Author Archives: CrisAP

About CrisAP

Cris has been active in politics since college where he led the Republican campus group. Since then he has been involved in campaign drives and community activism off and on between his career of teaching high school English. In addition, Pace has spent the majority of life looking for truth in the world’s major religions finally settling on New Age belief as best representation of the truths of the world. He regularly blogs about both on his blog The Conservative New Ager. Cris is originally from Southern California but currently resides in Phoenix.

The Virtue of Charity

Reagan charityIt’s Christmas Season and for me this seems to be a good time to discuss the virtue of charity (also because I’m trying to head off some objections to the last blog on the evils of liberalism even before they’re made).

In my previous blogs I have made the point that claiming we have a responsibility to help “those in need” is evil because it denigrates those supposedly in need because it says that they are not responsible for their situation, that their need is not a result of their actions, that they do not have free will, and reduces them to something less than human…and I still stand by all of this.

Now some may claim, incorrectly that this excludes the virtue of charity.But it does not.

So the easiest way I can start here is to begin with what is charity, and more importantly, what it is not.

Charity, as defined by Merriam-Webster is:

1: benevolent goodwill toward or love of humanity
  2 a: generosity and helpfulness especially toward the needy or suffering; also: aid given to those in need b: an institution engaged in relief of the poor c: public provision for the relief of the needy  
3 a: a gift for public benevolent purposes b: an institution (as a hospital) founded by such a gift

Now in common usage we’re probably more concerned with definitions 2 and 3, but in reality these are your usual corruptions of language that we see in a bastard language like English.I want to focus primarily on definition 1 for the moment.


Where do we find this in human relations?

Well, for a minute I want you to think about the ways you can deal with another person.There are only three ways you can deal with anyone: force, reason and love.You can deal with them through force either because you are a brute or they are a brute and incapable of being dealt with in either of the other ways; in either case you are assuming the person you are dealing with is inferior to you (usually because they are incapable or unwilling to use reason, which does make them less than human and more like an animal). Obviously this would seemingly have nothing to do with charity, but sadly this is the way most people view charity, especially the evil that is modern liberalism. Liberals, and government in general, say “you are incapable of raising yourself out of whatever problems ails you without our help, you are inferior to us, and no amount of education or good luck will ever get you out of your problems on your own.You NEED our help, and will die without it.You are less than human.”As such, liberal charity given without regard to who receives it, and welfare especially, is quite like violence, although probably not as honest as bloodshed.

Then as suggested by the previous statement you can deal with people through reason. Reason is a faculty of being human and to use reason suggests that the person you are dealing with is reasonable, thus human, and thus reason is an expression of ‘I view you as an equal.’Now a reasonable person can be foolish and not recognize that the person they are dealing with is incapable of reason (for instance Neville Chamberlain or U.S. foreign policy of wanting to “talk” to Iran) and a reasonable person can also act through violence when confronting someone who is unreasonable because that is the only logical answer (for instance there was no way to deal with the Nazi’s or Iran in a reasonable way that doesn’t involve a massive tonnage of high explosives). Just because someone is reasonable does not mean they are always logical, it just means that more often or not they are willing to listen to reason.But the main point I want to make sure you get here is that reason is a meeting between equals, between two humans who are capable of reason.This area too has no true place for charity, because we have a word for dealing with people who use reason: capitalism. Every one gives and receives in terms of equal value and the true beauty of capitalism is that everyone comes out a winner (so long as the government enforces rules and doesn’t encourage theft and fraud like it’s now doing).

So where is charity?

Now if you were Ayn Rand you would say that these two ways (force and reason) are the only ways to deal with people. But there is actually a third way to deal with people: through, getting back to that first definition of charity, benevolence, goodwill, friendship and love. Love and friendship are neither violent nor are they completely reasonable. Another way to look at it is that if reason is a function of the mind, then love is the function of the soul.But isn’t it also between equals, just like with reason?It may seem odd but it isn’t quite a recognition of equality…and no it isn’t saying that the person you feel love to is superior to you either.So what is it?Well, there is this great word in Sanskrit “Namaste” it means “the spark of the divine (Christians may feel free to use “piece of the Holy Spirit”) within me recognizes the spark of the divine within you.”Love is the recognition that there is something superior to just your human nature in both you and the person you love, it means you are willing to honor that better part of both of you and see only that perfection.

As such true charity is not about helping the “needy” as the incorrect 2nd definition above claims.Rather it is giving to help to those who may be suffering at the present, but to whom you recognize have not need but potential and divinity.

Think about it this way.Giving to that bum on the corner everyday isn’t charity. It’s done to boost your own rather insecure ego. Giving welfare checks to someone who would rather sit on their ass all day and do nothing isn’t charity because it is given on the belief that they can’t do better than that kind of life and would fail without your help. It’s more arrogance on the part of the giver and is closer philosophically to violence than it is to love and charity.Charity is giving to someone to help them get over the temporary problems in life: to provide education, to give money to a friend who has fallen on hard times and just needs a little to get through the next month but will be fine in the long run, to give advice, to show basic kindness, giving to an organization that promotes the best not helps the worst. This is true charity and this is the basis for the Christmas season, giving to those whom we recognize something better in, and whom we want to honor that better part. And this is what individuals need to strive to achieve in their lives, for it is only this kind of charity that betters the lives of the giver and receiver.

But notice that this is a virtue that any organization (and especially government) is incapable of reaching, because organizations do not have the spark of the divine within them (again especially government), thus they cannot recognize it in others. Charity should be individual. Short of that it should be an organization that is voluntary and freely given. But the enforced nature of government falls short on every level.

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Best Films of Christmas #24 National Lampoons Christmas Vacation

“I don’t know what to say, except it’s Christmas and we’re all in misery.”

Let me start by saying that despite his sad career Chevy Chase is an overrated actor.

This movie, while entertaining seems to miss every single thing that Christmas stands for. It is shallow, materialistic, short sighted, involving family members we can’t stand to see but whom we feel like are required to invite because we have to maintain some bizarre fantasy of what we consider to be a happy family. But that is what this movie about. This is what people pervert Christmas into and not what it should be.

This is not the only movie to make fun of middle class sensibilities with only the arrogance and distain that Hollywood can somehow maintain for its primary customers (of course low class white trash, upper middle class yuppies, and the rich are also insulted…but that doesn’t change the fact that this movie just has distain for its audience). But this is the only one that seems to show no redeeming value in its characters whatsoever. It would be hard to be more of a worthless human being than Clark Griswold (lustful, stupid, self-centered, and lacking in any ability to find balance or moderation)…yet somehow the rest of the cast manages.

(Oh did you like that point where cousin Eddie makes the comment about how he how has to go to the V.A. for medical care. Yes, that is exactly what Hollywood thinks our soldier’s are like).

Yes there are funny moments. It’s a decent comedy. (If you’ve got a bit of alcohol in you, or can shut your brain off from analyzing film…a skill I’ve yet to master). But there is nothing that actually represents the spirit of Christmas, especially that pathetic attempt at showing charity by the Griswold’s boss in the last few moments of the film.

