Posted in GSU photo archive, Politics, Religion, The Death Penalty, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on March 10, 2018

The post below went up seven years ago. It deals with a publicity stunt from the Catholic church, an updated seven deadly sins. The statute of limitations may have run out on this message. The traditional “seven deadly sins” were anger, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy, and gluttony.
The site linked above has a page, the seven deadly sins of Mohandas Karamachand Gandhi. The subcontinental fashion icon lists Wealth without Work, Pleasure without Conscience, Science without Humanity, Knowledge without Character, Politics without Principle, Commerce without Morality, and Worship without Sacrifice.
After 1,500 years the Vatican has brought the seven deadly sins up to date by adding seven new ones for the age of globalization. The list, published yesterday in L’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper, came as the Pope deplored the “decreasing sense of sin” in today’s “secularized world” and the falling numbers of Roman Catholics going to confession. The new deadly sins include polluting, genetic engineering, being obscenely rich, drug dealing, abortion, pedophilia and causing social injustice. HT to Fox News .( aka the eighth deadly sin.)
One reaction is to wonder, what language was used for the list? Phrases like “obscenely rich” and “causing social injustice” can mean different things, and one wonders about the nuance behind the original expression. Now, Just about all of these “sins” can merit comments. Maybe the Catholic church is thinking of moving its headquarters to hell.
polluting We can talk about something where all have sinned, or who should throw the first stone. If you ride in a car, wear synthetic fibers, through away anything, use a less than perfect sewer system (or a functioning one on a rainy day with overflows), then you have polluted.
genetic engineering Here again, there are semantics galore. Much of the food we eat is tweaked by genetic breeding. This is something Euros get twitchy about, that doesn’t concern most Americans.
being obscenely rich This is one to wonder what the original Italian said. Compared to much of the world, a 900sf house is a palace. However, compared to many of the neighbors, it is lower middle class. Perhaps the emphasis should be on greed, selfishness, and how you gain this wealth. The tenth commandment says something about coveting. It is the forgotten commandment.
drug dealing Is there a distinction between legal and illegal drugs here? If you go by the damage that substances cause, then this rule will speak to bartenders and the clerk who sells cigarettes. Not to mention the media outlets who advertise cigarettes and beer, the legislators who condone these substances while prosecuting potheads, and a whole host of others. The legally based war on drugs is a disaster in this country. Do we really need to drag the Catholic church into it?
abortion. If Mary had gotten an abortion, would Christians worship a vacuum cleaner? Seriously, the Catholic Corporation has flogged this donkey, to great profit, for years. If you don’t want abortions, promote contraception and adoption. Catholics should find another gimmick.
pedophilia When you up pedophile in the dictionary, you see a picture of a Catholic priest.
causing social injustice Can we have a better translation of this?

This bonus repost is also from early march 2008. BHO was winning the race for the Democratic Presidential nomination, and the skeletons were coming out of the closet. As the struggle went on, BHO threw Jeremiah Wright under the bus, and got elected.

YouTube is an impediment to work. I was going to write some clever words to go with these pictures, but I looked at some videos first. All I wanted was the embed gibberish so I could show them to you, but YouTube has more videos. The only way to get rid of temptation is to give into it.

I am glad I got to see the videos of Jeremiah Wright. Friday I was hearing the tapes of him on the radio, and it was most discouraging. When I saw the video, I realized that he was just a loudmouth.

I worked for 6 years with a professional Jesus Worshiper. He was selfish, hateful, vulgar and loud. He frequently directed this anger at me. He used Jesus to hurt me, often over trivial matters. His voice sounded a lot like Mr. Wright’s.

Once, this Professional Jesus Worshiper shouted me down, and humiliated me, in the name of Jesus. When he was through, he picked up the telephone and told his friend ” I never felt better in my life”. People like that, and Jeremiah Wright, bring shame to Jesus.

One thing I learned while working with the Professional Jesus Worshiper was the importance of the audience. These hatemongers do not just talk to themselves. They need an audience. These audiences enable these poison spewers. To pray with a loudmouth who shames Jesus is morally equivalent to buying whiskey for an alcoholic. Barack Obama is that audience. Pictures today are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.


The Cheesecake Miracle

Posted in GSU photo archive, Politics, Religion, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on February 23, 2018

The Cheesecake Miracle






President Barack H. Obama gave a speech at the National Prayer Breakfast Thursday morning. Some are not happy with POTUS giving a speech reinforcing the belief paradigm, and including phrases like “people of faith,” “word of G-d,” and “children of G-d.” The name used today, for a higher power is dog spelled backwards. This is a double repost.

