Christian Right


Even if I walk in the light, I am not the light.

Even if I am a taut stringed lute, I am not the lute player

Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī

Seeing Michael Dowd give a discussion on his work to prevent the catastrophe of global climate change was interesting. He appeared at my local Unitarian Universalism church. Dowd outlined a “new” movement where people of all faiths are coming together with Science and scientists to discuss and hopefully combat climate change.

Religious naturalism is an approach to spirituality that is devoid of supernaturalism. The focus is on the religious attributes of the universe/nature, the understanding of it and our response to it (interpretive, spiritual and moral). These provide for the development of an eco-morality. Although it has an ancient heritage in many philosophical cultures, this modern movement is currently not well defined. Theistic or nontheistic religious naturalism is a basic theological perspective of liberal religion and religious humanism, according to some sources.

Religious naturalism is concerned about the meaning of life, but it is equally interested in living daily life in a rational, happy way. An alternative, more anthropocentric approach, is to look at it as answering the question: “What is the meaning of one’s life and does it have a purpose?” It is an approach to understanding the natural world in a religious way and does not offer a detailed system of beliefs or rituals. Religious naturalism also attempts to amalgamate the scientific examination of reality with the subjective sensory experiences of spirituality and aesthetics. As such, it is a combination of objectivity with religious emotional feelings and the aesthetic insights supplied by art, music and literature. It is a promising form of contemporary religious ethics and pluralism responding to the challenges of late modern religious transformations and ecological peril. In so doing, it is emerging as an increasingly plausible and potentially rewarding form of religious moral life consistent with the insights of the natural sciences.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religious_naturalism

Thank-God-for-Evolution

This is a very adimarable goal. I enjoyed Dowd’s talk, until he started discussing Humanism. Dowd himself and his wife, Connie Barlow, are partners and Co authors. Both have spent more than a decade on the road discussing their views, books and the problem of the scientific community in our modern lives.

Dowd himself admits he is a preacher, an ordained minister. Connie is described as an author of “popular science” books. Popular science books, the term doesn’t bode well.

Dowd outlined the need to view reality with reverence and the physical as sacred.

…….

The outer world of earthly existence corresponds in all its details to the inner world of man’s soul, and there is a similar correspondence between the Garden of the Heart and the Garden of the Soul, but these are only two particular  instances of the general truth that all the different domains in the Universe correspond to each other in that each is an image of the Universe itself. 

–Martin Lings, THE SYMBOL

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QVOD SVPERIVS EST EST EST SICVT ID QVOD INFERIVS
(“The top is like the below”)

MACROPROSOPVS – Macrocosm

MICROPROSOPVS – Microcosm

Now, this is great. Of course reality is sacred as is the very ground beneath my feet. Dowd admirably preaches and teaches a philosophy of reality as sacred. Hardly news to me or anyone with an ounce of sanity, in my opinion.

For Dowd, reality, or God as he interchangeably calls or labels things, is sacred and must be treated as such. Reverence for all, in order to prevent climate change… Dowd outlines this by dismissing God, destroying any notion of the supernatural and proposes that observation is our savior and will enable the unification of science and religion. Of course this is overly simplistic and not something I could get behind.

Not that scientific and aesthetic understanding is not necessary –but it should do its work faithfully and immerse itself and disappear in the truth of the relation which surpasses understanding and embraces what is understandable.

–Martin Buber (I And Thou)

By discarding the divine for:

“reality” is divine, but only that which is
” observable” we are being dishonest. By dishonest that is, to me it is dishonest.

Observation only works due to assumptions.

Assumptions include a shared language, for example if we are discussing chickens it is assumed we are discussing chickens that all have two legs and two wings, in reality what if the chicken is deformed? In a real sense this means we are assuming like and like. We are assuming that 1 (chicken) plus 1 (chicken) is 2 (chickens)…. Assuming that both chickens are equal. Which in the real world they would not be.

Observation only works due to an agreed upon yardstick. To quote Dowd

“You don’t have to believe in the sea, it’s just there.”
No, you are wrong Mr Dowd. The sea is only the sea because we agree it is the sea. If we measured using an electromagnetic measuring device, for example, we may have problems separating the sea from nearby rivers. In turn, if we change our yard stick a drop of rainwater is the sea. Benoit Mandelbrot demonstrates this in his essay on the coastline of Britain, demonstrating it is of infinite length, measuring from rocks, stones, sand… atoms etc.

