Counterpunchin’ preacher cries foul on Pontiff’s #FakeNews

In his Feb. 2 (Groundhog Day of all days…) ‘Take a Bite and See the Light’ Rev. William Alberts, he might be calling out Papal Bull, if you don’t mind a bit of a pun.  But he also calls BS on the Genesis ‘Garden of Eden’ story as well.  I’ll not bring the chapters and verses, you can read it all if you care to track them here (in Francis’s  document copyrighted epistle©  [what a way to get that Good News out there, dude!  not Creative Commons?], “The truth will set you free”; Fake news and journalism for peace, or at Rev. Albert’s essay linked above.

“According to Pope Francis, fake news, rather than a recent phenomenon, has plagued society since the beginning of the human race.  In a World Communications Day message on “Fake news and journalism for peace,” Francis states that “the first fake news” was “employed by the ‘crafty serpent’ in the Book of Genesis . . . at the dawn of humanity . . . marking the beginning of “the tragic history of human sin . . . against God, neighbor, society and creation.

In the Genesis creation story, the first human being, Adam, had a good deal in the Garden of Eden paradise God created for him..  He was provided with “every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food,” with a flowing river to water the Garden.  God also made “every animal of the field and every bird of the air,” and even allowed Adam to name “every living creature.”   And to top it off: so that Adam would not be alone,  God made a woman – from Adam’s own rib – as a partner, and also allowed Adam to name her, which he did, calling her “Woman, because she was taken out of “Man.”  There was only one catch: God told Adam, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”

From Pope Francis:

‘In the account of the first sin, the tempter approaches the woman by pretending to be her friend, concerned only for her welfare, and begins by saying something only partly true: “Did God really say you were not to eat from any of the trees in the garden?” (Gen 3:1). In fact, God never told Adam not to eat from any tree, but only from the one tree: “Of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you are not to eat”. The woman corrects the serpent, but lets herself be taken in by his provocation: “Of the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden God said, “You must not eat it nor touch it, under pain of death” Her answer is couched in legalistic and negative terms; after listening to the deceiver and letting herself be taken in by his version of the facts, the woman is misled. So she heeds his words of reassurance: “You will not die!”

The tempter’s “deconstruction” then takes on an appearance of truth: “God knows that on the day you eat it your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods, knowing good and evil”.  God’s paternal command, meant for their good, is discredited by the seductive enticement of the enemy: “The woman saw that the tree was good to eat and pleasing to the eye and desirable” This biblical episode brings to light an essential element for our reflection: there is no such thing as harmless disinformation; on the contrary, trusting in falsehood can have dire consequences. Even a seemingly slight distortion of the truth can have dangerous effects.’

Rev. Albert again:

“Pope Francis automatically gives credence to the Genesis creation story’s lesson on disobedience as the cardinal sin of humankind.  He moralizes:  “God’s paternal command, meant for their good, is discredited by the seductive enticement of the enemy: ‘The woman saw the tree was good to eat and pleasing to the eye and desirable.’  Francis omits the Genesis story’s next phrase:  ‘…and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise’.  Instead, he continues to moralize: “This biblical episode brings to light an essential element for our reflection: there is no such thing as harmless disinformation; on the contrary, trusting in falsehood can have dire consequences.” (Ibid)

How, as Pope Francis presumes, is “God’s paternal command meant for their good” and why is “the seductive enticement” of the serpent bad?  What is so sinful about wanting to take a bite and see the light?  Where is the falsehood in desiring to open one’s eyes and become wise, knowing the difference between good and evil, like God?  What is wrong about the wish to move from a womb-like-Garden-of-Eden- dependency on God — or Church or State — to moral clarity and self-determination and solidarity with others?  What is so evil about saying no to obedience to a religious or political status quo and yes to inquisitiveness, which is the avenue of self-development and the inspiration for community building?    Adam and Eve model the rise, not the fall, of humankind.  Any questioning that enables people to open their eyes and become wise enough to know the difference between good and evil is to be encouraged, not moralized as evil.  Desperately needed today is moral clarity, not conformity to biblically-interpreted beliefs.”

He says that Franicis flirts with Fake News by conflating ‘the truth’ with the ‘living God’ and the Bible, and by extension, Christianity. He then equates truth with the Bible, and again asserts that Christ’s ‘I am the truth’ equates to Francis ‘The truth will set you free’ (Jn 8: 32), so that’s what Rev. Albert sees as the Pope’s message, which the church preserves and perpetuates.

He’s seriously vexed that Francis treats the Genesis story as the truth, when he ardently believes that Christians use it to spread Fake News, as in ‘all humans are born in sin due to the fact that Adam and Eve ate the fruit of the tree of good and evil so that they might become wise, like God, and be able to discern good from evil for themselves.

He further contends that the story brings more Christian falsehood: the belief that ‘God sent his only Son, Jesus Christ, into the world and allowed him to be crucified on the cross as atonement for sinful humanity’, and that the only way for people to be secure from eternal damnation is to accept that fact, and confess him as their Savior.  This must seem logical to most Christians, but it took me a few reads to kina see where they’re heading:

“Consider the spiritual catch 22 facing Christians in certain denominations.  The “Catechism of the Catholic Church” puts it this way: “389 The doctrine of original sin is, so to speak, the ‘reverse side’ of the Good News that Jesus is the Savior of all men, that all need salvation and that salvation is offered to all through Christ.”  And, “The Church, which has the mind of Christ, knows very well that we cannot tamper with the revelation of original sin without undermining the mystery of Christ.”  

Here the truth is a matter of divine revelation that is surrounded by “mystery” and not to be “tampered with.”

Next he brings a few paragraphs on various churches’ statements on sinfulness and salvation, all babies are born in sin, etc.: United Methodist, Anglican/Episcopal,  Episcopal, Assembly of God, Baptist, Presbyterian and Lutheran Churches; he provides a link to Mary Fairchild’s ‘Compare the belief’s of Christian Dominations’, then notes and deconstructs:

“These Christian denominations’ repeated use of the word “man” in referencing the Bible’s creation story betrays an embedded patriarchy, which is an insidious form of fake news that makes women and girls invisible – and vulnerable.

Being punished for wanting to become wise and know the difference between good and evil.  The Christian interpretation of the creation story is about right belief, not just behavior.  It is about the exclusivity of faith, not the inclusivity of love.  It is about evangelism, not empathy.  It is about obedience to the biblical Word of God as interpreted by priests, pastors and evangelists.  Foremost, it is about gaining power over and controlling believers.

After writing on some New Rules as to how and the many ‘why’s’ that Trump gets a mulligan’ on his sexist deeds by Christian Evangelical leaders, he blasts back:

“Babies are contaminated with sin?”  All children are born human, predisposed to respond to nurture and love with trust and love in return.  What is sinful is a gospel of self-hatred that makes them feel unworthy and in need of a church’s biblical dispensation to alleviate their guilt and make them feel acceptable.  Babies can, however, be contaminated by religious belief.

While countless people find security in believing that Christ died for their sins, countless others live life and face death fearing that divine retribution hangs over their heads.”

