BEING GODLY

BEING GODLY

By Peter Fredson

George Bush II is Godly. Although he doesn’t know enough theology to fill a peanut shell, he says he Loves Jesus and talks to God, and that is enough nowadays to get him elected President. He says he loves the 10 Commandments and wants to see them posted in every public place, and declares everybody should pray, and that is enough to raise 100 million dollars and several million votes. He says he wants bible passages about gays and marriage to be put in the Constitution and that is enough to get the entire Far Right solidly behind any stupidity he pronounces.

George Bush II used deception, stealth and misdirection in his quest for power, modern fundamentalist characteristics, and instituted a self-imposed war against Iraq on specious pretexts.  He presented himself as a Warrior for Jesus, complete in Air Force Flight uniform, which he uses to show that he courageously fights “for the right.”  (Pun Intended). As Poster Boy of the Far Right, he is sometimes illustrated with a small halo above his head. He fervently believes that he was selected by an invisible intangible omnipotent omnipresent entity to detect evil and eradicate it, and perhaps to bring about the APOCALYPSE when everybody (except himself and Jerry Falwell) will go screaming into hell and all real estate investment on earth will suddenly vanish.

After failing to catch Osama bin Laden, he found Evil and Oil in Iraq instead. Then he began threatening Iran and Syria with indications that he will do the same whenever and wherever he desires, for who will naysay him?  His lawyers told him that he has absolute power to do anything he pleases.  And, indeed, He turned Congress into an adjunct of the Oval Office, with sycophant senators eagerly awaiting his latest attack on the Constitution, and falling all over themselves to excuse his murderous intentions, preemptions and stupidities. They know he has his finger on the nuclear trigger, and how little contemplation it would take him if religion mixed with corporate greed dominated the discussion.. But, he Loves Jesus, talks to God!  You Da Man!

He hesitates about going to war with North Korea though, for North Korea has a million men under arms, well trained and disciplined.  The case against North Korea possessing weapons of mass destruction and having a ruthless leader is even stronger than that of Iraq and Saddam Hussein. But, you see, North Korea is not biblical, nor does it have resources to seize for corporate profit.  Going to War with North Korea will not further God’s plans for humanity. It would be a secular nightmare. It’s not Goddist!

A horrifying aspect of the Christian Far-Right is the firm belief that a World War will spread and turn into a fore-ordained Apocalypse, during which their God will destroy the world and all humans, except for a few previously selected who will go to heaven, exact location never specified. We are not sure if the chosen few will all be given virgins with which to dally, like the suicide bombers of Islam, but hope springs eternal.  The only consolation is that about 99.99% of Republicans will be cast screaming into the fiery pit, despite all their annoying hopeful rhetoric while on earth. Fare thee well, Rick.  Good luck, Orin. Bye bye, Dick. Scream long and hard, Rumsfeld! Surprise, Jerry!

The Far Right believes that George W. Bush is their messiah, the coiled spring to bring about the long-desired end of everything. They would give their money, votes, labor and even your lives to bring that about.  They would abolish all opposition to their “divine” plans.  They would stop at nothing, including mass murder, to make their nothingness God supreme ruler of the soon-to-be destroyed world.

Can we say that people who think like that are ill-advised, suckers, victims of brain-washing? Are they fanatic, mad, crazy, stupid, gullible, credulous, over-trusting, foolish, extreme, monomaniacal, out of touch with reality? Or were they indoctrinated when very young, and exposed to church propaganda incessantly, to the point that they are now unable to distinguish fact from myth?  Or that they wish to “belong” to some group for support against the dark? 

Whatever the reason be for their accepting any Christian version of nothingness, they are usually ignorant of any other possibility, and resent any attempt to wean them from long-held beliefs.  People do not like to be made aware that their lives have been ruled by mistaken beliefs. George II especially seems unable to admit to making any mistakes.  When asked what mistakes he might have made, he replied that he couldn’t think of any.  The fact that some bloggers have come up with several hundred instances of his stupidity, blunders, lies and incompetence does not seem to register in his brain cells.

Priests, preachers and parsons do not believe they are “lying.”  Most of them went to priest schools where they were subjected for a period of years to only one religious view, and where they could not possibly get a degree or professional work if they dared complain of the paucity of evidence, or the impossibility of some stories, or debate the non-existence of whatever entity their school was named for.

