Thursday, March 30, 2017

Objectivity Is A Myth


The assertions from atheists that I answered yesterday occupied a lot of my free time yesterday.  For an ideological bunch who rail endlessly against "Cartesian dualism" they are mighty hell-bent on dividing things into dualisms, the one on display in the comments that motivated my post some of the most cherished delusions of atheists, today.

Atheists love to claim "reason, logic, science, objectivity" etc and ascribe what they assert are the opposites of those, mostly dealing with emotion, irrationality, subjectivity, superstition and subjectivity, to non-atheists.  Their methods of doing that are the same methods anyone who wants to set up a self-serving, dishonest dualism will use to do that, depending on superficial,  ignorant, paranoid and dishonest narratives designed to serve their ends - the opposite of their self-asserted, self-serving "objectivity".  

As can be heard in the "Bar Theology" discussion posted above, religious figures are far more likely to encounter the contradictions of such dualist conveniences than you are likely to hear atheists admit to.

I think anyone who wants to divide human minds and humanity in such a way is best suspected of having dishonest motives.   I doubt there is such a thing as "objectivity" or "reason" or even "logic" which can be distilled, sublimated, crystallized, etc. from the rest of the contents of the same minds that emote, narrate, twist facts, etc. in service to the desires of those minds.   The crude and far from perfect methods of doing formally and socially that in formal science are certainly not very effective in all but the rarest of cases.   As always, I would recommend you look at Retraction Watch and other watchdog groups that track the lapses of those methods within successfully published and asserted, cited and quoted science.  If they can't even do a better job of doing that within science, with all its safeguards, atheists who turn science into scientism are sure as hell not going to do it in their ideological assertions.  The social sciences, by the way, probably the least successful in following the idealized methods of science, are full to the top of such lapses, inserting ideological desires within the formal literature of their fields.  I am coming to believe that even biology has a real problem with that as, obviously, do cosmology, neuro-cognitive science.   I think those three, these days, are largely governed by such ideological motivation.

If scientists want to get away from that, they'd better consider the fact that they and their colleagues, in their professional work, are as fully human as theologians or artists and they are continually giving in to their own ideological and professional desires as anyone.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Could Donald Trump Pass a Sanity Test?


What defining moral stand of atheism has Trump violated? Excerpts From A Blog Brawl

In an exchange with an atheist at another website, I got these claims made to me.

Actually I think the problem is that Liberals, whether religious or non-religious believe that emotions, which is what moral opinions are, should be left out of political decisions. Decisions should be based upon facts, logic, rational thinking! Unfortunately that leaves their campaigns (Clinton was a good example) lacking any fire or spirit. People are moved by emotions not rationality or logic!

So much to unpack in that assertion.  I should have led with my afterthought in the discussion so I will lead with that:

"Decisions should be based upon facts, logic, rational thinking!"

Uh, like it or not, that's a statement of moral opinion. By your own assertion, your moral position is self-contradicting.

And my first and longer response.

"emotions, which is what moral opinions are"

Oh, where do you get that idea? Do you mean that morality is based on what you want or want to be true? That's rather curious considering the assertions of moral obligations that are definitely contrary to what is wanted, often by those who assert those moral obligations as much as those who they are asserting them to. Do unto others that which you would have done unto you is certainly not how most people generally want to have things, they want to be able to do to others what they would not want to be done to them. As to other moral obligations such as to do justice to people you would not care about or like, or even to your enemies would certainly be the opposite of what their emotions would lead them to.

What makes you think that morals aren't exercised on the basis of fact, logic and rational thinking? That seems to me to be a totally absurd idea, an illegitimate classification and absurdly reductionist, something I have often seen done by atheists out of nothing so much as their emotional need to reduce and classify things so as to make them favor what they want.

Another, one of the biggest atheist trolls at Religion Dispatches got into it, most of what he said was stupid but he did give me something to respond to as well.

Christians try to force their morality on the rest of us. They want Christianity to be accepted by the nation as the ultimate morality. We see Christians and what they do, so we don't buy it.

The answer:

Let's see what that assertion could be applied to:

Democrats try to force their morality on Republicans,

Egalitarians try to force their morality on the promoters of privilege.

The supporters of women's' suffrage try to force their morality on anti-suffragists.

Civil Rights agitators try to force their morality on segregationists.

Those who assert the rights of Native Americans try to force their morality on people who want to kill them and steal their land.....

Atheists try to force their morality on Christians, Jews, Muslims, etc.

