Chamblee54

Is Prayer That Great?

Posted in Library of Congress, Religion, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on May 14, 2022


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.
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 ravings of our Jesus-mad culture.

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.

Siddhartha Gautama

Posted in History, Library of Congress, Religion by chamblee54 on April 27, 2022


“The Buddha” is available for online viewing. 43 minutes into the PBS production, Gautama Siddhartha (pronounced sid HART ha) turned away from asceticism. He accepted a bowl of rice pudding from a lady, and was a step farther on the path to enlightenment.

Buddhism has always seemed “too asian” for an occidental to follow. There are some things, confirmed by this video, that PG finds appealing. The stories of Buddha are understood to be legends, with no one (that we know of) claiming them to be literal history. This is not like the book worship of Christians. Stories about Jesus are said to be literal truth. The ideas that Buddha taught are not changed by “mistakes” in telling his life story.

There is a story about Buddha seeing his ascetic buddies, after he ate the bowl of rice pudding. He got the ascetics to listen to him, until he won them over. From what PG has seen of humans, especially spiritually charged ones, he finds it tough to imagine these people listening that long. The average Jesus worshiper cannot be quiet long enough for you to finish a single sentence.

Christianity is obsessed with life after death. The Buddha of this show takes a different approach: “There are stories of people coming to the Buddha, and saying, “I am leaving your teaching because you have not told me about whether there is a life after death, or whether there is another world. And the Buddha says, ‘Did I ever say that I would give you the answers to these things?’ ‘No, Lord, you didn’t.’ ‘Why do you think that I ever said that I would give you the answer to these things? Because these are not the things that you need to know. The thing that you need to know is how to deal with suffering, because at this very moment, what made you ask that question was suffering.”

The focus is on the life of Buddha, not his death. The focus is on this life, not on life after death. Buddha lived to an old age, teaching up until his departure. Maybe if Jesus had been better at human relationships, he would not have been executed.

Maybe PG is so scarred by Jesus that he cannot benefit from any other source of wisdom. This is a repost. Pictures are from The Library of Congress. The men are Confederate soldiers from the War Between the States. Many resources are available for those who wish to learn more.

Sin

Posted in Library of Congress, Religion by chamblee54 on March 30, 2022


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?

Mr. Eno And Mr. Isherwood

Posted in Book Reports, Library of Congress, Religion by chamblee54 on March 8, 2022


I was listening to a conversation between Brian Eno and Rick Rubin. Mr. Eno made a comment that sent me down a google rabbit hole, looking for a digital holy grail. When I did not find what I was looking for, I returned to the conversation. Before long, Mr. Eno said something very similar.

“I’d heard something on NPR. It was a poet, a black poet from somewhere in America, reading this poem called Cadillac. I spent years trying to find this thing. I never found it. I wrote to NPR, and I phoned them up, and everything. It was called Pink Cadillac … this amazing, very rhythmic poem, about how he wanted a Pink Cadillac.” This quote got me thinking about another detail.

There are bits of knowledge that want to remain hidden. One is from Christopher Isherwood. It was in a magazine, sometime before 1994. The author died in 1986. The comment was about when you choose a religion. It is not the doctrine that attracts you to a religion, it is the people who introduce you to this observance. If the right person had told Mr. Isherwood about Catholicism, he would have become a Catholic. Instead, in 1938, Aldous Huxley and Gerald Heard introduced Mr. Isherwood to Swami Prabhavananda, and the Vedanta Society of Southern California.

“He (Isherwood) published an account of his spiritual journey at the end of his life, called My Guru and His Disciple.… It’s interesting because it’s so frank and unromantic about the spiritual life. Where Alan Watts basically bullshitted his way to guru status while secretly being an alcoholic and treating his wives like crap, Isherwood is totally upfront about his boredom, his frustration, his vanity, his sexual escapades … he gave us a wonderfully unvarnished account of spiritual mediocrity. As Pema Chodron says, we spend most of our spiritual lives in the middle – not completely lost, yet not completely saved. Just muddling through.”

I did not find the quote I was looking for, but I did find another piece to the puzzle. I went back to Mr. Eno and Mr. Rubin. Then, out of nowhere, came this: “I think that’s the that’s the power of religion as well. The power of religion is not the connection with God, but the connection with the rest of the congregation. The connection with all of the people who also believe in that particular story. I’m not really religious myself but i really respond to that idea.”

Before we return to The Library of Congress for more pictures, there is a quote about God. While responding to a question about spiritual discipline, Mr. Eno said: “I don’t want to be a believer. I want to be somebody who, as far as possible, understands and knows things. Believing things leaves me a little bit unsatisfied. If I find myself believing something, I want to test the belief. I want to say how do I find out how valid this is.” If you want more, you can listen to the complete interview.

