Tag Archives: religion

Religious Industry

Religions time has come, and gone, yet they still get a pass. I have no problem with the Christian out there doing good in their family and community. I can only admire those folks who dedicate their lives to the service of others. I have no problems distinguishing between the Christian, Christianity, and religion. What I can’t overlook is the blatant hypocrisy of the institution.

You are probably thinking I’m going for the “pedophile thing”, not really necessary. I’m pissed about how they create constituency through complicity. How they pray/prey over the same folks they persecute. I’m mad about lip service to the core principles of what Jesus preached, judgement and forgiveness. I’ll remind you I’m not speaking of “a Christian, I’m speaking of Christianity and religion as a whole.

Religion has long been understood as a politic. We have phrases about “opiate for the masses” to remind us that in the end, religion supports the politic through the emotions of the worshipper. The number of dollars and where they’re passed along is a big indicator.

The churches adamant support of legislation that involves crime and punishment is well documented. One look at news media over the last 40 years and you could create a 24 hour montage of “holier than thou” characters cheerleading for some politician pushing legislation to get “tough on crime” based on some hyperbole surrounding a heinous act by a sensational character.

Millions of flocks around the country take flight in some 1st century stoning fashion to demand adherence to the commandments. Led by charismatic figures in the latest fashion, followers everywhere demand action in the form of laws, rather than thought in the form of research.

Religion in America damned drugs knowing damn well that their constituents were developing drugs for the masses. They seized the moment and baptized the addict over and over again as a demonstration of piety. Really they were playing both sides against the other.

The tricky thing is that by and large the individuals trying to help were genuine. Sure, they’re thousands of folks out there that sense the hypocrisy and have the taste to “start a program”, but the volunteers who sacrifice their time and money truly want to help, and help as an extension of their faith. Above these folks it’s a crap shoot.

This rubric spilled over to the point religion makes more money off the poor than the market makes off for profit business. The decentralized nature of religion hides the fact they’ve been in the trillions for quite some time.

Christianity knows this to be true. The “United Churches” thrive on this as well as the independent. One look at assets and it’s undeniable. The average person going to worship thinks hard about the dollars the put in that plate. Something is always forgone for those dollars.

The church collects and distributed these tithes to higher organizations or “missions”, usually outside their communities because the folks in their communities usually aren’t “members”. In many cases the tithes become funds in a budget that is used to drive the ego of a few to “build” a bigger dream. Even the faithful can get caught up in movements with marketing titles like “purpose driven”. The trigger for me is how tithes become funds the minute they’re disseminated after service. It’s like the tithes are props.

Again though, that person giving those dollars they don’t have are reaching out with faith. Their tithe is just that. In some cases it’s always a tithe, it never becomes associated with “funds”. They never associate the new zero turn mower bought by the church because the previous mower was outdated with the tithe the gave.

These degrees of separation aren’t new in the world, or in business. The corporate model is within churches because there’s a lot of money involved. Corporate folks don’t waste time on ventures that don’t produce, and religion produces through projects, initiatives, and products created by your tithes that became funds for entrepreneurial folks within the religious industry.

I pray for people, places, and incidents. I try to follow the example of Christ in my heart and my actions. I don’t have a church. Nor do I ascribe to a denomination anymore. I’m not a Christian in the corporate sense, but I am smart enough to see the problem that Jesus had with the temple is alive and well in the church today.

You can’t call for persecution and run a half way house, or decry about stricter drug laws and be a leader in the rehab industry, even worse you can’t support the expansion of the prison industry and develop programs and materials for prison ministries. Religion makes millions, if not billions, off of crime and prays/preys over the criminal. It’s time to shine a light into these dark places.

Advertisements

Silent truths

God is looking for that person who doesn’t know there’s a heaven but leads a truthful life. The one who does good for goodness sake unaware that He is watching.

You can’t aspire, seek, or desire without imperfection. The sentiments can be beautiful, but flawed non the less. This is humilities role, we can only try.

I used to listen to the attacks on truth today in wonder. I no longer wonder, but still shake my head in concern. The truth is folks don’t want to hear it. I’m not talking about the Gospel truth. We can’t get near that today for fear of human truth.

Today you’re supposed to ignore the truth for the perspective another espouses. So if you’re having a conversation and someone says something that isn’t quite true you’re supposed to ignore this lie for the benefit of the premise outlined. It’s ignorance, and a childish behavior.