POTUS is an American politician. A certain ritual invocation of the G-word is part of the game. BHO is probably a hypocrite when he says “You know he’s not saying it because it helps him advance, or because somebody told him to. It’s from the heart.” It will be a long time before a professed atheist is elected POTUS. It is part of the ritual.

There has been blowback to the speech. When a Democrat POTUS says something, the Republicans feel obligated to criticize. It is how the game is played. This is where we get to hear someone really important, like the former Governor of Virginia. “He has offended every believing Christian in the United States. This goes further to the point that Mr. Obama does not believe in America or the values we all share.” That is telling him!

So what values is the former Governor talking about? The first thing BHO called for is humility. “And, first, we should start with some basic humility. I believe that the starting point of faith is some doubt — not being so full of yourself and so confident that you are right and that God speaks only to us, and doesn’t speak to others, that God only cares about us and doesn’t care about others, that somehow we alone are in possession of the truth.” It is easy to understand why professional Jesus worshipers don’t like talk about humility.

The speech lasted 24 minutes. It was two sentences that ruffled feathers. “And lest we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ. In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ.”

Perhaps the most ridiculous reaction, or reaction to a reaction, was at The Atlantic. Ta-Nehisi Coates is fond of high octane rhetoric. He is in rare form in denouncing the linkage of Christianity to slavery. “The “all too often” could just as well be “almost always.” There were a fair number of pretexts given for slavery and Jim Crow, but Christianity provided the moral justification.”

The embrace of Christianity by African America is not mentioned. Black people might be the most Christian population in our Jesus-mad country. There is a poignant irony here. Mr. Coates notes “(Confederate Vice President Alexander) Stephens went on to argue that the “Christianization of the barbarous tribes of Africa” could only be accomplished through enslavement.”

The feature at the Atlantic is illustrated by a picture of a Klan rally. As we mentioned before, the loyal opposition is going to criticize the POTUS. And some are going to lose their minds, and compare this criticism to a cross burning. This, as Mr. Coates might say, “gives you some sense of the limited tolerance for any honest conversation around racism in our politics.”

Pictures from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.






Birds spray Xanax, on the compulsive joker,
Who is afraid of the punitentiery.
When you drink like a land based animal,
Hit men would be cheaper.
The subliminal message in the cheesecake only works for low perbole.
The world knows, and does not care.






Jesus Gets A New Nickname

Posted in History, Holidays, Library of Congress, Music, Poem, Religion by chamblee54 on February 14, 2018







There is a video making the rounds now. The title involves Jesus, and a certain racial slur, delicately known as the N word. The video is embedded above. You can feel the magic for yourself.

Here is a story about the song, with the edgy language bleeped. “One pastor is trying to spread the word of God with an edgy rap song. The rapping pastor and his wife claim they have “Christian swag” while tossing around the n-word. … The video of the rapping pastor was recently uploaded to YouTube but it’s not clear when it was filmed. It was taken at a church in Iowa which closed in 2004.” Another helpful interneter has the lyrics.

In case you didn’t know, Pastor Jim Colerick, and Mrs Mary-Sue Colerick, are melanin deficient. They are, as Bette Midler once said about Karen Carpenter, so white they are invisible. It is not considered good manners for Caucasians to use this word, with or without salvation.

There is another angle to this equation. Many Jesus worshipers see not using cusswords as a sign of righteousness. As a result, many Jesus worshipers use the words G-d, and Jesus Christ, as tools of their anger. This violates the third commandment. Now, this use of a sacred name, as profanity, is being extended to using a sacred name as a racial slur. Someone is always ready to manipulate language to serve an agenda.

When you call a book “the word of G-d”, you give certain words too much power. When you designate the lazy way of saying black as a super duper naughty word, you give those six letters way too much power. Now, we see the convergence of these two taboos. Let the party begin.

This is a repost. Pictures of Pastor and Mrs. Colerick are taken from the video. The other images are from The Library of Congress. Jack Delano was the photographer in December 1942.








Posted in Library of Congress, Religion, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on January 31, 2018











The custom of expressing your innermost thoughts on the back of your vehicle has taken a curious turn. One popular emblem says coexist. The seven letters are equipped with symbols, both religious and secular. One hopes that no one receiving this message has forgotten to stop, and hit the car with the coexist symbol on the bumper.

When PG was young, there was a miniature golf course on Cheshire Bridge Road called Putt Putt. The first bumper sticker he saw said “I play Putt Putt.” Is coexist an improvement?

When this post was first conceived, the i in coexist was perceived to be unadorned. It was as if the religion of i was receiving due recognition. Upon closer examination, it seems as though the tittle has a five pointed star. This means that the i is a sorcerers wand. The i apparently stands for paganism.

