Archive for the Atheism Category

Enough of Right Wing BS

Posted in agnoticism, Atheism, Atheist, culture, environment, freethought, Government, history, humanity, life, politics, random, Social, thoughts with tags , , , , , on April 18, 2011 by chouck017894

In case some readers may have missed this, here is a slightly modified version of an open letter written by an unnamed man from Montana to Alan Simpson, former Republican senator from Wyoming.  In August 2010 Simpson, an Anglican/Episcopalian, proved the caliber of his understanding of important and proven government programs by comparing Social Security to “a milk cow with 310 teats (well, he said tits).  And his assessment of those who earned that security through Social Security withholding from their earnings he actually called “the greediest generation”!  That knucklehead deserved more than this harsh tongue lashing, but the Montana man speaks volumes of truth—a commodity that is in much disfavor with the religious right dominated Republican/tea party.  Here is the letter.

Hey Alan, let’s get a few things straight.

1)  As a career politician, you have been on the public dole for fifty years.

2)  I have been paying Social Security taxes for 48 years (since I was 15 years old.  I am now 63).

3)  My Social Security payments, and those of  millions of other Americans, were safely tucked away in an interest bearing account for decades until you political pukes decided to raid the account and give our money to a bunch of zero ambition losers in return for votes, thus bankrupting the system and turning Social Security into a Ponzi scheme that would have made Bernie Madoff proud.

4)  Recently, just like Lucy and Charlie Brown, you and your ilk pulled the proverbial football away from millions of American seniors nearing retirement and moved the  goalposts for full retirement from 65 to 67.  Now, you and your shill commission is proposing to move the goalposts yet again.

5)  I, and millions of other Americans, have been paying into Medicare from Day One, and now you (scheming) morons propose to change the rules of the game.  Why? Because you idiots mismanaged other parts of the economy to such an extent that you need to steal money from Medicare to pay the bills.

6)  I, and millions of other Americans, have been paying income taxes our entire lives, and now you propose to increase our taxes (on the poor) yet again.  Why?  Because you incompetent bastards spent our money so profligately that you just kept on spending even after you ran out of money.  Now, you come to the American taxpayers and say you need more money to pay off your debt.

To add insult to injury, you label us greedy for calling bulls**t on your incompetence.  Well, Captain Bulls**t, I have a few questions for you.

1)  How much money have you earned from your pathetic 50-year political career?

2)  At what age did you retire from your pathetic political career, and how much are you (still) receiving in annual retirement benefits from the American taxpayers?

3)  How much do you pay for your government provided health insurance?

4)  What cuts in your retirement and healthcare benefits are you proposing in your disgusting deficit reduction proposal, or, as usual, have you exempted yourself and your political cronies?

It is you, Captain Bulls**t, and your political co-conspiritors who are the (true) “greedy ones.”  It is you and your fellow nutcases who have bankrupted America and stolen the American dream from millions of loyal, patriotic taxpayers.  And for what?  Votes.  That’s right, sir.  You and yours have  bankrupted America for the sole purpose of advancing your pathetic political careers.  You know it, we know it, and you know that we know it. 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Since this was written the open criminality against American citizens by right wing politicians has only gotten worse.  Washington DC has always been a lure for those looking to make some easy money and luxuriate in privilege.  Full scale war on democratic principles didn’t really get rolling  full swing until the Relgious Right managed to gain full control of the Republican Party in 1996.

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Concealed Background of Scriptures

Posted in agnoticism, Atheism, Atheist, belief, Bible, culture, faith, freethought, Hebrew scripture, prehistory, random, religion, thoughts with tags , , , , , , , on February 1, 2011 by chouck017894

Long before the Hebrew scriptures were crafted in 7th century BCE Jerusalem, the nomadic Hebrew tribes were clearly influenced by older cultures they touched upon during their wanderings across the ancient Near East.  In their extended wanderings, often across barren regions, the creative powers that other cultures personified as gods were more easily comprehended by them as a singularly harsh deity that was grudgingly supportive.  Not surprisingly, tribal leaders found it politically convenient to insinuate that they embodied some supernatural connection to that power, and the concept of a priest-like go-between was the accepted custom. 