So if I’m talking to a friend and they are telling me about the trouble in their life and all the misdeeds done to them, I’m supposed to ignore everything self inflicted to bolster the idea that they are the victim.

Never mind the fact that they drink too much, or self medicate, or use co dependent relationships to fill their lives with drama due to an absence of authentic relationships that are mutually affectionate and caring.

The examples are endless, but I have a couple favorites. Suppose you are the caring person for a moment. Unfortunately your “friend” isn’t so caring. So you take time to invite them to lunch. You want to make it special so you actually invite them to your home and prepare lunch. You spend hours on this labor of love making everything perfect.

Upon arrival your friend complains about travel and forgets to say hello. When you sit down to eat they excuse theirselves to the restroom for a lengthily stay. Upon return they list for you again their illnesses or troubles. When it’s time to eat your friend feigns decor and doesn’t complain, but associated illnesses and memories with each course you’ve prepared. All the while intermittently commenting on how they love the meal, but explaining its effect.

At the end of the meal your efforts just become another story in the repertoire of histories your friend uses against you. Never mind your efforts, your thoughts, or the care you’ve taken. Your “friend” has manipulated you into this pleasing state of bondage that becomes the basis of a co dependent existence you feel guilty about interrupting.

This is manipulative behavior. It’s how narcissist create victims. Beware of these “friends” and ensure that you’re always especially honest with them and call them out. Remind them of how their acting. I’m not saying they can’t be true friends, but you will have to be guarded with them.

One of my other favorite characters is the victim. Lord knows there’s enough bad, or evil, around to fill everyone’s life. Some folks make this a career. They ride bad situations like trail horse that just ain’t been ridden. They exaggerate the parts of the ride they avoided disaster, and lament the part where they couldn’t stay on the horse.

Addicts use this tactic. Understand that there are probably more addicts out there not diagnosed than there are celebrating recovery. Functioning addicts and non functioning addicts being supported by co dependent family and friends do more damage to society than the ones that overdose or end up in prison. They capture entire families in a web of dysfunction. Everyone in the game hides from the truth to further their own insecurities in a comfortable manner. “At least I’m not……..

I may be self medicating, but I’m not on the streets. I may take a lot of OxyContin or Adderall, but I’m not shooting heroin or smoking meth. The real popular one is pot. I just smoke enough to calm me down or help me sleep. It matters not to these folks that an altered consciousness creates an altered reality, that’s an innocent truth.

The list of truths we hide from are endless. Bad boys or girls who make us victims to be felt sorry for. Drugs that stigmatize over drugs that are prescribed. Hiding truths of psychological manipulation to feel needed or loved. Even denying the truth for living a lie.

I’m not afraid of truth anymore. I don’t wonder about why folks choose to portray truth as subjective. Truth is hard. The person delivering and receiving have to be ready to experience it. To deliver truth if one or the other isn’t ready is traumatic, and dramatic folks thrive on this mistake.

In the end we have to acknowledge truth and understand that in some relationships it’s so difficult that the alternative seems the only safe choice. The sad truth is we can’t all decide today to let go and just tell the truth because the world would be turnt on its head. This maybe why God is so silent. Sometimes silence is the clearest mirror to reality.

Semantically Sane

I’m writing this more for myself than anyone else. I’m not refuting or supporting any point of view. I will say that in order for me to sift through the garbage or pearls of contemporary “pop philosophy” I have to spend way too much time and effort. The “truth” is I may enjoy both a little too much.

The “truth wars” were fascinating to me at first. Reading about the battles between realities often times reminded me of a trip to a psyche ward. Listening to presumably intelligent folks dissect philosophy to the point it lay lifeless in pieces on coffee stained copy paper was amusing. The nagging sense that someone would develop any theory or treatise just to be the one to prove truth was or wasn’t true just became nauseous.

Semantics may be the three card molly of amateur philosophers, and I don’t consider myself a philosopher, but I do look for truth. I read and listen as these crafty thinkers shuffle the deck of semantics between formal, lexical, and conceptual semantics to prove they know the truth about truth being objective or subjective; and that’s as far as I’ll go down that rabbit hole.

My point is that truths are found on many levels. It is a truth that catholicism is evil when using lexical semantics. One look at the history of any institution will quickly reveal a violence often touted for the good. It is easy to fall into this trap.

