Fanstastic. Informative, interesting and well argued as always.

Futile Democracy

I have previously pointed out – here – that one of the major inaccuracies in the entire Bible is the suggestion that the Ten Commandments – the very foundation of Christianity – are unique to Christianity, or originated with Christianity. They didn’t. They originated with a pre-Pharoah tribe of Egypt called the Kemet, whose concept of truth, law and justice was consolidated into a theory called ‘Ma’at’. The ten commandments of the Bible are derived from the 42 principles of Ma’at.

But what if the glaring lie that the ten commandments were uniquely handed to Moses at the top of Mount Sinai, was not the biggest inaccuracy in the Bible? What if the biggest lie in the Bible was that Jesus existed at all?

Biblical historians generally agree that a man named Jesus probably did exist. Though, they never tend to give any strong evidence for his existence. Nothing written…

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This Comment Made me Cringe


On going through my emails (a task so gargantuan these days, that painting the Severn Bridge might actually take LESS time), I saw I had a comment on quite an old post.  Nevertheless, I thought I would give it a look (probably out of a sick sense of curiosity) and low and behold I’ve now had my first religitard rant.

<sarcasm>Can’t tell you how proud I feel</sarcasm>

From $150 billion shot to hell

Aug 06, 2011 @ 18:37:26 [Edit]

“Navy SEALS helpcopter crash of 8.6.11 was revenge for Osama bin Laden.
One day default will bring insolvency, while the wealthy your bailed out with multi-trillion dollar stimulous package leaves you behind in the ruins.
You fell for it. And now you will pay dearly. The United States is the empire of evil.”

Was it really?  Pilot error combined with technical failures had nothing do with it then?  Newsflash:  Accidents DO happen.  NOTHING is ‘divinely driven’.  By the way, the US and the UK are at war with the Taliban.  Dead soldiers (and others) go hand in hand with war.  Are you so naive to think that the Taliban would just curl up their toes and fall dead just by looking at our troops?

“Even with all the corruption this wasn’t going to happen on W’s watch because the conservatives are the good ones. It is the social decay which was the trademark of The Beast, and what has destroyed our favor with the gods, filthy sodomites.”

What social decay?  The decay that leads people to denigrate and try to deny others needed medical assistance because they don’t earn enough to afford the extortionate insurance premiums charged by US insurance companies?  The same decay that leads people to be fired from their jobs for no other reason than holding a different theological position to their colleagues or employers?  The same social decay that allows whole towns to close ranks against a family and drive them away through bullying and harassment for the apparently heinous crime of not being Christian?  You really need to look further past the end of your own nose if you hope to see what’s actually going on rather than what the likes of Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Sarah “Potty” Palin, Michelle Bachmann and the Libertarian lunatic fringe tell you to believe.  Social support programs enrich a nation as a whole by ensuring that nobody starves and nobody suffers unnecessarily.  It has noting to do with divine intervention.  Since no sufficient evidence in favour of the existence of any God(s) has yet emerged, I am happy to call myself an Atheist.

“Your job as a future mother is to learn the god’s ways and to help your child understand despite the negative reinforcement and conditioning of today’s society. Without consciousous parents the child will have no hope, and may even exaserbate their disfavor by becoming corrupted in today’s environment.
Your ultimate goal is to fix your relationship wiith the gods and move on. You don’t want to be comfortable here, and the changes in Western society in the last 100 years has achieved just that.
1000 years with Jesus is the consolation prize. Don’t be deceived into thinking that is the goal.”

Future mother?  I AM the mother of two fine boys who will be lucky not to be brought up under the yolk of religion.  My job is to keep them safe from harm and unhealthy influences (yes, I mean the Church), physically healthy, and teach them right from wrong, and then step back and let them explore their own individuality, whether they be straight, gay, bi or otherwise.  Neither their father I do not want them to become mere replicas of their parents If they choose religion for themselves that is THEIR choice to make, not mine.  We only have one life and I will not have my children waste theirs by waiting for some posthumous reward in the next life in return for being a gullible prat in this one.  In short they will be raised as freethinkers, and equipped with the tools that they need in this (their only) life.

