Should God Protect Our Troops?

Biden addresses Congress, 4/28/2021. He ended his address by asking God to protect our troops.

W.J. Astore

President Joe Biden favors ending major speeches with an invitation or invocation to God to protect “our” troops, as he did last night in his address to Congress. I don’t doubt the sincerity of the sentiment, but would it not be far better for Biden himself to protect those same troops by ending all of America’s needless wars?

U.S. Presidents traditionally favor asking God (there’s a sense that God would never deny this ask) to bless America as a way of ending speeches. Biden’s new “ask” of God goes a big step further by specifically identifying troops for special protection.

As a friend of mine, a retired military officer, put it about Biden’s rhetoric:

“This is new programming and it hits me like a scratched record every time I hear it—even his most militant predecessors stopped at ‘God bless America.’   It’s unclear to me whether he’s signaling that we’re all in danger all the time and that the troops will always have to be out there or if he thinks it’s the shibboleth he needs to use to gain some support from unaware Midwesterners and Southerners.  Regardless, it engraves a new precedent into our political thought: a constant reinforcement that we are always in danger and you can watch your 70” TV only because the troops are out there.”

To be clear, my friend and I have nothing personal against the troops, seeing that we’re both career military. But why single out the troops for God’s protection? Why not ask God to protect the poor? The sick? The vulnerable and needy and suffering?

Most Americans know that Joe Biden lost a beloved son, Beau, to brain cancer, and that he’d served in Iraq, where he possibly contracted his illness due to exposure to toxic chemicals in burn pits there. One can understand a father’s grief for his son, and his desire for Beau’s fellow troops to be protected from harm.

As a human sentiment, it resonates with me. But I share my friend’s unease with those who would beseech God for special protection for troops whose reason for being is centered on the use of deadly force around the globe. Especially when the sentiment was used in a campaign ad to court voters.

Perhaps we should leave it up to God to decide whom He wishes to protect, and even which country or countries He wishes to bless.

52 thoughts on “Should God Protect Our Troops?

  1. To paraphrase, to each god what is each god’s.
    i.e.
    Ares, please protect our wars. (a.k.a. Mars)
    Dionysius, please protect our sports bars. (a.k.a. Bacchus)
    Nike, doggone it, we’ve been praying for victories. Wo bist du? The Pentagon need you (not your shoes).

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  2. I recall a segment from the Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In show in which various soldiers (in various countries’ uniforms) were each saying, “we will win because God is on our side.” This was in 1968 or 1969, as the Vietnam war was grinding up bodies (and I was waiting for a draft number to find out my fate). Same old “stuff” (for a civilian audience).

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    1. The Prophet told of a Future Time when he shall judge between the nations and reprove many peoples, and they shall beat their swords into plow shares and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift the sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.

      The World hasn’t seen that ancient Prophecy fulfilled yet, but this site is Proof that Spirit is yearning in our hearts to this Day!

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  3. Matthew 15:8 quoting Jesus, quoting Isiah “This people honors me with their lips but their hearts are far from me.”

    If our politicians were following Jesus, they wouldn’t need to be praying so much for the safety of the troops, because they wouldn’t be sending the troops into danger.

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    1. Jesus taught from the Mount,
      BLESSED ARE the PEACEMAKERS, for THEY shall be called the Children of God
      Matthew 5:9

      My Individual prayer to God, since for now, I can only do the best I can, with the Lights I have, like I see everyone here encourages each of us to do better, is for God to raise those Children up Everywhere, ASAP, before it is too Late, since we can see the Children of War on the Increase in THIS Material World.

      And the nations were angry, and your wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that you should give reward to your servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear your name, small and great; and should destroy them which destroy the earth.
      Revelation 11:18
      Therefore rejoice, you heavens, and you that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knows that he hath but a short time.
      Revelation 12:12

      Those are the dynamics I see at work in THIS Material World TODAY!

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  4. I believe its due to his losing his beloved Son. Last I checked “God” didn’t permit all the Wars & suffering in the World…! Free Will– the choices to kill, or love each other is ours. Same goes for our treatment of the Planets Air & poisoning of our Oceans, Streams & Fishes etc., etc., etc…

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    1. We’ve all heard or read this so often, we pay it no mind!

      For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
      John 3:16

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  5. Agree. This tag line of Biden’s surprised and disappointed me the first time I heard it, and continues to do so.

    Is God blessing other countries’ troops, as well? Or is the U.S. continually so much in the right that God wouldn’t spare a thought for anyone else?

    Perhaps, yes, Biden means his invocation to be innocuous, but to me, it smacks of arrogance and complacency.

    And as you commented, Professor, better to ask for assistance for ALL who need it, which is most of the planet.

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  6. beseeching and clinging to a mythical fantasy-friend for any perceived need or desire is a craven cop-out.

    tho’ putatively, it becalms agitated waters sloshing about inside the spiritually indolent, the bullied who then bully others, the bereft who have nowhere else to take their grief save their fantasy-friend, and the impuissant who yearn for omnipotence over others.

    long reign the fantasy gods: s/he/it/they will do it all for you… but just make sure to carry on w/ those gormless entreaties b/c your favourite fantasy-friend is all ears… omnipresent, omnipotent, and omniscient!

    [apologies to the god-besotted on this site for my iconoclastic recusance should my remarks offend.]

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Not to worry. As the Buddha said about two thousand five hundred years ago: “You can’t giveoffense to anyone unwilling to take it.” Those who wish to take offense will take as much as they want whether you intend any or not, while the deliberately never-offended wouldn’t let you give them any even if you wished to do so.

      Personally, I like the “mythical fantasy-friend” conception although I would replace “friend” with “scapegoat.” As in . . .

      Scapegoat Job Application

      Universal scapegoat wanted
      Applicant(s) apply inside
      No experience required
      Simply pander to our pride

      In our image we will make you
      Nothing you need do or say
      Ambiguity desired
      What you’ve spoken, we will say

      Unpredictable is better
      Less you do, the more we gain
      That way, anything that happens
      Afterwards we’ll just explain

      In your mouth some words inserted
      By our ministers and priests
      Gild the lining of their pockets
      From our meager meals their feasts

      From each one what he produces
      To the church its lustful needs
      You must only never quibble
      With the contents of our screeds

      You must form the perfect mirror
      Simply stand there and reflect
      Into you we’ll pour our darkness
      This, of course, you can’t reject

      We’ll write down what you’ve commanded
      Do not trouble with the “what?”
      Someone else will figure that out
      You just keep your own mouth shut

      Do not feel the least embarrassed
      At the empty praise you get
      Even though you’ve never earned it
      Just pretend and soon forget

      Burnt upon your sacred altar
      Though you’re dead, you’re still not stiff
      On your back our sins we’ll pile up
      Then we’ll shove you off a cliff

      What we do defines our “essence”
      Nothing “is” or ever “was”
      Big spooks in the sky, and little,
      Don’t exist; but “doing” does

      So our learning curve has no slope
      So our E.E.G.-line’s flat
      None can “damn” and none can “bless” us
      Only we can manage that

      So, we’ve got a deal then, don’t we?
      Such an offer, who’d refuse?
      Nothing paid for nothing offered
      That’s what makes you great to use

      Michael Murry, “The Misfortune Teller,” Copyright 2008

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      1. magnifique! michael. thank you for more of your arresting poetry, of which i never tire.

        i suspect the irreligious take no offence, but i know others on this site might. if my own parents [long dead] and most of my siblings [one dead] were privy to my comments, particularly had i employed the word ‘scapegoat’, they would have permanently proscribed me from their demesnes… obsessively ‘god-FEARING’ and perpetually war-mongering, the lot of them! those 2 characteristics have been conflated throughout our benighted history.

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          1. the rousing, blood-fused fight-song comes to mind here, of the hymn we were compelled to sing every sunday morning in the presbyterian church in which i was brainwashed: “onward christian sol-ol-ol-dier-ers, marching off to war, w/ the cross of jesus, going on before….” as if it were the norm of human behaviour and the christian zeitgeist. perhaps it is.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. Good point, Jeanie, about the martial overtones to such hymns. Your example put me in mind of the quintessential fusion of religion and war, that being the Crusades, of course. The “good Christians” emblazoned crosses on their clothing and shields, with, as some said, the guards and pommels of their swords taking the form of a cross. “Killing in the name of [a Christian] God” elevated to sacred service. Or at least, that was the cover given to the underlying political motives.

            Hmmmm….kind of like “keeping the country safe from terrorists” became the fig leaf for securing Middle Eastern oil supplies for U.S. use.

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          3. as you adumbrate, denise: cover stories and politics are synonymous. the more laudable and praiseworthy the cover story, the more plausible the politico’s invidious and nocent guise appears to be.

