Monday, July 12, 2010

GOP Hates Nature (and God)


I am not a tree hugger. But I do like to see trees. Would rather see trees than parking lots. Of this whole ecological disaster that the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has caused, I do not see words used like ecology – must be an old fashioned word. And as for Joe Barton apologizing to BP for supposedly being shaken down by godfather Obama – total bullshit.

I am picking on the GOP here because it more so than the Dems in this red states disaster - is a sign of God’s displeasure with man and man’s inept handling of nature. Do I believe that? No. But plenty others might if you look at man and his careless handling of God’s gift through nature. If you mismanage anything, someone has to be doing the mismanaging. Which brings me to the tangent of no accountability these days for managers – but that is another subject?

For the GOP to shrug it’s shoulders over New Orleans after Katrina leads me to believe how a ruined Gulf of Mexico means nothing to some politicians. It means nothing to future generations as well?

Makes you wonder how some pols GOP and Dems will shrug when we lose a city or two to terrorists. Tough luck. Where will my compaign contributions be coming from now?

Part of the reason civilization is in a downward trend may be because atheistic secularism does not count mankind in any economic or moral equations. God as the traditional parent of nature is also the traditional parent of moral codes. Hence, no God; no moral codes to live by. Think about it.

This is for all politicians but for the GOP more than most. If you do not like or care for nature - and assuming that God is the author of nature - One has to come to the clumbsy conclusion that if the GOP hates Nature as evidenced by recent performance in favor of British Petroleum over nature, then the GOP hates God as well.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

The Answer Man - Movie Review


Everybody seems to be searching for God in one way or another. Once you get passed the religion screen, God is a totally different realm of curiosity and wonder.

Ran into a film on cable TV that was shown at the Sundance Film Festival but has not yet made a commercial success of its showing. Give it time.

It is a study of life, of adults in the big city Philadelphia and their individual spin in the search and need for a definition or understanding of the God thing.

Arlen Faber wrote a best seller twenty years ago goes the plot. The bestseller is called “Me and God” and the author lives as a recluse in his downtown mansion only to be forced to interface at first with a chiropractor, he throws his back out, and a book store owner, out of rehab, and in desperate need to know why God lets certain things happen in people’s lives.

Arlen seems at first to know all the answers. Thus the title The Answer Man.

The Answer Man (2009)
 
The film is a bit on the light side with few grand dramatic moments. But that is okay. The film follows the subject matter in appropriate taste and attention to the topic.

Best to follow the storyline and explore with the characters their place in the universe and in their relationship to God. There is a series of situations and insights as to why the man, the author, should know everything because of these conversations with God.  These insights stand along side and in many ways match the general public’s hunger for the absolute answers to life.

Writer and Director John Hindman shows remarkable talent with his limited resume. Jeff Daniels, who is an unrecognized national treasure for his acting abilities, does Arlen to the T.

I highly recommend this movie on cable or DVD.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Bread and God

The man with answers has no answers. People assume that God has all the answers. Does he?

I got into a short but strange conversation by way of compter translation with a person who contacted me on Facebook, one of those social networking websites that wants you to show a lot of photos.

The person for some reason mentioned to me my love of God. I guess he saw the name of my blog This Cultural Chrisitian and assumed that I was a full believing Christian.

Anyway, the person on the contacting end also mentioned the word “Mafia”. I assumed he was responding to one of my favorite movies being The Godfather. I joined in the conversation via a translate function and well, I did not get into good communication with this person.

He thought The Godfather was an bad movie glorifying evil. He was right but I also thought it a classic and great work of cinematic art. In any case, I did not get much out of his French except the literal computer generated translated meaning of words. I also got the sense of how closed belief is on subjects related to God, and not knowing his religious beliefs.

His translated words to me said something like he wanted to talk about God and that I wanted to discuss bread. Thus the beginning of this discussion based on two different human beings thinking that they are looking at the same object or subject and two different people getting two separate translations of the same thing according to individual prejudice.

The bread referred to in this Internet conversation/translation was about the Wedding Cake in the movie and the one I bought from the same bakery in Staten Island that made the one in the movie. Ours was a bit smaller. I wished to express my own interface with scenes in the movie and the identification with visual sites I know from Staten Island and put in the film as labeled as Long Island etc..

But it, the conversation, was a good beginning. Do we talk about bread or God when we join together and talk about God?

The Our Father speaks of our daily bread. In reality the nitty gritty of life is not God but Bread.

