Archive for the god Category

Turning the Other Cheek is Not a Suicide Pact

Posted in arguing with lovely people who are perfectly nice, COMRADE TRUMP, current events, god, philosophy, politics, race, religion on February 9, 2017 by furious buddha

Huck,

Your most recent comment regarding violence in the wake of Trump’s election deserved better than my initial glib response..

First of all, I’m guessing “the violence” you are talking about includes the four African Americans who have been charged with a hate crime for live streaming their kidnapping and abuse of a developmentally disabled white man. Right wing reaction to the crime is predictably hypocritical in the sense that they suddenly set a new threshold for “torture” that is decidedly different from when they are talking about the recipient of the abuse being black or brown; these conservatives also apparently now think that hate crime laws are a good idea. That aside, the attack was perpetrated by people so brutally stupid they broadcast themselves committing it. That they felt pride in humiliating and tormenting a person incapable of defending themselves speaks more shamefully of them than anything that could be written or spoken about them; they deserve the charges being brought against them and to be tried with the evidence weighed cooly in a courtroom. There is no moral question here, but then, unlike conservatives, I make no connection between these four lowlives and people of color in general, any more than I would claim that everyone from Saudi Arabia is a terrorist simply because a majority of the 9/11 attackers, plotters and financing came from there or that because white men are overwhelmingly likely to be the perpetrators of violence in churches I should think that every white man is potentially going to mass murder a Sunday School. The only people that actually want a “Race War” are white and the handful of black people who are as crazy as the four criminally insane ones mentioned above to think they could somehow win a “Race War”.. The population of African-Americans is barely above %10; there is no scenario where they win “Race War”. Trying to connect this crime to Black Lives Matter or otherwise blow it out of proportion is the willful misrepresentation of a fearmonger.

Then of course there is the sucker punching of Richard Spencer, the natty neoNazi everyone’s talking about. Punching Spencer only allows him to play the martyr which is something that conservatives love doing even more than they love accusing liberals of doing it. That’s why he’s standing in public places saying provocative things in front of a camera; he is trying to create a narrative where the barbaric liberals are assaulting the clean cut white guy who is calmly talking into the camera. The Nazis used similar tactics, but the same could be said for a lot of things going on right now. So I am certainly against violence in this case as well. The guy who hit Richard Spencer is Not Helping, and the four psychopaths above certain didn’t do anyone any kind of good.

Violence is wrong, mostly.
Violence is wrong always in a hypothetical sense.
But specifically is where the world happens.

Was Lincoln wrong to use violence to preserve the Union?
Was Roosevelt wrong to pursue war against the Nazis?
Was Truman wrong to drop the atomic bomb?

Is it wrong to use violence to prevent barbaric atrocity?
Would it have been wrong to allow UN forces in Rwanda to use violence in an effort to stop the genocide?

Is it wrong to respond to violence perpetrated by a foreign power upon one’s nation?
Would it have been right to invade Saudi Arabia as opposed to Iraq after 9/11?

Gandhi faced a civilized oppressor in the British Empire that could be shamed by nonviolence into taking just action; how long would Gandhi’s campaign have lasted if the Nazis had been in control of India?

Should we admire the Vichy Government for peacefully collaborating with the Nazis and condemn the French Resistance as a pack of murderous terrorists?

My faith declares that it is the peacemakers who are blessed which is a rather straightforward precept that is easy to comprehend if not easily achieved. But as a general principle it makes sense.

Then there is the admonition to turn the other cheek. This is a more complicated idea that can actually seem insane if taken literally. On the other hand, the One who bade us to do so allowed Himself to be scourged and crucified rather than compromise His essential integrity. So does that mean that we should allow innocents, our loved ones, and ourselves be butchered by barbarians?

Here’s how I interpret turning the other cheek. I will not be provoked into violence but neither do I cower. I present my other cheek to demonstrate that I do not fear violence. I practice Judo. I can take a punch. My principle is to subdue a violent person with the minimal amount of necessary violence. I respond to rage with calm,  and I prevail because I am not trying defeat anyone or prove my superiority; my conditions for a “win” is de-escalation. Pacifism is scoffed at by weaklings who puff themselves up with macho bravado and mistake aggression for masculinity; making peace is bloody difficult and sometimes you have to use your hands and get dirty.

White supremacists have infiltrated police departments across the US and the new Attorney General of the US once said he would be ok with the Klan except that some of them smoked weed. The only person the President of the United States has anything nice to say about is Vladimir Putin, a murderous tyrant whom he admires for his strength. His chief advisor is an anti-Semite who believes an existential war with China and Islam are inevitable and that our society needs a trial by fire; he has taken actions that can only be rationally interpreted in the worst possible way.

