Faith

September 17, 2006 at 12:24 am (Uncategorized)

ascention.jpg

So, technically I’m Catholic. I don’t think it is written anywhere and I stopped going to church regularly when I was six. Most of what I learned about the Catholic faith I learned from the Exorcist. And a little, of course, from the daily news stories about another priest molesting another boy.

You will seldom find me engaged in a heated argument over religion. I know about as much about faith as a dog knows about its mammalian heritage. Ask me about the nature of theology and you will get the same dopey expression that dog levels at you when you ask it about its canine lineage.

Still, I am not an atheist. In keeping with my limp-wristed tendency for fence sitting, I am neither believer nor non-believer. I embrace the science of evolution and the notion of a universe that inflated to its current state over 13.5 billion years. But I also keep at least one ear cocked to rumblings of a grand design. I may be non-committal, but that doesn’t mean I’m not fascinated.

On parts of the theology dynamic, I’m torn. I think worship is a wonderful thing regardless of its resistance to proof, because it provides billions with a structure for their lives and, for some, inner peace where none previously existed. At the same time, you have holy wars everywhere, constant friction between church and state, and a whole Noah’s Ark full of hypocrisy from every faith. You have the Catholic molestation scandals, men marrying children in some sects, and street corner saviors trying to push their version of God upon the masses.

worship.jpgYet with all of that, the group by whom I am most frequently confronted are the ardent non-believers. A militant atheist on a soap box can be as infuriating as a zealot with a fistful of tracts explaining why are you going to hell. The loud atheists are as insistent about their non-belief as the devoted are about their gods. They wander around looking for fights and you wonder how they got so fierce in their war against all things divine.

I think of it only because of a Time Magazine article that suggests that it is man’s DNA that compels him to seek a higher power. To me, it compliments another report about a doctor who inspires religious fervor in a person by manipulating his frontal lobes with something called The God Helmet. Whether that proves or disproves anything isn’t something I’ve attempted to deduce. As usual, where science meets religion, fascinating ideas are born. Unfortunately, science typically meets religion in bloody battle.

Anyway, your thoughts on belief, non-belief or Darwin’s ugly beard.

Advertisements

60 Comments

  1. Daughtio said,

    Hmm, if you ask any of my friends they’ll tell you I don’t believe in god. Would that make me Athiest, Agnostic? I don’t know…I don’t know the meanings to the full extent. All I know is that religion creeps me out! All those statues my Meme used to have all around the house…oh my!!

  2. K2 said,

    God didn’t create man. Man created god. And I’ll leave it at that.

  3. K2 said,

    I should have written ‘god(s).’

  4. brenda said,

    wow, I could really get into this topic. I’ll give you others a chance & come back later when I have time, otherwise, I won’t do anything else all day but write on this blog.

    well, I guess I can say breifly: I have had experiences I choose to call spiritual. I could explain them away as dreams, deep psychological experiences, or even hallucinations, or my imagination….. Just as there is no “scientific” proof of any spiritual reality, also there is no proof that there isn’t. I am an existentialist and so it’s up to me what I think those experiences mean & how I interpret them. They have meaning for me.
    I don’t need to force anyone else to believe what I believe, and I don’t appreciate others trying to force theirs onto me.

    Later, I could write much about the political/ historical issues, religions spreading through force, murder, territorial wars, slavery & racial injustices justified by religion……..
    or apply existential concepts of death, limitations, feedom/responsibility, meaning/meaningless, etc.
    I know, you don’t want to read it.

    Or I could give critiques & explanations of specific religions, and offend everybody I care about in the process.
    Maybe later.

    I’ve been thinking about these things & reading all my life. I should really write a book.

  5. FRED said,

    K2,my friend. Try talking to your piano turner sometime if you want to make sense of the mess this world is in right now. Actually everything is going according to the divine plan.

  6. K2 said,

    Sure it is, Fred. Sure it is. If the world’s events are ‘divine,’ than your god is even more sinister and cruel than I thought.

    Actaully, if you’re a Jehovah, you’re a polytheist, since they believe that god and Jesus are both gods. Leaving out the Holy Spirit, though — that’s cold.

    I much prefer the polytheisms of the native Americans, the Greeks, the Romans et al. better. I mean, I believe in wind, sun, rain, fire, fertile soil, etc. They’re real. (Not the religions, of course.)

    I also believe in myself, my friends and my family. I just don’t need to believe in anybody’s god(s), that’s all.

  7. FRED said,

    No k2, I`m not a “Jehovah”. There is only one . The correct name is Jehovah`s Witnesses. I`m not one of them either ,but…if i were to choose an organized religion it would be the witnesses. Don`t discount the message until you have ACTUALLY heard it. They do NOT believe that “God “and Jesus are both “Gods” Jehovah is the farther and Jesus is the son.The holy spirit is Jahovah`s active force. You see it in the earth ,wind and fire. It is all around you. God is just a title ..There are many so called “Gods” Jehovah is the closest that our language can come to the actual name of the living god of the universe .PEACE?

  8. K2 said,

    I’m going by what my tuner tells me, and he’s as devout a Witness as there is. They DO believe in two gods, and yes, the HS is the ‘force.’ (Funny, I though the Jedi’s copywrited that long ago in a galaxy far, far away.) He leaves me their publication, the Watchtower, and other literature every visit, and I always read them with a hearty chuckle. The point of Witnesses is that, since science can’t prove EVERYTHING, well, then, god did it. Gosh forbid you go through life with some unkowns — like how we got here. Personally, I don’t see how my ultimate origin affects the price of pot in Lisbon.

    Still, my tuner’s a genuinely great guy and I wouldn’t have anyone else tune my piano.

    And I’ve heard the Word, Fred. I’ve also read the entire bible, and took a ‘Literature of the Bible’ elective in college. Maybe you should brush up on the Holy recommended treatment of slaves in Leviticus. And you’re not working today, are you? Because scripture demands I kill you if you are. But hey, we can stone our insubordinate children, as directed by the bible. And if we don’t want to stone them, we can offer up our daughters to be raped an angry mob, like Sodom did to protect a stranger.

    Now there’s some love. . . .

    I just don’t believe in religion, or buy it — since all faiths are overly concerned with monetary donations. Religion — the world’s largest pyramid scheme.

  9. FRED said,

    I agree, The Hebrew Scriptures are really some “spicy reading”.Horney bunch !But we are living under Christian Law now…or at least trying to .And most “churches ” and their members are money hungry hipocrits. But I do believe in Divine Creation.And I think the Witnesses are closer to the actual truth then anyone else

  10. K2 said,

    I agree to a point — the Witnesses seem more accepting than many other Christian sects. But again, it’s a cult like any other. Fred, they can’t give blood or receive blood — all because of a few lines in a the bible — a text written by men.

    Why is that people want proof of everything other than the existence of their own god(s)?

    And I wonder, are you and my tuner trying to save my soul to save me from an eternity of damnation; or is it because you feel god needs more fan support; or is it because of an alteritor motive — “Look, god, I’m trying got convert these people, so how about noticing my devotion and giving me a seat at your right had?” (Like a god wouldn’t see right threw that?)

    Anyhow, I need to go to the church of the NFL – my Vikings are on in an hour. Time to prime up for kick off.

    Fullback on the losing team: “I was having a great game — till Jesus made me fumble.”

  11. K2 said,

    I meant, “. . . I’m trying to convert . . .” Frickin’ Satan screwing with my keyboard.

    Beelzebub plays a mean guitar, by the way.

  12. K2 said,

    Jesus, I meant ‘right hand.’ Leave me alone, Satan!!!

  13. Mainetarr said,

    And speaking about religion, how about Pope Benedix saying he’s sorry for how Muslim’s are reacting to a speech he gave where he quoted a Fourteenth Century Emperor. WTF? Now you have to apologize for quoting someone else? Sorry, but these friggen Muslims are right out of control. They keep preaching the are against violence, but since the speech by the Pope, they are reacting violently. A Catholic Nun was shot in the back and killed today in Mogadishu by Somalian Muslims. They have been throwing fire bombs into churches. Oh yeah, they want peace my ass. Fuckers.

  14. FRED said,

    No I don`t have any ulterior motivies. LOL! And as far as eternal damnation that`s a man made doctoring to scare people straight , the worse thing that will happen to you will be to die .Because the living are conscious that they will die, the dead are conscious of nothing at all. And the only sins I have to answer for are my own( there’s plenty of those) Enjoy your game! Hey,ask Mel some of the question’s` He will answer them.It`s just to much to type out here Especially the blood issue.

  15. Mainetarr said,

    Now I am really pissed. You know, some douchebag rolls a frozen pigs head into a “mosque” and we read about it non stop in the local paper. You think we are going to see much coverage about a nun being shot in the back in Somalia? Are the local Somalians going to denounce this? I don’t fucking think so. WHEN ARE AMERICANS going to read the Koran and realize in their holy book it says Muslims are superior to everyone because Allah is the only God. Muslims are not bound to Shira law when it comes to non-Muslims. Murder is not murder when it is a non-Muslim. Lying and deceit is ok as long as you are spreading the word of Allah. It’s dangerous shit, folks. Imagine if Christinity didn’t apply to those who weren’t Christian? We could do all of our evil shit and it would be ok?!? WTF kind of religion is this? I am not here to shit on Somalians, so don’t brand me a racist asshat, either. I am just saying, Muslims in general, regardless of where they hail from are dangerous and it’s a dangerous religion, keeping on topic with religion.

  16. FRED said,

    I really don`t know much about Muslims. There are none up here in my neck of the woods. But I agree ,with you it seems more of a hate group then a religion.

  17. Mainetarr said,

    ANd I’m sorry Fred. What I should have started off saying was nice to see you again, IT’s been a while. How are things in your neck of the woods?

