My Mazamet

Life at № 42 by E.M. Coutinho

Christianity and the Strong Arm of the Law: Do the religious not trust themselves?

This was from the former Pink Agendist Blog posted in January of 2014, but happens to unfortunately be relevant yet again.

Council of Nicea

“Christianity has had, since its inception, an obsession with moulding the law to subjugate entire populations to the tenets of the faith. By the year 321 Constantine had criminalized work on Sundays, prohibited Jews from stoning those who left the Jewish religion for Christianity and required all soldiers to gather on Sundays to recite a prayer to the ‘almighty God’. In 323 the emperor imposed a law against idol-worship, statues, divination, and against pagan sacrifices. In 332 Constantine forbade heretical groups to assemble. Their buildings were to be surrendered to the Catholic Church*. From then to now a barrage of prohibitions and restrictions have been thrust upon the public- and it is here we must ask: Why? Legalizations force no one to behave in any particular way. They leave each individual the choice to look at issues and arrive at their own conclusions. The need to involve the law in matters of faith can only be evidence that either Christians don’t trust themselves or they do not trust each other. Further, it is evidence Christians wish to interfere with the freedom of religion of others by obstructing the rights of free citizens to choose their own faith or no faith at all.

(*For a complete list of 4th Century Imperial Laws regarding religion click here)

Over the centuries that followed early Christianity, the church was involved in all manner of arbitrary prohibitions, including on issues such as abortion. In the 5th century St. Augustine wrote of the “delayed soul” (originally an Aristotelian concept), this meant males were “given a soul” 40 days after conception, females only received theirs on the 90th day. In practical terms it meant abortion within the first 3 months of pregnancy was permitted. St. Geronimus on the other hand stated that an abortion was only wrong once the foetus retained a clearly human appearance (4th month). In the 12th century the church introduced new terminology to define the theories of both St. Geronimus and Augustine, fetus animatus and fetus inanimatus.
Pope Sixtus V was the first pope to entirely prohibit abortion (in canon law), but his successor Pope Gregory XIV went back to the animatus/inanimatus theory, and prolonged the period of abortion to 116 days. It was actually only in 1869 when the church turned its back on its history and omitted the animatus/inanimatus concept from canon law hence taking an absolutist and generalized stance against abortion (with the short exception of Sixtus V’ths 3 years of power). I’d make a joke on Papal Infallibility here, except the Papl Infallibility doctrine was also only defined at that same point in time: 1869.

The example above is merely an illustration of the erratic nature of religious belief. One that on the grounds of erraticism alone should not be used as a parameter of morality or ethics.

Today we continue to see various factions of Christianity still involved in attempting to coerce society into following the tenets of their faith through the proposal of blanket prohibitions- rather than following the tenets of their faith themselves. The New Statesman’s exchange involving Cristina Odone and Robin Ince is a prime example. Under the guise of defending something that has never been under attack, Ms. Odone wants to celebrate a conference designed exclusively to attack the lgbt community and gay unions. Her right to marry heterosexually is alive and well- but as history has shown, that’s not enough for a certain sector of Christians. They feel the need to bring down the strong arm of the law because their belief system, obviously, can’t withstand scrutiny or reason. It cannot stand alone. To this end, we have seen a steady decline in Christian belief and practices in countries like Spain and France where they can no longer dangle the sword of Damocles over the heads of those who who refuse to subject themselves to archaic and ignorant Christian mythology.”

I see the current defence of Alito’s position is to say this is being thrown back to state legislatures, which is a fascinating eschewing of responsibility. The place of high courts in democracies around the world has been to balance the rights of minorities and majorities therefor avoiding tyranny. Imagine sending slavery or female voting rights back to states so they could decide?

147 comments on “Christianity and the Strong Arm of the Law: Do the religious not trust themselves?

  1. Steve Ruis
    May 6, 2022

    Brilliant post (then and now). I must apologize for my people being so backward and bringing up issues that should have been settled long, long ago.

    When people make claims such as “In the 5th century St. Augustine wrote of the “delayed soul” (originally an Aristotelian concept), this meant males were “given a soul” 40 days after conception, females only received theirs on the 90th day.” we must ask, loudly and persistently, how the heck would he know? Clearly these “church fathers” were making shit up right and left. And we haven’t called them on all o fit, so it keeps popping up.

    Call Bullshit! Call Bullshit! loudly and persistently.

    Ask “how do you know this”?

    Liked by 4 people

  2. foolsmusings
    May 6, 2022

    With the dawn of real scientific enlightenment here, it’s seems the Christian fanatics will stop at nothing to drive us back into the dark ages.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. notabilia
    May 6, 2022

    Tour last question is the perfect framing of this “debate,” and yeah, these are idiots more preposterously dug-in in their stupidity than any social critic ever foresaw after the alleged enlightenment of the 60s.
    But what happened to secular humanism in France? Why did Melanchon suffer another ignominious defeat against the Blairite Macron and the KKKer Le Pen?

    Liked by 2 people

    • The Pink Agendist
      May 6, 2022

      France has been fractured for all of its history. Just consider the groups during the revolution, nobles, bourgeoisie, workers. The same forces are still at work today. Melenchon is more popular than ever before but Le Pen has decades of (successful) tactics behind her.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. inspiredbythedivine1
    May 6, 2022

    I’m soooooooo glad I live in America where religion is a separate thing from the law and freedom reigns. I…..wait……never mind.☹️

    Liked by 4 people

  5. tildeb
    May 6, 2022

    I don’t know what all the fuss is about. Everybody knows only transwomen are women and they don’t need abortion services. Women are now ‘persons’ just like everyone else and so only half of them might ever need such services so it makes sense that only half of the states in the US need to provide it. Besides, even the newest supreme, Ketanji Brown Jackson, doesn’t know what this ‘woman’ word means because she’s not a biologist so I’m sure all this hoopla is really over nothing at all.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Pink Agendist
      May 6, 2022

      Personally, I think abortion is important enough a topic it’s best to avoid tangents 😊

      Like

  6. dpmonahan
    May 6, 2022

    Constantine was based.
    Alito’s decision is correct: in the U.S. the legislators should make laws and judges apply them. The law which SCOTUS applies is the Constitution, but that doesn’t make them super-legislators.
    If the legislators have to decide through ordinary political processes we will probably get abortion laws that more resemble those of France rather than China.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Pink Agendist
      May 6, 2022

      Based?

      Like

      • dpmonahan
        May 6, 2022

        Per Urban dictionary:
        “A word used when you agree with something; or when you want to recognize someone for being themselves, i.e. courageous and unique or not caring what others think. Especially common in online political slang.
        The opposite of cringe, some times the opposite of biased.”

        Liked by 1 person

      • The Pink Agendist
        May 6, 2022

        Sorry, I’m 44 and not very in touch with slang terms 😬

        Liked by 1 person

      • dpmonahan
        May 6, 2022

        I’m 43 and spend way too much time scrolling twitter when I am supposed to be working.

