Category Archives: Republicans and Reincarnation

BiWeekly Meditation–Looking for the Win-Win Solution

“[Adam] Smith noted that in all transactions, both parties come out better for it.”–Republicans And Reincarnation 

Weekly Meditation: The Sixth Chakra.


Okay, first let me say that I’m switching to bi weekly mediations.  I’ve been doing this for two year and (taking the few weeks I skipped) that’s about 100 meditations, (That’s a lot of meditations) if you need something to focus on to center your mind, it’s not like they have a shelf life and go bad after two weeks.  So rather than keep coming up with stuff every week, I’m going to switch to doing these every other week.

And I think that works out best for everyone, it allows me to take more time to plan these, and you more time to get something out of every meditations.

It’s a win-win.  Which happens to be the theme of this meditation.

As many of my more loyal readers know, I am a huge fan of capitalism.  And besides the fact that it’s the only system that works and is sustainable, there are all the ethical reasons I support capitalism.  One of them is that capitalism is the only system that allows for a win-win scenario. Every honest transaction in capitalism benefits both the seller and the buyer–you both get something you want and you both make your lives better for it.  It’s why this system is the only one that creates prosperity, creates wealth, creates ideas and innovation, and creates a better society.  It’s a system where no one has to lose.  Every other system there HAS TO BE a loser, with liberty and true capitalism the only losers are the ones who don’t engage in the system of free exchange and try to be the most virtuous person they can.  It is the system that models the growth of our souls to enlightenment, everyone can get there, but it is only by choice, work and will power they will.*

But one of the reasons I think so many people are opposed to it is because they are stuck in a win-lose mind set.  They think that every situation has to have a winner and a loser.  If you’re doing better I’m doing worse.  In reality this isn’t so.  With the exception of the artificial nature of sports, life doesn’t have to be about winners and losers.  If one company does well it doesn’t mean its competition must fail, it only means that its competition must adapt, possibly by improving their product, possibly by going in a new direction…and the consumer benefits from both (Microsoft AND Apple seem to be doing well, as well as they myriad of companies that benefit because they do well and the chain of thought goes on and on). Just because you get a promotion doesn’t mean I lost, I now have further opportunities to shine, and I don’t have to feel pressured by the comparison (or a thousand other ways to look at it…a lot of situations come down to how we choose to interpret them and react to them.  If you look at most situations as opportunities, you will seldom find a loss).

But let’s be honest, since there are people with the win-lose attitude instead of the win-win attitude, it does spill into our lives whether we want it or not.  So we have to show people that there are win-win solutions where we can find them.  We have to look for them, we have to propose them to those around us, and we have to convince people.  But the first part of this is that we have to look for them.  So I would recommend either in the evening to spend ten to twenty minutes reviewing all the situations you had during the day that devolved into win-lose situations (or the morning to look back on the previous day).  Look for the ways that they could have been win-win solutions for all involved.  Run it through your mind for to see if there were multiple ways it could have been a win-win.  And do this not with guilt or self-recrimination.  You’re looking at this to get you mind in the habit of looking for win-win opportunities, not to chide yourself for not seeing them at the time they occurred.  The only way you’re going to be being to see them as they occur is if your review previous encounters and see what other possibilities were open that you did not see at the time. And, like so many of these meditations, isn’t something you’re not going to pick up immediately.  It’s a skill that needs to be nurtured, refined, and practiced before you get really good at it.

Now, I do need to point out that just because you can see the win-win solution it does not mean you can convince others.  I remember a time I tried to help someone with a project at work and they incredibly behind on.  This person at first attacked me because they saw my attempt to help them get through the project faster as an insult and responded rather angrily with comments like “I said I’ll get it done and I’ll get it done” (even though they were past the deadline) and then told me “if you want to do this all, fine, I would rather be doing something else.”  This person saw only the win-lose, either they did all the work, or I did all the work, only one person gets free time (yes this had bled into working on the weekend).  It became clear that the win-win of if we both do this we’d both get out of here quickly wasn’t open to this person.  So I shut down my computer, went home, and finished the project later that night when the portion I was waiting on was finished.  If it’s going to be win-lose, I have no intention of being the loser.  And it is at this point that you need to understand if someone makes it clear that there is only a win-lose situation, you should not act like a martyr and think that you should be the one to lose.  Like the Constitution, spiritual enlightenment, is not a suicide pact.  If it’s going to be win-lose, and you’re tried to make an attempt to show any win-win opportunities you can think of, if it is the other person choosing the losing philosophy don’t let yourself be harmed by it.

 

So for the next two weeks look for the win-win opportunities and see you can reduce the stress and increase the moments of peace (and maybe even enlightenment) in your life.

*Okay there might be divine grace in there too, but that has no parallel in any economic system…unless we want to get into voluntary charity, which again is a liberty/capitalism thing.

