Archive for the ‘Church’ Category

Tell me what you think of these songs:

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to people of good will. We praise thee, we bless thee.” From Gloria Canon

“We are marching in the light of God” From An African Celebration

“Let us sing altogether to the Son of God. He is born as our saviour and redeemer. Come see the Christ child in the manger. The sweet little babe, Christ the King.” From Psallite

“Holy, Holy, Holy Lord of hosts. Holy, Holy, Holy God of power and might. Heaven and earth are filled with all your glorious works. Blest are they who worship in your Holy Name. Holy, Holy, Holy Lord of hosts. Holy, Holy, Holy God of power and might. Holy, Holy, Holy evermore the same.” From Sanctus

So what do you think of when you read these lyrics? Would you say these are religious songs? Would you come to the conclusion that perhaps these songs would be sung in a church? I come here to you today as a pissed off parent to find out these very same songs were performed by my daughters PUBLIC school choir. I was never informed and there was never a permission slip given to me asking if I thought this material was okay. I never received anything from her school. I did not find out about this until I was sitting in the stands and the program was passed out.

I was immediately outraged by this! I could not contain my emotions. I expressed my frustrations to my wife which started a separation of church and state debate in the stands of the auditorium. I am sure the parents sitting around us were either offended or amused by our banter. In my opinion this shit does not belong in our public schools. This is a clear violation of separation between church and state. You can clearly see these songs are religious based. The lyrics do not try and hide there purpose. It is just BAM in your face. I wanted to get up; grab my daughter and pull her from this performance. I will be contacting her school today. But wait it doesn’t stop there!

I was chatting with my daughter one day afterschool and she was telling me about how in social studies they are learning about Judaism. She recanted the story of Moses and the Pharaoh and the plagues that came to the Egyptian people. She went on to say Moses parted the Red Sea in order to get away. She then explained how Moses reached Mount Sinai and spoke to the burning bush, and about how on the top of the mountain God gave Moses the Ten Commandments written by Gods finger on two stone tablets. They were teaching her this as if it is a fact not a religious belief. I am all up in arms over this. I was irritated when she was telling me about this, and I had to immediately correct her and explain that these events are not real facts they are a man made fairy tale. She has been my daughter long enough to already know this to be true. I think these songs really pushed me off the ledge.

I really want to call her school and confront the principle on this subject. I will try to refrain because I am not sure how articulate I will come across. Now back to the debate with my wife. She was telling me I am an extremist in my views and that I am a hypocrite because I am making such a big deal about this. I am not sure if she really gets my point. Here is my stance. I do not think kids should be exposed to religion until they hit the age of reason. At this point I am all for them seeking out faith if they so choose. If my daughter is fifteen and chooses to go to church I will support her. If she chooses to become a Muslim I will support her. If she so chooses the Tao or to believe in nothing I will support her. Of course I would love to expose her to my belief system, but that goes against what I believe is right for my children. I do not think exposing children to religion is the right thing because their minds are not fully developed and frankly they are gullible and will believe just about anything.

My youngest son (6) has been recently talking a lot about God, Jesus and Heaven. I am not sure where these ideas are coming from but I am not okay with this. He has been told this by someone and now looks at it as a fact. I mean c’mon this kid still believes in Santa Claus so that about says it all. I made a mistake with my daughter. She used to go to this Christian daycare center and was exposed to religion. Every time we talked I had to reprogram her to set her straight. I told her these things are fairy tales and are false teachings. I succeeded in swaying her away from Christianity. She really enjoyed the movie “Religulous” which makes me think she is probably an atheist. This point is where I can see I am hypocritical. I didn’t want to do the same thing to my son so I just tell him that this is something people believe, and is not rooted in any logical form of thinking. I really doubt he understands what that means, because he still believes in Jesus just as much as he does Santa Claus. I would love nothing more than to start schooling him in Taoism, but like I said this goes against my belief system.

All I know is I am pissed about her social studies class. Something should have been sent home informing the parents what they will be teaching when it comes to religion. I am also pissed because her choir teacher should have sent something home asking the parents if they are okay with this material. I am a firm believer in the separation between church and state. God has no place in our government and sure as shit has no place in our public schools.