Turning the other cheek is not a suicide pact.

 

a memory of silent awe

Posted in current events, days in the life, god, poetry on September 11, 2015 by furious buddha

a memory of silent awe shared among us all
above a certain age
delivers me to the day century MMC dawned
& the certainty of the last age collapsed in dust
obscuring what had been blue cerulean clarity
& the firemen who ran up the stairs
displaying dedication duty discipline
& the greatest love of all meeting death with silent awe

Not Wanting To Think About Terrorist White Supremacists Is Sympathizing With Them.

Posted in arguing with lunatics, current events, god, guns, politics, race, religion on June 20, 2015 by furious buddha

I know that Stormfront has a link to at least one of my posts and that white supremacists visit this site. I also know that everyone, even the most ardent white supremacists can change their minds and find their souls. That’s why I take the time to write to them. I also know that there are some readers who are very conservative people who are not overt white supremacists but because they embrace the status quo thinking of modern conservatives they are unwittingly embracing some very white supremacist ideas. I write to them as well. I know many ‘soft’ racists who lazily embrace cultural stereotypes and think that because they watch television they understand the world; they aren’t reading, let alone this..

The Confederate Battle Standard flew at full staff over Charleston, S.C. even as Old Glory was lowered to half staff; the reasons for it are asinine. The symbolism is not subtle, but South Carolina is not a subtle place; they are flying the battle standard for white supremacy high. The murders at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church perpetrated by the terrorist Dylann Storm Roof are only the latest atrocity perpetrated in the name of white supremacy. There is nothing new about white supremacists attacking churches and murdering innocents; these are not creative people. Judging by the patches on his jacket Dylann Storm Roof seems to have drunk deeply from the sewer of white supremacist ideology; wearing the flags of the Rhodesian and Apartheid-era Afrikaner regimes indicates that there was nothing incidental about the race of his victims. His statements at the scene of the crime make his motives clear; Dylann Storm Roof is a jihadist for white supremacy.

What strikes me as so extraordinary is how conservatives refuse to see Dylann Storm Roof as a terrorist for the white supremacist cause; it’s as if they cannot admit that a person was racially motivated.when they said, “I have to do it. You rape our women and you’re taking over our country. And you have to go.” to black parishioners he then gunned down in the coldest possible blood. Nikki Haley, the Republican governor of South Carolina, said, ‘we’ll never understand what motivates anyone to enter one of our places of worship and take the life of another’. Yes, we do, very clearly in this case; the poisonous hatred of the white supremacy movement. Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina thinks that 21 year old Dylann Storm Roof “is just one of these whacked out kids. I don’t think it’s anything broader than that.” If you follow that link you’ll see what Senator Graham thought about 19 year old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in 2013. It’s an interesting contrast. Dylann Storm Roof clearly is cognizant of the white supremacist movement, its symbols, and its ideology; he is operating as a lone wolf terrorist cell in the same way that ISIS and Al Qaida encouraged Muslims to do the same. If if the dopey kid brother Dzhokhar Tsarnaev should have been treated as an ‘enemy combatant’ to be interrogated by intelligence agents as Lindsey Graham demanded, then how can someone who has worn the flags of foreign nations and murdered a state senator among the eight other African Americans who were targeted for their race in their church just be a whacked out kid? Some of the other responses from those on the right are myopically insane in ways that reflect the obsessions of the theorists. Regardless, they all agree it’s not about white supremacy.

It does not require a Godlike perspective or the fresh insight of an alien species observing us through telescopes to see how crazy the neurosis of white Americans about race really is. To be clear, the 223,000,000 white people in the United States are not being ‘taken over’ by the 41,000,000 black citizens; that’s a 77% to 13% ratio, or approximately 6 white people for every black person. The treatment of African Americans by authorities is well documented and undeniable. The racial anxiety in the United States has always buzzed at a pretty high frequency but confronting the fear of a black president is giving our collective unconsciousness a nervous breakdown. For many, their coping mechanism is denial.

Denying the existence of the terrorism of racists empowers the criminals. Obfuscating the existence of racism or downplaying its magnitude gives cover to the terrorists. Ignoring a crime against another is to participate in the crime as an ally of the perpetrator.
But hate won’t win.
God bless everyone.
No more hurting people. Peace.

