It appears Arizona, now followed by Florida, is setting up a national issue on the subject of illegal aliens. However, there is more going on than the ease at entering America, not paying taxes, and using various social benefits paid for by tax paying Americans. One business thrives off of illegals, and while you may not see this business often, trust me, they target illegal populations whenever they open a location: Western Union.
Western Union went bankrupt with the competition from the internet but saw wire transfers as saving grace. Illegals send hundreds of billions of dollars back home every year, and not just to Mexico and Cuba. Any place with a large foreign population, especially illegals, has a Western Union. Average Americans may not see them everyday because we are not their target consumers. They have more locations worldwide than Walmart, Starbucks, and McDonalds combined. I know this, because I used to work at a gas station and I became so good as Western Union that many customers, not able to speak much English, would only let me do their wire transfers for them.
When people talk of illegals sending money home, they tend not to mention Western Union. As if illegals are getting bank accounts and doing wire transfers and have off shore accounts. If they knew this much about finance, they would not be crossing the border. Western Union is an American company whose revenue stream depends on illegals in the US. It appears England is having problems with illegals too,and I bet Western Union is capitalizing on them as well.
How this can happen is rather simple. Most illegals live with many families under one roof. This idea is a bit odd to most Americans because one family is a bit much, and a family reunion once a year is pressing it. The math is simple; you are splitting rent and bills for every family in that house. One house, ten families, lets say, and you can have your share of the rent in a few days of work. They then take the extra money they do not need and send it back home to whichever relatives they so choose. Since the average salary of an unskilled worker in Mexico is somewhere around a US dollar a day, crossing the border to work for what most of us would consider peanuts is actually a rather decent living for them.
There are of course, people worried that 'illegals are taking our jobs' and so forth. One, they are only doing jobs that most Americans will not do for cheap, and two, they are not taking doctor jobs, lawyer jobs, accounting jobs, CEO jobs, stock market analysis jobs, or any thing like that. They worry about the growing Mexican movement in the US. Two things once again work in the favor of the powers that be.
Education. Most illegals do not have any education whatsoever, which is why they came here to do unskilled work. Most people without an education do not prize just how valuable it is, and do not pass this onto their children. Do not believe me? Look around in America at your fellow Americans. Most people cannot read a book in a sitting and that is why they do not own any. They call a library a DVD collection. If they own a Bible they have not read it cover to cover. They are no longer telling their kids to do good in school so they can go to college to be someone someday. Most Mexican illegals cannot read a book in Spanish, and many of their kids cannot read a book in English or Spanish. The second weapon is TV. Their kids are Mexican-Americans alright, and if they watch enough TV they assimilate nicely. Notice that no one talks of Mexican illegals families sending their anchor baby kids to college in record numbers, but living in poor communities produces violence and gangs and other assorted crimes. Their children work along side Americans doing service jobs. Watching TV. Eating junk food. No threat to anyone.
Rich people wanted a docile, subservient, cheap labor force, and found one. Mexican officials actively encourage their poor to come here thanks to the Western Union phenomenon. They are guaranteed to send money home to help out their economy. No need to provide for their own at home if they can send them across the border [hopefully the rich in America will not do that to us]. 370,000 locations worldwide. Many economies across the globe the dollar is funding. The war to keep an open border is bigger than we think.
Modern Christianity and the Hazard of War
I would like to appeal to Christians who are reading this blog. This post is not to debate over religion or any other such principles. I seek to appeal on an intellectual level to the faith of the converted. I merely wish to address the reader as a human being, and if the reader is truly a Christian, a follower of Jesus Christ, the faith being placed in God and the LOGOS of the New Testament, and seeking daily to adhere to WWJD (What Would Jesus Do), then I must say: no true Christian can support war.
It is obvious to anyone that war is prevalent in the Old Testament, and God sends the Israelites to do his bidding. What does that have to do with America? What does God ordering around the Hebrews in the name of the horror of war have to do with the American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan? The answer is simple: not a thing. By the Old Testament, the Holy Book of the Jews, it is clearly laid out that the war of that book does not translate into God supporting an American war for *freedom* or for oil, and no where is it even remotely endorsed that American troops are to be used to copy historic events that are irrelevant to modern day foreign affairs.
