Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Collapse of Christianity in America ?

A good read.  A moment of focus.  A moment for thought.

...I wondered how, after this, things could have gone so wrong. Christianity went from the flowering meadow and Byzantine court to the tortured crucifixions of the Northern Renaissance. Exuberance and wonder gave way to a crabbed obsession with sin and Christians turned inward to fret about the health of their souls. 
There is, however, a tradition that suggests this enterprise is doomed. "He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it." Wrapped up in our selves and preoccupied with working out our salvation, we defeat our purpose.
This is reminiscent of the paradox of hedonism – the recognition that if we aim for happiness it will elude us. John Stuart Mill observes: "Those only are happy who have their minds fixed on some object other than their own happiness … Aiming thus at something else, they find happiness along the way." So long as we are all about our ourselves, we will never be satisfied. If our goal is our own salvation, we will not achieve it.
The better class of evangelical preachers these days – those who aim to attract a more upscale clientele to their suburban megachurches – don't say much about salvation. Like the secular self-help gurus they promise personal growth, "recovery" and other this-worldly benefits. But the message is the same: it's all about you. The church provides you with uplift, recipes for successful living, community, consolation, and encouragement – to meet your needs and satisfy your wants.
The rhetoric and politics of evangelicals and self-help gurus are different but the essential message is the same: it is the doctrine of salvation by faith according to the canonical born-again scenario. You are seized by the conviction that your life is profoundly unsatisfactory in some global way that eludes further analysis: you are sinful, neurotic, stressed, addicted, co-dependent – insufficiently happy. 
You assemble a customised mix of the beliefs that "work" for you: your personal faith. Through it you achieve salvation, healing, and personal growth, the start of an endless spiritual journey to further self-improvement. You, and other Americans whose only hobbies are themselves, support legions of pastors, gurus, therapists and motivational speakers.
It is easy to see why most people are contemptuous of this amalgam of credulity, sentimentality and narcissism, which in its evangelical Christian form is tied up with myths about the age of the earth and origin of species, sexual taboos and a conservative political agenda. With this as the public face of religion it's not surprising that in the US, as in Europe, Christianity is collapsing….
 Interesting opinion piece.

Tea-Vangelism = Christian Nihilism = Fascism

The Tea-Vangelism of Rick Perry, Michelle Bachmann, Sarah Palin etc. is something like a new American form of Christian Nihilism.
This new domestic substitution for a political party-made political paralysis is a form of thought fear, a subtle form of domestic mental terrorism.
This new American brand of Christian Nihilism is "an extreme form of skepticism: the denial of all real existence or the possibility of an objective basis for truth" wrapped in a thin veneer of meaningless Christian soundbites.  Another Roger Ailes Madison Avenue product - more political soap suds.
It is not CHRISTIAN.  It is anti-Jesus and his teachings. 
It is the new PC and polite language for American Fascism on the far right and GOP. 

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Brother can you spare a dime - Al Jolson

What is Teavangelism or TeaVangelism?

I have recently seen and or heard this term Teavangelism, also with the spelling configuation TeaVangelism.

Decided to be conservative on this one, and let somebody else do the hard work for me.

So, what exactly is a Teavangelist?

A “teavangelist” (tea party supporter + evangelist) is a Christian minister who supports the tea party’s political agenda. 
“Teavangelist” has been cited in print since at least April 2010. An earlier use of “teavangelist” meant “an evangelist for tea” (instead of coffee or other drinks). 
The term received national exposure on MSNBC’a The Rachel Maddow Show on July 12, 2011, in a discussion of the religious support for Texas Governor Rick Perry to run for president. 
Wayne Slater of the Dallas (TX) Morning News said that Perry had received the support of what was being called the “teavangelists.” 

Tea-Vangelist Rick Perry – Accidental Candidate

In the true spirit of Texas exceptionalism, Republican Christian Texas Governor Rick Perry prayed for Texas Christians yesterday in a quarter filled stadium at a white Christians only welcome event.  (So openly out of the closet the GOP these days – don’t you think - their idea of exceptional brotherhood.)

He prayed for Texans and their miseries, no doubt caused by an incompetent in power since 2000 when as Lieutenant Governor under George W. Bush, he became governor by default.  No doubt one of these decades, he will find a way to fix Texas, as governor, when all his prayers are answered. 

Having become the accidental governor of Texas, he is no doubt praying he can become the accidental GOP candidate for president.  And eventually become accidental president.  That’s gonna take a hell of a lot of praying, no pun intended.

Best of luck Rick.

Friday, August 5, 2011

James Thurber – Three Fables – Keith Olbermann

What is Chrislam?

