Monday, December 14, 2009

Tiger Woods Syndrome and Family Values

It is not nice to judge others. I have stood by and observed the mess Tiger Woods has gotten himself into. Here are a few notes.

The man seems incapable of handling his own affairs, no pun intended. I discount the tales of publicity hungry women coming out of the woodwork with a story worth selling to the National Inquirer. Over all I will not repeat the tales of the many alleged temporary girl friends.

Some things seem to filter through the tightly protected squeaky clean IMAGE ( now tarnished ) of a man who does not seem to know who or what he is. Tiger is I think a victim of the Schine Effect which as stated previously is that you are only as good or as real as your handlers and the people you trust or delegate authority to. He seems to be too dependent on his many, many covert handlers.

Tiger Woods Syndrome is reflective of this modern age. Who is the real Tiger Woods? Is there a real person behind the image and concept marketing package called “Tiger Woods”?

For a man making $100 Million dollars a year, I was surprised to see that he lived with his wife and children in a very modest $2.4 million dollar house in Florida. For his income the place is a rabbit hutch.

His $20 million dollar yacht sleeps 12 and is no doubt a tax write off giving party filled reward weekends to those executives who pay him or used to pay him non-stop bonuses.

Of course, Tiger, born in California and went to college there, must prefer Florida for of a number of reasons including maybe that Florida is not a community property state like California. Coincidence?

There is a pop Psychology Term called the Peter Pan Syndrome. It is all about not wanting to grow up and later in life having difficulty in relationships and also about having a good childhood – so good that you never want to leave it.

Does Tiger Woods have a good wholesome fulfilling private life separate from the baggage of his public image? He is extremely quiet at the moment.

At least he didn’t slobber aimlessly in public like Governor Mark Sanford when he got caught cheating on his wife and family.

Speaking of family values. I was surprised to see a bit of an old video of the Mike Douglas talk entertainment show from the late seventies. In that video is a two year old Tiger Woods putting golf balls in front of Mike Douglas and Bob Hope and under the firm hand and tutorage of his father.

At least Tiger isn’t slobbering about having no childhood like Michael Jackson. Did he have a good childhood? Does he have a natural passion for the game of golf? One has to look at scenarios of Tiger or Michael or the Williams Sisters and have to wonder how hard it is for minorities to be twice as good before they are accepted in society as on par and at a grudging equal level with the mediocre establishment so to speak.

The image is the product. The product is success. I cannot condemn what is and has been successful in the American Market place since the beginning of the republic. Success at any price is not a good thing if ultimately you do not know who you really are. Not good, if you do not inwardly or outwardly enjoy that success or do not know how to handle it.

The game is golf. Golf is perceived by some to be a rather elitist, expensive and white kind of "sport”.

So long as Eldrick lived up to the image and the image maker’s rules, he did okay. Nobody questioned the man behind the image. Don't mess with success or at least not until the pot boils over.

I hope he reconciles with his wife. I hope he devotes a fair amount of time in therapy for transitioning from a child in a bubble to a man in a media corporate bubble.

The real bottom line on Tiger will be if he has a passion for the game of golf and comes back and plays it for the pittance of the purses that it pays. Endorsements be damned. They will come back over time. I have to wonder if the sport triumphs of Tiger Woods are meaningless sterile things to him alone inside himself.

Statistics, championships and accomplishments are one thing. Family and the values that it implies is a real thing. So many abuse that term these days, in words and actions, of that concept of family values.

I wonder how many truly understand or believe in those values.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

stocking stuffers - Xmas season

Mr. Bean

Trans-Siberian Orchestra



Christmas Secrets - Enya

From the Stone Age

Lucky Strike Christmas - Janet Leigh

Love Actually – my favorite modern era Christmas movie.

Mariah Carey - All I want for Christmas is you

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Madam President Clinton 2012

It is perhaps wrong of me to second guess the strategy of the sitting President fresh back from his Nobel Peace Prize and defense of Corporate Warfare Profits. Few if any could change the mess we are in no matter what the circumstances.

