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Fun with Hitchens


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#41 TVCasualty

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Posted 02 April 2020 - 01:33 PM


But not always - meaning I wouldn’t consider the Mother Theresa’s of the world the same as the Tammy Fays or Jim Bakers.

 

 

Me neither. Teresa is far worse.

 

The Bakkers (and only Jim now) merely scammed the gullible, and even then it was always mostly if not entirely Jim pulling that shit. Tammy Faye is pretty interesting, as it turns out. Fascinating, actually. Watch the documentary The Eyes of Tammy Faye to see what I mean.

 

 

 

 

Anyway, religion is the framework that enables grifters like Jim Bakker or sociopathic lunatics like Not-My-Mother Teresa to hurt people and in Teresa's case perversely exacerbate their suffering for decades. Religion also enables the self-serving institutional spin that makes her sociopathy invisible which is why so many people still think of her as a good person, which she is assuredly not.

 

And psychology texts chronicle what people describe as archetypes (whatever those are), too. So what? And in any case, which version of which sacred texts are the right ones?

 

 

 

You seem to be conflating the conception of "god" and/or the belief in a god or gods with religion while I see them as entirely separate subjects that are as far apart as the difference between having a powerful mushroom trip vs. nibbling on some stale crackers and having a sip of cheap wine.

 

Religious belief systems appear spiritual at first glance because they are the fossilized remnants of the kind of direct experience that actually was. In that sense, religious texts are a lot like reading other people's trip reports (which are interesting and sometimes insightful, but definitely not the same as tripping). They embody something that was once dynamic and alive a long time ago but is now rigid and static and put on a pedestal as something separate from and beyond the Self in the here-and-now. They are something to worship as outside oneself as opposed to an experience to have within oneself.

 

Religions are also problematic in that they implicitly promote the "someone bigger will save us!" myth, which is very common and manifests in other (often secular) ways that are equally unhelpful. So god will save us, technology will save us, advanced aliens will save us, etc., or just about everything except "We need to get to work and save ourselves!" Since that means slowing down, tightening up, and fundamentally changing our way of life from top to bottom ASAP if we want to succeed since no one is coming from Heaven or planet X to do it for us.

 

 

 

That hopeful magical thinking keeps us collectively dragging our feet while leaning on false hopes when we desperately need to be walking on our own towards working out and implementing practical solutions to the various existential problems that plague us, assuming we haven't dragged our feet for too long already and made the concept of 'solutions' moot.

 

The (initially) subtle pathology of the Hero Myth is also one of the main reasons I promote Frank Herbert's Dune so much. It partly serves as a cautionary tale of what falling for that myth can result in. Also, the story was a vision he had thanks to a strong mushroom trip, for whatever that's worth (I think it's what gives the book such a strong feel of authenticity in how it portrays religion and politics, so is worth a lot).

 

 

This is one of the many interesting quotes from that book (someone took a bunch of lines from it and put them into Calvin and Hobbes panels, which seems to work better than expected, lol):

 

post-102948-0-40380100-1585847604.jpg

 

One reliable way to stop that downward degeneration is to reintroduce our society to direct experience (at least in my heretical opinion).

 

This is why religions have historically brutally suppressed the use of entheogenic sacraments. They're pushing cut-and-paste jobs of older traditions (e.g., the Bible, etc.) and have learned that it's real hard for old books to compete with something tangible and alive and that actually works as advertised, so the self-serving and hypocritical assholes who try to "save" people and entire cultures who didn't ask to be saved with placebos and old books don't try, they just continue to suppress the real thing and if they can get away with it they'll kill people (or wipe an entire culture off the face of the Earth) if we/they don't buy what they're selling.

 

It's not as bad in the West as it used to be (though "civil" society can regress quite easily into a new Dark Age in intensely-stressful times), so until they regain cultural dominance and can start the Inquisition and witch burnings back up they're largely limited to making it hard for non-believers to find employment, making it impossible for rational skeptics to get elected without paying lip-service to Xtianity, fucking with women's health and freedom by restricting their bodily autonomy, etc..

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#42 ElPirana

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Posted 03 April 2020 - 09:03 PM

You nailed it TV!

I think it went a little like this: There was this guy Jesus. He had direct experiences, maybe was living that direct experience permanently. I’m sure he was radiating love and compassion. People began to see this in him and wanted to be with him always, it radiated out so much that it changed people who were with him. They could sense that they were not like him, but they sure wanted to be!

So after Jesus died, his followers still wanted what he had, but they went about it in reverse. The change of heart comes first, then the love, compassion, acceptance, oneness follows. But they never really got it...so they tried to create those qualities by changing their outward actions and attempting to change how their minds worked in the hopes that it would cause the change of heart. I think this is the beginning of the religion.

Of course some people’s hearts did change, probably not any quicker or differently than if they had the same desires to change without the religion, but they attributed it to the religion and so it convinces others and the religion grows.

When you read the Bible, you can get glimpses of Jesus trying to help the people understand. But a lot of it I believe is twisted around, not with any purposeful bad intent by the authors and transcribers, but simply out of a misunderstanding of what was really meant. If Jesus had written his own memoir, it probably wouldn’t sound like much of the New Testament.

#43 TVCasualty

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Posted 04 April 2020 - 05:41 PM

Maybe; I suspect Jesus is like the Bible in that he's an amalgam of characters and ideas cobbled together from earlier traditions.
 
 
In any case, the theme of religion fucking the pandemic response up and making it worse continues.
 
Most of the health care workers who have been fired in recent days (which is unconscionable) for speaking up about unsafe conditions and insane policies have been employees of rather profitable not-for-profit private hospitals associated with a religious endowment.
 

