Tuesday, August 31, 2021
Monday, August 30, 2021
For years and years I wandered this earthUntil I died and went to hellBut my despair had ascended to heavenThat's how I finally got rid of it
For it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.
For he said unto him that the Lord surely should come to redeem his people, but that he should not come to redeem them in their sins, but to redeem them from their sins.
Then cried they all again, saying, "Not this man, but Barabbas." Now Barabbas was a robber.
Well I do believe in miraclesAnd I want to save my soulAnd I know that I'm a sinnerI'm gonna die here in the cold . . .You'll never make a saint of me
Sunday, August 29, 2021
- 45% of white (white? yes, white!) Evangelicals said they would definitely not get pecked, compared to 10% of (any-color) atheists.
- Only 33% of white Evangelicals "accept the evidence that human activity is causing climate change," compared to 80% of "secular Americans" of any or no color.
- Only 45% of white Evangelicals want to ban assault rifles, compared to 77% of atheists.
- Evangelicals (any color this time!) are the group least likely to think the US has a responsibility to accept refugees.
- White Evangelicals (there they are again!) are less likely than white non-Evangelicals to support Obamacare.
- Theism correlates with supporting "sex education" that stresses abstinence rather than contraception.
- Those who believe in life after death tend to have less positive views of "voluntary euthanasia."
- Religiously affiliated people are less likely to say that "homosexuality should be accepted by society."
- Christians are more likely than non-Christians to say that "gender is determined at birth" and that "society has gone too far in accepting transgender people."
- Religious people and those who reject Darwinism are less likely to have considered vegetarianism, more likely to say that medical research on animals is sometimes "necessary and valid," more likely (obviously!) to agree that "God put animals on Earth for man to use," and less likely to agree that (not making this up!) "it is wrong to wear leather jackets and pants."
- The religious are more likely to support "military action" (no further details available without paying for the article).
- The religious are more likely to believe that "the use of torture against suspected terrorists can sometimes be justified."
- White Evangelicals (our old friends!) are more likely than atheists to support the death penalty.
- "Parents who attend religious groups used corporal punishment more frequently than parents who did not attend religious groups" (but "there were no effects for religious participation on physical abuse").
- Those with "absolute views of religious truth" (a category that surely includes many atheists!) are more likely to be judged "authoritarian" by a psychological questionnaire.
- Watching a "compassion-inducing video had a big effect on [the] generosity" of non-religious people but "did not significantly change the generosity of more religious participants." Takeaway: "Highly religious people are less motivated by compassion than are non-believers."
But wait — what about the rights of the unborn? While many people oppose abortion on decidedly moral grounds, it is also the case that many others support the right of women to maintain autonomy over their own reproductive capacities, on equally moral grounds. Hence, the deep intractability of the debate. And yet, most Americans — both religious and non-religious — do not see the abortion of a non-viable fetus as being akin to the murder of a living human being. And let's be frank: It is impossible to square the assertion that the strongly religious are "pro-life" while they simultaneously refuse to get vaccinated, to wear a mask, to fight climate change, to support universal healthcare, or to support sane gun legislation. To characterize such an agenda as "pro-life" renders the label rather insincere, at best.
[M]embers of religious congregations tend to donate more money to charity, on average, than the unaffiliated. And of course, the 20th century has witnessed the immoral, bloody brutality of numerous atheist dictatorships, such as those of the former USSR and Cambodia.However, despite such complexities, the overall pattern remains clear: When it comes to the most pressing moral issues of the day, hard-core secularists exhibit much more empathy, compassion, and care for the well-being of others than the most ardently God-worshipping.
But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
And the people stood afar off, and Moses drew near unto the thick darkness where God was.
Saturday, August 28, 2021
And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
-- 2 Thessalonians 2:10
This passage was brought to my attention when it was quoted in a review of That Hideous Strength at Bennett's Phylactery. Most English Bibles have deception or deceiptfulness, but deceivableness is also a possible reading of the Greek, and I think this is a case in which the King James translators were clearly inspired. What do we see all around us in 2020-21 but the deceivableness of unrighteousness, because they received not the love of the truth?
