Archive for Crusades

Fundamentalism, An Ungodly Fixation

Posted in agnoticism, Atheism, Atheist, belief, Bible, Christianity, culture, faith, history, humanity, life, Middle Ages,, random, religion, thoughts with tags , , , , , , on May 16, 2010 by chouck017894

Back in the Middle Ages the Crusades became the big religious pastime in European circles.  Christians were called by Catholic fundamentalists to mount an offensive drive against the evil “Moors,” and the unquestioning believers dutifully sallied forth to slay hundreds of thousands of “heretics” for the glory of god.  In the 1800s the popular sport of the British Protestant fundamentalists was to indulge themselves in terrorism against the Irish Catholics in Northern Ireland.  More recently, when Iran was taken over by Muslim fundamentalists in the Islamic Revolution of 1979, thousands of unbelievers were heartlessly killed.  In India on October 31,1984, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was shot to death by a Sikh fundamentalist.  The Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was shot to death in 1995 by a Jewish fundamentalist.  And in our present-day epidemic of that mental affliction, one brand of Muslim fundamentalism indulges itself in the hit-or-miss slaughtering anywhere of anyone whom they regard as an infidel.

In the United States today the fever of Christian fundamentalism has managed to infect and pervert the workings of democracy.  As usual with any fundamentalists, the delusions of righteousness and holy exclusiveness that they suffer is detectable by their addiction to unclean hatreds.  In the affliction of fundamentalism it is not really their specific faith that is at fault; it is the delusion that they and they alone know what is true and right in the sight of god.  In their fever they fail to recognize that the “truths” they credit to god are actually ego judgments fashioned by man’s fear of the unknown.  Ego does not like any contrariness, and once ego fashions an emotional fortress (faith) around itself, it will rarely respond to rational examination. 

Karl Marx made the insightful observation that religion is the opiate of the masses.  As with drug addiction, the quest of the religious fundies is the feel-good high they get from their indulgence.  And they will defend without scruples that indulgence of “faith” against any rational examination.  The lust for god’s imagined favoritism commonly drives them into unholy behavior such as name-calling, half-truths, outright lying, and even killing anyone considered a threat to their imagined spiritual status.  So contaminated are they that they cannot see their spiritual insincerity when they judge other people to be “lost,” “devil’s advocate,” or “demon possessed” and unconcernedly go about disrupting every facet of social structure for the majority.  They never explain why god, if he is omniscient, has to rely on them to clean up the spiritual confusion in regard to himself. 

Fundamental Christians hold that the Bible is man’s sole authority.  This is despite the many contradictions that the narrative collection holds.  There is a fact that would be amusing if it weren’t so tragic, but the average fundamentalists have not and do not actually read the Bible themselves—it is so much easier to listen to some overzealous interpreter who cherry picks verses from the “good book” to inflame others with their unfounded concepts.  The common response to weaving out-of-context verses into emotional rhetoric is to focus on some  imagined revulsion that god finds within the intentional diversity of life that he is said to have created.  Hatred for the differences that make up life is so easy to arouse, and accusation of others indulging in sin are so easy to assert—especially if any of those “sins” are not one of their own favorites.  Such pretense of uptight “faith” may give each other a sense of exclusivity, but it does not fool the power that creates.  And that attitude certainly was not a message in anything that Jesus is portrayed as having taught.  Indeed, Jesus was depicted as actually standing up to the fundamentalists of his day.  He was radical in that he praised compassion, forgiveness, and being non-judgmental.  In the book of Matthew, for example, Jesus even commented on fundamentalists.  It might be wise if the fundamentalists of today would abandon their self-centeredness and actually read the book they claim to live by.  Of the fundamentalists Jesus is quoted as referring to them as “…whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness.”

Corporate-Backed Crusades

Posted in Atheism, Bible, Christianity, culture, freethought, history, humanity, life, politics, random, religion, thoughts with tags , , , , , , , on September 5, 2009 by chouck017894

Finally, in the 2009 presidential election the citizens of the United States roused themselves out of their long Republican induced stupor and began clearing the fanatic right-wing elements out of offices that are expected to represent the people.  Eight years of having two corporate hustlers sitting in the highest seats of government had plunged the nation noted for individual freedoms into a so-called “Christian nation” that turned its back on the principles stated in the Constitution, the very principles that had made the nation great.  The chipping away at constitutional rights began almost immediately with no apparent recognition of the irreverence and disrespect of having held their hands on the Holy Bible while swearing before God to honor, uphold and protect the Constitution.

The attempt was quickly taken up by the new administration to impose a parochial view of control upon the nation as was once practiced by the “god-fearing” characters in the Old Testament.  The Bible to be used as law allowed for savage attacks upon anyone deemed too independent.  According to the theocratic notion which they sought to impose, the right of a woman to determine what was to grow within her own body was to be denied: the sovereignty of the family was to take precedence over individual rights: unruly children were to be stoned: same sex minorities were to be denied the right to a committed relationship: and the Christian religion (their particular narrow brand) was to control how everyone was to live, meaning that democracy was to be replaced by theocracy.  The irony of these fanatics calling themselves “Christians” while using the gross tales of the Old Testament as the model of governing does not exactly equate with the early teaching attributed to Jesus in the New Testament.

The terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in New York in 2001 seemed a peculiarly—almost uncannily convenient event for those who had schemed of taking control of democracy.  It seemed that God had smoothed the way for corporate profits.  After all, an array of corporations had worked to ensure that a “man chosen by God” would be placed in the Oval Office.  Of course it didn’t hurt that corporation big-wigs had developed a collation of think tanks—and don’t forget their false-front not-for-profit outfits that they established to justify their political tampering.  With the heavily tilted Republican and Catholic-leaning Superior Court’s help, God’s plan had been set into effect.

Thus a twenty-first century “Crusade,” declared by God’s alleged choice for U.S.  president, became the needed motive to begin implementation of theocratic management.  In order to grab full control of national acceptance it was vital to change the viewpoints and traditions of the American public.  Corporation pundits knew just how to do this: build up a facade of respectability for any proposed route that led into corporate profits.  Thus the Neoconservatives—or “Neocons”—came  into full bloom which, in actuality, act as the public relations firm that works for those predatory corporation that operate through the government.

Corporate interests are never concerned about public welfare: the only “god” they turly worship is materialism.  It does not matter to them if a formerly little-respected segment of the Christian community was making threatening waves in a democratic culture devoted to equal opportunity.  The power conversion that the corporate fat cats eagerly supported and assisted had nothing to do with religion or in support of personal freedoms.  As far as the corporate schemers are concerned, any shift in governing affairs is profitable for them: it is peace, mutual respect, and rational discussion on national problems that pose the real threat to fat-cat’s wallets.  That corporate approach can be said to be religious in a sense, however:  they operate on the same practices of half-truths and scare tactics that served as the foundation for all hard-line religions.

Echoes Through History

Posted in Atheist, Christianity, culture, faith, history, humanity, Middle Ages,, politics, random, religion with tags , , , , on August 9, 2009 by chouck017894

Over the passage of time, history has a way of duplicating events—not exactly the repetition of events but giving forth variations on a plot line with a different setting.

We would hardly think, for example, that recent events in the United States today would have anything in common with the militaristic religiosity that propelled the Crusades of the 11th, 12th, and 13th centuries which brought needless distress to Europe and the Near East.  At that time the western powers (hard-line church politics) cast covetous eyes toward Jerusalem, ostensibly as a point of pilgrimage to the alleged tomb of Jesus.  But the Muslim brand of spiritual understanding, although giving recognition to Jesus, did not relish the idea of foreigners overrunning their territory and digging around for a legendary but unconfirmed burial site.  So the Caliph, al-Hakim, called “the mad” in western cultures, barred further pilgrimage passage through the territory.  Christians were whipped up by the pope and priests to wax indignant, hateful and belligerent (as right-wingers in the U.S. are today), and the barring of access to Jerusalem was assessed by the church and Europeans as “persecution.”

Around the year 1090 profound religious fervor permeated all sections of the European population, the Muslim nations were arming themselves, and countries such as France and Germany were impoverished.  Thus in 1095 Pope Urban II exhorted Christendom to take up arms and march to take Jerusalem by force, and the stage was set for seven bloody Crusades stretching over three centuries.

The motivation for the Crusades was always claimed to be religious, of course, but the results just happened to bring wealth and prestige to the church.  This tended to disenchant many gentle Christians who believed that enriching spiritual understanding was supposed to be the foremost function of the church.

As unalike as these time-separated scenarios may seem to be, there are many incidents of today that parallel the Crusade times—not the least of which is the boisterous religiosity that has increasingly infected the governing of the USA through the last few decades.  Add to this that today the Near East region is disenchanted with foreigners overrunning their territory in pursuit of oil to satisfy the high priests of commercialism.

Like the propaganda-inspired Dark Ages crusades where only the high politicos of the Catholic Church gained materially, today the only ones that really gain anything from the bloody and costly intrusion upon  foreign nations are the high priests of corporate commerce.  Let us hope that their lust for material accumulation does not last for over three centuries as did the Crusades.

Welcome to the Time Frames and Taboo Data Blog!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 25, 2009 by chouck017894
An astonishing amount of what we are taught and accept as history is commonly a sanitized version of past events that have been crafted for self-preservation by some power structure that happens to hold dominion over a mass of people. Nations and empires rise and fall, each giving its own account of its claimed intrinsic worth. Amidst these living and variable power plays there is one element that seems to endure like some shape-shifting form of the undead, and the reason and covert actions responsible for its continuing survival is the primary focus of Time Frames and Taboo Data which probes into some of the conceits and deceits that have served as the cornerstones of various religious practices.

The world that we know today is demonstrably the outgrowth of manipulated interpretations of past events. Societies find this to be tolerable because just enough truth is incorporated into the accounts to disguise the traditions and political ideologies that are being promoted. This is especially true when a chronicler pretends to record “spiritual” territory. There is always a measure of the unknown in any history presentation, but it is predominant in “faith” accounts.

Unfortunately for mankind, this has long allowed a broad array of devious pretenders of “revealed” knowledge to use peoples’ apprehension of the unknown as a means to manipulate masses of uncritical people. This blind willingness to believe improbable claims is not exactly in the best interest of humankind, for if large portions of true history are covered with trickery and deceit then mankind is seriously hindered from attaining its higher potential.

There is an age-old claim that religious belief is the standard-bearer of ethics and morality, but the warring and bloodshed that has flooded over the millennia in the name of improvable theological speculations disprove that claim. Add to this that religious fanatics have, with their head-in-the-sand zeal, continually condemned any and all in-depth scientific research into life’s mysteries in favor of Bronze Age fantasies of never-seen gods. This makes for profitable business for the “messengers” and mouthpieces of these belief systems, and thus the seeds of needless tragedies continue to be sown.