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          4. Here’s a fight song fer ya
            Miss Jeannie
            I should’a waited a few more hours
            Fer the calendar to turn a page
            ‘Cause
            Bob “took” the melody from
            that traditional Irish folk tune
            The Merry Month of May
            You can read the lyrics
            But since it’s a “fight song”
            I suggest you take in the performance
            He tells it so well

            “With God On Our Side”

            Oh, my name—it ain’t nothin’
            My age—it means less
            The country I come from
            Is called the Midwest
            I’s taught and brought up there
            The laws to abide
            And that the land that I live in
            Has God on its side

            Oh, the history books tell it
            They tell it so well
            The cavalries charged
            The Indians fell
            The cavalries charged
            The Indians died
            Oh, the country was young
            With God on its side

            The Spanish-American
            War had its day
            And the Civil War too
            Was soon laid away
            And the names of the heroes
            I’s made to memorize
            With guns in their hands
            And God on their side

            The First World War, boys
            It came and it went
            The reason for fighting
            I never did get
            But I learned to accept it
            Accept it with pride
            For you don’t count the dead
            When God’s on your side

            The Second World War
            Came to an end
            We forgave the Germans
            And then we were friends
            Though they murdered six million
            In the ovens they fried
            The Germans now too
            Have God on their side

            I’ve learned to hate the Russians
            All through my whole life
            If another war comes
            It’s them we must fight
            To hate them and fear them
            To run and to hide
            And accept it all bravely
            With God on my side

            But now we got weapons
            Of chemical dust
            If fire them we’re forced to
            Then fire them we must
            One push of the button
            And a shot the world wide
            And you never ask questions
            When God’s on your side

            Through many dark hour
            I’ve been thinkin’ about this
            That Jesus Christ
            Was betrayed by a kiss
            But I can’t think for you
            You’ll have to decide
            Whether Judas Iscariot
            Had God on his side

            So now as I’m leavin’
            I’m weary as Hell
            The confusion I’m feelin’
            Ain’t no tongue can tell
            The words fill my head
            And they fall to the floor
            That if God’s on our side
            He’ll stop the next war

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          5. arresting lyrics, utejack. devastatingly poignant. tnx for providing the text b/c our mindoro island internet does not have the bandwidth to download bob’s performance. today, may day, is my 1st-born granddaughter’s 18th birthday. she lives in québec and will appreciate my cc-ing bob’s profundities to her.

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          6. Happy Delivery Day to your granddaughter. She got a lucky trip this time around the wheel. Leafing out from your family tree was a wise decision on her part. I’m sure she will nourish the kingdom as she journeys through her allotted time carrying your pearls of wisdom in her medicine pouch. Hope you and yours are filled with joy as you weave Mindoro’s May flowers into your hair.

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          7. will cc your reply to our leaf-emerging granddaughter, sundara. thank you utejack. she will welcome and appreciate your poesy, as she too writes in metaphoric imagery. her spoken language is also steeped in poetic images, borrowed from the french romantics.

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          8. What an amazing name. The Sanskrit for beautiful? Her parents are very cool people indeed and of course they are sitting under your teachings also. Here’s an idea I came across recently out of a book recommended by a Sufi called Wahiduddin . I’ve been getting his daily bits of light sprinkled into my email box; and they are good excursions for the mind to journey. Because I find him inspirational, one day I looked at his favorites in his reading list and found he liked this book titled The Flame and the Light the Living Truths of Buddhism and the Vedas, by Hugh I’anson Fausset . Here’s what he said about lineage that sparked my attention. I am starting to love it’s perspective because it seems to speak some long forgotten truth. Hope you like it!
            “ It May well be that a man’s nature is determined more essentially by his spiritual than by his physical line of descent and that, as some mystical schools teach, each of us is intimately related to dwellers in an unseen world. Clearly our lives are part of a pattern of other lives and inseparable from them and just as we inherit physical and mental characteristics from parents or grandparents, we may, at a deeper level, owe the quality of our spiritual nature and aptitudes, in some measure at least, to hidden ties which have nothing to do with the tie of blood….
            There is an esoteric explanation of spiritual affinity, which I find suggestive. In the language of ancient symbol Consciousness is always identified with light on a Ray sent forth by a Creative Sun into the realm of darkness which we call matter, and destined to unfold eventually the pure light of their origin. The light of each individual is distinctive, but just as physically there are groupings of race and of family, so in the unseen world, to which our spirits most intimately belong, the Light travels down different Rays, to one or other of which each of us belong.
            Pre-eminent among these creative Rays are those transmitted through certain Masters who at different periods in human evolution brought light to mankind, having themselves uniquely realized the Truth with which they were entrusted. In so doing they set vibrating in the world a creative force to which countless other spirits, still to be born, have been attracted and by the distinctive quality of which their souls, as they descended into earthly existence, have been tempered and their spiritual type determined.”
            This is in a portion of the book where Hugh describes how he was drawn to the Vedas even though he was raised by a Christian minister of the gospels. I had a similar cutting of the chord with the Catholic faith I was brought up in. The Advaita -Vedanta teachers were playing my song so to speak and I also chased after Tibetan teachings; Ramana Maharshi, Omar Kayam, Gibran. I felt like I was born into the wrong family when I started reading these teachers, they made me feel so at home.
            Anyway, that’s my story about lineage. I know you’re spreading the light to your family and keeping it beaming brilliantly along their path. Next time I pass a prayer wheel I’ll give it a spin for your continued well being.

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          9. your en-swaddling spirit rests in my dendrites as an incunambulum of quiescence and agape, as pervasive, becalming, protective and persevering as a healing wind on febrile brows. i have not the spiritual pervasiveness or enlightening illuminations that you take into your redoubt, but our 2 daughters do, so if you do not object, i would like to email a copy of your ‘coup-de-foudre’ words to them.

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          10. Please share Hugh Fausset’s explanations of heritage with your daughters. He’d be happy to know his flame continues radiating around the globe. It certainly isn’t everyone’s cup of green tea; but I’m sure they will find his words encouraging and confirm that their tendencies to plumb the inner regions of consciousness is a proper placement of their awareness. If they ever wander into WNC near the smoky mountain national park we would be honored to have their presence and wisdom .

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          11. …and a PS re. your inennarable imagery here, utejack: had i known you during our 5 and a half years in the himalayan kingdom of nepal, i would have turned one of those ubiquitous buddhist wheels round and round chanting ‘ohms’ to you and yours. as well, to all the other commenters on WJA’s elucubrating site who have not been maculated by their countries’ misguided military ‘machines’ and corporate-enabled politicos…. tho’ it is precisely those militarists, resource-esurient corps, and their myrmidon-politicians who would have needed those importuning ‘ohms’ more urgently.

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          12. this reply from our daughter, bryarly, who lives in bali, indonesia, just arrived in my inbox, utejack. i will copy and paste it here on wja’s site b/c i have no other means by which i can share it w/ you, given your comments on wja’s blog are the only known coordinates available. [by the way, bryarly has covid, and is in her 2nd week of recovery.]:

            “Utejack sounds like a lovely, intelligent, kind person, mom. Thank you for sharing his thoughts on spiritual kinship and influences. It certainly resonates and is thought-provoking.

            I’d love to visit him and his family in the Smoky Mtns- that area of the world has always been alluring to me.

            More later when my brain is more wakeful. 🙂

            Love B”

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          13. Jeanie, I wonder about those Christian Soldiers?

            In the Revelation of things, it’s pictured,
            And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in Righteousness he does judge and make war.
            His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.
            And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.

            And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goes a sharp sword, […]
            And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army.
            Revelation 19

            To my mind, the imagery is at odds with the typical Christian notion of heaven being a place of Peace and Tranquility.
            As I read those words, it tells me as People strive to get to heaven, or try to buy a stairway to it, once you get there, you have to come back to fight the kings of the Earth, the Billionaires, Presidents, Prime Ministers, Senators, CEOs, and other IDOLS of the People.
            Why not start here, on this Earth, before dying and going to heaven, and stop the slaughter of War without end?

            The Rider on the White Horse has a two-edged sword coming out of his mouth, a metaphor or allegory his instrument of War is the Power of the Word.
            That would require the Church on Earth to learn the Word made Flesh, and take the steps necessary to change the Systematic Oligarchic Plutocracy that has shaped this World to now.

            In 1981, I hitch hiked from Ottawa to Whitehorse in the Yukon, some 10,000 kms round trip, to draw attention to that Rider on the White Horse, and the Sign of the Times to come.
            Guided by my Faith, I was successful in having The White Horse Star and Macleans Magazine record it!

            THE REVELATION OF JESUS CHRIST: From 19/11 to 9/11

            While everybody here may not share the Faith of Christ as I live it, we are united in Spirit and Purpose, as articulated by the themes of William’s many great posts, that brings us all together, and the respectful Intelligent manner everyone here displays one for another.

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          14. yes, you speak w/ veracity, ray; we are together at WJA’s site in a quest for reassurance and concinnity w/ like-minded consociates, w/out the barriers of religiosity and faith-based predilections to diminish our solidarity.

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          15. do you have those 1981 articles handy, ray joseph? would be delighted to read them. unfortunately, i would never have been aware of your x-country pilgrimage to the yukon, as we were in the throes of a 3-yr. CIDA contract in adonkia, on sierra leone’s west coast of africa at the time. we had no access to canadian news periodicals, nor were we endowed w/ computers, never mind internet services!

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          16. quite the divagating image you quote from the NT, ray, as opposed to the extended klaxon-emanations crying out their angst, anomie, and anguish in the OT passage! i may be too dense to connect the 2, but
            the NT quote seems feckly alien to the OT verses. give me the NT verses any day; they slide one’s mentations along less cluttered, more quiescent avenues.

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          17. Happy May Day Jeanie et al.

            Clicking on the link to ‘The Revelation of Jesus Christ: From 19/11 to 9/11’
            you can read the original 1981 Newspaper records from The Calgary Herald, The Edmonton Journal, The Whitehorse Star & Maclean’s Magazine.

            At no Time did I ever call myself God’s Prophet.

            I did tell The Kansas City Times I was called out by the Secret Service for questioning at the 1976 Republican National Convention, and after some dozen questions, the SS Agent asked me if I was Jesus Christ?
            Having no illusions about that then or now, in a nanosecond answered, “NO!”
            The next question was, “Who are you, then? A Prophet?”
            Just telling the newspapers those facts, they volunteered the headers!
            It is interesting for me to note, the News Media Today, report the details unfolding Generally in the Spirit of the letter of the 1976 Newspaper records.

