Was Jesus A Buddhist Monk?


In a world where groups of people continue to wage war in the name of their religion, what would happen if a group suddenly realized they were practicing the wrong religion? Or, at least, using the wrong label? What kind of identity crisis might be created if Christians realized their messiah was actually Buddhist? Yeah, the gringa’s going there. What if Jesus was actually a Buddhist monk?


First of all, Jesus and his disciples never called themselves Christians. They called themselves things in Aramaic and Greek that has been translated into English words like “believer” and “church”. But what did those foreign words really mean in the context of their culture and historical era?


There are innumerable versions of the Christian Bible. However, the earliest and most widely used English version is the King James Version. The New Testament translation was based on the ancient Syrian language, Aramaic, and ancient Greek. The words these ancient authors used to refer to themselves with respect to religion are:

  • Greek ecclesia, the equivalent of the Hebrew term kahal, used by ancient Jews to refer to any assembly of people, translated into church.
  • Greek adelphos, translated into brethren, denoted a religious relationship between non-familial people that was equal to that of a biological sibling.
  • Greek electus, translated into elect, literally meant chosen for a specific public service.
  • Greek christos, translated into christ, the equivalent of Hebrew mashiach, which referred to an Israelite chosen by God to rule as a religious leader, like a priest, or as a political leader, such as in King David, and were anointed with oil by religious leaders to symbolize their special role.

When the words of Jesus are examined, the gringa discovers some very interesting and provoking conundrums that today’s Christianity would do well to resolve. First of all, Jesus most often refers to an enlightened being who has tasked him with the mission of correcting the false religious practices of the Jewish people. Although his mission was to the Jews, he admits that what he teaches can be believed by anyone. Jesus most often refers to this enlightened being as Father, or, Abba in Aramaic. But what does all of this mean?

Abba’s most simple translation is a slang term for Father, as in calling someone Daddy. So Father is a stretch. The gringa looks to other meanings in the Aramaic language for the choice of Abba by Jesus. It’s most literal use is to call someone teacher. 

Mankind, hoping to craft a religion that could be used politically to control a populace, would naturally choose the patriarchal. However, patriarchies and monarchies were the very things Jesus was resisting in his teachings. That’s why Jewish high religious society murdered him by exploiting Roman law. 

So why would Jesus use a patriarchal term? He wouldn’t. He didn’t. But today’s organized Christian religious leaders want you to believe that he did. But Jesus was referring to an enlightened being who was his mentor and responsible for his re-birth into enlightened spiritual life. He became transformed into an immortal being by following the teachings of this mentor.

The enlightened being who tasked Jesus with his mission is considered by Jesus to be the Creator of mankind. Creation is performed through the power of words. Jewish Kabbalistic mystics teach this as well. The power of syllablic resonance is practiced throughout Buddhism and many other ancient Eastern mystical belief systems. 

What was it Jesus said about the power of words? Perhaps it is best understood through John’s interpretation of what he learned about the power of words from his teacher, his Abba, his Father, his monk, Jesus: 

“In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.” John 1:1

What this means is that Jesus’ enlightened mentor did not create the physical world. Jesus was never interested in the physical world. He always taught detachment from the physical. The creation Jesus spoke of was the creation and the world that mattered, the non-physical creation, the non-physical world. And to reside there one must become enlightened or, in the preferred English, re-born.

The enormous gap of time from Jesus as a 12-year-old until he arrives on the religious scene in Israel as a 30-something-year-old man, organized Christianity ignores. But it was during this time that he was becoming the great teacher that he was and achieving immortality through re-birth. 

All of his teachings are indicators of where he learned his ideology, which was by no means Jewish or anything like today’s Christianity. It is, in fact, very Buddhist. The words of Jesus found in John chapters 3 & 5; Luke chapter 4, and Matthew chapters 5, 6, 7 are the most revealing:

  • Works prove what one believes 
  • Fame and concern for what other people think of you will prevent enlightenment and immortality
  • Enlightened religious leaders seek to teach those the enlightened being prefers: the impoverished, the sick, the addict, the depressed, the emotional needy, etc.
  • A truly enlightened teacher will be recognized by the rejection and criticism leveled at them by the most powerful and popular religious institutions who feel threatened 
  • The attributes of the enlightened faithful: lack of greed, emotionally sensitive, meek, integrity, kind, gentle, followers of peace, quiet when slandered and criticized 
  • Good works are required to demonstrate what you believe 
  • Anger is as destructive as murder 
  • Forgiveness and reconciliation with enemies required for enlightenment 
  • Physical isolation from physical/emotional temptation may be required to become enlightened until self-discipline is achieved 
  • Accept that you have no control over life 
  • Do good unto all, friends as well as strangers and enemies 
  • Prayer, meditation, charity and kindness is private 
  • Sacrifices for the sake of another’s service should be done privately and with no outward indication of discomfort, but, rather, a show of happiness
  • Wealth is not to be pursued and should be given away generously to those in need, keeping only what you need for the basic necessities of life
  • Mind your own business and don’t pass judgment on the lives of others being lived differently than your own
  • Don’t waste time with those uninterested in following the path of enlightenment
  • True believers in Jesus will live the lifestyle he taught
  • The most dangerous situation a person can find themselves in is to claim the label of Jesus’ “god” yet live a life contrary to the teachings of Jesus. Such people can never achieve enlightenment

