Tuesday, August 22, 2017

A Theology For the 21st Century

When we use words or nouns, they are just symbols that point to something.  When I say God, I am pointing to any/all of the following things: 
  • Ultimate reality (Paul Tillich),
  • Ground of our Being (Paul Tillich)
  • The Beyond (Depth) Within Our Midst (Dietrich Bonhoeffer)
  • That Which We Take Seriously Without Reservation; our ultimate concern
  • That which is really real
  • That which is at the heart of things
  • The ultimate meaning in our lives
I like to think about Moses’ encounter with Yahweh (God) in the Desert in Egypt (Exodus 3:2 to 3:15) where God announces to Moses that he is commanding him to go to the Pharaoh and free the children of Israel. Moses asks God, when I speak to my people and they ask to whom I spoke with and “What is HIS name?” what should I tell them?  God said to Moses, ‘I AM THAT I AM.’ And He said “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, I AM has sent me to you.” “This is My name forever and this My memorial to all generations.”

I find this a pivotal passage because God is saying that he is “I AM” --meaning that God is “I AM-ness,” that he is “being” or even “being-itself.”  I go on to interpret this to mean that God is the ground of (our) being or the deepest part of (our) being. If God is at the heart of our being, then God knows you better than you know yourself. And if God is Being than we are participating in God and God is in us!! God is in you.

So when I say “God,” I am pointing to this “ground of our being” or the ultimate reality in our existence. God is not an object ‘out there’ or ‘up there,’ but the ground of our being, the ultimate depth in our existence and the ultimate in our reality. God is not A supreme being but supreme being (-itself)!!  So, I don’t need to prove the existence of anything, I just need to clarify that I am pointing to the depths of our being. That exists.

No sophisticated person has an idea of God as an old man “up there,” do they?  If they do, those people will indeed find it difficult to prove their position.

Our Physical Life Is Ephemeral. Materialism Is A Bust

Physically, everyone of us is quite literally a cloud of protons, electrons and neutrons. That is 100% true. (Everything else is too.) And there are vast spaces between these whirring particles, so we’re literally ‘just’ a cloud of particles. We have mass because the particles do have weight.

And we’re hardly the same person that we were a few years ago. Most of our cells are being replaced, so we are literally not who we were 2 years ago. My old skin cells have completely sloughed-off and my skin is entirely new compared to 2 years ago. (It’s true that the brain cells are not replaced, but many are dying and other cells are then adapted)  All of your hair is being constantly replaced with new hair cells. So, physically, we’re really in flux!!  Everything about us physically is extremely transitory. Our physical being is so “shaky.” (And then we die which is really dis-integrative!)

But obviously we are more than clouds of particles. We are sentient beings (so are dogs and other animals).  We have being, a soul or a “spirit.” We have depth. We build things. We think. We write. We create. We create meaning in our lives in relation to others. We read the teachings of Jesus and the Prophets who taught us what has ultimate meaning and what really matters. We rightfully point to Jesus as fully human and fully God...meaning that he supremely shows what it’s like to be fully “connected” to God (the Word became flesh), the ultimate reality of our lives and world. And this reality looks something like a passion for justice, a love and goodwill for others—especially for the rejected, the poor, the sick. In the N.T., love is the greek word agape meaning a goodwill (a will for the good) for all those we meet (including our enemies!).  In fact, it is my personal understanding that God wills for the good for all of us!! God loves (agape) us! And when we physically disintegrate (die), it's likely that a part of the being within us continues in some way, but maybe not our self-awareness. But who knows??

Clues to understanding the nature of God, the “ground of our being” is also revealed by reading scripture but also studying great philosophers and thinkers, understanding great science, and reading great works that illuminate the really deep things of our lives. The more you know the better. This is the path to wisdom--not foolishness. Also, really great scientists, when pondering the profound depth of physics, or look out in the expanses of the cosmos, or look through the most powerful microscopes, sometimes perceive something profound and moving at “the heart of things.” Many have a profound or moving experience at those moments (religious experiences?). The same thing might happen to a great writer.


Wherever there is no God, there are only fools. It’s true because if you don’t know anything of God -- that which is at the heart of things or the really real, then you are going to be really lost and foolish. This is happening all over the place today, including universities where God is intentionally sidelined. Maybe these people have rejected religion because they think religion is based on a God as an old man in the sky “up there” or “out there.” We really need our religious traditions for answers to the question "what really matters?" But "traditional" or conventional religion may be unnecessarily alienating people from religion. We shouldn't teach children religious fairy tales in Sunday school since many of these kid's religious ideas never grow up.

