Monday, October 19, 2009

So-Called Fundamentalist Christian Beliefs Killing Children in Africa as Witches

If you want to turn away it is okay. I have no pictures here. I am merely relaying what would seem to be a genuine journalistic piece on the Internet about man’s ongoing inhumanity to man. Or in this case children.

I don’t know how to react to this story. It is too brutal. It is too real. And Africa is on the lowest level of all the world’s agendas.

False or half-assed fundamentalist Christianity is on the rise in many quarters and sad to say in Africa as well. The story below is from the twenty-first century or is it from the middle ages?

African Children Denounced As "Witches" By Christian Pastors
…The emaciated boy barely had strength left to whisper the name of the church that had denounced him – Mount Zion Lighthouse.

A month later, he died.

Nwanaokwo Edet was one of an increasing number of children in Africa accused of witchcraft by pastors and then tortured or killed, often by family members. Pastors were involved in half of 200 cases of "witch children" reviewed by the AP, and 13 churches were named in the case files.

Some of the churches involved are renegade local branches of international franchises. Their parishioners take literally the Biblical exhortation, "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live." (Exodus 22:18)

"It is an outrage what they are allowing to take place in the name of Christianity," said Gary Foxcroft, head of nonprofit Stepping Stones Nigeria…

…Please stop the pastors who hurt us," said Jerry quietly, touching the scars on his face. "I believe in God and God knows I am not a witch."…
What is this thing about Christianity and the abuse of children?

In Africa, they, children are scapegoats for superstition, and not treated in the purest essence of Christianity as true human beings and children of God. Instead, they can be marked as witches for the denunciation and torture by others.

This lack of love for self or others in so many main stream and fundamentalist Christian churches is so weird. It is like the first Christians or the second or third wave of them were all slaves or ex-slaves. Like they basically did not really like themselves. That when Constantine needed one more breath of life for his dying pagan empire he had to recognize the slave union (the church) to get that help to survive…

These losers, these Kristian monsters, these “pastors” are quoting Exodus. Holy Christ!!! Why in God’s name is the old and new Testament held in the same equality? The two are as different as Pizza and Cannolies.

Ignorance is the enemy of all mankind.

Considering the chaos and insanity and inhumanity of the first world these days, why should I judge the third world run a muck?

All Christian churches worldwide must denounce this barbarism from their pulpits.

Let me step back into what I think is the total message of Jesus. LOVE!

All you need is love. Not Exodus encouraging you to not care and to not Love your NEIGHBOR.

All you need is love. Hold that thought. And pray for these poor victims of ignorance.

(I found the following instrumental to back out of this uncomfortable story…to breathe…to think…meditate… mentally cleanse myself from this touch of evil in the world...and shed a tear or two..)

Progressive Line in the Sand

This is kind of a news related opinion dump of many loose ends.

The image is of a line in the sand. It is a symbolic line. Many I hear in the media are saying that Obama’s seemingly limp style of management is not taking us in a strong direction both with health care reform and in terms of standing up to the Wall Street Oligarchs, spawn of the Fed.

It is not inconceivable that Obama will be a one term president. The team, the Chicago mafia, that helped the White Sox fan win the WH is perhaps only good for only winning an election. Perhaps that team can be likened to ships’ pilots guiding a ship of state into the vast ocean. The captain of the ship of state should then steer the ship until the next port of call.

The Kennedys used to play touch football because they played with their sisters. But their co-ed games were rough. Perhaps Obama, on a learning curve, should learn to play a little harder. Otherwise, I begin to believe, begin to perceive, that the Washington culture is a culture of democracy, not unlike the Greek democracy, which was a democracy of slave owners.

Another item, that distresses me, is the continued, coded overt, layered symbol, Janus form of non stop hatred of Obama for his race and culture. There is a rumor that the “muslim” President is going to ban Christmas trees in the White House. What Bullshit. Murdock should cut back from 36 cans of Foster’s lager beer a day to 24 and get a life, get a soul, get a real “News” corp. etc. His is an Aussie outback operation that will be leading on veiled racist, religionist stories like this in the weeks to come.

Christmas myth dogs Obama

The war in Afghanistan goes on and on. If we cannot get rid of and monitor our terrorist enemies in the mountains there with spy satellites and drone bombs, what good is the wasted expense of these military toys. We turned a blind eye to Pakistan getting nuclear weapons back when the Soviets were stupid enough to occupy (try to occupy) Afghanistan. The Soviet empire collapsed shortly after they failed in that endeavor. Pakistan is or is not a valid nation state whose fate we cannot prevent if it is a failed state. Russia, China and India are the closest regional neighbors of this anemic Muslim state. They should be carrying their weight around. If not, let them clean up the mess when all nuclear hell breaks loose.

Regarding my recent mentioning of the bitch fight between Megan Carpentier of Air America in defense of a helpless Michelle Malkin against the mean liberal bully Keith Olbermann –

Keith should make a half-assed apology (political apology) not to dear sweet innocent Michelle – but apologize for a perhaps offensive to some - use of descriptives. I thought he hit a perfect bullseye on that one.

Megan Carpentier should learn the number one rule of all modern liberal/progressives regardless of sex.
Lines in the sand do not really matter. In the end, the tide comes in and washes all lines away.

It is the thoughts, intentions and struggles between the tides of history that in the end really do matter.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Michelle Malkin - a "Red" Racist?

This is a connect the dot hysterical hissy fit for what passes for journalism, at least on cable these days, and on the MSM – so called main stream media.

I think I saw the recent Keith Olbermann tirade on Michelle Malkin, a blogger on the right, who somehow was following through on a FOX “news” story about the indoctrination of children in an elementary public school in Jersey. The You Tube segment below is an example of how our children are being Mao-ed or Goebbel-ized in Obama’s secret plan to steal the U.S. Government knowing that at any minute some lunatic Russian ex-patriot will finally find his real-real-real birth certificate in a pumpkin patch in Gorky Park in Moscow. Oh how I love a mystery!!!

The Skinny. Olbermann tiraded into Malkin for starting an e-mail campaign against author Charisse Carney-Nunes, who supposedly shared a class with Obama at Harvard and wrote a children’s book “I Am Barack Obama”, for supposedly organizing the children’s treason below - singing The Obama Song. That e-mail campaign supposedly caused death threats to that author. I won’t tell you that I once shared a class with Obama up at Columbia and I won’t tell you that the class was on “Marxist Theory”. Because it it not true. That’s how bullshit journalism, blogging, hate, fear mongering infects the tree of life these days in America – critical days. Journalism is no longer a signpost to truth but a signpost to hell these days IMHO.

This is a donnybrook or more accurately a feeding frenzy of the MSM creating one phony story after another starting with Fox on September 24. To add insult to injury so to speak, a lefty, Megan Carpentier of Air America, a lefty site attacked Keith as being a woman hater in his imitation of Maulkin’s speaking voice and his description of her with lipstick. Carpentier perhaps sees an opportunity to write a whole bunch of follow up blogs (see what I mean about feeding frenzy) about battered women and men like Keith who…

My trek through this wilderness started this afternoon. First with Page Six on the New York Post quoting Carpentier on Olbermann as proof of Olbermann’s misogyny. Busted! I only went to the Post to see if they might have finally hired a first rate astrologer finally after all these years after the death of the late great Patric Walker.

