Tuesday, 1 May 2007

Saint Ted


Ikons have never been a big deal in the WCG, in fact quite the contrary. So it's nice to know that this venerable piece of religious art endures. And somehow it's appropriate that it was gifted to us by Penthouse magazine.

Yes, this is the lead page to a feature article from thirty years ago, April 1977. My, how time flies. Thanks to Bill F. who forwarded a PDF version of "Reverend Doom."

He’s heard and seen by more Americans each week than Walter Cronkite. His magazine has more subscribers than Newsweek.

The silverhaired, silver-tongued talker is fast becoming an American institution, with far more spiritual clout than that of almost any other religious leader. He is late-night companionship to thousands of truckers, the voice of the morning to millions of farmers, the living-room preacher to a subculture of lonely, frightened, disoriented Americans. He is even better known in Canada, where the airwaves are saturated with his television and radio broadcasts.

Hard to imagine now. Within a year of the article's appearance Ted was fired and disfellowshipped.

But aside from its news reports, The Plain Truth is largely a right-wing propaganda outlet.

Perceptive! Pick up a copy of the most recent GN, TW or Flurry's Trumpet and... snap!

Martin E. Marty, professor of the history of modern Christianity at the University of Chicago, says of the Armstrong phenomenon: ... Sects like Armstrong's probably drain off discontent into harmless channels among people who might be more dangerous without Armstrong's alternative view of history to grasp onto. This kind of religion makes elites out of the ignorant and the poor.”
Religious bromide for the unwary. Marty always was a smart cookie.

So two questions. First, how come America's most lecherous publication was able to see the true nature of WCG so much more clearly than the righteous brethren within (including yours truly)?

And second, do you reckon as a tribute to Dad, Mark Armstrong has a copy of that artwork hanging up in his office at ICG HQ (or failing that, a copy of the current Penthouse in his desk drawer)?

31 comments:

Corky said...

Martin E. Marty, professor of the history of modern Christianity at the University of Chicago, says of the Armstrong phenomenon: ... "Sects like Armstrong's probably drain off discontent into harmless channels among people who might be more dangerous without Armstrong's alternative view of history to grasp onto. This kind of religion makes elites out of the ignorant and the poor.”

WOW! It's probably a good thing then that I was in that cult, I'm dangerous to be outside by myself, you know? I don't mind being poor, but ignorant?

I didn't like being ignorant, so I left the cult and so did a lot of other "ignorant" people.

The WCG did have their share of the ignorant and the kooks of the enlightened world but as far as I could tell, no more so than any other church.

What the professor said was tantamount to placing the blame on the victims of the Armstrong con-game instead of on the perpetrators, where it rightfully belongs.

The members of the cult were/are sincere (and duped) "believers" of Armstrongism and not because of some dangerous mental defect.

Paul said...

"This kind of religion makes elites out of the ignorant and the poor."

He did not label everyone in the WWCG as ignorant.

And his statment is very true. It's why I was attracted to COG theology. Imagine, Joe Sixpack, becoming a Master of the Universe! What heady wine that was! How ignorant I was!

Corky said...

Well Joe Sixpack, welcome to the club of the duped (not ignorant).

Everyone needs to feel "special" somewhere and to someone. We crave it, we're human! And, if you can accept it, that is actually the person's "spiritual need" that is so advertised by the religious billboards.

They want to "fulfill your spiritual needs" with a belief when all your spiritual needs are is to feel needed and wanted by other humans.

Neotherm said...

Armstrongism decidedly appealed to people who had been marginalized, just as other similar sects. And Marty is correct, some of these people might have joined more violent sects and movements if they had not been captured by Armstrongism. The first cousins of the Armstrongites, the Branch Davidians, did shift in the direction of violence.

But I disagree on the point of the ignorant and poor. The remarkable phenomenon was that some fairly bright and educated people became entrapped in Armstrongism. But on the whole Marty is correct.

