Category Archives: atheism

Freedom of Religion: Fact and Fantasy

1692 Massachusetts Christian Puritans saw the Devil everywhere

1692 Massachusetts Christian Puritans saw the Devil everywhere

Freedom of religion is a centuries-old expression. In most cases freedom of religion does not exist.

Freedom of religion is not accepted by the Supreme Court of the USA, as seen in Sandra Day O’Connor’s rant that the USA is a Christian nation (it is not).  The Roman Catholic majority of justices side with their faith and rule in favor of Christianity.  There is little interest in defending the rights of Muslims, Hindus, atheists, agnostics, free-thinkers and non believers. This is seen in the repeated demands for a god oath or affirmation to tell the truth.  God oath’s are distinctly religious (Ide, Arthur Frederick (1988), Vows, Virgins, Oaths and Orgies. Arlington, TX: Liberal Arts Press).   This has become the rallying cry for sectarian judges at all levels, from the traffic courts in Des Moines, Iowa, to petty courts in Louisiana and the nefarious local courts in Texas.  Most courts or jurists. It is not enshrined in the nation, nor in separate states. At best freedom of religion is a buzzword.  In reality freedom of religion is a fantasy that has enchained and enslaved the mentality and academic advance throughout the USA since its inception as American colonies.

From Maine to Georgia, the North American colonies were not founded as bastions of theological freedom or the right to disbelieve.  What came from pulpits and stages of colonial churches was the same hot loathing of predatory pastors that existed in Europe, with special condemnation of Jews, “pagan” (i.e. Muslim) slaves, and those who did not express exaltation and conviction of the Christian perspective of males who saw in Christianity justification for gynephobia and misogyny, racism and radicalization of theology that still saw Jews as “killers of the Christ” and “naked savages” (American aboriginal Indians) who did not bow before raised bibles, and later were damned as sinners by Joseph Smith Jr–one of the greatest plagiarist and ignorant speakers in USA history.

Those who came to the shores of the Eastern coastline were greedy, self-serving, and self-loathing Puritans, Pilgrims, people in quest of gold and land, and who had little interest in a truly encompassing society freed from the fetters of religion.  Instead, these colonists were determined to create a “New Salem” (Jerusalem) and bring about a theocracy led by theocrats–as with the Matthers, Willis, and other bible bleaters.  The colonists had a narrow definition of what religion was.  Their god had to be prayed to daily, Their god would appoint “ministers of the faith” who would lead congregations like a ram herding sheep into judgemental assemblies in vocal or silent prayer while calling out witches, warlocks, and disbelievers for execution as with the Salem Witch Trials.  The colonial Christians chartered congregations that would give a non-biblical tenth of their possession and production to sustain the slovenly spokespersons of the community’s god.

Puritans in Massachusetts Bay Colony hanging Quakers

Puritans in Massachusetts Bay Colony hanging Quakers

Plymouth colony (Massachusetts) was among the most intolerant colonies.  In part this was due to its Puritan background.  In part this was due to Plymouth colony’s mephistophelean misogyny of its leaders who were more prone to seduce young girls and a few boys but hushed it up under claims of clerical immunity while reading  gynophobia plastered across the pages of what copyists claimed were the epistles (or letters) of a mythological Paul written by various hands from 200-1000 CE.

When any person would speak out in favor of a different form of worship, or for the rights of women to participate in a discussion of a biblical text or a pastor’s sermon (as was the case with Anne Hutchison), the heavy hand of hardened clerics came crashing down with excruciating éclat.  Their denial of human and civil rights for women, people of color and existing LGBT people who were dispatched from the worldly life as “abominations” became routine (read my article on LGBT and Jewish people in colonial America).

Anne Hutchinson

Anne Hutchinson

Mistress Anne Hutchinson was chastised, defamed, libeled and slandered for her outspokenness and denunciation of those who would not let her speak or preach. Hutchinson cited bible verses to justify her reading and speaking with other women–and some men–in defiance of the male antagonists who would keep her quiet based on wrongful readings of the letters of “Paul”.

Anne Hutchinson was better read and more articulate about the scriptures that she interpreted and commented on  far more accurately than the pretensions and modestly educated Puritan preachers who acted more like popes than presbyters within her ossified and odious community.

Born Anne Marbury (1591–1643), Hutchinson was a Puritan woman. She served as a spiritual adviser for many when not performing domestic chores and being an attentive mother of 15. Birth control was unheard, and the misinterpreted line in Genesis  9:7 was not an injunction to act like rabbits or guinea pigs/cuyes, but was an admonition to minister to others so that a group would find freedom in thought.

The controversial Anne Hutchinson was an important participant in the Antinomian Controversy.  Antinomianism is the belief that under the gospel dispensation of grace, moral law is of no use or obligation because faith alone is necessary to obtain salvation. It was in part the teaching of Martin Luther (who had a far greater impact on English theology than did the strictness of Jean Calvin of Geneva), although he qualified his rejection of good works by writing that faith is: “a living, creative, active and powerful thing, this faith. Faith cannot help doing good works constantly. It doesn’t stop to ask if good works ought to be done, but before anyone asks, it already has done them and continues to do them without ceasing. Anyone who does not do good works in this manner is an unbeliever…Thus, it is just as impossible to separate faith and works as it is to separate heat and light from fire” (Luther, Martin. Vermischte Deutsche Schriften, Johann K. Irmischer, ed. Vol. 63 (Erlangen: Heyder and Zimmer, 1854), pp. 124-125. [EA 63:124-125]).   It was Antinomianism, with its view that salvation was for the soul only and not the body, rejecting most of the Old Testament and responding to critics that it matched the debate of the Council of Jerusalem (c. 50 CE) that rejected the necessity of circumcision (Acts 15:5,  19-22, cp. Acts 10:9-16)  that was on part of the Laws of Moses, that doomed early Puritanism to play a minor role in the devolution of faith in Massachusetts.

A charismatic and popular preacher who threatened Puritan pastors, Hutchinson who was expelled from her colony in 1637.  She was walked to the border of Plymouth as her penalty for the crime of challenging the authority of the male ministers who minced words to justify good works that had nothing in common with the Reformation of John Knox, Martin Luther, John Calvin and other would-be reformers turned revolutionaries.

A woman who refused to be silent, Hutchinson exposed the subordination of women in the culture of colonial Massachusetts.  Citing scripture Hutchinson spelling out articulate arguments against the reading of the most heated passages in the Epistles of Paul.  The mother of 15 children rejected the staid sentence sourly secreted into the vastly plagiarized First Letter to the Church of Corinth.  She noted that 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 claimed, wrongly, that women were to be silent.  Hutchinson called attention to the full passage as being a reference to the church, and not a permanent position in discussion of sermons or scripture solely against the preaching of women.  Women, such as Miriam, Deborah, Huldah, and Noadiah, were prophets in the Old Testament, and greeted as “sisters in the faith” in the New Testament (Romans 4:20), becoming judges, priests, and even bishops in the early Church.

1 Corinthians 14:34-35 has traditionally been linked with 1 Timothy 2:8-15. This is the mark of an addition by a copyist, that modern theologians are only now beginning to understand.  While there is no substantial evidence that the Plymouth pioneer knew of this, Hutchinson fought for the right of women to read and study scripture without the menacing mention of women being silent based on the idea that all people were like little children whom Jesus invited to visit him (Matthew 19:14).  Even the Paul of the New Testament saluted women, as in the case of Phoebe (Romans 16:1–2) Priscilla, wife of Aquila (both being tent makers; Acts 18:2) and recognized as leaders in 1 Corinthians 16:19 and Romans 16:3.

What Hutchinson did not argue is the text itself. Such an education was forbidden women by men who were threatened by any thought of equality between the sexes.  Only ennobled women, wealthy women, had any formal education, and then quietly in their homes. The transmogrification of equality is the leftover garbage of the establishment of Christianity as an official religion by the Emperor in the fourth century CE.

If Anne Hutchinson had an education in Biblical text and interpretation, she would have noted that 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 is a declarative statement and the passage does not match the rest of the text. Translation and interpretation have never been strong suits in theological studies from the ancient world to this day when school pretend to teach both sciences not only in the Third World but in most schools in the First World.

A more careful study of the questionable declarative verse would note that the writers of the Pauline epistle to the church at Corinth ignored the scripture’s declaration that women will prophesy (Joel 2:28; Acts 2:17-18) and did so in the church at Corinth (1 Corinthians 11:5).  The persecutor of Christians including at Corinth, Saul of Tarsus (who later takes for himself the name of Paul that means “small”, “humble” and even a “limited gathering of scholars”.  The name Paul is a family’s surname at the time of the first century CE.  It is Roman in heritage and spelled Paulus or Paullus.  Nowhere in the New Testament considered an Apostle except by Saul, himself.  The name Paul had no Hebrew or ancient Greek equivalent.  It is introduced in Biblical Greek.  The man is a self-created legend, and the Bible says nothing about Paul’s death. Only in 2 Timothy 2, do we read Paul writing about anticipating his death. 

1 Corinthians 14 and the silence of women

1 Corinthians 14 and the silence of women

What is unique is the writers of the Epistles, especially the letters to the congregation (there was no church) is that they are filled with repetition and self-rejection.  This is seen, dramatically, in the two verses 34 and 35.  They are self-contradictory, with 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 being at best a gloss or marginalia eased into the text by a medieval monk.

The Paul of the New Testament permitted women to participate when properly adorned (1 Corinthians 11:2-16). 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 stands out in sermons of all Christian cults and creeds–and has no biblical foundation except for itself (as I tell my students, you cannot use one book to prove the validity and credibility of that same book).  It is plagiarized from Old Testament lore that justifies the murders committed by Saul who was nothing more than a poor imitation of Joshua and Gideon who launched a Holocaust quit in keeping with that pushed by Adolf Hitler.

Gideon's Holocaust of Semitic people in Palestine/Canaan

Gideon’s Holocaust of Semitic people in Palestine/Canaan

Few have had the courage of Hutchinson to strike back at the theological terrorists machinations and insipid insanity of the patriarchy that then and now controls Christianity.  This patriarchy, using select sentences that were added to a book compiled and plagiarized from far older sources and passed off by those who would control others who were denied an education.  It was submissively accepted by those who bowed before alleged superiors who threatened their lives, limbs and property in the stagnant claim of being intercessor between god and man (ignoring woman).  Like ancient priests, Plymouth pastors prattled that they controlled all in the name of fear of a wrathful demon known as YHWH who unleashed holocaust after holocaust in the Torah and Book of Prophets (Old Testament) through the mass murderers Joshua and Gideon.  The source from the beginning of the innovation and creation of Christianity claimed their authority from a deliberate misreading of Matthew 16:18-19.

The Bible has always been a sponge of blood, from Genesis through Revelation.  Its pastors dined from burnt sacrifice and were given seats at the head of tables where they would invoke their deity to look upon food and heart with a jubilant spirit while the ecclesiastics ate first.  The idea of a “burnt sacrifice” is Akkadian in origin, passing through the language of Syria. The Hebrew feminine noun qorban (plural qorbanot קָרְבֳּנוֹת) first occurs in the Hebrew Bible in Leviticus 1:2.  It is found in 80 other passages is pronounced similarly in the Arabic language (Arabic kurban قربان).  Women were allowed to participate in the sacrifices–a fact that male preachers ignored, claiming that women were to be “meek and mild like Jesus”.

There was nothing “meek and mild” (a phrase that applies only to the Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew 11:28-30.  In the original Greek (πράος) meek means “in control” and “with great power that is under control”. It defines someone who is not subject to anger) about the Mistress who rattled the Puritan community and distressed the Fathers of the Colony.  None of the male ministers had anything in common with the Jesus of the New Testament.

Anne Hutchinson heartily made her displeasure known with the fools she suffered.  This was especially the situation with witless John Wilson and his rogue interpretation of religion “of one of works”. Having enough of his prattle praising tithing that was barely substantiated within scripture, Mistress Hutchinson got up and left whenever the millstone minister rose to pray or preach parched words of damnation and demons.  Tithing, actually, refers to a bribe (Deuteronomy 12:5-11):, extortion (Numbers 28:20-32), or payment under duress or to obtain spoils of war and theft (Genesis 14:20, 28:20-22) or a forced bribe to keep god from destroying his people (Malachi 3:8-10).

Repeatedly, Goodwife Hutchinson was reprimanded to mind the ministry of men.  She was to “silence herself” as being less than a man in the eyes of a critical, cruel and wrathful god.

Expelled by the “men of god” who declared End Times was “neigh [near]” and an apocalyptic war was about to begin with Jesus (defying the law of gravity) would ride out on a horse from the clouds with sword in hand to take blood from non-believers (Matthew 10:34), Hutchinson was exiled from her original home and community.  With many of her supporters, Hutchinson established the settlement of Portsmouth (that would become the Colony of Rhode Island) and Providence Plantations.  There was no rest for the outspoken Hutchinson. As at Plymouth, so it was at Portsmouth. Hutchinson’s heroic stand for her opinions and interpretations were met with scorn.  The chauvinistic chorus of misanthropic ministers damned her, “for she is but a woman” enfeebling every effort at blind justice and direct democracy.

A feisty firebrand who insisted on faith and with no emphasis on good works, Hutchinson ultimately found a home on the ancient landmark called Split Rock in what later became The Bronx in New York City. Her aspiration to help others, including the original aboriginal population (who became known as Indians), the city fathers launched acidic arguments against her, and leagued with “forces unknown.”  In August 1643, Hutchinson and all but one of the 16 members of her household were massacred during an attack by the native Siwanoy.  Her 9-year-old daughter Susanna was taken captive. 

The travail threaded through the life of Hutchison gave a tortured birth of a hatred-inspired fear of women throughout most of New England.  It spilled its poison into other colonies with a speed unmatched since the imaginary war in heaven between the Advocate of Job 2:1 (a Babylonian tale) known as Satan, and the mythical Akkadian god incorporated into the Bible under the name of Michael.  Religious rites were galvanized, ministers obtained a near god-like authority.  Religious freedom was curtailed, and colonies settled by one group of religionists were forced out by other religionists determined to draft their own ideologies into their charters, as happened to Maryland.

18th century carricature of Pope on Guy Fawkes Night in Boston

18th century caricature of Pope on Guy Fawkes Night in Boston

Maryland was established as a colony for Roman Catholics by Lord George Calvert in 1625. Roman Catholics were quickly disenfranchised as being “papists” and too attached to the plutocracy of the Vatican and the demands of the papacy.  “Good Christians” [Protestants] of Maryland, exploded intemperate against Roman Catholic priests who were rejected as following a foreign potentate  determined to turn the New World colonies into vassal states of the Vatican.  According to broadsheets, the Pope was to rule over splintered states by bishops loyal only to the Vicar of Christ.  This Vicar was caricaturized as a diabolical demons surrounded by vipers who would grow fat on the food denied the poor.

Roman Catholics in Maryland quickly lost their freedom of religion.  They were disenfranchised in 1646. They were, however, allowed along with “all [other] Christians” (emphasis mine) to live and work in Maryland in 1649 by means of the Maryland Toleration Act.

The Maryland Act of Toleration (1649)

The Maryland Act of Toleration (1649)

The Maryland Toleration Act became the source for the First Amendment of the fledgling United States of America. It was never, originally, a popular document nor a well-received First Amendment.

Virginia’s House of Burgesses recognized the Church of England as the official religion of the colony in 1619. The tie to the Established Church in England was, however, weak, and Anglicans in Virginia frequently pursued a course different from their counterparts in London.

In 1775, the bishop of London (Richard Terrick, 1710 – 1777) appointed James Blair to represent his interests in the colony, but there was scant attention to the authority from London in matters of religion, except that all prayer books and services followed the Church of England style that were far more closely related to the doctrines of Martin Luther than those of John Calvin.

The German, a former Augustinian monk who wrote numerous tracts in defence of the papacy and Rome, Martin Luther became over time  contemptuous of Jews (whom initially he had written in defense of) and argued for a strict interpretation of the words of the Bible with little to no tolerance for apostasy or heresy. Jews were not welcome anywhere in the New World when the colonies were formed.  They were slandered as being slayers of “the Christ”–a title Jesus never used in the original New Testament.

New Amsterdam (1626 engraving)

New Amsterdam (1626 engraving)

Little is known about the first Jew to visit the colonies.  The “sons of Israel” were poorly tolerated in colonial America (cf. Warren Blumenfeld (2012), “On The Discursive Construction of Jewish “Racialization” And “Race Passing”: Jews As “U-boats” With A Mysterious ‘Queer Light'”, Journal of Critical Thought and Praxis Vol. 1, Issue 1, pp. 1-28). Jews were accepted only if they could bring supplies to the colonies, as was the case with the second Jew who sailed to the New World: Solomon Franco.

Jews in Colonial America (17th century drawing)

Jews in Colonial America (17th century drawing)

Solomon Franco was a Sephardic Jew from Holland. There is scant record of this enterprising man, except it is believed that he settled in the city of Boston in 1649. 

Franco delivered “needed” supplies to Edward Gibbons, a Major General in the Massachusetts militia.  Franco quickly wore out his welcome when he demanded payment.

Gibbons was astonished that anyone would expect payment from a man of his rank–especially a Jew. A dispute broke out over who should pay Franco (Gibbons or Perada a Dutch merchant who arranged for the shipment of goods). On May 6, 1649, the Massachusetts General Court that Franco was to be expelled from the colony, but granted Franco “six shillings per week out of the Treasury for ten weeks, for sustenance, till he can get his passage to Holland”. The “sustenance allowance quickly ran out.

Jews found a home in New York (August 1654 drawing)

Jews found a home in New York (August 1654 drawing)

Five years later Solomon Pietersen, a merchant from Amsterdam, sailed into Boston. In 1656, Pietersen became the first known Americanized Jew to intermarry with a Christian. This action was deemed scandalous, being tantamount to “race mixing” that was illegal. Pietersen’s marriage to a Christian woman (referred even then to miscegenation, coming from the Latin miscere “to mix” + genus “kind”) is the mixing of different racial groups through marriage, cohabitation, sexual relations, and procreation.  The same bigotry that has been the lot of LGBT people by such biblical illiterates as Bob Vander Plaats of Iowa, Timothy Dolan of New York, Francis George of Chicago, Bryan Fischer, Ann Coulter and the ever-ignorant Benedict XVI (who declared he would resign as pope on February 28–an action that has not occurred since 1415 in the Middle Ages). 

Those who spew hatred against marginalized groups painfully mistranslated and misinterpreted the universal myth of Ham {Greek Χαμ, Kham ; Arabic: حام, Ḥām, “hot” or “burnt”} in reference to skin pigmentation: Black for Africans, “dark brown” for Jews and “Arabs” {the Semitic or Abrahamic people of Mesopotamia Africa}, and so forth; Genesis 9:20-27), “force” Ham’s later generations, according to some records, to formally convert to Christianity. To this end Black slaves in Virginia and other states demanded that their slaves go to Christian churches, and if they went with their white masters, to sit either on benches in balconies or in near-by cabins (some were allowed to sit at the back of the church if it did not have a full congregation).

There are no records showing Pietersen formally converted.  His daughter Anna, however, was baptized in childhood.  The action was one of the forced/enforced requirements of that day to stay in the colony.

Jacob Barsimson arrives at New Amsterdam (1654)

Jacob Barsimson arrives at New Amsterdam (1654)

The third Jew to arrive at New Amsterdam (lower Manhattan, where Wall Street is today) was Jacob Barsimson. Barsimson was born in Holland and worked for the Dutch East India Company. He was among the refugees who was aboard the Peartree on August 22, 1654, fleeing the Portuguese Inquisition when Portugal conquered Batavia (Jakarta).

Around this time 23 more Jews (four couples, two widows, and thirteen children) arrived as refugees from Brasil (that had been a Dutch colony before it was conquered by the Portuguese. The refugees’ spokesperson was Asser Levy, primarily because he represented the legendary priestly class of the ancient Hebrews. Levy argued for Jewish rights in the Dutch Colony of New Amsterdam. Levy won for the Jews basic civil rights including admission into the House of Burghers and was also granted the privilege of serving guard duty for the colony–something no non-Christian was allowed to do, so great was the colonists fear of angering their god of wrath. Levy’s victory was not without a fight.

The Christians of the local Dutch Reformed Church, led by local merchants, appealed to the colonial governor, Peter Stuyvesant, to have the Jews expelled, on the grounds, as Stuyvesant wrote to the Dutch West India Company (September 22, 1654), that the Jews practiced usury and were “deceitful trading with the Christians … [praying] that the deceitful race—such hateful enemies and blasphemers of the name of Christ—ne [be] not allowed to further infect and trouble this new colony to the detraction of your worships and the dissatisfaction of your worships’ most affectionate subjects”.

