Sunday, January 29, 2017

Silence & The Curse of Narcissus

For the atheist, Christianity, like all religions, are man made belief systems where human beings make God in their own image. In short, religion is the story of how humanity lost the Garden of Eden when it fell in love with its own reflection in the heavens, like Narcissus.

At a certain point in the movie, Silence, we see an allusion this idea. The bedraggled priest who is the main star of the film, looks into a pool of water and sees his own reflection. As he stares at it, it turns to the image of Christ, and than back to his own face. A Christian is likely to interpret this as if Christ comforting the priest by letting him know He (Christ) "goes before us always," and that the priests sufferings and hardships in Japan for Christ, are simply a reflection of Chris's sufferings for humanity.  

For the atheist, however, the priest spying his own reflection in the water is reminiscent of the story of Narcissus, who fell in love with his own reflection in a pond, until he fell into the water and drowned. As the priest looks at his reflection, it turns to Christ, as if to suggest that the priest is simply projecting his own image, and that of his beliefs, onto the world, as he now seeks to do in Japan.

The priest even encounters a monk who describe Buddha as Christlike, by saying, "Our Buddha is a being that someone can become," but still the priest cannot see anyone but the reflection of his own ideas about what "Christ" is. Yet the monk understands how the plank in the priest's own eye results in convincing the priest that it is only everyone else who suffers from a splinter in their eyes; a splinter that the priest has come to remove, even if they don't think they are suffering from such a visual impairment.

This is expressed by the monk, who point out that "a priest will teach but will not learn."

Why Faith is the Doorway to Hell

Plenty of people believe that faith is not only the way to heaven, but the truest reason for why any of us even exists. We are here, as far as such "believers" are concerned, as simply a means by which God tests our faith, while teaching us all the lessons we need to know to get back to God, and heaven, forever after. That there are no lessons a mortal can learn that have any applicability or relevance to an immortal is completely ignored by the faithful, of course, but that is besides the point.

The problem with faith, however, is that even thought it can give people meaning and help people see light in the darkest of situations, it also opens the door to every lie that has ever been told, let alone believed.  Accepting truth "on faith," in this respect, is the very means by which every lie ever uttered throughout human history has succeeded in controlling how people think and what they believe. And by doing so, opened the door to every false hope and fear,  as well as war, genocide, and oppression, humanity has ever been enslaved by.  

Faith asks, indeed for many it even requires, that we accept something to be "true" even if there is not a single shred of evidence to prove it, and even (and sometimes especially) when every atom of evidence in the universe may stand agaisnt it. In a world where "faith" is the highest virtue in determining "truth," any degree of skepticism is consider the greatest sin of all (unless that skepticism is used for the exclusive purpose of doubting anyone who tries to suggest that our own sacred brand of "religion" comes directly from God, of course).

Take the theory of evolution. While such a theory is in fact, a fact, it obviously does not explain everything. If it did, it would be no better than God as an explanation to any and every question. "Why are we here?", "where did the universe and everything come from? and "why do miracles happen?" could be answered with "because of evolution" as easily as they could be answered with "because of God." Yet neither answer tells us much, by itself.

Instead, the answers tell us very little indeed, and require us to continue our investigation. The difference, however, is that the answer of "god" takes us into a realm that we accept we can never actually prove, but rather is one that we can only simply continually, and creatively, "intelligently design." And we can "intelligently design" our ideas of God using all or none of the evidences around us, and by interpreting and connecting those puzzle pieces in pretty much any order we wish.

In such a world, every conceivable answer is equally as plausible as any other. But to suggest that an infinite number of competing, and often conflicting, answers to every question are all "true" simply because people are willing to believe them, is in no way "proof" that any such "beliefs" are in fact true.

Yet once enough people are willing to accept a belief as "true," that belief becomes the sheep's skin by which all actual truth is subordinated in favor of the belief. It's how everyone can have their ideas about everything overthrown from within, by virtue of everyone around us believing the same thing, no matter how insane. This, of course, is not "truth" in any kind of "objective" sense independent of all people, it is simply subjective "truth," even if it is accepted by everyone.

A lie does not become true simply because everyone is willing to believe it, after all, but the willingness to accept that a mere "belief" is necessarily an undeniable "truth," regardless of how helpful or harmful such a belief may be or seem, opens the door to letting all truth be used as part of a much greater lie. 

And in this way, "faith" is only as much a road to heaven, as it is the doorway to hell. 


Saturday, January 28, 2017

Truth vs Beliefs: Why Being Pro-Choice is Being Pro-Life

There is no doubt that the majority of people who define themselves as "pro-life" believe that the unborn are "human beings" that are murdered by abortion. And the later in the pregnancy the abortion is performed, the more horrible the act of murder is committed. But what these "pro-lifers" don't realize is that their own actions are often the very thing that contributes the most to sometimes increasing the number of abortions performed per year, and even worse, specifically  increasing the number of late term abortions performed per year.

To mention this fact to a "pro-lifer," however, is like trying to explain to members of Joel Olsteen's church that they are only worshiping money, or trying to explain the most ardent supporters of Donald Trump that they are only giving more power to the very New World Order they think they and Donald Trump oppose. It just doesn't make any sense to them.

After all, everyone knows that people who have and support abortion are Liberal Democrats and atheists, and lazy people who want government to take care of them from cradle to grave, most of whom tend toward immorality because they fail to believe in God. Or, at the very least, those who are "pro-Choice" are femin-Nazi's (as Rush Limbaugh calls them), or people who simply refuse to take responsibility for their own selfish sexual exploits, or those who pretend to champion "women's rights" just so they can turn a profit through terminating the lives of the unborn.  

 But all of these "beliefs" about "pro-Choice" Liberals, and "baby killing" Democrats (as some people in my own family have so affectionately referred to them), are not necessarily true. Instead, ironically enough, some of these accusations are actually more true of the majority of those in the "pro-life" movement. And what's even worse is that some of the people who define themselves as "pro-life" and support pro-life laws and politicians, actually only do so to both increase abortions (especially later term abortions) and the inevitable medical complications that arise from the increasing number of later term abortions that are performed when abortion is outlawed.



And this is the problem between "truth" and a "belief."



You see, a "belief" just wants to "believe" in itself, which is why it colors our perceptions and predisposes our biases to always confirm it. But simply letting our "confirmation bias" confirm our "beliefs," and often simply because doing so gives us a euphoric high from our own endorphins, is not to see the truth, it is to simply "feel" that our belief is true. It is, in other words, to succumb to the idea that "something that feels this right, can't possibly be wrong." But it can.

Studies show that abortion rates in America, for example, did not increase dramatically after Roe v Wade legalized abortion in America in 1973. Instead, the abortion rate in America before and after than famous landmark case remained around 1.2 million per year. Studies also show that abortion rates often either stay the same in counties where abortion has been outlawed, or actually increase.    

Yet politicians prey upon the moral sensibilities of their constituents by convincing them that they are doing God's work by saving babies, by voting "pro-life," even as their votes may only be ensuring that more abortions will be performed, much to the profitable benefit of those who fund such services.

This should not be a surprise. John D. Rockefeller convinced Christians across America in the 1920s that alcohol was the devil's drink, just so he could drive his competitors who were creating cars that ran on ethanol, out of business. Bootleggers then sought to convince people of the evils of alcohol thereafter as well, in order to keep it illegal, just so they could maintain their monopoly. We see a similar parrallel today in the War on Drugs.

