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When will Sam Brownback end up on short lists for McCain’s VP?

It seems like everyone is putting together a list of Vice-Preside ntial candidates that John McCain could pick. Everyone. No, really, everyone. I mean it, everyone. This guy. That guy. Everyone.

So the speculation is out there. Tim Pawlenty from Minnesota? Mark Sanford from South Carolina? Tom Ridge from Pennsylvania  ? Rob Portman from Ohio? (Really, Rob Portman?! The budget director at the White House? That’s like the equivalent of someone picking the captain of the Titanic, just as the band members start plummeting to their death.)

I’d suggest a bit more stealth thinking. There’s one guy, an informal advisor to McCain’s campaign, that’s in the trenches right now. No, not Karl Rove, even though McCain has brought him on board. No, not Ken “Diarrhea of the Mouth” Mehlman, even though McCain’s brought him on, too.

But what about the guy who is in charge of the McCain campaign’s Catholic voter outreach – Sen. Sam Brownback?

Why Brownback?

  1. Brownback is conservative Christian with a capital CHRIST. But he’s also received some plaudits from liberal groups for having compassion, especially on issues like Darfur and human trafficking.   He’s like one part Bill Richardson, combined with nine parts Rick Santorum. In other words, he’s the type of Christian conservative that can spin the compassionat e yarn, while still rallying the “God’s warrior” crowd – a base that McCain is sorely thin with. Rolling Stone even dubbed Brownback “God’s Senator.”
  2. Brownback ran for President up until October 2007. After his pummeling by Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee in a pre-caucus Iowa straw poll, Brownback dropped out. Who did he subsequently endorse? John McCain. And at the time, McCain’s campaign was in tatters, near bankrupt, and his support in polls was dropping faster than Britney’s.
  3. Brownback is influential within the institutiona l Catholic Church. He was even baptized in a private chapel tucked between lobbyist’s offices, and owned by Opus Dei. There’s a great deal of difference between the institutiona l Catholic Church, and the prophetic, authentic Catholic Church. That said, ain’t no megaphone like a bunch of hell-bent bishops. Take Hillary Clinton’s recent appearance at a Catholic college in Texas, which drew the rebuke on San Antonio’s Archbishop, Jose Gomez, who said that Clinton’s pro-choice views were not welcome on a Catholic campus. With Brownback on the ticket, McCain could ensure that pews across America are filled with GOP talking points.
  4. Brownback refused to sign the Contract of America in 1994…becau se he thought it was too tame. Like Ron Paul, he once said that he wanted to eliminate the departments on energy, education and commerce. That’s sure to please not only the Libertarian, money bomb crowd, but also the “drown your government in a bathtub” fanatics, like Grover Norquist.
  5. Brownback sat on the Senate Judiciary Committee back before the 2006 mid-term elections, and as such is to blame for the death nail in Harriet Miers’ nomination, and the confirmation of Justice Samuel Alito. Brownback was apparently so influential in throwing Miers overboard that none other than John McCain held Brownback’ s hand up at a press conference after Miers withdrew her name, to boast, “Here’s the man who did it!”
  6. Brownback is only 51 years old…more than two decades younger than McCain, which would quiet any concerns about McCain being too senior. At 51, Brownback is barely older than Obama, and nine years younger than Hillary Clinton.

Brownback is all of this, and a bag of v-chips. In his time in the Senate, he’s shepherded the creation of the Broadcast Decency Enforcement Act (in the wake of the cultural phenomenon known as Janet Jackson’s nipple); he spear-headed the Silk Road Strategy Act, which sought to smother the growth of Islam in Central Asia by bribing countries and communities with sweet trade deals; and he supports the Houses of Worship Act, which would allow churches to endorse candidates in elections.

Are there problems with the thought of McCain picking Brownback? Hells yes. He’s not well known, he’s a little uber-religio us for a large swath of the country (Opus Dei? Really?), he’s not particularly charismatic  (this site says he looks like Flattop from Dick Tracy), he thinks gay people are inherently immoral but compared Sen. Larry Craig to Thomas Jefferson in the wake of Craig’s “wide stance” scandal….yea h, there are issues.

But Brownback is certainly worthy of being on the short-list. I suggest watching out for him, especially if McCain keeps being dogged by a chasm in the GOP base.