They all sincerely “believe” and must swear they will never learn or believe anything else. Priest Schools have taught the same subjects, in the same way, for several thousand years.  All allusions for their graduates are in Christian terms.  If they wish to preach a sermon, or illustrate some belief, they are shown how to pick a verse from the Bible that will exactly “prove” their point.  Linguistically-adept preachers can forge an hour sermon out of practically any Bible passage. So, the word “lying” is not appropriate for modern bible-thumpers and passage-pointers.  “Mistaken” might be more like it.

Too bad they don’t generally read Shakespeare, or Don Quixote, or any of the other thousands of really good classics illustrating the vast diversity of humankind. There is many a good lesson in Gargantua and Pantagruel, as there is in Candide. Or, how about Dorothy Parker and Stephen Leacock, Rudyard Kipling and Frank Harris, H. L. Mencken and Alexander Woolcott, Yeats and Robbie Burns? I might even suggest reading Robert Ingersoll, Herodotus, Homer, or Confucius to broaden their perspective. It takes a lot more than listening to Billy Graham, Ann Coulter, Pat Robertson, Benny Hinn, or the other 47,000 televangelists to be “educated.” Reading only one anthology written by religious zealots, and ignoring all the rest of the world’s literature, makes for monomaniacal creationism.

This country can easily slide back into a medieval darkness on the slippery slope of Under God dogmatism with a Born Again messiah at the helm. Would it be too heavy satire to say: “Heaven help us?”

19 thoughts on “BEING GODLY

  1. Well I believe there is a God & I believe He’s part of the works of Confucius, Yeats, Shakespeare, all the inspiring works of the world. I believe what GW is about is NOT in any way of God. I believe he’s a money-grubbing religious zealot who is messing up this nation and our relationship with the world. What he and his government has done and is doing is a travesty to humanity. And comparing the world today to the time of Jesus, we know He was never part of the government or the common beliefs of His time. The majority of those could not see what He really was because then what were they? It’s the few who looked past their own self-satisfying beliefs who saw something more. It’s the true honest searchers who try to show compassion, have a belief in honesty and truth, and believe in a certain equality for all that recognize a Universal Goodness, in whatever form…and you don’t have to believe in God or Jesus to see it. But if it comes to them it will be recognized. And regarding “gays,

  2. But, Peter, God is everywhere in America, Just look at your money, as I am doing right now…

    In God we trust…. The official English translation of “Annuit Cœptis” is: “He (God) has favored our undertakings.”

    I encourage all who are offended by this outrageous religious use of American federal reserve notes and coins to please send the offending material to me and I will take care of the problem. Hell, even if you’re not offended just send those notes and coins my way. Each donation in excess of, say, $20.00 will receive their choice of a jesus prayer rug or a personal artwork from one of my children. wink

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  3. All I can say concerning the above written is: Have Faith in the American People. We have suffered fools frequently in our past and one way or another we have worked it out. I firmly believe the American people are not the pre WW2 Germans or the Stalinist Russians or the narrow-minded pre WW2 Japanese or any of the plethera of nationalities that have followed an ‘infallable’ leader in the maw of hell. We are pragmatists, yes even now, at the height of the far rights powers the best they can muster is 51%. As far as the religious rhetoric goes—its fine with me—just as long as gays etc are not thrown into jail just for being themselves. I firmly believe, and history bears out, that when a American political party in power goes too far and begins to offend the sensibilities of average Americans then they are headed straight towards the political dustbin. You see some of these warnings coming from such rightist luminaries as Newt Gingrinch who warned the GOP not to bite off more than it can chew with radical ideas regarding SS.
        As for GW’s gradiose plans—well he is an untreated alcoholic and if any of you have known any untreated alcoholics then you know that they tend to live in a world of their own construction and can be very combative when anything threatens this construction. Reality and reason will almost always take a back seat to an alcoholics machinations. The body that I am most angry at is the congress for not reigning this dry drunk in. I believe history will judge them very harshly—especially if he gets us into another unjustified war.
      I believe the end for the GOP’s majority can come in several ways, but the most likely will probably be a long term economic crisis followed by high prolonged unemployment exceeding 12%. Most Americans I feel won’t be to enthralled with low taxes on millionaires and corporations when they are living on the streets. The GOP’s current idealogy cannot cope with this type of prolonged economic crisis and the American people will again be given a dose of reality concerning this parties true views concerning thier well-being—which is to say—
    “Come on pull yourself up by your own bootstraps don’t look to us for help” at which time they will again suffer a 50 or 60 year draught of widespread political power. The sad thing is I wonder how many Americans will suffer unnecessarily on this altar of greed and self-aggrandizement? I also wonder if I will be one of them.

