SOMETHING WRONG WITH AMERICAN LGBT

TACTLESS  CONSERVATIVE CHRISTIAN RIGHT FOR ONCE

I usually think of Franklin Graham as a sensationalist, a tactless, open- your-mouth-and-put-a-foot-in-it type person and have criticized him on this blog accordingly. However…in the matter reproduced below from his Facebook, I am obliged to agree with him and even as a gay theologian. Currently my respect for American LGBT and American gay Christian attitudes is in rapid decline if not freefall. I detest, feel ashamed of and dissociate myself from what the LGBT (or should I write LGBTQI since the acronym ever extends?!) is uncritically and without protest allowing to happen. If democracy means anything I do feel conservative and perhaps any Christians in America have something to complain about and  fear from what is not too inaccurately being called a persecuting Gay Fascism.

Before anything else I would nonetheless emphasize I do consider that the record of American Christian attitudes, especially conservative ones, has often been plain unacceptable. Christians  have stood by while violence was perpetrated, they have turned a blind eye to the suicides and depression their attitudes and claims have precipitated, they have aggressively discriminated and many still do since one of the largest if not largest groups among America’s homeless are young gays disowned by “good” Christian families. I have mocked such things in my satire, Songs of Puritania on a Gay Theme   http://wp.me/p2v96G-7w

….Don’t tell me you’re born gay for gay equals sin
My own fourth husband would not let you in
To our house his walk is too close with the Lord,
And though I’m anti-abortion I give you my word
If our son turned out queer I’d wish him unborn….

Christians need to be careful they don’t seem to be (as some accuse them of being) persecutors moaning they no longer have the right to persecute). From one point of view one might even  have to say that “the mills of God grind slowly…” and American Christianity is reaping the whirlwind and,  despite all the current protests and prayers, doesn’t even have a right to divine assistance short of changed views and real repentance for the backlog of serious deficiencies.

TOWARDS UNDEMOCRATIC DEMOCRACY

Having said all that, let’s consider democracy. If I own a home or a business, as my property I should be able to do and say there most things I wish. If someone asks me to design posters, take photos, or even bake cakes with, say,”Heil Hitler”, “Worship Shiva as God” or “IS will save the world” involved in the work, surely I should have the right to refuse? And though it might be better if I were more open minded and on what’s a less radical issue, should I be forced to support images and slogans for gay marriages I don’t believe in? It should be my democratic choice as long as I remain polite about it. It’s obviously more complicated and controversial, indeed a matter for the laws, if I run a hotel and I don’t want gays as guests, especially so if there’s nowhere else they can stay. But  otherwise…..? How did it ever even come about that there is any otherwise?

CRAZY COURT CASES AND JUDGES

It could perhaps be  only through America where people demonstrate such group consciousness forever craving “acceptance” and “inclusion”, even hugs and kisses so as not to feel “rejected”, that Political Correctness supported by laws would arise to infect the West and create what effectively is a  new undemocratic intolerance. You must love, tolerate and approve me or I’ll sue you. And in litigious America just how and with a vengeance! I’ll even ruin you.

Two lesbians refused a cake (see below), not apparently satisfied they have already been the ruin of a Christian couple’s business to the extent they may even now lose their home, are happy to accept from a judge (whose own attitudes need serious questioning), a fine of $135,000 for their “hurt feelings”. Hurt feelings?!  Such poor, precious darlings! Did the Christian couple stand there cursing and swearing at them as doubtless at some point in their lives some straights on the street did?  If this lesbian couple have pretensions to being at all butch, then one feels like saying they should man up and not be so delicate! And all of us who have ever had any book or poem refused by a publisher had better get to court fast to make our fortunes! This is just raw vindictiveness and revenge – unless they cared to hand the Christian  couple the money for their survival, which I doubt they will be generous enough to do.

A COLLUSION OF LGBT and AMERICAN ATTITUDES

But where are the leaders of LGBT while this and other outrages sprout across America? Out at rave parties or inventing more unreadable Queer theory essays for academe? They are at least partly to blame for what has happened. Stuck on the mentioned American obsession with “inclusion” at all costs (that obsession without refusing which most of the world’s art and great deeds could never have been realized) they have theorized and argued about gay/queer in terms of similarity to straight society. In so doing they have made gay equality a duty to be imposed and defended rather than homosexuality a meaningful difference to be understood and catered for. Homosexuality is always greatly involved with the human difference without respect for which art and democracy can’t thrive but will rather be overtaken by fascists imposing their values. It was “gay” Greece supplied us some root aspects of democracy – Judaeo-Christian values did the rest. But an almost mathematical doctrine of equality is now helping to confuse and render intolerant the whole gay issue along with democracy itself.

We may also ask where are the Gay Christians akways so keen to establish their own rights, to protest the wrongs being done to fellow Christians? I realize that some of those Christians in trouble with the laws may be bible thumpers and bigots whose attitudes one might hope could change and achieve greater theological sophistication over time, but the more important point is this. It is undesirable and even dangerous to legislate against whatever is genuinely held by conscience, which is what is now happening. The backbone of any society and any democratic system relies upon people living and arguing from conscience as the history of recent centuries in the West surely demonstrates.

AND ANYWAY, WHO REALLY SPEAKS FOR GAYS TODAY?

The doctrines that leaders of LGBT have been promoting (and society including gay Christian groups has been imbibing when not half bullied or shamed into accepting) don’t necessarily correspond to what gays themselves want or believe.

A recent example was when that spoiled brat element in the character of singer Elton John was up in arms against, and even calling for boycott upon, the Italian gay fashion designers Dolce and Gabbana for questioning aspects of gay marriage as regards parenting. Gay actor Rupert Everett has likewise expressed severe reservations about gay parenting. If it were not for the issue of gay parenting I would myself be a more wholehearted supporter of gay marriage. It is solely a stress upon “equality” applied to homosexuality which has forced this aspect of affairs through the door of gay marriage. Personally I feel that if the sometimes toxic, laws-damaging obsession with equality/acceptance could be overcome (alas it seems too late), gay unions could be left to emerge as a more appropriate expression of the gay difference.

Short of a will almost to punish it is hard to understand what kind of persons gay or straight would wish to impose (as could now happen following certain Supreme Court decisions) on dissenting clergy the duty of marrying gay couples . Gay Christians of real  faith, those most likely to want a religious ceremony, would hardly wish to be joined amid the resentment and ill will involved. They ought surely to prefer to just live together and take it as a union anyway….in the early Old Testament cohabitation was marriage, there was no ceremony of the modern kind nor scarcely was there for many centuries of Christianity where like the Good Wife of Bath one just stood outside a church door for blessing. It’s only the legal details and personal rights like wills, taxes and so on make some kind of officialized union desirable.

 I am disheartened and appalled by the extent to which American establishment or just academic LGBT values and persons have dominated the gay world and influenced politics and laws besides. One can hardly get a word in as their egotism so reckons to dominate the whole field with megaphones. And they really are becoming, if they haven’t already become, just a materialistic, godless form of opposition to all religion, an apt vehicle of secularist agendas. Thin skinned they brook no criticism and so merely contribute to the kind of false liberalism in America and recently in England, that is even working towards calling any criticism of Islam “Islamophobia” and an indictable offence – in England one health worker was even stood down from work for daring to invite a Muslim to church, an act that was interpreted – in this day and age of ISIS executions as “bullying”! – as a case serious enough to go before a tribunal. So much for the healthy influence of American Political Correctness on the world. One cannot call some Christians merely hysterical for complaining that gays are contributing towards coming persecutions of the Antichrist! The situation is just very negative, read and describe it how one will.

Despite having a world first and published doctorate in gay spiritualities from any religion studies department anywhere, I have managed to be ignored and almost never mentioned or acknowledged by American gays whether secular or religious. I seriously regret this not because I am not “included” and “accepted”, but because I choose to believe I could have contributed something towards views that would have avoided the chronic polarization and damaging attitudes we currently witness. It’s too late now, and as I have written elsewhere, I long ago abandoned gay studies and research because of the indifference or opposition.

What I have done is retain my integrity. I am not convinced that in the face of what is happening American gay Christians are properly keeping theirs. They are called upon to protest.

PASTE FROM FRANKLIN GRAHAM’S FACEBOOK

Last night Aaron Klein, the bakery owner who declined to make a wedding cake for a lesbian couple, called me with the alarming news that an administrative judge had ruled that he and his wife Melissa will have to pay $135,000 to these two women for “emotional suffering.” Unbelievable! The Kleins have already had to close their Oregon bakery business, Sweet Cakes by Melissa and do not have this money to pay. Aaron said it would financially ruin their family and could cost them their home. They have done nothing wrong, and their lives, along with their five children, have been turned upside down by this persecution. You can’t call it anything else. This is wrong, and it’s happening right here in our own country. Liberal judges and officials siding with the LGBT crowd are trying to make a point with the undeserved punishment of this family. This is America—we should have the freedom to live by our sincerely held religious beliefs. It’s obvious who is really being discriminated against here.

I think we need to help the Kleins. First and foremost, continue to pray for them as this nightmare continues. Secondly, if you would like to donate something financially to help them and other Christians going through similar ordeals, go here to Samaritan’s Purse PERSECUTED CHRISTIANS-USA fund. We’re all in real danger if something isn’t done to put a stop to this kind of deliberate targeting and malicious treatment of Christians.

