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Posted on Mar 25, 2008
Robertson
AP photo / Jamie-Andrea Yanak

God and country: Pat Robertson, above, has once again sided with the Republicans in warming to Sen. John McCain.

By Robert Scheer

Would God ever damn America? Is there anything we have done or could do as a nation that might court such severe judgment from an almighty, or is there a peculiar American exemption from God’s wrath? The prediction of God’s damnation for bad behavior is made in both black and white churches.

One authority on such matters, the Rev. Pat Robertson, didn’t think the latter when he blamed the ravaging effects of Hurricane Katrina on the Lord’s retribution against those who “shed innocent blood.” Robertson’s reference to legalized abortion cited a passage from Leviticus that the Rev. Jeremiah Wright also might have been thinking of when he sermonized: “The government ... wants us to sing ‘God Bless America?’ No, no, no ... . God damn America! That’s in the Bible for killing innocent people,” a reference to African-Americans sacrificed on ghetto streets.

While the “innocents” about whom they spoke are different, the scriptural reference seems to be the same. As Robertson put it, in a statement preserved in a video clip posted on the Internet by Media Matters: “I was reading yesterday ... about what God has to say in the Old Testament about those who shed innocent blood ... ‘The land will vomit you out,’ ” which he related to attacks “either by terrorists or now by natural disaster.”

Robertson, a firm ally of Republican administrations, has not always been warm to the presumed GOP presidential nominee, Sen. John McCain, although the two recently mended their strained relationship. However, in this season of pastor-baiting, McCain has his own problem, having expressed his thrill in receiving “the endorsement of Pastor John Hagee.”

Hagee, citing a planned “homosexual parade,” had previously told National Public Radio that Hurricane Katrina was God’s punishment of the people of New Orleans for “a level of sin that was offensive to God.” Obviously, the almighty with whom Hagee is on intimate terms is in need of MapQuest, given that New Orleans’ gay neighborhoods were among the ones least impacted by the hurricane.

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Hagee long has been denounced by Catholics for labeling the Vatican “The Great Whore” and blaming Hitler’s genocidal policies on his having “attended a Catholic school as a child.” A Hagee issue that has some current relevance to the Iraq disaster is his blasting of the Roman Catholic Church for sponsoring the Crusades, which “plunged the world into the Dark Ages.”

In a warning that imperial adventures lose some of their luster with the passage of time, Hagee wrote in his book “Jerusalem Countdown”: “The brutal truth is that the Crusades were military campaigns of the Roman Catholic Church to gain control of Jerusalem from the Muslims and to punish the Jews as the alleged Christ killers on the road to and from Jerusalem.” What will future theologians say about George W. Bush’s crusade to liberate Iraq, shedding the blood of hundreds of thousands of innocents?

I know what the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. would say were he alive today, for it would be consistent with his denunciation of the Vietnam War in a sermon at New York’s Riverside Church a year before his assassination. Recounting his difficulty in spreading the message of nonviolence and personal responsibility to the very ghetto youths that the Rev. Wright has worked with for four decades, King stated, “I knew that I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today: my own government.”

King delivered that speech the year Wright ended his six years of service in the U.S. Marine Corps and Navy, for which he received three commendations from President Lyndon Johnson, whom King was confronting. No doubt Wright was influenced by King’s oratory decrying “the cruel irony of watching Negro and white boys on TV screens ... in brutal solidarity burning the huts of a poor village, but we realize that they would hardly live on the same block in Chicago. I could not be silent in the face of such cruel manipulation of the poor.” And neither could Wright

I respect Barack Obama’s right to repudiate his pastor’s comments, as he did, but I respect even more his refusal to throw the man overboard in a practice we witnessed all too often with the Clintons when they came under right-wing attack. Hillary did it again Tuesday, telling the right-wing Pittsburgh Tribune-Review editorial board that Wright “would not have been my pastor.” So she says, but the record shows she was there in the White House on Sept. 11, 1998, when her husband posed for a photo with the Rev. Wright and was grateful for his support in the midst of that wrath-of-Leviticus blue dress flap. Ingrate.

Click here to check out Robert Scheer’s book,
“The Great American Stickup: How Reagan Republicans and Clinton Democrats Enriched Wall Street While Mugging Main Street.”


Keep up with Robert Scheer’s latest columns, interviews, tour dates and more at www.truthdig.com/robert_scheer.



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By Michael Morris, April 1, 2008 at 1:19 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Just prior to the first gulf war I do recall George Herbert Walker Bush on the front page of lots of newspapers declaring “God is on our side, we will prevail.”

I also recall most of those same newspapers covering Saddam Hussein - also on the front cover declaring God was on his side.

I’ve come to the conclusion that both them were lying.

Because if they are not . . .

Then the policy is - mutually assured destruction.

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By Fadel Abdallah, March 31, 2008 at 8:39 pm Link to this comment

Thank you Juan Moment for posting Kev Carmody’s words on Jesus Christ. They are really beautiful words with deep meanings and relevance. The Jesus Christ described in these words is the true Jesus Christ with which I can identify, without being formally a Christian. He was indeed one of the greatest humanitarian socialists and reformers, and I feel honored that I come from the same land he came from and that many times in my youth I walked over the same paths and places he walked. I am, like him, has been described by some nuts on these threads as a “radical agitator” and they would love to crucify me if they can have their way.

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By Conservative Yankee, March 31, 2008 at 2:27 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Attributions have become VERY important lately!

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By Shenonymous, March 31, 2008 at 10:34 am Link to this comment

It the best proof that you want god to be happy!  Let’s hear it for Ho Tai!

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By Tony Wicher, March 31, 2008 at 9:07 am Link to this comment

Cannabis is the best proof I know that God wants us to be happy.

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By Juan Moment, March 31, 2008 at 3:37 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

He was born in Asia Minor,
a colonized Jewish man.
His father the village carpenter,
worked wood in his occupied land.

He was apprenticed to his father’s trade.
His country paid it’s dues;
to the colonial Roman conquerors,
He was a working-class Jew.

Though conceived three months out of wedlock
the stigma never stuck.
He began a three year public life
but he never made a buck

because he spoke out against injustice;
saw that capitalism bled the poor.
He attacked self-righteous hypocrites
and he condemned the lawyers’ law.

But they’ve commercialised his birthday now;
the very people he defied,
and they’ve sanctified their system
and claim he’s on their side!

But if he appeared tomorrow,
He’d still pay the highest cost,
being a ‘radical agitator’
they’d still nail him to a cross.

You see He’d stand with the down trodden masses,
identify with the weak and oppressed.
He’d condemn the hypocrites in church pews,
and the affluent, arrogant West.

He’d oppose Stalinist totalitarianism;
the exploitation of millions by one,
and ‘peace’ through mutual terror,
and diplomacy from the barrel of a gun.

He’d fight with Joe Hill and Walesa,
Mandela and Friere;
Try to free the third world’s millions
from hunger and despair.

He’d stand with the peasants
at the pock-marked walls;
They’d haul him in on bail.
He’d condemn all forms of apartheid,
and he’d rot in their stinking jails.

He’d denounce all dictatorships
and Mammon’s greed,
and the exploitation of others for gain.
He’d oppose the nuclear madness,
and the waging of wars in His name.

He’d mix with prostitutes and sinners,
challenge all to cast the first stone.
A compassionate agitator,
one of the greatest the world has known.

He’d condemn all corrupt law and order,
tear man made hierarchies down.
He’d see status and titles as dominance
and the politics of greed he’d hound.

He’d fight against the leagues of the Ku Klux Klan,
and the radical, racist right.
One of the greatest humanitarian socialists
was comrade, Jesus Christ.

(c) Kev Carmody, Australian songwriter

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By Juan Moment, March 31, 2008 at 3:32 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The one almighty God is a human concept born in the hope for equalising justice and a life after death, a omnipotent being that can be used as universal explanation for what is and isn’t happening.

I can’t understand why so many people are like sheep in their approach to ideas about the afterlife and how the fabric of life is knit. My guess is it’s due to either one of the following (or any combination):

  * lack of fantasy
  * the human group/herd instinct
  * early childhood indoctrination
  * thinking of “might as well”

I almost wrote

  * simplistic world view

but then, just in time, I realised that it could also be my assertions that are steeped in naivety, it’s not that my theory is all too complex either.

I personally redrew my picture of where we come from, who/what runs the show while we are here and where will we go to. I think it sort of started in my early teens, when (out of all people) my religious education teacher made a remark in class along the lines of

What if Jesus came back today, after 2000 years of Christianity? We, Christians or not, would stick him into a mental institution or jail, not the cross anymore, no, we have finally moved on from that after burning people alive for 16 hundred years, but we’d declare him a fraud, a loony, an extremist.

Jesus would be living as an itinerant, hang out with people our society classes as “loosers”, he’d be a rebellious activist with a record for trespassing and being a nuisance in public.

So, if there was a Jesus of Nazareth, a powerful and kindhearted man who died in the belief that his cruel end would help us having our sins forgiven on judgment day, then he would be disgusted with the lip service morale of his followers. I am not an historian, far from it, so I can’t really say if Jesus ever lived and what he was up to, but I am very much inclined to say that he was not the son of God, but God himself. And he appealed to the Gods within each of his fellow humans to wake up and show compassion towards all other beings sharing time and space with us. The following quote pretty much sums it up.

“When did I realize I was God? Well, I was praying and I suddenly realized I was talking to myself.” Peter O’Toole

That’s it, not much more to say. IMHO we are all Gods/Goddesses, and because being a God means existing forever, and eternity being pretty boring after a while, we invented life, to escape the boredom of being a God. When we die we go back to being Gods, catch up with other Gods in Godland, and when we are fed up with godliness, we line up and parachute into a creature being born at that moment.

IMHO it’s all about gathering different kind of experiences, see the world from many angles. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.

