Prepare for a Civil War

Do you wonder why Trump held rallies with police organizations, with the military, why there was frequently an NRA banner behind him, why he blamed both sides when bikers raised havoc in Charlottesville, why he made the kneeling of players during the playing of the National Anthem an issue of disrespect for the US?

The answer is in this Trump quote made in mid March 2019.:

“You know, the left plays a tougher game, it’s very funny, I actually think that the people on the right are tougher, but they don’t play it tougher. Okay? I can tell you I have the support of the police, the support of the military, the support of the Bikers for Trump–I have the tough people, but they don’t play it tough—until they go to a certain point, and then it would be very bad, very bad.”

What would that point be? My guess is it is when it is time for Trump to leave the presidency either by loosing an election or impeachment or otherwise and he declares to his base that they shouldn’t allow him to be removed. He’s right, it would be bad, very bad.

God, The Most Unpleasant Character in all Fiction.

That is the title of a book by Dan Barker that pretty much sums up why I tell people that I do not believe in the god of the Bible. I only recommend this book to those who think the God of the Bible is a loving, compassionate god. For goodness sake folks, read the Bible. That bigger-than-life character in the Old Testament is a rotten SOB. If you don’t want to take the time but you would like a shortcut to the statement, read God, The Most Unpleasant Character in all Fiction by Barker in which he takes a paragraph from The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins and gives you book, page and verse for the list in the following quote from Dawkins’ book.

“The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it, a petty, unjust, unforgiving control freak, a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.

What is greater than a human being?

Sister One asked, “What is greater than a human being?”

Sister Two responded: “Maybe not greater than our human being, but the best our human-ness is capable of; going beyond daily routine and comfort, and even beyond mental and physical discipline, to spiritual discipline. To living in daily conscious connection, or at least reaching for connection, with the divine? (Please note I do not refer to religion…)”

Thomas: I like Sister Two”s answer which is basically be the greatest we can be. To her response “…reaching for the connection with the divine” I would add “within us.”

I should probably leave it there but in the event that might disappoint you, I’ll go on a bit. To say that we are confined to our own humanness implies that there is no other being within this game of life that is greater than a human being. To see a flock of several hundred small birds fly, turn, land in unison and not wonder if there is something they “know”, “understand”, “sense” that we do not, some form of communication greater than ours seems arrogant. There is much that we can observe in our universe that is greater than a human being. Do we have superior minds? Not superior enough to keep from killing each other and destroying the environment we need to live healthy lives.

As for something outside life as we know it, I don’t know of anything greater. I have a notion that helps guide me in this life but I know nothing.

god, The Most Unpleasant Character in All Fiction

If you haven’t realized that God as depicted in the Bible is a nasty egomaniac; a jealous, vindictive, bloodthirsty, homophobic racist; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control freak; a bully; you haven’t read the Old Testament. If you have read it and still think your God is good, read Dan Barker’s book by the above title.

If those characteristics sound like the current president of the United States, why, there you have it, eureka! Trump is the Second Coming!

Civil War

We are headed for a civil war. Our president’s central message is divisive; what other purpose could he have in making a big deal out of a football player taking a knee during the playing of the national anthem? He is now characterizing demonstrators who disagree with him as a mob. There will come a time when he tells us we must unite behind him which will be a signal to arms. There will come a time when blood flows between “law enforcement” and the mobs like the LA riots only this time it will be spread. Sorry for my pessimism.  Perhaps it is because I just read George Orwell’s 1984. If you are interested in what Germany was like before WWII in novel form, read Philip Kerr.

My positive suggestion: the only defense against hate is love. Anger, angry demonstrations, angry letters, angry rhetoric, play into his hands.

Evangelical Christian quits

Link

I love it when a Christian finds the wisdom of the words attributed to Jesus in the New Testament are worthwhile as opposed to the garbage spouted by so many religious leaders. I hope this link works:

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2017/1/22/1622227/-Evangelical-Christian-quits-over-Obamacare-I-discovered-I-could-no-longer-believe-any-of-it?detail=emailclassic

 

Is the Apocalypse close at hand?

“The beginning of the end, according to Revelation, will be augured by mysterious signs and wonders—a black sun (eclipse this year), and a blood-red moon (we had that this year also), the stars falling to earth (yeah, well we get a meteor shower every October), persecutors and false prophets (always plenty of those around), plague and pestilence and famine (we can count on there being plenty of that somewhere in the world). Then the satanic arch-villain who has come to be called the Antichrist will rise to absolute power on earth.”

This quote (parens are mine) is from A History of the End of the World by Jonathan Kirsch. For over 2,000 years there have been folks who thought the end was near; was, in fact, going to happen in their lifetime. How disappointing it must have been for them to die before it happened, how silly to believe a preacher preaching over 2,000 years ago of the Apocalypse which he thought would happen in his lifetime. There have always been signs and probably always been someone who seemed like an arch-villain, and now, here in my lifetime, there is one.

Trump is not going to make me a believer but whoever cast him in the role should get an Academy Award.

Who Made Satan?

The following is a chapter from the novel A Stone’s Throw, Orvie’s Stories by Mort Mather. A great book: funny and philosophical.

Who Made Satan?

Perry and me are sitting on the bridge by Gabovich’s fishin’. It’s easy ’cause all ya have to do is drop the hook in the water and the current takes it downstream, and then ya just pull on the line every so often to make it more interesting for the fish. I got a cork on my line, which keeps the hook a little off the bottom. Perry’s got a real bobber made outta red-and-white plastic. Whenever the cork or the bobber goes underwater we pull on our line and hope the fish took the hook. Sometimes the cork will just bob a little bit and if you pull you don’t get anything ’cause the fish was just nibbling at the worm and hadn’t got a good bite at it. I’m pretty good at knowing when the fish is just fooling around and when it’s taken the hook.

Perry says that God is good and loves everybody and that he made the earth and everything, so I ask him if he made Hell and he says no, that Satan made Hell. Now, ya see, right off there’s something wrong. If God made everything then he must have made Hell, or he didn’t make everything. Take your pick. So then I think, God didn’t make the brooder house. Dad and I built that, so it’s OK that Satan made Hell, but when I ask Perry if God made Satan he says no again. So we’re back to God didn’t make everything.

Perry explains that Satan and God and some other angels were already around when God created Earth. I ask him what they were doing.

“I don’t know. Like us, I guess, just sittin’ around.”

“What, were they just watching God create Earth, then?”

“I guess.”

“So, then Satan says, ‘I’m going to create Hell,’ or what?”

“Yeah. I think he was jealous because God created this swell universe with animals and stars and people and everything and Satan couldn’t do it so he made Hell.”

“What were the angels doing? Do they ever come to Earth?”

“Sometimes, I think, to give God’s messages and stuff.”

“So they’re messengers?”

“Yeah, pretty much, I think. I think they sing sometimes.”

Perry gets a bite but the fish gets away. He pulls in the line and puts another worm on the hook and just then the same thing happens to me. As I put on a fresh worm I ask him what Satan does.

“Oh, he comes down to earth a lot. He is the one who tempts us to do wrong things because if he can get us to sin and we don’t confess to the priest then Satan gets us and we go to Hell.”

“Does God come down to earth?”

“No. He sent his son Jesus but he never came himself.”

“Why not? Why doesn’t he come down like Satan and tempt us to do the right thing?”

“I don’t know.”

“Seems like it’d be a good plan.”

It starts getting hot, so we go under the bridge to get out of the sun.