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Can A Religionist Be Politically Progressive?

A continuation of a Twitter conversation


Of the three Abrahamic religions (spoken of in general terms for the sake of brevity), the easiest to dismiss with regards to this question is Islam. This ideology contains no internal moral dialectic; that is, there is no method to decide, by argument, if an action is right or wrong — there is simply “Islamic” and “non-Islamic”.

With Judaism, the situation is more complex, though few would argue that Orthodox Judaism is a progressive ideology. The Reform version of the Jewish religion is more an outgrowth of nineteenth-century liberalism, composed it seems mainly of those who retain some sense of Jewish identity while being assimilated to the general population.

Christianity has severe problems reconciling itself to any progressive doctrine. To take the example of the Roman Catholic Church, not only do you have an organization with an atrocious human rights record that has opposed every effort of human beings to improve themselves, you have a leader who is “infallible” — a creature that shares 98% of its DNA with a chimpanzee is incapable of error! Apart from this, Christianity is by definition a non-materialist philosophy, which puts it in direct contradiction with Marxism. There is no getting away with this: the Christian religion is not concerned with this world. There can never be a true reconciliation between materialist socialism and the ethereal doctrines of any Christian church — there is no argument here.

The treatment of these topics have been too brief, I admit; Marxism, for example, is not the be-all of progressive politics, obviously. Another point to ponder is this: At what point does a religion move so far from its original premises that it is unrecognizable as an ideology? Are Reform Jews “real” Jews? My answer would be ‘no’, though I expect to be hammered for that position. There is no group more correct in its interpretation of the Koran than ISIL. I’d rather be a devil on the side of Truth, than an angel on the side of untruth, as Feuerbach might say.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The 2017 Australian Of The Year

I think we have a winner!

A Challenge To Felix Biederman

The art of trolling is not an easy one. Targets are surprisingly hard to find, and repeated attacks on the Usual Suspects soon becomes a dreary task. A thin skin and a decent helping of self-righteousness create the best quarry (PZ Myers and Jerry Coyne, in particular), but even these men wise up eventually.

Muslims are the worst, owing to their natural cowardice; the #tcot brigade aren’t much fun either, owing to their lack of intelligence; SJWs also run when confronted. So where to from here?

I need something dramatic to spice up my online life — I need to feel alive. That’s why I’m issuing a challenge to Felix Biederman for a fist fight — to the death.

Why Felix?” you may ask. Well, the first thing is that he is a jock. A victory for myself would be a small victory for the cultivated people of this world. Biederman is also, I’m led to believe, a Jew. Given the mayhem that filthy Judaic ideologies have created  over the past two millenia, this would be a triumph for the noble-minded people of this planet.

No doubt Felix gets a lot of harassment from weirdos on the internet; but I doubt that he has encountered anyone as weird as me. I’m a very sick man, who has very sick thoughts. I know I will never get any better, but I trudge on — Sisyphus-like — regardless. I am a man who is easily amused, and usually docile. But the depravity of Muslims is eating away my sanity. Having to share a planet with these creatures is making my life unbearable. The solution to this problem is obvious, but of course no-one is willing to act.

Another pro to this situation is that I don’t really dislike Felix all that much. There would be some dignity in losing to him, something that wouldn’t be the case in many other situations. There would be something obscene about someone like myself dying at the hands of, say, a Sunni Muslim — one more triumph of the subhuman over the human. 

So this is a genuine challenge, to remain in perpetuity. Any time, any where.

 

2016: Year In Review

Guest post by Josh Marshall of Talking Points Memo

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HAPPY NEW YEAR, EVERYBODY!

PZ Myers Is Upset By Jennifer Lawrence’s Bum

Or, to be more precise, what she did with her bum in Hawaii.

Lawrence was on a film shoot there when she got a little itchy, and decided to relieve herself by rubbing up against some “sacred rocks” on site. This has upset some people, who think that Lawrence was disrespectful. Whatever.

Exactly why PZ is vexed by this is somewhat of a mystery, though. Myers, in case you didn’t know, became something of a cult figure after desecrating a Catholic communion wafer. Why would someone of that mindset even care about this?

Well, the PZ Myers of 2016 is different to the PZ Myers who tormented our dopey Catholic cousins years ago. Gone is the scientific rationalist, replaced with a squishy Social Justice Warrior who filters life through the lens of minority issues.

“But isn’t it good to empathize with ethnic minorities?” you might say. Yeah, OK. But here’s the thing: PZ wants to have the secular, scientific worldview for himself; but the natives of Hawaii should wallow in superstitious ignorance. This can only be described as racist.

The proper response is this: A rock is a rock, nothing more. There are no “sacred” rocks, just as there are no “holy” places.

That’s the Mediocrity Principle, and PZ should learn it.

 

The Goy Has Defiled The Temple

A few days ago I wrote about an appearance made by Christopher Bollyn at Brooklyn Commons, and the fallout from this event. While this incident is rather puny in the grand scheme of things, there were some interesting themes to be explored, such as “safe spaces” and freedom of speech.

I found one reaction in particular to be rather revealing: that of the pompous and pretentious academic (and Crooked Timber contributor) Professor Corey Robin.

Corey Robin was invited to be a guest on a progressive radio show at Brooklyn Commons, but couldn’t  bring himself to do so. Robin’s post basically admits that his decision is irrational, but I found the last line to be the most intriguing:

I simply could not feel clean walking through those doors.

Now, for those who don’t know, Corey Robin is an adherent of Conservative Judaism, something he has mentioned several times on his blog. This is an interesting insight into the mentality of the modern Left, particularly in the United States.

Contradictory to the materialistic viewpoint, which sees all parts of the world as being part of the same system and thus rejecting the notion of such things as “holy” spaces, Robin sees the Brooklyn Commons as a kind of temple, where only the ideologically pure can enter without some sort of ruckus being created — and so it was. It is no surprise that the ringleader of the protests was Daniel Sieradski, a self-described Orthodox Jew who turned the Occupy protests into a kind of Jewish folk festival.

This kind of backward and superstitious thinking has been a problem for the Left long before this episode, but with so much of the Left’s achievements hanging by a thread this kind of mentality can only lead to disaster.

We need more Trotskys and fewer Robins in the 21st century. 

Mr. Bollyn Goes To Brooklyn

To be more specific, Christopher Bollyn went to Brooklyn Commons…and a shitstorm erupted.

Bollyn, if don’t know already, is an internet conspiracy theorist. There are more of these than you can poke a stick at, but Bollyn seems to have a relatively high profile among these (don’t ask me why). He also doesn’t appear to like Jews much.

That, of course, was the crux of the issue. There were denunciations. People protested. The Commons’ owner, Melissa Ennen, was indifferent. The event went ahead: Bollyn went overtime, refused to answer questions, and generally irritated his audience. Those who attended likely went home to drown their sorrows in resentment at having wasted two hours of their lives. Bollyn probably headed back to his hotel room to be sucked off by a Sudanese prostitute.

What was missed in all the excitement was the main problem: the reliance of progressive activists on wealthy patrons.

Having to rely on the liberal sensibilities of Lord Muck or Lady Chatterley is a major burden for cash-strapped organizations. This has been a problem since forever, but the Bernie Sanders campaign showed a way out, with lots of people giving small donations you can provide a counterweight the big money of a few hundred donors.

This is the hard road to freedom, but it will be worth it when activists are free of people like Melissa Ennen.