  4. To Socialist S-

    If you lived your life by the teachings of Confucius but did not believe in God which would be better? To live your life by his sayings or to believe in God?

  5. anotheranon,

    I have no idea, I was just responding to your comment that God is part of the works of Confucius.  That was just a mistake.  Confucius denied notions of actual God/gods/spirits etc.  He considered them to be metaphorical or figurative.  Same with Lao Tzu, Mencius and the other Chinese philosophers.  That’s why China has always been such a secular atheistic nation (though there are small pockets of Christianity there now).

  6. Americans have never been ones to sit down and take bullshit. I only hope that someday soon this country recognizes the current situation as just that—bullshit—and actually gets up off its ass.

  7. It sounds to me that you’re oversimplifying the motives and actions of this president.  IMHO he, like most over presidents, will be regarded in a positive light because we as Americans are prone to forgive and forget.  Actually we’re more prone to forget or be indifferent.

    I’d like to believe in Rufus-Leroy’s optimism but I think history speaks for itself in that regard.  Religion has been a major factor in the demise of many nations and it would be fool-hearty to think that we would be any different.

    The balance of power has shifted from the contemplative, analyzing citizen to the hands of capitalistic predators and religious zealots sans morals.  This shift has been planned and strategized for years and we are just now beginning to realize the true impact of a corporate government cloaked in religious mantra.

    If you lived your life by the teachings of Confucius but did not believe in God which would be better? To live your life by his sayings or to believe in God?

    Believing in the teachings of Confucius would be marginally better.  At least there is evidence and traceable history for his life and teachings.  Believe in god(s) is just an emotional bail-out for those that have chosen to stop searching for answers.

  8. IMHO he, like most over presidents, will be regarded in a positive light because we as Americans are prone to forgive and forget.

    But will there still be room for Bush on Mt. Rushmore after they’ve added Reagan?

  9. Most of the above sounds like conspiracy theories from the black helicopter crowd.  It seems to me that anytime a political party goes too far in one direction the moderates tend to start going the other way and the other political party comes to power.  Look at Massachusetts where I live.  We have an overwhelming majority of liberals in our legislature but the last four governors have been republican with the current one being a Mormon!  Why?  Because they balance each other out.  And I believe the federal government will too, especially if the Middle East problems continue.

    The last election could have easily gone in the other direction had the Democrats put up a candidate worth getting excited about.  But they didn’t.  Put up a candidate with a few convictions and some excitement and things can be different.

    Rufus-Leroy, your arguments don’t make any sense.  Where do you get 12% unemployment coming from?  How do you think that is going to happen?  This country hasn’t seen unemployment over 10% since 1940!  What’s wrong with lower taxes?  Germany has tax rates between 40 and 45% and their unemployment is up around 12%.  France has maximum hour work weeks by law in order to keep people employed.  Are those examples that we want to work by?

    As for me, I am an atheist but also a fiscal conservative.  So, I seem to finding myself sliding towards libertarianism, but even their candidates seem to be a bit extreme (i.e. no income tax, very little government).  The religion thing scares me and I don’t know the answers to that one.  People seem to need common identities in order to band together and unfortunately, atheism doesn’t do that.  Religion does.  And it has for many centuries.

  10. Atheism doesn’t provide a common identity?  I don’t know about that, take a look at this site.  It seems that most of us identify with each other mostly on the basis of our heatheness.