For example: It made sense to the Catholic Church to work in cohesion with the Red Cross to assist Nazi war criminals along the “rat line” to Rome where they could receive their new identities using Red Cross refugee documents. During this time communism was a real threat. Hitler wouldn’t have destroyed the church as communism would, so the Catholic Church chose the lesser of two very real evils.

Using a formal semantic approach those conditions create a frame of mind where the church was only looking out for humanity. Communism’s disdain for the church was a threat to the world and doing anything to prevent communism from spreading further West was a noble pursuit.

Using conceptual semantics I could argue about the innate fact that the world was under real threat during this time. Folks were destroyed by the millions. This was the one real Armageddon times of our history where evil and good faced each other and it created a frame of mind we can no longer grasp, except through stories or movies. Understanding the threat to the world gave every institution a sense of survival, and we think and act different in this state of mind.

It seems the truth is that the Catholic Church compromised its values by helping Nazi war criminals based on their fear of communism. Wether that’s evil or not hinges on individual semantics. I personally don’t believe the Catholic Church is evil, but understand how folks could craft this opinion.

So I could justify or malign religion using these approaches to support the statement that Catholicism is evil as a truth. This rubric seems to be popular among many of the folks out there debating truth. It is not always an intentional deceit by the person espousing their opinion, but it seems plausible that it is intentional on another level by folks trying to popularize their ideas as philosophical. Either way we should acknowledge and highlight how dangerous it is to follow or perpetrate ideas that give us pause.

The truth is never simple. It will always find an exception in the minds of someone trying to justify a position. Language is more complicated than the average person gives credit. Linguistics have been a constant companion of philosophy and can be used as a weapon, crutch, or light depending on intention. All of these variables combined with the complexity of the human condition and it’s response to society and culture make for an elusive target.

It may always be akin to that movement we see out of the corner of our eye that never manifests itself more than an illusion, but haunts our thoughts with something to grasp; it’s there non the less.

Free Spirit

I choke on plastic words creating packaged sentiments of empathy or condolence. Lies slither through cracks in the walls of closets and basements like smoke through an open window. Where do you live in a reality where nothing is real.

To know the truth but carry it buried in the pocket of a smoker wrapped in wolf’s bane for fear of it catching wind. For fear that the others will know and suddenly the scrim will melt away like embers in a moonlit breeze. What would we say, now naked and free, no cloaks to hide our intent. How would we continue without truth layered in embers, but blazing with glory in the dark of night.

These facades have taken on a life of their own trapping us within characters we no longer recognize, but can’t escape. Trapped, breathing though porous masks that suffocate a souls yearning to be free, dying to be released. Is death our only truth and birth no more than awakening to contrived realities dished out in plastic stages of development for the benefit of the play.

We fear nature for its truths. We hide in clothes, houses, and careers dreaming of freedom from it all. We dream of The freedom to be wild and human, compassionate and forgiving in a world without lies.

We fall to our knees looking up to a God who doesn’t recognize us because we hide beneath layers of decay for decades serving a different purpose. A faint pulse beats under a black heart starved of the blood and air nature demands. No one hears the rhythm or feels the life that screams to be judged.

I can no longer breathe the air that’s so polluted with purpose and intent I gag with each breath through constricted lungs. How can I free my soul to meet my spirit before the last breath leads me to a land promised by a bat wearing a doves feathers. I want to live before I die.

I want to overcome the clothes I’ve been given to wear as a child that fashioned my tunic for another mans dream. I want to overcome banners and parchments that hang on dilapidated walls and rusted poles. These shackled dreams of men kept me from wandering free where my God would show me mercy and resolve like Job and his ashes.

I have faith that though I was removed from God at birth I can feel His presence in the absence of the humanity I reside. Everything here is gray and steel, stale and stagnant like ponds of nuclear waste in a forest of deciduous trees permanently dormant. It’s the distant shrill of one lone cardinal that affirms my hope.

My banners are fabric, my honor is defined by laws, and my faith stands alone surrounded by lies. I am made to think. My places of worship have locks and flood lights illuminating signs with catchy slogans selling faith for tithes. It is in the wilderness where truth awaits, where God reveals his majesty, not within rooms decorated for posterity. A forest of mirrors reflecting man’s arrogance and contempt for God’s power and presence is just a step away.

So now I live outside myself. For my body may be imprisoned in this nightmare, but my mind is free to travel the earth searching for a handshake or a hug with the warmth of blood.