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Religious Fanatics Demanding Death and Vengeance

There are just too many whacked-out delusional religious crazies out there. And it seems to be getting worse. Demanding the death penalty just because of a religious disagreement  , or a perceived insult?

Take this asshole (please). This douchebag prays for the assassinatio n of a foreign leader. When another foreign leader nearly dies from a stroke, said douchebag starts gloating that the stroke was “God’s punishment. And whenever a natural disaster strikes ANYWHERE, this same sack of shit just drools with vengeful delight — this hurricane/fi re/flood was God’s way of punishing those sinners.

And we all remember when this doctor was executed by a religious zealot. He was murdered because he performed a medical procedure that some Christians believe is wrong. His murder took place after numerous death threats against him and his colleagues.

Lots of Christian families send their children to summer “camps” where they get indoctrinate d and programmed to hate anyone and anything that’s different or “un-Christ ian.”

Oh, and in Sudan, thousands of crazed imbeciles are demanding the death penalty for a British teacher living in Sudan. She had “insulted Islam by allowing her class (of 7-year-olds) to name a teddy bear Mohammed. WTF???

And don’t think it’s any different here. It’s too easy to think “oh, that’s just a primitive country ten thousand miles away. What’s with those wacky Moslems?”

Here is what separates us from Sudan: We’re a prosperous society living under a secular democratic government (for now at least). Let’s keep it that way. There are lots of crazed extreme “Christians” who would just love to turn our government into a theocracy. Don’t think “it can’t happen here.”

Maybe we should have an internationa l gladiator festival. James Dobson, Pat Robertson and Fred Phelps — and their demented followers — could have a bloody fight to the death with their Moslem counterparts . The bloodier the better. The sickfucks could realize their lifelong dream of Killing The Enemy, and the other 99% of us could just get on with our lives.


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Rumsfeld’s snowflakes

Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld often wrote memos to his staff that he labeled “snowflakes. ” Snowflakes? How cute! Do you suppose Cheney writes “gumdrops” for his staff? Condi Rice penning “puppy kisses,” perhaps?

One of these Rumsfeld “snowflakes” is getting all sorts of attention today. As The Washington Post reports:

In a series of internal musings and memos to his staff, then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld argued that Muslims avoid “physical labor,” and wrote of the need to “keep elevating the threat,” “link Iraq to Iran” and develop “bumper sticker statements” to rally public support for an increasingly unpopular war.

The memos, often referred to as “snowflakes, ” shed light on Rumsfeld’s brusque management style and on his efforts to address key challenges during his tenure as Pentagon chief. Spanning from 2002 to shortly after his resignation following the 2006 congressiona l elections, a sampling of his trademark missives obtained Wednesday reveals a defense secretary disdainful of media criticism and driven to reshape public opinion of the Iraq war.

The White House is flipping out today, trying to distance themselves from these memos that label Muslims lazy. Dana Perino, current White House spin doctor, even had the audacity to say this: “We are aware that we have a lot of work to do in order to win hearts and minds across the Arab world and the Muslim world and I can understand why they would be offended by those comments.” Of course, you’d think that if the White House were really that aware of all the work they need to do in order to win hearts and minds across the Arab world, they wouldn’t be championing an Attorney General nominee (Michael Mukasey) who refuses to label waterboardin g as torture.

But I digress…Rums feld’s snowflakes, so to speak, provide some of the most brazen insight into the spin world of the Bush administrati on since 9/11. Here are some examples that literally had my jaw hanging wide open for a few moments…

  • Under siege in April 2006, when a series of retired generals denounced him and called for his resignation in newspaper op-ed pieces, Rumsfeld produced a memo after a conference call with military analysts. “Talk about Somalia, the Philippines, etc. Make the American people realize they are surrounded in the world by violent extremists,” he wrote.
  • Based on the discussion with military analysts, Rumsfeld tied Iran and Iraq. “Iran is the concern of the American people, and if we fail in Iraq, it will advantage Iran,” he wrote in his April 2006 memo.
  • In one of his longer ruminations, in May 2004, Rumsfeld considers whether to redefine the terrorism fight as a “worldwide insurgency.” The goal of the enemy, he wrote, is to “end the state system, using terrorism, to drive the non-radicals from the world.” He then advised aides “to test what the results could be” if the war on terrorism is renamed.

