Inventing Christianity

I offer the following, as it was offered to me – for cogitation and contemplation.  I have found no official corroboration, nor refutation.  Christians who deny that their religion is not just a made-up one, can research this historical document, apparently composed and signed by Constantine, Roman Emperor and first, self-appointed Pope.   😯

A new consciousness of personal human dignity has emerged across our empire.  Men feel the infinite value and responsibility of a new life.  But within their realm of imposed happiness, a strange thing is occurring.  As naturally as they have rejected the former political structure, men have begun to seek a religion of a more personal nature.

It is admitted that when in recent times the appearance of our Savior, Jesus Christ had become known to all men, there immediately made its appearance a new religion, not small, and not dwelling in some corner of the Earth, but indestructible and unconquerable, because it has assistance directly from God.  This religion, thus suddenly appearing at the time appointed by the inscrutable counsel of God, is the one that has been honored by all with the name of Christ.

It is true that religion and civilization advance together.  But it is equally true that religious creeds and practices can often lag behind civilization.  We find that situation at present with the lingering of the pagan gods and the emergence of the new Christian faith.  We find a further example of this with the new Christian faith fighting within itself, so many varied views as to what should or should not be believed.  So many different ideas as to who and what is God and who and what is our Savior.

Any religion must reflect the pure ideals of the society in which it exists, its practices and sacrifices can only be as the general sentiment allows.  No new religion can easily claim the soil where other gods have long been worshipped.  To survive, a religion must have structure, rules, order, and, most important, consistency.  The following mandates are offered as a means to protect that which we created:

Always remember that an Angry vengeful God is preferable to a benign, loving entity.  We must Proclaim that Obedience and compliance with God’s directives is the only way to obtain eternal peace in heaven, while disobedience leads to everlasting suffering.  The fear of that perpetual suffering should be used to keep the faithful under our control.  The faithful can never forget that the only salvation from their fear comes from the Christian faith, its Doctrine and practices never open to question, their obedience absolute.

Sin is the mechanism whereby control will be enforced.  For the Hebrew nation the Ten Commandments, which Moses first delivered, have long stood as their basic tenets.  But we need more.  A list of sins should be created, a list that adapts to the times, each sin designed to instill fear.  There must be a clear belief that a failure to obtain forgiveness of sin places the immortal soul in the gravest of danger, with forgiveness obtained only through the Christian faith.  This concept should begin at birth with the belief that all men are born into the world with sin.  Never will they dwell with God unless there is absolution for this original sin through the Christian faith.

Many of the prior religions fostered a belief that when one lifetime ends another begins, the cycle never ending.  This spiritual immortality, this reincarnation is surely comforting, but the Christian faith will offer only one physical life and One opportunity at eternal salvation.  When that life ends the soul moves to either heaven or hell, both of which we must not only create but define.

Never can the failings of man be blamed on any lacking or deficiency in the Christian faith.  Instead an adversary must be created.  A diabolos, a spirit, a devil, who constantly poses challenges along the path to salvation.  All of man’s sins and shortcomings must be blamed on this devil, who is always present, always tempting, never relenting, with the only resistance coming from Christian doctrine.

No spiritual abilities can ever be tolerated.  Those who profess visions or an ability to speak with God are a danger.  As treason is punishable by death, heretical thinking and acts must likewise know the wrath of God.  Heretics can never be tolerated, their deaths a righteous calling, a warning to others that actions and thoughts contrary to the Christian faith come with dire consequences.  Killing in the name of God is not a sin.  Defending the faith with the spilling of blood is a duty we must never abandon.  (Emphasis mine – lovely religion, this Christianity.)

Religion expresses itself in terms of the knowledge of the world in which it exists.  If that be defective then religion likewise is defective.  Never be afraid to change.  It is the only way to survive.  But never be too anxious to do so, either.

Sacred objects are those things that man must not use or touch because they belong only to God.  Creating these, whether they be churches, places, people, words, or things, is essential to rooting our Christian faith.  Keeping them sacred through rules and punishments is equally important.

Priests shall become a special class unto themselves.  I am the natural choice to ultimately lead these priests, as religion is a vital part of politics.  The first duty of the state is to stay right with God and keep God on good terms with the people.  The priests’ duty is to keep the people on good terms with me.