In short, you've got nuthin'.

This question seems to have stumped him for how:

What defining moral stand of atheism has Trump violated?

Hillary Clinton Is Back



The First Amendment As A Permission For Terrorists and Fascists

James Jackson, the 28-year-old coward, white-supremacist, American-made neo-fascist who murdered a 68-year-old man with a sword as a "practice run" for killing other black men, is another of a growing list of warnings that allowing neo-Nazis, white-supremacists, and other bigots who have flourished and recruited online to proselytize is a danger to us all.  The various news pieces trying to figure out when and how a kid who went to a Quaker school and who went through the Army came out a neo-Nazi terrorist, cowardly killer of an elderly black man have noted that his online life gave him ample material to feed his pathology.  Online videos,

But in the months before the attack, Jackson’s internet use suggested recent radicalization by the alt-right. Jackson’s YouTube page, where he had previously listened to the Final Fantasy soundtrack and liked a British royal family video, lit up with likes on videos about white superiority and “black on white crimes”.

The Daily Beast verified the YouTube account’s username as being associated with Jackson’s email address he listed on a résumé posted to his LinkedIn profile.
Jackson liked a livestream video called “Is It Time for Whites to Start Voicing Their Displeasure With Black on White Crimes?” two months before the attack. The two-hour video characterized African Americans as violent, and featured musical interludes of Donald Trump speeches set to electronic music.

“How many of you have got to the point where you’re more guiltless about your racism, or better yet your prejudice?” the livestreamer asked as viewers typed racial slurs in the comments.
Jackson also recently liked the videos “Blacks Know That Blacks Are Violent So Why Does the White Media Pretend They Are Not?” and “BLACK PERSON TALKS ABOUT ALT-RIGHT DESTROYED | MGTOW RED PILL SEXY TEEN CRINGE” and “Why I’m Quitting Porn & How to Achieve Any Goal & Cut Out Bad Behaviors.”

Jackson also subscribed to a series of racist channels including that of the National Policy Institute, a white-supremacist group founded by Richard Spencer. Another subscribed channel uploaded videos denying the Holocaust and claiming there are IQ differences between races. Videos in several other subscribed channels included “I Want a Fascist Ethnostate for Christmas” and uploaded broadcasts from Nazi website Stormfront.org and ex-Klansman David Duke. He also subscribed to the White House YouTube channel.

I would say that what James Jackson claims about his motives are probably not worth taking as honest without that kind of verification.  He would seem to have already told a number of lies.

This  is evidence of something I've long suspected, that video-movie propaganda has far more power to entice and entrap the most vulnerable than far less conveniently and easily consumed text-based hate material.  Especially those not prone to have the discipline to read something, so lots of people in our TV trained age.  But print-based hate, such as William L. Pierce's Turner Diaries have a proven effect in motivating terrorists.  Timothy McVeigh and Dylan Roof, as well as others either explicitly modeled their terror on that book or they were inspired by it.  But there isn't any reason to ignore the dangers that either of them pose.

It also forces the question of why, when it is obviously a contributing factor in terrorism such stuff is given protected status by the United States Constitution.

What is probably even less known here is that America joins the Putin regime as a source for neo-Nazi, neo-fascist terrorists and murderers elsewhere.   Here is a map of some American-fascist inspired violence in Europe.




The article at the SPLC in which this map was published is well worth reading.  It goes into a lot of detail about specific people who use  neo-Nazi, neo-fascist material and groups, legally allowed in the United States.  Read the many links that go with it, too.

That such American-inspired neo-fascism is influential in right-wing Britain and Europe is demonstrated.  Here's a picture with the crypto-fascist Nigel Farage with one of his Brexit buddies,

UKIP leader, Nigel Farage (L) with Andrew Lovie, neo-Nazi National Alliance member since 2000.

UKIP leader, Nigel Farage (L) with Andrew Lovie, neo-Nazi National Alliance member since 2000.

And it's undeniable that through the Republican-fascist Party and the Trump regime, such people are already highly placed in the government.  That they present in the United States military and in police forces is also known, with all of the dangers that carries. 

It is insane that the United States won't do anything to suppress this because some rich, white, slave-holders who couldn't possibly have imagined modern fascism or Nazism or Marxism decided to write a few lines of bad poetry as law in the 1780s.   

