The soul has greater need of the ideal than the real for it is by the real that we exist, it is by the ideal that we live

Friday, December 24, 2010

Let's look at those loving caring meek and kind Christians...shall we?

No HGF today, pehaps tomorrow, I have nothing to do then.  But today on this eve of the most important Christian holiday we should look at actions and words,  the difference, and what each may really mean.

This morning I came across an article noting that Christians are facing increased persecution.  This is presented as though they're innocent victims of an anti-Christian world.  Not exactly the truth. 

To a person those mentioned in the article have gone out of their way to insult another religion, ensure the persecution of others, attempt to convert to Christianity, those of another religion, a tactic the Catholics made famous the world over.  And I learned the other day, that my high school alma mater is now sending kids on mission trips around the world to introduce those poor sould around the world to Catholicism,as though the ignorant wretches can't make up their own minds and have to be brought to our god or else. We're so fucking presumptuous.

And we marvel at persecution.

Here's the article:

Christians face rising persecution, experts say
By Richard Allen Greene, CNN
A pastor sits on death row in Iran. His crime? Renouncing Islam  for Christianity.
A Christian mother of two faces execution in Pakistan - and a preacher  has put a price on her head in case the president pardons her. Her crime?  Insulting the Prophet Mohammed.
In Iraq, dozens of Christians lie in fresh graves. Their fatal mistake?  Going to church.
And these are not simply isolated incidents, but part of a broader  pattern, experts say.
"There does appear to be an upsurge in violence directed against  Christians," said Leonard Leo, the chairman of the U.S. Commission on  International Religious Freedom.

He says part of the problem is that "governments are not cracking down on  sectarian violence the way they should."
"We've got to have governments taking ownership of these problems and  enforcing the laws that exist," he said. Whether it's "Christians in Iraq or  Afghanistan, or Copts in Egypt, the government has to prosecute (people) and  put them in jail for killing people on account of their religion."
The problems are worst in the countries with the greatest amount of  division, he said. Anti-blasphemy and apostasy laws also are problems in some  countries, he said.

The commission is particularly worried about Egypt, where plans to build  a church near Cairo sparked riots in November. A Christian was killed in  clashes with police.
That violence came on the heels of attacks on the homes and businesses of  Coptic Christians, Egypt's local Christian community, the commission said. The  burning and looting in Qena province, in southern Egypt, was sparked by rumors  of romantic relationship between a Christian man and a Muslim woman, a  commission statement said.
Bad as that violence was, "the worst place of all undoubtedly is Iraq,  where there was a recent church bombing," said Nina Shea, who also sits on the  religious freedom commission.
At least 70 people died in the attack on Our Lady of Salvation Church in  Baghdad on October 31. Fifty-three of them were Christians.
Iraq's al Qaeda affiliate, "the Islamic State of Iraq, vowed to kill  Christians wherever they find them," Shea said.
"As the (overall) violence has decreased in Iraq, it has gone up against  the Christians," she said.
Six weeks after the church attack, the United Nations High Commission for  Refugees said it was tracking a "slow but steady exodus" of Christians from  Baghdad and Mosul, two of Iraq's major cities.
Even relatively moderate Morocco has taken action against Christians this  year, Shea says.
"Morocco expelled foreign Christians who had long been in Morocco - the  head of the George Washington  School in Casablanca, the director of an orphanage, educators - about  100 people," she said.
"That followed a petition by Muslim leaders to stop the Christian influence in Morocco," she said. "There may be some pressure from more  conservative Muslims."
"I would not say that Christians are the only target," she added. "We are  seeing it against other groups as well, Shias and Ahmadiyyas in Pakistan, and  Baha'is in Iran."
But, she said, "this has been a very bad year for Christians worldwide."
Christians are one the largest religious minorities in the broader Middle East, she said, and they are a target "because they are there."
"Many of them want to stay. They have been in this region for two  millennia. They are indigenous. This religion started there," she said.
And they have a unique culture, she said.
The Chaldean Christians of Iraq still speak Aramaic, for example.
"If the Chaldeans are scattered to the four corners of the globe, the  language of Jesus will not be preserved," Shea warned. "It will die out."
CNN's Joe Sterling contributed to this report. 

