Propagandee

Good Friday

 Posted by on April 7, 2014 at 8:44 AM
Apr 072014
 

Christ of Saint John of the CrossSalvador Dalí, 1951

From The Urantia Book:

4. MEANING OF THE DEATH ON THE CROSS

Although Jesus did not die this death on the cross to atone for the racial guilt of mortal man nor to provide some sort of effective approach to an otherwise offended and unforgiving God; even though the Son of Man did not offer himself as a sacrifice to appease the wrath of God and to open the way for sinful man to obtain salvation; notwithstanding that these ideas of atonement and propitiation are erroneous, nonetheless, there are significances attached to this death of Jesus on the cross which should not be overlooked. It is a fact that Urantia has become known among other neighboring inhabited planets as the “World of the Cross.”

Jesus desired to live a full mortal life in the flesh on Urantia. Death is, ordinarily, a part of life. Death is the last act in the mortal drama. In your well-meant efforts to escape the superstitious errors of the false interpretation of the meaning of the death on the cross, you should be careful not to make the great mistake of failing to perceive the true significance and the genuine import of the Master’s death.

Mortal man was never the property of the archdeceivers. Jesus did not die to ransom man from the clutch of the apostate rulers and fallen princes of the spheres. The Father in heaven never conceived of such crass injustice as damning a mortal soul because of the evildoing of his ancestors. Neither was the Master’s death on the cross a sacrifice which consisted in an effort to pay God a debt which the race of mankind had come to owe him.

Before Jesus lived on earth, you might possibly have been justified in believing in such a God, but not since the Master lived and died among your fellow mortals. Moses taught the dignity and justice of a Creator God; but Jesus portrayed the love and mercy of a heavenly Father.

The animal nature—the tendency toward evildoing—may be hereditary, but sin is not transmitted from parent to child. Sin is the act of conscious and deliberate rebellion against the Father’s will and the Sons’ laws by an individual will creature.

Jesus lived and died for a whole universe, not just for the races of this one world. While the mortals of the realms had salvation even before Jesus lived and died on Urantia, it is nevertheless a fact that his bestowal on this world greatly illuminated the way of salvation; his death did much to make forever plain the certainty of mortal survival after death in the flesh

Though it is hardly proper to speak of Jesus as a sacrificer, a ransomer, or a redeemer, it is wholly correct to refer to him as a savior. He forever made the way of salvation (survival) more clear and certain; he did better and more surely show the way of salvation for all the mortals of all the worlds of the universe of Nebadon.

When once you grasp the idea of God as a true and loving Father, the only concept which Jesus ever taught, you must forthwith, in all consistency, utterly abandon all those primitive notions about God as an offended monarch, a stern and all-powerful ruler whose chief delight is to detect his subjects in wrongdoing and to see that they are adequately punished, unless some being almost equal to himself should volunteer to suffer for them, to die as a substitute and in their stead. The whole idea of ransom and atonement is incompatible with the concept of God as it was taught and exemplified by Jesus of Nazareth. The infinite love of God is not secondary to anything in the divine nature.

All this concept of atonement and sacrificial salvation is rooted and grounded in selfishness. Jesus taught that service to one’s fellows is the highest concept of the brotherhood of spirit believers. Salvation should be taken for granted by those who believe in the fatherhood of God. The believer’s chief concern should not be the selfish desire for personal salvation but rather the unselfish urge to love and, therefore, serve one’s fellows even as Jesus loved and served mortal men.

Neither do genuine believers trouble themselves so much about the future punishment of sin. The real believer is only concerned about present separation from God. True, wise fathers may chasten their sons, but they do all this in love and for corrective purposes. They do not punish in anger, neither do they chastise in retribution.

Even if God were the stern and legal monarch of a universe in which justice ruled supreme, he certainly would not be satisfied with the childish scheme of substituting an innocent sufferer for a guilty offender.

The great thing about the death of Jesus, as it is related to the enrichment of human experience and the enlargement of the way of salvation, is not the fact of his death but rather the superb manner and the matchless spirit in which he met death.

This entire idea of the ransom of the atonement places salvation upon a plane of unreality; such a concept is purely philosophic. Human salvation is real; it is based on two realities which may be grasped by the creature’s faith and thereby become incorporated into individual human experience: the fact of the fatherhood of God and its correlated truth, the brotherhood of man. It is true, after all, that you are to be “forgiven your debts, even as you forgive your debtors.”

——————————————————-

About the painting, from Wikipedia:

Christ of Saint John of the Cross is a painting by Salvador Dalí made in 1951. It depicts Jesus Christ on the cross in a darkened sky floating over a body of water complete with a boat and fishermen. Although it is a depiction of the crucifixion, it is devoid of nails, blood, and a crown of thorns, because, according to Dalí, he was convinced by a dream that these features would mar his depiction of Christ. Also in a dream, the importance of depicting Christ in the extreme angle evident in the painting was revealed to him.