About a month ago I unexpectedly received an e-mail from a site called “God Thoughts Wired.” I am a member of www.Biblestudytools.com, this is where I go whenever I sit back and read the Bible. It’s a great resource because they have every version of the Bible, and have a nice tool where you can compare different versions side-by-side. The interesting thing about doing this is you can see the subtle changes made through time, which ends up tainting the original meaning, but I digress. When I signed up for this site I made sure I unchecked all those boxes to ensure I did not receive any un-wanted e-mails from them. Armed with this knowledge I was a bit confused why and how I started to receive these e-mails. I can never resist some good theological talk so I eagerly opened them and I have enjoyed what I have been reading since. I am not saying I enjoyed them as in I agreed with what this guy was saying; I enjoyed them because at times these e-mails would really get me going to the point where I am talking to myself in my office. I am sure passersby’s wondered what was going on when I blurted out “are you kidding me!”

With every e-mail received I was taken on a roller coaster ride from being inspired to being frustrated with anger. I really wanted to find a way to communicate with the mastermind behind all of this because his points and messages at times are completely insane, but there are some other times where he seems so right. This though is not my concern for this post; my concern lies in how these e-mails came to be. My guess would be one of my Christian readers signed me up for this mailing list in the hopes I could be converted, or perhaps one day I will read one of his messages and a light will go off in my head and all of a sudden I am saved. I must admit now that in reading these e-mails I have had some light bulb moments causing me to think I am on the wrong path, and in some his points are so… well Christian.

I am not going to go into detail on these e-mails because frankly I am constructing some posts based off said e-mails. I just want to thank whom ever out there signed me up for these wonderful e-mails. I thoroughly enjoy reading them when they come. I haven’t gotten a new one since the seventeenth so I am kind of disappointed. These e-mails are thought provoking, and yes I must admit at times are rousing. There have been a few I have gotten where I had to immediately go to my Bible or the Quran to follow up on some reading to ensure the message I was receiving was based on fact. I love the Bible and I love getting lost in scripture. I may not believe but I do feel a sense of something when I read the Word, but I also get this feeling from reading other religious doctrines.

I want to thank you Christian Ninja for turning my mind and thoughts onto this site. I hope to create some intriguing posts based off the information this pastor is spreading through the World Wide Web.

Every time I think I can no longer be surprised by my daughters’ mom Melissa Fleury, she proves to out due herself. This is the first time I have used her actual name in a post; as you know I have been lovingly referring to her as Satan. She was supposed to pick my daughter up for their four-hour visit two Sundays ago. It was my wife’s birthday weekend so we were not sure if the change would work or not. I told her I would let her know Sunday morning if we had a change in plans. I texted Satan in the morning letting her know she could take her. I never received a response back so I kept checking with my daughter to see if she had heard from her. It was getting close to the pick-up time so I decided to ask my daughter once again. She told me that her mom text her and can’t see her this week because she was up all night praying and is too tired to visit. Upon hearing this I was a bit shocked, but then started laughing over the absurdness of the excuse.

Melissa is a perfect example of religion gone wrong. She has always been in my opinion lacking normal intelligence. Because of this void of a brain it had been difficult dealing with her in the past, but once religion got a hold of her it totally twisted her up. Throughout the whole time she wasn’t seeing her daughter she often referred to how God was trying to “teach” my daughter a lesson by not allowing my daughter to see her and her sisters. She has referred to how she has been praying that our daughter would just admit that her husband was not mistreating her when in reality he had. It just amazes me how a semi-functional human being can be totally misguided by faith. She has gotten to the point of extremism.  

It is because of these things and others I had to stop them from talking on the phone without it being monitored. When she wrote her final letter to our daughter saying she was no longer going to see her anymore she stated how she had to pray really hard before the answer came (I am assuming from God) to her which was to no longer see her. I am not a Christian, but I am pretty sure God would not condone a mother abandoning her first-born daughter.

Either way this woman is insane. To say you cannot come and see your daughter because you are hung over from praying is just borderline psychotic. She still had to get up and take care of her other two daughters, but couldn’t take four hours out of her day to see her first-born child, which is much easier to care for then her younger daughters. The sad part is my daughter thought this was a normal acceptable excuse. I know she has come to grips with the fact that her mom is not a very good mom, but still. I think part of the reason she wasn’t coming was because there was a Green Bay Packer game on Sunday night. Her husband (Fuck Face) is from Wisconsin so he makes a big deal out of these games. I think he didn’t want to have to watch the girls so he made Melissa stay home. It has been one year and eight months since she has seen her sisters and this would have been a perfect time to allow her to see her them. I know my daughters’ youngest sister was just a baby the last time she saw her, and the other was only two. I am pretty sure they are unaware they even have a sister.

