Thursday, July 17, 2014

Religious futility

It's a mark of pagan religion, including most Christianity, to consider ethical conduct and religious devotion to be unrelated matters.  It's not easy for Christians to explicitly say that in the face of the Bible that they claim to believe, but that is obviously what they really believe - their Bibles be damned.  I deal with such, for instance, on school boards all the time.  Such religion is certainly worse than nothing.

I think it's unjust to call this simple hypocrisy, although it is hypocrisy of the utterly sincere kind we see in the Pharisees.  These hypocrites are not con-men.  They are zealously convinced of their religion.  It is what C. S. Lewis called the innocence of evil.  They believe, these Christians, what their gods teach them.  And all such religion in the world, the gods actually worshiped, simply do not see anything wrong with being zealous for God and given to any sort of depravity, because that religious devotion makes up for all that corruption. 

Well, yes, I have been doing little boys in the Sandusky manner, but celebrating Mass and hearing confessions is service to God that makes up for that.  Yes, the kids in our mission school are being beaten and raped, but we're proclaiming the gospel, so it's OK and indeed service to God to cover that up, because if we didn't - if we did the truth - the kingdom of God would be harmed because people wouldn't be believing our story about Jesus.  No marvel that these Christoids bring the same mentality everywhere they go in the world in whatever they do, whether serving on the school board or higher political office, or in businesses like Amway, or whatever. 

The faith that Jesus teaches has nothing in common with any of this.  It is all about the truth and nothing else.  In John 3, he said that the condemnation is this: that light comes into the world and men hate the light because their deeds are evil, something that he held to be the case when he was not yet on the scene personally. For Jesus it was not whether you professed to believe in him.  In John 8, some of them believed in him, and then he said a few things to these believers in him, identifying them as sons of the devil, and they picked up stones to kill him. 

When people came under condemnation for not believing him it was because, and only because, the truth before their face demanded that they believe in Jesus, and they could not, given what was before them, refuse to believe without denying the truth.  Unfortunately, that's not what happens much these days.  The reason people these days don't believe in Jesus is that the Jesus being presented to them is a lie.  They're not disbelieving because they're rejecting the truth.  They're disbelieving because they're rejecting religious garbage.  In spite of appearances, Jesus and his gospel are not actually even coming into it.

The only God that any Christian has any business presenting is the God who is worshiped by receiving and doing the truth, and who is denied by walking in the lie, however zealous for God we may be.  That doesn't happen much.  I can't speak of other times in which I haven't lived, but I find this a very tough time to live, and most religious assemblies worse than useless.  Paul wrote even in Corinth 1900 years ago that they were coming together not for the better but for the worse, and that sure hasn't stopped being true since he wrote it.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to suggest something here.
It may seem harsh but I think that only people who have read the bible and great novels by people like Dickens and Dumas and Hugo can comment on this judgement.
Perhaps on of the reasons that Christians are so damned dumb is because of the stories and books that they read. Comparing stories in the Bible with the stories of later writers is like comparing stoned age stick drawings with paintings by Rembrandt, Valasquez, or van Hals.
That some people can learn anything decent at all from such stories is not the credit of the Bible but the credit of the human mind which is capable of making diverse connections.
I can not say from first hand expeirience but from what I have often heard, as a work of art the Quran (Koran) is a masterpiece.
The only problem is that to be able to judge that independently a person needs to be able to speak Arabic.
None the less even if it were such a masterpiece that it is evidence that it is written by a non human source does not mean that it should be uncritically accepted as a reliable source.
Ditto for what ever it is that the Buddha is recorded as saying. It is even recorded that the Buddha said so himself.
Now this may seem cruel to but look at the way that Arabs are acting in Iraq in particular. Their lands have been invaded by outsiders and the Sunnis and Shias
(Shiites) chose to fight each other rather than the outsiders.
That really does not make a very good advertisement for the supposed source of their supposed wisdom. In my book that makes them even dumber than Americans.

7/17/2014 4:08 PM  
Blogger Judy said...

When people came under condemnation for not believing him it was because, and only because, the truth before their face demanded that they believe in Jesus, and they could not, given what was before them, refuse to believe without denying the truth.

