New Blog Direction

I’m turning the page. Maybe my dedicated followers will come along with me for the new ride; perhaps not. Presently I’m filled to the gills with pure politics and further discussion of it seems to me to be a fairly useless pursuit and a waste of my time. By the way, Congress came back to DC yesterday.  Did anybody miss their absence? Me neither. There’s another GOP debate tonight; I’m not watching it. Just think, folks, it’s only the 3rd week in January.  Just imagine how many negative ads are slated to run on TV from now to the November election. I can’t stomach any of that and will not invite ‘those people’ into my life or living room

I have for major passions in my life: family, religion, education and politics. In that order. Right now, I’m going to begin posting information on religion. But, you see, as I do this, I naturally will call attention to politics because, sadly, religion ensnares politics in this nation. Not only politics, but foreign affairs as well. There sits Israel, the home of the Jews smack dab in the center of the Muslim world. And, adding to the melee, the Christian claim on the city of Jerusalem. Three religions entangling each other and our nation as well.

My third passion is education. I’m amazed at the wide-spread ignorance that hangs like a miasmic vapor over this nation of ours. We truly are a dumbed-down people who infamously cling to our guns and Bibles. Like prehistoric tribesmen. It is a pitiful situation in which we find ourselves with whole swaths of citizens ‘believing’ propaganda and nonsense as truth.

The Bible is the first bit of nonsense that needs to be taken apart because a large majority of our citizens base many of their political and societal beliefs on that book. Bang off I’ll state this: the Bible is NOT the Word of God. The Bible is the word of human beings. Period. The Bible is most probably the greatest piece of deception ever printed. And we Americans have been nauseously bamboozled by that book for centuries. Still today, perhaps at this very moment, some candidate in South Carolina is babbling on about some biblical reference, hoping to garner the vote from the Bible-ignorant people in the audience. Oh, not that they don’t ‘love’ their Bible.  Not that they don’t live by the Bible teachings. Not that they don’t use the Bible as a weapon against non-bible-believing people. Not that they don’t use the Bible to denigrate and condemn groups of people.

It’s just that they don’t know shit about this book. And the more fundamental the believer, the less they know.

Therefore, when I turn my focus to religion, I do not close the door on my two other passions: education and politics.  Rather, it is a bundle. Of course, I am a realist and I realize that I will never change the ‘beliefs’ of fundamentalists: Christians, Jews or Muslims. They cannot change. Their life-support system is entangled in biblical stuff, like a tumor entangled with nerve cells. It cannot be excised without leaving the patient immobile.

As a result, I offer my musings to those of us who are open to questions about religion and the ‘holy books’ upon which the religion is based. It may be useful to know what’s behind these religious beliefs so that, during a discussion, facts can trump belief. And when facts trumps belief, then substantive discussion can begin, replacing the myth, magic and mystery of religious speech with dispassionate dialogue.

I am assisted in this new direction by the writings of Bishop John Shelby Spong, retired Episcopal bishop of Newark. He has written many books, all of them interesting and heretical. His latest, Re-claiming the Bible for a Non-Religious World, is undoubtedly his best work so far. Fundamentalists excoriate him; I love his authorship. In the preface of this book, Spong declares: “I do not for one moment think that the Bible is in any literal sense the ‘Word of God.'” Neither do I.

Another quite revealing line that Spong penned is this: “My conviction was and is that what people learn in a typical Sunday school will never be adequate to sustain a believable faith for educated, questioning people living in the 21st century.”  He also said that the Bible ought to be taught as ‘we learned of it in theological seminary.’ But it isn’t because ‘that would be too risky for a newly ordained priest.’ Rather, he says, ‘we disregard our seminary lessons and ‘teach the Bible’ in Sunday school fashion, ignoring what we learned in the seminary.’

Honesty. Truth will out.

Thus I turn the page.

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18 thoughts on “New Blog Direction

  1. I haven’t been posting much here because I haven’t been posting too much anywhere. I’m engaged in pretty big project with a friend. We are rebuilding his green houses….actually a complex made of chestnut poles covering almost an acre. I helped him build the original structures almost 9 years ago and we tore off the plastic and are fighting the rain and wind here recovering it. If it is too cold, then the plastic cracks. So, I have been almost living down the hill.
    I, for one will follow this blog. I find your writing compelling and full of analytical criticism of faith. I believe in a lot of things, but, the idea of faith to me seems to be a symptom of derangement. Belief though is an open ended evolutionary process. You can change your concept of belief as you learn. Faith seems to negate that concept.
    I try to be open ended in what blogging is about for me. I get into directions and tangents…It’s inspiration and following your obsessions and passions. Sometimes I think no one reads what I write, then I look at my blog hits.