See More

Help persecuted Christian couple in Oregon fined for refusing to serve lesbians
samaritanspurse.org

BRITISH DEMOCRACY: A POEM

  Democracy

 BRITISH DEMOCRACY: A POEM

Now reigns democracy of the godless sort
The new half blind, eccentric British kind
Devoid of logic and true sense of right
But owing something to the bullying mind.

In Pakistan the Christian poor are beaten
To a pulp [1] and elsewhere IS kills or drives
The kaffir out of house, but still, just PC
Or plain cowardly, the democrat connives.

Yet not with change of faith at home,
Judged work for rebels prone to agitate;
Best to ban Godtalk, crosses, prayers,
On pain of work loss or a charge of hate. [2]

From Polly T to Dawkins, secularists [3]
Make and ignore the wrong – they’ve had their way.
As silencing religious life suits well
They seize an advantage while they may.

Though from internal and external strife
Round faith was birthed much human liberty,
If atheist and theocrat oppose
The cross, lost freedom looms as destiny.[4]

Given naive thought and lack of vigilance
The Trojan Horses pass through open gates.
The night of era’s end begins to fall
A fate is sealed, the greater darkness waits. [5]

Souls cynical of things divine, disloyal,
Ungrateful to the past, in unbelief
Have yet to learn what are the effects of
God withdrawn, the no protection or relief.

NOTES

1] Pakistan’s political corruption and its persecution of minorities, especially Christian, is a byword, but specific reference here is to the outrage of a recent event in which Christians were extremely beaten by police. See Christian Post report http://goo.gl/9ZFzMD.

2] The case of NHS therapist, Victoria Wastney influencing this poem, involves a person stood down from work and put to a tribunal for having discussed Christianity with a Muslim and/or invited her to church. The Muslim woman had taken offence – calling it “bullying”!….As if… Under current British laws and attitudes which today tolerate wearing of hijabs before crosses, no “fair” tribunal will be bothering to remind the plaintiff that Christians are little other than bullied or discriminated against in most Muslim majority lands, refused all rights of worship in Saudi. The same day I wrote this poem it happened that Muslims fleeing Libya threw 12 Christians overboard to their death (at first some sources like Reuters couldn’t  even bring themselves to admit the inconvenient fact). The liberal West and  Marxists explaining everything by socio-economic conditions, or justifying anything as liberationist uprising,  fail to understand purely religious convictions and allegiences. Where Muslims enjoy power, hatred of Christians and Jews can be unbridled. Even the so-called rise of anti-Semitism in Europe is  mostly a Muslim import. Ironically it’s possible the “bullied” British Muslim took alarm at the thought of conversion as her faith requires death or at least total ostracizing of converts, but as ex-Muslim Ayaan Hirsi has insisted, Muslims need to reconsider the basis of their faith today. It’s hardly a hate crime if Christians in a traditionally Christian society politely suggested as much.  As the British should know, mission is even an obligation of Christianity (Matt 28:19), a religious right that Islam undemocratically denies and suppresses everywhere while demanding full rights for itself wherever it travels. Yet stress this and what Nobel prize winner Vargas Llosa recently described as an “apathetic and sceptical West” where Islam is concerned, is liable to dismiss  the problem. it will be “generous” at home at the expense of the many who suffer abroad.

3] Polly T is Polly Toynbee, President of the British Humanist Assocation, (but echoing here “Polly put the kettle on we’’ll all drink Tea”). Dawkins is vocal atheist, Richard Dawkins. Secularist agitation towards exclusion of teaching or expression of faith has come to a point reports show Christians are half fearful to admit or discuss their faith. (See http://goo.gl/iJ7jtJ).    Ultimately secularists cut off the nose to spite the face failing to realize how opposed to democracy many religions especially Islam (which means and demands Submission) can in fact be. It is unhelpful if the higher degree of infidel status represented by atheism seeks to silence the theists.

[4]  British democracy owes much to the struggle of religious dissenters with the religious establishment and democracy generally owes quite as much to Judaeo-Christian values as Greek democracy.  “Human rights” is an outgrowth of the concept of freedom of worship and conscience.  Western liberal thought largely fails to realize that, practically and often, the Muslim is a theocrat with either no sympathy for democracy and separation of church and state style beliefs, or sympathetic but with little or no scriptural basis to support it (Islam  means primarily submission and even peace is what ensues when Sharia law is imposes submission). It’s a situation which renders integration to the West difficult.

[5] Since my Beyond Dover Beach I have been stressing an end of era theme. We are presently at the end of the age of Pisces much associated with faith and Christianity.

The following article about persecution  http://goo.gl/T2Pcrg
is relevant to the blindness and folly of British and more generally Western treatment of the whole emerging religion problem

 

 

ABOUT CAPITAL PUNISHMENT: A POEM

StephanieBostonbomber The murdered Stephanie Scott and her fiancé                  Boston Bomber Tsarnaev

ABOUT CAPITAL PUNISHMENT: A POEM

Above mere Reason, Spirit breathes eternal law.
It’s Reason and diluted Christian thought
Believes true  mercy should preserve the serial
Murderer and the torturer, agrees with number
Studies to declare death no deterrent
To grave homicide.  As though such fact was
Relevant. Presuming mercy of the kind
Is absent from the soul of justice
Bound to  grant the peace and closure
Due associate  victims of a crime. Besides…
It’s irreligion does not feel or know
How blood, with Abel and the earth
Itself, calls out for cleansing and release
From every thing infecting land weighed down
By curse throughout its atmosphere. [1] Even stones
Cry out, said Christ, who never once spoke word
To cancel laws of death for death and sword. [2]

Unlike my other poetry published on McCleary’s Alternatives , this  quickly composed short piece (vers de circonstance which should perhaps have waited upon the form of a sonnet!) comes in response to the ruin of lives caused by the murder of Australia’s Stephanie Scott at Easter just before her wedding. Also the too rapid appeal from around the same time by American Catholic bishops against any thought of death sentence for the Boston bomber.

Why such concern given  that  historically Catholicism has been so easy with executions and wars? Basically because having controversially ruled against abortion on any grounds however reasonable, respect for life must now be applied to all cases across the board however unreasonable. Such ethical values are not really biblical; if they were they might admit of more exception and flexibility, but instead they are philosophical and mathematical from the pagan Aristotle in a way almost hostile to the spirit of religion itself. There is also a form of Christian agnostic or post Christian outlook that has made a substitute spirituality out of just being merciful to almost anything and anyone. This allows a sort of self-righteous congratulation at the expense of those left to suffer who may even finish deemed vengeful for desiring something more like justice and closure. Forgiveness is important but cannot be imposed by would-be ethical elites who only compromise the psychological health of those who have to cope lifelong with trauma and loss and for whom forgiveness is made still harder. In short, society should stop punishing victims in the name of a false, feel good, spirituality.

NOTES

[1] The blood of Abel cries out. Gen 4:10

[2] The Stones cry out Luk 19:40 “ I tell you if these were silent the stones would shout out” Reference here is not metaphorical. It corresponds to a biblical notion of a living world which has soul and is divinely indwelt. Those who live by the sword (death and war) die by the sword (Matt 26:52).

 

.

LIFE, DEATH (Ha Ha) and CLIVE JAMES

CJAMES1

TALKING ABOUT DEATH FOR TODAY

It is not customary to talk about death today. Australia’s own public intellectual, essayist, novelist, TV personality and poet, “the boy from Kogarah” Clive James, has nonetheless been prepared to talk about terminal illness and death in recent press and TV interviews. Also in his already much discussed Sentenced to Life,  a poetry anthology to be published on April 9th. James rightly maintains the death theme is universal – everyone will die! – and poetry is a good place to air the subject. The poet  himself is clinging to life, lingering and longer than he and anyone has ever expected with leukaemia (first diagnosed five years ago) and emphysema. His blood is changed every few weeks in Cambridge from where he regrets he can never again leave for Australia except as the ashes he wants distributed at Sydney Harbour.

The way that (outside of his quite accomplished poetry) James treats of death for the public benefit is nonetheless a very modern, new styled, new atheist one. Retaining his proverbial quasi-Oscar Wildean wit, Australia’s sage jokes about his condition and his obit and the fate of his ashes. Outside of literary production James is prepared to regard any marked concern with death as self-indulgence and says he’s too occupied with following Game of Thrones on TV and summoning energy for his own writing to be thinking about it.  It’s anyway a waste of time amid the useful clarity approaching endings bring, because there’s only the void, no heaven or hell to contemplate and “God has no leg to stand on”. He is thankful for life but he won’t say “blessed” in case there is any suggestion of God in the matter.

Everyone is entitled to their beliefs, but it could be argued that beyond the wit and laughter James is, along with the likes of Christopher Hitchens and Terry Pratchett, another poster boy cum humanist martyr on the path towards  a new trivializing of death and the big questions which are increasingly getting reduced to the sound-byte even if and when a few poems like Event Horizon may expend the effort to be solemn about the single fact that we are going absolutely nowhere. See http://www.clivejames.com/poetry/recent/event

BEYOND THE EVENT HORIZON WHAT THE HORSCOPE SHOWS ABOUT CLIVE JAMES AND LAST THINGS

A few things about James’ birth data (see below and click to enlarge) are striking for the kind of role he is playing and the beliefs he is purveying.