I am on the fence whether she was really up all night praying and was too tired to come and see her. The excuse just seems so out there and unbelievable… which is why I tend to believe it.

After Moses freed the people of Israel from Egypt; they sailed off into the sunset, embarking on a journey through the desert. They walked and walked and walked until they arrived at Mount Sinai. Moses took a trip up said mountain and was gone for forty days and forty nights. Upon his return he came down the mountain with the Ten Commandments carved into stone by Gods own finger. These Ten Commandments would become the list of religious and moral imperatives for those of the Jewish and Christian beliefs. The list is quaint yet eloquent. I have met people who believe the only laws God gave us were the Ten Commandments. This is not the case; God also gave us the “Book of the Covenant” which contains many more specific laws God gave us. I think the Ten Commandments became more popular among man because they were easier to remember and follow. The word “commandments” is mentioned numerous times in the Bible, and I do not feel they are just referring to the ten most popular ones. My father is the only person I have ever met who follows all of Gods laws; but I digress. My concern in relation to this post is how we consistently break the first Commandment. I am not talking about just those who believe differently, I am talking about those who follow the Christian and Catholic faiths.

The Ten Commandments are mentioned in Exodus 20:2-7 and in Deuteronomy 5:6-21. The first Commandment in Exodus 20:3-5 reads as follows:

3.Do not have any gods before me. 4. You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. 5. You shall not bow down or worship them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God.”

First I would like to point out the verbiage in this passage. It says no other ‘gods” before me. I take this as there being the possibility of other Gods out there. Which would make sense since the Tao gave birth to God, which means she could have given birth to multiple Gods. I was a bit offended by the lower case “g”.

To me this Commandment is pretty cut and dry. We should only worship and pray to one God. We should not construct any idols to worship. This is how God wanted us to be; but do we actually follow this? The answer to that question is a huge NO. Catholic churches pray and bow down to the Mother Mary, and many different Saints; where those of the Christian and Catholic faiths worship and pray to Jesus Christ. In every church I have ever been to (I didn’t start on fire after walking through the door) there was always a huge cross with Jesus perched upon it somewhere in the building. I don’t know about you, but to me this is worshiping a false idol. Not that Jesus was false, but that we have created and turned him into an idol we pray and worship to.

Matthew 15:9 “But in vein they do worship me, (Jesus) teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.”

I think what Jesus is saying is we would eventually get to a point where Christianity becomes more about Jesus than it does about God himself. There is a story somewhere in the Bible; I think in Exodus about two men who constructed this golden calf so they could use it as an alter to make sacrifices to God. Moses became angry and told them to step off of the golden calf because that constitutes worshiping false idols. I ask you this; what is the difference between this golden calf and all those Jesus, Saints, crosses, and Mother Mary’s statues in our churches? To me this sounds like worshiping false idols.

I tend to get confused a bit when reading the New Testament. I get the feeling that Jesus puts himself on an equal playing field as God, and insinuates he is one and the same. One of the many examples is in John 14:15 “If ye love me, keep my commandments.”  This was taken from a conversation with a man where Jesus clearly says the commandments are his commandments. There are other examples throughout the New Testament that brings up this strange concept. I understand Jesus is the son of God, but is by no means a God himself. An opposite example is in Mark 12:29 “and Jesus answered him the first of all commandments is hear, O Israel the Lord our God is one Lord.”  Jesus is telling this man that there is only one Lord, yet throughout the Bible Jesus is referred to as the Lord. I think this confusing duality is put to bed nicely in Revelation 14:12 “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the Commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” When it comes to this conundrum I have been speaking about this chapter and verse point out that God is supreme and his commandments should be followed, and we must also have the faith of Jesus in our hearts. Correct me if I am wrong but I believe before Jesus was Jesus he was the Word. If this is true and not a part of my imagination than these types of duality comments would make more sense.

For those of you out there who are of the Christian belief I ask you to sit down and meditate about this post. Ask yourself if we have gotten to the point where we have created false idols. If the answer is yes than you must reassess your beliefs a bit. If the answer is no; then at least you got fifteen minutes of quite time.