        Like

    • The Pink Agendist
      May 6, 2022

      Shouldn’t legislators, working in good faith, try to find actual solutions? I’m not saying there should be abortion after 15 or even 12 weeks — but it makes sense that if there’s a rape, incest, a terrible mistake, that there’s some amount of time or window to fix it. Right?

      Like

      • notabilia
        May 6, 2022

        There should be no forced births. If other lunatics want women have to take their zygotes to full term, then they should have that child themselves, with all the potential injuries and deaths and tuition bills and therapy sessions that childbearing brings on this blessed rock.
        Women need full and constant access to contraception, men needs condoms, children need to be wanted and supported, anti-humanist legislators need to be made to run for the hills, and anti-trans commenters need to shipped to some Stone Age desert to live out the rest of their lives in monotheistic comfort. Fair enough?

        Liked by 2 people

      • The Pink Agendist
        May 6, 2022

        The floor is yours. Certainly no forced births, but there is a line that should be clearly taught that if precautions aren’t taken, decisions need to be made quickly.

        Liked by 1 person

      • dpmonahan
        May 6, 2022

        I don’t think abortion is ever morally licit (except for ectopic pregnancies – you can argue if that is really the intentional killing of the fetus or an unintentional side effect) however politicis is about prudence. So I think the proper solution is the most restriction that is politically possible.

        Like

      • The Pink Agendist
        May 6, 2022

        So rape babies are a good thing?

        Like

      • dpmonahan
        May 6, 2022

        The baby is a very good thing, the rape no. As for legality, whatever is practical.

        Like

      • The Pink Agendist
        May 6, 2022

        I’d love to know how. How is the baby a good thing? In America today there are 2.5 million homeless children. Homelessness being a precursor to a whole range of horrors including drug use, sexual exploitation and the like. Good thing?

        Like

      • dpmonahan
        May 6, 2022

        I like babies. Never had kids myself so I can always hand them off to their moms when they get stinky, maybe that biases me.
        The homeless issue is awful, a sign of something sick with our society, but that doesn’t mean the homeless have no dignity. I’ve been guilty of shitting on the homeless but the reality is I get along pretty well with them when I meet them. Pre Covid I was the guy they could always bum cigarettes off. But the solution to homelessness can’t be aborting them in anticipation. It is probably a lot of tough love and some kind of national employment / industrial policy that the Democrats used to promote.

        Like

      • The Pink Agendist
        May 6, 2022

        My question isn’t about aborting the homeless but rather how does a society that enforces birth protect those who will be born? It cannot be that a situation is forced upon beings and then they are left to perish. That would be the ultimate in cruelty.

        Like

      • dpmonahan
        May 6, 2022

        Enforcing birth is a weird concept. Reproduction is normal and natural, that is why there are 7 billion of us. I think abortion is a sign of sickness, like homelessness, but that doesn’t mean every social problem has to be solved before addressing the effects. There will always be unwanted children and homeless people, but I think a more stable and traditional society will reduce that.

        Like

      • The Pink Agendist
        May 7, 2022

        Traditional like in Victorian times? Abortion is a sign something went wrong. The higher the levels of sex education and access to birth control, the lower the rates of abortion. I
        That formula where people were forced to marry because of an accidental pregnancy was not ideal. It led to a whole lot of unhappiness, dysfunction and even violence.

        Like

  7. notabilia
    May 6, 2022

    That would be great idea to be “clearly taught,” but there is this one problem in the US: theocratic murder chimps have insured that only Christian precepts of kill and hate can now be taught in America’s prisons/schools. Where to turn, where to turn?

    Liked by 2 people

    • The Pink Agendist
      May 7, 2022

      My theory is they could care less about abortion. It’s simply a tool to exercise control and create in/out groups. Not unlike how they use sexual orientation.

      Like

      • notabilia
        May 7, 2022

        People, of the gibbering chimp variety, can end up wholly deformed and disfigured by their defining culture, with “belief” not mattering so much inside their demyelinated brains as much as fervid incoherent repetition of received propaganda. but then you a genial, well-adjusted host who is very kind to the flotsam who comment here.
        Anti-abortionism is pure forced-birthism, and it is a sign of idiocy, immorality, and a lack of debating skills. Who in their right mind thinks it important to force a stranger to have a child, when they themselves are such wanton killers of “life”?

        Liked by 1 person

  8. acflory
    May 6, 2022

    Religion is soft power, pure and simple. As such, it’s not at all surprising that rulers would use it in conjunction with hard power [the military/police] to keep their populations in line. The surprise, for me, is that a country supposedly founded by Puritans came up with a constitution that specifically separated Church and State.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Barry
      May 7, 2022

      Some states were founded by Puritans, others by more liberal religious groups, including Quakers. There is a very practical reason why religious groups might want to separate Church and state: not wanting a different religious group from their own being in cahoots with the state.

      That played out in Aotearoa New Zealand in the mid 19th century when the public education system was established. Originally there was not going to be a ban on religious teaching in schools, but all the churches were so afraid of a different church getting the nod to do the tuition, that all the churches pressed for no religion to be taught. So when the legislation enabling the public school system was passed, education became free and secular by law. To this day religion can not be taught in public schools. School premises are permitted to be used to teach up to 20 hours of religion per year, but they must be officially closed during that time.

      I do disagree with your statement that religion is soft power, pure and simple. It may often be that it’s true but it doesn’t have to be, and isn’t always true. Ultimately, religion is a total mode of the interpreting and living of life. It’s human institutions, or more specifically those who exercise control of such institutions who manifest power, and in this respect religious institutions are no different from any other type of institution created by humankind.

      Liked by 2 people

      • acflory
        May 7, 2022

        Thanks Barry, what you say about competition between different religions does make sense. I knew there were Quakers in the US, but I didn’t know they were powerful enough to exert that kind of pressure.
        I wish Australia had followed New Zealand’s lead with regard to religious education in public schools. We got that wrong. 😦
        Re soft power…I should have said ‘organised religion’. I was raised a Catholic and have first hand knowledge of the exercise of that soft power at all levels. But the origins of Christianity were not like that. As Pinky pointed out in his article, it was not until the Emperor converted to Christianity that the rot set in and beliefs were /enforced/.
        If by institution you mean structures such as the legal system or banking etc, then I have to disagree. Only organised religion enforces its power by damning people in the afterlife. For relatively primitive people, that’s a degree of power above and beyond anything wielded by mere secular institutions. Think religious cults instead of the relatively mild religious institutions we see these days.

        Liked by 1 person

      • The Pink Agendist
        May 7, 2022

        Are NZ and AU partners now?

        Liked by 1 person

      • acflory
        May 8, 2022

        Partners? We’re more like kissing cousins. Sovereign but affectionate. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      • Barry
        May 8, 2022

        Australia acts as our older and somewhat bullying sibling, but we get along fine when we share a common foe. Aussies have a different perspective – see acflory’s comment 🙂

        We hate each other with a passion when we’re competing against each other in sporting events, but when either of us is knocked out, all is forgotten and we transfer that passion to the other nation.

