Posts Tagged ‘Christianity’

MERRY HOLIDAYS!

December 10, 2011

More HOLIDAY BAH-HUMBUG  HUMOR – CARTOONS (mostly)

The Top One Reason Religion Is Harmful By Greta Christina, AlterNet.

Religion is uniquely armored against anything that might stop it from spinning into extreme absurdity, extreme denial of reality and extreme, grotesque immorality.

So what is it about religion — exactly — that’s so harmful?

I’ve argued many times that religion is not only mistaken, but does more harm than good. But why do I think that is? (more…)

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TELL THE TRUTH AND RUN

March 22, 2011

Resurrection Machines

LOOTING THE TOMBS OF EGYPT:

“These people who have the crazy theories of the origin of the pyramids, I call, ‘pyramidiots.’” – Dr. Zahi Hawass, 1st Minister of Antiquities, Head Archeologist, Egypt.

VERY SAD BREAKING NEWS March 18, 2011: Why Dr Hawass Resigned

Q: Dr. Hawass, for many years you have been the image of modern Egyptology. Why are you leaving now?

A: “I am leaving because …during the Revolution of January 25th, the Egyptian Army protected our heritage sites and the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. However, in the last 10 days the army has left these posts because it has other tasks to do. The group now in charge of the protection of these sites is the Tourist Police, but there are no Tourist Police to do this either. Therefore, what happens? Egyptian criminals, thieves (you know, in every revolution bad people always appear…), have begun to destroy tombs. …They attacked a storage magazine at Saqqara and we do not yet know how many artifacts are missing; they opened two storage magazines at Giza; one tomb dated to the 19th Dynasty, the only one in the Delta in fact, was damaged…; and a store …has been broken into and looted for antiquities. People have begun to build houses and to excavate at night, everywhere, putting heritage sites all over the country at risk. I had to write a report …to the Director of UNESCO. That is why I said: “I cannot stay in Egypt and see antiquities being stolen when I cannot do anything to stop it!” This situation is not for me! I have always fought to return stolen artifacts to Egypt. I did fight Ahmed Ezz as well, the man in the Parliament, who was the most powerful man, because he wanted to allow antiquities to be sold in Egypt again….I will never be able to protect the antiquities I love and I will never be able to work during this mess. All my life, I have been excavating, discovering, writing books and giving lectures all over the world. My work is responsible for bringing many tourists to Egypt, which helps our economy. But now I cannot do this! Therefore, I decided to resign”. READ MORE: http://www.drhawass.com/blog/why-dr-hawass-resigned

Canon Fodder

LOOKING FOR RELIGION: Odd Shots and Idle Pensees Nr. 7

I don’t know how people can choose between one idiocy and another, but they obviously do, in the billions. They will defend their chosen idiocy to the death against all other idiocies naturally, but most importantly, as the Truth in whatever form it takes, for losing one’s faith in one’s chosen idiocy is the same awful shock as discovering that Santa Claus isn’t real. We call this phenomenon Santa Trauma.

Just when you think Homo sapiens can’t get any dumber, science discovers that our image of the Neanderthal was based upon sloppy scientific interpretation of the bones of a single arthritic Alzheimer geriatric. For all these years, we’ve maligned the Neanderthal as a stooped, bow-legged moron. He wasn’t, but you still wouldn’t want your daughter to marry one.

Why do the innocent suffer? Because shit happens. Nature and human nature are indifferent to collateral damage, accidental or intended.

“Even if you’re a born loser, you can and should be holy.”– Mother Angelica, cable TV nun

“Only fools and priests do squander life with thoughts of death.” — The Green Knight (Sean Connery), Sword of the Valiant.

Dean Martin: “You saved my life, parson. What can I do for you? Robert Mitchum: “Come to God’s house every Sunday for a month. Dean Martin: “That’s a steep price for just my life.”

I’m looking for a piece of the divine pizza pie.

“Nothing is impenetrable or incorruptible!” — Swede, Zulu Chief.

“Blame is for God and small children!” — Dustin Hoffman, Papillon.

The most direct anagram of “Heal Thyself,” is “Healthy Self.”

Islands w/ apple.

Lately, I’ve narrowed my philosophy to a small set of ideas:

From the Tao – The Way: Center in the now. Guilt is a burden, don’t carry it. Learn from the mistakes of the past and add them to your toolbox of experiences. Don’t worry about the future. Do what you can to prepare for it, but take pleasure in the moment. Live now, fully and completely and with joy. Go with the flow.