In life I am consumed with a lot of “why” questions. One of the biggest whys I think of is “why was religion created.” There are reasons and origins for everything in life, and our sacred texts are no different. Anthropologists and theologians have come up with many different theories for why people created religion. Two of the major reasons for the creation of religion are psychological and sociological. These two schools are different and tend to stand strong to their respective beliefs. I believe these two schools of thought are both correct, I just think psychological is the foundation of religion and sociological is build upon it. I will admit there are times I think sociological reasons come first, but I just can’t move past the powerful human psyche and our need to explain the unexplainable.

Sociological theories are rooted in the belief that religion was created not out of a psychological need, but for sociological purposes. This theory says that society creates beliefs to form the moral force of the human community. All sacred objects, beliefs, acts, and the intense emotions surrounding them, are outward expressions of inward social necessities. We can assume people would agree that murder is bad. Those in power will use whatever is necessary to explain why we should refrain from murder. The sociological theories state because the social necessity to keep everyone safe from murder; religion then creates laws against such actions. For example there are small villages in South America where they believe if you commit murder the soul of the murdered will haunt the murderer for eternity. For these tribes this is how they explain why murder is bad, and gives consequences if you break this community law. My argument is first there would have had to been the concept of the haunting soul before said soul could haunt. These types of ingrained beliefs do not just start overnight they take time to develop.

The psychological theory says that people created religion to fill a psychological need. One of the psychological schools of thought is the anxiety-reduction theories, which I believe is the root for why religion was created. There are two theories in particular I find interesting. The first is the awe theory. The awe theory says religious experience is in the nature of the case touched with intense feelings of the grandeur of the universe in relation to the self and of the vulnerability of the self in relation to the universe. This theory does very little to address the human morality concerns and instead try’s to make us seem significant in such a vast landscape. I think when people contemplate the vastness of the universe we are left with feeling very small and insignificant. Because of our massive egos we need to find justifications for why we are special. There are so many things we cannot begin to understand so we create a higher being that is responsible for such a mind boggling concept.

I do like the awe theory, but feel the confidence theory holds more weight. The confidence theory begins with a notion of mans inward sense of weakness, and especially of his fears of disease or death, of ill fortunes of all kinds and they see religious practices as designed to quiet such fears, either by explaining them away as doctrines of the afterlife, or by claiming to link the individual to external sources of strength as in prayer. I know from experience this theory holds the most weight. I have searched my entire life to find the answers to such fears. I have always said the fear of death and the unknown is at its very core the reason we create and adhere to such beliefs. I wonder how many people would seek salvation for their souls if they were not taught the alternative is to burn in eternal damnation. If we were raised in a society that taught once your journey in this body was complete then you just ceased to exist. If we were able to accept our morality would there be any need for God?  

In my opinion it is the chicken or the egg question. I do not think societal norms created religion, rather religion created the societal norms. Once the belief system is established the people fall in line with the doctrine from which they choose to follow. To prove this point one only needs to look at the Bible. First came God then came His laws.

A while ago I wrote a post about my current projects. Since then a few things have been finished and a few of my projects have been altered, because I am a shameful promoter I would like to give an update on my progress. Things have been progressing nicely although there are some tedious things causing me to dread the process. Feedback is always needed.

Dylan Thomas: This is a children’s book series written in poetry form. The goal is to create stories which appeal to ages 2-10. I want the rhyming and lush drawings to not only draw the kids in, but also make the stories enjoyable for the parents as well. I have completed the first story “Dylan Thomas: Finds His Courage.” Currently it is in the illustration phase and will be released the end of September. I hope to have the next installment “Dylan Thomas: Bedtime Songs” I hope to have this available for sale by February 2011 or sooner.

This series is probably the only way I will make any money from my writing, and hopefully this series will help me land a literary agent. The stories will follow the same flow as far as the rhyming poetry, but the illustrations will change. I think this is exciting because it will keep things fresh. The illustrator Jeff Chia has one more page to complete, and my sister Cailee is doing the editing. I hope to have everything but together by September 1st. This will allow me a month to ensure everything looks good on the actual book. I am a quarter done with the next installment.

Yin; A poetry chapbook chronicling my dark side. I have already finished this book, and should be released before November 2010.

