Archive for March, 2014

Democracy and Spiritual Liberty Under Attack

Posted in Atheist, Bible, Christianity, culture, faith, history, politics, religion, Social with tags , , , , , , on March 25, 2014 by chouck017894

Here we are well over a decade into the 21st century timeframe, still carrying the contaminated baggage of far-out ego-serving religious posturing that, like a recurring plague, attacked the populace of the USA at the close of the 20th century. In the United States the carriers of radical religionism swooped in upon and gained control of the once semi-reputable Republican Party in 1996, and like frenzied vampires they managed to sink their fangs into the veins of government.

Much of the current national religious pestilence in the USA today is traceable to television preachers who, early in the 1950s television entertainment technology, recognized the financial windfall that could be made by pretending to have hot wire connections with god and heaven. An early money-chasing televangelist, Pat Robertson, was hellbent on mixing personal faith with easy money and government rule. By October of 1992, having by then established a faith system empire, Robertson publicly suggested that god’s holy purpose could be achieved by grabbing political power. “We want,” he said, “as soon as possible to see a majority of the Republican Party in the hands of pro-family Christians by 1996.” Indeed, televangelists across the nation were suddenly intent upon stirring up a religious war. And to make this needless conflict as self-fulfilling as possible the aggressive Christian right was pumping out reams of odious literature and preaching endlessly in the most shameless hate-inducing and fear-inducing rhetoric that they could produce. In this perverse take on the peaceful teachings credited to Jesus, the extremists were, and still are, every bit as vicious and paranoid and spiritually crude as the 2nd and 3rd century Christian cultists had been. (That is history without the religious whitewash.) The radical evangelist movement in the USA was thrown into high gear by characteristically promoting a demon-haunted view of the world, and they cultivated this mockery of spirit into a corrupt political force, all the while avoiding media scrutiny behind the government provided shield of religious equality.

From the mid 1600s timeframe of the Puritans, potential religious tyrants have yearned to impose a theocratic style government upon the North American continent. By the mid-20th century man’s technology had evolved to provide such holy pretenders with the means by which they could attract more spiritually aggressive persons into their ranks. Approaching the 21st century the Christian Right extremists in the USA then totally abandoned Jesus-advocated peace ethics and set about political hijacking. The longed for takeover of the Republican Convention in 1996 was accomplished for the most part through deceit and posturing–practically none of which was ever seriously commented upon in-depth by the news media. By that time, coincidently, many television and radio broadcasting stations had been quietly bought out by religious factions. The radical right-wingers were actually credited by radio and television commentators as being so divinely inspired. Genuine newscasters, however, feared to report on the dirty tactics which the radical religionists were using in fear that the religionists would bring charges of religious intolerance. Instead, the spineless media reported” on how well-behaved the pious pretenders were!

Kept well out of sight for the most part by the religious right schemers was their self-serving ideology and their warped vision of Jesus-salvation which they coupled with barbaric “biblical law.” Their strategy plans included the systematic disruption and eventual destruction of such things as public schooling, jury trials, and freedom of speech. And while these politically obsessed faith systems dodged any tax responsibility, they insisted that god approved the lowering of taxes, for those taxes happened to support what they sneeringly referred to as “entitlements,” which they said included Social Security, even though working citizens had paid into as government insurance for the elderly. And those who claimed to be divinely guided advocated that any such public welfare plans should be administered solely by private agencies—by which they meant their management. And they advocated the unconstitutional establishment of mandatory religious beliefs for all US citizens. In that recent 20th century timeframe the religious extremists then began a heavy campaign of propagandist tactics of vile name-calling and demonizing their opponents to suggest justification for their twisted Bible inspired actions. As noted in these postings, the Bible stories presented plenty of cut-throat examples to follow.

Today, in the early twenty-first century, slightly over two decades after the Religious Right’s takeover of the Republican Party, the United States staggers under the constant barrage of religious fixations that have contaminated and degenerated the nation’s governing bodies. Under the extreme religious right tyranny—which still is not being brought to account in the public media or by the judicial system—our once great nation has been led into the quicksand trap in which democratic spirit and moral regard for others is being systematically garroted.