The idea that we are not to learn anything from the scores of millions of genocidal murders of the past century. in order to prevent a recurrence of them as the memory of those murders fades in the past because of those lines written by those aristocrats all that time ago is madness.  The pious, sacrosanct status given that idea is clearly something that we have already paid a huge price for, it is responsible for not only the rise of fascist terrorism here, it is what put Donald Trump into office.  It is why Sean Spicer was reluctant to condemn the murder committed by James Jackson so infamously, ordering April Ryan not to shake her head as she obviously couldn't believe what he was saying in response to her question, yesterday.  

It is time to de-Nazify the United States.   To go after the peddlers of hate.  You can either do it now, before it's too late, or after, in the rubble that covers the bodies afterwards.  Like they did in Germany.  

Hate Mail

Let me guess, you never actually read any of Marcel Gottlieb's work because it's in French and you don't read French.  I have. It mostly ranges from the elevation of the trivial and not very amusing as a replacement for the actually funny




to the sledge-hammer heavy and not funny, not brave, easy as anything poking at the easily poked at in fashionable, Republican France.   It's about as funny as Penn Jillett and about as intellectually significant as Bill Maher.


Image result for Marcel Gottlieb professeur burp

I've never seen it translated into English, perhaps because it really isn't very funny.  I don't think it's funnier than Nancy and not as funny as Mutt and Jeff.


Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Candy Matson Detective Radio Show The Cable Car Case


Nother bad day for my family, but I was right about the city-boy troll's fan base not caring that he doesn't know his ass from his oxter. They don't seem to, either.  

I'll write more later. 

Here’s How This Will End for Trump


Monday, March 27, 2017

Which of Trump’s Cronies Will Flip on Him First?


Don't Let The Problems Of This World Drive You Slowly Out Of Your Mind

Nina Simone Be's That Way Sometime 





I've been out all day on family business.  I hope to write more tomorrow.  

In the mean time, hate mail.  It doesn't surprise me that the city boy doesn't know the difference between a rooster pheasant and a barnyard hen.  He doesn't know his ass from his equally malodorous oxter. I suppose that will lead to more clueless and ignorant wit from the clueless and ignorant twit.  His audience won't know the difference. 

Deport This Brit-Hungarian Nazi Back To Nigel Farage-Land


Sunday, March 26, 2017

The Naive Faith of The High Priests Of Atheist Scientism

Rereading that essay excerpted below, I have to remark on the amazing naivety of Richard Dawkins contained in the idea that his question would be asked by an alien to measure the level of human intellectual development, "Do you understand natural selection?"

The assumptions contained in that scenario attributing that question to intelligent extra-terrestrial beings are, rather, a good indication of the thinking of Dawkins than any non-human intelligence.  Consider the range of baseless assumptions contained in it.

- First, that evolution (or life) as known on Earth exists everywhere or even anywhere else in the universe.

- Second, that any evolution might be through Dawkins' conception of natural selection (naive, even according to many Earth bound scientists) would be relevant to any or all evolution of life everywhere in the universe.

- Third, that any extra-terrestrial life forms would have come up with something like the theory of Natural Selection to explain their own evolution.

- Fourth, that even if they had come up with exactly Dawkins' naive neo-Darwinian framework to explain evolution that its explanatory sufficiency would endure to the stage of development they would be at to be in a position to be here making such an evaluation of life on Earth.

- Fifth, that they would agree that natural selection was an adequate or even valid explanation of evolution on Earth when there are already, at our, presumably, comparatively primitive level of development, other explanations that are non-selective and are believed by some scientists to be more powerful explanations than Dawkins' naive concept of natural selection.   You might want to look up what one of Carl Sagan's earlier wives, the late Lynn Margulis had to say about such stuff. Or not.  I'll point out that it's likely that the usefulness of Margulis' work will very likely survive longer than anything Dawkins or, I'd guess, Carl Sagan contributed.*

I invite anyone to add to that list.

Yet that kind of faith is endemic to the culture of neo-atheism.  Such stunningly, absurdly naive, entirely evidence-free statements by these sciency atheists is taken by the even more naive as being in some way meaningful.

Just about whenever the discovery of an allegedly earth-like planet is announced any number of such statements are made.  They often riff off of stuff that Carl Sagan said, based on his entirely evidence-free contention that the chemistry of the universe means that there is extraterrestrial life and that there will be an evolutionary guarantee that such life is intelligent and, so, will develop technology and science.   Considering that such statements as the relatively recent and quite controversial** contention taken among contemporary scientists of his former wife, Lynn Margulis and some others that non-human life was conscious and many of his fellow-atheists that human beings aren't really conscious, you wonder how they could come to that conclusion.  But, then, being an atheist-scientist-skeptic is all about having it both ways at different times.