There is a new fear term – fear word - circulating along the born again fear blog networks and that is the word Chrislam.

What is Chrislam?

Actually there is a Christian sect in Nigeria that started the term “Chrislam” in the 1980s in an attempt to build bridges of understanding in a 50/50 Muslim/Christian nation.  In that sect, both the Bible and Koran get respected as valid religious text.

In the context of born again blogs, whenever a megachurch pastor such as Rick Warren sits down and talks to a Muslim or has an interfaith conference or prayer service, or a Sunday school teacher outlines the basic facts of Mohammed or his religion, all hell has broken lose!

(An army of negro muslims has been spotted and rumored to be on the road to Smalleville USA at this very minute? What’s Jeff Davis’ cell phone number!)  Sad.

The ranks of Christian soldiers have broken ranks.  What next? Hispanics in the local Christian town square in the white heartland demanding jobs and socialism?  Secularism! Whatever.

Most of these fear blogs mention two things – Rick Warren – and the Koran/Quran - Korans are being put in the pews of these liberal, progressive, godless churches next to the bible. Yeah right. 

If there are two things the far right GOP Church Party types do not have to fear – that is Rick Warren or the Koran.  Boring stuff.

The same way Rob Bell got labeled as satanic simply because he choose to spell Hell with a small “h” as in hell, Warren can take the heat from these borderline lunatic fringe Christians and their paranoid blogs. And the Koran is simply the Koran.

Get a life people, won't you.

Have a nice day, free of fools and fear.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Allah – By Jove! – Jerusalem Acropolis

Allah – By Jove! – Jerusalem Acropolis

Muhammad’s “night journey” to the “farthest temple” seems to be the only claim the Muslims have to the Noble Sanctuary and or Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

Since there were supposedly no standing buildings there on Temple Mount at the time of Muhammad’s dream, it is possible the “farthest temple” might not be in Jerusalem.

The present Dome of the Rock with the iconic gold dome on the Noble Sanctuary may or may not be a recycled Church of Sacred Wisdom built by Constantine.  Constantine in turn may have recycled a forecourt structure of Hadrian’s Temple of Jupiter complex on the destroyed previous Temple Mount complex, defunct as of 70 C.E..

If this is all confusing to you, it has been to me trying to figure out what this cultural dispute over the disputed real estate aka Temple Mount aka Nobel Sanctuary is all about.  In fact depending on which side you talk to, once you use the term TM or NS, the party you are talking to assumes your opinion and position on the negotiating end of things and shuts you out if you use their wrong term.

So, in the case of the disputed real estate in the vicinity of Solomon’s alleged temple site and Muhammad’s alleged night journey and on a raised man made stone platform or acropolis, I will, from this point in time forward, also refer to the area as Hadrian’s Temple of Jupiter Complex or HTJC or just plain Jerusalem Acropolis.

Bar Kochba's rebellion and occupation of the Jupiter Temple as the Third Jewish Temple around 132 C.E. is generally not recognized as fact and remains speculation until historical proof is found which is not likely. Titus scraped the acropolis clean in 70 C.E., followed by Hadrian and his vanity building project - Roman vision thing, followed by Constantine's turning the place into a quarry followed by the Arabs continuing the quarrying process to build their own sacred structures.  

Hadrian is also universally known for Hadrian’s Wall in Scotland, to the Pantheon in Rome, to his massive Smithsonian like private pleasure dome summer palace, at Tivoli, outside Rome to the greatest (biggest) temple ever built to Jupiter in Baalbek Lebanon, to his new unfinished Constantinople like project of Aelia Capitolina aka the former Jerusalem.  So much major construction and so little time.  Poor Hadrian.

Back to Temple Mount or I should say acropolis/HTJC.  I have read many, many Jewish, Christian theories on where the original Solomon/Herod temple stood on the HTJC acropolis area.  

And in most of these documents about the HTJC acropolis, they assume you know the north, south, east, orientation of the geography in question.  I have never been to Jerusalem so I got lost quite a few times reading about all this so-called dusty history mixed with more speculation more than with hard provable facts.

There is a theory and I will hopefully correctly attribute it to a Tuvia Sagiv that states something like the great builder Hadrian’s floor plan for Jupiter’s temple in Baalbek (above, below) may have the same architectural flow and or same floor plan in the Aelia Capitolina acropolis dedicated to Jupiter in the former Jerusalem.

The theory goes something like Hadrian was known to duplicate a lot of things.  It is said that he had a copy of the circular marble Cnidus Greece shrine including a copy of the famous Aphrodite by Greek sculptor Praxiteles.  Some tourists take home postcards or snapshots.  Hadrian brought home whole temples or duplicated them at his Tivoli palace.

