Monday, December 7, 2009

Imagine - John Lennon - 1940 / 1980



John Lennon

Poet

Artist

Visionary

Humanist


-

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Karzai – “to fight” Corruption – asks Patience


After eight years of blowing away any chance of a victory in our Imperial War in Afghanistan (West Vietnam?), the President (by extreme default) Hamid Karzai, finally pledges to fight Corruption and urges Patience. Good Luck Johnny Karzai!

Good Luck G.I. Joe and G.I. Jane as well!

Karzai says to fight corruption, urges patience
"Afghanistan welcomes this new strategy, and Afghanistan will do all it can to be a good partner in it," Karzai told CNN, according to a transcript released by the network.

Karzai said the Afghans would try their best to take over security of the country within the U.S. timetable.

"But the international community must have also the patience with us and the realization of the realities in Afghanistan. If it takes longer, then they must be with us," he said…

"By the end of five years term of -- of the current government, we plan to lead operations for the security of the Afghan people in all of Afghanistan, in the whole country. That is our objective," he said.
Wow! Fighting corruption as a new strategy. That's one for the history books along side "let them eat cake".

Thank you President Diem Thieu Ky Karzai for those encouraging words of comfort.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Union (of Marriage) Certificate

When did we surrender so many rights to the state?

In the case of civil marriage by a Justice of the Peace or by a clerk in city hall, this is secular territory, whereby the civil authority by default, goes into the marriage business.

The ancient Egyptians had a house warming party for a couple moving in together – no ceremony- just house useful gifts – pots, pans, linens – and a party.

The Church married royalty. The peasants lived together. Marriage as a written contract has always had to deal with property.

In modern times, marriage has become the property contract and not the vow document of two joining together in love.

Indeed, in Pennsylvania, the family court system is still called Orphan’s Court. Family court is more like divorce court or a referee place to break up a contested marriage with children involved.

The idea of legitimate or illegitimate children is really referring to first right, legitimate property rights to parents under property contract or “marriage”.

With the religious right trying to impose religious standards in a civil secular setting such as civil recognition of unions is rather bizarre.

Marriage is what you make of it. No wonder so many people live together these days and children are born out of wedlock – no official marriage property documents.

If you don’t have property or children there is no need for marriage or property contracts.

Property Contracts are essentially what civil union or the like is about and has been suggested as the realistic path for same-sex unions. A civil union is a civil (property) contract. All the hoopla in the “gay marriage” thing is about the word Marriage.

Marriage is definable many ways. The religious meaning is lost to me. Since Jesus never bothered to marry or bother to mention it, I guess it was not on a top ten list of priorities in his ministry for social justice. The RC church says that marriage is a sacrament in that Jesus went to a wedding feast, got real thirsty for the drink, and made more – a miracle perhaps but I still do not see the connection to marriage. The only time or reason people in the stone age got together was for weddings or funerals.

Getting back to simplicity in days of yore, if you married in a church, you took vows in front of your common community. Your common community were your relatives and a few unrelated relatives in a farming community. Everybody knew you were married to one person and everybody knew that you were the parents of your children. No need for marriage certificates and registration through city hall.

I was very impressed seeing something in a museum at Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania. It was a Quaker marriage certificate framed and hanging on the wall of what I believe was once a Quaker farmhouse. The tour guide explained that since there is no traditional minister in the Quaker faith, the couple being married took their vows to each other and all adults present, male and female, signed as witnesses of this marriage. The document pictured above is one such document.

Would it not be nice if married people today could have a similar document with their vows written out, witnessed and have the document in print version be recorded at the local town hall not unlike a property deed or a will. It would be on public record. It would be a historic document for your descendants.

It is impractical these days with credit ratings, property, spousal health benefits, life insurance to go back to this old fashioned way of recording marriage without any civil authority involved.

Just a thought and sentiment I thought I would share with you.

Friday, December 4, 2009

the found spirit within

(image above – Spirit Within Me, Oleg Zhivetin)


I remember seeing a few seconds on TV once how John Paul II had gotten into his private prayer as he was focused in on the God of his religion. Anybody looking at him might marvel and wonder if his religion is a true way, a one pathway to perfection.

John Paul’s pathway was true to him. He was surrounded by all the symbols and ritual of that religion. I believe that in a lifetime of prayer and meditation John Paul transcended all the worldliness, clutter, dogma, ritual and found his inner spirit, a piece of the universal whole, of God.

I believe that “the found spirit within” leads to rebirth after the physical death to the immortal soul. The physical body is theory on the other side of death, just as the soul is theory looking forward in time, beyond our time here.

I believe that some people can follow John Paul along his path to God and along his or her own religion, ethical and spiritual belief system. When we consciously do what is morally right over what is wrong and in recognition of a greater whole of the community, we are being spiritual, we transcend the body and touch the spirit within.

The pathway to God is a true pathway. There are many, many smaller paths that lead to that one major road to soul.

So too, Protestants, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists and a hundred other religions and sects are capable of transcending the physical and attain a communion with the spiritual realm of the universe.

People who withdraw from religion do so sometimes because it can become a road block to development of the spirit within.

People who live with the words and ritual of formal religion may also be closer to oneself and one’s inner search and in transcendence to spirit and soul.

There is not one right way to enlightenment. It is an individual choice. Whatever works for you. Because it is right for one, it may not be right for another.

Man is religion. I talk of roadblocks to spiritual development. When a group of individuals believe and follow some social spiritual pathway it might be good for a small group. The individuals involved determine the quality of any quest or its ultimate destination.

Along the timeline of history past in the west, a groupthink, a goal for political oneness has overshadowed or stifled individual effort and energy in many personal spiritual quests.

In one sense the game that came down to us as organized religion was a package deal. You denied yourself the right to individual search and individual achievement. Your reward was a charter bus tour to heaven. Individuality was an unevolved alien concept in the past.

In essence, the teacher Jesus says that salvation is salvation. It has no real sense of measurement. It just is what it is. The laborers in the vineyand getting the same wage at the end of the day is the same no matter what the effort. The important thing is join in the labor of the vineyard. The search.

I have heard of and seen the aspects of Buddhism. The search is one of inwardness to inward calm and peace. While this is not necessarily soul it would appear to be spirit and the goal of an achievement of closeness to an inner self and or inner spark. Is that spark devine?

Buddhism changes from country to country and geography to geography. Buddha as a man is treated with great respect. Only in a few instances is he confused with “God”.

We in the west have confused Jesus with God and or the universal whole. With the collapse of our religious historic base in recent decades, people do not realize how free they are politically and freedom brings responsibility and the tools to be moral and spiritual on an individual basis. To worship the idols of materialism and consumerism would seem to become blind to the pathway to inner peace and inner soul.

This is what is happening in regards to the dying, in a cycle, of organized religion. The one size fits all dogma no longer reaches out and grabs individuals as it did in the dark and medieval ages. Man is lost somehow these days. Free to seek spirit and diverted away to hell so to speak by advertisements from Hell Central ( Madison Avenue ).

Who am I to judge?

I should attempt to understand Islam more considering its vast global reach. I have a classroom textbook view of it. I don’t yet have an inner grip gut feeling for it. The group thing, the charter tour bus to heaven or Paradise is I think a take it or leave it proposition for some? In my ideal global culture everone should have options beyond a local setting. Otherwise how can it be called global?

While there may many similar aspects of Islam with Christianity, there seems to be no option for some of other pathways to seek. In other words it is a crime punishable by death in parts of the Islamic world to part with Islam. That is a concept repugnant to me in the west with our tradition and its centuries old struggle for individualism directly and indirectly since the Protestant Reformation.

The west I believe has evolved passed faith to a secular civil substitute for faith, with no forced entry upon the path to enlightenment. This opportunity for religious freedom or spiritual enrichment is more than likely been vetoed by many with a day at the Mall.

The middle-east seems to be forever locked into no choice but the “only right” choice paradigm game. The “one true religion” path. Have heard that somewhere before, haven’t I?

Seems a bit like medieval Spain and the era of the Inquisition that lasted officially over three centuries to root out Judaism and Islam. The Spanish and the RC church standing by this extreme church/state matter forever killed faith in some ways and built up a permanent roadblock to spirituality amid the increased idol need for outward ritual over inner love.

