Voices from Russia

Monday, 10 July 2017

10 July 2017. A Point to Ponder from Bishop Lazar

00 russia new year 03 puhalo 180417

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The following encapsulates the evil programme of American neoliberalism (both Republican and Corporate Democrat). Note well that Orthodox konvertsy dance in glee about Trump’s Golden Calf (and call themselves “pro-lifers” to boot)…

To boast of being “pro-life” while acceding to the removal of health care from millions of people, many of whom, children in particular, will die from lack of adequate health care, is surely one of the most gross and egregious hypocrisies of our epoch.

It says it all about the neoliberals (and Orthodox konvertsy), doesn’t it?

BMD

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Saturday, 8 July 2017

8 July 2017. A Thought on Healthcare in the Age of Corporatist Bloat

This is from 2012… Obama had many faults, but he (at least) signed the Affordable Care Act (do remember how Hillary (I think intentionally) flubbed it in the 90s)…

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This says it all about Republican compassion and caring… and about the Clintonistas too…

I lay in the hotel room hearing my uncles discuss the price of feed corn and it occurred to me, not once but several times, that I am a fortunate man and thank you, Lord, for Medicare A and B and a good group health policy and for savings to cover any shortfall. The 23 million people who may lose their health insurance in the next few years if Congress does as the man wishes will face some high barriers between them and any sort of eye surgery. This doesn’t come under the heading of Kindness.

Eighty percent of evangelical Christians who cast ballots last fall voted for a man who seems as far from Christian virtues (humility, kindness, patience, etc.) as Hulk Hogan is from the Dalai Lama. These people pray for guidance. So apparently, Jesus got the story wrong. The rich man came to Lazarus who was covered with sores and asked for a tax break, and the rich man was rewarded and Lazarus went to hell. Do unto others as you’re glad they don’t have the means to do unto you.

Remember… the Clintons brought us NAFTA, “welfare reform”, and the repeal of limits on Wall Street. Any ordinary person who voted for Hillary Clinton was a boob, full stop. Upper-Middles? They voted their class interest. They profited under the Clintons the last time and anticipated more good times under Hillary. As for us, they not only don’t give a good goddamn, they never did.

The rest of the article from which I took the excerpt is here.

BMD

Friday, 24 March 2017

24 March 2017. This is What Passes for “Christianity”… Can You See Why Atheism is On the March?

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Evangelicalism believes in the above, sadly enough. Unfortunately, we have many semi-converted Evangelicals amongst us (including clergy) who’ve brought their heretical notions on ordering society into the Church. We’ll have the devil to pay to root this out… or these demonic ideas will gut the Church and make it a mockery of its Founder and His Ideals. However, they hate “fags”, advocate the death penalty, wave the flag, applaud war in foreign parts, want “prayer” in school, and wave placards demanding the illegalisation of abortion… isn’t that special…

BMD

Sunday, 19 March 2017

It’s Time to Start Calling Evangelicals What They Are: The American Taliban

Religion has no place in the public school. As a member of a “minority” faith (Russian Orthodox Christianity), I wouldn’t want our kids contaminated with Evangelical goo. We have a secular state… let’s keep it that way.

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Editor:

The following is prime read n’ heed… it needs no commentary from me.

BMD

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The Council For National Policy is a Conservative Think Tank, made up of a Who’s Who of prominent conservatives… Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee, Reince Priebus, Tim LaHaye, Bobby Jindal, John McCain… the list goes on… This article, published by the Washington Post, but reported elsewhere, lays out the group’s plan to “restore education in America”, by bringing God into classrooms.

I have said for years and years, the Christian Right is really seeking to establish a theocracy in the USA… at least regionally, throughout the Deep South. This latest effort by the so-called Council for National Policy lays further proof to that claim. The Constitution does NOT support this effort… in spite of what many “Christian” leaders sayThe First Amendment of the Constitution strictly prohibits any Establishment of Religion. This Amendment also guarantees Freedom of Speech and Freedom of the Press. This “Separation of Church and State” has two intentions:

  • It protects religious freedom for everyone
  • It prevents the tyranny of any one religion