Bellingham physician who decried lack of coronavirus protections is removed, sparking protest

Dr. Ming Lin worked at PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center for 17 years until he was removed on Friday by TeamHealth, a national staffing firm under contract to provide the hospital’s emergency department personnel. Lin became a national avatar for frustrated health care professionals during the COVID-19 outbreak by speaking up in the press and on social media with pleas for more medical supplies and stronger standards to protect health care workers combating the virus.

https://www.seattlet...doctors-firing/

 

There are a lot of other examples, and in comments under some stories (esp. in the NY Times) a lot of PAs, RNs, and MDs who work at these sorts of hospitals are reporting that they cannot speak up about these infuriating issues for fear of losing their jobs. 



#44 Wimzers

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Posted 24 April 2020 - 12:45 PM

I haven't read any of Hitchens books, but I went thru a time of watching his debates on youtube and really enjoyed how he eloquently destroyed many of his rivals. He has fantastic humor along with quick wit. I'm not highly educated and don't have near the vocabulary, but was still able to understand his viewpoint. I'll admit I did need to look up some words.
 
Hitchens makes a lot of points against Mother Teresa which I was totally unaware of until his videos. From his view she was an abomination. What about the people she touched though? The ones that gave her reverence? She was seen by some as holy and in her presence I'm sure had their own divine experience. So even though from the outside she appeared as a ghoul, on the inside to some she was an angel.
 
I agreed with Metzger on one point claiming war is a racket. General Smedley Butler made that statement and backed it up with his viewpoint on what his objection was during wartime actions. I'm not a racist though, or I don't think so. Kinda like I'm not gay because no man has ever given me a hard on, but I'm still alive so we will see.
 
I don't think religion will ever disappear because of death. It gives people hope that there is an afterlife. It brings communities together large and small for a common purpose. I think asking people to face death without hope would absolutely drive some into despair. Some people don't have the depth. I've encountered many of these individuals doing home health. It would scare the bejeezus out of them. Not having the belief they won't see a loved one again would be devastating. 
 
I'm not highly intelligent, but I think average when making a comparison across the human spectrum and the ones below deserve to have hope in my opinion. Maybe I'm not looking at this in a good light?
 
I think the evangelists making millions of dollars of tax free money should be taxed and that money put into one specific fund for the less fortunate of us totally off limits to any special interest deemed worthy by the leaders. Who decides who is less fortunate is another debate. How to appoint a trust worthy committee to distribute the funds is beyond me.
 
Copeland is a nut. So what does that say about his following?

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#45 TVCasualty

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Posted 24 April 2020 - 01:45 PM

Hitchens makes a lot of points against Mother Teresa which I was totally unaware of until his videos. From his view she was an abomination. What about the people she touched though? The ones that gave her reverence? She was seen by some as holy and in her presence I'm sure had their own divine experience. So even though from the outside she appeared as a ghoul, on the inside to some she was an angel.

 
From what I've seen, anyone who revered her as an angel or whatever either never had to endure what passed for "care" at her criminally-decrepit "facilities," was totally misinformed and hasn't looked into it yet, or is simply delusional.

 

 

I don't think religion will ever disappear because of death. It gives people hope that there is an afterlife. It brings communities together large and small for a common purpose. I think asking people to face death without hope would absolutely drive some into despair. Some people don't have the depth. I've encountered many of these individuals doing home health. It would scare the bejeezus out of them. Not having the belief they won't see a loved one again would be devastating.

 

 

One of the reasons I'm so harsh on religion is that in practice it often acts as an impediment to spiritual awareness. This is a nuanced point that I have a hard time conveying since a lot of people can't seem to separate the concepts of "religion" and "spirituality." Or religion and community, or religion and morality, etc.. So basically I see organized religions as pyramid schemes of political control that seek to impose a dogmatic Belief System (or B.S. for short) by controlling and regulating the individuals' experience of spirituality as well as by dictating the norms and rules of both the communities we live in and the morality collectively enforced within it.

 

A direct experience with magic mushrooms (which probably inspired the creation of what eventually devolved into religion in the first place) has been shown to be a very effective way to face such end-of-life issues productively in terms of offering a way to contemplate and accepting one's own mortality without it inducing fear or terror.

 

But then some jackass in a big funny hat shoe-horns his way in between us and that direct experience, replaces our active sacrament with a stale placebo, fossilizes the insights of direct experience into rigid dogmas, and mucks our culture all up with his arbitrary and superstitious rules as if he has more of a clue about the mystery of being than anyone else (or a mushroom). I'm still scratching my head about how we let that happen, but it's probably not an exaggeration to say that it may well be what doomed our efforts at creating a sustainable, technologically-advanced civilization (it just took a couple of thousand years to play out).


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#46 Alder Logs

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Posted 24 April 2020 - 02:50 PM

Direct experience is always available, not only under some externally applied intervention in the 'normal' cognitive processes.  The belief systems du jure are not any less BS than the entrenched dogmatic ones.  Why?  Because what we think about anything is not the thing.  That's not more than a belief, ever.  We get into a contest of whose belief is better than another's--bang, it's religion and holy wars! 

 

The way I see it, that old, Know Thyself, thing is pretty much all that is needed.  But how is it done?  Well, we do get all this experience, in whatever form, and it is what it is.  When we get past the conditioned habit of deciding what to believe or think about it, it's all still t/here.  A wiser man than I has taught that it is through negation, or the knowing of what isn't, that we can come to see what is.  This guy was just an old dude selling loosie cigarettes from a kiosk in Mumbai, India, but why should that matter?

 

 

The discovery of truth is in the discernment of the false.
You can know what is not.

