Religious craziness is a form of socially-acceptable insanity.
Case in point: Ammon Bundy is one of the militants who have taken over buildings at the federal Malheur Wildlife Refuge in eastern Oregon.
Here's a short 90-second excerpt from a longer video Bundy made where he talks about what led him to try to help Dwight and Steven Hammond, ranchers in Harney County who were convicted on arson charges when they burned rangeland illegally -- endangering hunters and firefighters.
Somehow Bundy believes that when he needed to clear his mind about what to do, it was the Lord who did this for him. (Me, I've found a nap and coffee work just fine without God.)
Bundy also says that with his mind all clear, he understood how the Lord felt about the Hammonds. And the Lord wasn't pleased about how they'd been treated by government prosecutors, a jury, and the courts.
Now, ordinarily if someone claims that an Invisible Friend left messages in their mind to do this-and-that, we'd be inclined to think that's crazy.
But if a religious person asserts that God is the Invisible Friend, a cloak of cultural OK'ness protects them from most criticism.
Except from secular skeptics like me.
I'm 99.99% sure that the voice Ammon Bundy heard in his head came from him, not God. Hey, I've got mental voices speaking to me all the time, as we all do. But since they sound just like me, and almost always are in tune with the way I see the world, I correctly conclude that my urge to do something emanates from moi.
Which is both psychologically true and socially beneficial.
Because what Bundy says in this video isn't far removed from how Islamic terrorists and other fundamentalist extremists see reality. They also believe that God is impelling them to engage in certain acts.
Granted, so far Ammon Bundy and his band of Malheur Wildlife Refuge occupiers haven't harmed anyone. However, they're armed. And previously the Bundy family was the centerpiece of an faceoff between federal officials and militants that came dangerously close to a shooting war.
Imagining that God is telling you to do something adds a lot of fuel to an extremist fire. An Oregonian story discusses the relation between religion and militancy in "Oregon militants: Why the Bundys' Mormonism matters."
"The Lord was not pleased with what was happening to the Hammonds," Bundy said in the video. "If we allowed the Hammonds to continue to be punished, there would be accountability."
Bundy and his brothers were among hundreds who protested Saturday on behalf of the Hammonds and later led a group of about 20 to take over an office at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.
One militant interviewed by Oregon Public Broadcasting only identifies himself as Captain Moroni, a historic general who, according to church scripture, threatened to "stir up insurrections" and fight "until those who have desires to usurp power and authority shall become extinct" because he felt the government did not care about the country's freedom.
"I do not fear your power nor your authority, but it is my God whom I fear," Moroni said in the Book of Alma, "and it is according to his commandments that I do take my sword to defend the cause of my country."
An Oregon Public Broadcasting piece, "The Bundy Militia's Particular Brand of Mormonism," also dives into the Bundys' religious beliefs.
“I’m Captain Moroni, from Utah.”
That’s how one militiaman at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge responded to OPB’s Amanda Peacher when she asked for his name.
That name is not a silly response to deflect responsibility: In many ways, it encapsulates a deeply intertwined anti-federal sentiment mixed with Mormon symbolism. Captain Moroni is a crucial figure in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He’s also a heroic figure for anti-federalist extremists.
In the modern day west, Captain Moroni has become one of several powerful symbols for the Bundy militia’s anti-governmental extremism.
After Ammon Bundy called on militants to join him in Oregon, the OPB story says: "The man identifying as Captain Moroni said he was inspired by the call, and that the inspiration was validated by God in the form of a flock of geese he saw flying."
Well, I live near the Ankeny National Wildlife Refuge in western Oregon. I see geese flying overhead all the time. Yet I've never used this as a reason to claim God wants me to do something.
That would be freaking crazy. Unless you're religious.
Here are my thoughts,.....on where our "thoughts" might come from:
Inspiration, Thoughts, New Ideas, ...HOW & WHERE Do They Come From? If We Are Puppets, WHO Is Puppet Master?
I have been feeling like writing something about the mystery and methodology of how we manage to suddenly "catch", or "feel" thoughts, especially those that appear new to us, or that suddenly appear out of "some where?"
In order to arrive at even the minutest speculations about this subject, we must first establish a few assumptions.
1) "Something, or Some One," sends those thoughts to us, and are successful of penetrating our skulls, and entering our brains.
2) Or, No one or nothing sends anything to us, and we are only parroting information that we have either read, heard, or seen some where during our life here on earth, in these bodies.
3) If the thoughts are being sent to us, than by Whom, and how? God? ( He/She/It/ETs/spirits/Angels/Messengers/Demons/Aliens/Magicians/Shamans/Witches/Warlocks, humans/animals/???) The list could be endless, depending on on the belief system of the person receiving the thoughts.
But, since this is my Blog, and I am the Writer, than, please allow me the Honor of speculations.
I realize, and know, that after 70 years on earth, in this body, I have read, heard, seen, and experienced stuff that at least, gives me some foundation to weigh, any inner inspiration, or messages, or thoughts that suddenly appear to me, seemingly, out of no where.
