Feb 27, 2009

Waiting To Be Harvested? Religious People It Is Time To Move On!

Part I. Introduction: Isn't It Time To Move On?

Religious people and religious organizations: I believe that the time has come for the worldwide religious community, Christian, Hindu, Muslim, Jew and more to 'move on' toward completion. The religious community at large needs to alter its historical practice of hindering and preventing others from pursuing their divinely appointed destinies. The religious community has traveled around the same mountain for long enough.

Many movers and shakers of the world, also have awareness and a direct relationship with the 'Unifying Principle, Singularity or God Equivalent'. The latter have been referred to by many appellations in the worldwide religious community as God, Allah, The Great Spirit...

Obstructionism and obfuscation by the intolerant zealot members of the worldwide religious community will apparently no longer be tolerated. Their objective appears to have always been the throttling of progress.

Their real passion appears to be to live vicariously in an era that has past them by. Other citizens of the world have the right to pursue a course that may differ from there's, and they are not required to seek permission from religious zealots in order to do so. Jesus once explained to his disciples that 'those who are not against us are for us'.

If the collective of worldwide religious institutions believed what they have been teaching is true and that what they have been teaching is build on the foundation of God, then what is it that they have to fear, for God is not mocked?

Citizens of the 21st Century can not go on pretending that they are living in yesterday.

Religious institutions, in my opinion, ought to be on the cutting edge of discovery, given each ones universal tendency to claim to have a unique and ongoing relationship with the author of the Universe (an entity that by the way no one has actually ever seen). Religion's predilection to oppose anything that is new to them ought not to go unabated.

The overarching question that the worldwide religious community ought to be asking itself, instead of hindering others is: Whether or not the religious community is where it should be in a 21st Century post-modern context? I don't believe that the worldwide religious community is where it should be in the 21st Century! And to prove it, consider the state of religion today.

From my (recently preached) sermon entitled: MOVon.Church
... each one of us possesses a core set of (basic) religious or philosophical beliefs, ideas, ideals, principles and values
... the typical core belief system is preoccupied with an antiquated system of ideas and teachings that have been passed down intergenerationally ..., more often than not, we are locked into an entrenched belief system, whether it has been tested for its voracity or not
... oftentimes, we refuse to test our core beliefs, which I believe is necessary if we intend to move forward to the next stage towards completion
... the fact of the matter is that we cannot live as we should in today, if our focus, today, is mostly shaped according to the rules of yesterday
.... in fact, it would be just as difficult for our predecessors to do so if they attempted to live in a 21st century reality, with understanding from the common era.

I believe that it is time for each one of us to shed the shackles of fear and dogmatism. Next, we need to move on to where we should be in a 21st century context. We hurt ourselves and hinder others when we insist that everyone should live according to the rules and understanding of yesterday. It is time for us to move on and to get in step with The Singularity. Haven't we compassed the same mountain long enough?

In the book of Titus Paul wrote these shocking words: Wherefore, Titus, rebuke them sharply that they be may sound in the faith; not giving heed to Jewish fables and commandments of men (that turn from the truth)! Titus 1:13 and 14.

The (unconfirmed) writer of the book of Hebrews also wrote: But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age. Hebrews 5:14 (and)

Therefore, leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us
'move on' to perfection. Hebrews 6:1.

I believe that since the time that humans began populating the earth, too many of us in particular the ones who claimed to have been or still claim to be the people of God (have spent the majority our lives being influenced by myth and superstition). In its latest iteration, modern day believers, especially Christians, are focused on harvest day.

How much more could have accomplished if we had not permitted our lives to be ruled by speculation, ritual, fear and superstition? I have often wondered how much further along we would be today if it had not been the case.

Individuals, who claim to know God, in my opinion, ought to stop trying to prevent others who do not see things as they do from moving forward. Furthermore, they ought to stop trying to hinder those of us, who are pursuing knowledge and understanding, that they do not have any interest in, given their nuanced views of the world.

Their reasons for doing so, I suspect, have more to do with selfishness, fear, poor teaching and superstition, all of which are the consequences of classical religious conditioning. One of the by products of living in the past is that we are loosing our more educated class of young people.

Our young people are looking for answers elsewhere. And more and more, religion is becoming irrelevant to them. Many of them are choosing secularism and other sources outside of religion to shape their world views, and to provide them with answers to their questions. May The Sovereign free us from those current and past encumbrances that hinder our progress towards further advancement!

Question for readers to ponder?

1) What are you curious about, or afraid to pursue because it might bring you into conflict with your religious teachers or religious dogma? (2) Are you afraid to reason, to rationalize or explore beyond the limitations that have been imposed upon you by some religious group or teacher? (3) Do you feel as if you have been stuck in the same primordial religious mud long enough? (4). And finally, isn't it time to move on and into 21st century understanding?

The Apostle Paul wrote to Titus, urging him to admonish his pupils to reject classical Jewish myth and fable. Ironically, in a 21st century context, much of what the Apostle wrote himself should be subjected to similar scrutiny, and placed within its proper historical context. Blasphemy you say? He may have erred as much about the events that were to take place regarding the Resurrection, as he accused Hymaneus and Alexander of doing (see 1 Timothy 1:20).