What is - you can only be.
~Nisargadatta Maharaj


Edited by Alder Logs, 24 April 2020 - 02:56 PM.

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#47 Wimzers

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Posted 24 April 2020 - 02:52 PM

 

Hitchens makes a lot of points against Mother Teresa which I was totally unaware of until his videos. From his view she was an abomination. What about the people she touched though? The ones that gave her reverence? She was seen by some as holy and in her presence I'm sure had their own divine experience. So even though from the outside she appeared as a ghoul, on the inside to some she was an angel.

 
From what I've seen, anyone who revered her as an angel or whatever either never had to endure what passed for "care" at her criminally-decrepit "facilities," was totally misinformed and hasn't looked into it yet, or is simply delusional.

 

I'm thinking of the hospice she set up for the poor to die. I myself don't care for the idea of dying in pain and I'm sure those poor people didn't like it either, but I can't help to think she was seen as a comfort during the end of life.

 

 

I don't think religion will ever disappear because of death. It gives people hope that there is an afterlife. It brings communities together large and small for a common purpose. I think asking people to face death without hope would absolutely drive some into despair. Some people don't have the depth. I've encountered many of these individuals doing home health. It would scare the bejeezus out of them. Not having the belief they won't see a loved one again would be devastating.

 

 

One of the reasons I'm so harsh on religion is that in practice it often acts as an impediment to spiritual awareness. This is a nuanced point that I have a hard time conveying since a lot of people can't seem to separate the concepts of "religion" and "spirituality." Or religion and community, or religion and morality, etc.. So basically I see organized religions as pyramid schemes of political control that seek to impose a dogmatic Belief System (or B.S. for short) by controlling and regulating the individuals' experience of spirituality as well as by dictating the norms and rules of both the communities we live in and the morality collectively enforced within it.

 

A direct experience with magic mushrooms (which probably inspired the creation of what eventually devolved into religion in the first place) has been shown to be a very effective way to face such end-of-life issues productively in terms of offering a way to contemplate and accepting one's own mortality without it inducing fear or terror.

 

But then some jackass in a big funny hat shoe-horns his way in between us and that direct experience, replaces our active sacrament with a stale placebo, fossilizes the insights of direct experience into rigid dogmas, and mucks our culture all up with his arbitrary and superstitious rules as if he has more of a clue about the mystery of being than anyone else (or a mushroom). I'm still scratching my head about how we let that happen, but it's probably not an exaggeration to say that it may well be what doomed our efforts at creating a sustainable, technologically-advanced civilization (it just took a couple of thousand years to play out).

 

 

 

Well now if we can get mushrooms legalized and put people in the right setting for the experience it would make a tremendous difference for some people.

 

I think the motivation to acquire as much money as possible though will keep religion strong in our society. Men/women with a strong desire to control others to satisfy some internal need. 



#48 Wimzers

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Posted 24 April 2020 - 02:57 PM

The way I see it, that old, Know Thyself, thing is pretty much all that is needed.  But how is it done?  Well, we do get all this experience, in whatever form, and it is what it is.  When we get past the conditioned habit of deciding what to believe or think about it, it's all still t/here.  A wiser man than I has taught that it is through negation, or the knowing of what isn't, that we see what is.  This guy was just an old dude selling loosey cigarettes from a kiosk in Mumbai, India, but why should that matter?

 

 

The discovery of truth is in the discernment of the false.
You can know what is not.

What is - you can only be.
~Nisargadatta Maharaj

 

 

Doesn't matter from my perspective, but in this society he'd be looked down upon for not achieving enough material wealth. He'd be looked at as a failure by many although they'd smile at him and buy a smoke. I've been to some banquets these fuckers attended. 



#49 Alder Logs

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Posted 24 April 2020 - 03:32 PM

 

I think the motivation to acquire as much money as possible though will keep religion strong in our society. Men/women with a strong desire to control others to satisfy some internal need.

 

So, what do these problematic beings know of themselves?  Could it be they believe they are who they think they are?  Once the ego is set up and in charge of being, believed to be the reality of the being, the false narrative of ego will rule their every movement.  Your own waking up to the actuality of your own being will not be an awakening for them.   Religion might think that's their job, eh? 

 

To know we are not the story of me is to know the difference of true being and the false facsimile of being.   To come out of the dream is to know both sides of it.  The one lost in dream only knows the one side.  He/she will assume all are what he/she thinks.  There is nothing to be done for that one's dreaming beyond our not being our dreaming.  Now that might actually be what changes some others, but it's not the point.  They all must awaken in their own ways, whatever the impetus. 

 

We still might call what we think of as spades to be spades, but not with the attachment of believing it is the true reality.  The play, once it is seen as the play, we probably won't take our parts as seriously, and when the world collapses, in spite of our playing our parts trying to prevent it, we can more easily let it go its way. 

 

gallery_131808_1351_825.jpg


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#50 GORF

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Posted 24 April 2020 - 05:41 PM

There is something I call God.

Not the vaguely human behaving Father described in the bible. Something more than that. Something so complex and all encompassing that humans brains cannot even grasp the scope of it.

We are part of it. But unable to understand it.

We are, because He is.

Do what you think you need to do, believe what you want to believe
Because it really is all good for you.

All action is permitted but some courses of action create REaction

Sometimes the actions or the reactions seem wrong. This is because our good and someone elses good are iin conflict.

