Archive for the Religions Category

One Faith To Rule Them All

Posted in Critical Commentary of Civilization, Ethics & Morals, Legal / Laws, Pagan, Religions, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on April 4, 2020 by Drogo

Pagan & Christian Empire History

An essay on the radical problems of ‘one faith’ conservatism from Pagan Roman Empire to Christian Roman Catholic legacy which forms modern Capitalist Empire. 

 

When the world was mostly Pagan, conservative (fundamentalist) radicals persecuted minor cults like Christians; then when Christianity became dominant they treated all other religions the way that Romans treated rebel cults (Barbarian mercenaries had become Christianized, but still sacked Rome and killed in the name of the Roman Catholic Church), due to force dominance ‘might is right’ theory so prevalent in Patriarchy. Oligarchical conservatives in any culture feed hatred of ‘the other’ with ‘we are the best’ nationalism or dogma. It is therefore up to the main-stream led by radical liberals to deconstruct the ‘change is bad’ narrative perpetually as progress is made between cultures due to marriages, migration, trade, and tourism. The most popular changes tend to become the new cultural norms, social conventions, and eventually laws (this is why liberals tend to like democracy, and conservatives prefer oligarchy).

Little is known historically for sure about Jesus and Peter. Saint Peter is said to have helped to found the early basilica congregations in Rome, but fires destroyed most evidence and records. Unlike most religions in the Roman Empire, Christianity required its adherents to renounce all other gods, a practice adopted from Judaism. This radical ‘my god is the only one for everyone’ syndrome that unifies for hierarchical monopoly is baked into Judaism and Christianity doctrine, and is dominant rather than more peaceful Pagan unity which would be ‘some of our gods are so similar, we might share the same universe with different names for different aspects’. Christian refusal to join pagan celebrations meant they were unable to participate in much of public life, which caused non-Christians–including government authorities–to fear that the Christians were angering the gods and thereby threatening the peace and prosperity of the Empire. In addition, the peculiar intimacy of Christian society and its secrecy about its religious practices spawned rumors that Christians were guilty of incest and cannibalism; the resulting persecutions, although usually local and sporadic, were a defining feature of Christian self-understanding. Most of the fanatical dogmatic oligarchy of formal Christianity did not come from Jesus or Peter, but Saint Paul who was not even an original disciple apostle, but a Roman Jewish ‘ICE Agent’ who arrested and persecuted Jewish-Christians, who ‘saw the light’ and now wanted to tell everyone how to be a Christian, and for his radical sedition became a state criminal and spent years under arrest for civil disobedience, mainly trying to Romanize Christians to increase conversions by minimizing Jewish rituals like circumcision. Later Roman Christianity became more based on Paul than on the more communal aspects of Jesus and his original disciples, which were lost in translation to the main-stream audience who conformed to the conventions of empire more than helping the poor.

A series of more centrally organized persecutions of Christians emerged after the ‘Great Fire’ of 64 which Nero blamed on Christians, and continued into the late 3rd century, when emperors decreed that the Empire’s military, political, and economic crises were caused by gods angry at the evil Christians who denied the official state religious power (they chose to ‘take a knee’). All residents were ordered to give sacrifices or be punished. Jews were exempted as long as they paid the Jewish Tax. Estimates of the number of Christians who were executed ranges from a few hundred to 50,000. Many fled or renounced their beliefs. Disagreements over what role, if any, these apostates should have in the Church led to the Donatist and Novatianist schisms.

Christianity spread throughout the early Roman Empire, despite persecutions due to conflicts with the pagan state religion. Emperor Constantine legalized the practice of Christianity in 313 (Edict of Milan), and it became the state religion in 380. Many Germanic barbarians (400-500 AD) had previously adopted Arian Christianity as Roman Mercenaries, eventually adopted Catholicism to ally themselves with the papacy and monasteries. By the time of Constantine, the state of apocalyptic expectation must have worn rather thin (every year after Christ was to be Armageddon). The imminent coming of Christ, expectation of the Last Day on this mortal sinful earth constituted radical social danger. The spirit schism of the old Jewish law being so widely separated from new Christian mysticism (including all the gnostic cults), “was not so very different from the Roman spirit itself” (Weil), with all the Roman sects and cults within the Pagan pantheon and the Republic vs Empire schism. Rome could come to terms with the Jewish-Christian God, perhaps because it fit with the uncompromising empire model which was needed to maintain taxation obedience, if not martial law.