If we can assume the birth time is quite correct (the chart is derived from Astrodienst’s normally reliable Astrobank data) , it is fascinating to note that the base of chart degree, much associated with endings, is on the potentially fame and world connecting degree of 29 Leo, a fire sign. James’ ending  thus appropriately becomes a matter for international discussion and it is expected to be a fiery cremated one besides. That James will think and write about death is encouraged by the third house (writing) moon in out of sign conjunction with Pluto (creation/destruction). But the actual  joking about his decease appear linked to the precise aspect to the base of chart degree of the moon in Cancer at 29 degrees. Though James has some of the wit of Oscar Wilde with whom he shares an urbane Libran sun, looney laughs and laugh-to-cry has something to do with moon ruled, moony looney Cancer. Laugh to and at the last…

….Whether one should or not is another matter. The fact that shocking Uranus conjuncts Theotes (Divinity/God) makes for some very upfront (first house) shocking dismissal and profanity in that area if (on the basis that conjunctions are very for or against something) it wouldn’t make for great spirituality since at its highest Uranus is the symbol of the Spirit. Actually, something of James’ attitude towards deity is likely to be due to his status as an only child who early on lost his father. To the extent father figures are liable to merge with deity images this would encourage dismissal. God seems absent and/or irrelevant. In the ninth house of beliefs and religion, assertive, aggressive Mars in quirky Aquarius makes aspect – just – to the natal Sun whose general weakness in terms of aspect also bespeaks a father lack that could affect the spiritual outlook and almost certainly has done so.

James has clung on to life and surprised himself and everyone by, as he claims, already dying once (even several times almost) and coming back. Where is this shown on the chart? Despite being barely aspected, the sun as this would affect life and health is strong in its natural house, the fifth, and on what’s called a critical degree, 13 Libra. The clincher may however be that this sun is conjunct Anastasia (Resurrection). This person returns to life and, in the way conjunctions are very for or against something, James can return to life at the same time as he rejects all more spiritual notions of afterlife. It also helps for resilience, and absolutely too for being as “lucky” as James admits to be  in terms of worldly success and fame, that his Jupiter exactly trines his Pluto. Positive Jupiter/Pluto aspects have been traced by astrologers as almost the main requisite for success if one can judge by the lists in Who’s Who. 

The disposition to disbelieve in heaven and hell alike seems reflected by the way Jupiter (one’s faith and beliefs) square (i.e. afflict) the Hell asteroid while Paradise is not positively placed at 15 Leo. This is one of the six  so-called world points, but deemed the most unfortunate of them, in short in a position not reflecting or generating optimistic thought. It is nonetheless still the degree of Dante, whom James has painstakingly and rather originally as regards the treatment of rhyme translated. Ironically heaven and hell and last things are quite James’ proper subject and when the wit is forgotten the poetry is less likely to be so. And indeed James seems particularly keen to be recognized and remembered as a poet. Poesia oddly and unusually falls in the eighth sector of death and mysteries as does the name James which directly aspects the Midheaven of career, destiny, reputation. This is an aspect  involved with the fact of being well known and the likelihood of then being almost best known for anything to do with death….No joking!

Even James doesn’t expect to have much time now. April’s lunar eclipse falls conjuncts his sun (ruler of his fourth of endings) and lunar as opposed to solar eclipses are thought to demonstrate their relevance within 6 months of when they hit. But with Anastasia on the sun, who knows?

And indeed who knows about the beyond….intimately anyway? I have not myself visited heaven or hell but in my The Hell Passage: Inferno Cantos for Today, (see http://bit.ly/11dQkzS) I evoke and attempt some degree of critical assessment (both within the poem and in notes) of an alleged experience of the Beyond by several people. For reasons given I believe they must have experienced something of the sort, even if some details could reflect memory and cultural contamination. Ex-atheist Howard Storm who in My Descent into Death claims to have visited hell, commended the poem and hoped that many would read it….Last weekend I tweeted around 12 people either promoting or appreciating James’ views saying one shouldn’t be too sure of the void and suggesting they might care to look at my poem. Only one, but favourably, did so.

You, the reader of this article, can however go to the relevant material and pass it on if you believe, as I do and Clive James doesn’t, that final things are worth pondering and not to be fashionably trivialized.  (Influenced by the time I was once hospitalized in Melbourne, you might also like to read and share the poem Hadrian’s Question: A Poem of Life and Death  (at http://wp.me/p2v96G-kj ). Meanwhile and whatever, a happy feast of the Resurrection.

 

Clive James    click the figure to enlarge

FIFTY SHADES OF GREY….OR OF PARADOX : A SIGN OF THE TIMES

Grey

FIFTY SHADES OF GREY….OR OF PARADOX: A SIGN OF THE TIMES

 Fifty Shades of Grey, a film from the fifth most read book of all time (according to a Nielsen’s statistic) though beyond the breathlessness it’s not well written? Fiction almost overnight popular to the level of Harry Potter and the Da Vinci Code? A “romantic” novel or rather series of novels about Bondage and Discipline, Sadism and Masochism (BDSM) to entertain the public, more especially the female public, in an age of feminism and autonomy? Provocative material being written, acted, talked about and domesticated by apparently happily married people, if possible more ordinary than you are yourself ?….

Then too, the rich, damaged but sinister and alluring Christian Grey is played by an Irish  actor,Jamie Dornan, who in real life loves home and wants more babies. An Australian Weekend article describes the star as almost “frighteningly handsome” though it’s hard to see what’s so frightening in the almost boyish, half worried face that outside of the film the ex model prefers to hide with a beard. In interview Dornan’s humble hesitancy and self deprecation are not sexy – you could even imagine him as a submissive victim of some ancient or modern matriarchy!

So it all seems too paradoxical and a bit strange and if, like many, BDSM isn’t your thing, it could also seem rather unhealthy that shackling people, whipping, bruising them or drawing blood amounts to any sort of entertainment or expression of love. But I will suggest this whole Grey phenomenon could be stranger than strange and that what is hidden and least known in connection with it might be what is most significant.

CHRISTIAN GREY AND EDWARD CULLEN

The actual inspiration of the author’s work was (apart from the menopausal conflicts and fantasies to which she admits), the example of the also poorly written, extremely bestselling Twilight vampire series of novels from Stephanie Meyer. And a strange story attaches to that series. It had been triggered by an extraordinarily initial vivid dream of a charming, vegetarian, more or less innocent or cute vampire who then became fiction’s Edward Cullen, himself surely more accurately realized for cinema by Robert Pattinson than Dornan incarnating Christian Grey. But in the wake of completing the series its author  confessed to experiencing something inexplicable. Edward reappeared to her this time, terrifying her as apparently a blood sucker ready to kill her and not the innocent figure she had imagined (1). She has declined to write about this revised figure.

I don’t like to find myself on the side of conservative American Christians who seem unable to speak of anything sexual and erotic save in the most extreme, alarmist and confined of ways, but in this instance I have to agree with those who find Christian Grey a potentially bad idea and influence, one that is as much and more spiritual than simply moral.

The practical/moral objections have been obvious and familiar enough and could apply to porn generally whether soft or hard. The more you are turned on by Dornan/Grey and by kinks, say the critics, the less likely you will be satisfied by your too ordinary partner at home and a regular sex life. It’s hard to think that your body, your partner’s body or the Creator is glorified by messing around with someone’s body even if only in a charade of cruelty and contempt (and sometimes accidents and misunderstandings do happen). And within an already permissive society what sort of example is one offering to the young and impressionable who may take a fad and run with it in the wrong direction? (We have had a foretaste of that with Anne Rice’s vampire fiction which though the author dismisses her work as just imagination, has nonetheless helped set in motion an entire vampire/goth cult with at least some persons regularly seeking blood).

While all this may be true (at the same time as such moralism rigorously ignores that in cases of marked ignorance or repression some erotica/ porn might have an unintended educative value), more vital may be the ignored spiritual levels. Christian Grey, like BDSM itself, is at once in opposition to and/or perhaps in a sort of rivalry with religion whose symbols it is happy to exploit. The very name Christian Grey announces there will be some sort of religious connection, Christian’s partner’s name, Anastasia, means resurrection, and by the end of the series we gather that Christian will have been redeemed (sort of) by the pleasure/pain “sacrifices” his victim-lover has made to him. But the symbolism in almost any direction is dark. Although it is widely stated the film of the book is being premiered on St Valentine’s day, in fact its main American premiere is Friday 13th, likely an intended play upon popular superstition – a superstition nonetheless related to the theme of Judas and 13 people at the Last Supper and Christian Grey might be said to offer a parallel Judas path to salvation at a time when Judas is trendy thanks not least to the extravagant Lady Gaga.

The secular society of course cares not at all whether Christians are offended by exploitation or misuse of their symbols and doctrines, but if they are not that does not mean they may not pay in the long term for raising the devils for profit or entertainment. There’s always time for the Edward factors to show their real colours and the secular rationalist society is ignorant of the extent to which kinky sex practices can be black magical and have long been associated with evoking the dark side.

Society is still more ignorant of how the experience of responsible exorcism suggests that troubled (possessed?) individuals are strongly associated with parents whose sex lives had been particularly deviant. In the days when my doctoral studies on gay spiritualities took me in all directions, I noted that S/M gays, (a little known sub-set of the would-be all-inclusive non-judgemental gay community) were frequently seeking alternative spiritual experiences or in some instances even advertising themselves as masters who could bring you the demons.