I include this film not only because it seems to be on everyone else’s top list of Christmas films, and because it is a half-way decent film, but because it works as a great counter point for everything this is going to follow. Notice how none of the cynicism of this film is what is supposed to be in this holiday.

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The 24 Best Christmas Films Overview and what didn’t make it.

Let the list begin…

“The sign of Christmas is a star, a light in darkness. See it not OUTSIDE of yourself, but shining in the Heaven within, and accept it as the sign the time of Christ has come. He comes demanding NOTHING. No sacrifice of ANY kind, of ANYONE, is asked by Him. In His Presence, THE WHOLE IDEA of sacrifice loses ALL meaning. For He is Host to God. And you need but invite Him in Who is there ALREADY, by recognizing that His Host is One. And no thought ALIEN to His Oneness can abide with Him there. Love MUST be total to give Him welcome, for the Presence of holiness CREATES the holiness which surrounds It. No fear can touch the Host Who cradles God in the time of Christ, for the Host is as holy as the Perfect Innocence that He protects, and Whose Power protects HIM..”

A Course in Miracles—Chapter 15 Section XI Paragraph 2

It may be strange to hear this from a pagan New Ager like myself, but Christmas is my favorite holiday (Independence Day comes in a photo finish second). But whether people fully understand the holiday, that it is an expression of the best within us, of all that is good within humanity is uncertain. And while most people don’t fully understand it on a conscious level, this is the season where everybody seems to be at their very best. (Okay, maybe not on Black Friday, but that’s the exception not the rule).

So if I do a Halloween list when Halloween and horror movies aren’t my favorite, then I must do the holiday that I love more than all others.

It’s really hard to find even 24 good Christmas movies. There are lots of TV movies that are sweet and understand the holiday, but their production quality is so poor I can’t stand watching them. And there is a lot of Hollywood tripe that is arguably well made (in that it doesn’t just look like a cheap made for TV movie) but most of these have all the depth of Barrack Obama’s understanding of economics—they can sometimes repeat the words people want to hear but exhibit no real understanding.

So to fill out my list I then thought maybe there might be some good Chanukah films that I have missed…in my search for that idea I found the following list—The Top Ten Chanukah films on several sites:











There were some honorable mentions after this stellar list, but obviously this idea wasn’t going to go anywhere. (Honestly, there should be at least one good film, I don’t care if it’s not one of the High Holidays, it’s an American holiday and there should be something more than a dreadfully few Chanukah songs to honor it).

And it goes without saying that a search for Solstice films would be even more fruitless…
So here are my criteria that I had to use:

  1. At least one part of film must take place at Christmas.
  2. The film must be re-watchable at some level. There are some cute TV movies that deal with Christmas, but honestly, most of them you wouldn’t buy if you saw them at a $2 bin at Wal-Mart.
  3. It must have a central theme of redemption, faith, hope, or love– Which is actually what the holiday is supposed to be about.

Like I said, finding 24 movies that meet that criteria is hard (in fact #24 only meets it by showing the exact opposite)…if I wasn’t restricted by the fact that the movie has to take place at Christmas there are literally hundred of films that show the best in humanity, that show what we’re supposed to remember at Christmas—but those wouldn’t be Christmas films would they now?

So like the Halloween list, this list is going to start a little slow.

Why some films didn’t make it:

  • Gremlins: A cute movie, but any movie that involves the story “my dad dressed up as Santa and got stuck in the chimney on Christmas Eve and died” has no right on a Christmas list. None whatsoever.
  • Any traditional version of A Christmas Carol: any straight retelling of this socialist tripe is nothing but worthless humbug that understands nothing about money, charity or the good in humanity. Dickens was a depressing and rather vicious man.
  • A Christmas Story or as I like to call A White Trash Christmas: The movie lacks depth, maturity or even the semblance of relevance.  Why it is famous is frankly beyond me.
  • Any kind of clay stop-motion Christmas special. They’re boring, full of truly annoying music, have a poor understanding of the true meaning of Christmas. Island of misfit toys, bah, island of cheap shit, probably made in China, that doesn’t work.
  • Most movies involving Santa Claus. (With the exception of a couple of films) these movies are soulless movies that focus on the most shallow aspects of the holiday.
  • Anything that involves an annoying abandoned child versus stupid criminals. Do I need to explain why these excuses for film should not be included on ANY top list?  Ever.

So with the bad stuff out of the way…let us get to why this is a truly wonderful holiday…

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In the season of giving a quick word on charity (both old and new)…


“A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed. “

Proverbs 11:24-25

“Be careful not to do your `acts of righteousness’ before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.  “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth; they have received their reward in full.  But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.“

Matthew 6:1-4

“Give up kindness, renounce morality,
 And men will rediscover piety and love.”

Tao Te Ching 19

“Charity given for the sake of righteousness, without expectation of return, at the proper time and place, and to a worthy person is considered to be in the mode of goodness. But charity performed with the expectation of some return, or with a desire for fruitive results, or in a grudging mood, is said to be charity in the mode of passion. And charity performed at an impure place, at an improper time, to unworthy persons or without proper attention and respect is said to be in the mode of ignorance.”

Bhagavad-Gita  Ch17. 20-22

“The teacher of God is generous out of Self interest.”

A Course in Miracles Manual For Teachers Chapter 4 Part VII

Give till it hurts?: The Great Recession, tax policy, and the future of charity in America

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Rubio’s Path to the Oval Office

Originally posted on Elementary Politics:

So as Rubio takes 2nd place in New Hampshire and is gaining everywhere else…his detractors from the left and populists (who certainly aren’t on the right) keep saying that he can’t win.

Like most things that come from progressives and populists, it’s just a little daft.

But let’s go over the actual path that Rubio will take to win not only the nomination but White House.

So let’s first deal with the two people who still lead the national polls: Trump and Carson.  Let’s be honest here about three weeks before the Iowa Caucus we will see a string of ads in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Florida that will accurately portray as a nationalist who is out to destroy our international trade deal and send us into a Great Depression, a socialist who praises high taxes for the rich and Canadian style single payer healthcare, and a racist. …

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Taxes, Benefits, and Reality…

Liberals like to excuse our excessive taxes and say that it provides important services. Now, common sense, experience and even a modicum of intelligence tells us that this is a load of bunk. But, for argument’s sake let’s actually take a look at the claim.

Here’s a good representation of their silly arguments.

taxes 1

Since I like all the things taxes bring us I shouldn’t complain.

Of course here is the problem. When people are talking about taxes they’re usually talking about federal taxes, not state, county or city. And to lump all of these together would be silly as they are not the same thing, not controlled by the same legislatures, and you have a choice of states to live in if you don’t like the taxes in your state. (And don’t give me that you can move to a different country, it’s not true, the United States is the only nation on Earth that taxes the income of expatriates who are still citizens but not living in the nation—You can never escape U.S. federal taxes if you want to remain a U.S. citizen).