He then shares a longish vignette about visiting a terminally ill black man in his capacity as a hospital chaplain, and which of Rev Albert’s messages to him proved the most…soothing and reassuring to him.  Spoiler alert: that he would not be alone, wherever he was after his demise, but that the good Rev would search for him.  It caused me to think once again of John Truell’s poignant line: ‘They’re trying to isolate us in a dimension called loneliness’.

To god:  we hope you don’t mind but we would like to talk to you; there are some things we need to straighten out, it’s about these christians they claim to be from your nation but man you should see the things they do all the time blaming it on you: manifest destiny, genocide, maximized profit, sterilization, raping the earth, lying taking more than they need in all the forms of the greed. we ask them why, they say it’s god’s will.

Damn god they make it so hard. Remember jesus? Would you send him back to them, tell them how to kill him, rather they should listen stop abusing his name and yours.

We do not mean to be disrespectful but you know how it is, our people have their own ways we never even heard of you until not long ago, your representatives spoke magnificent things of you which we were willing to believe, but from the way they acted we know we and you were being deceived.

We do not mean you and your christian children any bad, but you all came to take all we had we have not seen you but we have heard so much it is time for you to decide what life is worth we already remember but maybe you forgot.’

Rev Albert winds up:

“Actually, in eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, Adam and Eve cut the “umbiblical” cord of a god created in the image of man and gave birth to themselves.  They represent, not a theology of self-hatred, but one of self-empowerment and moral sensitivity.

What is the difference between good and evil?  Good is whatever makes life more human for people.  Evil is whatever diminishes and destroys people’s lives.  Good is recognizing that people themselves have the capacity and the right to decide what makes life more human [I’ll assume he mean ‘humane’, rather] for them.  Evil is sitting in the shade of one’s own tree of the knowledge of good and evil and deciding what is right and wrong for everyone else.  Good is being secure enough in one’s own identity to affirm and protect the right of others to be different.  Evil is the failure to recognize that to be different is not to be evil but merely to be different.  Good is the attempt to use democracy to secure life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all people.  Evil is the attempt to capitalize on democracy to secure more power, privilege and profit at the expense of the common good of all people.

Living in community and in peace with others depends on knowing the difference between good and evil – and acting on the basis of that difference.  Take a bite and see the light.

Rev. William E. Alberts, Ph.D., a former hospital chaplain at Boston Medical Center, is both a Unitarian Universalist and United Methodist minister. His new book, The Counterpunching Minister (who couldn’t be “preyed” away), with a forward ‘Drawing the Line’, written by Counterpunch editor, Jeffrey St. Clair.

(cross-posted from Café Babylon) (Feel free to come over and knock on the door if I don't answer comments soon enough; I get spoiled by my home site emailing me all comments.)

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thanatokephaloides's picture

Satanists have been making the point for decades now that it was the Serpent who told the truth, and God who withheld it, in the notorious Eve and Adam Incident in Genesis 3.

Had God given the humans credit for being what they were, this disaster would never have happened. Sometimes, one must give one's companion creatures what they want, on the terms they want it on.

How do I know this?

I have cats.

Smile

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"US govt/military = bad. Russian govt/military = bad. Any politician wanting power = bad. Anyone wielding power = bad." --Shahryar

"All power corrupts absolutely!" -- thanatokephaloides

wendy davis's picture

@thanatokephaloides

so the satanists aren't even buying the bible's story that the serpent was tempting eve to eat the fruit of knowledge and she wouldn't die? it gets a bit crazy-making for me trying to interpret some of those passages showing adam passed the buck to eve, eve dissembled, passed the buck to the serpent, etc. but ooof, did he punish them all! (i hadn't included the punishments at the bottom of rev albert's essay for length.) pain of childbirth, to be ruled by the patriachy for eve, adam to toil among the thistles, never to eat of the fruit that would make him immortal (thankfully, lol).

as an apatheist who doesn't consider the bible The Word, it's all kinda strange, but rev. albert's messages seemed worth posting. i wrote another diary back in the day featuring a number of many of his 'heresies'.

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thanatokephaloides's picture

@wendy davis

so the satanists aren't even buying the bible's story that the serpent was tempting eve to eat the fruit of knowledge and she wouldn't die?

My understanding is that the Satanists maintain that the Serpent told Eve the whole truth about the nature of the Fruit, while God withheld that information and simply said "thou shalt not".

Consider our modern problem of "illegal" drugs for a moment. When Colorado legalized marijuana/cannabis, teenage use of marijuana/cannabis went down. Why? Because it no longer had the prohibitionary temptation attached to it. Marijuana use no longer had the "rebel" flavor it did, say, for us children of the 1970s.

Under that consideration, God the Prohibitor is more responsible for what happened than all the other involved characters combined. And had the God of Genesis informed His human creatures of all the facts, who knows how the story would have turned out?

but ooof, did he punish them all! (i hadn't included the punishments at the bottom of rev albert's essay for length.) pain of childbirth, to be ruled by the patriachy for eve[r], adam to toil among the thistles, never to eat of the fruit that would make him immortal (thankfully, lol).

If you buy into Christian theology, God ended up even punishing himself in the avataric person of Jesus for this "crime"!

I don't know about you, wendy, but I can't blame the Satanists for pointing out that this whole world-view is more than a little questionable!

Smile

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"US govt/military = bad. Russian govt/military = bad. Any politician wanting power = bad. Anyone wielding power = bad." --Shahryar

"All power corrupts absolutely!" -- thanatokephaloides

wendy davis's picture

@thanatokephaloides

from my chair in the cheap non-religious seats, I reckon that the bible is the word of truth (a very weird 'absolute') I can't get my mind around is foolish, and that as sentient humans we need to look within, as in: 'know thyself' to try to discern what it means to be better human beings, and additionally what we aspire to, but don't live in fact. if I bought into Christian theology, I might know what you mean here:

"If you buy into Christian theology, God ended up even punishing himself in the avataric person of Jesus for this "crime"!

but I don't buy at all that jesus was crucified for 'our sins', but that's a much longer subject. back as I can, got evening chores here and a few to answer at the café. thanks for all this, and I look forward to reading your Milton/patheos link.

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TheOtherMaven's picture

@wendy davis

Some of the more enlightened thinkers of the Middle Ages had, shall we say, divergent opinions on what it was all about. Smile

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There is no justice. There can be no peace.

wendy davis's picture

@TheOtherMaven

church schisms, a la henry VII and more? thumbscrews and the rack? oh, my.

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TheOtherMaven's picture

@wendy davis

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There is no justice. There can be no peace.

wendy davis's picture

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wendy davis's picture

@thanatokephaloides

is that the Satanists seem to believe in the garden of eden at all. but do they reckon that the serpent is satan? when I went hunting for art for this diary, I came upon a few paintings that depicted the serpent w/ what looked like 'devil horns'.

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thanatokephaloides's picture

@wendy davis

what i'd failed to be amazed by is that the Satanists seem to believe in the garden of eden at all. but do they reckon that the serpent is satan?

Actually, I think they're doing what lawyers call "stipulating"; i.e., assuming the Christians' beliefs to be true for the sake of the argument at hand. Under this model, the Serpent is indeed Satan; and the Serpent told the whole truth to Eve.

