Archive for Religion

HP Lovecraft and Religion, a few thoughts as I drove to work.

Posted in Literature, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on January 22, 2015 by urbannight

HP LovecraftHPL often makes the religious most susceptible to madness in his stories. They turn into absolute wrecks when confronted with things out of the ordinary. These things are not supernatural in nature and the person’s religious actions to protect them do not work. His creatures are natural but either ancient, alien, or trans-dimensional. So he is basing his monsters/creatures on science (or science fiction) that we don’t understand. The implication is that religious people are weak minded to start with.
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Yet many times he has people who were more rational and non-religious go to religious authority figures for help when strange things start to happen to them or around them. It is like he is saying that it is human nature to turn to religion when confronted by the unknown or the unknowable. Of course, anything suggested by or provided by these religious figures always fails. HPL’s views of religious are well known.
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His stories reflect a concept that those who are religious and depend on religion to start with are weak minded individuals but even those with stronger mental fortitude will turn to religion when faced with the unknown, that it is basic human nature. But since God doesn’t really exist, religion cannot solve the strange problems caused by life forms that science was unable to identify or that came from other places. But people’s reliance on religion makes using religion an easy way to take over a community in order to control people for ulterior goals.
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In fact, as I sit here running stories through my head, I can only think of one that uses a supernatural horror instead of one that could be considered natural if unknown or unearthly. That is Dreams in the Witch House. There may be others that I would find if I sat down and flipped through more stories. That’s just an off the top of my head recall.
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The fact that his horror seldom uses magical causes actually increases the horror. The idea that the world is much bigger and stranger than we can see in our ordinary reality and those things have no care for the structure of the world as we see it and have created it for ourselves is a more terrifying concept than supernatural horrors.

The Mark of Cain. The obvious thing no one noticed….

Posted in Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 23, 2014 by urbannight

The other night I was reading/watching things online.  Somehow, I ended up on an article about the various possibilities for the mark of Cain.  This is what I remember.

Cain kills Abel and God is sending him away.  But Cain is worried that everyone will know what he did and try to kill him.  So God promises to put a mark on him that will show everyone that he is protected by God.

Some of the various things that have been suggested for the Mark have been Black skin, Red hair, and Left-handedness.

Everyone seems to  be ignoring the elephant in the room.  If Cain killed Abel and they were the only children of Adam and Eve at this point, who does Cain think might kill him?  He is being sent away, so it can’t have been Adam or Eve.

Since a lot of Christians are never taught about Lilith, or her monster children, it probably isn’t any of them.

There are some writers out there advocating that genetics were still ‘pure’ back then and Cain marries an unnamed sister and, in fact, Adam and Eve had a lot more children of both genders and the world is populated by one inbred family.

Since he was worrying about being murdered before he even found a wife, I won’t really worry about that one too much.  I just had to mention that one theory because it was way out there in terms of strangeness.

Back in the day, when I was going to church, teaching Sunday school, reading the Bible through about 4 times a year, and doing a lot of study and research on the things I really thought were odd, this story was one of the oddest to me.  When there are only four people on the planet, if you believe a literal interpretation, then who did Cain think would murder him?

Either mystery people who came from someplace else or a whole tribe of brothers and sisters that are never mentioned.  The only other named son being the one born to replace Abel.

And, why in the world is God protecting a Murderer anyway?  Did no one ever think to ask this?  It seems a very bizarre course of action.  Another one of those questions where all attempts to answer it are so bizarre that you wonder why that question alone does not drive people away from Churches.

Random Religious Thought of the Day

Posted in Entertainment, Religion, Uncategorized, Writing with tags , , , , , , , on November 30, 2012 by urbannight
Lilith and the Serpent

Lilith and the Serpent

Sometimes I think the strangest  things.  Like this one:

What if the whole of Judeo-Christian religion started out as a human misunderstanding and misrepresentation of a REALLY bad breakup between Lilith and Lucifer?

A Multitude of Thoughts

Posted in Entertainment, Gaming, Health, Life, Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 7, 2012 by urbannight

Not everyone will be happy. But I am.

