Forget Faith in Jesus or Mohammad – I Believe in Bugs Bunny

hypocrite_fish

One thing seems to be consistent about religions all through human history; faith in the literal truth of the religion’s doctrines and dogmas is strongest in the least educated and least widely experienced, while the “elite” tend to range from religious beliefs with agnostic admissions to full-blown, cynical atheism.  This aspect of societal religion tends to favor the more partisan of each camp; the “masses” are peer-pressured to “show faith” and not think too much, while the “elite” are pressured in the same way to deny ALL aspects of deity and belief and God(s).  For those of us to who seeking understanding of God in a REAL sense, as opposed to a political or emotional/security sense, this is a bit of a hindrance.

To try to avoid the almost inevitable miscommunication that occurs when attempting to discuss God let me define my own terms; belief is not the same as faith; faith is something that causes grief and only causes good by accident; belief is what built civilization as we know it.

Faith is defined in Western culture as belief in something unseen, unproven, un-EVIDENCED other than by conflicting scriptural testimonies; this is a fool’s game at best!

Pseudo-religion has taken over much of the world’s “Faithful” by taking advantage of the tendency of the masses to desire a simple creed with an un-questioned authority to follow – just so that they do not have to ponder things that they do not have the experience or education to ponder with any confidence.

It is not enough, their preachers say, to believe in the bridge over the canyon, you must have and prove absolute faith that it is there…

The next sound you hear is the sound of crunching bones at the bottom of the canyon; and if the snake-oiled social-system-from-perdition that they are selling fails the test in the real world they have an escape clause; it is the fault of the poor soul who failed to “show enough faith”; you know who I mean, they are most likely a victim of the situation for which they are receiving (divine sanctioned) blame!

As you can see Virginia, I have never completely gotten over my desire to seek God, and lead others to know God better! Mea culpa; I still care. But, at some point I recognized that all the “Organized Religions” have long since been co-opted by pirates, parasites and reactionaries – who are their own enemies as well as everyone else’s; never thinking, believing then acting – just fighting the others while stealing as much power over people’s souls as possible.

Oh, let me point out that yes, Atheism is a faith; it takes a lot of ego-based, un-founded faith to KNOW that “our reality contains no form of anything that might be called God, period, debate closed; it is not even possible you know, why even bring it up in ‘intelligent’ company?”

Belief on the other hand is based on facts and experience and even intuition, if that intuition has a good track record; if every time you had something very bad happen in your life, and you had ignored a strong, distinct feeling to avoid the situation, eventually you would “believe” enough to listen; even though for years you might not have the “faith” to gamble on your premonitions being something other than a coincidental case of indigestion!

I have beliefs, I have very little faith; I like it that way.

Faith has to be blind; the blind tend to step on things, including other people’s toes, property, pets and even bridges that are NOT over canyons.

Of course many of the things that can fall under either label are good, or useful!

In a documentary film about the life and death of comedian Andy Kaufman (Man on the Moon) there is a scene where he is waiting to undergo a faith healing in India with full belief, from things he has seen and read and experienced, that he would find healing given by an honest healer. But instead, he sees from where his stretcher is laid that the “healer” is faking the procedure, and his belief dies.

Of course, the proponents of “faith” will tell us that if he had continued to ‘have FAITH ™’, instead of merely believing, the placebo effect would have worked with a holy head-start, and he might have found healing; I do not disagree but, I find that level of blind faith an evil, black magic; one that is less a slippery slope than a swift escalator to horrific abuses ( ones that we have seen over and over again in history when people forget the reality of their fellow man, and treat them solely according to their “faith.” Q.E.D. Virginia, Q.E.D.!

The bottom line is that true lover’s of God are recognized despite their religion, not because of it; mostly everyone stays for their entire life in the religion that they were born into; in some religions it can be fatal to become an Agnostic let alone change your religion; so much for an honest quest for God.

Yet there are good, godly, devout people wherever you find human hearts and human tears.  You can’t avoid that simple, obvious truth; unless you cling to “faith” in the notion that God made a special effort to make sure that you were born in the faith that you “happen” to believe in – all just so you could be “saved“! Of course, anyone not so favored was chosen by the ‘Infinite Power and Mercy of Deity’ to be born in an “un-Godly cult” that destines them to almost certain “damnation”!

If you do believe that this is true, then there is a quote from the Christians’ Bible that I believe is appropriate: “Jesus Wept“!