AN END OF ERA SIGNATURE: ERIKA LEONARD AND OVID

But my esoteric speculations with their objection to the easy domestication of a “harmless” or “boring and silly” or “merely glamorous and trendy” Christian Grey fad goes further. There is something really odd about the Erika Leonard (aka) E.L.James phenomenon that strikes me. It is something that the conservative Christian critics don’t know and wouldn’t acknowledge any more than the secular society though I am prepared to say it’s a loss not to. It stops you from seeing you are almost certainly faced with not just a fad to criticize or flippantly enjoy, but a movement in the collective unconscious that’s at once meaningful and unhealthy.

The half Argentinean, half Scotch author was born with Sun in Pisces and moon in Leo….just like the super successful Roman poet Ovid. In both instances they are big time sexually provocative writers (albeit Ovid was a great poet while James represents pulp fiction). Both have attributed their work to imagination rather than extensive experience from life. In short, they present themselves as innocents in terms of example or influence even when that example and influence is enormous.

Interestingly too for “Christian” Grey, Ovid was born just before or near the dawn of the Piscean era which connects with Christ’s birth, while Erika Leonard writes at the very end of the same era, whose sign has a long association with betrayal and by one ancient tradition (and alleged revelation in the case of the late Jeane Dixon) with Judas. The sign itself has long been accorded the motto “serve or suffer” which of course gives it some affinities for any eroticisizing of pain. And I should say that among men as opposed to the large female audience and readership for Fifty Shades it is going to be Piscean males (like I have just seen Australian singer and actor Johnny Ruffo on Twitter) who will lead the band to declare what a wonderful film Fifty Shades is.

It was the pagan Augustus rather than any Christian who on the cusp of the Christian era banned Ovid to the Crimea for allegedly corrupting his generation with his writings. There may have been more to the banishment than just the moral issue (see my article  Ovid for Ever and Paul Janka for Sometimes at  http://goo.gl/0lqC1M,  but there is little question that Ovid’s The Art of Love glorifies seduction and infidelity to an exceptional degree and does stand historically at the gateway of what is popularly called the Roman decadence. In turn it is arguable that Erika Leonard feeds into what is most sick behind the scenes in our society’s urges – over 2 million recently rushed to see video of the burning to death of the Jordanian pilot that as against other channels America’s Fox News was determined to show– in the interests of instructing us in the brutality of ISIS. As though, if we were intelligent at all, we couldn’t and shouldn’t know that from report already!

The difference between the case of Ovid and Leonard is that Leonard is not going to be banished by either pagan or Christian. It simply isn’t the style of this end of era to face facts and call them what they are. Open to every lie and thus to every Trojan Horse, it is the decadently muddled way of the times to relativize or trivialize the seriousness of issues, to let anything and anyone through the door, even if need be calling the most radical permissiveness a belated form of Christian charity itself. People must now be allowed, accepted, approved in their every need and urge no matter how dark, odd or dangerous. No topic need be off limits, – it’s only the setting of boundaries that is off limits! This leads to a kind of Judas betrayal of real value, ideals and beliefs and writers, film makes, actors must take responsibility for what they attempt to make seem innocent.

Reluctantly I am inclined to agree with religious critics of Fifty Shades, that it might actually be better not to see this film. You are only voting for what helps nothing and nobody much beyond lining the author’s pockets. It’s not the same as attending the games of Rome in its decadence, but you could call it a step along the way.

(1)http://www.twilightgear.net/twilight-news-and-gossip/stephenie-meyer-reveals-details-of-new-dream-about-edward-cullen/2493

 

ICHABOD- PAPAL GLORY DEPARTING? : A POEM

Pope Francis Attends Weekly Audience

 ICHABOD – PAPAL GLORY DEPARTING?: A POEM

It’s far from Peter’s Square to Tacloban
But whether near or far, Beelzebub
Is having fun. From off the papal head
Not once but thrice have faithful crowds
Been forced to see how into a saucy
Wind with its own mind, whoosh,
Away a white biretta flies. [1]
Third time occurred where formerly
Destruction fell and multitudes still
Wait and long for healing of the memory.
And there, before due time, the pontiff
Left lest gusting winds and heavy skies
Prove harbinger of more typhoon or
At the very least delay.

It’s not as though even with a skull cap
More secure the suffering masses would obtain
Quite all the consolation so desired.
Rome’s Bishop says “I walk with silent heart”.
Faced with disaster there is no reply – alone
The Lord could give such he maintains
Because he knows all and was on the cross,
But in distress reach hands for Mary, call her “Mom.”

Yet why such reticence it’s fair to ask,
And ask of him whose faith is bold to post
Even atheists to highest bliss? “Christ’s Vicar”,
If that name were true, would know the answers
Of his Lord, would speak for times and seasons,
Any signs of end, declare like prophets
On the human plight and evil’s rule.
Then too, should not this Vicar own
Those powers like Christ’s at Galilee
To send back wind and wave, command
Wild weather’s forces to be bound?

But no, despite the goodness of the man
The welcome beacon of his honesty
The sometimes insight and the love,
He’s limited. There never was nor is
A special “Vicar” of the Christ. The kingdom’s
Keys were given less to Peter’s hands
Than to his declaration of belief. [2]

And now, as though too long false claim
Had grasped excess of privilege,
The forecast last of those to carry keys [3[
Renounces glory humbly. But now so late
It’s not enough and more divestment
There must be. The omens sound
The signs appear, the head will lose authority,
Rome’s throne fall vacant while the streets around
Lie open to barbarian hordes. Impatient
For world’s evil hour, the hell hounds
Which the leader hears, strain at the leash [4]
By God held back a little time, while
From the corners of the earth winds rise
To pluck from robes and caps their majesty.

NOTES

The title’s Ichabod means “the glory has departed” and was the name given by the daughter-in-law of the priest Eli who gave birth at the time the Philistines seized the Ark of the Covenant from Israel (1 Sam 4:19-22) in punishment, it was said, for an evil priesthood.

[1] The three occasions of biretta loss were Oct 2014 in St Peter’s square, upon arrival in Manila, Philippines in January 2015 and again (but the biretta was retrieved) as Pope Francis left the typhoon ravished Tacloban because a storm was approaching.

[2] In Matt 16:16 where Peter declares Jesus the Messianic divine Son, Jesus says Peter is the little stone (petros) but he will found his church upon the big rock (petra) of faith. Or so can be deduced from the Greek text although the Aramaic Jesus would normally have spoken (but raised near the Greek city of Sepphoris he would probably have known and spoken Greek sometimes) does not make this stone/rock distinction. Since however Peter’s declaration of belief was made in Greek-speaking Caesarea Philippi and where Pan was venerated below Mt Hermon, perhaps the confession was originally and defiantly made in Greek occasioning the little/big stone distinction. Since a Messiah should not initially be self- declared (something modern scepticism overlooks when it states Jesus never claimed to be Messiah) the early church necessarily regarded Peter as their voice and prime leader in some sense. But notions of a distinctly Roman Petrine authority is a late and political development. I even regard the tension over Peter’s status and role as curiously reflected in my data for Christ’s birth (see Testament of the Magi http://amzn.to/12eP5S8) in which, via the asteroids, one can see Rocher (Rock) and Stone significantly conjunct a world point, but in tension aspect (quincunx) to a conjunction of San Pedro, Roma and Isis, suggestive of the Isis-style Marian religion that much Catholicism has been, overtaking and in uneasy relation to Peter’s original declaration.

[3] According to the much disputed medieval Prophecy of St Malachy, Pope Francis should be the last Pope who defends the church during persecutions and times of the Antichrist. He is described as “Bishop of Rome” only – the informal Francis arguably assumes this role. As one of the possible omens, lightening struck the Vatican when the last of the traditional Popes, Benedict unexpectedly retired.

[4 The world’s worst hour is when the devil descends to earth (Rev 12:12). It is likely that the leader (i.e.the Pope) known, despite his liberalism, for a more hidden obsession with the devil, “hears” threatening sounds which speak to the role of purported last pope.

THE CURSE OF AMERICAN RELIGIOUS CENSORSHIP

CENSORSHIP

NO INCOVENIENT TRUTHS

America believes in positive thought and American religious organizations mostly follow suit, often with a vengeance. Organizations don’t want your criticism however reasoned or justified; on the Net especially you are required to fill in boxes saying how a book or broadcast or crusade blessed you.

If you had messages from heaven for notable ecclesiastical figures or religious writers, you wouldn’t get through. Their system of minders or their publishing houses, their publicity machine or something will be in the way. They are just efficient businesses. And just as business corporations can be ruthless and immoral so too are many religious organizations. There is so little real, meaningful accountability because criticism doesn’t reach the top which hears what it wants to hear with the result scandals often go long undetected.

The system will however regulate you, the ordinary believer, the insufficiently connected nobody. I cannot for example even write any more replies to conversations on the Christian Post because on one occasion I mentioned and gave address to my Songs of Puritania on a Gay Theme. The word “Puritania” derives from famous religion writer C.S.Lewis. An automatic notice came up that indecent language etc is not allowed. I pointed out more than once to management the source of my vocabulary. I have never received a reply and there has been no correction to the faulty system be it of computers or values. I don’t trust American religious journalism and journalists but I won’t go into stories on that subject even though as regards discussion of the Bethlehem Star it would be seasonal enough to do so – be assured even to mention the word “astrology” where that subject is concerned can be red rag to a bull.

Enough if I relay here my most recent gripe over something refused publication……a decision conveyed me through a convenient noreply address….which I consider an insult. American Christians are just too street wise and clever altogether in their management of people. They corrupt other societies (as Africa and Asian churches have been corrupted with prosperity gospels) with the artificiality of their practices, and as it’s computerized America has almost invented the abrupt rude answer or none the “good” Christians follow suit!