“Much like the other prophets Mohhamed (polygamy/superiority over women/misogyny) and Jesus (forgiveness/savior), the gods use me for temptation as well. In today’s modern society they feel people are most weak for popular culture/sensationalism, and the clues date back to WorldWarII and Unit731:TSUSHOGO, the Chinese Holocaust. They used this Situation to bury Japanese atrocities.
It has been discussed that, similar to the Matrix concept, the gods will offer a REAL “Second Coming of Christ”, while the “fake” Second Coming will come at the end and follow New Testiment scripture and their xtian positioning. I may be that real Second Coming.
What I teach is the god’s true way. It is what is expected of people, and only those who follow this truth will be eligible to ascend into heaven as children in a future life. They offered this event because the masses have just enough time to work on and fix their relationship with the gods and ascend, to move and grow past Planet Earth, before the obligatory xtian “consolation prize” of “1000 years with Jesus on Earth” begins.”

Can I have that again in English please?  I don’t feel weak and I couldn’t really give a toss about modern popular culture.  Or celebrity scandals.  Or anything else you might have imagined me caring about.  Second coming?  Until you can provide proof that Jesus even existed at all (NOT the Bible), let alone divine, I’m going to continue to dismiss all such statements for what they are: UTTER DRIVEL. It’s surprising how “God’s true way” always seems to correspond so neatly with what the people spouting it want to do anyway. You’ve just outed yourself as a mercenary who is only behaving in this manner to gain a reward.   Do you stone your disobedient children?  Would you force a rape victim to marry her rapist because he paid her father compensation?  Following the Bible means actually following what it says without dismissing the parts which are not so palatable to enlightened western society.  If you do not then you are as guilty of playing along with “the changes in Western society in the last 100 years” that you claim to so deplore.  So which is it?  Are you a hypocrite or a liar, M. I-Don’t-Have-The-Stones-to-Leave-A-Real-Name-With-My-Rant?

“The Prince of Darkness, battling the gods over the souls of the Damned.
It is the gods who have created this environment and led people into Damnation with temptation. The god’s positioning proves they work to prevent people’s understanding.
How often is xtian dogma wrong? Expect it is about the Lucifer issue as well.
The fallen god, fighting for justice for the disfavored, banished to Earth as the fallen angel?
I believe much as the Noah’s Flood event, the end of the world will be initiated by revelry among the people. It will be positioned to be sanctioned by the gods and led for “1000 years with Jesus on Earth”.
In light of modern developments this can entail many pleasures:::Medicine “cures” aging, the “manufacture” of incredible beauty via cloning as sex slaves, free (synthetic) cocaine, etc.
Somewhere during the 1000 years the party will start to “die off”, literally. Only those who maintain chaste, pure lifestyles, resisting these temptations, will survive the 1000 years. Condemned to experience another epoch of planet’s history for their ignorant pursuit of xtianity, they will be the candidates used to (re)colonize (the next) Planet Earth, condemned to relive the misery experienced by the peasantry during history due to their failure to ascend into heaven before the Apocalypse.
Never forget:::It is not a house of Jesus.
If this concept of Lucifer is true another role of this individual may be to initiate disfavor and temptation among this new poulation, the proverbial “apple” of this Garden of Eden. A crucial figure in the history of any planet, he begins the process of deterioration and decay that leads civilizations to where Planet Earth remains today.
Which one is it?:
One transitions into the other, allowing the gods to wash their hands of obligation to their Chosen One. My personal “consolation prize”.
And since the gods never committed despite tens of billions in mass media, product development and natural disasters/tragedy they will employ the freedom they positioned into the Situation and CHEAT me out of everything.
For those who would listen I was used to assist people to rapidly increase their understanding of this system. Unfortunate for me, the gods can claim they never intended this, despite being control freaks who guide everything specifically and have the power to force it with AI, and now they are free to fuck my brains out subsequently. Lucky me.”

Seriously?  I’m not going to waste my time ploughing through that load of rubbish.  Just let it be known that I am extremely embarrassed for you.  I really hope you seek some proper help because leaving posts like this on people’s blog comment threads, is NOT healthy behaviour.