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Reflections on the Election: Why I was wrong, Why Obama Won, and what the GOP needs to do. Part III

It’s been a month since the election…and as you can tell from the limited number of posts, I’m still kind of depressed Obama won, America Lostabout this (and overworked at work, but that’s another story).  I’m still shell-shocked that people could be that stupid—even I, who believe the masses are idiots, can’t fully comprehend that people are so fucking stupid as to vote in a tyrant not once but twice.  It baffles the mind.  If you care about only what you can get you should have voted for the guy who would guarantee a higher chance at raises and better jobs: Romney.  If you cared about other people you should have cared about the guy who would have done the most to improve the middle class: Mitt.  If you care about character it would be the guy who personally does charity whenever he can: Willard Mitt Romney. Intelligence, that would be the guy who got his J.D. and MBA in the same 4 years: The Governor.  Experience, class, vision, leadership, surrounding himself with qualified people.  On every criteria you can come up with it’s a no brainer, but, but, but…

People are really fucking short sighted, envious and dumb.

But are we just powerless to do anything? Are we at the mercy of party leadership to pull us out of this tailspin the country has voted itself in (dear god that’s a depressing thought)?  Luckily no.  Unfortunately I’m not promising anything easy either.

So what can we as individuals do?

Well first I would like to turn back to the exit polls.  Now looking at ethnicity or gender or even age is pointless because there is nothing we can do to change that.   People are what they are.  (Yes, age changes, but it’s not like we have any actual control over it).

2012 exit polls education

Now education can change (complete shocker that Obama the no intelligence/no high school bracket and the no real world experience/postgraduate bracket) but unless you’re a parent most of us can’t really affect people’s education.  If you are a parent, I might suggest that you state you’re not paying for any kind of college education unless they get a degree in the Math/Science area and thus have marketable skills (if they want to get a dual major and have a liberal art as well, well you can negotiate) but parents do not pay for Sociology degrees they are worthless and breed dumb liberals.

2012 exit polls single

Next we turn to gender and marriage status.  A lot of to do was made about women in this election, but as you see it wasn’t really women so much as single women.  And I have seen conservative writers talk about how the single women pose a threat to liberty as they seem to look to the government for the security nets…but it if you look at the data single men are also pretty dumb. The conclusion I’m drawing here isn’t that women are liberal, it’s that single people on the whole are liberal and need to be stopped.  (Yes, I as a bachelor, may not want to throw stones in a glass house, but I’m not as dumb as my fellow singles who voted for Barry…but if you are or know any single, intelligent, conservative, spiritually open women in the Phoenix area…well…my email address is posted…).  Now does this mean we should all go out and get married without standards or relationships, that marriage is an end unto itself. No.  One of the reasons we have a high divorce rate is that people don’t take the time to plan and make sure they’re making a right choice.  So really unless you want to start playing matchmaker which some of us are more qualified than others (this would certainly not be a skill of mine).

2012 exit polls religion

And then we see that Obama did well with the non-religious crowd* and Romney did well with the religious crowd.  Let me put these last two points in context. It doesn’t have as much to do with faith or companionship.  For a lot of people it is an issue of safety.  If you have a spouse, if you have an active church community you have someone you know you can fall back on if things go bad, if you don’t have these things, then the psychology of most people is to seek something you can fall back on: the government.  Now I would rather people evolve and see themselves as their fallback (or at least maybe God) but if we’re going to get there we first have to have an economic system that allows people to take care of themselves (i.e. we need to get rid of liberals and progressives at every level).

So what does this have to do with religion?  Well it means that if you’re a member of a church you need to encourage, push for, and if necessary demand, that your church be more active in the community—charity, public works and improvement projects, fundraisers not for the church but those honestly in need. This should have nothing to do with demonization or dogma.  Only about helping the community and strengthening the bonds of community.

If you’re not in a church, say a New Ager, it couldn’t hurt to find a non-pushy church out there and see if they would like help with those charity projects.

If you’re in a church that does do these kinds of charity projects then see if you can invite people you know to help, don’t proselytize, don’t make it about belief, only about helping others.  (Also may I suggest making your charity functions known to the local middle and high schools—students, especially college bound students, are more and more looking for community service on their resumes—and let them know their parents are invited as well).

This has nothing to do with dogma, it has to with a core tenet in every religion I can think of, charity, community, compassion.

Show people that government isn’t the only source that they can fall back on.  Look at it this way, the way people talk about others often shows how they themselves think.  I call it the “I am the world” fallacy, and I’m guilty of it myself sometimes, we all are.  We tend to make assumptions about the way people act based on our own habits and thoughts.  Conservatives naturally tend to think that the government isn’t needed because we ourselves are more generous and just assume everybody does the right thing.  Liberals assume others are avaricious, cruel, irrationally selfish, and miserly not because they’re saints and know everyone else is stingy, but because they themselves are not compassionate at their heart—they fear they will have no one to fall back on because in their heart of heart they know they won’t help other either.  (Liberals give to charity less than conservatives and they volunteer a hell of a lot less than conservatives, see Who Really Cares by Arthur C. Brooks).

But if we get people who might not usually attend church to come to charity events we can show them that people do care for people and that we don’t need government to care for us…and maybe we can even show them there is personal joy in compassion and charity.  Trust me, a person who does charity out of the joy it brings them never votes liberal, liberals give out of guilt not joy.

