Monday, July 26, 2010

Wikileaks – Living in a Non-Secret World


Putting aside the recent revelations of a failing war in Afghanistan, the organization Wikileaks :

is an amorphous, international organization, based in Sweden, that publishes anonymous submissions and leaks of sensitive documents from governments and other organizations, while preserving the anonymity of their sources. Its website, launched in 2006, is run by The Sunshine Press. The organization has stated it was founded by Chinese dissidents, as well as journalists, mathematicians, and start-up company technologists from the U.S., Taiwan, Europe, Australia, and South Africa.

Wikileaks states that its "primary interest is in exposing oppressive regimes in Asia, the former Soviet bloc, Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East, but we also expect to be of assistance to people of all regions who wish to reveal unethical behavior in their governments and corporations."

Wikileaks went public in January 2007, when it first appeared on the Web. The site states that it was "founded by Chinese dissidents, journalists, mathematicians and start-up company technologists, from the US, Taiwan, Europe, Australia and South Africa". The creators of Wikileaks were unidentified as of January 2007, although it has been represented in public since January 2007 by non-anonymous speakers such as Julian Assange, who had described himself as a member of Wikileaks' advisory board and was later referred to as the "founder of Wikileaks". Source: Wikipedia ( no relation to Wikileaks )
Not since the “Pentagon Papers” got released during the Vietnam War has so much negative real information been dumped into the public sphere. It takes a free press in free countries to disseminate all this “secret” information. With close to a million people in the U.S. government priviledged to “Top Secret” information clearance, the Federal Government is a sieve. Anybody on the planet that wants the info can find it.

With the power of the computer, Internet and free press, there are no secrets left to be hidden in our growing global culture. The big task now is in getting governments to bend to logic and truth and to end wars that even Alexander the Great could not win.

A.S. – Age of the Secular - 1961


Looking as I do at two totally different things and finding a thought, I have decided that 1961 A.D., C.E. was the first year in the Age of the Secular in the Eastern United States.

I remember the beginning date/year of the Cherry Hill Mall in New Jersey. I visited there as a child on a Sunday no less, but after church. Cannot remember if the mall had officially opened yet or it was gearing up in its final stages of preparation.

It still had work to do on odds and ends of its interior. I remember plastic covers on a window of an unfinished store. One of the big anchor stores was Strawbridge and Clothier, stalwart pillar of the age old “carriage trade” in Philadelphia, where my aunt worked.

It would have been all grand to visit inside these stores but it was Sunday and no business was allowed as I remember in this new mall on this sacred Christian day.

That must have been the last time the stores in a Mall in America were closed on what is now considered a busy premier, weekend secular sales day – Sunday.

Cherry Hill Mall
Cherry Hill Mall opened on October 11, 1961. At the time, it was the largest mall in the nation and the first enclosed, climate-controlled mall in the Eastern United States.
People were strolling about looking at the new stores and the idea of an enclosed shopping space connecting stores simply fascinated everyone. The one lively thing in the whole open, not for sales, interior space was a huge Parrot in its giant cage on the walkway, sitting as something of a pet, showpiece or simply living piece of art and chewing on sunflower seeds. Rather a dull bird, white and gray, and limited language. Cutting edge entertainment at the time.


Funny how memory roles out in time.

The date of the Age of Secular depends on different people and different geographic places but my suggested start date on a timeline is 1961 – First Year A.S. - (zero) 0 A.S..

I cross reference this with the then in progress or upcoming Vatican Council around 1961. The Church was going one way and the rest of the capitalist world was headed into an entirely different direction. Bad/Good timing?

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Globish World


There is a small amount of words used as a new working business English called Globish. Globish stands for global and English.

I saw this on PBS last night. Wikipedia is split between two branches of the new language.

