Uncommon Sense

March 15, 2019

Blood Magic . . . I Wonder Where That Came From?

In the recent Christchurch, New Zealand, massacre of Muslims, one self-identified suspect posted a manifesto which stated, in part: “The origins of my language is European, my culture is European, my political beliefs are European, my philosophical beliefs are European, my identity is European and, most importantly, my blood is European.”

“My blood is European.”

Mate, your blood is red, just like the rest of us.

The role of blood in our cultural imaginings is deep and to its core bogus. For example, in this country’s history, we had laws establishing how African-American people were. We used terms like “octoroon” which now is defined as being “a person who is one-eighth black by descent” or basically having one Black grandparent. But the common people talked about one eighth of a person’s blood being Black. Others said that “one drop” of Black blood made one Black. (This was always puzzling to me because these same idiots claimed that white blood was stronger and better than black blood, so someone with a 50%-50% mix should be classified as white because the 50% white blood was stronger, no?)

Blood magic was borne of ignorance of all but a few basic facts (the primary one being if you lost enough blood, you died). It was promoted through superstition and bias and prejudice (your enemies had bad blood). But what keeps it going centuries after it has been debunked as nonsense?

Ah, culturally blood shows up as a mystical power in religions. Christians and Jews can read about blood magic in their Bibles. They can read about how menstrual blood makes women “unclean” for several days of the month. They can read about how we were all saved “by the blood of a lamb.” They can read about blood sacrifices. They can read about how being born carries sin which resides in the blood. They can read about dietary restrictions involving blood, such as the Torah forbids the consumption of the blood of an animal. (Imagine forbidding the glory which is blood sausage. Amazing.)

So, while us secularists are trying to reduce superstition and ignorance, the religionists are reinforcing it.

Oh, and the manifesto writer which claims “my identity is European” is apparently an Australian. His European language is rooted in the Near East. His DNA is roughly two thirds African in origin and one third Asian in origin. European political beliefs? Really? Is there any political belief you cannot find embedded in Europe? This poor sod is seriously confused . . . but he sure does know how to sling buzz words at a right-ring audience.

It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so. (Anonymous—please do not comment that it was Mark Twain, it appears nowhere in his writings or reporting upon him.)

March 30, 2016

Bad Science from Bad Religion

Filed under: Religion,Science — Steve Ruis @ 3:13 pm
Tags: , , , ,

I heard a scientific argument regarding the scientific feasibility of the Christian Virgin Birth recently. here it is:

At the appointed time Jesus came, born of a virgin. Don’t laugh; it’s true, and medical documentation proves the importance. The blood of the child in the mother’s womb is 100% the blood of the father. Thus if one chooses to believe the true gospel, that person believes in the virgin birth. It was prophesied in several places in the Old Testament. The virgin birth meant that the blood in Jesus Christ’s body was not from the creation of Earth and creation of Adam. It was sinless, heavenly blood.

I will not ascribe it to anyone in particular, even though I know who this is. I use this as an example of where faith goes astray. It does so through belief, namely the belief that some preacher man knows what the heck he is talking about.

As children learn in basic reproductive biology, a sperm and an ovum join to create a cell which has half of the DNA of the father and half of the mother. The first cell has this DNA, and then the next, and the next. If this is done sufficiently often without interruption a viable zygote forms and eventually a baby. This baby may “take after” his mother or his father but is not identical to either of them. His blood is his blood, each and every cell in it has DNA from both mother and father.

“The blood of the child in the mother’s womb is 100% the blood of the father.” Where this comes from I do not know. Maybe someone misheard a statement that had some truth in it and then took it and ran with it. A scientist would have looked for confirmation. A paper containing this “fact” would get reviewed and corrected. But preachers don’t have such a support system; they only have divine guidance.

Belief is easy when it supports what one wants, but that doesn’t make it so.

And, the Bible is full of claims for “blood magic” that are similar to this. There are blood sacrifices. People are required to not eat meat with blood in it. Blood can carry sin with it. Children can inherit “bad blood” from their parents. Women are “unclean” while menstruating. All of this “magic” has been shown to be mistakes (along with all other magic), so why is it still prominent in the Bible? Why do some insist that blood magic is real because “the Bible tells me so.”

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