Today, even the Correction Corporation of American spends tons of money lobbying congress and trying to convince people that crime is the result of drugs, so they can continue to reap ever growing profits by always increasing the numbers of prisoners in their prisons, and for ever longer prison sentences; and all at ever greater expense to the American tax payer. (As an ancillary benefit, they get to farm those inmates out to corporations as extremely cheap labor, even as they complain that it's immigrants, not their inmates, that taking jobs from American workers.)


They do this, despite studies that show that most of the violence associated with drugs is actually caused mostly by the War on Drugs.



 It should not be surprising, therefore, that morality is the easiest thing to sell, and that people will willingly pay any amount of money to obtain it.  From churches who promise salvation and righteousness, to politicians and prison corporations who promise to save us all from the terrorists, drugs, and criminals they only create, to Pro Life political parties who boast of wanting only to save unborn babies, the real reason why such claims are made always comes down to how easy it is to make money and obtain power by convincing people that your efforts are always for the highest moral reasons.

Then again, genocide from the Old Testament to the Ottomans, and from native Americans to Jews in Germany, have always been carried out in the name of God and for the highest moral reasons.  So it should come as no surprise to anyone, that abortion is any different.  After all, even the Nazi's were "pro-life."

   

The Trinity of Assumptions in Christianity: A Religion Where 2+2=5

I know Christians who claim that truth is as simple as the fact that 2+2=4. But in truth, it is Christians who are arguing that 2+2=5, and all because their Bible says so - and for no other reason.

For Christians, the Bible is the literal word of God. This is something they admit they simply "choose to believe." They believe this, they say, because doing so is the only way that there can be any basis for any standard of morals whatsoever. In truth, however, believing in the Bible is exactly the opposite of establishing a basis for any morality whatsoever.

Ya see, the entire  basis for Christianity and Christian morality is actually based on nothing but a "holy trinity" of assumptions.

The first assumption in this trinity is that the Bible is the literal word of God. But there is no evidence or way to prove such a claim. Instead, such an idea is simply "believed" to be true, mostly because so many others have believed it to be true (many of whom have either died for that belief or gone to war to defend it, or even felt comforted by the notion it must be true when forced to go to war for others), but also because it makes us feel better to"believe" that it must be true. Without this "belief," in other words, everything would feel meaningless.

 So, to ward off the evil emptiness that we feel from our inability to author our own meaning to life, we find ourselves NEEDING to believe we come from God, and we accept the narrative that so many others accept to be true. The benefit being, of course, that we also get to assimilate into a whole society of people who, as incapable of authoring any meaning for their own lives as ourselves,  simply accepts the narratives of their time and place. We become "sheep," in other words, and follow the lamb of God.

 The second assumption is that, by accepting the first assumption (and for many it is ONLY by accepting this first assumption), we now have the ability to know and decide ALL questions about moral truth. We can determine every question of right and wrong, in other words, simply because we have accepted the first assumption. Hence, if the question of same sex marriage or "just war" theory ever comes up, we can know the answer automatically without ever having had to read any other book, or having had to learn a single thing about absolutely anything other than the Bible itself.

And the third assumption in this trinity is that the first two assumptions must be true, because human beings are so clearly God's supreme achievement, the apex and focal point for having created the universe and everything in it.

These three assumptions constitute the trinity of assumptions that Christians rely on as "proof" that their faith is equal to supreme absolute objective truth. Each assumption is used as evidence to prove the others, which is why any conversation with a Christian about the obvious nature of just how unfounded each of these assumptions actually is ends up feeling like you're engaged in the verbal equivalent of a three card monty.

And in such a religion, if you're told that 2+2=5, you're considered a saint to the extent that you can figure out why this must necessarily be true, even to the point of being willing to die for it, and a sinner to the extent you refuse to accept this "truth" as valid, even if you're burned at the stake for questioning it.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Beliefs are the Opposite of Truths

The greatest sin religion has ever committed is deliberately, and knowingly, forcing people to accept that its sacred "beliefs" are necessarily "truth." And from this one simple but powerful lie, religion has committed all of its other sins, including torture, persecution, oppression, rape, and murder.


Simply put, there is nothing wrong with someone choosing to "believe" that there is a "god," anymore than someone choosing to believe in an imaginary friend, or that your stuffed cat is real, or that the neighbors dog talks to you.


But at the point that you feel you have any right whatsoever, to pretend that, because you simply "chose" to believe in this "god' of yours, that you therefore now have access to the mind of the most powerful being conceivable, and you not only KNOW what that mind wants absolutely, but are required to impose those wants on all others (and all to save your own soul!), then you have only proven yourself to be a comic for ISIS, who has gone as stark raving mad as the Son of Sam.

Pro Life: Welcoming Children to the Orgy of Death

There are millions of Pro Life Christians who genuinely have their hearts in the right place. They really want to protect what they believe are "babies" from being "murdered," as they see it. Obviously, people debate this issue a great deal, but there is no doubt that the vast majority of the people who identify as "pro-life" really want to do the "right thing," and more importantly, they want to "protect life."


That's why it's so ironic that they support a pro-Corporate party that only support pro-death polices.


When their own children start dying a decade from now, because Trump shuttered the EPA and companies were allowed to do to all of the water in the US what has happened in Flint, Michigan, of course the "pro lifers" will blame Democrats, homosexuals, atheists, socialists, and all the usual suspects.


Whenever things go wrong in the environment, for example, it's never because people voted for politicians who shut down the EPA, but because people are not pleasing God by going to church and being careful about who they have sex with, when, where, and most importantly of all, how.


Obviously!


But shutting off tons of financial aid to poor countries, while it will surely save money, will only result in the death of plenty of babies, both born and unborn. But that doesn't matter. The point is to be right with God. That's what matters most. Getting into heaven. That's what counts, after all.


Of course, that such "pro-lifers" chose to remain completely ignorant of the realities of environmental problems humanity is facing - and here, we are not even talking about climate change issues (since so many of them deny such an issue even exists, despite the evidence that it does) but about chemical poisoning of our water (which the world is running short of already), about astronomical extinction rates, and about the pollutions choking air and sea from a fossil fuel driven consumer economy that's swallowing the globe - is like feeling morally superior for having succeeded in helping more people to board the Titanic while trusting that God will fix the hole in the front of the ship from the iceberg.


Or, put another way, it's like congratulating yourself for saving children so they can be raised in Dachau.


Religions Great Divorce From Reality

C.S. Lewis wrote a book called "The Great Divorce," where he basically argued that people who do not subscribe to the fictions of his Christian religion are somehow incapable of accepting reality.  Lewis might as well have been arguing that anyone who cannot see that he is Jesus Christ, and Napoleon Bonaparte, and Little Red Riding Hood, all rolled into one, is equally incapable of accepting reality - his reality, to be specific.  And both are equally divorced from anything that resembles reality, except perhaps in a lunatic asylum.



Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Economics: The Deadliest Religion Ever Created

Christianity and Islam are theistic religions, and they have surely done their share of blood spilling for their Gods, even as their adherents distance themselves from such horrors by insisting that their religions are strictly benevolent.

But whether you insist that your religion is whole separate from all of the horrors that have been carried out in its name, or whether you are an atheist who thinks religions are the most evil monster humanity ever created for itself, the worst religion by far, is economics.

