Buying Water In Kenya

Posted in Library of Congress, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on June 18, 2020











One part of life taken for granted in America is indoor running water. You turn on a faucet, and get what you need. There are concerns about the future, and fussing about water rights. In Kenya, a person walks to a water vendor to buy a 20 liter supply of water.

Kibera is euphemistically known as an informal settlement. It is located in Nairobi, Kenya. A land mass 75% the size of New York’s Central Park is home to a lot of people.
“More accurately, Kibera turned into an unauthorized settlement after Kenya gained independence in 1963 and the new government made illegal certain forms of housing. Nonetheless, landlords rented out cheap properties to impoverished Kenyans who could not afford legal housing, and has since earned the reputation of being one of Africa’s largest urban slums. Importantly, the precise population of Kibera is hotly debated and remains uncertain. Some estimates are as high as one million and others as low as 170,000 (e.g, 2009 Kenya Census). Estimates are difficult because Kibera is made up of residents who are extremely mobile, and often prefer to remain in the shadow of the law.”
Very few of the residents have running water. Every day, people have to carry a 20 liter jerrycan to a water vendor. Often, there are shortages, and the price goes up. The water is often contaminated. There are water mafias, which create artificial shortages to boost the price.

“If the root of water problems in Kibera centered on price and supply it may be more manageable, but issues of water quality substantially complicate clean water delivery systems. Most water pipes in Kibera run above ground and are made of plastic (due to issues with theft of steel pipes), which are highly fragile and easily manipulated. These pipes will often crack or break (either accidentally due to traffic or intentionally by competitors), allowing sewage to seep into drinking water. Indeed, water sources that are generally clean can easily become contaminated without notice. This is reflected in public health data—infant mortality rates and bloody diarrheal infection rates in Kibera are more than three times the average of Nairobi as a whole (UNDP 2006).”

Stanford University is setting up a program to use mobile telephones to help people find water. Evidently, mobile phones are more common is the slums of Kenya than clean water. The program is called M-Maji, which is Swahili for mobile water. A database will have information about who has water for sale, the price, and the quality of the water. This information will be available to water users via mobile phones.

HT to Pictures are from The Library of Congress. The spell check suggestion for Kibera is Liberace. This is a repost.













Implicit Association Test

Posted in Library of Congress, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on June 17, 2020










PG came across a link. The post was: What comes to mind when you see her headscarf? Let’s look at what your mind is seeing. (This post is no longer available online.) Technically, this is about the hijab, pronounced eeJOB. If you google hijab, you will have the opportunity to buy one.

The article talked about the unspoken assumptions people have about a woman with a hijab. For PG, these are going to be mostly positive. Most of the Muslims PG has known are great people. The turmoil caused by aggressive Jesus worshipers is absent when dealing with Muslims.

Much of the article deals with “unconscious bias.” You are given the chance to take a “test your unconscious bias and find the areas of your perspective that need a little extra TLC.” PG is not sure that he trusts “Psychologists from Harvard, UW, and UVA.” Still, the only cost for taking this test will probably be damage to his mental health.

Before you start, there is a disclaimer. “IP addresses are routinely recorded, but are completely confidential.” There is a difference between confidential and anonymous. Big brother knows about PG anyway, so this test probably won’t make much difference. You are asked to agree to the following statement: “I am aware of the possibility of encountering interpretations of my IAT test performance with which I may not agree. Knowing this, I wish to proceed.” Fasten your digital seat belt.

Next, you choose a test. The first page has 15 options: Sexuality, Native American, Weapons, Arab-Muslim, etc. PG chooses “Weapons (‘Weapons – Harmless Objects’ IAT). This IAT requires the ability to recognize White and Black faces, and images of weapons or harmless objects.)

The first thing to do is answer a questionnaire. You are asked how warm or cold you feel towards white people, and black people. There is a list of statements that you agree or disagree, slightly, moderately, or strongly. Some of these statements are: I think of myself as someone who has an assertive personality, I have considered being an entertainer.