The c, x, and t of coexist are pretty obvious. They are symbols for the three Abrahamic religions. O is a peace sign, and e has the male and female symbols. The religions they represent are not apparent. The s is a yin yang, which is somehow related to Taoism.

Buddhism, Atheism, Communism, and Hinduism are not represented. They spell out Bach. The composer Johann Sebastian Bach produced glorious music for the Lutheran church. Perhaps the e in coexist represents the left out denominations. If this E is combined with BACH, you can spell out BEACH. This is a repost. Pictures today are from The Library of Congress.













Believe Your Way To Hell

Posted in Library of Congress, Religion by chamblee54 on November 15, 2017

These 666 words are a repost from 2010. It is based on a post at 22 Words. At that time, 22 Words was a quirky blog, with the emphasis on comments of 22 words or less. Today, 22 Words is a corporate blog. The top trending story now is “This Is Why You Should NEVER Put Toilet Paper On a Toilet Seat.” If you want to skip over the text, and look at the pictures, you will be forgiven. These monochrome pictures are from the FSA/PWI collection at The Library of Congress.

This post is about life after death and belief. Originally, the comment was going to be about gaining life after death through belief in Jesus, but the comment was over the 22 word limit. To get to the limit, the reference to Jesus was taken out. Did this substantially alter the meaning of the statement? Is it the matter of belief that counts, or does it have to be a specific belief about Jesus? And why should this matter to living people?

PG feels the pain that Jesus has caused him on a daily basis. He is not likely to change his mind about this religion, no matter how many people talk about it. It is unlikely that very many Jesus worshipers have changed their mind either…questioning your beliefs is the opposite of “faith”, and many are scared of going to hell if they have the wrong opinions. Somehow, this is not how PG wants to live.

22 Words is a regular stop for PG. The idea is to say what you need to say in 22 words or less. The owner of the blog does not enforce this rule, and few commenters practice it. The opening serve of the thread was “Do difficult times make you more or less empathetic? For me the answer is both. Some struggles I’ve faced make me more understanding of others. But sometimes I feel like: “I got over it; why can’t you?” (36 words). The comments took on the colors of Jesus Worship, which is to be expected at TwentyTwoWords.

Chamblee54/ “I feel that way about life after death obsessed Jesus Worshipers. Is there an etymological link between arrogant and air head?” Christen “Speaking of life after death, I’m just starting Randy Alcorn’s book Heaven and very convinced on the importance of being much more focused on our life after death. What did you mean by that, Chamblee?” chamblee54 “I feel the emphasis placed on life after death is mistaken. I disagree with the Jesus worship beliefs on life after death.” christen “Thanks for the reply, chamblee. I think I’m either inexperienced in “the emphasis placed on life after death” debate/issue (?) and “Jesus worship beliefs” or just don’t understand what you’re saying. Either way, I know I can’t wait to be in that place with that person !”

At this point, PG saw the dialog spinning off topic. This was his fault, to a degree, and he felt a responsibility to bring it back into line. The suspicion was that Christen was a Jesus Worshiper, who had never questioned a set of beliefs handed to her. A key portion of this was the life after death issue, which to PG is a fundamental flaw with Jesus Worship Religion. (PG disagrees with the concept of attaining life after death through holding certain beliefs about Jesus. PG also disagrees with the emphasis place on life after death in Jesus Worship.)

Chamblee54 “This is starting to get off topic. I suspect you have never questioned the concept of acquiring life after death through beliefs.” That clocks in at precisely 22 words. The original comment was about acquiring life after death through belief in Jesus. To bring the comment under the 22 word limit, PG decided to eliminate the reference to Jesus. And there was a realization that the fundamental meaning of the comment was not changed. If the status of one’s soul post mortem can be changed by a belief during life…a highly suspect concept to PG…does it matter what the belief is?

The Church Sign

Posted in Library of Congress, Religion, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on October 19, 2017





Religion is very personal. When you have a miserable experience with Jesus, it will not go away because of glib expressions of someone else’s beliefs. When you put a sign by the road, you don’t know who is going to see it. You don’t know how they are going to be feeling.

I was driving to dinner one night, when I drove by Briarcliff United Methodist Church. This facility is on a busy road. They have a sign in front, with a message that changes from time to time. This night, I was in a bad mood. I was thinking about people who have humiliated me for Jesus. The sign in front of BUMC said “When was the last time you prayed?”

The concept of prayer is collateral damage in my struggle with Jesus. As I became alienated from Jesus, the idea of a person talking to G-d seems selfish and self aggrandizing. There is something about having an angry bully for Jesus snarling “I’m going to pray for you brother” that makes the concept of prayer repulsive. Prayer should not be a weapon in an argument.