Peter Stuyvesant in New Amsterdam (New York)

Peter Stuyvesant in New Amsterdam (New York)

The Dutch West India Company declined because of several influential Jews in New Amsterdam who promised to provide “the poor among them shall not become a burden to the company or to the community, but be supported by their own nation”. To the consternation of “good Christians” in New Amsterdam, the Dutch West India Company went further:

We would have liked to effectuate and fulfill your wishes and request that the new territories should no more be allowed to be infected by people of the Jewish nation, for we foresee therefrom the same difficulties which you fear, but after having further weighed and considered the matter, we observe that this would be somewhat unreasonable and unfair, especially because of the considerable loss sustained by this nation, with others, in the taking of Brazil, as also because of the large amount of capital which they still have invested in the shares of this company. Therefore after many deliberations we have finally decided and resolved to apostille [annotate] upon a certain petition presented by said Portuguese Jews that these people may travel and trade to and in New Netherland and live and remain there, provided the poor among them shall not become a burden to the company or to the community, but be supported by their own nation. You will now govern yourself accordingly.”

After New Amsterdam fell to the British, in 1737, the General Assembly, of what was renamed New York, voted that no Jew was to be allowed to vote for members of that body.  Disenfranchised the Jews spent most of their time in business pursuits.

Few Jews moved beyond New York City. There were not sufficient Jews in Upstate New York to form a congregation until 1838, and there were no rabbis to serve until 1846.

There was no recognized Jewish community or congregation in Boston before 1840, and while an occasional Jew made it into Vermont and New Hampshire, there were no congregations until 1882. While there were a few Jews in Massachusetts, there was no significant record of any Jew or of any Jewish congregation before 1800. Even fewer lived in Maryland.

Covenant of Peace (first Jewish synagogue at Eaton, PA) 1839

Covenant of Peace (first Jewish synagogue at Eaton, PA) 1839

Pennsylvania had its first Jewish emigrant, Joseph Simon, in 1730, but there was no synagogue or cemetery for Jews until 1732 at Shaefferstown.  A synagogue was established at Easton in 1839, but its rabbi was not welcomed by any Christian pastor or congregant.

Pennsylvania was carved out for Quakers. While the Quakers were far more tolerant than any other Christian in Colonial America, they were to the far left of the Church of England that was too “popery”.  Quakers’ aversion to war, violence,  and argument made them as distrusted as were the animosities between chrestianos and christianos until the Emperor Constantine I created his crated “catholic [universal] church” in 325 CE (Eusebius, Vita Constantini 36-37, in Greek) by decree with no reference to Matthew 16:18.  There is no biblical proof that Jesus ever anointed a pope nor called for worship centers beyond an empty field (Matthew 18:20) or prayer in secret (Matthew 6:6).  There was never, to this day, a person in the USA who ever followed the teaching of Jesus, those who claim to be Christians are Paulinists, with Roman Catholics in the USA fleeing the teaching of Jesus more than any group.

Anti-Catholic American Patriot showing hatred for the Pope

 Roman Catholicism, having been suppressed in the past (Jenkins, Philip (1 April 2003). The New Anti-Catholicism: The Last Acceptable Prejudice. Oxford University Press. p. 23) throughout the seaboard colonies continued to be feared as being covert workers for a Catholic invasion and take-over orchestrated by the Pope in the Vatican.  

KKK armed to defend the USA from an invasion by Rome and its Catholic priests (19th century)

KKK armed to defend the USA from an invasion by Rome and its Catholic priests (19th century)

Americans, both colonialists and those who came with and after the Revolution, continued to arm themselves against alleged invasion of Roman Catholic Spaniards from Florida, Mexico, Cuba, and other Latin American nations.  Fear of Roman Catholics further spurred the KKK to arm themselves, seek out Roman Catholics and execute them. They were supported by legislators and laws in such hate-filled states as Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Minnesota, Georgia, Texas and the rest of the southern tier. Governors, Congressional representatives and senators, and state legislatures from West Virginia to California, Texas to Minnesota turned a blind eye to the carnage of many Christians who declared, like Billy Graham, Richard Land, G.Em Melchert and James Dobson, that Roman Catholics were not Christians.  The anger that rang from the roof tops of Nazareth Lutheran Church and College Hill Lutheran Church in Cedar Falls, Iowa, was matched in embittered denunciations by the cult of the Wisconsin Evangelical Synod, the Southern Baptist Convention and its Christ for the Nations ministry, buttressed by Pentecostal predators from Jimmy Bakker to Jimmy Swaggart, Scott Lively to James Dobson, with the support of born-again governors from Rick Perry (R-TX) and Scott Walker (R-WI).

Second Amendment to Constitution of the USA.

Second Amendment to Constitution of the USA.

Many of the most hate-filled people, from legislators in Iowa, Nebraska and the Dakotas, found solace only in the Second Amendment that they believed was their buttress for maintaining guns and other weapons, even though the Amendment said it was to sustain “a militia”.  The people have a right to “keep and bear arms” but for defense.  Previously arms had been housed in community arsenals at public expense. 

Irish Catholics, Jews and Blacks were considered equally evil by White "saved" Christians leadding to establishing the KKK.

Irish Catholics, Jews and Blacks were considered equally evil by White “saved” Christians leading to establishing the KKK.

Blacks and Irish Catholics were considered evil, worthless and expendable  in early USA history.  Irish and Black people were frequently drawn as being equal, with the Irish lampooned as being ape-like.

Cartoons and caricatures depicting the Pope as “the Great Whore” and priests as cutthroats and worse spread from broadsheets to newspapers and books. With the rise of the Khristian Knights of the [KKK] Klan, attacks on Roman Catholics increased along with the slaughter of Blacks and other minorities.

Even the otherwise well-read democrat and orator for human rights and civil liberties for all, Thomas Jefferson, wrote against Roman Catholicism. Jefferson argued: “History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government,” (Letter to Alexander von Humboldt, December 6, 1813) and that “In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty. He is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection to his own” (Letter to Horatio G. Spafford, March 17, 1814).

"American Patriot" Anti-Catholic articles attacking Pope and End Times theology

“American Patriot” Anti-Catholic articles attacking Pope and End Times theology

By the 1840s the nightmare fantasy fable of End of Times and the invention of a physical hell spawned by ancient Mesopotamian civilizations and plagiarized by most Abrahamic religions and people throughout the Middle East, was directly linked to the influx of Roman Catholics.  Roman Catholics were viewed as being more intent on damnation than on salvation even for the most avid Puritans.  More and more the papacy was labeled the Whore of Babylon (Dante, Inferno Canto 19, drawn from the ranting of John “of Patmos” (an island where those who were determined

In Inferno canto 19 Dante rebukes pope Nicholas III in the fourth bolgia

In Inferno canto 19 Dante rebukes pope Nicholas III in the fourth bolgia

to be insane were housed, with the writer of Revelation being consider “quite mad” even by his coreligionists who thought him suicidal or prone to murder) in Apocalypse 13 and 17:1-2.  Both the Apocalypse and other renderings of End Time theology were, plagiarized from old Babylonian tales and Akkadian folklore interwoven into Egyptian records. The verses in Apocalypse 13, 17:1-2 are closely identified with the tale found in the Babylonian Book of Daniel 5, 9:27). This  lead to the indiscriminate slaughter of Roman Catholics and the burning of their property 1840-1872 (Jimmy Akin (2001-03-01). “The History of Anti-Catholicism”. This Rock. Catholic Answers).  No newspaper, no periodical, no Christian minister raised his voice against this attack on civil rights and human liberties.

Benedict XVI (resigned papacy February 18, 2013)

Benedict XVI (resigned papacy February 18, 2013)

Today’s Roman Catholic Church in the USA. the religion most repressed in early America, is the most oppressive religion within the nation–and within the world.  The Roman Catholic Church continues to deny women the right of choice and the right to be priest–a role women held in the early communities and in the congregations set up by Apostles of Jesus of the New Testament.  The Roman Catholic Church, especially with the ascent of the two most hate-filled pontiffs in modern history, John Paul II and Benedict XVI, rejects basic human rights for various groups from non-Christians (there has been token efforts to dialogue with Buddhists and Jews, but nothing on the scale of John XXIII who reached out to everyone) to LGBT and other marginalized people.  The Roman Catholic Church under John Paul II and his rottweiler cardinal from Germany, Joseph Ratzinger, made a concerted but secretive effort to protect pedophile priests and prelates from Roger Mahoney (Los Angeles) and  Timothy Dolan (New York City read here and here and here)  intones, in the ”name of Jesus Christ”. The German Pope, Benedict XVI, is chief of those who are opposed to the Constitution of the USA’s proclamation of all people being equal and afforded equality before the law.  At the same time, the pontifex maximus continued protecting pedophile priests from the Jesuits in Alaska who sexually assaulted little girls and boys under the age of 12 in tribal villages and in remote areas to secular priests in the Oregon, Iowa, Texas and throughout the USA dioceses and abroad.

Ashlynn Conner, a little Irish American girl, bullied into suicide at age 10 in Illinois

Ashlynn Conner, a little Irish American girl, bullied into suicide at age 10 in Illinois

While Colonial charters and laws contained specific proscriptions against Roman Catholics by state constitutions, atheists are openly attacked in the same way and with an identical fury as the early Roman Catholics and Jews. Atheists, however, are attacked more frequently than either of the groups of oppressed people.  Students in USA schools and universities bullying are among the rising number of self-define “soldiers of Christ” who feel “called upon” to attack atheists.  These “soldiers of Christ” are sworn to rid the USA of atheists, either by murdering them in cold blood or by “encouraging those who doubt or deny god” to commit suicide by channeling their hate on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and other means of social communication.  This vitriol is even more acute in the “soldiers of Christ” in attacking any LGBT who is either self-acknowledge and proud of himself or herself, regardless of age.  Even young children are singled out for torment that can lead to suicide, as was the case with ten-year-old Ashlynn Conner, to 15-year-old Jamie Hubley, and more.

The majority of the tormentors being parents, siblings, classmates, evangelical groups.  Most of the groups are certified hate organizations, such as Focus on the Family (Alabama), and Bob Vander Plaats’ The FAMiLY that leads the charge against women’s rights in Iowa.  Vander Plaats is sustained by the collective insanity by nine nightmare clinically insane Republican Representatives strangling democracy in the Iowa legislature (House File 153) who seek to enact legislation that would declare sperm, ova, zygote, and fetus a “person” and its “destruction” murder–a tactic used in many other states to deny women personal freedom. 

If this barbaric broadside would past, the Tea Party Republicans would many any woman who was raped stand trial for first degree murder).  This is especially true in carnivorous cults of the Wisconsin Evangelical Synod, Missouri Lutheran church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormons) and the Roman Catholic Church and the US Council of Roman Catholic Bishops (read here and here).  It is acceptable to abuse a child in any of these cults (my uncles sodomized me when I was younger than eight, and one was a minister in the Missouri Lutheran Church, and the other a student of theology, not yet ordained; when I complained first to my mother (who was convinced I had seduced my uncles) and to my pastor (who argued that I was the sinner), I gave up all interest and faith  in religion.

Charles Darwin on atheism

Charles Darwin on atheism

Atheists cannot hold public office in Arkansas (Article 19, Section 1), Maryland (Article 37), Mississippi (Article 14, Section 265), North Carolina (Article 6, Section 8), Pennsylvania (Article 1, Section 4, while the wording is tricky, the message that those who differ in their interpretation and belief in a god cannot be disqualified), South Carolina (Article 17, Section 4), Tennessee (Article 9, Section 2), Texas (Article 1, Section 4)—while the 14th Amendment, Section 6 technically makes it moot, the states that discriminate reject that amendment, and several contenders for the presidency of the USA have campaigned to have the Amendment overturned.

Atheism in San Diego, California (2013)

Atheism in San Diego, California (2013)

Atheists have only limited rights.  Atheists and those who do not attend churches, synagogues or private meeting houses (Quakers, Unitarian-Universalists, etc), are openly attacked from Virginia to California, Minnesota to Texas and throughout all other states.

A federal court in Indiana dismissed a claim that an Indiana law prohibiting secular celebrants from solemnizing marriages (Indiana code 31-11-6-1).  At the same time the Christian court allowed religious representatives to perform marriages in open violation the First Amendment and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution of the USA.  The federal court in Indiana rejected a brief submitted by the Center for Inquiry in Center for Inquiry, Inc., et al. v Clerk, Marion Circuit Court, et al (read here, pdf).  It is an overt, court consciously calculated double standard extensively covered in numerous legal cases.

Humanist ads are not attack advertising.

Humanist ads are not attack advertising.

Humanists enjoy life. They seek out the better in themselves and other people. They do not attack. Humanists teach that all things are open to questioning and debate.

To silence debate is the mark of religion that offers no freedom to the individual. Debate silenced is nothing less than mental, and physical slavery.  Socrates was the thinker who best represented humanism: questioning everything, working to change that which could be changed, and accepting fate for what was in store by being a model citizen, an educated teacher, an analytic debater, and a good spouse who made sure all debts were paid

 Aesculapius, Greek God of Medicine and Healing with serpent (Wisdom) on staff, and cock (health and ease of death) on pedestal.

Aesculapius, Greek God of Medicine and Healing with serpent (Wisdom) on staff, and cock (health and ease of death) on pedestal.

It was recorded by Plato that Socrates said:Crito, we owe a rooster (in the original, the word is cock: a male gallinaceous bird: a chicken, turkey, grouse, pheasant, and partridge, grouse, etc., while a rooster is a domestic fowl: a male chicken with no superior powers.  The god of health was partial to cocks because of their curative powers and use in ritual worship) to Asclepius. Please, don’t forget to pay the debt.” Asclepius was the Greek god for curing illness, and for Socrates the greatest cure for illness is death.  ( Plato, Phaedo 115b-118a; cp. Waterfield,Robin (2009). Why Socrates Died: Dispelling the Myths. New York:W.W.Norton and Company).  Socrates was found guilty of corrupting the minds of the youth of Athens and of impiety (“not believing in the gods of the state”), cf. Plato. Apology, 24–27. 

Religion is like genitalia: don't show it off in public or shove it down your children's throat

Religion is like genitalia: don’t show it off in public or shove it down your children’s throat

Distrust in oneself and in those who admit/claim to be atheists is a prime reason for seasoned social ostracization of atheists and atheism. Several psychological studies show that results were consistent with the hypothesis that the relationship between belief in God and atheist distrust was fully mediated by the belief that people behave better if they feel that God is watching them: if you are not a believer you will suffer the pains and fires of hell. Other studies show atheists were systematically socially excluded only in high-trust domains; belief in God, but not authoritarianism, predicted this discriminatory decision-making against atheists in high trust domains (Gervais, Will M.; Shariff, Azim F.; Norenzayan, Ara (December 2011). “Do you believe in atheists? Distrust is central to anti-atheist prejudice”. doi: 10.1037/a0025882 Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol 101(6), 1189-1206).

Many people argue that atheists and nonbelievers are expressing hidden anger against a god that/who offended them or did not give them what they asked for (Exline, Julie J.; Park, Crystal L.; Smyth, Joshua M.; Carey, Michael P (January 2011). “Anger toward God: Social-cognitive predictors, prevalence, and links with adjustment to bereavement and cancer”. doi: 10.1037/a0021716 Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol 100(1), 129-148). This has been repeatedly been disproven, with research on why many elect atheism, being a study of 350 members of the American Association for the Advancement of Atheism.  Those who vouched that they had no belief in a god had a wide reading of history , science and religion (75 times) that grew throughout their lifetime; disgust with religious hypocrisy (60) as seen in the case of Ted Haggard, Jerry Falwell, Bishop Eddie Long

Bishop Eddie Long's boy friends

Bishop Eddie Long’s boy friends

(whose victims Bishop Eddie Long’s boy friends call him a “monster” as the bishop had no less than four boy-toys, while Long claims the charges are false and he was the victim); influence of particular author or book (55); a byproduct of Socialist materialism (30); effects of college education (25); effects of study of sciences (25); and others in lesser numbers. Less frequently emotional factors were mentioned, such as: illness and death in family, the horrors of war, the futility of prayer, the evils and unhappiness in the world, etc. 36% of the atheists were oldest children, while only 15% were youngest children; about 9% were only children (Vetter, G. B.; Green, M. (July 1932). “Personality and group factors in the making of atheists”. doi: 10.1037/h0075273 The Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, Vol 27(2), 179-194).

Most people who reject god do so after intensive study of history, science, religion, and philosophy: atheists tend to be more educated and broadly versed than do theists (Teo, Thomas (2009), Editorial. doi: 10.1037/ a0017640 Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology, Vol 29(2), 61-62). Families do disassociate themselves from members who declare their rejection of any god(s) that the family may believe in and worship, but this is a sign of paternalism and the fear of the family unit not being carried on by future like-minded generations.

States that the deny atheists and agnostics basic human and civil rights

States that the deny atheists and agnostics basic human and civil rights

By 2013, there is only an abridged form of religious freedom with many states within the union, with many states disenfranchising or denying the right to serve in a public office if the individual does not recognize a god. Even the deity is questioned as it was in the past: Jesus has to be Caucasian white, the name of the creator has to be God (not Allah), and so forth.  The act of swearing an oath is said to have religious connotations as it affirms the existence of a deity and a person’s confession of the existence of a deity, but this has no biblical support. On the contrary, the Bible expressly forbids people to swear (Matthew 5:34, James 5:12), therefore to swear “So help me god” is actually biblically prohibited since it is a rejection of YHWH and Jesus and an affirmation of a pagan god.

A Christian pastor does not mean that it is a man or a woman in a suit pounding pulpits as if he or she was/is the Wrath of Moses.  A Christian preacher is not a man in a red dress covered with delicate lace sitting enthroned in a cathedral. 

Christianity from its beginning in 325 CE meant a dictatorship over a group of semi-thinking people.  We find this in the pontifications of John Paul II and Benedict XVI, the US Council of Roman Catholic Bishop and similar church councils around the world, as well as in the proclamations of various cults from those of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Pentecostal group, Ultra Orthodox Jews, and in the estranged world of mind control of Bob Vander Plaats’ The FAMiLY in Iowa, or James Dobson’s American Family Association in Alabama, or other certified hate groups.  The teachings of Jesus of the New Testament is not Constantine’s Christianity that details that select individuals have the right to deny other people personal rights, liberties or freedoms, and have the power to require others to believe or disbelieve as predator (priest, pastor, bishop, cardinal, pope, imam, ayatollah, rabbi, and so forth) demands.  That is slavery.

Various evangelical groups reject non-evangelical groups with their own interpretation of holy books and leaders. These groups ranged from chrestianos to christianos, concerning the warrior messiah of Matthew 10:34 to the prince of peace in Isaiah 9:6.  The two were joined by Constantine who controlled the ultimate canonization of scripture.  For this reason, it can truly be written, that Christianity is among the most barbaric of religions and has been since it was created by the Emperor Constantine I for religion (the Church) claims superiority over the state throughout history, even within the USA where politicians ranging from US Senators Charles Grassley (R-IA), to Jim Inhofe (R-OK) and former (now Governor) Sam Brownback (R-KS, converted to Roman Catholicism by Opus Dei priest Rev. John McCloskey’s guidance) all reject a wall separating state and church.

The Roman Emperor at the time of the assaults on Rome and the City of Constantine, Constantine I created an ecclesia (ἐκκλησίαa: public court, political assembly of citizens of an ancient Greek state [American Heritage Dictionary] who had the obligation to do business and bring wealth to the emperor) where only his interpretation of Paulinity would be held and upheld, and the actual teaching of Jesus would be watered down, and his private life ignored.  There was no placed in the early Church for a renegade man who never had a girl friend, who never married, who never took up arms to defend the empire, who allowed a man to rest his head upon Jesus’ chest, who was followed out of the garden by a nude youth, and most likely was gay, since Jewish society all males to marry and procreate–which Jesus never did–save in one Coptic fragment.  The problem with the ancient fragment is it is too late to consult with other similar fragments that have disintegrated with time or were consigned to the first of Constantine who was busy working on creating his own church.

Coptic fragment referring to Jesus wife (or partner?)

Coptic fragment referring to Jesus wife (or partner?)

The Pauline church was Constantine’s make-believe early “church” in opposition to the brothers of Jesus who saw the movement as a reformed Judaism.  Determined to be the sole arbiter of thought and expression, Constantine’s church would be a national unit that would allow Constantine absolute control over the empire’s faiths.

The Emperor Constantine I orders books burned including gospels considered equal to the synoptic gospels and letters he did not like 325 CE

The Emperor Constantine I orders books burned including gospels considered equal to the synoptic gospels and letters he did not like 325 CE

Constantine burned all books, scrolls, records, gospels, epistles that he did not approve–a common practice especially when it comes to religion and its denial of individual freedoms and human rights. Constantine’s church [business enterprise] was not known as Christianity after the theological coup. To ensure imperial control over the newly created church, Constantine ordered the works of Arius and other “heretics” were burned, in the manner of the Coptic pope in Egypt demanding that the famed library of Alexandria be destroyed.