Now for a history lesson to tie all of this together. During the time that Jesus would have been a young adult making his own way, discovering what he believed, Buddhism was alive and well. It was going strong throughout India. And there are indications in Jesus’ neck of the Middle Eastern woods that Buddhism was also reaching his home shores as well. And its influence may have inspired a young Jesus to seek the origins of this faith, seeing how his own people’s religion had become a mockery of what it taught.

Ancient documents in Tibet were revealed to a traveling Russian doctor who convalesced in a Buddhist monastery, Hemis, in 1887. It took seven years of painstaking translation and literary work but Dr. Nicolas Notovitch eventually published The Unknown Life of Christ. It chronicles the time of a young adult Jesus, Issa, who spent his lost gap years under the tutelage of Buddhist monks in Tibet. 

Regardless of whether or not a person believes this history, there are a few things that can definitively be said:

  • If you consider yourself a Christian yet are supportive of the depravities of war, any kind of war, particularly a war you consider to be a “war on terror” which is code for “war on Islam”, you are not living a life in accordance to the teachings of Jesus. 
  • If you call yourself a Christian, yet are not committed to replacing a capitalist economy of greed with a socialist economy of service to humanity, you are not living a life in accordance to the teachings of Jesus.
  • If you call yourself a Christian, yet pursue goals that deprive anyone of the right to live their own life different from yours, a life that causes no harm, you are not living your life in accordance to the teachings of Jesus.
  • If you call yourself a Christian, attending a huge “mega-church”, where staff roll in to the parking lot in gleaming, high-end cars, passing the homeless along the way, you are not living your life in accordance to the teachings of Jesus.
  • If you call yourself a Christian, believing in “prosperity theology” or “name it, claim it” theology, you are pursuing greed and not living your life in accordance to the teachings of Jesus.

Jesus’ ideology is one of non-judgment, austerity, kindness, no violence, no war, and becoming your brother’s keeper. It’s not rocket science. He also taught that mankind’s innate flaws of greed and pride are the two main reasons people will convince themselves they are following his teachings while actually following that which satisfies themselves. And they will be shocked at “judgment day” when they see him frolicking in “heaven” with prostitutes, non-heterosexuals, and other “sinners”. And these same people will get a second, much greater, shock when Jesus tells them to get lost. After all, the money, the luxuries, the glory of a grand reputation, etc. were their “heaven”. They have already enjoyed it. It’s just not a “heaven” that was meant to last forever. Too bad for them.

So, in essence, most Christians today are blowing it big time. And the ones who truly do follow the teachings of Jesus are actually Buddhists. They just haven’t realized it yet.

Sources: 

Image Credit: YouTube

Is God A Hermaphrodite?


The gringa wonders, if there is a god, would such a being actually have a gender? I mean, if you are all powerful and omnipotent, you don’t need to pro-create, you just create. If your creation powers give you the ability to manifest every emotion and feeling, good or bad, then you wouldn’t need an intimate partner to experience feelings of ecstasy. You just make it happen. So why do the major monotheistic religions insist that god must be a guy?

The god of the Jews and the Christians is called by many names, like:

Elohim (Hebrew for “Authority” singular & plural, considered a feminine synonym when used as a descriptor or genderless when used as a noun), El (Hebrew for Power & Sovereignty, masculine),

El-Shaddai (Hebrew for God Almighty),

Adonai (Hebrew for Lord),

Christ (from the Greek Kyrios for Lord),

God (from the Greek, Theos),

Abba (Aramaic for Daddy).

Now, all of these names are man-made, hence the gringa’s sneaky suspicion that they have been masculinized for nefarious purposes.

The name god supposedly gave himself, referring to it in answer to Moses’ question of who the heck he was speaking to, Exodus 6:3, is best understood as YHWH (Yahweh is usually translated into the English version, Jehovah). The original spelling of the name god gave for himself has been purposely lost over time, considered by ancient Hebrews as being too powerful a name for mankind to actually know.