Globish (Nerriere)
Globish is a subset of the English language formalized by Jean-Paul Nerriere. It uses a subset of standard English grammar, and a list of 1500 English words. According to Nerriere it is "not a language" in and of itself, but rather it is the common ground that non-native English speakers adopt in the context of international business.
And:

Globish (Gogate)
Globish is an artificial language created by the Indian Madhukar Gogate using the English language and simplifying it. It was presented to "Simplified Spelling Society" of Great Britain in 1998. According its creator, it can be considered an artificial dialect of the English language, proof of the possibility of simplification of orthography and pronunciation of standard English.
With a limited vocabulary of approximately 1500 words and many connected to business terms, the world has a crude common language. Don’t know if this is good or bad toward the global cultural model but it is step in that direction. But you get the idea. FYI.

Friday, July 23, 2010

A New Global Future Priced at $35


The idea is not new. It has industrial models to draw upon.

Potentially, the way the whole human race sees itself will have profound effects into the future. This modern adaption of the computer to put in every person on the planet’s hands triggers an immeasurable amount of possibilities.

Computers have freed us from useless labor and ripped the heart out of the West’s traditional middle classes. The ability to use some of the tasks listed below is a smell of the future. Why does this idea and concept happen in India and not China? Good question? I don’t know.

Certainly India’s new middle class will expand faster than China’s class system and its recent industrial progress? Friction or cooperation is on future political and economic menus?

Individuals will now have more opportunity to define themselves against a global norm of other peoples and cultures. Peoples and cultures in some areas will dissolve away into a Global category of all things human.

Is this part of Intelligent Design and or the chaos of evolution making new species?

India's $35 PC is the Future of Computing
The Indian prototype is impressive--especially at a $35 price point. The device runs on a variation of Linux. It has no internal storage, but it is capable of storing data on a memory card. It has a built in word processor, video conferencing capabilities, and--most importantly for a cloud-based workforce--a Web browser. Oh--it can also run on solar power.


At $35, the Indian tablet is virtually disposable--far exceeding the $100 laptop developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and used in the non-profit One Laptop One Child program. In fact, in many ways the $35 tablet also makes the $500 iPad seem significantly over-priced.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Jolie and Pitt get Serious about Religion

Is this a novel approach? It certainly is global in scope if you want your children to take a possible interest in religion. A famous couple is doing just that with their many children.

I do not normally post all of another’s article. But I found this story fascinating.

Jolie and Pitt get Serious about Religion
ANGELINA JOLIE and BRAD PITT encourage their six kids to show interest in all religions - but refuse to steer them towards any particular faith.                                             
The actress has revealed the family library is stocked with religious books and the couple never misses an opportunity to take the kids to places of worship all over the world.

Jolie tells Parade magazine, "Brad and I are raising our children to respect everyone. We have a bookshelf in the house that has the Bible, the Torah, the Koran, everything.

"We will take our children to church, temple, Buddhist ceremonies, Mosques, teaching them about all faiths. Whatever religion they choose, the choice will be theirs."

And the movie star insists religion is very important - because to some of the most desperate refugees she has met on her travels, it's the only thing they have left.

She adds, "I respect all religions. What I don't respect is when people use religion to attack others. I've met people across the world, in the middle of nowhere, who are just trying to survive and all they have is religion. In some way it helps them, and I wouldn't take it away from them." (KL/LAFR/MT)
Somethings you just do not expect but are sometimes pleasantly surprised by.

God is God is God

No matter what you name it or how you perceive it, God is God.

Speaking to an old friend, who had been in the hospital some time ago - She related the story about how some of her friends wanted to have their elders or ministers bless her in the hospital room.

Sounds innocent enough but first came blessings from Mormons, then from a Lutheran minister and finally from the Catholics. One nurse saw this and wondered why and how so many blessings from different groups.

Why was answered with the response about not wanting to disappoint friends and their good intentions.

How was answered with words that no matter what or how you call it – “God is God is God”.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

God and Absolute Zero

It is so many degrees down to absolute zero 0-K that the universe operates on in terms of temperature. Zero Kelvin is something like -459F. At those temperatures there is little life and yet as evidence unfolds, life exists on all levels and in all dimensions of the universe.

Speaking of zero, going down to zero in life is a bit of a scary thought to me. Zero in language also communicates the absence of something. In fact, nothing.