The Apostle Paul believed that he would be alive when the rapture occurred, and that he would rise along with those who had been dead in their graves. (Read 1 Thessalonians 4:17, Paul's epistle that was sent to the Thessalonicans)!

However, the Apostle has been dead, as far we know, for about 2000 years now. In my opinion, he clearly misspoke and erred to be succinct given his conclusions about the rapture. Isn't it time to engage in a critical examination of the Apostle's epistles? We should do so in particular, because his well-intended writings dominate most of the New Testament portion of the Canon? How much weight should his letters carry?

I have gone on record saying that the Apostle Paul would be shocked to discover that his epistles were elevated, posthumously, to the status of sacred scripture in Constantine's Canon.

I believe that we should be concerned, given the extent to which his unqualified writings have influenced Christianity, and may have caused many Christians to stumble? How much farther along would we be in the 21st century, if we had been less influenced by this singular author, who has most Christians simply waiting to be harvested?

In my opinion, every person has the right to seek after what he or she perceives or believes to be relevant. For the fact of the matter is that different people are harbingers of differing passions, motivations, callings and inspirations

Therefore each person has a need to pursue a course that may differ from the one that is being pursued by his or her counterpart, even if the direction that one has chosen may make little sense to those who have selected a different course. It is as if religious people have forgotten the simple Proverb that instructs parents to 'train up a child in the way that it should go...!

The point being that each child has a different personality, as well as different abilities - each child must be uniquely developed for its course in life!

That each person is different and has his or her own road to travel has seemingly been lost upon many in the religious community. Most servants of the book (I am including all sacred texts), have little patience with those of us who are not enslaved to a particular belief, system of writing, group of texts, or teaching that does not match their own.

The latter, in many instances believe that what they understand to be true must be true, by nature of the fact that they believe or see it that way. Therefore, what they have concluded that what they believe must have originated with God. Many have given up on God and religion, not because God failed, but because of the failings of religion. Religion's exclusive claim of being the earthy habitat for God as well as his spokesman falls short; given the shortcomings of religion

I am personally more interested in objective and verifiable truth. I learned from the same Apostle Paul, see 1 Thessalonians 5:21, that we should scrutinize everything for its voracity. In other words, everything that we hold to be true ought to be subjected to a process of scrutiny and verification, including what has been designated as sacred scripture.

In this text Paul wrote, "...prove all things and hold fast to those things which are true". Moreover, I agree fully with the Apostle in that regard! Too many religious individuals have been conditioned to believe that they should deny reason, ignore proof and simply accept dogma and other unsubstantiated ideas or traditions as indisputable truth.

Today's teachers and preachers are mostly teaching representatives of a point of view from the past (one that oftentimes does more to impair than to contribute to forward thinking). Therefore, I also believe that it is time to reconsider all of the teachings of our past and present day teachers. Many of our latter day teachers have no idea of where or how their sacred texts, that they are sworn to protect have come into being.

In my learned opinion, here are a few things that each one of us could and likely should do. In short, we ought to reconsider the teachers as well as the subject matter that we have been taught, we also need to reconsider those other sources that we have been historically taught to disregard. I suspect that what some others had to say may have carried more weight than we were led to believe.

Our objective, in the final analysis, would be to sort out what is and is not 'good'. Then we should hold on to what we know has been tested in the crucible of examination (which differs by and large from the manner in which sacred texts have been handled in the past and up until now). The end result would be, I hope, that it would no longer matter if you were a Jew, Christian, Muslim ..., but that you were simply connected with and following after the truth and what is true.

We also need to pay special attention to all of the associated ritual, mysticism, superstition and worship practices that have been passed down to us through the generations. And finally, we must consider the motives of our current day crop of teachers, many of whom appear to have a stake in simply holding us to the past.

Jesus would often upset the Jews when he violated the Sabbath as well as other sacred Hebrew customs and observances. Why? The answer is that the Jews were more vested in symbolism, than they were in the meanings of the symbols. It was far more convenient for them to slay a goat or a lamb and substitute its blood for atonement purposes, than to put away sin from their own lives.

The Jews were master sacrificers, and today most religious people are very adept at practicing religious symbolism as opposed to internalizing meaningful truth that will alter consciousness.

Why do we need to engage in a pointed review of the past? The answer is so that the human family can move on and experience deeper depths of knowledge, fulfillment and understanding (of the kind that we have been missing out on given our total embrace of 1st and prior century teachings). I repeat, I do not believe that we are where we should be in terms of knowledge and understanding in a 21st Century post-modern world.

And while I recognize the substantial contributions that religion has made to humanity, at the same time I believe that religion has been the number one culprit in holding us back from where we ought to be at this moment in time.

Frankly, we are sentient beings, individuals who are capable of doing far more than simply repeating rituals, and listening to retrograde teachers who make their living by repeating stories that derive from questionable ancient texts. Oftentimes these stories and myths, as well as the ones who rehearse them to us have a singular aim in mind.