Often, after the first revealing of his name to Moses, the deity uses YHWH in conjuction with Elohim. When paired, YHWH is interpreted to signify the deity and Elohim as a descriptor of the deity, thus pairing masculine and feminine Hebrew words. This would indicate a self-given title representing a genderless god or, if you will, a being that is a blend of both gender characteristics, what many humans might call androgynous, or even a hermaphrodite. Truly, if there is a god, god would have no single gender. But the gringa thinks that god would also not be gender-LESS. Why create two genders to represent your “image” unless your image embodies both genders?

This type of gender balance was the norm for most ancient civilizations. It is only modern western civilizations that have masculinized god. Like the gringa said before, certainly for nefarious purposes. Once a culture can craft a justification to subjugate and oppress one class, women, it is closer to finding the means to subjugate and disempower all classes a society seeks to create. What does class division result in for society? Chaos as the oppressed forever seek to throw off the yoke of their oppressor.

Believers of any monotheistic religion are relying on a masculine god crafted by the pens of men who composed their holy texts. Such believers may want to question the nature of this theology. Just ask the right questions.

– Have such faiths contributed to a balanced, equitable and peaceful society or has such tenets resulted in the chaos of a rigid class-based society where those who are perceived as weaker are exploited and oppressed?

– What is it that their god actually wants adherents to achieve? Balance and equanimity or power struggles?

Some religious scholars who understand this hermaphrodite god principle find it difficult to think of god as embodying any form of sexuality. Instead of an androgynous hermaphrodite representing both sexes, they see god as without sex, gender-less.

A masculine god, a patriarchal deity is truly a god created in man’s image rather than a god who claimed that man and woman alike were created in the image of a god who cannot be defined by gender. The gringa knows where she stands on this issue. I will bow to no man, mortal or immortal.

Sources:

Ancient Hebrew

Yahweh-Elohiym

Student Soul InterVarsity

Image Credit: Exotic Indian Art

Video Credit: Balarama Lila Das

Hamza Yusuf – Topic

Are You A Passive Terrorist?


As the US has continued a long, pro-tracted war on terror that focuses on the religious element of a perceived terrorist enemy, what about the religious position of the US? Does the election of Trump signal the possibility that religious extremists have taken over the Republican party? Are Americans now living in a nation poised to become, in essence, a theocracy? With executive orders shooting out of the White House in quick succession, most citizens know little about what they actually mean. We read the headlines, perhaps even the wording of the orders. But what about the motives inspiring them? Even more importantly, what are the long-term consequences? In other words, what is the hoped for end-game the Republican party desires for the country they are re-shaping?

The gringa finds it pointless to try to ascertain motives. The private discussions and hidden agendas are just that, private and hidden. But there are clues that have been laid out right in the open long before Republicans began fuming openly about Obama’s presidency. And many of these clues point to a Republican party effectively taken over by religious extremists.

As early as 2005 there was at least one Republican concerned about the direction the party was headed:

“This Republican Party of Lincoln has become a party of theocracy.” – U.S. Rep. Christopher Shays, R-CT, 3/25/05, with regard to the Terri Shiavo case.

To discover how this happened, interested dear readers must look to activities within American churches prior to 2005.

“… true Christian citizenship… [involves engagement in society to] take dominion over all things as vice-regents of God.” Rev. D. James Kennedy, Sept. 1994 when addressing the national convention of political special interest group Christian Coalition.

What does dominion ideology mean to American Christians? The first command God gave to Adam was to have children (Gen. 1:26). The second command was to subdue the entire earth. For dominionist Americans, the Republican party platform that is anti-abortion is in perfect alignment with the first commandment.
Despite the instruction of Jesus to turn the other cheek and, in essence, co-exist peacefully with all of mankind who are our brothers, dominionist Americans believe in military aggression in order to rule the world as an obligation of their religious calling and duty. Dominion theology is no less dangerous than the perversion of Islam used by ISIS.

“There will never be world peace until God’s house and God’s people are given their rightful place of leadership at the top of the world.” Pat Robertson, The Secret Kingdom.

Here’s a taste of Pat Robertson’s ideology that the Christian God is the only way to make America great. Do not miss all the phrases which make it clear that he believes that America was originally designed to be a theocracy, not a democracy. He is the star of a recruitment video for the Christian Coalition:

But how influential are special interest groups like the Christian Coalition and well-known religious leaders like Pat Robertson? After all, most people are inclined to believe that churches are playing by the rules, not preaching politics from the pulpits. When Time magazine interviewed Pat Robertson in 1995 regarding the most recent elections, here is what he reported about the effectiveness of the strategy implemented by the Christian Coalition:

“… eager volunteers down to the precinct level… handing out 33 million voter guides, often in church pews, prior to last November’s election, the Coalition is credited with providing the winning margin for perhaps half the Republicans’ 52 seat gain in the House of Representatives and a sizable portion of their nine seat pickup in the Senate”

Consider the terms of George W. Bush. Religious leaders made no secret of their support of the Bush-Cheney administration.