In any case the yin and the yang, the eternal differences between east and west are no doubt programmed into the genes of the greater matter of all things. Conflict may be at the core of all universal physics as a key to a treasure chest of better understanding.

The global culture at present and its reality and its future shape is way beyond my puny parochial way of seeing or looking at things. That is a good thing.

The Global Culture is. The Global Culture will be. Being part of Global culture is one thing. Being is quite another. Worth repeating - being is quite another.

peace

Thursday, December 3, 2009

1st U.S. Female President - Diane Savino?


All the Haters and Fox News lovers today are out in full force to celebrate the "defeat" of the same-sex and or gay marriage bill in the New York State Senate yesterday.

The Hate Non-Profits won this one out of their petty cash box. To quote Scarlet O'Hara - Tomorrow is another day. - Boys!

One Bright Note - out of this minor defeat in a perhaps long campaign for true equal rights for gay people on all levels of government and society - is the speech on the floor of the New York State Senate by Senator Diane Savino of Brooklyn and Staten Island.

I thought I was finished on this subject but surprisingly I ran into another blog running the spirit and justice and fairness of Same-Sex Marriage on You Tube by of all people my state senator in New York - Diane Savino. God Bless her

This is an Obama like introduction speech to the future of the nation and the Democratic party and by someone who belongs on the national scene.

When I say national scene, I mean U.S.Senate and eventually the White House.

I am a Modern Christian


There’s an awful lot of bullshit about religion out there these days. There is an awful lot of people playing “GOD” in the name of jesus.

There are news sites that promote both the pro’s and con’s of abortion, distorting the whole birth control individual choice issue that can prevent pregnancy and therefore veto Abortion before there is a need for such.

There are a lot of tax free and tax reduced Hate non-profit groups that want to dictate what love, commitment or union is. There is an awful lot of fatigue out there over truth, debate, what passes for truth, what passes for debate. ETC.

A thousand, a million, a hundred million cookie cutter Christians, without heart, without the true spirit of Jesus in their heart, are not worth one true Good Samaritan pictured above.

Let me back up here. I started this blog to inform others of my mere “one” individual point of view about my interface with what I now consider “the insanity of monkeys (which is) - religion”.

I have evolved in this short period in a Darwinian sense (no, I do not believe Darwin to be “satan” whoever or what ever that is except the evil in the hearts of individuals, one or collectively in a group of people, as in an exponential growth of evil).

Darwin was only a man - he made a series of observations and calculated guesses about what was the mystery of it all. He did not write a bible. Thank the proverbial concept of God for that! He is the father of modern scientific methodology as this ignorant uneducated individual understands it.

He, Darwin, did tread on centuries of ignorance and superstition that we as local and or global cultures still cling to. Such is life.

With age comes a certain amount of experience and sometimes wisdom. As such I am a Christian.

I am a Christian who believes and or tries to follow the alleged teachings of Jesus, the alleged messiah and or alleged anointed one – “Christ”.

Of course this whole messiah/Christ thing is a Jewish thing. Somehow the Jewish thing got transplanted to another planet along the timeline to Rome – the mother of, and pig, civilization of the western ancient world.

Somewhere along the timeline, the teachings of my teacher Jesus got caught up in the Political Correctness of the Mother/Pig of nations, of Rome and the Roman Empire.

Somewhere along the timeline the teachings of Jesus got inserted into the anti-Semitic synoptic gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke and into the very Gay (I say it in a good sense of Gay Eye for the Straight Guy) Gospel of John.

I believe in a modern streamlined Jesus. I believe in the social, civil disobedient, pro-people philosophy agenda of an obscure Rabbi from Galilee.

While I believe Jesus’ message is divine, it is the internal Gnostic sense of divine within Jesus of Nazareth that evokes peace and harmony within my spirit and soul when looking out at my present social, political, economic, spiritual landscape.

I seek to define and refine that same divine spark within me that Jesus did within in his time – and dared to share insight with us in the shards of his words so powerful that they reach out to us today two thousand years later.

Jesus and his view of the world and its future and or its evolution to a new and distant place goes beyond the personal gods of Abraham, Moses and Mohammed.

I do not worship Jesus as a god. He was divinely human. He was perhaps first among equals in the ancient world. He is teacher and a path guider for all those modern generic “organized” and “fundamentalist” religious who still cling to fourth century superstitions in line with the political correctness of an ancient and dead Roman Empire.

The collective pathway to truth of religions from the past blends into the modern pathway and spiritual search of individuals to the divine - I am a modern Christian.

“He who has ears let him hear!”

Have a nice day.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Minarets Here There Everywhere


I waited for the Swiss plebiscite on the banning of Minarets at Mosques to go off the front page of the news before writing this.

In short, the Swiss, a country with three languages and cultures, German, French and Italian decided that it would be okay to ban Minarets, the Islamic Tower attached to a Mosque, from all future construction in the country. Traditionally the Minaret is a place where Muslims are called to prayer by human voice, Mohammed did not like bells.

There are already four minarets in Switzerland. I don’t know how many Mosques or Islamic Centers there are but out of a population of approximately eight million Swiss, three to four hundred thousand are Muslim. From the news I have read, most of these Muslims are Albanian and many of them refugees more than likely escaped from the Kosovo conflict in the breakup of Yugoslavia of a decade ago.

From what I have read, these Muslims are quite secular, not fanatical. In appearance and dress they are like everybody else.

So what’s the problem? I would have to imagine it stems from the fact that Switzerland has over twenty percent of its permanent and temporary population as non-Swiss born foreigners. The Swiss in a global world are having to deal with cultural shocks that Americans takes mostly in stride with it diverse history and population.

Perhaps a minaret painted or decorated in bright middle-eastern colors conflicts with the dull gray tones of traditional Swiss architecture. In any case, this ban is symbolic of a resistance or a grass roots feeling that change is not a good thing in Switzerland.

Even if Islam is not overtly threatening to the average Swiss citizen, there must be overflow of media from Germany and France where tensions with Muslims exist. The Germans have a large foreign based worker population and in particular from Islamic countries. The French are obsessed with Muslim women wearing traditional headdress in every day society. With the French I have wonder if their attitudes would change if Muslim women wore designer Hermes scarves – oh just a thought.

In all fairness to the Swiss there is no reciprocity in Saudi Arabia where only a few churches are allowed, without bell towers for diplomats and foreign workers only. Even then these plain church buildings are usually out of sight and reached down low traffic streets and alley ways. But the Saudis are not really the issue here.

Europe is changing. The world is changing. Even in the Muslim world, westernization continues in some degree, if only in the use of western style technology and the Internet, even if there is not outward signs of change. East meets West. West meets East and frictions exist.

The picture of a mosque above is of the local one here in Staten Island, not the only one in New York City. The building you see is a recycled factory. The Minaret is non functioning. It is decoration and a recycled chimney from that old factory. Albanian Muslims also escaped here to America from Kosovo. They are European in outward appearance and they have revitalized a dying neighborhood, saving it from urban blight.

I remember after 911, Police cars were parked in front of the gates of this complex 24/7 for a few weeks. The Police were there is insure the freedom of worship clause not directly mentioned but inherently implied in our Constitution. Other than that I do not think many people notice or care that the building is there. It blends in with the rest of a mini-global culture of everyday America.

Day by day and year by year we are all becoming more alike in a Global sense. The ride from here to the future can at times be bumpy. In the future the road gets paved and local customs and habits will still exist but more or more people will be thinking globally and still acting locally. That may seem to be a strange paradigm and dynamic. But that is the likely energy flow of things going forward to a global culture and future.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

the beginning of a new human race


I invite you to see the video, reading along with the words and consider becoming charter members of something bigger than any one or all of us – to see the world differently, to act accordingly and in a truly human fashion – full of Compassion.

That in decades to come – these words, this belief, could become the foundation of –

the beginnings of a new human race.

(thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven)

Charter for Compassion

Time to Tent the House - Joe the Pope - Exterminate the Vermin




This is a You Tube tape offered worldwide by Al Jazeera news network. That means that over a billion Muslims worldwide are shaking their heads today and glad that they are not being buggered like the Catholics in the shrinking Christian world and especially in Ireland.