Well anyway. From Page Six I had to piece this story together for my own satisfaction and see what the real thing was all about. I guess I have already told you what I think indirectly from what I wrote above.

I went searching for the exact lyrics of this so called Obama Song and found that there are literally dozens of different ones out there on the Net.

Which took me for the first time to the infamous Michelle Malkin blogsite –yee gads.

The story below is about Social Security but what shocked or sickened me was the symbol used of a red man with a handgun robbing the rich blue man (above). The article is about an Obama proposal.

Wealth redistributor-in-chief

I know that the underlying message of “Socialism” is supposed to say it all. Perhaps I have been become a lunatic too and caught the Glenn Beck disease and see things in symbols that I should not see. Crazy! Using the color/symbol/word "red" as coded overt to mask the true racist message?

For one thing, with my previous blog about Red as the New Black in mind, I see a symbolic representation of a stereotypic black male with a hand gun robbing a (?) blue (white?) man. I think that the red man if he were a true communist would be carrying a AK47 and not a cheap inner city handgun to rob the current oligarchs/robber barons now in charge etc.

It is near my bed time. Good night. Pleasant dreams. Avoid all symbols if possible.

Love. Peace. Karmic Bliss!

Red As The New Black

I am glad that tea baggers are running around and defending their way of life what ever that is or used to be.

The tea baggers are the tip of the iceberg of anger in this country about the mismanagement, cronyism, lack of jobs, Goldman Sachs seven figure bonuses courtesy of the taxpayer, and government spending in the final analysis likely to spark hyper inflation as a means to put the final nails into the coffin of the late great middle class America.

Part of this whole cauldron of distress is of course visual on the news with the stars of the Murdock sound machine on Fox News. The tea baggers have many racist placards in their numerous protests showing the President as a witch doctor and of course being a socialist communist RED. Red was the term used in the cold war to denote the godless commies for whom we sacrificed national health care to buy bombs, bombs, bombs as a kind of fear tax.

Red also denotes the states that are electorally in the GOP column as opposed to the blue states for the Dems. Red is a safe, comfortable color for GOPs to throw around in public or so they think. They think they own the word and or term. Yeah right. When they call Obama a Red – we all know what they mean.

Out of this cauldron of seething anger and mis/dis/pis communication I have run into a new street variation of the word for Black people in general. The term is translated from Spanish as “the reds” and is used by the very diverse Hispanic population, which these days comes from dozens of Spanish speaking countries. I have no clue how blacks become reds but in this strange vetting age of the first black president anything is possible.

In many quarters these days, coded overt messages are going about and I think they are related to the past age of race being dissolved away with interracial marriage and minorities like Hispanics arriving on these shores already having exposure and tolerance to states of interracial beauty.

I have been on the Net trying to determine the source of the new term Red for the old Black. The Urban Dictionary (I won’t put the link here in that it is quite a vulgar site and won’t force you to read it) states two references to Red in that Blacks favorite flavor of Kool-Aid is “Red”. And an obsolete racist term “Redbone”, from the South and denoting interracial origins, has been revived and shortened into “Red”.

Of course we are not talking about eggplants, Mulignan, an Italian term for blacks. The term originated in Italy as a derogatory term for Sicilians who were once conquered by the Moors and do have African blood in their cultural whole. The term was used on the Sopranos. Overt, untranslated, translated, transmutated messages seem not to have the full force these days to match another time and another pure white culture of the past. The overt messages are sometimes too diluted now to matter.

Nobody cares. The Black President got elected by the majority of all people who voted in the election. Minority opinions or sour grapes rarely matter.

I am not the thought police and I am not pure or PC in my opinions of the good or bad of cultures, race and language in this extremely diverse American scene. I place no judgment upon anyone in this rather sad/comic beautiful wonderful American way of seeing things.

Perhaps the id of our culture already has an understanding of the cutting edge of the future. Perhaps we do not even know at present that that is what we are doing – trying to fit into a probable future with various code talks all around us at present. Wherever the planet may be going in its future global culture – America gets there first in the majority of those merged future diverse flavors of life and words to describe such.

My question to myself is - do the Glenn Beck idiots and tea baggers of the world, with “Red” on their lips – do they know that they share solidarity with the emerging Hispanic segment of the population and in fact share the same overt message:

Red is the new Black!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Across the Line - Economics and Racism

They are talking about Wall Street going over 10,000. What does that have to do with the man in the street or the average American Joe? The elites have their cash box retirement all rigged in perhaps the last ponzi scheme going with bailed out banks now declaring record profits (?) (yeah right). And like human nature – that could never happen to me. Yeah right.

I believe there may be a disconnect from reality in America even now when they are calling it the Great Recession that is likely to last a decade and not recognized by the people with any assets left or skills that are still in demand on a global market.

The title of “across the line” is a reminder of the invisible line, the county line between Philly and Montgomery County. This past summer there was a seeming flashback of racism when a bunch of black kids from the inner city in a day camp were supposed to go swimming in a swim club in Huntingdon Valley and were told they had to leave.

The bottom line on that was typical present day American mismanagement. The contract for use of the pool had not mentioned numbers and there was the problem of safety, life guards needed etc. The whole thing got blown out of proportion in the press because of the lily white nature of Montgomery County - many on both sides of the issue jumped to standard boiler plate assumptions about it all.

That in the sixties, many white people in the so called liberal north just had to cross the county line to not have to deal with civil rights or segregation etc. This article is not really about racism. We have crossed many barriers to be a more united people of all races. We have more hurdles to go. The recent example of the swimming pool in white suburbia illustrates how America has dealt with economic reality since it became an empire after WWII.

Following that crossing the county line theme, our economics, our view of secular American needs and how they happened over the recent decades leads us to our present situation.

You cross the line to escape racial issues. You don’t build factories in the suburbs. They don’t follow you there. You don’t see the need for them from your local POV. The white mall burb service economy is now the only reality to be seen or be of any use in everyday reality by the elites in the media and the boardroom. It is still the dominant view in our collapsed economy.

The concept of a “service economy” was the driving force in the colleges back in the 1960’s. Make money here. Manage money here. The third world countries can do all the dirty work with raw materials. America remains separate and rich from the rest of the world. Yeah right.

The factories in the cities are still active for a while but there is no renewal. Money gets lent to India to build factories there etc. The inner city decays and then the white kids in the suburbs want to live in downtown and hey, you can convert factories into condos. It makes money.

The disconnect in economics in America has come down around, and perhaps has paralleled the racial lines of our cities and counties etc. The rich white kid in the suburbs goes to college to service money. Money is created out of money and not out of local sweat anymore.

Making money and making jobs are now two very distinct economic points of view – separate and not equal.

While the old low tech jobs in factories is not the most desirable route to go, the old bones, factories made of concrete are there and ready to be retooled and turning out high tech products.

The divisions of race in the past have perhaps developed into opposing economic patterns as well, two economies that fight one another for cash only capitalism and true investment in infrastructure (people). Opposing economic points of view still split the nation and are more keenly and clearly discernible in troubled economic times.