            The Secret Service has the record of that 1 night in my Life buried in their Archive.
            The RCMP also has the Official records of my activities in Ottawa in 1977, being in the position to talk Face to Face with Pierre Trudeau, or pass him a note with no intermediaries, as he entered or left the Members Entrance to the House of Commons for the last 7 years he was Prime Minister.
            It’s an unknown Fact of History, Trudeau quit being PM 2 weeks after the RCMP questioned me at length on my attitude toward him?
            It was a surprise to me, learning he moved from that House, to the Cormier House in Montreal he purchased after I came into his Life.

            Those 40 years went by so fast, with so much change.

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          18. needless to convey, as WJA’s readership is aware, our bandwidth on mindoro island is sufficiently narrow, i cannot download the link you suggested.

            altho’ it is seriously off-topic [my apologies, WJA], but was ernest cormier, who designed trudeau’s ‘cormier house’, one of your family’s progenitors? he was certainly an architectural and engineering luminary throughout the 1st half of the 20th century. his wife, bertha leduc, was nearly 2 years older than he [she was 25 and ernest was 23]. she died 10 years later at 35. i don’t know why. ernest seems not to have remarried, despite his relative youth.

            on home-leave from sierra leone in 1980, we stayed w/ pierre after his 2nd go-round as PM, following joe-who?-clark’s brief seigneury, at 24 sussex drive in new edinburgh [‘gorffwysfa’, as the PM’s residence was ‘christened’]. we were staying there b/c he was an old friend [intimate] of my husband’s sister, gail, from their mcgill/univ of montreal days. despite his being 60-ish, pierre threw our rugrats around in the air and hoisted them onto his shoulders as if he were a 25-yr-old premiership-cup player. he was divorced by then, and his 3 sons were w/ their mother, margaret, at the time. pierre was quite the character, and an avowed marxist/socialist who lobbied tirelessly against the draft during and after WWII. your association w/ him was preveniently enlightening, eh?

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          19. I apologize to anyone who thinks I’m monopolizing Bill’s page, but this article is about God, the perfect segue for me to get involved.
            If there was an edit feature, my afterthoughts would have been included in the original comment.

            After posting the Correction and Clarification, I did a Google search for “pierre trudeau and the cormier house” and learned things I didn’t know before. The Government of CanaDa has a page about it under ‘History and culture.’

            Cormier House, Montréal, QC – History and culture
            Jul. 23, 2020 — In 1979, the Right Honourable Pierre Elliott Trudeau acquired Cormier House. He renovated it in 1981, added an indoor swimming pool at the …
            I entered Trudeau’s Life in 1977, but the 1981 change is interesting considering my 1981 mission

            https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/culture/clmhc-hsmbc/res/information-backgrounder/maison-Cormier-house

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          20. Thank you William, Denise, Michael, UTEJACK et al.
            for your patience enduring Jeanie and I hijacking the discussion in a subset of personal interests not engaging you.
            There can be no doubt of the positions I’ve taken on God and War, in all the articles William put out on the common themes that bring us together.
            I love Bracing Views and all the regulars for the civilized respectful exchanges and contributions to what ever is the theme of Bill’s writing. To sum it up, we’re united in the Goal of seeing more Love and Less War on Planet Earth. It’s the doing, not the saying that’s the Test.

            It’s a sad commentary of our Times, what passes for discussion in too many online Newspaper comments and other Social Media sites, is nothing more than lobbing 30 second sound byte hand grenades thrown at the other side by both sides. That’s not a good leading Indicator of where the Public is heading.

            So please bear with me as I make this final comment in reply to what Jeanie posted at 11:31pm yesterday I’m assuming is Philippine Time.
            You may not recognize or appreciate it now, with the Objective of reaching the same goal we discuss in Bill’s writing, the 1981 Spiritual Mission to White Horse in the Yukon is part of CanaDa’s Historical Newspaper Record. Our exchanges may appear peripheral to the question of God Protecting American Troops killing other side troops, but converge with the interests of this Group.

            The mystery I have to figure out is how Jeanie inserted her 11:31pm comment, between between mine at 8:15am and 8:37am?
            In this whole exchange the last reply button I see on my screen, is to reply to Denise 2 days ago, and my comment appears as the last comment.

            Jeanie, I never met Pierre Trudeau in private like you did which explains your interest.
            That’s why the RCMP has a big file on all those encounters spread over 7 years.
            I understood he was busy, and only unexpectedly showed up at the Members Entrance once in a while as a News Event moved me.

            In all those years, I met him once by unusual Timing late at night when just by chance, I was at the corner of Elgin and the Sparks Street Mall, when his limo pulled up to his other Office at the Langevin Block.

            The Official RCMP report of that brief exchange is at the bottom.
            The Agent who wrote it had no idea the incident was the 1st of 3 in the sequence, as described in John 21:15-17.
            I didn’t know it was the 1st, until the Time presented itself to act in the Spirit of John the 2 following occasions.

            Our Last 2 meetings were under the Peace Tower and what transpired there, as Peaceable as it was, the enclosure in the envelope he routinely took from me so often in the Past, is what made the RCMP question me, and made him quit the job February 29, 1984.

            Pierre is Peter in English, and I discovered this online only this morning,
            The first chapter in the history of the CORMIER family in America begins with an act of seeming irrationality that makes the rest of the story possible.
            In the spring of 1644, during the first year of the reign of the boy king Louis XIV, a 34-year-old charpentier de navire, his wife, and two sons, one of them still an infant, left their native city of La Rochelle, France, to seek their fortune in the New World.
            They set sail aboard the Le Petit Saint-Pierre for Fort Saint-Pierre on Cape Breton Island in the colony of Acadia, bound as servants to Louis Tuffet, commander of the fort.

            Since I was born in 1944, maybe it was written in the Stars 300 years ago, I was destined to meet up with Pierre?

            The year after Trudeau quit, I was invited to Lunch by the Papal Apostolic Nuncio to Canada.
            After the Lunch, the Man for All Seasons and Reasons living in the gatehouse with his Wife, and driving me home, told me his Wife is a Cormier.
            I thought it quite a coincidence, my Family name associated with both the Political and Religious!

            Jeanie, if you want to continue this personal exchange, go to any article in my Blog at http://www.rayjc.com and leave a comment. No one else will, but I’ll have your email address and will reply in private.

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    1. Oh, yes. Most certainly. Let us dine with General Dave on gaseous euphemisms, impenetrable word-salad, and barbecued bullshit.

      “I think no commander ever is going to come out and say ‘I’m confidant that we can do this.’ I think we say you assess, we believe this is, you know, a reasonable prospect.” — General David Petraeus, Commander of the International Security Assistance Forces in Afghanistan (since promoted to head of the CIA), regarding his mission objectives and his prospects for achieving them.

      “The inflated style is itself a kind of euphemism.” George Orwell, Politics and the English Language

      The Inflated Style as Euphemism

      The general has started talking funny
      Like, never stating what we can achieve.
      Instead, he babbles jargon for the money
      Which means he never plans for us to leave.

      We’ve been there now so long that few remember
      How many times we’ve heard the same old song.
      Our plans, those scruffy foreigners dismember
      While we proclaim that we’ve done nothing wrong.

      The president has donned his bomber jacket
      To have his picture taken with the troops:
      For conquerors, cheap tools that serve the racket;
      For statesmen, simple patriotic dupes.

      Our presidents and generals have blundered
      And now can only stall for yet more time
      While citizens back home whom they have plundered
      Refuse to see the nature of the crime.

      We went to “war” with tax cuts for the wealthy
      And exhortations to consume and spend.
      Now broke and begging from the thieving stealthy,
      Our leaders promise this will never end.

      Our presidents and generals stage dramas
      And wave the bloody shirt while spouting gas
      To keep us safe from peasants in pajamas
      And poppy farmers smoking hash and grass.

      We did this once before in Southeast Asia
      As names upon a granite wall attest.
      The country, though, prefers its euthanasia:
      The laying of all memory to rest.

      So let us listen raptly to the latest
      Inflated euphemism coined to quell
      The slightest thought that we might be the greatest
      Bullshitters of whom history can tell.

      Michael Murry, “The Misfortune Teller,” Copyright 2010

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Two words come to mind for Petraeus: “fragile” and “reversible.” He always used them to hedge his “progress” in Iraq and Afghanistan.

        Many other words come to mind to describe him: opportunistic, insincere, phony, undisciplined, dishonest, self-centered. And these are the nice words.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. The Teleprompter’s words are so insincere. Well done on the sympathetic theme for Joe, though.
    Faith in God is so powerful…not surprising that Progressives want to take that away. But please, please, please God, protect Joe Biden.

    Like

    1. Progressives want to take away faith in God? What are you smoking, TJO?

      Besides, no one can take your faith away. Indeed, the harder “they” try to take it away, the stronger it will grow.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. I suggest that Biden should conclude with a more appropriate ending, that with which Loony Tunes ended: “That’s All Folks!”

    Liked by 3 people

  9. ray joseph cormier, please send a valid email address; the one on your blog-site is declared ‘invalid’, so i cannot post the 2 selected fotos to you that you might find condign.

    Like

    1. My email address is not public anywhere on my Blog and is not connected in any way to http://www.rayjc.com bringing you there.

