1. a divine command, esp one of the Ten Commandments of the Old Testament
2. Or one that is good because of moral convictions?
Or maybe these Ten Commandments are just suggestions?
Are some believers just selfish and follow God's suggestions to get rewarded “in heaven”?
During prayers on Yom Kippur, Jews ask for forgiveness of a long list of sins they may have committed.
In God's name...
The questions humans have been asking since the dawn of history...
Who are we?
Why are we here?
What is our purpose?
Is there a purpose?
There is a need for people to have a purpose, a need to know. That is where God comes in. The omnipotent God.
God knows all. God has a purpose for us. We just need to follow.
But I have questions.
How dressing a certain way helps the purpose? How wearing a beard advances the purpose? How covering up women, hiding their beauty, helps the purpose? How spending one's life worshiping and praying serves the purpose? Is our reason for living to dedicate our life to God and then to die and go to heaven? And then what? What do you do when you get there? Live happily ever after?
Doing what? Just existing? Like cows? Then the question, what is happiness? God created humans for a purpose, for a reason. People are not cows. Most of us cannot be happy just existing. Is the omnipotent God so small, so selfish to demand people to worship him? Is it because of God's lack of self-esteem? Aren't we making God smaller by by attributing all the petty things we are doing in God's name? Aren't we degrading ourselves by by not allowing men and women to sit together or shake hands?
I do think there is a high intelligence out there. And, if it is so, I believe that we are a part of it. Just like each cell is a part of our body, parts of us. We are inseparable from that vast intelligence just like ripples in the ocean are the ocean.
We humans have free will and that is how it is meant to be. Fanatics or “true believers” have done a lot in the name of God. Good and bad. But so have the non-believers.
Are fanatics just selfish servants of a selfish God?
I think that many who are following these religious laws to the letter are just avoiding responsibility for their own lives, avoiding the need to make decisions in their lives.
God tells them what to wear, what to eat, when to worship. And they follow these laws to the smallest detail. And that gives “true believers” their purpose: to serve God.
But why does God need their prayers?
I guess nobody knows. But they believe. And that absolves “true believers” of trying to understand life's purpose. They believe in their God. And they do not have to know, their God knows.
There may be a vastly higher intelligence and humanity is a minuscule part of it. This intelligence postulated the basic laws of the Universe and the Universe functions according to these laws.
Laws like gravity, weak and strong force, thermodynamics and so on.
I think one of the basic laws is the law of natural selection. And God is not involved in micromanagement.
So God, in my opinion, could care less whether one wears a burka or nothing at all. And people are using God's name for their own convenience and as an excuse for their actions.
There is one word that can describe any organized religion...Hypocrisy.
Sweet Jesus, let her get her period?
What the hell is that bump on my nose? Don't let it be cancer.
God, what do I write about today?
Thank you lord, I will write about you!
Wait a moment, I know nothing about you. I Google "God;" select "images" and up pops over 2 BILLION pictures. However, not one would qualify as acceptable identification for voter registration in Wisconsin.
I could peruse volumes of words produced by PhD's, Doctors of Divinity, and clergy wearing all l kinds of funny hats to find out about you. But truth be told, not a single scolar would have verifiable firsthand knowledge. Many have debated and cogitated over how the concept of you developed and changed over time; you know, that Zeus to Jesus thing.
That's it, you are a concept. And until I am convinced otherwise, you shall exist only as a concept. If I openly declare a nonprovable concept is a tangible thing, I run the risk of being classified as delusional. I have enough problems; I don't need more tsouris.
It probably makes little difference if people believe the nonprovable. Some of my best friends and family members are delusional. Kids believe in Santa and the Tooth Fairy. Many of us pray that a loved one gets better. People ask for god's help to survive all kinds of life crises. What does it hurt? Probably little, unless, you are a parent who relies solely on god to prevent peritonitis developing from your kid's burst appendix or you have a delusional President.
We should all have gigantic reservations about our Presidents relying on god for advice on making tactical decisions. Delusional Presidents are not a good idea.
The United States Constitution's Sixth Amendment states, " no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States. " We all know this is simply bullshit. An atheist or Humanist being elected President is less likely than the Cubs winning two consecutive World Series titles. MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell recently pointed out that our media virtually never examines a candidate's religion, but it continually demands that a candidate prove that he or she is faithful. One can believe anything as long as one is a believer.
Deist-based religions possess patently ridiculous beliefs, many of which are deleterious to modernity. Rarely do they expunge erroneous beliefs until science proves them wrong or social pressure forces them to back off.