Partisans, Partisans Fly Away Home; Your Politics Are Toxic And Your Children Are Alone.


(HH here: As the feeding frenzies around President Obama’s policies and appointments thicken I wish to note that the partisans on the RIGHT are feeling freer and freer to show their own true colors. From corporate apologies to thinly veiled Christian Supremacism we see the Right Wing minds daring to poke their heads above the Conservative majority on the Right.

Just as the Leftists feel compelled to oppose anything that is traditional or uniquely Western so the Right Wing follower of “revealed Truth” seems hard-wired to reflexively oppose ANYTHING proposed by a non-fundamentalist that does not reinforce the fundamentalist’s worldview.

Over the course of history just how many wonderful ideas were torn apart by the wild dogs of partisan “debate”? The saddest thought to me is that if the “ideal society” envisioned by both extremes ever had a chance it was from moderate ideals that the partisans rejected for lack of “purity”.

Back in March I posted a piece about my attitudes toward the extremes of the political spectrum, principally Islamists and Fundamentalist Christians. In that piece I talked about the difference between neo-Platonic thought and Neo-Aristotelian thought.

In a nutshell the Platonic model believes in revealed Truth as the only valid Truth. Human reason is a trap and a dead end and the only hope Humans have is to follow absolutely the rules of the MOST nearly enlightened leaders. These leaders can be secular (Hitler, Stalin, Mao) or they can be Religious (Bin Laden, Khomeini, Jim Jones, The Pope before the Reformation) but they all share the quality of being closer to the unknowable “Truth” than the hopeless and helpless masses. To NOT follow this master/teacher/leader is to commit blasphemy and accept the cloak of evil.

We see this model used over and over again by those who seek power but have no ideals that serve mankind. Rather they seek to sell their followers on the idea that they are lost sheep and following “The Leader” whether Christ or Allah, is the ONLY possible way to be “good”. Moral choice is declared too weighty for the average mortal and is reserved for the “priesthood” in charge of the orthodoxy.

We see this today most clearly in sharia “law” and in the actions of certain radical and heretical Christian sects. They look not to their Human conscience in making “moral” choices but to a book or fanatical leader whose pronouncements are to be simply noted and applied, not debated or questioned. Thus if the Islamic authorities declare that there is no sin in a man performing sexual acts upon his infant “wife”(as long as she is not PHYSICALY harmed) a “good” Muslim is simply expected to nod their head and go home and feel o.k. about uncle Salim masturbating on a 16 month old. MORALITY IS NOT IN OUR PROVENENCE in this mindset. Morality to the neo-platonic is obeying the rules end of story, now put your hand down and stop asking questions or we will cut it off.

Just so in some radical Mormon families or certain radical Christian families when the “patriarch” says that this 12 year old girl is to marry his 65 year old buddy as a 4th wife no one is supposed to THINK of questioning its “Rightness”. God says he has the right, he has used that right and the girl is blessed to be so taken care of; AMEN. In their minds.

Caught between the tribal squabblings of these fanatical (ultimately superstitious) fools on the Right and Left are the neo-Aristotelians. Those that believe that mankind can learn and grow. Those that feel that the universe is essentially sensible and follows consistent rules however subtle and complicated those rules may be. You know, the ones that USE their brains AND hearts.

With the Human race learning enough about the universe and how it works to place a whole series of people on the Moon and return them I would say that the jury SHOULD be in on who is right, us or the Platonians. Science as we have known it would be impossible if Plato were correct. Even the discoveries of something as old as the science of optics would be impossible if Plato were not completely off track in his analysis of mind and reality.

But this has not stopped the fanatical and self-hating Neo-Platonics from keeping the rest of us from finding greater harmony in our cultures and relations. On the Left and on the Right the tribal Us vs. Them mindset that sees all life as a zero-sum game keeps feeding off of every society that welcomes them.

Today let us examine the “fairness doctrine” and “localism”. On the left we have Mark Lloyd, Obama’s “Diversity Chief” and on the Right we have Mr. Lloyd’s bio on discoverthenetworks.org. In the middle of a lot of partisan blather are a few good ideas that look to get raped in passing while the two sides “react” instead of thinking.

Frontpagemag.com the umbrella site for discoverthenetworks.org and others trends from moderate Conservative to unabashedly Rightwing depending on the subject and on the author. This particular page, the bio for Mark Lloyd strays far over into the land of corporate apologia and far from the realm of objectivity.

