Child Refugees – won’t any Western country take them?

You’ve heard about laughing out loud, well I was just crying out loud watching the short video above.

A British guy, now a knight, saved hundreds of Jewish kids on the eve of WW2 by getting them into England. Their parents couldn’t leave their home countries because no country would accept refugees, but many desperate parents managed to get their kids out. This British stockbroker forged travel documents and bribed officials, whatever he had to do, to get London to accept the children. America was asked to take some Jewish refugee children, but the embassy said no. If only the USA had said yes, we could’ve saved hundreds, maybe thousands more, he now says. Yeah, the guy is still alive — at 105 years old. You should watch the video.

I broke out in tears about 3 quarters of the way thru when the old man who saved all the kids is sitting in a crowded London theater. You have to watch the video to see why I was sobbing out loud, I am not spoiling the awesome-ness of it!

Oh yeah, I also cried-out-loud when a man spoke about remembering his parents putting him and his brother on one of the rescue trains. His parents lied and said we will join you in England in a few months. He went back to Czechoslovakia after the war — a teenager — to search for them (in vain). He went from camp to camp, watched footage, looked for records. Then he moved to Israel in his 20’s probably hoping maybe they would go there, if there is any place to “accidentally run into them” it might be in Israel. He says at the end of the video, “I never gave up looking…” and I bawled again.

But the most of my tears were generated when the old man was sitting in that crowded theater. I am tearing up just thinking about it again. Geez. Happy tears, really. Make sure you watch the thing!

We need such heroism today to save other children on the verge of extinction, for example the Boko Haram kidnapped girls, and the Yazidi girls kidnapped by ISIL. Two earliteen Yazidi girls, ages 14 and 13 escaped on their own this week after 2 months of sex slavery when the lock didn’t hold on their room. They had been sold to a sheik in his 40s and were used for “sport” by multiple men. The girls were plucky, and managed to get to Baghdad on foot somehow and are now back with their families way up north in the Yazidi refugee camps. Hundreds of Yazidi girls and women, maybe thousands, were sold into such slavery or are about to be. I only found out about the two escaped Yazidi girls by seeing a video on EuroNews. Not much is mentioned any more about the Boko Haram kidnapped girls in Africa, either. 200 are still missing, and those that escape tell of horrors.

If only people would or COULD sponsor refugee kids. There are no programs set up to do so. There are over 1.5 million of Syrian and Iraqi refugee KIDS right now stuck in Iraq and Syria. There are a bunch of children (and families) displaced hiding out in Kiev, Ukraine, but for now they are safe and don’t need to exit their home country.

Tens of thousands of the Syrian/Iraq refugee kids are Christian and Yazidi (Zoroastrian-AngelWorshipping-Noah’sArkDescendants) and many have at least one parent still alive. Wish the UN or some gov’t would set up programs to get them out and to new countries, especially the orphans. Nobody seems to care any more. Well, France took a couple hundred Iraqi Christians (in family groups) from the Biblical city of Ninevah (now called Mosul). France will probably take more. The few Yazidis living in Europe have started a program amongst themselves in which a family already living outside Iraq can sponsor a person or child that needs to escape, but it is so small and limited. There is a large group of Yazidis in Nebraska, I wonder if they are trying to get some of their people into the US.

Our Knights Templar group donates a portion of our dues to children victims of terrorism and war. We’ve been doing that for over a decade now. Last month we sent that money to UNICEF who was the first in Iraq to bring attention to the horrors on Mount Sinjar, and the many Christian and Yazidi child refugees fleeing for their lives from ISIL.

If anyone knows of other charities out there besides the UN, to help child refugees (or families), please comment below. The UN charities like UNICEF are great, but the UN isn’t able to help re-home these people. I guess no one is.

Killing children, selling women, beheading, crucifying – and burning manuscripts from church history

Was just reading Matthew 24 again looking at the “signs of the times”: Wars and Rumors of wars, famines, earthquakes, false prophets, etc.  Elsewhere in the Greek Bible there are prophecies of pestilence (Ebola?) and slaughter of Christian martyrs.

Finally the US started to help the ancient Christians in Iraq, and the Yezidi sect (descendants of Zoroastrianism), but is this just the beggining of the end? Are we all marching to Armageddon? Just don’t know…

Iraq Jihadists Remove Crosses from Churches, Burn Manuscripts

إقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية


Jihadists who took over large areas of northern Iraq Thursday have forced 100,000 Christians to flee and occupied churches, removing crosses and destroying manuscripts, Chaldean Patriarch Louis Sako said.

“There are 100,000 displaced Christians who have fled with nothing but their clothes, some of them on foot, to reach the Kurdistan region,” he told Agence France Presse.

“This is a humanitarian disaster. The churches are occupied, their crosses were taken down,” said Sako, the leader of Iraq’s largest Christian denomination, which is aligned with the Roman Catholic Church.

He added that up to 1,500 manuscripts were burnt.

Pope Francis later called on the international community on Thursday to protect the mostly Christian communities of northern Iraq fleeing the jihadist advance.

A statement delivered by his spokesman said the pope joined the urgent appeals for peace from bishops in the Middle East and called on the international community to “ensure the necessary help” reaches people fleeing fighters from the Islamic State (IS) extremist group.

The 77-year-old pontiff “calls on the international community to protect all those affected or threatened by the violence, and to guarantee all necessary help” to those forced to flee their homes, “whose fate depends entirely on the solidarity of others.”

“The Holy Father renews his spiritual closeness to all those who are suffering through this painful trial, and makes the impassioned appeals of the local bishops his own,” the statement said.

The Islamic State (IS) group, which swept across much of Iraq’s Sunni heartland two months ago, attacked several towns and villages east of its main hub of Mosul, the country’s second city.

Among them was Qaraqosh, Iraq’s largest Christian town with a population of around 50,000, and several surrounding areas that were previously controlled by the Kurdish peshmerga force.

Fleeing residents reached by phone as they tried to enter the neighboring autonomous region of Kurdistan confirmed the jihadist takeover.

AFP could not immediately verify the current status of those towns, which witnesses said have been completely emptied of their usual population.

“Daash (IS) militants last night attacked most villages in the Nineveh plains, firing mortar rounds and seizing some of them,” Sako said, speaking from his base in Kirkuk.

“The government is unable to defend our people, as is the Kurdistan government. They need to work together, receive international support and modern military equipment.”

“Today we appeal with lots of pain and sadness, to all people of good will, the U.N. Security Council, European Union and relief organisations, to help those people who are facing mortal danger,” Sako said.

“I hope it is not too late to avoid a genocide,” he added.

SourceAgence France Presse

Cannibalistic Jesus-Religion Ended Human Sacrifice, Aztecs, Slavery, etc

Tonight I helped my 13-year-old daughter compare the Aztecs to the Mayans. She is studying for a test in our homeschooling curriculum. Both the Aztecs and Mayans, though centuries apart were in Central America, had large cities, wealth, and accurate 365-day calendars. Both had nobles, warriors and priests. And both had slaves — lots of them. The Aztecs had human sacrifice.

