Tag Archives | Religion

What Does Religious Freedom Mean To The High Priest of the Church of Satan?

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With all that’s been going on, not just as of late, but since the beginning of human culture, around the expressing one’s religious freedom I thought it might be entertaining, and possibly enlightening, to get the viewpoints on this issue from Magus Peter Gilmore, High Priest of the Church of Satan. Happy Religious Freedom Day. Do what you do.

Today in the US is Religious Freedom Day and we Satanists find it worthy of observation. It has been a long journey since Anton LaVey founded the Church of Satan in 1966 to this, our 50th year. From initially being portrayed as a bizarre cult, we’ve earned respect and recognition from scholars, academics and law enforcement. I deal with those folks regularly. Many don’t need to be reminded that we’re an atheist philosophy, embracing the carnal. They’ve caught on that we champion individuality via the symbol of Satan, supervillain to the equally fictitious Yahweh.

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A Forgotten Midwestern Religious Sect

istolethetv (CC BY 2.0)

istolethetv (CC BY 2.0)

via The Paris Review:

In 1988, when I was ten, my parents moved to a five-acre farm between the rust-belt city of Rockford and the village of Winnebago. Not being from the area, they were naturally curious about the history, and one of them found a Works Progress Administration history of Illinois in the library. In that book, we discovered that the country road we lived on had once not been so somnolent. A block north of us, a large complex of buildings painted red bore the name Weldon Farm, but once it had been called Heaven. In the 1880s it had been the center of an obscure religious sect—still lacking a Wikipedia entry of their own—called the Beekmanites. A woman named Dorinda Beekman had declared herself to be Jesus, as one did in those days; she died after promising to rise from the dead in three days.

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Ondi Timoner Discusses ‘American Jesus’ With Aram Garriga

American Jesus was one of my favorite films of 2014 (if you haven’t heard of it, check it out here). Filmmaker Ondi Timoner (Dig!, We Live In Public) has her own talk show called Bring Your Own Doc on LipTV and she’s also a fan of American Jesus. She invited director Aram Garriga to join her for an in depth interview about the making of the film:

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In Defense of Muhammad (From Both Sides)

So for some reason or another, after centuries of proselytization by the sword and hundreds of terrorist attacks in the 20th/21st century, when a French cartoonist is murdered for being a violence-baiting, blasphemous shock-jock towards Muslims, suddenly everybody thinks Islam is evil.  Yes, Islam has usually been a thorn in the side of Western Civilization and certainly Christendom, but it was begun by a remarkable man both in wisdom and power.  I found some words of Muhammad excerpted from the Koran that show that many who “submit” to Islam are probably just not listening to their prophet very closely.

Even though Arabic is the only holy language of Islam, and the Koran can never be translated yet retain its status as Word-Of-God, these English translations of Muhammad’s statements might give us a teleological vector on what he intended his followers to embody.  Reading the quotes and looking at today’s Muslim world might lead some to wonder “What the hell happened?”

Thus spake Muhammad:

Do you love your creator?… Read the rest

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Why You Don’t Need God

Ryan J. Bell, former pastor turned atheist, says we don’t need a divinity to find meaning, writing at CNN:

It was January 2014 and I was sitting on the beach in Malibu looking out at the seemingly endless Pacific Ocean, ebbing and flowing. I had just begun a personal project of challenging my lifelong assumption that God exists.
Atheist Bus Campaign Launch

You see, I had been a Seventh-day Adventist pastor for 19 years. I resigned from my pastoral position the year before, but now I stepped away from my faith altogether. It was a gut-wrenching decision but I couldn’t see any other way to find peace and clarity. I encountered major theological differences with my denomination and evangelical Christianity in general, including the way it marginalizes women and LGBT people.

I questioned the problem of evils and God’s general silence and inactivity. I sought out more liberal theologies and found them to be the slow death of God.… Read the rest

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Survivors of the Apocalypse

MARTIN WITTFOOTH — BABEL.  Some of the most beautiful, moving and relevant paintings of our time.

BABEL by New York based artist Martin Wittfooth is the new book featuring 124 pages of  masterful works spanning over five years (2009-2014).

Martin’s work is a rich narrative tapestry that celebrates animals as victors after an apparent apocalyptic event. “Animal apparitions trapped within theatrical atriums caught acting out scenes of good and evil, life and death.”

“Instinctive and purposeful, New York-based oil painter Martin Wittfooth conveys mention of the Masters while sifting through personal revelations, environmental phenomena and socio-political disturbances.” (Nocturne II featured in BABEL).

BABEL is a museum-grade publication documenting seven prolific solo exhibitions featuring large-scale oil paintings: De Anima (2014), Empire (2012), The Passions (2011), Gardens (2010), Tempest (2010), Babylon (2009), Sandcastles in the Tide (2008) and Melting Season 2006).

BABEL features written contributions by Marshall Arisman, Kirsten Anderson, Martin Wittfooth and Mark Murphy.… Read the rest

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The Nature of Mind and the Holographic Brain

Ardonik (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Ardonik (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Via War is a Crime

The purpose of this article is to provide evidence that strongly indicates that you are not your brain, or your body for that matter, and that the nature of mind, of memory, and of our brains may actually be vastly different than we have been lead to believe.

Since time immemorial, man has been fascinated by the mind, leading great thinkers from Hippocrates to Descartes to ponder the nature of mind with wonder. Fast forward to modern times and observe how the mind is still revered and is dominating our culture. We have a lot of firm beliefs about the nature of mind, and I believe the ego — our limited perception of ourselves — and thus human ignorance, is intricately tied in with these beliefs.

But the truth of the matter is that we only understand a fraction of the mind’s potential, i.e.

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Santo Daime: Home of The Cosmic Christ

imageEntering into the initial phase of research regarding the Santo Daime religion, I had little understanding of what it really was, or how the activities within the religion generated something unique, but my interest is in finding the answer to the question, “What is it that draws modern middle class individuals to a highly ecstatic and mystic religious culture in light of the increasing presence of scientific rationalism and reductionism?” Andrew Dawson’s book has helped me to make discoveries that have led me closer to finding the answer to the question of why we moderns still seek out the mystic and ecstatic. In order to find an answer, one must find the proper context within the culture, the economics, the background and the history that surrounds Santo Daime and this framework has been deftly established in Dawson’s book.

Dawson explains the questions he sought to answer in his book:

Building upon questions raised by my first experiences of Santo Daime, the research undertaken from 2007 to 2011 primarily focused on three areas.

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‘South Park terrorist’ sues prison, claims it’s difficult to practice Islam behind bars

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Via NY Daily News:

A wannabe terrorist serving prison time for threatening the “South Park” creators is suing his jail for allegedly hindering his ability to practice his Muslim faith.

Zachary Chesser filed a civil complaint last month against the Federal Bureau of Prisons, claiming it made it difficult for him to “fulfill Islam’s religious obligations,” the Smoking Gun reported.

Islam requires regular group worship, which the prison only allows once a week, the 25-year-old said in the hand-written complaint.

Chesser said he has tried to connect with other incarcerated Muslims: He talks to a man on the floor above him from a shower drain, but the unusual communication is “physically painful, reeks of sewage and makes it very hard to hear,” he wrote.

Chesser was convicted in 2010 on terror charges after he threatened “South Park” creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone and tried to join a Somalian terrorist group.

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