What we are witnessing in Ireland is the end of a very sad era where the poor in the name of Christ have been abused and denied their human and civil rights for decades. Official mismanagement, cover up and breaking of established law and procedures has gone on to the point where it is time to call in the home office in Rome, evacuate the building and exterminate the sadness and sin that has been festering in the Roman Church in Ireland.

This is also the result of a collusion between Church and State in that Ireland up until this point has been entwined in an incestuous relationship if not official theocracy.

The Archbishop of Dublin Diarmud Martin is acting in coordination with official secular reports that have their roots in the middle 1990’s that began to document, explain and prosecute this heinous affair of church and state covering up wide scale abuse of children by clergy.

Pope Benedict faces demand to dismiss Irish bishops in child abuse scandal
An influential international Catholic organisation has written to Pope Benedict XVI calling on him to remove Irish bishops named as part of the cover-up of clerical child abuse in Dublin. The Voice of the Faithful has also challenged the pope to order an Ireland-wide inquiry covering every diocese to examine further cases of priests abusing children…

Last week's report, carried out by Irish judge Yvonne Murphy, identified four former archbishops of Dublin as failing to report their knowledge about child sex abuse to the Garda. The Vatican and the papal nuncio in Dublin were both singled out for criticism in the Murphy report, accused of ignoring requests from the judge and her commission for information about abuse in the Dublin diocese.

The Voice of the Faithful letter tells the pope that "repeating the tragedy of Boston, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Ferns, Cloyne, Sydney and so many other dioceses worldwide, four archbishops of Ireland's most populous diocese have behaved in a manner that facilitated the deepest psychological, emotional and spiritual trauma to many children.
I am in a quandary. I do not see this story on the highlight news items of various Internet services. Is there genuine lack of interest in this “European” story here in America? Perhaps the MSM and Papal Knight Rupert Murdock have suppressed it? Out of sight, out of mind. Or is religion in today’s America obsolete and totally irrelevant to the young, modern and fully secular world.

Perhaps the New York Times has printed an article. I have not checked. I think that the NYT will be very careful what it prints now that Bishop Dolan has officially labeled the New York Times as “anti-catholic”. Is it really a fact that the RC church in America is a paper tiger, nothing more a Public Relations paper handout and living only in delusions of past glory?

In any case, although no longer a Roman Catholic, this Cultural Christian is ashamed today to say that his ancestors came from Ireland.

I suggest that at the next Saint Patrick’s Day Parade - March 17, 2010 – that Archbishop Tim Dolan drape the cathedral doors in black in honor of all the thousands of abused children in Ireland at the hands of clergy and state.

Friday, November 27, 2009

A Real Jesus and Simon Bar Kochba


I have mentioned The Jesus Seminar in several of my articles. At first I was reluctant to accept that this long term scholarly deconstruction of the faith was necessary. In many ways, the future Christian church and it will exist in the centuries to come, will be based on a new foundation. The old foundation gave way not unlike the old St Peter’s in Rome that had stood there a thousand years and was torn down around 1500 C.E. to make way for the present structure.

Besides the crumbling foundation being examined and the engineers of The Jesus Seminar trying to determine how to best assess the damage, there is also separate from scholarly review the cancer setting into the Christian Faith from a worldwide RC hierarchy covering up priest abuse and the whole question of celibacy as a major factor in that abuse issue.

Another part of the cancer on the faith is the rigid thoughtless absolute bible hugging notion that the Bible is the unerring word of God as in the unerring opinion (tin god punditry) of fundamentalists. Yeah right.

The Jesus Seminar has moved on from the five gospels (Thomas for the sake of argument was included) and is now dissecting The Acts of the Apostles.

Seminar on the Acts of the Apostles

I invite you to read some of their reports and their blackballing of Acts as more of a second century document than a reflection of first century Christianity as we think of it and or have come to know it.

I eagerly await their seminar on Paul.

In my own amateur studies of esoterics and religion I feel confident to move on with my own brand of Cultural Christianity.

When looking at the Gospel of Mark recently and in a new format, line by line -

Bible, King James Version (KJV)

It struck me that Jesus if he ever existed did not live on the timeline they claim that he did. In my opinion, Jesus and or his ministry happened after the destruction of Herod’s temple in 70 AD.

I say this because I already believe that the Gospel of John is at least two small gospels welded together in the middle to suit a political agenda and claiming legitimacy of the Peter Clique of Christians as the one and only authorized Jesus name brand.

That looking at Mark I see road directions, markers that want the reader to believe in these events occurring in a certain time period. That the beginning of each synoptic gospel has different timeline markers designed for different intended audiences. Mark has John the Baptist. Matthew has Herod the Great and the Persian Magi. Luke has a census ordered by Augustus, with a timeframe not easily found or reconciled anywhere else in writings from antiquity.

And looking at Mark the whole Pilate marker is an amateur writer in the early second century wanting to use a recognizable figure such as Pilate in that he on a verbal or oral scale was somebody the Jews were still talking about decades after his transfer out of Palestine.

The trial with the high priest in the gospels is so phony. An orthodox Jew says he is the messiah and the high priest tears his clothes. In real life the high priest would have most likely said something like “Of course you are the messiah, and so is my nephew and half the people I meet everyday”.

The amateur nature of Jew on Jew and noble Roman letting Jew kill Jew is not early first century drama but early second century drama. Simon Bar Kochba and his Revolt and recycling of Hadrian’s Temple of Jupiter as the new Third Temple was a very short lived but real drama. There are coins of this two, three year era when the Jews almost broke the back of the whole Roman army and deserved a Josephus Flavious to write ripe propaganda about it.

Alas there are no records, very few about Hadrian bankrupting the Roman Empire in his desire to subjugate a foreign people and destroy a unique belief system. Who would want to keep records of the genocide of hundreds of thousands of Jews?

Jesus and or his sayings as in the Gospel of Thomas got written into a post apocalyptic script and backdated to be in the old antebellum Temple before 70 C.E. and to fulfill a hundred real or imagined prophetic conditions of a messiah. A simpler setting in a simpler time was needed to explain the teachings of Jesus and not with the backdrop of the chaos and thunder of the collapsed Jewish Dream in 135 C.E..

A simpler setting but the anger and rancor and political Jewish State infighting appear not to be disguised. The Pharisees as a class were a far more important factor in every day Jewish life after the destruction of Herod’s temple in the year 70 that before its demise.

After Bar Kochba and the total destruction of the Jewish State, some had to backtrack and decide or fabricate who the real messiah had really been if not Bar Kochba. Jesus of Nazereth?

We live in a wonderful age. The words of Jesus, the real words of Jesus and their love, humanity and quest for justice will echo through the centuries to come and not be filled with the hate and anti-Semitism of the hack spec writer scripts of the synoptic gospels.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Ripley Paradigm on Abortion

The next time I get into a “discussion” with retreaded Trekkie convention junkies, still living at home, Defenders of the Unborn Human Fetus TYPES, I will ask them to consider the following.

Did Ellen Ripley in the Movie Alien 3 have the right to refuse penetration and hosting services to the “Alien” creature?

Alien 3

I don’t want to show any anti-E.T.ism here, flaming PC liberal I sometimes claim to be. So for the sake of further argument or discussion I will give the creature a name - Bentley, a good two gender sounding thing in case the thing goes and or functions both ways.

Refusing to be F---ed is one thing for a host, uppity little thing that Ripley is. If impregnated one has to go to term with the creature’s baby – right?

They had some scientific party at the Vatican recently. Over cocktail wienies and martinis, “scientists” discussed the possibility of intelligent life in the universe away from earth. Of course intelligent life here would indicate the possibility of proof  needed by these guys as scientists. It is easier to theorize life elsewhere sometimes by these guys.  I am sure they were only guys, it is the Vatican.

Enough with cocktail parties.

Life is life and it must be protected at all costs and even I would presume at the expense of your own species. “Survival of the Fittest” has been the convenient anti-human tone of Darwin’s new science and way of looking at things for some to spout in justification of crimes against humanity.

Life is life. In short from a papist point of view, the suicide of Ripley in Alien 3 to both kill her self and her unborn fetus – which is the worse sin? – suicide or abortion?

Ripley is a woman and is not justified in her trying to think or act for herself in the matter of in this case, some kinky alien sexual situations with Bentley. Once f---ed, stay f---ed. Good theology. Right?