Not that I had any doubt before, but this really is a 1984 world that the Bush machine has created. Test what the results could be if we renamed the War on Terror? Is this the Department of Defense, or a bunch of executives trying to repackage New Coke?

A spokesperson for the Council on American-Isl amic Relations, Ibrahim Hooper, sums this all up best, saying that these memos…er, snowflakes…r eflect the “stereotypic al attitude” that not only led us into war, but also sold war to the American people in a nicely wrapped media package.

“Our policy was never based on reality,” Hooper said. “It was based on the wild ideas of those who wanted to invade the region. … It shows you what kind of wrong-headed policymakers we had at the time.”

Welcome back to the front page, Rumsfeld. Meanwhile, if you want a Friday laugh, check out this list of synonyms for Rumsfeld’s snowflakes. My favorite is “butterfly kisses.”


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Mitt Romney proud of Bob Jones endorsement

Bob Jones University in South Carolina once threatened to arrest its gay alumni, up until the year 2000 banned inter-racial dating on campus, and has previously called Catholicism a cult and the Pope the anti-Christ.   Rumor also has it that the university refuses (or at least refused) to honor Martin Luther King Jr., and that a former Chancellor once called King an “apostate.”

All that said, one has to wonder why Mitt Romney’s campaign was so proud last week to receive the endorsement of Bob Jones III. To quote Romney spokesman William Holley: “We’re proud to have Dr. Jones’ support and look forward to working with him to communicate Governor Romney’s message of conservative change to voters.”

Proud of an endorsement from a school with a track record of racism, sexism, heterosexism  , and vehement hatred of other religions, including Catholicism, Islam, and Romney’s own Mormon faith? (Yes, that’s what might be most odd about this — Bob Jones III is quoted as saying “As a Christian, I am completely opposed to the doctrines of mormonism.” But Bob Jones’ fear of Rudy Giuliani is propelling him to make this endorsement.  )

This may be the biggest sign yet of how much Mitt Romney is willing to sell himself out to become President. Romney’s willing to kiss the fundamentali st ring of a University Chancellor who believes that the former Governor belongs to a cult, that the races were created separately by God for a reason, and that gay people should be arrested just for stepping foot on campus. Yes, for all of that Romney is “proud.”

At this rate, maybe Romney can angle for an endorsement from crazy pastor Rev. Fred Phelps, the uber-right bigot who protests the funerals of fallen soldiers because America tolerates the gays too much. I mean, come on, is it that much of a step from Bob Jones III to Rev. Fred Phelps? It hardly seems so.


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The religious right’s threat of a third-party candidacy

Here’s a poll: How many of you think all the major GOP presidential candidates are sweating buckets right now that leaders of the religious right suggested they may back a third-party Presidential candidate in 2008, due to less than enthusiastic support for the current crop of candidates?

Giuliani’s camp fought back by pumping the media with stories about how the GOP has “to have a candidate that can run in all 50 states,” and arguing that he’s the only Republican contender who can do so.

McCain’s camp arranged for him to give an interview to Beliefnet, where he slandered Islam and suggested that he’d only be comfortable with a Christian president.

Thompson’s been trying to thwart attention from his religion to his tax proposal, in hopes of convincing the religious right to vote with their pocketbooks instead of their bibles.

Huckabee issued a statement saying that a third-party backed candidate would hand Hillary Clinton the election.

And this past weekend, the Boston Globe reported that Romney is doubling his efforts to lure the support of the religious right, by asking Rev. James Dobson of Focus on the Family (the media’s anointed leader of the religious right) to take a second look at his candidacy.

At that’s just the news from the past few days. My god, I don’t even know if the children of Elm Street were this afraid when they went to sleep!

The truth is that Huckabee is probably right. A third-party candidate would handicap the race for Democrats, splintering the coalition of the willing comprised of social conservative s and fiscal conservative s. All of the leading GOP candidates know this, and my guess is that all of them have the head of James Dobson on a dartboard in their war rooms. Imagine having to kiss Dobson’s ass just so he doesn’t pull behind a rogue candidacy?

It’s kind of like the last season of The West Wing playing out in real time. Remember how Alan Alda’s character had to placate the religious right?

