Friday, April 13, 2018

Memes Courier - Colorado Democratic Assembly 2018 - Intellectually Confronting Faith-Based thinking

I'm at my fourth Colorado Democratic Assembly and I've always been a pamphleteer.  Not the easiest for a private shy sort of guy.  So I've been rather passive, offering my pages and ready for dialogue but not stepping forward to engage people.  Time passes, we learn more with every day and this year I've promised myself to step it up a little and reach out to people to introduce the topic and establish an interest before offering my flier. 

Had a little practice during the short district assembly this evening.  At first looking at the 350+ District 3 delegates it seemed the crowd of the usual old folks, and not that many young faces.  But, then I started spotting them.  Not in the numbers I had hoped.  Then I heard a couple powerful speeches by young speakers.  Followed by a few good conversations,
as in 'yippy, they get it.'  I realized their small number way under-represented the energy and substance and power they possess.

It was fun.  I'm feeling a little better already and I'm looking forward to tomorrow.  Here's side one, a lifetime's distillation.  I'll share side two tomorrow, now I'm going to bed, it's late and tomorrow will be a long busy day.
The Memes Courier
    Colorado Democratic Assembly -  April 13, 2018  
      
Intellectually Confronting Faith-Based thinking and Dogma Driven Tribalism.

The opposing sides: Children of the Intellectual Enlightenment vs Faith-based dogmatism spearheaded by the evangelical movement (driven by wannabe oligarchs).  Winning at the polls is only half our challenge when well over a third of our country fully supports this amoral president and his white supremest bullying and his attacks upon our government and democratic institutions.  
Beyond winning in the 2018 elections, we need to nurture a massive grassroots movement of informed and engaged voters who are willing to confront faith-based delusional thinking on an individual level, while also standing behind those we elect to make sure they get their jobs done.
Faith-based thinking demands a rejection of serious science along with hostility towards learning from down to Earth evidence.  This attitude is enabled and reinforced by a constant flow of contrived high pitched fear-mongering and paranoid machinations towards “the other” be it different people or ideas.
Why have we allowed their religion and God a free pass?
When these people despise us and want to crush us?  Look at what they broadcast, it’s no secret.  The powers behind this movement are absolutists, and they do literally want to crush us and the governmental agencies and regulations that strive to protect our health and well-being, and they’re playing for keeps!
Why not challenge people to realize no human has ever been born capable of understanding the true “God Almighty of Light and Time, Creation and Love” ?  We are ALL self-absorbed with our own day to day struggles to survive and thrive, while all we see and hear and experience gets interpreted though our individual preconceptions, egos, insecurities and desires.  How can anyone of us presume to grasp something as aged and all encompassing as God?
Remind evangelicals that even their Bible, in the Book of Job spells out that God is beyond human understanding.  It makes sense.  After all, God’s Universe is over 13 billion years old, our planet Earth is about a 1/3rd of that.  Try to imagine the breadth of creation, the infinite folds within folds of cumulative harmonic complexity unfolding one day at a time.  That is what God embodies.  Can you imagine that? 
The true God Almighty can only be guessed at.  Which is why humans have created countless ingenious religious and philosophical shadow plays, since the dawn of man.  Ask yourself and others: How could such an entity be impressed with our petty repetitive, yet ultimately self-serving, worship?  Wouldn’t such a God of Creation and Love be paying more attention to how we are nurturing our brothers and sisters along with this Earth we all depend on?
There have been way too many decades of placid acquiescence to self-certain fantasy thinking
which has allowed these people to completely unhinge themselves for our physical reality here on Earth, the one we depend on for our survival.  
God and religion may be a human need, but that doesn’t mean we can master it.
God belongs inside our hearts and is reflected in our behavior, but instead its been hijacked by greed driven interests who demand denial of geophysical and humanistic realities.  
Which is okay when confined to the privacy of home and church, but making it the basis for public policy is lunatic. 
I’m not attacking God, I’m attacking the misuse of God’s name!  I’m asking for realistic humility,
