history

Musings on European Christian History

Jean_Paul_Laurens_Le_Pape_Formose_et_Etienne_VII_1870

[the following is an excerpt from an essay I am writing on Christian History in Europe]

…The modern age is one of instant access to almost limitless access to the raw facts of history, an effectively pixalized and alienated from its own active part in the unfolding of that history. We take for granted, those of us blessed with the time, inclination, ability, and access to the information, that what is past is past and today is a better day, another step forward down an a road to an inevitable perfection. The Roman Empire Begat Christianity which Begat the Christian Kingdoms and Nations which Begat the Christian Empires which, pauses for a moment to pay homage to Mongol superiority, then begets the Industrial and Industrial/Digital/Nuclear/Corporate Empires of the modern moment. Somewhere wedged betwixt those Begats was a period where two versions of Christianity, one a major minority and the other the Majority and the Establishment, went to war, these accidents and designs of religion grafting themselves onto the major sectarian, nationalistic, economic issues of the time. This was a sectarian, Pan-European cum North and South American Risorgimento, and an eventual (if not yet complete) degrading of Religious hegemony in culture and civil governance and caused the West, as its Christian, Capitalist and pale skinned pieces were was to become know…

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Middle East

Fire on the Euphrates

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Let’s do it

bomb bomb

bomb again

and drop the pretense of

change

Hope the endless someday

reaches

some sort of conclusion

but don’t count on it

Tomahawks strike Raqqah

Sparks fly and

The Euphrates is set on fire

Strike like Mongols

from the air

leave nothing to chance

or well enough alone

every nightmare of the West

must be soothed by 10,000

Muslim lives

Rome one the Potomac

535 fiddlers under a slave wrought dome

One fool sitting on a leather throne

Let me be clear

We the people have plenty to fear

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Atheism, Religion

Why Richard Dawkins & the New Atheists Do No Speak For Me

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There is no “Atheist Movement”, there are only people who lives without the need for, or a belief in, a deity or “supernatural power” and who seek reason and peace. Movement “A”theists (and they desperately want that capital A) only seek to empower themselves and to find a place in the existing power structure. They want the same influence that Christians have had in the halls of power, the Universities and the boardrooms for generations and they are willing to cater to the worst impulses of their followers to achieve this.

Case in point, Richard Dawkins. Richard Dawkins, PhD, the biologist and scientific educator, has played his part in making atheists respectful and taken seriously by the establishment in Western cultural and governmental institutions. His scientific theories are interesting and have added much to the popular understanding of science. Richard Dawkins the man however, the leader of an atheist “movement”, is another matter entirely. He is just another in a long line of powerful, elite, rich white men who have decided that the gravitas granted them by their standing and education gives them the the right to pontificate on everything from torture to date rape. Richard Dawkins twitter (@RichardDawkins) is filled with “logic” based analyses of pretty much anything and everything that pops into his head.

Oddly enough this has recently been rape. He goes on about how terrible it is that men who rape women when they are drunk and cannot remember the whole incident have their “lives ruined”. He goes on about how date rape is not as serious as violent stranger rape and is generally an ass to anyone who would try to get him to see how his “logic” is anything but when applied to such a complex and painful topic as sexual assault. It is not so much the content of what he says, which is bad enough, but the fact that he feels that his position in popular culture and the New Atheist movement gives him the right to act as a moral arbiter of issues that will never affect him as a powerful rich white heterosexual man. It is the sort of privilege that he does not recognize he possesses and in fact does not even recognize as privilege. This is no different than the mindset of many men in various other movements, be they Christian, Jewish, Islamic or any number of secular fields.

Dawkins has made Ayaan Hirsi Ali in particular, and anti-Islamism in general, one of his pet causes. He has tended to attack and shame any atheists or secular group that has any problem with Mrs. Hirsi Ali’s anti-Muslim and Western Imperial apologist tendencies. This recent tweet shows how he takes his position of authority rather too seriously, to the point of almost seeming to “excommunicate” secular groups that do not toe the Anti-Islamic line:

“Inviting a speaker [like Ayaan Hirsi Ali] is not “disrespecting” anybody. I, however, hereby disrespect Yale Atheists, Humanists & Agnostics” (https://twitter.com/RichardDawkins/status/511279615844048896

Dawkins seems to have little time for feminists unless they are explicitly anti-religious or anti-Islamic. The fact that Mrs. Ali is the partner of fellow white pro-Western Imperialism master of the Universe Niall Ferguson may have something to do with his affinity for her cause.

