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the dangers of organized religion

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    The History Channel mentioned today that George Washington became a Mason on this day in 1753.

    Freemasonry has continued to be important in U.S. politics, and at least 15 presidents, five Supreme Court chief justices, and numerous members of Congress have been Masons. Presidents known to be Masons include Washington, James Monroe, Andrew Jackson, James Polk, James Buchanan, Andrew Johnson, James Garfield, William McKinley, Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, Warren Harding, Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Lyndon Johnson, and Gerald Ford. Today there are an estimated two million Masons in the United States, but the exact membership figure is one of the society’s many secrets.

    The Masons of the 18th century adhered to liberal democratic principles that included religious toleration *, loyalty to local government, and the importance of charity. From its inception, Freemasonry encountered considerable opposition from organized religion, especially from the Roman Catholic Church.

    As the article below mentions, that our numerous Masonic symbols in our society, including (but not limited) to the one dollar bill.)

    *precisely the opposite of Christian nationalism

    https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/washington-becomes-master-mason

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    that guy in AZ Wrote:

    The History Channel mentioned today that George Washington became a Mason on this day in 1753.

    Freemasonry has continued to be important in U.S. politics, and at least 15 presidents, five Supreme Court chief justices, and numerous members of Congress have been Masons. Presidents known to be Masons include Washington, James Monroe, Andrew Jackson, James Polk, James Buchanan, Andrew Johnson, James Garfield, William McKinley, Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, Warren Harding, Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Lyndon Johnson, and Gerald Ford. Today there are an estimated two million Masons in the United States, but the exact membership figure is one of the society’s many secrets.

    The Masons of the 18th century adhered to liberal democratic principles that included religious toleration *, loyalty to local government, and the importance of charity. From its inception, Freemasonry encountered considerable opposition from organized religion, especially from the Roman Catholic Church.

    As the article below mentions, that our numerous Masonic symbols in our society, including (but not limited) to the one dollar bill.)

    *precisely the opposite of Christian nationalism

    https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/washington-becomes-master-mason

    Well, I am a former DeMolay, youth group for boys named after the last Grand Master of the Knights Templar, and am a Master Mason. What is intriguing is that there are two topics that are not to be discussed in Lodge meeting: religion and politics. All Masons are required to believe in a Supreme Being. There are Jewish Masons and Muslim Masons.

    There has also been much conspiracy theorizing regarding Masons. They do not control the world nor do they control the levers of policy in this country. Iirc, membership has been dropping as it is, imo, not an organization many millennials would interested in joining.

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    Lonely Bird:

    I belonged to the Toastmaster organization for 25 years, and the same rule applied there about religion and politics. Even though the rule got violated occasionally, it still worked well most of the time.

    Since you mentioned the Knights Templar, you would enjoy reading The Last Templar, by Raymond Khoury, or The Sign, which he also wrote. I've read both of them, and they are "page turners". I have not read his 2nd novel, The Sanctuary.

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    The New York Times published an excellent article on August 30 titled, " Why people hate religion". The article was not attacking religion as such, but was attacking the numerous religious phonies in this country - people like Mike Pence and virtually ALL of Trump's 27 "spiritual advisers.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/30/opinion/trump-religion.html?smid=nytcore-ios-share

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    Arizona -- This is an excellent article by Timothy Egan. I shared it with my friends on Facebook at the time, so I'm glad you shared it here. I'll lift two quotes regarding the claim of evangelical hypocrisy:

    "White evangelical Christians, the rotting core of Trump’s base, profess to be guided by biblical imperatives. They’re not. Their religion is Play-Doh. They have become more like Trump, not the other way around. It’s a devil’s pact, to use words they would understand."

    "Evangelicals “love the meanest parts” of Trump, the Christian writer Ben Howe argues in his new book, “The Immoral Majority.” Older white Christians rouse to Trump’s toxicity because he’s taking their side. It’s tribal, primal and vindictive."

    I agree. But these people are so deeply indoctrinated in their brand of religion, it is impossible to argue with them or change their minds one iota.

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    Yes, the point is that those people also can become President or V.P. as Pence. As I've written before, it "blocks" rational thinking as well the "vision" is blocked about reality of life on earth let alone science and the capability to analyse.

    Especially in this country it has become an "cult" which forces itself onto others. That is how "Hitlers" come into being, because they demand full control over your mind.

    Sorry, but I believe the fanatic element as shown by our leaders will eventually lead to the downfall of this country.

