Tradition of Prayer Wins at SCOTUS

Anthony KennedyThe current version of the majority in the Supreme Court shows consistent overpowering of the minority. Clearly these boys in majority long for the old days where the strong survived and the meek died. Like many in the public they are tired of those annoying minorities seeking some means of being included. It’s Herbert Spencer and survival of the fittest all over again. Eugenics doesn’t just mean finding the right partner for your son or daughter it is now building a group, community, class that lives, breeds, and excels within their own world, without contamination.

I guess they forgot reading all of those books and case studies in school showing how the strong become excessive and need some law and order to keep the everyday, working people safe and able to excel. Oh, yeah, right, we don’t need the working people anymore. We’re creating a neoslave economy where low income, service, and manufacturing labor is essentially unimportant. Machines will in the next two decades take over another 45% of labor jobs in a market where there is too much labor already.

If you can’t make money off cheap production in resource then you make it off capital, passive wealth rules because you don’t have to work, it’s taxed less or hide the money, and you can pass it along to those worthless children that don’t get the value of work but are still your children. Entitlement has always been born and held dear by the immoral rich. It’s not the money, it’s the immorality.

The neoslaves watch endless versions of monarchies and vampires on TV hoping to be like them because you can’t overcome such power or difference. Where even the good guys who are really quite evil get killed off. Who would have thought I’d pine for General Hospital.

The distinguishing characteristic of this SCOTUS case is the town meeting versus legislative meetings. The first now allows sectarian prayer and the later has always been allowed to have ceremonial deism. The difference is in respect for others. And bias.

We know if you wish to succeed you need to dress for success, to be noticed and respected.

We know if you wear red you’re more likely to win in competitions.

We know if you see $9.99 on a price tag you really will think it’s less that $10.00, even if you know it’s not true.

Biases this small exist. Imagine if you, as a town council person, have to deal with some bastard that is a bastard and shows it by leaving the room during a prayer. Why respect that idiot? Why give them anything?

The Supreme Court says if Joe or Suzy Bagodonuts go to a town meeting to discuss a variance, a zoning ordinance, or any such thing and you leave the room because they are praying to a god unfamiliar to you no one will notice, care, or have a perception of you. But of course if you’re not Christian you can’t possibly be moral, or American.

This is the Supreme Court that insists if someone buys you lunch you won’t have any bias or positive feelings towards them that might encourage a future favor. After all patriarchy is benevolent. We’ll take care of you, step right this way.

They also insist that money doesn’t matter in elections because we all vote according to conscience and media doesn’t affect our opinions at all.

It’s sad to be 56 years old and watching a Benjamin Button political farce where as I grow older the politicians grow infantile.

Won’t be long until the only way to become wealthy for most of us will be to marry wealthy.

Justice Kennedy and his fellow ilk prove history is enough to continue a practice proving he’s stuck in the past. Oh for the good old days when labor was cheap, wealth went to the righteous, and the right stuff ruled. Wait, that’s right now.

Baltimore Sun, Washington PostCNN, Another Washington Post, New Yorker

Jim Newman, bright and well  www.frontiersofreason.com

Dragons are Real and in the Bible

Wien_Wappen_Margareten_(Ortsteil)Yeah, just when you think creationists are running low on steam–even Ken Ham is having to add zip lines and nonreligious attractions to attract people–Darek Isaacs pops up like a puppet and claims dragons are real and found in the bible. As a father who has children that love dragons I resent them being made part of biblical support in religion. What next? Hogwarts is really an ancient biblical school from the time of Jesus when magic and miracles were competing against each other?

In his 2010 book, Dragons or Dinosaurs, Isaacs noted that biblical dragons have received a bad rap for years because they couldn’t shake their storybook reputation.

“Modern translators simply could not allow the dragon to have an authentic seat at the biblical table in these modern sophisticated times,” Isaacs wrote. “Therefore, in poor form, a blind eye is turned to that scaly and unwanted dinner guest … So, to the temporary hope of secularists, and to the anxiety-riddled, uninformed Church, I will shine a spotlight for all to see that the bible speaks of dragons as real.”