Diablo

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"US govt/military = bad. Russian govt/military = bad. Any politician wanting power = bad. Anyone wielding power = bad." --Shahryar

"All power corrupts absolutely!" -- thanatokephaloides

wendy davis's picture

@thanatokephaloides

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wendy davis's picture

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thanatokephaloides's picture

There's a rather tasty article in Patheos, posted three days ago, addressing some of this. A small taste to tempt my fellow c99ers to go and read the whole thing:

In our culture’s prevailing mythology Satan (by way of John Milton):

1. Realizes he’s working for a tyrannical dictator

2. Rebels (the war in heaven)

3. Is cast out into an unfamiliar place (hell)

4. Meets allies and cohorts (the denizens of hell [this would be the Abyss part of
[Joseph] Campbell’s chart])

5. Devises a solution

6. Struggles to journey from Hell to Earth

7. Finds Eden

8. Returns to god’s presence, having changed, and is therefore capable of causing change, which he does by convincing humans to eat of the tree of knowledge.

Read more at http://www.patheos.com/blogs/infernal/2018/02/satan-as-the-hero/#PvcsbSG...

Smile

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"US govt/military = bad. Russian govt/military = bad. Any politician wanting power = bad. Anyone wielding power = bad." --Shahryar

"All power corrupts absolutely!" -- thanatokephaloides

snoopydawg's picture

your representatives spoke magnificent things of you which we were willing to believe, but from the way they acted we know we and you were being deceived.

Maybe it's time that his priest sits him down and has a talk with him. "Paul, if you keep gutting the social programs that help the poor, continue to fund your military that is killing people daily and continue to allow corporations to rape the lands I'm going to throw your ass out of the church by means of excommunication and damn your soul to Hell. Your choice."

Maybe Gawd should have made Adam and Steve after all or kept Lilith instead of Eve. Lilith apparently had a backbone. Then none of this wouldn't have happened.

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It is not until the tide goes out that you discover who has been swimming naked.

wendy davis's picture

@snoopydawg

but Xitanists rarely believe in what's good for all humanity. or including the gnostic texts (god within, god without) in the bible.
as or ryan, dunno, but for all fundies, i reckon: the same. at the café, i'd thunk to check in w/ pontifex on twitter:

followed by:

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Alligator Ed's picture

If God is the most powerful force in the universe, then how or why did he allow evil. This is not a new question but I have yet to read a satisfactory explanation--except, perhaps, that God is made in the image of man, a sentient being engulfed in desire, containing simultaneously in varying degree both good and evil--no matter how those two allegedly antithetical concepts can coexist.

To organized religion, everything is black or white--no shades of gray allowed. It takes but little life experience to realize that evil and good both exist in differing proportions in all men (and women) as well as all their products.

Good is whatever makes life more human for people. Evil is whatever diminishes and destroys people’s lives. Good is recognizing that people themselves have the capacity and the right to decide what makes life more human [I’ll assume he mean ‘humane’, rather] for them. Evil is sitting in the shade of one’s own tree of the knowledge of good and evil and deciding what is right and wrong for everyone else. Good is being secure enough in one’s own identity to affirm and protect the right of others to be different. Evil is the failure to recognize that to be different is not to be evil but merely to be different. Good is the attempt to use democracy to secure life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all people. Evil is the attempt to capitalize on democracy to secure more power, privilege and profit at the expense of the common good of all people.

The above quote describes good and evil in humanistic terms, proffering love and concern for others as "the good" and avarice and subjugation as "evil". By whose command is that so? the thesis and antithesis here is subjective; the boundaries are not fixed. The certainty of morality is no more "fixed" than Heisenberg's observations or the condition of Schrödinger's cat.

Please name for me ONE religion amongst the many existent which does not declare that their religion is the one true one and that the believers in that religion are "the Chosen".

Religion is a dangerous construct when it becomes hierarchical. In the discussion of ideas, theology in this case, there becomes an inevitable quest for dominance of one iteration over others. Thus moral blackmail is exerted upon people with varying interpretations of even the same doctrine in order to"purify" the faith. Thus all organized, i.e., hierarchical religions become coercive. Coersion, by its nature is a mechanism to inflict ideological dominance, often resorting to force.

Because of demands for doctrinal purity, all organized religions have covertly or overtly implied force to ensure that purity. This is evil. It goes against the humanely desired allowance for each person to think and feel for themself.

But that is still not the genesis of evil. Evil, however defined, is a deviation from a desired spiritual standard. But no standard is absolute. Thus evil is always blended into non-evil (the good) with extremes at each end of the spectrum.

Is the reptilian brain evil? Is it good? How would one judge? By what standards?

Develop a standard for evil/good definition and you will have dissents from this. The point is, that no matter what your moral starting points is, there will ALWAYS be dissent.

The above discussion only deals with the logical brain's attempt to understand good/evil. Most of human thinking is not logical. Can we say that good or evil is present in the unconscious brain?
Good and evil in the logical sense comprises only a small fragment of existence.

Is an asteroid hurtling to strike the earth evil? Is it good? What are your bases to ascribe either label to such an event? I place no faith in Scripture for the above reasons.

One more thing: could either good or evil exist in the absence of humans?

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thanatokephaloides's picture

@Alligator Ed

Please name for me ONE religion amongst the many existent which does not declare that their religion is the one true one and that the believers in that religion are "the Chosen".

Actually, I can name several. The "one true way for everybody" thing is largely an artifact of Abrahamic religion.

Assuming civilized conditions, i.e., Church-State separation of course:

Hinduism
Buddhism
most Neopaganism/Wicca (certain Asatru/Odinist lines not included)
Satanism (especially the Satanic Temple flavor)

Once any State gets involved, of course, all this goes out the window. The whole idea of Buddhists committing violence and waging war is at odds with everything Gautama Buddha taught; yet, as we know from the daily news, Myanmar (Burma) has excelled at making war against the Rohingya Muslims, supposedly in the name of Buddhism. Likewise, India has done with Hinduism, which is really a cluster of religions which function in mutual peace with one another. But to me at least, this is merely more evidence that Church and State must remain separated -- everywhere.

Or, as the bumper sticker goes, "When we last had Church-State unity, people got burned at the stake!"

Bad

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"US govt/military = bad. Russian govt/military = bad. Any politician wanting power = bad. Anyone wielding power = bad." --Shahryar

"All power corrupts absolutely!" -- thanatokephaloides

Alligator Ed's picture

@thanatokephaloides About Budhism, Hinduism, etc. the core beliefs are wonderful. Even Christianity in its pre-Constantine state (the Hebrew-Christians) were not into original sin. In fact, there was debate as to which apostolic, acolytic treatises should be allowed into the New Testament. Yet, as you point out, even these initially religions-of-peace have been subverted into political weapons, attacking other religions or cultures.

Getting back to the essayist's theses, the Pope is a callous pedophilic enabler, a prime hypocrite of globalistic (i.e., "catholic" meaning universal) religiosity. To my agnostic mind, all religious declarations are fake news, if "true news" is to be defined as rooted in objective fact. Religious utterances are always rely on faith-based assumptions. Thus they are neither provable nor disprovable. Such bulls, edicts, fatwahs are nothing but singularly conceived methods of coercion.