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    Trump's personal pastor, Paula White, just joined the White House.

    Paula White says every Christian must make “spiritual warfare” to protect Trump from Halloween witches.

    Paula White says Christians are “mandated by God” to donate to Jim Bakker.

    Paula White says she’ll take your Yom Kippur “donation seed” and personally give it to Jesus.

    Paula White claims she anointed the White House as holy grounds dedicated by “the superior blood of Jesus.”

    Paula White claims that God personally assigned her to be Trump’s spiritual advisor.

    Paula White does mass faith healing of cancer patients.

    Paula White claims “demons” attack Trump because they fear his Supreme Court appointments.

    Paula White claims if you oppose Trump, you are “fighting the hand of God.”

    Paula White claims Obama threw the Baby Jesus out of the White House.

    Paula White demands one month’s pay from followers or else they’ll suffer the “consequences” from God.

    Paula White sells “resurrection life seeds” for $1144.

    Quick, Dutch. Where's the barf bucket?

    Image result for barf bucket

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    Paula White also had an affair with televangelist Benny Hinn. They initially denied the affair but later fessed up. She has gone through three divorces, was addicted to opioids. From Wikipedia:

    White is a proponent of prosperity theology. Along with other televangelists who have made millions of dollars through the prosperity gospel, she was the subject of an inconclusive 2007–2011 Senate investigation, but she refused to co-operate.

    Southern Baptist theologian and ethicist Russell D. Moore said that "Paula White is a charlatan and recognized as a heretic by every orthodox Christian, of whatever tribe."Michael Horton, a professor of theology at Westminster Seminary California, wrote in early January 2017 that White represented a heretical movement and that her then-upcoming address at President Trump's inauguration was helping to introduce heresy into mainstream public life. Horton addressed White's alleged denial of the Trinity and the prosperity gospel's position that Christ died on the cross not for the forgiveness of humankind but to rescue people from financial hardship.

    Other allegations of heresy have emerged among conservative Christians, such as that White has denied the Trinity, partly as a result of a video shared by Christian author Erick Erickson that shows White assenting to the viewpoint that Jesus Christ was not the only son of God, in contravention of the Nicene Creed. Erickson has stated:

    "The President of the United States putting a heretic on stage who claims to believe in Jesus, but does not really believe in Jesus, risks leading others astray.... I'd rather a Hindu pray on Inauguration Day and not risk the souls of men, than one whose heresy lures in souls promises of comfort only to damn them in eternity."

    Connor Gaffey has drawn attention to a 2007 televised event at which White stated, "Anyone who tells you to deny yourself is from Satan." Gaffey contrasts that with Jesus' words in the Gospel of Matthew: "Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me."

    ====================================================

    Okay that's enough. After reading all that about Christians criticizing fellow Christians beliefs I understand why Trump likes her. They are think-a-likes...especially the "prosperity theology" that she pushes. And hey they both have been married three times.

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    Like I've said; where are the brains in this country; slowly but surely the whole bunch of nut head leaders here become even more crazy then they already are. Televangelists don't belong in the government. Governments should be run by realistic common sense worldly people (with both feet on solid ground) who believe in an healthy thinking society of all types/believes/color of skin and carry out sound justice for all.

    But yeah, the present government here is so incompetent and naive that they are looking for help from any "fantasy source" which they can "imagine". Yes this country one day may become the biggest Disney Land of the world.

    I promise that nothing "up there" will interfere now or in the future with this stupid country; only "humans" themselves are responsible for the health and survival of the human race, no human created "gods" or "bibles" will save their asses.

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    The Mason's were fascinating and accomplished people. I am at this moment watching The Curse of Oak Island (on the History channel). It's giving the Mason's and Knights Templar, credit for many astounding things.

    My one grandfather was a mason. I would love to have been able to talk with him about it among other things.

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    TJ, yes the Templars were also religious idiots who got murdered by the catholic church (competition?). I've got an bronze statue of Joanne of Arc who also got burned at the stake by that same church while she was catholic. In the south of France where we had an house, there are plenty of castles which were owned by the Templars. I guess that murderous church took all their belongings as well as the artifacts they brought back from Palestine during the crusades and keep these now at the Vatican.

    Yes as I've said many times "religion" is the curse of this planet; it has killed more people than helped people; please read the history of that church. It has accomplished nothing through the ages; except enriching itself.

