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“!

What is the Difference Between RightWing and Leftist?

 I have been wondering a lot lately on just what the real difference is between partisans on the Left and pastisans on the Right. I think I have finally put my finger on it; Rightwingers WORK the System while Leftists main strategy is to GAME the System.

Both abuse the system by using their stategy to increase their incluence beyond their representation in voters actual opinions.

More later on this subject…

Semantic Confusion: “The Religious Right”, Allies or Antagonists?

The Confusion of Tongues
or
What You Said Ain’t What They Heard

(Guy DeWhitney: This article was one I published a while back on David Horowitz’s NewsRealblog.com.  The commentary response was enormous and spirited, with the consensus agreeing with almost all of my proposal.)

I have noticed lately a serious impediment to any real communication across political lines. It is something that can affect anyone writing or speaking about politics in America today. The problem lies in the term “Religious Right”.

On the one hand Conservative Christians do not seem to understand that non-Christians, many just as conservative see the term as a negative if not a pejorative. On the other hand non-Christians, Moderates, Liberals and Leftists do not seem to “get it” that many sane, un-hypocritical Conservative Christians define themselves with that same term.

When used by the middle/left the term virtually NEVER seems to mean anything BUT a classic, Right-wing “I’m right because the Bible says so, you can’t be moral without Jesus, this is a Christian Nation and non-Christians should not be allowed to influence schools and government” hypocrite-in-Christian’s-clothing” sort of person.

To say that this confusion impedes communication, compassion and compromise would be an understatement of monumental proportions.

Because of this confusion we recently saw Chris Mathews of MSNBC using the term in one way and offending NRB Columnist Paul Cooper who uses it in another. Paul responded by light of his definition which caused me to misunderstand and I started to type a flaming reply. Then I found out what Paul really meant by it; “those to the Right of middle who are Christian”.

The end result was that we barely missed getting in an argument over nothing. Both of us would have felt attacked by and embittered toward someone who should be an ally on the subject.

This problem in definitions needs to be resolved in order for NewsReal Blog to have any chance of changing partisans into partners on issues that affect all of us.

The last few days I have been asking everyone I can who THEY think of when they hear the term “Religious Right”.

Overwhelmingly those that did not self describe as Conservative Christians seem to believe the term to mean “the folks who believe being Christian gives them a preferred political status and the right to impose an overtly Christian character on civil society”.

Not one person I talked to that described themselves as moderate or liberal (regardless of their religion) saw the term as referring to any other group. ONLY the Conservative Christians I spoke with felt that it meant the “Right side of the spectrum of all religious Christians in the U.S.”

It is pretty clear that this confusion cannot be allowed to go on. As a start I propose a poll. Not a “vote” for one definition by majority rule but simply a poll to make us aware of Whom thinks What means Which.

I self identify as:

a) Non-religious (Atheist, Agnostic, Don’t Care)

b) A Nominal Christian

c) A Devout Christian (Liberal Politics)

d) A Devout Christian (Conservative Politics)

e) Jewish (Conservative politics)

f) Jewish (Liberal politics)

g) A Conservative Christian or Jewish far to the Right of the ones the public calls conservative. (“They call me Nut-case but Jesus/G*d will bless me for it”)

h) A Nominal Muslim

i) A Devout Muslim

j) A Devout Muslim (“They call me Terrorist but Allah(pbuh) will bless me for it!”)

To Me “Religious Right” Means:

A) Conservative Religious persons; i.e. devout religious people of any faith that fall to the Right of Middle in politics

B) Religious hypocrites that believe the “unquestionable Truth” of their religion gives them a preferred position in the political process. (This description fits not only Christian chauvinists but also Islamic Supremacists etc.)

C) Conservative Christians who use their religion as a guide in life. Including politics.

D) Same as (B) but limited to Christians

E) Something Else

The information this poll provides may well prove very valuable but we still need to agree on what the term means here at NewsRealblog.

I feel that being understood accurately by the largest number of people is more important than being clear only to compatriots. I cannot see that preaching to the choir is very productive. Therefore I propose this array of definitions:

For (A) I think the term “Religious Conservative” would be less likely to be misunderstood.

The subset of people described by (B) can be called “Religious Radicals” or “Theocrats”.

For (C) I can see no reason not to simply use “Christian Conservative” since it is clear and self-explanatory.

We should try to refer to (D) as “The Religious Right”.

Being clear with how we use these terms may not solve all our differences but, it will certainly not hurt our efforts to  resolve them.

Language is Humanity Beating Broken Rhythms On a Pot With a Spoon While Believing We Make Music That Stirs the Heart of God