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snoopydawg's picture

@Alligator Ed

Smile

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It is not until the tide goes out that you discover who has been swimming naked.

wendy davis's picture

@Alligator Ed

I guess what rev albert was trying to say was that 'we're forced to decide', although his internal searching caused him to declare his own definitions and contrasts.

as far as god being love, the old testament god was obviously authoritarian and vengeful. 'the good news' was the birth of christ who had preached the love and sharing and social egalitarianism that so many modern christians (not all fundies, either) ignore.

but as for why there is evil in the world, hmmm. now i'll bollox this up, put maybe three or four ecades ago I read a book underpinned by the torah covering that subject that claimed that god's edicts included the term 'mayest', rather than 'shalt'. hence, humans were free to choose...the dark side. I remember as well that 'breaking the sabbath' protocols or indeed lying were permissible to save a life.

as far as th 'why does gawd allow suffering' question, very christian cs lewis had said in a class to the effect that 'suffering causes us to be empathetic to those who are needful' or something. and that was far better, though not a true answer, than the standard booming voice: "and where were you when god created the heavens an the earth?"

well, my progenitor were still microbes forming by way of proteins developing by way of electricity in the primordial soup long after the big bang or whatever. (smile)

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Shahryar's picture

anytime anyone gets serious about myths, like the Garden of Eden, I wonder why he/she doesn't believe that Athena sprang out of Zeus' head....fully grown, in armor!

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Not Henry Kissinger's picture

Yeah! The Unitarians have SOOOOO much better understanding of the Bible than the Pope. How dare he say paternal - what a misogynist!

I know you've got big issues with the Catholic Church, and certainly when it comes to structural issues such as abuse they are certainly areas that need to be reformed, but to post ecumenical debates between competing sects as a way to discredit one side is simply bigotry masquerading as sophistry.

Evil is sitting in the shade of one’s own tree of the knowledge of good and evil and deciding what is right and wrong for everyone else.

So congratulations, your religion is better than the Pope's. Hope your moral superiority doesn't blind you to your own hypocrisy.

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The current working assumption appears to be that our Shroedinger's Cat system is still alive. But what if we all suspect it's not, and the real problem is we just can't bring ourselves to open the box?

wendy davis's picture

@Not Henry Kissinger

I don't have one, nor am I a believer, nor do I believe it matters hence: apatheist. but garsh, if I'm a subconscious hypocritical sophist, maybe that's what triggered my dream last night! I was heading into the town hall w/ a stack of papers in one arm when my shorts fell down. accidentally mooning folk going by on the street and sidewalk! yanno: baring myself in public?

but seriously, yes, it seems to me that there are better and worse faith leaders, and globally the pope wields enormous power. when he'd beatified the indigenous genocidaire juniper serra, I'd railed about that fukkery as well. I suppose as far as catholics, one of my favorites is the mystic thomas merton (RIP & Power), who also became a trappist monk, and wrote 'more than 70 books, mostly on spirituality, social justice and a quiet pacifism'. the nuns of 'swords to plowshares' are also high on my list, but I'm certain we'd disagree on plenty.

same for MLK, jr. whose social gospel was anti-capitalist, anti-imperialist, and justice for all. rev martin I do prefer, including his subversive preaching against his own brand of Methodist church's belief: born in sin. and I liked that he'd told the vignette of the dying man not giving a good goddam about his jesus loves you prayers, but liked the notion that he wouldn't be 'alone' in the afterlife, not that I don't reckon rev albert's promise could ever be kept, but that's cuz I don't think anyone 'knows' anything about the afterlife.

peace and all the best to you, not henry Kissinger.

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Not Henry Kissinger's picture

@wendy davis @wendy davis @wendy davis

I have no opinion one way or the other concerning an esoteric debate about which interpretation of a Bronze Age nomadic creation myth is more theologically valid. My issue is that your promotion of such nonsensical sectarian conflict is needlessly provocative and divisive.

seems to me that there are better and worse faith leaders

And its precisely that type of thinking that starts religious wars.

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The current working assumption appears to be that our Shroedinger's Cat system is still alive. But what if we all suspect it's not, and the real problem is we just can't bring ourselves to open the box?

wendy davis's picture

@Not Henry Kissinger

but I'd come back after my toast to dig out from 2015 I wrote based on rev albert's having called out both mega-church evangelist franklin graham's islamaphobia (and its results at Duke), and obomba's craptastic summit on violent extremism'.

"“President Obama’s summit on “Countering Violent Extremism” must focus on this apostle of hatred, and other Christocentrics like him—and their patriotic “American exceptionalism” counterparts – if it is to really combat violent extremism. Sadly, I do not believe the aim is to “Counter Violent Extremism”—but to cover it up. The focus is primarily on people who oppose America’s imperialistic foreign policy, which conveniently serves to distract attention from the criminal violence that Washington has unleashed against Afghanistan and Iraq and other countries in the Middle East, and elsewhere.

If President Obama really wanted to “counter violent extremism,” George W. Bush and warmongering members of his administration would have been in the docket years ago. Obama himself would also be there, and held accountable for continuing America’s so-called “war on terrorism” with his drone warfare, that violates the national sovereignty of other countries, fills their skies with constant fear, and kills innocent children, women and men. All of which guarantees unending war and endless profit for the political/military/industrial/energy/ intelligence/religious complex.”

there are a couple more titles in there, but my lights, (yes, theist) rev albert is trying to END holy wars, not start them. it's fine that you're in disagreement. but I assume you'd admit that this essay has provoked a very worthy discussion.

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Not Henry Kissinger's picture

@wendy davis @wendy davis

to your anti-Catholicism?

Whatever your beliefs in the relative merits of your chosen messenger here on earth, that does not justify disparaging a totally benign (as this was) message of another simply to score some cheap propaganda victory in your personal religious info war.

What's next? A critique of how misguided the Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi is about the Great Flood? An expose of the Grand Mullah's heretical statement on the burning bush? An ironic taunting of the Dalai Lama for not believing in any of it?

Or do you save your doctrinal put downs for the head of one specific religion for which you possess a particular dislike?

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The current working assumption appears to be that our Shroedinger's Cat system is still alive. But what if we all suspect it's not, and the real problem is we just can't bring ourselves to open the box?

janis b's picture

Jehovah’s Witnesses came to my door today, father and 11 year old daughter. The father is Kiwi, the mother Ukrainian. And the saddest part for me was meeting the daughter even though she was especially engaging. So why was I saddened by the participation of this bright, sparkling young girl.

I know two Seventh day Adventists, who I respect, and know slightly more personally from the work that I do. In the context I know them, never have they in any way professed their beliefs. They are simply warm, sensitive, and sincere individuals.

The girl was the primary speaker. It made me wonder how much of her glowing self is a result of her faith in her religious and family life, and who am I to judge that. At the same time I felt sorry that her core nature might be ultimately compromised.

I feel a bit confused by my respect for the two individuals I know, and the innate sense I have that something's not right. Don’t worry, I’m not in any danger of being converted, but I do experience it as somewhat of a quandary. Just wondering what others think.

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mhagle's picture

@janis b

Because they have felt something. They felt the love. They gave love. They received love. At some point it is very pure. It might stay pure for a long time. Maybe forever.

But when the selfishness, arrogance, and presumption of religiosity corrupts it, it might not be able to remain.

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Marilyn

"Make dirt, not war." eyo

snoopydawg's picture

@mhagle

Smile

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It is not until the tide goes out that you discover who has been swimming naked.

janis b's picture

@mhagle @mhagle

and comforting as well. Thank you.