Live n let live baby, or at least try to do that. Love you all

#51 TVCasualty

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Posted 24 April 2020 - 06:49 PM

https://aeon.co/essa...the-human-brain


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#52 TVCasualty

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Posted 02 September 2020 - 10:00 AM

Fourteen psycho religious extremists are about go on trial for mass murder in the name of the religion of peace as the French satire magazine targeted in the 2015 attack republishes the cartoons that inspired it:

 

"We Will Never Give Up": Charlie Hebdo Republishes Mohammed Cartoons

-France is starting to reflect on the dramatic decline in its freedom of expression.

-"My unfortunate client will be freedom...." — Richard Malka, attorney for Charlie Hebdo, Le Point, August 13, 2020.

-Western democracies have paid dearly for the right to freedom of expression and, if not protected and exercised, it can disappear overnight.

-"If our colleagues in the public debate do not share part of the risk, then the barbarians have won". — Elisabeth Badinter, French philosopher; the documentary "Je suis Charlie", September 9, 2015.




Yesterday, one day before the opening of the trial for 14 defendants accused of involvement in a string of terrorist attacks in France, which included the murders of their fellow journalists and cartoonists on January 7, 2015 at their Paris office, the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo republished the "Mohammed Cartoons" under the title "Tout ça pour ça" ("All of that for this"). "We will never give up", they said.
 
The defendants in the trial, some in absentia, "face a variety of charges related to helping perpetrators carry out attacks that killed 17 people over three days in January 2015." In addition to the 12 victims in and around the office of Charlie Hebdo, a police officer was murdered in the street and four people were murdered in a kosher supermarket.
 
François Molins, then public prosecutor of Paris, recalled his arrival at the Charlie Hebdo office. He found "the smell of blood and gunpowder. In the newsroom, it is carnage. It is more than a crime scene, it is a war scene, with a frightening tangle of bodies".
 
811.jpg

Pictured: Stéphane Charbonnier, who was Charlie Hebdo's publisher until he was murdered in the 2015 terrorist attack on the magazine's office in Paris, stands in front of the magazine's previous office on November 2, 2011, after it was destroyed in a firebomb attack. (Photo credit should read Alexander Klein/AFP via Getty Images)

https://www.gateston...hammed-cartoons

 
That is a poignant portrait of courage considering his brutal murder a few years later (along with 11 others). And republishing the cartoons as the self-appointed enemies of freedom go on trial for terrorism and murder honors it.

 

A phrase like "enemies of freedom" sounds cheesy and like it might be some kind of Orwellian propaganda but in this case it's literally true. It will be interesting to see how the devoutly faithful respond.

 

FWIW, the magazine is an equal-opportunity blasphemer/offender:

1hebdo.jpg

 

 

Killing people because of fervently held beliefs seems to be enjoying a resurgence of popularity in several contexts, so it's probably something we should brace ourselves for a lot more of.

 

It's all connected.

 

Je-suis-charlie-edited2-550x400.jpg


Edited by TVCasualty, 02 September 2020 - 10:01 AM.

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#53 TVCasualty

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Posted 05 January 2021 - 02:07 PM

This is the only thread that seemed appropriate to put this into since I didn't want to make a new thread just for it.

 

Anyway, in case anyone was wondering why democracy seems to be on the ropes in the U.S., religion (and Christianity in particular) appears to have at least something to do with it, and possibly a whole lot to do with it:
 

Half of Americans say Bible should influence U.S. laws, including 28% who favor it over the will of the people

 

April 13, 2020

 

Today, about half of Americans (49%) say the Bible should have at least “some” influence on U.S. laws, including nearly a quarter (23%) who say it should have “a great deal” of influence, according to a recent Pew Research Center survey. Among U.S. Christians, two-thirds (68%) want the Bible to influence U.S. laws at least some, and among white evangelical Protestants, this figure rises to about nine-in-ten (89%).

 

At the other end of the spectrum, there’s broad opposition to biblical influence on U.S. laws among religiously unaffiliated Americans, also known as religious “nones,” who identify as atheist, agnostic or “nothing in particular.” Roughly three-quarters in this group (78%) say the Bible should hold little to no sway, including 86% of self-described atheists who say the Bible should not influence U.S. legislation at all. Two-thirds of U.S. Jews, as well, think the Bible should have not much or should have no influence on laws.

 

All survey respondents who said the Bible should have at least “some” influence on U.S. laws were asked a follow-up question: When the Bible and the will of the people conflict, which should have more influence on U.S. laws?

 

The more common answer to this question is that the Bible should take priority over the will of the people. This view is expressed by more than a quarter of all Americans (28%). About one-in-five (19%) say the Bible should have at least some influence but that the will of the people should prevail.

 

Two religious groups stand out for being especially supportive of biblical influence in legislation, even if that means going against the will of the American people: Two-thirds of white evangelical Protestants (68%) say the Bible should take precedence over the people, and half of black Protestants say the same. Among Catholics (25%) and white Protestants who do not identify as born-again or evangelical (27%), only about a quarter share this perspective.

 

The survey did not ask people what they had mind when thinking of biblically influenced laws. It’s possible some were thinking of “biblical marriage,” defined by some Christian leaders as a marriage between one man and one woman, precluding same-sex unions. Recent surveys by the Center find that most white evangelical Protestants (63%) and half of black Protestants (50%) continue to oppose legal same-sex marriage.

 

 

 

 

https://www.pewresea...-of-the-people/

 

So even legal same-sex marriage is not as secure as many of the same-sex married and their allies might assume.

 

Dark ages come, dark ages go, then they come back again. And right now would be a particularly bad time for one to reemerge, but large-scale frightening events tend to be the most likely times for people to retreat back into the perceived safety of the old ways while blaming the new or unfamiliar or different as the cause of all their problems. So this time it's not "the Jews," (for the most part) but it might be "the Chinese" or "the Iranians" and probably "the gays" too just for good measure. The atrocity known as "conversion therapy" is somehow still not illegal nationwide, which suggests that a disturbing number of people in positions of political power continue to support it even though it's batshit crazy nonsense and is nothing more than legalized abuse justified by reactionary moral panic.

