Monday, May 10, 2010

Non-Christian SCOTUS?



Another Nanny ? Harriet Miers nomination to the Supreme Court?

Obama to pick Kagan for SCOTUS
NBC News has learned that President Obama intends to nominate Elena Kagan to the US Supreme Court, to succeed Justice John Paul Stevens.

She was also the first woman dean of Harvard Law School. And she taught at the University of Chicago, where she met a young Barack Obama.
Obama is entitled to nominate any kiss ass academic type with little or no real experience in life – not unlike himself.

Ms. Kagan is Jewish. That will make three Jewish Justices on the Supreme Court to ? balance the six Catholic Justices.

Where is the NEW TESTAMENT?

Not that Catholics are not in theory considered Christians, but aside from the weekly two minute soundbite of the Gospels at Mass each week, who in the RC church has read the bible?

I sound ignorant and prejudice – I know. I feel duty bound by conscience to write this.

I know very little about Miss Kagan’s background except her religion.

I have a bad feeling about this in that I know that Obama has not anointed her but the powers behind his one term Throne of Presidents.

Where’s the Beef? Where is the Protestant?

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Global Culture War Continues



In my search and sometime mediocre comments on what might be an emerging global culture I am many times distracted or distraught and have to reconcile myself to the fact that the rest of the world does not see things the same way that I see things.

What might be a global culture war is going on all around us. The west, America and Europe, may have reached a brave new secular world supported by technology and science and the east may be lagging behind and or not want to join the dance with the west.

In retrospect, as the Internet and other communications become reality within reach anywhere on this planet and within seconds, maybe too much view and too much analysis does not increase the quality of life locally or globally.

I have to wonder how the young will have to deal with this not so brave new world but rather a cold push button reality.

One case in point, the war in Asia is spreading to Pakistan. It is not so much that one or several branches of local Fundamentalist Islam aka the Taliban are any real immediate danger to the United States so much as their control of Pakistan and control of a dozen odd nuclear weapons would, could radically change the face of global politics.

The US turned a blind eye and or may have added some help when Pakistan started its nuclear program while the Soviet Union was the current next door world power stuck in the quagmire of Afghanistan in the early eighties.

Now a few or even one nuke could destroy a city somewhere in the west. That Pakistan with nukes as a deterrent to the Soviet threat or India (not in our camp back then) was a temporary, now permanent, foreign policy mistake of administrations back when.

Now the CIA and the US Air Force can target any “raghead” in sight in our Asia land war run amuck.

No-name terrorists now CIA dron etargets
Once upon a time, the CIA had to know a militant's name before putting him up for a robotic targeted killing. Now, if the guy acts like a guerrilla, it's enough to call in a drone strike.

It's another sign of that a once-limited, once-covert program to off senior terrorist leaders has morphed into a full-scale -- if undeclared -- war in Pakistan. And in a war, you don't need to know the name of someone on the other side before you take a shot….

In Pakistan, however, the opposite has happened. Starting in the latter days of the Bush administration, and accelerating under the Obama presidency, drone pilots have become more and more free to launch their weapons.
The situation in Pakistan is more on a macro level. On a micro level is how a Pakistani who spent ten years in our country repaid our cultural hospitality and education with a failed attempt to bomb and kill tourists in Times Square. I should add that killing anybody in Times Square, crossroads of the world, would be an attack on the United Nations considering the variety of tourists and foreign nationals as tourists on that particular piece of Manhattan turf 24/7.

I was rather taken aback when I saw the article below. While the government is trying to look for terrorist training camps to drone out and are looking for a money man behind the attempted Times Square attack - the bottom line is that Faisal Shahzad, would be Times Square Bomber, spent about $7000 on rent, a used car and gasoline, fertilizer and firecrackers in his failed attempt.

And that in all probability, this creep was self financed by a home equity loan of $65,000 he received on his house in 2009 from Wachovia Bank.

Bizarre. Bizarre. Bizarre.

Times Square plot may have cost as little as $7K
Until that departure, there was no trail of lawsuits or missed payments indicating he was in trouble. In fact, his financial history was clean enough that Wachovia Bank gave him a $65,000 home equity line in January 2009.
I wonder why banks are still making home equity loans. I wonder why the money is not invested better elsewhere in the economy. I think that Big Banks are only an ATM or Internet push mutton robot to disperse wealth to anyone. We need small local banks to administer and make loans and mortgages. There is no local humans left in the US in the banking equation. Your local bankers used to know who you were. You were not anonymous in terms of using the banks’ local depositors' money.

That and I have to wonder why Faisal Shahzad, even if he was witness to "man’s inhumanity to man" in Pakistan, why does he see justification in trying to kill his local neighbors in Connecticut/New York in the scheme of things.

Perhaps while the global statement to “Love your Neighbor” sounds good in theory but may only work locally at best. My global vision is a farce I fear and perhaps an impossible dream as well.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Obama – Jokes in Bad Taste



Barack Obama is by some sources Christian Lite. The fact that he possesses some Christian convictions or way of looking at the world is not good enough for the mean spirited holier than thou right.

The left’s elites are many times non-believers. That term these days could mean anything from atheist to just don’t care about organized religion.

In many ways the comments from Rush Limbaugh about an eastern establishment controlling the media, aside from his corpulent self serving gluttonous eastern establishment self, have some basis in fact. Obama gets free passes from that media on the religion thing.

Of course Obama heard Reverend Wright say nasty things about America. Reverend Wright and his generation have some right in airing grievances against a country that once officially and now occasionally treats him as a second class citizen.

Obama distanced himself from Wright when the self serving right focused media started to magnify Reverend Wright’s political incorrectness.

The whole thing about not wanting to inconvenience church congregations by attending church in Washington D.C. with thirty odd vehicles in the Presidential entourage makes sense. And besides, these days, who goes to church every Sunday anymore.

All in all, I give points to Obama for not wearing his religious beliefs on his sleeve or a pin on his lapel. He does not go on and on in boring nonsense about being a born again whatever.

I do draw the line at bad jokes. No, not the jokes with bad or racy language. I draw the line at part of his delivery this past week at the Correspondents Dinner where the host Jay Leno proved himself the non-talented hack that he is. I refer to Obama’s unchristian inhumane joke about Drones:
"Jonas Brothers are here, they're out there somewhere. Sasha and Malia are huge fans, but boys, don't get any ideas. Two words for you: predator drones. You will never see it coming. You think I'm joking?"
Barry bombed with that joke as far as I am concerned.

One of the things rumored to have turned half baked American citizen Faisal Shahzad into a half baked would be terrorist bomber and mass murderer is his reaction or witness to the death of innocent citizens in his native Pakistan by use of these robots of mass murder.

Drones may look good on paper and the generals in the Pentagon can watch live on satellite the death of real terrorists mixed with the general population getting vaporized in some sort of cost saving modern day Pentagon Video Game.

Just because a half baked Christian or Christian Like President signs off on these weapons of mass destruction in a foreign artificial theatre of war is no reason to joke about the misuse of these weapons as tools for collateral damage as he used last Saturday night.

Obama. Fire your asshole joke writer.

Obama. Consider what it really is, besides political, to be a true Christian.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Faisal Shahzad and the American Dream



Pardon me for harping on this subject one more time. Aside from the American dream not working for Faisal Shahzad, his need to measure success on perhaps a fallback to native culture and native pride takes me nowhere.

In the secular culture that America has become, one assumes that the golden rule or some sort of love thy neighbor filters through that secular veneer of day to day living.

Faisal from what I have read is not religious. He is secular. His apparent hatred toward strangers in Times Square is an act by a sociopath, one who does harm to others and in general has no basic regard for others.

That America rolled out its welcome mat to Faisal Shahzad and he turned on us, would kill us - is an insult to our long standing good nature and good will as a nation.

That illegal Mexican immigrants are not plotting to blow up our institutions or our people and many on the far right would reject them and accept a son of privilege from Pakistan as a preferred person in terms of visas, education etc. over illegals. This is a strange norm these days but conforms with class structures in societies everywhere. Money talks.

I include a video from Al Jezeera that the other world out there, a muslim religious or a muslim secular world will see. No doubt the thought runs through the minds of many there as it does here – America is where the world wants to get to – why did you not make more effort to succeed in the business of life? Why did you have to turn to death?

America is a hope to the world still. But maybe just maybe, secularism on the planet has not yet reached a satisfactory norm of moral balance.

America has always stood for fairness even if things were not fair for some or for many. The foundation of American confidence lay in the abstract of hope laid out in our founding documents of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

I will not say that the American Dream is dead because Faisal Shahzad on a micro level just shrugged and walked away and worse than that tried to kill us in the process.