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thanatokephaloides's picture

@mhagle

But when the selfishness, arrogance, and presumption of religiosity corrupts it, it might not be able to remain.

And if that corruption stems from the selfishness, arrogance, and presumption of State power, God help us all!

Bad

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"US govt/military = bad. Russian govt/military = bad. Any politician wanting power = bad. Anyone wielding power = bad." --Shahryar

"All power corrupts absolutely!" -- thanatokephaloides

snoopydawg's picture

@janis b

It's hard to believe that someone that young is really understanding the depth of their type of religion if I'm understanding you comment correctly. I see a lot of this here in Mormonsville. My best friend from childhood was a happy go lucky girl until she had her "choose the right" ceremony when she turned 8. The ceremony explains to kids how to choose the right way of living and that includes having the right type of people around you, in other words, people who believe like you do. You can't imagine how many non Mormon girls and boys got their hearts broken because they were told they weren't pure enough to be their friends anymore.

I grew up catholic, but I was taught to accept everyone, not only other Catholics and I just couldn't understand how the kids could throw their best friends away. But Mormons were still able to have most of their old lives, while religions like JW and 7th day (?) and others get swallowed up by their religion.

Am I close?

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It is not until the tide goes out that you discover who has been swimming naked.

janis b's picture

@snoopydawg

I appreciate your firsthand knowledge. It helps me understand.

'Purity' often becomes rigid belief, which really has no redeeming value. Thank you.

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Pricknick's picture

@snoopydawg

It's hard to believe that someone that young is really understanding the depth of their type of religion

It's called teaching your children. Most fail because they teach only their beliefs.

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Regardless of the path in life I chose, I realize it's always forward, never straight.

janis b's picture

@Pricknick

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wendy davis's picture

@janis b

i don't care much for parents who bring young chirren to activist events of any stripe to hold signs, either. what do they know by their own choices/educations outside their parental 'educations', really? yes, 'out of the mouths of babes' tug our heartstrings, which is the entire reason they're there.

in my bodywork career, i had quite a number of jehovah's witneses for some odd reason, but actually communicating w/ them was rather difficult, including their objection to any music that might sound celtic, to their horrors at 'gays', and so on. but i did try, perhaps they did as well.

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janis b's picture

@wendy davis

when I see or hear children expressing things that don't come from themselves.

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janis b's picture

@janis b

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mhagle's picture

All thought provoking.

While Pope Francis is an improvement over previous popes, he still misses the point in many ways.

I just follow my own made up religion, as should everyone. Follow your heart. Follow what is true to you.

A Jesus freak in the 70s (which was pretty pure still = "make love not war"), I was sucked into "prosperity gospel" in the 80s. Eventually realized that it embodied the epitome of evil = greed, arrogance, and presumption.

Then started to listen to Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John to find out what Jesus really said. He said, "I give you a new commandment. Love one another as I have loved you. That is how they will know you are my disciples. By your love for one another." He never said "worship me" . . . he only said "follow me." And he spent the whole time healing people, feeding people, and treating people with mercy and compassion.

There is a bit of weird ass shit in the gospels, but most of the stories are awesome. He always treated women as equals. In Matthew 19 he says it is natural to be trans or gay.

Jesus never said he was going to die on the cross for our sins. He never validated all of the horrible crap in the old testament. His followers mostly missed the point as we see from the epistles.

But the teachings and actions of Jesus were pretty cool and sync with the Buddha and other meaningful spiritual folks in history. The good stuff is just good psychology. IMO.

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Marilyn

"Make dirt, not war." eyo

snoopydawg's picture

@mhagle

Jesus never said he was going to die on the cross for our sins. He never validated all of the horrible crap in the old testament. His followers mostly missed the point as we see from the epistles.

You're right, he nor the Bible says that anywhere. Was it made up by the Catholics? This is what I was taught in church sermons and catechism. (no it's not a disease. one of my teachers asked me that) Smile

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mhagle's picture

@snoopydawg

I was not raised Catholic (liberal lutheran), but now some of my favorite teachers are Catholic. There was always some nun or monk out there getting it right it seems.

Father Richard Rohr on Francis' Alternate Orthodoxy:

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Marilyn

"Make dirt, not war." eyo

snoopydawg's picture

@mhagle

it developed."

Boy does that say a lot. If people don't like what we say or question it, we'll just change the wording or meaning and that's what we meant.

Jesus didn't come to change the mind of gawd about humanity, Jesus came to change the mind of humanity about gawd. No transaction necessary, no blood sacrifice was needed.

I was talking to a friend about this today before I saw this essay. I said that I am flipping through being an atheist, agnostic and catholic. I still haven't decided where to land yet.

Good essay, Wendy

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It is not until the tide goes out that you discover who has been swimming naked.

@snoopydawg

Maybe the point of the whole crucification thing was actually that governments/States shouldn't abuse and kill peaceful dissenters and/or those who sought to help others because they do so? If so, somebody better warn an awful lot of 'religious-right' politicians.

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Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

wendy davis's picture

@Ellen North

the point of crucifixions was to make ya always look on the bright side of life, silly woman!

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wendy davis's picture

@mhagle

ooof, yes, francis is better than Ratzinger, and even showed a few signs of being a liberation theologist, although his early detractors told of his history in chile, iirc, of not having provide sanctuary to some uppity priests under the state gun. (I may be clobbering the story, I can still see the face of one of his fellow priests nuking F's whales).

fascinating that you rejected prosperity doctrine after a bit; that con has infected many of my in-laws, and has a hold on them. perhaps even our son's wife, ish. but the flip side of it is that IF you're financially successful, it means that the lord loves you, as I understand it.

at least according to the bible, Christ also commanded that no one build a church around him, but paul...he just couldn't listen, could he? yep, as a social gospel prophet I believe jesus was one of the best.

colloquialisms are a treat, aren't they? another here is: 'how ya doin'? ah, good enough for who it's for.' but I did copyright the one you like, so please remember to send me 7 cents each time you use it, okay?

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mhagle's picture

@wendy davis

I did copyright the one you like, so please remember to send me 7 cents each time you use it, okay?

OK

Smile

Pope Francis' climate change statement was good, and advocating for the poor is good. But he is sure fucked up on sex-related issues all the way up and down the spectrum. And yes, I have read about bad shit that went down in Argentina.

Go Thomas Merton. There are definitely some righteous souls within religion who are actually following Jesus.

Prosperity gospel teachers are not among them. I don't fault the followers so much. They are just desperate people. Either starving or suffering in some way or another. Looking for a solution. PG teachers say, "Follow steps 1, 2, 3 and 4. Then you will be healthy and wealthy. You control your fate. If you are not healthy and wealthy, then you are not really following steps 1, 2, 3, and 4." One of the steps always includes sending them all your money as "seed faith giving."

I actually own the domain name millstonearoundyourneck.us Smile Often tempted to create an interactive graphical site, where you can insert your favorite televangelist. Sigh.

John Oliver did a wonderful job on this subject a couple of years ago.

