Class Warfare Blog

October 14, 2017

God is Punishing …

After every recent natural disaster (or man-made one for that matter) some religious asshole gets up and claims that the disaster occurred because God is punishing the area because of … <fill in the blank here>. Usually the punishment is for the endorsement of gay lifestyles or abortions or whatever. For example, when Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans 12 years ago, some from the Religious Right blamed the storm on a woman’s right to choose whether or not she will have an abortion, and as HIV/AIDS ravaged scores of people, religious leaders from the Right said the disease was the judgment of God. Some religious leaders said that the tragedy at Sandy Hook, where little children were blown to bits by a mad gunman, was God punishing gay people and for tolerance of gay rights.

(I can just hear Jesus saying, “When I said ‘suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God’, I didn’t mean they were supposed to actually suffer … certainly not while blaming me as the source of the suffering.” Note Imagining what Jesus would say or do is easy. Since he is a fictional character, anyone can put words in his mouth, including Christian Right assholes.)

But we recently have had hurricanes ravage Texas and Florida and I haven’t heard a peep as to why God was punishing those people. I suspect that since the Christian Right is very well represented in those states that He is punishing them for being assholes for inventing such self-righteous nonsense.

The fires in California are his punishment for abiding the presence of gays there.

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March 14, 2017

Betsy DeVos and The Christian Right’s “Big Ideas”

In Rolling Stone there is a big article on our new U.S. Education Secretary (Betsy DeVos’ Holy War by Janet Reitman). (How did Rolling Stone get from being an “entertainment” magazine to the only U.S. magazine with the balls to publish the truth?”)

Here is a condensation of one part of that article:
A staple in modern evangelical teachings is the concept of Christian spheres of influence – or what the evangelical business guru Lance Wallnau dubbed the ‘Seven Mountains’ of society: business, media, religion, arts and entertainment, family, government, and education – all of which urge the faithful to engage in secular culture in order to ‘transform’ it. The goal is a sweeping overhaul of society and a merging of church and state: elevating private charity over state-run social services, returning prayer to school and turning the clock back on women’s and LGBTQ rights. It would also be a system without a progressive income tax, collective bargaining, environmental regulation, publicly funded health care, welfare, a minimum wage – a United States guided by a rigorously laissez-faire system of ‘values’ rather than laws….

More than a few people have questioned my writing about religion in a Class Warfare blog. I tend to write mostly about fundamentalist religions, such as the DeVos family beliefs, because they are seriously at odds with reality. Tell me if you don’t think these people have a political agenda.

For example, look at the list of “features” of our society the DeVos family would rather we did without: a progressive income tax, collective bargaining, environmental regulation, publicly funded health care, welfare, a minimum wage, etc. Notice how these are all ideas that conflict with basic Christian ideology. These are very rich people, Ms. DeVos’ father created Amway, but I don’t expect them to sell all of their worldly goods and go follow Jesus any time soon. The Bible is full of regulations, pages and pages of regulations, including one to be a good steward of the land, hardly in line with the elimination of environmental regulations. Did not Jesus tell his followers to go forth and heal the sick and did he not complain when someone else did likewise (as long as it was in his name)? This is hardly compatible with the elimination of publicly funded health care. People don’t realize how much poverty and ill health there were in our senior citizens before Social Security and Medicare were implemented. These two government programs alone are responsible for pulling massive numbers of old folks out of poverty and desperation.

What the DeVos family and their ilk have done is made a new religion
out of being  politically conservative and rich.

What the DeVos family and their ilk have done is made a religion out of being politically conservative and rich. They are dead set against progressive income taxes and estate taxes as a form of “rendering unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s.” Again, this is hardly Christian, but it is right out of the rich man’s plutocratic playbook.

And we now have that new time religion at the highest levels of the US federal government with an attitude of “Well I’m rich and if you aren’t, you can go suck eggs,” the embodiment of Christian charity.

May 16, 2013

Evolution and Atoms

Filed under: Religion,Science — Steve Ruis @ 8:51 am
Tags: , , , ,

blue atomRegular readers of this blog recognize that I write on topics seemingly far from my core issue, class warfare (we are losing). Partly because I believe that religion and a number of other factors are being used to control the masses of the middle class and poor who might otherwise not accept the machinations of the ruling class. One of the religious themes I address is the willful preaching of what is known to be untrue to undermine the acceptance of science, a factor that can, for good or ill, strongly affect our lives.

I have recently written about the false conflict between American Christianity and Evolution Theory (it doesn’t seem to be a problem anywhere else, unless our religious export the stupid notions) and I get comments saying I am bigoted, close-minded, etc. My friend, John Zande at The Superstitious Naked Ape blog (http://thesuperstitiousnakedape.wordpress.com) writes even stronger stuff and attracts responses from a wilder sort (disjointed Biblical references, you are going to burn in Hell, etc.). He actually engages these people in dialogue, which I do not have the strength or patience to do. A better man, he.

In any case, the Creationists object to the narrative of science that basically says that humans evolved from inanimate matter. Now some of these are Young Earth Creationists who believe the Earth and the Universe are only about 6000 years old and others are Old Earth Creationists who believe the Universe is its scientifically determined age of somewhat over 14 billion years old. Both are deluded.