 One faith or state monopoly is too powerful for one entity to wield over all humanity, no matter how benevolent or wise they are. The artificial ‘ring’ of central authority must be broken, to allow for more democracy and at least better representation. The rebel fellowship that fights the power will be flawed, and when they take power in the vacuum of revolution, they must admit responsibility for the flaws and put themselves on trial by seeking council from those who want peace, love, and sharing the most.

Cultural Middle-Ground

Posted in Atheist/Agnostic, Cooperative collaboration, Critical Commentary of Civilization, Ethics & Morals, Languages, Pagan, Religions, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 2, 2020 by Drogo

Most of us can be called poly-cultural in some major aspects in our lives. It is common to be part of a culture to some degree, while being part of other cultures or sub-cultures (religions, sects, social movements, political parties, ethnicities, etc). Like in Middle-Earth, there are many cultures that merge and create new cultures; talking about middle ground or coming to terms with other cultures, religions, ethnicities, or sub-cultures.

What religions, nations, or ethnicities am i 100% a part of? American? Depends on the definition and what the percentage means. I could say i am 100% American in that i am a natural born citizen of the USA and it includes so many other cultures; but North American USA DC christian style to be specific. Yet when i break that down it is not well defined beyond geography. Although part christian, i would be called a heretic by other christians to question dogmas like “jesus was perfect” (which is a classical question within christianity). American english with major influences and deviations into other languages and idiosyncrasies which are “wrong” by any institutional standard (besides SCOD).

Methodist – florida, iowa, harpers ferry

Catholic – st johns, franciscan, student

Agnostic – means i ask questions and hold positions which are heresy

Atheist – i think it is possible and probably to some degree there are no gods

Pagan – i worship Nature, FLW, organic, trees, death, neo-pagan

I like to find common points of agreement with Christians and people from other cultures. I talk on the phone or in person with as many religious people as i can, to work on moral theology. Brother Father Jay Hess was right in that mystery is ok in belief, we do not always need to have strict definitions for everything. In fact it may be impossible to agree on not only all religious concepts; but even linguistic semantics, as languages evolve and living languages flow organically and never totally conform to rules during the period. What is popular in speech or writing may deviate from grammatical dogma and the lectures of scholars. There will even be those who like to argue more than get along, rather to resolve any problems.

“There has been constant debate over the classification of ethnic groups. Membership of an ethnic group tends to be associated with shared ancestry, history, homeland, language or dialect and cultural heritage; where the term “culture” specifically includes aspects such as religion, mythology and ritual, cuisine, dressing (clothing) style, and other factors. By the nature of the concept, ethnic groups tend to be divided into subgroups, which may themselves be or not be identified as independent ethnic groups depending on the source consulted.”

Middle ground or meeting someone part-ways (half-ways is ideal), negotiating for cooperation in community vs exiling and isolating by exclusion and neglect. This is how to avoid holy wars, and strive for peace. We can make peace with our enemies, assuming we are capable of it with our friends and families to some extent. Peace, love, and sharing are 3 great ways to practice faith in humanity, no matter our religion; and this is another ethical concept I am happy to say many people I talk to can agree on no matter their belief system. The most basic moral code being the ‘Golden Rule’, which is preferred over ‘An Eye For An Eye’; although treating others well being dependent on self-esteem and attitude (how we want to be treated) is another debate for an essay on ‘the limits of love’ probably.   [Audio Draft]

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The Problem with Taking Religion Seriously

Posted in Ethics & Morals, Religions, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 27, 2019 by Drogo

Christianity forced itself on me when i was a boy, and it constantly tries to get me to submit and sacrifice to the authority of its Churches, so I feel that I always have a right to speak out about it. 

Christianity cannot help itself, it is designed to convert others. When I am critical of Christianity I do it not as a native repelling an alien invader, but as a Christian who wants to try to be something more than what tradition and convention dictated. I am constantly reminded of inescapable antiquated social limits that I will always be contained inside by living in current US culture. We can all agree on some basic ethics and habits (like washing and sleeping and cleaning), but needing one book or a god to tell us is a bit juvenile.