Hypatia killed by Christians in Alexandria, Egypt on order of the Coptic Pope

Hypatia killed by Christians in Alexandria, Egypt on order of the Coptic Pope

It was under the clerical  Catholic cannibalism of the pseudo-Christian Coptic Pope Cyril that the famed astronomer, philosopher, mathematician, scientist, librarian and atheist Hypatia was torn apart by Coptic Christian monks who shredded her skin, tearing it off while she lived, and throwing her living body onto a pyre of burning scrolls and writings of ancient thinkers in all then-known fields of academic inquiry. The death of Hypatia was planned by the Coptic monks and set a signal for all bibliolators in the conservative Christian community to rise up against the ‘learned scholars’ of Alexandria, a center of knowledge throughout the ancient world and destroy all things that were not of, from, and within the Bible. It was the beginning of the Dark Ages in Egypt that spread like a fungus throughout Europe, turning off all lights that pierced the darkness of biblical literalism and enforced belief (George F. Simmons (1992). Calculus Gems: Brief Lives and Memorable Mathematics. New York, NY: MacGraw Hill; Maria Dzielska (1995). Hypatia of Alexandria, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, (Revealing Antiquity, 8), p. xi, 157).

With the message of the mythical Paul cannibalizing Christianity, the law body (the actual meaning of the word in the early centuries, first to fourth, ecclesia, changed by the fifth century when courtiers transmogrified the true meaning of the word by attaching to it the incorrect translation and title of “the Church”) gave the world the grotesque Inquisition. The bloody Inquisition did not remain uniquely Roman Catholic.  It quickly was taken up by such “reformers” as Martin Luther, John Calvin, Henry VIII and his heirs, Scandinavian potentates, and the most vile representatives of man in Russia and captive provinces.  All based their “reformations” on spurious tracts that were current but did not reflect original documents designed to ensure peace or protect people. Few men, after the second century CE, realized that there never was a St. Peter, St. Paul, or Roman Popes (the first does not appear or is catalogued before the second century, not even in the first edition of the Catholic Encyclopedia, with some writers arguing that there were no bishops nor a pope in Rome before the end of the fourth century).

Luther, Martin: Von den Jüden und ihren lügen Wittemberg (1543)

Luther, Martin: Von den Jüden und ihren lügen Wittemberg (1543)

The protesting reformer, Martin Luther’s war against the Jews and his books (Von den Jüden und iren Lügen, 1543, that the German ex-Augustinian monk wrote: Conversion of the Jews will be the work of God alone operating from within, and not of man working — or rather playing — from without. If these offences be taken away, worse will follow. For they are thus given over by the wrath of God to reprobation, that they may become incorrigible, as Ecclesiastes says, for every one who is incorrigible is rendered worse rather than better by correction; cf. Oberman, Heiko. Luthers Werke. Erlangen 1854, 32:282, 298, in Grisar, Hartmann. Luther. St. Louis 1915, 4:286 and 5:406; cp. Luther, Martin. Vom Schem Hamphoras und vom Geschlecht Christi) that became the supporting arguments for Hitler’s extermination of the Jews.

These same arguments sprung up like weeds in the mincing of the madman Richard Land and the Southern Baptist Conventions to use them against the LGBT community.  Like slurry it has resurfaced among poorly trained Pentecostal preachers who are personally against Muslims, etc.  There is even the absurdity of the “reverend” Terry Jones of Florida who damns everything Islamic, like Fred Phelps and his cult the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, KS, that even his own granddaughters fled.

When a person is in another nation, the visitor must respect or at least obey the laws of that nation.  The visitor has no right to enforce on others his or her own views or theologies.  This happens too frequently as with the carnage called for by Scott Lively and his gaggle of evangelical goons,  flying to Africa to initiate genocide.  Scott Lively, Lou Engle, Caleb Lee Brundidge, and Don Schmierer met at the infamous C Street, Washington, DC “The Family” house that shelters US Senators Charles Grassley (R-IA), James Inhofe (R-OK), John Stennis (R-MS), Richard Lugar (R-IN), adulterers Mark Sanford (R-SC), John Ensign (R-NV) and numerous other dominionists, including Rev. Ted Haggard whose seduction and payment for homosexual prostitute to keep him “company” was forgiven “in the name of Jesus Christ”:  USA leaders who want to throw over democrcy in the USA and establish a theocracy where they would awaken a sleeping Jesus to take up sword for the New Apostolic Reformation and ride a stead from the clouds to Earth and launch an Apocalyptic war (Sharlet, Jeff (2010). C Street: The Fundamentalist Threat to American Democracy. New York: Little Brown; Sharlet, Jeff (2008).  The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power. New York, NY: Harper Perennial). Grassley of Iowa is the least well known–but the most dangerous member of The Family who planned to put his grandson in the Iowa legislature but intends for the youth to take over the USA.

Lively, primarily, is sponsoring the death call to elevate his own desperation to be seen as a pivotal evangelist in the USA and is desperately deceiving members of Parliament in Nigeria and Uganda for personal gain and fame. 

Lively is funneling money into the pockets of Speakers of Parliament to launch an unholy war against minorities.  He has the support with the great racist Benedict XVI who publicly blessed Uganda Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga when she promised a “cleanings” of all LGBT from Uganda by December 25, 2012. Repeating the words of her hero, Adolf Hitler, Kadaga promised that a “final solution” would be Uganda Parliament’s Christmas present for “good Christians”.  

Roman Catholics of Uganda, led by the Roman Catholic episcopacy: its bishops and clergy (most who are admitted pedophiles) demanded the legislation to pass quickly so that they could help the nation murder all LGBT who threatened the children of the nation.  Ugandan Roman Catholics and Anglicans also demanded the slaughter of all Jews and others who do not agree with them, claiming that they had the support of Benedict XVI.  Most were furious when they learned that their beloved pope was already named as a subject for trial for crimes against humanity.   They protested when “liberal” factions claimed that no  evangelist has a right to enter any nation and “convert” others to their insanity, and that a holy war must break out between Christians of Uganda and Muslims in Uganda.

George Carlin on god

George Carlin on god

What maintains religious officiates is the absurdity of tithing. The “tithe” was an ancient law to appease a jealous king who was also considered a god (Genesis 14:20) and came from the “spoils” [theft] of wars. Tithing became a special bribe mortals made to kings/gods (Genesis 28:20-22) and became a part of “the Laws of Moses”.  The Ten Commandments, of which there are three distinct sets in Exodus, were plagiarized from the Code of Hammurabi and other ancient Middle Eastern texts with the arrival of the Egyptian mercenaries known as Apiru (prototypes of the Hebrews) who served in the Akkadian army (Leviticus 27:30-32). The Apiru leaders declared that tithes would be the main support of temple priests (reclassified as Levites in Numbers 18:20-32) whose primary duty after appeasing a cannibal god was to guard the warriors’ wealth (Nehemiah 13:4-12).

There is nothing spiritual about tithing, as throughout the Middle East it was extortion money paid to the most unscrupulous elements of society. TIPS, however, were medieval in origin and meant To Insure Prompt Service that were given out by lords and clergy to get immediate service–it was never a wage paid at the end of a meal, nor required, but, like in the bible, was a bribe.  Only through TIPS and bribes can there be freedom of religion for the few who conform the most to the dictates of the wealthy and those in power.

Advertisements

3 Comments

Filed under atheism, Bible, Bullying, Christian Terrorists, Church history, History of USA, Jewish history, Ku Klux Klan, Martin Luther, Old Testament, Robert Vander Plaats, separation of church and state, suicide, Torah

Roanoke, Virginia’s Christian cabal and the words of the New Testament Jesus

Some of Roanoke, Virginia’s Christian cabal has publicly demonstrated that they do not believe in the Jesus of the New Testament and have never heard or studied the message ascribed to him in what is today known as the New Testament.  Odiously opportunistic, in suppressive stealth, these calloused, cold, cruel covert canonists came with spray paint cans in hand or with wrapping paper and duct tape at the ready, to undo a message of good will to people.  Being more in keeping with veiled votarients vying for the selectivity of a jealous god who favored a few but not all as recorded in Luke 2:14 (written by Saul of Tarsus companion long after the inscription of Mark and Matthew): “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to people He favors!” (Holman Christian Standard Bible 2009; cp. New International Version (NIV): “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.” compare with Stephanus 1550 Textus: Δόξα ἐν ὑψίστοις θεῷ καὶ ἐπὶ γῆς εἰρήνη ἐν ἀνθρώποις εὐδοκία or the Vulgate: gloria in altissimis Deo et in terra pax in hominibus bonae voluntatis).

This is not a god for all people.  The deity worshipped by the cabal in Roanoke, Virginia is more like the Republican candidate for President of the USA in 2012, when the candidate rejected the idea that he would represent all of the citizens of the USA (read here and here and here and here with video with the promise to represent 100% here).

Roanoke’s staid and ossified orthodox partisans have defied every word that the Jesus of the New Testament is reputed to have said, the message allegedly preached, and the compassion and love that the magnetic leader of a small sect of pacifist Hebrews heralded.  Instead of using the spears, swords, and knives described in the Torah and Prophets, those who would root out evil in the form of any writing they found disfavor with, used paint and tape and paper.

The rogue Roanoke remonstrators rabidly wrote with slashes of black and tribulations of red during the unhistorical birth date of their god on December 25, 2012 (a month and date artificially created by the Imperial Church invented by the pagan Emperor Constantine I, their scorn for the message commonly found, seldom read, and even less understood in the Gospel ascribed to the authorship of a Matthew (7:1: Μὴ κρίνετε ἵνα μὴ κριθῆτε and the Vulgate: nolite iudicare ut non iudicemini) while with their actions denounced the spirited injunction in the Book of Acts of the Apostles (Πράξεις τῶν Ἀποστόλων, the title was not a part of the original composition but added by Irenaeus late in the second century CE; it is commonly ascribed to Luke, although the authorship is under debate and the earliest records do not make this notation before the second century CE to the fourth century CE; cp. Epiphanius, Panarion 51.11 where it is suggested that he was one of the “Seventy” disciples; with Luke’s historical accuracy questioned in Powell, Mark Allen (1989). What are they saying about Luke? New York: Paulist Press. p. 6. It is argued that much of the Book of the Acts of the Apostles is plagiarized from far older Greek accounts phraseology and plot elements from Euripides’ play The Bacch, cf. Helms, Randel McCram (1997). Who Wrote the Gospels? Altadena, CA: Millennium Press.  The debate on the authorship is summarized by Brown, Raymond E. (1997) in his Introduction to the New Testament, New York: Anchor Bible (1997), pages 267–268, and can be furthered with an analysis of the use of the plural first person pronoun “we” indicated multiple authorships and is sprinkled heavily in the Book of Acts: 16:10–17; 20:5–15; 21:1–18; 27:1– 28). 

The text in question is Luke 10:34: Ἀνοίξας δὲ Πέτρος τὸ στόμα εἶπεν Ἐπ ἀληθείας καταλαμβάνομαι ὅτι οὐκ ἔστιν προσωπολήπτης ὁ θεός or in the Vulgate: aperiens autem Petrus os dixit in veritate conperi quoniam non est personarum acceptor Deus).  Even English “translations” differ, and interpretations are as poor as in any department of language interpretation throughout the Third World universities and most schools of higher education in the First World.

Conversion of Saul (Caravaggio)

Conversion of Saul (Caravaggio)

Far worse is tortured truth that these weathered Christians, heralding back to the past when their ancient colleagues tore the flesh off of those who did not share their own sadistic séances with readings of Saul of Tarsus who never met the Jesus of the New Testament (1 Corinthians 9:1-2; Galatians 1:13-14).  Saul’s “conversion” was actually a temporal lobe epilepsy that most likely ended in a convulsion that led to temporary blindness (Landsborough, D. (1987). “St. Paul and Temporal Lobe Epilepsy,” Journal of Neurology Neurosurgury & Psychiatry 1987; 50; 659–64; Geschwind N. (1979). Cp.  “Behavioural changes in temporal lobe epilepsy”. Psychological Medicine. 9 (2: May): 217–219; and Stern, A. (1957). “Zur Problem der Epilepsie des Paulus”. Psychiatria et Neurologia (Basel) May;133(5):276–284; this problem may have affected the prophet Ezekiel: cf. Altschuler, E.L. (2002). “Did Ezekiel have temporal lobe epilepsy?” Archives of General Psychiatry 59 June (6): 561-562).  Saul, who admitted he never met the New Testament Jesus, allegedly wrote letters that rejected and raped the original message of tolerance, and were incorporated by imperial decree when they were not denounced and unpunished since they gave greater grandeur and authority to the male with the subordination of the female.

Paganism outlawed throughout Europe (390 CE). Christians began systematic holocaust of non-believers.

Paganism outlawed throughout Europe (390 CE). Christians began systematic holocaust of non-believers.

Using Pauline transmogrification of the Jesus message, the merchants of deceit moved toward Roanoke to add havoc to the winter holidays.  They tightened their theologically taught terrorist Christian act of vandalism and hooliganism so typical of the ancient imperial “catholic [universal] church” (that the Emperor Constantine created in 325 CE (Eusebius, Vita Constantini 36-37) when the centers of worship and homes of charity to the poor and elderly were dedicated to other gods were destroyed or forcibly converted into the pagan temples of Christianity, beginning under the emperor Theodosius I in 381 CE (Theodosian Code 16.10.11) that none were safe) that the right to express an opinion was sacrificed on the stained altar of fanaticism of blind faith in defiance of the First Amendment to the Constitution of the USA.

Christianity has never been a tolerant religion.  Like the bastardization of the ministry of Jesus fetiditly foisted onto the backs of the ignorant by the original Elmer Gantry (the tent revivalist Billy Graham) and subsequent televangelists from G. Pat Robertson to the Bakkers of PTL, today no one knows basic boundaries of decency and carnivorously cannibalizes the cerebrum abilities once thought to possibly exist in the corpus of the community of alleged human beings (at least in name).  The Roanoke, Virginia vandals, as if fresh out of the ancient Sunday school (a pagan institution in origin that was an institution to celebrate, capitalize on and capture the majesty of the Sun God: Sol Invictus, introduced into Roman religion by emperor Heliogabalus (Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus, ca. 203 – 11 March 222; the name is a reference to the god Elagabalus and is the Latinized form of the Syrian Ilāh hag-Gabal, which derives from Ilāh (“god” the prototype for Allah: الله‎ that translates as the God, not God, from the Aramaic “Alaha” or “the [supreme] god/goddess of the moon” (cf. Herodotus, Histories Apodexis, lines 131-132), and Allah’s three daughters: Lat (goddess of fate whose temple was at Mecca, and whom Muhammad worshipped until forbidden to continue with his prayers by the tribal deity Allah), Uzza (Venus, goddess of love and sex) and Manat, goddess of destiny).  These are found in the Qur’an (an-Najm 53:19-22) and constitute the infamous Satanic Verses that read in the earliest copies of the Qur’an but have been deleted in later versions (original text to the left, the redacted text is to the right):

Allah (god of the moon) and his three daughters (goddesses)

Allah (god of the moon) and his three daughters (goddesses)

Near it is the Garden of Abode. Behold, the Lote-tree was shrouded (in mystery unspeakable!) (His) sight never swerved, nor did it go wrong! For truly did he see, of the Signs of his Lord, the Greatest! Have you seen Lat. and ‘Uzza, And another, the third (goddess), Manat? Near it is the Garden of Abode. Behold, the Lote-tree was shrouded (in mystery unspeakable!) (His) sight never swerved, nor did it go wrong! For truly did he see, of the Signs of his Lord, the Greatest! Have you seen Lat. and ‘Uzza, And another, the third (goddess), Manat?
These are the exalted cranes (intermediaries) Whose intercession is to be hoped for. [Words of Satan Deleted]
What! for you the male sex, and for Him, the female? Behold, such would be indeed a division most unfair! (an-Najm 53:19-22) What! for you the male sex, and for Him, the female? Behold, such would be indeed a division most unfair! (an-Najm 53:19-22)

In the ancient world, the crane was a god or goddess (usually naked, since nudity represented purity as with the original “Adam and Eve”–clothing always has represented a sinful condition) who flew to heaven and the throne of the chief god or goddess with the prayers of mortals.  The crane (or stork) is also discussed in the ancient Apiru/Hebrew world (Isaiah 38:14 כְּסוּס עָגוּר כֵּן אֲצַפְצֵף אֶהְגֶּה כַּיֹּונָה דַּלּוּ עֵינַי לַמָּרֹום אֲדֹנָי עָשְׁקָה־לִּי עָרְבֵנִי׃; Jeremiah 8:7 גַּם־חֲסִידָה בַשָּׁמַיִם יָדְעָה מֹועֲדֶיהָ וְתֹר [כ וְסוּס] [ק וְסִיס] וְעָגוּר שָׁמְרוּ אֶת־עֵת בֹּאָנָה וְעַמִּי לֹא יָדְעוּ אֵת מִשְׁפַּט יְהוָה׃) and in medieval (Roman Catholic) Christianity’s bestiary.  In Mecca and the evolution of the myth of Allah, the daughters were the primary messengers for people’s petitions to the god/goddess of the moon (who became Allah).

Add to this the gabal (“mountain” (compare the Hebrew: גבל bul and Arabic: جبل‎ jabal)), and the result is “the God of the Mountain” being the Emesene manifestation of the deity formatted after Heliogabalus, the patron god of Emesa (modern Homs) in the Roman province of Syria, c. 220 CE as an offshoot of the earlier Sol Indiges. 

The Roanoke miscreants’ ministry manifested its Machiavellian materialism in its use of spray paint to deface one of the four Blue Ridge Coalition of Reason billboards in the Roanoke area. Their god is so weak, so petty and so jealous that its Stoßtruppen (whose Obersturmbannführer remained in hiding) had to defend the unholy name by vandalizing the misperceived aspersions on a billboard that merely stated scientific investigational logic: that which cannot be proved most likely does not exist.  Many accept science over faith and find no reason for the existence of a god that even Stephen W. Hawking argued against in his A Brief History of Time: from the Big Bang to Black Holes (Toronto ; New York : Bantam Books, 1988).

First vandal attack on reason in Roanoke, VA (December 2012)

First vandal attack on reason in Roanoke, VA (December 2012)

During the third week of December, 2012, the billboard at Virginia Route 419 at 1420 Lynchburg Turnpike, in Salem, facing east, originally read: “Don’t believe in God? Join the club.” The word “Don’t” was blacked out by paint on December 21, 2012. 

Martinsville, VA - Klan leaders Amanda and Chris Barker

Martinsville, VA – Klan leaders Amanda and Chris Barker

Faith was no longer a matter of choice for those who worked for understanding rather than bowing before indoctrination by an Inquisition as terrifying as it was in the darkest ages known to Europe.  This troop of tormenters that had spawn the Ku Klux Klan, adopted neo-NAZI symbolism and revered the machinations of US Senator Joe McCarthy (R-WI) and his gaggle of priests was invigorated once more in the State of Virginia. Matching the theological students in Afghanistan known as Taliban (Pashto: طالبان‎, identical to the Hitlerjugend spawned by the Sturmabteilung; cf. Klee, Ernst (2005). Das Personenlexikon zum Dritten Reich. Wer war was vor und nach 1945, Frankfurt am Main, Deutschland: Fischer Taschenbuch Verlag, Zweite aktualisierte Auflage), the firebrands of evangelical extremism bred on hate and swallowed poisoned draughts of bigotry, creating their current curdled culture of predatory practitioners, pastors, priests, and pandering paternalizing  people taking up the challenge of the religious right to dismantle the Constitution of the USA and its First Amendment.  

Michael Jock

Michael Jock

Those who attacked reasoned debate, an environment of inquiry and dialogue were solid supporters of the NRA and those who argue that all teachers should arm themselves and that every home should have a gun so the homeowner could “stand your ground” if she or he felt threatened, as has happened throughout the USA.  Michael Jock, a man in Florida shot a customer, Randall White who was complaining about slow service  at Little Cesar’s Pizza and raised his hand against Jock’s pushing him, leading Jock to pull a .38 Taurus Ultralight Special Revolver and fired a shot into the White’s torso, claiming that he “feared for” his life.