Old crap after all but new video that makes you cringe.

Many have surmised that people imagined dragons as real because of smaller similar versions like the Komodo dragon or finding fossils and projecting. It’s a bigger story but OK.

It would have been nice if Isaacs had mentioned the presence of dragons in the Epic of Gilgamesh and its presence in Beowolf. As well as the Greek origin of the word and their use of it as a giant serpent. The Shang dynasty (1600-1100 BCE) has many references to dragons as well. The oldest jade image of a dragon dates 5-6 thousand years ago. It might have reinforced his claim that dragons are well described in history before the bible and areas where the bible had never been known.

But that would have meant making the story about dragons. His story is about the bible and Isaacs doesn’t give a damn about dragons and where they came from.

Notice the image of a dragon I use is of female seductress relating to empathy of a snake as cause of man’s fall. The snake as typical of female wiles to get around brutish man. Now, there’s a biblical story. Wait, a serpent is not a dragon or is it?  And no dragons weren’t always mortal enemies. Images of Persians in war show dragons flying on leashes as warriors. Just more creationist fluff.

JIm Newman, bright and well

www.frontiersofreason.com

Christianity is Paganized Judaism

jesusChristianity is little more than paganized judaism–catholicism maintained pagan monarchy. Islam is nothing more than reinvented-remarketed Judeo-Christianity minus the trinity with a more local prophet and minus a king. It took several hundred years of the early church to merge the renegade Jesus with the pagan environment in which he fought for change. Rome undoubtedly corrupt and besieged by too many frontier wars, nepotism, crop failures, and disease (plague) foundered and the marginalized poor and nonRomans were able to come to power over several hundred years. And when they did they made being nonChristian illegal.

When Christ spilled the tables of the money-changers and chased the animals from the temple courtyard he was chafing at Roman rule. Evangelicals and others love to use this story as a parable against money and materialism and the corruption of the church as sole location of spiritual practice.

What they miss is that Jews had no other place to gather ands practice. Passover was a time when other Jews came and participated and needed to exchange their local money for Roman currency. It was also a time to trade and barter animals for food and money. They couldn’t do it elsewhere because for the Romans the Jews were an evil element that did not recognize Roman temples, idols, and imperial godliness. The Romans tried to contain them. Jesus can’t go fight the Romans but he can get pissed at his fellow Jews for being complacent at their oppression.

For pagans a place of worship might indeed be used for sacrifices, idol worship, food redistribution, and sex. Our modern notion of sacrifice sounds evil but in fact sacrifice was more the ritual slaughter of animals for feasting as a group. It’s really not far different than the industrialized Kosher or Halal where a priest blesses the animal and then it is bled to death for consumption at that time. Islam has maintained this Jewish practice while Christians have not though churches still do a lot of feasting including the ever popular whole-hog pit roast.

The belief that Christ was a god-man would have been anathema to Christ. He never thought himself the son of god in any other way than any paternally religious person would consider themselves the children of their god. Indeed, the notion that man could be god came with rationality and humanism with religion where Plato’s forms was extended to Aristotelian logic where a pure human was one of Plato’s forms where no perfect human actually exists but there is a perfect form that somehow drives or creates the extent instantiations.

It’s also pagan. Zeus, Jupiter,  is god and man. Christ would have run from this as Jews had no belief that god could be a man and Christ himself never claimed to be god like though he claimed miracles. Miracles were not the big deal then they are now. We think of miracles as some rarified instance of suspension of physics. Near 0 CE science as empirical knowledge codified as we know it lagged far behind the vastness of mystery, mystery religions, and objective knowledge. There were miracles everywhere, all the time, as perceived by the people. Narratives of experience were true. The eyes did not deceive for most.