I have to back up at this point and go off half-cocked, I am good at that, and presume that The SCHINE EFFECT has kicked in for Obama – whereby he is only as good as his handlers and or the people he trusts or delegates authority to.

That said I am wondering where Madam President Hillary Clinton’s administration would be about here in time if she had out swung, one more lob, to Obama on the clay court and in a game of political tennis.

I do no think she would have done much different at this point of time than Obama except for Healthcare.

She would have put all the same incompetent fools in charge of the money, her husband’s fools, that Obama has also put in charge.

She would have increased the troop levels in Afghanistan.

The birthers/tea baggers would still be there but screaming rehashed Monica Lewinsky and Vince Foster – oh give us break you morons! The rhetoric may be moronic but their energy and anger are real. Let’s see if this Paid For-Grassroots BS goes anywhere. Or merges with forces of anger on the Left?

I think that about now Hillary would have been pushing for jobs more first than healthcare. A few more points down on the unemployment scales, say at 8.5 percent or so, may have made us not notice how a resuscitated Wall Street is up in Profits without job creation.

Money making money does not create wealth or growth anymore. In other words, Wall Street used to generate cash that ultimately ended up in factories, production, innovation and jobs. This does not happen anymore. There is a disconnect, a major disconnect, from the classic Wall Street model and in the past twenty years or so. This opinion is held by former Fed Chairman Paul Volcker.

Volcker Questions Value of Financial Innovation

I applaud a young journalist in the grand tradition and theory of journalism as practiced by a select few these days. One such person is Matt Taibbi , somewhat thought of as a maverick but whether you disagree or agree with him he sure is analyzing and investigating the mess that is Wall Street and Government.

Did Obama Sell Out to Wall Street?

Getting back to Madam President Clinton. I think that Bill’s advice not to take the VP job was brilliant. How can a seated Vice President up and challenge the President? That, in the next national round of the eternal rounds of bullshit circus elections in this country - 2012.

We need politicians who are moral and ethical and not cookie cutter “Christian". We need leaders who know how to balance a budget. We need business men who have to relearn what Classic American Business was all about. To put people and humanity back into the business spreadsheet formula for success.

While I do not necessarily see Hillary pulling a Eugene McCarthy on Obama, I can see where incompetence and charisma will only go so far along with the Schine Effect. The rest might be history and destiny for Hillary Rodham.

As for Goldman Sachs being the master for the moment of the planet and or universe. Unless it creates real growth and jobs out of Wall Street, you don’t have to be a seer to predict that within the next months or few years, on a Friday afternoon, GS, might get the very same knife in the back that was given to BS, Bear Stearns.

As my parents used to tell me as a child – never take candy or money from strangers (Wash.,D.C.?).

The rules of Empire apply on all levels – to rich or poor alike. If Caesar needs jobs to stay in power with the mob, Caesar will have jobs or else.

Leadership and delivering on promises count a hell of a lot in these tough economic times.

Everyone, have a nice and prosperous day.

Rick Warren Keeps Getting Fatter and Fatter

Rick Warren keeps getting fatter and fatter. His books sell millions. His opinion supposedly carries weight. President Casper Milquetoast was so afraid of the big man of religion that the big man of religion showed up in his very big clothes at Inauguration Day to invoke his god of success on himself and to the cameras.

Other than the 10,000 people who show up every week at his mega church in California, who does the good pastor serve except maybe a dozen tailors working overtime on his expanding waistline.

Warren does not serve humanity. The Jerry Falwell success model is based on money and power. Warren has the money. He is waiting for a Christian President, Sarah Palin(?) to anoint him in similar fashion as the emperor-god Reagan anointed Falwell to bring out the GOP vote on election day.