NO TRUE CONFESSIONS

From Twitter I had seen that FashionedofGod was asking for Gay Christian experience stories of any length written or videoed. I gave one titled A Long Disappointment (I paste it below). It was a longish account (but I checked and found it not longer than one they had printed). It was consciously different in emphasis as stressed from the first, and it was certainly heartfelt, almost gut spilling. It genuinely constitutes my experience. It is not flattering to the gay (Christian) community of especially America, but it needs to be said. It received the following response.

After review, we decided that your submission falls outside of the primary focus of our website (to share and highlight personal memoirs of gay Christians as they struggle reconciling their faith and sexuality). Though very well written, your submission focused more on your struggles of an author and your views/theologies being rejected. We hope you are able to find a better outlet for your submission, but unfortunately we have decided not to post it to fashionedofgod.com. We are open to posting another submission that focuses more on your personal memoir of being gay and Christian.

Well, at least I wasn’t accused as I once was by an editor of the White Crane gay spiritualities magazine of not being able to write properly in English! But no, I shall not be submitting anything else. I have told the simple truth as I know and have experienced it. It is not an American story of happy endings, it is not a story of the gay person persecuted by straight conservative Christians. My struggle as writer, scholar, but also a gay Christian one, my effort to contact and communicate, that is very much part of my story even if it constitutes a different and inconvenient truth. And the kind of abuse indicated needs to be on record as much as any other kind of abuse or prejudice.

Any more sympathetic editor of more Christian sentiments ought to have regretted my situation and/or advised where the article might find the alternative home he hopes for it. But no, I don’t fit the American religion and culture factory size and that’s all that matters; and I so won’t get equal treatment with the rest to say my bit however deserved.

One of the concerning aspects of the gay movement as it has developed, is precisely that it speaks so much of “equality” and fairness but it isn’t necessarily about that and practicing it itself. (This unevenness of practice is a problem with especially queer theory and activism as this works out – the problem is the basis of a recent critique by an atheist about the way the gay marriage issue has been treated.(See Brendan O’ Neill’s Spectator magazine article, Gay Marriage and the Death of Freedom.)…..I also hint at it in my latest poem at McCleary’s Alternatives, see A Saint’s Mistake”: A Poem of St Paul. I don’t of course seek to blacken the entire Gay Christian community, but I do have questions and suspicions with regard to especially its leadership much as I likewise do of the secular gay movement and especially the American wing of both. Anyway, just for the record and to give myself some peace of mind, I reproduce my contribution here because I say NO MORE; I refuse this constant silencing and censorship, especially as a religious person by religious people. It is nothing short of a curse, one I refuse.

PASTE OF OFFERED STORY

What I shall say here will be different from anything else you will receive but it needs to be stated and put on record. Anyone interested in actual details of my life and beliefs as a gay Christian person can go to my memoir, Reflections of an Only Child (amzn.to/1rRagvl) which includes on such matters, so I will put the stress elsewhere. My feelings about being gay and Christian is that I might as well not be so as especially American and Canadian gay Christians, (the main core and source of identity and thought in this line), have never helped or supported me in the slightest degree. My record of dealing with them is so negative that I am left a species of alienated anti-gay gay, much as Camille Paglia is the anti-feminist feminist.

My doctorate, subsequently published as A Special Illumination: Authority, Inspiration and Heresy in Gay Spirituality (2004) (amzn.to/17b8z1b) was a world first on gay spiritualities from any religious studies dept anywhere. It was even hoped it could help make gay spirituality an academic study akin to women’s studies. Though flatteringly reviewed on Amazon by Jewish agnostic novelist, Perry Brass, and mentioned by former MCC leader Kittredge Cherry, that’s it in ten years.

Though the straight Prof Martyn Percy of Oxford opined I had probably given the best summary of gay theology to date, I never received any gay Christian mention, not even by the Gay Christian Movement in London where the book was published though I did ask. I was also shockingly widely misrepresented on media from Australia to America and beyond as someone paid by the Australian government to research Jesus’ sexuality, but no one came to my aid to undo this nonsense. Advocate magazine ignored an appeal to correct what they had repeated from false report. During the last year as the rarest of rare events, Jeff Chu of A Gay Christian’s Pilgrimage did nicely reply to a message of mine, but didn’t look at something I asked him to examine.

By contrast to the misrepresentation, if and when I have had intelligent things to say about Jesus’ sexuality, more reverent and theologically and esoterically coherent than the likes of queer theology and Robert Goss’s Queering Christ, or the often profane wanderings of Marcella Althaus-Reid (who privately worshipped the goddess Bast) nowhere have I got heard and supported by gays for that. In fact, it was the lack of essential support from within the right religious and academic circles that has meant that the kind of post-doctoral work I was at one time ready and able to do on the needed subject of gay ethics never went forward. Also that my book was not more widely distributed and translated into Spanish as originally intended and expected – I was told there were people in S. America wanted use of my studies.

I have been undermined. I was told by Soulforce they couldn’t give a link to a former personal website because I was “too commercial” having supposedly “advertised” my writings on it. I have got and get no replies out of anyone, even if it’s a person I have written or spoken favourably of like Andrew Sullivan. From the first the now trendy Matthew Vines has never contacted, or mentioned me. I have tried three times to make contact, but no more. Same with Justin Lee of the Gay Christian Network. But even here in Australia the MCC pastor in Sydney has never had the courtesy to reply to me. (As to the American MCC forget about it, I might as well never have existed). I tweeted Lee and numbers of others just recently because my blog has issued a quite meaningful, accomplished poem, A Saint’s Mistake: A Poem of St Paul, (http://goo.gl/gBL4oA) which highlights and explains something about St Paul that not even the theologians have been able to explain and which potentially helps resolve a problem about the apostle’s attitude to same sex matters.

Who bothers to look at this – except the straights?! I have had appreciation from readers of my blog, but gays or gay orgs I contacted made no comment. I wasn’t surprised. At this late date in time, I was merely curious to see if anyone might actually think to relent and reply. Last year (in the gay month) I had out a longish, satirical poem Songs of Puritania on a Gay Theme. (bit.ly/16ybdts). This almost summarizes and gives answers to the gay situation. It was again quite accomplished poetry – it could do for Brecht in a satirical moment – and it could and should have gone viral if it had had any appropriate gay interest and support. It had none just as many years before and even before my doctoral studies gays wouldn’t look at, wouldn’t publish and weren’t interested in some quality gay related verse of mine, belatedly issued as Puer Poems. Leave it to straights to appreciate that sort of thing. (Actually Songs of Puritania is to be videoed next year in Canada but I am not expecting gays will bother to look at it even then).

I haven’t told the half and I am not even prepared to depress myself doing so. I am moreover sick to death of straights telling me they now understand or like gays better now because of me, while gays I thereby help can’t be bothered to acknowledge of understand me. But sufficient I have made a point here. Today I am the carer of an elderly parent. Gays and their issues play ever less part in my life. I only ever write on the gay issue to support truth or to protest the worst abuses such as one may find in Africa or Russia which Christian conservatives have facilitated. One protests this kind of thing simply because human feeling and Christian conviction impel it, but for the rest I am dissociated from gays because they have too long been dissociated from me.

I know a former actor and one time leader of several gay groups here in Australia. He suffered various setbacks, strokes etc which have limited him in numbers of ways. He has told me he now thinks gays are useless, no help or support, they are made for parties. If you’ve got problems and need help, go to the straights! I should like to think he was wrong and still more that one could except gay Christians from his judgment, but I have no special reason to do so. If you are gay, and I believe most gays are born that way, you won’t and can’t be cured of being so, but you can be cured of needing gays and I have been. I have learned other social and intellectual interests.

Today I even feel more identity as a poet than as any gay person. It would be nice to be recognized for one’s work and ideas and I could have contributed so much more had that been the case; but I’ve survived without that recognition and now I don’t need it. I can forgive, but obviously I can’t forget, the appallingly insensitive treatment which has been in its way career damaging as well as demoralizing. Nothing would change now if somehow I or anyone shamed the community, as it should be shamed, into at least basic politeness towards me, a proper acknowledgement of my existence.

Really what I think is needed is nothing short of a whole new culture and value system for gays who are just caught in varieties of self-obsession, Americans more than most. I could laugh at all this recent talk from Vines about “New Reformation”, there’s more than any theological one is needed! My experience can be called a peculiar one. It is as though all the kind of problems of which gays complain in terms of no social acceptance, the prejudice and put downs, has come to me instead through the gay community itself rather than the straight society accused of so many wrongs..

It is too late to be rid of the long hurt I have experienced. I can only hope that my very negative experiences can become known and some kind of lesson can be derived from it. Some relevant articles and poems of mine are God and the Gay Gaps in the Vision of Matthew Vines bit.ly/1izBz2C The Fatal Flaw in the Matthew Vines, Albert Mohler Gay Debate (bit.ly/1mHDclQ) Songs of Puritania on a Gay Theme (bit.ly/16ybdts) A Saint’s Mistake: A Poem of St Paul. http://goo.gl/gBL4oA >

IF THE POPE CAN’T READ, BUT ALL MAY PROPHESY

 A TRIP TO TURKEY

Pope Francis continues to surprise with paradoxes and contradictions. As he means well and often hits right, one dislikes even as a non Catholic to go against the  general spirit of reform and good will to criticize; but sometimes Francis  is plain myopic or eccentric, even  dangerously so.