From the Buddha: Go forth in joyful participation in the sorrows of the world. The world is inherently unjust. It has its absurdities, which we cannot understand and which defy understanding. Accept this and do what you can to improve things. There are only two responses: one is negative and the other positive. Choose the positive, for it brightens the world, fills you up with energy, and prepares the way.  Others may learn from your example and so the brightness shall be extended.

From Joseph Campbell: Follow your bliss. If it makes you happy and can be done without harming yourself and others, do it.

From the Christian tradition: The Golden Rule. Nothing else. Nothing more is needed.

From Ghandi: Act. “Without action there is no result. You may not see the result in your lifetime, but if you do not act, there will be no result at all.”

From Jacques Cousteau: Hope for the best. “I hope for the best, although I can’t say why.”

From FatLemon: “Keep on keepin’ on, and don’t forget to salute the Man in the Moon!”

That is my concise philosophical grab bag for a successful life. JPL, 1-2000

Peaceable Kingdom

ODD SHOTS and IDLE PENSEES Nr. 7

When we die in America, we go to Disneyland!

Martin Luther was a coarse German monk given to self-flagellation in place of normal human contact. Because he had horrible chronic constipation, he composed most of his philosophy while sitting on the toilet. [True].

“Call now and start your personal relationship with God!” — t.v. Bible salesman.

Be right, not righteous.

Of course I believe in God! Every time I fear for my life, my job, or my sanity, I pray for divine deliverance! Seriously, though…

“I am bored by people who keep returning life to a moral plane, as if we were reducible, now, to some Biblical concept or its opposite, as if all our history and prehistory had not conditioned us for what we’ve become. It’s enough to make a moral nigger out of a man. The niggers are down there, no doubt about it. But Jack didn’t put them there and neither did I. When we get off the moral gold standard, when the man of enormous wealth is of no more importance to anybody than the man in rags, then maybe we’ll look back to our own day as a day of justifiable social wrath. Meantime, the game is rising, not leveling. Jack taught me that. Cured me. (Brother Wolf, are you listening?)” — William Kennedy, Legs.

Freedom from Religion Foundation

How confusing as a child to know the truth, to see that which is real, but not to touch, or look at or even think about it because it’s socially proscribed by similarly conditioned adults.

“Paradise is a far promise; fame is a food for dead men – take the cash and let the credit go.”

“Instead of argument that frets the soul and spoils digestion, share good food with good friends. Abandon a life sick with brooding on unhappy cares; do not count on dubious treasures in some inaccessible heaven. All that we know of life is that it is an enigma, and that it is short, and that, nevertheless, it can be made not only bearable but also pleasurable.

“Thus, fill your life as you would a cup. Do not torture yourself with a forbidding future; ignore “the rumble of a distant drum.” Let what may be Beyond remain beyond. Tomorrow has not come – tomorrow may never come – at the moment tomorrow does not exist. There is only today, and today is ours.

“Having failed of finding any Providence but Destiny and any world but this, Omar set about making the most of it; preferring rather to soothe the Soul through the Senses into acquiescence with things as he saw them, than to perplex it with vain disquietude after what they might be.”

Omar Khayyám, The Rubáiyát; Louis Untermeyer, editor, 1947 ed.; Edward Fitzgerald, editor/translator, 1859.

“Their fear shrinks the world down to the size of their own lives!” – Millennium.

“The world is a dragon of incredible size. We only see pieces of it for to see it whole is to have it burn you. The dragon is everywhere. These trees, these rocks are its scales. Its poison strikes like lightning. Be comfortable in the arms of the dragon. You have no choice. Sleep. Dream.” — Nigel Terry, Excalibur.

We must say it in full knowledge that others may wish us to be silent, but with the conviction that the Truth is more precious than their regard.

“Why so many questions? Can’t we just have a little blind faith around here?” – Sunday School Teacher, The Simpsons.

Astrology, advertising, politics and religion are all purposefully ambiguous, in order to encourage the consumer to see whatever it is that they wish to see, and to ascribe all failure to achieve success to personal inadequacy.

All the different tribes built a pillar to the sky. Each was a work of wonder and delight and they were all dedicated to the same god, although they did not see it.

“That seems to be the peculiar legacy of Jesus: to be adopted by others.” – Old Jewish man, Shaka Zulu.

“Separateness is a useful illusion.” – The Big Kahuna. Separateness is a youthful illusion. JL.

The biggest difference between Phil Knight and August Schindler is that Schindler had to work for the Nazis, so that any kindness he extended to his slave labor may be regarded as courageous resistance to slavery, and not just a way to save a nickel.

