Arizona Republicans Propose Bill Requiring Belief In God To Graduate High School

Patheos reports on the effort to make high school a little more cult-y:

A group of Arizona politicians — all Republicans, of course — have proposed a law (House Bill 2467) requiring public high school students to recite the following oath in order to graduate:

I, _______, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge these duties; So help me God.

It’s bad enough the Republicans are demanding loyalty of the kind normally reserved for members of Congress and beyond. If this were to become a law, atheists would either not be allowed to graduate…or they would be forced to lie so they could graduate. Neither is acceptable.

, , , , , ,

  • “Big” Richard Johnson

    God is dead, and it was his own followers who killed him.

    • http://www.facebook.com/calvin.cambridge.37 Calvin Cambridge

      What?

    • http://www.facebook.com/dave.kilby.77 Dave Kilby

      God is not dead. She was simply fired for incompetence.

      • “Big” Richard Johnson

        Maybe.

  • lazy_friend

    according to ancient astronaut theorists, their “God” is an extra terrestrial.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=742104313 Adam Goodwin

    “I take this obligation freely” lol!

  • Kevin Gregorius

    You never see Democrats proposing bills like “Confiscate All Privately Owned Firearms” or “Require High School Children To Denouce God.” The GOP has a monopoly on crazy.

  • equip

    Well, we can all say we believe in anything we want. That doesn’t mean
    that it’s true (that we actually believe or what is to believe in is
    true) or that we know much (if anything) about the subject.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jesse.heichertiii Jesse J. Heichert III

    God is a universal term. In this oath it doesn’t say Jesus Christ, Buddha, Rama, Shiva, it say’s God. Everyone believes in god, as everyone has a theory – atheists’s usually use evolution and time as their God. There is nothing wrong with this, and I’m not religious either. It seem’s to be on the opposing field is just more fun nowadays then actually having something worthwhile to mediate.

    • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

      yes and no. Everyone has A god maybe(depending on your definition of a god), but not everyone believes in the implicit God in these statements.

      Then of course, atheists have a vendetta against the word “god” and prefer overly convoluted definitions for the same thing (primary belief or whatever).

      If they tried to revise it in a way that tries to make everyone (except maybe atheists) happy to make the god ambiguous, you’d probably see the same original proposers of this statement angry because it is not speaking directly of “God”.

      • equip

        I don’t see how it exactly helps the Christian fundamentalists. Like the fine print of some document or swearing to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth, it could easily be seen as a formality where people treat it with the “yeah yeah… let’s cut to the chase”. without the worry of perjury though.

        • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

          Well with all the people making a big deal about it now(on both sides), its the symbolic victory that people are trying to get now. No one wants the “other guy” to win.

          • equip

            Symbolic of what? Disavowing belief or disbelief in something as yet to be defined?

          • http://www.facebook.com/jesse.heichertiii Jesse J. Heichert III

            exactly

      • 5by5

        Congratulations. Your own argument proves that you can’t make everyone happy on this score – religious or non-religious – which is the biggest argument FOR secularism EVER. Gov’t needs to just step off and stay the fuck out of this.

        • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

          Well it was Jesse’s argument in the first place, and I fully agree that you cannot make everyone happy. However I find it interesting that your resultant logic is “oh well, they can’t make everyone happy…. Obviously they need to make ME Happy!”

          • bobbiethejean

            Secularism is not about making anyone happy and it certainly isn’t about any “me” out there. Secularism is simply the principle that religion and government should be separate. Secularism protects everyone equally. Or it’s supposed to anyway.

          • jnana

            Religion is never separate from public life and government in general. It’s not possible. Religion is Life. Everyone has a religion. Everyone is guided by a religion. It bugs me to have the religion of “secularism” rammed down my throat. Let me worship freely, in public, even. It’s not like I’m forcing it on anyone. Perhaps if we expected those who “led” us to be led by the Holy Spirit themselves, we wouldn’t allow oppression.

          • bobbiethejean

            Omg wow. Ok, Look. You seem like a nice person, just ill informed. So I’m not going to call you names and dismiss you offhand. I am going to try and teach you some simple facts here. I hope, for your own sake, that you can follow along.

            1.) No, not everyone has a religion. Everyone has beliefs, yes, but not everyone feels the need to follow a religious structure. To analogize: Some vehicles move on a track, some move freely. Both kinds of vehicles do the same things, roughly, but they do it differently.

            2.) Secularism is not a religion. It is a doctrine that states the government may not force state-mandated religion. It means that you may worship freely to the extent your beliefs do not infringe the rights, safety, or freedom of others. Secularism permits any and all beliefs that conduce with peaceful society. If you wish to pull out whatever holy text you like and read it in school on your lunch break, you are free to do that. If your beliefs mandate that you must kill atheists, you may NOT do that because that is not part of a peaceful society. A government institution may allow the expression of religious beliefs but it may not force religious beliefs on the people (such as mandated church or prison sentences for being an atheist).

            3.) Secularism protects everyone equally- it is not the absence or negation of religion, it is neutrality. The alternative is theocracy which only protects certain people. Theocracy would probably work fine in a society where everyone has fixed beliefs about exactly the same thing but that is not how America is. Secularism is the best option because it protects everyone equally.

          • jnana

            Secularism just means we’re not aloud to be honest with each other and talk about what’s important and Real. It means only Materialism is allowed to be preached.

            I actually know someone who was suspended in elementary school for bringing a Christian bible

          • bobbiethejean

            Secularism just means we’re not aloud to be honest with each other and talk about what’s important and Real.

            This is patently untrue but since you seem determined to believe nonsense, I see no point in wasting my time trying to educate you.

          • Spikeygrrl

            “Everyone” certainly does NOT have a religion! Your statement is deeply offensive to those of us who are nonreligious…and just in case you’ve been sleeping through the news, we’re the fastest-growing belief demographic in the USA.

          • jnana

            Your beliefs constitute yer religion. You have guiding beliefs, therefore you obey a religion, with doctrines, dogma, and rituals to boot. As for yer being “offended”, that is something that happens to people when ideas or rules they hold that are “sacred” and “taboo” are transgressed. It baffles me how hypocritical the “nonreligious” can be…

          • Spikeygrrl

            Beliefs do not constitue religion. Example: Some people believe that cooking from scatch is healthier than eating pre-processed products. That’s not a religion!

            Furthermore, atheism’s only “doctrine” is a LACK of belief in supernatural entities, and it has no rituals:

            Definition of RITUAL
            1
            : of or relating to rites or a ritual : ceremonial
            2
            : according to religious law
            3: done in accordance with social custom or normal protocol .

            As for taking offense, I am equally offended when people criticize sincere Christians or Jews. People have a right to believe whatever they want, so long as it does not impel them to action which harms themselves or others.

            How is this hypocritical?

          • Kevin Leonard

            You two are having a problem with semantics.
            From merriam-webster.com:

            Definition of RELIGION
            1 a : the state of a religious
            b (1) : the service and worship of God or the supernatural (2): commitment or devotion to religious faith or observance
            2: a personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices
            3 : archaic : scrupulous conformity : conscientiousness
            4 : a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith

            Definition of FAITH
            1 a : allegiance to duty or a person : loyalty
            b (1) : fidelity to one’s promises (2) : sincerity of intentions
            2 a (1) : belief and trust in and loyalty to God (2) : belief in the traditional doctrines of a religion
            b (1) : firm belief in something for which there is no proof (2): complete trust
            3: something that is believed especially with strong conviction;especially : a system of religious beliefs

          • Kevin Leonard

            You two are having a problem with semantics.
            From merriam-webster.com:

            Definition of RELIGION
            1 a : the state of a religious
            b (1) : the service and worship of God or the supernatural (2): commitment or devotion to religious faith or observance
            2: a personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices
            3 : archaic : scrupulous conformity : conscientiousness
            4 : a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith

            Definition of FAITH
            1 a : allegiance to duty or a person : loyalty
            b (1) : fidelity to one’s promises (2) : sincerity of intentions
            2 a (1) : belief and trust in and loyalty to God (2) : belief in the traditional doctrines of a religion
            b (1) : firm belief in something for which there is no proof (2): complete trust
            3: something that is believed especially with strong conviction;especially : a system of religious beliefs

          • Spikeygrrl

            I never said atheism is not a FAITH in your definition #3; it IS something in which I believe with strong conviction; the “especially” in your definition denotes that “a system of religious beliefs” is merely an EXAMPLE, not a rigid requirement.

            Furthermore, anticipating the counter-argument that according to your Religion definition #4 atheism is indeed a religion because it is “a principle…held to with ardor”: I don’t have any particular ardor about it, it just IS. MILITANT atheists who insist on trying to change the minds of everyone they know are just as offensive to me as Christians or Hare Krishnas or members of any other evangelizing/prosletyzing (sp?) religion. Why can’t we all just agree that religion/specific religion/absence of religion is a PRIVATE matter, unless/until whatever you believe compels you to action which injures yourself or others?

