Building on Shari’s statement below, I thought about the faith that drives US.
Shari said, “What is so sobering, is that it’s bribery that steals the heart, not religion.”
Ours is not a religion, but it is a faith.
All truth passes through three stages.
First, it is ridiculed, second it is violently opposed, and third, it is accepted as self-evident.
– Arthur Schopenhauer, philosopher, 1788-1860
Ours is not a faith in things in things unseen, but of seeing things others do not see.
When Shari and Simmons hammer away at the Chronicles of Culture, their faith is tested in a way people do not understand.
They hammer away at the simple truth and get what history shows us all prophets face: They get ridiculed and ignored. That is the first stage of every revolution. Everyone who reads history can see this in retrospect, but no one can see it when it is happening.
All we say here interrelates. I have repeatedly pointed out that Jesus never said “Praise God.” Groups like the PTL (Praise the Lord) Club always go the way of the original Pilgrim church in Massachusetts: They end up Unitarian (or in Israel worship), because they are going back to the essentially pagan God of the Old Testament. Like JHWH, that deity needed constant attention and praise.
Christ preached a Father for whom the simple Lord’s Prayer was enough. That is a different concept entirely. You asked for what you needed from the Father and then you went out and PLANT SEEDS.
Jesus told his followers to plant the seeds and some of them will grow.
As Shari says, the rest is just bribes.
A lot of Russian dissidents said, after the USSR fell, that they were actually happier in a society where their samizdats, their illegal publications, got them jailed instead of living in a society where their opinions are ignored in the avalanche of different ideas. Being taken seriously by those in power is a reward, a BRIBE, no matter how it may seem a punishment.
Respectable conservatives were so happy at being agreed with by liberals who Were Somebody, neoconservatives, that they threw their whole movement away to bask in neo approval.
When you get tired of hammering away at the Mantra and say something about Obama or Ron Paul, you get hit with fury and arguments. That is a relief after the ridicule and silence.
That is a BRIBE.
But you simply cannot compare the importance of the Mantra and the thinking that goes with it to one more comment about Ron Paul or Obama.
Old Testament fanatics always demand that the world end or Creationism to be proven.
I am sure that, two thousand years ago, a lot of listeners were disappointed when Christ said that they should plant the seeds and some of them would grow.
And when Jesus died reviled on the cross and even Peter denied him three times, they were sure that their point was proven. Those were the respectable conservatives of their day.