plenty more alien nation jungle rot, and a few rays of sunshine

I was told in nap dreams yesterday to repeat this from the tail end of yesterday’s the work of the Devil in America post, which I sort of doubt will get me invited to speak at the next Southern Baptist Convention Annual Meeting:

From mi Lower Keys amiga Jan:

~Messages people forward to me about God and the Bible in schools are twisted to hell and back, passages are cherry picked out of context, agendas are pushed, and sometimes I reply to those forwards and sometimes I delete them, despite the predictable challenge at the bottom to forward it – otherwise, I am a devil-worshipper.
I couldn’t agree more.  So true and so ridiculous.  I generally erase those “forward me or else” comments before I forward them.
~I would be fine with the Bible, Old and New Testaments, and the Hebrew Scriptures, and the Koran, and the Buddhist and Hindu Scriptures, and the Taoist Scriptures, and other Scriptures being taught as history course in public schools, and being discussed in the workplace, if presented as history and not in the way Christians, in the main, today want to present the Bible in public schools and in the workplace. In all religions are admonitions against evil-doing, but you can bet Christians, in the main, believe all but they are going to die and burn in hell, and on they, on the other hand, will die and go to heaven. That horse shit I will never be okay with in public schools on in the workplace, nor will I ever be okay with public money being used to fund Christian schools.
Again, spot-on!  I remember as a kid hearing my mom say that the family across the street were Catholics and they didn’t interpret the Bible “right” and were not going to heaven.  So, let me get this straight.  Depending on which continent, in which country, in which state, on which street and on which side of the road you grow up on and then, accepting what your parents told you is “the truth” makes all the difference.  On another note, you’ll find this funny.  On visiting Vatican City (OMG what a bunch of extravagant use of pilfered money that is!)  hall upon hall of georgous carved marble statues had their penises whacked off.  Some priest decided that they were sinful and took a sledge-hammer to them all.  Made me chuckle at the ignorance at the time.  Hey, it’s just all skin people.  But, what a shame to destroy all that art.

I also was told in nap dreams yesterday to include this, which I had sent to Jan day before yesterday but did not include in yesterday’s post:
An author named Michael Gruber recently crossed my bow, clearly arranged by the angels mentioned above. I read four of his books now. [Tropic of Night, Valley of Bones, Night of the Jaguar, The Good Son]. I would love to see those four books be required reading in every American school, but Christians, in the main, would not stand for it, which you would understand why, if you read those books. Here is email correspondence with Michael today:
Me to Michael:
Re: The Night of the Jaguar Is there, or will there be, 4th Jimmy Paz novel?
Michael replied:
Probably not. I never intended it to be an indefinite series, and much beyond three one essentially writes the same novel over and over. I find that tedious. I did it with the Karp & Marlene series of 15 novels and that was enough of that. Best
I replied:
I guess we’ll never know, then, if his [Jimmy Paz’] psychiatrist wife ever became sane. I found all too familiar and all too amusing in that trilogy, and in The Good Son, how a few actually saw, and a few saw but denied they saw, and most saw and double, triple or even quadruple denied what they saw, to the extent they forgot they saw it. Am in correspondence recently with a North African shaman, perhaps French Morrocan extract, who eventually settled in Brazil. Have been thinking of asking her if she read The Night of the Jaguar, or can obtain it, and her response. You seem to absorb all you read and hear and are gifted at spinning intricate interesting yarns from it. Don’t know how you wrote someone else’s books, but then I suppose I do that myself and gather to my “pedigree” various labels for not saying it’s fiction. No reply requested or expected.
