Believers

by Jeff Costello, May 11, 2016

Don’t try to get religion out of politics. Politics IS religion. Hillary believers, bah humbug. They’re having fun putting Bernie on the rack. I have a facebook “friend” – well, son of a friend really – who kneels at the altar of Trump. Does this crap never end? “You’re nobody in America if you’re not on TV.” So said the female character in the movie “To Die For.” She wanted to be a Hillary or a Trump. At the end she winds up dead floating under the ice in a frozen pond.

In 1961 Newton Minow, chairman of the FCC, called television a "vast wasteland." It's way worse now, could he have imagined Fox News, or Trump with his "You're fired" routine?

A facebook post points out: "Have you noticed that all the people who said God told them to run for president have now quit?" Atheists are quite active on social media. An old friend from the 60's is part of this.

He's also, while preferring Bernie, on the Hillary-as-lesser-evil train.

This guy made good in the 80's and now lives in Beverly Hills. In Hillary's case, lesser evil translates to "will do more to protect my wealth." In a way I can't blame him. He's living the good life. And so the atheist believes in HRC. I've declined to mention this seeming contradiction to him, it wouldn't help. He's one of a few "harmless" rich people I know. Another one collects guitars and hires people to grow pot, which he smokes all day every day.

But the real phony-baloneys like Huckabee or Cruz with their "God told me" — and guns, bibles-over-constitution and flags - are dangerously full of shit. Even when God fails to make them president, they never give it up.

They apparently live by "There's one born every minute" and "Never give a sucker an even break," but haven't noticed that mega-church attendees aren't the only voters out there.

Thanks to smart-phone video and ubiquitous big-brother surveillance cameras, it's now more difficult to not be on TV than on. All the nobodies are now little tiny somebodies, getting their Andy Warhol 15 minutes. And then, dead under the ice. It takes incessant coverage on TV to be a real "somebody." This is how we got Hillary and Trump. Do you believe it?

60 Responses to Believers

  1. George Hollister Reply

    May 11, 2016 at 10:52 am

    Too much focus on critiquing religion while ignoring what everyone has, faith. With faith comes the narrative. We are all in the same boat, whether we are religious or “believe in God” or not. Differences in narratives is what wars are fought over, even in Mendocino County.

  2. Jim Updegraff Reply

    May 11, 2016 at 1:57 pm

    Faith is believing what you know ain’t so.

    • George Hollister Reply

      May 12, 2016 at 6:51 pm

      The Greeks had Mythos and Logos. There was the religious side, and the science side. They accepted it. It was he way it was, end of story.

      Most Americans, and a large portion of the West, live in denial of the existance of the two. As a result they live in denial of their own faiths, or are constantly conflicting when science is conflict with their admitted faith.

      A possible, and maybe better way to understand the existance of both sides is to recognize that there is the universe we know, and the universe we don’t know. The universe we know is simple and finite. The world we don’t know is infinite(we assume) and difficult to make sense of. Logic is how we deal with the known. We all use logic. Faith is how we relate to the unknown, and we all have a relationship with the unknown.

      It is hard to keep the two apart, but a good idea to try.

  3. LouisBedrock Reply

    May 12, 2016 at 1:15 pm

    With faith come crusades, inquisitions and the bonfires of auto da fe; multiple holocausts like the Albigensian Crusade in the thirteenth century launched by Pope Innocent III which saw the murder of half the population of France, the American Holocaust which saw Spanish Conquistadors destroy entire cultures in the Americas; Hitler’s Holocaust which was supported by Eugenio Pacelli—Pope Pius XII; suicide bombers, Christian soldiers, and the IDF; drones (God bless America), Iraq, Libya, Syria.

    Lord, spare me from the faithful and the patriotic.

    • George Hollister Reply

      May 12, 2016 at 7:03 pm

      It continues today, and will continue forever. It is in all of us. And one does not need to ascribe to an officially recognized religion, or go to a church. Faith in “false profits” is more common than we know. Faith in government, the Crown, or King. These faiths would meld into leaders having God like status. The most popular faith today, in America, is Environmentalism.

