Friday, March 20, 2015

The Anatomy Of Christian Logic Just For Fun

The Anatomy Of Christian Logic Just For Fun

By Tim Whistorn

Image by "via FlickrI admit it: Sometimes I just like to make fun of Christianity and those who keep the faith.

On one hand I honestly do respect a person's right to believe anything they want, and to live/practice whatever pleases them. I just don't respect the way Christianity has been used to rob the masses of their personal sense of freedom and power for centuries; nor do I respect the very real threat to human advancement this dark age religion poses through many aggressive organizations, lobbying groups, and advocacies.

And maybe I'm a little irked by the fact that most of my family and many of my friends are brainwashed to the extent that a really open conversation about the nature of life is an impossibility.

Note To Reader: If Christianity allowed it's members to use their brains in debate this content would be great for dispelling the illusion. Sadly, as we know, Christians have at least two primary fall back arguments they can use when confronted with evil tactics like reason, logic, history, science, and facts.

These primary bailouts are:

* It's not for man to question the mind of god.
* Satan is clouding your judgment.

Precautions and disclaimers aside, I'd like to share some reflections on what christian logic looks like when we peel it away from the sentience-free environment of a bible study group or Sunday school class. I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it. :o)

But we do it with love in our hearts...

I've never seen a grumpy old man chase little kids away from his sidewalk and then claim he did it with "love and charity". Yet Christians are CONSTANTLY boycotting, protesting, and even violently disrupting the operations of bookstores, civic groups, and other business and special interest organizations that fail to comply with Christian theology; in every case that comes to mind it is claimed the actions were taken "with love and goodwill".

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you...

If one were taking this statement at face value, one might assume Christians would leave people to find their own beliefs without interfering. On the contrary Christians, who whine incessantly about persecution and having their faith attacked, seem obsessed with undermining, downplaying, and if possible driving to ruin all competing (or even non-competing!) belief systems.

Justice lies at the heart of the faith, except for when (such as in the central act) justice totally gets thrown out the window in favor of blatant petty vengeance...

I always thought Judas got the short end of the stick. Let's replay quickly:

God decided that since he made us evil in his own image (more on this gem later), he had to subject his son to an agonizing death. For this exact reason Jesus was said to have come to earth as a man.

Fulfilling his role in the greater scheme of things, Judas betrayed Jesus to the Romans/Jewish aristocracy, who crucified him. All this went according to plan because, after all the son of god wasn't going to hang himself for our sins, right?

Even so, Jesus said (paraphrase) it would have been better for Judas to "never have been born". Also in the book of Acts it is written that Judas simply falls over one day with his innards spilling out; it seems divine wrath caught up to him.

And if you're keeping score, it would appear that Judas was struck down, cursed, or whatever for being a helping hand in god's brilliant plan to have his own son whacked so you and I could be forgiven for our sins. Honestly I don't even have a catchy little line for this it's just so damn absurd and blatantly unjust.

Made in the image of god AND born wicked...

Is it red or is it green? I love a good philosophical paradox but I don't think that's what Christianity is going for with the specific teachings that:

God is perfect. God made us in his own image.

We were born evil. We'd best get to begging god to forgive us for our wickedness.

Neatly omitted is any questions as to how this ludicrous scenario can even exist. Yeah I got the memo about Eve eating the fruit and thus cursing all future generations to be born of "original sin" but that would mean she was made flawed... a bad girl in the image of god!

Merciless butchering in the name of the lord - bad when Islam does it but not a problem if the disciples of Christ do it.

Let's all get on page here: Many Christians are pleased as punch that U.S. bombs are currently destroying "radical Islamic groups". Truthfully most of the casualties are non-combatants but that's another article.

Islam is touted as a SEVERE threat. I agree that suicide bombers are incredibly warped people.

However, it's of interest to me that estimated millions of people were slaughtered during the dark ages in the name of Jesus Christ. In addition to the crusades and inquisitions, many deaths were incurred via routine law enforcement operations, i.e. killing the serfs wholesale for evil things like learning numbers or reading Latin.