George Zimmerman (left) shot and killed unarmed Trayvon Martin (right)

George Zimmerman (left) shot and killed unarmed Trayvon Martin (right)

George Zimmerman killed Trayvon Martin who on December 28, 2012, was exposed for concocting an escape plan as if it was a scenario for a Hollywood film to get out of paying a security firm $27,027, according to court documents, to send armed bodyguards from Associated Investigative Services (AIS) to meet Zimmerman at the Seminole County jail and dress him in body armour before speeding him off in a rental vehicle previously checked for hidden GPS tracking devices, put him in a disabled stall in a major hotel’s main bathroom, change his clothes and put on dark glasses so that he could walk to a different vehicle that would carry him to a “safe house”.

Michael Dunn kills teen Jordan Davis over loud music in Florida

Michael Dunn kills teen Jordan Davis over loud music in Florida

Michael Dunn, also of Florida, used the Stand Your Ground law to murder an unarmed teenager over loud music (read here and here).  All of those who “Stood Your Ground” are god-fearing, “good Christians” with no tolerance for racial or other minorities.

New studies show more people are shot to death with ALEC/NRA “Stand Your Ground” laws.  The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), a private non-profit and the largest economics research organization in the United States released a working paper showing that deaths due to the law increased between 4 and 8 additional deaths each month, and Texas A&M University researchers also released a study in June 2012, finding states that passed the laws saw an increase in homicides between 7 and 9 percent annually, which amounts to between 500 and 700 homicides cumulatively, with no drop in violent crime rates.  This is but an extension of the religious wars that have bloodstained history since the inception and invention of religion by mortal men.

dying for the same godThese are the people who claim to be men and women of god (but which god? or goddess?) who bark out demands that god be put back into school rooms, that prayers are made mandatory, and that reason and investigation be curbed.

Second attack on Coalition of Reason billboard (Roanoke, VA, December 28, 2012)

Second attack on Coalition of Reason billboard (Roanoke, VA, December 28, 2012)

A second of the four Blue Ridge Coalition of Reason billboards in the Roanoke area was found vandalized on December 28, 2012. The billboard at 32 Boulevard Street near the underpass and just north of Patterson, in Roanoke, facing south, originally read: “Don’t believe in God? Join the club.” But the “n’t” was blocked out with wrapping paper and duct tape, leaving the text to read “Do”, in keeping with the Christian assassins in Alexandria who pulled the famed mathematician, philosopher and librarian Hypatia (c. 350/370-415 CE), skinning her alive with their finger nails and throwing her onto a pile of burning ancient and new scrolls that did not praise their concept of a warrior Christ (Matthew 10:34) when she screamed “Do not destroy the works of the greats for the arrogance of the ignorant [the bishop Cyril was named the new Coptic [pope] Theophilius]”  Her murder marked the end of classical antiquity and academic scholarship for the next 1000 years (Wider, Kathleen (1986). “Women Philosophers in the Ancient Greek World: Donning the Mantle” in Hypatia, Vol 1 No 1 (Spring, 1986): pp. 21-62; Indianapolis, IN: Indiana University Press p. 49–50; Mangasarian, Mangasar Mugurditch (1915). The Martyrdom of Hypatia: The Death of the Classical World: A Lecture. Chicago, IL: Independent Religious Society; Teruel, Pedro Jesús (2011). Filosofía y ciencia en Hipatia. Madrid. Spain: Gredos.).  

Fred Edwords (National Director Coalition of Reason)

Fred Edwords (National Director Coalition of Reason)

Roanoke avengers with as little skill and intelligence as the ancient chrestianos, felt compelled to silence dissent, dissolve the conduct of inquiry, and demonstrate their own prejudice in raw refutation of John 13:34 and Ephesians 4:32. The prejudice in Roanoke against any one who would question religious faith is very real, leading Fred Edwords, national director of United Coalition of Reason to respond: “Prejudice against non-theistic and other non-religious people continues to be very real in America, so we are forced to speak out whenever these unfortunate incidents occur.”  This is more in keeping with the rage of Jeremiah 4:7 (עָלָה אַרְיֵה מִסֻּבְּכֹו וּמַשְׁחִית גֹּויִם נָסַע יָצָא מִמְּקֹמֹו לָשׂוּם אַרְצֵךְ לְשַׁמָּה עָרַיִךְ תִּצֶּינָה מֵאֵין יֹושֵׁב׃) and the segregation of Leviticus 13:44 (אִישׁ־צָרוּעַ הוּא טָמֵא הוּא טַמֵּא יְטַמְּאֶנּוּ הַכֹּהֵן בְּרֹאשֹׁו נִגְעֹו׃ : where lepers are condemned as “unclean”) demonstrating that nothing within the book matches the message of Jesus of the New Testament who even ate with “the unclean”—that had nothing to do with the lack of a bath—and visited with the adulteress in John 8:1-11.

On its website at www.BlueRidgeCoR.org, the Blue Ridge Coalition of Reason declares its purpose as “a joint outreach effort” to help the public connect with “local freethought [sic], humanist, atheist, agnostic, rationalist” and other such groups. It provides interested people “with information and a sense of community.” The coalition was officially launched December 19, 2012, when the billboards were announced.

2 Comments

Filed under atheism, atheists, Bible, Bullying, Christian Terrorists, Church history, Jesus Christ, separation of church and state

Psychology of Suicide and Bullying–and how religion, school/classmates and family affect both

Katherine van Wormer, MSSW, PhD and Chuk Odiah, M.Sc, PhD of the University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, presented a study on suicide-murder and the death penalty, in 1999 (van Wormer, Katherine and Odiah, Chuk (1999). “The Psychology of Suicide-Murder and the Death Penalty” in Journal of Criminal Justice, 27(4), pp. 361-370). The UNI professors detail suicide to be not only a violent act but an act that is frequently the result of violence.

Violence is perpetrated by bullies: parents, children, religious and government figures, schools (teachers, principals, classmates, and so forth) and at the workplace by coworkers, supervisors, bosses, and owners.  Violence is also the weapon used by others who wish to appear and take on the trappings of authorities. 

Bullying leads some people to commit violent acts against others in quest of paying the supreme penalty for their actions: “Suicide, in other words, [is] not as the consequence of murder but, rather, … its cause”, van Wormer and Odiah claim.  Those who want to die, but are afraid of the believed pain in suicide, will seek out someone to kill them: either by putting themselves in harm’s way, paying an assassin, killing another person in hopes that law enforcement officials will end their existence, or killing and then taking their own life in fear that state retribution could be more painful.

As I noted in my earlier book, Evangelical Terrorism, suicides and violence are especially prevalent among fundamentalists groups and those that preach hatred is peace and tolerance is weakness, as found in Islam, Pentecostalism, The FAMiLY, and Latter Day Saints and is increased among evangelical fundamentalists to the point that they form a psychological dictatorship that destroys hope and personal self-esteem (Ide, Arthur Frederick (1986). Evangelical Terrorism: censorship, Falwell, Robertson, & the Seamy side of Christian Fundamentalism. Irving, TX, USA: Scholars Books).  Religion, while many psychologists have not commented on it because they have not studied it and its effect on others, is one of the greatest tools for subordination of people and the illusion(s) it fosters can weigh heavily leading many into reprehensible acts or violence, as with the jihad movement in Islam and Christian terrorists in India, Norway, and elsewhere.

Suicide is never the “coward’s way out” as popular legend has it–suicide takes courage.  It is not an action that is haphazard nor accidental.  It is not committed rashly, or suddenly.  It is premeditated, and is usually a response to violence that the victim can no longer endure, or is the product of neglect. The suicide victim sees no alternative and no place to go as the family, church, school, and coworker offers no understanding, help, or proffer solutions, and as said earlier, usually are the reason for the suicide.

Bullying in groups

Most young suicide victims take their own lives because they feel estranged and left-out of a significant circle of others, or are harassed and ridiculed by others for any number of reasons, as I will detail. 

Those who ultimately commit suicide frequently see themselves as outcasts.  Older students bully younger students; better built students bully those who are frail and appear unable to take care of themselves.  Older girls will bully younger boys: especially within families where the older child is the girl and the victim is a second son who appears as a threat to the ranking order of the siblings, since in many families there was a partiality or preference for a male child. The same is true if the first-born is a boy, the second born is a girl, and the third and subsequent are either gender but when the first-born is a boy, the boy tends to look upon others within the family as rivals unless the family unit treats all children equitably.  It is a primitive animalistic form known as a “pecking order” as is common with poultry and other animals where the senior member retains control rights by pecking at new members of the group or those introduced into the group without the consent of the leader.  Alfred Adler, who worked with Sigmund Freud, called it Ichgebundenheit.

Older children will bully younger children

When the suicide victim feels abandoned or neglected by his or her family there is ans increased potentiality and possibility of the lowering of self-esteem in the estimation of the one contemplating suicide.  If the one contemplating suicide believes that he or she is ostracized by a religious, fraternal or familial group, or is being bullied by someone who feels that by bullying another he or she is superior (whereas in reality they are suffering from an inferiority complex) the potential suicide victim withdraws more from the family or fraternal circle, finds escape in cyberspace and makes “friends” (acquaintances) who can be imaginary or implants by those who oppose the individual and desire that he or she commits suicide. 

Stronger and larger people will bully weaker and smaller people

Suicide is seen as a way of escape, as well as a way of asserting the victim’s final right of control over the self and to leave the confines of the primary unit: the family, church, school, or group, which the future suicide victim  internalizes, consciously (openly), subconsciously, or unconsciously as a way of fighting the bully by depriving the bully of his or her conquest over the victim.  The victim of bullying is afraid to, justifiably, strike out and hit the bullying parent, grandparent, son or daughter, niece or nephew, uncle or aunt, religious leader, teacher, or classmate regardless of age, gender or physical condition of the bully.  The idea of “respecting one’s elders” and “authority figures” has been ingrained by all religions as a way of maintaining their hold over the congregant (e.g. Sirach 3:1, ‘Mata Pita Guru Daivam’ in Hinduism, Exodus 20:12, Koran 4:36 and 6:151, Ephesians 6:12), but none of the world’s religions consider the reality that some parents are bad people, hurt and harm their children (Abraham did attempt to slay his own son: Genesis 22:5, Koran 37:100-111, a prototype for John 3:16, where god demands that Abraham “sacrifice a son” to him) to the point where the child commits suicide (it is a statistic that 44% of all suicides are the result of abuse at home; while the statistics vary from 60-90% accusing the father as being less sympathetic, especially in Australia, there is little mention of the social climate the father was brought up in, as in most patriarch societies, the male is taught to be aggressive and violent).  By not striking back as some victims are now doing by learning judo and other self-defense techniques including carrying pepper spray or weapons (read here and here and here and here), suicide becomes the last resort, especially when the future suicide victim believes that his or her religion rejects protestations against bullies if they are in the family or the religious center.  This is equally true when the person contemplating suicide is castigated or slammed because of a perceived lifestyle that is labeled as being outside the scope of what the faith has codified as acceptable and there is no one to talk to about personal matters.

Bullying by grade level (USA)

The rise in cases of bullying are getting more notice.  There are new studies and demographics illustrating this paralyzing phenomena.

Bullying can be emotional or psychological as well as physical.

Until recently, few have looked at the bully and what motivates bullying. The bully is anyone: a parent, classmate, religious figure, sibling, etc. Because bullies are found in every walk of life, every vocation, every religion and social outlet, it is critical to understand the psychology of a bully if we are to better understand the psychology of the person committing suicide. 

A bully is any individual struggling for attention, authority, and sadistically revels in causing emotional, psychological, and/or physical pain. The bully can be a narcissistic bully, imitative bully, impulsive bully, accidental bully.  What they have in common is low self-esteem and the desire to control–which is the reason for such bully organizations as Opus Dei (international, but originally started in Spain) and the Tea Party in the USA. This is especially true among religions seeking absolute control over the individual as occurred in the Roman Catholic Spanish Inquisition that led to the death of millions and thrives to this day in such nefarious groups as Opus Dei, Councils of Bishops or Elders, one-dimensional religious groups such as  the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Church (WELS), Pentecostalism, Mormons and evangelical communities such as within the New Apostolic Reformation of the twenty-first century.  It is found from Poland to Peru, the USA to UK, Canada to Chad, and throughout the world. 

With today’s advances in technology, sadism of the bully is made easier.  Sadism is a mental disease (Holt, S. E., Meloy, J. R., & Strack, S. (1999). “Sadism and psychopathy in violent and sexually violent offenders”. Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law. vol 27(1) 1999, 23-32), and most sadists are mentally ill, especially those who use religion as a cover for their hatred and bullying: seeking pleasure by creating, watching, and continuing suffering in those who submit to their cruelty (Kernberg, O. F. (1983). “Paranoid regression, sadistic control, and dishonesty in transference.” Revista de Psicoanalisis Vol 40(2) Mar-Apr 1983, 323-328; Lloyd, D. W. (1991). “Ritual child abuse: Understanding the controversies”.  Cultic Studies JournalVol 8(2) 1991, 122-133; and, Radomski, J., & Sulestrowska, H. (1988). “Aggressive-sadistic behavior as a major symptom in schizophrenic psychosis in a 13-year-old boy”.  Psychiatria Polska vol 22(3) May-Jun 1988, 269-271; the role that sadism plays in religion is acute, especially in such sadistic groups as Opus Dei; cf. Sorensen, A. (2003). “Evil between ontology and inner experience – Georges Bataille”. Psyke & Logosvol 24(1) 2003, 361-389, and Hammand, J. (2000). “The Rod of Discipline: Masochism, Sadism, and the Judeo-Christian Religion,” Journal of Religion and Health. vol. 39.4,  pp. 319-328, as found in Proverbs 13:24, and enjoined by such sadists as the Roman Catholic church–especially Opus Dei, Martin Luther (Luther, Werk 54:157, 234-235, in German) and Jean Calvin (who defined anyone who rebelled against religious authority as a child, and decreed that “children can be executed” for rebellion, with young children being hanged, and very young children being hanged by the arms; Picot, History of Geneva, in 8 vols., t. II, p. 264, p. 355, cf. Robert M. Kingdon, Adultery and Divorce in Calvin’s Geneva. Cambridge, MA, USA: Harvard University Press, 1995, pp. 355-357 seq; Calvin also demanded the death sentence for adultery and blasphemy: “Sur les paillardises, adulteres, blasphemes, juremens et despitemens de Dieu”), most Protestant groups, and Islam, and hate groups such as Focus on the Family and the state legislature of Michigan). Today’s bullies can cause irreparable mental anguish and suffering by spewing hate messages on the internet: the most common means of choice being Facebook, MySpace, or other popular sites. 

What is a bully?

The bully has a distinctive pattern of deliberately harming and humiliating others in order to get what the bully wants: attention, subjugation of others to order them around as he or she wishes, adulation, and reverence.  To this end the greatest bullies in the world are members of the clergy, and those who claim to be defending “the faith”, who insist on a common lifestyle of and among the faithful, with the leaders of religions being the most bellicose, braying “you must stay married even if your partner has no love for you,” “you must marry to keep the precepts of god to ‘go forth, be fruitful, multiply,” “you must carry an unwanted zygote/fetus even if it is the product of rape, incest, has little to no chance for survival, or will be complete at the time of its birth,” and so forth (cp. Chernus, Ira (2006). Monsters to Destroy: the Neoconservative War on Terror and Sin. Boulder, CO, USA: Paradigm Publishers). 

Realities of bullying

Religion, in most cases is a shield to protect the sadism of the bully.  Those who bully in the name of religion use their assorted scripture to justify their actions.  They claim that what they want, their deity also wants. The bully sees himself or herself as the hand of god–a god of raw vengeance and cruelty whose will must be done if there is to be peace on the planet (cp. Luke 22:42 and Psalm 40:7-8).  Furthermore, the bully uses the idea of his or her god as his or her way of spreading the faith, being obedient to the faith, and having unquestioned loyalty to the faith: the basic foundation of the most odious and opportunistic organization known as Opus Dei.

Opus Dei New Hampshire protesting abortion

Abortion is among the favored bully clubs of the conservative religious, especially among the Roman Catholic hierarchy where none of the men could become pregnant (if they could, as I have written earlier, abortion would be proclaimed a sacrament), but still belt out “No abortion!” This mantra is ministered to those without measure, regardless if it is a child who has been repeatedly raped by a family member, or been sexually assaulted

Children abandoned on streets of Peru

by a classmate, teacher, religious official, or any other person—even though carrying the fetus to term can irreparably scar the student emotionally and psychologically. Children who are raped and become pregnant are abandoned on the streets of towns and cities, from Los Angeles, California to Lima, Peru–and beyond (The Consortium for Street Children’s State of the World’s Street Children: Violence report (2007) p. 17).  While the “Pro-Life” forces want to “protect the unborn” they do nothing to help it once it is born and, in the case of Roman Catholic countries, abandon the baby and the mother to poverty and life in the street–with the sole source of income frequently being prostitution, but the infant, if it survives its early years, is set to work in bazaars and open air markets.  The churches, schools, and communities do nothing but bully the abandoned children, especially those who become pregnant, by screaming “No abortion.” Those who are born have little chance of any future in any nation, and are subject to bullying.

Abandoned girl working in market in Peru

Many poor, around the world, turn to drugs before contemplating suicide. 

Glue sniffing in Peru

While drugs are expensive, they can be stolen, purchased with prostitution, or found in inexpensive formats, such as glue sniffing that is becoming increasingly popular among the poor in Latin America and other Roman Catholic controlled countries.

Bullies seek out those who lack assertiveness and radiate fear—telltale signs that bullies gravitate to in the same manner as sadists and masochists find each other.  After religion and religious leaders, the second greatest number of bullies comes from within the family: with the bullies being older siblings in most cases.  Sex is often a criteria, with older siblings worried that younger ones will masturbate and will either encourage or take the child to a prostitute—the reason being that the sin of Onan was masturbation (it was coitus interruptus: Genesis 38:8-10), while prostitution is referenced repeatedly in the Old Testament, even with Onan’s father having sex with his daughter-in-law in Genesis 38:15-16, and so forth).  The story of Onan and his “sin” has become a mainstay for Opus Dei.

Opus Dei is the greatest and most powerful organized hate group in the world, its tentacles reaching out and controls schools around the world, strangling personal identities and suffocating the flicker of democracy and freedom, teaching hate and doing nothing to counter bullying.  It continues to live the story of Judah and his whoring ways while distorting reality and rifling in on human sexuality as a target to control people. 

In Perú bullying is especially common in Opus Dei colegios, and in other religious schools—where celibacy and virginity are preached as admirable goals but seldom practiced and little is said unless a girl comes to class pregnant (some as young as the age of ten and eleven)—and then to be bullied for becoming pregnant while at the same time denied an abortion or offered comfort if the fertilized zygote/fetus is the result of rape or (more commonly) incest.  When I taught, for a short time, at one of the more exclusive Roman Catholic secondary schools in Lambayeque Province in Peru, it was common to hear 12 and 13 year-old girls warn female classmates that if they did not have sex with boys they would not be allowed to participate in their groups.  Those who refused the orders barked out by the wealthier students were hounded both on the patios and open areas, chided as being lesbians, and were physically attacked: their hair pulled, stomachs punched, and notes slipped to them urging them to commit suicide; when I reported this to the principal—who has since been transferred to Rome—the religious Order in charge of the school did nothing.  The priest only nodded and returned to his prayers. 

When I complained to those who claimed to be psychologists, I was informed “it is the culture, here” and instructed to say nothing.  Sexuality was far higher than contraceptive use because of religious leaders’ disapproval, and it was not on infrequent occasions that I would enter the restroom to find students from ages 12 to 18 engaged in sexual acts.  

After reminding students who were openly fondling one another during a video in the library that such action was inappropriate behavior and I would not accept it, I was denounced by the students as being against “our culture” as such action “is better than homosexuality.”  There is such an overwhelming fear of homosexuality, with the Biblical story of Onan being used as an example of incorrect sexual activity, that anyone who is not involved in heterosexual sex is automatically ridiculed, bullied and, as I heard on numerous occasions, told that they would “be better off dead”—statements that brought a rigid orthodoxy of concurrence from the priests.

The cruelty of bullying in school

Students who did not conform to the sexual code of the school had their lockers vandalized, obscene graffiti sprayed on the doors and on their personal belongings, books destroyed, and material stolen.  This matched what I had heard at other parochial (basically Roman Catholic, but equally prevalent in Baptist, Adventist, and other Protestant centers), private, and secular schools, and was intense at public schools. More than 70% of all students (85% female, 60% male) had gone through this form of sexual harassment and bullying, with teachers and classmates equally prone to bullying those believed to be “virgins”.  While I was teaching in the provinces, the same was common in Lima, but the percentage was higher in the shanty towns surrounding the capital city–especially in the public schools where education is at best a farce (the teachers are unprepared, their educational background minimal, their understanding of engaging students nonexistent, and their purpose for teaching was to earn money), as demonstrated when Antonio Chang, then Minister of Education, tested 300,000 teachers in 2005, and only 151 barely passed (surprisingly, 76% of the population approved of the testing).  I quit within a few days and began publishing on corruption in Perú’s education system and schools and universities.