God is intertwined with all living things. Bread is life. God is life. We are life.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Recipe with Love

My inspiration does not seem to make it to the page these days. Thoughts, ideas are full and get lost here trying to find a place on a blank page.

A thought this past night had me thinking about how what we do has an energy. If it is routine, the act may seem uninspired. If the act is inspired, maybe there is a different energy involved.

Fond of recipes for food, I think that what I lack in reproducing some family recipe is some missing ingredient that some relative put into the recipe. Sometimes, looking at it I am inspired to say that love went into the original recipe. Not that I cannot put my own love into something, I cannot reproduce the original energy of the original cook.

This is where several things come together and I think it has to do with energy and the lack of it sometimes coming through in the dry dead words on paper from the gospels etc.

That Jesus in saying love your neighbor could be thought as making it a dull rule unless the reader has that something extra like love or charisma and takes the message to heart and really wants to love his or her neighbor.

Then I realize how love can be a simple energy and how the gospels in some way could be coded. They made it a long way and through many handlers. The words to be as little children come to mind in order to enter the kingdom of heaven.

How often I have thought how the people in charge of some religions are nothing but bigoted cardboard cutouts. That they use Jesus to prop up their own inhumanity in their tired little corner of the universe.

Better to invest in simple belief than complicated literal belief in every word like the fundamentalists. The recipe may read the same two thousand years later but it does not have the energy of the original cook.

The challenge is to put our own mark and energy and love onto the words of Jesus when some parts of the old recipe seems a bit thin in modern times.

Monday, July 5, 2010

An Agnostic’s Right to Doubt

I may be taking this quote out of the context of the author’s original meaning in that I apply it to religious thinking. I have no doubt that in their day, the myths (stories) of Generals Moses, Constantine or Mohammed had a certain relevance within the context of the time and place originated.

But today is today. Give a guy a break. I have the right to doubt in the myths of the past. It is a right of belief and a right to belief in the private and public realm. It is a universal human right.

"Everyone has the right to doubt everything as often as he pleases and the duty to do it at least once. No way of looking at things is too sacred to be reconsidered. No way of doing things is beyond improvement."

— Edward De Bono (The Use of Lateral Thinking)

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Global Consensus and Tweet

How do you get motivated by the outside world these days?  The fools, in politics, religion, business in their ivory towers of our present civilization in decline remind me of the the children's story - the Emperor's New Clothes. The news is a bunch of presentations, wishful thinkings of the establishment accompanied by PR spin.

They want you to believe whatever it is that day. One thing I have heard in the past week that made me think had to do with the war in Afghanistan. One thought was that we could have come and gone a half dozen times in and out of the country should the Taliban return from their havens in Pakistan. Which leads to the question as to why we are still there?

Good question. I am not here to debate it. Except to say that the Taliban should be Pakistan’s problem as they can put a fence around them and watch them in Pakistan. The truth is that we want a fence around Pakistan and to watch them and their half dozen nukes that we allowed them or helped them build back in the days of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

It is all a awful lot of trouble to see who has a monopoly on the flow of energy through energy pipelines over the Asian landscape. Whether we spend an extra dime a gallon for gasoline to whoever controls the land over there would be a cheap tax to merely pick up and leave. It’s like nobody really believes in basic supply and demand economics as well as they preach it.  Besides, it is time to go Green!

Getting back to trickle down belief systems. The official party line truth with its PR spin is not what we in the streets believe. When you come right down to the tweet of the matter, the common consensus already has the skinny on Afghanistan like it has the skinny in the Vatican etc.. The people in the top of our civilization are in some sort of twilight world separated from reality.  A fool's paradise.

Reality may be manipulated at times but the tweet on the street right now is sweet in that it tells few lies about reality down here on the street.

Enough said.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Joe the Pope's Fading Star

In the all boy’s club of the Vatican and the need to protect the Party Line to the last female body, comes word of a shuffle up in some Vatican jobs of importance.

Cardinal Rino Fisichella who tried to infuse a dram of humanity into the child rape, abortion, excommunication fiasco in Brazil last year is no longer fit to appoint or make recommendations for the worldwide appointments of bishops – he is out. Rino gets to head up a new department that is supposed to fight secularization in Europe – a no win, possibly no show job just created by the fading Joe the Pope administration.