There are very few real Atheists. The only true Atheists would be people who kill themselves. Apart from mental problems, killing yourself is the ultimate expression of your belief that life has no meaning or worth. Just getting out of bed in the morning is a statement that life has meaning. It’s worth getting out of bed. In a way, whatever people think has ultimate meaning to them is their God. For instance, extremely greedy people obsessed only with obtaining money have basically elevated money to a God. It animates their life just like God since it might really be their ultimate concern. And they might have a great deal of money, since it means so much to them.

Process Theology

Process theology, started by Alfred North Whitehead (a physicist and contemporary of Einstein), and expounded by John Cobb, Charles Hartshorne and many others, says that God, in addition to being ultimate reality is also the creative force in the universe that is pulling and tugging all things toward the “good.”  He is the force in the universe who works consistently and persistently in calling/pulling all “entities” toward deeper/higher levels of existence. My understanding from Process Theology is that God is working in humans, persuasively and persistently in our hearts and minds to subtlety and consistently pull us toward a greater and profound existence –toward the good. This “tug to the good” can easily be ignored---and many do! 

Friday, August 18, 2017

Economic Stagnation Is Causing Unrest And Leading to Collapse

Insanity, illegality and hysteria is boiling-up everywhere now:
  • the mindless, ignorant and criminal flash-mobs tearing down the Confederate Statues, all supported by mindless, know-nothing 20-somethings in the media who latched on this issue to further denigrate white people in general and especially to create a new fake meme to denigrate Trump.
  • The vast majority of television media are all now completely and obviously Left Wing radicals (idiots) who have given up any pretense of objectivity. They all HATE Trump and ALL are working (illegally) to remove this Constitutionally-elected president. 
  • Despite government being the cause of all the big problems in this country, young people are supporting an octogenarian Marxist dinosaur (Sanders) who would bring even more Socialism (and certain destruction) to this country. 
  • Organized marches after the election with no point; led and followed by people who know nothing, 
  • Washington in a total state of incompetence and total deadlock, Everything is broken, and nothing fixed. Nothing will be fixed according to the Democrats.
  • The Democratic party has decayed to utter uselessness, pointlessness and obstruction and the Republicans are almost as bad,
  • The Left has fomented a McCarthy-esque witch hunt to blame Russia for their candidate's failure and have been trying unsuccessfully to find a "smoking gun" (none exists).
  • Lawlessness erupting from States/Municipalities who (illegally) flout Federal laws with nonsense "sanctuary cities" 
  • California declaring that they will (illegally) seek to follow the ridiculous Paris Climate accords after Trump exited the accord --States are forbidden to follow their own foreign policy by the Constitution, 
Much of individual's frustration with our country is due to the fact that there are not enough jobs with adequate pay, too few opportunities, and inflation is raging while there is too little money. There is literally no hope because no politician even admits to any problem! If they can't admit that there is a problem, there certainly will be no solution.  Janet Yellen keeps saying that everything is rosy while she keeps calling for even more (destructive) inflation! Obama crowed for years that the economy is wonderful. So did Ben Bernanke. Who wouldn't forgive people feeling frustrated? The economy is so bad, who would blame a young person to call for Socialism as an alternative?

Every statistic from the government is a lie. Unemployment is advertised as lowest in decades ('technically' true but basically bullshit).  Inflation is raging in the most important areas: healthcare, rent, housing, tuition, food. Obama constantly crowed that the economy is great (it's not), our wars are nearly won (they are all lost), voters are told by presidential candidates that the government will create jobs (nonsense).

This generation, and any future generation, can't afford college now thanks to the still-unchecked Govt loan bubble inflating books and tuition to the moon. This and the next generation can't afford a house since the Federal Reserve has inflated them beyond their reach. The next generation is screwed. No one can afford even a modest medical procedure without being bankrupted, leading to a situation where few can pay their medical bills -- all thanks to the Govt-sponsored medical/pharma cartels and the dominance of Govt spending in medicine.

Our war on poverty has failed, our war on drugs has failed, the country hasn't outright won a war since WWII, the government caused two financial crashes in the past 15 years and another is about to burst. Each time the economy gets even worse. It's all because of the US govt. And no one learns a thing. The entire government colossus should be burnt down. It's time for a new American Revolution, really a massive reset, to do it.