This remarkable insight came from Penthouse because those people have not been indoctrinated on the issue of religion. They were indoctrinated about other issues. Everybody can see a little light.

-- Neo

James Andrade said...

Even the during the Old Testament times there were no shortage of rotten eggs in a good basket. Remember the Korah rebellion and the critics Marian and Aaron?

If they did it in those days when God was so near, then why people could not do it now? It has been more than a thousand years since Jesus's ascension. God may be out of place to many people now. One can do everything what he feels right with out thinking of the consequences Jude wrote about in 8-13.

What is fairly accurate is that the bible that does not show scriptures providing rewards to the CRITICS. It is very easy to criticize. But has somebody tried filling the shoes and see how it feels? An ordained honest minister preaches the gospel, take money from his own pocket then someone labels him a SHAM.

Wicked people does not know what is right. They could not distinguish what is right. They could not do what is right. The Pharisees are good exemple. They portrayed Jesus as out of his mind but the truth was the reverse.

This is the same with CRITICS now. It would be better if they would keep their mouths shut. It would be the best they could contribute to the Christian world.

Mel said...

I suppose, to answer your first question, Gavin, I'd quote Robert Hunter, "Once in awhile you can get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right."

In answer to your second question, I'd guess that he's more likely to have the magazine in his desk drawer, handy for times when he needs some....er....inspiration.

And since you brought up Ted, it has made me think of how sad it is to see HWA's kid riding the "coat-tails" of his dad in the gloom-and-doom(we've-got-the-answers-you-need)-shtick.

I suppose it enters the realm of "pathetic", in Dart's case, who rode the coat-tails of a serial-sexual-predator's-coat-tail riding.

Coat-tails riding coat-tails.
Such is the ACOG legacy.

BambooBends said...

I can remember the hymn even now....."not many wise men now are called....not many noble brethren..."

And wasn't it the golfing Waterhoser that told us "why are here, because we're not all there!"

The WCG did attract a lot of engineering and computer people. The WCG had state of the art computer systems, video hardware, built its own airline cargo container sized "video pod" for Garner Ted. 30 years later Steve Jobs "video IPOD" fits in my pocket. And there was the magic WATS phone switching thingy that used all that free church volunteer labor that was way ahead of its time.

I long wondered why so many technical people found a home there. The WCG demographic was completely different than what one finds in the Pentecostal movement. The answer to that puzzle didn't come to me until I left Armstrongism.

The Armstrong religion is essentially algorithmic in nature....blessings and cursings....do this....God does that....its all about God as the ultimate finite-state machine. In the Armstrong model there's nothing relational in its approach to God and his interactions with humans.

But in a way most of Christianity falls into that same trap. Its where laws and rules (like the logic in some galactic computer program) require God to kill his only begotten son....well.... because those damn laws are more important...the universe would unzip...atoms would fly apart...gravity would reverse....there'd be no precious laws of the Thermodynamics (GTA loved that law). The implication is law is simply more powerful than the Deity they are said to spring from. God can't simply forgive without blood being shed. But what about those scriptures where God says he takes no pleasure in the blood sacrifices of bulls and goats? Maybe human blood is more tasty? I hear Canadians and New Zealanders are really tasty. They have national health care.

And to think it all resulted from two people for eating the wrong fresh organic fruit.

Its really fun to get literal now and then. Takes my mind off those times when I have to avoid menstrual women (how does one tell?)and stoning disbelievers for working on the Sabbath. As to my rebellious teenager, I'm just happy when they are not stoned....

Douglas Becker said...

An ordained honest minister preaches the gospel, take money from his own pocket then someone labels him a SHAM.

You can't possibly be talking about Garner Ted Armstrong or Herbert Armstrong?

There's just too much objective black and white algorithmic binary evidence to conclude that they each weren't a SHAM.

Douglas Becker said...