On his recent visit to Turkey it was good that Francis urged Muslim leaders to protest the current terrorism of such as ISIL that threatens minorities, especially Christian ones. It’s nevertheless  doubtful that short of immediate political threat to their own nations those leaders  will notably speak out. I suggest they will not do so for the same reasons I gave in the article on Prince Charles who has likewise called for more protest in this line.  (See  http://goo.gl/dByOMa )

It was however highly controversial that the Pope prayed in Istanbul’s Blue Mosque (rather than like Pope Benedict before him just “contemplated” ) and towards Mecca. This will be read by some as symbolizing a kind of spiritual submission to Islam (the name means submission) and esoterically/spiritually may even in the long run make for something to that effect. It was still more controversial to declare the Koran a book of peace, perhaps especially so in Turkey where as even a recent BBC article pointed out (the very multicultural and sceptical BBC is not notably pro Christian), a century ago the population of Turkey was 20% Christian whereas it is not 0.2%. This situation owes much to a genocide of the Armenians under the Ottoman empire not admitted or regretted by Turkey but an example to Hitler for his “last solution”.

HOPING FOR PEACE

As stated in the mentioned article, in and out of the Koran, the peace understood by mainstream Islam is most essentially the peace which settles upon a world subject to Sharia Law. Mystics (like the Sufis) and heretics and nominal believers may see things differently or would like to, and there are unquestionably peaceful Muslims, but there is a strong warlike history and tone to the religion all the same. “Slay all the unbelievers wherever you find them” is explicit in the Koran at 2:19.

Anyway, a jihad/war theme is sufficiently emphasized in Koran and Hadith (the Sayings) for it not to be too lightly and easily dismissed as only “fundamentalism”. And it is surely inappropriate for Pope Francis to reduce all problems in Islam and across the religions to “fundamentalism” as though he himself is not capable of fundamentalism (not biblical but scholastic philosophical) when he supports, for example, an exceptionless doctrine of respect for life as in the case of abortions.

Pope John Paul 11 kissed the Koran. Pope Benedict rather dissociated himself from this kind of world religions ecumenism but now Pope Francis, who one wonders has he actually read the Koran, declares a scripture which has it that Muslims should not even be friends with infidels, is a book of peace,  the book  moreover which even if it is about peace contains radical denials of Christ’s status and meaning in Christian terms..

Perhaps the most peaceful thing about the Koran is its declaration that war should only be defensively pursued. This would encourage peace if it weren’t that given the many people and beliefs disapproved by the same scripture too many Muslims take the stipulation as a reason to be offended about many  things in order to go on the offensive, like the attack I mentioned on an entire Christian village because one Copt had merely put Like on a Facebook page referring to evangelism. This was deemed an insult to true religion, it must be avenged!  Few people groups are as  sensitive as the Muslim, but Pope Francis says he understands the offence Muslims feel that their religion is not considered a religion of peace. He is concerned they not feel this way. Indeed?!

LAST POPE POLICIES?

It all makes little sense, so little that one feels like saying the Pope can’t read. But it arguably makes some sense prophetically….and then, does not even St Paul hope that all might prophesy (1 Cor 14:5) rather than that the prophetic function should be limited to the smallest possible number. So I shall – sort of – declare and forecast.

It is very likely that this “last” Pope (at least the last according to the St Malachy prophecy) is intentionally or unintentionally preparing the way to a world religion through Rome that according to the late Catholic seeress, Jeane Dixon, will rapidly follow upon the death of the last Pope (whom she alleged she saw assassinated). The development should be  part of a larger Antichrist phenomenon at the end of the era. (We are at the end of the age of Pisces that Christ’s birth might be said to have inaugurated. The  Muslims of ISIL firmly believe they are in the last times, though of course they don’t link this to the age of Pisces and not even many Christians know or grasp the significance of this).

Having proposed that atheists can be redeemed by their good works, and oddly tried to make ecumenical overtures to Pentecostalism through its controversial prosperity gospel wing (in rank contradiction of his declaration in favour of a new church poverty!), Pope Francis now seems to be selling the idea that all people of faith are “walking the same path” are “brothers and sisters” and can work and cooperate beyond and against various “fundamentalisms”. http://goo.gl/B0OOOX.   Shortly before his trip to Turkey he presided over an ecumenical meeting of the world’s religions to discuss family values and ethics. “Dialogue” as against anything like the dirty word evangelization could hardly go further.

One may like to imagine cooperation does or could exist, but in reality there is, and always has been, such little cooperation between Christians and Muslims that in most places Christians have only ever been tolerated by Muslims. They are not allowed their natural human right (and even religious obligation), to declare publicly what their religion teaches. In Pakistan Christians are constantly threatened by vicious vigilante mobs ever ready to invent and believe new lies against Christians. In Egypt Christian girls and women are not safe against abduction and forced marriage. The list of abuses is endless. (In the face of this the West is either naïvely ignorant or grossly disloyal and unfair to Christians amid its bend-over-backwards concessions to multiculturalism and relativist secularist philosophies).

However, in line with Ireland’s favourite psychic Lorna Byrne who surprised many by alleging she saw a time when Christians would worship at Mecca, I suggest something of the sort is on the way – not worship at Mecca but as though at Mecca or towards Mecca like the Pope’s prayer. Chrislam, already gaining some traction in trend obsessed America, will be the next religious movement. Liberal Christians will join with Muslim moderates appalled by demonstrations of radical and medieval Sharia law. For Catholicism the drift will be facilitated through the Marian cult to which Pope Francis is much attached at the expense of Jesus. Francis is controversially opposed to anyone saying they have a personal relation with Jesus. According to The Catholic Reporter, the Pope has described as “dangerous” the temptation to believe that one can have “a personal, direct, immediate relationship with Jesus Christ without communion with and the mediation of the church.” http://goo.gl/OFYCLA

THE MARY FACTOR

It is Mary and the Church who present you to Jesus (rather than Jesus relating you to the Father/Creator who almost gets counted out of this Catholic equation). But it is nonetheless Mary who can unify Muslims and Christians – Muslims are impressed that Mary supposedly appeared at Fatima, name of Mohammed’s daughter. Mary is more revered by Muslims (and Hindus, Buddhists etc) than the Jesus who is not understood in special terms of Messiahship and Sonship, issues which liberal Christians have tended to soft pedal . They now ignore, are unaware of, or underplay how Jesus was understood to be the manifest side of God, the Angel of the Lord, in a perfectly Hebrew understanding of doctrine and not the late Graeco-Roman construction sceptical scholarship had made the divinity of Christ  in a way which now assists misunderstanding, doubt and apostasy from original Christian teaching.

I will not speculate or forecast on whether the Pope will be assassinated as per Dixon’s claims re a last Pope, but I do think that when ISIL (in line with the Hadith referring to the last times that inspires the radicals) promises it will overrun Rome, this can be taken as likely. If ISIL is not stopped soon, which I doubt, this could occur as early as 2017 when I think Italy, the Vatican, St Peter’s could all find themselves in some trouble.

But what we can be sure of, is no Vatican is going to have any divine protection against disaster if it imagines it can become the umbrella of some new world religious movement on terms which embrace anyone or anything based on unrealistic notions of what constitutes  faith and love. Wrong beliefs cause the candlestick to be removed as per Rev 2:5. (I won’t controversially speculate on the theme that certain churches might not have fallen into quite the degree of oppression and disaster they have if certain qualities and beliefs had originally been more in evidence). The Catholicism which once damned all other churches declaring no salvation existed outside itself, is now ready to cooperate with all unbelievers of good faith anywhere. It makes the switch not least because Pope Francis believes that we can know we are touched by the Holy Spirit whenever we have tender feelings of the heart and reach out to people – in short “feel good” and “together” (rather than experience the vision and knowledge and spiritual gifts the Spirit is said to give).

We may need to remember that according to the mentioned Jeane Dixon, the horrors of the times of the Antichrist would begin with people drawn to the very pitch of feel-good, idealistic emotions. It of course  good to be good, but God and religion are about  a bit more than that and some goodness when misdirected can lead to chaos.

MUSLIMS IN THE CATHEDRAL, THE MAGDALENE MARRIED. HIDDEN SPIRITUAL PATTERNS OF 12th and 14th NOVEMBER 2014

Cathedral

MUSLIMS IN THE CATHEDRAL AND THE MAGDALENE MARRIED. HIDDEN SPIRITUAL PATTERNS OF 12th and 14th NOVEMBER 2014

The blood moon of last month fell at 15 Aries and the solar eclipse fell at 0 Scorpio. While both eclipses highlight Israel in special ways, (the lunar eclipse was the second in a rare Tetrad falling on Jewish festivals), since the blood moon fell opposite Mercury, the “ruler” of Christ’s natus at 13+ Libra, while the solar fell conjunct Lucifer at 1 Scorpio on the chart for the first Pentecost (Christianity), we could expect some major challenges both to Christ’s image in the world and the affairs of Christianity in the wake of them. These have duly occurred, not least on the 12th and 14th of this month.