So the first thing we need to do on this list to make it more honest to take out the issues which should be purely state issues. Yes some of these things that should be state issues are currently federal issues, but the federal government interference in them only breeds inefficiency, corruption and waste—thus they should only be state issues, and even if the state needs to raise their tax rates to compensate for the lack of federal spending it will be less than the what the federal government is taking from you.

On the list the things that states or local governments should be responsible for are schools (which can privatized), roads (which can privatized), firefighters, police officers, hospitals (which can privatized), Paramedics (which can privatized), HAZMAT Teams, Child protection, safe products (capitalism does a better job of ensuring this than government), Flood defense, Universities (which can privatized), museums (which can privatized), science (which can privatized), public parks, medical research (which can privatized), national forests (which can be privatized), care for the elderly and disabled.

So really that’s a lot that states, local government and the private sector can easily provide for less cost, more efficiency , less corruption, and lower taxes. Not much left on this.

taxes 2

Okay so what is left? So let’s deal with clean air and clean water. Now I will admit that government does have a responsibility in this. Milton Friedman himself would point out that water and air often suffer from the tragedy of the commons and to keep them clean you need some regulation and enforcement. But of the 10 Billion the EPA took in 2012 let’s be honest here most did not go to clean water and air. Most went to enforcing rules against clean coal thus not only doing nothing to help the air but also increasing the cost of energy. And they also spend money, lots of money, on suing people over endangered species. For instance they sued farmers in California to deny the farmers water because it would save an endangered fish. So they ruined a farming industry, raised the prices of your food, on your tax dollars, all to save an animal that violated the first rule of evolution: adapt or die. And they’ve done this more than once in California alone. And let’s not forget what they did to rivers recently…oh yeah, we’re really getting our money’s worth.  The fact is that most species are not endangered because of humans, they’re endangered because in the history of Earth 99.999999% of all species have died—it’s what nature does, it gets rid of things that can’t adapt. Don’t like it, tough, that’s nature and you can’t praise nature while refusing to allow its natural processes to go on. (Also, as with the Buffalo, it’s pretty much only when the private sector gets involved that you actually save endangered species). I have no problem with reasonable clean air, water, and other pollution controls (although our modern EPA seems to freak out about even healthy levels of some chemicals) but those wouldn’t cost a fifth of what the EPA’s budget is.

Then of course we come to the safe food and safe drug part. Yes because the yearly recalls and scares of salmonella or this or that in food shows the government is doing such a bang up job. For a second let’s stop to remember that the FDA was created only because of a lying sack of crap book written by a pathologically lying progressive who published a book saying that all of our food was unsafe to eat. I’m so glad that was the reason for creating a huge federal bureaucracy. But for sake of argument let’s say that like air and food you need some regulation here (you don’t actually since companies concerned about their reputations have their own internal checks on this and you wouldn’t see an increase in contamination if the FDA went defunct). The FDA and most of its resources don’t go into looking at the safety of food or drugs, the majority of the FDA’s resources go into the efficacy of drugs. All those drugs trials they conduct aren’t primarily about the safety of drugs they’re about how well the drug works. Now, whether a drug works or not, shouldn’t that be up to your doctor? Or how about all the research the FDA shuts down on cancer research, for instance stopping experimental trials with willing volunteers who have terminal cancer because the drugs MIGHT kill them (because the FDA really doesn’t understand the term ‘terminal cancer). Do you know how much research that has retarded? Probably decades worth. Do you know how much their endless trials for their arbitrary standards of efficacy raise the price of your drugs? Massive amounts. So not only do they take your money, but they cost you more on drugs in the process. Now if we reduced the FDA to merely the safety of drugs that would slash their budget by a massive amount, you would still be as safe, medical science would leap forward, and you would probably have a better quality of life in the long run. Boy I’m glad I’m paying taxes to prevent all of those things.

Now let’s turn to diplomacy with other nations and criminal justice. Fair enough these are responsibilities of the federal government. Of course, even without cutting the pork, the Departments of State and Justice are just under 1.8% of the federal budget.

So really what’s left.

taxes 3
Ah the military and the Department of Justice. Military spending is about 20% of the budget and Justice not even 1%.

And let’s be honest here, a lot of their spending is bunk. Like pork projects to build engines the military doesn’t want. Or pork spending to build ships the Navy doesn’t want. Or wasting money on using environmentally friendly fuel for the Navy that wastes money and is actually more harmful to the environment than conventional fuel.

Or with Justice, there was of course the problems of buying weapons for Mexican Drug Cartels.

These are very needed functions of government, but there is pork here. And you could probably shave at least 10% from each of their budgets.

In fact, if you really look at the budget and look at the things that the federal government should only be concerned about then the budget wouldn’t even be half of what it is now* and cutting taxes by half would not only stimulate the economy but bring in enough revenue to begin paying into the principal of the debt.

So really what you’re left with when you look at costs that are only the federal government’s responsibility and can stand a few cuts (major or minor) is

taxes 4

Nothing. You’re left with nothing. A little bit of reason and all you’re left with is a whiny liberal who doesn’t know what is important, how things work, or that things can be done better than they are now.

But maybe I’m being unfair, maybe it’s just the person who put this stupid picture together that doesn’t know shit about shit. A possibility for sure. So let’s look at another liberal rant about taxes, services and the economy.

TAXES 5Okay so let’s go through his list. Public hospital, public schools, public loans, tax breaks, inheritance.

Okay and let’s take these one at a time.

Public Hospitals. This is a widely misunderstood term. Almost are hospitals are public in that they are open to the public. However of the 5,724 hospitals in the US, only 1,045 are owned and operated by government (state or local). The rest are as follows: 2,903 are non-profit (usually owned by religious organizations such as the Catholic Church or the Seventh Day Adventists) and the rest are for profit hospitals. So in reality there is a less than 1 in 5 chance he went to a tax payer funded hospital. Further it’s also a fun fact that stays in government hospitals costs more than in private hospitals, so if he was born in a government run hospital they were fleeced. And quite frankly if government got out of the healthcare business medicine all around costs would go down (good place to put link for why cost of healthcare is what it is). But this is not the only place where we’ll find that government provided goods not only take your money but offer inferior products.

Then of course we go to public school. Now we all know that public schools are shit. We all know that homeschooling, charters, and private schools offer better results on the whole than their public counterparts for less money. (And those people who home school or send their children to private school are still getting the bill for public school). So I wouldn’t be bragging about the public school system. They took your parents money and gave them an inferior education for you pal.

Then of course he wants to talk about his federal loans. Ignoring the fact that those federal loans are the very reason that college costs so much. If government had never gotten in the school loan business it is likely that college costs would be a fraction of what they are. So, my dear idiot liberal, don’t act like that was such a blessing either.