I remember a blog atheist throwing a quote from Sagan at me, the gist of which is that the day that extra-terrestrial life is found is the final nail in the coffin of religion.  They seem to all be searching for that golden spike to put in that coffin.  My question was what if that extra-terrestrial intelligence, presumably superior to our intelligence if they get here, what if they are religious believers?  Which doesn't seem to have occurred to them as a possibility.

What's clear is that, as of this morning of March 26, 2017, all of the extra-terrestrials that these people gab about with such confidence are all in their heads, fulfilling their own cherished hopes.  I would say that a lot of what is imagined and even presented as science in current biology is also all in their heads since so much of it, its behavior, its (not really there according to their own orthodoxy) consciousness is now and forever to be entirely unevidenced at all, not to mention in any form which can be subjected to the real methods of real science.

*  A few years back, attending the funeral of one of my friends, a research biologist, her doctoral advisor said in the eulogy that her masters thesis was so good that it was still being cited thirty years after she published it.  Much of scientific truth has a shelf-life.  Especially as what is studied gets more complex.

** For example:  There are still scientific sceptics about animal consciousness. In his book, Crick wrote “it is sentimental to idealize animals” and that for many animals life in captivity is better, longer and less brutal than life in the wild.

Similar views still prevail in some quarters. In her recent book Why Animals Matter: Animal consciousness, animal welfare, and human well-being, Marian Stamp Dawkins at the University of Oxford claims we still don’t really know if other animals are conscious and that we should “remain skeptical and agnostic… Militantly agnostic if necessary.”

Dawkins inexplicably ignores the data that those at the meeting used to formulate their declaration, and goes so far as to claim that it is actually harmful to animals to base welfare decisions on their being conscious.

Obviously what such materialists choose to be "militantly agnostic" about is a matter of ideological convenience.

P, S, I love this question and answer by Margulis from that link above:

You have attacked population genetics—the foundation of much current evolutionary research—as “numerology.” What do you mean by that term?

- When evolutionary biologists use computer modeling to find out how many mutations you need to get from one species to another, it’s not mathematics—it’s numerology. They are limiting the field of study to something that’s manageable and ignoring what’s most important. They tend to know nothing about atmospheric chemistry and the influence it has on the organisms or the influence that the organisms have on the chemistry. They know nothing about biological systems like physiology, ecology, and biochemistry. Darwin was saying that changes accumulate through time, but population geneticists are describing mixtures that are temporary. Whatever is brought together by sex is broken up in the next generation by the same process. Evolutionary biology has been taken over by population geneticists. They are reductionists ad absurdum.  Population geneticist Richard Lewontin gave a talk here at UMass Amherst about six years ago, and he mathematized all of it—changes in the population, random mutation, sexual selection, cost and benefit. At the end of his talk he said, “You know, we’ve tried to test these ideas in the field and the lab, and there are really no measurements that match the quantities I’ve told you about.” This just appalled me. So I said, “Richard Lewontin, you are a great lecturer to have the courage to say it’s gotten you nowhere. But then why do you continue to do this work?” And he looked around and said, “It’s the only thing I know how to do, and if I don’t do it I won’t get my grant money.” So he’s an honest man, and that’s an honest answer.
Please do read Mad Kane's 4-Limerick account of the Trumpcare debacle.  

Hate Mail - "So in other words No True Christian"

Note: Yet again, a draft of this was posted by mistake, I'm in the process of doing a better edit of it now.

P. Z. Myers isn't the hot item in blog land that he used to be, but, then, neither is the atheism fad.  I think the atheism fad has pretty well gotten old.

Myers became semi-famous through his venomous hate spewing and his collection of a lot of equally putrid regulars who loved to bask in their own asserted superiority and to claim the stupidity of anyone who wasn't in their in-crowd.  That would seem to be a pattern with blog communities like it is in 7th grade.

In doing that Myers wrote a number of stupid things and pulled at least one stupid stunt, his "Great Desecration" fraud being his greatest claim to fleeting fame.  I debunked that one based on his own absurd claim about how he got sent a consecrated host which was very far fetched.  To get around the charge that he'd encouraged someone to steal one for him, his claim of how it happened was totally unbelievable.  He said that a Catholic boy kept instead of eating the host as required only to send it to the great PZ after he turned atheist some time later.  The unlikelihood of an observant Catholic keeping a consecrated host to start with made that ridiculous.  Then for Myers to claim that he posted a video of the boy receiving communion on that occasion only made it more absurd.   I am quite sure that it would be impossible to honestly calculate the odds of some random Catholic boy who would later send his illicitly kept host to P. Z. Myers just happening to have a video of him at the mass where he did that but anyone with a mind in their head who believed such a tall tale is incredibly credulous.  That his true believers believed his tall tale on his say so put them on the level of the most easily hoaxed of true believers in anything.