I long wondered why so many technical people found a home there. The WCG demographic was completely different than what one finds in the Pentecostal movement. The answer to that puzzle didn't come to me until I left Armstrongism.

The Armstrong religion is essentially algorithmic in nature... blessings and cursings... do this... God does that... its all about God as the ultimate finite-state machine. In the Armstrong model there's nothing relational in its approach to God and his interactions with humans.


The multidimensional thinking technologists with structural visualization reducing themselves to subjugate themselves to two dimensional abstract visualization types -- devoid of technical ability and teaching the evils of Satan's Colleges and Universities in this world -- and it's all because the specialists want to reduce everything to binary ones and zeros?

Clear, neat, logical and wrong.

Occam's Razor.

Never has so much been said based on so little: Herbert Armstrong, Gerald Waterhouse, GTA.

The possibilities.

The future.

Anyone ever heard of "The World Tomorrow"?


Irresistible to science fiction buffs.

DennisDiehl said...

"Wicked people does not know what is right. They could not distinguish what is right. They could not do what is right. The Pharisees are good exemple. They portrayed Jesus as out of his mind but the truth was the reverse."

Mark 3:20 Then Jesus entered a house, and again a crowd gathered, so that he and his disciples were not even able to eat. 21When his FAMILY heard about this, they went to take CHARGE of him, for they said, "He is OUT OF HIS MIND."

Actually Pharisees have gotten a lot of bad NT press. Don't use the NT to understand the intentions, beliefs and perspectives of the Pharisees.

Actually it was Jesus own family that came down first to get him and take him home because they felt he was insane. Obviously Mary had forgotten his miraculous birth announcements by Angels in Matthew and Luke, but not mentioned in Mark. Pharisees in fact were probably not near the rascals the NT makes them out to be and often did not teach what the NT attributes to them, nor did they have the perspectives on "the law" that Paul attributed to them

DennisDiehl said...

"The multidimensional thinking technologists with structural visualization reducing themselves to subjugate themselves to two dimensional abstract visualization types -- devoid of technical ability and teaching the evils of Satan's Colleges and Universities in this world -- and it's all because the specialists want to reduce everything to binary ones and zeros?"

I guess I must be one of the ignorant ones after all....what the hell are you talking about?

Corky said...

"Wicked people does not know what is right."

The wicked people being those that do not believe the same things as you do. To the Israelites, the whole rest of humanity was wicked.

To the Christians, the Jews were wicked. Along with herbalist and healers and those who practiced the black arts of knowledge and science. They, of course, were witches and sorcerers and deserved to be tortured and burned at the stake because they were "wicked".

That really nice lady who lives down the street . . . the one with the sparkling personality who seems to love everyone . . . the one with all the pretty flowers in her yard and is involved in all kinds of charity drives etc.

Yep, that lady. She's "wicked", know why? She's an unbeliever! Gasp, who'd have ever thought it?

BambooBends said...

DennisDiehl said...

"The multidimensional thinking technologists with structural visualization reducing themselves to subjugate themselves to two dimensional abstract visualization types -- devoid of technical ability and teaching the evils of Satan's Colleges and Universities in this world -- and it's all because the specialists want to reduce everything to binary ones and zeros?"


Cute and obtuse. But not far off the mark. But it isn't just technologists who fall prey to that line of reasoning. Its Philosophers (logic was always a branch of Philosophy), Theologians, Lawyers and radio Talk Show hosts.

Dr Stav's talks on the trinity reeked of binary logic. It didn't settle well with most people, and nobody really understands the conventional theory of the trinity.

Legalism, Judges and Lawyers is all about exploiting what is not covered by binary logic. So is the absurdity of "zero tolerance" enforcement.

All of Western Culture (including Judaism) is derived Greek thoughts on logic, the binary logic system taught by Aristotle. We inherit that system through the Romans and the Jews (via Christianity).

