HELP! We’re Trapped In A False Narrative & Can’t Get Out!

The most painful part of listening to or watching the news channels these days is the constant barrage of false narratives.

The biggest false narrative of all, of course, is that Donald Trump got elected. He may have been given the victory but he lost the popular vote by over 3 million votes (it would have been lots more if not for voter suppression); as for Trump’s EC victory, the Mueller Report hints at what became of the internal polling data Paul Manafort gave Oleg Deripaska in August 2016. Deripaska and the Russians weaponized it and turned it back on Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan.

We don’t know empirically if Manafort giving Russia proprietary polling data resulted in any votes being changed. That is, we don’t know if we know. No one outside of Twitter, far as I can tell, has bothered to ask. No one’s done any official forensics on the machines in those states. We don’t know if they were hacked and their vote totals tweaked. We do know there are anomalies in several Pennsylvania counties (keeping in mind that between PA/WI/MI Trump eked the win by less than 70,000 votes combined!) There are counties in northern Pennsylvania apparently where the vote totals are suspiciously similar, defying mathematical probabilities.

If just ONE vote was changed because of this? That’s a crime same as if it were MILLIONS. The fact that we may not see it that way — it’s on us. You don’t get to a what we’re living through without the steady drip-drip-drip that starts with us shrugging off ONE vote being illegally denied.

“One altered vote doesn’t matter” is a false narrative. It does matter. Of course it matters!

Our problem is, we live in so many false narratives already that we’re inured to getting sucked into one more. Think about it — think about all the false narratives that we take for granted. The most obvious one is religion.

A person who earnestly believes that a sky deity had magical sex with a human female and produced a man-god whose job it was to “absorb” all the rest of the humans’ sins is living inside a false narrative. No such thing ever happened. To pretend that it did — and then live your life a certain way because you’re determined (lack of evidence be damned!) that this thing did happen — is living inside a false narrative.

If you make life choices based on that false narrative — you’re doing it for the wrong reasons and it could very easily bite you in the ass. Would you agree to let a surgeon work on you who’d never been to med school but knew his beatitudes almost by heart? Of course not — that surgeon’s living inside a false narrative — that he’s a surgeon.

A person unaware their spouse is cheating on them (they think their marriage is just fine) — false narrative.

Same goes for a guy who doesn’t know his business partners are cheating on him. False narrative.

The inhabitants of Pearl Harbor slept the morning of December 7, 1941 believing we were at peace with Japan. We weren’t. Japan had unofficially declared war on us. The fact that we didn’t know it didn’t mean it wasn’t so. We were living in a false narrative.

If you get right down to it, Christmas is a false narrative — the story it celebrates never happened. Ditto Easter. And Passover. The story the seder’s rituals tell never happened; Jews as slaves in Egypt, though it sounds good, simply doesn’t appear anywhere in the historical record. It’s a false narrative.

A lot of America’s history is false narrative. We tell ourselves we’re a bastion of freedom — but that’s only true if you’re a white, Christian man. For everyone else — that’s a false narrative. The Thanksgiving story? Mostly false narrative. The Salem Witch Trials? Extremely false narrative.

“All men are created equal”? Nice words but no one actually lives that way. Anyone who thinks they are? False narrative. How could that narrative NOT be false when our Constitution (written by the same clique of men) allowed for slavery? A slave isn’t a citizen’s equal — not in the citizen’s eyes.

Manifest Destiny? Rubbish. The White Man’s burden? Only in the White Man’s racist mind. Racism itself is a false narrative — racists think their race is better. No, it ain’t. But your narrative sure is false.

We’ve lived inside a false narrative from the instant Donald Trump was declared the “winner” of election 2016. We knew at the time that something smelled rotten — Trump winning felt like a false narrative. It’s never stopped feeling that way.

Mitch McConnell refusing to give Merrick Garland a hearing wasn’t a false narrative — though it was bullshit. The false narrative was every bit of McConnell’s determined lie that he was justified in doing it. It’s a false narrative that McConnell is any sort of patriot; he’s a traitor who sold out America for the benefit of the Koch Bros, his backers. Mitch hitched his wagon to Russia because the demographics spell certain doom for Republicans.

Every day, our news media act as if Donald Trump is a normal potus doing normal potus things. They continue to explain away this madness with a shrugged “but America voted for him”. Did we? I seem to recall it differently. The majority of Americans did NOT vote for Trump – or any of this bullshit.

