29 December 2007

Variations on a Theme

Whether The People be led by The Lord,
....Or lured by the loudest throat:
If it be quicker to die by the sword
..Or cheaper to die by vote--
These are things we have dealt with once,
..(And they will not rise from their grave)
For Holy People, however it runs,
...Endeth in wholly Slave.

Rudyard Kipling

Faith + Politics = Tragedy: "Individuals who demean others who are not of their faith and think that they are bound to commit atrocities have laid the intellectual foundation for justifying the eradication of others who they perceive as being dangerous to a Christian society. This is the thinking that created the Crusades, the Inquisition, genocide, forced conversations, the imposition of western dress by missionaries upon the peoples of Africa and Polynesia, Bosnia and the civil war in Northern Ireland."

Torture: "When the US government announces it's support for torture, they aren't talking about intelligence gathering: they are simply saying "Fear us." They are taking the first step on the road to tyranny."

Not a Christian Nation:In the hundreds of pages comprising Madison’s notes on the constitutional convention (and those of the others who kept notes), there is no mention of biblical passages/verses in the debates/discussions on the various parts and principles of the Constitution. They mention Rome, Sparta, German confederacies, Montesquieu, and a number of other sources — but no Scripture verses."

Believing v. Thinking: Investigating a "mysterious" blue blob caught on tape.


John said...

"Faith + Politics = Tragedy"

Which is why separation of church and state is so important, and is what makes the current slide toward theocracy in the US so scary.


My feelings exactly.

"Not a Christian Nation:

Is not, never was, and I sure hope it never will be. (that whole faith + politics thing)

"Believing v. Thinking"

Bug on the lens was my first thought, too. Although I was at a loss to explain the blue color, until the second video showed the blue wall. I think a lot of people want that stuff (ghost and angels, etc.) to be real so badly that they actually resent being shown the actual explanation. I saw a clearly photo-shopped picture showing "God's hand" in a cloud formation, with a caption that read "this is not fake!" When I said that it obviously was fake and the caption a lie, a few of my co-workers got angry at me.

Qalmlea said...

My first thought on the "ghost" video was "Okay... it's moving with intentionality." It didn't look like it was drifting on air currents, so that eliminated some sort of vapor. I wasn't really sure what it was... until I watched the second video. Probably the next such video I see, my first thought will be "bug on the lens".

And I've seen some impressive cloud pareidolia. There was a big fire in Pocatello when I was still going to the Methodist church. Someone snapped a photograph just before the winds changed (to the benefit of the firefighters), and later noticed a rather surprisingly clear image of "Jesus' face*." Funny. My first thought was along the lines of "That was a cool coincidence." ^/^ The idea of it being a miracle (which the person showing the photo obviously thought) never even occurred to me on any serious level.

But generally, the first clue that something is probably fake is a desperate scrawl of "This is not fake!"

*or at least, the face most commonly used for Jesus in paintings and such.

John said...

I've seen some impressive cloud formations, too. This was not one of them. The 'fingers' were identical. Not similar. Identical. The 'hand' was totally different from the surrounding clouds. The picture was very obviously fake.

And yes, "This is not fake" is an excellent indicator for closer scrutiny.

I was just reading the thread on Pharyngula for the "Torture" post this is scary. What's even more scary is that reports of this sort of thing don't surprise me anymore.

John said...

as for pareidolia, (warning: not pretty, may be highly offensive) this is my personal favorite, but I doubt and Xians would appreciate it.

Qalmlea said...

I find it more bizarre than offensive, really... *shrugs*