Of course that does not change the fact that Mr. Lloyd is about as unreconstructed a Marxist as there is in the administration today. He knows the “Truth” of the Leftist religion and is ready and willing to use a broken slide rule to calculate which “means” are justified by each particular holy “end”. In addressing the idea that ownership of media outlets needs to be in more female and minority hands he embraces gleefully the idea of “removing” the “wrong kind” of owners and placing their outlets in the “right hands” for “proper” social growth.

On the one hand Lloyd was correct in a June 2007 report Lloyd co-authored titled “The Structural Imbalance of Talk Radio,” when he said: “91 percent of the total weekday talk radio programming is conservative, and 9 percent is progressive,” and these stations and networks are failing to follow Section 315 of the Communications Act of 1934, requiering “commercial broadcasters to operate in the public interest and to afford reasonable opportunity for the discussion of conflicting views of issues of public importance.”

Also, while Lloyd feels the argument does not go far enough in FORCING the market to represent his Leftist “truth” in great enough proportion he does recognize that a big part of the cause was: “repeal of the Fairness Doctrine by the [FCC] in 1987. The Fairness Doctrine was a regulation … that required broadcasters to devote airtime to important and controversial issues and to provide contrasting views on these issues in some form. From this perspective, the repeal of the doctrine in the late 1980’s allowed station owners to broadcast more opinionated, ideological, and one-sided radio hosts without having to balance them with competing views.”

This is such a no-brainer that it boggles the mind that anyone would be arguing it. I remember what radio was like then. All sorts of things were discussed but the STATION was always neutral and it was the GUESTS that battled it out in the ideological duels. The idea of an ideologue of EITHER stripe having sole control for a time and being allowed to not only propagandize but select for themselves who they will let ask them questions and what they will answer.

The Rest of Lloyds Marxist ideals are toxic but the basic idea of a return to the times when stations regularly reminded their audiences that the airwaves belonged to THEM and not the station. I felt comforted to know that if a station went off the beam far enough the locals could bring it back in line.

Why do so many so called Conservatives fail to see when things are going their way that there might come a time when THEY will be the minority in need of a level playing field? As near as I can tell the only solid reason the Conservatives have to reject the Fairness Doctrine in its historical form is that they have more voices on the radio and non-partisan debate is the LAST thing they want. In this they have abandoned the honor of Conservatism for the reactionary opportunism of Right Wing totalitarianism.

By all means Mr. Lloyds draconian redistribution of outlets and the income of privately owned outlets should be opposed by all legal means. But to be fair, what is wrong with the fairness doctrine? It just holds the outlet to be neutral and to let real people instead of paid performers debate the issues. As I said, I remember it quite well and fail to see a problem with returning to it, other than demagogues losing the ability to get rich propagandizing people with hateful rhetoric. Regardless of the truth of any individual story that someone like Rush airs that story will be spun hard in one direction and no opposing voice will be heard.

The other issue that the “Conservative” that wrote Mr. Lloyd’s bio had that just seems silly is that of “localism” the idea that radio, TV and Newspaper outlets should be mostly locally owned instead of being arms of corporate interests.

Given the troubles that media has caused in the past due to too few voices in control I again fail to see why this is not a GOOD idea.

If Randolph Hearst had not been allowed to own so many papers would the West coast Japanese have been interred in WWII? Other examples abound. Frankly I can’t see the problem with the old school approach; one group or individual may own or control ONE outlet of each type, radio, Newspaper, TV. On the national level with cable and sat radio One theme per station should be the rule; news, music, talk, general entertainment.

If each owner, individual or group, is allowed an equal presence in every venue how is it NOT fair? To do as Mr. Lloyd wishes and control WHO is allowed to own at all is simply draconian but to try to defend corporations or individuals (like Hearst) owning and controlling huge swaths of media is just reckless. that simply defends a present status quo at the risk of the freedom of speech of generations unborn!

Reality Check: If someone who claims to not be Right Wing or Leftist defends injustice when it benefits THEIR group but sees it as evil if “committed” by the opposition then you are talking to a partisan. Do not feed them or pet them, simply walk away and continue to use your god-given will to resist the temptation to force others follow your “truth” whether they like it or not.

Go Forth and Be Moderate. Be Not Afraid to Think.)