Too many of our modern day teachers and preachers are anything other than sophisticated storytellers who repeat the same stories over and over again. Each one of us is aware or ought to be aware, that if anyone were to engage in repeating the same stories enough times, that in time they would likely become very good at their craft. Some of our retrograde post-modern teachers and preachers have honed their storytelling skills to the extent that they are very convincing.

For without being challenged, they lull their listeners into acceptance and conformity.

The listening audience is often mesmerized by their verbiage as well as the teacher's ability to recant old stories, even though neither the teacher nor the listener have ever questioned the voracity of what is being taught or the creditability of the sources that were used.

The major problem with many of our present day (mostly non-Jewish) Christian teachers and preachers, and I don't include myself in with this group, is that they cause too many individuals to live their lives beneath the rubric of fear and intimidation. And as a result, a substantial portion of the human family has regressed given the retardative process called teaching and preaching that its members have been subjected to and shaped by for most of their religious lives.

Many of us have been hindered from reaching our potential and pursuing our destinies (as a result of having been shaped in a cauldron of fear). We need relevant teaching as well as qualified teachers who are capable of providing us with relevant teaching in a post-modern world context. Again, we need the type of teachers and teachings that inform and help us to excel in the 21st Century world; that is where we live today.

We need to know whether or not today's genre of teachers has actually heard from God lately?

One would also automatically conclude that religious adherents would be the most enlightened people in the entire world given their universal claims of having a direct and personal relationship with the Almighty! However, the facts do not support their claim. Oftentimes, it is just the opposite whereas religious individuals often appear to be the most repressed people on the earth, at times.

Therefore progressive teachers and progressive teachings is what the world is in need of today. We need fewer teachers who have are incapable of changing, and that have simply found a way to make a living by repeating the same old stories, typically on a weekly basis. Isn't there anything new to teach? If you listen to them long enough, one would be hard pressed to ask whether or not God is actually alive and active in the 21st century, or an imaginary force that was believed to exist in the past?

I believe that the higher spiritual plane that many of us have been trying to attain to (over the span of our lifetimes) has been within our grasps all along. Unfortunately, we were discouraged from pursuing it, and instead we were conditioned to take an unnecessary detour and finally settle at the principle faze of our journeys. And as a result, we have spent our lives (often 40 years on average) circling the same mountain, instead of entering into the promise!

Too many individuals have either been discouraged or dissuaded from questioning or surpassing the imposed and self-limiting understanding and conclusions that have been drawn by their often biased, ill-equipped and non-critical teachers.

We have been taught to be passive, when we should have been and should be aggressively pursuing after what is so important to both our personal and corporate destinies. From time to time, I find myself reflecting on the lives of notable historical icons like Imhotep, Aristotle, Copernicus, Galileo, Sir Isaac Newton and many others like them.

These historical figures were not afraid to take on the powers that be in order to pursue higher knowledge and to engage in discovery. And as a result of transcending the strictures that were intended by the powers that be to bind them, these giants rose to the occasion and escaped the bands and the bonds of mediocrity, fear and complacency. Many of them went on to make significant discoveries, and to contribute valiantly to the post modern world.

And to their credit, they were also responsible for a new way of thinking about the world. Centuries later we are still benefiting from their wisdom, courage, acumen and accomplishments. What we are waiting for today, is for all of the giants of today (all of us) to rise from religious and other encumbrances. Then we can proceed and pursue our pre-incarnate destinies. However, they will have to have the courage of heart to transcend the barriers of fear, and the religious bombardment that they will receive if they are to succeed.

And keep in mind that being religious and seeking after the truth are oftentimes, two different animals. Jesus once said, 'and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free'. He did not make a similar claim about religion. In fact, religion is an institution where most people feel as if they are not free at all.

When the church believed that the earth was flat, men like Galileo challenged the position of the church and they did so ignoring the price that they would have to pay for doing so. And in the end, it turned out that the church was wrong, and that Galileo and other philosophers were right.

Not much has changed within the religious community before and after the 17th century Enlightenment period. The religious community has often behaved as if it were the exclusive authority on God (having seemingly ignored the presage advice of Jesus Christ that truth brings about freedom). It often seems, on the other hand, that the sole purpose of religion is to kill, steal and to destroy dreams as well as progress or to fulfill a death wish!

Similar to the manner in which our predecessors overcame their obstacles and in particular the ones who would have held them back from advancement, we also should be pursuing wisdom, knowledge and pleasure in deference to all of the ones who insist on holding us in the place 'where they find themselves stuck and unable to move out of' today. Have you ever considered what else remains to be discovered, that we haven't even touched the surface of yet, given the roadblocks that are often imposed by religious hinderers?

I can still recall in my own tradition when members of our denomination were actually discouraged from pursuing higher education. In fact a post-secondary education was highly discouraged. Thank God that someone broke through the ranks of backwardness, and the rest of us followed her lead. The women had to lead us out of bondage.

Or have you considered where we would be today, if these noble figures had succumbed to the will of the church. We would still be walking around, very likely, believing that the Earth was flat and encased within a star-studded celestial dome.

Humans may have constructed the radio receivers, the delivery system that is beneficial and brings the mass media right into our homes; however, radio waves were in place long before humans appeared on the scene. What took Marconi so long? One has to wonder what other hidden treasures are there that are yet to be discovered! What else is lying dormant in the recesses of history that so far has gone undiscovered?