He is to be replaced by Canadian Cardinal Marc Ouellet, a man whose meteoric star rises of late, and who shows no mercy to the female body in quotes below:

This year, Ouellet provoked what the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation termed a "firestorm of criticism" when he told an anti-abortion conference in Quebec City that terminating a pregnancy was a "moral crime" even in rape cases. He said he understood that a sexually assaulted woman should be helped and her attacker held accountable. "But there is already a victim," he said. "Must there be another one?" – Guardian June 30
First a Pole, then a German, and the next pope will be a French Speaking Canadian? I thought the church was supposed to be universal as opposed to being “European”? When are we going to get that first African pope - 2087 A.D.???

Stylistically, visually, the pope’s pose on camera lately seems to be with the pope’s back to the camera- Time Magazine June 7, 2010 -a pose that suits what appears to be a very mediocre or failed pontificate totally out of touch with reality.

So it goes.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

In Search of Innisfree


IN SEARCH OF INNISFREE



In Innisfree upon the lake

Frosted in morning haze

There hides a shrine on magic isle

That misses the gaze of day.



In temple forgotten by time

An ancient secret abides

While slowly it sits

In calm and stately decay

Beneath faded gilt tiles of clay.



No lock bars the doors

Ready to open wide

No person but self

Can look inside to see

A secret true here reside

And touch a formless majesty.



Wherein doth lie

A sacred orb of light.

A center set firm and right.

By creator's quest

in search for inner sight.

Amid the threads

Of mortal tapestry.

-

(At a certain angle and with certain light and low lying clouds, I saw magic one day as I viewed the tops of three buildings in downtown Manhattan from a sixteenth story window. The Golden Boy on top of the old ATT building mixed with the wedding cake and gilt statues of the Municipal Services Building along with the temple looking top of the old Federal Court Building. They all seemed to be floating on an island cloud and I was reminded of some lines by Yeats. - 1978)

Sacred Orb of Light

Yeats in one of his famous poems, The Second Coming, states that “things fall apart; the center cannot hold”. I was taught in English class that those lines are allegorical regarding the Irish Revolution. Words can seem to mean many things.

In terms of present Christianity, things are falling apart, the center cannot hold.

Whatever the faith was or has been over the centuries, the faith cannot keep up with the modern age. In our own way, we are at odds with our modern culture on this side of the fence the same that Islam, on the other side of the fence, cannot deal with that same modern culture as well.

It might take some visualization with an oriental sense of energy to go beyond words. Picture a center, a ball of energy in front of us, and try to visualize where we are or could be in faith.

The atheists of late are deconstructionists. They deflate ancient myth and walk away triumphant without replacing ancient with new myth.

Is myth necessary in a modern age? Yes.

Myth offsets reality. Our nuclear age, our technological age, our computer age is as strange as nature was to our ancient ancestors. Without myths, civilization may have withered on the vine tens of centuries ago. Without myth, the randomness of possibilities decrease. How much myth though is too much myth? (Vatican City as an example.)

Myth can be a social glue. Social glue is necessary to a point. My own fear of Islam is looking at group-think and group-fast and wondering where is the individuality that has evolved in the west in conjunction with and in opposition to the church over these recent centuries? Individuality is a relatively new thing in the human culture’s scheme of things.

In terms of a deconstructed, reconstructed Christ to come out of many theology studies, what is the look of the new Jesus to meet the modern age? Jesus with a facelift is still Jesus?

I think we in every culture and individual corner of the globe have to decide what works in terms of the Jesus product, go with it as an instrument of salvation and live the kingdom of God here on earth in our time with or without the cooperation of the rest of the human race.

Back to Yeats, in my poem inspired by his, I reconfigured his “center” as a “sacred orb of light”. The sacred orb of light for all Christians, minimalists and maximalists is to visualize the crux of Jesus’s teachings as the means to touch the spark of God with out and with in ourselves.

More importantly than dogma, the energy of the divine spark, center, orb at work is the need to have the energy feel right to one’s self first and then in it’s relationship to others.

Love thy neighbor is no joke. It is the energy and glue of the universe – the All.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Nasty Jesus and the Jesus Sarcasm Seminar

"I come not to bring peace, but to bring a sword" (Gospel of Matthew 10:34)

I find it amazing how with all the Jesus Seminar type dissection of the New Testament in this decline or downside of historic Christianity that nobody has ever suggested that maybe some of the remarks, stories, parables were the hidden message of a radical revolutionary that said "I come not to bring peace, but to bring a sword" (Gospel of Matthew 10:34).

Maybe there were hidden messages too in Saint Paul when he said to obey civil authority like maybe his jail keepers were standing over the fence listening to his courtyard conversations while he was under house arrest in Rome.

