Archive for rule

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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Power Corrupts People

Posted in Critical Commentary of Civilization, Education / Schools, Ethics & Morals, History, Recommendations & Tributes, Spiritual, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 15, 2018 by Drogo

Baron J.E.E. Dalberg-Acton (aka Lord Acton 1834-1902) was a noble English Catholic historian, politician, and writer. Lord Acton knew several major foreign languages. Acton’s linguistic and religious passion may have influenced Tolkien many years later. A fellow Catholic, Tolkien used the literary legacy that power tends to corrupt even the best men, as his main theme. In Lord of the Rings, the most powerful Ring cannot be used as a tool for good by even the best heroes, because they too would eventually be corrupted, no matter their intentions. The revelation seems to be that power is part of Original Sin as described in the the Bible, in the book of Genesis, in the Garden of Eden. The Old Testament myth that humans fell from the grace of godly paradise because we submitted to the evil temptation of power (the apple advocated by the serpent), seems to have found new expression in the words of these men. Acton collected a large historical library for the “History of Liberty”. Acton was politically Liberal, and travelled greatly. Acton loved reading original historic letters. Acton lived at his country house in Aldenham, Shropshire; and served in the House of Commons. Acton admired the U.S. Government for the Constitution, but oddly sided with the southern Confederacy for defending individual citizen liberties against the tyranny of Union Federal empire (while ignoring slavery). Acton was appointed to the Royal Victorian Order, as a Knight Commander (KCVO).

“History is the arbiter of controversy, the monarch of all she surveys.” “There is not a more perilous or immoral habit of mind than the sanctifying of success.” [about Oliver Cromwell] “The strong man with the dagger is followed by the weak man with the sponge.” “Liberty is not the power of doing what we like, but the right of being able to do what we ought.”

In 1887 Lord Acton wrote his most famous quote:

“…I cannot accept your canon that we are to judge Pope and King unlike other men, with a favorable presumption that they did no wrong. If there is any presumption it is the other way, against the holders of power, increasing as the power increases. Historic responsibility has to make up for the want of legal responsibility. Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority, still more when you super-add the tendency or the certainty of corruption by authority. There is no worse heresy than that the office sanctifies the holder of it. That is the point at which the negation of Catholicism and the negation of Liberalism meet and keep high festival, and the end learns to justify the means. You would hang a man of no position like Ravaillac; but if what one hears is true, then Elizabeth asked the jailer to murder Mary, and William III of England ordered his Scots minister to extirpate (destroy) a clan. Here are the greatest names coupled with the greatest crimes; you would spare those criminals, for some mysterious reason. I would hang them higher than Haman (biblical Persian minister in the Book of Esther), for reasons of quite obvious justice, still more, still higher for the sake of historical science.”

He is best known for that remark he wrote in a letter to an Anglican bishop; but according to an editor of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica: “Lord Acton has left too little completed original work to rank among the great historians; his very learning seems to have stood in his way; he knew too much and his literary conscience was too acute for him to write easily, and his copiousness of information overloads his literary style. But he was one of the most deeply learned men of his time, and he will certainly be remembered for his influence on others.”

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Mohandas ‘Bapu’ Karamchand Gandhi (1869-1948) was an Indian Hindu non-violent civil disobedience activist. Gandhi was leader of the Indian independence movement against British colonial rule. Gandhi’s self-sacrifice inspired freedom movements for civil rights across the World. Raised in a merchant caste family in India, he later trained in law in London. Gandhi first used non-violent civil disobedience in South Africa, for colonial civil rights. Returning to India in 1915, he organized farmers and workers to protest against high land tax and bigotry. Leading the Indian National Congress in 1921, Gandhi led national campaigns for social causes and self-rule (Swaraj).

Gandhi helped India challenge the British salt tax by marching in 1930. In 1942 Gandhi called for the British to leave India. He was imprisoned for many years, upon many occasions, in South Africa and India. Gandhi lived modestly in a community and wore a traditional hand-spun Indian dhoti and shawl. Gandhi was vegetarian and took long fasts for spiritual and political reasons. Muslim Nationalism (Pakistan) and Gandhi’s Hindu pluralism in India helped to force Britain out of India in 1947.

Displaced Hindus, Muslims, and Sikhs migrated; and religious violence broke out in Punjab and Bengal. Gandhi visited the riots to help and fasted to stop religious violence. Hindu nationalist conservatives criticized and assassinated Gandhi. Gandhi’s birthday is commemorated in India as a national holiday, and worldwide as the International Day of Nonviolence. As with all martyr heroes that lives real lives, Gandhi had many human flaws of the sort that might be emphasized more when historical writers express loss of popular favor their cults.

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John Ronald Reuel Tolkien’s work was certainly influenced by the events of the World Wars, despite his public refusal of metaphor speculation. ‘The Lord of the Rings‘ explores abuse of corrupt power, by considering that the temptation of use of power can eventually corrupt anyone. The One Ring of Power created by Sauron promises great power, but eventually corrupts all who use it. Even good people are corrupted by lust for the Ring because of its power to rival Sauron, and by using its vast powers even the lightest souls darken. The ones best able to carry the Ring are innocent souls with meager ambition, and the best they can do with the Ring is to destroy it.

Tolkien said these words about power: “The proper study of man is anything but man, and the most improper job of any man . . is bossing other men. Not one in a million is fit for it, and least of all those who seek the opportunity.” [Letters #52] Tolkien believed that leaders should be judged by their example, more than common people are judged [James 3:1]. Power and authority allow for the most terrible things. The misuse of power often ruins leaders and followers who allow the abuse to happen. Vigilant active citizens will demand wise balance.

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Power within us and others is clearly our responsibility; not only to control our own will power to keep it within reason, but also to influence the power that we allow others to hold over us and others. If citizens cannot control their own leader’s passion for power from within a government using democracy, then it will be left up to other governments in other countries (see World Wars). The conclusion to the problem of power is perhaps best summarized by Spiderman in Marvel Comics – “With great power, comes great responsibility.”