I don’t know what Islam is about but the core of Jesus’ message is to love your neighbor in Connecticut, New York City or Pakistan.

Without that core human belief in dignity and respect for your neighbors on planet earth, the fabric of our global civilization is doomed!




(click on start arrow, then click on screen to enlarge image)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Faisal Shahzad - Financial Analyst

I am reminded of once working for a brokerage house in the back office. I didn’t sell smoke like the front office. Back then I did not know it was smoke.

I can remember trying to train my job functions, for a few days, to a twenty something recent college graduate. He did not see the need of training to know what the back office did. It was not relevant as far as he was concerned. He was going to start a Hedge Fund by age twenty-five and retire as a billionaire at age thirty.

I see our disloyal citizen Faisal Shahzad had recently been working as a Financial Analyst for some no doubt store front brokerage firm and earning in the $50,0000 a year price range. Even with that salary he could not keep up the failed American dream – post September 15, 2008 and the meltdown. Apparently there are still jobs in the financial industry/ ponzi investment area if you are under thirty and have an M.B.A..

No doubt, Faisal saw the writing on the wall with his turning thirty and being a total business failure by Lloyd Blankfein’s impeccable standards and quit his financial job before he got the boot and they outsourced his job to India. Perhaps in the back of Shahzad’s mind he thought he might catch up to his old job when it arrived in Pakistan. Time to kill. Why not kill and maim a hundred tourists in Times Square. Haven’t you ever heard of Golf Faisal?

There are no doubt a thousand aspects as to why this young man who was plugged into the American success queue: college, graduate school, youth Рwhat went wrong. If he were a native born American and not a naturalized one there would be a dozen standard clich̩ answers as to what went wrong. Loner, dissatisfied, a failure etc. and turning to mass murder which seems to be a hobby of sorts in parts of the world. Not that organized mass murder through wars and armies of established nations is that much different at times.

When was the last real necessary honest war that American was engaged in???

Woulda. Coulda. Shouda.

In my mind, I keep going back to the college kid who didn’t want to know my one critical slice of back office operations. I think of how the FED having bailed out these coke head CEOs running around pretending to create wealth for the few is somehow the new mantra – the new America Nightmare posing as the American Dream at 200 West Street NYC (Goldman Sachs Global Headquarters of the ? New World Order).

Where are we as a nation when the best of each generation now must get ground up into college trained sausages that totally believe the new religion of greed and the near sacred philosophy of Bernie Madoffism. These youths blindly follow the Goldman Sachs golden idol pathway to secular heaven and the new standards of American success that eliminates most of humanity from any possible success formula?

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Faisal Shahzad – human drone terrorist fails (this time)



The act of desperation in the middle east to is convince people that God or Allah is on your side and have those stupid souls commit a suicide bombing to die for a political/religious cause. This is part of the equation of ignorance and poverty we are fighting in the midst of the mess over there.

In a global sense we cannot walk away from a global situation that has manifested itself since 911.

Jimmy Carter started to tell us to stop our dependence on foreign oil in the late seventies. Congress, corrupt from oil money, has not followed through on a plausible energy policy since.

The growing oil slick and cancer on the environment in the Gulf of Mexico is coming home to haunt our inactions for decades. As a result, we are drawn into the corrupt Saudi and Muslim world politics of unknown places on the other side of the planet.

These acts of so called martyrdom or heroics that we see elsewhere are coming closer to us.

Except for the jihadist US Army officer shrink Nidal Hasan, the U.S. has been very lucky since 911 in terms of avoiding direct terrorist attacks on U.S. soil.

I see a long distance pattern to these so called sleeper cells in the U.S.. While a Shahzad or a Hasan are already here, they in essence have to turn on the hand that feeds them here in the United States and try to connect to some native roots elsewhere for encouragement in their acts of mass murder or attempted mass murder.

The Christian west long ago made suicide a taboo for individuals while directly and indirectly blessing wholesale warfare in it place.

At latest news, the economy going south may have contributed to Shahzad souring on his piece of the American Dream.

Long distance is someone or some group trying to pull off a complicated bomb construction and bomb detonation here in America. The people such as the underwear bomber at Christmas or the Times Square attempted bomber - they did not succeed in that long distance connection from some ancient culture and religious hate thing overseas.

People that blow themselves up in Iraq and Afghanistan are poor and certain that their reward is in Paradise with the Prophet.

Foreign born people who live here, are educated here and have opportunities here are perhaps contaminated by our secular culture that chooses life over death.

That to drive into Times Square, perhaps playing some Timothy McVeigh like tape in your head, and walking away from a half assed built bomb and to save your half assed half American life is a flaw in the present evolving equation of hate, terror and mass murder.

To be young and stupid like this Times Square suspect is to be ideal and zealous in your hate against the U.S. even while you want your cake (life) and eat it too like an American.

This is really a screwed up equation of modern proportions on the domestic and international global world stage. I hope this is a temporary scenario in the ongoing long term march to the future.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Pathways and Roadblocks to Salvation

An unfinished thought occurred to me the other day in a previous article and I did not go with the flow. A lot of talk, thought being stirring up in the religious press because of Brian McLaren who knows that Christianity is doomed if it chooses literalism over flexibility in a world exploding with technology and knowledge. Many interesting stats, that by 2050 America could be a nation with a majority of non-believers. Rather a soul-less world so to speak of or envision. Kind of like France.

Viewpoint: Not every brand of Christianity can be the right one
In an interview with Christianity Today, Brian McLaren said "I don't think we've got the gospel right yet. What does it mean to be 'saved'? When I read the Bible, I don't see it meaning, 'I'm going to heaven after I die.' Before modern evangelicalism nobody accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Savior, or walked down an aisle, or said the sinner's prayer. I don't think the liberals have it right. But I don't think we have it right either. None of us has arrived at orthodoxy." ("The Emergent Mystique," Christianity Today November 2004).

In Mclaren's case I guess I don't know where he thinks the saved go after they die. He can't seem to define what it is to be saved, he has no "right" gospel message to give. Someone is wrong.
Why Christianity Must Adapt -- Or Perish
…A literal interpretation of the Bible offers regressionism and leaves little room for progress. This is exactly where McLaren finds the inherent problem with modern Christianity, and the exact thing that must change: the Bible is a ballast.

What of a new Bible, one that makes more sense examining the past and is pro-human when applied to the future, releasing past dogma for improvements and corrections? As you may have guessed, it is not necessary to replace the physical work and words of the Bible; it is sufficient to have it become a new book via a fresh reading.
The thought I had started the other day had to do with looking at bible passages and rather than accept them literally, to look at them in terms of human energy and or the energy of the Universe, a force of God. Of course that energy could also be represented not only by human words but also by simple symbols or common elements.
Except a man be born again of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God [John 3:5].
I think the above is one of the most perplexing quotes in the new testament. It also is a keystone of modern evangelicalism and their “born again” agenda as a marketing selling point.

Maybe, just maybe, the birth of water and the spirit is a birth of soul out of water and fire.

Very basic symbols but think about it. If you are mediocre and conform or never think much about passages in the bible or how they might be reapplied in a modern age or modern situations, maybe your way to heaven is a very dimly lit corridor on the other side of life.

But if there is a maximum of energy spent in the conflict between thought and non-thought, belief and non-belief, water which is life on earth and fire which is the fire of the spirit of God, the final victory over life is in having more fire in life to withstand the water of living of your everyday life.

The spirit, the soul, the divine spark within must dominate over the water of the perhaps drudgery of life which if in proper balance could be the kingdom of God on earth – to reflect the fire which should be within and recognized, cultivated and multiplied.

Life is a balance of yin and yang, water and fire, thought and soul, actions improper and proper. Life after death is a reflection of a life lived by your input and manner.

Salvation can mean much more and mean many more things than any sentence of words in black ink on paper from John.

To be a prisoner of words sometimes means being a prisoner locked away from truth, light, freedom and rebirth here and forever.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Freedom Tower Rising WTC NYC



In this virtual age it is possible to get daily photo progress and comments without having to stand outside the fence trying to find a peek hole with the other guys at the World Trade Center 2 in New York.

wirednewyork.com forum WTC Tower One a.k.a. Freedom Tower

After years of delay, the Phoenix is finally Rising at the WTC.

The new Freedom Tower is going up like an erector toy set from childhood memory.

From the latest comments, I am guessing that more than New York city dwellers are watching the progress. The whole world (global) is watching this new building rising and set down on top of Hell’s fury of 9-11-01.