Right up to the Manifest Destiny debacle the Christian god was used as an excuse to kill, rape, and plunder. To this day no real responsibility has been assumed and no plea for public forgiveness has been issued.

The protestants all blame the catholics. And frankly the Vatican probably isn't sorry about any of these horrid events.

How in blue blazes is it humanly possible to teach your kids that "Jesus loves them" in the wake of all this absolutely rampant and unrepentant bloodshed in the very name of this savior?

So much for serendipity. Here comes Yahweh...

The universe seems to be a place of beauty, and of order.

I'm not a mathematician. But I have seen the beautiful symmetry of numbers.

And we can all see the amazing correlation reflected between tiny particles moving in circular orbits around their nuclei, and massive heavenly bodies traversing their circular orbits around the stars. It's an awe-inspiring natural state of order, rhythm, and flow.

Elsewhere in the natural world we can find many examples of this rhythmic bliss. However things may have started and however they continue, life seems to emerge and move in patterns, cycles, and other predictable phenomena.

Then suddenly, out of the cosmic bliss steps a figure. I can just make it out...

It's bipedal. Goodness it does seem to be a human form!

And look... testicles. Yes there will be hell to pay - literally - if we forget those divine testicles!

I can see a face now. It's Jewish!

Hold on, god is about to speak...

Huh? Wow that was a hateful thing to say.

Oh wait he's still talking. Geez this guy has some clear and serious emotional issues.

Talk about self-absorbed and irrational. And what a childish little prick to boot.

This really takes the cake. Christianity would seriously have us believe all the order, rhythm, reason, and wonder that is our universe was manufactured by a spiteful, petty, emotionally thwarted, male Semite who lives in the sky and is really concerned about our sexual habits and whether or not we use four-letter words!

I know this kind of commentary is old hat for you guys. But sometimes it's just good to blow off some steam and I appreciate having a place to do it.

Thanks for reading, and I hope you were at least moderately amused. I'll hustle up something a bit more educational on the next run. ;o)

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Mythical Critters And Scoffers

Mythical Critters And Scoffers
by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

An interesting and timely question prompted this article. Earlier, I wrote again about how facts alone can be incomplete. Giving information and evidence is good, but addressing worldviews and presuppositions are very important, and can give a more complete answer to a question or challenge.

To briefly recap, everyone has a worldview based on presuppositions (things they assume to be true). When presented with evidence, we naturally use our worldviews to interpret it. When someone has an anti-Bible bias, he or she can easily reject evidence supporting the Bible (and especially biblical creation science).

Cockatrice drawing by Oliver Herford, 1912 at Reusable Art

Here is the question that I was given this morning (writing this the day before I publish it) at The Question Evolution Project on Facebook:

If you can't make out the picture, he said, "Hey again. Question for you. In Isaiah when it mentions cocktracies and satyrs what do you think it is referring too. Probably not two legged dragons and goat men."

Well, this question made me work, it wasn't a quick answer that I could look up and crank out.

When looking these things up, I saw that there are several anti-theist sites that were taking ancient words like unicorn, cockatrice and satyr and putting more modern conceptions on those words. They had the assumption that not only was the Bible worthless, but worthy of mockery. Posts with the tone of, "You gotta believe in satyrs, unicorns and cockatrices because the Bible sez so, haw haw haw!" are plentiful. If they had bothered to do some research instead of indulging in prejudicial conjecture, they would not have been making such foolish utterances.

One thing that should embarrass these people is that in 1860, Samuel Wilberforce wrote a review of Darwin's "Origin of Species". In this, he quoted Henry More's remarks, "And of a truth, vile epicurism and sensuality will make the soul of man so degenerate and blind, that he will not only be content to slide into brutish immorality, but please himself in this very opinion that he is a real brute already, an ape, satyr, or baboon..." To be consistent, these Christophobes should be mocking other authors who used some of these words, yes?

Unlike the unicorn, a real animal with a drastically different meaning now (basically, it's a sort of extinct rhinoceros), the cockatrice is totally mythical. Cockatrice appears in the King James version, and the original word is translated correctly in modern Bible versions. Translators did not quite understand the word that was in the original manuscripts.