In the meantime, a bunch of anti-Jesus agenda freaks aka as The Family, the Doug Coe Family, have taken over the country of Uganda, with taxpayer money (something of a Charlie Wilson’s war scenario – but without a good ending).

Where is the MSM? In bed with Glenn and Rupert again? (naughty boys!)

The Family has talked the Ugandan’s out of condoms in favor of abstinence and prayers to Jeebus to cure HIV/AIDS there. The sales commission or bonuses on that inhumane bullshit from the Vatican must be in the tens of millions.

Chickenfeed when compared to a Purpose Driven African nation that can muster arms and god to conquer all of the extremely rich mineral rich territory of all of Africa in the purpose driven game plan of decades to come. Of course most of them, the Africans will be dead from HIV/AIDS, but isn’t that God’s will and not Goldman Sachs?

Rachel Maddow has now challenged Rick Warren to do more than a little mumble of his disapproval of the official Uganda Gay Hate Bill on her cable TV Show. Mumble on Rick - The mediocre, Jesus vomits out.

Maddow to Warren: Come on air to denounce anti-gay Uganda bill
Night after night, Maddow, who is gay, has been hammering conservative U.S. evangelical leaders and politicians for failing to speak out promptly, loudly and clearly against a bill in Uganda that would criminalize homosexuality.

After days of being blasted by name, a few politicians have now issued statements against the bill, just recently toned down from a life imprisonment and death penalty provisions to mere jail time for being actively gay -- or even knowing someone gay and failing to report them. (Imagine the chaos that would create for the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS, apart from legitimizing hate.)

Earlier this week, Warren, author of The Purpose Driven Life and leader of vast social action networks in Africa under his PEACE plan, issued his first specific denunciation of the legislation, days after initially saying he couldn't interfere in another nation's politics.
The Christian world, the Pope, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Family, the Jerry Falwell wannabes do not give one shit or damn about the people of Africa except to manipulate then or reinslave them in this new modern Goldman Sachs redesigned imperialism and colonialism.

The money changers are in charge of the churches and or the purpose averted mission of Jesus. They got there with permission of Goldman Sachs and other ruling world leaders. Is this the New World Order?

Obama, the congress, healthcare, climate control is all just some sideshow with all the cameras in Washington doing a daily soap opera.

The sooner that a greed monger like Museveni gets replaced by moderate, reasonable, humane leadership in Uganda and other African countries, the sooner that humanity can mature toward the true message of Jesus which is people first, state and religion second.

The gospel of Jesus is to make a better world. It is not to make your life more comfortable by letting the people you do not like or do not like you – be killed.

Killed because of the omission of your humanity. Killed because of your purpose averted humanity doctrine.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Playing God in Washington - - - or the Killing Fields of Uganda

There is an awful lot of ego in Washington D.C. but there does not seem to be a lot of soul.

Pathetic corporate Parasites like Joe Lieberman flourish in their own fertilizer factory patch of earth.

I have waited on this. I sometimes jump into the current MSM political malaise and add my comments. I write this blog for some regulars and the occasional reader who wanders in out of nowhere and usually goes back out there too and comes back again sometimes.

To comment on Huffington Post with a thousand other commentators is more like Black Friday everyday than once a year. I have to give it to Arianna. I remember when she started with books about mismanaged politics and greed. Now she is a force to be reckoned with in determining opinion within the left side of the political aisle.

The right side of the aisle as I have recently commented elsewhere is going along with the party of kooks that are in something like a Las Vegas crap shoot. All or nothing. They are hoping to win by default and not by merit. They in all likelihood have plans to do a massive raid on the treasury one day as spoils in a Gordon Gekko mindset and victory.

But of all the deeply rich offensive to me losers in the Senate and the House are the Fundamentalists members of the Doug Coe kristian fascist Family tax set up and or “Church”.

