supergee: (meditating dog)
Shortly after reading Stranger in a Stranger Land, I read my first Alan Watts book. Oh. That's what "Thou art God" means. (Well, one part of it.) Watts introduced me to the whole Hindu/Buddhist/Taoist thing (and as a full-fledged sloppy syncretist, that's how I still think of it). Yes, I do realize that quantum physics doesn't really tell us that we must eat our vegetables and refrain from clubbing baby seals, but the images of unity and wholeness and interdependence that the East teaches us do have some relevance. Watts may be the best spokesman for this sort of thing, or at least he speaks to me, and he has furnished my mind: Light shines in darkness because what else would it shine in? The environment is my body. Laws against consensual sex and drugs turn the police into armed clergymen.

On the other hand, he drank himself to death, which suggests that he was not entirely Enlightened.

My favorite brief introduction to Watts's thought is The Book: On the Taboo against Knowing Who You Are. In My Own Way is a charming, if not altogether reliable, autobio. Beyond Theology: The Art of Godmanship, The Supreme Identity, and The Wisdom of Insecurity are also excellent.

Here’s a discussion of him.

Thanx to RAW Illumination.
supergee: (pastafarian)
America is not growing hostile towards Christians. Of course, every so often a Christian is arrested for feeding the poor without a license, but that isn’t what these people mean, is it?

Scruples

Sep. 27th, 2016 07:20 am
supergee: (meditating dog)
Today’s cheering thought is that while many progressives are wondering if they should stoop to voting for a mere liberal like Hillary Clinton, the other side has similar issues. A number of conservative Christians have noticed that her opponent is “a bully, who made his money by casinos, who has had several wives and several affairs.” I would strongly encourage them not to endanger their immortal souls by voting for such a man.
supergee: (Islamic)
Islam, like Christianity, has a long history of accepting and even glorifying homosexuality underneath the official condemnation.

Thanx to [livejournal.com profile] andrewducker
supergee: (pastafarian)
The current status of the Church of Satan (by Alex Mar, whose Witches of America is a fascinating account of her experiences with several forms of Paganism)

Thanx to Metafilter
supergee: (pastafarian)
Wheaton College suspends professor for dressing like a heathen and/or denying that our God can whup their God and/or invoking the Scarlet Whore of Rome in her defense.

Thanx to Metafilter
supergee: (meditating dog)
A recent article on the history of anti-Catholic feeling in America has reminded me: Hating Muslims can be like hating Jews or hating Catholics.

The Jewish image is obvious: swarthy, hook-nosed, after our money and our women…Trump could probably repurpose some of the old Der Stürmer illos.

But not all of those who worry about “Islamofascism” are prone to that sort of stupidity. Some (Eric Raymond, Bruce Bawer, the late Christopher Hitchens) worry about a repressive, sex-hating theocracy, which many Muslims favor.

In 1949 there was a best-selling book called American Freedom and Catholic Power, by Paul Blanshard. It said that the organized power of the Catholic hierarchy was oppressing us. As Freud put it, the paranoid is never entirely mistaken. At that time, all movies were what would now be G-rated. (There was an effort to ban The Moon Is Blue for using the word virgin without following it with “Mary.”) One could go to jail for selling a book with the F-word in it, let alone pictures of the act it represents. The law even reached into our bedrooms (inefficiently of course): In most jurisdictions, even married couples were forbidden birth control and the use of alternate apertures. (Maybe that was when we needed a Defense of Marriage Act.) The Catholic Church was most responsible for maintaining those rules.

We got over it. We didn’t ban Catholic immigration or burn the churches, but we now are far less oppressed. I don’t think we’re going back. We can let Muslims continue to immigrate, encourage the aspects of Islam that support love and justice (which of course Catholicism also had all along), and never have to have a book about American Freedom and Muslim Power.

Thanx to [personal profile] twistedchick for the link.

To kill for

Dec. 3rd, 2015 05:40 am
supergee: (thinking)
The other day, I linked to an article about fundamentalist Christians lying in the belief that it would save souls. It included a quote from Steven Weinberg.
With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.
If, as many people do, we define religion as a belief system that includes a supernatural deity, the statement is simply false.

So let us apply Miller’s rule and see what it is true of. To me, the Weinberg quote seems a useful operational definition of religion: any belief that makes good people do evil things, which means that Communism and Fascism are religions.

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Arthur D. Hlavaty

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