The slogan Myers gave his fan boys and gals, "It's just a cracker" and that its status as consecrated didn't mean anything was disproved in one long, long brawl on a blog when I posted my doubts about Myers tall tale and over hundreds of furious, enraged comments his true believers who proved that about the only thing that could definitely be known about it was that it was entirely important to them that it had been consecrated and so it was not "just a cracker" to the idiots who repeated that like emoto-tronic atheists.

I also went after his "Courtier's Reply" which was his argument that atheists, like his then - I'm told not current - friend, Richard Dawkins, the holder of an endowed chair at Oxford, didn't need to know what he was talking about in order to be held to be an authoritative voice in talking about things he knew nothing about. I pointed out that in doing so Myers, an associate professor in science at a small but accredited American University, was essentially making the argument of the experts who refused to look through Galileo's telescope to see the evidence of what he was telling them.  As far as I know, Myers wasn't booted out of the fellowship of modern science for upholding the much ridiculed anti-scientific standards of late medieval scholastic cosmology.  His getting booted out of the pseudo-skeptical movement didn't come with that, it came with him making a serious accusation of crime against a far bigger name in pseudo-skepticism, which I also wrote about, links will be given on request.

But this is about one of the few other claims to fame that Myers has, his introduction of the "No True Scotsman" phrase to most of his atheist fan boys and gals.  I wrote about that too, about how absurd it was for a biologist to mix up a matter of inheritance, being born a Scot to parents who were Scots, which is an inalienable fact, what happens when people choose to make the inheritance of a political-tribal identity a matter of biological inheritance.  Which is not an uninteresting question to think about, especially in that that perhaps entirely artificial categorization infests much of the literature of modern biology, anthropology, sociology, eugenics - neo and not neo and, as it seems to be fading evo-psy.

A "true Scot" is defined by their parentage, it is an inalienable categorization based on that involuntary aspect of identy,  If you're born as "Scotsman" you will stay one.  Religion in't like that. "True scots" can belong to any number of different religions.  They can belong to any number of reform denominations, they can convert to other denominations, Christian or non-Christian, harmless fantasy fun neo-Pagans or neo-Nazi pagan.  They can be atheists, I suppose. Their identity as a Scot isn't dependent on that.  Such a "true Scotsman's" membership in the denomination of their choice depends on their belief in the beliefs of that denomination and, or, their adherence to its requirements.  If a "True Scotsman" who is a Catholic publicly committed one of the relatively few acts that will get you excommunicated from the Catholic Church, that "True Scotsman" will have been deemed to not be a "true Catholic".

I would like to think more about the implications of that in regard to the understanding of things that Myers then friend and fellow biologist, Richard Dawkins who he was shielding from criticism in coming up with such stuff.  I would like to consider what it means for two university science teachers to dismiss the requirement that they know what they're talking about to retain their status as credible members of the academic and scientific communities.  I'd think they were not true and honest members of modern academic communities due to that, but I don't get to determine who is in and who is out.

 Lewontin noted that Dawkins claimed that an extra-terrestrial attempting to gauge the level of human civilization would ask, "Do you understand natural selection?" Lewontin counters that a better question would be, "Do you understand the difference between sets and their members?" (implying that the early Dawkins does not). Many have noted that the immortality that Dawkins attributes to genes applies not the physical DNA but to the whole set through time of the copies or to the form of the sequence as manifested in successive, physically different, individual DNA molecules. Williams new "codical" realm likewise resides in this quasi-Platonic region, separate from the material world.

I threw that in just for the thrill of it.  Or the hell of it.  Perhaps someday Dawkins won't be thought of a "true scientist", I'm pretty sure that Myers won't be thought of much at all.  Just as the work of the, then, fully and properly credentialed "true science" so many scientific racists and eugenicists were producing is now demoted as "science" with quote marks and many of them have fallen into obscurity.