And maybe, just maybe, Jesus had a dark Yiddish (way before Yiddish) sense of humor when he said things like turn the other cheek or love your neighbor. Maybe he was being sarcastic in a number of times and places that memory and oral history does not accurately translate to us in the written word.

Maybe “turn your cheek” or “love your neighbor” was not always verbatim and literal for Holy Man/Revolutionary Jesus.

Though it is a relief to think that Jesus was more human and capable of hate towards the Romans and their stooges in the Temple crowd of lackey priests paid for by the Romans.

I ran into my friend Paul Erland’s story of Jesus and the demons and the swine (Mark 5:1-20) on Facebook.

Turning Swine into Water

Paul, who I would rate as a militant Agnostic is the person from which I originally heard the above Matthew quote in an essay. I also think I misread that essay and started this blog as a reaction. In a way, I like agnostics much better than bully atheists who seem to know it all and in particular, Hitchens, Rushdie, Dawkins come to mind.

Anyway, the passage of taking demons out of a man and putting them into pigs and then sending 2000 of them into the sea seems a passage that most pastors take literally in a modern age and totally skip any hatred that militant, nasty and possible hate filled Jesus had toward the Romans – the gang that eventually killed him.

Is there a Jesus Sarcasm Seminar going on anywhere I wonder??? Can I join?

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Julia Sweeney - Boring Atheist?


She is touted as a comedian, considering her performances as a staff member on Saturday Night Live, and she definitely has the gift of the gab.

I sat through 3/4 of a movie “Letting Go of God” (2008) by Julia Sweeney on cable yesterday. Maybe it was the weather – the heat- that made me change the channel or was it the same old catholic school day stories? I wanted to hear an atheist’s point of view but only to a point.

Letting Go of God
 
It was a monologue stage production thing. One voice and so many stories and with a decidedly female “Chick Flick” attitude or spin on the subject matter.

Amidst a lot of interesting dissections of the Old and New Testament were interesting stories but really it was a deconstruction of Ms. Sweeney’s life and travels through religion, spirituality and into atheism.

In a way Atheism is Intelligent Design for non-believers. Atheism is boring. Boring like freshman high school chemistry, first period lab, with the lingering smell of ammonium sulfide embedded into the woodwork. The scientific approach to prove that there is no God is not science not unlike Intelligent Design and its weird science.

I worry sometimes when clichés become the facts or basis of facts in any conversation and with a ready audience ready to giggle and applaud on cue. Individuality and atheism seems to go hand in hand. That and a large income. A custom designed religion of nothing for the intelligent nobody. No name calling please.

Ms. Sweeney’s monologue droned on and on. Things I heard and agreed with. Things that only a non-believer believes.

Not my cup of tea. I do not recommend the flick except to doubters who want and need a long litany of middle class mediocre chuckles.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Non-Accountability – The American Disease?

I am looking at the news and the families of American servicemen killed in Kunar in 2008 are looking for an answer from the Pentagon as to why their sons died needlessly building an indefensible base. The Pentagon has charts and answers and one mother wanted to know why there is no accountability regarding this matter.

Priests can molest children indiscriminately worldwide for decades and there still is no measurable accountability regarding these matters.

Where and when on a timeline did Non-Accountability begin to have the edge over standards, common sense and become the moral pejorative?

Is this global? Is this local? When did cause and effect disappear from the laws the physics in the human realm of things? Is this the first thing MBAs get taught in school?

I do not know except to suspect that it is a sign of the collapse of civilization. The dam has broke so to speak and we a few miles down the canyon have not yet met the wall of water rushing toward us.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Islam’s New Market Share in the West

It has been almost a decade since the veil that surrounds America and its myopic walled in culture got a heavy dose of exposure from the outside world with the attack on the World Trade Center in New York City.

New York City used to be a domestic American town. Manhattan in particular is now an international city competing with other international cities like Hong Kong, Tokyo, London. Lead towns on the globe in a global culture. America may be the premier military power but it is frayed around the edges in regards to education, infrastructure and spiritual enlightment.

The indirect cause of a great deal of global media exposure has given Islam a market share of the attention of what is going on internationally even if they stopped teaching geography decades ago and no doubt originating in a crooked Texas Book Deal. Texas? Books? Where have I heard that before? Oh yeah. JFK.

Anyway, now that Islam has market share on the eyelevel sales position in a religion/spiritual candy store, no big deal. One religion is as good or as bad as the next. No criticism intended here.

Christianity in a down turn needs a few good salesmen to maintain present market share. The percentage of market share held in the west in the past is not likely to be recaptured. Where is the next Saint Paul?