Bertrand Russell argued the the bloodshed of the 20th century would never have been possible if not for religion predisposing human beings to accept absurdities on faith, without the need to question the myriad assumptions that such absurdities have always been built upon. And by accepting that such absurdities necessarily constituted "the truth," even when they were so obviously just "beliefs" that people wanted (indeed, many dreadfully needed) to be true, they opened the superstitious mind of man to every other absurdity it could possible design.

From kings and queens to witches, goblins and ghosts, humanity had decided that its "beliefs" constituted the most reliable form of "truth" the gods could ever bestow on lowly fallible humanity beings. While knowledge was only ever as finite and fallible as we were, "beliefs" came from God himself, and thus were true, no matter how insane they seemed. Indeed, the more insane they seemed, according the Immanuel Kant, the more true they must be!

And whether for race or spiritual supremacy,  our need to depend on over simplified ideas about the world around us opened the door to the deadliest serpent of all - economics.

Like the beliefs in kings and queens, and in religions from Buddha to Abraham to Mohammad to Christ, economics spawned it's own competing belief systems that went to war during the 20th century in the same way the religions went to war in the middle ages.

Like Game of Thrones, the old gods were Allah and Christ, the new gods were capitalism and communism, but all promised to deliver us from evil, and bring us to one version of heaven or another.

Today, the economic religion of Capitalism, having vanquished it's old economic rival Communism (in the form of the USSR), relies on the binary paradigm of good and evil still. Only today, what is "good" are the billionaires, who know how to run a company more efficiently, and what is "bad," is government, which is as evil as Nazism and Stalinism and Marxism all rolled into one. 

In truth, studies show that private companies are  no more or less efficient that governments for the most part, and there are plenty of examples where gov't have accomplished things that no private corporation could've dared to dream, including iphones, the internet, the race to the moon, and countless medications, to name just a few.

But in the quest for profits, Big Pharma killed just as many Africans after 1995 to defend their patent on AID medication (that was actually developed thanks to tax payer subsidization and Govt R&D) as Nazi Germany killed Jews, or Christians killed Native Americans.

And today, Trump reigns supreme because people are so emotionally addicted to their beliefs in capitalism, and so intellectually stunted by their Christianity to know how to tell the difference between a pure "belief" and a "fact," that we now accept that "alternate facts" are, in fact, facts!

Hence Conservatives reject reality for their religion in capitalism. They chose to believe that billionaires will save them, and their jobs, and the whole world, instead of ever considering that the world is far far more complicated than the God vs Devil paradigm they depend on to make sense of the world.

Corporations and billionaires, in other words are "good" (or at least better than gov't), and gov't is "bad, (or at least worse than private corporations and billionaires).

And into this fantasy of economic religion, we all marched gleefully down the yellow brick road into the sea,like lemmings herded off of a cliff for the fairy tale that everyone knew in their heart wasn't true, and disappeared into a watery grave, from whence we came.  

Monday, January 23, 2017

Catholics Would Be the First to Crucify Christ

Many hardcore alt-right Catholics see Pope Francis as a communist and a Marxist. And if they had the choice, they would do to him exactly what the Sanhedrin had done to Christ himself. No wonder Martin Luther accused the Catholic Church of being "the whore of Babylon."

Mind you, this is one of the first popes to actually try and walk in the footsteps of Christ by taking up the cause for the poor in earnest. That so many Catholics have been seduced by the serpent of their utopian capitalism that is now coiling around the whole world, and all because they have been indoctrinated by their capitalist caretakers to see any gov't attempt to help the poor as something only Satan himself would do, only proves that any institution can be used to brainwash even the most well meaning of people.

True, governments are almost the worst things humanity has ever created for itself, necessary evils that they are. But when such fear and hatred is used to justify opposing ANY gov't assistance to the poor, a far, far, greater evil is clearly at work.

Many in the pro-life movement have been duped using such fear and hatred to believe that gov't is so evil that it is better that 40,000 people should die every year, than that they should be covered by Obamacare. (see: http://usuncut.com/politics/harvard-doctors-obamacare-repeal/)

There is no doubt that ALL governments need to be held in check, as the 20th century proves only too well. But the incredible amount of fear and burning hatred that has deliberately been orchestrated to brainwash Conservatives, in order to get people to hate ANYTHING that government does as "pure, godless, evil," - especially when that "evil" comes in the form of providing healthcare to people (admittedly Obamcare is an awful plan, but to millions, its better than nothing at all) -   is a propaganda machine who's power is at least as "evil" as anything else.

Indeed, such a propaganda system is used to get the masses to hate gov't spending on anything but the military and prison industrial complexes. People should only be happy that their gov't is spending ever more on war and incarceration, in other words, not healthcare for the poor. "Fuck those lazy bastards!", is what I hear most from so many Christian Conservatives. Praise Jesus!

"Let them die!"

I kid you not! I've actual heard this from people in my own family.

And since Christ did not advocate for any one economic system over another, but only sought to administer to the poor and the needy, that's how you know that many Catholics would be the very first to crucify Christ.

Bloody Monday: The Lie of Pro-Life Republicans

Today, Donald Trump signed the Global Gag Rule, which denies aid to any country that provides abortion services. In doing so, Drumpf ensures a dramatic increase in the number of unborn children that will be murdered through abortion, while also increasing the number of women who are harmed from such services. And he will do all of this under the ruse of morality, much to the fan fare of his sheepish Christian supporters, to enrich the money lenders in their temples, and the private healthcare providers.

If you identify yourself as "pro-life," there is a good chance that that is the only issue you use to determine how you vote. Hence, you probably vote Republican.  But even though this is the ONLY issue upon which many Conservative Christians vote, they have no idea that their attempts to stop abortions are actually only increasing the number of abortions.

To use a line from The Usual Suspects, one of the biggest tricks the Republican party ever pulled was convincing well meaning pro-lifers that it actually cared about saving lives - it doesn't. But being the masters of salesmanship that they are, they have succeeded in convincing gullible throngs of people into believing it was doing God's work, even as it was making billions by murdering increasing numbers of children around the world.

The "baby killing Democratic party," as I've often heard them called, actually saves more babies than the "pro-life" Republican party, and in more ways than one. Ya see, the Republican party works mostly for private healthcare companies and private weapons contractors, which means they work to decrease gov't subsidization for welfare and healthcare for the poor (so as to force the poor to have to pay the inflated rates charged by private healthcare insurance companies), while always increasing the amount of money it spends on military contractors from Lockheed Martin to Blackwater.   

The Republicans are "pro-life" in name only, however, as could be seen when Madeline Albright was asked about how she felt about the half million children that had died in Iraq as a result of sanctions, she responded, "We think the price is worth. it." The "price" she was talking about, was the price of securing Iraq's oil fields in order to stabilize America's petro dollars. Besides that, Republicans are pro-war, pro-guns, pro-drone strikes, pro-welfare cuts, pro-healthcare cuts, pro-capital punishment, pro-torture, pro-corporatacy,  (which Mussolini defined as the simplest and truest definition of fascism) which is contributing to war, famines, conflict, starvation, and destruction of the planet, and all while only seeking to INCREASE the amount of money America spends on "defense" (i.e. war).

Of course, Republicans will insist that they hold the moral high ground on this issue, even as so many of them choose to remain blissfully ignorant of how their own "pro-life" laws and policies only result in increasing the number of abortions being performed. But who cares about that? As long as they "feel" like they are doing the right thing, God will give them a free pass into heaven. After all, ignorance is always the best way to insulate oneself from having to accept responsibility.

Republicans do not worship Life, they worship Lies, they worship Moloch, in other words, and for the love of money, they would hurl the whole world into the fires of Gehenna. 

