Thursday, February 26, 2004

People put up filters to handle what makes it into their life. They use things like books, political parties, family relations, income.... just tons of things to filter out the raw world. Most of the time they also filter out knowledge of those filters. If you talk to a Super-Christian they will say that all they need to know is in the Bible, usually the King James Version and it will vary between the Old and New Testament, depending on whether they want to be generous and accepting or narrow minded and judgmental. Right recently there has been a flurry of excitement generated by the entertainment/news media about this film "The Passion". The idea is to sell books and tickets and religion to those who already have them.

The filter in this film is kinda interesting. There are several accounts of the last days of Joshua, aka Jesus, so Mel Gibson (son of a Nazi loving anti-Semitic father) chooses one which matches his own belief system. Then, since he is most experienced in bloody, violent films he accents the blood and violence. This event, the film opening, was stirred up and served to born-again evangelical Christians and will bring in millions and millions of dollars to those responsible. It will also stir up anti-Jewish hatred and violence against Jews. You know this will happen because whenever you have this Passion for the story of the torture and death of the Son of God by the Romans and Jews, Jews suffer. Romans aren't around to suffer, so they get a pass.

The Passover Plot was a story of how the group of radical Jews planned to fulfill the messiah prophecy and kick off the New Millenium of heaven on earth. Except that there were several prophecies dealing with that event, not just one. There are several accounts of the crucifixion of Joshua, aka Jesus, and several accounts of his death-and-resurrection, many of which predate the Jews. Isis and Horus, Persephone, even some oriental cultures have a winter-turns-to-spring myth. You filter ideas thru your preconceptions and spit out a "truth" which matches your expectations. This works for religion and politics. I personally do not trust national-level politicians and find lots of evidence to support my distrust.

People say you have to choose which sources to add to your knowledge base, that no one can understand all the variations. I don't know anyone right now who actually has tried. Joe Campbell did a good job and I think he showed that you can, in fact, take time to lower your filters and try to absorb many variations of a bit of knowledge. You can compare sources, compare language, and compare core concepts. So it was that Joe Campbell became rather anti-Yahweh. That is to say he found little to like in the worship of that deity, insofar as the worshippers manifested their beliefs outside the temple/church.

Recently I was showing my wife the passage in the Book of Luke wherein Jesus tells his followers that they have to hate their mother, their father, their siblings and all family members in order to love him and follow him. There is a certain kind of logic to that if you dismiss, as many have done, the meaning of the word "hate" in this passage. He didn't mean hate because Jesus is all about love, ergo, he couldn't have meant hate the way we mean hate. He meant relative hate. She did not remember that passage, which is curious because she grew up in a Catholic school environment and must have been made to read the Bible and encouraged to study the King James Version. She filtered it out or it was filtered out for her in order to not confuse, perhaps.

Hitler practiced relative hate. He tried to export the killers of Christ to the US, but we turned them down. So they went to Hell, in the form of the death camps. The knowledge of this was filtered out of the American history in much the same way knowledge of Henry Ford's fondness for the Nazi party and Adolph in particular. The Ford motorcar transformed America into a sprawling, asphalted, air-polluted factory pumping out workers for the good of the people. People copulated in the back seat and then drove home to sleep. They probably prayed for forgiveness before turning in. They prayed to la ong-dead Jew who probably wouldn't have cared less what non-Jews did in their spare time. Their time was numbered anyway because the prophecies indicated that the Army of Light would overthrow the Army of Darkness and non-Jews were by definition not in the Army of Light. Most Christians filter out that prophecy, modifying it into a vague promise of salvation for true believers.

The whole thing starts out with a pile of scrolls written in a number of ancient languages and buried or tucked away in various hidey holes in the Mideast and nearby countries. King James wanted all references to women in power filtered out. He wanted the story to indicate that a pyramid scheme of power was divinely sanctioned. He wanted it to sound European, so Joshua was transformed into Jesus, Mariam became Mary and so forth. Now we have older scrolls around and they tell pretty much the same stories in much the same language, so they must all be true, right? The seven day thing could be symbolic, since our modern religion of science came up with patterns of radioactive decay and the world seems much older than that. The transformation of animals into their modern versions could be part of that set of details that were filtered out of the Genesis stories. The story of the Fall was selected to correctly portray the male-female relationship thing, ie man on top, woman underneath cranking out babies.