Above all, the Essence of Christianity must be in loving God and following Him in faith, but it must also include upholding the authority of the Priests and believing in Christian doctrine without question.  On this objective we must unite as the conduct of public affairs will be considerably eased if we take this step.  Let us rejoice in unity.

Constantinus
Pontifex maximus
Nicea
ad 325

WOW #73

Oops! This is the wrong catchpole.

I’d like to introduce you to a fine, upstanding pair of brother-words.  They don’t get out much anymore.  They’ve gone into semi-retirement because of the constant suffusion into everyday English usage, of valley-girl-speak, obvs.

Our protective pair for this week are

CATCHPOLE

and

TIPSTAFF

Catchpole: (formerly) a petty officer of justice, especially one arresting persons for debt.
Tipstaff: a staff tipped with metal, formerly carried as a badge of office, as by a constable.
any official who carried such a staff.

Gone are the days when these boys, and their Italian cousin, Fasces, could implement some social wellbeing by applying a few stripes across a few backs and butts, and some knots on some heads.  (Therefore, knotheads.)

I was gratified by the recent decisions to use riot-geared police, complete with two-foot truncheons, to finally bring an end to both the Ottawa Freedom Convoy, and the Windsor/Detroit bridge blockade.  Police showed remarkable restraint.  They barely had to use their billy-clubs.  I thought that a few more heads could have been cracked, to engender some good manners and social responsibility.

Society is a constant pendulum – from too restrictive, to too lenient.  This current Woke/cancel culture/snowflake – nobody even gets their feelings hurt, much less their ass, or their head – has swung too far into permissive.   I don’t want police beatings in the street, any more than I don’t want guys being shot for driving while black.  But there’s gotta be some workable middle ground.

If I set up a Patreon account, Tipstaff is what you could do.  Until then, I’ll just be happy if you have Uber-Eats deliver another helping of my rants in a couple of days.  😀

IN HONOR – IN MEMORIAM – REDUX

The time has come, the walrus said, to speak of many things, the most important of which is the impending arrival of November 11!

Call it Remembrance Day, as I do.  Call it Memorial Day.  Call it what you will, but Remember to honor those in uniform, past, present, and sadly, probably future, who unstintingly give whatever it takes to keep us and our society safe.

It has been 100 years since Canadian, John McCrae, in the middle of The War to End All Wars, composed the poem, In Flanders Fields.

Wear a poppy.  Honor the living.  Mourn the fallen.  Remember all you have, and who keeps it safe.

Fibulous Fibbing Friday

Each month, Pensitivity101 publishes a list of questions or statements that we are encouraged to provide creative, adventurous – if not exactly truthful – responses to.  The following is my most recent attempt.

  1. A stitch in time saves……………………………………..
    2. Too many cooks…………………………………………….
    3. Many hands make………………………………………….
    4. A bird in the hand ………………………………………..
    5. Actions speak louder……………………………………….
    6. All that glitters………………………………………………
    7. People in glass houses……………………………………
    8. Fools rush in ………………………………………………..
    9. Don’t count your chickens ……………………………..
    10. Give them an inch…………………………………………

A stitch in time saves – me from having to complete this 5K “Fun Run” that I so unwisely signed up for.  If God had intended us to run, He wouldn’t have invented Uber.  😮

Too many cooks – add so many red-hot peppers, that you could die at a Texas Chili Cook-off.  😥

Many hands make – a complete game of bridge, although I don’t understand why anyone plays it.  I just don’t have the attention span.  😉  😆  See what I did there?  😕

A bird in the hand – can be quite messy.  Always use your COVID gloves.  The drunk said to the host, “If you don’t have any lemons, I think I just squeezed your canary into my drink.”  😳

Actions speak louder – to get the attention of members of the Woke generation.  Sometimes it takes a good slap upside the head to convince them that they’re not as right as they imagine they are.  😯

All that glitters – is impossible to vacuum out of the carpet.  Who invented that shit?  Chinese terrorists??!  Sawdust is guy-glitter, but at least you can sweep it up.  😎

People in glass houses – should buy thick curtains.  Clean windows are important, but so is privacy.  😛

Fools rush in – and guys like Trump get elected.  😳  😯

Don’t count your chickens – because I raided your freezer.  I came over last week to ‘borrow’ a cup of Zinfandel, but you were driving your husband to the airport, so I ‘borrowed’ an entire bottle while I waited for you.  (Don’t count on your wine supply, either.)  I didn’t have anything in stock for supper, and one thing led to another….   😯

Give them an inch – and the anti-vaxxer conspiracy nuts won’t be any closer to protecting themselves and the rest of society.  😳

I’ll publish another post in a couple of days.  I promise to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth….ish.

