Lady Gaga and Conservative Christians
Religious hypocrisy and human rights
There is the absurdity of “conservative Christians” (an oxymoron as I will detail below) in the Philippines and in South Korea. The majority of these conservative Christians are young people who prefer to follow the rantings of older people who are attempting to prepare the unlearned and easily distracted for an apocalypse that has been prophesied for tens of thousands of years and has never (nor will ever) occur.
Christian conservatives are the new fascists, demanding strict obedience to their judgments that are fashioned from ancient laws that are inoperable and unapplicable today. These self-styled and anointed Christian conservatives demand governance of dress, limited education that reflects what they consider to be science (the bible) as if they lived in such backwater states as Tennessee or Louisiana.
The swing to the far right did more than bring neo-Nazis temporarily into the mainstream in Greece (winning numerous votes) or in Germany where anti-Semitism is gaining new ground, but is more so in among Filipinos and South Korean youth that is disenchanted because of a dried up job market, rising energy costs, and the fruits of bad government in the first eight years of the twenty-first century. It is is graphically and painfully seen in the riots by these self-proclaimed morality police (as exists in Saudi Arabia) who riot against dissent, freedom of expression, and personal choice. As if they were a modern-day Moses or Hammurabi, lawgivers of historical fame, the Christian conservatives claim that personal liberties, such as songs that are sung, clothing that is worn, groups are formed, and so forth, must match their ideas of sanctity and what is allowed.
The Christian conservatives do this in the name of a “loving god” that will strike dead anyone who does not follow the pathetic path of the demon deity who had commanded the mythological Abraham to slay his own son--a prophecy of what the same deity would do to his alleged son, the Jesus of the New Testament. What the Christian conservatives do dramatically is demonstrate the dangers of a theocracy. Where ever religion gains a strangle-hold on the people of an area, freedom dies. When freedom is roasted on the open bonfires of plutocrats and theocrats, the conduct of inquiry and freedom of thought become the fodder to incinerate advances in sciences and the arts.
Today the Christian conservatives of the Philippines and South Korea are taking direct aim at the heart of freedom: the freedom of self-expression, the freedom to speak, to exchange ideas, and to be human. This has been rabidly reinforced by the predatory protests against Lady Gaga throughout the Third World where pastors, preachers, priests and bishops attempt to pull blinds across progress and reconstitute an unholy inquisition.
Contemporary Christianity ignores the reality that the Jesus of the New Testament was among the most liberal people during the reign of Augustus and Herodian family (134 BCE - 49 CE). Unlike the contemporary Christian conservatives throughout the world, the Jesus of the New Testament ate with tax collectors and "sinners" (Matthew 9:10), was known and publicly proclaimed to be a drunkard and glutton (Luke 7:33-34), let a man lay his head on his chest (John the Beloved: John 13:23-25), said nothing about homosexuality (the word did not exist until the nineteenth century) and there is no reference that he ever dated nor did he marry. He broke most of the social codes (laws): working on "the Sabbath" (Mark 2:23-27), did not damn an adulteress nor a prostitute, but enjoyed life--something that Christian conservatives are against in their preparation for "the next life" that no one has ever seen, recorded, tested, or researched (much less come back from the grave).
Yahoo news recently published an account of the travesty of faith in the Philippines and South Korea. A small group, by some accounts only numbering "about 200," had rallied to prohibit others from attending a music festival featuring Lady Gaga. Praying predators lay in wait for the vocalist, complaining that she set a bad example. Her example, however, is far more stellar than that of the Christian pastor Benny Abanted who told reporters: "We're hoping that if they will continue the concert, they should tone it down." Freedom of expression has never been a lantern to truth, contrary to what the Jesus of the New Testament said (Mark 4:21-34), but Abanted showed no evidence that he had ever met the Jesus of the New Testament.
Abanted continued to expose his ignorance much as the Grand Inquisitor did in Fyodor Dostoevsky's novel The Brothers Karamazov. Abanted argued, "She should not sign songs that offend our spiritual senses or wear bikinis in front of the crowd." Abanted not only want to control speech but what people wear as the clergy did in Imperial Russia. Abanted argued that anything less than "modesty in clothing" (in keeping with radical Islam where in Saudi Arabia there is a "morality police" to punish those who might bare an ankle or expose the throat by whipping the offender) would offend his puritan putrefactive deity. In this regard this Filipino showed his contempt not only for women but for all of Philippine society, as his number is small, while the majority of Filipinos like Lady Gaga and have saved for months to attend the concern. Abanted is like the Dominican Preacher Tomás de Torquemada who demanded an end to all music that was "not a Christian chant or holy music" and put to the rack, in the Iron Maiden, or onto bonfires made of heretical writings, those who did not give way to the ignorance infecting the Inquisition and destroying lives as far as the Philippines and Perú (when the Spaniards swarmed in and raped its women, snuffed out its native gods, and enslaved men while sexually abusing its children).