And then we get to the tax deduction. Those tax deductions are part of a large part of the government’s plan to get people to buy houses, because the government feels it needs to encourage people to get houses. And I think we know what this led to, don’t we? It led to people getting houses they couldn’t afford on government backed loans which led to the whole housing market collapsing. The better question would be, why should I, a person who rents because he does not have the down payment necessary for a low interest rate yet be taxed at a higher rate than a person who makes a stupid decision to get a loan they can’t afford. That’s what deductions often do, they subsidize idiotic choices. This is why intelligent people want us to go to a flat rate with ZERO tax deduction for anyone for any reason, or just go to a national sales tax because while a high tax rate is stupid and idiotic, tax deductions allow the government to control people’s choices…but if it was an intelligent move you should do it with or without the deduction, and if it’s not intelligent then you shouldn’t do it no matter what the deduction is. All deductions do is encourage behavior that retards the growth of the economy, encourages dumb moves, and overall costs people more for everything.

And finally inheritance. Guess what, I will scream bloody murder at the thought of an inheritance tax…do you know why? Because if I choose to leave my property to anyone I have already paid income tax, paid capital gains tax (which already had corporate tax paid), paid sales tax, and possibly paid property tax on anything I leave to my heir. By the time property has passed from parent to child it has already been taxed several times! And the government coming in to take another bite on property they didn’t earn, they didn’t work for, they didn’t do anything for isn’t just unfair it’s idiotic and unethical. And it is based on the liberal assumption that you only have things due to the government not by your own effort.

So really it’s not that tax payers are also getting something for nothing, what they’re getting is robbed and they’re paying the robber to rob them again. Oh, what a deal! Can’t imagine why I would want less of that. So yeah I will bitch about the people who get welfare, they haven’t worked for it, they are only benefitting from the labors of the robbed—whereas the actual taxpayer is getting hit by the taxes and by the destructive force on the economy those taxes are being used for.

So liberals praise taxes all you want, but understand they hurt more than they help, they provide almost nothing as well as the private sector can, and unless we do complain about them they will not be used efficiently or effectively.

Without Taxes

*Obviously this will take time. About 54% of the budget is entitlements of one form or another that should be destroyed…however you would have to be an idiot to destroy them in one fell swoop. They need to be drawn down over time to nothing (the shortest you could even theoretically do this to prevent massive economic disasters would be 15 years…but you could start today and make major headway in just stopping growth and raising the bar for who can apply).

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Kasich: The Liberal Zealot

Kasich So John Kasich has come out with a proposal to have a new department to spread Judeo-Christian ideas across the world globe. I think we all agree that this is possibly the dumbest thing that Kasich has said in a long line of dumb things, inane things to come out of Kasich’s mouth this campaign. However, this is particularly dumb because it is dumb for two very important reasons.
because it is in no way, shape, or form conservative and
because it is in no way, shape, or form in line with the ideals of America.
Now the fact that is not American has been dealt with a lot by many authors and I will certainly be dealing with that as well however I felt the need to deal with the fact this is about as far from conservatism as is possible.

The problem with Kasich’s plan isn’t that he is calling for the United States to want to get engaged in a global campaign of propaganda—there’s nothing wrong with this. We need to do this as we are in a world-wide competition with Russia, China, and Islamofascism. We need to take the forefront and explain why we are the superior philosophy. That capitalism, that liberty, that natural rights, that the individual, are the things government should be trying to protect not trying to put down (and let’s for the moment just gloss over how Kasich supports none of those things).
However, Kasich, needs to realize that we already have this.
This Radio Free Europe and radio liberty conducted during the Cold War were private organizations that work in conjunction with the State Department and the CIA.  And most of our pro-America propaganda came from State and the CIA.  We don’t need to create new departments—we just need to have the existing departments do the same things that they used to do  (you know their job). This does not require more government, this just requires the government we have to start doing the job it’s supposed to be doing.  But Kasich thinks we need to have new departments.  He’s wrong.  Just as he’s wrong on every entitlement spending  program, just as he’s wrong in understanding the role of government versus charity, just wrong in thinking that his religious views should dictate what law is.
Ah, but Kasich and his relatively few followers (how is that man is not already on the undercard stage?) will say, “But this job is so specialized we need to have a separate department handle it?”  And the correct response is: You made the same claim that Veteran Benefits were so specialized it needed to be taken out of the hands of the Department of Defense and made its own department.  Remind me again how well the VA is doing?  The same claim was made that Education was so important that the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare needed to broken up into the Departments of Health and Human Services and the Department of Education.  To a conservative, history shows that new departments for things that previous departments can do just creates such ungodly messes that three whole departments should be not be reformed (and certainly not broken up further) but completely annihilated for the sake of humanity.

But this should all be expected of a man who doesn’t understand that Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare are going bankrupt and need to be reformed, possibly privatized, but certainly cut in numerous ways. He doesn’t seem to understand that money just doesn’t grow on trees, it’s usually a very liberal premise Kasich is living off of. Unfortunately this is because he’s not actually very good conservative. He talks about how he’s balanced the budget in his state, but Ohio has one of the worst long-term debts of any state in the union; that’s not entirely his fault,
a lot of that debate came from before him, but he didn’t fix it. And he’s claiming he did—a typical liberal lot of denying reality. Further, if you look at his campaign in general there doesn’t seem to be anything he wants to cut, and let’s be honest here you can’t be conservative, look at this current budget and not want to take a machete to it.  Now a conservative will also say that they may not be pragmatic, that they may not be able to get that past congress and they may not want to promise what they can’t deliver (although that hasn’t kept Trump, Cruz, Carson and Paul from promising miracles that even Jesus wouldn’t be able to perform), but a conservative has to look at the budget and say I would cut most of this if I could.

Then again Kasich, has never quite understood even America, as demonstrated by his repeated talks about how he should be using his power as a government official to buy his way into Heaven with how many people he helped. He seems to think that you’ve ignored that the calls for charity and helping the needy are calls made to individuals, not to government, and that there are no parts in the Bible where it says and “render unto Caesar your charitable money so Caesar can distribute it to the poor as he sees fit.”

So now that we have determined that Kasich is not a conservative let’s look at his other lie.  That we should be spreading Judeo-Christian ideals.  Now as I’m sure everyone with a brain knows it

Was this a nation founded on Christianity?

See those five guys up there (Washington, Jefferson, Adams, Franklin, who is number 5?) those are the core group of the Founding Fathers. Or you can look at it as an Enlightenment Freemason (Washington), two Deists Franklin and Jefferson, and a Unitarian who denied the divinity of Christ (Adams).  Even if you expand the list to include other Founding Fathers it takes a while before you find someone who believes anything like the modern idea of Christianity.  Madison for instance opposed a law calling for recognition of Christianity (no denomination, just Christianity) as the religion of the land…the list goes on.

So anyone who thinks that these men thought Christianity should be the guiding light of all law, government and behavior is out of their minds.

However, do not fall for the knee jerk opposite view either.

Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.–John Adams

The Founders did not believe in Christianity being the one sole and only guiding light of the nation…but neither were they a bunch of atheists.

They were religious men, deeply religious men whose ideas where deep and well-thought out enough that they often did not fit well into the simple dogma’s of this or that denomination. They did not believe in a religious government.  They believed in a government of law.  But it is a government of law that must be administered by people who were guided by their own religion.

The law should not be religious.  But the people should be.  But Kasich with his talk about how will he justify not using tax dollars for massive entitlement programs to St. Peter doesn’t seem to get this divide.