“It never ceases to amaze me: one second you’re alive, the next, you’re dead – no fanfare, no lights, nothing. You’re just dead.” – Loretta Switt, Mash.

“[By] nature man is more afraid of the truth than of death. For man is a social animal – only in the herd is he happy. It is all one to him whether it is the profoundest nonsense or the greatest villainy – he feels completely at ease with it, so long as it is the view of the herd, or the action of the herd, and he is able to join the herd.” – Kierkegaard.

“Tell the truth and run.” – Andrew Seltser.

Buddha Swirl

WAR and PEACE reprise

August 6, 2010

Older Letters to elected Officials and speculations on and about the subjects of war and recession, with links to today’s realities.  Not much has changed, except for some of the faces of the players.  Some issues are career opportunities for foot-dragging, do-nothing profiteers and cowardly politicians.  It is plain that the People must lead. 

ARAB-ISRAELI LOVE-FEST:

Ltr to Ron Wyden, Senator, OR. – January 8, 2009

The ancient Arab-Israeli confrontation is not worthy of support on either side.  Only some radical change of policy will break this savage inhumane cycle.  The Senate‘s recent unequivocal support of Israel is disgraceful.  Why do we support violence from anybody toward anybody?  Why not give peace a chance?  It has never been done, and we seem instead incapable of overcoming our religious, ethnic, and other generational prejudices.  We support people who coach their children to kill their enemies’ children.  This is madness.  It is insupportable.  The morass of the middle east does not reveal a champion for the United States to support, and Israel cannot claim the Holocaust as refuge or excuse for a holocaust of its own making that it refuses to stop.  Hamas‘ despicable actions are not an excuse for Israelis to murder, and the dead children they describe as collateral damage are not an acceptable cost for their security.

Murder and violence are what they are, not the stuff of virtue, right, or decent national policy – Israel’s, Palestine‘s, or the United States’. I urge you to re-think this issue outside of its historic insanity – and the personal blindness of culture and peer pressure.  Help devise an alternative approach to international murder and mayhem.  Help, too, to take the United States off its century-long war status.

Yours in sorrow and regret.   j

EXIT STRATEGY:

I am a veteran and senior citizen.

Ltr to Representative Earl Blumenauer, OR –  July 26, 2005   10:32 AM 

Subject: Please support House Joint Resolution 55, toward ending the Iraq occupation.

The war in Iraq has been a personal project for George Bush using American lives and treasure.  I believe he is ruining the world’s finest military.  For what?  He fights like the boneheaded English general Kitchener at Gallipoli, who observing the troops running uphill against Turkish guns said, “Stout fellows these Englishmen, they always run for the thickest part of the fence.”

Added to which, Bush’s war toys don’t work?  They do if they’re just designed to fill the pockets of his war-profiteering cronies; that’s what they accomplish.

I was glad to see that Rep. Jones is leading a bipartisan effort to press President Bush to create an exit strategy and timetable for withdrawal of our troops from Iraq.  Being an occupying force with no end in sight only fuels insurgency there.

I ask you to join the thirty other members of Congress already cosponsoring the resolution, and to support it by voting for it.  Thank you for your consideration.

IRAQ DEBATE:

Personal historical view – February 14, 2007; 3-1-08 rev.

Colin Powell said, “Don’t get into war unless it’s absolutely necessary, and when we do, go to win, no half measures,” but it doesn’t apply very much in real life.

As a Vietnam veteran, I know Johnson‘s phony Gulf of Tonkin Incident fished us into war (I was drafted).  He bought into the radical right’s communist containment scare.  The Committee of Concerned Asian Scholars wrote:

“In part, the process of deception has also been unintentional.  Much of the rhetoric and many of the actions that have accompanied our… involvement have been ad hoc responses to situations of stress: a cumulative series of reflex moves and lunges produced by deepening executive anxiety, defensiveness, alarm, desperation, and even a sensed state of siege.  Similarly in rhetoric, our ‘national honor,’ ‘[enemies] with nuclear weapons,’ and the goal of ‘peace with honor’ – all have misled the public.  At the root of executive deception is a vast amount of executive self-deception – or, .to put it bluntly, stupidity.”

America blithely ignores offers of friendship and makes enemies as fast as we can throw the first sucker punch.  This is not military sense; it’s a bad case of ideology and invention over reason and fact.  But, Americans don’t run out when the fight’s tough – see: Khe San.  We stood nearly twenty years (dating from Eisenhower putting the first American boots on the ground in the Fifties when the French got tossed out) while our military-industrial complex ruined Vietnam.  Our prolonged stay, and side invasions of Cambodia and Laos, generationally disrupted and destabilized Southeast Asia, distorted America’s rule of law, and led directly to the Bush leadership miasma.