Centuries later when the nomadic Hebrew tribes had wandered with their herds into the more agricultural region of Canaan, the rank of priest was virtually one and the same as tribal leader.  Even in the more advanced cultures that the Hebrew tribes touched upon—cultures such as Egypt, Babylonia and Assyria—were commonly presided over by priest-kings.  The more prosperous Hebrew tribes that had settled in the northern regions developed into the kingdom of Israel as the southern secondary Hebrew tribes tended their flocks and herds in the more rugged hill country.  But the northern kingdom of Israel fell to Assyrian invasion, and the priests in the little 7th century BCE village of Jerusalem, fearing a similar fate, threw their lot in with the young tribal leader Josiah who dreamed of bringing the scattered tribes of the south into a cohesive society.  To aid and abet Josiah in this ambition, the priests of Yahweh embarked upon a propaganda program to not only inspire allegiance of the people but to intimidate any neighboring cultures that entertained any ideas of taking control of the territory of Judah.

In the process of composing a “history” for their tribal region and the cult of Yahweh, the priests drew upon two teaching devices that they had collected (but little understood) in their wanderings and which were regarded as ancient even then.  One was astronomy-inspired teachings of Sumerian origin that once used  groups of stars (constellations) to illustrate lessons of creation and cosmology.  These astronomy-based educational props were referred to as “logi.”  The second device drawn upon was a text known as Ha-Qabala —a set of guide lines better known today as the Cabala or Kabala.  This is commonly, but erroneously, said to be an occult mystical philosophy of rabbinical origin, which became widely transmitted in medieval Europe.  But the analytical eminence upon which the Ha-Qabala later became interpreted in that medieval timeframe pre-dated any esoteric rabbinical interpretation of the Hebrew scripture.

There is a claim among Cabalists, undoubtedly with much justification, that a kind of religious metaphysics  was taught by word of mouth among some of the Tannaim—i.e. the earliest theology-shapers of Judaism.  Certainly oral instruction preceded the invention of writing.  Not generally known among Bible scholars is that the opening book of the Bible, Genesis, was originally presented in cabalistic script.  The key to cabalistic script lies in understanding the code that was used, which involved the use of graphs derived from twenty-two proper names and which correspond to numbers, symbols and ideas.  The difficulty in translating from this original code was formidable, for the cabalistic presentation of twenty-two proper names did not simply designate identifiable things: the names were regarded as being the things themselves!  This is difficult for most of us to comprehend who are trained in the A-B-C approach to teaching.  We do not use words that have an ontological link with the essence of the object that the words specify.  That is to say, the words that we use do not emanate from the objects that are designated.  An example is the opening line of Genesis; in the schemata of the cabalistic Genesis the words are: Bereschyt Bara Elohim.  From this the Yahweh priests interpreted “In the beginning God…”

Ancient Cabalistic insight was not concerned with any specific persons, nor was it concerned about the history of any group of persons.  Neither did that insight embrace the notion of a humanlike discriminatory god.  The Cabalistic texts from which the priests worked was encoded with names such as Aleph, Bayt, Ghimel, etc., and these pertained to projections of biologically structured energies at various stages of manifestation.  In other words, the Creation process.  The ontological connection with names taken from the Ha-Qabala reveals a startlingly different understanding of Creation than the Yahweh priests interpreted it.  The subject is too vast to be adequately covered here, but consider these few names from the Ha-Qabala texts as examples of how priestly translations perverted the scientific significance of the complicated texts.

Moses:  The Cabalistic name from which the star of the Exodus tale was derived is traced to Mosheh, properly spelled Mem-Sheen-Hay. The Mem part of the name refers to water—the waters (energies) of Creation.  This was altered in priest translation to mo, the Egyptian word for water, which strengthened the association of the character to that earthly locale.  The kingdom of Egypt in the Exodus saga symbolizes the power and abundance that is the generative source of Creation.  The Sheen part of the name means “breath,” and  implies the stirrings of life which emanate from those primal energies.  The Hay part of the name referred to the activation of life.  The biblical character of Moses therefore personifies the Life Principle in its movement through the elemental energy dimensions to manifest as matter form.  The energy involvement as matter is thus presented as the destined “Promised Land.”