Using the logic of Aristotle and the words of scripture, its not a big leap to say "those are not with my group - are of Satan". "Either for us or against us". Where have I heard that before? Binary (black and white) logic coupled with theology is the root of murderous sectarianism.

The same form of logic was adapted by computational fathers such as Turing, John von Neumann, et al, into the design of modern computers. Nobody knew any differently. But computers are still stupid. Windows still crashes and HAL 9000 is a long ways off. The math of binary logic works (to a degree), but only because its a subset of quantum logic.

Recent advances in quantum computing have found the quantum world operates on a four level logic, TRUE, FALSE, NEITHER TRUE NOR NOT TRUE, NEITHER FALSE NOR NOT FALSE. The Qubit.

Consider most clever binary theological arguments with 4 level logic, and most of the paradoxes and strife (where would Dr Stav. be?) go away. Its the logic of common sense, and most things don't fit neatly in true or false pidgeon holes.

The only religion/philosophy that follows a four level logic, is Buddhism. Its roots are not in Aristotle.

GTA's much beloved law of Thermodynamics, and its child entrophy, turns out to be just information not available for work.
All the universe is either matter, energy, or information state. The entire universe is storing and computing qubits.

Neotherm said...

XXXX

Neotherm said...

Sorry for the previous posting. It was an experiment. Authentication works a little differently than I thought.

Within the Armstrongite fold, there was a great diversity of personality types. I think all these various types shared a common attribute, however. A desire for control was the paramount characteristic.

For people who want control, legalism is magnetic. Some of the people who wanted control were highly technical people. Others were poor and uneducated. But they all collapsed under the pressure of Armstrongite salesmanship that centered on control.

I spoke to a programmer who worked on an on-line system in Pasadena, along with a few others, that was used by the WCG. This was back in the Sixties and Seventies when online, real time systems were rare. I believe it was written in assembler. It was really a breathtaking effort for the times. He told me that they felt like their team of a few software developers was the greatest concentration of intellect in the world. This, of course, is laughable. But egoism was always another Armstrongite trait.

-- Neo

DennisDiehl said...

Bamboo...

DennisDiehl said...

"The multidimensional thinking technologists..."

I said it NOT. I was quoting it and asking if that might better be put in English. :)

Douglas Becker said...

I spoke to a programmer who worked on an on-line system in Pasadena, along with a few others, that was used by the WCG. This was back in the Sixties and Seventies when online, real time systems were rare. I believe it was written in assembler. It was really a breathtaking effort for the times. He told me that they felt like their team of a few software developers was the greatest concentration of intellect in the world. This, of course, is laughable.

In the early years of the Sixties and Seventies, the Radio Church of God / Worldwide Church of God used the IBM 360 / 370 Mainframe. The systems used at Pasadena were indeed written in Assembler [one of my favorite languages today (HLASM on z/OS, but then there is always the future in Quantum Computing which does not yet have an assember / compiler and is hardly off the drawing board. By the way, two years ago, I gave a presentation to the prisoners on McNeil Island a presentation on Operating Systems and Quantum Computing].

While the people in Data Processing at AC may not have been the greatest collection of intellects in computing at the time [or they may have been], they were quite innovative and ploughing new technological ground: So much so that IBM was looking at their algorithms [has nothing to do with the author of Inconvenient Truth]. They were ahead of their time, for sure.

However, that's not the whole story. As mentioned before, technologists do not fare well in the church of gods environment. In the case of the erstwhile Information Technology staff at WCG, they had to suffer the dreaded unplanned remodel perodically, with desks on top of one another and jackhammers cutting channels in the cement while they were working. The decisions of management weren't any better than today: Dimwit nimnull managers making the worst of technological decisions made after lunch at the expense of a vendor. The Data Cell was one of these embarrassments.

As you would expect with the lack of accountability in this venue, the whole thing eventually unraveled and came to nothing. A certain data processing manager who is the brother-in-law to a certain prominent Evangelist Regional Pastor of an xcg finally had had enough and booted out of being the DP manager along with booting out of the church. Talk about a reboot.

