Chamblee54

Is Prayer That Great?

Posted in Library of Congress, Religion, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on May 22, 2020


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.

Carrie Prejean Boller

Posted in Library of Congress, Politics, Religion, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on May 1, 2020


Most Of This Is Real appeared on chamblee54 on May 1, 2009. It is about Carrie Prejean, Miss California in the 2009 Miss USA beauty pageant. There was a fuss, after she said marriage should be between a man, and a woman. Public nuisance Perez Hilton was a judge, and had a disruptive hissy fit. Miss Prejean made some noise of her own. The mini-scandal got fifteen minutes of attention.

Finally, Miss Prejean was fired as Miss California. The Miss USA pageant was owned by Donald Trump, and the headlines were predictable: Donald Trump to Miss California: You’re Fired! There were some zesty pictures taken. Miss Prejean filed a lawsuit, settled, and wrote a book: “Still Standing: The Untold Story of My Fight Against Gossip, Hate, and Political Attacks.”

After seeing the 2009 post, PG wondered what happened to Carrie Prejean. A quick Google search turned up an Instagram spot, carrieprejeanboller. “Carrie Prejean Boller Miss CA USA 2009 👸 1RU Miss USA 2009 Author: Still Standing Mother❤💙 Wife of NFL QB Kyle Boller🏈 Trump Campaign Advisory Board Member @womenfortrump20 maga-mamas-moms-night-in-nc-april-30.”

@BethanyHudsonNC Calling all you MAGA MAMAS! @susantillis will be joining @heytana, @carrieprejean1, and me tonight! #WomenForTrump #NCBoots #LeadRight RSVP now to reserve your spot @carrieprejean1 “Can’t wait!!!!”

Kissed and made up! Runner-up Miss USA Carrie Prejean swoons over Trump at rally after she accused the New York Times of ‘twisting’ quotes for ‘hit piece’ on The Donald Fast forward to 2016. Mrs. Boller makes a splashy appearance at a Trump rally. This is despite some unflattering things she said about “The Donald” in her book. ‘They took a little tiny thing from my book and they twisted it. … And if they would have actually read on, I talk very highly of Mr. Trump. I don’t say anything negative about him. … Just below what they quoted, on page 68 [of her book], I said that most of us respect Donald Trump and he’s an amazing businessman and leader. Why didn’t they put that in the piece?”

The NYT piece has some juicy quotes. “His level of involvement in the pageants was unexpected, and his judgments, the contestants said, could be harsh. Carrie Prejean, who was 21 when she participated in the Miss USA contest in 2009 as Miss California, was surprised to find Mr. Trump personally evaluating the women at rehearsal. “We were told to put on our opening number outfits — they were nearly as revealing as our swimsuits — and line up for him onstage.”

“Donald Trump walked out with his entourage and inspected us closer than any general ever inspected a platoon. He would stop in front of a girl, look her up and down, and say, “Hmmm.” Then he would go on and do the same thing to the next girl. He took notes on a little pad as he went along. After he did this, Trump said: “O.K. I want all the girls to come forward.” … It became clear that the point of the whole exercise was for him to divide the room between girls he personally found attractive and those he did not. Many of the girls found the exercise humiliating. Some of the girls were sobbing backstage after he left, devastated to have failed even before the competition really began to impress “The Donald.”

While promoting her book, Miss Prejean appeared on the Larry King show. She did not make a good impression. Miss California USA Executive director Keith Lewis released a statement. “The public is finally getting a glimpse of the real Carrie Prejean who lives in her own delusional world. The childish behavior, her negative attitude, the sarcasm and condescending tone, the disrespect and continual lying she is demonstrating now is only a fraction of what we endured during her reign and after. Anyone who buys her book is supporting a woman who is actually the opposite of everything she claims to be. I sincerely hope she is able to get the psychological help I believe she has shown to clearly need.” Pictures today are from The Library of Congress.

