Shouldn’t Anyone Who’s Sane Be a Peace Activist?

W.J. Astore

Shouldn’t anyone who’s sane be a peace activist? And shouldn’t we question the sanity — or at least the motives — of anyone who’s constantly advocating for more spending on weapons and war?

How do we change the narrative?  How do we return to Christ’s idea of “blessed are the peacemakers”?

The obstacles are many. The national security state is immensely large and incredibly powerful. The mainstream media is a big problem since it’s been captured by corporations. The few political candidates who advocate for a different path, such as Tulsi Gabbard or Dennis Kucinich, get smeared as useful idiots for the “enemy” or dismissed as impractical dreamers by that same corporate media.

Surely, we need many things to effect meaningful change. We need public funding of elections. We need better education focused on questioning and challenging authority. We need better and braver leaders — but will they simply be assassinated like JFK, MLK, and RFK?  Among others?

We need to speak up, and we are. We need to enlist religion when we can.  True Christianity — true religion — is our natural ally.

We need, as peace activist John Rachel reminded me, to connect cuts in military spending to helping people — that is, we need real peace dividends, “peace checks,” if you will. Rebates to the American people tied directly to much lower spending on wars and weapons.

We need to remember what Master Po said in “Kung Fu”: fear is the only darkness. And thus we need to come into the light.

We need to stop buying guns and start reading books. I once read: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God.” I don’t recall blessings being bestowed on weapons and the makers and owners of the same.

There are so many things we need to do.  Most of all, I think, is that we need to respect life and our planet, because if we don’t, the human experiment is going to come crashing down, and too many other forms of life on our planet will be driven to extinction by our own myopic selfishness and folly.

You’ve heard the saying, Power concedes nothing without a demand. We need to demand an end to fear, an end to folly (as with nuclear “modernization” at a cost of $1.7 trillion, never mind the unimaginable costs of a nuclear war).

We need to demand peace.

I think the planet’s oligarchs know the danger.  So they work to keep us divided, distracted, and downtrodden.  (As I’ve written about here.) If we’re kept divided by partisan BS and rumors of war, distracted by infotainment and the like, and downtrodden by medical and other forms of debt, menial work at starvation wages, and so forth, it’s difficult for people to unite.

We need to unite anyway. Unite to save our planet from ourselves and our destructive impulses. From our greed and selfishness.

There was a time when we humans congratulated ourselves as being made in the image of God. When we saw the earth as God’s creation that we should revere. How do we regain reverence for each other and for this wonder-filled planet of ours, a planet that keeps surprising us with its glories?

We need a collective awakening. A mass movement. One that recognizes that peace is normal and that war is insane, one dedicated to exploration of the world around us rather than its exploitation. One that demands the best from our minds even as it touches our souls. Perhaps that’s overly mystical or utopian or just plain fuzzy, but we need something like it or things are going to get far worse for ourselves and our planet.

61 thoughts on “Shouldn’t Anyone Who’s Sane Be a Peace Activist?

  1. You’re absolutely right.
    Nothing is as necessary as individual and collective efforts to make peace possible, because it’s indispensable to our survival. Keep the faith.
    Care, share, and be fair!

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  2. To respond to your initial question, is it insane to be terrified by the bogeymen that MSM (particularly right-wing outlets) have said are hiding under every bed? In a recent NY Times op-ed about reducing the military budget, among the thumbs-down comments were those from people who sounded genuinely afraid in the face of impending threats from foreign enemies. All the saber-rattling is having the desired effect—many people are scared we’re going to be living “Red Dawn” any day now. I’d say it’s not insanity, but lack of critical thinking and analysis skills, perhaps coupled with lack of time/opportunity to do research.

    “We need to unite anyway.” You’re more optimistic than I am, Bill, when it comes to this possibility. I really don’t think that the Big Lie believers, a subset of whom take it as gospel that the Dems are running a cannibalistic pedophile ring out of the basement of D.C. pizzeria, are going to unite with the rest of us. They are where the insanity comes in…

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      1. I respect and admire Ms. Williamson, particularly her resilience and capacity for positivism. That said, she comments that what’s needed in these times of desperation (paraphrasing here) is a leader who will put the people first. I agree wholeheartedly with her reasoning, but wishing doesn’t make it so. In the last 30 years, we’ve seen every such leader—including Ms. Williamson herself—get shot down by his/her own party, and there has never been a viable third party. Short of a bona fide miracle, the chances are again nil for 2024. Not bitter so much as realistic. And sad

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      2. What good thinking she voices. Interesting that she was almost immediately dismissed as absolutely, positively not presidential material. Then one should ask – what IS presidential material?