Daily human sacrifices were made in major Aztec cities “to make the sun rise” each day. My daughter’s 8th grade history book says 10,000 people per year were sacrificed. I had no idea that many native Central American people had their hearts cut out by their own people, to be held aloft still beating at the top of one of those stone Temples. This was done in what is now Mexico from the 1300’s until the 1500’s when the Spanish conquerors put a stop to it (by killing and/or enslaving the killers). The Spanish killed the priestly class, or most of it, and any nobles who resisted them, and took control of the vast slave population. Ten or more surrounding tribes had helped the Spanish take over, so sick they were of their family members being collected by the Aztec theocracy government to feed the blood-thirsty savage gods of Tenochtitlan. The blood bath had been going on for centuries before the Spanish arrived.

Some writers today bemoan that 50,000 Aztecs were killed by the Spanish during the takeover. Those deaths were largely the Aztec army, priests and nobles who were benefiting from this perverse demented human-eating religion-government. We always here how evil those Spanish were, those white men from dastardly Europe, to “invade” and kill all those sweet, wise and noble natives. Yeah, right. Tens of thousands of native Central Americans fought under the Spanish officers’ leadership. There were only so many Spanish present. It was an overthrow of something evil and sick which had persisted for centuries. Yes, the Spanish wanted gold and glory out of it, and their own priests came in the wake of the take-over with the ultimate religion of human sacrifice: Christianity. The rest is history – Central and South America are earth’s current strongholds of Christianity, far more fanatically devoted to the Faith from Jerusalem than Europe, Greece and Turkey, the cradles of Christianity. They say the next Pope will probably be a South American.

Tangent: The news says 50,000 descendants of the Aztecs still living in the homeland (Mexico, in other words) have died very bloody deaths in the past few years in the drug wars. It’s almost as tho that ground down there is thirsty for blood. Gives one a creepy feeling that something supernatural is down there…somethin’ blood-thirsty and not-so-human. There have been positive supernatural events in Mexico and South America, too, as we know – Our Lady showed herself in Guadalupe and millions make pilgrimages across that ancient blood-thirsty land to see Her.

Some Catholic missionary-priests in the 1500s wrote that the native Mexicans (Aztecs who survived the takeover) embraced Christianity with unbridled zeal, almost a desperate grabbing on to it. The reason? Because they would be killed if they didn’t? Were the brown-frocked and black-frocked holy men from Europe converting them by the sword out in their sun-fried extremely remote villages? No. The people willingly, hurriedly, desperately converted because for ONCE, for once, they could embrace a religion that did not daily demand their children, their youth, to die meaningless deaths. The ultimate human sacrifice was paid when a god came to earth and was sacrificed instead of just a human. It happened in the land across the sea in the center of the earth, taught this Christianity. This sounded GREAT. Yes, they thought, we can get into this! And women even have souls. The women probably realized they were finally considered almost equal to men, which although they wouldn’t probably know it, is unlike every other religion on the planet. How cool is that?

The last human sacrifice took place in South America in 1974 and some wonder if that’s just the last one we know about. The victim was slain and his blood allowed to gush onto the ground in order to feed some angry god, said the village. They believed like their ancestors that the god would feed them back by blessing their crops that year. Ugh. We can’t get this out of our system. Think of India sacrificing wives, every single wife on her husband’s funeral pyre up until the British conquest.

Think of Perseus in Greek legend saving a human sacrifice victim – about to be “fed” to a monster-son of a god. Princess Andromeda was chosen as the offering after thousands of other virgins had failed to appease the monster. Human sacrifice was so very common to our ancestors.

There is evidence of human sacrifice in Northern Europe, even among the Druids where we just wish we didn’t have to talk about it. Bogs have been uncovered with the victims ceremonially bound. Ick. Freedom from the practice of human sacrifice is another reason why Christianity may have caught on so well. We are often told it caught on because women were treated equally at least spiritually, since just like the men, they would be eligible for “salvation”, “theosis”* – and souls. (*Theosis means the process of becoming divine and is practiced today in the Eastern Orthodox Churches of Greece, Russia, etc)

The ancient world of the Bible gives us angry gods like Molech who demanded babies and toddlers daily be thrown into their furnaces. Hebrew scholars teach a fascinating theory that because it gave up human sacrifice early, Judaism was different from all the other religions of the ancient Middle East. This is why Judaism survived, and the other nasty children-killing virgin-killing religions became history. The people GLADLY embrace “decent” life-friendly religions. Okay, Judaism has its flaws, oppressive patriarchy, sexism, misogyny, lack of the Sacred Feminine, etc., but those are social products of the ancient dog-eat-dog illiterate world and are far more palatable than giving up your kid to the sacrifice collectors! This is why Judaism became the Religion of the Book, changing the world forever and spawning the other two world religions, Christianity and Islam (the Koran has Jewish and Christian bible characters all thru it. Mohammed got his inspiration from both Judaism and Christianity, and all three are collectively called the Desert Religions.) The proof of Judaism changing the ancient practice once and for all is right in the Old Testament. The Hebrew god finally got sick of this human sacrifice crap and decided to send a message, a special message. The spot where the message was delivered is the current Temple Mount so fought over by Muslims and Jews. He told Abraham to offer his boy as a human sacrifice as was his “right” as a god to ask. But the whole exercise was to teach a substitution practice – I PREFER RAMS! said God. Just like the Cain and Abel story taught – give me roast beast, not vegetables, and don’t kill your brother, just give me an animal. Satisfy your blood lust by offering animals to me. It’s worth mentioning that the priests and their families would eat the sacrifices at the Temple and earlier at the Tabernacle – these animals were not just wasted as in Rome and Greece when bulls and large animals were slaughtered, although even in those places the meat was not always wasted. Animal sacrifice could be thought of as religious slaughtering of livestock for food. Butchers who were priests.

God’s instruction to offer him only animals and not humans is kind of esoteric, and even though the great Temples were built on the spot, people today, and possibly in Jesus’ time didn’t quite get that message. But Jesus’ story really spelled it out. This time a god was sacrificed. So no more humans necessary – no more animals either for that matter, since shortly after Jesus’ lifetime the animal sacrifices at the Jerusalem Temple ended once and for all. The kosher slaughterers still follow the rules for killing animals today, and they say certain ancient-sounding prayers when they kill the animals, but the large scale showy sacrifice to “appease” hungry gods and “pay” for sins/mistakes/offenses is no more.

We forget why our ancestors glommed on to the religion of the dying god. That whole “paid the price with his life for all of us” sounds like such a cliché to our ears. That’s ‘cause we weren’t there caught up in a world of blood-lusty perverted “clergy” coming into our towns and stealing our people on a regular basis. It was like paying a tax for the people in the Aztec cities and towns right up until the Spanish conquest.

Our DNA was there, even if “we” weren’t, so perhaps we can “know’ this (know with gnosis) liberating teaching and make it part of our ancestral heritage to be proud of. They were a violent perverted blood-lusty rapacious marauding sexist woman-abusing, child-abusing bunch of pigs, our ancestors, but by god they were the first to see the light and stop daily killing the weak for religious “sport”.