  18. Treehugger said,

    Tarr, your right. I get a kick out of those flamming soccer moms with the bumper stickers preaching about diversity, and the right of everybody being able to practice their religion.
    It’s cool to shit on Christians and Jews, I am old enough to rember that casting stones at Jews made the papers and people went to jail for that.
    Muslims can go to work or school and during the day be allowed time to go pray.
    How about a bible thumper that wants to sit and read Gospel during the class day.
    What about the Buhdist that wishes to meditate. Where are their rights?You would be labeled a nut if you wish to do that.
    Now you sneeze the wrong way in front of a mosque and you got the weight of the government on your neck.
    Do you think that their is going to be a rally in Kennedy Park to protest the murder of the nun? Geeze, I would hope St Marys would lead the charge.
    No religion is inherently bad, its those that practice it that screw things up.
    And I want to see the Muslims in this community and go on paper, apologizing for all the beheadings of Infedles in the name of THEIR MERCIFUL GOD!

  19. Gil said,

    Right on MT
    So the Pope (don’t get me started with this guy) quotes an emperor remarking about how violent and evil spreading religion at the tip of the sword is, and the religion of peace reacts by killing nuns and firebombing churches. How much will have to happen before the citizenry of this world sit up and realize that there is no such thing as peaceful Islam. The Koran and the Hadith are chock full of diatribes about killing infidels. And don’t point out that crap that most muslims are peaceful. If that were the case then these people would be up in arms about their religion being hijacked by a bunch of asshats and thugs.

  20. FRED said,

    MT, Everything in my neck of the woods is right on season . leaves are turning ,the gardens is pretty much harvested. Farmingtom Fair is next week. I read a letter to the editor protesting the use of whips and sticks in the pulling ring today.I`m proud to say that they are strictly banned in our pulling ring.If you bring a whip into the ring you are not allowed to pull.One of my favorite events of the fair. If you can`t control your animals with your voice ,then you haven`t trained them right. My father and granndfather used to compete every year.Fall iis like a breath of fresh air after the summers heat,to me anyway!

  21. LaFlamme said,

    Okay, the pope, a witness and a muslim guy walk into a bar. The pope is carrying a bible, the witness a copy of Watchtower, the muslim the Koran. A pretty girl standing at the jukebox winks at the trio and says…
    I pray that I find an ending to this bon mot sometime soon.

  22. LaFlamme said,

    For a freaky moment there, I thought there was a new religious sect called “The Piano Tuner” I hadn’t heard of. I think I have it straightened out now.

  23. FRED said,

    Why not? we got just about everything already.LOL

  24. LaFlamme said,

    Hey, somebody explain the blood concept to me. I know some faiths forbid the receiving of it in situations such as a medical emergency. I never quite understood the foundation of that.

  25. K2 said,

    Now Fred, how do you know Mel? A fine, fine fellow, regardless. He knows where I stand, and I know where he stands, and well, last time he was here I made him a turkey sandwich for lunch. Both his sons have worked on my piano at one point or another,a s well. And his one son knows a few Neil Young tunes on guitar.

    MT, I must admit, the sensitivity of the Muslims is crazy. Where’s the outrage over suicide bombers? This is the Dutch cartoons all over again. And did you notice the Pope was sorry for the ‘reaction,’ not his comments. I think his comments were right on, although I think Mark Twain’s comments on Christianity are right on as well: ‘The last true Christian died on the cross.’

  26. K2 said,

    LaFlamme, mostly in thanks to this doozy: “[We must] abstain from blood.” (Acts 15:29)

    Well, if it’s written in the bible, than it must be true. . . .

  27. FRED said,

    I have known Mel wife ,Caroline sinse she was a teenager!
    Shes from the Jay area .As far as the blood issue goes Christ also told us to abstain from blood.There are doctors out there who respect that.There are many other much safer ways to expand blood volumn in the body other then a direct transfusion.

  28. jarheaddoc said,

    I can live with taking a rock and bashing someone’s skull in because I want his: women, food, whatever else he has. I have a hard time tolerating people who do stupid shit ‘in the name of my God” The nature of man is violent, always has been, always will be, so just admit that you don’t like someone and stop using religion as a basis for what you do. It’s not the peaceful ones I dislike, it’s the violent ones and the ones who use their religion as just another card to be played to get what they want.

    The Golden Rule is: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you’, not: Do unto others before they do unto you, or do unto others what they have done unto you.’

    And Mark Twian was right back then, from the looks of things. Look at the scandals in the Catholic church regarding child molestation, and what other religious figures have done: Jesse Jackson embezzled church funds to support his illegitimate child and no one pressed charges against him-can’t do it, he’s just a man. Oral Roberts told his fatihful to send him money or God was going to call him home. Jimmy Swaggart did that whole thng with the prostitute.

    I’m not sure that religion was meant to be organized the way it it, maybe it was supposed to be a personal relationship between a person and his or her Supremem Being, but I do know it’s not supposed to be about control and power trips.,

  29. K2 said,

    Fred, ask an injured combat vet how they feel about blood transfusions. Granted, it ain’t perfect, to wit, blood-born pathogens; but the Witnesses abstention from transfusions is nothing more than biblical stubbornness. Cripes, ask an ER doctor, while you’re at it.

    And yes, Caroline is a very ncie woman, as well. The whole family is top notch, in my book.

  30. FRED said,

    I guess it depends on your point of view. Right?Better to lose your life in this system of things then the one you may have in the New System.That is only my opinion of course. I agree that are a really nice family, as were her parents.

  31. FRED said,

    P.S. My husband agrees with you.K2.As a 30 year warrior we don`t always agree on some issues,but I love him anyway!

  32. AO said,

    Fred, it’s so nice to see your name here again.

  33. K2 said,

    Hey, it was a good scrap, Fred. I declare — a draw.

    Really, at the end of the day, you could be a Scientologist or a Fruit Loopologist, but as long as you treat me and mine right, you’re a friend of mine.

    Cripes, if the Rams and the Broncos were to cover the spread, I’d be making a grand of a $10 bet. Oh fucking well, those losers. At least my Vikings won. (The Lord works in mysterious ways.)

  34. Linda said,

    Yay, the Farmington Fair! Maybe I’ll see you there on Tuesday, Fred.

  35. AO said,

    I’ve only been to the Farmington Fair once. Froze my ass off! That was waaay back in the 80’s. I did like it, though.

  36. FRED said,

    If there is anything going on at the cattle sheds or pulling ring ,I`ll be there! It can get real cold once the sun goes down, so throw a jacket and a blanket in the truck before you leave home! K2 , I always enjoy your comments. You have a wonderful sense of humor and don`t appear to take yourself to seriously.

  37. MR. ED said,

    I wish FRED would strap on a harness and pull the dead weight herself, and leave me an my friends alone. I don’t mind helping farm, but to drag thousands of pounds just for her amusement, that makes me rabid!

  38. FRED said,

    Mr.Ed, If you are the tv star type you couldn`t compete anyway .With you spindly little legs you would never make the cut. Besides you of all souls should know that the team IS NOT pulling that load . They are actually pushing it. Thats what the harnesses are for.

  39. AO said,

    K2, HA, “Fruit Loopologist”…HA..best laugh I’ve had all day.

  40. Bobbie said,

    Maybe someone can answer this for me: if you are Muslim and you die a martyr, you get 70 virgins when you get to heaven; if you are a Muslim and you don’t die a martyr, what do you get when you get to heaven?

    It’s interesting to note that the guy in Iran who is calling for Isreal to be wiped from the map is doing so because he wants to bring back the Muslim Messiah. Only the end of the world will allow this to happen and the gentleman has been quoted that he will do whatever it takes to make this happen.

    As for me, I believe that Christ died for our sins and I have accepted him as my Savior. I will agree that, anymore, organized religion has become a big money industry that has gotten away from an accurate teaching of the Bible. An honest man of God would not do the things that Oral Roberts, Jimmy Swaggert, Jim Bakker, Robert Tilton and others have done over the years. Money has become their god and they will ultimately reap what they have sewn from years of deceit.

  41. Gil said,

    Bobbie, I too began as a devout Christian. I was raised a Southern Baptist. Then one day, as Saul on the road to Damascus, Lo, the scales were lifted from mine eyes. And I saw the truth. Or rather glimpsed what the truth was not. I have nothing against anyone’s right to practice whatever religion they want. If it makes them feel better and can give meaning to their lives, or hope when things are at their worst, well bully for them. But you act surprised to find out that religion is about money and power. That’s what it has always been. I don’t have any answers, but I can guess that none of our so-called religious leaders do either. My philosophy – Live a good life, treat others kindly (but don’t take crap either), and raise your children to be the same, or better. Oh yeah, and never vote for the Democrat. I mean that’s just plain evil.

  42. Gil said,

    Alright, alright, this should clear everything up
    http://www.compfused.com/directlink/3956/
    SFW

  43. Bobbie said,

    Gil,
    I’m not surprised at what some people will do for a dollar these days.

  44. K2 said,

    As the Rev. Benny Hill once said, “Do unto others . . . then run.”

  45. jarheaddoc said,

    And that is just about the truth to things, gil.

    The Ten Commandments are really just a good way to live one’s life. Take the religious aspect out of it and think about it: those ten dictates, as defined in the noun form, pretty much say it all.

    Religion is supposed to be about tolerance and respecting the views of others, not a tool to keep people oppressed. People came to America because of religious persecution and became just as bad, if not worse, than the people they left behind. Power and abuse.

  46. K2 said,

    jd, well, here’s my take on a few Commandments from Exodus:

    You shall have no other gods before me (He sounds awfully insecure.)