Sin

Posted in Georgia History, GSU photo archive, Religion by chamblee54 on March 24, 2020





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”.




Sedevacantism

Posted in Library of Congress, Religion, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on February 19, 2020


@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.”

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.

Conversations I Am Tired Of Having

Posted in Commodity Wisdom, Library of Congress, Quotes, Race, Religion by chamblee54 on January 23, 2020

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There was a post a while back, 10 Conversations On Racism I’m Sick Of Having With White People The original started at The Chronicle, but LiveJournal is kind of weird, so a mirror image will have to do. There are comments, at the sourced post, that illustrate some of the points covered today.

I got to thinking about “10 Conversations”, and a reply began to take shape. I started a list of conversations the I am tired of having, and before you could say affirmative action, there were a dozen items. Many of these incidents have involved people of color, or POC. Many others have not. Often, the ethnicity of the other person has little importance to the discussion. Therefore, the title of this feature will not be racially specific. This monolog will probably not go viral, or even bacterial. Washing your hands might be a good idea when you are finished reading.

Meetings where one person does all the talking The word conversation implies that more than one person says something. Often, this does not happen. One person will talk for a while. Before person two finishes a sentence, person one will interrupt them.

This does not work. When the other person is talking, shut up and listen. Don’t be thinking of your clever comeback, but pay attention to what the other person is saying. What the other person says is just as important as what you say.

Listening is not valued in our culture. It is seen as a loss of control, a sign of weakness. It is really a sign of strength. If you are weak, you don’t want to allow the other person to say anything. Have you ever heard anyone boast about the clever things that they say to someone? Of course you have, just like you never hear anyone talk highly about himself because he is a good listener.

My question is not an excuse to make a speech. Some people have an agenda. Whatever you say is an obstacle to the message they want to broadcast. When you ask a question, some people think you are handing them the talking stick, to do whatever they want. When your eyes glaze over, they plow on, in total disregard to your discomfort, and lack of comprehension. It is almost as if they are talking to hear the sound of their own voice.

I’m not talking to you. If you are screaming something, anyone with earshot can hear you. Do not get offended if there is a reaction to your words, especially if it is subtly directed at the person you are not talking to. This applies to the internet as well, where all of humanity is *privy* to your innermost thoughts. Keep the farmyard meaning of *privy* in mind when sharing your innermost product.

Conversations should be with people. If you are a business, and you want to tell me something, send me a written message. Please refrain from using robocall machines. I feel very foolish talking to a machine, especially one that doesn’t understand southern english.

You don’t have to shout. The amount of truth in a statement is not increased by the volume of expression. If you are standing next to me, the odds are I can hear you in a normal tone of voice. If you are across the room, come stand next to me, rather than shout across the room. If your normal tone of voice is shouting, then you have a problem.

The same principal goes to controlling your temper. When you choose not to control your temper, you show disrespect to yourself, and the person you are talking to. There is no situation that cannot be made worse by angry speech.

Privilege Racial polemic is getting more subtle these days. We are not quite post racial, although there are rumors of a PostRacial apartment complex. The phrase that pays these days is Privilege. This is always something owned by the group you do not belong to. Last summer, I heard this quote in a discussion, and nearly fell out of my chair.

This is getting longer than the attention span of many readers. It might be continued at a later date. This is a repost. Pictures are from The Library of Congress.

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About That Ta-Nehisi Coates Video

Posted in Library of Congress, Politics, Quotes, Race, Religion by chamblee54 on November 30, 2019


So there is this video, Ta-Nehisi Coates on words that don’t belong to everyone It is being praised to high heaven. PG has some issues with this entertainment. The transcript is from vox, Ta-Nehisi Coates has an incredibly clear explanation for why white people shouldn’t use the n-word. This is a repost, with pictures from The Library of Congress.