Wars still rage in battlefields and inner cities, but no blood-soaked stench-oozing altars sit in OUR town-squares. I can’t even imagine what it must have felt like to walk by the funeral burning grounds in India as a young woman, knowing that was where you would die someday. And die a very unpleasant manner, being burned alive. What the hell is the matter with some people/cultures? Don’t get me started on the Chinese and what they did to THEIR women. Heck, they kill their female babies today even before they are born. Sonograms to tell the sex of the child are illegal now in China in order to stop the crazy population imbalance where men and boys outnumber girls almost THREE to one. Most Chinese men will never marry now, due to their culture’s stupid hatred of females. At least they are no longer sacrificing girl-babies as much as they used to. And it was never done to feed angry gods, so China’s story shouldn’t probably be in this discussion. They weren’t feeding their gods or blood-lust, killing daughters is done merely to feed egos who think “a son” is the only kind of child capable of “fulfilling” honor (aka the human ego). Dishonoring themselves by killing innocents all to obtain family honor by having a son…

Christianity had a lot to offer thru history. It came with war and pestilence. The pestilence being European illnesses that wiped out American native peoples like the Chinese-born Bubonic Plague wiped out one third of Europe a hundred years previously. Christianity didn’t cause those wars and pestilences to spread – – human greed did. Priests came in the aftermath of conquest to spread Christianity with their fanatical zeal, but good for them. They saved thousands more natives and gave them something to believe in that was at least mildly fulfilling to the beleaguered short-life-spanned souls, and more than mildly (yes, wildly) liberating from the vile sacrifice practices of the ancestors.

I grow weary of the propaganda that European people once had slaves. YES. They sure did. Romans had millions of slaves, Greeks, even the Norse had a few. But the Western Humans were the first to free slaves. The 2% that owned them were finally overruled by the rest of the population and made to give up the vile practice. But it is still going on in Africa, Eastern Europe and India. Sex slavery and hard labor slavery are alive and well. So if you are ticked at European slave-owners, at George Washington and Thom Jefferson for owning slaves, go scream at their graves, disturb their rest. But they are dead people. Nobody owns slaves in this part of the world any more. Better to go and rail at the slave owners who are STILL buying and selling humans TODAY. Do something about slavery instead of guilt-tripping our teenagers with social studies textbooks that imply the west was the only segment of humanity to own slaves. Puh-leese. The practice came from the East and from Africa where TO THIS DAY they still sell their own people into slavery. Yes, in 2011 it is happening. And not just for sex slaves (the worse kind, imo) but for hard labor. Google it. See the faces of those forlorn African girls sold by their own fathers, uncles, aunts, into slavery to harsh masters and mistresses hundreds of miles away from their hometowns. They have to live in closets or dirt huts on their master’s property and work 18 hour days with not ONE day of school, not ONE kind word, and only one meal a day. Shut up about people 200 years, 300 years ago owning slaves. My ancestors were Europeans but none of them owned slaves. Slaveowners were only 2% of the population in the USA and Europe and they are ALL DEAD. it ended in the 1800’s. If you really hate slavery and are out to help free some, go on a crusade, on a mission, to help those crying out for your help. Africa , Pakistan and India are calling your name. Begging for you to give a damn and go and help. Don’t forget the sex brothels of Eastern Europe and the Far East, while you’re at it.

My daughter’s history book says yes, the Aztecs had slaves but the victims were mostly — it uses the apologetic vague weasel word “mostly” — criminals and prisoners of war. I have to say criminals make sucky slaves. They kill you and or your family in your sleep, kill other slaves, fight, batter, burn crops and barns, cause mayhem, dissension in the ranks, are impossible to keep a lid on, impossible to get quality work out of. The criminal mind cannot be governed, ruled, it’s in its genetics from childhood to be first oppositional, and then to be criminal. Just ask the kindergarten teachers of future criminals. It’s in the DNA, sadly. So nope, criminals were not slaves, unless you mean a few one-time offenders who should not be called criminals in the first place. Maybe a few hardened “real” criminals have worked successfully for a short time in chain-gangs, but only in chains can you get a criminal to work. Chain-gangs are short-lived – it’s hard on the body – with high turnover due to death and not much profit possible. The slave-minders are so worn out from flogging and chaining and getting them to work, that they say to hell with this and get me some docile obedient personalities to enslave or I will do this work myself. It’s easier on the overseer. Most slaves were (and still are) normal people stolen or sold from other villages and tribes. Prisoners of War says the textbook – as if that makes it okay. Yeah, they fought a war with their neighbors those Aztecs during the 200 years of their empire, so making slaves of the POWs and their entire families/villages is acceptable.

Man am I glad to be born in the West. The West is definitely Best, as the saying goes. Or at least we can say the West is the luckiest. Sheesh. Christianity has its failings, its many sins, and its lackings such as God-the-Mother and the Bride of Christ, but it kinda beats the competition hands down. I follow the esoteric versions of the Faith, but I am glad for the existence over the years of our exoteric Christian cousins. Even if you are a misogynist lot we’re hoping to reform, you are no longer a violent lot.

Back to my original reason for writing/blogging tonight. It came to me while helping Tia with her Aztec assignment that maybe Yeshua had one more reason to submit to death. He allowed his death to be turned into a public “human sacrifice” because he knew it could turn into an excuse to stop human sacrifice (and animal sacrifice was stopped by early Christians) the world over. He could have died of old age after coming to earth as a human to deliver the amazing news, the awesome message that we are all part of a Plan for Freedom. He knew when he was born of a woman he would die like everyone else, because bodies do that. He could have insisted on a calm private death. But he went along with Satan’s plan and turned his arrest and execution into a good thing. I bet the Evil One hates how the Good does that, turns such a victory for the Darkside into a liberating doctrine for millions of humans. Not only did Yeshua offer up himself in exchange for letting his students and family go free – and to keep them all from being killed while authorities searched for him – but he gave the world a story, an excuse, to free millions and millions of people from the horrors of the culture of human sacrifice. His death was 1500 years before the Aztecs (modern Mexicans) would grab onto Christianity in a desperate attempt (which turned out to be successful) to escape the vengeful daily murdering state religion of their ancestors. Others before the Aztecs found liberation in Christianity, even some of those supposedly converted by the sword.

I am reminded of the book What’s So Great About Christianity, but its author Dinesh D’Souza didn’t ponder Yeshua’s possible inner decision-making process on what might become of his life, what religion might be founded out of his decision to be viciously executed. Yeshua decided to be like Isaac on the Temple Mount, or rather be like the ram in the thicket. His story (or Paul’s interpretation and spread of it!) created an excuse to stop ritual murder. It created a rather gruesome-themed religion, true. All those life-sized and neck pendant blood-dripping crucifixes adorned with his corpse creep me out. Children are not fond of them either. Christianity is “blood-thirsty” when the people eat the god daily, and drink his blood during the eucharist. We eat god instead of the god eating the people.

Hey, this dying-god cannibalistic religion put an end to human sacrifice and offers more than a little satisfaction to a billion people. Even the Chinese are grabbing onto Christianity with a fervor not seen since Roman times. Chinese pastors are this very decade, this very year, being beheaded for passing out Bibles in China or simply for having “unauthorized” churches meet in their houses.

There must be something to Christianity that satisfies so much among persecuted populations. Something is there at the heart of it, a mystery…

So there, say I, to the Christian-bashers, and don’t get me started on the Jew-bashers. Y’all need to go find the real enemy.

10-23-2011 3:33 a.m.

Priest Makes Updated (and Slanted) Version of 10 Commandments

You can read the reworded 10 Commandments below.

Notice the priest adds to the thou shalt not kill commandment making it,  “Thou shalt not kill any one for any reason”. Very firm, no wiggle room. No exceptions in “for any reason”.  So, soldiers fighting in war, police taking out a sniper or school shooter, a woman shooting a man who is kidnapping/raping her (or her child), is breaking that commandment.

