Category Archives: Religion

Places are Memories

Tonight I walked with God. By this, I mean I found a random number generator, asked questions of the God behind it, then followed the directions. This adventure took me to some old places I once lived, a trip down memory lane, a night to reflect. God, in this way, led me to a Starbucks, to a police officer, to a nearby city with beautiful houses, then to a beautiful place to watch the moon rise.

Then I asked about my fate and consulted a page in a book at  random, and was told, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29

That was a relief.

I believe that if this is a simulation, one way to talk to the Intelligence running it is by means that seem like chance. Just be sure to run sanity checks and ask good questions, because God will goof around a bit with you to make sure you are paying attention to your own inner voice of reason. 😉

All in all, the guidance tonight was surprisingly powerful, cohesive and enlightening. I felt like I was tapping into the engine of creation at times. Do you believe in randomness?

TrueStrange.com

A Roman War Tool Still Influences the World

You may have heard the quotes, “Truth is the first casualty of war,” or “The winner of a war rewrites history,” but few know we still today experience a history rewrite by Romans who won an ancient war.

If independent historical religious researchers are correct, the Flavian emperors of Rome left behind not just language, pottery, art and architecture, but an entire religion… one you’ve most likely heard about. 

Watch this video:

There you have it, a real mothership of conspiracy theories. It seems to be compelling evidence that Christianity is a manufactured religion, a Roman war propaganda tool. The writers built the story of Jesus from the life story of Caesar and combined Roman ideology with existing Jewish ideas. 

The writings, adapted from previous works, contain useful, practical moral guidance and wisdom, intriguing human stories, and, built in, at the center of it all, an invented, non-historical, peaceful Jewish king (Jesus) who teaches non-violence, hard work, prosperity, charity, paying taxes to the Roman emperor, obeying laws, accepting Romans rules, etc. 

If the Flavian theory is correct, the Gospels were stories crafted to replace the religious text of militant messianic Jews who refused to accept the statues of the roman emperor in their churches. Coordinated and/or written by Flavius Josephus, a Jewish general turned Roman propagandist, they were a way to control the masses, and because so many of the ideas were uplifting and helpful, they and the beliefs they contain are still around today. 

I’m slightly concerned about retaliation for even posting this as a theory, because I think people get pretty crazy about religion. Most of America is still Christian and that includes some of my best friends, new friends, and many beautiful people with good hearts. They’ve spent so much time believing, helping others… I wonder if they should know about the Flavian ploy. One friend told me that without Jesus he would be lost, he would go on a rampage. I wouldn’t want that, of course.

Should I even have posted this video? 

After a lot of thought, I’ve concluded that it won’t matter. First, I’m not reaching many people with this blog. My previous daily 5,000 viewers has dwindled due to Facebook sucking the life out of the web, and second, people will simply not listen/read if they do not want to hear. Problem solved. 

You can’t change a superstitious mind with historical evidence when it comes to religion or other deeply held beliefs. Believers tune out or deny contradictions because religion is such an useful part of their life. 

Occasionally those who are in turmoil who are already doubting their faith will get angry at non-believers, but that’s not terribly common. 

Then again, crazed zealot fools are still really killing for their religions because they listen to vocal radicals in positions of power in different religious camps, hate filled and fearful voices doing their best to incite profitable violence and divisiveness. 
Be good to each other and to yourself. It doesn’t take a threat of eternal damnation nor a promise of immorality to show basic human kindness and to live a worthwhile life. I think it comes down to how compassionate you learn to be and practice being with your time on earth.

TrueStrange.com

Proposal: Lawmakers Must Have Logic Skills

Can you pass this six question logic quiz? 

  • T | F – Time is a measurable quantity
  • T | F – Trees are real
  • T | F – Trees grow rings at a rate of one per year
  • T | F – As of 2013, the oldest tree-ring measurements in the Northern Hemisphere extend back 13,900 years
  • T | F – There is no evidence that 7,900 year old trees were placed on the Earth 6,000 years ago
  • T | F –  The earth is older than 6,000 years

Jesse Kremer and others who think the earth is 6,000 years old, if you can’t acquire and utilize observable facts, you should not have the burden of a job that entails making decisions for others. 

