2 Kings, in which Solomon is featured, were written centuries after the purported events.  The author was most likely Baruch ben Nerian, the scribe of the”prophet” Jeremiah.  The name Solomon was derived from the Roman word Sol, i.e.the Sun; and Om (or Aum) from the Hindu mantra characterizing supreme power; and On, the Chaldean/Egyptian address to the Sun.  (Yes, the priests of Yahweh in Jerusalem were aware of Hindu belief.)  As the representative of the Sun which rules over the solar family, it becomes obvious why Solomon was characterized as having unparalleled wisdom, for light has alway symbolized wisdom.  And knowing that Solomon is representative of the Sun, the enormous wealth that he allegedly possessed has rationality.  The legendary “mines” from which he is alleged to have drawn his wealth is the Sun itself.

Past generations have been more cognizant of the fact that biblical tales often hold great importance on numbers.  Indeed, numbers served as symbols that, in themselves, tell the initiates a far different story than they do to those who take each tale at face value.  Authors of scriptural tales often played with these numbers, disguising them within myths.  The Hebrew word yod, for example, is the number six, and it signified god at the sixth dimension (“day”) of Creation.  When yod was repeated three times it was a (magical) devotional address to god.  That numerical code is found in the myth of Solomon in the allegation that his gold mines yielded “…six hundred threescore and six talents of gold” per year (1 Kings 10:14).  Thus the gold value disguised 6+6+6, or yod repeated three times.  The Hebrew-Judaic regard for the devotional three-time recitation of yod was therefore inverted by the Christian authors and cast into Beast 666 in the jumbled book of Revelation.  Such is the spiritual value of “revealed word.”

Clues to the occult meaning of the character of the scriptural Solomon are hidden in hints such as the name given for Solomon’s mother: Bathsheba.  And there is the story feature that the Queen of Sheba is said to have come to Solomon for his blessing.  The word sheba means “seven,” and in ancient Pagan teachings the seventh plane of energy development is the achievement of visible matter (symbolized with the Sun), which heralds energy involvement as dense matter.

When the more ancient (and scientifically based) Pagan symbolism is consulted, it becomes clear why—in spite of all the claims made of Solomon’s wealth and world recognition—he was never mentioned in any records of any of the nations that supposedly interacted with him.  All the deeds and eccentricities of Solomon are to be found only in Hebrew scriptural myth.

There is a curious feature in scriptural storytelling lineup, which is that in the timeframes after the unverifiable Solomon no one, not even the “prophets,” ever encountered so much as an angel, let alone receive “revelations’ directly from a visible deity.  The closest that any “prophet” ever came to seeing even an angel was the minor “prophet” Zechariah, and he saw that angel only in a vision.

The belief in angels is also traceable to Pagan wisdom also.  The ancient lesson on Creation taught of available units of creative energy which are drawn upon by all matter-forms from the  non-manifest conditions of Source.  Creative energies necessarily accompany and sustain every faction of matter-life; thus everyone and every thing can figuratively be said to have their “guardian angels.”  They do, however, have the annoying habit of remaining invisible.

  • Related post: Solomon’s Majesty, August 2009.