Friday 30th of July 2021

miracles and healing...

religion is a joke

I would not have touched this silly article by Luke Bretherton, but for the comments where, for "good measure" I guess, he lumps the atheists with the other evangelical loonies, while he claims the high side of Theolostreet with a chortle. Dear Luke, we atheists are not in the same boat as any of your silly religious mobs... We laugh at ourselves... We piss on you as well, for fun, sure, but this is only a derivative funny retaliation of what you religious people crap on us. 

The Madness of a World Unredeemed: Shrovetide Laughter and the Joy of Easter
Luke Bretherton
ABC Religion and Ethics
9 Feb 2016
Laughing at the foolishness of heretics, autocratic bishops or imperious atheists is a Christ-like way of being faithful to a gospel that is foolishness to those who take this world too seriously.

I raise this as numerous commentators have noted the parallelism between the rather shrill and po-faced denunciations of religion and the dour, puritanical zeal of many Christian groups in their attacks on "secular humanists."


As are contemporary Pentecostals and Charismatic Christians with their extraordinary acts of healing and their uproarious, ludicrous behaviour - all of which is a wonderful mocking of the po-faced, puritanism of so much Christianity and, we might add, atheism, both of which tend to take themselves far too seriously.


Luke Bretherton is Professor of Theological Ethics at Duke University. He is the author of Christianity and Contemporary Politics: The Conditions and Possibilities of Faithful Witness and Resurrecting Democracy: Faith, Citizenship and the Politics of a Common Life.




Dear Luke...

One of the need of the universe is uncertainty. Without uncertainty, the universe would be a dull rock or a gas cloud full of the same smoke... Not a god in search of comic relief by dishing out pain and death. 


Uncertainty in society often comes from people pulling pranks and doing things off the cuff with malice but often just for fun and no intent to hurt. There is no religious value here, though sometimes there is a disregard for haughty-taughty princes and popes.


When I was a young kid, my favourite hero was not Superman, but Till Eulenspiegel. People still don't know if the character ever existed but he was a great source of fun stories in books and magazines. Music as well (Strauss?). Wikipedia tells us:


In the stories, he is presented as "a trickster who plays practical jokes on his contemporaries, exposing vices at every turn, greed and folly, hypocrisy and foolishness. As Peter Carels notes, "The fulcrum of his wit in a large number of the tales is his literal interpretation of figurative language."[4] In these stories, anything that can go wrong in communication does go wrong due to the disparity in consciousness. And it is not the exception that communication gives rise to complications; rather, it is the rule. As a model of communication, Till Eulenspiegel is the inherent, unpredictable factor of complication that can throw any communication, whether with oneself or others, into disarray. These irritations, amounting to conflicts, have the potential of effecting mental paradigm changes and increases in the level of consciousness. Although craftsmen are featured as the principal victims of his pranks, neither the nobility nor the pope is exempt from being affected by him.


"What modern humanity should take as the true remedy for its abstract spirit is depicted on a tombstone in Moelln in the Lauenberg district... Scholars — and scholars are indeed very learned today and take everything with extraordinary gravity and significance — have naturally discovered — oh! they have discovered various things, for example, that Homer didn't really exist. The scholars have naturally also discovered that there was never a Till Eulenspiegel. One of the chief reasons why the actual bones of the actual Till Eulenspiegel (who was supposedly merely the representative of his age) are not supposed to lie beneath the tombstone in Lauenberg on which is depicted the owl with the looking glass, was that another tombstone had been found in Belgium upon which there was an owl with a mirror. Now these learned ones naturally have said — for it is logical, isn't it? (and if they are anything it is logical) — how does it go again in Shakespeare? For they are all honorable men, all, all, all! Logical they all are! — anyway, so they said: If the same sign is found in Lauenberg and in Belgium, then naturally Eulenspiegel never existed at all."[7]


In fact Till Eulenspeigel is likely to have been a subversive invention of the people against the authorities including the tight-arse religious mobsters of which Luke Bretherton is still part of. In them olden days, there was no way one could speak against the self-appointed rulers. One would get one's head chopped off — this state of affairs until the French Revolution which chopped a few more heads, those of distinction, mostly as a way to change the status quo about chopping heads off. People had enough of oppression.


Beforehand, the Europeans, including the French and the Germans, had developed the art of satire in oral (and written) subversive stories, to bypass draconian "laws" (they were not laws as such but the kings had armies and police to make sure no one had an unauthorised laugh at their expense — the same "rules" applied in England) and no one was allowed to make fun of the silly dictums from the religious mob allied with the princes. 