The discussion of technologists versus the church of gods is not trivial. It embodies millennia old power struggles for dominance.

The technologists are not alone, of course. Those fine people who are devoid of structural visualization have other vulnerabilities. While those the structural visualization look for possibilities and may have the inward or telescopic point of view, being by their nature interested in technotoys, those with abstract visualization may be oriented to the microscopic or the immediate point of view. The immediate point of view favors family.

Those with abstract visualization often have the binary good / bad, good / evil at their core and have been attracted to the WCG because of his preaching about the Ten Commandments. I know such people: They are the Law and Order types who aren't interested in the broad sweep of the telescopic view or knowledge for knowledge sake. They want structure and order, they want predictibility, they want to be reassured of protection and want a good example.

The miracle of the WCG is that it appealed to both sorts of people: Those who wanted the science fiction of "The World Tomorrow" and those who wanted "Law and Order" [not necessarily incompatible and oft coexisting]. Let's not forget those suspicious people for whom there were conspiracies everywhere and secret government programs with disasters sure to happen any time now. GTA really appealed to them, but then, he didn't neglect anyone and was rather eclectic. Critics may point out that though he had appeal, he was all over the map, which is a sure way to get a broad following pied piper style.

There was also the profit motive and the WCG provided several flavors of that. GTA was guilty of making greed appealing. One type was those who were looking to be gods and have a comfy place of safety. The others -- some of whom were psychopaths -- found an irresistible environment of sheep to fleece and made it near the top, people such as Stanley Rader.

I guess I must be one of the ignorant ones after all....what the hell are you talking about?

I eschew obfuscation. Every attempt has been made to be clear but the expectation here is that the participants of this blog have a superior level of sophistication and intelligence. But if you can't keep up, it may be time for some remedial reading. The User's Guide to the Brain by John Ratey, MD on neurology might be a good place to start -- particularly for one associated with the medical arts.

DennisDiehl said...

Well I'm all for eschewing obfus..obfuss...odfuss...damn, I can never say that word...

"I eschew obfuscation."

"but the expectation here is that the participants of this blog have a superior level of sophistication and intelligence."

"But if you can't keep up, it may be time for some remedial reading"

Sounds like any number of condescending answers I got from WCG minister types when being defensive, sarcastic and needing to come out on top was more important than actually communicating or maintaining a mature sense of self.

I'm also way ahead of remedial reading on how the brain/mind/vision/reality/perceptions/light and human consciousness might work. Would you like to talk about spherical standing waves and the nature of matter or perhaps issues of inerrancy in the book? Would you like to know if a tree falls in the forest and there is no one there to hear it, does it make a noise? How about discussing how the senses perceive reality and whether the only light we ever see is the light in our dark heads. Remedial stuff...

Lighten up Doug..your bitterness oozes through at every turn as do repetative themes of unresolved issues or held onto hurts, which we all have. You'll have to eschew me for reacting to being talked down to. We're all adults here with different experiences, likes and skills.

DennisDiehl said...

Saint Ted, the man who wrote Whale of a Tale and a Theory for the Birds would be proud of Davey Crockett of LCG for this profound insight into the #8 dumbest idea humans have ever come up with.

"The Theory of Evolution; Darwin’s Theory of Natural Selection;
Survival of the Fittest.

Did life as we know it today evolve? Was there a starting point from which the world began? The Bible says in Genesis 1:1: “In the beginning.” In v. 11 we see that plant life was created. In v. 20 we see that fish, sea creatures and birds were created. In v. 24 other living creatures made their appearance at God’s command. And then, the ultimate creation – man – made in the image of God, was created.

And yet, men reject this simple explanation by trying to explain the origins of mankind and animals as having evolved from simpler life forms. So much of science is tainted with this false premise that it colors and negates the value of much of today’s education.