There is another thing to consider here. Pushy Jesus worshipers assume that they have the right to grill you about a sensitive personal issue. The idea of saying this to passing motorists is incredibly disrespectful. It is none of your business if I pray.

I looked up BUMC on the internet when I got home. They have a modern website. The top tab on the menu said “Prayer Requests.” This is probably for people who are facing a crisis, and want someone to pray for them. Maybe you can leave a prayer non-request. Ask them to respect discomfort with their religion, and don’t put offensive messages by the roadside.

Further down on the website is an email address ( While not expecting a miracle, I decided to send them an email. Here is the text of that message.

You have a message board in front of your church. The message when I went by was “When was the last time you prayed?” I was offended by this message.

I have had a tough time with religion. I have been humiliated many, many times because of Jesus. I have heard about your scheme for life after death thousands of times, and simply do not agree with it. An intrusive roadway sign is not going to change my mind.

My belief is that my opinions about G-d, the bible, Jesus, and life after death, are none of your business. If I trust you enough to discuss these matters, then we can have a discussion. Having a rude sign by the road side is not going to enable me to trust you.

Even though it is none of your business, I am going to answer your question. Even though I was talking to G-d, and not to you, I am going to repeat what I said. “G-d please help these people to have respect for their neighbor, and take that awful sign down”.






It had been a week since PG drove past the church sign at Briarcliff United Methodist Church. The church sent a thoughtful email, in response to the complaining message. The traffic on Briarcliff Road was just as rude as ever. PG took a look when he drove past the church. The new message this week: “In what missions did U last serve?

Maybe they didn’t have a YO to spare. Maybe they are trying to appeal to the text message crowd. Maybe the comment was directed at nearby Mercer University. Maybe a Synagogue borrowed an OY.

When the Jesus worship church talks about missions, they usually mean an effort to convert people to their brand of religion. This is a part of Christianism that many find tasteless. This product promotion frequently turns into a violation of the third commandment… the injunction against improper use of a sacred name. When you create ill will, you are speaking in vain.

When PG got home, he decided to create a meme poem. He also did not feel moved to write fresh text. A decision was made to use already created material, out of the public domain. A search of the book of Psalms located a short chapter, with a number that is popular at this blog. Hence, the current presentation of Psalm 54.

While this effort was in production, PG thought about the mission he was on. The idea was to rescue this text from the improper way in which it is used. It should be a source of beauty, not a weapon to bludgeon people into agreement. Psalm 54 is a poem, written by a human being, not a message from G-d. When you make a G-d out of a book, you do no favor to either the G-d, or the book.

In the end, the effort had mixed results. The text has an air of vengeance. G-d was supposed to get even with your enemies. The idea that your enemies might be the children of G-d is forgotten.

Pictures are from The Library of Congress. These are Union soldiers from the War Between the States. They served on a tough mission. This is a double repost.

The Parable

Posted in Library of Congress, Religion by chamblee54 on October 7, 2017

A facebook friend gave PG the link to a video, The Power of Parable , and set some events into motion. It did not end well.
TPOP is an interview with Peter Rollins. He says that “a parable tries to get beyond something in the head, and rupture something in the heart.” A parable is like a painting, with a different meaning every time you look at it. It should make you think, it should move and transform you. A parable “is not giving water to those who are thirsty, it is giving them salt to make them thirsty.”
PG had been thinking of the story of The Prodigal Son , and decided to publish this story on his blog. He found the text, in Luke 15. PG’s late father was named Luke.
The story of The Prodigal Son (a phrase that does not appear in Luke 15) had long been a favorite of PG. It is about family, acceptance, forgiveness, and welcome. The disgust that PG feels for the abusive ways of Jesus worshipers does not affect his enjoyment of this story.
At about this time, PG saw a comment thread at a blog . The writer of this blog, ZSB, had butted heads with PG before. A few comments were made, including one snide remark by Frank Turk. For some reason, PG decided to send a link to The Prodigal Son , The story was about forgiveness and kindness, and PG hoped to build a bridge.