My hood drawn loose I walk narrow paths avoiding the noise and smoke from distant fires. My path is lit with the spirits of those gone before me. The spirits of men who walked alone with the weight of the world on their mind. I see with my heart and listen with my mind for signs of life, but the world is static and I was born robbed fluid.

Middle Ground

Denying God is a choice for some folks. This choice has many different factors, most of which are not evil. The roots of disbelief are varied and don’t have as much to do with Satan as they do with our psychology.

I’ll stay as far from the atheist vs theist movement as much as possible. These two groups, in my eyes, are the charismatic extremes of the normal everyday believer or non believer. While one labors to live today within an Old Testament reality the other spends an inordinate amount of time talking about the crusades. Neither of these two will help anyone.

I have learned that the middle road scenery is a more realistic journey. I have to stay focused on the path because life seems to push us to extremes. I’m not afraid of God or biology, and for me, it’s what we’re all made of.

At it’s purest form God seems to be the “thing” we question or celebrate every time something good or bad happens to us. After a series of unfortunate events we may question “Why me!” Maybe we hit a string of luck and feel fortunate that somehow it was our turn. Either way, luck, good or bad, assumes an external control.

The strange thing is that whether you believe or don’t, there’s a nagging “something” within the human condition that questions our place in the world. A believer who questions their faith during times of trial, or the non believer who rationalizes events in their life, both rely on something invisible to the average human condition of understanding. Both experience events beyond their understanding and question “why”.

I’m not making a case for or against believing or non belief. I’m simply pointing to the fact that we share this space of unknown consequence. We experience things beyond or control or understanding and attempt to fill it with faith or facts. When both of these fail it seems it’s just us. Somehow we are the unfortunate or fortunate ones.

This space is where the disagreement comes and folks have preyed (no pun intended) on probably forever in human history. It’s almost like I wish we could define for folks what it was like “pre-religious”. Like we do for pre-industrialization. From the accounts we have, it was a violent existence. I’m not saying religion saved the world , it seems it capitalized on humans ability to organize for collective survival. However, we are certainly better off as humans for exploring our spiritual side, it’s when it became a vocation we strayed.

Origins are the key. It’s from these points we can move foreword with coherence. We won’t change institutional religion in government, they’re mutually exclusive at this point, we’d have to eliminate both and that’s not gonna happen. We can enlighten folks on the history of our humanity so that they may exercise their spirituality more responsibly.

So whoever or whatever we fill that void with, we have to leave room for respect and honesty. When I say honesty I don’t mean facts, I mean feelings. I am in the middle between facts and feelings, not to be objective, although that helps, but I think the middle is the space where balance rules.

Hitting folks over the head with a Bible or Quran just makes folks numb. Just like throwing our a barrage of scientific facts to counter someone’s spiritual sensibilities shuts down dialog. Someone had to stand in the gap of reason.

Religion is not spirituality and science is not intelligence. It makes no sense that God would subjugate his creation, just as it makes no sense science would reject possibility. Between the two most of us live, and within the two we survive our own intellectual and spiritual ignorance. And this is life.

March Madness

I’m disappointed in the feminist movement. I’ve been following their movements since the “bra burning” days. This march on D.C is another in the long list of failures. I don’t think it’s due to their ideals, but we just witnessed hundreds of thousands of woman organize and march, and what was the message, they marched!

There is a core out there who are passionate about the exploitation of young girls. This is a valid argument and a national problem. 1 out of 3 is real! Our tween age an teen age girls are a sought out commodity and need protection that all to often doesn’t come from home.

There are woman passionate about reproductive rights, and justifiably so a woman’s health is just that, hers. The sad but obvious sentiment missing is that in many of these cases there are men who should be heard supporting their woman, but they cower in the background like the women got pregnant on their own. That old country song “Stand By Your Man” needs a remake, “Stand By Your Partner”, man up bitch!!!

The “Glass ceiling” has been shattered for a while now. Yes, there are shards still in the framework, but it balances out with other prejudices like color, religion, or socio economic history. Instead of celebrating the woman who ran Donald Trump’s campaign, the “uber left feminist” demonized her and any other woman who is successful. Ain’t nothing free “baby”, you gotta earn it. A vagina never got anyone to far no matter how they tried to use it, especially on a hat!