I never liked the old WTC. It was too modern and not user friendly. This new bunch of buildings are going up slowly in the recession. Freedom Tower is of course number one to go up.

I am not too crazy about glass-clad structures. Brick and terra cotta used to show the soul of a building and the stamp of both the workers and the architect. Times change. So do methods.

These buildings will be on street level and not on top of an artificial concrete box like the old Twin Towers, that in life seemed to be cut off from the flow of street life all around it. They have even opened up a few streets that disappeared under the old fortress like structure of the WTC complex now a part of history.

Explore. It is an interesting topic and there are many more architectural topics in the Wired NYC Forum. Enjoy.





Bill Maher - Religulous - Review



I finally got around to seeing the movie Religulous with professional comedian commentator Bill Maher.

The title apparently arises from fusing the word Religion with Ridiculous.

Religulous

The movie is not a very good documentary on the topic of Religion. In fact the whole point of the movie is to show Religion in an unfavorable light. That light is the opinion of the comedian’s pet peeve or pet gripe that religion is wrong or a bad thing.

Somewhere in between improvised street interviews expressing opinion and soliciting opinions on the topic, Maher or his director fails to make a good point about anything. It comes more across as a home movie than a professionally cut documentary. This cavalier film editing is from a director, Larry Charles, who has directed many TV shows among them Seinfeld.

Maher says something somewhere in the home movie to the effect that he is not an atheist in that most atheists’ strong assertions constitute in fact another religion. The many times I have read material on him, his place on the map in terms of beliefs moves around a lot.

Interspersed with the gorilla journalism are scenes of stock footage mostly from old Hollywood movies on religious subjects. It was here that I saw a similarity with the Cable show The Naked Archeologist with Simcha Jacobovici who is not an archeologist. The Naked Archeologist is an entertainment show with historic overtones and shown on The History Channel.

It was here that I realize that the whole generational genre thing these days is about entertainment and not classical news and or documentaries. Maher’s impromptu deliveries did not have the polished umph of a professional tightly edited movie, documentary or comedy routine. In fact, there were probably few retakes as in a scene in a Truck Stop chapel in Charlotte NC in the bible belt where I was not too certain that Maher was going to walk out alive of the chapel. His tone came across to me as a bit disrespectful of the beliefs of the men in that chapel and delivered to their faces.

I have watched his shows both on ABC and HBO and know he was not being disrespectful but there is that east coast America urban flippancy serving as confidence for some that does not translate south of the Mason Dixon line or west of the Mississippi. His humor is usually on an intellectual sarcastic bent.

Maher interviews a few snake oil salesmen, successful preachers, who ooze confidence in their confidence game and their spin on their successful business techniques which in my opinion is not legitimate religion. He of course does a few lines outside the Mormon Temple in Salt Lake City and is chased off the grounds by Mormon Security. He also stands in St. Peter’s Square in Rome to make a few lines of acerbic attitude. Also on the itinerary was a visit to a Dinosaur museum showing those creatures co-existing with man in the 6,000 years old age of the religious universe and a Holy Land Theme Park in Florida complete with hourly shows of scourgings and crucifixions. (entertainment?)

It, the movie, rates more as entertainment and geared to younger age brackets like most TV shows. In fact I think it could have been done on cable but even cable is likely to shy away from the topic of non-belief in religion which is where I think this film was originally headed considering it choppy sequences dancing all over geography and the topic of religion.

As I have asserted on many occasions, I feel that most atheists, or in Bill Maher’s case quasi-atheist, have had a bad religion experience in their past to justify their present attitudes and rhetoric toward belief.

In Bill Maher’s case, he was the son of a Jewish mother and an Irish Catholic father and raised in the RC church. That in one scene, interviewing his sister and late mother and sitting in his former church as background located in New Jersey, the subject of how the family stopped going to church when he was thirteen is not probed in depth. The story goes something like the father stopped going to church and the mother was not too certain as to why her husband did that. She did speculate that they used birth control and her husband no doubt had a run in with the local priest on the subject.

No big deal but perhaps the curiosity of the mind of a young person like Maher never got a full explanation why one Sunday he was going to church and the next Sunday there was a mandate to boycott the religion thing.

The market on disbelief, and people’s curiousity about it, are no doubt the reason for a modest profit on the movie. People are curious about non-belief. The latest polls put the population of America with no religious affiliation at around sixteen percent. That and the lack of diction or strong traditional rhetoric to defend one’s belief in non-belief is a factor that would seem to have many people buying movie tickets. I saw this film on Cable TV so I did not buy a ticket.

Unless you are a Bill Maher groupie or are deeply curious about one man’s obsession with the follies of religion in a poorly make film, I do not recommend this home movie.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Is the Tea Party Racist?



Tea Party?

It’s a private club thing, a country club, a gated community thing. If not racism it is something akin to it.

In Florida, Rubio is a Tea Party Fab if only because they don’t like Crist anymore. Talk the talk. Walk the walk. (goosestep perhaps on occasion).

It is a dying corner of the old white America trying to hold onto the same grungy seats in a drab old movie theatre playing an old Doris Day movie.

Creepy.

Franklin Graham still does not get It

I never was a fan of Billy Graham. I thought him too political. I saw him in Nixon’s White House when the nation needed a peace in Vietnam and a truce at home between generations. Graham was successful financially in his using stadiums and tours not unlike the come to town revivals of America’s rural past.

Graham too was a Protestant. When I was young and Catholic, I thought him a strange creature indeed.

These days when I am now a Cultural Christian or a minimalist in the Christian faith, I see Billy’s son Franklin as too much in the same mold as his father and a son who never had to make it on his own. He inherited the family’s business. While there is nothing wrong in inheriting a family’s business – Franklin will never be Billy – and Billy was never that great a preacher outside of his own created and self generated PR bubble.

Some stats from an article in USA today and commenting on another article from the Huffington Post. Sometimes comment on comment on news articles is all that the blogosphere is about. Sometimes I would rather have a subject kicked around from many different angles before I come to rest on my own private comfortable position on any given subject.

Franklin Graham got disinvited from a Pentagon sponsored national prayer day May 6 event because of his harsh tone on Islam.

Does National Day of Prayer include or condemn you?
Does National Day of Prayer include or condemn you? A survey of 1,000 Protestant pastors, conducted in March by LifeWay Research, the Nashville-based evangelical polling firm, found most hold strong and consistent negative views of the religion of Islam. When asked which is closer to their beliefs:

• 47% agreed with Graham's comments that Islam is "a very evil and a very wicked religion."

• 24% agreed with former President George W. Bush's remark that "the Muslim faith is based upon peace and love and compassion."

• 17% were undecided

• 12% agreed with both statements

Although 69% don't think Christians and Muslims pray to the same God and only 19% would call Islam "spiritually good," …
I think that Islam in its present form as a state religion under penalty of death is an evil thing. I do not believe that Islam in its writings or beliefs is any more evil than Christianity or Judaism.

I think that the ancient archaic National Prayer Day that goes back to the dawn of the Cold War with the Soviets and was started by the likes of a Graham family business or a Coe family business need some rethinking and retooling to fit into this modern age.

The American Town Square of fifty, sixty, seventy years ago was a town square full of while males on their lunch hour. That the present day American Town Square is 24/7, multi-racial, multi-cultural and multi-sexual.

I find it a great shame that the views of Franklin Graham do not recognize or dissect the difference between geographic political Islam from the philosophy and religion of same. It was not too many centuries ago that Christianity was the official state religion of most of the countries of Europe. Today those countries are secular – thank God for that.

Franklin Graham and other Protestant ministers who want to look at the world through the prism of the old American Town Square of seventy years ago are woefully out of sync with reality and the true message of Jesus oft times hidden in the gospels.

Entrenched and vested self interests of religious fat cats like the Grahams and the Coes are a great burden on the beliefs of modern people seeking a modern understanding of God and a modern understanding of our relationship to our universe.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Transforming Faith

A New Kind of Christianity: Ten Questions That Are Transforming the Faith

From a Book Review on the book A New Kind of Christianity by Brian D. McLaren:
The central thesis, to which McLaren returns frequently to indicate its wide implications, is that Christian faith was terminally skewed when it was distilled through the Greco-Roman (imperial) worldview. This worldview resulted in a version of Christianity that was at once triumphalistic and reductive—a Chris tianity that was mainly about what happens after death. McLaren argues that the central message of Jesus, the kingdom of God and the life it entails, was lost or overlooked. There is important truth in this argument, perhaps especially for the world of American evangelicals, among whom it does sometimes seem that a version of Paul has eclipsed Jesus. I am less sure that it is helpful for the Protestant mainline and liberal Christianity.
I cannot speak for others. My road to Cultural Christianity is one of a personal sense of failure in my search for the real Jesus in the Gospels.

