Archive for religious right

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.

Beware of Faith-Based Fraud

Posted in agnoticism, Atheist, belief, Christianity, faith, freethought, Government, history, logic, politics, random, religion, Social, thoughts with tags , , , , , on July 25, 2011 by chouck017894

Special-interest handouts by political office holders in the United States have become big-time privileges over the last few decades—increasing dramatically after the Religious Right gained control over the Grand Old Party in 1996.  The fast changing legal status of churches and faith system institutions, underhandedly implemented, served to elevate religious organizations into more lenient rules than permitted to their secular counterparts.

Such deliberate disregard for the democratic principles by religious extremists regarding separation of church and state is hardly due to any spiritual morals.  This dangerous and frightening chipping away at long-standing principles of democracy has occurred under pressure from extremist religious groups that have muscled their way into the political arena.  It is unclear as to why an “omnipotent, omniscient” God should have to rely on using such devious means to achieve “his” wishes.  But the raucous, self-serving religious extremists have effectively contaminated a clueless Congress, the US Supreme Court, the White House, and federal and state courts, all of which have carelessly conceded to the demands that “faith” groups (Christian only) should be protected from any government intrusion.

This has been pushed upon the widely diverse populace of the US and injected with a false eminence that reflects neither the principles of true democracy nor higher spiritual values.  These predatory religious wolves have accomplished this betrayal of democratic principles by camouflaging themselves with sheep’s clothing.  Thus disguised they have methodically selected single regulations one by one and thereby disfigured numerous longstanding laws of equality.  This has left so many democratic principles mauled to an extent that the “faith” pretenders, their buildings and programs which are only slightly related to any faith system may virtually thumb their noses at requirements leveled upon everyone else.  That bears the foul odor of theocratic ideology.

The intended aim of their faith-based scheme of crippling true democratic principles is very nearly completed, the aim of which is the establishment of an enormous subsidy for religion—meaning the misuse of tax-payer money to promote the Christian version of faith posturing.  This happens to be contrary to the establishment clause of the First Amendment, but what the hell!

Under these special-interest allowances, unethically obtained, even the day-care centers that have religious affiliations are actually exempted from licensing requirements in a number of states.  In Texas, for example, the religious day-care facilities and drug-treatment programs were once exempt from state licensing.  However, protected with privileged status the abuse and disregard for patients in these facilities proved to be greater than in nonreligious facilities.  Another example; the health care system operated by the Seventh Day Adventists is actually allowed to bar nurses from joining unions.  Many states permit tax-free churches to build and expand in ways that clearly violate zoning ordinances with which everyone else must comply.  Religious-front operations routinely discriminate in choosing employees.  Even persons working for them, if suddenly stricken with some physical malady, can be unceremoniously dumped by religious-front organizations, which would never be tolerated in nonreligious organizations.

Special privileges that are extended by dogmatic politicians to certain (Christian only) religious organizations is neither fair nor just in a nation that was built upon dedication to the freedom of choice and the pursuit of happiness.  And practicing bigotry and narrow-mindedness as religious observance is neither righteous nor spiritual in a creation that brims with lavish diversity.  A true democratic society can function only within conditions of equality and respect for each individual within the nation.  Attempting to inject one particular man-made faith system into politics of a nation dedicated to freedom for its diverse people can only accomplish catastrophe for all.

Mass Distractions

Posted in agnoticism, Atheist, belief, culture, faith, gay culture, Government, history, life, politics, random, religion, secularism, Social, thoughts with tags , , , , , on March 1, 2011 by chouck017894

Every year just prior to the beginning of the new U.S. Supreme Court term, the ceremony known as the Red Mass is played out in Washington D.C. in the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle.  And naturally the Catholic Diocese sends out invitations to the President, Vice President, the Supreme Court justices, and any other dignitaries that the church hopes to influence.