Blind persons do not make effective taxi drivers.

A Wisconsin lawmaker who believes the earth is 6,000 years old said on Thursday the blowback he’s received for his beliefs demonstrates the need for legislation regulating speech on college campuses.

Rep. Jesse Kremer, R-Kewaskum, is a member of the Assembly Committee on Colleges and Universities and the author of a bill that would create penalties for college students who disrupt speakers on campus and would require University of Wisconsin System schools to remain neutral on controversial topics.

During a hearing on that proposal last month, Kremer was asked by Rep. Terese Berceau, D-Madison, if a geology professor, under the bill, would be able to correct a student who said the earth is only 6,000 years old.

“So, this bill stays out of the classroom,” Kremer answered. “Yes, the Earth is 6,000 years old, that’s a fact. But, we can discuss that outside of this room.”

Link

Facepalm. There should be much more “blowback” for public servants who lack basic science literacy and logical reasoning abilities. 

While there are reasons to question details of some individual dating methods, the agreement of all available data (lead isochron age, tree rings, ice cores, the fossil record, continental drift, erosion, geological strata, radiocarbon dating, other radioisotopes, migration patterns, the genetic record) supports the age of the earth being about 4.5 billion years.

(Answer: All questions in the quiz are True. If you disagree, submit your reasoning in a comment.)

TrueStrange.com

Louisiana congressman: ‘Kill them all’ 

Sometimes it’s embarrassing to be human. Not only are insane people supposedly killing indiscriminately in the name of a God in the year 2017, there are also people in positions of leadership who are responding with the same insane murderous thought virus.

To Rep. Clay Higgins I say, we don’t kill all “suspects” who might do something because it never ends that way, you fool. When “they” see you killing some of “their” innocent people, they start killing more of “your” innocent people in response. Stop the self fulfilling prophecy “holy war” talk. We have enough problems already, and many of us are not even religious.

If you want more killing, advocate killing. If you want to end the killing, keep a cool head, defend your ground with appropriate force, investigate and bring suspects to trial. Advocating killing someone because of a religion is a hate crime.

Americans, unless you believe the odds are too low to worry about it, have a gun or two handy. Learn to use them, but be safe. If it was the only way to stop an attack, I would shoot the hell out of some nut who came at me or at someone around me with intent to kill. You have a right in this country to self-defense. Use it. But don’t be a pissant little hate monger who stirs up religious wars. Don’t start it. Don’t make things worse.

Lead with love and self-discipline.

A Louisiana congressman responded to the terror attack in London by calling for an extreme solution: Kill anyone suspected of being an Islamic radical.
Rep. Clay Higgins, a first-term congressman representing the third congressional district of Louisiana, wrote a Facebook post Sunday just hours after a terror attack in London that killed at least seven people.

“Not one penny of American treasure should be granted to any nation who harbors these heathen animals. Not a single radicalized Islamic suspect should be granted any measure of quarter. Their intended entry to the American homeland should be summarily denied. Every conceivable measure should be engaged to hunt them down. Hunt them, identity them, and kill them. Kill them all. For the sake of all that is good and righteous. Kill them all.”

The free world… all of Christendom… is at war with Islamic horror. Not one penny of American treasure should be granted to any nation who harbors these heathen animals. Not a single radicalized Islamic suspect should be granted any measure of quarter. Their intended entry to the American homeland should be summarily denied. Every conceivable measure should be engaged to hunt them down. Hunt them, identify them, and kill them. Kill them all. For the sake of all that is good and righteous. Kill them all. -Captain Clay Higgins

This amount of fear is absurd from an elected offical. 

He also labeled the world as fighting a holy war, saying “all of Christendom… is at war with Islamic horror.”
When asked for further clarity on the post, Higgins’ office confirmed that the post, while posted on a campaign page and not official congressional office account, was authentic and from Higgins.

“We are a world at war. The enemy is radicalized Islamic jihadists. The terrorists certainly take advantage of the politically correct madness that consumes the West. They revel, that many in the western world are frightened to speak freely. I’ve never been accused of being politically correct. I call things the way I see them,” Higgins said in a statement.