____________________________________________________________ 

http://www.vox.com/identities/2017/1/23/14356582/trump-global-gag-rule-abortion

https://broadly.vice.com/en_us/article/banning-abortion-doesnt-actually-reduce-abortion-rates-at-all

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Silence: The Hebraic Stubborness of Christians to a Brand

 The movie "Silence" is a historical fiction about two Christian priests, Fr. Rodriguez and Fr. Garrpe, who travel to Japan to find a fellow priest, Fr. Ferreira in 1631.  Under extreme torture by the Inquisition in Japan, Fr. Ferreira renounced his faith in Christianity. The movie raises many questions about faith, of course, but those questions can only be answered from two very different perspectives.

The first perspective is one of the Christian believer, while the second is of the atheist.

In short, the movie is about how obstinate stubbornness is always a virtue when practice by "us" for our beliefs, and always a vice when practiced by "them" for their beliefs.

For the Christian, Silence is a simple movie about how obstinate stubbornness is a virtue, because it is the ultimate test of faith in the face of extreme persecution. For the Christian, this movie is the Christian equivalent of the World War II movie "Unbroken," about Louis "Louie" Zamperini. Both movies are examples of the heroic courage and resolve of people who refuse to be broken, even in the face of ultimate cruelty and suffering. While Zamperini's story is a true one and Silence is based is historical fiction, both stories are variations of the biblical story of Christ, or what Joseph Campbell called "the monomyth."

The monomyth is an idea detailed by Joseph Campbell in his seminal work of comparative mythology, The Hero with a Thousand Faces. Written in 1949, Campbell explains that the monomyth is a story that has been repeatedly plagiarized over the centuries, of a "hero" who overcomes "fabulous forces" and returns from his harrowing adventure "with the power to bestow boons on their fellow man." Countless examples of exist besides the Jesus story, including Osiris, Prometheus, Moses, and even Buddha. Hence, there really is "nothing new under the sun," as it says in Ecclesiastes 1:9, for every new belief is simply the retelling and repackaging of a belief that preceded it.

Like Christians who allowed themselves to be fed to the lions in Rome, holding fast to a conviction is the highest moral virtue for the "true believer," even if such "believers" see it as a vice whenever anyone else is equally as stubborn for their secular or even non-Christian beliefs.  The implicit underlying assumption of the "truth" of Christianity, along with the implicit assumption that everyone else's "truths" are actually lies, goes unnoticed by the Christian, of course.  Just ask Tom├ís de Torquemada,. the "Castilian Dominican friar, and the first Grand Inquisitor in Spain's movement to homogenize religious practices with those of the Catholic Church in the late 15th century, otherwise known as "The Spanish Inquisition."'

If Torquemada had been raised a Buddhist in Japan in 1641,  instead of a Christian in Spain a century earlier, his underlying assumptions would surely have been reversed, leading him to assume that the Christians he was torturing to death were the real "heretics" to the irrefutable truths revealed to him by the divine Buddha. In this respect, Fr. Rodriguez cannot see that the Japanese Inquisition that he is being subjected to is simply a reflection of the Catholic Inquisition established to stamp out heresy in 1562, and earlier by Pope Gregory IX in 1232. Beliefs for the ardent believer, like bloodlines for the Aryan, must be kept pure, whether they are Christian or Buddhist or whatever.

From Muslim Extremists to Native Americans to Protestants to Buddhists to atheists and beyond, "believers" in one religion or another, only ever recognize the virtue of being obstinately stubborn for a "belief" when it is their own belief they are being stubborn for. For everyone else, such stubbornness is only ever seen as a "hardening of hearts" agaisnt "the truth," and thus a vice. That this only encourages ever greater cruelty to be imposed to "test" the validity of one's claims is overlooked equally by all. And the fact that even St. Augustine believed that those who converted to Christianity under torture were often the most ardent believers of all, only encouraged the use of torture as a legitimate means of testing one's faith (which is why some today even practice self flagellation for their faith) and of enticing conversion.  

With regards to the virtues and vices of stubbornness, one need only glance at the Old Testament to see that the Jews were hated by the Romans for exercising the virtue (or vice, depending on your perspective) of being just as obstinately stubborn as the Christians would be centuries later. In his memoirs, for example, the Roman Emperor Hadrian expressed his overwhelming frustration with the Jews who, despite his own efforts to accommodate them as best he could without loosing the respect of his fellow Romans, and more importantly his superiors, had devoted themselves to an extreme dogmatic inflexibility with regards to their beliefs. Hadrian wrote repeatedly about how, time and again, he could not fathom why the Jewish beliefs seemed to produce little besides such obstinate stubbornness.


From an atheist perspective, on the other hand, Silence is a fascinating look at the human mind and the power of a belief, especially our devotion to the certain brand of a belief we were born into, even if the underlying story of our beliefs is roughly identical to the beliefs we are opposing as "false" or "evil," like Buddhism is to Christianity. 

That the Buddha was to feudal Japan what Christ was to medieval Europe was simply proof of the very limitations of human understanding that Fr. Rodriguez is  unable to accept, because of the hubris of his own faith. Indeed, his hubris, which he only interprets as his "humility," alienates him from being able to see the similarities between his Christ and the Buddha. Instead, he has nailed his ideas and his perspective to the cross of a particular "belief," which he no longer considers to be simply his own subjective interpretation of "truth," but is a "truth" itself; one that he feels the salvation of his eternal soul now precariously depends.

For Rodriguez, his obstinate refusal to look at things in a different way is a virtue, even though the recalcitrant teenager is always condemned for behaving in exactly the same way. And even though others are being tortured and killed because of Fr. Rodriguez is being as recalcitrant as a teenager for his faith, he appears to feel that it is his captors refusal to accept his Christian religion this is the true vice, and the true cause of their sufferings.

Indeed, the priest even proudly proclaims that "the blood of martyrs is the seed of the Church," which is a phrase any extremist  today would whole heartily agree with, from ISIS to Branch Davidians to Jonestown to the followers of Warren Jeffs. Here, all would-be martyrs stand on equal footing, whether they are asked to murder their sons like Abraham was asked to knife Isaac to death, or like Christ who was willing to be brutally tortured and murdered to death to establish the supremacy of his own religion. 

Rather than simply following the example of the Donmeh Jews, who at the same time historically, circa 17th century, where converting to Islam publicly in the Ottoman Empire while continuing to practice their Judaism  privately among themselves, the Christian priests in Silence feel the need to prove that they are right, and that their beliefs are stronger than that of the Buddhist inquisition that is torturing them. How ironic. And in this way, Christianity had perhaps how done the Hebrews of old in terms of their stubbornness.

But dying for one's beliefs is not a virtue, it is is vice. Christ did not die for his "beliefs," in other words,  but because he sought to defend the powerless agaisnt the dogmatism of religious extremists called the Pharisees and the Sanhedrin. Anything other than that is simply spiritual hubris masquerading as religious humility for a brand name.  







[i]. Joseph Campbell. The Hero with a Thousand Faces. Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press, 1968, p. 30 / Novato, California: New World Library, 2008, p. 23.








Trumpazuzu: The Demon from the Exorcist

Here is an obscure movie reference that I am sure no one else remembers.

If you watch the clip from The Exorcist where Regan and her mom are in the basement playing with the Ouija board, you'll notice the ceramic bird sitting on the washing machine. That bird is used more than once in the movie, but in a very subtle way, to denote how Regan sees Captain Howdy.