    1. I’m game….LOL…But, you are correct in saying it will be hard to separate
      religion from politics. I believe that we have one Party this is God’s Only
      Party for the moment. Many of us have commented on religion and politics.
      However, I will suspend strict political comments as long as religion is not
      involved. So, my friend, not another comment by me concerning the
      betrayal of Marcy Kaptur to the American Dream, income inequality. and many of the issues we stand for. You made this change just in time as my
      research had uncovered additional laws Kaptur has voted for and against
      as they pertain to our freedoms, liberty, and financial success.

      My I ask, what do you invisage our discussions about religion achieving.?
      Might we be looking at how religion fashions our education policies, our
      social policies, our cultural policies, our technology and science, our
      government, toleration, and the like? Maybe, how does religion affect
      our thinking? One aspect that I would like to see as a thread is clerical
      versus secular. For example, we have a secular Constitution over riding
      a religious nation.

      1. My I ask, what do you invisage our discussions about religion achieving.?

        First, just the truth in its raw form.

        Second, an expose’ of the bastards who pimp biblical crap as ‘God’s word.’ I’ve always hated shysters, you know.

        Third- it may unravel, like a sweater, something that none of us right now can envision.

    2. Thanks and good luck with that massive greenhouse. Here, you may recall, we use hoops perhaps 2 meters at its greatest height and enclose the plants in long ‘tubes’ rather than building rectangular prisms.

  2. Hello Muddy,
    OK one last gasp.

    Today Matt Strawn, the chairman of the Iowa Republican Party, is now declaring Rick Santorum the winner of the 2012 Iowa Caucuses. The announcement was made in a written statement released this morning along with the final “certified” Caucus results from the Iowa GOP. That’s right, Mitt Romney did not win Iowa!! A 34 vote loss for Mitt.

    Well I guess this Iowa GOP “Cluster F*#k” example could be a prediction of what to expect in November 2012…… Maybe another “STOLEN PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION” putting another unelected person in the White House.

    1. In 2008 I was amazed at the number of people who thought the the Presidential election was between Clinton and Obama (they thought the primaries were the general election). Last night I noticed on the news, when declaring the new Iowa results, Diane Sawyer used the phrase “Presidential election”. Wonder how many people are forgetting that President Obama is running again.

      1. When I went door-to-door in 2010 with pro-Strickland literature and information about poll location and times, many people asked me if Obama was on the ballot. When I said, “No, not this year,” it ended any discussion of voting. That’s why Ohio got right-winger Kasich as governor. The idiocy of it all is gagging to say the least.

  3. Great !!! I had a whole big comment, including questions, and by PFM it disappeared (kinda like some things in the Bible).

    Would it be OK with you if I list some questions as a starting point?

      1. Some assumptions I don’t know if correct:

        1. Bible as we know it was written in two parts, old and new testament
        2. Bible comprised of “books”
        3. Not all book written in same language, none in English
        3. Five different versions of Bibles in use today
        4. Almost all religions use some form of Bible
        5. Not all books included in all Bibles

        I think it’s important to understand the history of the Bible to understand the blind devotion of some believers today.

  4. important to understand the history of the Bible to understand the blind devotion of some believers today.

    That’s the point, exactly, Very few of us ever got the underpinnings of the Bible; all we got were the stories. That’s why it is so revered- because no one dares question the book. And that makes it a perfect pitch for the pimps.

  5. NEWS FLASH FOR SATURDAY MORNING:

    http://news.yahoo.com/u-gives-church-groups-birth-control-rule-200330535.html

    Another attempt by intolerant religious fanatics, who wrap themselves in
    the flag and call themselves patriots, to circumvent the law decided by the American people. For those youngin’s out there who weren’t around, when John Kennedy ran for President the religious fanatics were screaming that if he won, the Pope would rule the United States. Today they’re screaming that everybody must abide by what the Pope rules.

    1. intolerant religious fanatics, who wrap themselves in
      the flag and call themselves patriots

      There is nothing worse for America than this clutch of ‘citizens.’