To start with, I’m very pleased with the apparent election outcome.  And not only does it look like Obama won the electoral votes, but they are thinking he probably won the popular vote as well.  They can’t say that officially yet because the counting isn’t done and it seems close enough in some places that they don’t want to commit to that just yet.

At the very very beginning of the primary race, I thought Romney might be a viable Republican option.  But as the primaries continued, and then after the nomination, and after he picked Paul Ryan, (Okay BEFORE he picked Ryan) I knew that I wouldn’t go near him with a 20 foot pole.  Maybe 100 yards would be better.  Isn’t that the distance on a restraining order?

My roommate, on the other hand, is not happy.  He feels as I do.  Only his sentiment is directed at Obama and not Romney.  So he is less happy this morning.

We are both still cranky and ticked off at one member of the wedding party from the weekend.  The fact that she is in a polyamorous relationship doesn’t bother me at all.  She seems to be a happier, stronger, more confident person than when she was with her ex-husband.  So it has been good for her.  What does bother me is that she treated the weekend as an opportunity for everyone else to take care of her little boy.  He is not yet school age. 

I know that it was a special weekend and they let him stay up later than his normal bedtime.  But she left it up to her boyfriend to make him go to bed.  She was too busy drinking and partying with the other members of the wedding party to make sure he got to bed. 

She asked her sister to watch him while they ran some errands in town and took off, without leaving the car seat and everyone wanted to do something that day.  But with no car seat, that meant someone had to stay back to watch the little boy.  And his mom couldn’t be bothered to answer her phone while they were out.  So we couldnt’ get them to drop the seat off or find out where they were so someone could pick up the car seat.

Then, at the wedding dinner, mugs were a party favor and people were told to find a spot based on the mug they wanted.  I put my camera in the spot I wanted.  I was more concerned with not being trapped in the back because I’m mildly agoraphobic.  I don’t like being trapped or surrounded by to many people.  She then comes over to me to say that she and her boyfriend and the other girlfriend are sitting in the three spots on that end.  Of course, then NEVER put down anything to mark those places as occupied. 

Did you notice that she only had three spots?  She never even thought about where her little boy was going to sit.  She was more concerned about her boyfriend.   Basically, he ended up in the only empty seat left.  She also didn’t even bother to make sure he got a plate of dinner.  It’s like he didn’t even exist for her during that dinner.  It was left up to the people around him to make sure he got fed and behaved well.   One of those people was his step-grandpa.   But he was also surprised that the boy’s mother didn’t bother to think about her son that evening.  So it wasn’t like there was an arrangement for him to sit near his grandpa.

It is two days later and I am still pissed off about this behavior.  Not even Election Night was able to distract me from it. 

Looking at photos, ones in which I appear, I hate to see myself.  I used to LOVE to be in front of the camera.  Every time I see a photo, I can’t believe it is me.  I do not see myself as being that huge.  I guess I have some kind of reverse anorexia.  You know, where the person w/ anorexia draws pictures of themselves as huge when they are in reality a walking skeleton.  I know I’m over weight, but my mental image is apparently much smaller than my real body size.  I can’t really reconcile the me I see in photo’s with the me in reality.   Maybe that’s part of the reason I have so much trouble losing weight?  And today the top of my butt cheeks hurt a lot.  No idea why. 

Actually, I think it may be a result from distracting myself from the Polls.  I would watch 15 minutes of a show, pause it, check the Polls, then clean for 5 minutes, and repeat.  So I was up cleaning for 5 minutes out of every 20.  All evening long.  That is a lot of up and down and up and down.  I suppose that could do it.

Back to politics as I remember something else from last night.  I was playing SWTOR in the later evening.  Everyone was doing really really well with NOT talking about politics.  Oh, there was the generic comments about the polls and such, but nothing about political opinions and beliefs. 

Until one idiot decided to announce that anyone who votes for Obama was a traitor.  All we said was that we felt the person was being a bit to extreme.  But the one person kept going on about it.  One person left the guild because of it.  After about half an hour, in which he couldn’t get anyone else to take sides at all, he (that is an assumption there) left the guild.  A comment right after was that if you ignore someone trying to stir things up, it becomes a self-correcting situation. 

