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Making Amerika Great One Swastika at a Time

aunt-beulahBy Aunt Beulah

Aunt Beulah is a former comatose pseudonym who woke from her slumber when the country lobbed a grenade through her nursing home window.

Is it not refreshing to see America and its citizens finally paving The Path to the Moral High Ground? It’s about time we jumped on High Horse and galloped over the Constitution of the United States of America. Just between you and me, I feel the US Constitution and Bill of Rights, not to mention the Declaration of Independence, are pretty lame. After all, the Founding Fathers of this country couldn’t even be bothered to establish a State religion or mention Christianity at all in any of these documents. I’m almost positive that was an oversight, although I can’t be sure as I wasn’t there and there was no Twitter. Perhaps they were sidetracked while separating church from state and couldn’t find their way back to the pew to ask for guidance. Damn Deists. Horrifying Humanists. Sensible Secularists.  What were they thinking by leaving the construal of those documents to the commoners?!

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The Value of Faith?

A Google quote-of-the-day caught my eye this morning. It amounted to a backhanded slap to the arrogance of humanity. After all, we’re all so damned important or so we think.

The greatest mystery is not that we have been flung at random between the profusion of matter and of the stars, but that within this prison we can draw from ourselves images powerful enough to deny our nothingness.

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The Reader and the Witness

Lest you be forced to guess, Allen Sherpa is an avid reader. Trained as a scientist in college, I find that later in life the subjects in which I had the least interest in my younger years have become those for which I now have a burning passion. History, philosophy, economics, politics, all topics that rest on the nature of humanity and the behavior of mankind. I have found that a lust for new learning is what keeps people young no matter their age. I hope this elixir serves me well as the years go by.

Those that know me well also know that I am not a particularly religious man (I hereby submit this claim for the “Understatement of the Year” award). However, I am not anti-religious, at least until someone’s beliefs impinge upon the rights of others. When the religious-right actively engages in the politics of hate, I draw the line. When religious zealots strap explosives to themselves and wipe out a couple dozen diners, I draw the line. When someone guns down a doctor because he doesn’t agree with his philosophy of life, I draw the line. When someone forces a school board to teach kids, in spite of the overwhelming preponderance of evidence, the earth is only six thousand years old and evolution is a myth, I draw the line. Frankly, I view proselytizing missionaries as cultural terrorists that are attacking the belief systems of others with their own arrogant life views.

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Let Us Prey

Yea, yea, I know how to spell. I just don’t always understand the difference between pray and prey. My confusion has its roots in the various public meetings that I attend at which the meeting is opened with a prayer. When it takes place at a government meeting such as a City Council or Planning Commission it is a violation of the First Amendment. When it occurs in a non-government meeting such as a Chamber of Commerce or a business organization like the Association of Realtors, it is an arrogant abuse of the fundamental rights of many of those in attendance. When a high school coach forces his team to pray before a game, to some, it is a form of child abuse. It becomes a particularly insidious act when the prayer is tagged with “In Jesus’ name.”

When these things happen, the rights of Jews, Muslims, Hindus, non-believers and a host of other non-Christians are trampled. What are the people that advocate this behavior conceivably thinking? Surely Commissioner Johnson doesn’t believe that without an open, public prayer that God is going to prevent him from casting the correct vote request for a variance on the placement of a dumpster at a shopping center? Or perhaps it’s a show where the performer thinks the display of prayerfulness will endow him with an image of thoughtful humility; how utterly arrogant and thoughtless.

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On the Death of God

Famed 19th century existential philosopher Freidrich Wilhelm Nietzsche proclaimed “God is dead.”  To this day that statement can cause a bit of a stir in some circles.  But if you analyze the data from a recent study performed at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, Nietzsche may have seen it coming.  Belief in what has been the traditional Christian image of a “personal” God is on the wane in this country.

The study was published this month by Professors Barry A. Kosmin and Ariela Keysar.  It presents the results and analysis of three exhaustive surveys, one performed in 1990, one in 2000 and the third in 2008.  By studying American beliefs in each of the three years, the study illustrates significant trends in American belief systems over the past two decades.  Here are some observations you may find interesting.

Since 1990, the proportion of the American adult population identifying itself as “Christian” has fallen by roughly 15% nationwide.  Those experiencing the sharpest losses have been the mainstream Protestant churches such as the Methodists, Episcopalians, Lutherans, and Presbyterians.  Their fraction of the population has fallen by more than 30% since 1990.

Of those still believing in the Christian faiths, 34% identify themselves as “born again” or evangelical.

Atheists, agnostics and other non-believers have more than doubled their fractions in the population.  In some parts of the country like the Pacific Northwest and the Northeast, non-believers amount to about one in four members of the population.

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