The Red Mass, first conducted in the early 1950s, is so-called because the officiating clergy wear red vestments to conduct the mass.  In that early 1950s timeframe the Catholic bishops were frothing at the mouth over the Supreme Court which, in 1947, had ruled unanimously in support of the clear separation of church and state.  (The case was Everson v. Board of Education.)  In addition, in 1948, the Catholic bishops had waxed indignant over the Supreme Court ruling that struck down a religious instruction course being imposed in public schools in Champaign, Illinois.  That, the clergy huffed, was “…the shibboleth of doctrinaire secularism.”  So, to show their displeasure with the rulings, the clergy donned their red costumes to indulge in a pretense of divine insight. 

Of course the annual Red Mass event is now propagandized by the church hierarchy as simply a traditional religious observance.  The noble intention, they say, is to beseech God to guide the administration in dispensing justice for the nation.  How God is expected to guide the dignitaries in attendance is usually broadly implied in how the Red Mass “observance” is conducted. 

Back in October of 2010, for example, Archbishop Donald W. Wuerl practically slobbered a welcome greeting upon the Supreme Court Chief Justice, John Roberts.  And the Associate Justices, Samuel Alito, Stephen Breyer, Antonin Scalia, and Clarence Thomas—all devoted Catholics, and all Republican nominated—were each publicly praised for attending.  These five men happen to be of one assertive faith system, and happen to hold five of the nine benches of the U.S. Supreme Court: hardly a representation of diversity in a government that is supposed to be “of the people, by the people, and for the people.”  The attention lavished upon these five justices at that 2010 Red Mass contradicted the so-called “traditional religious observances” that they were claimed to be, for the affair was a brash attempt to inject their religious philosophy into government, laws and sectarian doctrine.

The pompous affair was simply religious business as usual, for this has been the routine since that 1950 red-costumed circus.  The Red Mass provides the bishops with a captured audience, which in the case of the present Catholic dominated Supreme Court make for the opportunity to cajole five of the nine justices toward the Catholic faith system’s position on various issues.

From that 1950s feigned respect for the higher Source, the bishops then began to lobby for government aid to parochial schools.  In other words, they wanted tax money taken from diverse people who did not subscribe to the Catholic faith system to be utilized to pay for teaching Catholic beliefs!  From there the “holy” representatives then launched into sermons which opposed government allowance for abortion.  And today this is only one of the oppressive and hateful demands that Religious Right zealots are attempting to impose upon the widely diverse people that make up our democratic nation. 

Considering the amazing diversity that is displayed throughout all Creation, it seems highly unlikely that the creative power responsible for it all would find any reason to force any particular man-invented faith system upon the rest of Creation. 

The Constitutional advice of church and state separation was born of divine insight.  Many of the Founding Fathers of our democratic form of government had traveled to Europe, studied the history of other nations, and noted how governments inevitably sank into oppressive exploitation of citizens when dominated by religious factions.  The understanding that the church and state must stand apart if all citizens are to remain free is the major difference upon which the United States of America rose to greatness.  Separation of church and state was never meant to dishonor a higher Source, nor did it advocate the separation of law from morality.  The higher concept expressed in the Constitution that every person shares an equal playing field in their mortal existence is not a moral principle that religious tyrants choose to understand.

  • Related post: U. S. Supreme Court Set Trap for Democracy, December 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.

Chopping At The Roots Of Democracy

Posted in Atheist, Christianity, culture, faith, freethought, Government, history, politics, random, religion, Social, thoughts with tags , , , , , , , on January 24, 2011 by chouck017894

The Republican Party fell completely under the control of the Religious Right in 1996 (as noted in the blog Diseased Politics, January 2011).  With “biblical values” as their standard, there arose an increasing odor of corruption.  But there had been warnings for years from concerned Republicans that their party was in peril.

As early as 1981, 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, 1994, Goldwater warned, “If they (the 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 war 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 politics goodbye.”