So get your church (or any other group that has the resources) involved in the community (if you’re not doing at least 3 events a month, it’s not enough), invite people to come just for the charity aspect, and watch their belief that the government is the only one looking out for them disappear (also with more human contact and larger social circles we might fix that single problem listed above).

Also this process will help destroy that one thing that Obama did well in “He cares about people like me.”

2012 exit polls key points

Charity and a strong community teach us that we are capable of caring for people who aren’t like ourselves.

But that can’t be all we have to do.  Liberals have done a great job with controlling the media.  News, movies, TV shows, you name it there are liberal messages.  But we cannot give in on this.

So there are a few things we can do.  The first is that we can try to pull their funding.  Here at the Conservative New Ager we’re going after that Goebbels style propaganda wing MSNBC.  We encourage people to write to their advertisers and pull their ads.  It works.  If a company just gets a hundred letters asking them to make sure the shows they are advertising on are only reporting the truth, they will either pull the ads or they will use the power their money buys them to get results.  We have already heard from P&G and UPS.

The next thing is that we need to expose people to the truth.  I would recommend everyone use all the social media they have to expose their friends to the truth.  Now you don’t have to repost a thousand articles every day, but don’t be afraid to share something for fear of losing a friend.  For everyone you lose you’ll likely help push a two or three that much closer to the truth.  (And if you’re like me you don’t have many liberal friends left anyway, it’s the middle we’re trying to win, not the ones beyond hope).

Also if you get a real newspaper (there aren’t many left: The Wall Street Journal, the Washington Times…if it uses AP articles don’t bother) take it to work and leave it in the break room every day.  It can only help expose people to the truth.

But on that note we need to share the media that is conservative we need to focus on the stuff that isn’t the news and isn’t explicitly political.  Liberals have tried to infect every book, every movie, every show with liberal messages and just habituate people into thinking in liberal terms.  The problem is that most good literature is more conservative in its themes.  Self sufficiency, rational thought, ethical behavior, connection to God.  These subtle themes are in literature everywhere, even when it’s written by artists who are liberal themselves.  George Orwell was a socialist, but 1984 and Animal Farm are scathing critiques of the very state Orwell would likely have supported.   Given time, the truth will out, as a conservative writer once put it. What conservatives make the mistake of doing is trying to give people Atlas Shrugged and Ann Coulter and Thomas Sowell.  It doesn’t matter that we enjoy those, those books only preach to the choir.  If someone isn’t open to those ideas, if they’ve been indoctrinated to think conservatives are evil, Rand was psychotic, Coulter is vicious and Sowell is an Uncle Tom, it doesn’t matter if the facts are there, their emotional reaction to those works will prevent them from seeing the facts.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t share books and TV shows with friends, family, acquaintances. I’m sure we know lots of people who are not conservative but if they were introduced to those ideas the logic and reason of it would come out.  That is why I am putting together a list of books, movies and TV shows that depict the conservative themes and that we agree with, without being explicitly conservative.   The Individual, reason, ethical behavior, long term thinking, the truth.  These are things that bring people close to conservatism.  I would take a look at this list (and keep coming back as I hope to keep adding to it).  Lend these works out to people who you think might be open to them.  Give them as gifts for any holiday and any excuse you can.  And then discuss them with the person after they’ve read or watched it (never give out something you’re not familiar with already!  You don’t want to get caught where they make some silly liberal interpretation and don’t have a comeback for it).  It seems silly but ideas have power, and once they’re in a person’s mind they spread not just to affecting the other ideas of that mind but in the way they behave to others and the way they influence the ideas of others.  And if they get more conservative in their thoughts introduce them to the more explicitly conservative works…but don’t start with those, they’ll just shut people down.

Finally it’s the old stand-bys.  Write a blog or letters to editors.  Donate to organizations that promote your beliefs (right now I would focus on Heritage and Freedomwork because they do not seem overly obsessed with the social issues which are dragging this party down and giving the left too many easy targets), volunteer for campaigns, get involved.  We have four years where we can do next to nothing to save the economy or well being of our allies across the sea.  Nothing.  We have this idiot tyrant in charge and he will wreck the place as much as he can through a combination of stupidity and malice.  Focusing too much on that will be somewhat fruitless for us as individuals—but as individuals we do have the power to influence those around us and help bring them to our side.

*Also Obama did exceedingly well with people who aren’t not affiliated with any religion but are spiritual  you know, the kind of people the Republicans and Reincarnation was written specifically for.  If you know some of these people, could it hurt to give them a copy?

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The Ethical Argument for Capitalism

Now for a more detailed argument for what was on this video you could read the book this video is based on, Arthur Brooks’ The Road to Freedom which came out this year (I have not read it yet, but know Brooks’ work and know it will be a good read…right now I’m working my way through Milton Friedman again so I have all the data to eviscerate Paulbots, and that takes time)…

Or…

You could read Chapters 5 &6 in Republican and Reincarnation which also offer the ethical argument for capitalism.  (I may bit biased in recommending which one you should try first).