      The best way to be a part of a crusades or inquisition, or holocaust, is to live in denial of one’s faith; and to believe one’s faith, is fact.

      • BB Grace Reply

        May 13, 2016 at 11:29 am

        re: “The most popular faith today, in America, is Environmentalism”

        Michael Crichton’s observations as why environmentalism has become a religion.
        http://www.hawaiifreepress.com/ArticlesMain/tabid/56/ID/2818/Crichton-Environmentalism-is-a-religion.aspx

        “But I think that you cannot eliminate religion from the psyche of mankind. If you suppress it in one form, it merely re-emerges in another form. You can not believe in God, but you still have to believe in something that gives meaning to your life, and shapes your sense of the world. Such a belief is religious.”

        • George Hollister Reply

          May 13, 2016 at 6:01 pm

          Bingo. I would just replace religion with faith.

  4. LouisBedrock Reply

    May 13, 2016 at 10:40 am

    “The most popular faith today, in America, is Environmentalism.”

    I respectfully disagree, Concern for the environment is an intelligent response to impending disaster

    ‘The best way to be a part of a crusades or inquisition, or holocaust, is to live in denial of one’s faith; and to believe one’s faith, is fact.”

    Again, Mr. Hollister, I must disagree. I would argue that the best way to avoid being part of crusades, inquisitions, or other acts of insanity due to religious or nationalistic fervor is to question everything.

    • George Hollister Reply

      May 14, 2016 at 4:26 pm

      True, but I have yet to meet anyone who questions everything, particularly deep rooted beliefs.

  5. LouisBedrock Reply

    May 13, 2016 at 12:38 pm

    1. Complete trust or confidence in someone or something:
    this restores one’s faith in politicians

    2. Strong belief in God or in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof.

    3. A system of religious belief: the Christian faith.

    4. A strongly held belief or theory:
    the faith that life will expand until it fills the universe

    (Oxford Dictionary definitions of “faith”)

    The argument that environmentalism is a “faith” in the sense that Christianity is a faith reminds me of the argument that atheism is a religion. As some wit observed, atheism is a religion if not collecting stamps is a hobby.

    In another sense, one can have faith in friends or loved ones. And one can have faith in a life style. I believe that daily exercise and a vegan diet keep me healthy. However my “faith” is limited: despite my diet and regular exercise, I will one day sicken and die. That is if a truck doesn’t run me over while I’m jogging or riding my bicycle.

  6. Jeff Costello Reply

    May 13, 2016 at 4:35 pm

    Aren’t Christians in the USA anti-environmental action because they’re all going to heaven to meet Jesus anyway, so they might as well invest their money and to hell with the ocean and forests. Wow, I was born in 1946 and thought the communist panic was over and capitalism has taken its rightful place as America’s true religion.

    • George Hollister Reply

      May 13, 2016 at 6:13 pm

      It is best if they speak for themselves, individually. There are many Christians who are Environmentalists as well. Capitalism can be called, faith in the free market. If someone believes that free market creates a perfect world, then that would have to be faith. That is another aspect of faith, the creation of a perfect state.

    • BB Grace Reply

      May 13, 2016 at 6:41 pm

      The only place I’v ever witnessed laissez faire capitalism was in a Grateful Dead parking lot.

      Black market is what the USA has for a capitalism and why we have so many prisons, capitalism is illegal here.

      The USA is not a Democracy. It is a Presidential Republic, est July 07, 2015.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Federal_republic&oldid=670376597

      Iran, Venezuela, Russia.. we all have the same type of government, all employ capitalism as a weapon, in the case of the USA to build prisons and a socio economic class established on debt with fiat money, not gold.

      All our enegy, food, transportation, construction is heavily controlled by the government with lethal force.

      The Pope installed solar panels on the Vatican for Christ’s sake. Religion plays a big role in nations adopting UN Agenda 21: Sustainable Development, those who don’t are “radicals”.

      I find good arguments against Climate Change, geoengineering makes great cases, astronomy makes great cases, Historians, and conspiracys about advanced tech weapons like HAARP creating Climate Change don’t seem to make UN discussions.