So it is not so far-fetched that maybe the Aelia Capitolina Jupiter complex in the former Jerusalem might match the Baalbek complex as well to some exact degree.

The forecourt structure in Baalbek is six sided or hexagonal.  The same forecourt in the HTJC may have been eight sided or octagonal and match the base blueprint of the present Dome of the Rock shrine.  Just a theory. 

The thing is that the theory I have seen has no measurements. Beyond that the visual proportions of the forecourt, full court and temple of Jupiter seem to match this theory on a visual level.  So not only does the Dome of the Rock seem to fit as a later structure built on a forecourt structure, the famous Al Aqsa Mosque (below) at the far southern end of the Jerusalem acropolis would seem to have been built on the foundations of the Temple of Jupiter torn down by Constantine in need of stone for massive Christian shrine building as in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the totally defunct, later built by Justinian, Nea Church (left - above). 

These two structures, the recycled temple of Venus/Church of the Holy Sepulchre and Nea Church framed both ends of the grand boulevard, the Cardo Maximus, the massive  new main north south road of Hadrian’s new Roman city, Aelia Capitolina.  The long term city plan started by Hadrian continued up until the Arab conquest.

Constantine when he legalized Christianity with the Edict of Milan of 313 C.E., also decriminalized Judaism as part of that act of tolerance to all religions.  Rather than let the Jews have Temple Mount back to compete with his new designer religion of Christ(ianity), he sacked all the building stones of Hadrian’s acropolis to follow through on the original design and building of the new Roman city next to the acropolis.  This put the Jewish question back into political limbo.

The Church of Sacred Wisdom recycled into the Dome of the Rock may have not been standing at the time of the prophet’s night dream, earthquakes and all that.  The Nea Church, the biggest church in Christendom outside of maybe the Vatican Hill structure fell down and into disuse for many centuries not out of Islamic destruction but because of earthquakes.  A theory states that many of the stones of the Jewish temple first went into the building of the Jupiter temple before they made their way all up in time into the Nea Church as well as into the entire infrastructure of Roman, Byzantine and Medieval Jerusalem.

To the point is that there is not much left of the Jewish Temple there on the Jerusalem Acropolis.  Many historians agree that the original Jewish temple building and forecourt faced east and is probably able to fit in front of the al Aqsa Mosque if reconstructed after archeological digs, scientific studies etc.  Truth also is that if the original Solomon Temple thingy gets reconstructed for the tourists, religious fanatics etc. it would not only be in front of Al Aqsa but forty feet lower than that mosque. 

While the Christians and Jews who want the second/first coming and in fact the end of the world, they would destroy the Dome of the Rock and Al Asqa to have a dominant Jewish only complex. Truth is that all standing at present major structures should be allowed to remain in presence of a reconstructed Jewish Temple below the present high point or grade of Hadrian’s Jupiter Temple Complex or acropolis.

In fact, image above points to the fact that Jews already and by tradition worship at the Western Wall below where the original Jewish temple once stood.  Image above of the Jerusalem Acropolis, left is Western Wall aka the Wailing Wall.  Dome of the Rome, top center,  Al Aqsa Mosque, bottom right.

What I envision if not getting a fully rebuilt temple, perhaps the old Jewish temple might be ghosted in structural steel to show its original presence, not unlike the Benjamin Franklin House in Philadelphia (below) where they have no historic evidence of what it actually looked like, though the foundation is still there. 

Will it be a functioning temple again? I don’t know.  I for one would object to animal slaughter. 

Anyway, maybe an eternal flame in the old Holy of Holies and for privacy, maybe an enclosed dome like covering like that of the British Museum Library courtyard.  Will not have to rub elbows with your neighbors.

Use your imagination.  It is time to unite that region in something other than mutual hatred.

Pleasant dreams. 

Monday, August 1, 2011

Lesbian Couple Saved 40 Children in Norway last Week

This a story only being reported in LGBT blogs and news sites.  I don’t know why it is not front page news if it is true.  Instead of reading and commenting on neo-con, neo-nazi manifesto stuff from the lunatic mass killer.

I quote directly with a marginal computer aided translation from the same single source being quoted in the above mentioned blogs which appears to be a Finnish News site.