      When anyone makes a comment, as Bill knows from this WordPress site, your email address comes with your comment. I get it, but no one else visiting the Blog will see it.
      You can even include links to photos with your comment.

      In 1976 I washed dishes at Suzanne’s Kitchen on the boardwalk of Venice Beach, California.
      I posted what happened to me that 1976 Academy Awards night. It was uniquely Historical.

      For the 1st Time in Television History, there was a Live Transatlantic broadcast with Dianna Ross in Amsterdam, live in Hollywood Time. The Internet didn’t exist then.

      Years later, Suzanne not looking for me, found my page in a Google search, and sent me 2 pictures, that confirm after the fact, my characterization of her dual personality.

      Thinking about UTEJACK posting Bob Dylan’s song, I was thinking I should post Leonard Cohan’s ‘Suzanne’ juxtaposing Jesus and her embedded in the article

      OSCAR AND THE IDOLS OF THE PEOPLE

      With all that has happened in my Live since I came Alive to the Spirit of God February 1, 1975, it’s up me to make sense of it all.
      You might imagine the struggles I have in my Faith?

      Like

      1. a caveat, rjc: the following are tautological excurses, so you will be called upon to exercise patience and mental fortitude. but these polemics help elucidate why gods, hate, and war-mongering are riders on the same apocalyptic horse.

        w/ certitude, the “spirit of god” you have tucked into your brain suggests a loving, caring, selfless, stable, humble, and charitable one. such traits comprise the quiddity, the ‘cantus firmus’, of life’s most blissful songs. you have come to your god/jesus adherence b/c of who you are, and how you have reacted throughout your beleaguered life to those around you, especially those who have been maltreated, dispossessed, debrided, disenfranchised, and discarded in blocked and blind alleyways.

        what i cannot compute is how attached you are to the bible, particularly the OT biblical balderdash; it is a house-of-horrors that one must cherry-pick through in order to find a nugget of misericordia-type cynosure-ship. even the NT is fraught w/ arrogance and conceit… videlicet, how one is proscribed by jesus from entering the gates of heaven w/out passing thru him [not a her] who is your lord and saviour jesus christ. HUH? the most humble, charitable eleemosynaries throughout my life have been my islamic, hindu, buddhist, agnostic, pantheistic, animistic, atheistic, zoroastrian, ba’hai, and nullifidian acquaintances. just who is this jealous, hateful, war-mongering, arrogant, self-serving, vengeful, homicidal, filicidal god of yours?

        below are some elucubrations from others:

        “Do you really think it all began with a sanctimonious Jewish wonder-worker, strolling about 1st century Palestine? Prepare to be enlightened.

        Jesus – The Imaginary Friend

        Christianity was the ultimate product of religious syncretism in the ancient world. Its emergence owed nothing to a holy carpenter. There were many Jesuses but the fable was a cultural construct.

        The nativity yarn is a concatenation of nonsense. The genealogies of Jesus, both Matthew’s version and Luke’s, are pious fiction. Nazareth did not exist in the 1st century AD – the area was a burial ground of rock-cut tombs.

        With multiple authors behind the original gospel story it is no surprise that the figure of “Jesus” is a mess of contradictions. Yet the story is so thinly drawn that being a “good Christian” might mean almost anything.

        The 12 disciples are as fictitious as their master, invented to legitimise the claims of the early churches. The original Mary was not a virgin, that idea was borrowed from pagan goddesses. The pagan world knew all about virgins getting pregnant by randy gods: The Mythical “Virgin Mother”.

        Scholars have known all this for more than 200 years but priestcraft is a highly profitable business and finances an industry of deceit to keep the show on the road.

        “Jesus better documented than any other ancient figure”? Don’t believe a word of it. Unlike the mythical Jesus, a real historical figure like Julius Caesar has a mass of mutually supporting evidence.

        The case for a mythical Jesus – Nailing Jesus. Book review: Ehrman – Did Jesus Exist? Popular scholar recoils from the abyss. A rescue mission for the “Jesus of history” – The New Apologists

        the following paragraph from the bible [deuteronomy] is so shockingly,
        viciously violent, is it any wonder religious groups, particularly the
        judeao~christian genera, have created such destabilizing havoc and enmity in
        their respective cultural zeitgeists? at least the q’ran never enjoins its readers to
        violence, and the buddhists disdain violence at all costs. the article [above
        bertrand russell’s apothegm] claims that 96% of all americans believe in god;
        it is stupefying to entertain the notion that i am in a minority of only 4%….
        t’is most baffling. indeed, i’m quite dubious about that figure. please indulge me a wee oeillade here:

        “Should your brother, your mother’s son, or your son or your daughter or the
        wife of your bosom or your companion who is like your own self incite you in
        secret, saying Let us go and worship other gods’ … you shall surely kill him.
        Your hand shall be against him first to put him to death and the hand of all
        the people last. And you shall stone him and he shall die, for he sought to
        thrust you away from the LORD your God who brought you out of the land of
        Egypt, from the house of slaves. —Deuteronomy 13, 7:11

        [bertrand russell]: the trouble w/ this country is that the stupid are always
        cocksure and the intelligent are always filled w/ doubt.”

        The Atlantic Monthly | December 2005
         
        Is God an Accident?

        Despite the vast number of religions, nearly everyone in the world seems to believe in
        the same things: the existence of a soul, an afterlife, miracles, and the
        divine creation of the universe. Recently psychologists doing research on the
        minds of infants have discovered two related facts that may account for this
        phenomenon. One: human beings come into the world with a predisposition to
        believe in supernatural phenomena. And two: this predisposition is an
        incidental by-product of cognitive functioning gone awry. Which leads to the
        question …
        by Paul Bloom
        …..From Atlantic Unbound:

        Interviews: “Wired for Creationism?”
        Paul Bloom on mysticism, fundamentalism, and the elusive nature of art.

        I. God Is Not Dead

        “When I was a teenager my rabbi believed that the Lubavitcher Rebbe, who was
        living in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, was the Messiah, and that the world was soon
        to end. He believed that the earth was a few thousand years old, and that the
        fossil record was a consequence of the Great Flood. He could describe the
        afterlife, and was able to answer adolescent questions about the fate of
        Hitler’s soul.
        My rabbi was no crackpot; he was an intelligent and amiable man, a teacher and
        a scholar. But he held views that struck me as strange, even disturbing. Like
        many secular people, I am comfortable with religion as a source of spirituality
        and transcendence, tolerance and love, charity and good works. Who can object
        to the faith of Martin Luther King Jr. or the Dalai Lama—at least as long as
        that faith grounds moral positions one already accepts? I am uncomfortable,
        however, with religion when it makes claims about the natural world, let alone
        a world beyond nature. It is easy for those of us who reject supernatural
        beliefs to agree with Stephen Jay Gould that the best way to accord dignity and
        respect to both science and religion is to recognize that they apply to
        “non-overlapping magisteria”: science gets the realm of facts, religion the
        realm of values.
        For better or worse, though, religion is much more than a set of ethical
        principles or a vague sense of transcendence. The anthropologist Edward Tylor
        got it right in 1871, when he noted that the “minimum definition of religion”
        is a belief in spiritual beings, in the supernatural. My rabbi’s specific
        claims were a minority view in the culture in which I was raised, but those
        sorts of views—about the creation of the universe, the end of the world, the
        fates of souls—define religion as billions of people understand and practice
        it.
        The United States is a poster child for supernatural belief. Just about
        everyone in this country—96 percent in one poll—believes in God. Well over half
        of Americans believe in miracles, the devil, and angels. Most believe in an
        afterlife—and not just in the mushy sense that we will live on in the memories
        of other people, or in our good deeds; when asked for details, most Americans
        say they believe that after death they will actually reunite with relatives and
        get to meet God. Woody Allen once said, “I don’t want to achieve immortality
        through my work. I want to achieve it through not dying.” Most Americans have
        precisely this expectation.
        But America is an anomaly, isn’t it? These statistics are sometimes taken as
        yet another indication of how much this country differs from, for instance,
        France and Germany, where secularism holds greater sway. Americans are
        fundamentalists, the claim goes, isolated from the intellectual progress made
        by the rest of the world.
        There are two things wrong with this conclusion. First, even if a gap between
        America and Europe exists, it is not the United States that is idiosyncratic.
        After all, the rest of the world—Asia, Africa, the Middle East—is not exactly
        filled with hard-core atheists. If one is to talk about exceptionalism, it
        applies to Europe, not the United States.
        Second, the religious divide between Americans and Europeans may be smaller
        than we think. The sociologists Rodney Stark, of Baylor University, and Roger
        Finke, of Pennsylvania State University, write that the big difference has to
        do with church attendance, which really is much lower in Europe. (Building on
        the work of the Chicago-based sociologist and priest Andrew Greeley, they argue
        that this is because the United States has a rigorously free religious market,
        in which churches actively vie for parishioners and constantly improve their
        product, whereas European churches are often under state control and, like many
        government monopolies, have become inefficient.) Most polls from European
        countries show that a majority of their people are believers. Consider Iceland.
        To judge by rates of churchgoing, Iceland is the most secular country on earth,
        with a pathetic two percent weekly attendance. But four out of five Icelanders
        say that they pray, and the same proportion believe in life after death.
        In the United States some liberal scholars posit a different sort of
        exceptionalism, arguing that belief in the supernatural is found mostly in
        Christian conservatives—those infamously described by the Washington Post
        reporter Michael Weisskopf in 1993 as “largely poor, uneducated, and easy to
        command.” Many people saw the 2004 presidential election as pitting Americans
        who are religious against those who are not.
        An article by Steven Waldman in the online magazine Slate provides some
        perspective on the divide:

        “As you may already know, one of America’s two political parties is extremely
        religious. Sixty-one percent of this party’s voters say they pray daily or more
        often. An astounding 92 percent of them believe in life after death. And
        there’s a hard-core subgroup in this party of super-religious Christian
        zealots. Very conservative on gay marriage, half of the members of this
        subgroup believe Bush uses too little religious rhetoric, and 51 percent of
        them believe God gave Israel to the Jews and that its existence fulfills the
        prophecy about the second coming of Jesus.”