But yet look how for the priest made the adultery commandment way more lenient.  “Don’t fool around with anyone you’re not married to.”  How about making that commandment, the only sex commandment, more firm with less wiggle room also? Why not word it as “Don’t have sex with anyone you’re not married to, nor anyone that is underage”. What is this vague “fool around with” language? Kids say that all the time when answering this question, “What are you doing?”  “Nothin. Just foolin’ around, Ma.”  Fooling around is such a weak term for the only commandment about sex.

I think he’s making a subtle political statement about war when he says “for any reason” regarding killing. He seems to view inappropriate sexual urges and wrongful sexual acts, something that not only breaks up families and causes children to lose a parent (as in the case of adultery), but also can get women and children (and sometimes men) raped and killed just to satisfy that inappropriate sexual urge — the priest demotes that commandment to mere concern over “fooling around.”  Weird.

Maybe he shouldn’t be putting words in God’s mouth in the first place.

But then again that’s what the “official” Church has been doing for centuries. It’s how they set their agenda and con us into buying it. <sigh>

In this case he does it so skillfully, so convincingly as though God is talking to us in our day. It’s an attractive “translation” here that Father John Behnke made — and I usually like his work. This is too politically correct, however, in my (humble!) opinion.

How could we re-word some of these 10 commandments below to make them a little more politically INcorrect?



By Bob Zyskowski
The Catholic Spirit
March 2, 2010

Ever think about the Ten Commandments in modern conversational English?

Paulist Father John Behnke, former chaplain at St. Lawrence Church and Newman Center, offers a re-write of the biblical language in a new book whose target audience is younger people.

In “Lent and Easter for the Younger Crowd” (Paulist Press), he offers this take on Exodus 20:1-7, better known as the Ten Commandments:

“One day God said to his people, ‘Here are some rules I want you to always follow:

1. Pray only to me because I’m the one who made you and saved you.

2. I don’t want to hear any of you swearing.

3. I want one day out of the week to be a special day for you. Don’t do too much work that day so you can relax and spend some time praying to me.

4. I want you to listen to your parents (even when you grow up) because they have lived longer and know more about life than you.

5. Don’t kill anyone for any reason.

6. Don’t fool around with someone you’re not married to.

7. Don’t take anything that isn’t yours.

8. Don’t lie about anybody.

9. Don’t always be wanting things that belong to other people.

All I’m really asking is that you ‘love me and keep my rules.’

Five Things Religion-Haters Should Know

In the article below, I liked the “Buddhism is the highest form of Christianity” joke.  Hee hee. And I am glad the author says “sick religion is dehumanizing”, not healthy religion.  Not all religion should be thrown out with the bath water. I inserted little comments as I read along, mostly because the author kept messing up his own article (in my opinion!) with his personal bias by allowing politics to constantly intrude into his arguments and conclusions.

See the end of the article for more comments from yours truly and also for +Christian-Thomas’ sapient comment…



By Stuart Davis
August 9, 2009

I just finished reading God is not Great by Christopher Hitchens. He’s given us another powerful work in the vein of Sam Harris (The End of Faith), Richard Dawkins (The God Delusion), and Bill Maher (Religulous). Team Rationality is ushering in a long-overdue examination of religion in the modern world. They make a strong case that religion is sick and dehumanizing. I would say more specifically, sick religion is dehumanizing.

And we do have a global pandemic of sick religion: billions of believers stuck in low levels of consciousness, riddled with pathologies — called Samsara where I’m from.

However, reading these best-sellers has inspired me to make a wish-list.

Here are five things rational religion-haters should know:

1. There are levels of religion.

I keep noticing that what many rational types detest is not religion per se, but its least-evolved expressions. Over and over I hear atheists say “religion” when they are actually describing low levels of religion. That confusion is not helping. Eliminating religion will not eliminate low levels of development. And that’s the real threat to humanity: Low levels of development in high positions of power. Saying “Religion” is the problem doesn’t mean anything. What level of Religion is being referred to? For example, here are five distinct levels of religious expression, from lowest to highest:

Magical-Animistic: Recently in Tanzania, religious figures have murdered over fifty innocent human beings because they happened to be albino. The victims are killed so that their organs can be used in religious rituals that are supposed to create wealth. That’s one of the things we get from a Magical mode of religion. Blood sacrifice.

Mythic: After the massacre of 3,000 Americans on 9/11, Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell claimed it was god taking revenge on our society for homosexuality and abortion. Mythic religion is that old-school religion of supra-natural allegory. Virgin births, raising the dead, walking on water, and the rapture. Except mythic believers don’t consider their stories to be metaphoric symbols, they regard them as literal and real. Mythic religion guided George Bush through eight years as President of the United States, [Katia inserts: so you say, but you have no evidence for this rather snobbish claim. Perhaps POLITICS guided him. Or power-lust? Or whatever…but religion? If so, seems to me he would have been obsessed with sending missionaries and trying to convert people to Christianity. We can’t read minds. It is arrogant in the extreme to announce one knows another person’s inner spiritual life, to claim exact knowledge of what level of religion intimately guided that human being for eight years. Pat Robertson’s and Falwell’s remarks are clear evidence they were at this level — at least at the moment in time when they made their god-is-punishing-us remarks. But to judge eight years of someone’s spiritual life without any evidence of mythical Christian mindset (sick or healthy) seems unduly biased.]

…coincidentally also guided the terrorists to commit mass murder.

[I agree with you there. That is a single provable event. They left letters saying their mythic level of religion did indeed guide them to commit that repulsive crime against innocent humans.]

Rational: Francis Collins, one of the World’s most accomplished Scientists, calls his faith BioLogos, or theistic evolution. He sees Science, and the empirical method, as a form of worship. He rejects intelligent design.

Believe it or not, there are plenty of rational people who believe in a Divinity of some kind.

Pluralistic: For a taste of pluralistic Christianity, check out The Christian Pluralist by William C. Buffie, M.D. and John R. Charles. They even incorporate psychology in their faith, exploring shadow / projection in the realm of religion. They embrace the Bible “as a story, not a weapon.” Jimmy Carter has also demonstrated a strong pluralistic Christianity. He even taught Sunday School in a Southern Baptist church while President. [Southern Baptists are actually more fundamentalist by far than Methodists–George Bush’s church. Not that we know how fundamentalist or evolved either ex-president is/was because again, we cannot read minds nor souls.  To actually be teaching Southern Baptist Sunday school while president…Now that might indeed imply being guided by fundamentalist Christianity during a presidency. Yet you place Carter at a more spiritually evolved level than Bush and don’t claim he was “guided” during his presidency. It appears you are allowing political bias and/or spiritual arrogance to creep in to your otherwise good piece.]

Integrative: In my opinion one of the most spiritually evolved Christians on the planet, Father Thomas Keating teaches a form of contemplative practice called Centering Prayer, which he describes as

“. . . a journey into the unknown. It is a call to follow Jesus out of all the structures, security blankets, and even spiritual practices that serve as props. They are all left behind insofar as they are part of the false self system . . . The false self is an illusion. Humility is the forgetfulness of self.”

These are five very distinct levels of the same religion, in this case Christianity, but it applies to any religion. (I forgot to list the highest level of Christianity, which is Buddhism. Kidding!). The point is, religion should not be regarded as horizontal and homogenous. All belief systems include a vertical chain of development.