’20 A To Z Challenge – S

SUAVE
SOPHISTICATED
full of
SAVOIR FAIRE

None of these words apply to me.

I am just a small-town boy with a touch of autism, who has managed to read enough to know how the other half 95% lives, and how they expect me to act and behave.  If the wife hadn’t decided that I needed someone to civilize me, I probably wouldn’t be married.

I have managed to dine at a few somewhat upscale restaurants without embarrassing myself or my companions too badly, but I should not be let loose near anything labeled fête or gala.  I can’t even tell the difference between white ties and black ties, much less how to wear them, when, and where.

For a couple of years in high school I wore a string-, or bolo-tie to the few dances and parties that I attended – and didn’t wonder why the females wanted nothing to do with me.  In the first half of my working life, when I was a number of varieties of cube-drone, I wore clip-on ties.

One day, I stopped for a cooling beverage (or several) after work, at a place artistically nicknamed The Pit, which just happened to have entertainment which involved the removing of clothing.  I got a seat right up front – ‘cuz my eyes were weak.  One of the sluts strippers Exotic Dancers decided that she wanted to drag me up on the stage.  She grabbed my tie and pulled.  She ended up with it in one hand, and a bemused look on her face.  Of course, I had to burn the tie, by the time she was done with it.

My idea of “sophistication” is to order bottled beer that is opened at my table, rather than take my chances of being roofied by on-tap lager.  Don’t get me started about cocktails, or even ‘mixed drinks.’  If it’s any more complex than rye and cola, it’s outside my wheelhouse.

I’ve long since given up the bolo ties but, despite their connotation and connection to County-Western Music – which I abhor – I continue to wear, what other people call ‘Cowboy boots’, through almost 53 years of marriage.  What I wear is not what others might refer to as ‘Biker boots’ either, although they served to protect my lower legs for 25 years, when I rode an assortment of rice-burner motorcycles.

It’s too bad I wasn’t born rich, instead of so God-damned handsome.  Maybe one of the Hilton or Astor families might have polished me a little bit.  More likely, I’d have just wound up like Billy Carter, the embarrassment to President Jimmy Carter.  We could have had a few beers together, only…. Despite endorsing Billy Beer, in private, he drank Pabst.

Stop back in a couple of days, and I’ll have another story about old guys sitting around, drinking beer, and taking over the world.  I’ll lay in some local, micro-brew dark ale that we can share.   😀

The Need For Myths

Fairy Tale

Myths are stories of our search through the ages for truth, for meaning, for significance. We all need to tell our story and to understand our story. We all need to understand death and to cope with death, and we all need help in our passages from birth to life and then to death.

It may really not be possible to do away with myths. The myth is as much a part of the human need as the allure of it. Even when one does not want to, there will come a time when a person feels the need for a story. This inner need expresses itself as a search, or as a desire. It may come early in life or it may come late. Nevertheless, a person who thinks, is bound to realize a sense of emptiness. Nothing but a story could fill it. All a person would want or hope for is to find a good story, and then, live it.

Finding one’s myth

This is where one person differs from another. It’s easy to understand. What isn’t easy to understand is always, why one person chooses one story to understand his reality, while someone else chooses another. It is to be understood that: Till the time a person finds the story – the myth – that satisfyingly explains his existence and gives purpose to his mind, his soul, the power within is still not released. It is looking for its expression. The myth provides the expression. Only then, when one goes deep into his personal myth, is it no longer just a story, but life itself. Myths are clues to the spiritual potentialities of the human life.

Every culture ought to provide a satisfying myth to the people it holds – one might say – captive. Yes, cultures hold at least some persons captive, while the vast majority are simply organized by it. This is what we understand to be a society. Is that not true? The exceptional individuals of society – the artists, the searchers, the thinkers, and the visionaries – if they succeed in finding their creativity-unlocking-myth, will then become the heroes and the leaders. They may even one day become legends that others recall with some fondness and some fear.