TNC gave an interview once, The Playboy Interview with Ta-Nehisi Coates. (The link no longer works.) “The n$$$$$ thing? I understand if you’re black and you say, “Man, I had white people call me this shit all my life. They called me this shit when they hit me upside the head, and I don’t want to hear it.” I understand that. But that ain’t everybody’s experience. I’ve never had a white person call me a n$$$$$. I had somebody call me le négre here in France, but I was 38 years old and I couldn’t have cared less. It didn’t mean anything. So not all of us come out of that experience.”

The monolog starts off with a discussion about how some words are appropriate for some people to use, but others should not say them. “My wife, with her girl friend, will use the word bitch. I do not join in. You know what I’m saying? I don’t do that. I don’t do that. And perhaps more importantly, I don’t have a desire to do it.” The question arises: is his wife a four legged dog? Unless she is, then the b-word does not apply to her.

“Coates pointed to another example — of a white friend who used to have a cabin in upstate New York that he called “the white trash cabin.” “I would never refer to that cabin” in that way. I would never tell him, ‘I’m coming to your white trash cabin.’” Of course, a person with an upstate cabin is likely to be far removed from the trailer park. He is using *white trash* with irony, and would not be the least offended if TNC called it “the white trash cabin.”

“The question one must ask is why so many white people have difficulty extending things that are basic laws of how human beings interact to black people.” (Is TNC saying that black people are not human beings?) … “When you’re white in this country, you’re taught that everything belongs to you. You think you have a right to everything. … You’re conditioned this way. It’s not because your hair is a texture or your skin is light. It’s the fact that the laws and the culture tell you this. You have a right to go where you want to go, do what you want to do, be however — and people just got to accommodate themselves to you.”

At this point, PG turned off the video in anger. He has never been taught that everything belongs to him. Nobody that PG knows has been taught that. PG does not know anyone who teaches that message. This is a lie. It makes PG not want to believe anything else that TNC says. Maybe there is some privilege/culture mumbo-jumbo that explains this concept.

Lets go back a minute to the white trash cabin. TNC does not want to use this phrase. And yet, he feels entitled to make a sweeping generalization like “When you’re white in this country, you’re taught that everything belongs to you.” It is wrong to say white trash, but ok to slander white people.

“So here comes this word that you feel like you invented, And now somebody will tell you how to use the word that you invented. ‘Why can’t I use it? Everyone else gets to use it. You know what? That’s racism that I don’t get to use it. You know, that’s racist against me. You know, I have to inconvenience myself and hear this song and I can’t sing along. How come I can’t sing along?’”

“The experience of being a hip-hop fan and not being able to use the word ‘ni**er’ is actually very, very insightful.” To begin with, why do you assume that PG is a hip hop fan? Many white people think hip hop is garbage. And so, if you are forced to listen to music that you don’t like, how does that make you want to use a word that degrades the user? The logic of TNC is falling apart faster than the Falcons pass defense in the Super Bowl.

“It will give you just a little peek into the world of what it means to be black. Because to be black is to walk through the world and watch people doing things that you cannot do, that you can’t join in and do. So I think there’s actually a lot to be learned from refraining.”

If you are in the mood to get yelled at for a half hour, you can ask someone about “things that you cannot do, that you can’t join in and do.” There might be some. If you go along with the rhetoric so far, you will probably believe what you hear. You might even understand why not using a nasty word will give you “a little peek into the world of what it means to be black.” As for PG, he seriously doubts this. He is not someone who says that this video is “an incredibly clear explanation for why white people shouldn’t use the n-word.”


Once upon a time, cigarettes were advertised on television. One new brand was a cigarette for women, Virginia Slims. The ability to kill yourself with tobacco was presented as being a privilege. Some wondered why women would want to take up this filthy habit. Today, African Americans have the privilege of using the n-word. What a deal. A nasty word, which degrades both the speaker, and the spoken of. Why would anyone want to use that word?