Forbidding the freedom to read, to learn, to become educated has always been the talisman of tyrants from the medieval papacy through today's sectarian schools where mythologies are taught as science. Louisiana demands creationism to be taught on par with evolution, and the illiterate legislature of Tennessee requires that simple words, such as gay, no longer be used for fear of contaminating its people. The Dark Ages have descended dramatically smothering every possible hope for a sane future. This is the product of sewer civilizations from Rome after 457 to the bankrupt German states aligned with Martin Luther and his open anti-Semitism. Luther prepared the blue print for Hitler's grand design, and today the USA and world suffers from the intolerance of the "Reverend" Terry Jones who burned a Koran--leading to blood baths in Afghanistan where Muslims attacked UN forces and throughout the world. It would have made more sense for Muslims to ignite Christian and Jewish Bibles, for a Bible is nothing but a book: paper, ink, and thread. None has any value except to the reader. Tragedy occurs when the reader believes he or she is obligated to force what he or she read upon others, as seen in the tortured arguments of Josemaria Escrivá, Fred Phelps and his cult of Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas, to the stifling of choice in Perú under the darkest order of bishops ever to burden the planet with a total rejection of learning.
While evangelical extremists and Roman Catholic bishops galvanize their pawns into decrying Lady Gaga's sons as "grossly blasphemous, immoral, lewd, and carrying demonic and occultist undertones," they never mention their own ties with the absurd: a belief in a god that cannot be proven, articles of faith that are taken from far older religions (the Trinity, for example, comes from ancient Egypt: Horus, Isis, and Osiris; and the Queen of Heaven with the stars at her head and the moon beneath her feet being a common depiction of the goddess Isis), religious horrors such as a Final Judgment, Apocalypse, and other fantasies written thousands of years ago when the people thought the earth was flat--a fostered ignorance that lasted even through the days of Galileo who was officially silenced by the unholy Inquisition.
The ignorance encouraged by evangelical Christian conservatives has filtered throughout the world. Education is no more an exercise in learning, but a mandate to memorize. It is for these reasons, plus the lack of any hope for a good job, for a home, for opportunities to determine one's own destiny that has led to more than seven thousand students in the USA dropping out of high school every day. John Paul II, one of the worse popes in Roman Catholic history, admonished Stephen Hawkingnot to study the beginning of the universe. The German pope, Joseph Ratzinger (Benedict XVI), admonished women from attempting to equal men.
South Korean Christian conservative delinquents applaud the attack on human rights by the Vatican, and evangelical converts in South Korea have vowed to turn the world into "one world for Jesus" and will tolerate no dissent. This dissent the South Korean Christian conservatives feels is the "devil at work" and blame "Satan" as the "liar." Satan, however, is a mythological being first introduced from ancient Babylon literature and theology. The word Satan (it is not a name) means "advocate" and he was considered to be one of the gods (elohim, plural noun) favorite sons (Job 2:1). Satan had the powers of the gods, and was charged to find out the limits of endurance of mortals, and to see if mortals would remain faithful to the gods who acted capriciously and cruelly. Satan, according to the myth, found one man: Job.
South Korea has Asia's second largest Christian population--after the Philippines. South Korean Christians are becoming more demanding and are determined, as they state publicly, to take over the nation and refigure the laws to be more draconian than Shariah law is Islam. Christian conservative cruciationers have bullied the leaders of the nation to cave into their demands, and authorities have barred any person under the age of eighteen from attending Lady Gaga's concert. While hundreds of thousands have waited to see the star perform, a handful of storm troopers of the religious right has set up blockades against their freedom to learn, see, and hear, proving that there is no more freedom in South Korea than there is in the Philippines: none.
South Korea's Christian conservatives are as great a threat to world peace as is the military in North Korea. What the two forces have in common is the belief that they alone have the answer to cure all ills, and neither the calumniators in the Christian churches in South Korea nor the goose-stepping carnivores in North Korea will give an inch for justice or peace.