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

And the 1995 challenger for the minority whip position, John Shadegg of Arizona, lamented, “We ceded our reform-minded principles in exchange for a…tighter grip on power.”  By 1999, when DeLay was the House Republican Whip, DeLay made Roy Blunt his chief deputy.  Blunt, a Baptist, is noted for voting in favor of mandatory school prayer, school vouchers, and allowing the undemocratic use of federal money (gathered from citizen taxes) to issue vouchers for private or religious schools.  With DeLay and Blunt in lockstep maneuvering, the religiously inspired GOP was stirred into a frenzy of wild spenders who chopped away at long-standing regulations, instigated tax cuts, and doled out lavish earmarks and appropriations.

In this same timeframe, DeLay initiated his so-called K Street Project, a not-so-righteous endeavor to get trade associations and lobbying firms to employ Republicans and to be more active in raising money for the party.  And Roy Blunt acted as DeLay’s envoy to the lobbying community—all in an effort to ram a religiously flavored Republican agenda through Congress.  All the web of wheeler-dealers helped push through the Republican legislative agenda, but those 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 G. W. Bush administration, then Blunt’s name came up in connection with the Abramoff  investigation.  While Blunt was dutifully opposing a woman’s right to choose and opposing same-sex marriages, he saw nothing unspiritual in trying to insert language into a bill creating the Homeland Security Department which would aid the Philip Morris tobacco company!  He wanted to make it more difficult for cigarettes to be sold over the internet—that, he was convinced, was an obvious security threat.  It had nothing at all to do with the $202,909 that Philip Morris donated to his campaign.

But that deceitful web of pretended righteousness is still being spun over the workings of US government today, and with the sanctimonious Tea Party adding to the spin in Congress, democratic equal rights principles are not likely to be what is “valued.”  Somehow it reminds one of the line from the children’s story: Come into my parlor, said the spider to the fly.

With this we will close with another quote from Republican Senator Barry Goldwater (died 1998): “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.”  He concluded on 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 conformity, and then to despotism.” 

Wake up  America!  Democratic principles are under attack from within.

The Unholy Practice of Proselytizing

Posted in agnoticism, Atheism, Atheist, belief, Bible, Christianity, culture, faith, history, humanity, life, politics, random, religion, science, thoughts with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 14, 2010 by chouck017894

In the time of Emperor Augustus (Octavian, 63 BCE-14 CE) numerous eastern cults were flourishing in Rome, and their exotic character and rituals elicited considerable attention among the Roman populace.  The eastern influence was in competition with three major religious movements in Rome at the time, those being based upon Mithras (Persian), Isis (Egyptian), and Cybele (Phrygian).  Roman culture, being heavily modeled by Grecian philosophy, adapted the exotic eastern cult attributes accordingly. 

In this period of time also (c.40 BCE) Rome occupied Palestine, and there were living in that country a number of missionary Buddhist monks.  Archeologists have confirmed that Buddhist monks had brought with them into Palestine a wide array of clay figurines.  The monks had traveled far and wide in their avid pursuit of attaining converts.  Palestine, as a commercial crossroad between nations, was a natural target area in the Buddhist missionary appeal to attract others away from the many virtually indistinguishable religions that simmered there.

The majority of the so-called Pagan religions were content to quietly tend to their own belief, practicing an instinctive tolerance of “live and let  live.”  Each little sect might have been convinced that the rest of the world was destined for spiritual oblivion, but they did not feel obligated to rush out and force salvation upon others under the enforcement of conformity.  The concept of  actively recruiting others, introduced among the Pagans by the Buddhist monks,was viewed not only as strange and aggressive but as an offensive intrusion upon other people’s personal affairs. 

Pagan understanding was that things spiritual are highly personal and are meant to be experienced by each person individually.  The reason why Pagans did not actively solicit others to join any particular sect was the belief that the impulse for spiritual enlightenment must originate within the person himself.  The Pagans knew instinctively that the first place of one’s spiritual preparation had to be within one’s own heart.  Spiritual preparation, they correctly understood, was not something acquired through exterior pressure.  To the Pagan, regardless of what little sect he or she might ascribe to, it was always accepted that those in any superior positions were like elder brethren who, just as the postulants, were sharing in a similar search for higher understanding. 