Why do I call myself a both Moderate and Liberal?


(HH Here: As things stand today the words Liberal and Leftist are often used as though they mean the same thing. That is about like saying that the terms Conservative and Jingoist are also interchangeable. Come to think of it that is how BOTH sets of words are used today. Jingoists are branding anyone Liberal with the label Leftist and Leftists demonize anyone who is at all Conservative as a Jingoistic Chauvinist.

So, before we discuss the ever to be feared Leftists and Jingoists let us first discuss what a Liberal and a Conservative truly are.

Dictionary.com says that to be Liberal is to be:
1. favorable to progress or reform, as in political or religious affairs.

2. (often initial capital letter) noting or pertaining to a political party advocating measures of progressive political reform.

3. of, pertaining to, based on, or advocating liberalism.

4. favorable to or in accord with concepts of maximum individual freedom possible, esp. as guaranteed by law and secured by governmental protection of civil liberties.

5. favoring or permitting freedom of action, esp. with respect to matters of personal belief or expression: a liberal policy toward dissident artists and writers.

6. of or pertaining to representational forms of government rather than aristocracies and monarchies.

7. free from prejudice or bigotry; tolerant: a liberal attitude toward foreigners. (HH: Simple note to the vocabulary impaired; Prejudice and bigotry require a person to IGNORE factual data to come to their conclusions about others i.e. it is NOT bigotry to dislike people like Nazis and Supremacists and others who are demonstrably inimical.)

8. open-minded or tolerant, esp. free of or not bound by traditional or conventional ideas, values, etc. (Another note for the Leftists, Not bound means you can CHOOSE to go beyond tradition and convention IF it seems desirable, the Liberal is not REQUIRED to abandon them whenever possible.)

9. characterized by generosity and willingness to give in large amounts: a liberal donor.

10. given freely or abundantly; generous: a liberal donation.

11. not strict or rigorous; free; not literal: a liberal interpretation of a rule.
(This last one is why so many “liberal” reforms have had their impetus from religious folk. Those who interpret their religion with Love see things that those who see God as a legalistic prig cannot. It was not the “Conservative” churches that supported the reform of Slavery or child labor or minority civil rights, it was always the Liberal Churches that spearheaded the way. The Conservative Churches fought tooth and nail until the “Liberal” ways became common wisdom because of the fear-mongering of their resident jingoists who magnified the threat to “Biblical Authority” in each case. Now each cause is embraced in toto by all but the most radical of Rightwing Churches.

Mr. Hill over at Fox and other unreconstructed Leftists should take note that this definition does NOT say a word about radicals or revolutions or Marxism.

O.K. that is pretty clear. So what then is a “Leftist” if they are NOT a “Liberal” you might ask? The short answer is that a Leftist is more or less a Marxist. But I do not think that the short answer will suffice in this forum so let us delve a little deeper.

Back we go to Dictionary.com or any other standard English dictionary:

1. a member of the political Left or a person sympathetic to its views.

O.k. then, what is the “political Left”?

Wikipedia.org has this to say: “In politics, left-wing, political left, leftist and the Left are terms used to describe a number of positions and ideologies. They are most commonly used to refer to support for changing traditional social orders or for creating a more egalitarian distribution of wealth and privilege. …

The phrase left-wing was coined during the French Revolution, referring to the seating arrangement in parliament; those who sat on the left supported the republic, the popular political movements and secularization.[1][2] The concept of a distinct political Left originated with the June Days Uprising of 1848. (HH: The totalitarian excesses post revolution were exclusively the result of extreme interpretations of the “Leftist” movement.) The organizers of the First International saw themselves as the successors of the left wing of the French Revolution. The term was applied to a number of revolutionary movements in Europe, especially socialism, anarchism[3] and communism. The term is also used to describe social democracy. In contemporary political discourse, the term the Left usually means either social liberal or socialist.[4]”

Well there you go, Leftism is NOT Liberalism by any definition. Leftism is radical, revolutionary and ultimately has always expressed itself in totalitarian ways to the limits allowed by other elements in a given society. For the Leftist to attempt to cloak themselves by claiming responsibility for the Liberal progress of the past is simply an attempt to put the wolf in sheep’s clothing. To the great peril of the U.S. the Democratic party has won the White house at the very moment a true blue radical Leftist has come to prominence. ACORN and Van Jones et. al. will be seen as just the tip of the iceberg as the people of the U.S. come to grips with the difference between the Liberal and the Leftist.