The religious extremists have been indulging in an orgy that attempt to dis-embody democratic principles that have long protected private citizens’ spiritual and physical liberties. Under the ethics used by the radical religious right, the US wound up with a born-again President thrust upon them (through direct and unconstitutional interference of political processes by Republicans and Catholic dominated Supreme Court Justices). The questionable legality of that Republican “electoral victory” of 2000 was loudly asserted to be the result of “religious transformation of America.” Some strangely convenient circumstances then soon allowed this victorious party to pilot the nation into an illegal war. The Bible-led presidential “advisors,” most of whom had been draft dodgers themselves, were then hawkish in the extreme and were certain that god approved their rush to tyranny. Lying, backroom deals, deregulation of “free market,” lifting rules off Wall Street regulation, pretending there were military solutions to any diplomatic crisis, throwing increasing limitations upon the working class citizens, refusing any mannered debates of dialogue, etc., etc., revealed their open contempt for true democratic principles and exposed their open disregard for genuine citizen liberty or spiritual equality.

So how and where did democratic equal justice become effectively emasculated by the radical Right to the point that today the true democratic principles that made this nation a beacon of freedom are still being systematically attacked? Who has been held responsible and accountable for all the traitorous sabotage of democratic principles? Why has no one been investigated for: 1) all the lies and criminality that led the nation into two illegal wars?; 2) for the prisoner abuse and the authorization of cowardly torture that the religiously inspired political climate produced?; 3) for the robbing of dignity and capabilities of the working people?; 4) for the attempted destruction of the “middle class” while hypocritically trumpeting “family values”? 5) for wasting trillions of dollars in unnecessary expenditures by the Pentagon; 6) for supporting the vampires of Wall Street? 7) for permitting subsidy extortion such as by oil, coal, etc.?; 8) for pretending that corporations have private citizen rights?; 9) for driving down wages and breaking worker unions? 10) for ignoring how corporations “cook” their books?; 11) for attempted sabotage of Social Security benefits which all working people have already paid into? 12) for bringing the nation to the brink of bankruptcy to accomplish government overthrow? Etc., etc., etc.

The United States of America was founded by courageous, thoughtful, dedicated men who recognized from researching the history of the Dark Ages—the Inquisition era of European history—that governments dominated by some religious faction always turn into a nightmare of senseless misery for everyone except those in the religious hierarchy. Many Near East countries today—in this 21st century—are desperately struggling to throw off the identical type of oppressive and cruel religious/political governments as the Religious Right/Tea Party dominated Republican Party is now attempting to impose upon the United States citizens.

These Christian extremists who claim to be biblically guided obviously have their vision clouded over with power-lust, obstinacy and egotism. Perhaps these spiritually blind agitators should be provided with LARGE TYPE editions of the Christian texts they claim to represent. Then, if they would also stop their clenched fist shenanigans, browse through a few verses that are actually wise and which they apparently conveniently ignored, such as: Matthew 5:9; “Blessed are the peacemakers; for they shall be called the children of god.” In Luke 2:14; “…peace among men of good will.” Romans 14:19; “Let us therefore pursue the things which make for peace.” 1 Peter 3:1; “…let him seek peace and pursue it.”

And finally, these spiritually confused power seekers who yearn to force their pretentious religious interpretation upon others, read Matthew 6:5; “And when you pray, you shall not be as the hypocrites are; for they love to pray standing…that they may be seen by men…when you pray, enter into your closet, and when you have shut the door, pray to your Father (the Creative Source personified) which is in secret; and your Father which sees in secret shall reward you openly. But when you pray, use not vain repetition, as the heathens do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.” (Phraseology modernized.)

And if those holy pretenders would cease their chest-thumping long enough to seriously observe the universe around them they might obtain a smidgen of much-needed humility. With even a dash of true spiritual reserve they would see the proof displayed in that awesome panorama that all things are equal before that ultimate creative power. It is that equality of spirit which is reflected only in a true democracy.