“It is the responsibility of… every evangelical Christian… to get serious about re-electing President Bush.” Jerry Falwell as reported by The New York Times, July 16, 2004

And Bush made no secret that he was God’s vessel in the White House. There was no separation of church and state as he led daily devotionals every morning, reading from “My Utmost for His Highest” with his staff. George W. made no secret of using descriptors like “messenger of God” with regard to himself. As he made executive decisions like going to war, he was never too shy to claim that he was doing “the Lord’s will”.

In the book, “Plan of Attack”, written by Bob Woodward, based on his personal conversations with President George W about the Iraq war, he clearly lays out the case for perceiving the war as a holy war waged by the US on behalf of George W’s god. Fulfilling his god’s will was all the justification George W. needed to lie to Congress, the American public and even certain members appointed to his cabinet. In George W’s mind he was embarking on a modern day Christian crusade.

Despite George W’s criticisms of the Afghani Taliban regime’s brutal enforcement of radical religious fundamentalism, George W was actually paving the way back home for Republicans to re-shape the US into its own Christian Fundamentalist regime. And now we are seeing the fruits of his labor in the attacks on freedoms here at home and threats to non-Evangelical nations abroad by the Trump administration.

Who are the radical Christian fundamentalists in the Trump administration?

  • ·     Jerry Falwell, Jr. is leading Trump’s higher education task force assigned to overhaul the accreditation process and operations of universities and colleges. What this means is that whether or not an institution of higher learning receives any government funding will rely on teaching what suits the US government. If that government is a theocracy, that means teaching religious ideology and rejecting anything, even sound science, if it conflicts with the religious ideology of the government.
  • ·     Steve Bannon is most often depicted as a racist white nationalist. However, don’t overlook the significance of his religious fervor. In 2014 he delivered a speech via Skype for a Catholic conference at the Vatican. He attributed the economic and social crisis of the US as a result of the erosion of Judeo-Christian beliefs rather than the effects of capitalism. In other words, only re-shaping the nation into earlier models of a stricter religious-focused American society can the country become great again.
  • ·     Betsy DeVos, Secretary of Education, poses the greatest danger because she is in a position to affect the belief system of our upcoming generations. She wants to remove the teaching of evolution in public schools and replace it with the religious doctrine of intelligent design. By re-directing money away from our public school systems through the voucher system she supports, DeVos can accomplish her goal of government funding of religious education and destroying public education that, by law, cannot show preference to any specific religion.

But why does any of this matter? The primary reason all of this matters is that radical fundamental evangelicalism culminates in Zionism. The ultimate goal of Zionism is world domination as the duty of Jews and Christians to subdue the world and rule for the sake of their god’s glory. When this is achieved, their god will return and manifest in the flesh, restoring world peace and order while doing away with suffering and death.
The only way fundamentalist Christians and Zionists can achieve this goal is with enormous wealth that is the means to military dominance. This wealth, for the US, is generated through the invasion of non-Evangelical countries who are subjugated and exploited without conscience because they are not god’s people.

This ideology thus makes the US no different than ISIS in its motives for waging war. The primary difference is that the US makes a concentrated effort to keep up appearances at home. In order to have a free hand around the world the US must maintain a homeland population that is easily managed.

Within the Republican party are the war hawks who are religiously motivated as well as the war hawks who are motivated solely for the purpose of amassing more wealth, the investors in corporate interests abroad. So long as the Republican party continues to be in power, the US will continue to be at war, and shamefully so. For we are not protecting, preserving and spreading democracy. We are exploiting others while we destroy their native lands for national gain.
When Americans become fully aware that the humane social norms, luxuries, freedoms and comforts of American culture are by design, to keep them compliant, they must then accept that their silence and inaction also makes them complicit in their nation’s ability to perpetrate religious inspired terrorism around the world. By refusing to be a part of the resistance, an American allows the US to continue business as usual without so much as a hiccup. Americans who prefer to keep their eyes closed become, in essence, a passive terrorist.

Sources:

NY Times

Occupy Democrats

Theocracy Watch

Christian Headlines

Image Credit: The Gospel Coalition

Video Credits: PFAWdotorg

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCbiFt3UdxX7LxferwDmuegQ

Good Guy/Bad Guy – Who Needs ’em?