For Jesus truth meant being a better Jew, a Zealot, closer to the Torah. For his pagan converts it meant combining idols, miracles, and human gods with Jesus’s implorations to be better Jews. The Jews were to arise against Rome and rebuild their oppressed empire. This led to further persecution and Rome finally sacked, burned, and tore to the ground all of Jerusalem. And rightly so. regardless of what one thinks of Rome its usurpation was desired by the Jews and the hope for a Messiah, a new Moses, was rampant. He would bring justice and power to the chosen ones here on Earth. Heaven was a pagan concept.

Rome does collapse while the marginalized claw to power through a fragmented Roman citizenry. Truth as a new narrative arose to provide a flag, a banner, an ideology that is supposedly different than all the rest. Often the best way to merge disparate groups is to create a new name to which all may gather. This saves face for the outliers and humbles the majority while creating a bigger tent that seems more equal.

I was reminded of all this yesterday listening to Reza Aslan on NPR (pitching his book “Zealot, Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth.”)  First Muslim, then evangelical Christian, then apologist Christian, and then finally Muslim again, Aslan’s journey is a rediscovery of the religion in which he is born. What turns him back to Islam? His realization that Jesus was a man and the casting away of the trinity as remotely tenable.

Aslan speaks much about the disparity of Islam which though involves a quarter of the world’s population is the most diverse religion because it has no central authority and as such the biggest issue of Islam is not the Mideast but the farther reaches where syncretic practices make Islam diverse. He is most interesting in stating that Jihad is is a cosmic war, a war of heaven here on Earth.

American rhetoric of “war on terrorism”, Aslan says, is in precise “cosmic dualism” to Al Qaeda’s jihad. Aslan draws a distinction between Islamism and JihadismIslamists have legitimate goals and can be negotiated with, unlike Jihadists, who dream of an idealized past of a pan-Islamic, borderless “religious communalism”. Aslan’s prescription for winning the cosmic war is to not fight, but rather engage moderate Islamic political forces in the democratic process. “Throughout the Middle East, whenever moderate Islamist parties have been allowed to participate in the political process, popular support for more extremist groups has diminished.”

Here is a video of an interview.

He has an excellent point about democracy. It is not fair, just, or enlightened, it merely means the people voted for it. Majority rule is an extension of might makes right applied to populations.

While I agree that the West is not going to resolve the issues of Islam, is a bystander, I do insist that the unifying aspect of Islam is the Koran and the Hadith and dealing with Islam as an ideology is a viable way of destabilizing the negativity of this document and modifying the Hadith to be more humane. I do disagree with the disfluence of the West, globalization and social media exposes people to ideas they receive no other way. I also disagree with his idea the education doesn’t change people but only relationships do. Right now with the bent against intellectuality and education there is a penchant to say it’s all about relationships. A potent choice but one not always available to many–“sleeping with the enemy” is not an ubiquitous solution.

Instead, I go with Paulo Freire‘s development of critical pedagogy.

Critical pedagogy is a philosophy of education described first by Paulo Freire and developed by Henry Giroux as an “educational movement, guided by passion and principle, to help students develop consciousness of freedom, recognize authoritarian tendencies, and connect knowledge to power and the ability to take constructive action.”

You can see a recent Jon Stewart interview with Aslan here.

Here is an interview with Sam Harris.

Jim Newman, bright and well

www.frontiersofreason.com

AHA Distributes Jefferson Bible to New Congress

jefferson-bible-290x290The AHA (American Humanist Association) has provided electronic and paper copies of Jefferson’s Bible to all in coming congress.

The so-called “Jefferson Bible” was handcrafted by the second president with a razor blade and a paste pot. He cut what he considered supernatural events — the virgin birth, miracles and healings — from the story of Jesus’ life, and pasted together what remained. In letters to John Adams, Jefferson described this as tearing down the “artificial scaffolding” from Jesus’ teachings.

Yes, edit the damned book. Christians create tons of translations to make it accessible and then insist on its literal veracity. As so many devout say it is the word of god as it needed to be expressed at the time. While I still think it is bullshit, at least we could make people aware of how it is an interpreted document.

