Archive for Fundamentalism

An Ungodly Fixation, Fundamentalism

Posted in Atheist, belief, Christianity, faith, history, humanity, religion, scriptures, Social, thoughts with tags , , , , on August 21, 2013 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 against the “evil Moors,” and the unquestioning believers dutifully sallied forth to slay hundreds of thousands of “heretics” for the glory of the “Prince of Peace.” The bulk of the victims across Europe over the centuries of the Inquisition were not Moors, but simply people who sought spiritual alliance with the Source in their own way. Later, in the 1800s the popular sport of the British Protestant fundamentalists was to indulge 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 “non-believers” were heartlessly slaughtered. In India on October 31, 1984, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, a Hindu of the Adi Dharma Brahmic religion, 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 fundamentalist mental affliction, one brand of Muslim fundamentalists continue to indulge themselves in the hit-or-miss slaughtering anywhere of anyone whom they judge to be infidels.

In the United States today the fever of Christian fundamentalists has managed (since 1996) to infect and pervert the workings of true democracy. As usual with any fundamentalist, the delusions of righteousness and holy exclusiveness from which they suffer is detectable by their addiction to unclean hatreds. In the affliction of fundamentalism it is not really their specific narrow 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 spiritual fever they fail to recognize that the “truths” they credit to God are actually nothing other than their own ego judgments fashioned by man’s fear of the unknown. Ego does not like any contrariness, and once ego fashions an emotional fortress (faith) it will rarely respond to rational examination.

Karl Marx made the insightful observation that religion is the opium of the masses. As with drug addiction, the quest of the religious fundies is the pursuit of the feel-good high they get from their indulgence. And they will defend without scruples their 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 lies, and even killing anyone considered to be a threat to their imagined superior spiritual status. So contaminated are they that they cannot see their spiritual insincerity when they judge other people to be “lost,” or a “devil’s advocate,” or “demon possessed” as they themselves go about disrupting every facet of social structure for the majority. They never explain why God, if “he” is omniscient,” has to rely on their pathetically limited abilities to clean up the spiritual confusion in regard to himself.

Fundamentalist Christians hold that the Bible is man’s sole authority. This is stridently avowed despite the many contradictions that the “holy texts” hold. There is a fact that would be amusing if it were not 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 slanted concepts. The common response to weaving some out-of-context verses into emotional rhetoric is to focus on some imagined revulsion that God supposedly finds within his creation of variety and diversity of life. Hatred for the superficial differences which make up life expressions is very easy to arouse, and accusations that others indulge in sin are so easy to assert—especially if any of those “sins” happen not to be one of the favorites of the fundamentalists.

Such pretense of possessing the only upright “faith” may give each other within their little faith system clique a sense of exclusivity, but it does not fool the ultimate power which creates in endless variety and diversity. And that fundamentalist attitude that everyone else is wrong certainly was not a message in the alleged teachings of Jesus. Indeed, Jesus was depicted as actually standing up to the Jewish fundamentalists of his day; he was radical in that he praised compassion, forgiveness, and being non-judgmental. In the book of Matthew 23:27 Jesus is even depicted as having commented on the shallow spirituality of fundamentalists. It might be wise, therefore, if the fundamentalists of today would get down off their self-constructed pedestals and actually read the book they claim to live by. Concerning 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.”

Yikes! Does that Gospel truth mean that all fundamentalists are actually—zombies?

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Democratic Principles of Creation and Heaven

Posted in belief, faith, random, religion, thoughts with tags , , , , on March 17, 2013 by chouck017894

Mankind’s  social and governmental structures which grant and inspire the rights of individualism and personal expression is what is called democracy.  This all-inclusive and broadly composed form of human government is probably the closest that man comes to emulating the original cause of all things in Creation which grants the privilege of plurality and  wide-ranging diversity throughout Creation.  The opposite of that allowance within Creation’s source for self-governing and variety is glaringly demonstrated in human conduct in the numb obsession of hardline faith systems which are referred to as fundamentalism

Fundametalism may be best evaluated as a paralysis of spiritual insight which results from an unwavering belief in a set of man-conceived strategies of religious, political or philosophical nature which are made compulsory as the basic and unalterable game-plan for storming Heaven.  With no wiggle room left for seekers to question or study all the enormous possibilities which “God” left open to seekers of truth, any social or true spiritual advancement then becomes virtually unachievable.