      I don’t buy “humans” as in you or me caused climate change. I think the Earth has it’s own karma so to speak, it’s own soul, if you can relate on a spiritual level.

  7. Jim Updegraff Reply

    May 14, 2016 at 8:16 am

    BB Grace: There is no separation of church and state in Israel. What you have is apartheid state.

    • BB Grace Reply

      May 14, 2016 at 8:42 am

      And Saudi Arabia is?

  8. George Hollister Reply

    May 14, 2016 at 8:43 am

    I think I like BB Grace.

    • BB Grace Reply

      May 14, 2016 at 8:59 am

      I enjoy your posts very much.
      Thank you Mr. Hollister.
      Respectfully yours, BB

  9. Susie de Castro Reply

    May 14, 2016 at 9:07 am

    TODAY, is the Anniversary (May 14, 1948) of the Declaration of the State of Israel

    I pray that it is not too late to turn Israel back into what it was meant to be by socialist Zionists like Martin Buber, Judah Magnes, and Albert Einstein–an expression of what is best in the Jewish tradition. But I’ve learned through watching the way Jewish identity politics has turned into a huge distortion of what is best in Judaism that there is a huge danger in allowing one’s loyalty to or support for the identity politics of any oppressed group to become a shallow form of self-interest nationalism that does not give equal priority to the needs of everyone on the planet and the needs of the planet Earth. For a strategy on how to get there, please read Embracing Israel/Palestine (www.tikkun.org/eip) and the article “The Empathy Tribe: What a Spiritual Approach Progressive to Israel/Palestine Might Look Like” in the Spring 2016 issue of Tikkun magazine.

    — Rabbi Michael Lerner RabbiLerner.tikkun@gmail.com

  10. Jim Updegraff Reply

    May 14, 2016 at 9:27 am

    What does Saudi Arabia have to do with the price of tea in China?

    Israel will go the way of all apartheid states, the demographics are against Israel. Go look at the annual report on population the Israeli government publishes every year. you suffer from a common malady called ‘head in the sand’ when it comes to Israel.

    • BB Grace Reply

      May 14, 2016 at 9:53 am

      Mr. Updegraff,

      When was Palestine created?

  11. Jim Updegraff Reply

    May 14, 2016 at 11:53 am

    When was Israel created?

    • BB Grace Reply

      May 14, 2016 at 12:45 pm

      Palestine established: November 15, 1988

      Israel established May 11 -12 1948:
      Yom Ha’atzmaut is founded on the declaration of the establishment of the State of Israel by the Jewish leadership headed by future Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion on 14 May 1948. The mood outside of Ben-Gurion’s home just prior to the declaration was joyous:

      “The Jews of Palestine … were dancing because they were about to realize what was one of the most remarkable and inspiring achievements in human history: A people which had been exiled from its homeland two thousand years before, which had endured countless pogroms, expulsions, and persecutions, but which had refused to relinquish its identity—which had, on the contrary, substantially strengthened that identity; a people which only a few years before had been the victim of mankind’s largest single act of mass murder, killing a third of the world’s Jews, that people was returning home as sovereign citizens in their own independent state.”[1]

      Independence was declared eight hours before the end of the British Mandate of Palestine, which was due to finish on 15 May 1948.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yom_Ha%27atzmaut

      Now, How was Palestine established?

      • Rick Weddle Reply

        May 14, 2016 at 1:00 pm

        All these States–including Zionist Israel; including the U.S.A., all of ’em–are to be swept away in Time just like sand, and good riddance, I say; they’ll not be missed. The People, though…the People.

  12. Jim Updegraff Reply

    May 14, 2016 at 2:05 pm

    BB Grace: you have the mentality of Jarboe and his associates.

  13. Jeff Costello Reply

    May 14, 2016 at 3:52 pm

    Mr. Updegraff, there’s one in every crowd, likely more these days.

  14. Jeff Costello Reply

    May 14, 2016 at 3:53 pm

    …But this exchange proves my point, that politics is religion and vice versa.

    • BB Grace Reply

      May 14, 2016 at 4:00 pm

      So you agree with Mr. Hollister that environmentalism is a religion?