Being able to resist and deconstruct Christian authority is important because it is insipid. Christianity by design gets into all aspects of culture, from churches to schools and governments. Based on the rebel family unit, the slave religion was devastating to the Roman Empire because people were peacefully protesting authority by resisting as sacrifices unwilling to function for the Empire. Rome of course solved this by adopting the slave religion as the state religion, and therefore to resist authority became Christian heresy. The Bible has several passages not only of arrogant egocentric God-level pride, but also dictates about spreading the word to the heathens, so it is constantly on a mission of conversion. If one chooses not to be a Christian in society for the past several hundred years, they must constantly be on guard and resist by every means possible, which means not only ignoring conventions, but also at times mocking the insanity of dogma. Although the Bible says that God is too jealous to be denied his power, joking about religion is certainly a good test of its power. 

This same problem of aggressive religious authority also applies to any fundamentalist religion. The problems of power are not confined to religion, but also apply to government in the form of conservative Nationalism. The Nazis did not need Jesus to act like the Popes of the Crusades.

Religious Symbols vs Political Racism

Posted in Atheist/Agnostic, Legal / Laws, news, Pagan, Religions, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 23, 2018 by Drogo

Geometry is not Racist

Religious symbols of Christianity and Paganism are used by racist groups like the KKK and Nazis, but their politics are so full of hate the only religion that racist groups could really claim would be an evil type like Satanism (whose practitioners are usually better behaved than racists), since most Christians and Pagans have no racial doctrines or racist dogmas. Many of us work hard to cleanse our religious practices of those among us who seek to harm others unjustly based on aggressive hostile ignorance. Religions and cultural practices thrive that are based on good-will towards others, hospitality, and celebrating life and sharing.

Simple abstract religious symbols are void of racial prejudice by their nature and historic use. Crosses, runes, spirals, or any other universal symbols are barely the property of any faith, and certainly will not be only used for evil purposes. Even the swastika should not be shunned by most people anymore, as the Nazis should have never been allowed to get the political power they did, which is really what allowed them to restrict other people from wanting to use what was previously a cross-cultural ancient symbol.

Yes racists have the right to protest too (1st Amendment to the US Constitution), but the crimes their leaders were put to death for after WW2 are still crimes no matter who does them in the future. No militarized police force of brown shirts or even SS black shirts will save racist hate from humanitarian justice. Tolerance of extreme intolerance only goes so far, for so long. The more that we are loving to each-other, the less people will want to show hate, even towards those who still want to use hate to harm others.

Blessed be, in the name of the Goddess.

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Commentary on Saint Patrick

Posted in History, Pagan, Politics, Religions, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on April 19, 2018 by Drogo

Reasoning behind understanding Patrick as a Roman-Briton Invader at War against Pagan Ireland

If many of us as modern commercialized Americans consider ‘The Confessions’ of St. Patrick as objectively as possible, we might compare his compelling dogmatic rhetoric to a persuasive sales pitch from a sincerely corporate sales-person, and we could forgive Patrick any lies or half-truths or religious metaphors presented as true, but are literally false (like miracles). Militant Atheists will not be so kind as many of us might. Many of us want to respect the feelings of members of our family that are conservative Christians regarding the ‘Santa Claus’ fundamentals of what is conventionally considered ‘religious faith’ or belief in super-natural mythological metaphors (aka historical fantasy fiction). While some of us might have no such restraints in criticizing a deeply flawed historically political institution descended from the Roman Empire.

One odd thing that bothers me about the text that we are expected to believe belongs to an actual historic person named St. Patrick, is that it tells us in the beginning that he is biased against the Irish because he was a foreign Roman-Briton who was taken captive by violent natives. Therefore we understand why Patrick would feel inspired by Arthurian political powers in his contemporary homeland, which were extremely bigoted against all Pagans; including Irish Gaels, and Gaelic Scots, and Scottish Picts. Much like St. Paul, St. Patrick seems to be spewing religious propaganda as a cultural war against Pagans.

Patrick (Padraig) son of Calpurnius was born around 400 AD in Roman Britain, to a family with a (male of course) line of Christian priests. At the age of 16 he was captured by a group of Irish pirates. The raiders brought Patrick to Ireland where he was enslaved and held captive for 6 years. Could a teen named Patrick have written a text like that against his kidnappers? It sure sounds convincing that someone in his position would have a ‘come to Jesus’ moment, and be dead set on getting revenge on all those he holds responsible for his abduction and enslavement. It could also be similar to the way that ‘deep states’ use propaganda to start wars (Gulf of Tonkin, Kuwaiti Babies Killed, Weapons of Mass Destruction).

Saint Patrick was more Arthurian than Irish.