Why do men come up with such dumb ideas and deny that the world was created? The answer is really simple. They don’t keep the weekly seventh day Sabbath, which is a memorial of creation. God makes the purpose for the Sabbath very plain in Exodus 20:8-11, when He said, “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work.” Now notice v. 11: “For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.”

So there ya have it. The answer is really simple. Evolution is not true because everyone who digs in the dust of the earth for answers doesn't want to go to church on Saturday. In a few short paragraphs, Davey has destroyed the demonic findings of paleontology, geology and evolutionary studies. That the administration of LCG allows this man to speak for truth is beyond ridiculous and leaves LCG with nothing more than the credibility of all mere Bible readers.

LCG is going to learn the reality of the survival of the fittest firsthand and soon.

Argh, argh and half an argh.

Corky said...

Aah Dennis, haven't you heard that you can't teach calculus to a toaster? And, to teach evolution to a creationist is more difficult than teaching that de nial is not a river in Egypt?

The willfully ignorant are with you always and will always have to be dragged, kicking and screaming, all the way to their final destination.

Or, will ignorance prevail? Remember all those hard questions that God asked of Job? Today we can answer all of them except for the ones that don't even make sense to those who know that the earth has no foundations and that you don't stretch a plumb line on a sphere.

Reckon the space shuttle broke a hole in the glass dome of the sky?

How long will ignorance prevail?

DennisDiehl said...

Corky Asked:

"How long will ignorance prevail?"

As long as it turns a profit. :)

I personally believe the Shuttle broke through one of the windows of heaven gouging itself on a shard of holy glass, tore the wing off slicing through the plumb line and then careened into two of the four pillars that hold the earth up...think dinner plate. But that's just speculation I know.

The book of Job was always an enigma to me. Here's a guy that loses all known human relationships and basics and then is supposed to feel better because God controls the weather, the stars, the journey of the planets through the Zodiac etc.

I all too often stood on river banks waiting for rescue types to bring up the body of the son of the member standing next to me, or being taken by the hand into a morgue to view a teen or stand with mom as she said goodbye to a son dying after an auto accident and then watching him stop breathing, to ever think of saying...

"Well buck up sweetie..where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Did you lay the cornerstone? Do you stop the ocean at the beach? Have you ever ordered the sun to come up? Ever been to the bottom of the Marianos Trench? Have you figured out where light comes from? You got snow figured out? Listen lady, I think you are accusing God here and I suggest you buck up. Besides, you'll see them in the kingdom so I expect to see you in church Sabbath with a smile on your face and let's not talk about this to the memebers ok?

You think I'm kidding? After calling a close friend and minister a SOB for treating someone like this (mom says goodbye to son..see above), depression over the whole thing overwhelmed me, I went for help and was told I was hiding in the guise of depression by the supportive church.

In hindsite, my compliant nature had had enough WCG BS, I was internally angry at a thousand things and unwilling to express it because the price was too high at the moment and I was not ready to move on. But that clarifies itself after you call the brother of the head of ministerial services an SOB :P

Does this have anything to do with Saint Ted? Ted was Ted. I doubt he ever wanted to be a Televangelist but was also compliant in the wake of his brother's death etc. One of the heirs apparent at Bob Jones University packed up and moved to Washington to write and not have anything to do with the BJ Dynasty thing. Rumor has it..well nevermind. He's probably the happier of the lot for being more authentic and doing what he wants to do instead of what he is expected to do. An oft told tale I am sure.

Corky said...

A lot of hurtful things by an organization that was supposed to be "God's church", huh Dennis? Too bad it's still happening . . .

You know, I always figured that Job's "sin" was that he was a hypocrite but I've changed my mind. After all, it says he was a "righteous" man, so I think his "sin" was of being a know-it-all - like so many of the ministers of Christendom today, especially the literalist fundamentalists.

That was the reason for "God's" questions to Job, to point out that Job did not "know-it-all".