Dawkins has also defended and played apologist for philosopher and New Atheist fixture Sam Harris. Harris has some interesting things to say in the fields of philosophy and neuro-biology but his views on Muslims and civil rights are troubling to say the least. Mr. Harris has stated that

“torture may be an ethical necessity in our war on terror”, (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sam-harris/in-defense-of-torture_b_8993.html

Mr. Harris has also posed extensive thought experiments about the nature of torture in a crisis that have more in common with a plot from the show 24 then anything approaching reality or scientific understanding of torture. Mr. Dawkins has not been shy in his defense of Mr. Harris, a man who believes as he does that Islam in general is a threat to the “West” and secular society. This sort of support for the apologists for big government programs that violate civil liberties is troubling and betrays a sense of moral superiority that is troubling and odd in someone who wishes to reject the power and influence of religion in public life. The New Atheists, including the late Christopher Hitchens and his defense of the brutal US/UK invasion of Iraq, seem to have an affinity for Neo-Liberal and Neo-Conservative policies, especially regarding the so called “war on terrorism”. It leads me to wonder if they realize that they are defending the institutions that are most infiltrated and influenced by the same messianic and power-based religious ideology they attack in other forums? Writer and moral philosopher Chris Hedges had this to say about the New Atheists

“I was stunned at how the very chauvinism and bigotry and intolerance that they condemn in the Christian Right they embrace under the guise of atheism […] they also create a binary worldview of us and them.” [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BMcd_yWL2DM]

When reason and logic are used in furtherance of the same goals that are espoused by the religious, cultural and governmental powers that be then it may be time to question if what these men are trying to popularize is in fact free-thought at all, or merely another way for the powerful to couch their ideology, misogyny and power aims in a new and more up-to-date form of moral apologia. People who seek out an alternative to the dogmatic, chauvinistic, misogynist and violent religious sects that dominate the world do not need more heavy-handed and morally superior musings from men who benefit, knowingly or not, from the privilege they make their bones attacking. Why do atheists need leaders at all? Why can’t we have a community of freethinking, privilege defying, open-hearted people who do not wish to impose a secular religion of unquestionable “logic”? Why must the same rich white faces keep on telling us what is in our own interest? These are questions we must all struggle with and find our own answers to.

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poetry

The Dinner Party

John_F._Francis_-_A_Still_life_with_Pineapple,_Oranges,_and_Nuts

Nothing good ever comes from a garden

Only pale serpents and overripe fruit

God himself not much of a game warden

Jerk his on pego he’ll unsheath a toot

 

A cup of Port in the hand of Falstaff

A dragonfly drowns in my consomme

The chambermaid’s the wait-staff

The tablecloth, soaked with rum, en flambe

 

I reach for my grandfather’s revolver

The one engraved with the goldleafed griffin

Sous chef flashes her enormous cleaver

My resolve, and my bowels, start to loosen

 

Twas then that I jumped to a conclusion

With irresistible rich auburn hair

I kissed every false flag and illusion

For dessert ate a delightful eclair

 

After supper retired to the study
Smoked an assortment of quite useless plants

The Bishop! what an old fuddy-duddy

Under his vestments suspendered pants

 

Then we played an asinine parlour game

Something dull involving a pineapple

Earl of Lincoln one each round all the same

Or, wait, maybe it was a crab-apple?

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poetry

Runner On the Grain

Vincent_Van_Gogh-Seminatore_al_tramonto

Greed stretched lengthwise across a verdant land

Brother love and community smothered

Blood soaked from Atlantic to Pacific sands

good earth with malice, like kudzu, covered

 

The evil of expansion manifest

Destiny built upon a trail of tears

A debt the toiling people must attest

A nation and a dream held in arrears

 

The United States of America

Larceny on a monumental scale

We the People, skillful propaganda

Ravaged brown bodies, chained, put up for sale

 

I am an heir to this wretched estate

These foul riches corrupt my sorry soul

A privilege purchased, and an unearned fate

My comfort maintained by a racial dole

 

Founding fathers who delighted in rape

God bless their genius and their lying tongues

Freedom never allows its slaves escape

Liberty crushes the life from their lungs

 

Where are you resting tonight Nat Turner?

We need your honor and your stubborn will

The rich slept in beds blood-soaked by murder

We must wrest them hence for they lay there still

 

How long the road to Pottawatomie?

The sun low in a sanguinary sky

John Brown held up a mirror for us to see

A nation clothed in nothing much too shy

 

Salvation is a runner on the grain

Chased by a fearful abomination

Trampling over a fruitful stolen plain

Seeking peace from perverse domination

 

We never were a city ‘pon a hill

We’re a crypt built to hold ten million graves

This mausoleum is expanding still

Manufactured by freedom’s toiling slaves

 

Our paradise is purchased with our sins

Empire steeped in megalomania

Self-righteous power rots us from within

Behold this, your Pax Americana!

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poetry

Lilith’s Mass

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We blaspheme, moiling hard for Baphomet

Incanting frontward back gospel and hymn

Babylon’s mistress, splay upon the tablet

Host baking in the heat of her tight quim

 

Darkling priests prone before the reredos

Scenes of lusty life painted on its front

Fulsome orisons lauding libidos

Men bathing in the mead of woman’s cunt

 

Burst forth from the folds of generation

Waves of robust pleasure exalt the mass

Those gathered give cum as their devotion

As each in turn embugger Lilith’s ass

 

Hail the Lord of Light and open fucking

Give thanks for Baalath’s pleasant endowment

We all owe our existence to loving

And to our nature which is pleasure bent

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