The faith of most modern Christians, especially Protestant, lies in the life and teachings of Jesus. Did Jesus once command war? Did Jesus preach the best way to spread the LOGOS was to kill and torture poor people abroad you have never met and have never offended you? Did Jesus say in any of the gospels that hatred towards a different people with a different religion, different language, different customs, different clothes, different food, and a different way of life was a good idea? Did he say you must blindly support leaders who send your children off to die? Did he say you must remain silent when great crimes are being committed in your name? Did he say the best way to support you fellow countrymen and women was to support the actions of the government, even if they are blatantly wrong?
There is also great nonsense about being a Christian soldier. The early Christians were not soldiers. They became nuns and monks. They lived in caves and trees and wells and kept to themselves. They lived a peaceful life and did not seek to hurt anyone. Everything I come across in my readings shows that this is exactly how early Christians lived: simply and peacefully. They did not congregate and build armies and engage in rape and murder and the theft of the poor. [This was done later with the rise of organized Christianity, but the debate over this is not the subject of this post.] The question is simple: Jesus choose followers, but are they once referred to as soldiers? What type of people did he choose to follow him? Did he find peaceful people or those who sought to commit great crimes and travesty to their fellow human beings? When he found them, did he say to them: to follow my teachings, you must take up arms and conquer the earth? Did he say: the best way to have faith is to kill others in the name of God? Did he say: we must have rich people take poor people from the streets, and give them the tools to kill, rape, and torture other poor people around the world? Did he say: to become a better person, you must endorse conquest and turn a blind eye to how conquest actually happens? Did he say: let the poor people fight in wars to make rich people even richer, especially the rich people who will never fight in the war and stand to gain the most and to lose virtually nothing?
This, of course, leads to 9/11. Whatever your opinion on these events, the questions are again simple. Did Jesus say an eye for an eye or to turn the other cheek? Did he say when a great criminal event happens, the best way to pray to God is to invade a country and kill people who had nothing, and I mean, nothing to do with it? Did he say that when you capture their leader and kill him for a crime committed against you, you should then keep killing other poor people in a foreign land? Did he say occupation and constant violence is the best way to remember his name is the LORD?
More importantly, a true Christian must rest upon the life of Jesus. For people who did not read the New Testament or are unfamiliar, Mel Gibson has a movie about Christ; you may like it, may not. However, the questions are again simple. When he was accused did he advocate violence? When he was tortured and forced to bear a cross to die on, did he even once say a curse word or demand vengeance? Did he order his followers to seek retribution? No. He sat there and took it. What Would Jesus Do. Clearly, as a true heretic, I have a greater understanding of these four words than the majority of Christians in America.
The point of the blog is this. There are Christians who do oppose war and I respect that. We need more Christians like them to serve as an inspiration to others of the faith. I hope some are reading this post, and if they are, I am grateful. I appeal to them simply: talk to your fellow war mongering Christians. Ask how they can support war when clearly, Christ did not. Ask why the church leaders are not united in opposition to killing poor people across the world. Why? They are worried about tax exempt status? So there are churches with leaders who are more concerned with money than human life? Ask them why. Ask why certain fellow Christians are protesting gay and lesbians getting married, who they have never meant, and have nothing to do with them, but are not protesting rape, murder, and theft in the name of *freedom* or any other such word. Ask why they support people who claim to be Christian, but their actions are anything but. Especially people who advocate a war they will never have to fight in. Ask them why they oppose abortion but have nothing but praise and blind allegiance when it comes to killing poor people once they have been born. Ask them why they say 'In God We Trust' while 'In Government We Trust' appears to be more accurate.
Christian peace lovers who are reading this post, I appeal to you. Ask other Christians why.
When America Was *More Christian*
There is always great talk amongst Christian conservatives about a time when America was more Christian. Much more talk indeed about returning to our Christian values and heritage, or some other such nonsense. Such nice talk and pleasant memories about a time no one has experienced.