The painting is known as the “Christ of Saint John of the Cross,” because its design is based on a drawing by the 16th century Spanish friar Saint John of the Cross. The composition of Christ is also based on a triangle and circle (the triangle is formed by Christ’s arms; the circle is formed by Christ’s head). The triangle, since it has three sides, can be seen as a reference to the Trinity, and the circle may be an allusion to Platonic thought.[1] On the bottom of his studies for the painting, Dalí explained its inspiration: “In the first place, in 1950, I had a ‘cosmic dream’ in which I saw this image in color and which in my dream represented the ‘nucleus of the atom.’ This nucleus later took on a metaphysical sense; I considered it ‘the very unity of the universe, ‘ the Christ!” [2]

Punked Again

 Posted by on June 18, 2013 at 6:06 PM
Jun 182013
 

ReidAndMcConnell

Another fine mess they’ve gotten into

Well, Duh:

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on Tuesday starkly warned Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) not to eliminate the filibuster on presidential nominations, threatening to end the 60-vote threshold for everything, including bills, if he becomes the majority leader. “There not a doubt in my mind that if the majority breaks the rules of the Senate to change the rules of the Senate with regard to nominations, the next majority will do it for everything,” McConnell said on the floor

Let’s roll the tape back to last January, when the new Senate, vis a vis the the 2012 election, was seated. At that time, which correlated with a 2 year cycle governing Senate rule changes, Reid could have proposed any rule changes that he wanted, including all cloture matters, and implemented them via a simple (non-nuclear) majority vote, which the Dems would have won hands down.

Instead, he was punked by McConnell, who promised to be a good boy and not abuse the 60 vote threshold re vital Senate business. Reid, a genuine conservative when it comes to protecting Senate tradition, took him at his word. Ya know, the Senate being “the greatest deliberative body in the world” and all that crap.

Now, I had always assumed that it didn’t matter what kind of handshake deal wanna be Senate Leader McConnell made with Reid. McConnell would junk tradition for even transient power. That’s just the way the modern GOP rolls. It was so obvious to me (and I assumed, other progressives) that I didn’t consider it worth posting about.

Sigh. But, alas, that time has come. I leave it to Big Orange blogger brooklynbadboy to do the honors. As he says, “the cat is out of the bag”:

Senate Democrats need to get this through their thick skulls: Republicans don’t give a shit about “Senate comity.” They’ve proven that time and time again. Nor do they give a shit about Senate traditions or the proverbial “one day it might be us” crap that Democrats box themselves in with. They will abuse the filibuster now and get rid of it completely when they get the majority. It doesn’t matter at all what Democrats do. Republicans are going to be Republicans. So let’s just end this ridiculous farce now and just get rid of the whole goddamn thing and restore majority rule as the Founders wrote into the Constitution. McConnell and the GOP certainly have the guts to do it. The question is, do the Dems?

Amen, brother.

Amen.

west-0

McCain: Pallin’ Around With Terrarists?

 Posted by on June 4, 2013 at 1:50 PM
Jun 042013
 

Jon Stewart reviews another thrilling episode of the action-adventure  series, “McCain”

Obie Grump Kanobi, as Stewart calls our favorite galavanting action star and former POW, Senator John McCain (Warmonger-Az), has never seen an international conflict where US military forces shouldn’t just stay the fuck home.

As pointed out here about McCain in Tales From The Benghazi Crypt Keeper:

Just as he has never gotten over being tortured by the North Vietnamese, manifest in his ‘bomb the hell out of ‘em’ knee-jerk response to nearly every foreign policy crisis, he will never get over losing to The Black Man in The White House.

Early in President Obama’s first term, McCain beat the war drums on Iran. During the Arab Spring, he demanded that our default response be to arm every opposition group in sight, despite the fact that many of them are Islamic fundamentalists with Al Qaeda sympathies. The strategy of “leading from behind” that operated so effectively in overthrowing Libya’s Mohamar Qadaffi, costing not a single American life, makes McCain’s wrinkled and liver spotted skin crawl right off his malformed skeleton. (That skeletal malformation was the result of a crash landing he endured after being shot down over heavily populated Hanoi by the Vietnamese during one of his 23 bombing sorties.) This is a guy who really, really enjoys the smell of napalm in the morning.

The political point being that arming anyone and everyone who mouths the word “democracy” is not necessarily a trusted ally; that weapons provided to today’s “freedom fighters” won’t be used by anti-US forces tomorrow, a  point that Stewart drives home. (See, e.g. the Muhajadeen in Afghanistan, who we armed to fight the Soviets but who later morphed into today’s Al Qaeda and Taliban.)