ZSB … Chamblee, I like the photos (although, as usual, they seem unlrelated to the post), am ambivalent about the video,dig the rainbow-text effect, and LOVE the words contained in the text… but what on earth does it have to do with this post or this meta? Oh, wait, I get it—you’re further showcasing how the Internet often fosters random non-sequitur-style communication. September 15, 2011 3:27 PM

chamblee54 …. 1- I did not read the complete dialog. I seldom have the patience for long discussions like this. When I saw the comment “G-d has given us a perfect bible”, I realized that this was built on a shaky foundation. I simply do not agree with that concept. 2- The story that I used is The prodigal son. It is about not giving up on people. It is about not labeling someone a troll, and ignoring everything they say. I see that as highly relevant to the dialog between Mr. Turk and myself. 3- I linked to a video in the story. It is a monolog about the value of parables. It is about taking a text and thinking about the many different meanings that it can have. This is different from calling this text the “word of G-d”, and saying that it has a literal meaning. The story of the prodigal son can have many meanings. 4- The Prodigal Son was a parable. It was a made up story, used to teach a lesson. When you call a text a literal piece of work, you contradict the nature of parables. The Prodigal Son story may have happened, or may not have. This is beside the point to the overall story. 5- The video is a song by Tom Waits. While not a direct cause and effect companion to the story, there is a connection. Whatever happens to little boys who never comb their hair? September 15, 2011 3:42 PM

ZSB … Chamblee54 said… “. [The Prodigal Son] is about not giving up on people. It is about not labeling someone a troll, and ignoring everything they say. ”
Um, no. No, a thousand times no! That is not what the Lord’s parable of the lost son is about. Look at the context. It’s about salvation. It’s about something you won’t hear because you’re tripped up by the words “God has given us a perfect Bible.” Reject it, laugh at it, spit on it, but don’t turn it into a benign little collection of nice-isms that you can live with, because, while it doesn’t harm God’s Word, it makes you look silly to do so. September 15, 2011 4:27 PM

chamblee54 … My point exactly. A parable is like a poem … it should have a different meaning every time you hear it. When you take an allegory, and call it a literal work, you are not always going to have the “correct” interpretation.
This story was written by someone. It was written many years after Jesus had his ministry. It was translated at least twice. It was copied by hand, probably more than once. It was compiled into a book by the council of nicea. This is not a copy/paste of a word document written by Jesus.
But, when someone disagrees with your view, and you have a hissy fit, then it makes YOU look silly. September 15, 2011 5:01 PM

ZSB … Okay, I’ve dealth with the tired, ill-founded claim of “twice-translated” words of Jesus, allegedly far-removed from his ministry here . And parables aren’t allegory. Fairly common rookie mistake.
And this comment thread is actually about the subject of the blogpost. Like all of my blog comment threads, it’s not about your beef (and borderline obsession) with Frank Turk.
Comment thread is now un-hijacked. i.e. all comments unrelated to the post (particularly by those who admit to not having read it) will be deleted post-haste. That is all. September 15, 2011 5:15 PM

PG was had many ups and downs with Jesus. Some of the bad experiences were not his fault. In this case, he should have known better. You don’t discuss poetry with Jesus worshipers, at least ones who care mostly about life after death. It is a “fairly common rookie mistake”. Jesus was spoiled for PG a while back. This visit was a reminder. Pictures today are from The Library of Congress. This is a repost.

I’m Christian, Butt I’m Not

Posted in Library of Congress, Religion, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on October 2, 2017










PG does not keep up with viral videos. He depends on warm-and-fuzzies like Matt Walsh and Mollie Ziegler Hemingway for periodic outrage alerts. The latest target of the screed stoppers is from Buzzfeed Yellow, I’m Christian, But I’m Not. The latest report from YouTube shows 765,694 views. Viral is not as hot as it used to be. This is a repost.

The video shows some well scrubbed younguns. They say things like “I’m Christian but I’m not close-minded … but I am not judgmental … but I don’t place myself on a pedestal.” (Thank you Mollie Ziegler Hemingway for the transcript.)

The next part is the answer to the question “What are you?” The high point of this is where the girl says “I do believe in monogamy before sex but I will give you sex advice if you need it.” The last part is answers to “What do you want people to know about Christianity?” “We shouldn’t be judged on just the people that you see in the media, or just the people that you’ve met in everyday life. every Christian is different, and we deserve a chance to explain ourselves.”

Well, no you don’t. PG has had a horrendous experience with Jesus. The “bad Christians” are often the loudest, and make the deepest impressions. The “bad Christians” are usually supported by the “good Christians.” The sorry behavior is somehow excused by the ideology. After all, Jesus died for your sins, we are going to heaven, and you are going to hell. And we deserve a chance to shove that rhetoric in your face one more time.

If you type in “I’m Christian but I’m not” to Google, and it’s wholly owned subsidiary YouTube, you will see the critics loud and clear. Many have pointed out that ICBIN does not say the name “Jesus.” Others say that Christians are supposed to be hated. The YouTube comments are bizarre, as usual.