I ofter wonder, why my inspiration and ideas seem to be so boring, or have such little value to the world, and hardly worth sharing with any one, other than the few that stumble onto this Blog, and stay even long enough to read past the first post. I also wonder if great people of powers, such as Presidents, Dictators, Kings, Queens, Business people, receive their thoughts the same way.
Well, I am finally arriving at the place in my life, where I am more willing to share exactly what I believe, ( with some), but not all), rather than trying to please all, and tell every one what they want to hear, in support of what they already believe, and are always looking for other confirmation to support their own belief systems.
For me, I believe in an infinite Creator, or Cosmic Power, that no human being has ever fully encountered, or saw and had conversations with, face to face. ( Including Mormons) WE Christians, refer to this Creator as God, but I could fill pages of words used as Titles for this Creative Power I choose to call God, but have already shared some of them on my other Posts here on this blog.
But, since I have never saw God, face to face, ( if another face is actually even involved), I prefer to understand my Creator as THE ONE ETERNAL SPIRIT, WHO has created every thing that has ever been created, and continues to expand creation, as I write, and you read!
I can't even imagine for a second, how materialists, or Atheists, are able to continue living life here, with out any faith in their survival at death of the body, or their belief that it all ends here, so I won't even go there, or comment about such a drab and boring subject.
I believe that my Creator, God, not only has created everything here, on earth, but has also created, and controls all creation in the Universe and Galaxies! I surely can't explain how, or the mechanics, or methodology, or reason God creates, but I know every living thing has a portion of God Anatomy, in order to be a living specie, other wise, no life would be present any where.
But, I AM NOT GOD, nor ever expect to be, in spite of Eastern religious belief, taken from mostly Hindu literature. I do believe that God clones spirits from SPIRIT, and that spirit is called Christ, by we Christians. That spirit is called by other Names by other religions and sects. ( See my other Posts on the blog if interested is seeing other Names)
So, to me, or my understanding, GOD is ETERNAL SPIRIT, and each living entity has been clones from that SPIRIT, and have been given a portion and have become living "souls." Bible records that God breaths His Breath into humans and they become living souls! It also records that the spirit of man is the Candle of The lord!" ( Don't want to Bible thump, or preach, so as not to offend the reader and chase him/her away.)
So, BEFORE that spirit is breathed into humans ( I will only discuss human spirits, on this post, or it can get real controversial), that spirit, was created by SPIRIT at some time in the past, but no one including me, knows when. But, once created, that spirit is Eternal! That I believe, and is what I choose to live by. So, considering NO ONE really KNOWS just where God resides, or where "Heaven" really is located, individual spirits that God has created in the past, are spirits when not materialized, but are "souls" once they have incarnated into HUMAN bodies. So, again, after God breaths Breath into humans, they become living souls.
OK, so far, so easy to understand! So, humans are born, live life, and die. Its all part of the process in the "Play of Consciousness." So, as soon as the body dies, and the spirit again is released from the body, since it is Eternal, it re-enters the spirit realm. Religions argue about where spirit goes. But, for now, let's just agree that it goes some where, and is no longer in the human body.
Now these spirits, too numerous to even number, are still controlled by Eternal Creator, SPIRIT, i.e. God. As in earth life, we each have different agendas, lives, jobs, etc. etc. There is always some sort of "Chain of Command", regardless of what Nationality or country humans find them selves born in. So, someone is always communicating with humans from a material level, and teaching them, but what about thoughts, and intuition, or inspiration again?
Well, there are some egotists who have the audacity to think they have God's private Hot Line, and receive their instructions directly from Him! But, that's not my belief.
I believe that I receive my thoughts from dis-incarnated spirits, who were once humans, or at least, the thoughts that I receive that I can recognise, or sort out to have originated on earth. Just as here on earth, not every human has the same knowledge, morals, or beliefs. Why would spirits become geniuses when leaving human bodies that were idiots? Spiritual growth is a constant progression, forward, towards SPIRIT, so I weigh any thoughts, or messages I receive, based on my experience and learning while here. Of course, Reincarnation and Karma have to be considered, otherwise, no telling where such thoughts could be coming from.
I have read all the possibilities of where different humans receive their thoughts, messages, and instructions from.
Jesus, Jehovah, Allah, Buddha, Mohammad, the Virgin Mary, Catholic Saints, Indian Gurus, human spirits asleep and Astral projecting, Remote Viewers, Shamans, Aliens, demons, Angels, Prophets, Saints, etc. etc. But, we have to be reasonable enough, to settle the fact that none of us are important enough in Eternal Creation to have the only Direct Channel to SPIRIT. Sorry, Pentecostals, speaking in Tongues isn't gonna enlighten you, or make you God, or enable you to get any private Spiritual information worth trying to change anything in the world.
I believe the Chain of Command is used in the Spiritual World by Creator SPIRIT GOD, Who uses spirits to continue the Play of Conciousness. Other planets, in other Galaxies, where ever life forms, in material form exist, also have incarnated spirits cloned from SPIRIT. So, I can't remember ever receiving any messages from any of them, or I'd have a whole lot more interesting information to share with Y'all right now, but, meanwhile, until I do receive any thing of interest, I remain, and bid Y'all pleasant and Eternal Journies, in SPIRIT.