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Marilyn

"Make dirt, not war." eyo

wendy davis's picture

@mhagle @mhagle

I hear you on desperate followers, and hadn't known one of the steps was: send money, but I do kinda remember in the '70s we had one teevee station that worked once in a while. I'd catch up on televangelism, including healing: 'put your hands on the teevee screen and ask the lord to heal you' stuff. 'then send money to lock in the success of the intercessory prayer'.

our daughter married an ex-con who'd stabbed someone, an got fundi religion in prison. became a street preacher once he got out, and hooked up with creflo dollar, OMG. now he works at target, bless his heart, and does cage-fighting instead, and they attend a different church now and again. but he-man sports like his and football can be a different American religion, can't they?

I hate to bend your ear further, but fucked about sex reminded me that one of the chiches I have w/ the catlick church is just that. we're watch an aussie film about a boy's school where the boys are required to wear shorts while they shower, because bodies' sexual organs are sinful and promote lascivious thoughts that must be conquered. a few brothers teaching there are a bit appalled that maturbation'll send you to hell in a handbasket. but of course, the aim is to stamp out eros, and when folks marry, I reckon they've been taught that sex is only for procreation. or used to, anyway.

st. mother theresa? Pfffff. with her dying breath she wouldn't approve of condoms for ses, oh, no: better to get aids so her ilk could nurse them, then receive beatification!

I was just looking at bill gates' twitter thang, and saw Melinda noting that the oligarchs are meeting again soon in davos and need to figure out (srsly) "the economics of sexual harassment brought by the [mccarthyite, imo]#MeToo movement".(sorry to go on so.)

on edit: sorry I can't play the video; mr. wd isn't well and trying to sleep. it's a small house, so sound travels widely.

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thanatokephaloides's picture

@wendy davis

on edit: sorry I can't play the video; mr. wd isn't well and trying to sleep. it's a small house, so sound travels widely.

No headphones on your device?

Reminds me of a vacuum-tube tape recorder I was working on which had no headphone jack; my task was to wire one in. I plugged the headphone in, but had made a mistake in the wiring, so that the headphones didn't silence the speakers! My fellow dwellers Frankensteined me for that one!

I corrected the wiring very quickly, needless to say!

Smile

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"US govt/military = bad. Russian govt/military = bad. Any politician wanting power = bad. Anyone wielding power = bad." --Shahryar

"All power corrupts absolutely!" -- thanatokephaloides

wendy davis's picture

@thanatokephaloides

yes, we have some headphones in a low cabinet over yonder, and likely there's a jack on this machine that might work. light-bulb: the external speakers one! but...on a crutch it's hard to bend into a low cupboard easily, and especially avoid going ass-over-teakettle. given the kondition of my k-nees, i'm dedicated to not falling over, cuz it's a bitch getting up again.

but thanks for thinking of it, darlin'.

oh, and a café commenter added this story w/ the same video (really, i'll try to listen later): 'Flu season is all in our heads, Texas televangelist says: 'Inoculate yourself with the word of God' dallasnews.com (gloria copeland of ken copeland ministries) she dinna say 'send dollars to lock in god's blessings', though. (smile)

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thanatokephaloides's picture

@wendy davis

but...on a crutch it's hard to bend into a low cupboard easily, and especially avoid going ass-over-teakettle. given the kondition of my k-nees, i'm dedicated to not falling over, cuz it's a bitch getting up again.

I resemble that remark! Smile

My knees are also damaged, limiting what I can do. I hear you!

Sad

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"US govt/military = bad. Russian govt/military = bad. Any politician wanting power = bad. Anyone wielding power = bad." --Shahryar

"All power corrupts absolutely!" -- thanatokephaloides

wendy davis's picture

@thanatokephaloides

esp. w/o surgery. i tried once, got massive brain damage to show from it, but at least the asshat sTurgeon did untangle the lateral ligament from the torn meniscus so i could kinda straighten my leg. eating high-cbd cannabis helps w/ some of the pain, a bit o' the fear, but other home remedies are temporary fixes, but even that's welcome.

and you're a coloradan? so am i, though 'far from the madding crowd' in the four corners.

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thanatokephaloides's picture

@wendy davis

and you're a coloradan? so am i, though 'far from the madding crowd' in the four corners.

I am indeed. (Colorado Springs)

Smile

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"US govt/military = bad. Russian govt/military = bad. Any politician wanting power = bad. Anyone wielding power = bad." --Shahryar

"All power corrupts absolutely!" -- thanatokephaloides

wendy davis's picture

@thanatokephaloides

what rare mineral did they just 'discover' on the top of that mountain? (our daughter and her family live there, too.) what's your flag, please, and what does your screen name signify?

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thanatokephaloides's picture

@wendy davis

ah...home of norad, pike's peak, a zillion military peeps

Of the three, only Pike's Peak has been there longer than my father's family. We've been here since the 1880s; the military bases here all date after World War I.

what rare mineral did they just 'discover' on the top of that mountain?

I don't know about "just" discovered, but they found cryolite there. Cryolite is a low-temperature melting mineral which dissolves alumina (aluminum oxide) which makes the Hall-Héroult process for refining aluminum possible.

Fortunately, it's cheaper to synthesize cryolite from fluorite than it would be to mine that deposit. To discover what Pike's Peak would look like otherwise, look at southern Teller County (the Cripple Creek-Victor mining district).

what's your flag, please, and what does your screen name signify?

The flag is the Blue Estelada, symbol of Catalonian Independence from Spain:

There is also a Red Estelada:

which is used by Socialists and Communists within the Catalan independence movement.

I chose la Estelada blava as my avatar because it was more colorful! Smile

and what does your screen name signify?

It's pidgin Greek for "Dead head". It literally comes out as "Death Head":

θάνατος, thanatos, death
κεφάλι, kephali, head
-οιδες, -oides, suffix indicating "like"

The idea was to express "Dead Head" (as in "Grateful Dead Head". As I'm only 59 years old, other Grateful Dead heads have almost always scooped up the "Dead Head" userID before I could get it; hence, my looking to the Greek language for an expression of the same!

Smile

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"US govt/military = bad. Russian govt/military = bad. Any politician wanting power = bad. Anyone wielding power = bad." --Shahryar

"All power corrupts absolutely!" -- thanatokephaloides

wendy davis's picture

@thanatokephaloides @thanatokephaloides

and thank you for all of that info, re: deadheads, fun stuff. in the past i'd dropped acid w. owsley stanley and hear that, although as time wound on their live music became rather meh.

it was bauxite as i remember it that was the impetus for bill foooking clinton to have 'R2Ped" somalia, so i was wondering.

for the sake of posterity on a dead thread please see my rev albert update at the bottom.

g' night; i'm shutting down for the night.

on edit: i'd failed to mention that your folks may have had NATIVE license plates, and that you're a 59 yr, native. i allus have to ask mr. wd. how old i am, but at least old enough for medicare, lol or is it SS? fuck me, i forget. and now i can't remember...what else i'd forgotten oh yes! the catalan secession movement. even if it's true that the catalan elites want it, self-determination should be the by-word, as in kashmir and jammu, yes?

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thanatokephaloides's picture

@wendy davis

'Flu season is all in our heads, Texas televangelist says: 'Inoculate yourself with the word of God' dallasnews.com (gloria copeland of ken copeland ministries) she dinna say 'send dollars to lock in god's blessings', though. (smile)

"Paging Randi, James Randi...."