          • Kevin Leonard

            Do we need to have another dictionary hunt for “ardor”?

            Just to be clear… I said the problem was that you two were not agreeing on the meaning of the word, not that either of you was right or wrong. But it is possible to discern, depending on how one ascribes meaning to the word “religion,” that you are both right. Or you are both wrong. Or, more simply, that you just don’t agree.

          • Spikeygrrl

            Ummm. It’s painfully obvious that jnana and I disagree. I mean no offense by asking, exactly what is it then that YOU are contributing to this discussion? I’m sincerely curious about the motives of people who feel compelled to point out to others things that are as obvious as the proverbial nose on one’s face.

          • Kevin Leonard

            thought i was making that clear.
            there are different ways to define “religion.”

            depending on where you stand,
            you can confidently say that atheism is religious in nature.
            or you may say that is bullshit.
            until the two of you agree to use the word in the same way, you are at an impasse

            if you understood where he was coming from in the first place (or might be coming from – i am as guilty of assumption as you), you would not have been offended.

            furthermore, if you feel that religious beliefs should be a private matter, you have the power to make it so, from your perspective, by not participating in discussions on religion.

          • Kevin Leonard

            thought i was making that clear.
            there are different ways to define “religion.”

            depending on where you stand,
            you can confidently say that atheism is religious in nature.
            or you may say that is bullshit.
            until the two of you agree to use the word in the same way, you are at an impasse

            if you understood where he was coming from in the first place (or might be coming from – i am as guilty of assumption as you), you would not have been offended.

            furthermore, if you feel that religious beliefs should be a private matter, you have the power to make it so, from your perspective, by not participating in discussions on religion.

          • jnana

            “Why can’t we all just agree that religion/specific religion/absence of religion is a PRIVATE matter, unless/until whatever you believe compels you to action which injures yourself or others?”

            Your beliefs ALWAYS lead to action. And every action has an equal and oppoite reaction. Either your action produces good fruits or poison. And as I said in another post, the majority are ignorant of the subtle consequences of actions and the beliefs that inspired the actions. For example, having sex outside of a serious committed relationship, thinking lustful thoughts and oogling at women produce ripple effects that severely injure others, especially women, and especially impressionable boys and girls. Many don’t recognize this as an injury, but I do for someone with the Holy Spirit is sensitive to that. Jesus said not only is having adulterous relations harmful, but even looking at others with the intent is tantamount to doing it. Same goes for violence.

            THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A PRIVATE MATTER!
            THOUGHTS ARE NOT PRIVATE!
            ALL THOUGHTS, WORDS, AND DEEDS AFFECT EVERY OTHER BEING FOR GOOD OR ILL!

          • Spikeygrrl

            I share your views on sexual fidelity. But if one’s own thoughts are not private, WHAT IS? Do you really believe in a world devoid of any privacy whatsoever? If so, you’re much more well-suited to this sick century than I am!

          • jnana

            They’re not private, meaning, they’re not isolated from interaction with reality in some kinda self-contained bubble. In truth, inner and outer are one and the same.

            But privacy? Who need privacy if there’s nothing to be ashamed of. But because we do have reason to be ashamed, God grants us fig leaves to cover our nakedness for the time being. Although, when we come to know ourselves, we will take our clothes off and trample on them, shamelessly, and then enter the Heavenly Kingdom. At least, that’s what Jesus says in the Gospel of Thomas.

            The closer we get to God(or perhaps, the Unconscious), though, the more we realize how important Thought is and it becomes powerful, having a more direct relationship with outer reality, Telepathy being a potent example of this.

          • Spikeygrrl

            One counterexample makes my case:
            Would you have sex with your husband in public?

          • jnana

            Well, there is something sacred about privacy in such an example. Marriage is a sacred mystery, and so is sex. It Is meant to be hidden from others, in the same manner that only the High Priest is allowed in the Holy of Holies. Intimate Union with the Other is a ritual. This ritual mirrors that which is Spiritual. Which is the Individual Soul in Union with the Spirit.

          • Kevin Leonard

            sorry to butt in again. but i’ve been following your dialogue, and i just have to say that you two are speaking from two entirely different modes of being.

          • Spikeygrrl

            Agreeing about SOMETHING is always a nice way to end a discussion…which I must now do, as I am expecting a Skype any minute from my husband who is deployed overseas. Nitey-nite, all — truly, this has been both interesting and fun :)

          • Kevin Leonard

            jnana. I’m sure you are familiar with the principle that our minds are not rooted in our brains – that our brains act as receivers, rather than originators, of thought. And by extension, many thoughts we perceive as our own do not, in fact, originate within our own being. Do you subscribe to this notion? And if so, how do you see it relating to the need to regulate our thoughts as directed by Jesus and others?

          • jnana

            Well, yeh, I’m familiar with that concept. (Just read this book called Incognito, a new bestseller written by a neuroscientist to explain modern neuroscience in layman’s terms. he claimed to be a materialist, but I think he was afraid to admit otherwise and face those possibilities. I think this because he mentions the possibility of the brain being like a radio. And perhaps neuroscientists are just playing with the wires, manipulating them and finding out what they wold do, the way a primitive would do if he found a radio. The primitive could figure out what the wires do and how to make it make noise, but he doesn’t understand anything about radio waves. This theory of the brain brings up a lot of questions that open the door to spirituality. Which is UNTHINKABLE for the mainstream scientist of today, so the author made that comment brief, and expressed materialist beliefs in the rest of the book)

            The kingdom of heaven is a seed(IDEA or Thought). We don’t plant the seed. The Master did that. What we do is till the field to give the seed fertile ground so it has a chance to grow. The ground needs to be tilled because the devil sowed a field of weeds. The devil is the author of genetic predisposition, astrological influence, Fate what the Greeks called Heimarmene. That’s the field of weeds that needs plowing first. Once we till the soil, we must water the seed and fertilize it and take care of it until it grows large enough to cast its seeds to the wind.

            Plowing the field is “regulating the thoughts” so that God’s thought can come in.

            Plowing the field is observing the manifestations of psychic energy, thoughts, emotions, events, sensations. When another thought pops up, observe and let it go, in pursuit of the Ineffable.

            A paradox:

            We regulate our thoughts by regulating our behavior. We regulate our behavior by regulating our thoughts. This is why we have to die and be born again, because in this way we would have been stuck with our “Heimarmene”

            What do I mean by “regulate behavior”? I mean Live by Love. Freely received freely given. Live by Faith. When we do this good thought will come, we will be less distracted by worldly thoughts.

            What do I mean by “regulate thought”? That was what I said above. Observe Observe Observe. Abandon worldly thoughts. Seek the Ineffable, Unknowable, the Unmanifest.

            But doesn’t God’s Thought originate with my own being? Or my own being originate with God’s Thought? What did Jesus mean when He said,” I and the Father are One”? And why did He say that we, too are gods? And we are made in God’s Image? GNOTHI SEAUTON.

            I’m just talking about uncovering our true natures and becoming who we are. As Plato said, “All knowledge is remembering”

          • Kevin Leonard

            Very good. We have different language and perhaps different methods (I’d be more inclined to go by the moniker raja), but in a meta-analysis, I feel that we agree.

            I have discussions with a friend who is an interesting mix of humanist/ naturalist/ philosophical buddhist. He is very inspiring to me because of the life practices he follows and the spirit he brings to our discussions. Yet he has no conception of, nor even a willingness to consider, a life beyond our present, material existence. He is the very ideal of “regulating thoughts and behavior” and though he doesn’t see it the way I do, I feel that he embodies his Spirit (capital S) in a greater fashion than most of the Christians that I encounter.

            The only real difference I see between what you seem to be describing and the path that I try to take is that my position suggests that by regulating behavior in the form of meditative practices, we can have spiritual gnosis of the highest order (if you have access to meditative practices of the highest order). Once we have experienced a pure gnosis, it becomes a touchstone, and ultimately may become a center of being so that we do not need to fight our thoughts from the level of our thoughts and we do not need to govern our actions by any moral dictates found in religious texts.

            I have not yet made my experience of gnosis a permanent, conscious and willful center of my being, but I may still rely on my peak experiences and the resulting energetic/ astral imprint as a touchstone to see which of my thoughts and which of my behaviors are in harmony with my true nature and which are products of the less harmonious environment I find myself in.

            But I am drawn to jnana yoga, as well. You have given me some terms in your post which will, no doubt, lead me to some fruitful searches. Cheers.