The heart of the test uses photographs. There are pictures of black people, and pictures of white people. There are pictures of weapons, like a bayonet, a historic pistol, a hand grenade, and a battle ax. There are pictures of harmless objects, like a water bottle, tape recorder, camera, and can of Coca Cola. Many of these could be used a weapons; a can of Coca Cola could be thrown at someone. Many Police consider a camera a weapon.

The pictures are flashed on the screen. You hit the e key for the left side, and the i key for the right side. At first the two choices are kept separate, i.e. you choose black or white, weapon or harmless. Then the two groups are combined. The choice is left side black weapons, and right side white harmless. Then they shift sides, to black harmless and white weapons. You are shown a picture, and choose which category to put it in.

The last questionnaire is the demographics. Annual family income is not considered. Ethnicity refers to hispanic/latin, or non hispanic/latin. Religion, age, “political identity,” gender (only male or female,) and education are considered, among other factors.

The result: “Your data suggest a strong association of Black Americans with Weapons compared to White Americans. … The interpretation is described as ‘automatic association between weapons and White Americans’ if you responded faster when weapons and White American images were classified with the same key than when weapons and Black Americans were classified with the same key.”

iat-03 Whatever. Maybe PG should take another test for comparison. Maybe this time, choose a subject where hateful judgement is not in your face everyday. Since the seminal article is about the hijab, maybe … “You have opted to complete the Arab Muslim – Other People IAT.”

The opening questionnaire is different.”I attempt to appear nonprejudiced toward Arab Muslims in order to avoid disapproval from others, NO spontaneous prejudiced thoughts come into my mind when I encounter an unfamiliar Arab Muslim.”

This test is different from the race test. Instead of photographs, words were used. For the two groups of people, we have names (seemingly all male.) Examples: Arab Muslim – Akbar, Ashraf, Habib – – Other People – Benoit, Philippe, Guillame. The other categories are Good and Bad. Examples: Good – Joy, Love, Peace – – Bad – Agony, Terrible, Horrible.
PG made more mistakes in the fancy part of the Arab test. He took a couple of breaks to take screen shots, one of which is included in this report. At times, he felt himself automatically blaming the Arabs for bad things. This did not happen, consciously, in the race/weapons test.

The result: Your data suggest little to no automatic preference between Other People and Arab Muslims. … This new test was prompted by the events of September 11, 2001. Suicide pilots, identified as Arab Muslims, crashed airplanes into the World Trade Center towers in New York City and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. killing about 4,000 people.

While this may have some value to the ivory tower crowd, it does not tell PG much about himself. Arguably, IAT says more about the researchers than it does the respondents. It is doubtful that these tests will “find the areas of your perspective that need a little extra TLC.” This is a repost. Pictures from The Library of Congress. These pictures were not used in the IAT studied today.












Rednecks And Commodes

Posted in Library of Congress, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on June 16, 2020

You’re An EXTREME Redneck When…..
1. You let your 14-year-old daughter smoke at the dinner table in front of her kids.
2. The Blue Book value of your truck goes up and down depending on how much gas is in it.
3. You’ve been married three times and still have the same in-laws.

4. You think a woman who is out of your league bowls on a different night.
5. You wonder how service stations keep their rest-rooms so clean.
6. Someone in your family died right after saying, ‘Hey, guys, watch this.’

7. You think Dom Perignon is a Mafia leader.
8. Your wife’s hairdo was once ruined by a ceiling fan.
9. Your junior prom offered day care.

10. You think the last words of the Star-Spangled Banner are ‘Gentlemen, start your engines.
11. You lit a match in the bathroom and your house exploded right off its wheels.
12. The Halloween pumpkin on your porch has more teeth than your spouse.

13. You have to go outside to get something from the fridge.
14. One of your kids was born on a pool table.
15. You need one more hole punched in your card to get a freebie at the House of Tattoos.

16. You can’t get married to your sweetheart because there’s a law against it.
17. You think loading the dishwasher means getting your wife drunk.