The twisted standards on human sexuality were everywhere I taught: not to be engaged in heterosexual sex brought bullying, becoming pregnant presaged bullying, and seeking out and possibly obtaining an abortion did not assuage the bullying but intensified it frequently leading to the rape/incest victim to committing suicide even though abortion to save a woman’s life is technically legal although Cipriani (a close friend and supporter of the Peruvian dictator Fujimori and his daughter Keiko and son Hiro, as Cipriani’s goal has always been total and complete control over all of Peru; read Footnote 1, below) continues to chortle that such an abortion is murder (while the cardinal has been investigated as an accomplice in murder in Lima, and regularly interferes with the private life of all Peruvians—including non-Catholics) even if the carrier of the fetus dies (there are between 350,000 and 400,000 abortions each year in Peru) and is supported by 53% of the people polled, there is the other side that notes: Este tipo de discrepancias revelan las verdaderas intenciones de la ley. … controlar la capacidad de las mujeres de tomar decisiones sobre su cuerpo. Permitimos que el aborto se practique, pero no de manera abierta porque esto último daría demasiada libertad a las mujeres en una decisión que sentimos que afecta el sostenimiento de la sociedad. [Such discrepancies reveal the true intentions of the law. … control the ability of women to make decisions about her body. We allow abortions to be carried out, but not in an open manner because that would give too much freedom to women in a decision that we feel that affects the sustainability of society] also read here.  The youngest female became a mother at age five

Women in Peru protest in favor of abortion

Watch what happens in Peru here: http://vimeo.com/15606635 given the current ignorance of Carlos Alberto Tejada Noriega, Head of the Ministry of Health in Peru.  It is past time to say no to the Roman Catholic church that is destroying Peru and Latin America by its antiquated and illogical ideology that is not supported by medical science.  Bans on abortion risk the lives of women and increase poverty: twin goals sought by Lima’s cardinal Cipriani and Opus Dei.  In Peru and Latin America, religion is the greatest and most deadly bully with the bully club swung against the young by Opus Dei and Lima’s Juan Luis Cipriani. 

Josemaria Escriva (founder of Opus Dei)

Opus Dei uses sex, intimidation, religion and its assorted paranoia of promises of perdition and persecution in this world and “the next” as a means to control its members and those people with whom its members associate.  The leaders of Opus Dei have declared war on dissent, demand censorship of books, magazines, articles, even open forums at universities.  While Dan Brown’s book The Da Vinci Code is fiction, the account of Opus Dei is based on fact (read Footnote 2, below), including the claim that scruples and traditional values are to be rejected if it can lead to converting anyone to “the faith” and self-flagellation required of believers, while the flagitious founder of Opus Dei—Josemaria Escriva de Balaguer y Albás (9 January 1902 – 26 June 1975) who had the support and endorsement of Karol Józef Wojtyła—the agathokakological man who would become Pope John Paul II and was instrumental in declaring Escriva a saint as a political move depraved of any charitable characteristics—wrote in his book The Way that the faithful will use secrecy to obtain end results (The Way, No. 839), compromise is a form of laziness and weakness (The Way, No. 54), true Roman Catholics must follow blindly “in obedience” all Church teachings (The Way, No. 617 and in 941): “Blind obedience to your superior, the way of sanctity. Obedience in your apostolate, the only way; for, in a work of God, the spirit must be to obey or to leave.” Submission to religious authority is understood to be a good in itself, while calling non-Catholic schools, “pagan schools” (The Way, No.866).  Modern enlightened thinkers, such as Voltaire (The Way, No. 849) were/are instruments of darkness.   Opus Dei is like the Vatican has spent its history on suppressing truth, distorting what was said, and codifying rules to maintain a docile following. Private interpretation of anything is forbidden; students engaged in interpretation must interpret and translate according to the dictates of the Roman Catholic Church. Bullying of those who do not conform or follow The Way is at the forefront, especially if celibacy is determined for a student by a numerary (one of the chosen followers of Opus Dei whose election is foretold: John Allen (2005). Opus Dei: An Objective Look Behind the Myths and Reality of the Most Controversial Force in the Catholic Church. New York, NY, USA: Doubleday Religion; while the complete list of Opus Dei members is not available to the public, some lists do exist).  

As corrupt as is Opus Dei, Opus Dei is equally matched in the USA by numerous certified hate groups:  Focus on the Family, The FAMiLY, Americans for Prosperity, Lion and Lamb Ministries, Eagle Forum, and so forth, where bullying is seen as a challenge to “fight back with the gospel” and those who complain are considered weak for not “offering their pain to Jesus.”

The third greatest number is found in the workplace or school (a typical bully is Donald Trump, who was known as a bully since he was age 13).   Bullying in the workplace is on the rise: the bullies being coworkers, supervisors, managers, corporate leaders, and owners (cf. Sperry, Len (ed., 2009). “Workplace Mobbing and Bullying” in Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice and Research. 61.3 (September), pp. 190-201; cp. Kilburg, Richard R. loc. cit., pp. 268-275; and, MacDoanld, Geoff and Jensen-Campbell, Lauri A. (2010), Social Pain: Neuropsychological and Health Implications of Loss and Exclusion. Washington, DC, USA: American Psychological Association). 

Women are among the greatest offenders of bullying on the job

Frequently it is “the boss” who is the bully, making unreasonable demands, telephoning the employee at the employee’s home at unusual hours, and requiring evaluations only to ridicule them showing the boss’ insecurity and frequently inability to do the work required, while self-glorifying himself or herself by degrading the individual who does the most, has the greatest talent and offers the soundest solutions that could profit and benefit the company and coworkers.  Forms of workplace bullying include: moving employes without advanced notice,  replacing long-existing contracts with new short-term contracts on less favourable terms with the accompanying threat of “agree to this or else”, increasing workloads, changing work schedules, changing roles and assignments of employees, blocking or terminating career progression paths, making sexual demands, insisting on conformity, requiring “favors” including menial and demeaning tasks. At the same time as bullying is increasing in the workplace, so, too, are workplace suicides, mass murders followed by the killer taking his or her own life.  In Canada, one out of every six people are bullied in the workplace, and for many it is god’s vengeance and the fulfillment of the promise of Opus Dei.  In the USA, 70% of all employees experience bullying at work, while Spain records only 14% report being bullied (but that is because Spanish workers are afraid to come forward and admit to being bullied and have been threatened by employers and the churches if they speak out against bullying, as employers and religious leaders claim that such actions are the will of god).  Most bullied people consider god to be the architect and enforcer of bullying.

Lori Drew and daughter Sarah Drew

Many of those who are bullied are not only bullied at work or in school, but it is increasingly more common to be bullied in cyberspace: over the internet.  Cyberbullying has led to numerous suicides, and the cyber bullies are not just other classmates or coworkers, but their friends and family, as is the case with 50-year-old Lori Drew of Missouri who was found guilty cyberbullying in a federal court for her role in the suicide of 13-year-old Megan Meir (United States vLori Drew, 259 F.R.D. 449 (C.D. Cal. 2009). The judge later acquitted Drew who admitted to her instigating the bullying, claiming that she did it to protect her family and was working to help her daughter Sarah take action against the friend who had decided against remaining a friend of her daughter after transferring to a local Roman Catholic school and had made new friends.  Drew knew Megan Meier personally: the

Megan Meier

young girl lived only four houses down the street from the Drews. This led the Drews to create a fictitious internet lover: Josh Evans.  Drew, who wrote as if she were Josh, wrote to Megan that the world would be a better place if she killed herself–a common ploy among cyber bullies.  Megan, after reading the e-mail from Josh was found a few minutes later having hanged her self in her bedroom closet.  This repeated itself in Missouri when Elizabeth Thrasher (age 41) cyber bullied the 17-year-old daughter of her ex-husband in May 2009 by putting the teenager’s photo, workplace, e-mail address and cell phone number on a section of Craigslist for people seeking sexual encounters.

Elizabeth Thrasher

Suicide is the eleventh largest killer in the USA.  It has equally astonishing statistics worldwide.  No less than one million people succeeding in killing themselves every year around the world. It is the third main reason for deaths among the young: ages 15 to 24, with suicides now occurring even in those who are in their pre-teenage years.  To actually commit suicides depends on factors such as fearlessness and being able to tolerate pain and to act impulsively.  Fearlessness is a conditioned response that leads to enduring abuse: whether from abuse by others or by their own hands, and it grows gradually until the suicide has grown tolerant of physical discomfort but cannot cope with the mental anguish that bullies from the pulpit, at the table, in the classroom or school yard heap out like sewage from their own twisted mentality to torture those least able to understand aspersions and defamation and have no one to whom he or she could turn for succor or for understanding. 

Cyber bullying

While most adults age 40-65 turn to suicide as a way to avoid facing financial bankruptcy, job or family loss.  In the USA it is primarily an escape route for men, with in the US is 17.7 per 100,000 among men compared to 4.5 per 100,000 women committing suicide in 2005

Women, more than men, attempt to harm themselves (which is wrongly labeled as attempted suicide) because of living in overcrowded conditions, conflict with their families (extended and internal), with disrupted childhoods, history of drinking, criminal behavior, and violence. Individuals under these stresses become anxious and depressed and then, usually in reaction to a single particular crisis, they attempt to harm themselves and frequently their children. 

Bullying statistics

Children commit suicide because they are ridiculed about their weight, size, perceived sexual orientation, or academic and social performance.  Those most responsible for suicide among children are classmates, teachers, and family members.  Religion has its role as well, in child suicides, especially in Islam where children are openly recruited to be suicide bombers to prove their love for their god (Allah).  The rise in child suicides in Muslim lands in the Middle East has grown sharply, with children as young as four and five committing suicide in religious devotion.

Child suicide bomber in Muslim world encouraged by the family

Suicide affects both the victim and those who remain after the death. The most common response is denial.  The immediate family, most commonly, rejects that there was any estrangement within the family, arguing that all were happy and mutually loving, and that the act was not suicidal, but the result of an unfortunate accident.  Research shows the opposite:  the suicides are frequently the result of family bullying: a parent or sibling or other relative attempting to control a weaker member or a member who is different from the bully or the family.  This is commonly the case with a homosexual member who is bullied by heterosexuals in the family into having a “companion” of the opposite gender. 

In many Latin and Muslim communities the presumed homosexual family member is taken to a prostitute if a male as early as age ten, or raped if the suspected homosexual is female (Hovey, JD (1999). “Religion and suicidal ideation in a sample of Latin American immigrants.” Psychological Reports 85:171–177; the article further notes fear of religion stops many Latin Americans from completing a suicide attempt). There is no claim within the article that religion is good—or bad—but that fear can control actions, something that all dictators have learned and used against people throughout secular and religious history.  It was fear that sustained and led to the raison d’être for Christian and Arab crusades, the Spanish Inquisition, the Thirty Years War, Adolf Hitler, Idi Amin, the current curia in the Vatican and the protestations of the German pope, and the Latter Day Saints Apostleship.  The same is true if the victim placed himself or herself outside of the family’s religious beliefs, circle, or institution, especially if the victim was homosexual and his or her religion denounced/condemned homosexuality and enjoined reparative therapy (a malpractice that has been denounced by every professional psychological and psychiatric association (cf. Kjaer R., and Selle, M.S. (2004). Tidsskr Nor Laegeforen.  September 23, 124(18):2396, cp. Saocarides, CW and Kaufman, B. (1994). “Reparative Therapy” in American Journal of Psychiatry January 151(1):157-159).

Homosexuality is a major problem of perception.  Orientation is genetic (in a private communication I received from Professor Katherine van Wormer at the University of Northern Iowa, Dr. van Wormer noted that she is not convinced that homosexuality is genetic; as she wrote: I’d say biological; it seems to stem from activity in the mother’s womb. I agree it’s not a choice….; I will do further research on this issue for another article. My thanks to my colleague, as I took an early graduate degree from UNI in 1968, and feel the university to be one of my many homes) and not chosen nor conditioned according to the American Psychiatric Association and all other health organizations.  Homosexual orientation is not a mental disorder. Bigotry (cf. Vedantam S. “Psychiatry ponders whether extreme bias can be an illness.” Washington Post. December 10, 2005: A1; and, Dunbar E. (1997). “The relationship of DSM diagnostic criteria and Gough’s Prejudice Scale: exploring the clinical manifestations of the prejudiced personality.” Cultural Diversity and Mental Health 3:247-257), homophobia, xenophobia, however, are mental disorders (read here and here).

Homophobic bullying in the UK

The individual who commits suicide because he or she is labeled, discriminated against, or bullied as a homosexual may not be homosexual—but the stigma placed on homosexuality through ignorance codified as religion will inspire and encourage some to commit suicide.  This ignorance about homosexuality is especially true in fundamentalist religious movements (especially among Mormons, WELS, Orthodox Jews and Roman Catholics) where parents, religious officials, and family read bad translations of ancient literature and attempt to instill and include the word homosexual within the alleged sacred text—even though the word homosexual was not even coined until the end of the nineteenth century (Albert Philibert Franz von Schrenck-Notzing; Charles Gilbert Chaddock (1895). Therapeutic suggestion in psychopathia sexualis (pathological manifestations of the sexual sense), with especial reference to contrary sexual instinct. Philadelphia, PA, USA: F. A. Davis; it does not appear in any English American Bible before 1973 (New International Version: NIV), and does not appear in any of the original languages: Hebrew, Greek, Latin, etc.).  The cruelest religions in this regard are Judaism, Christianity, and especially Islam and the Latter Day Saints (Mormons), even though homosexuality is not mentioned by name, yes same-sex love is (as with the case of Jonathan and David (1 Samuel 18; if one reads the Bible literally), Ruth and Naomi (Ruth 1:14 seq, cp. Genesis 2:24), and others; Romans 1:26-27 is about shrine prostitution if read in the original and not through a faulty translation, cp. Aristides, Apology Sec. 16, paragraph 2).

Those who reject suicide as a motive to leave torment behind are mistaken.  While Ernest Becker (1973), argued that the human notion of death is strongly psychoanalytical, views the fear of death as a universal phenomenon, this is incorrect, as it implies that all people fear death because of some divine punishment (such as hell) awaiting the suicide or that there might not be an afterlife (Becker, Ernest (1973). The Denial of Death. New York: Free Press).  This ignores the material showing that the suicide victim wants to escape pain and suffering brought on by any degree of bullying: from name calling and erroneous biblical recitations as Dakota Ary preachificated in Fort Worth Texas, or protestations by grandstanding teachers such as Viki Knox of New Jersey who prophesied “eternal damnation” for any member of the LGBT community, to the mealy mincing of reality by Iowa’s religious Fuehrer Bob Vander Plaats—a theocrat seeking the end of democracy in the USA and establishment of a theocracy on the order of Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann,  Rick Santorum and Governor Sam Brownback who converted from evangelical Protestantism to Roman Catholicism are both members of Opus Dei who want a government in the USA on the order of Iran, and others who has no training in theology or psychology (in this quest they are supported by the four USA Opus Dei bishops: Archbishop José Gomez of San Antonio, Archbishop John Myers of Newark, New Jersey, Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City-St. Joseph in Missouri and Bishop Nicholas Anthony DiMarzio of Brooklyn, New York all who have opposed any anti-bullying legislation or rights for women; there are a total of 24 Opus Dei bishops in the Roman Catholic church.   This has not stopped Vander Plaats who has set himself up as an authority on human emotions and psychophysical identification, justifying the survey that shows that two out of three people in the USA believe that organized religion (churches) actively contribute to suicides among LGBT people even though all religions have homosexuals in their leadership roles from pastors and rabbis to priests and bishops, even in Islam that claims it has no homosexuals (as with Iran) but where Imams and ayatollahs also have mortal sexual desires and needs equal to anyone else.   

One point that Becker is correct about is that some suicides are committed as a way to show the world (the family, the religious organization, the community and so forth) that the person committing suicide has strength, fortitude and the ability to carry out a deed: an act of heroism.  However, it is also, at times, a way for the suicide to blame others without resolution to refine, define and establish his or her own identity as a person of self-worth.  If the suicide fails, the individual who sought the solace of death fails to achieve the role and laurel of a hero.  This can lead to further mental illness and/or antisocial behavior.

Those who are either unable or unwilling to end their own life, will kill another in quest of having someone kill them (Thomas, E. (1997, July 28).  “Facing death”.  Newsweek, 20-30. Karwarth, R. (1992, November 7).  Death-his own-was killer’s goal.  Chicago Tribune, 1. Kennedy, D. Homant, R. and Hupp, T (1998), Suicide by Cop, The FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin67, 30-48). In this case, death is the promise of peace.  This is more common among believers in some external force, such as religion, but at the same time those who profess a religion are less likely to commit suicide or seek out ways of exiting life in fear of “other world judgments” and concepts of heaven and hell, than are those without a religious affirmation, confirmation or indoctrination.  Atheists have the least difficulty in committing suicide successfully (Dervic, Kanita; Oquendo, Maria A.; Grunebaum, Michael F.; Ellis, Steve; Burke, Ainsley K; and, Mann, J. John. “Religious Affiliation and Suicide Attempt.” The American Journal of Psychiatry. December 1, 2004, vol. 161. pp. 2303-2308).  However, one must be cautious when using this statistic as the authors note, as religious countries, especially those that are controlled by the Roman Catholic Church under-report suicides because of the stigma the Roman Catholic Church attaches to suicide (cp. Kelleher MJ, Chambers D, Corcoran P, Williamson E, Keeley HS: “Religious sanctions and rates of suicide worldwide.” Crisis 1998; 19:78–86).  A more accurate reporting, although still under-reporting is found in the World Health Organization (WHO) of the United Nations (UN), where Roman Catholic countries are showing a greater number of suicides since 2003. The lowest rate of suicides, evidence shows, is in Islamic controlled nations, such as Malay, where Islam strictly forbids suicides, and an attempt at suicide can bring capital punishment and the death sentence that carries a stigma to the family as a whole. Again the problem is religion as Islamic leaders (civil and religious) prohibit full reporting, and many suicides are not investigated because of family objections, while many are considered “honor killings” that are both voluntary (suicide) and involuntary (murder) which is seldom reported and less often dealt with given its religious and family overtones. In China, over 75% of all suicides are in the rural areas and the majority of suicides are among women lacking dowries. Suicides in Japan, where there is one suicide every fifteen minutes by the year 2006, are high among students, given the emphasis on academic success and the movement of a class into a profession. Those who claimed that they were /are atheists or had no religion had abandoned religion as a consequence of depression or hopelessness, frequently because of terrorism within religion itself: the concept of unforgiving god, the fright of the existence of a possible hell and torment in an afterlife, and family pressure to practice the community faith. 

In the USA, the greatest pressure is found in Mormon families where, regardless of the stress a family member feels, or because of depression commits suicide, the family is quickly on the defensive, arguing that the family is loving group, compassionate, caring, and they have no idea of why the suicide occurred.  This is classic denial (abnegation) of reality, as the family protestations are an effort to shore up the family itself as being the foundation for growth and community (cf. Neeleman J, Halpern D, Leon D, Lewis G. (1997). “Tolerance of suicide, religion, and suicide rates: an ecological and individual study in 19 Western countries”. Psychological Medicine 1997; 27:1165–1171).  The tragedy is that it is universal as seen in the World Health Organization statistics on suicides 2003.

As Sigmund Freud noted, abnegation is a personal or family defense mechanism in which the existence of unpleasant internal or external realities is kept out of conscious.  In psychodynamic psychology, denial is found in any person who unconsciously puts up a barrier to experiencing what is too painful to consciously bear, especially the loss of a family member, personal pride, or reputation.  While the person rejects the idea that a family member committed suicide, that is a ruse for denying responsibility: being open to talking with the person before the suicidal act took place, or defending “the family honor” or the “family name” or reputation.  To this end a family will argue against anyone who claims the suicide was the result of a dysfunctional family situation, the inability to communicate interactively with the family members (the one in denial will protest that she or he was always receptive to a discussion)—but not about certain aspects, such as human sexuality, which is why most LGBT members leave the home, seek a life of their own without family encumbrances, and when faced with bullying for others or the bullying of silent distance between them and their families or significant others will commit suicide. (cf. Freud, Anna. (1937). The Ego and the Mechanisms of Defense, London: Hogarth Press and Institute of Psycho-Analysis. (Revised edition: 1966 (US), 1968 (UK)); and, Paulhus, D.L., Fridhandler B., & Hayes S. (1997). “Psychological defense: Contemporary theory and research.” In Briggs, Stephen; Hogan, Robert Goode; Johnson, John W. (1997). Handbook of personality psychology. Boston: Academic Press. pp. 543–579).

