Trapped in Belief Systems

My religious agnosticism is no secret, yet I think that I may, in fact,  be a general agnostic. Or futurist. Of course, the latter sounds so much better. Futurist as in continually wishing to discover new things which may be of benefit to humankind.  Essentially, then,  I’m a skeptic although not necessarily a curmudgeon. Rather I’d like to associate myself with the original Greek, skeptomai and the philosopher Pyrrho.

From the mundane beliefs such as the citizenship of President Obama to the sublime as in the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, circles of people cling to their beliefs as if, perhaps, for security. As Bishop Spong said, “When people get to the point where they do not really believe what they are saying, they still seem to believe in believing in what they are saying! They do not even recognize the difference.”  Let the congregation say, ‘Amen!’

Take the political philosophy of conservatism. The nature of the term  indicates a belief-system rooted in things past as if they are still of value in the here and now. Many are stagnant. Some, festering. An especially egregious form of political conservatism expresses itself in the form that wishes to cling to worn-out and divisive ideologies such as isolationism and fear of the immigrant. Or militarism. And those who promote a caste system. Or theocracy. Any principle that posits we vs. them.

I think I may have just described the right-wing of the GOP.

Hmm.

Of course, it is an easy and slippery slide for a born-again, fundamentalist Christian to accept the political platform of the right wing. Yes, I know, that wasn’t at all what the man called the Christ was about. Not at all.  Yet, somehow, the story got twisted. Terribly disconnected from his teachings.

How’d that happen, anyway? What the Hell do the teachings of Jesus have to do with the right-wing conservative agenda?

Any guesses, ideas, suggestions…

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15 thoughts on “Trapped in Belief Systems

  1. Have you noticed that EVERY single Republican presidential candidate has embraced the ruling of the Roman Catholic Pope regarding birth control? (On topic, I can’t seem to locate the Bible verse about birth control. Any help out there?) In 1960 the Republicans were afraid that if elected, Kennedy (a Democrat) would embrace rules from Rome and act accordingly. So it must be that if elected, the Republican candidate would follow mandates from Rome like they’re doing now.

    I was watching the local news tonight and it just pissed me off they interviewed the local Bishop, but not a single Roman Catholic. Bishop Blair said exempting the Church was OK, but what about secondary education high schools, universities and hospitals? As I have mentioned before, the Church controlled by the Pope has yet to wrestle away control of these institutions from the various orders. The Church’s usual method is to threaten excommunication if the don’t come around. I have yet to meet a SINGLE Roman Catholic (and I’m in a throng of them) that agrees with the Pope’s stance on birth control. I’ve decided to vote for Rick Santorum in the primary. Can you think of a better Republican candidate that is guaranteed to lose to President Obama? And playing Devil’s advocate, can you imagine if he won? I think it would make a possible a 2014 election of a veto proof Democrat House and Democrat Senate. I know, just thinking about all the Santorum mucking up the White House is gross; but hey, sometimes you have not choice but to work with s*** !

    1. I wonder what our local bishop, mentioned above, would do if he knew that there is a movement afoot here in the Toledo area to explore the ordination of women as priests? I attended a gathering last evening on the subject. Can you imagine what that ‘news’ would do to the ‘most reverend?’ Hell, he fell apart just thinking about condoms and bc pills; he might have a stroke at Father Susan.

      Look for pink smoke over the Vatican.

      1. The Italian Government recently reopened the investigation into the Swiss Guard murder/suicides that occurred a few years ago. The church had thought they had hushed it all up, paid everyone off…nothing to look at, move on….

      2. I have been to several Masses celebrated by women, one by a well known nun (who the current Pope is very aware of). One of my sisters is kind a local women’s movement celebrity, but she’s still a very active member of the Church. When I ask the women in my family why they accept being minor players in the Church, they usually tell me to shut up. Maybe women need a shove backward to get fired up again.

        1. Maybe women need a shove backward to get fired up again.

          Yes, maybe they should although you may know that The Hierarchy holds a large club over their heads which reads, Excommunication! It is not unlike the Inquisition lo those many centuries ago. One nun of which I know spoke out in support of the ordination of women and she was given 30 days to ‘recant’ or be excommunicated.

          Salem Witch Trials.

  2. Hello NON,
    “In 1960 the Republicans were afraid that if elected, Kennedy (a Democrat) would embrace rules from Rome and act accordingly. So it must be that if elected, the Republican candidate would follow mandates from Rome like they’re doing now.”

