Organized Religion

June 19, 1953–The Beginning Of Awareness Of Public Affairs For This Author

On this day in 1953, this author gained his first awareness of public affairs at the age of 8 and a half, an age that most people will remember as their first major memory of life outside their own family life, and learning about the outside world.

On that day, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, accused atomic spies, were executed, an event still debated 65 years later as to its justice.

This author was watching television, and recall the shock he experienced over the execution that took place that evening.

So that was the beginning of awareness of public affairs, and it has continued through good and evil events for the past 65 years.

And to wake up this morning and witness the US government arresting mothers and fathers for trying to escape violence and threats of death in their homelands, and wishing to seek asylum, and being treated as criminals, and their children being taken away from them, even infants who are nursing, ails his heart and soul.

It makes him wonder what has happened to this nation, the country of the Statue of Liberty and place of refuge for immigrants, that we have now demonized these desperate people who just want a better life, and are being horribly mistreated by the likes of Jeff Sessions, Stephen Miller, Kirstjen Nielsen, John Kelly and other racists and nativists who pursue the evil policies of a President who hopes all of us will give in, and allow him to become the first authoritarian leader in American history.

The answer is that knowledge is power, and that the American people will continue to resist, and the news media, bless them, are part of our constant effort to expose the truth and to pursue justice, and take down and prosecute the evil leaders who are destroying all semblance of unity in this nation!

Decent people in organized religion, and lawyers, doctors, social workers, educators at all levels, and just Americans who care about more than their economic wealth, will unite to overcome this cancer in our midst.

We cannot give up the battle, as otherwise it will consume us!

Donald Trump, Fox News Channel, The Evangelical Right, And The “Caravan”

For nearly three years, since Donald Trump announced his Presidential candidacy on June 16, 2015, he has, every day, demeaned himself by his utterances and actions, more every day.

So has Fox News Channel, becoming a propaganda machine for Donald Trump.

And so has the Evangelical Right, which has demonstrated how much they can distort and manipulate the true teachings of Jesus Christ.

Hypocrisy and corruption and a mean spirit has dominated, but now, hard to believe, these three forces have joined together to lower themselves to an even more disgraceful level.

They have promoted the myth of a “caravan” of about 1200 people who are migrating through Mexico, and it is alleged, are about to “invade” the United States with their evil intent, consisting of intentions of rape, murder, and terrorism.

Who makes up this caravan, in reality?

Large number of young children, their mothers, many elderly people make up the bulk of the group, and they are poor and deprived, escaping violence, bloodshed, and fear for their own safety, wanting a better life!

This is often, historically, the reality of immigrants throughout American history, and also, world history, people who are striving for opportunity, a new life, and to avoid death.

How could ANYONE be against such people, who have done nothing wrong, except to be born and living in nations that are death traps for so many, with so much human suffering, that they wish to find “a promised land”?

This is the story of the Jewish people escaping Egypt; the story of Irish and Italians and Jews and Polish and other parts of Europe escaping to America; of Muslims escaping bloodshed and persecution in the Middle East and Africa in coming to Europe in recent years; of people in Central America migrating northward; and of the constant quest for freedom and opportunity and a chance to live, throughout the history of the world!

This is the “American Dream”, how the ancestors of Donald Trump came to our shores; how the ancestors of Joseph P. Kennedy came to our shores; how the ancestors of all of us came to our shores! America is the nation of all nations!

But now we have a President, a news channel, and a religious group who are rejecting the basic tenets of organized religion, and particularly of Christianity, totally rejecting common decency, common humanity, common compassion, for those who are poor, deprived, and facing persecution and death!

The so called Pro Life movement is a farce, and Fox News has no morals or ethics, and Donald Trump is a disgrace to the Presidency and to human behavior, willing to lie and distort for his own advancement. He has no concern for the American people, and has shown he has no consideration about the damage he is doing daily.

It cannot be too soon to see this cancer excised from the Oval Office!

The Truth About The Evangelical Right: Racist, Nativist, Misogynistic, Homophobic, Corrupt To The Core, And Money Making Machine!

The Evangelical Right is a mockery of Christianity, clear and simple.

It is a movement in America that is clearly racist, nativist, misogynistic, homophobic, and corrupt to the core, and a money making machine.

It exploits millions of gullible, clueless suckers, many of whom are poor, and send their last dollar to one or another evangelist, such as Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, Jr, or Franklin Graham and other charlatans.

It has a history of being against civil rights for African Americans, until they were forced by civil rights laws in the 1960s and since, to stop being openly racist. And yet, there are African Americans who back them, totally naive and unaware of the history.