I’m not accusing you of being politically incorrect, Captain, I’m accusing you of being blindly irresponsible. You are not just calling things as you are seeing them, you are creating more hate, which feeds more violence, with these statements. 

The post, which accompanied a photo of one of the suspects from the London terror attack who was shot at the scene, garnered many angry reactions and comments on his Facebook page.
“We’ve gotten mixed feedback from folks back home. Some positive, some negative,” said Higgins’ spokesman, Andrew David.

Higgins gained his “Cajun John Wayne” nickname and reputation before entering Congress in previous job as captain and public information officer of the St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s Office in Louisiana. While serving in that role, he made videos for Crime Stoppers which later went viral, but soon sparked a community uproar that caused him to resign from the position.
The Louisiana Democratic Party responded to his Sunday post by citing a Bible verse promoting inclusion, trolling Higgins and his claim of a war between Christianity and Islam.

“The congressman points to Christianity to justify his backward position. As a party that strives to put in place representatives who serve progressive, inclusive Louisiana values, we urge him to look to 2 Timothy 1:7, ‘for God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.’ Rep. Higgins’ language is exactly the sort of response that terrorists aim to provoke.”

Link

Some people, of all religions, understand. 

After thousands of years of holy wars, we need to have envolved to recognize and short circuit the roots of cyclic violence. 

To me there’s nothing much more strange (or unholy) than a “holy war.”

TrueStrange.com

Religion from ancient fake news 

Apple and Facebook want to combat fake news that is “polluting the web,” but I have to ask, how much truth do people really want? 

Facebook, a massive government database powered by peer pressure and vanity, is run by a man who says:

“I was raised Jewish and then I went through a period where I questioned things, but now I believe religion is very important.” (Link, link, link). 

Apple’s current CEO, Tim Cook, believes his sexual orientation to be a God given gift.

“So let me be clear: I’m proud to be gay,” he then continued, and I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me.“ (link, link, link)

File under rich religious people who want to end fake news. 

We are biologically wired to lean unrealistically in the direction of hope. Thus, Las Vegas. The truth is, people will mostly believe what they want and real odds and real facts too often don’t much matter. 

If you do really want to get rid of fake news, then really do it. If they did, all references to religion on Facebook and Apple products may need to be marked with an “ancient fake news” warning. 

Apple CEO Tim Cook wants the tech industry to take action against “fake news” stories that are polluting the web.

“There has to be a massive campaign. We have to think through every demographic,” Cook said in a rare interview.

Speaking with The Daily Telegraph newspaper, Cook also said “all of us technology companies need to create some tools that help diminish the volume of fake news.”

Other leading tech company CEOs, like Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg, have spoken about the problem in recent months. But Cook’s comments were much more frank.

According to the Telegraph, he said made-up stories and hoaxes are “killing people’s minds.”

And he called the “fake news” plague “a big problem in a lot of the world.”

That’s probably true.

The term “fake news” was originally coined to describe online stories that are designed to deceive readers. Often times these stories are shared on Facebook and other social networking sites to generate profits for the creators. Other times the stories are essentially propaganda made up for political purposes.

I agree.

These kinds of stories received widespread attention before and after the American election. Fictional stories with titles like “Pope Francis shocks world, endorses Donald Trump for president” won millions of clicks.

It can be very difficult for web surfers to tell the difference between legitimate news sources and fakes.

No kidding?

That’s where companies like Apple come in.

Oh, do they now?

In the Telegraph interview – part of a multi-day European trip – Cook said “too many of us are just in the complain category right now and haven’t figured out what to do.”

He urged both technological and intellectual solutions.

“We need the modern version of a public-service announcement campaign. It can be done quickly if there is a will,” Cook told the newspaper.

What he described is music to the ears of media literacy advocates.

“It’s almost as if a new course is required for the modern kid, for the digital kid,” Cook said.

There are scattered efforts in some schools to teach media literacy, with a focus on digital skills, but it is by no means universal.

When asked if Apple would commit to funding a PSA campaign, an Apple spokesman said the company had no further comment on Cook’s interview.

The Apple CEO also suggested that tech companies can help weed out fake stories, though he added, “We must try to squeeze this without stepping on freedom of speech and of the press.”