Pre-History: Abridged From Scripture

Posted in Atheist, Bible, faith, Hebrew scripture, history, prehistory, random, religion, scriptures with tags , , , , , , , on March 11, 2014 by chouck017894

Far back in planet Earth’s existence there were no reporters to address and chronicle the developmental events that would contribute to the rise of humankind. To answer that oversight the Creator eventually attempted to correct that situation by “revealing” to a few select men a brief crafted version of his productive activity. Strangely, this did not occur until He found a band of fixated men in a tiny outpost called Jerusalem in the timeframe we now list as c. 8th century BCE. Relying on mere mortal men to explain the complication of his “days” of Creation may not have been the Creator’s best decision.

As a result of relying upon man’s comprehension there is a great deal of hatred, both openly and by implication, expressed throughout the western worlds’ three “holy books.” For example, it is said that even God himself got all riled up and fumed with indignation and hatred very early in the account given in Genesis, a series of stories all of which pivot on the theme of Creation. Supposedly the Omniscient One (all-knowing) was so neurotic over the trespassing by two innocent naked persons upon an alluring tree he had placed in the center of his garden landscape that it caused him to rant curses at a serpent, a curious woman and a bewildered man. Barely controlling his indignation, God tossed the clueless couple out of his garden on their fig leaf covered butts and slammed the garden gate behind them.

The man and woman managed to survive in the unfamiliar, rough terrain, however, and since they were still pretty much innocent about how things worked, they wound up with two sons. By this time the Omniscient One had apparently invented some semblance of anger management, and giving into his own curiosity stepped out of his garden to observe the rejected family. That little episode did not exactly work out too well either because God expected the two offspring of the original pair to shower him with material offerings. When the two boys finally gathered from their meager supplies to offer them to God, God had the audacity to show favoritism to only one! When that favoritism resulted in jealousy and the favored boy was killed by his brother, the Omniscient One once again chose to expel the culprit rather than to patiently teach him the principles of moral responsibility. And oddly, God did not bother himself to restore the favored boy back to life, which is strange when all he had to do was say, “let there be life.” Anyway the killer, Cain, was deprived by God of the privilege to till the ground, so the dispossessed boy took off to establish a city in the land of Nod, and there he proceeded to build and populate the whole region in only two generations! Strangely, it is never explained where he found the necessary females. This population explosion is never adequately explained; perhaps because everyone was too interested in cohabitation.

Meanwhile, Adam and Eve also contributed to population statistics. Indeed, the “begetting” that followed seemed unstoppable. Apparently in dejection, God had gone back to his secluded landscaped garden and cogitated for a while, and when he eventually ventured outside again to see what was going on he was stunned. The world outside was inundated with so many people, and they all seemed so obnoxious. Again his anger erupted, and he determined he would drown the whole perverted mess—all the living creatures and vegetation, and men, women, children, all. He would flush them all down the drain.

But damned if a glitch didn’t screw up the Omniscient One’s deluge plan! Some guy named Noah got word of the Creator’s hateful scheme and the guy dared to build himself a cargo ship to preserve himself, his family and every animal, amphibian and insect species with the vital necessities for life. When the Deluge gushed in Noah dutifully recorded in the ship’s log on a daily basis, and this wound up being salvaged and is available in abbreviated for in Genesis. Planet Earth was inudated just as God had planned, soaked to at least fifteen cubits of water above the highest mountains, according to Noah’s log. Apparently Noah spent a lot of time leaning over the ship’s railing, ostensibly taking depth-soundings when he wasn’t busy feeding the parental stock of all life; at least the depth of the flood waters got recorded. Noah’s rescue accomplishments did not exactly result in personal glory, however. He wound up being castrated by one of his family members as he lay unconscious and naked after having imbibed too much green wine that he had made from the grapevines he had planted immediately after touching dry land. Strangely, that emasculation episode was not so painstakingly reported. All that is recorded is that “…Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him.” Actually he blamed the wrong kid, but the “seed” of Noah and his sons were grudgingly blessed by God and “…of them was the whole earth (to be) overspread.” (Genesis 9:24)