The Good Son might be the best non-Muslim treatment of Islam ever written. Perhaps it earned Michael Gruber a seat beside Salman Rushdie, whose The Satanic Verses got death warrants issued on his life by Muslim clerics. Except, no Muslim cleric who had even a smattering of experience with the hand of God would fault what Gruber paints in that novel, which anyone interested in Carl Jung and Jungian Analysis also would do well to read. All of Islam should read the novel. LOL All humans should read the three Jimmy Paz novels, which cover indigenous shamans and Santeria in ways I seriously doubt you will ever find in school or church libraries. I found those novels in the Monroe County Library. Read them in the order they were written, as they are a continuing unfoldment around the same man and his human relations, among whom he is the person most affected and changed by what mainstream humanity cannot presently fathom. I told Sandy Downs when we were wrapping up our talk day before yesterday, as reported in yesterday’s post, that I felt awful, there was an awful poison coming in, into which I would be writing; I didn’t know yet what it was, but it was seriously big Evil. Then, I wrote to Michael Gruber. Then, I started this reply to your forward re Ben Stein, and then I knew what the awful Evil was. Not Michael Gruber.
I sent this yesterday to the woman shaman living in Brazil:
“Have you read The Night of the Jaguar, by Michael Gruber? In it is an indigenious shaman from the rainforest of Columbia, who via some plant remedy he ingests becomes a 450 pound jaguar, a projection of the Jaguar Spirit into human form, to do some pretty rough work among Norte Americanos who want to cut down the rainforest where the shaman lives. Gruber is a very interesting author. He wanders into the other realms pretty well, in the four novels I have read. Jaguar is the third novel in a trilogy, and another novel is The Good Son, which is about Islam and Jungian Analysis and Sufism,  mostly set in the Kashmir area. I don’t know how Gruber came to know so much about so many different facets of human spiritual practices and psyche workings.”
The awful Evil is, yep, American Chrisitianity. Yep, I imagine people will think I’m nuts, flapping my gums. That’s their choice. However, consider what kind of Christians would start a new country based on the notion that all men are endowed with certain unalienable rights, among which are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and in the same breath practice slavery and not let women have any say so in their own government. Consider what kind of Christians would start a new country and proceed to slaughter indigenous peoples and the buffalo. Consider what kind of Christians would take Spanish lands, which had been populated by descendents of the early Spanish explorers since before the first English man set foot on America’s coast. Consider what kind of Christians would back and fight in the Vietnam War, and every stupid, runious America war since then. If you think the cumulative karma from all of that is crushing, you are right. As you sow, you reap, that is the law. If you don’t believe me, ask any Christian minister you know.
I know Ben Stein means well (see yesterday’s the work of the Devil in America post), but he needs to rise up above a few pet peeve trees and look at the entire forest. So do all Americans, especially all Christian Americans. For by holding themselves out to be saved by Jesus, they require of themself a much higher standard of behavior than do people who do not hold themselves out to be saved by Jesus. You cannot compare American Christianity to Islam, they are two very different religions. You cannot expect Muslims to behave as Christians should behave, if they are saved by Jesus. For that is how salvation through Jesus comes: by how well Christians live as Jesus lived and taught others to live. All other theories of salvation through Jesus are the work of the Devil.
In much the same vein, received this solid beaut very early a.m. today from a Key West amigo. I supplied the pic.
Christian crusades
Sloan: Just a comment about the celebrity complaining about a so-called war against religion in this country.
I must tell you, the argument that Christians are under fire or that there’s a war on Christmas is exactly like saying that liberals are waging a culture war. It’s actually the same tired, false argument. The truth is, the culture war is an invention of the right. The war on Christmas, which Fox News and O’Reilly yap about every December, is a ridiculous argument.
Here is where Americans should pay attention, in my humble opinion.
This is a report on fanatical Christians messing with our military academies.
You know, since 9-11 our military has become quite the religious cult. A cadet quit West Point two weeks ago because he faced the same issues this article from “Truth Out” describes.
“An anonymous cadet at the US Air Force Academy (USAFA ) spoke out against alleged religious discrimination at the school last week, saying that some cadets must pretend to be evangelical Christians in order to maintain standing among their peers and superiors. In an email to the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF), the whistleblower stated that he is part of an “underground group” of about 100 cadets who cannot rely on proper channels to confront evangelical pressure.