Captain Howdy is the name Regan gives to the demon she is communicating with via the Ouija board, that eventually possess her. The demon's real name, we learn from the beginning of the film, is Pazuzu.

  I refer to Trump as "Trumpazuzu," because the bird in that scene is orange with a yellow tuft of hair, and because the most argent believers in Trump are practically possessed by the idea that he is their free market messiah, even though he has appointed all of the same Goldman Sachs people that he condemned Hilary for even associating with.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Trump: Political Parties vs Political Ideolgies

A number of Conservatives I know have been bragging about how they belong to the Republican part, the part of Lincoln that opposed slavery, while "Liberals" are all "Democrats" (often referred to as Demo-rats) who supported slavery. But this is a bold faced lie.

First, this claim confuses the difference between a political party name, like Democrat, Republican or Whig, with a political ideology, which is often characterized as "Liberal" or "Progressive" and "Conservative." But what must be understood is that a political party name is obviously in no way pegged to a particular political ideology; especially since the political landscape is forever changing. And these days, that landscape is only changing faster and faster. 

So it is comical to hear Conservatives today boast of belong to the party of Lincoln, since the Republicans who opposed slavery in those days were not "Conservatives" who voted for Abraham Lincoln because they wanted to "make America great again" by returning it to the days before progressive abolitionists started to threaten the way things were, and indeed had always been in America.

Rather, the Republican party at that time was, certainly by today's standards, the "progressive party," saw slavery as a problem in more ways than one, and wanted to change America for something better. Republicans who voted for Lincoln, in other words, were Liberals, not Conservatives.

The Democrats at that time, on the other hand, wanted to keep slavery alive and well in the Southern states, and many fought in the federal and state legislatures to expand slavery as America expanded west (killing native Americans as it went).  Many Democrats, like the Presbyterian minister James Henly Thornwell, the Episcopal clergy man from South Carolina Frederich Dalcho,  and even John C. Calhoun, argued that slavery was an institution ordained and supported by God and Christianity.

In short, today's arch Christian Conservative Republicans are yesterdays slave supporting Democrats, and today's Progressive Democrats are the successors of  yesterday's  Republican abolitionists. Indeed, without Progressives, America would still be colonies of the British Crown.

This divide is further illustrated by a map published by the NY Times that shows what TV shows are most popular in different areas of the country.. (The map can be seen here: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/12/26/upshot/duck-dynasty-vs-modern-family-television-maps.html?WT.mc_id=2016-KWP-AUD_DEV&WT.mc_ev=click&ad-keywords=AUDDEVREMARK&kwp_0=303926)

What's interesting about this map is how shows like Duck Dynasty and Bad Girls Club (a reality show that was described in a NY Times review as "The Jerry Springer show at its rowdiest) are most popular in many of the same states that chose to secede from the Union in 1861, where slavery was legal, while shows like Modern Family is and Big Bang Theory are most popular in the same states and "free territories" where slavery had been outlawed prior to the Civil War.

Such a chart may be simply more evidence that "Conservatism" is a kind of necromancy of the past, one that lives in fear of change, whether that changes comes from abolishing slavery, desegregating schools, civil and equal rights, permitting interracial or same sex marriage, or even considering the establishment of a healthcare system that would actually care about people's health first instead of maximizing profits only.

Indeed, as attempts to first stop and now abolish the ACA illustrate only to well, today's Republicans are not the successors of the party of Lincoln, but of the Third Reich.   

Friday, January 20, 2017

Repealing Obamacare: Wannsee, Terri Schiavo, Abortion, & Crucifying Christ

When the high ranking Nazi and German officials (many of whom were Christian - Germany was 99% Christian at the time) met in Wannsee to discuss the murder of millions of Jews in 1941, they planned to do it by effectively 'euthanizing' with poison gas.  While this seemed more humane to those who were not convinced that genocide was the best answer to the Jewish question, the Zyklon B poison gas that was eventually used was simply a more efficient way of carrying it out.

Repealing Obamacare (an admittedly horrible healthcare coverage plan in it's own right, but for millions of people, it's better than nothing) achieves the same effect as the Wannsee conference, but dispenses with all pretense of being humane about it. While one treated people like a dog that needed to be put down, the other treats the uninsured like Terri Schiavo, and while the former was the result of racism the latter is the result of greed. Yet both were performed for "moral reasons," by Christians.

Terri Schiavo, you may recall, was a woman in a persistent negative state who died in 2005.  In a right-to-die case that played out across televisions in America, Schiavo was caught between her parents who wanted to care for her despite her condition, and her husband, Michael Schiavo, who claimed Terri had previously insisted before her "accident" - that the parents claimed was actually an attack by Michael - that she would not want to be kept alive in such a condition. While the parents tried to convince the courts that Michael had attacked her and to therefore put Terri in their care, the court eventually sided with the husband.

Having given power to decide Terri's fate to Michael Schiavo, he "pulled the plug" on the administration of all life saving measures, such as feeding, hydration, and medication, "in accord with what Terri would've wanted." And over the course of the next couple of weeks, much to the horror of Christians across the country (including myself), Terry slowly starved to death.

Today, as an atheist, I watch many of those same Christians act like Michael Schiavo by deciding to pull the plug on as many as 20 million potential Terri Schiavo's, and all for the financial benefit of healthcare insurance companies that have been boasting on Wall Street of  their ever increasing record profits.

Like Terri Schiavo, Conservative Christians in America decry the killing of the "unborn human life," and clamor for laws that outlaw abortion. Such Christians do not care that studies show that outlawing abortion does not actually decrease abortion rates and that in some such places abortion rates have actually increased as a result. Nor do they care that such laws tend to only increase the number of injuries and complications associated with abortions (with a recent law being passed that allows medical professionals to chose not to treat those suffering from such complications if it conflicts with their religious beliefs - Christians do not have to provide medical assistance to "sinners," in other words ).

Instead, such Conservatives Christians only care about feeling they've done the right thing, even if the "right thing" they've done has only contributed to increasing the number of "unborn human beings" being "murdered." And by repealing Obamacare, such "Christians" will likewise increase the number of people who will die from a lack of access to healthcare. But since they've succeeded in defending the profit motives of "capitalism" from the evils of "socialized medicine," regardless of the cost to human life, they'll sleep soundly in their beds, comfortable in their beliefs that they're one step closer to heaven, regardless of all those who's lives they just turned into a living hell.

Indeed, if America is a Christian nation, it is clearly NOT because we "treat others as we would want others to treat us, or believe Jesus when he said that "whatever you do to the least of your brothers or sisters you do unto me," but because we all too often worship the golden calf of  free market capitalism by enriching the money lenders, and for our 30 pieces of silver we save in our taxes, a nation would gladly crucify the body of Christ.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Bogus Republicans: Let's Work Together?

Conservatives who make the bogus empty claims that "republicans would not be out there protesting and declining to go to the inauguration if Hilary won," have no evidence to support such a claim. But there's plenty of evidence that suggests that they would be protesting, and many of them with their guns in hands!


Indeed, Republicans were certainly out protesting in droves, after all, after the passage of the ACA, with many a republicans (including Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck) claiming they would "leave the country if the ACA passed." Yet none of them did.


And today, it's really amazing to hear Republican saying "We should all be together now that the election is over," after so many of them so vocally expressed their commitment to doing the exact opposite of that after the ACA was passed.
 