    Here is a good example for the application of Logical Critical Thinking. Everything I try to pass on to learn and all to employ when they write postings.

    I am please to say that those I have interacted with on a regular basis have a good understanding of this. It is those who come to just drop “Crap Bombs,” even after explaining their pitfalls to them and give examples, still revert back to the improper “Internet Argument Tactics” that is just full of the lack of English 101 (or even High School Senior English).

    You gentlemen restore my faith that there is hope for us all.

  3. “You gentlemen restore my faith that there is hope for us all.”
    You talkin to me? (delivered like DeNiro in Taxi Driver)
    In the thread of the last post, mudrake used the quote by Spong and he uses it here again in this post.
    “When people get to the point where they do not really believe what they are saying, they still seem to believe in believing in what they are saying! They do not even recognize the difference.”
    I think I glossed over the significance of this and I keep coming back to it.
    In the last post, on the Michigan Militia trial, I kept thinking about the Militias in America, the closed secret societies knit together by fueled paranoia. There is an aspect of human behavior, our genetic behavioral programming that has allowed human to great things and very destructive things collectively. The same urge that created the pyramids and the hysteria of the Salem Witch trials. Historically, there have been many eruptions of violent, irrational and loony phenomena, mass manifestations which could be considered the physical evidence of a much deeper sickness. This phenomena occurs when humans in group are suffering from physical and philosophical stress.
    Consider the “Dancing Plagues” of the middle ages. Entire villages were abandoned as almost everyone abandoned reality and formed huge masses of dancing people, who danced themselves into destruction.
    The rather apocalyptic history of modern Jamaica is a microcosm of this. Periodically, this would erupt into a mass migrations of entire villages to the ocean to await ships that god would send to take them away or more often, violent mass uprisings and massacres against the white upper classes.
    When these things happen, the results seem to be a form of mass insanity, but the insanity is an expression that masks the real spiritual crisis. As I said earlier, most people who profess to be “birthers” have accepted the belief in the twisted rationalization that they willfully ignore facts because it masks the real reasons for their belief in a meme.
    The twisted rationalization of anti abortion violence…the twisted rationalizations of those who want to ban contraception based on religious views….The acceptance of the death penalty.
    I could give many historical and rather contemporary examples of this phenomena of social crisis turning into Mass hysteria that is the result of a transfer from the actual root cause into psychotic irrational mass mania . In the 1820’s there was a totally irrational witchcraft mania which left hundreds of black New York City residents dead. The anti draft riots in New York during the Civil War…Both of these horrible incidents had other causes, but manifested themselves into ugly brutal murderous racism.
    I talk about fascism and the methods of fascist control. These things are instinctual. We are all bound together by our collective evolutionary consciousness. That is the danger of the use of religious, and moral manipulation by the extreme right. We all have the genetic urge to become part of a mob. Hive? or Mob? What do you think?

  4. Better yet, what does the teachings of someone who said:

    “I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” Matthew 19:23-24

    This was a response to a young rich man who had asked Jesus what he needed to do in order to inherit eternal life. Jesus replied that he should keep the commandments, to which the man stated he had done. Jesus responded, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” The young man became sad and was unwilling to do this.

    That’s just the tip of the iceberg, but if you consider that the rule of reciprocity (AKA “Golden Rule”), that is that one treats others as he would wish to be treated, is found in most religions–the religiouos right’s platform makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.

    WHile claiming to be a Christian nation, the US is actually a nation of hypocrites.

    1. The ‘through the eye of a needle ‘ passage apparently does not apply to most wealthy Americans. The teachings of Jesus are served up cafeteria-style, allowing Christians to decide which ideals to choose as they move through life.

  5. OFF TOPIC CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTION QUESTION:

    In 2007 & 2008 I made total donations to the Clinton campaign of $2,500. Since the limit that election cycle was $2,400, I had to sign something transferring $100 to her 2012 Presidential Campaign. This election cycle the maximum to an individual candidate is $2,500.

    1. Where does that $100 go now that Clinton is not running, the DNC?

    2. I’m already signed up to give $2,500 to Obama this campaign cycle. If I go to one these fundraisers, where does that money go? The invitations clearly state the fundraisers are for the Obama re-election campaign, not the Super PAC.

    3. Each person donating is limited to $2,500. If my spouse donates, how do they know that is not really me since I make most of the money in my household?

    They don’t teach campaign donation laws in college because the laws are constantly changing.

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