The email, published by Veterans Today, applauds the MRFF from the “underground” and indicates that the academy is “literally overrun with Christian conservative fanatics.”
The MRFF and allies from a myriad of civil rights and interfaith groups sent a letter Tuesday to the Department of Defense (DoD) detailing the cadet’s email and other startling complaints, including testimony from the parents of an academy graduate who believe their daughter was “methodically brain washed” by a fundamentalist group there, demanding an investigation of the academy and the evangelical academy ministry Cadets For Christ.
The MRFF is also demanding the DoD pressure the USAFA to publicly release the results of a study of the religious climate at the academy.
Academy leadership announced last month that the results would not be released, which angered the anonymous cadet who contacted the MRFF.
Results of the so-called “Climate Study” leaked to the press, and “353 cadets (almost 1 out of every 5 survey participants) reported having been subjected to unwanted religious proselytizing, and 23 cadets (13 of them Christians) reported living ‘in fear of their physical safety’ because of their religious beliefs,” according to the MRFF.”
So there you go, Sloan, scary isn’t it? George Washington prayed before battle, OK, that’s fine, but building an Air Force (with planes that deliver nuclear weapons to targets) led by fanatical men who believe the Biblical end times are upon us IS NOT GOOD. Might they disobey the president and launch anyway because he’s a God-less liberal who doesn’t believe as they do?
So, to the right wing, once again: You are endangering liberty, American values, and our future. It is un-American to build a military whose leaders must embrace Christianity.
The belt-buckles of Wehrmacht soldiers read “God is On Our Side” even as the troops shot their way across Europe, burning buildings, slaughtering innocents, and hanging “spies.”
The only cross (I believe) allowed on American military uniforms is a simple cross for chaplains. Rabbis get a Star of David and muslim clerics get a crescent-shaped pin. Let’s keep it that way.
God is on their side.
–john guerra
I replied:
Hi, John. Well, that’s all news to me, but maybe I’ve been sound asleep. And it is indeed scary news. In some ways, it reminds me of something I experienced growing up.

My parents were born Southern Baptists, both of my grandfathers were Deacons at Southside Baptist Church in the Five Points South area of Birmingham, which is where I like to hang out when I’m there. In fact, during an intermission in the Compass Bowl yesterday, played at Legion Field in Birmingham, there was a flim shot of the fountain and a restaurant at that 5-street intersection, and I wondered to myself what that might portend for me?
Anyway, when I was eleven, or so, my mother, who did not attend the Baptist Church discovered a young Episcopal priest who had started a new church near where we lived “over the mountain” in Mountain Brook, a wealthy white municipality a little south of Birmingham. For all I know, my mother fell in love with the priest, but he was a straight arrow married man.
By and by, my mother started telling my father, if he didn’t get more involved in the Baptist church, she was going to join the Episcopal church and take their three children with her. Every Sunday morning, my father and I took a drive before church, and then we went to Sunday school. We didn’t attend church services, which I didn’t like, but I liked the Sunday school class. Driving home my father asked me what we talked about in Sunday school, I told him and we discussed it. This was a meaningful father-son  Sunday ritual. But we did not increase our participation in that church.
So, in a grand display, my mother followed through on her promise to join the Episcopal church and took her three children with her. All hell broke loose. Her parents and my father’s parents and the minister at Southside Baptist were all over her. But she held fast. Before long, she had me and my younger brother and sister Christened. By then I was maybe 12. I did not attend Sunday school there. My mother made me sit through the morning services, which I seriously hated and day dreamed I was somewhere else doing something else.
One Sunday night over dinner, my father asked me what the priest’s sermon was about that morning? I didn’t have a clue. He gave my mother the look, said I always had known what Sunday school was about at the Baptist church. My mother was inflamed. With the assistance of the priest and his curate, she forced me through Confirmation, which required spending Saturday afternoon in a class at the church. I seriously hated it. I hated school, too, and to be required to give up half of Saturday to be schooled in the Episcopal rites was child abuse as far as I was concerned, even though I’d never heard that term before.