What has been holding us back from standing on the shoulders of our noble predecessors, in order to make the next leap into infinite understanding, perhaps the 3rd, 4th 5th and infinite, dimensions Are we on pace? Why it is that religion always challenges a 'thinking person', but refuses to be challenged itself? Are religious groups and individuals simply afraid of being proven wrong?

I suspect that religious individuals, groups and organizations will need to come to grips with the fact that much of what has been taught before as absolute truth, along with its many other malapropisms, is about to be debunked! Some of our religious tergiversators are already aware of this inconvenient truth, and they are still reticent to act independently to do anything about it (before it's is too late).

I believe that when all of the truth comes to fruition, that it will not be a good time for the worldwide religious community. Someone is going to have to do some damage control, unless the faith of many in the religious community is completely destroyed; the latter is already taking place in secular Europe and Israel for example. The same is true with a substantial portion of our more educated young people. Therefore the leaders of religious organizations ought to take the lead and admit that some of what has been taught before by them has simply been taught in error!

On one occasion, Jesus reportedly said these words to his listening audience, "Have not I said that ye are gods"? It appears to me that too many humans, in particular the religious ones who have been stuck in the same primordial mud for some time now, do not want the rest of us to exceed their limited understanding that is typically based on 1st, 2nd and 3rd century understanding.

Isn't it time for members of the religious community to begin behaving like the gods that Jesus reportedly said that we were intended to be?
The late Reverend Dr. Martin Luther Kind once said: I wish today, that Christians would stop talking so much about religion, and start doing something about it, and we would have a much better world!

Peace & Grace
Rev. C. Solomon

... to be continued,

What Should Have Happened By Now: Here are a few examples, can you think of any more?
The life cycle would have been extended even more than it has been, and we would likely be living what I refer to as time-independent eternal life reality.
The suppression of females would have ended, assuming that we continued to occupy gender-based bodies.
We would have done a better job of understanding and dealing with what we consider to be the more complex issues such as homosexuality (remember some humans have been born with 6 fingers and toes), stem cell research, the environment, infant mortality, autism, retardation...!
We would have dealt in an intelligent manner with those forces that encourage suppression, divisiveness, war and discrimination; the latter would likely have been eliminated.
We would also be able to communicate by now, in the language of what we refer to as God, instead of through the use of gibberish, nasal and guttural sounds.
The means and the methods that we would employ in order to relocate in space would be far more advanced.
Living on other planets (rocks), if we were to still exist in our current biological forms would have taken place by now, albeit we would have still been existing in a fairly primitive state of being inside of carbon-based bodies.
We would have had a direct encounter with, and likely have understood better, and co-existed alongside the entity, sovereignty or principle that we refer in today's nomenclature as God. Remember this entity has been referred to by many names and inscriptions including El, Adoni, Ywvh, Allah, the Great Spirit..., in the past!

Finally, if we don't get busy soon, future generations will consider us to have been nothing more than primitive failures. And those of us, who will do so, must pass the baton in order to benefit both our contemporaries and the ones who are to follow us in future generations.

If our predecessors of thousands of years ago were to return today and ask, what are you folks doing - and whether or not God returned by now or whether or not we are living in heaven? Our answer would be that we are still reciting the stories that you left for us thousands of years ago. Furthermore, we would tell them that Jesus hasn't returned according to the stories that you passed on and finally that we are definitely not living in heaven!

Feb 19, 2009

Religious Stagnation Get Over IT!

What Will Have To Take Place
to motivate us to move beyond religious stagnation?
Does science have all of the answers?
Does science have answers that religion simply does not have?
Can the two compliment each other?

Can we admit that science has some of the answers, having proved the church and religious groups before to be wrong?

I wonder whether or not what we refer to as God, is not bored with us, given our need to hold on to and practice religious superstition?

1 Thess 5:21 ...test all things, and hold on to that which is truthful! Shouldn't we?


Most religious groups will have to admit to their followers someday, that what they told them before was the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, was not exactly accurate after all, even if in the end is it hurts the ministers pocketbook.

In Christianity for example, believers and would be adherents are taught that the Bible is inerrant. Followers are conditioned to believe that every word in the Bible either came from the lips of God itself (if that were possible), or that each writer was inspired to write everything that is contained within each text.

The fact of the matter is today that the most unlearned ministers knows that that allegation will not stand up in a court of law. Why is the important? Before we can move on and be ‘guided into all truth’, as Jesus once intimated, we will have to admit that what we said before was not altogether true. Next, we will have to open ourselves up and insist that our followers do the same thing in order to garner all that is true.

Most of the overstepping of our bounds was done in innocence and motivated in part by a need to provide answers to the more esoteric. Individuals were taught by men and women who preceded them, and these individuals were taught by the misinformed who preceded them. Where does the madness stop? I believe that it stops with a confession.

Right now, most religious groups are stopped in their tracks, even though they would never admit it. Simply put, they are rehashing the same old ideas, and as a consequence they are only able to assist individuals to reach a certain point let’s say, but beyond that they can’t help them to reach levels of understanding where the incumbent religious teaching groups have not attained to themselves.