Though Tuesday’s Republican debate in Dearborn, Michigan is meant to focus on economic issues, I’ll be curious how the candidates work in some religious right talking points to kabash the growing story line that the moral majority is magnificentl y dissatisfied with this bunch. Stay tuned.

(Note: For those who may be interested, I hold a soft spot in my heart for Dearborn, MI. It’s where I tried out for Jeopardy back in 2005. I didn’t make it, but I can hardly hold that against Dearborn. I blame it on Jeopardy’s penchant for asking too many damn opera questions.)


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John McCain: Islam is “basically” an honorable religion

Proving yet again that age is no barrier in having the flexibility to stick your foot in your mouth, Sen. John McCain gave an interview to Beliefnet.co m in which he asserted that the number one issue people should make in deciding on who to vote for as President should be whether the candidate will “carry on in the Judeo Christian principled tradition that has made this nation the greatest experiment in the history of mankind.”

I find that comment laughable on at least a dozen different levels. Is McCain talking about the Judeo Christian value of preemptive warfare? Or that Judeo Christian value of dismantling social welfare? Or the Judeo Christian value of tax cuts for wealthy corporations  ? Or the Judeo Christian value of anonymous CIA interrogatio n centers where inmates are withheld sleep and forced to listen to loud screaming music for hours on end? Or the Judeo Christian value of privatizing social security and rewriting bankruptcy laws to benefit credit card companies over middle class citizens? Please; this nation may be run by “Christians, ” but the principles of Christianity are so far removed from today’s social policy and political debate - especially on the GOP side - that Jesus must have taken up smoking to cope.

But McCain’s interview with Beliefnet.co m is more troubling than just that. McCain lets it loose that he would be “uncomfortab le” with a Muslim president, that the U.S. Constitution established our country as a Christian nation, and that Islam is “basically” an honorable religion. “Basically”?   Talk about a qualifier. Do you suppose McCain “basically” loves his daughter? Or that he “basically” enjoys his marriage? Or that terrorism is “basically” a bad thing? That’s the type of word you add when you really want to convey something without having to say it. (”John McCain’s ‘basically‘ a good candidate. He’s not running ‘that‘ bad of a campaign…”)

I’m not sure if this interview is an attempt to pander to the religious right, since none of the nine GOP candidates have really captured the hearts, minds and crucifixes of this constituency . But this interview is a far cry from the John McCain of 2000, who wasn’t afraid to point out that overzealous Christians were agents of intolerance.   Perhaps they are just “basically” agents of intolerance, until you need their votes to win. Then, as McCain deftly points out, they become the number one priority in the country.

My, what a difference eight years makes, John McCain. And while he’s upgrading himself from 2000 McCain to 2008 McCain, maybe he should go back and give the U.S. Constitution a quick glance, because unless history is entirely wrong, the Constitution doesn’t mention anything about establishing a Christian nation. At least not yet.


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Queens, Christ, & Constitutions: An Existential Elegy

Not long ago Miss South Carolina botched her answer to a question in the Miss Teen USA pageant…a move that sent millions of viewers racing to watch her tortured response on YouTube and made her the unfortunate butt of numerous jokes offered by countless comedians. The question referred to the fact that some 20 percent of Americans cannot find the United States on a map…a rather staggering statistic.

A new survey points to another area of deficiency in the knowledge base of the American public; this one with regard to our understandin g of the Constitution . Some may contend it is simply a reflection of differing interpretati ons…a seemingly valid, though problematic possibility which I will endeavor to address.

The survey results lead one to ask if a trend is emerging and if we can identify the factors precipitatin g this apparent lapse in acuity. Before exploring the possibilitie s, or lack thereof, take a look at the following excerpts from the survey.

From The First Amendment Center:

WASHINGTON — Sixty-five percent of Americans believe that the nation’s founders intended the U.S. to be a Christian nation and 55% believe that the Constitution establishes a Christian nation, according to the “State of the First Amendment 2007” national survey released today by the First Amendment Center.

Just 56% believe that the freedom to worship as one chooses extends to all religious groups, regardless of how extreme — down 16 points from 72% in 2000.

58% of Americans would prevent protests during a funeral procession, even on public streets and sidewalks; and 74% would prevent public school students from wearing a T-shirt with a slogan that might offend others.