          • jnana

            I know there is such a thing as jnana yoga, but I don’t know what it actually is. I just know jnana is Sanskrit for gnosis/knowledge, that’s why it’s my moniker. I think a practitioner of jnana yoga would be more logical than I am.
            I don’t propose following moral dictates, per se. Instead I propose living by Faith. This isn’t a stagnant formal thing, but fluid and alive. one who lives by Faith will also be MORE righteous than someone who follows every commandment of religion, even.
            I live by Faith. But I have “2 hearts beating in my breast”. Whatever. I experience guilt(which is a blessing) repent, faithfully believing in Gracious Mercy and move on. It’s just practical. Until I realize total unity with God at all times and places, I gotta repent of sin and then move forward living by Faith.
            I think we experience the spiritual walk as a battle, at times, until there’s nothing left to battle. But I’ll tell you what I tell my free love hippy friends. You don’t know how strong the wind is until you stand up against it.

          • Kevin Leonard

            If I may ask…
            which texts/ translations/ authors have you found to be most revealing/ enlightening/ useful in your studies of gnostic Christianity?

          • Kevin Leonard

            If I may ask…
            which texts/ translations/ authors have you found to be most revealing/ enlightening/ useful in your studies of gnostic Christianity?

          • jnana

            There’s a lot, but some of the most helpful and enlightening for me are: The Secret Book of John, The Reality of the Rulers, The Teachings of Silvanus, The Gospel of Thomas of course, Ptolemy’s Letter to Flora, the Gospel of Truth and any other Valentinian text, the Hymn of the Pearl. I mostly get into what they call Valentinian and Sethian texts. I also like Manichaean and Mandaean scriptures.
            But I have to say that unless you have certain experiences, gnostic texts would probably do little for ya. I had my own PKD-esque experiences and that’s what got me into gnostic Christian stuff and PKD. Before those experiences I was into eastern/shamanistic philosophies and had a spiritual outlook, but I wouldn’t have understood gnostic stuff. It really was a call from outside.
            I haven’t altogether TOO much experience w/ plant “sacraments” in conjunction with gnostic scriptures and stuff but I intuit that some things that remain obscure to me would be revealed if the “doors of perception” were cleansed. There are a few puzzling scriptures like Thunder, Perfect Mind. I did have an experience that revealed to me what The First Thought in Three Forms was going on about. That was truly enlightening and I know now that the ancient gnostics were very much inspired by Sophia.

          • Kevin Leonard

            I was trying to hint around that, though I opted out of directly saying how the deeper experiences make certain texts understandable. I haven’t read any PKD, so I’m not really sure what types of experiences you are referring to. But from my perspective, what were once moral dictates, after experiences of gnosis become more akin to practical instructions. Those behaviors that are vilified in moral codes actually have negative impact on subtle levels, inhibiting gnosis, or negatively influencing karmic balance, or some other practical matter, but have very little to do with judgement or punishment.

            I used to do more with plants. My experiences were very spiritual, despite the fact that those whom I was with were just in it for the fun. Unfortunately for me, at the time, I was a full product of suburban white middle class conservative America with no guide and I became profoundly lost. It was many years later, first through literature, then through meditative practices that I had more pure experiences, unskewed by kaleidoscope eyes. I still look back with wonder, though, at how closely I skirted the noetic realms on those substances, bordering on discovering … something. It was only years later, after certain, and several, studies that I understood portions of the experiences I was having back then.

            I do know, also, that with many of the biblical passages I read, I have an instant understanding that is completely different from what I read about those passages on apologist’s websites. Or that when I have dialogues with my Christian friends, I cannot seem to get them to see that the words have so many levels of meaning. I find it amusing at times that when they take literal interpretations of passages, for instance, such as John 3:16 to mean that you have to accept Jesus as your saviour, I see a highly esoteric metaphor; and when they see metaphors, I often see something more literal. For instance, in the Gospel of Judas, there is a passage when Jesus tells Judas, ” Lift up your eyes and look at the cloud and the light within it and the stars surrounding it. The star that leads the way is your star.” I read the passage and thought, “oh, the only part that is missing is that your eyelids should be closed and your spine should be straight, because that is meditation instruction.” I have yet to find a Christian who agrees with me.

            Thunder, Perfect Mind is beautiful. It moves me in a way that is hard to describe. I feel it is almost an antithesis to ch. 1 of the Tao Te Ching. A tradition I was involved with for a while used parts of “Thunder…” to give substance to the concept of the Universal Mother, which goes by so many other names… the Cosmic Night … Binah …Primordial Yin … and has so many numberless forms. It is also worth looking at the concept of Thunder/ Lightning in I Ching and also in some Vedic texts (though I can’t name them) and the relation to Awakening. Above all, I certainly feel it is not a text to be understood with a rational mind. It exists as a compact, perfect thought, high in the noetic realms.

            I’m not familiar with the other texts you mentioned, though I am excited to look to them. I just read a bit of The First Thought in Three Forms (Trimorphic Protennoia on wikipedia). Amazing. What immediately comes to mind is the Theory of Emanations (Plotinus), the first three Sephiroth of Kabbalah and the Taoist passage that reads something like “From the Tao sprang the one. The one became two, the two became three, and the three became the myriad of all things.” As well as the Logos/ Word of John 1:1. All of it right there. But with more to study/ contemplate. Perfect. Thank you for pointing me to these.

            Namaste.

          • Kevin Leonard

            I was trying to hint around that, though I opted out of directly saying how the deeper experiences make certain texts understandable. I haven’t read any PKD, so I’m not really sure what types of experiences you are referring to. But from my perspective, what were once moral dictates, after experiences of gnosis become more akin to practical instructions. Those behaviors that are vilified in moral codes actually have negative impact on subtle levels, inhibiting gnosis, or negatively influencing karmic balance, or some other practical matter, but have very little to do with judgement or punishment.

            I used to do more with plants. My experiences were very spiritual, despite the fact that those whom I was with were just in it for the fun. Unfortunately for me, at the time, I was a full product of suburban white middle class conservative America with no guide and I became profoundly lost. It was many years later, first through literature, then through meditative practices that I had more pure experiences, unskewed by kaleidoscope eyes. I still look back with wonder, though, at how closely I skirted the noetic realms on those substances, bordering on discovering … something. It was only years later, after certain, and several, studies that I understood portions of the experiences I was having back then.

            I do know, also, that with many of the biblical passages I read, I have an instant understanding that is completely different from what I read about those passages on apologist’s websites. Or that when I have dialogues with my Christian friends, I cannot seem to get them to see that the words have so many levels of meaning. I find it amusing at times that when they take literal interpretations of passages, for instance, such as John 3:16 to mean that you have to accept Jesus as your saviour, I see a highly esoteric metaphor; and when they see metaphors, I often see something more literal. For instance, in the Gospel of Judas, there is a passage when Jesus tells Judas, ” Lift up your eyes and look at the cloud and the light within it and the stars surrounding it. The star that leads the way is your star.” I read the passage and thought, “oh, the only part that is missing is that your eyelids should be closed and your spine should be straight, because that is meditation instruction.” I have yet to find a Christian who agrees with me.

            Thunder, Perfect Mind is beautiful. It moves me in a way that is hard to describe. I feel it is almost an antithesis to ch. 1 of the Tao Te Ching. A tradition I was involved with for a while used parts of “Thunder…” to give substance to the concept of the Universal Mother, which goes by so many other names… the Cosmic Night … Binah …Primordial Yin … and has so many numberless forms. It is also worth looking at the concept of Thunder/ Lightning in I Ching and also in some Vedic texts (though I can’t name them) and the relation to Awakening. Above all, I certainly feel it is not a text to be understood with a rational mind. It exists as a compact, perfect thought, high in the noetic realms.

            I’m not familiar with the other texts you mentioned, though I am excited to look to them. I just read a bit of The First Thought in Three Forms (Trimorphic Protennoia on wikipedia). Amazing. What immediately comes to mind is the Theory of Emanations (Plotinus), the first three Sephiroth of Kabbalah and the Taoist passage that reads something like “From the Tao sprang the one. The one became two, the two became three, and the three became the myriad of all things.” As well as the Logos/ Word of John 1:1. All of it right there. But with more to study/ contemplate. Perfect. Thank you for pointing me to these.

            Namaste.

          • jnana

            essentially, the “gnostic” experience is a mystical, anomalous, and PARANOID experience. I think of them as Middle Eastern shamans, in that they recognized there were spirits manipulating the space-time fabric and our lives, basically. A pagan would have then bowed in fear and made supplication and practice flattery on the ruling spirit. The gnostics were a bit rebellious. They flaunted the ruling spirits and even the lawgiver Yahweh himself. But they also knew who they were children of and how much greater the God of Jesus Christ is, so they could be so bold and fearless in confronting the Archons. Gnostics were a lot like Buddhists, except they thought it was important to know who the enemies were who caused suffering. They were also like Shivaites. Shiva himself renounced Brahmas creation as imperfect and left his place in the divine drama as destroyer to meditate in the forest. But despite all the similarities gnostic thought has w/ other spiritualities it is pretty unique in its eclecticism. THe orobouros is an important gnostic symbol and I believe it is in reference to self-reference, which is a theme of Trimorphic Protennoia.