But more importantly I don’t think Kasich has the first clue as to what makes this country great and what makes Western Civilization great.  If it was just Judeo-Christianity that made this thing great why was it that the later pro-Christian era of the Roman Empire and the Christian Middle Age were so terrible compared to their earlier Pagan predecessors and Aquinas inspired Renaissance.  One name: Aristotle.  Before Christianity (and early dalliances with Platonism) took over there was more or less an Aristotelian flavor to government, and after St. Thomas Aquinas showed that the philosophy of Aristotle was not only compatible with Christianity but superior to the ideas of the previous millennium is when true growth returned to the West.  (It should also be noted that the Islamic Golden Age of the early Abbasid period was that brief period of time where Aristotle and reason held more sway than the Koran and insanity).  If Kasich doesn’t understand where the greatness of our nation comes from—and make no mistake the Aristotelian and quite secular flavor of the Enlightenment has more to do with it any religion—then how can he possibly try to sell those ideas.

Also I’m sure that’s going to go over really well with our Kurdish allies in the Middle East, the Buddhist allies we’ll need in China…and hell I’m sure this won’t alienate any of the more moderate Muslim groups either.  Great idea, John.  What other idiotic ideas do you have.

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Evils of Equality


“Freedom is life’s great lie. Once you accept that, in your heart, you will know peace.”—Not Bernie Sanders but you’d be hard pressed to find a place where he disagrees with this idea.

So I’m sure we’re all tired of Bernie and his cult of stupid praising equality.  They’re quite an illiterate bunch. I call them illiterate because if he had ever picked up a book he might have had the chance to see the obvious evil of equality. Bradbury, Huxley, Orwell, and of course most beautifully Vonnegut in “Harrison Bergeron” show the clear dehumanizing nature of equality. Further these idiots have clearly been living in caves as I know everything from The Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits, Star Trek back in the day to episodes of the Simpsons—not to mention a slew of movies have also dealt with how equality is really a terrible thing (and I mean movies of quality not just whatever the latest teen dystopia is). But for those of you who might not be sure why I’m suggesting equality is terrible let me explain.

As an English teacher by day I like to make sure we all have the same definition going in when we discuss something, so let us begin with a quick definition:

equality: noun, the state of being equal, esp. in status, rights, and opportunities

But that really doesn’t help us now does it?  Except in giving us the idea that things that have equality are essentially the same thing. This is why we have to break down equality into lots of different categories such as potential, rights, under the law, access to opportunities, abilities, and results. (Yeah I’m going to cover all of those.)calvin-coolidge-quotes.jpg

Now not all equality is bad, because in many ways we are perfectly equal. For instance we are all equal in our potential. We all have the potential to reach into that part of ourselves that is part of God.  In a more immediate sense we all have the potential to make our lives, and possibly this world, a better place than we found it (but again not everyone lives up to that potential).

We are equal in our natural rights. By definition we are beings with bodies, reason, free will, and souls. Because we have bodies we have the right to life, because without that right we could not use any of those other things we have. Because we have reason and free will we all have the right to liberty so long as it does not infringe upon the liberty of anyone else. Because we have souls we not only have a right but a moral obligation to pursue our Happiness because that is what we are made for. Wrapped up in the pursuit of Happiness while in this world is liberty but also the right to property to see the effort of our labor made manifest. We are all equal in these rights. No one has a greater natural right to liberty than another…although if you prove to be a danger to those around you, for the safety of everyone you can lose your right to liberty.

And because of the nature of government it must be enforced that we are all equal under the law. That the writing and enforcement of the law cannot, must not, favor one group over another. If we didn’t enforce strict equality under the law (which by the way we don’t with such wonderful ethical violations as Affirmative Action, and the DOJ’s current racist enforcement of voting rights laws) the system would be by definition corrupt.

And then there is this tricky one about access to opportunities. This is where equality stops. When conservatives and libertarians talk about equal access to opportunity they are speaking about something we are all equal in regards to. We all have a right to seek opportunities that will lead to our happiness, and while we don’t have this in real life because of the government, we do have the natural right to seek any job, any profession, any piece of property and try to achieve them. However, since we do not have a right to getting these things, only the equal right to pursue getting them, some of us will not achieve our pursuit. And in this respect individuals are not equal. Some will find success/happiness in the opportunities, some will not. And that is a fact of reality.

These are all things we are equal in because they all deal with potential. We all have these rights to do things as we choose, but notice nothing is guaranteed to us; we have to work for every end. Only means are rights not ends.*

Liberals, however, when they mention equality of opportunity they think of something else. They think of the evil which I spoke of in the first paragraph. When they say everyone should have access to the same opportunities, they don’t think with the addendum that conservatives do “so long as you have worked for them.” Do you want to have a pay check, a better job, a life-style where you can take 2 months, or a year off? Conservatives want you to have those things, so long as you work for them. Liberals just want to skip that little work point and just say you should have the opportunity to live that kind of life. To hell with whether you’ve earned it.

And that’s the problem with equality of results. It denies that people have to earn things; that they just have to be given things. And while the pragmatic problem is that when a government gives people things you have to steal them from others which is evil in and of itself, it reduces the incentives to actually produce. This is why communist and socialist nations produce less, because there is no incentive to produce more–only capitalism produces that. Don’t believe me, look at pictures of any Soviet breadline, then, go take a look at how many types of bread you have to choose from at the local Safeway.

But aside from the pragmatics that guaranteeing equality of results doesn’t work there is an inherent evil in equality of ends. First off people are not equal. One person is smarter, one stronger, one a better painter, one a great accountant, another a great teacher, another a great writer, another a great parent. People have different talents. Most of have two or three things we’re good at. A rare few are exceptional in multiple fields. A rare few are gifted in almost nothing. But each of us has different skills. Now while we all have our purpose on this Earth, it does not mean all of us will fulfill that to our fullest potential. And to treat everyone as if their gifts were all the same is to deny that which makes us good. To say we all get paid the same, or have equal rights to healthcare, states that your gifts and talents and efforts and character are worth the same as the most talentless, ungifted, lazy jerk. And that’s exactly what equality of ends is endorsing. It says that the most pathetic excuse of a human being is worth the same as you. It is to say that the person who has turned their back on making the world a better place should receive the same as the person who strives to use all their gifts to their fullest potential. It is to say that there is no difference between those who choose the best in ourselves and work to that end and those who fall to the worst in ourselves and work to no end but destruction.

You cannot bring the worst of us up to the level of the best of us unless they choose to bring themselves up to that level. Thus to say that everyone, without qualification, deserves the same payment, healthcare, means you deserve the same rewards, healthcare, place in society. Equality says you are worth no more than the most lazy, illogical, uneducated person in the world. Is that right? No it’s evil. Only by embracing the best within us and rewarding that, do we acknowledge that there is a difference between the best and worst within us. (And you’ll notice that those best among us then offer more opportunities through personal charity to others to let them shine as well). The only way to establish equality is to destroy those of skill and gifts because otherwise they would be a reminder to those who do not have those skills and gifts that they are not equal (go read Vonnegut’s “Harrison Bergeron”)…equality means that no one should be more special than any other or shine out from the crowd (go read Huxley’s Brave New World)…it means you cannot exercise your liberty because the full use of liberty means you might be different and better (go read 1984). Equality in the way liberals mean it is slavery.