We have heard things before about the Magdalene. The main modern interest in her followed upon an eclipse in 1992 directly and challengingly opposite Magdalena in Christ’s birth chart; but with transiting Pluto currently on her degree and the blood moon eclipse in affliction square Christ’s Part of Marriage, on November 12th a book was published, The Lost Gospel. This offered yet another version of Magdalene theory, one which now makes for a sort of divine couple, a co-messiah and between them having two divine children and by implication a whole dynasty. To go with the new theory at all you have to accept that the Joseph name in an old document is really a code word for Jesus and you even have to accept that the cup of the holy communion contained this “Joseph”‘s wife’s menstrual blood.

The involved theorizing  is based on fifteen hundred year old apocryphal material  in Syriac but discovered in Egypt and reflecting probably earlier Gnostic heresies which gave the Magdalene some sort of consort role, but didn’t usually run to marriage and children. The claims are extravagant, not part of the gospels and earliest tradition and certainly unsupported by the data I claim to have for Jesus birth (an easy introduction to this controversy can be found at the article The Magi at Era’s End at http://goo.gl/HPJ0jk). It does nonetheless help subvert the image of Jesus (the ascendant and its “ruler” in any chart is involved with precisely image). This is rendered variously pagan mythic and human all too human and not really any special saviour. The authors of the book say they are not seeking to offend anyone’s theology, but they can’t help doing that, albeit the greater damage is probably more among the general populace which is left ever more confused about what if anything they should believe. One could even call the muddle it helps confirm a form of spiritual pollution.

Controversy of another sort and I suggest prophetic for events this decade, is introduced by America’s National Cathedral at Washington hosting Muslim prayers on the 14 the,  the  same day that the same imam who led the cathedral prayers led an invocation of Allah on the floor of the House of Representative in Washington.  How very broad minded!    It’s not just that you won’t find reciprocal arrangements in any Muslim lands today and that in Saudi Arabia, even private communal prayers of non Muslims are against the Law, a situation so unacceptable  Muslim leaders should be constantly reminded of the fact and Christians in Muslim lands should not be insulted by the Cathedral’s disregard for this situation. The matter is more complex and involves symbolism and spiritual principles of a fundamental nature.

Wherever Muslims have been, whatever territories they have claimed theoretically belongs to them forever, and it has been the continuous policy of Islam to appropriate all places of “infidel”  worship for their own use. At the capture of Jerusalem, Umur, builder of the earliest Al Aqsa Mosque over Israel’s Temple Mount, refused to pray in the Holy Sepulchre because of prior agreements against this and because if he had once prayed there the place would belong forever to the Muslims.

In their sublime  naivety the leaders of the Cathedral don’t grasp that many Muslims will see the act of toleration less as toleration than a move towards, or a virtual submission (Islam) that introduces certain claims. It spiritually draws Christians in and binds them in way they have not foreseen. Canon Gina Gilland Campbell was moved that South Africa’s Muslim ambassador to America, Ibrahim Rasool, who delivered the sermon, should look at the cathedral with its decorations and see ancient mosques. But might that unexpected reaction express something a little more intentional, the notion it is or should be a mosque really? As it was, worshippers were anyway placed at the side of the sanctuary so their faith would not be offended or compromised by being near or seeing any crucifix or icons and they would be facing Mecca. The lone heckling demonstrator shouted that this was the place of the cross and not too unreasonably declared that having been allowed to erect mosques in America (Christians can rarely erect of repair churches in Muslim lands) they should worship there.

I think we can foresee something in this latest policy shift of the national cathedral. It  reflects what is happening in America at large which when it is not radically fundamentalist and conservative can be radically Emersonian and universalist. It reflects the society where the strange Obama seems to think Muslims were foundational to America itself (and plainly he wishes they were foundational for many things placing them among his advisors). What will likely happen as a result of IS activity and the West’s resistance n to it, is that liberal Christians and liberal Muslims will draw closer together. They will do so however on the basis more of Christians compromising fundamental teachings than Muslims.

There is a type of liberal Christianity which has already so denied the divinity of Christ (a principle vehemently denied by the Koran and including by a Koranic statement around the dome of the Al Aqsa mosque) that already the transition to virtual Islam is half effected. Ireland’s most popular and successful psychic has – admittedly to great incredulity – claimed visions of Christians worshipping at Mecca. That may however become possible and belong to the final apostasy of the church – we stand at the end of the age of Pisces that Christ’s birth introduced and according to the disputed Prophecy of St Malachy the present pope is the last. According to some Muslim prophecies Jesus (Isa) is due return to declare that he after all was not divine and to persuade Christians and the whole world to become Muslims.

Interestingly on Nov 14th aspects for the day in relation to the pattern for Pentecost included a trine of restricting Saturn at 25.28 Scorpio to Arabia at 24 Cancer 46 and Ahmed at 26 Cancer 38, i.e. it was at their midpoint. Ahmed being a name of Mohammed is the clearest symbol within the pattern for Christianity for Islam. And in the pattern it is moreover definingly conjunct Tempel (Ger.Temple) After all, Islam contests Israel’s historic claims to the Temple Mount, sometimes to the point of denying any Temple of Solomon existed. Ahmed comes in a sign associated with Islam (Cancer, sign of the moon and the crescent moon symbolizes Islam) and in the twelfth house of self-undoing. Conjunctions are very pro or con depending, and plainly for Islam Israel’s temple is extremely contested and the fate of the area could become an apocalyptic issue.

It may sound tolerant and spiritual, but the leaders of the Washington are not doing anything helpful to the religion they are supposed to uphold and proclaim  For reasons already expressed on this site I am loathe to agree with anything the likes of Franklin Graham has to say, but when he says what has happened in the cathedral is “sad”, that’s probably about right.

 

 

 

 

WHY PRINCE CHARLES’ APPEAL TO MUSLIMS WON’T BE HEARD

CHARLES

WHY PRINCE CHARLES’ APPEAL TO MUSLIMS WON’T BE HEARD

….Or perhaps I mean heard but not acted upon. The Prince wants Muslim leaders for the sake of everyone to acknowledge and raise a voice, rather than remain (as they mostly and usually do) silent in the face of the persecution of minorities, especially Christians. ow.ly/DOU1C

More than one report has recently defined Christians as the most persecuted group in the world and the Prince correctly notes Muslim societies are over-represented in the tally of those nations which demonstrate discrimination and intolerance. (North Korea is worst).

You wouldn’t necessarily think such was the case from, for example, media reports. Here in Australia, (perhaps because its international TV news relies so heavily upon Al Jazeera as a source), we heard almost more about the small Yezidi minority than the many thousands of Christian suffering in Iraq. The UN provided shelter for them before any Christians for whom Christian aid agencies have been sending out desperate pleas.

The rights and safety of Christians are almost an afterthought for most western leaders and especially America’s President Obama who rarely speaks for them unless under massive pressure at home and he has almost rushed in to stress nobody is suffering more under IS than Muslims, which is not strictly true. Even if it were true, it is hardly something to propose so breezily when Christians are being raped, tortured and their children forced into marriages or sold as sex slaves. As  Majid Rafizadeh, president of Harvard’s International American Council of the Middle East has just said, “It is confounding to ponder why the mainstream media, President Barack Obama, and many other liberal political figures still remain silent about the increasing persecution of Christians in Islamic countries”. 

Only this last week there has been yet another horrific act of persecution against Christians in Pakistan, a regularly serious and gross offender in this area, though not even sweet Poster Child Nobel prize winning liberty advocate Malala will be telling you quite how much. She is brave and says good things but of the kind the West wants to hear, namely about the safety of women, not of religious beliefs.  A poor Christian couple, the wife pregnant, was battered and burned to death at the kiln where they were indentured labourers by a hysterical mob of over a thousand, screaming for their blood ( ow.ly/DShXH). This was because a rumour had gone out that the couple had thrown out pages of a Koran when the wife had been clearing their home following the recent death of her mother. Pakistan’s ever controversial anti-blasphemy laws themselves finish a kind of blasphemy against life, truth and justice as they allow any rumour to be floated but no charges to be laid against those falsely launching them or victim to ubiquitous vigilante violence. Pakistan, as some of its own leaders admit, is a deeply corrupt society. It looks as though it prefers pious persecution on almost any pretext to true reform.

SILENCE AS CHARITY

What the Christian and liberal standpoint of the Prince and others might however be said to overlook is that silence itself, a refusal to approve what is going on in Iraq and elsewhere, is the charity and almost necessarily so given that there is nothing in the Koran that would notably encourage anyone to support minorities which are all liable to be deemed infidels. While it may be that the stronger controversial statements against Jews and Christians owe more to the Hadith (a collection of alleged sayings of Mohammed and his associates rather than the Koran itself), even so, it is stated in the Koran that Muslims should not be friends of infidels (3:28).

True and famously, there are numbers of verses which enjoin a respect and friendship of sorts for “people of the Book” (Jewish/Christian bible), but the problem, the loophole for fundamentalist extremism, is that what the people of the same Book assert, such as in the case of the Christians that they identify the Messiah with God, is denied and condemned (5:17) rendering them with the infidels in effect. It is also affirmed that Christians mostly do evil anyway (5:66)!

Ultimately, how could the average Muslim oppose on the behalf of dissidents what other Muslims are doing that spreads or defends the faith without before long being accused of apostasy and being ostracized? Those Muslims like the Grand Mufti of Syria who do believe in and advocate peace with toleration of non Muslims, have received great abuse from fellow Muslims – there have been death threats to himself and his sons. Conversion out (apostasy) is not permitted in the religion, and theoretically carries a death penalty.