      • Jeff Costello Reply

        May 14, 2016 at 4:13 pm

        No. It is neither politics nor religion, rather, it’s about things like having clean water to drink. And I liken your phrasing to a cheap debating tactic.

        • BB Grace Reply

          May 14, 2016 at 5:03 pm

          “…it’s about things like having clean water to drink.”

          Mr. Costello, You might take a look at the Amazon link for the UN Agenda. I think you made a great essay and provided a lot of food for thought and did a service to the community. I appreciate your article and posts and apologise that you felt I was using cheap tactics.

          I don’t have an agenda. I can be educated, seems some here can’t answer my questions so I have to assume they don’t know, and if they don’t know the connections between my questions, then they really don’t know much, but they believe what they know very much.

          Ahhh beliefs! Amazing things.

        • LouisBedrock Reply

          May 16, 2016 at 5:41 am

          The only response one can muster before such profound stupidity and staggering ignorance is no response at all.

          • Jeff Costello Reply

            May 16, 2016 at 10:15 am

            Harsh maybe, but under the circumstance appropriate.

  15. Jim Updegraff Reply

    May 14, 2016 at 4:14 pm

    BBGrace: now that the State of Palestine is a member of the ICC it just a matter of time as to whenIsrael will be held accountable for their sins.

    • BB Grace Reply

      May 14, 2016 at 5:23 pm

      Ever notice how Atheists write the most scripture on the AVA and talk in tongues?

      Mr. Updegraff, Egypt and Transjordan have been at peace with Israel for decades. Now Saudi Arabia and Israel are talking about having embassays, Iran is saying the USA is the problem and Israel not so much, while Syria is in a civil war Israel has nothing to do with even as Golan Heights is being disputed.

      The way I see it, the poor relationship between the USA and Israel during Obama’s terms has worked in Israel’s favor. Israel is sharing it’s technology and becoming a very valuable partner in developing the Mid East.

      This past year, European Jews and African Jews, by the tens of thousands settled in Israel. Israel is good. Israel is what’s right and I’m not worried about any UN ICC because Israel is going to be just fine.

  16. Jim Updegraff Reply

    May 14, 2016 at 5:20 pm

    BBGrace; Israel has few friends in the U. N. I note that one of them – the Marshall Islands will disappear because of the rising sea levels. Meanwhile the State of Palestine has established diplomatic relations with over 50 countries.

    • BB Grace Reply

      May 14, 2016 at 5:51 pm

      Yeah, Mr. Updegraff, little Israel looks like David up against Golieth U.N., where at this time as you say, there’s a few friends; However, now that Israel and Saudi Arabia are making peace, I’m not worried about Israel at the UN.

      As for the rising sea levels, will it matter if Yellow Stone Blows? Will it matter if there’s a nuclear war? Will it matter if the Earth is struck by an astroid, or experiences a polar shift?

      Do you really think the UN isn’t controlled by the 1%?

  17. Rick Weddle Reply

    May 15, 2016 at 7:21 am

    re: David & Goliath…

    Yes, indeed, I noticed how the side with the nukes and tanks is flying the Star of David, roaring and clattering into the streets of Palestine against those pesky restless native boys wielding slings and stones. Not saying the locals are pure as the driven snow, still, you get the picture, right? Right?

    • BB Grace Reply

      May 15, 2016 at 9:19 am

      Absolutely Mr. Weddle, I get the picture. I got the picture for years as a number of issues nagged me from anti-war protests calling for genocide in “wiping Israel off the map”. What’s anti war singing about wiping millions of people off the map? Where do I find the reports from Israel wiping Palestine off the map? There’s aren’t any.

      Before I go further, it is important to me that you know I respect you and others on the AVA who most passionately and wholehearterdly disagree and do not share my perspective about Israel and Palestine matrix as this is a post and not a book.

      Besides wanting to read first hand accounts of Israel calling for Palestinian genocide, I decided a number of years ago to find something good about Israel. I searched the internet. I counted 465 negative youtubes about Israel, until I came across one that I felt I could say, “This is good”. So absolutley YES Mr. Weddle I get your perspective, but I do not share your perspective since I began doing my own research.