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        1. I know your question was rhetorical, but if recent history is any indication, “Presidential material” consists of willingness to be bought, willingness to bend the knee to the MICC, and the ability to lie like a rug while spouting platitudes and smiling bigly. A love for junk food also seems to be a pre-requisite, among other sterling virtues.

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  3. Stunningly beautiful piece of writing WJA! This one really rings in the new year with a clarion call to get right with our selves, all our relations and our first mother Pachamama ( Earth, Gaia, etc. ).

    I profess to no religion and embrace all religions that are for life. This means those that practice respect for all beings organic and in-organic, and our dear mother, the Earth, who gives us everything.

    I wish all those who favor war could see the Earth from afar as that blue and green ball with a very thin haze of an atmosphere, floating in the cold dark vacuum of space. Maybe they would come to the realization that this is special, fragile and our only home, and want to protect her and all her children of which we are but one.

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  4. insanity is endemic to the genotype of ‘Homo sapiens sapiens’; it is an equivoque for the annihilation of self and others. we seem to be in love w/ death, perhaps b/c we are one of the few species who understands from childhood that death awaits us as an absolute. counterintuitively, in order to diminish master po’s fear of that permanent darkness, we embrace it. feigning a counterfeit courage in the face of our ineluctable vulnerability, we kiss death to its death. there have always been those who want peace not war amongst us, but their voices are summarily scattered to the dissipating winds. then there are the religious fanatics who proudly profess they can’t wait to die

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  5. regarding the teaching of Jesus, an interesting observation from Bertrand Russell on fanaticism.

    “The principles of the Sermon on the Mount are admirable, but their effect upon average human nature was very different from what was intended. Those who followed Christ did not learn to love their enemies or to turn the other cheek. They learned instead to use the Inquisition and the stake, to subject the human intellect to the yoke of an ignorant and intolerant priesthood, to degrade art and extinguish science for a thousand years. These were the inevitable results, not of the teaching, but of fanatical belief in the teaching. The hopes which inspire Communism are, in the main, as admirable as those instilled by the Sermon on the Mount, but they are held as fanatically, and are likely to do as much harm.”

    We live in a country where there is fanaticism for profit.

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    1. bertrand russell was a realist; ms. williams is a fantasist, tho’ to her credit, an inspiring one, by whom few will be sufficiently catalyzed to shovel a final fistful of potato chips into their maws, lift their butts off the couch, turn off the TV, hit the streets, and incite a revolution… not until the majority are starving, can’t feed their families, and have nothing more to lose. visiting the US, pre-covid, from the philippines, it was discouraging, nay demoralizing, to notice how corpulent many americans were, often to the extremes of obesity. they can’t ALL be suffering from glandular anomalies. no, they have way too much to eat, especially high-caloric foods. it will take another century for americans to collectively shed enough kilos to starve and hit the streets. until then, most will remain in a state of lassitude, lounging in their stuffed chairs, their energy spent on making another trip to the fridge.

      thank you, clif9710, for your condign reference to the polymathic bertrand russell. his observations and veracity sourced from a well-spring of naked realism.

      Liked by 3 people

  6. How do we return to Christ’s idea of “blessed are the peacemakers”?

    Bill, what are we to think about these Bible passages?

    Mathew 10.34-36(Jesus speaking) Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.

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    1. Pick your position on any topic, promote any bigotry, and there is a bible passage to support it. I’d look for inspiration in a lot of places, but religions and their texts ain’t one of those places.