Numerous studies show that members of the family: from parents to siblings as well as grandparents and cousins, actually bully those who are less prone to defending themselves and their individual rights.  Highly critical parents and older siblings can have a negative effect on the self-esteem of the younger children in the family (cf. Safer, Jeanne (2002). The Normal One: Life with a Difficult or Damaged Sibling. New York, NY, USA: The Free Press).  Families deny that children have rights, and in many cases, because of strong religious ties, especially within the Mormon, Roman Catholic and evangelical communities, praise parents who are overly strict with their children.  This leads to a rise in both bullying and suicides.

It is the feelings of guilt, embarrassment and shame by a family when one of its members commits suicide that leads to outbursts, denial (frequently denials even of the death or cause(s) of and/or for the suicide) that accompanies the advent of the feeling of anxiety.  Anxiety is felt as an increase in bodily or mental tension and the signal that the organism receives that allows it the possibility of taking defensive action towards the perceived danger by claiming another source, reason, or person is responsible for either the actual suicide or for mistranslating the cause célèbre that created the anxiety.  This, of course, is psychological transference neurosis. 

Sigmund Freud saw transference neurosis as occurring in patients who would not accept reality by arguing that the blame lay with the physician or therapist [today it could be a writer, newspaper, or other source], stating that transference neurosis is: “a whole series of psychological experiences are revived not as belonging to the past, but as applying to the person of the physician at the present moment”  (Sigmund Freud, “Case Histories 1 – Dora and Little Hans”, The Penguin Freud Library, Volume 8, 1990); cp. Freud, Sigmund (collected 1959). Clinical Papers. New York, NY, USA: Basic Books, vol. 2, p. 125, 251, 344, vol. 4, p. 43).  It is at this point, as Freud argued at length in several works, that religion takes over; while the illusions offered by religion can temporarily satisfy, religion and its confessional stands can lead to neurosis that are both egotistic and self-protecting, as well as antisocial where guilt is fostered by “giving into temptation” rather than eschewing it in favor of prayer or corporal acts of mercy and charity.  As Freud wrote: “Unredeemed backslidings into sin are even more common among the pious than among neurotics, and these give rise to a new form of religious activity, namely, the acts of penance of which one finds counterparts in the obsessional neurosis (Freud, op. cit. vol. 2, pp. 33-34; cp. Freud, Die Traumdeutung) leading to the repression of reality and what occurred (Freud, Collected Papers, vol. 4, pp. 86-87, 90-91 with emphasis on countering unbearable thoughts in vol. 1, p. 155).

Bullying is abusive and aggressive behavior of a person who is mentally ill.  It is expressed emotionally, physically, and verbally and frequently leads to thoughts of suicide or the act of suicide. It is most commonly found in the school, church, and the family—and it is in these three areas that it is most commonly denied and little is done to stop bullies braying from pulpits as they pound their religious literature, or from the teacher’s desk where the instructor rants about a student’s clothing, hairstyle, selection of friends or life style, or at the breakfast or dinner table where the authority of the patriarch is preached as if the family leader was somehow divinely ordained.  To question authority is forbidden, and to differ from the family leader invites the same corporal punishment that was dealt out to Martin Luther by his parents who beat him until the blood ran from his skin, allegedly for stealing one nut (Roland H. Bainton (1950), Here I Stand: A Life of Martin Luther. New York: NY, USA: Abingdon-Cokesbury, p. 23; cp. Erik H. Erikson (1962). Young Man Luther: A Study in Psychoanalysis and History.  New York: NY, USA: Norton Library, pp. 67-68 seq.). Numerous studies, both clinical and historical, show that bullying is linked to family violence, which explains Martin Luther’s verbal and written assaults on both the Jews of Germany but on the peasants in rebellion in his Wider die räuberischen und mörderischen Rotten der Bauern (1525), but the writings of those who take to cyber bullying and physical bullying as with the two students who were bullied into killing their bullies before committing suicide in 1999 at Columbine High School.

Eric Harris (left) and Dylan Klebold (right)

More than two-thirds of the academically brilliant students are bullied. More than one-third harbor thoughts of violent revenge; about half will enact or act out their scenarios for revenge.  The was the case with two senior students, Eric David Harris (April 9, 1981 – April 20, 1999) and Dylan Bennet Klebold (September 11, 1981 – April 20, 1999), who decided to hunt down their bullies and taking charge of their own lives.  On April 20, 1999, the two youths killed  thirteen classmates and wounded another twenty-four at Columbine High School in Colorado.  Harris and Klebold were among the most gifted—and the most bullied—at Columbine. Peer rejection, ridicule, and bullying—all of which create a lifelong tendency to depression—was a daily experience for Harris and Klebold that would erupt like a smoldering volcano.

Harris and Klebold shot their tormenters, giving expression to their growing hatred of being targeted by others who had nothing but scorn for them. Harris kept a log of the troubles he faced, and wrote about his growing hatred for the school and society, and began to pen death threats against those who bullied him, including calling both young men homosexuals (which several students said was wrong, as neither use was gay; in fact in the reports left by Harris and Klebold, the two acknowledged they called others “fags”: this is popularly known as “pecking order” psychology, first discussed in 1921 as Hackordnung by Thorleif Schjelderup-Ebbe in Zeitschrift fuer Psychologie, 1922, 88:225-252, and in teenagers, it is commonly linked to bullying (read here and here);  the two felt left out and had, over a year plotted revenge), while the athletes at the school taunted them as not being “men” who were involved in other “manly actions” and were accosted for dressing “differently” (Goldberg, Carey. “For Those Who Dress Differently, an Increase in Being Viewed as Abnormal.” New York Times. May 1, 1999) being known as the “Trenchcoat Mafia”. 

No one at Columbine took notice or action to intervene; even the families of the two youth and their victims remained silent save for one mother who was ignored. It remains the scenario for today’s talented and today’s bullies—the bullies who write on Facebook and on bathroom walls for their victims to commit suicide as the victims now speak openly of killing classmates, teachers, deans, preachers, pastors, priests and parents who bully them.  It is an epidemic—one that no religion can halt nor erase (Kim YS, Leventhal B; Leventhal (2008). “Bullying and suicide. A review”. International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health 20 (2): 133–54). The solution is tolerance, acceptance of differences including multiculturalism that the Norwegian Christian terrorist Anders Behring Breveik rejected, and giving space and attention to those who appear troubled. Conformity is not essential for a fluid and dynamic society.  People commit suicide when there is no tangible, immediately ascertainable hope—religion cannot fill that void.  People fill the void as people are real and tangible.

FOOTNOTES

Cardinal Juan Luis Cipriani of Lima, Peru

(1) “No abortion!” is the maniacal mantra chanted by one of the most ignorant and cruel bullies in South America: Juan Luis Cipriani Thorne cardinal presbyter of St. Camillus de Lellis (the first Peruvian cardinal from the clandestine and dangerous Opus Dei movement), who is supported by two other Peruvian Opus Dei bishops and the collective college of bishops of Peru.  Although Cipriani has been under prolonged investigation for the murder the liberal Jesuit and his predecessor, Monsignor Augusto cardinal Vargas Alzamora (1922-2000), the majority of the clergy in Peru rallied behind him because of his position in the church in Peru.  Vargas Alzamora—a stern and stalwart critic of Fujimori—was poisoned after suffering a “long illness” following his mandatory retirement when Cipriani was installed in his place. 

Cardinal Augusto Vargas Alzamora

While Vargas Alzmora was more liberal that his successor, he was no liberal, but declared that there was room to co-exist with the guerrilla faction that was attempting a take over of the government, insisting that the Roman Catholic Church sought justice and peace but not at the point of a gun—and that the Church would always align itself on the side of the poor—the exact opposite view expressed by Cipriani who supported the dictatorship of Fujimori.  Vargas Alzamora established his own social welfare structure, known as Fe y Alegria (Faith and Happiness) and for a long time as the primate of Peru, took young people who wanted to develop their spiritual life to see the overwhelming poverty of the shanty towns on the outskirts of Lima so that his students could see exactly what social injustice means. On the other hand, Cipriani only stands with the wealthy and powerful;

Peru politics and church interference

he condemns women who seek equal rights, self-determination and choice, denounces students who demand greater freedom in the church, and rejects the spirit of democracy, fitting Peru to meet the identification of Cardinal Josef Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI) that follows Nazi unofficial ideology of Kinder, Küche, Kirche (it was actually defined by Kaiser Wilhelm II (Depew, Chauncey Mitchell and Champlin, John Denison Champlin (1910). Orations, addresses and speeches of Chauncey M. Depew. New York, NY, USA: privately printed (8 vols), p. 260), but taken over by the Nazis and instilled in the Nazi Wahrmacht of which Ratzinger was a part until he deserted and became a temporary prisoner of war in 1945). 

Cipriani is widely unloved and denounced by clergy and faithful as returning the church to its ignominious days of the Inquisition. When Cipriani’s elevation was announced, it was publicly denounced, and when an open-air Mass was held in celebration, it had few who attended, with the exception of the militantly conservative New Catechumenate movement and fraternity dedicated to the Lord of the Miracles. Cipriani denounced anyone who questioned his word or interpretation of anything as traitors.  The Peruvian Conference of Bishops condemned the protesters’ “disrespectful behavior” as an “anti-witness” and declared that Pope John Paul II’s decision to include Cipriani in the newest group of cardinals “must be respected and accepted by the faithful. Therefore, no offense against [Cipriani] is justified, let alone during a sacred celebration.” This cost the Peruvian Conference of Bishops popular support, especially among students who saw it as a return to the Dark Ages, leading many to abandon the Roman Catholic faith, and the bullying of its priests and bishops.

While Vargas Alzamora had worked as a member of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America, and helped with the official re-evaluation of Liberation Theology acknowledging the right of the poor for political and social freedom, the work was rapidly undone by Cardinal Josef Ratzinger who saw in it too much of Marxism.  This delighted the small minority of Spanish-Peruvians who celebrated their enrichment at the expense of the poor—and quickly swung to the one-time professor of agriculture Alberto Fujimori—whom Cipriani championed.

Vargas Alzamora rejected Fujimori.  When the Japanese born president declared that he had won a second term (technically, by the Constitution that Fujimori suspended, he could not be president since he was not Peru born), Augusto Vargas Alzamora declared the second “re-election” illegal. From that day forward, many knew it was a matter of time before Vargas Alzamora would be “replaced.”  Those who supported him were openly bullied: students, parents, clergy, other Peru bishops, leading many to seek his death.

There is debate if the assassination was at the hands of Fujimori’s now-jailed spy chief, Vladimiro Montesinos who had Los Barrios residents and students from various universities murdered on the orders of Fujimori who was encouraged by his daughter, the current Congresista Keiko Fujimori who (at age 18) replaced her mother as First Lady and tried to cover up her father’s physical assaults on his wife; or if Cipriani did or had an aid do the actual murder. Former Justice Minister Fernando Olivera traveled to the Vatican in 2001 with letters purporting to show Cipriani sought the “elimination and incineration” of videotapes linking him to Montesinos after the church took money from the spy chief and requested an additional $120,000 “donation”; read: http://www.odan.org/media_peru_cardinal_upset.htm, the article is a reprint from the 2004 publication in The Wall Street Journal and various other publications; the accusers of the nefarious prelate include two other Perú bishops; the Vatican later declared the letters to be fake since they cast aspersions on a cardinal within the church). 

Cipriani’s crepitating actions match the barbaric “Right to Life” movement in the USA, which is identical to that of Nazi Germany, that demonstrates in front of schools and clinics using Photoshopped images of aborted “fetuses” and warning women that they will “go to hell” if the women “abort your child [sic]”, and their spiritual ancestor: Adolf Hitler who prohibited “Nordic stock” German women from obtaining an abortion (while forcing abortions on Jewish women without their consent).  This was a common occurrence under Dictator Alberto Fujimori in Perú who had more than 200,000 mountain women forcibly sterilized in his crusade to cut down poverty. 

Fujimori saw the “mountain women” as ignorant women who were not adding to his wealth or the fascist state he had created after suspending the Perú Constitution and ordering the mass execution of dissenters: La Cantuta: the National University “Enrique Guzmán y Valle”, July 18, 1992, pulling students and teachers out of the classroom; two years later a corrupt military court sentenced ten of Fujimori’s special assassins to prison terms from one to twenty years, ignoring evidence provided by generals that Vladimir Montesinos, Alberto and Keiko Fujimori’s closest friend and various military generals were the primary parties responsible. On June 14, 1995, one year after the bankrupt trial had ruled obediently to the presidential bully, Fujimori’s congress approved a law (many claim that Keiko Fujimori was the author of the legislation) granting amnesty to military, police and civil officials involved in human rights violations committed from 1980 through that date; those sentenced for the Cantuta massacre were freed; later Cardinal Cipriani was ordered to testify about what he knew, as many saw him as a conspirator eager to dispatch all students who he considered to be leftists or even terrorists.  This was but a copy of the La Rochela Massacre in January 1989, where paramilitary groups were organized to “persuade” [bully] anyone who opposed them, including children and students.

(2) Brown, Dan (2004). The Da Vinci Code (New York, NY, USA: Doubleday) is correct in the assessment and pictorialization of Opus Dei.  Followers (numeraries) do self-flagellate their flesh/skin; wear a spiked chain (known as a cilice) around the thighs for at least two hours, and kiss the floor saying “Serviam” (Latin for “I will serve).  The majority of Opus Dei bishops and cardinals come from South America and Spain, but there are four in the USA who demand unwavering loyalty to themselves and their “calling” to refute “liberalism” and bring “strayed Catholics” and Protestants back to a conservative church that hails the Spanish Inquisition as a glorious past in Roman Catholic history–complete with the millions of murders the sacerdotal clergy committed “in the name of Jesus Christ the Lord.”  The members take cold showers and sleep either on a board or on the floor in memory of the misery Jacob and Jesus is alleged to have experienced–without a pillow (cp. Genesis 28:10-19a, Matthew 8:20, which is even incorporated/plagiarized in Islamic theology).  They attend Mass daily, hear lectures on selflessness, and strictly segregate the sexes. 

Opus Dei rejects Vatican II as it gave recognition to individual consciences and ideals and did not place much authority on the magisterium of the church. This was apostasy to the founder of Opus Dei and to such renegade popes as John Paul II and Benedict XVI who are strong admirers of Josemaria Escriva, whom John Paul II, over the objection of many in the Roman Catholic church denounced as a fraud and imposter, raised to “sainthood”–most of Escriva’s opponents reject that title and imposition by a pope many believe was already senile. 

Father John McCloskey, a prominent member in Washington, has attacked the “liberal establishment” in the USA.  McCloskey has won the support of one-time US Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA), as pose seek a theocracy to replace democracy.  McCloskey urges the creation of schools to teach Latin and Greek, devotion to the Mass and strict obedience to the bishops, but also demands solid educational training (minus theories such as evolution and human rights) so that the future generations can be similar to Escriva.

Opus Dei $75 million headquarters (New York City)

Opus Dei has no respect for labor, and in France forced workers to toil for free. Girls as young as fourteen have been forced to work from seven in the morning until ten at night, seven days a week–and when given a paycheck are forced to endorse it and turn it over to Opus Dei.  Corporal mortification of workers is applauded, and the organization notes that Mother Theresa of Calcutta and John Paul II practiced their concept of corporal pain and hunger, winning the support of Benedict XVI who is considered a closeted member of the group.  To “fan out across the world”, Opus Dei raised from middle-income to wealthy Roman Catholics in every walk of life (US Senators, British Members of Parliament, sports figures, entrepreneurs on every continent, entertainment figures, and so forth) over $75 million to build its headquarters in New York City, USA.  It is tightly attached to powerful bishops in the USA and throughout South America, finding support especially among the hierarchy of Peru, led by Cipriani of Lima, and Darío Castrillón Hoyos, of Columbia.  Its stated goal is to take over the world and

Opus Dei central headquarters Rome

force everyone to be Roman Catholic–Opus Dei’s idea of what Christianity must be: from the end of human and civil rights, the glorification of the male head of the household, strict obedience of children, rejection of bullying charges against priests and nuns, and the silencing of complaints and lawsuits against clerical pedophiles in the Church, in the same way as John Paul II ignored the issue and worked against those who levied charges, and Ratzinger (Benedict XVI who is openly called the Inquisitor General of the 21st century) has been especially effective in silencing dissent.

6 Comments

Filed under Alberto Fujimori, atheism, Bible, Bullying, Christian Terrorists, Church history, Fujimori (Alberto), Homosexuality, Perú, Roman Catholicism, suicide

Invention of the Bible and Christianity

Fred Edwords

Fred Edwords (born July 19, 1948, in San Diego, California) and one who has worked tirelessly to end the adoption of superstition has fact and to remove the lack of logic from discourse in open conversations and lectures. Fred Edwords is currently national director of the United Coalition of Reason (“Fred Edwords, a longtime atheist leader who directs an umbrella group, the United Coalition of Reason,” “More atheists shout it from the rooftops” by Laurie Goldstein, New York Times, April 26, 2009 at http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/27/us/27atheist.htm (accessed May 17, 2011) passed me an account he read on http://www.facebook.com/note.php?created&&note_id=118151618265408 raising questions about the authenticity of the Bible. This article put together the missing pieces I had been searching for in my own critiques of the Bible and its history, both in books and on this blog. The article that Fred Edwords sent to me is the headlined:

17 YEAR ADVISOR TO THE POPE EXPOSES BIBLE FRAUD AND FORGERY

by Samuel Butler on Tuesday, April 19, 2011 at 5:12pm

Retired highly regarded priest, who for 17 years (1980-1997) served as an advisor to the Pope, exposes bible forgery and fraud.

Dr. Miceal Ledwith achieved distinction as a catholic theologian who received international recognition for academic and professional accomplishment. An esteemed professor of Systemic Theology, president of the University of Maymooth , Ireland (National University of Ireland-Sam) and fulfilling a seventeen year appointment as advisor to the Pope on the Holy See’s international Theological Commission. Yet at the height of his career, he walked away to pursue a completely different kind of spiritual life – one of humble, internal initiation and transformation. He talks about an enormous upheaval after the Second Vatican Council:“I think most of my contemporaries were doing the same thing that I was and pondering the same thoughts, maybe not as intensely, but they were certainly as aware of those theories as I was. There were many people in positions of authority in the church that were contemplating the inconsistencies, and a lot of them ran afoul of religious authority. This is of course something that had always occurred throughout the history of Christianity.“I spoke with someone the other day that insisted on the importance of holding on to some permanently valid religious truth. I asked “And where might we hope to find that in the gospels of the New Testament, for example? Let me suggest something.”

“Go to the Vatican Library today and look at the oldest manuscript that we have of the New Testament, which is known as the Codex Vaticanus’, and was probably one of the bibles commissioned by Constantine. Another one to look at is in the British Library called codex Sinaiticus’ which was discovered in Mount Sinai at St. Catherine’s Monastery. Look at those two texts, both from the 4TH century, and try to find the famous story of Jesus rescuing the lady who is being stoned for adultery in John’s Gospel Chapter 8. It is a very powerful story, but it is not contained in either of those manuscripts, which means that story was inserted into the text of the New Testament for the first time at least as late as the 4th century if not later. I can give you a hundred other examples.”

(Above from SuperConsciousness Magazine Fall 2010 page 64)

Dr. Micael Ledwith

Butler does not mention that much of Ledwith’s situation changed because of the sexual abuse scandal that broke out in Ireland. Ledwith was nominated to be President of St. Patrick’s by the then Bishop of Ferns, Dr. Brendan Comiskey. Comiskey resigned in disgrace on account of sex abuse cases in his constituency, and Ledwith paid compensation in 2002 for allegedly abusing a child. Ledwith vehemently denied it, but was urged to make a financial settlement over which he protested by paid; later the trustees were informed of another allegation of abuse by solicitors on behalf of a former student of the college between 1992 and 1994. Monsignor Ledwith vehemently denied it saying he was not even in the country at the time of the alleged abuse (http://www.rte.ie/news/2002/0531/maynooth.html).

Since the allegations were never fully investigated, the Irish Senate checked into the matter, and in November 2005, Dr Mary Elizabeth Frances Henry (born 11 May 1940 in Blackrock, Cork)  a former Independent member of Seanad Éireann, who, by profession she is a University Professor and medical practitioner, said: “With regard to Monsignor Ledwith, I was dismayed to read the response of the bishops to whom complaints were made by six senior seminarians, as they are described in the report, as well as the senior dean of Maynooth College, Fr. Gerard McGinnity. Cardinal Daly, one of the surviving bishops, indicated in his statement to the inquiry that it was entirely untrue that any seminarian had mentioned homosexuality to him in connection with Monsignor Ledwith” (http://homepage.eircom.net/~maryhenry/debates/05-nov10a.htm). 