Any belief someone holds, as crazy as they might sound to some, has the same chance of being the truth as the christian, muslim, hindhu or any other faith has. It can be calculated with the following formula:

A person’s belief / Never-ending possibilities = 0.000period01 %

Pretty slim I must admit, but not any less either.

And now, just to introduce another possibility, what if whatever one believes would happen to one’s soul at the time of death, will actually happen to this soul?

In other words, if you approach death and are worried that all your bad deeds will lead you straight to some kind of flamin hell, then that is where you’ll go. Or if you believe you’ll get reborn as a cow, you’ll actually be reborn as a cow, and so on. The options are endless, but just in case, on my deathbed I’ll be thinking of a nice situation I want to spend eternity in, like living with a nymphomaniac who owns a bottle shop.

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By cyrena, March 30, 2008 at 10:05 pm Link to this comment

•  “I didn’t read however, Fadel, that cyrena views Buddhism as a religion.”

Fadel, this is a correct ‘read’ or interpretation from Shenonymous, I (personally) DO NOT view Buddhism as a ‘religion’ but rather the philosophy that Shenonymous correctly identifies it to be at it’s origins. This is why, (my understanding) ‘pure’ Buddhists reject the notion of a God, or mono-deity.

At least that is my OWN understanding of it, and so there is a clear distinction in my own understanding between THEO-logy, and PHIL-osophy, even though I also understand that they frequently share characteristics. I think of Philosophy as Theology without the god component.

I should also say that I do appreciate the basis of the Buddhist Philosophy to the extent that I understand it.

That said, I ALSO appreciate your friendly advice Fadel. It is well accepted. But just so we’re clear, I don’t claim to consider Buddhism a ‘religion’ per se, at least at its origins, so I wouldn’t ‘pick’ it as such.

HOWEVER, there are those among us who are far less informed, and many of them have come to view Buddhism as a ‘religion’. That’s for another argument I suppose, but I am not among them, so it may have been a slip of the tongue, or I may have failed to properly articulate that in my own comments.

Also, thanks for the reference to the manipulation of the Buddhists in Tibet. This does NOT surprise me, (though of course it does infuriate me) because anything this corrupted gang of thugs does in the advance of their geo-political supremacy comes as no surprise at all.

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By NancyS, March 30, 2008 at 1:00 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I just read a portion of Reverend Wright’s text from his 2003 sermon, and reviewed a six minute segment on YouTube from that sermon.  He’s not saying anything so new:  he talks about governments that are good, bad, or failing, and how often governments equate their policies with the word of God; those same governments often use false prophets to bolster their cruel and inhuman actions.  He excoriates the government of the United States for its long history of abuse toward many people, not just African-Americans.  And it is this government, that sees itself as blessed and sanctioned by God, that he condemns.  I hear the word “damn” not as a command that the government or the American people go to Hell.  Reverend Wright demands that the government be rebuked for its wildly hubristic assertion and assumption that it mirrors God’s vision as it carries out all kinds of evil.  While I think the choice of words was extreme, I cannot disagree with this fundamental perspective.
Go read and see for yourself.  I wish that Americans could endure more than a 7-second soundbyte.

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By Shenonymous, March 30, 2008 at 9:30 am Link to this comment

In support of both of Fadel’s comments, unfortunately for humans, who have a habit of turning esoteria into religions, Buddhism as it is practiced by the many today was not originally a religion but rather is a philosophy.  When religion enters into the picture, dogma and doctrine force philosophical thought more often than not to be militant at its base.  As such, religions have a pre-disposition to have as one of its facets (using the image of a diamond as a metaphor), a mindless immorality of violence.  This is true of the ancient Greek Olympians as well as any existent religion of today, except perhaps the Amish and the Quaker denominations of Christianity that essentially are non-violent and pacifistic. Although there is even within those religions a scent of Evangelism with a capital E.  I didn’t read however, Fadel, that cyrena views Buddhism as a religion. 

cyrena, your assessment of Hillary has some validity.  A typical politician to be sure, but then I do not exempt Barack Obama from that class either.  While he has much to say that is exemplary, I suspect the heart of the politican is beating there as well.  It will be interesting to see how the candidacy for president pans out at the Democratic convention.  I feel sure most of us are watching these candidates with intensity as the election has ascended to be one of the most important in our history as a country.

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By Fadel Abdallah, March 30, 2008 at 8:12 am Link to this comment

As a follow up to my previous short message to Cyrena, please read this to note that the so-called peaceful Buddhists of Tibet have been manipulated to serve U.S. and Israeli political-military ends!
============================================
From The Tibet Card - By Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich - West is punishing China for its reluctance to impose sanctions on Iran:-

China has always shown reluctance to impose sanctions on Iran. From an Israeli and American perspective, China became a veritable short-term liability (versus a long term power challenging the US) when Iran and China engaged in talks to allow for a military base for China in one of Iran’s Persian Gulf ports…

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By Fadel Abdallah, March 30, 2008 at 7:45 am Link to this comment

“I DO appreciate very much, the Buddhist philosophy, IF in fact it can be considered a ‘religion’. So, if I had to ‘pick’ that’s what it would be.”
=========================================
Be careful Cyrena with picking Buddhism for a “religion” for the Buddhists in the Tibetan capital have been attacking China’s dominant Han ethnic groups and Chinese Muslims known as Hui and burning down their mosques. They are not the peaceful guys you think they are! It’s better for you to stay agnostic or atheist. Just a friendly advice!

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By cyrena, March 30, 2008 at 12:09 am Link to this comment

Thanks more Shenon…

Sounds good enough to me. (agnostic uncertains). Actually, I might be even closer to the certainty that there is no god - PERIOD - but I’m willing to recognize SOMETHING as being far more powerful than any human could could conceive.

It’s interesting though, (the continuation of your earlier post) because I DO appreciate very much, the Buddhist philosophy, IF in fact it can be considered a ‘religion’. So, if I had to ‘pick’ that’s what it would be.

And, my understanding is that a bona fide Buddhist, DOES NOT believe in God. (with a big or little ‘g’). Now that’s what one of my religious scholar friends told me, and she concentrated her doctoral work on mostly the Asian religions. I actually took a few excellent courses in those areas.

So yep. That sounds good enough to me. I’m thinking I’m like ‘between sizes’ of the atheist and the agnostic. I firmly hold to your own opinion though, that “religion” )at least as it is conceived by most who practice it), is an attempt to explain what can’t be explained. (no doubt that’s a lazy paraphrase. My apologies)

And, very much like you, I have absolutely no troubles with those who do practice their religions, and I don’t care which one it happens to be. I just don’t want it ‘dripping in my face’, (I love that) and I DAMN sure don’t want it guiding the shared politics or policies that I have to live with. OH NO! That will not DO!!

The paradox is that those who DO use religion to formulate policy DON’T BELIEVE OR PRACTICE IT THEMSELVES!! It is a cruel and hideous paradox that will snuff the life out of everything.

Witness the Dick Bush gang of thugs. Need we say more?

And ya know, Hillary is really working my nerves as well. “She would have left the pastor/church”... my ass. She didn’t leave her husband, did she? Nope. And, I’m NOT “calling judgment” on her for staying. Not at all. I didn’t then, and I’m not now.

HOWEVER, she DOES need to STFU about what anybody else needs to do. So, I AM ‘calling judgment’ on THAT hypocrisy, and so many more.

It’s got nothing to do with god either.


Amen.

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By amunaor, March 29, 2008 at 9:28 pm Link to this comment

*cyrena- • “..This and that fantastical explanation divulges a mental aberration in an attempt to explain what is really unexplainable in any cogent way.”

So, I’m settling for the size that fits best, as described by Purple Girl..The Forces of Nature.
_____________________________________________________

We are composed of those very same forces we percieve, not exclusive, or above, as on the outside looking in. Fire can burn your hand as surely as cook your favorite recipe.

Peace, Best Wishes and Hope

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By Maani, March 29, 2008 at 8:47 pm Link to this comment

Richard:

Let me offer alternative readings re Obama:

4 - “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.”  It is not “holy” to sit in a pew on the Sabbath day listening to a preacher “damn” America, or make some other very unholy statements.

5 - “Honor thy father and thy mother.”  But it’s okay to throw grandma under the bus…

6 - “Thou shalt not kill.”  Voting to fund the war that killed 4,000 soldiers and millions of Iraqis makes one complicit in the killing.

8 - “Thou shalt not steal.”  I would say that includes elections, which is exactly what Obama did his very first time in the running.

10 - “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house…”  But it is okay to purchase contiguous lots with thy neighbor, despite the fact that he is a slumlord from whom you have accepted over $250,000 in campaign contributions.

Peace.

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By Shenonymous, March 29, 2008 at 8:40 pm Link to this comment

cyrena, sounds like you are more comfortable in the class of agnostics who are uncertain and tends to believe in a god (force of nature, or The Force of Nature, with caps if it is preferred).  We, each of us, have to find our own way through this “mortal coil,” as the peerless William Shakespeare called it.  Life is tough, it is hard, and it is antipathetic.  I am quite existentialist about it.  Unless it drips in my face, I accept anyone’s life management system, regardless of whether it accepts religion as a way or not.  Aristotle once said the ‘way’ is wide and I believe it is.  We make it through as best we can.  I have some very insightful Christian friends, Muslim friends, Jewish friends, and eastern religious friends and of course, atheist friends, all of whom are brilliant and tolerant of other’s beliefs or non-beliefs.  I am completely comfortable in my absolute atheism chair.  However, when I intuit a pompous infringement on my or other’s beliefs or non-beliefs, I balk and sometimes make defining reactive statements, sometimes outrageously reactive statements, for I know these intolerants acutely and adversely affect my life and the lives of others by way of political agendas.