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    2. too true, dennis. the new testament, unless cherry-picking, is nearly as violent, peace-abrogating,, and cognitively dissonant as the old testament’s venalities. the contradictory tartuffism of the biblical ‘litterateurs’ twists my brain into gordian knots. the ‘soi-disant’ christ figure who fastuously [and fatuously] proclaimed that “no one can enter the gates of heaven except by ME’ is the apotheosis of arrogance. any fanatical xian still preaching such balderdash condemns the rest of us… taoists, shintos, buddhists, muslims, hindus, zoroastrians, jews, atheists, agnostics, nullifidians… i.e. most of humanity… to the gates of purgatory, or better yet for the fanatical xians, the torments and tortures of hell. what poppycock and piffle. the bible needs a new editor, preferably one who can think clearly, write w/ authenticity and exactitude, and is sufficiently insightful to detect inconsistencies.

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      1. Have learned to take what I like and leave the rest – so whatever wisdom or truth resonates with me, whatever I find useful or insightful, I add to my head/heart toolkit for application when appropriate (to my way of believing and behaving). I ain’t no saint and I’m not going to be convinced against my will. How can I resolve conflict with another in a non-violent manner when I believe everybody has the same access to a God of their understanding. How can we achieve win-win. Seems like most all the spiritual paths have some version of “Do Unto Others As You Would Have Them Do Unto You.” My husband and I get on our knees at the foot of the bed in the mornings, the dog joins us on the top on her blanket, and our prayer together: “Thank you for today, and for Life and Love and Laughter, and Listening and Learning and Liberty, and Little Girlie Dog. And please heal our hearts and souls and minds and strengths, that we may Seek You, and Embrace You, and Trust You, and Love You, and Serve You with all our hearts and souls and minds and strengths. And whatever… we’re supposed to do today, Show us the Way, and whatever happens today, Let us be at Peace with it. Amene.”

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        1. exquisite, susan… and your canine companion is likely the most edified and inspired by your eclectic prayers, which she understands intuitively as a form of meditation and perhaps w/ a deeper understanding than we human animals do. she needs no identifying labels; she just IS, in her crystalline, unadulterated form… a purity we should all strive for. the more negative flip-side of that axiom is found in various religious tracts as: “don’t do to others what you would not wish done to you”.

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        2. I would be a “Doubting Thomas” even if I lived back in that distant time. “The Golden Rule” for Living –yes I believe as well. Don’t believe we’ve evolved or grown much as a Species since Biblical X’s. We need strong Leaders for these challenging days! Good luck getting any tho.

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          1. I should say grown much other than our miraculous “Inventors” from over the Ages who have done the near impossible to create our Modern Civilization to which most of us— I’ll admit myself too to that list who would still be living in a Cave, and scratching the forest floor for sustenance.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. In some cases, “re-inventors,” after so much knowledge of the Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, Phoenicians, etc., was lost. Would we be more technically advanced if not for those losses?

              I’m with you, Phil, in your opinion that we haven’t advanced as a species, in any event.

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    3. Hi Dennis: I’m not an expert in Biblical exegesis, but I read that particular passage as evidence of Christ’s radical message of love, which is incredibly demanding. He’s not literally bringing a sword; rather, his message, he is saying, will prove a divisive one, because so many people are not ready to love, not ready to forgive, not ready to serve God in place of wealth.

      Again, Christ’s “New Testament” was not supposed to be a feel-good prosperity message; it was demanding, it called us to be better than we could be, and such a demanding message would inevitably set people at variance.

      That’s my reading, anyway. I’m certain Christ isn’t saying to wage war or build swords for the military-industrial complex …

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      1. Bill I believe that the Bible is at worst a work of fiction, and at best mythological. There is no prove that the myths in the Bible are true. The things supposedly said by Jesus quoted in the Bible are at best third hand and we cannot be sure that they were actually spoken by a man you call “Christ”. They were surely made up years later by the Bibles many unknown authors. (And of course the resurrection myth is unbelievable.)

        The attribute of Christ being a peacemaker is an embellishment of his mythological character invented by his followers over the centuries to promoted their chosen God. In actual fact it would not be a stretch to argue that the “Christ” of the Bible could be a very tribal and divisive character.

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        1. Sure. One man’s holy book is another man’s fiction.

          I disagree with you on the idea of Christ as peacemaker as “embellishment.” It seems the Jews, and indeed many Christians for that matter, i.e. the early disciples, were expecting a rebel Christ, a warrior Christ, a sort of Che Guevara. When I read the New Testament, I see a man who rejected violence, who cared for the sick and poor, who treated women well, and who advocated for a religion of love. He found his followers among workers and outcasts. He did indeed seek to bring people together, to bridge differences.