Similarly, the word "dragon" appears in the King James version more often than in other translations. It is usually rendered as "snake", "cobra", "adder" and so on, except in places like Revelation where dragon means Satan. If you want a biblical creationist view of dragons as dinosaurs (and remember, "dragon" was a known word, and "dinosaur" had not been coined until Richard Owen came up with it in 1842), you can read "Dragons - Fact or Fable?" and the additional information linked on that page.

The satyr (and this is being published on Satyrday...oh, that was bad...) is a bit more difficult to deal with. Again, this is found in older Bible versions. (The KJV copied from the Geneva Bible, and the 1611 KJV and Geneva are extremely similar because the Geneva was used by the KJV translators.) Modern translations and commentaries differ on the meaning of "satyr". Some use "hairy beast", others refer to a kind of desert demon that neighbors of the Jews believed in. Because of demonic and goat-like associations with the word, "satyr" may actually give a good representation of the demonic worship. Just like when God said not to bother with idols who are not gods, who do not walk, speak or anything but were still evil, I think this is meaning not to fear or deal with the demons that other people around them would worship. Anyway, the original word seems uncertain, and the desert demon interpretation "may" be the most reasonable.

Again, it is not just a matter of evidence, but of worldviews and presuppositions. If someone has an irrational worldview like materialism or evolutionism, and especially when it is dominated by negative emotions rather than reason, he or she is prone to giving ridicule and making excuses rather than accepting the evidence. The atheist worldview is incoherent, lacking the necessary preconditions of human experience. Only biblical Christianity can do this, and can make proper sense of the evidence.

The Number 42 In The Bible And Other Places

The Number 42 In The Bible And Other Places
I've often said that nowadays it's important for students of Bible prophecy to continue to hone their skills when it comes to reading-between-the-lines.

One area where that should always be specifically applied to is when it comes to various news headlines and bylines we encounter on a daily basis.

Case in point, you can imagine my sheer amazement and bewilderment when I came across a headline a few days ago that mentioned Israel, the Six Day War, and the number 42 -- all in the same line!

Here's the headline that caught my eye:


Seriously? Boy, the good Lord is truly working overtime these days to get the world's attention before it's too late. How else do you explain spiritual convergence like that? What's even more remarkable is how the first two words "Dropping Water" tie into this as well, but I'll leave that for the exciting conclusion.

The number 42 appears in several places throughout the Holy Bible. If I'm remembering correctly, then:

> Israel camped 42 times in the wilderness during the exodus.

> The goat's hair and linen curtains covering the sanctuary have a length of 42 and 40 cubits.

> Jesus was 42 generations from Abraham (Matthew 1).

> 42 cities are given to the Levites in addition to 6 cities of refuge (Numbers 35:6).

> Two female bears kill 42 children after they ridiculed the prophet of God (2 Kings 2:24).

> Later in 2 Kings, Jehu slaughters 42 relatives of Ahaziah of Judah during his purge of the house of Ahab (2 Kings 10:14). The young men of Bethel are leaders of idolatry, as our the 42 relatives of Ahaziah. In both cases, you have Yahweh's avengers (cf. 1 Kings 19) destroying 42 men, so the number links the work of Elisha with the work of Jehu.

What is God trying to teach us here? Well, one thing is obvious. God doesn't much like the number 42, or maybe I should say that bad things are associated with it (ok, not all of the things associated with it are "bad things" as evidenced by Jesus Christ being 42 generations from Abraham, but I think you get the point that a majority are).

The number 42 is also a number that's clearly connected with the Antichrist. An important part of his career is to last for 42 months (Revelation 11:2, 13:5), and thus this number is fixed upon him. Another number associated with the Antichrist is 1260, and this is 30 x 42. Its factors are 6 and 7 (6x7=42), and this shows a connection between man and the Spirit of God, and between Jesus Christ and the Antichrist.