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By samosamo, March 29, 2008 at 8:34 pm Link to this comment

Anyone is free to believe or not believe in the big old white man with a white beard on a white cloud bunch of bull all they want but one thing is for sure, by the hands of the neocons this country will surely falter and go through very very bad times and no amount of chruch going or praying will stop it.

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By cyrena, March 29, 2008 at 8:09 pm Link to this comment

•  “..This and that fantastical explanation divulges a mental aberration in an attempt to explain what is really unexplainable in any cogent way.”

Thanks Shenonymous!!

This is EXACTLY what I needed.

Meantime, I’ve carefully examined your explanations and categories, and I can’t find one that I fit in. (Damn! It’s the story of my life).

So, I’m settling for the size that fits best, as described by Purple Girl..The Forces of Nature.

There’s gotta be SOME explanation for why I can never fit into a category. So, it must be The Force of Nature.

How’s THAT for the mental aberration that attempts to explain what is really unexplainable in any cogent way?

Come on, admit it…it’s as good as any of the others. smile

Oh, there was a brief period of time many decades ago, when I ‘explained’ this by way of a suggestion that the wrong people had brought me home from the hospital..accidently or otherwise.

Back then, I was sure I’d actually been born into the Rockefeller family, but then I finally figured out that it didn’t really matter. wink

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By Joe Sixpack, March 29, 2008 at 8:08 pm Link to this comment

“I don’t want a president that doesn’t even protest when his pastor screams “God damn America” when we are attacked.  Of course, Obama wasn’t seeking the presidency then, so there would have been no reason for him to disagree with Wright’s tirades.”

You’ve just summed up the McCain election strategy. Who will most Americans vote for in November? The war hero or the coward who didn’t stand up for the war but merely gave one anti-war speech when there was no political downside? Vote for an All American or a guy who wants to negotiate with terrorist regimes? Vote for an experienced leader or a liberal elitist in an empty suit? You framed Obama perfectly and it will be the end of him in the fall.

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By cyrena, March 29, 2008 at 7:55 pm Link to this comment

Purple Girl…

You’ve said it far better than I ever could..

“...I consider myself an Atheist. Not so much because I do no tbelieve theri are forces greater than Us. But those forces do not Judge- only Act & respond to Waht we Do and don’t do.Call It A god or Just the Force of Nature…”

And, I’m with ya. I call it the ‘Indian Way’, but ‘The Force of Nature’ works just as well. (Maybe better now that I think of it). The meaning and the foundation are the same.

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By Shenonymous, March 29, 2008 at 5:55 pm Link to this comment

I can’t disagree with you CY.  FYI though:  My cat is an atheist cat!  I know this to be true because he never even says God Bless You when I sneeze.

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By Conservative Yankee, March 29, 2008 at 2:26 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Sure there are entities greater than us….they are called “Cats”

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By Peter RV, March 29, 2008 at 1:29 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

A Way of dealing with False Prophets.
Catholic Inquisition was brutal to those she considered heretics, by burning them on the stake.That ghastly practice, however, had its positive side ,too- Europe has been cleaned forever of the characters such as Robertson, Hagee, Falwell and and other countless Elmer Gantries roaming now freely through the U.S., peddling mercilessly their Biblical dementias by prophecizing their ‘Armageddons’ and ‘Raptures’.
Amazingly (to the Europeans), they enjoy an audience in the U.S. and are being listened to by the Government in the conduct of its affairs.
These people are,frankly,scarier than the fantasmal Al Queda.
  What to do?
Whilst it would be cruel to re-introduce the methods of the Inquisition (although Bush did just that by legalizing the Water-boarding),America had its own peculiar traditional way, fallen in dis-use , which should at least be contemplated.
It is the Tarring and Feathering.

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By Ivy Green, March 29, 2008 at 11:26 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Wow, the Clintons have their picture taken with Reverend Jeremiah Wright and that is equal to Barack Obama’s 20-year affiliation with him.  I am not sure what kind of logic that represents, but it certainly doesn’t represent common sense.  As far as Senator Clinton saying that Wright “would not have been my pastor” that is mild to what I would have said about a man who shouts “God damn America” after an attack on American soil that killed so many people.  If he had been preaching on December 7, 1941, I presume he would have uttered the same sentiments since certainly at that time there was more discrimination and violence against blacks than there was on September 11, 2001.  We have come a long way towards equality of all people - men and women - since 1941.  We still have a way to go rid the country of racism and sexism, but I believe that progress is being made.

As much as I detest the current war in Iraq, I know that we will always have to ask our people to fight and die to defend our country and personally I don’t want a president that doesn’t even protest when his pastor screams “God damn America” when we are attacked.  Of course, Obama wasn’t seeking the presidency then, so there would have been no reason for him to disagree with Wright’s tirades.

Scheer could have brought some intelligence to the discussion by pointing out that there is no evidence that God has anything to do with calling down vengeance on any country.  The current debate from the left and the right about why America was attacked is a perfect example of the dumbing down of America presented so well in Susan Jacoby’s books “The Age of American Unreason” and “Freethinkers.”  That also may account for the emotional appeal of Obama to the voters.

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By IamIGreen, March 29, 2008 at 10:34 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It is too bad that Scheer didn’t bring any intelligence to the discussion by pointing out that there is no evidence that God has anything to do with calling down vengeance on any country.  The Bible, Koran or the Torah are not evidence.  All countries and religions think God is on their side but bad things happen to all countries and people regardless of their religion.  The current debate from the left and the right about why America was attacked is a perfect example of the dumbing down of America chronicled so well by Susan Jacoby in her books, “The Age of Unreason” and “Freethinkers.”

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By Richard Sharp, March 29, 2008 at 6:05 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To my knowledge, Mr. Obama is clean when it comes to the Ten Commandments.  Mr. Bush?  Let’s see:

6) “Thou shalt not kill.”

4,200 Americans, counting mercenaries. As many as a million Iraqis.

10) “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house,.....nor anything that is thy neighbor’s.”

It’s the crude, Dude.

8) “Thou shalt not steal.”

From taxpayers. From Iraqis. From our children.

9) “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.”

Lies and fearmongering about Saddam got us where we are today.

3) “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain;”

Dubya is doing God’s work, don’t you know?

4) “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.”

Well no. Not if we have a little bombing or torturing to do.

5) “Honor thy father and thy mother:”

Geez. If only George had listened to his Dad.

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By Purple Girl, March 29, 2008 at 4:36 am Link to this comment

I consider myself an Atheist. Not so much because I do no tbelieve theri are forces greater than Us. But those forces do not Judge- only Act & respond to Waht we Do and don’t do.Call It A god or Just the Force of Nature. Either way we are at it’s mercy and held Responsible. Regardless who or What Placed Us at the top of the Evolutionary Chain- We are the Top ‘Dogs’, and thus responsible for the “Pack” and the conditions by Which ALL survives. We are the Stewads. Judgement will not come from an omnipotent entity, but from those who are Our Charges now and those who Follow. blaming any Entity such as a God or nature is Failing to take Responsiblity- thus a Dereliction of Duty. WE have been given a ‘Gift’, Not just the Planet and all it sustains- but the Mental and physical ability to Understand it and manage it. Instead we have spent our history fightin g& bickering over the ‘gift’ intead of Sharing It- Mother may come and just take it away- thus WE All Lose. We have denied the graciousness of the ‘gift’ and our Own Capablities - A ‘sin ’ against either a God or Nature and all that this gift encompasses and it’s future.

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By Douglas Chalmers, March 29, 2008 at 2:06 am Link to this comment

GB, I’ve already blogged often before in other topics about 9/11 - and I have agreed with what you said, duh….

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By Dominick J., March 28, 2008 at 6:00 pm Link to this comment

Blackspeare: Today, things haven’t changed very much——it’s still the Christians against the Muslims with the Jews rooting for the Christians——how ‘bout that!  As Bush inadvertently said in the early days before the war——it’s a crusade against Islamic extremists.  I guess that things haven’t change very much in over 800 years!!!
****************************************************
You forgot to mention Christian progressives against Christian fundamentalists (Christians against Christians).  I do believe Bush said it was a crusade against the “axis of evil,” not realizing, being a Religious Right Zealot, he’s part of that “axiis”.

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By Shenonymous, March 28, 2008 at 5:41 pm Link to this comment

As a counter aside, atheism is not a religion; it is the antithesis of religion.  You completely misunderstand the atheist position with respect to religion.  Not only that, and here is another aside:  there is a spectrum, a range as it were, from the position of non-believers to believers in a god.  I use the lower case of god on purpose out of respect really, as there are various religions that call their god by different names and have different conceptions.  The strongest atheists plain and simple say there is no evidence of an interacting supernatural being and they “know” this with the same degree of conviction as those who strongly believe there is a god.  Then you have atheists who say they cannot “know” for certain, but that there is a god is very improbable and they live their life on the assumption that there is none.  The next group could be called agnostic with a tendency towards atheism, that say they do not know whether a god exists but they tend to think not.  Then you have the 50 per centers (as per R. Dawkins), or the totally impartial agnostics, who say existence and non-existence of a god are exactly on the money equally probable.  There are those agnostics who are very uncertain, and tend to believe in a god.  Or, you have strong theists who hedges just a tad and holds the weak caveat that ‘they cannot know for certain’ but strongly believes and lives their lives as if there were.  Finally, you have the strongest theists who says they ‘know’ there is a god, somehow.  The burden of proof is always on those who claim the existence of something.  For those who are complete skeptics have nothing to prove by virtue of the concept of nothing, there is nothing there to prove. 

Everything else that is discussed is mumbo jumbo.  This and that fantastical explanation divulges a mental aberration in an attempt to explain what is really unexplainable in any cogent way.