In the clip above, one of the vaunted Syrian rebel commanders photographed with McCain during his secret trip to Syria (designed to undermine President Obama’s cautious foreign policy?) appears to be the same guy who kidnapped 11 Shiite religious pilgrims in Lebanon. That would, of course, make him a terrorist, assuming he uses the ransom money to buy weapons.

During the 2008 presidential election, McCain’s hand chosen VP candidate, Sarah Palin, accused Obama of “pallin’ around with terrorists.” This was an apparent reference to Obama’s acquaintance with former Weather Underground co-founder, Bill Ayers, who happened to be a professor at the University of Illinois at the same time Obama was teaching law there.

McCain seems to be as oblivious to irony as he is to critical judgment. A dangerous combination for someone who seems to have an open invitation from the Sunday morning talk show “public affairs” programmers, who regularly offer him a platform from which he can inflict his warmongering bias upon their considerable audience.  

To be fair, McCain seems to be somewhat saner on domestic matters. However, when his carefully self-cultivated image as a political Maverick is seriously challenged by the extreme right wing of the GOP, as it was on the issue of immigration when it could have determined his most recent re-election to the Senate,  he will default to doing whatever it takes to maintain his political survival.

For someone who has so much invested in the legend of his own mind, the image of him as the Crypt Keeper is, well, a keeper.

Michele From Hell Bachmann, R.I.P.

 Posted by on May 30, 2013 at 1:20 PM
May 302013
 

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Like progressive bloggers blessed with a satirical warp everywhere, we at US are deeply saddened by the departure from the Beltway Bubble of Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Wingnuttia). A search of our site contains more “here” “here” “here” Bachmann links than we have the time, desire, or patience to document.

The many comments from the blogosphere over this momentous political and comedic event spans the political spectrum. From Reality Challenged Wingnuttia, we have The Beckster who called it “sad and tragic”, the result of the “Chernobyl” that is Washington, D.C. with her “honor and integrity” intact. (Gag me with a ladle.)

On the left, we enjoy FDL’s TBogg, who writes:

I, for one, am sad to see her go and, in fact, I was previously unhappy to hear that she might actually lose in the upcoming 2014 election. While there are many profoundly stupid conservatives in the House (I’m looking at you guys: Louie Gohmert, Patrick McHenry, and Jason Chaffetz) to hang around the Republican neck, Michele Bachmann brought a special bright-eyed ingenue lunacy to the party. Although she lacked the 12-hour meth-binge feral viciousness of a Sarah Palin, she was no less a virtual Pez dispenser of “Hunh? Whut?….” quotes, but always served with a “Bless their hearts” chaser and a squirrels in the attic stare.

I shall miss her star turn panache and amphetamine eyes; she gave good face to the Loonier Than Thou wing of the party. Now we are left with Peter King and the aforementioned Gohmert who are nothing more than stock villains sent over from central casting when the call went out for red meat slabs of resentment, ignorance, and opportunistic yahooism. I expect that Michele will probably move on to something a bit more on the evangelical side, since she lacks the dirty stripper-past-her-prime hardness that Fox prefers from its lady talkers,

Of course the big loser in all of this is delightful hubby Marcus Bachmann who stands to lose more “Me Time!” with Michelle always about the house and constantly under his marabou bedroom slippers with the four-inch heels.

What he said.

(With a nod to Liberace, for his implied, fabulous influence on Marcus.)

Rethug Scandophiles

 Posted by on May 22, 2013 at 2:21 PM
May 222013
 

The-Girl-Who-Kicked-the-Hornets-Nest-UK-Poster
 Impatience is a spirit poison; anger is like a stone hurled into a hornet’s nest. 
–The Urantia Book

Washington Monthly’s Ed Kilgore writes :

Even as “investigators” seek without much success so far to find evidence that the IRS scrutiny of applications for 501(c)(4) status represents a vast political conspiracy—one that might have changed the outcome of the 2012 election, no less—the aggrieved Tea Party Movement is taking action…

I would have hoped everybody has figured out by now that the Tea Party Movement is not some news-from-nowhere citizens uprising that’s recruiting previously apolitical Americans in a battle against Washington, but a large, radicalized segment of the conservative “base” of the GOP (none the less Republican for the self-identified independent status of many Tea Folk, who vote Republican very loyally but don’t want to identify with it because they don’t trust it is or will remain sufficiently conservative). As such, it is much less a threat to the Democratic Party than to the GOP—insofar as Republicans have political objectives that don’t always coincide with the truculant and ideologically extreme attitudes of the activist “base.”

Precisely. The recent hyperventialtions by the Rethug Scandophiles are less a threat to the Obama Administration than it is to the Rovian wing of the Grand Obstructionist Party. A point we have been trying to make here repeatedly.