    You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, punishing children for the iniquity of parents, to the third and the fourth generation of those who reject me (Punishing kids decades later? Can you feel the love? )

    But the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God; you shall not do any work—you, your son or your daughter, your male or female slave, your livestock, or the alien resident in your towns (Ah, the good old days of slaves.)

    Honor your father and your mother, so that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you. (Jesus to his mother Mary, “Woman, what have to to do with thee?” John ii, 4)

    You shall not murder (Yeah, right. Tell that to Dubya, Cheney and Rumsfailed.)

    You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or male or female slave, or ox, or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor. (But my neighbor’s slaves are hot, hot, hot!)

    Personally, give me some of that old-time religion — hail Zeus!!!

  47. joker said,

    “What’s the problem, Eve?”
    “I know that you created me and provided this beautiful garden and all of these wonderful animals, as well as that hilarious comedic snake, but I’m just not happy.”
    “And why is that Eve?”
    “God, I am lonely, and I’m sick to death of apples.”
    “Well, Eve, in that case, I have a solution. I shall create a man for you.”
    “Man…What is that, God?”
    “A flawed creature, with many bad traits. He’ll lie,cheat and be vain. All in all, he’ll give you a hard time. But he’ll be bigger, faster and like to hunt and kill things.
    I’ll create him in such a way that he will satisfy your physical needs. He will be witless and will revel in childish things like fighting and kicking a ball about.
    He won’t be as smart as you, so he will also need your advice to think properly.”
    “Sounds great,” says Eve, with ironically raised eyebrows, “but is there a catch?”
    “Well…..you can have him on one condition.”
    “What is that God?””
    “As I said he’ll be proud, arrogant and self-admiring….. So you’ll have to let him believe that I made him first.
    And it will have to be our little secret………….. you know, woman to woman.”

  48. joker said,

    When Adam stayed out very late for a few nights, Eve
    became upset. “You’re running around with other
    women,” she told her mate.
    “Eve, honey, you’re being unreasonable,” Adam
    responded. “You know you’re the only woman on earth.”
    The quarrel continued until Adam fell asleep, only to
    be awakened by a strange pain in the chest. It was his
    darling Eve poking him rather vigorously about the
    torso.
    “What do you think you’re doing?” Adam demanded.
    “Counting your ribs,” said Eve.

  49. irreverent said,

    From Recently Spotted Bumper Stickers:

    Hell’s too hot; heaven’s full of religious people.
    That’s supposed to be a choice?

    God favors no group–only religions do that.

    I believe in dragons, good men and other fantasy creatures.

    Eve Was Framed

    Born OK the first time.

    If you’re born again, do you have two belly buttons?

    Keep using my name in vain, I’ll make rush hour longer. —God

    When the Church ruled the World it was called the Dark Ages.

    I Believe In Life Before Death.

    God, Protect Me From Your Followers.

    I’m pretty sure God prefers spiritual fruits to religious nuts.

  50. Anonymous said,

    THREE PROOFS THAT JESUS WAS JEWISH
    He went into his father’s business
    He lived at home until he was 33
    He was sure his Mother was a virgin, and his Mother
    was sure he was God

    More …
    THREE PROOFS THAT JESUS WAS IRISH
    He never got married
    He was always telling stories
    He loved green pastures

    THREE PROOFS THAT JESUS WAS PUERTO RICAN
    His first name was Jesus
    He was bilingual
    He was always being harassed by the authorities

    THREE PROOFS THAT JESUS WAS ITALIAN
    He talked with his hands
    He had wine with every meal
    He worked in the building trades

    THREE PROOFS THAT JESUS WAS BLACK
    He called everybody “brother”
    He liked Gospel
    He couldn’t get a fair trial

    THREE PROOFS THAT JESUS WAS A CALIFORNIAN
    He never cut his hair
    He walked around barefoot
    He started a new religion

    THREE PROOFS THAT JESUS WAS A WOMAN
    He had to feed a crowd, at a moments notice, when
    there was no food.
    He kept trying to get the message across to a bunch of
    men who just didn’t get it.
    Even dead, he had to get up because there was more
    work for him to do.

  51. Anonymous said,

    Christianity & Islam come from the same roots as the Hebrews, and they have the same ending of the story – self-fulfilling prophesy (if you believ something will happen, you act in such ways as to bring it to happen) -the end of the world through violence in God’s name. It’s scarey.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Apocalypse No!
    an indigenist perspective

    by Juan Santos

    The Script

    From the beginning, this culture—civilization—
    has been a culture of occupation. – Derrick Jensen

    It’s scripted: a tragedy whose end is embedded in its beginnings, an
    unfolding logic whose conclusion is the inevitable result of its
    premises.

    It’s simple. And obvious. We find ourselves in the midst of the most
    rapid mass extinction in Earth’s history; we have the power to all-but
    end life on Earth. We can do so with nuclear weapons, today, in Iran,
    or simply by turning the ignition switch on our automobiles and gliding
    over paved surfaces where nothing can live. A little more carbon
    dioxide, just a little, will tip the scale – unleashing our potential for
    matching the greatest mass extinction ever – the one called The Great
    Dying.

    Science has given us until roughly 2012 to take radical action to
    change the course we’re on. In the next six years, they tell us, we will
    determine the fate of the Earth.
    With the US and its white colonial puppet Israel on a nuclear
    collision course with Iran and Syria, we may have less time than that.

    250 million years ago 95% of all species died. Only one large land
    animal was left. Carbon dioxide and methane – the two most deadly of the
    greenhouse gases – were responsible. We can do it again. We’ve
    followed the script, we know our lines, and we’ve reached the final scene.

    For that reason, this is a most exciting juncture for the Armageddon
    mongers among us.

    That’s most of who believe in the colonizer’s religion, in the Beast,
    the Great Tribulation, the Four Horsemen, the Seven Seals, and the
    other visions of St. John the Apocalyptic, whose hallucinogenic fantasies
    penetrated clearly into the essence, unveiling the inevitable end, the
    direction this civilization must head and the end it must reach.

    Fundamentalist Christians everywhere are working overtime to “bring it
    on”; they want to fulfill the conditions for the return of Christ,
    whose first priority and purpose in action, according to the book of the
    Revelation, will be the destruction of the Earth.

    But first, the fundamentalists believe, they must be certain of two
    things: the stability and existence of the white colonial settler state
    of Israel, and that the “gospel” is “preached to every creature” on
    Earth.

    Throughout history the “gospel” has been “preached” through conquest.
    Otherwise there might not have been a single Christian in the Americas,
    Africa, or, for that matter, Europe. Christianity spread with the Roman
    Empire, and, in the midst of the Inquisitions, “spread” to the Americas
    in the wake of the Conquest, a conquest in which as many as 100 million
    native people died. It spread to Africa in the late 1800s as Europe
    divided the continent and colonized it in wars that cost another 50
    million lives. It spread like a disease, bringing death to millions as part
    of the two greatest, most racist Holocausts in the history of
    “civilization.”

    A practical interpretation of the fundamentalist perspective might
    view the matter this way: the fundamentalists believe that they have
    failed to conquer the world, and Jesus, or the Antichrist (there’s little
    functional difference – both come as Destroyers) will come back and
    conquer it for them in the battle of Armageddon. For this scenario to unfold
    requires the existence of Israel, and, at a minimum, that every living
    human has heard the “good news” of “salvation.”

    Then, Jesus will come back with a vengeance. Everything will be under
    control; everything will be dead. And if it’s not, then there’s always
    the Last Judgment for backup.

    The images of the “end times,” the symbols of the Revelation,
    Armageddon, and the rest are familiar throughout “Christendom” – the lands and
    peoples conquered by the church and its allies – the people who
    survived, at least.

    For many of us, they serve as a frame of reference that’s not only
    familiar, but normal – images lodged, unquestioned, in the subconscious
    and that function as a mythic encoded drama – a script about where we
    come from, where we are, and the nature of our destiny. Like all such
    encoded dramas this one frames our identity. It’s the myth we’re living,
    as Joseph Campbell would have it.

    It doesn’t matter if you “believe” in it or not.

    If you live in a “Christian Nation” and think you’re not a “Christian”
    – if you think you’re above all that, put aside the question of
    “belief” for a moment. Dwell, instead, with the images: The Beast; Armageddon;
    the Seventh Seal, and watch as their compelling power asserts itself.

    A Way of Death

    Our current sense of self is no more sustainable
    than our current use of energy or technology. – Jensen

    Since the dropping of the Bomb on Hiroshima the cultural identity
    based on these images has been shattering.

    No one openly admitted that “success,” according to the script, meant
    success as the total domination and destruction of Life on Earth –even
    though we are on the brink of doing just that – or that the essence of
    civilization’s “meaning” is to be found etched in the shadows burnt by
    the Bomb’s atomic flash into Hiroshima’s walls. No teacher openly tells
    a room full of school children “Success means destruction and meaning,
    in our culture, means death.”

    In the US, elements of the sixties generation either clearly
    understood the matter – beginning with Allen Ginsberg’s Howl and the onset of
    the Black movement for freedom – or they were caught up in the mass
    discontent that spread like a wave from Ground Zero, and from the worldwide
    anti-colonial uprisings of the post-war era.

    The most conscious elements of humanity got the deeper message – often
    at great personal cost: not only that the Bomb is evil, or that
    slavery, conquest and genocide are evil, but that this way we live is a way of
    death, in its entirety. Many understood that there must be an
    alternative, and they were by no means naïve or merely “idealistic” in demanding
    it “NOW.”

    They were, rather, speaking the language of life, a language most were
    unable to hear or speak.

    This was the impetus behind the great cultural transformations of that
    time. Much of the exploration, the seeking of a way out of here, led
    toward an embrace of various forms of salvationist ideology and practice
    – Marxist, Buddhist, Hindu and their thousand and one New Age
    variations – none of which break the fundamental mold of the civilization that
    shaped them.

