Archive for biblical “values”

Chopping At The Roots of Democracy

Posted in Atheist, culture, Government, history, politics, random, religion, Social, thoughts with tags , , , on July 9, 2014 by chouck017894

…or Remembering Recent Religious Attacks on Democracy
…or How America Was Led To Where We Are Today
…or Not Yesteryear’s GOP

In the United States the Republican Party fell completely under the control of the Religious Right in 1995 (as noted in the blog Diseased Politics, January 2011). With “biblical values” as their sham standard, there arose rather rapidly an increasing odor of corruption. But there had been warnings for years from concerned Republicans that the integrity of their party was in increasing peril.

As early as 1981 Republican 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, in 1994, Goldwater warned, “If they (the unscrupulous 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 attacks 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 [democratic] politics goodbye.” Well, the religious right now owns the Grand Old Party and Goldwater’s warnings were proven prophetic.

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

And the 1995 challenger for the minority whip position, Republican John Shadegg of Arizona, lamented, “We ceded our reform-minded principles in exchange for a …tighter grip on power.” (Shadegg went on, however, to oppose the Healthcare Reform Package, calling it a “Soviet-style health care,” and it would be tabled in October 2009.) It was in 1999 when DeLay was the House Republican Whip, that DeLay made Roy Blunt his chief deputy. Blunt, a stanch Baptist, is noted for voting in favor of mandatory school prayer, school vouchers, and for allowing the anti-democratic use of federal money (gathered from citizen taxes of every faith or no faith) to issue vouchers for private or religious schools. With DeLay and Blunt in lockstep maneuvering, the religious dominated GOP was whipped into a frenzy of wild spenders who chopped away at long-standing regulations, instigated tax cuts for their cohorts, and doled out lavish earmarks and appropriations. They were so obviously blessed.

In this same general timeframe, DeLay initiated his so-called K Street Project, a not-so-righteous endeavor to get trade associations and lobbying firms to employ Republican supporters and to be more active in raising money for the party. And DeLay’s chief deputy, Roy Blunt, faithfully acted as DeLay’s envoy to the lobbying community–all in an effort to ram a strong religious-flavored Republican agenda through Congress. Dreams of establishing a theocratic government burned fiercely in their hearts. All this web of religious wheeler-dealers helped push biblical values into Republican legislative agenda, but those sacred 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 born again George W. Bush administration, but then Roy Blunt’s name came up in connection with the Abramoff investigation. While Blunt was dutifully opposing a woman’s right to choose and opposing gay marriages, he saw nothing un-spiritual in trying to insert language into the bill creating the Homeland Security Department which would aid the Philip Morris tobacco company. He was inspired to make it more difficult for cigarettes to be offered for sale on the internet, apparently having suddenly had it divinely revealed to him that if cigarettes were to be offered on the internet it would be a serious security threat for the nation. Of course this deep spiritual inspiration had nothing to do with the $202,909 that Philip Morris had donated to his campaign.

Unfortunately that deceitful web of pretended righteousness is still being spun over the workings of the US government today (2014). And with the self-serving Tea Party having been added to the spin of biblical values, genuine democratic principles of equal opportunity for all the nation’s diverse citizens are not likely to improve. Somehow these religionists’ tactics reminds one of the line from the children’s story–“Come into my parlor, said the spider to the fly.”

With this parasitic image we will close with another prophetic quote from former Republican Senator Barry Goldwater: “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.” (Italics added by this writer.) He concluded that interview with 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 [forced] conformity, and then to despotism.”

WAKE UP AMERICA! GENUINE DEMOCRACY IS UNDER ATTACK not only from foreign terrorists but more frighteningly also from within by divine deceivers.

The Lord’s Tough-Love Tactics

Posted in agnoticism, Atheist, belief, Bible, Christianity, culture, faith, freethought, Hebrew scripture, history, humanity, politics, random, religion, Social, thoughts with tags , , , , , on April 6, 2011 by chouck017894

The Lord allegedly became frustrated and angry a lot in the Old Testament.  And rather than just guide his chosen ones through omniscient psychological counseling, the Lord was prone to strengthening those who opposed his darlings in order to inflict punishment upon his chosen ones!  At least that is the imagined motivation as presented by the priest-authors who aspired to chronicle God’s holy mood swings.  The favored excuse for explaining away any Israelite defeats was that they “…went a whoring after other gods.”  The priest-authors were very fond of belittling whoever displeased them. 