My search is perhaps the same that many others have had. They perhaps too have faded away from the Christianity or a feeling of such to match that from their youth.

What I have seen in the number of people joining mega churches or in evangelical revivalism is a growth in numbers without in many cases a growth in the Spirit within those institutions.

Too many people are clinging to the book of the Bible as some sort of magic tell all sort of medicine for everyday life and the life presumed afterward. These people I do not identify with.

That a man of simple faith if he reads and rereads the New Testament begins to see the flows and flaws of the original writers and they seem to be many. That since the Enlightenment, people have been willing to speak of discrepancies in the book. That was before modern scientific and historic research that puts us many times at odds with what a Christian is supposed to believe – that and what the life and message of Jesus probably was and glossed over or not mentioned in the official rule book of the New Testament. You do not need a masters degree or a PhD in theology to know that the Bible is an imperfect man-made book.

The quote above regarding the quest of one man and minister to find a New Way of looking at God and Jesus as well as the institution of Christianity - reminds me so much of how we see the world from the ancient writings does not match with how we now perceive our place in the universe.

That man’s nature as one of a sinner is a primitive way of looking at man who is both part human and part animal. That sin in many cases crosses swords with basic animal instincts and chemicals such as hormones. The myth of man is that man is made in the image and likeness of God – but what God – is he, she, it half God and half Instinct?

The rule book method I think puts the possibilities of a New Christianity on hold in the present world. How many of us when we get a new phone, or microwave oven or TV or automobile really read the instruction book word by word and letter by letter? In the same vein, how can you find the Spirit of God and or Jesus in an imperfect book in these imperfect times? The book at best should only be used as a guide in times when the Spirit moves you to read it and hopefully understand what you are reading in a higher light than the actual meaning and any mere man made words – in other words – to connect with the Spirit.

There is room for improvement in Christianity. There is also a terrible amnesia about the life, message and purpose of the life of Jesus. That amnesia should be sought out for a cure and the gaps filled in on hazy memory. All I know is that when I go into some churches, it may or may not have the Spirit I think it should have. If not, I continue on my quest to find a home here on earth while awaiting for the veil on the next life to be lifted and understood when I arrive there.

Arizona does not see the Light or the Map


(Click on Image to Enlarge)

I am a visual person more so than auditory. I can remember in the freshman year at college having to wait for a previous class to finish before I could enter the classroom. I and some of my classmates sat in an unoccupied classroom next door while waiting.

There was a map on the wall of modern day Europe. I remember looking at the map and considering the history of that geographic entity. I looked at the divided Germany of East and West Germany and a light bulb went on. East Germany was the approximate same geography of the historic country of Prussia.

That Prussia was always a war orientated culture, first for its survival and second for its eventual center of a United Germany around 1870. That is you follow a timeline Europe had three wars in seventy five years with Prussia/Germany as the ignition spark so to speak.

That the Containment of Communism in the Cold War by the United States and its Allies had its blueprints in the Soviet’s containment of East Germany – the Soviets prevented another European German War by removing the power keg West Germany from the Spark of East Germany.

I was surprised and disappointed that here I was in College and I had to figure out the truth of the then present day map of Europe all by myself. The Official history as taught by the teachers in college was somehow rationed out by the official party line of the CIA and the Pentagon.

Fast forward to modern day Mexico and the drain of it citizens across the border to the United States for jobs.

Arizona’s typically uncreative, punitive approach to protect its borders does not solve anything except maybe satisfy the angst of its country club gated pure white communities. Whatever happened to capitalism?

One just has to look at a national highway map of Mexico to see that in 60 % of the country above Mexico City there are no direct east west highways going from sea to shining sea that would encourage internal development and economic stability and jobs.

The wealth of the oligarchs of Mexico is one of sending exports to the Gringos up north. And not providing development to the northern part of Mexico.

Two parallel highways, one on each side of the U.S. Mexico Border at say a distance of ten miles could create an artificial economic zone for warehouses, factories and industrial research. Ring roads around the major north south Mexican Highways on both sides of each border could be a start.

If you are no longer in a no man’s land in the middle of nowhere, you might then be in a place where border guards would be effective in monitoring entry and exit into both countries. Right now building an expensive wall is not keeping our border safe. It is a government boondoggle.

Both countries would benefit from such a solution of encouraging economic development on the borders of the U.S. and Mexico. It would also leave the Mexican population with jobs and economic incentive for staying on that side of the border. Both countries would also have to provide tax incentives to create this joint economic free trade/production zone.

There are solutions to problems in this world. Medieval primitive immigration laws like those recently passed in the Duh State of Arizona are a dead end and not a beginning. Let’s try economics instead of politics and prisons.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Dressing for Success in the Religious Business






Pope Paul VI was the last pope to have an official triple crown Tiara made. The symbol for hundreds of years claiming some divine right to rule all of Christendom was more or less relinquished after Vatican II in the hopes of uniting or more closely bonding the Christian belief systems since the two major schisms of the ages – the one with the east with the Orthodox church and the one of the Protestant Reformation.

The first photo is of Paul VI’s last tiara that is never worn anymore but is probably in some vault in the Vatican. I saw that Tiara many years ago in the late sixties when it was on display in a bank lobby in Philadelphia making a world tour of sorts. So much of the promise of change from within the RCC was in the air shortly after Vatican II. Whatever happened to that spirit of change?

A bunch of lower level clerics who attended Vatican II mostly as administrative assistants to bishops have risen in the ranks over the years and seem to want to negate Vatican II both in style and substance.

Benedict XVI was gone back to the medieval practice of wearing ermine fur in the winter with his costume. Not very egalitarian or populist. Definitely medieval. The second photo is of Benedict wrapped in gold cloth.

We should also remember that it was backward looking John Paul II that insisted that wearng modern pants, jacket and collar were to be discontinued by priests in favor of the black cassock. A dress instead of pants so to speak.

The young Turks from Vatican II want to forget Vatican II. Thank God for the present meltdown of management in the Vatican at present. There is hope of a reformation of sorts at the Vatican still possible in the future.

When the President of a modern religion business such as the bishop of Rome wants to be in style in the future, he or she might consider the modern dress of say another President of a religion business, say that of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod.

The next two photos are of President Gerald B. Kieschnick LCMS in both his every day black business suit with collar and his official church service garb sans the gold cloth.

President Kieschnick is up for re-election as President of that business and running a distant second to his opponent at the moment before this summer’s convention and elections.

Something to think about and consider when you have tiaras, gold cloth, corruption and sex scandals going on now in Rome.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Illegal Jan Brewer Arrested in Arizona



A woman described as looking like Governor Jan Brewer was stopped by a Phoenix policeman over the weekend.

The woman was described as wearing a cheap blonde wig to disguise her racial origins as mentioned in the official police report.

Mention of the fact that the arresting police officer was of Hispanic origins has been leaked to the press.

The police officer asked the suspect to produce identification. The woman showed a valid Arizona State License that was computer checked by the cop.

The cop suspecting a new kind of illegal immigration scam or forgery of the license asked for proof of the suspect’s right to be in the United States. In other words, the cop wanted documentation that the suspect “Jan Brewer” had legal immigrant standing or was an American citizen. No proof as such was forthcoming from the suspect.

The suspected illegal alien was then arrested and transported to jail for booking.

The suspect demanded her rights and her lawyer while asserting that she was the Governor of the State of Arizona. While waiting for her lawyer, the suspect “Jan Brewer” called home and asked a relative to bring her birth certificate to the police station.

The hospital issued birth certificate of Jan Brewer arrived at the police station. The desk sergeant informed Jan Brewer that a hospital issued birth certificate was no longer valid in the United States to claim American citizenship under new laws, rules and regulations as stated by the Department of Homeland Security. Only a state issued certified and embossed birth certificate would be proof of Jan Brewer’s citizenship.

As of this hour, the suspect is in lockup awaiting proper ID from the head the Department of Public Safety.

It is good to know that we are safe from illegal immigrants in Arizona.

Gotcha!

Boobquake challenges Allah to Shake Rattle and Roll



Some asshole Muslim Cleric presuming to speak for the Almighty is being challenged by a flash mob on Facebook.