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The Possible Future of the Republican Party

 

“Look at Europe, you fool. Can’t you see past the guff and recognize the essence? One country is dedicated to the proposition that man has no rights, that the collective is all. The individual held as evil, the mass – as God. No motive and no virtue permitted – except that of service to the proletariat.

That’s one version. Here’s another. A country dedicated to the proposition that man has no rights, that the State is all. The individual held as evil, the race – as God. No motive and no virtue permitted – except that of service to the race. Am I raving or is this the harsh reality of two continents already? If you’re sick of one version, we push you in the other. We’ve fixed the coin. Heads – collectivism. Tails – collectivism. Give up your soul to a council – or give it up to a leader. But give it up, give it up, give it up. Offer poison as food and poison as antidote. Go fancy on the trimmings, but hang on to the main objective. Give the fools a chance, let them have their fun – but don’t forget the only purpose you have to accomplish. Kill the individual. Kill man’s soul. The rest will follow automatically.”—Elsworth Toohey, The Fountainhead [emphasis added]

 

Believe it or not Rick Santorum’s campaign gives me hope.   Why?  Because it proves beyond the shadow of all doubt that religious fundamentalists do not control this party.  Let’s be honest cowards are voting for Ron Paul, social conservatives for Santorum, (I haven’t the foggiest clue as to why anyone is voting for Newt) and fiscal conservatives are voting for Mitt Romney.

 

 

But listening to Santorum’s speech did make me think about his new theme: Freedom.  It’s ironic that this would be his theme as it is something that he is opposed to in every area of existence.  We know that Ricky is a social conservative and thus opposed to liberty in the social arena…no we need government laws and regulations backed with up with fines and jails and guns to control that part of the world.  From his earmarks, pro-union stance and wish to control the economy through loopholes and regulations we know he is opposed to economic freedom.  And while you might say at least he’s a conservative on the foreign policy arena, but you’d be wrong, as he doesn’t believe in holding the line against Islam-fascists or Communist China because of the relevant communist or fascists part…he opposes them because they’re Muslims and atheists…after all he has said it’s a “holy war” (his words not mine) that we’re fighting right now.  Rick Santorum, American Jihadist.  He’s not interested in beating back tyranny; he’s interested in beating back non-Christians.   In every form of political thought this man is opposed to liberty and freedom in every way possible.

And while Santorum may be in the running for worst politician in the history of presidential politics, it did start me thinking about the nature of freedom in relation to political parties (yes I’m weird and the most boring conversationalist…deal with it).

 

So, contrary to that two axis graph the libertarian love so much (with one axis being economic freedom and one being social freedom) modern politics is actually a balance of three axes.

  1. Economic Freedom ranging from zero freedom with socialism/communism (the name changes the government doesn’t) to full freedom (anarchy) with true capitalism being about 80-90% of the way to complete freedom.
  2. Social Freedom with communism/theocracy/fascism being at the zero end and again capitalism in the 80-90% range of full freedom.
  3. And finally you have the third access which I will call interventionism (for a much more protracted discussion see Republicans and Reincarnation).  This is the idea of whether or not we feel that freedom should be extended throughout the world as “all men are created equal and endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights” at the full freedom side or feel that tyranny, socialism and oppression are fine so long as they stay outside our borders at the zero freedom side, we call this side isolationism.

Sadly, right now each political party embraces at least one of these evils.  Democrats embrace the evil of restricting freedom in the economic sphere.  Libertarians embrace the evil of allowing oppression in other nations so long as it doesn’t bother them (much like Whigs in antebellum America or isolationist pre-WWII who didn’t mind 6 million people dying so long as it wasn’t them…we all see how well those policies worked)…and the Republican party embraces the evil of government intrusion in the social sphere.

 

And this is why I chose the quote I did to open this post.  The system seems rigged (more by human nature to want to control something not by nefarious evil conglomerates trying to control our every choice) to leave us with a between government control in the social sphere or government control in the economic sphere…and if we’re too disgusted with those we go to a party that turns a blind eye to evil, no matter how atrocious and antithetical to our most basic principles,

 

But there is hope.  Because right now we are seeing a rejection of that very evil represented in Rick Santorum (yes he embodies all three evils, but he’s running on his social “conservative” agenda).

 

But there is more hope than just the destruction of Rick Santorum and the defeat of the social conservatives in this election…but the possibility of the defeat of them for all time.

 

Look at it this way.  Almost every Tea Party candidate who ran in 2010 won.  The ones who didn’t, the ones who cost the GOP in the Senate (most notably Angle and O’Donnell) were portrayed not as fiscal conservatives but as wacky social conservatives (I’ll not be getting into whether that depiction is correct or not).  So it appears that when Republicans run on fiscal issues they win. 

 

 

Or to look at it another way.  The highest Santorum has ever been is 39% of Republican voters who make up only about 36% of the voting public.  In other words social conservatives who place their social conservatism above all else make up only 14% (39% of 36%…and those are kind of high end estimates, it’s probably lower in reality) of the electorate.