          • Kevin Leonard

            Paranoia may be a path to gnosis, but it is certainly not a requirement. In Greek, it means “beside the mind,” but “nous,” as in “noetic” realms, means much more than our ordinary conception of the mind. It is the First Thought. The first level of emanation from the One. When I was tripping, I said I was skirting the noetic realms. Paranoia. I would not call it pure gnosis, though.

            Or, perhaps there is something of paranoia, in the Greek sense, in the Gospel of Thomas passage “If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.” This is a phase one may have to go through, similar to “emptying the cup,” shedding cultural programming, unbinding emotional traumas, et.al., all of which hinder reaching higher levels of spirit consciously .

            But I would still not say that gnosis is a paranoid experience. gnosis doesn’t happen beside nous. It happens IN nous.

            Read Thunder, Perfect Mind in the right state (consciousness seated in the noetic realm) and there is not confusion, but an opening. Words get in the way. The key to that passage is in the title, not the text. Indeed, it is the key to all texts.

          • jnana

            What imean by gnostic paranoia is more about realization on who created and rules the physical cosmos. The awareness the rulers of Fate are malicious or ignorant and irrational can be disconcerting to someone whos sympathetic. It is said in the bible the fear of the lord is the beginning of wisdom and in gospel of Thomas jesus says, ‘he who seeks w ill find. he who has found will be troubled…
            As for what actually is GNOSIS, i’m not really sure I know. I don’t think its the same as enlightenment or mystical experience, I think its something else, but similar to those expwriences.

          • Kevin Leonard

            Ah. I figured you had a definition other than the usual one for “paranoia”. It is similar to what I was saying earlier regarding your dialogue with spikeygirl…hard to have meaningful discourse when the words you are using have different meanings.

            As for the other distinctions, I would agree -there is a difference between mystical experiences, enlightenment and GNOSIS, but they are all on the same end of the experience/ consciousness spectrum. Mystical experiences are readily available if you want to work with plant guides, shamanistic drumming, or do rituals in the forest, etc. Enlightenment is a different concept and can be differentiated between eastern enlightenment, where the sense of personal identity is dissolved, or western enlightenment, where the sense of a personal self is retained but there is still a permanent connection with the Divine and all levels of the Noetic realms. Then I would also differentiate periods of satori as a temporal form of enlightenment.

            gnosis, vs. Gnosis, vs. GNOSIS. is potentially even more difficult to agree upon. There is gnostic in the general sense, Gnostic referring specifically to the set of teachings of the varying groups in the years just before the time of Christ and surrounding the formative centuries of the Church (but which set of Gnostic teachings?). Then there is GNOSIS, which transcends the others. It is a mystical experience, but it is more. It can exist separate from enlightenment, though my interpretation of western enlightenment is essentially permanent GNOSIS. Three parts to GNOSIS: the knower, the known and the act of knowing. The sense of self is integral to the process. The known is the focal point in the particular branch of the Noetic realms. The act of knowing is much harder to put in to words.

            I have been a long time seeker. Really, almost as long as I can remember, I have been searching for the ineffable. Along the way, I had innumerable moments of gnosis, as in “aha” moments during study or discourse; I had countless mystical experiences, either with drugs, plants, meditation workshops, spiritual healers and so forth. I had two distinct periods of satori, where I bordered on being Tolle-like and just sitting all day in awe and deep contemplation, but I was still too attached to the mundane. “How can I function like this?” was a constant refrain because my awareness bordered on psychedelic experience for days, though it had been decades since I had taken any psychedelic substances. Then it finally hit me. During a two person meditative practice, I had the opening of a lifetime. It was very brief, perhaps 5 minutes, maybe ten, where my consciousness reached the heights of the Noetic realms, fully conscious, aware, immersed. I came out of the experience thinking, “I could die now. I’m happy, content. I have found what I have been seeking all of these years. After all of these other experiences, I have found it.” It was so simple, yet it embraced the whole world. (Bringing all of that knowledge back to normal consciousness is another matter, though, related, esoterically, to the Tower of Babel) And yes, the troubling part comes, in numerous ways, but primarily, for me, anyway, in why can I not retain that state? how can I convince people that nothing else matters? and how do I navigate through the mundane, now, with all of its pain and drama knowing what awaits us? KNOWING. There is no need for faith or belief. And how do I strip all of that petty, mundane stuff from my being and bring my true self forth without sounding too arrogant or without falling into some sort of messiah complex?

            I wonder if Jesus had a messiah complex?
            ;-) Had to lighten things up a bit. Okay. I’ve shared way more than I ever thought I would on this public forum. Hopefully there are very few still following this thread. I’m off to go meditate.

          • Calypso_1

            Beautiful thread. Thank you.

          • Calypso_1

            You are correct to equate the paranoid with this. Very good.

            An excellent realization of a usually negatively conceived mindstate…. chasing the rabbit down the hole is not always a downward spiral of divination but sometimes being caught up by the raptor/ure into the widening gyre of archetypal orreries whispering mysteries of henosis.

            …interesting subthread to arise on such an old post.

          • jnana

            I’m talking about serious beliefs about the nature of the cosmos and self, even if it’s a belief in “nothing” as a nihilist claims(though typical “nihilists” probably believe in physical self-expression, which means they aren’t nihilist, per se). In fact, I am probably more of a nihilist than nihilists because I believe in No Thing, and that God is No Thing, but that’s beside the point. The point I’m making is everyone who lives and thinks has guiding beliefs, even at the lowest level, for example, a person who lets others think for them and just follows course(ignorance is bliss)
            As for rituals, everyone has those, too. Let’s say yer an atheist who only believes in the physical world and life is simply meant for the propagation of the species. Yer religious rituals would consist of the mating “ritual”, the rituals of war, to vanquish genetic enemies, and if yer political, the judicial system consists of ritual, voting, whatever, I could go on and on.(oh, and the Scientific Method!) Basically, rituals are expressions of your beliefs. Again, I am probably less ritualistic than an atheist though I am a Christian(of the more Gnostic persuasion), because I believe in the freedom of the Holy Spirit, which consists in living by the Spirit of Love and not in rote unreasonable ritual. When asked what diet they should abide by, whether they should give alms or fast, Jesus told his apostles not to worry about it basically and, “Do not lie and do not do what you hate. For all things will become manifest. There is not one thing that is buried that will not become uncovered”.
            I’d like to add that “atheism” has many doctrines and dogmas. Whatever the High Priests of Materialism have to say is Truth, is Truth. They are the mediators between the ignorant masses and the Numinous Beyond and Its Laws and Precepts.
            I would also like to ask why is it wrong to criticize someone’s beliefs when beliefs produce action and effects in reality, which can lead to harm even when the harm is often subtle and unseen and not recognized as harm by the multitudes?
            Sure we have a right to believe what we want, but why take offense when others examine and criticize, as Socrates did?
            And why do you believe people have the “right” to believe whatever they want? Where do you get yer concepts of “sacred” rights and taboos? Who has given you your Morality and why is your concept of Morality the right one?

          • Spikeygrrl

            I don’t claim to have all those universal answers you seem to be so sure of. I just cliam to be myself. As for my belief that people have a right to believe whatever they wish? let’s turn that upside down: who, in your opinion, has the right to DENY people to believe whatever they wish? That’s the libertarian position: In the absence of a compelling right to regulate belief and behavior — most commonly, when it causes injury to yourself or others — it should not be regulated.

            Of course, I respect your right to believe I’m nutty as a fruitcake :) I spent almost 50 years “beating myself up” over every mild disagreement or criticism. I’m a much happier camper now that I really don’t much care aboout what strangers think. Better late than never, neh?

          • jnana

            Might makes right.

            Unless, of course, I am bound to a righteous morality, or live by the Christ Spirit.

            But if I am not and don’t, then Might makes right, which is what we see in this wicked world.

          • jnana

            By the way, I don’t think yer nutty as a fruitcake, and do respect yer mental and spiritual rights without thinking yer a lesser person for having a different disposition. But for the sake of fruit(cake)ful discussion, I argued w/ you.

          • Spikeygrrl

            Who said anything about physical forcing (“might”)?! I asked, who do you believe has the RIGHT to compel beliefs? Since you are a Christian, I expected your answer to be God or Jesus.

    • DeepCough

      Anybody who takes this oath willingly should not be allowed to graduate, because it serves to prove that they did not pay attention in Poli-Sci 101.

      • 5by5

        Word.