To the Pagan no bribery or aggression could cancel or alter the  personal responsibility of proceeding at one’s  own pace into  spiritual calm and to stand totally responsible for self at all times.  To attempt otherwise was simply trying to bury the truth of one’s personal responsibility under the carcass of some irrelevant scapegoat.

The newly forming faith that would become Christianity latched onto the Buddhist type activity of recruitment in its earliest days.  By 75 CE it was a requirement even though its articles of faith were not yet defined.  Thus Christianity was founded upon the concept of a proselytizing religion—one that actively seeks out and recruits others into mindless dedication.  It was this commitment to active religious competition that then came to influence other cultures to engage in similar competitive tactics as Christianity muscled its way into a position of power.  Spiritual integrity, so highly prized by the Pagans, became overpowered by practices of prejudice and rivalry.  Lost in the competitive scramble was the truth that active recruitment into religious affiliation is itself an act of premeditated aggression and is therefore nothing more than a devotional practice of intolerance.  It was in this timeframe, c. 75 CE, that the new versions of Mark and Matthew were introduced to replace the earlier versions.

The legacy is today’s solicitation-religions with their hierarchical structuring and constant clamoring for monetary donations and which share precious little in spiritual achievement or instruction.  The epidemic of highly contagious proselytizing in the United States can be traced back to the early 1950s when television became the must-have novelty.  With the new wonder, television, a vast horizon of new opportunities was presented to a whole new batch of holy word interpreters that were still clutching their newly printed diplomas from some bible school business system.  Salvation could be offered to anyone who would send money to support their electronic ministry.  The spiritually lazy found this to be a godsend and a new wave of religious enthusiasm was fanned into fixation by a variety of hucksters for god.  Wiser heads warned that the new wave of religious enthusiasm could easily proliferate to threaten true religious freedom with the sly diversion of public funds to private sectarian schools. 

Through the rest of the twentieth century there followed a deluge of holy performers parading in an endless televised Christian carnival.  Out of this there was set in place the dynamics found in ultra-fundamentalism and an upsurge of evangelical posturing.  Hand in hand with the gold rush into television-land the newly inspired “faithful” were becoming vociferous in the 1960s and began to actually challenge careful scientific studies—especially those in regard to the discernible principles of creation and evolution.  The media at the time crowed that a religious revival was sweeping America, church attendance was up, and the televangelists were beginning to rake in huge donations.  The media carefully avoided mentioning the other side of the phenomena—that keeping pace with the rising religious fervor was the steady rise in crime, delinquency, racial tensions, alcoholism, a rise in drug problems, higher divorce rates, and increase in suicides.  But alarmed citizens had to move to file addition court actions to block the clearly unconstitutional forms of aid to religion-based indulgences.  Youth instinctively felt the hypocrisy that brewed in the religious hoopla and the so-called “sexual revolution” burst out with a vengeance.

As the 1960s closed, man was kicking up dust on the Moon while the pope was ranting against all artificial means of contraception.  1970 saw a self-propelled eight-wheeled vehicle on the Moon, an unmanned Soviet space craft landing on the planet Venus, while Pope Paul VI proclaimed that unnatural celibacy was a fundamental principle of the Roman Catholic Church.  Meanwhile, a great deal of religious sneaky-deal operations were in progress in the United States, such as the “Wylie Amendment” introduced in the House of Representatives to force mandatory programs of prayer and religious instruction in all public schools!   When that was struck down those high on holy spirit then pursued a new self-serving form of parochial-aid scheme known as “vouchers.”  By the 1970s the religiously inspired were forming pressure groups to prevent sexual education in schools, apparently convinced that suggestive whispers and back-alley experimentation were truer to God’s method of learning.  Meanwhile, research and sociological surveys—which were allowed very little news attention—were showing that people from devoutly religious backgrounds were statistically less intelligent and economically less productive.  Nonetheless, the nation was supposed to follow their leadership!