          I think the historical Christ probably was a man of uncommon attributes, including most especially a call for love and peace. If he had simply been yet another “very tribal and divisive character,” I think he’d be unknown today, or dismissed as an inconsequential and unexceptional troublemaker.

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          1. Bill, respectfully I don’t think a historical Christ ever existed. I believe to just accept that he was a real first century figure is unreasonable. For me, whether or not Jesus ever existed; he has become a fictional figure. As artifacts the Bible stories come too late, are too contradictory, and are too outlandish to be taken as primary sources. Without any primary sources to establish as a baseline around where, when, and who Jesus may have been to compare with the latter biblical accounts – then these stories must necessarily be regarded by historians as fiction.

            “Nailed: Ten Christian Myths That Show Jesus Never Existed at All” by David Fitzgerald is just one interesting book on this subject…As a historian you need to add this book to your reading list. Maybe not! LOL

            ..”NAILED sheds light on ten beloved Christian myths, and, with evidence gathered from historians across the theological spectrum, shows how they point to a Jesus Christ created solely through allegorical alchemy of hope and imagination; a messiah transformed from a purely literary, theological construct into the familiar figure of Jesus – in short, a purely mythic Christ.”

            Anyway Bill, back to the topic of this weeks blog. Great blog as usual. I enjoy your blogs very much even though our positions on religion are diametrically opposed.


            1. superlative and elucidating excursive, dennis. that is why wja promotes conversations among dissidents, not war. conversations may not achieve concordance, but they have the potential to achieve comity among those who disagree rather than destruction and the perpetuation of enmity.

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          2. “I see a man who rejected violence, who cared for the sick and poor, who treated women well, and who advocated for a religion of love.”

            I’m not arguing from any religious viewpoint here, Bill, but from a logical one. It seems to me that such a man as you describe here would by definition be a rebel, be divisive, just as Gandhi was in our time. Anyone who treats everyone as worthy, who chastises the wealthy and lifts up the downtrodden, is dangerous to the status quo. As I understand it, he sealed his fate with the Jews by refusing to go to battle with the Romans, and the Romans were happy to see the end of him, because he would have upset their tightly structured world (which his followers eventually did, anyway, of course).

            And to follow Dennis’ line of reasoning, if Christ did indeed say that no one could have everlasting life except through him, in that sense, he was (and remains) tribal, or exclusionary. Kind of devil’s-advocate thinking here…


          3. Yes, Denise, the Jesus we know from the New Testament was a rebel — but not a violent one. He didn’t call for a military revolution.

            Yes, Jesus said salvation was through him, but it’s open to anyone who believes in him, regardless of tribe, nationality, etc. I see that as inclusive, not exclusive. Of course, the Catholic Church saw otherwise, i.e. no salvation outside of the church, which is quite convenient for the church’s power here on earth.


            1. Not to put too fine a point on it, Bill, but if Christ said the only salvation was through him, that automatically excluded [excludes] any who’d never even heard of him, let alone anyone of another faith. In effect, he told his own people that, because they didn’t believe he was the Messiah, they couldn’t be saved. It’s pretty much the standard, “Believe as I do, or you’ll burn in Hell,” that I’ve heard from evangelicals. Tribal, in the sense of belonging to a designated group (i.e., Christians), and therefore exclusionary, by definition.


            2. but wja, you are referring to a mythical character, one who likely never existed, around whom a cult of mythologies evolved that were scarce different from the fantasy figures around which [i refuse to dignify this fantasy figure w/ the objective pronoun ‘whom’] the roman, greek, egyptian, hindu, muslim, isis, and zoroastrian cults evolved. ‘birthed from the loins of a virgin? rising from the dead? ascending to the welkin on a cloud? poppycock.

              another nettle spiking from the mythical soup: if your bible claims we were all made in HIS image, where does that leave the rest of us femmes w/ girly genitalia and the trans w/ both or none? after all, we comprise more than half the human species. why is your christ figure not a femme?

              my humble apologies, but i do not “know this jesus from the new testament”, let alone that he was a rebel. there is no reasonable proof or confirmation from the historical record that this creature was ever regnant around the eastern mediterranean, or anywhere else for that matter.