Anyway. Which came first. The chicken or Mr. Spock’s ears?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Manhattan Declaration, a Christian Bilderberg Pact?

I often hear, in my mind, the last words of the American Declaration of Independence:
And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.
Last Friday a bunch of right wing clerics signed a religious document to further the fight in the cultural wars in this country against the secular beliefs of the majority.

This declaration deals with three issues – sacredness of life – definition of marriage (for you stupid people out there) – and protection against attacks on Religious Freedom.

I respect the right to life. I will not impose my ethical standards on strangers, and in particular women, on how to manage their life and bodies.

I have defined marriage as union between two loving people taking vows to be faithful to one another.

I don’t for the life of me understand Religious Freedom beyond what has been practiced for two centuries in this country.

The first two I won’t talk about. The Religious Freedom to impose religious dogma onto the secular world is an abuse of Religious Freedom. If you cannot control the hearts and minds of your members inside your church building, do not try to abort my secular rights in favor of your slanted superstitious view of the world.

I keep hearing Sarah Palin testing the waters on this issue of attacks on “Christians” which fits into her myopic paranoid wingnut thing. No doubt we will be hearing that phrase or something like it en masse in the coming days of Health Care Reform debate and into the 2010 and 2012 elections. Michael Steele will no doubt be handing out to Fox News a daily talking point memo from the RNC to the Media and authored directly by this Christian Bilderberg group.

Be prepared to be asked to sign your secular rights away in the days and months going forward against separation of church and state and in favor of theocracy.

This “Manhattan Declaration” was not nailed to the door of a cathedral. It was “launched” at the National Press Club with Chuck Colson, a Nixon crook, leading the charge. This PR campaign is headed I am told by the DeMoss PR group which handled Mitt Romney’s PR problem with being a Mormon during his campaign. (Mormon money here backing this thing?)

The document is signed by a lot of right wing Catholic types, a genuine clique within the USCCB most of whom are waiting and wondering where their red hats have gotten to.

There are four signing Episcopalian Bishops who have broken with that group over women's and gay rights.

There are of course some evangelicals James Dobson and the like.

This, another money laundering, non-profit hate group will no doubt last a few years or at least until the 2012 Presidential election and the crowning of Romney or Huckabee as our next “Christian” (white) President?

Keep your powder dry in the days, weeks and months ahead. The far right religious wingnuts now officially join the ranks of the far right politcos hoping and praying to steal their country back from America.

Who’s Who and What’s Up with the Manhattan Declaration

The Right's New Manhattan Project

Manhattan Declaration: A Call of Christian Conscience

Catholic Sharia War On Women Continues


Congressman Patrick Kennedy is now being asked to screw the 36% of Rhode Islanders that he represents, who are not Catholic, over Catholic Sharia Law about Abortion.

The War on Women and their vaginas continues with this latest assault from Bishop Thomas Tobin of Rhode Island who is drooling to get his red hat over this public fight in the middle of the Health Care Reform debate.

Tobin is refusing Holy Communion to Kennedy in his bailiwick over his beliefs that women should choose their own destiny over their own body.

Congressman Kennedy picked the wrong Bishop to mess with
“Congressman Kennedy, I write these words not to embarrass you or to judge the state of your conscience or soul. That’s ultimately between you and God. But your description of your relationship with the Church is now a matter of public record, and it needs to be challenged. I invite you, as your bishop and brother in Christ, to enter into a sincere process of discernment, conversion and repentance. It’s not too late for you to repair your relationship with the Church, redeem your public image, and emerge as an authentic “profile in courage,” especially by defending the sanctity of human life for all people, including unborn children. And if I can ever be of assistance as you travel the road of faith, I would be honored and happy to do so."

(comment) Next step: official censure or excommunication. Rep. Kennedy has now been publicly rebuked and invited to convert and offer repentance.
Saint Thomas More, ex-Lord Chancellor of England, could not in conscience, follow the reckless path of the glutton Monarch Henry VIII.

Refusing to sign an oath that would have gone against his conscience, he lost his head on the chopping block.

The main foundation of this nation, the United States, of people once persecuted in England and Europe over religious scruples, is not to have to bow down and abide with the unreasonable demands of petty tyrants over matters of conscience. That was what the Protestant Reformation was about – and also the escape to freedom in America - over matters of Conscience.

Today is the tyranny of Bishop Tobin demanding that the continuing RC War On Women (WOW) be carried out blindly by U.S. Congressman Patrick Kennedy of Rhode Island.

If Kennedy follows the religious bigotry of Bishop Tobin and complies with Catholic Sharia Law, Kennedy and all good Catholic Politicians must resign.

No man can serve two masters. No man can half represent, serve all the people, in his district in matters of public policy over the priority of mere private religious beliefs.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Sabbath Tales

I have met and know of some remarkable men in my life. Since it is Friday and tonight at sundown marks the start of the traditional Jewish Sabbath, let me tell a few tales.

The man who baptized me or more accurately the man who was founder and pastor of my parish in Philly was a fanatic of sorts. He started out life as an Episcopalian, changed Christian registration to R.C. when in the seminary and went on to start a new R.C. parish. The parish was sort of in between a lot of other established parishes and the land in between those other churches began to be developed, houses built, and there was a need for a new church, school etc. in the first decades of the twentieth century in that part of Philly.

Let me call this man Father Ed. He was of the old “God is to be feared” school of beliefs. He was an Old Testament kind of guy.

He was dead by the time I reached first grade. I have heard stories about him. One from a home inspector who related the story about being an altar boy in my parish and being five minutes late for mass. Father Ed ranted into him at the end of service about how you can’t be late for God. The priest also made the boy serve everyday for a year at 6:00 a.m. mass as punishment. That priest made an impression on that guy but I don’t think that Father Ed made a friend.

Then, as it happens sometimes in life, a lady knocked on the door and said that she had been raised in our house and asked if she might get a quick nostalgic view inside. She then got into some stories about the neighborhood. The one story I remember most was about Father Ed.

There was a Russian tailor in our neighborhood. He also did dry cleaning and his store was a block away from our house. We did business with the man. In the story of the visiting lady we finally understood why some of our neighbors took their dry cleaning three blocks away and not use the local guy. The Russian was also a Jew and a good tailor I might add. My parents, for working class, were flaming liberals. Being Jewish did not matter to them. That and my father liked to haggle.

The lady went on to say that as a child, she and her friends used to taunt the man. Let me say anti-Semitism was rampant in America back then in the 1930's, at least in this neighborhood. Well Father Ed got wind of the fact that some of his parishioners and children were harassing the man and boycotting his business. Father Ed made it a point to visit the tailor and bring his dry cleaning four blocks from the rectory. In good weather, Father Ed sat on the store stoop and smoked a cigar together with the tailor as a means to make a statement of sorts to the neighborhood. Apparently Father Ed and the tailor became good friends as the result of this local anti-Semitism.

Which leads me to the story of my next door neighbor in Arizona. Perry had a remarkable life. Left home and dairy farm in Minnesota when he was fifteen in the middle of the depression and headed west. He wanted to be a cowboy and that he became for some years. Then when World War II broke out he went up to Canada and joined the fight. He hit Juno beach on D-Day as a lieutenant in the Canadian army. He married a Brit, brought his war bride home and settled into life in Arizona B.A.C. (before air conditioning).

Perry joined the post office and then worked his way up to postmaster before retirement. I got to talk to him over the fence as a neighbor. Good stories. Went into his house a few times and vice versa. All in all, he was a great neighbor.

Then one day his wife came to us to tell us that Perry had skin cancer, that they did some necessary surgery but that the disease may have spread. I am not sure how all this got started. Perhaps my neighbor’s wife was talking to my wife and then the topic came up about me being an elder in a local church. Apparently Perry had no religious ties. I would have assumed that he might have attended church in his youth in Minnesota. His wife asked if I would talk to him.

I went over to the man in his house and tried to give comfort. I don’t think he wanted me there. Perhaps he was in denial of his own mortality. No doubt he sensed how green I was in giving comfort. I admit it. I couldn’t do him any good. Between his resistance and my inexperience, I did not serve his needs very well sad to say. Perry died suddenly about two weeks later while working in the garden. We went to give comfort to the wife next door that night and then we attended a graveside service a few days later.