It is always good to remember that when America was more Christian
- Salem copied Europe's remedies for witchcraft (it appears the founding fathers had great reason for separation of church and state and freedom of speech - Europe was still under the great rule of the Catholic and various Protestant sects, and you could be arrested, tortured, tried, and put to death for saying such things as: 'I am not a witch', 'There is no God', or 'The earth revolves around the sun')
- domestic violence was legal as evidenced by the rule of thumb laws (the astute reader can ponder what type of situation arose to pass a law requiring sticks to be no wider than their thumb)
- slavery was institutionalized, and blacks were legally less than whites (three-fifth compromise)
- killing the native population for their land was legal, as was great swindling, false contracts, and bio warfare (small pox blankets)
- some states made it illegal to teach natives to read or write in English
- Columbus, in the name of Spain and Catholicism, committed great atrocities upon the natives and others made great profits selling native women for rape in the sex trade
- some states had state sanctioned churches that by law you were required to attend service
- in time of dire hunger, eating the dead was deemed necessary in both robbing the native and the settlers graves
- states passed laws limiting to which degree a cousin one can marry (the astute reader will once again ponder the situation that arose for such laws to become necessary)
- black men gained the right to vote before white women
- women were not allowed to speak in church or address congregations of large audiences, particularly male
- women had no real legal rights so to speak of until the woman's rights movement and were denied access to jobs on principle
- drinking was prevalent (the whiskey rebellion started by trying to tax whiskey, and George Washington was called out to quell the masses)
- prohibition against alcohol gave rise to great corruption and helped fuel the development of La Cosa Nostra
- the KKK arose as a christian organization, and to this day, insists that it is one (no one from this organization or any like it has ever attempted to explain why defending slavery, their peculiar institution, was essential to their way of life)
- white southerners would dress up like they were going to church and lynch blacks from trees or burn them. The calm, pleasant expression on the faces of the Christian white southerners says more than I ever could
- empire building began and to this day, America has troops stationed in at least 150 sovereign countries - no other nation comes close.
It appears the appeal to back to better, more wholesome family minded, Christian lifestyle is an appeal to a lack of thinking. Back then, you were told what to do, and people did it, and most people were ok with that. The clergy, accustomed to telling the laity what to do, has always been ok with that. Since time memorial, many people have always been ok with the status quo or back when times were easier. If you were a white male, times were indeed quite easy.... not the same for anyone else.
That famous passage : Thou shalt not kill
There is great debate over the famous passage of Exodus : Thou shalt not kill. Some say it should read 'Thou shalt not murder', and I will presently show how debating such a minute translation is not worthwhile:
Officer : we received a domestic violence complaint. You wouldn't be slapping your wife around, would you?
Perp : No sir. I was not slapping her - I was smacking her.
Officer : Nevermind, no problem here.
And so we see how the people are kept debating useless things.
I think I will be ok
I think I will be ok... I have so much more to do.
Early Christianity and the Hazard of the Ptolemaic View
It was very fortunate for Christianity that it met a world of slaves.
- - - Michael Bakunin
In 1519, Ferdinand Magellan set out in his quest to reach the East Indes much in the same manner Christopher Columbus tried to do, and also to circumnavigate the earth (Magellan was killed during the Battle of Mactan in the Philippines and did not make it), which proved to everyone at the time that the earth was round, not flat on pillars under a sky dome. The Catholic Church however, still stuck to the flat earth theory for almost another 200 years, long having denied as contrary to Holy Scripture the Copernican view affirming the double revolution [motion] of the earth (about its axis and about the sun).
Pythagoras believed the planets revolved around the sun in the sixth century, and the ancient Greeks used trigonometry to get a very good estimate concerning the circumference on the earth; Jean Foucault (1819-1868) in 1851 used a pendulum that bears his name to show the earth moved about its axis. Galileo and his use of the telescope showed the planet Jupiter had moons. Many ancient people believed the earth was round, and this prevailed until the Church gained prominence.