Francis Berger makes the same point in a comment on his post "The Unapologetic Cruelty of None Are Safe Until All Are Safe."
The masses may indeed be under some sort of spell, but this does not absolve them of personal responsibility. They chose to fall under the spell and continue to choose to remain under that spell. The masses are not passive victims, and we should not make excuses for them.
Only God searcheth all hearts, but it is my considered opinion that there are very few, if indeed any, innocent victims of the birdemic scam and the other Big Lies of our time. The deceived are complicit in their own deception. To quote the Bennett's Phylactery article I linked, "Everyone involved knows on some level that they are being lied to -- and they not only assent to the lie, but workshop it, and refine it, and pass it along."
There's an obvious paradox involved in knowingly being deceived -- Carlyle's "sincere cant," Twain's "believing what you know ain't so." To know that you are being deceived, you must know that what you believe is a lie -- but if you know it's a lie, in what sense do you believe it? I think that's an extremely important philosophical and psychological question that deserves careful reflection, and I've been nibbling away at it over the years. On rough-and-ready terms, though, everyone knows what "on some level" means and knows -- firsthand -- what it means to be guilty of sincere cant. These things are always easier to recognize in others, though, and the world of 2020-21 has given us all ample opportunity for that!
Friday, August 27, 2021
|When you want to do "Abbey Road" but don't have three friends|
Hey, Satan, paid my duesPlaying in a rocking bandHey, Momma, look at meI'm on my way to the promised landI'm on the highway to hell(Don't stop me)And I'm going down, all the way down
I was driving today and saw a car license plate that said D & C 1 38. This drew my attention because I have seen very few references to the Old or New Testaments on license plates and don't remember seeing any other that refer to Mormon writings.
What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled, whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same.
Yea, behold, I will tell you in your mind and in your heart, by the Holy Ghost, which shall come upon you and which shall dwell in your heart.Now, behold, this is the spirit of revelation; behold, this is the spirit by which Moses brought the children of Israel through the Red Sea on dry ground.Therefore this is thy gift; apply unto it, and blessed art thou, for it shall deliver you out of the hands of your enemies, when, if it were not so, they would slay you and bring your soul to destruction.Oh, remember these words, and keep my commandments. Remember, this is your gift.Now this is not all thy gift; for you have another gift, which is the gift of Aaron; behold, it has told you many things.
|Not my typo|
Thursday, August 26, 2021
Emancipate yourselves from mental slaveryNone but ourselves can free our mind
Wednesday, August 25, 2021
Over at The Magician's Table, I discuss how the "Ripple" video points to Kamala Harris and the state of Arizona for August 2021.
Tuesday, August 24, 2021
Monday, August 23, 2021
I love the evocative way the non-Israelite prophet Balaam introduces himself when he "takes up his parable" in Numbers 24:3-4.
And he took up his parable, and said,
Balaam the son of Beor hath said,
and the man whose eyes are open hath said:
He hath said, which heard the words of God,
which saw the vision of the Almighty,
falling into a trance, but having his eyes open: . . .
And again in vv. 15-16, with one line added.
And he took up his parable, and said,
Balaam the son of Beor hath said,
and the man whose eyes are open hath said:
He hath said, which heard the words of God,
and knew the knowledge of the most High,
which saw the vision of the Almighty,
falling into a trance, but having his eyes open: . . .
I had always read this as a poetic statement of Balaam's prophetic credentials, probably something he had been reciting for years whenever he was called upon to bless or curse or prophesy. I thought it perhaps shed some light on prophetic customs of the time -- that prophets typically prophesied in a trance with their eyes closed, and that Balaam was notable for doing so with his eyes open. I never thought to connect it with the episode which one usually associates with the name of Balaam, and which invariably reduces Sunday schools to giggles: the affair of the talking ass (Num. 22:20-35).
And God came unto Balaam at night, and said unto him, "If the men come to call thee, rise up, and go with them; but yet the word which I shall say unto thee, that shalt thou do."