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By Blackspeare, March 28, 2008 at 3:36 pm Link to this comment

What a bunch of satirical crock on this post!  Let me add some crock of my own.  It is well documented that religion and the belief in God has done much more harm than good!  The founders of the USA considered themselves Deists, which, in essence, is saying that a Supreme Being may have once existed, but no longer has any influence.  In a way it a cheap way of saying they were agnostics or atheists.  As an aside, Atheism can be considered a religion because it is a belief in the non-existence of a God which is something that can’t proven or unproven, which is the essence of a religion.  So to be a true atheist one must ascribe to being an agnostic——sorry!

All religions hate one another because of the obvious need to dominate or the religion falters.  The Jews took a backseat because they failed to proselytize and thwarted their chance to become dominant.  The Christians made no such mistake and that’s why they are where they are today!  The Muslims made their gains by force of arms and conquest in a world that needed organization——works just as well as proselytizing——convert or die!

Today, things haven’t changed very much——it’s still the Christians against the Muslims with the Jews rooting for the Christians——how ‘bout that!  As Bush inadvertently said in the early days before the war——it’s a crusade against Islamic extremists.  I guess that things haven’t change very much in over 800 years!!!

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By amunaor, March 28, 2008 at 11:49 am Link to this comment

(my posts seem to be disappearing…here it goes again)

Shenonymous, I wonder if you haven’t buried your mind too deeply into the test-tubes of material science, whose ‘church’ has become equally bound by its own dogma of limited vision.

Anyway, good luck in your quest.

Peace, Best Wishes and Hope

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By Spike, March 28, 2008 at 11:05 am Link to this comment

Let all stoners rejoice and let all the psychotic murderers in the world get loaded and behave like decent people.

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By amunaor, March 28, 2008 at 10:47 am Link to this comment

I wonder if you haven’t buried your mind too deeply into the test-tubes of material science, whose ‘church’ has become equally bound by its own dogma.

Anyway, good luck in your quest.

Peace, Best Wishes and Hope

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By Peter RV, March 28, 2008 at 9:33 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

‘jfior’
That is much easier said than done.
The Future doesn’t exist (except in the imagination), the Present is foggy and the only thing we are ,more or less sure of, is -the Past.
How does one convince, Rev. Wright (or any American Indian) that their history should be forgotten for the sake of some shining future, when he sees the continuous veneration of the Jewish victims of the Holocaust, for which his Country bears absolutely no responsability. There is an over production of shrines and movies reminding us of “Never Again”, whilst his attempt, to tell us who really suffered
from our own misdeeds, provokes such an indignation.

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By Garry Minor, March 28, 2008 at 8:01 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The Word!!!
In 1936 a Polish Anthropologist named Sula Benet discovered that in the original Hebrew text of the Old Testament the word “kaneh bosm” had been translated as calamus by the Greeks when they first rendered the Books in the 3rd century B.C., and then propagated that way unchanged in all future translations from the Greek, as Hebrew ceased to be a spoken language and was not revived until the late 1800’s. Benet claimed through substantial research and etymological comparison the proper translation for “Kaneh bosm” is cannabis. In 1980 the Hebrew Institute of Jerusalem confirmed her claim that “kaneh bosm” is indeed cannabis. The Greeks used calamus as an aphrodisiac and stimulant, its active chemical asarone is the plant precursor for the psychedelic MDMA, ecstasy.
In Exodus 30:23 God instructs Moses to use 250 shekels of “kaneh bosm” in the oil to anoint all Kings, Priests, and Prophets, for all generations to come, including that of Jesus and even today, as the title Christ/Messiah means literally covered in oil, Anointed. Kaneh is also listed as an incense tree in Song of Songs 4:14. The mistake was repeated in Isaiah 43:24, Jeremiah 6:20, and Ezekiel 27:19. There are 141 references to anointing and 145 for burning incense in the standard Bible.
This revelation along with the discoveries of the Nag Hammadi and Dead Sea scriptures in the 1940’s make one thing perfectly clear, that in order to be called worthy of the title “Christian,” to partake of the Holy Spirit, you have to be Anointed with the Oil of Joy as described in Exodus, read 1 John 2:18-29. John the Baptist baptized with water, but Jesus baptized with fire and the Holy Spirit, the water baptism is incomplete and any other oil is counterfeit. The Gospel of Philip states, “There is water in water, there is fire in Chrism.” And again, “The Chrism is superior to baptism because it is from the Chrism that we are called Christians, certainly not from the word baptism. And it is from the Chrism that the Christ got his name.”
All mammals, birds, fish, and reptiles have cannabinoid receptors throughout their body that work independent of those that govern the heart and breathing. This is why cannabis cannot kill you. In fact its good for you. Recent studies done in Canada and Europe have shown that THC destroys tumors, promotes the growth of brain cells, and prevents Alzheimers. Have you heard any of that on the news? They are beginning to use it for Alzheimers, MS, epilepsy, autism, depression, migraine, arthritis, chronic pain, diabetes, nausea, tuberculosis, cystic fibrosis, obesity, asthma, emphesema, lupus, Parkinsons, Huntingtons, Tourettes, Crohns disease, and more. It’s seed is the single most nutritious thing you can eat.
Anything made from oil, coal, timber, or cotton, can be made ecologically friendly with cannabis hemp. Have you heard about that? All paper, plastics, fuels, lubricants, textiles, plywood, insulations, structural components, many cosmetics, and healthfoods, over 25,000 known products can all be made from this one plant. Canvas is Dutch for cannabis.
One acre of hemp equals four of timber for pulp and you harvest it every single year, trees take a lifetime. It is also at the very minimum four times more efficient per acre than corn, kenaf, or sugar cane for ethanol production. It grows without most fertilizers, herbicides, or pesticides to foul the soil and water, in climates and conditions other crops wont grow.
Christians, Jews, and Muslims all regard the first five Books of the Old Testament as Truth, and cannabis can be traced back to the beginning of civilization for food, fuel, shelter, medicine, pleasure, and spirituality. Its time we opened our eyes, remove the curse, and welcome the Tree of Life back into the garden. Seventy years is long enough!

Peace!

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By Shenonymous, March 28, 2008 at 4:49 am Link to this comment

zeitgeist, perhaps I am more kind to humans.  Self-serving interests are genetic.  However, a characteristic that conscious human beings evolved to have is the power to mediate that utter selfishness through understanding the benefit of altruistic intention.  I am atheistic seeing it superfluous and no need to sit on the fence of agnosticism.  This is a conscious choice, borne out of the human capacity to comprehend the human situation.  One cannot ‘naturally perceive’ what lies beyond the natural realm of the genes, it takes an unnatural consciousness to have such insight. 

I understand human history and our advancement from beast to minds capable of such cognition and abstract thought as exemplified by your very comments here.  It is irrelevant that irrational sacred concepts are placed in the hands of tyrants if there is only a solitary quest for whatever the Grail represents.  Seeing that organizations such as “the church” are dispensable for a happy and coexistent life would be the best path and I believe will eventually be the path taken. Humans make mistakes and I agree that the division between mind and body is the main problem arising out of ignorance that will be alleviated as the evolution of the human mind progresses. Sentience and consciousness take “time.”  We are too anxious.

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By Dr. Knowitall, PhD, PhD, March 28, 2008 at 4:32 am Link to this comment

PR=Pat Robertson

Yeah, thanks.  He said any friend of mine is a friend of his too.  And if you’d like to meet him, we’d have to go in the back door, just give him a little notice so he can tie up his pit bull.

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By amunaor, March 27, 2008 at 11:01 pm Link to this comment

Lust for Empire and a Dying God PsychoDrama

According to a United Nations report, 971 Palestinian and Israeli children were killed between September 2000 — the beginning of the second intifada — and July 2007. Of those destroyed children, 854 were Palestinian. The intifada and the dying continue.

It is these children’s lives that the evangelical political action committee, Christians United for Israel, is willing to sacrifice on the altar of its fundamentalist eschatology in the hope of bringing about Armageddon and the Second Coming of Jesus Christ…....

Full Story:

http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2008/03/27/7920/

Peace, Best Wishes and Hope

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By amunaor, March 27, 2008 at 9:43 pm Link to this comment

**By Shenonymous, March 27 at 6:18 pm
(Not sure to what you are referring zeitgeist, if you are commenting on my post.  My remark has to do with a critique of Israel and all religion in general and the kind of sloppy thinking that has gone on.

I took specific issue with the Abrahamic religions.  My estimation of Hebraism or Jewism, in terms of it being a form of Abrahamic religion along with its siblings Christianity and Islam are all equally irrational and that none are exempt. 
That being said, I have no care what people want to do. If they want to believe that some supernatural being deserves some devotion, it is entirely their choice and as long as there is no violence done to non-believers of their respective religions and politically they stay within the practices of their non-violent doctrines, then I have no further critical interest in them other than what I have already said.)

Shenonymous, the intent of my response to you was to pin-point, the crossroads into which a divisive wedge was driven, resulting in a people’s history being hijacked, for the sake of empire. Today, we continue to ride in the tumultuous wake of these forces of nature that were then perturbed.

As the adepts say, to allow such ‘irrational sacred concepts’ to be placed into the hands of an imperial religious, or secular tyrant, is like casting the pearls to the swine. As I have stated elsewhere, those who have studied this know how precisely how easily such abstractions can be ‘intentionally’ misconstrued by the divisive will of a mundane mind. The ancient abstract philosophy is intended strictly as a map for personal guidance, but as in Grail Quest stories, the door will only open to the heart of Maat. The church, blinded by its own worldly pursuit saw it as a ‘tool for power’. By misdirecting attention away from the true nature of the map, they instead caused an evil division between spirit and matter to manifest in its midst, fueling the fires of its own dogma and justifying its own bitterness and hatred, resulting in the carnage of war against anything that stood in its way, or questioned its authority.

I am neither agnostic nor atheist, but I do subscribe to a perspective that allows one to ‘naturally’ perceive that which lies beyond the rational realm of senses. It is, after all, from the irrational that the rational is manifest. As history has proven, this quest is best left up to the individual, and out of the perverse hands of base human nature, especially a blind self-serving soul on the seat of power.