"Government" is causing everything to fail. Everything "government" touches turns to shit. Worse news of all: Government is touching most everything!

Government at all levels (and low median IQ) have caused a near total cultural collapse of the black population in this country. And they are near revolt. Black poverty is higher than ever thanks in part to government destruction of black families (thanks to the Great Society War on Poverty). "Government" has caused ruin to the lives of Blacks just like they ruined the lives of the Native Americans. Multi-generational welfare rot, ruined public housing, utterly dysfunctional unionized schools, massive ignorance and drug and alcohol addiction is rampant. Now about 10% of all black men are in prison. Even black high school graduation rates are exaggerated because no one is counting the large number of young black kids in jail.

The rest of the population is not doing well either thanks to the de-industrialization of our country by 30+ years of Globalist politicians. There is literally no hope left in large parts of the country. To wit, opium addiction and overdose is suddenly now killing 50,000 people per year. And alarmingly, life expectancy is declining in this country.  The US is NOT the shining city on the hill anymore. There is no hope out there.

Against this backdrop, Donald Trump narrowly won a victory over the most corrupt politician to ever run for President in this country. Hillary Clinton, who only had government jobs, amassed a slush fund of $100,000,000 by taking bribery payments from just about any corrupt government or individual in return for future political favors -- all while "serving" (really failing miserably) as Sec of State (the entire scheme collapsed after her defeat).This was all made clear by Wikileaks and the Fox News network, but still about 50% of the US voters voted for her despite the obvious and outrageous corruption and failures. And there have been unexplained and suspicious murders of anyone coming forward to point out the real story of this slush fund. Truly, we're getting near the darkest days of our history.

Trump won by forcefully speaking, in plain language and with obvious truth, of the ongoing dramatic national decline and he rightfully proposed individual and corporate tax reform, reversal of Obama's damaging Exec Orders, a reversal of the damaging trade deals done by previous administrations, an end to the ridiculous open borders and promised to reverse many of the trends noted above. He even promised to re-establish Glass Steagall to reduce financial risk. He promised to drain the huge Washington swamp and many more things. All are laudable but impossible.

It turns out that the swamp is much bigger than one man. All of the Democrats, the entire Left Wing media establishment, most of the Corporate elites and many of the Republican party are working against any reform at all. The millions of Democrats embedded in the Washington bureaucracy (80% Dems) are also working against Trump. Even Obama is (illegally) operating a political opposition organization in DC to overthrow Trump! Half the nation is working to remove Trump and using violence, profanity, falsehoods, smears, lies, fake news, fake memes, false flag operations and witch hunts to do it. In other words: anything to stop him!

They want him out through any means, legal or illegal. If people helped Trump, he might have made a real difference. He has many of the right ideas. Instead, what the people want is another Globalist politician, just like the ones who have brought ruin to this nation.  

These are yet more reasons why I believe that a social/economic collapse is coming as I warned here and here.  We're probably just weeks or months away from it's onset.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Smartphone Addiction Is Causing (Even More) Mental Health Problems

Data shows that our rampant phone addiction in this country is causing more loneliness, more depression, fewer "real" friends (isolation), less dating, less sleep, less time with friends and less sex-especially in our youngest generation.

In fact, Jean Twenge, a professor of psychology at San Diego State University, says in an article in Atlantic magazine (and an upcoming book), that the group of young people born between 1995 and 2012, who she calls the "iGens," are facing a mental health crisis: "It's not an exaggeration to describe iGen as being on the brink of the worst mental health crisis in decades." And she says it's largely because of smartphones.

And what about all those websites that garner all our young people's attention, like Facebook, Whatsapp, Snapchat and others?  They are feeding into this phone addiction and the resulting social isolation. It's supremely ironic that so-called social media is actually anti-social. I've been of that opinion for some time. And these kids are "communicating" on little chat windows which reduces communication to the most trivial and superficial level possible. They're reducing human communications to silly cartoon "emojis" for goodness sake! Gone are real conversations using full sentences, real social interaction and real logic.  

Worse, Facebook and Twitter and others are subtlety manipulating our young people through algorithms that suppress conservative thought and promote Leftism.  And their time-wasting sites are actually ruining a new generation and feeding into another unhealthy addiction which hurts the nation.