        The group that Waldman is talking about is Democrats; the hard-core subgroup is
        African-American Democrats.
        Finally, consider scientists. They are less likely than non-scientists to be
        religious—but not by a huge amount. A 1996 poll asked scientists whether they
        believed in God, and the pollsters set the bar high—no mealy-mouthed evasions
        such as “I believe in the totality of all that exists” or “in what is beautiful
        and unknown”; rather, they insisted on a real biblical God, one believers could
        pray to and actually get an answer from. About 40 percent of scientists said
        yes to a belief in this kind of God—about the same percentage found in a
        similar poll in 1916. Only when we look at the most elite scientists—members of
        the National Academy of Sciences—do we find a strong majority of atheists and
        agnostics.
        These facts are an embarrassment for those who see supernatural beliefs as a
        cultural anachronism, soon to be eroded by scientific discoveries and the
        spread of cosmopolitan values. They require a new theory of why we are
        religious—one that draws on research in evolutionary biology, cognitive
        neuroscience, and developmental psychology.

        II. Opiates and Fraternities

        One traditional approach to the origin of religious belief begins with the
        observation that it is difficult to be a person. There is evil all around;
        everyone we love will die; and soon we ourselves will die—either slowly and
        probably unpleasantly or quickly and probably unpleasantly. For all but a
        pampered and lucky few life really is nasty, brutish, and short. And if our
        lives have some greater meaning, it is hardly obvious.
        So perhaps, as Marx suggested, we have adopted religion as an opiate, to soothe
        the pain of existence. As the philosopher Susanne K. Langer has put it, man
        “cannot deal with Chaos”; supernatural beliefs solve the problem of this chaos
        by providing meaning. We are not mere things; we are lovingly crafted by God,
        and serve his purposes. Religion tells us that this is a just world, in which
        the good will be rewarded and the evil punished. Most of all, it addresses our
        fear of death. Freud summed it all up by describing a “three-fold task” for
        religious beliefs: “they must exorcise the terrors of nature, they must
        reconcile men to the cruelty of Fate, particularly as it is shown in death, and
        they must compensate them for the sufferings and privations which a civilized
        life in common has imposed on them.”
        Religions can sometimes do all these things, and it would be unrealistic to
        deny that this partly explains their existence. Indeed, sometimes theologians
        use the foregoing arguments to make a case for why we should believe: if one
        wishes for purpose, meaning, and eternal life, there is nowhere to go but
        toward God.
        One problem with this view is that, as the cognitive scientist Steven Pinker
        reminds us, we don’t typically get solace from propositions that we don’t
        already believe to be true. Hungry people don’t cheer themselves up by
        believing that they just had a large meal. Heaven is a reassuring notion only
        insofar as people believe such a place exists; it is this belief that an
        adequate theory of religion has to explain in the first place.
        Also, the religion-as-opiate theory fits best with the monotheistic religions
        most familiar to us. But what about those people (many of the religious people
        in the world) who do not believe in an all-wise and just God? Every society
        believes in spiritual beings, but they are often stupid or malevolent. Many
        religions simply don’t deal with metaphysical or teleological questions; gods
        and ancestor spirits are called upon only to help cope with such mundane
        problems as how to prepare food and what to do with a corpse—not to elucidate
        the Meaning of It All. As for the reassurance of heaven, justice, or salvation,
        again, it exists in some religions but by no means all. (In fact, even those
        religions we are most familiar with are not always reassuring. I know some
        older Christians who were made miserable as children by worries about eternal
        damnation; the prospect of oblivion would have been far preferable.) So the
        opiate theory is ultimately an unsatisfying explanation for the existence of
        religion.
        The major alternative theory is social: religion brings people together, giving
        them an edge over those who lack this social glue. Sometimes this argument is
        presented in cultural terms, and sometimes it is seen from an evolutionary
        perspective: survival of the fittest working at the level not of the gene or
        the individual but of the social group. In either case the claim is that
        religion thrives because groups that have it outgrow and outlast those that do
        not.
        In this conception religion is a fraternity, and the analogy runs deep. Just as
        fraternities used to paddle freshmen on the rear end to instill loyalty and
        commitment, religions have painful initiation rites—for example, snipping off
        part of the penis. Also, certain puzzling features of many religions, such as
        dietary restrictions and distinctive dress, make perfect sense once they are
        viewed as tools to ensure group solidarity.
        The fraternity theory also explains why religions are so harsh toward those who
        do not share the faith, reserving particular ire for apostates. This is clear
        in the Old Testament, in which “a jealous God” issues commands such as:
        “Should your brother, your mother’s son, or your son or your daughter or the
        wife of your bosom or your companion who is like your own self incite you in
        secret, saying Let us go and worship other gods’ … you shall surely kill him.
        Your hand shall be against him first to put him to death and the hand of all
        the people last. And you shall stone him and he shall die, for he sought to
        thrust you away from the LORD your God who brought you out of the land of
        Egypt, from the house of slaves. —Deuteronomy 13, 7:11

        This theory explains almost everything about religion—except the religious
        part. It is clear that rituals and sacrifices can bring people together, and it
        may well be that a group that does such things has an advantage over one that
        does not. But it is not clear why a religion has to be involved. Why are gods,
        souls, an afterlife, miracles, divine creation of the universe, and so on
        brought in? The theory doesn’t explain what we are most interested in, which is
        belief in the supernatural.

        III. Bodies and Souls

        Enthusiasm is building among scientists for a quite different view—that
        religion emerged not to serve a purpose but by accident.
        This is not a value judgment. Many of the good things in life are, from an
        evolutionary perspective, accidents. People sometimes give money, time, and
        even blood to help unknown strangers in faraway countries whom they will never
        see. From the perspective of one’s genes this is disastrous—the suicidal
        squandering of resources for no benefit. But its origin is not magical;
        long-distance altruism is most likely a by-product of other, more adaptive
        traits, such as empathy and abstract reasoning. Similarly, there is no
        reproductive advantage to the pleasure we get from paintings or movies. It just
        so happens that our eyes and brains, which evolved to react to
        three-dimensional objects in the real world, can respond to two-dimensional
        projections on a canvas or a screen.
        Supernatural beliefs might be explained in a similar way. This is the
        religion-as-accident theory that emerges from my work and the work of cognitive
        scientists such as Scott Atran, Pascal Boyer, Justin Barrett, and Deborah
        Kelemen. One version of this theory begins with the notion that a distinction
        between the physical and the psychological is fundamental to human thought.
        Purely physical things, such as rocks and trees, are subject to the pitiless
        laws of Newton. Throw a rock, and it will fly through space on a certain path;
        if you put a branch on the ground, it will not disappear, scamper away, or fly
        into space. Psychological things, such as people, possess minds, intentions,
        beliefs, goals, and desires. They move unexpectedly, according to volition and
        whim; they can chase or run away. There is a moral difference as well: a rock
        cannot be evil or kind; a person can.
        Where does the distinction between the physical and the psychological come
        from? Is it something we learn through experience, or is it somehow pre-wired
        into our brains? One way to find out is to study babies. It is notoriously
        difficult to know what babies are thinking, given that they can’t speak and
        have little control over their bodies. (They are harder to test than rats or
        pigeons, because they cannot run mazes or peck levers.) But recently
        investigators have used the technique of showing them different events and
        recording how long they look at them, exploiting the fact that babies, like the
        rest of us, tend to look longer at something they find unusual or bizarre.
        This has led to a series of striking discoveries. Six-month-olds understand
        that physical objects obey gravity. If you put an object on a table and then
        remove the table, and the object just stays there (held by a hidden wire),
        babies are surprised; they expect the object to fall. They expect objects to be
        solid, and contrary to what is still being taught in some psychology classes,
        they understand that objects persist over time even if hidden. (Show a baby an
        object and then put it behind a screen. Wait a little while and then remove the
        screen. If the object is gone, the baby is surprised.) Five-month-olds can even
        do simple math, appreciating that if first one object and then another is
        placed behind a screen, when the screen drops there should be two objects, not
        one or three. Other experiments find the same numerical understanding in
        nonhuman primates, including macaques and tamarins, and in dogs.
        Similarly precocious capacities show up in infants’ understanding of the social
        world. Newborns prefer to look at faces over anything else, and the sounds they
        most like to hear are human voices—preferably their mothers’. They quickly come
        to recognize different emotions, such as anger, fear, and happiness, and
        respond appropriately to them. Before they are a year old they can determine
        the target of an adult’s gaze, and can learn by attending to the emotions of
        others; if a baby is crawling toward an area that might be dangerous and an
        adult makes a horrified or disgusted face, the baby usually knows enough to
        stay away.
        A skeptic might argue that these social capacities can be explained as a set of
        primitive responses, but there is some evidence that they reflect a deeper
        understanding. For instance, when twelve-month-olds see one object chasing
        another, they seem to understand that it really is chasing, with the goal of
        catching; they expect the chaser to continue its pursuit along the most direct
        path, and are surprised when it does otherwise. In some work I’ve done with the
        psychologists Valerie Kuhlmeier, of Queen’s University, and Karen Wynn, of
        Yale, we found that when babies see one character in a movie help an individual
        and a different character hurt that individual, they later expect the
        individual to approach the character that helped it and to avoid the one that
        hurt it.
        Understanding of the physical world and understanding of the social world can
        be seen as akin to two distinct computers in a baby’s brain, running separate
        programs and performing separate tasks. The understandings develop at different
        rates: the social one emerges somewhat later than the physical one. They
        evolved at different points in our prehistory; our physical understanding is
        shared by many species, whereas our social understanding is a relatively recent
        adaptation, and in some regards might be uniquely human.
        That these two systems are distinct is especially apparent in autism, a
        developmental disorder whose dominant feature is a lack of social
        understanding. Children with autism typically show impairments in communication
        (about a third do not speak at all), in imagination (they tend not to engage in
        imaginative play), and most of all in socialization. They do not seem to enjoy
        the company of others; they don’t hug; they are hard to reach out to. In the
        most extreme cases children with autism see people as nothing more than
        objects—objects that move in unpredictable ways and make unexpected noises and
        are therefore frightening. Their understanding of other minds is impaired,
        though their understanding of material objects is fully intact.
        At this point the religion-as-accident theory says nothing about supernatural
        beliefs. Babies have two systems that work in a cold-bloodedly rational way to
        help them anticipate and understand—and, when they get older, to
        manipulate—physical and social entities. In other words, both these systems are
        biological adaptations that give human beings a badly needed head start in
        dealing with objects and people. But these systems go awry in two important
        ways that are the foundations of religion. First, we perceive the world of
        objects as essentially separate from the world of minds, making it possible for
        us to envision soulless bodies and bodiless souls. This helps explain why we
        believe in gods and an afterlife. Second, as we will see, our system of social
        understanding overshoots, inferring goals and desires where none exist. This
        makes us animists and creationists.