The ‘answer’ to fundamentalism is not to get rid of Religion, but to get religion to evolve. How can we help Pat Robertson discover his hidden Father Thomas Keating? Will Francis Collins agree to mentor Sarah Palin? [Maybe you should ask will he mentor YOU. And read Matthew 7:5 ]

I’m kidding. But I’m not. The answer to low levels of religion is higher levels of religion. The real work ahead of us is religious development, not just embarrassing people into forfeiting their belief system (they will just trade it for an equivalent one anyway). If tomorrow, all the religions in the World magically vanished, we’d face the same dangers of low levels of consciousness in high positions of power.

2. There are healthy and pathological versions of every level.

A religious person can be healthy or sick at any stage of development. The answer to sick religion is healthy religion. While Pat Robertson told us 9/11 was God’s revenge for homosexuality [sick], millions of other Christians — at the same mythic developmental level [but healthy] — were organizing their communities to offer help and healing. Because that is what healthy mythic Christians do (and they do it better than just about anybody). For every sick fundamentalist there are many healthy believers contributing to society in a positive way.

3. The more people evolve, the less religious (fundamentalist) they are.

One definition of ‘religion’ is a partition between the saved and the damned, a boundary that separates ‘us’ and ‘them’. When people grow, they include more and exclude less. As we live into higher development levels, our circle gets bigger. Evolving means a bigger experience of ‘We’. Also known as Love 😉 As the self evolves, it recognizes more people (and plants, and animals, and things) as part of its own identity. That’s why development creates security for everyone, it transforms ‘them’ into ‘us’.

4. At its higher levels, Religion resonates with science and rationality.

That’s because at its higher levels, religion becomes spiritual. I define religion as a belief system used to interpret Reality. I define spirituality as the direct experience of Reality. No beliefs are required for spiritual practice. (In Zen there is a saying: All beliefs are false.) Spiritual experience can often undo religious belief. Religion provides filters, and depends upon intermediaries and externally located salvation. Spirituality removes (or improves) filters through direct access to our intrinsic nature.

Spiritual practices are empirical in this sense: You want to know something (like, what is Reality) so you conduct an experiment. For instance, you may spend a few decades making your Subject an Object of awareness. You share your data (gathered through direct experience) to a group of qualified peers who have repeated that same experiment for centuries. They verify or falsify your findings, and you proceed with further experimentation. You don’t have to ‘believe’ anything about it, before, during, or after. In this way, the contemplative traditions have evolved over millennia. They are in harmony with rationality and science, and generally welcome any methodology that might increase our knowledge of the visible and invisible Kosmos.

5. Everybody starts at the bottom.

Even if everyone in the World became Mensa-level enlightened today, every baby born tomorrow would have to begin at square one, and develop the old fashioned way. So far, we haven’t figured out a way to skip developmental levels. However, we move through them faster than we used to. For instance,

John Ashcroft may be a poster child for the low-level of Mythic religion, but a mere 100,000 years ago there WAS NO Mythic level of religion. It hadn’t even emerged yet. Even 3,000 years ago, George Bush Jr. would have been one of the most evolved people on the planet. Not so much now.

[There you go again messing up an otherwise good article and causing us to question YOUR level of development because you can’t resist getting in petty jibes, and are bringing politics and sarcasm into the topic at hand].

Now Mythic Religion is like, totally a crappy low level of consciousness, and most nine year olds or U.S. Presidents have access to it, thanks to recapitulation. Recapitulation? When we’re born, we basically get a free pass to evolve up to the prevailing center of consciousness in the population. The level of consciousness we are immersed in (in the family we are born into, in the culture we live in, etc) exerts a developmental gravity. And that gravity pulls us up to it. But, when you try to evolve beyond it, to higher altitudes of consciousness, then that same center of gravity drags you back down to it. If you are below it, it lifts you up.

Rise above, it will try to pull you back down.

That’s why Mythic religious peeps are freaking out. Their World (view) is vanishing like millions of species God gave them Reign over [And in the Islamic worldview it’s even worse: they believe strongly that God gave them “reign” over all females of the human species].

Eventually (if they don’t destroy humanity first, with their lust for an apocalypse), mythic religion will become about as important to future generations as magic is to us. Magic should be used in Harry Potter movies, not for the religious murder of Tanzanian Albinos. Mythic religion should be a history lesson, not the guiding belief of a U.S. President. [He isn’t in office anymore, can you get over it?]

That’s why Bill Maher’s movie Religulous is funny: It’s pointing out the fact that there are a LOT of people living with a World View that went out of style in 1637 (thanks, Descartes!). Bill Maher is hilariously pointing out the fact that religion is literally retarded, because it is developmentally arrested. I mean, it would be hilarious, if it weren’t so appallingly true. Evidence indicates 70% of the world is at a Mythic (or lower) level of development. And they are religious!

If we get these five simple points into the debate about religion, I think it would help eliminate some confusion.

* * * * * * * *

Katia wishes to add:  And if you read Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth: Awakening to your Life’s Purpose it would eliminate even more of that confusion.

Seriously, A New Earth is one of the most life-changing books I have ever read. I am currently working on memorizing its table of contents, just like people memorize the Bible’s “layout”, so that I can find passages more easily. If you still haven’t read it, email me and I will send you a copy. I have extras laying around and I believe it should be in every motel room’s bedside drawer…  A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose original non-Oprah hardback version at Amazon.

The author of this article, Stuart Davis, is a primary disciple of Ken Wilber. I have read Wilber extensively and like his teachings very much.  Wilber is very much in harmony with Eckhart Tolle. But his student Stuart Davis has a tendency toward dragging politics into spirituality (yikes!) and making smug assessments as to what level specific humans (i.e. Bush, Palin, etc.) are in their spiritual development.

He also tends to assume the lower levels are “bad” and the higher levels are “good” as evidenced in this particular article when he calls the mythic level “crappy”. What he fails to realize even while admitting that everybody goes thru all these levels is that there is no good or bad and we shouldn’t say to a kid or a teen during their mythic phase that they are at a “crappy lower” level. Again, smug. No more than we say a child who can’t yet do times tables but is learning to add and subtract, is at a crappy level. I mean, really. It is vital and healthy to work up thru the levels, that’s why they call it spiritual evolution. The lower levels are required, so let us not judge each other for spending time in them just as we are or did. The only thing that becomes “crappy” is the behavior of the person if they are expressing an UNHEALTHY version of any particular level, be it magical, mythical, rational, pluralistic etc.  Ken Wilber himself says that it’s better to be a healthy lower level than an unhealthy higher level. So the behavior of an unhealthy pluralist is less crappy than a healthy mythical levelist (fundamentalist). Davis even points out how the healthy mythical levelists are the best charity organizers, donators in the world. Yet he doesn’t make clear their behavior is only “sick” or their level “crappy” when they deliberately harm others. Leave ’em alone, they’re evolving up the spiral (of Spiral Dynamics) at their own pace. Sheesh to calling their level crappy, since we know what word crappy is a euphemism for. Not to mention you run the risk of falling into the good-or-bad labeling habit: evaluating everything that comes across your desk as either “good” or “bad”, seeing everything as either black or white, sweet-to-me or crappy-to-me.  This polarized mindset is characteristic of the very mythical level you are criticizing! Tolle teaches three ways to react to everything that comes across our desk: with acceptance (never resistance nor judgement as “bad”), enjoyment or enthusiasm. He calls these the 3 Modalities of Awakened Doing and they are described in the final chapter of A New Earth.

