This Is A Moment In Time Where Magical Thinking Could Kill Us…

…that is if we follow Magical Thinkers and their bottomless capacity to believe utter nonsense is real. I draw a very clear distinction between ‘spirituality’ and ‘religious faith’ because there IS one. Even a humble atheist can feel a sense of awe as he or she gazes out at the cosmos — feels its vastness and mystery yet his or her own tiny existence as part of it, too. That’s ‘spiritual’. It’s dogma free. It’s the feelings without the bullshit explanation for them.

Religious faith demands a suspension of disbelief from the ground up. Religious faith is an attempt to explain that awe everyone feels (even the atheists) with a story — pulled, let’s be honest, from some person’s ass. Okay — from their imagination. Same difference really. I say that as someone pulling something from my ‘ass’ right here, right now. What I am doing here is no different in its ‘inspiration’ from whatever those scribes felt thousands of years ago when they first began to scribble their thoughts onto parchment.

I’m not entirely sure why Christianity still co-brands with Jesus. The institutional Christian churches long, long ago dispensed with Jesus’ core message: ‘Do Unto Others’. Instead they’ve all taken up variations on a theme — justifications for their own existence & continuation. Jesus didn’t ‘invent’ Christianity. If such an actual human ever existed, he was born, lived his whole life and died a Jew. What he preached was Judaism and nothing but. A counter-institutional brand of Judaism — but Judaism (it so happens most Judaism welcomes those who question).

Paul invented Christianity. Most of the New Testament is Paul setting up the ‘Church’ — its larger community — and its fundamental concepts. Those concepts did not include ‘Do Unto Others’. They included the mythology to justify Jesus (a character more than a person in their minds) as the messiah character described in the Jewish texts – themselves nothing but mythology, the product of human imagination. In the context of stone cold reality — things that actually happened vs things that actually didn’t and never could — Paul was building a sand castle atop a sand castle.

We stand at a moment in History where our ability — as a society and a culture — to discern what is from what isn’t — will determine whether we pull ourselves out of this death spiral or simply fly into the ground — and lose our Democracy and every last bit of ones freedoms. That’s not hyperbole.

As of last night, we became ‘aware’ that the FBI was hip to Donald Trump’s treason when he fired James Comey. They’d had inklings but refused to listen to those inklings. A failure of imagination. And a failure because of Magical Thinking — that it just couldn’t ‘be’. That the FACTS ON THE GROUND couldn’t be ‘facts’. That what WASN’T was ‘truer’ than what WAS.

When Comey was fired — and Trump repeatedly acted in ways that screamed how guilty he was — that, finally, was enough for reality to overcome the ‘walls’ that had been put up around The Truth by Magical Thinking. I hope we all agree that this cannot be our process going forward. We need to see Magical Thinking for what it is: prettified BULLSHIT.

If America is going to pull itself out of this — correct it’s course — and restore itself to its core — enlightened — ideals, we need to do it with our eyes wide open. We need to take the spiritual messages from religion — ‘Do Unto Others’ — and remind ourselves that all the other stuff was written by clever, imaginative men (it was probably all men) who didn’t know anything about the world they lived in beyond what they could see with their naked eyes.

If the men who wrote the foundational texts of any religion had the knowledge (that’s knowledge as opposed to bullshit) available via the internet today, they would have written their foundational texts WITH that knowledge. The core message would have still gotten through, one hopes, but wrapped up in a better-informed knowledge-base of how The World actually operates — and why.

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American Culture Has A White-Christian-Male Bias & It Needs To Go

How many guilty Catholic priests does it take to screw in a light bulb?  Better question — How many guilty Catholic priests (guilty of SCREWING children) does it take before a Culture opens its damned eyes?

That blind spot isn’t the Catholic Church’s alone.  The man who sexually assaulted me worked for a synagogue.  Jews do it too.  And Protestants and Muslims.  I suspect other religions do it, too but I’m not too well-versed in their cultures; I know from Abrahamic religions — they all flow from the same toxic male bias.  The religious elements are all really just ‘overlays’ of male self-aggrandizement.  If you really, really look at them, Abrahamic religions have a nasty habit of making its male believers believe not so much ‘in’ a god as that ‘THEY THEMSELVES’ are gods.