Dreamsmandy

The work of Werner Karl Heisenberg famously explored the problem of light being a particle and a wave, though I understand to some modern physicists the solution is that it’s a wave. At the subatomic level we can only measure where something is or its velocity, not both. To summarize Heisenberg we can simply say the
“observed and observer are inseparable ”

This means any observation is a compromise as it is fully changed by being observed. People may counter this by saying this is only at the subatomic level. Again though, it depends on our yard stick. There are numerous ways and means that demonstrate this phenomenon of the inseparable nature of observation. In the end, it is just a complex way if stating observation is dependent upon perspective and perception. For example if we only studied the sky at night we could learn many things, during the day, yet other things, at both times we observe the sky.

Every experiment destroys some of the knowledge of the system

which was obtained by previous experiments.

“Critique of the Physical Concepts of the Corpuscular Theory” in The Physical Principles of the Quantum Theory (1930) as translated by Carl Eckhart and Frank C. Hoyt, p. 20; also in “The Uncertainty Principle” in The World of Mathematics : A Small Library of the Literature of Mathematics (1956) by James Roy Newman, p. 105

This isnt to mention other things like Godel’s incompleteness theorem, that demonstrates that the only logical conclusion of logic is that logic doesn’t work.

A statement sometimes known as Gödel’s second incompleteness theorem states that if number theory is consistent, then a proof of this fact does not exist using the methods of first-order predicate calculus. Stated more colloquially, any formal system that is interesting enough to formulate its own consistency can prove its own consistency iff it is inconsistent.

http://mathworld.wolfram.com/GoedelsIncompletenessTheorem.html

At a basic level, if we started to discuss Star Wars with a dog, the dog would not understand who Darth Vader is…. sadly humanists are assuming that through observation we can understand reality, just as a dog can one day discuss Luke Skywalker. Uh, no….

But the cult of the intellect knows no bounds.

The point where we seperate from our origins…or the divine/God.

It is this type of world along with its overriding orientation and pursuits which we have destroyed. Our society is man-made, not a divine order. It is one in fact which represents a projection of the human mind that has cut its links with the divine and with the earth; and in so far that it has any ideals these are purely temporal and finite and concern only the terrestrial welfare of its members.

–Philip Sherrard, MODERN SCIENCE AND THE DEHUMANIZATION OF MAN.

To a humanist mindset and many other similar groups (notably modern scientific pantheists for example) throwing out the divine makes perfect sense. If logic, observation, bar charts and other intellectual tools won’t cover reality then anything else is garbage, to the humanist (collectively humanists but each and every group with this mindset).

I am reminded by the recent book/TV show where Stephen Hawkins disproves God. All these groups seem to have one thing in common, an overly simplified verging on puerile understanding or concept of God. The science may or may not be remarkable, advanced and inspiring, but the understanding of the sacred is childlike at best. Hawkins demonstrated this very adequately in his television appearance, in his defense I have not, nor do I intend to read his book.

If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is, Infinite. For man has closed himself up til he sees all things thro’ narrow chinks of his cavern.

–William Blake (The Marriage of Heaven and Hell)

Dowd, like Hawkins touches upon God, largely only in a puerile simplistic manner, the sky daddy playing chess. This overly simplistic image betrays a lack of perspective or genuine lack of investigation into the nature of God. As such, there is no place beyond the observable, the logical or even beyond the physical. As such we, to this modernist mindset, are merely dogs learning about Star Wars, one day able through language and concept to discuss the finer points of Star Wars.

Of course the talk was only an hour or so long, and I have not actually read his books, so my understanding may be limited.

Language of course fails us every time. Modernists use mathematics to overcome this.

The problem with secular liberals, as distinct from traditionalist liberals and traditionalist conservatives, is that they insist on inventing reality by denying any higher truth than themselves. They deny the natural law of holistic education, including the metalaw of holistic haqq, which is to be sought heuristic ally and holistically not created by human fiat.

By claiming the source of truth they deny the essence of anything and anything, because without essence everything is relative and truth cannot exist. If everything is relavistic, there is no purpose, then the practice of human responsibilities and the corresponding and resulting human rights has no logical basis.

The denial of any reality beyond the power of personal preference is the source of all totalitarian ideologies, beginning with the liberal logic of the French Revolution, which produced Communism, Fascism, and both Zionist and Muslim Statism today, where the sovereign state or global caliphate claims divinity based on top-down political process of might makes right.

 The Metalaw of Holistic Haqq: Toward a Just Third Way beyond Capitalism and Socialism in the Holy Land
by Robert Dickson Crane

….

In conclusion, Dowd and other humanists make giant compromises. Dowd does however stress the urgency of climate change. His concepts work for the ignorant i.e. those expecting the rapture, denying evolution, biblical aging of the planet and other ridiculous literalisms that demonstrate once again observer and observed change things; as literalisms as found in modern times, never existed in the ancient world. However, Dowd is educating the small of understanding, the ones that arguably need to be spoon fed understanding. His goals are also good ones. However, I don’t agree with all his political leanings. Sadly, I think Dowd’s allusions fit well at my church amongst the right people (which may or may not be a good thing depending on your perspective). I enjoyed his conclusions i.e. live in harmony with the earth or die, it is not all doom and gloom, we may do better in regards to combating climate change.