Facebook 'Boobquake' group set to prove Iranian cleric wrong
Launched last week by Indiana student Jennifer McCreight, 22, the 'Boobquake' event is a response to Iranian cleric Hojatoleslam Kazem Sedighi.

He claimed: “Many women who do not dress modestly ... lead young men astray, corrupt their chastity and spread adultery in society, which increases earthquakes,”

Groups in both Washington and Vancouver are planning dedicated Boobquake events, with hundreds of women revealing as much as they dare while seismic readings are taken, in order to prove the cleric wrong.
Ain't religion and rational reaction to religious insanity great? !

Sunday, April 25, 2010

It’s the management Stupid!



Out of the chaos of the present management meltdown at the Vatican, a couple of things seems to be emerging in the Catholic and other blogospheres.

One is to watch out for the Marcial Maciel scandal to break out in the press with nasty tidbits leaked to the press. This will in turn bite a few cardinals in the ass for their cozy relationship with this pedophile priest who founded the Legion of Christ in Mexico, a religious order with subsidiaries worldwide. Assets estimated at over fifty billion dollars in property etc and with an annual operating budget of 650 million dollars, it will take an awful lot of paperwork and expertise to dismantle this religious order’s empire should the Vatican decide to go that way.

One present possible scapegoat on the Catholic Blogosphere is Cardinal Angelo Sodano, former Secretary of State under John Paul II. All roads in the present Clergy Abuse scandal lead back to a Polish Patriot with a goal to liberate his Poland. John Paul II’s medieval vision to restore Poland to its Medieval glory was one of the agendas that accompanied him through his years as pope. JPII put the breaks on the flood of religious getting out of their vows under Paul VI. JPII did not want the priests to leave even if they were pedophiles. The Vatican front office under the CEO set the tone of all bureaucrats under him. JPII ruled from 1978-2005.

Under him is Cardinal Sodano who we now know got a big party for being made a Cardinal and a big party for being made Secretary of State. These parties were for two hundred people, mostly his relatives. These Parties are supposedly paid for by Marcial Maciel’s Legion of Christ. Sodano is also on the receiving end of a speaking fee of $10,000 for addressing the Legion of Christ organization in Rome. Etc. It is not surprising that in defending Benedict XVI during Easter Week with the remarks about not being concerned with “petty gossip” comes out of Sodano’s lips. Petty gossip about the many forms of politics and strains of corruption within the Vatican is more than petty gossip perhaps.

Sodano is supposed to have intervened as Secretary of State with the consent of JPII in squashing a Vatican investigation into Father Maciel’s perversions. The investigation was from Joe Ratzinger. In the game of Vatican politics, he lost that battle. Ratzinger finally got the upper hand and Marcial Maciel retired in the waning days of JPII's rule in 2005. Maciel died in 2008.

The goal in the present sex abuse scandal by the clergy is to deflect from Benedict whose signature on several documents puts him in the same pot of most bishops in the church that conspired to protect and coverup abuse by the clergy. In their way of thinking, the secular world and secular law was the enemy. John Paul II's whole life was a fight against civil governments most of which were totalitarian. The good press John Paul got in his lifetime covered up an awful lot of incompetence, and malfeasance in office with the hidden sex crimes.

John Paul II Gets A Second Look In Abuse Scandal
Robert Mickens, Vatican correspondent for the British Catholic weekly, The Tablet, says that within the priesthood, there is a certain mistrust of the secular world. And the Polish pope, who grew up under totalitarian regimes, often saw the church besieged by the outside world, Mickens says.

"Those who wear the Roman collar, those who are part of all this, believe that they are maligned unfairly," Mickens says. "John Paul II may have felt that this was again this onslaught of the Nazis or the communists, but now secularists, secularism, to discredit the church. If you look at what some people have been saying in the Vatican, that kind of paranoia has not gone away at all."

In a letter written in 2001, then-Cardinal Ratzinger, under John Paul's auspices, ordered all clerical sex abuse cases be sent to his department and that all cases be subject to pontifical secrecy. His No. 2 at the time, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, said in a 2002 interview, "It seems to me there is no basis for demanding that a bishop be obliged to turn to civil magistrates and denounce a priest who has confided to him to have committed the crime of pedophilia."

As the Vatican and the pope face threats of lawsuits and even criminal proceedings in some countries, Vatican officials are now insisting that the Holy See has always recommended to its bishops that they report abusive priests to the police.
The present crisis will not go away. Many would be surprised that many departments of the Vatican are still using ink and quills (ball point pens perhaps) to deal with the modern flow of paperwork in a global headquarters of a global corporation (meaning no computers). What a joke!

Abuse Crisis Strains Vatican’s Ancient Ways of Management
That Benedict’s papacy has gone from crisis to crisis points to its difficulties as an ancient institution still struggling with modernity, even though the liberalizing Second Vatican Council in the 1960s was supposed to update the church’s relation to the world. Instead, it is facing the growing pains of a bureaucracy created in the 16th century to contend with the Protestant Reformation and the discovery of the New World. By some lights, it is still grappling with both…

And while the Vatican may be a world power, it often seems to be run like an Italian village. “The Vatican is facing two main challenges: generational and cultural,” said one diplomat who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of straining ties with the Vatican. “The biggest challenge here is management.”
What the public or what the average practicing Catholics might notice lately by things in the news is that the hierarchy of that church is aloof and out of touch. That across the board, corporate culture displayed suggests that the welfare of children was secondary to the importance of prestige of the priest class that runs the institution. That if children are perceived as secondary to the hierarchy, maybe the bishops and the priests do not care about the average person in the church as well. The good will of the corporation is spent.

I used the image above of John Paul II as a statue carved in salt at a salt mine n Poland. When I first saw it I thought of the Pillar of Salt that Lot’s wife turned into, from looking back during the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah in the old testament.

John Paul and being turned into a pillar of salt so to speak may be due with the history of his reign being rewritten as we speak. His sin may have been in looking back to a Medieval Church in his idealized Medieval Poland as a vision for the future of the global church. He was sorely wrong I think.

Friday, April 23, 2010

LDS Church Members help pass Toxic Immigration Law in Arizona



Arizona’s new hate law against brown skinned people got passed in the Legislature with the help of LDS church members, five percent of the population and seventeen percent of the legislature as of 2004 (can’t find recent stats - they haven't gone anywhere).

Arizona - where there is no Polygamy is a Crime Law – it is in essence legal to practice LDS’s wink, nod, not so secret multiple marriage dogma there.

Arizona is the state that now can ask anybody for identification and throw you into jail if you cannot produce it. Of course, the cops will not ask a white Mormon with his twenty wives and eighty children if he can identify himself as a law breaking illegal immigrant. Get real.

Jan Brewer, Arizona’s current cracker governor, who wants re-election is willing to turn an already horrible state full of toxic anti-labor laws into a more inhumane place to live and work.

The Country Club C*nts like Senator Kyl and Senator McCain who run Arizona in the Senate only for rich people, have helped set Arizona into a permanent backwater serfdom environment for decades, allowing illegal immigration to flourish to hold down wages to Minimum Wages across the state.

Check out the people cleaning McCain’s or his wife’s many mansions or landscaping and ask those brown people there if they can pull out non-forged identity.

Now that the economy has gone south, the CCC’s don’t want to raise taxes to pay for the poor in the state, the majority of which are probably illegal. Tough Shit poor brown people. We don’t need you now. Go home. Come back when the economy improves etc.

Whatever.

News Dump - Vatican



This is a kind of a news dump of items on Vatican related matters.

Belgian Catholic bishop admits molesting boy

Bishop Roger Vangheluwe, the bishop of Bruges, Belgium resigned for molesting a boy in the middle eighties. Not much detail on the how or why the resignation came about now except I would guess they had to throw someone in the higher ranks of the clergy to the wolves to keep the wolves from baying at the gates of the Vatican.

The whole thing would be comical if it were not so tragic. I recall to mind the excellent movie “In Bruges” about two less than skilled hit men trying to tie up loose ends of a botched assassination attempt that involved a contract on a priest and a kid thrown in as well into the storyline.

I guess The Guardian UK is doing some journalism while reporting these Vatican matters in one article as a kind of news dump.

An Irish bishop also resigned. Yawn. When a dozen crime prone Mick bishops resign, that will be real news Joe.

The next part of the Article has to do with the fact that Cardinal Hoyos infamous letter of praise for a French Bishop aiding and abetting a pedo priest after the fact of his crime was a letter reviewed in a meeting attended by none other that Joe Ratzinger aka Joe the Pope these days. Can’t give all the blame to JPII on that one if all his cronies and stooges didn’t object to the letter during that meeting. Hoyos is not the type of guy who is going to take this rap alone.