        Like

      • acflory
        May 11, 2022

        Yup. 😀 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      • Barry
        May 8, 2022

        Pennsylvania was founded on Quaker principles and and was governed using Quaker practices until well after they became a minority in their own state. A number of other states were also founded on principles that had much in common with Quaker thought of the time. But you are wrong in assuming Quakers were powerful as Quakers have a belief in the absolute equality of everyone. They were influential by way of example, not because of power (Quakers believe in “right action” more so than “right belief”). The concept of a civil constitution founded on a permanent constitution originated within Quaker thought and theology of the time, much of which was manifested in the US constitution.

        The problem with any human institution is that it can be abused by those seeking power, and while perhaps organised religion is the most often abused institution, I observe the Capitalist system has been abused on many an occasion, not by damning people in an afterlife but by damning them in this life. While we might debate which is the most powerful, both can have had a devastating effect on individuals, communities and even whole nations. For example, America’s interference in the affairs of many nations: is the primary motivation, political power, economic power, military power, or religious power? As I see it, religion is the least significant motivator, although it might be used to gain domestic support for questionable foreign policy.

        If I recall correctly, it was under Constantine, that Christianity become the official religion of Rome but he himself did not “convert” to the religion until nearing the end of his life (possibly as a “get out of jail” card just in case Christianity turned out to be true). He used and abused religion to consolidate his power. Nothing much has changed in the following millenia.

        My experience is the opposite of yours. I grew up in a secular household. My father was either an atheist or an agnostic (religious belief was a topic he refused to discuss), but more than anything else he opposed organised religion with a passion. So it created an internal conflict when my mother came out as Christian when she was in her 50s and joined a liberal/progressive baptist congregation. I’m not sure that he ever fully resolved that internal conflict, as he was supportive of my mother’s membership of that congregation while still expressing an opposition to organised religion in general and expressed intense dislike of one or two of the congregation leaders who had, shall we say, a more conservative Christian perspective.

        I became involved in an “organised religion” some time in my thirties or forties. The timing is vague as I didn’t “convert” to the religion. I happened upon a religion that was consistent with beliefs I had held since my early teens, felt “at home” in it, and I remain part of it to this day.

        Liked by 2 people

      • acflory
        May 8, 2022

        I’m Australian, hence the ignorance of US history. So, Quaker thought influenced the creation and form of the constitution? That’s power in my book. A good form of power but power nonetheless. 🙂
        My mother was a Catholic, my father wasn’t, but when they married, he agreed to have any children they might produce raised as Catholics. That led to a curious situation where Mum would go to Church for Xmas and Easter, but Dad would walk /me/ to church every Sunday because he was a man of his word.
        Dad was a gymnast/engineer/violinist/philosopher, and he taught me to think and question. But I didn’t find out that /he/ was an atheist until I came out as one at the tender age of 16.
        So my experience has been almost the exact reverse of yours.
        I’m still an atheist, but I have no problem with people who do believe so long as that belief is ‘real’. By real I mean that it was reached after deep questioning. Imho, a real belief is one that informs your whole life and everything you do in that life. It sounds as if you’ve found that belief. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Barry
        May 8, 2022

        a real belief is one that informs your whole life and everything you do in that life” That’s very similar to the definition of religion as defined by perhaps NZ’s greatest theologian, Sir Lloyd Geering: “Religion is a total mode of the interpreting and living of life.”.

        Liked by 2 people

      • acflory
        May 8, 2022

        lol – I most definitely do not equate belief with religion. The exact reverse in most cases because every religion I have ever studied demands faith and acceptance from its followers, not questioning. You arrived at your faith via questions, questions that your chosen religion answered to your satisfaction, so your beliefs are in sync with who you are and how you live your life. You are fortunate. 🙂

        Like

      • Barry
        May 8, 2022

        [E]very religion I have ever studied demands faith and acceptance from its followers, not questioning.” In that case you haven’t studied every religion. If it demands anything, my faith tradition demands one to be open to new sources of inspiration and knowledge no matter where it comes from. A faith not open to new ideas is dead. We have no creed(s) or declaration of faith. That’s why within our faith tradition (there’s around 1200 of us in NZ), you’ll find theists, non-theists (which I am), deists, agnostics, atheists, pantheists, panentheists, humanists, animists and more. While the faith tradition I belong to may be universally “liberal” in NZ, most other major traditions here also have liberal, progressive, postmodern or post-theist branches as well. I suspect the situation in Australia may be somewhat similar, but perhaps to a lesser degree.

        Like

      • acflory
        May 9, 2022

        hah! You’re right, I’ve barely scraped the surface of the organised religions available world wide. That said, I’ve never ever heard of one that encompassed so diverse a congregation. Are you sure it’s not a philosophical society???
        Sorry. I shouldn’t be flippant. May I ask what beliefs you do share, apart from being open to new ‘sources of inspiration’?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Barry
        May 9, 2022

        Well the word “religious society” are the first and second word in the English version of our name. In Te Reo (the Māori language) we’ve been given a name that loosely translates as “the faith community that stands shaking in the wind of the Spirit”. The movement originated out of Christianity and through almost 400 years of evolving tradition we continue to use many Christian terms although our understanding of what they might mean has changed. For example, we strongly believe there is “that of God in every person”, but if you were to ask four of us what that actually means, you’ll likely get five very different answers, although all of them will likely preface their response with words along the line of “I cannot speak for other members of the society, but this is my understanding…”

        God can be a supernatural entity in the manner of traditional Christianity (although I’m not aware of any in our local community who hold this view. They might, but theology is considered to be a personal matter and should not be subject to scrutiny), an energy, the cosmos, a collective human yearning, a spirit (as in supernatural or in terms similar to “human spirit”), a metaphor for something that feels greater than the self, a set of values – all very different and yet we can find a commonality in our understanding of those representations. I’m a non-theist, but I find religious metaphors (from both Christianity and Māori spirituality) describes my personal experience/reality better than other forms of language. So what unifies us? God only knows 🙂

        Actually we all have similar values that can be summarised by the acronym SPICES (Simplicity, Peace, Integrity, Community, Equality and Stewardship). We also practice a unique method of decision making somewhat akin to consensus, yet different. I’m trying not to proselytise, as it’s not something we practice. As to it being a philosophical society, perhaps for some members it might be approaching that, but for most there’s a spirituality that they find meaningful, and to use another of our commonly used expressions, “speaks to their condition”.

        Mainstream Christian denominations still view us as being within the wider Christian fellowship although a majority don’t consider themselves Christian. Fundamentalists and Evangelicals consider us a very dangerous and heretical cult.

        Liked by 2 people

      • acflory
        May 9, 2022

        Wow…a broad ‘church’ indeed. I’m uncomfortable with spirituality per se, but I do like your SPICE values. For me, my beliefs are closest to the old Greek concept of Eudaimon – basically attempting to be/become the best I am capable of being.
        Thank you for a very interesting discussion. I’m thrilled that Fundamentalists and Evangelicals worry about you. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      • Barry
        May 9, 2022

        If spirituality per se makes you uncomfortable, would you be more comfortable to think of spirituality in terms such as “the quality of being concerned with the human spirit or soul as opposed to material or physical things” or perhaps “a search for meaning, for purpose and direction in life – to fulfil our need to have a foundation for living, a path or way of life in the light of a larger context”.