                       .

yet the crisis itself is not first of all an ecological crisis. It is not first of all a
crisis concerning our environment. It is first of all a crisis concerning the way we think. We are treating our planet in an inhuman, God-forsaken manner because we see things in an inhuman and God-forsaken way. How we see the world depends above all upon how we see ourselves. Our model of the universe – our worldview – is based upon the model we have of ourselves, upon our own self image. Unless our own evaluation of ourselves, and of what constitutes the true nature of our being, changes, the way we treat the world around us will not change either. The industrial and technological inferno we have produced around us, and by means of which we are now devastating our world, is not something that has come about accidentally. On the contrary, it is a direct consequence
of our allowing ourselves to be dominated by a certain paradigm of thought that impels us to look upon ourselves as little more than two-legged animals whose destiny and needs can best be fulfilled through the pursuit of social, political and economic self-interest. And to correspond with this self-image we have invented a worldview in which nature is seen as an impersonal commodity, a soulless source of food, raw materials, wealth,
power and so on, which we think we are entitled to abuse by means of any scientific and mechanical technique we can devise and produce, in order to satisfy our self-interest. Having in our own minds de-sanctified ourselves, we have de-sanctified nature as well.

Our contemporary secular scientific mentality goes hand-in-hand with a
corresponding and increased erosion in us of the sense of the sacred. We do not have any respect, let alone reverence, for the world of nature because we do not fundamentally have any respect, let alone reverence, for ourselves. It is because we have lost the sense of our own reality that we have lost the sense of every other reality as well. It is because we cripple and mutilate ourselves that we cripple and mutilate everything else as well. Our contemporary crisis is really our own depravity writ large.

So the only real answer to this crisis is to stop depraving ourselves. It is to
recover a sense of our true identity and dignity, of our creation in the image of God, of our self image as sacred beings. Once we repossess a sense of our own holiness, we will recover a sense of the holiness of the world about us as well and we will then act towards the world about us with the awe and humility that we should possess when we enter a sacred shrine, a temple of love and beauty in which we are to worship and adore the Creator. Without a sense of the holy – that everything that lives is holy – and without
humility towards the whole – towards man, towards nature and to God Himself Who is beyond both man and nature, their transcendent source and origin – we will simply proceed headlong along the course to self-destruction to which we are now committed and which is our own choosing and for which we are entirely responsible.

Philip Sherrard (1922-1995)
(The Rape of Man & Nature: An Inquiry Into the Origins and Consequences of Modern Science)

Why Christians Should Trust the Constitution


by


Bishop Thomas Saunders

The Jesus Seminar was a think tank, that compared the Gospels of Mark, Matthew, Luke, John, and Thomas. The result of this study was a book called, “The Five Gospels,” and it is the ‘standard,’ for showing literary parallels in scripture. The authors and members dedicated the work in part to Thomas Jefferson, recognizing his dedication to trying to understand the historical Jesus, and what he really said. (“The Five Gospels, Funk, Harper-Collins, 1993.)

The founders understood that common law and the rights of citizenship came about before Christianity. The Apostle Paul is well known to have saved his own life twice, by pointing out to Roman soldiers about to kill him, that he was a citizen and had a right to a trial This is known in law as a mandate against a ‘bill of attainder proper,’ which gives the ‘authorities’ the legal right to put you to death without a trial. Citizenship is supposed to override such deadly mandates, and provide a form of due process. Paul used this concept well, and survived leaving a powerful ministry.

The Constitution was crafted to provide liberty over the legalism that the Church as a political sovereign had used to become the ultimate earthly social and moral authority. The result was a disaster that fueled abuses like Inquisitions in the social fabric for centuries, to the point America became a safer haven from the abuse. The idea of the separation of church and state, is an attempted to establish liberty over the legalism and end the cruel extremism exhibited by the Church centuries before, and up to the point American law came about.

Today, the existence of the Faith Based political and social movement can be seen as dangerously close to creating a Theocracy within our own government. Some intellectuals have actually claimed America has become a Theocracy, like Kevin Phillips, who wrote, “American Theocracy.” He is far from alone in his assertion the Christian Right has influenced the abuse of legalism over liberty in the American interpretation of law. Some have gone so far as to endorse Biblical law over Constitutional law. Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, Florida‘s Katharine Harris, and Oklahoma‘s Sally Kern are examples of elected officials who have gone on public record as endorsing Christian Nationalism.