Peace, Best Wishes and Hope

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By amunaor, March 27, 2008 at 8:21 pm Link to this comment

Well said Fadel!

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By amunaor, March 27, 2008 at 8:15 pm Link to this comment

Interesting? What happened to all of the comments here; they seem to have vanished?

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By Fadel Abdallah, March 27, 2008 at 8:00 pm Link to this comment

Sorry for the typos; this is an edited Copy of a previous post!
=================================================
This is indeed a good piece by Robert Scheer, and the best part of it, as I see it, is his bringing up the hypocrisy, split vision and double standards when comparing what fanatic Robertson and Hagee have been saying, without much reaction or condemnation, to what Rev. Jeremiah Wright said, with the exaggerated overreaction to his words, which he only took from the Bible that Christians believe it’s the word of God.

As an aside, I am really surprised how a nation whose majority population are Christians, whether practicing or not, resent someone reminding them that a loving God (or nature) can also be a God (or nature) of retribution or consequences when major sins, like mass killing in wars, are committed.  This is all in the Old Testament, as well as is in all monotheistic religions.

In fact, the concept of a God of Retribution is even older than the history of monotheistic religions. It originated among the ancient Greeks to whom we owe our imperfect democracy. Thus the Greeks believed in NEMESIS, the goddess or retribution, who punishes human transgression of the natural, right order of things and the arrogance that causes it. This is why the secular enlightened writer Chalmers Johnson entitled his excellent book, “NEMISIS: THE LAST DAYS OF THE AMERICAN REPUBLIC;” one of the best books I read lately.

And since I am at it, let me play the advocate of a god of retribution for the evils we did in the Iraqi ongoing 5-years old war. In Iraq, we met a presumed enemy, but it turned out to be that the enemy is us, with our so-called Commander-in-Chief, sitting cowardly in the artificial security of the White House, while sending young Americans and spending precious American treasury, to kill and destroy and to be killed and destroyed. And only a naive person would think that all this can happen without consequences. If we need to speak about the worsening economic situation in our country, we must by necessity connect it to the war in Iraq; otherwise we all will be hypocrites, with split vision, and like the ostriches which bury their heads in the sand!

Thank you Rev. J. Wright for reminding us about some very important, yet inconvenient truths!

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By Fadel Abdallah, March 27, 2008 at 7:49 pm Link to this comment

This is indeed a good piece by Robert Scheer, and the best part of it, as I see it, is his bringing up the hypocricy, split vision and double standards when comparing what fanatic Robertson and Hagee have been saying, without much reaction or condemnation, to what Rev. Jeremiah Wright said, with the exaggerated overreaction to his words, which he only took from the Bible that Christians believe it’s the word of God.

As an aside, I am really surprised how a nation whose majority population are Christians, whether practicing or not, resent someone reminding them that a loving God (or nature) can also be a God (or nature) of ritribution or consequences when major sins, like mass killing in wars, are committed.  This is all in the Old Testamant, as well as is in all monotheistic religions.

In fact, the concept of a God of Ritribution is even older than the history of monotheistic religions. It originated among the ancient Greeks to whom we owe our imperfect democracy. Thus the Greeks believed in NEMESIS, the goddess or ritribution, who punishes human transgression of the natural, right order of things and the arrogance that causes it. This is why the secular enlightened writer Chalmers Johnson entitled his excellent book, “NEMISIS:THE LAST DAYS OF THE AMERICAN REPUBLIC;” one of the best books I read lately.

And since I am at it, let me play the advocate of a god of ritribution for the evils we did in the Iraqi ongoing 5-years old war. In Iraq, we met a presumed enemy, but it turned out to be that the enemy is us, with our so-called Commander-in-Chief, sitting cowardly in the artificial security of the White House, while sending young Americans and spending precious American treasury, to kill and destroy and to be killed and destroyed. And only a naive person would think that all this can happen without consequences. If we need to speak about the worsening economic situation in our country, we must by necessitty connect it to the war in Iraq, otherwise we all will be hypocrites, with split vision, and like the ostriches which bury their heads in the sand!

Thank you Rev. Jeremiah Wright for reminding us about some very important, though inconvenient truths!

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By Shenonymous, March 27, 2008 at 7:18 pm Link to this comment

Not sure to what you are referring zeitgeist, if you are commenting on my post.  My remark has to do with a critique of Israel and all religion in general and the kind of sloppy thinking that has gone on. 

I took specific issue with the Abrahamic religions.  My estimation of Hebrewism or Jewism, in terms of it being a form of Abrahamic religion along with its siblings Christianity and Islam are all equally irrational and that none are exempt. 

That being said, I have no care what people want to do.  If they want to believe that some supernatural being deserves some devotion, it is entirely their choice and as long as there is no violence done to non-believers of their respective religions and politically they stay within the practices of their non-violent doctrines, then I have no further critical interest in them other than what I have already said.

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By bipolar2, March 27, 2008 at 6:54 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

. . . ever since jimmy (i lusted in my heart) carter pushed believer-ship to the foreground, we’ve seen a parade of god’s sycophants lusting for imperial purple.

george w. our born-again post-modern Caligula rants about his non-existent “successes” in perfect harmony with Paul’s delusional raving in 1Cor1. Little Bush’s untreated (alcoholic’s) will-to-death still threatens us all. Turning to a fictional right-wing Jesus was no substitute for psychotherapy and medication.

i hope that Obama’s xianity is just required hypocrisy. Clinton’s surely is.

the US is such an aberration—in its affinity for religious self-delusion and in its failure to accept now elementary fundamental truths like evolution through natural selection.

“those whom the gods wish to destroy, they first make demented.”

bipolar2

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By amunaor, March 27, 2008 at 3:14 pm Link to this comment

I beg to differ with you in the sense that, according to some researchers, from Tuthmoses III and Sahra (Abraham’s wife) issued Isaac.
This is why Abraham wished to slay Isaac, it wasn’t his, but Abraham’s hand was stayed with certain promises bestowed by Pharaoh Tuthmoses III, the father.

Ismael was Abraham’s true son through Hagor, the Eqyptian handmaiden given to Abraham to take care of Isaac once he was born.

Christianity, rather Paulianity, is a self-serving Roman fabrication, based on an Egyptian mythos.

Peace, Best Wishes and Hope

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By Shenonymous, March 27, 2008 at 2:54 pm Link to this comment

Israel is no better, nor worse, than any of the world’s religions but particularly their co-generic Abrahamic religions of Christianity and Islam. Any militant religion is barbaric and uncivilized.  Religions who are about the business of their own should be able to do whatever they want as long as no one is hurt in any way.  Religions who use their dramatic stage to play a deadly game of politics is on the threshold of absurdity.

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By shnarp, March 27, 2008 at 2:43 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

amen! also, very well written Mr. Scheer, I nod in agreement

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By Tony Wicher, March 27, 2008 at 2:36 pm Link to this comment

I agree with most of what you say, although I don’t see why you are so hard on Scheer. I imagine he agrees with what you say about Wright.

I think it is true that Obama’s supporters are getting frustrated as Obama tries to build a coalition so broad that it contains some pretty incompatible elements. It is difficult to unite them behind some common

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By cyrena, March 27, 2008 at 2:17 pm Link to this comment

Doc knowitall,

Who is ‘PR’? Your neighbor’s hero?

Just curious. Say hi for me, (I mean, when Jesus is up to company, or you’re there to give him a headache powder)

Still curious about PR though.

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By amunaor, March 27, 2008 at 2:04 pm Link to this comment

Christianity is a plagiarized, Egyptian dying god myth ‘Isis and Osiris’, which Christianized (Paulianized) Rome ripped from the pages of Jewish history and contorted that history into a self-serving story of their own, in the form of the new testament. This psychodrama was brought out of Egypt by Akhenaton, also known as Moses. Akhenaton was a religious iconoclast, whose myopic vision tossed the old Theban religious establishment onto its head, which resulted in violent upheaval, the cause for Moses’ expulsion. (The Exodus.)

The Imperialist desires of Rome, in order to compete with the diversity of existing Pagan mythos, designed to seduce the scattered flock in order it fall under a single umbrella, by creating their own version of Isis and Osiris, a new superman. On the heels of the newly Christianized Rome, in a genocidal pursuit and the interests of self preservation, Rome sought to route out and exterminate any remnants of the original story.

Today, the same rabid fanaticism, fill those very same sails driven by the lust for power and empire.

Much of the impetus for Zionism rode on the back of delirious Christian sympathies both in England and America, who in the throws of blind passion, sought to compel the fulfillment of their prophecy; thought it necessary to blast a chunk of earth out of Palestine in order for this to occur, this was and is a very fundamental undercurrent which subconsciously fanned the flames for the creation of an Israeli state and thus, influenced Zionist aspirations. This can not be ignored!

Where is Israel in all of this? Through a comfortably numb symbiosis, Israel continues as a surrogate in the clutches of its Neo-Roman host, whose ego, in 1948, had been stroked with the offer of a seat at the table of a neo-Roman empire, which continue today in the same imperialist aspirations of Constantine.

Once this is understood, it becomes clear that Israel is Israel in name only, but in reality it wears the same Roman coat of Constantine; embodied in the radical fundamentalism of the extreme right, the neo-Christian-Zionist; anyone thinking this to be utter nonsense, need only to listen to or read the ranting agenda of Pat Robertson, and his ilk. It is from this very same pack of wolves, ‘Roberson’s School for Religious Change in Government’, crusader Bush has chosen to pluck his warrior disciples from and fill bureaucratic positions around him. It is the injection of this toxic mix that continues to infuriates the region of Israel’s Arab brothers and sisters and it must be vetted, before there can be any attempt at reconciliation.

If your interested in pursuing this line of investigation, I recommend starting with Ahmed Osman’s ‘Stranger in the Valley of the Kings’ for the discovery here is pivotal to all else, followed by, ‘The House of the Messiah’.