Religion and spirituality have been given a good long look at and quite frankly, it is time for some other global focus to begin. Perhaps the climate or energy would be a good global start of refocus for the human race of the future.

In terms of the various regional religions that go with geography, when in Rome, do as the Romans. Nobody has a monopoly on God and or the rightness of their personal or national beliefs.

The energy of the expansion of Islam into Europe and America and a flurry of frenzied Mosque building is a good thing. It wakes up the monks asleep at the bell towers of near deserted or empty churches not turned yet into quickie-marts or retail outlet stores.

The evil started at the WTC on 911 was wasted. The American people and the human race are good people. Political winds masked as Jesus or Mohammed have their times and places. Their times have moved on.

What next?

Saturday, June 26, 2010

How much belief is belief enough?


Some religions keep adding things onto their long lists of rituals and beliefs. Some things may be necessary as a better explanation of things past but more likely another and another layer of belief is all what some religions eventually become - a warehouse of old ideas.

I am reminded about how the number of pieces of flatware in a bride to be’s hope chest grew to 146 items in the 1920’s. The burden of one more special fork for olives or sardines and the expense drove proposed legislation to limit the number of flatware pieces sold to 55 items. How many forks do you need? How many prayers do you need to try to be spiritual within a belief system? How much belief is belief enough?

Without predicting what a global world looks or feels like in 50 to 100 years in terms of religion, the likely book on the topic will come from someone stationed in space or on a lunar colony for a few years. That person will measure the practical of everyday faith of a mixed culture in the colony and measure it against the need of the three basic necessities of water, calories and oxygen. Perhaps in such an environment, God and or faith will be considered a fourth necessity or maybe even primal.

I have never seen any UFOs. Our culture against an advanced one is likely to lose from a technology point of view of any real encounters. From a human POV, maybe merging of ideas will only form wider avenues as pathways to enlightenment.

Perhaps we are too young since the last ice age to see or fathom that the stagnation of religions, or their real functions as yet undefined, over time is cyclical. That when we go beyond earth, carry our faith(s) with us and they polish themselves against other unknown as yet beliefs, maybe the simple faiths of earth will prove to be polished gems amidst the background of the universe.

The efforts some writers are making suddenly to live and let live and say that there can be little common ground to share or change the world through many religions, these efforts are perhaps a bit premature.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Conversational God in a Global Culture

As I no doubt repeat things in this blog that go to or evolve into a theme, one such theme is how we all do not talk the same talk.

That in terms of God, personal or other wise, or our perception of such, we all harken back to standard cardboard cutouts of what God should be, is, could be. Those cardboard cutouts can also be pasted onto storyboards for a planned theatrical play or movie of an idea.

To the point. God in conversation does not equal what each of us thinks or feels when the concept of the Deity is at hand. We have come a long road in terms of individualism over the centuries. Short of losing our personal freedoms or sense of such, we build a wall or a box around our own personal view of the universe.

God is in most cases not the real object of anger in atheists so much as it is hatred of some religion or bad religious experience that equated God with the religion.

God is God; man is religion.

In trying to express ourselves outward to the world and in trying to accept incoming expression from others, the cacophony of noise is like a Tower of Babel at times in terms of mutual understanding.

Now that God, one God is part of a Jewish view, welded to a Christian view, and coming together with a Muslim view of one God in the present and coming global common culture, we have to be aware of the difficulty it is to express what is inside ourselves and expect respect in return for our view from others, especially when what we say and think about God or religion does not easily gel with another’s concept of the same thing within themselves.

There is a need for a search for common ground. There is a need for an update of phrases and phraseology.

A surface culture, a conversational culture, a default culture around God centuries old and in many aspects both valid and at the same time obsolete surrounds us.

Best comparison is a foreign film with great acting, directing, good writing and a first rate translation in words below the screen. Verbal overlay translations don’t do it for me. If the film is French, it is French and I don’t want an American accent coming out of the mouths of the screen actors.

How we work toward a more uniform and loving global conversational God for all faiths and non-believers as well is just one challenge of living in a global culture.

Think about it.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Proposed Mosques


Whether seen or unseen, American immigrants usually bring their religious brand with them as culture. While Muslim is not a typical immigrant category except by religion, the uniqueness and difference from standard European Christian religions stands out when any immigrant brings their religion like Islam with them.

The Vietnamese come to mind. They were different in looks and they started to gather in clusters at various points around the United States after their Diaspora from Vietnam. Close to twenty three percent of Vietnamese Americans are Roman Catholic. It was not their religion that possibly made them stand out when they settled in a Midwestern town, it was their skin color.