Smile

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"US govt/military = bad. Russian govt/military = bad. Any politician wanting power = bad. Anyone wielding power = bad." --Shahryar

"All power corrupts absolutely!" -- thanatokephaloides

mhagle's picture

@wendy davis

Every interaction with women in those gospel stories are wonderful. "Woman at the well" = Jesus is shooting the shit with her. They are laughing and laughing. When he tells her she actually has had 5 husbands she rolls on the ground laughing and runs into town to tell everyone how cool he is.

"Woman taken in adultery" = so Jesus shows those dudes how they are full of shit and then says to her. I don't condemn you. "Go and sin no more" does not mean "quit having sex." Sin, meaning "missing the mark" . . . means he says "quit missing the mark" or . . . "what are you doing with those losers who don't give a shit about you anyway!?!?"

"Woman with an issue of blood" = this woman has endometriosis, like so many of us have had in various degrees of severity. The solution that saved most of us from this horrible hemorrhaging was the birth control pill. Hello??? According to OT law she is unclean and banned from the temple. So she touches Jesus hoping to be secretly healed. Jesus just says "cheer up. You are well!"

And then in Matthew 19, not only is Jesus protecting women from being easily discarded, but he clearly states that traditional marriage is not for everyone. Some are gay and some are trans.

That was sort of a rant. Of course it is impossible for celibates to understand the rest of us. A nun can never understand what it means to have sex under all sorts of circumstances, have children, and how to deal with male partners. It's not possible. I can't really understand them either.

A male celibate (Pope Francis) certainly can in no way understand women who are not celibate. Dear sweet Jesus. He didn't claim to understand us, but at least he had compassion.

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Marilyn

"Make dirt, not war." eyo

wendy davis's picture

@mhagle

and glorious jesus stories. we just watched a film that was a feminine spirit tweak on the jacob and esau bible story. 'the red tent'. or did i tell you that already? i get confused as to what i say here, over yonder at the café, and in my mind's 'silent rehearsals.

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thanatokephaloides's picture

@mhagle

A Jesus freak in the 70s (which was pretty pure still = "make love not war"), I was sucked into "prosperity gospel" in the 80s. Eventually realized that it embodied the epitome of evil = greed, arrogance, and presumption.

I resemble that remark! Smile

The whole "non-denominational Christian" movement hereabouts (Colorado statewide) pretty much got sucked into Rushdoony-ism (prosperity badspell + "Christian American Exceptionalism Worldwide"), which turned me into a card-carrying Pagan, as I am today.

My Paganism includes all of these thoughts of yours:

He [Jesus] said, "I give you a new commandment. Love one another as I have loved you. That is how they will know you are my disciples. By your love for one another." He never said "worship me" . . . he only said "follow me." And he spent the whole time healing people, feeding people, and treating people with mercy and compassion.

There is a bit of weird ass shit in the gospels, but most of the stories are awesome. He always treated women as equals. In Matthew 19 he says it is natural to be trans or gay.

Jesus never said he was going to die on the cross for our sins. He never validated all of the horrible crap in the old testament. His followers mostly missed the point as we see from the epistles.

But the teachings and actions of Jesus were pretty cool and sync with the Buddha and other meaningful spiritual folks in history. The good stuff is just good psychology. IMO.

My true peace with Christianity began when I realized that the Holy Spirit, if SHe were Holy indeed, would have to be a Spirit of Truth. Instantly, Rushdoony and all his works went straight to the Hell they imposed on me during the waning years of my Christianity, and my concern for the reputation of Jesus and His God were truly born.

And as for:

Then started to listen to Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John to find out what Jesus really said.

I also included Peter, Thomas, Mary Magdalene, and Judas Iscariot -- Gospels which weren't available when we were kids.

Smile

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"US govt/military = bad. Russian govt/military = bad. Any politician wanting power = bad. Anyone wielding power = bad." --Shahryar

"All power corrupts absolutely!" -- thanatokephaloides

mhagle's picture

@thanatokephaloides

I too have come to the conclusion that the "Spirit of Truth" is what the "Holy Spirit" really is.

Truth is pure. It is far above all religion, and belief, and opinion.

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Marilyn

"Make dirt, not war." eyo

wendy davis's picture

and I'm feelin' more rode hard and put up wet than I'd anticipated, plus answering a multitude of comments by a single commenter at the café that are in a wholly different directions than yours are here. I'm glad you're talking to one another, though; thanks for that.

sign off music as a lullaby before zzzzzleep? guess for tonight i'll have to go with 'playing for change', world peace thru music. sleep a well as you're able.

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janis b's picture

@wendy davis

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wendy davis's picture

@janis b

neither of us had ever heard that one; it has such an italiano flavor, doesn't it?

longtime commenter at the café juliania was born in auckland, emigrated to the states in her late teens, iirc. she still fervently identifies as 'kiwi'. her laptop died a few months back, so she's not around as reading and commenting on the smart phone she was lent is proving nigh on to impossible for her. I do hear from her sister in auckland now and again, and she sends me her photo tours of the area and her gardens now and again.

high summer in NZ now, she says; fancy that! (smile)

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janis b's picture

@wendy davis

I'm glad you both enjoyed it.

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mhagle's picture

and I'm feelin' more rode hard and put up wet than I'd anticipated

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Marilyn

"Make dirt, not war." eyo

earthling1's picture

that pretty much sums it up for me:
"And on the seventh day, man created God".

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After six years, still getting robo-calls from Marriot Hotels.
They're like herpes.

janis b's picture

@earthling1

expresses the absurdity. Yet it also made me think, for the first time (duh) that it makes sense that after all the work is done, and one has time for reflection, s/he considers god ; ).

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Mark from Queens's picture

@earthling1
One of my favorite bands as a kid and who to me still stand out as one of the most unique of their time. Ian Anderson and Pete Townshend really captured my imagination as a young adolescent. Both were intellectual, gifted multi-instrumentalists who challenged preconceptions of society, religion, power and universality.

I was transfixed by the imagery and themes on Aqualung of what appeared to be Industrial Revolution privation in a Charles Dickens setting.

Pretty good piece from Dangerous Minds, "My God: Jethro Tull’s ‘Aqualung’ really IS an album that you MUST hear before you die"

The inner sleeve contained this in that classic Old English gothic-looking font (could still probably freehand their logo today all these years later, though I'm a terrible drawer):

In the beginning Man created God;
And in the image of Man created he him.

2 And Man gave unto God a multitude of names,
that he might be Lord over all the earth when it was suited to Man.

3 And on the seven millionth day Man rested
and did lean heavily on his God and saw that it was good.

4 And Man formed Aqualung of the dust of the ground,
and a host of others likened unto his kind.

5 And these lesser men Man did cast into the void. And some were burned;
and some were put apart from their kind.

6 And Man became the God that he had created
and with his miracles did rule over all the earth.

7 But as these things did come to pass,
the Spirit that did cause Man to create his God
lived on within all men: even within Aqualung.

8 And Man saw it not.

9 But for Christ’s sake he’d better start looking.

Ian Anderson was in his early 20's when he wrote this masterpiece.

It's that kind of sullen, grey, wintry day here. The kind I would always associate in the fall and winter with Tull. May have to indulge a little today...