25% said “the First Amendment goes too far in the rights it guarantees,” well below the 49% recorded in the 2002 survey that followed the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001, but up from 18% in 2006.

“Americans clearly have mixed views of what First Amendment freedoms are and to whom they should fully apply,” said Gene Policinski, vice president and executive director of the First Amendment Center. “To me the results of this year’s survey endorse the idea of more and better education for young people — our nation’s future leaders — about our basic freedoms.”

The right to practice one’s own religion was deemed “essential ” or “important ” by nearly all Americans (97%); as was the right to “speak freely about whatever you want” (98%) and to “assemble, march, protest or petition the government (94%),” Policinski said. “Still, Americans are hard pressed to name the five freedoms included in the First Amendment,” he said. Speech is the only one named by a majority of respondents  (64%), followed by religion (19%), press and assembly (each 16%) and petition (3%).

First Amendment Center Senior Scholar Charles Haynes: “While the survey shows Americans highly value religious freedom, a significant number support privileging the religion of the majority, especially in public schools. Four decades after the Supreme Court declared state-sponso red religious practices unconstituti onal in public schools, 58% of respondents support teacher-led prayers and 43% favor school holiday programs that are entirely Christian. Moreover, 50% would allow schools to teach the Bible as a factual text in a history class.

“The strong support for official recognition of the majority faith appears to be grounded in a belief that the United States was founded as a Christian nation, in spite of the fact that the Constitution nowhere mentions God or Christianity . Of course, people define “Christian nation” in various ways — ranging from a nation that reflects Christian values to a nation where the government favors the Christian faith. But almost one-third of respondents appear to believe that the religious views of the majority should rule: 28% would deny freedom to worship to any group that the majority considers ‘extreme or on the fringe.’”

A third think the press has too much freedom and 60-plus percent believe the press is biased in its reporting or, worse, falsifies or makes up stories.

The data tend to mirror the recent rise in the rhetoric and the rancor surrounding religion in the political sphere and the expanded focus upon social issues…a focus which has frequently been derived from religious doctrine (primarily the Bible).

Unfortunatel y, this has led to an erroneous belief that legislation ought to be predicated upon that premise. The fact the Karl Rove and the GOP have sought to exploit this gaffe has only exacerbated the misconceptio n and the divisive vitriol it promotes.

Let me be clear…people have the right to support the legislation they favor…which is as it should be. However, said legislation mustn’t impinge upon constitution ally granted rights; otherwise our judicial system exists and is intended to intervene to prevent such overreach (a function which has all too often been falsely defined as judicial activism). Beyond this fundamental legislative construct, voters can also attempt to alter the constitution .

Sadly, the political premise of laissez-fair e has been circumvented by those who would seek to impose one set of theological beliefs above all others…an action undoubtedly in conflict with the intent of the Constitution . Clearly, the document seeks to remain neutral in this regard so as to allow for the desired freedoms our forefathers sought…inclu ding the freedom to hold one’s chosen religious beliefs without interference or imposition from the state. That delicately nuanced balance appears to be in jeopardy…and the survey seems to affirm an expanding threat.

At first blush, one might be inclined to scratch one’s head at the inaccuracies found in the respondent opinions; however, when one considers that a fifth of Americans can’t even identify their nation on a map, the lack of constitution al proficiency seems a logical extension of an unsettling trend.

As America seeks to install democratic values in the Middle East, the erosion taking place on the home front seems a stark contradictio n, as well as a tacit endorsement of similar actions on the part of those we view to be adversaries. The fact that others embrace a theological bent we may justifiably find to be fully unacceptable points out the precarious nature of our dilemma.

Understandin g the degree to which we should act to address the unsavory aspects of these conflicting ideologies is a complex predicament. We would be well advised to avoid the wholesale negation of other non-threaten ing beliefs which reside under the same basic theological umbrella of our antagonists… beliefs we may not affirm but cannot in good conscience…a nd in keeping with our constitution al values…seek to extinguish. It is difficult to imagine we can succeed in discerning this fine line of distinction if we can’t do as well with regards to our own actions here at home.