True, they were kind of bronze age type questions but the moral of the story, to modern preachers, is that they don't know it all and so, how would they know that God didn't use evolution to make the world as we see it today?

Scientists may be God's modern prophets - whoever listened to God's prophets? Weren't they the guys who were persecuted and made fun of in the bible?

There's no doubt that Herbie and St. Ted were know-it-alls and made fun of science and even medical doctors. I won't put them in with Job though, because the bible says Job was a "righteous" man.

DennisDiehl said...

Job seemingly acted no differently than anyone going through such grief. The stages were there. He seems to have had the "God knows what he's doing" attitude initially but then the anger set in and his unencouraging encouragers didn't help. I still would maintain that God might better serve humans by explaining life to them rather than blasting us, in Job, for not knowing it all. I don't many who feel they know it all and need some deity to put them in their place. Of course if God ran most of those questions by us today, we'd be able to say, "sure, I understand that one too."

Seems the formula in Job is:

Bad stuff happens because Satan gets to take shots at us.

Don't get angry or want answers.

Listen while your friends blame you for not being spiritual enough.

Get mad at them for their lack of compassion and encouragement.

Realize you didn't make the snow.

Apologize to God

Get all new stuff back, including new kids as if that helped.

Sometimes I think there is no Satan and that Satan is really what we get when God gets drunk. Or maybe God is what we get when Satan is sober. I dunno..do you? :)

Corky said...

"Sometimes I think there is no Satan and that Satan is really what we get when God gets drunk. Or maybe God is what we get when Satan is sober. I dunno..do you? :)"

Yes, I think I do know Dennis, Satan is a metaphorical adversary and God is the made up answer to bronze age unanswerable questions.

Very well did the opponents of Jeremiah say that since they left off worshipping the "queen of heaven" (otherwise known as "earth mother") they suffered all kinds of calamities and starvation. But, as you know, when they went back to the original matriarchal worship - they prospered.

Not that the worship had anything to do with it but that they stayed out of the religious wars and lived peaceably with their neighbors.

Unfortunately, that didn't last long either - Cyrus of Persia (the messiah) made a decree . . .

DennisDiehl said...

A Goddess/Priestess society seemed more inclined to respect for life and the planet along with it's cycles and seasons. The WHOLE purpose of Genesis 1-3 is a tale designed to dethrone the Goddess worship of the nations around Israel and install Patriarchy and a male Priesthood and system of worship. Women, due to Eve's mytholgical screw up with the help of the typically goddess counceling serpent had to go and be blamed for it all. The idea that the Serpent, originally the symbol for the counselor to the goddess and sexuality, being "Satan" evolved later. The serpent is not Satan in this original tale.

It is intersting that the Angel in the East with the raised sword keeping the Garden free from their return after expulsion was probably the constellation Orion coming up in the East. In reality, guarding only the East leaves many other ways to get back into a real Garden..:) Actually the Garden of Eden story makes better astro-theological sense with all the players of the Zodiac, but again, who cares right?

When the bottom line is women are to have babies painfully (first time ever?) and say "yes sir" to men as their punishement, we know it's a male vs. female issue.

As noted in the past, the whole Cain and Abel story is about the new "God" liking the smell of meat and sacrifice, a guy thing and not accepting a veggie thing which was more the earth goddess view. We may miss the point today, but they didn'then. Guy stuff in the form of Priests, temples and meat and blood sacrfice is IN and agriculture, seeds, fertility, rain gods on warm mother earth as a motiff of respect and worship is OUT. Women went from the mystery of birth to being the mere containers of the male made child. You'll notice through ancient history of the goddess that she stood alone for a long time, then had a small male consort on her lap, then an equal male next to her, then she was out. This reflects the evolution of men realizing they gave life to the woman and not women to the man. The rest is history. Even the Apostle Paul goes for this silliness in role for women in the church explanations, which are phoney.