Sedevacantism

Posted in Library of Congress, Religion by chamblee54 on February 23, 2022


@LearningthePath “Not enough of you are concerned about the Charismatic Roman Catholic Sedevacantist Dispensationalism of William Tapley, and it shows.” @chamblee54 “too many big words” @LearningthePath “This time, that was intended to help make the joke. Charismatic – Believes in continuing Apostolic Gifts (prophecy, healing, tongues, etc.) Sedevacantist – Believes that the office of the Papacy is Empty.” This is a repost.

Sedevacantism (SV) is weird business, even by Catholic standards. The word literally means the seat is vacant. SV believe that the post-Vatican II has strayed away from the correct faith. The Pope is not Catholic enough to be the Pope. The last legitimate Pope was Pius XII. He died in 1958, after looking the other way during the Holocaust.

This video uses fancier language, to say the same thing. “satyakant ism/said of account ism (you tube transcripts are not inerrant) is the position of those Catholics who refuse to recognize for gay bergoglio (Jorge Mario Bergoglio, aka Pope Francis) as a true Pope. The seed of a canister(?) found that the Copt is vacant on account of the apostasy from the faith on the part of the official hierarchy since the promulgation in 1965 of the documents of the Second Vatican Council.”

If you search for SV on google and youtube, you will find lots of material. Dealing with a Sedevacantist Priest is a video of a radio show. The caller is concerned about some of the things a priest is saying to the flock. Bible verses are trotted out, and used to justify opinions. This is true of all the SV videos. The tone is heavy, heavy Catholic. If you come from a Protestant background, you might think you’re watching science fiction.

Sedevacantism Is Modern Luciferianism is a rather lurid discussion. Alas, there is a bait and switch here. “With the crisis in the Church since Vatican II, many comparisons have been drawn with the Arian crisis of the 4th century, when the majority of the Church’s bishops fell into the heresy of Arianism. … There is the remarkable similarity between today’s sedevacantists and a group of schismatics who were spawned during the Arian crisis: the Luciferians. The Luciferians were less nefarious than their name implies. Rather than being devil-worshipers, they were simply followers of the schismatic Bishop Lucifer of Cagliari.”

There are memes, both SV and anti SV. There is a twitter account: @animesedevacant Anime Sedevacantist ☩ Lover of Pius XII and Anime! SV Singles is another manifestation. Brian-sede is “Seeking Sedevacantist Catholic Woman”. Alas, even here, man just can’t seem to get it right. “Sedevacantist Singles” Employees Not Sure Whether To Recognize Authority. Pictures today are from The Library of Congress. The spell check suggestion for Sedevacantism is Antisemitism.

Jesus Gets A New Nickname

Posted in History, Library of Congress, Music, Poem, Race, Religion by chamblee54 on February 6, 2022

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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 here. 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.

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More True Than Just True

Posted in GSU photo archive, History, Religion, War by chamblee54 on January 26, 2022

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“It isn’t that the bible is true. It’s that the bible is the precondition, for the manifestation of truth. Which makes it way more true, than just true. It’s a whole different kind of true.” Dr. Jordan Bernt Peterson talked, for four hours, on the Joe Rogan Experience recently. As Johnny Cash once said, “The lonely voice of youth cries, what is truth?”

Jordan Peterson’s Realization About the Bible came to him after a visit to the Museum of the Bible, in Washington DC. The truth about MOTB is quite a story.

MOTB “was founded by billionaire Steve Green, an evangelical Christian whose family owns Hobby Lobby.” There are thousands of artifacts from the middle east. This is where the problem starts.

Owners Of Hobby Lobby Ordered To Return Stolen Artifact To Iraq “The New York Times reported that a property law expert “warned company executives that the artifacts might have been looted from historical sites in Iraq” … reportedly ignored this warning and the president of Hobby Lobby, Steve Green, went so far as to travel to the United Arab Emirates to examine “rare Mesopotamian cuneiform tablets.” … It was later in 2010 that the family went on to purchase the 5,500 stolen artifacts for a whopping $1.6 billion.”

With the Iraqi government preoccupied with invasions from the United States, museum security became a low priority. After the regime change in 2003, the situation was out of control. Enter a naive, Jesus-happy billionaire, and what happened is not surprising.