When one imagines a large number of constitution ally illiterate Americans attentively watching a beauty pageant finalist failing to speak coherently about basic issues of geography and education in a country where 20 percent of us can’t identify our nation on a map, the concept of engaging in an effort to export our democratic values seems an epic existential exercise. Consequently  , I have my suspicions that the current ideological conflicts we face at home and abroad may represent mankind’s sempiternal challenge.

Cross-posted at Thought Theater


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Honest to God

Watch Out for GodThere’s no shortage of debate over Islam. Depending on your point of view, Muslims are either violence-cra zed zanies with a taste for camel milk and Molotov cocktails or misunderstoo d practitioner s of a religion of peace, love, and kindness - think Amish with headdresses. But for the most part, there isn’t much talk about the similarities that Muslim fundamentali sts share with Christians and Jews.

The problem isn’t the religion, the problem is all religions that mutate into asshatted, intolerant extremism.

Read more…


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What If God Is Sick & Tired Of Our Arrogance?

Do you ever see a headline in a newspaper or at a site online which catches your attention, but for some reason you just can’t convince yourself to read the content? I saw one of those headlines yesterday and while I didn’t succumb to reading the article at that moment, I broke down and read it today.

As to why, well, initially I wasn’t completely sure…perhaps curiosity…ma ybe boredom with the lack of other eye catching news…but then I took the time to explore what the headline said that turned me off…as well as led me back to the article. Following the title and some relevant excerpts below, I’ll attempt an explanation.

Dutch Bishop: Call God ‘Allah’ To Ease Relations

AMSTERDAM - A Roman Catholic Bishop in the Netherlands has proposed people of all faiths refer to God as Allah to foster understandin g, stoking an already heated debate on religious tolerance in a country with one million Muslims.

Bishop Tiny Muskens, from the southern diocese of Breda, told Dutch television on Monday that God did not mind what he was named and that in Indonesia, where Muskens spent eight years, priests used the word “Allah” while celebrating Mass.

“Allah is a very beautiful word for God. Shouldn’t we all say that from now on we will name God Allah? … What does God care what we call him? It is our problem.”

A survey in the Netherlands’ biggest-sell ing newspaper De Telegraaf on Wednesday found 92 percent of the more than 4,000 people polled disagreed with the bishop’s view, which also drew ridicule.

First, a bit of background. The climate in the Netherlands has been rather volatile since the death of filmmaker Theo Van Gogh. Van Gogh’s work was critical of Islam and his murder, viewed to be an act of retaliation, increased tensions with the immigrant Islamic community.

The comments of the Bishop were intended to be a conciliatory gesture to the Islamic community and I don’t doubt his sincerity. Unfortunatel y, the irrationalit y which permeates the circumstance s leading to the Bishop’s remarks comprise the basis of the angst I experienced when first reading the headline.

With nary a thought, I knew if I read the article it would not only lead to frustration, it would serve to remind me why I find religion to be such a baffling exercise in contradictio n as well as a perpetual source of human conflict. Having now read the article, I can attest to the fact that it easily met my stated expectations .

Here’s my dilemma…and perhaps someone will be able to offer the insight necessary to unburden me. Let’s assume that the Bishop’s followers…no  , let’s go so far as to say that all those in the Netherlands who currently use the term god…suddenly acquiesce to the use of the term allah. With that assumption, would those who believe in the tenets of Islam suddenly shed their animosity towards other religious persuasions?

Conversely, if all those who profess an allegiance to Islam in the Netherlands suddenly conceded to use the tern god instead of allah, would the anger directed at those who embrace Islam suddenly evaporate?

I’ll answer my own questions. In both cases, I would respond “of course not”. In providing this answer, I point to the utter insanity that exists with regards to religious beliefs. Here’s the point…on some hypothetical level, most people would assert and agree that there is only one god or one allah. At the same time, the actions of the majority of religious people suggests that there must either be numerous gods or allahs, or that a majority of the world’s population undoubtedly believes in false gods or allahs.

Even more perplexing, each religious group is certain of the infallible nature of their belief in their god or their allah…which also means they are certain of the invalidity of the beliefs held by the remaining majority of human beings. In holding this view, the world therefore has numerous minority populations who are convinced that they are justified in condemning all others, justified in their efforts to impose those laws that support their beliefs and nullify the beliefs of their adversaries, and justified in pursuing and prosecuting plans to prevail.