Those scrolls which contained the same stories but from a non-Jewish stance were filtered out. The Flood, the Creation, the Fall from Grace.... all filtered and modified and whitened. So Isis becomes Mary, Horus become Jesus, the Goddess becomes invisible. Pretty slick all in all. It does, however, still leave behind a Hell of a lot of contradictions. Yahweh said that Adam and Eve would die, die, die. They didn't, just like the serpent told them. But the serpent is called a liar. Okay, they did get the knowledge of good and evil, but it didn't stop their kids from killing one another and that may just indicate that Mom and Dad were too busy begetting to talk much about the old homestead they left behind and what they learned there. They filtered that out. If ignorance of the Law is no excuse, then why do you need the Law at all? Why not just get rid of the ignorant and leave the obedient? Why not just build thousands of prisons, put all the bad people in them and then kill them all? That's exactly what Hitler did. That's the kind of thinking that we have now today in America. We filtered out the results of that thinking and left the build-up to that conclusion. Cure drug use by destroying the drug users. Hate the sin and the sinner.

Oddly enough, there is a filter between the lawgivers and the law followers. For instance for a long time Congress exempted themselves from the laws they passed in order to avoid a breach in the separation of powers as defined in the Constitution, that Bible of American Democracy. You couldn't have the Executive Branch arresting the Legislative Branch. It just wouldn't do. So when businesses were required to stop hiring based on skin color, the Congress could go on right ahead. When the priests in the Catholic church said homosexuality was an abomination unto the Lord, they went right on buggering little boys in their care. When the Decalog said Thou shall not kill, Yahweh blasted entire nations filled with women, babies, dogs, cats, mice, etc. The filter between the lawgivers and the law followers is more of a wall.

There's another Joshua in the Bible and every good Christian and many others know the story of the walls falling down. Most have filtered out the instructions given Joshua before the war. He was told to invade these ill-favored cities, kill all the men, rape all the women, sell the kids into slavery, burn the city and move on to the next city. Good followers of Yahweh have been following this advice for thousands of years. There was a story in the news some years ago about this father being chased down the highway by the police because he had his son in the front seat with a big knife and he was going to cut that kids head off because Yahweh told him to. I find that story interesting because Abraham did the same thing, minus the car, and he is frequently brought up as a fine example of what followers of Yahweh should be doing. There are lots of stories of people tying up their evil children, torturing them, killing them, eating them..... all because Yahweh said to. Most modern Christians have issues with that and claim that Yahweh is all about love and couldn't have told them to do those things. Curiously, they continue to read the Old Testament and have no problem with all that death, rape and pillage going on in the name and by the instructions of that deity. Times have changed, they say.

Times have changed, says our President. Those treaties we signed to make proliferation of atomic, chemical and biological weapons illegal are old and unrealistic. Toss em out and make more weapons, even sell those weapons to others to make sure everybody has a shot at using them. Firebomb civilians, rape their women, sell their children to the highest bidder and call it commerce, not slavery. Commerce is good, slavery is for blacks and our Secretary of State is a black man. Well, he used to be. Now he's a shareholder and that makes him damn white. If a black man says firebomb the children, it must be okay, because after all, blacks love their children. Just look at Step'n Fetchett smiling down on Shirley Temple. Man that boy can dance. Blacks is kindly folk, septn' in de ghetto where they is likely to carry a razor and cut you bad. Fact is, most ghettos in America are no more dangerous than any place else in America, like, say, a high school cafeteria.

We filter out extra meanings to our words in order to allow them to make sense to us. So American democracy is a system where the extremely wealthy men are given license to live off the not-so-wealthy everybody else, and votes are sometimes counted in local elections. The big choices are filtered away from the masses so they can keep cranking out them consumers. Christian Americans are encouraged to love the sinner while hating the sin and manifesting that hate-love by tying the sinner to a fence in the middle of winter, or dragging the body behind a pick-up truck. You pray for the soul later, knowing full well that they prayer will help you, but there is not any help for the sinner: they are buring in Hell. Here's a side note: if homosexual behavior is so common in the other animals, do they all burn in Hell too? Just wondering. I guess because the Yahwehists don't believe any other animal created by the deity were given souls and choices they don't get to go to Hell. Just us people who were given the power of choice and made the wrong choice. We get filtered out.

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