Also Michael Baigent’s ‘The Dead Sea Scrolls Deception’ and his, ‘The Inquistion’.

Peace, Best Wishes and Hope

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By jfior, March 27, 2008 at 11:32 am Link to this comment

you took a little less than 13 based upon the posting times above,...I would say that it was the result of bad people who just happened to be white…we can’t and shouldn’t apologize for them, what’s done is done, but there is no reason that this generation perpetuate their methods of ignorance…the history of the US is not unique, whether divided along racial/nationalistic/tribal/sectarian lines, each nation has its conquered and suppressed groups…we have had our share…the real test is how subsequent generations square these facts with their “sacred” espoused values and move forward…

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By ocjim, March 27, 2008 at 10:30 am Link to this comment

I think we all know that God is not he or she. A human parochialism, human pride and limited knowledge prompt us to describe God in human terms. The concept of God is for comfort and meaning. It doesn’t matter what we call her/him since our beliefs reflect our culture,our needs and a limited concept of immortal or eternal. If all really understood this concept, you would have no war, no Rove, no Bush, no Cheney and peace. But that’s a pipe dream since enlightenment is usually a brief twinkle—if ever in a lifetime.

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By Gabir, March 27, 2008 at 9:47 am Link to this comment

To read the headline of this column “War of the Word”
By Robert Scheer , one would expect a deep , intelligent , and enlightening discussion of the supposed role of God in conflict with actions taken both in this country and exerted abroad by The United States . I would have expected a real discourse highlighting “respected ” men and women of the clergy along with theologians . Instead , once again , Mr. Scheer takes the same avenue that he most usually does , asking an intelligent or intriguing question and then writing a column more suitable for PEOPLE MAGAZINE , than this forum .
    Pat Robertson (?????????) is the # 1 focus of this bombshell argument ? I could even give some respect to this if it were Billy Graham , but Pat Robertson ? What don’t we know about Pat (many screws missing)Robertson ? Then we have a generalization (Called Scheer’s Specialization )that -” The prediction of God’s damnation for bad behavior is made in both black and white churches.”
    Why not focus on the real , urgent issues this country faces and forget these so called “men of God” AND their rantings . If Pat Robertson did not get ME-dia attention , he would have been a nowhere man years ago . As for the Rev. Wright , I believe that little that he spoke was incorrect , just tainted by anger and frustration . Frustration among Mr. Obama’s close advisors is growing , as he attempts to be the 100% , politically correct choice candidate loved by 99.9% of the electorate .
      If we want substance in these discussions , than we need to demand it , no matter who is writing or broadcasting the commentary . Robert Scheer may be the Editor of this “Journal” , but he is by no means an effective reporter with honest motives backing his columns , AND his once passionate social commentaries have been left behind for the sake of futile attempts at politician making or politician breaking . He can and should be focusing on important issues and leave the pulp to the tabloids .

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By Dominick J., March 27, 2008 at 9:44 am Link to this comment

Doug Write: My best advice to Christians is to tear the OT out of their bible and throw it in the trash - and start living as Jesus showed you!

Sorry Doug you just can’t throw out the OT, it’s the history part of the book, it’s how and why we get to Jesus and of course it’s not ment to live by especially in this time and age, but it’s a good history lesson. 
Then we come to the NT and yes from here we should be living as Jesus teaches.  It’s the Religious Right who has it screwed up not to mention they keep trying to peddle the “Book” as if God wrote it Him/Herself.

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By thebeerdoctor, March 27, 2008 at 9:29 am Link to this comment

jfior, I read the essay and no lib in texas, it is not a waste of time, it stings but there is much truth.
“The conquest of the earth, which mostly means the taking it away from those who have a different complexion or slightly flatter noses than ourselves, is not a pretty thing when you look into it too much.”
JOSEPH CONRAD, Heart of Darkness

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By Peter RV, March 27, 2008 at 9:02 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

People like ‘lib in texas’ always amaze me with their proclamations of racial solidarity. If the blacks do that, it is understandable, but when did we, “whities” suffer because of the colour of our skin?
Besides, how can anyone be proud of the race which has given us Bushes, Clintons and McCains?

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By purplewolf, March 27, 2008 at 8:44 am Link to this comment

Read: Biblical Nonsense by Dr. Jason Long. Highly recommended for those with open minds. Closed minds need not bother as they would never admit they were wrong in the first place. Even with proof and logic as they were brainwashed eons ago.

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By GB, March 27, 2008 at 8:42 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Douglas Chalmers,
I totally respect your answer that Japan suffered a big loss of life when the US tested the atom bomb on Japan. And no matter what anyone thinks of the theories running around about how the twin towers and the 7th tower came down on 911, the bottom line is a fact that the Bush administration knew it was going to happen and as written in the PNAC document signed by all the neocon nut jobs used it to kill 4,000 of our troops, get 1,000,000 innocent Iraqi citizens killed, shred the Constitution, and ruin our economy with unbelievable debt. So when you say that these accusations are irrelevant, you sound like the truth is irrelevant. It’s an insult to humanity that the neoCon nut jobs get to write history the way that makes them rich beyond imagination and leaves so much innocent blood in their wake.

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By lib in texas, March 27, 2008 at 8:14 am Link to this comment

Well, I took your 15 minute waste of time.  All it explained was it was WHITIES FAULT.

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By jfior, March 27, 2008 at 8:01 am Link to this comment

I wish I had more time to discuss this all in length because I find this concept and topic so interesting and polarizing…I will have to simply post here the following:

I don’t know much about this man Tim Wise (if that is his real name)...a friend of mine forwarded the text of one of his essays to me…In it, he has articulated much of my own sentiments that I think are a great addition to the discussions here…the title is “Of National Lies and Racial Amnesia:
Jeremiah Wright, Barack Obama, and the Audacity of Truth”

http://www.timwise.org

here is his website and you can find the link pretty easily under “Essay Archives”  worth the 15 minutes to digest.

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By thebeerdoctor, March 27, 2008 at 6:24 am Link to this comment

Although I am encouraged to post more blogs, I can honestly say, whether it is beer or politics, I write only about matters I care about. The idiotic Obamabash over the Reverend Wright was one such matter. Alas, the team Clinton character assassination crew has been quite effective. One only has to turn on C-SPAN during call in time, to hear complaints about Barack Obama attending “that racist church”. What a crock.
http://thebeerdoctor.newscloud.com/

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By VegaMan, March 27, 2008 at 6:10 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This insane idea that Mr. Obama is somewhat responsible for Rev. Wrights comments is ludicrous.  Anyone who guides there views by simple critical thinking will easily come to the reality that Rev. Wrights comments are pretty much true (aside from the AIDS comment) America is not the Holy Shrine that is out spreading democracy around the world.  If people would bother to pickup a book or newspaper once in awhile instead of being glued to FOX News you would easily see the hyprocrisy in our foreign, economic and trade policies which have been tearing this world apart. So Rev. Wright is just venting at what he sees going on in the world and Mr. Obama should not be held accountable for the views of pretty much 80% of the population that is able to use reason instead of blind faith.

Brotherhood and the will to fight for it is the only thing that can save our world.

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By Langx, March 27, 2008 at 5:43 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Hitler thought he was doing the right thing to.

He was a Christian.

“As a Christian I have no duty to allow myself to be cheated, but I have the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice.”

Adolf Hitler

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By Shenonymous, March 27, 2008 at 4:56 am Link to this comment

Douglas is a magpie.  His kind of posts are for the ignorant only.  I don’t really need any description of him as I have had lots of experiences of his less than enlightening posts.

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By Expat, March 27, 2008 at 4:26 am Link to this comment

^ the right Rev. Wright is a bunch of racist crap, not to mention, a huge dose of hypocrisy.  Any normal human with a radio or TV has heard the “white” Christian ministers rail against Satan in our, schools, government (both local/national), politics, and media (all of it).  They have said far worse; far worse, and us whites either look at them and nod our heads or we look at them as whackos, BUT , we never criticize them publicly via the media unless they are caught red handed in a sex scandal (both hetero/homo).  We’re like scared little dweebs; afraid to say the Emperor has no clothes.  The only thing the Rev. Wright did wrong was to be born black.  This country is so riven with racism it defies understanding and we don’t even see it.

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By Dr. Knowitall, PhD, PhD, March 27, 2008 at 4:25 am Link to this comment

To all TDers:

I need to completely dispel any notion that Jesus is real.  He is.  The truth is, he lives two doors down from me.  He’s more than my personal saviour; he’s my personal friend.  And he loves you. 

He has asked me to ask you this favor.  He’s a little tired.  He’s in what he called a kind of witness protection program, like they had back then. He gets headaches. (I gave him some Head-On) He’s trying to live a quiet, hermit-like life, and would rather he be left out of our arguments so as not to aggrevate his condition.  I told him you’d never believe me but I promised I’d try.

Please don’t ask me any questions.  I love you all, too, but have to honor his wishes.

P.S.  PR is his hero.

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By G.Anderson, March 27, 2008 at 4:18 am Link to this comment

It’s been my experience that governments always believe their actions, are good, because the ultimate ends of those actions serve a higher purpose. The ends justify the means. This has been the underlying principal of the Neo Cons. 


However if one looks objectively at the actions of this government as an end in themselves, unattached to any higher outcome, it is much easier to understand them as they are.

Our government can justify torture, dumping of millions of ton’s of depleated Uranium into the atmosphere, global warming, just about anything, because they are done for a greater good. 

But those in control of our government conviently forget that the poison we spew out into our world ultimately has consequences to our people and all of humanity.

It is not God that condems us, but we who condem ourselves, by our own inhumanity.

The Karma of Iraq, and of our poisoning of the world, will effect the lives of all of us for many years to come. God has nothing to do with it.