        IV. Natural-born dualists

        For those of us who are not autistic, the separateness of these two mechanisms,
        one for understanding the physical world and one for understanding the social
        world, gives rise to a duality of experience. We experience the world of
        material things as separate from the world of goals and desires. The biggest
        consequence has to do with the way we think of ourselves and others. We are
        dualists; it seems intuitively obvious that a physical body and a conscious
        entity—a mind or soul—are genuinely distinct. We don’t feel that we are our
        bodies. Rather, we feel that we occupy them, we possess them, we own them.
        This duality is immediately apparent in our imaginative life. Because we see
        people as separate from their bodies, we easily understand situations in which
        people’s bodies are radically changed while their personhood stays intact.
        Kafka envisioned a man transformed into a gigantic insect; Homer described the
        plight of men transformed into pigs; in Shrek 2 an ogre is transformed into a
        human being, and a donkey into a steed; in Star Trek a scheming villain
        forcibly occupies Captain Kirk’s body so as to take command of the Enterprise;
        in The Tale of the Body Thief, Anne Rice tells of a vampire and a human being
        who agree to trade bodies for a day; and in 13 Going on 30 a teenager wakes up
        as thirty-year-old Jennifer Garner. We don’t think of these events as real, of
        course, but they are fully understandable; it makes intuitive sense to us that
        people can be separated from their bodies, and similar transformations show up
        in religions around the world.
        This notion of an immaterial soul potentially separable from the body clashes
        starkly with the scientific view. For psychologists and neuroscientists, the
        brain is the source of mental life; our consciousness, emotions, and will are
        the products of neural processes. As the claim is sometimes put, The mind is
        what the brain does. I don’t want to overstate the consensus here; there is no
        accepted theory as to precisely how this happens, and some scholars are
        skeptical that we will ever develop such a theory. But no scientist takes
        seriously Cartesian dualism, which posits that thinking need not involve the
        brain. There is just too much evidence against it.
        Still, it feels right, even to those who have never had religious training, and
        even to young children. This became particularly clear to me one night when I
        was arguing with my six-year-old son, Max. I was telling him that he had to go
        to bed, and he said, “You can make me go to bed, but you can’t make me go to
        sleep. It’s my brain!” This piqued my interest, so I began to ask him questions
        about what the brain does and does not do. His answers showed an interesting
        split. He insisted that the brain was involved in perception—in seeing,
        hearing, tasting, and smelling—and he was adamant that it was responsible for
        thinking. But, he said, the brain was not essential for dreaming, for feeling
        sad, or for loving his brother. “That’s what I do,” Max said, “though my brain
        might help me out.”
        Max is not unusual. Children in our culture are taught that the brain is
        involved in thinking, but they interpret this in a narrow sense, as referring
        to conscious problem solving, academic rumination. They do not see the brain as
        the source of conscious experience; they do not identify it with their selves.
        They appear to think of it as a cognitive prosthesis—there is Max the person,
        and then there is his brain, which he uses to solve problems just as he might
        use a computer. In this commonsense conception the brain is, as Steven Pinker
        puts it, “a pocket PC for the soul.”
        If bodies and souls are thought of as separate, there can be bodies without
        souls. A corpse is seen as a body that used to have a soul. Most things—chairs,
        cups, trees—never had souls; they never had will or consciousness. At least
        some nonhuman animals are seen in the same way, as what Descartes described as
        “beast-machines,” or complex automata. Some artificial creatures, such as
        industrial robots, Haitian zombies, and Jewish golems, are also seen as
        soulless beings, lacking free will or moral feeling.
        Then there are souls without bodies. Most people I know believe in a God who
        created the universe, performs miracles, and listens to prayers. He is
        omnipotent and omniscient, possessing infinite kindness, justice, and mercy.
        But he does not in any literal sense have a body. Some people also believe in
        lesser noncorporeal beings that can temporarily take physical form or occupy
        human beings or animals: examples include angels, ghosts, poltergeists,
        succubi, dybbuks, and the demons that Jesus so frequently expelled from
        people’s bodies.
        This belief system opens the possibility that we ourselves can survive the
        death of our bodies. Most people believe that when the body is destroyed, the
        soul lives on. It might ascend to heaven, descend to hell, go off into some
        sort of parallel world, or occupy some other body, human or animal. Indeed, the
        belief that the world teems with ancestor spirits—the souls of people who have
        been liberated from their bodies through death—is common across cultures. We
        can imagine our bodies being destroyed, our brains ceasing to function, our
        bones turning to dust, but it is harder—some would say impossible—to imagine
        the end of our very existence. The notion of a soul without a body makes sense
        to us.
        Others have argued that rather than believing in an afterlife because we are
        dualists, we are dualists because we want to believe in an afterlife. This was
        Freud’s position. He speculated that the “doctrine of the soul” emerged as a
        solution to the problem of death: if souls exist, then conscious experience
        need not come to an end. Or perhaps the motivation for belief in an afterlife
        is cultural: we believe it because religious authorities tell us that it is so,
        possibly because it serves the interests of powerful leaders to control the
        masses through the carrot of heaven and the stick of hell. But there is reason
        to favor the religion-as-accident theory.
        In a significant study the psychologists Jesse Bering, of the University of
        Arkansas, and David Bjorklund, of Florida Atlantic University, told young
        children a story about an alligator and a mouse, complete with a series of
        pictures, that ended in tragedy: “Uh oh! Mr. Alligator sees Brown Mouse and is
        coming to get him!” [The children were shown a picture of the alligator eating
        the mouse.] “Well, it looks like Brown Mouse got eaten by Mr. Alligator. Brown
        Mouse is not alive anymore.”
        The experimenters asked the children a set of questions about the mouse’s
        biological functioning—such as “Now that the mouse is no longer alive, will he
        ever need to go to the bathroom? Do his ears still work? Does his brain still
        work?”—and about the mouse’s mental functioning, such as “Now that the mouse is
        no longer alive, is he still hungry? Is he thinking about the alligator? Does
        he still want to go home?”
        As predicted, when asked about biological properties, the children appreciated
        the effects of death: no need for bathroom breaks; the ears don’t work, and
        neither does the brain. The mouse’s body is gone. But when asked about the
        psychological properties, more than half the children said that these would
        continue: the dead mouse can feel hunger, think thoughts, and have desires. The
        soul survives. And children believe this more than adults do, suggesting that
        although we have to learn which specific afterlife people in our culture
        believe in (heaven, reincarnation, a spirit world, and so on), the notion that
        life after death is possible is not learned at all. It is a by-product of how
        we naturally think about the world.