In many ways, America’s greatness has always been its geography separating it physically from the rest of the world and the world’s problems. Now in a global age of communications, that separation remains and is more psychological than physical.

The neocons and the fundamentalists are working 24/7/52 to build walls and design blinders between us and global reality. Theirs is a losing battle.

The true battle is in returning to old fashioned “classic” economics and feeding your local needs first before you feed the global beast.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

King Midas Touch - Rush Limbaugh

I am the last person who I ever thought would defend Rush Limbaugh’s rights. But he got dropped from his bid to buy a football team no doubt because of past loose random rhetoric for which he is so famous.

Limbaugh dropped from group seeking to buy Rams

I knew that minority players on the football team would never walk to make a point. They have contracts and mortgages too etc.

One thing I will say about Limbaugh and the Republican Right and let me add that the milquetoast Democrats should be aware of this as well.

There is such a thing as a limit in Capitalism. There is the golden touch and there is such a thing as being too successful.

Once you get that Midas Touch, beware! Beware of all the things you touch and what you think you want. What you want may not be out of reach, but considering the true weight of gold, that thing you want may be too heavy a thing to carry around with you.

Ghosts - Storytelling - Tradition

I have yet to run into any ghosts in my bedroom. Do they exist? Most definitely!

I encountered one in a small secular graveyard on a frigid winter’s day in western Pennsylvania decades ago. I turned away from my uncle’s grave to whom I had paid my respects. It was cold and windy but I thought it strange. I thought I was alone in the graveyard. But I thought I heard… no. I turned around and the graveyard was empty. I turned again to return to my car. But there it was again. The sound was like that of a women crying and the sound was muffled like it came from behind a closed door…

…and I was working twenty years ago in an office building in downtown Tucson. I was sitting there and suddenly I smelled smoke. The hairs on the back of my neck stood on edge. I felt panic and heat! I walked very quickly over to a co-worker's desk to tell her that I smelled a strong smoke. There must be a fire! We have to push the alarm and leave the building. My co-worker looked up at me from her desk. “There is no fire Michael. You don’t smell smoke.” She then proceeded to tell the story of the office building. It had twenty years before been a hotel and the scene of a disastrous fire in which 28 people had died. She then told me that if anybody had to come in on a Saturday to do work, they never would come in alone...

Something of a surprise at the American Box Office this past weekend. A ghost story produced for something like $11,000 grossed over $7 million dollars.

Paranormal Activity
After a young, middle class couple moves into what seems like a typical suburban 'starter' tract house, they become increasingly disturbed by a presence that may or may not be somehow demonic but is certainly most active in the middle of the night. Especially when they sleep. Or try to.
It is near Halloween. Word of mouth has had this film go from a few dozen theatres in a week to showing in 160 theatres. With an average screening getting something like $44,000 per theatre screen for the weekend, you have to imagine that the theatres are very crowded. Perhaps part of the charm of seeing a ghostly tale in the dark with a crowd is the electricity of one person’s reaction quickly spreading through that crowd.

Looking at the data, and considering there is a SyFy cable show called Ghost Hunters, something to say about all this. I of course don’t like scary movies. Have not watched any since the old 1930’s Dracula, Frankenstein used to air in my youth on the local TV station late at night.

The cable ghost show has people running around at night using night filtered filming. Everybody is in some sort of hazy tint. There is always somebody jumping up saying they just heard something or saying they just got touched. Guys run around with little ghost meters that are always registering strange readings. Well you get the picture. There is an audience already for this type of storytelling.

Watch the short clip below of the ghost movie to get a flavor of this word of mouth phenomenon.

I see youth. I see crowds. I see an audience perhaps starved for imagination. I see a generation that no longer gets the fear of fire and brimstone from pulpits because they perhaps do not go to church.

I see the ghost story genre as part of some ancient secular ritual of people, family, tribe sitting around the flames in the hearth. I see humanity and I have hope for the next generations. A human tradition of story telling exists in a modern evolved form.

The art of telling a good story is alive in this modern age and transferred to cinema among other things. The possible down side of all this is that less and less the telling of a good story is in a book. Who reads these days? Is reading rapidly becoming a lost art form?

In any case, happy Halloween season. Boo!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

World Peace Prize to Vladimir Putin

I used to say that the Soviet Union would be the first economy to collapse. Well the other shoe dropped about a year ago in the west and a patchwork of cosmetic economic Band-Aids is still holding the west together at this moment. There is still a lot of work to do to stabilize the west's economy and indirectly keep world peace intact.

There was an outcry and a pulling of hair and a gnashing of teeth in the United States by the far right last week when the Nobel Committee named Barack Obama as this year’s recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Any Peace would seem to be in conflict with certain parties within the United States.

The Nobel Committee noted that the peace award was not so much for solid accomplishments but for setting a new tone and establishing a new touchstone by which the United States deals with the rest of the world on the world stage.

Resetting or rebooting the American’s empire and its outlook is only one part of a very large quilt work of nations and ideologies that contribute to real world peace in all corners of the globe and in their own way in terms of their own self interests.

All the other big nations and economies, Europe, China and Russia make contributions to world peace just by not starting war or by not actively on a full scale arming for war. War though, I fear, is in the Human Genes. It would seem that fewer and smaller the conflicts settled by arms is for the better and a realistic approach to the reality of human nature.

The backbone of the Eurasian Continent geographically speaking from Oslo to Vladivostok would seem to be Russia. Eurasia is one third approximately of the land surface of the planet. Russia’s interests and potential spheres of influence make up a big chuck of the planet’s surface.

Russia with it hundreds of native ethnic cultures is perhaps more diverse than Los Angeles.

Anything in terms of world peace happens not just in the American mindset but also in the mindset of Europe, China and Russia as well. The Europeans and Chinese seem more geared to domestic economic activity while the bones of the old Soviet Empire are still there and still capable of waging massive warfare.

Anything meaningful that happens in terms of Iran and its “Peaceful” nuclear program would seem to fall within the local interests of its big next door neighbor of Russia on the Caspian. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s recent trip to Moscow would seem to suggest there is interest and a push toward stabilizing a loose political situation in the regions south of Russia.

That situation in the Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan entanglement of politics, nuclear power and war would suggest a desperate need for peace filled resources. This to replace the ancient ideas of land, war and ideologies too diverse to find at present common points of hoped for respect and understanding amongst themselves and with the rest of the humanity.

North Korea with its dangerous nuclear toys poses a threat in two ways. If it continues to exist as a rogue nation, it is a threat to Japan. If it ever unifies with South Korea, a united Korea is a whole new ball of wax if you mix the economics of the south with the militarism of the north. In either case Korea, though it touches China, is also within the sphere of Russia’s far eastern border and interests.

The bottom line on North Korea I think is in peaceful regime change and the purchase of nuclear weapons by the UN for the price of a ton of food for every starved North Korean citizen. The price is cheap. The devil is in the bargaining to get to that desired purchase price and desired peace situation.

While I give points to Obama for style, and points to Secretary of State Clinton for the miles she will be running in track shoes to accomplish a true Pax Americana, it will still be the empire of Russia that can benefit and add to any lasting world peace formula in the decades to come.