How naive we are to believe that because God is on our side we have no responsibility for our actions.

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By Expat, March 27, 2008 at 4:08 am Link to this comment

^ and you are correct IMO.

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By Jimmy, March 27, 2008 at 1:34 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It sure is apparent to me after reading all these comments that most have not read there bible or even believe what they have read. It just behoves me that so many so called christians don’t even know what God has to say to man. No wander when Amos prophized about the USA that we are rotten to the core not worth saving and well lay them down to sleep and says THOU SHALL NOT RISE. If you can not see that we are the Mystery Babalyon we live in the belly of the beast and the false profit. In Eziekel God said of us Go and tell the people and warn them from me. In Isiah he says go warn the people from me and that I am coming and I am bringing my warth with me. Quite Listing to so called perchers they well just confuse you go read it for yourself and then see if you can see who we are. Our time has come and the judgment has been set and there is no stoping it. We well sink to bottom of the ocean and never well God let another to take our place. Quit looking for a so called rapture the word is not even in the bible so how can you beleive that crap. Jesus is coming back but not as a lamb but as King of Kings and Lord of Lords and he does not need mans permission to do so. Amos said that the day of the Lord is not light but of darkness and gloom and doom because we have went the way of Balack and we have the gainsaying of Core. Repent, Repent, Repent that is God message and live right and that is do not lie cheat are steal or whorship any other thing that is not God.The Shaking is coming soon are you ready. Flesh and Blood can not enter into heaven only those that choose to obey the spirit and Follow Jesus Christ. What did Jesus say more than anything while he was here on earth with us. To LOVE YOU ENEMY pray for them and never and I mean never are you aloud to kill another human being. For God made all of us no matter where you come from on this earth you were made by God wheather you beleive it or not. God say plainly From the beginging and especailly after Noha left the Ark that thou shall not kill any of my children period. Satan time has come and it is going to get really tuff out there for those that follow Christ but Christ said that those that follow me well have persicution and even death but that is what we look forward to and the transition well be beautiful. May the Love of Jesus Christ stay in your hearts now and forever. And my God forgive us our sins for they are many. Amen

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By Douglas Chalmers, March 27, 2008 at 1:30 am Link to this comment

You have a good point, Barry, but I think that the 100,000’s of mostly innocent civilians who perished in Hiroshima and Nagasaki are far more significant than the 3,000 or so who died in the WTC in New York.

But the main concern is who will be next? America still believes in a god of war…... or at least of self-righteousness, uhh!

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By cyrena, March 27, 2008 at 1:04 am Link to this comment

Shenonymous..

Thanks for the post. Chalmers is the epitome of torture on blogs. So much for the paradox of the 1st Amendment.

Matter of fact, I once wrote a paper on that…the benefits of the Internet, in that it puts so much information at our fingertips, that we would never have been able to access so easily, and that goes for those who can’t afford the rising costs of education.

The downside of course, is that we have to put up with crap from people like Chalmers, as well as all of the other outrageous propaganda that is circulated through the internet.

There’s always a catch. In the end, it’s still better I think, that the access is there. If nothing else, the Chalmer’s of the world provide an example of what we DON’T want our society to accept as normal or healthy information. And, it’s preparation for how to weed out the crazies, so that we know the difference.

I have a colleague who believes in scaring the youth that she mentors, by taking them on visits to the morgue, to terrorize them into seeing what could happen to them if they indulge in risky behavior.

I don’t really believe that’s all that helpful. Besides, small doses of Chalmer’s posts are terrifying enough, and still do the trick.

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By cyrena, March 27, 2008 at 12:34 am Link to this comment

You’ve got some good points here Barry. My sentiments exactly.

Now on this…

“....(GOD must be a man since as George Carlan has pointed out “no woman could or would ever fuck things up like this!...”

I must make an admission…Back when I believed more, (than less, as I do now) in a God, I nearly ALWAYS refered to Her as exactly that…HER. Or SHE, rather than He.

Oddly enough, (or maybe not so oddly) Andrew Greely, who’s written several novels, nearly all fiction, though I think he may have a piece or two of non-fiction) used to be a favorite author of mine..back in the 70’s and 80’s when I read a lot of fiction. (I got enough of the ‘non-fiction’ on the job). He’s a Catholic priest, so that’s why I said, “oddly enough’ because he always refered to God in ‘the feminine’ in his books.

That said…thanks for the link…

I agree 100% with your post…

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By Barry, March 26, 2008 at 9:13 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

First of all, asssumming that there is a GOD and secondly that this GOD is NOT evil, then it would be necessary for this GOD to determine which America he is going to damn.(GOD must be a man since as George Carlan has pointed out “no woman could or would ever fuck things up like this!” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MeSSwKffj9o

GOD should most certainly damn the AmeriKa that brought us the near extermination of the Indigenous Native Americans, the lynchings of innocent African-Americans, and the controlled demolition of WTC 1, WTC 2 and WTC 7 and sent the cruise missle into the Pentagon on 9/11/2001 killing thousands of innocent Americans. I am sure this GOD would find other AmeriKas to damn, but this would be a good start.

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By William Dalton, March 26, 2008 at 9:07 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

God “can” damn anyone he may choose, but God “chooses” to condemn only sinners, because he created all of us to live with him forever, to be blessed with eternal life.  Even sinners, though, may be redeemed for eternal life, because God “chose” to condemn His only Son to suffer the punishment deserved by all of us for our sins.

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By William Dalton, March 26, 2008 at 9:01 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Pat Robertson (who is neither a pastor nor a reverend, by the way) served in combat in the Korean War.

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By William Dalton, March 26, 2008 at 8:52 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’m glad Hillary Clinton isn’t a member of my church. She is every church’s nightmare - the bossy member who threatens to leave or withdraw her support if she doesn’t agree with what is proclaimed from the pulpit.  She has no idea of what church membership means - people don’t choose pastors, churches do.  And while it is fashionable in the present day for people to “choose” churches, the true relationship is, in fact, a matter of God choosing people and leading them to particular churches - either that or your church membership is a sham.

And for someone to leave a church because of the political opinions of the pastor misses the purpose of the pastoral relationship, which is to nurture the Christian faith, not organize a political campaign.  Leaving a church for any reason other than apostasy - the proclamation of a false gospel - is a betrayal, not of the pastor, but of the church itself, i.e., all of its members.

Worst is Sen. Clinton’s presumption in telling Barack Obama that if she were he she would choose another pastor.  Barack Obama did not “choose” Jeremiah Wright.  It was Rev. Wright who chose Barack Obama and led him to become a disciple of Jesus Christ.

If Hilary Clinton had been a member of the apostle Paul’s church in Macedonia, I imagine she would have cut out as soon as the Jews came after him.  She probably would have been among those who tried to stone him to death.  It is obvious that for her church membership is a matter of political expediency and nothing more.

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By Douglas Chalmers, March 26, 2008 at 8:36 pm Link to this comment

Do try to be less obtusely arrogant and dictatorial in your conversations, Shhh…....

Your rudeness has no place in this discussion….. do take more time in thinking through what you are trying to say, uhh.

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By David Ashton, March 26, 2008 at 8:20 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

If you think Pat Robertson and John Hagee are experts than you are seriously in need of educating.

As an evangelical myself ( which they are not!) I find the self-righteous, bilious rantings of the Christian right both alarming and destructive.

God judges all people equally, and He doesn’t go around doling out justice in the form of natural disasters (in this present age).. all that will come later when Jesus comes back.

Why don’t these “experts” speak up about George Bush’s lies, his abuse of the law, his spendthrift ways, his tax cuts for the rich? Why don’t they call for repentance over racial prejudice?

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By msgmi, March 26, 2008 at 8:19 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Pat Robertson uses the bible to steer the policy-makers into the Middle East pandoras box where he wants armageddon to take place in his lifetime. Robertson is the re-incarnation of the past when papal pleas prompted coalition Crusades to be dispatched to the Middle East in order to ‘preserve’ christianity by force and terror. The ‘conservative’ frontrunners for years have reached out to Pat for his blessing because he delivers voters of the christian right. Seems as if the constitutional amendment citing the separation of church & state has fallen by the wayside for personal political gain and not for the well being of the country.

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By Shenonymous, March 26, 2008 at 7:33 pm Link to this comment

Your comment about taxation is nonsense, Douglas.  And it is the epitome of conceit that you could say what your god wants me to learn and evolve.  More quasi-religious babble.  Your supposing the effects of 9/11 and its affect is completely artificial and you try to deceive with your utterly false claims.  Your rampancy is out of control.  If I have said nothing, then why would you bother to reply?  Are you in the habit of talking about nothing?  Yes.  The fact that Hurricane Katrina affected 70 million Mexicans or 300 million other Central Americans doesn’t really have much consequence for Americans in Louisiana.  That is another strawman example of which you are so adroit at making.  Of course the New Orleans population are still affected.  Not by the storm, but by the absolute ignorance of our government.  Keep the logic straight, won’t you?

Your mention of a mercenary army has no place in this discussion really, another smoke screen for no substantial argument to what I said.  Do take more time in thinking through what you are trying to say.

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By Dominick J., March 26, 2008 at 7:26 pm Link to this comment

Hi jackpine, God exists if you have faith. 
Any way I’m here to bring you this link, I found when I was doing a Bible Study at our UCC Progressive church:
http://www.abcog.org/nh/6000.htm
Of course Catholics don’t dare teach this and I don’t think the bores of the Pat Robertson nature know about it!

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By Douglas Chalmers, March 26, 2008 at 7:20 pm Link to this comment

Well, savage jackpine, (a) Jesus wan’t a “rabbi”, and (b) there still IS a path to Enlightenment.

My best advice to Christians is to tear the OT out of their bible and throw it in the trash - and start living as Jesus showed you!