It took The Church of Latter Day Saints 129 years before allowing African-American men to become priests in 1978. Mitt Romney was 31 at the time. Of course this is rapid compared to the Catholic Church waiting 390 years to apologize to Galileo for claiming that the Earth revolved around the Sun. Thousands of years have passed, yet the rejection of LGBT people, and inequitable treatment of women continue to be core beliefs of orthodox Judeo-Christian and Islamic religions. God evidently is pretty stubborn.
Let's face it, unless a candidate is a raving, delusional zealot, he or she must be aware that some of the tenets of their religion are nuts. If humanity is to survive, it needs to separate its governance from lunacy. Thus:
I PROPOSE: the following brief mandatory religious test for all Candidates for President of the United States of America:
Religious Test for the Presidency
Judaism: "You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against your kinsfolk. Love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD."
Christianity: "Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them"
Islam: “...and you should forgive and overlook: Do you not like God to forgive you? And Allah is The Merciful Forgiving.”
Mormonism :"whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them, for this is the law and the prophets"
Question 1: Do you, as candidate for President of the United States of America, believe in the Golden Rule, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you"? "(Note: you may refer to any or all of the above religious writings for guidance).
Yes ____ No _____ It depends on who the you is ____
If you answered "No" to the above question your test is complete and god help us all if you're elected
Question 2: In your own words, list three specific beliefs or tenets of your religion that violate your religion's "Golden Rule" (Hint: treatment of women, homophobia, revenge, death penalty etc)
Extra Credit: In your own words, list or describe two beliefs held by your religion which modern science has credibly shown to be incorrect. (Hint: Genesis)
If you answered the above questions truthfully, you may be our first honest President. Regrettably, you should know that you are now unelectable.
I am not a person of religion. But I am a believer. I believe that tomorrow at about 6:15 AM the Sun will rise in the East. I believe that people can be good, and I believe in freedom. I believe that those Eighteenth Century, wig-wearing, slave-owning, White guys knew more than just Roman numerals when they composed the documents shaping our country's governance.
The "Founding Fathers" fretted about the balance of power and the protection of citizens' rights. Without the benefit of Microsoft Word, they wrote our constitution, and James Madison, sans Excel, was able to sort and prioritize those rights most in need of protection. Madison brilliantly composed the Bill of Rights, this seminal document consisting of ten amendments delineates those cherished rights. Surely, he must have asked himself, "Where do I start? Which right is paramount? Which right deserves to be numero uno?. "
He somehow reached a decision, and next to Roman numeral one; he wrote,
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."
The first protected right chosen by Madison was the right to practice one's religion, and prohibiting our government from foisting a specific religion on its people.
Why did Madison choose religious freedom as number I? Was it a divinely inspired decision? Was he fearful of a state sponsored religion? Was religion just so illogical that it needed protection from rational thought? I don't have an answer. Perhaps, I could pray for one.
Religion is unique, because it often relies on an ephemeral, unknowable higher authority, an unchallengeable authority, an authority that can and has been used to abridge human rights.
On March 1, 2012 forty-eight U.S. Senators cast votes in favor of the Blunt Amendment. The amendment was cleverly attached to a popular transportation bill. Note; only via senatorial logic could a bill funding roads and bridges for Peterbilts be merged with a bill protecting the church Peter built. The amendment which blessedly failed (48-51), was an attempt to permit employers to avoid providing any federally mandated healthcare coverage that an employer deemed in conflict with his or her moral beliefs. Specifically, it was designed to allow bosses to opt out of providing contraceptive coverage to employees. More importantly, this legislation was probably designed to garner Right Wing Conservative Christian votes by claiming Obama's government was anti-religion.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said on the Senate floor before the vote. "If the government is allowed to tell people to buy health care, it won't stop there. I wonder what's next. This isn't about one particular religion -- it's about the right of any American to live out their faith without the government picking and choosing which doctrines they're allowed to follow."
No Mitch, it's about employers having the right to determine the fate of their employees based on the doctrine or specific faith they professe to follow. It’s about permitting one to impose his or her beliefs on the rights of their employees by limiting their life choices.
Mitch, wouldn’t it be more equitable and fair to add "PROVIDED those actions do not impinge on the life and liberty of others?" The supporters of this bill in truth were not concerned with freedom of religion, they were concerned with women having the freedom to use contraception.
This bill failed, and perhaps this will go away. However, if our Senate shifts to the right, and we get a Santorum-like President, the idea that powerful people might use a religious or moral belief as a justification for bypassing laws protecting the average citizen could be possible, and should be terrifying.