    • pricto

      The universal ‘concept’ of a single God (actually not the ‘term’ which is a semantic device or ‘theory’ which is a more elaborate rational semantic explanatory system), as slippery as it may be, does not justify belief in such a gaseous unvertebrate entity floating somewhere beyond our perception. It is simply not subjected to proof as we know it, and just like our knowledge of what happens after death, it’s open for creative speculation (which I think is better than being stuck with one possibility).
      The fact is that belief and concept are not the same term, it is a complete fallacy (a logical error) to say that since God is a Universal term then everyone believes in its existence.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=742104313 Adam Goodwin

        Pull the trigger!! Oh… it’s just a woodwind.

    • http://twitter.com/RayButlers Ray Butlers

      false. atheists don’t use evolution as their god. atheists have no god.

      • http://www.facebook.com/jesse.heichertiii Jesse J. Heichert III

        Once I was staying in a village. Two old men came to me. One was a Hindu, another was a Jaina. The Jainas don’t believe in the existence of God. Both were friends, almost lifelong friends, both must have been nearabout seventy. And both had quarreled for their whole lives: whether God exists or not? The Hindu insisted that he exists and would quote the Vedas and Upanishads and Gita, and the Jaina would insist that he does not exist and would quote Mahavir and Neminath and Parshwanath and his tirthankaras. And they argued and argued to no end, because these questions are so meaningless, so futile, you can go on arguing, ad infinitum; there is no end to it. Nobody can prove absolutely, nobody can disprove absolutely either. The questions are so utterly useless: nothing can be proved definitely this way or that, so the question goes on hanging.
        Hearing that I was staying in the guesthouse outside the village, they came to see me. And they said, “Our whole lives have been a conflict. We are friends, in every way we are friendly, but about this question of God we immediately start quarreling. And we have quarreled the whole life. Now you are here: give us a definite answer so this quarrel can be stopped, and we can at least die in ease.”
        I asked them, “If it is proved definitely that God is, how is it going to change your life?”
        They shrugged their shoulders. They said, “We will live as we are living.”
        “Or, if it is proved,” I told them, “that God definitely does not exist, how is it going to change your life?”
        They said, “It is not going to change our lives at all, because we both live exactly the same life. We are partners in a business. He believes in God, I don’t believe in God, but as far as our lives are concerned we have the same pattern. His God does not make any difference, my no-God does not make any difference.”
        Then I said, “This is a futile question.”
        Which question is futile? One whose answer is not going to make a change in your life. It is useless. People ask, ‘Who created the world?’ How is it going to change your life? Anybody, A B C D anybody, how is it going to change your life? ‘Is there life after death?’ How is it going to change your life?
        Can’t you see theists and atheists all living the same kind of life, the same rotten kind of life? Can’t you see the Catholic and the communist living the same kind of life, the same lies, the same falsehood, the same masks? Can’t you see the Protestant and the Catholic living the same life? Can’t you see the Hindu and the Mohammedan living the same life, with no difference at all? All differences are only verbal. No verbal difference makes any difference in their existence. They have been discussing about useless questions.
        But why do people ask useless questions? To avoid going in, they pretend that they are great inquirers. They are interested in God, they are interested in the after-life, they are interested in heaven and hell. And the real thing is that they are not interested in themselves. To avoid that, to avoid seeing this fact, that ‘I am not interested in my own being,’ they have created all these questions. These questions are their strategies to avoid their central question: Who am I?
        True religion consists in the inquiry ‘Who am I?’ And nobody else can answer it. You will have to go digging deeper and deeper into your being. One day, when you have reached the very source of your life, you will know. That day, the real question and the real answer will have happened simultaneously.

        • bobbiethejean

          A lovely story but the problem isn’t that people cannot prove the existence or nonexistence of a god. The problem is believers trying to legalize forcing other people to proclaim a God. This is unconstitutional and even more, it is morally wrong. People should not be forced to proclaim any god for any reason.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/wnymathguy wnymathguy

      I see you are an easy going thinker, just trying to get everybody to chill and get along, but I believe you are wrong in your premise. You are mangling the word God into so many meanings and calling them equivalent when they are now. Take the word fuck (if the bot-censors starred out that last word, it was the f-word) for example. It is used in many contexts like anger, joy, requests for services, frustration, or tacit expressions of strong emotion.

      The God in that questionable statement in the article above is a sentient entity which we are to ask for assistance in carrying out the duties of the preceding statements, and expect some supernatural help back from even if it’s only coincidences or dodged bullets.

      Even if you took the erroneous assumption of the atheist god being evolution as true, you can’t think that atheists are asking evolution for help to do the duties of protecting this nation. That’s utterly silly.

      I’m not Jewish, but based on what I do know I believe that statement is even vile to Jews because you don’t ask God for help. God as they believe it is a giver of laws, and a creator of things, not an entity that you make requests to expecting any help in return.

      I know less about Hinduism and Buddhism, but I’m pretty sure that you don’t ask any of their supernatural characters for help either.

      (Damn-it, now I feel obligated to study Hindi’s and bald-fatties to see if I’m right)

    • Spikeygrrl

      So you define any strong belief as “a God”? Wow, that’s really warped.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jesse.heichertiii Jesse J. Heichert III

    @Equp, that’s like saying computers are irrelevant because we still don’t know much about them compared to what we will know in future. It people weren’t so busy disproving God, or a higher natural power then us, (what I see “God” as) Nature, if you wanna call it that – we’d probably have a more concise coherent, idea, beyond metaphysics.

    • equip

      As you said in another post, the term “God” isn’t used here in a specific sense. Also, it isn’t the subject of the oath either. It’s rational to see the Judeo-Christian and monotheistic sense of the term and how it’s applied but this is not inclusive to all who operate in a system seen as ” under God”. My concern is that a wishy washy treatment of the concepts of “God” and agreeing to something so vague is merely a token gesture. Not narrowing things down and being specific can lead to a chaotic mish mash of like, ya know, whatever and stuff. If this oath were to be required, it would be less an issue of religious indoctrination than political.

  • http://twitter.com/anarcho anarcho

    I propose that all Republican leaders in Arizona be subjected to a colonoscopy…and the findings be made public

    • bobbiethejean

      Results: Many heads were excavated that day…..

  • http://www.facebook.com/moonbucket Graham Ferguson

    “I take this obligation freely”. Yeah sure sounds like it.

    Surprised you don’t have to deny any knowledge or acceptance of evolution to pass your exams in the bible bashing parts of the US.

    Get into the 21st Century.

  • Jin The Ninja

    arizona- voted most likely the worst state in the union by everyone non-white and/or non-christian.

    • echar

      Are the white people in your stereotypical dichotomy represented by the non-christian? Chip on your shoulder much?

      • Jin The Ninja

        i am not sure if it is your writing style, but i find you as a poster basically incomprehensible. if you’ve paid attention at all to the draconian policies of AZ, the very ones that ban ethnic studies, legalise stop and frisk based on skin colour, and the stories that tell of ‘legal’ (no one is illegal frankly) immigrants and native americans being detained, deported for no just cause, than you’d know what i am referring to.
        opposing oppression isn’t some pet cause that i feign anger about at dinner parties.

        • echar

          I thought you were referring to your narrow minded prejudices. If opposing oppression is something you “don’t feign” then perhaps it would behoove you to refrain from speaking like an oppressor.

          Martin Luther King Jr. was for human rights, not all the kids, but especially the chocolate ones.

          • bobbiethejean

            That is absolute bullshit, you know it, and you should be ashamed.

          • echar

            Not at all, pardon if that was unclear.

  • Guest

    Hahaha! Love the last phrase for its obvious appropriateness after all the scary things being oathed for… if you don’t believe in God already you’ll shure have to believe in it after commiting to this oath. There is nothing possitive in it, focusing on possible enemies and blind alliance to some not so friendly camp (unspecified) that prohibits free will and individual thinking… All extremist religions call for this type of behaviour.in order to keep their sheepy followers from questioning their orders.

  • pricto

    Hahaha! Love the last phrase for its obvious appropriateness after all the scary things being oathed for… if you don’t believe in God already you’ll shure have to believe in it after commiting to this oath. There is nothing possitive in it, focusing on possible enemies and blind alliance to some not so friendly camp (unspecified) that prohibits free will and individual thinking… All extremist religions call for this type of behaviour in order to keep their sheepy followers from questioning their orders.

  • DeepCough

    This is how Nazism starts.

    • BuzzCoastin

      This is how Nazism ends.
      Der Homeland has been Nazi since Prescott was Hitler’s bankster.

      • DeepCough

        Well, if you wanna be really, really technical, the USA was Nazi before Hitler made it into a fashion statement, but I digress.

        • I_abide

          So you’re saying that I’m now a hipster by proxy? Excuse me… I have to go knock myself unconscious now.

        • I_abide

          So you’re saying that I’m now a hipster by proxy? Excuse me… I have to go knock myself unconscious now.