So when going down to zero in talking about God and or religion, it is easy to eliminate religion, it is man made. But God and or the author of the universe is far from zero in any concept, scientific or mathematically. There is definitely something out there.

I am not aiming at Creative or Intelligent Design, the very terms cannot measure up to the sheer mystery of the concept of God.

It is difficult to think of God in the secular world that surrounds us. The opposite of western culture would be a theocracy and we been there, done that, and it does not work.

The human culture’s biggest task I think is to seek balance with an intelligent concept such as God, of laws, of morals, of tradition and balance them in the everyday world of living in the 24/7 world of today, of so-called reality.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Syria Bans The Veil


There would seem to be in some secular Muslim countries a global minimalist consensus existing that females should be treated with some level of equality with men. This, at least in the academic sense.

Syria bans face veils at universities
Female students wearing a full face veil will be barred from Syrian university campuses, the country's minister of higher education has said.

Ghiyath Barakat was reported to have said that the practice ran counter to the academic values and traditions of Syrian universities.

His ruling, published on the All4Syria website, was said to be in response to requests from students and parents.

The issue of full face veils has caused controversy in other countries.
While this is a small step, it is a step in the right direction for women’s rights somewhere in the middle between secular and fundamentalist Islamic nation state perspectives.

While the world will not change a great deal with this action at the universities in Syria, a secular Muslim country, it is the right start in recognizing something of a common global approach to interact with all the nations and cultures of the planet presently and into the future.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Freedom to Worship - Mosque at WTC


There is a done deal on Park Place in Manhattan. It is a bunch of mid nineteenth century buildings without any grand architectural features to landmark what will eventually be torn down to make way for a multi-storied multi-use building and Islamic community center.

There is a hate element on the right fighting a “mosque” at the World Trade Center. It is not at the world trade center. It will be two blocks from the WTC and with no view of it – blocked by a taller building at 100 Church Street.

The thought occurred to me reading many pros and cons of this secular Islamic community center. One is that in most of Islam, secular is secular. Sacred in a western sense is a different perspective on the situation. The mosque or prayer on rugs in a skyscraper is hardly a cathedral type structure.

God is God. If God demands or needs worship, then a growing segment of the population from Islamic lands and Islamic cultures will be praising God within shouting distance of the old new World Trade Center.

Saint Peter’s is one half a block from the WTC. When this RC pagan style temple was built two centuries ago and approximately two blocks from New York City Hall, it must have been thought to have been an abomination to the English Protestant establishment.  But it got built none the less.  This is America.

America is about free movement and free thought. And freedom to worship.

All these arguments about and against a Mosque at the WTC is useless out of date dross in our modern secular society.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

New word usage – Androphilia

From an article by Andrew Brown in the Guardian UK is a new usage of a technical term to possible describe or use other than misogyny.

Androphilia or misogyny
I think myself there is something in it, and that you can distinguish between misogyny and androphilia even when both are found in the same man, or woman. For an example, I would give you CS Lewis, whose misogyny seems to wax and wane with the state of his love life: it more or less vanished once Joy Davidman found him; but his androphilia was a life-long condition.
Androphilia

Androphilia has some long standing meaning in psychology. Brown is using it to describe that the male dominated churches do not hate women so much as they love their own sex over the other. An original homosexual usage can now I suppose be used to describe what seems like anti-feminism by mainstream fundamentalist churches of the Christian persuasion.

It is an everyday thing to find new uses for older words in this modern global age.

It is hard sometimes to keep up with all the changes that occur everyday in language.

Saint Paul, Josephus Flavius, Plagiarism, Timelines

I have to state that I do not think that a mere two or three years separates Jesus and the beginnings of Paul. I feel that the times between the life and mission of Jesus and a Johnny come lately reformed secular Jew named Saul, aka Paul of Tarsus, runs more in a twenty to thirty year timeframe before Paul started and morphed into his resurrected mission of Jesus.

That while some stories in the Acts of the Apostles may be true, some are fabricated for the sake of building a bridge document to connect Paul directly to Jesus and his timeline.