And there is a lawsuit against the Vatican naming the Pope, Cardinal Bertone and Cardinal Sodano.
The suit was filed on Thursday by Jeff Anderson, an attorney in St Paul, Minnesota. He argues that top officials in the Vatican, including Ratzinger, knew about claims of sex abuse at a school for deaf children near Milwaukee, and that they blocked the punishment of the accused priest, Lawrence Murphy.

Murphy, who died in 1998, is accused of molesting up to 200 boys between 1950 and 1974. The defendants in the lawsuit are the pope, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, who was his deputy at the congregation for the doctrine of the faith and is now his top official, and Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Bertone's predecessor.
So it goes. The perfect storm of the Vatican meltdown continues.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Hide the altar boys! Cardinal Hoyos is in Town.



Hide your altar boys. Cardinal Hoyos is in Town. Wanting to celebrate a fifth anniversary mass in Latin of Benedict’s reign at the American Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington D.C..

He does anything he wants to in the Vatican. A lot of abuse victims here are insulted by the presence of this bureaucratic hack, pig of a human being, coming into an American Temple to contaminate it by his presence.

Cardinal Hoyos has a track record of praising bishops who protect pedophile priests. Why has the Vatican sent this low life to America to insult all the better parts of our humanity?

Father Wuerl, I mean Bishop Wuerl is like some doormat for the Vatican. Some people will do anything including sell their soul for that red hat.

Mothers, hide your children. Altar Boys, call in sick come Saturday.

Franklin Graham still Hates Muslims

Big Government parasite Franklin Graham is in the News. He was been asked to pray at the National Prayer Day at the Pentagon. With a question of constitutionality of the national mandated prayers by citizens, there is a question if Graham will speak at the Pentagon.

Of course, Graham anti-Islam beliefs and rhetoric are just the thing we need to continue this new eternal cold war against Islam (good for business and pentagon pensions etc.) .

The National Prayer Day was campaigned for heavily by Billy Graham and signed into law by Harry S Truman in 1952. Nothing like the government to created a privileged meal ticket niche for Bill Graham and his cronies, not to mention his Muslim hating son Franklin.

A Christian must love all his neighbors including Muslims. Franklin Graham is some sort of tax free business man posing as a Christian. He is not a Christian by my standards or definition of such.

Group wants evangelist's Pentagon event canceled

Big Government Mandate – National Prayer Day

The Tea Party complains about Big Government. They did not complain when Bush and Cheney started an optional oil war in Iraq with its final costs in the trillions. But big government is somehow here and now and under an African American President.

I never heard of the National Prayer Day before the recent court ruling making it unconstitutional. Apparently this big government mandate to make us all pray when the Government tells us to pray is the kind of thing the Tea Party should be complaining about.

I would have thought that the national prayer thing would have been some sort of executive proclamation for the sake of politics. But this National Prayer thing had been a government law since 1952.

What next from Big Government? Tell us when to fast and for how long. Ramadan?

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Satan’s Magic Cloth – the Shroud of Turin



It is the twenty first century and people are still clinging to an art fraud from the fourteenth century to stimulate faith. Fraud does not stimulate faith. Fraud stimulates more fraud.

The cloth, “the Shroud of Turin”, which has a unique image imprinted on it, put there by some lost process, is just one lone survivor of the thriving phony relic business of the middle ages. Enough pieces of the true cross were sold by the church, enough to build apartment buildings along with hundreds of gallons of Christ’s blood, were hallmarks of a corrupt age that preceded the selling of indulgences and the Reformation.

The Roman church clings to its pagan roots and pagan fascination with superstitions that equal relics with good luck and magic.

So now after many tests including modern carbon dating and putting the Shroud firmly in the fourteenth century, the RC church is selling the same old shit to inspire faith at a current exhibit in Turin. Shit that inspires faith is superstition or shit faith.

People, fanatics keep coming up with more bizarre ways that could prove this Bogus Turin cloth to be the actual burial cloth of Jesus of Nazareth. Can I sell you some shares in the Brooklyn Bridge?

The Shroud is a fraud because it conforms to the exact details of the synoptic gospels, written fifty to hundred years after Jesus. Oral history changes over times. The gospels, their alleged facts are there in writing. Logic to me dictates that the oral history of the gospels finally written down would miss details or add them. This cloth does not challenge the established story recreated and finalized decades after the ministry of Jesus.

Because the Shroud conforms to an image of Jesus with a crown of thorns and a spear wound in his side and other markings on the cloth, that cloth was made to order. Made to order to conform to gospels which if you believe the Jesus Seminar only accurately quote Jesus eighteen percent of the time in those accounts written much later than Jesus’ lifetime.

If the most important part of the gospels, the words and ideas of Jesus are on shaky grounds, how can anybody believe the stage sets drawn around the words to illustrate the story.

So if you get an object that conforms to faulty gospels one hundred percent – it is hardly proof but a customized sure hit bogus relic.

There is some fascinating literature about the Shroud. Most of that has been written in the last forty odd years and concerns the use of analysis and science to disprove this magic cloth possibly originating from the king of all fraud – Satan.

Is everything O.K.? RC Church

There is a very good op-ed article in the New York Times full of the upbeat aspects of a separate arm of the RC church, separate from the Corrupt Hierarchy making hay for their own careers even in the middle of a communications meltdown over the handling of Child Abuse by Clergy in a worldwide organization.

That separate arm of the church are those working in the field to alleviate pain, suffering and poverty in the third world.

In contrast, regarding the boys in the front office:
The Catholic Church still seems stuck today in that patriarchal rut. The same faith that was so pioneering that it had Junia as a female apostle way back in the first century can’t even have a woman as the lowliest parish priest. Female deacons, permitted for centuries, are banned today.

That old boys’ club in the Vatican became as self-absorbed as other old boys’ clubs, like Lehman Brothers, with similar results. And that is the reason the Vatican is floundering today.
It is an uplifting piece of writing in the midst of the pig swill official press releases coming out of the Vatican and its failed administration.

I find it quite distressing to keep coming back to the Jaded players on the Vatican ball team. Cardinal Hoyos after being instrumental in returning the schismatic Pius X cult back into the church chose to do so by tricking Cardinal Re to sign off on it. Cardinal Hoyos is now trashing the dead John Paul II by saying that he cleared the letter he wrote praising a French Bishop for protecting a French Priest from civil prosecution for his crimes against children.

John Paul toward the end had little focus on any letters I would think. The full responsibility of that letter falls on Hoyos. Though past the age of eighty and unable to vote in any future papal enclave, he is trying to rewrite the history of his mismanagement of whatever they put him in charge of at the Vatican.

And then you have Secretary of State Bertone who wants to deflect fault away from Vatican policy and cover-ups by having a brilliant bureaucratic idea. He throws out how pedophilia has nothing to do with celibacy and everything to do with homosexuality. How gay of him.

Bertone’s pronouncement is so much like the old fashioned Public Relations/Press Release that the church has used for decades in its one way, only way, of talking to you and not talking with you. For decades, the MSM, Main Stream Media, has accepted these handouts as news to be repeated without comment in newspapers and now on the Net.

This is what got Bishop Martino in trouble in Scranton. You don’t have people skills and you hand out press release after press release after press release. The trouble with that is that issues that deserved to be addressed in dialogue with the laity got merely addressed as a parent speaking to a child. The church and its hierarchy have lost touch with reality. Martino gave up, claiming insomnia as a debilitating factor. I have to wonder, if in the final analysis, whether it was a guilty conscience of following Vatican instructions on every matter in the Diocese that helped to empty pews, empty pews, empty pews.

The MSM has not pushed back until of late. The tidal wave of unsolved problems of the Vatican and a bureaucracy that no longer has any effect in the rule of the church is an easy invite for journalism to come in and perform an autopsy so to speak. The people in the pews want accountability and humanity. The pope seeing a few sex abuse victims only because he has to and not because he wants to comes through loud and clear to the man and woman on the street.

To continue from the Op/Ed piece by Nicolas Kristof.

A Church Mary Can Love
So when you read about the scandals, remember that the Vatican is not the same as the Catholic Church. Ordinary lepers, prostitutes and slum-dwellers may never see a cardinal, but they daily encounter a truly noble Catholic Church in the form of priests, nuns and lay workers toiling to make a difference.