This is completed with all poems in my journal. I just need to type and edit. I hope to have this out by November. I will either sell “Yin” and “Yang” separately or combine them into one book. If I were to combine them into one I would set it up where “Yin” is on one side and “Yang” on the other. I am planning on setting them up as pocket books.

Yang; A poetry chapbook chronicling my light side. I have already finished this book, and should be released before November 2010

Politico; Working Title This poetry chapbook focuses on my political and theological perspectives. This book is also finished with an expected release date before November 2010.

This book will contain my political, philosophical, and theological points of view. There is a website called Politico, so I am unsure if the name is copyrighted or not. If it is I will have to get their blessings to use their names. There were plenty political poems in “My Descent into Madness,” and seemed to be well received.

The Mind of a Madman: (working title) this is a novel written in poetry form describing the inner workings of a psychopath in the making, and his journey into madness, starting from the time of conception up until… the rest will be a surprise. This has been a difficult book to work on, the places these poems take me is very dark. If I spend too much time there I may become a product of my words.

I have been all over the place in writing this one. I am jumping around to different phases of the main characters’ life. I am planning on telling this story strictly in poetry form or if I should add some narrative to it. This is taking longer than I expected, because I can only stay a short time in this mans mind.

The Philosophy of Me: The life and mind of no one special: This will be a book based off 365 days of my blogging entries. This will appeal to my fans wanting all my entries in print, and introduce the site to new readers. I will also use this as part of my portfolio.

I received an e-mail from a reader saying she would purchase this even though it is just an edited version of my blog. I suppose if one person would enjoy it than others may as well.

My Journey Through Taoism; This will include every verse from the Tao Te Ching along with my quest into understanding and living the Tao. Many books are written by experts. I hope to relate to readers who are new to Taoism by explaining my journey seeking understanding. At the end of each chapter I will be including a poem based off the verse. I do not want to rush this; so I am unaware of a release date 

This will be written in real time chronicling my quest into understanding Taoism. This book is the reason I stopped adding verses in my blog. I don’t want too many books to cross pollinate. I am enjoying this project because I can spend a few weeks working on each verse which will really bring me closer to the Way. In writing this in the perspective of someone seeking the Way it may help others understand it better and assist them on their journey. 

The Humor In Theology; I was originally going to write a descriptive timeline and the evolution of religion. I realized this book would only appeal to a certain audience. I was becoming overwhelmed with the mighty scope of this project. I decided to stick with the theology aspect but instead write it in a humorous way. I think this will be informative as well as funny.

I changed this from a serious educational book into a comedy. I will look into religions of the past and current beliefs and point out the goofiness of what people believe. There is a religion in Africa which believed their God vomited up the entire universe. This is just one of the silly beliefs people hold onto. It is amazing how people completely abandon logic in the name of faith.

The Philosophy of Quotes: Everyone loves quotes, and it seems each person may walk away with different perspectives on the meaning of these quotes. This book explains my philosophical view on the meaning of quotes. I hope to turn this into multiple volumes; each volume will be broken down by letters of the alphabet. I am excited to take a deeper look at my favorite quotes. 

I thought I would enjoy this one, but I have been running into a little bit of frustrations. My mind will not shift into this mode, which is holding this bad boy up.

Deceived: (working title.) This book examines how the Christian religion has allowed itself to be destroyed by the word of man. I have read the Bible a number of times; once because of faith, once as a theologian, and once as a skeptic. You would be amazed how much the bible has been changed to not only create copyrights, but to change the original meaning of the “Word of God” to fit mans needs. This book will be written entirely on a non-biased theological way looking strictly at the Word.

If I want to properly do this one I will need to focus 100% of my attention on it. I will need to simultaneously read three to four separate versions of the Bible. I started this awhile back and read the first couple chapters of Genesis, and it made my head hurt. I really think this project has potential, but with the amount of time I have to work on my writing it would take a year or two and I am not sure if I want to make that type of commitment on something which may not reap what I sowed.

On a side note I have thought of releasing my poetry books with commentary as far as what I was feeling and the meaning. I tend to write in abstract ways and I have had people tell me they get lost in finding the true meaning. I just wonder if this is sacrilegious with poetry because poetry is meant to be subjective to the reader. I am worried my poems may lose some of its luster if I add commentary. On the flip side some of my dedicated readers may care enough to know the story behind the poem.

What are your thoughts? Do you think I may be wasting my time with some of these books? I am starting my quest today to find an agent and I wonder if they want to see complete projects or is a concept enough to wet their whistle.