’18 A To Z Challenge – Q

Challenge '18
letter-q

 

I recently found that I’m a

QUIDNUNC

Shabby Man

It’s okay.  I’ve been called worse.  A quidnunc is a nosy old man.  And here I thought that I was just an interested observer of the human condition.  I am fascinated by the most mundane of details about the people who I come into contact with – what their name means, and what ethnic background they come from.  Even if I ask you a question which you refuse to answer because you feel that it is too personal, I still learn something about you.

Actually, a quidnunc is:  noun

  1. a person eager to learn news and scandal; gossipmonger
    a person who is eager to know the latest news and gossip; a gossip or busybody.

Origin of quidnunc

First recorded in 1700–10, quidnunc is from the Latin word quid nunc – what now?

Up until about a century ago, the upper social crust liked to study Latin and Attic Greek, the Classical Languages, and show off their education by scattering Greek and Latin terms into their conversations.  That is largely gone now.  Rapidly advancing technology leaves very little spare time to learn dead languages.

Quidnunc is now a seldom-used, archaic term.  It originally applied to someone of any age, but matured to indicate only nosy older men.  Aside from this blog-post, you may never run into it again for the rest of your life.  If you do, it will almost certainly be applied to some old dude with suspenders, and his pants hiked up almost to his armpits, probably at Shoney’s at 4:00 PM, for the Early Bird Special.

Please stop back again soon.  I’d like to play a game of Twenty Questions.  😉

WOW #29

Fuck It

I was going to publish this post earlier, but I didn’t remember to.   😳  A previous A To Z was about the word “Forgettery.”  This one’s about the same thing, just with the slightly more upscale name of

OBLIVESCENCE

The act of forgetting Oblivescence dates from the late 19th century and is a later spelling of obliviscence, which dates from the late 18th century. The spelling oblivescence arose by influence of the far more common suffix -escence. The English noun is a derivative of the Latin verb oblīviscī “to forget,” literally “to wipe away, smooth over.” The Latin verb is composed of the prefix ob- “away, against” and the same root as the adjective lēvis “smooth.”

Oblivescence has such a rich, round, regal sound to it. Today’s modern society is so chock-full of need-to-know technical knowledge, that the history, pride and good manners of our more elegant past are being forgotten.  There was a time when you could call another man a liar without calling him a liar, by saying that his claim was ‘mendacity, Sir.

Today’s schoolchildren are not taught to add, subtract, multiply or divide. Rather, they are trained to use a calculator.  There’s one inside every computer and Smart phone. “Siri, how much is 12 times 17?” They are not taught cursive writing, but rather how to use a keyboard, or even a little touchscreen.  Kids have forgotten how to pick up and use pencils, pens and crayons, but will soon evolve powerful thumbs from texting.

We have forgotten how to debate, or even how to have a polite conversation with those who don’t totally agree with us. Society has forgotten good manners and tolerance.  We, as writers, should attempt to help others recall kind acceptance.  Remember what your Mother taught you; “Play nice with others!”   😀

Childlike Grace

Bible

When I was a child, I thought as a child, but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

Blogger Barry, in a recent post, said that he’d halted on his path to becoming an Atheist. He does not say that it was because he was taught that Atheists are evil, nasty or sinful, but that is the reason that many ex-Christians won’t admit that they have become Atheists.

Tired of the judgemental, accusatory, denominational bureaucracy and hypocrisy, he still wished to identify as ‘spiritual.’ It is quite possible to be spiritual, without being a member of any Christian sect.  His last stop before getting off the Christian bus, was at Mormon.

He still visited Atheist websites, and admitted that he had remained a Christian. He was amazed at the vehemence of some militant Atheists, who insisted that any and all religions were harmful.  He admitted that, being ‘inside the box,’ perhaps he did not understand the claim.  He asked, if he was not harming himself, or anyone else, how could his being a Christian be harmful?

When we tell small children that Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy exist, are we harming them, or society in general? Probably not, or only a minuscule amount.  However, when children get to be 7, 8, 9 years old, we tell them the truth, and show them reality.  To allow them to grow into adults who still believe in things like the Tooth Fairy, can cause harm in a variety of ways.