“Consistant with “reverse positioning” understand the REAL Second Coming would equate with The Matrix’s Anti-Christ, the fake battle of good and evil which will come at the end.
I have spoken on this issue in years past. Understanding how they use the political encviornment to redefine people’s value system, realize anyone who speaks of the old world and its ways will envoke hatred. So when/if the Anti-Christ comes along speaking of reverting back to what liberalism would consider repressed and immoral it may be the only hope to salvage the god’s favor and keep moving forward rather than begin the 1000 year clock. The fake Second Coming will feed into this political environment.”

I let it go once but, mate, The Matrix is a film.  That makes it fiction.  Though truth be told, if you believe the bible then I am honestly not surprised that you cannot tell fiction from reality.  Again, prove the existence of divinity BEFORE you expect to get the more rationally minded of us debating real or false resurrections or anything else for that matter.

“The gods pimp you all. You think “going along” is going to help you but it only makes your life here on Earth more comfortable, so that is where you will stay:::Prepare for the 1000 year clock.”

All I can do is shake my head at this whole bizarre statement and reiterate my hope that you seek psychiatric help before you hurt yourself or someone else.

Yet Again, The Pope cannot Resist a chance to Show His Ignorance. (And here I was thinking that bowing to temptation was a sin)


This morning’s Radio Four broadcast (as usual) it’s saccharine soaked insipid section, Thought For The Day, at 7:45 am .  What was unusual was the fact that the 2 minute 46 second slot had been recorded in Rome by the Pope.  The broadcast is the first time any pope has written material specifically for a radio or television audience.  To me, it smacks of extreme desperation on the Vatican’s part to restore trust (undeserved in the first place) in the church.  Aside from the fact that there are rarely ANY humanist, atheist or agnostic speakers for this programme, coupled with their extremely similar program, Prayer For The Day (on at the earlier time of 05:43 am), this is not a post about the BBC’s broadcasting habits or policy.  This post is more about the utter garbage spouted in the news and other media by the religiously inclined on an almost daily basis.

“And it was not a political liberation that he brought, achieved through military means: rather, Christ destroyed death for ever and restored life by means of his shameful death on the cross.”

In addition, he also gave comfort and consolation for “families, children, the sick and those going through hardship, especially the elderly and those approaching the end of their days”.

This quote kind of says it all really.  Death was not destroyed: it still happens.  There is no getting away from this exhibition of the childish fear of the unknown.  If the believer is so arrogant to believe that not only is he capable of surviving the death of his brain (not that he uses it) and nervous system, but deserves it, then it is up to them but wishing that belief to be true does not make it true.  The same way that the existence of prayer does not make it efficacious.   If the ancient story about the execution of an outcast brings people comfort (can’t see how that dreadful message could comfort anyone) then it is entirely accidental.  Christianity, Catholicism in particular, has certainly NOT brought political liberation.  Even now, subscribers attempt to impose their chosen set of dogma and doctrines on everybody else.  This insistence for unquestioned ‘respect’ is not exclusive to Christianity by any means but at this time of year the whining reaches new levels of acerbic shrillness.  It’s almost like trying to reason with an over-tired toddler (but at least you can send the tot to bed).

Portrait of Pope Pius XII

Pius XII has long been a controversial figure for his failure publicly to denounce the Holocaust in 1941 or 1942. Photograph: Bettmann/Corbis

 

The liberation we enjoy in the UK came through conscious change in public opinion about what is considered acceptable behaviour and attitude, not to mention hard-fought for changes in the law with regard to even non-Protestants holding positions in public office, let alone non-believers.  It has come through brave people standing up for what they believe and holding on to their integrity even though it even cost them their liberty.  Christianity has only ever offered fear of punishment in return for not taking vicarious offer of ethereal rewards after a lifetime of willing subservience to the will of the church.  It has enslaved believers and murdered ‘heretics’.  It has spilled unmeasured, needless blood (as it still does) in its quest to ‘save the heathen races’ and please their god.  It has enabled the infliction of needless suffering against thousands.  And it is also no coincidence that what ‘their God wants’ nearly always seems to coincide with whatever act the clergy or bewildered masses wanted to do anyway.  The Christian God seems to have given its stamp of approval on nearly every atrocity or poisonous act ever committed in the name of Christianity.  When confronted with these facts, (I have lost count of the times I have been told this) the stock answer of ‘they weren’t really Christians‘ is trotted out without either hesitation or thought.