And Balaam rose up in the morning, and saddled his ass, and went with the princes of Moab. And God's anger was kindled because he went: and the angel of the Lord stood in the way for an adversary against him. Now he was riding upon his ass, and his two servants were with him.
And the ass saw the angel of the Lord standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and the ass turned aside out of the way, and went into the field: and Balaam smote the ass, to turn her into the way.
But the angel of the Lord stood in a path of the vineyards, a wall being on this side, and a wall on that side. And when the ass saw the angel of the Lord, she thrust herself unto the wall, and crushed Balaam's foot against the wall: and he smote her again.
And the angel of the Lord went further, and stood in a narrow place, where was no way to turn either to the right hand or to the left. And when the ass saw the angel of the Lord, she fell down under Balaam: and Balaam's anger was kindled, and he smote the ass with a staff.
And the Lord opened the mouth of the ass, and she said unto Balaam, "What have I done unto thee, that thou hast smitten me these three times?"
And Balaam said unto the ass, "Because thou hast mocked me: I would there were a sword in mine hand, for now would I kill thee."
And the ass said unto Balaam, "Am not I thine ass, upon which thou hast ridden ever since I was thine unto this day? was I ever wont to do so unto thee?"
And he said, "Nay."
Then the Lord opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the Lord standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and he bowed down his head, and fell flat on his face.
And the angel of the Lord said unto him, "Wherefore hast thou smitten thine ass these three times? behold, I went out to withstand thee, because thy way is perverse before me: And the ass saw me, and turned from me these three times: unless she had turned from me, surely now also I had slain thee, and saved her alive."
And Balaam said unto the angel of the Lord, "I have sinned; for I knew not that thou stoodest in the way against me: now therefore, if it displease thee, I will get me back again."
And the angel of the Lord said unto Balaam, "Go with the men: but only the word that I shall speak unto thee, that thou shalt speak."
Balaam had "heard the words of God" before this episode, but is the rest of his poetic introduction a reference to his experience with the ass? He is "the man whose eyes are open" because "the Lord opened the eyes of Balaam" -- apparently permanently! When his eyes were opened, "he saw the angel of the Lord" -- hence "which saw the vision of the Almighty." (Throughout the Torah, seeing the "angel of the Lord" is not clearly distinguished from seeing the Lord himself.) And then Balaam "fell flat on his face." It turns out that when the King James writes "falling into a trance but having his eyes open," the phrase "into a trance" is not in the Hebrew but represents the translators' best guess as to the meaning of "falling." Couldn't it instead be a reference to Balaam's falling on his face when he saw the angel, or perhaps to his falling when the ass "fell down under Balaam"?
All that's missing from Balaam's introduction is, "He that hath heard the voice of an ass" -- omitted because, apparently, he didn't think it was anything very special. One of the strangest things about the whole ass story is how Balaam just takes it in his stride when the animal he has been riding on starts talking.
Sunday, August 22, 2021
a full-grown horse or dog is beyond comparison a more rational, as well as a more conversable animal than an infant of a day, or a week, or even a month old. But suppose the case were otherwise, what would it avail? The question is not, Can they reason? nor, Can they talk? but, Can they suffer?
Friday, August 20, 2021
Thursday, August 19, 2021
Of Benjamin; Abidan the son of Gideoni.
Then the tribe of Benjamin: and the captain of the sons of Benjamin shall be Abidan the son of Gideoni.
And when the people complained, it displeased the Lord: and the Lord heard it; and his anger was kindled; and the fire of the Lord burnt among them, and consumed them that were in the uttermost parts of the camp.
Wednesday, August 18, 2021
To date, the pecks have killed 78% as many people as the birdemic in Taiwan, and that figure has been increasing steadily at a rate of about three percentage points a week. If present trends continue, it should hit 100% right around October 10 -- a.k.a. Double Tenth Day, the National Day of the Republic of China.
Sunday, August 15, 2021
And this was their appearance; they had the likeness of a man. And every one had four faces, and every one had four wings. And their feet were straight feet; and the sole of their feet was like the sole of a calf's foot . . . And they had the hands of a man under their wings on their four sides; . . . As for the likeness of their faces, they four had the face of a man, and the face of a lion, on the right side: and they four had the face of an ox on the left side; they four also had the face of an eagle (Ezek. 1:5-10).