It’s high time for the Vatican to take inspiration from that sublime — even divine — side of the Catholic Church, from those church workers whose magnificence lies not in their vestments, but in their selflessness. They’re enough to make the Virgin Mary smile.
I invite you read the entire article by Mr. Kristof.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Criminal Cartels, Goldman Sachs, Drug Lords, Vatican



Having seen firsthand the dark and shady nature of business in both the Mortgage and Brokerage businesses I have to concede that it is a breath of fresh air that accompanies the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) indictment of Goldman Sachs.

Goldman Sachs packaged shit as securities and then sold the “securities” to their best customers and then took out insurance on the shit already planned to fail in the mortgage business. It says a lot about the moral state of the money changers and money lenders in our midst in our day.

Goldman Sachs fraud case stunning in its indictment of Wall Street culture

In an appropriate metaphor to explain the current indictment at Goldman Sachs:
Described another way, Paulson handpicked sick, diseased pigs to be made into sausage, then bet millions that the resulting sausage would make people sick. Goldman, for its part, made the poisoned sausage (and got paid), sold that sausage to its own unwitting customers (and got paid again), and. like Paulson, bet millions that those customers would get sick (and got paid yet again).
It says a lot about how criminal cartels whether they be drug lords in Columbia or Wall Street executives or even bishops of holy mother Church.

The words “criminal cartel” came to mind with the reading of this article below about how a Vatican bureaucrat Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos sent a letter of praise to a French Bishop for his harboring and hiding a priest rapist from the wrath of the public and civil law. Cardinal Hoyos had also orchestrated the return of the Piux X cult last year, tricked another cardinal into signing off on it. You remember Richard Williamson, the rabid anit-Semitic bishop of that cult?

French bishop lauded for shielding priest
The Sept. 8, 2001 letter from Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, then the head of the Vatican office in charge of priests, praised bishop Pierre Pican for risking prison time to defend the Rev. Rene Bissey.

French Catholic publication Golias published a copy of the letter on March 30. The Vatican has faced accusations of secrecy that allowed priests to rape and molest children unchecked for decades.
Of course after 2001, that bureaucracy no longer had charge of priests and priests issues such as buggery. That the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith (for centuries called the Office of the Inquisition) under Cardinal Ratzinger could and did change the pro-priest, anti-people corporate culture in a snap of his fingers. Yeah right.

It does takes time for large corporations to change a corporate culture. It takes years, perhaps decades, and not mere months to change centuries old secret hidden traditions attached to celibacy and the like. I say hidden in that denial of a problem and its constant cover-up for centuries is an embedded problem when brought to light in a modern age of human rights and enlightenment.

Which bring me to another article that when I read it I was struck by the thought of how the RC corporation was able to shift pedo-priests all over the globe and back again.

AP: Priests accused of abuse shuffled around globe
"The pattern is if a priest gets into trouble and it's close to becoming a scandal or if the law might get involved, they send them to the missions abroad," said Richard Sipe, a former Benedictine monk and critic of what he says is a practice of international transfers of accused and admitted priest child abusers. "Anything to avoid a scandal."

Church officials say that in some cases, the priests themselves moved to another country and the new parish might not have been aware of past allegations. In other cases, church officials said they did not believe the allegations, or that the priest had served his time and reformed.
That with hundreds of priests helped in their escape from civil justice for crimes against children that there must be some central inquiry board within the Vatican to advise where there is a desperate need for priests in the various parishes of the planet. If not that, then there must some paid consultants that for a fee will advise a bishop as to where to apply for the export of troublesome priests out of their diocese.

In any case, the advice recently of the pope for Christians to pray for repentance of their sins in reference to this pedo-scandal of its pedo- priests and pedo-protecting bishops, why do I have to pray for the pope’s and his crony bishops’ many, many, many sins?

Criminal cartels – Goldman Sachs – Columbia drug lords – RC bishops and “celibate” buggering priests – the world is indeed full of evil. Beware!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Jezus van Nazaret - the Movie - Verhoeven



Here some meat and potatoes and looking for an interesting movie about the life of Jesus and his teachings. Dutch director and author Paul Verhoeven intends to make a movie out of his book Jezuz van Nazaret.

Basic Instinct director plans film about Jesus
In an interview with MTV, the Dutch film-maker reveals that his newly-translated book Jesus of Nazareth, is intended as a staging post on the path to a movie version. Verhoeven wants to tell a story free from suggestions of miracles, and bereft of the crucifixion and resurrection scenes often seen in previous films depicting Jesus's life. The director prefers a humanist, scholarly approach, and will focus on his subject's ethical teachings….

Verhoeven says Jesus was a man who was consistently persecuted throughout his life, surrounded by enemies and forced to flee at every turn. Brushing off concerns over the negative attention his proposed film might receive from religiously-minded critics, he said: "Is it controversial? It's the truth."

The Dutchman is, perhaps unsurprisingly, not a fan of the most famous recent retelling of Jesus's final days, Mel Gibson's blockbusting The Passion of the Christ. Furthermore, he suggests that the crucifixion probably wasn't nearly such an appalling experience for its victim as the movie suggests…

"[Gibson] reduced it to two hours of suffering," complained Verhoeven. "The suffering of Jesus is not the important thing. It's terrible, but many people have terrible endings. Even with sicknesses that are so horrifying that crucifixion that took six hours is perhaps not even that important in comparison to what people have to go through, especially if they are wounded, lose limbs, whatever. Terrible things happen in the world. I think that's not the essence. The world is full of violence and terrible things. The whole universe is filled with disaster."
A modern view of Jesus for a modern global reality. Not a blood filled Mel Gibson medievalist fantasy tale.

I was especially surprised to see that this Dutch man is also a member of the Jesus Seminar. He obviously has the passion for a secular Christianity of the 21st century of our common global era.
Paul Verhoeven is a member of the Jesus Seminar. He is the only member who does not have a degree in biblical studies, although he graduated in mathematics and physics at the University of Leiden. Since he is not a professional biblical exegete, his membership in the Jesus Seminar has occasionally been cited by opponents of the Seminar as a sign that this group is less scholarly than it claims. On the other hand, some Jesus Seminar members were unhappy with Verhoeven's portrayal of Jesus as an eschatological prophet.

In 2007 Verhoeven authored the book Jesus of Nazareth (Dutch: Jezus van Nazaret) about the life of Jesus of Nazareth. The book reviews the ideas of Jesus of Nazareth and the alleged corruption of these same ideas over the last 2,000 years. The book may be a preparation for Jesus: The Man, a controversial film project about the life of Jesus. Verhoeven's book tells about the Jewish uprising against Roman rule and characterizes Jesus as terrorist. He rejects all supernatural happenings and miracles as unproved or unprovable. Marianna Sterk of the publishing house J.M. Meulenhoff said "Jesus of Nazareth: A Realistic Portrait," has been released in September 2008 in Dutch and will be published in English in April 2010 by Seven Stories Press. Wikipedia
Good luck in his modern refreshing telling of the Jesus story.

Arrest and Trial of Benedict XVI


Richard Dawkins calls for arrest of Pope Benedict XVI
RICHARD DAWKINS, the atheist campaigner, is planning a legal ambush to have the Pope arrested during his state visit to Britain “for crimes against humanity”.

Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens, the atheist author, have asked human rights lawyers to produce a case for charging Pope Benedict XVI over his alleged cover-up of sexual abuse in the Catholic church.

The pair believe they can exploit the same legal principle used to arrest Augusto Pinochet, the late Chilean dictator, when he visited Britain in 1998.
When I first saw this story a few days ago I was reluctant to comment. I think that a warrant or a bill of indictment should be prepared against the Holy See in some European or International Court. However, I would not think it prudent to pursue a trial for these recent felonies and cover-ups of felonies by the worldwide hierarchy of the RCC in general and the Vatican specifically, in the case of crimes against humanity – children.

I guess that being American I have come to accept the legal opinion of Obama that we cannot prosecute Dick Cheney and George Bush for war crimes and other crimes against humanity. Shame on us.

All crimes against humanity should be vigorously prosecuted no matter who commits them. It is the right and more importantly the moral thing to do. The secular global world has to take a stand on right and wrong as described in law and not be influenced by any mythical religious setting or context as in crimes committed in the Vatican

The fact that two well known atheists, Dawkins and Hitchens, are bellowing these charges against Benedict XVI and his thug bishops sounds a little too much like religious persecution. But then again over the centuries the RCC have burned enough atheists as heretics. Perhaps the Dawkins/Hitchens spiel is equal time and fair play.

Just imagine if only indictments were prepared in a legal court system in Europe. The pope would have to hide in his Vatican with protection of his armed guards in his palace in Rome like some Mafia Chieftain.