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    The reason that the Johnson Amendment was passed in 1954 is because of people like Father Robert Morey of Saint Anthony Catholic Church in Florence, South Carolina, who refused to give communion to Joe Biden because of his stance on abortion. His action was purely a political stunt, which is why he invited the local press to attend the service.

    Joe Biden is a devout Catholic, and was one of the sponsors of the 1974 Hyde amendment. He also is personally opposed to abortion, but he doesn't feel that he has the right to impose his beliefs on other people, which is what the evangelicals do all the time.

    I did some research the other day about the Eucharist, and found that VERY FEW Catholics should be able to receive communion. Since at least 75% of the folks who call themselves Democrats feel that abortion should be allowed in at least some circumstances, there are MANY Catholic Democrats who Father Morey would deny communion to. Apart from their political affiliation, there are MANY other acts that should exclude Catholics from communion. The article at the link below goes into more detail:

    https://tohell-andback.blogspot.com/2019/11/so-what-is-mortal-sin.html

    The irony of the Johnson Amendment (which restricts political activities by church) is that it was passed the same year that we added "under God" to the pledge of allegiance. ("In God We Trust" became our official model 2 years later). In the early 21st century, many politicians, including President Donald Trump, have sought to repeal the provision, arguing that it restricts the free speech rights of churches and other religious groups. These efforts have been criticized because churches have fewer reporting requirements than other non-profit organizations, and because it would effectively make political contributions tax-deductible. On May 4, 2017, Trump signed an executive order "to defend the freedom of religion and speech" for the purpose of easing the Johnson Amendment's restrictions

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johnson_Amendment

    Abortion has long been a controversial topic in this country. I published the article below more than 8 years ago - and 4 people someplace in the world read it yesterday.

    http://tohell-andback.blogspot.com/2011/01/roe-vs-wade.html

    What prompted me to write the article is a column by Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times who published the column below the day before:

    http://tohell-andback.blogspot.com/2011/01/roe-vs-wade.html

    The reason that about half (52%) of all U.S. adults who were raised Catholic have left the church at some point in their lives is due to the church's rigid stance on a number of topics, and Bishop Thomas Olmstead of Phoenix (mentioned in the article above) is a good example of the dogmatic leaders that still populate the church hierarchy.

    Pope Francis is a breath of fresh air, but there are still plenty of Catholic leaders who feel that he is too liberal. His predecessor, a staunch conservative called Pope Benedict, actively suppressed sexual abuse cases when he was a Cardinal in Germany.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Ratzinger_as_Prefect_of_the_Congregation_for_the_Doctrine_of_the_Faith#Response_to_sex_abuse_scandal

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    If Biden is an devout Catholic, therefore he's not suited to become President. He should know and study all the misdeeds this church has done over the ages (like burning "witches" at the stake etc.), especially under Hitler and Mussolini. Sorry people they are the real devil, fictional devils don't exist. Also this church's "base" started in Rome about 300 years after the (fantasized?) Jesus died in Israel. All of this is solely an "human" endeavor to get power over the people; outer space was never involved.

    Sorry people, if Biden's brain is polluted with that, then these people can't analyse because of "fantasy"and writings done in those times done by jailed "humans" in Rome, it blocks all analytic thinking. Since we now live in 2019, I would think that today's people would be more realistic about life and death on this stand alone planet then they did 2000 years ago.

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    I saw a show recently that showed the KKK having a protest rally in Indiana in the 1930's I believe. I thought who were they protesting (figuring the demographics). It was the Catholics. Perhaps the Klan expected everyone to be a southern Baptist.
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    TJ:

    You're pretty close. The largest Klan rally in history took place in Kokomo, Indiana in 1923, which was attended by 100,000 people.

    https://www.masson.us/blog/july-4-1923-100000-klansmen-celebrate-in-kokomo/

    At the peak of the Klan's popularity, in the mid-1920's, Klan membership was between 4 and 5 million people roughly 15% of the population.

    Their targets were "n*****, Jews, and Catholics."

    The leader of the Klan in 1923 was a man named D.C. Stephenson, whose personal scandals quickly led to the Klan's diminished influence. The author of the article above draws an interesting comparison with Stephenson and Trump:

    "Stephenson and Trump have the narcissistic demagogue thing in common. If Trump is not successfully opposed, I predict a parallel trajectory with Stephenson — a scandal with roots in his hubris followed by generations-long shame that so many generally decent citizens supported him."