Hege Dalen and her partner, Toril Hansen were Utöyan dinner on the opposite shore of the campsite, when they began to hear gunfire and screaming on the island.
 "The island floated ruudinhajua. Then the awful screaming. We saw how the young people ran in panic into the lake," says Dale HS in an interview. The couple immediately took action and pushed the boat into Lake Tyrifjorden. Also, many other islands in the vicinity have been made as well. Dale Hansen, and drove the boat to the island, picked up from the water shock in the young and wounded, and transported them to the opposite shore to the mainland. Between the bullets hit the right beside the boat.
 Since not all fit at once aboard, they returned to the island four times in the foreground. They were able to rescue 40 young people from the clutches of the killer.  "We did not sleep last night at all. Today, we have been together and talked about the events," Dale says.
Is this a hoax or is the Lame Stream Media truly LAME???

Sinead O'Connor - First Prophet of the New Age

What can be said about Sinead O’Connor?  What cannot be said?

Tore up a picture of John Paul II on the popular American show Saturday Night Live in 1992, accusing him and his cronies regarding the hidden sexual abuse problem of their clergy.  Was hailed not as a prophet for reform but as a blasphemer by the Main Stream Media whores of Babylon.

Survivor of the Irish state/Catholic church Magdelane Asylum, abuse gulag, slave labor system for unwanted women.

Ordained priest of the Irish Orthodox Catholic and Apostolic Church.  Yes, there is a traditional of ordaining women in the Celtic Christian Church.

And a remarkable performing talent, blessed by God. 

Saturday, July 30, 2011

George Pell Defends John Paul II’s Corruption - Australia

I heard about this 95 Theses quality document mentioned in an Easter condemnation of it by the neo-conic, defense of priest pedophiles at any cost ($), George Cardinal Pell of Sydney Australia.

Consider a full read of this historic document. 

The People of God, retake your church from the abomination currently in charge of your hierarchy before it is too late.

“…Power corrupts. The history of the papacy shows this pre-eminently. Unchecked potentates believe their own propaganda. Taken to the extreme, they claim infallibility. Pius IX bullied Vatican I into institutionalizing such a claim. Since then creeping infallibility has resulted in the pope and his theologically limited curia stealing the term “magisterium” from its real owners – the college of professional theologians. How can you conscientiously give assent of mind and heart to policies formed without theological debate, consultation, transparency or accountability? In contemporary government and business this would be judged unethical.

“ John Paul’s lust for power showed very early and was taken to monumental proportions. Accountable to nobody, John Paul moved against any opinion other than his own and removed many exponents of alternative opinions from teaching and publishing. His most powerful enforcer was the Ratzinger-led Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF). Other Roman dicasteries joined the campaign.

“The CDF is the current euphemism for the Inquisition. True to its mediaeval roots, it assumes the pope to be entitled to enforce his views. It conducts its delations and proceedings in secret. In today’s secular world this is a violation of human rights. …

“All of us are abused by this process. The priest at the coal face is not consulted, yet is contemptuously expected to defend policies he and his people do not believe.

“John Paul II also enforced much of his own devotional life on the church at large. Despite Vatican II he effectively stopped the third rite of Penance, reversed a burgeoning dynamic theology of Eucharist by reverting to and re-emphasising devotion to the static Real Presence, reinforced a distorted devotion to Mary based on fundamentalist theology and introduced peculiar devotions such as Sr. Faustina’s Divine Mercy Devotion which undercuts Easter – the climax of our liturgical year.

“A more grievous abuse of power by John Paul II was his appointment of bishops. Appointees were to be clerical, compliant and in total agreement with his personal opinions. This has emasculated the leadership of the Church. The episcopal ranks are now low on creativity, leadership, education and even intelligence. Many are from the ranks of Opus Dei – reactionary, authoritarian and decidedly not creative…. 

“A newly critical laity questions policy but receives no answers. Why can’t women be leaders in the Church? Why do priests have to be celibate? What is wrong with contraception? Why alienate remarried divorcees? Why this salacious preoccupation with sexual mores? Why are scientific advances always suspected of being bad? Why can’t we recognise the reality of homosexual orientation – and the social consequences of that recognition? Have we learnt nothing from the Galileo case – or the treatment of Teilhard de Chardin? Can’t we escape the Syllabus of Errors mentality?

“Benedict XVI has continued the reversal of Vatican II. He is imposing a new English translation of the Sacramentary on a resisting English speaking constituency. This may very well backfire because many priests are not going to implement it. Benedict has received back bishops from the schismatic Society of St Pius X. He has encouraged the Tridentine Mass in Latin. He has reintroduced kneeling for communion on the tongue at his public Masses – all deliberate key pointers to regression from the spirit of Vatican II. To the priests who embraced Vatican II they are iconic insults….”