  • Calypso_1

    Pass it. Then watch the ACLU tear it to shreds.

    • DeepCough

      Assuming all the ACLU lawyers haven’t been thrown into Maricopa County’s infamous “tent city” jails, which were established thanks to self-styled “toughest sheriff in America” Joe Arpaio.

    • http://www.ContraControl.com/ Zenc

      In that situation, it certainly would be tempting to take the oath, then instantly stomp a mudhole in the ass of the person administering the oath.

      There’d be plenty of justification for doing so, as you just swore an oath to “Protect and Defend the Constitution”…

      But yeah, the ACLU probably won’t dawdle when it comes to taking this one to court. Shame the court costs and judgement can’t be taken out of the salary/property of the idiots who passed it.

      Instead the taxpayers get the bill.

    • http://www.ContraControl.com/ Zenc

      In that situation, it certainly would be tempting to take the oath, then instantly stomp a mudhole in the ass of the person administering the oath.

      There’d be plenty of justification for doing so, as you just swore an oath to “Protect and Defend the Constitution”…

      But yeah, the ACLU probably won’t dawdle when it comes to taking this one to court. Shame the court costs and judgement can’t be taken out of the salary/property of the idiots who passed it.

      Instead the taxpayers get the bill.

  • echar

    What is going on in Arizona?

    • http://twitter.com/anarcho anarcho

      The Republicans like to mentally masturbate, while they deny they do the other

      • echar

        There are republicans all over the United States, and not all of them are this brand of fascist.

        • 5by5

          If you’re voting for crazy, you’re part of the problem, hon. Sorry, I’m just not going to let the rank-and-file off the hook like that. You lot are responsible for elevating this bullshit, tanking the economy, and starting two wars. You’re supposed to be the responsibility people, so TAKE RESPONSIBILITY.

          • echar

            You take RESPONSIBILITY for making an ASSumption… hon. Being narrow minded is part of the issue on both sides imo.

          • Jin The Ninja

            ‘hon’ is sophomoric and condescending; demonstrating an inability to engage in discourse anywhere above kindergarten.

          • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

            i think echar made that very point well by reciprocating it back at 5by5… hon

      • echar

        Well said.

    • Ittabena

      Sheriff Joe Arpaio!

      • echar

        The good ol’ boy system :(

  • BuzzCoastin

    anybody who has taken a public oath (state your name)
    has to laugh at this 3rd grade bullshit

    but if the oath was the only indoctrination, brainwashing a student received
    the oath would be worth taking

  • equip

    I don’t think that’s a good comparison. The oath isn’t about believing in “God”; whatever that means.

    • 5by5

      Are you comprehension challenged? You’re specifically calling on the assistance of a deity, so by definition, you must actually believe said deity EXISTS. Thus, belief is required. Follow that? That’s the “logic” here.

    • Kevin Gregorius

      The “comparison” is between bills … my hypotheticals and the AZ bill … that are facially unconstitutional and introduced solely to pander to fringe groups.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/wnymathguy wnymathguy

      Because they used a semicolon to connect the statement, it means that “so help me God” is a statement that doesn’t stand on it’s own, thus only makes sense in the context of the preceding statement(s).

      It is obvious that you can do all the preceding statements without the belief in a God, so adding it was done with forethought. Any devout christian will rattle off that oath without hesitation, but any purely secular minded person will make a fuss about it or have to prepare to lie like a sociopath for the moment.

      If I were looking for ways to smoke out a hard to find enemy so that I could discriminate against them in the future through gossipy back-channels, and exclusion form economic success, this would be a good way to find people to mark as not with God.

      So what’s the penalty for being caught lying after taking this oath? Revocation of a diploma and reporting it to a college to get a student removed from college in disgrace?

      • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

        Well then they just gotta make sure they don’t go to college in Arizona.

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/wnymathguy wnymathguy

          Lolz. Thanks for reading my post. Seriously though, I think the HS Diploma has nationwide reach. It’s your basis for entry to a college. I think that colleges are really rigid about retroactively removing your status if you are found to fraudulently to enter. They tend to make an example of people to prevent it better.

          • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

            haha, well call me naive but i think many colleges would be human enough to understand the ridiculousness of losing your diploma over something like that (again, assuming they aren’t in arizona)

      • equip

        There is nothing to lie about in terms of God here… so help me my wit.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Matt-Miller/743275334 Matt Miller

    I don’t agree with having to recite that last line, but its clear Arizona is fed up with the way our federal government is going, and I don’t blame them. I vote democrat but Obama is fucking up big time, Obamacare is going to now FORCE us to pay for medical insurance whether we have the money for it or not (Obama is in insurance companies pockets), I am a gun owner as well and his latest proposals are absurd. I can’t stand to have a government controlled by Christianity though either so who can I vote for eh? One side wants to abolish my right to be atheist and the other wants to abolish my right to protect myself, both are systematically destroying our bill of rights.

    • InfvoCuernos

      I wonder how many of us there are? It seems like if some portion of the republican party is to survive, its going to have to (LOL)…evolve. Its going to drop the religious thing soon or its going to completely flounder. and lose the whole bloodsucking rich old white guy image.

    • Halli620

      Totally irrelevant comments, other than your first few words, whhich is what the article is actually about. For the record, still entirely off topic, I also strongly believe in the right to own firearms, which is not at risk; however, I strongly support background checks and mental health checks, and as a lawyer, find no basis in the Constitution for assault-style weapons. If the risks of a non-guaranteed “right” like that to assault weapons outweigh the “benefits” of preserving that right, there is a reasonable nexus to permit a ban. Back to the issue at hand, Arizona’s frustration with “where this country is going” will not be helped by requiring its high school seniors to ask a higher power for help in being moral citizens. Even the pledge of allegiance did not originally contain the words “under God,” which were added later for no real purpose; and moreover, under God refers more to the beliefs of the founding fathers and/or the majority of the country, rather than a belief specifically held by the reciter.

    • Halli620

      Totally irrelevant comments, other than your first few words, whhich is what the article is actually about. For the record, still entirely off topic, I also strongly believe in the right to own firearms, which is not at risk; however, I strongly support background checks and mental health checks, and as a lawyer, find no basis in the Constitution for assault-style weapons. If the risks of a non-guaranteed “right” like that to assault weapons outweigh the “benefits” of preserving that right, there is a reasonable nexus to permit a ban. Back to the issue at hand, Arizona’s frustration with “where this country is going” will not be helped by requiring its high school seniors to ask a higher power for help in being moral citizens. Even the pledge of allegiance did not originally contain the words “under God,” which were added later for no real purpose; and moreover, under God refers more to the beliefs of the founding fathers and/or the majority of the country, rather than a belief specifically held by the reciter.

    • http://www.facebook.com/calvin.cambridge.37 Calvin Cambridge

      Well if ya have to choose between the two (Which you don’t) According to your worldview it really doesn’t matter and there is no way they can prove anything.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=64300377 Kat Engh

    If I was an Arizonan, more than anything, I’d be pissed at the colossal waste of time that legislation like this represents. Time, mind you, that is paid for with tax dollars.

  • http://twitter.com/EBrowningBosley E. Browning Bosley

    This and other articles are so full of shit. This ain’t swearing allegiance to God but to the constitution.

    • 5by5

      Look, another comprehension challenged dolt.

    • bobbiethejean

      The constitution explicitly prohibits exactly this kind of bullshit.

  • http://www.facebook.com/bilzbub Bil Z’bUb

    meh. who cares? you guys know the damage is done, right? all thats left is the finale and which side of the line you stand on. enjoy figuring that out and quit bitchin’ about this small time shit and get active you armchair warriors!!!

  • Ittabena

    I have to take a little calmer note here. The article says;

    “It’s bad enough the Republicans are demanding loyalty of the kind normally reserved for members of Congress and beyond.”

    However I need to point out that this is the same oath that every soldier and police officer takes. This is a matter of course and has been for decades.

    The headline is misleading in that, as another commenter stated, this is about swearing an oath to the Constitution, not to God. In my book this is a good thing.

    • 5by5

      Drop the last sentence. Period.

      And do I really have to point out the difference between a choice made by an adult to join a particular organization, versus a minor forced to swear an oath or fail to graduate, thus crippling their economic prospects for life?

      • Ittabena

        Sorry, just don’t see a problem here. It is swearing an oath to the
        Constitution not the Government, or God. And since the Constitution is what used to keep us free and guarantee our rights, I fail to find the Boogey-man promised by the headline. To me this is just the Pledge of Allegiance on steroids.

        I am standing by the last sentence, period or no…

        • Halli620

          There is no earthly reason to require its high school seniors to ask a higher power for help in being moral citizens. Even the pledge of allegiance did not originally contain the words “under God,” which were added later for no real purpose; and moreover, under God refers more to the beliefs of the founding fathers and/or the majority of the country, rather than a belief specifically held by the reciter. The rest of the AZ pledge is fine; however, if they want an option for students to add “so help me God, they shoul make it very clear that it is, in fact, an option.