The question that I am going to ask, I’m hoping to get a 3rd party outside opinion on and it is a very religious based question which hopefully you won’t mind but I have noticed with the blog you have touched on different aspects of religion, so here it goes….

I have two girls. One is almost two and the other was born almost a week ago. It was brought to my attention at the birth of my second daughter by my eventually to be mother in-law that I need to get her and her older sister baptized and I need to get them both baptized right away because I waited too long to baptized my older daughter and if anything happens to her she will go to hell. Obviously the remedy would be to baptize. (I kept putting it off with the first child unfortunately) The only issue is that my mother in-law and the father of my children are raging Catholics. I am Lutheran. I don’t really belong to a church though but I was a raised a Lutheran. They want me to baptize my girls Catholic and my mother in-law even has the godparents picked out and the church and probably everything else down to the napkins that will be used at the reception. Ideally I would like my children to be able to choose what religion they would like to practice and I think that with how strict Catholicism seems to be I don’t really want to baptize them in a Catholic church with two strangers acting as their god-parents just because they are friends with my mother in-law unless it was something that I knew that they would want. I have been researching baptism and a lot of the churches want you to be registered as an active church member as well as to take a pre-baptism class and so on and so forth. 

What would your advice be to my situation? Do you think that I should just back up and set my beliefs aside for right now and get the girls baptized as Catholics? Should I maybe do an elope type of thing and go to the local Lutheran Church with some witnesses and baptize them as Lutherans? I have no idea what to do and I am feeling very forced into something that should be a joyous occasion.

Thank you very much for taking the time to read my situation/question!

Sincerely,

Monica

Monica,

Thank you for the question Monica. I will attempt to answer this question in a non-biased way. First I will start with; no one no matter how old they are should have religious believes forced upon them. Your future mother in-law should not attempt to steamroll you into making a decision you do not feel comfortable with. The fact she is your “future” mother in-law only increases the pressure you are feeling. If you look at the many inquisitions throughout history; you will discover Catholics tend to be a tad bit more forceful when pushing their beliefs on other people. Your future mother in-law should respect your given right of freedom of religion. 

I do not believe having your children baptized in any faith; will matter either way. To me it is a ritualistic act, and has no barring on where your children’s souls would go if they were to pass today. It is my understanding the God of the Bible is a jealous and vengeful God, who prefers us to fear Him. With that being said; I have a hard time believing the concept of Him denying your innocent child a ticket into heaven based on whether you did or did not have holy water on their body. This concept is absurd and if I was hearing this for the first time I would not want anything to do with a God so spiteful. I am not 100% on this but I believe it says your children can suffer based off the sins of their parents. I am of the belief these concepts were added to the Bible for purposes of fear mongering and are used in the form of re-education.

I do not believe children should be subjected to religion, I believe this is a deeply personal and life altering decision. This decision should be mad when they are at the age of reason. This goes back to fear mongering tactics aimed at scaring them into believing based on the possibility of whether their soul will be sent to a permanent time-out in hell. I have heard from many people who say “I would rather believe and be wrong, then to not believe and be wrong.” This comment has come out from far to many people and is evident of a forced foundation of belief. When we believe based off this assumption is when we live a life of consistently lying to ourselves.

The question I have for you is what do you believe? They are your children, and as their mother you need to follow is in their best interest. Do not make a decision based off appeasing your future in-laws. Being baptized is an intimate and big religious step, and your children deserve the right to make that decision on their own.

I was watching “The Invention of Lying,” over the weekend. I thought to myself how intelligent of a movie this was. This touched on several interesting aspects of our society; most importantly the concept of religion. The movie takes place in a world without lying; everyone openly speaks the truth without barriers of any kind. The main character was a loser to his peers; until he was given the ability to lie, or “say things that aren’t.” The concepts which interested me the most is how lying affects our daily lives in many different ways; most notably our personal, work, and spiritual lives. I would like to touch on these topics and how they differ from this make-believe world compared to our society.

