Tag Archives | Religion
Fr. Troy Pierce writes at the Path of Gnosis:
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One of the common misunderstandings when you tell people that you are a Gnostic is that they hear the more familiar word “Agnostic.” (This becomes quite amusing when they mishear “Agnostic Priest,” or “Agnostic Eucharist.”) This becomes a good opportunity to elucidate one of the truisms of contemporary Gnosticism: You have to be an Agnostic before you can become a Gnostic.
The original differences between agnostic and gnostic are the “privative alpha” of Classical Greek. This prefix functioned like “un-” or “non-” and thus linguistically the two words are opposites, literally ‘Knower’ and ‘Un-Knower.’ (incidentally, the “a” was the first syllable, and the “g” was pronounced in both.)
However, this is Modern English and not Classical Greek, and so both terms have come to have certain more specific meanings. An Agnostic has been jokingly called a “cowardly Atheist,” but is generally someone who knows that they do not know about the divine from the reports of others.
Mysterious Universe’s Micah Hanks has written a rather excellent piece on nineteenth century freethinker and all-around oddball John Murray Spear. It’s definitely worth a read.
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Clergyman, abolitionist, secret-society founder, 1850′s women’s rights and free-love advocate… and eventually a steam-punk “godsmith” seeking to create a kind of holier-than-holy, copper-bound mecha-messiah.
Needless to say, John Murray Spear must have been a sight to be held in his day.
Touting the virtues of extra-marital sex and birth control by the middle 1850s, he was indeed a renegade for his time, having been essentially excommunicated by his brothers and sisters in the Universalist Church of America, under which he had served as a minister for more than two decades. Now, rather than seeking to serve the will of God, he had changed gears in the most literal sense.
It was time to institute a new age, Spear believed, and with the wisdom of long-dead scientific geniuses he claimed to be channeling, his aim was to create a new kind of God for the coming utopian age of enlightened thinkers.
“Once you lose attachment to how you want things to be because you realize you don’t control anything, there’s a curiously liberating aspect of that. I’ve always been a control freak, I’ve always felt that if I try hard enough, everyone I love will be kept safe and everything will be okay. Being shown, in such brutal terms, that that’s simply not the way it works, in someways, it messed me up. I’ve been through hell, but on another level, if you pile up so much tragedy, it either destroys you, or you just start laughing about it. Because at the end of the day, no one gets out alive.” Daniele Bolelli
When a certain type of person achieves monetary success and notoriety, one of their first moves is to cultivate some sort of bullshit persona. I’m talking a VIP, tinted window, sunglasses on indoors set of behaviors. What exactly is that? I’ll tell you, it’s fear.… Read the rest
“There really has been an exponential increase of media interest in what’s happening. I think that’s the result of new research, (and) the result of some major international conferences that are really establishing the field of psychedelic science and medicine.” Brad Burge of MAPS.
It seems we’re finally at a turning point in The War on Drugs. All it took was a few decades of indoctrination, mass-incarceration, astronomical price tags and straight-up horrific body counts. Yet, society’s transition into a deeper understanding of these substances has been far from smooth. Yes, the people have clearly spoken on the subject of marijuana, and nearly half of all U.S. states have taken notice, putting some sort of marijuana-friendly law on the books. However, when it comes to Mary Jane’s more potent psychedelic cousins, the conversation is quite a bit more nuanced and controversial. Thankfully, for the first time in decades, the dialogue surrounding psychedelics is evolving.… Read the rest
I call bullshit: Everyone knows clerics can only wield maces, war hammers, and other blunt weapons.
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Sikhs brandishing swords and sticks and shouting for a new homeland clashed with guards at the faith’s holiest shrine in India, an official said. Six people were wounded.
The clash occurred during a ceremony marking the anniversary of the storming of the shrine by the Indian army in June 1984 in the northern city of Amritsar, said Kiran Jyoti Kaur, a Golden Temple management spokeswoman.
Kaur said supporters of the Shiromani Akali Dal, led by Simranjeet Singh Mann, turned violent and then were chased away by temple guards. They were shouting slogans for an independent Sikh homeland.
The CNN-IBN television channel said police detained nearly 50 people and that many shops closed because of the tension.
Naresh Gujral, a leader of governing Akali Dal group in the state, condemned the clash inside the shrine.
Trigger Warning: The authors are evangelical Christians. John Ankerberg and John Weldon write at the Ankerberg Theological Research Institute:
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The phenomenon of spiritistic intimidation is common to all categories of occultism. Thus, shamans who are “chosen” by the spirits as “healers” must either submit to the spirits or become ill, or even die.
The person called to be a shaman must learn to shamanize, that is, must take his powerful experiences and find a way to share the power with his people. If he does not shamanize, he will become ill again and may die, for the shaman is called to a certain kind of life, and if he does not lead it properly, his power will turn against him and kill him.
In other words, to the spirits, human life is cheap. If their chosen host will not obey their wishes, they will destroy it and find another.
Life Savers Ministry (Trigger warning: Music auto-play embedded in site.) looks like a diverse, racially-inclusive organization ministering to children from all walks of life, but particularly those living in the projects. By all appearances, founder James Anderegg is involved with the ministry and knows the children it serves. So what went wrong? What led the organization to use a quote from Adolf Hitler, and one associated with the Hitler Youth, no less? Anderegg hasn’t really offered much in the way of explanation except to say that he probably should have quoted Hoover instead.
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A billboard at the Village Mall in Auburn, Ala., features five smiling kids beneath a quote from Adolf Hitler: “He alone, who owns the youth, gains the future.”
According to Lamar Advertising’s Montgomery office, the billboard was rented out by Life Savers Ministries, based in Opelika, Ala.
Hitler’s quote traces back to his speeches of the ’30s, and has historically been tied to the Nazi youth programs.
In a statement released last week (“A drag queen was behind USPS Harvey Milk stamp“) the American Family Association instructed its membership to refuse delivery of mail stamped with the new commemorative Harvey Milk stamp (I had no idea that there even was one. Thanks, AFA!), and if given them at the post office to ask for a United States flag stamp instead.
Choosing a stamp is your choice, and you can of course use it for anything, like sending a certified letter . You know: the kind that requires a signature. For only a couple of dollars more, you can receive an email that the letter was received and a copy of the individual’s signature – all for less than $6. (If you need to use that form, start over again with your own zip code.)
If you want to send a letter to the American Family Association expressing your feelings regarding this and other actions taken on behalf of you and your family, you may do so at the following address.… Read the rest
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A challenge of the invidious use of a religious motto on U.S. coins and currency taken by intrepid secular litigator Michael Newdow on behalf of many plaintiffs, including the Freedom From Religion Foundation and many of its members, was ruled against by a 3-judge panel of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York today.
Primary plaintiff in Newdow v. The Congress of the United States, was Rosalyn Newdow, a member of FFRF and a devoted numismatist who collected coins for 40 years, but has felt obligated to stop purchasing coin sets which exclude her and all nonbelievers.
“It’s necessary to remind not just the courts but the public that ‘In God We Trust’ is a Johnny-come-lately motto adopted at the height of the Cold War. It was only officially required on all currency in 1955,” said Annie Laurie Gaylor, FFRF co-president.
“It’s not even an accurate motto. To be accurate, it would have to say, ‘In God Some of Us Trust,’ and wouldn’t that be silly?” she said, pointing out that today nonbelievers are the fastest-growing segment of the U.S.