It was some of these satirical works and some powerful scientific observations that changed the course of history. The deluded religious mob had to adapt and adapt they did in various sneaky devious ways to make sure the majority of sheep remained under the dog's spell. Still carrying on under the dog's whistle of learned theologians who have no idea how the place works, and they burn a candle to the virgin Mary for a favour. 




Imperious atheists? You're kidding!  You mean atheists "having or showing the proud and unpleasant attitude of someone who gives orders and expects other people to obey them"? Bugger off. This has been the MAJOR ATTITUDE and DEMAND of the Christian (and all Abrahamic) religions since day one.


Atheists in general, including the NEW atheists, don't exhibit an unpleasant attitude apart from telling that religion is a lot of shit. Atheists don't give orders nor do atheists expect anyone religious to understand what they are talking about. BUT WE ATHEISTS ARE ENTITLED TO EXPRESS OUR VIEWS AND STATEMENT OF FACTS.


Meanwhile, one can say with one hundred per cent confidence that the first Testament is not a barrel of laugh... There is not one single line in there that even could bring a smile to a comedian's lips, unless they though the book was crap. No. Everything in the bible is about vengeance from above and tight-arse dictums to follow to the letter, otherwise it's revenge from the god of love.


The second Testament is not a barrel of laugh either... But the biggest joke, really, is the promise of eternal life... Keeps us atheists rolling in the aisles...


Yep Easter is a lot of fun: someone is pinned to a cross and dies... Ah I see the story's fun part is that the bloke does not dies — well he dies but he is revived as raconted by comic writers about one hundred years after the stint. Good one. 




the bundle is dropping...

the end is nigher than we think......
Here I don't mean that the revelations are going to come true and Christ triumphant will choose the blessed and damn the rest of us sinners... I only mean that global warming is going to give us something to think about — fast and our "economic" system is not going to cope well... It's running flab and intestinal constriction like the winner of the couch potato international competition.
Record low temperatures in Eastern USA and a February in Sydney resembling a Sauna. The wind is from the South south east and it's 26-28 with a high humidity. For those who don't pay attention, it just feel "uncomfortable" — but for those who know, with the wind like it is the temperature should have dropped down to about 21, with rain. It's 26-28 depending on where you live in the Sydney basin — and with no rain it feels a bit like 30 or 29.8 to be precise while being immersed in a bathtub. We sweat a lot. The people in the US are freezing their butts off with NEW RECORD low temperatures. 
All this is due to global warming which could be accelerating and as such inducing the displacement of climatic banding by more than 1000 kilometres more and more often. 
Meanwhile we are told that the "markets are dropping their bundle", that China's cash reserves are dwindling at a rate of knots and that the Japanese economy contracted 1.5 per cent. Many people have not made the connections between the wars we fought (Vietnam War   Lebanese Civil War Western Sahara War Angolan Civil War Cambodian–Vietnamese War  Sino-Vietnamese War  Iran–Iraq War  Soviet  War in Afghanistan   Gulf War  agorno-Karabakh War   First Chechen War   1995 Cenepa War    Second Chechen War   Palestinian rocket attacks on Israel   Russo-Georgian War  Cambodian–Thai border dispute    Operation Serval   Syria war   Afghanistan war  War in Donbass), the climate change we endure and our management of clams exchange — a relationship which is making the planet look a bit too poxy... Not terminal yet, but sick.
We're in for a rough ride. We've made a mess of this planet by letting loose unknown quantities of dangerous chemicals and other stuff which any respectable alien would advise not to touch. We're like new dribbling babes in the woods with exciting visions and then we kill the goose — our mutter earth... Idiots we are. 
How long can we sustain this idiocy is debatable, but as we debate the proposition and kill off the CSIRO with a Turnbullic idiotic smile, time is running out, surely. "Please don't call me Shirley" he would have said...
Time is running out. We will survive like cockroaches and dinosaurs, a million years beyond the execution of our bad deed like a bolide destroying our space in slow motion, but the quality of this survival is going to test us beyond what we expect or imagine... It's going to be tough...
And not doing anything apart from fiddling with economic fudges to satisfy our greed is not going to help the situation improve. As one of my mates — a multibillionaire said to me: "we're going to have to do something about global warming."
The bundle is dropping. She knows.

go girl?...