The fact that Trump won the Electoral College (did he though — I believe that’s under investigation; it says as much in the Mueller Report?) points to the fact that our Electoral College, by its nature, tells a false narrative. By handing a presidential victory to Donald Trump, it seems to be saying that the majority of Americans chose him over Hillary. It’s not even remotely true — as we know.

The Electoral College creates a false narrative in our minds — that the Will Of The People is being done. it’s not true.

I genuinely believe we’re living inside the Giantest False Narrative of all that Donald Trump “won” the presidency. The publicly available evidence says Donald Trump conspired with Russia to steal the presidency. That means — per his own projecting — his presidency has been illegitimate from the get-go. That shouldn’t be a revelation.

The fact that we’ve so willfully refused to vacate this false narrative — that should be shocking to us.


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An Atheist’s Easter Sermon: Why REALITY Matters More Than Ooga-Booga

Christmas is a pagan holiday redirected.  For all its “holiness”, all its fanciful storytelling about Wise Men from the East and stars that shine above spots on a planet light years away from them, Christmas still celebrates something; it’s a happy holiday.  Easter, on the other hand, is about Christianity’s core message: “Jesus died (but then rose from the dead – as YOU can, in essence, IF you agree to accept the story we’re pitching you as ‘gospel’ truth.”

Jesus being born and having a life is all well and good.  He can preach all he likes.  But it’s dying that gives the Jesus character purpose.  If Jesus never dies the way he dies (if, say, the NT celebrated his living a long life, dying in his bed surrounded by loved ones), there’s no Christianity.  It doesn’t happen.  But it wasn’t Jesus who told his own story.  Most of what we call “The New Testament” was written by Paul.  13 of the canonical texts are ascribed to Paul though only 8 can really be ascribed to him.

In 1985, the bible scholar Robert Funk created a group of 150 similar scholars.  The Jesus Seminar wanted to coax a historical Jesus from the NT texts.  They discerned a Jew whose core message (they found a dozen-and-a-half sayings that Jesus could have said — that weren’t clearly PUT IN HIS MOUTH BY OTHERS (like, say, PAUL).  What they also saw clearly — “According to the Seminar, Jesus was a mortal man born of two human parents, who did not perform nature miracles nor die as a substitute for sinners nor rise bodily from the dead.  Sightings of a risen Jesus represented the visionary experiences of some of his disciples rather than physical encounters.”

The historian A N Wilson wrote a biography of Paul that I highly recommend — if only to create the proper context in which to understand Christianity’s creation.  The bottom line is simply this: Jesus did not “invent” Christianity.  Paul did.

Paul took the notion of Jesus as a messiah — threw out Jesus’ core “Do Unto Others” message and focused his proselytizing instead on making Jesus The Messiah the basis for a whole new religion that he sold to non-Jews for whom Jewish tradition was meaningless.  But, to prove, HIS invention’s “truthfulness” (maybe “truthiness” is more warranted), Paul based his mythology on Jewish mythology.  Paul needed Jesus being prophesied as part of his branding.  To make the “prophecy” part of Jesus’ story stand up, Paul had invent a story for Jesus because Jesus’ actual story just didn’t fit.

Paul didn’t worry himself with his story’s lack of authenticity.  He wasn’t selling real.  He was selling magic.

But part of Paul’s mythology involved making Jesus’ death important — more important than his life, really.  Jesus needs to rise from the dead to garner the star power needed to front Paul’s new religion.  To rise from the dead, Jesus needs to die spectacularly — even more spectacularly than mere crucifixion. And, because Paul was now committed to selling his story to non-Jews, it mattered nothing to him if Jews became the villain in the STORY he was inventing.

The early church fathers who bought & then themselves began selling Paul’s story loved having a villain.

As a member of the “villain” tribe — I have issues with this.

Jesus preached a simple message.  Even a humble atheist can easily (and happily) “Do Unto Others”.  Most do, actually because, humans are social creatures.  We recognize that behaving one way versus the other makes your life better.  There’s no reason to muck that message up.  It doesn’t cry out for explanation.

It requires no magic.

It stands — resolutely — without any need for Ooga-Booga to justify it.

So here’s the deal.  Believe whatever you like, Christians — it’s your “god-given right”.  But what you do with that faith — how you manifest its teachings out here beyond the walls of your church — it matters.  When your pervert “Do Unto Others” into “Kill The Jews” — you’re doing it wrong.