It has a history of nativism, first against Irish and German Catholics in the mid 19th century, then against Jews (and still antisemitic although they claim support of the nation of Israel, but with the intent of converting Jews to Christianity), and more recently, supporting action against immigrants who are Hispanic or Asian in identity. And yet, there are those of these backgrounds who support such bigots, often totally unaware of the truth.

It has a history of treating women as second class citizens, wishing women to stay behind their man, obey him, never challenge his authority, and avoid anything other than motherhood and not complaining about sexual harassment and abuse, just accepting their plight in life. And yet, there are millions of such women who back them, clearly brain washed.

It has a history of being openly homophobic, and repudiating their children who are gay and lesbian, proving that their so called belief in “family values” is a farce. They encourage repudiation, and total rejection, and in so doing, encourage violence, and many such families have their progeny homeless, poor, and exploited due to their promotion of hatred against people on their natural sexual inclinations.

It has a history of being corrupt, with many such evangelists and preachers having multiple affairs outside of marriage, and stealing large amounts of funds to promote a luxury life style, while their congregants live in deprivation, and they have no moral conscience or ethics. They lie, cheat, and deceive without any sense of guilt. They have become a money making machine while preaching just the opposite, so are totally hypocritical.

For such so called “religious” people to throw in their lot with the most corrupt. immoral, unethical President of the United States, Donald Trump, is proof of their massive sin in the name of Jesus Christ, who would never have endorsed or approved in any fashion, the massive sins of the Evangelical Right, which is undermining any respect for organized religion, by intelligent, thoughtful, considerate and decent Americans.

Fortunately, the percentage that follows this despicable “Cult” is declining rapidly, and will be continuing to deteriorate, due to the rapidly diversifying of the American population in the next few decades.

Millennials Will Make A Long Term Progressive Future, No Matter What Conservatives Try To Promote!

The Millennials, the generation from the early 1980s to the 21st century, have given clear cut evidence that they are the portent of a long term progressive future in America!

Conservatives may try to promote their agenda, but it is not seen as likely that the youngest generation of voters in the next decade and beyond will stand for it!

It is clear that Millennials are supportive of the following elements of the progressive agenda:

Gay Rights, Transgender Rights, and Same Sex Marriage

Acceptance of Women’s Rights and Equality

Tolerance of Immigration and Welcoming of Refugees

Acceptance of Racial and Ethnic Minorities

Abortion and Contraception Rights

Sensible Gun Control Regulations

Environmental Reforms and the Urgency of Climate Change Actions

Loosening of Tough Drug Laws that have caused filling of our prisons

More Skepticism Of Organized Religion and its Influence on American Politics

Belief in Strong Defense But Skepticism Over Troop Intervention Overseas

 

Decline Of Religiosity In America A Sign Of The Future In America

In the past few decades, we have seen the deleterious influence of the Christian Right in America, promoted in the 1970s and 1980s and beyond by the likes of the late Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson.

They and other preachers have utilized their influence to attempt to dominate American politics, and promote a right wing agenda that promotes intolerance and hate.

This includes opposition to women’s rights to control their own bodies (misogyny); opposition to gay rights and gay marriage; the repudiation of science for the teachings of the Bible; the rewriting of American history to make it seem that the Founding Fathers wanted a national religion and a theocracy to govern us; advocacy of war overseas against Islamic civilization; promotion of nativism on the issue of immigration; belief that school prayer will somehow change America in their direction; and attempts to legislate morality limits through control of government.

Originally known as the Moral Majority and Christian Coalition, many of these preachers have become super rich and gained the following of millions who have stopped using their brains, and just accept the unethical, hypocritical utterances of charismatic figures.

Despite this, there is now evidence that more Americans, particularly the young and disaffected, have abandoned organized religion and its narrow minded tenets. The Pew Research Center describes this group as the “Nones”, and they are 22.8 percent of US adults, up from 16.7 percent in 2007. Meanwhile, those who identify as Christian have declined nationally from 78 to 71 percent, including not only evangelicals but also Catholics and mainline Protestants and Mormons. There has also been growing disillusionment with the Catholic Church, mainline Protestant sects, and the Mormon Church.

The “Nones” outnumber Catholics (20.8 percent) and mainline Protestants (14.7 percent), demonstrating a constant decline in adults who identify as being Christians. “Nones” include those who have no religious affiliation, as well as those who say they are Atheists and Agnostics.