I have to note that the catholics weren't worried about any other ethnic groups religions dying out when they forcibly converted, en masse the native Americans they encountered in this country.  The Franciscan Monks  weren't a bit concerned about the mayans  and their history when they ordered the destruction of thousands of mayan sculptures and manuscripts in the 1500's.  Where do these hypocrites get off whining about their own persecution? -ed

Now let's turn our attention to some of the most recent examples of good old American Christian hate:
First we have the Rt Rev Steven Anderson of Arizona:
Christian hate Pastor Steven Anderson is praying for President Barack Obama's death. Anderson, yet another hate spewing homophobic Christian, is Pastor of the Faithful World Baptist Church, in Tempe, Arizona.
Aside from praying for President Barack Obama's death, Pastor Anderson seems fixated on homosexuality. His fixation is clearly unhealthy, and could very well be indicative of an individual unable to process his own sexual confusion.
Anderson trots out the usual Christian slander and smear on the gay lifestyle. Anderson claims that homosexuals recruit through rape and the molesting of children. Yet Anderson goes one better than most hate filled Christians. Christians usually mask their hatred and bigotry with a cutesy expression like: "hate the sin but love the sinner".
To his credit Anderson is not so two-faced. Anderson says what many Christians are frightened to admit: Anderson wants the death penalty for homosexuals. The source for such a draconian response? The Bible, of course.
Christian Pastor Steven Anderson wants homosexuals put to death, just as the Bible mandates. In addition, the good Pastor prays for President's Obama's death. One can only suppose that his flock shares similar hopes and aspirations.
Her is a quote from the good Christian, the good Pastor, a man of God:
Let me tell you something: Barack Obama has wrought lewdness in America. America has become lewd. What does lewd mean? L-E-W-D? [Pause] Obscene. Right? Dirty. Filthy. Homosexuality. Promiscuity. All of the -- everything that's on the billboard, the TV. Sensuality. Lewdness! We don't even know what lewdness means anymore! We're just surrounded by it, inundated with it!
... And yet you're going to tell me that I'm supposed to pray for the socialist devil, murderer, infanticide, who wants to see young children and he wants to see babies killed through abortion and partial-birth abortion and all these different things -- you're gonna tell me I'm supposed to pray for God to give him a good lunch tomorrow while he's in Phoenix, Arizona.
Nope. I'm not gonna pray for his good. I'm going to pray that he dies and goes to hell. When I go to bed tonight, that's what I'm going to pray. And you say, 'Are you just saying that?' No. When I go to bed tonight, Steven L. Anderson is going to pray for Barack Obama to die and go to hell.

That was August of 2009.

Next we have a lovely and charming group of concerned citizens in Texas, (whom God will have to forgive if he actually exists, because...well they're in Texas.) who wll move against anyting they don't like in any conniving way they can:

An evangelical Christian hate group called “Repent Amarillo” is reportedly terrorizing the town of Amarillo, Texas. Repent fashions itself as a sort of militia and targets a wide range of community members they deem offensive to their theology: gays, liberal Christians, Muslims, environmentalists, breast cancer events that do not highlight abortion, Halloween, “spring break events,” and pornography shops. On its website, Repent has posted a “Warfare Map” of its enemies in town.
Calling Repent an “American Taliban,” blogger Charles Johnson notes that the group’s moniker “Army of God” is a rough translation of “Hezbollah.” Led by a man named David Grisham, a security guard at a nuclear-bomb facility called Pantex, Repent first gained media attention in Texas following a campaign to boycott Houston for electing a gay mayor. The group, which is associated with Raven Ministries, collaborates with other Christian groups as well as forced pregnancy advocacy associations like “Bound 4 Life.”
According to a new exposé by the Texas Observer, Repent set out earlier this year to destroy a discreet club of swingers they discovered in town. On New Years eve, the harassment began, with Repent members, almost exclusively young men, showing up in military fatigues and bullhorns, blaring Christian music at the swingers’ club building. The swingers, made up of “regulars” of middle aged, working class couples, were then stalked at every following visit to the club. Repent not only took video of each member, but obtained the swingers’ license plates and dug through their trash, informing neighbors and coworkers of what was once private. Watch a Texas Observer repor
Repent has struck with some success at many of its enemies within the town. A community theater attempted to open “Bent,” a play about the persecution of homosexuals during Nazi Germany. But the day before opening night, Repent members helped shut down the play by calling in fire marshals to complain about the theater’s permit. Staffers at a nature preserve were featured on local news defending themselves against Repent accusations that their site represents something related to witchcraft.
But grassroots opposition to Repent is also building. A group called “Angel Action” has mobilized against Repent, and blogs and Amarillo-based Facebook groups are springing up to protest Repent’s hate. (HT: LGF)