 

Only 14%.  14% that has no choice but to vote for the Republicans or let a party that allows its economic liberalism turn into an excess of social liberalism.  Do you really think that 14% of the electorate that identifies itself as independent or libertarian aren’t driven from the Republican Party by its perverse adherence to social conservatism…to a belief that the government should tell people how to live their lives.  Hell, I know a few blue-dog Democrats who are fiscally conservative and whose only argument against Republicans is the pointless social concerns.

 

If we drove them out of power now, if we made this a party of fiscal and foreign policy concerns, and only of social moderation, that the government takes no sides in social issues (you know, as the Founders wanted)…and leave social issues to individuals, churches and local communities,  then we would experience not a drop in election results, but a surge, a powerful surge that would not only be a death blow to psychosis that is social conservatives desire to rule over people’s bedrooms but also to the evil that is the Democrat desire to rule over our wallets.

 

Or we can just keep going as we always have and let these lunatics have too much influence in our party.

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What’s in a name?

In my recent interview on The Conservative Pagan show on PaganRadio.net the issues of the terms New Ager vs. Pagan was brought up.  And for whatever reason we have this whole group of terms for a large spiritual movement that includes such titles as:

Pagan

Wiccan

New Ager

Druid

Earth Based Religion

Neo-Pagan

Alternative Spirituality

I even found a web page for Jewish Wiccans…who knew?

It’s a mess.

And it doesn’t necessarily have to be.  As all of these groups have some core beliefs.

We agree on personal responsibility and connection to God (or whatever term we’re using).

We all believe in some kind of single God to which all religions are directed toward.  (Or almost all, there are some belief systems out there that are insulting to human nature with every precept they have).

We all believe in an interconnectedness of existence.  Some focus on how it manifests in nature, some in society, some in the individual, but I think we all agree that all life at all levels is connected—that where I end and you begin isn’t as obvious as the material world would make it appear.

We agree that while we have our individual beliefs, and while other religions have their beliefs, no set of beliefs is perfect that we are all heading to some divine truth.  And I think this is what defines us best, while we all have our own way of communicating with the divine, we would agree that’s a personal issue.  We would never tell a Christian that Christianity will never lead to God; it’s just not going to work for us in this life time.  Hinduism can easily let someone become one with the eternal, but it is not the path that is for me right now.  And while Eastern beliefs might agree with us that all paths can lead to God, I have to say until you get to the upper levels of Lamas and rishis there is still a certain pretentiousness in Eastern beliefs that add, “but my religion is the best way to reach God.”  I think what unites the New Age/Pagan/Wiccan/Pick the term of your choice group the most is that most of us simply argue that this path is best for me in this life time, it by no means is necessarily the best path for everyone.  At most all we ask is that everyone ask themselves if the path they are on is the right one for them, other than that we’re usually (there are always exceptions) not that pushy or tied to our belief as superior to others.

Yet that really doesn’t seem to unite us all that much.

And it gets worse when you have a person who identifies with one term and gets offended when you refer to them by another.  Pagans hate being called New Agers because they think it means they’re a bunch of ditzy hippies who don’t have any depth to their beliefs.  New Agers dislike being called Pagan because they don’t reject a lot of Christian beliefs, as the term Pagan suggest, they simply believe it’s been misinterpreted.  People who just know they’re spiritual but don’t want to be called Wiccans because that is a very specific belief system.  It’s almost enough to make you think we were all different religions and had nothing to do with one another.

But try this.  Read that paragraph but substitute in the words Lutheran, Catholic and Jehovah’s Witness.  It still more or less would makes sense.  And despite the massive gulf in belief they all have a nice overarching term: Christianity.   And that’s kind of the problem we don’t have an overarching term.

Now I go with New Ager more often than not (I also use Pagan from time to time when I’m feeling lazy because I think people have a better understanding of the term Pagan, describing the term New Age can be difficult, as shown here and here) for a few reasons.  The first is I have some problems with Pagan because whenever I use it the English teacher in me screams at the rest of me that it’s a Christian term meant to describe anyone who isn’t part of the Judeo-Christian heritage and technically encompasses Buddhists, Hindus, Sikhs, Zoroastrians, Greek mythology, and a whole host of other beliefs.  The correct use of the word merely means non-Christian…or believing in multiple gods.  And one thing I do know about all of these groups that I’m a part of is that we are monotheists—we may believe that God wears many different masks at many times, and we have a whole mess of ascended masters and angels we call upon for help,  but we do believe in one single divine source.  I don’t use Wiccan because that a very, very specific branch of this belief I belong to, with very specific rituals and custom…that I don’t practice.  I generally go with New Age because I do believe we are on the cusp of a major transition in human history…and, sad to say, because it appears easiest catch all term when you look at any store (especially book stores) the section is called New Age.  But while I don’t have a problem with the term, I understand why others do.  Earth based religions also seem to me to be a limited way of looking at it, as the interconnectedness that the name suggests I believe goes far beyond the mere physical manifestation of this planet and its environment.

So the fact is that we need a new term.  A catch all phrase that separates us from the other main spiritual groups of the world, but still lets us have our denominations under that banner heading.