Being a multiple of seven, it might be supposed that it would be connected with spiritual perfection, but it is the product of six times seven. Six, therefore, being the number of Man, and man's opposition to God, 42 becomes significant of the working out of man's opposition to God.

Hmmm, I wonder if there may be something more in the common phrase about things being all "sixes and sevens." They are so, indeed, when man is mixed up with the things of God, and when religious "flesh" engages in spiritual things.

Taking this "association with the coming Antichrist" idea to a whole new and ridiculous level, we all know that many have speculated that Nimrod (or his resurrected spirit) would be (embody) the future Antichrist. Well, in Gematria, 42 is a factor in the number of Nimrod's name, which is 294, or 42 x 7.

My research turned up a few additional facts that left me equally stunned:

> 42 men of Beth-azmaveth were counted in the census of men of Israel upon return from exile (Ezra 2:24).

> The first book to be printed with movable type, the Gutenberg Bible, is also known as the "42-line Bible", after the number of lines of print on each page.

> 42 is the number with which God creates the Universe in Kabalistic tradition.

My absolte favorite? The fact that 42 is the angle in degrees for which a rainbow appears! Of course, after The Flood during Noah's day, the Bible relates that the rainbow gained meaning as the sign of God's promise that terrestrial life would never again be destroyed by flood.

GENESIS 9:13-15 -- "I have set my bow in the clouds, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds, I will remember my covenant that is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh."

Wow! Talk about "spiritual convergence" once again, huh? I mean, here we are in the midst of examing all the numerous signs indicating that the beginning of Daniel's 70th Week is at hand, and Jesus Himself even told us that these days would be "as in the days of Noah..." so it's remarkable that there's this incredible connection between the number 42 (pointing to the Antichrist; a prominent figure in the last days scenario) and the rainbow, which reminds us of God's judgment and also His promise. It all leaves me breathless!

Whatever few remaining breaths I had left were thrown out the window when I looked at Ancient Mythology's explanation of the rainbow. Now, remember what King Wells, Jr. and I concluded about the existence and role of Ancient Mythology as it pertains to the Bible and especially end times prophecy. Now, consider the following intriguing facts to add to this entire study today:

> In Greek Mythology, the rainbow was considered to be a path made by a messenger (Iris) between Earth and Heaven.

> In Hindu Mythology, the rainbow is called "Indradhanush", meaning the bow (Sanskrit ">DOUGLAS NOEL ADAMS was an English author, dramatist, musician, and fervent atheist who popularized the number 42 in his best known work called the "HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY". The number 42 and the phrase, "Life, the universe, and everything" have attained cult status on the Internet. If you type the answer to life, the universe and everything into Google (without quotes or capitalising the small words), the Google Calculator will give you 42; also, if you go to Wolfram's Computational Knowledge Engine and type "answer to life, the universe, and everything", it provides you with the result 42. Microsoft's Bing search engine will also give you 42. Alphasmart 3000's calculator, when given any equation that results in 42, will display, "The answer to life, the universe, and everything". In the online community "Second Life," there is a section on a sim called "42nd Life."

> In the Stargate Atlantis Season 4 episode "Quarantine", 42 are the last two digits in Rodney McKay's password. After John Sheppard explains to Teyla the meaning of the previous twelve digits, she asks him what 42 is. Then, John says, "It's the ultimate answer to the great question of life, the universe, and everything," at which point Teyla looks confused.

> In the TV show Lost, 42 is the last of the mysterious numbers, 4, 8, 15, 16, 23, and 42.

> In the PC game Spore, once reaching the center of the galaxy, Steve the UFO will present you with the Staff of Life that can make any planet livable, but can only be used 42 times.

> In Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange, Alex browses through records in a record store and we see a record of the, at this time fictional, band Level 42.

> Tower 42 is the tallest skyscraper in the city of London and the fifth tallest in London as a whole. It was originally built for the National Westminster Bank (NatWest), hence its former name, the NatWest Tower. Seen from above, the tower closely resembles the NATWEST LOGO (three chevrons in a hexagonal arrangement; interesting symbolism there, isn't it?).