And of course, those wonderful understanding and forgiving Christians in Fort Worth, Texas who chose to denigrate one of the basic tenets of our country, free speech, when they hired vans with an opposing message to follow busses around the city after the Athiests of America bought advertising saying that thousands were good without God.  So Christian.

So ask yourself as you participate in those pagan rituals that are about to begin all over the world; "Do I really know what this is about, and what I'm supporting when I stand here with a bunch of "devout" christians and sing carols, or attend mass, or put money in one of those little kettles for an organization that wouldn't help me if I were in need because they don't believe in my "lifestyle" as moral?" 

Do you really know?  Or have you been duped like most of the world?

I'm reprinting here an article from the Daily Kos originally posted in 2005 not just because I'm not as eloquent as I should be of late, but because i doubt i could have said it any better. 

-The Coming Christian Hate

by environmentalist

Thu May 05, 2005 at 06:47:04 AM PST

"The [National Government] regards Christianity as the foundation of our national morality, and the family as the basis of national life." -- Hitler
I got caught smoking with a kid named Richard, down by the Arkansas River when I was 14 years old.  I hated smoking.  I hated Richard.  But what I really hated was the catechism classes my mom sent me to every Tuesday and Thursday night.  So Richard and I decided to sneak out.  The fumble up came when I told a girl named Becky where we were going.  I was in love with Becky and I thought she would think I was cool if I ditched out on catechism and went smoking down by the river.  Instead, she told Father Stovik.  He gathered Richard and I in his car and sped us back to St. Therese Catholic Church where we faced the wrath of Sister Mary Hugh.  She yelled at us one by one, Richard first, then me.