I have no ideas…but I’m open to suggestions.

I've always liked this as it represent what I find to be a key tenet of New Age belief, the idea that all religions have truth in them. And before anyone complains, that's a Jain/Hindu/Buddhist symbol in the lower lefthand part.

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A final word on Christmas Charity Part I of II

So these last few weeks I’ve seen a lot of people talk about charity and generosity in reference to it being Christmas.  And a lot of what I’ve been reading on the internet and seeing in the media shows to me that once again people do not really understand charity (or any virtue for that matter…but that is a much larger undertaking which I will put off for the moment).

Now I’ve already gone over the psychological and spiritual benefits of Peter giving to Paul vs. the detriment that comes from robbing Peter to pay Paul in Republicans and Reincarnation, so I’m not going to go over ground I’ve already covered and bore you with that.

But I was doing my daily reading of news and op-eds on the net and ran across this little moment of insanity and evil “Christmas means the redistribution of wealth” by Anthony M. Stevens-Arroyo .  It’s a fascinating if not horrendously perverse and monstrously evil article because it goes beyond the usual Robin Hood clap trap (because if you actually read the stories Robin steals from tax collectors and gives back to the people who earned the money in the first place).  It’s sad that liberal papers like the Washington Post have to dig so low just to fill their rags that they take the ranting of a guy who also argues that Queen Isabella, the one who created the Inquisition, be up for sainthood and defends Pope Pius XII, also known as Hitler’s Pope, as being “maligned” .  Honestly, I wouldn’t bother with this article if it wasn’t for the fact that I have heard shades of this argument for the last few months…and this article just puts all of these arguments in one big spot.

Obviously this twit is supposedly coming from a Catholic point of view (I use supposedly because there are many Catholics who don’t pervert the words of the Bible in the way this idiot does) and I’m coming from a New Age point of view, so I will be attacking a few of his premises on grounds of religious difference…on these points I ask that you only listen to my points before dismissing my side based on any religious beliefs you may have.  (Also there are going to be a few tangents because this man makes such random justifications for his beliefs that I have to also go all over the place to point out what a moron he is).

He starts out with:

“Jesus came to save the world.”

It’s a problem when I disagree with the first words you put to paper (it’s like reading the first words in Kant where you make the most preposterously idiotic, mentally retarded, and morally bankrupt statement that life isn’t about Happiness…when you start out with a false premise you know it’s all downhill from there.)  Why do I have a problem with this…well because if you actually read the Bible, and certainly if you believe in Christianity with its concept of Hell and eternal damnation, you have a view that he came to save some who would hear him and, eh, the rest of you know where you can go (John 12:46 “I have come as Light into the world, so that everyone who believes in Me will not remain in darkness.”…and those of you who don’t believe…Also you might care to remember that it is “peace on Earth to men of good will” not “good will to [all] men”).  Also I thought he came to save souls, not the material world.  But this guy justifies his belief that the whole world is defined by quoting that famous passage of the Bible, “He’s got the whole world in his hands”  (okay he admits it’s from a “spiritual” as he puts it, not the Bible…but really, “spiritual” might even be a bit too complimentary. ) Really?  That’s the best you have?  He’s got the whole world in his hands.

Is this really a problem?  Yes and no.  I do believe that all the enlightened beings of history, Jesus of Nazareth included, came to save ALL humanity by helping them choose to free themselves from the delusions of this world and raise us to a higher spiritual level so he would be right if he meant save our souls.  But like most liberals he is a rank materialist who can see no value in anything other than the physical world around him and thus to him “save the world” means make our lives in the physical world, here and now, perfect (not to mention just ignoring the whole free will thing suggested by the condition “whosoever believes in me”).

And thus, for this crazy author, this means that we must have income in equality…because as he states

“Christmas 2011 comes on the eve of an election year when Catholic America is confronted with an escalation in society’s class divisions and a concentration of wealth worse than under the Roman Empire.”

(And I don’t even know where to start with that one…if you track his links back you’ll eventually come to an article that calculates the wealth of the elite in Rome (the city) versus the poverty of Rome (the empire), utterly forgets that there was a trading class of merchants throughout the empire which are more or less equivalent to the middle class,  ignores the vast amount of patronage and welfare programs in the empire…and completely forgets that Caesar has more money than all the Senators and Equestrians put together…I am still trying to put together all the data, and finding data on inequality in Greece, Rome, and the Dark Ages is near impossible, but distribution of income has never been more equal than the last 50 years of human history.  Also something to consider, the bottom 10% in America probably lives a life that Alexander and Augustus would have envied).

 “The idea that the world needs to be saved – and not just individuals — is contained in the doctrine of original sin as found in the teachings of St. Paul the Apostle. How can he say that a child who has just been born is a sinner? “

Ah, the heart of the matter, the heart of all liberalism (and the mis-named social conservatism…even though there is nothing conservative about it)… That people, at their heart are evil, they have to be saved by someone outside of themselves.  Now I will state that this is really the teachings of the Council of Nicaea (and a few other Council’s) rewrites and the not the words of Paul, but that’s an argument for another time.

