Archive for religion in politics

Democracy and Spiritual Liberty Under Attack

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Priest’s Convenient Discovery

Posted in Atheist, belief, faith, Hebrew scripture, history, politics, random, religion, thoughts with tags , , , , on December 1, 2011 by chouck017894

(Political Purpose of Deuteronomy)

The biblical text known as Deuteronomy, inserted as the fifth book of holy scripture, was composed for political purposes in Jerusalem in the newly established little tribal kingdom of Judah in the seventh century BCE. The little kingdom of Israel to the north had fallen to Assyrian expansion, and the inspiration behind the priest-written text was that the people could be mobilized by giving them an emotional claim to a national identity.

Deuteronomy is the alleged second corpus juris (body of laws) that had purportedly been given to the Israelites through Moses prior to the Israelites entering the land of Canaan.  The delivery of the supplements to the original “laws” had supposedly taken place in the plains of Moab (generally placed in the 1400s BCE).  So the Israelites were not then in the “Promised Land,” and yet the book containing the second corpus of “laws” supposedly had been carried into and inflicted upon those who already inhabited the land of Canaan.  Those undisclosed laws had apparently been lugged around through the Israelite invasion ordeal, even though the Israelites were unaware that what they defended predetermined the framework for a national constitution of Israel that would rise generations later!

The major feature of the top-secret text was the promise from god—or a covenant between God and Israel—to serve as the basis for the Israelites lifestyle in Canaan.  In the time of Moses, remember, no center  of Israelite government or religion existed in Canaan, the “Promised Land,” and yet that “for your eyes only” text supposedly provided the basic summary of every citizen’s rights and duties.  Strangely, those god-ordained laws were not found until the Temple in Jerusalem was being remodeled in the seventh century BCE, which was after the kingdom of Israel to the north had fallen to the Assyrians—or around 700 years after the traditional timeframe accorded to Moses and the Exodus (c. 1576 BCE).  Unlike the Ten Commandments the additional laws conveyed to Moses apparently had not been written on stone.

Whoever the real author(s) was (most likely it was the High Priest named Hilkiah and his secretary Shapan), he undoubtedly built upon already existing traditions, refashioning the legends according to his own outline and political goals.  There is no doubt of the genius of the creator(s) of the 7th century BCE who updated the oral traditions, for the early folklore and stories were woven together so skillfully that the characters, such as Moses, Aaron, Joshua, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, etc., exuded individual distinctiveness.  Equally telling that priestly hands were at work on the text are often detected in the alleged exhortations of Moses, which can only be characterized as preaching the law in a reproachful manner.  The heavy amount of the “laws” are not what can be termed juridical, but primarily concerned religious instructions and regulations for worship, even a festival calendar, and admonitions designed to program the public with a sense of obligation and duty toward God, which—surprise!—cunningly placed the priests in absolute management position.

In 640 BCE, after the assassination of tribal king Amon of Judah, his 8-year old son Josiah became king—and the High Priest Hilkiah became the young king’s tutor.  The convenient “discovery” of the book of Law in this same general timeframe also happened to coincide with the rise of literacy that accompanied the influx of refugees from the fallen kingdom of Israel to the north.  With the arrival in Judah of expatriates from the kingdom of Israel the political atmosphere changed, and until this timeframe there had been little means of producing extensive sacred texts.  With young King Josiah being tutored by the High Priest Hilkiah, the stage was set to institute a unifying code of alleged god-ordained laws within the boundaries that were then being claimed as the kingdom of Judah.

Deuteronomy is the only book of the Pentateuch that asserts that it contains “words of the covenant” which Israelites were instructed to follow faithfully (Exodus 29:9).  Biblical scholars have pointed out that the literary form of the alleged covenant between Yahweh and his people as presented in Deuteronomy has striking similarity to the seventh century BCE Assyrian vassal treaties.  In those Assyrian models the subjected people’s’ rights and obligations were correspondingly detailed.  The major difference from the Assyrian model with the holy “covenant” laws allegedly discovered in the Temple wall at Jerusalem is that Yahweh is acknowledged as Sovereign (with the priests acting as his representatives).  Typical cult ordinances were then stressed such as followers of Yahweh were charged to have no transactions or social interaction, and no intermarriage whatever with the native inhabitants.