A typical but lesser known example of this favored excuse comes from the book of Judges, which purports to cover the “history” of Israel from the time of the settlement of Canaan until just before the establishment of the monarchy.  (Related post: Fables From the Book of Judges, August 2010.)  According to the priest-authors of Judges, the fall of the Israelites was due to a series of desertions from the faith.  By that the priest-authors meant that the people resented priestly indulgences imposed upon them as an alleged condition for receiving the Lord’s conditional love.

The book of Judges was an attempt to connect and continue the priestly saga of the alleged battles for the “Promised Land” that had been introduced with the book of Joshua.  Sadly, no leader who was comparable to Joshua had been provided by God after Joshua died, and thus the unity of the tribes supposedly weakened and degenerated into apostasy followed by military defeat to Mesopotamia.  Thus the book of Judges continued the blood and guts stories, which seems a peculiar documentation to express the alleged love, grace and favoritism supposedly showered upon the Israelites by the Lord.

The ways of the Lord are mysterious, and so after the Israelites suffered defeat to Mesopotamia, the Lord determined that the Israelites must be made to endure eight years under Mesopotamian rule before he would raise up a warrior (Othniel, Joshua 10:15:17 and Judges 3:9) to deliver them.  But after the typical forty years of  Othniel’s supervision the people again “went a whoring after other gods.”  This, of course, was the alleged cause for Israelite defeat c.1406 BCE by Eglon, king of the Moabites, who had allied with the Ammonites and Amalekites against God’s darlings.

After eighteen years under the harsh thumb of King Eglon (Joshua 10:3; Judges 1:12, 14, 15,17), a self-appointed rescuer named Ehud (Joshua 3:15; 4:1) from the tribe of Benjamin decided to redeem his people by assassinating King Eglon.  Ehud was convinced that getting rid of the tyrant Eglon was his godly calling, and so he fashioned a two-edged dagger about eighteen inches long, hid it in the  folds of his cloak, and managed to get into the presence of the obese King Eglon.  Ehud implied that he had a secret errand, so the king allowed Ehud a private meeting in the king’s summer parlor.

According to the priest-authors it is deception that, for some mysterious holy reason, is the honored way to serve God, so Ehud came close to the king, saying, “I have a message from God unto thee” (Judges 3:20).  As the king bent near, Ehud then drew with his left hand the dagger hidden beneath his cloak on Ehud’s right thigh, and thrust the long blade into the obese king’s belly. 

The lethal attack is adoringly detailed: “And the haft also went in after the blade; and the fat closed in upon the blade, so that he (Ehud) could not draw the dagger out of his (Eglon’s) belly; and the dirt came out.”  Skulking away and locking the door to the summer parlor behind him, Ehud managed to depart the crime scene just as the servants arrived and hovered outside the parlor door, for they were afraid to impose upon the king’s  privacy.  Then from verse 27 to 30 Ehud raises an army, leads them into battle, and allegedly slays “…ten thousand men, all lusty and all men of valor; and there escaped not a man.”   There is no further narrative.  There is only the statement that Ehud, inferring that Ehud had God’s blessing, “delivered Israel.”  Thus Ehud is ensconced as the second of the revered “judges” of Israel.

If such a premeditated, cold-blooded murder as so graphically detailed in holy scripture of Eglon’s murder was carried out in modern societies of today, would it be so callously brushed aside as in this savage tale presented in the book of Judges?  Well, perhaps—in the blow-’em-apart movies made for immature audiences.

Could any sane person possibly believe that such practiced betrayal and plotted taking of human life (even of a tyrant) can in some way be carried out as fulfillment of some divine commission?  Unfortunately, yes.  There are still religious fanatics who hold up tales such as these as examples of “biblical values” which they wish to install upon the masses as guidance for conducting a democratic government!