Tag Archives | Religion

The Future of Religion Is Bleak

Prof. Daniel C. Dennett, co-director of the Center for Cognitive Studies at Tufts University and co-author, with Linda LaScola, of Caught in the Pulpit: Leaving Belief Behind, explains why the future of religion is bleak, at the Wall Street Journal:

Religion has been waning in influence for several centuries, especially in Europe and North America. There have been a few brief and local revivals, but in recent years the pace of decline has accelerated.

Today one of the largest categories of religious affiliation in the world—with more than a billion people—is no religion at all, the “Nones.” One out of six Americans is already a None; by 2050, the figure will be one out of four, according to a new Pew Research Center study. Churches are being closed by the hundreds, deconsecrated and rehabilitated as housing, offices, restaurants and the like, or just abandoned.

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The national income of countries correlates negatively with their religiosity.

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Political Apocalyptic Witchcraft


Witchcraft — The very name of this ancient religion has been one of the longest enduring means to induce a community to panicked frenzy. Even in 2015 you don’t need to go far to find witchcraft’s continued legacy of damnation by other religions. Witchcraft is so hated that the very word “witch” is still used throughout the world to oppress. To be a witch is de facto guilt, not uncommon to be followed by public humiliation, mutilation, and death.

In this 38-minute talk called Fly on the Wings of the Storm, Peter Grey of Scarlet Imprint and author of Apocalyptic Witchcraft urges his fellow witches to awaken to the historic “battlefield” and current state of That Old-Time Religion. Drawing a parallel between the current ethics and practices of global war, endless urbanization, the surveillance state, and planetary climate catastrophe with the religion’s historically near-ubiquitous persecution, Grey urges witches to suspend their differences and begin including a more politically-conscious dimension to their religion.… Read the rest

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Al-Namrood album artwork

Way More Metal Than You Are.

Do you know what’s totally metal? Being in a Black Metal band, but being unable to perform. Because if you do play a gig, you could wind up with your head chopped off.

That’s what the metal lifestyle is like in Saudia Arabia, as this Vice interview with ‘Mephisto’  from Black Metal band Al-Namrood attests. Read on, headbangers:

Black metal bands have never been keen on religion. However, in parts of the world where religion can actually be oppressive, bands inspired by Bathory and Mayhem and Burzum are few and far between.

That’s presumably because it’s a lot easier to be in an anti-Christian metal band in the US, than in an anti-Islamic metal band in Saudi Arabia. In America, your obstacles extend to overhearing your mom tell a friend you’re just “going through a phase.” In Saudi Arabia, you face social ostracism and the possibility of imprisonment or death.

With that in mind, you’ve got to give it to Saudi Arabia’s only black metal band, Al-Namrood, whose lyrics include all sorts of things that could get them executed.

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As Above, So Below: True Meaning of The Cross With Crichton Miller

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“We are on firmer ground when we reflect on how our ancestors used the stars — for timekeeping, calendar-making, and navigation at sea.”
The History of Astronomy by Heather Couper and Nigel Henbest, p.8

The Golden Thread of Time by Crichton E. M. Miller traces the history of the cross from Paleolithic and Neolithic hunter-gatherers to stone age seafarers and megalith masons. He argues that the cross was not merely a religious symbol, but a device used to measure time, navigate, make astronomical observations, and create architecture. He first came to this realization when attempting to discover an ancient theodolite capable of accuracy to 3 minutes of arc in order to measure the pyramids of Giza. He suddenly found himself kneeling before such a device in the form of a cross. It was this discovery, or rediscovery, that initiated his journey to understand the true meaning and history of the cross.… Read the rest

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‘Pope Francis Effect’ Leads to Exorcism Boom

As those of you who’ve seen The Exorcist in the 21st Century (stream it now!) know, there aren’t too many exorcists around these days, but Pope Francis is certainly keeping them busy, per the Telegraph:

The “Pope Francis effect” has been credited with encouraging a resurgence in faith among rank-and-file Catholics but it has also had a more unexpected consequence – a boom in the demand for exorcisms.

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The Argentinian pontiff’s fire-and-brimstone language and frequent references to the Devil have helped propel belief in Beelzebub back into the mainstream of the Catholic Church, where once it was an embarrassment.

Dioceses in the UK, Italy, Spain and elsewhere have noticed a dramatic increase in the number of people claiming to be possessed and have responded by training more priests in the dark arts of how to perform exorcisms.