18. An East Texas couple, both real-life rednecks, had 9 children. They went to the doctor to see about getting the husband “fixed”. The doctor asked them why, after nine children would they choose to do this. The husband replied that they had read in a recent article that one out of every ten children being born in North America was Mexican, and they didn’t want a Mexican baby because neither of them could speak Spanish.

This is a two part post. The second part is a list of 15. It is fun facts about the commode. These are borrowed from a site called Listserve. LS has lots of lists, and is publishing fresh content in 2020.
1. The film “Psycho” was the first movie to show a toilet flushing – the scene caused an inpouring of complaints about indecency.
2. Pomegranates studded with cloves were used as the first attempt at making toilet air-freshner.

3. Hermann Goering refused to use regulation toilet paper – instead he bought soft white handkerchiefs in bulk and used them.
4. Over $100,000 US dollars was spent on a study to determine whether most people put their toilet paper on the holder with the flap in front or behind. 3 out of 4 people have the flap in the front.
5. King George II of Great Britain died falling off a toilet on the 25th of October 1760.

6. The average person spends three whole years of their life sitting on the toilet.
7. The first toilet cubicle in a row is the least used. (and consequently cleanest)
8. An estimated 2.6 billion people worldwide do not have access to proper toilet facilities, particularly in rural areas of China and India.

9. The Roman army didn’t have toilet paper. They used a water soaked sponge on the end of a stick.
10. The toilet is flushed more times during the super bowl halftime than at any time during the year.
11. 90% of pharmaceuticals taken by people are excreted through urination. Therefore our sewer systems contain heavy doses of drugs. A recent study by the EPA has found fish containing trace amounts of estrogen, cholesterol-lowering drugs, pain relievers, antibiotics, caffeine and even anti-depressants. Modern urine is expensive.

12. Lack of suitable toilets and sanitation kills approximately 1.8 million people a year.
13. The toilet handle in a public restroom can have up to 40,000 germs per square inch.
14. While he didn’t invent the toilet, Thomas Crapper perfected the siphon flush system we use today. He was born in the village of Thorne – which is an anagram of throne.
15. In a 1992 survey, British public toilets were voted the worst in the world. Following quickly behind were Thailand, Greece, and France.

Add.1-An amusing feature of the water closet is the tendency of people to die there. Elvis comes to mind immediately. There is some debate about this, as some say he was stricken on the throne, fell off, and perished on the floor. Judy Garland is also known to have met her maker while doing number two. Add.2- It seems that this is a real problem with older people that have constipation issues. When you are in delivery mode, and you push too hard, you can cause something called Valsalva’s maneuver. To make a long story short, all that squeezing can pinch the arteries going into the heart. This is not good for you. According to a commenter here, it is .06% of all deaths. This is a double repost. Pictures are from The Library of Congress