As to his question about children and sin, well actually it’s called reincarnation genius…you know the dominant belief within Judaism at the time of Christ, the prevailing belief of every advanced civilization except post-Nicaean Christianity…might be something to that…but that’s neither here nor there really.  What we really have to deal with is the preposterous view of Original sin.  The idea that people are inherently evil and must be controlled.  Sounds kind of like liberalism doesn’t it: you’re evil and can’t be trusted to make the right choices, you’re corrupt and need to be controlled by something bigger than you.  Happy philosophy you have there.  Meanwhile I choose to take the side that there is divinity in the human soul, human reason, and humans were made in the image of God with all of his potential and reason within us if we choose to use it.  But I have hope for, faith in and love for humanity and you have a story about eating a piece of fruit…which sounds more like the acts of a rational God?  Also the teachings of original sin are attributed to 2nd century Bishop Irenaeus, not St. Paul…but as we already established this man clearly knows nothing about history.

To save time I’m going to skim over the next paragraph where he also shows he has a great grasp of history when he says…

[…] The evil person alone prospered in the Roman Empire. […]

…Because there were no just and good people before Jesus…Cicero, Aristotle, Cyrus the Great, not to mention thousands whose names weren’t recorded by history, never existed…before Jesus all life was apparently somehow a Hobbesian nightmare but yet still somehow managed to progress.  Am I the only person who didn’t get such a dark view of humanity from reading the words of Christ in the New Testament?

 “But Jesus changed that imbalance by substituting for selfishness Christian love of neighbor in Jesus’ name. The world’s original sin of favoring evil over good has been wiped away for those baptized into Jesus’ life and resurrection.”

 

This is really sick.  No educated and rational Christian seriously believes that only Christians are good people and the rest favor  “evil over good” as a general rule…and the fact that a major newspaper prints this twaddle is an insult to all the good that Christianity and Christians have ever done or thought.  I would like to remind this idiot that the commandment Jesus quotes from, Leviticus 19:18, commands you to love your neighbor as you love yourself (which actually is kind of selfish…rationally self interested, in between the two evils of narcissism, not caring about others, and altruism, not caring about yourself).

He then goes into, very poorly, a justification that since all individuals are sinful, society is sinful too, and that as individuals need to be saved, so does society…

 

“The concept of society’s structural sin that is suggested in Pauline teaching was crystallized in the theology of liberation when it appeared among Latin American theologians after the II Vatican Council. Based on a socio-economic secular analysis of history in secular academia, theologians like Father Gustavo Gutierrez spoke of structural sin. Upholding an unjust political and economic system would only perpetuate injustice, they argued. Good people could be trapped into a web of doing bad things because society fostered a way of acting that normalized immoral behavior.”

…If you need to reread that a few times, I’ll understand.  It’s terribly worded and poorly thought out, so it might take you a few times to get what he is trying to say (his fault for being a bad writer and thinker, not yours).   So society is evil and that causes good people to do bad things.  So again we have a very liberal view that there is no free will and people aren’t responsible for their own actions.  Now you probably glossed over that phrase “theology of liberation” because no explanation was given.  What is it?  I’ll tell you (and if you don’t believe me, go look it up yourself).  It’s the theory that Christ wanted everyone to spread the wealth around, even though he was friendly with some of the rich, and to spread it around by legal force if necessary, even though Christ had a I could care less “render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s” policy towards politics, and though he may have advised some to give up their riches (riches made off of slavery which was the economy of the time so certainly lacking the ethical basis for profit that capitalism allows, and always as a personal suggestion not as societal policy) he never demanded or forced anyone to spread the wealth around…yes clearly Christ wanted Marxism.  The theology of liberation is a belief in economic socialism, that you should worry about how much others have, rather than just doing your part to make the world around you better, you have to punish those who have done wrong…because the mote in the rich man’s eye is always more important than the board in yours…I’m sure Christ said that somewhere.  It also teaches that profit is of course evil, as all socialism and Marxism teaches…because we all remember that Christ praised the servant who buried money and made zero profit and condemned the servant who made lots of money…oh wait.  The long and short of it is, it’s Marist socialism dressed with a few out of context quotes of Christianity to try and get Christians behind it.  Further, did you notice how not once he held up even a shred of proof that capitalism is unjust (maybe because it’s pretty much the definition of justice) unlike the government controlled economy he advocates (which breeds the very injustice he says he opposes)?

The mere fact that he has to gloss over what it really is, shows even he knows what a house of cards his argument is.

“Detractors have caricatured Liberation Theology as advocating violent revolution against White capitalists. In contrast, based on the Just War Theory, theology restricted violence to a response against violent attack, reasoning that self-defense is legitimate when measured by the countervailing force trying to take away human life and liberty.”

First off St. Thomas Aquinas, who said that not all evil should be prevented by law because more often than not they will hurt the individual in their path toward grace (Summa Theologiae, I-II Qu96 Part 2) , is probably spinning in his grave right now that you have made a mockery of Just War Theory like that (Aquinas sets out three requirements for a Just War—proper authority, just cause, right goal—liberation theology lacks all three, Summa Theologiae, II-II Qu40 part 1 ).  Second, saying you follow Just War Theory and thus aren’t a violent bunch rings about as true as genocidal lunatics saying they practice a “religion of peace”…oh wait, in practice they’re a bunch of socialists too.  I’m seeing a theme here.