And round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind. And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle (Rev. 4:6-7).
I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea. And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another.The first was like a lion . . . . And behold another beast, a second, like to a bear . . . . After this I beheld, and lo another, like a leopard, which . . . had also four heads . . . . After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; . . . and it had ten horns (Dan 7:2-7).
And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion (Rev. 13:1-2).
Read the scriptures, fast and pray,Go to church, and don't be gay.
And for that the dream was doubled unto Pharaoh twice; it is because the thing is established by God, and God will shortly bring it to pass (Gen. 41:32).
And it shall come to pass, if they will not believe thee, neither hearken to the voice of the first sign, that they will believe the voice of the latter sign (Ex. 4:8).
Prophetic dreams . . . the hand of Moses, "leprous as snow" . . . It reminds me that I still haven't resolved this:
I'm sure that "Hand of the King" reference in the Bidenette meme also has some significance. Last night, between dreaming and waking, the White Hand of Saruman came to mind and seemed to be connected to lots and lots of things in the contemporary world. I can't remember any of the links, though -- if there were ever any real links to begin with; it was a dream. Perhaps something will come back to me.
All that has come back to me since then is that the dream involved connecting Q with the White Hand -- because (I thought in the dream) the Hebrew letters Kaph and Qoph originally represented the two hands. I forget which was the right and which was the left. I thought of Kaph as a red hand -- the pierced palm of Christ -- and Qoph as a white one. There were lots and lots of other connections, too -- but, as Nebuchadnezzar said, "The thing is gone from me."
Kaph is the palm, but Qoph never represented a hand at all. It has been variously interpreted as a needle, a monkey, the sun on the horizon, the back of the head, and the nape of the neck. Neck, Bert!
|Das war also des Pudels Kern!|
All the water in the worldNo matter how it triedCould never sink the smallest shipUnless it got inside.All the evil of the worldAnd every kind of sinCould never damn a human soulUnless we let it in.
I have my found my pecked friends and family members to be uncharacteristically and extremely fearful and angry. Another line of evidence brought that into focus yesterday, and I now suspect that the pecked are no longer alone in their bodies.I'm still exploring this idea, but it instantly felt right and offers insight on the aforementioned letter as well.
|The constant carnival of intense control|
(Card by Jean-Pierre Payen of Avignon, 1713)
I'd just listened to about half of the Book of Exodus when it crossed my mind that I hadn't checked out Jonathan Pageau on YouTube recently -- so I did so, and found a fairly recent video called "Now Is A Great Time to Understand the Plagues of Egypt." He really only talks about one of the plagues, that of the hail mingled with fire. Here, lightly edited, is the comment that most struck me.
Think of our day, think of our age, where you both have the most intense level of control that has ever existed -- the greatest police state that has ever existed in the history of humanity, with the most control and quantification and calculation that has ever existed -- and at the same time, this sense that we live in a constant carnival, and that anything goes and that anything can happen. It's like the Beast and the Whore together; somehow they shouldn't be together, but they're together, and so this is the image of hail and fire at the same time.
Saturday, August 14, 2021
O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths.
|Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away.|
The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sent the following message on Thursday, August 12, 2021, to Church members around the world:Dear Brothers and Sisters:We find ourselves fighting a war against the ravages of COVID-19 and its variants, an unrelenting pandemic. We want to do all we can to limit the spread of these viruses. We know that protection from the diseases they cause can only be achieved by immunizing a very high percentage of the population.To limit exposure to these viruses, we urge the use of face masks in public meetings whenever social distancing is not possible. To provide personal protection from such severe infections, we urge individuals to be vaccinated. Available vaccines have proven to be both safe and effective.We can win this war if everyone will follow the wise and thoughtful recommendations of medical experts and government leaders. Please know of our sincere love and great concern for all of God’s children.The First PresidencyRussell M. NelsonDallin H. OaksHenry B. Eyring
Friday, August 13, 2021
Wednesday, August 11, 2021
Tuesday, August 10, 2021
From time to time, maybe once every five or six years, I go through the entire Bible as quickly as possible -- so quickly that I wouldn't really call it reading the Bible, but it serves to sort of refresh my memory and reinforce my mental concept of the Bible-as-a-whole. Since I now have an app ("Gospel Library" from CJCLDS) that will read the Scriptures to me aloud, I thought I'd try that this time around. It's much slower, of course, in terms of words per minute, but it allows me to spend more minutes a day "reading," so perhaps it will all balance out. Anyway, for the past few days, whenever I'm doing housework or anything else that doesn't engage my brain overmuch, the Bible is playing in the background. It's still in Genesis.