Cleaning Up Graffiti

Posted in Library of Congress, Weekly Notes by chamblee54 on June 15, 2020

The display of a link on this page does not indicate approval of content.
Women Cleaning Up Graffiti Told They’re Showing ‘White Privilege’
Celebrities Show Solidarity With Protesters By Burning Own Homes To Ground
Prince Andrew may be quizzed over Jeffrey Epstein in weeks as US officially …
Ann Coulter’s Inconvenient Gender: The Conservative Feminine Persona …
REVOLUTION MEDICS ATLANTA Helping Those Who Challenge Injustice
SR 151 – Lester & Virginia Maddox Bridge – designate
Fauci changes tune, now says second COVID-19 wave may never happen
The Revenge of Jeb Bush In 2016, the former Florida governor and Bush dynasty …
Candace Owens Says George Floyd IS NOT A Hero (VIDEO)
Removal of McDonough Confederate Statue subject of online petition
LA Galaxy release Aleksander Katai over wife’s racist social media posts
The madness of censoring shows like Little Britain
TPD Major: Police Shoot Black Americans ‘Less Than We Probably Ought To’
The Viruses | Glenn Loury & John McWhorter [The Glenn Show]
NASCAR driver quits after Confederate flag ban: ‘All you are doing is f—ing one group’
Why I’m a Burkean conservative from the developing world.
Woman found dead in clothing donation bin in Midtown
“Pasaquoyan Man with Ritual Headdress and Levitation Suit” by St. EOM
Racism Is An Empty Thesis An African-American professor says …
@anne_theriault putting the hag in hagiographer
Queens of Infamy: Lucrezia Borgia … time we give the Duchess of Ferrara a closer look.
Orange County rescinds coronavirus mask mandate amid pushback, resignation
Man killed after being shot by Atlanta Police during traffic stop
Truck Drivers Say They Won’t Deliver To Cities with Defunded Police Departments
Major Jonathan Letterman: The Father of Battlefield Medicine
Woman charged with felony for tagging statue with chalk
American Press Is Destroying Itself Flurry of newsroom revolts has transformed …
Blues artist Lady A blasts Lady Antebellum for stealing her name
When You Say “I Would Never Date A Trans Person,” It’s Transphobic. Here’s Why.
Woman Wishes Death on Black People, Quickly Loses Job at Party City
Atlanta police chief resigns after fatal police shooting
Incredible New Security Device Goes Viral For 2020. Here’s What You Should Know…
Atlanta officer who fatally shot Rayshard Brooks has been terminated
Rayshard Brooks: APD releases body camera footage from deadly Wendy’s shooting
Black Lives Matter: Hundreds gather in Japan to protest George Floyd killing
Rayshard Brooks shooting: Atlanta police bodycam and dashcam footage released
How did the encounter between Brooks and police turn so deadly?
Shooting of Rayshard Brooks ~ precinct workers ~ n hatin’ hat ~ @anne_theriault
@Phil_Johnson_ I’ve been wondering about the Minneapolis City Council’s plan for “community-based safety” once they have dismantled the police department. The answer came on the news this morning: “Call a neighbor.” OK, but that didn’t work out so well in the Ahmaud Arbery case, did it? ~ This is why twitter has the like button. You can click on it, and let the person know you saw their tweet. Comments are optional, and you don’t get go down the rabbit hole of discussion. ~ There are some interesting thoughts there. The phrase “necrotic neighbor” has a nice sound, despite the nasty meaning behind it. As for faith in Mr. Dammit … I suppose it can’t hurt. Faith is not a substitute for other material based remedies. – A friend once hung out with some nutcase Xtians. They believed in faith healing. There was this nifty Catch 22. If you got better, praise G-d. If you did not get better, it was your fault because you did not have enough faith. – I appreciate your not using the G-word with me. It is not a big deal either way, but your not using *that word* tells me that you know you are talking to, and paying attention. If you forget, and say that sacred name, it is not a deal breaker. ~ Pictures from The Library of Congress. ~ selah

The Death Of Pedro Ramirez

Posted in Killed By Police, Library of Congress by chamblee54 on June 14, 2020

People are talking a lot about police these days. There have been some horrible killings of citizens, with a resulting outrage. Some say we should de-fund the police, which seems like a bad idea. Many others talk about reform, with few details offered. This feature will not explore these events, and ideas. There is not a whole lot that I can add to the conversation.

For 29 weeks, I ran a series about police killings of citizens. This is the final post, which gives a few statistics, and draws a few conclusions. There was one case that I stumbled onto which stands out . It had a video of a search, with a horror movie ending. I cannot say what a LEO’s job is like. That said, it is clear that something like this could happen every time an officer answers a call.

“On June 20, 2017, (Las Vegas Police) officers responded to a domestic disturbance call. The caller reported hearing screaming and crying coming from an apartment. When officers arrived, they made contact with the victim in her apartment, and she initially told them everything was fine. The officers insisted that she open the security screen so they could confirm she was unharmed. As the victim and her four-year-old son exited the apartment, she told officers there was nobody else in the apartment, and she gave them permission to enter the apartment to confirm this.”