In fact, all Republicans did for the most part was not only try to bankrupt the country by refusing to fund the US government, but they also spent almost all of their time focusing exclusively on accusing Obama of NOT being an American,. This is really ironic today, of course, when you consider that Trump may simply be a Russian operative.


Now that Trumpazuzu is in power, I'm sure even the Bundy's out in Oregon are now willing "to work together."

Most Christians Are Narcissitic Atheists

I am an atheist who believes in God. And everyone who claims to believe in God is actually an atheist.


You're probably saying right now, "what the...?"



Ya see, I believe that "God" is an idea, a delusional one but an idea nonetheless, that people around the world "believe" they share with others, but they really don't; and they sort of do. But people don't actually believe in "God," they only believe in their beliefs about God. People's "beliefs" about God, in other words, ARE their "God." And people's "beliefs" about God are only ever extensions of themselves.


That's why people who tend to believe in God always cock sure they are right, and why such a belief so often makes "believers" more arrogant about "being right" about everything they believe. And that's because they insist that their own beliefs come from the supreme God who created all beliefs. Indeed, even the delusion that many Christians have that "beliefs in God make people better" is simply a "belief" that many a Christian worship as if it were God itself.


In truth, however, such a "belief" is simply their own bias controlling their ability to see that a "belief" can and often does do just as much harm as it can do good. But don't bother trying to explain that to a die hard Christian, who is likely to crucify you for questioning them as the Sanhedrin crucified their Christ.


Christians love to crucify Christ more than anyone, of course.


As such, Christians and Muslims do NOT believe in God, but only believe in their own God like ability to know God and what God thinks and wants. And they call having this "god like ability" to know the mind of an eternal omnipotent God, and to know it "absolutely," an act of humility; and all without a hint of irony.


Such a miracle of denial may be the best evidence yet that God may in fact exist, even as Christian close mindedness is often the strongest evidence of all that nothing resembling the Christian God has ever existed at all.





Republican Rwanda: The Divided States of America

If you watched the Frontline two part special on the Obama presidency, you may have noticed the parallels between what is being done in America by Republicans and what happened in Rwanda prior to the genocide in 1994. That parallel is right wing propaganda being used to sow the seeds of fear and rage based purely on lies.


Leading up to the genocide in 1994, in both churches and on radios in Rwanda,  a massive propaganda war was being waged as misinformation was used to intentionally sow the seeds of fear and rage in the Hutu majority. Like America today, that fear and rage came from a concerted effort, by both Christian churches and talk show radio hosts, to convince the Hutus that the Tutsis where about to take power in Rwanda, and enact policies that would result in the oppression and even murder of Hutus.


That fear spread like a virus across the minds of the Hutu majority in the days leading up to the genocide. And when the plane carrying both the presidents of Rwanda and Burundi crashed, the Tutsi were blamed, and the genocide began shortly thereafter as a reprisal.


In America today, the exact same thing is happening.


In Divided States of America, the elephant that the show never mentions is how the attacks on Obama had very little to do with him being black or a democrat, and everything to do with spreading fear and rage.


If a Republican president had been in power when the banks sabotaged the global economy, they would most likely have pushed for the same bailouts that Obama pushed for. After all,  as everyone knows, America is run by Government Sachs.


But Conservative talk show hosts looking to increase their listener base, from Rush Limbaugh to Glenn Beck and Alex Jones, used Obama's attempt to save the financial institutions that run the world to spread hated and fear, by deliberately mischaracterizing Liberals and Democrats as communists, fascists, and Marxists, who are all out to destroy the world and install a New World Order.


That any president - whether Republican or Democrat - would've done the exact same thing is not only completely irrelevant, but is vehemently denied by those who get paid massive amounts of money to enrage their audience by selling the lie that Marxist democrats should be feared more than the KKK or the religious/alt-right.


Fear of extremists on all sides of the political spectrum has always been used to gain power and audience market share. If Obama had NOT bailed out the banks, he still would've been tarred and feathered by conservative pundits as a Marxist Socialist Muslim who is hell bent on destroying America.   That's why it is so ironic that Conservatives now applaud Trump as their capitalist messiah, even though Trump has admitted that the Russians (the REAL Marxist Socialists) helped him to win the presidency of the United States.


In short - our greatest enemy is NOT each other, but all those who are paid handsomely to convince us otherwise.



Wednesday, January 18, 2017

LevinTV: Goebbels of the Republican Reich and the coming Purge

Conservatives are being deliberately whipped into a frothy hatred for anything that looks, thinks, or smells different from them. But what's really impressive is how.

Despite the fact that the alt-right crowd and the KKK both got their man Drumpf into office, that doesn't mean they don't have plenty to be angry about. Indeed, Hitler winning power in Germany certainly did nothing to defuse the anti-Semitism that was growing at the time. Instead, it only concentrated it. When people get angry, they tend to get angrier before they ever calm down. Just look at the Civil War, for example.

So how are Conservatives whipping up and propagandizing their loyal Right Wingers? People like Mark Levin, who proudly boast about their "patriotism" (Isn't pride supposedly a sin? Was Jesus "proud" of being Jewish?), claim they are defending their country while they are making a lot of money spreading nothing but lies. Lies, lies, and more lies. That's how capitalism works best after all, not by telling people the truth about, say, politicians or tobacco or Monsanto or anything else, but by telling people all the lies they are willing to pay to hear. And Levin is better than even Goebbels at this.

What Levin does is quite simple, but brilliant (in a way): He simply attributes any bad press that Der Donald gets to Hilary Clinton. How? Simple. Levin says, "the only reason Trump is being attacked so viciously in the media is because he is NOT Hilary Clinton."

These claims actually possess the Trumpazuzu crowd (Pazuzu was the name of the demon in William Peter Blatty's The Exorcist, btw) with a growing rage at all things they perceive to be a threat to their guns, their masculinity, their Christianity, their patriotism, their fanaticism, and their "freedom" (but only to tell OTHERS how to live, not to be TOLD how to play nice with others, of course).

Mind you, most of the people who voted for Trumpazuzu are NOT practically possessed by  such bold face lies, but, like that minority of hardcore supporters of Hitler, the militant minority who are blind with rage for all things "America" (whatever the hell they mean by that) are being told that Trump is as much a victim as they feel that they are.

So even though HRC has hardly said a word after her devastating loss to Trump,  the propagandists on the Right are still milking her for everything they can get their blood hungry Trumpians to buy.

It's not that Trump has lied about everything, blatantly, or that his appointments are the same Goldman Sachs people that HRC would've likely appointed. It doesn't matter if he conspired to force Comey to reopen the investigations about HRC right before the election, or that he may have colluded with Russia to hack the election, or even that he may be simply a Putin puppet in the white house!

No! If ANYONE one dares to utter a single criticism of Der Donald, Levin and his propagandists on the right scream "It's because he is not Hilary Clinton!" And those who want an excuse to butcher people in the streets (like the Hutus in Rwanda) for their God and for their country, are only getting angrier and angrier.

And soon there will be blood in the streets. The Purge is coming to Keep American Great.
 

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The United States of Pottersville: It's a Horrible Life

If you've ever seen the old Christmas classic, 'It's a Wonderful Life," with Jimmy Stewart, you'll remember that Stewart played the part of George Bailey, a tired guy who ran a crummy little "Building & Loan" in a place called Bedford Falls.

There was a greedy old misanthrope who lived in that town as well, named Mr. Potter. Mr. Potter was virtually identical to Mr. Scrooge from A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. George Bailey, on the other hand, was like Bob Chitchit, only for George, the whole town of Bedford Falls was Tiny Tim.