She paced in front of me screaming that I was ruining my life.  I had such potential, she said, but I was messing it up by hanging out with bad apples like Richard, smoking, masturbating (how the heck did she know I was doing that?), and reading about evolution.  Yes, evolution.  A year before, I had likewise found myself in trouble for teaching a first grade class at St. Therese that Adam and Eve were metaphors and that there were no people before the dinosaurs and that Neanderthals and Australopithecines were really the first people.  She paced.  She yelled.
Then I told her: "Go fuck yourself bitch."
Anyone? Anyone?
So began a ten plus year search for a religion that I could call my own.  I poured over the Bible, the Torah, the Koran, the book of Mormon, the IChing, the Tao and so on.  I attended services, prayer meetings, philosophical discussions.   I experimented with every thought, belief and philosophy I could get my hands on.  My search ended in 1997 at mosque in Lyon, France when a very close Moroccan friend of mine (who laughed when I told him I had gone all the way to Jerusalem to convert to Judaism, spent several months in the government `conversion program', and then dropped out afraid of committing) handed me a revised translation of the Tao and assured me that Islam wasn't for me.  "We all find out own way," he said.  "Don't embarrass my religion."  He was laughing but I got the point.  He was and remains a devout Muslim and a good friend.
That said, this post in not intended as an attack on Christians or devoutly religious people of any sort.  I care what you believe in.  I find religion and belief fascinating, lovely and inspiring.  What this post is an attack on, is the inability of certain religious fundamentalists to allow other people to live and believe as they wish to.  If I learned one thing in my years seeking religion (what I found was spirituality) it is tolerance.  As long as your way of believing does not interfere with mine all is good.  I will not condemn you for your beliefs if you do not condemn me for mine.  Unfortunately there is a growing segment of the American population who does not agree with tolerance or acceptance.  So, let me again make this perfectly clear, I am not attacking all Christians nor people of any faith.  In any following discussions I will not engage with those who seek to find persecution where there is none.  The intent of the following is to highlight my fear of Christian Fascism and the Coming Christian Hate.
Sometime in early 1987 I fell in love with a girl named Victoria who was a member of the church known as Assembly of God.  Being that I was both, looking for God and wanting desperately to get in her pants, I eagerly followed her when she asked me to come to her Church.  What I found, even at 17 years old, was appalling.
At first I just didn't get it.  The Bible-study leader, Steve, rarely read to us from the Bible.  He constantly spoke in a sort of code that nearly everyone understood but me.  For example, again and again he spoke out against "enjoying the world".  I finally had to ask him if that meant that enjoying a nice sunset was wrong according to the Bible.  No, but enjoying food, drink, TV, music, sex...even friends...too much was a sin.  There were other types of code and when I finally came to understand a lot of this code, I found that if I was to belong to this church I would have to end a number of friendships, change to music I listened to, cease taking my studies seriously, stop doing a lot of the things I liked to do (sip whisky under a moon-lit sky while fishing with my Dad) and entirely change my world view.
None of this jibed with the Bible I had read.  The Jesus I knew fought for the poor, the ill and encouraged us to turn the other cheek.  Clearly, one can pull whatever one wishes from the Bible.  What I found, particularly in the New Testament, was compassion.  As hard as I fought against my Catholic family, if there was one thing they taught it was compassion and understanding.
I stayed on with this church for a nearly a year, growing ever more leery of what I was hearing.  Finally, one Sunday, I attended an Assembly of God church service.  The space was like an airplane hanger.  It was decorated in stale browns with pink sashes and white flowers.  There was a giant TV screen above the alter and a man screaming at us and people talking in `tongues' and crying and yelling out.  The whole thing reminded me of the old videos of those huge Nuremberg Nazi rally's in the late 30s.  At one point the man launched into an attack on the USSR, unions and Democrats; organizations and governments working against the will of God.
I distinctly remember feeling ill at that point and I remember a voice telling me to leave. To get out quick.  I finally left.  By the time I got to my car I had a fever.  I pulled over several times to vomit before I got home.  I was in bed for several days with an unbelievable fever and, right or wrong, I took that as a sign from God that I was to stay far a way from the Fundamentalist Christians.
But I forever found them fascinating.  Later, I went back and talked to them.  I was actually told in one conversation that Hitler was correct to kill the homosexuals and Catholics.  A society must rid itself of those that threaten its moral standing.   I was also told that the poor deserved their situation because they were clearly non-believers.   Everyone, it seemed, was to be hated for one reason or another.  When I warned my high school biology teacher that one day, these occultists would be in power in our nation and would disallow the evolution she was teaching and would want to put gays into gas chambers...she said no way.  It could never happen.  Never in America.
Read Americas Descent Into Evil And Madness by Linda Kimball is a bizarre and utterly hateful example of what the Christian Right offers as `thoughtful' discussion.  I hold it up as an example of much of the writing and preaching coming from the Christian Right these days.
Most strikingly, it is completely hysterical.  She begins by attacking gays and lesbians.  Then she attacks judges ("black-robed, morally insane tyrants"), those who divorce, and those of us who believe in equality and tolerance.  If there is one thing you will find in this article and others like them, it is HATE.   These people are so very full of hate that they cannot see the possibility that others DO NOT HATE them.  They hate and so they feel hated.  They seek persecution at every turn.
A sample:
Wicked Red Queens and Mad Hatters have taken over and are trashing and depraving America, her culture, her laws, and even her children in their maddened frenzy to force their immoral whims and evil sexual fantasies to become our new reality.