 

We're also fucking-up the response to our various looming environmental catastrophes, at least in part thanks to the intransigence of people who somehow believe that everything is fine because God will either fix it when the time comes or destroy it and take them to Heaven so no worries either way, even when it comes to what their grandchildren will face. Or themselves and their children, rather (time's almost up).

 

Imagine what all the untaxed money sent to megachurch or televangelist scammers and related dead-ends could have done to help address poverty or climate change instead of buying mansions and private jets for the self-serving sociopathic swindlers...

 

 

It would be nice if the thin veneer of civil behavior we've managed to create could be made thicker/more resilient than it currently is since it does not take much at all to scratch it off and start acting like regular old un-domesticated apes rather than the bipedal semi-domesticated apes we've slowly and painfully stood up and evolved into and who still arguably have a long way to go as a species before we're fully and unambiguously civilized (we'll know it when we see it).


Edited by TVCasualty, 05 January 2021 - 02:08 PM.

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#54 TVCasualty

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Posted 06 September 2021 - 12:01 PM

Well at least some of the people I talk to about the scourge that is organized religion are no longer telling me I'm being excessive or alarmist thanks to Texas going all retro-stupid (and many other state demagogues, err I mean Governors, are wanting to follow suit now that SCOTUS has made it clear that the majority are spineless hypocrites (just like everyone paying attention was already aware).

 

One thing about recent events that's kind of weird is that so many of the women who supported this recent idiocy haven't shut their pretty little mouths and gotten back to making babies and sandwiches for their men.

 

It's almost like those Stepford wives and wanna-be's don't really understand what they have been advocating. We probably have Texas' education system to thank for that. They're going to be very shocked by just how fucked up things are going to get there real soon, on so many levels.

 

One thing I'm still baffled by is how to reconcile the tough-guy macho bullshit posturing Texas is well-known for with the election of a such a sniveling, weasel-faced dingleberry like Abbot as their Governor. I guess they talk a lot of Chuck Norris in Texas but they're really mostly Pee-Wee Hermans on the inside; not too bright and scared of girls, fappin' on the down-low instead.

 

 

So even legal same-sex marriage is not as secure as many of the same-sex married and their allies might assume.

 

 

 

Same-sex couples are probably next.

 

Religion is arguably going to be one of the primary causes of the end of both the United States and civilization itself. It's getting harder to argue that we don't deserve it.

 

 

I hope the backlash is sufficient to get the needed political will to finally tax churches, and as a compromise maybe only imposing taxes on churches that generate above a certain threshold of revenue and/or engage in any political advocacy. That would be a nice example of richly-deserved and sorely needed blowback, and would really help pay for all the infrastructure the self-righteous need to get to their Spirit-Mart Supercenters where they're told whom to vote for and that science (and the media) is the enemy.

 

This is assuming they all don't freeze to death this Winter since there's no indication they've fixed their electric grid insanity.

 

 

Two related observations that can help those with half a brain navigate the growing madness:

 

When stupidity is considered patriotism, it is unsafe to be intelligent. (Asimov)

 

Act like a dumbshit and they'll treat you as an equal ("Bob")


Edited by TVCasualty, 06 September 2021 - 02:33 PM.

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#55 Myc

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Posted 06 September 2021 - 01:35 PM

I'm with you whole-heartedly in regards to taxing religion.

 

Astonishing that for such a x-tian state, they harbor some of the most corrupt banking institutions in the nation. (Payday loan and title loan companies all base their operations out of TX in order to enjoy protective legislation - You'll also notice a great number of "health care" companies whose financial offices are based in...................TX!!!).

 

It's your body and your choice when it comes to masks and vaccines. But if you possess a uterus.........we don't trust you to make those choices.

 

If you haven't guessed, I'm originally from the great republic of TX and have had a lot to overcome in life as a result of growing up there. Thank God the He showed me the way out so that I could grow and evolve spiritually.

For a time, I always thought I would move back. Now I wouldn't even consider it except under the most extreme circumstances.


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#56 TVCasualty

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Posted 07 September 2021 - 06:54 AM

It was nice to see "tax the churches" as the #1 trending topic on Twitter this morning. Or #taxthechurches, rather.

 

FWIW, I think the trick to using Twitter sanely is just to check the top trending topics to see if there are any big stories breaking, but not to click on them and read the actual tweets.



#57 FLASHINGROOSTER

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Posted 07 September 2021 - 09:26 AM

Hey how the hell am I supposed to start my cult without religious tax breaks dammit.

 

 

 

You know all this red state blue state business

 

Maybe its time for a divorce

 

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Edited by FLASHINGROOSTER, 07 September 2021 - 09:27 AM.


#58 Tenderfoot

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Posted 09 September 2021 - 08:05 PM

James Taranto noted in “The Roe Effect,” the effects are not felt equally throughout society, with groups favoring reproduction gaining an advantage. The future, as they say, belongs to those who are born:

It is a statement of fact, not a moral judgment, to observe that every pregnancy aborted today results in one fewer eligible voter 18 years from now. More than 40 million legal abortions have occurred in the United States since 1973, and these are not randomly distributed across the population. Black women, for example, have a higher abortion ratio (percentage of pregnancies aborted) than Hispanic women, whose abortion ratio in turn is higher than that of non-Hispanic whites. Since blacks vote Democratic in far greater proportions than Hispanics, and whites are more Republican than Hispanics or blacks, ethnic disparities in abortion ratios would be sufficient to give the GOP a significant boost–surely enough to account for George W. Bush’s razor-thin Florida victory in 2000.