In the presidential election of 2016, America rejected George Bailey (in the guise of Bernie Sanders) and elected Mr. Potter instead (in the grim visage of Donald Drumpf), and, with the attempts by Republicans to abolish Obamacare, basically said "Fuck Tiny Tim!" 

As anyone who remembers the movie knows, George is given the chance to see how life would've turned out without him. His older brother would've died, if George hadn't been there to save him as a child. His wife would've never married; his favorite bar, Martini's, would've become Nick's; and the druggist  Mr Gower would've ended up in prison for accidentally filling a prescription with poison.

Worst of all, however, is that the town of Bedford Falls, which was a place where hard working middle class and lower class Americans worked together, and relied on the old Baily Building and Loan - a place that clearly put people before profits - to survive and eek out the American dream together, had turned into Pottersville. In fact, today, for working with and in the community and having people pool their money to help each other, George Bailey would be pilloried by Republicans for being a communist and Henry Potter would be applauded for being the consummate capitalist - hard nosed and obedient to only the numbers in his financial calculations and investments.

Apparently, Christians think the magical pixie dust of their "religion" is expected to somehow moderate the cold realities of our "sinful selfishness" in an economy that worships the "love of profit" over everything else; and economy that is willing to sacrifice anyone and all to appease the god of fortunes.   

Pottersville is a place after the Grinch's own heart. Like Ebeneezer Scrooge (before he was visited by the 3 spirits of Christmas), Potter was all about binding everyone in the town of Bedford Falls with the heavy chains of debt worn by Jacob Marley. Those same chains not only bind America as a whole, even as the Potters and the Scrooges and the Trumps hide the ill gotten fortunes they've amassed (through their elaborate ponzi schemes) in bank accounts in Panama, but now threaten to drag the entire human race to a watery grave.



Merry Christ- funeral- mass Mr, Scrooge. It's a Horrible Life. 

Monday, January 16, 2017

Socialism: The Boogey Man and the Number of the Beast

Conservatives are convinced that "the communists are coming, the communists are coming!" From Andrew Brietbart and the alt right crowd, to gun lovers and bible thumping Christians in American's heartland, fear is used to prod true believers to support the very "new world order" they fear the most.



Basically, it works like this. Communism and socialism are seen by Conservative Christians as instruments of the devil, responsible for the murder of roughly 100 million people in the 20th century alone. As such, anything that in anyway sounds or smells like "socialism" is to be feared as much as Satan himself. Basically, all you have to do is simply SAY something is "socialism," and Conservative Christians immediately start thinking that govt will soon by sending us to concentration camps and pushing people into ovens.



This irrational fear, coupled with the insanity to believe that "the profit motive" of "capitalism" is practically the same thing as "the divine providence" of Christ himself (yes, it's insane, but some Christians actually think God is a die hard capitalist), leads such irrational Christians to support the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, for example, because they see it as pure socialism. It isn't, of course, but Conservatives have been programed to ignore any attempt to explain why they are wrong about this.



For the die hard Conservative Capitalist, socialism amounts to Nazism, but with a focus on killing Christians. Hence, anything even remotely socialism must be opposed. This means that all unions are evil, since unions are only out for themselves, of course. It also means that ANYONE who dares to suggest that "climate change" is real, that humans are causing it, and that we must do something about it to save people's live, they must only be duped fools who have been brainwashed by Liberal media propaganda. Because EVERYONE knows that God would NEVER allow man made climate change to result from man's unbridled greed for ever more power and profit. No, Never! Ever!


Obviously!



It apparently never occurs to these die hard Christians that they are being lied to by the corporations who own the govt they are programmed to be so afraid of, and that by  blaming the gov't they are simply allowing the real power behind the gov't, to continue to make trillions of dollars every year, even as they literally kill countless millions of people every year, in every way imaginable. 


It's no wonder that, to so many atheists, Conservative Christians only actually serve the Moloch of money as their only true messiah. Just ask Joel Olsteen.


And now comes the beast foretold of in the Christian Bible of Revelations, who Christians worship as their only messiah and savior from the evil socialists. Yet he does not ride upon an ass to reign over his earthly kingdoms (as the devil tempted Christ with in the desert), because he is an ass. And Christians waive their tax returns as they cry to him "save us Lord of gold and wealth, save us Lord of war and wall street, save us oh dear Lord of Lords..save us from the atheists and the socialists!"


All hail Damien Thorne, billionaire lover of the poor, the gold plated God of the profit motive. All hail the number of the beast. 

We Do Not Hallucinate in Hindu

My brother once found a young boy who had hung himself in the basement of a neighbors house. For him, the experience was incredibly traumatic, as anyone can imagine it would be. The boy was around 10 or 12 years old, and his parents had recently undergone a very ugly divorce. As a result, the doctors had put him on drugs for depression which ultimately contributed to his death, in my opinion.

But my brother is a Catholic, which means the entire experience was interpreted within a Catholic paradigm of beliefs. Hence the boy had killed himself, not because of the drugs he'd been prescribed or the divorce of his parents, but because evil demonic forces had clearly been at work to lure the boy to his own demise.

Of course, had an atheist or a Shinto or a Buddhist found the boy, their own interpretation of the event,  however traumatized they might have been by the experience, would have been interpreted within a very different paradigm from the one my Catholic brother used. And it is this very tendency to think in terms of the beliefs and ideas that we are submersed in that demonstrates how our "beliefs" are not necessarily real.

Instead, all of our ideas are simply the reassembling of the very ideas were are the most familiar with, like Lego pieces. This is why a Catholic does not hallucinate in Hindu, why a Christian friar does not dream of meeting Vishnu, or what a Buddhist does not dream of Mohammad or Moses or Elijah.

Our "beliefs" and our knowledge in general, obviously become the furniture of our mind. That's why we only ever think, dream, or experience life (even via near death experiences - a NDE) within the context of our knowledge and beliefs.

That we are the product of our cultures and our environments, that our minds are simply the reflection of the religions commonly practiced in the countries we are born, and that our ideas about economics and politics are likewise based purely on our experiences and nothing more, is a fact.

There is nothing in the Bible, nor has there ever been a single claim by anyone, that God claimed that capitalism is the most moral and efficient way to run an economy, or that "democracy" (which American is NOT) is necessarily the "best" form of political government.

But the fact that so many people actually believe that God would argue that capitalism and democracy are somehow as divinely revealed as Christianity (even though both capitalism and democracy are the complete opposite of Christianity), shows not only that all of our "beliefs" are simply the result of social conditioning, but that even completely opposing beliefs such as these can be made to seem as if they are three sides to the same coin.

It's just that that coin has a picture of Caesar on it. And those systems of beliefs are all used like three chains tethered to our necks, all of which demand that we "render unto Caesar what is Caesar's."  

Obamacare & Wannsee: The Rise of the Republican Reich


In January of 1942, sixteen distinguished doctors and lawyers – most of whom were Christians - met for an elegant lunch in the German countryside to resolve what they called “the Jewish question.” As these men smoked cigars and drank French wine, they discussed the important role Germany was to play for humanity, professed their devotion to German culture and its high ideals, and plotted to kill a hundred million people. To defend the purity of their enlightened system of beliefs, in other words, they planned to tear humanity limb from limb. 
 