Round Table vs Owning ‘Equals’

Posted in relationships, Religions, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 17, 2018 by Drogo

This essay was inspired by my love of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.

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Main lessons of Arthurian Legends = Round Table: Good, Violence over Jealousy: Bad.

One of the stories within the legends focused on the Arthur, Guinevere, and Lancelot love triangle as being ‘doomed’ by its very nature; a tragic assumption which I hope to show is just the wrong way to learn from the past. It is easy for a testosterone bully or romance junky to say “the main lesson is to be faithful to the laws of marriage and the Bible, and never ‘cheat’ or ‘take’ another man’s wife”. Monogamy terms of possession are worth entire essays alone, but should envy itself truly always lead to misfortune? Celtic sensibility and wisdom of the Goddess argues against such immature interpretations. In our youth, we may be forgiven such hormonal and primal envy, but as adults we should be more considerate about the meaning of Love.

Christian culture has viewed women as possessions, and loyalty in marriage to be based entirely on spouses ‘owning’ each-other’s bodies and hearts. Owning hearts, minds, and bodies until death has often been a form of self-imposed but culturally encouraged and enforced slavery (certainly there have been blissfully happy mutual slaves that lead fairy-tale romance lives without much fighting or if there was tons it was worth it). Fidelity of monogamy often infamously leads to immoral behavior such as fits of rage and violence against people who are considered objects of jealousy. Property rights over people as cause for war was infamous in Homer’s ‘Iliad’ (Fall of Troy), and this illogical false justice has been perpetually mistaken as righteous wrath even by adults ever since.

Promises we make to each-other probably should be more attuned to who we are as people, and respect reasonable individual tendencies and realistic expectations based on natural desires and evolving social ethics. Possessing someone’s heart or even shared holding of bodily space, is not the same as ownership.

Friendship is the best basis for any relations. Can’t we all just get along? Some will always say “no”, and good luck to those making the best of things no matter the labels.

Dante’s Christianity

Posted in History, Poems, Religions, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 2, 2017 by Drogo

Christian Hell, Purgatory, & Heaven

Dante Alighieri (1265-1321) was a major Italian poet for writing a very famous religious fantasy book called ‘The Divine Comedy’. Dante is called the ‘Founder of Italian’ because he wrote in Tuscan vernacular ‘vulgar’ dialect, rather than traditional or ‘proper’ Latin. Dante used a poetic literature style for his novel, which used the 3-line rhyme scheme (terza rima). Dante’s depictions of Hell, Purgatory, and Heaven have inspired a large body of religious art, and influenced Christianity itself. His ‘Divine Comedy‘ represents the medieval mind combining religious and romantic imagery. Dante’s quest for his ideal love ‘Beatrice’ represents the soul’s journey towards God. Dante draws the reader into his transcendent fictional memoir by sharing common life phases, famous and infamous names, and biographical details. Dante called it a ‘comedy’ because the plot proceeds from turmoil to a happy ending; but the story is certainly a mixture of many genres. Fans that refer to it as ‘The Inferno‘ are usually most fascinated by the horrible torture scenes in Hell. Fear of Hell is very compelling for many Christians, fed by the classic ‘fire & brimstone’ sermons. Purgatory is similar to the torture myths of Sisyphus and Prometheus, with a spiral upwards. The Garden of Eden crowns its summit. The 7 deadly sins are cleansed in Purgatory, so loving sinners can earn going to Heaven. Heaven is made of celestial rings crowned by the golden Empyrean pyramid containing the essence of God. There are 9 ring levels each with 1 final chief control center, for a total of 10 layers per realm.

Dante’s book is similar to classical adventures in Hades, where the hero visits the realm of the dead and returns to the land of the living to tell the tale; except for Catholics there are 3 realms of the dead where heavenly ‘Paradise’ seems not within the Underworld, and with Purgatory takes the place of Mount Olympus. There are references to the Roma-Amor mirror dichotomy palindrome of public duty and private love, Sunwise vs Anti-diasil spiral procession, and Plebeian Secession.

Medieval Italy had a political struggle between Guelphs and Ghibellines. Dante was part of the Guelphs, who favored the Papacy over the Holy Roman Emperor. Florence’s Guelphs split into factions around 1300: the White Guelphs and the Black Guelphs. Dante was among the White Guelphs who were exiled in 1302 by the Lord-Mayor.

The last word in each of the three canticas is stelle (“stars”).20171201_151134