Saturday, March 29, 2008

Codependent Quoterama

Earlier this month on my easter post I noted the following quotes:

George Washington:
"The United States is in no sense founded upon the Christian doctrine."

Adolph Hitler:
"The national government... will offer strong protection to Christianity as the very basis of our collective morality.”

Well, I found a couple of others that are as heartwarming:

George W. Bush:
"I believe that God wants me to be president."

Adolph Hitler (again):
"I would like to thank Providence and the Almighty for choosing me of all people to be allowed to wage this battle for Germany."

Maybe we can find some codependent quotes for Cheney/Stalin!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Finally, my 2 cents on the Obama church thing.

I'm late jumping on this bandwagon, but since it is still simmering, I just thought I would comment on this story-that-should-be-a-non-story about Obama and his church minister's provocative remarks.

First, an anology. I have a longtime friend who is also a blogger, and often reads this blog (howdy, dude!). He and I have known each other for many years. And, in that time, we have had many spirited debates about all kinds of subjects including politics, society, and culture. Each of us has made statements that the other disagreed with wholeheartedly. Sometimes those discussions were pretty dynamic. But in the end, we each were able to recognize that specific opinions are only fragments of the whole psychology, and our appreciation of the whole person superceded any problems we had with one opinion. And that, I think, would be the situation between Obama and this minister. Association does not mean absolute adherence to identical opinions. It just means you have a friend and you don't have to agree with every single word they utter.

Besides, there's really one hell of a double standard in the media attention here. For example, as described in this article:
Rudy Giuliani's priest has been accused in grand jury proceedings of molesting several children and covering up the molestation of others. Giuliani would not disavow him on the campaign trail and still works with him.

Mitt Romney was part of a church that did not view black Americans as equals and actively discriminated against them. He stayed with that church all the way into his early thirties, until they were finally forced to change their policies to come into compliance with civil rights legislation. Romney never disavowed his church back then or now. He said he was proud of the faith of his fathers.

Jerry Falwell said America had 9/11 coming because we tolerated gays, feminists and liberals. It was our fault. Our chickens had come home to roost, if you will. John McCain proudly received his support and even spoke at his university's commencement.

Reverend John Hagee has called the Catholic Church the "Great Whore." He has said that the Anti-Christ will rise out of the European Union (of course, the Anti-Christ will also be Jewish). He has said all Muslims are trained to kill and will be part of the devil's army when Armageddon comes (which he hopes is soon). John McCain continues to say he is proud of Reverend Hagee's endorsement.

Reverend Rod Parsley believes America was founded to destroy Islam. Since this is such an outlandish claim, I have to add for the record, that he is not kidding. Reverend Parsley says Islam is an "anti-Christ religion" brought down from a "demon spirit." Of course, we are in a war against all Muslims, including presumably Muslim-Americans. Buts since Parsley believes this is a Christian nation and that it should be run as a theocracy, he is not very concerned what Muslim-Americans think. John McCain says Reverend Rod Parsley is his "spiritual guide."
If a candidate's support of, or from, volatile religious leaders with big mouths and small brains is a reason to condemn, then let's be fair, shall we?

Better yet, just get religion the hell out of government.

I think religion sucks, and I approved this message.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Happy Oestre, Or, My Employer Wants Me To Be Wiccan!?

Here is my fourth annual reprint of tidbits from my original constantly amazing easter post. This one goes out in honor of my place of employment, who, in an apparent attempt to be inclusive and politically correct, sent out a flyer to inform us of a celebration of the "spring equanox [sic]". More on the irony of that below. For now: Happy Oestre, Pagans!

Easter's Pagan Origins
Many, perhaps most, Pagan religions in the Mediterranean area had a major seasonal day of religious celebration at or following the Spring Equinox. Cybele, the Phrygian fertility goddess, had a fictional consort who was believed to have been born via a virgin birth. He was Attis, who was believed to have died and been resurrected each year during the period March 22 to 25. "About 200 B.C. mystery cults began to appear in Rome just as they had earlier in Greece. Most notable was the Cybele cult centered on Vatican hill...Associated with the Cybele cult was that of her lover, Attis (the older Tammuz, Osiris, Dionysus, or Orpheus under a new name). He was a god of ever-reviving vegetation. Born of a virgin, he died and was reborn annually. The festival began as a day of blood on Black Friday and culminated after three days in a day of rejoicing over the resurrection."

Wherever Christian worship of Jesus and Pagan worship of Attis were active in the same geographical area in ancient times, Christians "used to celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus on the same date; and pagans and Christians used to quarrel bitterly about which of their gods was the true prototype and which the imitation."

Many religious historians believe that the death and resurrection legends were first associated with Attis, many centuries before the birth of Jesus. They were simply grafted onto stories of Jesus' life in order to make Christian theology more acceptable to Pagans. Others suggest that many of the events in Jesus' life that were recorded in the gospels were lifted from the life of Krishna, the second person of the Hindu Trinity. Ancient Christians had an alternative explanation; they claimed that Satan had created counterfeit deities in advance of the coming of Christ in order to confuse humanity. Modern-day Christians generally regard the Attis legend as being a Pagan myth of little value. They regard Jesus' death and resurrection account as being true, and unrelated to the earlier tradition.

Wiccans and other modern-day Neopagans continue to celebrate the Spring Equinox as one of their 8 yearly Sabbats (holy days of celebration). Near the Mediterranean, this is a time of sprouting of the summer's crop; farther north, it is the time for seeding. Their rituals at the Spring Equinox are related primarily to the fertility of the crops and to the balance of the day and night times. Where Wiccans can safely celebrate the Sabbat out of doors without threat of religious persecution, they often incorporate a bonfire into their rituals, jumping over the dying embers is believed to assure fertility of people and crops.
Oh, cool! This means that my employer is encouraging us to celebrate one of the 8 Wiccan Sabbats! Ha ha ha!

More about Easter
In Norway, in addition to skiing in the mountains and painting eggs for decorating, it is tradition to solve murders at Easter. All the major television channels show crime and detective stories (such as Poirot), magazines print stories where the readers can try to figure out who did it, and many new books are published. Even the milk cartons change to have murder stories on their sides. Another tradition is Yahtzee games.

In the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia, a tradition of whipping is carried out on Easter Monday. In the morning, males whip females with a special handmade whip... [consisting] of eight, twelve or even twenty-four withies (willow rods) and is usually from half a meter to two meters long and decorated with coloured ribbons at the end. It must be mentioned that while whipping can be painful, the purpose is not to cause suffering. Rather, the purpose is for males to exhibit their attraction to females; unvisited females can even feel offended. The whipped female gives a coloured egg to the male as a sign of her thanks and forgiveness. A legend says that females should be whipped in order to keep their health and fertility during whole next year. In some regions the females can get revenge in the afternoon when they can pour a bucket of cold water on any male.
Call it Easter, Spring Solstice, Fertility, Jesus, Rabbits, or whatever... even the celebration of the marketing of hideous crap.

Finally, a constantly amazing blog post is nothing without my obligatory political section [link]
George Washington:
"The United States is in no sense founded upon the Christian doctrine."

Adolph Hitler:
"The national government... will offer strong protection to Christianity as the very basis of our collective morality.”
So, happy easter, everyone... another ancient pagan ritual celebrating the natural order of things. Seasons change. New life appears, and old things pass away. Constantly Amazing, isn't it?

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Remember When I Used to Blog about News Stuff?

Plan To Spray Toxic Biological Chemicals Over San Francisco Announced
"the US Government is planning to poison more than two million people in California"
And people call me a pessimist. Sure, the glass is half-full... of poison!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

A Scandal... Maybe.

Okay, truthseekers, I am hoping this one is not true. Truth be told, it is based on hearsay. I don't want to slander anyone, but if the accusations are true, then a worldwide charity organization may be guilty of extortion and fraud. If it turns out that I am wrong, and this story is untrue, then I will gladly retract this.

The basic gist of it is, I've heard that the local Salvation Army homeless shelter is requiring homeless people who want to stay there to apply for food stamps, whereupon they must surrender 80% of those food stamps to the Salvation Army! And, they're also directing those homeless persons to apply for a small amount of cash assistance that is available to them for personal needs, so they can also hand over 30% of that assistance to the Salvation Army!

If this is true, it is infuriating. Besides the fact that the Salvation Army is a religious organization and is tax-exempt, and probably receives considerable tax breaks, federal grants, and other such perks thanks to the Bush/Cheney "faith based" free-for-all, how dare they exploit homeless people by using them as a tool by which they can suck money from taxpayers and funnel it into their proselytizing coffers under false pretenses. Besides, public assistance benefits are required to be used in specific ways. They are most definitely not intended to be bartered as rent, or worse yet, extorted by some christian authority figures who strong-arm the vulnerable homeless and shake them down for their public assistance like some schoolyard punk bullying a smaller and weaker kid out of their lunch money. It is also worth mentioning that I live in a small, economically disadvantged community where homeless peoples' options for finding shelter are limited.

I intend to follow-up on this until I know what is really going on. If the Salvation Army is doing this, it cannot be allowed to continue. It's unethical, and most likely illegal.

Again, I am operating on verbal hearsay, and my information has not yet been confirmed. Anyone reading this, who is of a mind to get in on the ground floor of a scandal that has not yet appeared in the media, might want to check out their local Salvation Army homeless shelter and see if this may be happening in their community.

Blog on, truthseekers, and power to the people.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

There's Always Room for Another Conspiracy Theory

Okay, who has been reading my blog long enough to remember be saying (a lot) that Hillary is the repuke's fave pick as candidate for president '08? Anyone? (crickets chirping in background, but thanks to those five of you who do remember).

First of all, we have Rush Limbaugh imploring his listeners to cross over and vote for Hillary Clinton in the Texas Democratic Primary. Next, we have news reports that republicans are, in fact, doing just that: hordes of GOP dittohead zombies are voting in the democratic primary, which is open to anyone. And do you think they are simply disaffected conservatives who want "change"? Puh-leeze. They are the same repuke bastards who have turned their party into a cesspool of corruption, perversion, hypocrisy, and treason, and they are scared shitless that they might further lose their grip on power.

They know they can't beat Obama, and they shudder at the thought that regardless of whatever policies he decides to implement, his election symbolically represents wholesale rejection of fascist neocon republican values.

Republicans also know that they can never win an honest election - they had to cheat in order to "win" in 2000 and 2004. So, true to form, they once again must resort to dishonest trickery to secure the office of president. This is only a gnat's piss away from the type of criminal activity that Watergate was all about, by the way. Now, that's what I call true conservatism: bringing back the crime-culture that defined their party, and associated it forever with corruption (there's a reason why every political scandal has the "-gate" suffix).

If the repukes succeed in mucking up the election by deliberately sabotaging the electoral process (which has been their tactic for at least the last two presidential elections), there should be hell to pay. Seriously. Even though the press and the public will lie probably down and take it... how long must we tolerate this behavior?