They are not made in Yahweh’s image (Yahweh’s his name, god is his job description), Yahweh is made in theirs.

When you start out — deep down — thinking YOU are ‘the gods’ — and if YOU have control of the Culture (made much easier when you tell everyone that YOU and YOU alone can communicate with ‘the gods’) — things like ‘bias’ just sort of flow naturally.  Like toxic waste from a turd factory.

What we Americans need to grasp is that we begin every conversation or debate about who we are with a heavy bias that distorts our image.  We are NOT that thing the Culture insists we are.  We are not predominantly White-Christian-Male — and never were.

But, when you jealously guard the means to tell stories to the widest possible audience, you risk fooling yourself first and foremost.

White-Christian-Male Culture wants us all to believe their excrement smells like roses.  It doesn’t.  They know better than anyone.

They’ve stacked the deck best they can to keep hold of their Ivory Tower.  Problem is, they’re surrounded — by the rest of us.  We need to overtake them — remove them from their tower and then remove their tower, too.  It all needs to go.

It will start — shortly — with our votes.

‘MAGICAL THINKING’ isn’t ‘Thinking’, It’s BULLSHIT; That’s Not A Revelation…

There’s a phrase I’m fond of saying here:  “BACK IT UP OR IT’S BULLSHIT”.

I appreciate that it’s just easier to let other people think for you — especially where the Bigger Questions In Life are concerned.  Where did ‘This’ all come from?  Why are we here?  What is the point?

‘Cos god’ is what Institutional Religion wants you to buy — and they hit you early and hard to make you buy.  And, because they’re hitting you early, when you’re a kid, they know you have no capacity to fight back.  Or ask a good question or two.  Something that might stump them like: “What the hell are you TALKING about?”

Enter the ‘Mumbo Jumbo’… the ‘Ooga Booga’… The MAGICAL THINKING.

What happens when we die?  Heaven.  Proof of it’s existence?  Don’t need proof — faith.  Ah — and ‘faith’ in WHAT?

Faith in the Magic.  Faith that ‘The Magic’ is real.  Based on… nothing.  Because there never was anything to back it up.

For a generation now — since Lee Atwater & Newt Gingrich & Karl Rove & everyone who ever worked in the Nixon White House declared open cultural war on Progressive America (AMERICA in other words), actual data to back up and justify their policy initiatives and the direction they wanted to take America were totally non-existent.  But MAGICAL THINKING was suddenly available in abundance.

Liberated from having to actually BACK UP their claims, republicans and conservatives went hog wild — trickling down all kinds of bullshit on the heads of the American People.  Bullshit is like a booby trapped toy dropped into a war zone.  It looks so innocent when you pick it up — and then it ‘explodes’ inside your head.  Coat the Truth in enough lies often enough and the lie begins to cover up the Truth completely.

The story of how marijuana was ‘illegalized’ in this country comes to mind.  And while I’m at it, let me do a little cross pollenization —

https://www.marijuana.com/news/2018/08/blunt-truths-introduction-how-one-man-turned-the-law-and-society-against-weed/#comment-687464

Inevitably, Magical Thinkers legislate their Magical Thinking onto the rest of us.  We find ourselves subjected to laws and rules that WE KNOW are based on bullshit.  And we look around at each other and we wonder — how the hell did THE MAJORITY of Americans end up HERE — where BULLSHIT (Magical Thinking) gets taken seriously while The Truth gets tossed aside?

Bullshit — and those who deal in it — count on their bullshit causing confusion and disrupting logic.

Donald J Trump comes to mind, strangely…

Good thing the cure isn’t hard to find or take:  Read.  Learn.  Analyze.  Question.  Back It Up.

Is Jeff Sessions Too Stupid For Christianity?

Our ‘sistah-sight’ Mulligan Jesus (which, biased-biased-biased I highly recommend) asks what I think is a very provocative question:  Is THIS MAN — Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions — too stupid for Christianity?