Today I was brewing some coffee and half-listening to Genesis, and I thought I heard this: "And Jacob lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold, he saw Cain, and with him four hundred men." And I thought, Wait, how could Jacob have seen Cain? Did it say Canaan? But it said "with him four hundred men," so it's obviously a person, not a place. I went over, paused the app, and checked what it was reading. Oh, of course.
And Jacob lifted up his eyes, and looked, and, behold, Esau came, and with him four hundred men (Gen. 33:1).
This counts as a synchronicity because of a recent post of mine that recounts a story of a 19th-century Mormon seeing Cain, and which also speculates that Cain may have been Esau's biological father.
Sunday, August 8, 2021
Friday, August 6, 2021
"Just to be clear, this is not Jim Crow. This is more like Jim Crow's nicer, public health-defending cousin, John Crow. This is all about safety and science because we're the government and we care," said DeBlasio.
|Is that Jim himself in the background?|
Biden’s bizarre quote has confused a lot of people who assumed that Jim Crow and Jim Eagle were two people. However, this isn’t the case.Jim Eagle isn’t actually a real person. Joe Biden made up the name as a play on words, using different bird species to get his point across.A crow is a small bird, whereas an eagle is far bigger and more dangerous.What Biden was trying to say is that what the Republicans are trying to do with their voting legislation is huge, and far worse than that of the pre-Civil Rights Jim Crow era.If you’re not familiar with what Jim Crow is, it’s a series of laws that enforced racial segregation in the United States.
Thursday, August 5, 2021
Say it out loud: “I am a human being, but I am not just any human being. I am a white person. I am a member of the white race.”Can’t do it, can you?Do these words scare you? Do you feel like a bad person just for reading them? Do you think I am evil for writing them down, or even thinking them?It’s okay if you do. You have been trained to feel that way. You have been trained not only to hate what you are, but to deny that you even exist.
On the road this morning, I found myself thinking about the Decameron of Giovanni Boccaccio. It's a work I've only read once, in translation (by Mark Musa, a translator whose Comedy did not earn my trust!), and that was a while back (2009). I guess what brought it to mind was recent speculations about the possible medium-term effects of the birdemic pecks. Although people don't usually put the Decameron in the post-apocalyptic genre, that's certainly where it belongs. The whole feel of the work, its Robinhoodish atmosphere of gay nihilism, is inseparable from its setting: a Europe which just lost a third of its population to the plague. A Steve Earle lyric came to mind.
When it all was over, the slate wiped clean with a touch,
There God stood, and he saw it was good,
And he said, "Ashes to ashes and dust to dust."
"God saw that it was good" reminded me of the meaning of the word Decameron -- "ten days," a word created by Boccaccio by analogy with Hexameron, "six days," a title used for various theological works on the six days of Creation.
I thought of the "ten days of darkness" the Q people had promised back at the beginning of the year.
Then I noticed a huge electronic billboard in front of me: a man making a kabuki "soy face" and holding some packages of frozen meat. Under it, the flashing words "買十送一哦！" -- "Buy ten, get one free!"
I'm not about to try to cobble these syncs into a prophecy. I'm just taking notes.
Wednesday, August 4, 2021
In connection with my recent posts about Eleanor Cameron's Mushroom Planet novels, both Wandering Gondola and William Wright have drawn...
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