Yes we need equality under the law, equality of rights, equality to pursue our dreams because we are humans. But that which makes us human allows us to progress at different rates, which by definition means an inequality of results. And to go against that is to go against what makes us human. It is an evil that denies the best within us.

*Liberals will of course bring up handicaps here.  Guess what real handicaps didn’t stop Keller, Hawking, or Reeves, humans have potential because of their soul and their brain and for the vast majority of people with handicaps we have no problem making legitimate accommodations when people legitimately have something that is out of the norm that might offer a small stumbling block to them demonstrating the full potential of their mind.  As for mental handicaps, well we as a society take care of those who literally can’t take care of themselves—it’s an incredibly small group and this minuscule exception doesn’t actually challenge the idea of rights and equality of opportunity being more important than equality of results.

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Dear Conservative Talking Heads, We Need to Talk…

Originally posted on The Collision Blog :

I recently wrote a blog addressed to “real conservatives,” now I’m going to address their weird, quasi-cult ring leaders. I’m talking about Hannity, Ingraham, Levin, Coulter, Rush, Drudge, etc… If Anchorman taught us anything, it was clearly that those in the news can be really, really stupid.

Paul Ryan is expected to be voted in as speaker tomorrow, and the third GOP debate will take place tonight. Countless conservatives will watch on Twitter as their favorite conservative celebrity commentators live tweet their opinions on Ryan, or simply highlight what they feel is pertinent in the debate. In the coming days, these “leaders” will give their opinions to their faithful following, and many will take their words rather seriously when judging the candidates themselves, or Ryan’s ability to do the job of speaker. The problem is that many of them have become no better than DailyKos, Salon, and the like…

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Conservatives – Almost as many flavors as Baskin Robbins

Originally posted on Elementary Politics:

Right now there is a lot of debate over what is a Conservative and what is not. Recently in the race for Speaker of the House some idiots have actually called Paul Ryan, Jason Chaffetz, Trey Gowdey and several hard core conservatives, RINO (Republicans in Name Only).

At the point where someone actually thinks that Ayn Rand loving, budget cutting, small government extraordinaire Paul Ryan is a RINO you have you to look at the word RINO and go:


First off, they actually mean conservative and not Republican but we’ll give them that “CINO” makes even less sense than the drivel they’re currently shoveling; so kudos to the dimwits for getting that your acronyms should sound like real words.

But this doesn’t actually solve the inherent question of what is a conservative? There might have been a day we listed off a devotion to certain cardinal virtues, or perhaps listed…

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Dear “Real Conservatives,” We Need to Talk…

Originally posted on The Collision Blog :

Alright, Guys… We’ve all been listening to the “Freedom Caucus” news, and most are wondering what the ever-loving debacle is about. The heroes of the underground GOP “fight club,” representing all that is good and decent. Bla, bla, bla… We’ve spent the last few months hearing “establishment RINO” more times than we’ve heard our own name, and “amnesty” is now a word that has no real definition. Everyday I troll through Twitter and, without fail, find at least one “real conservative” that I dislike a little more today than I did yesterday, and a little less than I will tomorrow. It’s like when your friend has a child, and it’s adorable, precious, innocent, and you want to cuddle it. Then at three it starts wiping boogers on you and punching the family dog, but you’re like, “well, my friend still loves them, and I guess I should, too. Maybe they’ll grow out…

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Tomorrowland—fun with a good message.

Originally posted on Elementary Politics:

“Every day is the opportunity for a better tomorrow.”

tomorrowland posterDespite some bad reviews from ideologues on the right and the left Tomorrowland is a good movie—it’s not a great movie, but then again it’s not exactly targeted at an adult audience, so one would be insane to expect perfection.  But director Brad Bird, director of The Incredibles and Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol has followed up his previous successes with another wonderful film—the problem is that while there are traces of depth in his work he still hasn’t managed to flesh them out into full fledged great art. So let’s deal with the spoiler free stuff first. First you should go and enjoy this movie.  It’s fun, it’s fast paced and has more than enough eye candy to keep you entertained.  It starts off with a quirky narration that goes back and forth between your two main characters competing for how…

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First Death Knell For Progressives For Jesus: How the GOP should handle rebranding without sacrificing principle in the face of America’s changing religious landscape?

Originally posted on Elementary Politics:

pew christians 8% drop for Christians. No one should be planning on winning with this demographic alone.

So this week a new study by Pew came out looking at trends in religion in the United States.  And as everyone seems to be reporting there are a lot fewer Christians.  Now a lot of the articles that have picked this up talk about shifts in society or politics but pretty much only from the stance that politics and alliances are static.

Now, certainly for Huckabee, Carson, Santorum, and Cruz and the other Progressives for Jesus (what used to be incorrectly called Social Conservative–but really it’s the progressive desire to institute your values as law, just with religion instead of secular beliefs) who think they can get into the office only by rallying the Christian vote, an 8% drop in their expected voters is a bit much.  Luckily, not only are those 4 idiots…

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More Movies Hollywood Should Make

movie ticketsDespite the fact that I’ve already suggested the list of conservative movies and spiritual movies that Hollywood should make there is the simple fact that Hollywood is getting a little insane in coming up with no new ideas.

As this video shows:

Now I think the one problem with this video is the complaint that too many movies are based on books…that’s not quite accurate, it would be more fair to say that too many movies are based on poorly written teen novels that pander to the lowest of the lowest common denominator.  There are good books out there that could make excellent movies, and along with a few new ideas let’s go through some other things Hollywood should make.

The Pendergast Novels.  I’ll admit that Hollywood hasn’t completely ignored this series by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child–after all they made a barely passable version of the first book in the series The Relic–the problem being that they actually wrote out the main character, FBI Special Agent A.X.L. Pendergast (It’s a sin as gracious as trying to make the Bourne movies but writing out the villain, oh wait, Hollywood did exactly that*).  This is a problem because while the characters of The Relic they decided to keep do make frequent appearances, it is Pendergast, the independent wealthy, intellectually accomplished, refined Southern gentleman of old money and his penchant for cases of bizarre and unusual natures that the books center around.  And this isn’t the worst thing that Hollywood has ever done because you don’t even have to redo the The Relic to do justice to Pendergast.  Just start a new franchise starting with The Cabinet of Curiosities and that would give you at least twelve tales of the FBI Special Agent taking on immortal serial killers, zombies, genetically engineered Nazis and a whole host of other foes.  Really, there is no legitimate reason why they haven’t made these into movies other than the fact they botched it with The Relic.