As one writer once wrote, I believe that we are still only ‘at the beginning of knowledge’. The Apostle Paul believed that he would be alive and among those who would be caught up to meet the Lord in the Air. Obviously, he did not get that inspiration from God, for he was wrong! How many more assertions like this one are included not only in his epistles, but in the bible in general? In other words, there were other writers who wrote well-intended prose that simply put was not true!

Most religions, not only Christianity, teaches that alcohol consumption is sinful. Apostle Paul even wrote that drunkards would not inherit the Kingdom. So which is it, alcoholism, a sin or a condition? In some instances individuals are genetically predisposed to chemical dependency and in this context alcoholism. The medical profession deals with alcoholism in more reasonable terms than does the Christian church, and in some instances other religions.

The church, along with many other religions teaches that same sex relations are a sin. And similar to their alcoholic counterparts, all of these individuals are going into a lake of fire where they will burn forever and ever. Yet more and more we are learning that homosexuality might be better explained by research that is being done in fields like endocrinology among other things. And once again the research community is showing more grace in trying to determine what is the origin of same sex attractions, as opposed to condemning individuals, whole sale to hell.

This frightens the hades out of religious groups, for if they are proven wrong then the majority of individual may abandon the religious organizations that provided them with fallacious information for so long.

Reverend Solomon, are you saying that you agree with homosexuality, drunkenness or other vices, sins or differences? The only dog that I have in the fight is what is true and what is made up? What I believe is that we have not had sufficient verifiable evidence to determine before now, whether either of these conditions are a result of sin, or on the other hand a consequence of genetics or hormonal differences particularly with respect to the latter.

I do not claim to have a definitive answer, however, one thing that I am very sure of is this, religious individuals often fail to research issues prior to defining or pontificating on heart wrenching issues. Also, if we were to rely on the explanations of early religious individuals as determinants of what is and what is not quote unquote normal, or what is sinful or not, I believe that we are doing many individuals an injustice.

When your son or daughter comes to you and says, mom and dad, I feel like I am, genderwise, in the wrong body, what are you doing to tell them? How about this, get behind me sinner! What will you tell your child who is chemically dependent, the one who cannot kick the habit? Will you say son, and more and more daughter, I am sorry, but you are going to go to hell and you are going to burn forever.

Folks, it's time to grow up and admit that some of what previous writers wrote in religious texts, much of what they attributed to God makes no sense at all. These people did not do any research, they simply repeated what they learned from their culture.

A brother who was a homosexual in a church that I pastored some years ago, confessed that he was a homosexual. He did so because I informed him that I had a premonition about him. He admitted that he had been sneaking off to be with his consort in a town not too far from the church.

I explained to him that what really matters is that I was not there to condemn him but to help him. He asked, can you help me for I have not been able to shake this, homosexual thing since being molested as a child. Why wouldn't he come to the church before and ask for help? Could it be that he would not because of prior conditioning, that is that he knew that he expected to be condemned rather than helped.

Some churches are doing better now with respect to dealing with the issue of same sex people, however, for years frankly the church had only one treatment for same-sex individuals, it was to condemn then and to tell them 'stop it', immediately. Same sex individuals who tried, many of them, found that it was just about as easy for them to stop what they were doing as it was for overweight Christians to stop eating. Ministers who once condemned practices in the public eye, were busily engaged in same-sexed practices themselves while they condemned others तो hell.

Do we have an epidemic in the world given the number of individuals who are admitting to their same sex desires? Frankly, I've noticed another trend in this country, that no one is talking about. Have you noticed the number of obsessive-compulsive individuals that are around? More and more, I have witnessed anecdotally, a number of individuals who seem to have the personality disorder. Is that a sin?

Even the Apostle Paul was convinced that same-sexed individuals were as he put it, given over to a same-sex midset. In other words, some things become a part of you, and no matter how you try, you can't just 'say no', as Nancy Reagan once said, when speaking about drug consumption.

Frankly, I have a lot of things that I wish I could simply say no to, and that would be the end of it. But more and more, we are also learning that some things are actually hard-wired into our brains, or how about into our genes.

The two examples that I cited above by no means even scratch the surface of the subject with respect to the broadness of this topic. Frankly, most of us have been seeped in, and have been drowning in religious superstition, mysticism and unsupported conjecture..., and we have been for so long that we cannot and have moved on to so called perfection.

Perfection in this context would have to transcend religious dogma or practice. Jesus, said that we would know the truth and the truth would make us free. Then why are individuals free? Is it because they won't accept the truth as religion(s) teach, or because the individuals are not receiving the truth from those religious groups that purport to know the truth.

What I am proposing is that we grow up religious people. It is time to admit that some of what we were taught is simply not true, and that it did not work. It is time for us to search for deeper meaning in a post-modern context, over what we were taught or that we learned before.

Our predecessors meant well, however, they taught what they knew. One of our objectives ought to be the ascent of woman and man. We should be seeking to understand ourselves better, and then to pursue a higher level of understanding, rather than to try existing in the present with a primordial mindset and outlook.