The good guy/bad guy narrative is a literary classic. It seems rooted in religious beliefs of good and evil and non-religious esoteric beliefs of Yin & Yang. For every good guy there seems to be a universal need for a counterbalancing bad guy. Is this realistic? Is this necessary? The gringa would like to believe that bad guys and evil are simply obsolete. I mean, haven’t we reached that point yet in the evolution of humanity that we don’t need the contrast of the bad in order to recognize and appreciate what is good? And if we are basing our good guy/bad guy theory on ancient teachings that use real world examples of good and evil, what if those past histories are incorrect? After all, aren’t historical records always skewed according to the perspective of the author, whether they be the victor or the vanquished?

Take, for example, one of the earliest examples of good guy/bad guy: Egypt and the ancient Israelites. According to the religious teachings of Judaism and Christianity, it is widely accepted that the Egyptians were the “bad guys”, enslaving the Hebrew people who were eventually chosen by God to be the “good guys”. However, historians and archaeologists who specialize in Egyptian history, not to mention Egyptians themselves, argue that this is an unfair depiction of the relationship between the ancient Egyptian empires and the surrounding less powerful nations and peoples. Can science and historians reveal the truth?

David Wolpe is a rabbinical scholar who argues that archaeological evidence simply does not support the biblical notion that ancient Egypt practiced widespread enslavement of the Hebrew people, or any people for that matter. But just because evidence hasn’t been found doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist. So let’s look at the historical facts that are known and the science of archaeology to understand these facts.

1700 B.C.

Before their enslavement, the Hebrew people migrated to Egypt to survive a famine. The biblical record maintains that they were there for several generations. There is basically a 300 year gap between the appearance of the Joseph story and Moses.

1400 B.C.

The earliest possible date suggested by the Jewish and Christian religious texts for the enslavement of the Hebrew people by Egypt would have been 1400 B.C., in other words, about 300 years after the era of the pyramids.

So what was going on in Egypt from 1700 B.C. to 1400 B.C.? Why would Egypt need widespread enslavement if the grand monuments had already been constructed?

14th Dynasty

Egypt’s 14th Dynasty ruled anywhere from 1725-1650 B.C. or 1805-1650 B.C. depending on which historian you talk to. Regardless, this would have been the dynasty in power when Jewish and Christian texts claim that Joseph took his family to Egypt in order to survive the region’s famine. His family would grow to become the Hebrew people. Does the known history and archaeological science support that a famine occurred in the region during this time? What kind of science might be used to find out?

Interestingly enough, an examination of pollen buried deeply in Egyptian soil around the Nile reveals that a devastating drought occurred at this time in history. This region was dependent upon the annual floods of the Nile Delta to enrich their agricultural lands. A drought would have, indeed, resulted in a famine.

So what would life have been like as an immigrant in an ancient Egyptian kingdom?

Archaeology reveals that rulers during the 14th dynasty had names that indicated Canaanite or Western Semitic origins, with one king and queen with Nubian names. So, it seems that at this time Egypt was an ethnically mixed bag. These kings and queens would be involved in conflicts with neighboring rivals to control the strategic area of the fertile Nile Delta. Control the agriculture, control the food. Eventually a prolonged period of famine and disease weakened the kingdom which then fell to a takeover by the Hyksos. The Hyksos takeover would have occurred after the suggested time of the Hebrew Exodus story.

So, pre-Hyksos Egypt was noted by industrious multi-ethnic rulers who jealously defended the Nile Delta with military might and concentrated on building extravagant monuments to demonstrate their success as rulers. Rulers during the time period 1800 B.C. to 1650 B.C. contain a series of non-contested figures as well as controversial names:

  • Yakbim Sekhaenre (contested): 1805 B.C. – 1780 B.C.
  • Ya’ammu Nubwoserre (contested): 1780 B.C. – 1770 B.C.
  • Qareh Khawoserre (contested): 1770 B.C. – 1760 B.C.
  • Ammu Ahotepre (contested): 1760 B.C. – 1745 B.C.
  • Sheshi Maaibre (contested): 1745 B.C. – 1705 B.C.
  • Nehesy Aasehre (uncontested): 1705 B.C., name means “The Nubian” inscribed on 2 known monuments.
  • Khakherewre (uncontested): 1705 B.C.
  • Nebefawre (uncontested): 1704 B.C.
  • Sehebre (uncontested): 1702-1699 B.C.
  • Merdjefare (uncontested): 1699 B.C.
  • Sewadjkare III (uncontested): 1698 B.C.
  • Nebdjefare (uncontested): 1697-1694 B.C.
  • After this there is a list of names established as Egyptian kings of the 14th Dynasty but without designated dates for their reigns.

What do we know about these kings and the conditions of their kingdoms that might have any affect on the good guy/bad guy designations in the Jewish and Christian religious texts?