After the Museum of the Bible Discovered Its Dead Sea Scrolls Are Fake … “Between 2009 and 2014, Hobby Lobby tycoon Steve Green snapped up 16 of the post-2002 fragments for his planned Museum of the Bible … Before the institution even opened, it put together a 2016 book, Dead Sea Scrolls Fragments in the Museum Collection (The book is now listed as [Retracted.]) It offered a scholarly analysis of the artifacts, but no scientific testing had been conducted. … other experts have been suspicious for quite some time. As the 430,000-square-foot museum’s November 2017 opening date approached, concerns over the fragments’ authenticity began to mount—one of the book’s other authors, Kipp Davis, even published an article raising the possibility of forgery.”

Museum of the Bible’s Steve Green, statement on past acquisitions “In 2009, when I began acquiring biblical manuscripts and artifacts for what would ultimately form the collection at Museum of the Bible, I knew little about the world of collecting. It is well known that I trusted the wrong people to guide me, and unwittingly dealt with unscrupulous dealers in those early years. One area where I fell short was not appreciating the importance of the provenance of the items I purchased.”

“It’s a whole different kind of true.” Pictures today are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library.”

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Believe Your Way To Hell

Posted in Library of Congress, Religion by chamblee54 on December 1, 2021


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.” Many are scared of going to hell if they have the wrong opinions. 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 this 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 post-mortem soul can be changed by a belief during life … a highly suspect concept to PG … does it matter what the belief is?

Flying Spaghetti Monster

Posted in Library of Congress, Religion by chamblee54 on November 28, 2021

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There has been talk about the flying spagetti monster. FSM was originally created in response to the Kansas State Board of Education. KSBE ruled that alternatives to evolution needed to be taught in public schools, including some contraption known as intelligent design. There was talk about whirlwinds rampaging through warehouses, and creating jet engines.

FSM is a satire religion, in the footsteps of the invisible pink unicorn. Bertrand Russell wrote of an interplanetary teapot, which can contain the beverage for the spaghetti supper. FSM is often used as a substitute for the G word, G-d. Whether or not Mr. Dammit approves is uncertain. OTOH, nobody ever said the FSM got an under-aged virgin pregnant.

In this rumble for the hearts and minds of the unwashed masses, G-d has an advantage over FSM. The G word is a marketing dream. It is short, easy to say, and understood by almost everyone who speaks English. While people have different ideas about G-d, everyone recognizes the name.

FSM, has eight syllables. Spaghetti is notoriously tough to spell. Unless you have heard about the antics of the FSM, you can expect some empty stares when you talk about her.

When PG was in school, he wrote a restaurant article. He did not know how to spell spaghetti. The dictionary showed nothing of value in under spe and spi, where logic tells you to look. Finally, PG got the yellow pages out, and looked for a spaghetti restaurant.

This is a repost, with pictures from The Library of Congress.

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The Ten Suggestions

Posted in Library of Congress, Religion, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on August 21, 2021

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The popular commandments are found in Exodus 20: 3 – 17. They are considered core beliefs of a religion that values belief over practice. In other words, just believe something, and don’t worry about what you do. There is also Exodus 20: 23. Ye shall not make with me G-ds of silver, neither shall ye make unto you G-ds of gold. This would seem to be worthy of inclusion in the big time ten. It might interfere with the capitalist free market economy, but you can always say you believe it.
When your religion is claimed by a majority of your neighbors, you enjoy #ChristianPrivilege. You can even whine about #WhitePrivilege, while enjoying the benefits of #ChristianPrivilege. One day, the pound sign will go back to meaning number, and #hashtag will be mercifully forgotten.
If you get past the religious whoopeedo, the Ten Commandments hold up as good rules for living. The fact that the self anointed religious people routinely violate many of these fine rules should not be taken into consideration. They believe in the commandments, and can, loudly, explain why their actions are not a problem. After a while, PG just wants freedom from religion.