But back to the question of being a "true something or other".  I remember back when Alabama Senator Richard Shelby was a Democrat, he voted against Robert Bork because as a Democrat, he knew his election depended on the votes of Black voters.  But as he saw personal opportunity favored him changing parties, it was reported that he was leaking information from closed Democratic meetings to the Republican Party he was, probably, already planning on switching to.  Though he was registered as a Democrat, Shelby was not a "true Democrat" he was a sleazy Republican mole.

It isn't a shock that the ignorant jerk who trolls me sent me that pat phrase from P. Z. Myers doesn't understand the problem with it, it is rather shocking that even an associate professor of biology at a small but fully accredited American university wouldn't be able to make the distinction between a classification that doesn't depend on adherence to a moral code and beliefs, one which is merely granted as a matter of pseudo-biological inheritance and another which asserts beliefs and moral.  But the matter of whether the inheritance of tribal, national or racial identity is meaningfully definable or even real is a longer and more seriously complex idea than my idiot troll could possibly begin to get.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Saturday Night Radio Drama - James W. Nichol - Midnight Cab - The Mystery of the Perfect Daughter



I like this one because it shows how much you can fit into a half-hour of listening time when you don't have to look at pictures.  

I've got to go out for the rest of the day.  I'll probably post more tomorrow.  

To be a Christian now means to have the courage to preach the true teaching of Christ and not be afraid of it, not be silent out of fear and preach something easy that won't cause problems

You might want to look at this site of seven meditations for Lent on excerpts from the sermons of St. Oscar Romero.  I like one for the fourth week, which we're coming up to.

Commentary on the Fourth Work of Justice and Peace

from the homilies of Archbishop Oscar Romero of El Salvador

+ Protect the poor and powerless---- listen, learn, educate,
organize, empower participation, and respect life from the moment
of conception to the time of natural death.

Nothing is so important to the church as human life, as the
human person, above all, the person of the poor and the
oppressed. Besides being human beings, they are also divine
beings, since Jesus said that whatever is done to them he takes
as done to him. That bloodshed, those deaths, are beyond all
politics. They touch the very heart of God. March 16, 1980

Another thing the church does in El Salvador is its commitment
to defend the poor. The poor masses of our land find in the
church the voice of Israel's prophets. There are among us those
who sell the just for money and the poor for a pair of sandals,
as the prophets said. Thee are those who pile up spoils and
plunder in their palaces, who crush the poor, who bring on a
reign of violence while reclining on beds of ivory, who join
house to house and field to field so as to take up all there is
and remain alone in the land. These texts of the prophets are
not distant voices that we read with reverence in our liturgy.
They are daily realities, whose cruelty and vehemence we live
each day. And therefore, the church suffers the fate of the
poor, which is persecution. February 17, 1980

Even when all despaired at the hour when Christ was dying on the
cross, Mary, serene, awaited the hour of the resurrection. Mary
is the symbol of the people who suffer oppression and injustice.
Theirs is the calm suffering that awaits the resurrection. It is
Christian suffering, the suffering of the church, which does not
accept the present injustices but awaits without rancor the
moment when the Risen One will return to give us the redemption
we await.

To be a Christian now means to have the courage to preach the
true teaching of Christ and not be afraid of it, not be silent
out of fear and preach something easy that won't cause problems.
To be a Christian in this hour means to have the courage that the
Holy Spirit gives in the sacrament of confirmation, to be valiant
soldiers of Christ the King, to make his teaching prevail, to
reach hearts and proclaim to them the courage that one must have
to defend God's law. December 3, 1977

This is why the church has great conflicts: it accuses of sin.
It says to the rich: do not sin by misusing your money. It says
to the powerful: Do not misuse your political influence. Do not
misuse your weaponry. Do not misuse your power. Don't you see
that is a sin? It says to sinful torturers: Do not torture. You
are sinning. You are doing wrong. You are establishing the reign
of hell on earth. December 8, 1977

It is very easy to be servants of the word without disturbing
the world: a very spiritualized word, a word without any
commitment to history, a word that can sound in any part of the
world because it belongs to no part of the world. A word like
that creates no problems, starts no conflicts.

What starts conflicts and persecutions, what marks the genuine
church, is the word that, burning like the word of the prophets,
proclaims and accuses: proclaims to the people God's wonders to
be believed and venerated, and accuses of sin those who oppose
God's reign, so that they may tear that sin out of their hearts,
out of their societies, out of their laws -- out of the
structures that oppress, that imprison, that violate the rights
of God and of humanity.

This is the hard service of the word.