  • Majority of the cartouches excavated refer to each reigning king as “son of Ra” in addition to whatever the king’s individual name was.
  • During Sheshi’s reign 1745-1705 B.C., seals with his provenance have been discovered in archaeological digs in Egypt, Nubia and Canaan suggesting that his kingdom enjoyed widespread trade and relations outside the immediate borders of Egypt. Some scholars believe this to be the Sheshai mentioned in Jewish and Christian religious texts as being of the Anakim of Hebron when the Hebrews conquered the land of Canaan.
  • If Sheshi had good trade relations with the people of Canaan and was the ruler of Egypt when the Hebrew people conquered Canaan, it would only be natural that Egypt might then take a posture of hostility toward the Hebrew people.

It is then possible that the ancient Hebrew people were not victims of the ancient Egyptians. They may have been viewed as nomadic invaders who disrupted trade with allies. It reminds the gringa of European history and stories of Viking raiders. The Hebrew people also practiced a foreign religion that was monotheistic. It is easy to see even today how religion can play a big part in hostilities between cultures that can lead up to oppression and even war.

I mean, think about it. The Hebrew people first show up needing a place to survive a famine. Egypt graciously takes them in. Then, after weathering the storm, growing fat and happy as well as increasing in population and herds who need grazing land, the Hebrews, within one generation, rise up and attack a trade ally, Canaan, a rich land for Hebrew herds of sheep and goats. The Hebrew people take over the nation by slaughtering, according to the biblical account, every man, woman and child because God “told them so”. The gringa can imagine the horror of Egypt at these actions. I can also understand how the polytheistic Egyptians would decide that the single God of the Hebrews was a backstabbing baby-killer. No suprise then, that there would be no love loss between Egyptians and Hebrews that continued to live together in Egypt. Hebrews were probably eyed suspiciously and discriminated against, though probably not enslaved.

These resentments, deep in the heart of the Egyptians who saw their trade allies vanquished by people they considered to be dangerous heretics, would have most likely been an attitude that would have been passed down for generations. Just as politicians have used such emotions and history to stir up support for their cause throughout my own country’s history, the gringa thinks it is very possible the same type of politics were at play when it came time for the Hebrew people to rise up, claim oppression, revolt and march out of town. They just seemed to forget that they started it all.

The natural result would be for the Hebrew people to villainize Egypt, victimize themselves, then paint a heroic picture of their escape to inspire their own people and motivate them for noble purposes. On the other hand, the ancient Egyptians would have historians creating records for the pleasure of their rulers. They would depict their nation as benevolent and tolerant. Factions such as the immigrant, nomadic, heretical Hebrews would be painted as radical rebels stirring up unrest and not wanting to work.

So, in the end, the gringa does believe that, much as I would like to think that humanity has evolved to the point where we no longer need the good guy/bad guy narrative because people know better now, that’s simply not the case. As long as we have politicians who have something to gain by exploiting the differences in groups of people, we will always have the good guy/bad guy narrative. But it is a human creation, not a spiritual reality. And for kids who adore science as much as they adore truth, the science involved in archaeology can help resolve many divisive differences that exist today because of politicized religious teachings of yesterday. Become an archaeologist and change the world.

Sources:

www.biblicalarchaeology.org

www.ancientegypt.co.uk

wikipedia.org

Image Credit:  flashtrafficblog.files.wordpress.com

 

Guests & Gods


The gringa was recently requested by a fellow blogger for permission to re-post some of my material. I was flattered at the interest and apparent seal of approval. In appreciative reciprocation I also wanted to re-post an item of this blogger’s choosing. The gringa’s “guest” blogger, Octavian D. Curpas, YouTube video blogger from Arizona, forwarded a transcript of a German Christian singer he recently interviewed, Florence Joy Enns. Lacking a URL link to a video of this interview, the best the gringa can do is provide a link to his YouTube channel, Octavian D. Curpas and a link to the video that inspired the interview, Florence performing “Mein Ziel”. From a Christian perspective, Octavian advocates for reunification of Norwegian children separated from their families through Norway’s version of the U.S.’s Child Protective Services. The gringa will not even attempt to delve into those delicate waters and stick to what she knows. But, dear reader, expect this post to be a bit more personal.

So, returning to his interview of Florence, the gringa then wonders how she can get the subject of a German Christian singer to relate to anything science or fantastical. The intrigue begins with the first quote Octavian cites from Florence, “God answered my prayer when I was 5 years old.” Florence prayed for a baby brother and, despite her parents’ intentions to have no more children, Florence’s prayers were answered and she got a baby brother.

This takes the gringa back to when her eldest son was only three-years-old. We were driving over a bridge and a little dog was running through traffic, perilously close to becoming flattened road kill. Zachary began praying very loudly for God to send a rescuer to the dog. Within moments traffic stopped behind us, a car opened its door and the dog jumped in. My son became a believer.