It's commendable that the ABC is trying to give the youth a voice. But should we go by what this young girl writes — in an essay that would get a C minus at school — slavery, bigamy, concubines, murder in the name of god would still be okay today — because it's in the BIBLE, even in the NEW testament:



Slaves, obey your earthly masters with deep respect and fear. Serve them sincerely as you would serve Christ.  

Ephesians 6:5


Go girl?... You twit. So there is a bit of "interpretation" to suit the moment or the attitude. The Archbishop was totally sexist and using 1600 years of religious deception and "teachings" in the bible as a mean to put women in "their place".

Do you really think that god made Eve from a bit taken from Adam while he was asleep? You're kidding me!... And you dare call yourself a "feminist"? Idiot. Sad young idiot. I know, one day, you will wake up and go through to motion of asking questions rather than having ready made answers.

Look, it's perfectly okay to have your own opinion if you wish, but first you have to realise it's coming from about 16 years of religious brainwashing, is totally out of line for the ABC to publish in this process of going down infantilism with an immature debate...


And please let the evangelical adults make an arse of themselves: see toon and article at top.

pharisees and low-lives...

"This is the best we can do?" I asked rhetorically after the first Clinton-Trump debate. After the second debate we must consider another question: "How did we get here?"

More specifically, "Why would God allow Americans to be reduced to such a tawdry choice for their nation's leader?"

Political analysis and demographic-sociological hoodoo might provide surface answers. For the depth, however, we must turn to the Scriptures. Three come to mind.

Jesus, as recorded in Matthew 24:14, revealed the whole purpose of history: "This gospel of the Kingdom will be proclaimed in all the world as a witness to all the nations (Greek: ethnes, "peoples") and then the end (Greek: telos, "purpose" or "goal") will come."

The whole purpose of history, Jesus was showing, is the spreading worldwide of the good news about the Kingdom of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. (Romans 14:17)



Yep... Even the non-christians and atheists like me are demanding a refund on the whole clowning act between Hillarious and Trumpaduck... But the media loves it. Obviously, god stuffed up somewhere, sometime, somehow... It's down hill from now on... Climate change will be our Noah moment?... God would be an idiot if he (god is a male) existed.


See toon at top...

little davids breaking shop windows...

There is a lot of Luke Bretherton appearing on the ABC website at the moment... Yesterday, came another article by the man himself rather than an interview.


I must say I read the whole thing diagonally looking for the word "God" and I could have missed a few mentions of Him (god is a male) in this lovely article about "love". At some stage, there is the mention of the ubiquitous David defeating Goliath as a possible victory for the little guys: "Thus David (possessor of dexterity, sureness of eye and sharp-wittedness) can beat Goliath (possessor of overwhelming force)". Nothing to do with love if you ask my opinion. 


But let's not be picky until Luke could not stop himself:


"In singing Christian choruses, protestors in Hong Kong invoke God and thereby demote the Communist Party: it is not the highest authority, God is."


He was doing so well, talking about love, and Luke had to muck it up... But he redeems himself:


Democratic politics entails a commitment to freedom and justice being achieved first and foremost through the quality and character of relations between people. It is surprising and perhaps ludicrous to say this, but it is not legal and bureaucratic procedures, market mechanisms, a historical dialectic, revolutionary vanguard, or ideological program of social engineering that generate democratic change. It is virtues such as humility, patience, courage and hope. When understood as a way of fostering a shared realm of meaning and action through the quality of our relationships with others, then democratic politics — even when highly agitational — can be conceived of as a work of love. But absent love, and it does not work.




Sure. We've know this for a long time, yet it's far more complicated that it appears. Virtues such as humility, patience, courage and hope do not place food on the table. They often leave us in economic despair or they become underpinned by basket-weaving and inaction. Virtues such as humility, patience, courage and hope are also used hypocritically by comfortable bourgeois having reached their level of uselessness, while the political leaders go and conquer some lands somewhere. 


Democracy is flawed. We know. But it is a political process in flux that tries to smooth most of the corners of a people within a border — giving everyone an opportunity rather than being a slave of King David. We can help by having scientific ideas to push for a better caper... Religiousness is only a bad way of looking at the democratic problems. Yes the "Hong Kong" revolutionary sing Christian songs, but they also destroy shop windows and steal goods... and they have little love in their actions. They are not Davids versus the monster...


See also: 

dealing with ephemerality...



Read from top.