        Spirituality, religion, worship can take many forms. What’s right for one person might be very wrong for another. What’s right for me today, might not be right for me in the future. Does it really matter whether one experiences spirituality in terms of the supernatural, metaphysical, as an abstract idea, a metaphor or simply as a human emotion? Surely it’s what one does with the experience that matters.

        I had to refer to Wikipedia and Britannica to discover the concept of Eudaimon, and it’s not one that appeals to me personally, but hey, whatever floats your boat 🙂

        I’m thrilled that Fundamentalists and Evangelicals worry about you” I think they’re past worrying. When we’re described as a demonic cult, the work of Satan, and that “True Christians” must not associate with us, as some fundamentalist literature has stated, you know they are not concerned for our souls 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • acflory
        May 9, 2022

        I guess it’s the ‘greater context’ bit that makes me uncomfortable. I see my beliefs – and I do have them – as 100% personal. My definition of being a ‘good’ person/the best I can be, is also personal, but it does intersect with the outside world in that not causing harm is very high on my list of things a good person must do. That’s basically my empathy at work.
        On a purely pragmatic level though, reason tells me that no society can survive for long if the strong are allowed to prey on the weak. So simple survival dictates that an egalitarian society is likely to be the strongest.
        Hmm…got a bit carried away there. Anyway, I consider Fundamentalists and Evangelicals to be evil. Not because of what they believe, necessarily, but because of the harm they do, both on an individual level and at a societal level. :/

        Liked by 3 people

      • The Pink Agendist
        May 9, 2022

        Really? Didn’t European society survive for nearly 2000 years on aristocratic inequality?

        Liked by 1 person

      • acflory
        May 9, 2022

        I know you’re tweaking me Pinky because we both know that the history of Europe is one of almost constant war with some societies collapsing while others rose. The emergence of a middle class paved the way for more stable societies. Now we’re going backwards again.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Barry
        May 10, 2022

        Don’t confuse ‘larger context’ with ‘greater context’ or ‘greater good’. There’s a very big difference. I understand ‘larger context’ to mean the environment within which I live – socially, environmentally, politically, and economically, etc. These contexts I perceive as being larger than myself but not greater than myself. I am part of them and they are part of me. But remember this understanding of spirituality is my understanding of spirituality. They apply to me, not necessarily to anyone else, but I think it is a theme that would align with the majority of those within my faith tradition.

        Liked by 2 people

      • acflory
        May 11, 2022

        I agree with your definition 100%, Barry. In all honesty, your position and mine are almost identical. I need to ask though: why the ‘faith tradition’ at all? Genuine question.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Barry
        May 11, 2022

        (a) because from the moment I first encountered them I felt, for want of a better description, ‘at home’ with them.
        (b) because the metaphoric use of religious language ‘speaks to my condition’
        (c) because I’m in the company of people who share the same values and embrace and make adjustments for individual differences, be they LGBTQIA+, or as in my case being autistic.
        (d) because I know of nowhere else where theists, deists, non-theists, agnostics, atheists, animists, Wiccans, Christians, Buddhists, and Muslims have a shared “spiritual” experience, even though each group’s/individual’s experience of what that entails is different, and yet understand that each and every experience is just as valid as another

        For us it’s what we seek/desire. For others it may be meaningless. Each to their own.

        Liked by 1 person

      • acflory
        May 11, 2022

        I can understand the desire to find community, especially about something as fundamental to life as what one believes. I guess I don’t share that desire because my early experiences biased me against anything that even hints at communal pressure. I know you say there is none, but I know myself – I like to please people. Not saying that would happen in this case, but making sure it didn’t happen would cause a degree of stress I do not want.
        Individual differences. Gotta love ’em. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Barry
        May 11, 2022

        It was the very absence of pressure to conform that made me feel at home unlike anywhere else. You refer to communal pressure as a reason for your bias. I can appreciate that. All my life I have had to pretend to be somebody I’m not: a neurotypical person. And it is exhausting. Outside my whānuā, my faith community is the only place where I don’t experience constant pressure to conform and where I don’t receive criticism or worse for “failing” to make eye contact, read body language or immediately comprehend non-literal language, or for being “too honest” in what I say, speaking in a monotone or having an aversion to crowds, bright lights or loud noises.

        Liked by 1 person

      • acflory
        May 11, 2022

        I was an outsider growing up so I can relate to how you feel. Apart from a few very close friends, I didn’t find real acceptance until I became a writer/blogger. Feeling ‘at home’ is so important. I’m glad you’ve found a safe haven, Barry. -hugs-

        Liked by 1 person

    • The Pink Agendist
      May 7, 2022

      Great things came out of the enlightenment period. If only those messages kept being spread at the same rate.

      Liked by 2 people

      • acflory
        May 7, 2022

        I guess the truly surprising thing is that the effects of the enlightment lasted as long as they did. These days it feels as if we’re headed into a repeat of the Dark Ages.

        Liked by 2 people

      • The Pink Agendist
        May 7, 2022

        Have you heard of the Antikythera mechanism? That was designed in the second century BC. Guess how many years after that people were claiming the earth was flat?!?

        Liked by 1 person

      • tildeb
        May 8, 2022

        There you go: patterns. There’s a reason clerics specialized in celestial motions and this dates back to the Babylonians (with star charts of some 5K bodies in motion).

        Liked by 3 people

      • acflory
        May 8, 2022

        Yes!!!!! It’s one of the great wonders of the ancient world. I read up on it some time ago when I was trying to work out if primitive [sic] people could come up with a mechanical timepiece [not just a sundial].
        If I had to guess I’d say 2.. 2.5 thousand years???

        Liked by 1 person

      • Barry
        May 9, 2022

        Your comment regarding sundials, brings to mind an acquaintance who complained that the sundial he bought was faulty. No matter how carefully he followed the instructions to set it up, it was wrong the next time he looked at it. Turned out he’d bought it on line from somewhere like Amazon or ebay and they delivered a perfectly good working one…

        …for the northern hemisphere!

        He’d ordered it for the correct latitude (40°) but apparently there wasn’t an option for choosing which hemisphere. It never occurred to him nor the supplier that 3% of the world’s population live south of the Tropic of Capricorn.

        Liked by 2 people

      • acflory
        May 9, 2022

        lmao – our toilets spiral the opposite way as well. 😀 But..only 3%? I thought there were more of us combined than that. No wonder we’re usually ignored.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Barry
        May 9, 2022

        Yep 3%. About 9% of the human population live south of the equator, but most of them live north of the Tropic of Capricorn, so some Aussies are excluded from that 3%.

        A bit of useless information (I have made a lifetime practice of collecting it): only 4 nations lie entirely south of the Tropic of Capricorn: Eswatini, Lesotho, Uruguay, and New Zealand.