I sometimes sense almost a holier-than-thou mindset when reading Stuart Davis. Still, his re-cap of the Spiral Dynamics levels of religion teaching and Wilber’s interpretation thereof, is nicely described in this article — and his hypothesis is spot-on. Yes, please let those religion-haters take note! So overall I enjoyed this article, Dear God…Five Things Religion-Haters Should Know, and wanted to pass it on.  Hope I didn’t ruin it with all my interrupting comments. <grin>

* * * * * * * *

Gnostic Bishop Christian-Thomas writes:

Dear +Katia:

Perhaps I’m biased, but I believe that Judaeo-Christian Gnosticism is the highest developed and evolved expression of both orthodox Judaism and fundamentalist Christianity.  Too bad that most commentators, such as this one, did not cite Gnosticism, in his fascinating hypotheses.




Roman Catholic Fashion Show Parody, a must see

What a riot this YouTube video is!  When they get to the clerical vestments part, oh man is that funny. Some of the vestments blink and light up like Vegas, plus the body language of the “fashion models” is so priceless.

What the heck is that moribund looking bride all about? I wonder if they mean the internally exiled Bride (Sacred Feminine) in the patriarchal Church? She’s internally and externally exiled, if you think about it.  In traditional fashion shows the finale is always at least one bridal gown.  This Bride comes near the end, but not the very end (these guys end with the Pope, and it is hilarious).  So the bride comes out and shows her gown, but there is heavily laden symbolism there! She is grief stricken — and unwelcome, seemingly exiled.  She beseeches the unmoved crowd. Very intense, very interesting…

I have no idea what all the skeletons near the end are supposed to mean. The dead? The many murdered heretics? Wow. The skeletons herald the finale, which is the Pope.  You gotta see this.
The Clerical Whispers blog this video appears on also looks intriguing, especially with the sub-title, “Irish RC Priests…Giving The Uncomfortable Truth And News From The Inside…”

Thanksgiving & Religious Freedom for All, Even Heretics & Heathens!

This article I am enclosing below might seem corny to some. But you know, esoteric Christians have been persecuted for time out of mind and the USA is one place where we can worship any way we want.  Alternative spiritualities thrive; “heretics” and “heathens” found our own legal churches. So many of the original settlers from Europe were called heretics back in Europe and were persecuted as such.  

Think about the esotericists who founded this country, George Washington the freemason — freemasonry being very much into esoterica and deep inner Christianity.  Don’t forget what religious liberal (apostate, heretic) Thomas Jefferson did — took scissors to the New Testament to remove all verses he thought were written by men with agendas.  Below are quotes from these two spiritually unusual founders about Thanksgiving.  The words are archaic and you might be tempted to throw out baby AND bathwater with the cry, “this is patriarchal Christianity!” but try to read with an open mind and claim this part of our past for ALL beneficiaries of religious freedom.  For ALL of us, including you and me who work and live in the alternative spirituality realm. Christianity is OURS, TOO.  We are the beneficiaries of religious freedom bought by our foremothers and forefathers at great price.  We can claim Christianity, roots and all.  Our version is healthier by far than the mainstream Christianity.  We have our differences.  But whether esoteric or exoteric, it is all still Judeo-Christianity and we should celebrate any common ground we have with our exoteric spiritual cousins rather than obsess over the differences.  With such un-divisiveness we might actually help many of our loved ones, neighbors, fellow humans, to see the great, sublime inner tradition — the underground stream that feeds all faiths whether they know it yet or not.

Sincerely, Katia   (Okay, here’s the article, and my excruciatingly sincere apologies to Newt Gingrich for my “little” additions in brackets.  Newt: I am a big fan of your and your wife’s work. I read your column weekly, watch you on Fox News, own your books.  It’s just that I also happen to be an unusual, unorthodox Judeo-Christian believer… wincing grin… so puh-leese don’t be upset…)

What Every Child Should Know About Thanksgiving

by  Newt Gingrich


Second only to Independence Day, Thanksgiving is a uniquely American holiday. And as an American holiday, it is rooted deeply — like our nation — in faith in God. [we can add here, “and God-ess”.  We can even change the words “faith in God” to DESIRE FOR COMMUNION WITH THE DIVINE]

The earliest Thanksgivings were celebrated by Americans who were keenly aware that their blessings — like their rights — came from God [instead of just “God” we could say “and God-ess” or FROM A DIVINE SOURCE]. In times of hardship unimaginable to us today, they took time to give thanks to their Creator. [CREATORS]

Throughout early American history, when they suffered from drought, famine or war, Americans paused, not to seek vengeance or to question their faith, but to give thanks to God [AND GOD-ESS] for the blessings they still had.

At a time when the economic news seems to get worse every day, it’s important to remember the humble faith [AND STEADFASTNESS TO THEIR CHOSEN SPIRITUALITY IN SPITE OF EUROPEAN CRIES OF HERESY] of these early Americans. They didn’t just give thanks when times were good, they gave thanks when times were bad — especially when times were bad.

Radical Secularists Deny the Central Role of Religion [INCLUDING ESOTERICISM AND ANY KIND OF SPIRITUALITY] in American History

Today is a decidedly different time in America.

Not only have many Americans forgotten or never learned the historic origins of our Thanksgiving — to pause and give thanks to God for our abundance — but radical secularists are intent on removing God and faith [AND SPIRITUALITY OF ANY STAMP] from our national life altogether.

Many of the entertainment and political elite seem to be threatened by religious faith [AND BELIEF IN THE TRANSCENDENT].

Others seem intent on denying or whitewashing the central role that religious faith has played in American history, such as the attempt to whitewash God out of the Capitol Visitor’s Center (view the video and petition my wife, Callista, and I have created to ask Congress to ensure the Capitol Visitor’s Center is historically accurate about America’s Godly heritage.)

These radical secularists seek to portray those who acknowledge this historical fact as theocrats intent on imposing their religion on others. [WHEN IN FACT, AS HERETICS AND/OR DESCENDANTS OF HERETICS, WE KNOW WE DON’T HAVE TO LISTEN TO PROSELYTIZERS. IMPOSING RELIGION ON OTHERS ISN’T TOLERATED IN AMERICA.]

In fact, to acknowledge the centrality of God in American history is to acknowledge America’s great freedom of religion — the freedom to worship and the freedom not to worship. Many Americans have taken advantage of this freedom by drawing closer to their Creator[s]. They understand, even if so many of our media and political elites don’t, that religious freedom is the cornerstone of all of our freedoms.

Voices From Thanksgivings Past

The centrality of God [AND A HINT OF THE FEMININE DIVINE] in Thanksgiving in America comes through in the words of some of our greatest national leaders:

Virginia Governor Thomas Jefferson, in 1779:

[I] appoint … a day of public Thanksgiving to Almighty God … to [ask] Him that He would … pour out His Holy Spirit on all ministers of the Gospel; that He would … spread the light of Christian knowledge through the remotest corners of the earth … and that He would establish these United States upon the basis of religion and virtue.

President George Washington’s first federal Thanksgiving proclamation in 1789:

Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor.… Now, therefore, I do appoint Thursday, the 26th day of November 1789 … that we may all unite to render unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection.