In the name of family values we must ask ‘whose family’? @GovMikeHuckabee @duggarfam @FOX @oreillyfactor @homeschooling

Posted in current events, days in the life, god, politics, pop culture, religion on May 30, 2015 by furious buddha

When I was young, I was often compared unfavorably to my cousin. He dressed neatly and kept his room and possessions clean and organized. He was an Eagle Scout, an honors student, played first chair trumpet and was a nationally ranked golfer. I smoked cigarettes, cut classes, and chased fast girls; I dressed like I was trying to piss people off, listened to rude music, and was generally an obnoxious jerk. I have spent the past thirty years growing up. He’s spent them in and out of prison. Their family had some serious problems that they worked very hard to keep out of sight. Our family had problems that we worked very hard to fix. Admittedly, their problems have always been far more severe in terms of the scope of how much greater the intertwined demons of mental illness and substance abuse afflicted them, but we faced them as well and we were spared because aside from dumb luck my parents had a better attitude. Everyone faces storms of adversity and the key to navigating past them is to head on straight through, facing reality squarely; at least this is what my parents did and I have tried to incorporate their Way into my own approach to life.

Julia and I are moving in together with Little Dude into a new house; that’s its whole own story but it has me thinking about family in a way I never could have even five years ago. My love for him has transformed me into a parent and brought me to consider things I never thought I would, like worrying about how to expose him to religion. I have very complicated feelings on the matter. My parents have been going to a nice Catholic Church near their home; their faith is quiet but growing in strength as they age. I see how much it enriches their lives and it makes me happy; they are practicing a progressive Christianity that is bringing them both Grace and Enlightenment. They are growing in love rather than finding people to hate. But that doesn’t change the fact that there’s no way I’m going to tell my kid that someplace that institutionally has nurtured unspeakable child abuse for generations has any kind of moral authority over him. Which brings me to the unspeakable crimes of Josh Duggar, his parents, and the TLC executives who gave their cult a platform to spew their toxic propaganda into our collective consciousness.    .

There is no gloating schadenfreude here; there is horror, disgust, and a rare sort of righteous fury that demands expression. The girls in this situation have suffered in an isolated authoritarian hell run by a demented patriarchy run amok for their entire lives which have been broadcast to a gaping world they are forbidden to even know about. They have been violated, exposed, and silenced by the people who should have been protecting them. They were born to parents who are under the sway of an evil fundamentalist theology that has wrought tremendous misery upon them and so many others who are chained to the dark altar of its founder. The details of the case have a particularly sour reek of evil, like the Arkansas state trooper who Jim Bob brought Josh to for a stern lecture before he helped cover up the crime; he was a child predator who listed ‘preschool’ and ‘puberty’ as his ‘interests’ on a Yahoo! profile. I literally had a physical wave of nausea pass through me as I typed those words. People who are determined to foist their morality upon the rest of us are always hypocrites of tremendous magnitude (think of Bill O’Reilly lecturing Black America on their terrible family values) but this is grotesque in its enormity.  .

My father, grandfather, both of my brothers and myself have been and continue to be public sector union employees such as police officers, transit workers, teachers, paramedics and firemen. My little brother has brought people back from the dead who are trying to break his union.  I have voted Democratic tickets my entire life and anticipate voting for Bernie Sanders in the primary and Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election. I think the government should stay out of people’s private medical decisions and that contraception should be free and legal; Julia and I aren’t married yet but we have terrific mutually satisfying sex. I think that sex education should be honest, fact based, and presented without moral judgements.  Although I have been sober from alcohol for nearly fifteen years I still enjoy cannabis on appropriate occasions and believe it should be legal. I think that biological evolution as first articulated by Charles Darwin is by far the best explanation for how life came to be in it’s current form; I submit that all modern medicine and biological science is based on this as the evidence for my belief. I agree with the scientists who argue that the climate is being disrupted by human activity.  I think that ISIS is a result of the misconceived Iraq war and the subsequent actions of the Bush Administration. I drive a fourteen year old car that is missing a fender. Julia is my equal in our relationship; furthermore I have many relationships with both women and men that are warm, affectionate and emotionally intimate without being sexual. I have people who depend on me every day of my life. I am grateful and happy. I will never accept the demented views of fundamentalists as my own. For all these reasons and more I accept that FOX News and people who support the Duggars view people like me as lazy parasites and hellbound sinners while believing that Josh Duggar is being persecuted for his religious beliefs.

I went to a lot of different churches when I was a kid. I was curious and questioning and was asked to leave more than one Sunday School class for not accepting what was being spooned out. I had a long discussions about God and the Bible with my grandfather that pretty much lasted from when I was four until he died when I was thirty three. When he lay dying the hospital chaplain came into the room and walked up to the bed and asked us if we minded if he sang. We said of course. He had just arrived from Nigeria the week before to take the position as a chaplain and this was his first real shift on his own and he hoped to give us comfort; his francophone accent gave his English a music when he was simply speaking and when his voice became song it resonated within me. But what was most extraordinary was that this man from the other side of the world spontaneously chose my grandfathers favorite hymn,’How Great Thou Art’, which he frequently sang in his sweet baritone.I believe in a God who loves all of us with perfect compassion. I believe that heaven and hell are right here, right now, all around us, not something that happens later in some other place, and that it is incumbent upon those of us who are dwelling in our paradises to help free as many people from their cages as possible, not dangle our feet off our clouds while pointing and laughing at the suffering of others.