Evangelical Protestants still are the largest group at 25.8 percent, but they have declined, and it is clear that the “Nones” will eventually surpass them in the adult population of America over the next couple of decades, as many of the Evangelicals are older and will die off over time, as young Americans reject their divisive ideology!

Barack Obama And Religious Extremism: Totally Accurate Statement, So Why The Outcry?

President Barack Obama spoke up on Thursday at the Annual Prayer Breakfast in Washington DC on the dangers of religious extremism, promotion of one’s own faith as the only true faith, and legitimizing bloodshed and violence in the name of one’s God.

This was in reaction to the horrors that have been perpetrated by ISIL (ISIS) in the Middle East, including beheadings of Americans, British, and Japanese hostages; and the even more horrific act of taking a Jordanian pilot, captured while attacking ISIL targets, and setting him on fire, causing him to be burned to death.

What Obama said was that any religion that endorses or promotes such bloodshed and violence should be condemned, and he reminded our nation, much of it totally unaware of our history, that we had seen the lynching, butchering, and setting on fire of a few thousand African American men and boys in the American South and Midwest over a period of more than a hundred years of Jim Crow segregation in the 19th and 20th century and Ku Klux Klan influence; had also experienced nearly 250 years of slavery, which included similar mistreatment; and that world wide, there had been the Christian war on Islam during the Crusades; and the Catholic Church Inquisition of the late Middle Ages and the Renaissance period.

Obama did not specifically mention the horrible persecution of Jews by Christians over two millenniums, and not just the Catholic Church, but also Protestant groups, including Martin Luther and the Lutheran Church; or the mass murder of Catholics vs Protestants in Northern Ireland, as recently as the period of the Irish Republican Army between 1969 and 1998.

And of course, in the Middle East, today, as shown by the setting on fire of a Jordanian who was Muslim, the old holy war of Shiite and Sunni Muslims continues unabated, as it has for 13 centuries; and there is also bloodshed between Muslims and Hindus in India; and turmoil in the Balkans, that led to mass murder by Christians against Muslims in Bosnia and Kosovo in the 1990s.

From what Obama reminded us of, plus the additional information provided here by the author, and well known to scholars, it is clear how devastating organized religion has been in its promotion of narrow mindedness and hate, and commitment to torture and extermination in the name of God, no matter which religion.

So Obama was offering a moral lesson, but yet the outcry by right wingers, who do not wish to be reminded of the sins of Christianity fanatics, and only wish to look at the Muslim fanatics today, and imagine that this is the whole story of religion in history, is very troubling. They fail to realize that many more Muslims have been killed by the barbarism of ISIL (ISIS), and their refusal to accept and recognize the history of Christianity as being just as full, historically, of violence and bloodshed, bodes ill for the future ability to understand and accept religious differences and promote religious tolerance!

Fox News Channel, And Misogyny, Racism, And Homophobia!

What is it about conservatives, particularly FOX News Channel, but also much of right wing talk radio, that they have absolutely no shame or embarrassment in their prejudices, and seem to revel in it?

All along, but more evident recently, is the misogyny, racism, and homophobia regularly displayed, and conservatives and Republicans, with very rare exceptions, fail to condemn it, and therefore are guilty by association!

It is not saying that there are no liberals and progressives who, at times, have displayed misogyny, racism, and homophobia, but it is extremely rare for that to occur, while for conservatives and Republicans,  it is par for the course, and without apology or embarrassment displayed!

It makes one wonder how any decent person could ever be insensitive enough to believe that women are inferior; that minority groups are the scum of the earth, who deserve to be shot by police; and that gays and lesbians are to be condemned for an immoral life style by the narrow mindedness of organized religion!

Jimmy Carter Writes On Discrimination Against Women By Organized Religion Worldwide And In America

Former President jimmy Carter has written yet another book, and this one is on the widespread discrimination against women, world wide, as well as in the United States.

Carter makes a strong case about the unfairness of the treatment of women in the work place and in society, but his strongest indictment is against traditional organized religions, and not just one religion.

It is clear that Orthodox Jews, Right Wing Evangelical Christians, the Catholic Church, The Mormon Church, Muslims, and Hindus all have mistreatment and second class citizenship of women as part of their basic dogma, although there is nothing in the Old or New Testament that allows Orthodox Jews, Right Wing Evangelical Christians, Mormons, and Catholics to be able to justify their backward attitudes on the role of women in their faiths. Sadly, Muslims and Hindus are even worse in their disregard for the rights of women.

It is encouraging that Conservative and Reform Judaism, many mainline Protestant Churches, and progressive elements of the Catholic faith work to improve the rights and roles of women in their faith.