However, this fact won’t stop many Southern Christians, who feel it is their duty… as Christians… to make the USA “a godly nation” in their eyes. Moreover, they’ll cite the numerous biblical passages in which God exhorts all nations to be faithful to him and condemns those nations who aren’t, as the basis for this duty… that they feel is their right. I grew up in this world, so I know what I’m talking about. As a kid, during the 1970’s, I attended churches in Atlanta with my devout grandmother. I heard Jerry Falwell speak numerous times at First Baptist on Peachtree. A fiery minister in Smyrna indoctrinated me into the Evangelical way of thinking. I studied my “King James” Bible. I feverishly read Ernest Angley’s book about the “end times” that depicted Christians being boiled alive by the Antichrist. I loved The Omen movies, wholly believing they portended something real. Trust me. I’ve been there. Fortunately, I had the sense to give it up. By age 15, at the peak of my adolescent sexual curiosity, I realised that any religion that demanded giving up my basic humanity was nuts.

Of course, not all Christian Evangelicals share this extreme view. Nevertheless, the extremists always give themselves away with their trademark refrain, “I’ll pray for you”, as if you’re possessed by demons and in need of an exorcism. They seem completely unaware of how this statement makes them appear; that they alone understand “truth”, that everyone else is “ungodly” and in need of “redemption”, as they see it; by being “born again,” and baptised, and accepting their world view. This self-righteous arrogant presumption is at the root of all religious extremism. Evangelicals in churches and state houses across the country support laws and political systems that brutalize and imprison MILLIONS of African-Americans, that deny equal rights and protections to LGBT people and tacitly support violence toward them, and seek to deny women the right to govern their own bodies, often with threats or outright acts of physical violence. They seem hell-bent on ejecting science from education and replacing it with their own creationist ideas.

In doing these things, Evangelicals are advocating a religious extremism that is no different from Muslim extremism, which projects religious authority over all people in their domain, which limits the rights of women, controls and limits education, and enforces strict adherence to a moral code, which naturally rejects and punishes all forms of “decadence”, including “deviant sexuality”, science, reason, and any questioning of authority. Christian fundamentalists, if given the power, will do the same things.

Evangelical Christians in the USA condemn Muslim extremism as a threat to the country and their way of life, while clearly endorsing their own form of extreme religious authoritarianism. This form of religion establishes a tribally divisive “us” versus “them” mentality, which places “our” rights and prerogatives above the needs of any other group. Moreover, they use it repeatedly as the basis for denying other people’s rights… particularly, their freedom to choose and even their right to exist. It’s worth pointing out that in the South religion buttressed this tribal mentality to force a separation between whites and blacks, who they see/saw as inferior. White suburban Christian thinking has this tribalism as a deeply embedded dynamic. They accept it without question. I shouldn’t have to point out that, in the end, this isn’t Christian at all.

Religious extremism is religious extremism. Using words like “righteousness” or “faith” or “Christ-given mission”, and hiding behind ideas like “tradition” and “heritage” and “family values” won’t cover up this fact. It’s up to every freedom-loving person, who prefers freedom of choice, freedom of worship, who cares about protecting women’s rights and equality for all, and advancing reason and scientific knowledge, to be aware and oppose it. I don’t suggest that Evangelicals should give up their faith. However, I strongly suggest they shouldn’t trample on other people’s religious beliefs or insist that people should conform themselves with the Evangelical worldview.

If Evangelicals hate tyranny, they should be very wary of becoming tyrants. Nevertheless, Evangelicals will never see themselves as tyrants, because their faith commands them to be “missionaries for Christ”. This mandate engages them in a zero-sum game to convert the country, indeed the whole world, to their faith. Moreover, over the decades they’ve increasingly reached for more and more political power to achieve this goal. This is exactly what ISIS proposes, by trying to establish a global Muslim caliphate. The goal of religious extremists, regardless of faith, is always the same… Dominion.

And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the foul of the air, and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.

Genesis 1.28

Evangelicals are the American Taliban. To many, that seems a garish and inconceivable statement. The entire purpose of this article is to point out that religious extremism also exists in America as it does in other parts of the world, and not just radical Muslims are extreme, it’s also radical Christians… and that religious extremism can start with something as simple as, “I’ll pray for you”.

24 February 2017

J C Weatherby

Church and State

http://churchandstate.org.uk/2017/03/its-time-to-start-calling-evangelicals-what-they-are-the-american-taliban/

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