        Liked by 1 person

      • acflory
        May 9, 2022

        Those figures are mind boggling. Given that a good part of Africa lies below the equator, a goodly percent of that 9% must live there. That means South America, Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, Papua and most of the Pacific Island nations are very sparsely populated, at least in comparison to the northern hemisphere. As for the Tropic of Capricorn – congratulations! As a Victorian I believe I qualify too. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      • The Pink Agendist
        May 9, 2022

        We’ve got China and India which go a long way!

        Liked by 2 people

      • acflory
        May 9, 2022

        Mmm…I forgot about those two mega nations. Still, doesn’t it seem odd that most of the humans on the planet huddle up there, north of the equator? It’s much nicer down here. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      • tildeb
        May 9, 2022

        Barry did say the very few countries entirely south of the Tropic of Capricorn, so the comparison would be with countries entirely north of the Tropic of Cancer, which are many and account for a significantly higher percentage of population. But then… that’s where there’s land!

        Land masses mostly above the equator give the appearance that the global distribution appears to be lopsided with most of the it north of the equator. But this is not a coincidence. The majority of land is perpendicular to the axis of rotation while Antarctica lies along the axis. (For the land in between, I’m pretty sure this might be why the world’s weirdest creatures end up there… going against the flow, so to speak. The people? Well, let’s just say they’re rather an unusual batch. Look at what they did to the English language!)

        Liked by 3 people

      • The Pink Agendist
        May 9, 2022

        The crowded nature probably also contributes to our propensity to war.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Barry
        May 9, 2022

        I can’t speak for the South Africans and Aussies, but I reckon we Kiwis have improved the English language significantly – perfected it even 🙂

        Liked by 3 people

      • The Pink Agendist
        May 9, 2022

        LOL!

        Like

      • acflory
        May 11, 2022

        You’ve added fush ‘n chups to the vernacular, but I’d say both our countries are still trying to convince the rest of the world about our value. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      • Barry
        May 11, 2022

        And don’t forget that one of our favourite pastimes is six 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

      • acflory
        May 11, 2022

        Silly me! -cough- Yes, six is very popular over here as well. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      • tildeb
        May 11, 2022

        Fair dinkum.

        Like

      • acflory
        May 9, 2022

        Oi! lmao We’re unusual and proud of it. 😉
        Re the landmasses though, not sure I understand the axis of rotation bit. Are you saying that rotation pushed/pulled those landmasses north? Apologies. Geography was my worst subject. 😦

        Liked by 1 person

      • The Pink Agendist
        May 9, 2022

        I think he’s saying the criminality kept your toilets going in an odd direction. Apparently Scott Morrison’s toilet is like a reverse tornado as it sucks away any sense of morality and decency from an entire continent 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

      • acflory
        May 9, 2022

        -giggles- Oh well said! But not from the /whole/ continent. We have a federal election coming up in May and I’m praying that those he hoodwinked the last time have finally seen through his ‘daggy Dad’ personna. He’s a menace.

        Like

      • tildeb
        May 10, 2022

        Acflory, the land mass is (almost entirely) spread out but mostly perpendicular to the axis of the planet’s rotation rather than perpendicular to the sun. We are so used to thinking of this planetary ball as ‘centered’ where the day equals night that we forget that relative to that line (the equator) we divide the planet into ‘north’ and ‘south’ of it. This is useful but arbitrary. This gives the appearance that the majority of the land is ‘north’ of that line… and it is. But, in fact, the center line should be relative to the spin of the planet – the ‘axis of rotation’ – in which case the center line should be ~30 degrees north latitude, which (if my rough math is correct), is about perpendicular to the wobbly axis. Does that help at all?

        Liked by 1 person

      • The Pink Agendist
        May 10, 2022

        This picture should help

        Liked by 1 person

      • acflory
        May 11, 2022

        -frowns- I see what you mean about the earth’s axis, and the equator. I guess this is just one more example of the ignorance that saw everything from the perspective of human beings – flat earth, sun circles the planet etc.
        I must admit though, it’s hard to get my head around the idea. Highlights just how arbitrary much of our perception of the world really is. Ok, that was stupid. Of course it’s arbitrary… 😦

        Like

      • tildeb
        May 11, 2022

        Well, the criteria may be arbitrary (in this case the angle of the sun), but any and all measurement is relative to that selection which allows us to accurately compare and contrast. So because the angle of the sun is of such importance to us wee little beasties and has such a dramatic affect on how we manage, it’s a pretty good ‘arbitrary’ selection. Very useful.

        But it’s also an essential aspect of understanding not just climate and weather but how the planet itself – independent of people – works by energy exchange. That can be extrapolated to other planets, and so on. Thought of this way, the criteria people use for this stable positioning of sunlight on the planet is actually not really humancentric but a fruitful insight into how reality operates.

        So the key observation about more land north than south and asking, “Why?” is not just the right question to gain insight but a means to see something from a different perspective (the tilt of the planet’s axis) and then enjoy the ‘Oh!” moment when a new understanding is gained. I think that’s cool.

        Like a spinning top that is wet, it’s interesting to see the water fling away perpendicular to the axis of rotation and gain an understanding of what we call centrifugal force looks like. The world’s landmass is really no different in undergoing the same effect and lining up by centrifugal force around the perpendicular axis. Keep the spin the same, but tilt the top (and pretend there’s no gravity forcing it perpendicular to the world!) and imagine that is the earth spinning through space. We would expect to find the the land perpendicular to this axis and, lo and behold, that’s what we find. Throw in some plate tectonics also trying to align, and, lo and behold, we get a good grasp of how the various plates generally move.

        All that (and so much more) by observing something, being puzzled, and then asking a question. It’s great.

        Liked by 1 person

      • acflory
        May 11, 2022

        -grin- I definitely experienced that “Oh!” moment. And yes, it is very cool. Makes the brain feel as if it’s suddenly expanding. I did not expect to experience such a moment during a discussion about religion!

        Liked by 1 person

      • The Pink Agendist
        May 9, 2022

        Life is easier where we’ve “domesticated” the planet. I don’t know about Australia but I’ve always had the impression in South America and Africa that nature is always trying to invade and take over. A constant battle with the elements.

        Liked by 1 person

      • acflory
        May 9, 2022

        Most of Australia is like that too. Our cities are tamed, but even there, floods and bushfires can sweep in and destroy what we’ve built. The irony is that the very domestication of the planet is going to end up killing us if we can’t curb our greed. In the last two years we’ve had an inferno of fire that raged across three states on the east coast, and just recently we’ve had devastating floods in much the same areas. A few decades back, these events would have been called 1:100 year events. These days they’re happening at ridiculously short intervals. The planet is flexing its muscles and we’re learning, slowly, that all our tech is powerless in the face of such might. :/

        Liked by 1 person

      • The Pink Agendist
        May 9, 2022

        Your people seem very untamed to me!

        Liked by 1 person

      • acflory
        May 9, 2022

        Why thank you. 😀

        Like

      • acflory
        May 9, 2022

        p.s. our arrogance is at least partly due to a conditioned belief that man is connected to the ‘divine’ and so has a right to despoil the planet. Organised religion again.