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By Douglas Chalmers, March 26, 2008 at 7:15 pm Link to this comment

“The nation is made up of… over 303 million people and they all cannot be guilty, can they of bringing down the wrath of a nonexistent supernatural being?  Are we talking of every man, woman, and child…”

It is not comparable with taxation, Shh… The government wants every drop of blood out of every single body it maintains in presumed perpetual slavery. God only wants you to learn and evolve, whether through following your inspiration and intuition - or through your karma, good or bad.

But 9/11 DID affect almost everybody upon the planet as well as everybody in the USA. Check it out on AlJazeera, uhh. Perhaps you have been asleep since 2001, eh? Better be more aware - and wary - of “the (God) that you created in your own miserable hearts…”.

The lemming effect is truly amazing and here is proof that human insanity rules.  Most of what you have said here does in fact signify nothing, Shhh….......

Hurrican Katrine affected 70 million people in Mexico and quite a few more in other Central American states as well as the 300 million lemmings in the USA, by the way. And don’t forget to ask the people in New Orleans, especially the black ones, how they are still being affected.

For one thing, it the US government a trial run of its new mercenary army on its own territory and against its own people. That is no insignificant matter any more than the infrastructure collapses than and subsequently and the fact that coastal populations and industries will all have to eventually be moved to hihger ground.

Instead, what are they doing? Rebuilding New Orleans for the rich white people whose carcasses will eventually feed the sharks in the Caribbean! Your lemmings in utter denial…......

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By jackpine savage, March 26, 2008 at 7:11 pm Link to this comment

In Christianity neither morality nor religion come into contact with reality at any point. ~Nietzsche

Is man one of God’s blunders? Or is God one of man’s blunders? ~Nietzsche (Obviously the latter, since God is omnipotent and his plunders must be explained away by theological shenanigans.)

The Grand Inquisitor, (Chapter 5, Bratya Karamazova):

http://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/pol116/grand.htm

Of all the animosities which have existed among mankind, those which are caused by a difference of sentiments in religion appear to be the most inveterate and distressing, and ought most to be deprecated. ~George Washington (Spoken like an honest, pot-smoking Freemason of the old school.)

There are things about organized religion which I resent. Christ is revered as the Prince of Peace, but more blood has been shed in His name than any other figure in history. You show me one step forward in the name of religion and I’ll show you a hundred retrogressions. Remember, they were men of God who destroyed the educational treasures at Alexandria, who perpetrated the Inquisition in Spain, who burned the witches at Salem. Over 25,000 organized religions flourish on this planet, but the followers of each think all the others are miserably misguided and probably evil as well. ~Frank Sinatra (Croon on Frankie…)

Religion, n. A daughter of Hope and Fear, explaining to Ignorance the nature of the Unknowable. ~Ambrose Bierce (The part about ignorance would explain why religion is so popular in America these days.)

Christianity is a badly written collection of usurped and second hand myths.  The New Testament is mythological shite: there aren’t any good stories, it’s not even close to being internally (even mythologically) consistent, and it has absolutely nothing to do with the teachings of Jesus.  And the Christians flat out stole the God of the Jews, who did some theological thieving of their own…but at least added something to it besides, “God used to be rather a pissy old bugger, but now he’s nice and happy and he loves us.

The Old Testament is at least worth reading, but all that could be good in the New Testament was purged by “good Christians”, the kind who would crucify Christ all over again because he’d tell them not to be Christians.

The last decent Christians were slaughtered during the Albigensian Crusade, and what we have left are the ones who did the slaughtering.

Moreover, God doesn’t exist because nobody can prove that He exists.  To “believe” in God is as intellectually weak as “believing” that Barack Obama will solve all of your problems.  No, it cannot be proven that God doesn’t exist…but all the fools who prance around talking about the fact that He does exist can’t even agree on what He is or what He stands for suggest that He is mankind’s biggest blunder.

The worst mistake the Jews made was creating such a thing about an unknown rabbi.  And the worst mistake that the Romans made was not procuring enough lions.

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By Dominick J., March 26, 2008 at 6:57 pm Link to this comment

The Christian God I know would never destroy anyone or anything.  He/She vowed never to do such thing since Noah and the Ark, and He/She sent the Rainbow for proof.  BUT of course these Right Wing Fundamentlist morons never recite that part of the Bible ‘cause it just doesn’t fit their agenda!

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By Shenonymous, March 26, 2008 at 6:44 pm Link to this comment

It is a strange type of god that would bother to be involved in such conceited and arrogant creatures lives.  The creatures who are that part of humanity with the greatest hubris who dared to fashion themselves in the image of their deity.  Then they, white or black, attribute to the nonexistent supernatural being the interest of damning an entire country.  Then they make a melodramatic use of that appeal to make what is called a hasty generalization of calling all citizens evil by the actions of the narcissistic, self-absorbed few. 

The nation is made up of, what is it, over 303 million people and they all cannot be guilty, can they of bringing down the wrath of a nonexistent supernatural being?  Are we talking of every man, woman, and child?  And by the way, what form would the damnation of the entire nation take?  A 9/11, a Katrina, what?  9/11 actually affected a small number of people compared to the 303 million.  As did Katrina as well.  Not that those were not disasters of the worst kind: one caused by insanity of mankind, and the other the power of nature, for it is unimaginable that any god that so loved the world that he would have given his only begotten son that it might be saved would take even one nanosecond to destroy any part of it.  Isn’t that how the god of Abraham is characterized in the narration of Jesus? 

What kind of god are you really describing, the one that you created in your own miserable hearts?  A mutable god who changes its mind?  How could a god change its mind?  An omniscient god?  Better check the definition of omniscient.  The absolute sloppy reasoning that has gone on in most of the posts here is appalling and commits any number of reasoning fallacies: appeal to fear; appeal to emotional prediction, fallacy of omission several times; appeal to spurious hypothesization; misleading vividness; ad nauseum; then there is the kind of rant that falls into nonsensical rambling and demonstrates a bravado that doesn’t say anything really.  It is surprising you allow yourselves to blather so much.

The lemming effect is amazing and here is proof that human insanity rules.  Most of what has been said here does in fact signify nothing.

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By Dominick J, March 26, 2008 at 5:26 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

God doesn’t condem anyone and certainly doesn’t unleash any kind of disater on any one or area or country!  You can’t believe anything a fundamentalist Christian? says!
Litteral poppycock in the 21st century from a book written 2000 years ago for another religious belife is pure poppycock.
Many progessive churches have been in existence for over 200 years BUT, thank God, their mentality certainly isn’t.

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By Joe to other Joe, March 26, 2008 at 4:58 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Joe—-the nick is already taken. Please change your posting nick. Thank you. God bless you in every way.

  -Joe

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By Douglas Chalmers, March 26, 2008 at 4:28 pm Link to this comment

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5KaKm3Z-lWo In the middle of her family’s move to the suburbs, a sullen 10-year-old girl wanders into a world ruled by gods, witches, and monsters; where humans are changed into animals; and a bathhouse for these creatures…. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ldGms9gbTao As night falls, she is terrified to see the area fill with faceless spirits, but when she runs to find her parents, she discovers that they have been turned into pigs….  http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0245429/plotsummary Enjoy!

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By MAR, March 26, 2008 at 4:18 pm Link to this comment

Thanks for your reply and facts.  But you may have omitted some. When I was in Yugo in 1957 we (crew of a non-US military airplane) were shown around and treated like royalty. We passed a location where our air force attache pointed out that 40,000 royalists had been slaughtered by post-war Tito. When I asked our guide (secret police0 what happened to Mahailovic, he said. “Oh, he died.” Admittedly, at the time this had little to do with religion.
BBB
  But the Croatian alliance with the Nazis was certainly both ethnic and religious in origin. I am sure the slaughter that eventuated from that is included in your figures.

But it is a stretch of the imagination to say that religion had little to do with this history - Rabid Roman Catholicism on one hand and ruthless Islam on the other - going back centuries. Religiosity and ethnicity together make a poisonous mix.

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By amilius, March 26, 2008 at 3:40 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It is not that God ‘damns’ anything.  It is that God allows us the benefit of our choices, gracious and ungracious alike.  Gracious choices generate benevolence for sharing.  Ungracious choices generate instructive consequences that remind one that a more gracious choice was missed in the choosing.  When one ungraciously dismisses instructive consequences as ‘unintended’, the instructive consequences compound.  The current challenges this nation faces are all the result of the instructive consequences of ungracious choices being ignored or otherwise ‘justified’.  God graciously allows us this choice.  We would not be living in a Gracious Universe if this were not so.  This is why teachers throughout the ages have taught: ‘Choose for others only as one would choose for one’s self.’  It guarantees gracious choices when honored.  Namaste.

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By Douglas Chalmers, March 26, 2008 at 2:36 pm Link to this comment

This is true, Frank - but the USA keeps putting its foot in it, duh….

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By Douglas Chalmers, March 26, 2008 at 2:32 pm Link to this comment

Good for you then, JR - and enjoy the piggery. Both are the same, everything is good - vote for Pat Roberston…..

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By xyzaffair, March 26, 2008 at 1:58 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

No question Robertson is homophobic, but he’s also a master of illogical thinking.  During the gays-in-the-military debate, he said that the measure had little likelihood of passing since only 2% of the population was homosexual.  In other words, people are only concerned with their own self-interests.  It’s interesting that the Civil Rights Bill was passed when only 12% of the population was black.

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By Jim, March 26, 2008 at 1:38 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The moral and ethical behavior of a group of individuals is capable of influencing the weather.

Isn’t that an absurd claim? Yet that is what these reverends are in fact claiming. Doesn’t sound so plausible when phrased this way. Yet the way they say it people buy it. Stupid people listening to stupid people.

Think, dammit, think.

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By Shandooga, March 26, 2008 at 1:27 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“I am an Asian and I think the white people are beautiful.”

Well if every movie, television show or Knews report I’ve ever seen is any measure, they agree—wholeheartedly.

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