That lakeside luncheon was known as the Wannsee Conference, and it was the place where the fate of some eleven million people was sealed, including six million Jews. The conference had the singular purpose of coordinating the various government agencies needed for The Final Solution. It was here, for the first time, that most of the men at that table were presented with the plan to turn the age old religious practice of genocide into a German industrial enterprise. 

Today, Donald Trump and the Republican party are now working to kill 20 million people by abolishing the Affordable Care Act and thus denying 20 million people access to healthcare, and all to enrich the healthcare insurance companies that have been posting record profits and bonuses ever since the ACA was passed in the first place.

The Nazi's, when you think about it, were much more humane in how they murdered the roughly 11 million people during the Holocaust (people often only quote the 6 million Jews while ignoring the other 5 million people killed in those camps - which effectively annihilates those 5 million people all over again). This is because the Nazi's at least murdered those 11 million people by gassing them, while the Republicans would rather simply let 20 million people writhe in the agony of their ill health - ill health, mind you, that comes from GMO's in the food, pesticides and cancers in our livestock, over exposure to the proliferation of phone towers and pollution of the environment, not to mention poisoning of the water and all over food sources, and much to much to list here. 
 But despite the fact that companies are poisoning us all to death, from meds, to cancer, to food to phones and on and on, America still believes that access to "healthcare" is not a "right." Indeed, people actually believe that it's a "good idea" to chain people to their jobs (no matter how much they may hate that job, and no matter how little that job pays) by forcing people to depend on that job, indeed CLING to that job for dear life, in order to have access to healthcare for themselves and their family. 
 And rather than blame insurance companies who are working to make a profit from death and disease, the people who complain about the ACA are the ones who are as free of health problems as they are of understanding the real reason their costs are going up, and who seem to care as much about all of those who will loose access to healthcare with the loss of the ACA as they care about those  hundreds of thousands of innocent lives that have been lost on America's bogus "War on Terror."
Long live the "Christian Nation," that follows in the footsteps of Christ by ignoring the fact that Christ said, "what you do to the least of my brothers and sisters, you do to me." Long live the money lenders, long live Moloch, long live the Republican Reich.

 

Saturday, January 14, 2017

The Trouble with Marriage

The trouble with marriage is that we often come to think of it like a prison sentence from which there is no escape. Thanks to Catholics, marriage is basically like the 2nd circle of hell, where Francesca da Rimini and Paolo Malatesta are punished together in hell for their adultery, for eternity. 

Naturally, the two can't stand each other. If you were stuck to someone for the rest of your life, could you?

And that's the problem. Ya see, we can only truly love that which can be lost. We cannot love someone who we are bound to for forever, from whom we can never escape, no matter how much we wish we could; no matter how painful it may feel to be around them. That is not love. But that is exactly what some people think marriage requires. No wonder so many people prefer not to get married these days. 

Being bound to someone for you're entire life (one wonder's what this means for this couple in an eternal afterlife - are this still "married" even after they die, in heaven, or hell? And could they ever know the difference?), makes it alot harder to freely chose to change things about ourselves for that person. 

It's like expecting a prisoner to change their behavior to please the prison warden, as if the prisoner has any incentive to do so other than the pain the warden can cause the prisoner. But this is hardly the basis for a healthy marriage, although it would seem religion would think it is. 

This is why I do not respect religious ideas of marriage, because marriage is not a prison sentence that "God" imposes on people, nor is it a legal contract that two people must comply with for the rest of their lives - even if they wish like hell they could get out of it! 

Marriage is a mutual choice be two people to freely WANT to be in each others lives. And because that desire to WANT to be in each other's lives, and to have that other person in their lives, surpasses all other wants, "changing for someone" because a choice one is free to make, not something someone is forced to make like a ultimatum. 


Trump: Rise of the Anti-Christ

I am an atheist, so I do not believe in the Christian conception of the "anti-Christ" as being Damien Thorne, the actual son of Satan, anymore than I believe that the Jesus figure was real, or the son of "the one true God."

I do, however, believe that Christ is an archetypal figure who embodies the rebellious nature we saw in Moses, Lucifer, Martin Luther, Adam and Eve, James Dean, John Lennon, and countless others who have challenged the rules and norms of their given day, especially when those rules and norms result in so much suffering of the many to the great financial benefit of the few.  Christ, in other words, is a person who dares to defy the powerful, and point out that the emperor has no clothes.

 The anti-Christ, in contrast, is simply anyone who thus chooses to support the ethos of the day that benefits the rich minority at the expense of the poor majority.

In the days of Christ, Judas and the Sanhedrin more generally, were "anti" Christ; the Christians who burned witches and held Inquisitions were "anti" Christ; indeed, anyone who has ever defended the letter of the law above the spirit of the law, or who has ever failed to practice that admonishment of Christ that "the law was made to serve man, not man to serve the law," is in fact the opposite of Christ, and thus an "anti" Christ figure.


In short, anyone who has understood and tried to fulfill the compassion found in the beatitudes (by fighting for healthcare for 20 million people for example) is a kind of "Christ," while anyone who fights to deny healthcare for 20 million people, (and all to save themselves 30 pieces of silver in their tax returns and thwart their own fears of a New World Order founded on their irrational fears about socialism and communism - all of which have been carefully crafted by the rich and the powerful for the express purpose of using people's fears to enrich themselves) is an "anti" Christ.

Hence, Donald Trump and the Republicans who worship the golden calf of Goldman Sachs, who praise the money lenders and condemn those who seek to feed the hungry, and clothe the naked, and provide medical attention to the sick and the dying, are ANTI- Christs!

Just because they call themselves "pro-life," even though they (along with the vast majority of "pro-Choice" democratic politicians) support a war economy run on petro dollars, does not change the fact that they are worshiping the Moloch of money as their messiah, and sacrificing kids who die in their wars for power, and murdering the planet and the future, so they can have it all right now.     



To fight for “pro life” in a country that continually seeks to cut spending on every social program that helps people survive - from food and healthcare services to social security benefits to retirement plans for public service employees, to education and everything else - that continually ratchets up the amount of money it spends on treating addicts like criminals to enrich private prison owners at tax payers expense; engages in ever more phony wars around the world for multinational corporations, to the benefit of the oil, banking, and defense industries at tax payer expense; and enriches the military industrial complex and global financial industries that live exclusively off the labors of others (and much of it made through the murder committed through bogus wars) while doing NO WORK AT ALL and producing ABSOLUTELY NOTHING in the economy,  is like saying you care about clean water by fighting to sanitize what you flush in your own toilet while defending the very companies that are getting rich by selling you bottled water because they are polluting the oceans and everything else. 

True believers have always believed that whoever their chosen messiah of the day may be, from Hitler to Herod to Trump to Moloch, could walk on water and do no wrong. And the murder of the millions who will be denied healthcare by "pro-life" Republicans proves that murder is only wrong when it is NOT done for 30 pieces of silver. At least the Nazi's planed to kill out of a completely irrational fear and hatred, and to do it quickly, while the Republicans are doing it by letting people die slow agonizing deaths, and for no other reason than to enrich the Healthcare Insurance companies who have already listed record profits over the past several years.

 All Hail Moloch! All Hail the Profit Motive! All Hail our lord and savior Donald "666" Drumpf! The Golden Calf of our lust for Greed! For War and Money are our only Gods! All Hail Donald Trump - The Antichrist: King of the Ruse!

And to all those who want healthcare, who need healthcare - America's Republicans cry out: "Crucify them!!"

Songs of the True Believer

The reason it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven, is because the ...