    So much has changed for nothing to have changed.

    But underlying much of these explorations and permeating the approach
    of many of the explorers was a “new” – actually ancient, paradigm – one
    ultimately grounded in the science of ecology and the intuition of
    ecologists and those close to the Earth – holistic thinking.

    This approach to the world has gained a toehold in Western
    Civilization over the last 35 years or so – just soon enough for many to begin to
    remember what indigenous peoples have always held close. The Earth is
    one living being. And now, as a species and as a planet of living
    beings, we have nothing but a toehold between us and the abyss.

    It’s not just the bomb, of course, it’s the whole thing – the Earth
    isn’t “dying” – we’re killing Her. This is the Apocalypse; Mass
    Extinction, Peak Oil, Agricultural Collapse, Ecosystem Collapse, Nuclear War:
    the Apocalypse goes by many names. Its most occult name is “Everyday
    Life.”

    Our “way of life” has never worked on planet Earth and it never will –
    every empire in world history has collapsed, every empire overshot its
    “resources” – and this empire will be no different.

    We’ve had, as Daniel Quinn has put it, our Great Forgetting of our
    place on Earth.

    Now, we urgently need a Great Remembering.

    Resource Wars and Fascism: Babylon’s Way Out

    Those in power rule by force, and the sooner we break ourselves of
    illusions to the contrary, the sooner we can at least begin to make
    reasonable decisions about whether, when, and how we are going to resist. –
    Jensen

    Cognizant that life itself has but a bare toehold on the planet, the
    bible thumpers are thumping, the business as usual clock is ticking, and
    the empire builders are gunning for oil.

    They don’t think that when it goes down, they’ll go down with us. The
    bible-ists think they’ll be “raptured” into “Heaven.” The capitalists
    and super capitalists have their own brand of “rapture.” They plan to
    buy the lifeboats, to live in ease, squeezing the earth for every copper
    cent and ounce of oil left in Her. And they mean for their progeny to
    rule what is left after the wall comes tumbling down.

    That’s what today’s massive and deliberate redistribution of wealth
    and resources toward the rich is about.

    They mean to run what’s left on “clean nuke,” as Bush calls it, even
    though – like the reserves of coal, oil, and natural gas, uranium will
    mostly be depleted by 2100.

    They plan to control the world’s nuclear weaponry, as best they can,
    and thus what remains of the oil. As the rest of the world sinks into
    oil starvation, economic depression, and mass starvation, no one – the US
    imperialists hope – will be able to challenge their dominance of the
    Earth’s “resources.”

    In the meantime, they mean to overthrow or face down the Big 3, the
    oil rich 3, the new evil axis of Iraq, Iran, and of course, the newest
    target – Venezuela. Bolivia will not be far behind; it’s also
    hydrocarbon-rich, and its government is no more “cooperative” than the rest.
    Mexico, with its stolen elections, and Saudi Arabia, with its bloated royal
    family, are under control, for the moment, and Bush, the idiot savant,
    will never let go of Iraq.

    The current US/ Israeli assault on Lebanon and Hizbollah is phase two
    of a plan to gain strategic control over the Middle East. US Secretary
    of State Condoleezza Rice calls it a “New Middle East,” in the same
    spirit as the “New World Order” declared by Bush1. Prominent members of
    the Bush 2 administration, such as Vice President Cheney, Defense
    Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and others linked to the “Project for a New American
    Century”, speak openly of a Pax Americana and openly advocate that the
    US totally dominate the globe militarily, beginning with the Middle
    East.

    The aim is to crush non-state resistance groups like Hamas and
    Hizbollah, to squeeze Syria, and lay the groundwork for a massive assault on
    Iran – whose vast reserves of oil and Islamic ideology represent the
    most formidable block to utter US power over the region and its oil
    reserves, and thus, over the world. "It is time for a new Middle East,
    it is time to say to those who do not want a different kind of Middle
    East that we will prevail; they will not," Rice said in Jerusalem.

    The Project for a New American Century says Iran is “rushing to
    develop ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons as a deterrent to American
    intervention…”

    Even the hint that Iran might – one distant day – combine its vast
    reserves of hydrocarbons with a nuclear capacity to defend them and thus
    remove them permanently from the grasp of the American Empire, has
    unleashed a storm of preparations for a major war – even a nuclear war – one
    pitting the US, Israel and Turkey against Iran and its ally Syria. Such
    an aggression could readily draw China, Russia, or even France into the
    fray in an effort to protect their own stakes in Iran’s oil, lighting
    the fuse of a nuclear Armageddon.

    Make no mistake, however – the elites of each of these nations mean to
    milk Mother Earth of fossil fuels for their own benefit – not that of
    the US, and certainly not in the interest of planetary stability and the
    sustenance of Life. This is a way of death -rebel state, rogue state
    and Empire alike. Only Cuba is different at all, and it has no oil.

    All civilization is about power and the addiction to power;
    Euro-American culture is permeated with nothing but power; all the West does is
    in its pursuit. For now, at least, they’re the “experts.”

    Enter the era of resource wars and fascism.

    It’s “necessary” if “civilization” and our “way of life” and “standard
    of living” are continue for even a while – even for the elites.

    We are entering the dark tunnel of the new era now. The US’s colonial
    war of occupation in Iraq is a resource war. The overt threats against
    Iran, the rumblings and assassination plots against Venezuela and the
    bombing of Lebanon portend more of the same.

    As the economy – and thus the civilization – based on oil runs dry, as
    it can no longer deliver, as it consumes itself in “economic downturns”
    the powerful will see only one choice. War and mass repression.

    As the availability of cheap energy evaporates, as oil production
    peaks, Third World economies will begin to collapse, even as the Green
    Revolution – the hydrocarbon based agricultural “miracle” that has led to a
    doubling of the Earth’s population – also begins to collapse.

    Starvation, mass rebellion and insurrection will become the order of
    the day for already impoverished peoples on a global scale. With the
    onset of increasingly dramatic impacts of global warming and the rapidly
    escalating depletion of the world’s aquifers much of the Third World
    may become as desperate and chaotic as sub-Saharan Africa is today.

    The Pentagon has developed plans, not only for resource wars, but for
    dealing with a global and vastly accelerating refugee crisis – their
    aim is to keep the refugees out of the First World entirely. This is the
    backdrop for today’s targeting and scapegoating of migrant populations
    within the US and Europe. Under such conditions the ruling elites see
    migrant peoples as a potential source of acute internal instability.

    As the Empire seeks to establish its hegemony over oil and to maintain
    its hegemony over its Third World puppets while suppressing its
    colonized and dispossessed populations at “home”; as it is forced to become
    increasingly brutal to carry out its aims (witness Lebanon) mass
    discontent and rebellion could erupt, even in the belly of the beast.

    It would seem that mass repression –- even open fascism -– are the
    only things that might keep the peasants –- us – starving in line. Peoples
    of color within the US will be the first and most visible mass targets.
    But every targeted group – including women, will be increasingly at
    risk of overt, violent repression as the State careens toward open
    fascism.

    If the destroyers have their way, there will be no light at the end of
    the tunnel we are entering, only starvation, limited but ceaseless
    resource wars, and the thousand year reign of the Anti-Christ – a permanent
    new Reich.

    Their other option is Armageddon.

    The City of God

    “Hell is empty, all the devils are here.” – William Shakespeare

    Even as Israel launched its devastating assault on the Lebanese
    people, US neo-con darling Newt Gingrich called it the opening phase of World
    War lll, and over 3,000 members of a Christian fundamentalist sect hit
    Washington DC in a mass lobbying effort to urge that the US attack
    Iran.

    Their leader, the Rev. John Hagee, wants to bring on the apocalypse
    and believes the Book of Esther predicts that such an attack would set
    off the “End Times.” His followers are not alone. In 2002 a Time/CNN poll
    held that 59 percent of US citizens believe that the prophecies of the
    Book of Revelations will come true. Other polls show that roughly 40
    percent of people in the US believe that a sequence of events that
    presage the biblical “End Times” is now under way.

    Hagee – a televangelist called “Pastor Strangelove” by some – is the
    author of Jerusalem Countdown, which has sold some half million copies.
    It was the nation’s top “inspirational” book and stayed on best-seller
    lists for weeks. Hagee holds that the US and Israel must launch war
    against Iran to fulfill God’s plan – that they must launch the opening
    salvos of Armageddon.

    Such is the wrath of god – or of those who claim to be god’s earthly
    representatives. As portrayed in the book called the Revelation it is a
    wrath extreme beyond measure. The book’s mixed metaphors, messages and
    morality are equally extreme.

    Revelation 11:18 brings the message – and the confusion – home: “It is
    time,” the passage declares, “to destroy those who destroy the Earth.”

    But that’s not what happens. Instead, in his vengeance, the deity –
    following precisely the logic of Western civilization, destroys the Earth
    himself. The most generous interpretation that can be offered is that
    he destroys the village in order to save it.

    He then – having destroyed all Life – creates a new, “pure”, and
    patently sexless world to replace it. But really, it’s not a world at all;
    at least there is no description of the “New Earth.” It serves only as a
    backdrop to the “New Jerusalem.” It’s as if there were nothing but a
    city, a city with no countryside, no surroundings, no Earth, no sea, no
    animals, no life—a heavenly place, a place that can at last be ruled
    with no disorder – with nothing left to destroy.

    The creation of this Disney style future is the aim and end result of
    god’s “plan.” It’s “god’s way” out of the conundrum of civilization,
    the way out the “World” that Christian fundamentalists are taught to
    “hate,” and to destroy even as they replicate it. The “City of God,” as
    Augustine preached, would ultimately triumph.

