commentary, philosophy, and outright rants

Archive for the ‘religion’ Category

Winston Churchill was a carrot.

For more details, see Charles Seife’s mathematical proof here.

If you find that interesting, you’ll probably find his books interesting too.

The Death Penalty and Christianity

Just think…

If the Roman Empire had banned execution… Christianity wouldn’t exist. After all, it’s based around someone being executed!

No room in the -manger-?

CNN reports on a fight between Armenian Christians and Greek Orthodox Christians at the supposed birthplace of Jesus in Bethlehem:

“…some of the Orthodox faithful stepped inside the Armenian church’s section, touching off a scuffle between about 50 Greek Orthodox and 30 Armenians…”

I wonder how much room the Armenians would give a poor Jewish mom down on her luck who couldn’t even book a Motel 6 room?

The (mostly Muslim) Palestinian Authority police had to be called in to restore order.

Hate is Love, War is Peace, and Benedict’s full of it

Benedict XVI has posted his message of “peace” on the Vatican website. This is Benedict’s idea of the central way to bring peace on earth:

5. Consequently, whoever, even unknowingly, circumvents the institution of the family undermines peace in the entire community, national and international, since he weakens what is in effect the primary agency of peace. This point merits special reflection: everything that serves to weaken the family based on the marriage of a man and a woman…

Bigotry against gays – just as was practiced in Nazi Germany – will bring peace on earth, at least according to the head of the Catholic Church.

A practical step to increase women’s rights

CNN reports that “A court in Saudi Arabia increased the punishment for a gang-rape victim after her lawyer won an appeal of the sentence for the rapists…”

We can’t cut off money and diplomatic relations with Saudi Arabia because we need their oil.  If some of the people who were all worried about marching and protesting and doing all sorts of other things about women’s rights would simply spend their time coming up with usable alternative fuels, we could cut off the Arabs’ money spigot.

Marching feels sooooo much better and uplifting than a few years of laboratory research, though…

Democrats try to end the ultimate taxation without representation

The ultimate form of taxation without representation is to accrue massive government debts that will have to be paid by people not even born yet.  It’s difficult to vote if you haven’t even reached embryo status yet.

According to CNN , Rep. Dave Obey of Wisconsin suggested that current voters pay for the Iraq conflict, since current voters control whether that conflict continues or not.

Naturally, Republicans – with their never-ending concern for the unborn – are in favor of continuing to tax not only the unborn but even the not-yet-conceived.

Higher education American style

http://backend.deviantart.com/embed/view.swf
Higher Education 007 by ~Nihilio on deviantART
(click on picture to go to the artist’s page)

People who follow the Bible just saying no to violence?

In a recent speech, Pope Benedict XVI said in part:

Naturally it is my hope that believers, whichever religious community they belong to, will continue to benefit from these rights, since I am certain that religious liberty is a fundamental expression of human liberty and that the active presence of religions in society is a source of progress and enrichment for all. This assumes, of course, that religions do not seek to exercise direct political power, as that is not their province, and it also assumes that they utterly refuse to sanction recourse to violence as a legitimate expression of religion.

The Dwindling in Unbelief blog points out that maybe the Pope should start editing the Bible if His Holiness really believes what he’s preaching.

Extra: see the Bible illustrated with Legos! Two sample scenes:

God Commands Amalekite Genocide
Saul Rejected for Incomplete Genocide


RSS post seen in Attensa for Outlook (download it here)

Orthodox Jews and Naziism: Shared Values

Much as the Jewish community would like the world to believe otherwise, Jewish people were not the only persons targeted by the Nazi regime. Just as Jews were required to wear a yellow Star of David, so homosexuals – another outcast group – were required to wear pink triangles. (This is the origin of the pink triangle used in the modern gay rights movement.)

According to the Jerusalem Post, “A Jewish invocation will be used by ultra Orthodox rabbis in Jerusalem to curse the organizers of the Gay Pride March and the police who protect them.” A quote in the story says that “If done by a competent, God-fearing rabbinic court like the Edah Haredit, the people who are cursed do not live out the year.”

The Edah Haredit and Adolf Hitler: not so different after all, in the long run.