For awhile, evidently, God again just let things coast along, hoping perhaps that the devious people who had so vigorously reproduced might starve of do themselves in. But once again, possibly from nagging curiosity, God decided to step out of his garden and survey the damage. To his amazement he found that the whole earth was of a lone language, and of one speech, and the people had clustered in the land of Shinar (Sumer) [Genesis 11:6]. Even more exasperating to him, the people were constructing a tower with which they could peer over his garden wall and spy upon his privacy! Such impudence! In sudden hateful anger the Creator-God confounded the people’s language so they could not understand each other. That, he grumbled, should teach them to be more cooperative and improve their behavior. And to further emphasize his displeasure ‘…did the Lord scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.” But scattering them hither and thither did nothing to stop all the begetting.

After taking another break from supervising the descendants of the original couple, God once again gathered nerve enough to look in upon the situation outside his garden. By this time you would think that he would have few high expectations. He found only agitation due to the incomplete obedience to his vaguely explained wishes. Throttling his hateful anger, God randomly selected a subject whom he could groom to act as his diplomatic go-between. To lure the selected subject into service, God even promised the man, named Abram, that he would “make thee a great nation,” and to even curse anyone who might curse his chosen spokesman. But the guy Abram was not wildly enthusiastic about much of the Lord’s plan except sowing his seed.

Anyway, mankind’s history is purportedly assessed from Abram who had been designated as the Omniscient One’s seed bearer. Being young and horny, Abram left home looking for a wife, and in the process wound up wasting at least fourteen years before marrying the woman Sari whom he had vowed to possess. But Abram had not been idle, exactly: he had a child or two on the sly. Because Sari was easy on the eye, Abram convinced her to play along in a scheme to swindle the Pharaoh of Egypt out of a fortune in domestic animals and servants. Understandably indignant, the Pharaoh, much like the Creator would do, then ordered them all to depart his land. So Abram and Sari and Abram’s nephew, Lot, and all the newly gained wealth journeyed back to Abram’s earlier location.

Along the way Abram’s nephew, Lot, took up residence in a strange little village named Sodom. Well, that choice didn’t pan out too well either. The Lord supposedly hated the selective intimacy of the residents and so, being omniscient but divinely prejudiced and dour, marked the place for destruction. Being a relative of God’s chosen spokesman, Abram’s nephew was ordered to flee the place, a command which wound up being the direct cause of an incest episode with Lot and his two daughters. All in all, the whole incident did not make the Lord joyful.

Everything from then on, we are divinely assured, is accurate history. Abram had his name changed by God who bestowed the alias Abraham upon him; and Sari, the Lord said, should go by the name Sarah. Thus, having followed God’s command, Abraham allegedly became the progenitor and founder of the Hebrew people. Glory was thus rescued from earlier chaotic circumstances and Abraham, having fulfilled his usefulness, expired at the age of 175. And to this day his descendant still attempt, as demanded in Genesis 22:17, “…to become as numerous as the sand upon the seashore.”

Jesus And His Gang

Posted in Atheist, belief, Bible, Christianity, history, random, religion, scriptures, theology with tags , , , , , on March 1, 2014 by chouck017894

The three widespread run-by-the-book, corporate-style faith systems of the western world all contain huge discrepancies and contradictions within all their texts which are promoted as holy wisdom. Seekers have a right, therefore, to question anything written, copied and abridged by human intermediaries who sought to give some explanation for the unknowns which attend the variety and diversity that is life. Always in those “holy” accounts the “revealed” events were interpreted from what they needed or wished for, and which was colored by regional surroundings in their timeframe. In that methodology of evaluating such faith-promotional material, consider one possibility (among many) regarding the Christian icon, Jesus.

As noted in an earlier blog, a Jesus cult existed in Judea for decades before our Common Era timeframe. (See Pre-Christian Jesus Cult, Sept. 2013.) What if the name Jesus, which is derived from the name Joshua, was a name that was assumed by a zealot who led the opposition against the Herod-appointed priests who had replaced him in the Temple of Solomon? To the Jewish faithful the position of Temple priests was a question of legitimacy, for the Herod replacements were not of “the sons of Aaron.” That bold interference by Roman officials in customary Jewish appointment of priests was certainly an overreach in the usual Roman management style, for the gods of conquered regions were usually respected–even in Rome itself. Of course spiritual belligerence was not as sharply intrusive among other people as it was in the Jewish population.