Friday, July 29, 2011

Happy Birthday Goddess – Aphrodite/Venus

I am told that the earth goddess is hundreds of thousands of years old in human civilization but that the legend of Aphrodite, the Greek name, Venus, the Roman name, of the goddess of love, born off Cyrus, is close to ten thousand years old.

That her real birthday is supposed to be sometime in the month of September, the 8th or 26th, 7989 B.C.E.?

Happy ten thousandth plus or minus a few months and or centuries.  

The thing missing with all these johnny come lately monotheistic male only gods is a sense of the eternal feminine.  Aphrodite/Venus is perhaps due for a return as part of the human equation of the new global culture.


"Foam-arisen" Aphrodite was born of the sea foam near Paphos, Cyprus after Cronus severed Uranus' genitals and threw them behind him into the sea, while the Erinyes emerged from the drops of blood. Hesiod's Theogony described that the genitals "were carried over the sea a long time, and white foam arose from the immortal flesh; with it a girl grew" to become Aphrodite. Aphrodite floated in on a scallop shell. When she arose, she was hailed as "Cyprian," and is referred to as such often, especially in the poetic works of Sappho. This myth of a fully mature Venus (the Roman name for Aphrodite), Venus Anadyomene ("Venus Rising From the Sea") was one of the iconic representations of Aphrodite, made famous in a much-admired painting by Apelles, now lost, but described in the Natural History of Pliny the Elder…”

Infamous – Do Not Touch the Children!

Here’s a story that never made it to the Lame Stream American Media.  Found it on a  Jehovah Witness site.  Searched around a bit to find a more legitimate looking media source.  Could not believe that this story never made it to these shores.  Oh well, what else is new?

My article title is a translation from Italian of what no doubt angry parishioners wrote on the wall of the pedophile priest’s church. 

Priest Sex-Abuse Case Hits Church of Pope's Adviser 

(GENOA) — The latest sex-abuse case to rock the Catholic Church is unfolding in the archdiocese of an influential Italian Cardinal who has been working with Pope Benedict XVI on reforms to respond to prior scandals of pedophile priests.

Father Riccardo Seppia, a 51-year-old parish priest in the village of Sastri Ponente, near Genoa, was arrested last Friday, May 13, on pedophilia and drug charges. Investigators say that in tapped mobile-phone conversations, Seppia asked a Moroccan drug dealer to arrange sexual encounters with young and vulnerable boys. "I do not want 16-year-old boys but younger. Fourteen-year-olds are O.K. Look for needy boys who have family issues," he allegedly said.

Genoa Archbishop Angelo Bagnasco, who is the head of the Italian Bishops Conference, had been working with Benedict to establish a tough new worldwide policy, released this week, on how bishops should handle accusations of priestly sex abuse. 
Worldwide policy?  How about your own backyard folks?

And so it goes.  Sadly.

Islam is as American as Apple Pie!

A “Christian” who hates is not a Christian!

Separation of Church, Synagogue, Mosque, Temple and State forever!

God Bless the United States Constitution!

God Bless all the People of America - living here now!

Don't let the fundamentalist Haters over there or sadly here too, as well, divide us! 

Christian Terrorist Reaches Out to Cardinal Pell

From a dying church came words of comfort for a self proclaimed born again Christian Terrorist Anders Breivik of Norway.  Cardinal Pell is quoted in Breivik’s lunatic manifesto along with other Islamophobe Australian politicians. 

“In my own reading of the Koran, I began to note down invocations to violence. There are so many of them, however, that I abandoned this exercise after 50 or 60 or 70 pages.”  Archbishop George Pell, Sydney

There are literally dozens and dozens of blogs and news sites prior to last week’s human tragedy that quote Cardinal Pell’s anti-Islamic words as the basis of articles reinforcing the worldwide corporate political campaign feeding the growing Islamophobia of this dying western culture.

Pell, an arch conservative in the RC church, was until recently in line to be in charge of all the RC bishops worldwide to clean up corruption.  Whispers of Pell’s own brush with sex abuse charges from 1961 are discrediting him behind Vatican closed doors.  Pity?  He may not be guilty on that count.

It is a pity that his hate words against Islam are not the thing that would have kept him from getting the Vatican posting.

I am reminded of a line from the Priest’s Daily Office or Breviary that RC priests are supposed to read everyday under pain of mortal sin for not doing so.

Happy is the one who takes your babies and smashes them against the rocks!” Psalm 137:9

“Christian violence against any perceived enemy cannot be considered a sin or crime.” (Constantine the Great ?)

Every other paragraph in the bible regarding King David, a supposed ancestor of Jesus, is one long litany of “invocations to violence”. 