This is where I get some reality checks put into my little bubble world of beliefs. I met Episcopal nuns at the graveside. I never knew such an animal existed. They had educated Perry’s children. There were lots of neighbors, relatives and co-workers from the post office. The most interesting person I met was a female Rabbi. Perry was Jewish?

I was a bit taken aback. I had heard the story about how Perry and his war bride had built the second house in this desert housing community in 1948. When I closed on the house next door, I got my deed of title or whatever and included in the paperwork was a covenant of restrictions set on the property when it was built.

That covenant was of course stamped with a label “Null and Void under Federal Civil Rights Act of...” The nasty thing about that covenant was the few pages that made it quite clear in a long range of specifics that no ...”Jews, negroes or dogs...” were allowed in this housing development etc.

As it turned out, Perry had no religious affiliation. His wife was Jewish. I chuckled about how a man like Perry, this cowboy, this war hero, this postmaster must have laughed at the WASP covenant of restrictions. Here was a real individual. Here was an old fashioned American. Here was a man.

Perry had made arrangements with the rabbi to be buried in solidarity with his wife’s belief system. Was Perry a believer, an atheist, an agnostic? I don’t know. In retrospect I don’t care. I knew the man. He was good ethical man. I prayed for him.

Part of being a cultural Christian is that you can embrace people of other beliefs, respect them and still retain you basic feel for yourself and not compromise your basic faith.

America’s greatest strength is and has always been its diversity.

Amidst this eclectic graveside audience, I had an epiphany. I also think that that paradigm shift thing happened.

It was fascinating to hear the twenty third psalm read in Hebrew. I am not certain that the Kaddish was said there but I realized something about my own belief systems. Christianity is wrapped up in a lot of layers of traditions, sacred tradition, faith, grace, propaganda, love, hate and on an on.

There under a blistering Arizona sun, prayers for a Jew were said in the desert. Were these the similar prayers that Joseph of Aramathea read over Jesus’ broken and lifeless body on Good Friday at twilight, eve of Sabbath?

You could be surrounded with stone cathedrals, and stained glass and the gospels could be read from a Gutenberg bible and the minister could be wrapped in gold cloth. But could you get any more from prayers at the end of your life than my neighbor got that day or when Jesus was interred and they rolled the stone in front of the tomb?

It makes you think. It made me think.

Good Sabbath.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Dysfunctional Nature of American Culture

Going back to Franklin Graham’s photo-op trip to Russian Mission Alaska to “feed the poor”, I must say the then Gov. Palin’s remarks about Native American culture in Alaska were ignorant – they were not malicious – they were insular and insensitive. While many would try to make Sarah a monster, she is the typical stay at home mom type who has let her man rule the roost so to speak.

Running a cracker jack town like Wasilla was no doubt in the part time and President of the local PTA league of things. She was close to being a stay at home mom, refusing to stay at the Governor’s mansion in Juneau and commuting back and forth by plane to work. As such she becomes an icon or a hero to all those clinging to the once familiar dad works and mom stays at home to cook, clean and take care of the kids scenario.

Working moms as a large piece of the population has peaked during wars but the idea of two working parents became a necessity in the seventies with inflation making it impossible to live on one salary. Enough said on that.

I go back to a book on pop psychology “I’m Okay, You’re Okay” in the early seventies that said many things unpopular with the professional shrink community. I do not have an exact quote but I remember reading how a dysfunctional family might have its roots in events going back generations. When this book was written I don’t think that child abuse and such were even greatly talked about.

Using that pop psychology idea as a model I look at United States history differently. Outsiders see one United States. There are fifty states and maybe a dozen commonly functioning regions. The original idea of putting a name on a map, of dividing a land in a distant capital is part of the present day dysfunction of America in places.

One of the things on U.S. maps is how in a past function setting, mountains and rivers became logical lines on maps in that surveying was an impossible or costly matter.

In modern times you see a vibrant city like New York, Philadelphia or St. Louis and because of a waterway, a line on a map, the regional potential of these cities shifts in other directions. As a result you have Newark, Camden or East St. Louis disconnected from a sister city’s prosperity and progressive function. Some cities and areas of the U.S. do prosper in a regional functional setting. Each must be taken on a situation by situation basis.

The outsider if they see the United States they will say that the U.S. was spared the direct horrors of war and destruction in WWII. True. But if one looks at the history of the U.S. you begin to see hot spots where battles between states in the Civil War has left it mark on the psyche of a state or a region. In fact Americans in the Civil War were guinea pigs for European munitions’ manufacturers' observations and design. The horrors of WWI and its anti-human technology scales got its initial designs tested in the American Civil War.

What we may be seeing in these lean economic times are some dysfunctional aspects of America Culture that gets sidelined by mainstream historians in prosperous times but become blatantly evident now.

Since this is a blog and not a history book I will mention a few things I have observed of late about guns, race and religion.

One, that the obsession of guns with Americans may have started with the Indians. The original settlers from Europe pushed the native population further and further back not so much by killing the enemy so to speak, as much as over populating a region. The overflow of the European culture pushed the natives back who were not assimilated into the greater white culture.

With guns, Americans fought the British and threw them out. History will say that the loyalists or royalists went out on ships from New York city in 1781. No. Only the well to do or the lucky got shipped out. The rest lost their lands in the east coast and walked to Canada or walked out west. I cannot talk about Canadians here but I believe that paranoid obsessions of Americans in the present day has to do with Loyalists on the run and with only guns to protect themselves. What I see when I observe a fanatical NRA member is somebody still looking over their shoulders centuries after their ancestors lost in the Revolutionary war.

When Jackson made it official federal government policy to forcibly transport Indians out west, he did so with a racist bent. Jefferson wanted Indians to live in peaceful land ghettos (apartheid) trading with the white culture. Jackson saw Jefferson’s assimilation working too well in that assimilation meant racial mixing. What’s next after you have a sizable population of mixed Indians with Europeans? Next step is mixing with Africans which were slaves. America on all levels and in all regions of the country is still dealing with the side effects of the abolition of slavery one hundred and forty four years later.

Jackson’s idea to send Indians out west was obsolete from day one – the “Trail of Tears”, in hindsight, was unnecessary. The federal government did not get all the Indians in the east and shipping them out west would not solve anything with the railroad only a generation away from shrinking the world.

The same way that descendents of loyalists gone out west are looking over their shoulders, you have fundamentalists that are still locked mentally into 16th and 17th century European religious warfare. The push out west was in a way, in some cases, having one past disfunctionality overlapping with another. One of the things I see most in the hotspots of American fundamentalism are places with tons of violence associated with them in American history with territorial wars, the Indians, Civil War and land grabs.

Surely, the bible belt across the south is a place where Jesus is a code word for Robert E. Lee, the coming messiah, and such. The south along with the loyalists lost - and got lost - along the way in history.

Kansas and Oklahoma, diamonds on the fundamentalist tiara, have extreme histories of violence before, during and after the Civil War. And within the context of a population always moving on. In a way a lot of people in Oklahoma, were put there by Jackson and the invisible prison bars are still keeping them there.

Look at history differently. When I hear these hack southern politicians, GOP and blue dogs, their thinly veiled rhetoric is something out of Gone with the Wind – which of course is code talk for the good old days of majority white rule. Majority white rule is obsolete. It goes the way of all dysfunctional matters in the next few years.

The good future for all of us - will be for those of us who do not look back on the present dysfunctional state of the American Political, Economic and Belief establishments.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Hates Crimes - Pennsylvania - Compassion


A long awaited Hates Crimes Bill recently made it through the Pennsylvania state House Judiciary Committee.

Pa. House panel approves hate-crimes bill
Two years after a court threw out language that extended the state's hate-crimes law to protect gays, women, and the disabled, a bill to reinstate those protections has cleared its first hurdle in the General Assembly.
With the Political Incorrectness typical of the national Republican Party – it is reflected in the Country Club locker room rhetoric of a local state Representative:
An opponent of the bill, Rep. Tim Krieger (R., Westmoreland), said justice was "supposed to be blind" and not recognize the status of the victim or the accused. The bill says "some people are more equal than others," he asserted.
The bill is likely to pass in the House and faces a tough uphill battle in the Republican controlled Senate.