> In New York City, 42nd Street is a main and very popular two-way thoroughfare. Landmarks on it include the Chrysler Building, Grand Central Station, the main branch of the New York Public Library, and Times Square.

Hmmm, "Orion", "Heaven and Earth", a "bow", "gods mingling with humans", and references in pop culture that all have a common theme too, huh? Unreal! Do you seen what I mean now? Spiritual convergence all the way!

I also found that, historically, a rainbow flag was used in the German Peasants' War in the 16th century as a sign of a new era, of hope, and of social change (where have we heard that before?). Rainbow flags have also been used as a symbol of the Cooperative Movement; as a symbol of peace, especially in Italy; to represent the Tawantin Suyu, or Inca territory, mainly in Peru and Bolivia; by some Druze communities in the Middle East; and by the JEWISH AUTONOMOUS OBLAST.

A "rainbow flag" has been in use as a symbol of "gay pride" and LGBT social movements since the 1970s. But let's refocus on the Jewish connection for a minute. First, here's the Jewish Autonomous Oblast flag:

Would you believe it if I told you that we have a Russian-Israel direct link in all of this? Obviously, we've been seeing this sort of "message" come up a lot lately in the news and it's forced us to be mindful of the prophesied Gog-Magog War. In this particular case, we have this Jewish Autonomous Oblast connected to Russia in the sense that it had to do with a "land for peace" type of political movement.

Stalin's theory on the "National Question" held that a group could only be a nation if they had a territory, and since there was no Jewish territory, per se, the Jews were not a nation and did not have national rights. Jewish Communists argued that the way to solve this ideological dilemma was by creating a Jewish territory, hence the ideological motivation for the Jewish Autonomous Oblast. Politically, it was also considered desirable to create a Soviet Jewish homeland as an ideological alternative to Zionism, and the theory put forward by Socialist Zionists such as BER BOROCHOV that the "Jewish Question" could be resolved by creating a Jewish territory in Palestine. Thus, they created a rainbow flag to represent this new territory. Remarkable!

One final note before moving on, but I also dug up the fact that VALERY SOLOMONOVICH GUREVICH, government vice-chairman of Russia's Jewish Autonomous Oblast, is the force behind the China and Russian construction of the AMUR BRIDGE PROJECT that began at the end of 2007. The bridge will link Nizhneleninskoye in the Jewish Autonomous Oblast with Tongjiang in Heilongjiang Province. The 2,197-meter-long bridge, with an estimated investment of nearly 230 million, is expected to be finished by the end of 2010. Gurevich said that the proposal to construct a bridge across the river was actually made by Russia, in view of growing cargo transportation demands. Yeah, I'm sure that's true, but not the kind of benign "cargo" the rest of the world might think they're referring to.

Let me just throw this out there for pure speculation purposes. The Jewish Autonomous Oblast is situated in the Far Eastern Federal District of Russia and has been since the 1928. The rainbow flag design was adopted during October 1996, or almost 70 years later. The flag consists of a rainbow on a white background, with 7 narrow horizontal colored stripes: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, and blue. The 7 colors symbolize the branches of a menorah. The Oblast's website states that, "the horizontal axis is located a color strip symbolizing a rainbow."

Odd giving all the signs of the times that are occurring these days. Why? Because I wonder whether or not the coming Antichrist will be of Jewish descent. Personally, I think the Antichrist will likely be Jewish because the Jews will not receive a Gentile as their promised Messiah. Jesus predicted that Israel will someday foolishly receive the Antichrist as their savior.

JOHN 5:42 -- "I am come in my Father's name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive"

The Bible does hint that the Antichrist might have a Jewish background. In Daniel 11:37 it says "Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers." Although the verse could mean any deity, the wording strongly matches Jewish heritage of faith in God.