Perhaps Cardinal Pell is a hypocrite or is he your typical catholic and has not read his own user manual – the bible?

In any case, I think, George might be a very misunderstood and unappreciated cleric doing his duty to God and himself as he sees fits.

I hereby award George Pell, Archbishop of Sydney Australia, the first annual

Australian Sheep-Shagger Award (2011)

for services performed in the name of humanity and in spite of humanity’s sake for his words of encouragement to all the confused Breiviks of this world. 

You have done more than your share to return the global culture back to the stone age. 

Thanks – but really no thanks dude!

Have a nice day George and a well earned retirement to obscurity.

Love.  Peace.  Brotherhood. (and all that other Islamic jazz)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Jesus Unfriended by his Brother James on Facebook

Ran into some Cristian blog all big and slick.

They had some big article about this Norweigen Timothy McVeigh type, cannot pronounce and will not write his evil name here. In all charity, he is probably mentally ill and plugged into too much modern technology – and definitely into the inhumanity sound bite hubris of poison dwarf Roger Ailes and Rupert Murdock’s antichrist Fox News.

Does Fox News broadcast in Norway in Norwegian? I have to wonder.

Well anyway, like the reverse against human logic that goes on over at Fox, this Cristian blog site was dissing me indirectly.  Somebody was quoting from the Arian manifesto that Norwegian Crazy-O had supposedly written.

Then here comes the kicker to me.  Something, logic(?), like if the Norwegian Crazy-O had been a “religious Christian” instead of a “cultural Christian”, Crazy-O would not, could not have murdered so many innocent people. 

Bullshit!  Crazy. Crazy. Crazy.


Some born again moron just unfriended me and my Cultural Christian label.

Hey if you don’t like me, tough shit a-hole. I am a better Christian than you and I can prove it.  I won’t nuke you to prove it.  Which seems to reflect the attitudes and lack of civility that is the undercurrent culture of the High Technology Idol of this new virtual, cold, bloodless, humanless age. 

And without trying to identify myself with any Jesus type, I am like totally far from it - that is what I feel has been going on from the beginning of time with the elevation of tribal gods to the supreme farce of Yahweh, Jesus/god, and Allah -

A lot of bickering over the value of nothing - the so called value of God - the absolute zero (for want, lack of a true number) of all things as we humans try to perceive the universe and our place in it. 

The true value in life is friendship and tolerance.  Instead of talking quietly and friendly over the back fence with our neighbors, many of us are screaming into our cell/mobile phones leaving nasty messages and do not even know the names of our brothers and sisters who literally live right next door to us.

I cannot talk for the people in Norway, but I do know what destroyed the town square of my youth in Philadelphia. It was scared white people running away from black people.  And when sex starved catholic priests should have been preaching love and tolerance and brotherhood and humanity, they were screaming about abortion, starting a jihad, a culture war as an agenda ploy of the Pollack cardinal ’s supreme ambition to be pope.  Oh well, spilled milk.

It has taken me twenty four hours to calm down and realize that the “Christian brand” in America since the seventies is part of some right wing conspiracy, real or imagined, to turn charity and brotherhood back into profit and slavery. Whatever.

James, the supposed brother of Jesus, is mentioned by the Roman/Jewish historian Josephus.  The whole thing of James briefly mentioned in the gospels and or Acts is retrofitted cut and paste to make up a resume for the late great Jesus, whoever and whatever he was.  Too bad the people around him did not bother to pay much attention to him while he was here.

I do believe him great and he lived by the Golden Rule.

I wish some of us could do the same and on a global scale here and now.

Instead of what passes for humanity and or the piles and piles and piles of religion these days:

Dogma, dogma, dogma. 
Godma, godma, godma. 
Blahma. Blahma. Blahma. 
Blah. Blah. Blah. 

Enjoy the day God gave you and me. 

This in spite of all the crazies out there all my dear brothers and sisters in Jesus’ name everywhere.  

Pray for the people of Norway and their tragic loss. 

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Footprints of Jesus - Gay Marriage in New York

On this official first day of New York State’s Equal Rights Marriage Law for same sex couples, I ran into this document, perhaps guided by the great spirit.

Apparently, long before the Christian Right Haters got together with their manufactured  “Christian” Public Relations Sharia document of the Manhattan Declaration, there were some divinely inspired souls out west, ahead of the humanity curve, who came together and write The Phoenix Declaration.