The power which was/is responsible for Creation’s manifestations has always been on purely democratic principles and is sustained and maintained through the collaboration of all individual components for the preservation of all.  In short, all things exist as part of an unrestricted principle just as the pre-Christian Roman and Greek philosophers taught.  In that perception regarding the essential interaction of all components which define Creation, all things great and small therefore stand equal before Creation’s power, which may be better termed as Cosmic Consciousness.  That creative directive of equal status which is active throughout Creation is best expressed in the democratic forms of man’s governments.  Plurality and interacting diversity is seen throughout all Creation and is the indisputable evidence that democratic principles prevail within the quantum Source.  In direct opposition to this, the hardline religionists and obstructionist politicos’ idea of heaven and social order is that everything is structured as either a one-dimensional kingdom or a monotonous inflexible theocracy. 

True democratic management, which is active as the creative principle throughout the observable universe, is not concerned with the possessions or power plays over which individual entities are inclined to obsess over.  From the democratic process which is active in the universe, the freedom of expression and interactivity serve as the sustaining framework for Creation.  Indeed all things must respect and support each other, otherwise the universe would cease to exist.  The minority is always preserved and respectedd as an inherent stabilizing element within the activities of the whole.  This is a fact of universal continuance that all the world’s  man-invented faith systems should consider, especially since they love to pretend such devotion to a humanlike god as the Creator of all. 

Democracy is modeled upon that respect and liberty which is extended throughout Creation, and in that creative activity there is granted the assurance of personal freedom which entitles each citizen the liberty and the responsibilty of shaping their own identity.  Equality before creation’s law is the basic principle within Creation, and in  man’s evolved societies equality before the law is the basic principle of democratic governing.  No individual or group can hold a monopoly on wisdom, virtue or importance before the creative Source.  That means that in man’s democratic governments the stripping away of laws for the benefit of special interests, as currently pursued by the political and religious zealots in the USA, is therefore the open contempt for established and proven laws of Creation.

An important part in pre-Christian times, such as prevailed in the city-states of classical Greece and Rome, the rule by the people was vitally important.  However, those ancient forms of near-democratic forms of government did not presume that all individuals necessarily held equal qualities.  It was understood that every entity is made definable by its limitations, but any perceived differences were nonetheless interlocked within the whole, and they are therefore impartially balanced as far as the creative Source is concerned.

Stoic philosophy in the pre-Christian timeframe held that every matter object with which we interact is a passive condition of energy and is distinguishable from the animating or active principle—which traditional man-centered faith systems consistently personify as a humanlike god.  Stoic ethics cannot be described as a metaphysical theory, although it regarded the creative energy spark from which each individual living thing attained manifestation as the defining feature of each living being’s individuality.  Man’s faith systems have referred to this defining feature as “soul” or “spirit,” which most everyone habitually confuses with their ego.

The four cardinal virtues of Stoicism reflect the philosophy that had been put forth by the Greek philosphers Plato and Socrates, these being wisdom, courage, justice and temperance.  Stoicism, which existed long before Christianity, recognized and advocated the brotherhood of all mankind.  And in this understanding any differences that were attained in rank and/or material wealth were rightfully regarded as merely external and temporary, and consequently each person should strive to help one another.  The natural equality of all beings and inanimate objects within the visible Creation was stressed as showing the democratic character by which man should live and prosper.  This certainly is not something understood or practiced by the many faith systems and politcal factions that seek to dominate man’s affairs today.

Stoic philosophy as honored in pre-Christian times had understood that man is but a small part of a divine principle.  The Jewish and Christian faith sytems struggled at times with this awareness, and it led them to emphasize the rights of the poor, the underprivileged, and even acknowledge that all humans stand equal before the creative power that is personified as “God.”  Unfortunately, the allowance for equal opportunity within Creation’s democratic structure even allows self-indulgence to run wild.  That allowance for self-entwinement is made evident in the politcal extremism and corporate styled faith systems today that have strayed far from the democratic principles that sustains all Creation.

Fundamental Delusions

Posted in belief, culture, faith, random, religion, Social with tags , , , , , on September 29, 2012 by chouck017894

Few things are more perilous to human spirit than a rigid fundamentalist approach to universal mysteries.  This applies to fundamentalists of any faith system: Jewish, Christian, Islam and others.  One need only to look out into the universe to detect that whatever that creative power might be which is responsible for all that we see, it expresses itself with a sweeping indulgence of variety and diversity.  Creative abundance as it is thus exemplified by that creative power is not something which that power has come to regret as fundamentalist egotism prefers to believe.  In a universe of unbounded variety and diversity, the creation of which is always attributed to an omniscient (all-knowing) “god,” the fundamentalists choose to interpret it all with tight-assed narrowness.