“As the officers searched the apartment, they discovered Pedro Ramirez hiding in the walk-in closet in the master bedroom. He was holding a large butcher knife. Officers gave commands for Mr. Ramirez to drop the knife. He ignored the commands and advanced toward the officers. Two officers discharged their Tasers, but they had little effect on Mr. Ramirez. He then charged toward the officers with the knife still in his hand. One officer fired his handgun, striking Mr. Ramirez three times. He fell to the ground and the officer kicked away the knife and attempted to handcuff Mr. Ramirez.”

The video is tough to watch, knowing how this is going to turn out. The officers go into one room, then another, then another. The tension builds with every step. Finally, they go to the final stop, and a man jumps out with a large knife. If the officers had waited half a second to fire, one of them could have been cut. Is this what an officer knows could happen, every time they go into a building? Pictures today are from The Library of Congress.

Recuse His Dumb Ass

Posted in Poem by chamblee54 on June 13, 2020

Lose The Ability To Remember

Posted in History, Library of Congress, Quotes, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on June 12, 2020

PG heard a nifty quote once. “When we begin to write, we will lost the ability to remember.” It was credited to Homer, the Greek poet. The only problem is, PG could never find a source.

Katherine Mangu-Ward is a lady writer. She appeared on a podcast recently, and talked about the symbiotic relationship between conservative trolling, and liberal smugness. PG stumbled onto her twitter account, @kmanguward, and found this: 370 BC: Is Writing Making Us Stupid?

Plato, Phaedrus was the link attached to the tweet. Here is what it said: “Now the king of all Egypt at that time was the god Thamus, who lived in the great city of the upper region, which the Greeks call the Egyptian Thebes, and they call the god himself Ammon. To him came Theuth to show his inventions, saying that they ought to be imparted to the other Egyptians. But Thamus asked what use there was in each, and as Theuth enumerated their uses, expressed praise or blame, according as he approved or disapproved. The story goes that Thamus said many things to Theuth in praise or blame of the various arts, which it would take too long to repeat; but when they came to the letters, “This invention, O king,” said Theuth, “will make the Egyptians wiser and will improve their memories; for it is an elixir of memory and wisdom that I have discovered.”

But Thamus replied, “Most ingenious Theuth, one man has the ability to beget arts, but the ability to judge of their usefulness or harmfulness to their users belongs to another; and now you, who are the father of letters, have been led by your affection to ascribe to them a power the opposite of that which they really possess. For this invention will produce forgetfulness in the minds of those who learn to use it, because they will not practice their memory. Their trust in writing, produced by external characters which are no part of themselves, will discourage the use of their own memory within them. You have invented an elixir not of memory, but of reminding; and you offer your pupils the appearance of wisdom, not true wisdom, for they will read many things without instruction and will therefore seem to know many things, when they are for the most part ignorant and hard to get along with, since they are not wise, but only appear wise.”

Don’t be afraid of a block of text. We will break this down in a minute. The text is from Phaedrus, by Plato. As the ierrant wikipedia says, “The Phaedrus (/ˈfiːdrəs/; Ancient Greek: Φαῖδρος, lit. ‘Phaidros’), written by Plato, is a dialogue between Plato’s protagonist, Socrates, and Phaedrus, an interlocutor in several dialogues. The Phaedrus was presumably composed around 370 BC. “According to this timeline, 370 B.C. is 3200 years after man started to write, and 400 years after the invention of the Greek alphabet. So much for Homer’s word of caution.

We don’t know how widespread writing was in Plato’s time. Presumably, many of the old tales were transmitted by word of mouth, from one generation to the next. This involves memory. “For this invention will produce forgetfulness in the minds of those who learn to use it, because they will not practice their memory.”

There is one more quote worth musing over. Since the invention of the first mediums, new methods have been denounced by traditionalists. Today, we live in an era of constant change. This feature will appear in a blog… state of the art in 2004, and considered obsolete in 2018. Every new medium is greeted with hand wringing over the bad effects it will have on society. Some of these misgivings have been proven false. This *text* goes into more detail about this.

