Saturday, March 25, 2017
Hate Mail - Atheists Make Demands On Religion That They Would Never Accept For Themselves
In a discussion of an essay that Orwell wrote a while back, an old friend of mine suggested that I look at the row between him and the Irish playwright, Sean O'Casey, steering me to the later volumes of O'Casey's long autobiography. I did that and looked up some other stuff both of them said and have to say it is a real eye-opener in so far as Orwell's legend and how, when looked at closely, it is rare that the record a real person leaves matches the superficial legend. But that will have to wait, for the most part. I'll leave you with this, the very same people who condemn anyone who named names to HUAC but who hold up Orwell as some kind of superhero have to contend with the fact that he named names to British Intelligence, not on his knowledge in many cases but based on his suspicion of communism. He named names, lots of them, more than most of the Hollywood figures held up to disdain on that basis. Here's a PDF of the names he named. The comments, if not Orwell's sure sound like his columns. I'm not up on the nuances in Brit slang but one outraged Brit who discovered his hero had done this called him not only a "grass" but a "super-grass". You can compare the relatively modest namings of others who got them condemned to being permanent pariahs, perhaps with justification. Though if they'd named Nazi collaborators instead of Stalinist ones, no one would condemn them.
I will have more to say about Orwell and O'Casey later, I've got to read more so I'll know what I'm talking about and to see if my ideas are accurate.
Before you can wonder what that has to do with the title, this is all about double standards and their use in polemical dishonesty. I'm challenged with the dubious assertion that "the United States is the most religious country on Earth" and that "religion didn't save it from fascism". Well, first I doubt the United States is the most religious country on Earth and my piece yesterday morning asserted that the religion, Chritianity, of a very large percentage of those who claim it the hardest is as phony as their claim to democracy, freedom, concern for the working and middle-class, children, fetuses, etc. The fact is that a very large percentage of those who claim to be Christians voted for the anti-Christ in the last election, that certainly was not done out of an effort to make their actions match what Jesus said in the Gospels, what his closest followers said in their canonical writings, what the Law and the Prophets Jesus said he was upholding say. The "Christianity" of an enormous percentage of those claiming to be Christian is shown to stand in total contradiction to the very words of the man they claim they believe speaks with divine authority. They are anti-Christians, Mammonists, in fact, just as I said in that piece. Can't atheists read?
As to what saves people from fascism, you can look at the major supporter of fascism in the world today, the post-Soviet materialists of Russia, virtually all of whom were Communists under the Soviet system, presumably, most of them atheists as was required of their positions in the Communist system. Their actions after the collapse of that criminal enterprise as they set up one in which they stole, literally, everything they could get their hands on, murdering, imprisoning and stealing, using the most vicious of the practices of organized criminals to do it. Those who make a pose of embracing the Russian Orthodox church - corrupting it in the process - are merely more clever than the old line true believers in Marxism.. Perhaps they took a lesson from American Republicans and saw how they flourished by taking advantage of the vacuum left when it became unfashionable for American liberals to be religious. They certainly learned other thing from us, taking advantage of our every short-sighted practice, taking advantage of the regime of lies set up by the Supreme Court which the hardly religious media used to put us on the slide into fascism.
And to that you can add what is sometimes listed as the most atheist country in the world, China, which went from a Marxist-Maoist dictatorship in the name of socialism to a one-party-state fascist version of Victorianism on steroids, crushing workers as raw resources, with fewer rights than those under the putrid British class system ever had, with what presumably is 100% atheist rule. Marx certainly got it wrong, his system doesn't produce a state-less paradise, it devolves into the fascism that any materialist system will. See Steve Bannon, Leninist, for more.
There is something of an irony in reading Orwell rail against the Irish and Catholics in general, blaming them for fascism when the British government he worked for as a Sergeant propping up the decaying empire in Burma played a large role in producing the conditions that led to it. It is absolutely putrid to read him even in the post-war years rail against the Poles in that regard. It is also an irony in that Mussolini was an overt atheist and the Nazi high regime was full of atheists whose actions and private communications showed that they saw the Catholic Church as one of their main obstacles in achieving ultimate control. The closer the Catholic and Protestant churches got to the Law, the Prophets and the Gospel, the farther they got from fascism and Nazism - both based on a total inversion of the morality of the Bible - and the more of a danger to fascism and Nazism as well as Marxism they are.
In Latin America the main focus of the fascist's violence and oppression was those Catholics who tried to follow the social justice and economic justice teachings of the Bible. At times those Catholics had to do so working against the opposition the corrupted power holders in the Church. The two Popes, John Paul II and Benedict XVI couldn't see past their narrow European context to see that their interpretation of Latin American Liberation Theology was wrong. Perhaps that's due to the unfortunate choice for the theologians to reference Marxism in their critique of capitalism - there might have been other framings of that critique. And there was the impact of Americans who lied about the situation in Latin America as well. Perhaps they realized they could take advantage of the experience of those two men who witnessed the Soviet exploitation of the collapse of the Nazi system as well as they did Nazism*. Many of the most powerful and astute critics of those two conservative papacies were from Catholics, in Latin America and North America as well as Europe.
Now, Pope Francis, from Argentina, a country which experienced a similar form of capitalist-fascism supported by the United States, brings both a more direct knowledge and a more accurate frame of reference. I hope he canonizes at least as many of the martyrs to Latin American fascism as JPII did European martyrs to Nazism. To the bigoted anti-Catholic mindset, the Catholic church is an absolute dictatorship, its members brainwashed to follow the dictates of the Pope, none of them seem to be able to get past the level of Thomas Nast's nastier anti-immigrant, WASP nativist cartoons. That is still not an uncommon thing among British intellectuals or would be intellectuals and it's certainly typical of American atheists of the kind who write me nasty comments. They're rally not very smart and they are as uninterested in reality as any Trump supporter.
I wish I had a higher class of trolls but, then, no one else seems to get them online, either. And mine come mostly from a "brain trust".
* Learning more about Nazi paganism, overt paganism, as an actual quasi-pseudo religion, I could understand why those two got so freaked out by the neo-Pagans. They'd seen one revival of paganism during the Nazi regime. Just as they were unable to recognize that Liberation Theology wan't Marxim, they couldn't see that the stuff they saw after the war was a different thing. At least until recently. Much of current, online paganism is overtly white-supremacist and Nazi, mixed in with American, Las Vegas, Hollywood neo-confederate hell raisin' neo-Confederate content.
The best way to counter that is with the actual moral content of the Hebrew scriptures, the Gospel and the rest of the Second Testament. Atheism, as seen in Russia, just leads to the same fascism.
Posted by The Thought Criminal at 8:00 AM