A smart rule is to never discuss politics in Guild Chat.  People on both sides get upset.  People trying to ignore the discussion get upset.  In the past, I’ve seen guilds fracture and split in half over politics during election years.  It is too volatile a topic.  It is worse than religion.

To Vote or Not to Vote

Posted in Life, Politics, Religion with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 17, 2012 by urbannight

 

According to recent news articles, the black vote is wavering.  This does not concern me as much as the reason WHY it is wavering.

 

Some Christian Blacks are concerned that Romney’s Mormonism may affect his policies.  Others are concerned that Romney seems to be a president for rich white men and feel he doesn’t care at all about the African American population of the country.  This impression is, in part, due to the fact that until fairly recently, African Americans were not allowed into the priesthood.

 

These same people are concerned about Obama supporting gay marriage.  They don’t see how a true Christian can support that and therefore are reluctant to vote for him again.

 

As congregations are discussing this, pastors are offering their people a third option.  On that I think is no option at all: the option of simply not voting.

 

I’m sure this is going on among white people and people of every race or ethnicity.  But the current articles are focusing one blacks because they are viewed as one of base demographics in support of Obama in general.

 

By choosing not to vote, your ‘vote’ in essence, becomes a factor in favor of the person you least want to win.  The political process, buy it’s very nature, is not a vote for the best but for whomever you think is the least worse.

 

 

By choosing not to vote, you give up your voice and your right to complain if you don’t like how things turn out. 

 

For example, I voted for Obama.  I don’t like how the Obamacare package turned out.  Despite some of the good things in it, it is otherwise so flawed and so bad that I think scrapping the whole thing and doing it over would be better.  But Romney is my ‘Antichrist’ and I would rather vote Obama again than risk him getting into office.  Had I NOT voted, I would have given up my voice in this political discourse because I chose not have no opinion and to let the opinions of others determine the outcome. 

 

In other words, if you want to complain, you have to participate first.  Otherwise you don’t have any solid ground to stand on. You become the house build on the shifting stand rather than the one build on solid rock. 

 

Now the issues that concern them are NOT the reasons why I myself am concerned about a wavering black vote.  It is the fact that pastors are using the pulpit to give advice on not voting.  I think that it is wrong for any pastor to be using the pulpit to discuss political activism.  I think that they can discuss social activism because they are concerned with social issues. But when it crosses a boundary into political advice on how to vote then they are crossing the line of separation of church and state.

Once churches cross this line, I think they should be giving up their status as a tax-exempt entity.  I don’t care if a church protests social issues, as much as I dislike churches trying to tell everyone that they should live their lives by the churches rules.  I do care when they start telling people how to vote or when to not vote.

 

It is even harder to imaging people who have fought so long and hard to get the right to vote decided on to do it at all because they don’t like either candidate.  Once again, with politics, you are trying to pick the lesser of two evils.   

 

 

Is allowing people to get married really more harmful to you than a candidate that is pushing through reforms that will make it harder for you to vote, and who things corporations should be treated as people and people are just cogs that can be easily replaced with cheaper cogs overseas?

 

Really?

 

Don’t choose not to vote.  You should choose to vote for someone who will actually do things to improve your personal situation.  Another person’s marriage or reproduction decision doesn’t affect your life personally, so don’t base your vote on that.

And the Children Sing

Posted in Advertising, Education, Life, Politics, Religion with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 28, 2012 by urbannight

Watercolor (?) depicting Children Marching and Singing “Onward Christian Soldiers”.

Photo of Islamic Children Marching and Singing

There is an article where people are concerned that Muslim children are being taught to stand in ranks and walk around singing songs about Islam.   It is a ‘discipleship’ march through neighborhood “war zones,” proselytizing and teaching children to march and shout with them.  It is apparently a recruitment video shot during Ramadan.  One must note that it is the Narrator calling the neighborhood warzones and may not have been presented to the children as such.