and a recognition that God is too big for personal relationships with humans who are already totally preoccupied with their own wants and needs during their short walk across Earth’s stage.
Then comes Jesus.  Why not put Jesus and his story into a more realistic light?
The Passion of Jesus, is beautiful, meaningful, and an endlessly useful parable for countless people.  But, he is not the ticket to an idyllic after-life.  
Jesus is a guide for this life.
To help us through our own times of trials and tribulations here on Earth, during our lives. 
Consider that in the course of many lives comes a time we must face our own mortal sins and failures.
Doing so successfully requires going through stages of personal crisis, reflection, pain and transformation that Jesus outlined for us and that his teachings and love can guide many through.  The process culminates with an annihilation of the self, a death on a cross of our own making.  
Time passes, if one has been honest there is a morning after, as we awake renewed.
Different, better than before, ready to continue living with a transformed appreciation and perspective, a reborn spirit.  
But, it’s not only our self-created crosses that Jesus speaks to.  Sometimes life deals out sudden overwhelming losses, Jesus can be there to comfort, guide and support some through the loss and darkness and back to another day and the sunlight.
All this is beautiful and necessary and this is what has given Christianity it’s staying power, Jesus as hope in suffering and an example to live by. As for Jesus as the one and only way to Heaven, that’s the stuff of fairytales and con-men seeking control over others.
Think about it in some depth.
What are we but a union between body and spirit?
Without your body, healthy or frail, liked or hated,
who are you, what are you?  
What can be experienced once we die and our bodies fall away?
The spirit and energy our bodily vessel held and nurtured through a lifetime,
  of growing and experiencing is released and absorbed by the living world you’ve just departed.  
There’s much beauty and peace to be found in that reality, but it takes deep understanding of Earth and time.
It can seem harsh,
though from my personal experience I know truly substantive spiritual strength comes through deeper appreciation of Earth’s Evolution and its intimate connection with who and what I am.  This is what provides me with a spiritual foundation and peace of mind in the face of death, that no preacher or Bible or words can come close to matching.
Today avaricious pick-pocket evangelical personalities,have turned Christianity away from such purity and morphed it into a powerful business/political weapon of brainwashing and mind control for acquiring unheard of power and profits, tax free.  
Democrats have given all this a free pass for way too long - look at what this avoidance has gotten America.  Evangelicals and oligarchs and a lot of brainwashing elevating a clueless promoter, an absolutely amoral thug into our Oval Office.  A man who’s mentality never rises above narcissism, vandalizing and self-enrichment.  This is what faith-based thinking achieved for our country. 
No one wants to talk about these things, but that’s exactly what affords them free reign.
Amoral evangelicals offer dogma, tribalism and hostility towards others along with loads of willful misunderstanding, lies, contrived distrust and hostility.  
Children of the Enlightenment offer objective observations and learning based on experience and facts.
They have established Science, which could be said to be founded on the understanding: We need each other to keep ourselves honest.  
Science strives for honest constructive debate.  Opponents and their arguments/facts are honesty represented.  Mistakes are learning tools to better grasp the situation.  Achieving a better and honest understanding is the goal.  It has no absolutes, it’s substance is always provisional, awaiting more information, and always striving for better resolution.
Right-wing arguments, on the other hand, are dependent on hypotheticals; contrived hostility and suspicions; and the erection of straw men that ignore the true substance of their opponents’ arguments, plus a huge dollop of self-certainty verging on absolutism.  They use mistakes as bludgeons to further personal agendas with a haughty disregard for education or truth.  Dogma and self-certainty drives them, rational learning is their enemy.
Such childish, but increasingly threatening tactics ought to be called out, with compassion and a recognition that all sides have a lot to learn and a lot to offer.  Nevertheless, today’s egotistical blind self-certain faith-based rejection of unavoidable geophysical reality has got to stop,
lest today’s self-certain absolutism becomes tomorrow’s totalitarianism.

Citizenschallenge at gmail

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