      I don’t blame, hate or resent those who feel a genuine concern for innocent human beings abused, neglected or manipulated, as I share those feelings and concerns which is happening in Palestine; But not by Israel, by Hammas, the PA and Islam.

      Palestine is 93% Muslim, 6% Christian (part of the incitment comes from Christians cults that blame Jews for the death of Jesus and this has created Pallywood, a lucretive business). There are no Synagogues in Palestine except Israel, that has 20. Is that right by you? Is that OK there are no Jews in the Mid East?

      Israel’s Muslim population is 20%, where Arab Muslims serve in the IDF and Kessnet, and they will tell you, “We are the luckiest Arabs of them all”, like my most favorite of all actressess, Hiam Abbas, A Palestinian Israeli Arab. Which you might try watching Palestinian and Israeli movies, they are very very good, and see the suffering of the people from the government in movies! It makes good comedy, but in truth, it’s tragic (as president Abbas builds his $13M mansion for retirement because he cares about his people more than you?) The PA is nothing I would want. How anyone can be in solidarity with Hammas is beyond me, unless it is by force, which many times it is in Gaza, where human sheilds are used to protect rockets that have no business being shot, and no war objector has business supporting.

      There will be peace in the Mid East and the Jews will keep their home because no one, NO ONE, not one nation ever gave the Jews anything but hate, slavery and death. That’s historical fact.

      Let’s end that. There’s a mission for the Boomer Generation: Peace in Palestine with Israel!

      This solidarity between Muslim Palestine and Atheist Liberals is futile. Islam is not in solidarity with you. Islam has responsibilty to it’s Muslim community and it fails Palestine on purpose, land greed. Israel does more for Palestine than any nation, that’s another fact.

      And let’s hope Islamic Iran is as smart as multi cultural Jewish Israel and keeps it’s nuclear warheads to itself for as many decades.

  18. Jeff Costello Reply

    May 15, 2016 at 11:49 am

    I wonder how many articles on the topic of “believers” – no matter how specific the theme – wind up drawing long-winded comments referring to Israel, Palestine and “Jews.” Why are we so obsessed with this?

    • BB Grace Reply

      May 15, 2016 at 12:29 pm

      “Obsessed”. I spent a number of years researching what I identify as a “matrix”, because of the complications, interpretations, perspectives from many sides, as there are many sides, and history, culture, religion, politics, it’s a lot of work to study, so I can understand why you would say, “obsession”, because it takes a lot of time.

      It’s worth the time to invest. If there was one issue I would pick to understand the world, this would be it because it emcompasses so much, and most important, to take a fair look at Israel and see what the Israelis have accomplished, advances are remarkable in tech, alternative energy and agriculture to the point, in all seriousness, I came to the point where I thought, “This boycott and anti-Israeli stuff is so people will be turned off by Israel and not look because the USA fears Americans will be screaming, “What about US?” Why don’t we have 20% production in forest? Why don’t we have desalination plants that run on air? Why don’t we have Iraeli Medicine? Why don’t we have the right to have fires on the beach, smoke where and when we want, doing advanced research on marijuana, living in communes, living in mushavs, all trained”. So much.. I can go on and on about what Israel has.

      By comparison to Israel we are in solidarity with Palestine, because the USA is becomming more like Palestine than Israel. That’s not good.

      It’s an interesting topic and if you study Israel, you will learn.. pick any field of interest and you will improve. Israelis are not dumbing down their population. They’re light years ahead of us.

      • Susie de Castro Reply

        May 15, 2016 at 12:39 pm

        j.c.

        Your question nails it on the head. “Yisra’el” Means “Godwrestler”

  19. George Hollister Reply

    May 15, 2016 at 7:03 pm

    My sister used to say, “The Jews, Christians, and Muslims have the same God. What is the problem?”

    The Catholics and Lutherans had the same God during the Reformation, too. They even read the same book. That did not stop them from trying to kill each other. So who was the worse sinner, and who was right?

    Both MRC and local activists are Environmentalists, but there is a fight. Who is the worse sinner, and who is right?