President Abraham Lincoln, making Thanksgiving an annual national holiday in 1863, in the midst of the Civil War:

No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.

It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently, and gratefully acknowledged, as with one heart and one voice, by the whole American people.

“Let Us Be Thankful For a Land That Will For Such Religion Stand”

Our leaders have not been alone in celebrating God’s gifts at Thanksgiving, of course.

I conclude today with a poem by Lizelia Augusta Jenkins Moorer, an African-American poet writing at the turn of the 20th century. Her generous, hopeful view of Thanksgiving is made even more remarkable by the suffering and discrimination she endured as an African-American in the late 19th and early 20th century.


Let us give thanks to God above,
Thanks for expressions of His love,
Seen in the book of nature, grand
Taught by His love on every hand.

Let us be thankful in our hearts,
Thankful for all the truth imparts,
For the religion of our Lord,
All that is taught us in His word.

Let us be thankful for a land,
That will for such religion stand;
One that protects it by the law,
One that before it stands in awe.

Thankful for all things let us be,
Though there be woes and misery;
Lessons they bring us for our good-
Later ’twill all be understood.

Thankful for peace o’er land and sea,
Thankful for signs of liberty,
Thankful for homes, for life and health,
Pleasure and plenty, fame and wealth.

Thankful for friends and loved ones, too,
Thankful for all things, good and true,
Thankful for harvest in the fall,
Thankful to Him who gave it all.

May you and your family have a happy, healthy, and blessed Thanksgiving.

Your friend,

Newt Gingrich

Apocalypse Battlefield Middle East, Iran?

I just read this article, “To this question, the answer would be a Revelation” in the L.A. Times:


In Revelation, John…describes…a punishing vision of the plagues, famine, earthquakes and Satanic armies that will set the stage for Judgment Day.

Essentially, the plot goes like this: Billions of people perish in seven years of natural disasters and plagues, an antichrist arises to rule the world, the battle of Armageddon erupts north of Israel, Jesus returns to defeat Satan’s armies and preside over Judgment Day.


I was raised in a church that had frequent End Time seminars and sermons.  Used to scare us children to death. Too many preachers get frothy at the mouth over this topic.

Still, I think there is something to end time prophecy, and the Apocalypse study (eschatology) is downright intriguing.

Armageddon is located in a real place called the Jezreel valley in northern Israel.  In ancient history this great plain (20 miles wide) was a place of many many epic battles, a crossroads of war.  Lord of the Rings type battles took place there and it was famous to ancient people.  Perhaps a final conflict of sorts will take place on that piece of land.  But the thought occurs, maybe the entire Middle East — or at least all the area from Lebanon to Sinai — could become the “new Armageddon” geographical location.  So those “satanic armies” and the final battle could take place in the Middle East not necessarily on the relatively small Jezreel plain in northern Israel.

Then there is  Iran.  According to Nostradamus, the anti-christ is supposed to appear at the end of the world, some time after the year 2000, and wearing a blue turban.  Haven’t seen any blue turbans on Iranian leaders.  I wonder if the blue turban is symbolic — or ugh! – means the blue UN helmets!  Those Left Behind author dudes and countless other end time fear-mongers always say the anti-christ will be a UN leader or somehow connected to the UN.  Not sure I agree, but don’t like how the pieces too easily fit together and come out like an epic movie, comic book and interactive video game all rolled into one.


God’s Hostages: Women forced into slavery, dehumanized, demonized, in the name of Religion

Oh, this is a heavy topic.  So many women and girls held hostage to warped and crazed religious ideologies.  I put my ruminations at the end of the short article below.

By Sam Harris
On Faith
January 19, 2007


“On Faith” panelist Sam Harris is the author of the best-selling books Letter to a Christian Nation (2006) and The End of Faith (2005), which won the 2005 PEN Award for Nonfiction and has been translated into many foreign languages.


Kajal Khidr was accused of adultery by her husband’s family and held hostage by six family members in Iraqi Kurdistan. Kajal Khidr was tortured and mutilated; family members cut off part of her nose and told her she would be killed after the birth of her child. After fleeing to Syria, two of her abusers were arrested. However, they were both released within twenty-four hours because authorities determined they had acted to safeguard the honor of the family. No charges were ever brought against them. (Amnesty International Website)

In northern Uganda, the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) abducts children, forcing girls into “marriage” and institutionalized rape… The men then have total sexual control over their “wives” and “domestic helpers,” subjecting them to rape and various other forms of violence. (Amnesty International Website)

Mary Ann Kingston was pulled out of school at 13 and told to prepare for marriage. At 16, she was forced to marry her 33-year-old uncle. The order teaches that incest is a preferred practice to preserve a pure family bloodline originating from Jesus Christ. When Mary Ann ran away, her father took her to a remote ranch near the Utah-Idaho line and beat her with his leather belt. She counted 28 lashes before passing out. [The number of people in polygamous families in Utah is estimated at as many as 50,000.] (J. Nichols. “Wives suing to bring end to abuse under polygamy.” The Arizona Republic. October 15, 2003.)


For millennia the world’s great prophets and theologians have applied their collective genius to the riddle of womanhood. The result has been polygamy, sati, honor killing, punitive rape, genital mutilation, forced marriages, a cultic obsession with virginity, compulsory veiling, the persecution of unwed mothers, and other forms of physical and psychological abuse so kaleidoscopic in variety as to scarcely admit of concise description. Some of this sexist evil probably predates religion and can be ascribed to our biology, but there is no question that religion promulgates and renders sacrosanct attitudes toward women that would be unseemly in a brachiating ape.

While man was made in the image of God, the prevailing view under Judaism, Christianity, and Islam is that woman was made in the image of man. Her humanity, therefore, is derivative, contingent, ersatz (Gen: 2-21-22 Koran 4:1; 39.6; 7.189). Of all the animals, woman was the last to be made but the first to sin (Gen 3:12). The Old Testament puts the monetary value of a woman’s life at one-half to two-thirds that of a man’s (Leviticus 27). The Koran elaborates: it requires the testimony of two women to offset that of one man (2:282) and every girl deserves exactly one-half her brother¹s share of inheritance (4:11). God suggests in his tenth commandment that the woman next door is your neighbor’s material possession which, along with his house, slaves and oxen, must not be coveted (Exodus 20:17); Deuteronomy 5:21).

The God of Abraham has made it perfectly clear that a woman is expected to live in subjugation to her father until the moment she is pressed into connubial service to her husband. As St. Paul put it: “Wives, be subject to your husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. As the church is subject to Christ, so let wives also be subject in everything to their husbands.” (Ephesians 5:22-24). The Koran delivers the same message, and recommends that disobedient wives be whipped (4:34). The suppression of women under Islam achieved hideous precision through the writings of Al-Ghazali (1058-1111), perhaps the most influential Muslim since Muhammad:

She should stay home and get on with her spinning, she should not go out often, she must not be well-informed, nor must she be communicative with her neighbors and only visit them when absolutely necessary; she should take care of her husband and respect him in his presence and his absence and seek to satisfy him in everything; she must not leave the house without his permission and if given his permission she must leave surreptitiously. She should put on old clothes and take deserted streets and alleys, avoid markets, and make sure that a stranger does not hear her voice or recognize her; she must not speak to a friend of her husband even in need; Her sole worry should be her virtue, her home as well as her prayers and her fast. If a friend of her husband calls when the latter is absent she must not open the door nor reply to him in order to safeguard her and her husband’s honor.