The Roe effect, however, refers specifically to the nexus between the practice of abortion and the politics of abortion. It seems self-evident that pro-choice women are more likely to have abortions than pro-life ones, and common sense suggests that children tend to gravitate toward their parents’ values. This would seem to ensure that Americans born after Roe v. Wade have a greater propensity to vote for the pro-life party–that is, Republican–than they otherwise would have.

And the religious would, on average, increase their share of the population compared to the non-religious.



#59 Tenderfoot

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Posted 09 September 2021 - 08:08 PM

THE 10TH ANNIVERSARY of the Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade is a good time for us to pause and reflect. Our nationwide policy of abortion-on-demand through all nine months of pregnancy was neither voted for by our people nor enacted by our legislators—not a single state had such unrestricted abortion before the Supreme Court decreed it to be national policy in 1973. But the consequences of this judicial decision are now obvious: since 1973, more than 15 million unborn children have had their lives snuffed out by legalized abortions. That is over ten times the number of Americans lost in all our nation’s wars.

Make no mistake, abortion-on-demand is not a right granted by the Constitution. No serious scholar, including one disposed to agree with the Court’s result, has argued that the framers of the Constitution intended to create such a right. Shortly after the Roe v. Wade decision, Professor John Hart Ely, now Dean of Stanford Law School, wrote that the opinion “is not constitutional law and gives almost no sense of an obligation to try to be.” Nowhere do the plain words of the Constitution even hint at a “right” so sweeping as to permit abortion up to the time the child is ready to be born. Yet that is what the Court ruled.

As an act of “raw judicial power” (to use Justice White’s biting phrase), the decision by the seven-man majority in Roe v. Wade has so far been made to stick. But the Court’s decision has by no means settled the debate. Instead, Roe v. Wade has become a continuing prod to the conscience of the nation.

Abortion concerns not just the unborn child, it concerns every one of us. The English poet, John Donne, wrote: “… any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.”

We cannot diminish the value of one category of human life—the unborn—without diminishing the value of all human life. We saw tragic proof of this truism last year when the Indiana courts allowed the starvation death of “Baby Doe” in Bloomington because the child had Down’s Syndrome.

Many of our fellow citizens grieve over the loss of life that has followed Roe v. Wade. Margaret Heckler, soon after being nominated to head the largest department of our government, Health and Human Services, told an audience that she believed abortion to be the greatest moral crisis facing our country today. And the revered Mother Teresa, who works in the streets of Calcutta ministering to dying people in her world-famous mission of mercy, has said that “the greatest misery of our time is the generalized abortion of children.”

Over the first two years of my Administration I have closely followed and assisted efforts in Congress to reverse the tide of abortion-efforts of Congressmen, Senators and citizens responding to an urgent moral crisis. Regrettably, I have also seen the massive efforts of those who, under the banner of “freedom of choice,” have so far blocked every effort to reverse nationwide abortion-on-demand.

Despite the formidable obstacles before us, we must not lose heart. This is not the first time our country has been divided by a Supreme Court decision that denied the value of certain human lives. The Dred Scott decision of 1857 was not overturned in a day, or a year, or even a decade. At first, only a minority of Americans recognized and deplored the moral crisis brought about by denying the full humanity of our black brothers and sisters; but that minority persisted in their vision and finally prevailed. They did it by appealing to the hearts and minds of their countrymen, to the truth of human dignity under God. From their example, we know that respect for the sacred value of human life is too deeply engrained in the hearts of our people to remain forever suppressed. But the great majority of the American people have not yet made their voices heard, and we cannot expect them to—any more than the public voice arose against slavery—until the issue is clearly framed and presented.

What, then, is the real issue? I have often said that when we talk about abortion, we are talking about two lives—the life of the mother and the life of the unborn child. Why else do we call a pregnant woman a mother? I have also said that anyone who doesn’t feel sure whether we are talking about a second human life should clearly give life the benefit of the doubt. If you don’t know whether a body is alive or dead, you would never bury it. I think this consideration itself should be enough for all of us to insist on protecting the unborn.

The case against abortion does not rest here, however, for medical practice confirms at every step the correctness of these moral sensibilities. Modern medicine treats the unborn child as a patient. Medical pioneers have made great breakthroughs in treating the unborn—for genetic problems, vitamin deficiencies, irregular heart rhythms, and other medical conditions. Who can forget George Will’s moving account of the little boy who underwent brain surgery six times during the nine weeks before he was born? Who is the patient if not that tiny unborn human being who can feel pain when he or she is approached by doctors who come to kill rather than to cure?

The real question today is not when human life begins, but, What is the value of human life? The abortionist who reassembles the arms and legs of a tiny baby to make sure all its parts have been torn from its mother’s body can hardly doubt whether it is a human being. The real question for him and for all of us is whether that tiny human life has a God-given right to be protected by the law—the same right we have.

What more dramatic confirmation could we have of the real issue than the Baby Doe case in Bloomington, Indiana? The death of that tiny infant tore at the hearts of all Americans because the child was undeniably a live human being—one lying helpless before the eyes of the doctors and the eyes of the nation. The real issue for the courts was not whether Baby Doe was a human being. The real issue was whether to protect the life of a human being who had Down’s Syndrome, who would probably be mentally handicapped, but who needed a routine surgical procedure to unblock his esophagus and allow him to eat. A doctor testified to the presiding judge that, even with his physical problem corrected, Baby Doe would have a “non-existent” possibility for “a minimally adequate quality of life”—in other words, that retardation was the equivalent of a crime deserving the death penalty. The judge let Baby Doe starve and die, and the Indiana Supreme Court sanctioned his decision.