A new version published by Humanist Press takes Jefferson’s idea further. In addition to Jefferson’s text, “A Jefferson Bible For the 21st Century,” includes what its editors consider the best and the worst of the sacred texts of other world religions — the Hebrew Tanakh, the Quran, the Bhagavad Gita, Buddhist Sutras and the Book of Mormon.

While I think this is a step. It’s a damned small step. A big step would be to have congress read John Locke, Hobbes, Rousseau, and Wollstonecraft. These are the great minds that created the philosophy birthing America’s democratic republic. Every politician should read them.

The ideals of the enlightenment still stand today as the source of energy towards a better world.

· People can comprehend, change and perhaps control universe.

· Philosophy and science – combination of reason and empirical research.

· Abstract systems of ideas that made rational sense, but with study of the real social world.

· Application of scientific method to social issues – discover social laws.

· Social analysis and social scientists should be useful to the world – create better world.

· Criticism of traditional authority, institutions and beliefs – irrationality of these.

· Human growth and development of society occur if tradition gives way to reason.

· Emphasis on the individual rather than society.

If we give congress a stack of bibles we reinforce that sacred writings count in governance. We also continue the incorrect assumption that all religious practices are evidence of one great spiritual belief.

As far as I am concerned we could take all of these ancient tombs put them in libraries, admire them for their quaint perspicacity, and get on with the law and philosophy appropriate to govern people now. To think we still don’t eat pork or consider women unequal should be enough to show these ancient texts are no more than stories and allegories, many of them evidencing horrid and cruel practices.

Jim Newman, bright and well

www.frontiersofreason.com

 

Shit Jehovah’s Witnesses Say #3: “We Don’t Celebrate…”

Shit Jehovah's Witnesses Say

 -Bridget R. Gaudette

..Christmas, Easter, Halloween, Mother’s Day (and we’re unpatriotic).”

The primary reasons that Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t participate in the celebration of the holidays listed above (and below) is because the holidays are categorized as either patriotic, originating from a “false religion” (anything but JW) or not SPECIFICALLY commanded by god: all of which are BAD.

I decided to lump in the JW ban on patriotism because it has the same root reason they use for not celebrating certain holidays. Patriotism is a dirty word. You won’t hear a JW say they love their country. JWs do not vote for individuals in elections, they do not salute the flag nor sing the national anthem. JWs will not serve in the military nor will they work for a company that is associated with the military. They use the following scriptures to justify this:

John 18:36: “Jesus answered [the Roman governor]: ‘My kingdom is no part of this world.’”

John 15:19: “If you [Jesus’ followers] were part of the world, the world would be fond of what is its own. Now because you are no part of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, on this account the world hates you.”

1 John 5:19: “The whole world is lying in the power of the wicked one.” (Compare John 14:30; Revelation 13:1, 2; Daniel 2:44.)

Loving one’s country would constitute being a part of the world. Therefore, no patriotism allowed.

JWs overemphasize this language, “no part of the world”, to keep their members in check, isolated and fearful. It’s classic cult brainwashing behavior. As a JW, the word “worldly” is equated with evil. If a JW wants to dissuade another from some activity or a person, the only reason they’d need to give is that it is “worldly”. Even now, having left almost 12 years ago, the word gives me an uneasy feeling. Let me emphasize: “worldly” is bad. Staying ignorant is preferred. Or else.