All the while, I day dreamed through the Sunday sermons. When my mother then tried to persuade me to become an Acolyte, I dug in my heels. When she got the next curate to try to persuade me to become an Acolyte, he saw pronto that it wasn’t going to happen, and he told her that he wasn’t going to be involved in it. She didn’t like that, either. As time wore on, I rejected church as a way to God, although I never stop believing God existed. To the contrary, I was convinced God existed, even though it would be decades before I had the direct experience.
When the cancer came and took my mother very quickly the fall of my second semester in law school, I was unable to grieve her passing. I have never grieved her passing. Her life seemed such a waste, married to a church, instead of to life. As time passed, I came to understand her bolt to the Episcopal church was her covert way of trying to divorce her Puritan Baptist parents and my father. Many times she told me of her rebellion against her parents, but oddly, every morning she called her mother. When finally she told her mother that she was going to divorce my father, her mother said that would kill her. So the divorce didn’t happen. A few years later, my mother died and got her divorce from her parents and my father.
As far as I could tell, as far as I see today, church became my mother’s prison; she hid in it, instead of dealing with what was directly in front of her begging for direct attention. The angels never corrected me for having that view. It was a very sad thing, what happened to her. It ripped her parents to shreds. It ripped my father to shreds. It ripped my brother and our younger sister to shreds. But it did not seem to rip me to sheds. That had had already happened when I was younger, as I alluded in yesterday’s post.
She was a very tormented woman, and as her first-born, I received the brunt of her distemper in my early years. As I wrote to the lady shaman in Brazil yesterday:
My mother molested me in my crib, and then she entered me in a potty-training contest with her friends and their young children. She often boasted that her claim to fame as a mother was she had me potty-trained by the time I was one-year old. She would go berserk and beat me up pretty regularly, until age 5.
The beatings ended with the arrival of my father’s older brother from his medical training, he became my pediatrician, and with my beating a childhood bully within an inch of his life one day. I’d had all of his bullying I could take. My mother had repeatedly egged me on to stand up for myself. When the boy’s mother brought him back to our home, where I’d nearly killed him, I stood proud, expecting praise. My mother looked at the boy’s face, which looked like it had been stuck in a bee hive. I thought his face looked great. Then, she looked at me in horror and put her hand over her mouth, as if to stop herself from throwing up, and hurried to her bedroom. I was crushed, squashed like a bug.
Many years later I understood that my mother saw in that boy’s face what she had been doing to me, and she never laid another hand on me. I also came to see that she found another way to torture me, which was the Episcopal church. All the while believing God was on her side, when nothing could have been further from the truth. I wonder what she thinks, wherever she is, of her son who refused to be an Acolyte and later stopped going to church? Like, when am I ever not in church?
Nice Sunday morning story, huh?
Yours, too.
I wonder, if at a deep unconscious level, my never not being in church is a covert carry forward from my mother’s attempts to turn me into an Episcopal priest, who are ordained as priests after the Order Melchizedek forever. Maybe at a deep unconscious level she knew my soul’s course, but in her tortured human condition she had no clue how to nurture it along. I have treated many people with similar deep troubles, including psychiatrists, psychologists, licensed clinical social workers, Jungian Analysts and Christian ministers, spiritual healers, etc. I never met anyone who was not shredded in childhood and as an adult was unconsciously operating out of that shredding.
You can bet the farm that President Obama continuing G.W. Bush’s two ruinious, stupid wars was the product of being shredded in childhood, and Bush launching those wars was the product of being shredded in childhood. Ditto for the military religious nuts, and their victims, described in John Guerra’s report. Maybe I should get credentialed to be a school teacher. Maybe I should teach history courses to children. Maybe that’s what I’m doing in cyber space.
Sloan Bashinsky

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