News begets news and a Mega Mosque in Tennessee is now being plagued by protests. The mosque viewed above is proposed for Cologne Germany. Architecture worth looking at can house any religious belief system.

Small Town Residents Boycott 'Mega' Mosque
Several residents in the small community of Murfreesboro, Tenn., are outraged over plans to build what some are calling a "mega" mosque.


About 600 people recently crowded a county commission meeting at the Rutherford County Courthouse, urging officials to reject site plans for the mosque. Residents say the proposal for building the 52,000-square-foot center south of Murfreesboro was never put in a public notice.

"I think we're very disappointed in the fact that that you did not give us ample notice," one resident told city officials.

"I'm sorry. [Muslims] seem to be against everything that I believe in and so I don't want them necessarily in my neighborhood spreading that type of comments," Stan Whiteway, another mosque opponent, said.
In any case, mosques are here to stay. They are part of the great American Immigrant dream thing.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

McChrystal Palin 2012


When an Army General has too much time on his hands, in other words he is not managing like 80% of the CEOs worldwide and in America, then he has time to sit around and chew the fat, and consider a run for Prez in 2012.  It is not like the American public knows the difference between a pig in a poke and a real general anymore!!!

Sarah Palin/Ketchup - Rand Paul/Mustard - and miracles


When you have a tea party you usually serve petite sandwiches already seasoned with butter etc.

A-mericans and tea partys are not the norm and they are more into barbecue.

As such I have made a mental note to discount anything Sarah Palin or her evil little twin brother Rand Paul says. Discounting cucumber sandwiches with moose burgers sounds about right. And the only logical condiment for moose burger is Ketchup or Mustard.

Am making a mental tweet to myself that Sarah is Ketchup and Rand is Mustard. It just makes any ludicrous thing they say to get attention a little easier to get down.

Sarah’s tweet on Sunday was world class and typical of her proposed management techniques if elected president.

Gulf disaster needs divine intervention as man's efforts have been futile. Gulf lawmakers designate today Day of Prayer for solution/miracle
Did a miracle happen and I missed it on Sunday???

Man-made disasters belong in the realm of mankind to resolve. Sarah isn’t even president and she is already blaming God for not coming through with a miracle to cover her lack of basic management skills. The best is yet to come with that twit and her tea party brother twat.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Half-assed Shahzad finally decides what he is???


I absolutely hate half-assed human beings who can build a half-assed bomb to kill hundreds of strangers in Times Square, spill his guts without even being “water boarded” and then get religion to justify and cover up the fucked actions of his short life.

Islam as a pale copy of Judeo Christianity – Monotheism Lite – and occupies a unique place in history. If you have a problem in Pakistan, you blame the Americans, kill the Americans and then don’t understand why Americans don’t give a shit about a secular/religion that doesn’t work on many levels that applauds violence exported to America.

The Dysfunctionality of Islam and exporting it abroad has its parallel in the Christian Crusades into the so-called Holy Land hundreds of years ago.

Times Square car bomb suspect pleads guilty in NYC

Calling himself a "Muslim soldier," a defiant Pakistan-born U.S. citizen pleaded guilty Monday to carrying out the failed Times Square car bombing, saying his attack was the answer to "the U.S. terrorizing ... Muslim people."


Wearing a white skull cap, Faisal Shahzad entered the plea in U.S. District Court in Manhattan just days after a federal grand jury indicted him on 10 terrorism and weapons counts, some of which carried mandatory life prison sentences. He pleaded guilty to them all…

"It's a war. I am part of the answer to the U.S. terrorizing the Muslim nations and the Muslim people" he said. "On behalf of that, I'm revenging the attack. Living in the United States, Americans only care about their people but they don't care about the people elsewhere in the world when they die."
I suspect he will be handed over in some hostage exchange in the near future. I suspect the Federal Government and the Oligarch Corporations running America into the ground are that weak now in world history. Look at it. Obama, Tony Hayward in charge and Half-Assed Muslim soldiers like Faisal Shahzad, we are all in danger of collateral damage of all their half-assed efforts these days.

Watch your back!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

John Linton – Universalist Friend - Obituary


”John Linton did not believe that any single religion had a monopoly on truth.”