So I’ll give you a quick breakdown of the holidays and the reasons JWs give for not celebrating them. For brevity’s sake I am coding them as follows: patriotic (P), originating from a “false religion” (FR) or not SPECIFICALLY commanded by god (NoGod):

Let’s start with the Federal holidays:

  • New Year’s Day- P, FR, NoGod. The Romans dedicated New Year’s Day to the pagan god Janus. In addition it offers the opportunity for  drunkenness and the accompanied “sins“.
  • Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. & Washington’s Birthday- P, NoGod: From their website jw.org, “The only two birthday celebrations spoken of in the Bible were held by persons who did not worship Jehovah. (Genesis 40:20-22; Mark 6:21, 22, 24-27) The early Christians did not celebrate birthdays. The custom of celebrating birthdays comes from ancient false religions.” This is the reason no JW gets to celebrate their birthday. Shit.
  • Memorial Day & Veterans Day- P, NoGod: Since these days are set aside to remember the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces and JWs are against military service, they don’t celebrate it. They benefit from the sacrifices made by these individuals, but they won’t show appreciation.
  • Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, ThanksgivingP, NoGod: God didn’t spell all of these out in the Bible and they celebrate the birth and growth of this nation so.. nope!
  • Christmas Day: FR, NoGod. Most people are aware of the pagan roots and many non-JW Christians do not celebrate for this reason so I won’t even get into that. JWs take is a step further and state that “Jesus never commanded Christians to celebrate his birth.” Jesus never commanded his followers to do LOTS of things, but I find that to be a very weak reason for not celebrating Christmas. I’m an atheist so I don’t really care, but still…

More holidays.. but I think you’re getting the point.

  • Good Friday- FR, NoGod: This day commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus and his death. Jesus DID command his followers to observe this. Luke 22:19 reads:  And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” That being said, JWs do not mix in their celebration with other Christians. They celebrate this one holiday and call it “The Memorial”, not Good Friday. This is the ONLY sacred day that JW’s recognize. It’s like Easter for everyone else because they dress up and 99% of them show up for the sermon and to pass around the wafers and the wine.
  • EasterFR, NoGod. From JW literature, “Promoted as a celebration of Christ’s resurrection, [...] the name Easter itself has been linked to Eostre, or Ostara, the Anglo-Saxon goddess of the dawn and of spring [...] Easter, therefore, is really a fertility rite thinly disguised as a celebration of Christ’s resurrection.” I’m a 34 year old woman who has never gotten to go on an Easter egg hunt or paint eggs. I did however, partake of the discounted candy the next day. Too bad it has pagan roots!
  • Mother’s Day: FR, NoGod. Again from the JW magazines, Mother’s Day is “a festival derived from the custom of mother worship in ancient Greece. Formal mother worship, with ceremonies to Cybele, or Rhea, the Great Mother of the Gods, were performed on the Ides of March throughout Asia Minor.” Heaven forbid JW’s get caught up honoring the feminine!!
  • Halloween: FR, NoGod. Do I even need to explain? A quote from the JW mags: “Known for its witches, goblins, and other grotesque decorations and paraphernalia, Halloween—also called All Hallows’ Eve— can be traced back to the ancient Celts of Britain and Ireland. On the full moon nearest November 1, they celebrated the festival of Samhain, meaning “Summer’s End.” They believed that during Samhain, the veil between the human and the supernatural worlds was parted and that spirits, both good and evil, roamed the earth. The souls of the dead were thought to return to their homes, and families would put out food and drink for their ghostly visitors in hopes of appeasing them. Thus, when children today, dressed as ghosts or witches, go from house to house threatening a mischievous trick unless they receive a treat, they unwittingly perpetuate the rituals of Samhain.” For some reason that sounds fun to me. <shrugs>
  • Valentine’s Day: FR, NoGod: “Valentine’s Day comes on the feast day of two different Christian martyrs named Valentine. But the customs connected with the day . . . probably come from an ancient Roman festival called Lupercalia which took place every February 15. The festival honored Juno, the Roman goddess of women and marriage, and Pan, the god of nature.” It’s amazing that the JWs find a way to take the fun out of celebrating LOVE!
  • St. Patrick’s Day: FR, NoGod: This is fairly obvious. The Catholic said this guy was a saint and since JWs believe they are the only ones who know what god thinks they don’t recognize Patrick as anyone special.
So there you have it. JWs are pretty much as boring as they seem. They are proud to say that they don’t celebrate much. I believe this is one of their key marks of being a high control group.. a cult. They demonize the practices of the rest of Christianity to prove that THEY hold the only key to salvation. Then, they drill it into their adherents to not to be a part of the world because Jesus said so. The shit they spray is to “peep separate from other Christians, oh and actually keep separate from ‘the world'”.