          4. Well, yes. And it’s that kind of thinking that begat evangelism and the crusades and “conversion” at the point of a sword.

            It’s not my intent to defend Christianity. Rather, I suggest that we don’t dismiss Christianity as an ally in the pursuit of peace. Nor should we dismiss Islam and other religions. Most religions teach a code of ethics that is more consistent with peace and harmony than war and division.

            In the pursuit of peace, I would reach out to all religious adherents. The message has to be ecumenical and irenic, and of course inclusive of believers and non-believers.


            1. “…inclusive of believers and non-believers.”

              Glad you included that last phrase, Bill. So many religious adherents are convinced that morality stems only from religion, when that couldn’t be farther from the truth. One doesn’t have to belong to any faith or believe in any supreme being to be a peace advocate, to treat others fairly, and to help the needy.

              Conversely, as you pointed out, significant percentages of supposedly “religious” people commit immoral acts all the time, and have been responsible for a large share of the world’s historical grief and controversy. For example, the massively misinformed individuals who are willing to take up arms to “return the U.S. to being a Christian nation.”


            2. throughout history, most religiosity [not those mislabeled which are actually ethical or philosophical tracts… llamaic buddhism is an example of the latter] have been far from “irenic”, wja; rather, they have been the apotheoses of arrogance, combative ‘en-découdre’ bellicosities, havens of torture chambers, militarism, and bigotry against outliers. the US of Evangelists is a noteworthy example, yet no one in govt is attempting to rein them in for fear of losing the next election. under the tangerine turd, their pugnacity was welcomed and embraced.

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          5. With respect to evangelicals and burning in hell, I’d reply that “many are called, few are chosen.” And “judge not, lest you be judged.”

            Assuming there’s a Christ and a heaven, there are going to be a lot of shocked Christians, especially the self-righteous ones, who find themselves roasting with the devils rather than reveling with the angels. 🙂

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          6. How can we “return” to being a Christian nation when we’ve never been one? Certainly not in our behavior. Slavery, anyone? Genocide toward Native Americans? Abuse of the poor, the weak, the vulnerable?

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            1. Exactly. And on purely doctrinal grounds, any student of history or civics knows that the Founders specifically avoided any religious basis for this country. The radical right entirely overlooks the fact that Franklin, Jefferson, and others were deists, not necessarily Christians. But the MAGA crowd never lets facts get in the way of their misguided convictions.


        2. a most diplomatic, eloquent, and clear-headed response to wja’s comment, dennis. i’m in your debt for expressing my own thoughts so precisely and objectively. my rejoinder would have teetered on the precipice of incivility, insult, and vituperation. i applaud your restraint. quoting from the evil, vile bible of the levi [all the same paronomasic 4-letter words] is often used as blind justification for religiosity’s moral rectitude when in fact it is proof of one’s delusions, myth-making, moral idiocy, and often outright turpitude. however, many biblicists are well-served by their phantom fantasies and biblical fanfaronade… w/out which they would be incapable of “following the path of righteousness'” [not wja, of course]. so, whatever prop one relies on to lead an honourable, noble, and selfless life, the bible notwithstanding, such prop should be regarded, i suppose, as a subvented imputation in terms of its added value to acceptable behavioural norms.


  7. Want to get in trouble!? Then try your hand at interpreting the Bible… Most present day Preachers would run for the Corners like cockroaches when a bright light was turned on if Jesus ever really came back! “Jesus is just alright–with me” The Doobies. Was that an answer to John Lennon who in 1966 said the Beatles were more popular than him..?


  8. With respect to Evangelicals like the Leaders in Jesus Christs far distant past days the Pharisees & Saducees my all time fave. from Proverbs I think “Pride goeth before the Fall”

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  9. Bill yesterday you said……”Rather, I suggest that we don’t dismiss Christianity as an ally in the pursuit of peace. Nor should we dismiss Islam and other religions. Most religions teach a code of ethics that is more consistent with peace and harmony than war and division.”

    Maybe not surprisingly your nemesis, Christopher Hitchens, has a somewhat different take on this….
    “…it can be stated as a truth that religion does not, and in the long run cannot, be content with its own marvelous claims and sublime assurances. It must seek to interfere with the lives of nonbelievers, or heretics, or adherents of other faiths. It may speak about the bliss of the next world, but it wants power in this one. This is only to be expected. It is, after all, wholly man-made. And it does not have the confidence in its own various preaching’s even to allow coexistence between different faiths” (Hitchens 19).