The book of Deuteronomy also prohibited numerous Canaanite rites that had been tolerated for generations—rites that included sense-stimulants such as prostitution, ritual sodomy, and use of idols upon which devotees could focus their attention.  After the so-called “second law” was revealed, the books of Joshua, Judges, 1 and 2 Samuel, and 1 and 2 Kings were compiled in conjunction with Deuteronomy.  The groundwork was then laid down in the plotted reform measures that the High Priest and his scribe sought to impose at that time.  Thus eight years after Josiah had become king in 622 BCE, the suggestible adolescent observed the first-ever Passover sacrifice in the national shrine in Jerusalem.  Holy politics had triumphed.

The imposed cult-like obligations and the emphasis that believers in Yahweh were the only virtuous people—always self-portrayed as surrounded by wickedness and evil and godlessness—insured that Judaism would live at variance not only with neighboring people, but with Nature and universal forces as well.  Over time that spiritual virus would also contaminate the devout affirmations of two later faith systems that would arise to further splinter the western understanding of man’s relationship to the creative forces around him.

Hijacking Christianity

Posted in Atheist, Christianity, culture, history, random, religion, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 28, 2009 by chouck017894

Back in the days before television, religion in the United States was pretty much regarded as strictly a personal thing—not a motive for national political grandstanding, not a reason for attempting mass brainwashing, not cause for exaggerated claims of godly interest in government, and not an excuse for trying to steal public money for some self-serving belief system.  Such reprehensible behavior was understood as associated with the low ethics of theocracy, not conduct worthy of the principles of democracy, personal integrity and religious freedom.

As noted  in an earlier blog (God’s Political Addiction, May 9, 2009), the appearance of the technological wonder of television upon the scene in the early 1950s was quickly embraced by pulpit profiteers who would soon  become known as televangelists.  As noted in another earlier blog (God’s Henchment, April 22, 2009), the profits could be enormous by hijacking Christianity and pretending to save souls by trimming down the seekers’ wallets while also skimming off money the government collected for public good under the dodge as tax free organization.

The religious insanity that had once dominated Europe for centuries, and which is referred to as the Dark Ages (c. 476 – c. 1453), was being resuscitated in the United States and the hybrid energized by electronic impulse was lustful and ravenous.  The gates of exploitation had been flung open and the hijackers of Christianity surged through like a tsunami.  Unheeded were the warnings in the New Testament that motivations and excesses and accumulation of riches create danger for personal and social salvation.  Ignored were the parables attributed to Jesus about pursuing power and a slavish accumulation of riches, property and worldly structures.

So where do the pulpit power brokers today stand in the Jesus method of judgment?  The parables of the rich farmer and the one of the rich young ruler being judged wanting should give pause for thought to such Bible thumpers as Pat Robertson and his $460 million a year religious-front operation, all tax free.  And there is the influential evangelical leader James Dobson and his operation Focus on the Family, easily siphoning in $140 million a year tax free, a system that would be more aptly designated as Focus on Himself.   After all, he did declare that he would bring down the GOP if it failed him: he lusted for theocracy.  Forget the has-beens Billy Graham, Jerry Falwell, Ralph Reed, Gary Bauer, Jeramiah White, Kenneth and Gloria Copeland, Creflo Dollar, Leroy Kopp, Aubrey Lee, etc. etc. etc…

After George W. Bush, a GOP faith-distracted president, dutifully packed the federal courts with ultraconservative judges the Religious Right, dreaming that theocracy was near, surged forth in shameless attempts to bring down the wall  of separation of church and state with their self-serving cases in the federal courts.  What the Religious Right have their eyes set upon is not upon public good, however, but temporal power and the tempting profits to be had in “faith-based” scams, which are better described as embezzlement of public money.