Somali scholar Abdisaid Abdi Ismail’s recent book, The Rule of Apostasy In Islam: Is it True? has already occasioned him the rage of Muslims, death threats, separation from his family and he has been thrown out of hotels in Kenya and Uganda, a situation in extreme ironic contrast to the freedom and sometimes star treatment accorded such as the tiresomely impudent returned Muslim, Reza Aslan, who in America and the liberal West is free to criticize the gospels and Christianity in any publication he likes. The greatest charity Islam can show the infidel or convert is to let them, like Meriam Ibrahim earlier this year in South Sudan, leave the country, (be exiled). And as in the case of Pastors Saaed and Irani in highly intolerant Iran (whose conditions the Iran born Aslan never seems to protest), that may not happen. Or it won’t happen while a weak, temporizing,  quasi Muslim Obama exerts no strong pressures to get even imprisoned and tortured American citizens who are Christian out of the country.

IS  AS THE “TRUE” WARRIORS

Recently IS, no matter how much Muslims and others care to state they are not representative of “true” Islam, have been attempting to drive out and sometimes wipe out Christians from Iraq and Syria. They are given the options of conversion, paying religious tax (jizya), exile or execution. Interpretation and translation of scriptures are of course always hotly debated, but plainly IS feels they are doing what they do on a basis at least partly justified by such verses “slay all the unbelievers wherever you find them” 2:91 – which is only what Ottoman Turks did to half the population of Christian Armenia in 1915 in an act that inspired Hitler’s Final Solution. (That Turkey has never subsequently regretted this in the way wars usually are, is probably due to the belief  its behavior was religiously sanctioned). 5:33 rules to maim or crucify or banish those who make “war against God” or who “spread disorder” in their country.

Not that the minorities of Iraqi Christians and others like Yezidis and Mandaeans have been doing that. IS is exceeding its remit in this respect like the Ottomans before them, but even to say anything in favour of one’s alternative faith, especially to proselytize is dangerous. Indeed the latter is absolutely forbidden in most Muslim societies (it would in itself almost certainly be treated as “spreading disorder”). This is a situation which nevertheless and practically, is to deny normally accepted religious rights (not to say the human rights to “free speech” of Christians) extremely. The day when Christianity can be even described in Muslim countries by Christians themselves will be the day something like human rights might be said to exist there.

Christ’s disciples were told as almost his last words to them, to preach the word in the whole world. So a non-missionary church is scarcely a true church, certainly not any free one. Just recently an Egyptian Copt, one of a group of people in existence long before Islam, was sentenced to 6 years prison for merely “Liking” a Facebook page about a group of former Muslims. Even his Christian village was attacked by outraged Muslim fanatics. http://goo.gl/YRdWyN. In Saudi even private worship is banned to non Muslims, presumably because since the Koran describes infidels as impure and perverse (9:30 ) the very earth is polluted by their presence in Islam’s most sacred territory!

Plainly there is little scope for negotiation here! Under IS minorities generally have been targeted, including even Muslim ones, but as said, overall it is Christians who recently have borne the brunt of recent troubles while receiving least sympathy and attention for it – Prince Charles moreover stresses that the situation is particularly bad because Christianity is now being erased from its 2000 year homeland, a major tragedy in itself. (One might add that also tragic is that the Palestinians, for whom sympathy seems boundless in the liberal West, have been doing everything possible to rid even Bethlehem and Nazareth of Christians. And the West is naïve enough not to imagine or perceive that at least some Palestinians intend no peace whatsoever towards Israel (hear what they teach in their schools and broadcast on their radios!) but will agree to any division of the land, any new situation that facilitates the longer term aim of being rid of an Israel they don’t acknowledge can and should exist). Peace may be spoken of, but the West is blithely ignorant of how by the principle of takkiya, truth in dealings with infidels is not required so that the best sounding agreements and promises may mean nothing.

MEDIA AND WESTERN MYOPIA

Prince Charles’ statement comes as a spanner thrown in the works of modern media which despite the current extent of exile and genocide for Christians in the Middle East is seriously under-emphasized by a secular and sometimes almost anti-Christian media which is concerned, perhaps selfishly, in keeping things quiet at home and shoring up liberal multicultural values at all costs by never asking or expecting Muslims like the Prince to face a few basic facts.

The facts are admittedly sometimes grave and bewildering for especially the more moderate Muslims some of them left reeling under the shock of offspring radicalized and disappeared, apparently for ever, to fight with IS. What perhaps for the first time they are being forced to absorb, is that essentially the faith they subscribe to is involved with the aim of a world domination achieved if necessary through force. The very appeal of IS is that it seems to be fulfilling that aim and that it is even engaging the last and apocalyptic war which will arise through Syria.

And although some will protest the Koran should be read more symbolically and allegorically, in most places where Islam is well established it is not and has not been so. So if there are indications that (some if not all) Jews are the children of apes (7.166) and according to the Hadith (Sayings) they are to be wiped out before the Last Judgement, all sorts of negative policies get justified. Meanwhile the Christians/infidels are to be subdued, tolerated if they pay taxes and show themselves submissive (9:29) because Islam is all about, indeed means “submission”.

There is a reason that Christians are the poor, mostly servants and road sweepers despised and exploited in Muslim nations like Pakistan and Eygpt, not able to rebuild churches, rarely able to get justice at law for the worst crimes against them. The discrimination is as good as mandated and is hardly ever challenged. Christians exist to be made dhimmis in a state of dhimmitude.  It is also hardly ever challenged either by a once Christian West which in its post Christian weakness (decadence) pours aid into the most relentlessly persecuting societies like Iran and Afghanistan for whom privately the aid is doubtless regarded as the jizya tax that infidels, whose day of reckoning awaits, ought to be handing over and therefore no more than is due. It is not perceived as any kind of charity for which to be grateful. Every concession liberals and interfaith Christians make, is liable not to be appreciated as tolerance but a step on the way to required submission.

Christians and Western liberals seem ignorant of how traditional Islam, a warrior religion if ever, divides the world up into dar-al- Islam and dar-al-harb, the house of war. Everywhere where Islam is not prevalent is “the house of war”. Peace is not what mainstream Islam is about except as indicating the final state of humanity submitted to Islam and Sharia law however long it takes. Muslims however don’t see themselves as aggressors but rather as warrior martyrs, victims, because they are told not to be the aggressors until they have pretexts and are victims in effect(2: 194). This is partly why Muslims complain and protest so much within non Muslim societies and as in Muslim Pakistan listen to every rumour They must have reasons to impose themselves, so reasons are sometimes found by almost any means.

Some Muslims understand the real meanings and know the score. It is why Ayaan Hirsi Ali abandoned Islam and has told Muslims they should do likewise and espouse either atheism or Christianity because the God of the latter suggests more by way of love. (Raised a Syrian Muslim, writer Wafa Sultan, goes so far as describe the religion she knew as not being one of love – A God who Hates is the title of one of her books). It was not least on account of its doctrine of forgiveness that at great risk “Son of Hamas”, Mosab Hassan Yousef, converted out to Christianity.

A CONTESTED NAME AND REVELATION

What’s certain, but Christians don’t seem to get the message, is that the name of Allah – now forbidden under Malaysian law to Christians as a word they may use for God – is not a name that can be considered identical with the God of the Bible, whose covenantally revealed name is YAHWEH/ Jehovah of whom Jesus is an expression. Some Christians and Muslims might wish or intend to worship the same in terms of a monotheistic oneness concept, but for Christians Allah cannot be God’s name. It represents a different principle and doctrine including the possibility of relation as opposed to solely worship and obedience, so that in a sense Muslims are correct to tell Christians not to use the Allah word. Islam believes in an absolute as opposed to a unitive, inclusive one (i.e.the biblical echod as opposed to the absolute singularity of yachid) and condemns any Trinitarian thought accordingly. (It calls it “polytheism” not inclusive one).

Muslims are also correct after a fashion in regarding what is happening as an end of times or end or era, situation. Many are persuaded to go to Syria because of certain Hadith (sayings) attributed to such as a companion of Mohammed, Abu Hurayreh, which seem to locate Syria as a site of last battles on the way to the renewed Muslim Caliphate and world domination.

END OF ERA CONFLICT

It’s true we are at the end of the age of Pisces which Christ’s birth heralded. An across board spike in turmoil, suffering, death and martyrdom is to be expected as the world lives the equivalent of the last degree of the relevant sign. It is only in its coming-of-night context that one can begin to grasp what is happening to the persecuted Christian minorities across the Muslim world and why up to a point it is allowed to happen. IS itself might be said to fulfill prophecy like that of Christ, “Indeed an hour is coming when those who kill you will think that by doing it they are offering worship to God” (Joh 16:2).

IS will prosper, it will increase, it may even overrun Rome as per one Hadith, and be seen by many as bound to succeed, but it won’t. The end of the story will present many surprises.

It’s just a pity that meanwhile the West, which says and does so little in the face of the turmoil, fails to understand the  principles of the culture, religion and psychology it is dealing with and is shockingly disloyal to its Christian roots being too pragmatic, too  secular, selfish and interested in economic advantage to bother to protest abused Christian rights in any effective way with many nations like Korea and China and not just Muslim ones. Presently it regards this as strengthening the home base but it is merely fostering a weakness that will return on it and rend it. Good fortune depends upon attending to justice first.  The weakness and private sympathies of Obama particularly mark a disaster for the fortunes of Christians worldwide at a crucial moment of history and it is in this context that, if only to restore some balance and a moral one to public opinion and reporting, the intervention of Prince Charles is to be applauded.