Not only do I not believe that Paul was in a timeline with Peter and his post Jesus mission, I believe that the reference to James, the Brother of Jesus, was plagiarized straight out of Josephus Flavius’ histories of the Jews.  That would set the whole timeline and authorship of the Acts of the Apostles back a considerable amount of time like to when Jospehus finished his then history best sellers.

The destruction of the great Temple in 70 A.D., C.E., sent a shockwave into Judaism felt to this day. It would be no surprise that in reconstructing an obscure Jesus and his mission, certain writers took liberties both with facts and or the truth using plagiarism amongst their tools to sell and market the current revised Jesus product.

So important is Josephus’s histories as a tangible proof of the existence of a Jewish State and its Fall, that the second fall of Jerusalem in 135 A.D. and Hadrian’s holocaust of the Jews then is barely noticed because it, the event, has little to none written documentation on the topic. If not in print, it did not happen?

A documentary trail from Jesus to Paul does not seem to me to match a logical timeline of events.

These assumed nineteenth century timelines regarding the Scriptures need radical realignment in the twenty-first century.

Enough said.

Womenpriests and their Movement




I am including a You Tube of the Womenpriest movement that is making the Vatican shit it panties in that the bishops want to include the ordination of women as the same sin as pedophilia (yeah right) in their basket of day old “Christian” fish for sale to an uneducated consumer public.

Comment by “Dave” on previous article stating that hatred in general for women as to their abilities and worth is no doubt a good sales point for the Vatican in primitive societies. It is still a day old basket of fish that they are selling to the third world.

This movement of women following their consciences and not stale made up rules is a sign of the Spirit of God among us.

This is Jesus. This is the original Church of Jesus before the Greeks and the Romans did a makeover to Jesus and his divine mission on earth.

God Bless Womenpriests and their movement.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Vatican A-holes at IT Again


In an attempt to clarify the vague and continued voluntary observation to civil law by bishops, the RC church has added the ordination of women to its list of taboos thrown in with the vague new rules about centuries old tradition of sex abuse by their clergy.

Vatican Revises Abuse Process, but Causes Stir
The Vatican issued revisions to its internal laws on Thursday making it easier to discipline sex-abuser priests, but caused confusion by also stating that ordaining women as priests was as grave an offense as pedophilia.
It is good to see that validly ordained women are becoming priests in spite of the male hierarchy of the RC church that hates all things female, except the dresses.

The movement, called Roman Catholic Womenpriests, now claims that 100 women have been given ordination ceremonies as priests, deacons or bishops, and 75 of those are Americans, Ms. Meehan said.

Same old, same old in a new package regarding sex abuse by RC clergy.

In April, the Vatican for the first time published online guidelines that it said it advised bishops to follow in handling abuse, including reporting all sexual abuse cases to the Vatican and to civil authorities in countries that required mandatory reporting of crimes. But those guidelines do not hold the force of law.

The new document did not change that. “It’s not for canonical legislation to get itself involved with civil law,” Monsignor Scicluna said.
So it goes.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

This Cultural Christian's Creed



I believe in one God, one Universe created by God, and the bounty of all things and possibilities flowing from that creation.

I believe in the words of the anointed one Jesus as spoken in the Sermon on the Mount.

He was crucified under the Roman Govenor Pontius Pilate, suffered, died and was buried.  On the third day following his death he rose from the dead by the hand of God according to Scriptures before ascending into heaven.

The Anointed by God and man, the Christ, sits at the right hand of God. He bears witness to all mankind’s hurts and pleasures and will stand in judgement to all who have not lived by and in the light of God’s love to humanity.

As Holy Man and Prophet, he is first among equals of all men born of women, and is the way, truth, light and path to a higher level of understanding of things human and spiritual.

I believe in the Spirit of God among us and in us and through us. Believers, the children of God, the people of God must stand for all things good, humble, holy and divine.




(as a Christian, I do not believe in the direct divinity of Jesus of Nazareth. I do believe that mankind has anointed this holy man and prophet to be the focal point of faith and Christian history. I believe that Jesus happened in history and every age must redefine both the man and his mission.)

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 clich├ęs 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?