While the military in North Korea has deified its Leader, South Korean Christian conservatives continue to practice the ritual initiated by ancient Babylon that crucified their sun-god. While the word "cross" does not exist in any ancient scroll of book, as the Jesus of the New Testament died on a xulon (tree or pillar; read Acts 5:39, 10:39, 13:29, Galatians 3:13, 1 Peter 2:24, etc) as there is no mention of a piece of timber in the New Testament, South Korean Christian conservatives like their counterpart in the Philippines, still crucify men whom their communities single out for the sadistic ritual.
What the Christian conservatives in the Philippines and South Korea do not wish to admit, or have ever studied is the Bible and church history. They are closer to the demons that populated the world at the time that the Emperor Constantine commanded the Arian Bishop Eusebius of Caesarea to write fifty bibles to send to the churches in the east in 331 CE in his quest to have one subservient religion that would enforce his judgment on all people. Constantine reasoned that by having one bible, rather than a large collection of random writings, he would be able to eliminate divisions within the empire based on sects (there were at least two basic groups within the cult: the christianos and the chrestianos), allegiance to a particular parish or presbyter, rituals that were dividing elements, as with the Mass of Mithra where drinking blood and eating bread was popular after the bull was slaughtered, and so forth.
There is no evidence among the records of the First Council of Nicaea of any determination on the canon: of what was gospel (good news) or epistle (letters). This resulted in many congregations turning to the Gospel of Mary Magdalene for its praise of women, to the Gospel of Judas that argued that Jesus knew of the "conspiracy" but backed out of raising his standard as a warrior who would use his sword (Matthew 10:34), and so forth.
The earliest mention of such a canon (list of books determined to be favored by the emperor and thus considered holy as the emperor was the pontifex maximus) has been ascribed to Jerome. The Catholic Encyclopedia rejects that as an invention (Book of Judith. Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 1913.: Canonicity). It would be used later by a series of unscrupulous and venal popes in their quest to be temporal sovereigns, to wrestle a state of their own, and like Pope Julius II, become warrior princes--with many taking concubines while demanding that priests practice the unnatural and abnormal sexual acts of chastity and celibacy.
As Eusebius, author of the first History of the Church, wrote recording the directive from Constantine I:
I have thought it expedient to instruct your Prudence to order fifty copies of the sacred Scriptures, the provision and use of which you know to be most needful for the instruction of the Church, to be written on prepared parchment in a legible manner, and in a convenient, portable form, by professional transcribers thoroughly practised in their art. (Vita Constantini, IV,36).
After Eusebius completed copying what the emperor wanted, the Arian bishop (he did not believe in the divinity of Jesus) wrote:
Such were the emperor's commands, which were followed by the immediate execution of the work itself, which we sent him in magnificent and elaborately bound volumes of a threefold and fourfold form. (Vita Constantini, IV,37)
There was no canon of Christian literature, no bible as is known today (Eusebius, Historia Ecclesia III, 25). The bible most likely was of Egyptian origin than Greek (Lake, Kirsopp (1918), “The Sinaitic and Vatican manuscripts and the copies sent by Eusebius to Constantine”, Harvard Theological Review, vol. XI, pp. 32-35). There were no saints before 315 CE, and the “catholic [universal] church” was created by the Emperor Constantine at his Council of Nicaea in 325 CE that was sparsely attended—without even the presbyter (the pope did not yet exist, as Irenaeus of Lyons was the first to mention such an invention, but then referred to the occupant as “bishop of Rome”.
The bishop of Rome was in no way superior--no one saw the bishop of Rome as First among Equals, nor as infallible (that comes at the end of the nineteenth century CE). There is no record of “apostolic succession” nor of councils—until after the fourth century merged Christian mythology with pagan (country) theology to create the corpus of Christianity—one that had various groups and audacities (the chrestianos and christianos): those who waited for a warrior savior who would come with a sword and slaughter non-believers and separate families (Matthew 10:34-35), and the other looking for a teacher (John 3:2) to bring enlightenment like a great philosopher such as Socrates.
There is nothing new nor is there anything unique in the Bible. Each passage, each story, each lesson can be found in far older tales by far older religions. Thus Samson is Hercules in new clothes; David is but different youths in Hittite lore; the miracles of Jesus are found from Scandinavia to Africa. Walking on water is a near-universal fable found in Buddhist texts, some Hindu stories (as with Tootega), the record of Huang-Po, the legends of Orion, and it is a part of the Aeneid and even American aboriginal history. The tale of multiplying fish and loaves of bread comes from the Philistines theology of Dagon and is acknowledged in 1 Samuel 5:4; ancient Greek theology had gods who raised the dead, cured those who were ill, and made the blind see. What is critical is to learn by reading, researching, and refuting fantasies fashioned by those who wish to control the gullible as is happening in South Korea and the Philippine Islands.