But God's Spirit goes with the prophet, with the preacher, for
he is Christ, who keeps on proclaiming his reign to the people of
all times. December 10, 1977

When we struggle for human rights, for freedom, for dignity,
when we feel that it is a ministry of the church to concern
itself for those who are hungry, for those who are deprived, we
are not departing from God's promise. He comes to free us from
sin, and the church knows that sin's consequences are all such
injustices and abuses. The church knows it is saving the world
when it undertakes to speak also of such things. December 18,
1977

For the church, the many abuses of human life, liberty, and
dignity are a heartfelt suffering. The church, entrusted with the
earth's glory, believes that in each person is the Creator's
image and that everyone who tramples it offends God. As holy
defender of God's rights and of his images, the church must cry
out. It takes as spittle in its face, as lashes on its back, as
the cross in its passion, all that human beings suffer, even
though they be unbelievers. They suffer as God's images. There is
no dichotomy between man and God's image.

Whoever tortures a human being, whoever abuses a human being,
whoever outrages a human being, abuses God's image, and the
church takes as its own that cross, that martyrdom. December 31,
1977

Death is the sign of sin, and sin produces death right in our
midst: violence, murder, torture (which leaves so many dead),
hacking with machetes, throwing into the sea -- people discarded!
All this is the reign of hell. July 4, 1979

When Father Rafael Palacios was murdered in Santa Tecla, and his
body was laid out here, I said that he was still preaching,
calling attention not only to crimes outside the church, but to
sins within the church. The prophet also decries sins inside the
church. And why not? We bishops, popes, priests, nuns, Catholic
educators -- we are human, and as humans we are sinful and we
need someone to be a prophet for us too and call us to conversion
and not let us set up religion as something untouchable. Religion
needs prophets, and thank God we have them, because it would be a
sad church that felt itself owner of the truth and rejected
everything else. A church that only condemns, a church that sees
sin only in others and does not look at the beam in its own eye,
is not the authentic church of Christ. July 8, 1979

Hate Mail - Atheists Make Demands On Religion That They Would Never Accept For Themselves

In a discussion of an essay that Orwell wrote a while back, an old friend of mine suggested that I look at the row between him and the Irish playwright, Sean O'Casey, steering me to the later volumes of O'Casey's long autobiography.   I did that and looked up some other stuff both of them said and have to say it is a real eye-opener in so far as Orwell's legend and how, when looked at closely, it is rare that the record a real person leaves matches the superficial legend.  But that will have to wait, for the most part.  I'll leave you with this, the very same people who condemn anyone who named names to HUAC but who hold up Orwell as some kind of superhero have to contend with the fact that he named names to British Intelligence, not on his knowledge in many cases but based on his suspicion of communism.   He named names, lots of them, more than most of the Hollywood figures held up to disdain on that basis.   Here's a PDF of the names he named.   The comments, if not Orwell's sure sound like his columns.   I'm not up on the nuances in Brit slang but one outraged Brit who discovered his hero had done this called him not only a "grass" but a "super-grass".   You can compare the relatively modest namings of others who got them condemned to being permanent pariahs, perhaps with justification.  Though if they'd named Nazi collaborators instead of Stalinist ones, no one would condemn them.

I will have more to say about Orwell and O'Casey later, I've got to read more so I'll know what I'm talking about and to see if my ideas are accurate.

Before you can wonder what that has to do with the title, this is all about double standards and their use in polemical dishonesty.   I'm challenged with the dubious assertion that "the United States is the most religious country on Earth" and that "religion didn't save it from fascism".  Well, first I doubt the United States is the most religious country on Earth and my piece yesterday morning asserted that the religion, Chritianity, of a very large percentage of those who claim it the hardest is as phony as their claim to democracy, freedom, concern for the working and middle-class, children, fetuses, etc.  The fact is that a very large percentage of those who claim to be Christians voted for the anti-Christ in the last election, that certainly was not done out of an effort to make their actions match what Jesus said in the Gospels, what his closest followers said in their canonical writings, what the Law and the Prophets Jesus said he was upholding say.   The "Christianity" of an enormous percentage of those claiming to be Christian is shown to stand in total contradiction to the very words of the man they claim they believe speaks with divine authority.   They are anti-Christians, Mammonists, in fact, just as I said in that piece.  Can't atheists read?  

