Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Intelligent Design

Thorswitch posted on christians teaching their kids to disrupt classrooms when evolution is brought up. (typical). Reading the post, I followed a link to a wikipedia article on Intelligent Design. Reading through it, I found that I pretty much agree with the theory.

What? You thought this was the "Pagan Side?" Well, it is. I do, pretty much, agree with the theory that there was some 'intelligent design' guiding evolution, even the creation of life. Granted, I probably disagree with the Source of that design. I don't think it was some grumpy old man in the sky.

The theory of Intelligent Design though, I believe in. Look, for example, at the interconnectedness of everything on earth. Animals (including people) breathe in Oxygen and use it in their bodily functions, then breathe out carbon dioxide. Plants then take in carbon dioxide to use in photosynthesis and growth, then 'exhale' oxygen. What a brilliant design - the Carbon cycle! Look at the human body! The lungs to take in oxygen, the blood stream, the immune system - we're a complex system! The design elements of the Human body are used over and over in vastly different arrangements. One interesting thing is that we are pretty much dependent on bacteria to live. "There are approximately 10 times as many bacterial cells as human cells in the human body, with large numbers of bacteria on the skin and in the digestive tract."(link and more info) How can that be an accident? Really? A symbiotic relationship with a single cell organism is essential to our survival. Brilliant!

The religious part of the Intelligent Design movement point to a separate, Christian, deity as the source of this wonder of engineering. That is one point that I greatly disagree with. In order to explain my theory, I feel that I must explain the process of reaching this conclusion.

I grew up in the Southern Baptist church. When I went to college, I was part of the Baptist Student Union. I was eventually on the BSU Leadership Council. At one point, I was giving testimonials and preaching with full intent to continue into the ministry. Unfortunately, I am smart and ethical. I read the bible and, in good christian form, believed what it told me. Essentially:
Jehovah created Adam and Eve, who then ate of the tree of knowledge and did not die despite Jehovah telling them they would - what I call the 'first lie'. They then began the Tribe of Israel with Cain and Abel. Cain and Abel took wives from the other tribes - in my humble belief, pre-existing, established tribes of people NOT created by Jehovah. Over hundreds of years Jehovah guides the Jewish people, the House of Israel. Eventually sending Jesus, who tells us that he was only sent to the lost children of the house of Israel - no one else. Now, Christians tell us that "the Lord" - which includes Jesus - can not lie. They describe this as a "test" of faith. Either it was a 'test' and Jesus lied about not being sent to everyone or he told the truth. I take it that he told the Truth. So, having done family genealogy, I find that I have no Jewish ancestry and therefore Jesus was not sent for me, leading me to the conclusion that Christianity was never meant for me as I am from the Other Tribes.

So, I did a LOT of prayer and observation and natural study. Eventually having a spiritual revelation about my path to Truth. I, having lead a fairly sheltered baptist life, thought I had come upon a new way of thinking, a new enlightenment! It was about two years later, after I had a pretty good outline of explaining my new faith, that I was told by a listener, "Oh, you're Pagan."

And now for my Theory. The Source of the Intelligent Design is, well, The Source. I believe that there is a Source of All Things and that everything is a part of The Source and it is within everything. Summing up, The Source is Omni-present. I see The Source as including all things - plants, animals, minerals, angels, gods, goddesses, devils, demons, stars, planets.... everything. The Source is the design as well as the designer. Within each of us is the model of the whole. We are all connected to each other and everything. Our survival depends on each and every thing in existence.

The Source - as in everything in existence - is constantly evolving. As rare species die out, something must evolve to replace them or a hole, a sickness of the whole is created. I hope, despite evidence, that Mankind is not becoming cancerous to the whole. I hope that we can reverse the trend of being more damaging than good. I hope we can become a part of the whole again instead of continuing to believe and act as though we are separate and above creation.

Monday, October 27, 2008

One Nation (not under God)

The Constitution

Not a Christian document

Religion is a very important topic for me. I strongly support the Freedom of Religion that our forefathers saw was needed for this country. I strongly support the statement made in the Treaty of Tripoli, written by Joel Barlow and signed proudly by John Adams that "the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion". ( I find Buckner's Article on the Treaty very helpful on that matter and this article on the Tripoli treaty from NoBeliefs.com and Infidels.org article on the "Christian Nation" myth and even this EarlyAmerican.com piece on a Secular Government.)

The fact that this is a purposefully secular government is well documented and proven, over and over as you can see. Why do they still protest the facts?