Abram/Abraham:  To understand the Cabalistic meaning with these two adjusted names, we have to first look at the ram part of the name.  The ram component carries the crucial meaning of “Cosmic Dwelling”—or what may be interpreted as the non-manifesting conditions out of which all diverse energy forms of matter are projected.  Thus Ab-ram (or Av-ram) indicated the stage of primal energy development out of ram, so Abram represents the Life Principle at the level of cosmic action.

For this reason the priests of Yahweh declared Ab-ram to be the seed bearer—the biological regeneration factor that is carried into manifestations of life.  These energies evolve and transform as matter forms of life, and this transformation was indicated in scripture with the character’s name being changed from Ab-ram to Abraham.  It is at this point that the four skins of matter are initiated (mental, astral, etheric and dense energies).  In the priest contrived “history,” Abraham is then characterized as a fervent, unquestioning believer in Yahweh.  The Ha-Qabala, however, stated only that the manifested life form recognized its energy alliance with the Life Principle.  This is what is declared by the priests of Yahweh to be God’s covenant with Abraham.  But to advance beyond the imperfect stage of dense matter development, the four energy dimensions from which a matter form is made manifest (the four skins of matter) must be transcended (cut around), and it is from this Cabalistic teaching that the practice of circumcision was instituted as a condition of Jewish faith.

Ararat:  The mountain upon which the scriptural character of Noah is alleged to have landed after the Deluge is given as Ararat, a name derived from a Cabalistic name that vibrates in meaning as “new cycle.”  Noah is depicted as riding upon the waters of Creation into a new cycle of energy involvement that is represented as having taken place over forty days.  This disguises the involvement with, and passage through the four elemental energy planes that manifest as matter—identical with the four energy planes mentioned with Abram-Abraham.  Thus in scriptural myth Noah’s ark was launched upon Creation’s waters to navigate out of timelessness to become grounded upon the peak of matter where a new energy cycle is begun.  The scriptural version then asserts that Noah planted a grape-vine, made wine (of life), and became drunk (intoxicated with life) all in the same day after he landed!

These few examples of the prehistory astronomy knowledge and the Cabalistic source material used to manufacture a “history” of ancestors of the Judaic faith system provide reason for Jews, Christians and Muslims to reevaluate their “holy words;” and maybe reconsider their contentious relationship to each other.

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.

Belligerent Faith, A Danger to Democracy

Posted in agnoticism, Atheism, Atheist, belief, Bible, Christianity, faith, freethought, Government, humanity, Military, politics, random, religion, Social, thoughts with tags , , , , , , on December 18, 2010 by chouck017894

When one’s “faith” is expressed belligerently or aggressively, that “faith” has willfully closed itself off from receiving the in-flow of any higher spiritual potential.  Once “faith” is expressed in aggressive proselytizing it has degenerated into an attempt to take from other people’s spiritual essence rather than remain open to receive from universal essence.  The reason for this philosophical observation is prompted from having read once again of the shameful proselytizing that continues to infest the U. S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. 

A ministry founded by Don and Anna Warrick calling itself Cadets for Christ has long been given pretty much free rein to indulge themselves in unwanted proselytizing all over the campus.  How could this unconstitutional imposition of one religion over the widely diverse backgrounds of cadets be allowed?  The answer is not pretty, and it discloses how tenacious and deceiving the fundamentalist Christian organizations can be, for behind the allowance are some close ties to senior Pentagon officials!  There is no question that this allowance of Christian proselytizing amounts to subversion of the democratic principles set down by the founding fathers—the very principles upon which this democratic form of government rose to world power. 