If you don’t have anything good to say, you can talk about the n-word. This *trigger* word is an aphrodisiac for the american body politic. Recently Ta-Nehisi Coates performed in a video, Ta-Nehisi Coates on words that don’t belong to everyone There is much praise for this entertainment, like this: @SneakerWonk “#TaNehisiCoates has an incredibly clear #explanation for why #whitepeople shouldnt use the #nword.” PG has a few paragraphs, about this video, in the text above.

PG has written about racism, anti-racism, and racial attitudes on many occasions. People get angry, and call PG rude names. He must be doing something right. Later, there was a double feature about James Baldwin. In the first half, Mr. Baldwin expresses a few opinions about that word. In the second half, PG substituted racist for the magic word, with interesting results.

One item that keeps coming up is speculation about who invented the n-word. Negro means black in Spanish, and is derived from a latin word. The Oxford English Dictionary has some usages going back to 1577. “1577 E. Hellowes tr. A. de Guevara Familiar Epist. (new ed.) 389 The Massagetes bordering vpon the Indians, and the Nigers of Aethiop [Sp. los negros en Ethiopia], bearing witnesse. ~ 1584 R. Scot Discouerie Witchcraft vii. xv. 153 A skin like a Niger. ~ 1608 A. Marlowe Let. 22 June in E. India Co. Factory Rec. (1896) I. 10 The King and People [of ‘Serro Leona’] N$$$$$$, simple and harmless.

The TNC video is based on the concept that white people want to use the magic word, but should not. This assumes a great deal. Chamblee54 published a piece about the n-word, that spelled out why he does not like to use this noun/verb/adjective/adverb/interjection. Here are four reasons for a white person to refrain from saying america’s favorite dirty word.

1- The n-word hurts people’s feelings. PG has known many fine Black people. He does not want to say anything that will hurt these people.
2- Being heard saying the n-word can cause all sorts of problems. This can include physical retribution, loss of employment, lawsuits, and having to listen to enough loud angry words to make you wish you had never learned how to talk.
3- It is not a fair fight. There is no equivalent phrase for a Black Person to say to a White person. Why give that power to another group of people … to turn you into a mass of incoherent rage, just for hearing a six letter word. The closest thing is “Cracker”, which PG only recently found out was an insult. There used to be a minor league baseball team, the Atlanta Crackers.
4- The use of the n-word demeans the user. When you say an insulting word about another human being, you make yourself look bad. For a Black person, using the n-word degrades them as the object, as well as the speaker. Why would a person would want to do that?

The Golden Calf

Posted in Library of Congress, Religion, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on September 29, 2019

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When PG was a kid in sunday school, he heard about the the golden calf. It turns out that, splendid allegory aside, he didn’t really know much about the story. With the help of google and Bible Gateway, the text of Exodus 32 showed up. G-d bless public domain, and copy paste. The Bible is the main source for this tale. It doesn’t really matter if it is the inerrant word of G-d, it is a pretty good story. And much of the message rings true today.

1 And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down out of the mount, the people gathered themselves together unto Aaron, and said unto him, Up, make us gods, which shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him. 2 And Aaron said unto them, Break off the golden earrings, which are in the ears of your wives, of your sons, and of your daughters, and bring them unto me. 3 And all the people brake off the golden earrings which were in their ears, and brought them unto Aaron. 4 And he received them at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a molten calf: and they said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.

This is a modern story. The church is begging the people for gold. The sons are wearing golden earrings. The church takes these ill gotten gains, and forge a make believe G-d. This time, it looks like a cow. Billy Graham will come much later.