Federal law does not allow federally-assisted hospitals to decide that Down’s Syndrome infants are not worth treating, much less to decide to starve them to death. Accordingly, I have directed the Departments of Justice and HHS to apply civil rights regulations to protect handicapped newborns. All hospitals receiving federal funds must post notices which will clearly state that failure to feed handicapped babies is prohibited by federal law. The basic issue is whether to value and protect the lives of the handicapped, whether to recognize the sanctity of human life. This is the same basic issue that underlies the question of abortion.

The 1981 Senate hearings on the beginning of human life brought out the basic issue more clearly than ever before. The many medical and scientific witnesses who testified disagreed on many things, but not on the scientific evidence that the unborn child is alive, is a distinct individual, or is a member of the human species. They did disagree over the value question, whether to give value to a human life at its early and most vulnerable stages of existence.

Regrettably, we live at a time when some persons do not value all human life. They want to pick and choose which individuals have value. Some have said that only those individuals with “consciousness of self” are human beings. One such writer has followed this deadly logic and concluded that “shocking as it may seem, a newly born infant is not a human being.”

A Nobel Prize winning scientist has suggested that if a handicapped child “were not declared fully human until three days after birth, then all parents could be allowed the choice.” In other words, “quality control” to see if newly born human beings are up to snuff.

Obviously, some influential people want to deny that every human life has intrinsic, sacred worth. They insist that a member of the human race must have certain qualities before they accord him or her status as a “human being.”

Events have borne out the editorial in a California medical journal which explained three years before Roe v. Wade that the social acceptance of abortion is a “defiance of the long-held Western ethic of intrinsic and equal value for every human life regardless of its stage, condition, or status.”

Every legislator, every doctor, and every citizen needs to recognize that the real issue is whether to affirm and protect the sanctity of all human life, or to embrace a social ethic where some human lives are valued and others are not. As a nation, we must choose between the sanctity of life ethic and the “quality of life” ethic.

I have no trouble identifying the answer our nation has always given to this basic question, and the answer that I hope and pray it will give in the future. America was founded by men and women who shared a vision of the value of each and every individual. They stated this vision clearly from the very start in the Declaration of Independence, using words that every schoolboy and schoolgirl can recite:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

We fought a terrible war to guarantee that one category of mankind—black people in America—could not be denied the inalienable rights with which their Creator endowed them. The great champion of the sanctity of all human life in that day, Abraham Lincoln, gave us his assessment of the Declaration’s purpose. Speaking of the framers of that noble document, he said:

This was their majestic intheir babiesterpretation of the economy of the Universe. This was their lofty, and wise, and noble understanding of the justice of the Creator to His creatures. Yes, gentlemen, to all His creatures, to the whole great family of man. In their enlightened belief, nothing stamped with the divine image and likeness was sent into the world to be trodden on … They grasped not only the whole race of man then living, but they reached forward and seized upon the farthest posterity. They erected a beacon to guide their children and their children’s children, and the countless myriads who should inhabit the earth in other ages.

He warned also of the danger we would face if we closed our eyes to the value of life in any category of human beings:

I should like to know if taking this old Declaration of Independence, which declares that all men are equal upon principle and making exceptions to it where will it stop. If one man says it does not mean a Negro, why not another say it does not mean some other man?

When Congressman John A. Bingham of Ohio drafted the Fourteenth Amendment to guarantee the rights of life, liberty, and property to all human beings, he explained that all are “entitled to the protection of American law, because its divine spirit of equality declares that all men are created equal.” He said the rights guaranteed by the amendment would therefore apply to “any human being.” Justice William Brennan, writing in another case decided only the year before Roe v. Wade, referred to our society as one that “strongly affirms the sanctity of life.”

Another William Brennan—not the Justice—has reminded us of the terrible consequences that can follow when a nation rejects the sanctity of life ethic:

The cultural environment for a human holocaust is present whenever any society can be misled into defining individuals as less than human and therefore devoid of value and respect.

As a nation today, we have not rejected the sanctity of human life. The American people have not had an opportunity to express their view on the sanctity of human life in the unborn. I am convinced that Americans do not want to play God with the value of human life. It is not for us to decide who is worthy to live and who is not. Even the Supreme Court’s opinion in Roe v. Wade did not explicitly reject the traditional American idea of intrinsic worth and value in all human life; it simply dodged this issue.

The Congress has before it several measures that would enable our people to reaffirm the sanctity of human life, even the smallest and the youngest and the most defenseless. The Human Life Bill expressly recognizes the unborn as human beings and accordingly protects them as persons under our Constitution. This bill, first introduced by Senator Jesse Helms, provided the vehicle for the Senate hearings in 1981 which contributed so much to our understanding of the real issue of abortion.

The Respect Human Life Act, just introduced in the 98th Congress, states in its first section that the policy of the United States is “to protect innocent life, both before and after birth.” This bill, sponsored by Congressman Henry Hyde and Senator Roger Jepsen, prohibits the federal government from performing abortions or assisting those who do so, except to save the life of the mother. It also addresses the pressing issue of infanticide which, as we have seen, flows inevitably from permissive abortion as another step in the denial of the inviolability of innocent human life.

I have endorsed each of these measures, as well as the more difficult route of constitutional amendment, and I will give these initiatives my full support. Each of them, in different ways, attempts to reverse the tragic policy of abortion-on-demand imposed by the Supreme Court ten years ago. Each of them is a decisive way to affirm the sanctity of human life.