Later Ledwith was appointed during the tenure of Tomás Cardinal O’Fiaich, Primate of All Ireland and Archbishop of Armagh, himself a former President of the College who had served Ledwith on the College staff until his appointment to Armagh in 1977. Ledwith was also supported by O’Fiach’s successor, Cahal Cardinal Daly, who having been a Bishop since 1967 was well-versed with his career at the College. So popular a theologian and researcher, Ledwith was frequently spoken of as a future bishop and indeed Archbishop of Dublin especially in 1988 when Cardinal Desmond Connell was appointed. However, by this time, Ledwith had strong doubts about the Bible and Christianity, especially with the enormous upheaval after the Second Vatican Council that gave theologians greater freedom of inquiry.  At that point he began to publicly question the Bible, its origin(s), and message(s)—ultimately turning to New Age Thought. Ledwith was laicized by the Catholic Church in 2005 following his “defection” to a “new age” sect. 

Caspar René Gregory (1894)

The Bibliotheca Apostolica Vaticana is a part of the Vatican Library that has 75,000 codices from throughout history, and the document Codex Vaticanus is found as Vat. gr. 1209; no. B or 03 Gregory-Aland, δ 1 von Soden.  The numbering of this document is the result of a Caspar René Gregory (November 6, 1846 in Philadelphia – April 9, 1917 in a field hospital in Neuchâtel sur Aisne, France being the oldest volunteer soldier to fight in World War I—for Germany) who was a German-American theologian, and a Protestant. An American by birth but German by choice, Gregory published several cataloging lists/criterion, the most important being his cataloging system in 1908 detailed in Die griechischen Handschriften des Neuen Testaments, which is the system still in use today. Gregory divided the manuscripts into four groups: papyri, uncials, minuscules, and lectionaries (among his works are Prolegomena zu Tischendorfs Novum Testamentum Graece (editio VIII. critica major), 2 Vols. 1884-94 (German revised edition: text criticism of the New Testament, 3 Vols., 1900-09; and, Vorschläge für eine kritische Ausgabe des griechischen Neuen Testaments, 1911).  Teodor Cressy Skeat believed that Vaticanus was rejected by the emperor, for it is deficient in the Eusebia canon tables (dividing the gospels into sections), contains many corrections (made in scriptorium), and lacks the books of Maccabees (see: Teodor Cressy Skeat, The Codex Sinaiticus, The Codex Vaticanus and Constantine, Journal of Theological Studies 50 (1999), pp. 583–625; Skeat (15 February 1907 — 25 June 2003) was a librarian at the British Museum, where he worked as Assistant Keeper (from 1931), Deputy Keeper (from 1948), and Keeper of Manuscripts and Egerton Librarian (from 1961 to 1972)

Kurt Aland (1915-1994)

After Gregory’s death in battle, his work was picked up by Kurt Aland (28 March 1915 – 13 April 1994) who was also a German Theologian.  He was a Professor of New Testament Research and Church History, and established the Institut für neutestamentliche Textforschung (Institute for New Testament Textual Research) in Münster where he served as its first director from 1959 – 1983.  

Hermann Freiherr von Soden

The final part of the numbering system for ancient codices was invented by Baron Hermann Freiherr von Soden (16 August 1852-15 January 1914).  Like his predecessors, von Soden was a German biblical scholar, and like Gregory was born in the USA at Cincinnati, Ohio, on August 16, 1852.  He was educated at the University of Tübingen and became the Protestant minister of Dresden-Striesen in 1881.  In 1887 Baron von Soden became minister of the Jerusalem Church in Berlin and two years later became privatdozent in the University of Berlin.  Four years later was appointed extraordinary professor of divinity. His popularity waned then was rejuvenated and waned again as he advocated for a more democratic presbyterian constitution of the congregations within the Evangelical State Church of Prussia’s older Provinces.  During this time he published a complex cataloging system for manuscripts in 1902 – 1910.  Grouping manuscripts based on content, von Soden assigned them a Greek prefix: δ for the complete New Testament, ε for the Gospels, and α for the remaining parts.  His assignment of numbering was seriously flawed as some manuscripts grouped in δ did not contain Revelation, and many manuscripts grouped in α contained either the general epistles or the Pauline epistles, but not both. Following the Greek prefix, Von Soden assigned a numeral that roughly corresponded to a date (for example δ1 – δ49 were from before the 10th century, δ150-δ249 for the 11th century). This system proved to be problematic when manuscripts were re-dated, or when more manuscripts were discovered than the number of spaces allocated to a certain century.

Codex Vaticanus (end or Luke)

The Codex Vaticanus’ that Ledwith was referring to is written on 759 leaves of vellum in uncial letters.  It has been dated palaeographically to the 4th century CE— which means that it was not written by any of the alleged apostles (including Paul of Tarsus) or any early church/Christian community figure.  Furthermore, its text differs from the Vulgate and the Textus Receptus (which actually follows a sixteenth century Byzantine tract) and is considered more reliable by some scholars: (See: S. P. Tregelles, An Introduction to the Critical study and Knowledge of the Holy Scriptures, London 1856, p. 108). 

Codex Vaticanus B (2 Thess 3:11-18; Heb 1:1-2)

It was probably one of the earliest bibles commissioned by the pagan Emperor Constantine. Personally I have problems with accepting its authenticity because of numerous errors in the text. For example: Matthew 10:8 it has Alexandrian reading νεκρους εγειρετε (raise the dead) omitted by the Byzantine text. Acts 20:28 it has Alexandrian reading του Θεου (of the God) instead of Byzantine του κυριου και του Θεου (of the Lord and God).  Furthermore, it has some additions and variants that do not exist in the Byzantine text before the sixteenth century. One of the best known examples is the Comma Johanneum in 1 John 5:7, but there are other texts like: Matthew 10:8; 27:35; Luke 17:36; John 3:25; Acts 8:37; 9:5; 15:34; and some readings (“book of life” (βιβλίο της ζωής) instead of “tree of life” (δέντρο της ζωής) in Revelation 22:19; the text is: και εαν τις αφελη απο των λογων του βιβλιου της προφητειας ταυτης αφελοι ο θεος το μερος αυτου απο του ξυλου της ζωης και εκ της πολεως της αγιας των γεγραμμενων εν τω βιβλιω τουτω) which the Byzantine text does not have.

Codex Sinaiticus

The other citation by Ledwith is Codex Sinaiticus (Hebrew: קודקס סינאיטיקוס‎, Greek: Σιναϊτικός Κώδικας).  It is dated c. 350 and contains the oldest complete copy of the New Testament, as well as the Greek Old Testament, known as the Septuagint. It was most likely one of the fifty original bibles that the Emperor Constantine compile to send to the Eastern Church to insure conformity within his corpus Christianorum (literally: “body of christians” a group ultimately known as the Christian Community—the Emperor had not yet created the “Church of the Christ [Magi(cian)]”). Constantine wanted a Bible which would be acceptable to pagans (“country people” or non-Christians) as well as Christians, and Eusebius (the Bishop of Caesarea and a follower of Origen) was assigned to direct this task in 322 CE.  The Emperor wrote to the Christian Bishop Eusebius:

I have thought it expedient to instruct your Prudence to order fifty copies of the sacred Scriptures, the provision and use of which you know to be most needful for the instruction of the Church, to be written on prepared parchment in a legible manner, and in a convenient, portable form, by professional transcribers thoroughly practised in their art. (Vita Constantini, IV, 36)

  According to Eusebius:

Such were the emperor’s commands, which were followed by the immediate execution of the work itself, which we sent him in magnificent and elaborately bound volumes of a threefold and fourfold form. (Vita Constantini, IV, 37 [4.36.37])

There is a problem with Eusebius and later translators and interpreters of Eusebius, especially with the phrase εν πολυτελως ησκημενοις τευχεσι τρισσα και τετρασσα διαπεμψαντων ημων as it has numerous meanings, including:

  • Codices were prepared in three or four volumes –Bernard de Montfaucon (January 13, 1655 – December 21, 1741) a French Benedictine monk, and the scholar who founded a new discipline known as palaeography (he is also regarded to be one of the founders of modern archaeology); and who was an editor of numerous works of the Fathers of the Church;
  • Codices were sent in three or four boxes – Fridericus Adolphus Heinichen who was a nineteenth century editor of Eusebius: Eusebii Pamphili Historiae ecclesiasticae libri X / adiecit Fridericus Adolphus Heinichen. Lipsiae : Kayser, 1827-1828. 3 volumes;
  • Codices were prepared in with three or four folios – Frederick Henry Ambrose Scrivener who argued that Eusebius was “unclear” and should not be used as a reliable authority in Scrivener, Frederick Henry Ambrose (1894).  A Plain Introduction to the Criticism of the New Testament, George Bell & Sons, London, vol. 1. pp. 118-119;
  • Text of the codices was written in three or four columns per page – the thesis of Constantin von Tischendorf, discoverer of Codex Sinaiticus, who believed that Sinaiticus and Vaticanus were among these fifty Bibles prepared by Eusebius in Caesarea. According to him, they were written with three (as Vaticanus) or four columns per page (as Sinaiticus), see: Novum Testamentum Graece ad Antiquissimos Testes Denuo Recensuit, Tischendorf, Editio Octava Critica Maior, Lipsk 1884, vol. III, p. 348; Oscar Leopold von Gebhardt (1844–1906) was a German Lutheran theologian who 1893 he became chief librarian and professor of paleography at the University of Leipzig. He published Theile’s Novum Testamentum Graece (1875–1900) and Das Neue Testament griesch und deutsch (fourth edition, 1896); edited The Miniatures of the Ashburnham Pentateuch (1883); with Adolf von Harnack, Texte und Untersuchungen zur Gerschichte der altchristlichen Literatur (1882–1905), a serial devoted to New Testament and patristic criticism, Gregory (already discussed above), and Kirsopp Lake (1872 – 1946), a British biblical and patristic scholar, textual critic. After 1914 he was a professor of early Christian literature at Harvard University. In 1919 he was appointed to a Harvard chair as Winn Professor of Ecclesiastical History, and authored The Codex Sinaiticus, 2 vols, 1911-1922, Six Collations of New Testament Manuscripts, Oxford University Press, 1932, among other works. Kirsopp Lake argued against Sinaiticus being Greek in origin as Sinaiticus has a curious spelling of the word κραβαττος as κραβακτος; Sinaiticus spells Ισραηλειτης as Ισδραηλειτης, Vaticanus as Ιστραηλειτης; these forms have been regarded as Latin, and they can find in papyri from Egypt.  This gives greater weight to the argument that the original bible is from Egypt, and as I argue, that Christianity developed out of ancient Egyptian theology;
  • Codices were sent by threes of fours—which is the least plausible of all the theories because all imperial shipments were heavily guarded and there was no secret that the texts conformed more to the Eastern interpretation than the political aspirations of the churches of Rome.

Eusebius rejected the deity of Christ and claimed that Christ was a created being which made him more acceptable to the emperor who was trying to restore peace and harmony in a crumbling empire.  There were about 50 copies of this bible made by Eusebius, and they ended up in Rome and Alexandria, where there was a very large scholarly community that was research oriented and found numerous similarities in the Christ myth and their own ancient theologies.  (Eusebius may not have been the only one whom Constantine commissioned or Constantine may have sent more than the fifty bibles, for Athanasius (c.340) wrote: “I sent to him volumes containing the holy Scriptures, which he had ordered me to prepare for him” Apologia ad Constantium 4.)

Reputable scholars of the codices Vaticanus and Sinaiticus readily admit that these two codices are remarkably similar, so similar as to compel one to believe that they were of common origin. Dr. Gregory argued that the Vatican and Sinai manuscripts are two of Constantine’s 50 bibles, writing: “This Manuscript (Vaticanus) is supposed, as we have seen, to have come from the same place as the Sinaitic Manuscript. I have said that these two show connections with each other, and that they would suit very well as a pair of the fifty manuscripts written at Caesarea for Constantine the Great” (Gregory, Casper René (1907). Canon and text of the New Testament. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1907, p. 345).  Dr. A. T. Robertson concurred with Gregory’s assessment in his Introduction to Textual Criticism of the New Testament. Dr. A.T. Robertson wrote, “Constantine himself ordered fifty Greek Bibles from Eusebius, Bishop of Caesarea, for the churches of Constantinople. It is quite possible that Aleph (Sinai) and B (Vatican) are two of these fifty.” (Robertson, Archibald Thomas (c. 1925).  An introduction to the textual criticism of the New Testament. London, Hodder & Stoughton, Limited [c1925]). 

What is noteworthy is that these documents follow or are a part of the Alexandrian text that is also called the “Egyptian” or “Hesychian” type text and incorporates many Egyptian theological stories that have been passed off as Christian truths and historical facts—which they are neither truths nor historical fact. Because of this Protestants, led by Martin Luther, made a concerted attack upon the original documents to “purify” them of “pagan influences” whereas there were no pagan influences, but the actual documents as determined by the warrior bishops meeting at Nicaea on orders of the Emperor Constantine to form a new state church—much in the manner of Luther who called the Germans to create their own brand of Christianity—a call originally denounced by Henry VIII of England (thereby winning the papal designation of “Defender of the Faith” (Fidei Defensor) that UK rulers still use) which ultimately found its apologists in those commissioned to create the unreliable and poorly (and in many cases wrongly) translated King James Version of the Bible that is the foundation for most Protestant Bibles, the worse being that of the Watch Tower (Jehovah’s Witnesses) Society and the Gideon Society.

The fifty copies of Constantine’s bible, all were uniform as deviation in color, type and adornment was strictly controlled, thereby exercising a great influence on great influence on future copies, at least within the bounds of the patriarchate of Constantinople.  Since Constantinople was considered the New Rome, the bibles that arrived in the capital city were the foundation for future bibles, and helped forward the process of arriving at a commonly accepted New Testament in the East, most of it mythology, as the oldest known fragment of the New Testament is from the Gospel of John—and it dates late in the second century CE.

Oldest known fragment of Gospel of John (2d century CE)

The significance of the Gospel of John cannot be understated, for it is the earliest record that we have fragments of.  All references to Mark being the first gospel recorded come from secondary sources, as does the early dating of Matthew and Luke. Why is this significant? I am asked that frequently when I have argued the case, but with Ledwith’s few comments and subsequent rereading of Eusebius and other ancient writers and filmed scrolls it became clear with the nudge of Fred Edwords.

The first three gospels in the current canon of the New Testament that are published by Watch Tower, Gideon, and other groups including mainstream presses of the Bible all begin with the narrative of a birth of an alleged Jesus who was miraculously conceived by a young girl (virgin) Mary, but as I have published, this follows the ancient Egyptian account of Isis who was artificially inseminated with the sperm of her brother/husband Osiris after he had been killed by his brother Set (he is later resurrected and sits on the back of his mother to rule over the dead at a Last Judgment). The traditional three gospels then record, however briefly, the flight to Egypt (paralleling the Old Testament move of the family of Joseph to Egypt, as well as symbolic of the return of the Israelites from Egypt), and one glimpse of the early childhood of the boy Jesus who was found lecturing the teachers in the Temple. Only after this parallel do the gospels drop their biographical accounts until Jesus begins his “ministry”.  None of these accounts are found the Gospel of John. John, singularly, begins his tale (what is left of it from the small fragment) with the adult life of Jesus, prefacing it with a parallel to Genesis 1:1 (εν αρχη ην ο λογος και ο λογος ην προς τον θεον και θεος ην ο λογος cp.  בְּרֵאשִׁית בָּרָא אֱלֹהִים אֵת הַשָּׁמַיִם וְאֵת הָאָרֶץ׃) the difference being between “Word (λóγος)” and “sky [heaven] and earth”.  In the original texts, “Word (λóγος)” means “discourse” between two objects or people, and it reflects the ancient theology of the early

Goddess Nut (sky) God Geb (earth) ancient Egypt

Egyptians who saw Nut (the oldest goddess in the Egyptian pantheon, for they, like the early Israelites (Apiru) were polytheists) as the creator—in direct contrast to other theologies who saw the sky as paternal and a distant creator.  Nut is often pictured as a cow (Yeh) and from the union of sky and earth (the god Geb) became Yahweh.  From that point on the gospels follow the message of savior gods throughout the Mediterranean lands, for all had ministries, apostles, disciples, crucifixions, and so forth.

The issue of the crucifixion itself has been a point of argument. Fred Edwards wrote me a while ago concerning my article on Justin the Martyr (Justin Martyr) as I discounted Justin’s alleged first century use of the word crux (cross) for the Greek word σταυρός (stake).  What many have overlooked in error, or by intention, is the difference between the two communities chrestianos (see: Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum identity number CIL VI 24944; cf. Lodovico Antonio Muratori, Novus Thesaurus Veterum Inscriptionum, vol III. Class. XXIII, Mediolani (Milan) 1739-1742, p. 1668, no. 6) and christianos.  They were two different groups (both whom claimed to follow an anointed (Christos) leader for various causes, one being war (cf. Matthew 10:34; the only ancient difference in the translation of this passage appears in the Book of Kells that uses the word “gaudium” meaning “joy” rather than “gladium,” which means “sword” — rendering the verse in translation: “I came not [only] to bring peace, but joy”), the other being peace, and so forth. Even the early Church Fathers recognized this difference, as with Tertullian, Apologeticum 3.5-6: Christianus vero, quantum interpretatio est, de unctione deducitur. sed et cum perperam Chrestianus pronuntiatur a vobis, nam nec nominis certa est notitia penes vos, de suavitate vel benignitate compositum est. oditur itaque in hominibus innocuis etiam nomen innocuum. at enim secta oditur in nomine utique sui auctoris.  (Christian [as a word] indeed, as much as it is to be interpreted, is derived from [the word] anointing. And even when it is falsely pronounced Chrestian by you, for neither is there any certain notice taken of the name among you, it is made up of sweetness or benignity. Thus even an innocent name is hated among innocent men. But indeed the sect is hated in the name of its author.) 

The people put to death by Nero were not christianos but chrestianos: those who rose up against his rule; and Justin Martyr is more of an apologist for the latter than the former. It is an error to claim otherwise.  The persecutions began during the reign of Claudius (41-54 CE) and at that time it was too early for Christians to be in Rome. The word chresto is more likely the ablative form of chrestes “usurer”. This leads to a far more likely alternative translation: “Claudius banished from Rome the Jews, who were practicing usury and by that continually created unrest”. The Bible confirms that Jews, not Christians were expelled by Claudius: Acts 18:2: Claudius had commanded all Jews to depart from Rome.  In the ancient world there is but a single source that calls these people “Christians”: Tacitus Annals (Book XV.44).  Nero persecuted “usurpers” or Chrestianos, not Christians. Persecution of Christians does not begin until the third century and fourth centuries according to the writings of the Church Fathers, and then only on the eve of Christian hegemony.

Martyrdom became fashionable for the most radical fundamentalists in the Christian community. Tertullian (Ad Scapulam, 5) tells us that a group of people presented themselves to the Roman governor of Asia, C. Arrius Antoninus, declaring themselves to be Christians, and calling out for the Roman the governor to “do his duty” and put them to death. He executed a few, but the rest demanded it as well, which so exasperated the governor that he responded, “You wretches, if you want to die, you have cliffs to leap from and ropes to hang by” (Quoted in Bowersock, G. W. (1995). Martyrdom and Rome. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, p. 1). 

The fixation on and for martyrdom was so strong it even took over the schools established by Christians. Because of the urgency of many Christians to be martyred, the Emperor Septimius Severus issued an edict in 202 “dissolving the influential Christian School of Alexandria and forbidding future conversions to Christianity” (http://countrystudies.us/egypt/14.htm). From this milieu Justin Martyr comes and with it the invention of the cross, in patterning himself and his people after what was known from the only existing gospel: John 15:20: μνημονευετε του λογου ου εγω ειπον υμιν ουκ εστιν δουλος μειζων του κυριου αυτου ει εμε εδιωξαν και υμας διωξουσιν ει τον λογον μου ετηρησαν και τον υμετερον τηρησουσιν (in an effort to be “Christ-like”). This required the other gospels and the alleged letters of the New Testament to be invented.

2 Comments

Filed under atheism, Bible, Church history, crucifixon, Jesus Christ, Roman Catholicism

Bob Vander Plaats and the Rise of Iowa’s Nazis

Between 1929 and 1933 the SA (Sturmabteilung) was instrumental in Hitler’s rise to power. Led by Ernst Röhm, an ambitious professional soldier, the SA became increasingly violent in its support of the Nazi Party. When Röhm refused to curtail the violence after the Nazis came to power, Hitler ordered Röhm and his top aides to be executed. The purge, known as the “Night of the Long Knives,” (30 June 1934 to July 2) eliminated rivals, especially “activist judges” and jurist who sought to protect basic human rights–including the right of association.

When Adolf Hitler came to power in Germany, the first thing that his Nazi party did was to take control of the courts, local government, and all civic organizations except the Protestant and Catholic churches. The courts were the Nazis primary concern–seeing the courts of Germany as too liberal and too concerned with individual human and civil rights.

Nazi Judge Freisler who would not tolerate homosexuals

On March 23, 1933, the Nazi-dominated Reichstag passed a law “for the removal of distress from the people and the state.” This law, known as the Enabling Act, gave the government full dictatorial powers and, in effect, suspended basic civil and human rights for four years. When the president had signed it, Hitler had a firm “legal” basis on which to govern as he pleased. He had also destroyed the constitution through outwardly legal means. 

By mid-July 1933, the government had outlawed freedom of the press, all trade unions, and all political parties except the Nazis. The Gestapo (secret state police) hunted down the enemies and opponents of the government. People were jailed or shot on suspicion alone. By the time Hindenburg died in August 1934, Hitler ruled Germany completely. He assumed the title Fuhrer und Reichskanzler (leader and Reich chancellor). 

The People’s Court had been established by Hitler as part of the government’s war on terrorism after the terrorist firebombing of the German parliament building. Displeased with the independence of the judiciary in the trials of the suspected Reichstag terrorists, Hitler had set up the People’s Court to ensure that terrorists and traitors would receive the “proper” verdict and punishment. Judicial proceedings were conducted in secret for reasons of national security (cp. http://www.mcgill.ca/channels/announcements/item/?item_id=22295).

On July 14, 1933, Hitler pushed through “The Enabling Act” granting him supreme power, including power over the entire court system. Any court opinion, judgment, or ruling that he opposed required that those jurists who issued the opposing ruling had to step down, be impeached, and in most cases shot to death.

The Nazis proclaimed that the “profession of the attorney is not a trade but a service to the law”, requiring attorneys to raise the bar and respect the will of the Führer over the self-interest of their client (See: Matthew Lippman.  “Law, Lawyers, and Legality in the Third Reich:  The Perversion of Principle and Professionalism.”  Temple International and Comparative Law Journal  (Fall 1997):  11).  What were once innocent interactions between lawyers were now considered ethical breaches.  The threat of retribution often deterred lawyers from involvement in politically sensitive cases.  In sum, the sovereignty of the legal profession was lost as lawyers were absorbed into Nazi organizations and subjected to the supervision and stringency of the Nazi regime.  Ideological conformity was stressed as opposed to intellectual competence.  

A series of notices, soon to be called Judges’ Letters began in circulation.  Their purpose was to instruct jurists to preserve the purity of the nation.  The Letters proved to be a successful effort in influencing judicial decision-making.  How much was voluntary is highly disputed though, because jurists were aware that their decisions were subjected to surveillance and scrutiny and that these letters would be distributed to their peers.  Failure to comply with the Letters or their recommendations would surely lead to punishment.

In conjunction with regulating attorneys and jurists the Nazi party also felt the responsibility to police the judiciary.  The Ministry of Justice began to issue instructions to prosecutors concerning appropriate punishment for each case, which was then immediately relayed from the prosecutors to the judges.  The judiciary merely accepted these persuasions, and acted accordingly.  Unfortunately the initial coordination between the executive and legislative branches wasn’t fully effective in regards to controversial verdicts.  In a fit of frustration Hitler announced to the Reichstag that he would directly intervene in the judicial process (See: ibid, pp. 18, 21). 

The most infamous institutional creation was established in April 24, 1934 and named the People’s Court.  The creation of the People’s Court proved popular in evangelical communities throughout the USA, especially in Long Island, NY.

Long Island NY USA support for Nazis and Hitler

 This court was envisioned to replace the Supreme Court and the first and last resort in treason trials.  Each hearing sat five members, each appointed for five years by Hitler.  Politics rather than law, with the main goal to eliminate opposition to National Socialism, blatantly guided the court.  In 1941 the People’s Court delivered death sentences to ten percent of the defendants with the figures culminating between 1942 and 1944 when it rose to forty percent, approximately 12, 891 death sentences.  These are the courts that Bob Vander Plaats of Iowa wants established in Iowa for Iowans and anyone who opposes him.

The efficiency of the Special Courts necessitated their expansion.  In 1943, The Reich Minister of Justice observed that the Special Courts now heard virtually all important criminal cases.  Basically speaking, anyone convicted of a criminal case was sent to a court that never allowed appeal, found minimal individuals innocent and were encouraged to dole out death penalties to those found guilty.  The emergence of new courts did not stop here (for further commentary and videos see: http://researchris.blogspot.com/2008/08/why-germans-supported-hitler.html; cp. Wolfgang Schivelbusch, Three new deals : reflections on Roosevelt’s America, Mussolini’s Italy, and Hitler’s Germany, 1933-1939; translated by Jefferson Chase. New York : Metropolitan Books, 2006).

Lutheran Bishop Muller endorses the Reich

Hitler, a devout Roman Catholic, had the support not only of the Lutheran Church (one of the two official religions in twentieth-century Germany) but also of the evangelical movement. “I am now as before a Catholic and will always remain so.” (see John Toland, Adolf Hitler, New York: Anchor Publishing, 1992, p. 507). The German leader of the Third

The Speeches of Adolf Hitler, April 1922-August 1939, vol. 1, Oxford: Oxford

Hitler endorsed by Roman Catholic bishops

University Press, 1942, p. 378; cf. p. 371). So fearful of atheism and what he termed “open doors to atheism”, that Hitler promised never to tolerate

Adventists and other evangelical Christians march for Hitler

public secular schools:  “Secular schools can never be tolerated because such schools have no religious instruction, and a general moral instruction without a religious foundation is built on air; consequently, all character training and religion must be derived from faith.” (Adolf Hitler in a speech on 26 April 1933, during negotiations that led to the Nazi-Vatican Concordant of 1933 with Pope Pius XII, from Ernst Helmreich’s The German Churches Under Hitler, Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1979, p. 24 (for further discussion see my blog: https://arthuride.wordpress.com/category/adolf-hitler/).

Using the pretext of religion to disguise personal ambition and to limit individual rights have long been a tool of would be dictators, especially in the USA where a niche in infamy was carved out by US Senator Joe

Courier December 7, 2010: http://wcfcourier.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/article_3567a97a-024c-11e0-b648-001cc4c03286.html; cf. http://www.kcci.com/r/26050009/detail.html; cp. http://www.religionfacts.com/homosexuality/islam.htm, and http://www.glapn.org/sodomylaws/world/afghanistan/afnews006.htm with the mangled Taliban Arabic chortling الشذوذ الجنسي هو جريمة ضد الله والانسان ، وهؤلاء القضاة الذين الناعمة على مثليون جنسيا يجب إزالتها من على مقاعد البدلاء القضائية وتنفيذها.)  Vander Plaats actually articulates numerous Hitler-eras laws, the least of which comes from Criminal Code

Paragraph 175: A male who commits a sex offense with another male or allows himself to be used by another male for a sex offense shall be punished with imprisonment.

Homosexual detainees in Sachsenhausen concentration camp had to wear a pink triangle on their clothes in 1938. Photo US National Archives

Using the pretext of religion to disguise personal ambition and to limit

Mass grave of homosexuals murdered by Nazi-packed courts

individual rights has long been a tool of would be dictators, especially in the USA where would-be demigods such as “Pat” Robertson and Jerry Falwell would blast gay people as “pawns of Satan” would create theocratic television empires to deny basic human rights to homosexuals. But no where is this evil less disguised than in the religious rantings of a one-time teacher and Iowa coach: Bob Vander Plaats.  Vander Plaats, the head of The Family Leader, has emerged as the state’s most influential Religious Right activist despite losing the 2010 Republican primary for governor. His effort to remove the four Justices last election was backed by millions of dollars of spending from outside groups such as the American Family Association, the Family Research Council (a neo-Nazi front: http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/intelligence-files/family-research-council, cp. http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/news/splc-adds-family-research-council-to-hate-groups-list) and the National Organization for Marriage (See: http://iowaindependent.com/49721/vander-plaats-raising-money-to-remove-remaining-four-justices). A former adviser recently wrote that Vander Plaats is “obsessed with the gay-marriage issue” and “so obsessed that he would rather see the Iowa judicial system destroyed, instead of pursuing a change in the law within the channels provided (a constitutional amendment)”  (Read the full opinion published by the Des Moines Register at http://www.desmoinesregister.com/article/20110102/OPINION01/101020319/1036/OPINION/Guest-column-Obsessed-with-gay-marriage-Vander-Plaats-has-gone-too-far?GID=0).  Vander Plaats, drawing a direct line from the speeches of Hitler, with modest modifications minced his words:

“All seven justices are guilty of overstepping the line by their votes in the Varnum decision, therefore we are asking for the remaining four justices to resign in an orderly fashion,” he said. “As long as the Iowa Supreme Court is comprised [sic: composed] of justices that abuse their authority, the credibility of our court will be compromised” (See: http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/former-adviser-says-vander-plaats-obsessed-gay-marriage-issue; cp. http://www.rightwingwatch.org/category/groups/-family-leader)

Bob Vander Plaats speaking against basic human rights

Vander Plaats led the campaign to oust the three judges, with nearly $1 million in funding from out-of-state anti-gay organizations like the American Family Association, the Family Research Council and the National Organization for Marriage. After the election, he was named CEO and president of The Family Leader — an umbrella organization consisting of the Iowa Family Policy Center, the Iowa Family PAC and Marriage Matters.  He was hosted by the University of Northern Iowa at Cedar Falls and by its leading hate mongers, especially those from fundamentalist churches in Waterloo (cf. http://qctimes.com/news/state-and-regional/iowa/article_9e0bd296-0286-11e0-a727-001cc4c03286.html, cp. http://blogs.desmoinesregister.com/dmr/index.php/2010/12/23/vander-plaats-compares-iowa-justices-to-teens-who-flee-a-beer-party/ and http://www.siouxcityjournal.com/news/state-and-regional/iowa/article_f04fe563-e55b-5203-afa9-f862bb5f2955.html his words comparing the Supreme Court of Iowa to “teenagers caught at a beer

Michigan-based Nazis move into Council Bluffs IA to help Vander Plaats 2010 race

drinking party” matches those of Nazi propaganda minister’s equation in 1939 [Goebbels stayed with Hitler in the bunker in Berlin until the very end. When the end came, Goebbels poisoned his 6 children, shot his wife, and then shot himself.] Goebbels was one of the “secret” supporters of Endlosung [final solution] which including murdering all homosexuals that could be found in Germany).  Vander Plaats has the endorsement of seventeen recognized organized hate groups, including the Ku Klux Klan (Charles City,

Nationalist Socialist (Nazi) Movement Rally 2010

New Hampton, Mason City, Clear Lake, Waterloo, Cedar Rapids, Des Moines, Riceville, Rockwell, Iona, and Denison that endorsed Republican Congressman King), various Nazi groups (see: http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/intelligence-files/groups/national-socialist-movement): Knights of the Nordic Order, Nationalist Socialist Movement and Nationalist Socialist Women’s Movement, White Boys Society, and the Creativity Alliance of Boone, Iowa; see: http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/hate-map#s=IA).   He would move to declare that all judges were “at risk” of losing their judicial appointments when the Iowa Supreme Court granted homosexuals equal rights before the law (See: http://blogs.desmoinesregister.com/dmr/index.php/2010/10/29/vander-plaats-district-court-judges-at-risk/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+IowaPolitics+%28Iowa+Politics+Insider+-+Des+Moines+Register%29&utm_content=Yahoo%21+Mail).

KKK at Pottsville, IA 2010

 

Vander Plaats subsequent attack, led by the GOP majority in the State Legislature, was identical to that of Hitler: denying public day care and primary education (in “exchange” for vouchers), getting rid of the Grow Iowa Values Fund, which provides loans, grants and other incentives for small businesses, eliminating core curriculum for what Iowa students had to know

GOP savings plan

before graduating from an Iowa school, limiting purchases of new material for libraries and state operated colleges and universities, ending research sabbaticals for faculty, cutting back money for advertisement and education against smoking, and more–all matching Hitler’s moves in Nazi Germany (see: http://www.desmoinesregister.com/article/20110104/NEWS10/101040358/-1/AMES/House-GOP-rolls-out-savings-ideas-for-Iowa),

1 Comment

Filed under Adolf Hitler, atheism, Church history, Evangelical Christianity, GOP, Homosexuality, Iowa, Nazis, Roman Catholicism, Third Reich, Uncategorized

Was Hitler an atheist?

While numerous claims have been made that Adolf Hitler (1889-1945) was an atheist, the opposite is the truth. Hitler made  numerous statements as to his personal and public religious beliefs, including stating clearly: “I am now as before a Catholic and will always remain so.” (see John Toland, Adolf Hitler, New York: Anchor Publishing, 1992, p. 507). The German leader of the Third Reich was, in fact, a great enemy of atheism and atheists, noting: “We were convinced that the people needs and requires this faith. We have therefore undertaken the fight against the atheistic movement, and that not merely with a few theoretical declarations: we have stamped it out.” (Adolf Hitler, in a speech delivered in Berlin, October 24, 1933; in Norman H. Baynes, ed., The Speeches of Adolf Hitler, April 1922-August 1939, vol. 1, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1942, p. 378; cf. p. 371). So fearful of atheism and what he termed “open doors to atheism”, that Hitler promised never to tolerate public secular schools:  “Secular schools can never be tolerated because such schools have no religious instruction, and a general moral instruction without a religious foundation is built on air; consequently, all character training and religion must be derived from faith.” (Adolf Hitler in a speech on 26 April 1933, during negotiations that led to the Nazi-Vatican Concordant of 1933 with Pope Pius XII, from Ernst Helmreich’s The German Churches Under Hitler, Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1979, p. 241.

Hitler saw himself as an orthodox Christian who had a mission on earth decreed by God. Hitler was to be the savior of the Christian community and its church: “The folkish-minded man, in particular, has the sacred duty, each in his own denomination, of making people stop just talking superficially of God’s will, and actually fulfill God’s will, and not let God’s word be desecrated. For God’s will gave men their form, their essence and their abilities. Anyone who destroys His work is declaring war on the Lord’s creation, the divine will.” (cf. Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, Ralph Mannheim, ed.; New York: Mariner Press, 1999, p. 562.) Hitler boldly proclaimed that he was “doing the work of the Lord” by fighting the Jews (ibid., p. 65) and he proclaimed his “Christian Crusade” not only in his autobiography, but in various papers and speeches. For example, he thundered “My feeling as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter. It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded only by a few followers, recognized these Jews for what they were and summoned men to fight against them and who, God’s truth! was greatest not as a sufferer but as a fighter. In boundless love as a Christian and as a man I read through the passage which tells us how the Lord at last rose in His might and seized the scourge to drive out of the Temple the brood of vipers and adders. How terrific was his fight against the Jewish poison. Today, after two thousand years, with deepest emotion I recognize more profoundly than ever before the fact that it was for this that He had to shed his blood upon the Cross. As a Christian I have no duty to allow myself to be cheated, but I have the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice. And as a man I have the duty to see to it that human society does not suffer the same catastrophic collapse as did the civilization of the ancient world some two thousand years ago — a civilization which was driven to its ruin through this same Jewish people.

“Then indeed when Rome collapsed there were endless streams of new German bands flowing into the Empire from the North; but, if Germany collapses today, who is there to come after us? German blood upon this earth is on the way to gradual exhaustion unless we pull ourselves together and make ourselves free!

“And if there is anything which could demonstrate that we are acting rightly, it is the distress that daily grows. For as a Christian I have also a duty to my own people. And when I look on my people I see them work and work and toil and labor, and at the end of the week they have only for their wages wretchedness and misery. When I go out in the morning and see these men standing in their queues and look into their pinched faces, then I believe I would be no Christian, but a very devil, if I felt no pity for them, if I did not, as did our Lord two thousand years ago, turn against those by whom today this poor people are plundered and exploited.” (Speech on April 12, 1922, at Munich; from Norman H. Baynes, ed. The Speeches of Adolf Hitler: April 1922-August 1939 Vol. 1, New York: Oxford University Press, 1942, pp. 19-20.) It was his piety as a Christian that made Hitler assume he had his God’s blessing to censor and censure everything and everyone, declaring: “For this, to be sure, from the child’s primer down to the last newspaper, every theater and every movie house, every advertising pillar and every billboard, must be pressed into the service of this one great mission, until the timorous prayer of our present parlor patriots: ‘Lord, make us free!’ is transformed in the brain of the smallest boy into the burning plea: ‘Almighty God, bless our arms when the time comes; be just as thou hast always been; judge now whether we be deserving of freedom; Lord, bless our battle!’” (Adolf Hitler, loc. cit., pp. 632-633).

Adolf Hitler went so far as to declare himself similar to Jesus Christ, much as do contemporary evangelical Christians like Sarah Palin’s Prayer Warriors: “I say: my Christian feeling tells me that my lord and savior is a warrior. It calls my attention to the man who, lonely and surrounded by only a few supporters, recognized what they [the Jews] were, and called for a battle against them, and who, by God, was not the greatest sufferer, but the greatest warrior. . .

“As a human being it is my duty to see to it that humanity will not suffer the same catastrophic collapse as did that old civilization two thousand years ago, a civilization which was driven to its ruin by the Jews. . . I am convinced that I am really a devil and not a Christian if I do not feel compassion and do not wage war, as Christ did two thousand years ago, against those who are steeling and exploiting these poverty-stricken people.

“Two thousand years ago a man was similarly denounced by this particular race which today denounces and blasphemes all over the place. . . That man was dragged before a court and they said: he is arousing the people! So he, too, was an agitator!” (Adolf Hitler, speech delivered on April 12, 1922, from Charles Bracelen Flood, Hitler: The Path to Power Boston, Houghton Mifflin, 1989, pp. 261-262.

When he was attacked in the media abroad for being anti-Semitic, Hitler said his anti-Semitism was based on Christianity, not on racism: “The anti-Semitism of the new [Christian Social] movement was based on religious ideas instead of racial knowledge.” (Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, p. 119.) Yet race remained a factor in all he said or did, for race had to be pure (Aryan) and it had to be German: “What we must fight for is to safeguard the existence and reproduction of our race and our people, the sustenance of our children and the purity of our blood, the freedom and independence of the fatherland, so that our people may mature for the fulfillment of the mission allotted it by the creator of the universe.” (Ibid., p. 214)

Hitler, like all despots, was of the firm conviction that he was doing “the Lord’s” work, and as a champion of God he would win praises in the next world. He refused to consider that anyone would dare to judge him, for judgment alone was the prerogative of God: “May God Almighty give our work His blessing, strengthen our purpose, and endow us with wisdom and the trust of our people, for we are fighting not for ourselves but for Germany.” (Adolf Hitler, in a speech delivered in Berlin, February 1, 1933; from Adolf Hitler, My New Order, New York: Reynal & Hitchcock, 1941, p. 147.

Using a rich command of words and skillful rhetoric, Hitler charmed Prescott Sheldon Bush was a Wall Street executive banker, and a United States Senator representing Connecticut from 1952 until January 1963, and won political and monetary support for his military and industrial empire. The US government seized Prescott Bush’s bank for financing Hitler, although little was made of it when his grandson George W. Bush was president of the USA. (Accessed on May 25, 2010 from http://www.rense.com/general43/byrd.htm; cp. http://www.commondreams.org/headlines04/0925-01.htm). Not only was the Nazi party the party of God, but those who supported it (like the father of George H. W. Bush) were promised enriched blessings from God. Nazis were exalted as saviors of the Christian Church, and Hitler was their leader: “At the head of our [National Socialist] program there stand no secret surmisings but clear-cut perception and straightforward profession of belief. But since we set as the central point of this perception and of this profession of belief the maintenance and hence the security for the future of a being formed by God, we thus serve the maintenance of a divine work and fulfill a divine will—not in the secret twilight of a new house of worship, but openly before the face of the Lord.” (Adolf Hitler, speech delivered at Nuremberg, September 6, 1938), from Adolf Hitler, My New Order, op. cit., p.  500. Those who opposed Hitler or his supporters (atheists, Free-thinkers, Jews) were labeled enemies of God, and–regardless of the cost–the Christian Church had to be protected by Hitler and his followers: “National Socialism has always affirmed that it is determined to take the Christian Churches under the protection of the State. For their part the churches cannot for a second doubt that they need the protection of the State, and that only through the State can they be enabled to fulfill their religious mission. Indeed, the churches demand this protection from the State.” (Adolf Hitler in a radio broadcast on July 22, 1933, in Baynes, op. cit. p. 375.

2 Comments

Filed under Adolf Hitler, atheism