Or as Willie might have said: Go for it:

“Lay on, McDuff, and be damned he who first cries, ‘Hold, enough!”

-William Shakespeare, Macbeth

Now That’s Leadership

 Posted by on May 2, 2013 at 2:15 PM
May 022013
 

ToomeyRepublican Senator Pat Toomey makes a Kinsleyan gaff: Tells the truth about GOP obstructionism

Today’s GOP, split between its traditional Wall Street moneyed interests and its hyper-ideological Teabagger contingent, the reincarnation of its former discredited Bircher wing, has reached new levels of political dysfunction. (Its other faction, Christian fundamentalists, has been rather quiescent of late, most likely due to a paucity of pending national social legislation.)

It’s as if GOP icon Ronald Reagan had, after firing the air traffic controllers, replaced them with the inmates of Ken Keseys Cuckoo’s Nest and Christopher Lloyd’s Dream Team.

Politico captures the mood:

Less than two weeks ago, House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy walked upstairs to Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s Capitol office to discuss a sensitive issue: Why did Cantor schedule a vote before McCarthy had the chance to survey Republican support?

The meeting — described as “tense” by several people familiar with it — ended with McCarthy abruptly standing up and storming out of the room. Aides downplayed the exchange. But a week later, it turned out that McCarthy’s pique was merited: The health care-related bill was suddenly pulled from the floor in what was the most recent stumble for House Republicans.

The GOP leadership is dealing with an unprecedented level of frustration in running the House, according to conversations with more than a dozen aides and lawmakers in and around leadership. Leadership is talking past each other. The conference is split by warring factions. And influential outside groups are fighting them.

The chaos has led to a sense of stalemate for House Republicans, who have been in the majority since 2011.

Of course, if you listen to the Beltway Insiders, it’s all President Obama‘s fault for the resulting political gridlock. His failure to herd these crazy cats into an actual functioning body of legislators is proof positive of his “lack of leadership.” At Wednesday’s news conference, for instance, O was asked by ABC News’ Jonathan Karl whether he had lost his “juice” to get things done. O replied:

“But, Jonathon, you seem to suggest that somehow these folks over there have no responsibilities and that my job is to somehow get them to behave. That’s their job. They’re elected — members of Congress are elected in order to do what’s right for their constituencies and for the American people.”

Not surprisingly, MODO disagrees:

“Actually, it is his job to get them to behave. The job of the former community organizer and self-styled uniter is to somehow get this dunderheaded Congress, which is mind-bendingly awful, to do the stuff he wants them to do. It’s called leadership.”

Excuse me if I think that is just plain stupid. Mitch McConnell promised from the very first day that Obama took office, the GOP’s first priority was to prevent the duly elected President of the United States from implementing any part of his agenda. Four and half years later, that dedication to obstructionism hasn’t changed a wit, as Senator Pat Toomey acknowledged when explaining the defeat of a greatly watered-down bipartisan gun safety bill that would require mandatory background checks on all gun purchasers:

“In the end it didn’t pass because we’re so polarized. There were some on my side who did not want to be seen helping the president do something he wanted to get done, just because the president wanted to do it.”

Some? Okay, maybe there are some vestigial traces of moderation among “some” members of the GOP.  But the promise of “scoring” by lobbying groups like the NRA and the various Koch Brothers funded organizations means that if individual GOPers even thought about compromising with Obama they’d have their asses primaried in a heartbeat.

The logical end point of this blind ideological obstructionism is that the Rethugs have rendered themselves incapable of taking yes for an answer. Take the Affordable Care Act. (Please.)  Though Obama thought nothing of pissing off his progressive base by refusing to pursue a public option, let alone a simple single payer expansion of Medicare, he instead adopted the Heritage Foundation‘s individual mandate construct that Mitt Romney implemented when he was governor of Massachusetts.  Notwithstanding that Senator Max Baucus, the chief architect of the Act, adopted the individual mandate as the core principle of “Obama Care”; and furthermore, made numerous changes demanded by the Rethugs, not a single one of them voted for the Act. How’s that for bipartianship delusion, Mr. President?

MODO concludes with her best advice on how to transcend GOP obstructionism on the issue of closing GITMO:

“The senior senator from Kentucky has been a leader in Keep-Terrorists-Offshore.  Maybe, if the president really wants to close Gitmo, he should have a drink with Mitch McConnell.  Really.”

Really?  Maybe Obama should order Marine One to deposit him on the track at the Kentucky Derby Saturday afternoon, walk down the steps dressed like a Southern waiter with a towel over one arm and a tray with a frosty mint julep on it, straight over to Mitch’s box seat, bow and say:

“For you, Massah McConnell.  Is there anything more I can do to pleasure ya’all?”

Now that’s the kind of leadership the Village courtiers would really appreciate.