We know already he’s TOO STUPID FOR JESUS… But,, who am I — a very humble atheist — to judge.  That’s I leave it to those better qualified…

Clearly Christianity Is ‘Too Hard’ For Some People (Talking To YOU, Lil Jeff Sessions…)

Spoiler Alert:

Sessions

The answer is YES — DAMN RIGHT!  Jess Sessions IS too stupid for Christianity…

Most Christians Only Like The Bible For ‘The Good Parts’ Anyway…

Clockwork_Orange - Malcolm McDowell

I rail often here about Christians and their insincerity.  Yeah, sure — low hanging fruit and all but — but even low hanging fruit tastes good and has some nutritional value.  So I’ll pick it.

Simple fact:  Most American Christians know virtually nothing about their professed faith.  They’ve NEVER read ‘The Bible’.  Most have never picked one up — except to have in their hands like everyone else — at a church service they did not want to be at.

What they DO know about the supposedly foundational texts at the core of their belief system are the selected phrases of those using the bible for their own messaging purposes.  For instance:  ‘Do unto others — before THEY do unto you first’.

Then there’s the whole ‘pick-n-choose’ quality of American Christianity.  Some rules they like, others not so much.  You’d think they were choosing sides at a fast food restaurant instead of the ‘Rules’ by which they would live.  ‘I don’t know — murder’s horrible and all but if you really have to…’.

Maybe the perfect illustration of how most American Christians really feel about their faith comes from one of my favorite movies ‘Clockwork Orange’.

Alex is a heartless criminal.  He’s murdered a woman after a whole ‘career’ of causing havoc and finally, he’s ‘paying for it’.  In prison he appears to all like a model prisoner bent on reforming himself.  The Prison Chaplin sees Alex reading the bible (or ‘bibble’).  Assumes he’s taking ‘the right lessons’ from it.  However…

If the Jesus ‘story’ was true (meaning — all the window dressing added on to Jesus’ very simple message) — and Jesus DID have a second coming and returned to earth — ALEX would be how most American Christians would think of and ‘approach’ Jesus — not as his follower but as his tormentor.

Want My Vote? First Question: Is Your Core ‘Belief System’ Based On Real Or RUBBISH?

Here’s the conundrum atheists have faced at each and every election.  We have to cast a ballot for people making Life & Death decisions for us.  At the presidential level those are LITERAL Life & Death Decisions.

A POTUS has the power to literally wipe out huge chunks of humanity.  Not ‘quite’ with the press of a button but — awfully damned close.

If we take ourselves into that moment, all movie-like, and move in nice and close to THE POTUS as he ‘stares’ at ‘THE BUTTON’ we’d naturally need to understand WHAT WAS THE PROCESS that got him — and by extension US — to this moment of IMMINENT CATASTROPHE?

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Sure, sure — there’ll be the immediate politics on the international stage but THAT didn’t just happen, those politics (whatever they are) were themselves the process of multiple processes — and one of those processes (a KEY process) is WHO this POTUS is as a human being.  What ‘programming’ shaped them and formed their world view in a way that brought them HERE — to a moment of Imminent Catastrophe for Huge Chunks of Humanity?

What formed & still forms the values and ideas that were their personal justification for getting the World here?

Was it REALITY that informed them?  Or was it RUBBISH?

Was it ASTROPHYSICS that informed their view of where ‘we came from’?  Or was it stories — written by uninformed desert dwellers thousands of years ago — in ‘darkness’?

Does the POTUS in question view the collected texts we refer to as ‘The Bible’ as LITERAL HISTORY?  Does he view these texts as the ‘literal words’ of a Magical Sky Creature (he’s never personally met)?

Does this POTUS believe that the Magical Sky Creature LITERALLY created the Whole Universe out of ‘nothing’ in ‘seven days’?  Does he believe the cause of Human Suffering is a Woman eating a piece of fruit because a talking snake told her to?  Does he believe the Magical Sky Creature flooded the earth cos he was so angry at HUMANS that EVERY CREATURE ON THE PLANET had to die?