Just as the wicked Queen cared not at all about the pain, suffering, and degradation of the flamingoes, America's deviants don't care that along with turning children towards depravity, they are also condemning them to suffer from the same mentally and physically degrading behaviors and debilitating diseases with which deviants always suffer and die early deaths from. Neither did the corrupt judge nor the Extreme Associate producers care about the consequences to society , and women in particular from Constitutionalizing the making of violent, degrading porn. "Public morality," opined the black-robed tyrant, "is not a legitimate state concern sufficient to justify infringing on private, consensual sexual conduct even if that conduct is offensive to the general public's sense of morality." Morality is out, and depravity, no matter how violent it is, is in.
As Mel Seesholtz points out in his excellent critique of the article , Kimball's writing resembles the 13th century Goebbels' Reichsminister für Volksaufklärung und Propaganda published just before Kristallnacht.
Humanity has descended into "evil and madness" before. Two notable excursions occurred at Treblinka and during the Dark Ages when a politically motivated, perverted form of "Christianity" ruled most of Europe with an iron fist, sanctioned the slaughter of "infidels" in the Holy Lands, and conducted a Holy Inquisition that resulted in the torture and murder of millions of innocent people during its 300-year reign of terror. When humanity and civilization went in the other direction, it was called the Age of Reason and The Enlightenment. Ms. Kimball, the evangelical Christian Right and their political minions are advocating 21st century America return to the good old days of the Dark Ages when hate and greed masqueraded as religion, when science was heretical and "equality" was deemed a perversion.
Her claims of love of life and respect for those who suffer do not match up with her religion's actions.  There is incredible hypocrisy in the beliefs of these fundamentalists - but when it comes to `belief', hypocrisy doesn't matter.  Everything can be explained away.
And then there was this amusing tidbit:
Ms. Kimball frets that America is continuing its headlong plunge into the "sea of insanity" and the "sewer of immorality" because "immoral man is in charge." Well, let's see . . .
George W. Bush is "in charge" in the White House, Bill Frist in the Senate and Tom DeLay in the House of Representatives. Louis Sheldon is "in charge" at the Traditional Values Coalition, James Dobson at Focus on the Family, Don Wildmon at American Family Association, and Jerry Falwell at the Moral Majority Coalition. All these card-waving "Christian" collaborators would seem to be working in opposition to Christ's message of love and inclusion when they use religion to justify discrimination and encourage hatred. And that is exactly what their rhetoric and actions are doing. Make no mistake about that.
But then again, that point may be too obvious to you people.
I guess that, at one time in my life I would have read this and just laughed it off.  But several things happening in our nation these days make this kind of hysterical hate so worrisome - and none of this will be of any striking news to Kossacks or Kosmopolitans.
1.  Fundamentalist Christians are already in power. Both the 2000 and 2004 elections were stolen to install these people in power.
  1.  An illegal invasion of another country.
  2.  The attacks on the judiciary and the interference of Congress (many members are Fundamentalist Christians) in the Terry Schaivo case.
  3.  The apparent unwillingness of pharmacists to fill prescriptions for birth-control pills (!?!?!)
  4.  The increasing combination of religion and military imagery.
I am sure that you all can point to other items that scare you.  But what this demonstrates to me is that we may have already missed the boat.
The bulk May 2005 issue of Harper's Magazine is dedicated to an in-depth look at the Christian Right-Wing, surely one of the most frightening segments of modern American society.  It is entitled Soldiers of Christ.
What you find in the articles by Chris Hedges, Gorden Bigelow and Jeff Sharlet is a picture of an increasingly powerful, very wealthy and very large Christian cult that is founded almost entirely on the belief that its members are righteous above all, persecuted by the state and trusted, by God, with a mission to conquer the world for Jesus and rid the world of those who do not hold those same values.
The authors estimate that there are maybe 150 million people (not all in the United States) who associate themselves with this cult.
It also seems the center of this cult is Colorado Springs, Colorado.  Forty-five miles north of where I was born and raised.
One should not have the impression that this cult is all cohesive.  There are a number of different sects spread throughout the county.  But what ties them together is Dominionism, that is, a lust for political power.
Dominionists preach that Jesus has called them to build the kingdom of God in the here and now...