Some Guiding Thoughts for Reclaiming, a Tradition of Witchcraft

So now it’s looking more and more like the people who speak up on one of the Reclaiming lists don’t want the Reclaiming Principles of Unity to be viewed so prosaically. Even though they’re prose. ;> The words can mean so many different things, and they should, even when they contradict, or something like that. Or maybe they should be poetry.

So, here’s poetry. (Or at least my idea of the Principles of Unity in a poetic, less-definitive format, anyway.)


Some Guiding Thoughts for Reclaiming, a Tradition of Witchcraft
by steward
August 20, 2006 CE

We are alive.

We are not just We the People;
We are.

We are We the Earth;
We are We the Rocks,
We are We the Plants;
We are We the Animals.

We are We the Ancestors;
We are We the Goddesses;
We are We the Gods;
We are We,
The Allies seen and unseen,
We are what we have not named,
The nameless and the myriad.

We are not what We are not,
But claim no superiority in any way
Regarding those who We are not.

As We are all We have named,
We are Goddess; we are God.
We exist as a Divine presence
Wherever we exist
Whenever we exist
However we exist.

Whether we are coming forth on to this Earth,
Whether we are growing on this Earth,
Whether we are slipping away from this Earth,
We are.
We are still and we are Divine
And We are still of the Connection
With all of the named.

We do.
We move.
We act.
We do and move and act with our bodies.
We do and move and act with our wills.
We do and move and act in ways
That are often immeasurable in weaving
Yet potent in result.
We call these ways of moving “magic”,
And we do and move and act with our magic.

When we do and move and act, we hold intentions.
We recognize that We are a collection of many that are I
We recognize that each I comprehends Us differently from each other I.
We do not require that each I comprehend Us in any specific way,
For to do so would be to bind each and every I,
Assembled as We,
From doing and moving and acting.

The We that has been Named seeks healing,
And an end to those actions that cause a need for healing.
The We that has been Named seeks compassion.
And an end to those actions that cause a need for compassion.

The We that has been Named seeks to explain to those,
Who are not of the We that has been Named,
Why it is that We seek such things
And why it may be that They may wish to seek such things as well.

We believe that,
In past cycles on this Earth,
People who thought as We do Named themselves as Witches.
We, acting on this our belief, proudly Name ourselves as Witches,
Honoring and connecting to our Ancestors of Belief.

We recognize that without each I
There is no We
And for this reason, when We act,
We seek to involve each I in the named We.
We celebrate what is given to us in doing and moving and acting.
We celebrate the wonders of the I Incarnate.
We celebrate the differences
Manifest in each I.
As We do not claim no superiority in any way
Regarding those who We are not,
So We, as manifest in each I,
Do not claim that one I of the We is superior in any way
To any other I of the We.

We seek joy in each I and in the combination of the We.
We gather,
In large and small groups,
To do,
To act,
To move,
To celebrate,
To be.

We look to the future,
To Those not yet come,
To Those who may be Us
As We will be,
Not in this time,
Nor needfully in this place.

The We that has been Named seeks healing,
And an end to those actions that cause a need for healing.
The We that has been Named seeks compassion.
And an end to those actions that cause a need for compassion.

The We that has been Named believes that those ends
May take many cycles of birth, growth, death, decay and regeneration.
The We that has been Named is not discouraged by this:
For the We that has been Named transcends this our beloved Earth
For the We that has been Named transcends the limits of Time.

The We that has been Named,
Here and now,
In this Time, in this place,
Seeks ways to end actions that cause a need for healing.

The We that has been Named,
Here and now,
In this Time, in this place,
Seeks ways to end actions that cause a need for compassion.

The We that has been Named,
In so doing, in so moving, in so acting, and in so being,
Seeks to empower an Action and a Being.

This Action and Being shall survive each corporeal I
In the We that has been named
But shall ease the way
For future I’s in the We that has been named
To end the actions that cause a need for healing
To end the actions that cause a need for compassion.

So the We that has been Named
Seeks to Empower this Action and Being;
If you would be an I within this We
Then join together with this We
As you and you alone see fit
If you would not be an I within this We
Then the We that has been named
Honors the choice by the I that is You as well.