From my own observation, I suspect that a lot of Christian Nationalists are good people motivated by what looks like a good idea. The most extreme in the Christian Nationalist movement hold that Biblical Law should take precedent over American common law, i.e. Constitutional protection.

”Our job is to reclaim America for Christ, whatever the cost. As the ‘Vice Regents of God,’ we are to exercise Godly dominion and influence over our neighborhoods, our schools, our government, our literature and arts, our sports arenas, our entertainment media, our news media, our scientific endeavors — in short, over every aspect and institution of human society.” ( See also: Wikipedia, Dominionists.) http://www.theocracywatch.org/about_us2.htm

The number of Christians who are a part of this movement is massive. They are trusting in Charismatics who lead them to their own slaughter in a trap the Apostle Paul, could not protect himself from…

There are some excellent books that document some of the movement and abuses of Christian Nationalism: “Tempting Faith” by David Koa, ”American Theocracy,” by Kevin Phillips, and “Faith and Politics,” by Sen. John Danforth. There are others but the fact is they all reflect a horrible abuse by the Christian Right. The objective of these people is to do away with the Constitution, and replace law with their idea of what the Bible says.

The foothold the Christian Right has in politics is shocking. Those sucked into the idea they can replace the Constitution, should realize that much of what is wrong with the country is due to the circumvention or plain abuse of ignoring Constitutional provisions. The most simple explanation of what the Right Wing advocates here is legalism vs. liberty. The first sentence of the U. S. Constitution calls for unity, justice, and liberty. The first sentence of the Oklahoma Constitution says to obey it.

Another very obvious wrong thing about this idea is it gives ‘certain’ Christians access to state power, and denies others. This is prima facie in Oklahoma where in the case of “Platter Holiness Church vs. Texoma Sand and Gravel.” Residents of the town of Platter suffered severe property damage due to the negligence of the state in enforcing protections against mining violations. The citizens who could prove damage, organized litigation.

(I should mention KXII T.V. did an expose on this matter, and I am on record for organizing the Platter effort.)

Tests were done on the properties by O.U. Geologists, and when near completion, according to David Burrage of the Burrage Law firm, the Geologists were told if they testified against the Mining company, the availability of government grants would be ‘zilch.’ The Platter case fell apart, and some people’s homes were destroyed. The networking that caused the ”out of court” failure of “Platter Holiness Church”
is the same Christian political network ”The Oklahoma Observer” has documented over the years. (See March 25th edition, 2008., and related cyber files Online.)

A political system of Christian Nationalism, prima facie just from this case alone shows that a Theocracy will not be able to support, and protect their own network. In fact the Conservative network of Oklahoma politics turned on its own. What the ”state” did was outrageous, but it is typical of the corruption in the of the Christian Conservative movement in the state.

Another thing the Christian Nationalists have not done is protected their own from con men like Brian K. Waite. Waite left Oklahoma after publishing a ‘hate’ book against Islam, which angered the folks of Quail Baptist Church in Oklahoma City enough for them to run Waite out of town. He then joined the Marines with false papers, became a Chaplain and was involved in more outrageous schemes, documented by the Military Religious Freedom Foundation. www.militaryreligiousfreedom.org

The push of the Christian Nationalist movement has crossed lines between the rule of law, and personal greed. Many otherwise innocent people who support the nexus of causes the Christian Nationalists have latched on to, don’t realize they may be involved in a criminal syndication.

Clearly, the effort to ‘exercise Godly dominion’ over society and American common law is a form of non violent means of insurrection, and therefore is the crime of Sedition. (See “Sedition” and ”Criminal Syndication” as defined in, “Webster’s Dictionary of Law” or “Black’s Law Dictionary.”) In my best estimation the majority of American voters would have trouble defining sedition, or explaining the concept of bills of attainder as they apply to American law.

The record of Faith Based Initiatives over the past Administration is at best dismal. Social Services, Science, Justice System programs, and Education has shown how totally incompetent and unprepared the Christian Right is to take over American society, education and culture. After all, they made the base of these services a duty of ”Homeland Security” which has become ‘home’ of Faith Based Initiative money.
(Nobody has documented the corruption of this system like the Oklahoma State Chapter members of Americans for the Separation of Church and State, and Arnold Hamilton, editor of ”The Oklahoma Observer.”)

It is clear from the public record the Attorney General and Legislators of Oklahoma are being motivated to violate provisions of the state Constitution to divert federal money to certain churches. Rep. Rebecca Hamilton, is on record for diverting with the A. G.’s help $100,000 to her ‘special church.’ (“Observer”)

To completely let the public understand the lack of respect for Constitional law, I urge readers to view the following video.

I assure you the message from these elected officials and intellectuals will let you know, first hand as Americans, why the Christian Nationalist movement toward legalism over liberty must be stopped.