    Babylon System: The City of Man

    “The Babylon System is the Vampire” – Bob Marley

    But the real City – i.e. civilization – obviously doesn’t work like
    that. The City, with its concentration of wealth, with its division of
    labor, with the inability of its population to feed itself, cannot exist
    without exploiting the Earth and the people that surround it. As its
    population grows in both size and density, it must expand its control of
    the surrounding territory in order to access more food and resources.
    This is the foundation of all Empire and mass enslavement. It is the
    beginning of genocide. As Daniel Quinn points out, the cultures that
    stand in the way of the city’s territorial expansion must be destroyed, or
    assimilated, which amounts to the same thing.

    To get rid of the city – the “World” – is among the main themes of the
    Revelation. To do so, before he can create the Disney version, the New
    Jerusalem, god must rid the Earth of the real city – Babylon. Here’s
    the message: god, like Bush and the fundamentalists, is going to make
    civilization work – or kill us and all life while trying.

    The most clear-cut and unequivocal action of the deity of the
    Revelation is the destruction of the Great Babylon.

    Represented metaphorically as a wealthy whore, Babylon is explicitly
    identified as a city, a global capitol of commerce and corruption with
    links to craven, lust-filled businessmen in a network that envelops the
    globe.

    The Rastafarians, certainly, have taken this reading straightforwardly
    and made of it a central image in their eclectic theology of
    liberation. They’re not the first and won’t be the last, to turn a repressive
    ideology on its head and make of it a liberatory one. Nor have they been
    the first to selectively emphasize biblical passages to fulfill their
    own cultural purposes – and the cultural purposes and functions of this
    myth are altogether different in the Euro-American cultural matrix.

    While the oppressed – particularly those of African and Indigenous
    American descent – have made of the bible a “way out” of their oppression
    at the hands of their Babylonian captors, in a Euro-American framework
    the Revelation offers a different “way out” – a way to avoid
    responsibility for the destruction that comes as the climax of their
    “civilization.”

    For the oppressed, in their theologies of liberation, apocalypse is
    restorative. It restores the natural order – it is the restoration, as
    well, of human justice.

    In the syncretic Mayan Book of the Chilam Balam of Chumayal the
    sentiment is clear; the return of christ means the end of Spanish rule in
    Mayan lands. Once the Spanish have been driven out, the rule of Jesus
    Christ and the Mayan leadership will begin again.

    In the most coherent and morally consistent of the indigenous
    prophecies -¬ that of the Hopi nation – it is said that during the Time of
    Purification a brave person will stand up and demand of the rulers, “You
    profit at the expense of all life. Come here and pay your debt.”

    It is that payment – the moral and practical responsibility for the
    debt of destruction – that the Euro-American script encoded in the
    Revelation means to avoid.

    Those who take refuge in god’s “rescue” and god’s “plan” fail to
    realize that we live in Babylon as if it were the New Jerusalem, and that
    there is no essential difference between them.

    It is the emotional, psychological, cultural and economic compulsion
    to ignore the reality of that which surrounds the City and its elites
    that makes Babylon and the ecological destruction and human and animal
    oppression it represents possible.

    The New Jerusalem, the “City of God,” is only an idealized projection
    of the same dynamic – except that in the “heavenly” case it’s projected
    that there is no real Earth surrounding the City – it has been and can
    be destroyed. Even under such conditions, the City – civilization –
    can, must and will live on. The triumph of will, the dominance of the
    City of God, is the triumph of Babylon, and both are predicated on
    omnicide – the destruction of Life on Earth. The so-called New Earth, in this
    scenario, is, apparently unworthy even of description in the Book of
    Revelation. It has no reality.

    The Destroyer

    “We also have to work… the dark side, if you will.” – US Vice
    President Dick Cheney

    “In terms of the despiritualization of the universe, the mental
    process works so that it becomes virtuous to destroy the planet.” – Russell
    Means

    The distinction between a Hitler and a “Good German” is a distinction
    without a difference.

    Those who are not outright death mongers – which is to say those
    unconscious of the implications of the script, don’t get off the hook. If
    they don’t know, the chances are they don’t want to know.

    The Euro-American rendering of the tale of the apocalypse nonetheless
    provides an inoculation against any real awareness of the reality of
    our global situation and against taking responsibility for its
    consequences.

    In the US, the middle class is as addicted to power and to things –
    junk – as are the elites. The main difference is that they can only
    access smaller doses of these pain killers.

    The addiction to power and to things leaves us, like any addiction,
    psychologically and emotionally “invulnerable.” That’s the whole idea;
    someone gets hurt, but it’s not us. We have ours. We don’t sympathize.

    Hierarchical civilization is based on just this, something so simple;
    hurt, power, the repression of meaning and the evasion of consequences.
    The Latin root of “evade” means to “walk out” on.

    The meaning of the myth of the apocalypse in its Euro-American context
    can’t be abstracted from these fundamental dynamics.

    The Revelation story means that the destroyers of the Earth who
    “believe” in Jesus will be wisked away on god’s great broom in a moment akin
    to emotional/ mystical/ sexual “rapture.” The believer / destroyers get
    off the hook, and leave the “sinners” behind to suffer the final
    destruction of the Earth.

    They “evade” – they walk out on – the consequences.

    They are, after all, the “elect.”

    We all know them; smug, fearful, arrogant: they all but identify
    themselves to us at a glance. They consider themselves superior, if not
    supreme, beings.

    They “have theirs” – their small power, their willingness to hurt
    those “beneath” them, and a veiled fear of the consequences. They are the
    “civilized” ones. They keep the rest of us in line.

    The script that underlies the Revelation has a message for them; it
    tells them this:

    “You need not – dare not – think about or authentically acknowledge
    news about the impending death of the planet. You need not act. It’s in
    god’s hands – where all “spooky” things, all “ghostly” and frightening
    things belong. The signs of doom are not for you. This is god’s plan. It
    is not we but he who will destroy the Earth, in his just wrath against
    evil.

    “But remember, you are not “of” this World – you do not belong here.
    The world is evil; you are to hate it as you love god. God himself hates
    it and that is why he destroys it. That is why he saves you –because
    you hate the Earth as he does.”

    Such is the madness of god’s wrath. Such is the “secret” evil and
    madness of his followers.

    Having then, destroyed the Earth, god replaces it. But this is no
    Garden of Eden – he’s not making that “mistake” again. There will be no
    innocence and no fall – those are no longer options. He replaces the
    Garden with the City State – the shining New Jerusalem. He replaces natural
    freedom in nature with civilized “security.”

    There are angels at every gate. Watching. God can’t escape
    civilization. The story, the script, can’t escape its own premises. He re-enacts
    the inherent logic of destruction embedded in civilization by
    re-establishing the City State. He re-establishes the disease, the City that
    cannot live without destroying the Earth. This time, civilization is an act
    of god; god the Destroyer; god the Evader.

    The Garden is gone. Forever. There is nowhere left to turn, no way
    out. There is a guard at every gate.

    He hasn’t learned the most fundamental lesson: that life is
    vulnerability; that power – this kind of power – is death.

    Is it any wonder the Christian fascists resonate with this tale?

    Turning Point

    “The time of warnings, passive resistance and conformity is already
    passed. All of us are now confronted with an enormous challenge:
    SURVIVAL" – Council of Indigenous Elders and Priests of the Americas

    “A growing body of western scientific evidence now suggests what
    Indigenous Peoples have expressed for a long time: life as we know it is in
    danger.” – THE ALBUQUERQUE DECLARATION

    We live in the most critical moment in the history of humanity on
    Earth, and at one of the three most critical junctures in the record of
    life on this Earth.

    Hiding under our desks will not – no matter what they told us as
    children – stop nuclear war. It will not stop Peak Oil, the collapse of the
    Green Revolution in agriculture, the collapse of civilization or of
    life on the planet. Neither will huddling behind the bible.

    We urgently need a different script, a different vision. It is time
    for a different kind of reckoning, a new Judgment. We need it now.

    The possibility of global nuclear war is upon us in the Middle East.
    The window of opportunity to avert the most horrendous impacts of global
    warming is rapidly closing. By 2012 it will be too late. Some
    scientists, like James Lovelock, originator of the Gaia theory, say that it is
    already too late.

    We need a new script – one that will tell us how we might save life on
    Earth, how we might survive what the scientists and indigenous elders
    alike tell us is coming. A script that will ensure we never make the
    same mistakes again – if we survive.

    Those of us who sought – inspired by the upsurges of the 60’s – to
    re-evaluate all values, were right. Those who sought to counter the
    dominant culture, to decolonize, to seek more ancient and deep rooted
    spiritual, cultural and political values were right.

    Some intuited what indigenous cultures have always known; the need to
    place our focus in beauty, balance, and the renewal of the world: to
    protect land and life.

    Many intuited the bottom line: that we are responsible.

    This attitude of rectitude and reckoning is inherent in indigenous
    cultures – which are, by definition, identified with the land, who are
    identified with all the power and personality of Place, and who experience
    themselves as an inseparable part of the web of life particular to that
    place.

    Indigenous peoples want no escape.

    They belong.

    They know that to separate from the web of life is to destroy it; and
    the very heart of their spiritual and ritual lives is to maintain the
    balance between humans, Earth and Life in a spirit of reciprocity and
    mutual respect.

    It’s been written of one indigenous elder, for example, that he
    “carries with him a little pouch filled with cornmeal… whenever he takes
    anything he needs from Mother Earth, he puts or sprinkles a little pinch of
    cornmeal at that place… By this gesture he pays homage to the Source of
    all life and survival.”