John Linton

For my friend John Linton, who has died aged 99, India – and especially Mahatma Gandhi – was a major influence. In 1978, convinced that no one religion has a monopoly of truth, and inspired by his experience in India of meetings in which Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs and Christians worshipped together in Quaker silence, he founded the Quaker Universalist Group.
I thought I would pass this along. It would seem that the Guardian Obit is the only one printed for this man. Other obits are copies or excerpts of that one obituary.

Not much detail. Devil in the detail you know. I saw it and sent it to a friend into Universalism. I knew of Quakerism and I knew of Universalism. I did not know that the chocolate got mixed with the peanut butter so to speak in the form of John Linton.

The creation of one more tangent religion merits little or no news these days. The most profound religion of the last four hundred years, Quakerism/Friends, saw the need in the form of John Linton to merge into the Universal religion of the future. A belief, one that truly includes if not dogma, the spirit of man, in the spirit of the moment and sharing in silence the spirit of the Universe with out and with in.

Rest in peace John Linton.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

People of the Book - Jews, Christians, Muslims


“People of the Book” is a Muslim term to describe Judaism and Christianity and it is in reference to the OLD and NEW testaments.

In truth Muslims are also People of the Book which is the Koran, Quran or whatever flavor of the month English spelling it has lately.

The term came about in a time when Islam was still a verbal religion and before it had to be written down shortly after the death of Mohammed for fear that oral tradition would break down or disappear.

In this sense the People of the Book – Jews, Christians, Muslims share a possibly confusing term that is obsolete once you look at the facts.

Looking at the decline of Christianity in the west, I see the lack of reinforcement of the words and practices of the Book dying out. With the closing of my Catholic High in Philly, it is funny how they think that without grade schools, high schools, nuns, and a real, not a virtual, sense of community that it as a faith can survive. Faith cannot survive solely on the words, ink, of a bible or catechism that is hoped will one day to be revived during some decade in the future.

Christianity or parts of it are dead. Dead like the language Latin. The definition of a dead language is not that the original users are dead. The definition of death in a language occurs when no new words or meanings are rendered to the language. The language is no longer living or evolving in a positive direction.

In a sense you cannot mix apples with oranges in any accounting of things. If language is an apple then the written ink version of language transposed onto paper is an orange.

While the language is alive, the oral and written words are fruit. Once a culture dies, nothing in the translation of a dried up orange will ever give you the flavor of an apple.

The Nag Hammadi Gospels are only translations of words. The dynamics, energy of the original spoken word is lost in any present translation.

Peoples of the Book, Jews, Christians, Muslims may look at the dynamics or the number of new churches or mosques that get built at any time or in any place. Without a sense of community and a flow of growth in the belief system, People of the Book are just not alive. They are lost - without true community, true brotherhood and a shared hope of a better future for all the People of the Book.

It is not a matter to inspect the strength of the branches of the tree of life. It is the overall health of the tree of life that determines the health of the branches.

The global culture, the global reality puts a unique and as yet undefined essence into all religious faiths. That essence is how does it continue to be a living belief system of a system also recorded in a book - without being possibly dead like Latin at the same time.

God and other imaginary thoughts

Many believers in the Deity take on non-believers in debates that range in all sorts of the “intelligent” design arguments that goes something like – who do you think created all this?

Nature created all this I fear. And invention of toilet paper and flush toilets are not the ultimate intelligent proof of “God”.

Interesting thing about this whole “God” thing is how the Deists and the Theists have let a concept out there for three centuries in which God is distant (deism) or God is up front and in your face (theism). The universe or more accurately man’s perception of the universe is much more intense and diverse that it was three hundred years ago.

If the distant God of Deism of three hundred years ago was sitting on some obscure star in some church mural, he is now by default very much more close in the abundance of scientific knowledge pushing him in closer amidst all the other info in the scientific portfolio.

God if valid is no longer able to be distant in the modern world.

So too, God in your face and Theistic is a bit too much when you give God credit for all that “charmin”.

Which leaves me in the argument with anybody who wants me to believe in their personal god, I have to say that the concept of an unseen entity in our midst is plausible if only in our imagination. Which brings me to something quite silly. But let’s face it, somethings of our childhood linger on and one such thing is imagination.

Writing about English artist and poet William Blake a little while back made me realize how the simple, the imaginative, the creative, the real gets dragged and or beaten out of us in the phase and change from childhood to adulthood. Oh, the pity of it.

In any case, in any argument about the existence of a mono-theistic deity gets shrouded in my thought process because of my silent, good listening, childhood imaginary friend. What was his name? Oh yeah. I called him God.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

arizona – Zonies out of Control!