As I close, what we need to focus more on is what is truth, even when it leaves old ideas, even religious ones behind!

Peace & Grace
Rev. C. Solomon

Religious Stagnation Get Over IT!

Feb 17, 2009

The Obama Candidacy: Mostly A Matter of Political Expediency!

The question remains in my mind whether or not the success of President Obama's mercurial rise to power was a matter of political expediency, as opposed to any other factor(s)?

I had the opportunity to attend a panel discussion this weekend, at San Jose State University. The topic had to do with Dr. Martin Luther King's Dream and the 21st Century. One of the points that was made by one of the panelists and that was also hihglighted in the program, was the impact of Doctor Martin Luther's Dream and the impact that it had on President Obama's success.

Frankly, I did not feel that the panelist were up to snuff to give an accurate appraisal of what were the determinants that led to President Obama's ascent to the White House. Clearly, there was an non-objective bias in favor of Dr. King. These folks wanted to give credit to Dr. King despite all evidence to the contrary.

Off-line, however, I was able to discuss this matter more in depth with some of who were in attendance. We concluded that the success of Obama's candidacy, a man who doesn't carry any civil rights baggage (as some purport), had a lot more to do with political expediency, as opposed to Dr. Martin Luther King's Dream.

I suspect that the Democratic nominee, whoever it would have turned out to be, would have defeated George Bush. Oh you say, George Bush was not running for office. Frankly, the candidates, even the Republican ones were running against the George Bush legacy. President Obama just happened to be in the right place at the right time in my opinion, and he gave the public what their titillating ears wanted to hear!

As a registered independent, and I have been one for years, I have always believed that the best thing to do was to vote for the best and most qualified person for the job. This year, as in the previous years my emphasis has been on doing just that and turning away from the recurrent theme of voting for nascent would be candidates to manage the highest office in the land. Looking back over the George H. Bush Jr. years, most individuals will agree with me that the man was never up to snuff in the first place. What took so long I wonder?

Former Ambassador Alan Keyes said it best approximately 9 years ago, that George H. Bush does not have the mental capacity to be President, and he proved that. What an embarrassment? What an embarrassing candidate, yet Americans voted him into office twice. When will reactive politics in America become a thing of the past?

It seems to me that Americans still have not learned their lesson yet. When Americans began to weigh in, early on, for the then junior Senator from Illinois, I was appalled. When Senator John McCain selected another unprepared individual to be his vice presidential running mate, Sarah Palin, I nearly threw up. In both of these individuals I conceded the possibility of two viable possible future candidates. I did not, and still do not feel that either of these candidates was prepared for the job, and my feelings have not changed.

From my vantage point there were 2 guilty parties involved in the most recent election fiasco, the individuals who were running, unqualified, for the offices in the first place, and the individuals who were willing to and did endorse and ho voted for more unprepared candidates. Clearly the office of the President, along with those who participate in the political process have simultaneously devolved.

Did the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King have a minor impact upon this election? Well of course it did in this sense, Americans were willing to overlook the fact that Senator Obama was in part a black man. But what Americans were more interested in was the Obama message which was in direct contradiction to the one that Senator John McCain was running on, the Reagan Bush message.

In a debate with one of my peers the other day, he boasted and then directed a rhetorical question at me, it went like this. Do you know what the impact was of Reaganism (and you might as well say Bushism)? I answered, yes I do know. It resulted in leveraged corporate buyouts, greenmail and individuals like T. Boone Pickens getting even richer.

I told him how Reagan's idea of trickle down reminded me of the biblical story about the poor man who sat at the table of the rich man waiting for trickle down. Of course my opponent denied the reality of what Reagan/Bushism actually bequeathed. But at the same time isn't it interesting the number of banks ..., that have been swallowed up as a consequence of the failed Reagan/Bush policies? It seems like we've gone back to the future, and once again an opposing party has to come in and clean up the mess - even though in both instances a small group of individuals benefited from the carnage!

Folks, you can give all of the credit for Obama's success to King Dream, however, the fact is that the American electorate was motivated more by other factors, including their personal well being. Senator Obama crafted his message well, and he do in response to where Americans were feeling the pain. And as a result then of political expediency, former Senator Obama Hussein is the current president of the United States of America.

I only hope that we will not live to regret the reactive decision that was made by the majority of Americans recently, a decision that was similar to what their opponents did when they previously selected a candidate for nomination a first and a second time - a man who was clearly not up to the task of leading this or any other nation.

Waiting to see what happens,
Rev. C. Solomon

P.S. I suspect that the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King will succeed the most when well-intended Americans, particularly black ones,
raise the spectre of the so called 'King Dream' to a more
ubiquitous and universal standard - the man won
a Nobel Peace Prize. A good
question for all of us to answer
is how does the so-called
MLK dream differ
from the

Feb 15, 2009

Moving Beyond Religious Primitivism: And Why God Refuses to Talk!

Isiah 55:8 "For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,"
declares the LORD.

9 "As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.

I believe that religion, religious groups and religious individuals do more damage to themselves and to the people of the world, given the universal nature of religion, religious groups and religious individuals insistence upon holding the
world in the dark tangled web of religious mysticism, myth, asceticism and religious governance!