Right now, Russia is in a transitory stage from the massively failed management –mismanagement - of the Soviet system with their controlled economy theories. The infrastructure of Russia is still in many ways an infrastructure for war. The shell or the skeleton of the Soviet Empire could very well be reshaped into a new revived military demon to once again be added to the world stage.

Perhaps in the transfiguring of present day Russia from old Czarist/Soviet building blocks will come a new nation that sees more profit in peace than in war or in feigned cold war. Peace as building blocks in the sphere of Russian influence are part of any foundation of world peace.

The man at present who stands behind the throne of Russian power is Vladimir Putin. In terms of building or rebuilding with a long term plan for any nation, you need one strong man or a dynasty of men or party mission statements rigidly adhered to and fulfilled.

For better or worse, the key to present world peace and world stability, is not only in an upcoming shining speech in Oslo but in the grungy, gritty day to day nation building/rebuilding under the present hand of Vladimir Putin.

I somehow feel or hope that Putin’s long term reign as President, Prime Minister and probably again as President is an important building block or foundation for all humanity under the umbrella of the concept of world peace.

As such, and for what it is worth, I award this first annual Cultural Christian - World Peace Prize to Prime Minister Vladimir Putin of Russia for contributing to stability in his country and the peaceful potential for reshaping stability in regions touching that nation.

We hope that this Peace Prize encourages Putin and his government to do more and continue to contribute to regional and world peace for all humankind.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Discovery of New Worlds

I am looking for something positive to say about the state of things and the way we look at things past and present.

Today is the traditional Columbus Day Holiday. It celebrates the first big hyped European recognition of something (America) beyond the seas. Before Columbus there was travel to America for centuries and even millennium. It is just that on this day in 1492 the facts about an outside world made it into the Evening News so to speak.

I happened to be trekking around the desert in 1992, the five hundredth anniversary of whatever, around this date in a car and we directly or indirectly came upon three ancient Mission sites in Arizona. Two of those sites are still active. The trip make me realize how in the great expanse of the west, lines on a map in Madrid did not mean anything. The reality of tiny satellite settlements of European culture back then, centuries ago, survived not so much by the grace of God as by pure dumb luck generated by the pro-active curiosity of explorers.

This culture thing changes almost every few years. When I was a school child, Columbus was a hero. In 1992 he was nearly labeled some genocidal maniac by revisionist history. Somewhere in between Hero and Criminal is the probable truth about Christopher Columbus.

When one age tries to impose its own view of the world onto some other time or some other culture there can be conflicts.

A lot of religious wing nuts seem to want the world to end? Why? It says so or supposedly says so in the Bible. The last book of the Bible, Revelations, is a contorted weed driven vision of nasty things, un-Christian things. Still, rather than enjoy the world God has directly or indirectly provided us on spaceship Earth, some would prefer destruction over construction.

One recent thing in the news and shortly in the movies is the concept that the world will end on December 21, 2012 – Pure Unadulterated Horse Manure. Why? The Mayan calendar says so. Well actually it does not say anything. Most Mayan writings were burned by religious wing nuts as satanic centuries ago. The little writing that did survive is a mere scattering of words from that long dead civilization, long dead before the Spanish arrived.

An interesting quote from an Archeologist Guillermo Bernal of Mexico regarding the 2012 Mayan Calendar hype:
Bernal suggests that apocalypse is "a very Western, Christian" concept projected onto the Maya, perhaps because Western myths are "exhausted."
If Western mythology is indeed dead, then it makes sense that lunatics cling to the Bible for some sort of answer – the Bible is full of myths – many tired myths.

God created the human race to improve itself. To build on myth and not to cling to myth.

Myth builders like Columbus pursued the world to change it. Others sit back and reshape the world with words. Imagination and perspiration are two things that once made America great – not myths.

I think that there is a hidden intentional built-in challenge for us in the New Testament. It is to get beyond the roadblock of Revelations, a great boulder for some in the pathway to light. For the others of us that understand the message of Jesus in a much more divinely human sense, roadblocks are there to be overcome.

Myths are fine. Reality is better. Words at the beginning of the Bible are perhaps the best words to remember on the road of life. “Let there be light.” (to illuminate your pathway…)

Have a good day and don’t fuss too much over the Political Correctness of explorers of brave new worlds like C. Columbus etc.

Explore your own new worlds. There are plenty of them to explore. Make your own myths to hand down to the future.


Saturday, October 10, 2009

Scarlet Letter Law in Oklahoma

Some weird things out in Oklahama.

First something on going with the C Street Church – Coe Family Cult thing. There is talk that Senator Ensign of Nevada broke the law when he fired his mistress’s husband and got him a job as a lobbyist, strong armed the people who hired him etc. – well this all gets very tangled.

Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, Senator Ensign’s roommate at the church, is now saying that he negotiated a financial settlement for Ensign’s Mistress and or Husband. He had previously stated that he did not do this.

My question is when a man negotiates a price for the use of sex for a male party with a female – doesn’t that make him a Pimp, an old fashioned word for a “negotiator”? That if the mistress wants a settlement and the user of sex is willing to pay a settlement – isn’t that Blackmail by any other name? Jeez! Symantics!

Perhaps Senator Coburn should wear an appropriate label for his correct function at any given moment on his lapel like a "scarlet letter".

Scarlet letters seem to be appropriate, in vogue, for people in Oklahoma. The state legislature wants all abortions and the reasons for them listed on the Internet. The long list of questions on a questionnaire is presumably to help find the reasons for abortion and cut down procedures in the future but the real reason for the law is to scare the shit of Doctors and Patients who can indirectly be identified on the Web by anybody.

The details of your abortion online?
...a new Oklahoma law (yes, law, not "proposed legislation" or "some kind of sick joke") set to go into effect Nov. 1 that would collect detailed data about each abortion performed -- and post it all on a public Web site (called Shame On You

According to proponents of the law, this extensive abortion data -- which will include the reason the procedure was sought -- will help health officials prevent future abortions. Yeah, I can see that. Because the requirement itself would scare the shit out of me. "They're really just trying to frighten women out of having abortions," Keri Parks, director of external affairs at Planned Parenthood of Central Oklahoma, told Broadsheet.
A Scarlet Letter Law by any other name. The letter “A” for Abortion in this new law sounds to me like just some sort of Misogynist’s kinky delight.

Congratulations Oklahoma – welcome to the eternal dark ages and comfort in your homespun ignorance!

I have already given Senator Coburn a letter “P” for his function in the Ensign-Hampton affair thingy. My point here is this. I have seen the Republicans in action in Congress and Wall Street. They don’t tell the truth. The rest of us would be fools to tell the truth about anything that these Neanderthals would legislate and require the rest of us to surrender in regards to our personal freedoms and privacy.

Senator Coburn, a question. You are a OB/GYN. What would it take for an unscrupulous Doctor in Oklahoma to do an abortion on one of his Country Club Members’ daughters and merely list it in his records as say, the “removal of a cyst”? And avoid listing the abortion in the public, global Web record???

Hypocrisy! Hypocrisy! This ridiculous argument against women choosing their own rights over their bodies has been going on in America for half a century. The rich get abortions and can get away with it. The poor have to suffer and suffer and suffer.