America becomes, in this militant Biblicism, an agent of God, and all political and intellectual opponents of America's Christian leaders are viewed, quite simply, as agents of Satan.
Essentially, what Christian Dominionism wants is to take over the government, the social, educational and financial institutions of our country and rid the society of anyone they term as `deviant'.  That is, anyone who disagrees with them.  Then, they will use the might of the United States military and our nuclear weapons to conquer the world in the name of God.  The images associated with this cult are nearly all ones of violence.  Swords, flaming eyes, spears, blood, mallets and battle.  They are preparing their people for war.  That war will be against us.
Our favorite Fundamentalist, Dr. James Robin of Focus on the Family, is by far the most influential leader of the Dominionists.  But there are others like Pastor Ted who oversees 45,000 churches and 30 million believers, prays at for buildings and is a close confidant of President Bush.
I guess one of these occultists might say is `see, you and people like Harpers are persecuting us by spreading lies.'
Unfortunately, what you will read in Harpers is what I have seen with my own eyes.
They hate so very much that they can't stand to have their hate taken away.  Take a read of  "Clinton's War on Hate Bans Christian Values"  I guess what they are telling us here is that "hate" is a Christian value and that our society does not have a right to protect itself from their hate.  How do you feel about that you Dkos Christians?  Hate makes them what they are and it makes this brand of Christians very very dangerous - not only to our society but to our physical being as liberals, leftists, progressives.  These people are a threat to our health, safety and welfare.
The Coming Christian Hate
"I want you to just let a wave of intolerance wash over you. I want you to let a wave of hatred wash over you. Yes, hate is good . . . Our goal is a Christian nation. We have a Biblical duty, we are called by God, to conquer this country. We don't want equal time. We don't want pluralism." - Randall Terry, Founder, Operation Rescue, 1993."
Hedges ends with a thought back to his Divinity School ethics professor, Dr. James Luther Adams, who held a deep-seated fear of a coming battle against "Christian Fascists".
He gave us that warning 25 years ago, when Pat Robertson and other prominent evangelists began speaking of a new political religion that would direct its efforts at taking control of all major American institutions, including mainstream denominations and the government, so as to transform the United States into a global Christian empire.
A global Christian empire heavily armed with nuclear weapons.
I am morally opposed to violence.  Yet the coming Christian Hate cannot be allowed to happen.  And to be honest, I am not quite sure I see an option to stop it's advent that fits within my morals.  If you look back at the rise of the Right-Wing in every nation or people throughout history, what you find is that the left always tends to get blindsided by what is coming their way.  At first they just don't get it.  Then, they can't really even fathom what is happening.  And in the end, they get eaten alive.  History repeats itself again and again.
Then as now, Adams said, too many liberals failed to understand the power and allure of evil, and when the radical Christians came, these people would undoubtedly play by the old, polite rules of democracy long after those in power had begun to dismantle the democratic state.
[emphasis mine]
Make no mistake, my friends.  The dismantling of the democratic state is well under way.
We had better `get it', and we had better get it now.  Because, don't fool yourself.  They may begin with the homosexuals or the minorities but then they will come for us.  They will come for the environmentalists, the lawyers, the scientists, the educators, the literati, the entertainers.  Make no mistake; once they begin they will come for us.  For all of us.
In the end, we can't let this happen.
Adams told us to watch closely the Christian right's persecution of homosexuals and lesbians.  Hitler, he reminded us, promised to restore moral values not long after he took power in 1933, then imposed a ban on all homosexual and lesbian organizations and publications.  Then came raids on the places were homosexuals gathered, culminating on May 6, 1933, with the ransacking of the Institute for Sexual sciences in Berlin.  Twelve thousand volumes from the institute's library were tossed into a public bonfire.  Homosexuals and lesbians, Adams said, would be the first deviants singled out by the Christian right.  We would be next.-

Young men and women the world over are murdered every day because they're gay.  Where are the articles about that? They're not executed here in America like they are in other countries such as Iran:

  or Iraq:

 Here in america we have far more insidious ways of getting the job done.  We torture them mentally and emotionally until they do the job for us, just look at the sidebars of this blog for examples of how America kills it's gay and lesbian young. 

So know what you're getting into when you give approval, even tacit approval, to Christianity and it's ways of hate and manipulation.

For a great example of the duplicity of American Christian hate go ask a black person of Christian faith where their inspiration comes from.  The answer will be God and the bible.  Then go ask a member of the Ku Klux Klan where they learn their lessons of hate. 

And so it goes:
o why not-