It’s funny, just writing this helped clear up what I thought was complicated. Little dude will go to our fine well funded local public school that is staffed by top notch unionized professionals who will give him an excellent academic education (that I will certainly supplement). For his religious training, however, he will be homeschooled. It would be irresponsible to do anything else, really. We will take field trips to all manner of temples, shrines, and churches and observe the many ways that our brothers and sisters try to bother God. He will hear soulful gospel music, Bach chorales, sacred ragas and Tuvan throat singing. I will teach him as many of the seven billion names of God that I can. I will tell him what Lou Reed told me; no kinds of love are better than others. And I will make sure that he understands the Bible in context; he will learn what is metaphor, what is history, and there will be particular focus on what Jesus taught such as this bit from Matthew 7:15-17:  15″Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16″You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? 17″So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit.”

Rethink your beliefs.
When you practice doing this
You will be happy

delicious word snack

Posted in god, philosophy, poetry, religion on April 21, 2015 by furious buddha

faith is to belief
as ethics are to morals;
they are not the same

equivocation
is not equivalency;
delicious word snack

a voice discerning
censors itself and ceases;
teaching in silence

Casting My Pearls All Over the Place #JeSuisCharlie

Posted in arguing with lunatics, current events, god, guns, philosophy, politics, race, religion on January 12, 2015 by furious buddha

Kenny,

The problem with the whole ‘white guys bullying minorities’ narrative in this case is that the staff of Charlie Hebdo was mocking the people who would eventually murder them at their desks. That is absolutely speaking truth to power. I am speaking here as someone who has gotten under the skins of the mouthbreathers at ‘Stormfront’; white people are allowed to have opinions and even criticize murderous terrorists who use religion as a cover for their evil. There is nothing wrong with pointing at something that you think is fucked up and saying, “that there is fucked up.” What is wrong is ignoring the fucked up thing because you don’t want people to fuck you up for noticing it.

I know, language. I’m always fucking myself up like that. Was it necessary for me to tell Jacob and Sandip to jack themselves into drooling ecstasy? Yes, and I thought it was done tastefully. I refuse to neuter a discourse on the virtues of rudeness and blasphemy, but then, nobody is asking me to write for Vanity Fair so what do I know? I know that my writing has rough edges and I mostly smooth them away; in this case I polished that fucker like a shiv. I crafted that anal-bead masturbation joke with loving care. Someone who reads it and doesn’t laugh isn’t going to appreciate the rest of what I’m talking about anyway. And that’s okay; I’m not writing for everybody all the time. That’s why my favorite posts to write here are the letters to my friends; it doesn’t feel like I’m on a soapbox in Bughouse Park pontificating to the birds.

Back to Charlie Hebdo. Is it racist for people in the US to have an opinion about the terror and violence of the Mexican cartels? If I drew a cartoon condemning the President of Mexico for his role in the corruption of his government would I be in a no go zone? I say absolutely not. While it is very easy to drift into stereotypes and racist tropes when commenting on things outside of your immediate culture that doesn’t mean it automatically happens. Likewise, while observing other cultures it is very easy to get things mixed up and to read the signals all wrong. The cultural tensions in France are very real and it is not automatically xenophobic to talk about it plainly. I am familiar with the cartoonists of Charlie Hebdo from the ongoing controversy and the work of Cabu in particular. I can say with confidence that the cartoonists of Charlie Hebdo were not right wing racists spreading hateful propaganda.

So yes, before doing a quick Google search to find something he didn’t understand and hopping on his ‘That’s Racist’ high horse half cocked to ride off crying ignorant slander upon the dead, Jacob should have had himself a real good wank. I stand by that advice, my friend, and recommend it to everyone; the thing with the pearls is optional.

My unlimited love,

WD

And yeah, Neil does nail it.