If an all-powerful, unlimited entity could create the universe and everything in it, then that being could have done it yesterday, creating this computer, the building I am in, the lake outside, and us, with all of the false memories needed to make us believe we are far older . .  . and we would not be able to tell that that had been done. We cannot prove it didn’t happen, but the flip side is we cannot prove it did happen, either. The same is true of Biblical creation. But folks keep trying. The Young Earthers therefore have a steep climb to prove their claim. The Old Earthers have a similar problem. They claim that each “day” of creation was actually eons of time, which would explain the gap between the Genesis account of creation and the actual age of the universe. This has extreme problems associated with it in that in one of two biblical accounts, Adam and Eve were born on different days, which means Adam was millions of years dead before Eve was born. And, of course there are more problems, but I won’t bore you with them.

The Genesis account of creation has been taught to be not true in virtually all Christian seminaries, so the teaching that it is true is disingenuous at best. (A local Christian college requires all faculty to sign an oath attesting to the truth of Genesis as a condition of employment. Faculty sign the oath whether they believe that or not because they need a job. Stupid.)

To get to my main point, the creationist claim that there is no way that human beings could be created from inanimate materials, I ask you to consider this. This is true, science has not elucidated the exact mechanism by which the first monocellular life on this planet appeared, or elucidated the exact pathway that these evolved into other forms of life. A lot of the pieces of this process have been discovered, but the whole picture, not yet. But consider you this: we may not know that we were made from inanimate matter, but we absolutely sure we are made of inanimate matter.

Think about it. What are you made of? Over half of your bodily mass is water, plain old water. Water doesn’t think, doesn’t live (self-replicate, etc.); it just sits there. The rest of you is another pile of chemicals in the form of molecules and crystals of various sorts. Those, in turn, are made of atoms. Atoms are essentially immortal but not alive. We are alive but not immortal. We are made of parts that are not alive, so how are we alive? I suspect it has to do with the organization of those parts.

Obviously every thing is made of chemicals and chemicals are collections of atoms, molecules, and crystals that are not alive, but some of the things around us are alive and some are not. Same atoms, arranged differently, produces life or non-life.

Life can be created from non-living materials because, well, it is.

I can’t wait for somebody to invent a Star Trek-like transporter. The first living thing to go through the thing will end all arguments. In those transporters, the information regarding the arrangement of all of one’s atoms is “beamed” to another location where new atoms are assembled into an exact copy of the being being transported. (It makes no sense to send the actual atoms as they would just slow down the process and potentially get lost on the way.) That would be undeniable proof that we are made of an arrangement of inanimate matter. But I don’t want to turn Star Trek into scripture, such a device may not be possible.

For those of you who still believe in special creation, take a look at your cat or dog carefully. They possess some small degree of consciousness, as do we. They recognize themselves in mirrors, for example. We are not uniquely different from them, just different by degrees, which leads one to think that we all sort of came along together on this wild ride . . . or you can just throw up your hands and say “the pixies did it.”

May 13, 2013

Evolution Hard for “Special” People to Accept

In a recent creationist diatribe, the author got right to the core of his issue:

Darwin persuasively taught that life is the product of blind, meaningless, purposeless churning, making all life, not just human, hardly anything more special or dignified than cosmic refuse. Indeed in a Darwinian worldview, life is cosmic refuse.”

Yep, that’s pretty much correct.

But let me extend the thinking here. When the Earth formed from debris collected by the Sun, the collisions of the rocky material that fused together carried a lot of energy (as all of the “meteor disaster” shows on the Discovery and Science Channels affirm). All of those bombardments resulted in a planet that was effectively a ball of molten (that’s liquid, Bubba) material. Because the Earth was a ball of liquid material, the more dense materials sank through the liquid, which is why the core of the Earth is primarily made of iron and nickel, the densest elements in the planet. But eventually the bombardment stopped and since space is cold the planet slowly cooled and a scum of the lightest materials formed and solidified to form the crust of the Earth. It is from these elements and materials that all of life on the Earth evolved.

Yep, that’s right, . . . (wait for it, wait for it) . . . we are made from the scum of the Earth!

It is always astonishing to me that people who prize humility insist that we were made in God’s image. None of the other animals were, neener, neener, nyah, nyah! We are Special, I tell’s yuh! Why any God would want to look like a human is beyond understanding. (I know, I know, it is a mystery my child.) Why would a god want legs to walk when they can fly? Why would they need a nose to breathe through when they do not have to breathe? Why would they need a penis to pee through when they don’t have to pee? Why would God’s form conform to the needs of a denizen of this planet, when he existed before the planet did. (And do not say, he had to make the planet he created conform to the needs of a being that looks like him, you are just begging the question.)

How is it that so many people insist on the absolute truth of something so clearly not true?

I read an article in the New York Times published in 2002 (New Torah For Modern Minds) in which Jewish scholars admitted that Moses never existed and the Books of Moses were largely made up. Created quite a stir. But in 1879 Robert Ingersoll published a book (Some Mistakes of Moses) in which he stated: “As a matter of fact, it seems to be well settled that Moses had nothing to do with these books, and that they were not written until he had been dust and ashes for hundreds of years.”

So, the Pentateuch is a forgery and now we know that basically none of it is true, let alone divinely inspired truth. Yet, we still have a sizeable portion of the American public who believe otherwise. Even though the truth has been available for over a century, a substitute truth is what is taught and accepted and contradicted right and left by everything we know about this planet.

So, what we have is worship through willful ignorance. Now, isn’t that Special.

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