Hold it! Hold the presses on the last one! Not just the foreskin, but a substantial part of the larger organ was attached. Yes, it did belong to Jesus as earlier stated. We know that because of the 'Return Requested' label. But it now seems not to have been a circumcision. We experts think that a distant relative of Lorena Bobbitt was involved. Likely some kind of revenge for Jesus' messing around with Mary Magdallane.
On another matter: After my scholarly article on Adam and his Belly Button*, a reader asked if Adam had ever married Eve. WHAT A STUPIT QUESTION! Who the hell was available to do the ceremony? Oh, sure Satan could have but he was just in a gross laughing spasm over the entire show. The snake had caused enough trouble already. So the frisky pair were out of luck marriage-wise. Didn't bother them at all cause marriage and alimony hadn't been invented yet.
*see Compendium of Higher Criticism, Vol. 44, pgs 75 to 844. But skip the ads and girlie pictures for a change, you letch!
This editorial point of view was printed in Duluth News Tribune, September 3, 2003
We should not expect out Constitution to protect us unless we are willing to protect it from those who would subvert it.
Our constitutional religious freedoms are under assault by many groups locally and nationally. They would remove protections for all religions in order to capture America for their version of religion. They are eager to shatter Thomas Jefferson's Wall of Separation between church and state.
Recent News Tribune letter writers, for example, want biblical creation myths taught in the public's schools. Their pressure parallels the Bush administration pressure to usurp our government for its style of religion. Such efforts are utterly opposed to the spirit of our Founding Fathers and to the values of thoughtful Americans today.
The founders endowed us with a Constitution that forbids any religious test for public office and requires that government may take no part whatever in establishing any religion. It is a Constitution without any mention of any god. It has strict separation between church and state so that each person may have whatever god is his or her choice or the choice of no god whatever.
From its adoption, that Constitution has been the pride of Americans and the envy of freedom-loving people of all nations. It has spared America for the most part from the interreligious terrors so prominent in European history.
Those who want creationism taught in public schools defy the Constitution. They would teach outdated mythology as truth to everyone's children. They cannot accept our knowledge gained from biology, geology and astronomy and insist that the Earth is the center of the universe and everything was created in a six day period. Nor do they accept that evolution with mutations and competitive survival over billions of years has produced complex things and the human eye or the Rolex watch.
Evolutionary development of eyes and much more is explained for us by Richard Dawkins in his book, "The Blind Watchmaker." He shows how eyes evolved independently in many species because even the slightest sensitivity to light can provide significant survival advantage. It requires only more evolution over ages of time to produce a complex eye from simple light-sensitive organic molecules in very primitive organisms. And yes, the Rolex too is an evolutionary product. It is a consequence of evolved human brain function. Snails produce shells, birds produce nests and people produce watches with evolved neural equipment, brains.
Most savvy religionists have retreated from biblical ideas of an Earth-centered universe, miracles, virgin births, etc. They do not urge the Genesis stories as fact. But some hang onto a hope that their god must have been the initial designing agent of the universe.
The faulty intelligent design concept requiring a creator, is fashionable now but it has problems. Ask what or who designed the intelligent designer and you produce a useless infinite reqression of designers of designers. In any case such a remote designer would never fit the description of man's many gods, past or present.
Apart from considerations of intelligent design or creationism or evolution, it is the religious Americans who should be the most emphatic in resisting religion in schools and government. Indeed some religious people, such as members of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, led by the Rev. Barry Lynn, are strong supporters of the Constitution.
They know that freedom to practice their religion depends on freedom for all religions. That is because believers will never agree on whose sect of which branch of what religion should teach their child or wield federal powers. But many religious people do relish government power.
Some Catholics would, for example, but they are under obligation to a foreign Pope who sometimes exercises his authority over American government officials who are Catholic with threat of excommunication and hell. And would Episcopalians accept rule by Mormons? Would Baptists accept rule by Adventists or Lutherans? Of course not! Religious rule is a proven formula for hate and bloody slaughter.
When religion strives for ethical principles based on realistic understandings of the universe and of human nature, it is a boon. But when it is entrenched in superstition and resistant to new knowledge, it is a great evil. Most religions demand belief in a one-and-only true god for all people and all times. That belief generates zealots who feel righteously above civil law and are obliged to eliminate rival god believers. Alas zealotry often trumps rational thought and behavior.
And Christian zealotry is no different from Islamic or any other zealotry.
Another flagrant abuse of the Constitution is the emplacement of religious monuments and rituals on civic property. Some Duluth churches use public parks for their services of worship. In Alabama Judge Roy Moore installed his version of the Ten Commandments in his state's judicial building, showing us clearly the extremes to which some people will go to make our government subservient to their religion.
Moore has stated, "To do my duty I must obey God." But in accepting government office in America, he has sworn to uphold our Constitution with its separation of church and state. His duty is to set aside his religious choices and compulsions in order to be a fair judge of all citizens of any and no religion. Some people, like Moore, claim that their religion will not allow them to make such a decision. If so, those people are dishonest in seeking American civic office. They should excuse themselves from government duty.
All of these situations threaten erosion of our American religious liberties. Those liberties, which Washington, Jefferson, Madison and others established for us, are precious but they also are precarious. Real patriots know we have a duty to protect the Constitutions from all enemies, foreign and domestic.
WILLIAM VAN DRUTEN
is a member of the Lake Superior Freethinkers.
Monday, May 13, 2013 | | 0 Comments
After my retirement from medicine, psychiatry, I attend and gave classes to a group of elders at the University of Seniors at University of Minnesota, Duluth. At one such class: ATHEISM, IS IT FOR YOU, a physician colleague our sectarian medical facility accosted me to which I responded in writing to him as follows:
At the intermission of class in ethics you said that I was, in your opinion, "a malignant, viscous atheist or agnostic"
I disagree with the adjectives but you certainly may have your opinion.
As for the nouns, I am properly described as a freethinker. We are of the tradition of Jefferson, Madison, Washington, Edison and Mark Twain, etc.
Using experience, science and reason (in place of superstition, religion and sheep like following of tradition) is an enormous help in approaching ethical matters.
I am always happy to discuss this; just phone me.
Bill van Druten
HE NEVER DID
Does anyone else suspect the pending invasion of Iraq is more of a Bush-Hussein family feud that a strategically wise endeavor? It is my impression that more, not less, terrirism of America will result form an invasion of Iraq. Whatever terror weapons Saddam has are likely safe in some sympathetic country by now, and would' Sadam love a reason to use them! And when did the president get the authority to take us to war? Congress, not the president, is empowered to make war on behalf of the American people.
William van Durten
We know a lot about the character of gods from incidents such as the Tucson massacre ("and acts of god" such as hurricanes, famine, earthquakes, etc). Eutger gods do not know what is going on or they don't care or powerless to be of any help or wanted the tragedy to happen, or most likely gods are fictional.
It's more rational to view humans as evolutionary animals with all our plusses, minuses and illnesses. Some mentally disturbed people goaded by aspects of free media and religion can produce mayhem. That is relatively common. From my psychiatric standpoint, the management of such people can require infringements of their liberty in the name of protecting our community. It is often a difficult balance, on that tilted the wrong way in Tucson.
We are each on our own together to seek the best outcome that nature and our natural minds (also nature) can devise. Effort, time and money for prayer and the like is wasteful and distracts from useful activity. Community commiseration and support are beneficial if they do not advance the superstitious religion media govern ment complex.
William van Druten,
the writer is a member of the Lake Superior Freethinkers.