    From the depths of this simple respect and from the understanding of
    the implications of separation from the web of Life, has arisen a kind
    of prophecy that, in its moral consistency and practical clarity is the
    antithesis of the Revelation. Among them are the prophecies of the
    Hopi, the Kogi, the Lakota and the Maya. There are many others. Perhaps
    some who are interested in a different vision or a different script might
    look there. My purpose is not to proselytize. No one needs to be
    “saved” or changed into anything they are not.

    We’ve already been “saved” and “changed” to the point that many of us
    are out of our bodies and minds. We can, must, will and do find our own
    way.

    Our task, if anything, is to cast aside the script we’ve been handed –
    to cast aside our colonization and “salvation”; to reckon simply,
    intimately and directly with our life –and death – situation, and with what
    we, personally, are going to do about it.

    Perhaps we will be so fortunate as to learn that to know ourselves
    once again is to know the power of place and our relationship to it, to
    regain our role as caretakers of the land, and to find our place, once
    more, as part of the Living Earth. Perhaps we will be so fortunate as to
    survive.

    Acceptance

    “We need to take a close look at this and then really come to terms
    with ourselves. To move ahead into the next 500 years we must leave some
    things behind or they will contaminate or even eliminate the future. We
    cannot go forward if we keep destroying the earth. But we must also
    ask, what is good and healthy and helpful? Those good things can be part
    of our foundation, part of our pathway into the next 500 years.” –
    Navajo Elder Leon Secatero

    The forces arrayed against us are immense, so immense that, even were
    the world to suddenly awaken to the depths of the danger – even if the
    rulers and the fundamentalists themselves were to awaken – the sheer
    inertia, the momentum toward destruction, might still carry us over the
    edge.

    But in the US some 60 million people say they are gravely concerned
    about global warming. The war for control of the Middle East, and the
    moves toward fascism in the US, have made George W. Bush the most
    unpopular president of our time.

    If – and it is a huge if – we were to wake up – to understand the
    utter magnitude of the threat posed by the US empire to the world and to
    all life on every front, then the possibility of an effective movement
    spurred by a tremendous and urgent energy might develop in time to make a
    difference.

    It does no good, however, to note the slim odds – because if we don’t
    act in just this way, the odds of survival for most of the Earth’s
    species – ourselves included, drop precipitously.

    For all that the Third World is destined to suffer the harshest of the
    coming blows, it may well be in the non-industrialized areas that any
    non-fascistic reorganization of society is possible. Cuba’s response to
    its national peak oil crisis is a case in point.

    Not only are the Third World nations more susceptible to peoples’
    struggles, but the fragmentation they will undergo under the conditions on
    the horizon, combined with the relative closeness of the peasantry to
    the land in those places, lends itself more readily to the kind of
    small, local, sustainable solutions that appear to be the only solutions
    that will be possible or desirable.

    That is, if we manage, somehow, to avoid a nuclear World War lll, if
    global warming and desertification don’t turn the land into an oven, if
    local ecosystems can be sustained, or only partially collapse; if the
    aquifers aren’t depleted; and if the rivers and lakes don’t disappear
    with the glaciers…

    First World conditions are more likely to develop in a fascistic
    direction. Going “back to the land” as a survival matter may not make any
    more sense for tomorrow’s survivors than it did for David Koresh to hold
    up in his compound in Waco.

    Those best positioned and prepared to survive independently will be
    the remnants of the Native American nations, who have a recognized land
    base, and, in most cases, at least fragmentary living traditions and
    lore for living directly in tune with the land.

    But there are no guarantees at all. The same ecological issues will
    confront First Worlders as Third Worlders who join in local efforts at
    sustainable communities.

    How can we stop this? How can we survive if we cannot stop it?

    The mind rebels.

    Having spent thousands of years developing the tools of prediction and
    control, civilization has now brought us to a juncture in which war,
    water, weather, food, shelter and our very social structure will be less
    predictable than they were when we rebelled against maintaining our
    lives as hunters and gatherers, taking up instead what Quinn calls
    totalitarian agriculture – the “Agricultural Revolution” – in order to ensure
    a predictable survival. Our survival, human survival and advantage came
    first; no matter what the cost to the animal and plant life around us,
    no matter the cost to our fellow human beings who may find themselves
    socially “beneath” us and no matter what cost we might pay in our own
    tortured psyches.

    We live – very truly – in a state the Hopi call Koyannisqatsi – life
    disintegrating; life out of balance; a way of life that calls for
    another way of living.

    In 1980, Russell Means gave his most famous speech, called “For
    America to Live Europe Must Die.” In it, he points to another way of living.
    Means said:

    ”There is another way. There is the traditional Lakota way and the
    ways of the other American Indian peoples. It is the way that knows that
    humans do not have the right to degrade Mother Earth, that there are
    forces beyond anything the European mind has conceived, that humans must
    be in harmony with all relations or the relations will eventually
    eliminate the disharmony. A lopsided emphasis on humans by humans – the
    European’s arrogance of acting as though they were beyond the nature of all
    related things – can only result in a total disharmony and a
    readjustment which cuts arrogant humans down to size, gives them a taste of that
    reality beyond their grasp or control and restores the harmony. There
    is no need for a revolutionary theory to bring this about; it’s beyond
    human control. The nature peoples of this planet know this and so they
    do not theorize about it. Theory is an abstract; our knowledge is real.

    “American Indians have been trying to explain this to Europeans for
    centuries. But, as I said earlier, Europeans have proven themselves
    unable to hear. The natural order will win out, and the offenders will die
    out, the way deer die when they offend the harmony by over-populating a
    given region. It’s only a matter of time until what Europeans call
    "a major catastrophe of global proportions" will occur. It is the
    role of American Indian peoples, the role of all natural beings, to
    survive. A part of our survival is to resist. We resist not to overthrow a
    government or to take political power, but because it is natural to
    resist extermination, to survive. We don’t want power over white
    institutions; we want white institutions to disappear. That’s revolution.

    “American Indians are still in touch with these realities – the
    prophecies, the traditions of our ancestors. We learn from the elders, from
    nature, from the powers. And when the catastrophe is over, we American
    Indian people will survive; harmony will be reestablished. That’s
    revolution.”

    With this understanding, we are free.

    We have the freedom of truly having nothing to lose.

    We are free to break down into madness, or into sanity. We are free to
    rediscover, to nurture our role as human beings – as caretakers of the
    Earth.

    It is totally in our hands, and totally out of our hands.
    We are free to break down, tune in and stop living as madmen bent on
    destruction. Free to give up our paranoia, our massive obsession with
    prediction and control, free, sooner than later, of the cult of everyday
    life.

    We are free to, as the Elder Leon Secatero said, to leave some things
    behind. Free to trust, once again, our intuition, our bodies, our own
    thoughts, and to trust the rivers, the animals and our dreams. To be
    part of the world again. To belong here.

    Even to die here, just as it is. Knowing our Place.

    As John Lennon once put it in another context, the dream is over. A
    door is opening to the end of this madness.

    We are free to walk through it.

    Together.

    Wherever it leads.

    To life, or to death.

  52. who's bringing on the end? said,

    from an LA Times article:
    For thousands of years, prophets have predicted the
    end of the world. Today, various religious groups,
    using the latest technology, are trying to hasten it.

    Their endgame is to speed the promised arrival of a
    messiah.

    For some Christians this means laying the groundwork
    for Armageddon.

    With that goal in mind, mega-church pastors recently
    met in Inglewood to polish strategies for using global
    communications and aircraft to transport missionaries
    to fulfill the Great Commission: to make every person
    on Earth aware of Jesus’ message. Doing so, they
    believe, will bring about the end, perhaps within two
    decades.

    In Iran, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has a far
    different vision. As mayor of Tehran in 2004, he spent
    millions on improvements to make the city more
    welcoming for the return of a Muslim messiah known as
    the Mahdi, according to a recent report by the
    American Foreign Policy Center, a nonpartisan think
    tank.

    To the majority of Shiites, the Mahdi was the last of
    the prophet Muhammad’s true heirs, his 12 righteous
    descendants chosen by God to lead the faithful.

    Ahmadinejad hopes to welcome the Mahdi to Tehran
    within two years.

    Conversely, some Jewish groups in Jerusalem hope to
    clear the path for their own messiah by rebuilding a
    temple on a site now occupied by one of Islam’s
    holiest shrines.

    Artisans have re-created priestly robes of white
    linen, gem-studded breastplates, silver trumpets and
    solid-gold menorahs to be used in the Holy Temple —
    along with two 6½-ton marble cornerstones for the
    building’s foundation.

    Then there is Clyde Lott, a Mississippi revivalist
    preacher and cattle rancher. He is trying to raise a
    unique herd of red heifers to satisfy an obscure
    injunction in the Book of Numbers: the sacrifice of a
    blemish-free red heifer for purification rituals
    needed to pave the way for the messiah.

    So far, only one of his cows has been verified by
    rabbis as worthy, meaning they failed to turn up even
    three white or black hairs on the animal’s body.

    Linking these efforts is a belief that modern
    technologies and global communications have made it
    possible to induce completion of God’s plan within
    this generation.

    Though there are myriad interpretations of how it will
    play out, the basic Christian apocalyptic countdown —
    as described by the Book of Revelation in the New
    Testament — is as follows:

    Jews return to Israel after 2,000 years, the Holy
    Temple is rebuilt, billions of people perish during
    seven years of natural disasters and plagues, the
    antichrist arises and rules the world, the battle of
    Armageddon erupts in the vicinity of Israel, Jesus
    returns to defeat Satan’s armies and preside over
    Judgment Day.

    Generations of Christians have hoped for the Second
    Coming of Jesus, said UCLA historian Eugen Weber,
    author of the 1999 book “Apocalypses: Prophecies,
    Cults and Millennial Beliefs Through the Ages.”