Arizona is a right to work state. That means that you are not allowed to form a union to get livings wages. So, in truth, Arizona is a right to have no unions state that has nothing to do with workers or their (yuck!) rights.

After a searing immigration bill and a ethnic cleansing no ethnic history taught law, now the good rock hard white people of Arizona want to take citizenship away from the children born on American soil but who happen to also be the children of illegals.

This get all the hatred off your Deseret Constitution mindset is one born of frustration regarding the broken borders that the national government and the Versailles federal government has let slip for decades out of its control. No national energy policy, no immigration reform, no full reregulation of the banks sets the background noise as the people of Arizona attempt to make poor hateful laws to express both their frustrations, prejudices and their seeming lack of compassion to the rest of humanity outside "The Zone".

I lived and worked in the poor state of Arizona which seems to worship Conestoga wagon wheels more so than people not native to the harsh and bitter desert landscape. Something about bitter desert landscape and an eye for an eye that seems to go together like apple pie and ice cream but only out west in a mirage.

As a church eleder, I was witness to a Mexican couple who dropped their kid here on this side of the border and I saw them get a section 8 five bedroom house for the anchor baby and all its many brothers and sisters already in existence (and previously illegal). When I met these people they were simple, honest and hard working. After they got their Cadillac treatment from the welfare system, they lost more than just their souls in the process. Beware of winning the lottery.

The law proposed by Arizona is definitely unconstitional. Arizona is engaged in election years politicking to engage the masses and give bread and circus instead of good sound government. Jan Brewer will sell her soul to actually get elected to the office Governor instead of being the default Governor that inherited the job when the previous Governor went to Washington.

Glad I don’t live in Arizona anymore. The “Zonies” are out of control I think.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Avatar vs. Limited Visions of Warlords


Warlords reshape people, territory, wealth, and loyalties according to their vision of a more perfect world – more perfect because the warlord thinks himself  to have more total control which is a dillusion.

I finally got to see the movie Avatar and was bored. All the hype and it was just a blue tinted rerun of hundreds of cowboy and Indian movies I have seen all my life.

All the fearful rhetoric from the church about “pantheism” and the worship of nature was overstated. While nature is worth restudying and in some ways reconnecting to in this plastic present world, it will never return us to the awe and importance it had in the hearts of our ancestors.

Putting the movie aside, I jotted a few notes while watching it.
Can you imagine a new world that nature created in the form of Pandora?

A new exotic uncorrupted world. North America with its virgin forests back. Cut down a forest. Plant a farm. New plants, new foods, new insights.

Goddess. It must be something fearful in that name. Mention of a goddess brings fear into hearts of the man-made religion of the Roman Army. Lack of a penis is potential for a heart.

Eywa. Network of energy. Thought provoking for a brain dead humanity numbed by hundreds of channels of cable TV, cell phones, Blackberries, Ipads etc. etc. etc.

Borrowed energy. You have to give it back. Perhaps the church knows that it has borrowed energy from all the faithful through the ages and are at present not using that energy wisely. The contract, or covenant made with God is on shaky ground. In the past the faith ran itself and a few princes got fat on the results of hard work by those of the faith. Now the princes are all fat and corrupt and there seems to be more princes than faithful.

The movie Avatar’s script is simple, contrite, predicable – cliché. Cameron knows how to bake a good puff pastry.

It is not so much mono-god – one god, so much as it is one Warlord or mono-warlord (corporation) and his demand that you believe in his personal god (and quarterly statement).

A hostile place can also be a place of beauty. A sacred tree scares the shit of the church. It thought that it had burned all the forests down centuries ago in terms of the Celtic belief in such things centered around nature and trees.

Civilizations rise and fall. So too for blue people on distant planets. Better to die in battle than live a thousand generations trapped in the dream of the Warlord’s personal vision.

Better to have a vision of your own…
I suppose in the overall scheme of things, and on a timeline, mono-warlordism has been a way to unite tribes under one title or one faith. As the world shrinks I can only see conflict as the unique visions of the warlords Moses, Constantine and Mohammed try to gel together.

Better to be a frog on a lily pad than want to help various Mono-Theistic faiths find fictional common ground.

In the spirit of Avatar, this Unitarian type believer sees the simple faith of the Native Americans, and their forgotten culture as a good and simple belief system. It is right to thank animals that we eat, for their sacrifice. It is right to stay in balance and not take more than we need. And in the end a happy Hunting Ground to go to when we die.

Not much of a faith, but it is my vision that counts and not that of any unholy warlords whose ghosts still haunt our global culture.