Pictures today are from The Library of Congress.









How To Choose A Guru

Posted in Library of Congress, Religion by chamblee54 on September 9, 2017

PG has reread How to choose a guru, by Rick Chapman. The book is a look at spirituality of all sorts, with a special emphasis on Meher Baba.

HTCAG can be a frustrating book. The main focus is on finding a “perfect master”, and the path to enlightenment under his guidance. If one is not inclined to this level of dedication, you can be left feeling inferior. This is similar to the despair people feel when they think they are going to go to hell, because they don’t have the correct ideas about Jesus.

Thie book takes a look at spirit from the perspective of all religions. A central concept is the avatar, the idea of G-d become man. (This was long before the movie with a similar title.) The avatars of recorded history include Zoroaster, Rama, Krishna, Buddha, Jesus, and Mohammed. Some say that Meher Baba is the modern avatar.

Mr. Chapman has a knack for phrasing. There are expressions that PG remembers from reading HTCAG in 1978. They are still there 34 years later.

Creation First, there was G-d. Then, there’s you. Then, there is G-d.
Speculation The average persons speculation about consciousness…has “the stink but not the weight of his turd”
Evangelism An authentic Master will encourage you to let your life itself be his message.
Good Thoughts, Good Words, Good Deeds Don’t be sidetracked by elaborate creeds and doctrines- the truth is as simple as it is profound. From the ancient teachings of Zoraster to today, these three principles have been the heart of the message of every G-d realized Master.
Books “Excellent guides until you find the Way.”–Abu Sa’id
Books Part Two …the scriptures of the past compare to the writings of a present-day Perfect Master just about the way that dust compares to honey.
Satan Worship If you have been toying with the thought that any form of Satan worship can lead you to higher consciousness, sober up by reading the story of Dr. Faustus. There are many paths to enlightenment, but this back alley isn’t one of them.
Sex A real guru never has any form of sexual relations with his followers. If a person posing as a guru tries to seduce you in the physical sense, then you can have no clearer indication that he is a phony, a pathetic and hypocritical collection of unresolved desires.
Truth, Old and New One time the Buddha was approached by a young man who was skeptical about Gautama’s renowned divine status. “Does the Blessed One teach a path that is new and original?” he asked. One of the Buddha’s close disciples, Sariputta, turned his gaze from the Master to the skeptic and replied, “If the Blessed One taught a path that was new and original, He would not be the Blessed One!” “Well said, Sariputta,” smiled the Buddha, “well said.”

Several of these quotes are available in copy/paste form at Meher Baba Information, for which this reporter says thank you. This site says that Rick Chapman is a follower of Meher Baba, and met him in 1966. This relationship is never made explicit in HTCAG. A glowing chapter is devoted to Meher Baba, and this relationship is not surprising. Still, HTCAG might be a bit more upfront if this relationship was clearly spelled out.

Meher Baba was born February 25, 1894 with the name Merwan Sheriar Irani. The name Meher Baba means “compassionate father”. From July 10, 1925 until his death January 31, 1969, he maintained silence, and communicated by gestures that were interpreted by his followers. Meher Baba believed that he was the avatar of our age.

With all of it’s human imperfections, HTCAG is a valuable book. It is easy to read, will expose you to ideas about spirit, and get you to think. When you grow up in a Jesus Worship tradition, one can be aware of a spirit within. At the same time, you get tired of the obsession with life after death. You sense that there is more to G-d than scheming to live after you die. HTCAG shows one path.

This is a repost. It was written like Vladimir Nabokov. Pictures are from The Library of Congress.

One History Of Religion

Posted in Georgia History, GSU photo archive, Religion by chamblee54 on August 6, 2017

LBGlass - 012z

LBGlass - 012za

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LBGlass - 008za

I was a southern baptist all my life. Arguably, I became a baptist when my mother converted in 1938, but really didn’t get with the program until I was born in 1954. The story is that Daddy called the choir director at six in the morning to sign me up.

First Baptist in Atlanta was a big church on Peachtree street, about a mile north of downtown. (A few years ago, they sold the land to a developer, and moved to the suburbs. I was working a block away when they tore down the building, and got some chips of brick as a souvenir.) I sang in the “cherub” choir. This was quite an experience when we performed in front of a full house. I have good memories of Sunday school, vacation bible school, and the choir program.

One thing I did not like, even at that young age, was the preacher. He was a greasy haired man who shouted a lot, and had a mean streak. Years later, I heard persistent rumors that he was gay. (I should note that this is not Charles Stanley. It is the man who preceded him.) One Sunday, we were watching him preach, and he shouted, “this is the word of G-d”. He then waved a Bible in the air, and slammed it into the pulpit. I thought, if that is the word of G-d, maybe he shouldn’t slam it down like that.