“As we ponder this great mystery in our hearts this Christmas,”

It’s not a great mystery, it DIDN’T HAPPEN, and I certainly do not ‘ponder’ it.  All the story does is weakly advocate the human sacrifice of an entirely unrelated individual in order for us to feel that our mistakes and misdeeds can be undone in an instant and by somebody else.  They can’t be and it is infantile in the extreme to believe that they can.

“I’ve got no problem with the message itself, but I think it’s an extraordinarily bad choice for the BBC and I think it’s actually a slap in the face for these hundreds of thousands of child abuse victims.”

“What we’ve had with the papal visit and with Thought for the Day is the pope pontificating his views and being totally unaccountable for things that the church has been responsible for.”

Keith Porteous Wood, of the National Secular Society to The Guardian

I agree.  The BBC is funded by all UK licence payers (A colour TV Licence costs £145.50 per year and is compulsory.) and should therefore be representative of all of the UK population.  Pandering to the vanity of the ever-present and complaining (women’s’ reproductive freedom, the secular freedom for other faiths or those of no faith, equal rights for gay people etc) Catholics without calling the church to account for itself is not constructive.  The Catholic church should consider itself very much in disgrace with the rest of the world.  They have proven they are out of touch with modern morality and the clergy (the higher-ups especially) do not consider themselves subject to ‘earthly’ laws and standards of behaviour or ethics.  The Pope was merely acting upon sufferance when he put his crocodile-tears act on to urge the church to take responsibility for the culture of abuse which has been rampant in the Roman Church (for centuries) but in the same speech he went on to shift the blame on to the ‘permissiveness’ of the 1970s and the ‘normalising’ of child abuse and porn which merely demonstrates my point that they are both backward and dangerously out of touch with reality.  There was no hint of sincerity in the pope’s message, just a cringe-worthy display of adherence to idiotic story telling.

“The pope’s message was anodyne and didn’t engage with any contemporary issues – not really a thought for the day at all, but more a bit of good PR for him courtesy of the licence fee payer.

It is a shame that humanists in Britain continue to be denied the right to reply in such circumstances, with the ban on non-religious contributors to the programme.”

Andrew Copson, chief executive of the British Humanist Association

Those said to have been instrumental in persuading the Vatican to take part are the veteran Rome correspondent David Willey, BBC world news editor Jon Williams and the corporation’s head of radio, religion and ethics, Christine Morgan. Mark Thompson, BBC director general and a devout Roman Catholic, has also been involved in the negotiations

 

Sources

What Happens at an Exorcism and Why It Should Worry Us.


“There were only a small number of priests who had any real expertise, and they were getting calls from all over the country.” So many attended the conference, he said – “They must have requests.” Bishop Thomas Paprocki

Bishop Thomas Paprocki - The organiser of this October's Conference on Exocorism 

In October 2010, a Catholic conference was held in Baltimore, Maryland (preceding yet another) attended by 56 US Bishops and 66 Priests.  That Bishops had bothered to attend was indeed a novelty because the annual conference is normally only attended by Priests. What the focus of this conference is certainly surprising considering that it was held in a (theoretically) civilised country.  None the less, these Priests and Bishops find reason to gather every year to discuss exorcism.

While all Catholic priests are permitted by the Vatican to perform these ceremonies, very few American are trained and able to. Though how much training does it take in order to become ‘proficient’ in bullying, manipulating, and terrifying and further brainwashing an already troubled individual into first believing that their troubles are due to a demonic possession and secondly that their lifestyle had allowed the possession to occur in the first place.  The conference was meant to train priests in the ‘art’ of exorcism and was organised by the Bishop Thomas Paprocki who is also the chair of the Bishops’ Committee on Canonical Affairs and Church Governance.