I find it rather ironic.

Everyone who went to church as a child, even if they stopped along the way, remembers one particular hymn.  It’s nearly always sang when standing in rows and often is the closing hymn when people are filing out, in rank by rows, from the sanctuary.  It is a very militant song.

Onward, Christian soldiers Marching as to war With the cross of Jesus Going on before!

Christ, the royal Master Leads against the foe Forward into battle See, His banners go!

Onward, Christian soldiers Marching as to war With the cross of Jesus Going on before At the name of Jesus Satan’s host doth flee On then, Christian soldiers On to victory!

Hell’s foundations quiver At the shout of praise Brothers, lift your voices Loud your anthems raise Like a mighty army Moves the church of God Brothers we are treading Where the saints have trod

We are not divided All one body we One in hope and doctrine One in charity Crowns and thrones may perish Kingdoms rise and wane But the church of Jesus Constant will remain Gates of hell can never ‘Gainst that church prevail We have Christ’s own promise And that cannot fail

Onward, then, ye people! Join our happy throng Blend with ours your voices In the triumph-song Glory, laud, and honour Unto Christ the King! This through countless ages Men and angels sing

(something in the formating is wrong and every time I try to fix it I make it worse)

The message being taught is clear.  As you leave this church, in orderly rank and file, you are going out into the world and going into warfare.  The battle ground is the world and you must fight against the non-Christian with all you are worth.  Anything not Christian is of Hell.  You are to view every interaction as a fight against the ungodly.  Marching out as you are singing it helps to reinforce the militant aspect of this.

Does no one else remember marching to this in Vacation Bible School in the summertime?

Maybe other churches, other than my Methodist upbringing, don’t make it so obviously militant.  But what I read in that article doesn’t seem any different to me than what I was experiencing as a child.  I guess it is only alarming, scary, and concerning if it is another religion doing it but perfectly okay so long as Christians are doing it.

Hypocrisy much?

Random Factoid, WordPress’s dictionary doesn’t think  “hymn” is a word and wants to change it to “him”.

Is the Economy or are Women’s Issues more important? A Changing Rhetoric.

Posted in Economics, Economy, Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 22, 2012 by urbannight

People who are pro-life had been using pro-abortion instead of pro-choice in order to change the rhetoric of the debate.  To sensationalize it more.

Okay, fine.

In that case, I’ll change it too.

Instead of pro-life, I’ll use:

Anti-choice

Anti-freedom

Pro-chattel

Pro-brood mare

Anti-woman

Misogynistic

Pro-male dominance

Pro-male superiority

Anti-self determination (if you female)

People are saying the focus should remain on the economy and that this is a distraction issue.

I disagree.  The economy goes up and down and responds to WAY to many world-wide variables and, in the end, the government can only do so much in response to it.  To truly have any governmental influence on the economy, the government will need to have more influence and control in the business world than the business world wants to allow. 

On the other hand, women’s right and freedoms in a male dominant society will ALWAYS be an issue and far more under the influence of government policy than the economy will ever be.  Therefore, it truly is a more vital and pertinent issue for us than just the economy and jobs. 

And if you do not think we are still in a male dominated society, I think the last year couple of years have reminded us that have gotten complacent.  We thought we came a long way even if we didn’t have true pay equality yet.  But the GOP is clearly trying to push us back and restore more male control of the most fundamental female issues.  We need to start fighting back or we will continue to lose ground.

A group of men should not be controlling women’s reproductive rights.  By letting them say ‘no abortions’ is sending a message that a person who doesn’t exist is more important than a woman who already exists.  It says a woman has no value beyond her ability to make babies.  It says that it’s okay for women to risk death on the change that another life might be created.  It says that it is okay to for people to have children they don’t want or for whom they can’t provide.  In a world where rapists have successfully sued for visitation rights, they want to force women to have babies that may force them into keeping contact with the person who raped them.

This is unacceptable.  Women should have the right to choose.  They should have the right of self-determination.  People who base their pro-‘life’ beliefs on religious believes should NOT be forcing that religious based view on the rest of society.