Now, my son’s independent action of unprompted prayer came as a surprise. The gringa is Jewish. The caveman is Catholic. We are both non-practicers of our respective religions where ritual and temple attendance is concerned. We believe our faiths are based on love and compassion and that is the lifestyle we live, following the easy rule of thumb delivered by Jesus to do unto others as you would have them do unto you. It seems simple enough. As a homeschooling mom, the gringa did include religious studies as part of my son’s curriculum, but it included instruction and history on every major religion in the world: Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Shintoism, Taoism, and much more. So, although we have never forced any formal religious training upon our children, they have all grown up and adopted their own religious beliefs and lifestyles. They learned the best way, by our example and explanations for their questions.

A few years after our eldest son’s first prayer was answered, he asked me how he would know that God is real. The gringa adopted, of course, a Jewish perspective for such a question. I explained to him that in the religious texts I rely on for wisdom an example is given in which the person asks God for a demonstration. There is nothing wrong with such a thing. I told him that Jews call it “asking God for a sign”. I told him the story of Gideon who asked God to give him a sign by “putting out the fleece”. God responded. That night, before Zachary went to bed, he looked upward and said, “God, if you’re real there will be a cat at the front door tomorrow.” Now, the gringa chuckled to herself then tucked her precocious six-year-old boy into bed and thought nothing more of it. The next morning, while preparing breakfast, I saw my little boy tear through the apartment and open the door, immediately screaming, “YES!” Low and behold there was a darn cat sitting on our welcome mat. I thought I might faint. How strong the faith of the child. How pure the heart that asks for a sign. How kind and benevolent for a god to respond.

The reality is that such stories are not uncommon. They cannot be explained. Regardless of whether a person believes in God as creative cosmic energy or a divine old man with a beard, there are simply things that happen in which science can only shrug, hold up its hands and say, “Hey, we don’t have a clue.” The gringa adores science and all its fascinations. I also believe that there is a kernel of truth to all of the world’s diverse religions. They all share commonalities where kindness, compassion and forgiveness are concerned. I try to not sweat the details that are controversial points of doctrine and stick to those key elements that maintain a single thread throughout them. I don’t believe religious faith and belief in science are mutually exclusive. I believe they are inextricably linked together. I believe that science will eventually reveal what exactly the greatest architect, scientist and artist the world has ever known is. So, in a way, science is also my religion.

Image Source: 3.bp.blogspot.com

 

Anthropocene Just Makes Me Sad, Oh, And Mad, Too


Before the dear reader gets started, I know, I know, the featured image seems to have NOTHING to do with Anthropocene. The gringa says, “Dear reader, read on. You will soon see the connected dots.”

There is a new vocabulary word the global scientific community is now introducing the public to. Anthropocene refers to the present geological age scientists believe humanity is entering. This is a period defined by human activity being the dominant influence on climate and Earth’s environment.

For weeks the gringa has had a sticky note on her laptop with one word scribbled on it, Anthropocene. Thanks to my quantum twin, Bea, I got off my duff and determined why this word was bothering me so. Thank you Bea.

The concept of the Anthropocene era just makes me sad. I am sad for the human race. I am sad for all animal-kind. I am sorry for all of the beautiful forests and waterfalls and rivers and canyons etc., etc., etc. I am sorry for all of the excellent scientists who see this train running toward a cliff and are screaming their heads off for the engineer to put on the brakes but he just keeps chugging along. I am also sad for my country, perhaps saddest of all for my country, for being the biggest disappointment of all.

As an American I have been raised on the idea of American ingenuity, American exceptionalism, American leadership and American philanthropy. Where is all of that? It’s bad enough that my country seems to be asleep at the wheel. What’s even worse is its refusal to take charge and seriously renovate the American way of life. This is holding back progress around the world. My country is, perhaps, one of the biggest problems to solving climate change simply because its bad attitude is a big stifle on everyone else. So, on top of being sad, I am also a bit ashamed. And mad.  And the gringa wants to know WHY!

Despite the fact that there is virtually worldwide scientific consensus on the reality of climate change and where we are all headed (right down the crapper) if we don’t pull together and fix this mess, most Americans continue to live a lifestyle of delusion.  As far back as 2005 the U.S. National Academy of Sciences claimed, “The scientific understanding of climate change is now sufficiently clear to justify taking steps to reduce the amount of gases in the atmosphere.”

The following year, 2006, The American Association for the Advancement of Science announced, “The scientific evidence is clear: global climate change caused by human activities is occurring now, and it is a growing threat to society.”

Even American doctors agree. The American Medical association “… supports the findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s fourth assessment report and concurs with the scientific consensus that the Earth is undergoing adverse global climate change and that anthropogenic contributions are significant.”