The eighties and nineties saw religious-inspired policies bringing havoc across the world.  The religious fanatic Ayatollah Khomeini slithered into Iran in the 80s and the Reagan administration was  illegally shipping arms to help set up the Ayatollah.  The nineties saw the  Religious Right gaining full control of the Republican Party, and the betrayal of democratic  principles that had made the U.S. great was taken up with a fervor of a devil.  Proselytizing was big business with a “born again” president who had been put in office under suspicious circumstances.

In this new century, after eight years under Bible-inspired governance in the U.S. and the stripping away of constitutional rights, robbing the working citizens to serve the rich, an illegal war, god-approved torture, allowing corporations and economic institution to monitor themselves, etc., the citizens of Earth should awaken to the evil that alway beats in the heart of proselytizing religions.

Victimizing Gays is to Mock Jesus

Posted in Atheist, belief, Bible, biological traits, Christianity, culture, faith, freethought, humanity, life, logic, random, religion, sex, sex taboos, thoughts with tags , , , , , , , , on October 26, 2009 by chouck017894

There are attitudes of religion, and an attitude, we should remember, is not a given truth, it is simply an affectation of cultured disposition.  This assessment was spawned by the recent news that opposition to same-sex marriage had been whipped up in the state of Maine by the very same bigots that managed to pervert equal justice in the state of California.  Behind the scenes those Christian groups claiming to hold exclusive access to Heaven’s discrimination list were, by their practiced intolerance, mocking the teachings of the one they claim as their savior.  In their self-absorbed practice they intentionally subvert the early teachings credited to Jesus in the New Testament of love one another and have canonized prejudice instead.  Jesus’ words of love and tolerance simply are not good enough for them!

There is, of course, extreme hypocrisy in their attitude.  This is most glaringly apparent in those known collectively as the Religious Right or Fundamentalists who love to pick and choose Bible verses out of context to stir up hatreds.  For some unexplainable reason they seem to believe that their sins will be  forgiven by God’s grace, but that some other persons who by circumstance of their “intelligent design” chromosomal makeup are inclined to same-sex attraction are held to be rejected by their designer.  In spite of the man-written Bible verses of God’s supposed “laws,” the chromosomal arrangement of a person cannot truthfully be said to run counter to those “laws,” nor is the resultant lifestyle of those persons merely their “choice” to live rebelliously.

Perhaps we should note that research on marriage has shown that around fifty percent of those who subscribe to the religious right happen to be divorced and have remarried.  And of that category over eighty-five percent of those who divorced have remarried.  According to the man-composed book of Luke 16:18, “Every one who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and he who marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery.”   In other words, those using the Bible as a weapon have themselves chosen a sinful lifestyle according to that interpretation of spiritual worthiness.  So the right-wingers choose to indulge in hypocrisy to gratify their ego but demand that gays must turn from their “sinful” lifestyle.  It is much more blessed in their opinion to “go forth and multiply” and contribute to world overpopulation.

The earlier NT account of the teacher (as given in Mark and Matthew) that became restructured into corporate religionism said this: “Judge not, that you be judged.  For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get.” (Matthew 7:1-2)

Shouldn’t the devotees of “my way only” religionism explain just how homosexuality is a greater “sin” than the unholy adultery indulged in through divorce?  How are gays such a threat to “family values” or a menace to children?  Very few homosexuals are actually pedophiles, except maybe in the church.  Since the bulk of those who divorce remarry, the result is that over fifty percent of the children in the nation are victims of torn-apart families and endure the trauma of having to merge with strangers as “family.”  Add to this that step-parents are too often the culprits in a high percent of child abuse cases.  That is a lot of abuse, and it is not due to gays in society.

Attacking a small percentage of society to cover up their  own transgressions is an appalling way to demonstrate an alleged faith in higher wisdom.  Making war on a minority segment of society that simply loves their own does nothing constructively for society.  Slogans such as we love the sinner but hate the sin” is nothing more than empty, pompous rhetoric.  As Einstein observed, “You cannot simultaneously say you love someone and use your power against them.”  And why do the right-wingers consistently ignore the famous quote attributed to Jesus: “Let ye who is without sin cast the first stone”?  To indulge in the attempt to rationalize their own sins away while spouting hatred for other lifestyles “in god’s name,” the Right Wing and Fundamentalists choose to mock the one they claim as their savior.