Catholic Supreme Court

It is perhaps not PC to mention that six of the nine Supreme Court justices are Roman Catholics. Two are Jewish and one is listed as Protestant.

While this does not necessarily say anything, it has the potential of saying very much in that in the various knowns and unknowns of picking a Supreme Court Justice, that one thing hardly ever mentioned is their individual religious beliefs. This don’t ask, don’t tell, not mentioned by the MSM says something about the age of secular beliefs in America in that they would not seem to be important.

If the Prez were stupid enough to nominate an atheist or agnostic, then the firestorm in the negative right punditocracy would start on cue.

I say this in that one of the main building blocks of the fascist right for decades has been to build a rightist court that would overturn Roe vs. Wade. That dream is perhaps on hold and I do not think that all the Supreme Court members, the Catholics at least, take their marching orders from Rome.

One recent example of the RC church is not pulling the strings on the SC is the following article about how the SC has refused to hear an appeal to keep priest abuse records sealed in Connecticut, from retired NYC Cardinal Egan’s old bailiwick. He did such a good job in Connecticut that they promoted him to Cardinal of the Big Apple. Oh boy!

Supreme Court won't block release of sex abuse papers

My guess is that if the Supreme Court did hear this case and did block the release of sex abuse records of the RC church, then the focus would then shift onto the religious makeup on the Court.

That the MSM could not hide or ignore the reality of our Catholic Supreme Court.

I do sometimes sound sarcastic or prejudiced but some things do seem - or are obvious.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Obama - Nobel Prize - Nostradamus

From my October 29, 2008 blog:

Obama and Nostradamus

I am of course fascinated by the prophets of the Old, New and Arabic Testaments. They tend to deal almost exclusively in the realm of the Sacred.

On the Secular side you have many carnie trained wannabe prophets like Edgar Cayce and some aging TV evangelists - but I won't go there.

And then there is Nostradamus.

For your reading pleasure/displeasure. Take of it what you will.

I ran into some incredible bulls**t on the Internet with fake so-called bible codes about Obama (masked rascism and hatred) – from the fringe element of the human condition.

Then I ran into this quatrain from Nostradamus in his first century grouping that might fit the bill of present world history.

Century 1 : quatrain 76

"D'vn nom farouche tel proferé ƒera,
Que les trois ƒœurs auront fato le nom :
Puis grand peuple par langue & fai¢t dira,
Plus que nul autre aura bruit & renom."

"The man will be called by a barbaric name
that three sisters will receive from destiny.
He will speak then to a great people in words and deeds,
more than any other man will have fame and renown."

I researched a bit and found this synopsis segment of a published book.

Dreams of My Father by Barack Obama (By Maryanne Raphael – Book Review

"Obama went to Kenya hoping to learn more about his dead father. His half sister Auma and his aunt Zeitumi met him and took him to meet Aunt Jane and other African family members"

The “three sisters” I look at are African sisters. One half sister and two aunts, sisters of his father Obama Sr.. Oh well it was a very rainy day yesterday. Too much time on my hands so to speak. I put both the French and English versions down for you French scholars. “Barbaric name”, I define in its most generic definition as a name of foreign or alien origin.

Prophecy is something that the modern age has not applied too much scientific analysis to. Prophecy belongs in a nineteenth century parlor game category to many. Who is to say if some of us do or do not have gifts to see beyond the day to day struggle of human living.

Belief systems are varied and of all colors of the spectrum. In most cases, we all believe want we want to believe and sometimes find so-called "proof" from ancient texts or medieval almanacs.

Whether the above is an accurate prophecy from the past- Whether it is about present events- It has been a very long vetting process for the Americans to choose their father/leader.

The future is what you make of it- Just like the present. If you are searching, you may:

"Seek and you shall (might)find".

Bless us all.

Obama and Nostradamus

Thursday, October 8, 2009

CEOs as God - Corporate Religion

One of the side effects for me of all this Health Care Reform debate in the past few months has been that it has opened my eyes regarding how to look differently at the modern world. A new perspective, an eye-opener, from the ways that politcians raise money to be perpetuated in power to the way that Health Care in this country exists solely for a profit at the expense of humanity. Not very Christian by my definition of Christianity.

Several terms have popped up in the media lately. One is Oligarchy. That word has been associated with Russia after the collapse of the Soviet system. One definition is “a state governed by a few persons” and for the benefit of a few persons.

That leads into the way that corporations now seem to rule our country. Our foreign policy and domestic finances seem to be ruled by what I have heard recently described on the MSM as Corporate Communism. Not corporate welfare but corporate communism. There seems to be a dictatorship of the working classes by the few that treat Americans as second class citizens in this imperfect democracy and most definitely for a profit.

I am too old to be marching in protest or being a fanatic about definitions and ideology. I am however awakened as a Cultural Christian to the fact that Capitalism is a religion of sorts.

The Vatican once defined the Communism of the Soviet era as a religion, a religious belief system. Then too, in a similar manner, we should look at this new belief system (religious?), American Capitalism, that directly rules us and our actions in this sick and depleted economy.

Two secular quasi-religious things have followed me all my life that nobody, if ever, openly questions. The first is Patriotism, wrapping oneself in the flag – “my country right or wrong, my country!”

The other secular quasi-religious thing has been how Capitalism was a good thing and not a bad thing like Communism. Fifty percent of the USA national budget was devoted to the defeat of Soviet style communism for half a century.

Now it would seem that the ruling American Oligarchy of Corporations wraps itself in the myth of the so-called myth of free markets that never existed and do not now exist anywhere on this planet except when the powerful rob the defenseless of some life sustaining commodity.

As such and as a bona-fide religion, who are the gods of capitalism except the CEOs of corporations? We bear them honor and gifts and benefits like many gods in a Hindu Shrine and they give us nothing in return.

You mean capitalism as a religion is not monotheistic – of one god – like the traditional Sunday going to church religions?

Capitalism - the religion behind Corporate Communism and Billionaire Bolsheviks is ruled by one God – Greed!

How easy it is to see how early Christianity had to compete and flourish and overcome the evil political, economic and religious tyrannies of the Roman Empire.

How the simple words of Jesus as brother and cousin to humanity through the divine inspiration of a higher order blew away the inhumanity of those long gone generations. How hard it is to exist in competition presently with the forces of - I do not feel comfortable calling them evil, at home and abroad in the world.

A Lutheran Pastor who I greatly admired told the story of his first real suit being fitted by a taylor. The man was young and on his way to a Lutheran seminary.

The taylor was Jewish and asked why the young man was being fitted for the suit. The young man replied that he was going to the seminary.

The taylor replied that he knew the words of Jesus very well and he repeated them to the young man.

“What does it profit a man who gains the whole world and loses his immortal soul?”

Good reasoning and common sense through the ages sustains those of us who must endure and overcome the very real subtle forces of evil all about us.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Main Street Spirituality

There is an interesting article about Beliefs in America in Parade Magazine. The basis of the article is gathered from a poll. You can always frame questions in a certain way to affirm or negate any intellectual concept in a poll. Below are some of the stats from the poll/article.

How Spiritual are we?
What Americans are doing today is separating spirituality from religion, with many people disavowing organized practice altogether while privately maintaining some form of worship. The old terms—“atheist” and “agnostic”—are no longer catch-alls for everyone outside traditional belief. In fact, 24% of respondents put themselves into a whole new category: “spiritual but not religious.”…

Our nation was built on a foundation of strong faith, and in some respects, that hasn’t changed. In fact, 69% of Americans believe in God, 77% pray outside of religious services, and 75% believe it’s a parent’s responsibility to give children a religious upbringing. But even though 45% of respondents called themselves religious, 50% said they rarely or never attend worship services.
In a way saying that people are “spiritual” – “spiritual but not religious” - or that people say that about themselves is to say that some sort of label(s) about people is, are, in some sort of transition away from the old religion(s) and their rigid belief systems.

I am not certain what I feel comfortable with in terms of a label. I do not introduce myself to anybody as “spiritual” though the topic comes up a few sentences into any friendly conversation.

The MSM magazine article I think has to do with applying possible labels and or clichés that in the past have been used to entrap humanity more so than free the human spirit from the darkness of the past.

Every age is a new age and every age has an old religion. Before we apply any closing, restrictive labels, maybe we need to do a lot more searching.

Humans frame their beliefs according to priorities and preferences. There hasn’t been too much choice in the west for close to half the last two thousand years. I can’t speak for the other directions of the wind rose on that point. I claim no expertise there.

I am searching for the bottom of the curve. Not all church doors of organized religion are going to close. In this tough economy, many churches, schools and the like have bit the dust. I am searching for a bottom to determine from where we discard the past informally and have a recognizable starting point for the path to the future regarding personal belief systems and how they interface with society in general.

Maybe as America realizes that it is no longer is a superpower, a bit of a parallel to the collapse of ancient Rome, maybe we will begin to see the birth of local and merged beliefs with or “without label”.

For people over forty, maybe they remember the old order of things. Maybe people under thirty don’t have a clue what I am talking about. In terms of the young, my memory is no longer valid of the recent past and the end days of the American empire or the dead ideas of Constantine.

We have less social pressure to believe what our parents believe. What is the bond with our children or the legacy of belief we pass on to them if any?

The energy, the flow of perhaps the Internet – is a signpost – but is it a pathway to the new global mindset of all humanity about humanity and not just about nations, religions, economics etc.?

More questions than answers. Parade Magazine that is a likely Sunday insert in the Sunday Newspapers left in America is an indication that the ideas of this new age of self awareness and individual beliefs have arrived on Main Street USA.

Friday, October 2, 2009

The Sacred and Secular Feminine

What if the so called Sacred Feminine revealed itself ?

I ran into two perhaps unrelated forms of art yesterday. I will not go into detail but I felt something - to what might be called the so called Sacred Feminine. In fact that in the last forty odd years I have lived through and seen an unveiling of the spirit of the universe through the liberation of women in the western culture.

The sacred blends into the secular in some cases.

Yesterday, the artist in me was awakened by a movie and a song.

The Movie “Across the Universe” is in some ways one long Beatles Music Video. But I am aware how the young today learn history. It is not through books but by movies. This panorama of the late sixties inspired and showed me reflections of the late sixties counterculture that I was aware of but never fully participated in.

Julie Taymor, the director, has put together a beautiful display of all sorts of human energy and reflections. I stood back as in front a grand Picasso and had to say that wow this is a great work of art both visually and in sounds. I am not a great Beatles fan but somehow reframing the music against a storyline and with others singing the songs – parts of it just blew my mind.

Across the Universe

One of the characters in the film reminded me of the late great and now almost forgotten Janis Joplin. Speaking of coincidences, the thirty ninth anniversary of her death is October 4. Anyway I tried to find a You Tube video to capture the essence of Janis Joplin, Princess of Port Arthur Texas.

As with the film mentioned above I did find something appropriate in sound and flavor of Janis and one of her big hits. Pink, the artist, is just grand in the video below.

The energy of the sacred, divine feminine flows over into the present secular feminine that is pushing back the tired age of religion and the once sacred, but being discarded, masculine.

The future of art is a grand blend of all things.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Janitor John Boehner - US Congress - Multitasker?

Nattering Nabob of Negativism – Congressman John Boehner R-Ohio – has criticized President Barack Obama for taking eighteen hours out of his full schedule to help in Chicago’s Bid to host the 2016 Summer Olympics.

GOP Head Michael Steele doesn’t understand why Obama is worrying about jobs in 2016 – DUH! – like selling peanuts in the Olympic stadium is the only employment he can see Americans doing – DUH,DUH! – Like dude you got to build the stadium – like mix the concrete – hire an architect etc. and whatever – Michael Steele – a true visionary – he belongs in a job of CEO in one of the American Fortune 500 Dinosaur corporations.

Getting back to ne’er-do-well congressman Boner who is opposed to Obama multitasking – doing two jobs as President – having to do his own task and having to do over eight years of no work – no show – George Bush’s excuse for labor.

May I suggest to John Boehner who has nothing to do, mainly criticize Obama 24/7/52 – that he use the eighteen hours freed up from stalking and criticizing the President – that he multitask and do something useful to earn his Rep.'s bountiful paycheck with BENEFITS (Healthcare and Pension) and start carrying a feather duster around and clean the occasional cobweb in the House facilities. Pushing a mop would be even better.

Multi-tasking – an American bullshit invention to burden American workers, cutting back, before outsourcing an American job to Bengaladesh.

Before we outsource Congress’ functions overseas, John baby move your lazy ass!

Speaking of my general theme about the unbridled current global culture not forming into any perceivable form, if I were to compare Boehner and his crowd it would be to compare the GOP and Murdock Sound Machine to the young toughs hanging around the old fashioned American Town Square, waiting for useful employment, odd jobs and then helping in the harvest and pitching in the town's seasonal baseball team – until getting married etc.

That this GOP 24/7/52 non-stop criticism of anything Obama is hitting a fever pitch with the GOP ne’er-do-wells hanging around Congress – waiting for useful employment – maybe they should just pull out their feather dusters and just shut up.

Thank God the White House does not publish the schedule of the President’s visits to the Men’s Room – a favorite GOP hideout from work – can you imagine the criticisms of how he does you know what. I can just see Glenn Beck doing a skit about ….

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Poison Tree

Her grandfather, who had raised her, was exclaiming something loud in the back garden as we toured all the structures that now were built on the once empty patch of land.

The old man had been allotted this fairly large plot of land by the state. It had been sold to him very cheaply. I estimated the original lot to be about three quarters of an acre.

On that lush tropical landscape had once been many more trees than were now present and situated in between structures. Even so, the existing species of large trees grew avocados, mangos and bananas. These had helped feed a large family on a state road worker's salary.

The main house was plain. Large dormitory like rooms were where the boys and girls had sleep. There was a common room or living room and a small kitchen. This structure had been built wall by wall, room by room, over the years. Extra savings went into concrete blocks on a regular basis.

The back of the property had once housed a large pig sty. Pork had been the cash crop that supplemented tropical fruits and the staple rice and beans diet. Pork had helped purchase the blocks. Piglets had been temporary play companions to poor children.