7 And the Lord said unto Moses, Go, get thee down; for thy people, which thou broughtest out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves: 8 They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them: they have made them a molten calf, and have worshipped it, and have sacrificed thereunto, and said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which have brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. 9 And the Lord said unto Moses, I have seen this people, and, behold, it is a stiffnecked people:

Moving down a few verses, the story gets good. 19 And it came to pass, as soon as he came nigh unto the camp, that he saw the calf, and the dancing: and Moses’ anger waxed hot, and he cast the tables out of his hands, and brake them beneath the mount. 20 And he took the calf which they had made, and burnt it in the fire, and ground it to powder, and strawed it upon the water, and made the children of Israel drink of it. 21 And Moses said unto Aaron, What did this people unto thee, that thou hast brought so great a sin upon them? 22 And Aaron said, Let not the anger of my lord wax hot: thou knowest the people, that they are set on mischief. 23 For they said unto me, Make us gods, which shall go before us: for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him. 24 And I said unto them, Whosoever hath any gold, let them break it off. So they gave it me: then I cast it into the fire, and there came out this calf. 25 And when Moses saw that the people were naked; (for Aaron had made them naked unto their shame among their enemies) 26 Then Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said, Who is on the Lord’s side? let him come unto me. And all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together unto him. 27 And he said unto them, Thus saith the Lord G-d of Israel, Put every man his sword by his side, and go in and out from gate to gate throughout the camp, and slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbour. 28 And the children of Levi did according to the word of Moses: there fell that day about three thousand men.

Lets get this story right. Moses comes back from somewhere, and sees a naked party by the golden calf. He has a hissy fit, threw the golden calf into the fire, and tells people to start killing each other. Over three thousand men are killed. This is a repost. Pictures are from The Library of Congress.

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How To Choose A Guru

Posted in Library of Congress, Quotes, Religion by chamblee54 on September 7, 2019








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.







Be Kind To Your Enemy

Posted in Commodity Wisdom, GSU photo archive, Religion by chamblee54 on August 9, 2019









Did Jesus say to “Love your enemy”? Some believe this, and do it. Some claim to believe this, and practice the opposite. There are others who claim to love their enemies, but you have to understand what they mean by it. It can be very confusing. This is a repost.

PG went to a source for documentation. Oh, the blessed conjunction of copy paste with public domain. When PG entered enemy (singular) in the search engine, 100 verses came up. When the request was made plural (enemies), 237 entries popped up. The last mention of enemies is Revelation 11:12 “And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them.” Loving your enemies does not include bringing them to heaven with you.
There is also the star of the show.
Matthew 5:44 “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.”

There is scholarly debate about what Jesus did, or did not, say. The words available to modern man have been copied by hand, edited, translated, and interpreted. PG does not know Aramaic from Alabama. Like anyone else, PG can only read and listen, and think for himself.

In a sense it does not matter what Jesus “really” said. The cult of Jesus Worship is going to believe what it wants. More important, it is going to practice what it wants. As far as the difference between what Jesus “really” said, and what his believers say and do…they can explain.

What follows is a humble suggestion. Maybe the translators and scribes got it wrong. Maybe Jesus did not say to love your enemy. Maybe what Jesus said was to show kindness to everyone. This is a practice thing, rather than a belief thing.

It is not as much fun to be nice to someone, as it is to scream about life after death. Kindness does not need to be justified by a quote from a magic book. You just need to do it.

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








Is Prayer That Great?

Posted in Library of Congress, Religion, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on May 22, 2019


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.

Bishop Talbert Swan

Posted in Commodity Wisdom, Library of Congress, Politics, Religion, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on May 7, 2019


Bishop Talbert Swan @TalbertSwan “Calling a Black POTUS married 25 yrs to 1 wife with 2 children, no mistresses, affairs or scandals, ‘the antichrist’ but a racist white POTUS married thrice, 5 kids by 3 women, mistresses, affairs & scandals, ‘God‘s anointed,’ proves your religion is white supremacy.” @chamblee54 “This tweet indicates that your religion is sophomore logic.” I posted a screenshot of this exchange on facebook, and got a reply. “Luther I’m not sure what you’re trying to say here. Or maybe I just don’t want to know” Let the fun begin.