As to what saves people from fascism, you can look at the major supporter of fascism in the world today, the post-Soviet materialists of Russia, virtually all of whom were Communists under the Soviet system, presumably, most of them atheists as was required of their positions in the Communist system.  Their actions after the collapse of that criminal enterprise as they set up one in which they stole, literally, everything they could get their hands on, murdering, imprisoning and stealing, using the most vicious of the practices of organized criminals to do it.  Those who make a pose of embracing the Russian Orthodox church - corrupting it in the process - are merely more clever than the old line true believers in Marxism..  Perhaps they took a lesson from American Republicans and saw how they flourished by taking advantage of the vacuum left when it became unfashionable for American liberals to be religious.  They certainly learned other thing from us, taking advantage of our every short-sighted practice, taking advantage of the regime of lies set up by the Supreme Court which the hardly religious media used to put us on the slide into fascism.   

And to that you can add what is sometimes listed as the most atheist country in the world, China, which went from a Marxist-Maoist dictatorship in the name of socialism to a one-party-state fascist version of Victorianism on steroids, crushing workers as raw resources, with fewer rights than those under the putrid British class system ever had, with what presumably is 100% atheist rule.  Marx certainly got it wrong, his system doesn't produce a state-less paradise, it devolves into the fascism that any materialist system will.   See Steve Bannon, Leninist, for more.  

There is something of an irony in reading Orwell rail against the Irish and Catholics in general, blaming them for fascism when the British government he worked for as a Sergeant propping up the decaying empire in Burma played a large role in producing the conditions that led to it.  It is absolutely putrid to read him even in the post-war years rail against the Poles in that regard.   It is also an irony in that Mussolini was an overt atheist and the Nazi high regime was full of atheists whose actions and private communications showed that they saw the Catholic Church as one of their main obstacles in achieving ultimate control.   The closer the Catholic and Protestant churches got to the Law, the Prophets and the Gospel, the farther they got from fascism and Nazism - both based on a total inversion of the morality of the Bible - and the more of a danger to fascism and Nazism as well as Marxism they are.   

In Latin America the main focus of the fascist's violence and oppression was those Catholics who tried to follow the social justice and economic justice teachings of the Bible.  At times those Catholics had to do so working against the opposition the corrupted power holders in the Church.  The two Popes, John Paul II and Benedict XVI couldn't see past their narrow European context to see that their interpretation of Latin American Liberation Theology was wrong.  Perhaps that's due to the unfortunate choice for the theologians to reference Marxism in their critique of capitalism - there might have been other framings of that critique.   And there was the impact of Americans who lied about the situation in Latin America as well.  Perhaps they realized they could take advantage of the experience of those two men who witnessed the Soviet exploitation of the collapse of the Nazi system as well as they did Nazism*.  Many of the most powerful and astute critics of those two conservative papacies were from Catholics, in Latin America and North America as well as Europe.  

Now, Pope Francis, from Argentina, a country which experienced a similar form of capitalist-fascism supported by the United States, brings both a more direct knowledge and a more accurate frame of reference.  I hope he canonizes at least as many of the martyrs to Latin American fascism as JPII did European martyrs to Nazism.  To the bigoted anti-Catholic mindset, the Catholic church is an absolute dictatorship, its members brainwashed to follow the dictates of the Pope, none of them seem to be able to get past the level  of Thomas Nast's nastier anti-immigrant, WASP nativist cartoons. That is still not an uncommon thing among British intellectuals or would be intellectuals and it's certainly typical of American atheists of the kind who write me nasty comments.  They're rally not very smart and they are as uninterested in reality as any Trump supporter.   

I wish I had a higher class of trolls but, then, no one else seems to get them online, either. And mine come mostly from a "brain trust". 

* Learning more about Nazi paganism, overt paganism, as an actual quasi-pseudo religion, I could understand why those two got so freaked out by the neo-Pagans.  They'd seen one revival of paganism during the Nazi regime.  Just as they were unable to recognize that Liberation Theology wan't Marxim, they couldn't see that the stuff they saw after the war was a different thing.  At least until recently.  Much of current, online paganism is overtly white-supremacist and Nazi, mixed in with American, Las Vegas, Hollywood neo-confederate hell raisin' neo-Confederate content.  

The best way to counter that is with the actual moral content of the Hebrew scriptures, the Gospel and the rest of the Second Testament.  Atheism, as seen in Russia, just leads to the same fascism.  

Friday, March 24, 2017

John Coltrane - Aisha



John Coltrane — tenor sax
Eric Dolphy — alto sax
Freddie Hubbard — trumpet 
McCoy Tyner — piano 
Reggie Workman — bass 
Elvin Jones — drums

Dahomey Dance