The universe unreservedly displays divine affection and indulgence for variety and diversity, but fundamentalists choose to look upon this as creative excess which “god” came to regret in the afterglow of his creative indulgence.  Of all that exuberant outpouring of Creation, they say, “god” now approves of only an extremely small fragment of it, and that favored portion, of course, is them.  With minds crippled with a conviction of their exalted status with the Maker, they feel compelled to sweep up god’s diverse clutter and render the Maker’s spectacular Creation sterile.  Gentle, loving, tolerant or compassionate the hard-nosed dogmatists are not, and in their toxic obsession they rush about to contaminate any moderate-minded persons whom their polluted egos like to imagine as god’s discarded “damned.”

To accomplish their self-assigned clean up mission, the fundies dedicate themselves to constantly trying to resuscitate the superstitions once held by the political minded shaman/priest authors of antiquity who always declared their authority had been placed upon them directly by god.  Today’s fundies continually fail to recognize that the ancient past—always alluded to as tradition—is merely the tail that few upon the body of political experiences which is now palmed off as divine wisdom.  Many thousands of years ago the assertions of specialness by a few schemers in a savage world did actually afford some security, balance and structure within primitive societies, but that tail that grew upon the butt of tribal politics should not be wagging the body of today’s advanced (evolved) insight.

Redemption or salvation of one’s soul (personal energy potential) will never be found in the dark confines of religious affectation and spiritual arrogance, which always displays itself in acts of discrimination, subterfuge and violence.  That amounts to nothing  more than ego masturbation.  True spiritual faith comes only through an inner sense of at-one-ment with universal powers which brings an inner peace which recognizes there is no holy commandment to degrade, harass or subjugate anyone.  It is only the insecurity of one’s belief that drives the anxiety-driven fundamentalist to seek legal trickery to enforce their misshapen values upon the  multitude.  The symbol of their religious “faith” is habitually worn on their sleeves or lapel or around the neck, and that prominently displayed symbol actually serves as a testament of their spiritual insecurity, not heartfelt piety.  In their cultivated hatreds for all those who do not share their particular stylized devotion to regimented misery, they then become dedicated assassins of spiritual equality.

No matter what deistic religion one may have been indoctrinated into, the deity that they are taught to envision is perceived only through the cracked mirror of their ego.  When “faith” is directed by the lustfully energized and disfigured ego, and anchored upon obsessions of this world while sneering at reason, rationality and scientific research, their chance of “doing god’s work” or enriching their own spirit has been rendered impotent.

The creative power to which the self-professed “only true believers” equate themselves is an absolute omniscient power, which is revered as ultimate wisdom that is in everlasting perfect self-control.  They remain blind to the contradictions within that belief, and that it discolors the premise of the alleged state of perfection.  Omniscience is ecclesiastically characterized as all-knowing, which implies ultimate self-control, but any necessity for absolute self-control indicates a measure of inhibition.  And if the creative power active as “god” attempted perfect inhibition it would not, could not exist: it would be in a state of perfect paralysis.

When “abiding faith” is transformed into an obsession to compel others to practice “reverence” in some specific man-invented manner, that “faith” has ceased to honor the omniscient power active as the Life Principle and turns all reverence in upon itself.  Such self-absorption is not how reverence is expressed for the power that is active within all things that are made manifest.  Indeed, when “faith” is made into a regime it has degraded itself by pursuing worldly advantages for itself under a false flag.  Thus every organized faith system, by thrusting itself between seekers and the omniscient power, makes itself a failure for instruction on how each individual may approach and be infused by that power.  Keeping the “flock” in ignorance of their personal spiritual capability simply plays into the non-spiritual desires of the practitioners for the jaded sense of control over others.

Fundamentalism is not, as the fanatical ones like to think, the glorious insignia of genuine faith.  Psychologically that amounts to little more than egoism; an abnormal sense of self-importance; a metaphysical classification of subjective idealism in which personal ego is regarded as the prime reality (soul), and belief that they alone hold some exalted rank with the Absolute.  These characteristics of fundamentalists assure only practices of intolerance and senseless conflicts.