Bishop Talbert Swan is a professional Jesus worshiper, who uses the word “Bishop” as his title. BTS is the author of Closing the Closet: Testimonies of Deliverance from Homosexuality. Last year saw Bishop Talbert Swan permanently banned from Twitter for ‘hateful conduct’ “Although Twitter did not specify what Tweet got him banned, Swan believes it was a Tweet he sent out in May in response to someone asking him to follow Candace Owens … “I responded by writing ‘No thanks, I’m on the no coon diet’,” he said.” If you want to know more about BTS, google is your friend.

Lets break down the tweet that started this. I tried to find out who said both that BHO was the Anti-Christ, and then said that DJT was G-d anointed. This is a problem with twitter hypocrisy theater … there is seldom an actual person who said all these terrible things. If you google “Barack Obama Anti-Christ,” one of the results is from Snopes: Is Barack Obama the Anti-Christ?

“Calling a Black POTUS married 25 yrs to 1 wife with 2 children, no mistresses, affairs or scandals, ‘the antichrist’” The mixed race BHO is, indeed, married to his first wife. Either BHO did not fool around, or had the grace not to get caught. This neither proves, nor disproves, that BHO is the Anti-Christ. Nor is it the complete story. BHO did some good work. He also enabled America’s military to murder thousands of Muslims in Asia and Africa. Maybe any POTUS is the Anti-Christ.

“but a racist white POTUS married thrice, 5 kids by 3 women, mistresses, affairs & scandals, ‘God‘s anointed,’” BTS capitalizes Black, but says white in lower case, preceded by a value-added slur. Admittedly, DJT is a gnarly character, with an exuberant marital history. DJT is about as much God anointed as BHO is Anti-Christal. “Thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.”

“proves your religion is white supremacy” The comments made by “you” about BHO and DJT indicate that “you” say foolish things. It does not prove anything. It certainly does not prove that “your religion is white supremacy.” Is WS a tax exempt organization? Does WS have ministers, a deity, rituals, prayers, and sunday morning traffic jams? Do you show your faithfulness to WS by saying stupid things about crooked politicians?

There is my response to consider. It is a satire of the preceding tweet. I said indicate, rather than prove, for obvious reasons. I said sophomore logic because fecal references are redundant. The word sophomore is derived from “Greek sophos (wise) + mōros (foolish.)” While the wisdom of the BTS tweet is obscure, the foolishness is obvious.

Pictures today are from The Library of Congress.

#NationalDayofPrayer

Posted in GSU photo archive, Religion by chamblee54 on May 2, 2019















Today is the #NationalDayofPrayer. This is a repost. Pictures are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.

Good Morning G-d. Please give me the slack I need to make it through this busy life. I have a birthday soon, and am getting older. Please give me less pain, both above and below the neck. Thank you for letting me get this far. Thank you for the gift of sobriety, and the memory of inebrience. The gift of moderation would have been helpful. Help me to overcome body chemistry telling me to be unhappy. If this doesn’t work, help me hide it better.
Please tell Christians to make less noise, joyful or otherwise. Help me to forgive Christians for their good intentions. Give Christians the gift of humility. Let us know that a real man keeps control of his temper. Please tell those praying today that it is better to listen than to talk.
Please find a happy medium for Atlanta water. Let us have neither drought nor flood. It would help if the developers would move to North Carolina, and the politicians would develop a conscience.

G-d, please try to get along better with Allah. This is important. Maybe if you and her got along better, then all those religious crazies would hate each other less. Help white people and black people get along better. Please be good to the people who have already lived, and are now deceased. Please understand that I am not in a hurry to join them.

Help Mr. Trump with the mess this country is in. Help Israel get along with her neighbors, and live within her borders. Help the world solve the carbon dioxide problem.

Thank you for the birds that sing. Thank you for dogs, and dog owners who clean up. Thank you for earth, air, fire, and water. Thank you for people who enjoy this prayer. Help those who are offended to get over it. Namaste, amen, all my relations, Good Bye.