But it is disturbing to recognize that many Christian churches have, historically, backed slavery and racial segregation (particularly in the Southern states); and that many not only discriminate against women and their reproductive lives, but also, in too many cases, demonstrate anti gay hatred as well.

None of the prophets, particularly in the Western world, including Jesus and Moses, ever spoke out against women, or dealt with the issue of homosexuality or race, so these are the work of evil forces that have politicized religious teachings, in the name of power and wealth!

It is what has made many intelligent people, and young people, to turn against the trappings of organized religion!

The Most Despicable Act: Utah Elementary School Throws Out Lunches For Poor Children!

So many outrages occur daily in this country in the past five years, all encouraged by the hardheartedness of the Republican Party, the conservative think tanks, the conservative talk show hosts, and the Tea Party Movement!

As each outrage occurs, one cannot help but become more frustrated, angry, furious, at “man’s inhumanity to man”, whether it be the 30 death threats daily against President Barack Obama; the cutting of unemployment compensation, food stamps, and refusal to raise the minimum wage one iota; the racial and ethnic hatred that continues to fester and boil over; the constant attack on the rights of women to their own bodies and dignity; the destruction of the middle class; the attack on labor rights; the vicious attacks by religious extremists on gay rights and same sex marriage; and a slew of other hateful, divisive, mean spirited statements and actions non stop!

But now a new low has been reached, hard to imagine that is possible!

Now we have a Salt Lake City, Utah elementary school, which has students whose parents are suffering from the long range effects of the Great Recession, and are behind in basic payments for school services of some kind. So their children, young kids under 10, are denied lunch, after it had been placed on trays for them, but then suddenly, the cafeteria manager takes the food away, because their parents are in arrears, and ends up throwing the food into the garbage, a total waste of taxpayers’ money!

How can ANYONE justify such an action, and the principal and the school board of Salt Lake City has refused to apologize directly to these unfortunate children, who are being sent a message that they are “garbage”, and are not worthy of being able to eat a meal with their friends and classmates?

Does one realize the psychological effect of such action on the psyches and self image of these children, who already live a more difficult life in poverty or deprivation, because of their parents’ unfortunate situation economically? It is as if there is no regard for human dignity, and everything is simply materialism, and if you do not have adequate money, to hell with you, and then throw out food that is not to be consumed by anyone else, and instead allow a child to go hungry!

But is this any different than the move to cut food stamps, when children of poor families are at least half of the recipients?

The cafeteria manager is on paid leave, but should be fired summarily, and the principal should be fired, and the school board should resign in disgrace!

And where is the Mormon Church, which dominates Utah politics and society, standing on this issue? They have been very silent, too busy fighting against gay rights and marriage, and forgetting that they were once victims of persecution and deprivation. But of course, now, the Mormon Church is a very well financed and prosperous group, that has lost the basis of its founding, nothing new, sadly, about organized religion, claiming to follow the teachings of its prophets, but doing just the opposite!

Religion And Prejudice: Again Evident In Reaction To Boy Scout Decision to Admit Gay Youths

The news that the Boy Scouts Of America will allow gay youths as members is a half step, as it still bans gay youths once they reach 18, and gay scout leaders, and that will have to be adjusted over time.

But it is extremely disturbing to see Religion being utilized to promote prejudice, bias, hate and discrimination against gays, as if they choose to be gay!

So we see the Mormon Church, the Catholic Church, and evangelical Christians employing very “Unchristian” values, and also Orthodox Jews and Orthodox Muslims, refusing to recognize how many of each religious group are gay, including some of the protesting leaders, who are “in the closet”, and are true hypocrites!

And it is disturbing that one family, as an example, with five sons, is removing all of them from scouting, as, supposedly, the children asked to be removed, and if that is so, that means they have been taught to hate and to despise gay people, when they will have to cope with plenty of them over a lifetime!

And who can be sure that some of these kids, or others, are secretly gay, and totally paranoid and fearful of being found out, and might cause them to commit suicide because of their guilt and their burden that they know they will NOT be accepted by their own parents and other family members?

This is all very sick and disturbing, but after all, we all know that elements of organized Christianity were infamous for nativism, racism, sexism, and antisemitism in american history! So what else is new?

Fortunately, the number of young people who accept gays is a clear majority and growing, and organized religion is losing adherents rapidly, so when the more devout and older bigots in society pass from the scene, we will have a much more tolerant and open minded society, free of their prejudice, hatred, and bias!