…nothing to kill or die for. And no religion…
…living life in peace.
The Pumpkin administration has gradually worn off a lot of my capacity for WTFery at the news coming from the
Right Wrong. So I was glad I could see a new news story from the super-wacko side of American politics and think, Oh that is just too f*ed up to be real. It can’t be real. Can it be real? Holy crap, it’s real. It’s kind of a delicious process. I have missed it.
Anyway, here is what did it for me. Hobby Lobby has been sued by the DOJ for hoarding Mesopotamian antiquities. You remember Hobby Lobby, don’t you? You should – from one of the worst Supreme Court decisions since Dredd Scott. They get to encode their religious nut-jobbery into their HR policies. So they have Scalia’s legal hall pass to deny any women unfortunate enough to work there access to birth control.
Wanting to see if they could take that to the next level, they decided they could buy stolen Iraqi cuneiform tablets for some gag-reflex-testing thing called the Museum of the Bible that will open this year in Washington, DC. Because of course it will.
Do they think Raiders of the Lost Ark was a documentary?
Seriously: Christofascists literally do not think laws apply to them.
Southern Baptists are just racists, plain and simple. What’s amazing now is, just how emboldened they are by the Pumpkin to stand up for that position.
Richard Spencer was pleased.
So apparently the Southern Baptists Convention *didn't* denounce the Alt-Right after all. Interesting development! https://t.co/07RUvoUOTc
— Richard Spencer (@RichardBSpencer) June 14, 2017
What a country.
Henri Bergson was a French philosopher at the turn of the last century.
He’s famous for having debated the nature of time with Einstein, and it did not go well for M. Bergson. But what happened a few years later, was the development of theories of Quantum Mechanics. This was viewed by philosophers as a vindication of Bergson’s position. Unfortunately, the prominent role of uncertainty and randomness in that school of physics leaked over into areas of philosophy where it is not truly applicable. So in a vague but undeniable way, we may have M. Bergson to blame for Deepak Chopra and other such slime molds using the terminology of real science to bilk rubes out of their money for the fruits of pseudo-science.
In any case, I love this quote from On Intuition vs. Intellect – 1907:
Fortunately, some are born with spiritual immune systems that sooner or later give rejection to the illusory worldview grafted upon then from birth through social conditioning. They begin sensing that something is amiss, and start looking for answers. Inner knowledge and anomalous outer experiences show them a side of reality others are oblivious to, and so begins the journey of awakening. Each step of the journey is made by following the heart instead of the crowd, and by choosing knowledge over veils of ignorance.
It’s a testament to how it’s both difficult and possible to escape from the cave of mythical shadows into reality.
I highly recommend the article in today’s NY Times Magazine about an organization called Footsteps. Footsteps gives people leaving the Hasidic lifestyle some much-needed support. Realizing they don’t believe in the extreme tenets of the most ultra- of the ultra-orthodox religion can cost them their families, their friends, and any social support they would have had for any other crisis.
The absolutist nature of the communities they are trying to leave behind means that not only much of what we consider normal activity is forbidden, even information about those activities is forbidden. Reports are that access to the internet is now forbidden unless there is a business reason for it. Television and movies have long been verboten among this crowd, as well as secular music. Anything that might give a glimpse of the outside world, and how there might be other ways to live.
I personally came out two decades ago, and from a less-extreme version of this insanity. I have been lucky in that my kids are also on a saner path now and we have a good relationship. As for the rest of my family… well, my kids and I have a good relationship (winky-smile emoticon). I was also lucky in that my need for a social support network is toward the low end of the spectrum, and I was able to find enough on my own. It’s easy to see how difficult it could be for a lot of people.
I am glad that Footsteps exists.
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