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"If I should ever die, God forbid, let this be my epitaph:

THE ONLY PROOF HE NEEDED
FOR THE EXISTENCE OF GOD
WAS MUSIC"

- Kurt Vonnegut

earthling1's picture

@Mark from Queens

my albums for that cover now, Mark.
The dust has me sneezing, thanks a lot.
YEP, sure enough, there it is. Never noticed that before.
Nice catch, Mark.
Tull is one of my favorites and I have several of their albums and on CD.
Seen them live at L.A. coliseum way back when. Anderson is amazing on flute. Hell of a food fight on the field that night.

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After six years, still getting robo-calls from Marriot Hotels.
They're like herpes.

wendy davis's picture

@Mark from Queens @Mark from Queens

but the liner sleeve images are waaaay too large to embed.

interesting; thanks.

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wendy davis's picture

@earthling1

i'd been reading well passed my age lots of psychology, religious philosophy, etc. and mused that it might be so.

now that i've witnessed to many church schisms on our valley in sw co, pop. maybe 1500, with prolly 15 different churches, and hearing the issues over the break-away churches as well as some of their divisive and grievous credos such as "gays will be consigned to hell", if bigots didn't choose their own churches based on hatred, rather than being taught such hatred.

i was reminded that since we had no religion, we allowed parents of their friends to take our chirren to their (ahem) preferred 'houses of worship'. our son, maybe none at the time, had stood up in a church of christburger and told off a preacher that his preaching against gays was just.plain.wrong. oh, my; were we proud of him!

one of my nephews by marriage went to school, then taught, at one of the palouse on the prairie colleges in moscow, idaho, asshole racist founder was a southern reconstructionist, pastor doug wilson. ah well, this is by way of a quick bingle, although i sure have some issues with the splc. an excerpt from a flier:

"Slave life was to them [slaves] a life of plenty, of simple pleasures, of food, clothes, and good medical care."

i wrote the nephew on both our behalves and told him never to show up at our door again as his blatant racist beliefs would be too toxic for us and our adopted black/azteca son and ute daughter. but it reminded us that mr. wd's aunt had said during a visit here from chicago that some friends of theirs had just returned from still-very apartheid south africa and said..."that it wasn't that bad". mr. wd had to leave the room lest...well, yanno. but apples don't often too fall fromthe tree, although having said that, my own (estranged by my choice) sister and i are about as different as might and day. she's also a black and lgbt bigot living in the outreaches of atlanta, georgia, she and her hubbie having chased money their entire lives.

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Lookout's picture

https://newrepublic.com/article/121564/gods-and-profits-how-capitalism-a...

I got no problems with god(s) nor goddesses, but religion that's another issue. I've always seen it as a way to control people - not help them. (Yes there are churches which do help the poor, but most help themselves - just look at their gilded buildings). I like the line that goes -They say send your money to god, but they give you their address.

I'm sorry there isn't someone singing this one on the tubes, but I can share the lyrics...

PAIR IN A PARADISE
(Lotus Dickey)

Heaven and Earth by the Lord were created,
Sun and the moon and the stars so elated,
Two in a garden, a beautifully mated
Pair in a Paradise, bare there were they.

[CHORUS]
Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden,
Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden,
Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden,
Pair in a Paradise, bare there were they.

Fruit-bearing trees in that garden were planted,
Nothing was lacking, no nothing was scanted;
Perfect for two, a completely enchanted
Pair in a paradise, bare there were they.

Of all the fruit growing there they'd partaken
Saving for one that the Lord had forbade them
Lest they be a-dying, that man and maiden,
Pair in a paradise, bare there were they.

[CHORUS]

Then in the garden there spoke an advisor:
"Why doth thou listen to all of these lies for?
Eat," said the serpent, "to be but the wiser."
Pair in a paradise, bare there were they.

Satan the serpent was oh so deceiving.
Eve though his cunning was led to believing;
Ate, as did Adam, soon to be a-grieving,
Pair in a paradise, bare there were they.

[CHORUS]

Hiding in shame at a growing awareness
There of their nakedness, there of their bareness,
Clothed by the Lord, then, a sadly embarrassed
Pair in a paradise, bare there were they.

Satan in Eden then had his beginning,
Sought with the lie o'er the Lord to be winning,
Death brought instead to the world through a sinning
Pair in a paradise, bare there were they.

[FINAL CHORUS]
Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden,
Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden,
Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden,
Pair in a Paradise, bare there were they.
Pair in a Paradise, bare there were they.

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

wendy davis's picture

@Lookout

calling out the twining of evangelicals and capitalism; hadn't known about osteen on oprah, though. and yes on the new 'prophets of capital' v 'the priests of capital'. but sigh, the essayist enjoys that francis doesn't believe in trickle-down economics. not a liberation theologist, most of whom endorse Marxist socialism, not just 'economic inequality.) but not jesus chasing the money-changers out of the temple, lol.

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Lookout's picture

@wendy davis

...to find any purity when discussing religion. Just thought the capitalist aspect was interesting - fear that Christianity would lead to socialism, so it had to be purchased and made into the right kind of media...still is.

Interesting discussion.

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

wendy davis's picture

@Lookout @Lookout

and not used my usual in-haste shorthand. i'd cross-posted my attempt at satirizing davos after spending many hours a day for three days...learning. but the crux of what they were doing for the Little People in the fourth industrial revolution (AI and robotics) was supremely delicious.

my essay in shorthand might have amounted to buffy's fine song from earlier days:

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Not Henry Kissinger's picture

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The current working assumption appears to be that our Shroedinger's Cat system is still alive. But what if we all suspect it's not, and the real problem is we just can't bring ourselves to open the box?

wendy davis's picture

playing for change, world peace thru music.

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wendy davis's picture

...the nov. ‘Boston Declaration’, issued by 300 christian leaders who ‘challenge’ the corruption of amerikan christianity, most especially ‘the white supremacy of evangelical Christians, which leads them to support politicians whose promotion of policies of “exclusion, exploitation, and hatred” promises to maintain white privilege and “the normalizing of oppression.” his main criticism is that the document doesn’t speak truth to power in naming names, of identifying and elaborating on specific oppressive governmental policies, which christian presidents' wars, and of proposing concrete actions, but does contain words condemning false ideologies as ‘not the jesus way’. yes, the list is good...for what it contains.

rev albert posits that its vagueness is likely do to some of the signatories’ ecclesiastical superiors are casting their shadows over their deliberations. now the declaration names as one false ideology: ‘“homophobia and transphobia and all violence against the LGBTQ community”, although albert notes that:

“At this moment, The United Methodist Church is threatening to split over its decades-long discriminatory position on homosexuality. Hopefully, the Council of Bishops will help enable the Church to remove from its Book of Discipline the “despicable” words about and discriminatory practices against LGBTQ persons. Specifically: “Para 304.3: The practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching. Therefore self-avowed practicing homosexuals are not to be certified as candidates, ordained as ministers, or appointed to serve in The United Methodist Church.”(small wonder; in any hierarchical organization, there are always compradors. but he also has a long history of calling out the united methodists, one of the organizations of which he’s a member.

it also looks as though victims and their allies of 'priestly' sexual abuse were callin' papal bull on francis in peru and chile during his recent 'good will tour'.

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