I like this all-creatures.org article. It points out the Constitution, Article VI, Section 3: "No religious test shall be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States." In these days and times, that important part is thrown out and if anyone fails the religion test, they have almost no hope of attaining any office - and may lose any office which they have won. That is thoroughly against what our founding fathers envisioned. I really enjoyed listening to Colin Powell's speech endorsing Obama (also, also):
"I’m also troubled by…what members of the party say, and is permitted to be said, such things as, ‘Well you know that Mr. Obama is a Muslim.’ Well, the correct answer is, 'He is not a Muslim, he’s a Christian, he’s always been a Christian.'
But the really right answer is, 'What if he is? Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country?'
The answer’s 'No, that’s not America.'"

I have to include this from one of the articles above. Many claim that our laws are founded on christian concepts, but one of our founders totally disagrees:
Thomas Jefferson, elaborated about the history of common law in his letter to Thomas Cooper on February 10, 1814:

"For we know that the common law is that system of law which was introduced by the Saxons on their settlement in England, and altered from time to time by proper legislative authority from that time to the date of Magna Charta, which terminates the period of the common law. . . This settlement took place about the middle of the fifth century. But Christianity was not introduced till the seventh century; the conversion of the first christian king of the Heptarchy having taken place about the year 598, and that of the last about 686. Here then, was a space of two hundred years, during which the common law was in existence, and Christianity no part of it.

. . . if any one chooses to build a doctrine on any law of that period, supposed to have been lost, it is incumbent on him to prove it to have existed, and what were its contents. These were so far alterations of the common law, and became themselves a part of it. But none of these adopt Christianity as a part of the common law. If, therefore, from the settlement of the Saxons to the introduction of Christianity among them, that system of religion could not be a part of the common law, because they were not yet Christians, and if, having their laws from that period to the close of the common law, we are all able to find among them no such act of adoption, we may safely affirm (though contradicted by all the judges and writers on earth) that Christianity neither is, nor ever was a part of the common law."

I will go on to point out that the Saxons were Pagans. So, in point of historical fact, the laws of the United States of America are rooted in Paganism.

Another thing, dealing with the Title of this post, that I would like to point out is the Pledge of Allegiance. The Pledge, as written by Francis Bellamy in 1892, was : 'I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.' This is a fine pledge for all Americans - even those who don't believe in any god. Bellamy was a Christian and he didn't feel the overwhelming need to force his religion on others.

"In 1923 and 1924 the National Flag Conference, under the 'leadership of the American Legion and the Daughters of the American Revolution, changed the Pledge's words, 'my Flag,' to 'the Flag of the United States of America.' Bellamy disliked this change, but his protest was ignored."
I suppose this was the beginning of the Idiot's Reign in the U.S. - who wouldn't know that they were pledging allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America? It is a superfluous addition more than anything else.

"In 1954, Congress after a campaign by the Knights of Columbus, added the words, 'under God,' to the Pledge. The Pledge was now both a patriotic oath and a public prayer. Bellamy's granddaughter said he also would have resented this second change." This, in my humble opinion, goes completely against the Constitution. It is the start of the insinuation of christianity into our government. This little addition purposefully excludes a large portion of United States citizens.  Also, it was Sixty Two years after the pledge was written and being said in public.  Talk about diverging from our roots, our history and tradition.

I already say only the (mostly) original pledge:

'I pledge allegiance to (the) Flag, and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.'

but I think I am going to start with this one :
"A few liberals recite a slightly revised version of Bellamy's original Pledge:
'I pledge allegiance to my Flag, and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with equality, liberty and justice for all.'"

I would love to see our Nation return to more of the principles of our founding fathers. I would love to see a more inclusive society, run by intellectuals grounded in tolerance.

I have found another source for more quotes and discussion on this :
The Volokh -- in particular, comments by Cityduck.

Let us, then, fellow citizens, unite with one heart and one mind. Let us restore to social intercourse that harmony and affection without which liberty and even life itself are but dreary things. And let us reflect that having banished from our land that religious intolerance under which mankind so long bled, we have yet gained little if we counternance a political intolerance as despotic, as wicked, and capable of a bitter and bloody persecutions.

(Read the follow-up : More Christian Nation Stuff)

Welcome to the Pagan Side

The purpose of this Blog is to comment on Society, Religion, Politics and (probably mostly) news stories from a Pagan perspective.

Please note that it will be from the point of view of a Centergistic Celtic Shaman Druid - not a Wiccan or Asatru or Egyptian flavor of paganism. Comments are very very welcome from other Pagans on the posts to be made here.

I will be reviving a few older posts or topics from other areas that I have written to flesh out the first few days here.

There will be no personal info on this blog. I have a LiveJournal for those type posts. :D


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