A week-long exorcism conference, held this week at the Pontifical University of Regina Apostolorum in Rome and endorsed by the Vatican, is being attended by around 160 Catholic priests from around the world, who insist that demonic possession is very real.

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William T. Vollmann’s Letter of Recommendation: The Gnostic Scriptures

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William T. Vollmann by Øystein Vidnes (CC)

I’d guess that there’s more than a few disinfonauts who are William T. Vollmann fans. You might also be interested in the Gnostic scriptures. An enterprising editor at the New York Times Magazine has put the two together, securing an essay from Vollmann about what he terms “an amorphous set of beautifully and transgressively alternative Christianities”:

Have you ever wondered whether this world is wrong for you? A death, a lover’s unabashed indifference, the sufferings of innocents and the absence of definitive answers — don’t these imply some hollowness or deficiency? For my part, the wrongness struck when I was 4 years old. I was at my grandmother’s house, and I saw a cat torture a baby bird.

Hoping to understand the purpose of our situation, I visit possessors of maxims and scriptures. Most of them are kind to me. I love the ritualistic gorgeousness of Catholic cathedrals, the matter-of-fact sincerity with which strangers pray together at roadsides throughout the Muslim world, the studied bravery and compassion in the texts of medieval Jewish responsa, the jovial humility of the Buddhist precept that enlightenment is no reward and lack of enlightenment no loss, the nobility of atheists who do whatever good they do without expectation of celestial candy — not to mention pantheists’ glorifications of everything from elephants to oceans.

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Hal Hefner’s “They Live” Inspired “Consume” Series

Artist and storyteller Hal Hefner has created a gorgeous series of poster style art pieces called “Consume” inspired by the 1988 John Carpenter film “They Live,” which, as each commercial break passes, seems to be more of a prescient (and depressingly accurate) warning of the totalitarian conformist consumer dystopia to come, much in the vein of “Network” or “1984,” than some mere sci-fi, space, alien slugfest starring wrestling legend Rowdy Roddy Piper and a host of everyman character actors.

Channeling pop culture icons, ad campaigns that have been scratched into the surface of all of our brains by endless repetition, the aforementioned alien overlords and graffiti artist gone good Shepard Fairey’s iconic Obama poster, Hefner has given us each a pair of those special sunglasses that we can’t just take off and ignore anymore.

Static Hopelessness or Hope and Change we can actually Believe in?

BUY MORE STUFF. BE HAPPY.… Read the rest

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Luis Quiles’ Bleak Pop Culture Visions

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Spanish artist Luis Quiles has a dark, disturbing vision of modern life, consumerism, social media and sexuality…but what’s easily the most shocking aspect of his bleak, erotically charged portrayal of our apathetic, narcissistic social decay is that it really isn’t that shocking at all to a culture numbed down by constant, instant corporate gratification. Swipe to the left:

From CSGlobe.com:

There are many ways to take a stand when it comes to various social issues.

Luis Quiles, a Spanish artist… [who] does this by drawing pretty controversial cartoons, has spent the last few years creating hundreds of powerful drawings, showing a disturbingly accurate vision of our world.

And while most of his work can be rather disturbing, it’s also very eye-opening.

 Slaving to social media, child trafficking, dirty politics.

The following…images might make you feel kind of dirty, but they will also definitely make you think.

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Evade the Tentacles of the Illuminati and Manifest Your Victory with The Higherside Chat’s Greg Carlwood|midwest real

Via Midwest Real

On his popular show, The Higherside Chats, Greg Carlwood has sat down for podcasts with dozens of researchers, authors, and experts on a whole host of conspiracy, paranormal, and fringe-soaked topics.

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Selected subjects from our ramblings: why magic is real, transhumanism, meditation, manifesting success, celebrating the fact that humans don’t know shit, psychedelics, how to focus your passion properly and more  

One of the things that always sticks out in my mind when I speak with Greg (aside from just how weird, wonderful and, in some ways, severely fucked the world is) is just how much we trick ourselves into believing we don’t have the power to save ourselves from a mediocre existence. I do declare that no matter where you find yourself, it’s fully possible to take a 90 degree turn off of the the well-worn path. You, my friend, have the capacity to sharpen the stick on your freak flag, plunge it deep into the soil and craft something that is uniquely yours around it.… Read the rest

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