Monday, October 02, 2006

More on Christianity

Yesterday, I complained about how I didn't like how Christianity had become cheap. And I don't like it; the challenge that Jesus laid down, the message and the mission, are not easy and they're not meant to be. If a person declared a desire to be a Christian, the response should be "good luck, you've chosen a tough path to follow", not "congratulations, you've found salvation!"

Nevertheless, I do agree that one shouldn't judge the sincerity of a person's desire to follow a path by their progress along that path. I mean, you probably wouldn't know by looking at me that I greatly value the health and fitness of my body... but I keep trying, and my efforts come from sincere desire. I feel the same way about spiritual paths.

But there is an exception to this that Jesus mentions. When it comes to people who claim to speak for him, he gives us a test that we can use to judge them... he says that we will know them by their fruits.

Now, this is a bit of wisdom that really impresses me. It's one thing for a person to be trying, sincerely, to follow the message and the mission; it's another thing to be claiming to be speak in Jesus' name. It's one thing to try to make yourself a good person; it's another to tell others how to be a good person.

Those who would lead others, who would claim to perform Jesus' will, are those for whom we need a stronger standard. You shouldn't trust someone who talks the talk, unless you also see them walking the walk.

Now, I'm not impressed with the fruits of many prominent folks who claim to be Christian leaders. Oh, they can pray, and they score a bunch of conversions or salvations, or whatever the heck they use to keep score, but do they talk about how important it is to help the poor? About helping the sick? About feeding the hungry, and caring for those less fortunate? Do they preach loving your enemies, and praying for those who want to hurt you? Do they preach about never worshipping money, following God instead of mammon?

But as I've said before, I have even less respect for George W. Bush.

Given a choice, George W. Bush had a chance to press for heavy controls on mercury emissions, which would protect children, born and unborn, from brain damage. After all, mercury is a dangerous neurotoxin. He chose instead to propose a bill that would severely restrict his (and any future President's) ability to cut mercury emissions under the Clean Air act. (Look up Clear Skies on the web; you'll see what I mean.) He chose to serve money (his corporate pals (and campaign donors)) instead of doing what's right, and serving God.

But that's just the tip of the iceberg. Under his leadership, more people are poor, and more people are without health insurance. Jesus would have us help the poor and the sick; Bush's fruits aren't looking too tasty, are they?

Still, let's just pretend that all of those things are minor issues, that Bush honestly and truly thinks are are just a bump in the road, and things will get better soon.

He has said, repeatedly, that even if he knew before the invasion that Saddam Hussein had no WMDs, and no ties to al Qaida, Bush still would have ordered the invasion.

Tens of thousands of innocent people have died; many more have been injured, made sick, thrown into poverty, and spend their lives in fear of what tomorrow might bring. I can understand saying that he would have found a way to depose Saddam Hussein... but to claim he'd have ordered the same invasion, knowing the terrible damage it would cause, even though there was no threat to America? I'm sure there are wars that Jesus would reluctantly admit were justified; this was not one of them.

Though Jesus calls upon us to love our enemies, Bush has demanded the right to torture them.

Is this what Jesus would want? Is this Bush bearing good fruit?

Remember, it is Bush who has made his Christianity a theme of his Presidency; he is the one claiming to speak for Jesus, who claims Jesus is his favorite philosopher. So, as Jesus suggested, we should look at his fruits, and see if they are good.

When Katrina struck, and the water was rising, and people were dying, his aides were wondering who had to give him the bad news that his vacation would have to be cut short. Is this an example of the good fruit that good people will bear?

Moreover, while he tries to avoid dirtying his own hands, he is more than willing to let his Republican colleagues speak hateful slander against the Democrats and others who disagree with his policies, calling them weak, soft, fearful, and traitorous. Is this the love we should have, not for our deadly enemies like al Qaida, but for our mere political opponents?

While I am a Wiccan, and have no business judging for Christians, look at the man, and read the Gospels, and see if he is bearing the fruit that a good Christian would bring forth.

Hello LongHair',

Understanding why religion is strong delusion

Christians often quote things like "know them by their fruits," yet after millennia of being duped into abetting blatantly evil scoundrels, many still don't understand the meaning or import of much of what they read. The same canon paradoxically propounds "faith," which means the complete opposite of "know them by their fruits," i.e., to discern the truth by analyzing deeds and results (works) and to weigh actions instead of merely believing what is said.

The deceptive circular logic of posing a fantasy messiah who urges both discernment of the truth and faith (belief without proof) clearly represents a skillful and purposeful effort to impose ignorance and confusion through "strong delusion." Any sage worth his salt could understand the folly of this contradictory so-called wisdom. This and mountains of evidence demonstrate that faith and religion are the opposite of truth and wisdom. It is no wonder charlatans like Rove, Bush, and others have marked Christians as dupes to be milked as long and as hard as possible. Any accomplished con artist easily recognizes religion as the ultimate scam and fervent followers as ready-made marks and dupes.

We now live in an era where science has proven so much about the vastness, rationality, mathematical preciseness, and structural orderliness throughout every level of our 11-dimension universe. Nonetheless, large percentages of people still conclude that these flawed and contradictory religious canons are the unmodified and infallible "word of God." People who can't (or won't) discern the difference between truth and belief are easily misled about the differences between good and evil, wisdom and folly, perfection and error, reason and irrationality, and right and wrong.

The fact that political leaders have always had close relationships with religious leaders while cooperating to manipulate followers to gain wealth and power is overwhelming evidence that the true purpose of religion is deception and delusion. People who are unable to effectively discern basic moral choices or to reason accurately are easily indoctrinated to follow the dictates of national and imperial leaders who wrap themselves in religious pretense. Truth and wisdom are direct threats to the existence and power of empires. That is why imperial leaders always strive to hide so-called secret knowledge and impose deception and ignorance upon their subjects.

What then is the purpose of "faith" but to prevent otherwise good people from seeking to understand truth and wisdom?

Here is Wisdom !!

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