It is written in Mark 12:31 that Jesus said, “You must love your neighbor as yourself.  There is no greater commandment.”  Not only are a percentage of neighbors probably homosexually inclined, but so too it is likely that one or two are in your immediate family as well.

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.

God’s Political Addiction

Posted in Atheist, Christianity, culture, enlightenment, history, nontheism, politics, random, religion, Uncategorized with tags , , , on May 9, 2009 by chouck017894

After World War II the faith market in the United States quickly recognized the then-new technological wonder of television as a godsend for spreading their pious propaganda. By the 1950s enterprising soul-savers still clutching their newly minted bible-mill diplomas, and sniffing the gold to be made through the far-reaching media, latched on to electronic ministry with holy lust. In those early days of TV the divinely driven were complaining bitterly and loudly that the media ignored them—which was not exactly true (surprise!)– for if it had not been for the media few persons across the nation would have known that such a wide array of moral champions existed at all. To garner attention, one scheming servant of the sacred launched the so-called “Coalition for Better Television,” the real purpose of which was to impose upon the gullible public the religious right’s particular version of “moral code.” Thus religious extremists embarked upon a political power grab in the name of religious devotion.

In 1961 an attention-grabbing faith-based, politically inspired group was parading under the banner of “Moral Majority,” which sponsored its first seminar on “Understanding Politics.” The training session had absolutely nothing to do with making oneself spiritually worthy of god’s blessing: rather the ideas being eagerly shared were on how to shove their particular version of religion into the workings of national government.

As is common among the faith-driven, other divinely inspired keepers of god’s word were receiving slightly different instructions from heaven. Oddly, the governments of the world–especially the government of the US–seemed to trouble god much more than did the conduct of his strange array of messengers. And stranger still was the emphasis placed on their attainment of materiality for the sake of spirit’s advancement! So to advance this seemingly contradictory means of attaining spiritual worthiness, various rightwing movements showered the faithful with an endless assortment of manuals and pamphlets. Titles of these propaganda texts always implied that only they held the keys of salvation. The advice, however, ususally pivoted on taking over national management.

The movers and shakers of the religous right groups–although not exactly chummy–sought to establish a modus operandi to achieve political power. Topping the list for achieving a power base was the necessity to recognize the givers and takers–meaning, in other words, go after those who will donate the most cash. To implement this drive they had to have a plan which would include:
    1) have a focal-point candidate or invent some supposedly urgent issue;
    2) be organized and keep it organized;
    3) establish a means of keeping money flowing, which meant finding easy-to-sway persons who would get personally involved in collecting money for their movement.

To effectively siphon money into their temporal cause, the advice was:
    1) project the income necessary for the operation and expansion of their rightwing bloc;
    2) define the levels of donations to be aimed for;
    3)devise programs for attracting donations;
    4) implement the plan.
The advice on how to pursue collection of donations stressed the necessity of never emphasizing with a contributor: learn all you possibly can about potential donors, but never, never emphasize with them. The reason for this was the fear that to emphasize with a contact might inspire the donation seeker to pass judgment on whether or not a contact would donate.

Always the mantra was think big, and that necessitated keeping the path open for people who might be inclined to give thousands of dollars. How should they pursue this? The most effective way and the least costly way to reach the most people and raise money was determined by the holy schemers to go direct response–which meant use the Postal Service. They then drew upon persons with writing talent to compose fund raising spiel letters, and the principle thing the obsessed authors had to remember was the basic psychological quirk that inspires people to release their grip on money. That ignoble idiosyncrasy is that people tend always to be most willing to lend support against something than they are to show willingness to support something!

And that may be why neither organized religion nor hard-right politics seem capable of any genine integrity.
(See also related entry, God’s Henchmen.)