Christopher Moore’s Vampire Trilogy.  If you’re not familiar with Christopher Moore’s writing I feel very sorry for you.  Lamb, The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove, The Stupidest Angel (A heartwarming tale of Christmas terror), Fool, all of these novels should be read as they will leave you gasping for air and crying from too much laughter…but probably none would make for better film adaptations than his trilogy of vampire novels: Bloodsucking Fiends, You Suck, and Bite Me tells the tale of Jody, a shop girl, who has recently been turned into a vampire who while learning to live with her new condition meets Tommy, a clueless wannabe writer.  They of course fall in love.  Along the way their story may also be vampire cats, mouse ninjas, Abby Normal: Mistress of the Dark, bronzed pet turtles, turkey bowling, and an elderly oriental grandmother who speaks mainly in profanity laced slang.  I know that sounds insane, but trust me the actual story is far more bizarre…while being oddly tender.   We’ve been subjected to far too many bad vampire romances over the last few years.  Let’s have Hollywood redeem itself and give us a good one.

Freddy and Frederika.  Okay, I could have put this one in the list of films conservatives should make as it is one of the most patriotic books ever written, but more than that, it is one of the best comedies ever.  Dialogue that reads as a cross between the Marx Brothers, a Howards Hawks screwball comedy, and Monty Python covers every page of this novel, and it deserves to have the rapid fire delivery that all good comedy needs.

The Historian.  I could see a point being made that there are too many vampire movies out there and I already have another one on this list already.  Fair enough.  But there is a lack of good film in that vein…and if you can manage to transfer the quality of this race through three periods of time all to track down the villainous Vlad Tepes and stop his plan for world domination.

Good Omens.  It’s not so much that Hollywood needs this suggestion…production for this movie is in constant on again/off again mode.  This movie is the funniest the apocalypse is ever going to be and it needs to be made into a movie.  Hollywood, get this movie out of development hell and get it made.

The Great Good Thing.  This book by Roderick Townley is a children’s novel about what book characters do when we’re not watching them.  And in the middle of it all is Sylvie, a princess not content with her repetitive life of the same adventure over and over again. It is a story that would lend itself well to a CGI heavy children’s film (or just animate it) with a certain Wonderland feel.

Destiny’s Knights.  Yeah I’m just going to slip my novel in here. It’s a good fantasy story, certainly better than other books which were heavily plagiarized (not going to name names).

Joss Whedon should make more Shakespeare movies. In fact since he has already done the key Shakespearian comedy (Much Ado About Nothing) he should now do the greatest of the tragedies: King Lear.   Whedon alum Anthony Steward Head with a little makeup would now be old enough to play the role and if Whedon pulled some of his other long time favorites (Gellar, Hannigan, Carpenter) as his daughters could lead to an excellent cast that under Whedon could make the tragedy into the film that shows this as the most powerful of the tragedies that the slew of BBC and PBS attempts have so far failed at.  Now if Whedon wanted to really do something fun, he would do King Lear and Christopher Moore’s Fool –which is just a comedy version of Lear–filming at the same time with the same cast showing the same story as both gut wrenching tragedy and side splitting comedy.

The Thin Man.  Now, I’m not saying that the original films weren’t good, but they are a little weak on the mystery side.  Now imagine Depp and Jolie as Nick and Nora.  (I have no problem with the occasional reboot if there are generations between the original and the remake).

Mark Beamon novels by Kyle Mills. These books follow a slightly unorthodox FBI agent as he stumbles into one international incident after another. Eventually the books started getting weak, but the first four are strong enough to give this a chance at becoming a franchise.

True Lies 2:  This was a great action film, certainly one of the top 10 action films of all time.  And it probably should have had a sequel years ago.  However you could still get a sequel.  Now, I already hear the obvious complaint, Arnold is no longer entertaining, he’s no longer funny, and he’s actually kind of an ass.  All true.  Which is why the perfect True Lies sequel doesn’t really need Arnold all that much.  Start the movie with Arnold’s character getting killed.  Let the entire frustration over his waste of a governorship out and just give him the O.J. in a Naked Gun movie treatment.  The rest of the movie is Tasker’s wife and daughter (now an agent in her own right) tracking down the killers.  This works because Jamie Lee Curtis is still fiesty and funny…and as the original movie casted the daughter with Eliza Dushku (aka Faith the Vampire Slayer, and Echo of Dollhouse) you have a built in actress who you know can handle violence and wit equally well.

*You know I have no problem with changing books and characters when taking a book from print to screen…but that change should be justified either by the fact that it is necessary to make the story work on screen or be an actual improvement.  Writing out the actually interesting central villain and turning the US intelligence from a somewhat bumbling ally to the central villain was not justified with the Bourne stories.  They took a captivating story and turned it into trash.  So I’d be more than happy to see the actual Bourne novels turned into movies (I would also add the character of Jason Bourne in the books would have ripped that wimp Damon played in half in a matter of seconds).

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The most dangerous idea in history

Ideas have consequences. It’s a concept that not everyone understands. But little things, ideas you just take for granted without a second thought are often the kind of things that can make or break lives, nations, whole civilizations. Get a math historian to explain to you the importance of zero, or the significance of treating an unknown as a variable instead of a constant (it’s called Algebra) and you’ll see the difference between the Ancient world and the modern. Is this world something solid and independent of our minds or an illusion and outgrowth of our minds, probably something you seldom think about and most people probably couldn’t care about, and you’ll see the difference between Western and Eastern history.  While best known as a throwaway line in a less than spectacular movie the difference between “the United States are” and “the United States is” marks one of the most important turning points in American culture.   Little ideas, things that probably don’t occupy the most minuscule moment of the average person’s thoughts can change everything.  Or look at how a line in the Bhagavad Gita saying that every life has a purpose and everyone should strive to fulfill that purpose because of a misunderstanding of its true purpose is turned into the justification of the abhorrent caste system. Little things, like the use of the Greek word for reason to describe God are the things that allow a society to survive.

Why do I bring this up?  Because while some small ideas may vastly improve our lives and other small ideas may radically change them (maybe not for good or bad), some ideas are very, very dangerous because without exception–no matter the time, or place, or circumstances–they always lead to murder, tyranny, suffering, decay, and destruction.

And if you start from this premise that ideas do have this kind of power, what is the most important idea, the one that can mean the survival or death to a civilization?

Well you could look at politics, but politics is a two part situation: one is the people involved–and we have to ignore people because we can’t forget that while ideas have power to shape people and their actions, people are more than just the sum of the ideas of their culture.  There are people who live in cultures with abhorrent ideas who can rise above them, and people who could live in a society that embraced every truth in existence and still fail to live up to them–so when looking for the all-important ideas, we have to take human individuality out of the equation and realize that even the most abhorrent ideas will not corrupt everyone and the greatest ideas will not redeem everyone.

The other part to politics is the ideas of ethics which it is based on as a political system is nothing but seeking to create a structure where everyone can live what the root philosophy of that society sees as the good and ethical life.   Which means we have to look to ethics…but the values and rule of ethics themselves are based on basic metaphysical principles.  The “ought” of ethics comes from what “is” in metaphysics.  If you are a being that needs food to live, then you ought to eat something.  If what you are is a creature based in original sin, then you have a need to remove that sin from your being, then what you ought to do is whatever requirements the God you have sinned against requires of you.  If however you are a being trapped in a nightmare of delusion then you have a need to escape the nightmare, and you ought to meditate on a way to see past the delusion.  Now my examples here are a little simplistic, and the reality of how metaphysics transfers values to ethics is far more complicated in most cases.