She should accept what her husband gives her as sufficient sexual needs at any moment.  She should be clean and ready to satisfy her husband’s sexual needs at any moment. (Cited in Ibn Warraq’s, Why I Am Not Muslim, p. 300).

Recall the blissful lives of Afghan women under the Taliban, or reflect upon how many Muslim girls throughout the world are still obliged to wear the veil, and you will understand that this type of thinking has consequences.

The net effect of religion (especially in the Abrahamic tradition) has been to demonize female sexuality and portray women as morally and intellectually inferior to men. Every woman holds the dignity of men for ransom, and is liable to tarnish it with a glance, or destroy it outright through sexual indiscretion. From this perspective, rape is a crime that one man commits against the honor of another; the woman is merely Shame’s vehicle, and often culpably acquiescent — being all blandishments and guile and winking treachery. According to God, if the victim of a rape neglects to scream loudly enough, she should be stoned to death as an accessory to her own defilement (Deuteronomy 22:24). Every man’s daughter is a potential whore liable to grow drunk on the blood of good men — a Delilah, a Jezebel, a Salome. Every girl, therefore, must be mastered and locked away before she can succumb to the evil that is her all-too-natural enthusiasm. According to God, women have been placed on earth to service men, to bear their children, to the keep their homes in order, and above all to not betray them by becoming the object of another man’s sexual enjoyment. And so it falls to every man to shield his women from the predations of his rapacious brothers and oblige them, until death or decrepitude, to fulfill their most sacred purpose — as incubators of sons.

If we ever achieve a civilization of true equity, respect, and love between the sexes, it will not be because we paid more attention to our holy books.

Katia wonders:  Alot of this abuse is done in Mohammed’s name, in Allah’s name, but the only example of people still today oppressing women in Jesus’ name are the polygamists in Utah and a few other states.  Or am I forgetting something?  Modern Orthodox Jews are sexist and treat their women in certain restrictive ways, but they are not commiting heinous crimes against their women and daughters because their holy book or some religious authority’s writings told them to.

The author mentioned the three Abrahamic religions yet added in sati, a misogynist tragedy out of India.  Based on several women born and raised in India whom I’ve met and worked with, I think women in India are still struggling with sexism and abuse, too.  I don’t know that their religion sanctions it, however, so perhaps that’s why the author left them out.  Probably the same reason he left out China, other Far East countries and so many African peoples who still buy and sell, or worse yet kidnap, women as brothel or bridal sex slaves and domestic helpers.  He was focusing on religions that have historical writings used by these perverts today.

I wonder, is there any thing we can do?  What can be done to protect the suffering women and girls of Islam?

Conquering their menfolk and making them civilize, modernize, I suppose, is our only option.  Talking and reasoning with them doesn’t seem to have worked since the Ottomon Empire fell and World War 2 reshaped the country borders over there.  Educating thousands of them in our western schools hasn’t helped either.  Look at the movie Not Without My Daughter.  The heroine married one such Western educated Iranian.  Her horror story in the 1980s (or was it 70s?) only existed because of such cross-cultural contact.  It seems like no amount of talking and educating them — they won’t even let our books across their borders — is going to help the women and girls of the East.  Their men certainly aren’t going to voluntarily start treating the women better than they treat their dogs.  Sigh.  They are going to have to be forced because they refuse to change on their own.  Until they are forced to change, more women will keep quietly dying while the world sits back and argues about things like Saddam’s noose and whether he was mocked or not.

I just saw a CNN program over the weekend where women Muslims in London went to each mosque trying to gain admittance to pray and worship in the building that is supposed to be their place of worship.  One by one they were yelled at and doors slammed in their face.  No mosque will let them even cross the threshold, yet Islam requires daily prayer and visits to the place of worship — five times a day for the pious.  A men-only religion, is what it is, whether they admit it or not.  Women as property, if they have minds, must focus only on what the men tell them to focus on, and if they have any spiritual inclinations have to do their praying at home and all alone.  No sunday school, womens spirituality gatherings, etc. for them, dirty second class citizens that they are.  So hateful.  How can Islam get away with such hatred of its own, I wonder.  It’s like we are all making excuses for them, “Oh it’s their culture, they can’t help it, they bomb us and murder their teenage daughters because of our materialism and greed.  Yeah.  It’s all our fault.”  Wonder why we rationalize and make excuses like that.

Man o’ man — or I should say woman o’ woman — am I glad to be born in a Western country.  THANKyou God & God-ess for sending me here, and not there.  I just read several schoolgirls in Indonesia were beheaded by muslims just because they were members of the Christian minority there.  And Saudi Arabia has banned the X symbol from all display and usage because it looks too much like Jesus’ cross!  Well, say critics, you should ban the + sign then too, you fanatics, because it looks more like the cross than an X.  Geez.  Hah.  Just thought of something when I said that, Geez.  Geez-uz is the problem.  It’s like they are afraid of him or something. like he is so seductive he’ll take away worshippers into his camp — perhaps because he is/was the most popular faith in the West and they are sure this is a war of religions, a holy war.  The Jews certainly don’t care for Geez-uz, however, and we all know how the Muslims hate the Jews.  I wonder why they are getting hateful toward Jesus and the Pope lately when Islam often says Jesus was a prophet, even if not on Mohammed’s level and not a divine offspring of God’s.  Most perplexing, and contradicting is their worldview.  If only they would naturally (but very quickly!) grow away from abuse and into equal rights for women.  If not total equality, howabout at least something like the USA and UK had before women got the vote a hundred years ago.  The ones holding the power — all men — just don’t want Barbie, western clothing fashions, pants for girls, drivers licenses for women(!) and even school education for girls to get into the picture because then they will lose that power.

Power.  The P word which rules politics because that’s what politics is all about, said my old professor.  How the heck are we gonna straighten these jerks out?    Let them devour each other all the while torturing their females, or try to take over and set them on a modern political democratic path?  When the USA went democratic we had a strong desire from WITHIN to do it.  No outside force was going to come help us.  How many examples are there in the world of democracies being brought to a country from without, as we are trying to do with Iraq and Afghanistan?  Any succesful new democracies?  Japan maybe?  Germany after Hitler?  Russia after Hitler and France after Napoleon were still internal movements albeit with outside assistance.  Egypt and Syria, Saudi Arabia, etc., they do not want democracies and if they ever hold votes it’s just a sham covering a dictatorship.  Will this work with Islamic countries who adore Sharia law more than their darling daughters and wives?  Iraq is glad to be rid of Saddam but the vast majority of the men there do not want a secular democracy.  What the women want doesn’t matter one whit, as we all know.  The men (except for a tiny few) all want religious law and religious government.  Even the few who are trying hard to live and run the new democracy are just not enough to stand up to the multitude of men wanting to control the gov’t, the society, EVERYthing.  They each want to do things THEIR way.

What to do, what to do.  Our choices are let ’em rot or try to help them.  All those silent invisible women and girls hiding in their houses and huts, wishing for a chance to go to school, to high school, vocational school, to see a doctor (they don’t let women go to doctors very much in Islamic countries).  Or many might want to get out and just take off the veil, take a breath as a free person, and feel like a human being.  I feel for them, our sisters, so deeply, and I hope we can come up with some ideas what we can do from the outside of this horror they are living.