(The Declaration of Independence was founded on that same principle: armed revolution in defense of God-given rights is “as American as apple pie.”)

And Jefferson, Adams, and Franklin are now spinning in their graves that this idiot would dare put a belief that requires taking away people’s liberty and right to pursue Happiness, not to mention the sacrosanct right to property, and have the audacity to justify it by referencing the Declaration.  It’s a pity I’m not a Catholic, because if I was I could rest knowing that this ass’s only time not spent in hell would be when they were deciding if his heresy against the Bible (sixth concentric circle) or his treason to the U.S. (ninth) was the deciding factor in where he would spend eternity.

“Christmas 2011 is not a call to violent revolution.”

Why be violent when Obama is trying to make this law.  After all, technically you can be arrested and detained without counsel or trial if Obama doesn’t like you right now.

He goes on and on in with this drivel but there are two other quotes of his I would like to point out.

“This is the message of Pope Benedict XVI this year for World Peace. “We cannot ignore the fact that some currents of modern culture, built upon rationalist and individualist economic principles, have cut off the concept of justice from its transcendent roots, detaching it from charity and solidarity,” writes the pontiff, echoing an earlier Vatican Committee’s statement in support of the Occupy Wall Street movements around the world that protest laissez-faire Capitalism, the concentration of wealth and the economic philosophy of Ayn Rand. In place of these unfair social principles, the pope calls for “adequate mechanisms for the redistribution of wealth.”

 

Okay first off OWS isn’t protesting laissez-faire because we don’t have laissez-faire, haven’t had it in over a century…what they’re protesting is what is being mislabeled as crony capitalism, which I tend to call the first steps to socialism…and bizarrely enough the corruption they’re complaining about will only be helped by the socialism they’re asking for.  Second, Ayn Rand, really?  Friedman, Sowell, Hayek, Williams, Laffer, Von Misses, Smith.  The great philosophers of capitalism and you pick Ayn Rand (Rand is nice, but she is to economic theory what Dr. Seus is to reading…a good place to start but a terrible place to end.  This would be like critiquing English’s ability to create great literature and using Stephen King as example of why English can’t produce good literature).  Thirdly, we have an “adequate mechanism for redistribution of wealth”, it’s called capitalism, law, and merit and it says you get out of life what you put in.

“If Benedict XVI were a candidate for the presidency of the United States, his call for “redistribution of wealth” would be controversial. Can it be dismissed as left-wing socialism? No doubt enemies of Catholic social justice will tar the pontiff in this way. But the ideal “from each according to his ability; to each according to his need,” doesn’t originate with Marx. It comes from the Acts of the Apostles (4:34-35; 1:44-45).“

It is left wing socialism!  The current Pope is a pathetic replacement for his predecessor who actually fought to defend liberty…and it’s not tarring him, it’s applying reason to his statement and seeing them as wrong.  Hate to tell you this, but the Pope is not infallible (but then again this writing did come from the apologist for Hitler’s pope).  Ah and quoting two passages from Acts written by Luke, a guy who never met Christ (and was a vicious anti-Semite to boot) in describing how early Christian communities copies their Essence predecessors in sharing everything…this was of course before Paul came and turned it from a wacky cult to an actual religion.  A shame he couldn’t quote a single line from Christ to justify this as a Christian behavior.

I’m getting very tired of this moron…if you want even more detailed rebuttals go here

 

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The poor are getting richer!


hmmm…I think I read this in a book somewhere too..which book was that…oh yeah! Republicans and Reincarnation

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A week of retrospectives

In honor of Republicans and Reincarnation being published I thought it would be a good time to take a break from new blogs (also because how many times can I talk about the budget before you slit your wrist) and go back over some of the best blogs in the last 2 years of this blog.

Obviously if something major happens that requires a blog but most things (like the budget and the terrorist acts in Oslo) require some time develop well thought-out responses and not just knee jerk reactions.

This will also be a good chance to bring some new readers in and welcome in the new format at WordPress.

So any favorites you want me to bring to the forefront?

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Republicans and Reincarnation is for sale!!!!

It’s for sale.

Republicans and Reincarnation: The Conscience of A New Age Conservative is finally for sale!!

You should buy a copy. Or three. One for you. One for your best friend whom you want to have one of the best books of the 21st century. And one just because you never know when you’ll need a back up copy.

Buy it at my publisher AuthorHouse

Barnes & Noble

Amazon  (although they apparently are not selling the Kindle version just yet, but they should have it up soon).  

Prices for the book are lower at my publisher, prices for the Nook at B&N is lower than the price at my publisher.  (Royalties are higher from my publisher, so you know where my bias lies).

Feel free to write a review or two…Feel free to mention it to every carbon based life-form you know…feel free to forward information to any member of the media you know.

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