To understand why, one has to see what early Christianity took from the Canon to construct the Ptolemaic [flat earth] theory. The story of Babel (Chaldean in origin) will make more sense. The early Church leaders merely combined various Biblical passages in the most logical fashion they could:
Genesis 1:6 - And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.
Genesis 1:7 - And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.
Genesis 1:8 - And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.
Genesis 1:16 - And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: He made the stars also.
Psalms 19:4 -Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath He set a tabernacle [tent] for the sun,
Psalms 19:5 - Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race.
Ecclesiastes 1:4 -One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth [lasts] for ever.
Joshua 10:12 - Then spake Joshua to the LORD in the day when the LORD delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and He said in the sight of Israel, Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon.
Joshua 10:13 - And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies. Is not this written in the book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day.
Isaiah 38:8 - Behold, I will bring again the shadow of the degrees, which is gone down in the sun dial of Ahaz, ten degrees backward. So the sun returned ten degrees, by which degrees it was gone down.
Job 9:1 -Then Job answered and said,
Job 9:2 - I know it is so of a truth: but how should man be just with God?
Job 9:3 - If he will contend with Him, he cannot answer Him one of a thousand.
Job 9:4 - He is wise in heart, and mighty in strength: who hath hardened himself against Him, and hath prospered?
Job 9:5 - Which removeth the mountains, and they know not: which overturneth them in His anger.
Job 9:6 - Which shaketh the earth out of her place, and the pillars thereof tremble.
Kindly see what the early Church minds managed, using only the Bible as their guide, as proper interpretations to what they literally took as the word of God. Given what they had, they did a rather explicit job:
From Genesis 1:6-8 the Church got the idea of the firmament [Heaven], implying fixed and immovable. The firmament is where God and the angels dwelled. Well, obviously.
From Genesis 1:16 the Church got the idea that the moon cast its own light, and was not reflecting light from the sun. This is worth nothing because if the earth, in double revolution, was in the path of sunlight to the moon, then the moon was reflecting sunlight back to earth.
From Psalms 19:4-5 the Church got the idea that the sun came out of a chamber and was sent forth on a set path in the sky from a tent. More on the notion of angels moving the lights in the firmament idea later.
From Ecclesiastes 1:4 the Church got the idea that the earth was also immovable as the firmament.
From Joshua 10:12-13 the Church got the idea that the sun, being able to be commanded to stand still and do so, was clearly the celestial body that moved, and not the earth; the earth was truly the center of the universe. On a side note, even Gibbon (Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire) noted that many events in the sky were recorded by many people, including comets and eclipses, but only the Israelites manage to capture in writing the most fantastic event ever to bear witness to man: the stillness of the sun. He implied it must not have happened as everyone else on the planet would have taken great note of this event.
From Isaiah 38:8 the Church got the notion that God can make the sun move backwards as easily as forwards, and it suffices to say that besides the writer(s) of this book, no one else on the planet noticed the sun moving west to east, a grand scale celestial event in reverse.
From the passages of Job we get the idea that God is powerful enough to make the earth tremble on its pillars; earth obviously had pillars to hold it up above hell.
One can now understand the story of Babel: if the earth is flat and the firmament is just above, one should be able to build a tower high enough to get to heaven, the glass dome in the sky (some theologians at the time disagreed whether the compostion was ice or crystal). From a Christian standpoint, Babel signifies the diversity of languages and thus the birth of different nations. However, many believe Babel was actually a place of centralized worship or commerce, so the people would have some common meeting point, and they were not interested in trying to reach up and meet God and the angels, but I digress.