No Longer Silent: Clergy for Justice

The Phoenix Declaration

“We stand in solidarity as those who are committed to work and pray for full acceptance and inclusion of GLBT persons in our churches and in our world. GLBT persons are condemned and excluded by individuals and institutions, political and religious, who claim to be speaking the truth of Christian teaching. This leads directly and indirectly to intolerance, discrimination, suffering, and even death. Political and religious rhetoric has monopolized the public perception of the stance of Christian persons on this issue. This stance continues to cripple the spirit of innocent people. The Christian faith compels us to be part of the healing for the souls wounded by this tragic, violent, and destructive hatred. Therefore:

We stand with the countless Christian ministers, scholars, and laity who, from prayerful study of the scriptures and Christian tradition, find no rational biblical or theological basis to condemn or deny the rights of any person based on sexual orientation. The essence of Christian life is not focused on sexual orientation, but how one lives in relationship with God with compassion toward humanity….”

Long before there were words on any paper, there was Jesus in the flesh, preaching and practicing his special humanity. 

You cannot fit Jesus’ heart onto any piece of paper or into any book(s). It is just too big.

(Sadly, the American culture war, or war on humanity, continues.) 

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Historic Beginnings of American Culture War – Philadelphia – 1970s

I had a nightmare last night.  I dreamt that State Senator Martin P. Mullen had come back from hell to inflict more inhumane legislation on not only the people of Pennsylvania but the whole planet.

I don’t know how the culture war in America took shape in various other parts of the country, but like New Hampshire where the shot heard round the world that supposedly started our American Revolution, the culture war in America has no better historic model than Philadelphia and Pennsylvania in the 1970s.

I drift back forty years to the point where I, as an eighteen year old, decided that I did not want to hear anymore boiler plate sermons about Satan from the local priest in Philadelphia and I never set foot in that church again.

All around me was a world where the War in Vietnam was wrapped in a flag.  That fucking war was so important to all the middle aged losers who hated their lives and had served so faithfully and or really had no choice but serve in World War Two. 

The basic cultural war in the minds of Philadelphians then, if you were young, was if your draft number would come up and you would have to serve, fight in a war that made absolutely no logical sense. 

On another level, there was the creeping fear that blacks would try to cross the invisible border, south on Lehigh Avenue, and try to invade your beautiful turn of the century row house paradise, built for factory workers. 

Oh there were factories in the neighborhood, and they employed blacks, but in retrospect I can remember all the blacks lined up at the 5 bus stop after work waiting to get back to wherever it was that they lived outside our perfect white lower middle class bubble existence.  In retrospect, the image of Apartheid comes to mind and is superimposed on those distant scenes.

I have seen or heard comments from people who lived there at the same time.  The thing that destroyed Philly, they usually say, was “Section 8” housing, which is of course code talk for racism and welfare.

In a way, the inability of people to recognize and love your neighbor is what destroyed that old Currier & Ives idealized brain image of the slums where I grew up in Kensington - Harrowgate in Philly.

Where was I? Oh yes, the war, the blacks and yeah Vatican II.  Well Vatican II did not change anything in a neighborhood of mixed Irish and I-talian catholics.  Oh there were protestants out there.  We saw their churches dotting the landscape.  Never saw who entered those houses of worship on Sundays.  Didn’t care.  The predominant local culture was of Irish Catholic factory workers and Irish Catholic churches and schools.

In a way, my parents were intelligent, and liberal.  They got into the ideal that blacks should have equal rights.  But somewhere along the timeline, people like my parents got scared about what they saw on the tube with black militant groups, war protestors and the rapid decline of a normal society into chaos around 1968.  They never told me directly but my so called liberal parents voted for George Wallace in 1968,  I figured that out later along the timeline.

I guess I stayed there, going along my own liberal timeline, and did not realize how secular I was and in relation to terms of also being a Catholic from birth.  Did not feel the difference until they shot Martin Luther King.

I can remember to this day, the priest Father Locke, freshly minted from the seminary, stumbling for words, almost apologetically, from the pulpit that next Sunday, stating something to the effect that he did not know if it would be proper but would not forbid personal prayers for a Protestant (after all, only Catholics go to heaven- your prayers are probably wasted on him), for the slain civil rights leader.  Huh?

It was there that I got the clue that maybe Catholics were not really Christians like people like MLK who called themselves Christian.  Christian was not a word I heard often in the first eighteen years of a Catholic life.  I heard the word but in conjunction with other words like Christian Doctrine etc.

(An aside - Reminds me of my own Irish Catholic joke I told to a former boss in the 1980s, also Irish Catholic – “I was twenty-one before I realized that Protestant and bastard were two separate words.” – My boss howled in laughter.)