I know that there has been some debate over this for several years now, but this has me wondering especially in light of what we're told in Revelation (the only place the word "bow" appears in that entire book!):

REVELATION 6:2 -- "And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a BOW; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer." (emphasis mine)

I know that we traditionally think of this verse as representing the Antichrist's rise to power as he establishes his One World Government through peace. At the same time, others ignore the color of this First Horseman and interpret it to mean that he "conquers" using a weapon of warfare -- a bow and arrow. Let me throw a question out there. If the coming Antichrist is going to be of Jewish descent, then might this famous passage be describing him coming onto the world's stage as a king in all his perceived splendor and glory to save the day so to speak? If so, then is it POSSIBLE (that's all I'm asking) that this individual is somehow connected to the Jewish Autonomous Oblast since this would then describe a king riding in on his white horse, wearing his crown, and carrying the flag (his bow) of the kingdom he already represents? I'm just asking.

So, what are we supposed to make of all of this if anything? You know, I get how some people might read what I wrote here and just scratch their heads. The risk is that to some I may come off as "over-analyzing" things and/or traveling too deep down a dark rabbit hole again. I guess I would just respond by saying that my intent here is to simply document the immediate thoughts I have once the Holy Spirit leads me to a particular headline or news story that's of interest.

What begins as me simply cataloguing those experiences often turns into an in-depth presentation of how the good Lord in all His wonderful grace and mercy is using ANYTHING and EVERYTHING He can to try to get the same message across to the world and the people He so desperately wants to save if we'll only let Him. That message is always that time is very short, the beginning of Daniel's 70th Week and the fulfillment of some major end times prophecies are at hand, and that the Antichrist's reign is coming sooner than we think.

I'll wrap things up by looking back at the one news headline that started it all: "Dropping Water Level Exposes 42-Year-Old Ordinance From Six Day War".

"Dropping Water" = Resonates with Noah's Flood

"42" = Negative connotation associated with this number throughout the Bible

"Ordinance" = A powerful weapon of warfare

"Six Day War" = Jerusalem the focus of the world; Miraculous victory for Israel; Resonates with Psalm 83 War, Destruction of Damascus, Gog-Magog War

I pray that you can see all of this too and heed the warning to either get saved, or get right with God by repenting for your sins before it's too late. The veil is being lifted and the separation between the physical realm and the spiritual realm is thinning.

As these things continue to happen with greater frequency and with a growing intensity keep looking up!

LUKE 21:28 -- "And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draws near."



Thursday, February 12, 2015

Perfect End To A Very Fine Jesuit Vocation

" Fr. Andrew Cameron-Mowat, S.J. parish priest at Farm Street church in London, said: "Fr John" Edwards, S.J. was greatly loved by an enormous number of people. His dynamic preaching and his mission work will live long in the memory of all who met him. He brought numerous people into the Church. In my short time so far as parish priest it was a blessing to have his presence at daily Mass in the church, and to receive his frequent words of support and encouragement. He was a remarkable example of a faithful and compassionate priest and a generous companion of Jesus. We will all miss him very much, but rejoice that he is now in the arms of our Blessed Lord. May he rest in peace." A priest for 49 years, and a member of the Jesuit Community at Mount St for 32 years, Fr Edwards was known to be an excellent confessor who was very successful in encouraging people to attend Confession. He was also a devoted advocate of the practice of receiving indulgences. Fr Anthony Symondson, S.J a fellow Jesuit priest and a friend of Fr Edwards, said his death was a "perfect end to a very fine Jesuit vocation"."He said: HE HAD A VERY ATTRACTIVE PERSONALITY IN THE SENSE THAT PEOPLE WARMED TO HIM. MOST OF HIS LIFE, SINCE ABOUT 1972, WAS SPENT TRUDGING AROUND THE COUNTRY IN MISSION, TO LARGE CHURCHES AND SMALL CHURCHES, WELL-KNOWN AND OBSCURE CHURCHES. HIS MISSIONS TOOK A WEEK AND ENDED WITH AN APPEAL, AND HE KNEW HOW SUCCESSFUL HE WAS BY THE BY THE AMOUNT OF MONEY RAISED. HE CONTINUED: "JOHN WAS A HOLY MAN, A WONDERFUL CONFESSOR. HE REGULARLY GAVE HIS CONFESSION, HE PREACHED BRILLIANTLY, AND HE MADE THE FAITH SOMETHING WORTH BELIEVING IN. HE HAD A GREAT EFFECT ON INDIVIDUAL PEOPLE, HE WAS DELIGHTFUL COMPANY AND MOST OF ALL A JESUIT PRIEST." AFTER FR EDWARDS WAS DIAGNOSED WITH LUNG CANCER, FR SYMONDSON SAID THAT HE HAD DESCRIBED IT AS "A GIFT FROM GOD"."LINK (HERE) TO THE FULL PIECE AT THE HERALD