The remarks of Representative Krieger seems to reflect sentiments of some in Indiana County, next door to Kreiger’s neck of the woods Westmoreland county in a small community that had a cross burning over the weekend.

Family: Black player targeted in western Pa. cross burning
State police are investigating a cross burning in western Pennsylvania outside a home of a white family who have taken in a black child who plays for the local high school football team.

State police say they still don't know who burned the six-foot wooden cross that Joe and Mary Walbeck found charred in their yard early Sunday. The Walbecks live in West Wheatfield Township, Indiana County, about 50 miles east of Pittsburgh.
James Carville, a famous political consultant to Bill Clinton among others has been quoted as saying that Pennsylvania is "two cities (Philadelphia and Pittsburgh) separated by Alabama."

I know that there are many decent people in between Philly and Pittsburgh who would not or could burn crosses. In fact I think this incident in Indiana County is a throwback to the past. It does not take too much imagination to see someone jealous of this young man and his athletic abilities trying to scare him. The irony in all this is that few if any noticed the cross burning until it was all over. Yawn! The days of raw aggressive hate in this nation are over and gone into recession?

And then again, ugly hate spills over as in the 1998 torture and killing of a gay Matthew Shepard in Wyoming.

The Hack Republican Rep. Virginia Foxx stood on the floor of the House of Representatives in DC and said that the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crime Prevention Bill was not necessary because Matthew’s death was not a hate crime. She called that Hate Crime bill a “Hoax”. That Shepard was not killed because he was gay. He was killed as the result of a botched robbery attempt.

I don’t know if or how she framed, distorted the lynching of James Byrd Jr. in Texas in 1998? It must have been a doozy and oozing with non-compassion for her fellow humanity. That is if she, true southern belle that she is, even bothered to find the time to mention the murder of an African-American.

Where is your compassion Virginia Foxx?

Where is your compassion Tim Kreiger?

The shrinking festering core of the Republican Party lacks compassion. Until that party finds humanity and love and respect of humanity other than its phony anti-choice rhetoric, the nation cannot heal itself and be rid of the masked unofficial fostered policies – is it hatred – of the GOP.

Where is your Compassion?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Quaker Cross - a Symbol for Compassion?


I ran into this modern symbol of the Society of Friends or Quakers. It is called a Quaker cross. It was first used by relief workers, as a symbol on their arms, by British Quakers in the Franco Prussian war in 1870-1871. It was also used as an armband for British conscientious objectors in WWI who did non-armed battlefield services.

The symbol above was adopted as the official symbol of the American Friends Service Committee in 1917. The variaton shown above is from the Australian Friends relief agency.

I like the circle around it. It really took me by surprise in that I grew up in Philly, a traditional center of Quaker culture, and never saw it before today. The Friends or the Quakers have been quietly doing charitable work for centuries without a visible or bloated bureaucratic religious leadership always handing out PR statements.

The Quakers as a Christian religion has a centuries old tradition of care for the mentally ill, anti-slavery campaigning and advocacy of equal rights for women. They also continue to condemn violence, the death penalty and war.

As such, as soon as I saw this symbol and understood its origin, I thought of the possible need of a visual for the Campaign for Compassion and or course the Tibetan Buddhist concept of Compassion, both of which are not unlike Jesus’ command to love your neighbor.

Of course you cannot steal a symbol but perhaps the design in two other colors could represent compassion.

Any suggestions on two good colors to go with a symbol design already associated with love and peace?

Mutiny - Imperial Wars - Obama


The one word that I did not hear on the self muzzled Main Stream Media the other week or so ago when Major Hasan went off on his crazy exercise in “religion” against his fellow troops at Fort Hood. That word is mutiny.

Mutiny!

As inferior as Major Hasan is as a human being for his hatred of his fellow humanity in the name of Allah - let’s face it he was a third rate mind with a Shrink’s degree ready to give third rate treatment to our troops. It makes for, I think, - not an exception to the rule of the readiness or steadfastness of the military - but the rule itself about how thin the army is spread in Bush’s and now Obama’s Imperial Wars in Asia.

Imperial Wars? No formal declaration of War. Perhaps a quick incursion into Afghanistan was a necessary reaction to 911 but Iraq is pure whimsy and ego of a former Emperor’s idiot son.

Time was when wars were good for the Economy! Can somebody tell me with the Humvee Division of General Motors being recently sold to China – will military hummers be coming out of China now to fight the Imperial Wars?

War is good no doubt for everybody except US! (U.S.)

I caught this story about a female trooper who is refusing to deploy because she has no family member who can take care of her ten month old baby.

Soldier mom refuses deployment to care for baby
Spc. Alexis Hutchinson, 21, claims she had no choice but to refuse deployment orders because the only family she had to care for her 10-month-old son — her mother — was overwhelmed by the task, already caring for three other relatives with health problems.

Her civilian attorney, Rai Sue Sussman, said Monday that one of Hutchinson's superiors told her she would have to deploy anyway and place the child in foster care.
Talk about ripping a baby away from its mother’s tit!

And her commander’s mean spirited demand for sacrifice from the ranks is ridiculous. When was the last time a Tim Geithner type or any of his frat house cronies on Wall Street ever make any sacrifice for this country?

Spc. Hutchinson and Major Hasan are merely the few truths that leak out these days and are not covered up by the MSM and their corporate bosses. Mutiny and revolution seem to be in the air in America. The Tea Baggers are only the tip of an Iceberg ready to sink the American Ship of State.

Obama, you are only as good as your generals or your secretary of the Treasury (and as an after thought – your troops?). I think you are in deep shit and a one term Imperial President. You’re young. You can make a comeback. Grover Cleveland, a democrat, was both the 22nd and 24th President.

The GOP on permanent lockdown of the soul and forty million dollar a year radio shock jocks want America to fail. Obama is only temporary America. The GOP is hoping to return to the lily white Ozzie and Harriet, Beaver Cleaver days of the 1950’s – it ain’t coming back boys. To be treasonous on a low flame on the back burner of our Republic is to still be treasonous when you absolutely refuse to help the domestic agenda in Congress. That is mutiny and punishable by death in times of war. (let’s not get too dramatic here)

And the attitude of Cheney is one of dictator, on Elba, waiting for a neocon coup to put his marvelous failed management techniques back online. Good luck with that Dick!

This volunteer army thing took responsibility away from the children of boomers who did not serve in Vietnam and who got deferments. These children of the boomers went onto college and took over Wall Street and lost Wall Street and got a free pass and are now riding high again on a Wall Street temporary comeback (until the next crash) where three quarters of the Wall Street jobs have already been outsourced to Bombay in the last decade or so.

Wall Street makes government subsidized profits/bonuses and Main street gets screwed.

Getting back to the Volunteer army where the children of those who bore the full brunt of the Vietnam travesty are now on the front lines in Iraq and Afghanistan/Pakistan.

The only jobs on Main Street these days for the young are outsourced military jobs overseas so to speak.

Mutiny happens. Mutiny happened in Roman times. Mutinies usually happen when the general in charge can’t manage day to day operations. What the troops endure now is wasted on a selfish, uncaring, greedy government in Washington totally out of touch with reality and totally out of touch with its people.

Mutiny can turn into revolution. Ask Russia about that and seventy wasted years of their history. The irony is that the GOP is now consuming itself and consuming any possible team effort (third string) on Capitol Hill to help America back out of the economic hospital the country is now in. Of course America and its economy does not have healthcare etc. Who pulls the ultimate plug on America? The GOP?

Dear President Obama. Good luck in your dealing with your overstretched Imperial army in an artificial worldwide empire, there only to cover corporations’ backs and not the third class American citizenry back here at home.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Secular Sense vs. Hate


The same way that a majority of American Catholics believe in pro-choice in terms of birth control, I believe that a near majority of Americans, at least in bigger cities, have come to tolerate the LGBT population of our country. Having Secular Sense is the common sense of decent people.

I would believe that the tediousness of this round after round and wave after wave of hate financed in part by the vast far right conspiracy in this country is running out of steam. Running out of steam but apparently not out of money.

With the steam going out of Gay Hate for the moment – no imminent Gay Bashing Propositions on any local ballots within sight, some groups are falling back on centuries old anti-Semitic Jew-Hating.

One group in particular has refocused its hate programs away from Gays and onto Jews because ”… Jews have been carrying the water for the homosexual agenda."