But the Church, in its *wisdom,* did not stop there, and decided to augment the Ptolemaic view with a hierarchy of angels responsible for the movement of every star in the firmament along with the moon and the sun. This was not inspired by Scripture, and I will explain how they envisioned this to happen so that the astute reader can understand just how unimaginative the early Church leaders were. If someone is going to concoct a notion about angels moving lights, a child can fancy a more beautiful description than this, but the Church sought to imagine itself wherever they so chose:
- the Pope sat in the chair of Saint Peter, as did God sit in the central throne in Heaven
- the Pope was surrounded by the Bishops, Priests and Deacons, as was God surrounded by the three choirs [orders] of angels: Seraphim, Cherubim, and Thrones
- all subject to the Pope, as were all answerable to the LORD
- the order of each successive sphere, i.e., a series of invisible domes on top of others, all moving freely within themselves: the first, the moon; the second, Mercury; the third, Venus; the fourth, the sun; the fifth, Mars; the sixth, Jupiter; the seventh, Saturn; and the eight, the rest of the stars of the firmament; the ninth, the primum mobile; the tenth, the Empyrean where God dwelt, encopassing all other nine spheres (Dante's Inferno comes to mind)
- there were three hierarchies of the firmament; the Empyrean (i.e., a tenth sphere), the heavens (all other nine spheres), and earth (i.e., the zero sphere, so to speak, and was immovable)
- the first hierarchy of the angels in the Empyrean was divided into three: the Seraphim, Cherubim, and Thrones, all of whose glory was to incessantly chant in the divine; and the Thrones were charged with communicating God's will to the second hierarchy
- the second hierachy of angels was split into three (a pattern here on this number): the first is the order of the Dominions, who received from the Thrones the LOGOS [the word of God]; the second, the order of Powers, who moved the sun, the moon, and the stars, and opened and shut the 'windows of heaven' [precipitation]; and lastly the third, the order of the Empire, to guard the Dominions and the Powers against the fallen angels
- the last hierarchy of angels were for earth: the first order was the Principalities, which guarded nations and kingdoms; the second were the Archangels, which protected religion, bearing the name of the prayers of the saints (and useful in Sodam and Gomorrah, the killing of the first born in Egypt, and other *virtuous* deeds); and the third, the Angels, who looked after earthly affairs, so everyone had a guardian angel, and also useful for animals, trees, fish, etc.
Interesting. But not imaginative, since it reflected directly the Pope, igne atque ferre, and how he saw how he ruled the known world. It does get better: the pillars of earth held it above hell, populated by other angels in service to the fallen prince of the Seraphim, the most beautiful (so called) Prince of Light: Lucifer. The story about the rebellion led by him over hubris and then tossed out of heaven with a third of the other angels gave us this nonsense. Beneath the earth, they sometimes caused trouble with the other good angels of the firmament, and the Church believed disease, famine, and storms were responsible by these fallen angels (especially Lucifer). And, of course, responsible in tempting man to sin. Other theologians would say this was God's will, to punish those who needed it and testing the vigor of mankind. Nonsense begetting nonsense.
The Ptolemaic view is rather excessive story telling on part of the clergy to explain the movements of the sky as opposed to the simpler Copernican theory concerning the double revolution of the earth. But the Church, especially the Pope, with papal infallibility (i.e., a tautology: the belief the Pope could not err, because he was the Pope... he had this power because he, as the Pope, said he could not err) pressed this view on the laity and universities throughout Europe years after Galileo's death; the threat of being hauled before the Holy Office [Inquisition] did a great deal to stifle natural progress. Many universities were forbidden by the Church from teaching the Copernican view, and the Protestant Church [Lutheran] did the same. There is a rather long discourse on how Christianity finally submitted to the truth, and I will make no attempt to do so in this blog.
Early Christianity and the Hazard of Paleontology
The Spaniards inflicted upon us the worst superstition the world has ever known: the Catholic religion. For this alone they should all be shot.
- - - Francisco 'Pancho' Villa
Imagine: taking your family to the museum to see a dinosaur bone exhibit. You explain to your children, in the quest of education, that the word dinosaur is from two Greek words and means terrible lizard, and that all dinosaurs became extinct 65 million years ago. A little cultural wisdom never hurt anybody. As you go inside, perhaps pay admission, perhaps not, and above a huge skeleton of a Tyrannosaurus Rex you see a sign: Proof of the Deluge. Since you taught your kids how to read, you hear: Mommy, daddy, what does 'Deluge' mean? And so this outing in the quest of science and discovery has turned into a theological conversation, and the meaning is clear... dinosaurs could not get on Noah's Ark and died, and left their bones behind as evidence of God's Deluge [Great Flood - God's genocide just became necessary] on a 6,000 year old planet that used to be flat.