In 1962, mom and dad decided to move to a church closer to home. I liked Briarcliff Baptist. About this time, I first heard about being “saved from sin”, and thought it was a pretty cool idea. I also was in the cub scouts, and since their meetings were the same day as choir practice, I quit the choir. I attended church regularly the next few years, but never did join the church, and get baptized. The custom of pressuring children to make a “commitment of faith”, and get baptized, reflects poorly on Jesus.There are some other family issues that came up about this time. They are too personal to get into here, but they affected my attitude towards the church.

After a while, I was 17 years old, and working in a restaurant that was open until 1am on Saturday night. I decided one Sunday that I didn’t want to get up for church. I have only been back to that building once in the intervening 36 years. This is a repost, with pictures from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.

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More Talk About Life After Death

Posted in Library of Congress, Religion, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on August 4, 2017

Someone is always talking about life after death. Every once in a while, somebody listens. It seems to be a big deal to believe this talk. PG wrote a couple of posts on the subject. They are presented here today. Pictures,from The Library of Congress, are soldiers from the War Between the States.

In January of 2005, PG was at a memorial service. A lady who grew up near PG had passed away. The service, in a Methodist Church, was full of talk about life after death. This talk did not give PG comfort, and served to remind him of why he does not go to church. Some, of the family of the deceased, did find comfort in the talk about life after death.

PG was trolling the blogosphere, looking for good words to put between pictures. He was tired of a number of subjects. None of these subjects were going to go away, although others can be expected to tire of reading about them. Then he found a post in Making Chutney about the ultimate subject that will not go away…life after death.

Life after death is a better phrase than “eternal life” or, G-d forbid, “Salvation”. Jesus Worshipers are obsessed with life after death. It is mentioned at almost all gatherings of Jesus Worshipers. PG finds the whole matter annoying.

So anyway, the New York Times published an op ed piece, written by Charles Blow. It seems as though the “Pew Forum”…which may or may not comment on deodorants…published a survey. The bottom line of the study is that
70 percent of Americans said that they believed religions other than theirs could lead to eternal life. Gee, that’s big of them.
Who says that life after death is a proper matter for a religion to discuss? And even if it is, why do Jesus Worshipers talk about life after death ALL THE TIME? Also, does a belief in life after death justify the rudeness and shouting that Jesus Worship is known for?

Jesus Worship is the dominant religion in our culture. Many people see other religions through the priorities of Jesus Worship. It is a surprise to many to learn that not everyone is as concerned about life after death as they are. Many Jesus worshipers cannot comprehend that many people simply do not agree with the Jesus Worship plan for life after death.

The correct answer to the question “Where will you spend eternity?” is NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS. The use of cusswords is optional.

This post has been in the works for a long time. It is about life after death. This is a big deal to Jesus worshipers. It is fair to say that the entire religion has devolved into a scheme for life after death. Either you agree, and go to heaven, or disagree, and go to hell. PG has thought long and hard about this, and has a few thoughts.

One problem with this concept is human nature. When you have a religion based on broadcasting a message, some of the believers go overboard. Some will let their pride get in the way. They enjoy the power that seems to come with spreading this message. When a person hears this “good news,” shouted by people who are bad news, then it is natural to doubt the message.

A facebook friend supplied this quote
“More people have been brought into the church by the kindness of real Christian love than by all the theological arguments in the world, and more people have been driven from the church by the hardness and ugliness of so-called Christianity than by all the doubts in the world. ” The $64 question becomes: Do people who have been repelled from Jesus, through exposure to his obnoxious believers, go to hell?
There is also the matter of people who simply do not agree with the scheme for life after death. Of all the standards to use, why would G-d use the doctrine of one branch, of one religion? Does G-d even exist? Are the billions of people who never even heard of Jesus destined for hell?

PG was raised in the Southern Baptist tradition. For various reasons, he resisted the pressure put on children to “make a profession of faith”, and be baptised. When he was 17, he quit going to church. In 1979, there was a week in a Moonie camp in California. There have been many books read, a bit of thinking and talking, and a few odd meetings attended. There were 7 years working closely with an abusive professional Jesus worshiper. After a while, PG got tired of worrying about it all, and just wanted to enjoy the time he has on this planet.

Which brings us to today’s post. In no particular order, here is the product.

1- G-d does not write books. The Bible was compiled by the Council of Nicea from a variety of texts. These texts were written in a multitude of languages, and copied by hand. It is possible that the scribes copying them made mistakes. It is possible that errors in translation were made. It is probable that texts were not included in the Bible, for various reasons. The Bible is the product of man’s labor, with possible inspiration by G-d.