If there had been an actual historical zealot leader, it would have been inspirational to the community if the leader would assume the name derived from Joshua, a name from Jewish myth of the merciless slaughterer of men, women, children and even the animals of the conquered people of Canaan. (Archaeological digs have revealed that Canaan was never violently subjugated by invading Israelites as depicted in the Jewish priest-author account.) The Roman authors of Gospels may well have utilized the Jewish rebel-model, the alleged savior of God’s “chosen ones,” but shrewdly altered the zealot into the gentle savior of the world for broader consumption. That certainly would gain the attention of the Jews.

A hint that Jesus was possibly based on an actual zealot–or what we today would call a “terrorist” or “guerrilla”–is indicated in Matthew 21:12-13. There it says, “…and Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the money changers, and the seats of them that sold doves, And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.” In the same chapter, the morning after his rampage in the temple, and hungry from overnight travel, Jesus cursed a barren fig tree for not bearing fruit out of season! That must have sorely perplexed his Father.

The scene of muscular disturbance in the temple is retold in Luke 19:45-47; “And he went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold therein, and them that bought; Saying unto them, It is written, My house is the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves. And he taught daily in the temple, But the chief priests and the scribes and the chief of the people sought to destroy him.” It is important to remember that those priests and scribes referred to would have been individuals who had been installed in the temple by Herod.

Then in John 2:14-17 it relates, “And he (Jesus) found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting: 15) And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables. 16) And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house a house of merchandise.” Then there follows another curious clue in verse 17, saying, “…the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up.”

These Matthew, Luke and John verses relating fierce actions taken by Jesus have long bewildered many scholars and clerics, for it seemingly runs counter to the “Prince of Peace” and gentle teacher image of Jesus that is commonly promoted. But if there had been such an actual temple incident it would have been widely known among the Jews themselves, and that historic happening could be utilized to possibly attract the disgruntled people toward the alleged teachings of the peaceful teacher.

The Roman author of the Gospel book John was well aware that the Jewish zealots had not accepted the Herod-appointed priests in the Temple of Solomon, especially in respect to the high priest. Herod was closely affiliated with Rome, therefore any resistance fighters would be considered to be in violation of Roman authority, which would merit crucifixion.

What these three Gospel versions may off-handedly infer is that the zealot who took on the name derived from the legendary Israelite’s savior Joshua may have been one of those priests demoted by Herod. Since the NT Jesus is depicted as having then “taught daily in the temple” (Luke 19) after driving out the merchants, it hints that he was familiar in that environment. No wonder those who had been appointed as priests by Herod would then call for Roman justice–not the Jewish death by stoning. This proposed scenario may be the closest that we will ever come to some actual historical link with Jesus, the star of Gospel.

Then there is the curious episode in the Garden of Gethsemane prior to Jesus being arrested, as told in Luke. Something much more dire than a crime of radical preaching is indicated in the conversation between Jesus and Peter when (22:33) Peter is quoted as saying, “…Lord, I am ready to go with thee, both into prison, and to death.” The disciples are then warned of coming conflicts, and in verse 36 Jesus says, “…he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his script; and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.” In verse 38 his disciples said, “Lord, behold, here are two swords. And he said unto them, It is enough.” Why is that ignored? Bluntly, this staging with weapons was in regard to something more subversive than a prayer meeting.

So the leader of the temple rebellion may well have served as the model-inspiration for the Roman authors of these texts in response to the constant Jewish uprisings in the Empire. But the aim, originally, of those authors, starting with Mark, was to soften the constant Jewish rebellions and perhaps gain converts. It was necessary, of course, to tone down the real model’s actual resistance to Roman rule in the storyline of the faith system that they were trying to put in place. However, the needed softening influences were available to them in prehistory cosmological/creation lessons, Pagan myths, Gnosticism, and mystery school instruction.