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  10. “Do not go gentle into that good night.
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”— Dylan Thomas

    A Vicious Circle Villanelle
    (after the style of Dylan Thomas’ “Do not go gentle into that good night”)

    Once folly starts, it cannot ever cease.
    The perpetrators of the crime command:
    More dying, please! We can’t afford the peace!

    Their troubled foreheads, wrinkles deeply crease
    With consequences that they never planned.
    Once folly starts, it cannot ever cease.

    No logic brings intelligent release.
    The unforced errors earn no reprimand.
    More dying, please! We can’t afford the peace!

    The mounting costs leave few sheep fit to fleece.
    Who next will pay the ransom on demand?
    Once folly starts, it cannot ever cease.

    Yet still the sophists ladle on the grease:
    Those ancient fallacies the flames have fanned.
    More dying, please! We can’t afford the peace!

    The lies add up in thousands dead apiece.
    The questions begged, both trivial and bland:
    Once folly starts, it cannot ever cease?
    More dying, please? We can’t afford the peace?

    Michael Murry, “The Misfortune Teller,” Copyright © 2008

    Liked by 1 person

  11. wja said……”How can we “return” to being a Christian nation when we’ve never been one? Certainly not in our behavior. Slavery, anyone? ……”

    Reviewing the work of the white churches, Frederick Douglass an African-American social reformer, abolitionist, orator, writer, and statesman after escaping from slavery in Maryland had this to say….

    “Between the Christianity of this land and the Christianity of Christ, I recognize the widest possible difference—so wide that to receive the one as good, pure, and holy, is of necessity to reject the other as bad, corrupt, and wicked. To be the friend of the one is of necessity to be the enemy of the other. I love the pure, peaceable, and impartial Christianity of Christ; I therefore hate the corrupt, slave-holding, women-whipping, cradle-plundering, partial and hypocritical Christianity of this land. Indeed, I can see no reason but the most deceitful one for calling the religion of this land Christianity…”

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    1. Yes, of course Douglass was right. So let’s get those Christians to start following the good, the pure, and the holy, including the practice of peace.


  12. I have been pondering this statement for several days now: “Power concedes nothing without a demand.”
    It seems that the power that we have to deal with here in the U.S.A is the corporate cabal of kleptocrats, the top 1% of the top 1%. see

    These are the people who have bought Congress, the media, the work place, and soon the schools. They are not going to be motivated to part with their wealth by demands. It seems that the 99.999% can demonstrate, write letters, and make all the demands they want, and those demands to paraphrase Shakespeare’s Macbeth ‘be full of sound and fury and amount to nothing’.

    It seems that America has entered the same stage of civilization decay as the French in 1789. Nothing the people said was acted on by the aristocracy or the royalty. The storming of the Bastille was like water cresting a dam, the structure of that society began to crumble and the water gained momentum, until all was destroyed.

    It may be that violence will be the only way to erase the inequality and start anew. The Athenians under Solon redistributed the wealth peacefully but that seems to be a very rare exception; and Solon had to leave Athens for ten years because the rich wanted him dead. There are no Solons here in the U.S.A., and as people have commented above, they would be assassinated. The French were probably right, take all their heads off, even the innocent, because it was too dangerous to let any of them survive.
    Even Jesus was a bit violent in one case:
    And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the money changers, and the seats of them that sold doves, And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.

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    1. Yest, indeed. The Temple of the Money Changers (Wall Street) and Reverse-Flow Christianity:

      Driving the Money-Changers INTO the Temple

      Jesus, we hear, had no use for the greedy
      Changers of money: those wolves selling fraud.
      Out of the Temple he drove them, and speedy,
      Cursing them as an affront to his God;
      Preaching, instead, to take care of the needy:
      Doctrine that Christians once found hardly odd.

      Now Pence and Trump claim that Jesus loves money
      Temples for gambling they claim He has built.
      Wall Street, they say, flows with sweet milk and honey:
      Taxpayer bail-outs untroubled by guilt.
      Robbing the working class, they find quite funny,
      Driving the shaft up their butts to the hilt.