Posted by: Jim Sutherland | January 06, 2016 at 03:59 AM
Bla, bla, bla....
As long as the term "God" can not be defined by ALL humanity the same, it means nothing. I can't even read the term "God" without thinking, "WTF are you talking about?"
Some say, "God is love." But then...I think...well...NO! Love is love! That's what it is. Love needs to be defined too, just like the term "God" needs to be defined. And when we know what love is, why would we say, "God is love" anyway?
It's like saying, "wine is life." No. Wine is wine and life is life. And wine MIGHT be some lame analogy for what life is all about. That's how I think about anybody, who is a self-proclaimed chrisitian. Self-proclaimed christians are to me like...like...saying, "I don't know who and what I realy am, therefore I call myself a christian. I don't deal in contemplation much. I just hail Jesus."
Calling oneself a christian to me is like refusing to acknowledge the fact that I'm a human being. What's wrong with being a human being? That's not good enough? It has no proper authority to claim something as being right? How comes?
(And sorry, Brian, for .....yah know...this is... therefore....)
Without humor all is nothing. How strong the point that have been made in some kind of issue may be, no humor, no truth. No truth, not being a christian.
I'm Satan, dude. Ask me something. I'm in the mood right now....for destroying lame and over-used concepts that justify superiourity over atheists. I think I'M highly underrated.
Anyway...what ever it may be someone is telling me, who is a christian, I consider it as this:
I'm not self-realized, therefore I claim a title that does not fit me, but who cares? Nobody.
Christianity, nowerdays, is like...like...saying. "See? This is my diploma, dude." And then I ask, "where did you get it from?" And the answer is, "I printed it myself. I have a 3D printer, Chicky."
Posted by: Anja | January 06, 2016 at 11:12 AM
“You can safely assume you've created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.”― Anne Lamott
Posted by: x | January 07, 2016 at 08:45 AM
It's called : Inner Dialogue
A part of it comes from conscience
Consciense is different per human
We ca easily amplify it by repetition
I prefer the sweet sound
Posted by: 777 | January 08, 2016 at 03:37 PM
"Then the Spirit lifted me up, and I heard a great rumbling sound behind me, "Blessed be the glory of the LORD in His place."
The SOUND of........................Silence.
Posted by: Jim Sutherland | January 09, 2016 at 02:44 AM
So many are already frightening the guys with this s
à la B rian
How could the all pervading ringing Name be silent
as if He were a relic from the past
Posted by: 777 | January 09, 2016 at 11:19 AM
If you've ever wondered why the gibberish of religious nuts is published here, it's because it provides demonstrable proof of the idiocy of religion.
Posted by: x | January 09, 2016 at 11:33 AM
"The essence of dramatic tragedy is not unhappiness. It resides in the solemnity of the remorseless working of things." (Alfred North Whitehead)
Tragedy is the “solemnity of the remorseless working of things” and the purpose of life, whether you are like Brian or Amon Bundy, is to avoid tragedy.
The remorseless working of things lies at the heart of moral philosophy, ethics, and religion. Unique (so far as we know) among we who exist (or were created, depending upon your perspective) is our recognition of that the path we are on has about it a remorselessness that we have little ability to control or to determine or to possibly understand.
Brian writes later about the distinction between determinism and fatalism. We seek, through reason or the dictates of faith to set ourselves on that path most likely to avoid the tragedy of that remorseless working of things.
For me, the tragedy comes with finding myself on a path from which I cannot turn back and that I am being pushed by and confronted with a remorseless working over which I have no control. The most I can do is to make minor corrections. For me that remorseless path leads to a door through which I alone pass and through which I cannot return, despite each of us also inexorably progressing toward similar doors.
A precious few of us have the knowledge or understanding to clear away the cobwebs or pierce the fog of the past or the near future to see more clearly than do others. Some seek to clear away that fog through faith and the dictates of a supreme being, doing so in order to cope with this remorseless working that carries us as we also carry ourselves forward. The remorseless working does not permit backtracking or stopping; the remorseless working is inexorable.
Individually and collectively we seek to make those corrections of which we are capable. In a secular society we collectively make those corrections through law and civil behavior. Amon Bundy, as do all evangelicals, seeks to rely upon a higher power and to justify his actions based upon the dictates and the words of that higher power.
Amon Bundy thinks he was placed here as the agent of a higher authority. I reject that notion. For me and for the clarity I have as to my personal end the remorseless working as in store for me says that the highest authority is the collective decisions we make through our secular civil society. I can only buy into that which I have been born and bred to as a citizen. Your personal actions must be guided by the values you have framed through your own struggles to understand this remorseless working of things. You cannot dictate to me the corrections I must make; the only entities that can do that are the civil and political structures we and our ancestors framed in order for us to live and work together in some modicum of amity.
Posted by: Richard van Pelt | January 10, 2016 at 06:11 AM