Dawkins/Hitchens claim that the Vatican is not a country. That Mussolini when he ceded political control to the Vatican in 1929 was merely respecting the turf of another warlord such as himself.

According to some opinion, the pope has no diplomatic immunity. The Vatican was denied official nation status at the U.N. in 1964 at the insistence of the U.S.. No doubt a crook like LBJ could smell another snake in the room with the Vatican trying to claim nationhood. As a permanent observer at the UN, the church has been able to wreck havoc on the planet with its medieval ideals of birth control forced onto a lot of UN programs.

But putting aside all the showmanship of Dawkins/Hitchens trying to sell more books etc, there is the base, the common little ordinary simple faithful that the RC hierarchy are totally unaware of and totally our of touch with. This base in the form of the Rev. James Scahill of St. Michael’s Parish in East Longmeadow, Massachusetts “called in a sermon last weekend for the pope to resign over the church's sexual abuse scandal.”

Priest calls for pope's resignation
Pope Benedict XVI has found himself tied to the crisis after news broke last month that 30 years ago, when he was an archbishop, he approved accommodations in his diocese for a priest accused of child sex abuse so the priest could undergo therapy.

The priest, who was not identified, was let go from church service in 2008, according to church officials in Germany.

"If he can't take the consequences of being truthful on this matter, his integrity should lead him, for the good of the church, to step down and to have the conclave of cardinals elect a pope with the understanding that the elected pope would be willing to take on this issue, not just in promise," Scahill said.
When you lose your base, you lose in politics. The papacy is – a political – and not a spiritual job position.

The scandal of failed CEO types running the Vatican continues.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

MLK Jr. National Memorial – A Dream nears Completion


I ran into a favorite blog of mine mentioning that today was the 40th anniversary of the May Day call from Apollo 13 as it approached the moon – “Houston. We have a problem”. The blog writer went on to say that anybody who could remember that event was “old”.

Well I am old by that standard but I through the electronic marvel of television can remember events of that era including Martin Luther King’s funeral. But better than that sad day, I remember the unbelievable charisma of Martin Luther King Jr. and his “I Have a Dream” speech delivered from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in August 1963. I watched it on a black and white TV in our living room. Young as I was I did not think that the things being talked about that day would happen in my lifetime but they did happen and are happening.

A great historic figure stood before us and then he was gone.

I thought this year that MLK Day lacked something. Perhaps a very real part of his dream has to do with having an African American President in the White House. This year I kinda felt MLK was drifting into the background of history.

When they finish his monument in about two years in Washington D.C., that is something I would like to see in person. I love the symbolism in the design of the man bound to, and coming out of, and being at the same time A Rock to lean on.

One of those annual anniversaries is upon us, of his death in April 1968.

Build The Dream (buildthedream.org) is reaching out for donations big and small to help finish this great monument to reflect the great legacy of this man. Please watch this beautiful and inspirational computer rendering of the envisioned finished monument and its surroundings.




(click start arrow, then click on screen to expand image)

Pass the word along please. – buildthedream.org -

Tarcisio Bertone, Vatican's Child Rape Expert

There is a lot of vitriol flowing around the RCC official coverup for decades on the crimes against children that went unrecorded in the civil secular law and also got forgotten on some dusty shelf in the Vatican waiting further instructions from idiots in drag.

Vatican tells bishops to report abuse cases to police
In an attempt to prove that the Vatican is heeding criticism of its handling of pedophile priests, the Holy See today issued detailed instructions to its bishops on how to report abuse to the police.

The short set of rules, published online in English, is an attempt to satisfy critics who have accused the Catholic church of covering up some of the dozens of abuse cases coming to light in the US and Europe. "Civil law concerning reporting of crimes to the appropriate authorities should always be followed," it states.
Part of a little and too late “transparency” Public Relations campaign in the midst of the meltdown of the Vatican’s (im)moral authority worldwide over sex abuse by its clergy. Some estimates put the last 50 year period in America alone at 4,000 abusive priests and as many as 100,000 victims. Others countries stats are no doubt similar.

In the recent hate campaign to deflect from this sex abuse scandal, a whole lot of the bathwater along with the baby has been tossed out as camouflage to hide behind. First it was the Jews!

Bishop 'blames Jews' for criticism of Catholic church record on abuse
A website quoted Giacomo Babini, the emeritus bishop of Grosseto, as saying he believed a "Zionist attack" was behind the criticism, considering how "powerful and refined" the criticism is.

The comments, which have been denied by the bishop, follow a series of statements from Catholic churchmen alleging the existence of plots to weaken the church and Pope Benedict XVI.

Allegedly speaking to the Catholic website Pontifex, Babini, 81, was quoted as saying: "They do not want the church, they are its natural enemies. Deep down, historically speaking, the Jews are God killers."
And of course in following with the Vatican’s secret foreign policy “Contemno vitium obviam populus diversus ordo” (hate crimes against people of different classes)(warning-sarcasm), Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone announces that the Gays did it. (from first article above)
As the guidelines were being issued, the pope's secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone risked new controversy by claiming that paedophilia was linked to homosexuality.

"Many psychologists and psychiatrists have shown that there is no link between celibacy and pedophilia but many others have shown, I have recently been told, that there is a relationship between homosexuality and paedophilia," he told a news conference in Santiago.
Hey Tarcisio, did you know that from my own experience and opinion, that perhaps 60% to 70% of the homophobes of this planet are the biggest closeted homosexuals?

So Tarcisio, you are like a child rape expert because you are like really gay???

(P.S. I like your shades dude.)

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Serial Predators vs. Pride of the Pope

I know that you may think I am harping on the Vatican Sex Abuse Scandal too much. I have come to put some things in perspective. I started down this road with articles being sent to me by a person who is a part time lay minister in prisons.

That person, though he never said it directly, probably would realize or hear that a lot of people in prison were abused as children – physically, mentally, sexually. That they were not all abused by the clergy but in civil lay institutions, family care, foster care. That the end result of abuse is in many cases a wasted life of God’s creation on this earth. That to minister to those with the message of hope and the words of hope in Jesus’ teachings is the little bit one can do and work with in ministering to those in prison. Jesus rocks.

All our lives are full of regrets and dead ends. But most of us have had a better break in life because we were not directly abused in our growing up to adulthood. Enough said.

Here is a comment from a victim, "Anne" (she has a name Joe), of the California “serial predator” Stephen Miller Kiesle of California. The victim is a woman – was a girl when abused. I suppose Bill Donohue at the Catholic League might question if she was raped by pulling out his handy Holy Guide to Rape with its point system and measurements of penetration to decide what really, really is rape.

Perhaps that little girl only got slapped around and fondled a few times which would not be a Catholic rape etc. (sorry for my bitterness regarding the inhumanity of the Catholic League and its campaign to erase this clergy sex abuse scandal in the RCC). Right now Bill Donahue’s Neanderthal logic and voice seems to be the only voice of the RCC in America.




It is too bad that the MSM has been gender neutral about the victims of these priests in the RCC. It took a loud mouth comedian like Roseanne Barr to point out the true nature and numbers of both boys and girls victimized in cooperation with the hack bureaucrat hierarchy of the church.

Which leads me to comment on how many American Catholic organizations are dumbfounded by the sheer lack of depth in the Vatican in addressing the church’s fucked up way of hiding crimes against humanity (children).

Lack of Vatican communications strategy on scandal baffles pope's U.S. defenders
Most American organizations facing such a barrage of negative news would long ago have pulled together a crisis management team and made top officials available for interviews to explain their point of view. But the Vatican said such an approach is too commercial for the Church to adopt. "We are not a multinational enterprise, this is clear," the Rev. Federico Lombardi, a Vatican spokesman, said in a telephone interview. "The normal situation of the Church and the Vatican is to help the people to understand the teachings of the Church and the documents of the pope and not to sell particular products."
Joe the Pope – Fire that asshole Rev. Federico Lombardi. Get your head out of your own ass and admit you made a mistake and start over. Fire dozens of crony bishops who facilitated these crimes to persist and fester.

If not – Joe the Pope – this whole thing reeks of Nixon and Watergate. It was not that Nixon did a great criminal thing, it was minor. It was the coverup that was major and brought down the most powerful political figure on the planet. Nixon’s sin was Pride.

Your sin too is Pride. I do not wish to see this scandal go on and on like Watergate. But if your pride is more important than the good of the People of God – the Church – then I hope there is air conditioning in hell and perhaps your roommate will be Dick Nixon.

You can both spend eternity lying to each other about how great you were in life and how what a rotten deal they dumped on you. Have a nice life.