Homer may, or may not, have existed. Since this was 2800 years ago, we may never know. The stories of “The Iliad” and “The Odyssey” may have been told from one generation, to the next. Maybe Homer really did say that, and was merely afraid of competition.

“You have invented an elixir not of memory, but of reminding; and you offer your pupils the appearance of wisdom, not true wisdom, for they will read many things without instruction and will therefore seem to know many things, when they are for the most part ignorant and hard to get along with, since they are not wise, but only appear wise.” . In todays culture, the display of apparent wisdom is more impressive than actual knowledge. These things too shall pass away. Pictures are from The Library of Congress. This is a repost.

The 1954 Deferment

Posted in Georgia History, History, Library of Congress, War by chamblee54 on June 11, 2020

As the reader(s) of this blog might notice, there is material posted every day at chamblee54. On many days, PG is too lazy to write new material, and goes into the archive. Today, there are two pieces. 1954 Deferment is from the blogspot version of chamblee54. In 2007, PG had a job making local deliveries, and listened to talk radio. Neal Boortz was in his glory. One day, PG heard enough about Vietnam, and decided to tell his own story. It is below. This post is written in first person.

A prominent radio whiner has been urged to come clean on his military record. In the spirit of not being a hypocrite, and with the optimistic thought that someone is interested, I have decided to do the same. I have what I call a 1954 deferment. I didn’t get a lottery number until the winter of 1973, after the Paris accords had been signed. My number was 337. The minimum age to sign up in those days was 17. If I had been gung ho to stop communism , I could have signed up in 1971.

By 1971 the war was over for America. We were trying something called “Vietnamization”, which meant we were bringing the combat troops home. Mr. Kissinger was working day and night to secure an acceptable treaty, which Mr. Nixon called Peace with Honor. A few weeks before the 1972 election, the announcement was made that “Peace is at hand”. What this treaty meant was that we got our P.O.W.s back, and withdrew the last of the combat troops. The North Vietnamese troops were not required to withdraw. After a while, with Mr. Nixon distracted by Watergate and the American Public in no mood to help, “Charlie” finished the conquest of South Vietnam. Whether we got all the P.O.W.s back is a subject of controversy. There is speculation that some P.O.W.’s were kept in Asia.

I graduated from High School in June 1972. This was in between the death of J. Edgar Hoover and the arrest of the Watergate Burglars. Jane Fonda”s trip to Hanoi was in July of 1972. Anti-war protests hit a peak during the Moratorium, in Autumn 1969. There was a last surge in May 1970, after the incursion into Cambodia. During this time we had the killings at Kent State, and suddenly protest didn’t seem like as much fun. That, combined with Vietnamization, served to quiet the antiwar movement. The Kent State killings were two days before my 16th birthday. The spell check suggestions for Vietnamization are Victimization, and Minimization.

I didn’t go to Vietnam. What if I had been a few years older? The truth is, I don’t know. You really don’t know what you would do until you have to. Probably, I would have gone the student deferment route, or something else non confrontational, to stay in North America. In the early stages of the War I supported it. In the winter of 1966, I attended a rally at Atlanta Stadium called “Affirmation Vietnam”. At that time, the war protesters were seen as weirdos. It wasn’t for a few more years that people realized their government was lying, and got tired of the pointless bloodshed.

In 1965, some people still believed the government when they heard we needed to stop communism. There was a draft, or legally enforced recruiting. The spirit of patriotism from World War II was still strong. When a young man got a draft notice, many assumed it was their duty to go. Many of the fatalities in Vietnam were conscripted troops.

Offends You. is based on a long forgotten facebook page, “If-the-American-Flag-offends-you-Ill-be-happy-to-help-you-pack.” In 2010, PG would see a prompt like that, and spit out a few hundred words before you could say media bias. And almost nobody would read it. The only function this text has is to go between the pictures.