      Jesus now preaches “success” for the wealthy.
      “Losers,” The Lord says, should just get the lash.
      Out in the open and no longer stealthy,
      Just grab it all and make off with the stash.
      “Christians” in “Red” States find billionaires healthy:
      Jesus now prays at their Altar of Cash.

      Michael Murry, “The Misfortune Teller,” Copyright © 2019

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    2. am enamoured of your metaphors, wjscott2; as a retired marine biologist, i resonate particularly w/ those inspired by water and the sCending [cresting swells] of the sea. if the jesus cult and its amplifying adherents had promulgated and perpetuated the selfless values of solon and his impuissant athenian advocates, i suspect western civilization would be a diametrically different zeitgeist from its present manifestation.


  13. I kinda think the point is, “Is it a good idea and, if it is, does it matter where it springs from?” If an owl lands on my shoulder and says, “The goddess Athena sent me to tell you peace is a good idea,” should I dismiss the message because I don’t recognize Athena as a viable entity?” I think not. The message stands on its own merits.
    If someone is so easily outraged and offended by a reference to a source they don’t recognize or believe, then I suggest they (1) ignore it because life is too short, (2) seek professional help or, (3) fire up their own blog to rail against Papist/Islamic/Buddhist/Illuminati/Rosicucian plots to make everyone a believer in something.
    Since Christopher Hitchens has already been mentioned, it bears pointing out he didn’t care what people believed in, as long as he didn’t have to hear about it or have those beliefs forced upon himself or his children. I don’t see that being the case here. He was also against proselytizing by anyone, not just the religious.
    To say “I don’t buy it” is fine. One should be able to stand for something in this life. But unless one is in a debate, to say any more is tedious.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. (1) I wouldn’t call the Crusades or the Inquisition (for only two examples) “a debate.” Religious fanatics seldom stop their preferred, self-interested persecutions simply because they lose a few dialectical arguments. They don’t consider themselves lawyers, but “sentence first, verdict afterwards” judges.

      (2) Regarding Christopher Hitchens and what he claimed to “stand for,” I had a few thoughts in verse some sixteen years ago.

      Christopher Hitchens (whatever his reputation in England) eventually emigrated to America, where lower literary and intellectual standards prevail among the jingoists. So, with a nod to George Orwell’s famous essay “Notes on Nationalism”, consider:

      Boobie Transferred Nationalists
      (from Fernando Po, U.S.A., America’s post-literate retreat to Plato’s Cave)

      The jingoistic national
      As Orwell named the type
      Enlists to fight a brand new cause
      Depending on the tripe
      Unstable and transferable
      To any nutty gripe

      Beginning on the Left and then
      Careening to the Right
      Then back and forth to land again
      In someone else’s fight:
      Tobacco smoke and alcohol
      Obscuring little light

      Equipped with English accent and
      A schoolboy’s stock of slurs
      He finds another country where
      A thought sometimes occurs
      But too infrequently to catch
      The speech his thinking blurs

      This transferred British Boobie swore
      That he could not descry
      As single solitary soul
      To whom someone could lie
      And having written thus he changed
      The color of his sky

      Whereas in the United States
      On any given day
      The polls show vast majorities
      In each and every way
      Believing lies and hype designed
      To lead them all astray

      So some remain to lie to if
      Someone will tell the lie
      Credulity has never known
      A limit, and here’s why:
      Americans just want to think
      That thought does not apply

      This Boobie Hitchens claimed a rape
      Had transpired long ago
      Involving Boobie Clinton and
      Juanita So-and-So
      (Revulsion retroactive and
      The “proof” ex post facto)

      Not just content to sling this crap
      The Boobie Hitchens swore
      That his friend Ahmed Chalabi
      Would tell the truthful score
      About Iraq — if funded with
      The wages of a whore

      And wanting so to play the role
      Of Papa Hemingway
      This transferred British jingoist
      Talked tough in his bluff way
      But found the rich were just like us,
      Except for better pay

      So signing on with Boobie George
      And Dick and Don and Paul
      The Boobie Hitchens quickly learned
      The bitter taste of gall
      As Ahmed’s paid “intelligence”
      Turned rancid after all

      For who on earth would think to trust
      A bank fraud on the lam
      Who frequented casinos while
      He “fought” the bad Saddam
      For years in sumptuous exile
      Funded by old Uncle Sam?