The first commandment says Thou shalt have no other gods before me. When you call the Bible the word of G-d, you are, in effect, making a G-d out of a book. When you violate this common sense commandment, you are going to have problems.

2- The first commandment… Thou shalt have no other gods before me. .. does not make an exception for the so called son of G-d.

3- Jesus was killed because he was a trouble maker. His death, and reputed resurrection, have nothing to do with what happens when you die.

4- What happens to people after they die is none of your business. Living people should be concerned with life, and not worry about what will happen when you die.

5- You should have faith in G-d to take care of you when you die. Period. Don’t scream about Jesus. Don’t kill the infidel. Don’t worry about your soul. G-d took care of you before you were born, and she will take care of you after you die.

6- What you say does not become more true the louder you say it. The way you say something is more important than the words you say. It is more important to show kindness to your neighbor, than to scream the so called truth.

7- The decision to end a life is G-d’s job. You are better off when you let her make this call. This applies to war, abortion, captal punishment, and euthanasia, and other forms of humans ending life.

8- G-d should be enjoyed. G-d should bring nourishment to life. G-d should NOT be fought or argued over. The third commandment…Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. … is another common sense rule that is shamelessly violated by those who claim to be “saved”. When you forget this rule, you cause trouble.

9- When copying some commandments for use in this post, PG found this. 23 Ye shall not make with me gods of silver, neither shall ye make unto you gods of gold. PG has heard about the ten commandments all his life, and yet has never heard this line. It is just 6 verses after the tenth commandment, which is about coveting. The tenth commandment is obsolete in this era of wealthy churches, and so-called prosperity gospel.

Is Prayer That Great?

Posted in Library of Congress, Religion by chamblee54 on July 14, 2017

Prayer is not always a good idea.
That is up there with G-d and Motherhood, but somebody has to say it.
Many of my objections are in the phrase,
“Prayer is talking to G-d, and Meditation is Listening.”. In our culture, we love to talk, and don’t have time to listen. Talking is yang, active, power. Listening is ying,receptive, passive, and indicates respect for the person you are paying attention to. This is difficult for many.
Of course, no one ever says
“I am going to meditate for you”. Although maybe you should.
Prayer is used as an aggressive weapon.
“I am going to pray for you” is the condescending conclusion of many a religious argument. I have had it shouted at me like a curse.
There is the matter of prayer as entertainment. While this may be cool to those who are on the program, it can be repulsive to others. Once I volunteered to lead the prayer before a dinner. The story is repeated below.

Now, prayer is not a completely bad thing. One of the cherished memories of my father is the brief, commonsense blessings he would give before meals. In the context of a church service, prayer plays a useful function. Some famous prayers are beautiful poetry. In Islam, the daily prayers are an important part of the observance. Who am I to say it is wrong?( A note to the Muslim haters, and opportunistic republicans …We are all G-d’s children.)

When someone is in a bad way, people want to think they can help. Arguably it does not hurt to pray for someone, but it is nothing to boast about.
My problem is when people are proud of their prayers. There are few as prideful as a “humble servant”. While it may mean something to you, not everyone is impressed. And in a religion obsessed with converting others, you should care what man thinks.

So much for world affairs. It is time to tell a story, with no moral and no redeeming social value.

In 1980, I was staying at a place called the Sea Haven Hostel, affectionately known as Sleaze Haven. This was in Seattle WA, as far as you can get from Atlanta, and still be in the lower 48. I was working through Manpower, and staying in a semi private room for $68 a month.

There was a Christian group that met in the basement on Sunday Night. Now, as some of you may know, I am a recovering baptist, who hasn’t been to church since 1971. However, the lure of a free meal was hard to resist, so I went to a few meetings.

One night,after doing quality control work on the local beer supply,I cheerfully joined in the discussion. This was the night when I realized that the Bible is not the Word of G-d. This concept has been very handy in dealing with the clumsy efforts of our Jesus-mad culture to convert me.

They seemed to like me, though, and welcomed me back. Maybe it was the southern accent.

One Sunday, after the dinner was finished , it was time to have a prayer to begin the meeting. I raised my hand.Now, Jesus Worshipers enjoy prayer as entertainment. When they bow their heads, you see them stretching and deep breathing, in anticipation of a good, lengthy, message to G-d.

My message was a bit of a disappointment. Instead of a long winded lecture about Jesus and the magic book, I said what was on my mind. “Lord, thank you for letting us be here today.” What else do you need to say? This double repost has pictures from The Library of Congress.