    “And it’s always been an ultimately bloody hope, a
    slaughterhouse hope,” he added with a sigh. “What we
    have now in this global age is a vaster and
    bloodier-than-ever Wagnerian version. But, then, we
    are a very imaginative race.”


    On July 18, Hagee plans to lead a contingent of
    high-profile evangelists to Washington to make their
    concerns about Israel’s security known to
    congressional leaders. More than 1,200 evangelists are
    expected for the gathering.

    “Twenty-five years ago, I called a meeting of
    evangelists to discuss such an effort, and the
    conversation didn’t last an hour,” he said. “This
    time, I called and they all came and stayed. And when
    the meeting was over, they all agreed to speak up for
    Israel.”

    Underlining the sense of urgency is a belief that the
    end-times clock started ticking May 15, 1948, when the
    United Nations formally recognized Israel.
    Hagee’s message is carried on 160 television stations
    and 50 radio stations and can be seen in Africa,
    Europe, Australia, New Zealand and most Third World
    nations.

    By contrast, Bill McCartney, a former University of
    Colorado football coach and co-founder of the
    evangelical Promise Keepers movement for men, which
    became huge in the 1990s, has had a devil of a time
    getting his own apocalyptic campaign off the ground.

    It’s called The Road to Jerusalem, and its mission is
    to convert Jews to Christianity — while there is still
    time.

    “Our whole purpose is to hasten the end times,” he
    said. “The Bible says Jews will be brought to jealousy
    when they see Christians and Jewish believers together
    as one — they’ll want to be a part of that. That’s
    going to signal Jesus’ return.”

    Jews and others who don’t accept Jesus, he added
    matter-of-factly, “are toast.”

    Meanwhile, in what has become a spectacular annual
    routine, Jews — hoping to rebuild the Holy Temple
    destroyed by the Romans in AD 70 — attempt to haul the
    6 1/2 -ton cornerstones by truck up to the Temple
    Mount, the site now occupied by the Dome of the Rock
    shrine. Each year, they are turned back by police.

    Among those turned away is Gershon Solomon, spokesman
    for Jerusalem’s Temple Institute. When the temple is
    built, he said, “Islam is over.”

    “I’m grateful for all the wonderful Christian angels
    wanting to help us,” Solomon added, acknowledging the
    political support from “Christians who are now
    Israel’s best lobbyists in the United States.”

    However, when asked to comment on the fate of
    non-Christians upon the Second Coming of Jesus, he
    said, “That’s a very embarrassing question. What can I
    tell you? That’s a very terrible Christian idea.

    “What kind of religion is it that expects another
    religion will be destroyed?”

    But are all of these efforts to hasten the end of the
    world a bit like, well, playing God?

    Some Christians, such as Roman Catholics and some
    Protestant denominations, believe in the Second Coming
    but don’t try to advance it. It’s important to be
    ready for the Second Coming, they say, though its
    timetable cannot be manipulated.

    Hirschfield said he prays every day for the coming of
    the Jewish messiah, but he too believes that God can’t
    be hurried.

    “For me,” he said, “the messiah is like the mechanical
    bunny at a racetrack: It always stays a little ahead
    of the runners but keeps the pace toward a redeemed
    world.

    “Trouble is, there are many people who want to bring a
    messiah who looks just like them. For me, that kind of
    messianism is spiritual narcissism.”

    But some Christian leaders say they aren’t playing
    God; they’re just carrying out his will.

    Ted Haggard, president of the National Assn. of
    Evangelicals, says the commitment to fulfilling the
    Great Commission has naturally intensified along with
    the technological advances God provided to carry out
    his plans.

    Over in Mississippi, Lott believes that he is doing
    God’s work, and that is why he wants to raise a few
    head of red heifers for Jewish high priests. Citing
    Scripture, Lott and others say a pure red heifer must
    be sacrificed and burned and its ashes used in
    purification rituals to allow Jews to rebuild the
    temple.

    But Lott’s plans have been sidetracked.

    Facing a maze of red tape and testing involved in
    shipping animals overseas — and rumors of threats from
    Arabs and Jews alike who say the cows would only bring
    more trouble to the Middle East — he has given up on
    plans to fly planeloads of cows to Israel. For now.

    In the meantime, some local ranchers have expressed an
    interest in raising their own red heifers for Israel,
    and fears of hoof-and-mouth disease and blue tongue
    forced Lott to relocate his only verified red heifer —
    a female born in 1993 — to Nebraska.

    Cloning is out of the question, he said, because the
    technique “is not approved by the rabbinical council
    of Israel.” Artificial insemination has so far failed
    to produce another heifer certified by rabbis.

    “Something deep in my heart says God wants me to be a
    blessing to Israel,” Lott said in a telephone
    interview. “But it’s complicated. We’re just not ready
    to send any red heifers over there.”

    If not now, when?

    “If there’s a sovereign God with his hand in the
    affairs of men, it’ll happen, and it’ll be a pivotal
    event,” he said. “That time is soon. Very soon.”

  53. right on said,

    “What it lies in our power to do, it lies in our power
    not to do.” — Aristotle

    “Only I can change my life. No one can do it for me.”
    — Carol Burnett

    “Destiny is no matter of chance. It is a matter of
    choice: It is not a thing to be waited for, it is a
    thing to be achieved.” — William Jennings Bryan

  54. right on said,

    – Scientist and Pulitzer Prize-winning author E.O. Wilson is out to save life on Earth — literally — and as a secular humanist has decided to enlist people of religious faith in his mission.

    The Harvard professor sees science and religion as potential allies for averting the mass extinction of the species being caused by man, as he argues in his latest book, “The Creation: An Appeal to Save Life on Earth” (W.W. Norton), due out on Tuesday.

    Asked whether he could unite two groups with clashing world views, Wilson immediately responded, “I know I can.”

    Among people of religious faith, “There is a potentially powerful commitment to conservation — saving the creation — once the connection is made and once the scientists are willing to form an alliance,” Wilson told Reuters in a telephone interview on Thursday.

    “There are two world views in conflict — religious and secular — but yet they can meet in friendship on one of the most important issues of this century,” he said.

    Wilson, 77, wrote “The Creation” in the form of a series of letters to an imaginary South Baptist minister — just the opposite of preaching to the converted.

    While the scientist believes in evolution, the evangelical Christian interprets the Bible as the literal word of God.

    “I may be wrong, you may be wrong. We may both be partly right,” Wilson writes.

    “Does this difference in worldview separate us in all things? It does not,” he goes on, drawing on his former experience as a Southern Baptist to find common ground.

    Wilson, who won Pulitzers for general non-fiction in 1979 and 1991, documents how human activity has accelerated the mass extinction of species and says habitat preservation is most urgent. He writes that the world’s 25 most endangered hotspots could be saved with a one-time payment of $30 billion, a relative pittance compared to the wealth that nature generates for man.

    In the Reuters interview, Wilson called the religious community in the United States a “powerful majority.” The Southern Baptist Convention says on its Web site it has 16 million members in 42,000 churches.

    Wilson is no longer one, having drifted away from religion in his youth. Wilson considers himself neither atheist nor agnostic but a “provisional deist.”

    “I’m willing to accept the possibility that there is some kind of intelligent force beyond our current understanding,” he said.

    As such he said he gets a “uniformly warm response” from Southern Baptists ministers, and sees mainstream public opinion as getting greener.

    “The public opinion in the United States has become pastel green, and the green seems to be deepening,” he said. “This could be just foolish optimism, but we could be approaching the turning point.”

  55. smokin' in the boyzroom said,

    Two priests are in a Vatican bathroom using the urinals.
    One of them looks at the other one’s penis and notices there’s a Nicoderm patch on it. He looks at the other priest and says, “I believe you’re supposed to put that patch on your arm or shoulder, not your penis.”
    The other one replies, “It’s working just fine. I’m down to two butts a day.”

  56. more said,

    quotes from rex rhoades, 2005:
    With the rapture nigh, who needs clean streams?
    As Republicans set about drilling, timbering and mining in our national treasures, as they roll back the environmental regulations that have brought us clean air, lakes and streams, it’s worth glancing at some highlights of environmental history.

    * In 1872, Ulysses Grant established Yellowstone.
    * In 1891, Benjamin Harrison established the “forest reserves,” now our national forests.
    * In 1903, Theodore Roosevelt began protecting 230,000,000 acres, an area equal in size to Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin combined, from development. He quadrupled the land in national forests, invented the National Wildlife Refuge System, created fifty-five refuges, and proclaimed eighteen national monuments, including 870,000 acres of the Grand Canyon and 640,000 acres of Mount Olympus.
    * Calvin Coolidge saved 1,380,000 acres of Glacier Bay National Monument .
    * Herbert Hoover saved 850,000 acres of Death Valley National Monument.
    * 1960: Republican President Dwight Eisenhower created the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
    * 1964: Congressman John Saylor of Pennsylvania pushed through the Wilderness Act. in 1968, he wrote the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act.
    * in 1970, Richard Nixon established the EPA. In 1973, he signed the Endangered Species Act, which had passed with overwhelming bipartisan support. (List courtesy Republicans for Environmental Progress.)

    In case you haven’t noticed the pattern yet, all of these men were Republicans.

    Really. As hard as it may be for today’s young people to believe, Republicans were once really “conservative.” They believed in conserving, preserving and enjoying our national resources.

    So, what’s changed? When I talk to young people about this issue today, I mention the name James Watt and usually get a blank expression in return. He was the first of a new breed of Republican. He was also one of our first “born-again” public officials.

    Brought to Washington in 1981 by Ronald Reagan, he spoke about his beliefs and tried to run the nation’s public lands, as secretary of Interior, based upon his personal view that, since the end times were nigh, preserving the nation’s resources wasn’t a high priority. In fact, he once told Congress that protecting the environment was unimportant because of the imminent return of Jesus Christ.