I dislike naming this group that pours 300 % of its energy into hate at this one particular Clubhouse (not a church) in Topeka KS. This is the group that “protests” outside the gates of cemeteries of slain U.S. Military Personnel - service men and women. They say they are glad that these fallen heroes are dead and they hate war and they hate soldiers and after twenty years of gay hate, when nobody will pay attention to them anymore, they fill the gaps in their time and very expensive traveling schedule to hate Jews here and there.

Even if they are using the church bus, they must need an awful lot of cash for gasoline and service station cokes. It is always a question in mind of who finances these lunatics?

They of course have a first amendment right to “assemble” and “protest”.

Anti-gay church sets its sights on Jews
“This is more about generating ink and outrage than it is about attacking Jews per say," said Mark Potok, director of the Southern Poverty Law Center's Intelligence Project. "But their language is absolutely Hitler-esque. They talk of filthy Jews and Jews murdering Christ."

Since April, … members have protested more than 200 Jewish institutions and sent thousands of anti-Semitic faxes to American Jewish officials. "I guess they felt it was a successful tactic," said Deborah Lauter, the national civil rights director for the Anti-Defamation League.
Hate is hate and with nationally financed Hate Agendas to cause distractions as ”Bread and Circus” - it keeps the greedy in power for a while longer until the house of cards falls in the end.

One day the hate is anti-female with the abortion issue. Next day the hate is against the Gays with same sex marriage. Today it seems to be the Jews and hate against them - to get the media, MSM, to produce a news story to air or print and ignore the real problems in this country left unfinished on the nation’s table.

One thing more about Secular Sense as I mentioned above. Before, I was only for civil unions but seeing how orchestrated and well financed far right hate has become – it is Gay Marriage – all or nothing - that I will tolerate with my Secular Sense to offset all this negative energy and bad karma from the far right haters in this fair and tolerant land.

Shalom!

Mosque of Miriam Paris?


America used to be called the dumping ground of Europe. Europe, now with so many immigrants, will be twenty percent Muslim by 2050 by stats I have seen lately. Nothing outwardly wrong with that unless you fear Islam. (And the GOP vehemently complains about the many Catholics coming north from Meso-America.)

Is it possible to envision the sale of an unused obsolete house of worship like Notre Dame in Paris around 2075 with the plaza outside to accommodate daily Muslim prayers? Anything is possible. Whatever.

Anti-science campaigns by fundamentalists in this country have brought forth a kind of false science with the resurrection of dinosaurs to stand along side Jesus in popular local belief and myth as creationism.

Creationism, by default, would seem to be slipping into Islamic common beliefs or lack of them. It is not that I am campaigning for or against Charles Darwin, patron saint of modern science, but only three or so of twenty-two Muslim majority population countries even touch upon the topic of evolution in their education systems.

Creationism would seem to happen by default by either believing in the literal myth of creation in Genesis or by the lack of any Genesis like text in Islam.

As such, educated scientific minds of all persuasions, Muslim or not, gathered in Cairo this week to discuss the western, European concept of evolution.

Egypt’s Darwin debates
She (Dr. Eugenie Scott) objected to science being viewed through a religious filter and said the two should not be confused. "A biologist who studies enzymes that cause cell division does not bring the Qur'an or Bible into it. It does a great violence to science to run your explanation through a religious filter for this understanding to be accepted."
Lots of uncharted grounds here in the merging of cultures, religions, sciences, myths and human nature.

Islam as a culture carried on basic science while Europe wallowed in the ignorance of the Dark Ages. It would appear that there is at present no real dividing line, concepts set in stone by words, by culture, or in thought about the idea of science or evolution or even the strictest sense of creationism across the Islamic world.

Creationism Gains Ground in Europe
Prof Reiss will tell the gathering that many European nations are yielding to pressure exerted from both East and West in the growth of creationist beliefs, with Muslim immigrants on one side and the importation of Christian fundamentalism on the other…

“What the Turks believe today is what the Germans and British believe tomorrow. It is because of the mass movement of people between countries,” he told The Guardian newspaper yesterday. “These things can no longer be thought of as occurring in other countries.

In London ... there are increasingly quite large numbers of highly intelligent 16, 17 and 18-year-olds doing advanced-level biology who do not accept evolution. That’s either because they come from a fundamentalist Christian background or from Muslim backgrounds.”…

But Prof Reiss said although Islam does not suggest that the world was very young – a tenet of Christian creationism – its texts say different organisms had separate origins.
The world continues to merge in thoughts and deeds. The future global society is one of a mix of many things both of scientific and religious myth.

The future is full of possibilities real, imagined and unimagined. The tidal wave of humanity and mixed ideas are already washing over the landscape in the growing Global Culture. Many perspectives are too close to focus on at present. I do not care whether Darwin or Jesus’ pet dinosaur wins in the end. I will not likely be alive in any case to see that future cultural landscape.

Food for thought.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Marriage is Union - Father Wuerl


Did Jesus piss on lepers? No. He embraced them with love and the Holy Spirit.

The mean spirited fundamentalist Sharia RC hierarchy in Washington D.C. is threatening to toss out the homeless onto the streets out of their temporary shelters. How Christian of them!

They in essence want to pull some morality clause in their contract with the city to take money for administering certain charity functions. They are in essence saying that the city government, with recognition of same sex marriages from other states, is not somebody with whom they want to do business with.

They are threatening to toss the poor if the city government continues to recognize any same-sex marriage as valid - if it was performed in any U.S. State that gives it recognition.

The District of Columbia with the federal city of Washington within is that unrepresented place for its permanent citizens and being the one last Slave like Territory left in the Untied States. (most of its citizens are black and without rights if you count representation as a right and or entitlement)

The Washington City Council did the one practical thing a territorial government would do. It decided last May to do what would be a diplomatic solution regarding Same-Sex Unions of people newly arrived or already a resident. They recognized legalized same-sex marriages from other nearby countries – The States. Not good enough for the Catholic Sharia!!!

The Sharia wants a ballot initiative in an election and with backing of millions of dollars of the political/religionist conservatives. PR companies make a lot of money lately off of what is basically hate.

The ballot initiative would basically define Marriage as between one man and one woman.

I hate to get technical here seeing that I don’t have a Doctor of Divinity and all that. Even when I was a RC, marriage was defined as a sacrament and contracted between the two parties making the marriage.

When I was active as a Lutheran Catholic, Marriage was not considered a sacrament. The Lutherans only define Baptism and the Lord’s Supper as sacraments as defined or found in the words, documentation of the New Testament. Even then, the Lutherans still considered marriage as between the two contracting parties. The minister only officiates as a couple declare vows to one another.

Marriage is a Union of two people, two souls joining together in body and spirit and agreeing to be faithful to one another until death. That is my definition of marriage.

Why all the Stalinist micromanaging of what goes on in somebody’s bedroom Father Wuerl? I think that the hierarchy of the RC church should be the last persons on earth to define marriage based on sexuality considering the very closeted nature of their own (?) sexuality.

This non-stop far right coup-attempting to control the mind of mankind - to get everybody to memorize and quote exactly from the little red book of fundamentalist sharia bullshit – it is getting old – very old.

If the Archdiocese does not want charity handouts from government – then get out of the people business.

How do you define people? I don’t know. Let’s hire some PR firms, form political actions committees, put an initiative on the ballot and most importantly of all - ship in some suitcases of cash from Rome and Tulsa!!!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Hijacked by Fundamentalists?


I saw an interview with Dede Scozzafava last night on the Rachel Maddow show. Dede is the recently withdrawn GOP congressional candidate for the 23rd District in New York State. She had not been directly dealt with a lot or fairly in the press through the recent GOP conservative coup in upstate New York. With her name, it is hard to say or remember for some, she is now asserting herself, catching her breath and back painting her view of recent events.

Of all the things Dede said, the thing that struck me was how some lobbyist like Dick Armey made the comment that local matters in the 23rd district did not matter. “All politics are local” like your greed Dick. Anyway, this is not about the GOP but it is indirectly about how coups or the hijacking of national institutions or a national POV can be manipulated or altered.

As I think I have stated in an earlier blog in terms of any future Global Culture, local politics and local belief systems should be respected and left alone to a point by the dominant Global energy forces – respect for local as a building block of the greater whole of the global.

The Mormons, I have commented on in terms of their Non Profit role in the National Organization for Marriage NOM have fed money to California’s Prop 8 and Maine’s Prop 1. They even had enough church money left over to screw Dede Scozzafava over her and her district’s POV and support the megalithic ego of Dick Armey in the process.

Seems that the Mormons are backing away from their full hate program and supporting some basic civil rights of Gays living in Salt Lake City by supporting anti-discrimnation legislation there.

Mormons throw support behind gay-rights cause
The Mormon church — which continues to suffer a backlash over its support last year of Proposition 8, the measure banning gay marriage in California — emphasized that its latest position in no way contradicts its teachings on homosexuality.

But the action is one of the strongest signs yet that even conservative religious groups that oppose same-sex marriage might be willing to support legal protections for gays that fall short of that.
In a way what does not destroy you only makes you stronger or something like that and a quote from Hemmingway. Perhaps all this persecution of the Gays only makes them stronger. And makes them push back.

The LGBT community has after some years of pressure gotten the LAPD to drop sponsorship of Boy Scouts programs.

LAPD cuts ties to the Boy Scouts – with some red flags
Contracting with businesses or organizations that discriminate based on sexual orientation – as the private, religious BSA has a US Supreme Court-granted right to do – violates city law.
There are instances where over the past several decades since the beginning of civil rights in America, where the ongoing never ending attempted coup on the right has gone unnoticed perhaps. Perhaps vested institutions like the BSA that proudly took up anti-gay and anti-Atheist leadership have been hijacked by that very real far right conspiracy. Hijacked in terms of $$$$ and stated goals of the institution.

While the far right conspiracy in America does not have the numbers yet at any poll to regain its majority status in government, it would seem to have bottomless resources from PACs and Non-Profits and tax free right fundamentalist church institutions.

Which came first – The Fundamentalist Agenda or the secret political funding to hijack the Fundamentalist Movement as safe cover for political power?

At this point is it not safe to say that Conservative = Fundamentalist. That the two have merged, mutated into one, and are basically one and the same Political/Religionist or Religionist/Political beast on the American landscape.

Did the fundamentalists hijack the boy scouts decades ago? Perhaps on some local level, some groups operate and do not care about the politics and religion practiced in the front office. Other groups like in Salt Lake City let their eagle scouts get that status for Mormon Community Service chores and tasks – cleaning carpet. Whatever.

If the BSA continue to advocate an obsolete anti-gay anti-atheist party line, it had better have funding other than from the public in general like the United Way. Has the last local chapter of the United Way in America finally dropped the BSA – a hijacked institution?

This brings one thing to mind. I have been trashing the hierarchy of the RC church for its failure to lead in the past few decades. I begin to see how the leadership of the American RC church has possibly been hijacked by a fundamentalist theme with its absolute party line about anti-choice and anti-female matters.

The only thing I will never find out about is where the funding of this fundalmentalist theme comes from – from within or without the RC church. Is there a RC Dick Armey lobbyist type out there, with suitcases of cash for a worthy cause – the bishops retirement fund, who is the one real person in charge of the RC church in America?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Seeds of Light



Stupak-Pitts anti-female Amendment and the Need for The Equal Rights Amendment


The House health care reform bill got narrowly passed on Saturday with one minor amendment that with all the legal jargon and loopholes would effectively ban all abortion in any health care plan nationwide that receives government subsidies.

Think of all the money Insurance Companies will save abolishing this one medical procedure used only by women. While I do not see this as passing in any final Senate House Bill, I am reminded by the indecency of this amendment of another amendment, the sleeping Equal Rights Amendment and it only needing three more states to ratify it.

It is time to stop all this medieval anti-female religious and political discrimination in this country!

It is time for equal rights in health care!

It is time to turn the table on these sniveling conspiring bunch of brain dead anti-female fundamentalists!
Section 1. Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.

Section 2. The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

Section 3. This amendment shall take effect two years after the date of ratification.
There are various things happening with that equal rights amendment. It is not dead. It only needs a bunch of angry women and gays to push for its gender neutral language to guarantee anything having to do with SEX. I think that in today’s realistic worldview that includes sexual orientation and Gay marriage along with physical gender.

Equal Rights Amendment
An article by three law students, published in the William and Mary Journal of Women and the Law in 1997 explained a legal rationale for the "three-state strategy." It argued that:

1. The 35 ratifications from state legislatures during the 1970s remain valid;

2. Rescissions of prior ratifications are not constitutional;

3. The 1978 extension of the ERA's deadline demonstrates that Congress can amend previously established deadlines; and

4. The Twenty seventh Amendment's more than 202 year ratification period set a standard of "sufficiently contemporaneous"—a term used during the U.S. Supreme Court's 1921 ruling in Dillon v. Gloss—giving Congress the power to set time limits on constitutional amendments. Dillon v. Gloss was later modified by Coleman v. Miller, which is also a basis for the three state strategy.

The article further reasoned that because Article V of the Constitution gives the Congress the power to propose amendments to the Constitution—and including changing aspects of the ratification process itself— that if and when three additional states ratify the ERA, the Congress has the power to deem the ERA properly ratified and duly added to the Constitution.

Anti-Christian Conspiracies Everywhere - Sarah Palin


Palin, Sarah, former unfinished Governor of Alaska has thrown down the gauntlet for the next teabagger Glen Beck investigaton of yet another conspiracy against “Christian” America. In a speech given in Wisconsin, she rambled and hit the hot botton tea bag issues and threw in some nonsense about the creative design of the new dollar coins as something of an anti-Christian conspiracy.

I am beginning to see her and her tea baggers as nothing more than an aging Boomer Kindergarten class – or the GOP version of the Peter Pan syndrome – never wanting to grow up and deal with a real world like the rest of us.

Palin sees conspiracy in new dollar coins
She then got a standing ovation from most of the crowd, but a few had begun to leave before she even finished and within seconds of her concluding, scores more got up and put on their jackets as they walked away.

In addition to the suggestion that government officials would consider hastening the death of the infirm or handicapped, she began her remarks with a puzzling commentary on the design of newly minted dollar coins.

Noting that there had been a lot of “change” of late, Palin recalled a recent conversation with a friend about how the phrase “In God We Trust” had been moved to the edge of the new coins.

“Who calls a shot like that?” she demanded. “Who makes a decision like that?”

She added: “It’s a disturbing trend.” … (Palin)

The decision to put "IN GOD WE TRUST" on the edges of presidential dollar coins has received little attention from the press, but was reversed in 2007, before President Barack Obama took office. Sens. Sam Brownback (R-KS) and Robert Byrd (D-WV) sponsored legislation to move the motto back to the front face of the coins.

"It is important that our national motto, 'In God We Trust,' is prominently displayed on all of our currency," Brownback said. "We should not relegate our heritage to the side."
I am not alarmed by anything Sarah Palin reads off the prompter or index cards in front of her. She is only as good as her handlers. She doesn’t write anything or think anything. She reads what is put in front of her. In the end the Schine Effect, where you are only as good as your handlers, will kick in.

In the mean time, with PAC money pouring in and Rupert giving her rich man’s welfare in the form of the book deal, she has to pay back favors and read what is put in front of her whether she understands it or not. Sarah Palin is earning her big bucks and enjoying her full fifteen minutes of fame.

What I find amazing is she is backtracking over issues already taken care of by the Coe family religious cult which was handled by a Coe family acolyte Sam Brownback as mentioned above.

This whole “In God We Trust” thing has, since it was adopted as the national motto in 1956, been an exclusive Coe family project. This all follows in line with the Coe Family Presidential Prayer breakfast starting in 1953 and later changed to National Prayer Breakfast in 1970. “In God We Trust” sounds harmless enough but it is within the exclusive handling copyright (Masonic?) realm of the Family.

Fellow Coe Family acolytes Sens. DeMint (SC) and Colburn (OK) made certain that the Coe family brand “In God We Trust” got carved in the new U.S. Capitol visitor’s center. I don’t think the Coe family handed Sarah this one to read out off the prompter. Careful Sarah on whose toes you might step on seeing conspiracies everywhere.

It is probably the last we will hear about this “anti-Christian” conspiracy from Sarah “Weather Girl” Palin.