We are now fighting a war for the health and life of the republic. Look at how the radical right Republicans and Tea Party and War Democrats have warped the nation they want us to fight for, die for, and honor. The self-destructive insanity of the radical right way of war makes it looks as if the bad guys have already won.

These are politically motivated wars, fought to extremes because of ill-informed egos and profit.  Bush’s indefensible “give war a chance” was disgusting; so is Obama’s current pursuit of it.  End the war now, no matter how wimpy it looks to arrested-adolescent bullyboys.

We’ve got a lot of positive work to do, and one dollar spent on peace really is worth ten wasted in war!

COST OF DOING WAR WITH YOU: – 3/21/08

Ltr to Rep Blumenauer; Recession and the War

The recession will force states to cut back their budgets.  Most likely, the cuts are going to affect the services that working families need to survive.

The Iraq war costs Americans more than $338 million a day.  We borrow $343 million every day to finance it.  Gas prices are close to double what they were before the war.  Oil hovers around $100 barrel [sic].

That money could help people who are hurting.  For less than we spend on the war, we could pay for affordable housing, healthcare, or education scholarships for hundreds of thousands.

Our skyrocketing debt is a growing drag on the economy, slowing recovery and robbing generations of a secure future.  Iraq sucks up the resources we need to make our economy work again.  MoveOn writes, “The tradeoffs are stark: bombs or unemployment insurance, billions for Halliburton and Blackwater, or help for people on the verge of losing their homes because of the sub prime meltdown?”

Economic forecasts will be grim as long as we continue to dump billions into a reckless war that has no end in sight.  The excessive and increasing degradation of our domestic economy is an attack on the nation.  Thank you for continuing to oppose this excessive, costly and ultimately criminal war.

LAST WORDS:

A secret reformation helped to create the United States of America; it eradicated many of the weeds of prejudice; a spirit of freedom and moderation was diffused.  The liberty of conscience was declared a common benefit, an inalienable right; the free government introduced the practice of toleration; and the narrow allowance of the laws was enlarged by the prudence and humanity of the times.  In the exercise, the mind understood the limits of its powers, and the words and shadows that might amuse the child can no longer satisfy adult reason. – Paraphrase – Gibbon, p1937.

Maybe human civilization has progressed; it depends upon what you’re measuring.  Human progress and perfectibility are two man-made ideals without much moral evidence to support them.

“One crowded hour of glorious life is worth an age without a name.” – Travis at the Alamo quoting Thomas Osbert Mordaunt, Verses Written During  the War, 1756-63.

“Sin sangre, y sin lagrimas, hay no es gloria.” – Santa Ana (“without blood, and without tears, there is no glory”).

“The urgent consideration of the public safety may undoubtedly authorize the violation of every positive law.  How far that or any other consideration may operate to dissolve the natural obligations of humanity and justice is terrible to contemplate.” – Gibbon, p830.

Politician 1:  “Why do politicians treat everyone else like idiots?”  Politician 2:  “Probably, because they voted for us in the first place.”  — Poirot, “The Incredible Theft,” BBC, David Suchet.

INTERESTING LINKS:
An American Hell: Don’t Turn the Page on History.  Facing the American world We Created, by Tom Engelhardt, www.TomDispatch.com. http://www.commondreams.org/view/2009/07/24

San Francisco Dems Tell Pelosi to Support McGovern ‘Afghan Exit’ Bill, by Tom Gallager, www.commondreams.orghttp://www.commondreams.org/view/2009/07/24-3

Can America Prevail on Afghanistan/Pakistan Front? No! It’s Obama’s war now, and a Vietnam-like quagmire is dead ahead.  by Helen Thomas, www.Minneapolis/St.PaulStarTribune  http://www.commondreams.org/view/2009/07/23-13

Blackwater Seeks Gag Order, by Jeremy Scahill.  www.thenation  http://www.commondreams.org/view/2009/07/23-2

Biden: Afghan War is ‘Worth the Effort’.  www.bbcnews  http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2009/07/23-0

RADICAL and NOT RIGHT:
http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2009/07/23-2  Christian Right Aims to Change History Lessons in Texas Schools.  State’s education board to consider adding Christianity’s role in American history to curriculum [and dump all reference to labor unions among other exclusions; the larger issue is that Texas textbook decisions affect every state in the union; textbook monopoly ONLY consults Texas education board!], by Chris McGreal in Washington, The Guardian/UK
End of the World!