Ultimately the only “faith” that is essential to one’s soul-welfare is the awareness that everything we perceive, and much more that we cannot perceive, has its identity within a singular all-embracing creative power which places high value on variety and diversity.  That Source power is not something that is sliced up or diced up into unrelated bits and pieces; not a power that discriminates against portions of itself; and not a paranoid power which hides from dismembered parts of itself.  And this, perhaps, is the reason that Jesus (presented as god in mortal form) is portrayed as saying, “…Inasmuch as you have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, you have done it unto me.”  Matthew 25:40.

Perils of Rigid Religiosity

Posted in belief, culture, faith, random, religion with tags , , , , on September 18, 2012 by chouck017894

Few things are more perilous to human spirit than a rigid fundamentalist approach to universal mysteries.  This applies to fundamentalists of any faith system: Jewish, Christian, Islamic and others.  One need only to look out into the universe to detect that whatever that creative power might be which is responsible for all we see, it expresses itself with a sweeping indulgence of variety and diversity.  Creative abundance as it is thus exemplified by that creative power is not something which that power has come to regret as fundamentalist egotism prefers to believe.  In a universe of unbounded variety and diversity, the creation of which is alway attributed to an omniscient (all-knowing) “god,” the fundamentalists choose to interpret it all with tight-assed narrowness.

The universe unreservedly displays divine affection and indulgence for variety and diversity, but fundamentalists choose to look upon this as creative excess which god came to regret in the afterglow of his creative indulgence.  Of all that exuberant outpouring of Creation, they say, god now approves of only an extremely small fragment of it, and that favored portion, of course, is them.  With minds crippled with a conviction of their exalted status with the Maker, they feel compelled to sweep up god’s diverse clutter and render the Maker’s spectacular Creation sterile.  Gentle, loving, tolerant or compassionate the hard-nosed dogmatists are not, and in their toxic obsession they rush about in blustery attempts to “correct” any moderate-minded persons whom their polluted egos like to imagine as god’s discarded “damned.”

To accomplish their self-assigned clean-up mission, the fundies dedicate themselves to constantly trying to resuscitate the superstitions once held by the political minded shaman/priest authors of antiquity who always declared their authority had been placed upon them directly by god.  Today’s fundies continually fail to recognize that the ancient past—always lauded as “tradition”—is merely the tail that grew upon the body of political experiences which is now palmed off as divine wisdom.  Many thousands of years ago the assertions of specialness by a few schemers in a savage world did actually afford some security, balance and structure within primitive societies, but that tail that grew upon the butt of tribal politics should not be wagging the body of today’s advanced (evolved) insight.

Redemption or salvation of one’s soul (one’s personal energy potential) will never be found in the cramped confines of religious affectation and spiritual arrogance, which always displays itself in acts of discrimination, subterfuge and violence.  That amounts to nothing more than ego masturbation.  True spiritual faith comes only through an inner sense of at-one-ment with universal powers which brings an inner peace which recognizes that there is no holy commandment to degrade, harass or subjugate anyone.  It is only the insecurity of one’s belief that drives the anxiety-driven fundamentalists to seek legal trickery to enforce their misshapen values upon the multitude.  The symbol of their religious “faith” is habitually worn on their sleeves or lapel or around the neck, and that prominently displayed symbol actually serves as a testament of their spiritual insecurity, not heartfelt piety.  In their cultivated hatreds for all those who do not share their particular stylized devotion to regimented misery, they then become dedicated assassins of spiritual equality.

No matter what deistic religion one may have been indoctrinated into, the deity that they are taught to envision is perceived only through the cracked mirror of their ego.  When “faith” is directed by the lust-energized and disfigured ego, and anchored upon obsessions of this world while sneering at reason, rationality and scientific research, their chance of “doing god’s work” or enriching their own spirit has been rendered impotent.

The creative power to which the self-professed “only true believers” equate themselves is an absolute omniscient power, which is revered as ultimate wisdom which is in perfect and everlasting self-control.  They are blind to the contradictions within that belief, and that it discolors the premise of “his” alleged state of perfection. Omniscience is ecclesiastically characterized as all-knowing, which implies ultimate self-control, but any necessity for absolute self-control indicates there is a measure of inhibition.  And if the creative power active as god attempted perfect inhibition it would not exist: it would be in a state of perfect paralysis.