Personal: The characters of this film held nothing back when dealing with their fellow-man. If they thought something it came out of their mouths. In the beginning of the film the main character and lead actress met for a blind date. She was upfront about not being interested because he was short and chubby, and would not make a favorable genetic match. It was interesting how the main character responded to these insults; he showed no anger from being put down. This lack of anger seemed to be a cultural norm. I would imagine the absence of anger is a result of being born and raised with people consistently being honest. The people would be used to hearing how it really is, and would not be shocked if they heard a negative truth. Besides the lack of anger there are many different aspects of how our personal lives would be; one example would be infidelity. The people would not cheat, because they would have no option to lie about their infidelity. This would result in zero cheating. The divorce rate would drop dramatically, because you would always have honest open communication with your mate.

When he invented lying he was able to walk out of the bank with more money then what he had in his account. He was able to convince a woman who was out of his league to agree to sleep with him. He told her the world would end if they did not have sex. Throughout the movie you could see how he made people feel better about themselves by lying to them. He convinced his neighbor to not kill himself, by filling him with self-confidence. The examples are many in this film.

Work: The main character worked as a script writer for a movie company. The movies they had in this world were made based off historical facts. These movies were just narrated by someone. They did not have the concept of actors, because the actors would not be able to act. The writers at this studio could not create something based off their imagination; the concept of an imagination did not exist. In the film he was fired because the century he was assigned to was just to boring. When he discovered the ability to lie he created this completely out there script filled with lie after lie, everyone believed what he said. His ability to lie brought him unthinkable amounts of wealth.

Spirituality: The most interesting concept of this movie was the lack of any kind of religion; to me this means if no one was ever able to lie then it means it takes lying to create religion. The people believed once you died your life was over, this caused the people to greatly fear this aspect of the life cycle. The main characters mother was on her death-bed, and he was by her side comforting her. She was expressing how she was afraid to go into the unknown. He did what any good son would do; he lied. He told her a story about the man in the sky, and how when you pass away you are taken to him and live happily for eternity. This calmed and soothed his mother, so she was able to die in peace. There was a nurse who overheard what he was saying, and the story of the man in the sky spread like wildfire.

The people gathered outside his mansion demanding he relay the messages the man in the sky was saying to him. He was not prepared for this and had to quickly come up with things he was telling him. The funny part was he wrote these things on pizza boxes which looked just like the tablets Moses brought down from mountain. He went out to address the people; he described the man in the sky similar to what Christianity was. The people were relieved to know there was an afterlife. They became angry when they found out everything ever done was the doing of the man in the sky. At one point the people shouted “fuck the man in the sky,” because they found out all the bad things that happened to them were a result of the man in the sky. They became relieved when they found out all the good things which happened to them were also a result of the man in the sky. It was interesting to see how society began to change as this religious concept swept through the people.

“Religion is the impotence of the human mind to deal with occurrences it cannot understand.”
Karl Marx

“Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.”

Karl Marx

This is a clever movie; I recommend everyone see it. When you are watching the movie make sure you are studying the movie to catch everything beyond the comedy surface. I would like to hear what other things people noticed, or comment on what I brought up. The question I propose to you is this. Was the society better off without religion? Is a society of no lying better than a society with lying?

I started an eight part series on the Seven Deadly Sins. I made the argument that the Seven Deadly sins were a man made list; created to control the people who were under the control of the Catholic Church and the Roman Empire. I admit there are paths which cross between the Catholic Church’s Seven Deadly Sins and the Ten Commandments such as wraith or lust, but I chose to focus deeper and find a diabolical plan to control the simple minded peasants. I was reading the Book of Proverbs, and came across something which throws my theory right out the window. I have no choice but to admit I am wrong.

Proverbs (6:16-24)

6:16 These six things doth the LORD hate : yea, seven are an abomination unto him:

6:17 A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,

6:18 An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,

6:19 A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.

6:20 My son, keep thy father’s commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother:

6:21 Bind them continually upon thine heart, and tie them about thy neck.

6:22 When thou goest , it shall lead thee; when thou sleepest , it shall keep thee; and when thou awakest , it shall talk with thee.

6:23 For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life.

6:24 To keep thee from the evil woman, from the flattery of the tongue of a strange woman.

This may not be the exact list presented by the Church, but the message is the same. I cannot blame the Church for preaching such things. Another list of bad things, given this time by the Epistle to the Galatians (Galatians 5:19-21), includes more of the traditional seven sins, although the list is substantially longer: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, “and such like”.

The only way I am able to stick to my argument is if these books were added or altered by the Church. They had control over which books made the Bible, as well as the translation. I feel the concept of hell, was a man made addition to the Bible as a fear mongering tactic. I wish I was around during this time to watch this process. I feel like the message I am receiving when I am reading the Bible is a distorted one; straying away from the original meaning.