However there is one idea that rises above all others and we don’t have to delve too deeply into complex philosophy to see how it has a very, very real effect on ethics, politics, and the real world.

This basic idea is that your soul has value.

Your soul, the thing that is you, has some value.  We don’t have to worry about the conflict of Eastern vs. Western civilization, or contemplate the Classical vs. Enlightenment vision of these ideas because these ideas have been there pretty much in the vast majority of cultures throughout history as a basic building block of civilization.

“It is God, and God alone, who has encased Himself as the soul in the many human beings He has created.”—Paramahansa Yogananda, God Talks with Arjuna: The Bhagavad Gita

“My mind is part of God’s.  I am very holy. “—Lesson 35 from the Workbook for Student of A Course in Miracles

If you haven't read it, you should.

If you haven’t read it, you should.

Every other belief system has some connection between God and the soul. For Judaism, man is created in the image of God (usually interpreted that our soul is like God’s in its intellect and free will differing in degree not kind),

“God created man in his image; in the divine image he created him” Gen 1:27 (New American Bible)

In Christianity the Holy Spirit (as part of God) is within each of us,

In Greek Paganism you will see the Greek philosophers talk about that portion of our soul that is like a God,

In Eastern religions you have the statement Namaste (the god within me recognizes and honors the god within you),

“An eternal part of Myself [God], manifesting as a living soul in the world of being”  Bhagavad Gita 15:7

Even Buddhism which technically is agnostic in its beliefs on an all-powerful God, holds that the soul is something divine and the only thing that is real,

“Imagine a wide ocean with a golden yoke adrift upon it. In the depths of the ocean swims a single blind turtle, who surfaces for air once every hundred years. How rare would it be for the turtle to surface with its head through the hole in the yoke? The Buddha said that attaining a precious human rebirth is rarer than that.”—The Dalai Lama The Way to Freedom

I could start getting into other religions, but in every case you will see the human soul placed on a pedestal and often tied directly to the divine. It is the basis of all ethics as this is what gives human life intrinsic value above and beyond simple matter (if you track it back this is the basis of all “secular” Western philosophy and ethics, that human existence has intrinsic value).

And at its root this is why ethics works.  Because all of ethics rests upon the fact that the soul has value.  As it is connected to God, then intrinsically it is self-evident that the soul has value and if the soul has value then a human life has value. And this is why religion and spirituality is so important to ethics, not because we can’t be good unless God gives us a set of rules, but because without a connection between God and the soul, ethics has no grounding in metaphysics.

Without the value of the soul, then there is no reason why one life cannot be sacrificed so long as it makes two lives better.  There is no rational argument against slavery, because if there is not intrinsic infinite value to the soul then the worst form of utilitarianism comes to play and the rights and lives of any smaller group can be destroyed, sacrificed or exploited for the “greater good.”  (Certainly violence isn’t completely forbidden when you do believe in the value of the soul…but only in using it against greater evil).

Yeah that’s all well and good on paper, you say, but that’s not what happens in real life. Okay let’s put my theory to the test.

Are there any belief systems out there that deny the connection of the soul to God?  There are two.

The first is atheism. This isn’t hard to prove when you deny God and the soul, the value of the soul at 0 is a fairly natural extension.
The second is Islam.  But isn’t that a religion?  Well, yes, but only by the loosest definition (much in the same way Charles Mason is a human-being). Islam however has no scene in the Koran or the Haddith that states that man was created in the image of God. None. And whereas many prophets of the Old Testament and Jesus speak of the relationship between man and God, calling us his children, that he lives within us, etc…you find nothing even remotely comparable in the Koran or the Haddith. All you find is comments like 42:11 “there is nothing like unto Him [God].” This idea is repeated over and over in Islam. Every other religion at some level or another stresses the connection to God, that he is a part of us. Islam stresses that we are not like God in any way, completely disconnected from him in all ways. In this respect they are like atheism in disconnecting man from the divine.

And, low and behold if you compare the deaths caused by ALL other religions combined against those caused by Islam it a lot lower (which given that Islam is the newest one on the scene.*
Now as we have gone over previously deaths in war and conquest by all religions excluding Islam and atheists.  The low end for all religions save Islam for the last 2000 years has a high end estimate of about 96 million deaths.  Compared to a LOW END death count of 100 million for Atheism for the last hundred years (sorry atheists, but you have Communism and Nazism—two forms of government that sought to destroy religion in all its forms.  And don’t tell me that they shouldn’t count because they weren’t following what you think atheism should represent…if you want that argument, then Christianity isn’t responsible for a single death in the Inquisition because they weren’t following what Christianity should be.) Ideas have consequences.  The consequences of atheism happens to be killing more people than all religions in one-twentieth the time.  (Higher end estimates would put the atheist number near 150 million)

And let’s add Islam in there. The conquest of Persia (1 million), the conquest of India (80 million), the conquest of Africa (110 million), the Armenian Genocide (1 million), Iran-Iraq War (2 million)…we’re at 194 million and we haven’t even touched anything to do with terrorism.  Sorry atheists you may be butchers but you’re pikers compared to Islam’s history.

Now, we could haggle about including this or that but the fact of the matter is that by a large margin the two belief systems that don’t believe in the value of the soul seem to have a much greater ease at killing in massively high numbers.

Why? Because ideas have consequences.

Because murder is only wrong if you are doing harm to something of value…and rationally we can dismiss about the value of the body, or the impact one person can make.  We can rationalize a lot…but if the soul has value because it is part of the divine you can never fully rationalize it away, you can ignore it, you can come up with excuses, but that idea will more often than not prevent you from doing something contrary to that idea.  But if you don’t hold that the soul has value, then every other rationalization becomes relatively easy.  Excuses become numerous.  Utilitarian murder becomes justified because you have high ideals. The glory of God must be extended at any cost, because the glory of that message is clearly more important than a soul without divinity.  And the society, the good of the whole, the mother land, the father land, the collective is obviously more important.  Enemies can be slaughtered wholesale because their lives have no intrinsic value.  Obstacles can just be eliminated without remorse because of the state or prophet or whatever other bullshit you want to follow, because anything can be made to sound more valuable and important than an individual life (or a lot of them) when there is no inherent value placed on life.

Certainly there are people in religions that value the soul who reject this idea in thought and deed, and there are people within belief systems that deny its value that still intrinsically understand the truth that the soul does have value…but it cannot be denied that this simple idea is what builds civilization or the lack of it becomes the foundation of waves of conquest, genocide, and holocaust.

Ideas have consequences.  And all of civilization is based on this one simple point; the soul has value because it is connected to the divine.  And the denial of it opens the door for almost any evil.

*okay to be fair Scientology is the newest on the scene…but I haven’t seen much genocide from them, and if we’re going to be really honest, Muhammad was little more than just the L. Ron Hubbard of the sixth century.

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