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

The Book Of Fallen Angels By Michael Howard

The Book Of Fallen Angels By Michael Howard

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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Wicca Out Of The Broom Closet

Wicca Out Of The Broom Closet
Many faithful Wiccans choose to hide the practice of their religion from neighbors and sometimes even their families. Saying anything about Wicca, is a dubious choice that some Wiccans consider well before leaving the broom closet. Much goes into the thought of telling anyone at work, school, or social groups where the conversation might turn to talk of "church".

Often, it is pop culture that tends to inform the unsuspecting public that the next door neighbor may be a Wiccan. With that word, comes the the odd capacity for ignorance that has been displayed in the past. Most likely because it is synonymous with the word witch. Wiccan is often accepted as the more modern iteration of the word witch. Even so, some policy makers within the government may become hesitant when confronted with the word since it comes loaded with hidden meaning.

Speaking openly about Wicca is gaining popularity at this time. Halloween helps creates a bridge for open dialog about Wicca once each year as well. Halloween is a night some Wiccans use to disclose a bit about themselves religiously. On this holiday, some Wiccans take a chance and dare, to cross the imaginary threshold between common and magical worlds. It is so profound that some faithful may actually draw the ire from within parts of their community by outwardly announcing their religious choice. It matters little whether or not they actually practice the religion faithfully.

More avuncular Wiccans focus the public's attention on traits commonly shared by all ethical faiths. Benign moral statements such as "And it harm none, do as you will", are only effective when coupled with an example from real life. These examples, often seem to go missing by an otherwise well meaning news media however, when doing Halloween reports about Wicca. This undeclared, rite of passage or, coming out of a Wiccan, (Neo-Pagan) is often quiet and not very news worthy. The spectacle of the "witch" at work, school, or elsewhere is usually lessened by the fact that they are often just common folks, like everyone else.

When Wiccans extol the virtues of a religious life that is recognized as part of the daily experience then others tend to understand it better. With the mystery lessened and commonality more certain the ignorance, fear, and distrust toward Wiccan's tend to decrease. However, an unfair job dismissal, or sudden loss of friends may signal that there are still good reasons for staying in the broom closet.

Keeping silent is a common virtue that holds merit with many Wiccans but, it is often challenged from within that religious community. The goal is to reduce religious stigmatization of Wiccans from society at large. Currently, there is scant evidence to conclude that it has harmed the Wiccan religious community, though internally the debate is no doubt on-going. Wicca, unlike many other religious groups that minister in the more common sense, are not often encouraged nor expected to do so. It is nearly antithetical to the religion, and can be viewed as a breech of courtesy by Wiccans. And though, proselytizing is not common for many Wiccans, following a path of discretion before speaking publicly about Wicca usually is.

Read more: Out of the Broom Closet#ixzz1dexYmEO1

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Renounce And Enjoy

Renounce And Enjoy

Renunciation, whose Sanskrit equivalent is Tyaga or to give up, forms an inseparable part of Vedanta or Hindu Philosophy. Renunciation is commonly used for Tyaga of fruit of actions which you perform in life. This is to ensure that your complete focus is on work in hand and not on the results of your work so that your focus on work is not disturbed by thinking about fruit of action. Thus we see that Renunciation is an inner attitude and has nothing to do with renunciation of works while living in the world.

