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Blind belief is an impediment to sanity

I am not religious.
I was raised, nominally, "Church of England". I think that would translate to some version of Anglican Protestant. But I've seen enough in my life to understand that the absence of God in this world is far better than his presence.

If you asked me to name my favourite bible verse, I could not. Nor would I want to, as far too many evils are perpetrated in this world by cherry-picking select lines from the bible, removing all context, and stringing them together in ways that justify what one wants them to justify. Such skewed interpretation gave humanity the Malleus Maleficarum; and it's still happening today as religious people bless machines of war just before they go out on missions to destroy people of other faiths. Or the infamous two words said by pretty much any terrorist this century. People talk about how their beliefs are peaceful, great, best thing ever, and then they pick all the selected bits that agree with their world view so they can feel pious without having to do much, and it gives them all they need to cheerfully announce that everybody else is going to hell/will be judged/blah blah.

If you asked me for a broader outlook, a part of the bible that I like, that's easy. The Book Of Revelations. Specifically part 8 and onwards. We've gone through all the dumb preamble and religious posturing. Now it's time for the lamb to open the seventh seal (how it manages this is never explained, if I wanted things opened, I'd get a goat...). Anyway, seventh seal opened, things start to get really trippy. Actually, if I had to give a verse, it would probably be the one at the end of part nine. I don't remember the exact wording, so I'll look up the King James version:

Rev. 9 [21] Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.
Why do I like that? It takes an extremely perverse mind to somehow consider that murder and fornication should be repented of, as if they were somehow equivalent issues. Yes, it's bad for two people not married to each other to be getting a bit of how's your father, but... murder? That's not even in the same town, never mind ballpark.

Following on from that, blood mixes with rain ... like a Russell Mulcahy movie - they would have had exploding windows if such things existed back when the bible was written. Hordes of zombies with His Name written into their foreheads. Well, it doesn't say zombie, but that hardly sounds like this free will thing, does it?
And frickin' DRAGONS!!!
I watched Reign Of Fire, I know how it goes when dragons turn up.

The parts of the bible I dislike? Most of the rest of it. Especially the misogynistic bollocks and glorification of violence...which is most of the rest of it.

 

Why am I talking about this? Because I don't believe in all that and I can still tell you a bit of the bible that I liked.
Which is more than Trump could do when a reporter asked him. He wasn't able to give a response, instead asserting that "the whole bible is incredible". I'm sure a man of Trump's stature would consider Timothy 2:12 to be incredible ("But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence"), and given his attitude towards child immigrants, I would imagine he enjoys the end of Psalm 137 ("Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones"). Nothing like a bit of infanticide as appropriate retribution, eh?
Judges 19...evil bastard. That's all I'm saying about that.
Plenty of weird dietry rules, followed by a number of Jewish people, completely ignored by the Christians. "Thou shalt not boil a kid in it's mother's milk", for instance. Because it is really bad to boil an animal child in the milk of it's mother, yet strangely it's totally okay to slaughter human children guilty by association. Girls who are virgins? Save them for you, kill everybody else (convieniently bypassing the sixth commandment).

I could go on, but you get the point. Some parts of the bible are only incredible in how jaw-droppingly sick they are. How anti-female and pro-violence... oh... wait... I feel like I've just sussed why Trump... yeah... Gotcha...

 

The problem here is that all too many people were taken in by his recent photo op outside a church. The Guardian reports that some guy's mother started crying, getting all hyper-religious and... speaking in tongues.
That to me sounds like an afflication in need of medication, but no, it is just another of the evangelicals who fell for the ruse.
As guy's mother said "He's doing a Jericho walk".
I wonder, is she completely comfortable knowing that Trump making his purposeful walk from here to there to hold up a bible (after fumbling over what way up it's supposed to be) was made in the relative safety of lots of cops and security detail who had only just recently teargassed some peaceful protesters and a priest having given them no advance warning to clear out. The man that holds up a bible as some sort of call to action to white people in the midst of a large racial tension was quite happy to attack representatives and leaders of said religion.

But, alas, like the Simon and Garfunkel song says, all lies and jest, still a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest (mmm-mmm-mmm).
They're all so desperate to believe that Trump is laying down God's dominion on Earth that they fail to see the obvious ruse for the obvious ruse that it very obviously is.

One thing that seems to me, from a casual reading of various parts of the bible in my teens (boarding school could be very boring on rainy winter weekends) is that the God depicted in the Old Testament really liked to tempt and test people to see their true worth (note - before anybody adds ranty comments, while it is usually Satan that does the actual tempting, it's frequently God that puts them in that position in the first place - just ask Job).
If one can believe that there is a God, it's not a stretch to believe that he is colluding with Satan to tempt people today. Some fall for money. Some fall for status. Some fail status so settle for celebrity. Some fail even that and settle for infamy. Some fall for fast cars. Some fornicate in ways that would impress the medical profession. And some are joyously celebrating a minor ranking demon placed into a position of power.

Well done.

 

 

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John, 3rd June 2020, 20:46
You must remember that "incredible" actually means "unbelievable"! 
 
Bit like Deep Learning C Library ported to RISC OS? 
Gavin Wraith, 3rd June 2020, 22:46
From The Sorrow of Search, in Time & the Gods by Lord Dunsany: .... Then came the prophets before King Khanazar, burdened with many books, to whom the King said: "It is not in books." ..... 
"Far and white and straight lieth the road to Knowing, and down it in the heat and dust go all wise people of the earth, but in the fields before they come to it the very wise lie down or pick the flowers. By the side of the road to Knowing - O King, it is hard and hot - stand many temples, and in the doorway of every temple stand many priests, and they cry to the travellers that weary of the road, crying to them: 
'This is the End.' ....... " 
Also the King said: "Tell me this thing, O prophet. Who are the true gods?" 
The master prophet answered: "Let the King command." 
David Pilling, 6th June 2020, 13:58
Trump... he has been successful, as in he is rich and President of the USA. He is not mad, or stupid as many critics say. Perhaps what he says is not to be taken seriously. 
I always hope that whoever gets elected things go well for them, because their fate is our fate. But surely it is over now for Trump, maybe he wants out, given his recent statements. 
For all the criticism, he has not caused as much damage as George W Bush 3 did. 
Deedee, 14th June 2020, 16:36
Last half of last paragraph. Laughed so hard some pee came out. 👍👍👍

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Last read at 21:48 on 2020/07/07.

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