        • Halli620

          There is no earthly reason to require its high school seniors to ask a higher power for help in being moral citizens. Even the pledge of allegiance did not originally contain the words “under God,” which were added later for no real purpose; and moreover, under God refers more to the beliefs of the founding fathers and/or the majority of the country, rather than a belief specifically held by the reciter. The rest of the AZ pledge is fine; however, if they want an option for students to add “so help me God, they shoul make it very clear that it is, in fact, an option.

  • 5by5

    What cracks me up about this is how much it reminds me of a signed oath I found when going through things after my mom’s passing.

    Apparently she had to sign that flotsam back in the McCarthy Era in order to be able to teach in Colorado. She was forced to swear allegiance to a country that our family LITERALLY helped found by signing the Declaration of Independence.

    Yeah. My grandmother was DAR. Didn’t matter.

    To this bunch of crazy, you’re a suspected Commie unless you sign this idiotic 3×5 card and its “approved” by a Republican.

    So don’t feel bad, immigrant Hispanics (and others)! 400+ years after your family lineage has been American, there will STILL be some douche demanding you “prove” you’re American *enough* for them.

    • Jin The Ninja

      the whole concept of ‘perpetual foreigner’ is racist and completely ahistorical.

    • wcarver

      As a retired Colorado teacher I had to sign that POS card when I started teaching. Don’t sign – don’t get a job.

      Many of the Hispanic citizens living in Colorado and other So. Western states are the descendants of Spanish land grant pioneers who were here in the early 1600′s.

    • wcarver

      As a retired Colorado teacher I had to sign that POS card when I started teaching. Don’t sign – don’t get a job.

      Many of the Hispanic citizens living in Colorado and other So. Western states are the descendants of Spanish land grant pioneers who were here in the early 1600′s.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/wnymathguy wnymathguy

    Comically I wonder about pauses and inflection.
    What if the students say, “[in an awkward tone stretching out the words] so… [skeptical face and mechanical reciting words with uncertainty] …help me god?”
    Or, “[briskly and unenthusiastically] so help… [split second extra pause] … Megod. [as if their is a person named Megod who we are promising to help]“

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/wnymathguy wnymathguy

    I wonder if Legally the final statement “so help me God” will nullify the preceding statements for Atheists who recite it as it is by way of something like Modus Ponens. e.g. If pigs fly, then I’m the King of England. If P then Q, and Q is false, thus the entire statement is false.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modus_ponens#Justification_via_truth_table

    Arizona Judge: You took an oath to defend this country lady, and you instead let Mexicans transport marijuana right past your house!
    Plaintiff: Wait, what? That high school prank? That wasn’t an oath, it was obviously an ironic statement of comedy to thumb our noses against the establishment. Why else would they have ended it with something as ridiculous as so help me God? … Duh. Smell the coffee judgey-wudgey.

  • OUTDOOR GUY

    Religion was invented when the first fool met the first charlatan.
    This was a follow up to the invention of the god(s) concept by early firghtened and confused humans.

    • Kevin Leonard

      ’cause you were there, so you know

      • GregForest

        Well I wasn’t there at the beginning but close. Watch the credits at the end of the movie and you will see i was on the crew that filmed Adam & Eve in the Garden of Eden. It was on the Science Channel last season aired as, “Human Origins, Fact or Fiction?” The conclusion of the film was we did indeed originate.

        • Kevin Leonard

          Oh, well, I definitely consider The Science Channel documentaries and the perspective of the film makers to have the final say in the matter. (where is that sarcasm font?)

  • Ittabena

    Agreed, however I don’t see any point in getting worked up over a non-story like this when they are STILL printing money out of thin air and the Fed is still running around thumbing their noses at the citizen’s futures.

    I’ll worry about this when some of the bigger issues get attended to. Priority list and all that jazz.

    Perhaps we should think about how highly they value our ability to become distracted before we… Uh I lost what I was going to say. Too much Fluoridated water in my youth I guess.

    • bobbiethejean

      If you don’t see a problem with state mandated religion, which is exactly where allowing this kind of crap always inevitably leads, then you need to have your head examined.

      • jnana

        Humanism and Darwinism are the state-mandated religion in the US

        • Andrew

          No, Finance Capitalism is the state-mandated religion in the U.S.

          • jnana

            Capitalism is science’s handmaiden. Or is it the other way around? Anyway, they’re buddies, at least.

          • jnana

            Capitalism is science’s handmaiden. Or is it the other way around? Anyway, they’re buddies, at least.

          • Andrew

            I disagree.

          • Andrew

            I disagree.

        • bobbiethejean

          Darwinian evolution is not a religion, it is a branch of science. To call that a religion is absurd. Humanism being a religion is arguable but either way, it is not enforced by the state.

          • jnana

            I’d say it’s a religion. Buddhism is a religion w/o gods. t’s not necessary to believe in god to be a religion. Darwinism, or rather Modern Science, as preached in schools and other state institutions is basically a religion for it tells us where we came from, who we are, what our purpose is, what is real and worthy to be worshiped(served) and many other things that in the past was taught by religious doctrine. Religion served as science in the past and for some people still does. Anyway, it’s not as cut and dry as we’re led to believe.

          • bobbiethejean

            as preached in schools and Science is not preached, it is taught. You don’t preach facts, you teach them. Is math preached? Is history preached? No. They are taught. Same as science.

            it tells us where we came from Are you really comparing the knowledge that we descended from apes which is something evidenced by genetics, the fossil record, and observation to religions’ teachings that we were put here by a magical man in the sky, an idea that has no evidence at all?

            who we are/what our purpose is I have spent my entire life immersed in science and never once do I recall being told “who I am” or “what my purpose is.”

            what is real Yes, science teaches us what is real but unlike religion, science can back what it teaches up. You have your entire modern life to thank for science, including the internet and computer you are using to have this discussion over.

            and worthy to be worshiped Individual scientists may have personal opinions about what is and is not worthy of being worshiped but science it self cannot opine such things. Science is about fact and understanding. Science, by the very nature of what it is, cannot commentate on the supernatural, let alone tell you what you should worship.

            I think it is quite cut and dry. Science deals with what we know, with fact, and understanding. Religion is about faith. Non-overlapping magesteria.

          • jnana

            What’s the difference b/w teach and preach?

            I just typed a long reply but it didn’t post, so I’ll just keep this short.

            Science doesn’t have facts. Darwinism is a theory. Big Bang is a theory. A theory many people and scientists even don’t believe to be true. Also, science has very weak, crude instruments of observation. It can’t observe the subtlest reality and so denies it. Some people have trained there observing skills to be able to “see” the subtler realities. Any new knowledge can tear down the Tower of Science, and many cientists have too much invested in it, and might prefer to not tear down their livelihood. This has happened before and may happen again. Preconceived notions and prejudices influence scientists too much and clouds the Truth from being revealed to them. Revelation and Intuition gives and gave Truth that scientists are realizing now, but some Truths that they will never realize with materialist prejudices.

            from Wikipedia:

            Efforts to reduce childbed fever

            Ignaz Semmelweis demonstrated that puerperal fever (also known as childbed fever) was contagious and that this incidence could drastically be reduced by appropriate hand washing by medical care-givers. He made this discovery in 1847 while working in the Maternity Department of the Vienna Lying-in Hospital. His failure to convince his fellow doctors led to a tragic conclusion, however, he was ultimately vindicated and cleared of blame. While employed as assistant to the professor of the maternity clinic at the Vienna General Hospital in Austria in 1847, Semmelweis introduced hand washing with chlorinated lime solutions for interns who had performed autopsies. This immediately reduced the incidence of fatal puerperal fever from about 10 percent (range 5–30 percent) to about 1–2 percent. At the time, diseases were attributed to many different and unrelated causes. Each case was considered unique, just as a human person is unique. Semmelweis’s hypothesis, that there was only one cause, that all that mattered was cleanliness, was extreme at the time, and was largely ignored, rejected or ridiculed. He was dismissed from the hospital for political reasons and harassed by the medical community in Vienna, being eventually forced to move to Pest.

            Semmelweis was outraged by the indifference of the medical profession and began writing open and increasingly angry letters to prominent European obstetricians, at times denouncing them as irresponsible murderers. His contemporaries, including his wife, believed he was losing his mind, and in 1865 he was committed to an asylum. In an ironic twist of fate, he died there of septicaemia only 14 days later, possibly as the result of being severely beaten by guards. Semmelweis’s practice earned widespread acceptance only years after his death, when Louis Pasteur developed the germ theory of disease, offering a theoretical explanation for Semmelweis’s findings. He is considered a pioneer of antiseptic procedures.