Oh yeah, getting back to Vatican II, I wrote some thoughts on that in my earliest blogs here, but let me get to the point and back to my nightmare about the late great Martin Mullen of the Pennsylvania State Legislature.

Pennsylvania on a map may look like an east coast type of place.  But like the famous political advisor said and is quoted.  “Pennsylvania is Philadelphia and Pittsburgh with Alabama in between.”  I have already shared a few thoughts above on my cosmopolitan cultural upbringing in Philly. There was that other thing, the sex thing and the RC church confusion about birth control.

Paul VI brought out his Zero Tolerance document on birth control.  Like all life in general, most of us just stumbled into ways of dealing with our own individual sexuality.  (No user manual necessary.)

The cultural war in Philly and Pennsy had a pie-eyed, drunk on his own arrogance and self importance, fanatic in the form of Martin Mullen who suddenly was on the black and white TV screen, the chosen mouthpiece of John Cardinal Krol and his decision to bring Pennsylvania under the recent Catholic Sharia Law (Humanae Vitae) on human sexuality. 

PENNSYLVANIA: Bitter Abortion Battle

Mullen, backed by equally conservative John Cardinal Krol and his Pennsylvania Catholic Conference, decided that the state, with its 35% Catholic population, was natural terrain to make a stand against the trend to more liberal laws on public morality. The battle was joined over the issue of abortion. To counter a liberal abortion bill, the conservatives proposed a bill of their own that outlawed abortion altogether except when a panel of three physicians certified that the mother's life was endangered. It made no allowance for victims of rape, incest or mental illness. Supporting the conservative bill, the Catholic Conference ran a long and costly campaign that included weekly pictures of truncated fetuses and aborted embryos on Page One of the Cathotic Standard &Times, the official organ of the archdiocese of Philadelphia. Last June the campaign paid off: the liberal bill was easily defeated, and the conservative bill was adopted by both houses and sent to Shapp for his signature. Mullen warned the Governor that if he attempted to stop the bill through veto or pocket veto he would run against him in the Democratic primary next year.  
While Shapp mulled over what to do, the protest and counterprotest boiled on. In an unusual turn, Patricia Arney, 32, a divorcee who is a district Democratic committeewoman, revealed to the Philadelphia Inquirer that State Senator Henry J. Cianfrani, 49, one of the conservative bill's strongest supporters, had paid for her abortion in 1970 while they were having an affair, and produced a receipt for his check to prove it. He did not deny their relationship, but said that he had given her the money to visit her family in Toledo and did not know that there had been an abortion. Though the disclosure caused yowls of protest on the floor of the state senate, letters to the Inquirer ran 10 to 1 in favor of Arney's blow against hypocrites.  
Last week Shapp, calling the bill "unsound, unenforceable and totally unfair," vetoed it. Mullen failed to muster the three-fourths majority necessary to override the veto, leaving the state functionally without an abortion law of any kind, since lower courts have declared the present statute unconstitutionally vague and appeals are pending. With that, Mullen sounded the charge for his race against Shapp next spring, which could be among the bitterest elections in Pennsylvania's history: he called the Governor's veto the result of a "paganistic, atheistic philosophy."
In reality, few states had laws to deal with archaic or non-existent laws to deal with modern technology and recent developments in birth control.

Somewhere along the timeline, the culture war on birth control became the culture war on abortion.  The discussion regarding sexuality was not about choice in the form of birth control methods to prevent pregnancy, it became all about abortion and the strategy and the rhetoric of Krol’s hand puppet to the media in the 1970s has not changed much to this day IMHO.

My leaving my local church, not the People of God, when I was eighteen was also in reaction to archconservative mean spirited types shouting at you on the TV like Martin Mullen as Krol’s in front of the curtain media voice .  It was also the loss of the sermons on Satan, a chance to nod off, that got dropped on Sundays and propaganda spiels from the pulpit that you had to pick up the mimeographed letter to your state legislature in the church lobby, copy it in your own handwriting, and mail it to show that you were in favor of the most current Martin Mullen anti-sexuality law pending in Harrisburg.  Model – Modus Operandi – set for the American future landscape.  Pity.

I have read many a Catholic blog lately and the ones that aren’t praising, drooling on,  the guys in red are the ones that wonder why priests these days don’t bother to deliver a decent homily.  Considering what I know, the truth is that the thought police might hear something like love or tolerance being advocated and send off a letter to the bishop to complain about dogmatic incorrectness that would get back to the priest and rather than get slapped down, why bother to preach anymore. 

After all, isn’t it all just about the ritual and the consecrated bread? (And the collection plate?)

The American culture wars are far from over.  The best, I fear, is yet to come.