We must all educate ourselves to the reality of the horrors taking place. Doctors today know that unborn children can feel a touch within the womb and that they respond to pain. But how many Americans are aware that abortion techniques are allowed today, in all 50 states, that burn the skin of a baby with a salt solution, in an agonizing death that can last for hours?

Another example: two years ago, the Philadelphia Inquirer ran a Sunday special supplement on “The Dreaded Complication.” The “dreaded complication” referred to in the article—the complication feared by doctors who perform abortions—is the survival of the child despite all the painful attacks during the abortion procedure. Some unborn children do survive the late-term abortions the Supreme Court has made legal. Is there any question that these victims of abortion deserve our attention and protection? Is there any question that those who don’t survive were living human beings before they were killed?

Late-term abortions, especially when the baby survives, but is then killed by starvation, neglect, or suffocation, show once again the link between abortion and infanticide. The time to stop both is now. As my Administration acts to stop infanticide, we will be fully aware of the real issue that underlies the death of babies before and soon after birth.

Our society has, fortunately, become sensitive to the rights and special needs of the handicapped, but I am shocked that physical or mental handicaps of newborns are still used to justify their extinction. This Administration has a Surgeon General, Dr. C. Everett Koop, who has done perhaps more than any other American for handicapped children, by pioneering surgical techniques to help them, by speaking out on the value of their lives, and by working with them in the context of loving families. You will not find his former patients advocating the so-called “quality-of-life” ethic.

I know that when the true issue of infanticide is placed before the American people, with all the facts openly aired, we will have no trouble deciding that a mentally or physically handicapped baby has the same intrinsic worth and right to life as the rest of us. As the New Jersey Supreme Court said two decades ago, in a decision upholding the sanctity of human life, “a child need not be perfect to have a worthwhile life.”

Whether we are talking about pain suffered by unborn children, or about late-term abortions, or about infanticide, we inevitably focus on the humanity of the unborn child. Each of these issues is a potential rallying point for the sanctity of life ethic. Once we as a nation rally around anyone of these issues to affirm the sanctity of life, we will see the importance of affirming this principle across the board.

Malcolm Muggeridge, the English writer, goes right to the heart of the matter: “Either life is always and in all circumstances sacred, or intrinsically of no account; it is inconceivable that it should be in some cases the one, and in some the other.” The sanctity of innocent human life is a principle that Congress should proclaim at every opportunity.

It is possible that the Supreme Court itself may overturn its abortion rulings. We need only recall that in Brown v. Board of Education the court reversed its own earlier “separate-but-equal” decision. I believe if the Supreme Court took another look at Roe v. Wade, and considered the real issue between the sanctity of life ethic and the quality of life ethic, it would change its mind once again.

As we continue to work to overturn Roe v. Wade, we must also continue to lay the groundwork for a society in which abortion is not the accepted answer to unwanted pregnancy. Pro-life people have already taken heroic steps, often at great personal sacrifice, to provide for unwed mothers. I recently spoke about a young pregnant woman named Victoria, who said, “In this society we save whales, we save timber wolves and bald eagles and Coke bottles. Yet, everyone wanted me to throw away my baby.” She has been helped by Sav-a-Life, a group in Dallas, which provides a way for unwed mothers to preserve the human life within them when they might otherwise be tempted to resort to abortion. I think also of House of His Creation in Coatesville, Pennsylvania, where a loving couple has taken in almost 200 young women in the past ten years. They have seen, as a fact of life, that the girls are not better off having abortions than saving their babies. I am also reminded of the remarkable Rossow family of Ellington, Connecticut, who have opened their hearts and their home to nine handicapped adopted and foster children.

The Adolescent Family Life Program, adopted by Congress at the request of Senator Jeremiah Denton, has opened new opportunities for unwed mothers to give their children life. We should not rest until our entire society echoes the tone of John Powell in the dedication of his book, Abortion: The Silent Holocaust, a dedication to every woman carrying an unwanted child: “Please believe that you are not alone. There are many of us that truly love you, who want to stand at your side, and help in any way we can.” And we can echo the always-practical woman of faith, Mother Teresa, when she says, “If you don’t want the little child, that unborn child, give him to me.” We have so many families in America seeking to adopt children that the slogan “every child a wanted child” is now the emptiest of all reasons to tolerate abortion.

I have often said we need to join in prayer to bring protection to the unborn. Prayer and action are needed to uphold the sanctity of human life. I believe it will not be possible to accomplish our work, the work of saving lives, “without being a soul of prayer.” The famous British Member of Parliament, William Wilberforce, prayed with his small group of influential friends, the “Clapham Sect,” for decades to see an end to slavery in the British empire. Wilberforce led that struggle in Parliament, unflaggingly, because he believed in the sanctity of human life. He saw the fulfillment of his impossible dream when Parliament oulawed slavery just before his death.

Let his faith and perseverance be our guide. We will never recognize the true value of our own lives until we affirm the value in the life of others, a value of which Malcolm Muggeridge says: “… however low it flickers or fiercely burns, it is still a Divine flame which no man dare presume to put out, be his motives ever so humane and enlightened.”

Abraham Lincoln recognized that we could not survive as a free land when some men could decide that others were not fit to be free and should therefore be slaves. Likewise, we cannot survive as a free nation when some men decide that others are not fit to live and should be abandoned to abortion or infanticide. My Administration is dedicated to the preservation of America as a free land, and there is no cause more important for preserving that freedom than affirming the transcendent right to life of all human beings, the right without which no other rights have any meaning.

 



#60 Tenderfoot

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Posted 09 September 2021 - 08:09 PM

Above by President Reagan...1983!






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