Does this POTUS believe that the Magical Sky Creature HAD SEX with a Human Virgin in order to create a ‘Junior Sky Creature‘ that would eventually DIE FOR THE SINS of Humans?

It’s important that we know whether or not a POTUS believes if any of that is LITERAL TRUTH.  Because, if they do?  It means the basis for their whole belief system isn’t just flawed — it’s phony.  It’s like doing your bookkeeping using a base 3 numbering system instead of a base 10.  You’re going to look a lot richer that way.  But you’re not richer.  You’re LYING TO YOURSELF.

And if you go and make ECONOMIC DECISIONS based on your lying, phony math — you’ll lose your house, your possessions — everything.  Because you DID THINGS based on bad decisions which themselves were based on the fact that you believed and still believe in rubbish.

So — yeah — it matters.  Completely.

Why Do They Even CALL It ‘Christianity’?

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Paul (the former Saul of Tarsus) is pissed:  Yeah, yeah, Jesus — sure.  But Jesus didn’t invent Christianity, PAUL did…

Growing up Non-Christian in a predominantly Christian country does things to you — especially when you realize that you know more about Christianity than most Christians — if only because you bothered to actually READ the texts the religion says it’s based on.

You start to develop a sore neck cos your head’s always tilted on one side (as if you were a dog asking a question).  And you start to realize that, when it comes to their own faith, most Christians don’t know what they’re talking about and would be hard-pressed to have any sort of in-depth discussion about the particularities of their faith.

This is a triumph of the Institution — The Church — over its core message/messager — “Do Unto Others”/Jesus.  And that’s not only fitting — but inevitable.

Jesus did not invent Christianity.  If you were to dig him up today (sorry, he did not rise from the dead), and ask him his take on ‘Christianity’ — the faith supposedly named for him — he’d stare at you like you had three heads, two of which are on upside down.  Cos Jesus never HEARD of Christianity.

Historical Jesus — if such a person ever existed — was born a Jew, lived as a Jew and died a Jew.  He never for a moment in his life ever thought of himself as anything other than a Jew.  He preached to Jews exclusively — a message not about a new, non-Jewish institution that he wanted to see formed and founded, but about how to make his own ‘Mother Religion’ — Judaism — better.

His own words — his core philosophy — are so simple, so elegant, so UNIVERSALLY TRUE that anyone can do them.  And their message is so UNIVERSAL that it’s transcended time like very few other messages:  “Do Unto Others”.  Actually?  A fairly ‘Jewish’ message.  But who’s counting?

Jesus never intended (or wanted — based on his words) a Church to be built around him.

Good thing (if you’re Christian) that there was Paul — the former Saul of Tarsus — converted on the Road to Damascus to… what exactly?  I don’t think even HE knew.  But once that idea — whatever it was — was inside his noggin, Paul refused to let the thing go.

Aside from the gospel writers (who can’t agree on a whole lot of actual ‘details’ about the life of the man they claimed to love like no other), most of the rest of the New Testament is Paul — his letters to far flung congregations, his instructions & and his formative notions of how to make Jesus’ message play outside of Judea.

But Jesus’ message stopped being Paul’s point early on.  Paul took over not only the messaging but the message.  If Paul never exists, there IS NO Christianity — because there would have been no one to imagine it, describe it & its aims, and then cajole goyim (strangers — non-Jews) — into following its newly minted tenets.

Paul became so convinced that HE was the right guy to ‘preach’ the message that he even went up against Jesus’ own family for control of Jesus’ message.  And PAUL — who didn’t know Jesus, never spoke to him, heard his voice, broke bread with him — won the argument — at least in the historical sense.  Here we are.

If I’m Paul — and I had the luxury of perspective — I’d be thrilled that my idea of how to make Jesus’ Idea better spread exactly the way I said it would.  But I’d be a little angry, too — cos who really thinks about Paul any more?   A few Catholics?  Meh.

If I’m Paul I’m pissed as hell.  In some small way the religion itself SHOULD have Paul’s name on it.  If there were any sort of Justice in the Universe, we wouldn’t have called it Christianity in the first place.

The religion would always have been called ‘Paulism’.