  6. I haven’t been posting here since the sepp incident. Then, MikeB invited me to post on his blog, which is good–the gun control stuff can go away from mine for the most part and get posted there.

    I have been sick of the 2012 elections since they started in 2009. US elections go on far too long in any modern society IMHO, but there is too much money involved in the process for that to stop. If anything, this isn’t really democratic by any standard (so, why did the US go to war and support democracy when it doesn’t have it at home?). That said, I am trying to get as far away from US elections as possible, but that is nearly as hard as avoiding the superbowl.

    Besides the democratic hypocracy, the US was established as a secular state. The constitution mandates no religious test for public office and there is supposed to be “no (passing of any) law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”, yet it seems that there is a significant religious test being placed on this office. Even more questionable is the fact that no one says–“hey, wait this shouldn’t be happening!”

    Of course, the written constitution appears to not be worth the paper it is written on the way it is being trashed by politicians, judges, and the citizenry. The rule of law is the important thing, but that appears to have been lost in the shuffle.

    1. Welcome back, Laci. It is interesting to note your comment, The constitution mandates no religious test for public office and there is supposed to be “no (passing of any) law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”, About a week ago, a right-wing blog posed the question you raised above [and which we assume] but it was interesting to watch the [c]hristian right-wingers ob, weave, spin and lie about the intent of the authors of that statement. It was a gathering of the ignorant- a reunion of swill-swimmers- each positing the ‘fact’ that our nation is a Christian nation whose founding fathers established it as a Judeo-Christian nation.

      It was a vomitous pile of dung that drove me away, gagging.

  7. to me, the broken cork in the bottle neck of the wine bottle of evolution is religion. My evolving belief is that religion is the result of the evolution of of our consciousness and human intellect. Because religion deals with human emotion, our fears and our hopes and dreams it evolved as we evolved. Because it dealt with our fears and dreams, it evolved as human social systems evolved. From the social hive organization of civilized activities like building pyramids, to building The Vatican. How it interacted with the development of the concept of state in Europe in the middle ages. How it became a vessel to transfer power and retain some sort of control to this very age with the tattered remnants of monarchy. This of course lives on today in America clinging to the motto, “In God We Trust” and the increasingly desperate idea that there is somehow an organized war on religion when in my mind, it is more of Religions war against reality.
    I know I have said this before here, but it is my profound belief that we as a species have evolved intellectually beyond religion. Science, philosophy and our own innate ability to contact the inner core of our consciousness is provoking a social/political schizophrenia that is creating a crisis, a bottle neck that we have to get through. Rational politicians are forced to pay lip service to religion just to be conformist enough to be electable by the masses. I could go on…the crisis of prescription mood altering drugs in American society? What is this all about…really? Are we still so fearful of looking into the sky at night and wondering, “Who the fuck am I? Really? What is this shit all about?”….luckily for most Americans, the light pollution is so bad that that they can’t see the real night sky that freaked out their ancestors 40,000 years ago.

  8. Hello Muddy and Laci,
    I too have run into the exact same statement from the Religious Wing Nut Muddy spoke of. The unique development of Fundamentalist Religious Movement that really started in the 1920’s are now projecting their nihilistic viewpoints and beliefs onto our Founding Fathers. Nothing could be farther from the truth!

    I then replied with a posting to comment on a site that gave references, historical documentations from the Library of Congress, and other proof showing exactly how Thomas Jefferson through his past State of Virginia Legislation examples, letters to Madison who was the major influence of developing the Constitution through Jefferson’s mentoring while Jefferson was in France during this time. I also gave references from George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison to different religious groups in their time, the intent of the Constitution that the United States was NOT to be a religious but SECULAR nation making sure that no one’s religions viewpoints were to be an influence in our governing laws or elected officials. I also included that our Founding Fathers were educated and exposed to the “Age of Enlightenment” facts.

    The reply from the Religious Wing Nut Muddy was speaking of just came back with the same non-critical thinking, ignoring all the references and proof of a Secular Nation, and just repeated the robot statement, that he believed that our Founding Fathers established the United States as a Christian Nation. There is just no convincing a “Stupid Mind” “Empowered by Ignorance” of which we seem to have an exuberant plethora of. If nothing else they are vocal at least and have a propensity to display their shortcomings.

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