I have always imagined that Paradise would be a kind of library.
Jorge Luis Borges

So have I become your enemy by telling you the truth?
Saint John, Letter to Galatians 4:16

Freedom of Religion - Freedom from Religion - Freedom of Public Display of Religion and Traditions

We establish no religion in this country, nor will we ever. We command no worship. We mandate no belief. But we poison our society when we remove its theological underpinnings. We court corruption when we leave it bereft of belief. All are free to believe or not believe; all are free to practice a faith or not. But those who believe must be free to speak of and act on their belief.
Ronald Reagan (Temple Hillel Speech, 1984)

Friday, February 19, 2016

A Treatise Concerning Christians and the 21st Century

I, like Thomas Jefferson, values logical philosophy; especially when discussing theology and politics. Those are two subjects where people turn off the logical portion of their brain and let emotion cloud their judgment and belief. Tradition can be a good thing, but only if it is supported by logic and facts, not superstition and blind faith. Thomas Jefferson created his own reference Bible, concerning the New Testament where he gleaned the myth from Jesus of Nazareth's parables and wise statements. He was more concerned with the spiritual world rather than the physical one. The Jefferson Bible has been reprinted several times and still available today. Indeed, the subtitle of the book is: “The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth”. Using his original name description instead of “Christ”.
What prompted me to write about this is people sharing the myriad commentary and memes on my FaceBook board. They seem to ignore the fact that religion is the product of humans, not the Creator/God of the Old/New Testaments. Christianity was not founded by Jesus of Nazareth (aka Jesus of Galilee), but by his disciples who became apostles after his death.
Theology of our world's religions has fascinated me, especially the religions whose foundation and doctrine are based on an element of philosophy. It is those religions that have lasted through the centuries with 'cult' or denomination offshoots sprouting along the way.
Of course, I have paid for my use of logic instead of blind faith concerning religious clergy whose purpose of existence is to keep their flock, either by fear or indoctrination or both.
I have been the brunt of angry Christians who have displayed the hypocrisies of professing of being a 'Christian'. Indeed, I have been …
  • Told my soul would be damned if I did not believe what they believed. If there is anything that humans truly own is their souls, only being compromised by their own decision(s).
  • Declared mentally ill by a professed Christian who has a history of mental illness.
  • The brunt of anger from Christians because they could not effectively backup their beliefs or even properly cite passages from the Bible. Their information or rather their beliefs is whatever the clergy has told them it is to be. Ironically, it is the clergy, not the Hebrew (Jewish) populace that had Jesus arrested, pressing charges that resulted in his execution the Roman judiciary. Romans were involved because it was Roman law that justice be served via the Roman governor and his soldiers.
I am a Christian, but only in the sense that I follow the philosophy of Jesus of Nazareth, aka Jesus Christ, and only pray to the Creator who requires no mediator. I believe it is unjustifed that Jesus be deified and that he never intended for it to be so. It was the Apostles in their zeal to convert that deification was established and the Church later made it the canonized decree in Christian church doctrine. Jesus died as the result of the sins of the clergy who orchestrated his execution, not for the sins of every person then and now. Sins corrupt one's soul and one's soul is one thing that cannot be forsaken, destroyed, or compromized without one's permission. 
In the natural law of the universe, there is a negative and a positive and darkness is only the absense of light; therefore if there be good there must be evil. 
The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing. Edmind Burke
Nowhere in the New Testament can be found any information or declaration that shows that Jesus founded a new/separate religion from that which was Hebrew. That was performed by his disciples after his death. Indeed, the disciples developed the early Christian Church, and by 315 AD it had been so organized it was decided to make a centralized authority and that all Christians get on the same page of its doctrine and philosophy declared at the Council of Nicaea in 325 AD. It was modified further at the Council held in 391 AD. The gist of the council's development of official Church doctrine was over the question concerning Jesus being a deity. The 391 council pertained to the meaning and description of what was called the Holy Spirit; which in turn aided the founding of the Holy Roman Christian Church that was governed by the Pope in Rome. That led to the schism that broke the Church into a West and East faction; mostly over the declaration by the Eastern Church (Constantinople) that the Roman Catholic Church had taken up pagan idolatry with their statues of Mary, Joseph, and the Saints.
From the beginning of the early Church, the organization of followers of the philosophy of Jesus of Nazareth, known as the 'Christ', developed controversy amongst them. Those controversies would end up with a myriad of separated factions referred to as 'cults', such as Protestants, Methodists, Baptists, et cetera. All separating from the original Holy Roman Catholic Church founded after the Councils of Nicaea that has come to be known as the Nicene Creed.
There is another creed that was written and handed down before the Council of Nicaea and it is called the ApostlesCreed, 12 articles of faith that match the original 12 apostles. It was a creed that affirmed their faith and described that faith/religion to others.
Both creeds, especially the Nicene Creed are founded upon the argument of whether Jesus is God or human or that God and the Son are one.
Jesus is never quoted in saying that he was either, alluding himself to be a messenger and both the “son of man” and the “son of god”. He often referred to God as his father or 'the' father. Indeed, his last recorded words was “Father forgive them for they know not what they do”. But Christians and Jews alike refer the Creator as 'God” and 'Father'; providing the Creator a visual description of being male. A Supreme Being, however, would be sexless, like some have described the archangels mentioned in the Old Testament. It is because of the logic of believing that the Creator is a Supreme Being that is comprised of pure energy that can change visual form if wanted to be seen.
With all of this argumentation within the world of Christianity, no can justify the claim Jesus of Nazareth's philosophy hasn't been profound in the development of a 'civilized' society. His words are rebellious, but adheres to his Hebrew ancestry of faith in the Creator, one Supreme Being of the universe. Few Christians do so today, but once the Church sanctioned persecution of Jews (Hebrews), the name given by the Romans because they were citizens of the Roman state of Judea (once combined into the state of Israel). It can be truthfully said that no human in recorded human history has had the impact upon people that Jesus of Nazareth has had.