When “abiding faith” is transformed into an obession to compel others to practice “reverence” in a specific man-invented manner, that “faith” has ceased to honor the omniscient power active as the Life Principle and turns all reverence in upon itself.  Such self-absorption is not how reverence is expressed for the power that is active within all things that are made manifest.  Indeed, when “faith” is made into a regime it has degraded itself by pursuing worldly advantages for itself under a false flag.  Thus every organized faith system, by thrusting itself between seekers and the omniscient power, makes itself a failure for instruction on how each individual may approach and be infused by that ultimate power.  Keeping the “flock” in ignorance of their personal spiritual capabilities simply plays into the non-spiritual desire of the practitioners for the jaded sense of control over others.

Fundamentalism is not the glorious insignia of genuine faith.  Psychologically that amounts to little more than egomania: an abnormal sense of self-importance; a metaphysical classification of subjective idealism in which personal ego is regarded as the prime reality (soul), and a belief that they alone hold some exalted rank with the Absolute.  These characteristics of fundamentalists assure only practices of intolerance and senseless conflicts.

Ultimately the only “faith” that is essential to one’s soul welfare is the awareness that everything we perceive, and much more that we cannot perceive, has its identity within a singular all-embracing creative power which places high value on variety and diversity.  That Source power is not something that is sliced up or diced up into unrelated bits and pieces; not a power that discriminates against portions of itself; and not a paranoid power which hides from dismembered parts of itself.  And this, perhaps, is the reason that Jesus (thought of as god in mortal form) is portrayed as saying, “…Inasmuch as you have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, you have done it unto me.”  Matthew 25:40

Dogmatic Faith and Paralyzed Spirit

Posted in agnoticism, Atheist, belief, Christianity, culture, faith, freethought, life, politics, random, Social, thoughts with tags , , , , on October 15, 2011 by chouck017894

Faith, the hallelujah kind, is a difficult human eccentricity to explain, for how are we to logically categorized which of our emotional or mental workings are to be factually considered as “true,” or “pious,” or “spiritually revitalizing“?  And why, exactly, should other physically ecstatic, mentally invigorating, or spiritually revitalizing experiences be dismissed as profane or even as supposedly abhorred by god—any consensual sex act, for example?  Even pondering over this incongruity is haughtily dismissed as disrespectful or blasphemous.

The general consensus among man-fashioned faith systems is that the perceived intelligence responsible for Creation and which is ceremoniously appealed to as “God” is said to be omniscient and omnipotent (all-knowing and all-powerful).  This raises the question of why should humans find it necessary therefore to whip themselves into the neurotic concept that there is only one way–some man-concocted faith system—which can propel believers into a higher attunement with that omniscient and omnipotent being?

In practice the my-way-only approach of these ego-gratifying faith systems that pretend to understand universal workings is to ignore the astonishing plurality and diversity which the universe openly prefers and openly displays.  Such an unrealistic disregard for life’s vast diversity in the practice of “faith” is testimony that exposes what these man-invented faith systems are really designed for—the exploitation of the masses through ego manipulation.

Considering that this little planet is swamped with a minimum of 4,200 religions, faith groups, schism-denominations, independent churches, tribal beliefs, cultural traditions, congregations, etc., such claims made by each of them to an imagined exclusive access to universal powers are illogical. And every one of those thousands of faith systems flourish by pretending that they alone possess exclusive access into a “paradise” or “bliss” or some vague spiritual country club in the sky.  That bogus assertion is nothing more than the indulgence in ego manipulation. [Statistics on spiritual/religious groupings used here were researched by adherents.com/]

When any man-conceived faith system becomes activated into an aggressive drive to impose its self-serving doctrines upon all those whom they can subject to it, that system ceases to be a spiritual search for enlightenment: That aggressiveness is intentionally directed to achieve only mundane objectives.  The plurality and diversity that is found throughout every aspect that is seen as life and Creation relays the universal truth that every person’s connection to the Source may also be achieved in diverse, personal ways, not just through some unyielding, uncompromising man-invented dogma.  It is when something becomes dead that it transforms into a stiff, cold, inflexible and unfeeling shell of existence—that state of lost awareness which we speak of as rigor mortis.