So how does the history of this movement keep getting usurped. The avant guard in the seventies, the “intelligencia” in the nineties, and in this century the postmodernist are ruling the narrative through remnants of all these groups. The universities that we subsidize are a bastion of professors that believe that science is objective and truth is a lie. The avant guard pops out of Hollywood as all sorts of characters. The intelligencia is rewarded for perpetrating the narrative and punished for not supporting the narrative.

Make no mistake this is coordinated and the division Obama created by moving to the extreme left, and the extreme right taking the bait, created a gap where everyone could just waltz right in. Then the “bandwagon was rolling with “Boomer” at the reins!

The other players are an echo from the past. The “Black Lives Matter” crowd seem to have usurped the outdated “Civil Rights Era” narrative. The whole nothing is as it seems postmodern narrative fits in well with them.

Atheist made great strides in demonizing Christianity, they show deference to the Muslims, and act like kids at a teen idol concert when it comes to eastern religion. They’re good till you ask them if you can have atheism without having a God, then they use the postmodern formula of deconstruction and take apart the content ignoring the question.

The real danger to this is we, “True Americans”, are put at risk by the naïveté of these groups. Postmodernism is a European movement attempting to get a foothold in America to change our culture and further socialize the world as a rebellion to capitalism.

Black Lives Matter has been infiltrated, if not originated, by the militant Christian and Muslim movement. They share the methods of there is no truth and the organizations that make up our culture are persecuting their groups.

The Muslim movement in America is not a foreign influence, it’s perpetrated through the prison system among black leadership within a gang that assumed a religious origin for protection. One of the popular moves throughout this culture is ex patriating. They use treaties signed in the 18th century to establish their indigent status and then file paperwork to recoup their birth certificate, SSN, and any other document that formed what they refer to as the “contract with the American Corporation”.

It may seem that I’ve strayed from the feminist movement being usurped since it’s inception, but race, gender, and politic have consistently usurped the narrative of feminist. It’s part of a larger movement that seeks to use questionable situations to highlight a narrative of division against our way of life. Don’t be fooled!

Is there room for improvement in our culture, certainly. Are there folks who are greedy making fortunes off the backs of soldiers, the poor, and middle class, always has been. We have much to work on in America. The truth is that a subjective world leaves our freedom vulnerable.

Celebrating yourself marching as a group is an egocentric activity. Selfies with vulgar signs and platitudes don’t tell others what your issues are in a coherent manner. Leading a march of hundreds of thousands of citizens who are ignorant of the larger goal is not activism, it’s sedition.

I hope the feminist movement can reflect on these last weeks and weed out the leadership that had other objectives besides the welfare of woman. You have foreign influence within your ranks that have once again usurped your cause. In fact, if you don’t wake up from your ignorance you could make life for females in parts of America worse by inviting foreign religious practices that devalue woman to the level of livestock. Regain control of your mind along with your body and we’re behind you 100%, otherwise your cause will once again fade into the history of the avant guards dream of a socialist utopia.

Island

Now, more than ever, you must be an island. The wind and waves are foul. The warmth is a false blanket for shivering in the rain. Storms come and go, and even though the sun will shine again, it will be on debris.

I listen to the thunder and the crashing of waves intently. All I hear is noise. You can’t learn from wind and water fighting to be heard, all you ever get is wet and cold.

This is separate from chaos or anarchy. They have a purpose, a goal to attain. This storm lacks the elements to become nothing more than a nuisance. Nothing can become of noise without a coherent voice.

It’s not enough to stay indoors and create a drama from what unfolds behind sliding glass doors and vomit into the glow of a glass brain. You have to free your mind from that fish bowl.

Step away, find an anchor on high ground where the noise is distant. Find that place where you can see the storm for what it is. Stay above the fray and when you feel the spray of the crashing foam, move higher. Stay on firm ground.

As time passes and the storm subsides you can watch the different elements and how they recede or sweep away the debris. Once you know how the storm develops, devastates, and departs you’ll know better how to fortify your island.

From this point forward you won’t be fooled by soft breezes or passing clouds. You’ll see right through the surf into the churning froth underneath. And when the storm comes you’ll be prepared for the truth. It’s just weather. Blue skies and sunshine are alway glimmering above the tantrums of nature.

I am an island. I am is more than a statement. I am is a manifesto that I created the land I stand on and although forces beyond me may revolve around this earth, this place is mine and nothing can shake my resolve that truth is like the sun, ever present and undying even when it’s clouded by the nature of others.