I ask the reader to ponder the following:
Should a boss be able to:
- require women to wear burkas
require that girls be circumcised
- avoid controlling pollution because God will take care of things
- refuse to provide health insurance covering blood transfusions or stem cell transplants
- demand people tithe to a specific Church
- insist that employees say a prayer before starting the workday
- demand that children attend a school that teaches creationism
- require men to wear hats
- forbid employees to have lovers of the same sex
- only hire those believing in a specific God
- fire people for taking the Lord's name in vain (whatever the hell that means) after working hours
- forbid people to drive on Saturday or Sunday
- forbid people from voting for legislators in favor of legalizing marijuana
- forbid people from attending pro-choice rallies
- demand that all little boys be circumcised
- refuse to sell to customers of certain religions
- refuse to purchase from suppliers of different faith
Should people in power be able to treat their employees these ways?
Today, many of the above demands can be legally instituted by religious institutions. Some can be done by businesses. Few can be done by publicly funded institutions. On March 1, 2012, we were just two votes from changing that.
Matt Cole March 6, 2012
Matt Cole is a dad, grandpa, former construction executive and middle school science teacher. As an active member of the Chicago Ethical Humanist Society, he cares about people.
Christian Values and Freedom of Religion
By listening to Presidential Candidate Santorum I pinch myself and wonder if I am still in 21st Century USA.
Since when is being a good Christian, a Christian, or for that matter, being religious at all a prerequisite for being President? I thought that in the USA we have a separation between Church and State, or to be more accurate, between religion and State. Furthermore, when, and by what authority, was it determined that an ignoramus like Rick Santorum be empowered to speak for all Christians?
Below are questions I address to Christian Americans:
Do you understand that your religion is being hijacked by fanatics and demagogues?
Do you understand that what you are saying about the religion of Islam is becoming comparable to Christianity?
Do you understand that some of you are moving back toward the Dark Ages?
Do you want respect from the rest of the world? Do you? (If “yes”, then why are you allowing kooks like Santorum, or Bachmann and Company set the rules?)
Who gave Ayatollah Santorum the authority to speak for you?
Why is being a good Christian a necessary condition to be President of the USA? (How about being a good Jew, a good Buddhist, a good Muslim, or a good atheist?
Why are Christians allowing the Crusaders to set the rules?
Do you Christians have any self-respect?
Is being Christian a requirement to lead this nation, or is it more rightfully a requirement to lead a Church?
It has gotten so ridiculous that there is even discussion on TV and radio if Mormonism is a Christian religion, or if Obama is a true Christian? When somebody says they are Christian, professes to believe in Jesus Christ and goes to church, is that not enough? How Christian must somebody be to be Christian?
So, you do not like Islam because of its:
- denigration of women
- denial of reproductive freedom for women
- dictum that only men can decide all matters concerning women
- denial of freedom of choice (no contraception, no family planning, no prenatal care, no abortions)
- rejection of science
- hatred for gays and lesbians
- disregard for the environment
What country am I talking about? What is your best guess?
I am talking about America, the Theocracy under Ayatollah Santorum.
So, my Christian Americans, you did not like this letter. This letter offended you!
Then do something for your country, for our Constitution; do something for the future of this great Democracy, for your kids.
Take your religion back. Show the world that you are better than that. Please keep freedom of religion alive. Protect and advocate for the Constitutional basic tenet of our country, separation of Church and state. Do not allow fanatics to force your religion on all. Let people decide and follow their beliefs. After all, it is a free country .
Please speak up.
In the name of God, or...
Are hypocrites misusing and abusing God's name?
Obama's God-less Thanksgiving Speech Draws Ire.
“Somebody ought to remind Obama that when Americans sit down around a meal today and give thanks, they give thanks to God,” said The Las Vegas Review Journal’s columnist Sherman Frederick.
Some find criticism of Obama misleading. “Wouldn’t it be nice if the GOP cared as much about jobs as they do about stuff like whether Prez said God in a speech?” tweeted Arianna Huffington.
ABC News pointed out that three of the GOP presidential candidates – former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and former Penn. Sen. Rick Santorum – also omitted God in the Thanksgiving statements they issued.
"Not that anyone needs reminding, but this Thanksgiving the Right Wing hate machine has provided yet another example of the fact that there is NOTHING this President can do for which they will not find a reason to attack him.
He gets Osama bin Laden after George Bush totally ignored him for seven years and they actually claimed (a) that he was still alive, (b) that he was killed long ago; but Obama waited to release the information to "distract" from the "birther nutjobs", and most absurdly (c) that George Bush deserved the credit.