Those conclusions were announced a DECADE ago! What has America done since then? Virtually NOTHING but lip service. WHY?

How do Americans feel about all this data and proof and agreement? The majority believe global warming is occurring. And, that’s where the common sense seems to stop. Many Americans believe (or desperately want to believe) that humans are not causing it.

Are almost eighty percent of Americans that dumb? No, the gringa doesn’t believe so. The gringa believes those Americans are simply too spoiled to consider changing their lifestyles and are willing to believe just about anything rather than change.

What do the majority of people in other countries think about the importance of solving climate change compared to Americans? Well, over eighty percent of the people in Mexico, France, Germany, the UK, Egypt, Turkey, Nigeria, China, India and Taiwan all agree it should be their government’s top priority. Less than twenty percent of Americans seem to believe this, according to the polling data of WorldPublicOpinion.org.

What in the world could cause an otherwise intelligent person to either purposely disconnect from truth or else think they are above its reach? What the heck is behind such madness among the American people? Well, the gringa believes it is part of American culture’s belief system. It is an attitude that has been ingrained upon the American psyche since the founding fathers sat around and hammered out the Declaration of Independence over two hundred years ago. It will not be easy to shake Americans free from this frame of mind. It is an attitude rooted in dominion theology.

The dear reader asks, “What the heck did the gringa just say? Dominion theology? How did she go from science to religion?” Dear reader, please allow me to explain the perspective of dominion theology and its history within America and how it is alive and well even today, all the while making a big mess of things around the world without a second thought.

Everyone knows the founding fathers of the United States were Masons. Now, dear reader, do not fear. I am not about to launch into a conspiracy rant. However, dominion theology was a common and dominant belief system among American Masons back in the 1700’s. This is the religious ideology that framed the nation and eventually influenced the minds and attitudes of almost every American born and raised here.

Dominion theology places precedence on the very first command God gave mankind. The logic goes: since it was the first command it must be the most important. And what was that command all about? It was about the Earth itself. Genesis 1:28 depicts God commanding mankind to “… subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.” Now do you see how America is able to have absolutely no conscience as it exploits lands and people throughout the world? America believes it is religiously obligated to rule the world. However, modern American politicians are smart enough to know they shouldn’t say this outright.

The Christian right in the United States has historically controlled the direction of the nation. This theology, predominant in the particular form of Protestantism practiced in the U.S., has saturated not only the civilian population, but has carried over into politics and governing policy. Dominionists believe they are obligated by God to govern over EVERYONE and EVERYTHING.

Active dominionism can be traced back as recently as the 1980’s when several American evangelical authors published works actually using the label “dominionism” to describe their religious movements. Needless to say, the general reception of this theology became the subject of controversy and debate. Hence, dominion theology continued to be practiced but the label was no longer used. Dominionism is covert. It is now practiced under the insidious label of “prosperity theology”. God wants you to have everything, therefore go out and get it. Name it and claim it. It is still dominion theology.

And it has nothing to do with the teachings of Jesus Christ (who was actually more like a philanthropic minimalist and socialist). Despite its anti-Christian overtones of selfishness and arrogance, many American Christians continue to practice it because it enables them to live an indulgent lifestyle (which they love) without the guilt trip (which they hate) of how their choices are affecting the world around them. They write their checks for charity for others and Gucci for themselves and feel as if they have done their part. And, as their gross consumerism causes labor abuses around the world, rather than see the reality of Chinese sweatshops and its ilk, they pat themselves on the back that they are helping these poor people stay employed. They feel very self-satisfied that they are not only doing God’s will, but (get this), they also actually believe they are changing the world for the better.

And this arrogant, excessive, consumerist by-product of dominion theology carries over and contaminates even the non-religious American. They, too, think that it is a good thing when American culture is exported with the purpose of supplanting an existing culture in a less privileged country. So, all of these misguided, human produced climate change denying Americans have convinced themselves that their indulgent lifestyle is helping make the world a better place. Um, they are dead wrong. They, in fact, are a very big part of the problem. They are creating wars for profit, destroying the habitats and ways of life for indigenous peoples, and literally frying the world that we all live in as they continue their indulgent lives of excess and consumerism. And, they just need to STOP IT!

And that, my dear readers, is why the gringa is sad and mad about the Anthropocene Era. Until there is a serious religious and political revolution in America that transforms the minds of these brainwashed dominion theology practitioners, Christian and non-Christian alike, who believe it is their American birthright to live the high life at the expense of the rest of the world, the U.S. will continue to be a stone around the neck of progress.

Source:  www.nasa.gov & www.wikipedia.org

Photo credit:  www.exposingreligionblog.tumblr.com  (post 28884550240)