Long story I guess. Genesis One to Three is not principally a story of how life came to be in reality or how humans showed up and have dominion. It is a slam dunk well understood tale of the demise of matriarchy and the rise of Patriarchy in Israel no matter what was going on around them.

Kinda sick that God brought all the animals before Adam to see if any pleased him, but last of all gave up and created a woman for him!

18 The LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him."

2:19 Now the LORD God had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. 20 So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds of the air and all the beasts of the field.
But for Adam [j] no suitable helper was found."

Evidently he was looking through the animal kind but gave up..ewwww.

DennisDiehl said...

PS Even more to the mythology of Eden, when the constellations of the Virgin (Virgo-Eve) and the Herdsman (Bootes-Adam) fall or sets beneath the Western horizon, the constellation Perseus rises on the Eastern horizon with a sword in his hand.

Just a small tidbit of interesting info on the origins of "as above, so below."

DennisDiehl said...

sorry...I guess I strayed and we got out of bed with Mr. Ted,all be it, he's dead.

Anonymous said...

I have a funny one about GTA! At SEP in the 60's, GTA would fly onto Pelican Lake, and arrive like Elvis. He really ate it up! Then we'd have a big camp singalong, and he'd jump up on the stage and we'd all sing "smoke smoke smoke that cigarette" from the Imperial Schools singalong book. It was truly surreal!

Neotherm said...

I find Dennis Diehl's highly idiosyncratic musings to be a fair representation of a particular school of thought. That school of thought is simply: Let us deride everything and anything that is connected with even the remote possibility of scriptural validity. It is a common view among secularist college sophomores.

GTA based his views on the common evangelical premise that if evolution is true, there is no God. Theistic evolution just does not have a place in that belief system. Yet there is no real difficulty in harmonizing scripture with physics if one is able to admit that miracles have occurred. For that treatise, see C.S. Lewis' book entitled "Miracles". If evolution is ever proved incontrovertibly, which I doubt will ever happen, it does not amount to a renunciation of God. God can do whatever he wants, however he wants.

On the other hand, I have seen Jay Gould stand up before a body of hundreds of august scientists and essentially admit that evolutionists have been cavalier with the truth. In particular, the creation of charts showing progressive development over vast eras of time, so popular in textbooks, may have little validity and that small supposed validity cannot be substantiated.

Gould put up slides of creatures that are featured in popular geology texts in an evolutionary context and said that nobody really knows what these creatures are. Nor does any body understand how they connect with other creatures. An evolutionary interpretation was simply imposed on some disconnected facts.

-- Neo

Paul said...

"GTA based his views on the common evangelical premise that if evolution is true, there is no God."

Many Christians point to this as proof for God; if evolution is not true, then God is real and he created man. When did the origin of man boil down to two possibilities? If evolution is not true, that no more gives credence to the idea of God than it does the idea that aliens planted us here.

"Theistic evolution just does not have a place in that belief system."

Evolution and theism do not go together, period.

"Yet there is no real difficulty in harmonizing scripture with physics if one is able to admit that miracles have occurred."

Translation: You could understand my view if only you admitted that leprechans are real.

"For that treatise, see C.S. Lewis' book entitled "Miracles". If evolution is ever proved incontrovertibly, which I doubt will ever happen, it does not amount to a renunciation of God. God can do whatever he wants, however he wants."

No. The God of the Bible is very clear in this matter. He created man out of dust and a woman out of a rib. And if at some point you do not take the Genesis account literally, are you still going to take the rest of the Bible literally, such as the part about a man being raised from the dead??

DennisDiehl said...

"On the other hand, I have seen Jay Gould stand up before a body of hundreds of august scientists and essentially admit that evolutionists have been cavalier with the truth"

I've seen John Spong, Retired Episcopal Priest and author stand up before a body of hundreds of august theologians and essentially admit that theologians have been cavelier with their truth too....

I'd not get too excited about using Jay Gould to buttress ones hope for creationism.