        V. We’ve Evolved to be Creationists

        This is just half the story. Our dualism makes it possible for us to think of
        supernatural entities and events; it is why such things make sense. But there
        is another factor that makes the perception of them compelling, often
        irresistible. We have what the anthropologist Pascal Boyer has called a
        hypertrophy of social cognition. We see purpose, intention, design, even when
        it is not there.
        In 1944 the social psychologists Fritz Heider and Mary-Ann Simmel made a simple
        movie in which geometric figures—circles, squares, triangles—moved in certain
        systematic ways, designed to tell a tale. When shown this movie, people
        instinctively describe the figures as if they were specific types of people
        (bullies, victims, heroes) with goals and desires, and repeat pretty much the
        same story that the psychologists intended to tell. Further research has found
        that bounded figures aren’t even necessary—one can get much the same effect in
        movies where the “characters” are not single objects but moving groups, such as
        swarms of tiny squares.
        Stewart Guthrie, an anthropologist at Fordham University, was the first modern
        scholar to notice the importance of this tendency as an explanation for
        religious thought. In his book Faces in the Clouds, Guthrie presents anecdotes
        and experiments showing that people attribute human characteristics to a
        striking range of real-world entities, including bicycles, bottles, clouds,
        fire, leaves, rain, volcanoes, and wind. We are hypersensitive to signs of
        agency—so much so that we see intention where only artifice or accident exists.
        As Guthrie puts it, the clothes have no emperor.
        Our quickness to over-read purpose into things extends to the perception of
        intentional design. People have a terrible eye for randomness. If you show them
        a string of heads and tails that was produced by a random-number generator,
        they tend to think it is rigged—it looks orderly to them, too orderly. After
        9/11 people claimed to see Satan in the billowing smoke from the World Trade
        Center. Before that some people were stirred by the Nun Bun, a baked good that
        bore an eerie resemblance to Mother Teresa. In November of 2004 someone posted
        on eBay a ten-year-old grilled cheese sandwich that looked remarkably like the
        Virgin Mary; it sold for $28,000. (In response pranksters posted a grilled
        cheese sandwich bearing images of the Olsen twins, Mary-Kate and Ashley.) There
        are those who listen to the static from radios and other electronic devices and
        hear messages from dead people—a phenomenon presented with great seriousness in
        the Michael Keaton movie White Noise. Older readers who lived their formative
        years before CDs and MPEGs might remember listening intently for the
        significant and sometimes scatological messages that were said to come from
        records played backward.
        Sometimes there really are signs of nonrandom and functional design. We are not
        being unreasonable when we observe that the eye seems to be crafted for seeing,
        or that the leaf insect seems colored with the goal of looking very much like a
        leaf. The evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins begins The Blind Watchmaker by
        conceding this point: “Biology is the study of complicated things that give the
        appearance of having been designed for a purpose.” Dawkins goes on to suggest
        that anyone before Darwin who did not believe in God was simply not paying
        attention.
        Darwin changed everything. His great insight was that one could explain complex
        and adaptive design without positing a divine designer. Natural selection can
        be simulated on a computer; in fact, genetic algorithms, which mimic natural
        selection, are used to solve otherwise intractable computational problems. And
        we can see natural selection at work in case studies across the world, from the
        evolution of beak size in Galápagos finches to the arms race we engage in with
        many viruses, which have an unfortunate capacity to respond adaptively to
        vaccines.
        Richard Dawkins may well be right when he describes the theory of natural
        selection as one of our species’ finest accomplishments; it is an
        intellectually satisfying and empirically supported account of our own
        existence. But almost nobody believes it. One poll found that more than a third
        of college undergraduates believe that the Garden of Eden was where the first
        human beings appeared. And even among those who claim to endorse Darwinian
        evolution, many distort it in one way or another, often seeing it as a
        mysterious internal force driving species toward perfection. (Dawkins writes
        that it appears almost as if “the human brain is specifically designed to
        misunderstand Darwinism.”) And if you are tempted to see this as a red
        state—blue state issue, think again: although it’s true that more Bush voters
        than Kerry voters are creationists, just about half of Kerry voters believe
        that God created human beings in their present form, and most of the rest
        believe that although we evolved from less-advanced life forms, God guided the
        process. Most Kerry voters want evolution to be taught either alongside
        creationism or not at all.
        What’s the problem with Darwin? His theory of evolution does clash with the
        religious beliefs that some people already hold. For Jews and Christians, God
        willed the world into being in six days, calling different things into
        existence. Other religions posit more physical processes on the part of the
        creator or creators, such as vomiting, procreation, masturbation, or the
        molding of clay. Not much room here for random variation and differential
        reproductive success.
        But the real problem with natural selection is that it makes no intuitive
        sense. It is like quantum physics; we may intellectually grasp it, but it will
        never feel right to us. When we see a complex structure, we see it as the
        product of beliefs and goals and desires. Our social mode of understanding
        leaves it difficult for us to make sense of it any other way. Our gut feeling
        is that design requires a designer—a fact that is understandably exploited by
        those who argue against Darwin.
        It’s not surprising, then, that nascent creationist views are found in young
        children. Four-year-olds insist that everything has a purpose, including lions
        (“to go in the zoo”) and clouds (“for raining”). When asked to explain why a
        bunch of rocks are pointy, adults prefer a physical explanation, while children
        choose a functional one, such as “so that animals could scratch on them when
        they get itchy.” And when asked about the origin of animals and people,
        children tend to prefer explanations that involve an intentional creator, even
        if the adults raising them do not. Creationism—and belief in God—is bred in the
        bone.

        VI. Religion and Science Will Always Clash

        one might argue that the preceding analysis of religion, based as it is on
        supernatural beliefs, does not apply to certain non-Western faiths. In his
        recent book, The End of Faith, the neuroscientist Sam Harris mounts a fierce
        attack on religion, much of it directed at Christianity and Islam, which he
        criticizes for what he sees as ridiculous factual claims and grotesque moral
        views. But then he turns to Buddhism, and his tone shifts to admiration—it is
        “the most complete methodology we have for discovering the intrinsic freedom of
        consciousness, unencumbered by any dogma.” Surely this religion, if one wants
        to call it a religion, is not rooted in the dualist and creationist views that
        emerge in our childhood.
        Fair enough. But while it may be true that “theologically correct” Buddhism
        explicitly rejects the notions of body-soul duality and immaterial entities
        with special powers, actual Buddhists believe in such things. (Harris himself
        recognizes this; at one point he complains about the millions of Buddhists who
        treat the Buddha as a Christ figure.) For that matter, although many Christian
        theologians are willing to endorse evolutionary biology—and it was legitimately
        front-page news when Pope John Paul II conceded that Darwin’s theory of
        evolution might be correct—this should not distract us from the fact that many
        Christians think evolution is nonsense.
        Or consider the notion that the soul escapes the body at death. There is little
        hint of such an idea in the Old Testament, although it enters into Judaism
        later on. The New Testament is notoriously unclear about the afterlife, and
        some Christian theologians have argued, on the basis of sources such as Paul’s
        letters to the Corinthians, that the idea of a soul’s rising to heaven
        conflicts with biblical authority. In 1999 the pope himself cautioned people to
        think of heaven not as an actual place but, rather, as a form of existence—that
        of being in relation to God.
        Despite all this, most Jews and Christians, as noted, believe in an
        afterlife—in fact, even people who claim to have no religion at all tend to
        believe in one. Our afterlife beliefs are clearly expressed in popular books
        such as The Five People You Meet in Heaven and A Travel Guide to Heaven. As the
        Guide puts it,
        “Heaven is dynamic. It’s bursting with excitement and action. It’s the ultimate
        playground, created purely for our enjoyment, by someone who knows what
        enjoyment means, because He invented it. It’s Disney World, Hawaii, Paris,
        Rome, and New York all rolled up into one. And it’s forever! Heaven truly is
        the vacation that never ends.”
        (This sounds a bit like hell to me, but it is apparently to some people’s
        taste.)
        Religious authorities and scholars are often motivated to explore and reach out
        to science, as when the pope embraced evolution and the Dalai Lama became
        involved with neuroscience. They do this in part to make their world view more
        palatable to others, and in part because they are legitimately concerned about
        any clash with scientific findings. No honest person wants to be in the
        position of defending a view that makes manifestly false claims, so religious
        authorities and scholars often make serious efforts toward reconciliation—for
        instance, trying to interpret the Bible in a way that is consistent with what
        we know about the age of the earth.
        If people got their religious ideas from ecclesiastical authorities, these
        efforts might lead religion away from the supernatural. Scientific views would
        spread through religious communities. Supernatural beliefs would gradually
        disappear as the theologically correct version of a religion gradually became
        consistent with the secular world view. As Stephen Jay Gould hoped, religion
        would stop stepping on science’s toes.
        But this scenario assumes the wrong account of where supernatural ideas come
        from. Religious teachings certainly shape many of the specific beliefs we hold;
        nobody is born with the idea that the birthplace of humanity was the Garden of
        Eden, or that the soul enters the body at the moment of conception, or that
        martyrs will be rewarded with sexual access to scores of virgins. These ideas
        are learned. But the universal themes of religion are not learned. They emerge
        as accidental by-products of our mental systems. They are part of human nature.