So in the end, while I commend the effort of the Bishop to be magnanimous, I wouldn’t hesitate to bet the farm on the following. If you put the Bishop in a room with a Mullah to discuss religion and tell them they may not leave the room until such time as they agree on one god or one allah…and of course that also means they must agree that there can only be one set of values or mores for living a proper life…the two of them will never emerge from that room. Further, if the door to that room does open, it will likely mean that only one of the two men remains alive and able to emerge…and he will do so while espousing that the one true god or allah had granted him the strength to prevail.

As such, I don’t know how to conclude anything other than the fact that civilization has and will always be on the verge of utter chaos and constant conflict. When I acknowledge that thought, I find myself more convinced that god or allah are nothing more than creations of the human mind designed to enable one man to negate another.

Lastly, as a person fond of logic, reason, and rationality… I find myself imagining what a god or an allah might be thinking…wer e he or she to actually exist…as he or she watched us humans interact. In that exercise, one would be hard pressed to reach any plausible conclusions.

Let’s start with the assumption that god or allah has a sick sense of humor and we’re simply here for amusement. That would mean that he or she has devised a world such that his or her existence will remain unproven to us humans because he or she has chosen as much. In this model, the amusement would arise when he or she whispers clues into enough ears to pit us all against each other. The amusement would presumably emanate from us remaining in conflict on a perpetual basis. Unfortunatel y, as an all knowing being, we wouldn’t actually be amusing because god or allah would already know what we were going to do. Therefore amusement fails as an explanation.

Two, if we believe that god or allah created humans…then he or she would have done so with the full intent that we be imperfect since he or she, in his or her perfection, could have made us perfect. Therefore, if one were god or allah…meanin g one is all knowing…crea ting imperfect beings while knowing the outcome of said creation would ultimately serve no purpose. It couldn’t entertain because he or she would already know the script. So what other reasons might explain our creation?

If we assume we are the product of a deity’s creation, then his or her creation would never become perfect of its own volition since it would have been knowingly created with chosen or selected flaws. That would mean that he or she would have to fix us for us to serve any meaningful purpose in our association with a perfect being. If he or she intends to enact the fix…since we humans could not do so by design…becau se if we could, we would have to already possess the capabilities of a god…then why hasn’t he or she already affected the fix and what reason would suffice for him or her to keep us around in a perpetually imperfect state? I’m not sure there is an answer that makes sense.

Further, if we assume that he or she is gradually revealing more answers to us over time…then that would have to happen through god or allah’s selection of certain individuals since we wouldn’t possess that ability innately. That means that those of us who were not chosen would actually serve no purpose and we would always remain reliant upon the ability and willingness of those chosen to know more, to share it with us.

However, in our imperfection  , we would never understand what god or allah had revealed to the chosen few; we would have to believe them as a matter of faith. However, since god or allah already knows our imperfection s, god or allah would know that we were incapable of knowing how to decide what we should believe as a matter of faith. Therefore, making some people capable of understandin g more and providing them clues or knowledge would do little more than fuel controversy and conflict.

In other words, our enlightenmen t would ultimately still have to be given to each of us by god or allah electing to alter the imperfection s we were created with. That holds true if we’re to receive enlightenmen t as a matter of faith through others or if we’re each to be given more knowledge directly from god or allah.

In the end, we humans cannot explain or understand the notion of a god or allah outside of our human existence…wh ich leads us to define god or allah in human terms and which means our perceptions will always be flawed. At the same time, in our imperfection s, we will always disagree as to who is more right. Moreover, logic tells us that our imperfection s will preclude any of us from ever being able to prove what we believe to be right.

Therefore, in our efforts to define god or allah, we actually insult the very god or allah we think exists. When we presume to know god or allahs intentions, we diminish god or allah by falsely elevating ourselves. Knowing as much ought to instruct us to spend our time understandin g each other and making this existence as palatable as humanly possible…for all of us humans.

If there is a god or an allah, he or she would already know that such a goal is the noblest practice and the highest pinnacle we can achieve with the abilities he or she had provided to us. I’m not sure any higher being would be amused by our preoccupatio n with assigning them a name…let alone an identity of our human making. Perhaps its time that we humans focus on that which is within our grasp?

Cross-posted at Thought Theater


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