There is a facebook page now, “If-the-American-Flag-offends-you-Ill-be-happy-to-help-you-pack.” This rubs PG the wrong way. PG has had a good life in The USA, and cannot imagine living anywhere else. He pays taxes without complaint. PG compares his thoughts about America with his thoughts about his hometown, of Atlanta GA. He has had a good life in both places, and does not want to live anywhere else. And yet, no one is ever asked to “die for Atlanta”. That duty is reserved for the national political unit. If PG had been 110 years older, he would have had to opportunity to die for Georgia.

The Stars and Stripes should not be used for jewelry, or as a gimmick. The flag should be respected, not left out in direct sunlight for years at a time, until the red, white, and blue is pink, gray, and lavender. A few years ago, after a Supreme Court ruling about flag burning, PG worked with someone who drove a van. There was a bumper sticker on that van, with the American Flag, and the message “Try burning this one”. That van was parked in direct sunlight every day, and the sun burned those colors off that van. Most people don’t consider this.

No, the American Flag does not offend PG. However, Facebook groups that would try to bully people who don’t have the “correct” opinion about this symbol…that would seek to create conflict between citizens…that does offend PG. Pictures today are from The Library of Congress. The photographer was Dorothea Lange, working in 1939 California.

One Last Attempt

Posted in Poem by chamblee54 on June 10, 2020

The Six G-ds of Christianity

Posted in Library of Congress, Religion, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on June 9, 2020

There is a discussion brewing in the Jesus Worship blogosphere on the question of “Is Christianity really monotheistic ”. This is in response to a post, on the subject of the unquestioning Christian .

There is a “motivational” poster, with the headline “Ten signs you are an unquestioning Christian”. One of these (either number one or ten) deals with monotheism. To wit: “You vigorously deny the existence of thousands of G-ds claimed by other religions, but feel outraged when someone denies the existence of your G-d.” Some writers are promising/threatening to write about all ten of these arguments, and the feature on monotheism is the first.

PG is a recovering Baptist, who is severely alienated from Jesus. He does suspect that there is a G-d, and is in no way an “atheist”. The tracts linked to above tend to break down the discussion to atheists vs. christians, which is highly misleading.

PG has been knocking around for some time the idea of a post about the six G-ds of Jesus Worshipers. The appearance of this series…at blogs that ban PG from commenting…has spurred him into action. Whether or not there will be more comments (from PG) remains to be seen.

Christianity claims to be a monotheistic religion. This means, there is only one G-d. In contrast, the Romans and Greeks had G-ds and G-ddesses galore, and the Hindus have literally millions of deities. In what was claimed by some as an advancement, the Jews worshiped one G-d. (Zoraroastrians are said to be monotheistic, and did it before the Jews. There may be others.)

One of the sacred tracts of Judaism and Christianity is the ten commandments . The first three relate to the concept of monotheism, and the proper way to talk about G-d.

1-Thou shalt have no other G-ds before me.
2-Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.
Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy G-d am a jealous G-d, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
3-Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy G-d in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.

As a side note, PG has heard something about the use of Lord as a name for G-d. The riff is that “Lord” was an expression for an English nobleman. When the Bible was translated by James I, his workers used the L word as a synonym for G-d. The words for G-d in the Greek and Hebrew texts that comprised the Bible do not translate as Lord…that word was inserted by the anglocentric workers of James I. This is something that PG read in a book by Tom Robbins, and has no other source for. It may, or may not be true. If it is, then it just might be a violation of the third commandment.

Getting back to monotheism, does Christianity live up to the first commandment? This may seem to be a silly question when you consider the concept of the trinity. At some point in the early days of Jesus Worship, a decision was made to split G-d into three parts. We now had the father, the son, and the holy ghost. (Which makes for a neat blessing…the father the son the holy ghost, whoever eats fastest gets the most) The first commandment is still in effect, but, well, you just have to understand. The Jews continued to worship one G-d, and when Mohammed started his franchise, he changed the name to Allah. In that version, there is no G-d but Allah, and Mohammed is his messenger.