        Chez McEachern

        and here is what i agree is wrong w/ the ten commandments, as observed by anne nicol gaylor:

        according to Critics of the Christian bible occasionally can score a point or two in discussion with the religious community by noting the many teachings in both the Old and New Testaments that encourage the bible believer to hate and to kill, biblical lessons that history proves Christians have taken most seriously. Nonetheless the bible defendant is apt to offer as an indisputable parting shot, “But don’t forget the ten commandments. They are the basic bible teaching. Study the ten commandments.”
        Do study the ten commandments! They epitomize the childishness, the vindictiveness, the sexism, the inflexibility and the inadequacies of the bible as a book of morals.
        Actually, only six of the ten commandments deal with an individual’s moral conduct, which comes as a surprise to most Christians. Essentially, the first four commandments say:
        1. Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
        2. Thou shalt not make thee any graven images or bow down to them, and if you do I’ll get you and your kids and their descendants.
        3. Thou shalt not take the name of the lord in vain.
        4. Keep the Sabbath holy.
        The exact terminology is found in chapter five of Deuteronomy. Two other versions of the “ten commandments” can be found in the Old Testament. One version, in Exodus 20, differs slightly from the Deu­ter­onomy version, while a third, in Exodus 34, is wildly different, containing commandments about sacrifices and offerings and ending with the teaching: “Thou shalt not seethe a kid in its mother’s milk.” This is the only version referred to in scriptures as the “ten commandments.”
        In essence, the first four commandments all scream that “the lord thy god” has an uneasy vanity, and like most dictators, must resort to threats, rather than intellectual persuasion, to promote a point of view. If there were an omnipotent god, can you imagine him or her being concerned if some poor little insignificant creature puttered around and made a graven image? Do you think that any god, possessing the modicum of good will you could expect to find in any neighbor, would want to punish children even “unto the third and fourth generation” because their fathers could not believe? How can anyone not perceive the pettiness, bluster, bombast and psychotic insecurity behind the first four commandments? We are supposed to respect this!
        “Honor thy father and thy mother” is the fifth commandment, and it is, of course, an extension of the authoritarian rationale behind the first four. Honor cannot be bestowed automatically by an honest intellect. Intellectually honest people can honor only those who, in their opinion, warrant their honor. The biologic fact of fatherhood and motherhood does not in and of itself warrant honor. Until very recently parenthood was not a matter of choice. It still is a mandatory, not optional, happening for many of the world’s people. Why should any child be commanded to honor, without further basis, parents who became parents by accident—who didn’t even plan to have a child? All of us know children who have been abused, beaten or neglected by their parents. What is the basis for honor there? How does the daughter honor a father who sexually molests her? “Honor only those who merit your honor” would be a more appropriate teaching, and if that includes your parents, great! “Honor your children” would have been a compassionate commandment.
        Commandments six through nine—thou shalt not kill, commit adultery, steal or bear false witness—obviously have merit, but even they need extensive revision. To kill in self-defense is regrettable, but it is certainly morally defensible, eminently sensible conduct. So is the administration of a shot or medication that will end life for the terminally ill patient who wishes to die.
        Adultery, the subject of the seventh commandment, again raises the question of an absolute ban. For the most part fidelity in marriage is a sound rule, making for happiness; but some marriages may outlast affection. Some couples may agree to live by different rules. Until relatively recent times Christian marriages were not dissolvable except by death, so the ban of divorce coupled with the ban of adultery obviously created great distress. Adultery, it must be remembered, involves an act between consenting adults. How much more relevant and valuable it would be to have, for instance, a commandment that forbids the violent crimes of rape and incest.
        “Thou shalt not steal” raises questions regarding the usefulness of a blanket condemnation, and may put squatter’s rights ahead of public and private welfare. Should people who are cold or ill steal to ameliorate their situations? Should the child who is hungry steal? Surely this commandment cries for some amending clauses. One is reminded of the comment of Napoleon, who really had religion figured out: “How can you have order in a state without religion? For, when one man is dying of hunger near another who is ill of surfeit, he cannot resign himself to this difference unless there is an authority which declares, ‘God wills it thus.’ Religion is excellent stuff for keeping people quiet.”
        In general, to bear false witness is construed to mean “don’t lie,” and that is a valuable moral precept, except again it is stated in absolute terms. Lies have saved lives, they have preserved relationships, and every day they save hurt feelings. The truth is not always a reasonable or kind solution. Interestingly, in biblical times the dictum not to bear false witness against a neighbor was a tribal commandment and meant to apply only to persons within the tribe—it was quite all right to bear false witness against “strangers.”
        Finally, the tenth commandment, which riles the feminist blood, says: “Neither shalt thou desire thy neighbor’s wife, neither shalt thou covet thy neighbor’s house, his field, or his manservant, or his maidservant, his ox, or his ass, or anything that is thy neighbor’s.” In addition to rating a wife with an ox and an ass, the bible loftily overlooks the woman who might desire her neighbor’s husband. Covetousness somehow does not seem like such a crime. If you can’t have a comfortable house or a productive farm, what is the great harm in wishing you did? Covetousness may be nonproductive and unpretty, but to make a big, bad deal out of it is ridiculous. Bible apologists sometimes will excuse the triviality of the tenth commandment on the basis that to covet, in a more superstitious age, meant “to cast an evil eye.” Someone who coveted “his neighbor’s house” was purportedly casting an evil eye on that property with a view toward its destruction. Whether one accepts the apologist’s definition of covet or the more popular meaning, the tenth commandment lacks real importance.
        Little in Christianity is original. Most of it is borrowed, just as the celebration of Christmas was borrowed from Roman and earlier pagan times. When the “lord” supposedly wrote his commandments on two tablets of stone and delivered them to Moses (Deut. 5:22), he was only aping earlier gods: Bacchus, Zoroaster and Minos.
        Reflect for a moment that almost anyone reading this nontract could write a kinder, wiser, more reasonable set of commandments than those that Christians insist we honor. Try it!”
        © 1983 by Anne Nicol Gaylor. All Rights Reserved.

        so, rjc, [you must be comatose by now]: let the bloody US empire crash and burn… as all empires have collapsed and imploded into the bloated bowels of their insatiable greed and gluttony throughout history. then, long after we progenitors die, those who follow will struggle to rebuild, and the greed, gluttony and empire-building will be begin anew, in some other wretched corner of the planet. this blood-drenched cycle will relentlessly, unerringly repeat itself until Homo sapiens sapiens [yes, we are a sub-species of H.s.] finally exsanguinates… bleeds itself out so catastrophically that the human strain will never stain this planet again. hope you do not take offence, particularly at my inability to commandeer brevity and concision.

        Like

        1. Jeanie, I’m surprised to read your long screed posted here, since you already had my email address and could have conveyed your thoughts and opinions to me in private.
          Obviously you want the others to attempt resolve the idea of Bill’s question and purpose of the discussion
          “Should God Protect Our Troops?”

          The question suggests God exists. The question is, does God take sides in rich men’s Wars? Can God be bought with money? That would be a False God.

          The Bible is a good book. Everything People do Today, from Princes to Paupers, the rich and the poor, believers and unbelievers, Wars, Peace, Coup d’Etats, revolutions, slave wages and treatment and everything else, we, ALL HUMANS, the Book says, are Created in the Image and Likeness of God, do on Earth while we occupy the Flesh from Birth to Death.
          To me, it’s a marvel of the whole thing, the Human Condition is such, that all of us are born into this Material world toothless, dependent and vulnerable, having to wear diapers. Most Older Humans leave this Material plane as they came into it, toothless, dependent and vulnerable. Unless you’re rich.

          In the Beginning, according to the Genesis of the Book, with the 1st Human murder by Cain killing his Brother, Cain feared Capital Punishment.
          God put a Mark on Cain so no one would kill him, or it would be 7 Times worse. To that Genesis God, one killing was enough. Stop it there!
          Eventually someone else killed someone else, and the rest is History.

          Cultures all over this Earth have a record of a Great Flood so far back in their History.
          The Book says, because of the Violence and Corruption of Humans, the Great Flood came and swept everybody away.
          My personal reference Bible was printed in 1855, before CanaDa and Israel existed among the Nations. This is before the Flood,
          ‘And the Lord regretted that He had made man upon the earth, and He became grieved in His heart.’

          I question how that God of Genesis having such respect for Human Life, became so violent as displayed by the “Chosen People?”
          The record is clear in the Bible, after wandering the the Desert 40 years, the Hebrew Slaves in the Egyptian Economy I compare to the Minimum wage worker in our Economy, perpetrated a Genocide on the Canaanites, killing every man, woman, child and livestock.

          Some 400 years earlier, Jacob and his Sons saw the “Promised Land” for the 1st Time.
          The king’s Son fell deeply in Love with Dinah, Jacob’s Daughter and begged to marry her offering whatever Jacob wanted in dowry or price?
          They were being invited in with open arms to intermarry and do business in the Promised Land.
          The Jewish Patriarchs agreed on one condition, that everyone be circumcised like they were.
          The king’s son agreed immediately, and sold all the men to be circumcised too since he said the newcomers were Peaceable, and they would become One People.

          According to the Book, on the 3rd day when they were sore, all the men were killed, the Women and Children kidnapped, took all the flocks and other loot, and got out of Town.

          Reading that Bible History, the question is how to compare it with what is happening over the same blood soaked piece of Land these thousands of years later?

          What is indisputable, is the God the Bible talks about, promised Abraham before Jews and Israel existed in the Timeline, he would be the Father of MANY Nations, not only the Jewish State.
          The existence of the Christian and Muslim Nations bear Witness to the Material Fact God kept the Promise made to Abraham some 3800 years ago.

          Nice picture of you and your Sister with Trudeau.
          Only 1 picture of he and I exist. It’s the Front Page of the Ottawa Citizen from March 3, 1982 as he was entering the Confederation Centre. The newspaper header does not inform the Public why Trudeau was cheerful.
          That’s me between the photographer and Trudeau with the big grin. I’m holding a Sign that was beautifully done in Calligraphy reading,
          Woe to those who judge for hire and profit, but not for Justice and Truth.
          Petey liked it!

          All these 19 years later, his son is now bound in endless Economic talks with the Provinces.

          Like

          1. another typo. All these 39 years later, his son is now bound in endless Economic talks with the Provinces.

            Another detail: Trudeau was just steps out of his limo and I said, Prime Minister! Look at my Sign. I had it made for you and the Premiers.

            Like

  10. utejack, here is our daughter coryn~alcyon’s reply to you:

    Hi mom,
    Thank you for sharing your friend Utejack’s wisdom. His words were beautiful, evocative and deeply resonant. I will look for the book he referenced.
    And like Bry, I have always wanted to visit the western Appalachia, so maybe one day we can stop in for a visit with your delightful friend!
    ❤️✨❤️

    Like

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