7/17/2014 6:51 PM  
Blogger Judy said...

Please explain the above again? I don't understand it.
The first sentence of the last paragraph I want to get a tattoo of. That word about receiving the truth... Feels like it can kill ya. I hate how easily I forget that truth.

7/17/2014 6:54 PM  
Blogger Peter Attwood said...

John 15:24 says that unbelievers in him people would have no sin if they hadn't seen him doing the works among them that no one else did. So there is the problem. They were on notice of the trtuh, and they were willfully blind.

The issue id exactly the same as when the superintendent is informed and made to see the tape of the aide slapping the kid around in his wheelchair. If he hadn't been told and seen the tape, he would bew off the hook. But if he heard and saw - that's a different thing.

7/17/2014 8:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If he had not been told and seen the tape he would be off the hook.
That comment makes me think about an exchange I had on Juan Cole's blog about a comment that was written about Nazis that did not have blood on their hands who were allowed to take leadership positions in post war Germany. I then commented that there were no innocent Nazis. Then someone else pointed out the example of Mr. Schindler. So I was forced to admit that there were innocent Nazis. i think that what could be perhaps pointed out though is that in those cases where Nazis were innocent it was because the were pretending to be Nazis.
What I think is more important though when we are talking about real Nazis is that they all had blood on their hands yet some were technically innocent. They were innocent by reason of insanity. Innocent by reason of insanity does not let someone off the hook though. Such people have to have their freedom taken away until their mental illness is cured. It would certainly make sense to say that the greater the crime the greater the burden of proof should be that the person has been cured before they are released.
Now let me move forward from the 1940s to today. The USA has a higher rate of imprisonment than any other country in the world unless a person wants to say that in North Korea the rate of imprisonment is 100%. What is even worse is that we have reached a point that to be able to control prisoners many are being treated worse than animals.
It seems to be that we have reached this state as a result of policies that go back to the founding of America.
I do not think that change is on the horizon for America's prisoners. If many Americans are proud of hating strangers they are even prouder of hating American prisoners. (Prisnoers in Cuba or China on the other hand are honored.)
There is no political pressure to make life for American prisoners better. What I am wondering about though is if there were even pressure to do something different what would it be? At this moment solitary confinement and super max prisons seem to me to be at least a temporary necessary evil.

7/18/2014 2:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

An American an Israeli and a Palestinian all arrive at the gates of hell at the same time. They are met by the devil who tells them that do he paid the Heritage Foundation, the Cato Institute and the Brookings Institute to study why the number of people arriving at his gates had been decreasing over the past several years. As a result of the findings that he was presented with he had decided that everyone would get one final telephone call, at their own expense, to settle their affairs before they past through the Ruby Gates.

So the Devil tells the American that he can make a call for 450 dollars. The American pays the money and makes the call.
The Devil then tells the Israeli that his telephone call will cost 41 dollars. The American pays the bill and the Israeli makes the call.
The Devil then tells the the Palestinian that his call will cost 39 cents. The American and the Israeli start to raise holy hell that the Palestinian has got such a huge discount. The Devil cuts them short, "His call is only a local call".

7/21/2014 2:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I heard a one liner yesterday that I thought was funny. This one liner was said on a TV program that took place in London in the 1890s but I think that it has been true pretty much at any point of human history.
The person said, "If these are civilized times I wonder what the barbaric times looked like."

7/22/2014 1:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I was a kid in school and the teacher would ask an easy question an no one would answer because no one wanted to look like a teachers pet. I really felt pity for the teacher.
I am glad that I remembered that.
Some people might accuse me of being a barbarian because I think that it can be OK to murder people for politcal reasons.
Naturally my defense will be how can any who takes pity on teachers who get left hanging in the wind by their class be a really bad person?
I wonder if I will actually ever have to say that to someone?
I wonder if George Bush, or Saddam Hussein, or Colin Powell, or Tommy Franks, or Benji Yahoo, oe Kaiser Wilhelm ever took pity on their teachers.