          • jnana

            Where we came from? Mainstream scientific theory on this is just that, a theory. A very flawed theory that many disagree with, including scientists. If a new bit of knowledge doesn’t agree w/ the preconceived notions it’s rejected. Its called an anomaly. Did you read that article about “Forbidden Archaeology” on here?
            Who we are and what our purpose is? they tell us we are just flesh and chemicals. And our purpose is to fuck, kill and eat. If that is what most children our taught its no wonder why so many lack empathy and morals.

            What is Real? Science can’t prove what is too small, too large, or too subtle for their crude instruments to observe. I hate having to say science when it should be called nescience, for it is ignorant of True Knowledge. And if its the modern world science brings me, I have no respect for it and hope for its demise ASAP.
            It is clear to me you have many prejudices and these blind you from what exists outside the “cave”. I shared your same prejudices once, and still have some that stifle my pursuit and awareness of Truth

          • bobbiethejean

            I am not going to waste my time trying to explain how wrong you are because you lack the ability to understand. I’m sure you’re a lovely person. You just keep on being a lovely person. That’s good enough.

          • Kevin Leonard

            it would be more appropriate to call it dogma instead of religion

          • bobbiethejean

            Darwinian evolution or humanism? I wouldn’t call evolution a dogma but humanism, that seems to fit.

          • Kevin Leonard

            I would call them both dogma.
            http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dogma
            To be clear, I’m not denying the merits of evolutionary thought, nor the reality of genetic variation and its impact on the survival of species.

  • http://www.facebook.com/calvin.cambridge.37 Calvin Cambridge

    Well they are really not doing that its just how Americans say I promise. But I like the idea that they are asking them to fight the same people for violating the constitution. Its just an American tradition to say ” So help me god” It doesn’t necessarily mean faith in God is required.

  • pacificwaters

    Once again, the liberal mind twists the truth to fit their agenda. The pledge is:

    “I, _______, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the
    Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and
    domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I
    take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose
    of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge these duties; so help me God.

    The requirement is to swear allegiance to the Constitution, not to declare a belief in God. The phrase “so help me God.” implies a greater degree of seriousness and
    obligation than is usually assigned to common conversation. Why do you have a problem in swearing to defend the Constitution? Of course we all know the reason. You believe, as does obama that the Constitution is outdated. If so then change it but stop throwing our liberal “kill the messenger” bullshit around and debate the issues instead issuing snide, emotional rhetoric. The phrase “so help me God.” implies a greater degree of seriousness and obligation than is usually assigned to common conversation. However, the bill is being revised to make the phrase optional so get over it and get a clue. The second amendment is there for 2 reasons, one being self defense (read the Federalist Papers). As the saying goes, When seconds count, the police are minutes away.

    • bobbiethejean

      You are flatly wrong. Forcing children to acknowledge any god is unconstitutional. It’s that simple. God should not even be brought up. I find it amusing how you blather on about the second amendment while ignoring the one that comes right before it…. ya know, the one that prohibits exactly this kind of nonsense.

  • bobbiethejean

    I would totally say, “So help me Flying Spaghetti Monster.”

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3kPkjghup8E Phaerisee

    Republicans do not speak for God. They hold people hostage with the abortion issue and act anti-Christian on every other issue. They are much like the Pharisees in The Bible, white and clean on the outside but inside full of corruption.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NcRWyYNhhhk

  • jnana

    What’s really ironic is that Jesus told His followers not to swear by God and not to make oaths in general. I don’t believe in being bound by oaths, personally, because of what Jesus taught about it. For someone who lives by the Holy Spirit shouldn’t bind themselves to any other covenant. This actually irked me when I did a Vipassana meditation course, because they had us take the Buddhist 5fold vow, and like I said, I don’t believe in binding myself to anything but the Holy Spirit. Also, you can’t be 100% sure that you might not break the vow, even if you don’t intend to. Even so, I will still take a vow if it pleases whoever, but I know in my heart of hearts, I am not truly binding myself to it. Otherwise, I couldn’t buy things online or use many sites(terms of agreement), I couldn’t use banks, etc.
    It’s funny how much this oath upsets atheists when it should be upsetting Christians the most. Its akin to having to sacrifice to the gods of the Empire.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=44103237 J.W. Farmer

    Idiot, Richard, Idiot.

  • http://slrman.wordpress.com/ James Smith

    How typical of the religious reich to ignore any law, good sense, or even human decency to impose their sick beliefs upon everyone. I graduated high school in Alabama and if they had tried to impose this upon me, I would have told them to stick their diploma where the sun didn’t shine. I had already been accepted at three universities, enrolled for the summer session at one, and accumulated college credits while still in high school as had many of my classmates.

    As usual, the religious reich and the politicians who pander to them are insufferably arrogant and believe they can do anything they wish.

  • http://www.facebook.com/nick.dunne.92 Nick Dunne

    ‘God help us all’
    As Father Jack might say…that’s an ecumenical matter…?
    What would god think? What would Buddha say? What would Jesus do?

  • http://twitter.com/BozoDeathGod BozoDeathGod

    I wish I had went to one of these GOD crazed schools, i mean once Intelligent Design trumps science I would just write GOD for every answer to every question on every test and dare them to mark GOD as incorrect.

  • BrettjPrice

    wow.

  • BrettjPrice

    wow.

  • http://twitter.com/SHildebrand88 Sarah Hildebrand

    My breasts hurt when I jump up and down too fast.

  • rdcress

    I think it’s an outstanding comparison. It seems that the liberal/progressive/socialists get a pass on crazy behavior not only from their adherents, but from the media as well. The fact that they want to move down the road of firearm confiscation, have already progressed far down the road of property/wealth confiscation, have taken over our health care, and in general are engaging in a systematic imposition of control over every aspect of the individual, all falls into the crazy category. Of course since the lock on crazy doesn’t reside only with the liberal/progressive/socialists, I view Republicans with the same contempt as I do Democrats. In fact I view all bureaucrats, do-gooders, and meddlers with extreme contempt.

  • Sir Legendhead

    Looks like there’s a lot to catch up on in this thread. I’m gonna share my initial impression so I can bookmark it for later, and that impression is as follows: LOL Christians. You are doing it wrong.

    Actually you know what. The oath doesn’t specify which God. You could walk up in there and pray to Thor if you wanted to. I’d be cool with that, personally.

  • Jim Brown

    I want to bang the girls in the photo. If reciting that stupid oath gets you tail like them then I am down like charlie brown.

  • Jim Brown

    I want to bang the girls in the photo. If reciting that stupid oath gets you tail like them then I am down like charlie brown.

  • Jim Brown

    I want to bang the girls in the photo. If reciting that stupid oath gets you tail like them then I am down like charlie brown.

  • Jim Brown

    I want to bang the girls in the photo. If reciting that stupid oath gets you tail like them then I am down like charlie brown.

  • http://www.facebook.com/admdbrn Adam Dobrin

    Please tell the sponsors of the bill to uphold the Constitution themselves, and protect it from it’s greatest domestic enemy, the Federal Government. http://unduecoercion.blogspot.com/2013/03/when-there-is-mutiny-on-ship-and-ship.html

  • https://sites.google.com/site/themattprather Matt Prather

    That’s a interesting point that I missed the whole time — that they were “swearing” to a whole bunch of things, not just an implicit belief in “God”.

    *support and defend the Constitution of the United States

    *against all enemies, foreign and domestic

    *bear true faith and allegiance to the same

    *that I take this obligation freely

    *without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion*

    *and that I will well and faithfully discharge these duties

    (Sounds like the shit they get our lied-to soldiers to swear to, and then hold over their heads with the Uniform Code of Military Justice, telling the soldiers they have to accept the tyranny of the ones applying the code to them, unevenly, arbitrarily, in contradiction to what the soldiers have seen with their own eyes. “You swore an oath with your hand up and now you have to follow this never-ending book of laws…”)

    In that view of things, one could say that all they are really being taught is that oaths / formal-things-you-recite are not truly meaningful. After all, the application and enforcement of laws and oaths is what makes them real to most people.

    Like the school system they are graduating, and the society they seem to be entering (like slaughter animals), this final sentence of this final oath is just the empty, ironic, holographic cherry on top of a cake that doesn’t exist.

    Or at least that’s the de-facto lesson I’d be absorbing as a “student”. Others may believe the hologram, or interpret it in some way less painfully ironic.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Lionhart40 Leon Hall

    It’s a damn sad day that any politician asks a student to swear to this when they, as a whole, have taken this oath and then done just the opposite while in office.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Lionhart40 Leon Hall

    It’s a damn sad day that any politician asks a student to swear to this when they, as a whole, have taken this oath and then done just the opposite while in office.

  • KarenCanfieldMaskens

    who the hell has to pledge ANYTHING to graduate from school? idiots.

21