So, that takes care of the Liberal=Left fantasy, let us now move on to the dreaded Conservative and the even more dreaded Jingoist.

Let us go forth to Dictionary.com again and look up the word Conservative:

1. disposed to preserve existing conditions, institutions, etc., or to restore traditional ones, and to limit change.

2. cautiously moderate or purposefully low: a conservative estimate.

3. traditional in style or manner; avoiding novelty or showiness: conservative suit.

4. (often initial capital letter) of or pertaining to the Conservative party.

5. (initial capital letter) of, pertaining to, or characteristic of Conservative Jews or Conservative Judaism.

6. having the power or tendency to conserve; preservative.

Well now, that does not sound very bad does it? A Conservative is someone who appreciates the good in tradition and is both slow to accept radical change without good reason and avoids novelty and showiness for their own sake. Doesn’t it sound like the best thing to be might be a person who is Conservative at first but is aware that imperfections need to be dealt with in a Liberal fashion?

Is there anything in that definition that demands that a Conservative never change? Must the Conservative always judge their customs as superior and in need of no reform? There does not seem to be a word about any of that. It just says the Conservative is not reckless or careless or frivolous. Nothing to say you cannot be a somewhat Liberal Conservative nor to forbid a person from being a conservative Liberal.

Both ideologies seem to be about finding the best solutions (or non-solutions for non-problems) for all. The Conservative is more focused on not rushing to mess up what is good without good reason and the Liberal is a bit more focused on making what is wrong right but both have the love of civilization at their heart.

Can you imagine a harmonious, benign society that does not have a healthy presence of BOTH Conservative and Liberal elements keeping things out of the hands of the partisans? I can’t. So why do we follow the mindset of either Rush Limbaugh or Michael Moore? THAT I can’t answer.

But what about those Jingoist people? What are THEY into?

Good old Dictionary.com says this about them:

the spirit, policy, or practice of jingoes; bellicose chauvinism.

Bellicose means: inclined or eager to fight; aggressively hostile; belligerent; pugnacious.

And here is good old Chauvinism:

1. zealous and aggressive patriotism or blind enthusiasm for military glory.

2. biased devotion to any group, attitude, or cause.

Do we really need to break it down any further? To the Bellicose Mind, sure of its group’s purity and righteousness, a mind that wants to see things reformed for harmony is no better than one that seeks the destruction of all that is good and traditional.

To the mind that sees The Society That Is as an evil and unfixable obstacle to be eliminated in order to establish the perfect world to come ANY Conservative thought is a reactionary and evil frustration of the destined, and desired, revolution.

Neither group can ever be trusted to compromise or to co-operate in anything but the destruction of a mutual enemy. And Of course, like the Soviets and Nazis, go at each other again the moment that enemy is down for the count. Sometmes they do not even wait that long and defeat is snatched fromthe jaws of victory as a result.

It is never easy being Moderate. You need to be able to stand up to the Chauvinists attempting to control the Conservatives on one side and the Radicals influencing the Liberals on the other. Each are goo at mouthing the right words to their useful idiots to keep them pulling the wagon.

And each is pretending every Moderate is a proponent of the opposition, instead of a free soul seeking solutions rather than questing for victories.

As a Moderate you will be called the worst things that either set of totalitarians can think of and be accused of every crime each extreme has ever committed. But history shows that while most of the trial and trauma of humanity has come from the Jingoists and Leftists, when the dust settles it is usually the decency and stability of the Liberal Conservative middle that has prevailed. It is what has lead us from the Purdah and slavery of the Early Greeks in imitation of the rest of the “civilized World” to the heights of Western Civilization enjoyed and respected today by all who are not seeking unjust power over others. To those who have love for Mankind and God in their hearts the West is most certainly on the path to where we all want to be.

Indeed all of Western History can be seen as the slow triumph of Moderate thought over the partisans who would tear us all apart into warring tribes for all time.

So ignore the calls to hate the Conservative or the Liberal. See them for what they are, battle cries trying to rally the forces of destruction against those who would build instead.

Look to your home, your family, your culture and be a bit Conservative, then look to find the cracks to be found in the most perfect political creations and let your inner Liberal voice your concerns. Protect what is strong and strengthen what is weak. But above all, wish to do good to each other.