7/24/2014 8:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

some people are so jaded they might think that I made up the story about feeling pity for my teachers.
Anyways on a more seerious note.
I just read that the people who claimed to have taken control of western Iraq and eastern Syria are intending to carry out the genital mutilation of females over the age of 11 years old in the territory that they control.
I have my doubts that they will be capable of carrying out such a policy. But if I am wrong this is what I would do about it if I were on the central committee of a country with a permanent seat on the UN Security Council.
I would urge the CC to urge the UN to issue a ruling against this policy that would allow outside countries to take military action against these pirates and defamers of Islam. I have no doubt that would pass because none of the permanent members have any motive to veto it.
I would then give material backing to any forces in Western Iraq who would be willing to fight the defamers of Islam. If there were not any takers I would urge and provide material support to Iran to do what ever was necessary to drive the defamers of Islam literally underground, 6 ft under.
Since I and Khameni do have quite a bit in common dispite some differences I think that I would be the one person outside of Russia that could pull this off.
But, if I failed I would then encourage either Turkey or Egypt to invade the area and put things in order.
If that failed I would admit military defeat. I would not send
US or UK or French or Russian or Chinese or Indian or Brazilian or German troops in to clean up someone elses house unless all of these countries agreed to do it together and to share the costs in a manner that I was happy with. And that they all had the understanding that the forces going in will not use tactics that will reduce the risks to their own forces at the expense of the local population. But that some aspects of freedom of speech and thought will be curtailed in the occupied area. Yes an inquisition would take place. Inquisitions are at times justified. Genocide is a crime because it harms people for a stupid reason. One the other hand exterminating people because of the rules that they would try to impose on the rest of us can be legitimate. In the past the Manacheans and the Cathars were wiped out due to persecution. I am sure that if they would have had the power to do so the enemies of the Aztecs would have exterminated them as well. I doubt if the Cathars or the Manacheans were really all that bad. Powerful forces of the time must have really been annoyed by them however or they wound not have gone to so much trouble to kill them.
Another option that would be in the cards if it had enough international support would be to go in a evacuate every female in the region who wanted to go with a promise that she and her children would be given enough support outside of their homeland that they would not suffer from poverty.
The governments of the oil rich gulf states would be made to pay for this relocation or else every male over the age of 16 in these countries would be murdered. And every male in the royal families would be tortured in a drawn out manner manner that has not been seen in Europe for over 500 years.
Now some liberals might complain about such a collective punishment. They should remember tthat it will only be carried out iif the royal blue blood rulers who have been funding the ISIL refuse to pay.
One other thing that would have to be looked in to if I were on the CC is to make sure that there was no extraordinary secret ssupport by rogue elements in the US government of this group. If so mid evil rules would apply.

7/24/2014 11:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All Around futility
It has been more than 9 years since the death of Colonel Theodore Westhusing. When I heard about his death I thought this is huge his death is going to cause consequences.
I was really wrong on that count. So far, his death has has caused no visible consequences at all. If his death was of no importance then it must be really trivial now. He was swept under the rug just like the crew of the USS Liberty.

8/11/2014 1:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Back in 1985 our commander LTC English had all of the officers over to his house for supper. After the supper he gave a long talk. The title of the talk could have very well been U.S. means us. After the while driving home Captain Duncan said I wonder what that was all about. I did not know. Actually it was so obtuse I did not have a clue as to what he was really getting at. I hate it when people are not direct in their speech.
Now I understand what the point of that talk was. It is that the members of the US military are first and foremost centurions for an empire. The reason that talk was given then was because of what had happened in an exercise earlier. A member of the US military did not act in a manner that was consistent with the values of placing America first even when America is acting like an ass. Nothing was learned by me from this talk because the specific example could not be overtly pointed out because it would have been obvious that the US military was acting like an ass and therefore it would have not have helped the moral of the officers in the unit knowing that they were potentially risking their lives for an empire not a republic.
I have spent a long time in service to this empire as a lab rat constantly being studied to see how far I will go to not implement the policies of an empire.
It is to bad that those who studied me did not learn anything either.

8/13/2014 4:42 AM  

Those whom are religious sort of make it up as they go along. In the bible it states theirs only two reasons to devorse a partner If theirs infidelity or if your partner dies. Yet we see different religions marring couples three or four times.

8/13/2014 10:47 AM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home