Paprocki is of the view that there is an increasing demand for exorcism in the US despite the lack of data on the subject: But when has real evidence had anything to do with what the Catholic church believes or how they decide to act.  Out of the 68 million Catholics in the US, only an estimated 6 to 14 are ‘trained exorcists‘ though the church seems determined to rectify this issue and plunge America further back toward the Dark Ages of Europe and the reign of tyranny and fear exerted by the Inquisition.  One of those exorcists is the Rev Gary Thomas of Saratoga and the subject of The Rite.  (The book by Matt Baglio and forthcoming film starring Sir Anthony Hopkins)

Paprocki’s feeling is seconded by Rev. Thomas.  Exorcism is being requested by parishioners who have family they believe to be in need of this ‘service’ yet there is no mention of any clerical recommendation.  I am sure these family members are well-meaning but the greatest harm is often caused by the best intentions (Thanks to Terry Goodkind for that one.).  The Rev. believes the cause of this demand is an increase in paganism and ‘idolatrous activity’ by Catholics.   This is, of course, garbage and garbage of the sort spouted by the likes of Michael Voris.  The Church feels threatened by its lack (or loss) of privilege in the developed world and is trying to increase their influence by any means necessary.  When you consider that even the president of the National Federation of Priests, Rev. Richard Vega, has not heard of any requests at all.  He speculated that immigrant Catholics, who were probably more familiar with the practice, may be making requests.  He also reported to the Guardian that it is Canon Law requires every diocese have a trained exorcist.  That many do not, he blames on a post Vatican II church.  In 2005 Pope John Paul II wrote to all US Bishops instructing them to train an exorcist.  Rev Thomas was asked when the initial candidate declined and despite his own reservations that it was not what he had ‘signed up for’, he took the course while in Rome on a sabbatical.

“Some demons are very strong,” he said. “So it needs repeated prayer and fasting and penance.” People breaking up relationships don’t always make a clean break. “The relationship didn’t develop overnight and is not broken overnight.”Paprocki

An exorcism requires discernment to determine whether or not the person ‘brought in’ is really in need of one or if their family just thinks they are.  The ritual is not just performed on demand (apparently) but it seems a rather convenient idea that a person may not realise they are possessed and may be subjected to this treatment against their will by the very people with a vested interest in the belief in the practice.  The initial discernment is carried out by team including a physician, a clinical psychologist and a psychiatrist who (should all know better) are all practising Catholics.  Rev. Thomas claims that only five out of one hundred requests (again gave no real indication of the number of requests) result in an exorcism and that the exorcist is an ‘ultimate sceptic‘ (doubtful) based only on the idea that they do not just assume that all those who ask for the ritual need one.  This is NOT a sceptical outlook because they STILL believe in demonic possession despite the lack of evidence in favour of it and they STILL practice an outdated, unnecessary and harmful (extreme stress) practice.

“The person who is possessed may not even realise it. It’s more frequent that someone would bring a person in,”Paprocki.

The bishop Paprocki strongly believes in the need for exorcism and tried to explain possession it in terms of a relationship between a human and a demon having turned sour.  He states that it may have gone bad due to the human having realised their error.  This idea is highly speculative and even dubious, when accuracy is brought into question.  It is absurd, obtuse and fatuous to contrast an imagined demonic possession (based entirely on superstition and ill-conceived dogma) to real human relationships.  Paprocki is a fool to believe this rubbish and a dangerous fool to be promoting the practice and spreading his belief.  The Rev. Thomas says that he has performed 40 exorcisms over five years on five people.  Two gave up the ‘project’ due to time constraints.

When asked what was involved after the discernment, Thomas told The Guardian that it consists of a set of prayers meant to break up the relationship between the possessed and the demon (so a fake problem is solved with a fake cure.  It sounds about right for the church)  in order to force the demon out.  Even Thomas won’t call the work rewarding, and is reluctant to even go so far as to call it meaningful, he calls the work arduous and time-consuming with little chance of success.  Never thought that it’s because none of it is real and you have based at least the last 15 years on lies and half-truths, good Reverend?