What about freedom of religion?

Apple’s own Apple News app has been credited with being a relatively reliable place to find information.

The company “reviews publishers who join Apple News,” BuzzFeed noted last December.

And the app has a “report-a-concern function where users can flag fake news or hate speech.”

Facebook recently started working with fact-checkers to test “warning labels” that show up when users share made-up stories.

Cook, in the newspaper interview, expressed optimism that the “fake news” plague is a “short-term thing – I don’t believe that people want that at the end of the day.”

Link

It may not be so short term. If the Flavian hypothesis is correct, as historical evidence suggests, then the number of current believers in ancient fake news is staggering. 

Christianity did not really begin as a religion, but a sophisticated government project, a kind of propaganda exercise used to pacify the subjects of the Roman Empire. 

“Jewish sects in Palestine at the time, who were waiting for a prophesied warrior Messiah, were a constant source of violent insurrection during the first century,” he explains. 

“When the Romans had exhausted conventional means of quashing rebellion, they switched to psychological warfare. They surmised that the way to stop the spread of zealous Jewish missionary activity was to create a competing belief system. That’s when the ‘peaceful’ Messiah story was invented. Instead of inspiring warfare, this Messiah urged turn-the-other-cheek pacifism and encouraged Jews to ‘give onto Caesar’ and pay their taxes to Rome.”

Was Jesus based on a real person from history? “The short answer is no,” Atwill insists, “in fact he may be the only fictional character in literature whose entire life story can be traced to other sources. Once those sources are all laid bare, there’s simply nothing left.”

Atwill’s most intriguing discovery came to him while he was studying “Wars of the Jews” by Josephus [the only surviving first-person historical account of first-century Judea] alongside the New Testament. 
“I started to notice a sequence of parallels between the two texts,” he recounts. “Although it’s been recognised by Christian scholars for centuries that the prophesies of Jesus appear to be fulfilled by what Josephus wrote about in the First Jewish-Roman war, I was seeing dozens more. What seems to have eluded many scholars is that the sequence of events and locations of Jesus ministry are more or less the same as the sequence of events and locations of the military campaign of [Emperor] Titus Flavius as described by Josephus. 

This is clear evidence of a deliberately constructed pattern. The biography of Jesus is actually constructed, tip to stern, on prior stories, but especially on the biography of a Roman Caesar.”

Link  

From just an evidenced based perspective, religious views come also from old stories that have morphed over time (read Gilgamesh) and from misunderstandings of natural phenomena such as self organizing systems.

For example, take the Holy Ghost. If investigators examined it from the perspective of vetting a news story, a solid case can be made that the idea came from magical thinking about the “life breath.” Breath was another word for sprit. 

How about angels? Angelo means wanderer or messenger in Ancient Greek. The evidence from history suggests that archangels were what we now know are planets, wanderers in the arch of the sky compared to the fixed rotating sphere of the stars. At times they were called gods. Mercury, the fastest moving planet, for example, was depicted as a god with wings.

Unfortunately, it is very human to make emotional decisions where evidence is ignored, misinterpreted and sometimes  faked to support preexisting beliefs. People cling violently to their views. Wars have been fought and people have been killed by governments for trying to expose fake news. 

In other words, good luck combatting fake news, Tim and Mark. You can’t have it both ways.

The Tonga Cloud Jesus

You don’t see this every day. 

A young woman was fortunate enough to notice a figure in clouds and then as the sun got into the perfect position, the figure lit up.

Link

The image was taken by local resident, Joey Mataele, on New Year’s Day above his brother’s house in the village of Halaleva in Tongatapu.

With a clear outline of a head, body and feet, and a golden glow from the sun, Mr Mataele believed it was a sign from the heavens.

“This is an image that was unexpected and I know it’s a miracle in my life. Thank you Lord for everything you’ve provided for me and my family,” he captioned the photo.

… But it was enough for Mr Mataele, a devout Catholic, to see an image emerging.

“He took one photo and then it kept getting brighter,” Ms Mataele said.

In the second photo, the rest of the clouds have vanished and the shape of a person can be seen.

Ms Mataele has spent most of her life living on the property in Tonga, and said she has never seen anything like it.

Link