Rigor mortis is defined as the progressive stiffening of muscular tissues after death, which is known to be caused by chemical changes in the physical body.  Thus a fact of our material continuation happens to be that when some life aspect becomes unbending, unresponsive and unyielding, that aspect is no longer capable of interacting appropriately in a supple elastic manner with the living.  (Radical right take note.)  All life is defined by its flexibility, suppleness and lenience, therefore these traits active as life stand as the criterion by which we may measure the life-value of whatever interacts with our awareness of self.   Faulty teachings of man-conceived faith systems have, unfortunately, perverted our understanding of the electromagnetic energies (aura) that radiate around every life form and which is spoken of as “spirit.”  It is that measurable and indestructible electromagnetic vibrancy which always stands available as our personal link to the Source, not the indulgence in formulated posturing.

It is the awesome plurality and diversity that is observable everywhere throughout the universe which propels and sustains the universe.  And it is that plurality and diversity which provides us with the analytical means to evaluate the practice of religious fundamentalism.  The man-invented faith practices (and political systems) which demand rigid, unyielding ideology, and which fosters itself through negative tenets of hatred for life’s diversity are inherently anti-life. (Radical right, wake up!)  Sadly, that unyielding attitude is not the golden path of salvation; that is nothing more than spirit in the constriction of spiritual rigor mortis.

Related post: Spiritual Rigor Mortis, November 2010

Ministry Abuses

Posted in agnoticism, Atheist, belief, Bible, Christianity, culture, faith, freethought, Government, history, life, lifestyle, politics, random, religion, Social, thoughts with tags , , , , , , on February 13, 2011 by chouck017894

Religious huckstering is very profitable.  If in doubt, just ask Pat Robertson, Kenneth Copeland, Randy and Paula White, Eddie Long, Creflo Dollars, Glenn Lee Beck, Billy Graham, Robert H. Schuller, Jan and Paul Crouch, or numerous other televangelist “ministries” that each year chalk up multi-millions in tax-free cash and which they freely dip into for any personal expenditures. 

Religious activists are permitted to live outside the purview of federal tax authorities, and that guarantees the shafting of all tax payers in the name of some self-serving “faith” system.  From that sheltered position the holy schemers are free to intervene in partisan political campaigns while freely living lavish lifestyles.  This applies, for the most part, to the television “ministries” that pander to the stay-at-home armchair worshippers.  For the few persons who may actually be personally familiar with New Testament texts, however, that approach to “ministry” work does not properly reflect what Jesus is alleged to have taught. 

That these televangelists pick and choose the verses that are to be ignored is seen in their lust for money.  You never hear them quote from Mark 6:8 where Jesus sent out his disciples to preach and heal, telling them, “…take nothing for their journey, save a staff only; no script, no bread, no money in their purse…”   Or the verses in 1 Timothy 6:10 where it is noted, “For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith…”  It was in 1 Timothy also (chapter 3, verse 3) that cautioned those who preach were to be, “…not greedy of filthy lucre…”  And then there is Hebrews 13:5, which says, “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have…”

Among the goodies that the tax exempt loophole allows faith systems is that ministry executives may freely take “housing allowances.”  That these “housing allowances” too often pay for palatial homes, multi-million dollar condos, beach houses, etc., is indulged in while the “ministers” laugh up their sleeves at their gullible “sheep.”   It is common for such ministry set-ups to include family members and friends as “staffers,” so that they may all luxuriate under the big non-profit umbrella.

This is adequate reason for all faith systems to be required to file the same detailed annual information return that any other nonprofit organizations must file (Form 990).  Simply saying that they “work for the Lord” is not enough to avoid their obligation to the democratic government that permits them to exist.  Even Jesus, whom they mockingly claim to represent, was clear about that: “…Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s…” (Mark 11:17).  In other words, the advice of Jesus is that his representatives are to understand that proper spiritual conduct depends upon church and state being honored separately: for  although both concern man’s conduct, man’s accepted forms of earthly self-government do not prevail in heaven’s diversity and liberty. 

The antidemocratic criminality that is being indulged in in the U.S. today in the name of self-serving ministries has evolved into the corruption of government that we have witnessed since the Religious Right took over the Republican Party in 1996.  Thus today we have Republican Congressmen such as Charles Grassley of Iowa actually recommending that an independent commission—led by an evangelical agency—study church tax issues.  (That commission would be the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability, a Winchester, Virginia-based agency.)  Included in Grassley’s recommendation was the proposal to repeal the ban on churches being actively involved in political campaigns!  Church-based politicking anchored in tax-exempt security is not democratic, and it also runs counter to the teachings of the man whom they claim to represent. 