__________________________________

Check back for more Shit JWs Say.

#1 “Keep Records on Your Neighbors”

#2 “It’s Only a Legitimate Rape if You Scream”

Follow on twitter @ShitJWsSay, #ShitJWsSay

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Also, check out my other blogs at EmilyHasBooks where I talk about being an ex-JWBlack female atheist and orgasms, yes orgasms.

My personal twitter is @BridgetGaudette.

36 Percent Believe Natural Disasters Indicate End of Times

A Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) poll shows 36 percent of Americans believe natural disasters indicate end of times for religious immorality. Yup, a third of Americans think the world is going to end with natural disasters because we don’t believe and follow the Bible. Not from nuclear annihilation, not from war, and not from resource depletion. Nope, god is punishing us for immorality. Yes, a third of the US believes the end is near because we are too immoral for god to stand. Don’t you feel special? Not only that but nature is his executor. If nature were god…oh wait, that’s pantheism, heresy, not Christian-Islamic-Messianic-Judeo.

More than one-third (36%) of Americans believe that the severity of recent natural disasters is evidence that we are in what the Bible calls the end times. Roughly 6-in-10 (59%) Americans disagree.

  • Nearly two-thirds (65%) of white evangelical Protestants believe that the severity of recent natural disasters is evidence of what the Bible calls the end times, compared to roughly 1-in-5 Catholics (21%) and religiously unaffiliated Americans (15%).
  • Four-in-ten (40%) independents, 35% of Democrats, and one-third (33%) of Republicans agree that the severity of recent natural disasters is evidence that we are in what the Bible calls the end times.

To put this in perspective only 2% believe the so-called Mayan prophecy of an end being in December. If there is so much news over the Mayan calendar imagine how prevalent biblical termination is in people’s minds. Mayan scholars have dismissed this calendar, epic ending yet headlines indicate otherwise. Even more think god is in control of everything.

 Nearly 6-in-10 (58%) Americans agree that God is in control of everything that happens in the world, while nearly 4-in-10 (38%) disagree.

  • Nearly 9-in-10 (89%) minority Christians, roughly three-quarters (76%) of white evangelical Protestants, 6-in-10 (60%) Catholics, and a slim majority (51%) of white mainline Protestants agree that God is in control of everything that happens in the world. However, only 3-in-10 (30%) religiously unaffiliated Americans agree with this statement, while 6-in-10 (60%) disagree.

Yes, two thirds of Americans believe god caused the rape of your daughter, the death of your aunt, and the wars in the world. If god is in control then why do we not hold him responsible? How is it that religious people accept so much evil as god’s will? Especially since no on can come up with a good answer of why he would allow this evil. Often the free will issue is raised as support of why god indirectly allows evil to occur so people have to make a covenant with god for eternal life, the culture of which we know nothing. This means god is willing to allow death and mayhem for some to make a choice. Saving you is worth killing others. Wow, that;s some exchange. god is love! Juts mind your p’s and q’s.

I don’t know what’s worse that god created murder and disease so people have the choice of choosing him or that he sent his son to death to save others, though how one son equals the death of millions is beyond me. I guess the deaths of millions of evildoers doesn’t equal the life of one son–no wonder religious people cast off evil ones to hell like a dog shedding hair. If I thought I could save the world I would happily hang on a cross all day long. Hell if I could cause world peace they could let me rot to the bones on that cross and never resurrect me. I am willing to wager that millions of people would give up their own life if they knew the result would be world peace! Indeed, I would say that millions already have given up their life for what they believe is moral. Why don’t we worship them like Christ?