These types of man made changes are happening today, which is what inspired me to begin the book “Deceived.” I have learned from listening to my father preach; there are many things which have been changed not only through the written Word, but also the messages being preached by television sermons. The three which stick out most is there was never meant to be a separation between Christianity and Judaism, and the changing of the Sabbath, and the teaching we are saved by grace not works. I am reading 3-4 separate versions to find other teachings which have been altered over the generations. I would recommend to the Christians out there who attend church to read the KJV after a sermon and compare it to the Word. I would love to hear stories from you on things you have found.

What do you think?

“I see that you have a book on changes that have taken place in the bible. I’m thinking that you can answer some of the questions that keep me up at night. I am just looking for a short answer truthfully. I have friends that are Jehovah’s Witnesses, and I have been studying with them, but grew up in a community church, so that is the background of the questions.
Obviously, from the question I haven’t read the entire bible and don’t have a huge understanding of it yet…but am working on it. I am just wanting to learn the “right way”
 
 1) is the true name of God Jehovah? And that is what He wants to be called??
 
2) Do we go to heaven/hell when we die?
 
Thanks, Dana

Dana,

Very difficult question which will require a bit of explaining, I will try to keep this as short as possible. I study theology with as much of an open mind as I can, if I were to pick a religion to “follow” it would be Taoism, although I try to follow strictly in a philosophical, moral, and ethical fashion. The “big” three religions Judaism, Christianity, and Muslim all originated from the Old Testament. It is later on they branched out into different religions. I am not a fan of the big three, since they are responsible for many of the bloodshed in human history. During the various inquisitions the Christian/Catholic Churches were responsible for wiping out many of the “savage” beliefs, and it was not always peaceful. They suppressed free thinking by banishment, imprisonment, and death.

I think the issue with the Bible is it has been changed so many times to fit mans needs. The oldest translation of the Bible is the King James Version, since then it has been changed in minor ways for two reasons; they make minor changes so they can copyright it. The King James Version can not be copyrighted, like I said before they made minor changes to fit mans needs. The major change is we are taught we are saved by grace not works, this is simply not true.

I also have issues with the Bible because starting in the early 500 A.D. the Catholic Church ruled supreme next to the Roman Empire; they controlled which books made the Bible and which ones did not, and also controlled translations. The information they were relaying or what we know today may not be the “truth.”  They used fear mongering to make believers out of everyone, and one of the best tactics back then and still used today is the fear of hell and eternal damnation.

There was never meant to be a separation between Judaism and Christianity, many churches base many of their teachings upon the New Testament, and almost make it seem like ok we don’t need to follow the Old Testament, because of Jesus Christ dying on the cross for our sins. Now as far as names go we have two separate names Yahweh (Judaism) and Jehovah (Christianity) Jehovah is mentioned many times in the Bible, but with each translation it has been used less and less and replaced with “LORD.” From what I know of Jehovah Witness, is you need to call God by his true name when praying. I do not think God cares what you call him, regardless he still listens.

 If you read some of Jesus’ teachings, he was not for worshiping in churches, he believed them to be unnecessary and run by charlatans. This is discussed in Revelations and described as the seven letters to the seven churches, or charlatans. These were the churches leading the people away from God (may be a bit off it has been awhile) I believe the seven churches to be the Catholic, Baptist, Lutheran, Mormon, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and Evangelicalism (there are more denominations just using these main ones as examples)

I have read the Bible three times once as a believer, once as a theologian, and the other as a skeptic. I believe if you choose to be a Christian you need to follow the God of the Bible this means you choose no denomination and read and reread the Bible and trust the word. When you do this you will see many things wrong with the way HIS message is being perverted.

I do not believe in hell per say. The Bible describes something like hell, but was not meant to be used as it is today. The Bible says when Jesus comes the TRUE believers will be taken away, it states something regarding all the non-believers will be given another chance to believe and except God into their lives. I also believe regardless of what you believe we all seek the same destination, we just take different paths. These paths lead to the same place.

If you are seeking spirituality I recommend reading many different beliefs until you find the one your heart connects with, it will be then you know you are on the right path. If being a Jehovah’s Witness does not feel right to you, then it is not, and you should move on.