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1 And G-d spake all these words, saying,
2 I [am] the LORD thy G-d, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt,
out of the house of bondage.
3 Thou shalt have no other G-ds before me.
4 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:
5 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;
6 And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
7 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.
8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:
10 But the seventh day [is] the sabbath of the LORD thy G-d: [in it] thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that [is] within thy gates:
11 For [in] six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them [is], and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
12 Honour thy father and thy mother:
that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy G-d giveth thee.
13 Thou shalt not kill.
14 Thou shalt not commit adultery.
15 Thou shalt not steal.
16 Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.
17 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that [is] thy neighbour’s.
A The ten commandos are not meant to be believed. They are meant to be practiced.
B If you take away the religious whoopdeedoo, the ten commandos hold up as common sense rules for living. People of the Book (أهل الكتاب‎, ahl al-kitāb) is not a compliment.
C If you meet someone who claims to practice all of the commandos, you are dealing with a liar.
D We are all G-d’s children. She gave you a heart and a mind. When in doubt, trust your heart.
E The first commando is powerful and under appreciated. It does not include books about G-d.
F There is an ongoing controversy about the public display of the ten commandos. Some say such displays violate the second commando.
G The third commando is more than G-d’s last name. It is about the proper use of a sacred name. In a perfect world, the word G-d would only be used for worship and respectful discussion. A “pledge of allegiance” to a nationalist symbol is not an appropriate use of a sacred name.
H Sunday is too fine of a day to spend inside a church house.
I When you are discussing religion, it is normal to be a hypocrite.
J If you disagree with someone, the easiest argument to scream hypocrisy.
K Whenever possible, show kindness to your neighbor.
L The text for Exodus 20 is courtesy of King James Bible Online. Pictures are from The Library of Congress. This is a repost.

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What Denomination Are You?

Posted in GSU photo archive, Religion by chamblee54 on August 19, 2021

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The fbf put up a link to an internet quiz, What Christian Denomination Should You Actually Be a Part Of? As the reader(s) of this blog might discern, PG is an acknowledged non christian. His favorite denomination is the twenty. They are easier to spend than fifties and hundreds.

The first question is “What is the source of your beliefs?” The choices include scripture, uncertainty, conscience, and people who talk about scripture. This question presupposes the omnipotence of the belief paradigm. In other words, not everyone feels that what you believe is a big deal.

PG has three “fundamental” beliefs regarding xtianity. G-d does not write books. Jesus has nothing to do with life after death. It is none of your business. Are these concepts an allergic reaction to years of christian noise, both joyful and joyless? Is it a weary soul talking common sense? Who came first, the chicken, or the egg? Do you really need to know?

The second question is “how is one “saved?”” This is a big deal to Jesus worshipers. The xtian obsession with life after death makes PG want to run screaming. The seldom heard option offered here is “I don’t know/no opinion.”

One concept is that what happens to the dead is none of the living’s business. Maybe, if you have faith in G-d, things will turn out ok. When you devote every sunday morning to screaming about so called salvation, you advertise a lack of faith in G-d.

Third is “what are your opinions on war?” This is one of those contradictions. You just have to understand. An abortion is bloody murder. When Israel shells a school housing refugees, it is justifiable self defense. The reconciliation of beliefs and practices is a source of brain damage. This is not a spiritually uplifting practice.

In many questions, you must choose the least bad answer. This is typical. For what type of worship suits you, being home churched is not an option. For what definition of the trinity best describes your belief, there are no good answers. PG feels that the concept of a triune G-d is a grotesque violation of the First commandment.

The first commandment says to have no other G-d before you. In Jesus worship, this one G-d expands to at least six: G-d, Jesus, Holy Ghost, The Bible, Satan, and Salvation.

There are a few more questions. There is a Catholic slant to this quiz, with emphasis on the Virgin Mary. There is the concept that authority in today’s church was passed down from the disciples. Hopefully, Judas was not included. Finally, there is a question about Gay marriage. Maybe this quiz was designed by a Catholic divorce lawyer.

The answer was probably as good as could be expected. “You should really be Non-Denominational! You’ve never understood why people get so caught up with labels, creeds, and institutions. For you, faith is what matters. You have a personal relationship with God and you’re not so worried about being a member of any specific group or sect. You enjoy Bible study, casual gatherings, and a church where everyone is welcome regardless of theological labels.”

Whatever. Why study a book that teaches people to hate you? Maybe the advertisers at this quiz are getting a spiritual return on their investment. Pictures today are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.

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Religion And Perfume

Posted in GSU photo archive, Religion by chamblee54 on August 13, 2021

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Religion and perfume have several things in common. They are both fun to smell, but dangerous to swallow. A tasteful drop behind the ear is pleasant. Too much, and you will run from the room gasping for breath. Both are cheap products, sold in a fancy bottle, at a steep markup.

Before easy access to water, people did not bathe every day. To cover up the aroma of human existence, many used fragrances. This too is similar to the function of religion.

Perfume has been considered a feminine product. In a clever marketing move, a masculine scent was called cologne, and sold to men. Religion is gross to many people, so it is sold as faith.

Smell is a driving force in animal behavior. Ants used smell to communicate, and perform feats in numbers which would be impossible as individuals. Smells go directly to the brain, without filtering and processing like sounds, sights, and tastes. Religion is the emotional equivalent of odors. This is a repost. Pictures are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.

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