He and the first lady honor our veterans and the brave men and women who serve this nation, and the rednecks boo.
He gets Qaddafi with the assistance of our allies and without the loss of a single American life and they accuse him of violating the Constitution. It's a good thing no one takes the Right Wing seriously any more."
I hate hypocrites!
“Sincerity makes the very least person to be of more value than the most talented hypocrite.”
“The only vice that cannot be forgiven is hypocrisy. The repentance of a hypocrite is itself hypocrisy.”
“The true hypocrite is the one who ceases to perceive his deception, the one who lies with sincerity.”
- Andre Gide
CNN’s Gary Tuchman reported Monday on a fundamentalist Christian couple who killed their 7-year-old adopted daughter while practicing a violent form of discipline.
They reportedly beat their nine children regularly because they thought God wanted them to. Both parents were jailed after pleading guilty to the crime and the surviving children are now in foster homes.
Hypocrites and liars
Adulterers and corrupt politicians
All kind of criminals
Priests and mullahs
Schizophrenics of all kinds
What do all of them have in common? God!
They speak with God. They have God’s blessing to do what they do: to cheat, to lie, to kill, to screw thy neighbor. They are “God-loving” hypocrites who are quick to accuse others of crimes they themselves commit.
“In God we trust”. They commit adultery and then ask God for forgiveness; they commit crimes in God’s name and accuse others of not mentioning God in public speeches. They molest children and claim special privileges to speak to God. They commit mass murder in the name of God.
Hypocrites in Congress reaffirm “In God we trust” while denying health care to war veterans and 9/11 responders.
“In God we trust” while invading Iraq, causing death and destruction, and destroying our economy.
Hypocrites accusing Obama of not mentioning God while supporting adulterers and liars like Newt and Cain.
Bragging about being God-loving and deeply religious as they do nothing to help millions of children living in poverty.
Hypocrites that deny funds to Planned Parenthood and choice for women while ignoring children born into poverty and hopelessness
You disgust me!
You have no right to use God’s name to justify your lies, your crimes and your hypocrisy.
God gave us free will.
So don't use God as an excuse for your actions.
You, and only you, are responsible; you are hypocrites...and you deserve your Karma.
Being an "author" for a blog has its pluses and minuses. Ranting and raving is fun. Occasionally an audience pays some attention to my incoherent utterances. The downside - it takes work. It can be a struggle to think of original, clever and pertinent entries. It is especially bothersome and upsetting when the essence of ones upcoming blog entry evaporates due to forces beyond ones control.
A few days ago, this secular humanist (per Newt Gingrich, the penultimate threat to the American way of life) was about to launch into a tirade against our nation’s religious establishment. My targets could have been: religion’s denial of scientific knowledge; its intolerance of gays and lesbians; the assault and oft-violent campaign to curtail a woman’s right over her own body; the intolerance of non-believers; or simply its attack on separation of church and state. But, my choice was none of these.
I decided to unleash my unabated fury on religion for its deafening silence and lack of protest as the Republican Party embarks on a mission to concentrate the wealth of this country in the hands of the privileged few at the expense of the poor, the weak, and the vanishing middle class.
This old liberal remembers priest, ministers, rabbis, and nuns facing, snarling dogs, water cannon, and racist sheriffs in the quest to secure civil rights the disenfranchised. Images of men and women in religious garb being arrested as they protested our government's role in Viet Nam are easily revisited in my mind's eye. The clubs and tear gas versus clerical collars made for great photojournalist images, and touched and changed the heart of this nation. Where is that moral indignation now?
Rick Warren, the invocator at President Obama's inauguration remains silent; the son of Billy Graham endorses the Trumpster, as the G.O.P. unanimously endorses the Ryan Budget which will remove the safety net for the most fragile segments of our population.
I had my subject; I had my material and then to my utter astonishment… my complaint against religion, my vengeful rage is undermined when, unexpectedly, a group of Catholic academics delivers a letter to Speaker of the House Boehner in reference to his upcoming commencement address at the Catholic University of America. The missive simply blasts Boehner and his party:
“Mr. Speaker, your voting record is at variance from one of the Church’s most ancient moral teachings…….that those in power are morally obliged to preference the needs of the poor. Your record in support of legislation to address the desperate needs of the poor is among the worst in Congress.”
I am both delighted and depressed: My blog regarding the deafening silence of the religious establishment is obliterated, but these professors are eloquent and have “God” on their side… so I end my blog and invite readers to visit: