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Archive for the ‘Christianity’ Category

The Woody Guthrie Award for Thinking Bloggers

Posted by honestpoet on September 28, 2009

Woody Guthrie Award for Thinking Bloggers

I’m pleased and gratified to discover that Honjii of Honjii’s Harangues has awarded me the Woodie Guthrie Award for Thinking Bloggers. It’s enough to motivate me to return to active blogging!

Like any gift, this award must be passed on to retain its value, and I gladly award it to Greenfyre, who works tirelessly to help people wade through the misinformation promulgated by climate change deniers, in hopes of getting folks to wake up to the need to change how we’re doing things before it’s too late, and to Monte Asbury, one of the most thoughtful Christians (and goodness knows we need more of those) I’ve ever run across.

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Posted in blogging, Christianity, Christians Worth Knowing, climate change, consciousness, Earth Justice, ecology | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Sam Harris on the Importance of Breaking Religion’s Spell

Posted by honestpoet on November 18, 2008

Here’s an excellent bit from the question and answer period after a debate with Rabbi Wolpe. I’ve been watching a lot of Mr. Harris on YouTube, and I have to say that I like him even more than Richard Dawkins. Don’t get me wrong, I love Dawkins, but, as an American, Harris is more aware of the need to speak with the religious politely and without snarkiness. Dawkins can come off a bit smug, which is a mistake when dealing with the American religious, who already feel beset and belittled, and whose defense mechanisms thereby fly up as soon as the subject is broached with any sort of superior attitude.

Here’s another bit: Sam Harris at the TruthDig conference, talking about how beliefs have consequences, and why the taboo on not examining religious beliefs needs to be lifted.

Here he is talking about the relative morality of various books of the Bible and what would happen if as a society we actually followed it.

And one more, at the Idea Festival in Aspen, where he disputes a lot of common misconceptions about atheism:

If you’d like to hear more of what he has to say, here’s the link to his website, which includes links to a number of articles and videos (including the full debate with Rabbi Wolpe). His thinking is even more in line with my own than Richard Dawkins’s. Dawkins and the rest of the recent crop of atheistic authors turn their backs on mystical experience, whereas Sam Harris, while approaching it as a skeptic, acknowledges that there’s something there to examine that could prove worthwhile, perhaps yielding up that which religions seek but never truly find, tied up as they are in their supernatural superstitions and dogmatism. He’s experienced contemplative states and acknowledges that they can lead to an increase in the ability to experience empathy and compassion, which are clearly in short supply these days.

A neurobiologist, he was motivated to start writing by the events of 9/11, and his focus is on the affect of beliefs on behaviors. Some people have painted him as some sort of warmonger Islamophobe, but that’s hardly the case when you read the suspect passages in context. Does he say that people holding the beliefs indoctrinated by Islam can be led therewith to bad behavior? Absolutely, but that’s hardly the same thing.

Posted in atheism, Building a Better World, catholicism, Christianity, Christianofascism, climate change, economic crisis, evolution, feminism, freedom, fundamentalism, gay rights, genocide, global warming, hegemony, history, homophobia, Iraq, Islam, Jesus, Jews, Koran, language, literature, marriage, mental illness, misogyny, monoculture, morality, Muslims, peace, psychiatry, religion, religion and science, Richard Dawkins, ridiculous beliefs, science, secular humanism, secularism, skepticism, terrorism, the Bible | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Sarah Palin Linked to Second Witch-Hunter and Spiritual Warfare Network That Sees Catholics As Demonic

Posted by honestpoet on October 24, 2008

Nevermind Hindus, Muslims, or Jews. Even most Protestants don’t have it right, and a civil war among the protestants will be necessary to purge the churches of demonic influence before Jesus will come again. I just read this article over at HuffPo, and I have to say that I think Sarah Palin should be kept as far away from power as possible, not just in this election, but for forever.

These do not seem like nice people.

Although the terms ‘intercessory prayer’ and ‘prayer warrior’ are widely used in Christianity, Sarah Palin has been been claimed, as a member, by one very specific and well defined prayer-warfare network: the Global Apostolic Prayer Network, formerly called the “Spiritual Warfare Network”. This ‘prayer warfare’ network considers Catholics, and everyone else who does not share its particular interpretation of Christianity to be under demon influence and damned to hell; it hunts witches and is mapping out “demon influences” in cities and towns across America.

Global Apostolic Prayer Network leaders compare Catholicism to Freemasonry and have conducted prayer warfare which they claim may have helped to kill Mother Theresa. One top leader and apostle of this spiritual warfare movement endorses the activities of church-based Central American death squads.

On September 6, 2008, Norwegian Spiritual Warfare leader Jan-Aage Torp confirmed that Sarah Palin was currently a ‘prayer warrior’ in Mary Glazier’s prayer-warfare network.

Glazier has claimed that in 1995 her network drove an employee of the Alaska State Prison System, whom Glazier had accused of witchcraft, out of Alaska with ‘spiritual warfare’. As Glazier told Spiritled Woman Magazine,

“As we continued to pray against the spirit of witchcraft, her incense altar caught on fire, her car engine blew up, she went blind in her left eye, and she was diagnosed with cancer.”

And just in case any of you kind, forgiving Catholics want to pray that these people actually hear Christ’s message of the brotherhood of man, don’t bother:

The Global Apostolic Prayer Network…claims that a planetary-level demon spirit blocks prayers of Catholics from reaching Heaven.

All I can say is, wow. What century is this? Even after this election (which I’m pretty optimistic will NOT land Sarah the Prayer Warrior anywhere near the White House), I think we need to be vigilant that this Global Apostolic Prayer Network not continue to subvert democracy and rationalism around the world.

Posted in anti-establishment clause, catholicism, Christianity, Christianofascism, fundamentalism, Islam, Jesus, Jews, John McCain, mental illness, monoculture, Muslims, politics, prayer, religion, ridiculous beliefs, separation of church and state, terrorism, witchcraft | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

Campbell Brown Nails It Again: So WHAT if He WAS an Arab?

Posted by honestpoet on October 15, 2008

I’m really starting to love Campbell Brown. When the ignorant lady at a McCain rally recently said she couldn’t trust Obama because he’s an Arab (she didn’t quite manage a sentence as complex as that, but it’s what she tried to say), McCain corrected her by saying that no, Obama is a decent family man (that’s the opposite of Arab?). Ms. Brown decided that the underlying assumption that Arab and Muslim are slurs finally needed to be addressed:

Now, anyone who reads this blog knows I’m not keen on religion, and that one of the things I am keen on is the separation of Church and State. And key to that separation is the idea that it shouldn’t matter what religion someone is (despite the fundies’ paranoia and Turkey’s misunderstanding of what secularism means, it does not mean getting rid of religion entirely) when they run for public office. It also shouldn’t matter what ethnicity someone is, which is more to the point with the word Arab, though I know for the ignorant folk like this McCain supporter Arab and Muslim are synonymous, since they’re clueless of the fact that there are actually secular and Christian Arabs, and, for all I know, Buddhist and Hindu and Wiccan and Zoroastrian Arabs, as well, especially here in America where they are free to choose.

America is not a Christian country. America is a free country where people of all religions or no religion can and must coexist, and I’m glad some people in the media are starting to speak up about it.

Posted in anti-establishment clause, atheism, Barack Obama, buddhism, Christianity, Christianofascism, freedom, fundamentalism, Islam, John McCain, language, monoculture, Muslims, politics, religion, ridiculous beliefs, secularism, separation of church and state, witchcraft | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments »

Churches Getting Ready to Break the Law!

Posted by honestpoet on September 25, 2008

A bunch of pastors are getting ready to break the law that prevents them (with their tax-exempt status) to get involved politically. One of them, a Southern Baptist (of COURSE) wants to talk about the unbiblical stances of Barack Obama. Here’s an article from the L.A. Times all about it. I say, go for it. Maybe when they have to pay their back taxes (I guess these folks don’t realize that you just don’t mess with the I.R.S….they were the guys that were able to bring down Al Capone, remember? death and taxes, baby, death and taxes), it’ll help pay for the bailout on Wall St.

Posted in anti-establishment clause, Barack Obama, Christianity, Christianofascism, IRS, politics, separation of church and state, the Bible | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Who Would Jesus Bomb?

Posted by honestpoet on September 16, 2008

Here’s an excellent bit from The Huffington Post about the difference between Obama and Oh Bomb ‘Em (I mean McCain) and their approach to foreign relations. Robert McElvaine asks the very good question, “Who’s the Christian?” The answer is clearly “Obama.” And he makes the point that those who’d bomb first, ask questions later should really be called “Constantinians”:

Emperor Constantine is usually said to have converted the Roman Empire to Christianity. What he actually did was convert Christianity to the Roman Empire. He gave Jesus the fourth century equivalent of a shot of anabolic steroids and transformed the Prince of Peace into the Prince of War and ally of the rich and the ruler.

Posted in Barack Obama, Christianity, Christianofascism, Constantinianism, John McCain, politics, Romans | Tagged: , , , | 6 Comments »

Matt Damon on Sarah Palin Having the Nuclear Codes

Posted by honestpoet on September 11, 2008

I liked Matt Damon as Loki in Dogma, which is one of my favorite movies (like that was a tough guess). Now I really love him. Here he is on YouTube, expressing how absurd it is that Sarah Palin is as close to becoming President as she is. He compares it to a bad Disney movie, which I think nails it. (Kudos to Kate for finding this one.)

Posted in atheism, Christianity, Christianofascism, fundamentalism, John McCain, politics, religion, religion and science, ridiculous beliefs, science, separation of church and state, skepticism, the Bible | Tagged: , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

Sister Alphonsa sainted – first Indian saint

Posted by majutsu on March 4, 2008

Here’s a great article about the first Indian saint. She sounds like quite a woman. I also find the exasperation of the Hindi majority at Christianity’s appeal to the poor and oppressed in the country to be most amusing! She disfigured herself to avoid arranged marriage and dedicate her life to mysticism. Also, she was quite a symbol for supporting the poor and in need. The Kerala was founded by St. Thomas 2000 years ago, and she is not only the first Indian saint, but the first saint of the Kerala church. Mother Theresa has been beatified but not canonized yet.

Indian saint

UPDATE, 10/13/08: An article in the NY Times today reveals escalating violence against and forced conversions of Christians by Hindus. This is clearly contrary to the Hindu ideal of ahimsa, and India’s alleged secularism. Shame, shame.

Posted in catholicism, Christianity, Christians Worth Knowing, india, mysticism | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments »

2008 Is Going to Be a Very Strange Year

Posted by honestpoet on January 7, 2008

After we invaded Iraq, I repeated at the forums I frequent the phrase, “Is it 2004 yet?” to sum up what I felt. Silly me, I actually assumed the American people would have the sense to evict these liars from the White House.

It was too depressing to follow that with “Is it 2008 yet?” Not only did it seem way too far away, but now I have no confidence that the American people will have the sense to vote for change.

The only candidate I see who could offer real change is Dennis Kucinich, and, as usual, he’s hardly in the running, because he has common sense, and I’ve found there’s nothing actually common about common sense, and it’s not something the American people seem to appreciate in their politicians.

Now, we’ve got Obama, whom half the nuts in the country think is part of the Illuminati (a group that doesn’t really exist anymore, and never did anything real while they did — the OTO and the Golden Dawn accomplished much more in terms of opening up possibilities for astral exploration, for example), Clinton (talk about more of the same — egads, having the legal and insurance lobby running things? no thanks), Romney, who’ll never be elected because he’s Mormon (a religion many Christians don’t recognize as part of their club), and Huckabee, a former Baptist preacher (please save us from such a fate…having lived 13 years in the Bible Belt where Southern Baptists behave like Hilter’s brown-shirts in their evangelical zeal, I can’t imagine what would happen with one of theirs in charge). And McCain. Well, at least he’s been to war, and doesn’t approve of torture. But something about him doesn’t seem quite right, either.

Last night I finished reading Milan Kundera’s excellent book The Curtain, an essay in seven parts on the history of the art of the novel. It’s fascinating, and of course, as an escapee from Czechoslovakia after the Soviets invaded, he’s got real perspective on the importance and relevance of politics on people’s daily lives (and deaths) — he knows that when things go badly, artists are often eliminated by the powers that be. It makes me glad to live in America, where we do have some small protections, but I don’t take such things for granted. I don’t put it past Big Money to assassinate uppity poets.

One of his themes is the omnipresence of stupidity. And boy is he ever right. Folks are stupid. What really scares me about the current situation, though, is that the stupid have been in charge for so long now in America, they don’t seem to want to give up power even though they’re running the country into the ground. What is this distrust of intelligence? Why wasn’t Kerry elected? Why won’t Kucinich be elected?

I guess I’m going to buy a farm and live far away from people, and watch, like Robinson Jeffers did, while the stupid people of this country continue to elect stupid men who will continue to behave stupidly and make America the fool of the world.

Posted in Barack Obama, Christianity, Christianofascism, conspiracy theory, Dennis Kucinich, freedom, fundamentalism, history, illuminati, peace, peace activism, poetry, politics, religion, separation of church and state | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

God is Not Great: Excellent Excerpt at Slate

Posted by honestpoet on April 27, 2007

Here’s one of three excerpts from Christopher Hitchens’s book, God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything. I haven’t read the other two yet, but this was so good I had to post it here.

A little bit to whet your appetite:

While some religious apology is magnificent in its limited way—one might cite Pascal—and some of it is dreary and absurd—here one cannot avoid naming C. S. Lewis—both styles have something in common, namely the appalling load of strain that they have to bear. How much effort it takes to affirm the incredible! The Aztecs had to tear open a human chest cavity every day just to make sure that the sun would rise. Monotheists are supposed to pester their deity more times than that, perhaps, lest he be deaf. How much vanity must be concealed—not too effectively at that—in order to pretend that one is the personal object of a divine plan? How much self-respect must be sacrificed in order that one may squirm continually in an awareness of one’s own sin? How many needless assumptions must be made, and how much contortion is required, to receive every new insight of science and manipulate it so as to “fit” with the revealed words of ancient man-made deities? How many saints and miracles and councils and conclaves are required in order first to be able to establish a dogma and then—after infinite pain and loss and absurdity and cruelty—to be forced to rescind one of those dogmas? God did not create man in his own image. Evidently, it was the other way about, which is the painless explanation for the profusion of gods and religions, and the fratricide both between and among faiths, that we see all about us and that has so retarded the development of civilization.

Posted in anti-establishment clause, atheism, Christianity, Christianofascism, fundamentalism, Islam, Jesus, Jews, misogyny, Muslims, politics, prayer, religion, Richard Dawkins, ridiculous beliefs, secular humanism, separation of church and state, skepticism, terrorism, witchcraft | 18 Comments »