        Like

      • Barry
        May 9, 2022

        Adding to tildeb’s contribution, approximately 33% of the Earth’s land is south of the equator, and that includes Antarctica – not really conducive to high density living (unless you’re a penguin). And according to Wikipedia, 95% of the world’s population is concentrated on just 10% of the world’s land. Although it doesn’t say so, most of that 10% must lie in the northern hemisphere.

        Knowing that 9% of the world’s population lives on 33% of the world’s land, it’s quite obvious that the northern hemisphere is much more densely populated than the southern hemisphere.

        Liked by 1 person

      • acflory
        May 9, 2022

        You’re both right in what you say, but it’s not something I’ve ever consciously thought about before so…it’s kind of a shock.

        Liked by 1 person

      • The Pink Agendist
        May 9, 2022

        The 3% toilet issue?

        Liked by 1 person

      • acflory
        May 9, 2022

        Erm…yes. ^.0

        Like

      • The Pink Agendist
        May 9, 2022

        Only 3% of your toilets spiral the wrong way? 😀

        Liked by 2 people

      • Barry
        May 9, 2022

        No,. All our toilets spiral the correct way. 97% of the world’s toilets spiral the wrong way 😁

        Liked by 2 people

      • The Pink Agendist
        May 9, 2022

        I’m not sure that’s how one should read statistics!

        Like

      • Barry
        May 9, 2022

        Being in the majority doesn’t make one right. It just means you in the majority.

        Besides, being upside down we have a different perspective 😁

        Liked by 1 person

      • acflory
        May 11, 2022

        Tsk, tsk, Pinky. You’re not being biased are you? -winks and runs away-

        Like

      • acflory
        May 9, 2022

        -cough- No! All our toilets do. :p

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Barry
    May 7, 2022

    To answer the question you pose in the title of this post, I say it’s not religions that distrust each other but human beings exercising what seems to be a common human trait – distrusting those who are in some way different from themselves. Every minority that has ever existed has been only too well of that fact. Religion is but one example. Race is another, as are cultural differences. So too are minority expressions of sexuality, of gender, and of neurology. All of these differences have been restricted/banned/criminalised at various times. Some of these differences have been considered so different that they’ve been categorised as disorders. In my lifetime expression of anything other than being straight and cis were both illegal and considered a medical disorder. Being neurodivergent is still considered a medical disorder and being somewhat less human. Perhaps in the early stages of human evolution, being suspicious of those who were different might have been a survival advantage, but now it does more harm than good.

    Liked by 2 people

    • The Pink Agendist
      May 7, 2022

      There’s a compounding problem in America which is that there’s an actual industrial religious complex which exploits wedge issues for profit.
      Where they can fabricate discord and fear, they can fundraise.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Barry
        May 7, 2022

        Reluctantly, I think I think you’ve hit the nail on the head. Discord makes money for a few, fear for the ill informed and exasperation for the informed.

        Liked by 2 people

  10. Anonymole
    May 7, 2022

    Religion’s purpose as social glue metastasized into a whimsical, ever malleable power grab as those controlling the reins grew comfortable in their station. It continues to this day. Religion is a societal cancer.

    Liked by 3 people

    • tildeb
      May 7, 2022

      Well, I think organized religion is cancerous… sometimes benign, sometimes malignant, sometimes toxic…. and not just to the host. But religious belief itself can also be not only a source of life affirming myth but an ordered and principled companion. Sometimes its effects are like the very best fiction that moves us in various ways to be better versions of ourselves even though we are perfectly aware of suspending our disbelief to enter the narrative and extract the good bits. The same problems then arise when some try to insist it’s the religious fiction is true, factual, historical, and a blueprint on how everyone should live in the name of god-sanctioned virtue… especially when the organs of state are then used to impose elements of this fiction on everyone as if it were The One True Virtuous Belief. That’s when you know it’s metastasized into the worst kind of malignancy. And that’s what the majority of Supreme Court is doing: imposing their belief on the precedented law of the land because they know better.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Anonymole
        May 7, 2022

        Well said.
        It’s rather too bad the spiritual aspect of religion, largely its original purpose, is now lost entirely in the factional segregation it now represents. There’s too much money on the line these days.

        Liked by 1 person

      • The Pink Agendist
        May 7, 2022

        Was spirituality its original purpose?

        Liked by 1 person

      • tildeb
        May 7, 2022

        As in animating spirit/breath, I suspect, of all things in motion… so it MUST have some kind agency.

        Liked by 1 person

      • The Pink Agendist
        May 7, 2022

        I’ve always suspected it was a con from the beginning. Spirituality, like Hygge, is just a means to selling candles.

        Liked by 1 person

      • tildeb
        May 8, 2022

        Motion caused by agency – whether we can sense it or not – is pretty well the standard explanation for millennia around the world. Because agency implies motive, we get people trying to understand the world through our own motives and so the gods and hidden agencies we don’t understand take on human attributes and characteristics.

        We are very good at finding and identifying and labelling patterns and so we can create entire pantheons of such ‘spirits’ in a world filled with motions while attributing our own feelings – also hidden… perhaps in the spleen or heart or gut – as the ‘spiritual’ conduit. By assigning images as if terms – each of which is like a box of attributes and motives – we can use images that represent this box inside narratives to describe larger patterns. I’m thinking of how myths to describe pretty important stuff in life, stuff that helps teach generations of people how to find great meaning doing mundane stuff, are a universal language and I think this imagery to describe agencies of ‘spirit’ screwing with us in life aligns very well with the imagery we experience during sleep. So I suspect imagery, meaning, spirits of motive and agency, all lead us to what we call ‘religion’ in the sense of being a small part of something much larger and with only so much influence. The various ‘religions’ have particular imagery with particular meaning we take on board because our biology comes equipped to speak this natural language. Hence, each kind of religious belief is very much geographical, but the notion of possible hidden agencies global. I think this is just as tapped by the entertainment industry (everything from superheroes, swords and sorcery, to vampires and muggles) as it is by the clerics. And I think we find all this stuff somewhat appealing because it fits so easily with our ‘natural’ language that assumes motion means agency.

        It’s really quite remarkable given this head start in our biology that more of us aren’t completely drawn in to the hidden agency and the motivated oogity boogity model. Even Plato tried to convince everyone that whatever was real was just the shadow and it was the philosopher’s job (not the clerics) to describe the metaphysical forms that were real. (That’s what the western Churches took on board wholesale and still use this model to defend its metaphysics and oogity boogity as if real and reality the testing ground for the real afterlife! Too bad we know language – including imagery – follows reality (or it would be gibberish) and not the other way around as the agency advocates – religious or philosophical or political – would have us believe organizes and manipulates the reality we inhabit.

        I don’t think spirituality is going anywhere any time soon. It’s too appealing to – and stimulating of – our ganglia.

        Liked by 3 people

      • acflory
        May 11, 2022

        My Dad thought religion was the opiate of the masses. I tend more towards your description. The pre-frontal cortex that controls logic and reason is kind of new in our biological development. So yes, we see patterns in clouds and create gods and demons in our own image.