  11. Chad and SS have struck a chord which has resonated in my mind for ages.  Yes, we identify on the basis of our unbelief in invisible intangible entities, but our organizations are minimal with pitiful economic resources, while the “organized” churches have thousands of professionals repeating the same dogma and banding together for the purpose of installing their beliefs into the public arena. They have many seminaries and hundreds of universities which reiterate Christian beliefs to the exclusion of all others.  Nowhere do I find a University of Atheism because that may not even be a subject, except in opposition to supernatural statements. Not one single prominent political figure has come out against the recent Christian Coalition push to install their symbols, icons and monuments in public places…as it might be political suicide. Just yesterday I heard preacher Dobson say he spoke on 4,000 radio stations concerning the 10 Commandments. That is frightening! Do atheists have even ONE radio station dedicated to refuting Christian imposition?  Any suggestions?

  12. Peter,

    Well to be completely fair on this issue, it strikes me that universities on the whole tend to be centers of atheism.  The vast majority of academics, that I have met, are either non-religious or religious only in the most perfunctionary manner.  There are exceptions, there are some quite religious faculty in the various universities out there.  However, they are the exception comprising a quite small minority.  The problem is though not that many people have access or interaction with most academics.  However, an increasing number of academics are setting up ‘blogs, Brian Leiter and P.Z. Myers come immediately to mind, and though they don’t expressly push atheism, they often push against Christian fundamentalism.

  13. SS, you are right, atheism certainly brings people together on a site like this, but religion packs millions into churches, auditoriums and stadiums every week.  Kids are brainwashed with religion from the time they are born.  How can atheism compete with that?! 

    I see religion as the easy answer for most people.  At the same time, it is also a community for many people.  I suspect that a significant proportion of church-goers go because 1. they always have and 2. they enjoy the community that it brings together.  While they are at it, they hear the same crap over and over.  For most, atheism requires critical thought and the willingness to step away from the norm.  That is not easy for most people, especially when family is involved.

  14. Chad,

    No need to explain, I agree wholeheartedly with everything you said.  I just noted that we atheists do have some sense of community as well.  Though, we lack the kind of institutional community that the religious have.

  15. Growing up in Louisisana, I remember the Catholic kids going to ccd every Wed night.  Thurs mornings, they’d talk about the night before, rarely about religous stuff, mainly gossip.  I mean, a bunch of jr high kids packed together anywhere, they’ll find something to talk about, and finish conversations started at school, etc.  It made me feel like I was missing some social thing, most of your friends getting together on a regular basis, but you’re never there.  I never had a desire to go for the religion, but to hang out with my friends. 

    That was before the Jesus freak outbreak when I was in high school.  Bunch of Catholic kids converted to a new Baptist church in town, all of a sudden there’s Jesus-soaked peer pressure to go “hang” with them at church.  Once it got soaked with religion, I had NO desire to go to any of it. 

    I agree with Chad, too.  Fellowship is a strong draw, and, IMO, parents will indoctrinate their kids in the same religion, b/c they don’t want their kids to be the “outsiders” or otherwise different.  Even if they don’t do it intenionally, by virtue of taking your kids to church with you, they hear that stuff for years while they are still developing and learning.

  16. While people do indeed enjoy the company of others with the same mindset, religious institutions have a much greater attraction.  The main ones being a sense of obligation and guilt.  Two things the church does very well.

    IMHO, atheism is not something that can ever or will ever compete with Christianity because atheism is a lack of belief and has no singleness in purpose.

    If I had to boil down a mantra for all the churches in existence it would simply be: ‘To make more like us.’

  17. If I had to boil down a mantra for all the churches in existence it would simply be: ‘To make more like us.’

    That is the necessary mantra, not only for churches, but for any organism, biological or ideological, that is to survive in the biosphere or ideosphere.

    Of course, the genetic and memetic organisms are often not conscious of the mantra.  Selection takes place regardless- those structures which propogate themselves more successfully than the competition, for whatever reasons, tend to survive.

  18. It is encouraging to find bloggers that have not been swallowed by the Bush-Christian organized tyranny. You have analyzed or identified a number of factors making for abdication of reason in favor of myth. I wish that there were some effective means of fighting this trend. How can we refute the many thousands of professional goddists who reiterate their message to the exclusion of everything else?  Can reason, logic, and factual presentations combat fanaticism? I see no diminution in religious illusions like Virgins on fence posts or Jesus in Alphabet soup. This type of madness is considered reasonable by most of the media, by Congress, the Presidency and by most of the Supreme Court. I see large halls filled with thousands of credulous people just waiting to be clapped on the forehead by “faith-healers

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