    Like Muslim vs. Jew, or Catholic vs. Lutheran, this fight between versions of Environmentalism can go on for a long time. As we see in all these fights, there is considerable collateral damage. It is why the US Constitution does not allow the government to have a religion.

    • BB Grace Reply

      May 15, 2016 at 7:44 pm

      re: “Both MRC and local activists are Environmentalists,”

      MRC works to sustain redwood habitat as a conservation effort
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conservation_movement

      Environmentalism is political to tax, regulate, rezone, redisegnate through legislation and or deployment of government and NGO and contractors monitoring and implenting environmental laws, environmentalists.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Environmentalism

      In my limited experience, conservationists work to restict themselves to the restrictions regulations, and taxes the environmentalists place on them, while the environmentalists work to continue establishing more laws and regulations, like a legal challenge rather than a conservation effort.

      Environmentalism is faith based in the hope their theories made into laws work.

  20. Jim Updegraff Reply

    May 17, 2016 at 9:16 am

    Jews and arabs are both Semites and children of Abraham – no reason why they shouldn’t get along.

  21. Jeff Costello Reply

    May 17, 2016 at 9:47 am

    Bernie is a Jew, Hillary is not. She kisses the ass of Israel, Bernie does not. Why is that? The bible is not history. Abraham is not Lincoln. I won’t write anything with the word “believers” in the title again. What a shit storm.

    • BB Grace Reply

      May 17, 2016 at 10:52 am

      Bernie is not campaigning as a Jew so it’s irrelevant.

      Hillary kisses the ass of the UN, not Israel.

      Anti-war took a bum steer when they misfocused protest against “neverending wars” onto Israel and Palestine.

      Anti-war lost it’s leaders, many who were Jews moving past being Jews like Bernie. So what happened?

      How did anti-war go from having leaders that stood against the US bombing Iraq to organizations leading botcotts against Israel?

      Who are the anti-war leaders today? Bernie? Press TV (Iran) RT (Russia) People who know that Americans are clueless about the Mid East where many speak Arabic, Hebrew, English and French, while most here can’t get a grip on English (self included) and Spanish?

      I believe you posted the most popular essay since I’ve read posts on the AVA, Mr. Costello.

      Congratulations!

  22. Jeff Costello Reply

    May 17, 2016 at 10:23 am

    Trump and Adelson both casino moguls. Adelson a burning Israel fanatic. Does that make Trump Jewish? I heard a comedian once say that everyone in New York is Jewish, not matter if they’re Italian, Irish, Puerto Rican, whatever. Of course that was back before the Middle Eastern influx. So being in New York, are these people now Jews?

    • BB Grace Reply

      May 17, 2016 at 12:18 pm

      • Jeff Costello Reply

        May 17, 2016 at 1:11 pm

        Castello with an “A” is of Castilian origin, yes, Spain. However with an “O” it is more likely Irish or Gaelic, the original term meaning “resembling a deer.” Many mistakenly believe it’s Italian, due to the numerous Italians who changed their names for whatever reason. Gangster Frank Costello and comedian Lou Costello are two examples But since I was born in New York, we can say I’m Jewish in that sense. Check your sources and your spelling.

        • BB Grace Reply

          May 17, 2016 at 1:58 pm

          Some folks who believe, or have faith in science, interstingly enough, don’t believe or have faith in DNA genology. I guess belief in science is slective? It makes sense to me, whether one believes in Jesus or scoff’s Jesus away as a fiction that there was life on Earth before the time of Jesus. There was religion before Christianity, so isn’t it logical that DNA could show most folks are from one tribe or another, or not?

          Thank you for the posting tips on spelling and sources Mr. Costello.

      • Susie de Castro Reply

        May 17, 2016 at 1:15 pm

        OMG! We’re all related.

  23. Jim Updegraff Reply

    May 17, 2016 at 4:35 pm

    Hi Cousin Susie: We all descend from Lucy who lived 50,000 years ago.

  24. Jim Updegraff Reply

    May 17, 2016 at 6:18 pm

    I might note some people have a trace of Neanderthal DNA. A notable exception is Donald Trump whose DNA is about 90% Neanderthal.

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