        Like

      • tildeb
        May 11, 2022

        Marx – a well know anti-semite and unquestionable racist (why hasn’t he, the father of wokism, been cancelled yet, I wonder?) – was describing the social (group-based) role of organized religion in industrial societies:

        “Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions.”

        This sentence precedes the ‘opiate of the masses’ quote, not because religious belief addles the brain like an opiate but because it is used to alleviate terrible conditions in the here and now (with magical thinking).

        So my comment was aimed at the biological roots for the religious impulse – to assign causal agency to the ‘breath of life’ (spiritus) we assume causes motion. It’s as ancient as we are but, like many ‘natural’ impulses we have, needs reason and respect for what’s true and knowable to corral.

        Liked by 2 people

      • acflory
        May 11, 2022

        Oh. My. God. I cannot thank you enough. I always thought my Dad made up that saying. And yes, he used it in the way you describe – to alleviate terrible conditions in the /now/. We disagreed on that point, which is perhaps why I remember it. At 16, I believed that everyone would be better off if only they forgot about religion and used their heads.
        Ahem.
        I had no idea Dad was quoting Marx because Dad was as anti communist as you could get. He fought in the 1956 Hungarian revolution against the communist regime, and when it failed, he had to get out or face Siberia, or worse. Taking us with him was a last minute decision by my mother.
        You have literally illuminated a piece of my past. Thank you. 🙂

        Like

      • tildeb
        May 12, 2022

        I think you and I were fortunate to hear from those who were able to get out of the iron curtain countries. (I travelled inside the old Soviet Union and was in Prague when the Russians occupied it so I know what a thousand tanks looks, sounds, and smells like.) Some of the most earnest voices warning against the political extremes unfolding throughout the self-immolating West today busy attacking our liberal foundations to the cheering of the ‘virtuous’ are from those who have also experienced what groupthink looks, sounds, and smells like. I wish more of us would listen.

        I spent time on a huge Australian sheep farm and was in awe of how the dogs would run around the edges of the selected group of sheep very low to the ground, busy nipping and angling those sheep closest to the edge back into the obedient herd and how quickly the rest of the sheep would flow in the way least directed by the dogs. (I was also impressed how the farmers could whistle… something I’ve never been able to do well.) I can’t help but feel we in the West are experiencing exactly this by the ideologues from the political extremes biting and tearing at those few people who try to stand against the manipulation while the rest of us close our mouths, see nothing, and move away from those who would tear a chunk out of us for daring to disagree with the ideology.

        In this sense, belief Marx’s dogged groupthink of Us and Them and acting accordingly as if true is just another kind of religious belief so effective against the independence of the sheep (only flocks are real, I guess). Replace the SCOTUS leak overturning abortion rights with identical reasoning for, say, voting rights, and one should be able to grasp the scope of the judicial betrayal.

        Liked by 1 person

      • The Pink Agendist
        May 12, 2022

        How about whistleblowing? What if it turns out the conservatives were testing the waters with the leak?

        Like

      • tildeb
        May 12, 2022

        There’s a reason for the repeated leaks and we know it’s coming from the Republican side of the appointees. As to the ‘why’ I can only guess.

        But it’s ironic that the same court that overturned a buffer zone around abortion clinics in the name of not disrupting the public’s right to demonstrate puts a non-scalable fence and cement dividers around the Supreme Court to keep those pesky demonstrators far away. I guess there’s a right kind and wrong kind of demonstrator when it comes to this issue and the Supreme Court knows the difference. Maybe that’s why it’s losing the public’s trust and has support and confidence of only a minority of the public. That’s not good.

        Liked by 1 person

      • The Pink Agendist
        May 12, 2022

        I’ve read some interesting theories. I suppose now we have to wait to connect the dots. Roberts would just have to convince a single one of the conservatives to change sides if he can come up with a better option.

        Like

      • acflory
        May 13, 2022

        I was only three and a bit when my parents escaped from Hungary, so I didn’t experience the reality of the communist regime until I returned to Hungary as a young adult. The fear of the blue-coated Avos was palpable, and despite having an Australian passport, I quickly learned to surreptitiously cross the street, duck into a shop, head in a different direction when I saw those blue coats heading towards me.
        Culturally, the Hungary of 1973-74 was the worst of both the capitalist and communist regimes. People had so little, they would do just about anything to get /something/. I was told of young girls selling themselves to foreigners for a pair of pantyhose. Everyone had somewhere to live and a job so no-one starved, but very few were ‘happy’.
        I believed then, and still believe now, that Marx had no idea what human beings were actually like. We are capable of being socially responsible, but we’re also capable of extreme greed and selfishness.
        For me, the bottomline is that any political system that ignores the reality of human nature and takes ideology to an extreme, will eventually fail. And that includes the soulless version of neo-liberal capitalism rife in most of the Western world.
        Totally agree about these ideologies being akin to a religion. And yes, the implications of overturning Roe v Wade are absolutely chilling. How on earth can something like this happen in a country that values individual freedoms above all else?

        Like

      • tildeb
        May 13, 2022

        In our case, it was the dark coat thugs that always traveled in pairs following us all the time in Russia and Poland and East Germany. And we were always asked by every young person we met about trading for 1) blue jeans, and 2) toilet paper. The essentials, I guess.

        You ask, “How on earth can something like this happen in a country that values individual freedoms above all else?”

        And the answer I think is one step at a time replacing (or forgetting) principle with some version of ‘virtue’… whether religious or ideological… where some pigs are more equal than other pigs.

        Liked by 2 people

      • acflory
        May 13, 2022

        -shiver- Your thugs sound even more sinister than mine. If they were KGB or is it GRU? for the internals? Either way, their reputation is grim.
        By the time I visited Hungary, the regime had loosened up just enough to give the populous something to lose should they rise up again. Sounds as if the Russians were even worse off than the Hungarians.
        -sigh- Yes, I guess some pigs are more equal than others. We have pigs here in Australia too. :/

        Liked by 1 person

      • Anonymole
        May 7, 2022

        The Great Spirit? Why the sun rises? Why the wind blows? Why the rain falls? Spiritualism morphed into Gods because, of course there were entities like us wielding their powers, right? And then it all went downhill from there.

        Liked by 1 person

      • The Pink Agendist
        May 7, 2022

        Or, did we just want to find a way to control the rest of the group?

        Like

      • Anonymole
        May 7, 2022

        The shaman was the powerful one. I’ve often wondered about the first imagineer who dreamed up a god. Who thought “Zeus”? Or Gaea? Or Chronos or Chaos? What was the purpose? Did they take than and make story around a campfire? And it just evolved? And if you could control the narrative… Well… You could control your tribe, your village, your city.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Barry
        May 8, 2022

        I’m convinced that they were/are narratives that have evolved over generations and it’s unlikely to have been the invention of one person. Stories are passed down from generation, and kids being kids, will ask questions the narrator hadn’t thought about so adds enough information created from his own imagination or experience to satisfy the listener. That gets incorporated into the story telling of the next generation. Of course there’s always the possibility that that a narrator may deliberately modify a story for their own ends, but how often, I wouldn’t like to speculate.