The Virtues of Rudeness and Blasphemy #JeSuisCharlie #JeSuisAhmed #JacobCanfield #SandipRoy

Posted in arguing with lunatics, art, comics, current events, god, philosophy, politics, race, religion with tags , on January 10, 2015 by furious buddha

As people such as Jacob Canfield and Sandip Roy have noted, Charlie Hebdo could be obnoxious and rude, and the magazine’s humor could be characterized as xenophobic. Neither of these writers are suggesting that the victims in this case deserved to be murdered, but that it is inappropriate to share their work in the wake of the murder as these cartoons are terrible, no-good, incendiary, racist, sexist, homophobic, and even more regressively reactionary than the Three Stooges. They have judged them to be Bad Satire because of their offensive nastiness and extraordinary rudeness; furthermore, they have judged the creators at Charlie Hebdo to be ‘racist assholes’ and characterized their humor as ‘punching down’ at the marginalized and oppressed. At this point I would urge both Jacob and Sandip to take the pearls they are clutching and shove them deeply into their rectums, whereupon they should slowly withdraw them one by one while furiously masturbating so as to produce a toe-curling orgasm that might help them clear their heads.

"Love is Stronger Than Hate"

“Love is Stronger Than Hate”

I don’t see how it is ‘punching down’ to mock people who are willing and able to kill you. I don’t see how the ‘Love is Stronger than Hate’ cover is homophobic. I don’t see how mocking violent fundamentalists is somehow wrong, nor do I see mocking religion itself as a wrong thing to do; in fact, I believe these are necessary and good things to do. Mocking the violent believer is not mockery of a religion, and mocking a religion does not mock God. Besides, blasphemy, or mockery of the sacred, serves a higher purpose; if a belief cannot endure the breeze of laughter then one should not try to cling to it. Lies are polite and the truth is rude; this is what makes blasphemy cut so deeply into the minds of fundamentalists. Trying to maintain a primitive mindset in the face of modernity is ultimately futile but that does not make the primitives any less dangerous as they are willing to use modern technology to recreate the idyllic Dark Age Fantasylands or bring about apocalyptic daydream Tomorrowlands. People who reject reason and embrace violence in the name of their imaginary friends need to be mocked in the hope that they will hear the truth in our blasphemy and come in out of the wilderness.

The Prophet Mohammed Overwhelmed by Terrorists

‘The Prophet Mohammed Overwhelmed by Terrorists’

The ministry of Jesus was blasphemous from the Parable of the Good Samaritan to His healing of the sick; it’s why He was killed.  My answer to the question, ‘What Would Jesus Do?’ is ‘go drinking with hookers and bust up a church’. The teachings of the Buddha are blasphemous, as they reject notions of good, evil, or God running it all. Mohammed was blaspheming against the old tribal gods of his people when he had them removed from the Kaaba and reconsecrated it to Allah. Martin Luther, Galileo, and Dr King were all blasphemers, speaking unspeakable truths to their fellows. The Charlie Hebdo cartoon of a fundamentalist terrorist beheading the Prophet who he is accusing of being an infidel is spot on satire that speaks an unbearable truth to the religious terrorist; people who do violence in the name of the Prophet are doing violence to the Prophet.

Click to enlarge

“If Mohammed Returned” “I am the Prophet, fool!” “Shut up, infidel!”

I understand the taboo against portraying Mohammed or for that matter, any representation of a human being in Islamic art; that taboo does not apply to non-Muslims. I also want to point out that one of the police officers who was murdered by the terrorists was a Muslim and that countless Muslims and Islamic have condemned the attack in the strongest terms possible. When I talk about a primitive mindset, I am talking about individuals that believe images have some sort inherent power or magic about them; there is no racial or other bias in this word as the primitive mindset can be found everywhere. Just months before the Taliban was blowing up the Buddhas of Bamiyan with rocket launchers, Mayor Giuliani was trying to get a painting of the Virgin Mary removed from the Brooklyn Museum. The primitive mindset does not belong to any particular religion, race or whatever; it is embraced by people everywhere who think that they can make the world a better place if they burn this book or that painting, or that by killing they are doing the will of God.

"Charlie Hebdo Should Be Veiled!:

“Charlie Hebdo Should Be Veiled!”

Either everything is fair game or nothing is. Bad satire makes you feel comfortable and smug; good satire unsettles and goes places you’re not supposed to. This is not to say that being offensive is equivalent to being good satire because it takes no effort to be crude, thoughtless, and juvenile. It does mean, however, that in order to protect the good satire we have to protect that which is crude, thoughtless, and juvenile as well. If Charlie Hebdo was merely thoughtless crude racism produced by assholes they would have fled after the first firebombing or would not have even been targeted in the first place; it is because their pens found their mark that the madmen came to kill them. But in doing so, the primitive minds of the killers only made Charlie Hebdo more powerful than they could possibly imagine, because from now until the end of my days every time I hear the name of the Prophet Mohammed, this will be the face I attach to it:

I think he's adorable.

I think he’s adorable.