    This was considered so nutty at the time that Watt was roundly ridiculed and soon sent packing by Reagan.

    But, 25 years later, we see that Watt was an emissary from the future. While Christ hasn’t returned yet, some of the people posing as his enlightened advocates, people just like James Watt, have taken over Congress and the Presidency.

    Since the Reagan administration, Congress has increasingly been run by people who openly profess that the end of the Earth is coming and they speak for an increasingly large bloc of mainly southern Americans who agree.

    These are people like the speaker of the U.S. House, Tom Delay, who openly subscribe to the idea that worrying about the future of our planet is irrelevant because it really doesn’t have a future.

    They are waiting for, and in some cases openly trying to hasten, the day of the Rapture. That’s when believers will be transported naked to Heaven, sit next to God and watch their political opponents suffer plagues of sores, boils, locusts and frogs. The return of frogs will be a true miracle, since they are disappearing from the planet at an alarming rate.

    These people have purchased 66 million books about the End Times by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins, all part of the “Left Behind” series. Jenkins who have made more money than Stephen King selling even scarier stories. They are considered the most successful literary partners of all time.

    Their series began with a book called “The Rapture.” Subsequent volumes have followed airline pilot Rayford Steele and journalist Buck Williams, two guys left behind to tough it out during the seven-year
    Illustration from Left Behind book
    reign of the Antichrist.

    In the books, the “Antichrist” is U.N. Secretary General, his right-hand man is the pope and Jews generously get the option of converting to Christianity.

    Statistics from the publisher, Tyndale, show that 71 percent of “Left Behind” readers are from the South and Midwest, and just 6 percent are from the Northeast. That’s why Tyndale sponsors a NASCAR racer with the curious slogan “Left Behind” painted on its hood and trunk.

    Tyndale says the average buyer is a 44-year-old born-again Christian woman, married with kids, living in the South. It says one of every eight Americans has read these books.

    Perhaps these books help confused people make sense of a troubled world. It gives them the comfort of knowing the future and of knowing they will be in a wonderful place while doubters will, literally, go to hell. The books give readers a vision of an ordered world while allowing them to indulge in that age-old human fascination with evil.

    Where’s the harm in that?

    The harm is when these delusional beliefs jump from fiction to governmental policy. As Republicans in Congress set about rolling back decades of environmental protections, building roads in wilderness areas, opening up public lands for mining, drilling and timbering, are these odd religious ideas actually guiding policy-makers and bureaucrats?

    According to Glenn Scherer, writing in the online environmental journal Grist, 45 Senators and 186 representatives in 2003 earned 80-100 percent approval ratings from the nation’s most radical Christian right advocay groups — the Christian Coalition, Eagle Forum and Family Resources Council, all of which subscribe to various forms of the End-of-Times vision.

    Meanwhile, those same lawmakers all got flunking grades — less than 10 percent — from the League of Conservation Voters, a middle-of-the-road enviornmental lobby group.

    And, nearly all members of the Republican leadership subscribe to various forms of this radical view, or at least openly court voters who do: President Bush, Senate Majority Leader Bill First, Senate Majority Whip Mitch McConnell, Senate Republican Conference Chair Rick Santorum, Senate Repbulican Policy Chair Jon Kyl, House Speaker Dennis Hastert, House Majority Whip Roy Blunt and, most famously, former Attorney General John Ashcroft.

    “We know our Creator best by studying Creation, which all of the religious texts mandate us to do. If you look at all of the great, central epiphany in every religious tradition in mankind’s history, the revelation always occurs in the wilderness. Buddha had to go into the wilderness to experience self-realization. Mohamed had to go to the wilderness of Mount Hira in 629 and wrestle an angel in the middle of the night to have the Koran squeezed out of him. Moses had to go onto the wilderness of Mount Sinai to get the Commandments. The Jews had to spend 40 years in the wilderness to purge themselves of the 400 years of slavery in Egypt. Christ had to spend 40 days in the wilderness to discover his divinity. His mentor was John the Baptist, a man of the wilderness who lived in a cave in the Jordan Valley and dressed in the skins of wild animals.”
    — Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

    The Rapture Index, located at Apocalypsesoon.org, stood at 151 Friday. Not it’s high for the year, but still “time to fasten your seatbelts,” according to the Web site, unless, or course, you think a seatbelt might impede your ascension.

    One well-known End-of-Times thinker, George Grant, argues that his movement’s goal is to end the separation of church and state, replace U.S. democracy with a theocracy ruled by Old Testament law, and cut all government social programs, instead turning that work over to Christian churches.

    Says Grant: “Christian politics has as its primary intent the conquest of land — of men, families, institutions, bureaucracies, courts and governments for the Kingdom of Christ.”

    He continues: “World conquest. That’s what Christ has commissioned us to accomplish. We must win the world with the power of the Gospel, and we must never settle for anything less.”

    Natural resource depletion, overpopulation and toxic poisoning of the environment do not concern these folks. They cling to 11 words in the Bible Book of Timothy: “There shall be famines, and pestilences and earthquakes in divers places.”

    But this is typical of End-of Time believers — they weave together selective passages of the Bible while igoring contradictory references.

    Tom Delay has been quoted as saying he sees the U.S. “marching forward with a Biblical worldview. He has said he wants to convert American into a ‘God centered’ nation of prayer, worship and the teaching of Christian values.

    In the meantime, however, Delay is not above a quick trip to Scotland to play golf with an Indiana casino lobbyist. Certainly, even Christ needed a little down time.

    Delay is a member of the Christian Zionists, an End-Time group that claims to have 20 million members and believes the creation of Israel marked the first step in the “countdown to Armageddon.”

    The chair of the Senate’s Environment and Public Works Committee, James Inhofe, is an ardent End-Times believer. Inhofe, who also belongs to Christian Zionists, opposes returning seized lands to Palestinians “because God said so.” He quotes Genesis in support: “for all the land which you see, to you will I give it, and to your seed forever.” As a result, he supports permanent Israeli occupation of the West Bank.

    Eight of the nine Republicans on Inhofe’s committee scored an average of 94 percent from Christian-right groups. They averaged a 4 percent rating from environmental groups. The lone exception on his committee, Republican Lincoln Chafee, is from Rhode Island and probably hasn’t read the Left Behind series yet.

    Inhofe has said concern for climate change “is a shrewdly planned campaign to inflict a lot of socialistic restriction on our cherished freedoms. Environmentalism, in short, is the last refuge of socialism.”

    Meanwhile, down on the ranch, a group of ultra-Christian Texans has teamed up with a group of fundamentalist Israeli Jews to breed a pure red heifer, a genetically unlikely animal mentioned in the Book of Numbers that will supposedly signal the beginning of the Apocalypse.

    Holy cow, indeed.

    Says comedian Bill Maher: “It’s like half this country wants to guide our ship of state by compass — a compass, something that works by science and rationality, and empirical wisdom. And the other half wants to kill a chicken and read its entrails.

  57. FRED said,

    Mankind has NO control over Armageddon whatsoever. It dosen`t really matter what the politicians do or don`t do .The appointed time of the nations will come to an end when Jehovah God decides its time to bring ruin to those who are ruining the earth. Then and only then ,will all those alive ,realize just how puny and insignifiant mankind really is and always has been. All you ranting and ravings all all vanity.

  58. joker said,

    HOW MANY ZEN BUDDHISTS DOES IT TAKE TO CHANGE A
    LIGHTBULB?

    A: Three. One to change the lightbulb, one NOT to
    change the lightbulb, and one to neither change nor
    not change the lightbulb.

    HOW MANY EPISCOPALIANS DOES IT TAKE TO CHANGE A
    LIGHTBULB?

    A: Eight. One to call the electrician, and seven to
    say how much they liked the old one better.

    HOW MANY UNITARIANS DOES IT TAKE TO CHANGE A
    LIGHTBULB?

    A: The Unitarians wish to issue the following
    statement:
    “We choose not to make a statement either in favor of
    or against the need for a lightbulb; however, if in
    your own journey you have found that lightbulbs work
    for you, that is fine. You are invited to write a poem
    or compose a modern dance about your personal
    relationship with your lightbulb, and present it next
    month at our annual lightbulb Sunday service, in which
    we will explore a number of lightbulb traditions,
    including incandescent, fluorescent, three-way,
    long-life and tinted, all of which are equally valid
    paths to luminescence.”

    HOW MANY PENTECOSTALS DOES IT TAKE TO CHANGE A
    LIGHTBULB?

    A: Ten. One to change the bulb and nine to pray
    against the spirit of darkness.

  59. suppression of information said,

    To alleviate resistance of destruction of the nation’s natural resources, they are closing the environmental protection libraries, making it more difficult to fight bad, destructive legislation.

    quote:
    The EPA’s proposed FY 2007 budget slashes 80% of funding required for the national library network to continue operating.

    The 27 regional libraries, 12 research laboratories and 2 research centers contain extensive research materials, including 50,000 unique documents found only in EPA libraries, supporting the needs of agency staff, scientists in academia and industry, and the general public.

    Cutting $2.0 million from the library system’s $2.5 million budget will force library closures, reduced hours and staff, eliminated services and restricted access to important information on environmental issues. EPA has preemptively begun shutting down libraries, even before the budget has been finalized.

    Over 10,000 EPA scientists are protesting that losing access to library documents and services will hinder their jobs. The suppression of this information also affects citizen education and the ability for policymakers to make wise decisions on the environment and public health.

    Please contact your member of Congress today and ask them to oppose the proposed FY 07 EPA libraries budget cuts!

  60. Gil said,

    “With the US and its white colonial puppet Israel”
    Did anyone actually need to read any further than that?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: