Saturday, January 30, 2010

You Won't Believe It's True

Those of you who follow my blogs on here are NOT going to believe what happened to me recently. Well, anyone who knows me knows that I have been anti-religious for years. So, just to be completely clear, I have been wrong! Again! I have found a religion that finally fits me. I am a Nichiren Buddhist. I have to tell you that I am amazed since it is wrought with superstitious sounding writings, but you have to understand that these people explained to me what I have expected all my adult life it that the mythological sounding parts of religion were man's attempt to explain science so they are beautifully agreed with me on that. Dieties and forces and life conditions are parts of US, not in some mythical place somewhere else. Buddhism was like man's attempt to explain the human mind. It is a wonderful relief to realise that the knowledge of this unlocks all of my misgivings of what has differed between myself and other religions. I was told, "Those are anologies that they made up that sounded good and would give you a reference in your mind of sort of what something like that stood for. Okay, what if we looked at the Bible that way? Jesus was walking across the water. His faith was so strong he could do anything. Angels, what if they were an anology for human like actions that were considered inspired by faith in DOING THE RIGHT THING? What if God really did stand for Good Orderly Direction and wasn't a physical embodiment of a spiritual creature. That part never made sense to me any more than the question if God was a man or woman. Why would a spiritual deity need a sex organ? Who is he going to have sex with. Why would he have to look like anything we would recognize? As a certain comedian I listen to would say, the old testament was not supposed to be a history book. It wasn't real, it was stories to prove a point and the rules in it were for a time when man was three hairs away from being a baboon. Yes, we did evolve from an ape like creature called a hominid. A certain type of apelike creature has been documented and traced as the "missing link" between the apes and early man. A scientist in Glasgow has even charted the evidence and has a website with the whole history. We don't really like to realize that man in his early stages was the size of a chimpanzee standing erect about 3.6 to 4 ft. tall) and we didn't stand erect to walk, either. Only a few centuries ago men only lived to be over thirty years of age, if they were lucky. In recent years the whole evolution idea has come closer into fruition as we realize that more bones and artifacts have been unearthed that made our original theories invalid. You can read all about this at the Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery Website which is presented by the Glasgow Scientist Dr. Jeff Liston whom you may, on visiting the site as him questions by email. I never thought I would see the day when science came up with more irrevocable evidence of evolution of man. It has always made sense. Where else would fossils have come from? Now, on to my main point. I am not just trying to dispute the Bible, although it is highly inaccurate and full of just plain mythology. The reason for a lot of that is because most of it was borrowed from other stories. They believe now that the man who most Christians call Jesus was actually named Yeshua and that during his life, in the space between ages 12 and thirty which have only recently been given credence by any scientific study. You see, back then, if you were born, you were given a first name and usually the name of the town you were born in. So, at birth there was an understanding of the "two realities" of Monarchy. A) Death and B) Taxes. If you were alive an living in the kingdom of any king you owed him taxes so the tax records were kept more meticulously than any other. It is believed now that Yeshua (Jesus) spent a large bit of time in India before he started preaching at age 30. Some of the modern thought is that he learned about Hinduism and Buddhism and brought back a new form of religious thought that was so different from the Jewish religion that they wanted to kill him to stop him from spreading knowledge of anything but what they had used for centuries to control "the masses". The Australopithecus (southern ape) was the common link that they thought they were still looking for but since it's jaw line was so far differring from modern day homosapiens they thought there must be another less apelike creature in the middle. They realize now that it's ability to walk on two legs allowed it to escape the trees and start inhabiting the wide open areas that man was known for living in. I find it ironic or maybe it was the author's intention to infer that the same was true of the apes in the movie "Planet of the Apes" when they told them that they all had originated from man and that man wasn't supposed to speak, only apes. To that end they were trying desperately to cover up man's actual links to humans and they method of speech. In a way the Jewish clergy in the ancient times did the same thing. Also, the idea that anyone from a time period before speech or the written word was capable of recording the story of "the Creation Theory" is almost laughable but most people who don't think that much seem to be able to curtail all inquistiveness when told, "You have to have faith." I have thoughts and that can sure screw up the idea of faith in the unbelievable. Anyway the point is that I have always had trouble with the Abrahamic relgious principles and recently I found out during some of my investigation that the names "Abraham, Moses, and Noah and his sons" were all part of Greek Mythology before the fall of Rome when the "one god" people came in and took over. All of this era's books were written in Greek, which is what the original bible was translated from. It seems that actual stories weren't exciting enough so they borrowed stories and names from previous mythology. When scientifically investigated there was no evidence of a "Great Flood" over the whole earth. But once again we are told that you have to have faith. Imagine two of every species of wild animals and they came of their own accord, marched up a ramp to a huge boat and stayed where they were without fighting or devouring each other for forty 24 hour periods. Just ask someone like Sigfreid and Roy if they think that is possible. First, just finding that many animals in one region was impossible. The two by two story would have been a great idea that came to someone as he was thinking about someone asking the question, "How did they all start over again?" Oh, well there was a male and female of each species and they had children, and their children had children. From what we know now about inbreeding in nature, not many species would have survived that. That's not to mention the shoveling it would take to keep the "Arc" clean. It was supposed to be The fact remains that the Jewish people will tell you that they don't believe the book is factual but Christians, who decided that book wasn't good enough, continue to interpret for themselves any part of it in a manner that benefits them.
Anyway, to get back to the subject, I became a Nichiren Buddhist. The only religion I have ever heard of that actually calls the supernatural mythology by it's real name, mythology. All relgions have it but most of them say it is supposed to be taken literally.
The life conditions which include Nirvana and Hell are what I always thought. They are not a place but a feeling inside us. Go figure, I found a religion that fits me! The only one that I have found that is no B.S. and asks me to be responsible for my own actions instead of blaming all my problems on a devil that conspires to tempt and trick me or a God that helps me from a one on one perspective as if a deity that is in charge of the whole Universe has time to listen to a speck on one of it's planets like myself.
I would also like to mention that I enjoyed Andy Borowitz's take on the Pat Robertson fiasco. I got angry and said that Pat Roberston doesn't talk to anyone but himself in the mirror and Andy came up with real proof. Read the full report at "God Denies Talking to Pat Roberston" Story. (If you have trouble with that link, copy and paste into the URI search window of your web browser and click Enter.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Christians Are Never Wrong

Christians are never wrong in their minds, but to the rest of us they suck. They are NOT helping anything by using the excuse that they are SAVING someone. That excuse needs to be removed from their vocabulary. They are a bunch of "mob rule"-like sheep who follow the last thing said. Some of them come up with the most outlandish horse-shit that I have EVER heard. Recently Pat Robertson spoke up and said he was sure that GOD is responsible for the earthquake in Haiti, since he was angry at them for having made a pact with Satan.
Is anyone in that religion ever going to tell Pat Robertson that since he lives in an area that has had natural disasters that God is probably upset with the crap falling out of his mouth? He needs to just shut up or get another job. Since when is it his job to interpret for God what the earth does, or what people do, or what Satan does? He is just a moron who would be laughable if NO ONE took him serious. He is like the guy in a theater who screams fire and gets people trampled to death. Eventually someone idiotic enough to listen to him is going to do some misquided nonsense based on his moronic thinking. He needs to JUST SHUT UP NOW. If there was a "pie in the sky" god as he tries to say, then why do they allow morons to graduate from seminary school? That was afforded to him by a board of regents in a college somewhere, that he PAID to allow him to go to school there, it wasn't ordained by God.

The moral of this rant:

People need to realise that God doesn't make your misery, you and other people do. SO, it should be our main concern to stop people (ourselves included) from hurting each other. You are responsible for your own actions, not God or Satan. Natural disasters happen because we live on this thing called a PLANET, which has it's own forces of nature that we have to learn to live with or move. Earthquakes, Wildfires, Floods, and other natural disasters have happened since the beginning of our time on earth. We know this. We now have scientific explanations for these forces, you all need to quit whining to your village wise man for answers to why they happened. Belief that "the Gods are angry" is how ancient civilizations were kept in control. The government would say that the Gods were punishing them and get whoever it was to stop doing whatever it was that offended that one government official. AND, they still do and you listen, PERIOD!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

I Am Still Learning - ( I was wrong! )

I used to quote an English Teacher of mine who obviously got his incorrect opinions on the founding fathers of this country from the same people who are trying to rewrite the history of the whole United States. The statement that I hear the same spin about on TV that says, "We are a Christian Nation", is as unfounded as saying that we have a nation of either Christians or Atheists. They try to cram their religion down your throat, using the excuse that they are trying to counter against Atheism. They end up losing support, only hurting themselves, and don't put a dent in the armor of the silent Atheists who have enough sense to not get involved in an argument with moralists crackpots.
I would also like to say before I get any further that I will cite the references to which I refer to facts using links. So, if you wish to follow, then, click on the hyperlinked words which are at the crux of the argument. Now, I didn't say this country was founded by or on Atheism or non-spiritual groups. I will return to my English teacher who realise now, actually spouted the Republican Conservative Christian nonsense that is what we were actually missing the point about. We were saying that Christianity was NOT the majority and he said he would defer to "the Rich Christian White Guys who founded this country". Today I asked myself about the words used in these arguments and I see now that the whole argument was a smoke screen since I assumed that his whole argument was based on facts, since he was a teacher. I read later about the founding fathers and I decided to study the original document to see a clue as to their intent. This is what I found:
When it comes to the Declaration of Independence that was signed and later presented as a reason to fight in The War of 1812, between the United States of America and the British Empire (particularly Great Britain and British North America), was fought from 1812 to 1815. We called it the American Revolution. The founding fathers at the time who signed the declaration of independence stood firm to their ideas. On reading the declaration in the first few paragraphs the clue that hit me, at this point in my life was, "...

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

OK, so let's stop right here. There was no mention of Jesus, Christianity, or any other form of Christianity which has been intentionally misinterpreted for political and financial control of the United States. I put the words Nature's God into search window at Wikipedia. This is what returned:

Nature's God
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
The term "Nature's God" may refer to the religious and philosophical school known as Deism.

It is also the title of a book by Robert Anton Wilson.

As I follow along I clicked on Robert Anton Wilson. I found out this:
"...Robert Anton Wilson or RAW (born Robert Edward Wilson, January 18, 1932 – January 11, 2007) was an American novelist, essayist, philosopher, psychonaut, futurologist and libertarian.

Wilson described his writing as an "attempt to break down conditioned associations—to look at the world in a new way, with many models recognized as models or maps and no one model elevated to the Truth."[1] ... "My goal is to try to get people into a state of generalized agnosticism, not agnosticism about God alone, but agnosticism about everything."[2]

So, he considered the feelings of the original founding fathers and the words in the declaration and decided to use it as the title to his book. Unfortunately he seems to have jumped clear off the path of what I am seeking to learn. So, I returned to what the original statement was and it said, "...The term "Nature's God" may refer to the religious and philosophical school known as Deism." So, I decided to look up Deism which wikipedia tells me is:
"...Deism is a religious and philosophical belief that a supreme natural God exists and created the physical universe, and that religious truths can be arrived at by the application of reason and observation of the natural world. Deists generally reject the notion of supernatural revelation as a basis of truth or religious dogma. These views contrast with the dependence on divine revelation found in many Christian,[1] Islamic and Judaic teachings.

Deists typically reject most supernatural events (prophecy, miracles) and tend to assert that God (or "The Supreme Architect") has a plan for the universe which he does not alter either by intervening in the affairs of human life or suspending the natural laws of the universe. What organized religions see as divine revelation and holy books, most deists see as interpretations made by other humans, rather than as authoritative sources.

Deism became prominent in the 17th and 18th centuries during the Age of Enlightenment, especially in the United Kingdom, France and the United States, mostly among those raised as Christians who found they could not believe in either a triune God, the divinity of Jesus, miracles, or the inerrancy of scriptures, but who did believe in one god. Initially it did not form any congregations, but in time deism strongly influenced other religious groups, such as Unitarianism, and Unitarian Universalism, which developed from it. It continues to this day in the form of classical deism and modern deism."

OK, so we now know that the founding fathers were either deists and/or members of the Freemasons which isn't about brick layers, it is about what the movie National Treasure hinted at, an independent group called the Knights Templar. The whole dissertation about the Freemasons is:

"... Freemasonry
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(Redirected from Freemasons)
Jump to: navigation, search
"Freemasons" redirects here. For other uses, see Freemasons (disambiguation).

The Masonic Square and Compasses.
(Found with or without the letter G)Part of a series of articles on

Core Articles
Freemasonry · Grand Lodge · Masonic Lodge · Masonic Lodge Officers · Grand Master · Prince Hall Freemasonry · Regular Masonic jurisdictions

History of Freemasonry · Liberté chérie · Masonic manuscripts

[show]Masonic Bodies
Masonic bodies · York Rite · Order of Mark Master Masons · Knights Templar · Scottish Rite · Knight Kadosh · The Shrine · Tall Cedars of Lebanon · The Grotto · Societas Rosicruciana · Grand College of Rites · Swedish Rite · Order of St. Thomas of Acon · Royal Order of Scotland · Research Lodge
Masonic groups for women
Women and Freemasonry · Order of the Amaranth · Order of the Eastern Star · Co-Freemasonry
Masonic Youth Organizations
DeMolay · A.J.E.F. · Job's Daughters · International Order of the Rainbow for Girls
[show]Views of Masonry
Anti-Masonry · Anti-Masonic Party · Anti-Freemason Exhibition · Christianity and Freemasonry · Catholicism and Freemasonry · Suppression of Freemasonry · Masonic conspiracy theories · Taxil hoax
[show]People and Places
James Anderson · Albert Mackey · Albert Pike · Prince Hall · John the Evangelist · John the Baptist · William Schaw · Elizabeth Aldworth · List of Freemasons · Lodge Mother Kilwinning · Freemasons' Hall, London · House of the Temple · Solomon's Temple · The Library and Museum of Freemasonry
[show]Masonic Miscellany
Great Architect of the Universe · Square and Compasses · Pigpen cipher · Eye of Providence · Hiram Abiff · Sprig of Acacia · Masonic Landmarks · Pike's Morals and Dogma· Propaganda Due · Freemasonry and the Latter Day Saint movement · Dermott's Ahiman Rezon

This box: view • talk • edit
Freemasonry is a fraternal organisation that arose from obscure origins in the late 16th to early 17th century. Freemasonry now exists in various forms all over the world, with a membership estimated at around 5 million (including around 480,000 in England, Scotland and Ireland alone, and just under two million in the United States).[1][2] The various forms all share moral and metaphysical ideals, which include, in most cases, a constitutional declaration of belief in a Supreme Being.[3]

The fraternity is administratively organised into Grand Lodges (or sometimes Orients), each of which governs its own jurisdiction, which consists of subordinate (or constituent) Lodges. Grand Lodges recognise each other through a process of landmarks and regularity. There are also appendant bodies, which are organisations related to the main branch of Freemasonry, but with their own independent administration.

Freemasonry uses the metaphors of operative stonemasons' tools and implements, against the allegorical backdrop of the building of King Solomon's Temple, to convey what has been described by both Masons and critics as "a system of morality veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols."[4][5]

I suggest everyone should look up the whole article and you will see these people had no interest in supporting the Christian Church, they believed in God, but not in a religious way. Ben Franklin said: "...Lighthouses are more useful than churches."

And James Madison wrote volumes on the separation of church and state and was quoted as saying:"...Every new and successful example, therefore, of a perfect separation between the ecclesiastical and civil matters, is of importance; and I have no doubt that every new example will succeed, as every past one has done, in showing that religion and Government will both exist in greater purity the less they are mixed together (Letter to Edward Livingston, July 10, 1822).
I must admit moreover that it may not be easy, in every possible case, to trace the line of separation between the rights of religion and the civil authority with such distinctness as to avoid collisions and doubts on unessential points. The tendency to a usurpation on one side or the other or to a corrupting coalition or alliance between them will be best guarded against by entire abstinence of the government from interference in any way whatever, beyond the necessity of preserving public order and protecting each sect against trespasses on its legal rights by others." (Letter Rev. Jasper Adams, Spring 1832).

Thomas Jefferson actually wrote something called "the wall of separation" which once can look up at
He wrote:
"...To messers Nehemiah Dodge, Ephraim Robbins, & Stephen S. Nelson, a committee of the Danbury Baptist association in the state of Connecticut.
The affectionate sentiments of esteem & approbation which you are so good as to express towards me, on behalf of the Danbury Baptist association, give me the highest satisfaction. my duties dictate a faithful & zealous pursuit of the interests of my constituents, and, in proportion as they are persuaded of my fidelity to those duties, the discharge of them becomes more & more pleasing.
Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man & his god, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should "make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;" thus building a wall of eternal separation between Church & State. Congress thus inhibited from acts respecting religion, and the Executive authorised only to execute their acts, I have refrained from prescribing even those occasional performances of devotion, practiced indeed by the Executive of another nation as the legal head of its church, but subject here, as religious exercises only to the voluntary regulations and discipline of each respective sect,
[Jefferson first wrote: "confining myself therefore to the duties of my station, which are merely temporal, be assured that your religious rights shall never be infringed by any act of mine and that." These lines he crossed out and then wrote: "concurring with"; having crossed out these two words, he wrote: "Adhering to this great act of national legislation in behalf of the rights of conscience"; next he crossed out these words and wrote: "Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience I shall see with friendly dispositions the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced that he has no natural rights in opposition to his social duties."]
I reciprocate your kind prayers for the protection & blessing of the common father and creator of man, and tender you for yourselves & the Danbury Baptist [your religious] association assurances of my high respect & esteem. ..."

Th Jefferson
Jan. 1. 1802.

"...This all may seem anti-religious or anti-God to anyone who is trying to find witches to burn or heathons to prosthelize to, but, as is the correct pensions of my heart, I do not wish to take the rights of any man, but to people of religion, I refrain from feeling they deserve more rights than anyone else."
It isn't a big miraculous stretch to see that Bill Maher is condemned by the religious community. In some web pages I see them refer to the "mythical" wall of separation of Thomas Jefferson that I just copied the unedited text from the Library of Congress website. I will say it was never pointed out to me as a child. I see now what I was taught was bullshit because what I was told that the Christians were fleeing the Church of England's repressive rules about how one had to belong to THE RIGHT CHURCH. The actual fact is that the Freemasons who date back to the 1300's were the ones who were trying to get away from the Christians which were the Church of England which was related to the Catholic Church. And the notion that anyone who isn't a Christian has only the option of being an antheist is politically motivated horseshit. Enough said,

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

"Arizona Mildman Review of Religulous"

Search Engine Submission - AddMe

Hi Folks,
I wanted to comment on the movie, "Religulous" with Bill Maher. I saw a trailer for the movie which made me really want to see it. Maher stated that it is a documentary but that it becomes more of a comedy. Even one of the Muslims that were interviewed stated that Bill Maher's humor never made him laugh. I came away from the movie feeling like Maher had said that to sell the movie, which, if you ask me, he felt the need to do since it will be VERY controversial and it didn't seem as if they were aiming at a humorous type comedy based on Bill Maher's usual humor in good standup form or otherwise. I have always liked Bill Maher as a comedian, but I would have watched the movie without the sell job since I have always thought the topic needed to be said. He nailed all the interviewees with the facts that made it obvious that most of them had never been confronted with in their entirety. One guy kept stopping and then when Maher started to say something, he interrupted and said, "Hangon, let me talk!" as if no one had allowed him to. He just kept repeating himself and it became obvious he was merely trying to shield himself from any more questions that he couldn't answer, especially while being taped. The research people for this film really had done their homework. I was impressed at how deftly they explained that the vigin birth story had been used in a certain part of the Mediteranian when making up a new religion. I was told about the story of Krishna, and I knew there were others but Maher had the list memorized and whipped them out as if the information common knowledge. I have always had some real issues with all the holes in the the stories which are called miracles of religious texts. I have never understood religious dogma. In the ten commandments it states that you should have no other gods before me and don't pray to graven images. I have visited a Catholic church and wanted to asked them if they were reading out of the same bible I was. They are almost all filled with statues of Mary and every saint one can pronounce and they turn and pray to them individually.
When it comes to religions I realise I am somewhat indoctinated even for a skeptic who doesn't embrace religion. I find myself wanting to say that one is better or more rational than the other, but to be honest, when it comes right down to it, NONE OF THEM MAKE ANY REAL SENSE. It comes down to, "What level of crazy can you tolerate?"
We are always told, "You have to have faith." In otherwords I have to believe in nonsense because someone who calls himself an ecumenical expert says so. Why would something that is so true need me to completely forget logic or facts? onoe of the principles I learned a long time ago about selling things is, If what you are selling immediately made sense to people on seeing it for the first time, you wouldn't need to advertise it. And if I have started to believe anything that someone tells me because they keep repeating the message, isn't that the same as being brainwashed? Preponderonce of evidence is a legal principal. Preponderonce of Horse Shit is a religious principal. Isn't it true that religion in Europe was guilty of millions of attrocities against human beings who didn't believe the way they were told to. If your government uses someone to soften your brain up for nonsense, which is what the Catholic church was brazenly guilty of for centuries, and I start believing one ridiculous thing on "FAITH" then how hard is it for me to start believing everything I am told? That is the basis of Stockholm syndrome. Historians have called the same thing from that time period, the "Holocaust syndrome" for obvious reasons. The oppressor or controlling figure would be bonded to for survival purposes. If one is not said to be of faith they were dealt with in strict fashions and today they are ridiculed and socially excomunicated. People have tried to say that Adolf Hitler was bad because he didn't go to church and believe in religion. He was raised as a Catholic (go figure) and there are several references to how much he admired them for not only their ability to control the masses but the pagentry and showmanship they used to gain the faith of the masses. These same people became rich from middle class and poor people's tything. If you want a really good example, look back at your art history when the only people who could afford art were the church leaders of the Medici family, one of whom actually bought himself a Cardinalship. You will find them referred to as the De Medici family since in ancient Rome, no one had a last name so you were usually given a first name with the prefix de and then were also given the name of the region. Unlike Leonardo De Vinci, which meant Leonardo of (de) Vinci, Italy. The Medici's were so powerful they were referred to by the name de Medici, which meant of the Mèdici family. The Mèdici family was a powerful and influential Florentine family from the 13th to 17th century. So, the church was run by the wealthy politicians and vice versa. In present day America, politicians know if they want to get something passed in congress they can put a religious agenda policy into the bill and no one will want to vote against it, before having that part is removed. That is the reason that Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin, and John Adams all said some pretty negative things about religion. Some of Jefferson's quotes were "...But a short time elapsed after the death of the great reformer [Jesus] of the Jewish religion, before his principles were departed from by those who professed to be his special servants, and perverted into an engine for enslaving mankind, and aggrandizing their oppressors in Church and State. (Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to Samuel Kercheval, 1810; from George Seldes, ed., The Great Quotations, Secaucus, New Jersey: Citadel Press, 1983, p. 370)

History I believe furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance, of which their political as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purpose. (Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to Baron von Humboldt, 1813; from George Seldes, ed., The Great Quotations, Secaucus, New Jersey: Citadel Press, 1983, p. 370)

The clergy, by getting themselves established by law and ingrafted into the machine of government, have been a very formidable engine against the civil and religious rights of man. (Thomas Jefferson, as quoted by Saul K. Padover in Thomas Jefferson on Democracy, New York, 1946, p. 165, according to Albert Menendez and Edd Doerr, compilers, The Great Quotations on Religious Liberty, Long Beach, CA: Centerline Press, 1991, p. 48.)

In every country and 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. It is easier to acquire wealth and power by this combination than by deserving them, and to effect this, they have perverted the purest religion ever preached to man into mystery and jargon, unintelligible to all mankind, and therefore the safer for their purposes. (Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to Horatio Spofford, 1814; from George Seldes, ed., The Great Quotations, Secaucus, New Jersey: Citadel Press, 1983, p. 371)

said: "...
"When a religion is good, I conceive it will support itself; and when it does not support itself, and God does not take care to support it so that its professors are obligated to call for help of the civil power, it's a sign, I apprehend, of its being a bad one."- Benjamin Franklin

In light of which consider: "[W]e have held that intentional governmental advancement of religion is sometimes required by the Free Exercise Clause."
-Supreme Court Jusitice Anton Scalia (dissent), Edwards v. Aguillard, 482 U.S. 578 (1987)

"...The purpose of separation of church and state is to keep forever from these shores the ceaseless strife that has soaked the soil of Europe in blood for centuries." -James Madison

So, then, what are we to make of: "...The 'wall of separation between church and state' is a metaphor based on bad history, a metaphor which has proved useless as a guide to judging. It should be frankly and explicitly abandoned." -Justice William Rehnquist (dissent), Wallace v. Jaffree (1985)


"Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legislative powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should "make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," thus building a wall of separation between church and State..." -Thomas Jefferson
Letter to the Danbury Bapist Association, January 1, 1802.


"Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's." -Jesus Christ, in Mark 12:13-17; also Matthew 22:15-22 and Luke 20:20-26.


"If all those magnificent cathedrals with their valuable lands in Boston, Philadelphia and New York were taxed as they should be, the taxes of women who hold property would be proportionately lightened....I cannot see any good reason why wealthy churches and a certain amount of property of the clergy should be exempt from taxation, while every poor widow in the land, struggling to feed, clothe, and educate a family of children, must be taxed on the narrow lot and humble home." -Elizabeth Cady Stanton, womens suffrage campaign, circa 1880.

"For years many a thinking people have had gloomy forebodings as to the result of the immense power of the church in our political affairs.... And the first step in the disestablishment of the church & of all churches is the taxation of church property. The government has no right to tax infidels for everything that takes the name of religion. For every dollar of church property untaxed, all other properties must be taxed one dollar more, and thus the poor man's home bears the burden of maintaining costly edifices from which he & his family are as effectively excluded -- as though a policeman stood to bar their entrance, and in smaller towns all sects are building, building, building, not a little town in the western prairies but has its three & four churches & this immense accumulation of wealth is all exempt from taxation. In the new world as well as the old these rich ecclesiastical corporations are a heavy load on the shoulders of the people, for what wealth escapes, the laboring masses are compelled to meet. If all the church property in this country were taxed, in the same ratio poor widows are to day, we could soon roll off the national debt....The clergy of all sects are universally opposed to free thought & free speech, & if they had the power even in our republic today would crush any man who dared to question the popular religion."-Elizabeth Cady Stanton, womens suffrage campaign, circa 1877.

Women have had the right to vote for less than one hundred years, yet many - particularly young women - do not. Did Ms. Stanton and so many others struggle in vain?*

*For an entertaining and illuminating example see the excellent Iron Jawed Angels from HBO Films


In 1875, President Ulysses S. Grant's message to Congress included a 900-foot petition containing 35,000 signatures stating, "We demand that churches and other ecclesiastical property shall be no longer exempt from taxation."

"I would also call your attention to the importance of correcting an evil that, if permitted to continue, will probably lead to great trouble in our is the accumulation of vast amounts of untaxed church property....In 1850, the church properties in the U.S. which paid no taxes, municipal or state, amounted to about $83 million. In 1860, the amount had doubled; in 1875, it is about $1 billion. By 1900, without check, it is safe to say this property will reach a sum exceeding $3 vast a sum, receiving all the protection and benefits of government without bearing its portion of the burdens and expenses of the same, will not be looked upon acquiescently by those who have to pay the taxes....I would suggest the taxation of all property equally, whether church or corporation." -Ulysses S. Grant

On reading this I felt sure that of course Congress wouldn't neglect to heed these words by a staunch general of the republic who actually fought in something that was so aptly named, The Civil War. By 1971, the amount of real and personal property owned by U.S. churches had ballooned to approximately $110 billion. In New York City alone, the amount was $750 million in 1969, $1 billion in 1982, and $3 billion in 1989.

The constant debate about tax exemption status, regulation free income, and amount of political pull will always be an issue to those of us who realise that there is no reason for the Christian evangelists to own the Republican party. When I say own, you have to remember, a good portion of those many hard earned dollars you put in the collection plate go to finance campaign contributions. How stong is the Christian church's lobbying power? They are a defining point in the past twenty years worth of elections in the United States. They definitely helped the Bush campaign twice and how do they get away with it. There was one minister who started a public campaign against the NAACP concerning their allegedly supporting John Kerry. That stopped when they were reminded that they, also, fall under the same tax exempt status stipulation, that if they are proven to have endorsed a politician, they can lose their exempt status. It is actually illegal for them, considering their tax exempt status to discuss political candidates at all. But, they blatantly do it, especially during the last few months of a campaign. I personally believe that televangelists who discuss politicians or their policies, including the war in Iraq should not only cause them to lose their exemption status but, also include a severe fine. The ability for politicians to run a campaign on Sunday mornings over the air waves is not only wrong morally, but also ethically. The candidate delivers legislation that would benefit the religions, and the church makes sure it's flock knows who they should vote for and why. Soft money campaign contributions (legal bribery), which are now regulated by the McCain / Feingold legislation but still are allowed, instead of being made illegal, on top of other contributions that come in through the pollitical action committees. I want to know why the church should have an opinion other than "Thou shall not kill" on an overseas war. This movie made me wonder why no movies like this have been made before and how many of them are going to be made. This is the first with a topic that makes you think about something that we all know they don't want us to think about. Go see it and tell me what you think. I hear some people complaining about the run on sentence that Mr. Maher used at the end of the movie to say what he felt about the religious preference of "none chosen" needing to be heard. I notice whenever a movie comes out that denounces and/or shines the light on religion we immediately see the entire media including the blogs, full of Christian comments telling us the movie is full of lies, followed by, "I wouldn't pay any of my money to see this movie." Well, either they are guilty of downloading it from the internet illegally and watching several times just to make sure they hated it, OR, they never watched the movie. I contend that the latter is probably the case. This is the heighth of closedmindedness, but, if one is so afraid that thinking newer than that of the biblical times is bad for you, then I see why the conservatives have to be drug, kicking and screaming, into the 21s century on just about everything else. I don't really care. I found out recently that I am what is known as a Deist. this is exciting for me as I realised finally what I am and why I didn't fit in in other circles. Deism is a religious and philosophical belief that a supreme natural God exists and created the physical universe, and that religious truths can be arrived at by the application of reason and observation of the natural world. Deists generally reject the notion of supernatural revelation as a basis of truth or religious dogma.
So, unlike some religions who think they are the only one, I am of a belief that allows for all religions, all theories, as well as all beliefs of opinion because I am truly inspired by our founding fathers in their belief in Religious Freedom. The people who cry the loudest about preserving "their" freedom of religion seem to always be the ones who try to shove their religion down everyone else's throat. That is not equal freedom of religion and will not be tolerated by the rest of the world. Mr. Maher's point seems to be that we who don't seek religion as a vehicle for spirtuallity are the ones who aren't being heard since the government mistakenly seeks the opinions of religious people only when asking the opinion of the public on spiritual matters. I think we should start a movement based on the movie and where the founding fathers actually were to keep this real.
the Arizona Mildman since 1996