In fact, she had told me that as a child, the only dolls she played with were homemade things made of corn husks, the corn of which had fed the pigs. Corn silks adorned the corn husk dolls as hair.

The old man was quite animated.

The land now held five houses where at one time stood one.

As the nearby town grew outward, modest houses started to dot the countryside. Streets were paved. Second generations built a second story onto parents' houses.

Zoning laws changed in the expanded town. No pigs could be raised within the new city limits. Now only a few old hens pecked at the ground and made the occasional stew.

I asked for a translation. What was the old man shouting about?

Her cousin had inherited a one room house on the back of the property. He had recently married and his new bride had planted some shrubs to decorate this desolate corner of the original lot.

The literal translation of the bride's plantings came to words translated as "poison tree".

"It is a poison tree!" was what he repeated over and over again in Spanish.

The old man was upset. Everything on his property in terms of plants had been always been edible. Now, a stranger, the wife of a grandson was planting a decorative plant and not an edible one.

The old man's bubble had burst. The world outside his front porch could have changed in some measurable way over the years but it somehow had not touched a chord.

His sons had gone to college. One daughter was a registered nurse. The ones who had emigrated to the mainland had their own measure of material success in the post World War II boom in America.

He had at least thirty grandchildren and umpteen great grandchildren. All the changes over the last half a century registered in some proportion that matched the land that he stood on and owned.

Now, on this day, paradise seemed corrupted and lost. The people now on the land did not understand his vision for the land. The land must feed his family. A tree from the outside world had invaded.

The seeds of the destruction were planted. His vision, his temporary footprint in the scheme of things, was disappearing before his eyes. So he shouted in his own way.

His time had passed. Now he knew and recognized that fact.

This he expressed with great passion.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Five Recommended Ingredients for Living

(my father was an ex-army cook, WWII, and when he cooked there were no small pots used in the kitchen)

This is something competely from my secular side.

This is a work in progress. Tastes change. Memories change. Recipes are always being revised.

I could not but help draw parallels between the flow of life and the use of metaphors to explain some things. No big book philosophy here. Just trial and error flavors, some empirical mixed in, along with spices derived from life's ebb and flow.

Doing some genealogical studies a few years back, I looked and looked on the Internet for a recipe for "chili sauce" that my great aunt Rose had assembled in her Nicetown kitchen (Phila.) Some fifty odd years ago during a long summer break in grade school.

My father had a vacation and little money. He also wanted Aunt Rose to share a recipe that his mother had used to make. Aunt Rose was getting along in years. We went to a farmer in the country, bought fresh veggies and assembled something like an Irish-American version of salsa. Then there was the "canning" of such into mason jars.

I lost Aunt Rose's recipe that my father had written down. The "chili sauce" that she had made resided in my stored memory until I found something close to the original in composition and after I made it - in taste. In retrospect the Quest or the end of the search was probably as satisfying as the food.

I found a recipe in the 1923 Fanny Farmer cookbook under the label "Celery and Tomato" relish on the Internet that fit my memory and visuals of those two long dead relatives, my father and great aunt Rose, on that day in the kitchen five odd decades ago. The Internet does in many small ways serve humanity or at least this human from time to time.

Now having had consciousness in this realm of mortal existence for close to half a century, may I share my own recipe and mention of ingredients for adding the (?) right measure of spice into a perhaps balanced life experience?

Five Recommended Ingredients :

Quest (seek). Respect. Management. Generosity. Joy (rejoice).

Interested in the Recipe ? Read on.


Seek the Universe (quest):

Seek, question, study, learn, and interact with all things and everyone.

Find your comfort in the scheme of things.


Respect Life:

Try to communicate with all living things (yourself included).

Recognize and respect that which is a living stem of the Tree of Life.


Manage your Resources:

Micro and Macro - These to include small and big things including personal finances and intellectual concepts among others.

Do not let the world control you. You should control your world.



And if not give, try to share. Be generous of yourself to others.

What you have is temporary; give back to society and to individuals real and abstract goods.


Rejoice (joy):

Enjoy Life. Do not delay or postpone that enjoyment under any circumstances. Do that which gives you satisfaction provided it does no harm to others or to yourself.

Project proudly and freely the talents learned individually and those talents that are gifts of the Universe.


(and of course the "chili sauce" recipe)

Tomato and Celery Relish

1 onion finely chopped
1 tablespoon salt
1 large green pepper, chopped
2 tablespoons sugar
1 large bunch celery, chopped
2 allspice berries
2-1/2 cups canned whole or fresh tomatoes
2/3 cup vinegar

Mix ingredients, heat gradually to the boiling-point, and cook slowly one and one-half hours. Cayenne or dry mustard may be added if liked more highly seasoned.

Five Recommended Ingredients for Living

Monday, September 28, 2009

Fringe Reality - MSM

It is a season of folly. We seem to be ruled by a Confederacy of Dunces as Jonathan Swift once categorized the ruling elites of his day. Little wonder that religious cleric made up Gulliver’s Travels as a satiric reaction to the madness of his day over two hundred and fifty years ago. The more things change the more they stay the same.

That in this between times era when journalism or the faded cohesion of small town newspapers dissolves into the known of today and the unknown of tomorrow flowing through the recently born entity (living) called Internet – many distractions occur.

The public discourse, real, imagined, is a bit totally misunderstood or incapable of being cataloged runs through this line of folly.

I watch Keith Olbermann because he is articulate and entertaining. He is a football announcer adapted to the new entertainment news media thingy that is not journalism by any classical definition. Keith doesn’t claim to be any more than what he is – an intelligent wordsmith or the public reader of such thereof.

He and his MSNBC confederates are light entertainment on the left. They are there as a reaction to slanted “news” to the right from the Aussie media Prince Rupert Murdock. They are also an arsenal, loaded and ready to react to the “Willy Horton” fear mongering type thing that can bring down elections and change the fabric of democracy with distorted half-truth.

I have never watched O’Reilly. O’Reilly reminds me of a priest in high school, the disciplinarian and detention hall montior. He does however serve as a comfort zone for people in the middle, right and most importantly the past as a meager means of measuring sanity – not unlike checking off each day on a calendar.

With that said, now there is this Beck person, the class clown who refuses to be ignored. He’s getting the ratings. Entertainment and elements of a Jim Jones type delivery of facts and subtle mind bathing techniques seem to occur to me in the few times I have endured ten minutes of GB-ADHD airtime.

A passing phase perhaps. An interesting article – an op/ed – an opinion about how the GOP in quest for TV ratings may be doing serious damage to itself in passively standing on the sidelines and hoping that visual paranoia of a TV form can be created in imitation of the audible type found with the Limbaugh guy on radio.

Rod Dreher: Glenn Beck's world order endangers the right
The pudgy, sweet-natured Beck offers a more palatable form of this paranoia – but all his fruit and sugar can't hide the Skousenite firewater. How ironic that conservative Christians who unjustly dunned conventional Mitt Romney because of his LDS faith are uncritically backing the squirrelly Beck, who looks like he's casting himself as hero of a prophetic Mormon melodrama.