As I have stated previously in this blog, if you can set the perimeters of any argument, you have a home team advantage so to speak of winning in any argument. In other words if you are there first with a definition of God as in Constantine’s sanctioned tax abated definition of God then you and your cronies have the home team advantage in any philosophical theological theoretical arguments about such.

This is not about religion. Or is it? You tell me. This is I think about how a fascist organization masking itself in the name of the real Jesus has gone into a broken war torn nation like Uganda to lay down a new Christian definition of evil in terms of the Victorian label of homosexuality. The Victorians were good at naming things, very scientific, Darwinian, German.

I guess the politicians in Oklahoma are aware with its long history of violence and abuse on all levels and have a unique form of Christian fundamentalism – Christian mentalism? Well anyway, Tulsa is like Mecca. The Fundies have the oil money there. The sheep in Oklahoma have generational nightmares going back to Andrew Jackson’s genocidal “trail of tears” for native Americans. They are followed by violence on the frontiers on the periphery of Bleeding Kansas, the Civil War, Land grabs, Land Rushes, refugees from the defeated Confederacy and of course you have the oil, the big money thing mixed in.

In a way if a corporate lawyer named Lincoln had not fused the Union into a one and undividable unit, Oklahoma today would be in many ways a lot like Uganda, full of war, poverty and ignorance. It is like Senator Inhofe sees the need to preach the unique form of Oklahoma Jebus to the dark ignorant masses in the Oklahoma sister state of Uganda.

History being what it is – a possible learning book to learn from past human successes and past failures, I have to wonder if Doug Coe or Jim Inhofe understand the consequences of their hardball covert political actions in Uganda. Nixon bombed Cambodia to get the North Vietnamese hiding in the Cambodian border. Cambodia got destabilized. It got taken over by a bunch of religious fanatics, Communists ( Communism is considered a religion by the Vatican).

The resulting Killing Fields of Cambodia happened when foreigners came in to set a western goal on an Asian country. Of the estimated two to three million dead from those Cambodian killing fields, the Khmer Rouge, the communist religion party in charge only executed about two to three hundred thousand people. The other odd million or two or three died of starvation and disease in a country destabilized by a sure as dandy winning Pentagon war plan approved by the emperor-god Nixon.

What makes any of these Fundamentalist Lunatics not see that killing Gays would only be the start of new Killing Fields in Uganda. Once such a heinous bill is on the books any and all of your political enemies can be labeled as Gay and then legally murdered. The Doug Coe, Jim Inhofe plans for world domination are all fucked up like their queer version of “religion”.

When you go into foreign places and start small things, plant seeds, those seeds might also become extremely destructive instead of being a good thing.

Senator James Inhofe seems to have made Uganda a second home on the taxpayer’s dime and is rumored that he has largely been responsible for the “Kill the Gays” bill sponsored in the Uganda Parliament by a Coe Family Member under the atrophied rule of Museveni. That bill has now been watered down because of public opinion in this country catching up with those starting, experimenting, fulfilling a non-christian hate of homosexuals in a distant experimental African country.

My advice to Jim Inhofe – shit or get off the pot!

Be a full time senator to the people of Oklahoma. Or be a full time minister in the Doug Coe religion army. No man can serve two masters.

Don’t play God. The world is getting smaller and smaller all the time. Dress up acting and God playing are so childish and potentially disastrous and not to mention downright EVIL.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Is Intelligent Design Bullshit ?

If you can define the parameters of any argument, you have the advantage to winning the argument.

I remember when the Jerry Falwell Public Relations oily communication thing was all cranked up under the emperor god Reagan. Cranking out the evil of “secular humanism”.

I at the time heard the phrase and was too busy living my life to try and understand this new modern phrase for satanism or the like. Few if any were challenging the new word factory being pumped out of Fundamentism Central or to admit my ignorance, I was not aware of anybody fighting this abuse of language in the name of the Jebus cash cow.

In retrospect, it is two words. It is secular, a neutral thing. And it is about humanism, a good thing. How can two fine words be put together and be so misused.

