RANGER AGAINST WAR: Sympathy for the Devil <

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Sympathy for the Devil

It's a fools' game
Nothin' but a fools's game;

standing in the cold rain,
feeling like clown

--It's a Heartache
, Trick Pony

So far as I can remember,

there is not one word in the Gospels

in praise of knowledge

--George Bernard Shaw

It's embarrassing -- you try to overthrow

the government and you wind up

on the Best Seller's list

--Steal this Book, Abbie Hoffman

Sunday homily: What if we've got it all wrong?

By "it", Ranger means the bible as the Good Book and the god-worshiping thing? What if the devil is the one before whom we should be burning incense? Let us go back to Genesis.

Genesis portrays a Club Med for Adam and Eve. Unless mistaken, those two were thrown out of paradise --if you call Babylonia
paradise -- for eating an apple symbolizing knowledge and free will.

So Step One is the travesty of getting evicted for opting in for knowledge and free will. That, we demonize as temptation . . . the work of the devil.
So what of all of that exegesis going on by theological scholars? Well, it's not looking good for learned theologians. If we stay stupid, can we live forever?

Step Two
is everyone turning around and believing that this same god who screwed us in the beginning is going to gift us with glorified bodies after death and give us life everlasting, IF we follow all of his rules. Why would we expect he is going to suddenly play nice once we have strut our petty hour upon the stage, dependent of course upon how well we walked within his lines?

Oh, and further, no one knows if they have won the lottery and gained his grace, anyway. It's like playing monte, but the dealer never shows his suit.
Are those the odds of a loser, or what?

Again, if not mistaken, it was the devil (= fallen archangel and god's favorite) who encouraged mankind to seek knowledge and free will.
If god will cast down and out his favorite (Lucifer), then why should we trust he will not turn on us?

Why do we put our faith in the goodness of this very strange god? How is he any better than the fallen angel who encourages us to make our own meaning? Are we to believe that everything achieved beyond the supposed "received" word of this god as transcribed in the bible is evil?

Ranger does not believe in any of the bible's mutterings, but if he did, he would give the whole thing a good thinking over.

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Blogger Underground Carpenter said...

Hi Jim,

"give the whole thing a good thinking over"

A good strategy, but let's not stop with the Bible. Government mutterings should receive the same treatment.


Monday, February 20, 2012 at 5:33:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Juan Moment said...

Should there really be one almighty god as the bible claims, don't trust it, it ain't our friend. Thanks Ranger for laying it out so clearly.

Monday, February 20, 2012 at 5:57:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Peter of Lone Tree said...

Read at your liesure some of the works of John Lamb Lash, particularly MetaHistory - Gaia and Gnosis, Deeper Ecology, Planetary Tantra, Telestics. We might have been worshiping the "wrong god."

Monday, February 20, 2012 at 7:38:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

i came by my construct here by way of a dream.
no reference books were needed , but i'll try to check your link.
thanks for the input.
i'll pray for you, and for Juan.
Dave is beyond redemption.

Monday, February 20, 2012 at 7:47:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Reminds me of the agnostic dyslexic

........he used to stay up all night wondering if there really is a dog.


Monday, February 20, 2012 at 10:50:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Peter of Lone Tree said...

Ranger, et. al.:
For a complementary view of Lash's views, see CG Jung: Selected Letters over at Aporia Heights, particularly the first one.
I just came across it this morning.
Synchonicities abound.

Monday, February 20, 2012 at 11:49:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

Synchonicities abound

. . . they do, indeed :)

Monday, February 20, 2012 at 12:07:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...


Well, there are dogs, and then there are dogs ...

Tuesday, February 21, 2012 at 5:50:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger basilbeast said...

It doesn't help much that a majority of folk admitting to being Christian do not know their faith that well.

From a commenter at driftglass, where he adds a video of President Martin Sheen preaching to the bigot of the evening:


DG, the problem with the GOP running on bronze age ideology supremacy is that so much of the population believes that premise to be true, *and* really has no idea what the fuck is in that book. I've had to explain "God Hates Shrimp!" to many people, and the Good Christians (R)(TM)(C)insist that no, that's really not in there. When we go to Leviticus, and, oh my!, their po' boy sandwich they had for dinner made God cry... Well, that's just superstition, and we really can't worry about things like that.

Now, if you *really* want to watch fundie cognitive dissonance at it finest, read them the parts of Leviticus about when you can and cannot get away with raping a woman. For extra fun, point out that it's handled entirely as a property matter, and not couched in moral language.

For most of them, their Biblical knowledge consists of a handful of inspirational parables (usually three, stoning the adulteress, the mustard seed, and the prodigal son, along with the two lines "For He so loved the world..." and "What you ask for an believe..."), a handful of rules that they can easily apply to themselves successfully to improve their self image, and a handful of rules to apply to others to feel superior.

We could get into a whole long discussion about this, and I'm sure your wife could easily double what we could bring.

The problem is, the base don't know *any* of this. The Bible and Christian theology as they know it would be shorter than a Cliff Notes version. Their entire understanding can be distilled to one line, "We are good and they are icky." So, when politicians play the Bible card, they know that the base doesn't hear anything nuanced or complex. The base hears a reinforcement of "We are good and they are icky," and nothing more.

And the critics are hardly better.


Wednesday, February 22, 2012 at 5:49:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...


Simply a perfect little speech he gave, no?

Thursday, February 23, 2012 at 10:56:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger basilbeast said...

No, Lisa, yes. :)

So is Ranger Guy setting up a class in Theology now?

36 comments on the religious thread below. That's quite the class load.


Thursday, February 23, 2012 at 1:24:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger basilbeast said...

I might add, that there's nothing worse than religion used to prop up egos.

Way too much practice along that purpose.


Thursday, February 23, 2012 at 1:27:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...


He's becoming quite the Ranger theologian, no? Frankly, I never knew he had it in him.

On the hopeful side, perhaps he is contemplating the validity of his avowed amorality. Perhaps he shall become a finer rationalist as a result of these musings. Being a Piscean, he is vulnerable to the whims of gossamer strands of thought, so these musings may help ground him in some epistemological sense. I am hoping for positive results.

OTOH, Ranger is fond of recounting a comment said of him by a superior, "Hruska -- now there's a man who needs God"!

Thursday, February 23, 2012 at 1:54:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...


These ramblings may be the result of his being surrounded by the village idiots (nee, local Baptists) for far too long ...

Thursday, February 23, 2012 at 1:55:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

pls get it right.
it was Ray B, a contemporary, and he said --- that i need Jesus.
i'm moving in that direction, verrrry slowly.

Thursday, February 23, 2012 at 7:19:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

i actually have a construct on heaven.
i've developed it along div/corps/theater lines aand god is the commander etcc...
you can probably figure it all out since you seem to grasp my innate inanity.

Thursday, February 23, 2012 at 7:22:00 PM GMT-5  

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