Shall we continue to drink blood, or is it time that we either move on to perfection
ourselves, beyond archaic notions and outdated ideas, or that we set the world's inhabitants free, so that they can seek after what is true by engaging in post-modern efforts and verifiable evidence in order to get at what is real and true?

Rev. C. Solomon

More and more,
I am being, with certain expediency, moved into understanding the need for all of us to move beyond the shackles of religious primitivism.

All churches and denominations, beyond religious science organizations, should likely refer to themselves by the name of one American denomination that refers to itself as 'primitive'!

What is the failing of religion? Well, rather than referring to religion as a failure or to its failings per se, we should consider how religion did in fact meet a specific need at a certain epochal moment in time. Religion met the needs of individual human beings who required some explanation for the how, what, when, where and who!

The problem with religion today is that we have moved beyond the narrow confines, constructs and well intended interpretations and descriptions that religion came up with in its quest to explain the how, what, when, where and who questions to our predecessors.

Religion, in my opinion, and I am using religion in a more parochial sense, came to the proper conclusion that there is something that exists, that is superior to humans and to human intelligence. And from that understanding, religion helped to create an anthropomorphic super being that would account for the creation of the earth, its life-forms including humans, the faun, the flora and much more.

However, religion made the mistake of stopping in its limited tracks, refusing to do any research beyond its own narrow constructs and interpretations, its previously conceived and held conclusions and misinformed findings. Yet, the evidence is in front of us that there is something that exists that religion can not adequately discuss or define, and it never has never has been able to do beyond superstition.

For one to stop where religion stopped, and in this sense I mean all religions, would be tantamount to entering into elementary school and completing your education in the sixth grade. In Christianity, the preacher has preached the same messages from the same texts for so long, that the ones who sit under his or her voice can either parrot back what the minister says, or say it before he or she does. Some of these ministers are actually proud of their ability and their command of rehashing the same texts.

For if nothing else, preachers can enrich themselves by rehashing the same old stories. But what about those post-modern individuals who are more interested in gaining more knowledge of the truth, the ones who wish to move on?

Many religious individuals have what I will refer to as a sixth grade religious educational understanding, and some have graduated sum magna cum laude. It occurred to me that this higher level of consciousness, if you will, or whatever it is that is beyond the primitivism of modern man in terms of intelligence..., is or has evolved into a realm wherein it refuses to use primitive communication forms such as speech or sound in order to communicate.

Why is this so critical. Humans have wondered for years, why if there is a God, why won’t God speak to them? In order to be able to communicate with aliens, one is called upon to understand the other’s language. It is difficult for humans to comprehend that there are other intelligent life form,s that are so far developed beyond us, that by employing our primitive communication apparatus to communicate with them or it, would be tantamount to a human trying to communicate with an ant using our current communication apparatus.

We are on the way to understanding something that is bigger than ourselves, something that religion will not or cannot define. Let’s give kudos to religion for bringing us as far as it could, given its limitations, but let’s take the next step in discovery and exploration beyond where religion stalled.

I am reminded in Christianity, what Jesus said to the Pharisees on one occasion. He explained to them that along with the Lawyers of that day that they held the keys to the knowledge of the kingdom, however, that they also had the kingdom shut up.

Religion has a belief, one that is held by many humans that it has a monopoly on truth. In other words, only religion can explain the more ethereal and esoteric things about life, and other life forms including God. However, I believe that is simply not true! I believe as one unknown author once wrote that, if you seek the truth it will find you. How many notable icons who sought to advance truth were either persecuted or killed because their findings which turned out to disagree with religious dogma varied in some aspect.

As we advance to the next level, those of us who have chosen to place religion in its proper historical and contextual context; I suspect that we will be able to communicate with what we refer to as God, and it will be able to communicate with us! And if the case be so, the use of primitive languages will not fit into the equation from either the perspective of evolved man or what or who we often refer to as God!

And for those individuals in religion who are uncomfortable with the term evolution, I remind you, once again, particularly the Christians the next awaited stage in the divine evolutionary cycle, according to Christians themselves is, metamorphoses, transformation/transmogrification. In other words a time when Christians believe that they will be transformed into spiritual beings.

At that time, Christian believers expect to be transformed into a different state of being wherein they will be identical to what they believe to be God. And moreover Christians expect to be able to dwell with God in their new spiritual bodies and to have the ability to communicate with God and be like God on an eternal basis.

And to this extent I agree with them, that whatever IT is that existed before human life forms ... did, we will be able to communicate directly with whatever IT is (once lower life forms move into a higher state of conscious) and perhaps cohabit with it!

So when human life forms speak in an unknown tongue today, what language are they using in order to do so? The churches litmus test, those denominations who believe that the exclusive sign of one's salvation is his or her ability to speak in other tongues in my mind have missed a crucial degree of understanding. During Pentecost, thousands, of years ago, the disciples of Christ were enabled to 'speak in other languages'.

The ability to do so served a purpose at the time. The disciples and others apparently were enabled to minister to the many visitors who were in town to attend Pentecost. These individuals came from various places - and many of these individuals spake in foreign languages, languages that the 120 could not speak in.

Would it make any sense then that the exclusive sign of transformation even today would be one's ability to speak today, let's say in French, Swahili or Portuguese? Having the ability to speak in other tongues, not an unknown tongue, could suggest that a higher power has enabled one to do so, however, other than that what value would be rendered given one's ability to speak in say French, Swahili or Portuguese that would matter in such a highly ethereal sense?

Having said that, what is more important, the ability to speak in other languages/tongues, or the fact that the enabler has visited you? The fact of the matter if that if the enabler has visited you, then you have the ability to do more than speak in other tongues and that should not be lost as it has been on too many fundamentalist Christians.

The litmus test cannot be restricted then to speaking in another language! This is just another example of religious primitivism that we must move beyond. There is, I believe, and the evidence seems to point that way that there is far more for to grasp, if we can simply release ourselves from the old shackles that bind us, religious primitivsm - more than anything else!

Peace & Grace
Rev. C. Solomon

Addenda: The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends upon the unreasonable man.

George Bernard Shaw

Feb 13, 2009

Religious and Political Fundamentalists Have A Lot In Common

What do they have in common? Both groups are comprised of closed-minded individuals that are intolerant of other people and any ideas or facts that do not coincide with their own. The fact is that like a black hole in space where light can simply not penetrate it, the minds of fundamentalists, be they religious or political, are impenetrable. Nothing can penetrate the deep dark spaces of their fixated minds, particularly truth or facts!

I had the interesting displeasure of discussing the plight of the California economy with a couple of Republican leaning political fundamentalists two nights ago. I listened as both individuals proceeded to blame the current economic woes of California, a 45B state budget deficit exclusively on the Democrats.

I couldn't resist so, I waded in knowing that I would get some kind of stupid reply. I asked, and didn't you leave someone out of your conclusion, the chief Executive of the State, Governor Schwarzenegger? Their reply was, he is married to a Democrat. They were referring to the fact that his wife is a Kennedy.

I pushed a little further and said, well he is the governor isn't he, and are you saying that none of his decisions are responsible for the states current woes? All of us can recall when just a few short years ago, 'the Governator' referred to the members of the California State Legislature as 'girlie men', and from there he proceeded to force his will upon the state of California.

Facts didn't matter to these two; they weren't having any of it. They weren't going to say anything bad about the current Republican Governor, his policies or any of his decisions.

I was in Washington DC when it occurred except when I returned for meetings, but I reminded them that during that time that I kept up with what was going on in my home state. I said, when California experienced its economic woes a decade ago which resulted in a recall of then Governor Gray Davis, that the Democratic Governor was considered to be as much a part of the blame as were the state's legislators. I went on to say that, you didn't excuse him for the state's woes at that time.

Then I asked, so why are you excusing Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzeneggar this time, in other words why is he getting a bye? I'm sorry, I am simply beginning to believe that most Republicans are simply fanatical nuts. And when you consider how many individuals in the Religious Right, America's other fundamentalist group, you can readily see my point. Just as in their religious context, they use the same narrow-minded to define themselves in a political context! In other words, its that old saying again, 'my mind is made up, don't confuse me with facts'. The problem is that they are already confused!

The truth of the matter is that both of these Neanderthals presupposed that I was a Democratic voter and a member of the Democratic party. And, in typical Republican form, neither one was smart enough to consider that there are individuals outside of the Republican Party who can think for themselves. I explained that I am and have been a registered Independent for years. When I explained that I did not vote for Obama, one of the Neanderthals stood there with his mouth open.

I explained that I am against the political trend in American that began with George Bush Jr., that of Americans electing individuals who clearly are not qualified to be President, and I included Sarah Palin as well as President Obama in the equation.

Then it occurred to me what really bothered me about these two. These guys remind me of many of our religious fundamentalists. And, whether eastern or western, Christians, Muslim or otherwise, there are some individuals in the world that no matter what, once they accept something as truth no light can penetrate the dark morass or recesses of their self-centered minds.

Both religious and political fundamentalists need to wake up and see the light of day, it would sure make life a lot easier for the rest of us. One of the great things about being an Independent voter is that you can sit back and assess all Parties and candidates without prejudice. I am not under any pressure from the party members or bosses to go along with their bad choices or policies. I get to choose, without regard, in other words, to party affiliation(s)!

Who is to blame for California's current economic woes, well if you ask the average Republican, they would simply say, it's the Democrats, in the same manner that some Republicans are already beginning to blame President Obama for America's current economic failed state. And what is so sad about it is that he has only been in office for about one month. Bush is off the hook with these guys, well for sure they can never bring themselves to say that, a Republican messed this country up!

I didn't vote for the nascent Senator from Illinois, who is now the President of the USA, but trust me, I am pulling for him. Why? If not for his sake, for that of our kids, our senior parents and for all of us. We are in big trouble economically as a nation!

What can religious and political fundamentalists do that would make this world a better place? Well, they could start by getting a brain and end on this note, use it! In other words refrain from simply taking a position, and standing on that position regardless of the facts. Have you ever seen so many narrowly defined and closed-minded individuals?

Peace & Grace
Rev. C. Solomon

TO be continued...