How about Intelligent Design as an example?

I recently heard the term Intelligent Design.

From Wiktionary – Intelligent Design :
A conjecture claiming that biological life on Earth, or more broadly, the universe as a whole, was created by an unspecified intelligent agent rather than being the result of undirected natural processes.
Intelligent Design grates on my ear. If Joe the Pope likes it, I know there must be something anti-free choice and pro-mind control about it.

Pope prepares to embrace theory of intelligent design
There have been growing signs the Pope is considering aligning his church more closely with the theory of "intelligent design" taught in some US states. Advocates of the theory argue that some features of the universe and nature are so complex that they must have been designed by a higher intelligence. Critics say it is a disguise for creationism…

The Pope also raised the issue in the inaugural sermon of his pontificate, saying: "We are not the accidental product, without meaning, of evolution."
Intelligent design seems like half-assed science to me. It is two parts “H” without the “O”. It is Hydrogen without Oxygen. It is not the answer. It is not water – the basis of all carbon life forms as we think we understand them. It is an assumption. If you assume, you are likely to makes an “ass” of “U” and “me”.

We may not be an accident in the Universe. But who is to say how much randomness was programmed into the original design? Who is to say that that “design” was not the result of whole eons of universes coming and going from big bang to ultimate implosion over and over again? Maybe randomness is the ultimate program – and not the desired dead end stop – of us – as we would like it or temporarily Re-design it to be?

Maybe this dead end result of how great we are as a species is stalled – an idol of we who cannot manage the natural resources of this planet bestowed on us by “Nature”.

We stand on this sick and or dying planet proclaiming ourselves to be the greatest designed species in the history of the universe.

We, as a limited species, are more than likely little more than a Ford model Edsel, 1958-1960. – Just waiting for another species to absorb or destroy us before we get the chance to destroy ourselves looking blindly into the mirror of life and only seeing “man” and or the man made design of the latest great version of a personal god. Me. Me. Me. Me. I!

It is a continuation of the concept of the personal gods designed in separate ages by Abraham, Moses and Mohammed. The energy that each comes up with to make an intellectual choice and say this is what it is all about may be fine and good. But what did Abraham, Moses and or Mohammed really believe?

If the bible and other writings are any indication of anything, over time the three gods of three prophets merge into one god. We somehow along with cultural conformity must conform to this ancient hodge podge of thought by once living intelligent beings each in their own historic setting. They and their resulting hodge podge of things are valid? And we are not?

I have to agree with the argument in Urban Dictionary that this shit should be taught in schools along with creationism and Darwinism. I look forward to apocryphal stories of Jebus accidently killing his pet dinosaur “Spike” and resuscitating it too etc.

In a way, all of us, individually and collectively and even the disorganized religion types needs a better and or new definition of God. All the old definitions of God, I think, are obsolete.

Though you might not think it, I am searching for that other new definition of God.

I would not think of imposing my definition on others, should I find it, for the sake of an alpha-male “I am RIGHT and you are wrong!” kind of thing.

I respect those people with the gumption to say “I don’t honestly know”.

This grasping for a clich̩ Рsound bite - assumption called Intelligent Design sounds more like imitation science than true faith.

We must I think, agree with Voltaire’s character of Candide, and “cultivate our own gardens” because this is not “the best of all possible worlds”.

Good luck to us all, the human race, in Copenhagen.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Save Me Now - Earth - Jeff Lynne

There is some sort of UN sponsored climate change conference thingy going on in Copenhagen Denmark Dec. 7 through Dec. 18.

One has to wonder if it will be too little too late. That is negative. But it also may be true - before Earth, as we have known it, is Gone and out of reach to our progeny.

One has to wonder if God is out to lunch on climate change or merely hiding from the crazy bastards and their screwed up "dominion" over the earth and every living thing on it.

In the mean time words and music by Jeff Lynne from one of his better post ELO albums - Armchair Theatre.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Abstract Concept of God - ACG - a.c.g.