A recent  United States Air Force Academy Climate Survey has brought to light some taboo data.  (It should be noted that the Survey was undertaken only after insistent pressure from the Military Religious Freedom Foundation.)  The statistics on the inappropriate proselytization conduct that has been allowed to continue at the Academy revealed that at least 20,000 servicemen and women, as well as Department of Defense civilians have experienced religious harassment.  And of the non-Christian Air Force Academy Cadets, forty-one percent of them related that they had been subjected to fundamentalist proselytization spiels, and even outright threats.  How the fundamentalists equate this  mental/physical harassment as spiritual guidance is, apparently, a divine mystery.

But this type of religious abuse goes much further than the Air Force Academy: the abuse and infractions by fundamentalist Christians has been uncovered at nearly every military installation across the world.  The fact is that such reprehensible religious posturing extends even into the Pentagon, which places democratic principles and national security in unreliable hands, thus posing a danger to everyone’s freedom.

Think that this is an extreme deduction?  As an example, The Chaplaincy of Full Gospel Churches has for years been making it possible for a stream of military chaplains to thumb their noses at the military code of behavior and have refused to cease and desist from proselytizing when in uniform.  In doing this, they do not even follow the advice given in Romans 13:2, “…he who opposes the authority has taken a stand against the arrangement of God…”  And in verse 10 it adds, “Love does not work evil to one’s neighbor…”  But then fundamentalists are experts at ignoring things that interfere with their material ambitions. 

How did the beautiful democratic acceptance of each person’s religion get levered around the longstanding regulation that apportioned chaplains in accordance with religious demographics that determined the faith of the majority of service personnel?  Properly, the percentage of one particular belief background would be matched closely with the same percentage of that faith’s chaplains.  Even so, all chaplains were then  obliged to receive training to minister to the troops of any faith.  All that changed after the Reagan administration breezed in.  The Pentagon, like the nation, was becoming infected with dubious divine sales pitches, resulting in accrediting a disproportional amount of evangelical and Pentecostal so-called “endorsing agencies” that then swamped the chaplain posts.  Those  who were “endorsed” were graduated from fundamentalist Bible colleges that taught that any other faiths were enemies of Christ.  Thus today this “conservative” and/or Pentecostal atmosphere has come to predominate as the spiritual guidance offered throughout all military branches!

As an example of how this imposition of evangelical/Pentecostal Christian “faith” upon what amounts to a captive group can be more of a disservice than a blessing, consider how service persons suffering post traumatic stress disorder from combat have been too often “treated.”  Far too many who have been casualties in body and  spirit have received “treatment” by religious quacks rather than by psychological diagnosis and professional treatment.  Chaplains generously offered comfort through evangelism, in effect implying that only in accepting Jesus as savior would they experience healing.  Prescribing heavy doses of scripture can twist even a healthy mind, so in effect the evangelical prescription was more like pouring gasoline on a fire.

Those men and women who place themselves in harm’s way for the nation that is supposedly dedicated to freedom and liberty deserve to be granted freedom from such shameful proselytizing in military closed ranks and freedom from chaplain “treatments” that alleviate nothing. 

Homosexuality and the Bible

Posted in agnoticism, Atheism, Atheist, belief, Bible, Christianity, culture, faith, freethought, gay culture, history, humanism, humanity, life, random, religion, sex, sex taboos, thoughts with tags , , , , , on December 12, 2010 by chouck017894

(After reading of an alarming rise in suicides among gay youths badgered by religious ignorance.  Add to this the stupidity of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell in military service, as well as the insane attempt to insert legal sanction to murder homosexuals in Uganda.)

One of the things that those who are gorged with holy hatred continually indulge in is to take verses out of context from Bible stories to express disapproval of some circumstance of life that does not measure up to some cultivated judgment they use to gratify their egos.  The alleged “sin” of same-sex attraction is one of their orgiastic fantasies.  To inflame themselves in this pious pornographic flight of the imagined immorality they will, of course, drag out their dog-eared Bible and expound heatedly over three or four favorite inferences.  Totally ignored by the gay-bashers is that there are well over 300 disapproving verses to be found on heterosexual indulgences in comparison.  This raises the issue, which of these “sinners” should we be concentrating on? 