If an individual or sect is allowed to treat their particular and peculiar superstition as reality, then both the believers and society are harmed. It also inserts the thin edge of a wedge.  If one is, then all religious opinions must be accepted, no matter how strange or unreal.  The more people there are, who treat fantasy as fact when dealing with life and the general public – the fewer people who cannot and/or do not, deal with secular reality – the more harm is caused, both to the believers and to society.

Critical thinking is incredibly hard, but also incredibly important. We can’t learn and grow without it.  We have to question our own ideas and motivations, so that we don’t get stuck on there being only one correct, acceptable idea.

Next comes the slippery slope. Once strange unprovable beliefs are allowed, the holders quickly try to turn acceptance into licence.  If politically powerful enough, they try to pass laws enforcing membership in their sect, and making disagreement with their views into heresy and apostasy.  Kindly old George H. W. Thousand Points Of Light Bush once said that Atheists should not be allowed to be American citizens, or patriots.

My opinion of Blogger Barry’s intelligence and mental strength, based only on reading a few of his posts, is that he is not, and probably won’t ever be, directly harmful to society. Sadly, he’s one in 10,000 – or maybe a million.  There are countless hordes, who are only too willing to use their religion as a justification to inflict physical, mental, emotional, social, or financial pain and damage to countless other victims.

God is for the wise. Religions are for fools.  If only more people would grow out of the childish need for an imaginary friend to protect and guide them, and become adult enough to face the universe and life as it really is, and not just how they wish it were.   😦  😯

2017 A To Z Challenge – O

Challenge2017*

I am an Optimist.  Not a cockeyed optimist.  Not a naïve, ‘everything will turn out right’, optimist.   Not a wide-eyed, slack-grinned, Pollyanna, ‘everything is great’, optimist.  Not a Little Orphan Annie, ‘The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow’ optimist.  Not even one of those Optimist guys who goes to monthly urban-improvement meetings.  I just always hope for the best from people and society.

letter-o

On the other hand, I’m also a flint-hard-minded, cynical realist. I hope for the best, but expect the worst from people, and I’m seldom disappointed, Trust – But Verify.

The optimist thinks that we live in the best of all possible worlds.
The pessimist fears that that statement is true.

During my childhood, alone in my neighborhood, I sometimes reached out to other children (guys) living blocks away, to show them things I’d discovered during my solitary explorations. Almost without exception, whatever was not stolen, was destroyed, preventing further enjoyment by them, me, or the rightful owner.  It’s still an all-too-common attitude in the world today, which I just don’t understand!  😯

I would like to believe that, with the information age, and increasing education and technology, the world is slowly rising to be a better place.  Certainly, within the more civilized sections, torture and arbitrary executions have mostly disappeared.  Then I see militant Islam terror attacks against Christian countries, and one type of Muslim killing and driving out another.

Islamofascists are trying to control/prevent the dissemination of information and concepts that they do not approve of, especially via the internet. That genie (if you’ll excuse the expression) is already out of the bottle.  I hope that the tipping point has been reached, and, no matter how many AK-47s or Semtex explosive they use, knowledge and social freedom will still continue to spread.

In the western world, it seems restricted to acts like a local LGBTF-friendly church recently having its entryway sidewalk graffitied, “The Church Shall Remain Holy.” Since they are welcoming the same sort of social rejects that Christ did, they feel that they are holy, and plan to have another artist ‘frame’ the graffiti, and seal it with a transparent coat, turning it from an act of hate, to an inclusive act of love.

So much of life has become polarized – Blue States vs. Red States – White Supremacists – tear down historical statues – Fundamentalists trying to drag society back into superstitious days.

I hope!
I hope!
I hope!

I don’t think that I will live long enough to see very much total improvement. I’d like to say, ‘Two steps forward – One step back’, but often it seems like 12 steps forward, 11 steps backward.  I hope that progress will continue.  I hope that my children and grandchildren will live in a better world than the one that I did.  I am optimistic!

***

This is the closest that I’ve finished a blog composition before posting, since I wrote my first 13 directly into WordPress. It was completed only a half an hour before my self-imposed schedule said that it was to be published.  I don’t even think it was because of my procrastination – more like, I just couldn’t organize my thoughts, and decide where it was going.  Since I’m supposed to have three, in a Word file, ready to go at all times, I’d better get going at P, Q, and R.  😳