      Yet now that none of Ahmed’s tips
      Have turned out to be true
      The Boobie Hitchens holds his breath
      And threatens to turn blue
      Since no one but his fascist friends
      Cares what he wants to spew

      Thus duped and with his knickers down
      He blusters for his bread
      The pooch he screwed so baldly has
      Climbed back into his bed
      With Blair and Bush: three poodles screwed
      By their own pooch instead

      So if you want to find someone
      Who’ll credit any lie
      You needn’t search much further than
      This British Boobie guy
      Who’ll wind up any wingless bird
      And then just let if fly

      Michael Murry, “The Misfortune Teller,” Copyright © 2006


    2. I agree, Bill, about accepting or rejecting ideas/advice/information on merits, because….stopped clock, twice a day. But sources do matter, imo. Am I going to believe anything Tucker Carlson says? He could say we’re about to enter a golden age of peace and tranquillity, and I’d still fact-check six ways to Sunday.


  14. Well, y’know, I thought the point of this particular post was that it is a pretty good idea to advocate for peace. It somehow got turned into a heated discussion of whether The Bible is a valid source to quote on anything.
    I’m well-acquainted with the history of the Catholic Church, but as far as I can see, neither WJA nor anyone else was defending its past (or, for that matter, its more recent) actions or going so far as to claim The Bible is to be taken as Revealed Truth.
    Again, advocating for peace is a pretty good idea, but one which seems to have got lost not only in “the real world” but in the course of this discussion.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Yes, the point of this post was to advocate for peace. As a practical matter, polls tell us that roughly 56% of Americans believe in the God of the Bible, and roughly 90% believe in that God or some other higher power. My obvious point was to enlist this belief in the cause of peace.

    Here’s the poll:

    I can talk the talk of the faithful because I was raised Catholic and focused my historical studies on the history of science, Catholicism, and evangelicalism. So I am conversant with the faith — touched and informed and shaped by it — but I have no intent to proselytize. Nor am I blind to the many crimes committed in the name of various religions around the world; indeed, I have written about them in previous posts at this site.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Over decades, I have found that most monotheists have also unwittingly created the nature of their God (whom/which I perceive as not being in humanoid/singular form nor with gender) in their own characteristically fallible and angry, vengeful image. In the case of Christianity, I believe that Jesus was/is intended in large part to show humankind what Messiah ought to and needs to be; to prove to people that there really was/is hope for the many — especially for young people living in today’s physical, mental and spiritual turmoil — perceiving hopelessness in an otherwise fire-and-brimstone angry-God-condemnation creator. [Also, I wonder whether the general need by humans (including me) for retributive justice is intrinsically linked to the same terribly flawed aspect of humankind that enables the most horrible acts of violent cruelty to readily occur on this planet, perhaps not all of which we learn about.]

    From my understanding, Judaism’s messiah is reflective of the unambiguously fire-and-brimstone angry-God Almighty of the Torah, Old Testament and Quran. This thus left even John the Baptist, who believed in Jesus as the savior, troubled by Jesus’ apparently contradictory version of Messiah, notably his revolutionary teaching of non-violently offering the other cheek as the proper response to being physically assaulted by one’s enemy. … Perhaps Jesus was viciously killed because he did not in the least behave in accordance to corrupted human conduct and expectation — and in particular because he was nowhere near to being the vengeful, wrathful behemoth so many people seemingly wanted or needed their savior to be and therefore believed he’d have to be.

    P.S. It seems that when a public/political figure openly fantasizes about world peace (or universal healthcare coverage, etcetera), conservative ‘Christians’ will reactively presume that that person must therefore be Godless thus evil or, far worse, a socialist. This, despite a big chunk of Christ’s own teachings epitomizing primary components of socialism (e.g. do not hoard morbidly superfluous wealth in the midst of poverty). Just the concept of socialists having any power anywhere on the planet likely distresses them!

    Liked by 2 people

  17. As General Smedley Butler has been referred to many times here, I thought everyone might enjoy reading, as I did, this article regarding a new book about him. The book title: Gangsters of Capitalism: Smedley Butler, the Marines, and the Making and Breaking of America’s Empire

    Liked by 1 person

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