The first example is generally taken from chapter 18 of Genesis, which tells of when the omniscient god was depicted as impatient to obliterate Sodom and Gomorrah.  In that tale we read that two angels who had shape-shifted into human male form are asked by the men of the village of Sodom  to  come out of Lot’s house so the men of the village might know them.  The phrase to “know them” has been deliberately twisted into a sexual connotation, such as the scriptural phrase so-and-so knew his wife.  This twisted concept is seemingly supported in chapter 19:8 for Lot, the story goes, then offered his two virgin daughters to them so the girls might clarify why privacy was necessary for the two visitors, for they bore vital information that concerned only the immediate family.  Remember, the early books of the Bible were not collected into written form until around the seventh century BCE, and sexual interpretation of “to know” can be traced back to a Jewish Midrash designed to inject reprehensible imagery into an otherwise  humdrum address.  That inference was not in the older Hebrew telling.  But invoking a forbidden suggestive image was more attention-grabbing for those who wanted to wrap themselves in an illusion of righteousness.  Careful there: another implication can be drawn from the story—one that alarms the self-righteous fundamentalists—and that implication is that if men are to be rescued from same-sex familiarity, God endorses the giving of virgin daughters for men’s sexual use as a gang-bang distraction technique.

Quickly skipping away from such an unnoticed Genesis inference, those determined upon holy hatred then dive into the book of Leviticus, one of the most hateful and discriminatory compositions ever passed off as “holy writ.”  In the sickness of spirit indulged in that book, which was mandated by priests to priests, it is asserted that it is a sin to eat pork, for example, or to eat water creatures without fins or scales; and leprosy was to be regarded as “unclean,” and that such a skin condition is caused by sin; parents could slay unruly children; and there are presented 28 ways approved to kill victims for any conduct that the priest-author alleged that God found reprehensible.  One has to wonder how the priest-author was privy to all the many “abominations” to which the Lord allegedly expressed aversion.  Surely it couldn’t be priest invented “abomination” because no offspring would be produced for the priests to brainwash?

As for God’s supposed disapproval of same-sex involvement, it is expressed in only one short verse in chapter 18 of the hate filled Leviticus.  The nine words of verse 22 says only, “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind…”  If this is such an “abomination” to the Lord, isn’t it peculiar that this commandment expressed in Leviticus was not set forth in the Ten Commandments that were allegedly handed down to Moses?  Or did the omniscient one not foresee such probabilities that could arise from splitting a hermaphrodite into two sexes?  (Genesis 1:27, or especially Genesis 2:21-23)

Finding only such skimpy ammunition for practicing hateful judgment in the Old Testament the fundamentalists will swoop upon the New Testament in their cherry-picking endeavor, landing upon 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, which is alleged to have been written by the self-proclaimed apostle Paul.  Among the sins that allegedly keep one from attaining membership in Heaven’s country club, there is listed in two verses: 9) “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God?  Be not deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 10) Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.”

Vague condemnation, indeed, if “effeminate and abusers of themselves with mankind” are to be made to define what constitutes the “sin” of same-sex attraction!  Those characteristics and every other one in Paul’s list can be used to define nearly all fundamentalists.  Most are fornicators; worshiping the man-composed Bible amounts to idolatry; divorced person remarrying are adulterers (according to Luke 16:18); thievery includes using other people’s tax money for private religious indulgence; covetousness includes wanting to impose their demands upon other people’s lives; drinking heavily is far from rare among fundamentalists; reviling others (such as gays) is a religious addict’s standard practice; and extortion or seeking to obtain their way under duress is always the stock-in-trade practice of the religious right.

In desperation the fundamentalists will fall back and cherry-pick the book of Romans, plucking out chapter 1, verses 26 and especially 27 for attack purposes.   Ignored is the fact that the lines carry no authority when compared with the early teachings attributed to Jesus’ ministry.  As with 1 Corinthians, the book of Romans is attributed to the self-appointed apostle Paul.  Again the list covers an abundance of “sins” that seem to apply more to the fundamentalists themselves than does the single vague verse they use to vilify homosexuals.  Indeed, from verse 21 to the last verse, 32, the fundamentalists stand guilty of all the far darker sins.  To them the  first verse of chapter two which follows seems especially applicable: “Therefor thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest:  for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things.”