The title of this write up says that when you live in the world, you should first renounce and then enjoy life. For a worldly person enjoyment means when his desires are fulfilled, when he enjoys when in contact with sense objects, when he is emotionally attached to a person of his choice, when he keeps his ego and take credit for all the works he does and when he has a selfish attitude in whatever he plans and does. A worldly man's thought process is always focussed on his personal needs. Such thoughts process ends up in formation of desires. In Mahabharata it is quoted "Desires thou are born of thoughts (called sankalpa in Sanskrit). I will not entertain selfish thoughts to eliminate desires from their root."

For spiritual evolution, one's motto in life should be Renounce and enjoy. This looks a paradox because when you renounce or let go things or give up your aptitude which gives you enjoyment, then how can a person still enjoys without possessing something he desires or without being attached to someone. In spiritual way of life, there is greater enjoyment when we catch higher values of life than the enjoyment at the sensual level. In spiritual sense Renunciation also means taking up higher values of life and cultivating them so that they become a part and parcel of you - be it human, social, moral and spiritual values. When it happens the lower instincts loosen their grip on you. But our aim should be to eradicate our lower instincts and then only we can advance on the spiritual path. We shall see what are the lower instincts which we should renounce.


All desires are born out of selfishness. Selfishness is the cause of all evil that we do in life. Desires are always deep rooted and cannot be renounced by force. We have to examine our desires, reduce our desires, upgrade our desires so that we concentrate on noble desires and not on sensual desires. Desires to do good to others, desires to evolve your own self to a higher level of consciousness, desires to teach higher values of life to others in order to benefit them are all noble desires. When you upgrade your desires then your sensual desires become weak. Our Puranas say "Sum total of sense pleasures of this world and great pleasure of Heaven are not worth a sixteenth part of the Bliss which proceeds from eradication of desire".


Attachment leads to bondage, the opposite of attachment is detachment. In attachment you have love for a particular person while for others you have no concern. Attachment is love plus selfishness whereas detachment is unselfish love. Detachment is living in the world but remaining unaffected and undisturbed by the happenings of the world. Detachment is like being a lotus in water which retains its original charm without being affected by the surroundings. To get detached to the world, you have to get attached to God. By constant practice one can bring mind to concentrate on God. One way to obtain a detached outlook in life is to love all unconditionally in the same way as God loves all irrespective of caste or creed. Detachment also means performing you duties in life whole heartedly without bothering about the results. Mahabharata underscores that a true renouncer or Tyagi is one who works in a spirit of detachment. When you are detached you care for all. Detachment does not mean that you live the life of a recluse cut off from worldly affairs.


Ego means Me and Mine. Ego also means inflated self-worth, a sense of pride, selfishness or a sense of separateness which is to imagine that you are superior to others. Ego also means taking credit of all works you do by proclaiming that I am the doer. Ego means false identification of ourself with body ignoring that the soul or Atma is the essence of a living being. Ego hinders knowledge. More ego less wisdom is the correct equation. Ego can be erased by offering to God all what you do which includes the results of your doings. When you do that you get a feeling that you are working as per God's will.


Our Upanishad (Isha Upanishad) says that everything in the world is covered by God or belongs to God. Therefore you should have no sense of possession of what you have. You should rejoice in God alone with a feeling of Renunciation. The Upanishad further says that Renunciation is not of life but is of selfishness and ego.

The other thing one must remember is that when you are at a higher state of consciousness you do not exclude yourself from worldly enjoyments. When you participate in worldly enjoyments with you mind established in higher self, the worldly enjoyments would not leave any impressions on your mind. In this state you like every one or enjoy their company but you would have no bondage with any particular person. And if you feel unduly attracted or disturbed by any sense object, you will have the ability to withdraw your senses from the object of your attraction like a tortoise withdraws his limbs inside itself when it feels some danger. This, according to Bhagavad Gita, is one of the signs of a perfect person.


' Renounce and enjoy' is a beautiful aspect of life which can only be experienced and not forced upon anyone. We must remember that life in world and life in spirit are not incompatible. If the concept of Renounce and enjoy is correctly understood, your life becomes a celebration. Life becomes a joyful event with each day brings newness in life besides inner development.