        When I was a child, my mother would read us stories but my father would tell us stories. I had no idea where they came from but on one occasion when my grandfather stayed, he told us a story that was similar but not identical to one my father told. A younger brother constantly interrupted Granddad to “correct” him.

        I told those stories I learnt from my father to my children and my daughter has carried on the tradition with her children. Recently one of the my grandchildren decided to tell me a story he assumed I wouldn’t know. I did of course, but I was quite surprised how different it was. Most minor players had been given names instead of being known by their role, some events were in a different order, and the protagonist was a different gender. However the “moral of the story” remained the same as when I first heard it but slightly different from how my grandfather told it.

        Liked by 3 people

      • Anonymole
        May 8, 2022

        Cool!
        I wholeheartedly agree with the evolution of mystic and religious narrative. But ‘somebody’ has to start, right? It /probably/ wasn’t a committee who said, we’re going to call the god of drinking and partying, Dionysus. It was some dude, I suspect. And of course, some Roman thief rejected that name and picked Bacchus instead. Did Odysseys even exist before Homer? (If Homer was even real?)
        Wouldn’t it be a cruel joke to learn that all of today’s religions were the byproduct of some archaic game of telephone.

        Liked by 2 people

      • The Pink Agendist
        May 8, 2022

        How dare you question Homer!!! The Simpsons were part of my formative years.

        Liked by 3 people

      • Barry
        May 8, 2022

        He arrived well after my formative years – unless one cares to define one’s early 40s as formative years – so homer’s influence on me has been negligible 🙂

        Like

      • Barry
        May 8, 2022

        Wouldn’t it be a cruel joke to learn that all of today’s religions were the byproduct of some archaic game of telephone.” Well, isn’t that what it is – an intergenerational game of Telephone? However I don’t see that as a cruel joke. I acknowledge that is exactly what my religion is. The narrative changes from generation, and so our religious texts are revised every 1o to 15 years to accommodate changes in belief.

        But stories can remain unaltered and yet the narrative can change. The US constitution is a good example. Fifty years ago SCOTUS interpreted the constitution in a way that opened the way to the autonomy of women’s bodies, and now it appears that the very same institution is about to reverse that decision. Same words, different interpretation. How much more common would that happen when the “law” was not in written form?

        Liked by 2 people

      • acflory
        May 11, 2022

        Spirituality and pragmatism. If the Shaman is a clever person he/she could figure out the patterns and start to predict events. But who’s going to listen to a nerd? A nerd connected to the all powerful Sun, or Lightning, or Fire etc etc, is a different matter, especially when they’re proved to be right. Listening to the Shaman then becomes a survival mechanism.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Bela Johnson
    May 7, 2022

    “The need to involve the law in matters of faith can only be evidence that either Christians don’t trust themselves or they do not trust each other. ” BAM.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Pingback: Christianity and the Strong Arm of the Law: Do the religious not trust themselves? – Nelsapy

  13. tildeb
    May 11, 2022

    And now we have a bunch of ‘victimized’ Republicans in positions of public authority in the US wanting a federal ban on all reproductive healthcare for women and punishments for companies that support out of state access to it if everyone and everything doesn’t go along in all ways with forced birth.

    I know some people will go along with the language of ‘pro life’ to describe a contrary position to allowing legal abortion (for whatever reasons) but in truth these laws are aimed at forcing pregnant WOMEN (not this generic ‘person bullshit) to complete a pregnancy. End of story. That IS forced birth. So I think people should challenge the bullshit language when someone tries to use it regardless of political leanings. If we can’t at least respect what’s true, at least we can respect what words really mean. That’s the first battle.

    Liked by 1 person

    • tildeb
      May 11, 2022

      And so we can see the life of the pregnant woman doesn’t matter a rat’s ass to ‘pro life’ supporters. That’s why they are forced birthers all gussied up to look caring and concerned when they are not.

      Liked by 1 person

    • The Pink Agendist
      May 11, 2022

      Absolutely agree, pro-life is a ridiculous term that should be scrapped. As bad as pro-family when they actually mean homophobic.

      Liked by 1 person

      • tildeb
        May 11, 2022

        I used to write opinion letters to the local newspaper back in the late 80s, early 90s for carrying a “Focus on the Family” weekly piece without balancing this evangelical homophobic screed with something a little more liberal and enlightened. I have to say, I always got published, as if what I said was actually controversial! Even then, criticisms aimed at my commentary were always about my tone! (plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose)

        Liked by 1 person

  14. Arnold
    May 14, 2022

    Clearly to me an abortion destroys a life. Yet according to Christ we’re all guilty of “murdering” others by words and thoughts and actions. So yeah, in general life is a personal choice made free from religion and politics.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Pink Agendist
      May 14, 2022

      Interesting position. I think it’s also good to remember that an astounding 50% of fertilised eggs end up being naturally aborted/miscarried by the body. That makes it a much more “normal” thing than we imagine. I like your use of murdering in reference to words and thoughts.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Arnold
        May 14, 2022

        According to the Bible Jesus wasn’t a social reformer- it took a cross to solve the problem of sin and death. Hard pill to swallow. We choose life amidst what unfolds; I had a near-death and chose Christ a few days later.

        Liked by 1 person

      • The Pink Agendist
        May 14, 2022

        I hope you don’t mind if I ask a delicate question, but the way you phrased that makes it sound like you chose Christianity out of fear?

        Like

      • Arnold
        May 14, 2022

        I think fear was involved, yes. I was indoctrinated from infancy so knew what I was doing; wasn’t an emotional decision.

        Liked by 1 person

      • The Pink Agendist
        May 14, 2022

        Do you think those are good reasons? I was born in a profoundly Catholic world but decided fairly early on I wasn’t buying into the stories.

        Like

      • Arnold
        May 14, 2022

        Look, most of us agree there’s nothing reasonable about Christianity and I’m not buying into it either. I’m in with Christ alone- I live in the moment based on his life in me. Then and only then can I relationship with others.

        Liked by 1 person

      • The Pink Agendist
        May 14, 2022

        I can’t tell if you’re being sarcastic or serious 😊 If you’re serious, then how do you choose which parts to follow?

        Like

      • Arnold
        May 14, 2022

        I’m serious. For me it began with the many parts of Christianity’s creeds etc, and is now narrowing down to only Christ. Takes time and patience.

        Liked by 1 person

      • The Pink Agendist
        May 14, 2022

        Does that mean you believe the bible stories entirely, selectively or just in the idea of a Christ-like figure as god?

        Like

      • Arnold
        May 14, 2022

        Yeah-right! Therefore personal relationship with Christ. “He that has seen me has seen the Father.”

        Like

  15. angryricky
    May 16, 2022

    I don’t remember how I responded to this in 2014, but I wrote an entry on religious insecurity and ethics this morning. I hope you’re feeling well, which sort of implies not looking too closely at the nauseating state of American politics.

    Liked by 1 person

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This entry was posted on May 6, 2022 by in activism and tagged , , , , , , , , .
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