No better time to teach your kids heresy, I suppose.
The above situation is fictitious, but quite analogous to the events when fossils were discovered and put in museums to be seen, and above them were signs concerning the truth of the Deluge. Tertullian (lived approximately from 160 A.D. to 250 A.D.) was one of the earliest Christian thinkers to assert that fossils were proof of the Deluge, and this theory remained unchanged for over a thousand years. Later Christian thinkers *proved* that fossils came from seeds, that stones had the ability to spontaneously create fossils, and later, stones could reproduce yielding fossils. How rocks could do this was unclear, and there are far less credible theories on fossils advanced by later Christina thinkers, both Catholic and Protestant. The prevailing idea was extremely simple: the Bible was the highest authority, and by its account nothing existed before the world was created, so fossils had to be less than 6,000 years old. Since there is no mention of them in the Canon, they existed obviously as a testament to the power of God, in either creating them or letting them be created by rocks or various other forces.
The Church, having learned in hindsight the cost of opposing the Copernican view in affirming the motion of the earth (especially with Galileo), did not mount as much opposition to any scientific investigation or theories regarding fossils as did the established Protestant sects. The prevailing book was Genesis, and it was regarded that Adam, having sinned with Eve for eating the forbidden fruit, brought death into this world, and this was a burden on all of mankind and the plant and animal kingdoms. The idea that creatures who lived and died before Creation was unacceptable. Ideas were also advanced that all creatures were benevolent, and did not prey on other creatures until the Fall of Man culminating with Adam and Eve being cast out of the Garden of Eden.
There were many theories, all discredited or abandoned at the sixteenth century in favor of the idea that fossils were from creatures who died because Noah did not take them on his Ark; the passage about giants walking the earth made this acceptable as many fossils were from huge dinosaurs. One interesting idea was the snake could walk and had an entirely different from until tempting Adam and Eve; this was roundly discredited when a ancient fossil of a snake was found. In the late 1700s people began to advance the idea that no universal flood took place 6,000 years ago, and if a flood did take place, it was localized to a certain area: this idea was gradually accepted by various Christina sects starting in the early 1800s.
The investigation of caves, fossils, and the strata of the ground soon proved that the earth was much older than 6,000 years that had been advanced by every Christian sect, and more disturbing was the fossils and artifacts of early humans: the newer artifacts were better made than the older ones deeper in the earth. It was also shown that most of the book of Genesis was stolen from other cultures the early Hebrews came into contact with, and therefore could not have been inspired by a God that Christianity labored for everyone to believe.
Despite overwhelming evidence, the idea that God brought everything into existence in six days was still supported, and certain Christian thinkers asserted that God also brought all the fossils and artifacts into existence in these six days also. This was not mentioned in Holy Scripture, nor was it ever explained why God would create fossils and embed them in the earth. Another equally absurd idea was put forth: the Devil and his minions were responsible for creating horrible creatures, and God, in Creation, destroyed them (resulting in fossils) and the chaos perpetrated by the Devil and gave us, in six days, the earth we see today. This explanation was also never mentioned in Holy Scripture for some reason.
The science of geology, along with what we now call archaeology, anthropology, and paleontology, was producing more proof in each and every year against the unsound principles of the book of Genesis, and more and more Christian sects were relenting. However, the last great *proof* of Genesis concerning fossils and rocks from the earth came from a Dr. Gladstone in 1885. He merely mixed passages from the Canon with select findings to conclude Genesis was the true account concerning Creation; this was expertly refuted by Professor Huxley of England with overwhelming evidence to the contrary and piercing logic.
So the discovery of fossils of early man and dinosaurs and later, carbon dating, destroyed the mythology of Genesis, a book that was proven to have been largely stolen and fabricated by the ancient Hebrews (the book of Exodus was also stolen and fabricated). Since the 1900s, no self-respecting church (especially Catholic) will state the earth is 6,000 years old, flat, and at the center of the universe, although some do. A Google search will yield websites designed by people of this persuasion, and the choice is whether to laugh or cry.