There are conservatives who know perfectly well that Beck is an unhinged buffoon who traffics in crude, ridiculous ideas. But unlike the hapless GOP, he's popular and effective in the political war against Obama. So these conservative cynics adopt a "no enemies to the right" approach to Beck, even though he's mainstreaming the ooga-booga worldview of a crank prophet who believed, with the John Birch Society, that Eisenhower was a closet commie.
In many ways the present public discourse is not unlike the 1840s when newspapers represented very strong, fanatical slanted points of public politics. Out of that very hot age of the written word came a prophet called Joseph Smith. Without going into Mormon beliefs, the little I know of Smith is of his last days in some dispute with his neighbors wearing a general’s uniform strutting around on a horse and declaring himself a candidate for President of the United States.

Such drama. Such showmanship. Such GlennBeckery (rehashed Joseph Smithery?). Nothing is new under the sun Glenn. Give it a good run.

And lets hope that violence comes to nobody in the current cultural war of words in the so called MSM.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Emergence of the Human Spirit

Just when I thought I had said all I want to say on this part time hobby of a blog about cultural Christianity, I run into new thoughts and ideas. Apparently outside the MSM there is a current movement of faith looking or searching for something beyond tenured academics and pension seeking clerics. The establishment seems to want to have a safe haven in life but don’t really want to answer your questions about the Bible or the real meaning of the teachings of Jesus or the here and now meaning of humanity living in this modern slipstream of cultural energy.

Everybody is looking for a label for some non-mainstream faith. I don’t have many labels. I am not a scholar but have said on more than one occasion how I got turned off by most religions because the people comfortable with the keys to the church just don’t want to deal with your questions about faith, God and our places in the universe.

First You Tube clip is regarding a book by an author I have not read but the title and author’s name got passed around to me. The book is The Great Emergence by Phyllis Tickle. In the first You Tube snippet she is defining some terminology and setting some parameters about which her book is about.

Next clip may be totally unrelated except for similar titles. Fascinating stuff though.

Over and above that is what might be a growing phenomenon of many people who want more than what MCT Mainstream Christian Theology states in its boilerplate rhetoric to the diminishing crowds in their local places of worship.

Don’t know what to make of it all. Don’t have numbers or statistics. The You Tube clip from a PBS show Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly is quite informing. Am passing it along. I am probably still in the whip and buggy age about all this. So what! Live and learn.

Monday, September 21, 2009

God the Creator Liberator and Sustainer of Life

Just got my little care package from Father Peter Kennedy’s true faith church on the Internet. I thought maybe they forgot me and were not sending out anymore care packages into the big ugly world anymore. I thought that this Christian church had failed in the face of opposition and pressure from the big organized RC Institution. Actually, the message ended up in my spam queue and I had not checked there lately.

If this was the early Christian Church and I was someone who could read and write I would be standing on my doorstep reading parts of a letter, a letter from Father Kennedy. Later I just might be giving a synopsis of the letter as a story with the letter itself and with the accumulated stories in general of true Apostles of Jesus such as Fathers Kennedy and Fitzpatrick preaching the Good News in Brisbane, Oz.

Sorry I can’t You Tube a few minutes of the Father Kennedy’s sermon. The text of the sermons are usually a few weeks behind in transcription. Father Kennedy was talking about the Theology of Anxiety as described by some author. The gist of the message was that the Big Organized Church is an Institution of Compromise – one where the fear of the devil exceeds the Love of God. This conforms with my minimalist view that fundamentalism and the big ritual institutions – love the Book – Love the Rule Book – more than they love God or God’s creation man and woman.

St Mary's Catholic Community in EXILE

I invite you if you have ten to fifteen minutes to listen and watch a video of his sermon on their site. Have to confess that I don’t always watch every minute of the service. I am not a member in good standing of that far away community. ((sorry, video no longer available - 24 nov 2011))

Father Kennedy’s sermon led into a baptism of a little girl Jesse conducted by Father Terry. I was most impressed with the casualness and the informality of it all as evidenced by lay participation. I was impressed that the child had three godmothers ( one can never have enough godmothers ) and a godfather who managed to miss the service.

The words of baptism are the Politically Incorrect Words that got Father Kennedy and his parish in trouble. The child of God Jesse Thomas was baptized in the name of God the Creator, Liberator, and Sustainer of Life (for centuries referred to as Father, Son, Holy Spirit).

Along with many healthy shoots taking root in the soil of life everywhere redefining the original and blessed message of Jesus, Saint Mary’s in Exile is still alive, well and thriving six months into a journey full of grace.

A Perception of Things

I am a big person on perceptions. I also analyze a lot. Too much in fact.

If a young girl in some old fashioned setting is walking home with a small market basket of freshly picked apples, what happens next? Everyone who might see the scene and related to the apples assume they will eaten when they arrive at their destination. But how will they be eaten? As fresh fruit, as a pie, as apple sauce or as apple butter etc.? The possibilities are not endless but varied.

So too the human race in general might see apples and all agree that apples are present. But of late most people want to think that their assumption about consumption of the apples is the one and only answer. Why do we sometimes shut ourselves off into only one answer to a thought, problem or way to travel down life’s roads?

Everybody may see things the same way on the surface of the situation. Few really know what is going on beneath or around the surface of the matter.

September 22 is Autumn Equinox. At a certain time of the day, light is equal in night and day along the equator. Ancient cultures recognized the shadows of the sun, measured them and they always came back to zero so to speak and twice a year. From ancient culture’s observation of the sun came calendars. I rather think the Julian calendar with exact markings on a paper was a breakaway point from nature. Although phases of the moon used to be important to some, when Caesar said “march” on a certain date on his calendar, the army marched. Over time the west except for some lunar calculations for Easter has set itself along a certain perception of time in terms of days on a calendar alone.

If it wasn’t for the news casts telling me it was the first day of Autumn I probably would not notice. We no longer to any great extent follow nature or farming cycles anymore.

The Chinese have their calendar, the Muslims theirs etc.

Some crazies say that the world will end in 2012 according to the Mayan calendar. Of course, nobody has really looked to find the place to replace the batteries on the Mayan Calendar so to speak. The Mayans and their defunct time schemes have nothing to do with us.

There are many ways to look at and perceive time. There are almost as many ways to look at time as there are people. Go figure it.

Getting back to an example of perception, I pick a famous visual – a work of art.

Without going too deeply into anything in particular I often put myself in somebody’s shoes or try to see what they might see. One thing I find surprising is how in this visually orientated world how everybody accepts too easily what they see as real or do not question the narration on a news cast that goes along with the pictures.

The image above is of course the famous head of Christ from the DaVinci mural The Last Supper. Funny thing is that I have reversed the image of the traditional snap shot angle.

I have done so to see if you have noticed. Are you really in good memory of a iconic world class image that is five hundred years old?

Leonardo was supposed to be dyslexic, meaning he saw most things backwards for lack of a better way of describing it. So which leads me to one final observation. Which is the better pose for the art – the way the world sees something for five hundred years – or is what the artist saw five hundred years ago just as important?

Each of us perceive and follow through on many things everyday. Do we all see and perceive the same things below the surface image of things? Food for thought.