The Exorcism of Emily Rose

The demand for exorcism – as seen in Hollywood films such as The Exorcism of Emily Rose – is growing in the US. Photograph: ScreenGem/Everett / Rex Features

Both the Bishop and the priest have found themselves having to reassure people regarding the nature and risks of possession; correcting mythology with more mythology to the people who have already been misled into believing Christianity at all.

“Possession is not an involuntary thing. It’s not contagious. The person themselves has to open the door,” Paprocki said. To those who come to Thomas asking, “‘How do I protect myself from being inhabited by a demon?’ I say if you have a prayer life, if you have a sacrament life, if you have a faith life – you have nothing to fear.”

This is assuming that those brought in (or anyone) believe in either demons or possession.  The bishop believes that demons must be invited but are always looking for a way in.  80% of those brought to the Bishop have been sexually abused by a family member or ‘someone else’  and this abuse, the Bishop says, leaves the victim vulnerable to the possession of demons.  It just emphasises the church’s tendency to externalise blame, hold the victim responsible for the actions of others, and typical of this barbaric and outdated religion of ridiculous superstition.

Exorcisms which have made the news are those that have ended in tragedy but were dismissed by the Bishop as having been carried out by untrained amateurs who resorted to beatings drownings and asphyxiation in order to ‘drive the demon out’.  Forget the need for training and more of these pointless rituals,  there is a need for a worldwide ban on the practice.  We only hear about the handful that are even reported but how many tragedies go unmentioned?  How many of these people are permanently damaged or injured by this practice?  We don’t hear about them for the same reason we didn’t hear of the widespread (and current) practice of protecting paedophiles for so long: the church do not regard themselves as subject to the man-made laws or morals that contradict their own idiotic philosophy.  It is in the interest of public safety that the practice is halted entirely rather than escalated.  When you consider that there are some who regard the ritual to be dangerous to the exorcist but the danger was also dismissed by the Bishop (who has never performed one) who put the deaths down to the ignorance of the untrained.  He added that the ‘unofficial’ exorcism were merely ‘ineffective’ and that “Jesus is more powerful than the Devil”.  Not the first to close their eyes and mind to reality but his influence on this subject makes him dangerous.

The Bishop’s dismissal make little impact on the Reverend who believes that the danger to exorcists is very real.  They can be attacked emotionally, physically and psychological but added that he had never experienced a physical attack (I wonder why? duh) but his celibacy is often attacked.  Often? 8 a year for 5 years is often?  Heaven for bid he ever quit the church and get a real church: the shock would probably induce a stroke.  Paprocki and Thomas both refer to demons and devils in the plural and the singular but the Bishop seems proud (isn’t pride a sin?) to admit this as if he was showing off some expertise on the matter.

“I use those interchangeably,” Paprocki said. “Sometimes a person can be possessed by more than one devil.”

According to these paranoid papists, a demon is a spiritual being who has rejected God and is being punished eternally for that ‘crime’ and the trick to a successful ritual is to learn the demon/devil’s real name while remaining aware that the Devil is the Prince of lies.  That simple huh?  The knowledge of this grants the exorcist power over the demon and the ability to banish it.  They have both noted that this cannot be done in one session so one wonders how much the church charges for their time.  It also begs the question of why the exorcist would believe a word spoken by/through the possessed?  The rarity of exorcism is, claims Paprocki, due to the rarity of real possession (no shit, Sherlock moment?).  The Bishop went on to say that the Devil’s ‘real’ game is temptation (aside from his earlier claim that demons are always looking for a way in) so it is a mistake to assume that the only danger lies in possession.  The devil is no more real than God, Jesus or any other mythology for that matter and it is foolish to fear mere characters in stories.

Polish exorcists gather in Warsaw

The national congress comes as part of a policy by Poland’s Catholic Church to lift the veil on what was once a secretive practice Photo: CORBIS

Clearly these men (and those who follow his promotion of exorcism) are deranged and should be removed from positions where they can influence the ideas and actions of others (and possibly placed in psychiatric institutions?) so they can do no further harm.  Regardless of the improbability of their claims and ideas, people DO listen to these men and change their minds according to what their local clergy tell them to think so these insane and parasitical ideas of demons, devils and possession are being spread and have more than merely the potential to cause very real and lasting (if not permanent) harm.

Sources