This narcissistic view of the world encourages a me or them attitude and causes believers to either isolate themselves or try to save the world through proselytizing. One is either selfish or oppressive. Yet, even our political choices are fraught with cosmic, moral liability.

Roughly 3-in-10 (29%) Americans agree that God sometimes punishes nations for the political decisions their citizens make. Nearly two-thirds (65%) of Americans reject this idea.

  • White evangelical Protestants (57%) are more likely than to believe in divine retribution for political decisions than are minority Christians (39%), white mainline Protestants (22%), Catholics (25%), or religiously unaffiliated Americans (17%).

You can’t just be a good person you have to vote correctly! If all of us were to vote that being Gay is sufficient to be married as well as being hetero, a third of the US would say it’s OK that we all be punished. I guess this would assume that at least a third would have voted against it. A third would damn the other two-thirds based on a vote, not even an action, a god damned vote! They don’t even have to do anything wrong. Just vote the wrong side. Yes, folks we will be punished by god, sometimes, for voting incorrectly. Better make sure your chad hangs correctly.

But 17% of unaffiliated believe in divine retribution. So even if you don’t ally to a specific religion you still believe in church dogma? I’d like to have unaffiliated better defined. I’m thinking there are a lot of renegade Abrahamic thugs in there.

Even more soften their view but believe that Americans are moving away from god, as evidenced by politics.

Nearly 6-in-10 (57%) Americans agree that the political choices being made by Americans these days are moving the U.S. away from God, while more than one-third (36%) disagree.

  • Nearly 9-in-10 (89%) white evangelical Protestants and 53% of Catholics agree that Americans’ political decisions are moving the country away from God. Only roughly one-third (34%) of religiously unaffiliated Americans agree.

With a god that holds us hostage and uses emotional blackmail, I’d back away. Way back. But it works. I have an extremely intelligent friend that still says he believes cuz if god does exist, he’d be screwed. If there is one religious charlaton I wish had died young it would be Blaise Pascal. Friend, what if god is secular and is testing us to see if we realize his infinite secularity–you’re screwed unless you stop believing.

  • Only 2% of Americans believe that the end of the world, as predicted by the ancient Mayans, will happen by the end of this year.
  • However, 15% of Americans believe that the end of the world, as predicted by the Book of Revelation, will occur in their lifetime.
    • College graduates are four times less likely to believe that the world will end in their lifetime than are Americans with a high school education or less (5% vs. 22%).
    • Roughly 3-in-10 white evangelical Protestants (29%) and minority Christians (27%) believe that the end of the world, as predicted in the book of Revelation, will occur in their lifetime. By contrast, no more than 1-in-10 Catholics (10%), white mainline Protestants (8%) and religiously unaffiliated Americans (7%) hold this belief.
Aaaah, so only 15% believe it will be in this lifetime. You know I thought the reformation individualized religious expression and obeisance but it seems like it was just abeyance of buying indulgences for stricter moral rules. The reformation was about being more pure not being less pure. That’s the big secret. The reformation wasn’t the secularizing of the church. It was the condemnation of the church being too worldly, too secular, and cheating the people. Think twice before you ask for Islamic reformation, it might mean more religious purity and not less.
A majority (55%) of Americans agree that God gave human beings the task of living responsibly with the animals, plants, and resources of the planet, which are not just for human benefit. Nearly 4-in-10 (38%) Americans disagree, saying that God gave human beings the right to use animals, plans, and all the resources of the planet for human benefit.

Yikes, 38% believe we can do what we want with the earth. 38% believe we can convert the world to dirt, create mass extinction, and destroy every bit of life as we see fit because we are god’s children. How on earth are people going to act responsibly if they are given the right to use all resources to human benefit to utter depletion? Aaah, god’s plan must be to have humans waste this world so he can reseed it.

It is no wonder Abrahamic religions are the main cause of global ecological catastrophe, they believe god gave them the right. At least disease can claim ignorance.

Jim Newman, bright and well

www.frontiersofreason.com
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