To that truth let us add,  Amen.

Related posts:

  •   Sex Attraction, A Bogus Spiritual Dilemma, Oct. 2009
  •   Victimizing Gays is to Mock Jesus, Oct. 2009
  • * God Didn’t Mention Chromosomes, May 2010 *

Bible’s Bronze-Age Background

Posted in agnoticism, Atheism, Atheist, belief, Bible, culture, faith, freethought, Hebrew scripture, history, life, prehistory, random, religion, thoughts with tags , , , , on December 8, 2010 by chouck017894

The third millennium BCE, the Early Bronze Age timeframe, was a period in which urban life had been well established in the Near East region now known as Palestine.  Archaeological research has shown that there were cities of several thousand persons in that timeframe which contained palaces, temples, and defined areas of commerce, all surrounded by impressive ramparts and buttresses.  These commonly served as the capital of city-states which ruled over the surrounding rural population.  For the most part, these were well-developed but rather languid cultures.

This Early Bronze Age urban atmosphere is glaringly out-of-place as background for the stories of Genesis or for the alleged wilderness wanderings as depicted in the biblical books of Exodus and Numbers.  According to those priest-written accounts, written in seventh century BCE Jerusalem, urban life was virtually nonexistent: world population was thus characterized in the biblical tales from a pastoral nomadic point of view.  This clearly indicates that something brought about the breakdown of the urban way of life later in the third millennium BCE, so the early Bible tales are actually set in the Intermediate Bronze Age, the timeframe between two urban eras.  The collapse of the urban cultures apparently occurred suddenly c. 2200 BCE, lasting into about 1800 BCE (the Intermediate Bronze Age), which is more closely the time associated with priest interpreted chronology of the alleged patriarchs.

It was noted earlier in these web posts that there were worldwide climate changes in this Intermediate Bronze Age timeframe.  Rainfall dropped by twenty percent, crops failed everywhere, famines swept across the urban societies which resulted in riots and massacres.  Temples and whole cities were abandoned: the Old Kingdom of Egypt collapsed, for example.  The Kingdom of Akkad also collapsed, and there is a preserved lamentation called The Curse of Akkad, that tells of the Akkad empire’s fall.  Typically the lamentation attributes the collapse as due to an outrage of the gods toward one of the grandsons of Sargon who is accused of having plundered the temple of Enlil.  Part of the lamentation reads: For the first time since cities were built and founded/  The great agricultural tracts produced no grain/  The inundated tract produced no fish/  The irrigated orchard produced neither syrup nor  wine/  The gathered clouds did not rain, the masgurum did not grow…  Coinciding with this, the weather throughout Europe brought a long period of freezing conditions.

Biblical chronology implies that Abram (who was later transfigured into Abraham) was supposedly born c. 2150 BCE in Chaldea and departed the city of Ur c. 2100 BCE (the third millennium BCE).  This would be in the  Intermediate Bronze Age, and although there were no large cities in this timeframe, it was not an entirely nomadic period: much of the population led sedentary lives in hamlets and villages. 

For many generations the historical existence of the alleged patriarchs of the Bible tales was never doubted, and the “age of the patriarchs” was long accepted to be the earliest phase of a sequential history of Israel.  Thus the patriarchs were believed to have come upon the world stage sometime from the mid-third millennium BCE to maybe the late third millennium.  The science of archaeology, however, began to unearth evidence that moved the background of the patriarch saga more into the early second millennium BCE.  The unearthed evidence pretty much exposed the biblical “historical” accounts, compiled by priests of Yahweh in the seventh century BCE, to be more of a national mythology than reliable history.  Part of the appeal of the Old Testament tales is the illusion of culture and customs that outwardly parallels Mesopotamian customs and laws to those portrayed in the patriarchal stories.  The secret to those enduring biblical accounts is that those cultural features are presented in such a general manner that they could easily apply to most any locale in the Intermediate Bronze Age history of the Near East.