The men that founded what is now the United States of America were Christians; but they wisely made an amendment to offer citizens the liberty of exercising their faith and that the government cannot sanction or create a state religion. It is within the First Amendment that also declares the right of freedom of speech.
Our nation was founded on the principles that made up Christianity, and its laws made from the Ten Commandments that pertained to killing, lying and stealing – as civilized societies do.
In the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson introduced the concept of natural law, as “natural rights” - liberties that stem from the Creator and the natural order of things like freedom of choice. Thomas Aquinas wrote about natural law as well as John Locke, Jeremy Bentham, Cicero, and Hugo Grotius. Freedom of choice is found in the first book of the Bible entitled the Book of Genesis. There it is told that the Creator (God/Elohim) was the first to introduce freedom of choice in the story of the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve were told not to eat the fruit of a certain tree, symbolic for carnal knowledge. They chose to disobey and the result bore consequences. Therefore, as Jefferson wrote, freedom of choice bears responsibility in accepting the consequences of one's choice and actions. This is a paramount philosophy that is lost to present generation in the United States.
Jefferson refers to Sir William Blackstone, an English jurist in writings explaining what the Constitution is and what the nature of government should be …
Man ... must necessarily be subject to the laws of his Creator.. This will of his Maker is called the law of nature.... This law of of course superior to any other.... No human laws are of any validity, if contrary to this: and such of them as are valid derive all their force...from this original.
The Constitution does not or was never intended to 'grant' rights, but to establish government laws (not government of men) in order to secure (and declare) that each person is endowed (born with) rights to life, liberty, and property established by the Creator. Among those laws is the right to self defense against aggression and aggressive acts; thus the Second Amendment was written.
Blackstone also reiterated that concept used by Thomas Jefferson:
For as God, when he created matter, and endued it with a principle of mobility, established certain rules for the...direction of that motion; so, when he created man, and endued him with freewill to conduct himself in all parts of life, he laid down certain immutable laws of human nature, whereby that freewill is in some degree regulated and restrained, and gave him also the faculty of reason to discover the purport of those laws.
Thus morality belongs in civic laws without an establishment of a state religion or suppressing the rights of religions and those who follow faiths other than Christianity. There has come to surface one exception to this: Islam. Specifically it is what I have called Islamic fascism. Muslims in Turkey, if they do not become polluted with the ISIS/Islamic fascist movement, is a republic whose people are primarily Muslim, but accept tolerance towards others.
Islam has become an exception because of its doctrine and following certain passages within their holy book, the Qur'an, because it demands tolerance by others while acting upon a doctrine that provides intolerance. It is because that intolerance is dictated by violent doctrine and even justifies mass murder, rape and even slavery. It is a 7th century doctrine that has not evolved with civilization within this century. As long as Islam continues upon this course, it has no place in any civilized society, especially within a constitutional republic such as the United States; countering the protection of the First Amendment of the US Constitution.
The Christians were persecuted in their early formation of the Christian Church and later when the Church became powerful, it persecuted people that disagreed with the established doctrine and the Jews. The latter was falsely blamed for the death of their Christ. It was the clergy who condemned Jesus to his death because they feared people would follow him instead of their established doctrine of the synagogue. There were Jews present at Jesus' trial and execution, the latter mostly being family and followers of Jesus.
Once again, in the 21st century, Christians are being persecuted at various levels of violence and aggression by political entities and individuals and especially by Islamic fascists. And since that element is bent upon annihilating the Jewish state of Israel, it is a rebirth of Nazism that provided an example of fascism. As an added note, fascism is attributed to “right-wing” politics, which is incorrect. Fascism is Nazism, which is 'national socialism' with the addition of racial supremacy. Socialism is definitely “left-wing” in the analysis of the term that involves into a more radical leftist ideology called Communism.
In my final analysis, I side with Christians and Jews in their fight against evil aggressors; but at the same time I only accept logic over mythological doctrine that has been maintained by the clergy and the organized church hierarchy.
Jesus was concerned with the spiritual world and the endeavor of maintaining the purity of one's soul; leaving worldly matters to political individuals and entities like Pontius Pilate.
Once upon a time I would have been imprisoned, tortured, and executed for 'heresy'; but today I must be the brunt of unkind and unjustified accusations and foul/rude rhetoric by people that profess to be holy Christians and post things that include foul language and everything that is against what Jesus actually said and not what people have made in their own or clergy's interpretations of what he meant.
The dangers to Christianity is not just the evil of Islamic fascism and sociocrats wishing to expel it from public sight, but the hypocrisy and ignorance of Christians concerning their own doctrine and mythical explanations.
I am a creature of philosophical theology, fighting to balance between logic and consciousness (emotion) that Creator has bestowed upon all of us. I am a student of Judaism, Christianity, and Buddhism thought that recognizes truth in their scriptures and guidance to live in the material dimension looking forward to the spiritual dimension. Choosing to glean logical thinking from them like Jefferson did. I believe everyone possesses a soul that is an energy that remains when the material body becomes dust. Albert Einstein stated:

Energy cannot be created or destroyed, it can only be changed from one form to another.

Therefore, the soul (Ka) is an energy that changes form when forced to leave the physical body.
But that is another discussion

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