There is today a renewed push by the Religious Right leaders in the U.S. to scrap the constitutional restriction on religious politicking, or at least undermine it.  The undemocratic aim of these holy conspirators is to establish a voting bloc for fundamentalists whose idea of heaven on Earth is a theocracy.

The extreme Religious Right deceitfully present themselves as “renewed in Christ,” but they seem totally unfamiliar with their savior’s teachings.  In the earliest books of Christianity (Matthew and Mark), followers are counseled to  “…seek the welfare of one’s neighbor,” and to share compassionately.  Trying  to take over a government, therefore, is not a “Christian value.”  But today in the U.S. the self-interest of the fundamentalists is on display in their grasping for political power, and they are doing it using tax-free money.  The democratic structure of the U.S. is being threatened by an internal movement that masks itself with a pretense of piety and spiritual “guidance.”

Fortunately, the founding fathers of our democratic form of government were spiritually wise and knew that genuine faith is not a predatory fixation.

Spiritual Rigor Mortis

Posted in agnoticism, Atheism, Atheist, belief, Bible, culture, faith, freethought, history, humanism, random, religion, thoughts with tags , , , , , on November 19, 2010 by chouck017894

The general consensus among man-fashioned faith systems is that the creative power that is to be ceremoniously appealed to is an omnipotent and omniscient (all-powerful and all-knowing) being.  This raises a nagging question: Why should mortal persons be encouraged to whip themselves into a neurotic conviction that there is only one way—their man-concocted way, of course—to seek higher attunement with that omnipotent and omniscient intelligence?  And why would an all-powerful and all-knowing being feel any need to rely upon a theatrical marathon led by pompous and outlandishly costumed charlatans to accomplish his divine intention?

Something in each faith system’s My-Way-Only approach to attracting universal attention simply does not add up; especially considering that this little planet is swamped with a minimum of 4,200 religions, faith groups, schism denominations, independent churches, tribal beliefs, cultural traditions, congregations, etc.  (These statistics were calculated by aherents.com/)  And every one of them is convinced that they alone possess exclusive access to an afterlife paradise or bliss or something resembling a spiritual country club that defies depiction.

These eternally unanswered challenges should send up caution signals to any rational mind.  We should always question any faith system that seeks to forcibly impose their man-invented brand of religious theatrics upon the masses in the name of that all-embracing creative power that demonstratively expresses creative will in endlessly diverse ways.  The diversity that is found throughout all that is seen as life signals to us the universal truth that one’s connection to that Source may also be achieved in endlessly diverse personal ways—not  just through some unyielding, uncompromising dogma.  It is when something is dead that it becomes stiff, cold, inflexible, and unfeeling; i.e. unspiritual.

Rigor mortis is defined as the progressive stiffening of muscular tissues after death, which is due to chemical changes in the physical body.  And this fact of life illustrates the standard by which we may estimate the life-and-spiritual value in our self-awareness which allows each individual to interact with that sustaining creative power.  The creative force  responsible for all creation grants the privilege of diversity throughout all creation.  When faith is made to shrivel into a rigid, unbending, adamant, pitiless practice (fundamentalism), there is no way that such a dead approach could possibly reflect the all-embracing omnipotent and omniscient will in which all diverse things are sustained.  Such self-centered insolence is not a living spiritual practice, for it is purposely directed to achieve only material-tyrannical objectives. 

The fundamentalists habitually string their beliefs upon a few narrowly selected verses of “holy word,” but ignore that the bulk of those stories which they cannibalize for examples on how to stroke God’s ego were primarily concerned about political struggles that were palmed off by the human writers of those self-serving tales as being divine disclosure.  Thus psychologically conditioned, the insecurity that fundamentalists feel in their belief system drives them to seek legal trickery to enforce their distorted values upon the multitude.  Cultivating hatreds and inciting disorder against all those who do not share their inflexible “faith” amounts to nothing more than an indoctrination practice in which followers are conditioned to act as dedicated assassins of spiritual equality.  That is not an honorable way to serve the hallowed source of life; that is personal spirit in the throes of rigor mortis.  There is advice to be found in the New Testament book of Matthew 8:22 that may be directed to those poor souls who have allowed themselves to stiffen into such spiritual rigidity: there it says, “…let the dead bury the dead.”