Meanwhile, the Jesus Worshipers were good at converting and reproducing, and soon had a very popular religion. But was it one G-d only? The faith had a book of ancient texts that they call “the word of G-d”. The fact that it was written, copied, edited and translated by man did not stop folks. The first commandment would seem to prohibit this custom, but, you just have to believe.

PG is willing to concede the point that he doesn’t understand the concept of the Trinity. He thinks it is a concoction of the Council of Nicea, and a violation of the first commandment. This is something that seems to happen a lot with Christianity…to proclaim one thing as a rule, to apparently violate that rule, but have a clever explanation that few seem to understand.

This does not explain the other G-ds of Christianity. For this discussion, we will focus on three…the Bible, Satan, and Salvation.

The Catholic Church had a conference to establish a consistent canon for their church. This conference became known as the Council of Nicea. (This conference is where the concept of the Triune G-d was formulated.) The texts in use by the church at the time were collected in one book. Some texts were not used, and there is a good possibility that the texts that were used were edited. This committee effort became known as the Bible.

PG got into a twitter discussion recently. It turns out that PG does not know much about the Council of Nicea. There were other meetings at this time, and after a while a standardized canon was established for the Christian religion. Few doubt that the Bible was curated by man.

During the protestant reformation, the new churches needed a source for their authority over the people. It was during this time that the concept of the Bible as the “Word of G-d” became known. This in effect made a G-d out of a book. This is in direct defiance of the First Commandment, which teaches to have no other G-d before you.

The book has been interpreted into many languages, and the interpretations have been interpreted. The star of the New Testament, Jesus, spoke Aramaic. His words were recorded, in Greek, many years after he *died*. Any quote from Jesus has been translated at least twice. This is from texts that were written many years after he lived. And yet, people talk about what Jesus taught, and have confidence, that they know what they are talking about. (The only things we know about Jesus is what the Council of Nicea chose to tell us.)

At some point, the idea began to float around that the Bible was not only the word of G-d, but that it was inerrant…that is, without errors. This would presume that no body in the chain of production made a mistake. This includes a scribe copying a text, and a Catholic editor assembling a canon. Nobody translating ancient languages, from ragged source materials, made a mistake. The people who make this claim seem to assume that they have a perfect understanding of this text. Is it a coincidence that the spell check suggestion for inerrant is ignorant?

This one is too blatant to let slide. When you declare a text to be the “word of G-d”, you are making a G-d out of a book. There is a semantic argument to be made… you can say that this isn’t worship. Lets say it out loud… calling the Bible the “word of G-d” makes a G-d out of a book, in violation of the First Commandment. This is not monotheism.

A quick look at the way Satan is treated by the church shows a curious similarity to worship. Yes, it is backhanded worship, and lots of negative things are said about Beelzebub. He with the horns and tail is given credit for all kinds of powers, and needs to be fought (with human collateral damage). Yes, Jesus Worshipers give the Devil his due, and then some.

The last “G-d” that we will look at today is Salvation, or the Christian scheme for life after death. Anyone living in the USA has heard this plan a thousand times, and many agree with it. Some do not agree with it. It is none of your business how PG feels. (Your guess is probably correct.)

What is undeniable is the importance placed on salvation in Christianity. It is discussed in every church meeting, often at top volume, and with dramatics that would shame a ham actor. Salvation is said to justify all the rudeness and verbal abuse that Jesus Worshiper inflict on their neighbors. If you do not agree with the concept of Salvation, you have no business belonging to a Christian Church.

Does this hysterical emphasis on Salvation make a G-d out of the concept? As with the Bible and Satan, it is a matter of perspective. A good argument could be made that Jesus Worshipers treat these three items with G-d like devotion, and make G-ds out of them.

Pictures are from The Library of Congress. This is a repost.

Arrested In Atlanta

Posted in GSU photo archive, Weekly Notes by chamblee54 on June 8, 2020

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Posted in Poem by chamblee54 on June 7, 2020