This is a connect the dot thing and about how two totally unrelated subjects have in fact a stake in future global communication.

The first dot happened this morning as I read a piece by Jason Walsh on the Guardian UK news website.

Kick the state out of our bedrooms
Indeed the times, they are a-changin' and it is clear that public opinion on gay marriage is changing with it. When Boyzone singer Stephen Gately died the tabloid press referred to Andy Cowles, as his husband. It was slightly jarring at first but we'll get used to it: the sky didn't fall, thousands of men didn't abandon their wives and head down to the local gay club and although there was something a war of words on the internet … well, who cares?...
Which led to this sentence which leads me back to the topic theme.
The fiercest opposition to gay marriage comes from conservative Christians who see marriage as a sacred bond between a man and a woman before God.
Suddenly I realize how so many of us are confused by terms already in usage, terms in transit and terms yet to be born. And in a present and future global sense.

The article is about how a term such as “husband” is appropriate and needs to understood by all as in a gay relationship. This cradle but not to the grave homophobe has had his share of uncomfortable moments in life seeing gays kiss and or hold hands in public. It takes some getting used to but get over it. Who cares? Who cares about the private lives of other people?

Enough with the gay stuff already. The second quote about alpha-male christians leads to how I have tried to pull my thoughts together about atheism and agnosticism and a whole range of terms I and or you may not be aware of or might need to get used as terms.
“Marriage as a sacred bond between a man and a women before God”
God? What is that? The founding fathers, born in the Enlightenment, were comfortable in their own skins with God being remote and creative (Deism) or God being up front and personal (Theism).

In an interview by Australian Atheist Cameron Reilly with Father Peter Kennedy of St. Mary’s in Exile Brisbane, Reilly kept using the term “Anthropomorphic” – a mouth full - which means giving God an attribute of humanity as in a white haired guy in the sky and or “personal god” concept.

Getting back to the marriage definition used by fanatical christians with marriage, forming a sacred bond, as in spoken vows of a man and a women “before God”. It struck me how God is an Abstract Concept. God might be real in a spirit form but he, she, or it is not visible in this world. The majority opinion and the majority assumption that God is a word or term that can stand alone in understanding or communication is fading with that religious majority into a future global minority opinion.

I came to this new term Abstract Concept of God (ACG) (a.c.g.) to bridge some gaps of understanding in our merging world cultures. God is not real. God may exist but when people are taking vows or swearing oaths they are taking those vows and or oaths to an Abstract Concept of God (to an abstract concept called "God").

Helping me along in my evolving thoughts and understanding about what is real and what is not real is my study recently of Atheism. One of the persons helping recently is the late great artist George Carlin, in a filmed comedy routine from 1999.

I do not invite you to see the video below if you are not curious about atheism. I was a bit squimish when I saw the same routine on HBO a year or two ago. But gradually I have come around, can look and laugh at some of the cultural absurdities and superstitions that still languish in this so called modern civilized culture.

In a way my fear of atheism has done an about turn much like my about turn in terms of supporting 100% human rights for gays and all other human beings on this planet, as well as for those in belief or as non-believers.

Gone are the days of Madelyn Murray O’Hair – angry and reactive atheists to a bad religious experience – and going forward with the young who have not experienced the medieval experience of religion and their atheism is – what is all this “bullshit” about religion and God stuff (?).

The concept about assuming that the word God alone is enough in the public square to express yourself is changing. The concept as described above about forming a sacred bond by taking vows before God is perhaps turning into the perjorative at the moment no matter how much cash and Public Relations reinforcement of religious medieval concepts is going on in the present world.

The majority POV about vows before God may be the minority POV in a future global culture and taking “vows before an ACG (abstract concept of god)” may be the politically correct way to phrase that sentence in a decade or two.

(Warning - there is a lot of street profanity in the video below.)

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.


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?